Author Topic: Why Worship?  (Read 4629 times)

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Offline jetson

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #145 on: March 24, 2018, 07:46:07 PM »
In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.

then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

they claim they have proof. you claim "i don't know."

time to define your position.

Citing a Bible verse is not proof, I'm sure you know this? In fact, words on paper are never proof. Proof is demonstrable and falsifiable. Bible verses are human invented words and phrases on paper.

Offline junebug72

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #146 on: March 24, 2018, 08:34:32 PM »
I believe your analogy fails because it lacks the claim that quaggas exist.

Without that claim there is no need for John to answer- how would he know a quagga if he sees one?

You have to give John some idea about what to expect of a quagga, especially if John's life depends on knowing what a quagga wants with John.

Your analogy begs the question: what is a quagga?

well, think about it, junebug.

your first sentence is the important one:

how would he know a quagga if he sees one?


the question isn't what has convinced quagga people, it's what would convince john. descriptions of quaggas among quagga people are commonplace-- a peryssodactylate equid with a striped pelage and diastemic dentition, and so on . . . everybody (maybe?) knows what a quagga is supposed to be, but nobody but john knows when he will decide he has seen one.

if john denies quaggas, it's up to john to identify what evidence would change his mind. quagga skulls? quagga teeth? quagga skins?

likewise, if john claims that it's up to someone else to convince him that gods exist, then john is obligated to state the rules: what would convince him? miracles? logical arguments? i dunno, i'm not john.

nobody else can tell john what it takes to change his mind. only john can do that.

so if john says gods can't exist, it falls to him to identify the rules of the game he is following. otherwise there's nothing more to say-- john is immune to conversation, logic, reason, or any further discourse.

let me know if i've missed your point. i can't always understand other people clearly. by the way, to my great delight, i have learned that the south africans have reverse-engineered quaggas, in the same way that the poles are reverse-engineering the auroch.

I agree my first sentence is the important one, but I do not agree you quoted my first sentence. My first sentence was that your analogy did not define quaggas.

If John is to say how he would know a quaggas if seen, then John must know what to look for.

Once John knows what to look for, then John can say how he would know a quaggas when he sees one.

Now that you have given John a description of the quaggas, John can now say; I will know a quaggas when I see one because it will look like a half zebra half donkey type mammal.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #147 on: March 24, 2018, 09:11:41 PM »
In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.

then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

they claim they have proof. you claim "i don't know."

time to define your position.

Citing a Bible verse is not proof, I'm sure you know this? In fact, words on paper are never proof. Proof is demonstrable and falsifiable. Bible verses are human invented words and phrases on paper.

then let me hear some, jet. im sympathetic, but increasingly bemused.

saying, "i dont believe gods exist, but wouldnt be able to identify one if it hit me in the face" is not a convincing position.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #148 on: March 24, 2018, 09:15:52 PM »
I believe your analogy fails because it lacks the claim that quaggas exist.

Without that claim there is no need for John to answer- how would he know a quagga if he sees one?

You have to give John some idea about what to expect of a quagga, especially if John's life depends on knowing what a quagga wants with John.

Your analogy begs the question: what is a quagga?

well, think about it, junebug.

your first sentence is the important one:

how would he know a quagga if he sees one?


the question isn't what has convinced quagga people, it's what would convince john. descriptions of quaggas among quagga people are commonplace-- a peryssodactylate equid with a striped pelage and diastemic dentition, and so on . . . everybody (maybe?) knows what a quagga is supposed to be, but nobody but john knows when he will decide he has seen one.

if john denies quaggas, it's up to john to identify what evidence would change his mind. quagga skulls? quagga teeth? quagga skins?

likewise, if john claims that it's up to someone else to convince him that gods exist, then john is obligated to state the rules: what would convince him? miracles? logical arguments? i dunno, i'm not john.

nobody else can tell john what it takes to change his mind. only john can do that.

so if john says gods can't exist, it falls to him to identify the rules of the game he is following. otherwise there's nothing more to say-- john is immune to conversation, logic, reason, or any further discourse.

let me know if i've missed your point. i can't always understand other people clearly. by the way, to my great delight, i have learned that the south africans have reverse-engineered quaggas, in the same way that the poles are reverse-engineering the auroch.

