The God of Kierkegaard (Moved to AvT)

Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
The God of Kierkegaard (Moved to AvT)

I'm a little concerned about the language used in this freethinkers' forum. It says, "All theist posts will be destroyed". That's rather un-freethinking, isn't it?

The reason I'm a bit concerned, is that it can be too easy to leap to conclusions about what someone means, just because of the language they use. Censoring people because of the words they use sounds to me like totalitarianism - which is just what religions are good at.

A case in point is Soren Kierkegaard. Would he be classified as a theist, given that he wrote so extensively and profoundly on ---- "God".... ?

But wait - what did he mean by God?

He wrote extensively about God, religion, being a Christian, and faith. Yet none of the meanings for these words he used, had anything to do with the established Christianity of his time. He actually wrote "An Attack on Christendom". He referred to God as the Infinite. He referred to religion as one's striving to live truthfully in relation to the Infinite.

Soren Kierkegaard is often mistaken as a Christian who believes in a personal God, because he wrote with extraordinary depth on one's personal relationship to God. The thing is, by God, Kierkegaard wasn't referring to a personal God, or to any finite type of God, or to a supernatural God, but to the Infinite. God, for Kierkegaard, meant literally that which is everything.

He's a good example of how religious misunderstanding goes wrong. To modern Christians, Kierkegaard is a Christian, and yet in his own day, he rejected just about everybody who called themselves a Christian - and he lived in a Christian state. Those 'Christians' rejected his views, and called him an eccentric. To modern atheists, Kierkegaard is also a Christian,and yet if anyone was an atheist, it was him.

I won't go on about Kierkegaard, because he's just an example of how some people get very fixed ideas about what words ought to mean, as if everything is determined by the majority, or common usage.

....But perhaps the warning really means, "If you prefer to let other people decide for you, please don't post here." ?

 


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 It's very simple.

 It's very simple.  Theists of any genre whatsoever are not allowed to post here.  If they do, their post will be converted into so many random ones and zeros hanging about in the hard drive ether.  Theism is very simple.  If you believe in any god at all, in any incarnation whatsoever, you are a theist.

Why do so many people have such a hard time with this concept?

By the way, Kelly, are you a theist?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
If God is the Infinite, why

If God is the Infinite, why call it 'God'? We already have a word for the Infinite: it is spelled I-n-f-i-n-i-t-e.

That's the problem with Kierkegaard's God. He tries to hide it by equating it with a word that is vague and harmless, but at the end of the day, he still slaps that old label on it 'G-o-d'. Why? You have to wonder.

It's like people who say "God is Love". Well, why not just say 'love' then? Why call it 'god'?

The reason is that these people do not really mean 'God is the Infinite', or 'God is Love'. They mean that there is something mysterious and mystical about these things, that they just can't pin down, but it *must* have some special power, so let's call it God.

This is why I say that God is The Unknown. The thing about The Unknown is that it is the one thing that universally inspires awe in people. Awe can shift to either terror or wonder, depending on whether it's based in fear or in love. When people face the Unknown, they get this feeling of awe, and some people label that 'God'. God is The Unknown.

Whenever you hear the word 'god', just replace it with 'the unknown', and everything will start to make sense.

God is Love = Love is something mysterious and unknown, and so I'll label it God.

God is the Infinite = The Infinite is the most incomprehensible and unknown thing I can name, so I'll label it God.

God is the Trinity = same idea

God of the Gaps = same idea

God works in mysterious ways = same idea

.... etc.

Of course, someone who uses the word 'God' will not admit that they really mean 'The Unknown'. That would spoil the mystery of it! They need to shroud the Unknown in a protective blanket, so that it will remain unknown forever. That's what the label 'God' is for.

When I say God is The Unknown, I'm just calling a spade a spade, and bringing the hidden assumption into the light of day.

I'm also saying that you shouldn't worship the unknown as something sacred. The Unknown inspires wonder, yes, but it can also inspire terror. Hiding your head in ignorance, slapping a label of God on the unknown, and prohibiting any challenge or question to this 'god', is the source of religious terrorism. To wonder also means to ask questions, and so, to truly face the Unknown in wonder requires that you constantly question the Unknown, to approach it in curiousity rather than flinch from it in submission.

Seek out the Unknown, probe it, question it, challenge it. Learn! That's the only way to achieve greater and greater wonder.

God is imaginary. Wonder is real.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Archeopteryx
Superfan
Archeopteryx's picture
Posts: 1037
Joined: 2007-09-09
User is offlineOffline
Firstly, yes and yes to the

Firstly, yes and yes to the above two posts.

 

Secondly,

 

Kelly Jones wrote:

I'm a little concerned about the language used in this freethinkers' forum. It says, "All theist posts will be destroyed". That's rather un-freethinking, isn't it?

The reason I'm a bit concerned, is that it can be too easy to leap to conclusions about what someone means, just because of the language they use. Censoring people because of the words they use sounds to me like totalitarianism - which is just what religions are good at.

 

No, it's not totalitarian. A person who wants to talk about theistic ideas is able to do it on any other board on the forum. There is even a board that was specifically created for theists where atheists MUST treat all theists with the utmost respect. Since this is an atheist-run website, it goes without saying that no one was obligated to create such a board. It was a pretty nice gesture. However, since the site is predominantly a place by and for atheists, it's perfectly reasonable that those atheists should claim some small portion of the forum as a place where they can talk atheist-to-atheist without theists poking in. If the theists want a private theist-to-theist conversation, they can go to a theist website. This is an atheist website, where there is, as would be expected, some atheist-to-atheist conversation.

So, no, it's not totalitarian. But thanks for the concern.

 

A place common to all will be maintained by none. A religion common to all is perhaps not much different.


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Hambydammit wrote: By the

Hambydammit wrote: By the way, Kelly, are you a theist?

If theist means a person who believes that a finite God exists, namely, a creator of everything that is itself a thing, then no, I am not a theist. I think my opening post made that clear.


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:If God is the

natural wrote:
If God is the Infinite, why call it 'God'? We already have a word for the Infinite: it is spelled I-n-f-i-n-i-t-e.

Kierkegaard saw the side to the Christian tradition that was about oneself as an individual in relation to Ultimate Reality. He accepted that tradition, and fought against all the mediocre interpretations that had become established over time. In other words, he was perhaps the only Christian since Christ - odd as that sounds.

He wasn't a sheep. He was a lot like Socrates, taking the views of people in his time, and turning them on their head. Where everyone spoke of God as being, you know, that Grand Clement Dad in the Sky, Kierkegaard said that was rubbish.

If you like, he was using the vocabulary and culture of his time, and contradicting it.

If he had used a totally different vocabulary, people would have projected their already-corrupt meanings onto it, and still misunderstood. This way, he stepped into the rubbish and tried to correct it.

 

Quote:
That's the problem with Kierkegaard's God. He tries to hide it by equating it with a word that is vague and harmless, but at the end of the day, he still slaps that old label on it 'G-o-d'. Why? You have to wonder.

