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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Interesting way of putting it. Most Christians really do not understand faith, do they?
    In many ways no, I wouldn't say so. Then again truth doesn't depend upon majority adherence or not.

    I am sure you are very tired of hearing Ti users debunk the logical inconsistencies of faith, so here is an Ne perspective that you may find interesting:
    Well actually what bugs me is people who actually try to use MBTI to explain or dismiss religious claims(example: I can't believe in your god because I use Ti). That's actually stepping outside the legitimate realms of Typology(or rather psychology in general) - as Martin Buber noted in his critique of Carl Jung.


    And so this leads me to my previously stated conclusion: that the value of religion is largely philosophic in nature, and great for some people because it's precisely what they need to hear to stay motivated. I do recognize that freely admitting this may ruin the value in faith for some, but I also know religious people who openly admit that their holy stories are probably not literally true, but that participating in religion fulfills external world goals to the extent that its internal consistency (or lack thereof) is irrelevant.
    Your conclusion is wrong, and misses the entire point of religion. Doesn't make a darn difference if you use Ne, Ti, Ni, whatever function to come to this conclusion - you're still wrong. Religion deals ultimately with metaphysical realities; which goes beyond mere ethics - although many like to try reduce it to that. It's common practice among those who adhere to the "Christ of Culture" perspective as Reinhold Niebuhr termed it. In fact your whole argument here seems to rest upon that perspective; and many peoples' perspectives on religion falls under that category. That or occassionally the "Christ Against Culture" perspective.

    Now on taking holy scriptures literally. Non-literal interpretations of scriptures have a very long history - dating to at least to the woks of the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria in the first century BC. Now concerning Christianity specifically, I have to once again note that it evolved from the allegorical traditions of Hellenic Judaism. One first century Christian text, the Epistle of Barnabas, actually condemns those who take scriptures literally as dupes of the Devil.

    Fundamentalism or scriptural literalism as we know it today didn't really develop until the 18th-19th century. Similar situation to Islamic fundamentalism actually, particularly in the form of Wahhabism. So ironically the form of religion that gets condemned the most for supposedly being "primitive" or "out of date" etc. etc. is in actuality a product of modernity itself.

    At this point I must insist: When in a hole, stop digging.


    So the question is: Does it matter if you're wrong?
    Yes of course it does.

  2. #82
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    ISTP - Agnostic that leans pretty far to Atheist. I accept that there is a possibility of a god, or there not being a god, but my personal belief is that the probability of no god (In the traditional sense depicted in the bible and such), is more likely than their being one by a large amount.
    I-95%, S-84%, T-89%, P-84%

  3. #83
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post

    What I do know about x is that it works for me.
    1. It gives me comfort
    2. it gives me courage
    3. it gives me strength
    4. it gives me perspective
    5. gives me God as a wonderful friend
    6. Sometimes (particularly under stress ( it feels like it gives me superpowers to accomplish remarkable things.)
    7. It is like my home. It gives me shelter and for a person abandon that shelter and become homeless seems inequitable.

    Have also seen in others how surrendering yourself to a higher power can really turn their apparently previous hopeless lives around: (i.e. alcoholics)

    Am sure that there must be some pragmatic satisfaction in being an atheist. Kinda like how it felt adult not believing in Santa Claus when a bunch of the younger kids still believing. But even then as soon as that happened I stopped getting presents from Santa.
    I've already covered all of this. Religion is very useful for some people, and I wouldn't take that away from most of them because they need it for the reasons you listed, but that doesn't make any more likely to be true. Granted this is not the point for most religious people, so fine, but for purposes of this discussion I believe we're discussing the probable truth/falsehood of a literal interpretation of God, not whether or not religion is useful.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    In many ways no, I wouldn't say so. Then again truth doesn't depend upon majority adherence or not.
    k


    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Well actually what bugs me is people who actually try to use MBTI to explain or dismiss religious claims(example: I can't believe in your god because I use Ti). That's actually stepping outside the legitimate realms of Typology(or rather psychology in general) - as Martin Buber noted in his critique of Carl Jung.
    I think you don't understand why the functional explanations apply here. You can use any function to confirm or deny God if you want to; the idea isn't that Ti is automatically atheistic or anything like that, it's all in how you use that function to reach your personal conclusion on the topic. There are theists and atheists of every type, so obviously no function always reaches the same conclusion in different people.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Your conclusion is wrong, and misses the entire point of religion. Doesn't make a darn difference if you use Ne, Ti, Ni, whatever function to come to this conclusion - you're still wrong. Religion deals ultimately with metaphysical realities; which goes beyond mere ethics - although many like to try reduce it to that. It's common practice among those who adhere to the "Christ of Culture" perspective as Reinhold Niebuhr termed it. In fact your whole argument here seems to rest upon that perspective; and many peoples' perspectives on religion falls under that category. That or occassionally the "Christ Against Culture" perspective.
    Any response other than flat contradiction?



