on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:07 pm

felix dakat wrote:
That love is built into us by evolution doesn't support the conclusion that there is no ultimate moral truth. On the contrary it can be interpreted as evidence that morality is built into the structure of reality.


I agree. In fact, over and over again, I point out that until we have a comprehensive understanding of the "human condition" as it is situated necessarily in a comprehensive understanding of existence itself, the truth about human morality can be embedded in any number of conflicting sets of assumptions.

But, in the interim, we are still stuck with defending our own values in regard to either conflicting goods or in regard to life itself.

felix dakat wrote:Be that as it may, by admitting love for persons and things of your own choosing, you're already one step away from that meta-ethical position I would call moral nihilism wherein it’s totally means whether you love or not. You already rejected that position after you read it into my epicurean proposition above regarding death.


No, this is you making claims about what I claim here. What I claim instead is that here and now moral nihilism seems reasonable to me given the manner in "I" have, over the course of living my life, been predisposed to think and to feel about it as I do. I'm certainly not suggesting that it is any less my own existential contraption. In other words, as with your own views "here and now", ever subject to change given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information, knowledge and ideas.

Right? That is how our value judgments evolve from the cradle to the grave given the ubiquitous presence of contingency, chance and change.

felix dakat wrote:And given that you do love, how can you deny the anxiety that you might not be loving rightly, or the right persons, or loving enough? That anxiety is the expression of the moral imperative. It’s clearly the motivation behind the questioning that drives you on this thread.


Well, first, of course, someone would have to convince me that they do love in the right way. And then explain to me why, since I don't love as they do, I Iove in the wrong way. And then move on to the things that all rational men and women are obligated to either love or not to love. Again, including life itself.

And what does that involve? Well, for one thing, abandoning these general description intellectual contraptions and focusing in on a particular context. For example, if John loves men as romatic partners, is he loving in the wrong way?
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 » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:57 am

Convince you? Convince me that you possess sufficient openness to ever change your positions on these issues. Meanwhile, for a laugh, try to imagine how this story might apply here:

"Kilgore Trout once wrote a story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne."
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:20 pm

felix dakat wrote:Convince you? Convince me that you possess sufficient openness to ever change your positions on these issues. Meanwhile, for a laugh, try to imagine how this story might apply here:

"Kilgore Trout once wrote a story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne."


From my frame of mind, you do not even attempt to respond to the points I raised in my last post.

My last point in particular:

Well, first, of course, someone would have to convince me that they do love in the right way. And then explain to me why, since I don't love as they do, I Iove in the wrong way. And then move on to the things that all rational men and women are obligated to either love or not to love. Again, including life itself.

And what does that involve? Well, for one thing, abandoning these general description intellectual contraptions and focusing in on a particular context. For example, if John loves men as romantic partners, is he loving in the wrong way?


Instead, I become the problem. My refusal to seriously consider the arguments of others.

Of course that accusation comes up here a lot at ILP. Especially among the objectivists who are ever and always flabbergasted when others do not accept their own argument.

You're not one of them, are you? :wink:

As for Kilgore Trout's story, you'll have to explain more fully what on earth that has to do with you and I discussing God and religion.
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 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:20 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Convince you? Convince me that you possess sufficient openness to ever change your positions on these issues. Meanwhile, for a laugh, try to imagine how this story might apply here:

"Kilgore Trout once wrote a story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne."


From my frame of mind, you do not even attempt to respond to the points I raised in my last post.

My last point in particular:

Well, first, of course, someone would have to convince me that they do love in the right way. And then explain to me why, since I don't love as they do, I Iove in the wrong way. And then move on to the things that all rational men and women are obligated to either love or not to love. Again, including life itself.

And what does that involve? Well, for one thing, abandoning these general description intellectual contraptions and focusing in on a particular context. For example, if John loves men as romantic partners, is he loving in the wrong way?


Instead, I become the problem. My refusal to seriously consider the arguments of others.

Of course that accusation comes up here a lot at ILP. Especially among the objectivists who are ever and always flabbergasted when others do not accept their own argument.

You're not one of them, are you? :wink:

As for Kilgore Trout's story, you'll have to explain more fully what on earth that has to do with you and I discussing God and religion.


Are you putting me on? Back when I was doing psychotherapy I used to ask clients to interpret proverbs to test their abstract ability. If you seriously cannot see how the Kilgore trout story could be absurdly analogous to what we're doing here, your repeated responses that you don't know “what on Earth” I'm talking about may be because you lack of necessary abstract ability.

You want to play this dialogue game according to a rigid set of rules of your own design whereas what I am doing is stepping back to analyze your process of interaction as imminently instantiating a morality that you deny has objective validity. My position is that I don’t know, but I’m open to the possibility. For all I know, we could be making champagne for the gods.

The categorical moral imperative seems to me to be the case existentially on the basis that we manifestly have one life to live, so we want to get it right whatever that means to us as individuals. Your anxiety about moral issues results from that. The morality that arises out of that is embodied and situational and uncertain. But experiences teach us that we damn well better get it right because there will be consequences. So, moral uncertainty doesn’t lead me to nihilism.

I pay attention to my moral intuitions. For example, I value compassion, which I define (following Mencius) as the inability to bear the suffering of others. As such, it’s built into me. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have other competing interests that are working in and through me either. Or that I don't feel guilt and uncertainty about whatever road I travel or leave untraveled. I understand such to be the finite freedom of human existence.

As far as your example, “if John loves men as romantic partners, is he loving in the wrong way?” if you demonstrate you understand “what on Earth” I’ve been talking about heretofore , I might take such issues up with you. Otherwise, what’s the point?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:07 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Are you putting me on? Back when I was doing psychotherapy I used to ask clients to interpret proverbs to test their abstract ability. If you seriously cannot see how the Kilgore trout story could be absurdly analogous to what we're doing here, your repeated responses that you don't know “what on Earth” I'm talking about may be because you lack of necessary abstract ability.


