What Do People Know About What They Pretend to Discuss?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Tiassa, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I would not dispute that point; I'm uncertain how to apply it, though.

    • • •​

    It's complicated. As near as I can tell we probably should have mentioned something years ago, except it wasn't at the time evident that we were not at least intending to honor some aspect of the description, so nobody necessarily knew to say anything about it.

    It happened to come up↗, recently↗; not that anyone is particularly certain of the implications. Like Sculptor's point. I really don't intend to dispute it.

    But it turns out the implications aren't necessarily important to some. The atheist, for instance, says there is no God; the ahistorian might remind that the historical record is a misrepresentation by convention: "History is a lie agreed upon", is the formulation I know, attributed to Napoleon and presented as a prefatory quote in a history textbook once upon a time. And that's well and fine, but in one case the argument against will wallow in whatever bullshit an advocate comes up with; even those who purport recognize history as a lie agreed upon, however, reject lies they can witness in real time. That is to say, even the ahistorian will make the point that something is ahistorical. What happens if job security, at least in a more existential context of justifying an endeavor, requires that we honor whatever we happen to know is made up in the moment?

    Please consider, for instance: The Inquisitor justifies mortal judgment, torture, and homicide, according to authority that is, in fact, God's. These years later, Christianists still haven't learned this basic lesson, and like anyone else, they certainly have motivation to ignore what would constrain them from their desire. While it is for instance true that I do not see what good comes from arguing with a fanatic about whether or not God exists, it is also true that results vary when Christianists assert biblical justification for behavior in violation of their Christian identity. That is to say, if we're going to fight about what any of us owe that Christian over there, the one thing that Christian owes us is some honesty.

    But for people who don't actually care about any of that, sure, this is the one time to let the delusional or delerious tell us what something is, and particularly so one can enjoy telling them how wrong and stupid and awful they are, because that's the point, and nobody who behaves that way ought to try to hide behind any other motive.

    It is an interesting coincidence when people will allow their perceived opposition to wrongly identify and describe something the one hates disdains or criticizes; it just seems rather convenient. And it also means one need not know a goddamn thing about what they're criticizing when they answer. That is to say, people can compare masturbation techniques all they want, but if they tell me it's rehearsal for the Easter pageant so don't try to oppress their fucking Christianity, then, yeah, I'm calling bullshit, and, no, I'm not wasting time arguing whether or not Yahweh Smegmaoth—the God Of Wanking—exists.

    That last joke is sexist, by the way.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I did not. I simply rejected your attempt to set up what I regard as a bogus argument.

    Your objection to those critics - such as Bill Maher - who deal with what I regard as basic political reality at a level I have described as "smart-Alec" and "shallow", is that they are dealing with what I regard as basic political reality - the accurately observed and accurately described common and general nature and behavior of Abrahamic monotheists, including the religious ones's own justifications and public reasoning. Your description of these shallow critics is "ignorant".

    One point is that these shallow critics often know what they are talking about, and speak accurately of it. Your claim of ignorance is in error, in that respect.

    Another is that your actual objection is social or anthropological - that religion itself doesn't get enough respect from these shallow critics, that religious belief can have deeper roots, roles, and implications than such disrespect of current realities acknowledges. You attempt to set that disrespect up as a basic error of reasoning about the targeted realities. It isn't.
    And I'm saying that's not what's happening, with Maher et al.
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  5. birch Valued Senior Member

    i have to disagree. there is a reason for this criticism that has to continue to keep it in check. though it may seem cruel or unfair at first glance because you forget what the opponent is or what they represent or the risk that they are, it really isn't when it's about keeping the devil at bay.

    for example, at least in america with as much power and influence it has, politically right-wing, conservative republicans are majority theistic or christian. but this brand of christianity is not the 'evolved strands' you are alluding to, it is smack-dab old testament bigotry, oppression and power-mongering still in the 21st century.

    this so-called evolved strand is not the majority of conservatives at all. the fact trump won and his number of supporters etc is blatant evidence of this. you are being fooled to lower your guard by inciting false guilt.

    so i really don't know what this dreamed-up misplaced sympathy is for.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    On Sympathy and Necessity

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    In truth, I don't understand what such projection is for.

    Keeping what in check?