I agree my first sentence is the important one, but I do not agree you quoted my first sentence. My first sentence was that your analogy did not define quaggas.

If John is to say how he would know a quaggas if seen, then John must know what to look for.

Once John knows what to look for, then John can say how he would know a quaggas when he sees one.

Now that you have given John a description of the quaggas, John can now say; I will know a quaggas when I see one because it will look like a half zebra half donkey type mammal.

let me think about this, jb. youve brought up something im not sure i understand. i may be thinking about this wrong.

lol not the first time.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #149 on: March 24, 2018, 11:34:47 PM »
In other words, for me to accept a god to be real, reality would have to reflect it. I don't know how else to explain it.

then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

they claim they have proof. you claim "i don't know."

time to define your position.

Citing a Bible verse is not proof, I'm sure you know this? In fact, words on paper are never proof. Proof is demonstrable and falsifiable. Bible verses are human invented words and phrases on paper.

then let me hear some, jet. im sympathetic, but increasingly bemused.

saying, "i dont believe gods exist, but wouldnt be able to identify one if it hit me in the face" is not a convincing position.

I have no burden, kevin. I am not making any positive assertions. I am rejecting a positive assertion that a god or gods exist. There is a big difference. The burden of proof is on the claimant, not the person they make the claim towards. As I said before, humans are beyond the point of being obligated to entertain whatever god claims come about, old or new. Why should we? And from that point of view, I would not waste a moment of my life trying to prove there is no god. I don't need proof, because there is no god - have you seen one?

Personally, I don't say things like "I don't believe gods exist", I just reject the claim straight on because it is as empty as the teapot behind the moon.

Theist: There is a god.
Atheist: Where?
Theist: Everywhere and nowhere, all powerful, and omniscient, etc., etc., etc.
Atheist: That's nice, but can you show me this god?
Theist: You have to believe and have faith. Oh, and read this book...
Atheist: So, you know there's a god, but I have to take your word for it? I have to just believe in this god, and read a book?
Theist: And, go to church, listen to the sermons...
Atheist: I need coffee...




Offline Jag

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #150 on: March 25, 2018, 12:01:38 AM »
I can't help but think that IF there was a god around (really, any god will do), AND that god WANTED me to know that it was, in fact, a god, well, I'd know. Because it's a god, and if it has the attributes theists claim (whichever flavor of theism they follow), if it wanted me to know it was a god, I wouldn't be able to not know.

This isn't hard to understand.

If a god wants me to know that it exists, it doesn't make any difference whatsoever what I want.

IF a god wants me to know that it exists, I would. I don't - which only leave me with three possibilities
1) A god exists, but it does not want me to know that it exists[1]
2) A god exists, but is indifferent to my knowledge or lack thereof about it [2]
3) There is no such being as a god, as typically described by a theist of any sort. Claims of interactions between god(s) and humans, claims of miracles[3], and claims of expectation about human behavior to satisfy the ...needs? demands? desire for adoration?... of said deity have no evidence of existing and can be safely dismissed until and unless such evidence is produced and verified as any other such extraordinary claim would be[4]

There is nothing here that isn't simple and clear. Given these choices, it doesn't really even matter which one turns out to be the case.
 1. There's nothing I can do to make a god who doesn't want me to know it exists prove itself to me now can I? It's hidden itself from me so completely I don't think such a thing is even a thing.
 2. If theists would just stick to this kind of claim, I wouldn't bother to argue.
 3. known as magic in any other realm of discussion
 4. precise explanations of what such verification would entail can not be given until and unless such evidence is presented and it's form can be determined
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 12:03:38 AM by Jag »
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Offline albeto

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #151 on: March 25, 2018, 01:16:48 AM »
then you need to do a lot more thinking, albeto.

