• javi2541997
    2.4k
    The mere fact that other people wholeheartedly endorsed Him meant that He must have been more confident in identifying such "hallucinations". This meant that He may have literally created an entire world of His own by cementing His "dreams".Michael McMahon

    I don't see it as a "cause and effect" argument. I mean, it seems that you see it as fact that God does exist because Jesus (the prophet) has a lot of believers who follow his "idea" of God's existence. So, according to your arguments, the cause is the confidence of Jesus and the cause all the believers of God in the world.
    But you are missing an important point: faith. Believe or not believe in God depends on faith. It is not necessary to explain why Jesus has a lot of unconditional followers/believers. Those persons follow both Jesus and God because they just believe in them. I am not sure if they put reasonable arguments to explain why they "follow" such doctrines.

    For example we can see how complex Middle Earth is from JRR Tolkien and the author didn't even have anyone praying to himMichael McMahon

    I don't understand this example but I must admit it made me laugh :rofl:
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    But you are missing an important point: faith. Believe or not believe in God depends on faith.javi2541997

    There are many atheists in Asia but if we went centuries back in time we could say that they were all descended from meditative beliefs like Buddhism in China. I don't say that as a fact but merely as an interpretation. So no matter how much you or your society reject God, you are still influenced by the genes of religious ancestors. There simply were no materialists before the dawn of science. "Survival of the fittest" in previous millenia meant you'd to be religious or transcendent in some sense because that was the culture you were born into. So in a purely speculative way an impression of an afterlife could be internalised through genes. Would you put yourself in heaven if you could externally assess your past life once you had died? After all the genetics of a species takes a very long time to change. Such far-fetched ideas might help if you're trying to reconcile solipsistic pantheism, transcendent religion and non-conscious science all into one theory! If your mind expanded after you died, would you be able to excuse your past crimes as "work"?!

    John Wick (2/10) - Noise Complaint (2014)
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    So no matter how much you or your society reject God, you are still influenced by the genes of religious ancestors.Michael McMahon

    Disagree. Being religious is not inherited in our DNA. It is a way of life chosen by some believers. Despite there are millions of persons who believe in God, there are also an important community of atheists. So, it is impossible that my genes are influenced by religious affairs. What about the families who are raised by agnostic parents and randomly their child ends up being Christian? That's would be interesting but it could show that religion is a choice and it is not a natural behaviour.

    Would you put yourself in heaven if you could externally assess your past life once you had died?Michael McMahon

    Yes, why not? I am not scared of being judged by "heaven"

    If your mind expanded after you died, would you be able to excuse your past crimes as "work"?!Michael McMahon

    What do you consider as "past crimes"? Are you taking about sins or what?
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    Being religious is not inherited in our DNA.javi2541997
    So how do you account for 'the magical thinking stage of early childhood development' that begins orior to using language? Vestiges of this formative emotional cognitive stage last through most of childhood and are usually only limited – but never eliminated – by disiciplined literacy and numeracy as well as cosmopolitan socialization. Magical thinking – natural, visible 'effects caused by' supernatural, invisible agencies – drives religiousity, no? 'Homo religiosi' might be an overstatement, but not by very much ...
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    "Magical thinking" is just a superstitious thought with a type of fallacious thinking and is a common source of invalid causal inferences: PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS, MAGICAL THINKING AND PSYCHOSIS .
    Drives to religiousity? I think no. Whenever someone experiences a superstition they tend to attach it to religion because they were taught a religious education, so that's the only manner to explain the "unknown" for those.
    Imagine being born and raised by atheist family. It would be impossible to be superstitious and if "Magical thinking" ever happens it would be explained as a oneiric trip, but not related to "God" and "Bible" and such doctrinal stuff.

