Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 79 (8863 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 09-21-2018 1:50 AM
156 online now:
GDR, Minnemooseus (Adminnemooseus), PaulK, Phat (AdminPhat) (4 members, 152 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: rldawnca
Post Volume:
Total: 838,722 Year: 13,545/29,783 Month: 991/1,576 Week: 203/303 Day: 0/27 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
RewPrev1
...
1314151617
18
Author Topic:   Deism in the Dock
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19544
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 256 of 270 (416662)
08-17-2007 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 250 by Hyroglyphx
08-16-2007 8:43 PM


you're not trying, not at all
You may have some really unique definition of deism means to you,

Nope. Otherwise I would not have posted that other definition. You are going off the deep end (again) based on your preconceptions. Some of which are false.

quote:
deism –noun
The belief that God has created the universe but remains apart from it and permits his creation to administer itself through natural laws. Deism thus rejects the supernatural aspects of religion, such as belief in revelation in the Bible, and stresses the importance of ethical conduct. In the eighteenth century, numerous important thinkers held deist beliefs.

Good enough to work with here.

I then take this brief statement and compare it to other beliefs you've shared over the course of our time here at EvC and come to the obvious conclusion that the two are simply not compatible in any meaningful way.

Which statements and why are they incompatible? You can't make blanket statements nem, and you are known for misrepresenting other peoples positions, so I really need you to lay this out. Is it because I am an "evolutionist"? Is that your problem?

Message 92
But so far, every deist I've spoken to is a staunch evolutionist who argues that finding design in nature is a worthless, and moreover, impossible endeavor.

Message 217
If I said that I was an intelligent design/evolutionist, you might likely be inclined to inquire how I believe in two contradictory theories in the same breath.
If you are an evolutionist, as we all know, how did you ever come to the conclusion that such a God exists if there is no avenue by which that God could have revelaed himself?
To add: I'm not saying that you can't be a deist and an evolutionist at the same time. I'm saying that you can't be completely against intelligent design and also be a deist.

Message 101
By all definitional rights, you aren't a deist, because you don't see this God in nature nor have you any actual logical reasons for coming to the conclusion.

You are conflating several things here altogether, nem and you are obviously very very confused about the "nature" of deism. And the validity of current ID thought ... and evolution and ... etc etc

As I said before some of your basic premises are just plain false and some of your conclusions are based on unspoken assumptions (hidden premises). This is the way to false conclusions. And there are LOTS of errors is just those brief statements above.

(1) "nature" is not just evolution, evolution is a part of nature, and when you equivocate back and forth from one to the other (as you did above) you end up with a falsehood.
(2) there is absolutely no contradiction between being a deist and being an evolutionist. None. Nature includes how evolution works.
(2a) there is no inherent contradiction with being an honest IDologist and being an evolutionist either (as you can see in some of Dembski's writing). None. All science is just a tool to see what you can understand, and rejecting any part of science is also rejecting part of the truth that is being sought. This includes how evolution works.
(3) deism is not a "check your brain at the door" religion, and thus it does not need to abide by any of the ill conceived half thought through (at best) concepts that are "popular" within IDology by people that have not rid themselves of preconceptions. Taken to it's logical conclusion ID becomes deism -- it is ID that needs to grow up.
(4) I am a deist whether you like it or not.

That's just for starters, but it shows without doubt or quandary that your ability to make a rational argument with logical conclusions is fraught with error after error.

Let me throw you a bone for your search on the places where you went wrong:

You reach an undocumented and false conclusion by conflation and equivocation ("every deist I've spoken to is a staunch evolutionist who argues that finding design in nature is a worthless, and moreover, impossible endeavor") and base part your argument on it:

Message 5
They also allege that you can't see God working in nature, because He sort of lets the chips fall where they may (how they've logical deduced this is another good question). So cancel that avenue as well.

Because this conclusion is false, so is the "box" constructed with it, and it falls apart.

It is not the only one. You also have false impressions of what deists need to know and what they don't in order to reach their conclusions. Your "argument" is a sieve with holes houses can fall through.

My argument has less to do with deists than it does you,

Yeah, right, nothing personal eh?

No, your argument has more to do with making false assumptions, using hidden premises and other logical fallacies, misrepresenting what people say, adding outright insults, and coming to false conclusions than it does with anything.

Your failure, your inability to see where you went wrong is not my doing, but due solely to your stone-headed thinking.

Enjoy.

Now you can make a post for me:

future nem writes:

I made a mistake
I was wrong to say the things I said
I'm sorry

Take it like a big boy eh?

Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : bone


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 250 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-16-2007 8:43 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 3847 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 257 of 270 (416666)
08-17-2007 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 250 by Hyroglyphx
08-16-2007 8:43 PM


Re: "inadequacies" again.
nem, I don't want to make anyone mad by butting in, and I am not trying to answer for RAZD, but don't you think it is possible, even logical, for anyone to beieve in God without going through the usual processes?

