Do you talk to GOD?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by sculptor, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    On Questions of Substance (cont.)

    Toward that, I happened to remember a fourth, along the way, so ... anyway:

    And while I might be able to offer at least three other versions just off the cuff, they are not the sort of discussion he is accustomed to having. (#115↑)

    1) From witchcraft: Pretty straightforward, it is one's own idol, as such; a crafted and adapted icon of reality, with which one might interact. I might reach back to 2008↗ for why I use witchcraft for the example, but, by coincidence, I happened to touch close to such functions last year↗, even if you happened to miss it.

    2) From monotheism into panentheism: This is absolutely straightforward, insofar as any of us can occasionally converse with the world around us in general. Inasmuch as anyone might proverbially shake their fist at the sky, or simply observe unto the empty room some irony that annoys them, there is actually a lot that goes into this abstraction. The thing is, what makes it talking to God or not is entirely up to the individual. Then again, this version of God is not necessarily useful to you because it is hard to judge.

    (Note: Both these versions of talking to God are sort of a one-way conversation, but if we consider how they are not, it's an obscure point having to do with laughter being social behavior. That is, the behavior can be tied to brain function that is not necessarily unhealthy.)​

    3) From walking down the street to talk to him at his house: Yeah, that one's not going to make sense to you. Moreover, I haven't actually surveyed my neighbors to figure out which houses.

    (Note: With that being the third point, the fourth is even more so, and it ought to have been right there to mind with the other three.)​

    4) From Sufism: Polish your mirror until you see God in the reflection. No, really, that one is so blatant I can't believe I had to think of it later.​

    Now, inasmuch as you seem hung up on one trick↗, consider the third point. It's not that you need to sympathize with it, but it's also a range where a certain word becomes meaningless, and the only thing that might get you stirred up is if you somehow think that godhead has anything to do with the idol you besiege. Nonetheless, it turns out the whole pretense is not far off from the fourth, and inasmuch as you might be able to appreciate that one because it works very nearly like a joke, well, right, that, too is a different discussion than what you insist on. To wit, the implications of Perdurabo having figured it out in his way remain unclear, but that's a downstream consideration, and you, as it happens, turn out to be you.

    Such discussions are not what you pursue; they are not the discussion you are most comfortable having; they do not serve your need, and tend to only complicate and disrupt your satisfaction. For instance—

    —it's one thing that you are, technically, incorrect, but quite another that you don't seem to understand what the thread is for; nor have you grapsed the relevance of the excerpt; in the end, that thread↗ is about how people discuss religion, and includes many examples, and in its way is not irrelevant to your point that we have to live alongside people who are at times irrational, belligerent, dogmatic, unreasonable, discourteous, intolerant etc. For one who is honestly interested in what makes people tick, and considers it important to understand why they are that way, the question of how we discuss religion is not irrelevant, and one might think the prospect of decades, even generations, spent disputing over the wrong question—(just for instance)—could be of interest. All of that, however, is much more complicated than mere judgment.

    After all, that period would include you and me, and discourse historical and political about God and religion, which point, true, is a bit subtle compared to what you do, and it is easy enough to ackowledge that countenancing certain strains of futility toward which we might have given too much effort can be annoying and even discouraging; it isn't hard to acknowledge this is less satisfying than pursuit of satisfaction.

    As it happens: "For some reason," you suggest, "some people seem to lack the bravery to say what they actually believe"; this is the kind of thing you like to say, but is also the sort of thing some might describe of you, too. That might be an important aspect to consider:

    Again, this is the kind of thing some might suggest about you, too, because it is true of many people, of many beliefs, regardless of whether or not God is involved, but such as it is, sometimes their beliefs will not attend your priorities.

    And if I consider a bit I haven't yet managed to put in the thread on discussing religion, an historian reflects that his perspective on matters might change as time passes beceause he knows and understands more at the end of the writing of the third book than he did at the beginning of the writing of the first.


    Well, all in its order, James. You make enough of a mess that taking you seriously is in and of itself an act requiring some effort; making sense of it all does take some time. True, your response at #117↗ did make the more specific discussion of your behavior seem useful. But figuring out what to do with your mess, how to structure the response and account for what can be discerned about your reading comprehension, takes time; assembling and arranging resources is an ongoing adventure—for instance, I found the actual "one trick" post↗ along the way, while looking for something else, so not only did I need to go back and include that in the post on cyncism, it turns out this is one more thing I've discussed with you along the way.

