Religion and Ethics Forum

Religion and Ethics Discussion => Philosophy, in all its guises. => Topic started by: Sriram on November 21, 2020, 05:46:30 AM

Title: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 21, 2020, 05:46:30 AM
Hi everyone,

Starting off from the thread on 'Is casual sex immoral'.......I thought I will (once again) explain what my idea of spirituality is.  And let me add that this is not just a theoretical idea that I subscribe to. I have lived all my 67 years only working with this philosophy....and very happy thereby.

1. Spirituality is not about religion. Religions arise due to spiritual needs in people but are largely cultural and of local flavor.  We can use religion to grow spiritually but it is not necessary.

2. Spirituality is relevant to everyone including atheists...because it is basically about what the human condition is and why we live and die. It is about the meaning of life and it objectives.

3. From the objectives and meaning of life should arise morality and the issue of right and wrong in an absolute sense.  Since spirituality is secular and common to all humans and life forms...absolute morality is also common and secular. It has its basis in life and its purpose.

4. Spirituality is not really about God, though it could begin with that quest. It is about what 'we' are. It is about the Self, the Subject....around whom life revolves.  What are we, why are we here, what is our purpose, what happens when we die...and what are we supposed to do while we are here?   

5. Based on such questions.....some secular ideas have been arrived at which I have found to be largely common to almost all spiritual philosophies around the world. These are as follows...

6. We are basically souls which are living in or connected to the body and mind. Our Personality (what we are in this life) is developed not by chance but by the influence of the soul on our body and mind. Our Personality is therefore a reflection of the soul.

7.  One of the main attributes or properties of the soul is Consciousness. Through consciousness the soul uses the body and mind to function on earth.

8. It is like a person sitting inside a robot  and using it to perform some function. The robot has most of the attributes of the person and in a sense represents him. It is similar with the soul and Personality.

9. The process is a form of spiritual evolution in which the soul gets born and reborn in different bodies (including animals). In the process it goes through many experiences and develops higher levels of consciousness. The essential difference between different people is in their level of spiritual development.  More developed means less selfish and less intensity of needs and desires.

10. Eventually after many births and after sufficient development....the Higher Self of the individual becomes apparent.  This can be seen as a spirit that is connected to the individual soul and is drawn nearer and nearer as the person develops.  This is the God that we normally relate to every time we worship any deity externally.

11. In course of time the idea of an external God will become redundant and the person will start relating to this Higher Self.

12. Eventually the normal self will drop off and we will realize that we are the Higher Self and that the lower self was only a projection.  This is normally seen as the objective of every individual soul on earth.

13. With this will end the need for any more rebirth. What happens beyond that is unknown.

14. All these things can be experienced and understood through spiritual practices like Yoga and other systems. If you want evidence that is the only evidence.

15. If you insist on external evidence, NDE's and reincarnation studies by Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker of Virginia university, can be referred.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.

Sriram
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: torridon on November 21, 2020, 07:48:03 AM
To a certain extent, I could go along with 1,2,3,4,5.  From 6 onwards, I'm out of it.  Too speculative, not safely grounded in observation and empiricism
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on November 21, 2020, 09:44:06 AM
I don't even get past 1, since the 'meaning/objectives of life' notion in 2 sounds like reification to me, the later claim of absolute morality isn't justified, and after that the list descends into grandiose woo involving souls, reincarnation and the like.

To add: we've covered the Stevenson/Tucker stuff before - it's pseudoscience.



Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Bramble on November 21, 2020, 11:03:59 AM
I can’t get past 1 either. As a story this just doesn’t work for me. It rests on assumptions I don’t accept and quickly veers off into territory that I find at best implausible and at worst distasteful and alienating.

I’m all for a good story, and humans have come up with some great myths, many of which have the critical feature of not taking themselves too seriously. The best encapsulate the ambiguities of being human without trying to tie up the loose ends. They therefore manage to resonate with people everywhere and leave folk to their own way.

For me the trouble with Sriram’s story is that is masquerades as fact. One either finds these ‘certainties’ appealing and relevant to one’s life or one doesn’t. And I don’t. Quite why they appeal to Sriram I really can’t imagine. Perhaps he’d like to tell us.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Owlswing on November 21, 2020, 01:19:44 PM

One either finds these ‘certainties’ appealing and relevant to one’s life or one doesn’t. And I don’t. Quite why they appeal to Sriram I really can’t imagine. Perhaps he’d like to tell us.


I don't think Sriram needs to explain - it is like all religions/belief systems - you either believe in them or you do not! YOU clearly do not. Sriram clearly does!

Where does he state that he has any requirement or expectation that anyone else should or would?

Owlswing

)O(
   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Bramble on November 21, 2020, 02:19:04 PM
Hi Owlswing,

I'm rather puzzled by your response. Where did I say that Sriram needs to explain himself in any way?

I merely suggested that he might. It was an invitation, nothing more. And only because I'm curious. Are you never curious about other people? Do you think it presumptuous to ask? Personally, I'd feel rather pleased if someone took an interest in my posted views and would be only too happy to answer their questions if I could. Sometimes people ask you to explain your paganism to them and you've always seemed very willing to oblige. Is there some particular reason why you think Sriram should take exception to my invitation? If he doesn't want to respond he can just ignore me. He usually does anyway  :o

Sriram did start this thread, after all. Presumably he thought others might be interested in what he had to say. In fact, he hasn't said anything here that he hasn't already said on many previous occasions, which might suggest he feels we still haven't really got it. But to what end does he reiterate his beliefs? We've debated pretty much all of this stuff to destruction over the years and never really got anywhere beyond not agreeing with each other.

This place has become something of a battleground of opinions. I generally find that rather sterile and instead of just telling other folk why they are wrong would rather try to understand why they think differently from me. Sometimes one has to ask, but people are of course free to answer or not as they see fit. It would, however, strike me as curious if someone took exception to being asked. I'd find it hard not to wonder what they were trying to hide.





Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Owlswing on November 21, 2020, 04:17:49 PM

Hi Owlswing,

I'm rather puzzled by your response. Where did I say that Sriram needs to explain himself in any way?

I merely suggested that he might. It was an invitation, nothing more. And only because I'm curious. Are you never curious about other people? Do you think it presumptuous to ask? Personally, I'd feel rather pleased if someone took an interest in my posted views and would be only too happy to answer their questions if I could. Sometimes people ask you to explain your paganism to them and you've always seemed very willing to oblige. Is there some particular reason why you think Sriram should take exception to my invitation? If he doesn't want to respond he can just ignore me. He usually does anyway  :o

Sriram did start this thread, after all. Presumably, he thought others might be interested in what he had to say. In fact, he hasn't said anything here that he hasn't already said on many previous occasions, which might suggest he feels we still haven't really got it. But to what end does he reiterate his beliefs? We've debated pretty much all of this stuff to destruction over the years and never really got anywhere beyond not agreeing with each other.

This place has become something of a battleground of opinions. I generally find that rather sterile and instead of just telling other folk why they are wrong would rather try to understand why they think differently from me. Sometimes one has to ask, but people are of course free to answer or not as they see fit. It would, however, strike me as curious if someone took exception to being asked. I'd find it hard not to wonder what they were trying to hide.


I have, on occasion, been asked about my beliefs and experience has taught me that, in most cases, it is not always wise to answer.

Owlswing

)O(


Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 22, 2020, 04:48:05 AM

Thanks Owlswing...!  :)

Bramble...

I don't ignore anyone. It is just that, when I think a conversation would go into a dead end....or if a person gets nasty....I  don't bother to continue.  What is the point in repeating the same arguments and getting the same ad hominem comments?

The problem is that, even though this is a Religion board people think that their atheist views are the default correct views... and that everyone else needs to explain and justify themselves.  I don't bother to encourage such  'superior' attitudes.

The problem also is that there are no meeting points at all. I do try to identify areas where there can be some discussion in spite of differing beliefs. Areas such as Anthropic Principle, unconscious mind, influence of observation and consciousness on matter, randomness, Phenotypic plasticity, NDE's, issues regarding the Self...etc...... can be meeting points on which I do try to discuss....but with no positive response at all. It is always the same old dismissive arguments. 

So, it is better to state my view and leave it at that. Let everyone make whatever they want of it.  Or alternatively, I should stop posting altogether.... which I resist doing because posting here helps me think and bounce my views off some people who don't see it my way.  That is helpful.

Having said that, I do however clarify and hold conversations whenever I find it conducive and healthy. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Nearly Sane on November 22, 2020, 05:05:13 AM
...


The problem also is that there are no meeting points at all....
  It would help discussion if you did not go for such egregious strawmen. As I have often posted, I have more in common with some theists on this board than some atheists. Your naive and simplistic approach to this is something I suggest you need to consider and adapt to a more rounded and less generalized approach
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 22, 2020, 06:26:58 AM
  It would help discussion if you did not go for such egregious strawmen. As I have often posted, I have more in common with some theists on this board than some atheists. Your naive and simplistic approach to this is something I suggest you need to consider and adapt to a more rounded and less generalized approach


See what I mean....! ::)
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Nearly Sane on November 22, 2020, 09:54:36 AM

See what I mean....! ::)
I see you retreated into ignoring what I wrote to just feel self satisfied with your generalisations. Engage with the individual posting and  their individual posts, not with your preconceived ideas.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: enki on November 22, 2020, 12:24:09 PM

See what I mean....! ::)

Unfortunately your posts so often seem to contain a stream of assertions which when challenged, either those challenges are ignored or met with a kind of misguided sense of superiority on your part so it becomes hard for reasonable discussion to take place.

Because of that I usually say my piece, and in the absence of any reasoned reply, I simply leave it at that as there doesn't seem any point in going any further(as for instance in the 'Is Casual Sex Immoral' thread.). As regards this particular thread, where you yet again state what you mean by 'spirituality', I happily accept that is what you think, even though I disagree with many of your points. I could quite easily challenge most of what you say but what would be the point? If you even bothered to reply, you would probably suggest that I don't understand, or accuse me of 'scientism' or lump  everyone together in some such derisory language as 'You people are in severe denial. I guess nothing can be done.... :(' 

(Shrugs shoulders)
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 22, 2020, 02:17:42 PM
To a certain extent, I could go along with 1,2,3,4,5.  From 6 onwards, I'm out of it.  Too speculative, not safely grounded in observation and empiricism

What kind of empirical observation can one expect for mental states and levels of consciousness?

There is significant evidence for the soul through NDE's and for reincarnation through Jim Tucker's research. You can't expect measurable and precise evidence for  these phenomena.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l7bcb3aoGc    Dr.Jim Tucker's presentation..

https://uvamagazine.org/articles/the_science_of_reincarnation    An article about the specific case of Ryan Hammons.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: torridon on November 22, 2020, 05:10:28 PM
What kind of empirical observation can one expect for mental states and levels of consciousness?

There is significant evidence for the soul through NDE's and for reincarnation through Jim Tucker's research. You can't expect measurable and precise evidence for  these phenomena.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l7bcb3aoGc    Dr.Jim Tucker's presentation..

https://uvamagazine.org/articles/the_science_of_reincarnation    An article about the specific case of Ryan Hammons.

All the relevant evidence points to mind and brain being aspects of the same thing; mind function correlates brain function; the development of mind mirrors the development of brain; pathology affecting the brain produces a corresponding deficit in cognitive function.  All the evidence from neuroscience and cognitive science supports this understanding and there is no counter evidence, or even any supporting rationale that would substantiate a hypothesis involving a 'soul' somehow inhabiting a body and 'using' its brain.  There is no evidence for such and it makes no sense.  All you have is claims of exotic mental phenomena that characterise a dying brain that could be construed as consistent with traditional beliefs about souls; you would need an awful lot more than that to overturn the 'materialist' scientific understanding.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 23, 2020, 04:05:03 AM
All the relevant evidence points to mind and brain being aspects of the same thing; mind function correlates brain function; the development of mind mirrors the development of brain; pathology affecting the brain produces a corresponding deficit in cognitive function.  All the evidence from neuroscience and cognitive science supports this understanding and there is no counter evidence, or even any supporting rationale that would substantiate a hypothesis involving a 'soul' somehow inhabiting a body and 'using' its brain.  There is no evidence for such and it makes no sense.  All you have is claims of exotic mental phenomena that characterise a dying brain that could be construed as consistent with traditional beliefs about souls; you would need an awful lot more than that to overturn the 'materialist' scientific understanding.


Well..there we go again.

I don't know what you expect as evidence in such matters....but the type of measurable and precisely predictable evidence that you get in physics is not possible in such areas.

NDE's and data collected by people like Jim Tucker are enough to point towards the ideas of a soul and reincarnation being strong possibilities. These are not just beliefs based on some ancient teachings. They can move into the hypothesis stage IMO.

I have already linked the opinion of researchers and doctors on NDE's in another thread.
 
Thanks & Cheers.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: torridon on November 23, 2020, 06:39:14 AM

I don't know what you expect as evidence in such matters....but the type of measurable and precisely predictable evidence that you get in physics is not possible in such areas.


Well that is just a typical get out clause for the fans of magical thinking.  Of course there won't be any evidence of magic, because it is, er, magical.  Not going to cut it with anyone who cares about truth and facts. If you claim some sort of being inside happily interacting with a body and a brain then it would be detectable by instruments too, so we would expect to see evidence of it everywhere.  But there is none whatsoever.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: torridon on November 23, 2020, 06:49:30 AM

NDE's and data collected by people like Jim Tucker are enough to point towards the ideas of a soul and reincarnation being strong possibilities. These are not just beliefs based on some ancient teachings. They can move into the hypothesis stage IMO.


They aren't 'strong possibilities' at all, if that were the case then there would be many groups investigating these phenomena.  Fact is, all you have is one or two scientists working in that field, the vast majority of scientists regard such research as fringe and maverick.

Neither are these ideas amenable to treatment by hypothesis other than testing if people claiming out of body could see hidden objects which of course has been tried and drawn a blank.  The whole suggestion that people can see whilst disconnected from their optic nerves is totally insane, it makes a mockery of all we have learned about the complexity of the visual system and how it works in reality.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 23, 2020, 06:54:46 AM
They aren't 'strong possibilities' at all, if that were the case then there would be many groups investigating these phenomena.  Fact is, all you have is one or two scientists working in that field, the vast majority of scientists regard such research as fringe and maverick.

Neither are these ideas amenable to treatment by hypothesis other than testing if people claiming out of body could see hidden objects which of course has been tried and drawn a blank.  The whole suggestion that people can see whilst disconnected from their optic nerves is totally insane, it makes a mockery of all we have learned about the complexity of the visual system and how it works in reality.


Why should it be detectable by instruments...and why is that even necessary?  If you can internally realize that you are different from the body and brain....that is all that is necessary. 

The problem is that you think of the soul as some external supernatural entity. The point is that it is YOU. Just do some introspection and self analysis and you will find that you are not the body and brain but are only interacting with them.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: torridon on November 23, 2020, 08:43:23 AM

Why should it be detectable by instruments...and why is that even necessary?  If you can internally realize that you are different from the body and brain....that is all that is necessary. 

The problem is that you think of the soul as some external supernatural entity. The point is that it is YOU. Just do some introspection and self analysis and you will find that you are not the body and brain but are only interacting with them.

Something that can interact with a brain can interact with a detector.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 23, 2020, 11:16:34 AM
Something that can interact with a brain can interact with a detector.



The brain has evolved to interact with the soul and its different levels of consciousness. Which instrument can match that?!

The soul is YOU. You cannot and don't need to interact with yourself using an instrument. That is absurd.

You just need to stop looking outwards and look inwards. You will then realize that you are different from the body and brain.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: torridon on November 23, 2020, 11:33:06 AM


The brain has evolved to interact with the soul and its different levels of consciousness. Which instrument can match that?!

The soul is YOU. You cannot and don't need to interact with yourself using an instrument. That is absurd.

You just need to stop looking outwards and look inwards. You will then realize that you are different from the body and brain.

So, there are three things interacting here, body, brain and soul, but you cannot say how the soul manages to interact and you are content to merely hand waive away the objection that the soul and its means of interaction are not detectable by instrumentation despite being easily detectable by the body and the brain. Hand waiving is not going to cut it where a description of detail and mechanisms is sought.  This summarises what is wrong with this thinking :

https://www.fiberintheboro.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/then_a_miracle_occurs.jpg (https://www.fiberintheboro.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/then_a_miracle_occurs.jpg)

Does an ant go about its business because ant brains evolved to interact with ant souls ? How about an octopus with its multiple mini-brains, are they all interacting with multiple mini octopine souls ?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 23, 2020, 11:44:37 AM
Starting off from the thread on 'Is casual sex immoral'.......I thought I will (once again) explain what my idea of spirituality is.  And let me add that this is not just a theoretical idea that I subscribe to. I have lived all my 67 years only working with this philosophy....and very happy thereby.

Thanks for engaging :)

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1. Spirituality is not about religion. Religions arise due to spiritual needs in people but are largely cultural and of local flavor.  We can use religion to grow spiritually but it is not necessary. 2. Spirituality is relevant to everyone including atheists...because it is basically about what the human condition is and why we live and die. It is about the meaning of life and it objectives.

I'm guessing that spirituality isn't about a lot of things - many people seem to see religion as an example, at least, of spirituality, others seem to  spirituality as an attempt to have the benefits of religion without the restrictions, or a corruption of religion - but this doesn't give any real understanding of what it is.  There is a presumption in this that not only is there a 'meaning' to life - which is far from a given - but that you have some sort of insight into what it is, but you've not given us that, you've just asserted that spirituality has something to do with it. What to do with it?  Without any understanding of what that purported meaning is, there's nothing to inform of us of what you think spirituality is.

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3. From the objectives and meaning of life should arise morality and the issue of right and wrong in an absolute sense.

Arguably, if there were an 'absolute' meaning to life then it might be possible to conclude from that an absolute morality, but given what I've said above this sense of an absolute morality isn't substantiated here, either.

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Since spirituality is secular and common to all humans and life forms...absolute morality is also common and secular. It has its basis in life and its purpose.

Again, that might follow - however, even an absolute 'meaning' or 'purpose' to life wouldn't necessarily result in an absolute morality; it might, it's difficult to see how an absolute morality would be valid without a definitive purpose, but the reliance doesn't go both ways.  You'd need, once you'd articulated what this 'meaning' was to then show why or how that leads to a particular morality.

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4. Spirituality is not really about God, though it could begin with that quest. It is about what 'we' are. It is about the Self, the Subject....around whom life revolves.  What are we, why are we here, what is our purpose, what happens when we die...and what are we supposed to do while we are here?

The study of the self is... biology, psychology, perhaps philosophy depending on what 'level' you're looking at.  This still isn't giving any meaningful explanation of what 'spirituality' is - I can appreciate that, if it's not about how the body or the physical brain operate then you might feel that you could exclude biology and psychology, but how does your depiction of 'secular, non-religious' spirituality differ from philosophy?  What are we, why are we here, what is our purpose, what happens when we die, what are we supposed to do until we do die... these are all philosophical questions.  I'm not ideologically opposed to considering spirituality as a synonym for philosophy (or even that branch of philosophy which considers these issues - metaphysics?), but my impression is that when people use 'spirit' and 'spirituality' they're not using it in the sense of a purely philosophical enquiry.

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5. Based on such questions.....some secular ideas have been arrived at which I have found to be largely common to almost all spiritual philosophies around the world. These are as follows...

6. We are basically souls which are living in or connected to the body and mind. Our Personality (what we are in this life) is developed not by chance but by the influence of the soul on our body and mind. Our Personality is therefore a reflection of the soul.

And this is where the shark gets jumped.  There is this idea that the concept of a 'soul' is somehow universal, that every culture has come up with some equivalent and therefore it's a common theme across cultures which gains validity from that cross-cultural existence: how can so many diverse groups come up with the same idea in isolation from each other.  The overlap of the concepts, and the isolation of the cultures, has been vastly overstated; the ancient Egyptian concept of 'ka' is vastly different to the idea of a karmic cyclic idea of 'Atman' or the Shinto dual ideas of 'nigitama' and 'aratama', whilst the evidence of communication between the ancient cultures is well-established.

This claim then runs full-tilt into the wall of empiricism; if whatever this 'soul' concept is influences our personality, why can't we see it working? We can track influences on our manifestation of personality in brain activity, we can show how the two strongly correlate; and we don't see any gaps we can't explain.  We can't conclusively demonstrate that there's nothing else at work, but the system doesn't need anything else to be complete, and we don't see any strong evidence for effects without demonstrable causes that we could attribute to this 'soul' influence.  If we can't see the influence, then in what meaningful way can we say that 'souls' have an effect - and if it has no effect in what way is it real?

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7.  One of the main attributes or properties of the soul is Consciousness. Through consciousness the soul uses the body and mind to function on earth.

Given our collective inability to even meaningfully define consciousness, claiming to attribute it to some other equally ill-defined concept seems a bit of a leap.  As to the idea that our consciousness uses our body and mind to function on Earth; the implication here is that there is a basis to think that our 'consciousness' operates somewhere else as well - do you have a basis for that claim?

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8. It is like a person sitting inside a robot  and using it to perform some function. The robot has most of the attributes of the person and in a sense represents him. It is similar with the soul and Personality.

Except that it isn't: one of the other posters (NearlySane?) has gone to great lengths to explain how the brain-computer analogy very quickly breaks down under investigation, and this is one of those instances.  Our brain isn't just an 'antenna' for some beamed-in signal, our brain is a constantly developing, changing, evolving record of our experiences that actively shapes the ongoing manifestation of our personality - who we are isn't just a static reaction to a changing world, it's a constantly changing tumult of activity in dynamic interaction with our environment - who we are is a constantly moving feast related to the status of our brain, and to suggest that some external 'motivator' or 'urge' acting  upon that is in any way a determination of who we are is to fail to appreciate how the brain works.  It might, conceivably, be some sort of 'energy' or power-source for something, but to imagine that it is a strong influence on our personality requires it to somehow actively mimic the constant changes of brain structure which requires a convoluted and complex mechanism which is lacking in any of the explanations I've seen.

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9. The process is a form of spiritual evolution in which the soul gets born and reborn in different bodies (including animals). In the process it goes through many experiences and develops higher levels of consciousness. The essential difference between different people is in their level of spiritual development.  More developed means less selfish and less intensity of needs and desires.

What are you basing this on?  I'm presuming that we don't have actual memories of any of these past lives, so on what are we basing this idea of souls being reborn?  How do we explain the massive increase in the number of human beings over time with no observable significant decrease in other lifeform numbers (distribution, yes, but not total counts) - is extinction of some species an indication that we no longer need that 'level'?  Given that the only animal we have any evidence of higher-reasoning in is humans, how does spending a cycle as, say, a cockroach differ from a cycle as a horse?  How come no-one has a cycle as a lifeform somewhere else in the universe - are 'souls' some uniquely evolved trait of Earth?

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10. Eventually after many births and after sufficient development....the Higher Self of the individual becomes apparent.  This can be seen as a spirit that is connected to the individual soul and is drawn nearer and nearer as the person develops.  This is the God that we normally relate to every time we worship any deity externally.

So now we have spirits and souls, which are different, and Gods (although this isn't about religion?)... and no clear definition of any of these concepts?  I appreciate this is intended as a brief account, and I appreciate the you may be trying to condense a lot into a few sentences, but I'm afraid I'm starting to get lost - what's the difference between a spirit and a soul? What's the difference between one of those and a god?  Can you come back down from being a god to being a cockroach?  Why is a god 'higher'/better than a cockroach - if, as I think you've suggested elsewhere, 'evolving' spiritually is about absolving yourself of wants, how is a cockroach not the ultimate lifeform?

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11. In course of time the idea of an external God will become redundant and the person will start relating to this Higher Self.

I suppose that means I'm half-way there, right :)

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12. Eventually the normal self will drop off and we will realize that we are the Higher Self and that the lower self was only a projection.  This is normally seen as the objective of every individual soul on earth.

So the objective of life on Earth is to no longer want to live on Earth - that sounds like depression, not spiritual evolution.

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13. With this will end the need for any more rebirth. What happens beyond that is unknown.

How come we don't know that bit, but we do 'know' this much, without any way to demonstrate it?

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14. All these things can be experienced and understood through spiritual practices like Yoga and other systems. If you want evidence that is the only evidence.

Given that we have immeasurable reams of evidence of human beings entering unreliable states of consciousness, even compared to the questionable reliability of our usual waking state, surely you can appreciate how inadequate that is?  If nothing else, surely you can see how susceptible to confirmation bias it must be.

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15. If you insist on external evidence, NDE's and reincarnation studies by Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker of Virginia university, can be referred.


Both Stevenson and Tucker have been well-critiqued in other places, calling out the confirmation bias and case selectivity in their work, but I not that since the last time I recall looking at the Tucker appears to have caught 'quantum' from someone like Deepak Chopra.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 23, 2020, 12:07:27 PM
Sriram,

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Starting off from the thread on 'Is casual sex immoral'.......I thought I will (once again) explain what my idea of spirituality is.  And let me add that this is not just a theoretical idea that I subscribe to. I have lived all my 67 years only working with this philosophy....and very happy thereby.

That’s called a non sequitur - a basic mistake in reasoning. That you have subscribed to some beliefs for a long time and are happy with them says nothing to whether they are “just a theoretical idea” notwithstanding.

Not a good start.

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1. Spirituality is not about religion. Religions arise due to spiritual needs in people but are largely cultural and of local flavor.  We can use religion to grow spiritually but it is not necessary.

Well, perhaps you should start by telling us what you mean by “spirituality” but ok…

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2. Spirituality is relevant to everyone including atheists...because it is basically about what the human condition is and why we live and die. It is about the meaning of life and it objectives.

“what the human condition is and why we live and die” are different questions (one philosophical, the other biological) but are legitimate questions to ask. As – so far at least – I have no idea what you think you mean by “spirituality” though there’s no way to know whether, if it did exist, it would have anything to say about these matters. 

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3. From the objectives and meaning of life should arise morality and the issue of right and wrong in an absolute sense.  Since spirituality is secular and common to all humans and life forms...absolute morality is also common and secular. It has its basis in life and its purpose.

So now you’re claiming there to be objective morality? Well, as the evidence suggests that morality is no more objective than, say, aesthetics, perhaps you’d better try at least to demonstrate the claim rather than just assert it.

Good luck with it though.   

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4. Spirituality is not really about God, though it could begin with that quest. It is about what 'we' are. It is about the Self, the Subject....around whom life revolves.  What are we, why are we here, what is our purpose, what happens when we die...and what are we supposed to do while we are here?

What happens when we die seems very likely to be nothing as “we” cease to exist, and having a “purpose” begs the question of why there should be one at all and who or what decided on that.       

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5. Based on such questions.....some secular ideas have been arrived at which I have found to be largely common to almost all spiritual philosophies around the world. These are as follows...

6. We are basically souls which are living in or connected to the body and mind. Our Personality (what we are in this life) is developed not by chance but by the influence of the soul on our body and mind. Our Personality is therefore a reflection of the soul.

7.  One of the main attributes or properties of the soul is Consciousness. Through consciousness the soul uses the body and mind to function on earth.

8. It is like a person sitting inside a robot  and using it to perform some function. The robot has most of the attributes of the person and in a sense represents him. It is similar with the soul and Personality.

