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Old 05-29-2017, 05:10 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by vinceprince View Post
But you wish to blindly submit to a guy in a white dress for eternity.

Give me sweet oblivion instead!
I am of the opinion that we are reincarnated. (The soul, that is, not the ego we believe ourselves to be. That little voice in our head is talking to ...???) Since this is the special education planet it is assumed that few, if any of us will be moving on to Nirvana.

When one has been through 12 years of Catholic school education, one is never free of the indoctrination. In any event, it does no harm to take out a little insurance in case there is something other than a new chance to work on our unresolved issues, or as you hope, oblivion. If you are right, it won't matter what the priest does. If my parents, grandparents, and all the good sisters, brothers, bishops, and priests are right, I don't want to be spending any more time in purgatory than necessary. (I find it impossible to believe that a just and loving God would allow any of his children to remain in everlasting torment. Although it would appear that many of our Muslim brothers are really working on getting some hot coals up their asses for awhile.)
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:24 PM   #42
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When one has been through 12 years of Catholic school education, one is never free of the indoctrination. In any event, it does no harm to take out a little insurance in case there is something other than a new chance to work on our unresolved issues, or as you hope, oblivion. If you are right, it won't matter what the priest does. If my parents, grandparents, and all the good sisters, brothers, bishops, and priests are right, I don't want to be spending any more time in purgatory than necessary. (I find it impossible to believe that a just and loving God would allow any of his children to remain in everlasting torment. Although it would appear that many of our Muslim brothers are really working on getting some hot coals up their asses for awhile.)
According to Santee he also fully knows and judges your motivations. So if he's vindictive enough to punish non-believers and 'mercenary' do-gooding Christians he's likely to damn those cunning bastards that just want to hedge their bets.

It's just as likely (or improbable) that any 'God' is Christian-hating one rather than Pro-Christian and your belief will damn you rather than give you any salvation.
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:53 PM   #43
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Yeah ok Vince.
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:31 PM   #44
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According to Santee he also fully knows and judges your motivations. So if he's vindictive enough to punish non-believers and 'mercenary' do-gooding Christians he's likely to damn those cunning bastards that just want to hedge their bets.

It's just as likely (or improbable) that any 'God' is Christian-hating one rather than Pro-Christian and your belief will damn you rather than give you any salvation.
Oh I don't believe in that sick s.o.b. in the Old Testament at all. The Bible scholars, historians, and archaeologists have come to the conclusion that most of it was propaganda material from the reign of King Josephus in the 9th century B.C. when he had his scribes invent a fictional past to justify Judaic rule over that little patch at the crossroads of empires. Part of the deal was to enroll the neighboring peoples in the idea that the cult of Yahweh was important and they needed to come to Jerusalem for religious festivals and give money, grain, and animal sacrifices. Critical scrutiny has revealed that David and Solomon were no more than clan chieftains of tribes existing in the marginal hill country bordering small client states of the Assyrian and Egyptian empires. Their "mighty kingdom and empire" was a complete fiction.

IMO, the New Testament is pretty iffy, too.

One of my big issues with these ancient religions is the barriers they create to genuine exploration of spiritual reality and responsible ethics and morals.
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:54 PM   #45
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Default The archaeological evidence for the Bible is non-existent

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Originally Posted by SanteeFats View Post
as time goes on it seems more and more archaeologic finds do support some passages in the Bible.
I'm afraid that the truth is that the polar opposite is actually the case. If you doubt it read this: https://probe.org/the-archaeological...-non-existent/
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:25 PM   #46
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Even that well-known work of fiction; the one that continually trips over its own contradictions; has many tales of this 'supreme being' causing untold suffering either to test its/his followers resolve, or just for fun; so why do they now wonder why it/he's still doing it?

Truth is that luck just wasn't on your side the day something nasty happened to you or your loved ones; or it was the result of some nutter doing it as a result of another false religious belief; rather than it being the 'will' of some supreme being....?

