on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:50 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.

Heading Toward Theocracy

If religions restricted their activities to home, church, synagogue or mosque, atheists would have no legitimate complaints. The problem is, religion is everywhere. If any event triggered the New Atheist attitude it was 9/11. Some commentators have tried to explain this tragic event in terms of social causes, such as the perceived American oppression of Muslim nations. However, a reading of the final instructions Mohammed Atta gave to his team leaves little doubt that it was religion which motivated them as they flew those planes into those buildings.


On the other hand, come on, would not someone who genuinely believed in a God, the God, my God, not rationalize any and all behaviors in the name of God? Think about it: If what you do here and now is judged by God as the only way in which you can attain immortality and salvation there and then, would not attempts to water down the Scripture be deemed sacrilegious? And rightfully. After all, if others do not join you in worshipping and adoring the one true God [yours] are they not inherently a danger? Could they not, perhaps, corrupt your own youth by touting the false God? Or No God.

Either my religion does revolve around the real me [my soul] in sync with the right thing to do [the will of God], or I can never really be certain how to achieve immortality and salvation.

That assessment of religion has always seemed to be the most reasonable one to me. And, again, precisely because of all that is at stake here if you get it wrong. That's why based on my own experience with religious men and women over the years, many might have professed to have faith in God, but that's not really what they believed at all. It's not faith, it's certainty.

And, if believing that human existence is not just an essentially meaningless trek to oblivion, the closer you get to certainty, the more comforted and consoled that you are.

Thus...

While in recent times Christians have not produced numerically comparable atrocities, individual cases can be found where murders by Christians have been committed ‘under orders’ from God. More common are Christian attempts to force others to behave according to their beliefs; to set public policy based on faith rather reason; and to transform America into a theocracy.


That is clearly the aim of any number of evangelicals here. But I wouldn't call this faith. On the contrary, the attempts to politicize religion seems to revolve almost entirely around the absolute certainty that Jesus is coming back. And thus that God must exist.

Blind faith?

And while folks like Trump and his crony capitalist ilk will merely mold and manipulate them into sustaining their own "show me the money" rendition of nihilism, all that really matters in the end is the extent to which they can sustain it. Perhaps all the way to fascism itself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:38 pm

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:Image
Okay, to all those folks who are more inclined to spirituality than religion, same thing:

What prompts you to choose one set of behaviors "here and now" in order to attain what you believe or would like believe the fate of "I" is "there and then".

Morality and mortality.

You all know my own considerably grim take on them.

In the beginning was.. Dharma. Dharma is not bound to any one religion or sect..

I doubt we all ponder daily about our fate, but probably do about daily morality and living for longevity. That is my reply, to my interpretation, of your inquiry.

Haven’t you recently been called fatalistic, here, at ILP? I recently learned about a new term.. the term ‘OCD thoughts’ ..it’s more common than you’d think.. perhaps you think constant (OCD) thoughts, such as fatalism and deasin? I’m sure we all have our own..
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:06 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.

The Folly of Faith

Faith is belief in the absence of empirical evidence, and often in the face of contrary evidence. The position of the New Atheists is that faith is the force behind both the malevolent deeds of extremist religious groups and the irrational acts of many political leaders. To act on the basis of faith can often be to act in conflict with reason. We New Atheists claim that to do so is immoral, and dangerous to society.


Again, in my view, it's not really faith we are dealing with in regard to most "God world" folks. Or, rather, in all my years of interacting with them [from both sides] it wasn't. It is all but rock solid belief that there is a God, the God. And that of necessity it was/is their own God.

Now, I'm sure in times of travail, doubts crept in for some. And I've known a few who, like me, pulled out of it completely. But must were way beyond faith. Especially when they are willing to divide the world up [politically] between the righteous and infidels.

And that's where the danger lies. In objectivism linked to God linked to an authoritarian political agenda. Up to and including the theocrats. And, up to a point, even to those secularists who treat one or another ideology or humanism as the equivalent of religion.

On the other hand, the argument goes, are not the New Atheists more or less in the same boat? Only their own understanding of God and religion is allowed to prevail in any particular discussion. Here, there, everywhere.

Here the New Atheists find themselves in conflict with many other atheists who prefer to accommodate religion and not challenge beliefs, even when those beliefs conflict with well-established science. However, the New Atheists say we should challenge the irrational thinking behind religious beliefs, including that of moderates, which can only help justify the more extreme activities, as well as motivate less extreme, but still dangerous, behavior.


Sure, go ahead, challenge it. But the bottom line never goes away: moral nihilism and oblivion. Or, yeah, my own bottom line anyway. Ever and always the atheists [old and new] are stuck there. They somehow have to convince the faithful and the true believers to abandon all hope of immortality and salvation. And to abandon all attempts to propound a moral agenda that can never be more than one or another hopelessly tangled/problematic rendition of "moderation, negotiation and compromise".

Unless, of course, as with folks like Sam Harris, you actually attempt to connect the dots between morality and science. And how is that not for all practical purposes pretty much the same thing? Okay, you won't go to Heaven for doing the right thing "down here", but at least science is there to tell you what all rational and virtuous folks are obligated to choose in regards to, say, abortion?

Some of those favoring the accommodation of religion see this as a strategy to maintain support for science and, in particular, for evolution. While New Atheists support these goals, and have no intention of banning religion from the public square, we think that fighting against all forms of unreason is more important in the long run. Public support for science is strong and hardly likely to erode because of a few loud-mouthed atheists.


Clearly, taking into account the actual social, political and economic "situation" in which suggestions like this might be pertinent, the arguments that I raise don't go away.

Or, perhaps, not so clearly at all? Well, all I can do here is to hear out those who see it all differently. And hope that those who still have faith in or firmly believe in God are willing to explore how that impacts the behaviors that they do choose in regard to conflicting goods "out in the world".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:15 pm

MagsJ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:Image
Okay, to all those folks who are more inclined to spirituality than religion, same thing:

What prompts you to choose one set of behaviors "here and now" in order to attain what you believe or would like believe the fate of "I" is "there and then".

Morality and mortality.

You all know my own considerably grim take on them.

In the beginning was.. Dharma. Dharma is not bound to any one religion or sect..

I doubt we all ponder daily about our fate, but probably do about daily morality and living for longevity. That is my reply, to my interpretation, of your inquiry.

Haven’t you recently been called fatalistic, here, at ILP? I recently learned about a new term.. the term ‘OCD thoughts’ ..it’s more common than you’d think.. perhaps you think constant (OCD) thoughts, such as fatalism and deasin? I’m sure we all have our own..


As I noted previously, whether in regard to an actual religious denomination or to any other "spiritual" path, the aim of this thread is to explore the manner in which those who espouse either connect the dots existentially between the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave and what they believe the fate of "I" will be on the other side of it.