“Souls” eh? Well, again if you want with a straight face to claim such a thing then by all means tell us what you mean by it, describe its properties and tell us how anyone should investigate and verify the claim. So far, all you have is baseless white noise. 

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9. The process is a form of spiritual evolution in which the soul gets born and reborn in different bodies (including animals). In the process it goes through many experiences and develops higher levels of consciousness. The essential difference between different people is in their level of spiritual development.  More developed means less selfish and less intensity of needs and desires.

10. Eventually after many births and after sufficient development....the Higher Self of the individual becomes apparent.  This can be seen as a spirit that is connected to the individual soul and is drawn nearer and nearer as the person develops.  This is the God that we normally relate to every time we worship any deity externally.

I’ve always thought this narrative to be rather sweet on its face, but fairly pernicious in its effect. It allows the person who thinks himself to be more “spiritually developed” than people and species that lack his supposed wonderfulness – and when you convince yourself of that, you have a powerful rationale for all sorts of unpleasant behaviours. Fortunately there’s no good reason to think this folkloric naivety to be true, but there it is nonetheless.   

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11. In course of time the idea of an external God will become redundant and the person will start relating to this Higher Self.

Woo.

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12. Eventually the normal self will drop off and we will realize that we are the Higher Self and that the lower self was only a projection.  This is normally seen as the objective of every individual soul on earth.

Woo squared.

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13. With this will end the need for any more rebirth. What happens beyond that is unknown.

But as just making stuff up to explain the unknown is your stock in trade, why stop there?

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14. All these things can be experienced and understood through spiritual practices like Yoga and other systems. If you want evidence that is the only evidence.

Then it’s not evidence at all – it’s just a narrative that some find to be persuasive. If you want to claim evidence, then you need to provide something independently investigable and verifiable. Just now, you’re abusing the term to suit your beliefs. 

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15. If you insist on external evidence, NDE's and reincarnation studies by Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker of Virginia university, can be referred.

They can be, and then dismissed for their lack of rigour. You may as well claim that thunder is evidence for Thor, or that quantum effects are evidence for pixies.   

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Hope this helps.

It doesn’t.


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I don't ignore anyone. It is just that, when I think a conversation would go into a dead end....or if a person gets nasty....I  don't bother to continue.  What is the point in repeating the same arguments and getting the same ad hominem comments?

That’s not true. What’s actually happening is that you’re so convinced of your rightness that you just will not engage honestly with reasonable challenges. The only thing close to ad homs here is your stock response of blaming others’ cultural perspectives for not just agreeing with you.     

That doesn’t sound very “spiritually developed” to me.

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The problem is that, even though this is a Religion board people think that their atheist views are the default correct views... and that everyone else needs to explain and justify themselves.  I don't bother to encourage such  'superior' attitudes.

You need to look up something called the burden of proof. If you want to claim gods, souls, spirituality etc and expect these clams to be treated more seriously than just guessing then it’s your job to justify your beliefs. So far, all you’ve done is to assert them – not justify them.     

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The problem also is that there are no meeting points at all. I do try to identify areas where there can be some discussion in spite of differing beliefs. Areas such as Anthropic Principle, unconscious mind, influence of observation and consciousness on matter, randomness, Phenotypic plasticity, NDE's, issues regarding the Self...etc...... can be meeting points on which I do try to discuss....but with no positive response at all. It is always the same old dismissive arguments.

No, there is a meeting point – it’s called reason. When your reasoning is false or doesn’t exist at all though (see above), then all you offer is more white noise.

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So, it is better to state my view and leave it at that. Let everyone make whatever they want of it.  Or alternatively, I should stop posting altogether.... which I resist doing because posting here helps me think and bounce my views off some people who don't see it my way.  That is helpful.

Also not true. You don’t “bounce” your ideas at all – you assert them, and then ignore or criticise the people who challenge them so as to avoid the challenges themselves.

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Having said that, I do however clarify and hold conversations whenever I find it conducive and healthy.

Actually, generally only when people agree with you. Prove me wrong about that though – why not try at least to address the arguments you’ve been given here? 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 23, 2020, 02:08:06 PM
Hillside says.
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So now you’re claiming there to be objective morality? Well, as the evidence suggests that morality is no more objective.
Provide the evidence.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 23, 2020, 03:37:08 PM
Hillside says.Provide the evidence.

Japanese cultural mores vs Chinese cultural mores vs Russian cultural mores vs Maori cultural mores vs the various Native American cultural mores vs Aztec cultural mores vs Incan cultural mores vs Olmec cultural mores vs... and on and on and on...

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 23, 2020, 06:21:40 PM
Japanese cultural mores vs Chinese cultural mores vs Russian cultural mores vs Maori cultural mores vs the various Native American cultural mores vs Aztec cultural mores vs Incan cultural mores vs Olmec cultural mores vs... and on and on and on...

O.
So if it is just a question of taste what is it to be tonight an evening with Beethoven, mugging a pensioner or what?

Seems that any one can replace morality with aesthetics but that puts them in the same league as having someone’s Liver with Chianti and Fava beans.

Also how does a cultural more count as evidence if it is not an objective thing?

Does it count in fact as morality or isn’t something a bit more amorphous than that?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 23, 2020, 06:41:13 PM
Vlad,

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So if it is just a question of taste…

Actually a matter of instinct and reason, to varying degrees.

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…what is it to be tonight an evening with Beethoven, mugging a pensioner or what?

Relevance to the claim of objective morality? If someone wants to assert objective morality then it’s their job to demonstrate such a thing – just collapsing into a sort of Poundland argumentum ad consequentiam when this is pointed out is just deflection.

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Seems that any one can replace morality with aesthetics…

No one has done that. Rather it’s just been explained to you (yet again) that morality and aesthetics are epistemological equivalents – we intuit and reason our way to positions on both, but that’s all. 

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…but that puts them in the same league as having someone’s Liver with Chianti and Fava beans.

It doesn’t but, even if it did, how would that help you with your a prori claim of objective morality? Not liking a (supposed) outcome of one explanations does not thereby by justify another (for which by the way there’s no evidence at all).
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 23, 2020, 06:54:05 PM
Vlad,

Actually a matter of instinct and reason, to varying degrees.

Relevance to the claim of objective morality? If someone wants to assert objective morality then it’s their job to demonstrate such a thing – just collapsing into a sort of Poundland argumentum ad consequentiam when this is pointed out is just deflection.

No one has done that. Rather it’s just been explained to you (yet again) that morality and aesthetics are epistemological equivalents – we intuit and reason our way to positions on both, but that’s all. 

It doesn’t but, even if it did, how would that help you with your a prori claim of objective morality? Not liking a (supposed) outcome of one explanations does not thereby by justify another (for which by the way there’s no evidence at all).
A. Ayer of instinct and reason?

Positive assertion......You know what you have to do.

Morality and aesthetics epistemological equivalents ..........ditto.

Aesthetics is reached by intuition and reason? ........again, a positive assertion.

Run along and do what you have to do there’s a good chap.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 23, 2020, 07:01:08 PM
Vlad,

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A. Ayer of instinct and reason?

Positive assertion......You know what you have to do.

Morality and aesthetics epistemological equivalents ..........ditto.

Aesthetics is reached by intuition and reason? ........again, a positive assertion.

Run along and do what you have to do there’s a good chap.

Your continued dishonesty and deflection is noted. If you have anything other than a badly flawed argumentun ad consquentiam (you have a rare ability by the way not only to bet the farm on a fallacy but to fuck up even the construction of it) to justify your claim of objective morality then, finally, produce it. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 23, 2020, 07:04:10 PM
Vlad,

Your continued dishonesty and deflection is noted. If you have anything other than a badly flawed argumentun ad consquentiam (you have a rare ability by the way not only to bet the farm on a fallacy but to fuck up even the construction of it) to justify your claim of objective morality then, finally, produce it.
At the moment I am not proposing anything You are. Do your duty ......or become a hermit and live in a shack in the woods.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 23, 2020, 07:10:09 PM
Vlad,

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At the moment I am not proposing anything You are. Do your duty ......or become a hermit and live in a shack in the woods.

You’ve asserted objective morality many times, and the best you’ve ever managed to justify the claim is an argumentum ad consequentiam. Every time that’s been falsified you’ve lied about the falsification, then run away.

If you have something better than that to justify the claim, produce it; if not, stop wasting everyone’s time. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 23, 2020, 07:31:23 PM
Vlad,

You’ve asserted objective morality many times, and the best you’ve ever managed to justify the claim is an argumentum ad consequentiam. Every time that’s been falsified you’ve lied about the falsification, then run away.

If you have something better than that to justify the claim, produce it; if not, stop wasting everyone’s time.
I have promoted moral realism just as there is a mathematical realism and a physical realism.

You have equated morality with aesthetics, said that both are a product of reason. Please demonstrate how.

When you say the parallel of morality is aesthetics in one place and and argue that something is morally wrong for everybody in another, which is the big stinking lie?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 23, 2020, 08:02:28 PM
Vlad,

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I have promoted moral realism just as there is a mathematical realism and a physical realism.

Another lie. You haven’t “promoted” it, you’ve asserted it to be so, but have never been able to construct an argument to justify the assertion.

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You have equated morality with aesthetics, said that both are a product of reason. Please demonstrate how.

Instinct and reason, to varying degrees.

Aesthetics: most (though not all) people find a sunset to be beautiful; most (though not all) people find images of death to be ugly. Many (though not all) will cohere around positions of what’s “good” art, though what was once considered good art may no longer be so and vice versa as the Zeitgeist changes. When asked why they feel that way, responses will range “from “it just feels beautiful/ugly” to “here are some reasons to justify my position that (say) Guernica is great art and the woman scratching her backside on the tennis court is not”.

Morality: most (though not all) people find charitable acts to be morally good; most (though not all) people find murder to be morally wrong. Many (though not all) will cohere around positions of what’s “good” morality, though what was once considered good may no longer be so and vice versa as the Zeitgeist changes. When asked why they feel that way, responses will range “from “it just feels good/bad” to “here are some reasons to justify my position that (say) monogamous marriage is morally good and polygamous marriage is not”.

The objects may be different, but the construction is the same and no amount of the argumenta ad consequntia you attempt changes that. 

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When you say the parallel of morality is aesthetics in one place and and argue that something is morally wrong for everybody in another, which is the big stinking lie?

Your straw man here is the only big stinking lie. I’ve expressly said no such thing.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 23, 2020, 08:20:31 PM
Vlad,

Another lie. You haven’t “promoted” it, you’ve asserted it to be so, but have never been able to construct an argument to justify the assertion.

Instinct and reason, to varying degrees.

Aesthetics: most (though not all) people find a sunset to be beautiful; most (though not all) people find images of death to be ugly. Many (though not all) will cohere around positions of what’s “good” art, though what was once considered good art may no longer be so and vice versa as the Zeitgeist changes. When asked why they feel that way, responses will range “from “it just feels beautiful/ugly” to “here are some reasons to justify my position that (say) Guernica is great art and the woman scratching her backside on the tennis court is not”.

Morality: most (though not all) people find charitable acts to be morally good; most (though not all) people find murder to be morally wrong. Many (though not all) will cohere around positions of what’s “good” morality, though what was once considered good may no longer be so and vice versa as the Zeitgeist changes. When asked why they feel that way, responses will range “from “it just feels good/bad” to “here are some reasons to justify my position that (say) monogamous marriage is morally good and polygamous marriage is not”.

The objects may be different, but the construction is the same and no amount of the argumenta ad consequntia you attempt changes that. 

Your straw man here is the only big stinking lie. I’ve expressly said no such thing.
I am at a loss to see where intuition instinct and reason come into an argument your making for them.

So what is the reason that something is bad? Of course you are stymied  now by needing to appeal to consequences.

Check mate.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 23, 2020, 08:37:04 PM
Vlad,

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I am at a loss to see where intuition instinct and reason come into an argument your making for them.

As I just spelled it out for you, why?

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So what is the reason that something is bad?

See above. Sometimes it just feels bad. Sometimes we make an argument to justify the position that we think it is bad. Sometimes we combine the two. 

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Of course you are stymied  now by needing to appeal to consequences.

No, that’s your problem every time you collapse into an argumentum ad consequentiam remember?

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Check mate.

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Pigeon%20chess

Better luck next time though.

PS Any thoughts on why you flat out lied (again) when you said I'd argued "something is morally wrong for everybody" when I've consistently said precisely the opposite of that? Gravity is the same for everyone, morality isn't. That's the point FFS. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 24, 2020, 12:32:35 AM
Vlad,

As I just spelled it out for you, why?

See above. Sometimes it just feels bad. Sometimes we make an argument to justify the position that we think it is bad. Sometimes we combine the two. 

No, that’s your problem every time you collapse into an argumentum ad consequentiam remember?

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Pigeon%20chess

Better luck next time though.

PS Any thoughts on why you flat out lied (again) when you said I'd argued "something is morally wrong for everybody" when I've consistently said precisely the opposite of that? Gravity is the same for everyone, morality isn't. That's the point FFS.
How then do you propose to proceed with a moral position on, say, slavery since you have no means of arbitration?
Moral realism avoids the contradiction between your action ... You speak in terms of things being wrong for others and yet think it is but a question of taste.

In terms of reason why is slavery unreasonable? What answer can you give without including the consequences of moralities. Come on Hillside. You propose morality is a question of reason. Exemplify.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 24, 2020, 10:50:08 AM
Vlad,

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How then do you propose to proceed with a moral position on, say, slavery since you have no means of arbitration?
Moral realism avoids the contradiction between your action ... You speak in terms of things being wrong for others and yet think it is but a question of taste.

In terms of reason why is slavery unreasonable? What answer can you give without including the consequences of moralities. Come on Hillside. You propose morality is a question of reason. Exemplify.

Oh no you don’t. Let’s deal with your last lie first. Again: why did you flat out lie when you said I'd argued "something is morally wrong for everybody" when I've consistently said precisely the opposite of that?

Deal with your lie, then I’ll deal with you latest stupidity (though frankly there’d be little point as you’d just lie about that too as you have before).
 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 24, 2020, 01:07:15 PM
So if it is just a question of taste what is it to be tonight an evening with Beethoven, mugging a pensioner or what?

Seems that any one can replace morality with aesthetics but that puts them in the same league as having someone’s Liver with Chianti and Fava beans.

Also how does a cultural more count as evidence if it is not an objective thing?

Does it count in fact as morality or isn’t something a bit more amorphous than that?

The cultural more is an objective thing, we can look at it (in some instances look back at it) and it's the same thing for everyone - their interpretation may differ, but it is.

It is a little deeper than a superficial, although I can see that it is a form of aesthetic feedback - it's about how a particular society expresses what it has chosen to value.  What society you were brought up in will influence what you, therefore, choose to value, and in turn how you interpret various cultural influences (both your own and others).  That's why you get so much talking at cross purposes around ideas like women's rights in fundamentalist Islamic areas, or individual liberty vs state compliance in contested places like Hong Kong.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: enki on November 24, 2020, 01:58:58 PM
How then do you propose to proceed with a moral position on, say, slavery since you have no means of arbitration?
Moral realism avoids the contradiction between your action ... You speak in terms of things being wrong for others and yet think it is but a question of taste.

In terms of reason why is slavery unreasonable? What answer can you give without including the consequences of moralities. Come on Hillside. You propose morality is a question of reason. Exemplify.

I think slavery is a bad thing.

I make what I consider to be moral decisions all the time and yet I have no underlying belief that  morality is anything but a human concept conditional only on the fact that there are humans around to portray it. The fact that I live my life as if some sort of morality actually existed is not evidence that it actually does.

I actually see morality as a human construct which attempts to deal with all manner of situations which have no intrinsic moral value in themselves. As I see it, the morality I feel is  based upon the need for social cohesion, driven by the qualities of empathy, compassion and altruism and and fashioned by culture, nurture and rationality. I would suggest that my personal morals are a result of these, and capable of wide interpretation given any particular 'moral' situation
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 25, 2020, 09:13:50 AM
Vlad,

Oh no you don’t. Let’s deal with your last lie first. Again: why did you flat out lie when you said I'd argued "something is morally wrong for everybody" when I've consistently said precisely the opposite of that?

Deal with your lie, then I’ll deal with you latest stupidity (though frankly there’d be little point as you’d just lie about that too as you have before).
What I want to get across to you is that every time you judge the moral performance of anyone other than yourself that is in fact contrary to your actual moral philosophy.

The point about slavery is that it is a popular trope in atheist theist discussion. It is framed as a bad thing regardless of where and when it happened. That contradicts any concession to cultural mores contained in your moral philosophy.

Under any other circumstances IMO you would not base any judgement pertaining to other people or institutions on such a vague and debateable foundations as your moral philosophy.

May I ask you again do you think that slavery has always been wrong.

Finally, Are you also not of the opinion that moral behaviour can be described as enlightened self interest? If so that is an appeal to consequences....whereas a morality based on such as “Love unconditionally” is not.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 25, 2020, 09:20:18 AM
What I want to get across to you is that every time you judge the moral performance of anyone other than yourself that is in fact contrary to your actual moral philosophy.

The point about slavery is that it is a popular trope in atheist theist discussion. It is framed as a bad thing regardless of where and when it happened. That contradicts any concession to cultural mores contained in your moral philosophy.

Except that we aren't talking about whether it was justifiable within the context of the society it was in, we are pointing out that people who tout the Judao-Christian God as a source of absolute and perfect morality fail to acknowledge that it failed to take any sort of stance against slavery which isn't a justifiable practice in any rational morality.  Either you have to espouse the idea that slavery somehow isn't immoral, or you have to accept that this represents a failure of some sort in the sequence of God-inspiration through to documentation of the Testaments.

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May I ask you again do you think that slavery has always been wrong.

Yes, I think slavery has always been wrong.  Have the people at the time thought that, at times yes, but they've convoluted themselves into thinking that it wasn't really slavery because the people it was being done to weren't properly human, or they convinced themselves it wasn't slavery when it was done to them, or they just didn't care enough to worry about it.  Others thought it was perfectly fine, I suspect.

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Finally, Are you also not of the opinion that moral behaviour can be described as enlightened self interest?

In many instances, yes.

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If so that is an appeal to consequences....whereas a morality based on such as “Love unconditionally” is not.

Except that the instruction to 'love unconditionally' is an interpretation of the desire of a god who will judge you  - enlightened self-interest once again.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 25, 2020, 09:37:41 AM


Except that the instruction to 'love unconditionally' is an interpretation of the desire of a god who will judge you  - enlightened self-interest once again.

O.
Unconditional love equals self interest.......hmm an “interesting” and highly debatable equation.

To counter the notion I call on two biblical passages and Charles Aznavour.

Though He destroy me yet shall I worship him.

and Paul’s statement that he would want people saved even if he himself had to be sent to hell.

Charles Aznavour and the lyrics of She.

Also

https://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 25, 2020, 09:50:26 AM
Except that we aren't talking about whether it was justifiable within the context of the society it was in, we are pointing out that people who tout the Judao-Christian God as a source of absolute and perfect morality fail to acknowledge that it failed to take any sort of stance against slavery which isn't a justifiable practice in any rational morality.  Either you have to espouse the idea that slavery somehow isn't immoral, or you have to accept that this represents a failure of some sort in the sequence of God-inspiration through to documentation of the Testaments.

Yes, I think slavery has always been wrong. 
Except that your either or isn’t an either or if you view humanity as fallen and we are now in a state of lesser or greater evils.
I accept that god inspiration may not be as sure fire as god dictation.

Slavery has always been wrong contradicts any idea of equality of cultural mores and indeed slavey as an aesthetic as I believe you have suggested morality to be a variant of. Amerite?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 25, 2020, 11:11:59 AM
Vlad,

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What I want to get across to you is that every time you judge the moral performance of anyone other than yourself that is in fact contrary to your actual moral philosophy.

And what I want to get across to you is that it’s no such thing. When you judge someone else’s opinion about what’s good art or music to be inferior to you own – the Birdie Song being less good than Beethoven’s fifth for example – are you acting contrary to your actual aesthetic philosophy? Why not? What means of “arbitration” do you use to make this judgement?     

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The point about slavery is that it is a popular trope in atheist theist discussion. It is framed as a bad thing regardless of where and when it happened. That contradicts any concession to cultural mores contained in your moral philosophy.

No it doesn’t. I think it is and always has been a bad thing when seen through the lens of the morality I have here and now. That doesn’t though mean I also think the slaveowners were knowingly acting morally badly with reference to the morality available to them.     

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Under any other circumstances IMO you would not base any judgement pertaining to other people or institutions on such a vague and debateable foundations as your moral philosophy.

Why not? I can judge anything I like, and don’t need claims of certainty or absolutes to do that. I think slavery is wrong. I cannot conceive of an argument that would make me change my mind about that. I could be wrong though about that though. QED. That’s the point FFS – my “philosophy” is precisely situated on making judgements with no appeal to certainty.       

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May I ask you again do you think that slavery has always been wrong.

In my opinion, yes.

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Finally, Are you also not of the opinion that moral behaviour can be described as enlightened self interest?

Pretty much, yes. Altruism (the father of morality) seems to align very well with personal advantage, tribal cohesion etc. That’s why it seems to exist in proto forms in some other species too. Try looking up Bill Hamilton to get you started:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._D._Hamilton   

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If so that is an appeal to consequences....whereas a morality based on such as “Love unconditionally” is not.

Well that was stupid. The appeal to consequences concerns deciding that an explanation cannot be right when you don’t like its consequences. This is the trap you fall into on a regular basis. Reasoning that morality emerged from behaviours that are evolutionarily advantageous on the other hand is a conclusion based on careful examination of facts and evidence. See Bill Hamilton again.

And ANYWAY… none of your dull misunderstandings, arguments from incredulity and other assorted fallacies take you one step of an inch of an iota toward demonstrating that there’s such a thing as objective morality, let alone that it resides in some ancient texts you choose to find more persuasive than other ancient texts that others find more persuasive.

That’s your big problem here – not so much that you get everything wrong about the nature of morality, but that you have no cogent arguments at all to demonstrate your claim of objective moral truths. Why not finally have a go at that without collapsing immediately into the fallacious thinking you usually attempt?           
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 25, 2020, 11:18:13 AM
Unconditional love equals self interest.......hmm an “interesting” and highly debatable equation.

So is your contention that people's motivation in behaving morally is enlightened self-interest - that the two coincide is an explanation for why particular cultures may have adopted those mores over time, but it doesn't necessarily speak to the motivation of the individual at the moment.  In the same way I suspect that most people who follow the religious principle to try to live unconditionally don't actually do it BECAUSE they consciously think they will be judged... nevertheless, it's there in the background to exactly the same extent.

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Though He destroy me yet shall I worship him.

Sounds like battered person syndrome to me.

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and Paul’s statement that he would want people saved even if he himself had to be sent to hell.

I could be cynical and say that politicians will say anything, but let's take him at face value: I don't believe in hell or salvation, but if it ends up that I'm going to hell because I don't believe I wouldn't want everyone else to come with me, that's not a viewpoint particular to religion, that's a humanitarian belief.

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Charles Aznavour and the lyrics of She.

I'm not the most poetic of souls, by nature, but reading that comes across more as a stalker who doesn't actually know her than anything else.


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https://biblehub.com/1_john/4-18.htm

I'm trying to be a little more cautious about scripture, for a number of reasons (increasing awareness of just how far from the original cultural interpretations much of even the earliest translations were, the old adage that even the Devil can quote scripture leading to it being a hiding to nothing, the range of intepretations of any given section, the ease with which elements can be interpreted in different ways when devoid of the context in which there place)... but that being said:

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There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Within the understanding of Christianity none of us are perfect, so presumably this 'perfect' love can only be God's?  For us, as humans, there will always be at least tiny frisson of fear, even if it's only the fear of rejection - if you don't fear rejection in a relationship then you have an issue, because you are in a place where you think that there is no way they could contemplate leaving, and then you stop putting in the effort.

Maybe that's why God doesn't talk to us any more, the way he allegedly used to?

That said - and, again, thinking about the context in which things are set - this is a message purporting to be about a relationship with a being that explicitly threatens with punishment for transgression, so to come with this section and ignore the fact that threat of punishment is there is disingenuous, is it not?  If God's love for us is perfect love, and we need not fear punishment, then why is there the threat of punishment?  If god's love is unconditional (is any other kind of love 'perfect'?) then how can we somehow fail or be fallen, how can we be discarded if we are perfectly loved?

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 25, 2020, 07:18:03 PM
Vlad,

And what I want to get across to you is that it’s no such thing. When you judge someone else’s opinion about what’s good art or music to be inferior to you own – the Birdie Song being less good than Beethoven’s fifth for example – are you acting contrary to your actual aesthetic philosophy? Why not? What means of “arbitration” do you use to make this judgement?     

No it doesn’t. I think it is and always has been a bad thing when seen through the lens of the morality I have here and now. That doesn’t though mean I also think the slaveowners were knowingly acting morally badly with reference to the morality available to them.     

Why not? I can judge anything I like, and don’t need claims of certainty or absolutes to do that. I think slavery is wrong. I cannot conceive of an argument that would make me change my mind about that. I could be wrong though about that though. QED. That’s the point FFS – my “philosophy” is precisely situated on making judgements with no appeal to certainty.       

In my opinion, yes.

Pretty much, yes. Altruism (the father of morality) seems to align very well with personal advantage, tribal cohesion etc. That’s why it seems to exist in proto forms in some other species too. Try looking up Bill Hamilton to get you started:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._D._Hamilton   

Well that was stupid. The appeal to consequences concerns deciding that an explanation cannot be right when you don’t like its consequences. This is the trap you fall into on a regular basis. Reasoning that morality emerged from behaviours that are evolutionarily advantageous on the other hand is a conclusion based on careful examination of facts and evidence. See Bill Hamilton again.

And ANYWAY… none of your dull misunderstandings, arguments from incredulity and other assorted fallacies take you one step of an inch of an iota toward demonstrating that there’s such a thing as objective morality, let alone that it resides in some ancient texts you choose to find more persuasive than other ancient texts that others find more persuasive.

That’s your big problem here – not so much that you get everything wrong about the nature of morality, but that you have no cogent arguments at all to demonstrate your claim of objective moral truths. Why not finally have a go at that without collapsing immediately into the fallacious thinking you usually attempt?           
To equate morality with taste is the mark of the sociopath. It is no wonder that some of you guys creep me out.
You still need to establish that either or both are intuition, reason and instinct. If that were so then the terms aesthetics, taste and morality are redundant.
And since you have made them redundant you are really in no position to judge what is right or wrong about it.

Altruism is proto morality. What is proto immorality? Start with Bill Hamilton? In terms of the gross anthropomorphism you are suggesting wouldn’t we be better off starting with Walt Disney?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 25, 2020, 07:33:42 PM
So is your contention that people's motivation in behaving morally is enlightened self-interest - that the two coincide is an explanation for why particular cultures may have adopted those mores over time, but it doesn't necessarily speak to the motivation of the individual at the moment.  In the same way I suspect that most people who follow the religious principle to try to live unconditionally don't actually do it BECAUSE they consciously think they will be judged... nevertheless, it's there in the background to exactly the same extent.

Sounds like battered person syndrome to me.

