Strange Recent Trend

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Grantywanty, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    It seem like the Religion forum is dominated by Monotheisms vs. Athiesm. If you follow the Eastern Religions there is another forum.

    Thought I'd weigh in for a more nature based pantheism. When I use the word God I do not think of a transcendant being - let alone some bearded guy. I am considering everything God. For me it is easiest to connect to God in nature. Odd that that should be a specific word, used to be everywhere. But by nature I mean places on the earth that have not been rigidified and radically simplified by humans. Where living forms have diversity and are relatively healthy, myself included. I experience a world filled with more beings than are currently acknowledged by scientists, many of which are not corporeal in the same way we are.

    I feel a presence in nature that is intelligent. Sometimes this can be for want of better word the spirit of a certain place, say an island or a certain patch of forest, sometimes it feel like the earth herself.

    I am deeply saddened by the attitudes of both the monotheists and the athiests (rationalists) when it comes to nature. both tend to view nature in utilitarian terms, neither granting it anything like sentience. Both groups tend to view pagans (I'll use that term today) as a problem. Athiests see them as silly and 'irrational' and monothiests have seen them as heretics, barbarians, sinners or of no consequence - lacking human status. Heretics would be Christians who 'regressed' to practices not based on those strange monotheistic books that everyone likes to argue about. Jesus, can't the monotheists see those books are flawed. Any God that made a coral reef could have come up with better books even on the day of rest.

    both groups have dulled the senses. They each believe in only a very small spectrum of possible causes and effects. Most rationalists still see the world in Newtonian terms and have not been humbled at all by the strange occurances in QM.

    But anyway. here's a plup for ignoring the options of Athiesm vs. Monotheism. It's like that you have to be either Republican or Democrat, or capitalist or communist. Or you wear Nike rather than Puma is more like it these days. I guess with much sorrow, if I were forced to choose I'd take the animal as opposed to an old pagan but colonialist god.

    Wait a minute. My choices are not limited by the loudest voices.
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Do not confuse atheism with a lack of wonderment at what the world is capable of.
    Atheists merely do not believe in God.

    Where you might see God in nature, and consider God to be everything, the atheist might still get the same sense-gratification, the same experiences - but they choose not to call it God and, if they wish, to establish / understand it for what it is.

    Whether one calls table salt merely "salt" or "Sodium Chloride" does not change what it is nor how it tastes. One can still call it "salt" yet know that it is actually just one of many salts, and more specifically NaCl. It doesn't change one iota of the experience - just the understanding.
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  5. draqon Banned Banned

    Yeah names don't change the essence, but really I think what monotheism is about is...that everything in this universe is always part of one whole and that God is somehow looking over everything. And whats to add all humans are part of God too...thats why they are called children...and that famous quote "do unto others as you would do unto yourself"...well what if that quote means that we must care for other people...because later we will become those people? :bugeye: so thats were I stand.
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  7. seekeroftheway Let go your conscious self... Registered Senior Member

    Personally, I have more respect for "pagans" and wiccans than I do for almost any other faith. They are simpler, not nearly as politicized as either monotheists or atheists, and they hold nature in the highest reverance (as it should be). I think the fact that they and their ways aren't addressed as much here anymore, however, has more to do with them than with the trend you're talking about. If more of them were here stating their points, those points wouldn't be in obscurity, would they?

    I think the constant God vs. No God argument is based entirely on conflict. Sometimes it's funny, other times it's scary, but either way, it's based entirely one this side vs. that side. Each sees the other as a threat. Since the number of "pagans" and wiccans and so on here seem to be few, neither of them perceive them as a threat, or as an ally, and so don't lash at out them or reach out to them.
  8. draqon Banned Banned

    ...and your point is what? to become a pagan?
  9. seekeroftheway Let go your conscious self... Registered Senior Member

    Need I have a point? I'm responding to the original post.
  10. draqon Banned Banned

    well excuse me...
  11. seekeroftheway Let go your conscious self... Registered Senior Member

    Though to answer your question, if someone asked me what religious paths I hold in higher regard, paganism would be higher up there, yes.
  12. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    The question for the “rationalist atheist” here is whether what you are describing is truly an inherent facet of nature or merely an expression of your experience. It’s not that we fail to perceive such feelings but that we attribute them to ourselves rather than projecting the experience upon the external world.