This is why I shall remain forever free of any faith, as much as people have tried to sway me in the past many many times.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:53 AM   #47
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Default Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

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Originally Posted by Brian249x View Post
I am of the opinion that we are reincarnated. (The soul, that is, not the ego we believe ourselves to be. That little voice in our head is talking to ...???)
OK I 'get' that it's your opinion Brian but what's the best reason you can give for thinking it's particularly likely to be true rather than simply intellectually satisfying to your need to believe it? Do you have anything that's genuinely verifiable?

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Since this is the special education planet it is assumed that few, if any of us will be moving on to Nirvana.
Again that's another highly contentious claim. What's the best justification you can supply for thinking it's at all likely to be true?

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Originally Posted by Brian249x View Post
When one has been through 12 years of Catholic school education, one is never free of the indoctrination. In any event, it does no harm to take out a little insurance in case there is something other than a new chance to work on our unresolved issues, or as you hope, oblivion.
But since there is no remotely reliable way to really know if any supernatural claim is likely to be true how can believing any faith claim is much more likely than any other one? Especially since as you rightly say one is never free from a particular indoctrination? - Not all supernatural claims can be true can they? However they can all be false.

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If you are right, it won't matter what the priest does. If my parents, grandparents, and all the good sisters, brothers, bishops, and priests are right, I don't want to be spending any more time in purgatory than necessary. (I find it impossible to believe that a just and loving God would allow any of his children to remain in everlasting torment. Although it would appear that many of our Muslim brothers are really working on getting some hot coals up their asses for awhile.)
I cannot believe in hell claims either because the it's far far more plausible the story was made up to scare little children away from asking how the claim could really be known to be factual & not fictional? But exactly the same question applies to your methodology for arriving at the opinion about reincarnation or 'this special educational planet'? - Exactly how did you learn it was educational? Did someone you put blind faith in persuade you, in which case why do they? And if you didn't do that & you formed this opinion yourself how exactly did you come to all of these pretty precise conclusions? Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence don't they? - If not tell my pet unicorn he's wrong about that because I have 100% faith in his claims & you should believe him as well if you really don't require extraordinary evidence!
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:05 AM   #48
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OK I 'get' that it's your opinion Brian but what's the best reason you can give for thinking it's particularly likely to be true rather than simply intellectually satisfying to your need to believe it? Do you have anything that's genuinely verifiable?
Hello howerd,

Let me start out by saying that it is a much a hope as an opinion. I really hope to have the opportunity to use lessons learned through a succession of painful experiences. Aristotle stated at the conclusion of Posterior Analytics that all knowledge is based on intuition. IMO, all of our experience and/or knowledge is subjective in the final analysis. Do you have anything genuinely verifiable that objective knowledge can exist?

My subjective reasons for believing reincarnation may be true are 1) experiences that suggested encounters in past lives and memories thereof, and 2) Plato and several Eastern religions attest to that reality.

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Again that's another highly contentious claim. What's the best justification you can supply for thinking it's at all likely to be true?
The 'special education planet' hypothesis comes from the cosmology of the spiritual practice of a former girlfriend. This explanation states that all the souls in the universe "who just don't get it" are sent to this out of the way place so that they don't impede the work of the Masters in the serious business of making the universe work. I rather like it because it reminds me not to have unrealistic expectations of my fellow travelers, and it reminds me to humbly remember that I am here, too. Take a look around you. Do you have a better explanation for human behavior?

Naturally, if this is indeed the special ed planet, all of us here are a very long way from enlightenment.

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But since there is no remotely reliable way to really know if any supernatural claim is likely to be true how can believing any faith claim is much more likely than any other one? Especially since as you rightly say one is never free from a particular indoctrination? - Not all supernatural claims can be true can they? However they can all be false.
Whatever

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I cannot believe in hell claims either because the it's far far more plausible the story was made up to scare little children away from asking how the claim could really be known to be factual & not fictional?
It is notable that the burning forever conception of hell originated with desert peoples living in blazing temperatures. The Nordic peoples conceived of hell as being conscious, but eternally frozen. Stories to scare children or allusions to a spiritual reality, probably some of both. Thomas Aquinas talked of hell and sin in terms of being in a state of alienation from God. Now, there was a period of my life where I was on a self destructive path, completely alienated from my innermost values, much less any underlying principle of Being or experience of all embracing Love. It is this state that I conceive as being hell. It is a state of the soul's own choosing and not a sentence from a vengeful deity.

