bornagainathiest

Something For The Dude : Limited Vs Complete Understanding

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Oh... and for the sake of transparency, honesty and full declaration, I did go off on a tangent Duderonomy.

 

I mistook what you said to Josh about 'Frickin Popes!' and what you said to me about lobbying.

 

I mistook these things to be politically motivated.

 

I mistakenly thought you were trying to politicize things.

 

My bad. 

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Of course my jumping on your confusion statement was a plug to hammer down the real problem behind the direction you tried taking. I don't know if your questions are just playing devils advocate or what? I took them in that sense (of devils advocate) and went for the throat of the direction you proposed for the sake of everyone reading, and of course for your own sake if you weren't simply playing devils advocate. In that event, then yes, these are some of the problems you would face by raising the questions you've raised. 

 

I know you're not a newbie. You've probably been here a hell of a lot longer than me. But have you been deconverted for over 25 years? I only mean to voice the thoughts of a very old deconvert in comparison to most people on this site (since 91') who's gone around, and around, and around with issues of religion and science for a pretty long time now. Again, these thoughts are for you (if necessary) and also any one reading. It's good to know what to expect when raising certain questions about science and religion and trying to make certain claims. I think it's healthy to know where these paths lead. Unless people prefer being blindsided when they come up against someone who thinks in similar ways to what I'm voicing. 

 

If we're to end the discussion then I'll leave it with this: (1) the human condition is one of limited understanding and (2) that in no way puts science and religion on equal ground, (3) because the understanding of religious views is far more limited than the understanding of scientific views. There are levels of limited understanding where some levels, such as religion, rank very low and poor and much more limited in understanding than other ways. While other ways such as science, rank as the highest levels of understanding we can currently attain. This summary is firm and provable via all of the available evidence we have on religion and science and how they each rank in terms of how limited each of their understandings actually are. 

 

The end. 

 

*drops mic, exit's stage...*

 

Josh,

 

It's too bad you dropped the mic and left the stage.  You've been comparing science with religion and that made me think of a question. 

If science covers the natural and never ever covers the supernatural (i.e. spiritual/other-worldly/ooky spooky/paranormal/soulish, life after death-ish stuff) then how is it that science can be considered an authority on such things?

It would seem that the honest answer is that it can't be considered an authority on such things at all, so using science to show that there is no afterlife or that there is no 'God' or that there is nothing beyond the material world we see is futile.

It's not within the remit or the realm of science to explain such things, so such things aren't studied. Is is any of science's business then to try to be an authority on things that it admittedly knows nothing about? 

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Josh,

 

It's too bad you dropped the mic and left the stage.  You've been comparing science with religion and that made me think of a question. 

If science covers the natural and never ever covers the supernatural (i.e. spiritual/other-worldly/ooky spooky/paranormal/soulish, life after death-ish stuff) then how is it that science can be considered an authority on such things?

It would seem that the honest answer is that it can't be considered an authority on such things at all, so using science to show that there is no afterlife or that there is no 'God' or that there is nothing beyond the material world we see is futile.

It's not within the remit or the realm of science to explain such things, so such things aren't studied. Is is any of science's business then to try to be an authority on things that it admittedly knows nothing about? 

 

I may now be just as confused about this whole thing as BAA seems to be. I dropped that mic because you asked me too. I'll cut it off and leave it alone at your request, I'm easy. But if you want me to continue exploring, I can do that too. It's all fine by me. 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The reason I've engaged the issue this long is simply because it's an interesting topic to consider. You've come up with good challenging questions that many people may have. 

 

This is good because you've come forward with something very clear that we can consider against the position you've taken about science and religion. I don't think this is jockeying for position as much as maybe fight training or something like that. You throw some hit, it either lands or it doesn't. Something can be learned from it. That goes for anyone.

 

I do have thought about these things. And in that thought process I've sought the foundations of these ideas, about supernatural assertions.

 

Where do they come from, the ideas of the existence of the supernatural? 

 

They come from the human mind and the mythologizing process. According to Campbell the entire issue of supernatural imagery in mythology is metaphor. And to literalize it, is to misunderstand it. So the very assertion of anything supernatural has that foundational flaw right away from the get go. 

 

Moving further, it's not the job of science nor atheism to show that there is no afterlife, ghosts and goblins, fairies wearing boots, or that there is no anything. It's the job of those making the positive claims of the existence of such things to then substantiate their positive claims. That's all there is to it. Science doesn't have to show that there's no Santa Claus, no God, and no Afterlife either. All of these ideas and assertions come from the exact same place, the human mind at work mythologizing. 

 

So now to authority.

 

What authority do any religions have on any of these things?

 

What ever authority they assert is ultimately meaningless because they themselves can not meet any of the burden of proof requirements for the supernatural claims they are making, claims which are made by misreading their own myths as literally true. I'm speaking out a very concise perspective coming from a multi-disciplinary range of topics. Not everyone may be aware of each of these dynamics at play. So it's good to voice it out. Genesis, for instance, is not literally true by any stretch of the imagination. The whole bible falls in behind this understanding. The same with other cultures myths. That can be demonstrated time and again. 

