on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Dan~ » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:35 pm

iambiguous wrote:But: I do not believe in God. And while recognizing how much more comforting and consoling it would be if, once again, I did believe in Him, that doesn't make the arguments I propose [as a moral nihilist] go away in the absence of actual proof that God exist.


Don't believe in God?
How about gods? Aliens? Angels? Ascended beings?

You'll need disproof for each of these things.

"Actual proof" is an inversion.
First we reject a proof, then we say what actual truth is supposed to be, instead of what it is.

"Proof" is a dirty word.
So is "Faith".

People use these words often with mal-content.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:00 am

Dan~ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:But: I do not believe in God. And while recognizing how much more comforting and consoling it would be if, once again, I did believe in Him, that doesn't make the arguments I propose [as a moral nihilist] go away in the absence of actual proof that God exist.


Don't believe in God?
How about gods? Aliens? Angels? Ascended beings?

You'll need disproof for each of these things.

"Actual proof" is an inversion.
First we reject a proof, then we say what actual truth is supposed to be, instead of what it is.

"Proof" is a dirty word.
So is "Faith".

People use these words often with mal-content.


Huh?

Why do people believe in God? Because, through God, they are on the path [the only path] to immortality, salvation and divine justice.

At least this is so "in their head" as long as they are able to believe it.

Only, as this thread seeks to explore, the dots must be connected between the behaviors one chooses on this side of the grave in order to be judged by God with regard to their fate on the other side of it.

The actual existential stakes here could not possibly be more extraordinary! Or higher!!

Though, sure, you can dismiss the part about actual proof that a God, the God, my God is the one.

You can choose instead a set of behaviors and simply have faith that He is the one.

So, tell me, how does it work for you?

After all, in my view, the part about needing proof is no less an existential contraption rooted in dasein.

Some need it more than others. Some insist that needing it is more important than others.

But there is either what one can demonstrate is true for all rational people here or what one cannot.

Shrug that part off if you must but that doesn't make the stakes go away.

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Dan~ » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:50 am

Why do people believe in God?

God is an extreme idea.
gods is an idea of higher beings that can often die or change and reproduce, etc.

We know there is life on other planets and realms.
Well, i know there is, anyway.
That is just a fact that people often cannot face.

God is a huge difference compared to gods.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:29 pm

Dan~ wrote:
Why do people believe in God?

God is an extreme idea.


Quite the contrary in my view. For those able to ask questions like, "why am I here?" "what does it mean to be here?" "what is the purpose of my life?" "how ought I to live?" "what happens when I die?" etc., coming to the part we call God is just common sense. The singularity that explains everything.

Dan~ wrote: gods is an idea of higher beings that can often die or change and reproduce, etc.


Exactly. Dogs and turtles and earthworms are not likely to factor a Creator into the lives they live from day to day.

Dan~ wrote: We know there is life on other planets and realms.
Well, i know there is, anyway.
That is just a fact that people often cannot face.


You know there is? Okay, how would you go about demonstrating that this is so to those like me who speculate that while it is likely that life exists on other planets, we have not been able to determine that definitively. God or No God.

Dan~ wrote: God is a huge difference compared to gods.


Yes, but from my frame of mind, it is the thing they share in common that precipitated this thread. In other words, the fact that down through the ages both "the Gods" and "a God, the God, my God" are used by mere mortals on this planet to connect the dots between what is chosen on this side of the grave and what is hoped for on the other side of grave.

The rest is embedded historically, culturally and individually in dasein.
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 Meno_ » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:51 pm

Yes, but such an embededness may indicate a toss up between biases, symmetries, reductive and productive processes, the last of which seem to indicate more syntactical inclusion , bearing down negatively on positivity to deal with approach to a singularity we have discussed before.
It is inconceivable that a reductio ad absurdum be sustained within the modus of Russell-Wittgenstein-Ayer.

The trend toward less symbolic symbolism through signs and signals proves insufficient and inconclusive even at the present time.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:19 am

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

The objective worthlessness of human beings on a naturalistic world view is underscored by two implications of that world view: materialism and determinism. Naturalists are typically materialists or physicalists, who regard man as a purely animal organism. But if man has no immaterial aspect to his being (call it soul or mind or what have you), then he is not qualitatively different from other animal species. For him to regard human morality as objective is to fall into the trap of specie-ism.

On a materialistic anthropology there is no reason to think that human beings are objectively more valuable than rats.


All clearly reasonable in my view if you take God out of the equation that is existence itself. Descriptions and evaluations of worth become the consequence of matter evolving into minds able to think up the idea of worth and attributing it to particular things. But then having access to no transcending font able to judge any conflicting descriptions and evaluations.

Still, this will never stop most of us from insisting that the existence of God has absolutely nothing to do with the clearly superior worth of human beings over rats.

But, again, how on earth could that possibly be demonstrated as true necessarily? Scientifically? Philosophically?

In other words, other than [in the end] by insisting that "I just know it".

