What is sin? - Page 11 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-28-2007, 03:30 AM   #151
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem


Your views on this make absolutely no sense to me. Lets use you and me for a minute - I don't believe in much that I cannot see, and you are a Christian. If we both do something mean to a friend, we will both feel remorse and berate ourselves for causing hurt, we'll apologise and make a promise to ourselves not to do it again. How is my feelings on this any different to yours, and where does God fit into this? How does believing make your reaction to your mistake more meaningful? Pain and hurt on an emotional level is largely without conscious choosing. We've an instinctive and inbuilt emotion. Whether there is a God in your life relates absolutely squat to react to things and to choose things - ie, good and bad actions and good and bad reactions.
I told you, the fact that God is also pleased with my actions (not just myself) makes me feel really good. Also, when I mistreat someone I feel that God weighs down on my concious so I'll make things right again.

I also believe that God gives wisdom to those who seek his will. I know a few Christian families, and all of them have pretty good family lives. Much, much better than anyone else I know, bar none. I don't think many people can see this, because I don't think many people see TRUE Chistians. From what I've seen, most "christians" don't act like christians at all. It's a bad example, and it hurts peoples' perceptions of even true christians.

The Christians I know (only a few) are much more in tune with people's emotions, have a much easier time honestly communicating, have much better family lives, have much less instances of sickness or injury, and generally much more stable lives than ANYONE I know who is a non-believer or a hypocritical christian. That, for me is pretty good proof.
__________________

__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:35 AM   #152
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 03:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
As suspected...nope, I hadn't understood well what kinds of issues you were looking to get at. I was nodding and smiling all the way through this though, wonderful post.
Quote:
At the end of the book she describes a system that is essentially set up to use the poor for the benefit of the rich and I thought to myself:

This is such a sin.

I thought of it again browsing through a book in the airport which touched on aspects of game theory including the "prisoner's dilemma" a part of which is this idea, which I lifted from Wikipedia:

"rational choice leads the two players to both play defect even though each player's individual reward would be greater if they both played cooperate. In equilibrium, each prisoner chooses to defect even though both would be better off by cooperating, hence the dilemma."

I remember thinking to myself: This is the nature of sin.
.................
At least sin the way I, as a Christian, understand it. I suppose I would call it "sin in the macro sense." I see sin in a somewhat magical, storytelling sense (or maybe I'm just feeling that more as I just finished the final installment of the Harry Potter series--something else that gave me occasion to meditate on the nature of sin); it is that inexplicably self-destructive streak that has mysteriously infected humanity, and in a sense, the planet itself. It's what we call in Christianese "the consequences of living in a sinful world."

It is this that demands an explanation--not why humans are good, why we make the moral decisions, the evolutionarily advantageous ones, but when we do the opposite. Something is seriously wrong when our species has developed the capacity to completely annihilate ourselves. When I began teaching my high school freshman Bible class the basic foundational teachings of Christianity, we began by talking not about goodness but evil as the evidence for belief. For this is where I believe all religions originate--trying to explain suffering and death. For whatever reason, humans cannot seem to accept and be at peace with the inevitability and unpredictability of human suffering and death. The Buddhists say that suffering is rooted in desire and overcoming desire and attachment will free one from suffering. Christians say that suffering comes from sin--a poison in the human system.
At this "macro"-level anyhow, your examples to me more have the connotation of 'injustice' than 'sin', at least the way English speakers normally use those terms--although the prisoner's dilemma example (which we often use in political science when discussing deterrence theory) does, I guess, form a kind of bridge between the two by inquiring into why people behave in this way. In Judaism, we sometimes talk about 'sin' and 'injustice' arising from our yetzer ha'ra, which is usually translated by the rather fatalistic-sounding phrase "Evil (ra) Inclination (yetzer)." But yetzer actually means to give form to something by applying pressure--God yetzers Adam from the dust, for example--while ra means shattering, tumult, cacophany. An old fable preserved in the Talmud talks about a man who captured the yetzer ha'ra and sealed it in a barrel, thinking he was doing the world a great favor; but the results were disastrous--farmers didn't get up and plow their fields, hens stopped laying eggs, no one and nothing got anything productive done. So it's not so much an 'Evil Inclination' as a drive to achieve, acquire, and experience...but a potentially dangerous one which can sabotage its own bearer, if not properly directed with the aid of the yetzer ha'tov, tov meaning 'good' in the fullest sense: not 'simply' righteous and just, but also properly productive; suited to grant and nurture contentment and joy (to refer to Genesis again, tov is what God is said to find everything created to be).

