on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:07 pm

This then is what it means to seek God perfectly:
- to withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does not want, from a glory that is only human display;


It seems to me that anxieties and desires are a part of us (and perhaps a part of any deity). So for me I would include anxieties and desires as part of any meditation or contemplation. Emotions, including the ones judged in religions are a core part of us and if we are made in a deity's image than they are likely a part of him her or it also. This is of course to some degree outside of Christian practice (and I am not a Christian, though I was partly raised in Christianity), but I think it is good to at least consider that the judgments against emotions might be cultural distortion or for some reason not in our best interest. If we cannot love them, we cannot love ourselves, I would say.


Again, this is the sort of spiritual/religious exchange that often unfolds here. They can go on and on post after post and almost never bring either the meditation or contemplation down to earth.

It's all embedded instead in how the technique [whatever it's called] allows one to attain and then sustain a more comforting and constructive frame of mind.

And that's not unimportant, of course. But it steers clear of what I deem the most fundamental purpose of religion is: to provide us with a moral scripture on this side of the grave in order that we continue to exist beyond the grave.

And then the extent to which conflicts occur when different faiths clash and the manner in which Marx spoke of religion as the opiate of the people. Religion used by the rich and the powerful in government to sustain their wealth and power.

And of particular importance to me: theodicy.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:25 pm

So why do [Jehovah Witnesses] continue convincing a person that they need saving, even though that person prefers and is content with, their own religion or spiritual ideal?

What is so ideal/better about their Faith, that they become ignorant to others’ voices, in favour of the one in their head that is telling them to convert the content?


I understand why people react to denominations that take their faith very, very seriously in this manner...while finding it hard to understand why they would question that they do.

After all, with the fate of all souls for all eternity riding on their worshipping and adoring the right God, who would not feel compelled to witness?

And given Judgment Day for most denominations isn't the price of admission into Paradise based on the behaviors that are chosen by the faithful on this side of the grave?

The point isn't why do Jehovah Witnesses go door to door but why aren't Catholics, Protestants and every other denomination doing exactly the same?

If some Jews see themselves as God's "chosen people" and if some Moslems are obsessed with "infidels" why aren't they going door to door or stopping people on the street in order to save their souls?

Either the reality of what is at stake for the soul here is acknowledged or it isn't.

On the other hand, imagine it this way:

Imagine hypothetically three Christian missionaries set out to save the souls of three different native tribes. The first one is successful. The folks in the first tribe accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior and are baptized in the faith. The second is not successful. The folks in the second tribe refuse to accept Christ as their personal savior and instead continue to embrace their own god...their own religion. The third missionary is not even able to find the tribe he was sent out to save.

Now, imagine one member of each tribe dying on the same day a week later. What will be the fate of their souls? Will the man from the first tribe ascend to Heaven having embraced the Christian faith? Will the man from the second tribe burn in Hell for having rejected the Christian faith? And what of the man from the third tribe---he will have died never having even been made aware of the Christian faith. Where does his soul end up?


Let's call it a spiritual conundrum.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:37 am

God is existence itself is a meaningless statement. Why say God then, and not existence? What you are using "God" for is not what "God" refers to.


God as being itself is the ground of being, and the ultimate of source of everything. Therefore God is the meaning of meanings.


And then, for some, when those like me note, "we'll need a context", they insist we are missing the point.

But here my point is that given what I construe to be the "for all practical purpose" reason for God and religion -- morality here and now, immortality there and then -- why not take a stab at connecting the dots between God and religion as intellectual contraptions and the manner in which the conclusions you come to here pertain to the behaviors you choose from day to day.

In particular, as they are understood by you to be pertinent in turn to one or another rendition of Judgment Day.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:06 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

(ii) The cosmological argument. This also has many forms, one being that if there exists a contingent being, there must exist a necessary being to, as it were, explain its existence. This has also received some consideration in the literature, with one of the sharpest recent philosophers of religion, Peter van Inwagen, propounding a surprising a priori version of the argument in his book Metaphysics .