    Poetry and metaphor have their value and their place but these become problematic when you are trying to clarify what is objectively real. Language inherently involves enough vagary and undefined assumptions without purposfully adding to the problem.

    The only thing I find problematic about pagans or theists (generally speaking) is when they assert their metaphors as objective reality.

    I don’t agree at all, don't be too selective with your sampling.

    I agree. Definition is limitation, categorization is generalization. It is best not to interpret things too literally. Otherwise all your are arguing about is language.

  13. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    Two theories: 1) I am basing my beliefs on feelings. But this is only partly true. EXperience is the key. And rational athiests rarely questions their sense of having self that exists through time, nor do they in general make a point of pointing out the irrationality of this belief, though this belief is also partially based on unverifiable feelings. For example rationalists spent a few hundred years after Descartes thinking that animals were machines. When other people knew that animals were subjects with emotions. WRiting in any way that implied this could mess up your career until say 2 or three decades ago. Were scientists right to say animals were mere machines before and that people were simply listening to their 'feelings'? Nah. Direct perception adn intuition have their place. Rationalists tend to use their in very restricted areas and around axioms they do not realize they have.

    2) I am projecting. My countertheory. You are cutting out from your consciousness perceptions that would scare you. And with good reason. People have been tortured and killed (by monotheists) for noticing certain things and shamed and mocked (by the RAs) for notice certain things. Most rationalists do not realize how fast the mind can cut off an experience. This self-dismissing cut out overwhelming evidence for things that RAs are scared of. Now we each have a theory. I feel no pressure to prove mine. I am quite certain that yours has not been proven. Further, I would guess you came up with this theory because it is commonplace adn fits your worldview. It fits YOUR intuition adn your feelings about what MUST BE TRUE.

    Poetry and metaphor have their value and their place but these become problematic when you are trying to clarify what is objectively real. Language inherently involves enough vagary and undefined assumptions without purposfully adding to the problem.

    I spent two semesters in college doing an interdisciplinary studies of metaphors and I assure you EVERYONE DOES THIS. Google under Lakoff if you want a philosophers take on this. He includes a great deal of the latest neurological research.

  14. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    Let me suggest another reason why that conflict is so enticing to the rationalist athiests: it's easier. With the monotheists you have people who have to defend books written by assorted people in cultures very different from ours. these books are odd, fragmentary, contradictory and sometimes evil. Another thing that makes it easier is the monotheists tend to be monotheists not because of experience but because of tradition, authority adn their strange concept of faith.

    Pantheists, wiccan and pagans do not share these problems and to be much more experience based.
  15. seekeroftheway Let go your conscious self... Registered Senior Member

    "If you take a copy of the Bible and put it out in the wind and rain, it's cover will wear, it's pages will disintegrate, and the text will wither away. Our Bible IS the wind and the rain." -Pagan Quote

    I agree that said group is more experience based and so are not dependent on something as easily disposed of intellectually as a book. But still, why must Atheists and Monotheists start the conflict in the first place, easy or not?
  16. scorpius a realist Valued Senior Member

    well yeah , every living thing must have some kind of inteligence within them.
    is it god or is it just nature?
    why would loving god create disgusting things like bugs,snakes,scorpions ,mosquitoes,viruses and all kinds of awfull diseases not to mention natural disasters??
    why would strange accurances be humbling?
    theres many unknowns in nature and universe,why LABEL it god??
    atheist merely says; WE dont know,YET!
    while theists see god behing everything,..everything good that happens,while all the bad shyt is supposedly result of something called sin or the devil,or gods mysterious ways ...
    and IF god created ALL then HE is responsible for EVERYTHING including BAD stuff!!!
  17. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    Why not just use the word 'everything'?

    Please provide evidence these beings exist.

