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Featured Should god-claims be taken seriously?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by 9-10ths_Penguin, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    We've had a few threads lately asking for opinions on whether God exists. To me, this is putting the cart before the horse a bit.

    It seems to me that getting to the conclusion that the monotheistic god-concept of one particular religion exists needs a few other prior steps:

    1. God-claims should be taken seriously.
    2. Gods (as a category of thing) are possible.
    3. Gods (as a category of thing) exist.
    4. A particular god exists.
    5. (For monotheistic religions) no other gods exist.

    Personally, I'm back before step 1: I haven't accepted the idea that god-concepts are something that ought to be taken seriously. In fact, I lean toward the conclusion that they aren't something that warrants serious attention.

    For those of you who have gotten past step 1: why? How did you do it?

    And please note that I'm not asking why we should take theism and its effects seriously. Theism - especially religious theism - has all sorts of real effects on the world. I'm asking why we should take claims like "God exists" as serious and reasonable propositions about reality that merit investigation to see whether they're true or false.

    So... what do you think? Why are god-claims something that should be taken seriously? Or are they?
     
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  2. Left Coast

    Left Coast Still Gay
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    Can I ask an even more basic question, to get a sense of where you're coming from?

    Why take any claim seriously? Like, what's an example of a claim you take seriously, and why?
     
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  3. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Be who ever you want

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    To me, i can say yes to all 5 of your choices in the list , not that i ask others to do the same.

    How did i come to this answer? Practice of religion and spiritual teachings for more than half my life. :)
    Thinking, pondering on spirituality and asking questions to what i read.
    Only in the end of 2020 and now beginning of 2021 have i gotten to the point of understanding i hold now. And the more I open my heart to the teaching the more my understanding grows.
     
  4. Salty Booger

    Salty Booger Royal Crown Cola (RC)

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    The curious thing is that you are participating on a Religious Forum with this thread. ;)

    I don't believe you need take it seriously. God isn't necessarily a bad thing. There could be a lot of Love there.

    The gods have been with us for a long time. Maybe there is something there that we have missed?
     
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  5. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Mostly just stepping back from debates (arguments?) about the modal ontological argument or "fine tuning" and realizing that they're kinda pointless... like arguing about whether Superman or Darth Vader would win in a fight.

    One I don't already accept as true?

    Off the top of my head... the claim that fomite transmission of COVID-19 poses a significant risk under everyday conditions. Based on my reading, it's not something that appears to be true, but it's certainly an idea with enough merit that it warrants careful investigation to see whether it is true.

    As for why to take a claim seriously - i.e. to make a value judgement that the time and resources to investigate it is well-spent - I'd consider factors like these:

    - at first blush, does the claim seem like there's a chance it might be true?

    - how did the claim originate? Does the claim's origin point to it being potentially true, or something else?
     
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  6. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    How did practicing "religion and spiritual teachings" convince you that god-claims should be taken seriously?

    If anything, it seems like a person would need to be convinced that their god-concept(s) should be taken seriously before devoting half of their life to them.
     
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  7. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Leaderless Animal

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    If god claims are not to be taken seriously (by anyone) that might rather reduce this forum's size a good deal.

    As is traditional on RF, I'd say it depends on what one means by the term. It can refer to a variety of things, perhaps some more deserving of serious consideration than others (in the eye of the beholder).
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    If a person has no interest in belief in god, it would be a waste of time for him or her to take the claim seriously. "God exists" doesn't mean much unless maybe someone was having a theological or philosophical debate and/or maybe is curious about people's belief or want to believe themselves. In general, it's not a subject I would personally think about if you mean god of the bible or jesus christ as god. It's irrelevant.
     
  9. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Veteran Member
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    By taking the time to listen to those that believe in a personal god and seeing the impact it's had on their lives.

    Because there is really nothing to accomplish in not taking them seriously other than serving one's own ego.

    If someone claims they have a personal god, what impact does this have on your life?
     
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  10. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Be who ever you want

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    For me it started with a curiousity about what more then the physical world was there, i heard people speak of God, and wanted to know more, this is why i ended up practiceing different religions, at that time i did not understand what to look for. And the practice i followed told me what i had to do in life to reach this God "figur"

    The practice is to undo all the wrong/negative aspect of my life, to become like God in purify from within.
    And this part, to find all my shortcomming and wrong understanding of what life and God is, has taken me 20 years and still i find new aspects in life to get better at.

    Unfortunatly i have had many setbacks where i stopped trying to become more pure in action words and thoughts.

    In my experience today, even one day away from practiceing to become more pure in heart can damage everything i did in the past. This is why i believe full devotion to the teaching from God.
     
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  11. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    So let us play this:
    P1: There is no evidence of any God-claims.
    Therefore we shouldn't take them seriously.

    The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. So what is your hidden premise?
     
