Wasting Time?

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Zzyzx
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Wasting Time?

Post #1

Post by Zzyzx »

If we spend an hour per day worshiping Odin or Quetzalcoatl, that equates to fifteen 24-hour days per year. Would that be wasted time? There are, literally, thousands of 'gods' promoted by religions.

How can it be determined (beyond anyone's opinion) which, if any, of the proposed 'gods' are worthy of our time, effort, and resources?
.
Non-Theist

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #51

Post by William »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #50]
We can't say we didn't, but we can't say we did either. My consciousness, my continuous consciousness, that identifies me as me, did not exist before I was born. Some other consciousness might have, fine.
Since this is fine for both of us, you may be able to agree then, that part of the process of being human is for the development of personality.
This is why I say Roy is a separate person, with his own rights, separate from the rights of the person playing him.
This is because consciousness behave in that way. No matter how many times it might fragment into various form, it exhibits the same audacity to be a separate personality, revealing therein a fundamental component of consciousness.

Wisdom informs me that any consciousness with a greater view that my own, is that which I am humble before as a matter of moral duty.
Information does not equal the process actually proceeding. The seed has all the information in the universe. The seed has the blueprint for everything, including photosynthesis. That doesn't mean photosynthesis is occurring inside the seed, right now.
The geminated seed has become the universe right now. There is no 'seed right now' as it geminated already.

The information stored in a seed is potential, and is only potential in relation to whatever triggers it to become what the information within it allows it to become.

Photosynthesis was allowed to become, because the information pertaining to it as potential, had the opportunity to be expressed.
That's a meaningful difference between a process, like consciousness, and mere information.
Information is processed by consciousness - we know that to be true.

We do not know if consciousness is processed by information.

We cannot say that consciousness is NOT information - so they may be the same things, and if they came from the same seed, they must be the same thing - fundamentally.

The 'differences' are simply what human intelligence decides, but that is not to say any differences actually exist.
if you have a very powerful being, and it has nothing to do with morality, it is still not God.
This is how you define god. God has to be 'moral'.

You define a powerful entity as a god if the entity does not require or demand worship.
Do you define worship of a powerful entity as that which one is humble before, as a matter of moral duty, or would you call that a matter of accepting ones place in the scheme of things rather than it being an act of worship?
I do have to wonder if your defining yourself 'atheist' is accurate as it appears you are defining 'god' based roughly upon the beliefs of a branch of theism rather than on theism itself.
It's because I can't find any god, real or fictional, that I would say has anything to do with morality.
So you are looking for a god-idea you currently lack, because none you have encountered have anything to do with morality?

Why would you think that a mind behind the creation of this universe, would have no morality? Is it because you have found no morality in nature?
I had no idea when I was a kid that Aslan was supposed to be the Christian God. And if any of this spiritual nonsense happens to turn out to be true (I don't discount it, I just think it's unlikely) I probably contaminated myself with a bunch of suffering and pain because I unwittingly let that thing in, and having once done that, it might now have enough power over me to run my life and punish me for what others did or because my People hurt the Chosen People because it likes to do that.
So are you trapped in the effect of the beliefs of the dominant religion of your culture and therefore cannot reach into all aspects of theism/theist thinking, even as a probable means of escaping that trap?

Why not then, honestly refer to yourself as an "achristian" rather than an atheist?

Are you not one who thinks it immoral to call yourself by something you really are not?
It appears to be a common enough mistake.
It's not a mistake, particularly if it's common, since that's how definitions come about - through usage.
And if the usage - not matter how popular/common - is not honest, does this not impinge on morality. Is it morally correct to use such identifications/definitions, if they are not actually true?
we can just be an atheist and a theist who don't disagree, due to your unusual definition of god.
Yet my definition of god is not unusual to theism at all. It is just unusual to you, likely because it has never been brought to your attention - or perhaps because it has, but you just want to be achristian and focus upon battling ideas of immoral gods.

We have to realize that these common definitions have been handed down without question, through the ages as part of the process of trapping us into a particular suppressive understanding of our reality experience. We inherited a battle we needn't even be waging.

I don't think I can morally accept that you are an atheist while you continue to ignore the whole tree of theism, in favor of attacking some wild branches that have sprouted from the main truck of theism.

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #52

Post by Purple Knight »

William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmSince this is fine for both of us, you may be able to agree then, that part of the process of being human is for the development of personality.
It's one thing that happens to humans, they develop personality. If that's what it's for I question the necessity of identical twins.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmWisdom informs me that any consciousness with a greater view that my own, is that which I am humble before as a matter of moral duty.
This is intuitive, but if we explore that bottom-up duty, we see that this greater consciousness would have no moral duties to us, which would make it useless to us in the question of divining morality. For example, I just itched my arm, randomly killing many cells so I could get a minor satisfaction. If they worship me, they're going to come up with a hateful, vengeful, nasty god that puts the lives of those cells below its own minor comfort.

Unless I also have a duty to them, I'm useless to them, because I'm going to look like the fiend I am from their perspective, and they're going to see this as what it means to be good and try to imitate it. At this point I'd prefer they just thought I didn't exist.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmThe germinated seed has become the universe right now. There is no 'seed right now' as it germinated already.
The seed before it germinates, contains the blueprint for photosynthesis, but that doesn't mean photosynthesis is occurring in the seed.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmWe cannot say that consciousness is NOT information - so they may be the same things, and if they came from the same seed, they must be the same thing - fundamentally.

The 'differences' are simply what human intelligence decides, but that is not to say any differences actually exist.
This line of reasoning is of limited use because it requires us to discard all our quite useful boundaries of whether some things are other things and just lump them all in one. It's useful to make distinctions between things, like cats and dogs. Now you may say, but they are both conscious, and all consciousness is part of the same grand consciousness, and that may well be, but nonetheless, it is still useful to distinct them and of less use to just lump them together with each other and the kitchen sink and claim it's all the same. My cat is not a sink. Even if the universe is so continuous as to give this a sort of truth, there are meaningful differences in interactions here. If I pour water in my sink I get a useful result, whereas if I pour water on my cat I will get a different result.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pm
if you have a very powerful being, and it has nothing to do with morality, it is still not God.
This is how you define god. God has to be 'moral'.

