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2 hours ago, Coolhand said:

I think it is interesting how the Bible is handled, studied, and understood. We are talking about about a book that claims to be "God breathed" (theopenustos) and yet was written by primitive men in primitive societies with a fraction of the understanding of science and physics is exists currently.  Very few, if any, of these biblical writers would have been counted as scholars by any kind postmodern standards, except maybe Paul, possibly Luke.  

 

Another thing is that we don't know exactly what they were looking at when they were writing, and in fact a lot of the questions that come up in the Bible studies that I attend are good questions but fall into the "unknowable" category. And I agree with you brother, that "I don't know" is a better answer than a lot of the religious filibustering I've heard to try  to prove "inerrancy", which if I understand it correctly only applies to "original autographs" which conveniently enough are unavailable; what kind of chicanery is that?  

 

Not only is this antiquated collection of books written void of actual scientific facts in a lot of cases, but it is also written from the perspective of one who does not seem understand what he is seeing and writing about. And you would think that these writers would attempt to portray themselves and their nation in a much better light, and at least attempt to provide justification for their actions instead of just owning their failures.

 

The presumptions and presuppositions that we carry with us when we read this are going to affect how we process it. To me the power, authority, inerrancy, and infallability is in its honest and accurate illustrations of the range of human experience and emotion, and God and his attributes. If we try to understand the presumption and presuppositions of the biblical writers we gain context, instead we look at the angry, wrathful, violent say we want no part of it. Also, if a person really reads it they find things upside down and backwards at times like, I thought this was the good one and that was the bad one. 

 

People handle the Bible and try assign dates to the narratives and decide when described events occurred and if they occurred when can't even tell for sure what genre of literature they are reading. The Bible is not an easy book at all. Many times it gives you a story and you have to figure out why it is there. Sometimes you get the answers to questions but not the question. This is a book that you can't just read a few times and you got it, its a lifetime of mediation on spiritual, moral, emotional and human conditions.

 

Regardless, "never happened, no Moses, no Ten Plagues", etc is not something that I believe is "knowable," or that any of us can make any claims for certain one way or the other.

 

 

 

 

Along the way, I have asked myself some basic questions.  What do I know? What do I actually know? What do I only think that I know?  What do I believe?  Why do I believe this? How sure am I, about what I believe?

 

Results have varied.  The story of Noah and the Great Flood?  Profoundly ludicrous, with impossibilities built up over absurdities.  The story of Exodus?  The evidence for it is weak to none.  It's a major Bible Book.  Something that important should have tons of evidence to back it up.  Thousands of Hebrew slaves in Egypt.  The Egyptian Army, drowned in the Red Sea.  All the first born of Egypt, dead.  All those people, wandering about in the desert for 40 years.  It would have taken two weeks following the coast line.  Where is the evidence?  Christians and Jews have been digging up the Middle East for centuries, looking for evidence.  Examining the extensive Egyptian archives.  They found, nothing.  So far, we have only been discussing history.  Now we come to the Supernatural elements of the story.  You believe.  I actually get that.  I have no response to belief.  Except one.  With my lack of belief, I find the story to be implausible, improbable and unlikely.  

 

I can not pretend objectivity.  There are limits on my knowledge.  My past mistakes are beyond cataloging.  For all that, I do have a strong sense of things, based on what I do know and understand.  In the end, my sense of things tells me that nothing in Exodus is based on reality.  To be clear, this is in the context of all the other Bible history, that I simply can not take seriously.

 

If I were obsessed with being right and winning arguments, this would be a problem for me.  Happily, I don't need my friends -- or my enemies -- to agree with me on such matters.  Does God need defending?  No.  In the end, God either is or is not.  I hold that belief, non-belief and dis-belief are all equally meaningless.  No doubt, you have a different perspective.  So be it.

 

:bye:

 

 

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Not knowing, or being unable to know, leaves the default of either untrue or don't care...for me.  I can't know, given current info, whether exodus really happened as claimed.  Therefor i reject the claim.

 

A claim is not true until disproven...it is true when proven, to me.

Edited by cuchulain

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26 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

Not knowing, or being unable to know, leaves the default of either untrue or don't care...for me.  I can't know, given current info, whether exodus really happened as claimed.  Therefor i reject the claim.

 

A claim is not true until disproven...it is true when proven, to me.