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  12. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Veteran Member
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    Definitely Superman.

    Heck, Darth Sidious took Darth Vader out and his powers are dwarfed by Superman's.
     
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  13. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    Many of us have no choice in the matter, as we are indoctrinated from infancy into a religion. There was never a time in my childhood when there was even the remote possibility of questioning the existence of God. After that, the entire culture reinforces it. It wasn't until I was 47 years old that it became an issue for intellectual examination.
     
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  14. Left Coast

    Left Coast Still Gay
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    I see, I think I understand. But to answer the first question, don't you have to examine the evidence/arguments in favor of the thing? I don't know how to assess the chances of any and all God claims being true at first blush.

    Regarding the second question, I think I can see where this might be relevant if it was clear someone was lying, or hallucinating, or some other circumstance where the person originating the claim shouldn't be trusted. I don't see that to be the case with any and all God claims though.
     
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  15. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    It kind of depends on what you mean by "taken seriously" but I don't think any concept should be dismissed out of hand (unless it's directly self-contradictory maybe). How much time and effort can and should be committed to an idea is a different question, but that should be based on the entirety of what is being presented, not just the general topic.

    (Interestingly, I just made essentially the same point on another forum to someone questioning the logic of atheists denying the existence of God :cool: )
     
  16. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I think that's up to you. If you don't care about why things are the way they are, or if there is any purpose to existence, or why you exist as you do, or if there is any purpose to that, of if the things you value most in life have any value beyond yourself, then I guess there would be no point in bothering to consider these possibilities. Seems a very dull way to live, to me, but it's not my call to make for anyone but myself.
    I just naturally find contemplating the many 'deific' possibilities fascinating, and interesting. And then choosing one that seems to make sense, and acting accordingly to see how it 'plays out' in life even more interesting. But then I'm not expecting to be right or wrong. I'm just looking for the conceptualizations that produce the most value in my life.
    We can't know if the God proposition is true of false beyond how it effects us when held as true or false. But then that's true of ANY existential proposition. I think you're tripping yourself up by presuming that being able to determine existential validity is some sort of prerequisite.
    I think engaging with these claims makes us more interesting, and more thoughtful, and more aware humans beings.
     
    #16 PureX, Jan 6, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    I see no reason to take anyone's belief seriously, as belief in and of itself. People are free to believe whatever cockamamie story they want. That all changes when said belief affects their actions, and those actions in turn are about to affect me, or someone else in a negative way.

    So yeah ... meh
     
  18. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Irrelevant to the plausibility of any claim they make about their supposed "god" being true.

    Plenty is accomplished by getting another person to seriously question the source for their confidence in something. We do this all the time in other avenues, attempting to sway one party or another to another line of thinking. It's how modern societies wrestled with the idea of slavery, or gay marriage. Is it all about "serving one's own ego?" Hardly.

    There are some who speak as if I necessarily must accept some impact on my life. And even others who would like to see me punished for refusing to do so. Anyone who keeps it to themselves and doesn't push it in the face of others in such a way? Fine! I don't care! Believe whatever you want when praying to yourself in your closet. Makes no difference to me! But when you parade it around in front of the world, and even try to convince others of your wild claims? Then we have a problem. Then I very much feel there is an impact to my life. I live in a community of people that are mostly believers in the Christian narrative. I am literally unable to speak my mind about various things without butting heads with these people based solely on their adherence to their faith. Like if I were to openly admit that I support gays being able to do whatever they please with one another. I would literally get wild stares, or people who would confront me outright, and the sole basis of their argument would be "what The Bible says." I shouldn't have to deal with such idiocy, honestly. I refuse to simply just stand for it. Give me well-reasoned arguments or get back to your closet, you wretch!
     
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  19. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Well, if you know something about what God is like, what God wants, and what God might do -- then you can begin looking for clues: does the world around you look like it has been impacted by the God you have just defined? Why or why not?
     
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  20. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Veteran Member
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    Irrelevant to whom? You? Because it's certainly not irrelevant to the person making the claim.

    Tell me then, what does it accomplish questioning the claimant when neither of you have a shred of objective evidence for or against the existence of their god? What do you have to gain? What does the claimant? The only thing I've seen gained here is unnecessary drama.

    Help me to understand the difference between you speaking your mind and the Christians in your community speaking theirs. Do you have more of a right to do so because you perceive yours to be more correct than theirs?

    Someone proselytized to me just today in another thread. Did I think it was inconsiderate? Sure. Did I find in necessary to tell them to support their claim with well reasoned arguments? Nope. I didn't feel the need to create drama. I simply showed the member how projecting their views onto me was pointless. Did it have any impact on my day or my worldview? Most certainly not.

    In my experience, people who have such problems in the beliefs of others are entirely too wrapped up in their own.
     
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