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Thread: What is philosophy?

  1. #71
    Senior Member Guess Who's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDF View Post
    It's more like competing claims about being the first person to step on Jupiter. Or Pluto. Or Alpha Centauri. A reasonable person responds, "Do you actually have proof that you did that? Do any of you have proof that you did that?"
    I was discussing pantheism/polytheism/panentheism vs. monotheism, not theism vs. atheism. Monotheism makes sense to me just like saying that there was only one first person to walk on the Moon. I don't believe that all claims of being the first person to walk on the Moon are equally true, that the Moon landing is just an allegory, or that there is a first person on the Moon inside everything in the universe.

    Your analogy accurately describes the atheist position when discussing theism vs. atheism.
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  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who View Post
    I was discussing pantheism/polytheism/panentheism vs. monotheism, not theism vs. atheism. Monotheism makes sense to me just like saying that there was only one first person to walk on the Moon. I don't believe that all claims of being the first person to walk on the Moon are equally true, that the Moon landing is just an allegory, or that there is a first person on the Moon inside everything in the universe.

    Your analogy accurately describes the atheist position when discussing theism vs. atheism.
    Now you're just trying to talk past me: I addressed your point, but your response dodges the point I was making in turn. This is one of the problems I have when debating religious people. They play with words, meanings, homilies, aphorisms, etc. as though the debate is a shell game: They keep things moving around so that they can't be pinned down on anything.

    I find that religious people are fundamentally dishonest in some ways. They have a bit of "larceny in their hearts" as the saying goes. Their willingness to embrace irrationality and then call the result "truth" reveals a disregard for what truth actually is.

    For example, religious people embrace a world of fantastic myths dating back to man's tribal days and pretend not to realize how divorced these myths are from modern daily reality. Furthermore, they believe in the claims of miracles from their own religion and call them "absolute truth," while simultaneously insisting that identical claims from other religions are "false religion."

    And so on. I could list other contradictions. But my point is that religious people aren't practicing much rigor in their how they view the world if they can embrace cognitive distortions like that.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to be confrontational or engage in name-calling or anything. Overall, I think religion is a force for good in society. Some of the nicest people I know are religious.

    I'm just letting you know how religious people appear to an atheist. You guys simply aren't as honest as you like to claim. You talk about "absolute truth," but the reality is that you play quite loose with the truth. Because you pretty much have to, in order to maintain such a conflicted world view in the modern age.

    Oh well, I'll drop out of this thread. No harm done, you seem like a nice guy. But this is why I don't like debating religious people. It just turns into a shell game.

  3. #73
    your cheapest wine Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDF View Post
    I don't like debating religious people.
    Your first problem is that you think you're in a "purely philosophical" debate there, I think.

    Religious people, in principle, don't bother me in the slightest entirely because religion and the human social experience are inseparably linked IMO. Given that, most religious people are not deviously-minded and intent upon only gaining social power over others, thanks to the commonly shared human instinct for survival. Most religious people have the conscious, willful intention to elevate their lives and the lives of their fellows, to not only intend for survival but insure for survival in the world. And so for example, "though shalt not bear false witness against thy neigbor" can be fairly interpreted as a religious behavioral rule that, in the end, intends mutual success and maximum contributive power for and to the benefit of all members.

    So ultimately I think, you're going to need to evidence corruption and failure in, say, the instinctual urge for survival from the exposure to and practice of some religion in order to challenge it most fairly. If you take that sort of approach when you "debate" some religious person, I think you'll get that person's attention immediately and with total focus...

    ************

    Religion is a two-fold system: a belief system, and a way of life
    Last edited by Johnny; 01-12-2019 at 10:34 PM.
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  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    Religious people, in principle, don't bother me in the slightest entirely because religion and the human social experience are inseparably linked IMO. Given that, most religious people are not deviously-minded and intent upon only gaining social power over others, thanks to the commonly shared human instinct for survival. Most religious people have the conscious, willful intention to elevate their lives and the lives of their fellows, to not only intend for survival but insure for survival in the world. And so for example, "though shalt not bear false witness against thy neigbor" can be fairly interpreted as a religious behavioral rule that, in the end, intends mutual success and maximum contributive power for and to the benefit of all members.
    I agree with the paragraph quoted above. I was thinking pretty much the same thing when I noted in my last post that "Overall, I think religion is a force for good in society. Some of the nicest people I know are religious."

    But Guess Who made some rather outlandish accusations about philosophy "corrupting the youth" or whatever and made claims about his own religion representing "absolute truth." That's overreach in my opinion, and deserves some pushback. Just because religious people are usually genuinely nice folks, it's still not a license to make any loony claim they wish about how they have special insight or knowledge because they have God on their side.