 

We have absolutely no reason to assert anything supernatural outside of taking folklore and mythology literally.

 

Science has shown things such as what germs are. What sickness really is, aside from thinking that it's evil spirits, thinking that it's something literally true from mythology.

 

The afterlife is actually no different.

 

And I suspect that's what all of this is about. You have to take it on faith, that's it. And it's faith based on wishful thinking. My advice is not to cling to supernatural assertions like afterlife, as just a natural part of the deconversion process. I like to think of it as manning up (or womenning up) and facing death with acceptance and integrity. Maybe something goes on, maybe it doesn't. But why not assume it does not and come to a place of accepting life on those terms? Those are good terms to come to. Those terms can throw off any chains or shackles that may remain on you, from religion. I don't see this as a threat to the possibility that something could go on after perceivable death. It just stops that possibility, no matter how remote, from being a mental crutch in someones mind. 

 

If the whole duration of these 8 pages has been nothing more than you resisting everything BAA and I have been saying in favor of putting science way ahead of religion, because you fancy the possibility of an afterlife of some type, and see our thinking as a threat to that possibility, then everything that didn't make sense so far makes much more sense now. And devils advocate or otherwise, I think it's been a good exercise all the same. This is a great consideration to go through. And I think it could help a lot of people to over come a certain hurdle in the deconversion process. I think, that it's perfectly alright for people to voice this kind of struggle where science is viewed as poo pooing the possibility of some kind of afterlife. 

 

It seems that science currently suffers a lot of resistance from the general public for this very reason. 

 

But going deeper into it, the only aspect of ourselves concerned with living forever, is basically the ego. The ego consciousness of a human being generally doesn't want to flash out of existence, doesn't seem to like the thought of that. It's not satisfied with rejoining the whole from whence it came, it seems to want much more. And the human ego appears to have conjured up elaborate myths about living forever, ghosts and spirits, paranormal, etc., etc. It doesn't seem to be anything more than our current state of consciousness dealing with the issue of knowledge of it's own mortality, and longing to think that the end is not the end. 

 

That may seem like one hell of an easy, broad range dismissal of all things supernatural. And it is. 

 

But I'll add that if we were to be as spiritual as humanly possible, we then necessarily have to recognize symbolism as symbolism. In deeply spiritual circles, literalism dissolves. There's no reason to even buck against science about supernatural imagery from the more in depth levels.  And guys like Sam Harris understand this well. As did Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts and a number of very knowledgeable teachers of mythological and spiritual traditions. We've been discussing this very thing in the spirituality section. Deep spiritual insight begins to take on a lack of belief in the literal existence of the gods. And in comparison to these deeper spiritual insights, christian spiritual ideas are actually very bottom rung level when it comes to the possible scope and depth of human spirituality. In some ways they're hardly even spiritual at all. 

 

This gives some more depth to my previous assertions about the place of science and religion, and religion being out as a contender when it comes to describing reality.

 

Religion is really only supposed to keep you in touch with the mystery of your own existence, that's about it. That's all it can do by way of it's metaphorical language. To go further, is to go too far. The truth is that we arise from what remains absolute mystery and then we return again, to the mystery of it all. But many people apparently aren't satisfied with just leaving it at that, at the only factual truth of the matter. And then comes hostile attitudes towards science and the rest of it....

 

It's not only unscientific to take that direction, but it's ultimately un-spiritual too. Spiritual, would be understanding that religions do not in any way describe a real and literal supernatural reality interwoven with the visible reality of everyday life. A very denotative, non-spiritual idea would be to assert that the supernatural imagery found in myths and folklore is hard fact. 

 

And that's the real kick in the nuts that religions take in all of this....

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Oh... and for the sake of transparency, honesty and full declaration, I did go off on a tangent Duderonomy.

 

I mistook what you said to Josh about 'Frickin Popes!' and what you said to me about lobbying.

 

I mistook these things to be politically motivated.

 

I mistakenly thought you were trying to politicize things.

 

My bad. 

 

Duderonomy,

 

I noticed that you 'Liked' what I'd written here.

Thanks for that.  In this thread I've tried very hard to be as upfront, forthcoming and transparent as possible.  I've also tried not to be obstructive or confrontational.  When I found myself straying into that kind of behavior I backtracked and undone it all.  Where I've been asked to simply explain something or to give my word that I had no hidden agenda, I've done these things.  Now, in this spirit of openness and cooperation I'd like to offer something else to you - something to do with the mistake I made about you.  

 

Because I've struggled to understand your p.o.v. and your reasoning, I erroneously concluded that politics must have been behind them. 

To be frank, I've struggled for most of this thread and still don't know where you're coming from.  However, now that I know there's no political agenda involved in your posts, I can rule that possibility out.  Yes, I still don't understand, but I do realize and recognize that politics plays no part of your input here.  So far, so good.

