on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:06 am

felix dakat wrote:In the sentence in which I used the term “problem” I thought it was clear that I was referring to a moral problem.
It seemed like a separate conclusion based on the person being a moral nihilist, but now I understand what you meant.

But the way you are using the term it seems as if your feelings about torturing babies are baseless.
I don't know what this means. They would be based on social mammalian empathy.


So I can imagine a discussion in which someone is advocating torturing babies and you're saying that you don't like the idea, but, in that social context whether to torture babies or not becomes a mere matter of personal preference. Someone could say “Let's put it on a referendum and vote on it. After all, we live in a democracy.” If the majority wants to torture babies who are we to deny them that right on the basis of our mere feelings?
I don't think of feelings as mere. I do think of hallucinated objective morals as mere. I don't know what the word 'right' actually refers to. Is it made of matter? Whether one's position is based on ideas about what is moral or on emotional reactions one can always struggle against the majority. The people who believe in things like 'rights' and 'morals' might have to back down if they believe that 'rights' trump their 'morals', or they might not. I have no need to stop struggling towards making a world that i prefer, just because many people prefer or have been manipulated into thinking they prefer a different one. Another way to put this is your use of the term 'mere' implies that there are other more solid bases for such things. I see people using their morals to justify their personal preferences all the time, as if it is not their personal preferences. I see moral as mere, mere ideas plucked from the ether. Mere thoughts. I mean, I would not base an argument, in this implicit way, by refering to them as mere thoughts. But if we are going to start referring to feelings/preferences/emotions as mere, well, thoughts can be view as mere also. And however much more base you think you have with 'rights' and 'morals' it seems to me 1) the base varies wildly person to person and no one who disagrees on moral axioms or how to prioritize seems to be able to convince others and 2) these things seem pretty darn ephemeral to me.

Nowhere above did I advocate morality on the basis of mere rules. On the contrary moral rules are best founded when they are based on the specific nature of human embodied experience that we all share. For example the so-called Golden Rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is based on empathy which is the capacity to take up the perspective of another person and to see things as that person sees them and to feel what that person feels.

It may be quite similar to empathy, but once it is a rule I think it actually can interfere with empathy, since it is 'heady'. it is also rather abstract. Individual situatoins with parasitic or rapacious individuals may not be dealt with in the best way for the individual as they try to treat this person with an abstract codified empathy rather than noticing on an emotional level that this person means to do harm and certain kinds of empathetic treatment are confused.

The Golden Rule is based upon and doesn't work without the human capacity for empathy.
If only. I see lot so of people not feeling much at all, or confusing guilt with empathy and love, but behaving 'properly'.

Oh, and by the way in a nihilist Flatland, there are no "good people."
But there are still people who I consider hating life or parasitic or to be avoided or not to be left near children or who foster life, add enjoyment or interest or can collaborate or who I like to be around, or who work towards a world or workplace or social place that I prefer. I lose nothing not have 'good' and 'evil or bad'. I can still parse the world.

And those with morals, of course, are all the time struggling with people with other morals, often in the majority. The world without morals is not flat and it does not have hallucinated justifications for its preferences. Look at all those people telling other people that they are wrong for their preferences due to some book or deduction. It's a power tool.

And look how much people confuse guilt with affection, love, empathy, not being bad and so on.

And how much people with power use ideas like 'mere emotions' to belittle, marginalize others and maintain their parasitic power.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:55 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:In the sentence in which I used the term “problem” I thought it was clear that I was referring to a moral problem.
It seemed like a separate conclusion based on the person being a moral nihilist, but now I understand what you meant.

But the way you are using the term it seems as if your feelings about torturing babies are baseless.
I don't know what this means. They would be based on social mammalian empathy.


So I can imagine a discussion in which someone is advocating torturing babies and you're saying that you don't like the idea, but, in that social context whether to torture babies or not becomes a mere matter of personal preference. Someone could say “Let's put it on a referendum and vote on it. After all, we live in a democracy.” If the majority wants to torture babies who are we to deny them that right on the basis of our mere feelings?
I don't think of feelings as mere. I do think of hallucinated objective morals as mere. I don't know what the word 'right' actually refers to. Is it made of matter? Whether one's position is based on ideas about what is moral or on emotional reactions one can always struggle against the majority. The people who believe in things like 'rights' and 'morals' might have to back down if they believe that 'rights' trump their 'morals', or they might not. I have no need to stop struggling towards making a world that i prefer, just because many people prefer or have been manipulated into thinking they prefer a different one. Another way to put this is your use of the term 'mere' implies that there are other more solid bases for such things. I see people using their morals to justify their personal preferences all the time, as if it is not their personal preferences. I see moral as mere, mere ideas plucked from the ether. Mere thoughts. I mean, I would not base an argument, in this implicit way, by refering to them as mere thoughts. But if we are going to start referring to feelings/preferences/emotions as mere, well, thoughts can be view as mere also. And however much more base you think you have with 'rights' and 'morals' it seems to me 1) the base varies wildly person to person and no one who disagrees on moral axioms or how to prioritize seems to be able to convince others and 2) these things seem pretty darn ephemeral to me.