    (Or, in realtime: I don't really know what to do with an old line↗ about you having encountered something, before, but in many cases there is no indication you noticed; I came across that one while writing the next paragraph, and it seems relevant per your indignance about what we might have discussed before. And in terms of things taking time, sure, rewriting it into the post on cynicism, or figuring new ways to address what has already been repeated, can be complicated, especially when you can't explain what your actual confusion is.)​

    You might recall, or not, one of our neighbors discussing, from time to time, the Gish Gallop, and while the question of whether you've achieved that threshold can certainly remain open, the fact is that reasonably accommodating your extraordinary needs is not necessarily easy. As examples, consider a couple things that might look like you trying to be deceptive; the bit about how you "have never prevented anybody" is dubious enough, but your turn to whether "we've had a discussion about this" was shown to be inaccurate—in both cases, your self-righteousness dresses straw men, so even setting aside the inaccuracy of the point about your demands of articulation, there remain questions about the fallacies themselves. Given that we should presume, despite having seen this sort of behavior so many times before, that such convenient confusion is not actually deceptive, but instead entirely accidental, the applicable lesson here reminds that no sentence in the English language is impervious to dispute from appeal to confusion.

    It's kind of like your great "Meh"↗, blaming theists for your own poor performance; or maybe strawmanning↗ in order to explain why others aren't worthy of your time; at the very least, you are aware of the idea that responding to posts can take time.

    Meanwhile, sure, whatever, never let it be suggested you might be oversensitive about anything. As a general principle, though, we might wonder if keeping opinions to oneself only has to do with you, compared to general implication suggesting that nobody should be discussing anyone else according to some mysterious range of opinions or vectors or some such. Nonetheless, circling back: It is true, you and Arfa Brane seem to be talking about different things, and the godhead he is trying to describe simply does not fit in your little box. And no, James, that point is not any sort of bullying.​
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  3. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Here is someone who talked to god with a nice result

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps this thread was meant to trap certain people who have certain beliefs.

    But if so, it fails when you examine what the word "talk" might mean. Christians speak to God in prayer (I've done this too), but like I mentioned, some people can make musical instruments "talk"; when you sing, are words necessary or is it possible to express something without them? Of course it is; language is not just words.

    Do I "talk to God"? I think I could say, yes I do (and it isn't just me who does), depending on how those words are constrained, or allowed to roam free . . .
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    The word "talk" loses most of its meaning if you loosen the constraints to the extent that almost anything you do can be counted as "talking to God". So does the word "God".
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    You seem to be quite fixated on me and on what and how I post. Everything is meta-commentary from you, and far too often an attempted put-down as well. Perhaps you might like to consider venturing an opinion on the content of the thread topic, rather than on how other people are choosing to discuss it. Just a thought, if you'd like to try participating in a more constructive way.

    Pardon me if I just skip over a lot of the nonsense that you've constructed, based on false assumptions you are so keen to make about me. I'll just respond to the points that spark my interest, and make a few observations of my own, because that's what we're doing, apparently. I'll even give you some useful advice.
    There's no straw man. Your claim was that I have "particular standards ... about how people are allowed to discuss [God]". The implication is that I somehow prevent people from discussing God how they want to discuss it.

    What's missing is any suggested mechanism of my supposedly-oppressive ways. I am not censoring people here. I have not shut anybody down for discussing God in a way which I don't approve of. Nor do I demand that anybody converse with me if they would not choose to do so.

    Underlying your entire latest wall of text, I think, is that you don't like the way I discuss God. And this, despite the fact that you rarely, if ever, contribute to discussions about God, other than in the form of meta-commentary of the sort we're seeing here.

    If you think I'm wrong about God, and that upsets you, then here's what you should do instead: tell me why I'm wrong. Tell us all what you think about God. Put an "alternative" point of view, and let's have the battle of ideas, rather than this silly personal sniping game you always seem to want to play instead.

    There is no problem with people starting threads on a discussion forum, even if you don't like them, Tiassa. I don't start many threads here. You're not obliged to participate in any threads of mine if you don't want to.

    Your assessment of when I "need" or don't need to start a thread doesn't concern me. Keep your beak out of it. You do you, okay?
    That's a lie. My response didn't suit your meta-narrative, so here you are writing walls of text complaining.
    It's great that you're trying to step in to shield arfa brane from evil old me, Tiassa. Really touching that you have his best interests at heart.

