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  #2501  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:23 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Originally Posted by Saranus View Post
I think one of the fundamental differences is that one side sees certainty as a flaw, and you have to fall back and check your privileged viewpoints sometimes. The other side sees uncertainty as a flaw, something that needs to be addressed in order to put your life on track and move forward without existential inner conflict.
As I read the words "privileged viewpoints", I can almost see your nose turn upward in an aristocratic sneer.
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  #2502  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:24 AM
SmokeBlader SmokeBlader is offline

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As I read the words "privileged viewpoints", I can almost see your nose turn upward in an aristocratic sneer.
Same thing could be said about you Baron.
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  #2503  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:27 AM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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Same thing could be said about you Baron.
Hey, I'm far from ideal. There are lots of issues I need to work on.
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  #2504  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:28 AM
Saranus Saranus is offline

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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
As I read the words "privileged viewpoints", I can almost see your nose turn upward in an aristocratic sneer.
Are you 100% sure of that? A lot of people would read the second part and think the same thing. I guess "privileged viewpoints" is a little bit loaded in terms of phrasing. All I mean is a viewpoint someone takes as a foregone conclusion i.e. religious belief. (This also includes militant atheism, in my mind). I'm trying not to inject my personal beliefs into it (and that's what they are no matter who you are) and capture what I see as both sides genuinely thinking. Of course, like one's epidermis, one's bias is always showing. But what I hate more than anything is reductionism and othering. Reducing other people's views into strawman arguments and diminishing the importance of their minds and thoughts which are just as intricate and complex as yours. Their reasoning is just as thought out as anyone elses.
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Last edited by Saranus; 05-26-2013 at 10:31 AM..
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  #2505  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:43 AM
Ashendant Ashendant is offline

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Hey, I'm far from ideal. There are lots of issues I need to work on.
I have reached the point where I'm stuck in a cycle of meta-superiority/inferiority complex.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:56 AM
Torch Torch is offline

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I shouldn't have used the word "guess". The king knew it was an elephant. The Buddha knew it was an elephant. I imagine that an actual blind man would've felt more than one part to determine the actual nature of the animal. It's not hindsight; just taking in the whole.
I suppose the big problem with parables is that they seem to be either "don't be a dick? No shit?" or "Here's a dilemma presented, but actually no it's not a dilemma because (religion), so actually you had to be ignorant or dumb not to know it!" (sound familiar, Alliance fans?)

I mean, if the meaning taken is "We don't know all the facts, so don't get angry at people who have taken other, very reasonable inferences, for you may all be seeing different parts, and you may all be partly right, or completely wrong", then sure, I'm all up for that. It's the whole inference that "Well, actually they were wrong, but we can see that they were wrong, so they shouldn't have been wrong, because we know what they don't" that bugs me. And given the differences between "physical elephant that's easily defined and observable" and "theological statements that we have to accept with quite a bit of faith, because we can't even see half of it from here", it does irk somewhat.

But yeah, total agreement that we shouldn't be dicks to each other over something that's hard to truly define. Of course though, I'm not against people vigourously debating that they're correct either
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  #2507  
Old 05-26-2013, 01:51 PM
Amaile Amaile is offline

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But are you talking about me saying that a doctrine of my faith is wrong? Shoot. I mean, it's theoretically possible I could take that position, but that'd be the day I'm not Catholic anymore. You know?
The entire field of philosophy was founded by devout Christians who took the leap to question the existence of God. I am certain that their individual spiritual beliefs did not change, but they questioned the possibilities, nonetheless.

Then again, if their spiritual views had changed, the Church would have burned them at the stake, so they had that going against them, too.
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  #2508  
Old 05-26-2013, 02:36 PM
PajamaSalad PajamaSalad is offline

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I remember back in my home town there was an Automobile repair shop who was owned by devout Christians. They had a reputation of not lying to you or screwing you over for their service so it was relatively cheap. I have great experiences with religious acquaintances but my parents never raised me to be religious.

Socrates was the one that said someone would only be virtuous if someone else was watching didn't he? I think he was right. A religious man always believes someone is watching and this compels them to do better then someone who isn't.