It's like people who say "God is Love". Well, why not just say 'love' then? Why call it 'god'?

The reason is that these people do not really mean 'God is the Infinite', or 'God is Love'. They mean that there is something mysterious and mystical about these things, that they just can't pin down, but it *must* have some special power, so let's call it God.

Yes, I like your analysis, Natural. Kierkegaard also condemned the view that God is a special power that serves to reinforce human delusions.

 

Quote:
This is why I say that God is The Unknown. The thing about The Unknown is that it is the one thing that universally inspires awe in people. Awe can shift to either terror or wonder, depending on whether it's based in fear or in love. When people face the Unknown, they get this feeling of awe, and some people label that 'God'. God is The Unknown.

Whenever you hear the word 'god', just replace it with 'the unknown', and everything will start to make sense.

God is Love = Love is something mysterious and unknown, and so I'll label it God.

God is the Infinite = The Infinite is the most incomprehensible and unknown thing I can name, so I'll label it God.

God is the Trinity = same idea

God of the Gaps = same idea

God works in mysterious ways = same idea

.... etc.

Of course, someone who uses the word 'God' will not admit that they really mean 'The Unknown'. That would spoil the mystery of it! They need to shroud the Unknown in a protective blanket, so that it will remain unknown forever. That's what the label 'God' is for.

When I say God is The Unknown, I'm just calling a spade a spade, and bringing the hidden assumption into the light of day.

I'm also saying that you shouldn't worship the unknown as something sacred. The Unknown inspires wonder, yes, but it can also inspire terror. Hiding your head in ignorance, slapping a label of God on the unknown, and prohibiting any challenge or question to this 'god', is the source of religious terrorism. To wonder also means to ask questions, and so, to truly face the Unknown in wonder requires that you constantly question the Unknown, to approach it in curiousity rather than flinch from it in submission.

Seek out the Unknown, probe it, question it, challenge it. Learn! That's the only way to achieve greater and greater wonder.

Yes, again, excellent analysis, Natural. It reminds me of Dan Rowden's video "The Psychology of Mystery".

Neil de Grasse Tyson also spoke eloquently about the "Limits of Ignorance" in the first Beyond Belief conference. I do understand what you are saying.

But the word "God" can be defined in yet another way, to mean, a creator which is not finite. That is something very few people can get their head around, and it's a very sophisticated theological view.

 

Quote:
God is imaginary. Wonder is real.

It really does depend how one defines God.

If everyone around you is using God to mean something particular, and the only concept they have of the Infinite is the known part of the Universe (that is, they're using a mathematical or scientific meaning for "infinite&quotEye-wink, then it can be helpful to use the same word, God, and correct their understanding . Atheists more than anyone ought to have some doubt about the matter, and therefore room for thought.

 

Thanks for your thoughtful post.


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Regarding the starry evening sky

The "starry evening sky" in the following quote is an analogy not a direct reference to the Infinite (God), but hopefully some here will find it meaningful given my previous post:

 

Alas, but man is still an animal-creature, and the indolent inclination to ape and mimic seems to be his second nature. That is why it is so very easy to collect them in a herd; that a proclaimer will get thousands who want to learn what he says by rote, perhaps become professors of it — but perhaps not one in ten thousand who himself gazes at the starry evening sky. But are not the proclaimers all too frequently to blame when the whole thing becomes aping and copying, for it is to their earthly and temporal advantage. Be unprincipled, if you will, toward the starry evening sky, make it seem that what is glorious is not the starry evening sky but your conception of it, get a few blaring knights of commerce on your staff, and you will soon get a crowd who will pay a fancy price for your wonderful instruction. Ah, but if you are honest toward the starry evening sky, if you tell the truth and declare that the glory belongs to it and that every man could if he would see its glory in his own way, and that his own way means infinitely much more to him than yours to him or his to you: well, then there is really no occasion for making money or for animal-like crowding together in herds.

— Kierkegaard


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones wrote:

Hambydammit wrote: By the way, Kelly, are you a theist?

If theist means a person who believes that a finite God exists, namely, a creator of everything that is itself a thing, then no, I am not a theist. I think my opening post made that clear.

Sorry, you don't get to weasle out that easily. Answer this question yes, or no: Do you believe in any gods?

If you call 'the infinite' god, then you believe in a god. If you slap the label of god on anything, finite or infinite, natural or supernatural, known or unknown, and believe that that's an appropriate label for it, then you believe in a god.

Only if you can honestly answer 'no, I don't believe in any god or gods' are you an atheist.

Be honest with us. We do not resepct intellectual dishonesty or disingenuousness.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:natural

Kelly Jones wrote:

natural wrote:
If God is the Infinite, why call it 'God'? We already have a word for the Infinite: it is spelled I-n-f-i-n-i-t-e.

Kierkegaard saw the side to the Christian tradition that was about oneself as an individual in relation to Ultimate Reality. He accepted that tradition, and fought against all the mediocre interpretations that had become established over time. In other words, he was perhaps the only Christian since Christ - odd as that sounds.

He wasn't a sheep. He was a lot like Socrates, taking the views of people in his time, and turning them on their head. Where everyone spoke of God as being, you know, that Grand Clement Dad in the Sky, Kierkegaard said that was rubbish.

If you like, he was using the vocabulary and culture of his time, and contradicting it.

If he had used a totally different vocabulary, people would have projected their already-corrupt meanings onto it, and still misunderstood. This way, he stepped into the rubbish and tried to correct it.

Fat lot of good it did. As you've already said, Christians consider Kierkegaard a Christian. Like Einstein's use of 'god', he failed to 'correct' theists. At least Einstein later made great efforts to clarify what he meant, that the universe is incredible. Sounds like Kierkegaard failed to distance himself from theism altogether.

By the way, your defense of K. doesn't answer my question. Why call the infinite 'god'? Why not just 'the infinite'? Really think about it before you answer. Why did K. make that conscious choice? What was the root motivation? If he didn't really believe in any god, why not just say, "Hey, the god you believe in doesn't pass muster, and I don't believe in it." This is the core issue.

Quote:
Yes, I like your analysis, Natural. Kierkegaard also condemned the view that God is a special power that serves to reinforce human delusions.

And yet he still used the word as if it were legitimate. Why? 

Quote:
Quote:
Seek out the Unknown, probe it, question it, challenge it. Learn! That's the only way to achieve greater and greater wonder.

Yes, again, excellent analysis, Natural. It reminds me of Dan Rowden's video "The Psychology of Mystery".

Neil de Grasse Tyson also spoke eloquently about the "Limits of Ignorance" in the first Beyond Belief conference. I do understand what you are saying.

But the word "God" can be defined in yet another way, to mean, a creator which is not finite. That is something very few people can get their head around, and it's a very sophisticated theological view.

It is not as sophisticated as you might think. It equates to a god of the gaps. If you believe in this kind of thing, you are definitely a theist. Maybe a deist, but that falls under the general category.

Quote:
Quote:
God is imaginary. Wonder is real.

It really does depend how one defines God.

