A Pragmatist's Guide to God
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
14-04-2017, 06:29 PM
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(14-04-2017 07:49 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(13-04-2017 07:04 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  If you were given a chance to live in a vibrant world of meaning, hope, and Beauty, would you choose that belief, the belief out of the woods, or would you rather live in a world based on the probablism of physics, which may seem mechanistic in its stiff materialistic stance?
Everything is probabilities -- what is (un)likely to be true. I find dealing in reality to be best, and the actual source of vibrancy, meaning, hope and beauty. Reality interests me. Fantasy does not.

Also in my experience it is theists who are nihilistic, who claim actual existence has no meaning, who displace all hope and meaning and beauty into an imagined afterlife and the imagined regard and favor of an imaginary friend, thus bleeding the wonder out of the here and now.

The End.
But what is reality? Is there more to this world than what the ears and eyes pick up? How far can science get in describing reality? I have great reverence for science, but It has built in limitations and will forever bear the mark of its maker.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-04-2017, 06:32 PM
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(14-04-2017 06:29 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  How far can science get in describing reality?

Light years further than anything else we've got. Drinking Beverage

ETA: And hold the mayo hugs. Am currently in Brazil and getting plenty, thank you very much.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Vera's post
14-04-2017, 06:40 PM
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(14-04-2017 08:33 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  I found it very impractical to read the OP.

Why is that? I summed it up on page two for those who wanted just the protein.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-04-2017, 06:44 PM
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(14-04-2017 08:43 AM)Vera Wrote:  In all fairness, Johnny, I think it's actually his own. Not that he can help it, what with such a severe case of verbal diarrhoea and all Drinking Beverage

[Image: 6244852_f520.jpg]

I'm sorry you have a dislike for William James. The crux of pragmatism is that it tries to weave its way through the two philosophical corridors of ultra rationalism and ultra empiricism so that people can find some common ground that isn't so radical.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Stephen Pedersen's post
14-04-2017, 06:45 PM
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(14-04-2017 06:29 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  
(14-04-2017 07:49 AM)mordant Wrote:  Everything is probabilities -- what is (un)likely to be true. I find dealing in reality to be best, and the actual source of vibrancy, meaning, hope and beauty. Reality interests me. Fantasy does not.

Also in my experience it is theists who are nihilistic, who claim actual existence has no meaning, who displace all hope and meaning and beauty into an imagined afterlife and the imagined regard and favor of an imaginary friend, thus bleeding the wonder out of the here and now.

The End.
But what is reality? Is there more to this world than what the ears and eyes pick up?

Yes, and we have instruments for that.

Quote: How far can science get in describing reality?

There is no known limit.

Quote:I have great reverence for science, but It has built in limitations and will forever bear the mark of its maker.

Describe these alleged limitations.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Chas's post
14-04-2017, 06:46 PM
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
Unless YOU are William James, who's talking about him? I certainly wasn't Drinking Beverage

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-04-2017, 07:00 PM
A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(13-04-2017 08:06 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  
(13-04-2017 07:41 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  tl;dr

Can you summarize for people like me with short attention spans?

Yes. Smile

Pragmatism looks at the indeterminable metaphysical problem of the existence of god, and tries to weave its way through empiricism and rationalism to come to decision on whether to believe or not by ways of the belief's consequences rather than its proof. It doesn't try to prove the existence of god, instead it helps you weigh the conseqences if you did believe or not. James believes that the spiritual life is one of the most important aspects to our humanity, and that religion is proof for this need of spirituality. So the burning question is, is the pragmatic belief in god worthy of a principle in one's life or does it fall short.

I hope this helps.


It didn't really help. Maybe this version will work better: lacking any empirical evidence or indeed any evidence at all, you try to logic up a god from contingency or necessity. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway: it's absurd. It's also the argument from authority. William James had no more clue that does anyone else about a god. When the subject is entirely made up, anyone can be an expert.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Rachel's post
14-04-2017, 07:01 PM (This post was last modified: 14-04-2017 07:08 PM by Stephen Pedersen.)
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
I remember when I was still green behind the ears too. I was a member of ravingatheist.com forum when I was an arrogant atheist. I've been humbled since.

(14-04-2017 09:27 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  All of which aren't very good. We know the cultural histories of almost all the ones cooked up so far. When one discovers what they are, there are no gods left, that aren't dismissed.
You're referring to a religion. I don't assume you are a secular humanist or a liberal. Slow down there. This is just the belief in a god.
Quote:God of the gaps. We know from Chaos Theory, order arises naturally.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory
All the gods got laid off. It's a period of high god-unemployment. Maybe they could be retrained to do something useful ?
Yes, there might be a functional teleology! Evolution certainly is functional. So there is evidence that order can arise functionally, but paley's watch argument rebuts. However, that only gets us so far too. There is so much we can't explain in the universe... Why are the laws the way they are and not some other way? That's an interesting question. I'm not saying god designed it that way. if there is a god who is to say he doesn't have to obey them too!

Quote:"Not any more", (as Inspector Clouseau said). Reality has been proven to be non-intuitive. No religion says their god is "proven rationally". The last time I checked, they required faith.
Sorry sir, you're confusing the belief in god with following a religion. Natural theology calls for the belief in god be in reason. Although, even the simplest beliefs take faith... There are many ways we can slice the bread here.

Quote:He never had a kid die of cancer, I bet.
Why do you think god is a he? Ah theodicy, the problem of evil. Surely you've seen rebuttals to this argument before. Remember, James' version of god is finite. He isn't the big three O's.