    Okay, let me try some empathetic projection: It seems we're back to questions of religious people forcing beliefs and behaviors onto society. And does anybody wish to dissent from that point, then? Because in that particular context, I'm sorry, but I very much disagree with delusions of grandeur. What do we know about what we criticize? That, actually, is a reasonable question for the context of how to function in an environment including such demanding behavior from religious people. Sometimes we don't need to know much, as I have been reminded along the way, and while I don't disagree with the statement in and of itself, I recall it here to make the point that arguing with the barely-competent, if at all, street preachers isn't actually helping, and generally only makes things worse.

    That is to say, I think I get what you're after, but the address you're discussing, the "power and influence [religion] has" in American politics, for instance, is the sort of deeper consideration necessarily excluding the contentious, gutter-valence back-and-forth with the least educated or competent among Christianists that requires no real comprehension of religion in general or particular.

    Here is an example: Every once in a while, I refer to one Pam Stenzel. The short form is that she is a conservative Christian advocate who makes a living selling scare media about sex, sexuality, and sexual behavior. Naturally, the anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-science advocate was given a post pitching abstinence as policy to the U.N. on behalf of the George W. Bush administration. So, I would ask you to please imagine a religious conference in Florida featuring the infamous names of the anti-Obama years, among others, such as Mike Huckabee, David Barton, and even Roy Moore, an event at which a former Vice President of the United States can be seen, hand on heart, reciting a flag salute, a Pledge of Allegiance, to a nationalist flag that is not our American stars and stripes, with life and liberty only for believers. And in the comfortable confines of such an audience, Pam Stenzel boasts that it doesn not matter whether or not her social-conservative program actually works, because this is all about getting tickets to Heaven punched. (Yes, really↗.)

    I would like you to let that sink in for a moment, please; it comes up now and then↗:

    "AIDS is not the enemy. HPV and a hysterectomy at twenty is not the enemy. An unplanned pregnancy is not the enemy. My child believing that they can shake their fist in the face of a holy God and sin without consequence, and my child spending eternity separated from God, is the enemy! I will not teach my child that they can sin safely!"

    ―Pam Stenzel

    I mean, okay: You're aware I say a lot, for instance, about human rights issues pertaining to women; there's a reason, and that reason is it's been going on my whole life, and since before I was born. And when we look at the way, say, Christians, or Christianists, or our post-Christian Amero-cultural tradition treats women, yeah, there actually is a fundamental problem. And part of that problem is actually derived from religion; I cannot stress deeply enough how important the Trial of Anne Hutchinson is, nor The Scarlet Letter, because, really, we Americans haven't changed much. The reasons we can't settle these issues properly have to do with societal conditioning empowered by religious framework. I promise you that between arguing with the street preacher handing out Chick tracts as he rants, and actually trying to find ways to address the actual attitudes those bits of make-believe represent? The image of God coming upon Mary ought to be sufficient to make the point insofar as we can't have the dirty joke without the attitudes derived from obsolete human disdain. Recently I made the joke about breastfeeding, and the objection that it is indecent deriving from the fact that everyone knows that's not what boobies are for.

    If I'm going to waste my time arguing with someone like Stenzel, or who believes that way, then it will help to have some understanding of the actual religion behind whatever iteration the advocate puts forward.

    Because it's not just about women, though it's true Christianist obsession with women is rather quite telling. AIDS is not the enemy? Hey, are we ready for the newly resurgent AIDS epidemic that is about to shred the white working class already so grievously gashed open by the opioid crisis that precedes and seeds the AIDS crisis?

    It showed itself over the last couple years; the governor of Indiana, then one Mike Pence, fought needle exchanges as the HIV crisis revealed itself Scott County; two hundred twenty new HIV cases arising in a county of under twenty-four thousand people; a public health administrator in Alaska told Politico that what happened in Scott County is the nightmare that wakes him at night; the opioid crisis in America's "Last Frontier" happens to land on his desk. The problem is that it's too late. What we saw in Scott County was like the glimmer of a scale on the serpent that will strike. Crisis-scale HIV transmission is going on right now. It is impossible to describe the horror that will soon spread thrugh their lives; they already live and die under such a terrifying shadow.

    And we will face religious objections to dealing with this crisis not because they will lead to a better solution, but, rather, because a bunch of Christianists think they can get their ticket to Heaven punched by by being as stupidly cruel toward the pepole they already hate, anyway, because they want us to believe that's what their shoebox idol godling says.