    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Now on taking holy scriptures literally. Non-literal interpretations of scriptures have a very long history - dating to at least to the woks of the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria in the first century BC. Now concerning Christianity specifically, I have to once again note that it evolved from the allegorical traditions of Hellenic Judaism. One first century Christian text, the Epistle of Barnabas, actually condemns those who take scriptures literally as dupes of the Devil.

    Fundamentalism or scriptural literalism as we know it today didn't really develop until the 18th-19th century. Similar situation to Islamic fundamentalism actually, particularly in the form of Wahhabism. So ironically the form of religion that gets condemned the most for supposedly being "primitive" or "out of date" etc. etc. is in actuality a product of modernity itself.
    Okay, this is a fair point. Unfortunately the fundamentalist view has become the most popular one today, so it unfortunately causes faith in general to get a lot of flack.



    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    At this point I must insist: When in a hole, stop digging.
    Wow, more free condescension. Great, what a deal.





    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yes of course it does.
    Why? Won't the ultimate effect on your life be the same?

    Also, main question: How do you decide which ideas to place faith in and which ones not to?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  4. #84
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Okay, this is a fair point. Unfortunately the fundamentalist view has become the most popular one today, so it unfortunately causes faith in general to get a lot of flack.
    No it's just the perspective that gets the most attention from the media. The majority of Christians do not adhere to a fundamentalist view; and I'd wager neither do the majority of Muslims either.

  5. #85
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    No it's just the perspective that gets the most attention from the media. The majority of Christians do not adhere to a fundamentalist view; and I'd wager neither do the majority of Muslims either.
    Okay, perhaps not fundamentalist, that's fair.

    But it does seem like the majority of Christians do believe that God is a literal and conscious entity who answers prayers and will one day bring all the believers to eternal joyous afterlife with him and condemn everyone else to eternal suffering.

    That's the part I can't really get behind.

    Any responses to the rest of my last post?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #86
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Okay, perhaps not fundamentalist, that's fair.

    But it does seem like the majority of Christians do believe that God is a literal and conscious entity who answers prayers and will one day bring all the believers to eternal joyous afterlife with him and condemn everyone else to eternal suffering.

    That's the part I can't really get behind.
    So it's the issue of a personal God you're having problems with?

    Any responses to the rest of my last post?
    There's not much to respond to really. You keep repeating your claim that religion is largely about ethical behavior when anybody who's bothered to study religion know that the ultimate end of any religion deals with metaphysical realities. Without that metaphysical foundation, then you don't have religion. There certainly are practical/utilitarian aspects to religion, but you can't confuse that one aspect for the whole thing. That's the mistake you consistently insist upon making.

  7. #87
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So it's the issue of a personal God you're having problems with?
    Mainly, yeah. If God exists I find myself unable to rationalize that he would be morally judgmental, or even be a "he" or other conscious entity at all. I also don't believe in any afterlife whatsoever. Once you get to that point of vagueness I just don't understand the purpose anymore.

    What might belief in a personal God do to improve my life?



    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    There's not much to respond to really. You keep repeating your claim that religion is largely about ethical behavior when anybody who's bothered to study religion know that the ultimate end of any religion deals with metaphysical realities. Without that metaphysical foundation, then you don't have religion. There certainly are practical/utilitarian aspects to religion, but you can't confuse that one aspect for the whole thing. That's the mistake you consistently insist upon making.
    I see. I was commenting more on the practical positive effects of religion that I've observed in others, not so much on what religious people actually believe about the purpose of their own faith. Obviously they think it's much more than just ethics, as you've aptly demonstrated.

    As for the metaphysical foundation...obviously it's a choice made outside of any sort of reason, but how is it that you decide to follow this particular uncertain truth and not a million other possible but uncertain truths? Why Christianity and not Islam or Hinduism or any other traditions?

    For that matter, how is it that you've decided purely objective truth even exists at all?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  8. #88
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    but that doesn't make any more likely to be true. Granted this is not the point for most religious people, so fine?
    Ok now not clear on the scope of the thread beyond its title but I am game for the moment. Why doesn't it make it more likely than not that something that has a use (i.e. what I listed, the earth etc.) presuppose a cause or architect of the tool for the purpose of addressing that use? For example a watch is useful to tell time but there is a valid presumption that the watch was created by some intelligent design, a watchmaker of sorts. Similar to a watch the earth is a very complex design, is it your position that the earth just got lucky, that it just came together as a coincidence? Regardless of your belief or my belief I would nevertheless say this is presentable evidence to show the relevance evidence. In other words a matter that has a tendency to prove or disprove a material matter under dispute.

    So if God/Faith in God has no use it would have a tendency to prove your position.

