on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:22 pm

phyllo wrote:
With respect to objectivists [the God or the No God adherents] only those deemed to be "one of us" are said to possess wisdom and sound judgment.

When has that ever not been the case?
I think that this is just a plain misunderstanding of how people think and behave. (not that some people are not like this but overall it misses the mark)


Okay, take another stab at it.

How do you think and behave when confronted with a behavior that some see as the right thing to do and others see as the wrong thing to do? In particular given how you weigh the choice that you'll make in the context of God and religion.

Most religious folks clearly seem to embrace one or another denomination revolving around one or another Scripture revolving around one or another moral narrative. And "us" and "them" would seem to be the obvious demarcation when assessing good and bad things to do.

You tell me what mark I am missing here. As that relates to particular behaviors in particular contexts.

You don't wear a philosophy of life [or a moral narrative] like you wear a pair of shoes. Or, rather, I don't. Instead, over the course of actually living my life, I had a particular set of experiences, relationships, access to information/knowledge etc., that predisposed me existentially to think as I now do.

I can't just reach inside my head now and yank that all out like I might reach for another pair of more comfortable shoes.

You do understand that, right?


phyllo wrote: What you seem to be saying is that you are entirely reactive. You wait for someone or something to change your mind. You are not able to apply your will and to act proactively. :confusion-shrug:


Again, another "general description" assessment. And, when confronted with them, I can only keep returning to this: What does it mean for any one particular individual, in any one particular context to "apply his will and act proactively?" With or without God. How is the manner in which I construe these profoundly problematic existential interactions any less the embodiment of dasein and conflicting goods?

How are your own?

You claim that you "decided to use a particular philosophy and morality."

The assumption then being that this decision is in fact not an existential contraption at all. Instead, it revolves around this:

1] there is a "real me" that transcends contingency, chance and change
2] this "real me" is in sync with one or another understanding of "virtue", "truth", "justice"
3] "virtue", "truth", "justice" is embedded in one or another rendition of God, Humanism, ideology, nature

phyllo wrote: You realize that "moral objectivists" can choose to be immoral. Right?


Sure, but the assumption still exists "in their heads" that they can tell us the difference between moral and immoral behavior. And if others inssist that, on the contrary, it's the other way around, then they are necessarily wrong. Why? Because the moral objectivists assume that they themselves are necessarily right? Why? Because they are righteously intertwined in/with one or another God, deontological philosophy, political ideology or assessment of Nature.

Then around and around they go:

1] I am rational
2] I am rational because I have access to the ideal
3] I have access to the ideal because I grasp the one true nature of the objective world
4] I grasp the one true nature of the objective world because I am rational

They merely presume that, as with the either/or world, this is applicable to the is/ought world in turn. You merely have to become "one of us" and share our own moral and political values.

And then when God and religion become a part of it "we" acquire immortality and salvation and "they" don't.
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 phyllo » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:47 pm

I'll chalk it up as two more failed attempts to shift you away from your dilemma and leave it at that. :lol:

If I get some new ideas, I'll spring them on you in the future. :evilfun:
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:28 pm

phyllo wrote:I'll chalk it up as two more failed attempts to shift you away from your dilemma and leave it at that. :lol:

If I get some new ideas, I'll spring them on you in the future. :evilfun:


Okay, sounds good.

But what I would be particularly curious to explore is your own existential trajectory regarding God. Your own indoctrination as a child. Experiences that were especially crucial in propelling you to probe religion along one path rather than another.

And [especially] your thoughts and your feelings when you do in fact come upon an issue [on the news, in your interactions with others] that prompts you to note how different individuals come into conflict regarding right and wrong behavior.

How does that "work" insofar as you situate your reaction to the conflict in the context of immortality, salvation and divine justice.

After all, we are either judged "here and now" as this pertains to our fate "there and then" or we are not.

And you will either address this beyond just another "general assessment" or you won't.
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 phyllo » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:45 am

But what I would be particularly curious to explore is your own existential trajectory regarding God. Your own indoctrination as a child. Experiences that were especially crucial in propelling you to probe religion along one path rather than another.

And [especially] your thoughts and your feelings when you do in fact come upon an issue [on the news, in your interactions with others] that prompts you to note how different individuals come into conflict regarding right and wrong behavior.

How does that "work" insofar as you situate your reaction to the conflict in the context of immortality, salvation and divine justice.

After all, we are either judged "here and now" as this pertains to our fate "there and then" or we are not.

And you will either address this beyond just another "general assessment" or you won't.
I have talked about my life several times. You either ignored it or dismissed it as a "contraption".

There are only so many times that I'm willing to be dismissively kicked in the nuts.

I'm not going to talk about it again.

:-k (Interesting that you now toss off people's posts as "general assessments". That's new. )
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:53 am

phyllo wrote:I have talked about my life several times. You either ignored it or dismissed it as a "contraption".

There are only so many times that I'm willing to be dismissively kicked in the nuts.

