What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
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04-04-2017, 11:46 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
What Jews teach and what Judaism teaches are two different things.

I would say that Judaism, like all religions, teaches nothing. Everyone is free to interpret them however they want. All we have are popular interpretations.

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04-04-2017, 11:48 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 11:46 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  What Jews teach and what Judaism teaches are two different things.

I would say that Judaism, like all religions, teaches nothing. Everyone is free to interpret them however they want. All we have are popular interpretations.

Have you studied Judaism formally?
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04-04-2017, 11:51 PM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
Nope. But I know how religions work. There is no agreement, even among the devout members of any religion.

The only authority I would recognize on who is and isn't a "true [whatever]" is sadly not available for comment.

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04-04-2017, 11:57 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2017 12:02 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
I do know that being "a Jew" is a bit more complex than most religions. I'm just referring to the religious beliefs.

Who is going to stop me starting a new branch of Judaism, or any other religion, based on my interpretation? Religions are necessarily full of unfalsifiable claims, so I can't be said to be wrong any more than others can be said to be right.

If every Jew there has ever been all had the same beliefs, I would make an exception for Judaism. But we all know this isn't the case. It's not even true for those currently alive.

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05-04-2017, 12:31 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 11:57 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  I do know that being "a Jew" is a bit more complex than most religions. I'm just referring to the religious beliefs.

Who is going to stop me starting a new branch of Judaism, or any other religion, based on my interpretation? Religions are necessarily full of unfalsifiable claims, so I can't be said to be wrong any more than others can be said to be right.

If every Jew there has ever been all had the same beliefs, I would make an exception for Judaism. But we all know this isn't the case. It's not even true for those currently alive.

I'm not really sure what you're aiming at. I can say what Judaism teaches, and I can say what I understand the official stances are, but I can't guarantee that every single individual feels exactly as their respective denominations teach.

If you want to start a movement and call yourself Jewish, then we can't stop you. We don't have a trademark on the religion... as you can clearly see, nor do we have a copyright on our own book. You also wouldn't be the first to do this. Messianic Judaism beat you to it. Beliefs have nothing to do with Jewishness. What determines who is a Jew is the status of a person's birth mother, or the quality of conversion. We use Israel's standards and rulings to determine validity of a person's Jewishness when it gets called into question. So yeah, go ahead and call yourself whatever you want, but you won't make it to Israel on the right of return or qualify for Jewish funded resources just because you call yourself Jewish.
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05-04-2017, 01:10 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2017 01:17 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 10:43 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(04-04-2017 07:47 PM)whateverist Wrote:  We probably disagree about this, but I find I much more often agree with you. I don't know that one can by skepticism and critical thinking alone put together a meaningful set of goals and values. There is more than that to being a person I think but I don't have a rock solid interpersonal case to make for this. So you go be you.

I was just addressing whether or not someone believes in God; this is an assessment of facts about reality. I totally agree, goals and values are personal and subjective. (I recently made a video based around that very point.)

I find it strange that belief in God is so highly correlated with forming values around God. Strange from a personal point of view. I guess it's because I don't accept things by fiat, no matter what authority is speaking. If it was demonstrated to me that God was real (whatever that even means), I'd shrug my shoulders and continue as I do now. If God actually wanted to show up and talk to me and put its case to me about some sort of change I should make to my behavior, it is welcome to do so. But whether or not I make that change would depend on its reasoning, not the fact that something powerful is talking to me.

I consider myself a good person, and I don't need to be told by God or anyone else to pursue that goal.

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05-04-2017, 01:20 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2017 01:27 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
Going further...

If I'm actually too stupid/naive to be able to understand why I should do what God wants me to do, like a child unable to process why getting into a stranger's van is a bad idea, then I'd have to blame God for that. Presumably, God could have just made me unable to act in ways it considers undesirable, removing the need for this tutoring. Or it could have made me clever enough to understand the reasoning.

If it wants dummies to order around, it came to the wrong party. If it gave me a brain, I'll use it to the best of my ability. What exactly the point of any of this is, from God's point of view, is rarely discussed.

PS: What it even means to act in a good or bad way is a weird concept, considering God presumably set up that framework in the first place. Why include bad things? It would be like choosing to have a really dangerous open fire for your children to run into, instead of a microwave which could do the same job.

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05-04-2017, 07:26 AM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2017 07:42 AM by Aliza.)
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(05-04-2017 01:20 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Going further...

