Do you talk to GOD?

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

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Again, on the point of taking you seriously, consider this example, which was in its moment a change of subject:

    I agree with you that the current thread pretty much assumes that we're dealing with monotheists. They are the ones who tend to refer to God with the capital 'G' rather than to gods with small 'g'. A God is often be defined to be omnipotent; gods often are not, if for no other reason than they have other gods to contend with. In many of the popular polytheisms, there is often an assumed heirarchy of gods, but it is not usually assumed that all gods are one God.

    (James R↗)

    It's actually a useful primer for those who have yet to learn this basic distinction. To the other, its setup is a fallacy; when told his approach to a subject "prejudicially compresses diverse religious beliefs, justifications, and behaviors into a monolithic totem", he changed the word "monolithic" into so "monotheists", in order to carry on with another manner of discussion.

    Still, even the shit James leaves behind when running away is not so ignorant as you.
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  3. foghorn Registered Senior Member


    There you go Tiassa getting all wordy. Even giving a link to that great scholar JR to make your point.
    One god or a whole bunch of gods, their just a mind model for some to make sense of the world.
    It's simple really, gods are gods. What JR says is probably something he has read somewhere and agrees with.

    To give you some pointers, see my bold below.
    Often does not equal always.

    I love it when you talk sexy.
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Since you opened this door, how did you hear about voices in people's heads?
    You might be familiar with the story of Joan of Arc, a religious hero. These heroes and heroines, are people who are in the right place at the right time, who usually sacrifice their own lives for a greater good, and who "talk to God" a lot.

    On the other hand, the medieval period is known for its religious fakes; the whole Joan of Arc thing is more likely one of these.

    I'll add that there are similarities between the medieval tale and that of the warrior-queen Bodica, who fought the Roman occupiers of Celtic Britannia.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
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  7. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    i am yet to perceive any thing to be a god
    no one has shown any evidence that god exists

    just a lot of messed up people with messed up problems

    any sane god would be forcing the worlds population to not be a-holes 24/7 & do something about poverty climate change & pollution

    so its kinda obvious there is no god

    i do talk to myself often though
    i find it helps mental function to externalize internal complex thought
    but many people think its a sign of insanity

    ive observed people talking to themselves in different forms
    there is a lot of undiagnosed mental illness out there
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    It's okay to talk to yourself. It's even okay to argue with yourself. But if you argue with yourself and lose, you may have a problem.
    "Illness" is relative:
    Q: "Do you suffer from mental illness?"
    A: "No. I enjoy it."​
    candy and RainbowSingularity like this.
  9. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    When you talk to yourself, you are guaranteed an intelligent and sympathetic audience.
    (does it get any better than that?)
    candy and RainbowSingularity like this.
  10. foghorn Registered Senior Member

    Put it this way... Who are you reading right now on the screen?
    You may be understanding my text in your mind, but, do you take me to be a separate entity communicating with you via the screen?
    That, I hope leads to ...
    What I wanted to know is, how do you know a god is ''communicating'' with you?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2021
  11. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    How does someone who has bought into the Christian faith, know they are communicating with God?

    You suppose that I believe, or know, that a god is communicating, with me or on my behalf, or somesuch. What I do is suspend belief and just try to experience something; actually I have to stop trying at some point although the initial effort seems to be important.

    What the experience "is", well, I again refer to Descartes. When you realise that understanding what it is doesn't require that you think about it, you can see there is a certain freedom in this. You can call it whatever you like, for instance. You can assume it's something like the Christian experience, say if you have that Christian stuff in your personal history, it doesn't matter, really.

    You might be thinking what I'm talking about is something from the East, Tai Chi or something. Yep, it's very much like that.
  12. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    i know the new DSM has removed multiple personality disorder as a disorder
    probably as an acknowledgement of modern day needs for people to be multi personalityed (joke)
    i am wondering if i am suffering from stress burn-out (no question) combined with some form of dissociative multi personality concept
    i did have something a little like PTSD for a few years which i managed to kick with professional therapy & lots of reading & pushing myself with the cbt.

    so your joke/comment is quiet point lol

    i hedge
    i only talk to myself out loud in a happy tone about happy subjects
    like a commentator might or a narrator putting in some emotional one liner
    i find it useful to linguistically process words to keep mental linguistics in a functional norm(external rienforcers)

    not the shouting at the TV type of thing
    more so a "oh this is xyz"
    cognitive behavioral therapy concept of positive reinforcement of verbal practice

    like when im talking to cats dogs horses & sheep birds
    im well aware they cant understand a word im saying
    but they can understand tones related to emotional expression body language & facial expressions
    its fun to pretend sometimes
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
  13. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    One thing the Eastern point of view that you get by practising Eastern techniques aligned with . . . whatever it is, gives you is the perception that Western societies are a bit obsessed; with materialism, with individual success, with being "someone" . . . etc.