Of course here the contingency -- for all practical purposes -- is that if there is a word there must be still more words to define it and it give it meaning. With the word God that's all the cosmological argument turns out to be. A truth wholly contingent upon a world of words.

The "necessary being" is just that: two more words. I merely suggest that what makes these two words necessary -- again for all practical purposes -- is that if we don't merely assume that the words themselves bring this being into existence then we have neither an omniscient/omnipotent font from which to differentiate vice from virtue nor an entity able to bring about our immortality and salvation.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:43 pm

How do you think up all these super wise things to say?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:50 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:How do you think up all these super wise things to say?


More to the point, why would it never occur to me to ask you the same? In regard to, say, 99% of the things you post?

Anyway, now that I've got you here, why don't you and I explore your own attempts to connect the dots between the behaviors you choose on this side of the grave and your beliefs about the fate of "I" on the other side. Re God and religion.

The main point of the thread.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:03 pm

Let us talk about the mind more which will help in understanding the experiences, process and effects of the meditation on us.

Basically out mind behaves just like our physical body. As we have different organs in our body to execute different tasks, like feet for walking, hands for holding an picking, eyes for seeing etc, in the same way the mind also have different parts/organs to execute different tasks. In other words we can say that the mind works in four different ways. Namely- imagination(thinking), wisdom(analyzing), memory, ego( execution, will power). If we look carefully, we will find that we have to use these all four parts/qualities of the mind to perform any task.

let us take an example to understand this more clearly.

Let us take an example of having a beer. First of all, the thought of having a beer must have crossed to the mind. That thought may have come for any reason but the mind must have think about this before anything. Then comes wisdom or analyzing power. After thinking of having a beer, the next thing we will do to think whether we should have one or not, whether it is right time or not, or one's health allows it or not. We will judge its pros or cons then decide accordingly. Let us say we decide to have a beer. Now, the memory part takes over as we will think how we can get a beer, like is there one in the fridge, or we have to buy it, if so from which shop and which brand etc. Lastly we go for it means, we start executing that decision, like take it out from the fridge or go to the shop to buy one and have it. The work is complete now.

We all have all these four qualities of the mind But not in the same proportion. That depends how often we use different qualities of the mind. Just as a runner develops strong legs and a blacksmith develops strong hands and arms because they tend to use a particular set of muscles again and again, in the same way, the strength of these four qualities of the mind also depends upon their repetitive use. Like artists use their imagination power more so that increases more than other three. A philosopher uses wisdom more, a student uses memory more and a meditator uses elocutionary power the most.

The important thing to understand here is that any act cannot be competed without using all these four qualities. Having said that, it is not necessary that all four qualities of the mind must be used in the same quantity every time. But, all four qualities must be used, no matter how big or how small their individual contribution
may be. As some actions happen very swiftly, like in a split of a second but even in those cases, all qualities come in use but it looks to us that we miss some steps but that is not true.

As i said above, meditation is all about execution or will power, means, we are training our will power to supersede all other three. So, with practice, the will power of the mind becomes strong enough to keep it focused on desired purpose. Having said that, other three qualities never cease to exist but only kept in control. So, we can see how much long practice is important. Besides that, strengthening of will power helps a lot in other aspects of life too.


Okay, let's assume all of this is true.

But instead of bringing the points to bear on having a beer, they are focused instead on having an abortion.

And, further, the mind focuses in as well on the existential relationship between having an abortion and the fate of "I" on the other side of the grave...given one's belief in any particular God/Universe on any particular religious path.

What of meditation then?

And how come this aspect of it as almost always avoided by those who tout the more "earthly" benefits of it?
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:32 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

(iii) The argument from design. Historically, this argument was proposed by many philosophers, and given classic formulation with a famous ‘watch on the heath’ example by William Paley in his Natural Theology (1802). However, the argument was severely attacked by David Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), and received another severe blow in the form of the theory of evolution.