    When it comes to checking the danger, would you be so kind as to help me understand how trying to have an analytical clue equals "dreamed-up misplaced sympathy"?

    To that end, there were some threads recently that we all pretty much know were pure trolling. And, to the other, there are a couple discussions going on in which people ostensibly pursuing some rational something or other perpetually do rounds with a clueless evangelist who can never quite wrap his head around what he wants to preach because it's still just as much about feeling worldly empowerment as the next two-bit, clueless preacher. I just don't see the useful or otherwise not utterly internalized purpose in making such people more important and influential than they otherwise would be except for another person's need to feel empowered as if there is some utility in arguments requiring little or no actual knowledge.

    As recreation it's just trumped up bluster, and, y'know, whatever.

    As any pretense of utility, though, it's not.

    • • •​

    Not entirely unrelated: Here is a prediction I cannot properly calculate.

    • In twenty years, how will white supremacists blame people of color for the white working-class HIV/AIDS crisis already smoldering in the middle of the white working-class opioid epidemic? And how willing will anyone else be to accept the argument? Because, let's face it, that's a lot easier than addressing capitalism, American ethics and identity, and how we managed to create a thoroughly elective opioid addiction epidemic; and none of that even begins to analyze the histories of relevant voting blocs. Still, though, when the argument comes up, shall we wallow in the white supremacist narrative for the pretense of helping by zinging village idiots to our satisfaction? Or shall we call bullshit because wasting time on that excrement only means more time for more human damage? No, really. When it comes to a false narrative, why wallow in the false narrative? Because if we waste our time wallowing in the white supremacist narrative in order to zing village idiots for being village idiots, the one thing both sides of that dispute will agree on is the white supremacist narrative.​


    Ehley, Brianna. "From opioids to HIV — a public health threat in Trump country". Politico. 21 October 2017. Politico.com. 23 November 2017. http://politi.co/2h3l08w
  8. birch Valued Senior Member

    your op would have been perfect for the paranormal discussions in the fringe section with a few changes in terminology. that wouldn't have been, imo, misplaced sympathy.

    other than that, i don't see how the religious are bullied as much because there is not even a hint of the mundane or practical or show of the concept of god at all to even latch onto. both the believers and naysayers equally do not know. actually. it is purely abstract philosophizing. so it's the usual 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' demands etc. all the debates center around the religious claims itself and it's narratives.

    the only reason i mention the paranormal in comparison is because the naysayers actually do NOT know what they are talking about because paranormal experiences are not just an abstract idea but actual experiences that have some tangible form to those who have experienced it. there is something directly experienced or a thread or quasi tangible or sighting. they are not actually making as much cemented claims because they want to know what these things are.

    religionists and religion suppose they already know everything from a to z as well as a god liken similarly to a fact, which is dangerous. it easily falls into default dogmatism because that's where it wants to go and that's what constantly needs to be kept in check from doing so.

    and this check status is because religion has political power or influence. values, how we live our lives, who we associate with, who has power etc are all issues of religion.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    We keep measuring the behavior of the atheist by pointing to the religious.

    Then again, I suppose that isn't surprising.
  10. birch Valued Senior Member

    eh, granted that is a problem if one wants to understand the other's point of view. but there are more people who are familiar with religion who discuss it. religion is something most have grown up with. most have read the bible especially in the west or been exposed to it's tenants to be familar etc.

    so, though some may debate about religion with no actual knowledge, most do know. it's what seems disrespectful to religionists is when it's analyzed outside of the context of the religion's own narrative. those, imo, which are the best are done by posters like GIA, which is not the general consensus opinion because it is provocative and considers different angles which is considered disrespectful. but that's usually because the original narrative is already understood or familiar besides that is what is up for questioning.
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  11. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Why not? Those are the most harmful and perhaps most faithful. But let's not say that those who simply walk in Christ and do good works are harmless, if only to themselves. Other than saying that one should know who you are talking to, what's your point?
    The noise and fight are not necessarily incompatible with the idea that there are real human stakes on the table. Some people may respond to this approach, even if that person is not your debate opponent exactly.
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Are you really asking an atheist "what do you actually know about the "gods"? If you don't think there is a God then what could you possibly "know" about God?

