The Relevance of the Concept of God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Syne, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Theism - the belief that God exists or that many gods exist.

    I am not a bowler, I simply toss large balls with holes in them down narrow wooden lanes to knock down as many pins as possible.
     
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

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    :bravo:
     
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  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed, you don't have to believe in God for the sun to shine. It just shines! Just like you don't have to believe in God in order for your bowels to work, or the neurons in your brain to fire. Etc. etc. As far as definitions go, it is God's credit that these things take place.


    And the sun is shining etc. etc. - meaning that, as far as definitions go, God is at work.


    I hope you are aware that altruism is one of the ego defense mechanisms.


    Yet we can't make the sun shine. IOW, we are unable to "take God's job."


    As long as we can't make the sun shine, as long as we cannot make our own air to breathe, as long as we cannot make time and space and all the other things we need to live life, we are contingent beings. It may not be "brilliantism" to akcnowledge that one is a contingent being - and contingent 24/7/365 - but the simple fact of the matter, however unglamorous it may sound, is that we are contingent beings. And arguably, it is better for us if we acknowledge reality than deny it.


    It depends on what ways in particular one wants to "feel special."

    For example, if you meet your lover at a party and she pretends she doesn't know you, your desire to feel special is hardly inappropriate. Or, if you promise someone something, but then don't do it and the person doesn't remind you either, you'd probably want to "feel special" enough that they would talk to you about it. Etc. etc. There is in fact a constant need to feel special, in one way or another, and it's only reasonable.

    You seem to be referring to some kind of narcissism - when the need to feel special is not related to any existing relationship and the reasonable expectations within it.


    That is your fanciful thinking that has little bearing on actual theistic doctrines.

    It's only the very watered-down mainstream versions of the major theisms that would fit your description.

    In actual theistic doctrines, there is an acknowledgement of the mutual obligations between God and the individual, and it doesn't allow for the kind of simplistic attitude of an individual's entitlement that you are proposing.


    The OP put forward the idea that humans can develop their conscience with the help of the concept of god.
    You seem to be suggesting that this is not necessary, and that the alternative is to develop one's conscience without the help of the concept of god. Some such alternatives mentioned thus far have been karma, classical literature, and a few others. If you have another alternative, then do speak up about it.


    Who is "we"?
     
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    I think that anyone who considers me a theist has very low standards for what it means to be a theist.
     
  8. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    I think anyone who believes in a god or many gods and doesn't want to be called a theist has very low standards for the English language.
     
  9. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    I think you're talking about someone other than me.

    :shrug:
     
  10. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Oh no, it is you who is in denial. There's no mistake about it.
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Riiight. I exist as a mere figment of your imagination. I am whatever you say that I am. And I better fall in liine with it!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  12. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    No, you are the one who has told us what you are, which is a theist, by definition.
     
  13. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I would definitely like to hold atheists to a higher standard, but I have yet to find many who can be.
     
  14. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    On the contrary, you can say that there are no other aspirations and approaches, but they are enumerated by numerous theists along with a recorded historical discourse of discussion on precisely this subject in numerous books that you haven't, can't and no doubt won't read.
    :shrug:


    Sure.
    Its just when you try to say such emotion is relegated to materialistic/reductionist events and causes that you run into problems ... or to say the least, it requires that you step outside the very materialistic/reductionist paradigms you are trying to establish as paramount, so in any event you make your case null at the onset.
    :shrug:




    And that's precisely the problem.
    You simply don't have recourse to anything than what atheism has to offer ... although, ironically, when you try to establish that there is nothing other than matter it then becomes a metaphysical claim (or a "matter of the gaps" argument) ... unless of course you want to try and argue a point from the position of an absence of evidence

    /grabs popcorn

    and what I said was :

    All (you) are doing is extrapolating (your) own limited experience to situations that are beyond it.

    The problem is that you are already making unsupportable claims by insisting that there be material verification for everything.
    If you disagree, please feel free to evidence how all phenomena comprises of matter, or alternatively, discuss ontology without breaching any metaphysical issues.

