SisterSalome

Chart: Gnostic, Agnostic, Theist, Atheist

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20 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

In the follies of my youth, I decided to explore my family religion, which was Judaism.  My closest friends were Hassidic Jews.  I prayed.  I studied.  I believed.  I wound up taking a B.A. in Jewish Studies.  I spent a summer vacation in a Hassidic yeshiva.   Then I came to my senses and woke up.  To be clear, I did not "lose" my faith.  I grew out of it.  I know about faith, from the inside.  I know about prayer.  From the inside.  I look back on this part of my life as youthful stupidity.  It is an understatement to say that I find the memories intensely embarrassing.

I do not need to engage in prayer, to find out.  Been there.  Done that.  Not gonna do it again.  I have plunged into illusion and emerged out the other side.

Any questions?

 

*raises hand*

Yes.

 

Have you fully explored ALL illusions? Or would that be a waste of your time?

We're surrounded by illusions. From the moment we wake up we are engulfed in them. Once in a while we believe we can see through them for a moment. But then others take their place.

Perhaps, too many to explore in one lifetime.

So you are choosing to ignore them? Based upon your experience? That's certainly one path ...

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38 minutes ago, Phillipe said:

*raises hand*

Yes.

 

Have you fully explored ALL illusions? Or would that be a waste of your time?

We're surrounded by illusions. From the moment we wake up we are engulfed in them. Once in a while we believe we can see through them for a moment. But then others take their place.

Perhaps, too many to explore in one lifetime.

So you are choosing to ignore them? Based upon your experience? That's certainly one path ...

 

No.  I have not explored ALL illusion.  I did get heavily into my Reiki studies.  It persuaded me that while Space and Time were real enough -- at the same time, Space/Time was illusory.  Some of the people on this board will remember when I was advocating for Pantheism.  That's why.

I have also been seriously involved with meditation.  It has taught me a great deal about tricks of the mind.

"The gods are illusory, but if we call upon them for assistance, they will help us anyway."

Kadem Morton, a Buddhist monk.

 

I also have a certain appreciation for Jewish Atheism.  "There is no God and we are his people."

I also have my perspective on Polytheism.  I have been initiated to Medicine Buddha, White Tara, Quan Yin and Sekhmet.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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2 hours ago, Phillipe said:

Is that because you do not believe in the usefulness of hypnotism?  How do you know it's an illusory state if you don't try to enter it?

If you refuse to use the tool, how can you gain the knowledge, even if that knowledge proves to be negative?

There are other tools which I have opted not to use.  In particular L.S.D.  As in Legalize Spiritual Discovery.  As Dr. Timothy Leary has stated; "If you can remember the sixties, you weren't part of them."

One of my favorite sayings is -- "Learn from the mistakes of others.  You won't live long enough to make them all yourself."

In a similar vein -- "Some men learn by observing.  Some men learn by reading.  Some men have to pee on the third rail."

:sigh2:

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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On 3/14/2017 at 1:47 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

In practice, I need a reason to act as though something exists.  In practice, my default position is that God does not exist.

In practice, what differences are their between acting as if something does not exist and acting as if you do not know whether or not it exists?

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

In practice, what differences are their between acting as if something does not exist and acting as if you do not know whether or not it exists?

I think this is a distinction without a difference.  I don't know that The Flying Spaghetti Monster does not exist.  I do disdain the probability of it's existence.

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13 hours ago, Phillipe said:

Forgive me. I thought I quoted him quite succinctly. 

YOU have been there. YMMV.

ymmv?

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3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I think this is a distinction without a difference.

There is a very big psychological difference. Once you adopt a position, you begin to reflexively defend that position. All the information you take in begins to be subconsciously filtered in ways that make it harder to change your mind. You become less able to believe truths that make your position seem wrong and you become less able to disbelieve lies that indicate your position is right. You become, in other words, biased. My question is how, when you lack proof or even reason , biasing in yourself in that way is better than not doing so. 

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3 hours ago, mererdog said:

There is a very big psychological difference. Once you adopt a position, you begin to reflexively defend that position. All the information you take in begins to be subconsciously filtered in ways that make it harder to change your mind. You become less able to believe truths that make your position seem wrong and you become less able to disbelieve lies that indicate your position is right. You become, in other words, biased. My question is how, when you lack proof or even reason , biasing in yourself in that way is better than not doing so. 

I'm partly following you.  Yes.  I have invisible assumptions.  Yes.  I have biases.  Yes.  I'm vulnerable to confirmation bias.  I think that's what you said.  Alright, where are we going with this?  I want to make sure that I'm responding to your question.  I'm not clear on what you are asking. 