Secondly, if there is no mind distinct from the brain, then everything we think and do is determined by the input of our five senses and our genetic make-up. There is no personal agent who freely decides to do something. But without freedom, none of our choices is morally significant. They are like the jerks of a puppet’s limbs, controlled by the strings of sensory input and physical constitution. And what moral value does a puppet or its movements have?


Which is why God is embraced by so many as the fundamental factor here. The one explanation for how the laws of nature somehow reconfigured matter into mind able to freely decide for itself whether it is able to freely decide for itself. This is as a result of human beings being in possession of souls. And souls don't just grow on trees. They are planted in us by God.

Then it all comes down to having faith in this. And in concocting arguments that somehow reconcile an omniscient God with human autonomy.

Arguments like this one:
https://www.exploregod.com/sovereignty-and-free-will
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 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:06 am

The objective worthlessness of human beings on a naturalistic world view is underscored by two implications of that world view: materialism and determinism. Naturalists are typically materialists or physicalists, who regard man as a purely animal organism. But if man has no immaterial aspect to his being (call it soul or mind or what have you), then he is not qualitatively different from other animal species. For him to regard human morality as objective is to fall into the trap of specie-ism.

On a materialistic anthropology there is no reason to think that human beings are objectively more valuable than rats.
Humans are more valuable than animals to other humans. Rats can see themselves as more valuable than humans. Nothing wrong with that.

All animals are valuable. All play a role in forming the whole of nature. Therefore, none are "worthless".
Secondly, if there is no mind distinct from the brain, then everything we think and do is determined by the input of our five senses and our genetic make-up. There is no personal agent who freely decides to do something.
The personal agent is the collection of genetic material and experiences.
But without freedom, none of our choices is morally significant.
As if it makes no moral difference if you play ball with a child or beat the child to death with a baseball bat.
They are like the jerks of a puppet’s limbs, controlled by the strings of sensory input and physical constitution.
And the alternative of being controlled by "sensory input and physical constitution and mind/soul" is somehow different? The mind/soul has some sort of characteristics just as the "physical constitution". Therefore, the addition of mind/soul just adds one more layer of complexity but it doesn't add any sort of extra ability to evade causes. If you think of yourself as a puppet without a mind/soul, then logically you should also think of yourself as a puppet with a mind/soul.

In any case, it's Miller time. :banana-dance:
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Meno_ » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:47 am

phyllo wrote:
The objective worthlessness of human beings on a naturalistic world view is underscored by two implications of that world view: materialism and determinism. Naturalists are typically materialists or physicalists, who regard man as a purely animal organism. But if man has no immaterial aspect to his being (call it soul or mind or what have you), then he is not qualitatively different from other animal species. For him to regard human morality as objective is to fall into the trap of specie-ism.

On a materialistic anthropology there is no reason to think that human beings are objectively more valuable than rats.
Humans are more valuable than animals to other humans. Rats can see themselves as more valuable than humans. Nothing wrong with that.

All animals are valuable. All play a role in forming the whole of nature. Therefore, none are "worthless".
Secondly, if there is no mind distinct from the brain, then everything we think and do is determined by the input of our five senses and our genetic make-up. There is no personal agent who freely decides to do something.
The personal agent is the collection of genetic material and experiences.
But without freedom, none of our choices is morally significant.
As if it makes no moral difference if you play ball with a child or beat the child to death with a baseball bat.
They are like the jerks of a puppet’s limbs, controlled by the strings of sensory input and physical constitution.
And the alternative of being controlled by "sensory input and physical constitution and mind/soul" is somehow different? The mind/soul has some sort of characteristics just as the "physical constitution". Therefore, the addition of mind/soul just adds one more layer of complexity but it doesn't add any sort of extra ability to evade causes. If you think of yourself as a puppet without a mind/soul, then logically you should also think of yourself as a puppet with a mind/soul.

In any case, it's Miller time. :banana-dance:



Skol! But then the purpose of evolution is ? But without a purpose, evolution would not happen. Reason is one purpose. Others are manifold.

Or, if it just happens, beings want to better themselves, will to power over other beasts, but even then there may be an implicit design

Unless the will to become their own creators, which is even more preposterous.

The most probable take is that evolutionary approach to the absolute de-differentiated indigenous and extrinsic causes of formation, where Macau and growth behave similarly, wherein decay will cause new generations of newly formed types
Decay is a necessary step in this process of ever processing.

God may be a changing name appropriate for changes of phenotype .
Perhaps such has always and eternally been embedded in memory, and the big question is how has it been so?

Ecmondu's idea of the left over before the limit being the free will, is pretty right on, except the question of the spational temporal gap being imperceptible makes it a temp is concept. How can our choices be free if they are near absolute. Perhaps there is a relative relation between the conceivable and the inconceivable.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:23 pm

phyllo wrote: Humans are more valuable than animals to other humans. Rats can see themselves as more valuable than humans. Nothing wrong with that.

