Theists, I want your best reasoning
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05-12-2014, 05:45 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(05-12-2014 12:22 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-12-2014 10:42 AM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  It's not objective.

I don’t see why it can’t be.

Look at it this way: In this scene in Gabriel Over The White House the President of the United States declares martial law, removes all balances that would check his power and openly threatens the entire rest of the world and congress in particular. He later declares war on his own people, makes super-weapons and declares war on the entire rest of the world, takes over the world and becomes a global dictator.

The movie frames all this as a good thing: He is literally possessed by god and must be doing the right thing.

Am I being objective when I say that that's not a good thing and is infact, terrifying? Is the movie being objective when it says that it isn't?

Quote:
Quote:It makes no predictions and cannot be used to make models or describe reality.

Of course it is, it’s an attempting to describe the reality of the text.

I'd be happy to get into the various meanings of "the reality of the text" but that is way off topic and one of the deepest rabbit holes I've ever seen.

Need I really explain that the reality of a text is very different to the world around us?

Quote:
Quote:It doesn't need to include all the evidence in the text to support a valid interpretation.

No, a valid interpretation requires evidence to support it, evidence such as context, etc…

Textual analisis doesn't need to include all the elements in a text or evidence that would work against an interpretation.

In The Phantom Menace they mention a prophecy that Anakin may need to fulfill; bring balance to the force, fight for GREAT JUSTICE, blah blah blah. Ankin falls to the dark side at the end of the Revenge of the Sith. At the end of Return of the Jedi Luke redeems Vadar and Anakin kills the local satan figure.

Who brought balance to the force? Anakin or Luke?

That question is entirely valid. It also doesn't include that:
-The Prophecy was faked by the Emperor.
-Balance wasn't necessarily brought to the force as there were still dark jedi out there.
-Balance wasn't necessarily brought to the force as there were no more dark jedi out there to counterbalance the light side of the force.
-Balance wasn't necessarily brought to the force as the Emperor survives.
-Balance wasn't necessarily brought to the force because Luke later falls to the dark side.

So if I take out the prophecy in TPM and the EU elements then Luke brings balance to the force and it's his achievement. The movie is an affirmation of his goodness and he wouldn't fall prey to the dark side and so he wouldn't bring balence to the force.

Am I failing to interpret something correctly by taking information from a different book, by a different author, written after the fact, with a different understanding of the persona of everybody involved, with a different understanding of how the force works and c. and applying it to this movie?

It still happened but it's not in the movie. Does it count?

Quote:
Quote:The only thing it shares with science is that it is performed properly when it's grounded in evidence and sensible interpretations of that evidence.

I’m assuming that you’re not the sort of person, who believes science is the only way to discover the truth, or that evidence is a term that’s only applicable in a scientific context? An informed reader of a text can derive at the likely meaning of it, by being critical, and reasonable, and taking into account the evidence, but would the methodology in which he derives at this truth, would be something other than a scientific methodology?

I don't think science is the only way of discovering the truth. You can discover many truths without applying the scientific method so long as they're evidently based. (I can discover that I love prawns without having to apply the scientific method.)

That said: Science has the best track record ever of finding the truth. Nothing else has even come close.

Evidence is not a term "that’s only applicable in a scientific context." I've got no idea why you'd think that. (If you think that.)

It would absolutely be different to scientific methodology. We've just gone through some specific exceptions about how literary analysis doesn't apply the scientific method. (There's more but I didn't think of them at four in the morning and I think I've adequately made my point.)

Quote:
(05-12-2014 10:42 AM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  Your chosen interpretation, (though it has nothing to do with the section of text cited, which makes it sloppy work that you should be spanked for) can be said to be true, if not accurate.

Jesus is god. God is in everything and it's material form (that which it can be said to be given the evidence present in the text) can be said to be the entire universe as a result of that. Crocodiles are a part of the material universe.

