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Joshpantera last won the day on April 21

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About Joshpantera

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    Architect (INTJ)

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  • More About Me
    I'm an over 25 year deconvert. Well read and well informed on how christianity fits into the world along side of other religions.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I don't believe they exist

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  1. Joshpantera

    Feeling sucked back into Christianity

    From what I understand, Peterson's views on Jung, Freud, Rogers and Nietzsche amount to something like you'd get from Joseph Campbell, not anything that going to church would offer you. And none of this actually speaks to the issue of taking Jesus, afterlife, heaven, hell or the church literally, BTW. The most likely scenario is that we die and that's it as far as our individual ego consciousness goes. The suggestions of hell, of which there are so many, can be analyzed and shown to have been constructed as social tools of manipulation, over long periods of time, mix matching and borrowing one culture from another as they clearly evolve over time. Threats of punishment in a theorized afterlife to keep people in line. That's what the evidence reveals. Add to that, Peterson's perspectives are based upon intellectuals and scholars who were concerned with archetypes of the unconscious, how mythology is metaphor, not literal, and how god ultimately represents the absolutely transcendent. And what the suggestion of absolutely transcendent, entails. What that translates to is that whatever descriptions or imagery we find in religious myth, rest assured, are not presented literally. They can not be, by definition. They have to refer past themselves to where the mind no longer functions and all thought breaks down. Heaven and hell, are of this metaphorical nature, as well as god. And all that it points to, in the end, is the place in the mind where we face absolute mystery. That god and all of these descriptions, are metaphors for the mystery underlying the existence of everything where the mind can go no further. I spent a strong 15 years studying these very points, thoroughly. Pouring over it again and again. So what's the maximum value of church? Heaven's and hell's are descriptive concepts of the human mind, so they are not what transcendent refers to. They could, at best, lead you in a direction that could only ultimately end in putting you in touch with the mystery of yourself, the world, and the universe we live in. Because they can not be literally true of literal realms beyond, or transcendent of this one. If so, then wouldn't have reached the ultimate place of "transcendence." If churches were advanced enough to cater to this sort of high level type of insight into human spirituality, that would be one thing. But christian churches are clearly not. They are going to harp on the literal interpretations of religious symbolism, and with that, push hard on interpreting things like god, heaven and hell absolutely literally, when this is untenable by way of the very men listed as the source material for Peterson's outlook. Campbell was a Jungian, and in his view the churches ought to be concerned with simply putting people in touch with the mystery of the their own existence, identifying the part of ourselves which merely the fabric and structure of existence itself, formed up into what we see in the mirror everyday. With that deeper spiritual insight comes several factors. (1) as you live and breath, you are interconnected with existence itself in a very fundamental way, (2) the unknown history and past of existence itself, you also share in this way, understanding that deep down, that's actually who and what you are at the base of everything, and (3) the future of existence itself, you also share in this fundamental and interconnected way. When the higher spiritual traditions suggest, "you are god incarnate," that's where this suggestion is headed. It's headed to identification, of your mortal and finite self, with the deeper issue involved in your mortal and finite existence, which, is the part of you that is essentially existence itself and therefore nothing more than an aspect of the "eternal" whole. The whole and the part, are one. If there were any truth to the myth of an eternal soul, as a metaphor for something, this is the best candidate I've come across for it. I'm preaching you a sermon from the perspective of the men you've listed and what comes from their respective insights into human spirituality, if you follow the path all the way through to as far as you can go down this path. Then, you can look back at mythology, after having digested and understood these things, and see where it's been trying to reach out of the human psyche all along, as this myths have arisen and evolved. This is where mystical figures have proclaimed, in mythology, that they are "one" with their respective concepts of "god," the eternal principle. No matter we do, think, or say, we are in some way always connected to the eternal aspect of existence itself, because we exist and represent the fabric and structure of existence formed into the finite features of existence that we are, that we see in the mirror. Somewhere in all of this can come a sense of some peace and understanding with the natural course of living a model human life, from birth to death. There doesn't have to be literal heavens, literal hell's, or even literal consciousness beyond death. Regardless of any of that, the eternal principle of existence has always been within you the whole time. And, is your true identity at that. So you can choose to let go of these other things. You're an interconnected aspect of something that has no foreseeable beginning or end, right now, without having to do something to acquire that status. It's just the real you, you're real identity behind the mask of your finite mortality. That's what all of these mystics of the ancient past, and intellectualizing, spiritual truth seekers of the late 19th and early to mid 20th century, wanted the world to know. And when you know this "gospel," you something far superior in scope and depth to that of the literalist churches of the world and what they have to offer....
  2. Joshpantera