That may or may not be the most germane Jewish concept to cite in this context; it's just what sprang to mind first for me. I guess I see it as somewhere in between your 'Buddhist concept' (which in this case is also the Hindu concept) and 'Christian concept' of where injustice, and in a broader sense 'suffering', come from. The Hebrew word cheyt, literally 'to miss the mark,' is the most commonly used word for 'sin' in the Hebrew Bible, and the only one which can denote a 'sinful' act in itself. Its Aramaic cognate, chat, is the aforementioned word explained as 'disharmony' in Kabbalah, and that interpretation ties it in to both yetzer ha'ra and injustice or suffering in the collective (and, in Kabbalah, cosmic) sense. Again, cheyt doesn't necessarily mean 'sin' in a 'moral' way; it can also mean 'missing the mark' in terms of those religious practices we call chukkim ('fiat'), such as the kosher laws, which help cultivate a kind of spiritual discipline but aren't per se seen as 'moral' injunctions--whereas, for example, the mishpatim ('justice') or laws governing relations between people definitely are. For Jews, as for Christians and Muslims, it's those that are seen as The Biggies. (Or as Jesus' contemporary Hillel [? 70 BC-10 AD] said: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor [Lev 19:18]--that is the entire Torah; all the rest is just commentary.") On the other hand, in both Buddhism and Hinduism, the hallmark of a person who has overcome desire and attachment is a life of selfless compassion and service, and that can be understood in the collective as well; also, as a Jew, I was always fascinated by the analogies between the role yoga (cognate of English yoke, and conveying that same idea of achieving harmony of purpose by "harnessing") plays in Hinduism and Buddhism, and the role 'the observant life' plays in Judaism, especially in Kabbalist understanding.

Death and suffering in, say, the sense of grave illness or natural disasters though, I personally don't look at in the above context (although someone who took Kabbalistic scripture literally might); I take them as inevitabilities of the human condition, and am content to remain agnostic as to what, if any, their 'purpose' might be. Leviticus says that the goal of an observant life is to badal the qodesh from the chol--to draw forth the sacred from the 'pierced,' i.e., the wounded or 'profaned'--above all socially and morally, but also ritually. (And, one last Genesis reference here: badal is what God does with the light and the darkness, and the waters above and below: to separate out by making distinctions; so, it's also a creative power.) Maybe doing so also helps achieve that 'cosmically,' maybe not, but for me the rest is privilege enough, qodesh enough. We call this tikkun olam--the work of 'repairing' and 'transforming' a broken world.
Quote:
I thought of it again, reading an article yesterday in a back issue of TIME about how slavery evolved in the English colonies in the United States. This was no, "oops, they made a mistake" or "Well, they just didn't know any better" kind of mild immorality. This was in the opinion of Yale Historian Edmund Morgan, a white elite "actively promoting racism and a racially exclusive popular democracy as a way of dividing and ruling black and white workers. By glorifying whiteness and restricting the electorate to whites, a bond of racial solidarity emerged between all classes of whites predicated on the permanent exclusion of blacks." And I thought, this willful creation of racism for the sake of greed. . .
That "dividing and ruling" dimension was still very apparent where I grew up...almost invariably, the in-your-face Rebel Flag waving types were the poorest white people, and more than once I had the thought, Now why would you romanticize those days? The ruling class didn't care about your folk then, guess whose descendants still run the local government now, and they aren't doing too much about your (appalling) housing conditions and neighborhood "roads" and open sewers and all that, are they? Don't see that in their neighborhoods, do you? All for the false security of "Well at least I'm not a..." thinking. Which ironically, now makes them feel all the more justified in simply looking down on you.

------------------------

Anyways, I look forward to reading the rest of your thoughts on the subject. (Just so long as it doesn't mean you'll be hunched bleary-eyed in some Starbucks for hours, feverishly typing away, when you could be out strolling around Waikiki...if that's not "disharmony" I don't know what is!)
__________________

__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:40 AM   #153
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint


Good or not, it is. And we make use of it. I'd say beneficial more than good. But if we are using good and bad only in the context of human experience. I'd say good. I don't go beyond humanity or the material world for my definitions. I think we have created the concept of good and bad and it does not have a separate existence from us.
I'll try to go back to a few old posts, since I was gone for a few days.