 

 

I prefer a default of don't care.  Life is too short, for arguments about meta-physics.  Even the questions are meaningless.  In the end, it's about faith and belief.  There is no arguing with either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, cuchulain said:

[...] A claim is not true until disproven...it is true when proven, to me.

 

A very healthy attitude. I can only concur 100%!

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

I prefer a default of don't care.  Life is too short, for arguments about meta-physics.  Even the questions are meaningless.  In the end, it's about faith and belief.  There is no arguing with either.

 

This is not entirely true. If we look at historically the most important meta-physical question: Why are we here? What is our purpose? et cetera...

 

There is a lot of empirical research and evidence that supports some answers:

- we should support our environment;

- we should have some practical goal to work towards;

- we should take good care of ourselves and the environment;

- et cetera...

 

 

Edited by RevBogovac

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3 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

This is not entirely true. If we look at historically the most important meta-physical question: Why are we here? What is our purpose? et cetera...

 

There is a lot of empirical research and evidence that supports some answers:

- we should support our environment;

- we should have some practical goal to work towards;

- we should take good care of ourselves and the environment;

- et cetera...

 

 

 

 

The examples that you cite are not meta-physics.  They are philosophy.  The utility of philosophy -- rhymes with futility ---- should have it's own thread.

 

In my opinion, meta-physics should only be resorted to, when regular physics -- such as prune juice and fiber -- fail.

 

:whist:

 

Seriously.  When the non-believer says that, the Creation story in Genesis is silly -- what is the standard response?  Oh yeah?  Then where did everything come from?"  Meta-physics.  An affliction and a waste of time.

 

:whist:

 

 

"You ask -- ""Why are we here?"  I'm here, because my parents had sex.

 

:whist:

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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I think that sometimes questions about one thing can inadvertantly lead to answers about another, and sometimes the answer for metaphysical inquiries might not be knowable at the time they are asked but later are shown(because it was asked and investigated) to have natural, reasonable non metaphysical cause.  I can't help but consider the ever diminished 'god of the gaps' and Bill O'Reilly spouting about the unexplained things like the tide and not knowing how it works...

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3 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I think that sometimes questions about one thing can inadvertantly lead to answers about another, and sometimes the answer for metaphysical inquiries might not be knowable at the time they are asked but later are shown(because it was asked and investigated) to have natural, reasonable non metaphysical cause.  I can't help but consider the ever diminished 'god of the gaps' and Bill O'Reilly spouting about the unexplained things like the tide and not knowing how it works...

 

 

Whenever religion is under discussion, there is a mountain of invisible assumptions.  One of my favorites.  "God gives us free will."  No.  God does no such thing.  Free will is not given.  It is asserted.  Or discovered.  Or seized.  Free will is not a gift.  It's a choice.

 

"What is my purpose in life?"  Seriously?  People want an outside agency, to tell them, what their purpose is?"  Why?  It is up to the individual, to decide their purpose for themselves.  Or learn to live with out it.  I have lived with some wonderful cats.  They were happy, most of the time.  They loved and were loved in return.  They enjoyed their food, their play, their exercise and their sleep.  By my standards, they had successful lives.  Then they died, as all flesh does.  Did they need a purpose?  No.

 

As Atheists, we like to do our own thinking.  But oh -- those invisible religious assumptions.  It's so easy to slip back into a religious mind set -- and never see it.

 

Why are we here?  Basic biology.  We were brought about by natural process.  Much like the Universe.

 

"God" is not an answer.  "God" answers nothing.

 

:whist:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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

The examples that you cite are not meta-physics.  They are philosophy.  The utility of philosophy -- rhymes with futility ---- should have it's own thread. [...]

 

Ehhhh... I quote: "Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality" and especially "although metaphysics as a philosophical enterprise is highly hypothetical, it also has practical application in most other branches of philosophy, science, and now also information technology"... "Ontology", "Identity and change" being "Central questions"...

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5 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Ehhhh... I quote: "Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines

 

the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between

 

mind and matter,

 

between substance and attribute, and between

 

potentiality and actuality" and especially "although metaphysics as a philosophical enterprise is highly hypothetical, it also has practical application in most other branches of philosophy, science, and now also information technology"... "Ontology", "Identity and change" being "Central questions"...

 

 

Alright.  The Fundamental Nature of Reality.  Quantum Mechanics has been informative.  Cosmology, certainly.  We are not the center of the Universe.  Geology informs us of the Earth's core.  It's not Hell.  The space probes have not crashed into the Firmament.  We have a world view that did not come from philosophy.