Nowhere above did I advocate morality on the basis of mere rules. On the contrary moral rules are best founded when they are based on the specific nature of human embodied experience that we all share. For example the so-called Golden Rule "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is based on empathy which is the capacity to take up the perspective of another person and to see things as that person sees them and to feel what that person feels.

It may be quite similar to empathy, but once it is a rule I think it actually can interfere with empathy, since it is 'heady'. it is also rather abstract. Individual situatoins with parasitic or rapacious individuals may not be dealt with in the best way for the individual as they try to treat this person with an abstract codified empathy rather than noticing on an emotional level that this person means to do harm and certain kinds of empathetic treatment are confused.

The Golden Rule is based upon and doesn't work without the human capacity for empathy.
If only. I see lot so of people not feeling much at all, or confusing guilt with empathy and love, but behaving 'properly'.

Oh, and by the way in a nihilist Flatland, there are no "good people."
But there are still people who I consider hating life or parasitic or to be avoided or not to be left near children or who foster life, add enjoyment or interest or can collaborate or who I like to be around, or who work towards a world or workplace or social place that I prefer. I lose nothing not have 'good' and 'evil or bad'. I can still parse the world.

And those with morals, of course, are all the time struggling with people with other morals, often in the majority. The world without morals is not flat and it does not have hallucinated justifications for its preferences. Look at all those people telling other people that they are wrong for their preferences due to some book or deduction. It's a power tool.

And look how much people confuse guilt with affection, love, empathy, not being bad and so on.

And how much people with power use ideas like 'mere emotions' to belittle, marginalize others and maintain their parasitic power.


Okay. Sorry my words offended. By ‘mere’ I meant that if ungrounded in something objective, feelings might be arbitrary. If your feelings are based on “social mammalian empathy” they're grounded in something objective: the objective psyche of our commonly evolved human species. They’re not just arbitrary personal feelings, preferences or ‘mere’ matters of taste.

It seems to me that a morality based on human well-being has an objective basis. Moral ideals that stem from basic human concern with what is best for us and how we are to live can be studied empirically, quantified etc.

Evolutionary psychologists are investigating how morality evolved. The first evolutionary psychologist, Charles Darwin, noted that “Any animal whatever endowed with well-marked social instincts would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well or nearly as well developed as in man a moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives of approving up some and disapproving of other and the fact that man is the one being who certainly deserves this designation is the greatest of all distinctions between him and the lower animals.”

Most abstract moral concepts are structured metaphorically. While I don't accept them carte blanche, they are based on a long history of cultural evolution that may rest the survival of the species itself. So I don't necessarily reject them all as hallucinatory out of hand. All abstract thinking rests on images that arise spontaneously from the unconscious. To simply reject them as irrational may be to dissociate one's consciousness off from one’s own being. The images may be archetypal and based on our common 3.5 billion year genetic inheritance [the collective unconscious].

In the discussion of the conflict between feelings and external rules and laws, it seems we are getting into the never ending fight between autonomy [autos =self + nomos =law vs. heteronomy [heteros=strange +nomos=law]. The quest for the unity of this split in society is perhaps the greatest aspiration of the major religions.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:31 pm

felix dakat wrote:
According to https://www.etymonline.com contraption is a “slighting word for "a device, a contrivance," 1825, western England dialect, origin obscure, perhaps from con(trive) + trap, or deception.” As a “slighting word”, contraption has a negative moral denotation. In a nihilistic flatland where nothing is morally wrong, the word ‘contraption’ is meaningless. So, a basic proposition of your position is self-contradictory.


From my frame of mind, an intellectual contraption is an assessment -- basically a world of words device, contrivance -- pertaining to one or another aspect of human interaction in which there is no actual description of a context in which the interactions unfold. In particular [for me] when those interactions unfold at the existential juncture of identity, value judgments and political power.

In other words, your point above. Followed by mine. Two intellectual contraptions in which the words define and defend the meaning of other words; but the words don't make reference to any particular set of circumstances. Now, if you wish to argue that my take on it here is not "technically" correct, be my guest.

