TheEncogitationer

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  • #35063

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Ivy,

    A word of caution about non-credal religious organizations: Do your due diligence on individual congregations and try to avoid intra-denominational fracases.

    One such fracas is happening right now in the Unitarian-Universalist Association.

    It seems that UU members who were taught all their lives that they have no Original Sin are now being scolded, accused, indicted, and convicted without trial by Critical Race Theorists who say they have the Original Sin of skin color and participation in Systemic Racism.  Professor john McWhorter has written and spoken often on this subject.

    Kneeling in the Church of Social Justice

    America certainly has work to do on race, but ritual and symbolic acts aren’t the way forward.

    JOHN MCWHORTER | 6.29.2020 5:30 PM

    Kneeling in the Church of Social Justice

    The moment you see or hear of any hints at things like “checking privilege,” “fragility,” “questioning Ally-ship,” or equating reason, logic, and dissent with “White Supremacy,” you’ve got a Jim Jones-style People’s Temple in the making and it’s best to run.

    Be safe and be well in your intellectual explorations.

    #35035

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    I would have told the Padre: “Fine, but if you get some virus that locks up your Skyrim joystick, don’t come crying to me.  You can join the Southern Baptists and boycott yourself out of the Information Age!” 😛

    #35033

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Ivey,

    You bring up a lot of interesting questions.  I can answer a few.

    There are religious bodies that are non-credal even to the point of not requiring belief in a God, namely Unitarian-Universalism, Ethical Culture, and The Universal Life Church.

    These three bodies do not require exclusivity, so you could be a member, yet also identify with either other religious beliefs or no belief, with no ethical problem of dishonesty or insincerity.

    Buddhism does have a system of beliefs, but belief in a God is not required and many Buddhists simultaneously embrace other religions such as Shintoism, Taoism, Confucianism, or local Asian Folk Religions.  Again, no problem of dishonesty or insincerity here if you actually embrace Buddhist tenets.

    Humanistic Judaism requires no belief in YHVH-1 and views Jewishness as a human cultural thing, so there’s that.  They’re more likely to be flexible than the Abrahamic Religions below.

    I’ve recently read that there is actually a sect of Non-Theistic Quakers.  (I don’t know all the details yet.  Maybe their Communion is oatmeal cookies.  For all I know, they “work out their salvation” with those vibrating chairs, bedpads, or Hitachi Wands.😁)

    Anyway, these options allow at least some lee-way on beliefs for genuine explorers and heterodox thinkers.

    Some religions, such as Zoroastrianism, Druze-ism, Yahzidi-ism, and Folk Religions won’t even allow outsiders to join, so those are right out as options.

    The full-bore Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are each mutually exclusive and exclusive of other religions.  They each demand absolute non-pluralistic loyalty.  And in Islam, Apostasy = Death, so if you are joining religions for shits and giggles, make sure Islam is the last one and that you are termimally ill.😁

    As for perks and bennies provided by religion, I think it is both honest and more dignified and fulfilling to create your own perks and bennies instead.  If you have to, get a second part-time job.  If you can, create your own mini-business.  If you need skills, go to a community college or go online with free or low-cost sources of learning.  Go to a local senior center, 4-H, or Cooperative Extension Service to learn ways to both save money or make money, extend and save resources, bake or cook, grow a garden, raise animals for pets or food, the possibilities are limitless.  Do it a little at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed, but do it and you’ll be better off for it.

    It’s like I said before, learn to build lifeboats and floatation devices and you don’t need to worry about ‘lifeboat scenarios’ and always keep spares and you won’t have ‘zero-sum’ games.

    What you can do for youself and what each of us can do for each other is far more than anything either Religion or State, Altar or Throne, can do for us.

    #34865

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    PopeBeanie,

    You wrote:

    Q2: That one’s tougher, like the trolly car conundrum. I’m basically utilitarian by nature, so I’d probably say yes, move aside you miserable lot, but not loudly enough for them to hear it or anything that’s coming before we eliminate them. (There’s still a we here, in on this decision together, right?)

    This reminds me.  Maybe among the first ethical rules should be: Don’t take trolley cars.

    Trains are Nineteenth Century (really Eighteenth Century) pieces of transportation technology anyway.  Ethical questions about trains and trolleys are why real ‘Muricans like their own automobiles.  Then, the only ethical question is: Will the Mystery Machine make it and take the ‘meddling kids’ to safety?

    Another of the first ethical rules should be: Learn to build lifeboats and floatation devices out of anything, so you don’t have ‘lifeboat scenarios.’