I'm not going to talk about it again.


Yeah, that's about what I expected.

I'm looking for your own rendition of this...

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

...and you claim to have provided a reasonable facsimile of it several times.

So, we will just have to agree to disagree about that.

But, sure, if you bump into a new experience or a new way of thinking about why you behave as you do on this side of the grave in order to be judged favorably by your own rendition of God on the side of it, by all means, bring it here.

At the very least I will be happy to assess the extent to which, in my view, it either is or is not a "general description" of your own interactions with others. And the part that a God, the God, your God plays in them.
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 phyllo » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:17 am

I'm looking for your own rendition of this...
Well, not "my own rendition" but rather you're looking for what you want the rendition to be.
...and you claim to have provided a reasonable facsimile of it several times.

So, we will just have to agree to disagree about that.
Right. My rendition of my life is not acceptable. It doesn't meet your , err, "standards". :D
At the very least I will be happy to assess the extent to which, in my view, it either is or is not a "general description" of your own interactions with others. And the part that a God, the God, your God plays in them.
Sure. I need you to assess it. :lol:

And yeah, that's what I really want to get on this forum. :evilfun:
"Who loves not wine, woman and song, remains a fool his whole life long."

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"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:32 pm

All humans must die.
No human can explain what an afterlife entails or if such exists.
Our future is our children.
Morality then would consist of leaving the planet habitable for our children.
A morality based on reward an punishment is animal training. It does nothing to perpetuate life on this planet.
There is no hell beyond some life experiences.
We are born without sin. Hence morality entails recognizing who we really are and not the judgment and condemnation of ourselves as taught in many churches.
Environmental morality (Wiki) is hands on, here and now ,practical love of life. Heaven and hell are theological, philosophical abstractions.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:56 pm

Most rational people I know no longer believe in afterlife heaven or hell.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Arcturus Descending » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:07 pm

Ierrellus wrote:All humans must die.
No human can explain what an afterlife entails or if such exists.
Our future is our children.
Morality then would consist of leaving the planet habitable for our children.
A morality based on reward an punishment is animal training. It does nothing to perpetuate life on this planet.
There is no hell beyond some life experiences.
We are born without sin. Hence morality entails recognizing who we really are and not the judgment and condemnation of ourselves as taught in many churches.
Environmental morality (Wiki) is hands on, here and now ,practical love of life. Heaven and hell are theological, philosophical abstractions.


Kudos to you.
SAPERE AUDE!


If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped.


What we take ourselves to be doing when we think about what is the case or how we should act is something that cannot be reconciled with a reductive naturalism, for reasons distinct from those that entail the irreducibility of consciousness. It is not merely the subjectivity of thought but its capacity to transcend subjectivity and to discover what is objectively the case that presents a problem....Thought and reasoning are correct or incorrect in virtue of something independent of the thinker's beliefs, and even independent of the community of thinkers to which he belongs.

Thomas Nagel


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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:23 pm

Bob wrote:
There are two ways in which we can come to a point of view pertaining to value judgments. On the one hand, we can spend hours and hours and hours actually thinking about the pros and the cons of the behaviors we derive from our particular value judgments. We can then try to have as many different experiences as possible relating to those behaviors; and we can discuss them with as many different people as possible in order to get diverse points of view; and we can try to acquire as much knowledge and information about these behaviors/value judgments in order to be fully informed on it. 

On the other hand, based on my own experience, most folks don't do this it all. Instead, they live in a particular time and place, acquire a particular set of experiences, accumulate a particular set of relationships and acquire particular sources of knowledge and information -- which then comes [rather fortuitously] over the years to predispose them to particular subjective points of view that might well have changed over and again throughout the years. And, indeed, may well change many times more.


Isn’t there a danger that even if people do what you said they should do “on the one hand” that they remain within the particular? I find that for all of my experimentation, my arguments still use the symbolism, the metaphors and the allegories I grew up with. I think this is because we need a language within which we can make ourselves understood – and of course I’m not just talking about English, French or German etc.


Yes, but:

...pertaining to what particular context out in what particular world construed from what particular point of view?

What happens when the contexts [experiences] change? What happens when, as a result of this, you bump into a conflicting point of view?

Relating to or not relating to God and religion.

Words like "faith", "sin", "justice" and "freedom" for example. Sooner or later the use of these [and so many similar] words are going to be misunderstood...or understood subjectively/contextually given the manner in which I have come to construe the meaning of dasein and conflicting goods.

This thread was created in order to discuss religious narratives as they relate to morality as that relates to one or another rendition of Judgment Day.

Or, if someone balks at the idea of God's "judgment", of reward and punishment of "the other side", how is he or she able to demonstrate that this is a reasonable point of view?

Bob wrote: The example at hand is your use of the word Dasein, which in my daily use of German has a specific meaning, but which doesn’t harmonise with yours. Thereby our communication is hampered by the fact that our communication is restricted to written exchanges and that lacking many facets of communication, as well as experience, we may never fully understand each other. We communicate, but we have particular assumptions about each other and our understanding of Dasein.