Natural religion. On the other hand, where to begin? With the watchmaker? With the human species? With the first instance of biological life? Than going back to the Big Bang. Then speculating about the possibility of an infinite number of Big Bangs in an infinite number of universes. Then going all the way back to the "design" of existence itself?

To the Designer. The one behind the curtain that minds like us are able to "design" completely out of definitions and deductions that go into "proofs" like this one?

More recently Richard Swinburne, Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at Oxford, has given a new version of the argument from design using probability theory in his book The Existence of God. There has been some debate over how appropriate and how successful it is to use the tools of the philosophy of science to show that God’s existence is more probable than not.


Probability theory and God. How about probability theory and theodicy...or probability theory and conflicting goods intertwined in the probability theory of dasein.

And you can bet that the debate here never gets all that much closer to an actual demonstrable God than all of the other "proofs" above.

But that's the beauty of proofs like this. The only condition that really counts is that somehow you are able to think yourself into believing them. And what could possibly be more comforting and consoling than that?

Especially given the fact that it can be taken all the way to the grave. And after that it can hardly be said to matter.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:46 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

As for arguments against the existence of God, many of the arguments of the logical positivists, such as the one that talk about God is meaningless because it is unverifiable, have vanished without trace, along with the logical positivists themselves.


So? You can argue until you are blue in the face about whether God does or does not exist, but one thing [to the best of my current knowledge] doesn't change: that every and any school of philosophy that has ever existed has never actually succeeded in verifying the existence of God. Let alone Heaven or Nirvanna.

Though, sure, some of us think that is more important to point out than others.

One argument which has shown no sign of diminishing in popularity, still less vanishing, is the problem of evil. This may be expressed very roughly as follows. The set of propositions (1)-(4) is inconsistent, so at least one of them must be wrong:

(1) God is good, and therefore wants to remove evil
(2) God is omniscient, and therefore knows that there is evil
(3) God is omnipotent, and therefore can remove evil
(4) Evil exists.


Now you're talking. This matter is by far -- by far -- the most important question of all in regard to any God and any religion.

Indeed, imagine that we lived in a world where there was no human suffering. A world where no one ever spoke of evil because there was nothing that could be thought of that would allow us to make sense of what some say that it was. Now, in this world, we may well still be unable to demonstrate that an actual God did in fact exist. But when people spoke of Him as loving, just and merciful that would certainly make a whole lot of sense. We may not be able to communicate with or interact with this God, but how could anyone doubt that something "up there" must be sustaining a world totally without pain and suffering.

Let's run this by the religionists here. But, really, how could they not all be reduced down to this: God works in mysterious ways.

Or, for the Buddhists, the universe works in mysterious ways.

But, fortunately enough, for both, one of them results in immortality and the other in salvation. And all the evil in the world doesn't make that go away.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:25 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

Is Belief Rational?

Having said all the above, the major question and discussion in the philosophy of religion at the moment is what sort of justification one needs for religious belief.


Okay, there are the "philosophical" arguments here, and there are the arguments that the overwhelming preponderance of the faithful prefer: morality here and now, immortality there and then.

After all, the philosophical arguments are contained almost entirely in exchanges embedded in worlds of words. Here for example: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=195805

Whereas for those attempting to intertwine God and religion into the lives that they actually live, they can rather easily note how, without a leap of faith, there are no actual viable alternatives for mere mortals on either side of the grave.

What is a "rational belief" given the profound mystery that is human existence itself?

This question was first raised by Plantinga in a book he edited with a fellow Reformed Calvinist, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale, Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God, when he suggested that religious belief might be a properly basic belief, in other words one which may rationally be held without being logically inferred from other beliefs.