Dharma: (in Indian religion) the eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded in Hinduism as a cosmic law underlying right behavior and social order.

(in Buddhism) the nature of reality regarded as a universal truth taught by the Buddha; the teaching of Buddhism.

an aspect of truth or reality.


How do you understand Dharma and how is it pertinent to the behaviors that you choose insofar as you understand the relationship between morality here and now and immortality there and then.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:45 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.

Attacking the New Atheism

To give a taste of the typical criticism of the New Atheists by professed atheists, let us consider the views of atheist philosopher Ron Aronson from his book Living Without God (2008). Aronson is critical of the New Atheists for not providing secularists with an alternative to God to believe in: they only provide a denial of God, and nothing to compare with what he calls the ‘coherence’ of religious belief:

“Our religious friends affirm their belief in the coherence of the universe and the world, their deep sense of belonging to it and to a human community, their refusal to be stymied by the limits of knowledge, their confidence in dealing with life’s mysteries and uncertainties, their willingness to take complete responsibility for the small things while leaving forces beyond themselves in charge of the large ones, their security in knowing right from wrong, and perhaps above all, their sense of hope about the future… Even if we would reject these beliefs as unfounded and irrational, we have to be struck by their force. And envy their coherence… Besides disbelief, what do we have to offer? What should we tell our children and grandchildren as we see them swept up in a pervasively religious environment?” (p.17)


In a word: Huh?

Or, rather, the word that pops into my own head in reacting to "critiques" of this sort.

Think about it...

Does this or does this not sum up succinctly -- for most, compellingly -- why religion is still embraced by the preponderance of human beings around the globe. This is precisely the mindset that a leap of faith can provide members of the flock.

And one reason that atheists -- old or new -- often fail to break it down is precisely because there is no secular alternative to God. None, in any event, that comes even close to providing the same measure of comfort and consolation.

Not only that but historically there have been any number of secular alternatives that have revolved around such things as survival of the fittest, political ideology, scientism, nihilism and the like. And, ironically enough, these folks have often succeeded in bringing about only greater human pain and suffering.

And then the part about oblivion to boot.

Nope. From my frame of mind the only possible way to construe "the best of all possible worlds" sans God is in one or another political manifestation of moderation, negotiation and compromise. And look at all the turmoil that ever and always brings with it.

Not to mention the fractured and fragmented personalities like mine.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:21 pm

iambiguous wrote:As I noted previously, whether in regard to an actual religious denomination or to any other "spiritual" path, the aim of this thread is to explore the manner in which those who espouse either connect the dots existentially between the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave and what they believe the fate of "I" will be on the other side of it.
Dharma: (in Indian religion) the eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded in Hinduism as a cosmic law underlying right behavior and social order.

But of course Dharma sprang from other, previous, geo-political concepts, all of which precede indigenous Indic religions.. religions having adopted Them. Chicken/egg / politics/religion dichotomy, solved.. for India anyway.

(in Buddhism) the nature of reality regarded as a universal truth taught by the Buddha; the teaching of Buddhism.

an aspect of truth or reality.

How do you understand Dharma and how is it pertinent to the behaviors that you choose insofar as you understand the relationship between morality here and now and immortality there and then.

I simply, absorb.. do.. and be, within the moral boundaries I set myself, which are derived from the expectations I have of myself.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:21 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.

The New Atheists do indeed reject religious beliefs as irrational – but we’re certainly not going to dream up other irrational beliefs to take their place! And just because a belief is coherent doesn’t mean it’s desirable. Maybe it’s coherent to kill for your religious beliefs – but it’s still murder.


Again, as soon as you take words of this sort out into the world of human interactions, the very meaning of the word coherent itself when made applicable to the behaviors we choose becomes increasingly more problematic. Believe in a particular God in a particular way and almost anything can be rationalized as intelligent, rational, sound.

Same with any number of secular beliefs. Interpret a political ideology or an assessment of nature to mean [and only to mean] either this or that and everyone becomes fair game: sexism, heterosexism racism, ethnocentrism.

All one needs here is the font.

Only religion could suppose an unjustified certainty to be an improvement on ignorance. The existential questions caused by death, loss, suffering and inhumanity are not answered by the great religions – unless you think “It’s a mystery” is an answer.


On the other hand -- and for all practical purposes -- that is at least an answer. And it is one more than the atheists [old or new] have. They also have other "answers": the Devil, free will, human evil. The point being to have an answer. In other words, when the alternative is an essentially meaningless existence, senseless suffering and oblivion.

We New Atheists also disagree with Aronson’s implication that holding to a set of irrational beliefs can be healthy. The religious have a double burden of guilt and grief when they lose a loved one, for example. At least an atheist doesn’t wonder why God did this to her, what sin she must have committed to deserve such punishment. Religion offers no comfort if you live in constant fear of God’s disapproval.


This however is [to me] just another "world of words" in a philosophy magazine. Actual religionists across time historically and across the globe culturally, are able to construct and then reconstruct all manner of complex rationalizations able to make their actual lived sense of reality far more sophisticated. Given, among other things, the very different lives they have to work from.

Still, the true believer is able to convince herself that whatever God's purpose might be in taking a loved one from her, the loved one is now with God as, in time, she will be too. And given how easy it can be for mere mortals to rationalize their behaviors, the fear of God for many is anything but “constant”. For some, you confess your sins, are forgiven, and go about the business of rationalizing more behaviors still. Between treks to the church on the Sabbath.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:45 pm

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:In the beginning was.. Dharma. Dharma is not bound to any one religion or sect..

I doubt we all ponder daily about our fate, but probably do about daily morality and living for longevity. That is my reply, to my interpretation, of your inquiry.

Haven’t you recently been called fatalistic, here, at ILP? I recently learned about a new term.. the term ‘OCD thoughts’ ..it’s more common than you’d think.. perhaps you think constant (OCD) thoughts, such as fatalism and deasin? I’m sure we all have our own..
As I noted previously, whether in regard to an actual religious denomination or to any other "spiritual" path, the aim of this thread is to explore the manner in which those who espouse either connect the dots existentially between the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave and what they believe the fate of "I" will be on the other side of it.

The behaviours I choose in life, are not based on my thoughts of the resulting consequences in my demise.. why do you ponder on the resultant aspect so?

Even at the height of my allergy-induced illness, the only time such thoughts ever crossed my mind was when my health would dip dangerously low to the point of forcing my mind to ‘go there’ ..but otherwise I didn’t and don’t, so why does yours constantly do?

Dharma: (in Indian religion) the eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded in Hinduism as a cosmic law underlying right behavior and social order.