Say early man was not able to define the origins of life and what we see around us, and therefore presumed God.

Do you think it is impossible for someone who feels comfortable and confident in science to believe in God anyway?

Isn't it possible that while most 'gods' as creators and superpowers come with an obligation to praise them, to pacify them, to be subject to them, that one could conceive of a God Who just is?

Is it really necessary to deduce God externally? Did any of us go through such logical steps to get to our belief? Or did we just go with our hearts?

Isn't it more common to look for confirmation of our belief only after we believe? Most of us may try desperately to fit God in somewhere, or we may see Him everywhere. What if we spent more time looking at what God isn't, and where He isn't? Naybe God created nothing, maybe God has no concern about what we do. That may seem pointless to you or me, but would God be less 'God'?

I agree with you that the technical, historical God may be a creator, and that there is less 'room' for this God with the advancement of science, but this is something which goes for all of us, deist or theist. Revelation, of course, is not necessary to 'please' a god, as all cultures pay tribute to God in their own custom and tradition. Do you think all Christians worship in the same way? Or even the same God? Do you think someone can worship just by living?

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 250 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-16-2007 8:43 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 258 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-18-2007 12:28 AM anastasia has responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 258 of 270 (416811)
08-18-2007 12:28 AM
Reply to: Message 257 by anastasia
08-17-2007 9:52 AM


Re: "inadequacies" again.
nem, I don't want to make anyone mad by butting in

Not all Ana, this is a public forum. Your contribution is always welcome.

don't you think it is possible, even logical, for anyone to beieve in God without going through the usual processes?

Well, yes, which is why I have been asking him what kind of processes those were. Thus far he has not answered. The reasoning he gave me was that it was personal-- (as if I asked him if he has gonorrhea or something...) :rolleyes:

Do you think it is impossible for someone who feels comfortable and confident in science to believe in God anyway?

Believing in God is often uncomfortable for everyone. But I think I'm missing the deeper part of your question. What are you asking me?

Isn't it possible that while most 'gods' as creators and superpowers come with an obligation to praise them, to pacify them, to be subject to them, that one could conceive of a God Who just is?

I think that it takes little contemplation. I'm curious how anyone deduces automatically some grand spiritual being without any actual corroboration. The fact that so many people sort of intrinsically know and understand God is one of the more surer ways that I, personally, know He exists.

The problem is that deists, more than any other group, come to God on the basis of rationality and reason. So I'm asking very rational and reasonable questions. The answer that I've been getting back is quite shocking. I've covered a multitude of possible avenues in which to rationalize God. The interesting thing is, the naturalists-- the so-called pragmatists-- seem to have less reason to believe in God.

I for one am fascinated by this and have correspondingly asked questions on why that it is. Thus far I've been met by virulent opposition.

Is it really necessary to deduce God externally? Did any of us go through such logical steps to get to our belief? Or did we just go with our hearts?

I think its by both, but surely that intimate connection is what sealed it for me. The problem is, again, that deists claim that there is no special revelation. That means God does not meet with them on a personal level, and therefore, can only begin to believe in God externally.

Now, RAZD is certainly free to believe in whatever god he wants, for any reason he wishes. My issue is that he is not describing the very rational reason that he has come to God. And if God is impersonal, then how could the heart discern Him?

Do you think all Christians worship in the same way?

No, of course not.

Or even the same God?

Sure, people believe in deceiving spirits.

Do you think someone can worship just by living?

Well, I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean by this. If you mean that just living our lives is something tender to God, sure, there is much beauty in it. But everyone lives there lives differently. Some are given to vice and malevolence, whereas others seek the righteous things.


"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt


This message is a reply to:
 Message 257 by anastasia, posted 08-17-2007 9:52 AM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 260 by RAZD, posted 08-18-2007 7:14 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded
 Message 264 by anastasia, posted 08-19-2007 9:22 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2184
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 259 of 270 (416824)
08-18-2007 1:17 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by Archer Opteryx
08-12-2007 5:38 AM


Re: The Four (or more) Directions
Pardon me for being so late in responding.

I see a convergence between all four directions because all four directions see the universe, the world, and all the creatures of the creation, including people, as something that is meant to be understood, as opposed to chastised, ignored, or despised.

Since there appears to be such a conundrum about any modern definition of deism recently, I hope I am not being to presumptuous to quote from the book I am currently reading, so I may be allowed to present my understanding of the definition.

ABE - There is also that sense of awe and humility, indeed even a sense of celestial harmony, concerning the works of God, that I think places all four directions toward a similar conclusion. Contrast this with the metaphor of warfare and self-debasement so popular in some interpretations of western religion.

