The Winding Path – 026

For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.

19 August 2013 11:51 AM

Lausten – The problem may be with how you are viewing this challenge. It is not a question of should people make inspiring speeches or do things without first examining every detail. The question is, can those speeches be empirically verified. Kinda simplifies it doesn’t it?

No, I said what I meant to say. For good or for ill, theology has application in daily life. The criteria for evaluating it must reflect the nature of it’s field of relevance.

Masters of “empiricism” can be as foolish or as evil as any “theologically” motivated person. Also, as potentially wise. But, this was not the point of the exercise.

19 August 2013 10:11 AM

PlaClair – “That’s OK until we try to apply any of this in real life. Then it’s not just metaphorical any more. That connection can be demonstrated in mathematics. No such connection can be demonstrated with the literal claims of theology.”

brmckay – 16 August 2013 02:27 PM
Care to elaborate on the unfounded assertion. (I mean the second part. I’m well aware of the varied uses for arithmetic.)

PLaClair – Then demonstrate my proposition to be false by offering one or more counterexamples. I’m not just throwing the ball back into your court. I’ve asserted a categorical proposition, which you can prove false if you can provide a counterexample. That is the standard method for dealing with such matters in science, law and every other field of reasoned inquiry with an empirical grounding.

Note: You have specified “literal” claims of theology. I would point out that, like saying ‘1 + 1 = 3’, there are vast degrees of fidelity to factor in. In my comments on CFI I have been avoiding to the best of my ability introducing “literal” claims. I am always looking for the apriori and venturing only as far from it as seems reasonable to me.

So, I will change your challenge to one that more accurately reflects the relationship of both categories of “metaphor”, mathematics and theology.

In regards to daily life, non-metaphorical connection can be demonstrated in mathematics. No such connection can be demonstrated with theology.

1) Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. Would not have been as effective if written by a strict “empiricist”.

2) The transformation of John Newton from slave trader to writer of inspirational songs was articulated through the priszm of theological metaphor. His song “Amazing Grace” still stirs the hearts and catalyzes personal reform several hundred years later.

3) Many, many impoverished Calcutta untouchables were touched by compassion and their suffering shared by a theologically influenced sangha. An empirically fixated Sister Theresa would still be waiting for “proof” of something. And even if she still booked passage, and set up shop, it’s hard to imagine her influence having the same power if she was obliged to split hairs over the rational of helping out.

and so on…

As for me.

4) God exists. I know this. I spend my days, getting better at knowing it. Like a musician, learning to play his instrument. Layers upon layers, subtler and subtler, less and less with the questions, less and less with the answers. Towards the immediate and unreflective expression of nature. Invoking Samadhi.

16 August 2013 01:16 PM

brmckay – Well I guess you put me in my place….what was I thinking?

No I wasn’t expecting you to answer the first question. It was rhetorical.

What? mathematics is actually real?! Maybe Unicorns do exist…..

PLaClair – I don’t know, what were you thinking?

If you’re seriously suggesting a comparison between mathematics and unicorns, try calculating your taxes in unicorns.

I keep telling you, if you’re going to make sense, you have to connect the dots. You’re not doing that. I get the humor in your concluding remark but the joke doesn’t work. I’m not trying to be mean. I’m telling you what I see.

Listen with your right brain and maybe some of this will click. (Here I mean Right, as in opposite and complementary to Left. Not as in, opposite and complementary to wrong.)

I can’t help it if we (you and I) approach our use of reason from different starting points.

My style, and any value my insights may have, will evaporate if I try to mimic your area of strength (or, …adopt your weakness? Who can say?). If I can’t make myself understood, is it really my fault.

So,…the point you found not funny, but was of course not just a joke….

Is the reality that mathematics describes found in the mathematics? (this is not rhetorical).

(Hint: mathematics is a metaphor used to describe certain aspects of the reality experienced as our universe.)

 

(corpus callosum activity here)

 

It is the same with concepts about God. Concepts are metaphorical in nature. They are not the reality that they describe. Reality remains unchanged by my concepts or my lack of concepts. Reality just is. It is all. It is infinite. I would appreciate it if Biblests and Atheists alike, were talking to at least this level of understanding.

I have indicated that there is an evolutionary process innately present in the development of mathematics. This same evolutionary process is also catalyzing the reflection of our “self awareness” on the nature of it’s origins. This is what it means to be human.

But then you knew all this. I think LillySmith probably does too.

Debating with Christians can easily make me mean spirited if I take it personally. It is better to help them translate better. Very similar to talking with you.

16 August 2013 09:24 AM

PlaClair – “So what is the origin of the belief in all those “false gods”? We know exactly where they come from: from the human mind, including all our desires. “

brmckay – And where does the human mind come from?

PLaClair – Seriously? Do you propose an answer to that? And if so, how deep an answer do you propose that anyone can reliably give? And what does it have to do with the point?

brmckay – As the metaphor of mathematics evolves, so does the reflection of our self awareness upon it’s origin. This is an unfinished work.

PLaClair – What is “the metaphor of mathematics?”

brmckay – Trolling? LilySmith’s arguments are as sound as any I’ve seen here.

None of us are free of some bias that colors what we hear and say.

Are we still wide open to learning or not?

PLaClair – I am but it can’t be done the way you just framed these points. To convey information or have a meaningful dialogue, we can’t just assert a conclusion without backing it up and getting into the particulars of the arguments.