I could be cynical and say that politicians will say anything, but let's take him at face value: I don't believe in hell or salvation, but if it ends up that I'm going to hell because I don't believe I wouldn't want everyone else to come with me, that's not a viewpoint particular to religion, that's a humanitarian belief.

I'm not the most poetic of souls, by nature, but reading that comes across more as a stalker who doesn't actually know her than anything else.


I'm trying to be a little more cautious about scripture, for a number of reasons (increasing awareness of just how far from the original cultural interpretations much of even the earliest translations were, the old adage that even the Devil can quote scripture leading to it being a hiding to nothing, the range of intepretations of any given section, the ease with which elements can be interpreted in different ways when devoid of the context in which there place)... but that being said:

Within the understanding of Christianity none of us are perfect, so presumably this 'perfect' love can only be God's?  For us, as humans, there will always be at least tiny frisson of fear, even if it's only the fear of rejection - if you don't fear rejection in a relationship then you have an issue, because you are in a place where you think that there is no way they could contemplate leaving, and then you stop putting in the effort.

Maybe that's why God doesn't talk to us any more, the way he allegedly used to?

That said - and, again, thinking about the context in which things are set - this is a message purporting to be about a relationship with a being that explicitly threatens with punishment for transgression, so to come with this section and ignore the fact that threat of punishment is there is disingenuous, is it not?  If God's love for us is perfect love, and we need not fear punishment, then why is there the threat of punishment?  If god's love is unconditional (is any other kind of love 'perfect'?) then how can we somehow fail or be fallen, how can we be discarded if we are perfectly loved?

O.
The passage from John in context talks about love perfected in a person , a human person.
Fear is a indicator of how loving a relationship is. If there is a lot of fear there is little love for God.
Entering into a relationship with God starting with metanoia or change of mind from unwillingness to willingness changes one’s attitude to God and when not estranged God changes from the mad uncle with a playroom in the attic for his favourites and a furnace in his basement to being loving parent friend or gracious entity.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 26, 2020, 08:41:15 AM
The passage from John in context talks about love perfected in a person , a human person.

Seems self-contradictory to me to suggest that humans are capable of this 'perfect' love whilst being at the same time unavoidably and inherently 'flawed'.

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Fear is a indicator of how loving a relationship is. If there is a lot of fear there is little love for God.

Not necessarily, fear is an indicator of how confident you are in the relationship, and how that love is manifested, and your own history with relationships - someone with a history of bad relationships is going to fear, regardless of how good a relationship is.  A relationship with God has that threat of eternal punishment hanging around in the background - if you believe, then the prospect of eternal torment is going to bring an element of fear to that relationship.  Coupled with a narrative that you are inherently unworthy and, depending on the sect you're part of, nothing you can do will change that and you are at the mercy of God's grace I'd suggest that fear is an intrinsic part of that dynamic.  After all, isn't there a significant segment of the Christian (at least) populace who'd quite openly describe themselves as 'God-fearing'.

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Entering into a relationship with God starting with metanoia or change of mind from unwillingness to willingness changes one’s attitude to God and when not estranged God changes from the mad uncle with a playroom in the attic for his favourites and a furnace in his basement to being loving parent friend or gracious entity.

It doesn't remove that threat, though, does it?  You might be able to ignore it, you might be able to see past it, but it's still there, and it's hardly the fault of people whose experience is to take threats seriously if they can't see past that.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 26, 2020, 09:55:49 AM
Vlad,

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To equate morality with taste…

What I actually said was instinct and reason in varying degrees, not “taste”. Taste is whether or not I like Marmite; if I don’t, I can’t reason my way into liking it. By contrast I may at one time intuitively have found, say equal marriage to be wrong but now I can reason that it’s a good thing.     

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… is the mark of the sociopath.

Actually it’s the “mark” of a thinking being able to adjust his morality with sense and reason. By contrast the sociopathy I see is in those who comment atrocities citing “holy” texts to justifies them. How would you propose to change the mind of someone whose rationale is “but that’s my faith”?     

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It is no wonder that some of you guys creep me out.

The irony…

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You still need to establish…

I don’t need to establish anything. You’re the one claiming objective morality – it’s your job to establish that, preferably without collapsing into fallacies again.

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…that either or both are intuition, reason and instinct.

Why wouldn’t they be, given that you have no problem with other fields of human judgement (aesthetics for example) being these things?
 
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If that were so then the terms aesthetics, taste and morality are redundant.

Why?

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And since you have made them redundant you are really in no position to judge what is right or wrong about it.

I’ve done no such thing. Stop lying.

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Altruism is proto morality. What is proto immorality? Start with Bill Hamilton? In terms of the gross anthropomorphism you are suggesting wouldn’t we be better off starting with Walt Disney?

Why are you parading your ignorance? It’s not something you should be proud of.   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 26, 2020, 11:17:04 AM
Vlad,

Actually it’s the “mark” of a thinking being able to adjust his morality with sense and reason. By contrast the sociopathy I see is in those who comment atrocities citing “holy” texts to justifies them. How would you propose to change the mind of someone whose rationale is “but that’s my faith”?     

The irony…

I don’t need to establish anything. You’re the one claiming objective morality – it’s your job to establish that, preferably without collapsing into fallacies again.

Why wouldn’t they be, given that you have no problem with other fields of human judgement (aesthetics for example) being these things?
 
Why?

I’ve done no such thing. Stop lying.

Why are you parading your ignorance? It’s not something you should be proud of.
If you are not a sociopath I am relieved although I think that necessarily means you are conflicted in your understanding of morality somewhere.

Unless I am mistaken, You make the term morality doubly redundant since not only can it be replaced with the term aesthetics or taste but even that is made redundant by it's explanation as instinct, intuition and reason. Unless I am mistaken you haven't actually established the links between these and why we should go on to describe instinct combined with intuition combined as ''taste'' and then derive ''morality'.

In terms of Bill Hamilton, he can only get to 'morality' by leaping out of strictly empirical science into some domain which contains a bit of science and a bit of something else. Science of course doesn't observe moral behaviour rather it observes mere behaviour and that is that. And that adds triple redundancy to the term 'morality'. Also there is a conflict that if you are saying morality is not objective then it cannot be scientifically observed.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 26, 2020, 11:39:56 AM
Seems self-contradictory to me to suggest that humans are capable of this 'perfect' love whilst being at the same time unavoidably and inherently 'flawed'.

Not necessarily, fear is an indicator of how confident you are in the relationship, and how that love is manifested, and your own history with relationships - someone with a history of bad relationships is going to fear, regardless of how good a relationship is.  A relationship with God has that threat of eternal punishment hanging around in the background - if you believe, then the prospect of eternal torment is going to bring an element of fear to that relationship.  Coupled with a narrative that you are inherently unworthy and, depending on the sect you're part of, nothing you can do will change that and you are at the mercy of God's grace I'd suggest that fear is an intrinsic part of that dynamic.  After all, isn't there a significant segment of the Christian (at least) populace who'd quite openly describe themselves as 'God-fearing'.

It doesn't remove that threat, though, does it?  You might be able to ignore it, you might be able to see past it, but it's still there, and it's hardly the fault of people whose experience is to take threats seriously if they can't see past that.

O.
I'm sorry but I might now end up conflicting you. You think you take away is that you are inherently unworthy but God's act in Jesus points to you to being cosmically valuable. As I keep saying the unworthiness of any person, becomes, in a relationship a measure of how involved one is in it. Because of Christ God overlooks how you are and a relationship is now open to you.

In other words how can you benefit from a relationship you aren't willing to be in?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 26, 2020, 11:43:43 AM
Vlad,

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If you are not a sociopath I am relieved although I think that necessarily means you are conflicted in your understanding of morality somewhere.

A supposed conflict you’re unable to demonstrate though.

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Unless I am mistaken, You make the term morality doubly redundant since not only can it be replaced with the term aesthetics or taste…

Yes you are mistaken. I don’t "replace" morality with these things at all. Rather I just explained that, in epistemic terms, morality and aesthetics are equivalent. Why is this so hard for you to grasp?

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…but even that is made redundant by it's explanation as instinct, intuition and reason.

Why?

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Unless I am mistaken you haven't actually established the links between these and why we should go on to describe instinct combined with intuition combined as ''taste'' and then derive ''morality'.

It’s not that we “should” necessarily, but that we do. Some behaviours just feel morally wrong or right – helping the little old lady carry her shopping for example feels morally good. Ask me why an act is morally good or bad though and sometimes I can offer nothing but intuition ("it just feels that way"), and sometimes I can come up reasons. That’s morality. It’s also aesthetics. It’s also lots of other fields of human judgement and opinion.   

So what?   

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In terms of Bill Hamilton, he can only get to 'morality' by leaping out of strictly empirical science into some domain which contains a bit of science and a bit of something else. Science of course doesn't observe moral behaviour rather it observes mere behaviour and that is that. And that adds triple redundancy to the term 'morality'. Also there is a conflict that if you are saying morality is not objective then it cannot be scientifically observed.

More stupidity. What he gets to is altruism. It’s  J. B. S. Haldane’s “I would be prepared to lay down his life for eight of my cousins or for two of my brothers” idea, which phenomenon Hamilton observed in nature and then built some complicated mathematical models around. Altruism is the beginning of morality. Without it why after all would someone go hungry to feed their children?

Could you at least try to keep up (or to be a bit less dishonest)? Why not for example try to demonstrate this supposed objective morality of yours without collapsing immediately into logical fallacies? What’s stopping you?   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 26, 2020, 12:31:00 PM
I'm sorry but I might now end up conflicting you. You think you take away is that you are inherently unworthy but God's act in Jesus points to you to being cosmically valuable.

To be clear, that's my understanding of at least significant strand of Christian teaching, unless I'm mistaken - personally I don't think humanity is 'flawed' because I don't think humanity came about according to a particular plan or design.

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As I keep saying the unworthiness of any person, becomes, in a relationship a measure of how involved one is in it.

And I'd absolutely disagree with that - people can be in bad relationships where they are entirely worthy and entirely invested and the relationship itself can be bad entirely because of the other person or people involved.

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Because of Christ God overlooks how you are and a relationship is now open to you.

And that permanent threat of endless torment is an example of that potentially worrisome 'other party' in a relationship - I love you unconditionally, but I won't promise that I won't torture you for eternity, there's nothing you can do about it though... That's not a good basis for a relationship, that's the start of a hostage negotiation.

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In other words how can you benefit from a relationship you aren't willing to be in?

How much benefit is there in a relationship which appears to be a debate about whether you're going to be tortured because you are inherently unworthly?

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 26, 2020, 07:41:21 PM
To be clear, that's my understanding of at least significant strand of Christian teaching, unless I'm mistaken - personally I don't think humanity is 'flawed' because I don't think humanity came about according to a particular plan or design.
Personally I think we have consciously designed ourselves to fall. We design our own flaws.
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And I'd absolutely disagree with that - people can be in bad relationships where they are entirely worthy and entirely invested and the relationship itself can be bad entirely because of the other person or people involved.
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We are in relationship with others whether we like it or not. It’s what we make of that which will decide whether they have been loving or not. It seems therefore God is the only person we can detach links with.
Quote

And that permanent threat of endless torment is an example of that potentially worrisome 'other party' in a relationship - I love you unconditionally, but I won't promise that I won't torture you for eternity, there's nothing you can do about it though... That's not a good basis for a relationship, that's the start of a hostage negotiation.
Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying the person who comes to him will not be turned away. What the fate is of those who turn away is them on their own.
Jesus suggests a death within there own sins but elsewhere there is talk of banishment separation from God, The realisation that something better could have been possible, orthodox theologians suggest that no one is separated from God and the torment for those alienated from God is to be in his presence.

The more I consider what you say and specifically your punctuating it with “I don’t believe it any way”.
the more I think what you are giving us is an analysis of why people believe namely they fear torture
If they don’t toe the line. As the passage in John says such a believer......(although I think this not uncommon caricature in atheism is you making pastiche of it......would need to be perfected in love
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How much benefit is there in a relationship which appears to be a debate about whether you're going to be tortured because you are inherently unworthly?

O.
I don’t think that is the Christians understanding of their relationship with God.

If you Are not in relationship with Him your conception unavoidably is influenced by that alienation.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 27, 2020, 07:33:03 AM

'Humanity is flawed'...   This is because we are individually developing and growing towards perfection. It is like a school and we are like children at different stages of learning and development. We are bound to be flawed.

Ridding ourselves of our animal nature and growing beyond needs and desires is what makes us 'perfect'.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: torridon on November 27, 2020, 08:03:07 AM
'Humanity is flawed'...   This is because we are individually developing and growing towards perfection. It is like a school and we are like children at different stages of learning and development. We are bound to be flawed.

Ridding ourselves of our animal nature and growing beyond needs and desires is what makes us 'perfect'.

If we were to ignore our needs and desires we will be dead pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Nearly Sane on November 27, 2020, 08:11:29 AM
If we were to ignore our needs and desires we will be dead pretty quickly.
I feel as if I have to reread Being and Nothingness
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 27, 2020, 09:13:20 AM
Personally I think we have consciously designed ourselves to fall. We design our own flaws.

We are the architects of our own flaws in many ways, but I don't see it as a conscious choice - no-one CHOOSES to be flawed, they either choose unwisely, or they make choices which have unintended consequences. Not forgetting, of course, one man's flaw is another man's triumph...

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Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying the person who comes to him will not be turned away.

Abusive partners are quite often overtly affectionate when it suits them.  That doesn't take away the threat, though, does it?

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What the fate is of those who turn away is them on their own.

Except that it's not supposed to matter whether or not we turn away, we can't earn 'redemption', we are entirely at God's mercy - if compliance doesn't guarantee acceptance, does non-compliance guarantee rejection?  Or, from the Catholic (?) doctrine, can you be compliant if you don't have access to the right church?

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Jesus suggests a death within there own sins but elsewhere there is talk of banishment separation from God, The realisation that something better could have been possible, orthodox theologians suggest that no one is separated from God and the torment for those alienated from God is to be in his presence.

Theologians say a lot of things - part of a relationship is good communication, so how come we're still having to have this debate?  Why hasn't the 'perfect relationship' God been clear about what's involved?

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The more I consider what you say and specifically your punctuating it with “I don’t believe it any way”. The more I think what you are giving us is an analysis of why people believe namely they fear torture if they don’t toe the line.

I don't know enough psychology to know if that's likely to make people believe, my instinct is that it's not enough in and of itself, but once you've got them to believe when young the threat of eternal torment is a useful tool to keep people in line.

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As the passage in John says such a believer......(although I think this not uncommon caricature in atheism is you making pastiche of it......would need to be perfected in love I don’t think that is the Christians understanding of their relationship with God.

I've been guilty of this in this discussion as well, but I'm not sure there is 'AN' understanding of the Christian relationship with God - from Catholicism through Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, the prosperity Gospellers and Evangelicals to the Amish, Quakers, Protestants, and beyond there are dozens if not hundreds of orthodoxies, some of which conform to your vision, no doubt, others of which don't.

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If you Are not in relationship with Him your conception unavoidably is influenced by that alienation.

Perhaps, but I'd counter that with the fact that it's normal for the friends of someone in an abusive relationship to spot it before they do...

O
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 27, 2020, 11:39:28 AM
Sriram,

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'Humanity is flawed'...   This is because we are individually developing and growing towards perfection.

Not unless you can establish first a “perfection”, the ability to know what it is and the means to get there it isn’t. Evolution is descent with adaption – it’s a common mistake to assume it’s purposely heading toward a goal.     

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It is like a school and we are like children at different stages of learning and development.

No it isn’t. In schools there are set objectives – learning to do calculus, reciting Shakespeare etc. There are no such objectives in evolution so your analogy fails.   

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We are bound to be flawed.

Depends what you mean by “flawed”.

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Ridding ourselves of our animal nature and growing beyond needs and desires is what makes us 'perfect'.

And the baseless greetings card platitude to finish. We are animals – we can no more “rid ourselves” of that than we can rid ourselves of gravity. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on November 27, 2020, 02:12:07 PM
Sriram,

Not unless you can establish first a “perfection”, the ability to know what it is and the means to get there it isn’t. Evolution is descent with adaption – it’s a common mistake to assume it’s purposely heading toward a goal.     

No it isn’t. In schools there are set objectives – learning to do calculus, reciting Shakespeare etc. There are no such objectives in evolution so your analogy fails.   

Depends what you mean by “flawed”.

And the baseless greetings card platitude to finish. We are animals – we can no more “rid ourselves” of that than we can rid ourselves of gravity.


We are not talking of Physics...for heavens sake! We are talking philosophy. Why do you keep trying to drag it down to the very precise and very predictable levels of material science?   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 27, 2020, 05:17:47 PM
Sriram,

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We are not talking of Physics...for heavens sake!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analogy

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We are talking philosophy.

Not really. Philosophy requires reason and argument. Twee assertions about the sunlit uplands of the supposed “perfect” on the other hand have no significant philosophical content.

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Why do you keep trying to drag it down to the very precise and very predictable levels of material science?

Actually I’m trying to raise it from your kindergarten-type grandiosities. If you want to claim a “perfect” that we’re somehow heading toward then, absent reason and argument to justify that claim, it’s your job to find some other means to distinguish it from gibberish.

Good luck with it though. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 28, 2020, 07:28:49 AM
We are the architects of our own flaws in many ways, but I don't see it as a conscious choice - no-one CHOOSES to be flawed, they either choose unwisely, or they make choices which have unintended consequences. Not forgetting, of course, one man's flaw is another man's triumph...

Abusive partners are quite often overtly affectionate when it suits them.  That doesn't take away the threat, though, does it?

Except that it's not supposed to matter whether or not we turn away, we can't earn 'redemption', we are entirely at God's mercy - if compliance doesn't guarantee acceptance, does non-compliance guarantee rejection?  Or, from the Catholic (?) doctrine, can you be compliant if you don't have access to the right church?

Theologians say a lot of things - part of a relationship is good communication, so how come we're still having to have this debate?  Why hasn't the 'perfect relationship' God been clear about what's involved?

I don't know enough psychology to know if that's likely to make people believe, my instinct is that it's not enough in and of itself, but once you've got them to believe when young the threat of eternal torment is a useful tool to keep people in line.

I've been guilty of this in this discussion as well, but I'm not sure there is 'AN' understanding of the Christian relationship with God - from Catholicism through Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, the prosperity Gospellers and Evangelicals to the Amish, Quakers, Protestants, and beyond there are dozens if not hundreds of orthodoxies, some of which conform to your vision, no doubt, others of which don't.

Perhaps, but I'd counter that with the fact that it's normal for the friends of someone in an abusive relationship to spot it before they do...

O
None of what you say describes my own walk with God. I suggest what you are looking into therefore is your own caricature of what Christianity is.

I have been on both sides of the fence and found that many of my assumptions which were very similar to yours were false.

How do you know that the relationship is abusive.

Finally such an argument isn’t exactly atheist since it’s sentiments reveal only God resistance.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 28, 2020, 10:58:25 AM
Vlad,

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None of what you say describes my own walk with God.

No, it doesn’t describe (according to you) what you believe about your supposed “walk with god”. Fallacy of reification.

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I suggest what you are looking into therefore is your own caricature of what Christianity is.

Whether your suite of faith beliefs (whatever they are) are themselves “what Christianity is” is moot, but in any case the most you could say is that he misrepresented what you’ve said they are. He hasn’t done that.   

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I have been on both sides of the fence and found that many of my assumptions which were very similar to yours were false.

What assumptions do you think he’s made, and why do you think them to be false?

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How do you know that the relationship is abusive.

He doesn’t think you have a “relationship” at all, and for good reason. What he’s saying is that, if there was a “relationship” of the type you describe then it would be an abusive one – a very different position. 

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Finally such an argument isn’t exactly atheist since it’s sentiments reveal only God resistance.

You try this stupidity/dishonesty quite often: discussing the implications of your faith claim narratives IF they were true does not imply that your correspondent actually thinks that they ARE true. If I told you that I believe in all-loving leprechauns that kill babies, you'd probably suggest that the baby killing part of the story negates the all-loving part of the story. Would that mean that you would then believe in leprechauns too? Why not?     
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 28, 2020, 11:10:21 AM
Vlad,

No, it doesn’t describe (according to you) what you believe about your supposed “walk with god”. Fallacy of reification.

Whether your suite of faith beliefs (whatever they are) are themselves “what Christianity is” is moot, but in any case the most you could say is that he misrepresented what you’ve said they are. He hasn’t done that.   

What assumptions do you think he’s made, and why do you think them to be false?

He doesn’t think you have a “relationship” at all, and for good reason. What he’s saying is that, if there was a “relationship” of the type you describe then it would be an abusive one – a very different position. 

You try this stupidity/dishonesty quite often: discussing the implications of your faith claim narratives IF they were true does not imply that your correspondent actually thinks that they ARE true. If I told you that I believe in all-loving leprechauns that kill babies, you'd probably suggest that the baby killing part of the story negates the all-loving part of the story. Would that mean that you would then believe in leprechauns too? Why not?   
This is rich from someone who presupposes empiricism scientism naturalism etc.

I think we ought to be inspecting your vast verbage for ''Begging the question''.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 28, 2020, 11:12:49 AM
Vlad,

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This is rich from someone who presupposes empiricism scientism naturalism etc.

I think we ought to be inspecting your vast verbage for ''Begging the question''.

Do you have anything to say that actually relates to the rebuttals you've just been given?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 28, 2020, 11:20:33 AM
Vlad,

Do you have anything to say that actually relates to the rebuttals you've just been given?
Yeah, what is it you think is being reified and in what way?

What are you raving about vis a vis ''Baby Killing'' and what has it got do with me rather than wealthy people............ you incredibly troubled man.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 28, 2020, 11:30:37 AM
Vlad,

Quote
Yeah, what is it you think is being reified and in what way?

You assume that he agrees with your claim of a “walk with god”, and then complain later on that he’s being non-atheistic. He does no such thing – he just points out the implication IF the claim was true.

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What are you raving about…

No-one is raving. 

Quote
…vis a vis ''Baby Killing'' and what has it got do with me rather than wealthy people............ you incredibly troubled man.

I was just explaining that pointing out the inconsistencies in a story (any story) does not imply that you agree with its premises. Either you cannot grasp the concept of an analogy, or you just lie about it for your own trolling amusement. I neither know nor care which it is. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 28, 2020, 11:34:19 AM
Vlad,
 

He doesn’t think you have a “relationship” at all, and for good reason. What he’s saying is that, if there was a “relationship” of the type you describe then it would be an abusive one – a very different position. 
 
He places himself in our conversation as one looking into a relationship and finding it abusive. My point is that what he is looking into is his own caricature of it. You are not engaging with this point, which wouldn't matter were it not for you bleating about engagement with yours.

What good reason does he not think I have a relationship with God other than the presupposition of cosmic Godlessness?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 28, 2020, 11:38:43 AM
Vlad,

You assume that he agrees with your claim of a “walk with god”, and then complain later on that he’s being non-atheistic. He does no such thing – he just points out the implication IF the claim was true.
 
Saying that God is abusive is not an atheist argument. Period. You are conflating  antitheism (God is abusive) with atheism(God does not exist) at this point. Something you are always complaining about. That's a big minty humbug with stripes.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 28, 2020, 11:47:49 AM
Vlad,

Quote
He places himself in our conversation as one looking into a relationship and finding it abusive.

Without suggesting for one moment that he thinks there’s a word of truth in it as you falsely suggested.

Quote
My point is that what he is looking into is his own caricature of it.

And it’s a false point. He’s not caricaturing anything – he’s just explaining to you what it would in imply if it was true.

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You are not engaging with this point, which wouldn't matter were it not for you bleating about engagement with yours.

How would I “engage” with something I’ve already rebutted?

Quote
What good reason does he not think I have a relationship with God other than the presupposition of cosmic Godlessness?

Precisely the same good reason you have for not thinking I have a relationship with leprechauns. If you want to make the positive claim that you have “a relationship with god” then the job is all yours to demonstrate that – something you’ve never managed to do. Until you can do that, the most you can say is that he caricatures the story you tell about that (something he doesn’t do in any case - he just points out the implications of that story) but you cannot assert that he also thereby believes it actually to be true.     
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 28, 2020, 11:55:27 AM
Vlad,

Quote
Saying that God is abusive is not an atheist argument. Period.

He didn’t do that. He said that, IF the story was true THEN it would describe an abusive relationship. Why is it so hard for you to distinguish between agreeing with the claim itself and critiqueing its implications?

Quote
You are conflating  antitheism (God is abusive) with atheism(God does not exist) at this point.

I’m doing no such thing – I’m just trying to get you to stop misrepresenting his critique of your faith claim as also implying he believes its premises to be true. Fuck me but you struggle.

Quote
Something you are always complaining about.

I complain about it when you dishonestly use these terms interchangeably. 

Quote
That's a big minty humbug with stripes.

Actually it’s just yet another of your endless supply of straw men. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 28, 2020, 12:15:05 PM
Vlad,

Without suggesting for one moment that he thinks there’s a word of truth in it as you falsely suggested.
Where did that happen?
Quote
And it’s a false point. He’s not caricaturing anything – he’s just explaining to you what it would in imply if it was true.
He IS caricaturing it. His effective contention that rejecting God should mean something other than rejecting God or having the benefits of that which has been rejected is a joke
Quote
How would I “engage” with something I’ve already rebutted?
Since there is no adequate intellectual supervision here, if nobody concurs with what either of us are saying, rebuttal remains moot.
Quote
Precisely the same good reason you have for not thinking I have a relationship with leprechauns.
I think a relationship with any one who challenges your presuppositions is probably an impossibility.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: ippy on November 28, 2020, 08:56:44 PM
Where did that happen?  He IS caricaturing it. His effective contention that rejecting God should mean something other than rejecting God or having the benefits of that which has been rejected is a joke Since there is no adequate intellectual supervision here, if nobody concurs with what either of us are saying, rebuttal remains moot.  I think a relationship with any one who challenges your presuppositions is probably an impossibility.

It'd be good if the odd one or two of your posts made some sense rather than just being a collection of meandering words that never reach anywhere near some kind of journeys end.
ippy.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 29, 2020, 09:20:30 AM

It'd be good if the odd one or two of your posts made some sense rather than just being a collection of meandering words that never reach anywhere near some kind of journeys end.
ippy.
Taking the responses to three different statements
And stitching them together as you have is a bit sneaky and confusing.

I fear that the level of language you wish me to use leans toward anti intellectual,dismissive and positional statements.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Littleroses on November 29, 2020, 10:41:44 AM
Vlad your posts are absolute gibberish, which is meant to wind other posters up.  ::)
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: ippy on November 29, 2020, 11:20:11 AM
Vlad, 'taking the responses to three different statements
and stitching them together as you have is a bit sneaky and confusing', is a very good description of how the majority of your post go.

Check with Blue, he usually manages to sort out your confusing posts for you, you should be taking more note.

ippy. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 29, 2020, 01:31:17 PM
Vlad, 'taking the responses to three different statements
and stitching them together as you have is a bit sneaky and confusing', is a very good description of how the majority of your post go.

Check with Blue, he usually manages to sort out your confusing posts for you, you should be taking more note.

ippy.
vis a vis "blue". I have given that man the best years of my life.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 29, 2020, 01:46:45 PM
Vlad,

Quote
vis a vis "blue". I have given that man the best years of my life.