All animals are valuable. All play a role in forming the whole of nature. Therefore, none are "worthless".


So, we are expected to believe that because he believes this is true -- an advocate of "specism" as described above? -- that is all the proof we need to make it true. This is the only rational -- necessary -- conclusion that philosophers and scientists can come to. And, of course, many religionists have already weighed in on it. They merely quote from the Bible:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

Well, if this God is his God.

Secondly, if there is no mind distinct from the brain, then everything we think and do is determined by the input of our five senses and our genetic make-up. There is no personal agent who freely decides to do something.


phyllo wrote: The personal agent is the collection of genetic material and experiences.


No, the personal agent here is encompassed only in the manner in which he insist that others must encompass it in turn: as he does.

Maybe, in crucial respects, the genetic material of women may be different from the genetic material of men. And maybe the experiences of a particular pregnant woman burdened with an unwanted pregnancy might have been vastly different from the experiences of the man who raped her.

But the "personal agent" here is still only as he sees it.

Linked somehow "in his head" to God.

But without freedom, none of our choices is morally significant.


phyllo wrote: As if it makes no moral difference if you play ball with a child or beat the child to death with a baseball bat.


Huh? The argument is that "without freedom", the two behaviors are interchangeable. Why? Because without actual free-will there is no actual personal responsibility involved in either context. If you could not have opted to not play ball with the child or could not have opted to not beat the child to death with the baseball bat, where does a "personal agent" fit in?

AGAIN: Unless he is making a very good point here that I keep missing. I do not deny that possibility.

As for this...

They are like the jerks of a puppet’s limbs, controlled by the strings of sensory input and physical constitution.


phyllo wrote: And the alternative of being controlled by "sensory input and physical constitution and mind/soul" is somehow different? The mind/soul has some sort of characteristics just as the "physical constitution". Therefore, the addition of mind/soul just adds one more layer of complexity but it doesn't add any sort of extra ability to evade causes. If you think of yourself as a puppet without a mind/soul, then logically you should also think of yourself as a puppet with a mind/soul.


...he'll have to bring this particular intellectual contraption down to earth and explain to us how it would be applicable to him were he to come into contact with a child and a ball and baseball bat.
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 Aug 20, 2019 6:53 pm

All things are subject to nature and physics.


This has always fascinated me with respect to God and religion.

In other words, does this include God?

Forget about proving the existence of God for a moment and start with the assumption that He does in fact exist. And, sure, let's make it your God.

Now imagine Albert Einstein is up in Heaven and he asks God why He chose to create space-time as modern physicists have come to understand it today. God then corrects Albert and explains to him the true nature of space-time.

Which, Albert then points out, just begs the question: "Why did You choose natural laws as they are rather than some other way? Are You Yourself able only to be in sync with the laws of physics?"

What might the answer to that be?
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 Aug 21, 2019 7:14 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

...if naturalism -- "the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted" -- is true, it becomes impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, or love as good. It does not matter what values you choose—for there is no right and wrong; good and evil do not exist. That means that an atrocity like the Holocaust was really morally indifferent. You may think that it was wrong, but your opinion has no more validity than that of the Nazi war criminal who thought it was good.


Any number of atheists, embracing any number of Humanist or secular/ideological dogmas, will scoff at that of course.

They put their trust in Reason. In political idealism. In moral obligations derived from one or another deontological assessment derived from one or another set of philosophical assumptions.

That is, until, with respect to a particular set of conflicting goods revolving around issues that revolve around social, political and economic justice, they can never seem to all agree on what the actual "rules of behavior" must be. The most reasonal rewards and punishments.

And then what to do with the sociopaths who insist that reason here in a No God world ought to and does revolve around their own perceived self-interests?

In his book Morality after Auschwitz, Peter Haas asks how an entire society could have willingly participated in a state-sponsored program of mass torture and genocide for over a decade without any serious opposition. He argues that far from being contemptuous of ethics, the perpetrators acted in strict conformity with an ethic which held that, however difficult and unpleasant the task might have been, mass extermination of the Jews and Gypsies was entirely justified. . . . the Holocaust as a sustained effort was possible only because a new ethic was in place that did not define the arrest and deportation of Jews as wrong and in fact defined it as ethically tolerable and ever good.


In other words, what many construe to be nihilistic, sociopathic behaviors is deemed by those actually choosing to pursue them to be just the opposite: a furtherance of their own self-righteous cause or movement or revolution.

And without a God, the God, your God to both name them and to punish them on Judgment Day, who can demonstrate beyond all doubt [here and now] that they are wrong?

And it is this frame of mind that folks like me have to endure. We can't know what is necessarily right or wrong without first believing in a God that can actually establish this once and for all.

And, sure, this may well be an unreasonable way in which to view the world around us. But you can't just flick a switch to off in your head and will yourself into rejecting what you have in fact existentially come to think yourself into believing.

