on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:07 pm

This then is what it means to seek God perfectly:
- to withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does not want, from a glory that is only human display;


It seems to me that anxieties and desires are a part of us (and perhaps a part of any deity). So for me I would include anxieties and desires as part of any meditation or contemplation. Emotions, including the ones judged in religions are a core part of us and if we are made in a deity's image than they are likely a part of him her or it also. This is of course to some degree outside of Christian practice (and I am not a Christian, though I was partly raised in Christianity), but I think it is good to at least consider that the judgments against emotions might be cultural distortion or for some reason not in our best interest. If we cannot love them, we cannot love ourselves, I would say.


Again, this is the sort of spiritual/religious exchange that often unfolds here. They can go on and on post after post and almost never bring either the meditation or contemplation down to earth.

It's all embedded instead in how the technique [whatever it's called] allows one to attain and then sustain a more comforting and constructive frame of mind.

And that's not unimportant, of course. But it steers clear of what I deem the most fundamental purpose of religion is: to provide us with a moral scripture on this side of the grave in order that we continue to exist beyond the grave.

And then the extent to which conflicts occur when different faiths clash and the manner in which Marx spoke of religion as the opiate of the people. Religion used by the rich and the powerful in government to sustain their wealth and power.

And of particular importance to me: theodicy.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:25 pm

So why do [Jehovah Witnesses] continue convincing a person that they need saving, even though that person prefers and is content with, their own religion or spiritual ideal?

What is so ideal/better about their Faith, that they become ignorant to others’ voices, in favour of the one in their head that is telling them to convert the content?


I understand why people react to denominations that take their faith very, very seriously in this manner...while finding it hard to understand why they would question that they do.

After all, with the fate of all souls for all eternity riding on their worshipping and adoring the right God, who would not feel compelled to witness?

And given Judgment Day for most denominations isn't the price of admission into Paradise based on the behaviors that are chosen by the faithful on this side of the grave?

The point isn't why do Jehovah Witnesses go door to door but why aren't Catholics, Protestants and every other denomination doing exactly the same?

If some Jews see themselves as God's "chosen people" and if some Moslems are obsessed with "infidels" why aren't they going door to door or stopping people on the street in order to save their souls?

Either the reality of what is at stake for the soul here is acknowledged or it isn't.

On the other hand, imagine it this way:

Imagine hypothetically three Christian missionaries set out to save the souls of three different native tribes. The first one is successful. The folks in the first tribe accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior and are baptized in the faith. The second is not successful. The folks in the second tribe refuse to accept Christ as their personal savior and instead continue to embrace their own god...their own religion. The third missionary is not even able to find the tribe he was sent out to save.

Now, imagine one member of each tribe dying on the same day a week later. What will be the fate of their souls? Will the man from the first tribe ascend to Heaven having embraced the Christian faith? Will the man from the second tribe burn in Hell for having rejected the Christian faith? And what of the man from the third tribe---he will have died never having even been made aware of the Christian faith. Where does his soul end up?


Let's call it a spiritual conundrum.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:37 am

God is existence itself is a meaningless statement. Why say God then, and not existence? What you are using "God" for is not what "God" refers to.


God as being itself is the ground of being, and the ultimate of source of everything. Therefore God is the meaning of meanings.


And then, for some, when those like me note, "we'll need a context", they insist we are missing the point.

But here my point is that given what I construe to be the "for all practical purpose" reason for God and religion -- morality here and now, immortality there and then -- why not take a stab at connecting the dots between God and religion as intellectual contraptions and the manner in which the conclusions you come to here pertain to the behaviors you choose from day to day.

In particular, as they are understood by you to be pertinent in turn to one or another rendition of Judgment Day.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 10, 2020 9:06 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

(ii) The cosmological argument. This also has many forms, one being that if there exists a contingent being, there must exist a necessary being to, as it were, explain its existence. This has also received some consideration in the literature, with one of the sharpest recent philosophers of religion, Peter van Inwagen, propounding a surprising a priori version of the argument in his book Metaphysics .


Of course here the contingency -- for all practical purposes -- is that if there is a word there must be still more words to define it and it give it meaning. With the word God that's all the cosmological argument turns out to be. A truth wholly contingent upon a world of words.

The "necessary being" is just that: two more words. I merely suggest that what makes these two words necessary -- again for all practical purposes -- is that if we don't merely assume that the words themselves bring this being into existence then we have neither an omniscient/omnipotent font from which to differentiate vice from virtue nor an entity able to bring about our immortality and salvation.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 10, 2020 11:43 pm

How do you think up all these super wise things to say?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:50 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:How do you think up all these super wise things to say?


More to the point, why would it never occur to me to ask you the same? In regard to, say, 99% of the things you post?

Anyway, now that I've got you here, why don't you and I explore your own attempts to connect the dots between the behaviors you choose on this side of the grave and your beliefs about the fate of "I" on the other side. Re God and religion.

The main point of the thread.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:03 pm

Let us talk about the mind more which will help in understanding the experiences, process and effects of the meditation on us.

Basically out mind behaves just like our physical body. As we have different organs in our body to execute different tasks, like feet for walking, hands for holding an picking, eyes for seeing etc, in the same way the mind also have different parts/organs to execute different tasks. In other words we can say that the mind works in four different ways. Namely- imagination(thinking), wisdom(analyzing), memory, ego( execution, will power). If we look carefully, we will find that we have to use these all four parts/qualities of the mind to perform any task.

let us take an example to understand this more clearly.