And, given my own understanding of moral nihilism, human interactions in a No God world seems to suggest [to me] a world in which conflicting moral narratives precipitating conflicting behaviors precipitating either positive or negative consequences for particular people in a particular context, there does not appear [again to me] to be a font [philosophical, scientific, natural] that mere mortals can turn to in order to establish an essential truth in regard to Good and Evil. Instead, the conflicting narratives are reflective of the manner in which I construe the meaning of identity, value judgments and political economy in my signature threads.

But, again, so far, all of this is contained in intellectual contraptions [yours and mine] predicated entirely on the meaning and the definitions given to words placed in a particular order.

That is when I insist on taking these words [mine and others] out into the world that we live in.

felix dakat wrote:Now you have issued a challenge stating”...unless you are able to provide us with an argument and a demonstration that argument which conclusively establishes how all rational people are obligated to feel about it". I don't see why that's necessary. Your position hasn't been conclusively established or demonstrated. It is but one of many possible positions. So you are asking for something you haven’t proved for your own position. Besides, in dialogue with other posters you have repeatedly demonstrated that you are not a fair broker of their ideas by being summarily dismissive. Of course, the concept of fairness is meaningless in a nihilistic Flatland.


Again, another intellectual contraption!

”...unless you are able to provide us with an argument and a demonstration that argument which conclusively establishes how all rational people are obligated to feel about it".

Exactly. But what argument made about what set of circumstances in which different people think and feel conflicting things.

The concept of fairness?

Theoretically, given conflicting concepts of fairness, is aborting a human baby moral or immoral. But: How is this the same or different from an existential assessment of an actual abortion in an actual [and entirely unique] set of circumstances?

Conceptually, when does the unborn actually become a human being? Well, let's define a human being as starting at the point of conception. Does that make it true for all practical purposes?

felix dakat wrote:I don’t know for certain that new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge won't change my mind. I don’t hold moral opinions in absolute certainty. It doesn't follow from that fact that morality is baseless.


On the contrary, human morality is anything but baseless. Instead, in my view, it is constructed historically, culturally and experientially based on many, many, many often times conflicting sets of assumptions about the human condition.

But once you acknowledge there is no font that mere mortals can turn to in order to hold moral values in "absolute certainty", then you have ask yourself how certain you can be of your own value judgments in a No God world. I simply point to components of my own here: dasein, conflicting goods, political economy.

That's how "I" have come to explain feeling fractured and fragmented. How then do those [like KT] who do not in turn believe in objective morality not feel this way?

felix dakat wrote:It's just that I have ample evidence of my own fallibility. It seems to me that as a human being you are in the same situation. It follows from that fact moral nihilism is entertainable as one of many possible moral positions. Nevertheless, because holding moral nihilism in a thoroughgoing way results in so many absurd contradictions it isn't the most probable position.


Over and again you express things like this in "general descriptions". Note a context in which you acknowledge that while there is no way in which you can embody "absolute certainty" in your value judgments, you can still claim to "have ample evidence of [your] own fallibility".

To me, there are no necessary, inherent moral failures. There is only the existential gap between what as dasein you have come to believe about right and wrong in regard to, say, citizens owning guns, and how as dasein you react to gun legislation in the world that you live in.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 felix dakat » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:30 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
According to https://www.etymonline.com contraption is a “slighting word for "a device, a contrivance," 1825, western England dialect, origin obscure, perhaps from con(trive) + trap, or deception.” As a “slighting word”, contraption has a negative moral denotation. In a nihilistic flatland where nothing is morally wrong, the word ‘contraption’ is meaningless. So, a basic proposition of your position is self-contradictory.


From my frame of mind, an intellectual contraption is an assessment -- basically a world of words device, contrivance -- pertaining to one or another aspect of human interaction in which there is no actual description of a context in which the interactions unfold. In particular [for me] when those interactions unfold at the existential juncture of identity, value judgments and political power.

In other words, your point above. Followed by mine. Two intellectual contraptions in which the words define and defend the meaning of other words; but the words don't make reference to any particular set of circumstances. Now, if you wish to argue that my take on it here is not "technically" correct, be my guest.

And, given my own understanding of moral nihilism, human interactions in a No God world seems to suggest [to me] a world in which conflicting moral narratives precipitating conflicting behaviors precipitating either positive or negative consequences for particular people in a particular context, there does not appear [again to me] to be a font [philosophical, scientific, natural] that mere mortals can turn to in order to establish an essential truth in regard to Good and Evil. Instead, the conflicting narratives are reflective of the manner in which I construe the meaning of identity, value judgments and political economy in my signature threads.

But, again, so far, all of this is contained in intellectual contraptions [yours and mine] predicated entirely on the meaning and the definitions given to words placed in a particular order.