No, it really doesn't. If god is a mere synonym for some other concept, then why use the word 'god'? If god is something more than just a synonym, then show me evidence for this god. So far, I have never seen any such evidence, and the more parsimonious explanation is that god is only in the imaginations of people.

Quote:
If everyone around you is using God to mean something particular, and the only concept they have of the Infinite is the known part of the Universe (that is, they're using a mathematical or scientific meaning for "infinite&quotEye-wink, then it can be helpful to use the same word, God, and correct their understanding .

As we've seen, such efforts have come to naught.

The big problem is that the word 'god' is so vague that it literally means a different thing to each person that uses it. So when someone like K. talks about God, all the God-ists hear their own version, and interpret what he's saying in their own pre-conceptions.

Better to drop the whole pretense altogether. Call God for what it is, a synonym for the unknown, that which inspires awe for lack of understanding. Let's not pussyfoot around the issue. We no longer have the time or luxury! The world has real problems that need to be dealt with, and coddling people with imaginary concepts is not going to solve anything.

Quote:
Atheists more than anyone ought to have some doubt about the matter, and therefore room for thought.

Do you know why there's been a recent upsurge in atheist activism? Because atheists have realized that staying silent and failing to challenge god-belief has gotten the world nowhere, and something needs to be done about it.

Here's a thought I hope you have room for: How about we come up with practical ideas for a change? Things that actually work. Instead of holding our tongues, why don't we speak out against theism directly? Let's try that for a change. K.'s methodology has had 150 years with no practical results. Thanks, K., but it's time to try something else.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:Hambydammit

natural wrote:

Hambydammit wrote: By the way, Kelly, are you a theist?

I wrote: If theist means a person who believes that a finite God exists, namely, a creator of everything that is itself a thing, then no, I am not a theist. I think my opening post made that clear.

Hambydammit replied: Sorry, you don't get to weasle out that easily. Answer this question yes, or no: Do you believe in any gods?

If you call 'the infinite' god, then you believe in a god. If you slap the label of god on anything, finite or infinite, natural or supernatural, known or unknown, and believe that that's an appropriate label for it, then you believe in a god.

Only if you can honestly answer 'no, I don't believe in any god or gods' are you an atheist.

Be honest with us. We do not resepct intellectual dishonesty or disingenuousness.

I am being intellectually honest and ingenuous.

I define the Infinite as what is not-finite. Therefore it is not "a something" that one can worship. It is everything; it is me, it is you; it is everything you see around you.

Do you follow this reasoning?

If someone says to you, "It is over there," then they're referring to something finite. Then they require evidence for that thing. The God of all theistic religions is such a finite thing. I do not believe in such a God, because there is no evidence for it.

But if someone says to you, "It is everywhere," and really means it, rather than using a figure of speech, then they're referring to the nature of Ultimate Reality. That is what I, and Kierkegaard, and others, have called God. But this is an esoteric view.

 

 

 You see, what I'm getting at with this thread, is that one cannot hope to wipe out religiousness by censoring use of a word. It is the mentality underlying religiousness that one needs to focus on.

 

It's like Charles Bukowski wrote in part of his "Notes of a Dirty Old Man":

"you just can't give a man a new government like a new hat and expect a different man inside that hat."

 


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kierkegaard wrote:if you

Kierkegaard wrote:

if you tell the truth and declare that the glory belongs to it and that every man could if he would see its glory in his own way, and that his own way means infinitely much more to him than yours to him or his to you: well, then there is really no occasion for making money or for animal-like crowding together in herds.

Sounds like a recipe for relativism, post-modernism, and new-ageism. Thanks, I'll pass on that.

The universe is not deserving of glorification. It has no emotions or ambitions or desires. The universe just is. We can appreciate it, absolutely! But we should not glorify it. That leads to complacency, wishful thinking, and pollyannism. There are real problems in this universe that we need to face. There is beauty and love, but there is also ugliness and death. Let's get real about it.

And leaving 'every man' to his own way, without challenge? Are we to stand by while idiots threaten to plunge us into a second dark age? Sorry. I'm not that complacent. I am not a live-and-let-live atheist. There are real problems and there are real idiots, and some of those idiots are the ones who are causing the problems.

Kierkegaard's god is a castrated, lay-about god. It is of no use. We've tried him out, and he doesn't do anything. He has no power over the angry, evil, fundamentalist god. Allah and Yahweh laugh in the Infinite's face. We don't need a watered-down god. We need people to wake up from their god delusions.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Natural wrote: If god is a

Natural wrote:

If god is a mere synonym for some other concept, then why use the word 'god'? 

God carries some useful connotations, like "omnipresent", "omnipotent", "creator".

The drive towards a philosophical understanding of reality starts with the question, "what causes things to exist?"

So long as one has a strong interest in reason, rather in pure imagination, the word God can help one explore the topic of causation.

 

If god is something more than just a synonym, then show me evidence for this god

When God is defined as not-finite, then is no proof, since the act of looking for evidence, or rejecting evidence, are all God.

This isn't mollycoddling Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or other theists (such as those who worship women as the embodiment of all human ideals).

Christians and the others are clearly insane. I don't think that most theists alive would understand what I'm talking about. But it is possible that one or two atheists here might. My view is, if atheists claim rationality is on their side, then they'd better live up to the claim. So far, they do not.


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:Kierkegaard's

natural wrote:

Kierkegaard's god is a castrated, lay-about god. It is of no use. We've tried him out, and he doesn't do anything. He has no power over the angry, evil, fundamentalist god. Allah and Yahweh laugh in the Infinite's face. We don't need a watered-down god. We need people to wake up from their god delusions.

Exactly my point: you can't just give a man a new government like a new hat, and expect a new man inside that hat.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:I am being

Kelly Jones wrote:

I am being intellectually honest and ingenuous.

No, you're not.

Quote:
But if someone says to you, "It is everywhere," and really means it, rather than using a figure of speech, then they're referring to the nature of Ultimate Reality. That is what I, and Kierkegaard, and others, have called God. But this is an esoteric view.

This is an admission that you're a theist. You really don't like that term, but that's too bad, because we're the ones who set up the rules for this forum, and calling 'the infinite' or 'the ground of all being' or 'ultimate reality' or whatever as 'god' is a form of theism, under our rules.

There are plenty of other forums that you can post in. This is the only one you cannot. Please respect our rules. I'm not a moderator, but I think I'm correct for pointing this out.

This thread belongs in Atheist vs. Theist.

Quote:
You see, what I'm getting at with this thread, is that one cannot hope to wipe out religiousness by censoring use of a word.

No one here is censoring the word 'god'. See: God, god, god, god. Not censored.

It is insulting to accuse us of censorship. Really.

Like I said, there are plenty of other forums to post in. Posting in here is like smoking in the no-smoking section.

Quote:
It is the mentality underlying religiousness that one needs to focus on.

Yes, I agree, which is why we promote free-thought, rational thinking, and the scientific worldview. All of these address the underlying mentality that insists on inserting empty concepts into discourse and labelling those concepts 'god'.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:Natural

Kelly Jones wrote:

Natural wrote:

If god is a mere synonym for some other concept, then why use the word 'god'? 