You can only imagine a new experience that might manage to turn everything around. Or come into places like this and hear the arguments of others.
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 Aug 24, 2019 7:08 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

Moreover, Haas points out, because of its coherence and internal consistency, the Nazi ethic could not be discredited from within. Only from a transcendent vantage point which stands above relativistic, socio-cultural mores could such a critique be launched. But in the absence of God, it is precisely such a vantage point that we lack. One Rabbi who was imprisoned at Auschwitz said that it was as though all the Ten Commandments had been reversed: thou shalt kill, thou shalt lie, thou shalt steal. Mankind has never seen such a hell. And yet, in a real sense, if naturalism is true, our world is Auschwitz. There is no good and evil, no right and wrong. Objective moral values do not exist.


Of course here the Christian apologists always seem to miss the part bursting at the seams with irony. Their "loving, just and merciful" God, said to be omnipotent, permitted the Nazis to prevail for years. Millions upon millions of men, women and child slaughtered on the battlefields, in the death camps or among civilian populations.

And, it is said, "God sees all."

And yet the point is still there: In a No God world, all behaviors can be rationalized one way or another. If only because, historically, one way or another, almost all behaviors already have been.

Seen as barbaric and even unthinkable on one side, they are embraced in a moral crusade on the other.

Moreover, if atheism is true, there is no moral accountability for one’s actions. Even if there were objective moral values and duties under naturalism, they are irrelevant because there is no moral accountability. If life ends at the grave, it makes no difference whether one lives as a Stalin or as a saint. As the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky rightly said: “If there is no immortality, then all things are permitted.”


In other words, demonstrating that an objective moral code does in fact exist in a No God world does not mean that those who violate it will be caught. Let alone punished. Only divine justice can assure that.

Without an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent foundation, mere mortals are far, far removed from the sort of justice that so many yearn for. And, again, the irony embedded in the moral and political crusades of those secular objectivists that do prevail and obtain political power is often as grotesque as their religious equivalent.

The cruelty of atheism is hard to believe when man has no faith in the reward of good or the punishment of evil. There is no reason to be human. There is no restraint from the depths of evil which is in man. The Communist torturers often said, ‘There is no God, no hereafter, no punishment for evil. We can do what we wish.’ I have heard one torturer even say, ‘I thank God, in whom I don’t believe, that I have lived to this hour when I can express all the evil in my heart.’ He expressed it in unbelievable brutality and torture inflected on prisoners.


First of course "the depths of evil" that are within humankind can only be traced back to the Creator. It exists because God created it, created us...in His imager? After all, if a mere mortal created an entity that made life a living hell for others, would not he or she be held responsible?

Still, the point raised here is not unreasonable. At least not necessarily. If one believes there is no God then one can choose to behave with the concern only in fulfilling his or her own perceived wants and needs. Then doing whatever on earth it takes to get away with it. To not be caught and punished.
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 Aug 26, 2019 6:45 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

Somebody might say that it is in our best self-interest to adopt a moral life-style. But clearly, that is not always true: we all know situations in which self-interest runs smack in the face of morality. Moreover, if one is sufficiently powerful, like a Ferdinand Marcos or a Papa Doc Duvalier or even a Donald Trump, then one can pretty much ignore the dictates of conscience and safely live in self-indulgence.


There's just no getting around this in a No God world. Only if we are able to convince ourselves that, whatever unfolds "down here", we can always count on God's Divine Justice "up there", can we then sustain any truly substantial peace of mind..

In the end, no one gets away with anything down here. Not ever. We are all answerable to God. Thus all of the ambiguities that we might face in our own lives -- the agony of choice in the face of uncertainty -- we can trust in God to sort out. To know that it can be and will be sorted out.

Historian Stewart C. Easton sums it up well when he writes, “There is no objective reason why man should be moral, unless morality ‘pays off’ in his social life or makes him ‘feel good.’ There is no objective reason why man should do anything save for the pleasure it affords him.”


Bingo. The part embedded and embodied in the narcissistic/sociopathic frame of mind. No God and you have to be caught first by mere mortals. And while you might get tossed in prison for a spell [or even executed] if you do get caught, what's that next to eternal damnation in Hell?
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 Aug 28, 2019 6:37 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

Acts of self-sacrifice become particularly inept on a naturalistic world view. Why should you sacrifice your self-interest and especially your life for the sake of someone else? There can be no good reason for adopting such a self-negating course of action on the naturalistic world view.


Here in my view he takes the necessity for an existing God too far. God is clearly necessary if you want to achieve immortality. Or if you want to pursue it in Paradise. Or if you want a transcending font on this side of the grave to establish Sinful behavior. Or if you want Divine Justice.

But given how the capacity to embody empathy and then to choose altruistic behavior is built right into the human species biologically, there are any number contexts in which self-sacrifice might make sense.

Thus this sort of thinking...

