Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
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23-10-2017, 07:26 AM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2017 07:44 AM by Thoreauvian.)
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 06:07 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(23-10-2017 04:46 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  they have to show how their speculations can align with and add to what we know from science.

Do you see that the above is a metaphysical statement? You are claiming that science, which rests on metaphysical assumptions of its own, is reliable. That's probably true in most cases. But giving it primacy is a metaphysical conviction. That science is the best way to know truth is not provable by science. To support science, with any sort of argument, you have to do metaphysics.

Your assertion that "they have to" sounds like a commandment. Maybe they don't have to. Maybe they have metaphysical arguments as to why science is not applicable in some cases and need not align with metaphysical arguments. Maybe there are metaphysical arguments which call into question the idea that science teaches everything we ought to know.

The reason why I assert that metaphysical ideas must align with and add to what we know from science to be considered knowledge is that I consider the world a unified whole.
I hadn't considered my assertion a metaphysical assumption, but perhaps it is. It just seems like common sense to me, since it just means judging what we don't know in the light of what we do know. That assessment doesn't have to be an absolute judgment either, it can be an assessment of probability. So for instance, what I know of science now makes the ideas of God and eternal life seem highly unlikely, almost impossible, so I judge any metaphysical speculations about them in that light.

(23-10-2017 06:07 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  Problems about the consciousness and knowledge of God are addressed in painful detail in both Thomist and Neoplatonic theology. I think you'll find that both of these terms mean different things when applied to God than they do about people.

Did they explain how God could be conscious or just rationalize it? How was the term different when applied to God?

Could you provide a few examples of what they said about how their God concept could be considered conscious and willful? That's a topic of great interest to me.
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23-10-2017, 09:52 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(22-10-2017 07:37 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 09:33 AM)Dom Wrote:  I found (and still do) the god in the bible disgustingly cruel.

I've never met an intelligent religious person who was a sola scriptura literalist.

Have you read Augustine, for example? A lot of Christians in history have.

If the claim is that education inevitably leads to losing one's religion, then we aren't talking about the rank and file here. We're talking about the educated. And the educated tend not to be sola scriptura literalists, even though most atheists I've met approach the Bible that way.

So are you saying then that the educated cherry-pick the bible?

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23-10-2017, 11:39 AM (This post was last modified: 23-10-2017 12:33 PM by Free.)
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 09:52 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 07:37 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  I've never met an intelligent religious person who was a sola scriptura literalist.

Have you read Augustine, for example? A lot of Christians in history have.

If the claim is that education inevitably leads to losing one's religion, then we aren't talking about the rank and file here. We're talking about the educated. And the educated tend not to be sola scriptura literalists, even though most atheists I've met approach the Bible that way.

So are you saying then that the educated cherry-pick the bible?

No, I think what he means is that the formally educated tend not to view scripture as being strictly literal and infallible. Meanwhile, atheists approach scripture with the position that since they believe that the "faithful in general view it as literally infallible," they then will attack the core system of beliefs from that angle.

If so, I tend to somewhat agree with him, however, not all atheists put this into practice.

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23-10-2017, 11:50 AM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
If anyone tells you astrology can predict a person's nature, send them to me. I was born within a few hours of Rush Limbaugh, and the same doctor could have handled both deliveries. That proves that shit don't work. Drinking Beverage
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23-10-2017, 02:59 PM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(22-10-2017 09:57 PM)Belaqua Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 07:43 PM)mordant Wrote:  the failed epistemology of religious faith.

What specifically do you see as the epistemology of religious faith?

The acceptance of revelation as evidence?
The acceptance of asserted fact / truth / revelation without a requirement of substantiation via evidence or logic. So, basically, yes.

What success looks like for a valid epistemology is that it is good at explaining or predicting outcomes in experienced reality to a degree that is distinguishable from random happenstance. In my personal experience and the experience of countless people I've spoken to, religious faith does not meet this test.
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23-10-2017, 06:04 PM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 06:07 AM)Belaqua Wrote:  Humility demands that I don't have the right to pronounce all those people stupid.
I totally agree. No epistemology is perfect; no person is 100% rational. Epistemological humility is therefore indicated, particularly in those rare situations where a particular theist is making an effort at intellectual honesty and is themselves exhibiting the same humility.

Too bad that's as rare as it is.
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23-10-2017, 06:30 PM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 07:26 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  Could you provide a few examples of what they said about how their God concept could be considered conscious and willful? That's a topic of great interest to me.

Uh oh, now I've done it. I owe an explanation, and I'm not confident I can do a good job. I am no expert, but I'll give it a shot.

First, we have to get past the anthropomorphized view that consciousness implies learning new things, or getting new perceptions. God, being impassible, doesn't change. Also will, in his case, isn't about desire (as actus purus, God lacks nothing, therefore desires nothing). Nor is it about making a decision to act. These two things are different in finite changeable beings like us.