My own entirely existential understanding of dasein is encompassed here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529

What are you own assumptions then regarding its meaning "out in the world" of human social, political and economic interactions?

Dasein at wiki:

Dasein is a German word that means "being there" or "presence", and is often translated into English with the word "existence". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasein

Being there instead of here [culturally experientially]. Being here or there now instead of here or there before or later [historically].

What aspects of "I" is this most relevant to? And, on this thread, how that relates to the behaviors we choose "here and now" in order to be in sync with what we imagine our fate to be "there and then".

Bob wrote: The same happens when people talk about God. We may have a one-on-one conversation on God and still come away not knowing what the others concept of God is – if they do at all have one. I have always wondered at Evangelicals who have ridiculed my intuitive approach to spirituality because it is “fuzzy”, but talk to three Christians separately and then you know what “fuzzy” is, or you know who has been telling them what/who God has to be for them.


Yes, this certainly seems reasonable to me. But intuitively or otherwise, your own understanding of God and religion is [in my view] no less an "existential contraption". In other words, subjective/subjunctive fabrications [rooted in the actual experiential trajectory of your lived life] pertaining to that which you believe "in your head" that you either are or are not able to demonstrate to others as a reasonable thing to believe.

If it doesn't come down to that in a philosophy forum then anything that anyone claims to believe is true "in his head" becomes the bottom line.

It doesn't work that way among scientists though, right? So, where should the line be drawn among philosophers?


Going back to the caves [no doubt] God and religion factor into human interactions. In part because our brain is hard-wired through the evolution of life on earth to be "self-conscious". We have the capacity to connect the dots between "in my head" and "out in the world". And in a manner that far and away exceeds the capacity of any other creature on this planet.

Though, indeed, there may be creatures on other planets that far and away exceed us.

This involves first and foremost a capacity to think up The Big Questions: Why something and not nothing at all? Why this something and not another something instead? 

Clearly the existence a God, the God, my God is one possible explanation.

Bob wrote: You know, this “caveman's God” has been bantered about for some time and I have doubts. Studies show that the brain of the “caveman” had enormous potential, and also that we fail to use the potential of our brains because we are preoccupied and distracted most of the time. The caveman couldn’t be distracted or he was dead and his distracted genes didn’t get passed on. He was focused and alert, and he was learning all the time. In fact, there is a lot of speculation going on today about this guys learning curve and consequently the collective learning curve. We seem to have simplified our outlook over time, rather than complicated it.


We can only speculate about what our "prehistoric ancestors" thought and felt regarding these relationships by interpreting the archaeological evidence. There are no written records. But it seems reasonable that any consciousness able to connect dots between "out in the world" and "in my head" is going to get around to "what's it all mean"?

But: back then science was not around to offer "natural" explanations. Today of course religion doesn't often go there. Instead the focus seems to be on this:

1] how ought one to live?
2] what happens after we die?

Which happens to be the whole point of this thread: intertwining the two as this relates to the behaviors that we choose from day to day to day.

 

Any particular individual will believe in God, not believe in God or be uncertain. And this is clearly rooted existentially in many, many vast and varied historical, cultural and experiential contexts. Also, any particular individual will interact with others of her kind or not interact with others of her kind. The vast majority of us do. And, as a result of this, our interactions precipitate conflicts that revolve around one or another set of behaviors that revolve around one or another set of values. With or without God. In turn, all of us will die. And that precipitates thoughts and feelings [in any particular individual] regarding our fate on the other side.

This thread was created in order for those individuals who do believe in God to discuss the manner in which they intertwine their behaviors on this side of the grave as that relates to the manner in which they have come to imagine their fate on the other side.

In other words, these narratives will [hopefully] be as far removed from "intellectual contraptions" as it is possible to convey in a forum such as this.

Bob wrote: I think that the “caveman” will have been more a part of the collective than we are, with our imagined individuality and attempts to be unique in some way. Therefore, if the group had the concept of a singular or multiple Gods, our man will have too. If there is no God-concept, he will have none either. Therefore the interaction of our man is active and not reflective like ours is deemed to be. We forget that we can’t not communicate, we can’t not interact either. In one way or another we are always interacting, even though we might not notice or even forget where it was apparent.


Well, our earliest ancestors no doubt intertwined God into a rather primitive [prescience] understanding of nature. One imagines that the interactions in any particular community [and between communities] revolved more or less around might makes right. And then they either appeased "the Gods" or they did not.

Survival of the fittest [among themselves, between themselves and in conjunction with nature] would seem to be entirely more reasonable.

Films like Quest For Fire explored this. But no one really knows for sure.

Imagine trying to explain "Pascal's wager" to them! Or Kierkegaard's "leap of faith". Let alone the appeal of Don Trump to evangelicals.

