What kind of god would you LIKE?
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18-11-2011, 08:05 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Hey, Lilith.

Quote:This thread is a thought exercise so it's pretty awkward to argue too heavily on, "but this is reality".

It is a thought exercise. I shared my thoughts. If someone said, "It'd be great if God got rid of sex," I'd likely have issue with that too. Just because it's a thought exercise, doesn't mean I need to think anything has to change.

Quote:No matter how many times the button is pressed the chemical process in it's brain remains the same, (unless some sort of tolerance builds) so how could pressing the button ever get old?

Self-Care.

The monkey stopped engaging in self-care. It stopped eating, it stopped sleeping. Had they left the monkey there, it would have died. Depressives also neglect self-care.

To me, life is about balance, not excess.

Hey, defacto.

Eat it.

Hey, Zatamon.

There's no need to apologise for being silly.

Thank you for what you said. It means a lot to me.

Everything in your head has meaning. If it doesn't have meaning, it's not in your head. I never said that life has a specific meaning and I certainly never said that it has cosmic purpose.

Zatamon Wrote:Is meaning the same as its definition?

No.

Quote:...no one is able to separate the 'word' from its meaning except by recourse to the metalanguage of a definition.
-Roland Barthes

Zatamon Wrote:…how does it apply to human life?

Quote:Both our common sense and scientific realism attest to the fact that there is, first, a real world of objects, events, and processes that we observe. Second, there is a language or symbols that name these events in the real world and create more or less adequate descriptions of them. There is reality and then, after the fact, our accounts of it....

Thinking consists of building maps of environments. Thought involves constructing a model of an environment and then running the model faster than the environment to see if nature can be coerced to perform as the model does....

We first produce the world by symbolic work and then take up residence in the world we have produced.
-James Carey

Zatamon Wrote:Can life have a 'meaning' beyond the obvious: being life?

Quote:The concepts that govern our thought are not just matters of the intellect. They also govern our everyday functioning, down to the most mundane details. Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in defining our everyday realities. If we are right in suggesting that our conceptual system is largely metaphorical, then the way we think, what we experience, and what we do every day is very much a matter of metaphor...

The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.
-George Lakoff and Mark Johnson.

Zatamon Wrote:When you add what sounded like a justification, and approval of, pain and suffering (by finding it necessary to be fully human) to this mystical-sounding concept of "meaning", all my red flags go up because we are very close to religion and political manipulation for purposes of exploitation (you quoted JFK in post #19!). I know that you did not mean it that way but, for my life, I could not figure out in what way you meant it.

I get this. The rulership class maintains an exploitative relationship over the production class. The production class must willingly accept that relationship for the system to function. In order to achieve this, the rulership class needs to convince them that suffering isn't so bad, or better yet, that it will be rewarded. If they accept that notion, they will accept their daily toil.

I get how that works.

But the fact remains that I believe that pain and death and suffering, all of the things that some Atheists blame God for (a God they don't believe exists; something I can't wrap my head around), are part of the human experience. They are part of the balance of our lives; lives that would become unbalanced without them. I don't like them, or suggest that they should be sought out or that they shouldn't be alleviated wherever possible, but I recognise their importance.

Life is struggle (see my use of metaphor there?). Every single developmental theory, form Freud, to Erikson, to Adler, to Maslow, to Skinner, to Piaget, is based on that notion. Without pain and suffering and death and failure, there can be no struggle. Without those things, the fundamental nature of life changes irrevocably. Perhaps a life of only pleasure would be awesome, but I can't comprehend it in terms of life as I understand it. So it's speculation. Life on a world with only photosynthesis might be awesome, but I can’t comprehend it in terms of this world, because in that hypothetical, there would be no organisms creating oxygen; thus, the system of life that I live in and know would have to change on a fundamental level. So the merit of photo-world is speculation. If God is in charge of the shitty things in life, I can't blame him any more than I can blame him for blue whales and gravity. If it isn't God's job, then I'm just screaming at the wall. Either way, the answer, for me, to the question, "how should God behave to meet with my approval," is, "exactly how he is right now."