Note to others:

How do you think his point above [and Kilgore's story] is applicable to my point below:

Well, first, of course, someone would have to convince me that they do love in the right way. And then explain to me why, since I don't love as they do, I Iove in the wrong way. And then move on to the things that all rational men and women are obligated to either love or not to love. Again, including life itself.


His clients may well have any number of conflicting points of view regarding the right way and the wrong way to love. Based on any number of conflicting moral narratives [God or No God] and political prejudices. Based on any number of conflicting sets of experience. Either he can tell them that in regard to their their interactions with others...interactions in which conflicting assumptions about love come into play...might makes right, right makes might or moderation, negotiation and compromise are more applicable. But what we will need first and foremost is an actual context in which to share thoughts and feelings.

And even our interpretation of proverbs -- https://www.phrasemix.com/collections/t ... h-proverbs -- is largely subjective. Is there always a right way and a wrong way to grasp them? Or is that too embodied subjectively in dasein?

Ever and always it depends on the context and one's point of view.

Take number one:

"Two wrongs don't make a right."
When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.


Again, from my frame of mind, that you "understand" what it means does not make the way you do understand it the "right way" to understand it. It always depends on the particular context, viewed in a particular way.

Such that the stakes involved may be seen from conflicted points of view.

felix dakat wrote:You want to play this dialogue game according to a rigid set of rules of your own design whereas what I am doing is stepping back to analyze your process of interaction as imminently instantiating a morality that you deny has objective validity. My position is that I don’t know, but I’m open to the possibility. For all I know, we could be making champagne for the gods.


Quite the contrary, I want to bring the dialogue [in regard to love or anything else] out into the world of actual human interactions. And [on this thread] to speculate on the reasons why we choose the rules of behavior that we do here and now given the assumptions we make about the rules of behavior there and then.

And, in fact, I don't know either. Only this is predicated on the manner in which I construe the meaning of "I" as the embodiment of dasein. My "I" here is fractured and fragmented in way that yours may not be. Why is that? This is what I wish to explore.

And then on top of that I have to contend with the uncertainty I live with even in regard to human autonomy itself!

felix dakat wrote: The categorical moral imperative seems to me to be the case existentially on the basis that we manifestly have one life to live, so we want to get it right whatever that means to us as individuals. Your anxiety about moral issues results from that. The morality that arises out of that is embodied and situational and uncertain. But experiences teach us that we damn well better get it right because there will be consequences. So, moral uncertainty doesn’t lead me to nihilism.


Again, how is this not just one more "general description intellectual contraption"? What we need to do is to note our moral positions in regard to a particular set of circumstances and describe what behaviors we might choose. The assumptions I make here revolve around the points I raise on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

So, in regard to your current moral assumptions about aborting the unborn, how would you describe your own existential trajectory? As that relates to your beliefs regarding God and religion.

felix dakat wrote: I pay attention to my moral intuitions. For example, I value compassion, which I define (following Mencius) as the inability to bear the suffering of others. As such, it’s built into me. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have other competing interests that are working in and through me either. Or that I don't feel guilt and uncertainty about whatever road I travel or leave untraveled. I understand such to be the finite freedom of human existence.


Again, wholly abstract. The bottom line out in the world that we live in is that convictions of this sort will often collide with the convictions of others who insist that the actual rules of behaviors and the laws in any given community be one way rather than another.

And, from my frame of mind, your moral "intuitions" are no less rooted existentially in dasein than theirs. Re either a God or a No God world.

This is the part in my view that the objectivists become most riled up about. Just as many reacted to Nietzsche's "God is dead" prediction by insisting that God must exist, objectivists react to the components of my own moral philosophy by insisting that the real me in sync with the right thing to do must exist.

After all, look at the consequences for the is/ought world if both God and "I" are largely existential contraptions rooted in a particular world understood subjectively/subjunctively in a particular way.

felix dakat wrote: As far as your example, “if John loves men as romantic partners, is he loving in the wrong way?” if you demonstrate you understand “what on Earth” I’ve been talking about heretofore , I might take such issues up with you. Otherwise, what’s the point?


Then we're stuck. Why? Because, from my end, you need to demonstrate to me that you understand the manner in which I understand "I" as the existential embodiment of dasein in regard to individual religious, moral and political prejudices in regard to homosexuality down through the ages.
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 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:17 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Are you putting me on? Back when I was doing psychotherapy I used to ask clients to interpret proverbs to test their abstract ability. If you seriously cannot see how the Kilgore trout story could be absurdly analogous to what we're doing here, your repeated responses that you don't know “what on Earth” I'm talking about may be because you lack of necessary abstract ability.


Note to others:

How do you think his point above [and Kilgore's story] is applicable to my point below:

Well, first, of course, someone would have to convince me that they do love in the right way. And then explain to me why, since I don't love as they do, I Iove in the wrong way. And then move on to the things that all rational men and women are obligated to either love or not to love. Again, including life itself.


His clients may well have any number of conflicting points of view regarding the right way and the wrong way to love. Based on any number of conflicting moral narratives [God or No God] and political prejudices. Based on any number of conflicting sets of experience. Either he can tell them that in regard to their their interactions with others...interactions in which conflicting assumptions about love come into play...might makes right, right makes might or moderation, negotiation and compromise are more applicable. But what we will need first and foremost is an actual context in which to share thoughts and feelings.

And even our interpretation of proverbs -- https://www.phrasemix.com/collections/t ... h-proverbs -- is largely subjective. Is there always a right way and a wrong way to grasp them? Or is that too embodied subjectively in dasein?

Ever and always it depends on the context and one's point of view.

Take number one:

"Two wrongs don't make a right."
When someone has done something bad to you, trying to get revenge will only make things worse.


Again, from my frame of mind, that you "understand" what it means does not make the way you do understand it the "right way" to understand it. It always depends on the particular context, viewed in a particular way.