Let us take an example of having a beer. First of all, the thought of having a beer must have crossed to the mind. That thought may have come for any reason but the mind must have think about this before anything. Then comes wisdom or analyzing power. After thinking of having a beer, the next thing we will do to think whether we should have one or not, whether it is right time or not, or one's health allows it or not. We will judge its pros or cons then decide accordingly. Let us say we decide to have a beer. Now, the memory part takes over as we will think how we can get a beer, like is there one in the fridge, or we have to buy it, if so from which shop and which brand etc. Lastly we go for it means, we start executing that decision, like take it out from the fridge or go to the shop to buy one and have it. The work is complete now.

We all have all these four qualities of the mind But not in the same proportion. That depends how often we use different qualities of the mind. Just as a runner develops strong legs and a blacksmith develops strong hands and arms because they tend to use a particular set of muscles again and again, in the same way, the strength of these four qualities of the mind also depends upon their repetitive use. Like artists use their imagination power more so that increases more than other three. A philosopher uses wisdom more, a student uses memory more and a meditator uses elocutionary power the most.

The important thing to understand here is that any act cannot be competed without using all these four qualities. Having said that, it is not necessary that all four qualities of the mind must be used in the same quantity every time. But, all four qualities must be used, no matter how big or how small their individual contribution
may be. As some actions happen very swiftly, like in a split of a second but even in those cases, all qualities come in use but it looks to us that we miss some steps but that is not true.

As i said above, meditation is all about execution or will power, means, we are training our will power to supersede all other three. So, with practice, the will power of the mind becomes strong enough to keep it focused on desired purpose. Having said that, other three qualities never cease to exist but only kept in control. So, we can see how much long practice is important. Besides that, strengthening of will power helps a lot in other aspects of life too.


Okay, let's assume all of this is true.

But instead of bringing the points to bear on having a beer, they are focused instead on having an abortion.

And, further, the mind focuses in as well on the existential relationship between having an abortion and the fate of "I" on the other side of the grave...given one's belief in any particular God/Universe on any particular religious path.

What of meditation then?

And how come this aspect of it as almost always avoided by those who tout the more "earthly" benefits of it?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:32 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

(iii) The argument from design. Historically, this argument was proposed by many philosophers, and given classic formulation with a famous ‘watch on the heath’ example by William Paley in his Natural Theology (1802). However, the argument was severely attacked by David Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), and received another severe blow in the form of the theory of evolution.


Natural religion. On the other hand, where to begin? With the watchmaker? With the human species? With the first instance of biological life? Than going back to the Big Bang. Then speculating about the possibility of an infinite number of Big Bangs in an infinite number of universes. Then going all the way back to the "design" of existence itself?

To the Designer. The one behind the curtain that minds like us are able to "design" completely out of definitions and deductions that go into "proofs" like this one?

More recently Richard Swinburne, Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion at Oxford, has given a new version of the argument from design using probability theory in his book The Existence of God. There has been some debate over how appropriate and how successful it is to use the tools of the philosophy of science to show that God’s existence is more probable than not.


Probability theory and God. How about probability theory and theodicy...or probability theory and conflicting goods intertwined in the probability theory of dasein.

And you can bet that the debate here never gets all that much closer to an actual demonstrable God than all of the other "proofs" above.

But that's the beauty of proofs like this. The only condition that really counts is that somehow you are able to think yourself into believing them. And what could possibly be more comforting and consoling than that?

Especially given the fact that it can be taken all the way to the grave. And after that it can hardly be said to matter.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:46 pm

What’s New in….Philosophy of Religion
Daniel Hill describes how the work of Alvin Plantinga has revolutionised Philosophy of Religion.

As for arguments against the existence of God, many of the arguments of the logical positivists, such as the one that talk about God is meaningless because it is unverifiable, have vanished without trace, along with the logical positivists themselves.


So? You can argue until you are blue in the face about whether God does or does not exist, but one thing [to the best of my current knowledge] doesn't change: that every and any school of philosophy that has ever existed has never actually succeeded in verifying the existence of God. Let alone Heaven or Nirvanna.

Though, sure, some of us think that is more important to point out than others.

One argument which has shown no sign of diminishing in popularity, still less vanishing, is the problem of evil. This may be expressed very roughly as follows. The set of propositions (1)-(4) is inconsistent, so at least one of them must be wrong:

(1) God is good, and therefore wants to remove evil
(2) God is omniscient, and therefore knows that there is evil
(3) God is omnipotent, and therefore can remove evil
(4) Evil exists.


Now you're talking. This matter is by far -- by far -- the most important question of all in regard to any God and any religion.

Indeed, imagine that we lived in a world where there was no human suffering. A world where no one ever spoke of evil because there was nothing that could be thought of that would allow us to make sense of what some say that it was. Now, in this world, we may well still be unable to demonstrate that an actual God did in fact exist. But when people spoke of Him as loving, just and merciful that would certainly make a whole lot of sense. We may not be able to communicate with or interact with this God, but how could anyone doubt that something "up there" must be sustaining a world totally without pain and suffering.

Let's run this by the religionists here. But, really, how could they not all be reduced down to this: God works in mysterious ways.

Or, for the Buddhists, the universe works in mysterious ways.

But, fortunately enough, for both, one of them results in immortality and the other in salvation. And all the evil in the world doesn't make that go away.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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