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#26044 - 05/13/08 04:32 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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THIS IS INTERESTING
Re: The New Militant Atheism
http://reddingloavesandfishes.com/forum/index.php?topic=916.0
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#26045 - 05/13/08 05:04 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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I keep hearing about how nasty the new atheists are, but every time I actually look up what they have said in their own words, it sounds imminently reasonable. Moreover it is hardly ever recognizable as the same view that religionists have imputed to them.


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#26047 - 05/13/08 09:56 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
samwik Offline
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I've always found it hard to define myself as either an atheist or a theist; now I'll have to find out what "new atheists" are defined as. Are there "new theists" too? ...Revl...?

...busy week, but this came up as I turned on the computer. ...wanted to be first....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24598856/?GT1=43001
Quote:
LONDON - Albert Einstein: arch rationalist or scientist with a spiritual core?
A letter being auctioned in London this week adds more fuel to the long-simmering debate....


As I read that first sentence, I thought 'why does that have to be an "or" statement; can't one be both?'
My next thought came as I read "...expressed complex and arguably contradictory views on faith, perceiving a universe suffused with spirituality while rejecting organized religion;" and again it was basically the same: 'Where is the contradiction?'

Quote:
John Brooke, emeritus professor of science and religion at Oxford University, said the letter lends weight to the notion that "Einstein was not a conventional theist" — although he was not an atheist, either.
"Like many great scientists of the past, he is rather quirky about religion, and not always consistent from one period to another," Brooke said.
...or 'not consistent from one context to another,' perhaps?
....Translating and/or emphasizing things differently, depending on context.

Maybe there is something to learn here; but either way... this is a good quote:
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Well, it's a nice little article. I've seen Isaacson speak about his book before [thanks BookTV] and he includes many of his best points: ("Einstein was no Einstein"), etc., in this obnoxious (but short) video interview.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/24579466#24579466
video of Einstein on NBC interview: "May 12: Walter Isaacson, author of "Albert Einstein: His Life and Universe," takes Mika Brzezinski and Chris Matthews inside the mind of the genius who was able to combine intelligence and creativity."
I liked his answer to Pat Buchanan's (if i recognized the voice right) "question" about Intel. Design.
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#26050 - 05/14/08 01:45 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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TFF comments
Quote:
I keep hearing about how nasty the new atheists are

Nasty? You mean: disgustingly dirty? Morally filthy and vile?
Surely, you exaggerate. You have certainly not heard me describe atheists as "nasty", have you?.

BTW, the very title of Dawkins' book, The GOD Delusion, implies that all theists are "deluded"--mentally ill?.

Hitchins goes even further. Have you checked out what he proposes? Scary, eh?

I agree that there are extremists on both sides. I say, let us not allow the them to keep us from exploring common values.



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#26051 - 05/14/08 02:58 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Rev: re the New Militant Atheists:

There is a curious statement made in the article you posted. It is that anti-theism (atheism) will lead to the spread of Islam and the overthrow of the world as we know it (or something). I would like to point out that atheism would be as much opposed to Islam as it is to any religion that requires a belief in the supernatural --ie a god/being/presence by any name. Why should it be assumed that Islam, Buddhism or any other religion is more robust than Christianity? Personally I feel that there is a groundswell of feeling against organised religion in the various Western cultures. This can be seen in the interest many people have in the formerly fringe religions with a far more flexible dogma that encourages individuals to search for 'the meaning of life' for themselves.

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#26052 - 05/14/08 03:10 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Ellis Offline
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Sam I have just read your Einstein quote and it was exactly what I was trying to say in the post above!!!! Now I feel very clever and will need a week to get over it!

I don't agree with it though. bfp ( I think it was) wrote somewhere that he felt that the things that we don't understand today are not necessarily evidence of the supernatural. One day we humans will understand, and with the rational explanation will come understanding. So if the result is that what we now call the supernatural is explained by our own reasoning, it will obviously no longer be beyond our comprehension.

PS On the other hand maybe Einstein knew better than I do, just how much we don't know!