Such that the stakes involved may be seen from conflicted points of view.

felix dakat wrote:You want to play this dialogue game according to a rigid set of rules of your own design whereas what I am doing is stepping back to analyze your process of interaction as imminently instantiating a morality that you deny has objective validity. My position is that I don’t know, but I’m open to the possibility. For all I know, we could be making champagne for the gods.


Quite the contrary, I want to bring the dialogue [in regard to love or anything else] out into the world of actual human interactions. And [on this thread] to speculate on the reasons why we choose the rules of behavior that we do here and now given the assumptions we make about the rules of behavior there and then.

And, in fact, I don't know either. Only this is predicated on the manner in which I construe the meaning of "I" as the embodiment of dasein. My "I" here is fractured and fragmented in way that yours may not be. Why is that? This is what I wish to explore.

And then on top of that I have to contend with the uncertainty I live with even in regard to human autonomy itself!

felix dakat wrote: The categorical moral imperative seems to me to be the case existentially on the basis that we manifestly have one life to live, so we want to get it right whatever that means to us as individuals. Your anxiety about moral issues results from that. The morality that arises out of that is embodied and situational and uncertain. But experiences teach us that we damn well better get it right because there will be consequences. So, moral uncertainty doesn’t lead me to nihilism.


Again, how is this not just one more "general description intellectual contraption"? What we need to do is to note our moral positions in regard to a particular set of circumstances and describe what behaviors we might choose. The assumptions I make here revolve around the points I raise on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382

So, in regard to your current moral assumptions about aborting the unborn, how would you describe your own existential trajectory? As that relates to your beliefs regarding God and religion.

felix dakat wrote: I pay attention to my moral intuitions. For example, I value compassion, which I define (following Mencius) as the inability to bear the suffering of others. As such, it’s built into me. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have other competing interests that are working in and through me either. Or that I don't feel guilt and uncertainty about whatever road I travel or leave untraveled. I understand such to be the finite freedom of human existence.


Again, wholly abstract. The bottom line out in the world that we live in is that convictions of this sort will often collide with the convictions of others who insist that the actual rules of behaviors and the laws in any given community be one way rather than another.

And, from my frame of mind, your moral "intuitions" are no less rooted existentially in dasein than theirs. Re either a God or a No God world.

This is the part in my view that the objectivists become most riled up about. Just as many reacted to Nietzsche's "God is dead" prediction by insisting that God must exist, objectivists react to the components of my own moral philosophy by insisting that the real me in sync with the right thing to do must exist.

After all, look at the consequences for the is/ought world if both God and "I" are largely existential contraptions rooted in a particular world understood subjectively/subjunctively in a particular way.

felix dakat wrote: As far as your example, “if John loves men as romantic partners, is he loving in the wrong way?” if you demonstrate you understand “what on Earth” I’ve been talking about heretofore , I might take such issues up with you. Otherwise, what’s the point?


Then we're stuck. Why? Because, from my end, you need to demonstrate to me that you understand the manner in which I understand "I" as the existential embodiment of dasein in regard to individual religious, moral and political prejudices in regard to homosexuality down through the ages.

Here's a thought experiment: imagine that viewing one's own subjectivity as a contraption is a form of depersonalization let's call it Heidegger's syndrome. Now maybe if someone infected with such disease was truly motivated to get off their ass and go see a psychotherapist they may after exerting much time and effort be cured and become a fully functioning person again. On the other hand if they were unmotivated they might just go on some random philosophical forum and see if they couldn't drag other persons down into their hellhole of depersonalization with them. What are the moral implications of that scenario do you suppose?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
Soren Kierkegaard– Journals, 432
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:39 pm

Felix: there are many sadly funny things in his response to you but here's a habit of his. Here he accuses you of being abstract and then writes...abstractly, as per usual.
iambiguous wrote:Again, wholly abstract. [the pejorative here is abstract, lol, and the ironically followed by...] The bottom line out in the world that we live in is that convictions of this sort will often collide with the convictions of others who insist that the actual rules of behaviors and the laws in any given community be one way rather than another.

And, from my frame of mind, your moral "intuitions" are no less rooted existentially in dasein than theirs. Re either a God or a No God world.

This is the part in my view that the objectivists become most riled up about. Just as many reacted to Nietzsche's "God is dead" prediction by insisting that God must exist, objectivists react to the components of my own moral philosophy by insisting that the real me in sync with the right thing to do must exist.

After all, look at the consequences for the is/ought world if both God and "I" are largely existential contraptions rooted in a particular world understood subjectively/subjunctively in a particular way.


He doesn't seem to notice his own nearly complete abstract approach to communication.

felix dakat wrote:
Here's a thought experiment: imagine that viewing one's own subjectivity as a contraption is a form of depersonalization let's call it Heidegger's syndrome. Now maybe if someone infected with such disease was truly motivated to get off their ass and go see a psychotherapist they may after exerting much time and effort be cured and become a fully functioning person again. On the other hand if they were unmotivated they might just go on some random philosophical forum and see if they couldn't drag other persons down into their hellhole of depersonalization with them. What are the moral implications of that scenario do you suppose?

Lovely. Succinct. Spot on. It's a bit like a virus. It is trying to get our [brain] cells to replicate it. But in the end one can't be angry at a virus. That's like angrily beating one's head against a wall. And a wall it is.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:58 am

felix dakat wrote:Here's a thought experiment: imagine that viewing one's own subjectivity as a contraption is a form of depersonalization let's call it Heidegger's syndrome. Now maybe if someone infected with such disease was truly motivated to get off their ass and go see a psychotherapist they may after exerting much time and effort be cured and become a fully functioning person again. On the other hand if they were unmotivated they might just go on some random philosophical forum and see if they couldn't drag other persons down into their hellhole of depersonalization with them. What are the moral implications of that scenario do you suppose?


The intellectual contraption as thought experiment?

The bottom line of course is that a "fully functioning person" is no less constructed existentially given a particular historical, cultural and experiential [interpersonal] context.

The part you steer clear of.

What they both share in common however is the distance between the purpose I had in mind in creating this thread and whatever point you are trying to make above.