    Feelings are a very error prone way to determine what is objectively true.

    If there were evidence that 'nature' was sentient then I don't think this would be an issue.

    I would worry more about the monotheists. They would likely kill you given the opportunity to purge a heretic from the earth.

    It really doens't matter. They are emotionally committed to those books and emotional committment is at least three times more powerful than rational committment.

    It's interesting how you are equating Atheism with Rationalism. Anyhow, I'll correct one misperception. If reality says something is true, all Atheists I am aware of would accept that something as true. That's pretty much all there is to that position.

    Why not just choose reality?
  18. Grantywanty Registered Senior Member

    Crunchy Cat
    I have used the word 'universe' sometimes. There is a personal edge to God that also works for me. Depends on my mood.

    I am not here to convert or convince you that this is true. That's a dead end. And other people's inability to perceive certain things is not a problem for me.

    So is 'rationality'. I can find rationalists who disagree about a wide range of issues. Rationality justified all sort of horrible things, like eliminating the cultures of certain people, or that uteruses needed to be removed from 'hysterical' women to give just two examples that pop into my mind. Rationalists were just as likely to buy the whole weapons of mass destruction excuse for going into Iraq as anyone who went more by gut feelings. What runs under the guise of rationality is often assumptions (unproved) about what we cannot know). These assumptions are unproven. There are enough examples out there of people who knew things before science 'proved' them. Enough to instill a little humility. When people hear about intuition they often assume i mean 900 line psychics or fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Just because some people have bad intuitions does not mean there are others with perceptive adn intuitive abilities way beyond yours. experts, just as there are scientists who can prove many things you think are true (following your intuition) but you couldn't come close to proving or even explaining adequately yourself.

    But we accept the fact that some people have strong intuitions in all sorts of fields: police work, sailing, sports, investing. These people cannot always explain there skills. Intuition is a mode of understanding that we tend to take for granted in relation to our own beliefs but get very upset when others use it. There are probably just a couple of people in these forums who could defend evolution well, who really understand it. Who could explain punctuated equilibria and what is really going on with DNA etc? Nevertheless 'rationalists' trust their intuitions about this. (again, I believe in evolution, that is not my point).

    You don't notice the evidence.

    I agree. In physical terms in an encouter, they are vastly more dangerous. But in terms of training us the 'only' acceptable ways to gain knowledge, the 'rationalists' are at least as damaging.

    Scientists, for an incredibly long time, punished talkign about animals as sentient. Science has an anti-sentience bias. In other words they have as an axiom that it is best to assume that something is inanimate and not sentient unless you can prove otherwise in a lab. Even if the intuition of intelligent people says otherwise, those people would be making a mistake to think otherwise.

    Take note: This is unproven. This is an assumption that is both metaphysical and ABOUT LIFESTYLE. It is saying that if you trust your intuition here you are wrong. Those of us who experience more that is animate adn more that is sentient than scientists know they are wrong. I am adding to that that they are following unproven axioms.

    My case in point is animals. Obviously animals have emotions and are subjects, not simply machines and objects. Nevertheless scientists and many rationalists after DEscartes had a false belief. Despite the evidence. All those people who knew that animals were subjects were not wrong. Not did they become right after science or really the scientific community go over its bias in this specific case.

    They still have this bias with other forms of life and sentience. I am not waiting around for hundreds of years until that bias gets whittled down more or they come up with technology capable of measuring certain things. I accept the evidence I have and trust.

    Of course I do. You are incapabable of seeing the assumptions of rationality and science because
    1)they are habitual
    2) they are negations, they are assumptions about what is MORE LIKELY NOT TO BE PRESENT - again, with no evidence to back up how a universe is likely to be. They assume there is primarily dead things and objects. This says a lot about who they are and their psychologies. It is often a habit to speak about the need of believers to believe in this or that supernatural belief. (I assume supernatural is actually a natural, but beyond the current technology or emotional needs of scientists right now to be verified to their satisfaction)
    So I am turning it back on the scientists and rationalists. These tend to be people who like control and are wary of their own feelings. If they accepted the fact that others could trust their feelings and intuitions this would be threatening. If the universe had more sentience, this would be threatening. What if they are not the most intelligent creatures? What if intelligence comes in many different forms and their form is just one amongst many? How will they know when to trust their own intuitions?