(in Buddhism) the nature of reality regarded as a universal truth taught by the Buddha; the teaching of Buddhism.

an aspect of truth or reality.


How do you understand Dharma and how is it pertinent to the behaviors that you choose insofar as you understand the relationship between morality here and now and immortality there and then.

I don’t practice my Dharma with an end result in mind.. I guess I do have Ṛta (/ˈrɪtə/; Sanskrit ऋत ṛta "order, rule; truth") in mind, and simply hope for the best. :lol:

this is an interesting read, but you may have come across it before.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:40 pm

MagsJ wrote:The behaviours I choose in life, are not based on my thoughts of the resulting consequences in my demise.. why do you ponder on the resultant aspect so?


Well, as I have noted time and again, I created this thread because my own fractured and fragmented "self" is unable to move much beyond human identity as the embodiment of "I" reflecting political prejudices rooted in dasein as an existential contraption. Why? Because I speculate further that in a No God world, human existence appears to me to be but an essentially meaningless trek from the cradle to the grave. Ending in oblivion.

On the other hand, those who choose God and/or religion as a font onto/into which they can anchor "I", think about these things very differently.

So, this thread was created in order for them to note just how differently they think about them.

If, however, connecting the dots existentially between morality here and now and immortality there and then is of little or no interest to you, I'd suggest you not participate in the discussions here. Because that is invariably what I will tug the exchanges back to.

Dharma then.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:03 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.

New Atheism does have plenty to offer besides disbelief. We have freedom of thought – the ability to think and live our lives the way we want without anybody forcing superstitious rules upon us.


Talk about an existential contraption. Talk about needing an actual context.

Sure, if your life is bursting with all manner satisfaction and fulfillment. If you are young and healthy and a million miles away from death. If you are in fact reveling in the freedom to think your own thoughts, to live your own life on your own terms, God and religion can be shunted off to the back burner.

But let things start to crumble and the diagnosis be terminal and what's all that vaunted freedom mean then? It's not for nothing that most churches attract the old and the infirm. When meaning in your life sinks down into the circumstantial hole that you are now in and the only alternative is oblivion, being a freedom loving atheist can itself be of little consolation.

Moreover, the foundations of science – and free thought in general – are based on self- and mutual criticism, and a humble acceptance of uncertainty in our conclusions. Yet far from epitomizing or promoting humility, religion is on the contrary blatantly arrogant in its unselfcritical commitment to unfounded certainties and dogmas. As for what to tell our children and grandchildren, we certainly don’t tell them what to believe! We teach them to think for themselves, and then trust them to arrive at rational conclusions that suit themselves and serve in their lives, and which then belong to them and not to us.


As though this sort of "rational assessment" actually sinks in with those who recognize God and religion basically as an embodiment of Pascal's wager. It just depends on how conscious one is that this is all it is. A leap of faith. A leap that really is just that: a leap of faith.

Again, and that's before we get to the part that Marx preferred tp stress. God used as a political devise to sustain the interest of the rich and powerful. "Keep them doped with religion" as John Lennon once assessed it.

And any number of children in any number of communities around the globe continue to be indoctrinated to sustain a belief in one or another religious dogma. And, in part, because science and the secularists still have nothing even remotely as comforting for the kids as morality here and now and immortality there and then.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:06 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.

The God of the Gaps

Not all of those theists who disagree with the New Atheism have questioned the validity of science or the scientific method. Rather they claim that the scientific evidence supports their beliefs. Virtually all their arguments take the form of ‘God of the gaps’ arguments, as follows: “I cannot see how [this phenomenon] could have happened naturally. Thus it must have happened supernaturally.” For example, in his bestseller The Language of God (2006), geneticist Francis Collins, who was the administrator of the human genome project and who now heads the US National Institutes of Health, says this about the origin of the universe: “I cannot possibly see how nature could have created itself. Only a supernatural force that is outside of space and time could have done that.”


Let's face it, given the gap between what we think we know about the ontological explanation for existence itself and all there is to be known, a God/the God is certainly one possible explanation.

And it is the existence of the gap itself that allows us to "think up" any number of possible solutions. And the beauty of situations like this is that all one need do is to believe that what one thinks up [or others think up for you] is true.

And nature here may as well be another God. At least when it comes to its creation. How can the world around us not exist and then exist? Or is it more mind-boggling still to insist that it has always existed?

This is also called the ‘argument from ignorance’. Just because Collins cannot see how nature could have created itself, that doesn’t mean it didn’t.


On the other hand, can't mere mortals be just as ignorant about the creator being God? For me it always comes down to that most profound antinomy of all: Why something and not nothing? Why this something and not something else? Let's face it, this may well be beyond the capacity of the human mind [given its evolution to date] to even grasp. Or the attempts to grasp it may well be just an inherent/necessary manifestation of nature/God itself.

On the other other hand, given human autonomy, scientists at least work with the world around us: experientially, experimentally: phenomenally.

Cosmologists have produced a number of scenarios by which the universe arose spontaneously and naturally. For example, using a model proposed by Stephen Hawking and James Hartle in 1983 which is fully consistent with well-established physics, I have developed a mathematically-detailed scenario in which our universe appeared by quantum tunneling from an earlier universe...While this may not be exactly how it happened, the fact that we have at least one plausible scenario for a natural origin of this universe suffices to refute any such God of the gaps argument. Furthermore, if a universe always existed, there’s no need to answer the common theist taunt: ‘How can something come from nothing’? It didn’t. It always was. Why should the universe have come from nothing? Why should nothing be more a natural starting-point than something?


Still, the bottom line is that science to date is not able to calibrate "the final solution". At least not to my knowledge. That they embrace the quest empirically may allow them to speak more substantively, but that ultimate gap between what they know now and all that there is to be known doesn't go away.

And, again, this is all in relationship to "things as they are" in the either/or world. Most scientists [in their fields] are still averse to connecting the dots between what is and what ought to be -- morally, politically, spiritually. Even political "science" is must contend with dasein, conflicting goods and wealth and power.

If I do say so myself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:52 pm

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:The behaviours I choose in life, are not based on my thoughts of the resulting consequences in my demise.. why do you ponder on the resultant aspect so?
Well, as I have noted time and again, I created this thread because my own fractured and fragmented "self" is unable to move much beyond human identity as the embodiment of "I" reflecting political prejudices rooted in dasein as an existential contraption. Why? Because I speculate further that in a No God world, human existence appears to me to be but an essentially meaningless trek from the cradle to the grave. Ending in oblivion.

But why are you fractured and fragmented? What happened, that made you so and took you there?

Can you not think or feel beyond that fractured and fragmented state of self?

On the other hand, those who choose God and/or religion as a font onto/into which they can anchor "I", think about these things very differently.

So, this thread was created in order for them to note just how differently they think about them.