    U.S. Navy Sailors are actually taught in The Bluejacket’s Manual that, when thrown overboard, to take off their pants, tie up the legs, blow air into the inside of the pants, tie up the waist, then hold on for dear life.  (This might explain why sailor pants have big flared legs, lace up in the front, and are often white for visability.)

    Finally, the first ethical rules should include: Keep spares of everything, so there’s no “zero-sum” game and no one ends up on the main course.

     

    #34860

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Robert,

    Q1. I would say No. Even if you studied them, you are seeing them through your own limitations and values. It is the “prime directive” in the Star Trek series… they constantly violate it.

    “General Order 1”, and the “non-interference directive” is a guiding principle of Starfleet, prohibiting its members from interfering with the internal and natural development of alien civilizations. The Prime Directive applies particularly to civilizations which are below a certain threshold of technological, scientific and cultural development; preventing starship crews from using their superior technology to impose their own values or ideals on them.

    Yep, ‘ can’t have a Star Trek episode without violating “The Prime Directive” as the “McGuffin.”

    Almost as axiomatic is the rule: “The one in the red shirt always gets it.”  Scotty was the lone exception, which shows what a gristled old Scottish Highland bad-ass he was.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

     

    Imagine if a way more advanced alien species decided humans were constantly suffering according to their standards.

    Q2. No

    Interesting you mention that.  There is an actual school of thought called Anti-Natalism that says all humans, by nature, are born both suffering and causing suffering, that we are the species on the torture planet, and that it is morally wrong to bring other humans into the world.  Some Anti-Natalists think this also applies to all sentient and sapient life, both here and perhaps everywhere.  (Pessimist Atheist Arthur Schopenhauer is a favorite author-philosopher of Anti-Natalists.)

    This is, of course, not light Holiday reading or YouTube viewing, and on grim news days, it’s hard to argue, but the worldview is out there.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling. This device is infirm
    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Ditto
    #34856

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Davis,

    These kinds of ethical questions are always irksome.  If one doesn’t grant the premise of the question, how can one answer it?

    Surely a species cannot live a life of complete suffering or it would be too immobilized to do life-sustaining, reproducing acts and would eventually become extinct.

    Also, even waste products of a species have some use.  Cattle manure fertilizes crops and yeast waste from eating sugar becomes alcohol when anerobic and vinegar when aerobic.

    And as many ways as humans anesthetize their own pain, surely we could come up with ways to relieve pain of other species.

    Finally “ought” implies “can.”  If something is not an actual possibility, it’s not within the realm of ethics.

    Sorry I couldn’t come up with a better answer.

    #34842

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Kristina,

    you wrote:

    I had to look up ‘monkey bread’. Finally, a conversation on theology has produced some useful knowledge.

    Glad I could be of help.  Monkey Bread is wonderful, though I could only have 1 or 2 buns per sitting.  And if I’ve had too much cranberry sauce, you’d be more than welcome to my portion.

    #34823

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Simon,

    You wrote:

    But the traditional Christian line, as far as I’m aware, is that God gives humans free will, to see how they will behave.

    That is the Christian  ‘doxy, of course, but Omnipotence and Omniscience still contradict free will, and to those Christians in the Calvinist/Presbyterian tradition, free will and sin doesn’t make a damn because God predestines who goes to Heaven and Hell anyway.  “Hooo!  Tough crowd!  Tough crowd!”

     Is it really possible to have a functioning, living planet where nobody is anti-social?  I’m not sure it is. Maybe God makes the world like an adventure playground rather than a bland Tellytubby’s world, which wouldn’t prove anything.

    Trend-bucking innovators and iconoclasts help make the world better, but not anti-social in the sense of coercers and destroyers.  Sadly, the God worshipped by most Theists and certainly Abrahamists doesn’t make that distinction.

    #34820

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    The Devil’s Advocate sez: God has the power to simply compartmentalize what he knows about the future by simply not thinking about it the way a smoker knows that cigarettes are killing him but simply doesn’t think about it. Anything a mortal can do, surely a deity can do much better.

    No he can’t.🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️

    So God can slowly kill himself with a nasty habit plant of his own creation too?  The story wouldn’t be as dramatic as The Crucifixion, though. 🚬 vs.✝️

    #34819

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Simon and Kristina,

    Kristina wrote:

    That little revelation does’t seem to bring that grey-haired fella much comfort. Maybe he should just roll with it. Might turn out to be a little ray of sunshine in his life.

