• Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by VonNoble

  1. 36 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    "Supreme Being" does take some options off the table.  You still have a choice of two:  Monotheism and Deism.


    The God of Deism does not answer prayers.  Does not have "revelations".  Does not have "Scripture".  But could exist.



    Is her selection of supreme being a generality .... is that why no caps?


    Has she changed this to challenge us defend an unknown &/ or defend having belief beyond reason and senses..... since we NOW have a changed perimeter.... is this even about the beliefs or rather about stating arguments and constructs? Best guess? 


  2. UPDATE:  


    Assignment has been revised.    

    In my "school" email account I just received the following " ALERT"


    Your three choices (NOW)  are as follows: 


    Theist:  holds that there are good reasons for thinking that a supreme being exists

    Atheist:  holds that there are good reasons for thinking that no supreme being exists

    Agnostic: holds that reason cannot establish whether or not a supreme being exists; thus we cannot know whether or not God exists



    Ya think the prof had a slew of questions on this one or what?  :lol:


    • Like 1
  3. 11 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:


    Suppose you do go with "belief in God".  Alright, which God are we speaking of?


    There is Abrahamic Monotheism.  If you go with this, there is the strict Monotheism of Judaism and Islam, distinct from Trinitarian Christianity.


    There is Deism, which is the religion of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.


    There is Pantheism, which is different from both.


    There is Hinduism/Vedanta, where the many gods are all aspects of the One God.


    There is Polytheism, which is again, different.


    It is not enough to present as a believer.  Not when there are so many different varieties of belief.  



    I have no idea what the prof meant inassigning “belief in God” as an option.   I sort of assumed by the big G ... she was pointing to the Abrahamic Creator God (not too swift for any Wiccans in the room) ( or Hindus) ... or a myriad of others.... so it is likely I am not the only one being forced to just pick a label to get this assignment done.... when we finish this section we are moving to ethics... won’t that be fun:seesaw:


  4. 11 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    It won't do you any good for your class.  Still, if you are playing with labels, you might try "Apatheist".  An Apatheist is someone who doesn't care whether or not God exists.


    There is also "Apathethic  Agnostic".  The motto of the Apathetic Agnostic Church is "We don't know and we don't care."   :D





    I actually did look that up... thank you.... it is another “A” option ( outside of class) 





    On 2/28/2018 at 10:07 PM, Dan56 said:

    I think that making life better, is to learn how to experience and enjoy the trip, rather than relying on happiness coming upon reaching our destination. 

    Dan 56... thank you for this...I agree.


    Is there a specific one thing you could do right now on that journey to make life more contented...happier....less frustrating?


    In general terms what you have said is true and I agree.    


    On the journey we often, as you noted, have moments of restlessness, frustration,  impatience... whatever.   We all have low points.   And we recover.  


     Are some roadblocks more common by age?   Gender? Is there a pattern of things we all learn to master but never share?    Can we benefit from sharing actual victories?   Can we be inspired by the victories of others?  Not in general terms but by hearing specific lessons from others?


    At times in life by Noting a target out loud we automatically elicit the support from others 


    Five years ago I really needed to lose weight....once I said it out loud - I found others generously allowed me to be a pain in the butt talking about it too much as I learned a newer approach....facing the need to make a change sort of took a village  ;)


    i felt much much better about myself as I gained health.    I was less angry with myself about the many previous failures.     I find now.... with reduced mobility I am going to have to do battle with that issue again.   (I have gained back 20 pounds so the challenge begins anew)


     And I will need to add new tools to win again.   I cannot burn off the same  number of calories now.... my mobility is so restrictive.... so I have to monitor intake more closely.   WAY more closely.   Contented is currently a daily challenge as I learn to adapt.


    Increased  physical pain is a daily challenge for me now too.    Others are facing this.  I am not a bit special.   Others find ways to adapt and keep serenity intact.    In fact EVERY  ONE is facing roadblocks....and moving away from the dark side :P


    what are the common roadblock beating ideas?