This still does't answer my question. Why does everyone act like our perceptions of things, which in a Godless universe would be completely irrational, somehow matter? "It matters to us" isn't a legit response. In a Godless universe we don't matter. There is no reason to believe we would. "Because we feel like we do" doesn't mean a thing.We are a part of this universe, and we have no choice but to follow the laws of the universe. If the laws of the universe only pertain to physics then why are we any different? We're not.
__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:08 AM   #154
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega



Explaining you how I feel or see the world, without needing a God entirely, might be as hard as to explain a blind person the color blue. No offense meant here.

Your misconception starts with the implication, that atheists see the whole world, or the universe, only as material, or atoms and molecules. While the whole universe really is just that, it doesn't mean that our lifes and the lifes of other people, or other creatures, are just atoms moving around.
We are capable of feelings, interaction and to develop complex relationships that go way beyond chemicals interchanging to cause reactions in the other persons brain.

You seem to need the concept of God to have "meaningful feelings or lives". Otherwise I don't get why you ask for the logic behind an atheist developing such feelings. I don't need this at all, still have a similar set of values.



What do you mean by that?

I have been asking myself what we are supposed to do, or why we do all this, when from one second to the other everything ends just like that. But I don't see the need for creating some belief that there will be another level after my life has ended. I don't see the need for creating a belief in some higher being only to feel better about myself. I enjoy being around, and I enjoy interacting with other people and doing stuff I like.

You say morals are ingrained to us by God. That's your belief. I say morals get learned through observation and how our parents and all the people around us teach us morals. That's how I see it. For you a world without God doesn't function, so you'll hardly understand why for me this is all logical without God.

As I told you before, answers may be found by Immanuel Kant.

I don't care why we have meaningful feelings, but I know that we have them. Because I feel them. I think, survival is a good reason. If we didn't feel anything, we would not enjoy our lives. And we would eventually die.

So, by using your logic, hurting your friend is bad because God wouldn't like it and it goes against your belief. Later you say that when you interact with people you don't think about your religion, and of course we just misunderstand you. Yet you are saying that an atheist isn't using logic, as he ust doesn't want to hurt another person's feelings just because he doesn't want to.
I am feeling pain, and as it doesn't feel good, it's bad. Just as french fries are bad for me, as I don't like them, or rap is bad for me as I don't like it.

So, just tell me, why do you think hurting another one's feelings is bad? Why do you think chaos is bad?

I don't want to be a bad person, because it goes against my set or morals. I don't want to hurt other people because I don't see value in it. And I also don't want to get hurt myself. I wouldn't enjoy making people feel bad about themselves, except they try to do the same with me. But even then I'm generally too kind to get mean.

For me, there are real consequences, believe it or not. I view life is much more than just a material being without reason. Even if times are sometimes tough, like they have been recently and continue to be for quite a while.
The misconception is yours, because you think that I actually believe that you see the universe that way. I'm trying to find flaws in your point of view by using your logic. If you don't believe in God or the supernatural, the alternative is science. Now, if you want to use science you better start backing up your beliefes with some sort of proof. There can never be any sort of scientific proof that our feelings mean one bit. In a completely scientific universe our feelings mean nothing. Our lives mean nothing. Planet Earth means nothing. I don't care if it means something in our heads, because in a Godless universe our feelings don't matter, and no one has told me any REAL reason why they should. Why would the big bang matter? Why is a universe more meaningful than empty space? Why is life evolving on one insignificant planet meaningful? Why are the feelings of the insignificant people on the insignificant planet in an insignificant universe meaningful? Why is everyone acting like they are?

The only reason an insignificant, soulless being would tell themself they matter is because they want to mater. They want to believe they mean something? Why do you mean anything if you don't even have a soul? Everything would be action and reaction. Nothing more. It's all about living organisms with meaningless feelings colliding and thinking it means something. Just because we do feel doesn't mean our feelings are worth a thing. Why are you assuming they do?

Here's my main point. You don't believe in any sort of creator, higher power or that we have souls. You believe that the universe is run by logic and that everything that happens is dictated by physics. If there's no god what alternative is there. Then you say all of a sudden we sprouted up, grew meaningful feelings and started mattering. It makes no sense.