Considered from the socio-biological point of view, such altruistic behavior is merely the result of evolutionary conditioning which helps to perpetuate the species. A mother rushing into a burning house to rescue her children or a soldier throwing his body over a hand grenade to save his comrades does nothing more significant or praiseworthy, morally speaking, than a fighter ant which sacrifices itself for the sake of the ant hill. Common sense dictates that we should resist, if we can, the socio-biological pressures to such self-destructive activity and choose instead to act in our best self-interest.


...fails to acknowledge the fact that God may well not exist, yet the evolution of life on earth [given some measure of autonomy] has resulted in precisely the sort of behaviors that he claims make no sense without God.

We're still back to the same two starting points:

1] demonstrating the actual existence of God
2] demonstrating how in a No God world we can, given the evolution of life on Earth, account for such things as empathy and altruism and self-sacrifice

The philosopher of religion John Hick invites us to imagine an ant suddenly endowed with the insights of socio-biology and the freedom to make personal decisions. He writes:

Suppose him to be called upon to immolate himself for the sake of the ant-hill. He feels the powerful pressure of instinct pushing him towards this self-destruction. But he asks himself why he should voluntarily . . . carry out the suicidal programme to which instinct prompts him? Why should he regard the future existence of a million million other ants as more important to him than his own continued existence? . . . Since all that he is and has or ever can have is his own present existence, surely in so far as he is free from the domination of the blind force of instinct he will opt for life—his own life.


Exactly!

That is precisely the predicament that those of our own species confront.

And, in my view, the only way to grapple with any particular individual's choice here is embedded in dasein. Some have God, some don't. Some are ensconced in relationships that make self-sacrifice less problematic than others. Some are embedded in sets of circumstance that prompt them to choose behaviors that others couldn't even imagine.

But none of this demonstrates that God must exist in order to choose self-sacrifice. Only that with God certain things can be counted on that those in a No God world don't have access to.
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 Sep 01, 2019 8:27 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

Life is too short to jeopardize it by acting out of anything but pure self-interest. Sacrifice for another person is just stupid. Thus the absence of moral accountability from the philosophy of naturalism makes an ethic of compassion and self-sacrifice a hollow abstraction. R. Z. Friedman, a philosopher of the University of Toronto, concludes, “Without religion the coherence of an ethic of compassion cannot be established. The principle of respect for persons and the principle of the survival of the fittest are mutually exclusive.”


Yes, that is clearly a social, political and economoic narrative that can be embraced by someone who has rejected the existence of God. And, in my view, the extent to which it is seen as a reasonable perspective is rooted more in dasein than in any argument, analysis, general description etc., a philosopher can come up with.

But: a No God world does not take away the fact that whatever is behind the evolution of life on earth included in human biology the inherent capacity to feel empathy, sympathy, kindness, compassion, love, friendship etc.

And how these human-all-too-human capabilities are embodied or not embodied is then profoundly impacted by the particular hand a particular individual is dealt at birth. Here the memetic complexities built into human history and culture and personal experiences come into play.

And, in my opinion, only the authoritarian objectivist/intellectualist mentality of those like Satyr at KT and his ilk here, are foolish enough to insist that they and only they know when and where to make this distinction regarding human interactions in a No God world. Even including moral and political prescriptions/proscriptions.

We thus come to radically different perspectives on morality depending upon whether or not God exists. If God exists, there is a sound foundation for morality. If God does not exist, then, as Nietzsche saw, we are ultimately landed in nihilism.


Indeed, and I have yet myself to come upon an argument of late from any philosopher that convinces me that moral nihilism is not a reasonable frame of mind given a No God world.

Again, I'm not saying it doesn't exist, only that it doesn't exist for me.
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 promethean75 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:59 pm

Indeed, and I have yet myself to come upon an argument of late from any philosopher that convinces me that moral nihilism is not a reasonable frame of mind given a No God world.


... and even the most reasonable in a yes god world, if you ask me. the components that bring the enlightened (like moi) to nihilism are intrinsic to any kind of experience, whether it be here on earth, there in heaven, physical, spiritual, whatever. viewed sub specie aeternitatis, experience is always the same; there you are, existing again, and that's the whole story.

only after one really 'gets' this can they re-prioritize what's truly important. in philosophy, stirner the maximum was one of the few who got it.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:55 pm

promethean75 wrote:
Indeed, and I have yet myself to come upon an argument of late from any philosopher that convinces me that moral nihilism is not a reasonable frame of mind given a No God world.


... and even the most reasonable in a yes god world, if you ask me. the components that bring the enlightened (like moi) to nihilism are intrinsic to any kind of experience, whether it be here on earth, there in heaven, physical, spiritual, whatever. viewed sub specie aeternitatis, experience is always the same; there you are, existing again, and that's the whole story.

only after one really 'gets' this can they re-prioritize what's truly important. in philosophy, stirner the maximum was one of the few who got it.