If I'm actually too stupid/naive to be able to understand why I should do what God wants me to do, like a child unable to process why getting into a stranger's van is a bad idea, then I'd have to blame God for that. Presumably, God could have just made me unable to act in ways it considers undesirable, removing the need for this tutoring. Or it could have made me clever enough to understand the reasoning.

If it wants dummies to order around, it came to the wrong party. If it gave me a brain, I'll use it to the best of my ability. What exactly the point of any of this is, from God's point of view, is rarely discussed.

PS: What it even means to act in a good or bad way is a weird concept, considering God presumably set up that framework in the first place. Why include bad things? It would be like choosing to have a really dangerous open fire for your children to run into, instead of a microwave which could do the same job.

Was this post addressed to me, or Whateverist, or was it just a general comment?

Edit: Ah, I think I'm following now. It was to Whateverist. Smile
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05-04-2017, 09:27 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 11:43 PM)Aliza Wrote:  
(04-04-2017 10:37 PM)whateverist Wrote:  Would you say that anywhere near all jews hold that view? Do you think of G-d as being conscious in a human way and exercising intentionality? Or maybe 'creation' is just G-d being G-d the way a river does what a river does.

(If you're interested, there is a sense in which I think you can say G-d created man before we created it but I see all that going on intra-psychically within each human being in each life time .. not as something happening historically 'out there'.)

Not every Jew believes this, but this is primarily because most American and Israeli Jews fit the category of being atheist/agnostic or “spiritual,” and may not be educated in religious stuff. They may not believe it because they’re uninformed of Judaism’s stance, but aside from having no strong opinion of a creator in the first place, I’m unaware of any conflicting or alternate theology within Judaism.

I guess I could have been more precise to say that religiously educated and observant Jews believe this.

(04-04-2017 10:37 PM)whateverist Wrote:  Not sure what this contributes. Kind of pan-god'ism I guess. But, you know, if everything is X what does its being X tell us about anything at all? [But I appreciate you're being thorough and generous with your time here.]

I was really just trying to explain the Jewish concept of G-d in contrast of the Christian concept. Christians view their god as more of a male individual with arms, legs and a mouth. (and I use the pronoun "he" to describe G-d, too, but G-d is really not a male.) The Jewish concept is of a bodiless entity that is infinite. We add to that that our idea of G-d is that G-d is conscious, aware, and involved with its creation.



If I may probe a little more I'd like to understand the nature of G-d's awareness/consciousness. Here I don't mean to ask what the orthodox answer might be since, if I understand you correctly, you are already elaborating beyond the specificity contained in the jewish canon. Would you mind saying how you yourself conceptualize G-d's nature?

Do you think G-d is more engaged in His creation where man is concerned than with say the setting of universal constants or the transgressions of other species against their nature? If a chimpanzee goes rogue and starts killing and eating the young of other chimps I doubt if G-d would wonder why. My guess would be that only humans have the capacity to surprise G-d since in our conscious minds our essential nature has such a poor hold on us. It is our capacity for reason and investigation which would hold His attention. I don't think God does or can think the way we do, would you agree?

[In the interest of full disclosure, I don't believe there is such a thing as a god as a being in its own right with a history independent from our own. But there is something within/about ourselves which gives rise to god belief which is also capable of interacting with our conscious selves. I conceptualize it as something essential to our particular mammalian nature which we are estranged from on account of being conscious in our way. I see god belief as being an evolved way to keep our conscious minds in touch with our primal nature. However I don't think it is the only way to make that link. I tell you this so you won't think I am being condescending in asking for details regarding this G-d of your when I don't myself believe in a such a thing. Does that make sense?]

“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
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05-04-2017, 09:33 AM
RE: What sort of person is susceptible to the god delusion?
(04-04-2017 11:43 PM)Aliza Wrote:  I was really just trying to explain the Jewish concept of G-d in contrast of the Christian concept. Christians view their god as more of a male individual with arms, legs and a mouth. (and I use the pronoun "he" to describe G-d, too, but G-d is really not a male.)

The allusion to gender and personality traits is metaphor. Yes, they describe him in male terms but merely to convey attributes traditionally associated with males such power, strength, etc. They believe God is an immaterial, omnipotent, omnipresent, supernatural being.

Outside of the most general attributes, there are differences about God between the Christian denominations. The most fundamental, in my opinion, is the one between those who believe in the Trinity and non-trinitarians.

(04-04-2017 11:43 PM)Aliza Wrote:  The Jewish concept is of a bodiless entity that is infinite. We add to that that our idea of G-d is that G-d is conscious, aware, and involved with its creation.

You will be hard-pressed to find a Christian who disagrees with this view.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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