I hope that spoke directly to your questions.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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18-11-2011, 10:27 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 08:05 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, defacto.

Eat it.

Still touting peace, love and empathy, I see....

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18-11-2011, 10:43 AM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2011 10:48 AM by Ghost.)
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
You know what, that's really fucking stale. Yes, I wish people well and in my last post, no, it wasn't directed at you. But wishing people well and taking people's shit are two different things. I never said I was Gandhi. And the fucking sheer audacity to attack me on a personal level and then cry foul when I tell you to go fuck yourself is fucking staggering to me. It's like if you punched me in the face and I punched you back and then you were like, "I thought you didn't like violence." No, I don't. But I'm not a punching bag either. Be a fucking man and own up to what you do. Instead of focusing on whether or not I'm acting like an angel when people fuck with me and then making it seem like I'm a bad person because I refuse to take people's bullshit, how about you focus on the ideas at hand?
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18-11-2011, 11:12 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 10:43 AM)Ghost Wrote:  You know what, that's really fucking stale. Yes, I wish people well and in my last post, no, it wasn't directed at you. But wishing people well and taking people's shit are two different things. I never said I was Gandhi. And the fucking sheer audacity to attack me on a personal level and then cry foul when I tell you to go fuck yourself is fucking staggering to me. It's like if you punched me in the face and I punched you back and then you were like, "I thought you didn't like violence." No, I don't. But I'm not a punching bag either. Be a fucking man and own up to what you do. Instead of focusing on whether or not I'm acting like an angel when people fuck with me and then making it seem like I'm a bad person because I refuse to take people's bullshit, how about you focus on the ideas at hand?

What's really bazaar is that I could say the same thing. You attacked the whole group with your "better than everyone else" post about how the universities of the world support you, then when you are pointed to your own arrogance, you can't face it, spit at me with "eat it" and then run.

Your a smart guy. You write nice stuff. You have educated insights but if "everybody" I mean everybody... doesn't agree or has a different angle, you point out how stupid we "all" are then say peace love...

I'm sorry, but I point out the bullshit too. You just don't want to see your own.

Get over it.

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18-11-2011, 11:46 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Let's get something straight. YOU interpreted it as me saying I was better than everyone else. There is a HUGE gap between what I wrote and what you interpreted. But what you said? There's no mistaking that. And for the record, when I step over the line, I am the FIRST person to admit it. GirlyMan asked me a direct question and I gave a direct answer and I was careful to point out that I was not condemning anything. If you take offence to that, that's your problem. So turn this on me all you want. Understand this, if I had said that I engaged someone in a conversation about evolution and they dismissed the entire field and that I backed out of the conversation, you wouldn't have batted an eye. My arrogance? It's arrogant to say that semiotics is taught in universities? That's comedic. Understand this, if I had said that I didn't have to defend evolution because universities do a fine job of it, you would have applauded.

So unless your next words are, I'm sorry for attacking you, Matt, I was out of line, I'll bid you good day.
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18-11-2011, 11:59 AM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Ghost, Sorry if I got pissy. You do piss me off sometimes. It's never what you discuss but how you personalize it on mass. It doesn't matter if someone is above or below someone else in information sharing. What's important is the freedom to be involved. I am not really sorry for my content, but I am sorry for the goading of it.

I need to get used to the idea that some people present themselves the way they need to be.

(you were writing the following while I was writing the above)

Quote:So unless your next words are, I'm sorry for attacking you, Matt, I was out of line, I'll bid you good day.

If you need me to bow in repentance to receive your blessing, then you do prove my point. Your a hard mark, Matt.

Good day...

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18-11-2011, 12:06 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Ya know, Ghost does get rather corporeal with that ego occasionally. Calling Zat's concerns and my conceptualization of the wind of number "silly" only serve to illustrate the limit of ghostly perception. Here's some bark back - the Pure Number hypothesis is likely to be taught in universities someday, if there is a future; not that I give a fuck either way. That'll be a finger wave to the Ghost on this thread...