Quote:I'll live in a real world, thanks. The gods don't provide meaning, hope or beauty.
Making up shit, and living in fantasy is not an answer.
What is the real world though? Surely you know it by way of consciousness, but what is consciousness? Surely, this is where it all begins yet we can't even explain that.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
14-04-2017, 07:06 PM (This post was last modified: 14-04-2017 07:10 PM by whateverist.)
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(13-04-2017 07:04 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  So truth on pragmatic grounds is not an abstract principle or idea, but a consequence that is in the concrete world here being the house that would save him from starvation. It’s anchored to reality. “Truth happens to an idea. It becomes true, is made true by events”

If belief in god were a pragmatic necessity for any kind of satisfaction in life, I could take up this hypothetical proposition. However, I've actually lived some life and I can assure you it is not. So I'll just leave that alone and go see what description of god you are working with.


(13-04-2017 07:04 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  Let’s march backwards for a moment and look at the metaphysical dispute of whether there is a god or not. God’s existence is an interminable metaphysical problem, which the tender-minded and the tough-minded wrestle over. We can’t see a god empirically, but it seems we may be able to prove its existence rationally. James wrestled with this question himself. Remember, his father was a theologian which had deep resonance in James’s life. Before we decide if god exists though, let’s examine the philosophy of the absolute a little closer. The ‘absolute’, which is unimaginable to the human mind, creates a block-like universe of fixed eternal laws leaving free will and individuality impossible to fathom as James understands it. Of the philosophy of the absolute James says:

The “through and through” philosophy, as it actually exist… seems too buttoned-up and white chokered and clean shaven a thing to speak for the vast slow-breathing Kosmos with its dread abysses and its unknown tides.

Take heed whenever you read that something is "unimaginable to the human mind" and yet the author proceeds to tell you precisely what they find to be its salient aspects. Suffice to say that upon consideration of that which is beyond the ken of human minds precisely nothing can be deduced. Full stop.


(13-04-2017 07:04 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  So, if James were in the woods he would choose the path that leads to God. However, his god is not the traditional omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent entity given in Hegelian or scholastic philosophy. James has this to say about his concept of god:

He [God] need not be an all-including “subjective unity of the universe” ... all I mean is that there must be some subjective unity in the universe which has purpose commensurable with my own, and which is at the same time large enough to be, among all the powers that may be there, the strongest. … In saying “God Exists” All I imply is that my purposes are cared for by a mind so powerful as on the whole to control the drift of the universe.


So that is all then? God is merely the strongest of players in the cosmos, so powerful as to 'control the drift of the universe', who just so happens to have purposes commensurate with my own. Oh that is a fine, humble conception of god alright. Mightiest among the mighty and totally interested in those things which interest me. Why that certainly makes me the measure of all things then, doesn't it? This god is lucky to have an ally like myself who just happens to share His interests and is willing to mull matters over with him in prayer - to the improvement of us both no doubt.

I don't find any reason to contemplate gods based on 'considerations of 'the absolute', whatever that may be. The only use I can find for a notion of gods is to understand that which is mysterious within ourselves. Such grand scheme concepts of god which purport to transcend the personal are too easily dismissed. But have no fear, nothing whatsoever rides on picking up the yoke of god belief. Meaning and purpose abound within the mystery which is ourselves, without the help of any of the mightiest players in the universe controlling its drift.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 6 users Like whateverist's post
14-04-2017, 07:14 PM
RE: A Pragmatist's Guide to God
(14-04-2017 07:01 PM)Stephen Pedersen Wrote:  I remember when I was still green behind the ears too. I was a member of ravingatheist.com forum when I was an arrogant atheist. I've been humbled since.

(14-04-2017 09:27 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  All of which aren't very good. We know the cultural histories of almost all the ones cooked up so far. When one discovers what they are, there are no gods left, that aren't dismissed.
You're referring to a religion. I don't assume you are a secular humanist or a liberal. Slow down there. This is just the belief in a god.
Quote:God of the gaps. We know from Chaos Theory, order arises naturally.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory
All the gods got laid off. It's a period of high god-unemployment. Maybe they could be retrained to do something useful ?
Yes, there might be a functional teleology! Evolution certainly is functional. So there is evidence that order can arise functionally, but paley's watch argument rebuts. However, that only gets us so far too. There is so much we can't explain in the universe... Why are the laws the way they are and not some other way? That's an interesting question. I'm not saying god designed it that way. if there is a god who is to say he doesn't have to obey them too!

Quote:"Not any more", (as Inspector Clouseau said). Reality has been proven to be non-intuitive. No religion says their god is "proven rationally". The last time I checked, they required faith.
Sorry sir, you're confusing the belief in god with following a religion. Natural theology calls for the belief in god be in reason. Although, even the simplest beliefs take faith... There are many ways we can slice the bread here.

Quote:He never had a kid die of cancer, I bet.
Why do you think god is a he? Ah theodicy, the problem of evil. Surely you've seen rebuttals to this argument before. Remember, James' version of god is finite. He isn't the big three O's.

Quote:I'll live in a real world, thanks. The gods don't provide meaning, hope or beauty.
Making up shit, and living in fantasy is not an answer.
What is the real world though? Surely you know it by way of consciousness, but what is consciousness? Surely, this is where it all begins yet we can't even explain that.

That we don't currently have an explanation for something in no way implies that we won't in the future.

Your conclusions are illogical.

N.B. The "I was once an arrogant atheist" has the opposite effect of what you intended. Dodgy

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Chas's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: