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Featured none of them are true?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Eddi, Nov 24, 2022.

  1. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    I think I am beginning to believe that ALL religions and belief systems are false and that none of them correspond to reality, to the way things are - hence none of them are true.

    For a long time now I have believed that Atheism is wrong...

    But I am now beginning to suspect that Theism is too and that the truth is beyond mere human comprehension: That we both don't and cannot know it.

    However, I am inclined to think that there is something in existence that is vaguely similar to the human monotheistic God-concepts but that the reality of this thing is WAY beyond our comprehension, so we need to resort to metaphors, analogies, and mythology to take the place of an actual understanding.

    And I think that a part of this involves anthropomorphising this "thing" (although perhaps this "thing" anthropomorphises itself to us?).

    Animals (and this goes for humans) are only as intelligent as they need to be in order to survive and pass on their genes.

    I think that humans don't need to understand the truth of existence to live as humans, hence we don't and cannot understand it.

    But that there is no shame in this!

    Just as a fly does not need to understand music or mathematics to live as a fly...

    I believe that there may be a higher being or higher beings in existence.

    And that we are to them as dogs are to us.

    We need to get rid of the notion that we humans are the pinnacle of existence and can actually understand our predicament beyond the extent which we need to in order to survive and reproduce.

    But I am still committed to living as a Christian! - however, I think there is more to the universe, and that Christianity is only one means of being a human out of many, it is not a means to knowing the actual truth but that it does provide believers with some truths to live by.

    However, I believe that in the past [whatever it is that exists] has interacted with humans and is involved in our existence, to one extent or another.

    So perhaps all religions have a bit of truth in them, without any of them representing the truth, as it exists beyond our limited comprehension????
     
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  2. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    What a wise post!

    My analogy goes something like this. Imagine two buckets. The first one contains all the different beliefs about "god". The second contains the truth. The second bucket may be empty, beyond our understanding, or even very simple indeed. We only have access to the first bucket.

    You may ask, how are we to be guided in this life, if all religions (and philosophies) cannot be totally trusted? My personal answer is to come up with a basic principle from which all my personal morality is derived. In my case it is fairly simple, and loosely stated adds up to "do no harm". Then measure everything you are told against that standard.
     
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  3. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    Yes, I agree
     
  4. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Agreed.

    This is the linchpin of your post for me. When I was in my early thirties, I first began exploring ideas the way you seem to be doing, and taking on some of the major philosophical issues like the relationship of mind to matter, the substance of consciousness, the relationship of experience to whatever lies beyond it and is being experienced, what is free will and how can we tell if we have it or merely the illusion of free will, and the like.

    It was exciting, and though in the end, few questions were answered, it was profitable to consider the issues nevertheless. One benefit was reaching the point where I understood that these questions wouldn't be answered, and I was fine with that.

    One of the conclusions I was able to reach is that it doesn't matter what lies beyond experience, just that one be able to anticipate it. That is, if I stick my finger into a flame, I can reliably expect to feel the pain of fire. We assume that the finger and the flame exist as we perceive them, as if we were looking through a window when we look out on the world.

    But suppose you somehow could know for an iron-clad fact that you were only a disembodied mind living an illusion. All these years, whenever you stuck what you thought was your finger into what looked like a flame, you felt the pain of fire. Now you know that that was an illusion - there is no fire or finger, just the illusion of same - so, you do what you used to do as a test, and it burns anyway as it always did before.

    The answers to these metaphysical questions aren't really useful after all. You were on the way to the kitchen to make a margarita when you discovered this new reality. What do you do differently now that you have that knowledge? Nothing, once done freaking out because you don't have a body, and that's the point.

    But then you remember - you never did have a body. This is not new. The rules don't change. Let's see - what was I doing? Oh yes, getting ready to mix a margarita. It's just as enjoyable knowing it's an illusion. Have two. The tequila is low, but you know where to get more.