    /grabs more popcorn



    No it doesn't

    People commonly eat food because they prefer life over death. Similarly there are many universities offering education. Also they see doctors in order to deal with pain.
    None of these are spiritual, despite how much someone may value them (although a key quality for terming such endeavors material is that they are unable to deal with the problems in any ultimate fashion - hence despite eating, one eventually dies, despite getting educated, one succumbs to ignorance and despite seeing doctors, pain manifest itself)

    Hence the previous quote about how there are 4 types of pious people who begin to approach god (since its the nature of material existence to award situations for which there is no material solution).

    And as already mentioned, it uses the word begin, since, if it is advocated that there is a sphere of existence bereft of the frailties oh-so-common to material existence (ie, an existence that is not tainted by materialism) there must be some other sphere of activity (aside from battling ignorance, attaining wealth, avoiding distress and so on) to go on.

    Or to say it another way, after all one's problems are solved, what would one do afterwards (assuming part of the problem solving package also involves having the intelligence not to create new ones ... and also assuming that departing from the aperture of mental speculation licensible to the field of atheistic ideas of the universe doesn't automatically cause one to implode into non-existence)?



    Kind of like asking which nose is your real nose.

    We have already discussed this several times before, but just to humour you (and eat more popcorn) what precisely is this mutual exclusivity between claims and also what is this kind of awareness I am speaking of?

    /munch munch
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    16,330
    No
    Actually I have been talking about how its the natural consequence of any sort of power figure to offer security to those they are representing, regardless whether we are talking about the president, an employer, a teacher or one's parents.
    Rejection of such figures is either a consequence of poor intelligence or unqualified persons wielding the power.

    All you have been doing is pointing out how one acquires a sense of benefit from taking shelter of god. I can't see any logical problem with that. In fact if people didn't develop some sort of security from taking shelter of god then it would pose a logical problem.
    Granted you are of the opinion that this is all a charade and that god is not real, but you should understand that you haven't actually supported your opinion with this observation about theists deriving security from god and religion.


    Once again, you are simply re-iterating an opinion that doesn't share any relationship with the claims you are making.

    Its quite common for atheists (or even a certain type of theist for that matter) to fall back on cliches or undefined terms such as "actually exist" or "actual thing".
    IOW its poor form to beg the question by reiterating the statement "god actually does/n't exist" in a discussion which is primarily about that subject.

    If you agree that we are not self-sustaining, how can you think otherwise?
    (unless you want to relegate the victory of altruism to scenarios that are temporary and insignificant to the greater material situation)

    Empiricism is necessarily metonymic (ie capable of only tacit explanations due to having no scope beyond the part - it can never approach explicit terms - which explains why empiricism is practically useless in so many of our daily affairs, If you accept certain persons as your biological parents despite never having had them DNA tested for the sake of empirical verification, you can already understand this point).

    The rest of what you discuss is simply about having faith in something that cannot logically be delivered by the means you advocate
     
  16. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    3,515
    As usual, you completely miss the point. The secular and scientific is relevant because it is so ubiquitous, and it is the same with the ~80% belief in god. It is just too ubiquitous to not effect your life in some way (gay rights, for example). Hence you posting in a religion subforum. Maybe you forget that you are posting in a forum on the subject of religion (specifically theology, since it is on a science forum). The theists who post here have sought out a science forum, either to proselytize or because science interests them and is not mutually exclusive with religion.

    But it is a hasty generalization to say all theists "push their religion" on others. And there are even forum guidelines against preaching and proselytizing. But if it bothers you so much, why do you post so much, even starting your own threads, in a Religion forum? Where would you post this stuff if this science forum did not have a religion subforum? Like theists seeking out opposing views to refine their own, would you seek out religion in its own forums if not made so readily available here?

    Seems you benefit from this subforum, even though you devolve into railing against its inclusion here.

    Again, Religion subforum. Take it up with the forum admin if you have a problem with that. "regardless of any opposition"?! You seriously cannot be so deluded to believe that there is, or even would possibly be, no opposition to theism here. There is constant and vehement opposition to theism here.

    And? Again, a perceived opposition. So you only verify my earlier point. And their time spent here, on a science forum, is not representative of the bulk of their bandwidth. The very large majority of theists could not care less about apologetics.


    But I see you have given up on addressing the OP altogether in favor of simply religion-bashing. Typical.
     
