♦ Diamond Patron ♦
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


wellnamed last won the day on June 26 2018

wellnamed had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

129 Excellent

About wellnamed

  • Rank
    Strong Minded
  • Birthday 05/05/1982

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    New Mexico
  • Interests
    religion, mysticism, sociology, anthropology, science, technology, and etc
  • More About Me
    I am classified as a meat-popsicle

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    le poulet rôti

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I think he said he was moving. Might be relevant.
  2. I think there's probably some threshold beyond which it's not useful to think of socialization as "brainwashing", although I think I could understand how you might feel that way. So, I think you are recognizing something that actually happens: you are socialized into a set of beliefs and values, and those aren't limited to ostensibly religious beliefs. Religion is also part of a broader culture. Later, if you come to reject many of those beliefs and values you may feel that there was always something suspect about the process of indoctrination. It's certainly reasonable to expect that changing one's religious views will mean also reassessing lots of other beliefs as well. But I think it's also worth keeping in mind that to some extent this process of socialization is inevitable: it's just how human culture works, and it doesn't require a conspiracy. Humans are always engaged in these processes everywhere. Some academics use the term "hegemonic culture" to refer to the observation that certain values/beliefs are ubiquitous within a culture, similar to how you noticed patterns in media, school teaching, and so on. But keep in mind that if you'd grown up in a hippie commune you'd have been socialized into a different set of values and beliefs, but not necessarily with a lesser effect. Note that I'm not saying that one set of values is as good as the other, I think it's perfectly legitimate to think that some are better than others. But I also think if we think of it all as brainwashing (n.b. I'm not saying none of it qualifies...) that this may lead us to conclusions or courses of action that probably don't really make sense. I think the conspiratorial mindset can be problematic. One of the things I think is valuable about anthropology and sociology as academic fields is that -- at their best -- they can help us make sense of all that baggage, and maybe help us relate to it in a more productive way. Maybe it helps a little to know that everyone struggles a little bit reconciling their individual beliefs and experiences with those of their socialization. People coming out of very controlling or cult-like religious groups will probably have a harder time, but we all have to figure it out one way or another. And if we have children we all have to figure out how much or how little to teach them our values, and no matter what we do they will also be absorbing beliefs and values from the surrounding culture just as thoroughly as we did, and also have their own struggles with that.
  3. I think the distinction between "culturally Christian" and "religiously Christian" is basically right, and was what I was trying to get at as far as how white supremacists might employ an idea of Christian identity. At the same time, to disillusioned's point about how we interpret different situations I think it's also true that people become involved in Islamist movements for reasons that transcend actual religious commitments, although I think the leadership of those movements do tend to be more religiously motivated than white supremacist movements, especially ISIS. But the recruits may have all kinds of more materialistic/social motivations. ^ possibly very academic (I say this a lot :P), but somewhat useful if you're trying to parse people's motivations for horrific acts like this one.
  4. You're right, although it's not unusual (IMO) for people to develop more elaborate symbolic interpretations of texts like that. But someone ought to remind them also of Acts 10
  5. From what I've seen reported about the manifesto he wrote it seems like the most relevant of the shooter's identities is white supremacist. So for example he directly references a neo-nazi slogan, uses white supremacist symbols, and so on. I know that some white supremacist groups identify as Christian, I think mostly by way of emphasizing Christianity as a European identity. In the late 90s I knew someone who identified with a "Christian identity" group that emphasized both Christian identity and European identity in a racist way. So for example they believed that only white people were descended from Adam (and that non-whites were sub-human), that people of British descent were really the lost tribes of Israel, and that modern-day Jews were Satanic. It was nasty stuff. But on the other hand some white supremacists have adopted the use of older pagan religious symbols instead of Christianity. I haven't seen any reporting about the religious affiliation of the killer but it seems reasonable to guess that his antipathy to Muslims might tie both ethnicity and religion together, e.g. as antipathy towards both non-Europeans and those of "non-European" religions, from his perspective. It wouldn't necessarily mean he was very traditionally Christian, and given his association with some of the nastier parts of the internet he might not have been particularly religious at all. From what I've seen of that particular group they tend not to be.
  6. I haven't actually lost any relationships but the couple that might have been impacted we're already thoroughly compromised anyway for tangentially related reasons. From what I gather reading other people's extimonies I think a lot of it is that I was never very deeply involved with a conservative or closely knit church. I pretty much was always just floating out there on my own doing my own thing. I know from reading a lot here that it's very common for ex-Christians to go through a lot of difficulty with relationships when they deconvert. So, if it's something you're struggling with, you definitely have company.
  7. Apparently the shooter live-blogged/streamed some of this, and there was like a real-time thread on a forum while it was happening. The future is a strange place.
  8. By what method are you able to present what is "strictly from the Bible without use of interpretation", and how does your method differ from Christforums? What is it about his method which makes it "interpretive" while yours is not?
  9. I do, as it turns out. But I think all this talk of happy endings and slapping saddled asses belongs in the sex forum.
  10. I think this is too prejudicial, but in any case: I'm not suggesting that you should judge the success of your argument on whether or not I (or Orbit) accept it. I make lots of arguments that are rejected by the people I'm conversing with, and it doesn't dissuade me from believing that I'm right and they're wrong. Several people in this thread can attest to that Here I think you're again conflating the merits of an argument with the flaws of people. But it's not as if my cognitive biases or prejudices would render an argument ineffective, and there are others reading. I also didn't conclude that you're unable to make an argument just because you're declining to do so. There are lots of reasons why someone might think an argument is possible but decline to make it. For example if you asked me to make an argument for the claim that humans evolved from primate ancestors I would likely decline or defer to others, because it's not my specialty and it sounds tedious. I might try to offer a rough outline of an argument and point you to various books. So that's all fine. What I wouldn't do though, is try to delegitimize the question by saying that the conclusion is self-evident, or that maybe it can only be known by direct revelation and can't be inter-subjectively confirmed, or statements like that. It's those sorts of statements that lead me to conclude that you're not just declining to make an argument, but that you think an argument isn't really possible or even necessary. Obviously claiming that something is self-evident is claiming that an argument is unnecessary. Yeah. I mentioned Plantinga. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a good article on reformed epistemology which covers this.
