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Is religion good for anything?
Posted: 11 February 2013 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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Quoting RLGK:

[ And, may I, LGK, ask: What point was that?]

  Geez, RLG, is your memory failing you to the point that you have forgotten what you wrote in your prior post?  Go back and read what your wrote to see the point you were making.

Come on, from everything you’ve written on this forum it’s quite apparent that you are a strong theist, possibly not in the everyday sense, but still a theist.  So don’t try to play the game of trying to reject my views of theist behavior as they describe you by claiming that you are a “non-theist.”

I don’t see that most of your long, rambling post was germane, however, to respond to your final point:  No, I’m not a “poor atheist”.  I still have a bible, although I’ve thrown a few of the other copies I had into the recycling bin.  As I’ve related before, my mother sat me on her lap and read me mythology from the age of three, teaching me to read as she went.  When I was seven, an aunt criticized my father for allowing me to read trash (comic books) and not givine me religios instruction.  He replied, “I don’t care what he reads as long as he does read.”  She then gave me a bible for my next birthday.  I read it voraciously and loved it because I had already gone though most of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc. mythology and found it a great new souce of fairytales.  So, no, I don’t need your link.

Occam

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Posted: 11 February 2013 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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Oh? In response to me, will you, or anyone, please quote the rule to me, or show me where to find it—where the “Board” specifically rules:

Suggest you NOT be such a lawyer. Suggest also that you re-read what I actually said instead of going off on some irrelevant tangent. I wasn’t quoting the rules. I was pointing out that the moderator’s job is the ENFORCE the rules.

Whether or not they agree with an opinion expressed has no bearing on that whatsoever.

None.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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Occam. - 11 February 2013 07:34 PM

... to respond to your final point: No, I’m not a “poor atheist”.  I still have a bible, although I’ve thrown a few of the other copies I had into the recycling bin…. So, no, I don’t need your link. Occam

Occam. I was joking when I used the words “poor atheist”. I apologize if it sounded like a dig, or a jab. It was meant as a joke. But seriously, what version of the Bible do you have? I find the Gateway link useful because it has so many versions from which to choose.

I am sure that you are aware that the title “The Bible” literally means, The Book. This of course is a misnomer. The Bible is really a collection of 66 documents—some are only a few pages long, certainly not a book. The story of how we got more than 450 English versions of this set of documents is a long one perhaps of interest only to historians. For any here who are interested, The folowing link filled with details:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_English_Bible
BTW, The Hebrew Bible, which is part of the Christian one, is called the “Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim”. In English this means: The Law The Writings (stories and poems) and The Prophets—not to be confused with modern fortune tellers or forecasters.

Occam. - 11 February 2013, Come on, from everything you’ve written on this forum it’s quite apparent that you are a strong theist…

“strong” theist? No! And certainly not, as you say, “not in the every day sense” of the word.

While I understand the sentiment behind thinking theistically, I have—and have had since I was in high school—problems with the conservative, and especially the fundamentalist kind of theistic absolutism. Because of this, I gave up, long ago, saying things like: We must trust God to bless us! Everything that happens, good or evil, is his absolute will—the WILL of God, of Allah, whoever. It’s kismet, foreordained, predestined, fate, karma!
Regarding this important issue, there is more I would like to add and explore here, but not know!

BTW, Have we not all read stories in the paper with quotes like this: “Yes, I was in that recent plane crash that killed over 200 people. But God saved the lives of ten of us, thank God! He had his hand on at least ten seats. One of them, praise God, was mine.” You know the patter. 

AS A PROCESS THEOLOGIAN, Process Theology (PT) is my cup of tea. Therefore, I agree that I am a strong unitheist—a doublet of panentheist.

Unitheism is unlike strong theism, which speaks of a God who is an absolute and supernatural being. Unitheism says that “god” is in and around the evolutionary process going on within and around us. “god” is not one who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent—apart from all painful processes.