    The helmet-haired guy doesn’t look too enthused either.  I guess the thinly-disguised Ray Comfort just isn’t his type.  He must like smart, rational men instead. 😁

    #34817

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Kristina,

    You wrote:

    This represents my issue with many of these arguments. It’s not about whether the argument may stand or not, but rather before they can even be evaluated, there are so many terms which need to be defined. Some of these terms rest on the border of four-sided pentagons (e.g. a god that is perfect, but that definition of ‘perfection’ is paradoxical or self-contradicting) or they require tautologies we have no reason to entertain (e.g. god’s actions are perfect because god is perfect and a perfect being’s actions must logically be perfect).

    And this is all before we jump from a logical argument that a god must exist and try to some how marry it to the idea that this god is a particular god as described in, let’s say, the Old Testament.

    Apologetics are as Churchill described Soviet Russia: “A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

    But Apologetics are also like monkey bread: everybody at the Thanksgiving table can pull a little bun off from each direction and gobble it until it’s all gone. 😋

    #34814

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Simon,

    I guess God had no choice but to create a spam shit-storm as well.

    I see you noticed that too.  That junk messed up the activity feed and I had to go searching for this thread to catch up.

    Playing Devil’s Advocate, who’s to say that it’s not perfect to create sin and sinful people?  This world is a test to see how well we cope with it morally.

    Of course, an Omniscient, Omnipotent Being wouldn’t need a “test” like temptation to see who is moral.  Nor would he need to plant supposed fake fossils to test the faith of His human creations.   As an Omniscient, Omnipotent Being, God would know the outcome of how His human creations would act and indeed, would have made humans so they couldn’t act otherwise.

    Like I’ve said before, finding contradictions in the whole Cosmic G-Thang is like popping bubble wrap.  Great way to pass the time.

    #34811

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    You wrote:

    Maybe it’s the late hour, but I’m having trouble even parsing that.

    Well, you did say “anything but a lesser being” so I ran with it and went, not for a lesser being, but the least, a non-being.  See what I did there?

    The ontological argument skirts all that stuff by simply sticking to its premises, trusting that the rest can be handled later.

    So the Ontological-ist carnival barker doing his sales pitch basically says: “Oh, details, details!  Get away from me, kid!  You bother me!” 🎪 😛

    (By the way, the difference between an Ontological-ist and an Oncologist is that an Oncologist fights cancer.)

    Lately, the cosmological argument is probably the most cutting edge, but the advantage to the believer of the ontological argument is that it ties the atheist into knots. I know Uncle Remus stories have fallen out of favor in these politically correct times, but it makes me think of the famous Tar Baby of the Uncle Remus tales as depicted in Disney’s Song of the South.

    I was thinking the Ontological Argument was more like those knitted leather finger-cuffs that you can’t release by pulling.  Instead, you have to push the fingers together, then hold the cuff with the other fingers to escape.

    (Yeah, I spoiled the trick, but knowing and telling such things can save freedom and lives.)

    But the Uncle Remus stories are apt too.  When you look past the Political Incorrectness of the story dialogue, there is some Sun-Tzu-level strate-gery going on there.

    B’rer Fox used B’rer Rabbit’s sociable, easily-offended nature to trap B’rer Rabbit.  The other part of that story is that B’rer Rabbit used B’rer Fox’s and B’rer Bear’s sadistic natures to escape their clutches.   (“Oh ple-e-e-e-e-se don’t throw me in da briar patch!”) 🦊🐻                 🥀🥀🥀🐰

    Another life-saver revealed.  The way things are going, we all may need it one day.

    #34678

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen and Devil’s Advocate Doppelganger,

    You wrote:

    The Devil’s Advocate sez: But you are treating the concept of God as an ordinary concept. I don’t assume God exists. I assume that any concept of God must include necessary existence among its attributes. That assumption isn’t a free choice, it’s required because any concept of God lacking it, is a lesser being, and God is anything but a lesser being.

    If God is anything but a lesser being, couldn’t he a perfect, necessary non-being or non-entity?

    Given the contradictions inherent in the concept of a God, I can more easily conceive of a God not existing than existing,  So why doesn’t that figure into the whole Ontological Argument?

    If the Ontological Argument is the most cutting-edge argument (1078 C.E.) that Theists can come with, then Theism and Theistic religion have been running on fumes for a long,’long time.

    #34640

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    You wrote;

    The Devil’s Advocate sez: I don’t think it’s debatable that a divine being providing a basis for morality who must exist is superior to one who just might possibly exist.

    What is debateable is whether either a real deity or a possible deity exists and the Ontological Apologetics aren’t addressing the existence of ether, but just assuming the existence of a real deity, the very thing they are supposed to prove.

    The Ontological Argument is like some M.C. Escher sketch put in the form of a syllogism.  It refers to nothing but itself and has no relation to anything real.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 195 total)