God carries some useful connotations, like "omnipresent", "omnipotent", "creator".

The drive towards a philosophical understanding of reality starts with the question, "what causes things to exist?"

So long as one has a strong interest in reason, rather in pure imagination, the word God can help one explore the topic of causation.

 

If god is something more than just a synonym, then show me evidence for this god

When God is defined as not-finite, then is no proof, since the act of looking for evidence, or rejecting evidence, are all God.

This isn't mollycoddling Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or other theists (such as those who worship women as the embodiment of all human ideals). Christians and the others are clearly insane. I don't think that most theists alive would understand what I'm talking about. But it is possible that one or two atheists here might. My view is, if atheists claim rationality is on their side, then they'd better live up to the claim. So far, they do not.

See, this is why we don't let theists post in this forum, because we want somewhere safe where we don't have to deal with this lame-ass Argument from Ignorance, Special Pleading bullshit.

Gah! And you have the nerve to call yourself intellectually honest.

Someone slap a theist badge on her to forewarn others. I can't believe I wasted my time trying to reason with her.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Well, who else here has been

Well, who else here has been silenced by your bullying tactics?

"Kierkegaard's god is a castrated, lay-about god. It is of no use. We've tried him out, and he doesn't do anything. He has no power over the angry, evil, fundamentalist god. Allah and Yahweh laugh in the Infinite's face. We don't need a watered-down god. We need people to wake up from their god delusions."

It sounds like you were saying, atheists need a god that is not watered-down, so as to have power over the "angry, evil, fundamentalist god (Allah and Yahweh)" . I'm not the one inventing gods, you are.

 


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:Well, who

Kelly Jones wrote:
Well, who else here has been silenced by your bullying tactics?
Oh please. One forum where be livers are unwelcome only constitutes "silenced" among morons, idiots, fools and trolls.

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


Nikolaj
Superfan
Nikolaj's picture
Posts: 503
Joined: 2008-04-27
User is offlineOffline
I'm sorry guys, I completely

I'm sorry guys, I completely agree with Kelly. You can't just censor the word "God" (or rather, in this case the phrase: "I believe in God or gods" ) and expect that to solve the problem.

 

If this is the freethinker's forum then it is for free thinkers. What has Kelly done to indicate that she/he is not a freethinker?

 

Kierkegaard was an atheist in my opinion. Natural, you are upset that Theists can claim Einstein and Kierkegaard, but you forget that if you let them claim these men, then you are really agreeing with theists that Einstein and Kierkegaard believed in God ...and they didn't!

 

Words are alot harder to define than numbers. I often use the expression "I feel it in my heart" or the expression "I love you" or even "Oh my God". Am I not allowed here in the freethinker's forum because I say "Oh my God" sometimes?

 

I have said before here that every person in the world is an atheist. Most are just in denial.

So how do you define who get's to be here in this forum and who doesn't? I mean, personally I think you have to try and asess weither someone is a freethinker, and not rely on a secret password: "I do not believe in a God or Gods".

Luminion doesn't believe in God or gods. Can he be here?

Budhists don't believe in any gods. Can they be here?

 

What I'm saying is, the word "God" shouldn't be the defining factor. The behavior of the person should.

 

So far, I think Kelly has indicated nothing but freethinking behavior.

Well I was born an original sinner
I was spawned from original sin
And if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money piled up to my chin


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Nikolaj wrote:I have said

Nikolaj wrote:

I have said before here that every person in the world is an atheist. Most are just in denial.

Probably you're right. The more adamant and driven by emotional certitude a person is, the more likely they are in cognitive disagreement with themselves.

 

Quote:
So how do you define who get's to be here in this forum and who doesn't? I mean, personally I think you have to try and asess weither someone is a freethinker, and not rely on a secret password: "I do not believe in a God or Gods". ..... What I'm saying is, the word "God" shouldn't be the defining factor. The behavior of the person should.

Penn (of Penn & Teller) said, if you believe in 'God', but when you feel commanded by God to kill your own child and you disobey, then you're an atheist.

 

 

Quote:
Budhists don't believe in any gods. Can they be here?

I couldn't get this link to display properly: http://www.theabsolute.net/tv/?p=138

It's a video.

When the Dalai Lama banned a Shugden-worshipping cult, he said it was  banned because Buddhism isn't about deity-worship....  But because he is akin to a God in Tibetan Buddhism, those who enacted this banning felt justified in killing worshippers. 

These ex-communicatees were actually continuing a traditional branch of Buddhism, and suffered greatly in becoming outcasts in a country where  religion is not separated from state.  The Dalai Lama's response to being told of this injustice was - it's rumours. He didn't even believe it.

As you say, one should use the behaviour as the defining factor.


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3686
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:It sounds

Kelly Jones wrote:

It sounds like you were saying, atheists need a god that is not watered-down, so as to have power over the "angry, evil, fundamentalist god (Allah and Yahweh)" . I'm not the one inventing gods, you are.

Huh?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


SmallChristian
SmallChristian's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: 2007-03-21
User is offlineOffline
 I've read the "God is

 I've read the "God is everything" statement from askmoses.com, so this post does seem theistic.  Why not Gods or Goddesses or no gods at all?  Why does there have to be a God, at all?  You don't have to be a naturalist or materialst to not believe in God(s), I know that I can be superstitious and irrational at times (about varying things) but that only proves atheism even more clearly.  I know that I'm a fallible creature who can be tricked by illusions/delusions.  It's not hard to trick people, at all!

This forum right here is for nontheists, which are those who DO NOT believe that any God exists, and if you're going to say that everything around us is God itself, why not just say everything around is what everything aroudn us plainly is as observed instead of putting a "God" stamp on it?  

The biggest question in my head is do you believei n God or not?  Don't explain to me what God means to you, yes or no please.

The Title "Freethinkers anonymous" can be misleading, as I don't think that "free thinking" = atheism.  Doesn't matter though, because the description "No theism" makes it clear.

A haven for those who are without a belief in god, to discuss and theorize, think freely, and debate any issue. No taboo issue in here. NO THEISTS ALLOWED IN THIS FORUM. THEIST POSTS WILL BE DESTROYED.


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 Quote:There are plenty of

 

Quote:
There are plenty of other forums that you can post in. This is the only one you cannot. Please respect our rules. I'm not a moderator, but I think I'm correct for pointing this out.

This thread belongs in Atheist vs. Theist.

Well, I am a mod, and you're correct in pointing this out.  It's now in AvT.

Look, Kelly, we don't have a problem having a conversation about infinite vs finite with you, but FTA is a place for a very particular type of philosophy, and it's clearly not yours.  Please feel free to continue in AvT.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
How many topics were about

How many topics were about this?

 

 

Just re-name the FTA board "Atheists Anonymous" or something along those lines. And put in the subtitle description "Theists are allowed to post on other boards dumbass" Problem solved.