If you have the patience, here is the basic info about PT,  from Wikipedia

Process theology or process thought is a school of thought influenced by the metaphysical process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947). He was a great mathematician and philosopher—and it was further developed by the Rev. Charles Hartshorne (1897–2000). Whitehead was a friend of and collaborator with the atheist, Bertrand Russell, who co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay “On Denoting” has been considered a “paradigm of philosophy.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell

While there are process theologies that are similar, but unrelated to the work of Whitehead (such as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin) the term is generally applied to the Whiteheadian/Hartshornean school.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_theology 
=============================================

[ Edited: 12 February 2013 02:53 PM by RevLGKing ]
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Posted: 12 February 2013 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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RevLGKing,
But seriously, what version of the Bible do you have? I find the Gateway link useful because it has so many versions from which to choose.

I am really trying to look at this with generosity of spirit, but how is possible that a book which is reputed to be the revealed word (of god) and thereby claims authority over science comes in versions or flavors? Which flavor of divine revelation suits you best?  Citing a “version” of the Truth is a contradiction in terms.

Is it any wonder this utter confusion in what is considered by theists as the ultimate guide for living leads to demonization and war.

To theists I say, “Clean up Scripture and standardize it to agree with proven science”.  Only then can one make any sort of claim of truth, not flavors or versions of truth.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 09:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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Everyone has a religion. Not everyone believes in a god. We should stop conflating the two, because by doing that we cede the field of values and meaning to our adversaries.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 12 February 2013 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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Occam. - 11 February 2013 07:34 PM

Quoting RLGK:

[ And, may I, LGK, ask: What point was that?]

  Geez, RLG, is your memory failing you to the point that you have forgotten what you wrote in your prior post?  Go back and read what your wrote to see the point you were making.

Come on, from everything you’ve written on this forum it’s quite apparent that you are a strong theist, possibly not in the everyday sense, but still a theist.  So don’t try to play the game of trying to reject my views of theist behavior as they describe you by claiming that you are a “non-theist.”

I don’t see that most of your long, rambling post was germane, however, to respond to your final point:  No, I’m not a “poor atheist”.  I still have a bible, although I’ve thrown a few of the other copies I had into the recycling bin.  As I’ve related before, my mother sat me on her lap and read me mythology from the age of three, teaching me to read as she went.  When I was seven, an aunt criticized my father for allowing me to read trash (comic books) and not givine me religios instruction.  He replied, “I don’t care what he reads as long as he does read.”  She then gave me a bible for my next birthday.  I read it voraciously and loved it because I had already gone though most of the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc. mythology and found it a great new souce of fairytales.  So, no, I don’t need your link.

Occam

I haven’t been here in a while but I have had several communications with LGK, and have found nothing in his writings to suggest that he is anything but what he says to be. He approaches these questions differently than you do but he belongs here as much as you or I. Perhaps you could provide a link or two to support your - shall we call it an accusation or a claim?

Responding to a recent comment, just because one prefaces a statement with “I believe” doesn’t mean that the declarant is approaching the matters contained therein objectively or with an open mind. The content can be as unyielding and as absolute with or without the preface.

[ Edited: 12 February 2013 09:19 PM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 13 February 2013 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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Welcome back PLaClair. Quoting PLC:

He approaches these questions differently than you do but he belongs here as much as you or I.

OK, but did I say he didn’t belong here???

Responding to a recent comment, just because one prefaces a statement with “I believe” doesn’t mean that the declarant is approaching the matters contained therein objectively or with an open mind.

  Fine, but that wasn’t what I was saying.  I see a major difference in the meanings of the two statements, “Jack killed Joe” and “I believe Jack killed Joe.”  If I made one of these statements on the stand, as a lawyer, PLaClair, would you see them as equivalent???

And I never claimed that I was approaching the matter objectively or with an open mind, just stating what my personal belief was.

Quoting RevLG:

But seriously, what version of the Bible do you have?

