quasi-divine?

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quasi-divine?

One thing I've noticed around here is that attempts to discuss ideas about a god that is not omniscient, ompnipotent, and omnibenevolent are met with comments that amont to 'that's not much of a god" or "that's not god". But this seems contradictory. The non-cognitivist positition essentially eviscerates any god with such properties but it seems I am required to "prove" or provide evidence for this god only. But if the logical arguments hold, no such entity exists thus there is no evidence to be found or proof to be offered. So this leads me to ask what type of entity would qualify as a deity?


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wavefreak wrote: One thing

wavefreak wrote:
One thing I've noticed around here is that attempts to discuss ideas about a god that is not omniscient, ompnipotent, and omnibenevolent are met with comments that amont to 'that's not much of a god" or "that's not god". But this seems contradictory. The non-cognitivist positition essentially eviscerates any god with such properties but it seems I am required to "prove" or provide evidence for this god only. But if the logical arguments hold, no such entity exists thus there is no evidence to be found or proof to be offered. So this leads me to ask what type of entity would qualify as a deity?

Deity: any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force.

 

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."--Stephen F. Roberts


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vexed wrote: Deity: any

vexed wrote:

Deity: any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force.

Supernatural is incoherent. 

Why is worship a necessary condition?

Deism does not have a god that controls reality.

Personification of a force seems rather vague. If you mean a supernatural force, then this is incoherent.  


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Wave, I was just coming

Wave, I was just coming here to ask what the heck "quasi-divine" could possibly mean, but you beat me to the punch.

 This is one of the issues I have with moderate theists...

If god is not exactly omni-anything...

and not exactly the "only" way to heaven...

and maybe "all" religions are valid in their own way...

and he's not supernatural...

and since the Buddhists are also kind of right, he's not a deity, exactly...

then what in tarnation is he???!

 

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

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Out of curiosity, wave, can

Out of curiosity, wave, can you think of anything else in philosophy that is discussed as a real plausibility that has absolutely no positive ontology?

(I know those words make some people's eyes glaze over...)

Think about that, though... how many times do you entertain the idea that there is something that leads to an absurdity no matter how you try to describe it?  Any time such a concept is brought up, it's immediately dismissed by all but the dullest of intellects.  (that's going to get me in trouble, I know...)

And yet, here's this "deity" concept.

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: then

Hambydammit wrote:

then what in tarnation is he???!

 

Part of the difficulty is that the word god carries so much baggage. The nearly automatic response is to think about the Abrahamic god. But I am more pragmatic. My thoughts tend to more what I loosley discribed as a psychological model. Essentially, a entity is god when its capabilities outstrip mine to the extent that it is indisguishible from a deity. A rough analogy is the difference between an infant an an adult. An adult is so far beyond the capabilites of the infant that from the infants point of view the adult may as well be nothing less than magical.

 A Type III Kardashev civilization harnesses the energy of an entire galaxy. It is easy to create this scale, but were we to ever encounter such a civilization would we even know that it was Type III?  For me, at least, at some point an entity of sufficient capability carries such psychological impact to my perception that it is indistinguisable for a deity. Now somebody is sure to say "That's not god, it's just an extremely powerful alien entity". But I'm suggesting that there is a threshold beyond which we cannot perceive the differences between increasingly powerful entities. Once this threshold is surpassed, then all things beyond this are for all practical purposes divine beings.


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That reminds me of that

That reminds me of that quote, I think by Isaac Asimov that an advanced enough technology would be indistinguishable from magic.

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Get ready for a shock... I

Get ready for a shock...

I actually don't mind what you're saying.

However, I think this needs some cultural brushing up.  (Am I right in thinking that you wouldn't mind seeing some words clarified on a cultural level?)

Such a hypothetical being from a hypothetical formula which might or might not exist and, if it is extant, to this point has not demonstrated with clarity any knowledge of our existence, is, as you say, not an Abrahamic god.  So, why use the word "god" or "deity?"  If it's like a deity in some respects, like seemingly infinite ability to manipulate matter and energy, for instance, it's certainly not like one in other, very significant ways.  So why use the word at all?

Let's invent a word.  I suggest Flarb, though I know that's probably not going to go over well.  But I suggest we label as "Flarb" any being whose existence can be attributed to natural forces within the describable universe, who has achieved such a level of knowledge and/or power so as to be inconceivably knowledgable or powerful to humans.

If we could just stop using the words, "god" and "deity" when talking about things that aren't gods or deities, we could end a lot of this nonsense.

After all, it does harm to fragile little theist brains when you suggest the possibility of god!  They hear those words from a heretic like you and they say, "SEE!!!  God Does Exist!  I was right!  Praise Jesus!"

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: can you

Hambydammit wrote:

can you think of anything else in philosophy that is discussed as a real plausibility that has absolutely no positive ontology?

Existence? 


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Hambydammit wrote: Get

Hambydammit wrote:

Get ready for a shock...

