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General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by Azdgari on Today at 03:12:32 AM »
Feel free to give any example you like.

Did you just ask him whether he subjectively decided something was objective?

I...don't...think so?
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In going forward, perhaps it would help if I clarified something.

As we have agreed, a "pagan deity" is a set of characteristics (properties, behaviours, and so on) defined by mankind.  It is commonly described by metaphor in relation to existing events or things, and is referenced by means of a symbol assigned by the person/s who selected and defined its characteristics.  Persons who (by choice or by nature) display matching characteristics can be said to embody the the nature of the deity. 

To me, the crucial terms in that definition are the parts I have bolded - the fact that, at some point, a human sat down and thought "that tree makes me think of strength - I will decide to call the embodiment of tree-like strength Om.  I can then revere the 'spirit' of Om (the strength like a tree) when I see it, because I regard it as a positive thing". 

Don't get hung up on the specific of that particular ancient man's quotes - the key aspect is that a man decided to create a deity.  Whatever characteristics or properties a deity has, are those given to it by men....fallible, subjective, men.  There is nothing[1] within any deity that has NOT come from the brain of a human.

Every part of a deity, whatever trait they represent, was assigned by a human.  And I can absolutely see that - for the person creating a deity - it served a useful purpose: a shorthand for characteristics, a shorthand for behaviours they regarded as important.  And those shorthands were passed to others - partly because they were continually useful in those circumstances, partly because people tend to believe the same thing their parents believe.

But there's the rub - the deities created by those people are relevant to those people.  If I need a deity, I can create them today, myself, and they will serve the purposes for which I create them.  It is quite conceivable that I may create deities that match the properties of previously created deities, but equally I may create a deity that bears no relation to anything previously created.....but which is eminently useful to me.

Deities are constructs.  "People made shit up".  If there is value to you in what ancient people made up, then that's excellent - as I said, I can quite support the idea that these constructs can be useful.  But given that they ARE constructs, there is no reason to accept that any particular one is any more useful than one that I construct for myself - or more useful than to take a literary character and use THEM as a useful tool.
 1. Clearly the actual physical parts exist - the tree, the rock, the spider - but they are just that, a tree, a rock, a spider.  Without man to decide there was a deity represented by a spider, the deity would not exist purely because there was a spider.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by Anfauglir on Today at 01:41:37 AM »
BS is using Subjective (I believe) to mean something equivalent to "made up by the person based on their preferences", with Objective meaning something like "fixed rules that are not established through preference".

What I am interested in, is where he believe any objective standards actually derive from?  They cannot derive from god, because if they did they would themselves be subjective - the codification of his preferences.  Indeed, objective morality cannot be established by any sentient being - sentience implies subjectivity.

So if an objective standard exists, it must perforce exist because it "just is" - and would exist whether or not any god or gods themselves existed.  If god "died" tomorrow, would morality continue?  If no - then it was subjective from that god.  Only if the answer is "yes" could morality indeed be objective.

And if there is an objective morality independent of god or gods, then atheists can be exactly as moral, or immoral, as Christians, in that they could follow (or not) that objective morality.

I have not introduced any "God" argument into this discussion for a reason. I think we both know where this thread will go if I do. I hope you can understand where I'm coming from.

You have explicitly said that atheists have no basis for an objective morality, and so - implicitly - are thus stating that theists DO have a basis for objective morality......unless your position is that there is NO objective morality at all? 

Can you clarify please?



I genuinely mean no disrespect towards you and, frankly, I'm not sure if you were expecting a response from me.....

Given that you haven't responded to the majority of my previous posts - even the ones where I was specifically responding to a request that you made for an answer - I didn't have much hope, no.  Delighted that you did respond though - and hoping that you will continue to do so.
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It's getting to the point where I think you are just using the definition of Deities as a way to avoid the debate at hand. If this is the case, we should have ended the debate after coming up with the definition of Deity.