Is this a joke? Is this your attempt at being witty when you're not sure how to proceed? I don't understand what this post it getting at. It's a sudden drop in critical thinking and I wonder if it's an attempt at some kind of theist "gotcha" moment of self-declared Grand Victory. Only it's not victorious at all, it's really just... odd.

every christian citing a bible verse has you beat so far.

Only if we've thrown logic and evidence to the wind and whatever people believe magically becomes real. In that case, watch out for Manbearpig.

they claim they have proof.

So do people who say they've been anally probed by aliens inside UFOs, Big Foot fans, and every person who identifies themselves as Jesus Christ.

you claim "i don't know."

Are you even trying? 

time to define your position.

I did.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #152 on: March 25, 2018, 03:51:35 AM »
Quote from: kevin
what properties would prove that it was a god?

Depends on who you ask. I'd only consider an omnipotent and omniscient entity to be a god. No more, no less.

fair enough. every christian congregation has one of those.

unless . . . ?

Unless what? Produce an omnipotent and omniscient entity and I will become a theist.

sure.

go to any christian worship service. if that's not good enough, it's up to you to say why.

this is your show, not mine.

I did, and I saw no omnipotent and omniscient entities there. Just a bunch of people on their knees, and not in the fun way.
Produce an omnipotent and omniscient deity.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #153 on: March 25, 2018, 10:17:48 AM »
Kevinagain,
 
I want you to know, I'm not trying to convert you. We are having a conversation with mutual respect. I understand why people believe in gods, I think you are curious as to why there are atheists. I'm more than happy to share with you.

I reject Christianity and theism, in general, for a few reasons.
1) The creation story makes no sense
2) it dawned on me when I was a child that God did not love humans, at least not any love that I could recognize. The act of creating us is not love, it's selfish.
3) dinosaurs are not mentioned in the Bible
4) Job
5) the promise of answered prayers, not kept
6) seek and ye shall find, I searched for 20 years at least. I've been atheist since 2014.
7) the indifference of nature matches reality; being ruled by a supreme all-loving, all-powerful God does not match reality.
8.) the horrible atrocities committed in God's name-witch burnings, homophobia, racism, beheading for heresy/blasphemy,  ableism, classism, and misogyny
9) there are many religions
10) the trinity makes no sense at all
11) the apocrypha- shows the dishonesty behind the compilation of the Bible
12) an afterlife is wishful thinking, even Hell, and reincarnation


I did seek, I sought earnestly with a passion, and found nothing. There were times, when I was a theist, that I thought God was working in my life, but in hindsight it was me. I loved my way through family conflict.

No I don't believe in gods, but I believe in love. I believe in you. I believe all humans capable of good moral behavior. I accept that given the wrong biology and environment any human can turn out to do horrible things- no demons necessary. On the flipside, I accept that given the right biology and environment a human can do much good- no angels necessary.

My question to you is- Have you sought earnestly OR is believing for you something that's "common"?

There is an ad populum fallacy that states, the fact that a majority of people believe something does not make it true.

There's the appeal to authority fallacy that many theists use to force you into belief, i.e. Pascal's Wager, threat of Hell.

There's the argument from ignorance, god.did.it. because I don't know the answer to the question i.e. what happens to our consciousness when we die?

There's circular reasoning, i.e. the first cause argument begs the question- who created God and so and so on, endless regress.

You talk about going to church to find God; which one? You cannot get a clear definition from all the disagreements within the theist community. Judaism? Islam? Hinduism? Christianity- protestant, Calvinism, Greek orthodoxy, Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, new age? Scientology? All these religions begs the question- what if I chose the wrong religion?

Deism- what evidence supports conciousnessness can exist without a brain?

Using your analogy, one group of quaggas people believe quaggas are 10 feet tall 8 feet long with sharp teeth that chews up humans for dinner, and another group believe they're 5 feet tall and 6 feet long and make great pets, another group says they are mysterious, you will know them when you feel them. They cannot be seen. They are super-natural.