I actually don't mind what you're saying.

However, I think this needs some cultural brushing up. (Am I right in thinking that you wouldn't mind seeing some words clarified on a cultural level?)

Such a hypothetical being from a hypothetical formula which might or might not exist and, if it is extant, to this point has not demonstrated with clarity any knowledge of our existence, is, as you say, not an Abrahamic god. So, why use the word "god" or "deity?" If it's like a deity in some respects, like seemingly infinite ability to manipulate matter and energy, for instance, it's certainly not like one in other, very significant ways. So why use the word at all?

Let's invent a word. I suggest Flarb, though I know that's probably not going to go over well. But I suggest we label as "Flarb" any being whose existence can be attributed to natural forces within the describable universe, who has achieved such a level of knowledge and/or power so as to be inconceivably knowledgable or powerful to humans.

If we could just stop using the words, "god" and "deity" when talking about things that aren't gods or deities, we could end a lot of this nonsense.

After all, it does harm to fragile little theist brains when you suggest the possibility of god! They hear those words from a heretic like you and they say, "SEE!!! God Does Exist! I was right! Praise Jesus!"

 

I prefer bralf over flarb but I won't bicker. Discarding the term god seems impractical, but your point is understood. What is important to me is our place inexistence. I'm not wedded to any particular name for it. The important thing about flarb is that it is part of material existence. Flarb is not supernatural. I suppose it could approach levels of power and intelligence that to me it might appear omnipotent and omniscient, but it would only be in appearance. It could even exist outside of the space-time of this universe as part of a multi-universe cosmology. But would we even know or be capable of knowing flarb's origins? At the very least this approach gives us some positive definitions so that we can discusss flarb in a coherent manner.


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Don't you think a Type III

Don't you think a Type III Kardashev Civilization would use so much energy its presence would be obvious to any astronomer? I mean, all we'd have to do is look for stars that slowly fade out, yet their gravity remains (Type IIIs would use something like a dyson sphere to utilize all the energy of a star), or we'd see evidence of their wars, transmissions from their worlds and spacecraft. It seems to me a Type III civilization would leave so huge a footprint on the universe that it could not go unnoticed by humanity for long.

 So, if you are suggesting that there are Type III beings out there who we can call "god", it is an interesting notion, but I don't think there's any evidence for it.

 Even still, we wouldn't call them gods. If they were that complex, they must have evolved from more primitive origins, and their lineage would demistify them entirely.

 I hate to reference this, but I remember an old Star Trek episode where the enterprise accidentaly stumbles upon a bronze age civilization, who worships them until Picard convinces them that he was a natural being who evolved from simpler origins.

I mean, its a possibility, and it is certainly an interesting plotline, but in reality I think type III civilizations are either very rare or nonexistant, and if they ever did exist I doubt they would have ever cared to visit us. 


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theotherguy wrote: Don't

theotherguy wrote:

Don't you think a Type III Kardashev Civilization would use so much energy its presence would be obvious to any astronomer? I mean, all we'd have to do is look for stars that slowly fade out, yet their gravity remains (Type IIIs would use something like a dyson sphere to utilize all the energy of a star), or we'd see evidence of their wars, transmissions from their worlds and spacecraft. It seems to me a Type III civilization would leave so huge a footprint on the universe that it could not go unnoticed by humanity for long.

So, if you are suggesting that there are Type III beings out there who we can call "god", it is an interesting notion, but I don't think there's any evidence for it.

Even still, we wouldn't call them gods. If they were that complex, they must have evolved from more primitive origins, and their lineage would demistify them entirely.

I hate to reference this, but I remember an old Star Trek episode where the enterprise accidentaly stumbles upon a bronze age civilization, who worships them until Picard convinces them that he was a natural being who evolved from simpler origins.

I mean, its a possibility, and it is certainly an interesting plotline, but in reality I think type III civilizations are either very rare or nonexistant, and if they ever did exist I doubt they would have ever cared to visit us.

 

A Dyson Sphere around a galaxy would not radiate anything. The ultimate black hole. 

You also imply that to be a god the entity would always have existed. Would you be able to differentiate between a billion year old entity, a ten billion year old entity, or an entity that exists outside the space-time of this universe? Would such an entity even subject itself to your analysis in an attempt to even answer the question of its age? Even if archaic thinking trys to impose infinite characteristics on an entity, it doesn't change the practical implications of how we woud stand in relationship to that entity. There were people that thought the sun was pulled across the sky by a chariot. Knowing that it is a giant thermonuclear reactor doesn't change what the sun does. Our relationship to the sun is still the same, only our thinking about it has changed.

Suppose for a second that Moses actually saw a burning bush that was not consumed by the fire. How would a mind not familiar with things like quantum mechanics possibly explain that phenomenon? It would not be surprising for him to attribute that to some "god" and assign that god infinite powers, regardless of what it really was.