    Western society is one where ideas and opinions have an importance they don't really deserve.
  14. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Are you pro, Xi Jinping?
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
  15. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Am I supportive of a man who is obsessed with being a leader? Not particularly.

    Besides, China, although in the East, has it's own cultural issues with religion. Basically, the Chinese appear to adhere to the idea that everything is best when society is controlled, when order is imposed--this goes back to Confucius.
    China's experiment with Western-style capitalism seems to be bumping into this.

    But what am I, some kind of someone?
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
  16. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Are you saying your opinion shouldn't mean anything?
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
  17. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    It already means something; possibly that's enough.

    In that, having studied communications theory and Shannon entropy . . . well, never mind.
  18. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member


    Didn't know I was too dumb for you.
  19. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member


    I'm trying to learn a tune on the guitar as well as.
    Appropriately, or otherwise, it's Daddy don't live in that New York City, by Steely Dan. I need to work out some changes I can accommodate.

    Shannon entropy; let's see: there is some of this in musical notation, but when you translate the notation into action, it's a different kind of entropy: algorithmic entropy. Note there is a thing called interpretation involved, which has nothing to do with entropy itself. Weird, huh?
  20. foghorn Registered Senior Member

    My bold.^
    ''What does "the origin of an experience" mean, and how can experience be external?''

    Do you experience love for your parents in your mind, and are your parents external to your mind?
    So, the origin of the love experience in your mind are your external parents.

    Clarification needed ... Did Descartes think his parents were a product of his own mind, or did he know they were separate entities not of of his own mind's making, and so he knew they were external?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  21. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    You're talking about an emotion; emotions are "in your mind" because your brain gets a hit of hormones.
    The "object" that evokes the brain's response--parents--is external to the brain.
    No. You make an assumption there that isn't justified. First of all, what exactly is "the origin" of an experience? When your brain responds to an external event, do you see the external event as causative, or is the brain's response causative, of "the experience"? Can you experience love for your parents without them being present? What's the external cause in that case?

    The problem is trying to separate "external" from "internal" causes--see Descartes.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    On Cynicism

    Flashback, 2019:

    "... adding the further insult that I'm 'oversensitive', for good measure." ―James R, #3559734/131↗

    "And now it's about how I'm 'oversensitive', apparently." ―James R, #3559735/132↗

    The possibility that you are somehow oversensitive seemed to get under your skin; long story short, it was something I said↗ to Seattle↗ in response to his inquiry from ignorance about something else I said↗ in response to your apparently oversensitive complaint↗ about my criticism↗ of your two-bit gloss↗.

    Anyway, the episode came to mind. Present day:

    First, observe that you're guarding against your own straw man ("never prevented anybody"). Your next paragraph is pretty much the show:

    While your pretense of literalism, "have never prevented", is ridiculous, there are also the four subsequent paragraphs of my post↑ explaining what my assessment of the problem means. Consider these parts of your post, James:

    What you've done is split up those paragraphs from my post and omit part of their contents in a way that misses the point, which is convenient considering you need to miss the point in order to complain as you have.

    For instance, consider this part:

    But I already linked to the time your one thread to rule them all needed a companion thread because people weren't playing along with your preferred version of God. You know, just for instance. So, yes, like I said, James has some very particular standards about what God is allowed to be, and how people are allowed to discuss it. Still true↗, it's not quite that you're one-trick, but anti-identification and magically missing the point really don't work.

    Like reminding, after it has already been pointed out, "I have, on many occasions invited theists to tell me what they believe (and, more importantly, why they believe it)." There are two problems with that: One is that you have particular criteria, are after particular quarry; compared to what you will allow God to be in order to discuss it, no wonder you're running with the argument that you "have never prevented anybody". The other problem is that this seems to be the only sort of discussion about religion you are capable of having.