    The OP said that we cannot deny the religiousity of our ancestors. That's a fallacy. Religion has not existed forever or everywhere.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    The OP said that we cannot deny the religiousity of our ancestors. That's a fallacy. Religion has not existed forever or everywhere.javi2541997
    Cite a culture or society of any antiquity that completely lacks religious iconography or rites (i.e. storytelling aka "myths"). :chin:

    The oldest known human burial site, discovered in Kenya, is about 78,000 years old. Our ancestors buried their dead so that their "ghosts" may rest (i.e. stop appearing in "dreams"?) Every extant human group in the archealogical record had burial rites of great antiquity. The oldest building dedicated to religious worship, Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, is over 12,000 years old and the Australian Aborigine have been enacting the Dreamtime for an even longer time. Long long before there was 'modern socialization', my friend, where people were "educated in the religion of their parents", religions – arbitrary cults of shared confusions & cathartic fantasies – had been legion and proliferated. The evidence of indigenous religiousity is as ubiquitous as culture itself (the root of which is the word "cult").
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    Cite a culture or society of any antiquity that completely lacks religious iconography or rites (i.e. storytelling aka "myths")180 Proof

    I am thinking about Vascones, as a pre-Roman tribe. I have read an interesting paper called: some considerations on the christianization of Vascones. But you are right, even in Iberian groups there were some kind of "myths" around.
    But that's far from Christianity or God. I would call those practices as pure rites.
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    "Interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions (i.e. "faiths") and/or spiritual or humanistic beliefs, at both the individual and institutional levels. It is distinct from syncretism or alternative religion, in that dialogue often involves promoting understanding between different religions or beliefs to increase acceptance of others, rather than to synthesize new beliefs." (Wiki)

    One way to understand pantheism in the context of Christianity would be to think what would happen if you mixed Buddhism with Christianity. What would happen if we meditated to Jesus instead of praying to Jesus? If we wanted to understand panentheistic Christianity then perhaps we could view the religion in light of its Jewish ancestry. Christianity and Islam differ quite a lot when it comes to the afterlife. Yet it's possible to compare the two culturally when it comes to earthly life. So how would we feel if Christianity were like a social bond between the individual and the community? It might be easier to understand the trinity in Christianity if we were to contrast it with the different versions of Hindu's God.

    "Multiple religious belonging, also known as double belonging, refers to the idea that individuals can belong to more than one religious tradition. While this is often seen as a common reality in regions such as Asia with its many religions, religious scholars have begun to discuss multiple religion belonging with respect to religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam."

    "According to Baháʼí teachings, religion is revealed in an orderly and progressive way by a single God through Manifestations of God, who are the founders of major world religions throughout history; Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad are noted as the most recent of these before the Báb and Baháʼu'lláh. Baháʼís regard the world's major religions as fundamentally unified in purpose, though varied in social practices and interpretations. The Baháʼí Faith stresses the unity of all people, explicitly rejecting racism, sexism, and nationalism. At the heart of Baháʼí teachings is the goal of a unified world order that ensures the prosperity of all nations, races, creeds, and classes."

    Family Guy- Passion of the Christ 2
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    What would happen if we meditated to Jesus instead of praying to Jesus?Michael McMahon

    What's the real difference? I have checked a quick research on the distinction between "meditation" and "praying" and I found out: The difference between prayer and meditation lies in the internal intentions of the person. Meditation is an exercise in practicing awareness performed to achieve a stillness or inner peace, and a separation of one’s identity from their thoughts. Prayer is usually an internal plea to a being or deity that absolves someone of the ill feelings regarding their current circumstances.

    The definition is ambiguous indeed. But what I reach as conclusion is that meditation cannot be connected with Jesus because with the act of meditation we are separating ourselves from any kind of identity.
    So, we can only "pray" to Jesus not meditate about him.
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    But what I reach as conclusion is that meditation cannot be connected with Jesus because with the act of meditation we are separating ourselves from any kind of identity.
    So, we can only "pray" to Jesus not meditate about him.
    javi2541997

    That's true from a purist perspective on Christianity. Yet what if there was an atheist who didn't really want an afterlife but still found peace in certain Christian doctrines? Are they allowed to meditate to Christianity? It's better than nothing!
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    Perhaps a meditative version of Christian prayers would focus more on the underlying message than the history much like an R&B song(!):

    T.I. - Live Your Life ft. Rihanna
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    It's better than nothing!Michael McMahon