    Wouldn't it be fair to conclude that your sometimes manic like long footnoted postings belie the notion that you believe yourself to be smarter than the people whom you address?

    I'd say that most atheists are fairly knowledgeable about religion considering that it's a subject that they aren't particularly interested in. When you aren't interested in a subject you probably also aren't interested in doing scholarly research in that subject.

    Most atheists (and most casual posters here) don't have the time nor the desire to become obsessed with these subjects. Most aren't "worked up" to the degree that you might desire because they probably have a life and don't feel a compulsion to right the world.

    The truth of the matter is that most religious "debates" on here accomplish nothing but it's just a discussion forum. Even if people behaved or reacted differently it still would accomplish nothing.

    I'm sure it's "maddening" to a religious person for an atheist to compare their religious feelings to feelings for a ghost/unicorn/teapot. Yet it is actually a fair comparison in the literal evidence based sense. It's not a fair comparison if the discussion is about the cultural influence of religion.

    I'm not sure why we are discussing the illogical nature of some posts by atheists and not the illogical nature of some posts by theists. This is supposed to be a science forum and it would be unfair not to mention the overwhelming majority of posts by theists arguing against anything vaguely scientific simply because "science" in general offends their religious sensibilities.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I think your questions perfectly encapsulate the problem.
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Apropos of nothing...long story coming...find it entertaining or not...

    In my local neighborhood grocery store there is an employee who is intense, professional but not really a people person. He is always worked up about something. He is knowledgeable and you can tell he reads a lot at home but he is still "just" a high school graduate.

    They have made him an assistant manager so he still is a cashier, still stocks the shelves but he has a little more "power" and duties. He isn't the best cashier because it doesn't take much to make him combative with the customers.

    I observe him when he is stocking shelves with some of the other more mellow employees. He is always worked up and lecturing about what's wrong with politics, business, etc. He quotes from books he has just read. He is very precise.

    He is still an "underachiever" due to his age and the fact that he is still stocking shelves but he is intelligent enough. He presumably is just held back due to other (personality) issues. He has that drive or energy but it is just misplaced. He expends way too much energy "tilting at windmills".

    End of story...you guys would probably like him though...maybe I should invite him in here?

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  15. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Don Quixote might be welcome if if if he does not turn from a tropical depression into a cyclone

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  16. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Great thread.
    I don't know much so I guess, as readily accept, that I won't know all there is to know about engaging in a chat.
    I am always learning more stuff each day but that makes me realise how much you have to educate yourself to give an informed opinion.
    Just reading history, ancient modern all times civilizations the countless battles, the people, so much lately some cosmology metallurgy music theory there is so much.
    Religion I don't like it but factor its role, politics, similar but any comments I make can only be from my level of learning...that states the obvious.
    But yes if I could generalise for a moment maybe there is something in most folks where they form an opinion informed or not and not quiet but near compelled to offer that opinion.
    Ask most folk a question and you will rarely get "well I really don't know" ... No even if one knows nothing armed with the little information gained merely from the question asked they will construct an answer.
    I think I am lucky to be alive ..a jet came across the valley, its raining heavy , a fighter, went right above the house I think to miss the trees either side...I could not see it so it could have been higher...but I thought it was all over...really really shaken up..feels better to tell someone.

    Where was I?

    If discussion were limited to folk who really were up on the subject of discussion you may be lucky to get two who at least know a great deal to make it a worthy discussion.

    Wow that jet. The rain can't see 500 mts

  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    One does not need to believe something exists in order to know about it.
    That would be an appeal to... something or other... the authority of belief?
    It would certainly be fallacious if one dismisses anything an atheist has to say simply because one thinks they (the atheist) can't possibly know about what they're discussing.

    All that is required for dialogue is a common understanding around which the discussion develops.
    in numerous threads the theist is asked to define what it is they mean by "God", and the discussion can proceed upon that understanding.
    Whether or not the parties identify as theist or atheist are irrelevant to what they actually say.

    Yes, there are some threads that seem to just look to pick holes in the Bible or in the worst example of the religious (or religions) that they can muster etc, and if your question is aimed at those type of threads then okay, I've got nothing to say as I really don't partake of those.
    They seem a tad pointless, to me.