    If the earth was never able to support life and just a floating rock and not something of useful or artistic design I would say it has a tendency to prove your position.

    I am not saying you should throw your hands in the air and praise the lord. What I am saying is it is relevant and reasonably creates a presumption of a God or an Architect. Thus the "weight" of the applicable evidence needs to be addressed if it is to be proven (what is the standard of proof by the way? A possibility, a preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing proof, beyond reasonable doubt? Who is to be the finder of fact, a jury a judge any voir dire, how many preemptory strikes etc...?

    As I think I have noted I for one am less concerned with truth or falsity and more concerned with pragmatics and simply begging the question. I think we can agree God is useful to me, regardless if he/she is any use to you. There simply isnít the evidence available to clearly show enough weight if God exists or no to change anybodyís mind who doesnít have the propensity to belief one way or the other. All there is, is ďargumentĒ not "evidence", only clever or bad applications of logic, semantics and endurance. Some of your rebuttals are not bad but otherwise I think you are biting more than you can chew. Cheers and good luck in finding what you are looking for.

  9. #89
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Mainly, yeah. If God exists I find myself unable to rationalize that he would be morally judgmental, or even be a "he" or other conscious entity at all. I also don't believe in any afterlife whatsoever. Once you get to that point of vagueness I just don't understand the purpose anymore.
    This remind me of Chesterton's observation on the difference between mysticism and pure logic:
    "Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also. Thus he believed that children were indeed the kingdom of heaven, but nevertheless ought to be obedient to the kingdom of earth. He admired youth because it was young and age because it was not. It is exactly this balance of apparent contradictions that has been the whole buoyancy of the healthy man. The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid. The determinist makes the theory of causation quite clear, and then finds that he cannot say "if you please" to the housemaid. The Christian permits free will to remain a sacred mystery; but because of this his relations with the housemaid become of a sparkling and crystal clearness. He puts the seed of dogma in a central darkness; but it branches forth in all directions with abounding natural health."

    Orthodoxy by Gilbert K. Chesterton, Chapter 2
    You're insisting that God make sense rationally, without taking into account that reason has its limits - especially when dealing with entities like God. Now that doesn't mean reason can aid one in understanding God better(or attributes of God, if not his full essence) - as St. Thomas Aquinas demonstrated with his 5 proofs. But ultimately the issue of knowledge of God(at least in the Abrahamic sense) lies in revelation.

    Even Kant I believe dealt deeply with the issues of the limitation of reason, especially when dealing with issues related to God and its nature in Critique of Pure Reason.

    As for the metaphysical foundation...obviously it's a choice made outside of any sort of reason, but how is it that you decide to follow this particular uncertain truth and not a million other possible but uncertain truths? Why Christianity and not Islam or Hinduism or any other traditions?
    Well there are plenty of reasons to pick Christianity over other religions, some are primary and others are secondary. A good secondary reason in my case would involve my cultural heritage for example - although it does point to an important secondary reason when comparing it to Islam for example.

    But a good primary reason I could thing of is simply that Christianity makes more sense than the other religions when viewed from a comprehensive viewpoint. For example, Christianity has one god while Hinduism has several gods(thousands even I believe). Well Ockham's razor: One god makes more sense than thousands.

    Concerning Islam; the common perspective on God's interaction with the natural world is that of Occasionalism - ie whatever happens is simply the will of God. Contrary to what many claim, Christianity has never adhered to such - but rather that God of course is the primary mover(or the unmoved mover) and through secondary agents interacts with the world. Of course sometimes God does directly intervene in the natural world, and these are called miracles. But miracles by their very nature are unusual events; and certainly cannot be taken as explaination for the normal course of natural events. For more info: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Miracle

    I have discussed plenty of times here about the major impact such a perspective and other Christian theological concepts had upon the development of science as we know it; including the concept of methodical naturalism(which too often is mistaken for metaphysical naturalism by religion critics). Furthermore, many of the basic presuppositions of Modernity itself(on which much of atheism as we know it today grounds itself) are founded upon theological concepts derived in wake of the rise of Nominalism and the crisis it provoked within Medieval thinking. So the irony is that without Christianity, atheism as we know it could not even exist.

    Now does this definatively prove Christianity is the one true faith? No it doesn't. That's an ultimately an issue of faith. But if you look at Christian perspectives as a whole and the wide-reaching impact they've had on the world(even when compared to that of other faiths); it can certainly point one to that conclusion.

    I've barely scratched the surface of this issue with a few examples; but there's literally an over abundance of resources about Christianity's impact upon the world, not the mention entire treastises concerning debate with the claims of other religions.