I know I owe you an a promised PM. It has been on my mind of late. Life has been quite a struggle for quite awhile now, but hopefully I can get the PM out to you in the next few days.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:00 PM   #49
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Default What distinguishes a genuinely plausible 'explanation' from a claim or a hope or a belief?

Thanks for taking the time answering my comments Brian, here are the questions I'm left with on hearing your thoughts:

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Hello howerd,

Let me start out by saying that it is a much a hope as an opinion.
Sure but hopes need some justifiable basis as do opinions otherwise we're just wishful thinking.

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I really hope to have the opportunity to use lessons learned through a succession of painful experiences.
Yes so do I but sometimes to avoid the same errors you made in the past you have to question whether you're means of assessing reality are justified otherwise you'll keep on guessing & keep on failing.

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Aristotle stated at the conclusion of Posterior Analytics that all knowledge is based on intuition.
OK maybe he did & even Professor Richard Feynman said at first you guess an answer: you intuit it indeed & 99% of the time or more it's wrong - it's only when you test your intuitions to destruction can you discover which 1% (if it's even that much) that's left standing.

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IMO, all of our experience and/or knowledge is subjective in the final analysis. Do you have anything genuinely verifiable that objective knowledge can exist?
Well now you are trying to shift your burden of evidence onto me & I never claimed we ever have 100% water tight 'knowledge' of anything at all did I? All I'm saying is that despite not being able to be 100% certain of anything we can still be reasonably certain of many things if there's at least something that can be independently confirmed about it with a high standard of verification & that's as good as anything gets so why demand perfection when you can still have a close second?

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My subjective reasons for believing reincarnation may be true are 1) experiences that suggested encounters in past lives and memories thereof,
That's incredibly vague answer. What's the most compelling experience you can cite that's convinced you it's true? Anything particularly robust beyond alternative interpretation?

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2) Plato and several Eastern religions attest to that reality.
I'm sure they did but other great figures & popular religions in history have had equally unsupportable ideas too so what makes his beliefs obviously far better? There must be some reason you consider these claims better than those claims or do you just like the sound of them more?

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The 'special education planet' hypothesis comes from the cosmology of the spiritual practice of a former girlfriend.
OK so why was she convinced then? - Because she too liked the sound of it from someone she had an inkling also harbored esoteric wisdom as well? - Is that really a good enough reason?

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This explanation states that all the souls in the universe "who just don't get it" are sent to this out of the way place so that they don't impede the work of the Masters in the serious business of making the universe work.
So if I just don't get this explanation & I'd say it's actually just a naked claim that's confirmation it's probably true yeah? That sounds a lot more like confirmation bias & circular reasoning to me. Why am I wrong? Because I lack the wisdom to just "get" it's truth?

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I rather like it because it reminds me not to have unrealistic expectations of my fellow travelers, and it reminds me to humbly remember that I am here, too.
So if we rather like the ideas we find that we rather like, that's a sure sign it's justified then? Hmmmm...

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Take a look around you. Do you have a better explanation for human behavior?
Yes a testable one. One which is robust enough to be independently verified. This is why we behave as we do:

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Originally Posted by Brian249x View Post
Naturally, if this is indeed the special ed planet, all of us here are a very long way from enlightenment.
Yes if, but how could we be pretty damn sure that we really have become enlightened rather than projecting our existing beliefs onto what we notice 'hits' confirmations & doesn't even register blind spots which disconfirm them? Don't you think self doubt is as important if not even more important a strategy if we are genuinely committed to believing as many true things & dismissing any false things, whatever they may be & regardless of whether we 'rather like the idea.'?

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It is notable that the burning forever conception of hell originated with desert peoples living in blazing temperatures. The Nordic peoples conceived of hell as being conscious, but eternally frozen.
Or it may just be coincidence.

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Originally Posted by Brian249x View Post
Stories to scare children or allusions to a spiritual reality, probably some of both.
So you can doubt others! But can you turn the same skepticism onto your own beliefs with equal skepticism too?