 

 

 

 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:Well, who

Kelly Jones wrote:

Well, who else here has been silenced by your bullying tactics?

natural reacts poorly to people who don't communicate clearly, and I feel his pain. These forums are frequented by a number of people who like to work their way towards a God/god conclusion though the infinite, quantum mechanics, and a variety of other seemingly innocuous routes. More often than not, it ends up being a fearsome miscommunication, which may be what has happened here.

So as a reaction to that, there's the one forum that's reserved for people who don't want to run the risk of being completely infuriated by such nonsense. You decided to challenge the idea of having that one forum reserved, and called it "censorship". You're going to catch some flak. 

So let's start again: when Kierkegaard was writing in the 19th century, he would of course have used the language of his era and geography. "God" was the word they used in the Danish church to describe a personal god. That's what Kierkegaard was talking about.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
Nikolaj wrote:What I'm

Nikolaj wrote:

What I'm saying is, the word "God" shouldn't be the defining factor. The behavior of the person should.

Like I said, though - I feel natural's pain on this one. "Vague" is often the harbinger of "sneaky" on these forums, so I understand his reaction. I don't think it's mention of the word "God" that set anyone off.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Nikolaj wrote:I'm sorry

Nikolaj wrote:

I'm sorry guys, I completely agree with Kelly. You can't just censor the word "God" (or rather, in this case the phrase: "I believe in God or gods" ) and expect that to solve the problem.

Please point out any form of censorship here. This is nonsense. Nearly every post in this thread contains the word 'god'.

Quote:
If this is the freethinker's forum then it is for free thinkers. What has Kelly done to indicate that she/he is not a freethinker?

This is a matter of respecting and following a basic set of rules. The rule is, 'no posts from theists in this forum'. Kelly is a theist, by her own admission, and by our definition from the rules.

 

Quote:
Kierkegaard was an atheist in my opinion.

Please back that up as more than just your opinion. I've searched and found many references to him being theist and believing in 'god', and none where he rejects all gods. Atheism is simple. If you do not believe in any gods, you're an atheist. If you do, you're a theist. Kierkegaard believed in his own version of 'god'. Therefore, he's a theist.

Quote:
Natural, you are upset that Theists can claim Einstein and Kierkegaard, but you forget that if you let them claim these men, then you are really agreeing with theists that Einstein and Kierkegaard believed in God ...and they didn't!

You misunderstand what I said. I was saying that Einstein was not a theist, while Kierkegaard was. K. failed to separate himself from theism. He could not give up his faith. He maintained a belief in his 'god' until his death. Einstein only used the word in a poetic sense, and fervently rejected the idea that he actually believed in it. If Einstein had not made such rejection clear, then I would also call him a theist.

Quote:
Words are alot harder to define than numbers.

God most of all. There are some strong atheists who even make the claim that God is a completely incoherent word. That is not the point. The point is do you *believe* in this concept or not. I can say god this, and god that, but when you ask me "do you believe in this god you're talking about", I answer "no". That's it. Very simple.

Quote:
I often use the expression "I feel it in my heart" or the expression "I love you" or even "Oh my God". Am I not allowed here in the freethinker's forum because I say "Oh my God" sometimes?

When you say "Oh my God", do you believe in this god? Or is it just a figure of speech? The question is not "What is your definition?", the question is "Do you believe in it?"

Quote:
I have said before here that every person in the world is an atheist. Most are just in denial.

Or deluded. Both denial and delusion are irrational. An 'atheist' in denial is not a free thinker. He/she is not free from the god dogma.

But, we can bypass this whole argument by asking a simple question: Do you believe in any gods?

Quote:
So how do you define who get's to be here in this forum and who doesn't?

It's set out in the rules. Very simple.

Quote:
What I'm saying is, the word "God" shouldn't be the defining factor. The behavior of the person should.

In an ideal world, maybe, but it is much simpler to use a litmus test.

Quote:
So far, I think Kelly has indicated nothing but freethinking behavior.

She has argued for a creator of the universe using an Argument from Ignorance fallacy. Did you miss that one?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
 Censorship = prohibiting,

 Censorship = prohibiting, redacting, or otherwise altering the expression of a particular idea in such a way that the idea cannot be easily heard or expressed.

As you can see, every post is completely intact, in its original form, with no editing whatsoever, and anyone on the internet can call up this page and read every word.

No censorship.  End of debate.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:How many

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

How many topics were about this? 

Just re-name the FTA board "Atheists Anonymous" or something along those lines. And put in the subtitle description "Theists are allowed to post on other boards dumbass" Problem solved.

This might work, actually. At least it might reduce the incidence. People like Kelly will still flaunt it, however, as they are theists who can't admit they're theists. But the Kellys are rare.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:How many

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

How many topics were about this?

 

 

Just re-name the FTA board "Atheists Anonymous" or something along those lines. And put in the subtitle description "Theists are allowed to post on other boards dumbass" Problem solved.

Voted: most rational response in the thread.


 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:Kelly

HisWillness wrote:

Kelly Jones wrote:

Well, who else here has been silenced by your bullying tactics?

natural reacts poorly to people who don't communicate clearly, and I feel his pain. These forums are frequented by a number of people who like to work their way towards a God/god conclusion though the infinite, quantum mechanics, and a variety of other seemingly innocuous routes. More often than not, it ends up being a fearsome miscommunication, which may be what has happened here.

I can understand that completely. That said, I communicated very clearly, giving my definitions, as well as saying in various ways that I don't believe in a finite God, since I've seen no evidence for the same.

Unfortunately, my definition of Infinite as not-finite is so rare, that the administrators had no idea what I was talking about, and lumped me in with creationist cosmologists like Paul Davies and the like.

And that has led to them putting this thread into the Atheist v Theist forum, when it is in fact a philosophy topic.

 

Ironically, the way I see it, the "atheists" here are behaving like typical theists, by impatiently assuming meanings. And in a deeper sense, I am the true atheist here.

 

Quote:
So as a reaction to that, there's the one forum that's reserved for people who don't want to run the risk of being completely infuriated by such nonsense. You decided to challenge the idea of having that one forum reserved, and called it "censorship". You're going to catch some flak.

Perhaps the fact that I live in Australia, where Christian evangelism is commonly seen as kooky stuff for nerds and morons, has something to do with my freedom of thought, and lack of emotionalism about this matter.

 

Quote:
So let's start again: when Kierkegaard was writing in the 19th century, he would of course have used the language of his era and geography. "God" was the word they used in the Danish church to describe a personal god. That's what Kierkegaard was talking about.

No. That's just the thing. He used the same word "God" to talk about something completely other than what the established religion professed to worship. He said established religion had spent the last 1800 years corrupting the God of Jesus Christ.

That is again what I am doing, and am failing to communicate for exactly the same reasons. People don't see any personal advantages in understanding the nature of Ultimate Reality, so they label it quickly as "what the opposition believes in" to get rid of it.

 


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
SmallChristian wrote:This

SmallChristian wrote:

This forum right here is for nontheists, which are those who DO NOT believe that any God exists, and if you're going to say that everything around us is God itself, why not just say everything around is what everything aroudn us plainly is as observed instead of putting a "God" stamp on it?  

