The Relevance of the Concept of God

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

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And the word "pious."

    There's plenty of people who are distressed, seek wealth, are curious, or seek absolute knowledge but who do not even think of turning to God on any of these matters.
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    You said:

    I am saying that we have no experience of need that doesn't have its related object.
    If you are trying to say that the need for the consistent, reliable, etc has no suitable object in this world, then you are running against this general principle.

    So you appear to be saying that even in this world, there are consistent, reliable objects - on the grounds that we have a need for them. Per your reasoning that if we have the need for something, this means that there is an existing object for it.
    So if you're saying that even in this world, consistent, reliable objects exist, what are these objects?

    (As per some traditional Buddhist teachers, "the brightness of the world" refers to the fact that even in this world that is marred by aging, illness and death, by greed, anger and delusion, by being impermanent, unsatisfactory and not the self, we can nevertheless practice the Dharma. As one such Buddhist teacher said about his teacher - "He showed me the brightness of the world."*
    In your religion, there is the parallel reference to the teacher illuminating the darkness that the student is in with the torchlight of the Dharma.)

    *And he wasn't talking about smelling roses and sipping tea.
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  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    How you arrive at the conviction that I believe in God is beyond me.
    I'm simply working out of one of the basic definitions of God, which is "Creator" which all the major theistic religions agree on.

    You seem to be one of those who thinks that if a person can discuss the topic of God or quote theistic scriptures, then it can only be that said person believes in God.

    Ever heard "The devil is very good at quoting scriptures"? The devil is the archetypal atheist: he knows God, he knows the scriptures and theology, but doesn't want to serve God. But you, simply given the devil's ability to quote scripture, would classify him as someone who believes in God ...

    You think it's "cool" to do things solely in order to alleviate one's feelings of anxiety and of being threatened?

    It looks like you haven't read the thread.

    In that case, you are quite abusively wrong, because it's not the case that the whole of mankind has substituted their notionsof God for a mere idol.

    Uh, another utopian humanist ...
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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    which of course is a lead in to the four other types who don't begin .... which somehow I don't think Balsy Walsy has the stomach for ....
  8. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I've only offered one (1) (a single) (more than zero but less than 2) reference in this recent discourse, and spent the good part of the past 3 or 4 posts reiterating and explaining this one single reference (which you continue, as evidenced by this opening remark of yours, fail to even discuss ...)

    Not really since I actually provided a reference (albeit one that you can't, won't and haven't read).
    You simply say "no problems" as if your assurances bears some sort of philosophical merit

    Nothing about religious knowledge having recourse to no other means than faith ... that's for sure

    If you are arguing that all reliable claims of knowledge be justified by empirical methodologies, sure.

    Given that the category of things that defy reductionist paradigms is probably about 10 times greater than things that don't, I can't understand why you would ask such a question.

    You still can't read it, can you?

    I know.
    You are discounting metaphysics while simultaneously making metaphysical claims (ie: "everything is made up of matter " ... despite a complete absence of evidence to back this claim up ... assuming you aren't going to try placing a second bullet in both your feet by arguing from an absence of evidence)
    This is the irony.

    The reason having difficulty with this subject is because you haven't, can't and won't read the reference.
    You own this problem, not me.

    Obviously you have never tried fasting

    actually its a reference from a seminal scripture in the lives of maybe 30% of the world's religious population ...

    actually its mega-super-special pleading to suggest that your off the cuff remarks about religion are somehow magically empowering enough to nullify the example of over half a billion people ... but anyway, having stout reserves of ignorance is certainly a prerequisite for discussing things you haven't , can't and won't read I suppose ...

    Depends whether you can ask it without being loaded.
    But actually I did answer it ....... unless the difficulty you have in reconciling the numerous claims about god being necessarily singular is also the same sort of problem you have in addressing the necessarily singular nature of your nose

    Does the number of noses you have or the manner in which you define, qualify and identify your nose suddenly increase if someone points to their toes and says "this is my nose".
    Or do you feel confident in your knowledge of noses to discriminate on this subject?
    Apologies if this subject matter is too deep for you to penetrate.