    After all, look at what happened in this thread. Asked a straightforward question, you were unable to respond substantially; you pretended confusion↑ and then ducked out↑. And in your exchange with Arfa Brane, the problem is that you need him to answer within parameters that are not his answer. Or, as I suggested earlier, you need him to play a particular role, and he's talking about something else entirely.

    But, James, that's precisely what you did; you built a straw religious believer in order to criticize the things you had him say.

    And while we're on the question of telling the lie:

    Hanging your pretense on such an obvious sleight is risky: Yes, I have discussed it with you, and if you chose to not answer, that doesn't mean I haven't. Additionally, consider that's not actually the whole of it. See the "one thread to rule them all":

    James R: Generally, I have found that religious people aren't very good at explaining what their God is, except in very vague terms, so let's hope this helps clarify things. (#3629639/1↗)

    Tiassa: It's one thing to find, "religious people aren't very good at explaining what their God is, except in very vague terms", but your priorities seem to overlook that they're not supposed to be. Religious people aren't very good at explaining ineffable notions, except in vague terms? Duh. You're asking people you already think are wrong? Well, of course you are. (#3630755/131↗)

    James R: It's great that you're stepping up to defend them, Tiassa, but don't you think that religious people can answer for themselves? If their God is incapable of definition, they can say so. One then wonders what they mean when they talk about God, though. (#3231053/163↗)

    So, yes, James, not only have I discussed it with you regardless of whether or not you chose to respond ("one thread" #305↗-306↗), it would also appear that, yes, we've had a discussion about this, and in that context, sure, the content and manner of your response makes its own point. Anyway, James, what was that? Please don't pretend what?

    To the other, the implicit suggestion that you're not reading people's posts undermines your criticism of what they say, and probably isn't any real surprise to the people who have to decide whether your strange, off-track retorts are a matter of wilful antisociality or mere failure.

    Part of the reason why I retained, and eventually posted the four hundred-twenty words↑ was the contrast between whether they were too specific in the moment↑ compared to whether or not they might actually be useful.

    I really was curious, James: Were you speaking from personal experience, and what did you expect when you did; these aren't extraordinary questions, yet you seem utterly incapable of answering them.

    James, consider, please, that in the grand scheme of things, somebody doing this one thing is not necessarily problematic; the problem arises in a relative context: What if this one thing is the only thing someone does?

    And while no principle is ever perfect in living application, again, James, you seem to have approximately one trick and that's it.

    Right, but you need them to believe according to your terms, not theirs.

    It's one thing to suggest some cheery, generalized idyll, but that doesn't reflect the detail of what you do.

    Sure, there is plenty of that, but there is also the part where others are simply unable to make God fit within the shape of your demand.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    On Questions of Substance

    What stands out is that these two paragraphs are extraordinarily enlightening for telling us nothing.

    I know, that can feel like a really confusing idea, but this goes back to discussion of anti-identification↗, and, sure, that's always been kind of confusing for you, but look at what you have to tell us: Yes, you "had specific ideas" about what you "thought God was", but more than telling us about those, what is important to you is to clarify that you weren't "telling anybody else what they should think about it". Even then you were better than some other; telling us that was your priority.

    And then, again, the four hundred-twenty words↑ and your need for something to react to in lieu of coming up with an affirmative thesis of your own. To wit, if in later times you had "some ideas about what God might be, were it to actually exist in the sorts of guises promulgated by major world religions and religious practices", do you understand the joke about something being a feature, not a bug? You come right out and say your ideas "ideas are mostly based on what theists say God is", and while what theists say is not some mere insubstantial literary fluff, neither is it the whole of the discussion.

    And while it might be true that you "ask them the sorts of questions that their co-religionists typically never ask", those questions are entirely dependent on what you invent, regardless of what any particular theist actually might have said. That is to say, your questions have to do with what you think. Such as your telling that when "a theist finds that I am asking for some justification for those assumptions, they are often confused and stumped for an answer that makes any kind of logical sense": There is no guarantee that your question make any sense, whatsoever. To a certain degree, when you say things like, "The knee-jerk response I often see is that theists throw out random deepities, speaking as if their descriptions are actually intelligible," it seems like saying so is actually the point of the stories you tell. Still, if some religious folk answer as if they are actually saying something deep and profound, some are so weak, others so deceptive, but also others who are in awe of questions you seem unable to perceive.