From "Ages in Chaos: James Hutton and the Discovery of Deep Time" by Stephen Baxter, page 27.

quote:
This 'Deist' thinking, a major break from the orthodox traditions of the time, had originated in seventeenth-century France, and flourished in England in the first half of the eighteenth century. The Deists accepted the Bible's moral authority but rejected its literal interpretation as a true history of the world. God wasn't banished, but His role was restricted to setting the universal laws. He emphatically did not tinker day to day in the working of the world, through miracles and Floods. Newton's vision of a world governed by simple laws led to its natural incorporation into the Deist vision, even though this was to some extent a misrepresentation of what Newton himself believed. Later Deism became well rooted in revolutionary America, counting Benjamin Franklin and the first three Presidents among its adherents.

I think that under this broad definition, most people who are not atheists and that accept a post-medieval modern understanding of the world, including such things as an old earth, the germ theory of disease, evolution, genetics, heliocentrism, physics, chemistry, geology, and biology may easily be considered Deists.

As one of my favorite quotes that so far as I know I made up goes - "I learn about God through the works of God rather than the words of Men."

So under the broad definition of Deism, as a Spinoza Panthiest, you can count me in.

How does it look for Taoism and Matayama Buddhism from your perspective, Archer? From what little I directly know, and trusting other sources, they appear Deist in the broad sense as well as they also appear to reject a micromanaging deity.

Edited by anglagard, : No reason given.


Read not to contradict and confute, not to believe and take for granted, not to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider - Francis Bacon

The more we understand particular things, the more we understand God - Spinoza


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Archer Opteryx, posted 08-12-2007 5:38 AM Archer Opteryx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by Archer Opteryx, posted 08-18-2007 4:28 PM anglagard has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 19544
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 260 of 270 (416861)
08-18-2007 7:14 AM
Reply to: Message 258 by Hyroglyphx
08-18-2007 12:28 AM


officially a joke now
Is it really necessary to deduce God externally? Did any of us go through such logical steps to get to our belief? Or did we just go with our hearts?

I think its by both, but surely that intimate connection is what sealed it for me.

Your position is now officially a joke.

You have been shown one logical error in your thinking that invalidates your "box" and now, when Ana gives you a completely reasonable alternative (one of several possible), you reject it -- not for any reason, but just because you don't think so.

Your ready rejection speaks more to your unwillingness to consider options than to their viability.

Special Pleading and Begging the Question are other logical fallacies in your arguments now.

Congratulations - you live in a fantasy world nem. The box encloses you.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added


Join the effort to unravel AIDS/HIV, unfold Proteomes, fight Cancer,
compare Fiocruz Genome and fight Muscular Dystrophy with Team EvC! (click)


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 258 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-18-2007 12:28 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
Ben!
Member (Idle past 1516 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 261 of 270 (416910)
08-18-2007 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by Modulous
08-16-2007 12:40 PM


Re: common sense
I don't follow - I'm just asking what difference it makes about postulating over an entity we can never make any sure conclusions about.

Clearly there's a huge behavioral difference between making such a postuation and not making such a postulation. Going back to your original post,

Is there a god? Who knows? Who cares?

Point is, knowledge has nothing to do with it. To ask "who knows" is to miss the point. Not everything is about knowledge. Who cares? You do. You do, because you asked and answered the question for yourself. I do, because I asked and answered the question. Only those who do not ask can not-care. And even most of those people care (because they believe).

Of course - but if an authority says something is true, and it is in principle possible for me to examine the evidence of it myself, or trust in many others to do critically examine the evidence - I can be more sure of the conclusions than if someone says they know it is true because it feels right or the voices in their head tell them it is right (revelation).

I disagree. Authority is usually held not by our knowledge of how good someone is, but by social status. The degree to which we believe an authority has little to do with their skill set and more to do with our comfort level. And it's like this from the start: our parents are our first authority.

We're social creatures much more than we are intellectual creatures, and we do more by feel than we do by pure intellect. I guess at some point I'll have to actually substantiate that.. but I hope that's not soon.

However, making decisions and believing something to be true are different things. The only decisions I am talking are about whether to believe something when time is not pressured and we can question some rules of thumb and explore the consequences of various beliefs and so on and so forth.

Right, I realize I was equating the two. The issue in questioning is not just time; we all fail to question many social practices that we simply don't even notice, no matter how much free time there is. There also has to be an impetus to asking.

Some of us have a natural impetus to ask; something inside of us asks "why". For you to say that it's common sense to be an empiricist about God, you're saying that
1. Almost everybody has an impetus to question God.
2. Almost everybody who has an impetus to question God would address such a question through empiricism.

I find neither of these to be true. #1 fails to be true for the same reason that most people don't quesiton social constructs--there's simply no reason to do so. #2 fails to be true because the majority of us are social creatures before we are intellectuals.