You see what you did there, I asked about interpreting that particular passage I quoted, and you didn’t want to explicitly admit it, but your accusations of sloppiness, that I should be spanked for it, that it has nothing to do with the actual passage, are just ways of saying that the particular interpretation of this passage was blatantly, and absurdly wrong. I chose an interpretation that was so obscene intentionally, so that it’s pretty obvious that there are wrong interpretations, and that the interpretation provided wasn’t just another correct one of the particular verse in question.

The point I’m making is that there are reasonable interpretations of text, of passages, even if there are more than one. In fact reasonable and unreasonable interpretations are deemed as such by how likely they are to be what the original writer intended, by how likely they are to be faithful to the reality of the text.

Maybe I misunderstood your initial point, but perhaps you can understand and maybe even agree with the one being made here?

Written at four o' clock in the morning. Didn't occur to me. Shouldn't have made an absolute statement. That interpretation is as close to wrong as you can get because it has nothing to do with the cited evidence because it's not reasonable.

Forget spanked: for that you'd get fucking rollickered.

But authorial intent doesn't matter. Death of the author. The audience and the content of a text is all that there is.

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
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05-12-2014, 07:18 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(05-12-2014 10:31 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-12-2014 10:13 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  Ah, but can't a song, or a murder, or the "light" of the human race (by this I think you mean good-will, brotherhood, etc.) exist WITHOUT a god?

It depends, if the god you have in mind is something that's additional to these thing, then sure we can say this god doesn't exist. If god is something other than what I mean by these things, or the conditions of possibilities for these things, the sort of ground, and source such things would need to be, then sure we can say they can exist without this other.

But if the meaning of these things, the song, the murder victim, the light that John speaks of, that came to dwell among men, the true light that came to enlighten the world, are tied to the very meaning of the God we are speaking about, then no, they cannot exist without him.

Well, sure - you can say all of that but that doesn't mean that it's meaningful.

You have no evidence that anything beyond the material is required or even present. And you have no mechanism that would require that it be so.

All you've got is ideas, fantasy.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-12-2014, 07:34 PM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2014 07:38 PM by Michael_Tadlock.)
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(05-12-2014 04:31 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(05-12-2014 04:17 PM)pablo Wrote:  I get that.
The reasons for asking "why" can be very different though.
Are we asking because we want to know more about the force that causes large bodies to interact over vast distances?
Or, are we asking why an inelligent being is causing these bodies to act the way they do?
When you wrote: "We can mathematically describe its effects, but we don't understand it at all. Might as well be God..."
This to me is, I don't know = god did it.
Of course I know that's not how you meant it, but sometimes the line between scientific understanding and personal beliefs can be very fine.

Yeah, I definitely didn't mean "I don't know = god did it". I'm an atheist, and to me "I don't know" just means "I don't know". But I can see the motivation for some people to put a god in there. Gravity is pretty mysterious.

My college physics textbook (Halliday & Resnick) had a few questions about stuff like "Why are the fundamental constants and laws what they are?" I always found those questions meaningless and annoying. Physics is about description and prediction and finding whatever order there is to be found in nature. "Why?" isn't even in the picture.

Exactly. At some point the answer to why things are the way they are is because that is just the way they are. If god exists and created the universe, then you could ask how come god exists, and theists are more than happy to say "just because he does". As an atheist I am one level removed from God. The fundamental laws that govern our universe exists because they must, because the structure of our universe mandates they exist. There is not deeper meaning, only deeper understanding. This kind of thinking frightens people, but it is by far the most reasonable conclusion that relies on the fewest assumptions.

People who claim there is some higher order, or some grand meaning to things are relying on many unfounded assumptions; namely that the lives of people are special, or that everything in the universe has to mean something, or that because something is elegant and impressive it must then be supernatural. Feelings do not equal reality. When you accept reality for what it is you find not only no evidence of god, but no room for him either. For my own part, I find the meaning of life much easier to grapple with then. We live because the laws of the universe allow us to exist, and the interaction of these laws and the position of particles in our universe happened to form our existence. It is not an accident, because an accident implies a purpose, it is just what happened. The universe doesn't have meaning, we have meaning, we see and create meaning for ourselves. That's it. Really that simple.
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05-12-2014, 08:45 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
Just as there is no room for an elephant in my car, there is no room for an infinite god in a finite universe.