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wavefreak wrote: A Type III

wavefreak wrote:
A Type III Kardashev civilization harnesses the energy of an entire galaxy. It is easy to create this scale, but were we to ever encounter such a civilization would we even know that it was Type III?  For me, at least, at some point an entity of sufficient capability carries such psychological impact to my perception that it is indistinguisable for a deity. Now somebody is sure to say "That's not god, it's just an extremely powerful alien entity". But I'm suggesting that there is a threshold beyond which we cannot perceive the differences between increasingly powerful entities. Once this threshold is surpassed, then all things beyond this are for all practical purposes divine beings.

Other than the appearance of divinity to lesser civilisations what would qualify these beings as something divine? Can we really build any sort of theology around them? How would they be worthy of any moral authority? Can they offer us an afterlife with rewards or punishments? As a part of our narural world they evolved, just as we did, so they are not the ultimate creator.

If we meet them at one point in time, then agree that they are divine because they are beyond our comprehension, but a million years later develop past the level they were at when we met would we consider ourselves to have become gods?

If we redefine the term deity to mean anything with abilities beyond the comprehension of a sentient being observing them then europeans were gods when they arrived in Australia. We now have technology that would have been incomprehensible to the first european settlers.

Worship me dammit!

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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MattShizzle wrote: That

MattShizzle wrote:
That reminds me of that quote, I think by Isaac Asimov that an advanced enough technology would be indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke's third law. Smiling

theotherguy wrote:
Don't you think a Type III Kardashev Civilization would use so much energy its presence would be obvious to any astronomer? I mean, all we'd have to do is look for stars that slowly fade out, yet their gravity remains (Type IIIs would use something like a dyson sphere to utilize all the energy of a star), or we'd see evidence of their wars, transmissions from their worlds and spacecraft. It seems to me a Type III civilization would leave so huge a footprint on the universe that it could not go unnoticed by humanity for long.

Dyson sphere technology would actually be type II. And yeah, we'd probably be able to detect it as long as they'd had that level of technology long enough for the light and radiation to get here.

theotherguy wrote:
I hate to reference this, but I remember an old Star Trek episode where the enterprise accidentaly stumbles upon a bronze age civilization, who worships them until Picard convinces them that he was a natural being who evolved from simpler origins.

That was a good episode. But the United Federation of Planets is generally considered to be a type II civilization. A type three would be closer to the Replicators of Star Gate, if you've seen enough of that show to know what I speak of(they've consumed or overrun at least two galaxies). Some have suggested that the Republic or Empire in Star Wars is a type three, but that idea is half baked. The only thing that would suggest it is remotely true would be the utilization of the Force by various peoples, including the Jedi, Sith, and Dathomiri witches as examples. But these are small pockets of cultures amidst a massive civilization, and are incapable of elevating the entire galaxy to that level.

wavefreak wrote:

A Dyson Sphere around a galaxy would not radiate anything. The ultimate black hole.

A dyson sphere of that magnitude would likely require a type 4 civilization. But I'm not so sure it would not radiate anything. Still, this is the first time I've even considered such a thing let alone heard of it, and I could be way off.

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ParanoidAgnostic

ParanoidAgnostic wrote:

 

Other than the appearance of divinity to lesser civilisations what would qualify these beings as something divine?

What makes an entity divine? Remeber, this is not an Abrhamic concept. This goes back to the start of the thread. Unless it is omni-everything it is not divine?

 

Quote:

Can we really build any sort of theology around them? How would they be worthy of any moral authority?

 

 Since most theology is speculation, why is it necessary to build a theology? Moral authority could simply be a function of a better understanding of moral issues than us. 

 

Quote:

Can they offer us an afterlife with rewards or punishments?

Heaven and hell? A Christian concept that come from the Abrahamic tradition.

Quote:
 

As a part of our narural world they evolved, just as we did, so they are not the ultimate creator.

As part of the space-time of this universe, some sort of growth and change would  be assumed, but a multi-universe cosmology does not require this. And creator is an Abrahamic divinity.

 

Quote:

If we meet them at one point in time, then agree that they are divine because they are beyond our comprehension, but a million years later develop past the level they were at when we met would we consider ourselves to have become gods?

I suppose. But they would continue to develop and still be beyond us.

Quote:
 

If we redefine the term deity to mean anything with abilities beyond the comprehension of a sentient being observing them then europeans were gods when they arrived in Australia. We now have technology that would have been incomprehensible to the first european settlers.

Worship me dammit!

I'd be willing to bet that some europeans were willing to let otheres believe the were some type of god. But the separation in capabilities between europeans and aboriginal peoples is not enough  to qualify in my mind.

 

What would the reality be if such a being were encountered? It's easy to say in theory that it must have evolved or even that we might evolve to that level. But in reality, we would not be in any position to probe an analyze such an entity. How would we determine its true nature if it didn't choose to teach us about itself?  could we know that it was part of our space-time or not? Could we determine how it evolved? What could we learn about such a being except what it was willing to let us learn?
 