You define a powerful entity as a god if the entity does not require or demand worship.
I'm even more fair than that. It doesn't have to be powerful, or even real, though those things help.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmDo you define worship of a powerful entity as that which one is humble before, as a matter of moral duty, or would you call that a matter of accepting ones place in the scheme of things rather than it being an act of worship?
Both. If some being has more knowledge of morality than I do, and is willing to use that to help me be moral myself, I ought to be humble and do what it wishes of me. I even think that if the morality it has is genuine, I'm required to do almost any sort of awful thing it requires of me if it offers the knowledge in trade. For example, if I'm immoral, and it can make me moral, but it will only do that if I poke out both my eyes and cut off both my arms, well then, I had better do it. Same if it wants me to kill people.

The only catch is, I have to know that this being really has that morality. There are plenty of being who will lie and say they possess that kind of morality, but do not, so it's fair that I ask for proof.

Again, this being doesn't have to exist.

But it does have to prove to me that it is moral, or at least give me a very, very good reason to trust it.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmSo you are looking for a god-idea you currently lack, because none you have encountered have anything to do with morality?

Why would you think that a mind behind the creation of this universe, would have no morality? Is it because you have found no morality in nature?
Let's say you're right and the morality I lack is all there in Nature for me to find. Let's say it's even conscious. That's fine but it gives me no special knowledge by which to sort the good from the bad, and we both know that Nature possesses both. Why should I imitate the penguin, taking a stance against an egg thief, rather than the male bear, who kills the baby bears so he can mate again?
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmSo are you trapped in the effect of the beliefs of the dominant religion of your culture and therefore cannot reach into all aspects of theism/theist thinking, even as a probable means of escaping that trap?

Why not then, honestly refer to yourself as an "achristian" rather than an atheist?
Because I haven't seen any other gods that are any better. A god has to be worthy of worship. A god has to actually help me achieve morality.

If you disagree and think I'm being selfish, then perhaps you should worship me, precisely because I'm not worthy of worship. If you don't worship me, there must be some qualities which you judge by, saying, this is worthy of worship, that is not.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmAre you not one who thinks it immoral to call yourself by something you really are not?
No, I think I can call myself whatever I want. If I want to call myself a bat, I can, it's just stupid and it probably erodes language. References below in purple.

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 5:26 pm
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:34 pmIf I said "I feel like a woman" how do I reach that conclusion? how do I know what a woman feels like? how does one know that what their "feeling" is the same as a real woman feels? why is such a claim not regarded with the same ridicule as "I feel like a cat" or "I feel like a bat"?

...people are more incredulous that the desire to be seen as a bat comes from something else and not a genuine mind-body mismatch. But I don't care. People have made the argument that acknowledging these people is "silly" and therefore cheapens the cause, and that it's demeaning to real trans people, but I really don't care. You don't get anything out of being a bat, so if you want to be a bat, be a bat. If a trans person thinks you're making fun of them, maybe don't be a bat.

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:01 pm
Sherlock Holmes wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 11:00 amIt's also worth noting that there are plenty of atheists who rely on the historic definition and do not agree with this attempt to redefine it, so any pretense that all atheists adopt the "lack of belief" view is false, many atheists do not share that definition at all.

I think your definition is more useful and fair.

But of course everyone is more than allowed to define their own beliefs and label them as they wish.

Ultimately I define my own beliefs about myself, and I don't say I'm a bat but I do say I'm an atheist.

Now, I think I'm plenty fair enough about why I label myself what I do, and I think I've done my homework about what's what, enough to have conscientiously picked out a label that best defines me, within the obvious limitation that every person is an individual so I'm not going to believe exactly alike to any other atheist. You can disagree that I've picked a good label, but at the end of the day, tough, because I, and nobody else, gets to define my beliefs for me.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmAnd if the usage - not matter how popular/common - is not honest, does this not impinge on morality. Is it morally correct to use such identifications/definitions, if they are not actually true?
There are plenty of discussions on this board where people get pissy and revert to some form of definitionalism. Yes it's dishonest. Me calling myself an atheist because god must be worthy of worship, god must help me be moral, and no such god, real or fictional, exists, is not dishonest. I've just told you why I do it.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pm
we can just be an atheist and a theist who don't disagree, due to your unusual definition of god.
Yet my definition of god is not unusual to theism at all. It is just unusual to you, likely because it has never been brought to your attention - or perhaps because it has, but you just want to be achristian and focus upon battling ideas of immoral gods.

We have to realize that these common definitions have been handed down without question, through the ages as part of the process of trapping us into a particular suppressive understanding of our reality experience. We inherited a battle we needn't even be waging.
I've just said we're not disagreeing, but I have good reasons for calling myself an atheist and I'm still going to.
William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pmI don't think I can morally accept that you are an atheist while you continue to ignore the whole tree of theism, in favor of attacking some wild branches that have sprouted from the main truck of theism.
I do generally attack what I disagree with and not what I don't.

I've said I don't have a beef with your brand of theism, and I don't have a beef with Veridican's brand either. And I don't have a beef with Spinoza. I don't disagree with any of these fellows, it's just, I'm still an atheist because whatever it is they're worshiping, it may exist, I think it's too nebulous to be useful (my opinion only; if they find it useful good for them), but I dispute vehemently that it is a god. It can be a personal god for those people, but it is not a universal god which carries a moral obligation that I and everyone else worship it unless it proves itself to be moral (or someone else proves it).

I'm not attacking strawmen when I attack certain points of Christianity, because I am only attacking those points. If you don't believe in them then my arguments against those points are not against you.