I have 5 senses-hear, taste, smell, touch, and sight. If a theist wants me to think their God is real it must stimulate one of those senses. A philosophical argument without objective evidence begs the question-what evidence supports your argument, which makes it not logical.

If not for theism, there would be no atheism.

That's my story. I'm not a great philosopher or scientist. A lot of that stuff is over my head. I'm interested in psychology-human behavior.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #154 on: March 25, 2018, 11:20:48 AM »
interesting, people. thank you for responding. i'm not trying to convert anybody, and i'm not asserting gods exist, because i don't have any reason to think they do. i'm not asserting that atheism is wrong, because i think it's a reasonable position.

what i'm getting at is what sort of thinking people use to establish what it is they believe in and what they don't. doesn't have to be gods, could be anything. i don't believe in fairies, for instance, although i grant that they are possible. for a long time people didn't believe in the platypus, either, in coelocanths, ball lightning, continental drift, or lots of other things that have been shown to really exist. sometimes the evidence was always there, and people's view of what it proved or didn't prove was what changed.

continental drift is a good example. people used to fit cut-outs of the continents together on a flat table, and note how they fit together into a smaller continuous surface. i remember doing this when i was ten years old. this was evidence of two contradictory things, one that the continents moved, or two, that the earth was expanding. i remember when an expanding earth was considered reasonable, and the jigsaw continents were pointed out as evidence for it. then people realized that crust was being created in the mid-ocean ridges, and subducted in the trenches, and suddenly the same evidence from the shape of the continents was held to prove something else. the expanding earth people faded away, although their evidence hadn't changed. more had been added. you could still see diagrams of an expanding earth in science books in the mid 1960s.

with this god thing, i'm hearing a lot of reactive arguments, derivative stuff, where people let theists define the argument and then simply reject what the theists propose. nothing wrong with that, except it doesn't go to the more interesting step of dealing with the possibility that gods do actually exist and the theists are completely wrong about them. one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step. but so many theist proposals are so dubious and contradictory that i don't see much of any interest in arguing theology with them. i've done a lot of that, and it doesn't go anywhere.

still interested in the idea of what would change people's minds, though. the idea that a god must be omniscient and omnipotent to be a god is an interesting one. would a god have to be all knowing and all powerful to be a god? most christians think so, but most hindus don't. i know a number of quaker pagans who don't consider gods all-powerful, and believe in a lot of them.

still thinking.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #155 on: March 25, 2018, 11:23:34 AM »
i know what scientific evidence is. i've been there, multiple graduate degrees in the sciences, lots of years out of my life . . .

what and from where?  If you received multiple graduate degrees, this would indicate that you have done multiple theses.  these would be fairly easy to be located.  An unusual claim like having multiple graduate degrees in the sciences needs to be supported to be believed. 

Now, I'm going to make the prediction you will refuse to do so.   Which makes your claims seem less than true. You will claim you do not care, which is what most theists who make similar claims do.   The problem with this is that you have tried to claim an authority without taking responsibility for that claim, undercutting your reason for mention these supposed "multiple graduate degrees in the sciences".

here you go, velkyn. one of them is currently online.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/33882574_Silenis_Ostracoda_Metacopina_from_the_Silurian_of_Gotland_morphology_ontogeny_and_stratigraphic_distribution

pay them some money and you can get your own copy.
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #156 on: March 25, 2018, 11:41:43 AM »
june bug, thank you for that very thoughtful response. it's interesting that you point out the problem of evil as significant in your journey.

that has been the main difficulty that i have always had with christianity-- that the reality was so different from the assertion, and that when pressed, christians would eventually retreat into the position that god was unknowable and that his ways were not our ways. the lesson of job, for me, was that in the end, the hebrew god was a god of power only, and not of love. in job, jehovah stomps on humanity and states that it is his right to do so as the stronger of the two.

