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Beyond tribalism; How well does your religious label serve you?

 
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Mar, 2013 05:48 pm
@MattDavis,
Spinoza's

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_Spinoza

Quote:
….a deductive argument from the definition of God as an absolutely infinite substance to the fact that such a substance must necessarily exist.
Yes, Matt, sort of

Thank you again for bringing this one to my attention
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Mar, 2013 05:59 pm
@Kolyo,
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5280248)
Based on the definitions of each of those two terms that I have heard given by people who refer to themselves as both "agnostic" and "atheist".

The way I see it, you can take position (1), (2) or (3) and still be agnostic, since "agnosticism" refers to the belief that no knowledge of God is possible. Belief in whether knowledge of God is possible is different belief in whether or not God exists.

I consider myself both agnostic and theist, and I don't see that as a contradiction.


I didn't say there was a contradiction, Kolyo. I simply asked why you arrived at #3 being a weak atheist rather than an agnostic.

I no longer identify myself as an agnostic...mostly because of the difficulties that arise between weak atheism and agnosticism...and this "belief" and "knowledge" distinction.

Be that as it may, any "agnostic" who asserts a "belief" that "no knowledge of God is possible" is not much of an agnostic.

If there is a GOD...what is to prevent that GOD from revealing itself selectively (or universally for that matter) if it so chooses? How could any skeptic suggest that he/she can logically assert that no knowledge of GOD is possible?

Anyway...if labeling absolutely has to be used...#3 is, in my opinion, better described as an agnostic than a weak atheist. To leave the term "agnostic" out completely, in my opinion, doesn't do justice to your reasoning.
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Mar, 2013 06:20 pm
@dalehileman,
I think Spinoza's conception of "intuition" matches your own definition of Intuition, as well.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  4  
Reply Sat 16 Mar, 2013 06:55 pm
My problem is the definition of 'god.' I don't consider myself an atheist but I have no use whatever for any of the established religions (possible exception: Buddhism, but not the way it is generally practiced by its adherents); I see no point t any of them in my own life. The problem is simply that I have absolutely no notion of what 'god' is. Spinoza comes awfully close to expressing my own feeling about it. But Spinoza often uses terms like 'God' and 'nature' virtually interchangeably.

In the final analysis, I respect all religious feelings that people express from time to time but have no personal use for any of them except as allegory, metaphor or mythology. So, my "religious label" does not exist.
fresco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 01:31 am
@MattDavis,
Quote:
Can groups be formed without personifying authority?

Yes. But group action requires direction which according to size of group leads to social stratification.
Quote:
Bonobo groups seem less hierarchic, though more sexually promiscuous.

The hippies of the primate world !

Quote:
Monk's, more separated from the laity seem less overtly violent in their proclamations. Does the tribing of Monk's create for them a different type of god? What is selected for in collecting this monastic tribe?


"God" concepts are co-extensive with "self" concepts,and monasticism necessarily implies a shift in both. I see secluded monasticism as an artificial haven for attempts at self elevation or self dissipation Ministering to the needy forms of monasticism are continuous tests of the reification of self transformation.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 08:43 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

My problem is the definition of 'god.' I don't consider myself an atheist but I have no use whatever for any of the established religions ... I see no point t any of them in my own life. The problem is simply that I have absolutely no notion of what 'god' is. Spinoza comes awfully close to expressing my own feeling about it. But Spinoza often uses terms like 'God' and 'nature' virtually interchangeably.

In the final analysis, I respect all religious feelings that people express from time to time but have no personal use for any of them except as allegory, metaphor or mythology. So, my "religious label" does not exist.


Andy, this is pretty close to how I feel. Exception: I've never read Spinoza so can't say if I agree, but saying God and nature does mean virtually, if not exactly the same thing to me.

Exception based on the individual....I don't have respect when people try to push their particular religious beliefs on me. My interpretation of "pushing their beliefs" is probably more sensitive than some other peoples. An example would be having a perfectly nice conversation with a stranger while we're both waiting to get our oil changed, and once they feel I'm lulled into a comfortable place with them, they spring their Jesus talk on me. I feel just as invaded as if they suddenly started talking about their preference for wife swapping/group sex, and ask me if I'd care to join in.

BTW, I was reading a book last week about how the human brain works, and at one point it was discussing Einstein. I sat back and started pondering, and it came to me that E=mc2 proved to me as an individual that there is life after death....life not the going to heaven/hell sense, but a continuance of existence. I have long understood energy can't be destroyed, but that formula for whatever reason, I guess bringing the speed of light into it, really solidified it for me.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 08:44 am
sigh - I guess I'll have to read Spinoza now.
0 Replies
 
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 08:56 am
@fresco,
Fresco wrote:
But group action requires direction which according to size of group leads to social stratification.
I agree it leads to differentiation of "roles", I do notice that historically this is perceived as "stratification" or levels. These roles are not truly hierarchical (apart from their perception as such). Each co-dependent on the other. As you often say co-extensive. Tangled hierarchies, or as Ken Wilber calls them holarchies.
Hierarchical social structures are illusory, and perhaps functionally flawed.
Fresco wrote:
The hippies of the primate world !