You shouldn't be upset when I lambast Christians for false morality in this thread (which I rarely do but I will when I have to) unless you believe in the god that wants you to stop laughing at your enemies who are face-down in the dirt only so god can keep punishing them. That's literally what that thread is about. God wants you to not rejoice in the failure of your enemies so he can keep on punishing them. I've never seen such pompous moral rat turds. But this doesn't mean I think everyone who believes in any god is guilty of this; I just think people who believe in this specific passage are, and people who believe in this specific god without knowledge of the passage, are somewhat negligently culpable for this belief as well.

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #53

Post by William »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #52]
Since this is fine for both of us, you may be able to agree then, that part of the process of being human is for the development of personality.
It's one thing that happens to humans, they develop personality. If that's what it's for I question the necessity of identical twins.
This implies that identical twins have identical personalities.
It is my understanding that as well as there being no such thing as true random, there does not appear to be anything in the universe exactly the same in every way as anything else.
Unless I also have a duty to them, I'm useless to them, because I'm going to look like the fiend I am from their perspective, and they're going to see this as what it means to be good and try to imitate it. At this point I'd prefer they just thought I didn't exist.
If those many cells - in dying from being scratched, actually went into another phase experience, what harm was actually done?
The seed before it germinates, contains the blueprint for photosynthesis, but that doesn't mean photosynthesis is occurring in the seed.
What made you think I was saying otherwise?
The 'differences' are simply what human intelligence decides, but that is not to say any differences actually exist.
This line of reasoning is of limited use because it requires us to discard all our quite useful boundaries of whether some things are other things and just lump them all in one.
It is still useful as an explanation as to why things exist, seem different and are experienced in that way.

All I am saying is that everything that is of the universe, is the universe - regardless of how we each might independently see use - or not -in those things.
You define a powerful entity as a god if the entity does not require or demand worship.
I'm even more fair than that. It doesn't have to be powerful, or even real, though those things help.
What then do you see in morality, if it is not powerful, or even real? Is it just a matter of being useful to you in some other way?
Both. If some being has more knowledge of morality than I do, and is willing to use that to help me be moral myself, I ought to be humble and do what it wishes of me. I even think that if the morality it has is genuine, I'm required to do almost any sort of awful thing it requires of me if it offers the knowledge in trade. For example, if I'm immoral, and it can make me moral, but it will only do that if I poke out both my eyes and cut off both my arms, well then, I had better do it. Same if it wants me to kill people.

The only catch is, I have to know that this being really has that morality. There are plenty of being who will lie and say they possess that kind of morality, but do not, so it's fair that I ask for proof.

Again, this being doesn't have to exist.

But it does have to prove to me that it is moral, or at least give me a very, very good reason to trust it.
Then we get back to the prime directive. It may be more moral to keep itself from your awareness and let your sort it out [or not] for yourself.
This itself might include the opportunity for you to connect with it through your own choice to do so.

It appears that for you, a god has to be trustworthy - morality is simply the device in which you gauge that with.
However, you do not appear to understand morality in any useful way in which information can be obtained from you re that.

Therein, it is difficult to find coherence within your cosmology.

Rather it sounds more like you are stacking the deck to ensure failure for yourself in relation to any opportunity for any god to make itself known to you.

__________________________________
So are you looking for a god-idea you currently lack, because none you have encountered have anything to do with morality?

Why would you think that a mind behind the creation of this universe, would have no morality? Is it because you have found no morality in nature?
Let's say you're right and the morality I lack is all there in Nature for me to find. Let's say it's even conscious. That's fine but it gives me no special knowledge by which to sort the good from the bad, and we both know that Nature possesses both. Why should I imitate the penguin, taking a stance against an egg thief, rather than the male bear, who kills the baby bears so he can mate again?
Have you proven the theory that nature possesses both good and bad?
If not, then your question may be based upon faulty filtering, and as such, non-relevant to the reality experience being had.

Q: Why are the actions of the penguin or bear regarded as having to either be 'good' or 'bad'?

So are you trapped in the effect of the beliefs of the dominant religion of your culture and therefore cannot reach into all aspects of theism/theist thinking, even as a probable means of escaping that trap?

Why not then, honestly refer to yourself as an "achristian" rather than an atheist?
Because I haven't seen any other gods that are any better. A god has to be worthy of worship. A god has to actually help me achieve morality.
Until it is established what worship actually is, it is difficult to se your reasoning as reasonable.

If you disagree and think I'm being selfish, then perhaps you should worship me, precisely because I'm not worthy of worship. If you don't worship me, there must be some qualities which you judge by, saying, this is worthy of worship, that is not.
The best I have to offer on my understanding of worship is respectfully focusing upon a particular thing.

If I find that particular thing to be unworthy of that respectful focus, it is therefore unworthy of worship.

But that is just my interpretation of what worship is.

Other interpretations differ.

Are you not one who thinks it immoral to call yourself by something you really are not?
No, I think I can call myself whatever I want. If I want to call myself a bat, I can, it's just stupid and it probably erodes language. References below in purple.
The reason I asked is because I have a memory of you writing that your mother used to call herself a Christian and you though that because she really wasn't a Christian, she was being immoral to refer to herself as one.
I may well have confused your saying that with whomever did write it.
And if the usage - not matter how popular/common - is not honest, does this not impinge on morality. Is it morally correct to use such identifications/definitions, if they are not actually true?
There are plenty of discussions on this board where people get pissy and revert to some form of definitionalism. Yes it's dishonest. Me calling myself an atheist because god must be worthy of worship, god must help me be moral, and no such god, real or fictional, exists, is not dishonest. I've just told you why I do it.
Can you explain how it is honest? How does lacking belief in gods allow for you to be open to having belief in gods, if morality is the product of personal opinion and a fictional god cannot deliver anything on account of it being fictional?

we can just be an atheist and a theist who don't disagree, due to your unusual definition of god.
Yet my definition of god is not unusual to theism at all. It is just unusual to you, likely because it has never been brought to your attention - or perhaps because it has, but you just want to be achristian and focus upon battling ideas of immoral gods.