Let me state that more specifically: if there's no social context, we're unlikely to use our natural empiricism to address an issue. And for this, I can actually provide references. It has been experimentally shown that two logically identical problems will be approached (and answered) differently by people simply by adding or removing a social context. Buying a bridge from another has a strong social context, that would get us thinking more emprically (e.g. "yeah right buddy")

Questioning the existence of God is not something that has a social context in this same way. And you know what's the best proof of that? According to a real fast internet search, 85% of the world's people adhere to some sort of religion. According to you and me, 0% of them believe in God because of good empiricism (e.g. as far as I know, we both believe that the empirical facts can be explained without reference to any super-natural entity.)

It's not "common sense" to apply empiricism to God. I think the more interesting question is, why do you do it? What makes you different from other people such that you think it's the right way to address things.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 234 by Modulous, posted 08-16-2007 12:40 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by Modulous, posted 08-18-2007 3:29 PM Ben! has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 262 of 270 (416923)
08-18-2007 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by Ben!
08-18-2007 1:03 PM


Re: common sense
Point is, knowledge has nothing to do with it. To ask "who knows" is to miss the point. Not everything is about knowledge. Who cares? You do. You do, because you asked and answered the question for yourself. I do, because I asked and answered the question. Only those who do not ask can not-care. And even most of those people care (because they believe).

You are being over literal, Ben. What I was trying to communicate was the futility of asking the question - there is no answer which we can have confidence in. If the answer is yes or no - it makes no difference to our lives.

Of course - but if an authority says something is true, and it is in principle possible for me to examine the evidence of it myself, or trust in many others to do critically examine the evidence - I can be more sure of the conclusions than if someone says they know it is true because it feels right or the voices in their head tell them it is right (revelation).

I disagree.

You're disagreeing with the statement that I can be more sure of the conclusions if I can in principle examine all the reasoning and evidence behind the conclusion, than if I can't?

The degree to which we believe an authority has little to do with their skill set and more to do with our comfort level. And it's like this from the start: our parents are our first authority.

The degree to which some people believe an authority has little to do with their skill set. I am not a child, and I don't believe anymore anything that my parents say (I frequently disbelieve them in fact) just because they say it. There is good reason to believe what my parents said when I was a child - for better or worse they managed to survive in the world long enough to have kids. There is evidence of the success of their wisdom in the fact that I exist.

We're social creatures much more than we are intellectual creatures, and we do more by feel than we do by pure intellect. I guess at some point I'll have to actually substantiate that.. but I hope that's not soon.

No need to - I am not going to contest it. It is nothing to with my point though. I am talking about confidence in knowledge and we cannot have confidence in our feelings, since they frequently lead is to erroneous conclusions. It is because we are social animals are flawed intellectually that we should not rely on our feelings to reach final conclusions regarding the world.

The issue in questioning is not just time; we all fail to question many social practices that we simply don't even notice, no matter how much free time there is.

Agreed. This is not a good thing, though. To try and combat it, we should endeavour to question as much as we can whilst also acknowledging our limitations.

Some of us have a natural impetus to ask; something inside of us asks "why". For you to say that it's common sense to be an empiricist about God

Actually I said we should be empiricists about any statements about reality.

you're saying that
Almost everybody has an impetus to question God.

No I am not. I am saying that it is common sense to not believe people's claims just because people make them. The point I was making was that people only selectively apply common sense notions such as this and when they fail to do so - they are opening themselves up to believing false things (such as that guy really does own a bridge and is stupid enough to sell it for a small amount to a random stranger).

Let me state that more specifically: if there's no social context, we're unlikely to use our natural empiricism to address an issue. And for this, I can actually provide references. It has been experimentally shown that two logically identical problems will be approached (and answered) differently by people simply by adding or removing a social context. Buying a bridge from another has a strong social context, that would get us thinking more emprically (e.g. "yeah right buddy")

You are agreeing with me here. We are flawed when we try and make decisions based not on empirical reasoning. I was pointing out that this applies in all things, including whether or not a god exists.

It's not "common sense" to apply empiricism to God.

Entirely right - and yet it is common sense to do it for other things. I hope that it is becoming common sense to apply empiricism to God, but that might be false hope.

I think the more interesting question is, why do you do it? What makes you different from other people such that you think it's the right way to address things.

The reason is is that I do not want to believe things which are untrue. If I do - I open myself up to being manipulated or conned. I open myself up to believing in Santa and fairies and djinn and domovoi, I open myself to wasting my life worried about things that aren't real.