A devout religious man isn't stupid or evil. They dedicate their purpose in life to something higher then themselves even if that thing is just an idea and not some divine manifestation. Assuming you know any better is arrogant because humans know very little about the universe because there are some things we just can't know. Atheism is just as absurd but without any meaning.

Psychology tells us that human brain firsts reacts based off of intuition. The reasoning portion of your brain acts more like a lawyer then a teacher. It tries to rationalize your intuition to make you feel better about it. A thief will first want something someone else has and then try to rationalize it based off of necessity or perceived victim-hood or what ever. Humans act self-centered without some sort of checks and balances.

I think in the case of someone that believes in an afterlife of redemption or damnation or that an omnipotent being is always watching over them those psychological processes are a bit different. Christian tenants are basically not being a burden on everyone else due to laziness or malice and to contribute to the society you live in and breed so the society continues. Sounds like a recipe to a prosperous society to me.
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  #2509  
Old 05-26-2013, 06:40 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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No, the Papacy isn't half as tolerant as that. Its still official policy of the Holy See that if you're not part of the Catholic Church, then you're not a real Christian. Doesn't matter if you're an independent Christian or a member of some other church, the Catholic one is the only one that apparently counts. Read what that Vatican spokesman said there; you "cannot be saved" if you're not in the Catholic Church.
The Pope said otherwise. It's a step in the right direction, I'm not saying we're there yet.

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Agnostic is the way to go. Atheists are just as delusional as religious people when they say they know they're right.
Doubt is the most valuable of human virtues.
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  #2510  
Old 05-26-2013, 06:41 PM
SmokeBlader SmokeBlader is offline

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Erthad still didn't answer my question.
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  #2511  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:30 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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I think too many jump right at banalizing religion, as this thread shows, without considering how complex and diverse reasons for believing are.

For me it is that I yearn for something greater than what we see, a purpose or meaning to existence that goes beyond crude self gratification and cause and effect which would otherwise govern it.
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  #2512  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:59 PM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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Originally Posted by BaronGrackle View Post
I wasn't born into this. And that being said, I think that throughout the entirety of human existence, there have been times when people have been right.
There is no way to be entirely, objectively right. It is literally, physically impossible to know everything in an absolute state. Reality is based on consensus, as we are social beings with flawed sensory organs and mental systems based on heuristics.
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  #2513  
Old 05-26-2013, 10:53 PM
Erthad Erthad is offline

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Erthad still didn't answer my question.
I ducked out of the thread because people get a certain way that is very irksome.

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What if I reject the Devil too? As a matter of fact, I hate the idea of eternal life. Why should I be sent to hell even though I don't support the Devil? Why does God force me to eternal life when I don't want such a thing?
Those in Hell aren't beholden to the Devil. Hell's more a prison for Satan rather than a bastion of his.

And I can't answer your question on eternal life. I don't know the answer to that.
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  #2514  
Old 05-27-2013, 01:15 AM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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You all may not know this about me, but I have a Master of Divinity. And I'm always surprised when I encounter Christians who still believe in Hell and Satan.
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  #2515  
Old 05-27-2013, 01:17 AM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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You all may not know this about me, but I have a Master of Divinity. And I'm always surprised when I encounter Christians who still believe in Hell and Satan.
Pfft, yeah, and so does my grandma.
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  #2516  
Old 05-27-2013, 03:12 AM
Saranus Saranus is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
I think too many jump right at banalizing religion, as this thread shows, without considering how complex and diverse reasons for believing are.

For me it is that I yearn for something greater than what we see, a purpose or meaning to existence that goes beyond crude self gratification and cause and effect which would otherwise govern it.
Sounds like you're setting up a false dichotomy. Because if a person doesn't adhere to or acknowledge a higher purpose he must therefore be beholden to crude self-gratification/clinical cause and effect instead? No other options or possibilities. Sounds like pretty narrow thinking to me.
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Last edited by Saranus; 05-27-2013 at 03:26 AM..
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  #2517  
Old 05-27-2013, 03:43 AM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Originally Posted by Saranus View Post
Sounds like you're setting up a false dichotomy. Because if a person doesn't adhere to or acknowledge a higher purpose he must therefore be beholden to crude self-gratification/clinical cause and effect instead? No other options or possibilities. Sounds like pretty narrow thinking to me.
It might be harsh but I don't see any alternatives. Clinical cause and effect chain of events that robs all free will from you is the most likely case, scientifically speaking. And as a person who believes in nothing what else do you strive for than self gratification? Don't you love the other person so that they love you back? If not then you already believe in something.

