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Everything posted by romansh

  1. Thanks for the reminder ... I have been going through a series of Peterson university lectures ... started at about number 18 got to the end and started back at 1 and am at #4. This is a timely reminder to get back on the treadmill. Not a fan of Jung. Really like Campbell though not that I agree with him that much. This is one of my favourite Campbell quotes ... I'll post it again:
  2. Decline of Christianity in the West

    Oh perhaps it was just faith?
  3. Decline of Christianity in the West

    Of course it may not be the fault of Jesus that he did not return within a generation. In that he may well have never made that prophecy. It could be that later scribes made that prediction on his behalf. If so what was the motivation of these later scribes? Or was it simply "Chinese" whispers in action? And yet today we try and paint a metaphorical reality on to approved translations of texts or at least some of them from two millennia ago.
  4. Decline of Christianity in the West

    That was the point ... even today people like Spong are taken as atheists as they do not have a literal belief. Did Spong and others start off with a literal belief? Is this metaphorical interpretation a post hoc belief? Was it for you? Personally I never had a literal Christian belief. Yes we all are to some degree indoctrinated in our beliefs ... I cannot choose to be a Buddhist at least not in this moment. But because of the new insights and better education fewer people have this desire for faith. It is difficult to be indoctrinated into faith when those around you are faithless. At university very few of my associates were religious and if they were it did not show. At work (in a science and engineering type world) there were fewer religious people so it was more difficult to pick up this religion meme. And finally they are not my points ... Those points were a distillation of what some religious scholars/investigators believe we can reliably ascribe to Jesus. There are a large handful. You can find the complete list here.
  5. Decline of Christianity in the West

    Why would Christianity decline in the West? Well if the literal beliefs that Jesus was the "Son of God" and at the end "He resurrected to sit at God's right hand" are no longer compulsory to be a Christian, then why bother taking them as a metaphor? People can go out and live their lives without developing a new interpretion (or another interpretation) of texts that stretch back two millennia or more. We have had new insights about the way the universe ticks in the last two thousand years, the majority of the people in the West have much improved educations and can reason for themselves. Of course some might reason they have a pretty good interpretation of the Christian texts. Perhaps they do. But then so what? It does not mean the ancient scribes were right. Otherwise, avoid rules and follow the truth you discover yourself. Act from awareness, not habit or convention. Don’t blindly repeat rituals. Don’t trust those with spiritual pretensions. Question those who presume to speak for God Apparently Jesus's words.
  6. Agnosticism

    Joseph recently posted Living with Uncertainty and I could not help identify this as a form of agnosticism. Anyway being of an agnostic persuasion made, it made sense or most of it, I think. Here is a quote from Bertrand Russell a poster boy for atheism (and agnosticism) which parallels Joseph's line of thought. Perhaps the quote is a bit more aggressive than Joseph's “The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” and another from Russell I think nobody should be certain of anything. If you’re certain, you’re certainly wrong because nothing deserves certainty. So one ought to hold all one’s beliefs with a certain element of doubt, and one ought to be able to act vigorously in spite of the doubt…. One has in practical life to act upon probabilities, and what I should look to philosophy to do is to encourage people to act with vigor without complete certainty. Now I personally would not call uncertainty,God, Love or Being.
  7. Agnosticism

    This too is a belief statement about objective reality. Also my statement is a belief statement about objective reality. And onto infinite regress. It is not terribly helpful, I find, dismissing other people's as beliefs as beliefs Thormas; especially if they can bring corroborative evidence to the table with them.
  8. Agnosticism

    Welcome back from your travels Bill I agree with your assessment of agnosticism ... Here are Huxley's own words on the matter ... as he coined the term: Agnosticism is of the essence of science, whether ancient or modern. It simply means that a man shall not say he knows or believes that which he has no scientific grounds for professing to know or believe. Consequently, agnosticism puts aside not only the greater part of popular theology, but also the greater part of anti-theology. Now sure meanings change but this agrees with your view somewhat and it is in contrast to Thormas's point of view. And for Thormas I would point out the likes of Mark Vernon, who describes himself as an agnostic theist ... ie someone who cannot be sure god does exist but believes anyway. Either way agnosticism need not be simply relevant to god, but to how we approach life. Gods appear to come in two general flavours: Theistic (personal) or deistic (impersonal) in character. And as an aside many modern atheists describe themselves simply as someone who does not believe in god. ie a negative belief in the philosophical sense as opposed to someone who believes god does not exist. ie the positive belief.
  9. Agnosticism

    Yep ... some of the stardust configures into some parasites too. Yep that is love too.
  10. Agnosticism

    And why limit it to acorns ... star dust becoming an oak?
  11. Agnosticism

    Burl, the only teleology I am aware of are the confabulations of humankind. An example of this physical teleology please?
  12. Agnosticism

    Determined in the sense cause and effect result in the acorn growing into an oak or not. Cause and effect will also determine what natures, if any, we will grow into.
  13. Agnosticism