Here is a quote from The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart. He knows more than I do, and I have the book on pdf so it's easy for me to quote:

What is most definitely not at issue here is the demiurgic god of Deism, the
Intelligent Design movement, or New Atheist polemic. God is not, in any of
the great theistic traditions, merely some rational agent, external to the order of
the physical universe, who imposes some kind of design upon an otherwise inert
and mindless material order. He is not some discrete being somewhere out there,
floating in the great beyond, who fashions nature in accordance with rational
laws upon which he is dependent. Rather, he is himself the logical order of all
reality, the ground both of the subjective rationality of mind and the objective
rationality of being, the transcendent and indwelling Reason or Wisdom by
which mind and matter are both informed and in which both participate. If
indeed to exist is to be manifest—to be intelligible and perceptible—and if to
exist fully is to be consciously known, then God, as infinite being, is also an act
of infinite knowledge. He is in himself the absolute unity of consciousness and
being, and so in the realm of contingent things is the source of the fittedness of
consciousness and being each to the other, the one ontological reality of reason
as it exists both in thought and in the structure of the universe. At least,
according to almost all the classical metaphysical schools, East and West, the
marvelous coincidence between, on the one hand, our powers of reason and, on
the other, the capacity of being to be understood points to an ultimate identity
between them, in the depths of their transcendent origin. God’s being—esse, on,
sat, wujud
—is also consciousness—ratio, logos, chit, wijdan. As Ramanuja
would have it, Brahman, as the fullness of all being, must possess immediate
knowledge of all reality within himself, and so be the fullness of all
consciousness as well, the “personal” source in whom being achieves total
manifestation, total actuality.


It will be easy enough for people to dismiss this part, and I expect they will. Please keep in mind that it comes on page 234 -- he's been working up to this.

And maybe this sketches the idea of how God wills or acts:

In similar veins, some contend that divine simplicity and impassibility would
make it impossible for God to be affected by and so aware of any contingent truths,
or for him to create freely, or for him to create without absolutely
determining the course of all events. Again, though, when one chases the
premises in such arguments to ground, one invariably finds some tacit but
stubborn anthropomorphism at work: an unreflective tendency to think that God
is like a finite psychological subject whose knowledge depends on a conditional
cognition of external realities, or whose freedom requires arbitrative deliberation
among options somehow outside himself, or whose creative acts must effect
changes in him in the way that our actions effect changes in us, or whose gift of
existence to creatures is like some kind of finite mechanical causation that
produces only determinate mechanical results (and so on). None of this is
logically compelling. If God is the infinite and unconditioned source of all
things, then his creative intention—whether he creates only one world, or many,
or infinitely many—can be understood as an eternal act that involves no
temporal change within him. His freedom, moreover, can be understood as
consisting not in some temporal act of decision that overcomes some prior state
of indecision, but in the infinite liberty with which he manifests himself in the
creation he wills from everlasting. His knowledge of contingent realities need
require no passive “discovery” of things formerly outside his ken, but only the
knowledge of his own creative and sustaining intentions toward creatures (and,
in an infinite spiritual intellect, intentions would involve no moving parts or
changing substantial states). And his timeless donation of being to creatures need
not be conceived as involving a mechanistic determinism but can be thought of
as the creation of a contingent reality containing truly free secondary causes
(creation from nothingness, after all, is not a kind of causation like any of which
we are capable). In the end, the crucial question is whether any of the relations
that finite contingencies have to God’s infinite absolute being require alterations
in God himself; and the traditional assumption is that God is not like some finite
bounded substance that undergoes change as a result of external forces but is the
transcendent source of the actuality of all substances and forces, and so he does
not receive anything from “outside” himself, for everything is always in him and
already realized in his own essence in an immeasurably more eminent way.
More simply said, the finite does not add to the infinite but merely expresses the
power of the infinite in a limited mode.


So you were right, earlier, when you said that you had conceived of God as absolute and the source of the contingent world. The "interface," as it were, is tricky. Do these quotes address the issue at all? Again, they are part of a big fat book, not expected to be persuasive out of context.
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23-10-2017, 06:36 PM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 11:39 AM)Free Wrote:  No, I think what he means is that the formally educated tend not to view scripture as being strictly literal and infallible. Meanwhile, atheists approach scripture with the position that since they believe that the "faithful in general view it as literally infallible," they then will attack the core system of beliefs from that angle.

If so, I tend to somewhat agree with him, however, not all atheists put this into practice.

Free,

Yes, thank you. This is what I meant.

I guess we can call it cherry-picking, if that involves a call to use one's brain to discern how we should interpret the many disparate books and styles and tropes of the Bible. It's a sad loss that modern Christians (many of them) probably think that Herman Neutics is a character in a cartoon show.
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23-10-2017, 06:52 PM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(23-10-2017 06:04 PM)mordant Wrote:  Too bad that's as rare as it is.

As always, the noisy ones get on TV. The ones working hard at careful thought will be published by obscure academic journals.
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23-10-2017, 07:15 PM
RE: Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
(22-10-2017 05:54 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  I'd wager good money that next to no one is hanging onto their faith by the thread of Kant.

Kant? No.

Cant? Yes.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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