Or, as Thomas might call them, happies of the primate world.
Thomas wrote:
Some day, maybe someone will invent a label for my religion. I'll use the label if and when that happens. (How about "happies"? I like the similarity to "hippies".) In the meantime, though, the full extent of my religion is just 30 words, so why hold my breath?

Fresco wrote:
I see secluded monasticism as an artificial haven for attempts at self elevation or self dissipation.
I, in a sense, agree. I would describe it as a glorification of escape, from an existence perceived as "lesser".
Fresco wrote:
Ministering to the needy forms of monasticism are continuous tests of the reification of self transformation.

I do feel that reification is an apt description (particularly for my own philosophy). This is a path of many esoteric wisdom traditions. The perception being that "reality" is not something to escape, but rather something to improve, or at least transform.
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 09:33 am
@MattDavis,
Quote:
Hierarchical social structures are illusory, and perhaps functionally flawed.


Yes, and when the adherents realize that, the downfall of the social structure begins. We see that happen over and over. But unfortunately, 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss' seems to be the case. There must be a need or at least a predisposition for structure since it gets built out of chaos.

Quote:
The perception being that "reality" is not something to escape, but rather something to improve, or at least transform.


So how do we build a new structure that truly serves mankind? Not just the few that market the best to serve their own needs?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 10:27 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Quote:
The problem is simply that I have absolutely no notion of what 'god' is.
That;s the main problem isn't it Andy

The closest I can come as a pantheist is to assert intuitionally that there must be something more to It All than apparent: Just what it is and how it comes to be of course remains mysterious

Quote:
So, my "religious label" does not exist.
There is that very common reluctance in any of us to accept a label of any sort

http://therionorteline.com/2012/12/07/dont-label-me-bro/

We're in desperate straits however Andy if someone comes up with a name for that reluctance because then we could be labeled
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 10:51 am
@IRFRANK,
IRFrank wrote:
Yes, and when the adherents realize that, the downfall of the social structure begins. We see that happen over and over. But unfortunately, 'meet the new boss, same as the old boss' seems to be the case. There must be a need or at least a predisposition for structure since it gets built out of chaos.
Thanks Frank,
I would not necessarily describe it as a downfall.
Chaos was a description attempted to model "randomness" by continuous mathematical models. Chaos theory. Chaos theory does not make for a suitable model for life or other emergent phenomena.
From my perhaps limited understanding of number theory and discrete mathematics. Discrete models have greater explanatory power. This allows for an understanding of things such as tangled hierarchies, which seem evident in self-referencing behaviors such as "consciousness".
IRFrank wrote:
So how do we build a new structure that truly serves mankind? Not just the few that market the best to serve their own needs?
I think a good first step would be to recognize the reality of our human condition. To notice that the paradigm of "dominance and control" is both an illusion and maladaptive. This does not imply apathy, it empowers will. The reality is influence, not domination.
Very few people actually care only for themselves. An ever-more connected world makes domination both impractical and less appealing.
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 11:02 am
@dalehileman,
Thanks for the link Dale.
Don't label me, Bro! wrote:
In other words, “Don’t label me” also means “Don’t exercise your free will.”--Joe Bakanovik
I think this gets at the power of group-think to influence "free will". A deity is both a personification of our "greater will", and an influencer of our "personal will". This begs the question what/who are we worshiping?
Dale wrote:
Just what it is and how it comes to be of course remains mysterious
Mysteries are that which remains unexplained. Non-mystery does not devalue, it reifies (thanks for the term Fresco).
Makes something less abstract into something more "real".
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 11:12 am
@MattDavis,
Quote:
Non-mystery does not devalue, it reifies (thanks for the term Fresco).
Yea, thanks, Matt, Fres, it's not everyday……….

