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Featured Are you closed minded?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by charlie sc, May 7, 2019.

  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Agreed. I wasn't attempting to create any certainty in my dream example. It was offered as more of an idea to ponder that while one may be certain that the reality that s/he is experiencing at any given moment is true, one may awaken at any time from that reality that is perceived to be true into another.

    In other words, there is no way to be certain that relative reality, the reality you are experiencing right now, is true reality.

    Which leads me to the point of how I answered your question about "god." As post #2 indicates, I am certain of what I experienced. I have experienced a perspective outside of the relative reality and experienced my daughter experiencing a similar, if not the same, perspective. However, I cannot say that I am certain it was "god." But what I can be certain of is these experiences. Subsequently, I can draw a conclusion based on practice, study and research of what I experienced and form a hypothesis or even a theory, but I cannot say for certain that it was "god." But based on empirical evidence, albeit subjective, I can say it's likely that it was what you may be offering as "god." Or least my understanding of it.

    So certain? No. Confident? Indeed.
     
    #121 SalixIncendium, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  2. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    That's right.

    That's right.

    You could say that, sure, if you meant that faith is not subject to the standards of reason. But the poster was being unreasonable (unfair) by expecting faith to hold to the standards of reason.
     
    #122 joe1776, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  3. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Because it is not defined and has no scientific data as well at those points i listed in my first post on this thread.

    Also consider gods to be the most disproved concept in the history of mankind. Of the more than 100 billion people who have lived on this ball of rock many have tried to prove their gods existence and every single one has failed.

    It would only take 1 verifiable success to end disbelief in god and incidentally put an end to faith in god.

    Of course some people say i am crazy because of my beliefs, some have threatened me (and my children) with eternal torture in hell (some god belief that one has to resort to such tactics to validate their own belief) yet not one of them can supply tangible proof for their god.
     
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  4. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, we're agreed on this. It wasn't clear to me that you were limiting your criticism to believers who try to make their faith sound more reasonable.

    Try it. Usually, we instantly judge something unfair but never bother trying to explain it. When asked why do you think it would be unfair (?) the first response is to stammer something like: Because it just is!

    Both of your previous statements indicate that you think that moral judgments are the product of reason. I think David Hume was the only philosopher who got it right three centuries ago. Moral judgments are intuitive -- the judgments of conscience.

    An allied soldier in WW2 is fighting and killing in a just cause. He is ordered to kill civilians. He will immediately feel the wrongness of such an act whether he has an IQ of 60 or 160. It isn't something that the slow, deliberate reasoning function of our brains has to figure out.

    No one asks: Why do you think it's wrong to kill civilians because we all know it's wrong. If the soldier had trouble explaining it would you judge that he's mistaken?

    Research over the past 20 years or so is confirming the intuition theory but the colleges are still teaching the rationalist theory of morality.
     
    #124 joe1776, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
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  5. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    That tendency is a universal one across cultures the world over. Those same humans gradually nurtured the discipline of science and a deep appreciation for it.

    Now the question becomes what sort of intelligence, what sort of brain, would give rise to both?

    For me my faith has given me greater agency in my life. This suggests that faith can produce results that are adaptable within the environment that humans evolved in and individually must negotiate. This suggests to me the possibility that faith can (not always) express certain traits in the human brain-mind that have contributed to our ancestor's ability to survive.

    When did faith first arise in human evolution? How did it contribute to the survive-ability of those who had it versus those who didn't? These are questions for human science and scholarship to address. And perhaps a comparative analysis of faith stories can help to provide answers.
     
  6. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    Faith isn't about certainty. It's about feeling a gnawing feeling in your heart that something is right. And then a good theologian sort of works backwards from that feeling into, "how can I know that's so?" Well unless you're one of those who takes rhings on blind faith, but I respect those types even less that atheists .

    How can I be certain? Well, aside from the fact that I am pantheist and believe in everything I see as God, meaning while I sometimes feel God is mean or cruel, I can just open my eyes and see a world that is (creation is by definition evidence of some Creator, even if it weren't the Jewish or Christian one, but more like Cthulhu), as I mentioned in an earlier post against ChristineM, two noted atheists just mentioned a creation system that either proves God or descends into cyclical irrationality.
    https://strangenotions.com/hawking-proof-for-god/

    Hawking believes in spontaneous creation. However, to have spontaneous creation, you need physical laws, which in turn needs a universe in which those physical laws exist. You're creating a universe in order to make physical laws that would need a universe to also exist. That is, to make a statue, you need three things: tools, a work space, and a sculpter. Now a sculpter can build a work space and even buy or construct tools. This solves the cyclic problem. But an unmanned factory requires something to exist in the first place. At the very least, someone who built the plans that eventually became the factory.