i learned about christianity later in life than my knowledge of islam and hinduism, which came first for me, growing up in southeast asia. at the time of my conversion, i was an adult and had been trained in the hard-core material sciences of quantitative ecology and paleontology. i had various experiences that pointed me to the supernatural, and went that way as the likeliest explanation. now i simply don;'t see that paradigm as continuing toi answer the questions i have, and so i am no longer a theist.

you mention this, though:

Quote
You talk about going to church to find God; which one? You cannot get a clear definition from all the disagreements within the theist community. Judaism? Islam? Hinduism? Christianity- protestant, Calvinism, Greek orthodoxy, Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic, Jehovah Witness, Mormon, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, new age? Scientology? All these religions begs the question- what if I chose the wrong religion?

most liberal quakerism is explicitly universalist, and traditional quakerism has always had a universalist thread, going back to william penn. were god to exist, i see no reason to expect anybody to get him right in all aspects, or even in most. the fact that various religions contradict each other doesn't disprove god, it just disproves religions. so when people tell me that giod doesn't exist because there are flaws in the bible, or because the eight-fold path makes no sense, or because hanuman hasn't been seen by anybody they trust, i listen, but i don't find that line of thinking conclusive.

what does make more sense to me is that atheist position that there is no reasonable question to begin discussion on until a theist sets the table, so to speak. an absence of information is not a useful platform on which to build a discussion.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 11:53:04 AM by kevinagain »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #157 on: March 25, 2018, 11:59:28 AM »
i know what scientific evidence is. i've been there, multiple graduate degrees in the sciences, lots of years out of my life . . .

what and from where?  If you received multiple graduate degrees, this would indicate that you have done multiple theses.  these would be fairly easy to be located.  An unusual claim like having multiple graduate degrees in the sciences needs to be supported to be believed. 

Now, I'm going to make the prediction you will refuse to do so.   Which makes your claims seem less than true. You will claim you do not care, which is what most theists who make similar claims do.   The problem with this is that you have tried to claim an authority without taking responsibility for that claim, undercutting your reason for mention these supposed "multiple graduate degrees in the sciences".

here you go, velkyn. one of them is currently online.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/33882574_Silenis_Ostracoda_Metacopina_from_the_Silurian_of_Gotland_morphology_ontogeny_and_stratigraphic_distribution

pay them some money and you can get your own copy.

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.  I'm a little confused here.  What are your other "multiple graduate degrees"?   You seem to be trying to use an argument from authority to claim you understand evidence.   

at that link, one only has to request the full text from the authors and one does not seem to have to pay for anything.  I requested the full text. 
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Offline jetson

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #158 on: March 25, 2018, 12:10:54 PM »
[snip]

still interested in the idea of what would change people's minds, though. the idea that a god must be omniscient and omnipotent to be a god is an interesting one. would a god have to be all knowing and all powerful to be a god? most christians think so, but most hindus don't. i know a number of quaker pagans who don't consider gods all-powerful, and believe in a lot of them.

still thinking.

Well, I think the real challenge is that humans are defining gods, not the other way around - and what may have started as fairly innocent philosophy/ideas on what we see around us, turned into "gods at the helm". I think that is why anthropomorphism is such a prominent feature of many gods. We almost had to invent gods to explain what we inherently want to know, and our lack of tools, intelligence, and ability to discover on our own.

The continental drift defined itself just by doing what it does (a natural process, as it turns out). It just took humans some time to figure it out. At this point, we have no actual reason to think there are intelligent beings or creators involved in the universe and the stuff within it. But yes, it is a possibility. The possibility is about as likely as a super-intelligent race of beings that remain beyond our ability to identify. I consider that extremely far-fetched, and only throw it out as an example of the myriad possibilities.

Humans cannot deal with infinity, in general. We need boundaries, we need focus, we need labels, and we need these things to operate in our small place in the universe with some sense of order. Yes, we can insert infinity into a math function and use it, but we just can't deal with the fact that infinity by definition has no boundary. There is no largest number, there cannot be. You can never stop dividing something in half, because there will always remain, another half...and so on. And so we are forced to find the fastest way to understanding things that we want to know. We cannot spend time chasing infinite possibilities on any specific topic - we have to focus, and weed out the things that cannot be measured. We have to. Otherwise, we will spend an eternity spinning wheels.