 

What's on offer from me today is this.

While I was under the misapprehension that you were politicking, I decided to check with the Mods about politics in the Science vs Religion sub-forum.  I wrote a short message with some questions to them, just before the whole forum went down and then received their reply just after it came back online.  So, for the sake of transparency and full declaration between us, would you like to see my questions and the response to them? 

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

 

 

 

 

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... I decided to check with the Mods about politics in the Science vs Religion sub-forum.  I wrote a short message with some questions to them, just before the whole forum went down and then received their reply just after it came back online.  So, for the sake of transparency and full declaration between us, would you like to see my questions and the response to them? 

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

 

 

 

 

 

Please see the "Discussion of Moderation" section of the Guidelines.  Do not publicly disclose any PMs. 

 

 

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Please see the "Discussion of Moderation" section of the Guidelines.  Do not publicly disclose any PMs. 

 

 

 

Ah... ok buffetphan.

 

Sorry 'bout that.

 

If Duderonomy and I do this via PM that'll be ok?

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You will need to get permission from all those involved in the PMs.

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You will need to get permission from those involved in the PM.

 

Oh well... I guess I'll just wait and see if Duderonomy actually want to know.

 

If so I'll do exactly as you instruct, buffetphan.

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

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^^Sounds good.  Thanks, BAA  :3:

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I may now be just as confused about this whole thing as BAA seems to be. I dropped that mic because you asked me too. I'll cut it off and leave it alone at your request, I'm easy. But if you want me to continue exploring, I can do that too. It's all fine by me. 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The reason I've engaged the issue this long is simply because it's an interesting topic to consider. You've come up with good challenging questions that many people may have. 

 

This is good because you've come forward with something very clear that we can consider against the position you've taken about science and religion. I don't think this is jockeying for position as much as maybe fight training or something like that. You throw some hit, it either lands or it doesn't. Something can be learned from it. That goes for anyone.

 

I do have thought about these things. And in that thought process I've sought the foundations of these ideas, about supernatural assertions.

 

Where do they come from, the ideas of the existence of the supernatural? 

 

They come from the human mind and the mythologizing process. According to Campbell the entire issue of supernatural imagery in mythology is metaphor. And to literalize it, is to misunderstand it. So the very assertion of anything supernatural has that foundational flaw right away from the get go. 

 

Moving further, it's not the job of science nor atheism to show that there is no afterlife, ghosts and goblins, fairies wearing boots, or that there is no anything. It's the job of those making the positive claims of the existence of such things to then substantiate their positive claims. That's all there is to it. Science doesn't have to show that there's no Santa Claus, no God, and no Afterlife either. All of these ideas and assertions come from the exact same place, the human mind at work mythologizing. 

 

So now to authority.

 

What authority do any religions have on any of these things?

 

What ever authority they assert is ultimately meaningless because they themselves can not meet any of the burden of proof requirements for the supernatural claims they are making, claims which are made by misreading their own myths as literally true. I'm speaking out a very concise perspective coming from a multi-disciplinary range of topics. Not everyone may be aware of each of these dynamics at play. So it's good to voice it out. Genesis, for instance, is not literally true by any stretch of the imagination. The whole bible falls in behind this understanding. The same with other cultures myths. That can be demonstrated time and again. 

 

We have absolutely no reason to assert anything supernatural outside of taking folklore and mythology literally.

 

Science has shown things such as what germs are. What sickness really is, aside from thinking that it's evil spirits, thinking that it's something literally true from mythology.

 

The afterlife is actually no different.

 

And I suspect that's what all of this is about. You have to take it on faith, that's it. And it's faith based on wishful thinking. My advice is not to cling to supernatural assertions like afterlife, as just a natural part of the deconversion process. I like to think of it as manning up (or womenning up) and facing death with acceptance and integrity. Maybe something goes on, maybe it doesn't. But why not assume it does not and come to a place of accepting life on those terms? Those are good terms to come to. Those terms can throw off any chains or shackles that may remain on you, from religion. I don't see this as a threat to the possibility that something could go on after perceivable death. It just stops that possibility, no matter how remote, from being a mental crutch in someones mind. 

 

If the whole duration of these 8 pages has been nothing more than you resisting everything BAA and I have been saying in favor of putting science way ahead of religion, because you fancy the possibility of an afterlife of some type, and see our thinking as a threat to that possibility, then everything that didn't make sense so far makes much more sense now. And devils advocate or otherwise, I think it's been a good exercise all the same. This is a great consideration to go through. And I think it could help a lot of people to over come a certain hurdle in the deconversion process. I think, that it's perfectly alright for people to voice this kind of struggle where science is viewed as poo pooing the possibility of some kind of afterlife. 

 

It seems that science currently suffers a lot of resistance from the general public for this very reason. 