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#26060 - 05/14/08 07:42 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Ellis, you ask
Quote:
Why should it be assumed that Islam ... is more robust than Christianity?
The thing that concerns me about Islam is this: Certain Islamic leaders--by no means in the majority--have a fascist and theocratic approach to government. They actually believe that it is the will of Allah or Islam to impose itself on all people.

Before the Reformation, most Christian leaders had the same idea.The motto of the "one true faith" was "One Lord, one faith, one baptism". Even to this day certain Christians--Roman Catholic and Protestant--actually believe that Jesus Christ, the true Messiah, will return soon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Coming
Quote:
Second Coming: In Christianity, the Second Coming is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from heaven to earth, an event that will fulfill aspects of Messianic prophecy, such as the general resurrection of the dead, the last judgment of the dead and the living and the full establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (also called the "Reign of God"), including the Messianic Age. Views about the nature of this return vary among Christian denominations. The original Greek of the New Testament uses the term Parousia (&#960;&#945;&#961;&#959;&#965;&#963;&#943;&#945;), the "appearance and subsequent presence with" (in the ancient world referring to official visits by royalty). The Second Coming is also referred to as the Second Advent, from the Latin term "adventus," for "coming." Teachings about the last days comprise Christian eschatology.


You add: "Personally I feel that there is a groundswell of feeling against organised religion in the various Western cultures."

I kinda hope you are right. I am much in favour of, "fringe religion with a far more flexible dogma that encourages individuals to search for 'the meaning of life' for themselves."
========================
BELOW is a site about: The Church Of God. It is an example--and there are any number like it--of what are called adventist Christians.
Under Herbert W. Armstrong, it broke away from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, way back. HWA said that he would live to see Christ's return. He did not. His son broke away and formed his own church. Others did the same thing.
It always amazes me how gullible many people are.

http://www.cog-pkg.org/


Edited by Revlgking (05/14/08 08:18 PM)

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#26063 - 05/14/08 08:57 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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About Einstein's view of religion. From what I have heard and read he was not a follower of any doctrinaire religion. He had little time for what I call the bunk uttered by certain religionists--the ones who speak of God as if he is a three-dimensional being.

His "religion" was expressed by the way he lived his daily life and the awe he had for the creative nature of the universe. I wonder if he was aware of the work of A.N. Whitehead and process theology? IMO he was more of a panENtheist/unitheist--GOD in and through all that IS--than either a theist or deist.
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#26072 - 05/15/08 12:50 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
TheFallibleFiend Offline
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I haven't read much Hitchens and none in years, so I don't know what he says. I agree with Dawkins that God is a delusion, although I have not read his book. Being delusional doesn't mean a person is crazy.

I only recently found out who Sam Harris is and haven't read his books.

I tried to read Daniel Dennett and I'm sure he's brilliant, but I go turned off in chapter one of his "Consciousness Explained," so I don't know what he says either.

Of these 4 horsemen, I know very little. I hear about how they are very extreme in their views. Maybe they are - but to the extent I have read and heard their actual words, I haven't found a lot to disagree with. (Except the 1st chapter of Dennett, which was just dumb.)

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#26096 - 05/16/08 11:06 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: TheFallibleFiend]
Revlgking Offline
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TFF, you say that God--the human-like god of monotheism--is an illusion. So does Dawkins. You may be surprised to hear me say: I agree with both of you.

However, when I speak about GØD keep in mind that I speak of a new concept. Your questions, please.
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#26098 - 05/17/08 01:57 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Revlgking Offline
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After reading Dawkins, Hitchens and other modern
atheists--BTW, I read Ingersol, Bertrand Russell, Freud and others, decades ago--I have come to the conclusion that the big problem is one of semantics and has much to do with how we define words like God, the Bible, heaven, hell and other theological concepts.

When I read what atheists say about God and tell us about the god they have in mind--the god of the literally minded--I have little
difficulty denying the kind of god about whom they write. Because I find atheism an impossible concept to accept this led me to come up with my own way of looking at the ground of all being and to my concocting my own word for it.