That is when I insist on taking these words [mine and others] out into the world that we live in.

felix dakat wrote:Now you have issued a challenge stating”...unless you are able to provide us with an argument and a demonstration that argument which conclusively establishes how all rational people are obligated to feel about it". I don't see why that's necessary. Your position hasn't been conclusively established or demonstrated. It is but one of many possible positions. So you are asking for something you haven’t proved for your own position. Besides, in dialogue with other posters you have repeatedly demonstrated that you are not a fair broker of their ideas by being summarily dismissive. Of course, the concept of fairness is meaningless in a nihilistic Flatland.


Again, another intellectual contraption!

”...unless you are able to provide us with an argument and a demonstration that argument which conclusively establishes how all rational people are obligated to feel about it".

Exactly. But what argument made about what set of circumstances in which different people think and feel conflicting things.

The concept of fairness?

Theoretically, given conflicting concepts of fairness, is aborting a human baby moral or immoral. But: How is this the same or different from an existential assessment of an actual abortion in an actual [and entirely unique] set of circumstances?

Conceptually, when does the unborn actually become a human being? Well, let's define a human being as starting at the point of conception. Does that make it true for all practical purposes?

felix dakat wrote:I don’t know for certain that new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge won't change my mind. I don’t hold moral opinions in absolute certainty. It doesn't follow from that fact that morality is baseless.


On the contrary, human morality is anything but baseless. Instead, in my view, it is constructed historically, culturally and experientially based on many, many, many often times conflicting sets of assumptions about the human condition.

But once you acknowledge there is no font that mere mortals can turn to in order to hold moral values in "absolute certainty", then you have ask yourself how certain you can be of your own value judgments in a No God world. I simply point to components of my own here: dasein, conflicting goods, political economy.

That's how "I" have come to explain feeling fractured and fragmented. How then do those [like KT] who do not in turn believe in objective morality not feel this way?

felix dakat wrote:It's just that I have ample evidence of my own fallibility. It seems to me that as a human being you are in the same situation. It follows from that fact moral nihilism is entertainable as one of many possible moral positions. Nevertheless, because holding moral nihilism in a thoroughgoing way results in so many absurd contradictions it isn't the most probable position.


Over and again you express things like this in "general descriptions". Note a context in which you acknowledge that while there is no way in which you can embody "absolute certainty" in your value judgments, you can still claim to "have ample evidence of [your] own fallibility".

To me, there are no necessary, inherent moral failures. There is only the existential gap between what as dasein you have come to believe about right and wrong in regard to, say, citizens owning guns, and how as dasein you react to gun legislation in the world that you live in.


You and Hofstadler, stuck in your "strange loops". I wonder if he considers himself a moral nihilist. :-k

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:48 pm

felix dakat wrote:
You and Hofstadler, stuck in your "strange loops". I wonder if he considers himself a moral nihilist. :-k


Yes, I included quotes from him on my mundane ironist thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=179454&p=2724967&hilit=Douglas+Hofstadter#p2724967

Perhaps, given the "six degrees of separation" approach to human interactions, someone here knows someone who knows someone else who knows him and can invite him to explore moral nihilism with me on this thread.

Well, in regard to a particular context of course. :wink:
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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 Karpel Tunnel » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:56 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Okay. Sorry my words offended. By ‘mere’ I meant that if ungrounded in something objective, feelings might be arbitrary.
I wasn't offended. It was a mere claim (lol). IOW if you are going to say feelings are 'mere' , iow merely feelings, then you need to explain why they are mere, as you have started to do here and also demonstrate that whatever you are contrasting as a base for preferences is not mere. I see systems of morals as arbritrary (and they certainly seem to contradict each other and find no way to reconcile their opposed axioms, and these are based on thoughts, phantoms of the mind. In Zen meditation thoughts and feelings both arise and disappear. They are either both mere or neither, it seems to me, for example.

If your feelings are based on “social mammalian empathy” they're grounded in something objective: the objective psyche of our commonly evolved human species.
Potentially. Of course we differ.

They’re not just arbitrary personal feelings, preferences or ‘mere’ matters of taste.
I wasn't claiming that my social mammal empathy was universal. I was saying that my preferences come out of my version of that. They are the result of a long, long process of development, I think. That does not mean they are right or good, but they do have a ground.

It seems to me that a morality based on human well-being has an objective basis. Moral ideals that stem from basic human concern with what is best for us and how we are to live can be studied empirically, quantified etc.
Unfortunately best is value laden and one could think all sorts of harsh and violent customs are useful for example. Spartans for example would treat children radically differently than most of us would. I don't say that indicting these must be wrong, just that most people here would not like some of the customs that some other people think are for our best.