The biggest question in my head is do you believei n God or not?  Don't explain to me what God means to you, yes or no please.

I don't believe in a finite God. That is the only kind of God one can believe in (hypothetically), because beliefs are responses to scientific evidence.

If there were scientific evidence for a God (which there isn't), then one would believe in God.

So when I use the word God, and when Kierkegaard, and others who have the same meaning for God as I do, belief is not necessary.

Does this make sense?

Scientific evidence cannot prove God, aka the Infinite, aka the nature of Ultimate Reality, aka the nature of all things, because no scientific experiment can be devised to test every single thing.


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
SmallChristian, How can

SmallChristian,

 

How can anyone say whether they believe in God or not, if they don't know what God is? A definition is essential to answer the quesiton.


Paisley
Theist
Paisley's picture
Posts: 1933
Joined: 2008-03-13
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:He's a

Kelly Jones wrote:
He's a good example of how religious misunderstanding goes wrong. To modern Christians, Kierkegaard is a Christian, and yet in his own day, he rejected just about everybody who called themselves a Christian - and he lived in a Christian state. Those 'Christians' rejected his views, and called him an eccentric. To modern atheists, Kierkegaard is also a Christian,and yet if anyone was an atheist, it was him.

I would say that Kierkegaard was the progenitor of  what is now called theistic existentialism (although there are atheistic forms of existentialism...e.g. the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre) and fideism.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:That said,

Kelly Jones wrote:
That said, I communicated very clearly, giving my definitions, as well as saying in various ways that I don't believe in a finite God, since I've seen no evidence for the same.

But you do believe in your own version of god.

Quote:
Unfortunately, my definition of Infinite as not-finite is so rare, that the administrators had no idea what I was talking about, and lumped me in with creationist cosmologists like Paul Davies and the like.

All god belief falls under the umbrella term of 'theism'. All you had to do was honestly answer 'no' to 'do you believe in any gods?', and you would have qualified as an atheist. Very very simple. But it seems you still don't get it.

Quote:
And in a deeper sense, I am the true atheist here.

An atheist who believes in god. Classic! And I'm a bachelor who's married.

Quote:
People don't see any personal advantages in understanding the nature of Ultimate Reality, so they label it quickly as "what the opposition believes in" to get rid of it.

I'm interested in understanding the nature of ultimate reality. But I don't call it 'god', I just call it reality. I have not found any use in adding the letters g-o-d on top of an existing concept.

But what's more is that you believe that the universe was created, correct? What evidence do you have to support that idea?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3686
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones wrote:
Unfortunately, my definition of Infinite as not-finite is so rare, that the administrators had no idea what I was talking about, and lumped me in with creationist cosmologists like Paul Davies and the like.

I'm pretty sure that the admnistrators do know what you're talking about, and your precious beliefs are definitely not as special as you think they are because we've encountered this vague, indeterminate, God is all, all is God stuff, many times before.

Kelly Jones wrote:
And in a deeper sense, I am the true atheist here.

Uh, no.

Kelly Jones wrote:
That is again what I am doing, and am failing to communicate for exactly the same reasons. People don't see any personal advantages in understanding the nature of Ultimate Reality, so they label it quickly as "what the opposition believes in" to get rid of it.

I'm afraid many people, including myself, don't search for objective reality based on what beliefs confer the greatest personal advantage.

I'm also interested in discovering what is real, but I don't know why your reality is "ultimate" or capitalized.

Quote:
So when I use the word God, and when Kierkegaard, and others who have the same meaning for God as I do, belief is not necessary.

Does this make sense?

Not really, but let me take a guess. You stated that beliefs were responses to evidence, and belief is not necessary in your case. Oh, you're subscribing to "Ultimate Reality" based on faith?

Quote:
Scientific evidence cannot prove God, aka the Infinite, aka the nature of Ultimate Reality, aka the nature of all things, because no scientific experiment can be devised to test every single thing.

Okay, I'll try to decipher your words again. So, you simply took objective reality and called it God?

 

That doesn't make any sense either. We discover reality using logic and evidence. Additionally, if this is your definition of God, then why would you state that Christianity corrupted the God of Jesus?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:I don't

Kelly Jones wrote:

I don't believe in a finite God. That is the only kind of God one can believe in (hypothetically), because beliefs are responses to scientific evidence.

No, there are lots of things we believe without scientific evidence. I believe my car is parked in the parking lot. Maybe it was stolen. I don't have scientific evidence that it's there right now. But I believe it.

Quote:
If there were scientific evidence for a God (which there isn't), then one would believe in God.

Given that you think belief is in response to scientific evidence, and you admit there's no scientific evidence for gods, how do you explain the vast amounts of belief in God in the world? I think you just inadvertently refuted yourself.

Quote:
So when I use the word God, and when Kierkegaard, and others who have the same meaning for God as I do, belief is not necessary.

Does this make sense?

No, it really doesn't.

Quote:
Scientific evidence cannot prove God, aka the Infinite, aka the nature of Ultimate Reality, aka the nature of all things, because no scientific experiment can be devised to test every single thing.

You don't have to test every single aspect of something to believe it exists. I believe the Unknown exists, since we are continually learning, and yet I don't know anything *about* the Unknown, because it is by definition unknown.

Do you believe the Infinite exists? How about Ultimate Reality? How about 'the nature of all things'?

If you answer yes, and you also call these things 'god', as you just demonstrated with your 'aka' equivalency, then you also believe that god exists.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:How can

Kelly Jones wrote:
How can anyone say whether they believe in God or not, if they don't know what God is? A definition is essential to answer the quesiton.

No, it isn't. Google "negative theology". It's an admission that they don't know anything about 'god', and yet they still believe in it.

Your theology is similar. You define god as 'not finite'. That's characteristic of negative theology.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


SmallChristian
SmallChristian's picture
Posts: 87
Joined: 2007-03-21
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:No, there are

natural wrote:

No, there are lots of things we believe without scientific evidence. I believe my car is parked in the parking lot. Maybe it was stolen. I don't have scientific evidence that it's there right now. But I believe it.

I just had to check for my car, lol! Thanks for reminding me that we can't know without verification!   Actually I will testify and say that becuase I double-check and verify things I tend to have a high accuracy rating on the job.  This testing thing sure works!

Kelly, I read you loud and clear about the infinite / finite differences.  I lose you when you keep stating over and over again that it should be called God!  See, what you're doing is your grabbing 'stuff' in our universe calling it God.  The stuff you're grabbing is 'everything' - everything is God, God is everywhere, etc.  Super-Ultra-Omni-God.

By definition an atheist is one who doesn't believe in gods.   When you stated something about The God of Jesus Christ and Christian misconception I couldn't help but to start thinking that you believe that you found the God of Jesus Christ.  Many people claim this, but I've never heard of them being atheists.  To the lehman it does indeed seem that you're pushing a philosophy that God indeed exists, but not the God of any established religion (other than the fact that you believe that this is the God of Jesus Christ)  As far as I know, Mr Yahweh himself is described to be "infinite" - yet you label him finite in a religious context.  This just reminds me so much of "It's not a religion, it's a relationship" and the like...  By all means correct me if I'm wrong.
 