I'd rather not just let social or parental pressures tell me how the world is. Those kind of things are events dictated by the chance circumstance of birth - since the way reality is does not depend on where you were born and to who, this does not seem a good way to decide what reality is like.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by Ben!, posted 08-18-2007 1:03 PM Ben! has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 265 by Ben!, posted 08-21-2007 7:58 PM Modulous has responded

  
Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1492 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 263 of 270 (416932)
08-18-2007 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 259 by anglagard
08-18-2007 1:17 AM


Re: The Four (or more) Directions
anglagard:

How does it look for Taoism and Matayama Buddhism from your
perspective, Archer? From what little I directly know, and trusting
other sources, they appear Deist in the broad sense as well as they
also appear to reject a micromanaging deity.

That's a fair assessment, provided the word Deism is very broadly defined indeed. These beliefs not only reject the micromanager, they reject the deity.

By that I mean a 'deity' as one is most often pictured: a conscious being possessing an ego that brings everything about as an act of volition. Deism moves away from making concrete images of its deity, but much of the language people employ in describing Deism still defaults toward personality. God 'sets up laws' or 'sets things in motion' then keeps 'hands off' and 'lets' things happen. We learn about this God by studying 'works'. It's a picture that gives the deity a more phlegmatic personality than most. But there's still a man behind the curtain, even if he's sitting back with his feet up.

Taoism and Buddhism say Ultimate Reality exits. A unity exists behind everything, and this unity is the source of all the diverse phenomena we see. Reality unites all opposites because all opposites necessarily reside in it.

But both say it does little good to talk about Ultimate Reality. To do so is to start making mental pictures of UR as one thing to the exclusion of some other thing. We start talking as if it were conscious (therefore not unconscious) and as if it were active (therefore not passive). We impose limits on what reality can be--and as soon we do that we are no longer talking about reality. We now talk only about our idea of reality. Human ideas are something less. Our ideas are finite. Language is finite.

So if we value reality itself it's best to be aware of our own limits and avoid growing attached to one picture over another. This is true even when pictures take the form of your most revered teacher, your most adored image of the divine. 'If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.'

This is why Buddhism speaks of UR as 'no-thing'. People often mistake this language for nihilism but it isn't. Buddhism says the ultimate unity is real. This thing exists; it's just not a thing. It's not limited to some object with boundaries that you can imagine. If you want to contemplate it, you do well to clear your head of all pictures of things. This lets UR remain truly limitless in your imagination. To the human mind this means holding to a picture of 'nothing' because as soon as you picture a 'thing' you impose limits.

But this 'nothing' is, of course, everything.

Taoism is content to leave UR a mystery. It advises trusting UR, not any word or picture people make to describe it, and getting on with your life. The good news is that, even though we can't say anything final about UR, we can observe its effects in the phenomena around us. Awareness of the ground of all existence helps us navigate our path.

As it happens, this perspective accords well with the scientific approach.

It's worth mentioning that this approach has a long history in Hinduism as well. Behind the pictures lies an ultimate unity you can't name or even comprehend. All the pictures are masks. It's the revelation given to Arjuna at the end of the Gita when he learns that there's a lot more going on with 'Krishna' than just a god named Krishna, meaningful as that picture was to him.

So it's interesting. As a philosophical Taoist I have trouble even answering this question, which was posed early in my participation here.

You are (pick one):
A. atheist
B. agnostic
C. theist

I can't pick one because I'm all three. I'm 'atheist' because I don't believe in a deity of the kind most people mean when they say 'theism.' I'm 'agnostic' because I admit I don't know, can't know, anything final about UR. I'm 'theist' because I do believe UR exists and find plenty of meaning for my life in that.

You trust reality. You love it even. You order your life according to it. You just don't claim, with your short-lived, peanut-sized human mind, to comprehend it. You let it surround you, you breathe it in, and you feel that as grace enough.

And with that, I guess this post has come full circle--back round to the kinship you suggest.

The kinship is one of attitude. One of approach. You go about your business, learning and growing. And you trust.

___

Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.

Edited by Archer Opterix, : typo repair.


Archer

All species are transitional.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 259 by anglagard, posted 08-18-2007 1:17 AM anglagard has not yet responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 3847 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 264 of 270 (417192)
08-19-2007 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 258 by Hyroglyphx
08-18-2007 12:28 AM


Re: "inadequacies" again.
nemesis writes:

I think that it takes little contemplation. I'm curious how anyone deduces automatically some grand spiritual being without any actual corroboration. The fact that so many people sort of intrinsically know and understand God is one of the more surer ways that I, personally, know He exists.

Do any of us have 'actual corroboration'?

I was basically asking you to use some imagination, try not to think of everyone's God as the personal Christian God. You don't have to deduce God, or feel God, or know God. You can just believe in God, and your reason can be as subjective as 'because I want to'.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 258 by Hyroglyphx, posted 08-18-2007 12:28 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Ben!
Member (Idle past 1516 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 265 of 270 (417549)
08-21-2007 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by Modulous
08-18-2007 3:29 PM


The value of Truth
Mod,

I'm still not sure why we're not on the same page, and I'm afraid at this point I'm going to be reiterating what I've said before. If that's the case, I'm not sure how to communicate better...