 

Mind and Matter.  Neuro-biology has been interesting.  The structure, chemistry, cellular structure, synaptic structure, etc. of the brain.  No answers yet, on the nature of consciousness.  What useful answers -- demonstrated to be true -- have come from philosophy?

 

Between substance and attribute:  Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Physics.

 

Potentiality and Actuality:  Chemistry and Physics.

 

Ontology?  I had to look that up.  "The branch of philosophy that deals with being."  :blink:     :sigh2:

 

Alright.  What useful anything -- That has been demonstrated to be true -- has come from Ontology?  That really puts the physic in meta-physics.  IMO.  The prime force behind Ontology, is arguing about God.

 

I think that Science needs to be informed, by Philosophic questions of right and wrong.  Questions of values and ethics mean something.  "What is the good life?"  Such questions are important without having objective answers.  Such questions guide actions.  Metaphysics?  Good for keeping students up late at night arguing.  Good for Pot sales.  Good for You Tube videos.  Good for book sales.  Anything that matters?  No.  IMO

 

:whist:

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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

[...] Metaphysics?  [...] Good for [...]  Anything that matters?  No.  IMO

 

:whist:

 

Aren't you contradicting yourself? Or maybe something gets lost in translation... ? (Sorry English isn't my native language.)

 

But you just summed up a bunch of questions/fields that are part of metaphysics and provided us with clear and empirical answers to some important metaphysical questions...

 

 Sure, the "hardcore" meta-physics aren't good for anything that matters (at the moment?). But we're getting further every (little?) step... 

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1 hour ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Aren't you contradicting yourself? Or maybe something gets lost in translation... ? (Sorry English isn't my native language.)

 

But you just summed up a bunch of questions/fields that are part of metaphysics and provided us with clear and empirical answers to some important metaphysical questions...

 

 Sure, the "hardcore" meta-physics aren't good for anything that matters (at the moment?). But we're getting further every (little?) step... 

 

 

I was making an attempt at humor.  It's an old usage, but a physic is something that fights constipation.  Like prune juice.  So it follows, that a meta physic is something stronger than a regular physic.  Something that will remove all fecal matter from the colon.

 

I thought a bit of humor/levity would help an overly serious topic.  Well, I tried.

 

Ignoring my failed attempt at comedy -- what has metaphysics done for Humanity?  What potential good, can come from meta-physics?  By my standards, the mind of Man is still full of crap.  :birgits_giggle::lol::rofl:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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

[...] I was making an attempt at humor.  It's an old usage, but a physic is something that fights constipation.  Like prune juice.  So it follows, that a meta physic is something stronger than a regular physic.  Something that will remove all fecal matter from the colon.

 

I thought a bit of humor/levity would help an overly serious topic.  Well, I tried. [...]

 

Ah, sorry... definitely "lost in translation"...

 

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

[...] what has metaphysics done for Humanity?  What potential good, can come from meta-physics?  By my standards, the mind of Man is still full of crap.  :birgits_giggle::lol::rofl:

 

Smal steps... you can't empty a sceptic tank with one scoop of a shovel. But if we keep shovelling... it just feels sometimes like the ** is pouring in faster than we can shovel it out...

 

But to me, personally, it feels really good that social studies have empirically proven some basic ingredients that "full-fill" people's lives (more than believing in fairy tales and waiting to die): sense of belonging to a community, having a loving family/friends, a day-filling (either voluntary, hobby or paid job) that gives accomplishment/makes the world a better place,  et cetera... smal steps, real answers.

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4 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Ah, sorry... definitely "lost in translation"...

 

 

Smal steps... you can't empty a sceptic tank with one scoop of a shovel. But if we keep shovelling... it just feels sometimes like the ** is pouring in faster than we can shovel it out...

 

But to me, personally, it feels really good that social studies have empirically proven some basic ingredients that "full-fill" people's lives (more than believing in fairy tales and waiting to die): sense of belonging to a community, having a loving family/friends, a day-filling (either voluntary, hobby or paid job) that gives accomplishment/makes the world a better place,  et cetera... smal steps, real answers.

 

 

Religious Christians know well enough, that the Norse gods are mythology  -- that the Greek gods are mythology.  Their God is different.  Their God is real.  So they talk to their invisible friend.  Worse, they expect the rest of us, to be afraid of their invisible friend.  None of this is metaphysics.  It's culture.