 


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Wavefreak The problem is

Wavefreak

The problem is that you've srtipped away anything from these beings that could in any way qualify them as gods, divine beings or deities. You don't even need to invent a new word for them because we already have a term: 'incomprehensibly advanced'.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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I'm not so sure about that.

I'm not so sure about that. It seems to me that Wavefreak is acknowledging Todangsts essay that god and supernatural are incoherant terms, and would appear to be attempting to give coherancy to god.

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And I'm just pointing out

And I'm just pointing out that in doing so he has limited god to something not worthy of the title. As is always the case when you try to make god fit reality

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I don't know about that

I don't know about that either. In theory, a type 4 or 5(my own creation) civilization would be gods. Q from Star Trek comes to mind.

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ParanoidAgnostic wrote: And

ParanoidAgnostic wrote:
And I'm just pointing out that in doing so he has limited god to something not worthy of the title. As is always the case when you try to make god fit reality

 

So you're saying that anything that isn't omni everything isn't a deity?

 

I think you are not getting the key point. From a psychological point of view, a sufficiently advanced entity would have the same impact on us as any fitting an abstract description of god with infinite properties. Basically, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's not an elephant. We can easily talk about such hypothetical beings and say it's not *really* god, but what would it be like to really stand in front of one? I think all of our powers of reason would be trivialized. We would be unable to distinguish between this entity and one that was omni everything. I am suggesting that an omni everything being does not have to exist in order for humanity to be completely dominated by some other entity. Dominated in everyway. Excpet maybe penis size.

 

 


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I get your point wavefreak.

I get your point wavefreak. I just disagree with it. What I'm saying is that all you are doing is changing the debate from being "Is there a god?" to "Is there an incomprehensibly advanced alien civilisation?"

I just don't think that the incomprehensibly advanced alien civilisation is much better expressed as "incomprehensibly advanced alien civilisation" than "God".

It still seems to me like an atempt to demote god into existence.

  

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ParanoidAgnostic wrote: I

ParanoidAgnostic wrote:

I get your point wavefreak. I just disagree with it. What I'm saying is that all you are doing is changing the debate from being "Is there a god?" to "Is there an incomprehensibly advanced alien civilisation?"

I just don't think that the incomprehensibly advanced alien civilisation is much better expressed as "incomprehensibly advanced alien civilisation" than "God".

It still seems to me like an atempt to demote god into existence.

 

 

More like trying to fit thoughts of such entities within the limitations of our language. We can't talk about such beings if we insist on using incoherent definitions. If we truely want evidence of such things we have to be able to first have something to look for the exists within our capacity to describe and investigate.

Logic tells us certain things are incoherent. So this means either incoherent things can't exist or that logic is insufficient as a descriptive language except for a subset of reality. But even if logic is insufficient, it is the best tool we have. What I am getting at is that elimination of infinite properties does not strip an entity of god status if it is sufficiently advanced because even if something like omniscience were possible, we would not be able to tell a nearly omniscient being from one that was fully so. A 1,000,000 watt light bulb will blind you just as surely as a 1,000,000,000 watt bulb. Would you be able to tell which was brighter before you went blind?


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Quote: A 1,000,000 watt

Quote:
A 1,000,000 watt light bulb will blind you just as surely as a 1,000,000,000 watt bulb. Would you be able to tell which was brighter before you went blind?

yes, by measuring with a device, not my eyes. Or by understanding the properties and measuring the energy usage of each.

Even if I dont have the equipment necessay to measure the brightness one is sill brighter than the other. The brightness of bulbs does not rely on the presence of an observer or his ability to discern.

In the same way. Being a god should not be depended on an observer. Your theoretical advanced civilisation cannot be 'gods' without us (or another less advanced species) to obseve them.

Us considering them gods will not change their state of godhood/non-godhood in the same way thinking a dog is a cat does not make it a cat.

They may seem to us to be undeniably gods but that does not change the fact that they are not.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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Vastet wrote: I don't know

Vastet wrote:
I don't know about that either. In theory, a type 4 or 5(my own creation) civilization would be gods. Q from Star Trek comes to mind.

What about the BORG? ...........

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."--Stephen F. Roberts


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wavefreak wrote: What I am

wavefreak wrote:
What I am getting at is that elimination of infinite properties does not strip an entity of god status if it is sufficiently advanced because even if something like omniscience were possible, we would not be able to tell a nearly omniscient being from one that was fully so. 

Well, you're either omniscient or you are not, this isn't a grey area.

Omniscient Definitions:

-Having total knowledge; knowing everything.

-all-knowing: infinitely wise

-Omniscience is the capacity to know everything, or at least everything that can be known. In monotheism, this ability is typically attributed to God. It is typically contrasted with omnipotence. Omniscience is sometimes understood to also imply the capacity to know everything that will be.