Yes.. even as a (non-practising) RC, since birth, I am subconsciously tethered to that Faith, whether I like it or not. It played a major part in forming Me, my thoughts and feelings, and probably still does, well.. I guess it does.

Iam said: “human existence appears to me to be but an essentially meaningless trek from the cradle to the grave. Ending in oblivion.“

Is that how you have lived your life? Did you not yearn to or seek out, anything otherwise and contrary to that?

Religion gives lives purpose and meaning, gained from being a part of That community, so perhaps that is the aspect you have noticed missing from your own life, that of belonging to a forming concept of self, so all you see is the end/oblivion/demise, where I instead see a continuation of I to where I am now and will be tomorrow onwards.

Have you ever sat in the back of a church, just to experience the experience?

If, however, connecting the dots existentially between morality here and now and immortality there and then is of little or no interest to you, I'd suggest you not participate in the discussions here. Because that is invariably what I will tug the exchanges back to.

Dharma then.

Morality/immortality? Taking the sacraments I guess, to seal the deal with One’s god.. ensuring a person their rightful place in heaven, sitting on the right hand side of Their god. That’s the primary reason for religion.. following the rites and passages of your extended (religious) clan.

Dharma, rta, rights.. not so much a solely religious thing as a societal one, initially spread through clans or faith-based systems.. before the advent of mainstream State-ran societies and metropolises.

Do you dharma? I don’t mind if I do..
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:47 pm

MagsJ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:The behaviours I choose in life, are not based on my thoughts of the resulting consequences in my demise.. why do you ponder on the resultant aspect so?
Well, as I have noted time and again, I created this thread because my own fractured and fragmented "self" is unable to move much beyond human identity as the embodiment of "I" reflecting political prejudices rooted in dasein as an existential contraption. Why? Because I speculate further that in a No God world, human existence appears to me to be but an essentially meaningless trek from the cradle to the grave. Ending in oblivion.

But why are you fractured and fragmented? What happened, that made you so and took you there?


Over and again, I have made attempts to explain this. Encompassed in particular on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

Here in regard to abortion.

So, let me ask you this: In regard to your own views on abortion, how are you not "fractured and fragmented"? Because clearly the moral and political objectivists among us [left and right] have managed to think themselves into believing they are in touch with the "real me" in sync with the "right thing -- the only thing -- to do." And then most religious folks among us connect this dot to the one that encompasses Judgment Day. Because they did the right thing in the course of living their life on this side of the grave, God grants them access to immortality and salvation on the other side.

Right? Isn't that how "for all practical purposes" it works?

MagsJ wrote: Can you not think or feel beyond that fractured and fragmented state of self?


Sure: In my interactions with others in the either/or world.

Iam said: “human existence appears to me to be but an essentially meaningless trek from the cradle to the grave. Ending in oblivion.“


MagsJ wrote: Is that how you have lived your life? Did you not yearn to or seek out, anything otherwise and contrary to that?


Nope, not always. I was once myself a committed Christian. And, after "transcending" religion as a result of my experiences and relationships in Vietnam, I embraced any number of secular/political renditions of objectivism: Communism, Marxism, Trotskyism, social democracy, democratic socialism. Then came William Barrett, "rival goods", existentialism, deconstruction, semiotics, nihilism, moral nihilism.

MagsJ wrote: Religion gives lives purpose and meaning, gained from being a part of That community, so perhaps that is the aspect you have noticed missing from your own life, that of belonging to a forming concept of self, so all you see is the end/oblivion/demise, where I instead see a continuation of I to where I am now and will be tomorrow onwards.


Okay, but from my frame of mind, this is religion as an "intellectual contraption". Which was basically the manner in which I reacted to Zinnat's posts way back when. Instead, the aim of this thread is to bring words like that out into the world of actual human interactions. In particular, interactions that revolve around conflicting goods in which various religious denomination have their own "scriptures" which very much connect the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then. These are the discussions I am interested in pursuing.

If, however, connecting the dots existentially between morality here and now and immortality there and then is of little or no interest to you, I'd suggest you not participate in the discussions here. Because that is invariably what I will tug the exchanges back to.

Dharma then.

MagsJ wrote: Morality/immortality? Taking the sacraments I guess, to seal the deal with One’s god.. ensuring a person their rightful place in heaven, sitting on the right hand side of Their god. That’s the primary reason for religion.. following the rites and passages of your extended (religious) clan.


Yes. Only my interest on this tread is in reconfiguring that into discussions of actual chosen behaviors in particular contexts in which individuals "think through" morality and immortality in a philosophy venue. How are these "idea/ideality" dots connected existentially by individuals in the course of living their lives from day to day.

Dharma here [to me] is just another word that particular individuals come into contact with enabling some to embody it in lives that sustain meaning and purpose that sustains emotional and psychological comfort and consolation.

Here, for them, dasein doesn't enter into it at all. And why would they want it to? After all, for me, dasein has become the source for my fractured and fragmented "person"ality in the world of value judgments and mortality.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:55 am

I keep not getting your replies showing up in my ‘view unread posts‘ list, so only just seen it now.. as I was scrolling through my ‘view your posts‘ list ..will reply shortly.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:45 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.


Atheism and Morality

Religious extremists in America have tried to argue that atheism and secularism would destroy the foundations of society. Televangelist Pat Robertson has asserted that when a society is without religion “the result will be tyranny.” In her bestseller Godless (2006), conservative writer Ann Coulter says societies that fail to grasp God’s significance are headed toward slavery, genocide and bestiality. She also asserts that when evolution is widely socially accepted, all morality is abandoned. Influential television commentator Bill O’Reilly has said that a society which fails to live ‘under God’ will be a society of “anarchy and crime” where “lawbreakers are allowed to run wild.” (Culture Warrior, 2006, p.19) British cleric and theologian Keith Ward has argued that societies lacking strong religious beliefs are immoral, unfree and irrational. Philosopher John D. Caputo declared that people who are without religion and who do not love God are nothing more than selfish louts, implying that a society with a preponderance of Godless people would be a loveless, miserable place.


Let's face it, from the far left to the far right on the political spectrum, the best of all possible No God worlds will miraculously reflect the political prejudices of whichever ideological narrative you prefer.

But the point made by the more conservative advocates above is not at all unreasonable. Once God is taken out of the picture, mere mortals are more than capable of bringing about a world like, well, the one we live in now.

Is or is not the planet we live on owned and operated by those who eschew God and place all their eggs in the dog eat dog capitalist basket? The tyranny of capital for those who govern us by way of one or another rendition of "show me the money"?

As for secular ideology and morality? How about the 20th Century? Fascism on the right, Communism on the left. Let the dogmatic debates begin. Here for example: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=195888

Only here the squabbling tends to revolve more around genes vs. memes. Still, objectivism with or without God, embedded in either nature or nurture, the results are the same: one of us versus one of them.

