For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.
Psycho Gecko – “In the letter above, we’re dealing with a Presuppositionalist, who are big on circular logic and who refuse to even consider evidence. They presuppose that God exists, so their understanding of facts and reality has to be bent to match that core belief. …”
I’m not getting this emphasis on ‘Presuppositionalist’. It just doesn’t seem like a category to be applied to subsets of religious personality.
The assumption that ‘God/Enlightenment/Liberation’ exists, is the foundation of religious practice. Once you undertake a practice, you aren’t going to make any progress by second guessing the reasons for it at every turn.
Looking for ‘evidence’ of what is a priori, is just spinning your wheels. You haven’t actually made the leap.
However, the issue of what characteristics one attributes to ‘God/Enlightenment/Liberation’, IS open for questioning and evaluation. As we learn we adapt. This is evolution.
Deliberate adjustment is ideally undertaken by one and all, on a daily basis. But isn’t. Mainly because people have different capacity for such things. Some orbits are more constricted and tightly bound than others. Some less so.
(Responding to blog post – “I Am Both Atheist and Non-Theist” – by hessianwithteeth.)
(example) “So please, stop it with this nonsense about non-theist being a better label that atheist. Stop telling me that they’re different. Stop trying to lump me into a category because you think I should either be different than I am or I should call myself something that I don’t call myself. I am an atheist. I am an atheist definitionally speaking, and I am an atheist because that is the label that I chose to use.”
Unless of course, the person is trying to get you to consider what the Advaitan means by “Neti Neti” or the Zen master by “Hold no opinion for or against.”
The above post indicates no understanding that the shoe doesn’t fit.
When you say that “I know who I am”, what exactly do you know? And who knows it?
SpeakTruth – “ I find it difficult to criticize the logic of religious bigots without unintentionally offending the rest. … I welcome suggestions.”
Teaching to a more coherent articulation of the “nature of God”.
This requires a tool borrowed from the world of the religious. “Contemplation”.
The Abrahamic traditions have a particular weakness which leaves much room for nonsense.
It is the heavy emphasis on “God outside of Creation”. God with an agenda. God with a storyline. God with a will.
Many do not escape this orbit and cause much trouble.
Others, however have. And we owe them our respect and attention.
Declaring that “God is Dead”, absurd or doesn’t exist, is just more of the same-old-same-old with a different mask.
Kaveh Mousavi – “But a society without religion is a better society.”
Much better is a society with better religion.
What on earth are you hoping to fill that void with? We need what religion strives to provide. Just need to get better at it. Weed out the contradictions. Stop practising failure. Learn from the successes.
Firebrand naivete seems more precise than ‘fundamentalist atheism’.
Matthew Alton – ” And when you’ve managed to rid religion of contradictions and faulty reasoning you’re left with something which is not religion.”
No point if it’s not about God and Man.
Just Man, it is neutered. Not possible actually, except in a crippled mind.
At least as I see things.
Making a god out of reason is to hobble ourselves past recognition.
How can you convince me this isn’t True if you have to rely on reason?
What I mean by better religion, is already well seasoned. Tried and True.
Yoga, Zen, Self Realization in a thousand forms. The heights of Art and philosophy. Music.
It’s is about gaining a direct experience of a non-abstracted reality.
What are these fellows you reference talking about?
Matthew Alton – “No gods. They do not exist.”
What are these “gods” then? Everybody always say’s they don’t exist when I use the abstraction “God”.
Was I talking about gods?
“Man and the universe. These are the irreducible elements. Gods are for children.”
So you place Man outside of the universe? How does that work?
“And I need gods for this? Seriously?”
Please be honest now. What is the “direct experience of non-abstracted reality”, other than what the term “God” means, in the most mature sense of the word?
Is your whole argument about not using this word?
(Parsing his reply to the above, by speaker.)
brmckay – “What are these ‘gods’ then? Everybody always say’s they don’t exist when I use the abstraction ‘God’.”
Matthew Alton – “Gods are pre-scientific constructs invented to explain natural phenomena in terms of intentional agents. If you choose to redefine the word, I’m afraid I’m lost.”
brmckay – “So you place Man outside of the universe? How does that work?”
Matthew Alton – “I merely use a common poetical device to assert the primacy of the subjective and the objective. To be certain we are fashioned from the stuff of the universe. We are isolated from ‘the other’ by our human limitations.
brmckay – “Please be honest now. What is the ‘direct experience of non-abstracted reality’, other than what the term ‘God’ means, in the most mature meaning of the word?”
Matthew Alton – “And here is the redefinition. In objective conversation we must come to terms. If your notion of a god is indistinguishable from my notion of Reality, may we please use my word? The word ‘god’ is, be honest now, rather pregnant with many notions which do not partake of your more mature conception.”
brmckay – “Is your whole argument about not using this word?”
Matthew Alton – “No. I don’t mind using the term as it is actually and objectively defined. Surely you do not hold that the ISIS troops are hacking off human heads in the name of a direct experience of non-abstracted reality.”
The thing is, that as an atheist you would like to relegate my non-atheist frame of reference to the nursery.
But your definition of the term God remains stubbornly primitive. This I suppose benefits you in some way.
Just so you know, I do equate God to Reality.
As a religiously minded person, I would obviously be betraying myself to isolate the “subjective” aspects of reality from the “objective”.
I use the term “God” the way I have learned to use it through forty years of contemplation upon it’s nature.
You may have spent your time differently.
(Parsing his reply to the above, by speaker.)
brmckay – “Just so you know, I do equate God to Reality.
Matthew Alton – “Then to my way of thinking you are a very thoughtful atheist who idiosyncratically insists upon referring to reality as ‘God.’
brmckay – “You may have spent your time differently.”
Matthew Alton – “Not really. I’ve been contemplating reality too.”
“Not really. I’ve been contemplating reality too.”
Now we’re talking sense.
Let’s save the follow-up on this for later.