I believe that my ultimae purpose on this planet is to serve God, and to show others through example that they need God as well. It saddens me to see the people I love, knowing full well that they don't have a relationship with God. I don't look down on them or feel lesser of them. I usually think "wow, that person is really cool. I wish they could see how great it is to have what I have". In my opinion, the only reason we are here is to get to know God so we can be with him, and to try and bring others to be with him too. I know a lot of people view that as condescending, and it makes me feel pretty bad, because it's not at all. It has nothing to do with the quality of the person, just whether or not they choose to have a relationship with God.
__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:09 AM   #155
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
sin is a concept that people in positions of power use to increase their power over the relatively powerless, and the reason why sin works so well is that an ultimate, unquestionable authority is invoked -- God -- and an ultimate, unquestionable rule book is sourced -- the Bible -- and dissenters are easily dismissed.
How do you know?
__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:12 AM   #156
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl


No it doesn't, not to me. And I've had lots of self-destructive friends. Sure, they may be "in hell" but I'm talking about the idea of the biblical hell as a literal fiery place that God apparently "allows" people to go to if they don't follow his direction. Equally absurd to me is the notion that someone can commit heinous crimes all their life and on their deathbed say "I'm sorry, please forgive me" and all is well.

It's a debate I'm not particularly interested in engaging in, having left the Christian church a long time ago never to return, but that's just my opinion.
The idea of Hell has been one of the biggest questions I've had about God. In all honesty I can't understand why he'd send someone there for eternity either. It kind of seems unfair to me.

I pray about it a lot though. Maybe someday I'll understand. I hope so.
__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:15 AM   #157
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511



you wish it were accurate?

seems to me that the wishful thinking is for those who want Jesus to personally pat them on the back at the pearly gates.
How is it wishful thinking if you see evidence in your life when you decide to put your faith in it? That sounds more like faith with results to me.
__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:20 AM   #158
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by deep


sinner?
We're all sinners. Each one of us is also born with certain weaknesses, and with some people it's food. God tells us not to be sluggards, which she most likely is. Of course the question of health issues could be brought up (hypothyroid for example), but I think a lot of people find food a huge temptation, and way too many people give in to it.

The same could be said for a lot of things, though. Sex, pride, greed and a bunch of others.
__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 07:58 AM   #159
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 10:54 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780


This still does't answer my question. Why does everyone act like our perceptions of things, which in a Godless universe would be completely irrational, somehow matter? "It matters to us" isn't a legit response. In a Godless universe we don't matter. There is no reason to believe we would. "Because we feel like we do" doesn't mean a thing.We are a part of this universe, and we have no choice but to follow the laws of the universe. If the laws of the universe only pertain to physics then why are we any different? We're not.
I do not believe that we matter outside of our species. We have chosen to matter within our species for a variety of reasons, ego being part of it. And you would have to explain to me why God would be necessary for an intellectually complex, emotionally complex, creatively complex species to come up with a philosophy that says we matter among ourselves (or even beyond ourselves). So, are you questioning the ability of a Godless existence to create such a philosophy? You haven't explained to me why such a member of a self-aware species would not be capable of behaving as if he matters and extending that behavior toward others like him.

Or are you saying that said self-aware creature doesn't have the right to behave "as if". And if not, who determined that right? I believe that humanity can create the rules and varying philosophies under which it functions. And it really doesn't matter if we really matter. You've called such an intraspecies philosphy illogical but have not explained to me why it is illogical when it only relates between species members. I've already allowed that I don't think we matter outside of the species. Whether we matter in some kind of philosphical/again cosmic/outside of species way is a matter of indifference to me, although I don't expect it to be a matter of indifference to everyone.

If there is a God, then he chose that we matter to him for no logical reason. Why would it be beyond us to claim the same prerogative? We do not need God to choose to matter among ourselves.

A quote of yours to Vincent Vega: "The only reason an insignificant, soulless being would tell themself they matter is because they want to mater. They want to believe they mean something? Why do you mean anything if you don't even have a soul? Everything would be action and reaction. Nothing more. It's all about living organisms with meaningless feelings colliding and thinking it means something."