Of course, the goal of humanity is not necessarily to learn everything there is to know, it just seems to be a part of who we are. We seem somewhat desperate to know why we are here - how we got here - what is our purpose, and other similar things. Maybe we overthink it. Maybe we're just here, like a giraffe. Does a giraffe have a purpose? Was it defined in some intelligent way to be a part of earth history? Seems unlikely to me. Seems rather random, with a bit of luck and situational survival thrown in.

Perhaps the real question for modern humanity is this: Do humans need gods? Even if they are invented? Even if they are real? It would seem that many humans do indeed need a god in their life. A dependency on something comforting, perhaps? I don't know. I do know that I am doing fine without religion and gods in my life. I'm not immortal, and I have no concern over my ultimate demise. It's not a fun thought, of course. I would love to live longer and see more of what humans can achieve. What I can achieve. What my children might accomplish. But I know it will end for me. And the last concern I have is whether or not there is a god in the universe.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #159 on: March 25, 2018, 12:11:57 PM »

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts

yes it does.

Quote
and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.

no i didn't.

Quote
  I'm a little confused here.

yes you are.

lern to google, velkyn.
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #160 on: March 25, 2018, 12:27:27 PM »

Humans cannot deal with infinity, in general. We need boundaries, we need focus, we need labels, and we need these things to operate in our small place in the universe with some sense of order. Yes, we can insert infinity into a math function and use it, but we just can't deal with the fact that infinity by definition has no boundary. There is no largest number, there cannot be. You can never stop dividing something in half, because there will always remain, another half...and so on. And so we are forced to find the fastest way to understanding things that we want to know. We cannot spend time chasing infinite possibilities on any specific topic - we have to focus, and weed out the things that cannot be measured. We have to. Otherwise, we will spend an eternity spinning wheels.



you've touched on something i think is probably at the heart of the matter, jet, which is that gods seem to have been invented in order to give humans control over their environment. not control in that the environment must be under our power to change, but control in that we've removed the uncertainty of living in a universe that doesn't care or react to us in any way differently than it does to fish, weasels, or kangaroos. infinity implies a universe in which we don't matter, and that has always frightened people.

the "gods at the helm" idea is part of that. even if we're being taken for a ride, we're at least going somewhere. frankly, the calvinist idea of almost universal damnation doesn't seem like a better ride to me than annihilation, but somehow it appealed to people in the past and still does today. i find it pretty creepy.
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline jetson

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #161 on: March 25, 2018, 12:37:28 PM »

Humans cannot deal with infinity, in general. We need boundaries, we need focus, we need labels, and we need these things to operate in our small place in the universe with some sense of order. Yes, we can insert infinity into a math function and use it, but we just can't deal with the fact that infinity by definition has no boundary. There is no largest number, there cannot be. You can never stop dividing something in half, because there will always remain, another half...and so on. And so we are forced to find the fastest way to understanding things that we want to know. We cannot spend time chasing infinite possibilities on any specific topic - we have to focus, and weed out the things that cannot be measured. We have to. Otherwise, we will spend an eternity spinning wheels.



you've touched on something i think is probably at the heart of the matter, jet, which is that gods seem to have been invented in order to give humans control over their environment. not control in that the environment must be under our power to change, but control in that we've removed the uncertainty of living in a universe that doesn't care or react to us in any way differently than it does to fish, weasels, or kangaroos. infinity implies a universe in which we don't matter, and that has always frightened people.

the "gods at the helm" idea is part of that. even if we're being taken for a ride, we're at least going somewhere. frankly, the calvinist idea of almost universal damnation doesn't seem like a better ride to me than annihilation, but somehow it appealed to people in the past and still does today. i find it pretty creepy.