 

But going deeper into it, the only aspect of ourselves concerned with living forever, is basically the ego. The ego consciousness of a human being generally doesn't want to flash out of existence, doesn't seem to like the thought of that. It's not satisfied with rejoining the whole from whence it came, it seems to want much more. And the human ego appears to have conjured up elaborate myths about living forever, ghosts and spirits, paranormal, etc., etc. It doesn't seem to be anything more than our current state of consciousness dealing with the issue of knowledge of it's own mortality, and longing to think that the end is not the end. 

 

That may seem like one hell of an easy, broad range dismissal of all things supernatural. And it is. 

 

But I'll add that if we were to be as spiritual as humanly possible, we then necessarily have to recognize symbolism as symbolism. In deeply spiritual circles, literalism dissolves. There's no reason to even buck against science about supernatural imagery from the more in depth levels.  And guys like Sam Harris understand this well. As did Joseph Campbell, Alan Watts and a number of very knowledgeable teachers of mythological and spiritual traditions. We've been discussing this very thing in the spirituality section. Deep spiritual insight begins to take on a lack of belief in the literal existence of the gods. And in comparison to these deeper spiritual insights, christian spiritual ideas are actually very bottom rung level when it comes to the possible scope and depth of human spirituality. In some ways they're hardly even spiritual at all. 

 

This gives some more depth to my previous assertions about the place of science and religion, and religion being out as a contender when it comes to describing reality.

 

Religion is really only supposed to keep you in touch with the mystery of your own existence, that's about it. That's all it can do by way of it's metaphorical language. To go further, is to go too far. The truth is that we arise from what remains absolute mystery and then we return again, to the mystery of it all. But many people apparently aren't satisfied with just leaving it at that, at the only factual truth of the matter. And then comes hostile attitudes towards science and the rest of it....

 

It's not only unscientific to take that direction, but it's ultimately un-spiritual too. Spiritual, would be understanding that religions do not in any way describe a real and literal supernatural reality interwoven with the visible reality of everyday life. A very denotative, non-spiritual idea would be to assert that the supernatural imagery found in myths and folklore is hard fact. 

 

And that's the real kick in the nuts that religions take in all of this....

 

Josh,

 

You wrote a lot and I can't respond to everything you said at once. The whole idea of me saying you dropped the mic too soon was that I don't want you to leave the discussion. 

Frankly, I only have limited time here lately and it's hard for me to remember where we left off when I get back. I did pick this out of your post and I hope it isn't out of context.

You said:

"Where do they come from, the ideas of the existence of the supernatural? 

"They come from the human mind and the mythologizing process. According to Campbell the entire issue of supernatural imagery in mythology is metaphor. And to literalize it, is to misunderstand it. So the very assertion of anything supernatural has that foundational flaw right away from the get go. 

"Moving further, it's not the job of science nor atheism to show that there is no afterlife, ghosts and goblins, fairies wearing boots, or that there is no anything. It's the job of those making the positive claims of the existence of such things to then substantiate their positive claims. That's all there is to it. Science doesn't have to show that there's no Santa Claus, no God, and no Afterlife either. All of these ideas and assertions come from the exact same place, the human mind at work mythologizing."

 

My question is, how do you know that this is true? You make an assertion, but can you show it by scientific evidence?  Can science show that there is no God? Is this Campell fellow an expert that has seen both life and death or is he just giving his opinion like you are? Why should I give his testimony more weight than the Apostle Paul's? 

 

If it isn't the job of science to show that there is no God like you say, then science has no business saying that there isn't one. How would science know that something doesn't exist if they have never looked for it? How would science know that the God idea comes from the human mind when it doesn't yet know how the human mind works? 

 

Ugh! So much more...but so little time just now.

 

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Oh well... I guess I'll just wait and see if Duderonomy actually want to know.

 

If so I'll do exactly as you instruct, buffetphan.

 

Thanks,

 

BAA.

 

BAA, 

 

I love Margee, but I have to admit that when Buffettphan types in red, it turns me on a little and I've told her so. Does that make me bad? 

 

In the meantime, I'm not ignoring you but I did respond to Josh but not your last post to me. Sorry. For what it's worth, I couldn't come up with snappy and esoteric answers to your questions.

 

I'm not sure what the PM stuff you mentioned is all about, but of course you are free to PM me at any time. I, like you, treat PM's as sacred and secret here.

I'll leave it to your good judgement and your good intentions if you want to post any PM's between you and anyone else, so long as they also approve. 

 

BAA, it's very hard for me to have a discussion like this with the little time I have these days. I'm sure you remember when I could post everyday, and I know there isn't a deadline or other time constraint here as you've said, but please don't think I don't take this seriously. 

 

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My question is, how do you know that this is true? You make an assertion, but can you show it by scientific evidence?  Can science show that there is no God? Is this Campell fellow an expert that has seen both life and death or is he just giving his opinion like you are? Why should I give his testimony more weight than the Apostle Paul's? 
 