    As I see it: Guess Who trolled the thread and made it all about him and his religious beliefs, and I pushed back a bit to remind him that there are limits on how much religion can claim. We atheists do that sometimes.
    Last edited by RDF; 01-13-2019 at 01:42 AM.

  5. #75
    your cheapest wine Johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDF View Post
    Just because religious people are usually genuinely nice folks, it's still not a license to make any loony claim they wish about how they have special insight or knowledge because they [believe they] have God on their side.
    Fixed. Yeah, I know...the novice approach. Thought it needed an example anyway.

    *************

    I very much enjoy making loony claims and probing for special insight and knowledge, myself. I can't claim any reliable benefit for it for either myself or anyone else, though.

    But I admit that it makes me laugh when something good comes from it, and that it feels good to laugh when I can.

    What up with that?
    Last edited by Johnny; 01-13-2019 at 03:23 PM.
    What's the difference? It's just soda, bro.

  6. #76
    Member RDF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    I very much enjoy making loony claims and probing for special insight and knowledge, myself. I can't claim any reliable benefit for it for either myself or anyone else, though.

    But I admit that it makes me laugh when something good comes from it, and that it feels good to laugh when I can.

    What up with that?
    It sounds like you are defending looniness in debate threads. If so, then perhaps I'm the one who overreached by taking the thread too seriously. Maybe I'm coming down too hard on Guess Who and treading on people's toes in the process.

    In my own defense, this thread is a philosophy thread in the "serious" forums. I thought maybe a bare-knuckle discussion of the differences between religion and atheism wouldn't be out of place. It fit the context and kind of serves as an example of why we need modern ideas like philosophy to help sort through trash claims such as the ones that old-time religion sometimes makes.

    On the other hand, you're the OP and I'm not a regular here; maybe I should have just stayed out of it. If Guess Who wants to channel Cotton Mather from the Salem Witch Trials in a philosophy debate thread, I suppose it's none of my business.

    Anyway, I'm done with the thread. You and Guess Who can be as loony together as you wish.
    Last edited by RDF; 01-13-2019 at 09:48 PM.

  7. #77
    your cheapest wine Johnny's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter to me. Do as you wish as far as I'm concerned.

    **************

    Ugh. Sucks because some of the members here might be kids and shit. I don't know who I'm talking to about anything here.

    What I mean is, we're all in it for what it's worth to us. Take what you want and leave what you don't want. In the end, I don't have a problem with any of it.

    I'm just taking the liberty of asking what up with that and taking on the issues of today with soul.
    Last edited by Johnny; 01-14-2019 at 03:00 AM.
    What's the difference? It's just soda, bro.

  8. #78
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Came across this quote today:

    "All philosophies are mental fabrications. There has never been a single doctrine by which one could enter the true essence of things". ~Nagarjuna

    I do think that the aim of philosophy is to grasp essence...but essence is pretty darn elusive...embedded only in direct conscious experience and presence.
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

  9. #79
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guess Who
    Jesus was apolitical as shown by His response to the question about whether people should pay taxes to Rome.
    He was a radical. More below.

    Can you quote any Bible verses where Jesus advocated fighting poverty and oppression? I am not talking about charity; I mean action to reduce or eliminate poverty and oppression. I can think of a few Bible verses that tell us that not to fight poverty and oppression.
    You can construe whichever to suit your personal mandate, that's the point. None of that is explicitly stated. Your "absolute truth" is political / ideological flavor, e.g. Supply Side Jesus.

    You're imposing fabricated limits on the meaning of charity. It's the benevolent act of giving and sharing. It happens to be an uncontested Christian imperative, the purpose for which has nothing to do with alleviating spiritual ails: it's entirely material, to alleviate poverty. Presumably that doesn't interfere with your priorities? Some forms are just more effective than others at counteracting poverty. Charity can be performed as a society, provoked by social ethic. To be pro-charity but opposed to an organized manifestation is a political statement. That goes beyond "it's just not a priority".

    Easy enough to infer political implication from his sayings, but moreover, from what he's done and what subsequently happened to him. He protested for reform, broke the law of Sabbath which is inherently political, for charity's sake no less, saying "The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath" - Mark 2:27. He was an enemy of the State for being a threat to the power structure. By contrast the leap from agreeing to pay Caesar a tax to "apolitical" is a massive one when his actions show otherwise.

    His message to the poor and oppressed was not that they needed to rise up
    Some Historians would disagree given other sources. He was appropriated by the Romans he opposed.

    Which aspects of education?
    World and Historical knowledge, and reasoning. Accounts of the former nudge a great deal.

    This is mainstream Christian theology.
    It's the theology of what's coming out of your ass. It sure isn't here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_views_on_sin

    To recap: you're knowingly or ignorantly ideological.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

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