Good point, I had not thought of it in that specific context. We need gods, regardless of whether they are real. Perhaps the new role of the atheist would be to help convince people that gods are not really necessary? lol

We are burdened with higher intelligence, in a funny way. If you look at a giant herd of wildebeest cranking across the plains, what are their concerns on an individual basis? To eat, poop, and have babies, and to prevent being eaten! Humans are only different in that they are self aware, and thus need something more intelligent than themselves.


Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #162 on: March 25, 2018, 12:46:38 PM »
june bug spoke to this too.

i'm looking back for what she said.
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline junebug72

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #163 on: March 25, 2018, 12:57:20 PM »
I have completely enjoyed this talk with you kevinagain.

I feel as though I should drop out now. Before I leave this talk I want you to know that Quakers are alright by me.

It is a valid question to ask- do humans need gods even if they are not real? It is clear to me that many do. I wish they would try Quakerism. ;)
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Take a look at yourself, and then make a change...
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #164 on: March 25, 2018, 01:12:38 PM »

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts

yes it does.

Quote
and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.

no i didn't.

Quote
  I'm a little confused here.

yes you are.

lern to google, velkyn.

hmmm

Quote
i have my own dinosaur:

https://youtu.be/JJPDBQcA0oA
  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30994.msg729231.html#msg729231

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Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #165 on: March 25, 2018, 01:15:00 PM »
well, junebug, i wish quakerism had the answers for me that once thought it did.

it still has answers, but not to the questions i'm currently asking.

and we have made astonishingly bad mistakes, in the past. we invented modern solitary confinement in prisons, we forced prohibition on america, we fostered eugenics, and we've had officers in major positions in the ku klux klan, of all things.

but on the other hand, we abolished slavery 100 years before anybody else in the west, we've always been over-represented in the sciences, we established trial by jury as supreme over fiat by judges, wrote freedom of religion into our first constitution, we did all sorts of other wondrous and decent thngs, et cetera, et cetera . . .

but we didn't do this, lol:

don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #166 on: March 25, 2018, 01:16:45 PM »

this leads to a paper by a Kevin David Voss-Roberts

yes it does.

Quote
and you seem to have put up a video about your motorcycle by a Kevin Brown.

no i didn't.

Quote
  I'm a little confused here.

yes you are.

lern to google, velkyn.

hmmm

Quote
i have my own dinosaur:

https://youtu.be/JJPDBQcA0oA
  http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,30994.msg729231.html#msg729231






velkyn, i'm going to open a thread where you can doubt my existence in public, so we don't complicate this one.

here it is.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,31015.msg729276/topicseen.html#msg729276
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 03:02:11 PM by kevinagain »
don't make excuses for nasty people. you don't put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.

Offline albeto

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #167 on: March 25, 2018, 09:40:39 PM »
with this god thing, i'm hearing a lot of reactive arguments, derivative stuff, where people let theists define the argument and then simply reject what the theists propose. nothing wrong with that, except it doesn't go to the more interesting step of dealing with the possibility that gods do actually exist and the theists are completely wrong about them.

I'd love to see an example of the "right" god. In all human history, this has never been accomplished, but there's always that person who thinks they're the closest to figuring the whole shebang out.

one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step.

Correct. Atheism isn't a conversation starter. It can't be by its very nature. Once a claim is made, it can be considered, weighed against known information, and then accepted or denied. Claims about gods invariably fail because they conflict what what is known. So cue the god of the gaps, but even that is impotent considering the knowledge we have. This is precisely why faith is such a virtue, and in some cases, more valued than knowledge or critical thinking. It's no coincidence the conservative xians are the least persuaded of the value of education.

still interested in the idea of what would change people's minds, though. the idea that a god must be omniscient and omnipotent to be a god is an interesting one. would a god have to be all knowing and all powerful to be a god? most christians think so, but most hindus don't. i know a number of quaker pagans who don't consider gods all-powerful, and believe in a lot of them.

still thinking.