We have to realize that these common definitions have been handed down without question, through the ages as part of the process of trapping us into a particular suppressive understanding of our reality experience. We inherited a battle we needn't even be waging.
I've just said we're not disagreeing, but I have good reasons for calling myself an atheist and I'm still going to.
Even if it is not morally correct [untrue] to do so? Doesn't that fly in the face of your claiming to want to be moral?


I don't think I can morally accept that you are an atheist while you continue to ignore the whole tree of theism, in favor of attacking some wild branches that have sprouted from the main truck of theism.
I do generally attack what I disagree with and not what I don't.
Yet we should be able to agree that the position of atheism is simply "lacking belief in gods" which is different from the position of 'attacking belief in gods".

I've said I don't have a beef with your brand of theism, and I don't have a beef with Veridican's brand either. And I don't have a beef with Spinoza. I don't disagree with any of these fellows, it's just, I'm still an atheist because whatever it is they're worshiping, it may exist, I think it's too nebulous to be useful (my opinion only; if they find it useful good for them), but I dispute vehemently that it is a god. It can be a personal god for those people, but it is not a universal god which carries a moral obligation that I and everyone else worship it unless it proves itself to be moral (or someone else proves it).
Yet is has not actually been established as a truth, that being a god means receiving worship. For that matter, it has not even been established what worship actually - objectively - means.

Even so, how is that relevant to being an atheist? It is relevant to being an anti-Christian, but I do not see how this fits with the description of atheism.
I'm not attacking strawmen when I attack certain points of Christianity, because I am only attacking those points. If you don't believe in them then my arguments against those points are not against you.
From my perspective, lacking belief in gods has nothing to do with that.
Attacking certain points of Christianity is the occupation of anti-Christians rather than those lacking belief in gods.
Attacking any god-belief is not the role of that which lacks belief in gods. That is because as a position, it is simply lacking belief in gods. Attacking belief in gods is the role of some other position, which may be related to lacking belief in gods, but not the reason for lacking belief in gods, because lacking belief is simply not having belief.

Just as lacking money, is simply not having money. Reasons for not having money are varied. Reasons for not having belief are the same.
"I have no belief" is simply that. Otherwise the description of atheism would be "One who lack belief in gods BECUASE" and the because would be revealed along with that description.

"Lacking belief in gods" lacks description - lacks a reason - lacks a cause.

You shouldn't be upset when I lambast Christians for false morality in this thread (which I rarely do but I will when I have to) unless you believe in the god that wants you to stop laughing at your enemies who are face-down in the dirt only so god can keep punishing them. That's literally what that thread is about. God wants you to not rejoice in the failure of your enemies so he can keep on punishing them. I've never seen such pompous moral rat turds. But this doesn't mean I think everyone who believes in any god is guilty of this; I just think people who believe in this specific passage are, and people who believe in this specific god without knowledge of the passage, are somewhat negligently culpable for this belief as well.
I am not sure what 'passage you are speaking of.
I am not concerned with your lambasting religious theists.

I am attempting to provide your OPQ with an answer.

OPQ:
How can it be determined (beyond anyone's opinion) which, if any, of the proposed 'gods' are worthy of our time, effort, and resources?
I offer the idea of Cosmic Mind for your consideration, and you appear more focused upon lambasting one particular idea, than seriously considering what I am offering as the evidence.
This in turn leads me to wonder if your question was some type of trolling exercise rather than any serious and honest attempt at finding answer.

I offer a potential pearl and you appear to simply want to swirl around in the dirt you have on Christians...I think of it as maybe they are succeeding in distracting you from getting an answer to your OPQ, through your own willingness to be distracted by their beliefs.

So -

Q: Am I Wasting Time engaging with you?

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #54

Post by Purple Knight »

Sorry this took so long.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amThis implies that identical twins have identical personalities.
It is my understanding that as well as there being no such thing as true random, there does not appear to be anything in the universe exactly the same in every way as anything else.
No but they're extremely similar, to the point that identical twins raised apart have gone on to live nearly identical lives, even marrying women with the same names.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amIf those many cells - in dying from being scratched, actually went into another phase experience, what harm was actually done?
None, but what I was talking about was those cells worshiping me as a god. I don't send them there, I don't punish them or reward them, and if I scratch an itch and kill off a bunch of them I don't want them assuming this is because I'm morally superior and that I know best.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 am
The seed before it germinates, contains the blueprint for photosynthesis, but that doesn't mean photosynthesis is occurring in the seed.
What made you think I was saying otherwise?
Because you were talking about God being conscious because the universe contains the blueprint for consciousness.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amAll I am saying is that everything that is of the universe, is the universe - regardless of how we each might independently see use - or not -in those things.
Fair enough.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amWhat then do you see in morality, if it is not powerful, or even real? Is it just a matter of being useful to you in some other way?
Morality is certainly real. Morality is what some people have that they can say to another, you are wrong, and they will be heeded.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amThen we get back to the prime directive. It may be more moral to keep itself from your awareness and let your sort it out [or not] for yourself.
This itself might include the opportunity for you to connect with it through your own choice to do so.
That's fine because then it doesn't want faith.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amIt appears that for you, a god has to be trustworthy - morality is simply the device in which you gauge that with.
However, you do not appear to understand morality in any useful way in which information can be obtained from you re that.