Clearly, it is not irrational to think that a God/the God might be the explanation for the human condition. It's no more necessarily irrational than to think that existence itself just "banged" into being out of nothing at all. And since the human brain is hard wired to ask questions like this, God is there to be one of the options. A basic belief if there ever was one. But the human brain is also hard-wired to think up many things that are not able to actually be demonstrated to exist. And not just unicorns and ghosts and super heroes.

Since then Plantinga has been arguing in his Warrant trilogy that a belief is justified if it is produced by a cognitive mechanism functioning in accordance with its design plan. It seems pretty likely that if God designed us then it is part of God’s design plan that we believe in God, so belief in God is rational.


And around and around and around we go: If this, then that. Now all we need is an actual God to interview on youtube. To finally pin down all the details. To perform miracles and act out all of the things described in the Book of Revelation. If this is the God of Abraham and Moses.

In other words...

This, of course, will do little to convince the atheist, but this does not worry Plantinga unduly. He views his main tasks as being the exposition of the truth about the epistemic status of theism and the defence thereof against attacks, rather than attempts to convert sceptics to his position. In particular, if Plantinga is right, it shifts the burden of proof onto the atheist: if she wants to show that the theist is irrational then she will have to show that the theist has not been designed by God to believe in God. But this seems a very difficult thing to prove.


All that is necessary for Plantinga is to encompass a not necessarily irrational world of words in which "God" is just one of them. And atheists certainly have to concede that this is the case.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:24 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

A different attempt at justification has come from William Alston (who taught Plantinga when Plantinga was a graduate student). Alston has worked on the nature of religious experience, producing a book called Perceiving God. In it he claims that “putative direct awareness of God can provide justification for certain kinds of beliefs about God.” Since its publication a very lively debate has raged over whether this is true, and over questions such as whether perception always involves conceptualisation, and whether religious experiences of different religious traditions are comparable or not.


Anyone here convinced that a "putative direct awareness of God can provide justification for certain kinds of beliefs about God.”

Putative: "generally considered or reputed to be."

How about more specifically? I have not myself ever had a "direct awareness of God". Even when I was a devout Christian. But it would certainly interest me if those who have had one would attempt to describe it. And, to the best of their ability, attempt to note any evidence that others could address to confirm the experience.

In other words, something more substantial than just a debate about it "generally".

Finally on this topic, Edinburgh University Press has now launched a series on religious epistemology called ‘Reason and Religion’. This series is edited by Paul Helm, Professor of the History and Philosophy of Religion at King’s College London, and President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion. Each volume in the series is an exploration of one of the ways of seeking justification for religious beliefs.


What I wouldn't give to have Paul Helm here bringing his epistemological conclusions about about "reason and religion" and noting their relevance to that which interest me most about religion: morality here and now, immortality there and then.

What would he conclude can be known about this when that knowledge is then taken to sets of circumstances in which the behaviors that he chooses are connected to dots that grapple with that which he anticipates the fate of his own "I" to be on the other side 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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:56 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

What Is God Like?

Apart from the attempt to justify the claims of religion, the philosophy of religion has traditionally sought to understand and explain those claims. The central claim of western religions is that there is a God, and so western analytical philosophers of religion have spent a lot of their time trying to analyse that claim.


Now, admittedly, analyzing the claim that God exists is fundamentally different from analyzing the claim that, say, unicorns or fire breathing dragons or werewolves exist.

And that's because even without any hard evidence for God's existence, He is one possible explanation for the existence of existence itself.

And yet to explore the claims for His existence -- let alone claims for the existence of a God, the God, my God -- without any truly substantive accumulation of empirical, material and/or phenomenological confirmation, affirmation, proof, etc., is to all but guarantee an exchange in which God is basically just defined and deduced into existence.

This enterprise is usually called philosophical theology, though it belongs as much to metaphysics as it does to theology.