    But if it is more a general case of questioning what atheists could possibly know then I do have issue: one's absence of belief that something exists does not negate the possibility of knowing what is meant by the term used by others who do believe that the something exists.
    I can know what the term "unicorn" is supposed to encapsulate without believing one exists.
    I can know what the phrase "cause of all" is supposed to encapsulate without needing to believe it Is (or whatever terminology one wishes to use so as to avoid confusion).

    If I have gotten the wrong end of the stick as to what this thread is about, though, just ignore me.

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  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    You can't allow discussions of religion and become upset at the varying responses that you get from such discussions.

    It's entirely reasonable for some to point out that in their opinion there is no evidence for God and that any discussion beyond that is silly. Others will do nothing but ask others to define God and will the always take exception to that particular definition. That's "reasonable" as well and threads have gone on for hundreds of posts never getting beyond this.

    Others want to discuss the meaning behind various scriptures or the cultural/historical influence that religion has had or discuss details of differing religions.

    If you have a religious forum, all of that is reasonable and to be expected. You can't "run" a forum and then try to tell fellow posters what and how to post.

    Actually, the best forums tend to have moderators that don't express their own opinions and rarely are visible to the posting public. Less moderation is always the best moderation.
  19. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

    Ummm a jet you say?
    Are you sure?
    Maybe just maybe - let's see - raining - low - scared you = UFO

    Unless you saw the pilot and could identify them in a line up I'm going with UFO

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  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Yes, that would be some manner of fallacy.

    Yes, that would be some manner of fallacy.

    I think I get what you're after, but still ....

    A bunch of people think they are criticizing "religion". No. What they're criticizing is one person, somewhere, because that feels empowering. Look at this thread; they know nothing about religion, generally speaking. There's the one who makes the point about living among the faithful, and his wife being Christian, but as you look through this thread, you'll find that most of it is making excuses: Atheists, apparently, don't need to know anything in order to foulmouth the religious.

    And that means they're not really criticizing religion as much as just finding a religious person to crash.

    Which discussion?

    I would agree at some level that it ought to be that way.

    However, if, say, someone wants to redefine the word "religion" in order to make a harsh critique against religion easier while disqualifying from consideration any potentially religious or religious-like behavior of his own, would it matter if that person was atheist or not?

    It's a phase a lot of people go through, a rite of young or newly-discovered atheism, kind of like a lot of people go through a witchcraft or Satanist phase when falling away from Christianity. To the other, it's also the start of something, either a fascinating historical examination or the process by which one comes to decide knowing stuff is hard and you don't actually need to know a lot about something in order to pretend a confident critique.

    The thing is that arguing over this or that contradiction within faith is what it is, and some days it can certainly seem pointless. Then again, sometimes it can be important. There is a bit about terrorists claiming Islam and a translation of the Qur'an that says raisins instead of virgins. There is also a joke about an Alabama virgin girl at menarche. There is also a case, listed somewhere around here several years ago, about an American Christian woman who murdered her 12 year-old daughter over virginity. There's also a bit about a version of the Bible called the Revised Standard Version. A bunch of scholars got together to derive a more accurate English-language translation of the Bible; they did and pissed off American Christendom in doing so. That is to say, this is one of the obscure liberal/conservative Christian splits we hear about. Part of making the Bible more accurate means attending what the words really mean, not what someone needs them to mean post hoc in order to fulfill someone's understanding of a prophecy. This latter pissed off conservative Christians because part of the shift restored Hebrew context to certain passages from the Old Testament instead of subordinating them as if they were written with Christian intention. A big dispute ensued, leading to another new translation, this called the New Revised Standard Version. Conservative Christians don't use it; attempts to reconcile the translation appropriately according to the languages involved only exacerbated the problem in their outlook. And, yes, one of the components in all that is the classic, stupid question of what the word "virgin" actually means. So it turns out there is one occasion I know of when having that someone having a particular dispute with one's neighbor might actually have saved a life.

    Another potential difference: Consider that Australia just voted to recognize marriage equality, and now the government just needs how to screw it up without entirely screwing it up, that joke itself being an article of faith about large groups and governance. Does that article of faith mean I have an anti-government religion? It seems a relevant question, as one person I know who happens to be an atheist would insist the difference be whether I believed in God or not. Not what relation God has to the question of government, just whether I believe in God or not. Otherwise, I can behave exactly the same and it's not religious.