Therein, it is difficult to find coherence within your cosmology.
Trust has nothing to do with morality. It's moral to lie to a Nazi, but the Nazi still shouldn't trust the person lying to him. It might be that (let's say the person is lying to get him to fall off a cliff) the Nazi ought to just go off the cliff willingly. But if he's being lied to, it's going to be difficult for him to assess what he should do and he's going to default to the understanding he has and self-preservation.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amRather it sounds more like you are stacking the deck to ensure failure for yourself in relation to any opportunity for any god to make itself known to you.
God helps me be moral. In order to achieve that function it would have to be trustworthy, since there are people who lie and say, this is moral, do it. In the right situation you are God. If the God of the Bible helps me be moral, then it is God to me whether it exists or not. That's not a stacked deck; that's an easy room. It's not me who should be accused of stacking the deck.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 am
Let's say you're right and the morality I lack is all there in Nature for me to find. Let's say it's even conscious. That's fine but it gives me no special knowledge by which to sort the good from the bad, and we both know that Nature possesses both. Why should I imitate the penguin, taking a stance against an egg thief, rather than the male bear, who kills the baby bears so he can mate again?
Have you proven the theory that nature possesses both good and bad?
If not, then your question may be based upon faulty filtering, and as such, non-relevant to the reality experience being had.
That's not faulty filtering. I have declined to filter good from bad because I have no basis on which to filter. That's the point. So there's no God here in Nature because nothing helps me sort moral from immoral. That's not saying I don't love and respect Nature, find it beautiful, perfect, but it doesn't help me be moral and therefore it's not God.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amQ: Why are the actions of the penguin or bear regarded as having to either be 'good' or 'bad'?
That's a bloody good question. I just notice peoples' reactions to the behaviours. If I knew that, I wouldn't need God.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 am
Because I haven't seen any other gods that are any better. A god has to be worthy of worship. A god has to actually help me achieve morality.
Until it is established what worship actually is, it is difficult to se your reasoning as reasonable.
I don't see why. People worship gods. They don't worship balls of yarn or the crumbs that fall onto my bed from the popcorn ceiling. Ergo, there must be a distinction. One must be worthy of worship and the others not. If they find their gods to be worthy of worship, good for them, but that has no bearing on me, and whether I should worship those gods. To me they are no more worthy of worship than bedcrumbs, because they don't help me. If they help those other people, that's wonderful for them.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amThe best I have to offer on my understanding of worship is respectfully focusing upon a particular thing.

If I find that particular thing to be unworthy of that respectful focus, it is therefore unworthy of worship.

But that is just my interpretation of what worship is.

Other interpretations differ.
So here is a decent definition of worship, and just as I suspected, it means the thing in question would have to be worthy of it. It means the thing being worshiped would have to be worthy of, at least, respect.

William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 am
Are you not one who thinks it immoral to call yourself by something you really are not?
No, I think I can call myself whatever I want. If I want to call myself a bat, I can, it's just stupid and it probably erodes language. References below in purple.
The reason I asked is because I have a memory of you writing that your mother used to call herself a Christian and you though that because she really wasn't a Christian, she was being immoral to refer to herself as one.
I may well have confused your saying that with whomever did write it.
No, I did write it. This was me coming to terms with the fact that I can't stop people from calling themselves what they are not. She called herself a different religion every week and didn't understand (to my knowledge) any of it. I thought I had her when she started calling herself a Jew because there's a huge conversion process and you do have to understand the material. I got literature from a synagogue and she ignored it.

Ultimately, people can call themselves whatever they like and I can't do a thing about it. This is part of the reason I say, if you want to be a bat, be a bat. Knowing I can't do a thing about the stubborn ones I would rather encourage the deferential ones so we can at least all be on the same playing field.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amCan you explain how it is honest? How does lacking belief in gods allow for you to be open to having belief in gods, if morality is the product of personal opinion and a fictional god cannot deliver anything on account of it being fictional?
Because I don't believe in - positively believe in - what I haven't encountered yet. That doesn't mean I don't look. And if you look at what I've said about fictional, I've said, a true god doesn't even have to exist, to exist. It just has to help me be moral. That is a very low bar. Perhaps I should apologise for the fact that every time humanity invents up a powerful being, they get uppity, imagine it's on their side, and start killing people. The ones that don't do that are generally not monotheists.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 am
we can just be an atheist and a theist who don't disagree, due to your unusual definition of god.
Yet my definition of god is not unusual to theism at all. It is just unusual to you, likely because it has never been brought to your attention - or perhaps because it has, but you just want to be achristian and focus upon battling ideas of immoral gods.
We have to realize that these common definitions have been handed down without question, through the ages as part of the process of trapping us into a particular suppressive understanding of our reality experience. We inherited a battle we needn't even be waging.
Good. I don't want to be waging one. But I'm going to use the definition I like and you can use the definition you like and we can be an atheist and a theist who don't disagree. I'm not going to automatically discard definitions because they were handed to me anymore than I'll automatically accept them for that reason.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 am
I've just said we're not disagreeing, but I have good reasons for calling myself an atheist and I'm still going to.
Even if it is not morally correct [untrue] to do so? Doesn't that fly in the face of your claiming to want to be moral?
No. I can call myself whatever I want and it is true and it is (at least I think, but prove me wrong) moral. Even if I were lying (which I'm not; I've detailed my reasons) I'm not hurting anybody. But I'm not lying. I'm not anything close to lying. I'm just choosing a definition you don't agree with.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 am
I don't think I can morally accept that you are an atheist while you continue to ignore the whole tree of theism, in favor of attacking some wild branches that have sprouted from the main truck of theism.
I do generally attack what I disagree with and not what I don't.
Yet we should be able to agree that the position of atheism is simply "lacking belief in gods" which is different from the position of 'attacking belief in gods".
This is a site for debate. I am going to debate things. Words like attack and argue have bad meanings because people can't have a debate without getting upset that their position is being examined. I am actually very fair toward the religious, and I very seldom make a nasty comment even about things that seem nasty, but in cases where I disagree you're going to hear about it. That's what this site is for. I wish the whole world was like this and people could say, "I disagree, here's why," without it being shamed as impolite or triggering people. It's not impolite here and every religious person is here looking at these things of their own accord. If it offends them to have me disagree then they can leave.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amYet is has not actually been established as a truth, that being a god means receiving worship. For that matter, it has not even been established what worship actually - objectively - means.
Then let's back it up and ask you what you think a god is.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amEven so, how is that relevant to being an atheist? It is relevant to being an anti-Christian, but I do not see how this fits with the description of atheism.
Because, though I could be wrong, I do not believe any god exists. I don't think just being very powerful means you're a god, otherwise, people would worship Q, or Superman, or Mr. Mxyzptlk. Now, I'm just using this as an example because it's a good one. I'm not only attacking Christianity. So what quality does the God of the Bible have that these fellows do not? That thing is considered a god. Why? Well, I think it's because it takes an interest in guiding people, and for the Chosen People, it guides them rightly. So here we come back to, God helps one be moral. But that particular god is as likely to trick or kill me as help me in any way so it's not a moral obligation to worship, for me. It can send me to Hell, it can punish me, but that's not the same thing.