What I was trying to communicate was the futility of asking the question - there is no answer which we can have confidence in. If the answer is yes or no - it makes no difference to our lives.

Assuming I remember the question (does God exist?), then I still disagree. You say there's no answer which we can have confidence in, but ... I feel you're conflating "empirical confidence" with the actual feeling of confidence. Lots of people HAVE confidence, regardless of the state of empiricism with regards to God. People DO answer the question, regardless of their ability to back it up with syllogistic reasoning or empirical facts.

Point is, in our social structure, the answer yes or no DOES make a difference to each of our lives. There is scientific futility in asking the question, but not social, philosophical, or personal.

I think I get what you were trying to say, I just disagree with taking such a narrow, empirically-minded approach under which your comment makes sense. And I feel that it is exactly that approach which is the basis for what I disagreed with throughout your original post, which is why I even addressed this thing first comment.

You're disagreeing with the statement that I can be more sure of the conclusions if I can in principle examine all the reasoning and evidence behind the conclusion, than if I can't?

I'm not sure how to address this. It's an empirical question. My point is, appeals to authority do little for me. Half the time the "authorities" ARE the people who, unknowningly or not, are blowing hot air up my skirt.

The degree to which some people believe an authority has little to do with their skill set. I am not a child, and I don't believe anymore anything that my parents say (I frequently disbelieve them in fact) just because they say it. There is good reason to believe what my parents said when I was a child - for better or worse they managed to survive in the world long enough to have kids. There is evidence of the success of their wisdom in the fact that I exist.

If you believe this is evidence in favor of people being fit to either live or find truth, then what of the fact that a purported 85% of the living population believes in things unsubstantiated by empiricism? In that case, they all have evidence of the success of their wisdom as well.

I am talking about confidence in knowledge and we cannot have confidence in our feelings, since they frequently lead is to erroneous conclusions. It is because we are social animals are flawed intellectually that we should not rely on our feelings to reach final conclusions regarding the world.

And what I am saying is that your conclusion is stated too broadly. It's important in immediate social contexts, ones in which we live our lives. But it's not important for us to be right with regards to high-level philosophical questions such as whether God exists, if there are 22 dimensions or 4, and whether time began from a singularity or from the first mover.

What makes you think that being right in these contexts has any positive or negative impact in any single being's ability to survive, proliferate, and be happy?

What has it to do with ME? What is the effect on me if I am wrong about these high-level philosophical things? So what if I am duped about it?

The issue in questioning is not just time; we all fail to question many social practices that we simply don't even notice
Agreed. This is not a good thing, though

I disagree. Vehemently. Social practices play critical roles in our lives. If everybody questioned them, we'd lose coordination within our society. We'd fracture into smaller groups with a lot of inter-group transfer. Our societies can maintain questioning by individuals, but in all simulations I've talked through, cannot overcome questioning on a global level.

Your philosophy may tell you this is a "bad" thing, but the fact that it IS needs to be understood. Social practices play important roles in bonding human societies.

Actually I said we should be empiricists about any statements about reality.

It may have been what you said, but it is not what I saw implicit in your comments. You suggest that any question which is not about reality has no purpose even in being asked. THAT does not jive with your statement, which itself says nothing about questions that have nothing to do reality.

The questions are not purposeless, and while they are not about reality, their personal answers impact reality. There is a purpose in asking and answering them.

I am saying that it is common sense to not believe people's claims just because people make them. The point I was making was that people only selectively apply common sense notions such as this and when they fail to do so - they are opening themselves up to believing false things (such as that guy really does own a bridge and is stupid enough to sell it for a small amount to a random stranger).

And again, I believe you're speaking too generally. Only in situations with social context is it common sense to apply this type of reasoning. And the consequence of failing to apply this reasoning in non-social contexts is lacking. In fact, I'm trying to suggest that social custom and social bonding are much more important than "being right" about these non-immediate, philosophical, quesitons-without-social-context.

Being right is not as important as you think. There are situations where YOU being right matters, and many situations where you're better off not even bothering to find out.

The reason is is that I do not want to believe things which are untrue. If I do - I open myself up to being manipulated or conned. I open myself up to believing in Santa and fairies and djinn and domovoi, I open myself to wasting my life worried about things that aren't real.

I'd rather not just let social or parental pressures tell me how the world is. Those kind of things are events dictated by the chance circumstance of birth - since the way reality is does not depend on where you were born and to who, this does not seem a good way to decide what reality is like.