Just think how much time you'd have saved if you'd been honest instead.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Bramble on November 29, 2020, 02:20:27 PM
Sriram,

I’ve been away for a few days and only just noticed your response (message 7) to me. I’m happy to take you at your word that you ‘don’t ignore anyone’ so let me reiterate that I have not said that you ‘need to explain’ yourself. This should have been obvious to anyone who bothered to read my post so it was disappointing to find that you chose to join Owlswing in misrepresenting me - to what end I really can’t imagine.

As I’m sure you know perfectly well I simply expressed an interest in what you considered the appeal of your beliefs to be. Judging by the tenor of your two responses it would seem you both found such curiosity a matter of impropriety. Perhaps you could get together to write a guide to poster etiquette on this forum. It would help those like me who labour under the burden of diminished intellect to avoid further lapses of judgement in this regard.

Clearly, I am still captive to the needs and desires of my animal nature and not yet perfect. If I should ever reach those dizzy heights I’ll presumably cease to take any interest in your posts and won’t trouble you with further enquiries.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: ippy on November 29, 2020, 04:22:41 PM
Sriram,

I’ve been away for a few days and only just noticed your response (message 7) to me. I’m happy to take you at your word that you ‘don’t ignore anyone’ so let me reiterate that I have not said that you ‘need to explain’ yourself. This should have been obvious to anyone who bothered to read my post so it was disappointing to find that you chose to join Owlswing in misrepresenting me - to what end I really can’t imagine.

As I’m sure you know perfectly well I simply expressed an interest in what you considered the appeal of your beliefs to be. Judging by the tenor of your two responses it would seem you both found such curiosity a matter of impropriety. Perhaps you could get together to write a guide to poster etiquette on this forum. It would help those like me who labour under the burden of diminished intellect to avoid further lapses of judgement in this regard.

Clearly, I am still captive to the needs and desires of my animal nature and not yet perfect. If I should ever reach those dizzy heights I’ll presumably cease to take any interest in your posts and won’t trouble you with further enquiries.

I find that Sriram, going by his posts I've seen on the forum, is rather inclined to believe in the power of assertions.

Regards, ippy. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 30, 2020, 08:42:18 AM
None of what you say describes my own walk with God. I suggest what you are looking into therefore is your own caricature of what Christianity is.

I suggest that perhaps you aren't that representative of all of Christendom...

Quote
I have been on both sides of the fence and found that many of my assumptions which were very similar to yours were false.

Some of the problem is that all anyone has is assumptions - if this is supposed to be a relationship, why is the communication so one-way?

Quote
How do you know that the relationship is abusive.

You mean apart from the threat of eternal punishment for not loving the right way, the explicit admission of jealousy backed by stories of genocide and exhortations to violence and the aforementioned reticence in communication?  You mean apart from that... the controlling attitude towards haircuts and food choices (whilst maintaining a somewhat laid back approach to other more profoundly problematic behaviours)...

Quote
Finally such an argument isn’t exactly atheist since it’s sentiments reveal only God resistance.

It's an argument FOR atheism, because it demonstrates that fundamental logical flaws in the presumptions of a theistic point of view - Christians claim God is a perfectly moral, all-loving being, but at the same time it's claimed to be a jealous, vengeful, controlling, genocidal, threatening tyrant trying to paint over those cavernous cracks with 'but I do love you'.

It doesn't make sense.  You've said that's not your experience, that your understanding is different, but you've not explained why you think the threat either isn't there or isn't important somehow.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 09:57:10 AM
I suggest that perhaps you aren't that representative of all of Christendom...
I consider myself fairly orthodox actually. You seem to be taking the new atheist dictat that you don’t actually have to know about Christianity to know what Christians believe or what their experience to be, a bit far.

Quote

Some of the problem is that all anyone has is assumptions - if this is supposed to be a relationship, why is the communication so one-way?
  If one shuns the relationship is it any wonder that the communication seems one way?
Quote

You mean apart from the threat of eternal punishment for not loving the right way, the explicit admission of jealousy backed by stories of genocide and exhortations to violence and the aforementioned reticence in communication?  You mean apart from that... the controlling attitude towards haircuts and food choices (whilst maintaining a somewhat laid back approach to other more profoundly problematic behaviours)...
where have you got this business about the threat of eternal punishment for not loving God the right way from? Also I don’ t know the actual scope of your understanding of punishment. May I ask you how you reason your way to your law abiding good guy ways? Yes that would be an interesting discussion. I fear though such a discussion isn’t possible because of the atheists around here being guilty of a ‘Ve ask ze questions here’ mentality.
Quote
It's an argument FOR atheism, because it demonstrates that fundamental logical flaws in the presumptions of a theistic point of view - Christians claim God is a perfectly moral, all-loving being, but at the same time it's claimed to be a jealous, vengeful, controlling, genocidal, threatening tyrant trying to paint over those cavernous cracks with 'but I do love you'.

Your view of Christianity is stripped of well it’s Christianity by appealing to Old Testament views We live in a fallen world. Genocide did not end with the Old Testament. We know that atheists lifted genocide to industrial heights in the last century.

God operates on a different basis to us. Cosmic love is more in line with the sentiment “If you love something set it free if it returns to you then it is yours”. With God death or life is not the be all or end all.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 30, 2020, 10:27:49 AM
Vlad,

Quote
I consider myself fairly orthodox actually. You seem to be taking the new atheist dictat that you don’t actually have to know about Christianity to know what Christians believe or what their experience to be, a bit far.

Just to correct you on this (yet) again: atheists (and rationalists generally) don’t correct you on the content of your beliefs. That would be akin to an a-leprechaunist correcting a leprechaunist on his claim of which colour of green leprechauns prefer. What atheists actually do is to falsify your reasons for thinking your claims to be true at all – a trivially simple thing to do.       
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 10:39:32 AM
Vlad,

Just to correct you on this (yet) again: atheists (and rationalists generally) don’t correct you on the content of your beliefs. That would be akin to an a-leprechaunist correcting a leprechaunist on his claim of which colour of green leprechauns prefer. What atheists actually do is to falsify your reasons for thinking your claims to be true at all – a trivially simple thing to do.       
Apparently a leprechaunist s pride themselves on their ignorance before launching into Christianity. Having introduced Leprechauns on a horses laugh argument and then ignoring it and getting onto other matters.

Example....that Dick Dawkins.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 30, 2020, 10:53:34 AM
Vlad,

Quote
Apparently a leprechaunist s pride themselves on their ignorance before launching into Christianity. Having introduced Leprechauns on a horses laugh argument and then ignoring it and getting onto other matters.

Example....that Dick Dawkins.

Ooh, I see you’ve gone for the omni lie this time – perhaps to save the time needed to write each lie separately?

1. A-leprechaunists/a-theists aren’t ignorant at all of the subject that’s actually relevant - ie the reasoning lerpechaunists/theists attempt to justify their beliefs. What those beliefs happen to be is neither here nor there for this purpose. You’ve had this explained many times, so why continue to lie about it?

2. The reductio ad absurdum isn’t a “horse laugh” argument. You’ve had this explained many times, so why continue to lie about it?

3. The person here who routinely ignores every falsification he’s given to as to move quickly to yet another diversion is you. You’re notorious for it.

4. “Dick” Dawkins is actually Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL, and he does no such thing. Perhaps you should stop lying about that too?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 30, 2020, 11:39:07 AM
I consider myself fairly orthodox actually.

Don't they all?

Quote
You seem to be taking the new atheist dictat that you don’t actually have to know about Christianity to know what Christians believe or what their experience to be, a bit far.

All I have to go on is the hundreds upon thousands of various Christian commentaries over the ages...

Quote
If one shuns the relationship is it any wonder that the communication seems one way?

If someone isn't answering, why wouldn't you shun the relationship?  How come a considerable portion (a majority?) of the people who apparently are in this relationship don't think they're getting an answer?

Quote
Where have you got this business about the threat of eternal punishment for not loving God the right way from?

Christians.

Quote
Also I don’ t know the actual scope of your understanding of punishment. May I ask you how you reason your way to your law abiding good guy ways?

I'm not a big believer in punishment, it seems like it's largely ineffective - rehabilitation, yes, and a certain element of deprivation can benefit that, but punishment for its own sake just satiates a quest for vengeance.

I reason my way to 'law-abiding' ways by a) attempting to be involved in the formation of the laws, b) being aware of the laws and c) making a decision on whether my own personal moral stance is sufficient incensed by poor laws so as to breach them. You?

Quote
I fear though such a discussion isn’t possible because of the atheists around here being guilty of a ‘Ve ask ze questions here’ mentality.

A virtually seamless integration of an ad hominem there, nicely done.  In that inquisitorial spirit, how come if we ask all the questions, you answer so few of them?

Quote
Your view of Christianity is stripped of well it’s Christianity by appealing to Old Testament views.

Tell that to the Christians that cleave to it; of course, it's not my view of Christianity in this that's derived from the Old Testament, it's the fact that Christians claim it's supposed to be the same God. It's my view of the character of God that's shaped, in part, by the Old Testament; it's the contrast between the claims of a 'perfectly moral being' and the jealous, judgemental, genocidal sociopath depicted in part 1 of the story.

Quote
We live in a fallen world.

And yet in almost every measurable way it's vastly improved on how it was when God was actually reported talking to us...  The environment's taken a bit of a bashing, and we need to work on that, nothing's perfect, but it's so, so much better.

Quote
Genocide did not end with the Old Testament. We know that atheists lifted genocide to industrial heights in the last century.

You realise that you're setting 'Stalin' here as the benchmark for God, right?  We do know that atheists perpetrated horrendous acts of mass slaughter - did they do it because of their atheism?  Did, say, the Nazis do their's because of their anti-semitic Christian outlook?  Does the depiction of God have a history of conducting and ordering genocides...?

Quote
God operates on a different basis to us.

I though morality was supposed to be absolute - sauce for the goose, no...?

Quote
Cosmic love is more in line with the sentiment “If you love something set it free if it returns to you then it is yours”. With God death or life is not the be all or end all.

No, with God death is supposed to be just the start of an eternity of punishment... because he loves you, but you didn't love him the right way back.  Which, apparently, is fine if you're a god, it's only abusive arseholery, what, if you wear a tracksuit?

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 01:38:51 PM
Vlad,

Ooh, I see you’ve gone for the omni lie this time – perhaps to save the time needed to write each lie separately?

1. A-leprechaunists/a-theists aren’t ignorant at all of the subject that’s actually relevant - ie the reasoning lerpechaunists/theists attempt to justify their beliefs. What those beliefs happen to be is neither here nor there for this purpose. You’ve had this explained many times, so why continue to lie about it?

2. The reductio ad absurdum isn’t a “horse laugh” argument. You’ve had this explained many times, so why continue to lie about it?

3. The person here who routinely ignores every falsification he’s given to as to move quickly to yet another diversion is you. You’re notorious for it.

4. “Dick” Dawkins is actually Richard Dawkins FRS FRSL, and he does no such thing. Perhaps you should stop lying about that too?
Hillside I think people in the past have expressed that they are tiredof certain members who mistake expressing an opinion for lying. This seems to have resulted in less members and those who once said it giving up saying it(for reasons unfavourable toward you may I add)

Secondly, has God been falsified? When and where was this? Is it even possible?

Thirdly, come on we all know the famous incident of Dawkins and his leprechaun statement. Details can be found on the web.

Fourthly we come to your continual confusion of reductio ad absurdum and Horses laugh fallacy.
The Leprechaun schtick works like this, and the handwave is exemplified on the Fantastic Beast thread where Enki states why he is aleprechaunist. His argument is based on methodological empiricism and methodological naturalism and concludes that the offered empirical and naturalistic elements have not yielded evidence. Two things here. I agree with him. That is why we are aleprechaunist and one of the pieces that fall out of that is that leprechauns seem ridiculous.

That though is your starting point. In a classic Bluehillside ''what you really meant to say/add was'' argument'' you then move off the methodological empiricism etc into the presuppositional philosophical empiricism etc. Therefore you commit the horses laugh fallacy. By starting at the ridicule and moving swiftly into the philosophical.

The only starting point for equating magic and other non natural techniques/ontologies is philosophical empiricism, naturalism, scientism etc and of course ridicule derived from the lack of empirical evidence by individuals like yourself but conflated with your presuppositional philosophy. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 02:09:14 PM
Don't they all?
No I think for instance unitarians or arian christians, seven day adventists etc know they don't belong to mainstream churches and therefor would admit, while proclaiming they have the truth, to not being orthodox or mainstream
Quote
All I have to go on is the hundreds upon thousands of various Christian commentaries over the ages...
Ok which one's are you using?
Quote
If someone isn't answering, why wouldn't you shun the relationship?  How come a considerable portion (a majority?) of the people who apparently are in this relationship don't think they're getting an answer?

So are you speaking of professed christians? How many of those can you show have never got an answer to is God there, is Christ living? Where are you getting these stats from? What answers do you think Christians are after and not getting?



Quote
I'm not a big believer in punishment, it seems like it's largely ineffective - rehabilitation, yes, and a certain element of deprivation can benefit that, but punishment for its own sake just satiates a quest for vengeance.
I was rather asking for your definitions and parameters of punishment
Quote
I reason my way to 'law-abiding' ways by a) attempting to be involved in the formation of the laws, b) being aware of the laws and c) making a decision on whether my own personal moral stance is sufficient incensed by poor laws so as to breach them. You?
That's all a bit vague and frankly a tad handwavy. As I said, How you reason your way togood guyship probably needs it's own thread and you will note I did rather forsee the paucity of information in your response.

Quote
A virtually seamless integration of an ad hominem there, nicely done.  In that inquisitorial spirit, how come if we ask all the questions, you answer so few of them?

Tell that to the Christians that cleave to it; of course, it's not my view of Christianity in this that's derived from the Old Testament, it's the fact that Christians claim it's supposed to be the same God. It's my view of the character of God that's shaped, in part, by the Old Testament; it's the contrast between the claims of a 'perfectly moral being' and the jealous, judgemental, genocidal sociopath depicted in part 1 of the story.
Yes there are christians who cleave to it and there are the new atheists who feed from them.
You seem to be in a numbers game here. Namely, If we can establish that the majority of christians cleave to the old testament like we atheists think they do, then we need only deal with their arguments. There is as you probably realise the danger of straw manning and caricature,
Quote
And yet in almost every measurable way it's vastly improved on how it was when God was actually reported talking to us...  The environment's taken a bit of a bashing, and we need to work on that, nothing's perfect, but it's so, so much better.
The only thing that seems changed if you are prepared to ignore the state of the environment is that one can shut the door on God ......and that's it! But what if you don't want to?
Quote
You realise that you're setting 'Stalin' here as the benchmark for God, right?  We do know that atheists perpetrated horrendous acts of mass slaughter - did they do it because of their atheism?  Did, say, the Nazis do their's because of their anti-semitic Christian outlook?  Does the depiction of God have a history of conducting and ordering genocides...?

If God doesn't exist and there has been genocide with or without the word God then your attribution of God to genocide is not really an atheist argument. Two things, to hold that all the wickedness of the world is down to the word God is imho bonkers and akin to believing in magic and secondly to believe that it will all or the majority of it will disappear if we extinguish the religious impulse is something that has not been established


Quote
No, with God death is supposed to be just the start of an eternity of punishment... because he loves you, but you didn't love him the right way back.
Carry on up the caricature.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 30, 2020, 02:17:19 PM
Vlad,

Quote
Hillside I think people in the past have expressed that they are tiredof certain members who mistake expressing an opinion for lying. This seems to have resulted in less members and those who once said it giving up saying it(for reasons unfavourable toward you may I add)

When I say one thing and you claim that I said the opposite of that, that’s called lying – especially when you keep doing it no matter how many times you’re corrected on it. You do this all the time – many posters here beside me have called you out on your relentless use of the straw man.   

Quote
Secondly, has God been falsified? When and where was this? Is it even possible?

QED. I just explained with pellucid clarity that the falsifications concerns the arguments attempted to justify the claim “god”, not the claim itself. I even put this part in italics so you wouldn’t miss it. Why have you just lied about that with yet another straw man version of it?   

Quote
Thirdly, come on we all know the famous incident of Dawkins and his leprechaun statement. Details can be found on the web.

No “we” don’t.

Quote
Fourthly we come to your continual confusion of reductio ad absurdum and Horses laugh fallacy.

There is no confusion – you’re just wrong, for reasons that have been explained to you at length and that you ignore or lie about.

Quote
The Leprechaun schtick works like this, and the handwave is exemplified on the Fantastic Beast thread where Enki states why he is aleprechaunist. His argument is based on methodological empiricism and methodological naturalism and concludes that the offered empirical and naturalistic elements have not yielded evidence. Two things here. I agree with him. That is why we are aleprechaunist and one of the pieces that fall out of that is that leprechauns seem ridiculous.

Utter bollocks. A-leprechaunism and a-theism each rest on having no logically sound reasons to think there to be leprechauns or gods respectively. If you think the problem with that is that reason itself is empiricist/naturalistic that’s fine, but then it’s your job to suggest a different method to sift your claims from white noise or guessing, and then to investigate them.   

Which is when you always run away, generally leaving a flurry of insults and fallacies behind you while you make good your escape. 

Quote
That though is your starting point.

No, it’s just another of your straw men. Stop lying.

Quote
In a classic Bluehillside ''what you really meant to say/add was'' argument'' you then move off the methodological empiricism etc into the presuppositional philosophical empiricism etc.

I have never done that. I have expressly and repeatedly told you that I do not take an absolutist position about the material. No matter how many times I do it though you just claim that I have said something else and then ask me to defend the position I don’t hold. You should stop lying about that too.   

Quote
Therefore you commit the horses laugh fallacy.

That’s a fallacy called the non sequitur. Your conclusion does not follow from your premise (which is a flat out lie in any case).   

Quote
By starting at the ridicule and moving swiftly into the philosophical.

I do no such thing. There is a logical construction called the reductio ad absurdum. Sometimes I make arguments that are exactly aligned to it. You then lie about that by claiming these arguments to be the “horse’s laugh” instead. You should stop lying about that too.   

Quote
The only starting point for equating magic and other non natural techniques/ontologies is philosophical empiricism, naturalism, scientism etc…

And here you try the lie of lumping together categorically different positions as if they were in the same category. Empiricism and naturalism are not absolutist positions; scientism is. I have told you over and over again that I argue for the former, but not for the latter. Why won’t you stop lying about that?   

Quote
...and of course ridicule derived from the lack of empirical evidence by individuals like yourself but conflated with your presuppositional philosophy.

And yet another lie to finish. Yet again: the ridicule derives from the problem you give yourself when an argument you attempt to justify your claim “god” leads with equal facility to a conclusion that’s plainly ridiculous (leprechauns etc).

What do you get from your appalling behaviour here? Seriously, what though?     
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Littleroses on November 30, 2020, 02:20:43 PM
Vlad gets his kicks by winding up other posters, it has been rare for him to make any sensible comments.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 02:37:31 PM
Vlad gets his kicks by winding up other posters, it has been rare for him to make any sensible comments.
If there are wound up posters, they are either easily triggered or a bit insecure in their beliefs.
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: ippy on November 30, 2020, 02:52:55 PM
Vlad gets his kicks by winding up other posters, it has been rare for him to make any sensible comments.

It must wind up Vlad terribly when any atheist has a go at him and he can't find any verifiable evidence that would back up his religious claims, that is if there were any.

ippy.

PS Vlad must find it gulling every time he can't find a sensible counter to Richard Dawkins Or Blue's observations.
(N0 I'm not comparing Blue to 'Our Most Gracious Lord Richard')
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 02:55:34 PM
It must wind up Vlad terribly when any atheist has a go at him and he can't find any verifiable evidence that would back up his religious claims, that is if there were any.

ippy.
There is no verifiable evidence for philosophical empiricism, naturalism and physicalism.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 30, 2020, 02:56:39 PM
Vlad,

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If there are wound up posters, they are either easily triggered or a bit insecure in their beliefs.
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Or perhaps they just don't like being lied about.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 03:00:24 PM
Vlad,

Or perhaps they just don't like being lied about.
Your accusations of lying are tiresome. I often wonder if we would have a greater membership had you refrained from them.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 30, 2020, 03:16:35 PM
Vlad,

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Your accusations of lying are tiresome.

Then stop doing it.

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I often wonder if we would have a greater membership had you refrained from them.

Which do you think would more effectively drive members away: the liar or the person objecting to his lies?

A couple of posts ago I identified your latest string of lies. Typically you've just ignored the problem, and tried to divert the conversation to something else. Why won't you engage with the problem of your relentless lying?   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on November 30, 2020, 03:19:56 PM
No I think for instance unitarians or arian christians, seven day adventists etc know they don't belong to mainstream churches and therefor would admit, while proclaiming they have the truth, to not being orthodox or mainstream.

I'm not particularly familiar with the Unitarians or the Arians, but the Seventh Day Adventists have an orthodoxy - it's sort of what makes them a distinguishable group.

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Ok which one's are you using?

How am I supposed to choose when there's absolutely nothing to base it upon - Christianity, surely, is the sum of the actions and beliefs of those people calling themselves Christians, so all of them.

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So are you speaking of professed christians? How many of those can you show have never got an answer to is God there, is Christ living?

I guess so - I don't tend to have the conversation on the off-chance someone might be.  How many, none of the ones I've spoken to have ever had an answers - some report a 'sense' of something, others don't, but no-one's claimed to have had a meaningful response - I don't know about the 'Christ' question, it's not one I recall asking.

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Where are you getting these stats from?

They aren't stats, they're my personal experience - that's why I was wondering whether it was a general majority or if that's just my experience.

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What answers do you think Christians are after and not getting?

Not answers, necessarily, just communication - just something back from this 'relationship' that's supposedly going on.

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I was rather asking for your definitions and parameters of punishment

Because we ask all the questions, right...

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That's all a bit vague and frankly a tad handwavy.

I don't pretend like there are easy answers to complex questions.

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As I said, How you reason your way togood guyship probably needs it's own thread and you will note I did rather forsee the paucity of information in your response.

Just as I foresaw that, despite your ad hominem about how we don't answer any questions, we just ask them, I've been giving all the answers and you still don't appear to have any.

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Yes there are christians who cleave to it and there are the new atheists who feed from them.

What's 'new' about atheism?  Is it new just because we don't feel we have to be quiet about it?

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You seem to be in a numbers game here. Namely, If we can establish that the majority of christians cleave to the old testament like we atheists think they do, then we need only deal with their arguments.

No, unfortunately we're in an endless fragmentation whereby we're challenged, we point out the nonsense and suddenly we get 'oh, yeah, but that's not OUR KIND of Christians'... it's a slow, tortuous progress through layer, upon layer trying desperately to find something substantial on which any of this is hung, but it's just varnish all the way down.

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There is as you probably realise the danger of straw manning and caricature

I'm not sure there is a straw man, if you look hard enough you'll probably find somebody somewhere who believes everything about God - some of them believe Joseph Smith was visited by an actual angel...

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The only thing that seems changed if you are prepared to ignore the state of the environment is that one can shut the door on God ......and that's it!

So you've missed the whole germ theory of disease, orders of magnitude reductions in infant, child and childbirthing mortality, improvements in health, nutrition and education around the world...

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But what if you don't want to?

Don't want to what, work to improve the environment?

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If God doesn't exist and there has been genocide with or without the word God then your attribution of God to genocide is not really an atheist argument.

It's not supposed to be, of itself; it's yet another demonstration that the allegedly perfectly moral being of God has some pretty fundamental immoral takes on things in the foundational document of the religion that we're talking about.  It's about demonstrating the illogicality of the Christian conception of a god.

No-one, so far as I can see, has ever suggested that atheism is an automatic claim to moral superiority or an innoculation against immorality.

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Two things, to hold that all the wickedness of the world is down to the word God is imho bonkers and akin to believing in magic

And if anyone were suggesting such a thing that might be relevant.  You'll note I made use of the fact that Stalin was a bit of a shit to point out that you weren't setting much of a standard for your God, so it's pretty obvious no-one was saying 'all the wickedness of the world' is down to god.

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and secondly to believe that it will all or the majority of it will disappear if we extinguish the religious impulse is something that has not been established

And I'm not sure that anyone said the majority of it was down to 'the religious impulse' - or even implied the 'Christian' impulse.  I think if people forwent Christianity some things would improve, some things would get worse, but the things that would get worse we don't need Christianity to replace (charities, community works) whereas some of the bad things that we'd lose there's no obvious replacement for (institutional homophobia, Christian nationalism, certain strands of white supremacy, certain strands of misogyny).

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Carry on up the caricature.

I'll tell you what, if you and the other Christians go and sort out your story and tell me what the proper one is, I'll show you the gaping great holes in it, as it is I'm left trying to second guess which Christianity is shifting the goalposts today.

Some 'fundamental' precepts, it seems, to Christianity include:

God is perfect, in morality, in knowledge, in action;
God has the capacity to forgive or condemn;
God will either welcome us into an afterlife or condemn us to some sort of punishment (for eternity? Limbo?)
The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament (who is also Jesus, who is also the Holy Spirit?)
There are no other gods (and Angels and saints, for some reason, aren't divine beings like demigods because this is DifferentTM;
Jesus isn't an avatar of God because reasons.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: enki on November 30, 2020, 04:56:06 PM
.....
Fourthly we come to your continual confusion of reductio ad absurdum and Horses laugh fallacy.
The Leprechaun schtick works like this, and the handwave is exemplified on the Fantastic Beast thread where Enki states why he is aleprechaunist. His argument is based on methodological empiricism and methodological naturalism and concludes that the offered empirical and naturalistic elements have not yielded evidence. Two things here. I agree with him. That is why we are aleprechaunist and one of the pieces that fall out of that is that leprechauns seem ridiculous.
.....

Vlad,

If you look back at that thread, you will find that I gave reasons why I don't believe leprechauns exist. That's what you asked for and that's what you got. That isn't 'handwaving'. I gave what I consider to be perfectly good reasons why I do not believe in leprechauns.
 
You didn't ask me for the reasons why I don't believe god{s} exist, but if you had I would give exactly the same type of reasons. How that helps your argument I am at a loss to explain as I agree with Blue that

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it’s your job to suggest a different method to sift your claims from white noise or guessing, and then to investigate them.


Personally I find all sorts of things said about leprechauns to be fanciful and ridiculous just as I find all sorts of things said about a variety of gods, including the Christian one, to be fanciful and ridiculous.


Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 05:04:45 PM
Vlad,

If you look back at that thread, you will find that I gave reasons why I don't believe leprechauns exist. That's what you asked for and that's what you got. That isn't 'handwaving'. I gave what I consider to be perfectly good reasons why I do not believe in leprechauns.
 
You didn't ask me for the reasons why I don't believe god{s} exist, but if you had I would give exactly the same type of reasons. How that helps your argument I am at a loss to explain as I agree with Blue that
 

Personally I find all sorts of things said about leprechauns to be fanciful and ridiculous just as I find all sorts of things said about a variety of gods, including the Christian one, to be fanciful and ridiculous.
I do not accuse you of handwaving. That accusation is levelled at Bluehillside.
You gave reasons for being an aleprechaunist which in my view were based on methodological empiricism. I have also said I agree with you.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 30, 2020, 05:14:42 PM
Vlad,

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I do not accuse you of handwaving. That accusation is levelled at Bluehillside.