Bob wrote: Therefore, I think that there are false assumptions on your part that means that the discussion you want isn’t actually happening. The question you should ask is the last one: How do they intertwine their behaviour on this side of the grave in order to have an effect on their fate on the other side.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the only answer you’ll get amounts to pascals wager.


My assumptions are rather straightforward:

1] we are all confronted [from the cradle to the grave] with the question, "how ought one to live?"
2] we all die
3] almost all of us will ponder the manner in which the two are intertwined "out in a particular world" from a "religious" perspective

This thread is here for folks to discuss that -- given the manner in which they choose to live their lives from day to day to day. One way rather than another.
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 Aug 31, 2017 7:48 pm

phyllo wrote:
I'm looking for your own rendition of this...
Well, not "my own rendition" but rather you're looking for what you want the rendition to be.


My rendition is rather straightforward.

I bump into someone [on or offline] and the discussion gets around to abortion. I'm asked to relate my own value judgments regarding it. I note the dilemma that I am entangled in above and then explain how the life that I lived predisposed me existentially to be entangled in it.

Again, this:

1] I was raised in the belly of the working class beast. My family/community were very conservative. Abortion was a sin.
2] I was drafted into the Army and while on my "tour of duty" in Vietnam I happened upon politically radical folks who reconfigured my thinking about abortion. And God and lots of other things.
3] after I left the Army, I enrolled in college and became further involved in left wing politics. It was all the rage back then. I became a feminist. I married a feminist. I wholeheartedly embraced a woman's right to choose.
4] then came the calamity with Mary and John. I loved them both but their engagement was foundering on the rocks that was Mary's choice to abort their unborn baby.
5] back and forth we all went. I supported Mary but I could understand the points that John was making. I could understand the arguments being made on both sides. John was right from his side and Mary was right from hers.
6] I read William Barrett's Irrational Man and came upon his conjectures regarding "rival goods".
7] Then, over time, I abandoned an objectivist frame of mind that revolved around Marxism/feminism. Instead, I became more and more embedded in existentialism. And then as more years passed I became an advocate for moral nihilism.

And, entangled further in this frame of mind, I suspect that there is no "afterlife"; and, thus, that how I behave on this side of the grave with regard to abortion is of no consequence regarding the other side.

Now, imagine [for us] your own reflections on all of this if you bump into someone [on or offline] and the discussion gets around to abortion.

Or some other conflicting good.

Or with respect to your belief in God itself.

Or, sure, just insist that you have already done this "several times".

Then we can go back to agreeing to disagree that you have.
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 phyllo » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:51 pm

My rendition is rather straightforward.
I know your rendition. You seem to expect me to mirror it exactly ... 7 points, some particular crisis which moved me to a particular point of view. If I use my own words, if describe my life in my particular way ... then it falls short of your expectations. I have talked about my upbringing and why I think that God exists. I have talked about abortion. My attitude towards abortion is to strike a balance between what the woman needs, the man needs and the fetus needs.

I can't think of a specific incident in my life which lead me to adopt this attitude.

I don't know of any reason why that would go against "God's will". I could be wrong so I may have to take some heat in the future. :evilfun:

Sorry to disappoint you.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby The Eternal Warrior » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:06 pm

Ierrellus wrote:Most rational people I know no longer believe in afterlife heaven or hell.


You should. There are an infinite variety of both.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:54 pm

Ierrellus wrote: All humans must die.
No human can explain what an afterlife entails or if such exists.
Our future is our children.
Morality then would consist of leaving the planet habitable for our children.


Actually, each of us dies one by one by one. And some particular thing happens to us one by one by one or some other thing happens instead. And while you have concocted this "psychologism" that puts all of this in perhaps the best of all possible comforting and consoling frames of mind, all the rest of us can do is note that while "in your head" you do believe this, you appear to have absolutely no capacity to demonstrate why we should believe it too.

Just as others insist that if you choose behaviors on this side of the grave deemed to be Sins by their God, you risk eternal damnation in Hell. Among other things supposedly.

Again, around the campfire or the kitchen table or at a Bible study, we can share particular sets of assumptions and expect most others to just nod their heads and say, "Amen".

In a philosophy forum however some of us expect more than that. There's what you believe or claim to know is true "in your head" and what you are able to demonstrate is in fact true for all of us --- whether "in our head" we believe it or not.

If that [here] is not deemed the "best of all possibly wisdoms" what else is?

Sure, in the context of All There Is [i.e. Existence qua Existence] God may well be the explanation. Possibly even your own rendition of God.

But why should any of us believe that? As opposed to other possible explanations? For example, so-called "natural" or "scientific" ones. Or the beliefs that revolve around particular religious denominations. Including Evangelicals. Many of these folks are just as sincere in their beliefs as you are.

Ierrellus wrote: A morality based on reward an[d] punishment is animal training. It does nothing to perpetuate life on this planet.


Come on, out in the real world, people have wants and needs. And they have ever and always come into conflict. Rules of behavior [whether you call it morality or not] have never not been embedded in the interaction of all communities.