I actually chose The Flying Spaghetti Monster as my example.  I thought it would be less inflammatory to express disbelief in The Flying Spaghetti Monster than God.  I thought it would ruffle fewer feathers.  Was I mistaken?

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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On 3/14/2017 at 8:08 AM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

People have been looking for God for a long time.  Also claiming to have found Him/Her/It.  What they find seems to depend on what they are looking for.

I think the obvious place to start is the God of Scripture.  People have been spending countless lives searching the various Abrahamic Scriptures.  In loose terms, the Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and Arabic Scriptures.  Well, look at the world.  Look at the Middle East.  It doesn't work for me, but alright.

A slightly more abstract Monotheism, derived from Scripture.  God has three basic properties or attributes.  God is all Good., all knowing and all powerful.  From this, we can infer other attributes.  For instance, God is sentient and self aware.   It doesn't work for me, but alright.

Pantheism.  In particular, the Pantheism of Spinoza.  Spinoza spoke of "Nature's God."  Alright.  I don't see the need for a personification of Nature, but alright.

Deism.  In particular, the Deism of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson.  God -- The First Cause -- started everything and then got bored and wandered off.  No revelations.  No Scripture. No responding to prayer.  No intervention.  I don't see the need, but alright.

Einstein's God.  The God of Math.  The creative force that set the Cosmological Constants into motion.  Or is the Cosmological Constants.  It doesn't work for me, but alright.

Various sub-abstractions:

I Am that I Am.

God is One.

Ocean of Life.

They obviously mean a great deal to people.  Well, alright.  I'm not at all sure any of it matters, but alright.

The New Age abstractions:.  

God is Love.  

Thou art God.

Well, alright.

And of course, the ultra specific.  God is Christ on the Cross.

All of which only scratches the surface in a simplistic way.  What happens?  True Believers and Anti-Theists rage at each other.  So much heat and so little light.  That's enough for now.  I'll climb down from my soap box.

One last thought.  Here I am.  The Agnostic Atheist.  Tell me to look for God.  Which one?

:sigh2:

I look for God.  I look for the truth.  It isn't a matter of asking which God,  I have sought many.  The question becomes:  How long should I look, or how detailed an examination should I give it?  I give it the same length of time I would anything else(although, 20 years as a Druid kind of shows I am a little bit gullible at the least).  I seek the scriptures, and truth located therein.  I don't find it, but instead find pieces that don't match up, to me.  When I couple that with the thought that these scriptures are supposed to be perfect, I recognize that the scriptures do not live up to themselves and so are false.  As for new age, I suppose Druidry falls into that category as well, never mind it's ancient sources.  They taught many of the same principles at the least.  Nature reverence.  But that, too, fails with examination.  Sit against a tree and commune with it.  But the problem is that the tree is not sentient.  The human mind is a tricky beast, capable of many wonders.  And still, people cannot accept that their own minds MIGHT be capable of tricking them into believing they have found THE Truth, with a capital T.  God is Christ on the cross...well, if someone can produce evidence that Jesus existed that meets my satisfaction I may invest some more time into researching that particular religion.  But no, it hasn't happened yet.  (I still get that, "Historians agree" line as though it were sacrosanct since historians agree).  I haven't seen any evidence as to WHY historians agree.  And I still get people wondering why I don't accept that.  I don't see science as God, or logic, or any process of thought.  They are not sentient beings, but processes by which we might understand the universe(or multiverse) a little better.  I am saddened to see people devote their lives to understanding the scriptures.  What could they have accomplished with that much focus on any other endeavor?  

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7 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I look for God.  I look for the truth.  It isn't a matter of asking which God,  I have sought many.  The question becomes:  How long should I look, or how detailed an examination should I give it?  I give it the same length of time I would anything else(although, 20 years as a Druid kind of shows I am a little bit gullible at the least).  I seek the scriptures, and truth located therein.  I don't find it, but instead find pieces that don't match up, to me.  When I couple that with the thought that these scriptures are supposed to be perfect, I recognize that the scriptures do not live up to themselves and so are false.  As for new age, I suppose Druidry falls into that category as well, never mind it's ancient sources.  They taught many of the same principles at the least.  Nature reverence.  But that, too, fails with examination.  Sit against a tree and commune with it.  But the problem is that the tree is not sentient.  The human mind is a tricky beast, capable of many wonders.  And still, people cannot accept that their own minds MIGHT be capable of tricking them into believing they have found THE Truth, with a capital T.  God is Christ on the cross...well, if someone can produce evidence that Jesus existed that meets my satisfaction I may invest some more time into researching that particular religion.  But no, it hasn't happened yet.  (I still get that, "Historians agree" line as though it were sacrosanct since historians agree).  I haven't seen any evidence as to WHY historians agree.  And I still get people wondering why I don't accept that.  I don't see science as God, or logic, or any process of thought.  They are not sentient beings, but processes by which we might understand the universe(or multiverse) a little better.  I am saddened to see people devote their lives to understanding the scriptures.  What could they have accomplished with that much focus on any other endeavor?  