The only way an elephant gets in my car is if I imagine one there.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-12-2014, 08:53 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(05-12-2014 08:45 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Just as there is no room for an elephant in my car, there is no room for an infinite god in a finite universe.

The only way an elephant gets in my car is if I imagine one there.

That's going in The Words I want to Remember thread. Big Grin




There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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05-12-2014, 11:42 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
My possible new sig.
"Hey, this rabbit gag must be a good one."
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07-12-2014, 08:57 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(05-12-2014 05:45 PM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  It still happened but it's not in the movie. Does it count?

Sorry, I was never really into Star Wars, so I had a hard time following the analogy, particularly since it seemed to involve several different movies, and several different books which I’m not all that familiar with, that it appeared as if you were speaking a foreign langue.

Quote:Need I really explain that the reality of a text is very different to the world around us?

I don’t know why you need to explain this, since I was only talking about the text themselves, and not necessarily what bearing these texts had on the reality of the world around us.

Quote:Evidence is not a term "that’s only applicable in a scientific context." I've got no idea why you'd think that. (If you think that.)

No I don’t think that, but atheists tend to have all sorts of views and understandings of terms like science, evidence, truth, some very broad, and some very narrow. And my questions where the sake of understanding where you stand.

Quote:Shouldn't have made an absolute statement. That interpretation is as close to wrong as you can get because it has nothing to do with the cited evidence because it's not reasonable.

So, it’s not as you said: “There are no wrong interpretations in textual analisis either. Only more correct interpretations.”

There are wrong interpretations as my crude example showed, and all interpretation are not nearly more correct ones.

But to summarize where we seem to stand, and where we likely may even agree:

Interpretations of texts, of stories, scripture etc.. is not purely subjective. There can in fact be right and wrong interpretations. And that rightness and wrongness is based on how well these interpretations are likely to be the authors own intent and meaning. The closer we are to rightness is based on however faithful we are to the reality of these texts, with the words, symbols, etc.. which we might even be able to better decipher by understanding the history, and audience, and culture at the time of writing, and how well we understand people and their psychologies.

But the truth in this regard is not one we get to the bottom of through the scientific method, as you state literary analysis is not scientific. Though science has the best track record of finding the truth, it’s relatively impotent hear in finding the truth, so we couldn’t make appeals to it, in order to uncover these sorts of truths. The question of meaning here, is not a scientific question at all, though there does seem to be truths to discover.

My use of text was for the sake of analogy, to better grasp how we would explore the very question of meaning, not just in text but anywhere else too. We could say the same for films, movies, art, etc, and in fact the very question of whether life has meaning. This question is not one that we can engage with using the scientific method. Whether or not life has meaning, is not a truth we would be able to discover using the scientific method.

We can say that certain interpretation of life, like a common godless one, such as life is all meaningless sound, that there is no moral arc, or purpose to it, though likely true, would not be a scientific statement.

This is a far as I would like to take this for now, but I wanted to make these points clear.
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07-12-2014, 01:40 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(05-12-2014 08:53 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-12-2014 08:45 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Just as there is no room for an elephant in my car, there is no room for an infinite god in a finite universe.

The only way an elephant gets in my car is if I imagine one there.

That's going in The Words I want to Remember thread. Big Grin




One of my all time favourite flicks...
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07-12-2014, 06:47 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
Sorry for the late response, didn't see it the first time around, and have been busy with work most of the weekend.
I don't often get these kinds of challenges, so it might be a bit jumbled. Feel free to ask if there is something I need to clarify Smile

(04-12-2014 06:47 PM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  "Not sure if serious." Is pointlessly dismissive and I apologize.


Shit, I didn't even see that xD No, worries I get that from time to time in here.

Quote:This always happens, we get sidetracked on Q's trail of bullshit, turn around and 8+ pages have passed without any progress being made by anybody.

Yeah, seems to be an unfortunate pattern.