Now, if you don't reward and punish particular behaviors in particular contexts, what else is there?

How, in the community that you are a part of, is this done? Do the folks that you interact with from day to day "recognize who they really are and not impose judgment and condemnation on themselves as taught in many churches."

Cite some examples of this.

Again, I don't doubt the sincerity of your belief. And a part of my reaction no doubt revolves around that part where I wish I could believe it [again] in turn.

You still have the comfort and the consolation that I once had myself. And, sure, a part of me wants to return to it.

So a part of me envies [and thus resents] your own frame of mind.

And I suspect that is where we will have to leave 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 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:20 pm

phyllo wrote:
My rendition is rather straightforward.
I know your rendition. You seem to expect me to mirror it exactly ... 7 points, some particular crisis which moved me to a particular point of view.


All I can do then is leave it to others to decide for themselves the extent to which my existential account above is a more revealing examination of my own particular value judgments.

I don't expect you to mirror it so much as to provide an account that allows me to grasp more succinctly why you believe one thing rather than another relating either to a particular conflicting good or to your belief in God and religion.

That is all still rather vague to me. But, perhaps, not to others.

phyllo wrote: If I use my own words, if describe my life in my particular way ... then it falls short of your expectations. I have talked about my upbringing and why I think that God exists. I have talked about abortion. My attitude towards abortion is to strike a balance between what the woman needs, the man needs and the fetus needs.


Okay, fair enough.

Here then my reaction would revolve more around the extent to which you are convinced that, pertaining to this, "you are right from your side, and others are right from their side"; or that others who don't share your values and beliefs about God are wrong.

And, if the later, the extent to which you are able to demonstrate that what you believe is that which all rational men and women are obligated to believe [and thus become "one of us"]; or are willing to acknowledge it may well be embedded more in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

I merely point out that with respect to God and religion, when one acknowledges that they "may be wrong", they may end up on the wrong side of immortality, salvation and divine justice.

In other words, all that is ---enormously, ominously, staggeringly -- at stake here.
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 phyllo » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:24 pm

Actually, each of us dies one by one by one. And some particular thing happens to us one by one by one or some other thing happens instead. And while you have concocted this "psychologism" that puts all of this in perhaps the best of all possible comforting and consoling frames of mind, all the rest of us can do is note that while "in your head" you do believe this, you appear to have absolutely no capacity to demonstrate why we should believe it too.

Just as others insist that if you choose behaviors on this side of the grave deemed to be Sins by their God, you risk eternal damnation in Hell. Among other things supposedly.

Again, around the campfire or the kitchen table or at a Bible study, we can share particular sets of assumptions and expect most others to just nod their heads and say, "Amen".

In a philosophy forum however some of us expect more than that. There's what you believe or claim to know is true "in your head" and what you are able to demonstrate is in fact true for all of us --- whether "in our head" we believe it or not.
If you don't accept that there are some essential truths then there is no way to demonstrate anything to you. You have thrown away the foundation on which a demonstration can be built. Those essential truths come from our physical existence on this planet.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:07 pm

I don't expect you to mirror it so much as to provide an account that allows me to grasp more succinctly why you believe one thing rather than another relating either to a particular conflicting good or to your belief in God and religion.
It seems much more likely that "all this" came about as a result of intelligent intent rather than randomness. Therefore God exists.
I can't be any more succinct than that.

I personally have little use for organized religion but it gives others structure and satisfies some of their needs. I don't spit on that. And contrary to the one-sided claims of atheists and 'haterz', I think that it has done quite a bit of good throughout history.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:19 pm

And, if the later, the extent to which you are able to demonstrate that what you believe is that which all rational men and women are obligated to believe [and thus become "one of us"]; or are willing to acknowledge it may well be embedded more in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.
I think that I am unable to demonstrate many things which are none the less true or probably true. So the emphasis on "demonstrations" is not fruitful.
I merely point out that with respect to God and religion, when one acknowledges that they "may be wrong", they may end up on the wrong side of immortality, salvation and divine justice.
I'm on the same page as Marcus Aurelius ... even if I am wrong about the gods, at least I'm living what I evaluate as a virtuous life. You know - as I understand virtue in my head. :wink:
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Bob » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:20 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote: Isn’t there a danger that even if people do what you said they should do “on the one hand” that they remain within the particular? I find that for all of my experimentation, my arguments still use the symbolism, the metaphors and the allegories I grew up with. I think this is because we need a language within which we can make ourselves understood – and of course I’m not just talking about English, French or German etc.


Yes, but:
...pertaining to what particular context out in what particular world construed from what particular point of view?
What happens when the contexts [experiences] change? What happens when, as a result of this, you bump into a conflicting point of view?
Relating to or not relating to God and religion.
Words like "faith", "sin", "justice" and "freedom" for example. Sooner or later the use of these [and so many similar] words are going to be misunderstood...or understood subjectively/contextually given the manner in which I have come to construe the meaning of dasein and conflicting goods.
This thread was created in order to discuss religious narratives as they relate to morality as that relates to one or another rendition of Judgment Day.
Or, if someone balks at the idea of God's "judgment", of reward and punishment of "the other side", how is he or she able to demonstrate that this is a reasonable point of view?