  Really?? You’re asking that question as if one may be more truthful that another?  That’s like asking me which of the xmas season Santa Clauses we see in the stores is the real one.

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Posted: 14 February 2013 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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Occam. - 13 February 2013 06:20 PM

Welcome back PLaClair. Quoting PLC:

He approaches these questions differently than you do but he belongs here as much as you or I.

OK, but did I say he didn’t belong here???

Responding to a recent comment, just because one prefaces a statement with “I believe” doesn’t mean that the declarant is approaching the matters contained therein objectively or with an open mind.

  Fine, but that wasn’t what I was saying.  I see a major difference in the meanings of the two statements, “Jack killed Joe” and “I believe Jack killed Joe.”  If I made one of these statements on the stand, as a lawyer, PLaClair, would you see them as equivalent???

And I never claimed that I was approaching the matter objectively or with an open mind, just stating what my personal belief was.

Quoting RevLG:

But seriously, what version of the Bible do you have?

  Really?? You’re asking that question as if one may be more truthful that another?  That’s like asking me which of the xmas season Santa Clauses we see in the stores is the real one.

Occam

This isn’t a theist-friendly forum but you’re right, all who adhere to the forum’s rules are welcome here. Theists probably don’t fit very well, though, and the more important point is that we have no reason not to take LGK at his word. I don’t see a link to support the statement.

Regarding the difference between “Jack killed Joe” and “I believe Jack killed Joe,” if offered on a witness stand in court: To make either statement in court, a foundation would have to be laid that the witness had sufficient knowledge to support the statement. Standing alone, neither statement would be likely to be admissible. A layperson could not draw the conclusion that the witnessed act resulted in the death; that would require expert testimony. So while an eyewitness could testify “Jack stabbed Joe,” assuming a proper foundation was laid to establish the witness’ knowledge of the fact, the same witness could not testify “Jack killed Joe.” Prefacing the same words with “I believe” wouldn’t make the statement more admissible but on the contrary would call its reliability into question.

All of that is beside the point. As I recall, the comments at issue on this thread refer neither to eyewitness testimony about an alleged fact nor to expert testimony about a causal connection. My point is that it is most useful to look at open-mindedness as an element of creativity. The germane question isn’t whether the statements are equivalent but whether the words “I believe” make the statement any more useful or any more open-minded. I don’t see how they add to either dynamic.

A question: as a member and moderator of this forum, how can you justify not approaching every question that leads you to state a belief objectively and with an open mind? That is essential to rationalism and scientific naturalism, no?

[ Edited: 14 February 2013 09:49 PM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 15 February 2013 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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PLaClair, you seem to be missing my point.  There’s a difference between being open minded and empty minded.  If one makes an assertion, that seems to indicate his mind is made up (closed) on that topic.  If one starts with “I believe” it indicates that one usually recognizes it’s not certainty, it’s one’s present opinion and is open for discussion, and possible change.  If you review my posts you’ll see such modifying phrases as “I believe”, “it seems”, “apparently”, “possibly”, etc.  I work hard to avoid making absolute pronouncements so I don’t know what the devil you’re talking about.

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Posted: 15 February 2013 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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It gives atheists something to talk about.

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Posted: 15 February 2013 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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I understand your argument Occam but I disagree. Your openness would be present whether you prefaced and qualified your remarks or not. Most persuasive writers do not qualify their remarks with phrases such as “I believe” because that is already understood.

A dear friend comes to mind. She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. She is also a church-going Lutheran who can see a road sign directing her to turn left, and conclude that God put it there as a personal message to her - to use just one example. She has never tried to force her views on me, and she always prefaces her statements of belief very carefully. That doesn’t mean that her mind is open to looking at these matters in another way. Having known her for more than thirty years, I am convinced that it is not. Dogmatism isn’t limited to those who thump, whether the thumping be done on a Bible or on a table.

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Posted: 15 February 2013 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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Or a philosphy text

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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