Quote:So yeah. What you actually wrote:
That's all about your emotional investment in your beliefs. It's great, enjoy yourself but it only touches on what the OP is about; the reasons for which you believe. An emotional justification isn't reasonable by definition.

Well, while I think doing a certain thing to achieve certain feelings, "senses of" or emotions can be a fair justification for doing it - depending on the thing - I also mentioned an intellectual and social dimension, as well as a belief in the effect of offerings and religious experiences.
As part of the intellectual dimension I mentioned there are also philosophical elements that I enjoy and think are meaningful to implement in my life and understanding of the world.

Even if I lost my belief in the supernatural I would probably still continue to perform rituals - though maybe only the ones I do together with others.

Quote:You've had religious experiences. You've reached an emotional cresendo/ revelation/ something in the context of a religious ritual but that's explicable, without supernatural origin (...)

I agree, senses and expectations can fool you.
However, sometimes when I experience it during the ritual, when the world seems to become a liminal blur and you notice things you do not normally do, the whole place feels charged, I feel in contact with my gods, my family and the community of people I know and love.
That is pretty powerful stuff, and while I do not profess to be able to scientificly prove any of it as occurring outside of the minds of me and others, I still consider it an experience brought about by the correct contact with superhuman agency through ritual.

I do enjoy having a supernatural - or from my POW superhuman - dimension in my life, now, do you consider that a problem? And if yes, why?

Quote:(...) and experienced by the adherants of other religions.

That is not really a problem for me...

Quote:The world described by the religion isn't accurate to how the world evidently is. There is no evidence for the existence of your deities.

That depends entirely on what the religion professes compared to what we can say about the world with certainty Tongue

I establish contact with my gods and their world at charged and liminal spaces (often in nature) through rituals, they have their own world, but can cross over and affect this world and give luck and prosperity to those that give offerings to them.
They interact with the land and can bend/utilize natural forces.
Does that jive with physics? Some of it might, some of it probably does not, again that is where magic and belief in the super natural come in.

I only have anecdotal evidence, and since that does not cut it in the world of science: No, I do not have evidence - that's kinda where the whole belief thing comes in.

Quote: The spells and rituals described in your holy texts don't do anything.

With regarding to supernatural effects? I believe they do, but I only have anecdotal evidence so I cannot prove it.
This does not mean you can claim with complete certainty that they “don't do anything”, however I am aware that it is the default position until I am able to prove otherwise.

Now, that being said. Rituals and spells (to the extent that they are attached to a ritual or physical performance) definitely do something socially and cognitively which is worth factoring in, not only when trying to argue against performing them, but also when arguing for.

Quote:It has all the same problems as the other religions so; how can you reasonably profess belief?

I would probably differentiate a bit between individual religions... anyway, you might not see it as reasonable, but as you may have gathered from the above I have been moved by something I think is supernatural, and at the same time I think my religion is beneficial to have in my life – see above – so I don't really see how belief is an inconvenience.
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07-12-2014, 07:01 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(04-12-2014 07:43 PM)microterf Wrote:  
(04-12-2014 03:35 PM)Gaest Wrote:  Cool, I'll give it a crack.

I'm a Norse polytheist and as such believe in the existence of multiple gods.

Like most people I have several complimentary reasons for that:

I have an intellectual interest in Old Norse mythology, folklore and religion in the Viking age.
I have friends and a lot of fun tied to the religion.
I get a deep sense of peace and satisfaction when I give offerings to the gods.
I have had what I would call spiritual or at least religious experiences - seldomly outside of rituals.
I genuinely believe that giving offerings will bless me and mine with good fortune and peace in our lives.

Probably pretty short, but it does give a bit to work with for further discussion.

Thank you, that's exactly what I wanted. Explained your reasoning and it makes sense. (not going to convert makes sense, but makes sense what you get out of it. )

I also have a sneaking suspicion that you don't demand your prayers before city council meetings and that your ideas get taught in public schools. Smile

Cheers! Always nice to share.

You're right there, I'm secular and against forcing any religion on anyone - that includes door to door and other such annoyances.
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