    Since then, these matters don't occupy my attention much. I reached the end of my analysis decades ago. There have been no new ideas or insights of equal consequence for me since. I consider the matter to be as resolved as it can be.

    Speaking of which, you used to be interested in the idea of reality being a simulation. That's a similar kind of idea. It's interesting to consider, but unless it manifests in experience, the question will be unanswerable like all purely metaphysical (no phenomena discernible to the senses produced) speculations, and even with an answer, the answer isn't useful. What are you going to do with that knowledge if it were possible to obtain?

    Finally, I have a link to a 3-day old article to share with you regarding simulation speculation that discusses ways that such a reality might impinge on conscious experience, that is, be detectable. I found this article intriguing because of the assorted ideas it brought together such as time slowing near supermassive objects, quantum entanglement, and information as a third form of matter-energy, and also considers possible ways to test for this.

    How to test if we're living in a computer simulation (theconversation.com)
     
    #4 It Aint Necessarily So, Nov 24, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  5. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    No disrespect intended, but I’m not surprised. It was only a question of when the next shift would manifest.
     
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  6. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    I wouldn't call it a shift, it's just a thought, I am still a committed Christian
     
  7. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    I can't quite square these two...
    You are committed to something that is false?
     
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  8. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    The first of your two quotes is way out of context
     
  9. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    It was your first statement of your post... :shrug:
     
  10. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Well yea. All religion is within the human experience and capabilities. It's certainly not a truth factory which is part of the issue.

    I like the Indigenous observation that we don't own the land , but it is the land that owns you.
     
  11. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    All very interesting. I had this thought about something you said that I didn't quote. Let's say that the simulation contained a virtual god, that could send you to a virtual hell where you would be tortured by virtual flames. Would you act any differently if you discovered that? Would you go through the motions of worship to escape hell, or rely on the supposition that your true self couldn't be harmed?

    About he article. The first problem I have is that the author assumes that the "computer" works the way computers do in our reality, and to be more general, that the laws of physics are the same in both places. That tends to mean that we can only test our simulated reality, which may bear no relationship to "reality".

    One test was to see if the basics our reality changed, and an assumption that that could be a programmer fixing things. There's one big weakness here, in that it's quite possible that the programmer would adjust our memories at the same time. I consider that video games are the nearest we currently have to a simulated environment, and they get better at representing reality all the time. The comparison with a simulated reality applies to the NPCs (Non Player Characters) rather than the human player, as we know perfectly well that the game is just that. If an NPC became conscious, would it have the ability to determine that it was in a simulated reality? Sometimes players find "exploits" in the game. These are unintended ways to, say, defeat a powerful enemy that was never intended by the game designer. They don't have to be programming errors, just interactions of planned features. For example, a monster might have a defined area of movement that it can't leave. You can test that by running away form it and noting where it gives up chasing you. Add to that a bow that can fire further than to monster's range. It's perfectly possible to stand at just the right place where the monster stops chasing you but doesn't go back to its assigned place. You can the just hit it with arrows until it dies.

    A programmer might become aware of this and do something to stop it happening. The human player would be aware of the change, but what about the conscious NPC? That would depend on the programmer.

    A book you may have read is Altered Carbon. There's a TV series but the book is better at explaining things. In case you haven't and for anyone that has not lost interest yet, they have developed a method to store a pattern of a person's brain in an implanted device. This pattern is continually updated. If someone is killed, s/he can be revived in a new body, provided the device is not destroyed. This gives effective immortality. The relevance to this subject is that in between bodies the device can be plugged into a computer and the person will experience a simulated reality, which he is aware is simulated. One use to which this is put is torture. A person can be subject to the most obscene tortures, revived in good health and the torture repeated. The hero finds himself in such a situation (his device is in a body at the time and also plugged into a computer), and escapes not by beating the torturer, which is impossible, but by managing to stop his real heart, forcing them to take him out of the simulation for a brief time which he uses to kill the torturers.
     