    Teleology is explaining things by purpose. The purpose of an acorn is to grow into an oak. For some teleology is a nonsense, in that humans think they have it therefore other junks of the universe have it too.
  14. Agnosticism

    You are right not necessarily predetermined ... in that I don't know or can't be absolutely certain. Having said that, I am certain as I can be, fundamental life is determined. It is almost a definitional thing. But this is a different thread.
  15. Joseph While I can't immediately put my finger on it, I think there are some major differences between my waking perception and dreams in general. But end of the day as I think you are suggesting both are products of past experience, chemistry and genetics etc. The largest difference I think is the immediacy of my waking perception ... it stretches back just a couple seconds, though it does draw on historical events from my local past and evolutionary past. Whereas dreams by and large draw on almost forgotten pasts if not forgotten ones. Dreams at least for me are of little sense to me. Tough to remember and generally rapidly gone. Dreams and waking perception are both of the universe unfolding. I can't help but be reminded of a tom Clancy quote" The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense. For me my waking perception (of reality) makes more sense than my dreams.
  16. For me losing the life quote, I interpret as understanding an intrinsic self is an illusion and moving on from there. What the ancient scribes meant by this, I don't know. And where did it come from and was it borrowed from some earlier Eastern tradition, again, I don't know.
  17. Agnosticism

    Well thormas I find it interesting that we as human beings confabulate a teleology for not just for ourselves, others, but also for animals, plants etc, sometimes for inanimate objects, the universe and an imaginary entity that is present to everything. If you find teleology fertile ground here go for it.
  18. Illusion ... calling some thing an illusion can be for some a scary or at least its outcome. So I think we need to practice a bit of rigour here and clarify what me mean by illusion. Otherwise we talk past one another. Of course our perceptions are not only coloured but actually formed by our experiences, chemistry, genetics etc. So our perception of reality is at best only a reflection of a small part of the universe or more accurately weighted to a small part of the universe. I suppose it could be argued some reflections are more accurate (more complete?) than others. Though it has been demonstrated some take on a post modernist flavour and claim we can't measure the accuracy not even relatively. I personally might not describe our waking perception as dream but I think our perception is limited and therefore reality cannot be as perceived with absolute accuracy ie, not what it seems. This sort points to Kant's noumenon and phenomenon. Phenomenon is but a refection of noumenon. But by using numerous kinds of phenomena we can build up a more accurate description of the noumenon assuming we have error checking in place. This is hopefully an ongoing process and we are never at the final description and needs to be viewed over centuries. Carl Sagan ... We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself. (I might argue about the word "know", but I think the general sentiment points in the right direction)'
  19. Ignosticism

    On the original/earlier Wiki page for ignosticism there was a position quoted along the lines that words should be defined otherwise conversations would not be meaningful. I must admit I tend to agree. Now there are many words used here in these threads that seem to mean slightly different things to different people and at times seem at odds to my trusty Oxford Concise (trust me you would not want have Concise dropped on your bare feet). Some of these words include: Divine/divinity Transcendence/transcend/transcendent Immaterial God Holy Spirit/Spiritual ... OK this has been done before Grace Now I may add some other words as they crop up but I would be interested in people's succinct definitions for each these. I am not expecting agreement but just a sense of how people use these words. Thanks in advance rom
  20. Ignosticism

    illusion: something is not as it seems, I accept there are other senses ... ie it can be synonymous with delusion.
  21. Agnosticism

    Thormas ... I must admit for me this was way too long and if I may say so flowery. To me this seems like rhetorical question about your beliefs. Choice about love? Absolutely none - at least free choice. Could it be otherwise? I don't see how. But generally I disagree with the premise preceding. See 3 Why do we exist? Teleology! What evidence do we have of a purpose or intent for our existence? More teleology ... not necessary in my opinion. What causes love? ... the properties of matter. The same that causes hate, lust, greed, fear, jealousy, etc .. you get the picture. Already answered. More teleology. More teleology More teleology It just might be a more accurate description of existence. Anyway my answers.
  22. Agnosticism

    Actually I have mentioned to Joseph (in the past and before your time here) I am not a fan long posts. I prefer to have more of a discussion. So if you see it as snarkiness aimed at you fair enough. But I would appreciate it if you could summarize the points you want me to address.
  23. Agnosticism

    If I want a wall of text I normally pick up a book. What is (or are) the questions you would like to be answered. One that comes to mind how we measure accuracy which I answered already. What were the others.
  24. Agnosticism

    I pick just one aspect of your reply ... in that there I find much that does not make sense and is off topic and not make discussion too unwieldy. This is a 'positive' claim in a philosophical sense. What is your corroborative evidence for rejecting happenstance?
  25. Agnosticism

    If by perpetrator you mean proximate cause ... then I agree. There are a whole bunch of causes (seen and unseen) supporting you being a perp. If there was true order then my pointing could be spot on. While we can see order in the rotation of the moon about the Earth which rotates about the Sun ... these are in fact chaotic. Or at least the evidence points that way. Evolution is chaotic, the molecules around us are chaotic, the very fabric of matter appears to be chaotic. Yes we can pick out pockets of order.