    And remember: those of us who believe in things you think are unreal are not all Bible thumpers or airheads staring into quartz all day long.

    The universe is pulsing with life and intelligence.

    Where did you get the idea it was mostly dead and dumb?

    I'll bet you didn't get that idea via double blind lab testing and defense of your conclusions in front of peers.

    It's your intuition. Or many it's something you were simply trained to think.

    Last: You can see you assumptions because they are in the negative.

    I'm done with this thread. There is a limit to how well rationalists respond to these ideas. Instead of actually doing some introspection about why they have their beliefs, why they need them and what ACTUALLY brought them to those beliefs, they tend to come at me with an attempt to win.

    I have always listened and soul searched when rationalists argued with me. Actually spent significant time doing phenomenological work and introspection trying to see if their claims about why I believed what I believed was correct. I am starting to catch on that they are not as thorough. The beliefs are of a religious nature and winning is the issue.

    And as long as they can play mental ping pong they can just postpone actually going into this issue as deeply as I have.

    Not that I expect my pulling out with make this happen. But I see the ping pong for what it is.

    I'd rather play the real game.

    Take care.
  19. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

    This is not a new trend, is as ancient as the polytheist beliefs. The only problem is that those whom refuse to believe in gods were either jailed or killed, this trend also continued when monotheism came to view, those who deny these dieties were excuted or jailed, their properties confiscated, their family excumunicated, the new trend is the freedom we now have to speak against such evil as monotheism!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Then why not call it nature? God implicates an transcendant entity.

    God is a deadly virus?

    Truly you need to educate yourself a little further, it took a rational mind to understand nature, no wishfull thinking discovered the electric current runing through that computer you type your bs on, it took a hell of salesmen to sell the light bulb after Edison invented it, it took reason to endevour to the unknown space in a tin can, it has been the secularist minds that have advanced humanity to were it is today! Theist have merely been going against the trends of advancement, our advancement started with the Reneisance, and till this day it continues. How unfortunately though the every new gadget, every new theory, every new invention has to go through the scruntiny of those who aim to hold humanity back.
  20. seekeroftheway Let go your conscious self... Registered Senior Member

    Nature and the Universe is filled with far more than science is able to identify, simply because it denies itself the ability to operate with a given number of senses, one of which has herein been identified as "intuition". There is more out there that science has rendered itself unable to identify and study, and in so doing has called it myth to protect it's own reputation.

    Still, is it helping us advance? In one way, yes. As we get technologically greater and more knowledgeable, we are able to do greater things, but at what cost? Look at Einstein, this is a classic example, he spent years working on that simply formula, E = MC^2, which means energy is equal to mass times the speed of light squared. Simply, a massive amount of energy can be formed from a mere inkling of matter. His thoughts were that that would be used as a clean, efficient, and abundant source of energy. Well, as history remembers all to distinctly, it wasn't exactly clean, but it WAS an efficient, abundant source of energy.

    How many more mistakes like that are we willing to make? In the 1930's, the death rate radium-laced health tonics was on the high, which is when the government instituted it's first "safe levels of radiation exposure".

    1940's, after the study on the Hiroshima bombing victims, that level was cut in half.

    1950's, yet more negative effects from nuclear testing fallout, so the level was again substantially lowered. Even still, at this time, the rave was nuclear energy. X-rays were used to examine children's feet in shoe stores, many people were put under the assumption that their thymus glands were enlarged, when they weren't, and had them irradiated.

    As you might suspect, an increasing number of people in this period contracted cancer and died.

    1960's, people are definitely getting the idea that the Government isn't exactly cutting them in on all the action.

    1970's, researchers determine that people are receiving 9 times the amount of radiation from medical apparatus than from nuclear testing fallout, which at the time, thanks to the studies of Nevada residents and military personnel, was labeled as a huge problem. Come 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear facility broke down and irradiated the entire surrounding area.