I understand.  There are times when reality bites.     :sigh2:

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18 hours ago, mark 45 said:

ymmv?

 

15 hours ago, mererdog said:

Your monkeys may vary.

LOL!

Yes, since there are 12 Monkeys, Your Monkeys May Vary.

 

No, Mark: "Your Milage May Vary"

I've picked up too much 'NetSpeak the past few years. :huh:

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14 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 I'm not clear on what you are asking.

I have shown a possible downside to your proposed course of action. What is the upside? How is assuming that something doesn't exist helpful? What do you get out of it that makes it the best option?

Edited by mererdog

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11 hours ago, cuchulain said:

The human mind is a tricky beast, capable of many wonders.  And still, people cannot accept that their own minds MIGHT be capable of tricking them into believing they have found THE Truth, with a capital T.  God is Christ on the cross...well, if someone can produce evidence that Jesus existed that meets my satisfaction I may invest some more time into researching that particular religion.  But no, it hasn't happened yet. 

Consider the ending of that quoted text in context with the beginning of the quoted text. If we accept that our minds can trick us, does it not follow that you may have seen the evidence, but have fooled yourself into thinking you didn't? There are two measurable phenomenon that you may be interested in. One is that people overwhelmingly interpret new data in ways that support their previously held convictions. The second is that almost everyone believes that they are less biased than average.....

For clarity, I am not suggesting you were biased against belief in God. I am taking as a given that your search was sincere. But lots of other biases come into play when you try to weigh evidence.

Edited by mererdog

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

I have shown a possible downside to your proposed course of action. What is the upside? How is assuming that something doesn't exist helpful? What do you get out of it that makes it the best option?

I feel like I'm missing something here.  God's possible existence is not relevant to my own existence.   Neither is God's probable non-existence.   That is -- using the Biblical God as the default definition.  I find the idea so silly, that I don't give much weight to it.

If we are talking about the God of Deism or Pantheism -- well, maybe -- and so what?

I'm still not clear on what you are looking for.  In my daily life, do I need to be correct on my metaphysics?  

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4 hours ago, mererdog said:

Consider the ending of that quoted text in context with the beginning of the quoted text. If we accept that our minds can trick us, does it not follow that you may have seen the evidence, but have fooled yourself into thinking you didn't? There are two measurable phenomenon that you may be interested in. One is that people overwhelmingly interpret new data in ways that support their previously held convictions. The second is that almost everyone believes that they are less biased than average.....

For clarity, I am not suggesting you were biased against belief in God. I am taking as a given that your search was sincere. But lots of other biases come into play when you try to weigh evidence.

True enough.  I recognize the possibility of bias.  However, the beginning point for me was a belief in Christianity as a child.  So that phenomena is ruled out.  It could be that I am biased against it as a result of having ruled it out, but all I can do is act in the manner I see as best and attempt to come to a less biased conclusion.  Or, all I can do is my best.  And as I said, I went from Christianity to Druidry, which is another form of deism for most.  

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2 hours ago, cuchulain said:

True enough.  I recognize the possibility of bias.  However, the beginning point for me was a belief in Christianity as a child.  So that phenomena is ruled out.

Not really. When you believed as a Christian, those beliefs created bias that had to be overcome before your beliefs could change. When you were a Druid, you had different beliefs that created different biases. As you grow and evolve as a person, your biases change, but they never really go away. I suggest googling the phrase "bias blindspot.'

Edited by mererdog

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

I find the idea so silly, that I don't give much weight to it.

So your position is not due to lack of evidence, but lack of respect?

 

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

So your position is not due to lack of evidence, but lack of respect?

 

 

Your sequence is off.  I examined the evidence -- which is the Bible -- and lost respect in the process.  I will rephrase.  The Bible destroyed my faith in the Biblical God.  To be clear, there is good stuff in the Bible.  Finding it requires careful cherry picking.

Regarding the God of Pantheism:  Maybe.  I'm not sure the God language serves a purpose, but maybe.

Regarding the God of Deism:   Maybe.  The evidence is weak.  But maybe.

 

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5 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

Your sequence is off.  I examined the evidence -- which is the Bible -- and lost respect in the process. 

I didn't mention a sequence. Your claim is interesting. You say you examined the evidence, which implies that you examined all the evidence. I find that hard to believe.

Edited by mererdog

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