On the other hand, when politics is involved, there is no getting around what is a stake: our actual lives.

Still, the world seems ever to be sustained by those who bet on God, those who bet on Reason and those bet on bank accounts. Not many folks here are "fractured and fragmented".

These critics ignore the evidence, making up ideas to suit their prejudices. Any number of societies can be found where the majority has freely abandoned God and religion. Far from being dens of iniquity, these societies are the happiest, safest and most successful in the world.


Maybe, but conflicting goods going back to the pre-Socratics are no closer to being resolved. Instead, religious and secular objectivism has given way to democracy and the rule of law as [perhaps] the best of all possible worlds. Moderation, negotiation and compromise. Particularly in regard to many "social issues". God is still around of course but most citizens are likely to embrace one of another rendition of "separation of church and state".

Though there is always the danger that authoritarians -- either God or No God, left or right -- will bring this all crumbling down.

Here is one narrative:

For instance, sociologist Phil Zuckerman spent fourteen months during 2005-2006 in Denmark and Sweden interviewing a wide range of people about their religious beliefs. He presented his results in a 2008 book Society Without God. Most Danes and Swedes do not believe in the notion of ‘sin’, yet their violent crime rates are the lowest in the world. Almost nobody goes to church, or reads the Bible. Are they unhappy? In a survey of happiness in 91 nations, Denmark ranked number one! And by every measure of societal health – life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment, standard of living, infant mortality, child welfare, economic equality, economic competitiveness, gender equality, healthcare, lack of corruption, environmental protection, charity to poor nations, crime, suicide, unemployment – Godless Denmark and Sweden rank near the top.


Still, there are no doubt conservative narratives that can pick this apart point by point. Indeed, let the conservatives here among us -- God or No God -- do precisely that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:26 am

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:But why are you fractured and fragmented? What happened, that made you so and took you there?
Over and again, I have made attempts to explain this. Encompassed in particular on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

Here in regard to abortion.

So, let me ask you this: In regard to your own views on abortion, how are you not "fractured and fragmented"? Because clearly the moral and political objectivists among us [left and right] have managed to think themselves into believing they are in touch with the "real me" in sync with the "right thing -- the only thing -- to do." And then most religious folks among us connect this dot to the one that encompasses Judgment Day. Because they did the right thing in the course of living their life on this side of the grave, God grants them access to immortality and salvation on the other side.

Right? Isn't that how "for all practical purposes" it works?

How it works for whom?

Abortion? It’s not something I think or worry about, either for myself or others. I have eliminated much in my mind, that is of no concern to me, so as to declutter my mind to make way for that which is.. I’m constantly busy rewiring myself, you see.

MagsJ wrote:Can you not think or feel beyond that fractured and fragmented state of self?
Sure: In my interactions with others in the either/or world.

What about in other worlds? I’m a neither/nor kinda type, myself. ;)

MagsJ wrote:
Iam said: “human existence appears to me to be but an essentially meaningless trek from the cradle to the grave. Ending in oblivion.“
Is that how you have lived your life? Did you not yearn to or seek out, anything otherwise and contrary to that.
Nope, not always. I was once myself a committed Christian. And, after "transcending" religion as a result of my experiences and relationships in Vietnam, I embraced any number of secular/political renditions of objectivism: Communism, Marxism, Trotskyism, social democracy, democratic socialism. Then came William Barrett, "rival goods", existentialism, deconstruction, semiotics, nihilism, moral nihilism.

My experiences have been more social than political.. so gaining my worldly experiences through the Catholic church and in places of Catholic education, in Theatre and the Arts, in the workplace, in bars, in clubs, in exploring other countries and cultures, and now.. dabbling in politics, which comes with a whole social sphere all of its own.

And now.. for you, is? or you would like it to be..

MagsJ wrote:Religion gives lives purpose and meaning, gained from being a part of That community, so perhaps that is the aspect you have noticed missing from your own life, that of belonging to a forming concept of self, so all you see is the end/oblivion/demise, where I instead see a continuation of I to where I am now and will be tomorrow onwards.
Okay, but from my frame of mind, this is religion as an "intellectual contraption". Which was basically the manner in which I reacted to Zinnat's posts way back when. Instead, the aim of this thread is to bring words like that out into the world of actual human interactions. In particular, interactions that revolve around conflicting goods in which various religious denomination have their own "scriptures" which very much connect the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then. These are the discussions I am interested in pursuing.

Perhaps it’s an energy thing, so that our soul-energy departs the body and ends up where all dearly-departed energies are supposed to end up, in that, morality aids in achieving that mortality goal.

MagsJ wrote:Morality/immortality? Taking the sacraments I guess, to seal the deal with One’s god.. ensuring a person their rightful place in heaven, sitting on the right hand side of Their god. That’s the primary reason for religion.. following the rites and passages of your extended (religious) clan.
Yes. Only my interest on this tread is in reconfiguring that into discussions of actual chosen behaviors in particular contexts in which individuals "think through" morality and immortality in a philosophy venue. How are these "idea/ideality" dots connected existentially by individuals in the course of living their lives from day to day.

Dharma here [to me] is just another word that particular individuals come into contact with enabling some to embody it in lives that sustain meaning and purpose that sustains emotional and psychological comfort and consolation.

Here, for them, dasein doesn't enter into it at all. And why would they want it to? After all, for me, dasein has become the source for my fractured and fragmented "person"ality in the world of value judgments and mortality.

Even the Dharma/rta Practitioner is present/experiences dasein.. albeit in various altered states of mind

https://exploringyourmind.com/brain-wav ... pha-gamma/ according to this <<< I’m a baby or small child.. as my delta-wave game is strong. :|

“When it comes to our brain waves, the key to authentic health and happiness lies in allowing each of them to work in their way, at their frequency and at their optimum levels. We should also remember that they aren’t static. Rather, they change as we get older. So, the point isn’t to get obsessed with improving our Beta waves for better focus or our Gamma waves to get into a spiritual state.

1. Delta waves (1 to 3 Hz)
Delta waves have the greatest wave amplitude and are related to deep but dreamless sleep. Interestingly, they are very common in babies and small children. The older we get the fewer of these brainwaves we produce. Our sleep and ability to relax gradually get worse over the years.

2. Theta waves (3.5 to 8 Hz)
This second kind of brain waves goes from 3.5 to 8 Hz and is mostly related to imagination, reflection and sleep. Fun fact: Theta waves are more active when we’re experiencing very deep emotions.

3. Alpha waves (8 to 13 Hz)
Alpha waves arise in those in-between, twilight times when we’re calm but not asleep. It’s when we’re relaxed and ready for meditation. When we’re on the couch watching TV or in bed relaxing, but before falling asleep.

