Religion? What for?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by jayleew, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    You're decontextualizing what I said.

    That's what I said, the rest of the paragraph from which you quoted:

    And that's all fine and well: as long as we talk about things that we don't consider as contextualizing our own mind (and our own existence in general).

    Religion/spirituality, however, typically offer statements that, at least nominally, contextualize our mind (and our existence as a whole).

    And one cannot use one's own mind to choose to believe what one's own mind is about - at least not as long as one wishes to remain consistent and sane.

    I'm talking about what one can and cannot talk about if one is to remain consistent and sane.

    I don't share your bad faith about God and us.

    You're evading my point.

    The idea that one can use one's own mind (and that one's mind is one's own) to ascertain what is Absolute Truth, to ascertain which religion is the right one and which ones are wrong - that is probably the biggest ego boost around.

    "I know which theistic religion teaches the truth about God, and I can ascertain this with my own mind, I am so able and so wonderful, and I get to take the whole credit for it!"
    That's ego maintenance.

    Imagine, for a second, how deflating it would be for you to consider that your understanding of religion was given to you by God, and that you can't take any credit for it.

    To quote myself again, for you too:

    You wish.
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Gee, how so indeed.

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    I guess you're free to play dumb ...
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    Fair enough. Though you did say it in reference to Jan's post, so I just figured.

    But how do you know omniscience is even possible? To put it another way, how do you know it's an inferior tool? Would you say flight is an inferior mode of transportation because it can't take you back in time? Is construction inferior to the drag-and-drop city planning of SimCity?

    Just because you can imagine a greater means by which to make such determinations doesn't mean that such means exist, nor that our actual means can't do the job.

    I was speaking directly to the idea that the mind being an aspect of God is illogical, not to whether or not Jan chose the right denomination. Again, if you want to say the mind is an inferior tool in ascertaining God's plan, you first have to demonstrate the existence of God. There's no reason to call oneself handicapped until we have evidence of disability.

    How would you know?

    Well, he'd have to answer this one. I was just going by what you told me about the scripture passage. Perhaps he doesn't agree with it, or left it unstated because he finds it obvious. After all, he does credit God with everything, so God endowing him with such abilities would be a given.
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  7. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Can you give an example of what it means to ''contextualise our mind and existence as a whole.

    Who chooses to believe what one's mind is about?
    How would someone choose to believe what their own mind is about?

    How can one become insane by using their mind to make decisions?
    Isn't that partly a function of the mind?

    What's ''bad faith''?

    Your point is all over the place, I'm simply trying to get to a point where we can start.
    I've already stated to jaylew that one cannot choose to believe or not believe in God, with any real integrity.

    Of course our minds belong to us, in the same way that houses belong to home owners. Of course both these can be commandeered, but they are ours to do with as we please according to their limitations.
    Maybe what you mean is, we don't have full control over our minds, but then we don't have full control over anything we own.

    Who said one can use their own mind to ascertain the Absolute Truth? This is what I said...

    My point to jaylew was to make a shift, not to ascertain the Absolute Truth with his mind.

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    Still projecting your own hang-ups I see.

    Okay. Now what?

    Thanks for clearing that up

  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    I'm glad that you are displaying some kind of back-bone, but at least do me the courtesy of a decent response.
    If my question is dumb then please explain why.

    thanks in advance
  9. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

    No I cannot because I wasn't around during that time but I will speculate as to why. People tend to like thinking the same way about living especially when you need others to survive and back then people were very interactive with each other. Buddha had some very interesting ideas which many people semed to enjoy hearing about and therefore took notice of his wisdom to them, and took some of his thinking and ideas and made it into a religion in order to form another socially interactive group who thought similarly. Then someone became its "leader" and made this new religion into something it never was meant to become, in my opinion, because Buddha really wasn't trying to form a religion but only giving people his thoughts about what he was thinking about.
  10. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    if they were already being socialized around the precepts of buddha, they already had a leader. Perhaps you could say that Buddha was a better leader than any of his progeny , but that doesn't somehow exclude people having already arrived at the point of having a leader ..... and as a side point, its due to the efforts of subsequent "leaders" of buddhism that you are able to even appreciate or discuss buddhism.
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I don't, and that is not the issue here.

    There are people who champion religious choice and claim it is possible to choose the objectively right religion, simply by using the powers of one's mind.
    But given that there exists sometimes fierce competition among religions, each of them claiming to be the one and only right one (or at least the superior one) - how could a person possibly tell which one is objectively right, other than by being omniscient? One can't.

    IOW, it is the proponents of religious choice, those who claim that using one's own mind is enough to ascertain the Absolute Truth (ie. typically, proselytizers), that are setting up a cunundrum that would require nothing less than omniscience to resolve.
    I call it bad proselytizing.

