Poll: What is your preferred afterlife
This poll is closed.
Supernatural hell: Get tortured for a hundred years, but not actually and then be turned loose to temp people. 11.76% 2 11.76%
Supernatural heaven: Supposedly your idea of paradise, but from what I saw way too cramped to spend an eternity. 23.53% 4 23.53%
Catholic idea: Burn forever. 0% 0 0%
Seperation from god for eternity. 64.71% 11 64.71%
Total 17 votes 100%
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Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
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08-10-2017, 02:04 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(08-10-2017 01:53 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  I'll be happy to clarify any language of mine which is ambiguous.

You can't clarify what is already clear.

Quote:When you say that Christians blend the actus purus with a sky daddy, is this something that you attribute to all Christians?

When I say I just don't care about it - it being prime mover -, especially when it's blended with christian fables about sky daddy it means exactly that. There's no ambiguity there nor I mention christians. It's interesting though how you twist what I wrote.

Quote:The ones I respect go out of their way to be clear that God is the source and goal of all good, and not properly described as an emotional daddy-like figure. The ones who know about the actus purus seem pretty clear about not believing in a sky-daddy. But of course I haven't read all of them, and if you can point me to those who blend the concepts I will be willing to take a look. I'll be careful not to over-generalize.

Or do you mean something else by sky-daddy?

I think you're looking for something that isn't in sentence that I wrote. But feel free to search for some deeper meaning where there isn't one.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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08-10-2017, 02:05 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
No problem. I'll drop it.
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08-10-2017, 05:16 AM (This post was last modified: 08-10-2017 05:39 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(07-10-2017 07:28 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(07-10-2017 05:32 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  ...I personally think they were all highly intelligent, if culture-bound....
Surely everybody is aware that Galileo, Isaac Newton, and Francis Bacon were Christians who found no discrepancy between their religion and their science (whatever real or potential fights they had with church personnel).

In fact *because* those guys were intelligent, their classical theism was smarter than modern literalism, and for the most part remains compatible with modern scientific discoveries.

You think the Christian variety of theism can "for the most part" be compatible with modern scientific discoveries? I think the opposite, and would be interested in how you arrive at your conclusion. You can assume, for the sake of discussion, that we are all already conversant with cosmological, teleological, ontological, and personal arguments for the existence of God.

What is "classic theism" then?

Specifically, Christianity maintains the following:
God created the world.
Evil was caused by man's fall from a perfect state.
Jesus redeemed mankind through his blood sacrifice.
Belief in Jesus is required to be redeemed and go to heaven after death.
Jesus will return to see justice done on Earth.

All of this, frankly, is mythology. So how in the world could any of these major theological points be considered compatible with science? You may have redefined your theism in some way to be compatible with science, but I doubt you can honestly call it Christianity.

Take the Prime Mover (cosmological) argument, for instance. You may try to insert a God into any unknown (a God-of-the-gaps style argument), but how can you possibly maintain it must be the Christian God?
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08-10-2017, 05:37 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(08-10-2017 05:16 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  What is "classic theism" then?

This would be a reasonable start.

"You may have redefined your theism in some way to be compatible with science, but I doubt you can honestly call it Christianity."

I should clarify that this is not "my" theism. It's a fascinating topic that I study. Since it was so widely known before, I find it odd that few people acknowledge it today, and in particular the people who argue against religion seem to think that all Christianity is something very different.

It is compatible with science because it holds God to be, like Aristotle's Prime Mover, the metaphysical source which holds things in being. It doesn't address any subject which science can deal with, by definition.

Whether we want to call this Christian or not is something the Christians can debate, I guess. To say it isn't Christian is to say that neither Thomas Aquinas nor Augustine is Christian, which I find to be a strange claim.
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08-10-2017, 05:45 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
Googling around, I also find this site.

