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  1. #81
    Member ms_ambivalence's Avatar
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  2. #82
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antireconciler View Post
    Lucretius has a pretty good argument about death.

    More or less, he says that life after death is simply inconsistent and thus men are mortal. But fear of death always involves imagining death, while alive to imagine it. But that is to imagine life presence after death in order to imagine it at all, when we already agreed that life after death was inconsistent. "Death is therefore nothing to us, concerns us not a jot."

    I think it's both beautiful and compelling.
    That view is only comforting if a person is capable of living purely in the moment, without capacity for either anticipation or dread. Otherwise, the knowledge that consciousness ends limits one's capacity to enjoy the moments in life, much like a condemned prisoner eating his last meal cannot fully enjoy the experience. The closer one is to potential death (either through age or circumstance), the more pronounced that debilitating effect-unless one has enough faith to alleviate that dread. Oblivion itself is what most people fear; it is that fear in turn which allows people to imagine an unpleasant afterlife, because subconsciously they wish to assume that their individual consciousness is eternal. The concept of oblivion is what creates the fear of death, not an antidote to the same.

    And yes, I realize that orthodox Buddhism completely rejects that line of reasoning. I find the appeal of orthodox Buddhism utterly mind-boggling as a consequence.

    If it adds any context, I'm an agnostic that wishes he had the faith to be a Deist (of a type that assumes both free will and eternal consciousness) and is glad he lacks the faith to be an atheist.

  3. #83
    Senior Member NoahFence's Avatar
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    Why fear the inevitable? We will all die. Whether you meet your end bravely or fearfully, you will certainly meet it.

    What I fear is dying soon. Dying today is not inevitable.

    I always envied the Vikings their idea of "dying well".

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck
    and is glad he lacks the faith to be an atheist.
    Much appreciation for saying that. If atheists could admit that their position was just as much a matter of faith as any religion, I'd enter more religious discussions.
    "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo

  4. #84
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    That view is only comforting if a person is capable of living purely in the moment, without capacity for either anticipation or dread. Otherwise, the knowledge that consciousness ends limits one's capacity to enjoy the moments in life, much like a condemned prisoner eating his last meal cannot fully enjoy the experience. The closer one is to potential death (either through age or circumstance), the more pronounced that debilitating effect-unless one has enough faith to alleviate that dread. Oblivion itself is what most people fear; it is that fear in turn which allows people to imagine an unpleasant afterlife, because subconsciously they wish to assume that their individual consciousness is eternal. The concept of oblivion is what creates the fear of death, not an antidote to the same.
    I don't know. I've been increasingly able to deal with the thought of there being no provable truth, nor assumption of any sort of afterlife. I certainly don't live in the moment, although I aspire to doing more of it. There is a certain freedom in it... which is funny, because I have always looked outside of myself for definition, and now I am being forced to internally define myself.

    For a long time, I thought the existentialists were absurd... but I find myself worrying less and less about oblivion of self that would presumably come with physical death if there is no higher reality. it just doesn't bother me as much. Maybe because death seems like another arbitrary delineation.

    If it adds any context, I'm an agnostic that wishes he had the faith to be a Deist (of a type that assumes both free will and eternal consciousness) and is glad he lacks the faith to be an atheist.
    I can identify with that.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #85
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I suppose I just see it as useless... because there is no way to validate revelation. You either choose to buy into it or you do not. Why not select something that others would find abhorrent, because it was simply "revealed" to you? At some point criteria has to be used to evaluate revelation.

    But I suppose this is what you are saying next:



    The attitude I'm referring to is that which accepts revelation, then simply uses logic (and whatever else) to support the revelation... but the revelation is first and foremost assumed to be true in the way understood by the advocate. At that point, the person is simply deciding to believe something, because they want to.... not because it's necessarily true or can be shown to be true.

    So revelation is arbitrary. Some revelation is "way off" and can be excluded, I guess (like "historical events that never happened"); other spiritual revelation (whether Christian or Muslim or New Age / Spiritualism, etc.) is too general and amorphous to ever evaluate. you either buy into them or you do not.
    Revelation is arbitrary, because all belief is arbitrary. I'm not just talking of religious belief, but all belief. Belief in logic. Belief in science. These ideas are based on arbitrary beliefs as well. These are accepted as true either because of socialization or an arbitrarily held value. In reality they are based on ideas which are arbitrarily taken to be true. In the same way religious beliefs are arbitrarily taken to be true. In each system you can check for some type of internal consistency, but beyond that it's essentially based on faith.

    There is only one type of criteria that is external from a system that one can use as "evidence", and that is the pragmatic one. For example a person can believe in science because it produces technology. It produces something useful that extends beyond the internal consistency of data and scientific method.

    Likewise the only external "evidence" one can use to judge faith, religion, etc... is a pragmatic one. Does it have a postitive impact upon one's life as it promises? In this criteria the outcomes are decidedly mixed. One does not have to look far to find people who have been positively impacted by their faith as well as people who have been negatively impacted. Often even under the umbrella of one religion, say Christianity, one can find a wide range of experience. Therefore we can conclude that there is something to it, but it is not readily clear to a given individual what that something is. Why do some yield tremendously positive results while other yield tremendously negative ones?
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  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by red13 View Post
    I sometimes lose faith in MBTI. I cannot understand someone of the same type as myself actually believing in Christianity et al. I can understand why some "weak" types succumb but NT's especially INTJ's/INTP, surely not?
    I totally agree. And by weak types i assume you mean sensors? The people who are solely practical and have no thought of tommorow?

    I can't understand why anyone can believe in something that cannot be proved.

  7. #87
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    I think there are lots of reasonable philosophical positions pointing to some kind of power that is incomprehensible to the human mind.

    But I don't understand *at all* how anyone can choose any specific cultural conceptions of this power and claim that there's a better argument for any particular one over any particular other.

    I can see how faith in some kind of inner spiritual force could be reasoned, but how the hell does it ever connect directly to Jesus Christ? He is an Earth-specific cultural figure and I simply don't see how you could use pure reason to reach any conclusion about him being divine or supernaturally powerful.

    If other equally intelligent beings in some other galaxy millions of lightyears away wouldn't be able to reach any conclusions regarding Jesus Christ specifically purely through philosophical and rational inquiry, how can any of us expect to do the same? How can anyone possibly argue that Jesus Christ is not simply an arbitrarily designated cultural figure, or that there is any reason to choose him over the multitude of other gods humanity has dreamed up?

    I've read some of Kierkegaard's arguments on this, for instance. He makes solid epistemological arguments for the existence of some kind of greater power, yet he still constantly calls it "Christianity" and never seems to make any attempt to explain how his spirituality can be reasonably translated into terms of Jesus Christ or any other specific cultural figures.

    Somebody please explain...
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  8. #88
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Revelation is arbitrary, because all belief is arbitrary. I'm not just talking of religious belief, but all belief. Belief in logic. Belief in science. These ideas are based on arbitrary beliefs as well. These are accepted as true either because of socialization or an arbitrarily held value. In reality they are based on ideas which are arbitrarily taken to be true. In the same way religious beliefs are arbitrarily taken to be true. In each system you can check for some type of internal consistency, but beyond that it's essentially based on faith.

    There is only one type of criteria that is external from a system that one can use as "evidence", and that is the pragmatic one. For example a person can believe in science because it produces technology. It produces something useful that extends beyond the internal consistency of data and scientific method.

    Likewise the only external "evidence" one can use to judge faith, religion, etc... is a pragmatic one. Does it have a postitive impact upon one's life as it promises? In this criteria the outcomes are decidedly mixed. One does not have to look far to find people who have been positively impacted by their faith as well as people who have been negatively impacted. Often even under the umbrella of one religion, say Christianity, one can find a wide range of experience. Therefore we can conclude that there is something to it, but it is not readily clear to a given individual what that something is. Why do some yield tremendously positive results while other yield tremendously negative ones?
    Logic isn't accepted arbitrarily at all; it's accepted because it's intuitively obvious that it makes sense. If A=B but A=/=C, then it's apparent that B=/=C, and that doesn't need any proof because it's obviously inherently true. I haven't made any arbitrary decision to "accept" logic; I use logic because it's the only thing that's left when we whittle away all irrational belief systems. It's frankly absurd to claim that "If A=B but A=/=C then B=/=C" is even in the same ballpark as "Jesus Christ is my lord and savior" in terms of reason or so-called "arbitrary" acceptance. There's nothing arbitrary whatsoever about the former; there absolutely is about the latter.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #89
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I think there are lots of reasonable philosophical positions pointing to some kind of power that is incomprehensible to the human mind.

    But I don't understand *at all* how anyone can choose any specific cultural conceptions of this power and claim that there's a better argument for any particular one over any particular other.

    I can see how faith in some kind of inner spiritual force could be reasoned, but how the hell does it ever connect directly to Jesus Christ? He is an Earth-specific cultural figure and I simply don't see how you could use pure reason to reach any conclusion about him being divine or supernaturally powerful.