This "hellhole" that I am in is derived from what I construe to be reasonable arguments embedded in the points I raise in my signature threads. All I can do is to ask others to note how, given that the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave are effected by that which they construe their fate to be on the other side of the grave, their own sense of self is construed in a less fragmented and fractured manner.

Basically what you are arguing is that how I look at human interactions at the intersection of identity, value judgments and political power is a really, really grim and depressing way to see things. Therefore, however reasonable my points may be, who wants to live in a world like that!

The same reaction religious folks had to Nietzsche back then. So, if God does not exist at least mere mortals can still be in sync with the "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do".

Now, with respect to the intent behind this thread, you will either go there with me or you won't.

I ask those who do believe in God, to choose particular behaviors in a particular context. A context in which different people will often have very conflicted value judgments. A context in which people connect the dots between those behaviors here and now and what they anticipate their fate to be on the other side of the grave.

How about you? Note a set of behaviors that you would choose given your own moral and political and religious narratives.

Me? I am now the embodiment of this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

So, from my perspective, it is reasonable in a No God world to reject objective morality, an essential meaning of life and immortality/salvation.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:01 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Felix: there are many sadly funny things in his response to you but here's a habit of his. Here he accuses you of being abstract and then writes...abstractly, as per usual.
iambiguous wrote:Again, wholly abstract. [the pejorative here is abstract, lol, and the ironically followed by...] The bottom line out in the world that we live in is that convictions of this sort will often collide with the convictions of others who insist that the actual rules of behaviors and the laws in any given community be one way rather than another.

And, from my frame of mind, your moral "intuitions" are no less rooted existentially in dasein than theirs. Re either a God or a No God world.

This is the part in my view that the objectivists become most riled up about. Just as many reacted to Nietzsche's "God is dead" prediction by insisting that God must exist, objectivists react to the components of my own moral philosophy by insisting that the real me in sync with the right thing to do must exist.

After all, look at the consequences for the is/ought world if both God and "I" are largely existential contraptions rooted in a particular world understood subjectively/subjunctively in a particular way.


He doesn't seem to notice his own nearly complete abstract approach to communication.

felix dakat wrote:
Here's a thought experiment: imagine that viewing one's own subjectivity as a contraption is a form of depersonalization let's call it Heidegger's syndrome. Now maybe if someone infected with such disease was truly motivated to get off their ass and go see a psychotherapist they may after exerting much time and effort be cured and become a fully functioning person again. On the other hand if they were unmotivated they might just go on some random philosophical forum and see if they couldn't drag other persons down into their hellhole of depersonalization with them. What are the moral implications of that scenario do you suppose?

Lovely. Succinct. Spot on. It's a bit like a virus. It is trying to get our [brain] cells to replicate it. But in the end one can't be angry at a virus. That's like angrily beating one's head against a wall. And a wall it is.


Once again Saint Karpel sets out to expose the dragon...and then to slay him?

You decide.
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 Jan 21, 2020 3:12 am

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

Belief in a creator and designer is essential...for anyone that thinks that life has a meaning.


From my frame of mind this is true only to the extent that by meaningful one is denoting an essential, ontological, teleological meaning that transcends what any particular one of us thinks is meaningful about any particular thing.

And the only manner in which that has ever been demonstrated to the best of my knowledge is this way...

The famous argument from design seeks to identify such a designer with God. Whilst it seems certain that necessarily God is the designer and creator of all else that there is, it is not certain that necessarily any designer is God.


Either way nothing at all is actually demonstrated. God is merely thought or defined or conjured into existence out of language itself. The rest is then embedded in the miracle of human psychology. In other words, nothing has to be demonstrated. After all, if, in deducing God into existence, you believe what you think is true is in fact true than in fact for you God does exist. And, in so believing this, it can actually reconfigure your values into behaviors that, around others, can generate consequences that have profound implications in human interaction. I quote human history for example.

As long as your religious beliefs only have to be sustained in your head, you can then scoff at any and all who demand actual proof that what you believe is true. And this part, of course, depresses some more than others. Clearly, if what you believe about God does not have to be demonstrated, then any discussion and debate you have with someone like me is always going to end with you being the victor.

The same regarding speculation like this:

Could there not, for instance, have been a designer that knew a lot but not everything, or that could do a lot but not everything? It seems that there could. Sometimes considerations of simplicity are invoked...to the effect that it is more rational to believe in the allegedly simpler hypothesis of an all-knowing, all-powerful God than in one who is not quite all-powerful and not quite all-knowing.


Sure, there any number of ways in which you can imagine this thought up God that you have come to believe in your head. Since there is nothing you need to do in order to test one supposition rather than another, you can just settle for the one that makes you feel better about yourself in the world.

Here, of course, you can even abandon all of the traditional or historical depictions of God and make up an entirely new one. One that is particularly in sync with whatever you need to believe in order to, among other things, make that crucial transition from here and now to there and then.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:30 pm

Was Jesus born with Original Sin?

If so, then he could not be the perfect sacrifice.

If not, then he had no human side and was pure god, and god cannot die which, makes the sacrifice a lie.

Could these facts be why the Jews have no Original Sin concept in their religion?

Is that also why Jews rejected Jesus as their messiah, or did they just recognize the immorality of anyone using a scapegoat and the abdication of one’s responsibility for their actions, which is against all moral legal systems?

Why have Christians embraced such an immoral and illegal concept?


Again, anyone here can voice an opinion about this. But how would they go about demonstrating that what they believe is true was in fact true?

Instead, in the absence of proof that 1] Jesus the man did in fact exist and 2] that, one way or another, he was connected to a God, the God, Christians and Jews, like all the rest of us, must concern themselves with the actual moral, political and legal prescriptions/proscriptions that mere mortals seek to impose on each other.

And most know my assessment of that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:08 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Was Jesus born with Original Sin?

If so, then he could not be the perfect sacrifice.

If not, then he had no human side and was pure god, and god cannot die which, makes the sacrifice a lie.