I personally believe religion to be prescience, but I don’t use this term in a dismissive way. Science is definitely valuable in discovering the inside structures of material life or the measurable interaction of components of the macro- and micro-cosmos. Added to that, science tries to understand the reasons for human reactions within biology, measuring everything that can be measured. It tells us a lot about what the universe is made of and how things happen but less about why – especially when it comes down to human behaviour.

This is where psychology comes in and where the question pops up, whether it can be called scientific research in the same way. Where a clinical test can measure something and bring about similar measurements, it will work. Where people react intuitively without a scientific base, it becomes impossible, especially since more than 60% of what we do, we do without thinking about it. It wouldn’t work, would it, and we’d hardly get the masters of art or sportsmen and -women if we had to think everything through. Our Caveman learnt this quickly, because he had to master his life, or die. In fact it was this dilemma that gave us the intuition that we could call spirituality or the beginnings of religion.

Intuition gives us a working model with which we try to understand the world and react accordingly. It also gets adjusted to fit our experience, or what we perceive to be our experience, and develops as we go along. Being an introvert who is very intuitive, I have gone through life registering a vast number of adjustments to my outlook on life and can only be thankful that I haven’t often been in grave danger, otherwise I might not have survived. The lack of danger helps us progress in this area, and also allows us to develop science, but they both belong together. I have read that scientists and clinical doctors will often not live their lives according to what they know professionally. This suggests that science and intuition live inside scientists as much as in other people.

iambiguous wrote:My own entirely existential understanding of dasein is encompassed here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529

What are you own assumptions then regarding its meaning "out in the world" of human social, political and economic interactions?

Dasein at wiki:

Dasein is a German word that means "being there" or "presence", and is often translated into English with the word "existence". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasein

Being there instead of here [culturally experientially]. Being here or there now instead of here or there before or later [historically].

What aspects of "I" is this most relevant to? And, on this thread, how that relates to the behaviors we choose "here and now" in order to be in sync with what we imagine our fate to be "there and then".

My understanding of existence culturally is that I have grown up in a cultural group with a set of values, which I adopted from early on in life. I have also lived within a certain moment in time, which up until now has been better for me than it was for my predecessors. My cultural values have developed over time, including in them christian ideas for some time, but then adapting to include other cultural traditions that I have encountered along the way. I am somewhat mixed, being born in rural Britain, having moved to the far east during my “impressionable age” and since having lived the largest part of my life in Germany.

This is relevant to how I look at myself. I feel that I am less a member of a single family, or cultural group, but rather part of the myriad of humanity. I am an individualist in one sense, but I need people around me and these people should give me room, otherwise I can be unfriendly. I am also the type of person that regards life as a mystery with unknown possibilities, and intuitively I feel that there should be some explanation for the fact that we are transient in a universe that doesn’t seem to care. This is probably why I have tried the various religious concepts that we have, in order to find out where there are answers. I have ended up with nothing scientific – if indeed there is such a thing with regard to the meaning of life.

I have adopted an existentialist approach in that I am aware that faith is a leap, rather than an explanation. However, this leap we all take daily when we get out of bed, assuming that life goes on in the same way that we have experienced it in the past. This leap of faith is an attempt to fathom what we know and make some sense of our existence. It is a contraption, as is any method of understanding and joining in with life. It is a concept, a hypothesis of what life could be about. Of course there are people who need other people to like what they like, and do what they do. Therefore they demand conformity, as the church and other institutions have done over time.

I, for example, can live with the fact that we all have our reasons for doing what we do, as long as we have a common understanding that helps us live together without killing or maiming each other. The more we interact the more we need agreements about that interaction, and we have to accommodate the variances of human character. We have extroverts and introverts; those who require concrete experiential information and those who can deal with abstract and conceptual information; those who generally think things through and those who feel their way through situations; those who are methodical and systematic and those who are casual, open-ended and spontaneous. The are umpteen variations on this of course, because we mix and move as we need.

Therefore these variances flow into what we call “I”, and they change. If we try to ascertain what “Dasein” means, it will be something else further down the road. It is similar to the allegory about the swirl in the river, it may always be there when you pass, but it is never the same because water is passing through constantly. Change is life and life is change. The more we try to hold on to aspects of life, the more it dies in our hands. The more we try to conserve, the more we take the spontaneity and vivaciousness or liveliness out of it.

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote: The same happens when people talk about God. We may have a one-on-one conversation on God and still come away not knowing what the others concept of God is – if they do at all have one. I have always wondered at Evangelicals who have ridiculed my intuitive approach to spirituality because it is “fuzzy”, but talk to three Christians separately and then you know what “fuzzy” is, or you know who has been telling them what/who God has to be for them.