    Feeling sucked back into Christianity

    Could you expand more on how Jordan Peterson's influence is making you consider church attendance, and I assume the god belief and belief in Jesus that may follow church attendance?
  3. I'm leaving a link to Carrier's blog page:
  4. We generally like to have citations included with claims that most people are unfamiliar with, so they can be researched and analyzed by everyone. This isn't commonly known information. But I've always been open to 2nd century dating for the gospels, so I'd like to read through the citations that bring you to these claims.
  5. Joshpantera

    Religion versus Psychiatry

    At best, guy's like Jesus might be modeled after religious types of the time, who would have turned out to be schizophrenic. I've heard similar claims about Paul. Ellen G White, the founder of SDAism, was hit in the head with a rock as a little girl, later having or claiming to have visions from god. Many suspect that by today's standards she was more than likely suffering frontal lope epilepsy. It's all speculative. But the content of their speaking and action has a common thread that seems to point to either psychological illness, or being modeled, as myths, after people who are psychologically ill. Let's face it, hearing things, seeing things, having visions, claiming out of body experiences based and getting caught up to the seventh heaven, and claiming you're the god of the universe, hint of psychological illness if we're to understand them as really happening to real historical figures....
  6. Joshpantera

    The Gulf Stream Myth

    Those unsupported claims are the subject matter of, "The Day After Tomorrow," science fiction, fantasy, and hype.
  7. Joshpantera

    Why be good if there is no God

    More nonsense from the theistic camp. I was just watching Peter Hitchen's reveal the height of this sort of ignorance. What a bumbling idiot. And the immediate response:
  8. Joshpantera

    Gnostic Atheist

    Hmmm . . . now that is something I find very persuasive. I will consider that. I would say this shows that your gnostic position is mixed with agnostic as I've been proposing as the solution. Because when you say that you know god does not exist, you aren't actually saying what the word implies. Where you're saying you know, you don't actually know that. You know many things, but not the ultimate conclusion.
  9. Joshpantera

    Gnostic Atheist

    The simplicity you're after breaks down to this question, does any of this really prove a negative? It's been understood, traditionally, that you can not prove a negative. I gave an example of a philosopher trying to prove a negative anyways, and it still doesn't seem to work. So most atheist's will say to theist's, when asked if we can prove god doesn't exist, "you can't prove a negative," and, "no one is claiming to prove a negative." And then move on to outlining all of the problems with their positive claims about gods existence and putting the focus where the focus belongs. If they're claiming to prove that god does exist, it's not up to us to prove that he doesn't in order to lack belief in their positive claims and assertions. It's entirely up to them to prove their assertions. Our only assertions should be that we simply don't buy what they're selling, that's it. And we can list our reasons for not buying it. As you've listed. They're good reasons. If you look back, you'll notice that my position began as combining gnostic and agnostic atheist into a coherent framework where each claim functions according to it's capabilities. We can be gnostic to the extent that knowledge will allow us, but then beyond that point we can necessarily default to agnostic atheist. Such as, we can prove the things you've listed above with knowledge claims, but when we get down to proving a negative we don't have knowledge any longer, hence gnostic rolls over into agnostic. And since the dictionaries define an atheist by lumping both agnostic and gnostic claims together, describing either one who lacks belief in god or believes god does not exist - rather than argue about which of the two rightfully describes atheism (which has been huge argument among atheists), I've tried embracing them both and putting each in their respective places of atheism. We know certain things about certain gods, but ultimately we can't prove a negative. We're gnostic and agnostic atheists. But apparently my proposition wasn't suitable to mymistake, and I assume to you either. Because that's what launched us into the discussion thereafter and all of the unfolding that has taken place this far. I'm trying to be generous and throw gnostic atheism a bone, rather than stomp it out like some atheists have tried doing. At this point in the discussion do you see any better value in my proposition than you did on the first page? I agree with the above. I hope that we can always properly represent what being ex christian can be like. I wouldn't want our opponents to post examples all over the web of ex christians as chaotic and implosive. I think they'd love the opportunity to paint us that way, if they were able.
  10. Joshpantera