    If I don't want an afterlife, then I don't find anything at all. It is contradictory. A real atheist would not find "peace" in Christianity (or other dogmas) because he already accepted the emptiness of afterlife.
  • Bylaw
    301
    A real atheist would not find "peace" in Christianity (or other dogmas) because he already accepted the emptiness of afterlife.
    So an atheist doesn't just lack a belief, a real atheist also lacks certain emotional responses to death and has a specific attitude?
    And the people who lack a belief in god or believe there is no God, but are terrifed of death, they aren't real atheists?
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    And the people who lack a belief in god or believe there is no God, but are terrifed of death, they aren't real atheists?Bylaw

    It is not correlated. You are speaking about death but I was referring of what happens afterwards. An atheist would not have fear about the emptiness because he doesn’t believe in anything or the existence of a “heaven” or “hell”
  • Bylaw
    301
    I am pretty sure some atheists, if defined as those lacking a belief in God or disbelieving there is a God, fear no longer existing. Not all of them, but the ones I have known. Yes, they are not afraid of experiencing 'things' after death. But they fear no longer existing, no longer experiencing, no longer being alive. The reason I am pretty sure, or actually, extremely sure, is because of their reporting on their fear, one of their death bed. So, it seems to me they could have been soothed if they suddenly decided there was an afterlife. And this I have also heard from atheists. That it would be nice if there was an afterlife - with provisos for it not being Hell - but they don't believe in one. Further I have encountered, online, atheist after atheist online who assumes that the reason theists believe is because it soothes them. Now this doesn't directly contradict the idea directly that atheists could not be soothed, but it's an ill-fitting conclusion if they themselves have no such possibility and given how many (types of) theists there are.
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    Yes, they are not afraid of experiencing 'things' after death. But they fear no longer existing, no longer experiencing, no longer being alive.Bylaw

    Fear depends on each individual. I respect those who are fear about no longer keep living for whatever reasons when death is approaching to them. Despite is an opened debate about how we should "handle" our last moments, I still think religion is not the answer. As you explained in your post, it helps for some people because it calms their anxiety down.
    Atheists can be soothed too but with a different attitude. I personally believe that, sooner or later, we would experience a feeling where your own awareness says to you that there is no more time to keep living. Again, this is something complex that only experience all of those whose death is near.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    I still think religion is not the answer.javi2541997
    :up: "God" is the ur-placebo or cosmic lollipop.

    Besides, "fear of death" isn't the problem, as I see it, but rather the lack of courage to live in spite of ... imminent annihilation. Whether or not one believes in a god, cowardice is sin against oneself, and many, maybe most, are damned to remain cowards their entire lives.
    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. — Henry David Thoreau
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    Whether or not one believes in a god, cowardice is sin against oneself, and many, maybe most, are damned to remain cowards their entire lives.180 Proof

    :up: :sparkle:
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    One difference between Jesus and a stereotypical war hero is that He wasn't a vigilante type of person. In other words Christianity presents itself as being at war against evil even though it's not a militant type of religion. So when we apply this reasoning to the afterlife it might be upsetting to think that Christianity might actually forgive repentant serial killers. Strangely enough the only consolation for us is that they likely won't repent such that they wouldn't go to heaven! It's difficult to know how much the death of Jesus on the cross is scientifically relevant as a divine sacrifice given just how many others have died in warfare. Yet it's hard to know if the reason many virtuous soldiers gave up their lives was as a result of the inspiration of Jesus. Achilles was seen as a demi-God precisely because of his skill on the battlefield. So the benevolence of Jesus appears to be of a slightly different kind.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    So the benevolence of Jesus appears to be of a slightly different kind.Michael McMahon

    I think Jesus's approach was purely verbal. He offered what was likely sound reason and simulatenously sound ethical principle for what ought to be believed about the universe/reality. This deflated any argument against him which was highly frustrating for any opponent to his views. They were likely left scrambling for an argument either reasonable or ethical to confront him with, as his popularity grew.
    Which they could not.

    "The pen/spoken is mightier than the sword" so to speak.