Evolutionary psychologists are investigating how morality evolved. The first evolutionary psychologist, Charles Darwin, noted that “Any animal whatever endowed with well-marked social instincts would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well or nearly as well developed as in man a moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives of approving up some and disapproving of other and the fact that man is the one being who certainly deserves this designation is the greatest of all distinctions between him and the lower animals.”

Most abstract moral concepts are structured metaphorically. While I don't accept them carte blanche, they are based on a long history of cultural evolution that may rest the survival of the species itself. So I don't necessarily reject them all as hallucinatory out of hand. All abstract thinking rests on images that arise spontaneously from the unconscious. To simply reject them as irrational may be to dissociate one's consciousness off from one’s own being. The images may be archetypal and based on our common 3.5 billion year genetic inheritance [the collective unconscious].

In the discussion of the conflict between feelings and external rules and laws, it seems we are getting into the never ending fight between autonomy [autos =self + nomos =law vs. heteronomy [heteros=strange +nomos=law]. The quest for the unity of this split in society is perhaps the greatest aspiration of the major religions.
It seems to me much of this could be in support of preferences based on emotions and desires. I don't reject morals, I just don't think that way. IOW the while I avoid breaking quite a number of the ten commandments,but not because I think they are objective morals evil to brea, from God or from some other objectivity. I prefer not to murder or commit adultery. So, I don't reject the preferences, I just see t hem as preferences.

I also do not see my emotions and preferences resolving conflicting goods ( re:iamg's eternal project). I am not saying I have the solution to the various moral conflicts out there. I am just explaining that one can passionately want, for example, society to be certain ways, to have certain kinds of social interactions and not others, to be concerned about others, even plants and animals and strangers, and yet at the same time not believe in objective morals. Of course the ideal would be for each type of person to have their own world. Let those who yearn for war and strict hierarchy and control of emotions, desires and bodies at all times, have their own little planet to have their wars on. I certainly wouldn't begrudge them that as long as they were all consenting.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Ecmandu » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:54 pm

The Bible never said “don’t rape people”

The Bible is a book written by men, not a hypothetical god.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:37 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Okay. Sorry my words offended. By ‘mere’ I meant that if ungrounded in something objective, feelings might be arbitrary.
I wasn't offended. It was a mere claim (lol). IOW if you are going to say feelings are 'mere' , iow merely feelings, then you need to explain why they are mere, as you have started to do here and also demonstrate that whatever you are contrasting as a base for preferences is not mere. I see systems of morals as arbritrary (and they certainly seem to contradict each other and find no way to reconcile their opposed axioms, and these are based on thoughts, phantoms of the mind. In Zen meditation thoughts and feelings both arise and disappear. They are either both mere or neither, it seems to me, for example.

If your feelings are based on “social mammalian empathy” they're grounded in something objective: the objective psyche of our commonly evolved human species.
Potentially. Of course we differ.

They’re not just arbitrary personal feelings, preferences or ‘mere’ matters of taste.
I wasn't claiming that my social mammal empathy was universal. I was saying that my preferences come out of my version of that. They are the result of a long, long process of development, I think. That does not mean they are right or good, but they do have a ground.

It seems to me that a morality based on human well-being has an objective basis. Moral ideals that stem from basic human concern with what is best for us and how we are to live can be studied empirically, quantified etc.
Unfortunately best is value laden and one could think all sorts of harsh and violent customs are useful for example. Spartans for example would treat children radically differently than most of us would. I don't say that indicting these must be wrong, just that most people here would not like some of the customs that some other people think are for our best.

Evolutionary psychologists are investigating how morality evolved. The first evolutionary psychologist, Charles Darwin, noted that “Any animal whatever endowed with well-marked social instincts would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well or nearly as well developed as in man a moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives of approving up some and disapproving of other and the fact that man is the one being who certainly deserves this designation is the greatest of all distinctions between him and the lower animals.”

Most abstract moral concepts are structured metaphorically. While I don't accept them carte blanche, they are based on a long history of cultural evolution that may rest the survival of the species itself. So I don't necessarily reject them all as hallucinatory out of hand. All abstract thinking rests on images that arise spontaneously from the unconscious. To simply reject them as irrational may be to dissociate one's consciousness off from one’s own being. The images may be archetypal and based on our common 3.5 billion year genetic inheritance [the collective unconscious].

In the discussion of the conflict between feelings and external rules and laws, it seems we are getting into the never ending fight between autonomy [autos =self + nomos =law vs. heteronomy [heteros=strange +nomos=law]. The quest for the unity of this split in society is perhaps the greatest aspiration of the major religions.
It seems to me much of this could be in support of preferences based on emotions and desires. I don't reject morals, I just don't think that way. IOW the while I avoid breaking quite a number of the ten commandments,but not because I think they are objective morals evil to brea, from God or from some other objectivity. I prefer not to murder or commit adultery. So, I don't reject the preferences, I just see t hem as preferences.

