• praxis
    4.5k
    For being religious is a cognitive switch, where your system of values simply changes. A religious person no longer values what the non-religious values.Agustino

    I wonder if this works the same way for conservatism as well, only with the unfortunate side effect of humor getting turned off with the cognitive switch.

    Let's do a little test. Do you think is funny?

  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Let's do a little test. Do you think is funny?praxis
    hahaha it actually was quite funny! :P Not that I agree with the interpretation, but it's funny. This is better kind of humor. I thought you were going to send me Amy Schumer type of humor >:O
  • praxis
    4.5k
    Not to disappoint.

  • Agustino
    11.3k
    I will not watch that, sorry ;)
  • Agustino
    11.3k

    See @Hanover, you are much like Osho's father in terms of what you call conservatism. I'm not, and I wouldn't call that conservatism, and I think the existence of such types of conservatism is a problem in society. You value society a lot more than I do. I place very little value on society. That is why I have no problem with Trump not paying taxes >:O

    But I am conservative on cultural and moral matters - mostly because these have a very big effect on the individual's soul, and his (or her) potential for spiritual development in life.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Before I address Hanover's soliloquy against Agustino, did any of you expect Alan Watts to write:

    "But a meaningless whole cannot evolve a meaningful part; a Godless universe cannot provide a sufficient cause for a rational man. Ex nihilo nihil fit - you cannot get something out of nothing. To defend itself against the modern disintegration philosophy must return to the point from which it began to decay, to scholasticism, and the robust common sense of St. Thomas. For philosophy in the Humanist age has likewise been isolated from reality; it has been philosophy about philosophy, about its own method, mere epistemology - not philosophy about life. It has taken seriously the proposition that man has no certain knowledge of anything; it has questioned the very validity of sense perception and reason, and thus is in no position to laugh when the world view of modern man reaches total absurdity"

    :D
  • Hanover
    7.5k
    And now begins the strawman attacks on my brand of conservatism, as if there is any way you could possibly infer my thoughts on issues I've never discussed. It begins with your conclusion that I'm purely a libertarian, that I am atheistic, and that I have no concern for spirituality or the human soul. In short, it will be like all conversations with you. You'll attribute a position antithetical to your unnuanced, unwashed ideologically driven position to someone, and then you'll self righteously attack it as short sighted and heretical.

    How about this: respond only to what I said, which is there is nothing Christian about your sanctimonious condemnation of those who vary in belief and behavior from your childlike views of the world.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    All (as in every single one) Christians fail to live up to the perfect Christian standard.Hanover
    Is this a license to sin? Just because we all fail, failing no longer becomes problematic?

    All fail to align their personal behavior to their beliefs.Hanover
    To a greater or lesser extent sure.

    All fail to fully understand the implications of their belief system.Hanover
    This is false. There are Christians who fully understand the implications of their belief system, even if they're not capable to follow it themselves.

    all Christians struggle throughout their lives to maintain an acceptable standard of behavior, and it is why they continue to try to better understand what is required of them throughout their lives through study, prayer, and discussion.Hanover
    Yes, by all means, you are correct here. Though I'm skeptical about the "all" part, let's say most Christians, myself included. I wouldn't include the Saints in this category though.

    It would seem, therefore, that a true Christian (which I am most certainly not) would not walk around declaring others unworthy of the Christian name, but would instead offer positive encouragement to move them in the right direction and would open a discussion of what proper Christianity demands with an open mind to their views and their concerns(which is the polar opposite of what you do when you pontificate about righteousness).Hanover
    So a true Christian would allow those who aren't true Christians to think they really are true Christians, and therefore give them a hand in self-deception since that's the path to Heaven?

    That it is to say, if someone tells you that they are Christian, but you see them doing what you consider to be unchristian things, it would seem the compassionate position would be to engage them in a discussion of why you are concerned for them since they have professed an honest desire to adhere to Christianity.Hanover
    The two underlined statements are contradictory. If they tell me they are Christian it's one thing. If they say they'd like to be Christians that's a different thing.

    Such a discussion would require not you just telling them why they are wrong, but it would require that you listen to what they say, with fully consideration of their views,Hanover
    Yes, and if I was a member of that forum, I would have posted a quote of Spinoza and asked the member in question if he considers what his friends get - lots of casual sex - to be a good thing. Then we would have had a discussion about it. Jewish religion takes lust to be a somewhat valuable and natural thing when properly directed. They'd say without lust people wouldn't get married, form families, etc. So they are your type of conservative ;) - NOT my type. Many Christians (unfortunately) also take that position. But I think Christian religion actually takes a much more serious view of lust, because even to look upon a woman with lust becomes a sin. Christianity seems to seek to uproot evil from the ground up, whereas Judaism, at least in the form it is understood in today, seeks to make good of the evil, without eliminating the evil. Indeed, they take the evil tendency in man to be absolutely necessary, and ultimately also good if properly directed.

    and a full acceptance that you might be terribly incorrect in your understanding of what Christianity specifically dictates.Hanover
    No, on this issue I cannot be "terribly incorrect". That is much like saying that I'd be "terribly incorrect" in whether or not the internal angles of a triangle in Euclidean space add up to 180 degrees. This type of Cartesian doubt is fallacious - one must have grounds for doubt, one cannot doubt in the absence of grounds for such doubt - it would be irrational. And it's very important not to confuse humility for being equivalent to this kind of self-doubt.