    It's by considering the existence of religious diversity and thinking we must opt for one religion over others, that the idea of one's mind being a sufficient tool for discerning Absolute Truth becomes questionable.

    I listen to what they say, how they explain and justify their particular religious choice (there's a characteristic hindsight bias).

    He doesn't.
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Some statements to show such contextualizing:

    God is the Supreme Being.
    We are dependent on God for everything (for food, air, energy, the ability to think etc. etc.).
    Not a blade of grass moves without God's will.
    God is the Alpha and Omega.

    You tell me. You're the one arguing for this line of thought.

    On principle, one can, for example, choose to shoot heroin up one's veins, and doing that tends to make people crazy, sooner or later.

    We've been over this at least once before.

    This time, you said:

    The problem with us, is that we don't wish to align ourselves with real reality, preferring the flickering, temporary, illusory reality we see before us, trying to make sense of it.

    How do you think saying this reflects on God, what does it say about God?

    Consider: God, in His infinite wisdom and goodness, has parts and parcels who, according to you, by their nature "don't wish to align themselves with real reality, preferring the flickering, temporary, illusory reality they see before themselves, trying to make sense of it." I think that speaks very poorly of God, as if God were some kind of psychopathic monster.

    You say that, but on the other hand, you also tell people to "read scriptures that talk about Who and What God is."

    Most scriptures and all kinds of other sources claim to be talking about Who and What God is. But how on earth is one supposed to know which ones are telling the truth?

    What else did you think I meant?

    A shift to where? Through the window? If one doens't use one's mind to ascertain the Absolute Truth, or at least isn't in the process of doing so, then such a use of mind is a waste.

    No, just making a point about pride.

    How do you feel about considering that your understanding of religion was given to you by God, and that you can't take any credit for it?

    Screw you.

    You're playing dumb.

    The essence of sectarianism is a selective approach to scriptures (or doctrines), setting onself up as the judge as to which scriptures (or doctrines) to hold as true, and which to reject as false. And then acting accordingly, which often manifests in that a group of members of a religion separates itself from the rest, thus forming a new religion / new school.
  13. Balerion Banned Banned

    That doesn't make sense. All they have to do is claim to have access to the omniscient authority. They don't have to be omniscient themselves.

    It's certainly proselytizing, but there's no conundrum. You're insisting upon a criteria that isn't necessary. Do you require omniscience to know who your real father is?

    Why wouldn't it be questionable? We know for a fact that the earth is round, yet there are still people who believe it's flat. Does the existence of questioners make the earth's roundness any less of a fact? The path you're on here ultimately leads to the assertion that no knowledge is attainable.

    So you're telling me that Christians tell you that they make secondary claims so that their primary claims don't sound so outlandish? Please. You're projecting.

    Of course he does.
  14. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

    But Buddha , from my understanding, never wanted to "lead", he wanted others to find for themselves how to be following their own path to happiness and understanding. He never said that he wanted to do anything more than discuss philosophy with others and not to take part in politics.
  15. lightgigantic Banned Banned

    You don't have to enter politics to be a leader.

    Anyone who does anything in an impressive manner has the capacity to lead, in that others will emulate their ideas, habits or performance. It doesn't matter whether we are discussing wood lathing or transcendental philsoophy
  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And you are basing this on supposed quotes such as

    Follow your own sense of right and wrong.
    — The Buddha

    Believe nothing, no matter who said it, not even if I said it, if it doesn't fit in with your own reason and common sense.
    — The Buddha

  17. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    That part about politics is probably a vague reference to topics that are not fit for discussion for contemplatives -

    /.../ talking about kings, robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity [philosophical discussions of the past and future], the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not /.../
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    I still don't get you.

    Okay, based on the above examples, the idea of 'contextualizing the mind and or our existence' is a nonsensical one. And hopefully an apology will be made by the person who brought it up, for any inconvenience and time wasting it may have caused.

    That's not what I meant.

    It doesn't follow.

    You have to work that out for yourself.

    That our minds aren't our own.

    That implies The Absolute Truth is separate to us.
    ,If that was so there couldn't be an ''Absolute Truth'.

    I don't see it like that. I understand that as part and parcel of God, we are just like God, but where God infinite, we are finite. So we are all endowed with this perfection of knowledge and understanding, we have just forgotten how to access it.

    No thanks.
    But I'm flattered.

    Here's what I said. Read it carefully.

    It seems that while you reject the sectarian Gods, you have trouble rejecting ''God''. So a good place to start your ''soul searching'' would be to dismiss the sectarian ideas, and concentrate on any scripture that defines Who and What God is.