So knowing 99% is not = to being omniscient, agreed? Unlike the light bulbs, we really can't measure this 'attribute' can we.

wavefreak wrote:
More like trying to fit thoughts of such entities within the limitations of our language. We can't talk about such beings if we insist on using incoherent definitions.

Incoherent

-without logical or meaningful connection; "a turgid incoherent presentation"

-unable to express yourself clearly or fluently; "felt tongue-tied with embarrassment"; "incoherent with grief"

You're making the assumption that there is an 'entity' or 'being' that is needing describing. The only thing incoherent (using 1st definition given) is trying to define 'ideas' that there really is no evidence for.

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."--Stephen F. Roberts


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vexed wrote: wavefreak

vexed wrote:

wavefreak wrote:
What I am getting at is that elimination of infinite properties does not strip an entity of god status if it is sufficiently advanced because even if something like omniscience were possible, we would not be able to tell a nearly omniscient being from one that was fully so.

Well, you're either omniscient or you are not, this isn't a grey area.

Omniscient Definitions:

-Having total knowledge; knowing everything.

-all-knowing: infinitely wise

-Omniscience is the capacity to know everything, or at least everything that can be known. In monotheism, this ability is typically attributed to God. It is typically contrasted with omnipotence. Omniscience is sometimes understood to also imply the capacity to know everything that will be.

So knowing 99% is not = to being omniscient, agreed? Unlike the light bulbs, we really can't measure this 'attribute' can we.

 

You completely miss the point.  If you sat with an entity that was able to answer any question you could pose, from your point of view it would be omniscient. The point is that omniscient is not even relevant when comparing our capabilites with a sufficiently advanced  entity.

vexed wrote:
 

wavefreak wrote:
More like trying to fit thoughts of such entities within the limitations of our language. We can't talk about such beings if we insist on using incoherent definitions.

Incoherent

-without logical or meaningful connection; "a turgid incoherent presentation"

-unable to express yourself clearly or fluently; "felt tongue-tied with embarrassment"; "incoherent with grief"

You're making the assumption that there is an 'entity' or 'being' that is needing describing. The only thing incoherent (using 1st definition given) is trying to define 'ideas' that there really is no evidence for.

Here you touch on the one thing that irritates me about strong atheism. It is telling me to stop asking an entire class of questions. It limits the domain of discourse to logic and scientific evidence and discards all other questions as useless. There is nothing that I have  brought up that is impossible or logically contradictory. In an existence with infinite universes, such entities are even probable. If we don't ask questions we will not look for evidence and so possibly miss something that is an important part of what exists.


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I'm digging this thread

I'm digging this thread because I think it's fun to think about aliens and Q and borg and stuff, but I'm still completely puzzled as to why you feel the need to equate god/deity status with highly advanced status in language.

You're the one who's always such a stickler for using the right word with a precise definition.  Why do you want to muddy up words when it comes to this subject?  Wouldn't it be better to speak of "seemingly infinite" beings as seemingly infinite, and "infinite beings" as nonsense?  Why put them in the same basket?

Clearly, if super-awesome aliens exist, they are not omni-anything.  "God," to half the world's population, means an omni-being.  Even if, by some really bizarre coincidence, aliens visited the planet 2000 years ago and worked "miracles" to try to create a religion and watch how it worked on little old earth, wouldn't it be better for us to address that idea, then to continue to call them "gods"?  Isn't that what science is here for?  To try to cut through misconceptions and view the universe with as clear a lens as possible?

I don't get it.

 

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Hambydammit wrote: I'm

Hambydammit wrote:

I'm digging this thread because I think it's fun to think about aliens and Q and borg and stuff, but I'm still completely puzzled as to why you feel the need to equate god/deity status with highly advanced status in language.

You're the one who's always such a stickler for using the right word with a precise definition. Why do you want to muddy up words when it comes to this subject? Wouldn't it be better to speak of "seemingly infinite" beings as seemingly infinite, and "infinite beings" as nonsense? Why put them in the same basket?

Clearly, if super-awesome aliens exist, they are not omni-anything. "God," to half the world's population, means an omni-being. Even if, by some really bizarre coincidence, aliens visited the planet 2000 years ago and worked "miracles" to try to create a religion and watch how it worked on little old earth, wouldn't it be better for us to address that idea, then to continue to call them "gods"? Isn't that what science is here for? To try to cut through misconceptions and view the universe with as clear a lens as possible?

I don't get it.

 

 

My obsession is about what is "out there" and how does our species fit into the whole. Just because I don't believe in the evangelical's god of the bible doesn't mean there is nothing out there that is from my point of view indistinguishable from a deity. Strong atheism has challenged my core assertions about reality. There are even those that consider theism delusional to the point that it should be classified as a mental illness and treated. While this is the most extreme position, it is still an overt assualt on my reality. I am working towards showing that theism is not delusional by default. I suspect that I will never satisfy the most strident critics of theism, but I don't have to. 