Mod, I completely understand the feeling. Completely. I am suggesting--no, I am telling you, this is nothing more than a feeling. Just as the feeling that meaning comes from Ultimate Truth--belief in God--is what matters in life, and that by missing that, your life is a waste.

Meaning we define for ourselves.

One last thing.

I open myself to wasting my life worried about things that aren't real.

What is the cost of a search for Truth? What things do you miss out on by trying so hard to discover the things which have empirical evidence to be real?

What is happiness? Will searching for and finding answers to these questions bring you to it or create it?

Again, my clear, simple answer is, no. It will never be Answers that deliver happiness, only the satiation of your drive to find them.

Sorry for the long, long post, and for probable obtuseness. I'm afraid that it might be hard to connect what I say here to the discussion we're having. Here's to hoping that you'll find those connections through what I've written. I'm doing my best... but if not, let me know if those connections are not clear enough, and I will try to make them more explicit and cut away the obfusicating extra material.

Peace,
Ben


This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by Modulous, posted 08-18-2007 3:29 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by Modulous, posted 08-23-2007 1:17 PM Ben! has not yet responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 266 of 270 (417616)
08-23-2007 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by Ben!
08-21-2007 7:58 PM


Re: The value of Truth
Assuming I remember the question (does God exist?), then I still disagree. You say there's no answer which we can have confidence in, but ... I feel you're conflating "empirical confidence" with the actual feeling of confidence. Lots of people HAVE confidence, regardless of the state of empiricism with regards to God. People DO answer the question, regardless of their ability to back it up with syllogistic reasoning or empirical facts.

I think it is you who are equivocating the meanings of the words. Sure - people have confidence with regards to god - the point is that they have no way of basing that confidence. Feelings are obviously not something we can trust for telling us truths about the world, since they give us contradictory messages (sometimes in the same person, sometimes across various people (person's A's feelings say X and B's feelings say 'Not X').

How do we discriminate which feelings are 'true' and which are not? Do we apply our own feelings? How can we be sure our feelings are the right ones and not somebody else's feelings?

Once again - we choose between revelation (or feelings) and evidence. Without evidence we might as well postulate the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin - nothing about god (from its existence to what its favourite colour is) can be said with any greater or lesser confidence (I could say god exists, he hates Christians, likes pasta and the colour blue and rewards people who hop 45 times a week and have as much confidence in it as I can about saying anything else about god.) There is no way to test who is making stuff up, and who isn't - or indeed if anybody isn't just making stuff up - based on their 'feelings' about how the universe 'should' be.

Point is, in our social structure, the answer yes or no DOES make a difference to each of our lives. There is scientific futility in asking the question, but not social, philosophical, or personal.

How? I'd be keen on hearing how any answer given does make a difference.

If you believe this is evidence in favor of people being fit to either live or find truth, then what of the fact that a purported 85% of the living population believes in things unsubstantiated by empiricism? In that case, they all have evidence of the success of their wisdom as well.

I've never said otherwise - indeed I implied it quite strongly. Likewise those 15% of the living population that don't believe in unsubstantiated stuff are doing well too. I didn't grow up with one of those though but I imagine I would have not questioned my parents rationalism as a child.

And what I am saying is that your conclusion is stated too broadly. It's important in immediate social contexts, ones in which we live our lives. But it's not important for us to be right with regards to high-level philosophical questions such as whether God exists, if there are 22 dimensions or 4, and whether time began from a singularity or from the first mover.

I have never been in a situation where I needed to know whether god exists. I have never been in a situation where it was important to have this kind of information and I assert that nobody has ever been in this situation.

What makes you think that being right in these contexts has any positive or negative impact in any single being's ability to survive, proliferate, and be happy?

It has slight to severe negative impact the ability to be happy. Worrying about how the unknowable is going to react to any given moral dilemma or physical act or whatever...is not going to increase happiness.

It can have a similar positive effect on the ability to be happy too - in the same way that some people would rather live in the Matrix than out of it.

What has it to do with ME? What is the effect on me if I am wrong about these high-level philosophical things? So what if I am duped about it?

If you want to open yourself to being duped about these high-level philosophical things, you open yourself to being duped about lower things. God exists, he is a jealous god, he will torture you if you do something bad, giving me money will help cheer god up.

I'm sure you haven't been completely duped by the transparency of the last step there, but I am happy to admit I have been duped by variants along the same lines (eg buy my books and you'll learn stuff about nonsense that you've never read before).

If you want to open yourself up to being intellectually conned, then be my guest. I answered the question about atheism and explained that I do not wish to waste my life in such a fashion (I have more engaging things to waste my life on!).

And again, I believe you're speaking too generally. Only in situations with social context is it common sense to apply this type of reasoning. And the consequence of failing to apply this reasoning in non-social contexts is lacking. In fact, I'm trying to suggest that social custom and social bonding are much more important than "being right" about these non-immediate, philosophical, quesitons-without-social-context.