Its a definition that you agreed, after you stated the three necessary and sufficient aspects of pagan deities, followed by multiple posts of my asking for clarification.  I took great pains to query statements I was unsure of, because I wanted to establish an agreed definition that could be used going forward.  If it is deficient, then let me know what aspects you believe are incorrect - and it would be helpful if you could explain why you did not introduce them at the start.

I absolutely agree that there is no point in continuing unless the definition is correct, so please let me know what changes you now wish to make to it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the definition. What I see you are doing with it is using the definition as a firewall to something you may not agree with. It's fine if you don't agree with it. I'm the Pagan here. But you asked why you should have an interest in these Deities and when I try to explain it to you, you use the definition and then render the whole discussion moot.

Part of understanding this worldview isn't just some definition. There is meaning behind it. As per the agreed on definition:

A "pagan deity" is a set of characteristics (properties, behaviours, and so on) defined by mankind.  It is commonly described by metaphor in relation to existing events or things, and is referenced by means of a symbol assigned by the person/s who selected and defined its characteristics.  Persons who (by choice or by nature) display matching characteristics can be said to embody the nature of the deity.

So now the questions we are on is why should we care about this? This is of course an opinionated subjective question so I can't answer for you. You have to answer that on your own.

Where these posts and lists are going for would be the next more objective styled question: What are these Deities symbolizing or representing? I also think the answer to your question of caring about these Deities are found in what these Deities symbolize to begin with. So, let me know what you think in regarding the direction of the conversation.

As for changing the definition, I would have assumed traits and genetics would have fallen under "and so on". But if it helps you out any, add traits and genetics to your list including properties and behaviors, even though I could have sworn both words would have fallen under properties as well.

These Deities have multiple meanings and race is one meaning. Each race has their own Deities that are connected to them through their bloodline and ancestry.

I have literally no idea what you mean by the first sentence. 

The second sentence, again, does not follow from the definition you agreed - that deities are created by humans.  The created deity may have been absolutely correct for the person/people at the time.  There is nothing to suppose that - hundreds of generation later - that deity is still useful.

I see we are at another point of confusion then. Since you don't understand my explanations, I will give you some visuals and maybe you'll see what I am talking about then.









Let me know what you see and from these visuals, tell me what you think I am telling you in relation to these Pagan Deities.

Incidentally, re-read the line I have placed in italics from your quote.  Consider how closely what you are saying there mirrors the Christian "you must give yourself to god, before you can come to god".  Are you REALLY suggesting that "caring" about a subject is a necessary precondition for understanding?  That reverence is a prerequisite to understanding?  Because it sounds very much like that - like you are suggesting that if only I could believe, I would suddenly understand......  I don't accept that line of BS from Christians, I see no reason why I should accept it from any other faith.

If that's how you want to interpret it, whatever. It just goes back to that accusation I mentioned a while back. This is another instance of you showing it. I just find it funny that I mention this and you won't accept this viewpoint as a part of religious discussion, but when I attack the atheist's religion (modern-day science) I am told to stfu and am told I do not understand science and I need to have a particular mindset in order to "properly" understand science, or should I say Scientism? It goes both ways, so we should just agree to disagree here again.

Then please - explain to me what you DID mean.

You said: "in order to properly care and revere in the Deities, you are going to have to care about the racial connections and if you can't do that, then you will never have a complete care and understanding of the Deities"

Note the bolds.  Several "cares" required, in order that I "understand".  Why is that the case?  Are you stating that unless I care about pagan deities, I will never be able to understand them?  I don't "care" about cars, but I understand just fine how they work.  I don't "care" about a lot of the work I do, but that doesn't mean I don't understand it.  So please explain - why is "caring" about the deities an essential prerequisite to understanding them?

What I was saying was that if you leave out important pieces of a puzzle, you will have an incomplete picture. If you ascribe to Christianity and you get rid of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, then you are left with a huge gaping hole in the religion of Christianity. I remembered a quote from Paul of Tarsus in the Bible stating that if there was no resurrection, there is no Christianity. This is the same exact thing I am describing here. If you do not address the racial system in Paganism, you are left with an incomplete form of Paganism. You don't need to personally care, as long as you can understand it from an outsider's perspective. That is what I meant.