  17. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    3,515
    The OP, and this thread, has proven the point which motivated posting it. That atheists have a decidedly childish concept of god, and that that contributes to a lack in understanding of conscience.
     
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    16,330
    But the categories still exist, even though there may be several different (or even conflicting) objects that could potentially fill that category.

    For instance Dazz has been talking about rejecting the concept of faith in god (as a means for providing consistent security etc) and instead accepting the concept of faith in altruism (as a means for providing constant security etc).

    Leaving aside the issue momentarily of what could actually be an effective solution, one can see that either way its still about the same sort of category




    The brightness of this world is tinged by its temporary nature, hence it is termed "material".
    Being spiritual (and simultaneously covered by ignorance) its the activity of the conditioned living entity to jump from one situation to another to try and find and reciprocate with this spiritual quality ... but of course it never finds expression in the material world (hence samsara etc etc)
     
  19. Balerion Banned Banned

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    8,596
    Rather than offering a substantive argument, you make insinuations of ignorance. Would you care to try that again with examples of such aspirations and approaches, or are you satisfied with your non-answer?

    No problems at all (least of all your trumped-up and nonsensical requirements).


    It's a logical fallacy to assert that one must believe in something to understand it.

    Not only is that not irony, but an absence of evidence most certainly can be evidence of absence. If you make a claim, but then nothing is found to support that claim, it's safe to conclude that your claim is false.

    ...which is special pleading. And it will always be, until you adequately demonstrate that my experience is limited.

    That's actually not my claim. My claim is as I originally stated; essentially, all religious beliefs are predicated on material matters. I never made any metaphysical claims. You're strawmanning because you have no adequate response to my actual arguments.

    No, people eat food because they have a physical urge to eat. Those who merely eat to sustain are more immediately aware of the mortal proposition, but they are no more capable of ignoring those urges than a fat westerner.

    Many educational endeavors are spiritual--you just said so yourself--and many others believe their religious beliefs have quite a bit do to with their bodies, and make medical decisions based solely on those influences, so you're wrong on those counts as well. But you do well to (unintentionally) illustrate how mundane religious pursuits actually are. By your own argument, you define spiritual pursuits merely as those that seek religious solutions to material concerns.

    At least according to whomever wrote that passage. The question is then, obviously, why should anyone believe it?

    If you're suggesting that the desire for ultimate solutions to these problems indicates that there must be ultimate solutions, I would say that the body doesn't differentiate between the ultimate and the temporary, and as such all notions of the ultimate are intellectual constructs with no basis in reality.


    Is this an unclever way of saying that all notions of God amount to the same one? Boy, you've got a lot of work ahead of you if you want anyone to take that idea seriously.

    You're playing dumb now?

    :shrug:
     
  20. Dazz Registered Senior Member

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    143
    @wynn
    You know, in the end it will boil down to the fact that you believe in a god and credits it for the sun to shine. I do not believe in a god, i do not put credits on him for the shining of the sun. Wether is Apollo or Yahweh is irrelevant, narrows down to the fact that the sun has been there for longer than i can count and emmanates light as the product of a subatomic proccess that i am not in position (or hold degree) to question or discuss.
    Oh and yes, it is an ego defence mechanism but still the definition is pretty cool: *Altruism
    *: Constructive service to others that brings pleasure and personal satisfaction.
    It is one of the tools to develop our conscience, by tools i mean way, as much as karma, philosophy or any other example you would care to mention, althought, it is the only one that can be used in a practical way to, let's dream a little, develop a mutual conscience altogether. My man! Jesus was altruist.
    The book of Matthew has some passages that illustrates what i say about the Father figure on chapter 18, versicle 1 to 5. Pretty much summarizes what i said so far.
    And when i said "we" it was us as mankind. Morals and ethics come to take place, psychology is as well another tool for us to dispatch the Father figure, we do not need religion (as a result "God's" image as well) to tell us what's right or wrong anymore.
     