    You said there is a mutual exclusivity between claims of this type of awareness.
    I am just asking you to clarify these two terms, since so far you haven't displayed a brilliant track record in comprehending (which for some funny reason, you can't haven't and won't).
    So, whenever you are ready, feel free to put these two terms in your own language so we can see if there is any distance between your ideas, and say, the ideas of maybe half a billion people whom you are trying to caricaturize..
  9. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    I am saying that these things are commonly sought within the confines of the pillars of materialistic existence but such a search is futile since they exist beyond it
  10. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    trying to be clear about this incorrect idea -
    My religion doesn't offer (as incompletely as i can surmise any metaphysical reality) continuation of my ego beyond this physical life. It does not offer comfort in this world, beyond THE SAME comfort that all of us are looking for, EVERYONE in this thread, which is a way to systematize the data we are receiving so that it can be called "sensible". For someone such as Balerion to suggest (by discussing religion as a tool always used for material gain) that all of us, atheist and theist alike, are not constantly creating ideology for this purpose, seeking for that comfort, is ridiculous, as if religious people were seeking something atheists were not. Many people don't worry about these things, but "making sense out of it all", (even by such anti-ideology as becoming a nihilist or materialist), is a fundamental need for those of us that actually care. Religion can be used simply for this purpose, and has been used this way by many people historically, so attaching material desires to all religion is basically creating a straw man, and muddying the water.
  11. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    well the devil very obviously believes in God. I think you point at something that is important though, which is that there is a large difference between the philosophy of a devil and the philosophy of an atheist, which some theists don't seem to recognize, fueling misunderstanding. And theist and atheist alike both seem to fail to see just how much this devilish force operates in most humans whether religious or not, although the religious of course have a somewhat more devilish behavior, since they also supposedly have knowledge, and yet still defy God.
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Sure, we are in agreement on this.

    But in the light of it, the following -

    only makes sense under the assumption that we already have or potentially have access to that which is beyond the confines of material existence.
    This assumption is not non-controversial, though.
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Like I said - he knows God, he knows the scriptures and theology, but doesn't want to serve God.

    Sure, there is a large difference between the philosophy of a devil and the philosophy of an atheist, but they also overlap in one area - in that they both don't serve God.

    The true atheist (the tables-and-chairs kind of atheist) can have no desire to either serve nor not to serve God, given that he has no working notion of God to begin with.

    Then there is a wide range of the "devilish atheists" - people who have some working notion of God, and who also have some desire not to serve God.

    Yes. Which is why it is so much more striking when a self-identified religious person wants to kick people in the face and piss on them, as opposed to when this same desire is expressed by people who claim no religious status.
  14. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    Yes, after you and the other believers here have tossed out all definitions in favor of creating your own.
  15. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    Please then wynn, between the classifications and denominations we may find, which as far as i can think of are but not limited to, theist, atheist, gnostic, agnostic, deist, which one you think gets close to your path of choice? Enlighten me please.
    As i said, Jesus was altruist, if it's so bad, why the intrinsic predicates of an altruist are preached by most (if not all) religions?
    Most of the saints in Christianism upholded altruism. Btw ...
    " It is one of the tools to develop our conscience, by*"tools"*i mean*"way", as much as karma, philosophy or any other example you would care to mention" How this does not relate to the OP?
    And may be humanistic but not entirely utopian.
    If you think thay my point is too hermetically intrincate i do apologise, but i'm not prone to repeat myself at the present moment.
    I am a former Christian as i said somewhere else and you might be aware of, so i fit myself in the archetype of atheist you mentioned.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Science and secularity aren't relevant because they are ubiquitous. They are relevant because they are accurate reflections of and adaptations to reality. Even theists cannot escape the godfree nature of modern life--of a culture that largely ignores the superstitions of bygone ages in favor of applicable practical information for living a happy and healthy life. The only places anyone takes seriously the concept of God are in churches, synagogues, and mosques where fellowbelievers can pretend God is real again and relevant in a world that virtually excludes such talk on all sides. Or in threads like this one which represent a herculean effort to relocate God as with a microscope again in the dim moral recesses of the human psyche.

