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My Philosophy of Religion

popculturepooka
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9/21/2013 7:48:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Someone asked me to do this so here it is. Ask any question about my religion and my views on religious matters. I can't promise it'll be super thorough since I generally don't have as much time as I used to these days but I will attempt to give a good answer. Just a forewarning: I may answer your question with a shrug and an "I don't know" if I don't know or think I know or have a reasonable guesstimate.

On your marks....
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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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9/21/2013 8:16:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being least certain and 10 being most), how certain are you that God exists?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
000ike
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9/21/2013 8:20:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If metaphysical libertarianism is false, will that destroy the logical armature of your religious beliefs?
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
popculturepooka
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9/21/2013 8:37:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/21/2013 8:16:50 PM, 000ike wrote:
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being least certain and 10 being most), how certain are you that God exists?

9-8 on most days, 7-6 on the rare day.

On the DawkIns scale I'd be a 2 most days, and a 3 on the rare day.
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popculturepooka
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9/21/2013 8:53:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/21/2013 8:20:42 PM, 000ike wrote:
If metaphysical libertarianism is false, will that destroy the logical armature of your religious beliefs?

If I thought libetarianism was false, then yes, probably. Mainly because I think libertarianism is required for moral responsibility and I'm convinced moral responsibility is real. I also think it may be necessary for rational choice. But...I'm not so confident of that as I was before. I think semi-compatibilosm may have some merit. I've been looking into it more.
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Polaris
Posts: 1,120
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9/22/2013 12:13:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/21/2013 7:48:01 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Someone asked me to do this so here it is. Ask any question about my religion and my views on religious matters. I can't promise it'll be super thorough since I generally don't have as much time as I used to these days but I will attempt to give a good answer. Just a forewarning: I may answer your question with a shrug and an "I don't know" if I don't know or think I know or have a reasonable guesstimate.

On your marks....

Why are the books referred to by the Bible, but not included in it, not regarded as canon?

http://en.wikipedia.org...
unitedandy
Posts: 1,173
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9/22/2013 9:35:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I guess my main question would be what your primary objection to the PoE would be, although it's not exactly a question suited for a short reply.

Other than that, how sure are you that universalism is true and why do you think it's viewed with such hostility?
AnDoctuir
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9/22/2013 9:37:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Could you ever submit to a more vague conception of God, one that is still very much akin to your God, just without all the... uh... murder and stuff?

Could you ever renounce the Bible, say, but retain your spirituality? or are you fearfully attached to it, or attached for some other reason?
AnDoctuir
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9/22/2013 9:40:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 9:35:29 AM, unitedandy wrote:
I guess my main question would be what your primary objection to the PoE would be, although it's not exactly a question suited for a short reply.

Actually there's a very simple short reply, but the Bible disallows for it. What if we were all God, attempting to achieve harmony? What if life were an evolution of God, from one to multiple, bringing your own issues to the fore?

Other than that, how sure are you that universalism is true and why do you think it's viewed with such hostility?
popculturepooka
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9/22/2013 1:56:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 12:13:54 AM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/21/2013 7:48:01 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Someone asked me to do this so here it is. Ask any question about my religion and my views on religious matters. I can't promise it'll be super thorough since I generally don't have as much time as I used to these days but I will attempt to give a good answer. Just a forewarning: I may answer your question with a shrug and an "I don't know" if I don't know or think I know or have a reasonable guesstimate.

On your marks....

Why are the books referred to by the Bible, but not included in it, not regarded as canon?

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I would hazard a guess it's because it didn't fit the criteria that early Christians used to determine biblical canonicity. Inspiration, anitquity, apostolicity, orthodoxy, catholicity, and traditional use.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Polaris
Posts: 1,120
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9/22/2013 2:02:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 1:56:39 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 12:13:54 AM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/21/2013 7:48:01 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Someone asked me to do this so here it is. Ask any question about my religion and my views on religious matters. I can't promise it'll be super thorough since I generally don't have as much time as I used to these days but I will attempt to give a good answer. Just a forewarning: I may answer your question with a shrug and an "I don't know" if I don't know or think I know or have a reasonable guesstimate.

On your marks....

Why are the books referred to by the Bible, but not included in it, not regarded as canon?

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I would hazard a guess it's because it didn't fit the criteria that early Christians used to determine biblical canonicity. Inspiration, anitquity, apostolicity, orthodoxy, catholicity, and traditional use.