    Think of it this way, if "nobody here seems much interested in discussing religion in terms of history or art, here", well, sure, I get what you mean, but you also understand the prospect that, for the most part, this community has long been somewhat hostile toward that sort of discourse. To a certain degree, the prospect that nobody seems much interested in discussing religion more any more deeply than superficial, even childish, political dispute might actually describe a problem. That is, of course, a longer discussion.

    But here's the thing: If we observe the note about "the more fundamentalist sort (e.g. the typical American evangelical types)", well, right, because, like I said, the approximate shape of your godling in a shoebox is not some utter mystery, though if the approximate shape of your mystery is not so mysterious, the actual detail is. Your method of peppering people with demanding, judgmental questions constructed from your own fallacies tells us a little more about the shape and detail of your shoebox idol, but if you're worried about "pseudo-psychiatry", maybe try a more affirmative argument instead of leaving people to guess at the shape of what is absent. It's one thing to say "asking questions" is "how we find out what other people think"; and it is true that, "In the ideal case, they share their thoughts. You share back", but that reciprocity, that "discussion of points", often falters when it's your turn to share, James. So while it's "not unreasonable … to ask people what they believe and why they believe it", the prospect that your "approach is far fairer than … to assume that I already know what they believe" is an extraordinary proposition in light of the need for a companion thread when discussion exceeded your intended range in the one thread, or even your manner of discussion↑ with Arfa Brane: "So does your God keep you breathing, or doesn't it? Or are you not sure, either way? You said you 'suppose' that it does. Were you not being entirely honest about that. Did you feel obliged to try to give God credit for something you're not sure he does, perhaps?" You are hardly being subtle about trying to box him in, so that he might answer for the sins and frailties of your idol. But in our moment, at least you got to juxtapose yourself against "the 'other side'".

    And while it's true, James, "We all make judgments about what other people say to us", inasmuch as that was simply a setup for your cheap moral scold, "You're hardly above the fray in that, so stop pretending you have the bird's eye perspective on everything", at least you get to feel better for saying so.

    Think of it this way, James: Maybe you couldn't tell me anything about what you expected when you tried talking to God because it's not the role you're prepared to play in the only sort of discussion about God you know how to have. Perhaps that seems rough-hewn, but consider: You ask, they answer, you judge; if I'm asking and you're answering, well, maybe that just isn't how it's supposed to go. Compared to your focus on judging, we ought not be surprised the reciprocal sharing is where you falter.

    The thing about questions of substance is that there really isn't much substance in your argument to measure. That is perhaps its most notable aspect. But look at your form: You ask, they answer, you judge; it's not necessarily your role in that discussion to provide much of anythying. Still, it makes a certain amount of sense:

    That, in addition to verging toward megalomania, is also extraordinarily dubious. Nearly three years ago↗, I asked if you could not find a better method than reinforcing the faith of people you criticize for having faith, bcause picking fights with people you think you can take in a fight only reinforces, in their outlooks, that you're out to get them for the cheap satisfaction, which in turn only reinforces their own sense of their rightness. And, sure, these years later, there remains a question of how you can still fail to figure this out. Like I reminded last year↗, perhaps you might explain just how it is you think asking people to submit to your judgment per mocking, fallacious, self-satisfying criteria will do anything useful toward attending the harms they might bring to herself or others.

    Sure, you've worked you way through those particular frailties, which is in and of itself a very generic testimonial, but it is easy to doubt you are trying to help other people, because inasmuch as it's actually important, because you and I have to live alongside people who are at times irrational, belligerent, dogmatic, unreasonable, discourteous, intolerant etc., the question remains why you would behave as you do. You're not getting them to a better place, but encouraging them to harden and entrench against your judgment. In your pursuit of satisfcation, there comes a point at which you are, to the valence of religious believers your inquiries address, just another symbol, another atheist doing that belligerent, discourteous, dogmatically irrational and apparently uninformed attack thing atheists do.

    No, really, think of what you actually said↑: "Talking to God tends to be a one-way conversation, unless one is hallucinating, schizophrenic or similar"; i.e, unless one is psychiatrically disrupted.

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