    But God DOESN'T effect my life. I can go for months not even thinking about this concept and live my life freely and happily without having it shoved down my throat as in ages past. If God is so relevant, why the predominance of our secular lifestyle in which not only does God never come up but is even considered a little nutty to bring up in an average everyday conversation?

    I'm a philosopher. I post about alot things that to the average joe on the street would be trivial and unimportant. Religion provides an exuberant wellspring of such spurious notions to hash out and quibble over. Call it my one secret vice.

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    I could post the same issues in the philosophy subforum or the morality subforum or even the free thoughts subforum. The issue of God for instance could easily be neutralized of it's religious connotations by simply asking what is the meaning of life, or where did everything come from. These are essentially metaphysical issues for me. The fact that I sometimes post in a religion subforum doesn't mean I am somehow acknowledging the truth or relevance of religion for our lives.

    I didn't "rail against" religion being included here. I simply recognized the fact that theists generally use it here in an attempt to disparage the predominate scientific pov. When I first joined this group I couldn't understand why theists would want to do this. Now I see it has to do with them setting up their God concept as an absolute truth that invalidates science.

    No surprise there. It IS a science forum afterall.

    I don't know that's true and you certainly don't either. It may very well be the case that most every theist online has an agenda of proving God exists in a world from which he is continuously and conspicuously missing. At least that has been my experience of theists online.

    The very premise of your thread, that conscience is somehow based on the notion of a divine observer of human behavior, was refuted at the very beginning. Since then this thread has become a quagmire of red herrings, strawmen, and non sequiters interspersed with ad hominems against atheists for allegedly not properly understanding the concept of God. At that point I lost interest in it. Which is why I don't discuss the op anymore.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Already addressed earlier:

    The concept of religious choice as being something entirely up to the individual is a typical example of the secular project that objectifies religion, God, and religious people.

    I, on the other hand, do not think that the religious path one is on is entirely one's own choice or doing, as I allow that religions, God, and religious people exist with at least as much existential autonomy as I do. And since becoming a member of a religion necessarily involves the approval of God and/or members of said religion, pending such approval, one cannot rightfully deem oneself a member of said religion.

    You seem to think that the only alternative to altruism is barbarism ...

    You didn't read the thread.

    And I am quite sure that with some digging, we could discover that you never were much of a Christian to begin with.
  18. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    That was harsh, but it's okay, there's no how for you to know that i even tried priesthood in a local Catholic Church where i used to live, my dream was to study theology and preach around the globe, silly? Yea, but i was young.
    "*It is one of the tools to develop our conscience, by*"tools"*i mean*"way", as much as karma, philosophy or any other example you would care to mention" I am repeating myself.

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

    "You didn't read the thread"

    If so, you didn't read the thread as well, or is just not paying due attention, being elusive. I think it's the latter.
    And, your despondence to not answer to the questions i made directly just proves my point. I do not believe in any kind of superior deity/entity, i am an atheist. PERIOD. Any other implication that may further come alongside subjectivity and personal understandment of what is atheism does not change the fact that as a result of me, not believing in any kind of superior deity/entity makes me, an atheist. And to say that 'I wasn't much of a Christian to begin with' clearly implies that you may be taking this to a personal aspect since you are aware of what being a 'Christian someone' -besides the religious association- represents, and disregards any fact that may imply that i may have been a real practicing Catholician, as i was.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  19. Balerion Banned Banned

    And when asked to pull it out of the opaque mess that makes up any of your posts, you repeatedly fail to do so, suggesting that you never did in the first place.