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Quote: My obsession is

Quote:
My obsession is about what is "out there" and how does our species fit into the whole. Just because I don't believe in the evangelical's god of the bible doesn't mean there is nothing out there that is from my point of view indistinguishable from a deity.

I'm ok with that.  I just think the word deity is a bad choice.  It harms fragile theist minds by giving them the false idea that you believe in their kind of god.   If you want to talk about aliens, I think you should use the word, "aliens."

(Of course, you'll also need your tin foil hat on your head, or people won't take you seriously.)

 

Quote:
Strong atheism has challenged my core assertions about reality.

If we're using the same definition, I'm not a fan of strong atheism, simply because it claims that any "god," no matter how it's defined, is nonexistent.  Too broad a claim for my taste.

Anything supernatural, of course = Nonexistent.  That's not strong atheism, though.  That's fundamental logic.

Like I said, I'm perfectly happy with speculation about natural beings.  I want proof before I believe in them, but speculate all you want!  I don't think there's anything inherently irrational about it.  Believing that they're somehow influencing earth would take a leap of logic I'm not prepared to make, though.

Still puzzled about why you want to jump on board the theist train.  Why not call yourself an atheist, since you don't believe in anything supernatural?  Then you can call yourself an alien buff, and nobody will bother you.

 

Quote:
There are even those that consider theism delusional to the point that it should be classified as a mental illness and treated.

I kind of agree, but not to the full extent.  Yes, I think theism creates a lot of problems because it encourages delusions.  The supernatural does not exist, and theism encourages people to believe it does.  They change the way they live because of that belief.  Plain and simple, this is delusional.  How delusional, I'm not really interested in talking about, because it's different for each person and each religion, but nonetheless, it IS delusion.

 

Quote:
While this is the most extreme position, it is still an overt assualt on my reality.

Good.

 

Quote:
I am working towards showing that theism is not delusional by default.

You and Oxford are going to have to have a meeting.

 

Quote:
I suspect that I will never satisfy the most strident critics of theism, but I don't have to.

I suspect not, also... and no, I don't hold you accountable to them/us.  However, I do wonder why you want to throw your lot in with theists.  Seriously, if you just called yourself an alien enthusiast, I'd be perfectly happy, and so would 98% of the atheists on these boards.  You'd be doing the theists a favor by not encouraging them, and you'd be doing us a favor, since we could stop wasting time arguing with you about how you agree with us.  Tongue out

 It's such a simple thing, really.  You don't believe in supernatural gods.  Therefore, you are an atheist, whether you like it or not.  Why not just admit it and stop trying so hard to defend people who, by definition, are delusional, because they believe in something that cannot exist!?

Delusional: a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact:

Supernatural cannot exist.  Theists believe in it despite being shown that it is impossible.  This is delusional.  Period.

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
My obsession is about what is "out there" and how does our species fit into the whole. Just because I don't believe in the evangelical's god of the bible doesn't mean there is nothing out there that is from my point of view indistinguishable from a deity.

I'm ok with that. I just think the word deity is a bad choice. It harms fragile theist minds by giving them the false idea that you believe in their kind of god. If you want to talk about aliens, I think you should use the word, "aliens."

(Of course, you'll also need your tin foil hat on your head, or people won't take you seriously.)

Quote:
Strong atheism has challenged my core assertions about reality.

If we're using the same definition, I'm not a fan of strong atheism, simply because it claims that any "god," no matter how it's defined, is nonexistent. Too broad a claim for my taste.

Anything supernatural, of course = Nonexistent. That's not strong atheism, though. That's fundamental logic.

Like I said, I'm perfectly happy with speculation about natural beings. I want proof before I believe in them, but speculate all you want! I don't think there's anything inherently irrational about it. Believing that they're somehow influencing earth would take a leap of logic I'm not prepared to make, though.

Still puzzled about why you want to jump on board the theist train. Why not call yourself an atheist, since you don't believe in anything supernatural? Then you can call yourself an alien buff, and nobody will bother you.

Quote:
There are even those that consider theism delusional to the point that it should be classified as a mental illness and treated.

I kind of agree, but not to the full extent. Yes, I think theism creates a lot of problems because it encourages delusions. The supernatural does not exist, and theism encourages people to believe it does. They change the way they live because of that belief. Plain and simple, this is delusional. How delusional, I'm not really interested in talking about, because it's different for each person and each religion, but nonetheless, it IS delusion.

Quote:
While this is the most extreme position, it is still an overt assualt on my reality.

Good.

Quote:
I am working towards showing that theism is not delusional by default.

You and Oxford are going to have to have a meeting.

Quote:
I suspect that I will never satisfy the most strident critics of theism, but I don't have to.