An accusation that’s easily been falsified.

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You gave reasons for being an aleprechaunist which in my view were based on methodological empiricism. I have also said I agree with you.

No, they were based on the failure of leprechaunists to make a logically robust case to justify their beliefs. Same goes for theists and their claims about gods. Yet again – if your problem with reason itself is that it’s naturalistic, then it’s your job to find another way to investigate and verify your claims.   

Should I hold the door open for you as you make your escape yet again?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on November 30, 2020, 05:19:10 PM
Vlad,

PS No news then on your latest tranche of lies that I called you out on?

Why is that?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 08:10:46 PM
Vlad,

An accusation that’s easily been falsified.

No, they were based on the failure of leprechaunists to make a logically robust case to justify their beliefs.
Nope, he outlines his grounds in reply #4. They are based in methodological empiricism. Like any sane person, He has heard the reports, determined from them that they should yield empirical evidence, none of which has presently been found. He is an aleprechaunist.

You substitute a different approach on his behalf. Namely there is no logical argument for leprechauns as there is no logical argument for magic....and then the jump to God. It's not therefore the lack of an argument that the sensible are aleprechaunist, it is the lack of physical empirical evidence for Leprechauns.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on November 30, 2020, 11:24:38 PM
I'm not particularly familiar with the Unitarians or the Arians, but the Seventh Day Adventists have an orthodoxy - it's sort of what makes them a distinguishable group.
But as I have said even they would admit to not being mainstream.
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How am I supposed to choose when there's absolutely nothing to base it upon - Christianity, surely, is the sum of the actions and beliefs of those people calling themselves Christians, so all of them.
No, Christianity is faith in Jesus Christ. I'm not sure you can sum beliefs, it sounds like you are proposing an equation. I would like to see your working out here.
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What's 'new' about atheism?  Is it new just because we don't feel we have to be quiet about it?
Wikipedia has a list of the characteristics of new atheism and there are several threads based around these on this forum. There is a bit more to it than just not feeling you have to keep quite about it. Namely a superior attitude towards those who don't think they have to be loud n' proud of their atheism(See Dawkins, the God Delusion). Turning ignorance of religion into a virtue therefore being in praise of intellectual sloppiness. Being, as the atheist evolutionary biologist D O Wilson put it, a stealth religion. New atheism certainly has it's apostles, The four horsemen. It's saints, I believe there was a recent competition for new atheists to paint a Icon sorry portrait of a new atheist saint, Christopher Hitchens, the best icon to be judged namely St Stephen Fry. We could also maybe talk about naked glorification of Horse Laugh arguments. 

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It's not supposed to be, of itself; it's yet another demonstration that the allegedly perfectly moral being of God has some pretty fundamental immoral .
''Fundamental immorality''? what do you mean by that? How do you arrive at what is moral and what is immoral?
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No-one, so far as I can see, has ever suggested that atheism is an automatic claim to moral superiority or an inoculation against immorality.
Are you familiar with Laurence Krauss on religion or the Richard Dawkins Documentary slyly entitled ''The root of all evil?''


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And I'm not sure that anyone said the majority of it was down to 'the religious impulse' - or even implied the 'Christian' impulse.  I think if people forwent Christianity some things would improve, some things would get worse, but the things that would get worse we don't need Christianity to replace (charities, community works) whereas some of the bad things that we'd lose there's no obvious replacement for (institutional homophobia, Christian nationalism, certain strands of white supremacy, certain strands of misogyny).
So christian mysogeny bad, other mysogyny ok because it isn't Christian? How would you lose institutional homophobia? Christian nationalism? Not apparently a feature in african American churches. White supremacy? Not found in the african american churches. Mysogyny? Rife in the New atheist and scientific community.

I am not trying to make a Tu quoque argument here, just a counter to your implication that if Christianity was removed somebody who would have been, say, a paedophile priest would stop being a paedophile, a homophobe would not be homophobic or the mysogynist, well, you get the point.

Quote

God is perfect, in morality, in knowledge, in action;
God has the capacity to forgive or condemn;
God will either welcome us into an afterlife or condemn us to some sort of punishment (for eternity? Limbo?)
The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament (who is also Jesus, who is also the Holy Spirit?)
There are no other gods (and Angels and saints, for some reason, aren't divine beings like demigods because this is DifferentTM;

If you are serious about finding out what the mainstream of Christianity prioritises You could start with the creeds.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on December 01, 2020, 09:39:25 AM
But as I have said even they would admit to not being mainstream.

Which is not to say that their take is definitively wrong, nor does it speak to whether they have an orthodoxy of their own.

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No, Christianity is faith in Jesus Christ. I'm not sure you can sum beliefs, it sounds like you are proposing an equation.

If Christianity were just faith in Jesus then how come gay people get ostracised - Christianity is not just faith, Christianity is the expression of that faith in innumerable ways, by all the variations of Christians.  If Christianity were just faith it wouldn't be problematic, because it would be entirely personal.  It isn't, Christianity can be personal, but there are Christians out there who are practiced at being Christian at people.

 I would like to see your working out here. Wikipedia has a list of the characteristics of new atheism and there are several threads based around these on this forum.[/quote]

I've looked at the Wikipedia definition, I've seen the threads here. I still don't see what makes it 'new' - it's the same argument it always was, that there is insufficient basis to accept the various claims of gods, souls, spirits etc.  How does not knuckling under the social pressure to keep quiet about it make it 'new'?

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There is a bit more to it than just not feeling you have to keep quite about it.

There really isn't, or someone would have pointed out what it was.

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Namely a superior attitude towards those who don't think they have to be loud n' proud of their atheism(See Dawkins, the God Delusion).

You mean that when people tell him to shut up he doesn't... People have called him 'shrill' and 'hateful' and 'superior' because he doesn't conform to their expectation; it comes from the same place that sees a critique of religion as an unforgiveable attack on them.  He gets called 'militant' for having an opinion, whilst religious proponents need to be both brown and bearing arms to earn that - I'm not sure what Christian terrorists have to do to be called 'militant', it seems to slide off the teflon coating their prayers give them.

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Turning ignorance of religion into a virtue therefore being in praise of intellectual sloppiness.

Claiming that not falling for the myth that theology has something useful to contribute is not an ignorance of religion.  He's well aware of religion, and makes his case for why it has no reliable foundation.

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Being, as the atheist evolutionary biologist D O Wilson put it, a stealth religion.

Which, ironically, falls foul of being ignorant of what religion is...

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New atheism certainly has it's apostles, The four horsemen.

Oh no, we have people who are famous, that definitely makes it a religion, why didn't you say so.... I now have to choose between the Church of Harris or the Church of Coronation Street.  This sort of false equivalence only becomes laughable when you realise that you're trying to ridicule people you disagree with by pointing out that you think they're falling foul of the same nonsense that your own chosen system already employs.

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It's saints, I believe there was a recent competition for new atheists to paint a Icon sorry portrait of a new atheist saint, Christopher Hitchens, the best icon to be judged namely St Stephen Fry.

So art can only be viewed as an expression of religion?

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We could also maybe talk about naked glorification of Horse Laugh arguments.

If you don't like people laughing at your beliefs, maybe you need beliefs that aren't quite so laughable?

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''Fundamental immorality''? what do you mean by that? How do you arrive at what is moral and what is immoral?

I think.  I look at the world, and the people in it, and I think what might cause harm or distress.  Just like absolutely everybody else.

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Are you familiar with Laurence Krauss on religion or the Richard Dawkins Documentary slyly entitled ''The root of all evil?''

A title, as I recall, that Professor Dawkins expressed his distaste for at the time, and since - he managed to get a question mark added in order to make it an enquiry not a statement, but that was as much as he could get from them.

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So christian mysogeny bad, other mysogyny ok because it isn't Christian?

Way to deliberately misrepresent - all misogyny is bad, Christian misogyny is merely one thread of it. Hence my use of the phrase 'certain strands of misogyny' to indicate that not all misogyny originates from a Christian source, or even religion in general.

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How would you lose institutional homophobia?

See the end of the institutions that promote it, obviously...

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Christian nationalism? Not apparently a feature in african American churches.

But manifest in many, many others - Russian orthodox, American Evangelical, Hungary, Uganda...

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White supremacy? Not found in the african american churches.

And therefore all of Christianity can be given a pass?

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Mysogyny? Rife in the New atheist and scientific community.

Rife?  Present, certainly, but not foundational to the enterprise - there isn't an atheist equivalent to St Paul's (alleged) comments in Corinthians I or Timothy I.  Which is not to say that it doesn't need to be addressed, but I'd suggest it's a manifestation of broader culture that's been brought across, whereas the Christian foundation has been part of the development of that cultural background.

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I am not trying to make a Tu quoque argument here, just a counter to your implication that if Christianity was removed somebody who would have been, say, a paedophile priest would stop being a paedophile, a homophobe would not be homophobic or the mysogynist, well, you get the point.

I avoided the paedophile references deliberately - I see nothing in the foundation of Christianity (or the other religions) that leads to that, nothing that would make someone a paedophile.  That many churches in their preference for a celibate priesthood have lent themselves to paedophiles as a hiding place is an unfortunate byproduct - I think we can hold the churches accountable for their lamentable failure to adequately investigate or protect their adherents, but in that they are as flawed as other major institutions that put their reputation ahead of the welfare of those they owed a duty of care to.  I think in some instances - the Roman Catholic Church, in particular - they continue to be reticent in that area whereas most other institutions have moved forward to some extent.

As to homophobia - yes, I genuinely think that without the overt religious doctrine of homophobia that many people would not feel that way who currently do, or would be considerably less excited about it, similarly for misogyny.  When you have the head of the Ugandan Anglican Church rebuking the Archbishop of Canterbury publicly for writing that gays and lesbians should not be persecuted by the secular authorities I can't see how you can argue that Christianity in at least some areas is not actively fomenting homophobia.

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If you are serious about finding out what the mainstream of Christianity prioritises You could start with the creeds.

Christianity is not a book.  Christianity is not creed, tenets or doctrines - if Christianity was a problematic book I could put the book back on the shelf.  Christianity is about how Christians interpret those creeds, how they manifest their belief in everyday life, how they vote for repugnant retrograde laws and policies based on those beliefs, how they justify attacks on people going about their own business, how they expect special treatment.  It's not an editing job to remove the perniciousness of Christianity from society, it's an education job, and you don't educate creeds, you educate people.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 01, 2020, 10:43:58 AM
Vlad,

So that’s it is it? I listed your latest tranche of lies and you’ve just ignored all that to move on to something else. Why is that? Oh well, I should expect nothing better from you I guess…

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Nope, he outlines his grounds in reply #4. They are based in methodological empiricism. Like any sane person, He has heard the reports, determined from them that they should yield empirical evidence, none of which has presently been found. He is an aleprechaunist.

Leaving aside for now that he also included “examples of wishes being granted under lab conditions”, I also explained to you shortly afterwards that absence of evidence of the wee fellas when manifesting in physical form tells you nothing about their existence when in supernatural form. 

I have heard the reports for “god” manifesting himself in the world too, determined from them that they should yield empirical evidence, none of which has presently been found. I am an atheist. See – it’s the same argument isn’t it.

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You substitute a different approach on his behalf. Namely there is no logical argument for leprechauns as there is no logical argument for magic....and then the jump to God. It's not therefore the lack of an argument that the sensible are aleprechaunist, it is the lack of physical empirical evidence for Leprechauns.

Wrong again – see above. Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, and in any case exactly the same is true of your claim “god”.

As you’ve just run away from it again, here’s the (latest) question you’ve decided to avoid: if your complaint is that reason and evidence aren’t suitable to investigate and validate your claim “god”, if you want that claim to be taken seriously what method would you propose should be used instead?

I can ask the same question in bold, or perhaps in a bright colour if that helps you? Capital letters maybe?       
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 01, 2020, 03:28:02 PM
Vlad,



Leaving aside for now that he also included “examples of wishes being granted under lab conditions”,
Has it occured to you that if one is wanting to use lab conditions, then it is empirical evidence that one is seeking?
Quote
I also explained to you shortly afterwards that absence of evidence of the wee fellas when manifesting in physical form tells you nothing about their existence when in supernatural form.
But it does yield humour and a little absurdity....We therefore have our material for someone to misuse via a horses laugh fallacy.

Quote
 
I have heard the reports for “god” manifesting himself in the world too, determined from them that they should yield empirical evidence,
Jesus is both Human and divine if you could now explain how the divine yields empirical evidence this might help your case here.
Quote
none of which has presently been found. I am an atheist. And ,obviously a philosophical empiricist See – it’s the same argument isn’t it.
Obviously there is evidence for Jesus, recorded witnesses to the resurrection in the epistles based on two empirical statements. He was dead and subsequently he was alive.
 
Now, none of that was done in a lab, but if one accepts it one has evidence for Jesus and evidence for a highly improbable event/miracle/wish give which is lacking in the case of the Leprechaun.

Also God remains unfalsified because the divine is not subject to empirical analysis. Where as the Leprechaun is and on the strength of absence of the expected empirical evidence I am an aleprechaunist and my grounds and reasons for being a theist are independent of my grounds and reasons for being a leprechaunist.

Have an utterly nice day. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 01, 2020, 03:57:59 PM
Vlad,

Quote
Has it occured to you that if one is wanting to use lab conditions, then it is empirical evidence that one is seeking?

Has it occurred to you that it isn’t? No matter how unlikely the outcome, what “laboratory conditions” do you think could demonstrate a non-empirical claim like a bona fide “miracle” rather than just a co-incidence? You’re hoist by your own petard here. 

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But it does yield humour and a little absurdity....We therefore have our material for someone to misuse via a horses laugh fallacy.

No you therefore haven’t:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum

Any chance of you stopping lying about this? Maybe a brief lying sabbatical if not lying at all is too high a bar for you?   

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Jesus is both Human and divine…

So the story goes…

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…if you could now explain how the divine yields empirical evidence this might help your case here.

More stupidity – if Jesus could be material only when he felt like it presumably he could also have left material evidence of his activities when he was. Same goes for leprechauns. 

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Obviously there is evidence for Jesus, recorded witnesses to the resurrection in the epistles based on two empirical statements. He was dead and subsequently he was alive.

As there are witness statements and the like for leprechauns too. So?
 
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Now, none of that was done in a lab, but if one accepts it one has evidence for Jesus and evidence for a highly improbable event/miracle/wish give which is lacking in the case of the Leprechaun.

No it isn’t – you have only hearsay for both. So?

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Also…

…You can’t have an “also” when all your prior efforts have collapsed in a heap of bad reasoning. 

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God remains unfalsified because the divine is not subject to empirical analysis.

So what type of analysis should instead be applied to the claim “God”? Oh wait though – you’ll never answer that will you. Sorry, my bad.

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Where as the Leprechaun is and on the strength of absence of the expected empirical evidence I am an aleprechaunist and my grounds and reasons for being a theist are independent of my grounds and reasons for being a leprechaunist.

Wrong again. Leprechauns can flit in and out of the material at will. I make this claim because that’s my “faith”. God/Jesus can flit in and out of the material at will. You make that claim because that’s your “faith”.

Neither entities though seems to have left any empirical evidence of their activities when they were material. If you’d drop the unwarranted special pleading you arbitrarily arrogate to your faith claim but deny to mine, you’d see that our claims are epistemically equivalent.

That’s your problem remember?       

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Have an utterly nice day.

Have an utterly honest one. Oh, wait though…
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: enki on December 01, 2020, 05:25:21 PM

Has it occured to you that if one is wanting to use lab conditions, then it is empirical evidence that one is seeking?

Only if granted wishes could be verified under lab conditions. Otherwise they are supernatural and can neither be falsified nor confirmed unless you can produce a methodology to establish one or the other. Ditto with God.

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But it does yield humour and a little absurdity....We therefore have our material for someone to misuse via a horses laugh fallacy.

Leprechauns could well lead to humour and absurdity (ditto God), but not necessarily to  the 'horse laugh fallacy'. That would depend on the attitude of the responder.

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Jesus is both Human and divine if you could now explain how the divine yields empirical evidence this might help your case here.

That he is/was divine is simply an assertion with nothing more to recommend it than your belief unless you can offer something more convincing. That he was a human who actually existed can be examined by dint of evidence.

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Obviously there is evidence for Jesus, recorded witnesses to the resurrection in the epistles based on two empirical statements. He was dead and subsequently he was alive.

I agree, there is some evidence that Jesus actually existed, but the only evidence that he was resurrected is anecdotal, error strewn and comes from strongly biased sources. If one then takes into account the improbability of such an event happening, all you have is assertion.

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Now, none of that was done in a lab, but if one accepts it one has evidence for Jesus and evidence for a highly improbable event/miracle/wish give which is lacking in the case of the Leprechaun.

The key word here is 'accepts'. and, for the basic reasons given above, I don't. Hence it seems to me to be very much equivalent to stories surrounding leprechauns.

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Also God remains unfalsified because the divine is not subject to empirical analysis. Where as the Leprechaun is and on the strength of absence of the expected empirical evidence I am an aleprechaunist and my grounds and reasons for being a theist are independent of my grounds and reasons for being a leprechaunist.

The existence of any god cannot be falsified. Neither can it be confirmed. Ditto with leprechauns. I really would expect some empirical evidence of God just as I would for leprechauns. If, as you suggest, this isn't possible, then,  alternatively,  give me  reasons to accept your beliefs as true.


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Have an utterly nice day.


You too.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 01, 2020, 06:05:53 PM
Only if granted wishes could be verified under lab conditions. Otherwise they are supernatural and can neither be falsified nor confirmed unless you can produce a methodology to establish one or the other. Ditto with God.
Doesn’t it go without saying you are looking for empirical evidence if you are using lab conditions. I wish I was happy forever might not be empirical but say Richard Dawkins asking for an immediate 50% increase in the size of his penis from 1 to 2 inches, is.
Quote
Leprechauns could well lead to humour and absurdity (ditto God), but not necessarily to  the 'horse laugh fallacy'. That would depend on the attitude of the responder.
I can see how the idea of tiny Irishmen at the end of rainbows who are never found there can be funny but in what way is God who apparently is simultaneously and for the same people, evil incarnate, funny?
Quote
That he is/was divine is simply an assertion with nothing more to recommend it than your belief unless you can offer something more convincing. That he was a human who actually existed can be examined by dint of evidence.
There are the various arguments for God which end up with, Er, God. The arguments for cosmic Godlessness are at best....hazy and end up with Godknowswhat.
We need to remind ourselves that Leprechauns at this stage have had it, Jesus probably existed and The truth of God is at least a matter for philosophy and not empiricism.
Quote
I agree, there is some evidence that Jesus actually existed, but the only evidence that he was resurrected is anecdotal, error strewn and comes from strongly biased sources. If one then takes into account the improbability of such an event happening, all you have is assertion.
There is the whiff of the accusation of dishonesty here. That translates into a high probability of you committing the genetic fallacy.
Quote
The key word here is 'accepts'. and, for the basic reasons given above, I don't. Hence it seems to me to be very much equivalent to stories surrounding leprechauns.
yes I can see cultural biases and a lack of intellectual investigative depth could lead to that, but that Still leaves an historical Jesus, A group of people who genuinely believed the account, epistolary evidence and God when Leprechauns have finally had it and we are laughing at them.....although from what you have said so far you’d laugh at anything. I see very little equivalence
Quote
The existence of any god cannot be falsified. Neither can it be confirmed. Ditto with leprechauns. I really would expect some empirical evidence of God
On what warrant?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 01, 2020, 06:08:42 PM
Hi enki,

Quote
Leprechauns could well lead to humour and absurdity (ditto God), but not necessarily to  the 'horse laugh fallacy'. That would depend on the attitude of the responder.

Just to note that it mostly depends on the way the argument is constructed. For a reductio ad absurdum to be valid it must show that an argument attempted to justify one fact claim (eg, “god”) works equally well for a different and plainly absurd fact claim of (eg, leprechauns). It’s been around since the Greeks, and this is the form I’ve always used when referencing leprechauns here.

By contrast the “horse laugh fallacy” (actually called the appeal to ridicule) is taking a ludicrous proposition and just claiming it to be equivalent to a serious one as an appeal to emotion. As an example:

Proposition: the law should require the wearing of seatbelts.

Appeal to ridicule: in that case you must think the law should require us to wear nappies and bibs too.     

This is something I’ve never done.

What Vlad does it to pretend that the former is actually the latter, despite being corrected on it countless times. In part I think it’s because he sees the word “absurdum” and thinks that’s enough to get off the hook, and in part it’s because he’s too dishonest to address what these terms actually mean.   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 01, 2020, 06:18:26 PM
Vlad,

Quote
I can see how the idea of tiny Irishmen at the end of rainbows who are never found there can be funny but in what way is God who apparently is simultaneously and for the same people, evil incarnate, funny?

FFS. Yet again: when the ARGUMENTS YOU ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY THE CLAIM “God” work equally to justify the claim “leprechauns”, then they’re bad arguments.

The seriousness or frivolity you choose to attach to either outcome HAS ABSOLUTELY FUCK ALL TO DO WITH THE FORCE OF THIS LOGIC.

Write it down 100 times until it sinks in. Or a 1,000. Or as many as it takes… 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 01, 2020, 06:23:46 PM
Hi enki,

Just to note that it mostly depends on the way the argument is constructed. For a reductio ad absurdum to be valid it must show that an argument attempted to justify one fact claim (eg, “god”) works equally well for a different and plainly absurd fact claim of (eg, leprechauns). It’s been around since the Greeks, and this is the form I’ve always used when referencing leprechauns here.

By contrast the “horse laugh fallacy” (actually called the appeal to ridicule) is taking a ludicrous proposition and just claiming it to be equivalent to a serious one as an appeal to emotion. As an example:

Proposition: the law should require the wearing of seatbelts.

Appeal to ridicule: in that case you must think the law should require us to wear nappies and bibs too.     

This is something I’ve never done.

What Vlad does it to pretend that the former is actually the latter, despite being corrected on it countless times. In part I think it’s because he sees the word “absurdum” and thinks that’s enough to get off the hook, and in part it’s because he’s too dishonest to address what these terms actually mean.   
It’s the way you tell em Hillside and the way you tell em is indistinguishable from a horses laugh argument.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 01, 2020, 06:31:05 PM
Vlad,

FFS. Yet again: when the ARGUMENTS YOU ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY THE CLAIM “God” work equally to justify the claim “leprechauns”, then they’re bad arguments.

The seriousness or frivolity you choose to attach to either outcome HAS ABSOLUTELY FUCK ALL TO DO WITH THE FORCE OF THIS LOGIC.

Write it down 100 times until it sinks in. Or a 1,000. Or as many as it takes…
I’m asking Enki why he finds God ridiculous and here you are giving us the old ‘ He’s not saying God is ridiculous he’s making a reduction absurdum’ What a complete non sequitur, red herring , deflection etc. Bzzzzzzzz Deviation.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 01, 2020, 07:12:08 PM
Vlad,

Quote
It’s the way you tell em Hillside and the way you tell em is indistinguishable from a horses laugh argument.

Liar. I have always framed the leprechaun analogy as a reductio ad absurdum.

Quote
I’m asking Enki why he finds God ridiculous and here you are giving us the old ‘ He’s not saying God is ridiculous he’s making a reduction absurdum’ What a complete non sequitur, red herring , deflection etc. Bzzzzzzzz Deviation.

Liar. I haven’t said that he’s used the reductio ad absurdum at all. 

Why do you lie all the time? What do you get from it?

I’ve never understood the mindset of the troll, and I suppose I never will.   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 01, 2020, 07:29:31 PM
Vlad,

PS As you’ve ignored it once more, I’ll try again:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 09:53:07 AM
Sorry for not replying sooner
Which is not to say that their take is definitively wrong, nor does it speak to whether they have an orthodoxy of their own.
I am not talking about wrongness I am talking about being mainstream.
Quote
If Christianity were just faith in Jesus then how come gay people get ostracised -
Gay people get ostracised and worse by people who are not christian. I will admit that mention in scripture has undoubtably led to a position where homosexual acts are viewed as sinful but the church should recognise that it is a community of sinners and thus even if one believes it is a sin one shouldn't be a going about ostricising.  There is as I understand an active Gay christian community. People for whom the christian issue and thegay issue is not a dealbreaker. Unfortunately because we are a much diminished forum, as far as I am aware we have no representatives of that church community. If you are alluding to the american church then i'm afraid the obvious aspect of that wing is about to come under it's own period of judgment for dabbling in politics.
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the Christianity is not just faith, Christianity is the expression of that faith in innumerable ways, by all the variations of Christians.

Of course everyone is entitled to ask what christianity is. What is less savoury is what I suspect you of, of treating the whole thing as a kind of mid 20th century social science which never actually consider the opinions of the subjects.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 11:14:26 AM
Re: Dawkins



You mean that when people tell him to shut up he doesn't
No, more like when people suggest that when waxing about religion he should demonstrate the same intellectual rigour that he does with his science...
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People have called him 'shrill' and 'hateful' and 'superior' because he doesn't conform to their expectation
And no doubt because he has come across like that and given the impression of revelling in it by his knowing winks to his gallery.;
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it comes from the same place that sees a critique of religion as an unforgiveable attack on them.
Unforgiveable no, there will be as much rejoicing over him as there would be over any one who repents.
Quote
  He gets called 'militant' for having an opinion,
He and his followers seem surprisingly mortified by that description. Can you say why? I recall it being used without comment to describe unions etc. Nobody ever thought even at the worst of times that Vic Feather former TUC boss at a time when unions could bring down UK governments, was going to come to a meeting of government tooled up wearing a beret and a cigar. Ditto Dawkins. Please get a perspective on this
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whilst religious proponents need to be both brown and bearing arms to earn that - I'm not sure what Christian terrorists have to do to be called 'militant', it seems to slide off the teflon coating their prayers give them.
Beg pardon.
Quote
Claiming that not falling for the myth that theology has something useful to contribute is not an ignorance of religion.  He's well aware of religion, and makes his case for why it has no reliable foundation.
Unfortunately he chose do do so in the form of a pop science book and in terms of religion finds himself well and truly in a fringe grouping, not only amongst the intelligencia but in atheism, whos star shone but very briefly for the decade following 9/11


Quote
Oh no, we have people who are famous, that definitely makes it a religion,
Fame certainly can promote religious following but it isn't just that you have celebrities, it's that these celebrities are apostolic, they are messengers of a world transforming word, either a new word, a new way to live or a revival of a fundamental way of seeing things
Quote
why didn't you say so.... I now have to choose between the Church of Harris or the Church of Coronation Street.  This sort of false equivalence only becomes laughable
Particularly as you are the one making it.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: enki on December 02, 2020, 12:16:57 PM
Doesn’t it go without saying you are looking for empirical evidence if you are using lab conditions. I wish I was happy forever might not be empirical but say Richard Dawkins asking for an immediate 50% increase in the size of his penis from 1 to 2 inches, is.

