The formatting always gets lost in translation… even with html. Bleh.
The tags are a good indicator of what this thread’s about (maybe will work on a summary later).
A: It’s fine, I suppose. But the longer it takes, the more disingenuous your pursuit of “exposing incompetence”, as it were, will look (recent post(s) nonwithstanding).
J: You put a bit much weight on a tagline…
That’s not just a tagline… it’s also the title of your blog.
…How is this conversation exposing incompetence.
Well, that one should be obvious. The incompetence comes in the form of dogmaticism regarding the “ultimate truth” of science, which is implied from your For Christians page.
The real incompetence is not whether you believe in a god [or not], but what you use that belief for, what objective you try to achieve with that belief.
I can agree if you’re referring to “amoralism”, e.g. in the case of Hitler and Bush. I don’t think proselytising necessarily bring you to the same conclusion.
And perhaps the Dawkins idea, that any ignorant belief of this kind safeguards extremism.
Yes – this is just a a restatement of the dogmaticism idea – it should be categorically avoided. But at times it is not possible.
I’m sure that you agree that your beliefs differ from most other people of your faith (in my experience, at least), and there is no incompetence in a rational conversation…
In the US, I’d say yeah. There is (fortunately and unfortunately) a greater tradition of evangelical fundamentalism dating back to the colonial period which arose as a counter-revolution to the Age of Enlightenment.
A: … and modern atheists tend to call it the “opiate of the masses”. Key word there is “masses”: have you ever heard of a “mass hallucination”?
I put the quote back in to say that this was more a reference to first century Christianity than mysticism in general. The next quote was moved to provide context:
A: Take a look at the genesis of first century Christianity (comment from another site | Acts and letter to Corinthians. Then the explosive growth).
J: What do you intend to prove with bible quotes? You can see the inconsistencies in the bible in the same place where you started this discussion.
6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
I would argue that “inconsistencies” in the verses, first of all, are the improper application of hermeneutics, if at all. Secondly,
J:First of all, not all religious people claim they have “seen” or “experienced” god,
A:This is true, but…
J:secondly the ones who have can all claim they saw different things,
A:…this is a generalization, which leads you to inaccurately conclude…
J: no one’s belief is truly identical to another’s, hence is it really a “mass hallucination”, or just different people hallucinating different things.
As I said above, people can be manipulated… doesn’t mean they all saw the exact same thing in a hallucination…
…in the case of first century Christianity, the verses prove that it was indeed a “mass hallucination”: specifically, the belief was that, to the >500 people who ate, drank, spoke, and/or touched Jesus after his crucifixion, that he had in fact resurrected from the dead. The belief was in fact identical… similarly, “Jesus never existed” or “God is dead” is another belief which can be made identical.
Of course, if you’re talking about belief systems, that’s obviously another story. In the case of Christianity, I think uniformity is a good indication of dogmaticism/brainwashing. I think it can be deduced through the New Testament letters that such a condition didn’t exist.
Diversity (uniqueness) of good/godly practice, in true Christianity, comes as a result of a living God residing in you – the Holy Spirit. But diversity of beliefs come as a result of improper hermeneutical (rational) application.
I still think that no two beliefs are completely identical… they may be made to conform to a common one, and some are more easily swayed than others, but I think that the mind is capable of producing unique thought…
The mind is capable of producing uniquely good thought (incarnated by practice) in the context of different belief systems, simply because no two real-world situations are alike. So the question becomes, can they produce consistently good, unique thought, loving and serving others, taking no credit for themselves; or, do they revel in serving others for their own ends (like politicians)? Clearly we’ve seen more the case of the latter (as opposed to the Judaic ontic assertion that humans have all sinned).
A: “‘idea’ of god”: rationalism:: Evolution: theory (refer to my comment halfway down). See here why “theory” is the appropriate scientific relegation for evolution.
J: What do you mean to say by this?
Yes, evolution is a theory, but is god a “proven hypothesis”?
Evolution is a proven hypothesis, not a scientific law. God is also a proven hypothesis – but not using the scientific method. Instead a different rubric – rationalism – is used.
A: It’s a counter to the [read: your] basic idea [read: what seems to be your understanding] that empiricism (vs. the “rationalism of science”) is inherently fallacious. It also serves to demonstrate your level of understanding since I first used the terms in the thread.
J: Perhaps it is not inherently fallacious, but I feel that empiricism can, and has been, used as a tool to manipulate people. That is why knowledge obtained through it can be dangerous.
Yes, but you cast “manipulation” in a negative light far too often. It happens all the time in one situation which you probably don’t think of too often (or if you do, also in a negative light) – parentage.
Do you think the mother who raised her child as a baby now disciplines him to bring him/her to a state of despair or self-destruction? No! (Unless you’re speaking of familialism, which is another matter altogether). Instead the mother, more often than not, does this for the social benefit of her child, as if to paradoxically protect him. This is the result of parental love (often guided by empiricism).
So manipulation isn’t wrong by default. Parental discipline is the result of love, which is understood empirically. Manipulation where people act as if they are God is where the problem lies – which is why teachers have such a great responsibility.
By their fruit you will recognize them. Matt 7:16a
A: To explain: “rational” means, basically, “consistent with or based on or using reasoning” (reference). “Knowledge”, on the other hand, can be defined as […onwards]
J: Fair enough
Obviously your knowledge and understanding of epistemology far outweighs my own…
You shouldn’t look at it that way. Most of the understanding of the nature of rationalism and empiricism can be done inductively. It’s a matter of willingness on your part to go through and empirically analyze some of your most deeply-held beliefs.
Believe it or not, you’ll find that some (or maybe a lot) of the things you believe are actually a reflection of faith in your teachers (a priori/a posteriori knowledge), and perhaps little of your own rationale.
Go through some of your stuff and see if you can identify what epistemic category your ideas fall under (you too, Christians). And lastly, see if you can form an exemplary model from them to live by.
I think you will find that Jesus overwhelmingly meets all the above criteria.