    That's not even why I'm certain. Why I'm certain is because I personally have seen my own life changed by God. I went from someone contemplating suicide and very much feeling alone in the world, to still very much a shut-in, but one who knows they are loved. Who has friends. And I've seen other lives changed. A delusion doesn't tend to improve people, they tend to stare at the ceiling mumbling.
     
    #126 Samantha Rinne, May 8, 2019
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  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I do not think it bothers God...
    It is all in a day's work for Him as believers often get angry at Him, most of them just won't admit it. :rolleyes:
    Besides, I usually don't get God to DO anything to help me unless I get really angry at Him. :rolleyes:
     
  8. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    I go with neither as the basis for morality and ethics. I believe the foundation lies in the evolved innate behavior for the survival of the specie. Intuition and rational processes may contribute to the function and application of morality and ethics in society.
     
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  9. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    I'm not convinced atheists are anything but ppl more angry at God than the rest. If you were actually atheist you would necessarily have to care about God not at all, but very few I've encountered are like this.
     
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  10. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    Ungrounded assumptions from an egocentric perspective for the reasons other people believe what they do to justify your belief.
     
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  11. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Is this survival-faith really anything other than the
    power of positive thinking?
     
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  12. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    We're not far apart.

    I think that conscience -- our intuitive, internal moral guidance system -- is aligned with the survival of our species. For example, conscience guides us not to kill innocent others but has no problem with killing people like the Nazi SS who were bent on oppression. I see this as perfectly aligned with the survival of the species.
     
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  13. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    There is a lot of misunderstanding there.
    Like all of it. I guess I could explain why,
    but you may not be receptive.
     
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  14. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it includes facing up to evil, acknowledging one's own limitations, "having it out with" or "showing deep appreciation for" an imaginal being who stands in as the representative of reality itself, maintaining "useless" disciplines that ideally create positive outcomes incrementally (for example, meditation), revealing one's nagging secrets that threaten to destroy your life or the trust you have established with others, etc.

    But, yes, if we think of prayer and other self-talk of an encouraging nature then faith has offered us the power of positive thinking centuries before it was rediscovered in this century.
     
  15. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    It would be more accurate to say I don't feel articulating any issue of human knowledge in terms of absolute certainty makes sense (aka, universal agnosticism on questions of knowledge). As far as I'm aware, there is general agreement that no human (nor humans as a collective) is omniscient and omnipresent. Absolute certainty requires both of those. Humans cannot be absolutely certain of anything, even if they say so. And if they do say so, they do so for important reasons that are worth examining. All humans think inside boxes, or have maps of the territory they operate by. Exploring why a person tends to use a particular map of the territory is much more interesting. But that's the researcher in me, I guess.



    Per the above, it might as well. When theism becomes more than shallow lip service and delves into the realm of practice, we don't exactly stop and go "gee, is this rain falling right now really here?" before saying a blessing to the Spirit of the Rain. Not just because it's silly, but because it's missing the point (which is gratitude and connecting with something larger than yourself, in many instances).



    [sarcasm]Yes, because questions like that are a fantastic way to open up good faith dialogues with someone to learn about another culture.[/sarcasm]

    Perhaps that's not one of your goals, true. That's the context I am speaking from, though. If we want to learn about other cultures, asking good questions is paramount. It's something that is more than worth thinking about for your next thread. Others have already pointed out the problems with framing this in the manner you have, myself included. Also, you really could have just created an anonymous poll. You cannot edit your own posts indefinitely.
     
  16. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    So.... faith is unreasonable then.
    However, you said the following in the comment I was responding to:

    "You are judging people who claim they have faith by the standards of reason. That's unreasonable."

    So you used the wording "that's unreasonable" to note that it is a bad and invalid.
    So this must mean that you consider "faith" to be "bad and invalid".

    Right?

    If faith isn't presented as being reasonable, then it isn't even worth discussing it. On the count of it being unreasonable, by definition.

    Things defined as unreasonable are... well.... unreasonable.
     
  17. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    Actually.... that tendency (superstition and infusion of agency) is not just universal among human cultures. It is universal throughout the animal kingdom.