Being right is not as important as you think. There are situations where YOU being right matters, and many situations where you're better off not even bothering to find out.

The point is: I don't care about being right (unlike those that believe in mumbo jumbo who do care) - indeed I am trying to say it doesn't matter one jot to me, since I cannot know. If I stated that YHWH exists and I was right, it would only be by startling coincidence that of all the possibilities that one turned out to be true. As it turns out I am doggedly not saying I need to be right - what I am saying is that I'd rather not be wrong. I'll quite happily live my life, not believing some things which turn out to be true - but the opposite? Believing things which turn out to have been nonsense? What a waste of effort all that believing was!

All the information I have leads me to this: As far as I know there is only one life. Why waste it wondering about the nature of god, and whether it exists in the first place? Why not ask questions that can be answered rather than beard stroking about unanswerables?

I disagree. Vehemently. Social practices play critical roles in our lives. If everybody questioned them, we'd lose coordination within our society.

You are assuming that questioning social practices automatically results in disagreement about social practices. I question my social practices, and come to the conclusion they are pretty good though I'd like to change some things. Many other people do likewise - it is an inherent part of our social practices! Otherwise people wouldn't protest or complain or become pundits.

Your philosophy may tell you this is a "bad" thing, but the fact that it IS needs to be understood. Social practices play important roles in bonding human societies.

I wouldn't dream of denying evidence, or of denying research into explaining the evidence. I'm not sure why you think that about me. It is not a good thing that we are easily manipulated by social pressures because that can lead us into potentially destructive behaviour (the crowd effect, riots, etc etc) or beliefs (slavery is an inherent part of society so its ok to treat certain humans as if they were inanimate objects).

Mod, I completely understand the feeling. Completely. I am suggesting--no, I am telling you, this is nothing more than a feeling.

It's not a feeling Ben - it is a defence mechanism against manipulation. One that everybody uses from time to time, but the less they use it the more nonsense they wind up with in their heads.

Meaning we define for ourselves.

Of course.

What is the cost of a search for Truth? What things do you miss out on by trying so hard to discover the things which have empirical evidence to be real?

I don't do this - my search for scientific answers is one of a curious observer. When it comes to any claim anybody makes I ask: Where's the beef?

I just live a normal life, and if someone makes a claim I have a choice to either believe it or not believe it (God exists, I own a bridge, ford cars are better than all the rest). I may also dismiss the claim as unimportant and neither believe nor disbelieve it. The only thing is, that should I choose to believe or disbelieve it, I will do so on the basis of any evidence I might have at my disposal, and I will assign a tentativity to any conclusions based on the perceived quality of the evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 265 by Ben!, posted 08-21-2007 7:58 PM Ben! has not yet responded

  
Rob 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3743 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006


Message 267 of 270 (459266)
03-05-2008 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
08-08-2007 8:13 PM


Straggler:
Aren’t all those difficult theological questions about pain, death, suffering and evil much better answered by an uncaring and indifferent creator?

Actually, unless life is meant to be joyful, full, ultimately, and infinitely pleasurable, there is nothing noteworthy about pain.

This is a huge question. And a very good one I might add.

May I recommend C.S. Lewis' 'The Problem of Pain'?

"No doubt Pain as God's megaphone is a terrible instrument...
It removes the veil...
pain shatters the illusion that all is well... that what we have, whether good or bad in itself,
is our own and enough for us." ( http://www.seescapes.com/Par_megaphone.html )


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 08-08-2007 8:13 PM Straggler has not yet responded

    
julin 
Suspended Junior Member (Idle past 2320 days)
Posts: 1
Joined: 02-14-2012


Message 268 of 270 (652516)
02-14-2012 10:52 AM


01When making san francisco asian escorts a list of your san francisco asian escort favorite pleasurable san francisco escorts activities around the house, you probably wont include cleaning, yet its important to clean your spam toys san francisco escort properly and frequently so that they can continue to provide pleasure as long as possible

Edited by AdminModulous, : spamify


Replies to this message:
 Message 269 by Jon, posted 02-14-2012 12:49 PM julin has not yet responded

    
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 269 of 270 (652539)
02-14-2012 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 268 by julin
02-14-2012 10:52 AM


Worry not, friend julin, us Agnostic Theists are well aware of the importance of clean dildos and properly managed escort lists.

It's really only the Atheists and Deists you have to worry about.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by julin, posted 02-14-2012 10:52 AM julin has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 270 by 1.61803, posted 02-14-2012 1:03 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2778
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 270 of 270 (652542)
02-14-2012 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 269 by Jon
02-14-2012 12:49 PM



This message is a reply to:
 Message 269 by Jon, posted 02-14-2012 12:49 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
RewPrev1
...
1314151617
18
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2018