I also do not see my emotions and preferences resolving conflicting goods ( re:iamg's eternal project). I am not saying I have the solution to the various moral conflicts out there. I am just explaining that one can passionately want, for example, society to be certain ways, to have certain kinds of social interactions and not others, to be concerned about others, even plants and animals and strangers, and yet at the same time not believe in objective morals. Of course the ideal would be for each type of person to have their own world. Let those who yearn for war and strict hierarchy and control of emotions, desires and bodies at all times, have their own little planet to have their wars on. I certainly wouldn't begrudge them that as long as they were all consenting.

Of course morality is not objective in the same way trees rocks and pencils are. But, at the very least, some feelings about what is good or what is bad may be grounded in better arguments than others and thus achieve "objectivity" in the metaphorical sense of reasonable inter sub jective consensus.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:59 pm

Ecmandu wrote:The Bible never said “don’t rape people”

The Bible is a book written by men, not a hypothetical god.


"From the book of Deuteronomy which is in the Bible:
But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then only the man that lay with her shall die. But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her."

None of the books of the Bible claim for themselves that they were written by God.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby MagsJ » Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:40 pm

felix dakat wrote:"From the book of Deuteronomy which is in the Bible:
But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then only the man that lay with her shall die. But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her."

None of the books of the Bible claim for themselves that they were written by God.

This person always seems to want to ease his mind and absolve himself from past transgressions, which he involved the whole forum in by accusing all of having transgressed or suffered from such transgressions, as having acted likewise.

Fact-checking is a good skill to exercise, when facts are key, in supporting any argument.
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I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:17 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Ecmandu wrote:The Bible never said “don’t rape people”

The Bible is a book written by men, not a hypothetical god.


"From the book of Deuteronomy which is in the Bible:
But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then only the man that lay with her shall die. But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her."

None of the books of the Bible claim for themselves that they were written by God.
The Bible is pretty anti-sex outside of marriage and rape being a form of sex plus violence would be especially problematic after the NT and the whole do unto others as you....etc. Now some men might come up with a self-seving way of interpreting jesus, there. Like well if I were her I would want to have sex with me. But there are some minds that can come up with anything to miss the point. This would all leave rape within marriage the only possible acceptable rape. But then, it doesn't pass muster for Jesus' general moral heuristic either and love is suppose to be the quality of the relation.

The Bible never said don't put razor blades in apples on Halloween either, but I think we can come up with what Jesus would have suggested about this.

Not that I am a big fan of the bible or think it is the pure word of God, etc.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:05 pm

The Meaning of Life
Daniel Hill argues that without God, life would be meaningless.

...atheists must necessarily deny that life has a meaning, since no overall complete explanation of the existence of living things could be given in terms of the purposes of any set of non-divine agents. Theists, on the other hand, believe that God’s purposes form a necessary condition of all life (apart from God’s), and perhaps a sufficient condition too.


Again, the important distinction here is between an overall essential meaning applicable to everyone and an existential meaning embodied in and through each and every individual. In other words, for many, the fact that different people in different sets of historical, cultural and interpersonal circumstances find meaning in different things for different reasons isn't acceptable. There has to be someone or something they can go to in order to "officiate" when disputes break out over that which the objectivists among us insist that all reasonable and virtuous men and women are obligated to find meaningful. And for the right reasons.

Thus, historically, being either "one of us" or "one of them".

On the other hand, it's impractical for any atheists who choose to interact with others, not to accept that, one way or another, meaning is going to be a part of their lives. It's inherently a manifestation of all human social, political and economic interactions. Here things come to be more or less meaningful for each of us in any particular context.

Then distinctions can be made between meaning in the either/or world and meaning in the world of conflicting value judgments. Then [from my frame of mind in a No God world] it comes down to how "fractured and fragmented" the self becomes [for all practical purposes] in interacting with others.

Certainly they will say that the union of the set of God’s purposes and the set of the purposes of all parents will be a sufficient condition, since any physical factor is reducible to one of these sets. So, for a theist, the meaning of life will be given in terms of the purposes of God and parents. God’s purposes are more important because if, as scientists tell us, there was once at least one first living thing in the world, then that thing’s existence can be given meaning only in terms of God’s purposes. Secondly, it seems to follow from God’s omnipotence that God’s will is a necessary condition for any parent producing a child. So God, being rational, has a purpose of some kind behind the existence of every life.


This, of course, is just one line of reasoning that those who embrace God and/or a No God religious narrative can take. First God and/or one or another pantheistic "entity", then the parents/community whose job it is to pass down the ultimate meaning of life to the children. Then on and on into the furture where for most religions there is for each and everyone of us Judgment Day.