 

 

@duderonomy 

 

How do I know that all religions today are based on ancient myths? It's a matter of scholarship. And I pointed to comparative world mythology and religion scholar Joseph Campbell as an example of mythology as metaphor. That comes from biology, psychology, mythology and religion. He didn't make it up, he was a teacher teaching and building upon a long line of scholarship before him. The evidence, shows how primitive and ancient mythology got started. There were bear cults, death rituals began at some point in the historical record. You can see where humans began to express spiritual and religious ideas and it basically starts out with animism and nature worship. The idea of divinities in nature. Then over time changes began to appear into the historical record. People began to think that supernatural forces beyond nature exist that created nature. It took a long time for people to start getting into the transcendent god ideas that people are familiar with today. They were much later down the evolutionary scale. And everything we see and hear of today even further down the scale having been layered, cross mixed between cultures, built upon more and more, etc. etc. This is what the available evidence outlines. 

 

Does solid scholarship have more weight than the apostle Paul, quite frankly, yes. Paul is the subject matter of completely baseless religious assertions, some quite frankly very ignorant in scope and depth. Once again, it's not as if we have two options, one being Paul and the other being an entire body of solid scholarship and each are standing shoulder to shoulder with one another. 

 

What you're doing is a type of straw man approach over and over again. It's also a little wave of the hand dismissive towards science, and unnecessarily I might add in both cases. 

 

 

If it isn't the job of science to show that there is no God like you say, then science has no business saying that there isn't one. How would science know that something doesn't exist if they have never looked for it? How would science know that the God idea comes from the human mind when it doesn't yet know how the human mind works? 

 

Here you have science hanging like a straw man from a tree, swinging away at it. 

 

Science doesn't show that there isn't a god, quite simply. All science does is show how things work based on the available evidence. It's not a religious venture, and that's something that you seem to keep confusing. Has science said that there is no god? And if so, where has science made this bold claim? 

 

This is something that gets discussed around here a lot. No one can claim that no gods exist, and that seems to be pretty well known. Because no one can prove a negative. No one can claim that no fairies wearing boots exist, either. Nor can any one claim that no pink unicorns or celestial teapots exist somewhere out there, perhaps transcendent of our observations.

 

So now where did these ideas I've just listed, which no one can prove don't exist, come from? 

 

Did someone make up these assertions, fairies wearing boots, a pink unicorn, or celestial teapot? 

 

Do these ideas exist in society because they're literally true, and people have seen them or had a personal revelation of their existence, or simply because they're of the realm of human imagination and creativity? 

 

Do we need to know every aspect of how the human mind works, scientifically, in order to understand that human beings have made up ideas such as fairies wearing boots, pink unicorns, or a celestial teapot? And that it's more than obvious that these ideas are made up? It's special pleading to treat the bible and any other mythology any different than the above. 

 

Major point #1

 

What this all boils down it is what I've been saying all along. Mythologies do not tell us literally how the world came into existence. They can't. No one was there to see or know how the world came into existence. And the claims that mythologies make about how the world came into existence contradict reality, the fossil and geological records, and the available evidence. They can be dismissed based on certain important aspects, such as 3 days taking place without the existence of the sun with respect to the judeo-christian mythological traditions. The gods of the bible, for instance, shown to be pagan gods which over time were changed and shifted to read as if it were talking about one single creator god the entire time. The gods that we have to choose from, are demonstrably constructs of the human imagination which started simple and became more complex over time and evolution. Coming out of more primitive mythologies before them. These changes are all documented in scholarship and the historical records. 

 

And major point #2.

 

Even to the extent of being able to show mythological gods as human oriented constructs, that doesn't go so far as to prove that no gods could exist anywhere out there beyond our observable capabilities. It just shows that whatever gods might exist out there somewhere, apparently have left no trace of their existence even to the extent that there's no religious or mythological traditions on earth that properly represent them in any substantial way. So it's a complete mystery in that case, when it comes to the existence of any gods. It's up to the people claiming that gods do exist, to prove that. It's not up to science to prove that they do not. 

 

If we assume that some of the original gods were real, then we're looking at alien like creatures coming down from the stars somewhere. That's what the old Sumerian, and Egyptian pantheons would appear to be if taken literally. And if that were the case, it's not really gods that we're even talking about, but advanced life forms visiting our planet. In the end it's not even gods that we'd be talking about in the case tracing back to the original pantheons and taking them literally. 

 

And that only goes back as far as Sumerian and the earliest cultures pantheons. There's still primitive mythology and animism before all that polytheism. So going looking for gods we find possible alien visits, shamanic people thinking divinities live within nature itself before that. And further back we eventually get down to no trace of any belief's at all. All of this was mix and matched, built upon over and over again, and eventually pantheons were narrowed down to one tribal deity through apparent and obvious political religious ventures that are well known by scholars. That's who we come to the god of the bible. Way, way, down the line. 

 

The argument that no one can claim gods don't exist does nothing to bolster or flatter the biblical god. It actually crushes it. Because it forces us to go through this long history of what we do know about gods, which, destroys the biblical god tradition and any credibility that anyone may have thought it had, due to a lack of knowledge and understanding about the subject matter in question. 