    Gnostic Atheist

    This is true, at a 6.9 I have not claimed to know god doesn't exist, therefore I have no burden of proof requirement to substantiate such a claim. I don't know that, and can't know that, so I don't make the claim. The theist's can't force me into proving a negative at 6.9. It's a safe space as far as that goes. And I don't need to justify my lack of belief in god by proving a negative. All of the burden of proof rests on the persons making the claims. It rests on gnostics, either way, basically. An agnostic theist hasn't made the claim to know god exists, he just believes god exists and doesn't have to prove it to me or anyone else. If I ask, can you prove god exists? They will say, "no." I can then ask, "so why believe it?" They may respond, "because I have faith in the claims of the bible." They might ask me, "why don't you?" I can respond, "because I've studied the bible in depth and have learned where it's wrong, and don't believe the claims." It's somewhat civil between agnostic theists and agnostic atheists because we're not making unrealistic claims of knowledge. There's something in the way of respect that can happen between the two parties. I've noticed this in debates between agnostic theists and agnostic atheists.
  11. Joshpantera

    Gnostic Atheist

    Because you're setting out to try and prove a negative, with the assertion of "I know god does not exist." Gnostic atheism amounts to the burden of proving a negative. That's why nearly across the board atheist spokesman won't touch it. Here's an example of a professional philosopher trying to refute the premise that you can't prove a negative: He does so by appealing to induction throughout the paper, as you've done here. I'm going to outline his first example: This is very poor reasoning, though. What if we simply haven't found evidence for unicorns in the fossil record? We actively find new things in the fossil record, because we obviously haven't scoured every inch of the soil around the globe. It would be nice to close the door and tell unicorn believers that we "know" that unicorns never existed and the whole thing is completely over. But that over steps what we can honestly claim. So we can't actually prove a negative in this instance, even though it's bloody obvious that unicorns are fairy tale's. What if we're wrong? And as I read further it's transparent that his motivation is to try and shut down believers who point to the various problems with using induction as a reason to continue believing, much like you two guys have expressed here about theists trying to use agnostic atheism as an excuse for continued god belief. This is his personal bias going into the effort of trying to refute the premise, "you can't prove a negative." Did any of his efforts actually prove a negative? I'd say no, it wasn't a good enough argument to prove that unicorns, bigfoot, or god doesn't exist, and therefore to have knowledge that they don't exist.
  12. Joshpantera