To me the interesting thing about reification is that it seems to draw an arbitrary line in the scale of abstraction from the concrete (eg, sidewalk) at the left end to the transcendental (Her) at the right

Forgive any puns
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 11:32 am
@dalehileman,
Not to my perception in terms of "lines" does it shift in the direction of "real" away from "mystery". There are no arbitrary, nor other lines to be drawn.
Transcendence is not about negation. To transcend the understanding of two sides of a coin is not to declare one or the other side "non-real". It is a (reification) of both, by recognizing that each side defines the other. The sides are co-dependent. In a sense, both sides become more "real" by virtue of greater transcendent understanding.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 12:05 pm
@MattDavis,
Quote:
Not to my perception in terms of "lines" does it shift in the direction of "real" away from "mystery".
You have to forgive an old guy with incipient Alzs' Matt, but does what shift

Quote:
There are no arbitrary, nor other lines to be drawn.
It's mainly in my own perception requiring the drawing of lines. To most of us the line is quite clear, with the sidewalk on one side and Her on the other

But of course that's dualism, where we much prefer unification

To the skeptic of course the line is quite clear. The Universe is simply the way it is because that's the way it has to be, a random bouncing of particles off one another, a perfectly "natural" evolution of creatures imagining themselves with a "freewill" eventually dispersing in largely particle form, mutually accelerating apart whilst approaching absolute zero forever

But to me the walkway isn't entirely concrete nor is She entirely abstract

Quote:
Transcendence is not about negation…….not to declare one or the other side "non-real". It is a (reification)…...co-dependent…...more "real" by virtue of greater transcendent understanding.
Thank you Matt, really well-put
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 12:16 pm
Thanks for the "thumbs" igm.
Your capacity for compassion boggles the mind.
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 12:20 pm
@MattDavis,
Maybe a better word would have been anarchy. I was talking about specific structures falling, not in general. I was speaking of the leaders tendency to serve themselves, not the individual. I would agree that individual responsibility should be a higher priority, but we usually only apply that term to others. The world is changing though, the speed and connectedness is making it harder to control. Hard to say what things might be like in 50 - 100 years. Much less poverty or a bigger divide between haves and have nots. And to your original point, what role will religion play?
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 12:38 pm
@MattDavis,
MattDavis wrote:
Do you find value in labeling yourself with your religious beliefs/non-beliefs?


Is there a difference in the impact if you label yourself or others stick a label on you?
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 12:40 pm
@dalehileman,
Matt wrote:
Not to my perception in terms of "lines" does it shift in the direction of "real" away from "mystery".
Dale wrote:
You have to forgive an old guy with incipient Alzs' Matt, but does what shift
No forgiving required.
(Perception/understanding) is what shifts.

Matt wrote:
There are no arbitrary, nor other lines to be drawn.
Dale wrote:
It's mainly in my own perception requiring the drawing of lines. To most of us the line is quite clear, with the sidewalk on one side and Her on the other
Exactly. Some perceptions do favor a dualism of [this]/[not this]. The more transcendent understanding of that analogy would be that what defines the sidewalk is what lies on either side of it.
They are both a part of the surface or ground.

Dale wrote:
But of course that's dualism, where we much prefer unification
Well... dualism is preferable to a negation of dualism. Trans-dualism is preferable to dualism. We don't declare the sidewalk non-existent, simply because it is "defined" by what lies on either side of it.
If by unification this is what you mean, then I agree.

Dale wrote:
To the skeptic of course the line is quite clear. The Universe is simply the way it is because that's the way it has to be, a random bouncing of particles off one another, a perfectly "natural" evolution of creatures imagining themselves with a "freewill" eventually dispersing in largely particle form, mutually accelerating apart whilst approaching absolute zero forever

Skeptical of what?
What you described (above) is a form of nihilism, not necessarily skepticism.
That would be neither cognitively preferable, nor "physically" accurate.
Dale wrote:
But to me the walkway isn't entirely concrete nor is She entirely abstract
I can't define what something is to you.
I do feel that understanding a sidewalk as being co-extensive with ground makes me perceive both the ground and the sidewalk as more "real".
You could call this intuition if you prefer.

Matt wrote:
Transcendence is not about negation…….not to declare one or the other side "non-real". It is a (reification)…...co-dependent…...more "real" by virtue of greater transcendent understanding.
Dale wrote:
Thank you Matt, really well-put
Thank you Dale.
I hope that I am helpful and not "pushy".
MattDavis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Mar, 2013 01:00 pm
@ehBeth,
Matt OP wrote:
Do you find value in labeling yourself with your religious beliefs/non-beliefs?
ehBeth wrote:
Is there a difference in the impact if you label yourself or others stick a label on you?

There is quite a difference, I would imagine.

I think labeling yourself as "Christian" or "Hindu" or "Buddhist" etc..
Would play a big role in how one defines themselves. I remember as a Christian feeling a need to "defend" my faith. As though my "faith" was some higher power which needed my defense. Again a personification of ideas. Making a person/God of "faith".

If others attach a label to you, especially one which you think is inaccurate, then they are of course trying to define you. This is one of the root causes of all the "-isms".
Racism, sexism, agism, .... bigotry in general.
Labels are needed for communication, but communication is by essence communal (decided by the community).
If it isn't accurate, or isn't working... throw it out.
Define a "better" label, or disregard communications which require an inaccurate label.
 

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