In other words, particularly high up in the clouds of abstraction. Just Google "arguments for God's existence": https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&aut ... bIQ4dUDCA0

In particular, debate has focused on four of God’s attributes: omnipotence, omniscience, eternity, and goodness. For each of these, discussion tends to involve puzzles, such as “Can God create a stone too heavy for God to lift?” or “Can God create a person who knows a secret that even God does not know?”.


Is that an important consideration? Or, like me, are you far more concerned with how an actual existing God comes down on connecting the dots between morality here and now and immortality there and then.

Debate about omniscience has revolved around the question of whether God can know now what I shall freely do tomorrow.


This one has also fascinated me. Though there are arguments -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_free_will -- that proport to reconcile the two, they never really made sense to me. Like compatibilism "reconciling" free will and determinism [given a No God world]. It just doesn't seem possible to me.

Then it can all go in any number of directions:

After Alvin Plantinga published an article on this called ‘On Ockham’s Way Out’ (Faith and Philosophy 1986) restating the solution of the mediaeval philosopher William of Ockham, the debate exploded, with articles appearing in every issue of the specialist journals debating whether God’s beliefs were hard facts, soft facts, hard-type soft facts, or “hard facts with soft underbellies”! Things often became convoluted; William Alston once remarked that “At the March 1984 Pacific Regional meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, Pike presented a discussion of Fischer’s paper, which was responded to by Marilyn Adams and Fischer, so that the conferees were treated to hearing Adams on Pike on Fischer on Adams on Pike, and Fischer on Pike on Fischer on Adams on Pike. ‘Enough!’ you may well cry. And yet the beat goes on.”


The debate in other words.
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:17 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

Religious Language

Other traditional issues within the philosophy of religion such as the nature of religious language have been rather quiet lately (perhaps because Alvin Plantinga hasn’t written anything on them). The questions here concern whether language about God should be understood as literal or as in some way analogical or metaphorical.


Actually, it would seem more reasonable to suggest that the concern here must always revolve around whether the language that is used to broach, assess, examine and/or to form conclusions about God, can be defended both substantively and substantially. Otherwise the discussions will almost certainly devolve into intellectual or spiritual contraptions in which God is merely defined and deduced into existence.

William Alston has written some helpful essays on this, collected in his Divine Nature and Human Language. The topic was very important when the logical positivists ruled philosophy because theists were busy trying to find a way of construing religious language which A.J. Ayer would declare meaningful. Now that this threat has been lifted, philosophers of religion feel free to say that they mean what they say (and that they say what they mean).


Shop talk among the serious philosophers? Such that in saying what you mean and meaning what you say about God and religion, both theists and atheists are up in the same clouds?

If God's "Divine Nature" is only ever captured in human language what does that tell us about both of them? Not much it would seem.

As for the threat being lifted, in what sense?

Does defining and deducing God into existence through the use of language bring us any closer to an actual extant God?

Instead, nothing has really changed. You can argue yourself into taking that proverbial leap of leap or into making that proverbial wager.

But there's still the part where you have to connect the dots existentially between the behaviors that you choose "down here" and that which you are able to think yourself into believing about the part "up there".

I created a thread in order to to explore this.

You're in it 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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:58 pm

The Similarities Between Religion and Philosophy *
Are Religion and Philosophy Two Ways of Doing the Same Thing?
Austin Cline at the Learn Religions website

*and the differences

Is religion just a type of philosophy? Is philosophy a religious activity? There seems to be some confusion at times over just whether and how religion and philosophy should be distinguished from each other — this confusion is not unjustified because there are some very strong similarities between the two.


For me, they are similar given the extent to which either one comes around to this: How ought one to live?

Then it all revolves around the part where most religions conclude that if one follows a particular spiritual path -- their own -- one has a "transcendental" access to the "right way to live" through God. Not only that but if you choose to live in accordance with what is said to be the "will of God" you are rewarded for all of eternity with immortality and salvation.

As for philosophy here?