Biblically speaking, the god of the bible isn't omniscient or omnipotent either. It just evolved that way over time. Same with it's monotheistic nature. The evolution of religious beliefs is fascinating to me too, and so is the study of religious thought. Here's a video of a talk given by a Andy Thompson who explains an increasingly accepted theory of the biological and neurological roots of religious thought. It's about an hour long, but I think really comprehensive and quite informative.


Offline velkyn

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #168 on: March 26, 2018, 12:47:15 PM »
velkyn, i'm going to open a thread where you can doubt my existence in public, so we don't complicate this one.
here it is.
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,31015.msg729276/topicseen.html#msg729276

nice.  I especially like the false title since I haven't doubted your existence. 
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #169 on: April 07, 2018, 12:10:21 AM »
The answer, as I understood it as a xian, was because the more we focus on the deity, the more we are in tune with its mind and will. If you have kids, you'll recognize that knee-jerk worry that comes when you find one of their friends is a bit farther from your comfort zone than from theirs, and the fear is your kids would emulate those unsavory behaviors. Because we pick up what surrounds us.
/theist hat

The answer as I believe it now is that we're really not in charge of what we believe. We believe what we believe because we conclude what is true about reality from information we extrapolate from the world. We apply our experiences into the equation. We interject theories and predictions into incomplete data and constantly make assumptions. And when our brain finds a particularly compelling argument, it assigns it the value of "truth." For the same reason you can't force yourself to believe in the ancient gods of Southern Africa, a xian can't force themselves to believe the world is the result of billions of years of cause and effect from perfectly natural events. Belief is the consequence of thought.

Religions take this natural process and encourages a cessation of thought. Putting one's time and energy into prayer, for example, takes the focus off analyzing events and puts it on comforting thoughts instead. Worship works to channel positive and negative emotions and assign them values within a religious narrative. These activities suppress critical thinking in order to maintain that cognitive focus on the claims, on the promises, on the hopes and fears rather than on the discrepancy between the claim and reality. Add to that all that intermittent reward stuff opperant conditioning explains, which is like catnip to our brains, and worship functions to keep individuals in the group by reinforcing groupthink in conjunction with emotional manipulation.

So it's my belief that the function of worship is to give permission to stop thinking, to stop analyzing, to focus instead on the claims themselves, not the reliability of the claims in the real world. Or as someone said, Hitchens I think, to glorify ignorance and celebrate gullibility. People like to be a part of the glorious victors. People like celebration. Religion takes natural cognitive processes and guides them for its own profits. Profit in this case being existence.

I like the example you provide at the beginning.  That is what I believe.  To worship God means to have reverence and adoration for him.  If you have reverence and adoration for him then you will obey him.  So the worship of God means obeying him because you have love for him.  What does a parent get from the love and obedience of their children?

I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.         
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #170 on: April 07, 2018, 10:20:50 AM »
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers? 
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #171 on: April 08, 2018, 05:20:35 PM »
I strongly disagree with the second part. I don't think it does for most people, but I can only speak for myself.  For me, prayer does not lead to the cessation of thought but just the opposite.  I pray and meditate on things that are on my mind.  I use prayer to find solutions, to gain ideas, to receive direction from God.  Prayer is my meditation.  It opens up my thought processes and lines of communication.       

if your claims are true, why does this god give vastly different contradictory directions to its believers?

Like what?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline Katharine

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #172 on: April 08, 2018, 11:00:22 PM »
I agree with the above your post.

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Why Worship?
« Reply #173 on: April 09, 2018, 12:07:14 AM »
Quote from: kevin
one of the problems with a lot of atheist rhetoric that i find is that the atheists let the theists define the discussion, and then just say, no, that can't be right. . . but i'm beginning to think that that's a more reasonable position than i thought it was, at first. theism doesn't exist in the absence of theists, and so an assertion of gods must exist as a first step.

The problem with that is the people in the Bible are long gone.  So then the burden of proof gets shifted to all believers, but I don't think that's where it belongs.  If we want to know, it's really up to each of us to determine whether or not to believe it's true.

Why rely on another person?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10