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  12. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    I don't see why that is necessarily contradictory. Someone can follow a religion by attending church or whatever, and obeying the behavioral rules, while realizing that many of the supernatural beliefs are unlikely to be true. In fact I'll bet that applies to many Christians.
     
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  13. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Interesting take. Thanks.

    I would do whatever I thought necessary to avoid torture. My true self is not my body. It's not even my mind. It's the observer seated in the theater of consciousness, wherever and whatever that may be.

    You reminded me of a hypothetical, which is kind of the opposite problem. You go for your colonoscopy, get your IV Versed, which creates amnesia for the experience, and wake up feeling fine. Later, you see a video of the procedure, where you are screaming bloodcurdling screams almost throughout, fighting to get away, having to be subdued by several people, your mouth covered to muffle the screaming, and you held down for more. I suspect that anybody else seeing that wouldn't have a first colonoscopy, but you already have, and it was easy as best you can recall. Would you go back for another one after seeing that?
     
  14. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    My first sentence was:

    I think I am beginning to believe that ALL religions and belief systems are false

    You made it into

    ALL religions and belief systems are false

    You thus misquoted me by omitting what became before the "ALL"

    I was merely considering it to be a possibility

    In a way that doesn't interfere with my commitment to Christianity

    Which I believe would be true even if we cannot fathom the true nature of the way things are

    For me, considering the possibility that all religions and belief systems may be false lead me to a position that affirmed my Christianity as being true, it was not the final step in the sequence, it was leading up to the final step

    What I was saying was that The Supreme Being is nothing like we imagine it to be, that it is nothing like this:

    God.jpg

    Although thinking of it in such terms can be useful
     
    #14 Eddi, Nov 24, 2022
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  15. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    That does basically mean you're not a Christian, though. You can live/act as one, but you seem to be talking more about some form of deistic belief, rather than a theistic one.
     
  16. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    I believe in Jesus and the Holy Trinity

    It's just that I don't believe we can ever truly understand them and the way things are
     
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  17. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    That raises all sorts of specific questions in my head, but I'll stop there as I don't want to send your thread off on a tangent. If you're interested, just let me know.

    *tips hat*
     
  18. Heyo

    Heyo Veteran Member

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    @Eddi is an agnostic Christian. He doesn't know but he chooses to assume Christianity (until proven otherwise).

    I think that is as recommendable a position a believer can reach. From it only tolerance can emerge and dreams of supremacy or entitlement are pretty unlikely.
     
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  19. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'm going to address your points in reverse, because it strikes me I might be misrepresenting my thoughts or what I'm seeing as important here.

    So...I totally agree with what you're saying about an agnostic element to any belief, including Christianity. I self identify as an agnostic atheist as a nod to the fact that I don't know anything...I only suspect, or believe, or think. So by far the most important point is that I think it's great when people have an element of doubt, or humbleness or allowance in their belief systems, and I don't think @Eddi 's beliefs are at all 'bad'.

    When talking about an agnostic Christian belief in my experience people tend to talk about concepts like believing in some sort of monotheistic God, and that Jesus walked among us. Increased specificity of dogma tends to be a sign of either a more specific belief, or of adoption without belief.

    Using the Trinity as an example, claiming belief in the Trinity (as opposed to God) is a clear flag of a much more specific doctrinal position. It goes beyond mere Christianity, and was adopted to resolve very specific church schisms, and in relation to quite granular discussions around the nature of God.

    If we can't know much about God, but suspect he exists, can we really say we believe in the Holy Trinity?

    It's not a problem, per se, but I'd have a degree of cognitive dissonance I'd need to resolve in holding those positions simultaneously.

    If it's mere utility (ie. Perceived value in assuming the Trinity is true) then sure, that's different. But belief?

    Like I said, its the more minor of points to be made here. Explaining my view is all.
     
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  20. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    I am interested :D
     
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