Though, clearly, the extent to which science is thrown into the mix here, will vary considerably. At least in the modern world where science is everywhere.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:40 pm

iambiguous wrote:The Meaning of Life
Daniel Hill argues that without God, life would be meaningless.

...atheists must necessarily deny that life has a meaning, since no overall complete explanation of the existence of living things could be given in terms of the purposes of any set of non-divine agents. Theists, on the other hand, believe that God’s purposes form a necessary condition of all life (apart from God’s), and perhaps a sufficient condition too.


Again, the important distinction here is between an overall essential meaning applicable to everyone and an existential meaning embodied in and through each and every individual. In other words, for many, the fact that different people in different sets of historical, cultural and interpersonal circumstances find meaning in different things for different reasons isn't acceptable. There has to be someone or something they can go to in order to "officiate" when disputes break out over that which the objectivists among us insist that all reasonable and virtuous men and women are obligated to find meaningful. And for the right reasons.

Thus, historically, being either "one of us" or "one of them".

On the other hand, it's impractical for any atheists who choose to interact with others, not to accept that, one way or another, meaning is going to be a part of their lives. It's inherently a manifestation of all human social, political and economic interactions. Here things come to be more or less meaningful for each of us in any particular context.

Then distinctions can be made between meaning in the either/or world and meaning in the world of conflicting value judgments. Then [from my frame of mind in a No God world] it comes down to how "fractured and fragmented" the self becomes [for all practical purposes] in interacting with others.

Certainly they will say that the union of the set of God’s purposes and the set of the purposes of all parents will be a sufficient condition, since any physical factor is reducible to one of these sets. So, for a theist, the meaning of life will be given in terms of the purposes of God and parents. God’s purposes are more important because if, as scientists tell us, there was once at least one first living thing in the world, then that thing’s existence can be given meaning only in terms of God’s purposes. Secondly, it seems to follow from God’s omnipotence that God’s will is a necessary condition for any parent producing a child. So God, being rational, has a purpose of some kind behind the existence of every life.


This, of course, is just one line of reasoning that those who embrace God and/or a No God religious narrative can take. First God and/or one or another pantheistic "entity", then the parents/community whose job it is to pass down the ultimate meaning of life to the children. Then on and on into the furture where for most religions there is for each and everyone of us Judgment Day.

Though, clearly, the extent to which science is thrown into the mix here, will vary considerably. At least in the modern world where science is everywhere.


It seems to me that "meaning of life" is a metaphor which implies that there is something outside of or beyond life that life refers to like a word refers to an object. So the trope "meaning of life " implies transcendence. Of course, to me transcendence isn't necessarily theistic in the narrow sense that you describe it. Anyway, the metaphor seems to depend on a cognitive frame implying transcendence. So if you remove transcendence as a possibility, the expression "meaning of life" has no meaning.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby promethean75 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:27 pm

i've got this excellent essay in a book somewhere but i ain't about to type the thing out and i can't find it online... but there is this:

https://reasonandmeaning.com/2015/11/23 ... he-absurd/

philosopher's have been wrestling with 'meaninglessness' for thousands of years... and yet it didn't take nagel three pages to ...
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:03 pm

promethean75 wrote:i've got this excellent essay in a book somewhere but i ain't about to type the thing out and i can't find it online... but there is this:

https://reasonandmeaning.com/2015/11/23 ... he-absurd/

philosopher's have been wrestling with 'meaninglessness' for thousands of years... and yet it didn't take nagel three pages to ...

Read and appreciated Nagel's "Vew from Nowhere". Still, the unconscious psyche speaks to us in images including those of transcendence. The insights of Newton, Darwin and Einstein came in images not hypotheses or conclusions drawn from logical deduction. There is more to reality than the divided self of the western modern mindset which dismisses it or tries to explain it away.

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:04 pm

felix dakat wrote:
It seems to me that "meaning of life" is a metaphor which implies that there is something outside of or beyond life that life refers to like a word refers to an object. So the trope "meaning of life " implies transcendence. Of course, to me transcendence isn't necessarily theistic in the narrow sense that you describe it. Anyway, the metaphor seems to depend on a cognitive frame implying transcendence. So if you remove transcendence as a possibility, the expression "meaning of life" has no meaning.


Again, another intellectual contraption.

From the perspective of God and religion, coupled with the manner in which I choose to approach them here, the "meaning of life" revolves around one or another denominational narrative, such that meaning becomes the embodiment of the "will of God". That becomes the overarching teleological component of one's life -- either from the perspective of Western faiths or Eastern faiths.