Could these facts be why the Jews have no Original Sin concept in their religion?

Is that also why Jews rejected Jesus as their messiah, or did they just recognize the immorality of anyone using a scapegoat and the abdication of one’s responsibility for their actions, which is against all moral legal systems?

Why have Christians embraced such an immoral and illegal concept?


Again, anyone here can voice an opinion about this. But how would they go about demonstrating that what they believe is true was in fact true?

Instead, in the absence of proof that 1] Jesus the man did in fact exist and 2] that, one way or another, he was connected to a God, the God, Christians and Jews, like all the rest of us, must concern themselves with the actual moral, political and legal prescriptions/proscriptions that mere mortals seek to impose on each other.

And most know my assessment of that.


The myth of original sin seems to be a reaction of the religiously enculturated symbolic ideal ego against one's own inexorable human primate instinctual drives.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:34 pm

felix dakat wrote:The myth of original sin seems to be a reaction of the religiously enculturated symbolic ideal ego against one's own inexorable human primate instinctual drives.


Perhaps. If it is a myth. If, in fact, it can ever be demonstrated that the Christian God does not exist. But, in reality, it doesn't work that way. If you believe the Christian God does exist then you have your own frame of mind regarding original sin. And it works for you in whatever way sustains the most comforting view of the life that you live.

In other words, the part I suggest is the embodiment of dasein.

And, however one construes the meaning of "I" as an existential contraption rooted in dasein, there's the part where we are all interacting with others in a world bursting at the seams with conflicting goods.

With or without God.

Then, for me, it's all about the manner in which I have thought myself into believing that "I" am fractured and fragmented in what I presume to be is an essentially meaningless No God world that ends in oblivion for all of eternity.

So, what have I got to lose by considering any and all alternatives? Including yours.

As for the part that revolves around the "naked ape", that just muddies the water all the more. Here we are talking about a definitive understanding of lifeless matter somehow evolving into living matter on planet Earth and, over the course of millions of years, becoming us.

How on earth would one configure original sin into that?!
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:39 pm

The myth of original sin seems to be a reaction of the religiously enculturated symbolic ideal ego against one's own inexorable human primate instinctual drives. Jesus was probably a human primate like the rest of us. Which is not to deny the possibility of the redemptive power of his transcendence values on people.


What is particularly peculiar to some is how repulsed many Christians would be if we punished children today for something that their parents did. I had just recently reread E. L. Doctorow's novel The Book Of Daniel. Imagine the reaction of most Christians back then if the authorities had thrown Michael and Robert and Ivy in prison as well. For the choices their parents were said to have made.

Yet with God it's all okay. What Adam and Eve choose to do in the Garden of Evil is visited upon all the rest of humanity!

And yet that doesn't seem to repulse so many of the faithful. :-k
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 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:18 pm

iambiguous wrote:
The myth of original sin seems to be a reaction of the religiously enculturated symbolic ideal ego against one's own inexorable human primate instinctual drives. Jesus was probably a human primate like the rest of us. Which is not to deny the possibility of the redemptive power of his transcendence values on people.


What is particularly peculiar to some is how repulsed many Christians would be if we punished children today for something that their parents did. I had just recently reread E. L. Doctorow's novel The Book Of Daniel. Imagine the reaction of most Christians back then if the authorities had thrown Michael and Robert and Ivy in prison as well. For the choices their parents were said to have made.

Yet with God it's all okay. What Adam and Eve choose to do in the Garden of Evil is visited upon all the rest of humanity!

And yet that doesn't seem to repulse so many of the faithful. :-k


Moral nihilism undercuts the whole theological problem of evil. To the moral nihilist torturing babies for fun is not a problem.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:50 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Moral nihilism undercuts the whole theological problem of evil. To the moral nihilist torturing babies for fun is not a problem.


Yes, that is one way in which a particular moral nihilist might react to the torture of a child.

Everythng is beyond good and evil once God is kaput. As they say, "in the absense of God, all things are permitted."

The historical irony here being that all manner of grotesque human atrocitices [up to and including the "final solution"] were committed in the name of "the good". After all, the Holocaust to some was seen to be anything but grotesque. And the nazis are still very much around today. Some think they are poised for a comeback across Europe and the United States.

A few of them are even here perhaps.

Look at the behaviors that narcissistic sociopaths are capable of rationalizing when, from their point of view, it's not what they do, but not getting caught and punished for it that propels their own moral agenda.

Not only that but had your own life been very, very different [for whatever reason] you might well have become that person who inflicted the pain.

This is why it is so crucial for many to convince themselves that my frame of mind must not be tolerated. The irony here being that I myself want to be convinced it is in fact inherently, necessarily irrational to think this way.

But, sans God, how is it not reasonable for the moral nihilists to come to the conclusions that they do?

Well, historically, cue the moral objectivists: The Platos, the Rene Descartes, the Immanuel Kants….the Ayn Rands.
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 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:27 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Moral nihilism undercuts the whole theological problem of evil. To the moral nihilist torturing babies for fun is not a problem.


Yes, that is one way in which a particular moral nihilist might react to the torture of a child.

Everythng is beyond good and evil once God is kaput. As they say, "in the absense of God, all things are permitted."

The historical irony here being that all manner of grotesque human atrocitices [up to and including the "final solution"] were committed in the name of "the good". After all, the Holocaust to some was seen to be anything but grotesque. And the nazis are still very much around today. Some think they are poised for a comeback across Europe and the United States.

A few of them are even here perhaps.

Look at the behaviors that narcissistic sociopaths are capable of rationalizing when, from their point of view, it's not what they do, but not getting caught and punished for it that propels their own moral agenda.

Not only that but had your own life been very, very different [for whatever reason] you might well have become that person who inflicted the pain.

This is why it is so crucial for many to convince themselves that my frame of mind must not be tolerated. The irony here being that I myself want to be convinced it is in fact inherently, necessarily irrational to think this way.

But, sans God, how is it not reasonable for the moral nihilists to come to the conclusions that they do?