    Your tactless condemnation is an unfortunate element that pervades organized religion, not just Christianity. It is generally inhumane, and certainly not something I would ever seek out if I found myself downtrodden.Hanover
    You know, if we lived during Medieval times, I would agree with you. I'd be the first to protest the inhumanity of religious condemnation. But now the situation is much different. The pendulum has swung too much to the other side. I'm just rebalancing it at the moment.

    I would think that the concepts of humility and compassion I've discussed above would be integral parts of Christianity, and I would think they would be a good place to start when, you, my good physician, attempts to heal himself.Hanover
    Humility and compassion are indeed important, never said they're not. But humility and compassion are two swords. They are used aggressively - on the offense - not on the defense. A lot of morality in our modern age has been corrupted. Remember Socrates. He claimed to know nothing - but it wasn't a defensive "I know nothing". It wasn't the "I know nothing" of an ignorant man. It was the ironic (and strategic) "I know nothing" of one who knows.

    As for healing yourself, in my opinion, Christianity takes the view that you cannot heal yourself, it is by grace that you are healed. You can open yourself up for grace through asceticism, spiritual practice, prayer, study and the like. But you cannot perform the movement yourself - all you can do is surrender to Christ.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    And now begins the strawman attacks on my brand of conservatism, as if there is any way you could possibly infer my thoughts on issues I've never discussed. It begins with your conclusion that I'm purely a libertarian, that I am atheistic, and that I have no concern for spirituality or the human soul. In short, it will be like all conversations with you. You'll attribute a position antithetical to your unnuanced, unwashed ideologically driven position to someone, and then you'll self righteously attack it as short sighted and heretical.Hanover
    Wow, relax. I am pointing out that us two have a very different understanding of conservatism, and people should not put us in the same category (as Mongrel more than once did for example). I am definitely NOT the type of conservative you are. And I'm saying this based on what I've read through the forums of your posts, including your positions in an old politics thread we had.

    I have not claimed you're purely a libertarian, that you're atheistic, that you have no concern for spirituality, etc. etc.

    How about this: respond only to what I said, which is there is nothing Christian about your sanctimonious condemnation of those who vary in belief and behavior from your childlike views of the world.Hanover
    I have, but that response has zero to do with what I was saying about your type of conservatism. Those are two separate issues, I hope you're not confusing the two discussions and treating it as one thing.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    childlike viewsHanover
    Jesus called a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you", He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 18:2-3
    Seems like I'm doing well! :D :D (Y)
  • praxis
    4.5k
    For being religious is a cognitive switch, where your system of values simply changes. A religious person no longer values what the non-religious values.Agustino

    Okay here's a serious vid for you.

  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Okay watched it (at 2x the speed, so no stress that it's 8mins and I answer faster). I've read Harris before so I'm aware of all this and the one thing he puts his finger on is that the is/ought gap is artificial. And he's absolutely right. Aristotle has said this thousands of years ago. So he's absolutely correct that morality is objective.

    Now despite his work in "Waking Up" and other books he still has a very truncated idea of what real spirituality means, and how religions are helpful. This prevents him from judging objective morality accurately. But he's definitely one of the smarter atheists out there - the same cannot be said about the philistine Richard Dawkins.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Now, to help faciliate understanding of what I said earlier.

    When I say:

    For being religious is a cognitive switch, where your system of values simply changes. A religious person no longer values what the non-religious values.Agustino
    This isn't to be taken to mean that morality isn't objective. But rather that it is possible that what you perceive to be morality on a feeling level does not match with what you perceive to be morality on a rational level. For example, it's very possible to think casual sex is wrong, and yet still desire it. By a cognitive switch, I mean that switch by which this passionate side of the soul is brought in alignment with the rational side. In this case, you'd no longer desire casual sex, and your passions will be brought in alignment with your reason.
  • praxis
    4.5k
    I interpreted your claim to essentially be that a non-religious person lacks the means to change their values from being materialistic to being less so, or not all all. Harris suggests there are other means, and even that science can be such a means. You agree that Hume's law is artificial. So if this switch isn't exclusive to the religious person then it can't define a religious person.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    So if this switch isn't exclusive to the religious person then it can't define a religious person.praxis
    It is exclusive to the religious person though. That's what I've claimed.