Religious agendas, in other words, that revolve around this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism

But my aim is to go beyond general descriptions of one's faith and focus instead on how one intertwines one's beliefs and value judgments in the behaviors that one chooses on this side of the grave. As that pertains to one's belief about the fate of "I" on the other side of it.

Thus, in any particular context, what is meaningful to you? Why is it meaningful to you? How, in the course of living your life, did that meaning come about? How is that meaning related to your religious beliefs? How did those beliefs in turn come about given the agglomeration of a particular set of experiences?

And then the part where the religious folks here go beyond merely stating what they believe and attempt in turn to demonstrate through descriptions of actual experiences and an accumulation of substantive evidence why and how what they believe goes beyond just what is all "in their heads".

Yet 67 pages into this thread, and how often has that sort of exchange unfolded?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:18 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
It seems to me that "meaning of life" is a metaphor which implies that there is something outside of or beyond life that life refers to like a word refers to an object. So the trope "meaning of life " implies transcendence. Of course, to me transcendence isn't necessarily theistic in the narrow sense that you describe it. Anyway, the metaphor seems to depend on a cognitive frame implying transcendence. So if you remove transcendence as a possibility, the expression "meaning of life" has no meaning.


Again, another intellectual contraption.

From the perspective of God and religion, coupled with the manner in which I choose to approach them here, the "meaning of life" revolves around one or another denominational narrative, such that meaning becomes the embodiment of the "will of God". That becomes the overarching teleological component of one's life -- either from the perspective of Western faiths or Eastern faiths.

Religious agendas, in other words, that revolve around this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism

But my aim is to go beyond general descriptions of one's faith and focus instead on how one intertwines one's beliefs and value judgments in the behaviors that one chooses on this side of the grave. As that pertains to one's belief about the fate of "I" on the other side of it.

Thus, in any particular context, what is meaningful to you? Why is it meaningful to you? How, in the course of living your life, did that meaning come about? How is that meaning related to your religious beliefs? How did those beliefs in turn come about given the agglomeration of a particular set of experiences?

And then the part where the religious folks here go beyond merely stating what they believe and attempt in turn to demonstrate through descriptions of actual experiences and an accumulation of substantive evidence why and how what they believe goes beyond just what is all "in their heads".

Yet 67 pages into this thread, and how often has that sort of exchange unfolded?

What you did right there I dismiss as an intellectual contraption. That was easy. It didn't require a reasonable argument or even that I comprehended what you meant. That's how you dismiss people's thought on virtually every one of your posts. Why would anyone bother to play your game according to your "heads I win tails you lose" rules?

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:46 pm

iambiguous wrote:Thus, in any particular context, what is meaningful to you? Why is it meaningful to you? How, in the course of living your life, did that meaning come about? How is that meaning related to your religious beliefs? How did those beliefs in turn come about given the agglomeration of a particular set of experiences?

And then the part where the religious folks here go beyond merely stating what they believe and attempt in turn to demonstrate through descriptions of actual experiences and an accumulation of substantive evidence why and how what they believe goes beyond just what is all "in their heads".


felix dakat wrote: What you did right there I dismiss as an intellectual contraption. That was easy. It didn't require a reasonable argument or even that I comprehended what you meant. That's how you dismiss people's thought on virtually every one of your posts. Why would anyone bother to play your game according to your "heads I win tails you lose" rules?


In my view, you point this out only in order to avoid [over and over again] discussing in detail your own chosen behaviors on this side of the grave, as that pertains to your religious beliefs, as that pertains to what you believe about the fate of your own particular "I" on the other side of the grave.

Let alone in supplying us with actual evidence able to demonstrate that what you believe here is in fact true.

So, again:

...in any particular context, what is meaningful to you? Why is it meaningful to you? How, in the course of living your life, did that meaning come about? How is that meaning related to your religious beliefs? How did those beliefs in turn come about given the agglomeration of a particular set of experiences.


Or, once again, wiggle out of going there by making me the issue instead.

Oh, and how on earth do I win anything here? I don't believe in the "real me" able to be in sync with "the right thing to do" on this side of the grave. I don't have that to comfort and console me. On the contrary, to me it seems reasonable to assess the human condition as encompassing what appears to be, in a No God universe, an essentially meaningless existence. And one that ends in the obliteration of "I" for all of eternity after I tumble over into the abyss that is death.

Now, of course, I am no more able to demonstrate that this is true than you can your own beliefs. Instead, I can only point to the accumulattion of personal experiences that I have had that predispose me existentially to believe what I do "here and now".

It's just when I suggest this appears to be applicable to everyone that the objectivists will often become rather apoplectic.
Objectivists: Like shooting fish in a barrel!

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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