Is there something universal the way the Chosen People have the God of the Bible? I don't think so. So that is God for them and that's fine, but it's not God for me. And nobody's god is for everybody. Some people might not be a good fit for any of them.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amFrom my perspective, lacking belief in gods has nothing to do with that.
Attacking certain points of Christianity is the occupation of anti-Christians rather than those lacking belief in gods.
Attacking any god-belief is not the role of that which lacks belief in gods. That is because as a position, it is simply lacking belief in gods. Attacking belief in gods is the role of some other position, which may be related to lacking belief in gods, but not the reason for lacking belief in gods, because lacking belief is simply not having belief.
I get to defend my beliefs too, and I get to detail why I lack belief in any god. That's what this site is for. If that takes the form of a debate and I say why I don't believe in a particular god, and that comes off as offensive, don't listen, especially because what is invalid for me may be valid for you, so you may have a god that is God to you and it's not God to me because it doesn't help me be moral. And furthermore most of my arguments that some god can't possibly help anyone be moral only apply to logical anyones. If you're more on feelings than potentially anything can help you do anything and more power to you, but it's not my path, and it's certainly not the universal path that you could claim your God has a right to my worship.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amJust as lacking money, is simply not having money. Reasons for not having money are varied. Reasons for not having belief are the same.
"I have no belief" is simply that. Otherwise the description of atheism would be "One who lack belief in gods BECUASE" and the because would be revealed along with that description.

"Lacking belief in gods" lacks description - lacks a reason - lacks a cause.
I give plenty of causes.
William wrote: Sat Jan 29, 2022 12:14 amI am attempting to provide your OPQ with an answer.

OPQ:
How can it be determined (beyond anyone's opinion) which, if any, of the proposed 'gods' are worthy of our time, effort, and resources?
I offer the idea of Cosmic Mind for your consideration, and you appear more focused upon lambasting one particular idea, than seriously considering what I am offering as the evidence.
Believe it or not I'm considering it. Why I'm sceptical it could be useful to help me be moral, I've already laid out: Because that mind contains both good and ill, so I would be hard-pressed to use it to help me sort good from evil. But I am still considering it. I'm not the type of person to dismiss things. I actually look at everything from the perspective that it is true, which confuses and upsets people, but it's something I do to try to enure that no fish stick of truth slips through my net.

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #55

Post by JoeyKnothead »

William wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:20 pm [Replying to Purple Knight in post #50]
We can't say we didn't, but we can't say we did either. My consciousness, my continuous consciousness, that identifies me as me, did not exist before I was born. Some other consciousness might have, fine.
Since this is fine for both of us, you may be able to agree then, that part of the process of being human is for the development of personality.
This is why I say Roy is a separate person, with his own rights, separate from the rights of the person playing him.
This is because consciousness behave in that way. No matter how many times it might fragment into various form, it exhibits the same audacity to be a separate personality, revealing therein a fundamental component of consciousness.

Wisdom informs me that any consciousness with a greater view that my own, is that which I am humble before as a matter of moral duty.
Information does not equal the process actually proceeding. The seed has all the information in the universe. The seed has the blueprint for everything, including photosynthesis. That doesn't mean photosynthesis is occurring inside the seed, right now.
The geminated seed has become the universe right now. There is no 'seed right now' as it geminated already.

The information stored in a seed is potential, and is only potential in relation to whatever triggers it to become what the information within it allows it to become.

Photosynthesis was allowed to become, because the information pertaining to it as potential, had the opportunity to be expressed.
That's a meaningful difference between a process, like consciousness, and mere information.
Information is processed by consciousness - we know that to be true.

We do not know if consciousness is processed by information.

We cannot say that consciousness is NOT information - so they may be the same things, and if they came from the same seed, they must be the same thing - fundamentally.

The 'differences' are simply what human intelligence decides, but that is not to say any differences actually exist.
if you have a very powerful being, and it has nothing to do with morality, it is still not God.
This is how you define god. God has to be 'moral'.

You define a powerful entity as a god if the entity does not require or demand worship.
Do you define worship of a powerful entity as that which one is humble before, as a matter of moral duty, or would you call that a matter of accepting ones place in the scheme of things rather than it being an act of worship?
I do have to wonder if your defining yourself 'atheist' is accurate as it appears you are defining 'god' based roughly upon the beliefs of a branch of theism rather than on theism itself.
It's because I can't find any god, real or fictional, that I would say has anything to do with morality.
So you are looking for a god-idea you currently lack, because none you have encountered have anything to do with morality?

Why would you think that a mind behind the creation of this universe, would have no morality? Is it because you have found no morality in nature?
I had no idea when I was a kid that Aslan was supposed to be the Christian God. And if any of this spiritual nonsense happens to turn out to be true (I don't discount it, I just think it's unlikely) I probably contaminated myself with a bunch of suffering and pain because I unwittingly let that thing in, and having once done that, it might now have enough power over me to run my life and punish me for what others did or because my People hurt the Chosen People because it likes to do that.
So are you trapped in the effect of the beliefs of the dominant religion of your culture and therefore cannot reach into all aspects of theism/theist thinking, even as a probable means of escaping that trap?