So? Empirical evidence seems to be one very reasonable way of testing whether leprechauns exist. You asked me what type of evidence I would need and I gave you a variety which included testing granted wishes under lab conditions amongst others. Ditto your God.
(http://www.religionethics.co.uk/index.php?topic=17963.0).
If you are unhappy with empirical evidence for establishing whether your God exists then why don't you suggest a different methodology?

Quote
I can see how the idea of tiny Irishmen at the end of rainbows who are never found there can be funny but in what way is God who apparently is simultaneously and for the same people, evil incarnate, funny?

I actually said that 'Leprechauns could well lead to humour and absurdity (ditto God)'. Well, let's see shall we, by looking at your Holy Book which is permeated by ideas about God. Now I would like to say that I think the group of books called the Bible is an important work, it is imaginative, historical, mythological, poetic and capable of great wisdom.  However, especially through modern eyes, it can also be rather whimsical, quaint and even silly and absurd.

I find the idea of spitting on people to heal them
or resurrecting a man who died after falling from a height after going to sleep listening to Paul
or being able to tread on serpents and scorpions safely
or curing illnesses by removing handkerchiefs and aprons
or cursing a fig tree simply because it hasn't any figs
 to be downright silly.

I find the idea of
a god who finds it necessary to suggest that soldiers should not defecate in camp
a god who supports the wife of a man in a fight against another, but if she should     grab the opponent's testicles then she should have her hand cut off
a god who wouldn't allow any man with crushed testicles or who had had their penis cut   off to walk in the assembly of God
a god who encourages baking by using human shit although he relents when Ezekial turns   his nose up at this, and allows cow dung instead
a god who suggests that when swearing to something, one must hold the other person's     crotch whilst the vow is made
 to be ludicrous

And I haven't even mentioned the Genesis story or Noah's Flood or the understandable but quaint attempts at science.

No, I stand by my statement that your God, as depicted in the Bible, can lead to humour and absurdity.

Quote
There are the various arguments for God which end up with, Er, God. The arguments for cosmic Godlessness are at best....hazy and end up with Godknowswhat.
We need to remind ourselves that Leprechauns at this stage have had it, Jesus probably existed and The truth of God is at least a matter for philosophy and not empiricism.

The idea that arguments for God that end up with God are self fulfilling. Jesus probably did exist, I would agree, but there is no evidence that he was any more than  a charismatic preacher. The truth of God(whatever that may mean) seems to me to lie purely in a person's faith as neither philosophy nor empiricism can confirm his actual existence.

Quote
There is the whiff of the accusation of dishonesty here. That translates into a high probability of you committing the genetic fallacy.

which I reject completely, as I have given you meaningful reasons why the claim of resurrection can easily be disputed.

Quote
yes I can see cultural biases and a lack of intellectual investigative depth could lead to that, but that Still leaves an historical Jesus, A group of people who genuinely believed the account, epistolary evidence and God when Leprechauns have finally had it and we are laughing at them.....although from what you have said so far you’d laugh at anything. I see very little equivalence

Ignoring your silly ad hominems, and accepting that there probably was an historical Jesus, the equivalence is in the supernatural overtones which permeate both stories of leprechauns and Jesus.

Quote
On what warrant?

You really want me to spell out why I would want some emprical evidence for God? There's plenty of it in the Bible, whether it be intervention in human affairs, resurrections after circa three days, virgin births, all sorts of miracles, the efficacy of prayer. So why shouldn't there be similar things today which can be investigated by applying scientific rigour and methods? 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 01:25:21 PM
enki,

Quote
If you are unhappy with empirical evidence for establishing whether your God exists then why don't you suggest a different methodology?

Good luck with getting an answer to that. That blur you may have caught in the corner of your eye was Vlad heading for the exit as fast as his little legs would carry him.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 01:33:59 PM
So? Empirical evidence seems to be one very reasonable way of testing whether leprechauns exist. You asked me what type of evidence I would need and I gave you a variety which included testing granted wishes under lab conditions amongst others. Ditto your God.
It is reasonable way of testing whether leprechauns exist because it is the empirical features of Leprechauns which define them which would form the evidence in question.

Secondly, ''Ditto your God'' was used by you to ditto absurdity and ridiculousness. If you are now saying Empirical characteristics define God I would have to disagree.

Therefore empirical investigation cannot falsify God. Let me repeat that, empirical investigation cannot falsify God.....and that is that

What methodology does verify or falsify is irrellevant to empirical investigation being able or unable to falsify God. So in that respect it matters not what the methodology is , or if I know it or if there even is one. It is all irellevant to the question of falsifiability of God by empirical means. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 01:41:13 PM
Vlad,

Quote
It is reasonable way of testing whether leprechauns exist because it is the empirical features of Leprechauns which define them which would form the evidence in question.

Nope. It’s a reasonable way of testing whether leprechauns exist only when they choose to exist in material form. Same goes for your claim “god”. The rest of your post collapses accordingly.   

Oh, and yet again:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 01:52:09 PM
So? Empirical evidence seems to be one very reasonable way of testing whether leprechauns exist. You asked me what type of evidence I would need and I gave you a variety which included testing granted wishes under lab conditions amongst others. Ditto your God.
(http://www.religionethics.co.uk/index.php?topic=17963.0).
If you are unhappy with empirical evidence for establishing whether your God exists then why don't you suggest a different methodology?

I actually said that 'Leprechauns could well lead to humour and absurdity (ditto God)'. Well, let's see shall we, by looking at your Holy Book which is permeated by ideas about God. Now I would like to say that I think the group of books called the Bible is an important work, it is imaginative, historical, mythological, poetic and capable of great wisdom.  However, especially through modern eyes, it can also be rather whimsical, quaint and even silly and absurd.

I find the idea of spitting on people to heal them
or resurrecting a man who died after falling from a height after going to sleep listening to Paul
or being able to tread on serpents and scorpions safely
or curing illnesses by removing handkerchiefs and aprons
or cursing a fig tree simply because it hasn't any figs
 to be downright silly.

I find the idea of
a god who finds it necessary to suggest that soldiers should not defecate in camp
a god who supports the wife of a man in a fight against another, but if she should     grab the opponent's testicles then she should have her hand cut off
a god who wouldn't allow any man with crushed testicles or who had had their penis cut   off to walk in the assembly of God
a god who encourages baking by using human shit although he relents when Ezekial turns   his nose up at this, and allows cow dung instead
a god who suggests that when swearing to something, one must hold the other person's     crotch whilst the vow is made
 to be ludicrous
OK but my first reactions are that these are pretty peripheral.
Quote
And I haven't even mentioned the Genesis story or Noah's Flood or the understandable but quaint attempts at science.
As far as I know the Royal Institution wasn't a thing in the days when these were written so whether the term quaint attempts at science is valid and not just a dirty, stinking patronising attitude.....

Quote
You really want me to spell out why I would want some emprical evidence for God? There's plenty of it in the Bible, whether it be intervention in human affairs, resurrections after circa three days, virgin births, all sorts of miracles, the efficacy of prayer. So why shouldn't there be similar things today which can be investigated by applying scientific rigour and methods?
But surely evidence of the intervention is evidence of an intervention rather than what intervenes isn't it. My approach is this. Given the issues around induction, what would an atheist make of a resurrection? Does he dismiss it straight off as a fault in his own faculties?, An offence against his philosophical scientism, naturalism, empiricism? If he does accept it has happened, what does he attribute it to? Aliens? Time travellers? Random event? You see even though he has evidence of the event or the phenomena, it doesn't falsify aliens, or randomness, or God.......so we are back to empirical means not being able to falsify God ....and your unreasonableness in expecting empirical evidence for God.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: ippy on December 02, 2020, 02:19:50 PM
There is no verifiable evidence for philosophical empiricism, naturalism and physicalism.

Wriggling again Vlad?

You believe without verifiable evidence like so many Vlad, just admit to yourself you've no evidence even if you don't feel you can let on about it.

ippy
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 02:36:39 PM
Wriggling again Vlad?

You believe without verifiable evidence
And so do you Ipso Ha Ha that was easy.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: enki on December 02, 2020, 02:43:13 PM
It is reasonable way of testing whether leprechauns exist because it is the empirical features of Leprechauns which define them which would form the evidence in question.

Secondly, ''Ditto your God'' was used by you to ditto absurdity and ridiculousness. If you are now saying Empirical characteristics define God I would have to disagree.

Therefore empirical investigation cannot falsify God. Let me repeat that, empirical investigation cannot falsify God.....and that is that

What methodology does verify or falsify is irrellevant to empirical investigation being able or unable to falsify God. So in that respect it matters not what the methodology is , or if I know it or if there even is one. It is all irellevant to the question of falsifiability of God by empirical means.

What's wrong with you? I have already said that:

Quote
The existence of any god cannot be falsified. Neither can it be confirmed. Ditto with leprechauns. I really would expect some empirical evidence of God just as I would for leprechauns. If, as you suggest, this isn't possible, then,  alternatively,  give me  reasons to accept your beliefs as true.

To repeat, If we had plenty of this sort of evidence then maybe I'd start to believe that a particular god exists or existed. Ditto for leprechauns.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 02:43:19 PM
Vlad,

Quote
My approach is this. Given the issues around induction, what would an atheist make of a resurrection?

Same as anyone else's capable of reason – that there were no solid grounds for thinking it was a resurrection rather than something else.

Quote
Does he dismiss it straight off as a fault in his own faculties?, An offence against his philosophical scientism, naturalism, empiricism? If he does accept it has happened, what does he attribute it to? Aliens? Time travellers? Random event?

An explanation that he hasn’t thought of? A phenomenon as yet undiscovered? What would a Norse person "experiencing" Thor do? “Does he dismiss it straight off as a fault in his own faculties?, An offence against his philosophical scientism, naturalism, empiricism? If he does accept it has happened, what does he attribute it to? Aliens? Time travellers? Random event?”

Oh wait though – maybe his explanation “Thor” for the phenomena he’d witnessed was just wrong to begin with eh? You know, like “it’s a resurrection” could be.     

Quote
You see even though he has evidence of the event or the phenomena, it doesn't falsify aliens, or randomness, or God.......so we are back to empirical means not being able to falsify God ....and your unreasonableness in expecting empirical evidence for God.

You see, all he actually has evidence for is an experience. He has no evidence though for it actually being a resurrection rather than something else. Once again you confuse an experience of something with an explanation for it.

Short version: your “approach” is a crock. 

PS

Oh, and yet again:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: enki on December 02, 2020, 02:47:33 PM

OK but my first reactions are that these are pretty peripheral.

That's up to you. Not my take on it, considering there are far more ridiculous and often darkly unpleasant instances which are not even alleviated by being humorous.

Quote
As far as I know the Royal Institution wasn't a thing in the days when these were written so whether the term quaint attempts at science is valid and not just a dirty, stinking patronising attitude.....

I'll stick by my definition of 'quaint'(attractively unusual or old-fashioned) thank you, rather than yours.

Quote
But surely evidence of the intervention is evidence of an intervention rather than what intervenes isn't it. My approach is this. Given the issues around induction, what would an atheist make of a resurrection? Does he dismiss it straight off as a fault in his own faculties?, An offence against his philosophical scientism, naturalism, empiricism? If he does accept it has happened, what does he attribute it to? Aliens? Time travellers? Random event? You see even though he has evidence of the event or the phenomena, it doesn't falsify aliens, or randomness, or God.......so we are back to empirical means not being able to falsify God ....and your unreasonableness in expecting empirical evidence for God.

(groans) What do you hope to achieve with  your strawman? As I have already stated, evidence wouldn't falsify or confirm the existence of a god, but it would to some extent support the idea as a feasible possibility. After all, even according to the Gospels, there were many converts who witnessed a range of miracles, such that they believed Jesus had powers which came from God(or himself depending upon which interpretation one wishes to take). As it is, there is no such evidence, and as I have no other reason to believe that God exists, I remain an atheist.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 02:48:02 PM
ipster,

Quote
Wriggling again Vlad?

Like a worm on a hook. He's this mb's version of Monty Python's Black Knight. 'tis but a scratch!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmInkxbvlCs
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Outrider on December 02, 2020, 03:03:36 PM
Sorry for not replying sooner I am not talking about wrongness I am talking about being mainstream.

You were talking about people's faith being 'orthodox'.

Quote
Gay people get ostracised and worse by people who are not christian.

And by people who are.  Both need to be addressed, yes, we're talking about the Christian group.

Quote
I will admit that mention in scripture has undoubtably led to a position where homosexual acts are viewed as sinful but the church should recognise that it is a community of sinners and thus even if one believes it is a sin one shouldn't be a going about ostricising.

The Church, though, is the body of Christianity, it's not just the leadership, and because religion, and monotheistic religion in particular, lends itself to authoritarianism it's a small step from 'it's sinful' to 'we should prohibit/shun it'.  Given that it's intrinsic to the nature of religion to be authoritarian, how do you propose to stop that drift?

Quote
There is as I understand an active Gay christian community.

There are working class Tories, there are immigrant Brexiteers, there have always been turkeys that will vote for Christmas.

Quote
People for whom the christian issue and thegay issue is not a dealbreaker.

Then all they need to deal with is the institutional misogyny, the inherent authoritarianism, the Christian supremacists... the same as the rest of us do.

Quote
If you are alluding to the american church then i'm afraid the obvious aspect of that wing is about to come under it's own period of judgment for dabbling in politics.

Dabbling in politics seems to be the eventual activity of pretty much every organised religion - Roman Catholicism's papacies of the middle-ages and Renaissance were famed for it, Welby regularly ventures forth on topics of the day, the links between Putin's regime and the Russian Orthodox Church are well-established, the Hindu Nationalist movement in India right now...

Quote
Of course everyone is entitled to ask what christianity is. What is less savoury is what I suspect you of, of treating the whole thing as a kind of mid 20th century social science which never actually consider the opinions of the subjects.

I'm here, I listen, but it seems like they don't say very much of substance.  It's still a foundation of nothing, wish fulfillment, confirmation bias and a raft of fallacies from 'no true Scotsman' to rank 'whataboutery'.  At the end of the day, I'm making the point that, far from not listening to Christians, Christianity is the sum of the opinions and actions of all Christians that derives from their belief; you appear to be the one  who thinks they have an inside line into 'true' Christianity and can suggest that some Christians don't count because they're doing in wrong in the absence of any independent metric that could be used to judge.

O.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 03:10:53 PM
Given the issues around induction, what would an atheist make of a resurrection? Does he dismiss it straight off as a fault in his own faculties?

My first reaction would be, given the nature of the claim, to ask the claimant to demonstrate how they excluded the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in the anecdotal accounts of the claimed resurrection: if they can't satisfactorily do that then they would need to propose some method of investigation that is independent of the risks of human artifice - if they can't do either then it seems to me their claim just isn't a serious proposition as things stand and can indeed be dismissed.

The burden of proof is on the claimant here (in this case of a resurrection), and if they can't satisfy reasonable demands to exclude known risks (bias, mistakes or lies) and/or propose a method that is suitable for checking out the details of the claim then it seems to me that their claim is, essentially, a worthless one no matter how much it appeals to them on a personal basis.


Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 03:20:58 PM
My first reaction would be, given the nature of the claim
Sorry My fault, the context is that the atheist is the witness, I'm afraid that makes this:
Quote
, to ask the claimant to demonstrate how they excluded the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in the anecdotal accounts of the claimed resurrection: if they can't satisfactorily do that then they would need to propose some method of investigation that is independent of the risks of human artifice - if they can't do either then it seems to me their claim just isn't a serious proposition as things stand and can indeed be dismissed.

The burden of proof is on the claimant here (in this case of a resurrection), and if they can't satisfy reasonable demands to exclude known risks (bias, mistakes or lies) and/or propose a method that is suitable for checking out the details of the claim then it seems to me that their claim is, essentially, a worthless one no matter how much it appeals to them on a personal basis.
Redundant and irrelevant.....once again I can only offer my apologies and maybe advise you to read before you respond.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 03:27:07 PM
Vlad,

Quote
Redundant and irrelevant.....once again I can only offer my apologies and maybe advise you to read before you respond.

Still plugging the same wrongness then eh? What someone witnesses and the explanation for it are different things. If I witness a comely young lady on a stage being sawn in two and then reconnected is that therefore what actually happened?

Oh, by the way…

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 03:32:43 PM
Sorry My fault, the context is that the atheist is the witness,

I see: so your post is really no more than a straw man portrayal of how you think an atheist would react. Perhaps you could clarify whether this atheist witness is active in current times or in antiquity in the Middle East at the time of the claimed resurrection, since clearly there would be differences both culturally and in terms of knowledge in general. I thinking this attempt of yours at a thought experiment hasn't perhaps been thought through enough.
 
Quote
I'm afraid that makes this: Redundant and irrelevant.....once again I can only offer my apologies and maybe advise you to read before you respond.

I did, Vlad: but then your ramblings aren't always examples of clarity.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 03:37:48 PM
Vlad,

Still plugging the same wrongness then eh? What someone witnesses and the explanation for it are different things. If I witness a comely young lady on a stage being sawn in two and then reconnected is that therefore what actually happened?

Oh, by the way…

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?

My point was even though you can witness a miracle there is only ever empirical evidence for that event not necessarily the explanation for it. That is it....Now if you or Gordon had read what I put maybe you wouldn't be introducing these deviations...But then again....as it's you....

You are jumping the gun of presupposing the events are an illusion.

You remind me of someone trying to save his sand castles from the tide.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Littleroses on December 02, 2020, 03:39:51 PM
I am of the opinion there is a natural explanation for  so called 'miracles'.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 03:45:18 PM
My point was even though you can witness a miracle there is only ever empirical evidence for that event not necessarily the explanation for it.

So, and to avoid misunderstanding you, you are saying that if I were to think I had witnessed a miracle there would be empirical evidence that confirmed a miracle event occurred but that the explanation for it may be different from the empirical evidence?

That does seem rather confused to me: perhaps you could explain what empirical evidence for the claimed miraculous resurrection of Jesus would look like and why, presuming there was empirical evidence that stood scrutiny, an alternative explanation would be required at all (after we'd have the empirical evidence).

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 03:46:08 PM
I see: so your post is really no more than a straw man portrayal of how you think an atheist would react.
I give a range of possible reactions.What do you think I missed out? Careful now you might have to Read what I put to answer it.
Quote
Perhaps you could clarify whether this atheist witness is active in current times or in antiquity in the Middle East at the time of the claimed resurrection, since clearly there would be differences both culturally and in terms of knowledge in general.
Well let's say it's you Gordon. Now I know you are a big ''impossible'' merchant (Thus ignoring everything you've been told about the problems of induction.. But suppose you had seen somebody pronounced dead and had used your training and any specialised equipment to confirm it....and then later the victim was alive? What is your next move?[/quote] I thinking this attempt of yours at a thought experiment hasn't perhaps been thought through enough.
Quote
I tend to leave that sort of thing to you guys.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 03:51:20 PM
Well let's say it's you Gordon. Now I know you are a big ''impossible'' merchant (Thus ignoring everything you've been told about the problems of induction.. But suppose you had seen somebody pronounced dead and had used your training and any specialised equipment to confirm it....and then later the victim was alive? What is your next move?

I'd get someone qualified to check the equipment and then get other qualified opinions on my actions and conclusions: after all I could be simply wrong, or I could be attempting to mislead, or I could have been misled. 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 03:58:30 PM
So, and to avoid misunderstanding you, you are saying that if I were to think I had witnessed a miracle there would be empirical evidence that confirmed a miracle event occurred but that the explanation for it may be different from the empirical evidence?
No what I am saying is if there is any empirical evidence of a miracle it would not necessarily constitute evidence for that miracle's explanation.
Quote
That does seem rather confused to me: perhaps you could explain what empirical evidence for the claimed miraculous resurrection of Jesus
I have noticed that some of my arguments do not conform to your experience or expectations and have always looked on that as your problem. However, to the business in hand. A post mortem report confirming the death, video evidence or their first century equivalents followed by evidence of a subsequent live appearance. My point though is that even were this available it would not constitute empirical evidence for God and that to expect such empirical evidence is therefore unreasonable.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 04:01:57 PM
I'd get someone qualified to check the equipment and then get other qualified opinions on my actions and conclusions: after all I could be simply wrong, or I could be attempting to mislead, or I could have been misled.
Well thanks for warning us that you pose a danger of misleading us, however, I don't think you would. So, given that it isn't in you to mislead....what are you going to say?
And if these other people verified it, what would happen then? ?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 04:02:36 PM
Vlad,

Quote
My point was even though you can witness a miracle there is only ever empirical evidence for that event not necessarily the explanation for it. That is it....Now if you or Gordon had read what I put maybe you wouldn't be introducing these deviations...But then again....as it's you....

It's an entirely vapid point though because there’d be no way to know that you have experienced a miracle rather than something else. Even to be in that game you’d have to demonstrate first an entire ontology for a “supernatural” in which miracles could occur. 

Quote
You are jumping the gun of presupposing the events are an illusion.

Ooh, a triple straw man in one sentence. Good effort.

1. I didn’t “presuppose” it all, I just said there’d be no way to exclude the possibility of a non-miraculous (though doubtless less thrilling) explanation.

2. Again, you confuse “the events” with possible explanation for them.

3. No-one said “illusion” – “mistaken attribution of casue” is fine. You know, like Thor would be for thunder.

Apart from that though..   

Quote
You remind me of someone trying to save his sand castles from the tide.

Except the “tide” is your lies and dull misunderstandings and the sand castles are actually nice hard pebbles, which is why you keep avoiding them.

Oh, and by the way…

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 04:07:10 PM
Vlad,

It's an entirely vapid point though because there’d be no way to know that you have experienced a miracle rather than something else. Even to be in that game you’d have to demonstrate first an entire ontology for a “supernatural” in which miracles could occur. 

Ooh, a triple straw man in one sentence. Good effort.

1. I didn’t “presuppose” it all, I just said there’d be no way to exclude the possibility of a non-miraculous (though les thrilling) explanation.

2. Again, you confuse “the events” with possible explanation for them.

3. No-one said “illusion” – “mistaken attribution of casue” is fine. You know, like Thor would be for thunder.

Apart from that though..   

Except the “tide” is your lies and dull misunderstandings, and the sand castles are actually nice hard pebbles, which is why you keep avoiding them.

Oh, and by the way…

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?

I'm fondly remember the old AOL spirituality message board, there used to be a chap on that when he was serious would use a shade of brown. It became a bit of an in joke where getting serious was referred to as ''Using shit brown'' how we laughed...happy days...but now it has come to religionethics, sigh.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 04:10:57 PM
I am of the opinion there is a natural explanation for  so called 'miracles'.
Really? I think that is calling for repeatability in something intrinsically unrepeated.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 04:36:13 PM
Well thanks for warning us that you pose a danger of misleading us, however, I don't think you would. So, given that it isn't in you to mislead....what are you going to say?
And if these other people verified it, what would happen then? ?

How do you know it isn't in me to mislead? Are you saying that I would be incapable of telling lies if I thought it would advance a cause that was dear to me? I think you would be foolish to simply believe me because you thought I was honest when what I was asking you to believe was so remarkable.

Then there is the issue of how the claim was being verified, since given the risks that I am incompetent and/or nefarious then others might be too, so the verification method would have to be robust enough not to be unduly influenced by interested parties. So clearly a detailed method that excluded the risks of bias, mistakes or lies would be needed that was specifically suited to the capture and analysis of any data that would be sufficient to provisionally confirm that a miracle had indeed occurred.

If I was claiming the miracle then the burden of proof would be mine, and those considering my claim would quite reasonably expect me to explain the justifications for my claim, such as a basis for verification that was independent of my, or others, subjective assurances that a miracle had happened.

I'd say that resurrection of Jesus proponents have this burden, whether they like it or not, and if they can't exclude risks or explain a basis for verifying their claims - and especially if their claims descend into a fallacy-fest - then I'm quite entitled to dismiss their claim until such times as they can provide justification that stands scrutiny. Of course it is impossible for them to meet this challenge, which is why their belief in the resurrection of Jesus is a faith claim and not a factual one.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 05:03:38 PM
Vlad,

Quote
I'm fondly remember the old AOL spirituality message board, there used to be a chap on that when he was serious would use a shade of brown. It became a bit of an in joke where getting serious was referred to as ''Using shit brown'' how we laughed...happy days...but now it has come to religionethics, sigh.

Your continued ducking and diving is noted. Other colours are available though, here for example:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?

Why not try at least to answer rather than keep running away? What's stopping you?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 05:29:07 PM
How do you know it isn't in me to mislead?
I admit I am less certain that you would not mislead others than you would mislead yourself so we are back to the scenario you having witnessed this and having the evidence
Quote
having witnessed this Are you saying that I would be incapable of telling lies if I thought it would advance a cause that was dear to me?
This is the million dollar question isn't it. As a hard bitten non supernaturalist who is noted for introducing the concept of impossibility to resurrection what do you do now? Bury the evidence, retire, Bring your evidence to the world? Bring the evidence in front of yourself?, worry about what your friends on religionethics will say? Worry whether your family will disown you?
Quote
I think you would be foolish to simply believe me because you thought I was honest when what I was asking you to believe was so remarkable.
Well such a turn around from a public and vocal atheist such as yourself WOULD BE REMARKABLE.
Quote
If I was claiming the miracle then the burden of proof would be mine, and those considering my claim would quite reasonably expect me to explain the justifications for my claim, such as a basis for verification that was independent of my, or others, subjective assurances that a miracle had happened.
Nobody would expect otherwise, however I think you may be underestimating the ripple that someone like yourself changing position would constitute.

However we have strayed from my point that even if you had empirical evidence of a resurrection it would merely be evidence of a resurrection and not of the cause.
Quote
I'd say that resurrection of Jesus proponents have this burden, whether they like it or not, and if they can't exclude risks or explain a basis for verifying their claims - and especially if their claims descend into a fallacy-fest - then I'm quite entitled to dismiss their claim until such times as they can provide justification that stands scrutiny. Of course it is impossible for them to meet this challenge, which is why their belief in the resurrection of Jesus is a faith claim and not a factual one.
Anybody who proposes a history has a duty IMV to evidence or give grounds to it.
And by introducing a history of dishonesty, mistake and misleading you need to show that it actually happened. The evidence is there that people witnessed this. For us to say they were wrong it is necessary to show where this happened. Belief in Christ tallies with what is a history but belief, as you have, in terms of the impossibility also denies it happened and in doing so creates another alternative historical account which needs demonstrating. To then offer anything less is lack of self respect.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 05:36:44 PM
Vlad,

Your continued ducking and diving is noted. Other colours are available though, here for example:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?

Why not try at least to answer rather than keep running away? What's stopping you?
Given the number of times this has appeared....worse piece of attention seeking i've seen in a long time.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 05:44:20 PM
Vlad,

Quote
Given the number of times this has appeared....worse piece of attention seeking i've seen in a long time.

Your (yet further) continued ducking and diving is noted. Other colours are available though, here for example:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?

Why not try at least to answer rather than keep running away? What's stopping you?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 05:46:59 PM
Vlad,

Quote
As a hard bitten non supernaturalist who is noted for introducing the concept of impossibility to resurrection what do you do now?