 

 

 

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BAA, 

 

I love Margee, but I have to admit that when Buffettphan types in red, it turns me on a little and I've told her so. Does that make me bad? 

 

No.  You're not a bad person, Duderonomy.

 

 

 

In the meantime, I'm not ignoring you but I did respond to Josh but not your last post to me. Sorry. For what it's worth, I couldn't come up with snappy and esoteric answers to your questions.

 

Not a problem.  

I'm beginning to think that you and I have said about as much as we can to each other here. (You concur?)  Mebbe you want to respond to Josh, whenever time permits?

 

 

 

I'm not sure what the PM stuff you mentioned is all about, but of course you are free to PM me at any time. I, like you, treat PM's as sacred and secret here.

I'll leave it to your good judgement and your good intentions if you want to post any PM's between you and anyone else, so long as they also approve. 

 

Ummm... well, if this thread is winding down, then I really don't see the point in opening up another tangent.  But if you think it isn't drawing to close, please lmk.

 

 

 

BAA, it's very hard for me to have a discussion like this with the little time I have these days. I'm sure you remember when I could post everyday, and I know there isn't a deadline or other time constraint here as you've said, but please don't think I don't take this seriously. 

 

 

Rest assured, your word is good enough for me, D.

 

Peace.

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Guys, 

 

I have such a limited time here lately. I appreciate all of the back and forth. As always, I learn a lot, and I have to think that sometimes people that seem to be sure of their own knowledge might learn from me as well. 

 

Josh, I have immense respect for your input and you are so often right, whether I readily admit it or not.  Note that I said so often, not always!

 

BAA,

 

To sum up my views on the OP,  you are correct that seeing things from more than one angle gives a better understanding.  For example, remember the bit about three blind men examining an elephant? One felt the legs and thought it was a tree, one felt the skinny tail and thought (whatever) and another felt blah blah blah.

But was it an elephant?  What if it was a Rhinoceros? 

Here's a link (that I haven't read all the way through) for what it's worth:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

 

I won't even go back into the "relative motion" of the celestial bodies.  :)

 

So for now, I can agree with you both that the best knowledge we have is the best knowledge we have, and I'm sure we all agree that we should always keep looking for more, and if we as a species are to survive we must consider all angles and search out whatever works.

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15 hours ago, duderonomy said:

Guys, 

 

I have such a limited time here lately. I appreciate all of the back and forth. As always, I learn a lot, and I have to think that sometimes people that seem to be sure of their own knowledge might learn from me as well. 

 

Josh, I have immense respect for your input and you are so often right, whether I readily admit it or not.  Note that I said so often, not always!

 

BAA,

 

To sum up my views on the OP,  you are correct that seeing things from more than one angle gives a better understanding.  For example, remember the bit about three blind men examining an elephant? One felt the legs and thought it was a tree, one felt the skinny tail and thought (whatever) and another felt blah blah blah.

But was it an elephant?  What if it was a Rhinoceros? 

Here's a link (that I haven't read all the way through) for what it's worth:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

 

I won't even go back into the "relative motion" of the celestial bodies.  :)

 

So for now, I can agree with you both that the best knowledge we have is the best knowledge we have, and I'm sure we all agree that we should always keep looking for more, and if we as a species are to survive we must consider all angles and search out whatever works.

 

Many thanks for this duderonomy.

 

:)

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On 8/2/2017 at 2:53 PM, bornagainathiest said:

 

Many thanks for this duderonomy.

 

:)

 

Many thanks for your input as well, BAA.  Maybe there's more to this? If all concerned have the time. I'm serious, but I admit I'm also having a bit of fun. What I'm not doing is just making stuff up to be difficult.

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On 7/8/2017 at 8:05 AM, Joshpantera said:

 

@duderonomy 

 

How do I know that all religions today are based on ancient myths? It's a matter of scholarship. And I pointed to comparative world mythology and religion scholar Joseph Campbell as an example of mythology as metaphor. That comes from biology, psychology, mythology and religion. He didn't make it up, he was a teacher teaching and building upon a long line of scholarship before him. The evidence, shows how primitive and ancient mythology got started. There were bear cults, death rituals began at some point in the historical record. You can see where humans began to express spiritual and religious ideas and it basically starts out with animism and nature worship. The idea of divinities in nature. Then over time changes began to appear into the historical record. People began to think that supernatural forces beyond nature exist that created nature. It took a long time for people to start getting into the transcendent god ideas that people are familiar with today. They were much later down the evolutionary scale. And everything we see and hear of today even further down the scale having been layered, cross mixed between cultures, built upon more and more, etc. etc. This is what the available evidence outlines. 

 

Does solid scholarship have more weight than the apostle Paul, quite frankly, yes. Paul is the subject matter of completely baseless religious assertions, some quite frankly very ignorant in scope and depth. Once again, it's not as if we have two options, one being Paul and the other being an entire body of solid scholarship and each are standing shoulder to shoulder with one another. 