Follow-up question:

Aren't orthodoxy, and catholicity based on what is read within canon?
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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9/22/2013 2:52:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 1:51:20 AM, Sargon wrote:
What arguments for the existence of god do you find convincing?

Moral arguments, arguments from contingency/modal cosmological arguments, arguments from consciousness/reason/abstracta.

I also think arguments from religious experience are much, much stronger than many give them credit for.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Eitan_Zohar
Posts: 2,697
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9/22/2013 3:13:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 2:52:03 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 1:51:20 AM, Sargon wrote:
What arguments for the existence of god do you find convincing?

Moral arguments, arguments from contingency/modal cosmological arguments, arguments from consciousness/reason/abstracta.

I have no idea what moral arguments are. I've heard WLC say that "Moral facts exist, therefore God exists," but it just seems so fundamentally silly that I think I must be missing something. Shouldn't one have to establish objective moral facts before using them as arguments? And is the EU dilemma accepted by Christian philosophers?

I also think arguments from religious experience are much, much stronger than many give them credit for.

Do tell?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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9/22/2013 3:55:32 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 2:52:03 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 1:51:20 AM, Sargon wrote:
What arguments for the existence of god do you find convincing?

Moral arguments, arguments from contingency/modal cosmological arguments, arguments from consciousness/reason/abstracta.

I also think arguments from religious experience are much, much stronger than many give them credit for.

People who claim they've had a religious experience give conflicting reports, so how can anyone give them a shred of legitimacy?
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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9/22/2013 3:58:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 9:35:29 AM, unitedandy wrote:
I guess my main question would be what your primary objection to the PoE would be, although it's not exactly a question suited for a short reply.


Haha, oh lord. You would ask the most difficult question for me to give a succinct answer too... :P

In one sense, I want to say "I don't know", in another sense I embrace a cumulative approach so I don't really think of any one objection as a "primary" objection. But, I will just say that I find myself strongly convinced that God is necessary for moral properties and moral knowledge. So, there would be no such thing as evil or good (in the moral realist) sense if God didn't exist. Leaves me in the odd position of find the PoE strong - because horrendous evils (in Adams' sense) do seem to me to be prima facie evidence that God doesn't exist - while not finding it compelling to me. Of course, I embrace other objections too...

Another way the cumulative nature of my responses come up is I think consciousness is much more likely on theism. And since consciousness is a necessary precondition to experiencing suffering....you can see where I'm going with this.

Not really satisfied with that response but there it is.

Other than that, how sure are you that universalism is true and why do you think it's viewed with such hostility?

About a 9 - 8 (on a 10 scale). I accept, I guess, that I could be wrong (as with anything), but if God is anything like the God described in traditional Christian theology I just take it as a given now that universalism is true.

As for the second part I think there's a lot of peripherial reasons that have to do mainly with misunderstanding of what exactly universalism entails (i.e. alleged denial of "free will", or of biblical inerrancy/inspiration/authority/tradition, or alleged commitment to "wishy washy" plurallism). But, I think a big reason is, if I'm permitted to speculate a bit, is that it has a lot to do with the perception of Christians losing their favored "in group, favored, elect" status. After all, if everybody eventually gets to heaven then Christians aren't necessarily as special as they once thought anymore. Many I have discussed it with seem far more enraged with the idea itself than it seems to merit.

They remind a bit of the the prodigal son's brother who was mad at the father for accepting the wayward son back into the fold so readily. He felt he had been wronged some how by the father's generosity to the prodigal son, because he had been putting in all the work diligently for all those years while the prodigal had spent his time off wasting time and committing sins and such. Or, it reminds of the story of Jonah, where Jonah was actually reluctant to preach to the Ninevetites because he didn't believe they deserved a chance at salvation. God had to chastise him for being so self centered.

This sort of thing plays itself out over and over again. Many Jews were much like this when other Jews were arguing for the inclusion of the Gentiles into the faith. I think this is just a modern instance of the same general kind.
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dylancatlow
Posts: 12,244
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9/22/2013 4:02:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 3:55:32 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 9/22/2013 2:52:03 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 1:51:20 AM, Sargon wrote:
What arguments for the existence of god do you find convincing?

Moral arguments, arguments from contingency/modal cosmological arguments, arguments from consciousness/reason/abstracta.