Come on, they don't even come close. At best there are philosophers who contend that someone can reason him or herself to a rational moral understanding of human interactions. The Ayn Rand Syndrome. So, you'll know how to live optimally. Or, if you prefer Kant, categorically and imperatively.

But then you still die. Obliterated for all time to come.

Similarities

The questions discussed in both religion and philosophy tend to be very much alike. Both religion and philosophy wrestle with problems like: What is good? What does it mean to live a good life? What is the nature of reality? Why are we here and what should we be doing? How should we treat each other? What is really most important in life?


On the other hand, there is all the difference in the world between the answers. With religion, not only is there presumed to be an answer -- the answer -- but that answer itself becomes the center of the universe for many. It can impact their lives in many respects. And, for the truly orthodox, in every respect. And while philosophers tend to focus almost entirely on answers relating to human interactions on this side of the grave, the answers provided to religious flocks carry on for all of eternity.

Clearly, then, there are enough similarities that religions can be philosophical (but need not be) and philosophies can be religious (but again need not be). Does this mean that we simply have two different words for the same fundamental concept? No; there are some real differences between religion and philosophy which warrant considering them to be two different types of systems even though they overlap in places.


Here though I can only come back to this: in what context? Given a particular "situation" in the lives that we live when does religion become philosophical and philosophy religious?

For example, for you?
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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:50 pm

The Atheist & the Foxhole
Catriona Hanley asks: Is God still dead?

In Bataan, the Philippines, in the year 1942, Army Chaplain William T. Cummings famously announced to the US troops, “there are no atheists in foxholes”. In other words, when confronted very immediately with the fear of imminent death, everyone prays to a god, therefore (one supposes he went on to add) there is a God.


On the other hand, how many of those who claim to believe in God [in or out of the foxhole] go through their days eagerly awaiting their own death knowing what awaits them -- paradise -- on the other side?

I've discussed this with any number of the faithful down through the years. And, sure, there are any number of reactions to explain what can be the same fear of death that many atheists embody. After all, the very notion of faith itself implies doubt. You take an existential "leap of faith" to a God, the God. Or make a "wager". But some are willing to own up to the implications of that. And they are in turn able to grasp there are many, many Gods professed to be the one and the only God among all the different denominations and spiritual paths.

How could thoughts and feelings of this nature not be but profoundly problematic manifestations of dasein?

This part in particular:

The fact that we will all die eventually is less hard to grasp than that I, this subject here and now, will die, and that furthermore my death is waiting for me, spying on me constantly. In a trench, at war, being fired on by the enemy, it would seem less possible than in ordinary quotidian life to deny either the certainty of personal mortality, or the fact that death can come at any moment. Still, it is no doubt possible for some staunch death deniers; at 18 especially, it is hard to believe in death. In point of fact, however, we are all in metaphorical foxholes by virtue of being alive and mortal.


Different strokes for different folks doesn't even come close to encompassing all of the different reactions we have to "my death".

And the foxholes are no less all over the map subjunctively. All along the intellectual/spiritual spectrum given whatever you come to think yourself into believing is true about God and religion. Or are indoctrinated to believe.

And, more to the point, one thing doesn't change. This: that the only possible way in which to truly guarantee that your fear of death is able to be contained [in or out of the foxhole] is through God and religion.

But, then, for however long you are able to keep "my death" on the back burner, it will eventually come around to encompass the whole stove. With no way out of the kitchen.

If you are an atheist, right?
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
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:36 pm

The Atheist & the Foxhole
Catriona Hanley asks: Is God still dead?

The difficulties of demonstrating whether or not soldiers in foxholes do actually admit the reality of death is perhaps less interesting than the substantial claim embedded in the expression under consideration: if we were truly, inescapably aware of the nature of death, we would have to take recourse in a god: more succinctly, fear of death leads to belief in God. A secondary claim is that if this is a universal feature of the human condition, then there must be a God.