But this depends entirely on how one construes an actual existing God. If, as most insist, He is both omniscient and omnipotent, folks like you and Max Stirner would be to Him as, say, a couple of ants down on the sidewalk might be to us.

But, sure, point taken.
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 06, 2019 6:54 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

The fact is that we do apprehend objective values, and we all know it. Actions like rape, torture, child abuse, and brutality are not just socially unacceptable behavior—they are moral abominations. As Ruse himself states, “The man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children is just as mistaken as the man who says, 2+2=5.”


This is where moral nihilism can leave some truly shaken. And the fact that one is disturbed by the implcations of living in a world where all things -- all things -- are permitted in the absence of God, might prompt some to reconsider.

Perhaps, given a new set of experiences, a new set of relationships and access to new ideas, I might be one of them.

I'm just not now.

In fact, there are those who rationalize all of the above behaviors merely by insisting that, from their own point of view, in the absence of God, they feel justified in choosing whatever behaviors [embodied in dasein] bring them satisfaction and fulfillment.

And I have yet to come upon a philsophical argument able to demonstrate that this is -- necessarily -- an irrational point of view.

After all, nature has certainly equipped us genetically, biologically to choose those behaviors. It just comes down to the trajectory of any particular life predisposing one person behave in a manner that predisoses another to view as a moral abomination.

And then the part where [God or No God] behaviors like abortion are seen to be moral abominations by some and political imperatives by others.

Finally, the behaviors chosen by both the religious and the secular objectivists that, in the name of God or Reason or political ideology, have visited all manner of horrific consequences upon the human species.

By the same token, love, generosity, equality, and self-sacrifice are really good. People who fail to see this are just morally handicapped, and there is no reason to allow their impaired vision to call into question what we see clearly. Thus, the existence of objective moral values serves to demonstrate the existence of God.


A classic example of something becoming true for someone because "in their head" "here and now" they believe it to be true. A "general description" of particular human qualities in which no actual context is explored and then assessed. After all, that might spoil the pristine view concocted out of a world of 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 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:55 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

Or consider the nature of moral obligation. What makes certain actions right or wrong for us? What or who imposes moral duties upon us? Why is it that we ought to do certain things and ought not to do other things? Where does this ‘ought’ come from? Traditionally, our moral obligations were thought to be laid upon us by God’s moral commands. But if we deny God’s existence, then it is difficult to make sense of moral duty or right and wrong...


In other words, it's not just a coincidence that great philosophers of the past -- from Plato to Descartes to Kant -- spoke of moral obligations on this side of the grave only by invoking a transcendent font on the other side of it.

How, in the absence of an all seeing, all knowing all powerful God, can it be demonstrated that mere mortals are obligated to do one thing rather than another?

Sure, there may be a philosophical argument out there that demonstrates this to be so. But, if so, it has not come to my attention. Or, sure, it has come to my attention but I am not sophisticated enough to grasp it.

Here I can only speculate that if this argument does in fact exist, it would have surfaced such that everyone would be talking about it. After all, what could be more important to a world bursting at the seams with the terrible consequences of conflicting goods, then to know that there is in fact a frame of mind that all rational and virtuous men and women are obligated to embody?

...as Richard Taylor explains,

A duty is something that is owed . . . . But something can be owed only to some person or persons. There can be no such thing as duty in isolation . . . . The idea of political or legal obligation is clear enough . . . . Similarly, the idea of an obligation higher than this, and referred to as moral obligation, is clear enough, provided reference to some lawmaker higher . . . . than those of the state is understood. In other words, our moral obligations can . . . be understood as those that are imposed by God. This does give a clear sense to the claim that our moral obligations are more binding upon us than our political obligations . . . . But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account? Does the concept of a moral obligation . . . still make sense? . . . . the concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart form the idea of God. The words remain, but their meaning is gone.


Humanists can then line up to clamor for a secular narrative -- their own -- said to bring all rational men and women together around one or another set of virtuous behaviors.

But, then, as they say, the rest is history.

On the other hand, Taylor's own set of assumptions doesn't bring us any closer to an actual existing God. And, of course, the irony embedded in the fact that historically [to date] conflicting beliefs in God have brought about all manner of ghastly human pain and suffering in and of itself. Continuing on into the future as we all know.
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 Sep 17, 2019 3:57 am

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

Finally....[t]o believe, then, that God does not exist and that there is thus no moral accountability would be quite literally de-moralizing, for then we should have to believe that our moral choices are ultimately insignificant, since both our fate and that of the universe will be the same regardless of what we do.


This makes little practical sense to me. How would one ever be able to demonstrate that, in the absence of God, there can be no moral accountability? And, thus, that those who choose not to believe in God would be literally demoralized?

And while value judgments concocted by mere mortals in order to facilitate human interaction from the cradle to the grave may well be construed as ultimately [essentially] insignificant, that doesn't alter the fact that their significance is very, very real within particular existing communities given that any aggregation of human beings must establish rules of behavior.