And again you banalize the opposing viewpoint, I never said anything about higher powers or whatnot, just something more than what is plainly visible, be that some underlying power, God... however you want to call it. It can be much more subtle then you would make it.
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  #2518  
Old 05-27-2013, 03:47 AM
SmokeBlader SmokeBlader is offline

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Sounds like you are confusing atheism with nihilism.
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  #2519  
Old 05-27-2013, 07:28 PM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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Pfft, yeah, and so does my grandma.
I guess I should clarify: It surprises me when I meet Christians around or below middle-aged who still believe in Hell and Satan.
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  #2520  
Old 05-27-2013, 07:44 PM
Omacron Omacron is offline


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I guess I should clarify: It surprises me when I meet Christians around or below middle-aged who still believe in Hell and Satan.
No, no, my grandmother has a master's degree in divinity. She's a minister, remember?
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  #2521  
Old 05-27-2013, 09:20 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Sounds like you are confusing atheism with nihilism.
If you do not believe in anything out of the mundane around us then what else is there? From a scientific viewpoint the most likely outcome is a perfectly ordered universe where all events follow one another in an unbroken chain (well, not quite, but for the purposes of our talks it can be considered such) that means everything that has or will yet happen to you is preordained making your "decisions" pointless and so on.
Currently there seems to be some randomness on the quantum level, now that is just my opinion but I feel certain this is just order we can't comprehend, yet. But even if there was true randomness all that would mean is that your life is slightly random but equally out of your control... not much of an improvement.

So yes, atheism logically invokes nihilism (and I use the term tentatively since I haven't read Niche or other such philosophers). I think we've had this talk once or twice before, I have to ask why do you keep bringing it up over and over?
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  #2522  
Old 05-27-2013, 09:33 PM
Genesis Genesis is offline

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No, no, my grandmother has a master's degree in divinity. She's a minister, remember?
Why would I remember this? I don't recall you telling me this, though you likely mentioned earlier in this thread. I've mostly avoided this thread like the plague.
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  #2523  
Old 05-27-2013, 09:35 PM
Millenia Millenia is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
It might be harsh but I don't see any alternatives. Clinical cause and effect chain of events that robs all free will from you is the most likely case, scientifically speaking. And as a person who believes in nothing what else do you strive for than self gratification? Don't you love the other person so that they love you back? If not then you already believe in something.
But it's not a religion, even if many religions have that precept as part of their base in one way or another.

Also, if you dissect people's motivations enough, there is still self-gratification in many selfless acts, due to the way the human mind works. Unless you're a misanthrope who suffers agonizing pain while giving to charity, you still gain a small burst of dopamine. Even if you're a monk who burns himself in protest.
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  #2524  
Old 05-27-2013, 09:46 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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But it's not a religion, even if many religions have that precept as part of their base in one way or another.

Also, if you dissect people's motivations enough, there is still self-gratification in many selfless acts, due to the way the human mind works. Unless you're a misanthrope who suffers agonizing pain while giving to charity, you still gain a small burst of dopamine. Even if you're a monk who burns himself in protest.
Not a religion perhaps, but spirituality of some kind certainly. I use religion as a catch all word for people who believe in something beyond the obvious.

And what you wrote was precisely my point, a true materialist would only help because helping makes them feel good, that is still self gratification... but if you do it for higher reasons than that, then you believe in something greater than yourself and that, imo, is already a form of religion/spirituality.
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  #2525  
Old 05-28-2013, 04:13 AM
Garotar Garotar is offline

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Not a religion perhaps, but spirituality of some kind certainly. I use religion as a catch all word for people who believe in something beyond the obvious.

And what you wrote was precisely my point, a true materialist would only help because helping makes them feel good, that is still self gratification... but if you do it for higher reasons than that, then you believe in something greater than yourself and that, imo, is already a form of religion/spirituality.
Except that still sounds like self gratification, you're just using a higher power to help justify it.
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