Can you tell us where he said such a thing is "impossible", or is this yet another example of you lying about someone's actual position?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 05:51:52 PM
Vlad,

Can you tell us where he said such a thing is "impossible", or is this yet another example of you lying about someone's actual position?
Hillside. There are other posters I wish to discuss with, therefore it is extremely unreasonable for you to be howling baby like for me to 'burp' you.
If you open a thread on this issue I will gladly discuss the matter there.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 02, 2020, 06:20:37 PM
Vlad,

Quote
Hillside. There are other posters I wish to discuss with, therefore it is extremely unreasonable for you to be howling baby like for me to 'burp' you.
If you open a thread on this issue I will gladly discuss the matter there.

Translation: “Yes you have caught me out in yet another lie, but I lack the basic decency to say so. Yours mendaciously, Vlad”.

Thought so.

Oh, and once again:

IF YOUR COMPLAINT ABOUT AN EMPIRICAL METHOD IS THAT IT CANNOT BE USED TO INVESTIGATE AND VERIFY CLAIMS OF A NON-MATERIAL “GOD”, WHAT METHOD WOULD YOU PROPOSE SHOULD BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE INSTEAD?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 08:03:49 PM
I admit I am less certain that you would not mislead others than you would mislead yourself so we are back to the scenario you having witnessed this and having the evidence

So you recognise, whether it is deception by others or self-deception, that a witness could be misled without realising it?

Quote
This is the million dollar question isn't it. As a hard bitten non supernaturalist who is noted for introducing the concept of impossibility to resurrection what do you do now? Bury the evidence, retire, Bring your evidence to the world? Bring the evidence in front of yourself?, worry about what your friends on religionethics will say? Worry whether your family will disown you?

I've never said that miracles are "impossible" but I've yet to see any basis to consider that anecdotal tales from antiquity, given the risks of human artifice, constitute sound evidence that miracles are possible.

Quote
Well such a turn around from a public and vocal atheist such as yourself WOULD BE REMARKABLE. Nobody would expect otherwise, however I think you may be underestimating the ripple that someone like yourself changing position would constitute.

I haven't changed my position, and even if I had I doubt that would cause much of a ripple: I think you are over-estimating my influence.

Quote
However we have strayed from my point that even if you had empirical evidence of a resurrection it would merely be evidence of a resurrection and not of the cause.

If I had empirical evidence of a resurrection that would have required a method whereby this evidence was described, collected and analysed leading to proposals regarding a possible cause. But since nobody has empirical evidence for the resurrection, other than anecdotal accounts that come with risks, then your point is pointless anyway.


Quote
Anybody who proposes a history has a duty IMV to evidence or give grounds to it.
And by introducing a history of dishonesty, mistake and misleading you need to show that it actually happened. The evidence is there that people witnessed this. For us to say they were wrong it is necessary to show where this happened. Belief in Christ tallies with what is a history but belief, as you have, in terms of the impossibility also denies it happened and in doing so creates another alternative historical account which needs demonstrating. To then offer anything less is lack of self respect.

But I'm not proposing a history or accusing anyone of bias, making mistakes or telling lies but these are known risks when it comes to anecdotal witness accounts: I'm simply asking how those making the factual claim, as opposed to statement of personal faith, that Jesus was actually dead and was then resurrected to life, have assessed these risks in relation to the anecdotal NT accounts. I have asked this often but to no avail - it is almost if theists who believe the claimed resurrection is a historical fact can't allow themselves to even consider that the NT might not be reliable and the burden of proof that it is reliable is theirs, and not mine.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 08:37:32 PM
So you recognise, whether it is deception by others or self-deception, that a witness could be misled without realising it?
Yes, do you have any local evidence within living memory of the events for this?
Quote
I've never said that miracles are "impossible" but I've yet to see any basis to consider that anecdotal tales from antiquity, given the risks of human artifice, constitute sound evidence that miracles are possible.
You and I know that we have discussed this before Gordon, whether it was before and after one of the forum's deep cleans we can find out but I distinctly recall you stating that dead people do not resurrect.
Quote
If I had empirical evidence of a resurrection that would have required a method whereby this evidence was described, collected and analysed
I'm sure it would
Quote
  leading to proposals regarding a possible cause. But since nobody has empirical evidence for the resurrection, Other than anecdotal accounts that come with risks, then your point
 is pointless anyway.
There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. Where are the reports within living memory of an alternative set of events happening?
Quote
But I'm not proposing a history or accusing anyone of bias, making mistakes or telling lies
But in a sense Gordon that is exactly what you are doing.
Quote
since these are known risks when it comes to anecdotal witness accounts:
These are known in some cases and absent in other cases Gordon. What we want is your evidence for it in this case, any documentation within living memory of the events will l do
Quote
I'm simply asking how those making the factual claim, as opposed to statement of personal faith, that Jesus was actually dead and was then resurrected to life have assessed these risks in relation to the anecdotal NT accounts. I have asked this often but to no avail''.
Doubts about the veracity of the resurrection are documented in the epistles and you have been told this. The dialogue between certainty and doubt is recorded in the epistles and you have been told that too.
Quote
How are we - it is almost if theists who believe the claimed resurrection is a historical fact can't allow themselves to even consider that the NT might not be reliable and the burden of proof that it is reliable is theirs, and not mine.
No. if you are suggesting an alternative history to that available then we are within our rights to ask you to provide similar counter evidence. If you are suggesting the NT is not reliable you need to show where and why it is unreliable
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 09:36:24 PM
Yes, do you have any local evidence within living memory of the events for this? You and I know that we have discussed this before Gordon, whether it was before and after one of the forum's deep cleans we can find out but I distinctly recall you stating that dead people do not resurrect. I'm sure it would  There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. Where are the reports within living memory of an alternative set of events happening? But in a sense Gordon that is exactly what you are doing. These are known in some cases and absent in other cases Gordon. What we want is your evidence for it in this case, any documentation within living memory of the events will l do Doubts about the veracity of the resurrection are documented in the epistles and you have been told this. The dialogue between certainty and doubt is recorded in the epistles and you have been told that too. No. if you are suggesting an alternative history to that available then we are within our rights to ask you to provide similar counter evidence. If you are suggesting the NT is not reliable you need to show where and why it is unreliable

Don't be silly: there are numerous examples of the risks of anecdotal evidence, such as the police evidence given to the Hillsborough enquiry. So when you say "There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. " I'd simply ask on what basis you could exclude the risks I've mentioned in relation to these specifics. The claim and associated burden of proof isn't mine since I'm not making any claim: I'm simply asking those who accept the anecdotal claims are accurate how they assessed risks, and that doesn't require me to create an alternative narrative.

That people who have been clinically dead for three days do stay dead is a fact: ask your local undertaker to confirm this, and we would only revise that if reliable evidence to the contrary emerged. However, the claim of Christians here involves anecdotes of a miracle occurring in a special case, so they've moved beyond naturalism here but the burden of proof is still theirs, and if they even can't get past checking for bias, mistakes and lies then it does looks bleak in terms of them demonstrating that this miracle really did happen.

We can reliably conclude then that people who have been dead for three days do stay dead and that resurrection wouldn't be possible in normal circumstances  - but the Christian claim here is that it did once happen in the case of Jesus due to a miracle, implying that in normal circumstances resurrection is impossible and only becomes possible if something miraculous happens: so, all that is needed now is for you to play your black swan in the shape of providing evidence for this claimed miracle with details of the method(s) used, so as to allow verification, along with confirmation of how the various risks I've mentioned can be excluded else the claim of Jesus being resurrected is indistinguishable from fiction.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 10:39:44 PM
Don't be silly: there are numerous examples of the risks of anecdotal evidence, such as the police evidence given to the Hillsborough enquiry. So when you say "There are reports within living memory of multiple witnesses experiencing sightings, touch and hearing of Jesus resurrected. " I'd simply ask on what basis you could exclude the risks I've mentioned in relation to these specifics. The claim and associated burden of proof isn't mine since I'm not making any claim: I'm simply asking those who accept the anecdotal claims are accurate how they assessed risks, and that doesn't require me to create an alternative narrative.

That people who have been clinically dead for three days do stay dead is a fact: ask your local undertaker to confirm this, and we would only revise that if reliable evidence to the contrary emerged. However, the claim of Christians here involves anecdotes of a miracle occurring in a special case, so they've moved beyond naturalism here but the burden of proof is still theirs, and if they even can't get past checking for bias, mistakes and lies then it does looks bleak in terms of them demonstrating that this miracle really did happen.

We can reliably conclude then that people who have been dead for three days do stay dead and that resurrection wouldn't be possible in normal circumstances  - but the Christian claim here is that it did once happen in the case of Jesus due to a miracle, implying that in normal circumstances resurrection is impossible and only becomes possible if something miraculous happens: so, all that is needed now is for you to play your black swan in the shape of providing evidence for this claimed miracle with details of the method(s) used, so as to allow verification, along with confirmation of how the various risks I've mentioned can be excluded else the claim of Jesus being resurrected is indistinguishable from fiction.
So absolutely nothing written within living memory of the events to support your suggestion that doubts were not recorded and verification was not suggested in the epistles, the letters or memos of the church(........they are).

To record and acknowledge doubts and to offer suggestions for validation is the most you could do I would have thought.

In the absence of anything from your side Gordon, I see no reason to discard the epistiolary statements that these were miraculous events, that people genuinely believed they did witness the death, the death was confirmed that they genuinely believed had met, seen, heard a resurrected person. That there was doubt in some quarters and that 500 witnesses were recommended as sources of verification in order to dispel these doubts.
I see no reason or evidence to view these 500 as co conspirators or indeed to be conjured out of thin air since to make them up would have courted humiliation on discovery of the fraud. I see no reason that these epistles were written for anybody other than the target audience. That there was a target audience and that that target audience weren't capable of questioning there own faith.

Your argument from incredulity is in contrast not so impressive. Neither is this ''yeah well at Hillsborough etc etc'' schtick.

To paraphrase the great philosopher Shania Twain ''So, you're a big wheel atheist.......that don't impress me much''

And quoting that philosopher in the case of Bluehillside ''So, you're Brad Pitt.....that don't impress me much either''.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 10:47:23 PM
So absolutely nothing written within living memory of the events to support your suggestion that doubts were not recorded and verification was not suggested in the epistles, the letters or memos of the church(........they are).

To record and acknowledge doubts and to offer suggestions for validation is the most you could do I would have thought.

In the absence of anything from your side Gordon, I see no reason to discard the epistiolary statements that these were miraculous events, that people genuinely believed they did witness the death, the death was confirmed that they genuinely believed had met, seen, heard a resurrected person. That there was doubt in some quarters and that 500 witnesses were recommended as sources of verification in order to dispel these doubts.
I see no reason or evidence to view these 500 as co conspirators or indeed to be conjured out of thin air since to make them up would have courted humiliation on discovery of the fraud. I see no reason that these epistles were written for anybody other than the target audience. That there was a target audience and that that target audience weren't capable of questioning there own faith.

Your argument from incredulity is in contrast not so impressive. Neither is this ''yeah well at Hillsborough etc etc'' schtick.

To paraphrase the great philosopher Shania Twain ''So, you're a big wheel atheist.......that don't impress me much''

And quoting that philosopher in the case of Bluehillside ''So, you're Brad Pitt.....that don't impress me much either''.

Not my problem, Vlad: not my claim.

The weaknesses and lack of provenance of these ancient anecdotal accounts of miracles are for you guys to wrestle with, and if you're happy to avoid considering the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in an effort to maintain that your faith beliefs equate to historic facts, then all I can do is wonder at your naivety.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 10:57:33 PM
Not my problem, Vlad: not my claim.

The weaknesses and lack of provenance of these ancient anecdotal accounts of miracles are for you guys to wrestle with, and if you're happy to avoid considering the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in an effort to maintain that your faith beliefs equate to historic facts, then all I can do is wonder at your naivety.
I don't think anyone involved has avoided considering  the possibility of risks, mistakes or lies. Going back to the first christians. That is another facile and intellectually slovenly caricature. If you think there were, let's have the evidence.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 11:07:39 PM
I don't think anyone involved has avoided considering  the possibility of risks, mistakes or lies. Going back to the first christians. That is another facile and intellectually slovenly caricature. If you think there were, let's have the evidence.
But let's also look at what you are implying here. No one has considered risks, bias, here according to you. Why have you come to that conclusion in the absence of evidence? Because if you had you would think the same way I do.

And why do you think the way you do? Can you demonstrate how you considered the risks, the biases etc. To come up with your conclusions? Let's see it
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 11:11:10 PM
Not my problem, Vlad: not my claim.

The weaknesses and lack of provenance of these ancient anecdotal accounts of miracles are for you guys to wrestle with,
And the positive assertion of weakness and lack of provenance is for you to demonstrate.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 11:22:32 PM
I don't think anyone involved has avoided considering  the possibility of risks, mistakes or lies. Going back to the first christians. That is another facile and intellectually slovenly caricature. If you think there were, let's have the evidence.

Again, don't be silly: if you accept that these risks should always be considered, people being people, do you consider they should apply as much to early Christians as to, say, modern policeman?

I don't need to present evidence that the anecdotes of early Christians were biased or contained mistakes or lies, since I'm not supporting the claims in these anecdotes, nor do I have a responsibility to check them for accuracy and, anyway, I'm not making any specific allegations of bias, mistakes or lies: I'm simply asking how those who do support these claims have addressed these risks, and since I can't see that they have, suspect that they'd prefer not, and further suspect that they can't anyway, then I think these NT claims are indistinguishable from fiction and, as such, are not a serious proposition.

   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sebastian Toe on December 02, 2020, 11:22:39 PM
So absolutely nothing written within living memory of the events to support your suggestion that doubts were not recorded and verification was not suggested in the epistles, the letters or memos of the church(........they are).

To record and acknowledge doubts and to offer suggestions for validation is the most you could do I would have thought.

In the absence of anything from your side Gordon, I see no reason to discard the epistiolary statements that these were miraculous events, that people genuinely believed they did witness the death, the death was confirmed that they genuinely believed had met, seen, heard a resurrected person. That there was doubt in some quarters and that 500 witnesses were recommended as sources of verification in order to dispel these doubts.
I see no reason or evidence to view these 500 as co conspirators or indeed to be conjured out of thin air since to make them up would have courted humiliation on discovery of the fraud. I see no reason that these epistles were written for anybody other than the target audience. That there was a target audience and that that target audience weren't capable of questioning there own faith.


I presume then that you believe that the Miracle of the Sun actually occurred as described by the 30 plus thousand witnesses?
And verified later by a Pope, no less!
If not, why not?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 11:26:43 PM
And the positive assertion of weakness and lack of provenance is for you to demonstrate.

Even sillier: it is the absence of any systematic assessment of bias, mistakes or lies in the NT that I'm aware of - and heaven knows I've asked this of you guys here often enough - is an observation. However, if you have assessed these risks then perhaps you could explain how you did this: after all, the burden of proof regarding NT claims is yours and not mine.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 11:28:05 PM
I presume then that you believe that the Miracle of the Sun actually occurred as described by the 30 plus thousand witnesses?
And verified later by a Pope, no less!
If not, why not?
I believe there was an event of some sort yes. Whether the sun actually moved no I don't think it did, Whether shit like mass hallucination or mass hysteria is adequate to cover what happened, no, I suspect that to be mealy mouth longshot protecting philosophical empiricism.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 11:29:54 PM
But let's also look at what you are implying here. No one has considered risks, bias, here according to you. Why have you come to that conclusion in the absence of evidence? Because if you had you would think the same way I do.

And why do you think the way you do? Can you demonstrate how you considered the risks, the biases etc. To come up with your conclusions? Let's see it

For crying out loud: the claim is yours, as is the burden of proof, so my asking in effect "have you checked the details are correct, and how did you check" is a fairly reasonable question.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 02, 2020, 11:33:06 PM
I believe there was an event of some sort yes. Whether the sun actually moved no I don't think it did, Whether shit like mass hallucination or mass hysteria is adequate to cover what happened, no, I suspect that to be mealy mouth longshot protecting philosophical empiricism.

So you think it is possible that some of the faithful, for whatever reason, made a genuine mistake and that their accounts of the Sun 'dancing' weren't literally true?

On that note, goodnight Vlad.

 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 11:44:32 PM
Even sillier: it is the absence of any systematic assessment of bias, mistakes or lies in the NT that I'm aware of - and heaven knows I've asked this of you guys here often enough - is an observation. However, if you have assessed these risks then perhaps you could explain how you did this: after all, the burden of proof regarding NT claims is yours and not mine.
Nope evidence and demonstration. There is recorded dated and researched evidence of doubt and assisted investigation of witness in the epistles. What more could be done than that?
What more is needed to satisfy you than an historical record within living memory of the events that Believers examined their faith and where there were doubts they were given a steer as to where to go and who to see. I don't have evidence to the contrary as not only have you not provided it you seem to be saying you don't have to, that I should just believe your philosophical position.

I have said that I have considered conspiracy theory here and found it wanting and you still assert ''... the absence of any systematic assessment of bias, mistakes or lies in the NT''

I disagree but if you disagree please demonstrate an example of what you are after so know what it is you are after. Exemplify since you are the one asserting it.
 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 02, 2020, 11:46:24 PM
So you think it is possible that some of the faithful, for whatever reason, made a genuine mistake and that their accounts of the Sun 'dancing' weren't literally true?
I think that rather just for viewers in Scotland, this was just for viewers in Fatima.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 12:10:18 AM
For crying out loud: the claim is yours, as is the burden of proof, so my asking in effect "have you checked the details are correct, and how did you check" is a fairly reasonable question.
I have given evidence whether you believe that evidence is up to you.
If I have a burden of proof that this is the way history is then the status quo is that something else happened in place of these events. This is not a neutral it is not a case of this history or no history. No history is not an option however hard you wish it Gordon. So, where is your evidence for this other history that you are proposing by default, where are your checks on that history? Where is your elimination of bias?
The details are from the epistles and I have outlined them to you several times and why I go with them rather against them(e.g. They are effectively memos, entries historical snapshots of a set of communities, what was being believed, what was being doubted rather than a rounded polished Gospel).The question is what have you got? Not much at all as far as I can see.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 07:48:11 AM
I have given evidence whether you believe that evidence is up to you.
If I have a burden of proof that this is the way history is then the status quo is that something else happened in place of these events. This is not a neutral it is not a case of this history or no history. No history is not an option however hard you wish it Gordon. So, where is your evidence for this other history that you are proposing by default, where are your checks on that history? Where is your elimination of bias?
The details are from the epistles and I have outlined them to you several times and why I go with them rather against them(e.g. They are effectively memos, entries historical snapshots of a set of communities, what was being believed, what was being doubted rather than a rounded polished Gospel).The question is what have you got? Not much at all as far as I can see.

You can try to run away from the burden of proof responsibility, Vlad, but it remains your responsibility: the miracle claim is yours, and your claim is dependent on the content of the NT and, therefore, it is your responsibility to confirm that this content is free from the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in order for it to be considered a reliable source of historical facts (which in this case includes claims of miracles).

My asking how you guys have checked for and addressed these risks doesn't require me to do any more: remember it is your claim, so you should be in a position to defend the source your claim is based upon - and if you can't do that in any meaningful sense, and without falling into traps such as special pleading, then your position is solely a faith-based one and not one based on historical facts.

Your request for me to produce an alternative history is plain silly: on what basis could even I do that if the primary source, the NT, may contain bias, mistakes or lies to the extent that what it contains may not be reliable to start with? You are, by avoiding acknowledging these risks, indulging in fallacious arguments from authority and tradition and anyone, like me, who does not regard the NT as authoritative (in view of the risks I've mentioned), and does not subscribe to the traditions surrounding it, can see no reason to treat the contents as being historically sound when it comes to making fantastical claims such as dead people not staying dead.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 09:27:03 AM
You can try to run away from the burden of proof responsibility, Vlad, but it remains your responsibility the miracle claim is yours, and your claim is dependent on the content of the NT and, therefore, it is your responsibility to confirm that this content is free from the risks of bias, mistakes or lies in order for it to be considered a reliable source of historical facts (which in this case includes claims of miracles).
And again I ask you what bias? What mistake and what lies?. I have already told you that in my view the NT text demonstrates there were doubts about the resurrection and that these were addressed at the time by offering up 500 sources of witness. Since these accounts are in letters that were written in full ignorance of any future preservation My judgment is that we can take these as snapshots of what was believed, what was doubted and what was the response to these doubts. There is nothing here to tell me that ,given the scale and spread of these communities that due diligence was absent entirely or that the leaders did not open themselves up to full scrutiny. In terms of bias. Bias in this case it seems to me would mean that Christianity was made up by a bunch of Christians. I judge that to be an unlikely scenario. Also it is unlikely that people affected by Jesus for the first time only comprised of those previously affected by Christ

Quote
Your request for me to produce an alternative history is plain silly: on what basis could even I do that if the primary source, the NT, may contain bias, mistakes or lies to the extent that what it contains may not be reliable to start with?
So let me get this straight, the New testament is unreliable until I prove it reliable? Again, I ask you, where is the unreliability?
[/quote]
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 09:33:16 AM


Your request for me to produce an alternative history is plain silly: on what basis could even I do that if the primary source, the NT, may contain bias, mistakes or lies to the extent that what it contains may not be reliable to start with? You are, by avoiding acknowledging these risks

I am acknowledging them and so do the epistles. Unlike your good self I don't start with not investigating the NT because of the risk. In fact the only way you can start the investigation you are requesting by finding out is what it saying.

What do you think the default is here?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 03, 2020, 10:45:45 AM
Vlad,

Quote
I have already told you that in my view the NT text demonstrates there were doubts about the resurrection and that these were addressed at the time by offering up 500 sources of witness.

I saw a unicorn this morning. Do you doubt that? OK, then I’m offering up the extra claim that that 500 other people saw it too.

Do you believe me now? Why not?



Quote
In fact the only way you can start the investigation you are requesting by finding out is what it saying.

No it isn’t. See whether you can work out for yourself why it isn’t.

 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 11:12:07 AM
And again I ask you what bias? What mistake and what lies?.

No idea: but these are known risks when it comes to anecdotal accounts, and I'd have thought an essential step for you guys to take would be to exclude these risks in the source used for your claim.

If you aren't prepared to check this out then you can't be surprised if others, like me, have doubts about the veracity of the source you are dependent on.

Quote
I have already told you that in my view the NT text demonstrates there were doubts about the resurrection and that these were addressed at the time by offering up 500 sources of witness.

So the story goes, but there is a difference between someone claiming there were 500 witnesses and that there were actually 500 witnesses - is it possible they were exaggerating or lying? Have you checked? Have you got the CCTV so we can count the numbers (and also check that the CCTV output hasn't been altered), have you got signed testimony from each?

Quote
Since these accounts are in letters that were written in full ignorance of any future preservation My judgment is that we can take these as snapshots of what was believed, what was doubted and what was the response to these doubts.

What they believed, however sincerely, is not and indicator that these beliefs are correct: this is a critical difference, unless you're inclined to believe them as a matter of personal faith.

Quote
There is nothing here to tell me that ,given the scale and spread of these communities that due diligence was absent entirely or that the leaders did not open themselves up to full scrutiny.

How do you know this, since to be confident in their conclusions you'd have to know that they saw the need for due diligence, especially given the nature of the miracle claim, and then establish how they did their due diligence - have you checked?

Quote
In terms of bias. Bias in this case it seems to me would mean that Christianity was made up by a bunch of Christians. I judge that to be an unlikely scenario. Also it is unlikely that people affected by Jesus for the first time only comprised of those previously affected by Christ

Underlying all of this is special pleading: that early Christians, church fathers, disciples (or whatever other labels apply) were somehow immune from the risks of bias, making mistakes or telling lies - if so, how would you justify this without using fallacious arguments from authority/tradition, and if you accept that they were as fallible as the rest of us then you'd, presumably, be prepared to concede that some content in the NT might not be historical fact.

Quote
So let me get this straight, the New testament is unreliable until I prove it reliable? Again, I ask you, where is the unreliability?

Yep - it is for you to show it to be reliable and, in doing so, explain how you've concluded that the risks of bias, mistake or lies are negligible and also explain why the NT stories are sufficient to conclude that miracles did indeed happen. Unless you can do that I am quite entitled to simply note that those using the NT to support miracle claims seem not to have taken account of the risks associated with accounts attributed to people, and come to the view that since it is indistinguishable from fiction I have no need to take it seriously.

Or you could just say 'it is a matter of personal faith and not historical fact', and stop painting yourself into every available corner.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 11:17:51 AM

I am acknowledging them and so do the epistles. Unlike your good self I don't start with not investigating the NT because of the risk. In fact the only way you can start the investigation you are requesting by finding out is what it saying.

What do you think the default is here?

I'd say one default is, to borrow from Carl Sagan, that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - and that anecdotal accounts in the NT that date from antiquity for which the risks of bias, mistakes and lies can't seemingly be excluded are insufficient to justify the miracles claims made in the NT.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: ippy on December 03, 2020, 11:56:12 AM
And so do you Ipso Ha Ha that was easy.

What was easy Vlad?

ippy.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 12:20:17 PM
I'd say one default is, to borrow from Carl Sagan, that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" - and that anecdotal accounts in the NT that date from antiquity for which the risks of bias, mistakes and lies can't seemingly be excluded are insufficient to justify the miracles claims made in the NT.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What type of extraordinary evidence? What are we looking at or for here?

Bias can't be excluded? what bias are we talking about? Mistakes? What mistakes are we talking about? Where might the lies come in?

Have you actually looked at the epistles? or the New testament? If you have then surely you can answer my questions.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 12:39:09 PM
No idea: but these are known risks when it comes to anecdotal accounts, and I'd have thought an essential step for you guys to take would be to exclude these risks in the source used for your claim.''

If you aren't prepared to check this out then you can't be surprised if others, like me, have doubts about the veracity of the source you are dependent on.

So the story goes, but there is a difference between someone claiming there were 500 witnesses and that there were actually 500 witnesses - is it possible they were exaggerating or lying? Have you checked? Have you got the CCTV so we can count the numbers (and also check that the CCTV output hasn't been altered), have you got signed testimony from each?

What they believed, however sincerely, is not and indicator that these beliefs are correct: this is a critical difference, unless you're inclined to believe them as a matter of personal faith.

How do you know this, since to be confident in their conclusions you'd have to know that they saw the need for due diligence, especially given the nature of the miracle claim, and then establish how they did their due diligence - have you checked?

Underlying all of this is special pleading: that early Christians, church fathers, disciples (or whatever other labels apply) were somehow immune from the risks of bias, making mistakes or telling lies - if so, how would you justify this without using fallacious arguments from authority/tradition, and if you accept that they were as fallible as the rest of us then you'd, presumably, be prepared to concede that some content in the NT might not be historical fact.

Yep - it is for you to show it to be reliable and, in doing so, explain how you've concluded that the risks of bias, mistake or lies are negligible and also explain why the NT stories are sufficient to conclude that miracles did indeed happen. Unless you can do that I am quite entitled to simply note that those using the NT to support miracle claims seem not to have taken account of the risks associated with accounts attributed to people, and come to the view that since it is indistinguishable from fiction I have no need to take it seriously.