4. Beta waves (12 to 33 Hz)
We’ve now crossed from low/moderate brain waves to a higher level. We’re now in that higher spectrum of frequencies that come from intense neuronal activity. They’re very interesting as well as complex. They have to do with times when we’re giving our full attention, very alert and on the lookout for stimuli.

5. Gamma waves (25 to 100 Hz)
Gamma waves are associated with high level cognitive processing tasks. They are related to our learning style, our ability to take in new information, and our senses and perceptions. For example, people with mental problems or learning difficulties tend to have less than half the usual Gamma wave activity”.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:46 pm

What’s New About The New Atheism?
Victor Stenger answers the question.

Believers insist that morality is from God, making it absolute and universal. But how does God inform theists of his rules? Most Christians would answer, “Through the Bible.” But the Old Testament part of the Bible contains numerous passages that command us to commit acts even the most devout Christian would consider immoral, such as killing anyone who entices you to worship a different God (Deut 13:5-9) or demanding that a father have a rebellious son stoned to death (Deut 21:18-21).


Just out of curiosity, among committed Christians here, what might be the most persuasive argument to explain this sort of thing?

Consider: http://www.gods-word-first.org/bible-st ... ments.html

While the New Testament is gentler, it is still not precisely a handbook on moral behavior. It tacitly condones slavery and explicitly condones the subjugation of women – again activities that intelligent Christians and atheists alike consider immoral. The Jesus of the New Testament was no unqualified moral exemplar, either. When his disciples protested that the money spent on the expensive oil a woman was using to anoint his head might be better given to the poor, Jesus responded, “you always have the poor among you… but you will not always have me.” (Mark 14: 3-9)


Consider https://futiledemocracy.wordpress.com/2 ... of-christ/

So where do Christians get their morality? The same way atheists do. They examine their consciences and choose from the alternatives life presents to them. The issue of slavery in the nineteenth century provides a prime example. In the US, while southern preachers and politicians, almost all Christians, used the Bible to justify slavery, northern abolitionists, also mostly Christians, ignored the Bible or found more congenial passages, and decided for themselves that slavery was immoral.


And around and around and around they go. The Bible used either to espouse or to eschew behaviors that fall all up and down the moral and political spectrum. You would think that this in and of itself would give pause to those who call themselves Christians. Instead, given what is at stake on both sides of the grave, rationalizations abound. Suggesting it is not what is believed but that something is needed to be believed.

But where both Christians and atheists are interchangeable in my view is in how they acquire their beliefs about God and religion through the embodiment of the actual lives that they live. Different lives, different beliefs. And only after philosophers are willing to own up to the existential implications [and complications] of that, do they become aware of just how impotent philosophy is when the discussions come down out of the clouds and address actual human interactions that come into conflict over God and religion.

Explaining perhaps why so few of them ever do.

Indeed, here at ILP we are bombarded with those who have concocted these extraordinarily far out "thought up" religious dogmas that almost never make contact with the real world at all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:14 pm

iambiguous wrote:
So, let me ask you this: In regard to your own views on abortion, how are you not "fractured and fragmented"? Because clearly the moral and political objectivists among us [left and right] have managed to think themselves into believing they are in touch with the "real me" in sync with the "right thing -- the only thing -- to do." And then most religious folks among us connect this dot to the one that encompasses Judgment Day. Because they did the right thing in the course of living their life on this side of the grave, God grants them access to immortality and salvation on the other side.

Right? Isn't that how "for all practical purposes" it works?

MagsJ wrote: How it works for whom?


Yes, that's my point. It works the way it does for some because the life that they lived predisposed them existentially to one set of political prejudices rather than another. And they came to embrace one or another religious denomination [or No God at all] in much the same way.

Thus, based on this assumption, here, in my view, is your own subjective/subjunctive conclusion "here and now":

MagsJ wrote: Abortion? It’s not something I think or worry about, either for myself or others. I have eliminated much in my mind, that is of no concern to me, so as to declutter my mind to make way for that which is.. I’m constantly busy rewiring myself, you see.


But: in having a new experience, or in sustaining a new relationship or in coming into contact with new information, knowledge or ideas, it can become something that you think about. It can become an important part of your life.

Now, this thread was created for those who do find one or another moral value embedded in one or another "conflicting good" of such importance that they find it very important to choose behaviors that they deem to be moral or virtuous. Why? Because, in turn, their spiritual or religious beliefs are also very important to them. Thus they are especially intent on connecting the dots between "morality here asnd now" and "immortality there and then".

How then does that unfold for them given a particular context in which both are intertwined? And how do they react to the manner in which my own assumptions about morality and immortality are rooted more in identity, value judgments and political power.

If, however, in regard to this, you are more a "neither/nor" person, this thread is probably not for you. Not that it should be. Your own frame of mind is as reasonable to you as mine is to me. But there we are.

As for this...

MagsJ wrote: Perhaps it’s an energy thing, so that our soul-energy departs the body and ends up where all dearly-departed energies are supposed to end up, in that, morality aids in achieving that mortality goal.


Perhaps. But how would one go beyond sheer speculation and describe how, given actually experiences that they have had, this can be measured or described in more detail? And, again, what to make of situations where others who share this frame of mind insist that the manner in which you have come to embody it morally and politically is the "wrong way"? With so much at stake on both sides of the grave.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:54 pm

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote: How it works for whom?
Yes, that's my point. It works the way it does for some because the life that they lived predisposed them existentially to one set of political prejudices rather than another. And they came to embrace one or another religious denomination [or No God at all] in much the same way.

Thus, based on this assumption, here, in my view, is your own subjective/subjunctive conclusion "here and now":
MagsJ wrote: Abortion? It’s not something I think or worry about, either for myself or others. I have eliminated much in my mind, that is of no concern to me, so as to declutter my mind to make way for that which is.. I’m constantly busy rewiring myself, you see.
But: in having a new experience, or in sustaining a new relationship or in coming into contact with new information, knowledge or ideas, it can become something that you think about. It can become an important part of your life.

..in the old, making way for the new? The unhelpful, giving way to newer, more helpful, ways.

Now, this thread was created for those who do find one or another moral value embedded in one or another "conflicting good" of such importance that they find it very important to choose behaviors that they deem to be moral or virtuous. Why? Because, in turn, their spiritual or religious beliefs are also very important to them. Thus they are especially intent on connecting the dots between "morality here asnd now" and "immortality there and then".

How then does that unfold for them given a particular context in which both are intertwined? And how do they react to the manner in which my own assumptions about morality and immortality are rooted more in identity, value judgments and political power.