 

Even Atheists, fall into the trap, of talking about evidence.  Who looks for evidence, that Thor is running around with his Hammer?  We get stuck talking about evidence for God.  It comes down to emotion.  God beliefs are about culture and emotion, with invisible assumptions.  Not so much about facts.

 

:whist:

 

 

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On 5/24/2019 at 3:02 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

Religious Christians know well enough, that the Norse gods are mythology  -- that the Greek gods are mythology.  Their God is different.  Their God is real.  So they talk to their invisible friend.  Worse, they expect the rest of us, to be afraid of their invisible friend.  None of this is metaphysics.  It's culture.

 

Even Atheists, fall into the trap, of talking about evidence.  Who looks for evidence, that Thor is running around with his Hammer?  We get stuck talking about evidence for God.  It comes down to emotion.  God beliefs are about culture and emotion, with invisible assumptions.  Not so much about facts.

 

:whist:

 

 

 

 

True, but empirical studies of metaphysics do help us (all) to advance further away from religions that provide people with a certain "function"... e.g. if we know what gives our lives (measurable) sense of "belonging" or "fulfilment" the need for fairy tales to do so gets less...

 

 

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2 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

 

True, but empirical studies of metaphysics do help us (all) to advance further away from religions that provide people with a certain "function"... e.g. if we know what gives our lives (measurable) sense of "belonging" or "fulfilment" the need for fairy tales to do so gets less...

 

 

 

 

A thoughtful response.  Still, I don't think you have -- yet -- made your case.  Are you talking philosophy, in the manner of David Hume?  Perhaps psychology or sociology?  Anthropology?  None of this is metaphysics.  They all deal with fullfilment, belonging, needs and values.  In what way does metaphysics, make a real contribution?  Perhaps we mean something different, by metaphysics?

 

 

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

 

 

A thoughtful response.  Still, I don't think you have -- yet -- made your case.  Are you talking philosophy, in the manner of David Hume?  Perhaps psychology or sociology?  Anthropology?  None of this is metaphysics.  They all deal with fullfilment, belonging, needs and values.  In what way does metaphysics, make a real contribution?  Perhaps we mean something different, by metaphysics?

 

 

 

Probably... It's hard (for me) to have a deep (enough) discussion in a third language... but as I quoted before:

 

On 5/22/2019 at 9:54 AM, RevBogovac said:

[...] "Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality" and especially "although metaphysics as a philosophical enterprise is highly hypothetical, it also has practical application in most other branches of philosophy, science, and now also information technology"... "Ontology", "Identity and change" being "Central questions"...

 

So yes, again;

 

On 5/23/2019 at 2:22 PM, RevBogovac said:

[...] Sure, the "hardcore" meta-physics aren't good for anything that matters (at the moment?). But we're getting further every (little?) step... 

 

Distinguising between the "hardcore" and more practical appliance of metaphysics as a branch of philosophy...

 

PS I personally find Hume a bit too extreme and have always been inclined to a fundamental Aristotelian "golden mean"...

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4 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

 

Probably... It's hard (for me) to have a deep (enough) discussion in a third language... but as I quoted before:

 

 

So yes, again;

 

 

Distinguising between the "hardcore" and more practical appliance of metaphysics as a branch of philosophy...

 

PS I personally find Hume a bit too extreme and have always been inclined to a fundamental Aristotelian "golden mean"...

 

 

There is overlap in the fields of Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.  Between them, I think the study of needs and values is covered.  What does metaphysics offer; that these fields of study do not?

 

You have defined metaphysics.  That does not mean that metaphysics, has a monopoly on needs and values.  I think that these needs and values are better met in other places.  In Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

There is overlap in the fields of Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.  Between them, I think the study of needs and values is covered.  What does metaphysics offer; that these fields of study do not?

 

You have defined metaphysics.  That does not mean that metaphysics, has a monopoly on needs and values.  I think that these needs and values are better met in other places.  In Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology.

 

That's basically what I meant. You could see it like this: some questions social studies (like Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology) study are economical in nature, some are meta-physical in nature and other - for instance - historical...

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23 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

That's basically what I meant. You could see it like this: some questions social studies (like Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology) study are economical in nature, some are meta-physical in nature and other - for instance - historical...

 

 

For the sake of clarity -- could you give an example of metaphysics being helpful?  More helpful than the social sciences?  

 

In fairness, I could be overlooking something obvious.  I'm still not seeing it.

 

:mellow:

 

 

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