Yes, this certainly seems reasonable to me. But intuitively or otherwise, your own understanding of God and religion is [in my view] no less an "existential contraption". In other words, subjective/subjunctive fabrications [rooted in the actual experiential trajectory of your lived life] pertaining to that which you believe "in your head" that you either are or are not able to demonstrate to others as a reasonable thing to believe.

If it doesn't come down to that in a philosophy forum then anything that anyone claims to believe is true "in his head" becomes the bottom line.

It doesn't work that way among scientists though, right? So, where should the line be drawn among philosophers?

As I said above, scientists are known to seem to be oblivious of their research at times, because they act as though they don’t know the results of their investigations when leading their private lives. That is inconsequent, but very human. Philosophy may attempt to find “laws” that are so reliable that they can become the bottom line, but humankind is always able to surprise itself.

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote: You know, this “caveman's God” has been bantered about for some time and I have doubts. Studies show that the brain of the “caveman” had enormous potential, and also that we fail to use the potential of our brains because we are preoccupied and distracted most of the time. The caveman couldn’t be distracted or he was dead and his distracted genes didn’t get passed on. He was focused and alert, and he was learning all the time. In fact, there is a lot of speculation going on today about this guys learning curve and consequently the collective learning curve. We seem to have simplified our outlook over time, rather than complicated it.


We can only speculate about what our "prehistoric ancestors" thought and felt regarding these relationships by interpreting the archaeological evidence. There are no written records. But it seems reasonable that any consciousness able to connect dots between "out in the world" and "in my head" is going to get around to "what's it all mean"?

But: back then science was not around to offer "natural" explanations. Today of course religion doesn't often go there. Instead the focus seems to be on this:

1] how ought one to live?
2] what happens after we die?

Which happens to be the whole point of this thread: intertwining the two as this relates to the behaviors that we choose from day to day to day.

First of all, science doesn’t offer “natural” explanations. Science observes, records, measures and then analyses what it has measured. It can’t say what it means.

Going by what I have written above, the connecting of the dots leaves us with an uncanny feeling and according to what combination of attributes a person may have, he or she will come up with varying answers, just as humankind has done depending on cultural backgrounds. We are, whether we like it or not, still blind to the information that will give us the bigger picture. That is why such emphasis has been placed on the two questions you mentioned. The question of afterlife is of course speculative, because we are still not completely sure what consciousness is. It would, however, seem as though aspects of consciousness is dependent upon areas in the brain. There are theories which compare the brain to a receiver, stating that a damaged receiver would also warp the message being transmitted. But where is the signal? And so, what will happen to our consciousness when our physical frame fails to function is still open to speculation.

How we ought to live is, to my mind, a question of interaction and consequently needs a basic agreement between those interacting to function. Again, humanity has over the course of history come up with eight basic requirements for living together, but has failed to keep it that simple. The complications of legislation just prove that human beings apply different aspects to their ideas of what ought to be done, according to their momentary requirements.

iambiguous wrote:
Bob wrote: I think that the “caveman” will have been more a part of the collective than we are, with our imagined individuality and attempts to be unique in some way. Therefore, if the group had the concept of a singular or multiple Gods, our man will have too. If there is no God-concept, he will have none either. Therefore the interaction of our man is active and not reflective like ours is deemed to be. We forget that we can’t not communicate, we can’t not interact either. In one way or another we are always interacting, even though we might not notice or even forget where it was apparent.


Well, our earliest ancestors no doubt intertwined God into a rather primitive [prescience] understanding of nature. One imagines that the interactions in any particular community [and between communities] revolved more or less around might makes right. And then they either appeased "the Gods" or they did not.

Survival of the fittest [among themselves, between themselves and in conjunction with nature] would seem to be entirely more reasonable.

Films like Quest For Fire explored this. But no one really knows for sure.

Imagine trying to explain "Pascal's wager" to them! Or Kierkegaard's "leap of faith". Let alone the appeal of Don Trump to evangelicals.

You have brought the understanding of nature into the question of how we ought to live, but I don’t see it as something that is as relevant to the question. The survival question was imminent in the competition for resources and food, especially if I was a food source to certain animals. Once this rivalry could be appeased by understanding that we have enough space and resources, and that we could even work together on safeguarding those resources, the interaction became completely different. Then it was a question of how to live together.

iambiguous wrote:My assumptions are rather straightforward:

1] we are all confronted [from the cradle to the grave] with the question, "how ought one to live?"
2] we all die
3] almost all of us will ponder the manner in which the two are intertwined "out in a particular world" from a "religious" perspective

This thread is here for folks to discuss that -- given the manner in which they choose to live their lives from day to day to day. One way rather than another.

I would almost agree, except that we don’t just die, but we suffer in many ways as well. We also suffer in different degrees under similar situations. So the dilemma of suffering is as important as the dilemma of death.
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Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:39 pm

Iamb, can you give me an example of an idea that is not in somebody's head?
As for abortion, not being a woman I should have no say on how a woman treats her own body. I could opine that I see abortion as an option in cases of criminal rape, incest or possible death of the mother; but these are mere opinion.