You may as well say that listening to music, or following sports, or attending the theater, is not worth pursuing because in doing so it doesn't change the universe one way or the other. In fact, why do anything at all if, in fact, everything may well be ultimately insignificant.

Does this sort of belief make food tastes less delicious, or sexual orgasms less intense, or feelings of love less fulfilling?

By “de-moralization” I mean a deterioration of moral motivation. It is hard to do the right thing when that means sacrificing one’s own self-interest and to resist temptation to do wrong when desire is strong, and the belief that ultimately it does not matter what you choose or do is apt to sap one’s moral strength and so undermine one’s moral life.


Yes, in particular contexts, construed from particular points of view, this can seem entirely reasonable. But actual flesh and blood human beings who do not believe in God are often able to construct frames of mind that allow them to sustain lives bursting at the seams with satisfaction and fulfillment.

This is basically to argue that he feels these things in contemplating a world without God, and, so, if others do not feel them, they are out of sync with the one and the only way in which one is obligated to think about moral narratives out in the world with others.

As Robert Adams observes, “Having to regard it as very likely that the history of the universe will not be good on the whole, no matter what one does, seems apt to induce a cynical sense of futility about the moral life, undermining one’s moral resolve and one’s interest in moral considerations.”


And, indeed, the components of my own moral philosophy have spawned any number of instances that can only be described as deeply cynical. There's no getting around that for me in a No Good world.

But this sort of argument stands everything on its head for me. It starts by pointing out that no one would want their life to be the embodiment of a caustic cynicism, so there needs to be a God to make that go away.

You believe in God here because, well, what else is there?
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 Sep 21, 2019 7:48 pm

I am a Gnostic Christian and hold no supernatural beliefs whatsoever.


This thing:

Gnosticism says that humans are divine souls trapped in the ordinary physical (or material) world. They say that the world was made by an imperfect spirit. The imperfect spirit is thought to be the same as the God of Abraham. ... Some Gnostic groups saw Jesus as sent by the supreme being, to bring gnosis to the Earth.

Or, rather, I suspect, one rendition of it.

My own reaction however is always the same. Don't tell me what you believe is true, show me [experientially] why I might consider believing it myself.

Then the part about what you do believe as a gnostic and how that relates [re this thread] to the behaviors you choose on this side of the grave as that pertains to what you imagine [or want] your fate to be on the other side.

Any gnostics here [or Gnostics that you know] willing to pursue this further?
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 Sep 24, 2019 6:41 pm

"Can We Be Good without God?"
William Lane Craig from the Reasonable Faith website

In summary, theological meta-ethical foundations do seem to be necessary for morality. If God does not exist, then it is plausible to think that there are no objective moral values, that we have no moral duties, and that there is no moral accountability for how we live and act.


Plausibility here is clearly in the mind of the beholder. It's just that without an existing [omniscient and omnipotent] God, I am not myself able to come up with an argument that refutes the assumption that objective morality is not in turn in the mind of the beholder of those who posit a No God world.

Many claim to have provided such an argument. Embedded in deontology or political ideology or the correct understanding of nature. But these are seen by me to be either existential or intellectual contraptions rooted in individual daseins confronting conflicted goods.

The horror of such a morally neutral world is obvious. If, on the other hand, we hold, as it seems rational to do, that objective moral values and duties do exist, then we have good grounds for believing in the existence of God.


Same here. Sans God, in my view, all things are permitted. And they are permitted because all behaviors can be rationalized. After all, historically, up to and including genocide, which behaviors haven't already been rationalized.

And then the reality of the sociopathic minds that merely assume that right and wrong revolve entirely around sustaining their own self-interests. Nothing can't be rationalized here.

In addition, we have powerful practical reasons for embracing theism in view of the morally bracing effects which belief in moral accountability produces. We cannot, then, truly be good without God; but if we can in some measure be good, then it follows that God exists.


By practical however that can mean this: even if God does not exist we have to live our lives in acting as though He does.

Then he just goes around and around in circles. Like saying God exists because it says so in the Bible. And it says so in the Bible because God exists.
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 Sep 30, 2019 6:17 pm

"What Is the Relationship Between Religion and Morality?"
Thomas Swan at the Owlcation website.

The Ubiquity of Religious Morals

Many people regard morality as evidence for supernatural intervention in human development. In every major religion, a divine influence is proposed as inspiration for texts that dictate our moral principles. Whether it is the Ten Commandments, the Five Pillars of Islam, the Eight Fold Path, or the Hindu Purusarthas, each decree guarantees a pleasant afterlife because each is endorsed by the god[s].


Exactly.

After all, there are endless threads in venues such as this in which God is discussed from many different points of view regarding many different facets of religion.

But as far as I am concerned this is by far the most pertinent discussion. If I want a "guaranteed pleasant afterlife" what exactly am I expected to do by God on this side of the grave to earn it?