I suspect not, also... and no, I don't hold you accountable to them/us. However, I do wonder why you want to throw your lot in with theists. Seriously, if you just called yourself an alien enthusiast, I'd be perfectly happy, and so would 98% of the atheists on these boards. You'd be doing the theists a favor by not encouraging them, and you'd be doing us a favor, since we could stop wasting time arguing with you about how you agree with us. Tongue out

It's such a simple thing, really. You don't believe in supernatural gods. Therefore, you are an atheist, whether you like it or not. Why not just admit it and stop trying so hard to defend people who, by definition, are delusional, because they believe in something that cannot exist!?

Delusional: a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact:

Supernatural cannot exist. Theists believe in it despite being shown that it is impossible. This is delusional. Period.

 

 

Saying I am an atheist might make some of those that hang out here happy, but it wouldn't make *me* happy. I suppose that if to be a theist I must accept a supernatural god then I am not a theist. But nor am I an atheist in the any way that I have seen around here.


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Quote: I suppose that if to

Quote:
I suppose that if to be a theist I must accept a supernatural god then I am not a theist.

That's my point.

I'm sorry you don't like the definition of theist, but that's what it is!

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source the·ism      /ˈθiɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[thee-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun

1.the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).
2.belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism).

 

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source god       (gŏd)  Pronunciation Key 
n.  

  1. God
    1. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
    2. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
  2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality

I did pick and choose, discarding definitions like "idol" or "despot" but you and I both know these are the correct cultural definitions.

 

Quote:
But nor am I an atheist in the any way that I have seen around here.

So, fine.  Be an atheist like you.  The only thing atheism deals with is belief in god.  You don't.  Therefore, you are an atheist.  Outside of that, we can argue about aliens or politics, or seemingly transcendent natural beings, or morality, or anything else, and it honestly doesn't matter if we agree or not.  This isn't a club with membership badges.  You are what you are.

(Ok, we do have membership badges...)

But, you get the point, right?  The fact that you're lumping other beliefs into your perception of atheism doesn't change the fact that from an outside perspective, you are an atheist.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I suppose that if to be a theist I must accept a supernatural god then I am not a theist.

That's my point.

I'm sorry you don't like the definition of theist, but that's what it is!

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source the·ism /ˈθiɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[thee-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun

1.the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism).
2.belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism).

 

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source god (gŏd) Pronunciation Key
n.

  1. God
    1. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
    2. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
  2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality

I did pick and choose, discarding definitions like "idol" or "despot" but you and I both know these are the correct cultural definitions.

Quote:
But nor am I an atheist in the any way that I have seen around here.

So, fine. Be an atheist like you. The only thing atheism deals with is belief in god. You don't. Therefore, you are an atheist. Outside of that, we can argue about aliens or politics, or seemingly transcendent natural beings, or morality, or anything else, and it honestly doesn't matter if we agree or not. This isn't a club with membership badges. You are what you are.

(Ok, we do have membership badges...)

But, you get the point, right? The fact that you're lumping other beliefs into your perception of atheism doesn't change the fact that from an outside perspective, you are an atheist.

 

 

 

I don't want to get into a dictionary duel, but I think if forced to choose, I would call my self a deist or pantheist before an atheist.

 

American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition - Cite This Source
deism [(dee-iz-uhm)]

The belief that God has created the universe but remains apart from it and permits his creation to administer itself through natural laws. Deism thus rejects the supernatural aspects of religion, such as belief in revelation in the Bible, and stresses the importance of ethical conduct. In the eighteenth century, numerous important thinkers held deist beliefs. (See clockwork universe.)

 

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source

pan·the·ism      /ˈpænθiˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[pan-thee-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun
1.the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are only manifestations: it involves a denial of God's personality and expresses a tendency to identify God and nature.
2.any religious belief or philosophical doctrine that identifies God with the universe.

[Origin: 1725–35; < F panthéisme. See pan-, theism]
pan·the·ist, noun pan·the·is·tic, pan·the·is·ti·cal, adjective pan·the·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

 

 

 

 


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I guess I'm relatively cool

I guess I'm relatively cool with that, but I think pantheism is silly, honestly.   But if it really floats your boat, you know?  Why call the universe "god" when we have a perfectly good name for it... "universe"?

And if you're a deist, what does transcendent mean?  Supernatural?  If not, why use the word transcendent?   I'm sure there's another word for whatever you think it is.

I'm not really interested in dictionary wars, but I am interested in cultural implications of words.  The words, God, Deity, Transcendent,  and yes, even Pantheist, all give the impression culturally of condoning Christianity by validating the idea of the supernatural.

Despite your herculean efforts to create a bubble for yourself in which you can be both non-theist and theist, you still give the impression of condoning that with which you disagree.  This is the point I'm trying to make.  It's how you're perceived, and what that perception creates in the real world.