  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Oh sure. But given that there are many people who all claim to have access to God or the omniscient authority, and these people contradict eachother, accusing one another of lying, false prophecy, blasphemy etc., we're back at square one.
    Unless you've got the hots for solipsism, of course.

    When it comes to theism, on principle, eternal damnation is what is at stake. Which is why choosing the right religion is paramount, and the weight of this decision cannot compare with worldly decisions (such as knowledge of who one's father is).

    I'd say that the path I'm on here ultimately leads to the assertion that no independent knowledge of God is attainable.
    Ironically, many theists would agree with me on this point.

    What, you've never met anyone who later on makes statments that would present their earlier statments as milder, more benign?

    Not as long as he is aware of religious diversity and religious exclusivity, but nevertheless maintains that one's own mind is a sufficient tool to discern what is the Absolute Truth and what isn't, what the real religion is and what isn't.
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Maybe that's because you don't want to.

    Too bad LG is probably never going to take this up with you.

    I find it strange that this notion of God contextualizing us should be so difficult for you to grasp.

    Only if you find it wholesome to consider a great degree of ill will, violence, aggressiveness to be perfectly normal and acceptable and something to cultivate.

    Way to ditch the topic!

    Have you notced there is religious diversity, and that people fight over who has the right idea of what is the Absolute Truth and what isn't?

    How do you explain that we have forgotten it?

    Way to ditch the topic again. Back to square one.
  21. Balerion Banned Banned

    If by "we" you mean you, trying to figure out which prophet is telling the truth, then I agree. There is no logical or evidentiary means by which to conclude which God is real from an outsider's perspective. However, those who believe they have experienced God's presence don't have this problem.

    Of course, one's first thought shouldn't be "Which one is the real one?" but rather "This suggests that none of them are real."

    That's not what I asked you. The wages of getting the answer wrong are entirely irrelevant to the process by which the knowledge is attained.

    I'll try again:

    Please don't avoid the question this time.

    I would agree, but only because there is no God to have knowledge of. But your rationale is off. You say that there can't be independently-attained knowledge of God because so many people disagree on what God is and what its plan and guidelines are. There mere act of disagreement does not discredit the concept.

    Possibly, but the monotheistic ones would be in conflict with the doctrines and scriptures of their faith.

    Well sure. Haven't met many theists who do that in reference to the claims of their faith, though.

    God would still be responsible for that. Remember the bit about God contextualizing everything that you like to bandy about?
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
  22. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    I don't get what you mean by ''contextualise''...
    That list you mentioned is part of the definition of God.
    It doesn't matter what you or I think.
    If like you, I don't feel easy with it, I won't bother with it. I'm not going to waste my time trying to define
    it in such a way that it fits my preference which is exactly what you seem to be doing.

    If you don't like it, leave it.

    I'm not speculating. 'God is'. The difference is that you or spidergoat cannot accept that, so you speculate to turn it into something that has no bearing on what the scripture say's.
    The scriptures are what we have to work with in these situations. The atheistic mindset cannot accept the scriptural injuctions or they don't want to accept them. Therefore they automatically default to discredit them.

    If God is the source of the world, then it matters not how I contextualise it, and it matters not if I believe it or not, either way I'm going to live in the world until such time when I expire. Speculating on that is a waste of time.

    Because you're not accepting the reality of our relationship to God (even as literature), or that we are part and parcel of God, and we also have the same attributes.
    God chooses, and decides, he has full independance, and so do we, but due to our finite-ness we can be overwhelmed, whereas due to God's Infinite-ness He can't. So our nature is to decide for ourself, and as such we've got ourselves in a bit of a pickle, and the more we try to free ourselves the more we become entangled, overwhelmed with the idea of I and mine.

    From God's perspective, we don't die, we don't age, pain and suffering are conditions that affect the temporary body and mind, not the soul.

    No it's not. It's just not what you want to hear.
    All experences can only be understood by the individual, and it is experience what defines knowledge and understanding, and from there you can see the truth of that particular thing. Once you know something, then you know what knowing is like, and how you align with it, so in the future you know what to expect when experiencing other things. The truth is actual thing itself, not just and idea, or a feeling of the thing.
    You're trying to find truth by working things out in your mind. How can the truth be over there while you are over here. It must be a part of you.

    No I haven't.
    Give some examples?

    Explained it further up.


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  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Spiteful nonsense.
    It's you who hasn't read scriptures.

    You just proved what I have suspected all along: you have very strong atheist leanings!
    You don't give a shit about God - whatever you say about God, it's all just about you, you and you, your ego and your overbearing desire to rule over others!

    Oh my little friend!

    This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome.

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