This is the part that matters most to me. In fact, I still recall the first time I really began to think about it. I was reading a book about Jean-Paul Sartre. I believe it was a printed companion to a film/documentary about him.

[No Exit by Harold Pinter perhaps?]

In it, the author spoke of a friend of Sartre's who had traveled to the Soviet Union to experience first hand the so-called New Man that was being created by the Marxist Revolution. Only when the discussion got around to death -- to oblivion -- it turned out that the New Man was really no better off than the Old Man. Sure, one might manage to think him or herself into believing that they "lived on" after death through the Revolution. For some that worked.

But, for others, who was kidding whom?

No God? No religious path? Forget about it. You die and you're just more dead meat ever and always disintegrating back to star stuff. Communist or capitalist.

I do not think the first of these claims is true: fear of death is not good enough justification for belief in God or a god; it is neither sufficient nor legitimate.


What's being "good enough" have to do with it? Seriously. It's either that, the No God Eastern rendition or oblivion. You know, "for all practical purposes".

The second claim, that widespread – or even universal – belief in God demonstrates his real existence is clearly a fallacy, so I will not address it here. But I will argue that if there is a universal human experience of God that can be demonstrated descriptively, then we can at least claim that possession of some concept of God is a feature of being human. A concept of the infinite – which is one way of conceiving god – is a feature of the human understanding of the nature of being, as an analysis of the phenomenon of existential gratitude can show.


Forget demonstrating it descriptively. That's still just a world of words, right? The concept of God?

On the other hand, given a No God universe, Humanists are still no closer to transcending conceptual contraptions themselves of whatever reality might possibly be going back -- infinitely? -- to an understanding of Existence itself.

Then there are those who, in accepting this, abandon philosophy altogether. And then those like me who, in accepting it, still can't quite bring themselves to go that far.

Yet as it were.
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
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:57 pm

The Atheist & the Foxhole
Catriona Hanley asks: Is God still dead?

Nietzsche proclaimed the death of God in the 19th century, but he was not responsible for theocide. As a matter of cultural fact, Nietzsche says, God is no longer a force of moral restraint for us. Our system of values is based on the idea of a transcendent god who is the arbitrator of Good and Evil, but we no longer believe in this deity. We in the West follow the values of Judeo-Christian morality without examining their foundation. But once we look for the root of our moral opinions, we realize there is nothing there: moral values are branches of a dead tree.


That's always my point. In the absence of a transcendent -- omniscient, omnipotent -- font Good and Evil become the existential contraptions that mere mortals are always shape-shifting down through the ages to accommodate different communities across the globe. And now in the "modern age" where, through access to the worldwide media and the worldwide internet, it's possible to make contact with endless variations of the Humanist alternative.

It's not a tree anymore however but a whole forest of every imaginable tree that there is. Pick one, gather your own flock and convince yourself that yours is the one true path. Like the objectivists here.

As for the "foundation"...based on what set of assumptions when all of the paths touch down on the planet given any particular conflict.

That God is dead in the realm of moral action seems at least empirically true. Nietzsche’s appeal is that he is a philosopher for the 20th and early 21st century, because now the truth of his scandalous declaration is evident.


On the other hand, come on, for countless millions around the globe not only is God not dead but attempts to link both Good and Evil to a particular denominational rendition of Him is still very much the way of the world. Right here in America, evangelicals continue to enflame large swaths of the population. And as long as God and religion remain the only realistic font of choice for both morality and immortality, we can be fairly certain it will always be around.

It is not because of conflicts of interpretation of God’s word that we find moral behaviour so difficult to delineate or international policy so troublesome to justify. It is because we no longer believe in God as the ground of moral action. Culturally, God is a false figurehead to whom lip service is given, a cover for actions contrary to the morality for which he is said to stand; it is fitting that this God is a slogan on the American dollar.


We?

Even here at ILP, we are still all over the "spiritual" map: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=196934
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
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