  11. I know it's not a problem for your theology, but that's not what I meant I think your answer is basically that you can't give an answer to the question that would satisfy someone from outside of your religious tradition and also that within your worldview you have no reason to be concerned with your inability to do so. That's fair enough as far as I'm concerned.
  12. I agree both that this is possible, and also that it has very little utility from an inter-subjective standpoint. Which raises the question, I think, of why God has apparently chosen to lean so exclusively on such a mechanism for spreading the good news. I'm fond of abductive reasoning (inference to the best explanation) in this context, rather than deductive and inductive arguments. I think you're allowed to appeal to the idea that God exists, has revealed himself to individuals but not in a way that would allow for much in the way of independent confirmation. I can't prove that this is impossible any more than you can prove God's existence as a logical necessity. But abductively it seems rather implausible that an all-powerful God both desires my communion but also goes out of His way to make His existence so mysterious. I wasn't asking necessarily for a "scientific method" for determining the truth of the claim. I just asked for some argument that leads from the existence of the human capacity for logical reasoning to the existence of something resembling the Christian God. I would expect a more philosophical argument, rather than an empirical one, but I don't have the argument and I'm not trying to prejudice the response by insisting that it must take a certain shape. You're creating a straw-man here. I didn't ask for an argument about the origin of logic. See above: I'm asking for an argument that connects the existence of logic to the existence of God. It doesn't have to be an argument that accounts for the origin of anything, per se. To illustrate, imagine I asked for an argument that connects the existence of a puddle on the ground (which we can both plainly observe) to the existence of a rain storm which came through town earlier. I'm not asking in that case for a history of the entire world or the origin of the storm. You would make an inductive argument that puddles like that one are very often the result of rain storms, you would point to clouds on the horizon, and suggest that the rain storm being responsible for that puddle is the abductively best conclusion, because it seems more likely than someone dumping some water there from a watering can, or etc. I agree that probably all the authors of Biblical texts believed this. Paul says so more or less explicitly in Romans. As Thales put it, "everything is full of gods". Nevertheless, the existence of God is not self-evident to me, nor to Orbit, nor to many others in the present day. That owes in large part to the large advances we've made in our ability to make sense of natural phenomena. Of course you are welcome to take the existence of God as an axiom, or to adopt something like Plantinga's ideas about "properly basic beliefs". That's an honest answer to the question. I'm not sure it will be satisfying to you or other Christians in the long run, though, because I think that if it's the best answer you have that you should expect the trend towards secularization and loss of faith in traditional Christianity to continue. The problem you face is that this answer is not particularly believable for many people any longer, which is what prompts the question about evidence to begin with.
  13. You didn't really answer the question, but I'm taking this to suggest that you think the best evidence for God is the testimony of the gospels? Or that it is at least some evidence? FWIW, I don't think @Orbit is asking for a logical proof of God's existence (and by logical I mean a formal, deductive proof that establishes God's existence as logically necessary). I think she's asking for evidence, and merely asking that the evidence be of such a nature that you don't have to accept a lot of Christian presuppositions to find it compelling, hence the request to not beg the question. I think you'll find she would accept the usual range of arguments that people generally use to try to establish the truth of various propositions. A few other things: - There's clearly a difference between being skeptical of some testimony and rejecting all testimony. I doubt that you accept the testimony of various authors in the Quran. I don't think Orbit rejects the concept of eyewitness testimony in its entirety either, but like you she will accept it in some contexts and reject it in others. - You're conflating the logical validity (or soundness) of an argument with the idea of people being logically sound. I think everyone here will agree that no human being is perfectly rational or consistent, but arguments are not people. - The claim that "there would be no logic without logos" requires an argument, although it sounds like it could also be part of an actual response to the question. That is, you could argue that God must exist because otherwise logical arguments could not exist, but you'd have to try to support that claim somehow.
  14. I certainly don't have any issue with pointing out the failure of Christians to live up to their own values. Even when I was one I often said in all seriousness that I thought the best condemnation of a lot of Christians was in John: "by this they will know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another." I do think though that your approach to interpreting scripture seems flawed, or at least you're applying it inconsistently. You said it yourself: "I truly came to my own understandings simply from reading the King James bible." You seem to treat that understanding as authoritative. I don't see how you can coherently criticize Christforums for merely offering his own interpretation. He could respond with exactly the same words. He can claim that while he can't prove it to your satisfaction he knows his interpretation is correct because of the level of effort he's made to come to his understanding. One thing I think is clear: he's also spent a lot of time reading the Bible. My interest was mostly just curiosity, but I do think there's some value, from a secular/atheist perspective, to revisiting one's approach to the whole question of authority and epistemology. It seems a lot more coherent from a secular perspective to approach religious texts first as just plain old cultural artifacts where you would treat questions of meaning and intent no differently than you might treat questions about Shakespeare's plays. There's a place for scholarship -- especially with regard to placing works in historical context. There's also of course a place for individual interpretation and appreciation, but not with the same kind of emphasis on authority. And I think when you're dealing with human texts in general it's almost inescapable that "meaning" is not singular, nor fixed. It's normal for authors to mean one thing and readers to get something else. And if a text lives on in a culture for a long time then new generations will read it differently, almost necessarily. In practice it's not been any different with biblical texts.