Perhaps it would help you if you considered how you came to paganism.  Are you saying that you came to an emotional acceptance of paganism before you understood what it was?  That your acceptance of paganism was not in essence a "rational" or considered choice?

Wrong on all ends. I simply returned to my roots and who I am. A tree's strength lies in it's roots.

I returned once I understood it. I did not previously have any emotions towards it, kind of like what you are right now. So, it was a very logical choice.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by Add Homonym on Yesterday at 08:56:27 PM »
Feel free to give any example you like.

Did you just ask him whether he subjectively decided something was objective?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by Add Homonym on Yesterday at 07:44:29 PM »
I recommend you stop using the words subjective and objective, because they have no meaning in this context. You might start to say something.

I very much disagree with you on this.

So, you will keep using the terms, even if nobody knows what you are talking about?  Did you learn this at pre-suppositionalist school?

Just for clarity, would Christian morality be objective, if Christianity was wrong and one branch of Buddhism was correct? Are you arguing generically, that IF a God existed, and IF that God had decreed something, then that something would then be "objective"? If this is the case, then shouldn't you get on with proving your religion?

If a God had decreed that great saxophone playing was the way to get into heaven (not neighbourly morals), would saxophone playing now be objective? Or would sax playing just be an art?

If the original poster was using the word "harm" in the sense generally used by our culture (maybe influenced by Christianity) would any harm then be subjective or objective?

If the original poster was using the word "harm" exactly as implied by Christian ethics, but most Christians didn't practice Christian ethics, could the harm of Christianity be judged by Christianity's own standards? What I'm saying should be obvious. Are you saying that Christianity wouldn't cause harm, if practiced the way it's supposed to be practiced, or that Christianity isn't causing harm in the way practiced by fat American pseudo Christians? Because I see a lot of attacking Syria going on, and nobody giving a crap about it.

I am not arguing for a God position or a Christian position. I am arguing on the basis of what is logically deducible if there is only the physical or natural world.

Really? Have you been careful not to use the word "objective" in a way which assumes that your particular God has created one? If you are in this thread for purely philosophical reasons, then you should only use the word "subjective" or "arbitrary", since you don't know there is an objective one.

The definition of harm in this thread is not as arbitrary as you would like to make out. It comes from our current understanding of relationships with the world. If I ask you to hammer a large nail into your hand and stick it onto your desk, this action is perfectly within your capacity to do. You won't tell me that it's a purely subjective decision on your part, to avoid doing what I just requested. If it was purely "subjective" (in the way you like to use the word), you would volunteer to do it on a coin flip. Try it now. Volunteer to nail your hand to the table, if you flip a heads. There will be something mysteriously hampering you from taking this bet.

BTW, the Bible does not mention any prohibition on self harm, so you are all clear for your exhibition. Put it on Youtube.
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Chatter / survey for former theists
« Last post by velkyn on Yesterday at 06:43:30 PM »
The atheist research collaborative has a new survey for former theists:  http://atheistresearch.org/Home.php

I thought it was pretty good on asking enough details to get a good idea. 

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General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by Azdgari on Yesterday at 03:29:14 PM »
Feel free to give any example you like.
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Maybe God sneezed us into existence?  :laugh:  Says O Me, What Have I done?  Check it out I have pets.

the Great Green Arkleseizure  http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Green_Arkleseizure


Douglas Adams obviously knew a thing or two about how the universe formed! That sounds more likely to me that the immaterial speech of an eternal being - really it does!
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General Religious Discussion / Re: The most harmful religons
« Last post by BibleStudent on Yesterday at 01:58:11 PM »
So, "objective" to you means something that is true regardless of what any mind thinks about it?

Yes. I'm not sure what else it could mean but feel free to share if you think it would help.

It's refreshing to see our definitions in sync.  So, given that definition, how can an act of normative valuation be objective? (except in the sense of it objectively happening, I mean)

Can you spell this out at all?

Offhand, I would say it may depend on what it involves.
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