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Thomas Aquinas talked of hell and sin in terms of being in a state of alienation from God.
OK perhaps that's how he imagined 'error' to be however isn't a simpler explanation - with less assumptions built into it - 'error' is a state of alienation with the nature of reality therefore you keep making guesses about the nature of reality which aren't based on evidence but by projecting an incorrect assumption about reality on to what you think you are seeing going on around you & therefore that's the cause of your errors? e.g, The philosopher Wittgenstein was in conversation with one of his students who he asked:

W:
Why do you think that people once thought that they could see the sun go around the earth?

S: Well I suppose it's because that's what it looks like.

W: But does it? - Then how would a static sun appear when observed from the surface of an immense spinning sphere?

i.e. If we assume in advance we know the nature of what reality has to be like we may very well be in danger of making the error of 'projecting' our evidence free assumption onto what we think 'reality' is & consequently create a self induced delusion based on what you assumed to be the case unconsciously (or consciously) in advance - without good, independently verifiable evidence for your assumption.

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Originally Posted by Brian249x View Post
Now, there was a period of my life where I was on a self destructive path, completely alienated from my innermost values, much less any underlying principle of Being or experience of all embracing Love. It is this state that I conceive as being hell. It is a state of the soul's own choosing and not a sentence from a vengeful deity.
Well yes we certainly can create our own hell & sometimes it can result from not caring that much if our beliefs are supportable. Those who can make you believe absurdities, could also make you make errors in life which is why we must never imagine we are above delusion ourselves. I'm not which is why I'm happier to admit I don't know things than feel very sure I do but not be able to know exactly how I got there beyond finding an idea appealing. To me that starts alarm bells ringing & a voice in my head screams 'Warning! Potential delusions breaking through the doubt firewall!' - Now I'm not against letting anything through if I've tested it very very carefully but 'carefully' has to mean whether I love it or hate it.

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I know I owe you an a promised PM. It has been on my mind of late. Life has been quite a struggle for quite awhile now, but hopefully I can get the PM out to you in the next few days.
OK thanks Brian I look forward to it!

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Old 06-02-2017, 06:45 AM   #50
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Thanks for taking the time answering my comments Brian, here are the questions I'm left with on hearing your thoughts:

Sure but hopes need some justifiable basis as do opinions otherwise we're just wishful thinking.

Yes so do I but sometimes to avoid the same errors you made in the past you have to question whether you're means of assessing reality are justified otherwise you'll keep on guessing & keep on failing.

OK maybe he did & even Professor Richard Feynman said at first you guess an answer: you intuit it indeed & 99% of the time or more it's wrong - it's only when you test your intuitions to destruction can you discover which 1% (if it's even that much) that's left standing.

Well now you are trying to shift your burden of evidence onto me & I never claimed we ever have 100% water tight 'knowledge' of anything at all did I? All I'm saying is that despite not being able to be 100% certain of anything we can still be reasonably certain of many things if there's at least something that can be independently confirmed about it with a high standard of verification & that's as good as anything gets so why demand perfection when you can still have a close second?

That's incredibly vague answer. What's the most compelling experience you can cite that's convinced you it's true? Anything particularly robust beyond alternative interpretation?

I'm sure they did but other great figures & popular religions in history have had equally unsupportable ideas too so what makes his beliefs obviously far better? There must be some reason you consider these claims better than those claims or do you just like the sound of them more?

OK so why was she convinced then? - Because she too liked the sound of it from someone she had an inkling also harbored esoteric wisdom as well? - Is that really a good enough reason?

So if I just don't get this explanation & I'd say it's actually just a naked claim that's confirmation it's probably true yeah? That sounds a lot more like confirmation bias & circular reasoning to me. Why am I wrong? Because I lack the wisdom to just "get" it's truth?

So if we rather like the ideas we find that we rather like, that's a sure sign it's justified then? Hmmmm...

Yes a testable one. One which is robust enough to be independently verified. This is why we behave as we do:

Yes if, but how could we be pretty damn sure that we really have become enlightened rather than projecting our existing beliefs onto what we notice 'hits' confirmations & doesn't even register blind spots which disconfirm them? Don't you think self doubt is as important if not even more important a strategy if we are genuinely committed to believing as many true things & dismissing any false things, whatever they may be & regardless of whether we 'rather like the idea.'?