    More contented is-perhaps a realization that we have enough?    Or maybe it is the recognition our issue is not at all unique:unsure: 


    Does it boil down to appreciating all needs are met?  Crabby is a choice?  Lashing out a symptom of an emotion ...we could best deal with more effectively another way?


    i don’t know.   I am trying to figure it out.  I know there is lots of wisdom on this Forum.    


    what are we doing to stay stuck in “unhappy? “   If we have  what we need... why do we so often want more?     


    if we  know something is not good for us -why do we chase after it?



    The devil has a name.    Naming it is a first step to slaying it.   Maybe? Each sin has a name.    The obstacle in our path has a time, place, trigger.... shape..... ignoring it perpetuates it maybe?   


    Is it as simple as one tiny step?


    At some point for you ....it was accepting Christ fully.   Is that still the complete and only answer or have you gained other insights to add to that?  


    Is there today a practical one step to face one specific challenge? Not a generality but a specific thing that can help another slay a dragon?  


    Prayer works.   Meditation works.   Finding more practical solutions (from others) sometimes works more immediately ) 


    Drinking too much.... procrastinating too often.... whatever .... everyone is swimming toward happier... what is working?  What are you doing or what do you refrain from doing?


    Thanks in advance for sharing what works...



  6. My genuine thanks to ALL for this assistance. 

    It is odd to be looking at spiritual things through the lens of a courtroom-type objective argument. 


    We are trying to defend-define-present a (widely agreed) unknown.    However, I suspect the lesson is in the process

    more than the conclusion (but what do I know.)   


    I am planning on working on this over the weekend.  Assuming I have a decent first draft by Monday  - I will have a week to tweak it before we go "live" in the classroom.   Much to my surprise it seems LOTS of my classmates are working ahead on this one too. Unlike most assignments - there are more "already on this one now" ...than normal.   Apparently I am not the only one to find the idea of a spiritual belief in a clinical setting to be a bit of a challenge. 



  7. 2 hours ago, Pastor Dave said:

    If that is the second position he chooses to take I would be willing to offer up a few of the things that I find persuasive.

    He may well choose to go with Agnostic and Atheist as the two positions to present.

    Thank you for being willing to assist.  I guess if they give me a choice - I am going to pick the two "A" choices because they seem the most familiar to me.     If they do not - I will DEFINITELY need a crash course to make sure I present the "belief in God" position solidly.   Not that I would not be able to come up with at least a starting point .....but the construction tools I might have already could surely use bolstering.   Thanks for being willing to pitch in. 



  8. 12 hours ago, Dan56 said:


    I'd definitely choose "Agnostic", its the only one that can be honestly defended. "I don't know" is the only honest answer that a person can logically come to. A believer chooses to believe,  a nonbeliever chooses not to believe, but neither "know" anything.  Anyone who claims to know for certain is a liar, because it just isn't possible. Atheism has no provable facts to substantiate what they don't believe,  and Believers have no tangible facts to prove what they do believe. Suffice to say; "I don't know" (Agnosticism) needs no supporting evidence. A person can be very convinced of what they believe is true or not true, but at the start of the day, we are all born knowing nothing, and by days end, everything else is conjecture.  jmo

    Dan56 - THANKS for the neutral and objective input.    Very much appreciated.  I am sort of leaning that way too.   Your point of view is sort of where I am landing on this assignment too.  I didn't initially, but it is becoming more clear to me that personal beliefs are gonna play second fiddle to get through the assignment as conflict free in class as possible.   It is an exercise in thinking (lol) - not belief.        Strange though that may be.  They are NOT exclusive...but the grade is definitely going to be assigned on what I present being valid (as in fits the box for FORMAT)....it is not so much about content... if that makes any sense.  Or at least I think that is how it is going to shake out.    