    That's the sort of thing that happens when you don't need to know a lot about what you criticize. And with that particular person I'm recalling, it was an obvious descent; it seems at some point he decided it wasn't worth the effort of knowing anything, and just started making stuff up because an eye for an eye means he's the only one left who sees.

    Still, though, what of Australia's Christianist wing? They're a pretty obnoxious bunch, but in the end they didn't seem to impress even Australia's Christians. What do you think made the difference? Was it maybe informed discussion of history, humanity, and reality? Or did a bunch of Australian atheists find some individuals they thought stupid and stand around arguing about whether or not God exists until Australian queers magically won a postal survey?

    It's all a tad pointless unless it isn't.

    I don't know what to tell you, then, about the pretenses regarding religious people forcing their faith onto others, or conversion, or any of that rhetoric asserting a purpose to these exercises in ignorance. Pointless is one thing, but that would these atheists are finding someone to bully for no good reason. Though we might also keep in mind that many are reluctant to declare articles of faith about purpose, and why not, since such human behavior is purportedly an object of their loathing to begin with.

    To revisit a point↑:

    • There are a couple discussions going on in which people ostensibly pursuing some rational something or other perpetually do rounds with a clueless evangelist who can never quite wrap his head around what he wants to preach because it's still just as much about feeling worldly empowerment as the next two-bit, clueless preacher. I just don't see the useful or otherwise not utterly internalized purpose in making such people more important and influential than they otherwise would be except for another person's need to feel empowered as if there is some utility in arguments requiring little or no actual knowledge.​

    At this level, the phrase, "a tad pointless", might seem a tad understated.

    To the one, the only consistent aspect of arguing rounds with individual religionists while having and needing no real understanding or knowledge about religion generally or in particular relation to a given evangelist one engages would seem to be shouting for self-gratification in such a manner that some might describe as a tad pointless. To the other, y'know, if that's the point, well, okay, fine, people can choose to deal with that or not. But, to the beeblebrox, as long as these alleged atheistic advocates still have a half a clue in their brain they will be capable of recognizing their behavior as a form of abstract, self-gratifying hostility toward others. As such, note how few are rushing to extol the merits of wallowing in the gutter in order to take a piece out of others they perceive as lowly. There's a bit about conversion, earlier, and several statements about religious people forcing their beliefs on others or disrespecting science, along the way, but where is any of this in the actual conduct?

    It is true, if one just intends to keep demanding what two plus two equals, they really don't need to know a damn thing about who they make demands of or why. Still, the apparently pervasive disdain for records historical and literary just doesn't seem in keeping with propositions of logical and rational discourse.

    Sometimes definitions can make a difference. For instance, if I recall the assertion that God is the "Alpha and Omega", there are actually reasons to wonder what that means. And the difference makes a difference. Same with "cause of all". Monotheism as we find it in the historical record is an anthropomorphized experiential assertion of mysterium. Virtually any definition will be inherently flawed because the mysterium, functionally, is more of an inquiry. Like high and low ceremonial magick, we can very nearly view high religion as communal ego defense response to existential angst percolating through our perception and disequilibrating our relationship with mysterium.

    For many, it's just easier to argue that two plus two means God doesn't exist. But what, really, do they get for being right?
  21. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    No one knows, because there is no such knowledge. Faith is fake knowledge. There are stories and rituals, apologetics and artifacts, which are sometimes useful to bring up in debates, but not necessary to refute belief without evidence. I don't have to know the complete songs of Tom Bombadil in order to dismiss Middle Earth as fiction.
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    There are many social styles but for some folk being right and being regarded as being right by those around them is their payoff.
  23. Equinox Registered Senior Member

    I have a question to the OP.

    If there is a God, and this God revealed themselves in some 'Cryptic way' in the past (such as via the Bible or as a legend of a sacrificed son) why does this God feel the 'need' to reveal themselves in such a 'roundabout' manner?

    Why doesn't God just say "Hey, I'm God - you can do what you like, but at the end of it you will answer to me - so don't be an asshole OK?"

    Why not do this 'big reveal' every year (how about Christmas time? - maybe do it at different times of the year depending on the culture of the people 'God' wishes to address?)

    Why would God want to be 'known' yet let thousands of years pass between sending an 'official' 'provable' messenger ?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017

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