BTW, I agree with those who say--and there is now a book with this as title--"I do not have enough faith to be an atheist".
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#26099 - 05/17/08 05:37 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
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"I find atheism an impossible concept to accept"

so what is the paradox, or the 'conflict of facts' which makes atheism an impossible concept?

rev, why dont you call yourself an agnostic; you do believe all of the same things that an agnostic does...

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#26101 - 05/17/08 09:30 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Originally Posted By: big fat pig
"I find atheism an impossible concept to accept"

so what is the paradox, or the 'conflict of facts' which makes atheism an impossible concept?

Rev, why don't you call yourself an agnostic; you do believe all of the same things that an agnostic does...
Thanks for your excellent question, BFP. Happily, I answer: I AM agnostic--about many things. For example, I am agnostic about the furniture of heaven and the temperature of hell. smile

BFP, I am not an atheist for a very simple reason: Most atheists are, like most theists, too doctrinaire. They appear to be saying: I KNOW that there is no god in any way shape or form. OK, I say: If this is your claim, convince me. If you cannot, then feel free to join the rest of us agnostics, who, I feel happen to be in the majority.

Seriously: Most of us are agnostic about most things. If we were truly humble enough we would admit it. Then we could, with the help of the honest use of science, move on to more and more KNOWLEDGE.


Edited by Revlgking (05/17/08 09:41 PM)
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#26103 - 05/18/08 02:33 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Ellis Offline
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Rev I cannot believe that everyone who acknowledges the possible existence of god (or the supernatural) KNOWS that this is true.

What happened to: Lord-- I believe, help thou my unbelief.

And while I am grumping on-- I am a little annoyed at the way atheists are portrayed as denying the existence of a personal god (you now the one with a beard sitting on a cloud) when in fact many people have taken it further, both on this site and in the general public. Arguments against the existence of a god include consideration of the supernatural, the "presence", reincarnation,nature of outer space, the afterlife --- there would be more but I haven't time to list them all. And atheists see no reason to believe in any of them, which I think is a hair split away from saying disbelieve them all, --- we get back to the nature of individual faith, without which communal belief cannot exist.



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#26107 - 05/18/08 01:59 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Ellis]
Revlgking Offline
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Dialogue with Ellis
Quote:
Rev I cannot believe that everyone who acknowledges the possible existence of god (or the supernatural) KNOWS that this is true.
I know that what I call GOD--goodness, order and design--is true, for me. I like to think of the "supernatural" as that part of the natural which we have not, with the help of a humble science, discovered as yet.

BTW, compared to what my parents, and certainly my grandparents, experienced, I am living in a supernatural world.

You ask
Quote:
What happened to: Lord-- I believe, help thou my unbelief.
This question by Thomas is still there and asked by many.

Quote:
... I am a little annoyed at the way atheists are portrayed as denying the existence of a personal god (you now the one with a beard sitting on a cloud)
Don't atheist deny the existence of a personal god?
What I want to ask atheists is: Do you also deny the existence of persons as spiritual beings?--that is, persons who could possibly be capable of surviving physical death of the physical biody and go on experiencing an awesome kind of existence in other and GOD-like dimensions. Which is what I believe: We are evolving from physical, through mental to spiritual.

You mention
Quote:
... the nature of individual faith, without which communal belief cannot exist.
I readily admit that what I predict is based on what I believe, what I have faith it.

My understanding is that most atheists--perhaps not all--are nihilists. Without malice or prejudice, I caution--those especially to use their "faith" as an excuse to do evil: Nihilists, take care of what you believe in; you may get that in which you appear to believe.

BTW, if you are right you will never have the satisfaction of saying, "I told you so..." But think of the fun I will have with the moral, ethical and loving atheists who I feel will live to live another day. My definition of hell is life without hope.
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#26116 - 05/18/08 09:27 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Originally Posted By: Ellis
... I am a little annoyed at the way atheists are portrayed as denying the existence of a personal god (you now the one with a beard sitting on a cloud)
Don't atheist deny the existence of a personal god?
I think Ellis was emphasizing the WAY atheists.... Not that atheists are portrayed AS
IMHO smile
....But a good answer Revl.
... & after reading the past weeks stuff....