 

What you're doing is a type of straw man approach over and over again. It's also a little wave of the hand dismissive towards science, and unnecessarily I might add in both cases. 

 

 

Here you have science hanging like a straw man from a tree, swinging away at it. 

 

Science doesn't show that there isn't a god, quite simply. All science does is show how things work based on the available evidence. It's not a religious venture, and that's something that you seem to keep confusing. Has science said that there is no god? And if so, where has science made this bold claim? 

 

This is something that gets discussed around here a lot. No one can claim that no gods exist, and that seems to be pretty well known. Because no one can prove a negative. No one can claim that no fairies wearing boots exist, either. Nor can any one claim that no pink unicorns or celestial teapots exist somewhere out there, perhaps transcendent of our observations.

 

So now where did these ideas I've just listed, which no one can prove don't exist, come from? 

 

Did someone make up these assertions, fairies wearing boots, a pink unicorn, or celestial teapot? 

 

Do these ideas exist in society because they're literally true, and people have seen them or had a personal revelation of their existence, or simply because they're of the realm of human imagination and creativity? 

 

Do we need to know every aspect of how the human mind works, scientifically, in order to understand that human beings have made up ideas such as fairies wearing boots, pink unicorns, or a celestial teapot? And that it's more than obvious that these ideas are made up? It's special pleading to treat the bible and any other mythology any different than the above. 

 

Major point #1

 

What this all boils down it is what I've been saying all along. Mythologies do not tell us literally how the world came into existence. They can't. No one was there to see or know how the world came into existence. And the claims that mythologies make about how the world came into existence contradict reality, the fossil and geological records, and the available evidence. They can be dismissed based on certain important aspects, such as 3 days taking place without the existence of the sun with respect to the judeo-christian mythological traditions. The gods of the bible, for instance, shown to be pagan gods which over time were changed and shifted to read as if it were talking about one single creator god the entire time. The gods that we have to choose from, are demonstrably constructs of the human imagination which started simple and became more complex over time and evolution. Coming out of more primitive mythologies before them. These changes are all documented in scholarship and the historical records. 

 

And major point #2.

 

Even to the extent of being able to show mythological gods as human oriented constructs, that doesn't go so far as to prove that no gods could exist anywhere out there beyond our observable capabilities. It just shows that whatever gods might exist out there somewhere, apparently have left no trace of their existence even to the extent that there's no religious or mythological traditions on earth that properly represent them in any substantial way. So it's a complete mystery in that case, when it comes to the existence of any gods. It's up to the people claiming that gods do exist, to prove that. It's not up to science to prove that they do not. 

 

If we assume that some of the original gods were real, then we're looking at alien like creatures coming down from the stars somewhere. That's what the old Sumerian, and Egyptian pantheons would appear to be if taken literally. And if that were the case, it's not really gods that we're even talking about, but advanced life forms visiting our planet. In the end it's not even gods that we'd be talking about in the case tracing back to the original pantheons and taking them literally. 

 

And that only goes back as far as Sumerian and the earliest cultures pantheons. There's still primitive mythology and animism before all that polytheism. So going looking for gods we find possible alien visits, shamanic people thinking divinities live within nature itself before that. And further back we eventually get down to no trace of any belief's at all. All of this was mix and matched, built upon over and over again, and eventually pantheons were narrowed down to one tribal deity through apparent and obvious political religious ventures that are well known by scholars. That's who we come to the god of the bible. Way, way, down the line. 

 

The argument that no one can claim gods don't exist does nothing to bolster or flatter the biblical god. It actually crushes it. Because it forces us to go through this long history of what we do know about gods, which, destroys the biblical god tradition and any credibility that anyone may have thought it had, due to a lack of knowledge and understanding about the subject matter in question. 

 

 

 

 

Josh,

 

This is a bit too long for me to respond to all of it. Not that I would disagree with all that you've said. What I just said to BAA goes for you as well!

 

Maybe the problem some folks have isn't that Science™ is claiming that there is no God, but that some 'scientists' claim that there is no God? How would a layman separate the two?

Scientists don't agree anymore than preachers do when it comes to 'God' or religious debates. Scholars often disagree as well. Where there is no solid knowledge of history, I tend to place the study of ancient history (or better, pre-history) in the same category as modern day Gender Studies.  That is, let's take what we now believe, and build our beliefs around it, replete with facts that may or may not be true facts. After all, one man's incomplete evidence is just as good as another man's incomplete evidence, isn't it?

 

I think Genesis is baloney the same as you do, but let's look at the science. Could living things like plants and trees that were perfectly healthy and fully grown survive three days without sunshine? Of course they could. If you doubt me, research Michigan. :-)

 

And this:  

"Does solid scholarship have more weight than the apostle Paul, quite frankly, yes. Paul is the subject matter of completely baseless religious assertions, some quite frankly very ignorant in scope and depth. Once again, it's not as if we have two options, one being Paul and the other being an entire body of solid scholarship and each are standing shoulder to shoulder with one another. 