    For that matter, how is it that you've decided purely objective truth even exists at all?
    I guess for now I can answer that since it's important for the cosmos to be governed by order, objective(or even more so universal) is a must - otherwise you'd have chaos. Of course that's just one major piece in the much larger puzzle here. After all, one's view of ultimate things effects one's views on everything else. Even in a political context universal truth is important; for it is upon such that concepts of justice and even human rights are founded upon. Without universal truth(which comes from God), all you have is the mere arbitrary power of the state and might basically makes right. That's why Plato argued that atheism was so contrary to the political order; because it denies the ultimate foundation for morality, justice, and the order of being itself. So the issue of order and disorder does play an important role in the issue regarding objective/universal truth. But again I'm just barely scratching the surface here.

  10. #90
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    You're insisting that God make sense rationally, without taking into account that reason has its limits - especially when dealing with entities like God. Now that doesn't mean reason can aid one in understanding God better(or attributes of God, if not his full essence) - as St. Thomas Aquinas demonstrated with his 5 proofs. But ultimately the issue of knowledge of God(at least in the Abrahamic sense) lies in revelation.
    Reason has its limits, yes--but how is this duality of attitudes of which he speaks relevant to a person of faith? It sounds as if you see God as only one possible interpretation of what is going on in the universe, like you're skirting the line between faith and non-faith so that you can gain the most perspective from both.

    I think this is a cool idea, but I must wonder--if you are not certain, how is it that you really have "faith"? If you believe the real world to be just as important as the spiritual world, are you not something of an agnostic yourself? It sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it too--"Oh yeah I have total faith in God, but I'm not really totally sure, plus I find worldly wisdom just as important and necessary as divine wisdom...but seriously guys, I'm a devout Christian." It sounds like you're bending over backwards to make an unreasonable position sound reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Well there are plenty of reasons to pick Christianity over other religions, some are primary and others are secondary. A good secondary reason in my case would involve my cultural heritage for example - although it does point to an important secondary reason when comparing it to Islam for example.
    Yeah, that's the reason most people rely on, whether consciously or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    But a good primary reason I could thing of is simply that Christianity makes more sense than the other religions when viewed from a comprehensive viewpoint. For example, Christianity has one god while Hinduism has several gods(thousands even I believe). Well Ockham's razor: One god makes more sense than thousands.
    Well, that's quite up to debate, isn't it? You've made a sloppy error in reasoning here by assuming Occam's Razor applies in all cases...either that or arbitrarily decided that it applies here because it seems most comfortable to you.

    Seriously, your entire case against Hinduism is that it has too many gods? That seems to suggest that you aren't too well-versed in the philosophy of Hinduism or other eastern religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Concerning Islam; the common perspective on God's interaction with the natural world is that of Occasionalism - ie whatever happens is simply the will of God. Contrary to what many claim, Christianity has never adhered to such - but rather that God of course is the primary mover(or the unmoved mover) and through secondary agents interacts with the world. Of course sometimes God does directly intervene in the natural world, and these are called miracles. But miracles by their very nature are unusual events; and certainly cannot be taken as explaination for the normal course of natural events. For more info: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Miracle
    As you know, I'm of the opinion that all so-called "miracles" have reasonable explanations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I have discussed plenty of times here about the major impact such a perspective and other Christian theological concepts had upon the development of science as we know it; including the concept of methodical naturalism(which too often is mistaken for metaphysical naturalism by religion critics). Furthermore, many of the basic presuppositions of Modernity itself(on which much of atheism as we know it today grounds itself) are founded upon theological concepts derived in wake of the rise of Nominalism and the crisis it provoked within Medieval thinking. So the irony is that without Christianity, atheism as we know it could not even exist.
    That's great, and I absolutely regard the study of Christianity and the Bible as an integral part of a well-rounded education. I don't, however, understand how "But it influenced lots of people a whole bunch!" as any kind of reasoning for believing in its supposed metaphysical truth value.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Now does this definatively prove Christianity is the one true faith? No it doesn't. That's an ultimately an issue of faith. But if you look at Christian perspectives as a whole and the wide-reaching impact they've had on the world(even when compared to that of other faiths); it can certainly point one to that conclusion.
    I suppose it could, but you could find the same conclusion about virtually anything you wanted to. Not to mention, how does the fact that it's been widely influential indicate anything about its actual truth value?

    I'm sure I needn't remind you how many blatant lies have become vastly influential across numerous time periods and cultures in centuries past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I've barely scratched the surface of this issue with a few examples; but there's literally an over abundance of resources about Christianity's impact upon the world, not the mention entire treastises concerning debate with the claims of other religions.
    Once again you point to "It's had enormous influence" as evidence for its truth value, which does not follow at all.



    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I guess for now I can answer that since it's important for the cosmos to be governed by order, objective(or even more so universal) is a must - otherwise you'd have chaos.
    We do have chaos. Look around you. The vast majority of your life circumstances are determined by random chance.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

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