I think you missed a few human capabilities in your analysis.
Human beings, in addition to being subject to action and reaction, are capable of reflection, awareness of consequences,
creation, destruction, forethought, etc. I do believe that the prime reason for believing one matters is because one wants to matter. No argument there.

-----"It's all about living organisms with meaningless feelings colliding and thinking it means something." Maybe. Ultimately.

To you, things only make sense if there is a God. To me, it makes no difference if there is a God or not. I allow for the existence of god. You do not allow for no existence of god. I think your premise is a little shaky. If god exists, my world doesn't come crashing down. The way I look at things allows me to adjust. Oops. Wrong there. How does this fit in now? If god doesn't exist, your worldview may crumble. Both of us are choosing to believe in something we cannot prove--I choose to believe we matter or should behave as if we do whether or not god exists and you choose to believe in god. Objective logic doesn't come in to play for either of them, really. Perhaps we are depending on subjective logic. Perhaps we are both relying on faith. I'm not saying you're wrong about the existence of God. How the hell should I know?

I am a humanist. I see humanity as the holy grail. Not in its perfection (I'm not an idiot) but because of its complexity and ability and potential and its glimmerings of brilliance. I also see it as primal, selfish, nonthinking, cruel and immensely capable of every degradation under the sun. Humanity is not a single organism but an aggregate of the organisms and the influence they have had for better or worse. It is not monolithic. Therefore, the individual has influence, even if small, on the course humanity takes. The individual (or individuals) creates a tool, creates a language, creates a base philosophy, makes a discovery. The dynamic of the species is that it will feed off these elements and humanity changes based on the influences/experiences it is exposed to. The individual can also degrade humanity through the same tools. Individuals created the Constitution and works that have influenced thought (and they were influenced by previous thought). Even if one does not believe in physical evolution, I would assume one would believe in the evolution of thought and culture. I believe that is a fully human construct and I've yet to be given any satisfactory evidence contrary to that.

I recognize the limits of philosophy and science and even logic when based on a faulty or unclear premise. I know scientists are often wrong but scientific process understands that. But you are asking me to take on faith something you cannot begin to prove and to accept its logic. You cannot tell me that believing we matter is illogical and leave it at that. To me, it is no more illogical than believing we matter because God believes we matter (and probably no less illogical, but man -- even agnostic/atheist man does not live by logic alone). But I can see and taste and hear and feel and smell and perceive the influence we as a species have had even if only within the species and on the planet in which we exist. You can tell me you perceive the same with god. But I know humanity exists and I can perceive its dynamic. You have faith to believe god exists. I do not need faith to believe humanity exists and I am willing to work within its limitations.

I'm not trying to convince you there is no God. I am merely saying that we are capable of constructing thought and moral philosophy and even the concept that we matter without the concept of god because we have found it to be beneficial and we have the intellectual capability to do so. I'm not trying to prove we matter. You are trying to convince me that things do not make sense without god. Burden's on you. And you're not there yet.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 08:34 AM   #160
Jesus Online
 
Angela Harlem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: a glass castle
Posts: 30,163
Local Time: 01:54 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780


We're all sinners. Each one of us is also born with certain weaknesses, and with some people it's food. God tells us not to be sluggards, which she most likely is. Of course the question of health issues could be brought up (hypothyroid for example), but I think a lot of people find food a huge temptation, and way too many people give in to it.

The same could be said for a lot of things, though. Sex, pride, greed and a bunch of others.
I wish you could read this through my eyes.
__________________
<a href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/angelaharlem/thPaul_Roos28.jpg target=_blank>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...aul_Roos28.jpg</a>
Angela Harlem is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 10:46 AM   #161
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 03:54 AM
What elso could I say than BonosSaint.