    Hence why it spread ("spread the word"). As a passivist he didn't condone physical/violent means to an end so any aggression against him only served to bolster his ethical principle. Even if that meant he would be murdered in cold blood just so that others may feel righteous/empowered. The irony being that it was physical proof/demonstration of his principle.

    Observers of such a horrid offence against a passivist preaching communication and discourse over brute force would have naturally been dismayed that "Evil" (violence against another human being through none other than pure ego) should win and thus Christianity was born of neccesity to verbally rebel against tendencies towards barbarism to uphold conflicting belief systems, when discourse would offer the same solution without bloodshed.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. — Henry David Thoreau

    I think it's exactly this sentiment that lead people to so readily propel and uphold anyone's views which they deem as brave/courageous and at a direct head with malice/evil.

    They want to support it because they know its right but their own cowardice prevents them from doing exactly that themselves, as they're afraid, intimidated by evil-doers, so instead they allow those willing to put it all on the line to speak on their behalf, and accordingly try to support them all the while protecting their self interests.

    In essence they say "sure, go put yourself on the front line and get yourself killed for beliefs that I agree with, and in return I will revere and commemorate you for your noble acts, from the comfort of my own home/safety. You will be a hero in my eyes as you did what no one else was prepared to do. "
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    "The pen/spoken is mightier than the sword" so to speak.Benj96

    A difficulty with faith is that the mind is partially deterministic such that your subconscious mind forces you to reconcile conflicting beliefs. So religious people who are exposed to a lot of science are often forced to analyse their faith to the same degree of logic. A little problem is that while religion is very intelligent it's self-referential to some extent. Thus faith directly clashes with materialism since the material world is more observable. Religion would almost need to investigate science solely to present religious claims more analytically. Otherwise they'd need to conceptualise the afterlife more vividly in order to sway agnostics.
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    Can someone please explain what the following are to me?

    1. Deism
    2. Pandeism
    3. Panendeism
    3. Panentheism
    4. Pantheism

    Danke!
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    A difficulty with faith is that the mind is partially deterministic such that your subconscious mind forces you to reconcile conflicting beliefs. So religious people who are exposed to a lot of science are often forced to analyse their faith to the same degree of logic. A little problem is that while religion is very intelligent it's self-referential to some extent. Thus faith directly clashes with materialism since the material world is more observable. Religion would almost need to investigate science solely to present religious claims more analytically. Otherwise they'd need to conceptualise the afterlife more vividly in order to sway agnostics.Michael McMahon

    You're right spiritual intuition and scientific objective method has opposing methods/dogmas for the collection of empirical evidence to support their claims.

    Science states that it must be objectively measured to be considered true while spirituality says truth can be accessed through reasoning and ethics alone without having to have those proven as objective. One says "ill believe it when I see it" while the other says "I see it therefore I believe it".

    I think as you say, it would be prudent for spirituality and science to approach one another with more openmindedness and curiosity as they both have flaws in their assumptions about what's the most appropriate way to observe reality.

    Afterall both disciplines are interpreting existence/the universe. How then can they not be reconciled with one another? I think it's more about unwillingness to consider the other sides points, value and explanatory powers.
    Yes they both explain with different methods but they can both approach the actual Truth (existence/universe) as it actually is without bias and contradictions between selves.
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    Yes they both explain with different methods but they can both approach the actual Truth (existence/universe) as it actually is without bias and contradictions between selves.Benj96

    Evil people can have extremely violent mindsets but they often don't blaspheme simply because they're not aware of God. Yet if evil people wanted to have violent self-talk towards God then there's not much that could stop them. In other words the fact that some of them don't blaspheme during their life might be an accident. So if evil people are capable of being forgiven in the afterlife then both deeds and faith would be relevant.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    . In other words the fact that some of them don't blaspheme during their life might be an accidentMichael McMahon

    Quite right. I guess it's about awareness isn't it? If one is ignorant or clueless in action can we really blame them for poor outcomes?

    For example if a child throws a pebble across a road to see how far they can get it but they didn't factor in possible consequences, like not throwing it far enough or at the right time, and thus hit a car windscreen as it passes by, cracking it and startling the driver, should we give them severe punishment? Ought we think the child is evil?