This seems to be a lot of word wrangling over definitions. Theist, Deist, Atheist; is there an Adeist?
I never liked Agnostic (without knowledge of), but it is the most appropriate, as Revl. points out.
We are "without knowledge of," but we are not without the desire for knowledge of....

In our desire for knowledge (that fruit), we too easily reify our understanding.

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/kauffman06/kauffman06_index.html
TheFallibleFiend provided this great link.

I think it provides that bridge in understanding which takes us beyond these conceptual stumbling blocks, reifications, and labels (and opposition to labels).

http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26073#Post26073
[quote]"This emerging view finds a natural scientific place for value and ethics, and places us as co-creators of the enormous web of emerging complexity that is the evolving biosphere and human economics and culture."

I loved his direction; to apply this [definition of "God"] to "the evolving biosphere and human economics and culture."

I think this deserves a second and third look....
smile
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#26119 - 05/19/08 02:40 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Sam comments
Quote:
We are "without knowledge of," but we are not without the desire for knowledge of....

In our desire for knowledge (that fruit), we too easily reify (you mean 'deify'?) our understanding.
Good points, Sam. I will comment more, later. IMO, the more willingly we dialogue with others, the more we will understand, and know.
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#26121 - 05/19/08 06:40 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Reify: "To convert (an abstraction or mental construction) into a supposed real thing; to attribute substantiality to; to hypostatize (to assume as a reality). ~Webster's

...IMHO
A word describing a concrete, fixed definition or idea of something that is an indefinably complex conception.
Climate, war, politics, the public, and God are examples of reified concepts.
...notice that each person develops their own concrete, fixed definition (or image) for each of these complex concepts; although we all use the same word to refer to any given complex concept.
smile
~samwik


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#26122 - 05/19/08 03:26 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Anonymous]
Revlgking Offline
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Reify. I have learned a new word, thanks.

We do this, that is, we reify a lot, don't we? It is certainly true that some of us do see our God as the one and only true, real and glorious god, worthy of worship. Some of us label all other gods as false and, depending on the level of civilization, we see the people who worship them as being worthy of death and hell.

Still others see all gods as a figments of the human imagination.

I see the whole god-concept as something which, in every generation, needs to be redefined--re-invented, as Kauffman points out--even given a new name. This is why I value having a dialogue about such concepts, rather than a debate.


Edited by Revlgking (05/19/08 03:38 PM)
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#26246 - 05/27/08 09:35 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
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In addition to the philosophy of....
What about the consequences of religion; what effect does it....

Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Sam comments
Quote:
We are "without knowledge of," but we are not without the desire for knowledge of....
In our desire for knowledge (that fruit), we too easily reify ...our understanding.
Good points, Sam. I will comment more, later. IMO, the more willingly we dialogue with others, the more we will understand, and know.


http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=26223#Post26223
Originally Posted By: redewenur

Learning would then be not only a useful occupation, but also a moral and religious duty.


Wow, I wonder if that sentence has ever been uttered before.
It certainly deserves to be immortalized in the firmament somehow.


Despite the "fictional" origin of this sentence above, it actually stopped me from reading any more (for a while) as I had to go pace and think about all the stuff that idea inspired.

As I recall now, it was the image of the apple, the symbolic fruit of knowledge, that had me thinking that maybe that's the point of all religions. "Taking the bite" is about the first action in the story, after the scenery is described.
And of course we need forgiveness because it takes a lot of learning (trial & error) to use the knowledge wisely. To keep striving for that perfection or the wisest of applications (best of deeds?) must have some metaphors in the biblical story also.

Well, it just struck me that religion was the first attempt to codify, or parametize, the proper use of knowledge in order to maintain a social balance or equilibrium.
I've been ruminating on that phrase about "having dominion over all the...."
Much of the rest of the story is about how to wisely administer that dominion as stewards to benefit all.

Well, thanks rede- for the inspiration on these metaphors.

Hey! Deja Vu....
...
p.s.
...it was somebody ...talking about "the apple," "the garden" ... and metaphors.
Amaranth Rose, I think you participated in that thread. Ring any bells?

....and then I just found this:
http://www.scienceagogo.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=23423#Post23423
somewhat tangentially related, eh?
smile
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