For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.
(Continuing from previous post … The following conversations are from the Patheos hosted blog – “Rational Doubt” – Guest blogger is an Mary Johnson. She is a ex-nun who lost her faith and now considers herself an atheist.)
[note: For the sake of coherence and fairness, I have include the full text of Otto’s comments as much as possible. This makes for a longer post than I would like.]
Otto – “We are not saying the same thing
I have no dogma. If I do not understand your position then communicate it in clear, concise language. Tell me what you believe and why you believe it regarding the topic at hand. If you can do that in an intelligent manner using reason and the information can be verified I will change my mind.
(quoting me) “In order to perceive proof you have to prepared the experiment with integrity.”
Are you saying I have never done that? How would you know?
And you do realize this blog is about people that have experimented professionally with this issue and have since rejected the conclusion. Are you saying they all also lack integrity?
Otto – “And you do realize this blog is about people that have experimented professionally with this issue and have since rejected the conclusion. Are you saying they all also lack integrity?”
“… and have since rejected the conclusion.”
Integrity is an interesting word isn’t it?
I like the statement that you have quoted by itself, but you have also skipped the following “concise language” that annotates it.
brmckay – “In the case of proof of God, or enlightenment, the ground of the experiment is your own being. No way around that. “
Otto – “And I have told you the experimental ground produced zero results…and you blame that on a lack of integrity.”
I’ve been at it 40 years or more. The acquisition of “integrity” is an ongoing process.
“Results”? What are your expectations?
Or, maybe it’s just not your thing, and Atheism is a good fit.
Otto – “You seem to be conflating definitions of ‘integrity’ depending on how it suits your needs. Please don’t do that it is insulting and dishonest. In what sense is your experience an ongoing ‘acquisition’ of integrity and mine is a demonstration of an unwillingness to ‘experiment with integrity’?”
We’ve exhausted this thing. You squander to much time quibbling about how I use words.
I’m sorry to have wasted your time and that you have taken offence. In my opinion, I’ve made some interesting points along the way, which have been completely ignored because everybody here assumes I’m either attacking them or they just habitually refuse to co-operate for idealogical reasons.
Since it was Mary Johnson, the author of the main article, that my original comment was addressed to anyway, and she’s not interested, I’ll wrap up loose ends and mosey on.
[Note: Mary Johnson responds after the dust settles from these initial skirmishes. That conversation will be included in a following post and I promise some relief from the prevailing boxing competitions.]
Otto – “(quoting me) ‘In my opinion, I’ve made some interesting points along the way’
The problem is only you know what they are. I still have no idea what you believe and why.
The issue with conflating definitions of words is the people you attempt to communicate with don’t know what you are saying. In order for people to have a constructive discussion they need to agree what the words being used mean, and when words have multiple meanings switching the usage and giving no indication that is what you are doing only ends up in miscommunication, misunderstanding and frustration. Unfortunately that is standard operating procedure for the religious, the ‘spiritual’ and other spreaders of ambiguous concepts and dubious claims. If you will notice most of the responses to you on this blog have been an effort to get you to clarify what you are saying. Your responses were no better. That use of language may make you feel poignant but your audience doesn’t agree. I am more than willing to have these discussions but if I can’t understand you because of your conflation it isn’t a ‘me’ problem…it is a ‘you’ problem. I am sorry you have wasted our time as well.”
Otto – “That use of language may make you feel poignant but your audience doesn’t agree. …
….I am more than willing to have these discussions but if I can’t understand you because of your conflation it isn’t a ‘me’ problem…it is a ‘you’ problem.
… I am sorry you have wasted our time as well.”
You analyse this then. You certainly haven’t been able to understand my attempts.
I will instead refer you to the clearest point in this entire series of conversations.
Otto – “Clearest point…?
What is ‘primordial infinitude’? I have got a base understanding of each of those words but when you put them together what are you trying to communicate?”
Knock it off Otto.
Perhaps that lobotomy wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Otto – “Wow…you think I am joking.
…I think I found your problem.”
You have been blowing smoke for some time now.
I have presented a list of reasonable assumptions upon which, I have established my worldview. (Your poetic liabilities aside.)