  21. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    143
    @wynn
    You know, in the end it will boil down to the fact that you believe in a god and credits it for the sun to shine. I do not believe in a god, i do not put credits on him for the shining of the sun. Wether is Apollo or Yahweh is irrelevant, narrows down to the fact that the sun has been there for longer than i can count and emmanates light as the product of a subatomic proccess that i am not in position (or hold degree) to question or discuss.
    Oh and yes, it is an ego defence mechanism but still the definition is pretty cool: *Altruism
    *: Constructive service to others that brings pleasure and personal satisfaction.
    It is one of the tools to develop our conscience, by tools i mean way, as much as karma, philosophy or any other example you would care to mention, althought, it is the only one that can be used in a practical way to, let's dream a little, develop a mutual conscience altogether. My man! Jesus was altruist.
    The book of Matthew has some passages that illustrates what i say about the Father figure on chapter 18, versicle 1 to 5. Pretty much summarizes what i said so far.
    And when i said "we" it was us as mankind. Morals and ethics come to take place, psychology is as well another tool for us to dispatch the Father figure, we do not need religion (as a result "God's" image as well) to tell us what's right or wrong anymore. Besides the fact that people still see this image as the core of what makes the world what it is.
     
  22. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    16,330
    I just offered one before.
    We can only assume that you can't, won't and haven't read it.
    :shrug:




    lack of substantive argument noted




    just as well I didn't say that I guess.
    although since you bring this point up, it should be pointed out that this is where you are coming from when you say such nonsense like "everything is made up of matter" while simultaneously acknowledging that arguing from an absence of evidence is horse shit
    :shrug:


    neato
    so since there is no evidence to suggest everything is made of matter (poetic license for "matter of the gaps" forfeited of course) then we can safely acknowledge you are now willing to shoot yourself in both feet.
    :shrug:



    already demonstrated by there being information that you haven't, can't and won't read.
    :shrug:



    actually it is since you are reject anything (at least anything religious) that breaches metaphysical claims.
    IOW you can't get all clammy about metaphysics and expect to pass metaphysical claims at the same time.
    :shrug:



    If you fast for a week or so this physical urge disappears.
    I guess this is yet another subject you know nothing about ...




    Unintentionally you illustrate your lack of attention:

    although a key quality for terming such endeavors material is that they are unable to deal with the problems in any ultimate fashion - hence despite eating, one eventually dies, despite getting educated, one succumbs to ignorance and despite seeing doctors, pain manifest itself



    actually at the moment the key question is why do you continue to advocate that there is no other approach to spiritual life beyond pursuit of material comfort when there is an example like this sitting in front of your face


    I'm suggesting that your opinion about religious pursuit having no other avenue than the pursuit of material comfort is an opinion backed up by a poor fund of knowledge and indeed ignorance on the subject.




    that depends if upon asking you that question you point to your toe

    On the contrary, life must be complicated for you if you have trouble distinguishing your toe from your nose
    (I think I have exhausted my shrug quota)



    No
    Just asking you to clarify terms integral to your argument.
     
  23. Balerion Banned Banned

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    8,596
    I'll take your failure to point out where as an admission that you never actually did.

    Now that's irony.

    No? Then what did you mean when you said I had no recourse other than what atheism had to offer?

    It's nonsense to say everything is made up of matter? Interesting. What isn't made up of matter?

    I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that the state of the universe was in question. How do you figure there isn't evidence that everything is made up of matter? Again, what isn't made of matter?

    White flag noted.

    I'm not even discounting the existence of a god. The existence of a god has literally no bearing on my position--which was, since you've as yet failed to address it, that religious beliefs are predicated on material matters. It just so happens that I also believe that your god is a fairy tale, but I don't need to hold that position to hold this one.

    Wow. Unbelievably ignorant, LG.

    If you fast, you may lose your appetite after a few days--for some it's longer--but it's not permanent. Whether it's due to ketosis or toxins in the blood, your appetite eventually returns. Even if you are one of those whose appetite diminishes during fasting, if you do it enough times, you're likely to find that your appetite stops going away.

    What example? So far all you've shown is that someone in some old book might have alluded to there being more reasons aside from the material, based on some flimsy semantic argument.

    Again, special pleading.

    Is there any question you answer directly?

    (If you evade this question, will the universe implode?)

    This may be a perfectly sensible sentence in your mind, but to me it's gibberish. Feel free to speak in a language we can all understand.

    Long after you exhausted your legitimate argument quota, sadly.

    No, you're asking me to clarify your terms. You're just stalling.
     

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