But I got no problem with Matt.

In other news, I have the god I like - my Gwynnies. And I am more that sufficient Agency of that god; all there is to it.

Some form of Pure Number is likely to come down the pike soon; however I'll leave the science to the scientists and stick with the naive philosophy. While this is an excellent consideration from the cufflink - Pure Number in this conception is volumes. That'll be a nip, a bud... Big Grin

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18-11-2011, 12:27 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2011 02:24 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Quote:Lilith Pride:
This idea is thought of in a few books (though I'm not sure of the titles). But the fact of the matter is that humans are simple, so what else do you expect us to come up with but a slightly refined version of now? Suffering is not necessary for competitive drive, simply not being rewarded is enough of a punishment to bring forth the desire.

Every recent dog-training and child-rearing book comes to mind. It works with the dogs - indeed, it's possible to have a well-trained, well-behaved, well-adjusted, happy, healthy dog who has a sense of status and accomplishment, without ever beating hem.
Kids, i'm not sure, but the [currently prevailing western middle-class] fashion is to refrain from beating them.
If we must be controlled and constrained, i'd rather it be by a benevolent entity.
And i also think it's possible to be controlled and very much alive - as for example a totally paralyzed but mentally aware person in a mesh of wires and tubes: my idea of hell.... and they're in the power of other humans who actually wish hem well. Many, far too many! live in the power of humans who wish them ill, and can deliver that ill upon them.

Quote:It is a thought exercise. I shared my thoughts. If someone said, "It'd be great if God got rid of sex," I'd likely have issue with that too. Just because it's a thought exercise, doesn't mean I need to think anything has to change.

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true." J.B. Cabell
You could have saved a lot of back-and-forth by simply stating that you wouldn't change a thing.

The monkey didn't die because it was happy; it died of an addiction. Addicts die daily in the streets of all our magnificent, advanced, enlightened cities.

Quote:To me, life is about balance, not excess.

There is none. In most lives, pain, privation, frustration, unhappiness, repression, and failure dominate. In the far fewer blessed lives, well-being, confidence and success dominate. Even if you put all the lives of all the conscious beings that ever inhabited this planet into the scales, one side would be far heavier. Yet the vast majority of the apologia for suffering is written by the fortunate minority.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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18-11-2011, 03:32 PM
 
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
(18-11-2011 08:05 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Everything in your head has meaning. If it doesn't have meaning, it's not in your head. I never said that life has a specific meaning and I certainly never said that it has cosmic purpose.

I think I understand now the source of our misunderstanding. For you, I think, 'meaning' is almost synonymous with 'concept', while for me it usually means 'purpose', 'significance'. I have no problem with the 'concept of life' because everything we know about the world is inside our heads as concepts and relationships among concepts.

Quote:But the fact remains that I believe that pain and death and suffering, ..... are part of the human experience. They are part of the balance of our lives; lives that would become unbalanced without them. I don't like them, or suggest that they should be sought out or that they shouldn't be alleviated wherever possible, but I recognise their importance.

I agree that they are an inevitable part of our experience, on this world, as it is. I disagree with the notion that we could not have balance without them. My life has been in an almost perfect balance for years now, without more than minor pain and no suffering at all. I am looking forward to more of the same (god willing! Tongue)


Quote:Life is struggle .....Without pain and suffering and death and failure, there can be no struggle. Without those things, the fundamental nature of life changes irrevocably.

I agree that on a planet without major suffering (most of those are man-made in our reality), "the fundamental nature of life changes irrevocably", but I consider this a GOOD change, a desirable change, something to hope for.

Quote:Perhaps a life of only pleasure would be awesome, but I can't comprehend it in terms of life as I understand it. So it's speculation. Life on a world with only photosynthesis might be awesome, but I can’t comprehend it in terms of this world....

Quite right -- it would be a completely different world, and a major improvement over this one. As far as it only being a speculation -- this whole thread is about speculation regarding a hypothetical god, changing his attitude to create a hypothetical new world according to our specifications.