Well I guess you put me in my place….what was I thinking?

No I wasn’t expecting you to answer the first question. It was rhetorical.

What? mathematics is actually real?! Maybe Unicorns do exist…..
16 August 2013 09:12 AM

Lausten – Reasonable Doubts high level debate

brmkay; If you want to hear some people really debate the existence of God, you should check this out.

That site is about the “Christian God”.

I’m the “Emergent Characteristic of Infinite Potential” guy. You know, the “Entirety”.

I’ve got my hands full breaking down the fixation on “concept” found among atheists, at the moment.

But thanks, I’ll check it out later.
16 August 2013 09:02 AM

PlaClair – I hadn’t picked up this point but Lausten is absolutely dead right. Lily, you twisted the meaning of other people’s words again. If you want to have any kind of a real dialogue at all, or serve as an example of what you might think is Christian virtue, then begin with a little humility, honesty and responsibility. So far, we haven’t seen you display any of those virtues.

You’re not convincing anyone of anything, except that you’re another willing victim of a theology, and mind set, that makes no sense. You would serve your cause better by leaving this forum instead of embarrassing yourself and your intellectual allies further. Study and learn a little about honesty and responsibility in an argument. Then come back and try again. Sorry if this seems like lecturing but your posts truly are of a most abysmal quality.

I wonder how many people would find you to be an icon of humility.

And as for ” Study and learn a little about honesty and responsibility in an argument. “? The only way she gets that merit badge is to get on board with you.

The rules of the debate here are, “We are the smart ones”, you are a “Wacko!”, we don’t have to address our own blind spots because belief in God is just stupid. We win.

16 August 2013 08:48 AM

brmckay – 15 August 2013 11:42 AM
And where does the human mind come from?

GdB – 15 August 2013 11:15 PM
The Flying Spaghetti Monster created it.

- is that a serious belief?
- is believing that the FSM does not exist a serious belief? Is it worth stating?
- do we need arguments to proof that the FSM did it?
- do we need a serious discussion about why the FSM does not exist?

Then why should we have a serious discussion if God exists or not? Why should the atheist say he believes, namely that God does not exist? Shouldn’t he also say he is an a-FSM-ist, an a-Zeus-ist, an a-Wodan-ist, etc? Why should he define himself as believing that X does not exist (X being some historic-cultural artefact). Do you realise that you are a-krishna-ist?

It was already stated hundreds of times in these fora, but it is true: atheism is a belief in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

For a “non-hobby” you all are certainly devoted to it.

16 August 2013 08:41 AM

PLaClair – The older I get, the less patient I am with people like Lily. Not only is she coming here as an outsider; she’s getting crushed intellectually at every turn, and refuses to admit it.

The premises of her theology are just silly. We have free will here, so we screw up, she says. So we’re subject to being cast into an eternal fire with no hope of redemption, as though there was some point or sense of justice in that; or that there would be some point in having faith in a god who would allow that to happen. Some of us screw-ups will go to heaven anyway, she claims, where the expectation is that paradise will reign forever and no one will ever screw up again. The other premises are so ridiculous that I have yet to see anyone ask why we’re suddenly going to become angelic after we’re dead – and if we’ll be capable of it then, with our “free will” still intact apparently, then why not now? It’s a childish theology when you really examine it. And of course she refuses to entertain the possibility that maybe – just maybe – she could be wrong.

Lily, you’ve come to this forum to proselytize. I predict that you will leave, sooner or later, as many others before you have done – not because you’re not welcome here but because your arguments, frankly, are pitiful.

You declare “the premises of her theology …silly”, her beliefs ridiculous and her arguments pitiful. Then insinuate that she is welcome.

You have already decided in advance that theology in general is absurd and from this you imagine that she has been crushed “intellectually at every turn”.

Yes, maybe she is here to proselytize, or maybe just to open your eyes to the amount of rhetoric you yourselves rely on.

As for my views, I’m as appalled by the rank worship of “Reason” as Moses of the “Golden Calf”.

15 August 2013 11:42 AM

PlaClair – “So what is the origin of the belief in all those “false gods”? We know exactly where they come from: from the human mind, including all our desires. “

And where does the human mind come from?

As the metaphor of mathematics evolves, so does the reflection of our self awareness upon it’s origin. This is an unfinished work.

Trolling? LilySmith’s arguments are as sound as any I’ve seen here.

None of us are free of some bias that colors what we hear and say.

Are we still wide open to learning or not?

15 August 2013 07:55 AM

PlaClair – “We know what the genesis of God is: people wanted an explanation for things and we tend to personify the inanimate universe.”

1.) Please clarify “We” as in “We know what the genesis of God is”.
2.) What about the animate aspect of the universe?

“…and the best way I have found of orienting ourselves to this “question” within this phenomenon we call life…”

3.)Do you hold assumptions about the scope of “this phenomenon we call life”? (local/global, micro/macro, relative/absolute, particle/wave etc.?)

“… so that we can make the maximum sense out of things as we are capable of making, and live as fully as we are able.”

4.)Do relationships, emotions, character, sentience, hope, aspiration, inspiration, reason, intuition etc. fall under the category of “things”?
5.)Do you hold assumptions about what “living fully” might mean and/or cannot mean?
6.)What about death?

This entry was posted in logs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.