    Harris suggests there are other means, and even that science can be such a means.praxis
    I disagree that science can be such a means for a cognitive shift of the kind I'm talking about. I also disagree that spiritual practices taken out of their religious context (meditation taken out of the religious framework of Buddhism for example) can be effective.
  • praxis
    4.5k
    I disagree that science can be such a means for a cognitive shift of the kind I'm talking about.Agustino

    Are we talking about a shift as I've briefly described, essentially shifting from materialistic values to values that are more cooperative in nature or that are focused on the improvement of life for all, or at least a wider group, of sentient beings? If not, please describe the nature of the value shift as you see it.

    I also disagree that spiritual practices taken out of their religious context (meditation taken out of the religious framework of Buddhism for example) can be effective.Agustino

    Can you explain why you hold this belief?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    essentially shifting from materialistic values to values that are more cooperative in nature or that are focused on the improvement of life for all, or at least a wider group, of sentient beings?praxis
    No. That is still materialistic. More enlightened materialism doesn't cease to be materialism. Materialism means utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is not spiritual.

    If not, please describe the nature of the value shift as you see it.praxis
    I've already done so:

    By a cognitive switch, I mean that switch by which this passionate side of the soul is brought in alignment with the rational side.Agustino

    Can you explain why you hold this belief?praxis
    Largely because most of the evidence we have suggests that the best results from such practices are achieved within religious settings and contexts. There's a reason why you don't have secular ascetics - for the most part. In addition, the whole purpose of religion and spirituality is to be wholistic, you cannot snatch a practice from there and apply it howsoever you want, because it's no longer the same practice.
  • praxis
    4.5k
    No. That is still materialistic. More enlightened materialism doesn't cease to be materialism. Materialism means utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is not spiritual.Agustino

    It's not materialistic in the sense that it's concerned with matters of the spirit, such as meaning, happiness or the reduction of suffering in the world, etc., and not with acquiring wealth, power, or other self-centered goals.

    I've already done so: [described the nature of the value shift as you see it]Agustino
    By a cognitive switch, I mean that switch by which this passionate side of the soul is brought in alignment with the rational side.

    You've described an instance, not the nature of the shift. This is a problem because it allows an individual to rationalize the expression of their passions, rather than aligning their passions to their reasoned values. Indeed this is a problem that we frequently see in religious circles.

    So please explain further, if you can.

    most of the evidence we have suggests that the best results from such practices are achieved within religious settings and contextsAgustino

    Alright let's use your example, meditation taken out of the religious framework of Buddhism. I'm not aware of any studies that indicate Buddhist meditation techniques performed in a secular environment show poorer results than those performed within a traditional Buddhist environment.

    There's a reason why you don't have secular ascetics - for the most part.Agustino

    I imagine it's the same reason you don't see religious ascetics, for the most part. In any case, asceticism can be a form of spiritual materialism. This is a well-known concept within Buddhism.

    In addition, the whole purpose of religion and spirituality is to be wholistic, you cannot snatch a practice from there and apply it howsoever you want, because it's no longer the same practice.Agustino

    What could be more holistic than being concerned with the well-being of all sentient beings? This is what Harris talks about in the video.
  • Sir2u
    2.7k
    The future is a mystery, the past history, all we have now is a/the present.

    What has been said cannot be unsaid. It is what it is. And where of one cannot speak then better leave unsaid.
    Posty McPostface

    Tut tut, it is precisely this kind of attitude that keeps us from prospering and getting ahead in life. :(
  • Shawn
    12.1k


    Hmm, well Wittgenstein said that where you cannot speak then better left alone or in quiet. And, what do you mean about getting ahead in life?

    After all, it is what it is.
  • Sir2u
    2.7k
    And, what do you mean about getting ahead in life?Posty McPostface

    Getting ahead in life is what it is. And bollocks to Wittgenstein and the horse he rode in on.
  • unenlightened
    6.2k
    Getting ahead in life is what it is.Sir2u

    And that isn't being first to the finish line, we hope.
  • jorndoe
    1.6k
    Why some people are so sure they're right, even when they are not
    Jared Parker Friedman, Anthony Ian Jack
    via ScienceDaily
    Jul 2017
  • Sir2u
    2.7k
    And that isn't being first to the finish line, we hope.unenlightened

    Of course not, it is just simple self improvement.
  • Shawn
    12.1k
    Of course not, it is just simple self improvement.Sir2u

    Masturbation.

  • Sir2u
    2.7k
    Masturbation.Posty McPostface

    Me thinks I just got called "wanker".

    Are you watching me somehow?
  • Shawn
    12.1k


    But, there's truth in being a snowflake, snowflake!

    My propositional attitude formed by years of being brainwashed tells me so!
  • _db
    3.5k
    "Science rushes headlong, without selectivity, without “taste,” at whatever is knowable, in the blind desire to know all at any cost. Philosophical thinking, on the other hand, is ever on the scent of those things which are most worth knowing, the great and the important insights. Now the concept of greatness is changeable in the realm of morality as well as in that of aesthetics. And so philosophy starts by legislating greatness." - Nietzsche
    (Y)
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