 

"What you're doing is a type of straw man approach over and over again. It's also a little wave of the hand dismissive towards science, and unnecessarily I might add in both cases." 

 

Paul made "baseless religious assertions", and was "ignorant in scope and depth"?  What is this "solid scholarship" you speak of, and how is your assessment of the Apostle Paul any more than your opinion?

 

No one can prove a negative, you say, and it comes up here quite often and I agree. But, when a person claims that there is no God, isn't that a negative that they must then prove, if they are claiming that assertion as the truth?

How again is it that one would know that no God exists anywhere? 

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One more thing, for the mod(s)

 

What happened to the post numbers?

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9 hours ago, duderonomy said:

 

Josh,

 

This is a bit too long for me to respond to all of it. Not that I would disagree with all that you've said. What I just said to BAA goes for you as well!

 

Maybe the problem some folks have isn't that Science™ is claiming that there is no God, but that some 'scientists' claim that there is no God? How would a layman separate the two?

Scientists don't agree anymore than preachers do when it comes to 'God' or religious debates. Scholars often disagree as well. Where there is no solid knowledge of history, I tend to place the study of ancient history (or better, pre-history) in the same category as modern day Gender Studies.  That is, let's take what we now believe, and build our beliefs around it, replete with facts that may or may not be true facts. After all, one man's incomplete evidence is just as good as another man's incomplete evidence, isn't it?

 

I think Genesis is baloney the same as you do, but let's look at the science. Could living things like plants and trees that were perfectly healthy and fully grown survive three days without sunshine? Of course they could. If you doubt me, research Michigan. :-)

 

And this:  

"Does solid scholarship have more weight than the apostle Paul, quite frankly, yes. Paul is the subject matter of completely baseless religious assertions, some quite frankly very ignorant in scope and depth. Once again, it's not as if we have two options, one being Paul and the other being an entire body of solid scholarship and each are standing shoulder to shoulder with one another. 

 

"What you're doing is a type of straw man approach over and over again. It's also a little wave of the hand dismissive towards science, and unnecessarily I might add in both cases." 

 

Paul made "baseless religious assertions", and was "ignorant in scope and depth"?  What is this "solid scholarship" you speak of, and how is your assessment of the Apostle Paul any more than your opinion?

 

No one can prove a negative, you say, and it comes up here quite often and I agree. But, when a person claims that there is no God, isn't that a negative that they must then prove, if they are claiming that assertion as the truth?

How again is it that one would know that no God exists anywhere? 

 

You're comparing already existing plants and trees living in the cold winter cloud cover of Michigan, with existing sun rays coming through the clouds. Does this compare to Genesis having no sun existing at all, and green grass being created ahead of the suns existence? Of course not. But I assume you're just fooling around anyways. But for the record, no, the comparison doesn''t work out in favor of Genesis being literal. 

 

Paul believed in things like the old near eastern cosmology of 7 heavens, where the earth is a flat round disc with consecutive layers of universe above it. He speaks of being "caught up to the seventh heaven." That's a baseless and ignorant assertion, in scope and depth. Turning to scholarship we find non-religious assertions such as commentary on what we've visably observed in space through high tech telescopes. Again, it's not as if we have two equal sources on the state of reality - one being Paul and the other being real scholars in scientific fields. That's not simply my opinion, that's factual statements backed up by solid evidence. 

 

Now finally, I'm not sure why you're still talking about proving a negative. Have you not understood the point yet? 

 

Who are you arguing with? 

 

Who has claimed that no gods exist anywhere out there beyond our observation? You say scientists have claimed that, but who are these scientists? 

 

Again, in the event that some scientists make a claim that no gods can exist they immediately take on the burden of proof requirement for their positive claim. And they can't prove a negative. I would think that most scientists are smart enough to understand that. So I'm curious who exactly you've found who isn't smart enough to understand that? 

 

What we can do is show the evolution of the concepts of god, just like the evolution of the concepts of santa claus or any other human construct that started out one way and changed over time. We can show that gods and other make believe characters that have been demonstrably created out of human thinking and imagination are not very believable for a myriad of reasons. And because of those myriad reasons it's logical and reasonable to suspend belief in such things as gods and magical creatures of all variety until such point as they are proven. 

 

But to go further than that and say that you know gods, santa claus, or any magical creatures certainly and absolutely do not exist anywhere, even beyond our range of observation, goes too far. That's the problem of trying to prove a negative. And that's why intellectual, agnostic atheists won't even go there. 

 

So who are these scientists that you claim have gone there? 

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@duderonomy

 

I've started a political oriented thread that sort of crosses over into some of what we've been discussing here. And I've linked you in and asked you to join me in the political discussion, since we can't very well go in that direction here. But I suspect that our discussion of science and religion also involves a political undertone, so we can then discuss the full range thought processes going on here in this thread that we've been unable to discuss directly due to the anti-political rules pertaining to the discussion in this sub forum. 

 

 

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