If it were just you, that would be one thing, but there are lots of people who will go to almost any length to avoid being labeled the "a" word.  This is also a cultural phenomenon.  I suggest that by giving in to this phenomenon, you're perpetuating it.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: I guess

Hambydammit wrote:

I guess I'm relatively cool with that, but I think pantheism is silly, honestly. But if it really floats your boat, you know? Why call the universe "god" when we have a perfectly good name for it... "universe"?

And if you're a deist, what does transcendent mean? Supernatural? If not, why use the word transcendent? I'm sure there's another word for whatever you think it is.

I'm not really interested in dictionary wars, but I am interested in cultural implications of words. The words, God, Deity, Transcendent, and yes, even Pantheist, all give the impression culturally of condoning Christianity by validating the idea of the supernatural.

Despite your herculean efforts to create a bubble for yourself in which you can be both non-theist and theist, you still give the impression of condoning that with which you disagree. This is the point I'm trying to make. It's how you're perceived, and what that perception creates in the real world.

If it were just you, that would be one thing, but there are lots of people who will go to almost any length to avoid being labeled the "a" word. This is also a cultural phenomenon. I suggest that by giving in to this phenomenon, you're perpetuating it.

 

 

It's hard to dedescribe, but it's like going from doctor to doctor trying to get a diagnosis for something that isn't really well understood. Then you finally get a doctor that knows what it is and everything fits. Your disiease has a name and you know what to do with it.I really don't know what the fuck to call what I think and believe. Atheism isn't it. Maybe desim or pantheism.

 

I also understand your point on the cultural implications of the words I am using. But these are the only words I know. I'm not in a position to create a new language. So my herculean efforts are more about beating what language I do have into submission rather than trying to condone or conform to what else is out there. 


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Quote: I really don't know

Quote:
I really don't know what the fuck to call what I think and believe. Atheism isn't it. Maybe desim or pantheism.

Or, could it be, you keep going to doctors, and they tell you what you have, but you keep saying, "No, that isn't what I have"?  Some people go into denial when they are faced with something unpleasant, after all.

The thing is, wave, you're obviously a very smart dude, and you're spot on with so many observations, yet despite so many people explaining with great clarity what an atheist is, and how you fit the model, you insist on using other words that don't fit you.

If I may be so bold, what is it that you think you'll lose if you use the word "atheist" to describe yourself?  Or, conversely, what do you think will be added to your life that will make it less pleasant?

 

Quote:
So my herculean efforts are more about beating what language I do have into submission rather than trying to condone or conform to what else is out there.

I don't understand this.  Why not use the available language the way it's culturally defined?  Why tilt the windmill by yourself?

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: The

Hambydammit wrote:

The thing is, wave, you're obviously a very smart dude, and you're spot on with so many observations, yet despite so many people explaining with great clarity what an atheist is, and how you fit the model, you insist on using other words that don't fit you.

If I may be so bold, what is it that you think you'll lose if you use the word "atheist" to describe yourself? Or, conversely, what do you think will be added to your life that will make it less pleasant?

I eluded to this in a different thread, but let's just say that I've had some experiences that in a different culture would have me burning at the stake if I made them public. In today's world, the psychic network would welcome me with open arms were it not for the contempt I have towards such chicanery. People are so frickin gullible all somebody has to do is make shit up and they believe it. I don't have any desire to be like that. So I choose to work these things out privately.

Quote:

Quote:
So my herculean efforts are more about beating what language I do have into submission rather than trying to condone or conform to what else is out there.

I don't understand this. Why not use the available language the way it's culturally defined? Why tilt the windmill by yourself?

The available language has so far been inadequte. But coming here is helpful. It forces me to be as clear as possible. So far I've acheived the clarity of mud. A step up from clay, but not good enough for a window.


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vexed wrote: Vastet

vexed wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I don't know about that either. In theory, a type 4 or 5(my own creation) civilization would be gods. Q from Star Trek comes to mind.

What about the BORG? ...........

Similar to the Federation in size and technology. They would also be type two. Though more advanced on the scale by a bit perhaps. If they were a type three, they'd have assimilated the entire galaxy instead of a portion of a quadrant.

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Quote: I eluded to this in

Quote:
I eluded to this in a different thread, but let's just say that I've had some experiences that in a different culture would have me burning at the stake if I made them public. In today's world, the psychic network would welcome me with open arms were it not for the contempt I have towards such chicanery. People are so frickin gullible all somebody has to do is make shit up and they believe it. I don't have any desire to be like that. So I choose to work these things out privately.

Can't say I understand, but clearly I'm not meant to, since it's private, so no biggie.

I think I'm done raking you over the coals for a while.  (We atheists prefer that to burning at the stake...)

 

Quote:
The available language has so far been inadequte. But coming here is helpful. It forces me to be as clear as possible. So far I've acheived the clarity of mud. A step up from clay, but not good enough for a window.

Despite the hard time I seem to always be giving you, I'm really glad you gain something from us.   I'm definitely here trying to help, and I know that's what most of us are here for.

Hopefully you can make it up to murky swamp water soon.

 

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

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