 

 


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:I wrote:
natural wrote:
I wrote: People don't see any personal advantages in understanding the nature of Ultimate Reality, so they label it quickly as "what the opposition believes in" to get rid of it.

Natural: I'm interested in understanding the nature of ultimate reality. But I don't call it 'god', I just call it reality. I have not found any use in adding the letters g-o-d on top of an existing concept.

Fine. I have found a use for referring to Ultimate Reality as God. That is, the connotations of the word God, such as "what is responsible for all things", help me to understand Ultimate Reality better.

Quote:
But what's more is that you believe that the universe was created, correct? What evidence do you have to support that idea?

I haven't mentioned such a belief. However, I'm prepared to discuss this with you. Are you referring to the known universe, as in "this space-time bubble", or are you referring to the totality of all things?


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:Fine. I

Kelly Jones wrote:
Fine. I have found a use for referring to Ultimate Reality as God. That is, the connotations of the word God, such as "what is responsible for all things", help me to understand Ultimate Reality better.
One of the things the word god connotes is intent. Do you have reason to believe that this ultimate reality has intent?

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:I'm

butterbattle wrote:
I'm afraid many people, including myself, don't search for objective reality based on what beliefs confer the greatest personal advantage.

Who said anything about objective reality?

 

Quote:
I'm also interested in discovering what is real, but I don't know why your reality is "ultimate" or capitalized.

Assuming that is a question, I capitalise reality to indicate what is ultimately real. That is, I'm not referring to a specific reality. I'm not referring to some reality that is objectively real, whereas all other realities are only subjectively real. I'm referring to the true nature of absolutely all realities.

This is a purely logical exercise, not something that one can use the scientific method for.

 

Quote:
Kelly: So when I use the word God, and when Kierkegaard, and others who have the same meaning for God as I do, belief is not necessary.

Does this make sense?

Butterbattle: Not really, but let me take a guess. You stated that beliefs were responses to evidence, and belief is not necessary in your case. Oh, you're subscribing to "Ultimate Reality" based on faith?

No, faith is belief in finite things despite an evidential vacuum. That's how I'd define faith for the purposes of this discussion.

 

Quote:
Kelly: Scientific evidence cannot prove God, aka the Infinite, aka the nature of Ultimate Reality, aka the nature of all things, because no scientific experiment can be devised to test every single thing.

Butterbattle: Okay, I'll try to decipher your words again. So, you simply took objective reality and called it God?

Is objective reality a specific reailty - ie. something "out there" that exists inherently -  that is true regardless of one's perspective? If so, I'm definitely not talking about such an illogicality.

 

Quote:
That doesn't make any sense either. We discover reality using logic and evidence.

The details of any reality are necessarily evidential; but the nature of all realities is perceived using logic alone.

 

Quote:
Additionally, if this is your definition of God, then why would you state that Christianity corrupted the God of Jesus?

I think that the early Christians were so disturbed by Jesus's ideas, and then by feelings of guilt over his suicide-like crucifixion, that they created a martyrdom movement. It was probably politically-inspired as well. Other Christians, to stop this suicidalism, changed the teachings, and suppressed anything that promoted the view that the self was an illusion, something to be 'killed'.

Have you read any of the so-called Secret Gospels, e.g. the gospel of Thomas? I think Thomas was probably the only disciple to have any insight into Jesus' ideas.

The New Testament has a lot of moralistic rubbish, but some good ideas. So it's my theory that a lot of Jesus' ideas were diluted, and a whole lot of standard moral chaff thrown in.


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:Kelly:I don't

natural wrote:
Kelly:I don't believe in a finite God. That is the only kind of God one can

believe

in (hypothetically), because beliefs are responses to scientific evidence.

Natural: No, there are lots of things we believe without scientific evidence. I believe my car is parked in the parking lot. Maybe it was stolen. I don't have scientific evidence that it's there right now. But I believe it.

If you have evidence that the place you've parked the car is accessible to car-thieves, and that theft is more likely than not, you would be right to adjust your belief to suit.  So the belief that the car is where you left it, has varying degrees of intensity depending on the evidence.

 

Quote:
Kelly: If there were scientific evidence for a God (which there isn't), then one would believe in God.

Natural: Given that you think belief is in response to scientific evidence, and you admit there's no scientific evidence for gods, how do you explain the vast amounts of belief in God in the world? I think you just inadvertently refuted yourself.

Faith (belief in finite things in an evidential vacuum) arises for psychological reasons, mostly. As I think you already know, having used the idea yourself, people invent finite Gods to represent a humanised version of immense power. When they feel insecure and weak, they invent a god-like imaginary friend to overcome their enemies.

Again, I have no belief in a finite God, for this reason. Nor do I have belief in the Infinite, given that there is no evidence for it, but only logical proof (which disregards the need for belief).

 


Quote:
Kelly: Scientific evidence cannot prove God, aka the Infinite, aka the nature of Ultimate Reality, aka the nature of all things, because no scientific experiment can be devised to test every single thing.

Natural: You don't have to test every single aspect of something to believe it exists.

You've said it yourself: something.

If that "something" is in fact everything, meaning, the totality of all things, then the only way to test its existence (if one was so foolhardy as to think this intelligent), would be to test the Totality.

Do you see why that is impossible?

 

Quote:
Natural: I believe the Unknown exists, since we are continually learning, and yet I don't know anything *about* the Unknown, because it is by definition unknown.

You do know for certain (having used logic, perhaps) that the Unknown cannot be known. There is no evidence you can find to prove this.

 

Quote:
Do you believe the Infinite exists? How about Ultimate Reality? How about 'the nature of all things'?

What thing could I refer to as proof of existence of the nature of Ultimate Reality, given that is always present?

 

Quote:
If you answer yes, and you also call these things 'god', as you just demonstrated with your 'aka' equivalency, then you also believe that god exists.

Does the above answer your question?


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
natural wrote:Kelly Jones

natural wrote:

Kelly Jones wrote:
How can anyone say whether they believe in God or not, if they don't know what God is? A definition is essential to answer the quesiton.

No, it isn't. Google "negative theology". It's an admission that they don't know anything about 'god', and yet they still believe in it.

Your theology is similar. You define god as 'not finite'. That's characteristic of negative theology.

If a person has no idea what God means, no meaning for the word, then it would be totally useless for them to say they believe in it.

The problem is duplicated when two people meet and they each have a different meaning for the word. They have to explain what they mean by the word, if they wish to communicate intelligently.


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
Natural wrote: Quote:As far

Natural wrote:

 

Quote:
As far as I know, Mr Yahweh himself is described to be "infinite" - yet you label him finite in a religious context.  This just reminds me so much of "It's not a religion, it's a relationship" and the like...  By all means correct me if I'm wrong.