Why not then, honestly refer to yourself as an "achristian" rather than an atheist?

Are you not one who thinks it immoral to call yourself by something you really are not?
It appears to be a common enough mistake.
It's not a mistake, particularly if it's common, since that's how definitions come about - through usage.
And if the usage - not matter how popular/common - is not honest, does this not impinge on morality. Is it morally correct to use such identifications/definitions, if they are not actually true?
we can just be an atheist and a theist who don't disagree, due to your unusual definition of god.
Yet my definition of god is not unusual to theism at all. It is just unusual to you, likely because it has never been brought to your attention - or perhaps because it has, but you just want to be achristian and focus upon battling ideas of immoral gods.

We have to realize that these common definitions have been handed down without question, through the ages as part of the process of trapping us into a particular suppressive understanding of our reality experience. We inherited a battle we needn't even be waging.

I don't think I can morally accept that you are an atheist while you continue to ignore the whole tree of theism, in favor of attacking some wild branches that have sprouted from the main truck of theism.
I just had to tell it...

Agreed or not, you, as so often, raise some very intriguing notions, that I find hard to refute.

I'm still not sold, but honestly, I can't say what you're missing to have me buy in.

Definitely a most needed voice here abouts.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

- William

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #56

Post by William »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #54]

PK
I have read your reply. I enjoyed it.
I am away for a few days, so will reply to your post when I get back.

Cheers

W

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #57

Post by William »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #54]
No but they're extremely similar, to the point that identical twins raised apart have gone on to live nearly identical lives, even marrying women with the same names.
What do you think that this points to?
None, but what I was talking about was those cells worshiping me as a god. I don't send them there, I don't punish them or reward them, and if I scratch an itch and kill off a bunch of them I don't want them assuming this is because I'm morally superior and that I know best.
Do you think that this is how the god could only relate us to being in comparison to itself?
Morality is certainly real. Morality is what some people have that they can say to another, you are wrong, and they will be heeded.
So you mean morality is real in terms of it being enacted through human behavior. How do you know the motivation for such behavior is based on reality?
Then we get back to the prime directive. It may be more moral to keep itself from your awareness and let your sort it out [or not] for yourself.
This itself might include the opportunity for you to connect with it through your own choice to do so.
That's fine because then it doesn't want faith.
What if in many circumstances faith acts as a key which unlocks the door to that realization?
Trust has nothing to do with morality.
You gave the impression that it did.
It's moral to lie to a Nazi, but the Nazi still shouldn't trust the person lying to him.
Should the liar trust the lie then?
It might be that (let's say the person is lying to get him to fall off a cliff) the Nazi ought to just go off the cliff willingly.
Why ought the Nazi just go off the cliff?
Rather it sounds more like you are stacking the deck to ensure failure for yourself in relation to any opportunity for any god to make itself known to you.
God helps me be moral.
If that is the case, why are you saying that the god has not made itself known to you, or have I misinterpreted what you are saying?
That's not faulty filtering. I have declined to filter good from bad because I have no basis on which to filter. That's the point. So there's no God here in Nature because nothing helps me sort moral from immoral. That's not saying I don't love and respect Nature, find it beautiful, perfect, but it doesn't help me be moral and therefore it's not God.
You have yet to show why god has to show you how to sort moral from immoral. Why is that your standard?
Q: Why are the actions of the penguin or bear regarded as having to either be 'good' or 'bad'?
That's a bloody good question. I just notice peoples' reactions to the behaviours. If I knew that, I wouldn't need God.
Peoples reactions can be explained naturally enough. Why do you think nature is not the handiwork of a creator-mind, and why is it that folk superimpose notions of good and evil over nature - and thus - upon the nature of the creator-mind?

Why does it have to be a case of good and/or evil?
I'm not going to automatically discard definitions because they were handed to me anymore than I'll automatically accept them for that reason.
This implies you put thought into finding reasons to accept or discard. What is the process you use to determine which is which?
This is a site for debate. I am going to debate things. Words like attack and argue have bad meanings because people can't have a debate without getting upset that their position is being examined.
I am not upset so that is not the reason I mention it.

When one witnesses years of the same arguments regurgitated, it is akin to watching a game of ping-pong where the only interesting thing is how wonderfully each person manages to hit the ball back to the other while boringly waiting for actual points to be scored and the game to be eventually won.

Eventually one realizes that this will never happen and decides that ones focus/worship needs to be invested elsewhere -

Convincing the players that they are equally valid and to see each other in that manner, might be the better investment.

At least it is something different to do.

:)
Yet is has not actually been established as a truth, that being a god means receiving worship. For that matter, it has not even been established what worship actually - objectively - means.
Then let's back it up and ask you what you think a god is.
Bottom line for me is that a god is everything [altogether] which is conscious.

Re this universe, that means a god is a work in progress.
If you're more on feelings than potentially anything can help you do anything and more power to you, but it's not my path, and it's certainly not the universal path that you could claim your God has a right to my worship.

What is your worship?
I offer the idea of Cosmic Mind for your consideration, and you appear more focused upon lambasting one particular idea, than seriously considering what I am offering as the evidence.
Believe it or not I'm considering it. Why I'm sceptical it could be useful to help me be moral, I've already laid out: Because that mind contains both good and ill, so I would be hard-pressed to use it to help me sort good from evil. But I am still considering it. I'm not the type of person to dismiss things. I actually look at everything from the perspective that it is true, which confuses and upsets people, but it's something I do to try to enure that no fish stick of truth slips through my net.
In what way are you considering it?