Shart, using my logic for finding fault in it you first have to use my logic.
__________________
Vincent Vega is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:08 PM   #162
LJT
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
LJT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Belfast
Posts: 5,039
Local Time: 03:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780
I believe that my ultimae purpose on this planet is to serve God, and to show others through example that they need God as well. It saddens me to see the people I love, knowing full well that they don't have a relationship with God. I don't look down on them or feel lesser of them. I usually think "wow, that person is really cool. I wish they could see how great it is to have what I have". In my opinion, the only reason we are here is to get to know God so we can be with him, and to try and bring others to be with him too. I know a lot of people view that as condescending, and it makes me feel pretty bad, because it's not at all. It has nothing to do with the quality of the person, just whether or not they choose to have a relationship with God.
Why does God need people? He is omnipotent...why does he need us to worship him, follow him etc? That need seems so human...why bother giving us a corporeal body, why bother make us at all when he knows full well that he will make some of us cease to exist or go to hell? Why does he need us to stroke his ego....The Christian God seems too human for his own good...why does having a creator make more sense than not having one? Why do we matter to him? Why do we have feelings, maybe so he can mess around with them? Why does a God make feelings or our emotions any more meaningful or real? It just shoves those questions on to God...why then does God matter... Why does he give meaning when there is no logic dictating he exists...to me the Christian idea of God sounds like a big guy in the sky playing games with our heads....he doesn't seem a pleasant fellow, probably because he acts so human.

If we ask why do we matter and the answer is because God made us...then to whom does God matter? Us? Sounds like God needs us to exist...or does God not need anyone to matter or mean anything? If we didn't exist or the universe didn't exist...would God matter?

If we matter because of God and vice versa...why can't people matter because they care for other people?

an awful lot of questions.
__________________
LJT is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 06:05 PM   #163
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,492
Local Time: 09:54 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by shart1780


How is it wishful thinking if you see evidence in your life when you decide to put your faith in it? That sounds more like faith with results to me.


you see evidence for life after death? where?

feelings, intuitions ... these don't count. i'm looking for measurable evidence.

isn't faith just wishful thinking? if not, how is it different?
__________________
Irvine511 is online now  
Old 07-28-2007, 07:26 PM   #164
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint


I do not believe that we matter outside of our species. We have chosen to matter within our species for a variety of reasons, ego being part of it. And you would have to explain to me why God would be necessary for an intellectually complex, emotionally complex, creatively complex species to come up with a philosophy that says we matter among ourselves (or even beyond ourselves). So, are you questioning the ability of a Godless existence to create such a philosophy? You haven't explained to me why such a member of a self-aware species would not be capable of behaving as if he matters and extending that behavior toward others like him.

Or are you saying that said self-aware creature doesn't have the right to behave "as if". And if not, who determined that right? I believe that humanity can create the rules and varying philosophies under which it functions. And it really doesn't matter if we really matter. You've called such an intraspecies philosphy illogical but have not explained to me why it is illogical when it only relates between species members. I've already allowed that I don't think we matter outside of the species. Whether we matter in some kind of philosphical/again cosmic/outside of species way is a matter of indifference to me, although I don't expect it to be a matter of indifference to everyone.

If there is a God, then he chose that we matter to him for no logical reason. Why would it be beyond us to claim the same prerogative? We do not need God to choose to matter among ourselves.

A quote of yours to Vincent Vega: "The only reason an insignificant, soulless being would tell themself they matter is because they want to mater. They want to believe they mean something? Why do you mean anything if you don't even have a soul? Everything would be action and reaction. Nothing more. It's all about living organisms with meaningless feelings colliding and thinking it means something."

I think you missed a few human capabilities in your analysis.
Human beings, in addition to being subject to action and reaction, are capable of reflection, awareness of consequences,
creation, destruction, forethought, etc. I do believe that the prime reason for believing one matters is because one wants to matter. No argument there.

-----"It's all about living organisms with meaningless feelings colliding and thinking it means something." Maybe. Ultimately.

To you, things only make sense if there is a God. To me, it makes no difference if there is a God or not. I allow for the existence of god. You do not allow for no existence of god. I think your premise is a little shaky. If god exists, my world doesn't come crashing down. The way I look at things allows me to adjust. Oops. Wrong there. How does this fit in now? If god doesn't exist, your worldview may crumble. Both of us are choosing to believe in something we cannot prove--I choose to believe we matter or should behave as if we do whether or not god exists and you choose to believe in god. Objective logic doesn't come in to play for either of them, really. Perhaps we are depending on subjective logic. Perhaps we are both relying on faith. I'm not saying you're wrong about the existence of God. How the hell should I know?