    Has it occurred to you that he has agency here? Am I holding a gun to his head? Is he obliged to engage with me, or to answer in any particular way? The answers ought to be obvious to you.

    Maybe it upsets you that arfa can't articulate his position. But then, neither can you, it seems. Instead of giving us your erudite opinions on the topic, we get this. Personal attacks. Meta-commentary. The n-th re-examination of ancient chips on the shoulder.
    What am I? The Great Puppet Master? Making arfa say things against his will? Poor arfa. But, hey, I'm the master manipulator, so bwahahaha! Feel my evil!

    As for straw believers, they really aren't needed. There's more than enough material to work off from the actual believers.
    Careful! You're almost discussing the topic, Tiassa. (Mind you, this was in a different thread, in the past.)

    I take it you're upset that I'm not happy with vague descriptions of beings that believers assert with high confidence actually exist somewhere outside their heads.

    What do you want? Do you want me to say "It's okay, little arfa. Believe any old thing you like. You don't need to be able to justify it, or even to explain it coherently to anybody else, as long as it makes you happy."?

    If that's what you want, then, at one level, that's just fine and dandy. Of course I'm not going to prevent arfa from believing whatever rubbish he likes. At the most, I might try to dissuade him of false notions, or suggest ways that he might think more clearly about the relevant issues. I might very well point out that his reasons for believing what he believes are not very solid, when viewed in the cold light of day. And yes, in the process, I might even hurt his feelings. Is that what you're concerned about?

    Or does it go deeper for you? Could it be that you're actually more concerned about your own beliefs? Have I hurt your feelings, by proxy?

    Are you perhaps scared to have a discussion about your beliefs with me? Is that it? Is that why you keep coming at it in this oblique, meta-commentary way that you do?

    I answered. See post #52.

    You didn't ask me what I expected until later, and I answered that one too.

    Go check. After you have done that, the appropriate thing for you would be to apologise for your false accusation that I am "incapable of answering" you on this point.
    You're just being silly and pretending. And you complain about straw men!
    Well, you're the expert on what I need, Tiassa. Congratulations on your insight.

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  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Neither am I. It's why I've tried hard to abandon the Christian view, and its version of talking to God.

    You don't understand much of what I've been saying, it seems. Look, if I find a version of God that doesn't involve me believing anything, except that I have to practise something, then why do I have to accept (from you) that it isn't real, somehow, unless I can articulate some belief or other?

    Rubbish, complete rubbish. God, if there is one, should not be something I have to believe in, that should follow if I see this thing, surely? Then I can at least believe I have seen, right? Like if I learn to play a tune on an instrument, I can believe in my ability to play it, if I actually do play it. Belief has nothing to do with whether or not musical instruments exist.
  10. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    There it is; you want to examine the reasons I believe; I don't believe, and that's the truth. I don't because I don't have to. I don't have to because I can see something that maybe you can't.
    I do have beliefs, of course, mostly fairly prosaic and ordinary.
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    How about we share our ideas on what we think God is, seeing as you're so keen, Tiassa?

    You go first, then we can see how much common ground we have. It sounds like you have a few of your own prescriptions on what God ought to be. Out with them, then.
    What a strange thing for you to say.

    Exactly what kind of "affirmative thesis" do you expect regarding God, from an atheist? Please explain.

    Note that my position - which I have explained countless times - is not that there is no God. Do I need to walk you through the basics again?
    What else do you think I be taking into account - that I am ignoring - when talking to theists about their Gods?

    You seem to be suggesting that I should ignore what theists have to say about their gods. Or - what? That I shouldn't expect them to have any firm ideas about what it is that they actually claim to worship?
    Quite the opposite, in fact. You ought to pay more attention.
    Yes, and with what they think. Obviously. We're having a discussion. Whose ideas or point of view am I supposed to express, if not my own? Who am I supposed to listen to, if not to the person who is telling me their views?

    Are you trying to forbid me from holding my own opinions, Tiassa? Why? Because you think yours - or theirs - are superior?

    Here's an idea: if you think the force of their ideas - or yours - is superior to mine, put your case. Stop the meta-commentary and actually join the discussion. Defend your own position.
    Why? Because you think they don't need to make any kind of logical sense?
    That's fair. One of the points I do try to make, quite often, is that certain descriptions of God are hopelessly imprecise, muddled and inconsistent. Exposing inanities is one way to do that, sure.
    Such as?