If, however, in regard to this, you are more a "neither/nor" person, this thread is probably not for you. Not that it should be. Your own frame of mind is as reasonable to you as mine is to me. But there we are.

I am sure that there is much, intertwined in our psyche during the decision-making process in our minds.. though I would think that our formative factors changed over time, and so lessening their grip on the decisions we make, over time.

Things that I cared or worried about when young, are so different to the things I currently care or worry about, and the things I worry about are even lesser in number than ever before. The mind is it’s own recycling bin, that empties itself, when approaching capacity.

As for this...
MagsJ wrote: Perhaps it’s an energy thing, so that our soul-energy departs the body and ends up where all dearly-departed energies are supposed to end up, in that, morality aids in achieving that mortality goal.
Perhaps. But how would one go beyond sheer speculation and describe how, given actually experiences that they have had, this can be measured or described in more detail? And, again, what to make of situations where others who share this frame of mind insist that the manner in which you have come to embody it morally and politically is the "wrong way"? With so much at stake on both sides of the grave.

We are energy, and a part of the negentropic whole, are we not? and there-in lies the answer.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:43 pm

Religion & Evil
Raymond Tallis has some inconclusive thoughts.

Secular humanism would be an impoverished worldview if it defined itself only in terms of what it is against.


Good point. But mine is that to the extent that particular humanists come to espouse one or another political ideology or one or another deontological/philosophical contraption, is the extent to which their own views might be viewed basically as a secular religion.

You just don't die and go on to Glory.

Many are tired of the rather too well-worn paths of adversarial atheism – a selective journey through history and the Holy Books, crying “Gotcha!” at every gout of spilled blood and every bloodthirsty sentiment. Humanist thinkers, they argue, would spend their time more fruitfully contemplating the large, extraordinary truths about our unique nature and the human world we have built, and on this basis construct a positive secular worldview.


Bingo!

Let's propose "large, extraordinary truths about our unique nature and the human world we have built" that are not religions but that all rational and virtuous men and women are still obligated to subscribe to if the wish to be thought of as rational and virtuous human beings.

Oh, and while we are at it, let's take these truths and note how they would be applicable to all of the many, many conflicting goods that have rent the species going back to the very first philosopher. All we need to agree on are the contexts.

Nevertheless, the moral case against organised religion cannot be ignored. All of us, believers and infidels, need to be aware of the dangers that can arise when individual spiritual experiences feed into collective behaviour, and visions of transcendence are mobilised to underpin social institutions. And secular visions motivated by impeccable sentiments such as a hatred of injustice may be as destructive as the equivalent religious ones – a truth to which the killing fields and prison camps of communist utopias testify.


There you go...

It's not God or No God so much as it's my own sacred or secular font...or else. So ironically enough a "moral case" might be made for abandoning any and all moral cases that refuse to be tolerant of different sets of assumptions regarding the "human condition".

On the other hand, that can be no less problematic to the extent that, in abandoning the "moral case" mentality altogether, one chooses to embrace nihilism. And while certain nihilist are ready, willing and able to accept "democracy and the rule of law" as the best of all possible worlds, others attach "rules of behavior" either to wealth and power or to the agenda embraced by the sociopaths.

Then those like me who are basically drawn and quartered, able only to make subjective "leaps of faith" to that which, say, their "gut" tells them is the right thing to do. This time.

Let's call this being "fractured and fragmented".

You know, for now.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:36 pm

Religion & Evil
Raymond Tallis has some inconclusive thoughts.

It is obvious that worshipping God (or rival gods) has excused much nasty behaviour, the worship ostensibly seeming to justify the persecution of those who are deemed to have angered the true God by worshipping false ones. The stakes – eternal life – could not, after all, be higher.


My point exactly. Or, rather two of them:

1] That an objectivist frame of mind rooted in God often germinates historically into a "Kingdom of Ends" such that any and all means are rationalized in sustaining it

2] That this flows in large part from of what is at stake: immortality and salvation

Even so, it is far from clear that the question of whether or not the universe has been created and is regulated by a Divine Agent can be separated from the question of the ways in which the interpretation of the wishes of the Almighty have influenced individual and collective behaviour. Can we disconnect the question of whether or not God exists from the nature of the behaviour prompted by religious belief?


On the contrary, for many of the true believers, it is far from unclear. And that's the point when we consider such things as inquisitions and crusades and fatwas waged again the infidels. And the beauty of faith is that such things do not have to be probed much beyond the belief that ultimately such things are inherently subsumed in the "Will of God". Then it comes down to what any particular individual has come to believe about all of this. And it is his or her belief that propels/compels the behaviors they choose.

Nothing ever really has to be demonstrated beyond the belief itself.

In an interesting paper, ‘Religious Evil’ (Philosophy Compass, 11:5, 2016), Daniel Kodaj has argued as follows:

1. Belief in God causes evil.
2. If God exists, then God wants us to believe in God.
3. If God exists, then God does not want us to do anything that causes evil.
4. Therefore – by (1) and (3) – if God exists, God does not want us to believe in God.
5. Therefore – by (2) and (4) – God does not exist.


And, of course, in regard to 1 though 3, for the true believers and/or the faithful, the irony here is completely lost on them. They call something evil because they believe that in not calling it evil their very souls are at stake. That's what makes it evil. And if in pursing only good things that others construe to be evil then doing battle against them [where the end justifies the means] is anything but...nihilistic?

As for 4 and 5, trust me, reacting to them is rooted existentially in dasein. Not unlike the first three.

On this basis, Kodaj argues, belief in God is ‘normatively self-refuting’. In short, the religiously-inspired persecution, intolerance, brutal suppression of actual or suspected dissent, crushing of women, and confessional wars that have characterised religion throughout the ages, add up to a case not only against religious institutions, but against the very existence of God. Rationalist theists should therefore give up their faith.


Right, like down through the ages the particularly fierce religious zealots [of any denomination] quietly give in to this entirely reasonable point of view.

As for the rationalist theists, well, are there any here? Accumulate your own set of assumptions upon which to draw your own conclusions so that syllogistically we can resolve all this once and for all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:17 pm

Religion & Evil
Raymond Tallis has some inconclusive thoughts.

A Congregation of Factors

Kodaj’s argument depends on the first premise: that belief in God (necessarily) causes evil. Against this, we may observe that many deeply religious people – Christians, Jews, Muslims, and so on – do not feel the slightest desire to harm their fellow humans.


And here as well you would have to probe the extent to which individuals situated out in particular worlds, interacting in particular contexts, are or are not "predisposed" existentially to voice one rather than another opinion.

Only then can the philosophers among us go about the task of setting aside the subjective/subjunctive factors in order to come up with the most reasonable way in which understand why we continue to harm each other in so many diverse ways.