Quote:Either way, the answer, for me, to the question, "how should God behave to meet with my approval," is, "exactly how he is right now."

That is the major point we disagree on -- to repeat what I said before, I would want him to redesign the planet by removing predation and then take off to another galaxy to 'love, bless and keep' another 'chosen people' (poor bastards! Sad ).

(18-11-2011 01:20 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  The thinker like me though, suggests that no matter how good it feels it's not progress it's not acting and doing. But then often enough I find myself escaping into simple pleasures hoping to simply not have to think.

'Progress' is one of those catch-words, Lilith, that is automatically judged as 'good'. In the name of 'progress', whole civilizations, cultures have been destroyed, millions of people were made unhappy and even dead. If I have to choose between 'progress' and 'happiness', guess which I would choose. There is nothing wrong with escaping into simple pleasures and you may even have them while still thinking about creative, imaginative, soul-enriching things.

Quote:Say you get something right and the deity hugs you. There wouldn't really need to be a negative response because not having the positive response would be enough reason to seek it. And there could be increasingly positive responses to convince the life-forms to reach further and further......Suffering is not necessary for competitive drive, simply not being rewarded is enough of a punishment to bring forth the desire.

Very well put, Lilith! Smile


(17-11-2011 09:22 PM)cufflink Wrote:  And by the way, if the ideal world incorporates death, even if it’s pain-free to the one who dies, isn’t it inevitably a source of pain for the loved ones who are left behind? So with death in the world, is it even possible to prevent all major suffering?

cufflink, I thought some more about your question but I still think that my original response covers it best for me: "Redesign the world without predation and then leave us alone".

You see, the overwhelming bulk of human suffering on this planet is man-made which, in turn, can be directly linked to the existence of predation. Without having to kill/devour/enslave each other (physically, financially, emotionally), we would have a much gentler, benevolent kind of world that would still contain pain and suffering, due to accidents, illness, death. As a side-effect, without all the human-made suffering and destruction, all of our energies could be put to good use in minimizing the unavoidable part.
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18-11-2011, 04:24 PM
RE: What kind of god would you LIKE?
Hey, Pete.

I DID say that lol.

Hey, Cantor.

Word up.

Hey, defacto.

That was kinda backhanded, but I guess we can call it water under the bridge. Also, I don't actually know what hard mark means. Hook a man up?

Hey, Zatamon.

I think it's entirely possible that having a planet where everything is hunky dory would be a good change. But I can't tell because the occurrence would be magic-based. It could just as easily been one of those, "I wish I was a great swimmer," then you get turned into a tuna deals.

I think that I took the initial question differently than most people. It seems to me that most people were like, "we got the brass ring! I want a Red Rider BB Gun and super powers and an unlimited tub of maple walnut ice cream," whereas I took the question to mean that the guy was saying, "OK, well if you think that God is a dick because of how he runs the joint, how would you run things better?" Like, it's easy to criticize someone but can you actually do a better job? I thought that was a really profound question and something truly apropos for a forum on Atheism. And Cufflink's initial questions seemed rooted in the real, rather than in the fantastical; that there would be real-world consequences to any changes we made. For myself, I have no illusions that I could do a better job. I don't think I'm qualified. But sure, give me carte blanche and there'd be nine women blowing me right now on my billion-dollar spaceship. But if we take a serious look at the nature of the universe and ask if we could tweak what's there, it's a much more complicated issue. I'm a Darwinist through and through. "Should" is like repellent to me.

You're right that purpose is a loaded term. Does granite have a purpose? Are any of us here for a reason? Fucked if I know, brother. So yeah, I'm sure some people are like, "our purpose is to suffer in this life," or, "our purpose is to worship Him." More power to em, but homey don't play dat. But life has meaning; it is meaningful, because we give it meaning. Is there some greater purpose to life? Couldn't say.

So I’m with you. If I had consequence-free superpowers, get that suffering BS out of here! If there are consequences to managing a delicate system, I’d be a bit more frugal.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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