Yes, I'm labelling the God/s that 99.999999% of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. worship as finite.

The meaning they give this word is something like, a powerful imaginary friend.

The meaning I give this word is that which is responsible for all things. This isn't imaginary, as I'm referring to the purely logical concept of causation.

I'm not sure what you mean by "it's a relationship". Do you mean this in an emotional sense, as in "pair-bonding relationships"?


Kelly Jones
Kelly Jones's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-01-18
User is offlineOffline
JillSwift wrote:Kelly Jones

JillSwift wrote:

Kelly Jones wrote:
Fine. I have found a use for referring to Ultimate Reality as God. That is, the connotations of the word God, such as "what is responsible for all things", help me to understand Ultimate Reality better.
One of the things the word god connotes is intent. Do you have reason to believe that this ultimate reality has intent?

Only in a poetic sense. For instance, we could speak of a calculator "having problems with its calculations". But that doesn't mean we believe the machine is conscious. It's only a figure of speech. It's the same with the mechanics of causation, it's not conscious, but design is possible through it.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:Fine. I

Kelly Jones wrote:
Fine. I have found a use for referring to Ultimate Reality as God. That is, the connotations of the word God, such as "what is responsible for all things", help me to understand Ultimate Reality better.

Better how? What do you understand now that you couldn't understand without attaching the letters g-o-d on top of the word 'reality'?

Quote:
Quote:
But what's more is that you believe that the universe was created, correct? What evidence do you have to support that idea?

I haven't mentioned such a belief.

Pardon me, I misunderstood something you said earlier. I thought you were referring to a creator of the universe, but all you said was:

Quote:
But the word "God" can be defined in yet another way, to mean, a creator which is not finite.

So, what do you mean by 'a creator which is not finite'? What evidence do you have of such an entity/concept?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:Only in a

Kelly Jones wrote:
Only in a poetic sense. For instance, we could speak of a calculator "having problems with its calculations". But that doesn't mean we believe the machine is conscious. It's only a figure of speech. It's the same with the mechanics of causation, it's not conscious, but design is possible through it.
You don't believe, then, that poetic language brings too much potential to obfuscate? If you're looking to understand the universe/ultimate reality, wouldn't it be better to use very specific language?

 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:natural

Kelly Jones wrote:

natural wrote:
Kelly:I don't believe in a finite God. That is the only kind of God one can

believe

in (hypothetically), because beliefs are responses to scientific evidence.

Natural: No, there are lots of things we believe without scientific evidence. I believe my car is parked in the parking lot. Maybe it was stolen. I don't have scientific evidence that it's there right now. But I believe it.

If you have evidence that the place you've parked the car is accessible to car-thieves, and that theft is more likely than not, you would be right to adjust your belief to suit.  So the belief that the car is where you left it, has varying degrees of intensity depending on the evidence.

Quit dodging. You said beliefs are in response to scientific evidence. This is in plain contradiction of reality, where every single person on this planet, yourself included, maintains beliefs which are not supported by scientific evidence. Are you going to modify your claim, admit the contradiction, or continue to dodge pointlessly?

Quote:
Nor do I have belief in the Infinite, given that there is no evidence for it, but only logical proof (which disregards the need for belief).

I would like to see this logical proof for 'the Infinite'. I would also like to see logical proof for how 'the Infinite' is also 'God'.

Quote:
Quote:
Kelly: Scientific evidence cannot prove God, aka the Infinite, aka the nature of Ultimate Reality, aka the nature of all things, because no scientific experiment can be devised to test every single thing.

Natural: You don't have to test every single aspect of something to believe it exists.

You've said it yourself: something.

If that "something" is in fact everything, meaning, the totality of all things, then the only way to test its existence (if one was so foolhardy as to think this intelligent), would be to test the Totality.

Do you see why that is impossible?

No. It is plain as day. Existence exists. No surprise there. I don't need to apprehend the totality of existence to know that existence exists. More to the point, I'd like to know why you call existence 'God'.

Quote:
Quote:
Natural: I believe the Unknown exists, since we are continually learning, and yet I don't know anything *about* the Unknown, because it is by definition unknown.

You do know for certain (having used logic, perhaps) that the Unknown cannot be known. There is no evidence you can find to prove this.

You're dodging again. The point is that I know (with probability) the Unknown exists, without knowing very much about it at all. You claim that you can't believe in the existence of something unless you know all about it. That's false. People do it everyday. You do it yourself.

Quote:
Quote:
Do you believe the Infinite exists? How about Ultimate Reality? How about 'the nature of all things'?

What thing could I refer to as proof of existence of the nature of Ultimate Reality, given that is always present?

Dodging again. Answer the question: Do you believe the Infinite exists? It's a yes or no question. All I'm asking for is 2 or 3 letters, not a dozen paragraphs.

Quote:
Quote:
If you answer yes, and you also call these things 'god', as you just demonstrated with your 'aka' equivalency, then you also believe that god exists.

Does the above answer your question?

No, it absolutely does not.

Look, Kelly, I'm sure you're very impressed with yourself and your vague word games. But really, you've said a whole lot of nothing. Your 'god', 'the Infinite', whatever you want to call it is *utterly* useless. You are not impressing anyone here. We've seen this all before, and it amounts to a whole bunch of wasted breath.

Let's boil this conversation down:

1) Kierkegaard lacked the balls to admit that he didn't really have any sensible conception of God, and so had no reason to even believe in God at all.

2) He passed this idiocy down to you.

3) You come on here and blow smoke up our asses.

4) We groan and sigh and think, "Why can't people just figure out that their 'god' is meaningless?"

You are trying to introduce a god concept into our conversation. Why should I adopt it? What practical use is it? Show me something more than word games. How is 'god' more meaningful than 'existence', or 'the cosmos', or 'the universe', or whatever other concept you feel the urge to attach g-o-d to?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:natural

Kelly Jones wrote:

natural wrote:

Kelly Jones wrote:
How can anyone say whether they believe in God or not, if they don't know what God is? A definition is essential to answer the quesiton.

No, it isn't. Google "negative theology". It's an admission that they don't know anything about 'god', and yet they still believe in it.

Your theology is similar. You define god as 'not finite'. That's characteristic of negative theology.

If a person has no idea what God means, no meaning for the word, then it would be totally useless for them to say they believe in it.

And yet, people believe in it. Amazing. I'm wondering how your 'god' is any different.

Quote:
The problem is duplicated when two people meet and they each have a different meaning for the word. They have to explain what they mean by the word, if they wish to communicate intelligently.

Ask anyone here whether they understand what you mean when you use the word 'god'. I'm sure you'll find that you haven't done a very good job of explaining what you mean.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
...What the Hell is

...What the Hell is 'ultimate reality'? Sort-of like reality, except that everyone travels via jetpack and getting kicked in the face by ninjas is much more common?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Kelly Jones wrote:The

Kelly Jones wrote:
The meaning I give this word is that which is responsible for all things. This isn't imaginary, as I'm referring to the purely logical concept of causation.

So, the cosmos, then? Again, why call it god?

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!