    1980's, new data on the Hiroshima victims indicates that the risk of contracting cancer from radiation is 15 times higher than previously believed. Nuclear Power Plant emissions were directly linked to thyroid damage, miscarriages, and other health concerns, and whoa and behold, before the end of the decade, the impossible happened: Chernobyl blew. Just like Three Mile Island. News of near-disasters at other power plants were linked to the press, and so the safe exposure level was again lowered.

    Noticing a trend here? Each time the government tells us that it's safe, and each time, they were wrong. What makes us so sure they're right this time? Look at one of the most common household appliances, the microwave, a machine that bombards food with radiation until it's irritated into cooking to the proper level. They assure us that this is the safest thing around, or it wouldn't be on the market. Why we give credit to their words eludes me, but maybe, just maybe, they're right, just this once.

    My point with this rant is that we aren't holding you back from advancing, we aren't even necessarily holding you back. Fact of the matter is, the more you "advance", the more your precious technology and knowledge seems to destroy us. You can still advance, but imho, you're doing it wrong, and it'll be the death of us sooner or later.
  21. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    In the English language, words typically have distinct meanings. 'God', 'Everything', and 'Universe' are quite distinct; however, if you are dynamically redefining them via some vague set of emotional criteria then the value of the words you choose becomes greatly diminished and people wont be able to trust them being used by you.

    If you make an assertion of absolute truth about objective reality which is not self evident or supported by evidence then it makes you deluded or a liar. Either way, you loose credibility and trust. If you don't value those things then you are correct you have no problem.

    Again, you are considering Atheists, Rationalists, and Scientists all the same thing. The reason we have these different words in the English language is because they represent different things.

    I am also not saying intuition is bad. In matters of dealing with biological social issues, intuition is often accurate. People's brains are often geared towards being exceptionally proficient at some particular set of tasks and intuition is often accurate for high performance within the context of those tasks. It's part of a survival mechanism and is often utterly and fantastically incorrect when applied outside that scope.

    Then point it out. It's really that easy.

    I am not sure what the rationalist method of training is... but if there is a rationalist reading this, maybe they can explain.

    Scientists are people too and are prone to the same errors in thinking as anyone else is. What I typically see is a mismatch between the state of objective truth and human knowledge of it. For reality, truth is pretty black and white... its either true or false. Humans unfortunately tend to take the position that if it isn't true then it's false and vice versa when in reality their knowledge isn't nearly enough to declare objective truth or even an approximation of it. In other words, people tend to neglect the position "I dont know" and they avoid speculation for some reason. With today's generation of scientists, I see alot less of the problematic thinking you described.

    At the same time, I'll speculate you are falling victim to the same problematic thinking. You have experienced something that other people do not. If you know with absolute certainty that the experience is an external perception and not something generated by your brain then you should be able to provide evidence that this external 'something' exists... either directly (an instance of it) or indirectly (an effect of it). If you cannot do this then your absolute certainty is misplaced position and what you should be saying is "I don't know" (speculation optional).

    Also, you have to consider there are other people out there whom experience things that alot of people do not. My observation from personal fantastic experience (I have had alot of them) and from listening to the fantastic experiences of others (healthy people) has led me to understand that these experiences are natural human hallucination (probably variants of hypnogogia because they can be superimposed on normal perception). They can be quite powerful in every respect and they are nonetheless internally generated.

    Again, I don't know about the rationalist position so I can't really comment. Science on the other hand doesn't make assumptions to my knowledge. It is simply a process to ask reality questions. I would agree with you on one thing... there is no evidence for such a thing called 'supernatural' and that everything that is experienced is natural.

    From my experiences with Atheists and Scientists, none of this is threatening (however, I have no idea about the 'Rationalist'). What is known at present is intuition can be accurate in some scenarios and is utterly inaccurate in others. Reality agrees and it is therefore truth.