    Even pidgeons are extremely prone to superstitious beliefs.
    And just about every animal infuses agency - especially those that are prey to another.

    For example, when surprised by a sound. They don't tend to stand around "investigating" what it was. They just assume "DANGER! DANGER! IT WANTS TO EAT ME!!!" and run like hell.

    It's, just as I said in that post, a typical type 1 cognition error: the false positive.

    And in that process, substituting their superstitious god-intervention-beliefs with the actual natural phenomena that are really happening. No, it's not Poseidon that controls the tides. It's not Thor / Jupiter / Zeus that controls lightning and thunder. Etc.

    It seems most, if not all, sorts of brains give rise to the first.
    Science is a human developed methodology to find out how stuff really works.
    A development that only took place because we had the time and opportunity for it, like by settling into cooperative societies where the collective takes care of the needs of the individual and thereby opening up time and opportunity to become more efficient or just better at whatever it was one was doing.

    I don't know what that sentence means. When I used the word "agency", I was talking about something rather specific, which doesn't seem to be reflected in that sentence at all.

    Perhaps you can rephrase this whole bit to clarify it, because it honestly makes no sense to me. I really have no idea what you are saying.

    I already gave you one possible answer in the very post you are replying to, but you left it out of the quote.

    My stance is that the underlying trait that enables "religious faith", is a tendency to be superstitious and infuse agency in seemingly random events. And I have you an example of hearing a noise and assuming (= "just believing" = faith) that it's a dangerous predater out to get you (= infusing agency and intent in the noise, with you being the central figure as if it all is about you personally).

    Such behaviour is literally what type 1 cognition errors are: the false positive.

    Those more prone to making that cognition error had MORE SURVIVAL chances then those that didn't. I explained why in the post as well.

    And this is universal accross species that are also prey to others. It's not a human thing only at all.

    Again, even pidgeons are superstitious and it's actually quite easy to set up experiments that demonstrate exactly that.
     
  18. joe1776

    joe1776 Well-Known Member

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    No. As I explained to you in Post 122...

    "You could say that, sure, if you meant that faith is not subject to the standards of reason. But the poster was being unreasonable (unfair) by expecting faith to hold to the standards of reason."

    I've used bold type to denote the two different meaning for the word unreasonable. I don't think I've ever heard the word used to mean "bad and invalid."

    If someone merely claims their faith, there's nothing to discuss. Charlie has since clarified his position. He was thinking of the people who try to make arguments offering weak evidence in an attempt to make their faith sound more reasonable. We agreed that they can be fairly criticized and that we have more respect for those who claim their faith and feel no need to justify it to others.
     
    #138 joe1776, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  19. Michelle71

    Michelle71 Member

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    80% - I've got these experiences, see ....
    20% doubt explains away those experiences as subconscious phenomena but how does that help my "meaning in life" conundrum?
     
  20. sealchan

    sealchan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I am sure that such quick ways of thinking are an aspect of human cognition inherited from previous species. Our ability to quickly react to potential danger is of use and should be tuned to reacting to false positives in favor of accuracy or a tendency to fail to react to false negatives.

    It explains the cause and tends to dismiss the literal likelihood of a God as an agent, but it does not fully address the need of the human being to make meaning out of natural phenomenon especially when they heavily impact one in a personal way. What it does mean is that it is necessary to abstract one’s understanding of God or a god somewhat so that one minimizes the degree of conflict between one’s understanding of physical reality and one’s ability to negotiate personal meaning in that objective reality.

    I’m using agency in the same sense but adding a sense of quantity to it. Greater agency means a greater range of freedom to act in a being that is understood to have some sort of choice or free will, i.e. agency.

    So in your formulation of it, one can leverage false positives (one’s imagination) to invent needed psychological encounters (play or roleplay a social interaction) that allows the individual to process their feelings in a way that objective reality can’t provide or can’t as readily provide.

    If I lose my family in a flood and I am devastated emotionally by that to the extent that I am about ready to kill myself, I have a psychological crisis on my hands. If I have no one to get angry at for that flood or no one to provide me hope that I have not completely lost a significant part of myself, then I may choose in favor of suicide. But if I can yell at or plead with a creator deity then, perhaps, I can process my feelings in an important way that allows me to achieve the inner healing I need to rebuild my life or at least continue it and not otherwise needlessly sacrifice myself when the remnants of my community might need me the most.
     
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