Well, historically, cue the moral objectivists: The Platos, the Rene Descartes, the Immanuel Kants….the Ayn Rands.


You may call “atrocities up to and including the final solution” “grotesque” on aesthetic grounds, but the moral nihilist has no grounds for calling acts up to and including the final solution “atrocities” in the first place. That's a moral judgment. Hence it's meaningless to the moral nihilist. The behavior of Nazis and narcissistic sociopaths is no better or worse than any other in a morally meaningless world.

Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong. Therefore, to the moral nihilist whether or not I inflict pain can be of no moral consequence. The fact that you admit that you want to be convinced that your moral nihilism is wrong shows your cognitive dissonance with your own morally nihilistic viewpoint. The number of alternative moral positions you could take may rise to Infinity. What motivates you to occupy a moral position with which you yourself are uncomfortable?
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:15 pm

felix dakat wrote:You may call “atrocities up to and including the final solution” “grotesque” on aesthetic grounds, but the moral nihilist has no grounds for calling acts up to and including the final solution “atrocities” in the first place. That's a moral judgment. Hence it's meaningless to the moral nihilist. The behavior of Nazis and narcissistic sociopaths is no better or worse than any other in a morally meaningless world.

Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong. Therefore, to the moral nihilist whether or not I inflict pain can be of no moral consequence. The fact that you admit that you want to be convinced that your moral nihilism is wrong shows your cognitive dissonance with your own morally nihilistic viewpoint. The number of alternative moral positions you could take may rise to Infinity. What motivates you to occupy a moral position with which you yourself are uncomfortable?

I think this is true, however...
felix dakat wrote:

Moral nihilism undercuts the whole theological problem of evil. To the moral nihilist torturing babies for fun is not a problem.
The moral nihilist would not say it is wrong, but could still consider it a problem. You can hate, like, root for, root against, strive for, desire, which for a world where X does or does not happen. One can have preferences of all kinds, but one cannot say that something is wrong in some objective sense. I don't believe in objective morals, but I would find it a problem if society started encouraging people to torture babies. I would struggle against that. Why? Because I don't like it.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:10 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:You may call “atrocities up to and including the final solution” “grotesque” on aesthetic grounds, but the moral nihilist has no grounds for calling acts up to and including the final solution “atrocities” in the first place. That's a moral judgment. Hence it's meaningless to the moral nihilist. The behavior of Nazis and narcissistic sociopaths is no better or worse than any other in a morally meaningless world.

Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong. Therefore, to the moral nihilist whether or not I inflict pain can be of no moral consequence. The fact that you admit that you want to be convinced that your moral nihilism is wrong shows your cognitive dissonance with your own morally nihilistic viewpoint. The number of alternative moral positions you could take may rise to Infinity. What motivates you to occupy a moral position with which you yourself are uncomfortable?

I think this is true, however...
felix dakat wrote:

Moral nihilism undercuts the whole theological problem of evil. To the moral nihilist torturing babies for fun is not a problem.
The moral nihilist would not say it is wrong, but could still consider it a problem. You can hate, like, root for, root against, strive for, desire, which for a world where X does or does not happen. One can have preferences of all kinds, but one cannot say that something is wrong in some objective sense. I don't believe in objective morals, but I would find it a problem if society started encouraging people to torture babies. I would struggle against that. Why? Because I don't like it.


Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong. The Problem of Evil asks, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then from whence comes evil?"

If nothing is morally wrong, then the words “evil” and “malevolent" in the argument are meaningless. Sure you might not like people torturing babies emotionally or based on aesthetics or whatever, but "right" and "wrong" are baseless words. “From whence comes evil?" From nowhere. It doesn’t exist.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:13 am

felix dakat wrote:
You may call “atrocities up to and including the final solution” “grotesque” on aesthetic grounds, but the moral nihilist has no grounds for calling acts up to and including the final solution “atrocities” in the first place. That's a moral judgment. Hence it's meaningless to the moral nihilist. The behavior of Nazis and narcissistic sociopaths is no better or worse than any other in a morally meaningless world.


On aesthetic grounds?

Moral nihilists of my ilk make the assumption that, sans God, there does not appear to be a philosophical or scientific argument able to establish that the Holocaust is inherently/necessarily immoral. Ah, but even moral nihilists live actual lives that existentially predispose them to embody particular subjective/subjunctive reactions to things like the Holocaust.

My own reaction today is to be appalled. But I also recognize that I have no capacity to convince those who defend it [still today] that they are in turn rationally and morally obligated to feel appalled.

What does that argument sound like?

At the same time, I recognize that had my own life been very different, I might not have come [existentially] to even feel appalled myself. After all, as a child, I was raised in neighborhoods where blacks, Jews, homosexuals and others were hated. I was a committed right wingnut. It was only after bumping into fellow draftees in Vietnam that "I" was radically reconfigured into the left wing objectivist that I then became.

felix dakat wrote:Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong. Therefore, to the moral nihilist whether or not I inflict pain can be of no moral consequence.


But moral nihilists themselves do not all necessarily share these assumptions in the same way. For me, morality is always situated out in a particular world understood from a particular point of view. A world of human interfactions in which some things can be demonstrated to in fact be true for all rational human beings while other things cannot be.

Ever and always this is predicated on the way in which genes and memes play themselves out in the mind of any particular individual living out in a particular world interacting with others in a particular set of circumstances.

felix dakat wrote:The fact that you admit that you want to be convinced that your moral nihilism is wrong shows your cognitive dissonance with your own morally nihilistic viewpoint. The number of alternative moral positions you could take may rise to Infinity. What motivates you to occupy a moral position with which you yourself are uncomfortable?


No, what I suggest is that the manner in which I think about all of this here and now is no less an existential contraption. Anything I "admit to" is always subject to change given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge. Just like you. Only we react to this differently.

And, ironically enough, I am uncomfortable because my thinking about all of this in my signature threads still seems quite reasonable. And, if you think like I do, you come to believe that human interactions are essentially meaningless, that distinguishing right from wrong behaviors is not within reach deontologically and that it all ends in the obliteration of "I".