A similar list of the basic assumptions relevant to *your* choice of worldview, should be a simple thing.
If there is any further discussion, it should proceed from there.
A critique of my terminology and the style of presentation has nothing to do with it.
I’m not asking you to “buy in”. You don’t even have to “understand” what I have said.
If this is something that you prefer not to participate in then simply say so. Without the attempt to malign my character. (Who is the audience for that anyway?)
[note: Unnoticed by me he had actually responded with the following. Wish I had seen it before some of the above was said.]
Otto – “Oh and to answer your question. I have as few assumptions as possible. I assume we are experiencing a shared reality and we are not experiencing a solipsist existence. Beyond that I am a skeptic and attempt to avoid accepting unsubstantiated claims. I want to believe as many ‘true’ things as possible and reject as many ‘false’ things as possible.”
Otto – “Unless you can answer what a primordial infinitude is I don’t see the point of further discussion.
I put it in to google to see if it was just something I have never heard of. The first listing for it links to you.
I have no idea why you are taking that question as an attack and you do not want to explain it further.
I have not once maligned your character. I have called you out for dishonesty in our discussions and I have explained why I have that view. You have never addressed the issue in response to show me why my perception of what you are doing is wrong. I even gave you an out by asking the question…
…”In what sense is your experience an ongoing ‘acquisition’ of integrity
and mine is a demonstration of an unwillingness to “experiment with
It was a effort to get you to explain your seemingly disconnected use of the different definitions of the word ‘integrity’. For some reason you don’t want to do that.”
Otto – “…”In what sense is your experience an ongoing ‘acquisition’ of integrity and mine is a demonstration of an unwillingness to “experiment with integrity”?”…”
Could you please provide everybody with full citation for this “quotation”? (Including the half-baked interpretations that you have hacked together to create it.)
I will once more tiresomely point out that my efforts to get past this subjective impasse have been rebuffed.
If you don’t get, how my suggestion, of sketching in our personal paradigms, without reference to, or critique of the other’s, is a helpful platform; A way to enhance our understanding, then I (really!) can’t work with you either.
In the mean time , here, have a cookie:
“Primordial” as in “primordial stew”. “beginnings”, “what came before”
“Infinitude” as in “no beginning and no end”, “no form”, “emptiness”, “boundless”, “nothing other than THIS”, “HERE AND NOW”.
I will continue to interpret you as being strategically obtuse, until you convince me otherwise. So it would be best to just provide a list of basic assumptions that inform *your” life.
(hint: What are the assumptions behind your atheism? If you are actually a(nti)theist instead, then it should become clear. This would be helpful for us all to know.)
Otto – “So basically ‘Primordial Infinitude’ is an oxymoron. I know you will take that as an insult, but what I am pointing out is why that term confused me. ‘Primordial’ (beginnings), ‘Infinitude’ (no beginnings). But at least you answered the questions directly, I do appreciate that.
Regarding my half baked interpretations that that generated the question…just explain why my perception of your use of “integrity” is wrong. Put yourself in my shoes, if someone told you that you lacked integrity when addressing a metaphysical question what definition under the term would you assign it?”
“Primordial Infinitude” is only an oxymoron for those who find it so. I am very happy to have applied it. It gives me and everyone else a break from the term “Singularity”.
You obviously have no aptitude for this kind of discussion, “I know that you will take that as a insult”, but as I suggested, atheism is a good fit. You should be glad that there is a niche for you.
If you ever surprise yourself and start to “get it”, look me up.
I’m pretty sure that it was not me who said this thing that you are obsessing over. Without the citation I’ll assume that I am innocent of the charge. But, the issue of “integrity” (in the sense that you are using it) may actually become an issue if we keep talking. I would rather that it doesn’t.
As for *my* sense of the word integrity, think in terms of a lifetime of practice and exploration. And, as I see it, that “practice and exploration” is “informed” by “Primordial Infinitude”. As in our birthright of awakening to our integration with it.
Otto – “There is nothing to ‘get’, you seem to think communicating in an enigmatic fashion in the same vein as a Depok Chopra makes you somehow thought provoking. It doesn’t. It just makes you out to be an asshole.
(there now I have maligned your character)
Don’t bother posting, I am done wasting effort with you.”