Look down at Section 3: Divine Attributes
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08-10-2017, 05:48 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(08-10-2017 05:37 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  I should clarify that this is not "my" theism. It's a fascinating topic that I study. Since it was so widely known before, I find it odd that few people acknowledge it today, and in particular the people who argue against religion seem to think that all Christianity is something very different.

It is compatible with science because it holds God to be, like Aristotle's Prime Mover, the metaphysical source which holds things in being. It doesn't address any subject which science can deal with, by definition.

Whether we want to call this Christian or not is something the Christians can debate, I guess. To say it isn't Christian is to say that neither Thomas Aquinas nor Augustine is Christian, which I find to be a strange claim.

Fair enough, but you have not answered how classic theism can be reconciled with most of the major theological points from Christianity I mentioned. Are you dropping all of them but "God the Creator" ? And if so, how are you still talking about Christianity? Did your major figures of Christian history reconcile those points, or did they just gloss over them?

And from the scientific point of view, how do you personally reconcile God with evolution? With general relativity? With quantum theory? To say "God did it" doesn't nearly explain enough.

In other words, a God-of-the-gaps argument like you are employing is in fact an argument from ignorance (a fallacy) unless you supply some details.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance
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08-10-2017, 05:57 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(08-10-2017 05:45 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  Googling around, I also find this site.

Look down at Section 3: Divine Attributes

I am familiar with divine attributes from my own study of Islam. However, I find many of them in conflict with each other and with observations of the world we actually inhabit.

These days I prefer the concept of truth (without consciousness) to the concept of God (a willful being with consciousness).
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08-10-2017, 05:57 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(08-10-2017 05:48 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Fair enough, but you have not answered how classic theism can be reconciled with most of the major theological points from Christianity I mentioned. Are you dropping all of them but "God the Creator" ? And if so, how are you still talking about Christianity? Did your major figures of Christian history reconcile those points, or did they just gloss over them?

And from the scientific point of view, how do you personally reconcile God with evolution? With general relativity? With quantum theory? To say "God did it" doesn't nearly explain enough.

In other words, a God-of-the-gaps argument like you are employing is in fact an argument from ignorance (a fallacy) unless you supply some details.

You have a lot of fair questions, but it's night time here, and I'm sleepy. I promise to get back to this tomorrow.

"My" major figures of Christian history did not gloss over these things. They worked hard on them, and it's sad that neither modern Christians nor the atheists who argue with them seem to have heard these arguments at all.

I'm surprised you would call this a God of the gaps argument. It isn't one.

I do not personally reconcile God with evolution. I study the subject of how others do it. Evolution poses little problem for theology before the mechanistic view of the universe took over after Newton, with the Deists, etc. The Neoplatonic tradition of the Great Chain of Being, especially as described by Charles Darwin's grandfather Erasmus, prepares the way for the theory of evolution, and comes quite close to describing it. Charles' contribution was to describe the mechanism: natural selection.

OK, later.
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08-10-2017, 06:12 AM (This post was last modified: 08-10-2017 06:23 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(08-10-2017 05:57 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  "My" major figures of Christian history did not gloss over these things. They worked hard on them, and it's sad that neither modern Christians nor the atheists who argue with them seem to have heard these arguments at all.

I'm surprised you would call this a God of the gaps argument. It isn't one.

I do not personally reconcile God with evolution. I study the subject of how others do it.

Why would atheists need to study ancient Christian philosophers at all since science does a perfectly adequate job of explaining the world we see without any God hypothesized for its theories? The burden of proof is on theists to show how atheists need their God concept to explain anything. Thus my questions about evolution, general relativity, and quantum mechanics. How is God necessary for any of them?

When I was trying to answer those questions myself, I considered God the one and only absolute. So evolution was necessary because there are no absolute forms of life. General relativity was necessary because there are no absolutes in time and space. Quantum mechanics was necessary because there are no absolute positions. Thus the idea of "no god but God" central to monotheism could be considered an explaination of the observable world.