So, others and/or new experiences will either convince me that this is not the case, or I go on believing that it is.
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 » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:10 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
You may call “atrocities up to and including the final solution” “grotesque” on aesthetic grounds, but the moral nihilist has no grounds for calling acts up to and including the final solution “atrocities” in the first place. That's a moral judgment. Hence it's meaningless to the moral nihilist. The behavior of Nazis and narcissistic sociopaths is no better or worse than any other in a morally meaningless world.


On aesthetic grounds?

Moral nihilists of my ilk make the assumption that, sans God, there does not appear to be a philosophical or scientific argument able to establish that the Holocaust is inherently/necessarily immoral. Ah, but even moral nihilists live actual lives that existentially predispose them to embody particular subjective/subjunctive reactions to things like the Holocaust.

My own reaction today is to be appalled. But I also recognize that I have no capacity to convince those who defend it [still today] that they are in turn rationally and morally obligated to feel appalled.

What does that argument sound like?

At the same time, I recognize that had my own life been very different, I might not have come [existentially] to even feel appalled myself. After all, as a child, I was raised in neighborhoods where blacks, Jews, homosexuals and others were hated. I was a committed right wingnut. It was only after bumping into fellow draftees in Vietnam that "I" was radically reconfigured into the left wing objectivist that I then became.

felix dakat wrote:Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong. Therefore, to the moral nihilist whether or not I inflict pain can be of no moral consequence.


But moral nihilists themselves do not all necessarily share these assumptions in the same way. For me, morality is always situated out in a particular world understood from a particular point of view. A world of human interfactions in which some things can be demonstrated to in fact be true for all rational human beings while other things cannot be.

Ever and always this is predicated on the way in which genes and memes play themselves out in the mind of any particular individual living out in a particular world interacting with others in a particular set of circumstances.

felix dakat wrote:The fact that you admit that you want to be convinced that your moral nihilism is wrong shows your cognitive dissonance with your own morally nihilistic viewpoint. The number of alternative moral positions you could take may rise to Infinity. What motivates you to occupy a moral position with which you yourself are uncomfortable?


No, what I suggest is that the manner in which I think about all of this here and now is no less an existential contraption. Anything I "admit to" is always subject to change given new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge. Just like you. Only we react to this differently.

And, ironically enough, I am uncomfortable because my thinking about all of this in my signature threads still seems quite reasonable. And, if you think like I do, you come to believe that human interactions are essentially meaningless, that distinguishing right from wrong behaviors is not within reach deontologically and that it all ends in the obliteration of "I".

So, others and/or new experiences will either convince me that this is not the case, or I go on believing that it is.


You live in a moral flat world. Your emotional reaction to the Holocaust conflicts with your amoral position. In spite of your denial, it still appears to me that you're in a state of cognitive dissonance. Your assumption that whatever moral ethical position you take cannot be grounded alienates you from your own moral intuitions. Admit that you don't know that moral nihilism is the case. That would open you to the possibility of ultimate moral grounds even if you don't know what they are with certainty. That seems to be the possibility you are avoiding.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:22 pm

felix dakat wrote:
You live in a moral flat world. Your emotional reaction to the Holocaust conflicts with your amoral position.


My emotional reaction to the Holocaust is no less an existential contraption. Just as yours is. Unless you are able to provide us with an argument and a demonstration of that argument which conclusively establishes how all rational people are obligated to feel about it?

As a kid I was around people who thought of Jews not all that far removed from some of the rabid views expressed right here. Or over at Know Thyself. Then my experiences in Vietnam reconfigured "I" into quite the opposite frame of mind. And, sure, a part of me is now convinced that "I" am not likely to go back to the other end of the political spectrum.

But how on earth can I possibly know for certain that new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge won't change my mind.

How can you know that about your own value judgments?

Only those objectivists among us who have in fact managed to think themselves into believing they are in sync with the "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do" in sync with "one of us" are able to pull that off.

And that's before we get to those conflicting goods like abortion, gun control, animal rights, the role of government, social and economic justice, sexual preferences etc. Here there are in fact a great many advocates on both sides of the issue.

And then those who will rationalize any and all behaviors as long as they construe them to further their own self-interests.

felix dakat wrote:In spite of your denial, it still appears to me that you're in a state of cognitive dissonance. Your assumption that whatever moral ethical position you take cannot be grounded alienates you from your own moral intuitions.


Right, like somehow your own moral "intuition" isn't just another subjective/subjunctive manifestation of what I construe to be the "psychology of objectivism" here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296

No, you might point out, your own moral intuitions obviate any possibility of feeling "fractured and fragmented" yourself. But: How do you demonstrate that your intutions ought to be the intuitions of all other rational and virtuous men and women? Well, you don't. You just know it. You just believe it is true "in your head".

Or, rather, so it seems to me. Given my own assessment of intuition as a complex intertwining of the genetic "I" and the memetic "I" out in a particular world understood from a particular point of view.

felix dakat wrote:Admit that you don't know that moral nihilism is the case. That would open you to the possibility of ultimate moral grounds even if you don't know what they are with certainty. That seems to be the possibility you are avoiding.


Over and over and over again, I point out that my own moral philosophy is in itself an existential contraption. Predicated entirely on the assumption [and that's all it is] that we live in a No God world. In my view, however, what you are most interested in here is assuring both yourself and others that your own moral philosophy is not.
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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iambiguous: a post from Pedro?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:13 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong.
But that does not contradict what I said. You can have problems with things you do not think are morally wrong. I certainly do. This includes things like people being cruel to children and a lot of mosquitoes in my bathroom. Just because does not believe there are objective morals, one can still have preferences and dislikes. Just as animals do.

If nothing is morally wrong, then the words “evil” and “malevolent" in the argument are meaningless.
Evil certainly is ruled out. 'Malevolent' is ruled out if it means the person wants to do evil, it if means wants to do harm not

But again, one is not ruled out from disliking, hating, preferring, wanting to change, wanting to eliminate certain behaviors.

Sure you might not like people torturing babies emotionally or based on aesthetics or whatever, but "right" and "wrong" are baseless words.
Sure.


Here's the part of what you said that I disagree with....

To the moral nihilist torturing babies for fun is not a problem.
This is simply not the case. I mean, there may be moral nihilist who do not have a problem with that. But I wake up to all sorts of problems I have to solve, some personal, some broader. These problems can have to do with myself and my family, or work related problem or friendships. It can also have to do with things I don't like in the world. If my municipality was trying to pass a law that encouraged the torturing of babies, I would consider that a problem I would struggle to solve.

empathy, for example, is not dependent on morals.

In fact I think morals often undremine empathy. And I do not just mean by painting some people as evil, but the mere couching things in moral terms leads to people thinking X is how I am supposed to feel. Which is not empathy, but the trying to be good. In fact often the problem then is not the torturing of children, but their own moral worth. I would say people who believe in moral rules often do not really have a problem with what they fight against, they have a problem with not being seen as (by themselves) as good people.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:51 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
You live in a moral flat world. Your emotional reaction to the Holocaust conflicts with your amoral position.


My emotional reaction to the Holocaust is no less an existential contraption. Just as yours is. Unless you are able to provide us with an argument and a demonstration of that argument which conclusively establishes how all rational people are obligated to feel about it?

As a kid I was around people who thought of Jews not all that far removed from some of the rabid views expressed right here. Or over at Know Thyself. Then my experiences in Vietnam reconfigured "I" into quite the opposite frame of mind. And, sure, a part of me is now convinced that "I" am not likely to go back to the other end of the political spectrum.

But how on earth can I possibly know for certain that new experiences, new relationships and access to new information and knowledge won't change my mind.

How can you know that about your own value judgments?

Only those objectivists among us who have in fact managed to think themselves into believing they are in sync with the "real me" in sync with "the right thing to do" in sync with "one of us" are able to pull that off.

And that's before we get to those conflicting goods like abortion, gun control, animal rights, the role of government, social and economic justice, sexual preferences etc. Here there are in fact a great many advocates on both sides of the issue.

And then those who will rationalize any and all behaviors as long as they construe them to further their own self-interests.

felix dakat wrote:In spite of your denial, it still appears to me that you're in a state of cognitive dissonance. Your assumption that whatever moral ethical position you take cannot be grounded alienates you from your own moral intuitions.


Right, like somehow your own moral "intuition" isn't just another subjective/subjunctive manifestation of what I construe to be the "psychology of objectivism" here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296

No, you might point out, your own moral intuitions obviate any possibility of feeling "fractured and fragmented" yourself. But: How do you demonstrate that your intutions ought to be the intuitions of all other rational and virtuous men and women? Well, you don't. You just know it. You just believe it is true "in your head".

Or, rather, so it seems to me. Given my own assessment of intuition as a complex intertwining of the genetic "I" and the memetic "I" out in a particular world understood from a particular point of view.

felix dakat wrote:Admit that you don't know that moral nihilism is the case. That would open you to the possibility of ultimate moral grounds even if you don't know what they are with certainty. That seems to be the possibility you are avoiding.


Over and over and over again, I point out that my own moral philosophy is in itself an existential contraption. Predicated entirely on the assumption [and that's all it is] that we live in a No God world. In my view, however, what you are most interested in here is assuring both yourself and others that your own moral philosophy is not.


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.

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.

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. 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.

I wonder what mistakes or negative experiences would lead one to dogmatically forsake their own conscience and or moral intuitions. I recognize that such is a possibility and indeed a reality for some people. indeed I have contemplated the possibility of a monistic nihilism myself. But I have found insufficient evidence to conclusively deny one’s own innate moral character fallible as it may be. Even the apparent self loathing which leads one to embrace nihilism and view one's self as nothing more than a contraption points to the judgment of that person's innate morality.
Last edited by felix dakat on Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby felix dakat » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:22 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Moral Nihilism = Nothing is morally wrong.
But that does not contradict what I said. You can have problems with things you do not think are morally wrong. I certainly do. This includes things like people being cruel to children and a lot of mosquitoes in my bathroom. Just because does not believe there are objective morals, one can still have preferences and dislikes. Just as animals do.

If nothing is morally wrong, then the words “evil” and “malevolent" in the argument are meaningless.
Evil certainly is ruled out. 'Malevolent' is ruled out if it means the person wants to do evil, it if means wants to do harm not

But again, one is not ruled out from disliking, hating, preferring, wanting to change, wanting to eliminate certain behaviors.

Sure you might not like people torturing babies emotionally or based on aesthetics or whatever, but "right" and "wrong" are baseless words.
Sure.


Here's the part of what you said that I disagree with....

To the moral nihilist torturing babies for fun is not a problem.
This is simply not the case. I mean, there may be moral nihilist who do not have a problem with that. But I wake up to all sorts of problems I have to solve, some personal, some broader. These problems can have to do with myself and my family, or work related problem or friendships. It can also have to do with things I don't like in the world. If my municipality was trying to pass a law that encouraged the torturing of babies, I would consider that a problem I would struggle to solve.

empathy, for example, is not dependent on morals.

In fact I think morals often undremine empathy. And I do not just mean by painting some people as evil, but the mere couching things in moral terms leads to people thinking X is how I am supposed to feel. Which is not empathy, but the trying to be good. In fact often the problem then is not the torturing of children, but their own moral worth. I would say people who believe in moral rules often do not really have a problem with what they fight against, they have a problem with not being seen as (by themselves) as good people.


In the sentence in which I used the term “problem” I thought it was clear that I was referring to a moral problem. But the way you are using the term it seems as if your feelings about torturing babies are baseless. 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?

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. The Golden Rule is based upon and doesn't work without the human capacity for empathy.

Oh, and by the way in a nihilist Flatland, there are no "good people."
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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