The key word then being "necessarily". There's what people do and there's what they feel it is necessary to do. And there is what philosophers are able to determine all rational and virtuous men and women are [necessarily] obligated to do.

But: not just up in the clouds where everything revolves around how words are defined and then ordered into intellectual assessments.

And, increasingly, historians have claimed that religiously-inspired violence, whether in the modern or pre-modern world, is the product of a complex of political, economic, social, ethnic, and nationalistic factors, rather than being solely or even mainly inspired by specifically religious factors. The Thirty Years’ War, the most catastrophic of the European wars of religion, which brought more death and destruction than the Black Death, was, so the argument goes, driven primarily by secular dynastic ambitions. It has also been pointed out that religious believers have behaved no worse than was dictated by the mores of the time when their religions were in the ascendant.


That's always been my own point as well. Religion is just one component of human interactions. And not nearly as important as the part that revolves around political economy. After all, only to the extent that social, political and economics interactions revolve around sustaining the means of production that sustain our actual lives themselves can the focus than shift to things like morality and immortality. The anthropologist Marvin Harris -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Harris -- basically focuses in on the role that material interaction plays in regards to many aspects of the "human condition" that are often attributed more to other "spiritual" things.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:25 pm

iambiguous wrote:I've never argued that life is meaningless. On the contrary, existentially, it is bursting at the seams with meaning. But in a No God or No Religion world there does not appear to be a way in which to ascribe -- teleologically -- any essential meaning to it. Thus no font for differentiating right from wrong behavior on this side of the grave and no font to attach "I" to on the other side of it.


So according to you life is meaningful existentially but not essentially. And, I suppose then, right and wrong can be differentiated existentially as Dasein but not essentially according to some absolute.



Unless of course you count your own "spiritual contraptions" that, up in the clouds, manage to comfort and console you.


Ideals are significant psychologically whether or not they connect with ultimate Truth.

Whereas I deem my own life "here and now" as essentially meaningless and apparently on the road to oblivion. I can no longer think myself into embodying your own psychologisms -- "a tendency to interpret events or arguments in subjective terms" -- when it comes to grappling with the existential relationship between morality and immortality. Only, in my view, your own subjective/subjunctive "I" here is still viewed by you as objective.


The specter of meaningless has got you. Maybe you're possessed by it. Nietzsche said "if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you". I think that may be what's ailing you. I've seen the image of the abyss too. The image is not the abyss any more than the image of a god is the god. Nor is the image of objectivity objectivity itself. Objectivity is an ideal.

And, again, based on my past experiences with objectivists, it doesn't surprise me when some reconfigure into Stooges and aim the discussions at me more than at the actual points I am making in regard to God and religion. In fact, Larry might have already come to suspect that perhaps I do know what I am talking about here. And that bit by bit he is beginning to suspect those points are applicable to him too. But that's all just sheer speculation extrapolated from past experiences with objectivists.


Yeah, we try to label and pigeon-hole one another so we don't have to deal with the ungraspable nature of the other. After all we're mostly unconscious. We don't even grasp ourselves.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:23 am

felix dakat wrote:
iambiguous wrote:I've never argued that life is meaningless. On the contrary, existentially, it is bursting at the seams with meaning. But in a No God or No Religion world there does not appear to be a way in which to ascribe -- teleologically -- any essential meaning to it. Thus no font for differentiating right from wrong behavior on this side of the grave and no font to attach "I" to on the other side of it.


So according to you life is meaningful existentially but not essentially. And, I suppose then, right and wrong can be differentiated existentially as Dasein but not essentially according to some absolute.



Unless of course you count your own "spiritual contraptions" that, up in the clouds, manage to comfort and console you.


Ideals are significant psychologically whether or not they connect with ultimate Truth.

Whereas I deem my own life "here and now" as essentially meaningless and apparently on the road to oblivion. I can no longer think myself into embodying your own psychologisms -- "a tendency to interpret events or arguments in subjective terms" -- when it comes to grappling with the existential relationship between morality and immortality. Only, in my view, your own subjective/subjunctive "I" here is still viewed by you as objective.


The specter of meaningless has got you. Maybe you're possessed by it. Nietzsche said "if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you". I think that may be what's ailing you. I've seen the image of the abyss too. The image is not the abyss any more than the image of a god is the god. Nor is the image of objectivity objectivity itself. Objectivity is an ideal.
And why does he need essential meaning? Why isn't "existential" meaning enough?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:00 pm

Religion & Evil
Raymond Tallis has some inconclusive thoughts.

The Balance of Good & Evil

What is beyond dispute is that widespread religious belief is compatible with very high levels of nastiness. It is useful to remember this when we are confronted with the famous claim that Dostoyevsky puts into the mouth of Ivan Karamazov, that ‘if God does not exist, everything is permitted’ – suggesting that the advance of atheism must lead to the establishment of Hell on earth.


Talk about missing the point! Mine, for example.

This one:

If you worship and adore a God/the God and your behaviors are thought to reflect this, how can anything that you do in the furtherance of that which you perceive to be God's will, be seen as nasty.

Ironically enough God's will becomes just the other side of the same coin. Given God and nothing done in the name of worshipping Him can be nasty. Given No God and there is no omniscient font around able to differentiate things that are nasty from things that are not.


The unspeakable evil humans have done to each other with the tacit consent or active encouragement of God’s representatives on earth suggests that Karamazov’s ‘everything’ is already permitted in a world in which the existence of God is widely accepted. The default assumption that religious belief has been a universal constraint on bad behaviour would not cut much ice with those on the receiving end of Crusader violence, the Sunnis being blown apart by Shias, or the Rohingya Muslim victims of the genocidal generals of an explicitly Buddhist nation.


This is the part where "serious philosophers" reconfigure into ordinary men or women who, in thinking about something they just heard on the news that appalls them, reacts subjunctively in sync with their own particular political prejudices. One person sees aborting babies as the unspeakable evil while another sees forcing women to give birth as the unspeakable evil. One person sees Trump and the conservatives as the unspeakable evil while another sees Biden and the liberals.

That's precisely the reason why in my view Gods [and their secular equivalents] are invented in the first place. To establish the one and the only crucial oracle "out there" able to settle it once and for all.

And so the argument goes back and forth. As I have noted previously (‘Why I Am an Atheist’, Philosophy Now Issue 73, 2009), we cannot run the history of the world twice, once with and once without religion, to determine whether it has been a net force for good or for evil.


Unless of course in the multi-verse this is actually already happening right now.

But: If it's a No God multi-verse who gets to determine it? Our side or theirs.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

"Gail, it’s as if someone dared 2020 to get worse, and 2020 replied: 'Just try me.' Right now I’m just sitting on my porch, awaiting a plague of locusts." Bret Stephens
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