    If other equally intelligent beings in some other galaxy millions of lightyears away wouldn't be able to reach any conclusions regarding Jesus Christ specifically purely through philosophical and rational inquiry, how can any of us expect to do the same? How can anyone possibly argue that Jesus Christ is not simply an arbitrarily designated cultural figure, or that there is any reason to choose him over the multitude of other gods humanity has dreamed up?

    I've read some of Kierkegaard's arguments on this, for instance. He makes solid epistemological arguments for the existence of some kind of greater power, yet he still constantly calls it "Christianity" and never seems to make any attempt to explain how his spirituality can be reasonably translated into terms of Jesus Christ or any other specific cultural figures.

    Somebody please explain...
    Natural religion in a nutshell: at least some is eternal; the soul is real and the soul isn't eternal; matter is real and matter isn't eternal; thus, only some is eternal and the eternal brought the temporal into being, (i.e., the eternal is a creator, aka "God"); God can be neither evil nor indifferent; An infinitely good God couldn't create a world with evil, but evil exists; Natural Evil (NE) is neither original, nor arbitrary, nor accidental; thus, NE is imposed for a reason, and the reason is Moral Evil (ME); ME is not seeking, not understanding, and not doing what is right, and NE gets one to stop and think, seek, understand, and do what is right; thus, NE is mercy; thus, God is both just, (i.e., the inherent consequence of not seeking is not understanding), and merciful; mercy cannot set aside justice in an infinte being, mercy must satisfy justice; thus, if God is going to be merciful to me, someone else must pay the penalty for my ME; the account of who paid and how he paid for my ME is contained in Special Revelation (SR).



    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Logic isn't accepted arbitrarily at all; it's accepted because it's intuitively obvious that it makes sense. If A=B but A=/=C, then it's apparent that B=/=C, and that doesn't need any proof because it's obviously inherently true. I haven't made any arbitrary decision to "accept" logic; I use logic because it's the only thing that's left when we whittle away all irrational belief systems. It's frankly absurd to claim that "If A=B but A=/=C then B=/=C" is even in the same ballpark as "Jesus Christ is my lord and savior" in terms of reason or so-called "arbitrary" acceptance. There's nothing arbitrary whatsoever about the former; there absolutely is about the latter.
    I was going to say the belief that I'm thinking isn't arbitrary, but the above is a good response too. Well, except the whole Jesus Christ is my lord and savior" as arbitrary bit.

  10. #90
    Is Willard in Footloose!! CJ99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spartan26 View Post
    I hope this doesn't come across sounding defensive, but what's so superior/logical/compelling/whatever you want to call it about rejecting religion? Most of the time I see people having a poorly excused hubris about their place in the universe.

    Of people who try Christianity and then turn away from it I see a lot of impatience. Maybe not realizing it but going to church with a real let it ride attitude. First time something doesn't go their way or they're left w/out an answer the who notion of there being a god becomes idiotic and they scoff at anyone sticking around for the Memorial day w/e picnic.

    There are plenty of bad churches and practices that dissuade people from growing spiritually. I get that. Plenty of people think it's just stupid not to be top dog of their own life. My perception has been that those who've rejected the notion of there being a god don't have things any better than those who have. If there's no god and people are their own master, then what's left for me or for anyone?

    I think there's an under estimation of what believers get from their walk. I've never really been trouble about how the universe came into existence. I've never had to tussle w/the duality of there being suffering in the world and if that precludes the notion of there being a god. I'm also not so sure if people who required such answers would be any more prone to seek God if they got a detailed answer in an e-mail from the customer service dept from heaven.

    As per the O.P, I did grow up in a Christian home. It was prolly more of a moral base for me. It wasn't until I was on my own in my 20's that I really sought out a relationship w/Christ. Being a Christian I've found love, purpose, opportunity, growth, and healing. I've had disappointments, made tough sacrifices and hurts. As an INTP, big picture person, I can say that nothing I've chosen in God has not presented itself as a greater good, more sound long term choice. From what's happened to help me in my life and seeing how it's helped others, it'd be ridiculous for me to dismiss it all as coincidence, illogical or being ill-informed.
    Well i can understand him as i also find it a bit strange that NTs, particularly INTPs, are religious.

    Religions based upon belief and belief upon which there is no , or very very little not very good, evidence for. INTPs and other NTs are supposed to be truth seeking personalities so to accept religious beliefs seems more than a little strange to me.

    And yes i come from a very religious familly - Roman Catholic, my parents even met in church - and i see how much good it does to soome short term but as far as i'm concerned in the long term truth is better.

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