    You haven't provided a reference, but my "no problems" is the only answer required to an insubstantial claim that problems do exist.

    I see, this is more of that troublesome reading comprehension issue of yours. Let me try again: When you say I have no recourse other than atheism for this argument, you are asserting that one must believe in an idea to have knowledge of it, which is false.

    And what constitutes a "reliable" claim of knowledge? And knowledge of what, exactly? I haven't failed to notice that you omitted my question of what isn't made up of matter.

    ...I'm sorry, were you going to include even one example, or am I just supposed to take your word for it?

    I'm not discounting metaphysics, I'm discounting your unsupported claims that religion somehow addresses desires beyond the material.

    Again, if you have an issue with my arguments, you should address them, rather than strawmanning.

    Again, no reference has been provided, and your refusal to enumerate such items suggests that even you don't know what they are.

    No, but I understand biology.

    And what is the argument here? That because it's a popular scripture it is therefore true? Do you know what an ad populum fallacy is?

    More ad populum.

    If you're talking about the scripture you quoted in an earlier post, I did read it. I still do not see these other qualities and desires enumerated in the text. All I see are more promises and prerequisites of knowledge, and the differentiation of the spiritual and material being largely arbitrary.

    If you define "loaded" as being a quest you find difficult to answer, I guess not. Well, I suppose I could ask what you think of this weather we're having lately, but that's not exactly relevant.

    Again, rather than answering plainly and directly, you make uncleverly cryptic remarks that I'm supposed to parse the meaning out of with Google Dipshit Translator. Unfortunately, it's on the fritz, so why don't you just say what you mean, instead of trying all these broken rhetorical devices.

    It isn't the subject matter that's difficult to penetrate, it's your absurd language. Are you using my nose as an analogy for God? Why not just come out and say what you mean?

    So not only do I have to define my terms, but I also have to define yours? How does that work?

    Religions make claims of exclusivity. They claim their path is the only path to God/knowledge/life everlasting/etc.. Two religions that each make these claims for themselves cannot be compatible. Hence, mutual exclusivity.
  20. Balerion Banned Banned

    I never said that religious people were seeking something atheists are not.
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That suggests ethical egoism, the idea that all moral actions are performed by the actor for his/her own self-fulfillment.

    We can define 'altruism' as something like "unselfish concern for the welfare of others, selflessness". It's "the opposite of selfishness, and involves doing for others without any expectation of reward". (That's lifted from a couple of dictionaries.)

    Or put another way...

    "As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings... This is called a sublime abiding, here and now." (from the Karaniya Metta Sutta, SN 1.8)
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Welcome to Sciforums, where a person's claims of "I was a true believer" aren't simply accepted as absolute. It doesn't matter if that person was just a little nobody from the pews, or aspiring for papacy.

    Just a couple of weeks back, I caught two people who claimed they used to be Catholics, that they didn't know what the "proper formation of conscience" is about. So much for them having been proper Catholics!

    Apparently, I fail to be as impressed and convinced by your suggestions as you are ...

    If there's anyone here who doesn't answer questions, it is you.
    I've answered all your questions. Maybe not in the way you expected, but this is not my failing.

    Again, welcome to Sciforums, where you should expect your statements to be torn to shreds.

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  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And Freudians would say that that kind of regard for others is not possible. The expected reward can be subtle - like doing things for others so that one can then feel good about oneself.
    So your issue is with the Freudians (and many other psychologists, because the theory of the defense mechanisms is accepted beyond Freudians), not me.

    Okay. You're aware that there are basically two camps on how to understand this passage, right?

    In your interpretation, is this sutta saying
    a) that one should protect others the way a mother protects her child, cares about her child,
    b) that one should protect one's goodwill for others the way a mother protects her child (ie. one should care about one's goodwill as a mother cares about her child)

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