I also think arguments from religious experience are much, much stronger than many give them credit for.

People who claim they've had a religious experience give conflicting reports, so how can anyone give them a shred of legitimacy?

To illustrate, say Bob and Sally both say they've had a religious experience. Let's call that evidence X. Bob says God A talked to him while sally claims she heard voices from God B. Both Gods say they are the only God. One of these claims has to be false, as they are are mutually exclusive, meaning X is not conclusive evidence. Both claims are then unfounded, because they both rest on evidence that the other claim negates.
Sargon
Posts: 524
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9/22/2013 4:14:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 2:52:03 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 1:51:20 AM, Sargon wrote:
What arguments for the existence of god do you find convincing?

Moral arguments, arguments from contingency/modal cosmological arguments, arguments from consciousness/reason/abstracta.

I also think arguments from religious experience are much, much stronger than many give them credit for.

Hmm. I've always wanted to debate you.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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9/22/2013 4:16:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 9:37:07 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
Could you ever submit to a more vague conception of God, one that is still very much akin to your God, just without all the... uh... murder and stuff?


Depends on how vague and how similar. If it's too vague, I wouldn't even know what "submitting" to it would mean. It might just be some impersonal deist God or a demiurge; I would see no reason to submit to it, much less care about it. If its similiar enough, I guess so. I suspect I have a much different idea of what God has done/does though wrt to his actions (i.e. murder).

Could you ever renounce the Bible, say, but retain your spirituality? or are you fearfully attached to it, or attached for some other reason?

What do you mean renounce the bible? You mean reject as a source of divine wisdom?
I'm sure I could in the sense of maintaining some sort of sense of the transcendence, but I believe Christanity makes the best sense of this transcendence and our connection to it.
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popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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9/22/2013 4:18:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 2:00:30 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Do you believe that without God's existence, reality as we know it would be logically or metaphysical impossible?

I don't think anything would exist if God didn't exist, so I would say it'd be metaphysically impossible.
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popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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9/22/2013 4:22:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 2:02:14 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/22/2013 1:56:39 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 12:13:54 AM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/21/2013 7:48:01 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Someone asked me to do this so here it is. Ask any question about my religion and my views on religious matters. I can't promise it'll be super thorough since I generally don't have as much time as I used to these days but I will attempt to give a good answer. Just a forewarning: I may answer your question with a shrug and an "I don't know" if I don't know or think I know or have a reasonable guesstimate.

On your marks....

Why are the books referred to by the Bible, but not included in it, not regarded as canon?

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I would hazard a guess it's because it didn't fit the criteria that early Christians used to determine biblical canonicity. Inspiration, anitquity, apostolicity, orthodoxy, catholicity, and traditional use.

Follow-up question:

Aren't orthodoxy, and catholicity based on what is read within canon?

I don't understand exactly what you are asking....
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Polaris
Posts: 1,120
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9/22/2013 5:08:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 4:22:13 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 2:02:14 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/22/2013 1:56:39 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 12:13:54 AM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/21/2013 7:48:01 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Someone asked me to do this so here it is. Ask any question about my religion and my views on religious matters. I can't promise it'll be super thorough since I generally don't have as much time as I used to these days but I will attempt to give a good answer. Just a forewarning: I may answer your question with a shrug and an "I don't know" if I don't know or think I know or have a reasonable guesstimate.

On your marks....

Why are the books referred to by the Bible, but not included in it, not regarded as canon?

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I would hazard a guess it's because it didn't fit the criteria that early Christians used to determine biblical canonicity. Inspiration, anitquity, apostolicity, orthodoxy, catholicity, and traditional use.

Follow-up question:

Aren't orthodoxy, and catholicity based on what is read within canon?

I don't understand exactly what you are asking....

Orthodoxy as I understand it is adherence to the beliefs of the early church, however the early church was basing it's beliefs upon canon, no? So how then, assuming these clergy weren't capable of time travel, able to base canon on something that didn't yet exist?
popculturepooka
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9/22/2013 8:51:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 3:13:03 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 9/22/2013 2:52:03 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 1:51:20 AM, Sargon wrote:
What arguments for the existence of god do you find convincing?

Moral arguments, arguments from contingency/modal cosmological arguments, arguments from consciousness/reason/abstracta.

I have no idea what moral arguments are.