BTW, I read Barrett many years ago. Don't remember much of what he said. At the time I was more interested in Watts and Sezuki.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:13 pm

As for abortion, not being a woman I should have no say on how a woman treats her own body.
Abortion has consequences that go beyond the individual woman, so men and women need to have a say in the policies of a society regarding abortion.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:55 pm

phyllo wrote:
Actually, each of us dies one by one by one. And some particular thing happens to us one by one by one or some other thing happens instead. And while you have concocted this "psychologism" that puts all of this in perhaps the best of all possible comforting and consoling frames of mind, all the rest of us can do is note that while "in your head" you do believe this, you appear to have absolutely no capacity to demonstrate why we should believe it too.

Just as others insist that if you choose behaviors on this side of the grave deemed to be Sins by their God, you risk eternal damnation in Hell. Among other things supposedly.

Again, around the campfire or the kitchen table or at a Bible study, we can share particular sets of assumptions and expect most others to just nod their heads and say, "Amen".

In a philosophy forum however some of us expect more than that. There's what you believe or claim to know is true "in your head" and what you are able to demonstrate is in fact true for all of us --- whether "in our head" we believe it or not.
If you don't accept that there are some essential truths then there is no way to demonstrate anything to you. You have thrown away the foundation on which a demonstration can be built. Those essential truths come from our physical existence on this planet.


Let's start with the obvious:

The only way in which any particular one of us can claim to be expressing actual "essential truths" is the extent to which we are able to demonstrate to others that we have access to all the facts that explain Reality/Existence itself.

Ontologically as it were.

And then we would need to shift gears and demonstrate in turn that there either is or is not a teleological component as well.

Which of course most folks attribute to God.

Now, over and over and over again, I make it abundantly clear that short of the fabled "theory [and understanding] of everything", mathematics, the laws of nature, the empirical world around us and the logical rules of language would certainly seem to qualify as essential truths.

Truths, in other words, that are applicable to all of us. For example, relating to God and religion, the objective historical fact that Catholics are Christians.

As opposed to a value judgment that revolves around the assumptions that Catholics make regarding their God. And then the extent to which relating to the focus of this thread they are willing to examine their behaviors on this side of the grave as this relates to their imagined fate on the other side of it.

But then it also becomes a matter of fully understanding whether or not it is an essential truth that human consciousness itself is no less embedded in the immutable laws of matter.

Which would seem to suggest this: that if it is even this exchange itself is only what it ever could have been.

Then what?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:14 pm

phyllo wrote:
I don't expect you to mirror it so much as to provide an account that allows me to grasp more succinctly why you believe one thing rather than another relating either to a particular conflicting good or to your belief in God and religion.
It seems much more likely that "all this" came about as a result of intelligent intent rather than randomness. Therefore God exists.
I can't be any more succinct than that.


So, "in your head" "here and now" you have come to believe that it is "much more likely" that "all there is" is as a result of "intelligent intent".

Therefore God exists.

Maybe not your God but a God, the God.

And that is "succinct" enough for you.

Well, what seems rather succinct to me is that you have come to believe this because emotionally, psychologically it is considerably more comforting and consoling to believe that than to believe that we live in an essentially absurd and meaningless world that, for each of us one by one, topples over into the abyss that is nothing at all -- for "I" -- for all of eternity.

Trust me: I get that part.

I am just no longer able to believe it myself.

And I suspect that, in order to, I will need arguments considerably more substantive than the ones I have come upon here.

So far.
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 phyllo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:24 pm

Well, what seems rather succinct to me is that you have come to believe this because emotionally, psychologically it is considerably more comforting and consoling to believe that than to believe that we live in an essentially absurd and meaningless world that, for each of us one by one, topples over into the abyss that is nothing at all -- for "I" -- for all of eternity.
The obvious question is : How would I have to put it so that you do not label it "emotionally and psychologically comforting"? Or put another way : What you I have to believe and what would be my necessary reasons be, for it not to get that label from you?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby phyllo » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:43 pm

The only way in which any particular one of us can claim to be expressing actual "essential truths" is the extent to which we are able to demonstrate to others that we have access to all the facts that explain Reality/Existence itself.
"access to all the facts that explain reality/existence itself" - That's obviously a ridiculous and unnecessary requirement for expressing "essential truths".
Now, over and over and over again, I make it abundantly clear that short of the fabled "theory [and understanding] of everything", mathematics, the laws of nature, the empirical world around us and the logical rules of language would certainly seem to qualify as essential truths.
One can state "essential truths" about the physical universe without having "access to all the facts". One can build a telephone system based on some facts about electricity without knowing everything. It's possible that our understanding of electrons is basically wrong but it's not so wrong that we can't build electronic devices.

The concept of "all or nothing" knowledge is obviously wrong.
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"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
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