    I can see why this subject is challenging.  I suspect what we think we know arriving to this class is sort of put into a blender and you have to build a ladder via a new way of seeing the top... to get out of it alive (I am sort of kidding)  ......


     This thing creates a new point of view - not better or worse - just different than the skill set I learned at home.... the input on this  thread is helping.  It feels safe to express doubt/uncertainty here - For which I am very grateful. 



  9. 17 hours ago, mererdog said:

    They are two ways of expressing the same concept. It's Plato again- the JTB, or Justified True Belief. Where knowledge is defined that way, knowledge is a subset of belief. You can't know it is true without also believing it is true. So to say someone knows is to say they believe. Necessary and presupposed, because it is built into the definition.

    I wish you had written our text book.  You zeroed in on the very point I guess it was trying to make - I all I saw were two statements in conflict.....you did a nice job of knitting together relevance.  Thank you.   I am actually doing better in the Epistemology section - that is not to say I am breezing through it -  - -- but other than this strangely worded section - I think I got the rest of the chapter at least without breaking into a cold sweat when I open the book.   


    thx again, 



  10. 20 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    Based on this comment of yours, I think you would be more comfortable with the Agnostic label.  Nuances aside, I find there is a cultural divide between Agnostics and Atheists.  Go to You Tube and do a search on "Atheist".  Then do a search on "Agnostic".  In my opinion, the Agnostics are a much more mellow lot.  More thoughtful and less passionate.  Of course, there are exceptions.  



    Good suggestion - I made a date with myself to check out those things this weekend.....allow myself to digest whatever I see there ....then look at the tools provided (thanks to all for helping me have some tools) ....and see what seems to fit best. 


    Since I have never really tried to stick myself with a label (I have actively avoided doing so) .....I am guessing  your reasoning (supported by the comments of others) definitely have me seeing Agnostic in a new light.  Which is a good thing.  Learning is a good thing. 



  11. 1 hour ago, Brother Kaman said:

    I would think that you would first argue your own position. If you believe in a G/god, then argue for such a G/god. If you don't believe there is a G/god, then argue that. If you don't know then choose that position. Later, you will have heard the arguments against your position and will be better equipped to take on one of the other positions? Best to start with what you think you know. There will be many who will try to let you know that you are wrong.

    I am SURE you are correct!   :thumbu:

    Plenty of quick fire opinions in this class.


    Yes...thanks.... I agree the 2nd round will be less intense to prepare.    I am assuming we  -get to pick - which of the remaining two we tackle second.    Either way -competent note taking in round one will make the construct in round two easier.


    i am sort of looking at this in terms that the exercise is learning to craft a solid argument more than explains my personal beliefs.... 


    Several of the students are in this class as pre-law requirement so if we focus on the construction (more than the faith) (or lack of it) we might master craftsmanship in some small way.   


    Then again this is my first time thru it so maybe you are suppose to get more passionate & invested with the rightness of your belief.


    i have not yet found a reason why God existing (or not)  mattered to me.  So I think all the fuss to prove it disprove is largely wasted energy (but it does make for a good and emotionally charged practice session)


    After following this topic on other threads I guess atheist is as close an approximation as I can get in these three choices.  I agree we cannot know, so that allows for either of the “A” options .... I am going to try to do both and see if one is more comfortable than the other while drafting this.



  12. If you are willing to assist yet again.....


    These two statements from our text have me flummoxed.  


    1.  Believing is necessary for knowing something is true.


    2.  Knowledge presupposes belief.


    Aren’t these two “givens” sort of at odds ?



    i am am going to reserve seats in the front row @ graduation for FORUM members if I opt to go for another degree...:D


  13. I am very grateful for the assistance!!!!


    i am also thankful ....I did not wait to start developing a position.    This is the first assignment that I can appreciate .... where I will have to really think through the variables (rather that regurgitate rote info) or formulas if little value outside of the field of Philosophy.    Not useless in any way... just not as applicable in my life at this juncture.