    William lane Craig makes a very good point

    Do you have the video in question to link?
  13. Joshpantera

    Gnostic Atheist

    I'm glad to see that you're open to the possibility that gnostic atheism may not work. I'm trying to allow it the chance to rise above criticism. We could end a lot of problems if in fact we could truthfully assert, with conviction, that we "know" god doesn't exist by any stretch of the imagination. That would be a very useful claim to be able to make for an atheist. I didn't think I left out, "since we can't be 100% certain beyond all doubt regarding anything." I included that sentiment by saying if we can know these other things, "and none of it is 100% certain." I completely get the reason for this analysis, as religionist's we wanted conviction. We wanted to make strong claims and statements in favor of god. Turning the other way, there's still the psychological issue of wanting conviction and strong claims in the other direction. If we could only level the opposition by countering their claims of knowledge that god does exist. That's not really where the battle is won, though. The battle is won by showing how improbable belief in their respective gods is. And getting through to them that there's a much higher possibility that they're wrong about their gods, rather than right. It's really about going one way or the other based on a strong analysis of the situation. There's no complete home run for either side. You're on the side of high probability. Taking all known factors into account, belief in god has to be blind belief by nature, there's no evidence for the existence of god. Philosophy has failed, over the course of history, at proving god does exist. We don't see a god. We don't see evidence of any creation stories being confirmed as literally true by science and observation. This all goes into the 6.9 stance. I'm definitely there. In my mind, the existence of god is a very slim possibility. A possibility that I only grant on account of the philosophical problem of claiming to know god doesn't exist. And it's the same for Santa, or fairies, or anything else. Because of technicalities, claiming 7 becomes untenable. But a 6.9 is untouchable to those who could rattle the cage at 7.
  14. Joshpantera

    Gnostic Atheist

    I found a cross reference discussion of gnostic atheism at "The Thinking Atheist" that we can contrast our discussion with: The few who took a shot at claiming gnostic atheism used similar reasoning to what's been stated here. I didn't see anything we haven't already covered. Any one trying to argue for gnostic atheism had the same problem of trying claim knowledge that god doesn't exist. And tried similar ways of trying to claim knowledge without claiming 100% certainty. And tried to justify the claim of knowledge in that way. So that's pretty much it. Gnostic atheism consists of knowing that you can't claim to know god doesn't exist 100%, but then trying to claim that you can have knowledge that god doesn't exist, despite not knowing 100%. That's where it digresses into apologetic acrobatics in order to try and claim to have knowledge that god doesn't exist, without actually having that specific knowledge. Since you don't know 100%, by default, you're more than likely still agnostic because not knowing, after all, isn't knowing. This is an admission to not really knowing, but trying to manage a claim to know anyways.
  15. Joshpantera

    Gnostic Atheist

    That's one of the problems with the type of assertions of knowledge your making. Yes, my example of knowledge of Zeus's non-existence doesn't even work. Due to other factors, invisibility, etc., I could scour Mt. Olympus with a camera and still fall short of gnostic atheist claims to know that Zeus doesn't exist. A high degree of empirical evidence and no reasonable objection against it, doesn't represent knowledge of such in a way that settles the issue. We're still talking probability and opinions in the above, not a strong assertion of "knowing" it. You're trying to stretch out the definitions of knowledge in an apologetic way, on behalf of the claim of gnostic atheism, after the fact, as a type of back peddle to justify the claim. This has turned into gnostic atheist apologetic's along the way. Gnostic Atheist "If I can know this, this or that which has nothing to do with god, and call that knowledge, and none of it is 100% certain, granted, then I can say god doesn't exist and claim to have that knowledge as well without 100% certainty." This is trying to apologize for using "gnostic" in front of "atheism." I can imagine a gnostic theist trying to make the same sort of apology, in response to discourse with an agnostic theist trying to get through to the gnostic theist about what sort of knowledge claims can and can not be made with any credibility. Gnostic Theist "If I can know this, this or that which has nothing to do with god, and call that knowledge, and none of it is 100% certain, granted, then I can say god does exist and claim to have that knowledge as well without 100% certainty." The reason things mirror so perfectly between gnostic theism and gnostic atheism, again, has to do with two polar opposite views trying to go beyond what can reasonably claimed about having knowledge of the existence or non-existence of something like god, something asserted as beyond the universe. Making comparable claims about something within the universe doesn't help the case. It's not like the spider, it's not like going to Greece and Olympus. It's not like claiming to know anything within the realm of observation. These claims to knowledge, by both opposing sides, are being projected out to place that they couldn't possibly know. Regardless of the apologetic's being proposed so far.