Or you could just say 'it is a matter of personal faith and not historical fact', and stop painting yourself into every available corner.
Until you look at the New testament for fear that it may contain Bias, Lies and Mistakes you are going to make your judgments out of what you believe rather than the evidence before you. If you have read the evidence then your statement that you have no idea where Mistakes, lies and bias creep in is not credible, oh you have.

Now if you are saying that all ancient texts are not credible or reliable ditto maybe not credible or reliable it is encumbent on you to say why.  That is the price of making a positive assertion.

Now let me go through this again.

Bias. Where is the bias in a christian who has doubts about the resurrection?
        Where is the bias in somebody who suggests where such a person can investigate that which he doubts.

Which one is the liar in these two.

Somebody was lying about the death and resurrection. Well there is no reason why somebody in living memory would lie that there were 500 witnesses and hope toget away with it.

So you see Gordon I've covered the issues of Bias, Lying and Mistake.

If you reject the epistles then you are proposing that something else happened and your denial of doing so is not credible. If you insist you are not making a historical statement then you are basing your judgment on your personal beliefs.   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 12:43:38 PM
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What type of extraordinary evidence? What are we looking at or for here?

No idea: not my claim. What evidence could confirm a miracle is up to you guys to propose, and then the rest of us can critique your proposals.

Quote
Bias can't be excluded? what bias are we talking about? Mistakes? What mistakes are we talking about? Where might the lies come in?

No idea: I'm not dependent on using the NT to support any claim, but I do expect those who do use the NT in support of claims of miracles to be able to confirm that they have considered and assessed all the know risks involving anecdotal accounts.

Quote
Have you actually looked at the epistles? or the New testament? If you have then surely you can answer my questions.

Nope, not to any great extent since it doesn't greatly interest me on a personal basis. However, when used to support claims of miracles that others try to encourage me to take seriously, such as in the proselytising of organised Christianity, I think it reasonable to ask if and how they've checked the details - it seems they haven't, and probably can't for obvious reasons.

If only they'd stop claiming that miracles are historical facts and, instead, just say that their belief in miracles is simply a matter of their personal faith!
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 03, 2020, 12:45:27 PM
Vlad,

Quote
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What type of extraordinary evidence? What are we looking at or for here?

Bias can't be excluded? what bias are we talking about? Mistakes? What mistakes are we talking about? Where might the lies come in?

Have you actually looked at the epistles? or the New testament? If you have then surely you can answer my questions.

So just to be clear, you’re asking how ancient texts about a supposed event that no-one though important enough to write down at the time, that happened when countless other miracle stories were thought credible, that have been multiply translated since then (generally by people with agendas to pursue), that rely on eye witness accounts (one of the most unreliable forms of evidence), that also reach for an explanatory narrative outwith all known observable phenomena, and that you arbitrarily choose to treat differently from all other such claims from all other faith traditions could be mistaken.

Well…     
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 01:03:06 PM
No idea
If you are claiming cluelessness on your part I won't disagree.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 01:10:20 PM
Until you look at the New testament for fear that it may contain Bias, Lies and Mistakes you are going to make your judgments out of what you believe rather than the evidence before you. If you have read the evidence then your statement that you have no idea where Mistakes, lies and bias creep in is not credible, oh you have.

Now if you are saying that all ancient texts are not credible or reliable ditto maybe not credible or reliable it is encumbent on you to say why.  That is the price of making a positive assertion.

Now let me go through this again.

Bias. Where is the bias in a christian who has doubts about the resurrection?
        Where is the bias in somebody who suggests where such a person can investigate that which he doubts.

Which one is the liar in these two.

Somebody was lying about the death and resurrection. Well there is no reason why somebody in living memory would lie that there were 500 witnesses and hope toget away with it.

So you see Gordon I've covered the issues of Bias, Lying and Mistake.

If you reject the epistles then you are proposing that something else happened and your denial of doing so is not credible. If you insist you are not making a historical statement then you are basing your judgment on your personal beliefs.

Nope: no point asking me if the NT contains bias, mistakes or lies. I have no personal interest in it and I make no claims based on it.

The burden of proof here is yours, but if you make claims of miracles based on the NT I'm entitled to ask how you checked it for bias, mistakes or lies. If you haven't, you won't or you can't, then you can't expect some of us without religious faith to take these fantastical tales seriously.

By the way, your flagrant special pleading on behalf of the NT is obvious.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 01:12:23 PM
If you are claiming cluelessness on your part I won't disagree.

Not my problem, Vlad: remember the burden of proof is yours, and it seems you can't deliver.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 01:14:11 PM
Vlad,

So just to be clear, you’re asking how ancient texts about a supposed event that no-one though important enough to write down at the time,
Evidence?
Quote
that happened when countless other miracle stories were thought credible,
Gordon and I discussed the question on whether that particular time was any more ultragullible than other to times. The epistles show an understanding that the events in Jesus ministry would be mainly regarded with incredulity. Gordon hasn't as far as I am aware played the first century gullibility card.
Quote
that have been multiply translated since then
Lists of bible translations and the conditions of their translation are available on Wikipedia
Quote
(generally by people with agendas to pursue)
That describes almost everyone on earth,
Quote
that rely on eye witness accounts (one of the most unreliable forms of evidence)
What are we talking about in this case?,
Quote
that also reach for an explanatory narrative outwith all known observable phenomena,
Philosophical empiricism?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 01:16:16 PM
Not my problem, Vlad: remember the burden of proof is yours, and it seems you can't deliver.
The evidence has been put before you. If you make judgment without inspection there isn't a lot that can be done.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 01:33:08 PM
The evidence has been put before you. If you make judgment without inspection there isn't a lot that can be done.

Nope: ancient anecdotal tales, many with uncertain provenance, have been put before me and I can reasonably conclude that there is doubt regarding their veracity because of unassessed known risks involving anecdotal accounts. Given the content of these ancient anecdotes they are best disregarded as accurate history and are better viewed as being no more than just religious superstitions rooted in their time and culture.

I'll leave you to the limitations of your blind faith in fantastical anecdotes.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 01:48:13 PM
Nope: ancient anecdotal tales, many with uncertain provenance, have been put before me
And did you read them?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 01:51:47 PM
And did you read them?

Once upon a time.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 01:57:30 PM
Once upon a time.
So It's reasonable to expect you to have come to a judgment of what you read and unreasonable of you to say you haven't even though you read them.

If you read them then where are the lies, the bias and the mistakes?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 02:17:19 PM
So It's reasonable to expect you to have come to a judgment of what you read and unreasonable of you to say you haven't even though you read them.

If you read them then where are the lies, the bias and the mistakes?

Nope: my judgement is that they are simply unbelievable as they stand because; a) they are ancient anecdotes of uncertain provenance, b) they contain fantastical claims regarding which ancient anecdotes of uncertain provenance are insufficient evidence, and c) there are unaddressed risks of bias, mistakes and lies that proponents of these anecdotes seem reluctant to consider without resorting to special pleading.

So, for the reasons noted above, I can just dismiss these tales meantime as being ancient religious superstitions and not serious history: your problem, and not mine, is to demonstrate otherwise since it seems you take these anecdotes seriously.

You do struggle with the concept of burden of proof.

 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 02:36:39 PM
Nope: my judgement is that they are simply unbelievable as they stand because; a) they are ancient anecdotes of uncertain provenance,
On what grounds do you make the judgment that their provenance is uncertain?
Quote
b) they contain fantastical claims
argument from incredulity?

So, for the reasons noted above, I can just dismiss these tales meantime as being ancient religious superstitions and not serious history
[/quote]
On what grounds do you make your assertion that these are total fictions and not serious history. Which components did not exist Jesus, Crucifixion, the Christian communities?

The epistles not being serious history is not a generally accepted view amongst academics. So we can probably dismiss your views on that.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 02:53:44 PM
On what grounds do you make the judgment that their provenance is uncertain? b) they contain fantastical claimsargument from incredulity?

So, for the reasons noted above, I can just dismiss these tales meantime as being ancient religious superstitions and not serious history

On what grounds do you make your assertion that these are total fictions and not serious history. Which components did not exist Jesus, Crucifixion, the Christian communities?

The epistles not being serious history is not a generally accepted view amongst academics. So we can probably dismiss your views on that.

Good heavens, you do struggle: aside from a few Pauline letters the provenance of the NT is largely unknown, and that they contain fantastical claims, such as dead people not staying dead, people walking on water or thousands being fed from the equivalent of a loaf and a large packet of fish fingers, then I'd say you'd need a bit more than a few ancient anecdotes (that come with risks attached) before you could take such claims seriously.

I'm not saying they are "total fictions": I'm saying that until such times as the risks of bias, mistakes or lies are addressed, and miracle claims verified, and I doubt they can be, then the only reasonable position is to treat them as being indistinguishable from fiction until such times as there are grounds to treat them as being historical facts - and that is a problem for those who take the NT seriously, and not me.

You're flogging a dead horse here - why not just say that you have personal faith in what the NT claims and leave it at that, and then you wouldn't have to defend the indefensible? 
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 03:06:05 PM
Vlad,

I saw a unicorn this morning. Do you doubt that?
Did you take any pictures of it?
Quote
OK, then I’m offering up the extra claim that that 500 other people saw it too.
Did any of these 500 take any pictures of it?

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 03, 2020, 03:16:41 PM
Good heavens, you do struggle: aside from a few Pauline letters the provenance of the NT is largely unknown, and that they contain fantastical claims, such as dead people not staying dead, people walking on water or thousands being fed from the equivalent of a loaf and a large packet of fish fingers, then I'd say you'd need a bit more than a few ancient anecdotes (that come with risks attached) before you could take such claims seriously.

I'm not saying they are "total fictions": I'm saying that until such times as the risks of bias, mistakes or lies are addressed, and miracle claims verified, and I doubt they can be, then the only reasonable position is to treat them as being indistinguishable from fiction until such times as there are grounds to treat them as being historical facts - and that is a problem for those who take the NT seriously, and not me.
So why did you use the word 'Tales' then if you aren't dismissing the stories as myth?
If it isn't a total myth and given that most of ancient history outside archeology is derived from anecdotal epistiolary material, what elements revealed in the epistles are you accepting as possible credible history? and which are you dismissing due to argument from incredulity?

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 03, 2020, 04:12:51 PM
So why did you use the word 'Tales' then if you aren't dismissing the stories as myth?

I quite like the word: I've used 'stories' as well.

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If it isn't a total myth and given that most of ancient history outside archeology is derived from anecdotal epistiolary material, what elements revealed in the epistles are you accepting as possible credible history?

Don't know, and I'm obviously not familiar with them: but since you raise them and, presumably, you know which bits you think are credible history then why don't you set out a list of what specific historical claims are made in each them and then we can go over them one by one.

If so, perhaps separate out routine stuff like 'so and so went to town x', which isn't a fantastical claim, and highlight where these epistles make presumptive claims that are fantastical (such as miracles).
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 03, 2020, 06:55:47 PM
Vlad,

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Evidence?

That the first written account of  supposes resurrection didn’t happen until decades after the event?

The earliest mention of the resurrection is in the Pauline epistles, which tradition dates from between 50 and 58 AD.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_and_origin_of_the_resurrection_of_Jesus#:~:text=The%20earliest%20mention%20of%20the,between%2050%20and%2058%20AD.

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Gordon and I discussed the question on whether that particular time was any more ultragullible than other to times. The epistles show an understanding that the events in Jesus ministry would be mainly regarded with incredulity. Gordon hasn't as far as I am aware played the first century gullibility card.

Miracle stories were widespread and commonplace, and can be found in pretty much any culture you choose to look at – ancient Egyptian, ancient Greek, ancient Chines, whatever. They’re also found in most religious traditions as well as the one you happen to favour more than the others:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle

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Lists of bible translations and the conditions of their translation are available on Wikipedia

That doesn’t help you.

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That describes almost everyone on earth,

Nor does that.

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What are we talking about in this case?

Hearsay reports that long post-date supposed eye witness accounts. That’s a triple whammy of unreliability even before we get to the a priori problem of supernaturalism.

https://www.ncsc.org/trends/monthly-trends-articles/2017/the-trouble-with-eyewitness-identification-testimony-in-criminal-cases#:~:text=Research%20has%20found%20that%20eyewitness%2Didentification%20testimony%20can%20be%20very%20unreliable.&text=Although%20witnesses%20can%20often%20be,most%20unreliable%20forms%20of%20evidence

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Philosophical empiricism?

Not even close.


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Did you take any pictures of it?

Nope, it became non-material just as I was about to take one. You just have to take my word for it therefore

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Did any of these 500 take any pictures of it?

Whoosh! The point is that, if you have one account of an event and that same account includes the claim that 500 other people saw it too you still have only one account – not 500.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Sriram on December 04, 2020, 05:54:45 AM
Hi everyone,

What exactly is the problem in accepting a possible purpose to life and the existence of an after-life?  There is significant anecdotal evidence for the after-life...which itself probably indicates a purpose too.

I understand that you people are disillusioned with religions, their mythology and many of their negative effects on society. No problem about that. But that should not become a mental block that prevents any kind of intelligent philosophical speculation.

Scientism should not be the only system to understand the world and our lives.  Merely saying that....'I don't see it' or 'Show it to me through any measurable means or an instrument'....are childish and unreasonable arguments.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 07:59:50 AM
Vlad,

That the first written account of  supposes resurrection didn’t happen until decades after the event?

The earliest mention of the resurrection is in the Pauline epistles, which tradition dates from between 50 and 58 AD.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_and_origin_of_the_resurrection_of_Jesus#:~:text=The%20earliest%20mention%20of%20the,between%2050%20and%2058%20AD.
Yes these documents were written within living memory and are about a past event. Their target audience are established communities which had grown up over time and distributed at multiple sites in Pax Romana. These communities develop from groups adherent to the events in question.

As with a lot of epistiolory, Christian and non Christian, we are only of course seeing what is extant. But that is a subsidiary point as to why something written at a later date can tell us about the past development of it’s context.

Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 09:12:15 AM
Vlad,

Hearsay reports that long post-date supposed eye witness accounts. That’s a triple whammy of unreliability even before we get to the a priori problem of supernaturalism.

Ah yes, I thought this was where your error lay. The report is an epistle by someone who claimed to have met the apostles who were still around incidentally to long established communities which are distributed. Therefore the witnesses are still around and the reports are not long post date as there are established communities based on those reports. Think of this as people in 2020 discussing a movement set in motion in 2000.

I'd be glad to discuss the supernatural elements of this but so far we are dealing with already established communities of believers in an event/s 20 years previous and that is true regardless of whether we believe in the supernatural elements.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 09:25:59 AM
Vlad,



Nope, it became non-material just as I was about to take one. You just have to take my word for it therefore
That's too bad. Regarding taking your word for it that is rendered very difficult on account of you having an Essex post code.
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Whoosh! The point is that, if you have one account of an event and that same account includes the claim that 500 other people saw it too you still have only one account – not 500.
Face palm. That's why I asked whether they had taken any photos.


You seem to be thinking that the Christianity of diverse and distributed groups two decades after the events is based on just one or two witnesses with a twenty year old story. When there were far more and the witnesses were still alive.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 04, 2020, 09:32:48 AM
Ah yes, I thought this was where your error lay. The report is an epistle by someone who claimed to have met the apostles who were still around incidentally to long established communities which are distributed. Therefore the witnesses are still around and the reports are not long post date as there are established communities based on those reports. Think of this as people in 2020 discussing a movement set in motion in 2000.

As you say, this epistle is a "claim", but have you considered whether or not the claimant could be biased, or mistaken, was being misled or was telling lies? Would you agree that, people being people, these risks are always pertinent when it comes to considering anecdotal accounts irrespective of time and place?

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I'd be glad to discuss the supernatural elements of this but so far we are dealing with already established communities of believers in an event/s 20 years previous and that is true regardless of whether we believe in the supernatural elements.

That a group people might sincerely have believed a supernatural event involving Jesus occurred isn't being disputed - the uncertainty is whether or not their beliefs are sufficient to conclude that the supernatural event in question did actually occur: the difference is an important one, which is why the risks I keep reminding you of can't be easily dismissed.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 04, 2020, 09:37:18 AM
You seem to be thinking that the Christianity of diverse and distributed groups two decades after the events is based on just one or two witnesses with a twenty year old story. When there were far more and the witnesses were still alive.

How do you know this to be the case with reasonably certainty?

If I told you that fifteen people saw me put diesel in the car this morning you don't have 16 reports confirming my claim: you only have one report, and even though putting diesel in a car is a relatively trivial event I could still be lying even though I said 15 other people saw me.

Has the penny dropped for you yet?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 09:59:51 AM
How do you know this to be the case with reasonably certainty?

If I told you that fifteen people saw me put diesel in the car this morning you don't have 16 reports confirming my claim: you only have one report, and even though putting diesel in a car is a relatively trivial event I could still be lying even though I said 15 other people saw me.
I would investigate further of course.
Although there may be a bit of uncertainty around Jesus there is little historical uncertainty about St Paul.
These documents are dated to within two decades of the events they are letters or memos written to established communities spread out. There is archeological evidence of established communities and post apostolic letters both christian and non christian. The idea that the resurrection reports, the diverse and widespread communities based around the resurrection reports were cooked up in AD 50-58 is not only far fetched it ALSO SETS UP AN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY WHICH NEEDS EVIDENCING.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 10:06:02 AM


If I told you that fifteen people saw me put diesel in the car this morning you don't have 16 reports confirming my claim: you only have one report, and even though putting diesel in a car is a relatively trivial event I could still be lying even though I said 15 other people saw me.

Has the penny dropped for you yet?
Yes you could be lying that's why I would want to quiz these other 15 people. Names and addresses please.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 04, 2020, 10:55:34 AM
Yes you could be lying that's why I would want to quiz these other 15 people. Names and addresses please.

I was lying, Vlad: can you see the problem yet? If I could lie, albeit to make a point, is there not at least a possibility that early Christians might have lied to make their point?

Even if I was telling the truth, I wouldn't have the contact details of the witnesses since getting diesel is hardly a notable event, though in this day and age CCTV in the petrol station would probably be available: now, about these 500 witnesses or so you mentioned, do you have any contact details?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 11:04:10 AM
I was lying, Vlad
I suspected as much
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can you see the problem yet?
Yes, Shit analogy on your part.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: jeremyp on December 04, 2020, 12:16:26 PM
Yes, Shit analogy on your part.

It's not even an analogy, it's another example of exactly the same thing.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 04, 2020, 12:26:58 PM
Vlad,

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Yes these documents were written within living memory and are about a past event. Their target audience are established communities which had grown up over time and distributed at multiple sites in Pax Romana. These communities develop from groups adherent to the events in question.

You asked for evidence that the written record wasn’t contemporaneous, and I gave it to you. Your difficulty here is that not only do you have the inherent problem of the unreliability of eye witness accounts in general, nor only that the considerable passage of time allows for more errors to enter as stories are told and re-told, but also that the authors weren’t even the eye witnesses either. That’s your triple whammy of problems. And that’s before you even get to the problem of demonstrating a priori a “supernatural” in which supposed miracles could occur.

You’d have been better advised just to have said “thank you” and moved on. 

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As with a lot of epistiolory, Christian and non Christian, we are only of course seeing what is extant. But that is a subsidiary point as to why something written at a later date can tell us about the past development of it’s context.

See above.



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Ah yes, I thought this was where your error lay. The report is an epistle by someone who claimed to have met the apostles who were still around incidentally to long established communities which are distributed. Therefore the witnesses are still around and the reports are not long post date as there are established communities based on those reports. Think of this as people in 2020 discussing a movement set in motion in 2000.

Wrong again. If you think the author(s) took in-person statements from the witnesses rather than just wrote down the story they'd heard, then explain why – and then perhaps have a go at explaining why even if that was the case it would fix the various reliability problems you’d still have.   

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I'd be glad to discuss the supernatural elements of this but so far we are dealing with already established communities of believers in an event/s 20 years previous and that is true regardless of whether we believe in the supernatural elements.

So now you’re shifting ground from “there were 500 witnesses” (presumably to avoid the problem that that does not mean there are 500 records – only one would b necessary that said “there were 500 witnesses) to “communities of believers”. Well yes, presumably there were communities of believers in all sorts of claims based on hearsay, credulity, a Zeitgeist in which miracle stories were commonly accepted in the absence of any other explanations etc. That doesn’t help you though, and the problem of establishing a “supernatural” is still an a priori one – not something you can just tack on at the end to make the story at least possibly true.       


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That's too bad. Regarding taking your word for it that is rendered very difficult on account of you having an Essex post code.

Grow up.

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Face palm. That's why I asked whether they had taken any photos.

Even bigger face palm – the point you’ve just missed or dodged is that claiming 500 witnesses doesn’t thereby add credibility to the story because still you’d have only one account that said that. This isn’t difficult to understand – even for you.


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You seem to be thinking that the Christianity of diverse and distributed groups two decades after the events is based on just one or two witnesses with a twenty year old story. When there were far more and the witnesses were still alive.

True or not, we still have just the one account though. Are you now claiming that the author interviewed all the witnesses, then wrote down faithfully what they said? How would you know that?   
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 12:37:10 PM
It's not even an analogy, it's another example of exactly the same thing.
Not really, the argument assumes zero recourse to eyewitness at this time.
However, This isn't just a case about a resurrection no matter how unusual that event is, this is about the life and death and the incarnation and the present eternal existence of Christ and the implications of these for mankind and the individuals concerned, conviction of one's alienation against God, ourselves and our fellow human beings etc.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: Gordon on December 04, 2020, 01:14:57 PM
Not really, the argument assumes zero recourse to eyewitness at this time.

No it doesn't: I haven't argued that there were no witnesses. I've argued that you can't be sure if there were any, and even if there were you can't be sure how many because, taking the 500 you mentioned, you can't be sure this figure is accurate because of the risks of bias, mistakes or lies - you really are struggling with this, Vlad.

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However, This isn't just a case about a resurrection no matter how unusual that event is, this is about the life and death and the incarnation and the present eternal existence of Christ and the implications of these for mankind and the individuals concerned, conviction of one's alienation against God, ourselves and our fellow human beings etc.

Thank you for the wee outburst of proselytising.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 02:25:49 PM
Vlad,

You asked for evidence that the written record wasn’t contemporaneous, and I gave it to you. Your difficulty here is that not only do you have the inherent problem of the unreliability of eye witness accounts in general, nor only that the considerable passage of time allows for more errors to enter as stories are told and re-told, but also that the authors weren’t even the eye witnesses either. That’s your triple whammy of problems. And that’s before you even get to the problem of demonstrating a priori a “supernatural” in which supposed miracles could occur.

You’d have been better advised just to have said “thank you” and moved on. 

See above.



Wrong again. If you think the author(s) took in-person statements from the witnesses rather than just wrote down the story they'd heard, then explain why – and then perhaps have a go at explaining why even if that was the case it would fix the various reliability problems you’d still have.   

So now you’re shifting ground from “there were 500 witnesses” (presumably to avoid the problem that that does not mean there are 500 records – only one would b necessary that said “there were 500 witnesses) to “communities of believers”. Well yes, presumably there were communities of believers in all sorts of claims based on hearsay, credulity, a Zeitgeist in which miracle stories were commonly accepted in the absence of any other explanations etc. That doesn’t help you though, and the problem of establishing a “supernatural” is still an a priori one – not something you can just tack on at the end to make the story at least possibly true.       


Grow up.

Even bigger face palm – the point you’ve just missed or dodged is that claiming 500 witnesses doesn’t thereby add credibility to the story because still you’d have only one account that said that. This isn’t difficult to understand – even for you.


True or not, we still have just the one account though. Are you now claiming that the author interviewed all the witnesses, then wrote down faithfully what they said? How would you know that?
Hillside, You seem to be arguing from two angles here. An alternative history whereby The resurrection story is conjured by a small group of individuals in AD50-58 and argument from incredulity. The author is Paul. At the time of writing he had known multiple eyewitnesses for 20 or more years most of these were still alive. Now Paul is a clever man with an agenda of a holy God of truth and good. Imagine what a prize plonker he would look if the multitude of associates had blown the gaff and said Paul? That fucking lying nutter?

We know as a byproduct of the documents that there is a believing community which is established, widespread, discusses and debates that belief, is dynamic etc and it contains eyewitnesses. That doesn't have to be written down we can tell from the document.
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: DePfeffelred the Ovenready on December 04, 2020, 02:27:18 PM

Thank you for the wee outburst of proselytising.
Are you feeling some kind of pressure to convert?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 04, 2020, 03:10:21 PM
Vlad,

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Hillside, You seem to be arguing from two angles here. An alternative history whereby The resurrection story is conjured by a small group of individuals in AD50-58…

Nope. No-one has said that, when the story was finally written down, it was just conjured from thin air. Paul may well have been a proto folklorist recording faithfully the myths and stories of the communities he knew about. No-one has said either by the way that those communities didn’t genuinely belief these stories to be true, any more than the communities with the various resurrection stories that preceded it didn’t think their versions to be true too.   

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…and argument from incredulity.

Yet another of your misunderstandings. The argument from incredulity is: “I cannot imagine how X could be true; therefore X must be false”. No-one is saying that the resurrection story must be false though. What’s actually said is that there are many possible, real world explanations for it that you have no means of eliminating.

Is your non-belief in my stories about the doings of leprechauns an argument from incredulity too? Why not?     

[quote[The author is Paul. At the time of writing he had known multiple eyewitnesses for 20 or more years most of these were still alive. Now Paul is a clever man with an agenda of a holy God of truth and good. Imagine what a prize plonker he would look if the multitude of associates had blown the gaff and said Paul? That fucking lying nutter?

See above. If Paul had written down accurately the version of the story that finally reached his ears, whoever told it to him would have had no ground for complaint. That doesn’t help you much though.   

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We know as a byproduct of the documents that there is a believing community which is established, widespread, discusses and debates that belief, is dynamic etc and it contains eyewitnesses. That doesn't have to be written down we can tell from the document.

As there were countless other communities that believed just a much in their various myths and folk tales too. So?
Title: Re: Spirituality
Post by: bluehillside Retd. on December 04, 2020, 04:24:25 PM
Sriram,

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What exactly is the problem in accepting a possible purpose to life and the existence of an after-life?

The problem is two-fold: first, you claim these things as facts, not just as possibilities; second, for there to be a “purpose” you’d have to have a someone or a something a priori to decide what it is. You have a huge task to demonstrate such an entity before you can make conjectures about the supposed purposes it decides on.   

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There is significant anecdotal evidence for the after-life...which itself probably indicates a purpose too.

Anecdotes are not evidence. You should know this by now.

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I understand that you people are disillusioned with religions, their mythology and many of their negative effects on society. No problem about that. But that should not become a mental block that prevents any kind of intelligent philosophical speculation.

“We people” would actually just prefer something more than baseless assertions if you want us to take your claims seriously. We’ve already established too by the way that, so far at least, you haven’t provided any “intelligent philosophical speculations”. 

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Scientism should not be the only system to understand the world and our lives.

That’s a straw man No-one here argues for scientism.

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Merely saying that....'I don't see it' or 'Show it to me through any measurable means or an instrument'....are childish and unreasonable arguments.

And that’s another one. If you don’t think “measurable means” can do the job though, propose some other method to distinguish your claims from just guessing about stuff. You wouldn’t accept my unqualified assertions as facts without some means of verifying them; why should anyone accept yours?