    What Atheists and Scientists do find threatening are high stakes fantastic claims of objective reality without evidence. The reason should be obvious. If a fantastic claimer with a high degree of power believes that we are being invaded by invisible brain eating horse aliens then that person is likely going to have a pretty grave negative impact on society.

    What I speculate is happening and will continue to happen is that all claimers (scientific, theistical, other, etc.) are going to be held to a simple process that holds people accountable.

    Nobody said you were.

    Try this as an alternative:

    "I speculate that the unvierse is pulsing with life and intelligence"

    What this gains you is the presentation of an idea without being held accountable to a claim of objective truth.

    Where did I state it was?

    I'll bet I never asserted the idea in the first place.

    I think it might be your intuition of my intuition... in which case it's incorrect.

    While I cannot speak on behalf of a Rationalist, I can tell you that for an Atheists or Scientist your assertions are simply incorrect.

    From an Atheist / Scientist perspective, we tend to value 'truth' farily highly. If a claim of truth is issued then the argument is about being correct. I think there is a great capacity to entertain speculations and hypothesis, but once a claim of objective truth is issued, you are putting your credibility on the line.
  22. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    A rather sweeping generalization. Nor do I see any irrationality or dependence upon feelings; this sense of self is simply a product of memory. No long term memory, no sense of a self existing though time, as evinced in the case of Clive Wearing:

    Argument dependence upon unstated and unexamined premises is hardly restricted to rationalists. In fact, I would hazard that those who do use a logical and/or scientific approach are likely to have far fewer than those who do not… or at least have an understanding of them.

    This is a very common theistic claim, that of special knowledge. The problem is that they are unable to prove it. This is such a routine response that it is trite, but no more so than the claim itself; demonstrate that you have this special knowledge… “prove” it.

    So your defense is to refuse to discuss? Why bother posting in a discussion forum?

    Proof is hard to come by but there is argument. Mine is rather simple and straightforward. If your proposition is true then anyone observing this island, or patch of forest should experience the same thing. They don’t. In fact, ask any number of people and it is likely you will get the same number of varying responses, particularly if they come from varying background experiences, religions, and cultures. This would indicate that such interpretive experience is subjective in nature, as indeed emotions are.

    I’m not unfamiliar with Lakoff and while I certainly agree with him on the embodiment of mind, I don’t find his ideas revolutionary or even particularly enlightening. All conscious thought is metaphorical but as I stated I can find no reason to compound the problem. The concept of “god” does just that IMO for it is rife with anthropocentric assumptions and other unexamined premises. It is an agglomerated and unwieldy concept at best. In the religious, philosophical, or scientific pursuit of truth I find Ockham’s razor invaluable, parse down the assumptive baggage to its bare essentials... to that which is necessary and excise the rest.

  23. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

    If intuition is a sense what is it that it is sensing? Rather, I would suggest that intuition is largely an unconscious thought process. The brain is not a logical engine; it tends to make associative correlations. It’s a quick and dirty method of problem solving that luckily works fairly well in our day-to-day activities. The problem is that under closer scrutiny these associative leaps are often partially or completely unfounded and untrue. They often lead to superstitious behavior, erroneous presumption, and false generalizations.

    We might take, for example, the intuitive notions that the Earth is flat and that the Sun travels across a domed sky; errors that were only revealed by scientific / logical analysis. There are many such examples, where intuition leads us astray. Logic and scientific analysis seem to be our best tools for revealing and correcting such inaccuracies.

    Science denies none of the senses nor does it deny intuition but it does require more than mere speculation. Science is indeed limited but it is limited to what is measurable and repeatable, it does not neglect

    This is a logical fallacy: argument from consequences. Whatever men do with the discovery of E=MC2 does not invalidate the truth of the equation. You may certainly choose to value ignorance over knowledge (we might for instance examine all the harm done that was made possible by the invention of cartography and navigation and decide it would have been better if man continued to believe the world was flat) but it has no bearing on whether such discoveries are true or not.

    The better way you are searching for is not a question of epistemology but of ethics and politics. It is best to see the problems for what they are.


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