They are a family of different arguments. Some have to do with moral epistemology (given God's existence we have a way to ensure that we can track moral truth at least some for the time), some have to do with moral ontology (God grounds moral facts), or pragmatic (such as Kants argument that moral obligation/virtue and ones own good/happiness should coincide or Adams argument from rational optimism).

I've heard WLC say that "Moral facts exist, therefore God exists," but it just seems so fundamentally silly that I think I must be missing something. Shouldn't one have to establish objective moral facts before using them as arguments?

Yes, he should have to establish them but the simple fact is that most philosophers - and perhaps most people - are moral realists. They already think moral facts exist. So, he wouldn't be trying to convince them of much. He just moves gives that premise scant attention in order to elaborate on the alleged connection between moral facts and God. He just thinks it's obvious and moves on to the next step.

And is the EU dilemma accepted by Christian philosophers?

No, they they generally split the horns of the dilemma and say that God simply is The Good, or that his nature grounds goodness. Thus there is no standard external to him and he has a definitive character that precludes him from abtirarily ordering anything capricious or evil.


I also think arguments from religious experience are much, much stronger than many give them credit for.

Do tell?

I mean stock objections that people tend to think are devestating (e.g. "religious experiences contradict each other, therefore they are evidentially useless", or "they can be replicated by stimulating brain chemistry therefore they are evidentially "useless" etc) aren't all that good.
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popculturepooka
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9/22/2013 9:11:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 4:02:58 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
People who claim they've had a religious experience give conflicting reports, so how can anyone give them a shred of legitimacy?

To illustrate, say Bob and Sally both say they've had a religious experience. Let's call that evidence X. Bob says God A talked to him while sally claims she heard voices from God B. Both Gods say they are the only God. One of these claims has to be false, as they are are mutually exclusive, meaning X is not conclusive evidence. Both claims are then unfounded, because they both rest on evidence that the other claim negates.

I'm perplexed when people get so hyper implausibly skeptical about religious experiences that they endorse principles that they would never do so otherwise. This seems like you're endorsing the principle that "if experiences or reports of experiences conflict each other we should reject them all as evidentially valuable".

....except that no one actually ever endorses that principle in any other matter. When we have a conflict of claim from witnesses in the court of law, we identify common elements between the claims even if the details differ significantly. If we didn't testimony would never be admissible in the court of law. We don't accept that principle in historical inquiry were details will often MASSIVELY differ among accounts from different historians; we don't reject the whole historical enterprise as useless. If I see a silverback gorilla, you see big foot, and my friend sees a bear in the woods when we are all looking at the same animal it'd be absurd to say that we didn't see anything just because our claims conflict. There has been work by scholars collecting hundreds and thousands of reports of religious experiences from all different religious traditions and from all over the world and while they wildly differ, they also have a common core of elements.
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Eitan_Zohar
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9/22/2013 9:27:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 8:51:57 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
I mean stock objections that people tend to think are devestating (e.g. "religious experiences contradict each other, therefore they are evidentially useless", or "they can be replicated by stimulating brain chemistry therefore they are evidentially "useless" etc) aren't all that good.

Why is the second one wrong? It seems to me that empirical evidence of God in worship would be almost useless. Nietzsche's adage about strolling through a lunatic asylum springs to mind. Don't you think that schizophrenics experience convincing evidence of their own delusions?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
popculturepooka
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9/22/2013 9:36:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 4:02:06 PM, drafterman wrote:
What is the most significant consequence of not believing in a god?

One misses out on fully participating into the best thing that could possibly happen to someone right now - being in a right relationship with God.

And depending on the reasons for not believing in God and the sort of behavior/actions/and character that flows from that may lead one to hell. It's not likely to be a very fun experience.

Missing out on the truth also seems to me to be pretty significant.
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Eitan_Zohar
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9/22/2013 11:00:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 9:36:10 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 9/22/2013 4:02:06 PM, drafterman wrote:
What is the most significant consequence of not believing in a god?

One misses out on fully participating into the best thing that could possibly happen to someone right now - being in a right relationship with God.

And depending on the reasons for not believing in God and the sort of behavior/actions/and character that flows from that may lead one to hell. It's not likely to be a very fun experience.

Missing out on the truth also seems to me to be pretty significant.

But hell is temporary, correct? And what kind of rejection would get me sent there?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."