    Knowing (sort of) the constructs (basic) of argument ..... there is FAR mor practical information here.... to help me build a position I can present with some degree of confidence.


    As an aside I was advised NOT TO seek help from our assigned tutor.... someone who is a Philosophy major suggested I might not get neutral advise as the tutor has a low opinion of atheist positions.


    Making me double thankful I had a safe place to explore this aspect of class.  All of you assisting me should double your hourly rates:cool:


    (Seriouly thank you.... it is less about the grade and more about just wanting to do a decent construct...you know ....like not embarrass myself.)



  14. 5 minutes ago, mererdog said:

    If only...

    I would be happy, if only I could stop going to school. I would be happy, if only I didn't have to work for a living. I would be happy, if only retirement wasn't so boring.


    I would be happy, if only I had a car. I would be happy, if only I didn't have to pay so much for my car. I would be happy, if only my car wasn't always in the shop.


    I would be happy, if only I had kids. I would be happy, if only I could find some time away from the kids. I would be happy, if only the kids would visit more.


    I would be happy, if only I made more money. I would be happy, if only I had more free time.


    I would be happy, if only I knew how.

    Are happy and contented the same thing?

    maybe they are....I didn’t look it up 


    My fault for failing to do so


    I always  associated “happy” with happily ever after..... zero problems .... as in fairy tale-ish


    Contented...a bit more realistic....as in less than you can dream up .... appreciating that you have enough to be satisfied


    so maybe I need to check out my own understanding if those words





  15. 29 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    The Agnostic position and the Atheist position are similar, but there is nuance.


    Atheism is about not believing.


    Agnosticism is about not knowing.


    It is possible to combine them with Agnostic Atheism.  "I don't know and I don't believe."


    Belief is another word for opinion.  Opinions can't be argued to any purpose.  I can have a serious discussion about what I know and how I know it.  



    ALL OF THIS IS VERY HELPFUL....and lowering my apprehension in preparing for this assignment.     We have some time befor it is due so I wanted to avoid engaging in as much friction as possible.


    Setting perimeters that we’re not flimsy seemed daunting....far less so now...so again, my thanks


  16. 12 minutes ago, Key said:

    I see what you're saying. Character, priorities and etc. greatly influence our situations and goals, and therefore our destinations, too. So, while circumstances may be identical, the goal may rarely be. Thus, it still falls that the roadblock is the only common denominator. At least in my view.

    We agree.... love it when that is part of a Thread  :D


    Facing obstacles is inevitable 


    Even though each of is chooses our own weapon/way to work around them.... I am wondering if we have only a handful (or less) of obstacles once named.


    Does it boil  down,  in our personal life to two or three?    Are we collectively less content than we aspire to be because (as noted above) by desire?  What we desire may be known by different labels (money, shelter, freedom etc) ....but the big label is “desire”


     I suggested another might be fear.


    i am wondering if several people pick a label... would it amount to only three? Four?


    if there is commonality.... would the  solutions also share commonality? 


  17. 1 minute ago, Key said:

    Avoid complications? A little difficult with the position of "I don't know". ;)

    That was my first reaction to Agnostic as well...


    it seemed to open me up as a target to both of the other two positions.... do not a strategic high ground.... I am wondering if using it for the second round will give me a better insight how to manage the i can’t  decide snowball.



  18. 21 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:



    If you want to take the Atheist position, keep it simple.  An Atheist is someone who has one less god than a Monotheist.  


    The Agnostic position is also simple.  All you have to do is avoid complications.

    I do appreciate the homework assist-BIG TIME -on this one.


    I think your definition for atheist will help to avoid much of the muck.... so thank you for that too.   


    Agnostic..... is the potential complication in a murkey definition or is there some other issue I should include I. My opening perimeter to avoid messiness? 