Or it may just be coincidence.

So you can doubt others! But can you turn the same skepticism onto your own beliefs with equal skepticism too?

OK perhaps that's how he imagined 'error' to be however isn't a simpler explanation - with less assumptions built into it - 'error' is a state of alienation with the nature of reality therefore you keep making guesses about the nature of reality which aren't based on evidence but by projecting an incorrect assumption about reality on to what you think you are seeing going on around you & therefore that's the cause of your errors? e.g, The philosopher Wittgenstein was in conversation with one of his students who he asked:

W:
Why do you think that people once thought that they could see the sun go around the earth?

S: Well I suppose it's because that's what it looks like.

W: But does it? - Then how would a static sun appear when observed from the surface of an immense spinning sphere?

i.e. If we assume in advance we know the nature of what reality has to be like we may very well be in danger of making the error of 'projecting' our evidence free assumption onto what we think 'reality' is & consequently create a self induced delusion based on what you assumed to be the case unconsciously (or consciously) in advance - without good, independently verifiable evidence for your assumption.

Well yes we certainly can create our own hell & sometimes it can result from not caring that much if our beliefs are supportable. Those who can make you believe absurdities, could also make you make errors in life which is why we must never imagine we are above delusion ourselves. I'm not which is why I'm happier to admit I don't know things than feel very sure I do but not be able to know exactly how I got there beyond finding an idea appealing. To me that starts alarm bells ringing & a voice in my head screams 'Warning! Potential delusions breaking through the doubt firewall!' - Now I'm not against letting anything through if I've tested it very very carefully but 'carefully' has to mean whether I love it or hate it.

OK thanks Brian I look forward to it!
Howerd, I really don't understand why you have such a problem with what I believe. I have changed my opinion several times and really don't take the whole reincarnation thing all that seriously. I did have a flash of memories during a meditation that I was an executioner/torturer in medieval Germany. Another time I caught snippets of being a woman or women with children. Are they real or is there another explanation? We know that the descendants of lab rats who have learned to run mazes learn to run mazes much more quickly than lab rats whose ancestors did not run mazes. Is it possible that memories are somehow transferred in the DNA? I don't know, but assume that science may one day find out. I have an arthritic neck, the result of multiple car wrecks in my late teens and twenties. I joke that my neck is evidence of multiple hangings in previous lives, which were no doubt richly deserved. Certainly that joke/explanation has some probability of being true, but is not testable. I really don't think we have answers. So, I choose a set of beliefs that many smart and spiritually adept people have espoused and use them to laugh at my pretensions. If you choose to believe something else, it is perfectly fine with me. You should choose to believe something else as your experiences are not mine. However, given the known perils of confirmation bias, we must reject any notion that our beliefs have universal application if we wish to be honest with ourselves.

I believe in the existence of a spiritual being present in the universe because I have had multiple occasions of experiencing that presence over many years. You are convinced that I am delusional. I really don't see how you can judge my experience given that you haven't had my experience, but that's OK. I am perfectly fine with you believing whatever you want as long as you follow our customary and legal agreements that each of us is free to believe whatever we want as long as we don't infringe on others rights. (Which is why so many of us strongly dislike fundamentalist Christians and those Muslims who seek to impose their habits and medieval values on us.)

The Special Ed Planet, frankly I thought the complete range of this lady's belief was absolutely bonkers, but adopted the special ed planet hypothesis because it appeals to my sense of humor and deflates my ego. I often struggle with being a know-it-all, and am grateful for reminders of my fallibility (even if they do usually really piss me off at first.)

David Hume in Treatise of Human Nature proceeded to demolish pretty much all claims to knowledge and even common claims to personal identity. He then proceeded to advise embracing custom as the best guide to behavior. After a lifetime of studying ethics and morals, I agree with Hume's notion that ethics and morals are grounded in our relationships with each other and have nothing to to do with God. Since I have an experience of the reality of the Divine, I would like to explore the whole question of theology free of the baggage of a dozen years of Catholic schooling, but recognize that Aquinas' framework is too deeply embedded to do so. Besides, Thomas Aquinas was a really deep and profound thinker and needs to be respected.

Anyway, that's enough for now. I've gone on too long already.
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