That is basically the whole aim of this thread. Does God judge your behaviors on this side of the grave? If you believe that He does, how does that impact the behaviors that you choose in relationship to what you imagine the fate of "I" is on the other side of it.

Adherents of these faiths are unwilling or unable to theorize how right and wrong could have arisen without divine prescription. Nevertheless, it is of paramount importance that we understand the origins of our moral leanings. The justice system is derived from our conclusions on morality, and the actions of those who deviate from moral norms can only be understood once the root of our acceptable behavior is delineated. The dismissive quality of religious thought has prevented this understanding by attributing our good nature to supernatural beings.


This is another "for all practical purposes" relationship to ponder. Some will make the distinction between legal behavior and moral behavior and behaviors that are merely in sync with any particular "rules and regulations", however seemingly trivial or insignificant some can seem.

But it ever and always comes down to the biological evolution of life on Earth producing a species able to invent morality [philosophically or otherwise] in the first place. And it was invented because, in presuming some measure of human autonomy, we have many, many wants and needs; and not everyone can have them fulfilled without precipitating any number of conflicts. Rules of behavior are essentially the embodiment of this. Whether you call them customs or folkways or mores or regulations or laws.

And many are "unwilling or unable to theorize how right and wrong could have arisen without divine prescription" because they have been indoctrinated to embrace one or another God, or because no other explanation makes sense to them. No God becomes the equivalent of no objective morality. And, in fact, for those like me, this seems quite reasonable.
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 Oct 09, 2019 7:37 pm

"What Is the Relationship Between Religion and Morality?"
Thomas Swan at the Owlcation website.

The more a group shares and follows a common moral code, the more they will cooperate with each other. This cooperation brings success in conflicts with competitors, meaning that moral dispositions have become naturally selected facets of the human condition.


What this clearly denotes is that morality revolves first and foremost around sustaining the least dysfunctional human interactions. Thus the practicality of sustaining one rather than another set of rules in any given community is of paramount interest. Then it just comes down to what these rules are predicated on: might makes right, right makes might, democracy and the rule of law.

God and religion then become just one possible foundation upon which to actually enforce any particular behaviors.

However, we all cheat from time to time, and often the only thing that stops us from cheating is supervision by our peers. If one believes a god, spirit, or dead ancestor is watching over us, we will act as if under a permanent degree of supervision. This enhances our moral rectitude, giving religious groups an advantage over non-religious rivals.


This is something that I stress over and over again. It is only the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent God that guarantees 1] that no one can act immorally without God's knowledge and 2] that in acting immorally everyone is guaranteed to be punished by God

To me that is God in a nutshell.

We come into a particular world needing certain things to survive. And, once our needs are met, we find ourselves wanting many, many other things in turn. And this an all but certain recipe for conflict. Endless conflicts embedded in countless contexts.

Only God is [ultimately] able to referee them. He is the religious equivalent of a Supreme Court.
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 Oct 17, 2019 5:12 pm

"What Is the Relationship Between Religion and Morality?"
Thomas Swan at the Owlcation website.

We have evolved a superstitious trigger for moral behavior, which works for atheists and theists alike. An experiment by Shariff and Norenzayan showed that when people were unconsciously primed about concepts related to gods, spirits, and prophets during a task to unscramble sentences containing those words, they were more likely to be generous in an economic game. Another experiment by Jesse Bering showed that participants were less likely to cheat when they were told a ghost was in the room with them.


In fact, we don't really grasp at all what the evolution of life on Earth has predisposed us towards genetically in regard to moral behavior. It ranges from hard determinism where morality is argued to be just a psychological illusion that the brain imposes on "I", to the hard core Libertarians who insist that in the broadest sense each and every individual is wholly responsible for the behaviors that he or she chooses. And in a world in which right and wrong can be grasped equally in a wholly rational manner.

And all that experiments such as these denote are the tendencies that seem able to be captured by any number of "experts" in the soft sciences. Some having one set of tendencies, others an entirely different set. While still others embody a complex intertwining of both. Which I then basically subsume in dasein.

And which others basically subsume in one or another religious narrative.

And the more one acknowledges the complexities embedded in the relationship between the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind entangled in those parts of the brain responsible for deep seated emotional reactions and instinctual behaviors, the more problematic any one particular conclusion becomes.

Thus, humans have evolved to increase their pro-social behavior by increasing their susceptibility for belief in judgmental deities and spirits. Religious belief is inextricably linked with our sense of morality on an unconscious level. Religious belief intensifies our willingness to display moral behavior, and the need to follow a moral code reduces the scrutiny that we apply to supernatural propositions.


To speak of religious belief being intertwined [by way of the unconscious mind] in a clearly cross-culture reality of moral agendas is to suggest what exactly? How does that play out in any particular context? How do we make a proper distinction between "I" the rational assessor and "I" primordial beast?

Which, of course, is the whole point of inventing the Gods. Such distinctions are ultimately up to them. Suffice it to say though that They have given us just enough autonomy to be held accountable on 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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