    Of course not. It was an accident but its important to teach them the lesson that it could have been very dangerous. Punishment is then self inflicted by the child through realisation/ consideration of all the consequences of their careless actions with the help of a parent to guide them through the ethical and rational logic.

    The child probably feels a bit stupid afterward, embarrassed, ashamed maybe that their rolemodel/parent disapproves of them, or that they could have harmed someone (Road users).

    That wisdom for consequences, the ability to think critically comes with time (we hope) hence why if an adult did the same thing the consequences would likely be much harsher. There is the expectation that adults are sensible and not reckless unlike children which are not as educated/experienced.

    But is this really true do you think ?

    Why stop there? Adults don't know everything. Especially when it comes to the big questions - what is existence, what is actually "real", who ought I believe - the religious? The scientists? Both? Should we care about everyone or just the people we know? Should we be capitalist or socialist or communist, Liberal, Conservative? What about the poor? What about the uneducated? Is that my problem?

    Adults are not automatically wise just because of their age. Probably having a lot to do with their own parents parenting skills, as well as the quality of their school education and the simple lack of time for contemplation in the busy working world.

    In truth, life is the lesson, the world - our classroom, karma - the teacher, and everyone is a student.

    I think to commit "Evil" one must knowingly do something to harm another having full awareness of the consequences.

    How we treat our planet is becoming increasingly accepted as something evil/criminal as scientists reveal to us the wisdom of ecology, climate, mother nature and making the connection between our actions and consequences harder and harder to not observe.

    We wont be able to turn the other cheek forever and not see a fire or a drought or famine of increasing frequency and intensity and think, I just helped do that when I bought fuel for my car etc. I had a role to play, then the wisdom sets in, and so does the shame and guilt.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    So if evil people are capable of being forgiven in the afterlife then both deeds and faith would be relevant.Michael McMahon

    For me I don't really see the purpose of an "afterlife." It's just existence. What we are made of fundamentally, isn't going anywhere, it has been there from the beginning and it'll be there at the end. The only thing we have is change (death) and the uncertainty that brings with it.

    For me an afterlife suggests that your reward for good behaviour only comes after death and so justifies living in suffering. But good behaviour is rewarded in life. You didn't remember what your substance/form was before you were born and thus you likely won't recall it after your dead so there would be no evidence/no recollection for which to accept a reward and be proud of your deeds.

    For the same reason, if the going is good it justifies not helping anyone else because you're enjoying the reward for your past lives, you deserve it and can behave however you like.

    So for me life is a superposition of the three classical notions of heaven, hell, and purgatory. Heaven is for those that are fully self aware and lack shame/guilt of that awareness because they do right by others - living in paradise and spreading paradise.

    Hell is for those that are fully self aware and choose to be selfish instead, desperately trying to offset their guilt/shame onto others by lying both to themselves and others - blaming them and making it their fault, living in hell and spreading hell.

    Purgatory is the simple lack of self awareness, being uneducated and helpless, under the influence of hell raisers and heaven bestowers, not really understanding why bad things or good things happen, or what their role is in it, or how and on what scale karma works.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    1. Deism
    2. Pandeism
    3. Panendeism
    4. Panentheism
    5. Pantheism
    Agent Smith
    As I discern these concepts ...

    1. Belief that a deity created the world but does not intervene providenrially in its processes or human affairs.

    2. Belief that a deity became the world and therefore no longer exists as a deity (maybe until the world ends becoming a deity again).
    NB: This one troubles me the least.

    3. Belief that the world is not ontologically independent of the deity that created it (no. 1).

    4. Belief that the world is not ontologically independent – exists only in the belly or mind – of a deity that created it and intervenes providentially in human affairs.

    5. Belief in the divinity of the world which constitutes its active, providential structure (e.g. dao, logos, "arc of the moral universe" ..., etc)
  • Michael McMahon
    428
    Religion doesn't actually have to present detailed arguments to compete with a post-grad maths book. Religion merely needs to present analytical arguments to compete with secondary school science books to persuade youngsters! We'll probably be bogged down by mysteries all our life but some of our beliefs are hardened before we reach maturity.
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