  19. For my intro to Philosophy class each student must write an agrument supporting one of the following three choices:


    1.  Belief in existence of God

    2.  Being Agnostic

    3.  Being atheist


    Those are the only choices.  You have to select one of those options.


    Our supporting “evidence” will in some fashion or other be dissected in class (I am assuming like minded students will be grouped to “defend-explain” their position.)


    I peeked ahead to the assignment following this one....where we will be assigned to take one of the other two options and repeat the exercise.  So anyway we go ...we  will need to “defend” two out of three positions.


    Since none these necessarily are my belief.... which two would you strategically select.... I am thinking the first round pick will garner the most lively exchange?


    Which would you pick for the first round draft?  :blink:


    I am am leaning towards atheist.... but not sure I wanna be that busy in class discussion....this is not a moment I expect to foster lots of positivity ;) (I might be surprised)


    Which is the easiest?    Your prediction?

    Withdrawing from class :D or calling in sick that day are not options.












  20. 9 hours ago, Key said:

    Interesting quandary. However, it could also be viewed that those obstacles, or roadblocks, are just strengths towards contentment that we don't realize at the time. Think of it...when one comes to a roadblock in the path of their destination, one could quit the journey, or find a way around it and continue on.

    That fork in the road, as you will, is about all we have in common with EVERYONE, as situations, goals, or destinations may differ from one person to the next.

    In general terms that is so.     But identical circumstances net widely different results at that fork in the road.   Our reaction to it (benefit or problem) ..... and the subsequent action (or lack of action) are influenced greatly by our character.... priorities etc...... maybe.....



  21. 9 hours ago, cuchulain said:

    I have heard it said that the obstacle is the way.  I am not certain I fully fathom what that means, certainly not for others.  But for myself, it means that the obstacles encountered are opportunities rather than setbacks.  

    Then, I consider that regardless of the path I take, I will one day end up in the same place as all the people around me, and all the people have ended up before me.  Dead.

    I would hazard that one of the major roadblocks we mostly have in common is desire.

    I would agree...although as such....it is known by many names more than likely



  22. 14 hours ago, mererdog said:

    The important stuff rarely does. Most people live their daily lives in the shallow end of the pool. That's not a judgement, just an observation. 

    I dont mean to invalidate your fears or pretend to understand your perspective, but... As we grow we have to constantly relearn how to find value in ourselves- how to love the person we have become.

    Few people want to be a burden. But our burdens are what make us strong. They tell us, and the world, what matters to us. They give us reason to be proud. 

    Even If you must become a burden, you can still find joy, and you can still bring joy to others. It is reasonable to fear this potential, but there is also reason to embrace it. I know it is corny and trite, but if you can't be with the one you love....

    Thank you for this


  23. 12 hours ago, VonNoble said:

    Contentment might be as elusive as wealth.


    Is there something specific you can do (or stop doing ) to make your life more balanced or contented?


    Whatever it is...can you name it?   ...does the obstacle preventing you or blocking you....does the pause button ....have a name?

    Fear.    When I was young - I lived more boldly, championed more quickly, dared more often....


    i was told back back then with age; comes wisdom.


    i am seeing if there is any wisdom... so too there is far more hesitancy, reduced confidence and fear in general.


    Not fear of death.   Not fear of protecting possessions.    


    Fear of of becoming useless....fear of being a burden.    


    It is no longer how do I acquire... stuff is of little import.....now it is caring about retaining independence....relevance etc.


    Maybe that is unique to

    me...I don’t know -I don-t recall it coming up much in daily chit chat with others.



  24. 10 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

    I could never have foreseen what a wonderful life I have had/having. I am well content with myself. It would be perfect if my wife's health was better.

    You have a balanced point of view.    I admire that.   Too, being in a possibly similar situation, you also have my empathy.


       Empathy does not solve health issues.... but it also staves off moments when health issues with someone you love - can make one feel inevitably.... momentarily.....isolated.