But really, that all comes down to apologetics. It simply doesn't add anything new to the explanations, and it certainly doesn't support the detailed mythologies common to all varieties of theism.

Further, my revised God concept did not require consciousness to work. Once consciousness fell out of my God concept, I had to acknowledge to myself that I wasn't talking about any recognizable God at all. God must necessarily be conscious and willful as defined by the usual attributes of both Islam and Christianity. What I was left with was a concept of truth, or Truth if you prefer, but not God.

So classic theism must lead to science in the end. It doesn't really support theistic assumptions at all, at least in my personal experience.
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08-10-2017, 07:16 AM
RE: Poll: What version of the afterlife would you prefer?
(07-10-2017 05:47 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(07-10-2017 05:35 AM)unfogged Wrote:  ...IT is a summation based on decades of experience listening to and investigating claims of this type. They may present any arguments they like but until they can present evidence supporting those arguments it is all just vacuous nonsense...

Well, I was asking you about the claim that people came up with all the ideas about eternity and heaven because they fear death, and that they added the part about "outside time" because heaven lasting forever sounded boring. You're making some pretty big claims, and something that it would be hard to prove, I think.

I'm not asking you if you think their beliefs are true; I know you don't. I'm asking about your claims concerning motivation.

It remains speculation, unprovable, and based on your assumptions about other people's unacknowledged mental states.
...
Since I try to base my beliefs strictly on logic and evidence, I don't see how you can hold to this claim.

Call it a working hypothesis. These arguments are obviously the result of a great deal of thought and I don't think I ever implied that the people making them were not intelligent. The problem for me is that they are based on nothing but imagination; there is no evidence to support the ideas that they are presenting and no way to even begin to verify the claims.

That makes me stop and take a step back to try to figure out what the most likely explanation for their being willing to overlook the obvious problems. Based on innumerable examples of people not wanting death to be the end the fear of death seems to be a much more likely explanation for the claims than the idea that these philosophers discovered a deeper truth, especially when it involves concepts that humans have no experience with and can't really even discuss because the language for it isn't there.

I could very well be wrong, especially in individual cases, and there may be some other motivation involved. All I can say is that it seems to be a sufficient explanation in every case I've seen so it has become my baseline assumption. I will say that I probably should have qualified my initial comment better; tone doesn't translate through text, especially with somebody new.


(08-10-2017 05:37 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  I should clarify that this is not "my" theism. It's a fascinating topic that I study. Since it was so widely known before, I find it odd that few people acknowledge it today, and in particular the people who argue against religion seem to think that all Christianity is something very different.

The segments of Christianity that are focused on a "prime mover" type of god are typically not the problem. The problem is the widespread belief in a personal god that monitors your every thought and commands specific beliefs and behaviors. It doesn't do much good to try to convince the average Christian that medieval thinkers moved beyond their comparatively simplistic ideas of what their god is when that isn't what they are living on a daily basis. The religion that I am against is not the religion of Aquinas because that is largely irrelevant in my life.

Quote:It is compatible with science because it holds God to be, like Aristotle's Prime Mover, the metaphysical source which holds things in being. It doesn't address any subject which science can deal with, by definition.

That strikes me as an odd use of "compatible" since it doesn't describe two things that fit well together but rather two things that exist in isolation. Since science can only deal with things that can be tested anything that it can't deal with would be incompatible. I don't think we disagree on that but I do hear Christians and others claiming that their religion actually is compatible with science. Ken Ham is a prime example.

Quote:Whether we want to call this Christian or not is something the Christians can debate, I guess. To say it isn't Christian is to say that neither Thomas Aquinas nor Augustine is Christian, which I find to be a strange claim.

The label is really not that important in my opinion. They called themselves Christians and their thinking influenced the religion but I'm not so sure that the average Christian today holds the same beliefs or has even thought much about it. What percentage of Christians not knowing or accepting a particular view of the Christian god is enough to make that belief no longer Christian?

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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