I am a humanist. I see humanity as the holy grail. Not in its perfection (I'm not an idiot) but because of its complexity and ability and potential and its glimmerings of brilliance. I also see it as primal, selfish, nonthinking, cruel and immensely capable of every degradation under the sun. Humanity is not a single organism but an aggregate of the organisms and the influence they have had for better or worse. It is not monolithic. Therefore, the individual has influence, even if small, on the course humanity takes. The individual (or individuals) creates a tool, creates a language, creates a base philosophy, makes a discovery. The dynamic of the species is that it will feed off these elements and humanity changes based on the influences/experiences it is exposed to. The individual can also degrade humanity through the same tools. Individuals created the Constitution and works that have influenced thought (and they were influenced by previous thought). Even if one does not believe in physical evolution, I would assume one would believe in the evolution of thought and culture. I believe that is a fully human construct and I've yet to be given any satisfactory evidence contrary to that.

I recognize the limits of philosophy and science and even logic when based on a faulty or unclear premise. I know scientists are often wrong but scientific process understands that. But you are asking me to take on faith something you cannot begin to prove and to accept its logic. You cannot tell me that believing we matter is illogical and leave it at that. To me, it is no more illogical than believing we matter because God believes we matter (and probably no less illogical, but man -- even agnostic/atheist man does not live by logic alone). But I can see and taste and hear and feel and smell and perceive the influence we as a species have had even if only within the species and on the planet in which we exist. You can tell me you perceive the same with god. But I know humanity exists and I can perceive its dynamic. You have faith to believe god exists. I do not need faith to believe humanity exists and I am willing to work within its limitations.

I'm not trying to convince you there is no God. I am merely saying that we are capable of constructing thought and moral philosophy and even the concept that we matter without the concept of god because we have found it to be beneficial and we have the intellectual capability to do so. I'm not trying to prove we matter. You are trying to convince me that things do not make sense without god. Burden's on you. And you're not there yet.
You say we don't matter outside of our species, but you still have yet to legitimize why our species matters. I never said God had to exist for us to evolve and have emotions, I'm saying that if there is no god and we have no souls it doesn't matter if we evolved the feelings, because they'd still mean nothing.

In a godless universe humans could create their own laws as a means to protect the species. It makes sense of course, because the goal is to preserve the species, but what's the point, really? We'd still be insignificant. For our feelings to mater we'd have to matter in a larger way than just because we feel like it. he implications of Us not mattering outside of our species are dangerous to me. You could never truly judge a person on a moral level. Why would it be wrong to kill someone? It's just killing a worthless animal (I'm speaking hypothetically of course). We'd be no better than worms. I don't care if I felt better than a wom, I'd still be a worm. If I died it wouldn't matter. You might feel bad, but the universe doesn't recognise feelings It doesn't understand good or bad. So what does it matter what we do? No one would care besides us, and since we're worthless worms what does it really matter? Again, I'm not saying you feel this way. I'm saying that when you imply that there is nothing greater out there, or in us, you're open to the argument that none of our actions matter, and neither do our lives. If the entire human race died out the universe would be no worse off. And why would wanting to matter mean a thing? Does wanting someting make it so? No.

OK, so let's say you agree with my philosophy (which you obviously don't). Let's say you acknowledge that there is no God (because there isn't) and that you choose to live a "good" life because your brain tells you that's what makes you happy, and happy is "good". Alright. That's all cool. But what if someone does something "bad"? What really makes him bad? Maybe he's just a heartless bastard that believes in my philosohy. He accepts the fact that We don't matter. That being mean isn't a bad thing to do, because there is no bad. He sees things for what they really are. He knows that besides this insignificant swarm of bugs on Earth, no one cares what he does to hurt others. He should just live his life how he wants. And no one should judge him because he just lacks the feelings you feel, and he doesn't feel the need to be nice. He sees the big picture. We're all governed by physics. We're all just objects colliding. Is he wrong? No Are you wrong if you get pissed for being meand and kill him right there? No. No one is ever truly wrong.

I'll post more later because I have to go to work.
__________________
shart1780 is offline  
Old 07-28-2007, 07:28 PM   #165
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Washington State
Posts: 3,861
Local Time: 02:54 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




you see evidence for life after death? where?

feelings, intuitions ... these don't count. i'm looking for measurable evidence.

isn't faith just wishful thinking? if not, how is it different?
When I act at my most faithful I see results in my life. I don't see God float down on a cloud and Give me what I want. What you're basically telling me is that I should only ever worship an idol. Without the need fo faith, that's all God would be anyways.
__________________

__________________
shart1780 is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com