    Here's another opportunity for you to set me straight and tell me where I'm wrong on the topic of God, Tiassa, rather than just giving meta-commentary about my supposed methods and/or attitudes. Will you take it up, or can I just expect more of the same from you?
    This place is what we all make it, Tiassa. It is, in part, what you make it. Stop pretending you're above it all.
    Reading between the lines here, it sounds like you think you have a more sophisticated an nuanced set of beliefs about the divine than your average redneck American evangelical. Maybe you're disappointed that so many of the people who blow through here aren't on that same enlightened level as you are, when it comes to God. Maybe their efforts disappoint you.

    Here's an idea, for your consideration: if you think you can do better than them, throw your hat in the ring.

    Get out of the commentator's box and actually test your own views. Let's see if they are as high faluten as you think they are.
    Firstly: what fallacies?

    Secondly: it's not up to me to describe their Gods to them. Something already convinced them about what their Gods are. Surely, it's up to them to establish the shape of their Gods. For me to try to do it would be presumptuous. That's why I ask questions, by the way.
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member



    You see the plethora of question marks there?
    Is the question really too difficult to expect an answer? Either God keeps him breathing, or it doesn't. He can answer. In fact, if you paid attention, he did give an answer, of sorts. It's certainly not my fault that his answer is so obviously unsatisfactory. You see that, and what annoys you - strangely - is not him having a poor excuse for an answer, but my presumption in daring to ask him a direct question in the first place. Of course, it might not that strange, if we were to take into account your hidden beliefs about God and breathing, I imagine.

    One thing's for sure: there's absolutely nothing about any idol of mine in those questions.
    You actually didn't ask specific enough questions. That's on you, not me.

    But you can share what you expect, first. Then we can discuss. Okay?
    How ironic that is, coming from you, as you attempt to lecture me on my failings.
    You're wrong, in many ways. In your assumption that discussion with me reinforces the faiths of believers. In your assumption that I pick fights. In your assumption that I'm out for "cheap satisfaction", or self-congratulation, or similar.

    I think that, in reality, you're disappointed in yourself - that you can't muster an argument of your own that doesn't meander down irrelevant tangents and which sticks to discussing the topic rather than the personalities. You're disappointed that in arguments by proxy, your fellow theists don't do better, even though they are at least willing to give it a go, while you are only brave enough to cheer from the sidelines.
    Your pseudo-earnestness on this does make me chuckle just a little, Tiassa. You put on a good show of pretending you're oblivious as to why a certain brand of theist comes to a forum like this to "take on the atheists".

    Like it's my fault those people are hardened and entrenched. Like I made them that way.

    Good one.
    It's true. If it makes you uncomfortable, maybe it's because you find yourself talking to God and he talks back to you. Who knows?

    I mean, seriously? Who has a two-way conversation with God? Think about it.

    I understand that this kind of straight talk hurts your feelings. Maybe you should think about why that is.
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Oh, are we discussing the topic now? That's a pleasant surprise.

    I don't know a lot about witchcraft. You talk to an idol? And it talks back to you? How does that work, exactly? Or, if it doesn't talk back, how do you know there's something in the idol that isn't you?

    Talking to anything - even the "empty air" now counts as talking to God? How does one know God is there listening?

    You're right. This makes no sense to me, unless its an obscure reference to attending a place of worship. How does one know that God is at the house, or that you've got the right house?

    Talking to yourself counts as talking to God, now? And if you answer yourself back, that's God answering back, too, I guess. Convenient, but just a tad self-aggrandising, don't you think?

    I note that there were some more insults at the end of your post, but they were nothing of substance, so I'm going to just file them with the rest of your usual incivilities.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Well, look, James, I tried talking to you about the thread↑ subject↑, but you just↑ couldn't↑ deal with that. Moreover, I commented on the general topic↑ in the course of answering your demand. You come back with that?

    Think of it this way, James: People can give you as much time as it takes, even days worth of consideration, and you just whip out the lies as fast as your temper tantrum can carry you along.

    You should apologize for lying. Seriously, James, that was just awful.
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    arfa brane:

    You haven't been making much sense.
    You just articulated some belief or other, didn't you? You said you believe that you have to practise something? Why? Does that compulsion to engage in a particular practise come from within yourself, or from outside? If from within, then why do you call it God?

    I'm certainly not trying to tell you that your belief is "not real". I'm questioning whether your belief connects to any kind of agent outside of yourself.

    To most theists, God is a being - a conscious agent who directs believers to be a certain way.

    What is God to you?
    What thing are you talking about that you see and follow? Why do you call it God?
    So, I'm getting that you equate engaging in certain practices with God. That is, God is real because you do those things. Right?

    What are the things, by the way? And how does doing them connect to an agent outside yourself? Or doesn't it? Why do you call it God?
    What do you see? Why do you think I can't see it?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Just as I thought. Wasting my time on you. I'll try to avoid that in future.
  17. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    My bold^
    You are saying you try to ''experience something'', then find you need to stop that trying. And you then have an experience o f something you are calling ''is'' and ''it'' ?
    So, for clarification are you feeling an emotion or are you thinking?
    1.Your parents walk into view. (External).
    2.Your brain (via sight) recognizes them and that triggers the hormone release.
    3.So, without 1. Number two doesn't occur.
    4. Your external parents were the origin of that experience.

    Memories alone can also trigger release of hormone
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  18. Bells Staff Member

    Mod Note

    Oh yay. Round 332 of the saga..

    Since I have been dragged into this crap yet again, here we go!

    Then perhaps you should have ventured a few posts up the page and spotted the obvious:
    So let's see how you chose to follow after that post, by completely ignoring it altogether, because yo, opportunity arose to dig a boot in or something something:

    He literally had already stated his opinion about talking to God a few posts before you decided to insert yourself into the discussion with what you thought was a 'gotcha' moment. Here, I'll repost what he had already "posted about that, above":

    This is a repeat of when you tried to have a go on the subject of the software..

    It's petty, ridiculous and exhausting.

    And before you try to respond with your usual 'no one forced you to respond' or your usual narky 'right on cue', remember you filed a report about this shit. And since we are not drowning in moderators to handle your report, here I am. Again an unwilling participant in the saga.

    Cut it out. This is beneath you. It's like you sit there, waiting for any little opportunity that you could go on the attack and drag up issues from years ago, yet again. Move on already.
    origin likes this.
  19. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    This belief in a practice is of the same nature as belief in having to breathe. Ok?
    Except with a little added instruction from someone I trusted (believed?) at the time was going to reveal something to me about it. Or about "It", whatever it is.

    I don't call it God, or I try not to associate an idea with "It"; I don't need the ideas and they just get in the way when I want to, you know, relax and let it all go.

    There's a way to breathe, in other words, that doesn't need any input from your conscious mind; lots of people make the mistake of "thinking they have to breathe" . . .

    So here you go: thought for the day: God is never what you think God is.
    It's hard to accept that belief isn't really a part of "It" either; took me a while . . . but belief is really just another thing that gets in the way. You don't have to believe anything, but it sure helps sometimes if you can act like you do.

    If you like you can believe that the world is full of wonderful, open and honest people who encourage your search for the truth, about yourself, even if you know it isn't really true.
    You could have a big laugh about it.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2021
  20. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    • inappropriate sexual content
    How is this less harmful then me masturbatin0g?
  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

  22. foghorn Valued Senior Member

    Okay, you don't call ''it'' a god.
    Okay, you know enough to say ''God is never what you think God is.''
    Yet, something made you post about your ''it'' experience in a thread about talking to a god, why was that?

    I think you missed my post #194...
    My bold^
    You are saying you try to ''experience something'', then find you need to stop that trying. And you then have an experience o f something you are calling ''is'' and ''it'' ?
    So, for clarification are you feeling an emotion or are you thinking?
    1.Your parents walk into view. (External).
    2.Your brain (via sight) recognizes them and that triggers the hormone release.
    3.So, without 1. Number two doesn't occur.
    4. Your external parents were the origin of that experience.

    Memories alone can also trigger release of hormone
  23. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    It might be the same thing that made you post that.

    I think the logic is infallible: assume your being alive has something to do with God, about which you don't know very much.
    Believe if you like, that being alive also has something to do with breathing, something important. Actually that one shouldn't be too hard.

    So there might be something about breathing that has something to do with God, except, who really cares except people who care about what words mean? Assume you don't have to care (about meaning).

    Assume that you can keep breathing despite not knowing or caring what a word means; repeat at leisure.

    That's the breathing part of the experience; there's more to it, but I'm not prepared to talk about that; at least not without some special pleading.

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