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #58

Post by Purple Knight »

William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmWhat do you think that this points to?
A lack of free will, or there not being souls inside people which are moving them. The souls might be along for the ride, but they don't seem to be making the decisions, the body and the genes seem to be.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmDo you think that this is how the god could only relate us to being in comparison to itself?
Not necessarily, but I think a real god might be so far above us that thinking about what it does and trying to derive morality from that might be as bad as me scratching an itch and my cells concluding those ones I itched dead were evil somehow.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmSo you mean morality is real in terms of it being enacted through human behavior. How do you know the motivation for such behavior is based on reality?
Because different people get the same answer reliably. There is some disagreement, but if I line up 40 people who have never in their life seen that thing, and 38 of them say that thing is green, it's green even if I can't see that it is. I and those two other oddballs are the ones missing something, especially if each of the three of us sees a different colour.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmWhat if in many circumstances faith acts as a key which unlocks the door to that realization?
Then you're going to have to accept that very logical people just aren't going to be able to make that leap. Some people either can't trust in something for no reason or fool themselves into doing so, or they find that doing so is dangerous because what if you have faith in the wrong thing? You may be saying, decide to have faith in god and you'll see him (very, very barebones reduction and simplification of what you said) so what if I manage this faith and see him and he tells me to kill everyone? That's going to be bad as I now have faith in him already, so I'm just going to blindly go along with it.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pm
It's moral to lie to a Nazi, but the Nazi still shouldn't trust the person lying to him.
Should the liar trust the lie then?
I try to use should in this sense as a matter of self-preservation rather than morality. Let's say you're playing a game against someone evil who deserves to lose. You're playing the game where if:

------------- -----He picks A ---------- He picks B
You Pick A - (you+0)(him+0)-----(you+10)(him-5)
You Pick B - (you-5)(him+10)-----(you+5)(him+5)

Now you can see that the best cooperative thing is for both people to pick B and walk away with +5 each. But, you don't want to pick B if the other guy picks A, because then you're punished and he gets the big +10 reward, for a net (across both of you) of just +5.

But if you're playing against an evil person, the right way to play is to trick him as much as possible, as long as he'll fall for it, say, no, I really will pick B this time, go ahead, you'll be safe, and then just choose A, get the big reward for yourself, and screw him over.

After you've done this to him a few times, it is still moral, but at the same time, he shouldn't trust you. He can have an epiphany that he's evil and deserves to be punished and pick B because it is moral, but your goal is to hurt him so there can't be trust.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmWhy ought the Nazi just go off the cliff?
In a perfect world, people who are immoral would not self-preserve. But it's insane to expect that and it won't happen. People live inside their own heads and think in terms of what outcomes help them rather than hurt them, and we just have to accept that.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmIf that is the case, why are you saying that the god has not made itself known to you, or have I misinterpreted what you are saying?
Because I have not achieved morality, despite trying. When I'm the one looking down on others for being less moral, rather than the one being looked down on, when I'm the one in the position to demand others change their behaviour while mine is not questioned, I will say there's at least a personal god. I will look to whatever helped me achieve morality with worship. The only small caveat is, what is a god for me, I don't believe I can say is a god for all unless it also helps them be moral. So if I find that somehow, the Egyptian god Set fills this role for me, good, he fills this role for me; he's a personal god. A flower or a tree or the ocean or the sky can fill this role too, just, not for everyone. Part of my internal reality, fine, but part of external, objective reality? No.

This is not a stacked deck. This is a very very easy room. If Winnie the Pooh can help everyone be moral then Winnie the Pooh is god and exists firmly in reality as god whether he exists in reality as a living teddy bear or not. If he helps just Christopher Robin be moral then he can be god to Christopher Robin but that doesn't mean he is god in reality, in other words, the shared reality, the one we all experience. When I deny god, I deny that an entity god exists in this shared reality.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmYou have yet to show why god has to show you how to sort moral from immoral. Why is that your standard?
Why should anything else be my standard? I have a good reductio that this should be my standard because I've reduced away the other options. If worship is supposed to bring no benefit to the self then worship me because I swear to never do you any good. If worship is supposed to bring physical benefit to the self then why do people worship gods who don't shower them with gold and jewels? What's left is that a god brings moral benefit to the self, and I would include enlightenment, as enlightenment would bring morality.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmPeoples reactions can be explained naturally enough. Why do you think nature is not the handiwork of a creator-mind, and why is it that folk superimpose notions of good and evil over nature - and thus - upon the nature of the creator-mind?
I don't care if the universe is designed or not, I just think that being isn't god and that it's unlikely. I think it's unlikely because of every crippled or mentally retarded child. I don't think defects prove absolutely that there is no designer, but I think a universe with defects suggests no designer, as a universe without defects would suggest a designer.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmThis implies you put thought into finding reasons to accept or discard. What is the process you use to determine which is which?
I accept all things and discard those which are proven to be unuseful. Mostly, I mean useful to attaining morality. But let's take the idea that a clock has a gremlin in it, running it. That's fine let me assume he exists. If he doesn't help me fix the clock I'm going to think about him less and less until I don't think about him at all. He might be there, don't know, don't care.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmBottom line for me is that a god is everything [altogether] which is conscious.

Re this universe, that means a god is a work in progress.
That's fine, then we don't disagree. I'm not saying the universe can't be conscious, only that if it is, it doesn't help me be moral and I don't need to worship it.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmWhat is your worship?
I've come to, a bit, worship the idea of racial equality. Insofar as I've been praised for defending equality and exposing/shaming evil, I have perhaps started on the path to achieving morality.
William wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 3:24 pmIn what way are you considering it?
I sometimes consider how to apply the will of the universe to the best theory of morality I have. Natural selection is part of it too. The penguins are sort of an apex, and why, what have they done? They keep the egg with the one that didn't drop it. They made a rule. Their rule helps all penguins. But I must go higher still to master human morality, beyond the apex, into the realm of things that are pure morality regardless of who they help or harm.

So perhaps, I can apply this to racial equality and frame arguments more in terms of helping everyone so that the most moral rules get made whether they help everyone or not.

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #59

Post by William »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #58]

Would you agree that you worship - if not morality - then the idea of morality?

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Re: Wasting Time?

Post #60

Post by Purple Knight »

William wrote: Thu Feb 10, 2022 5:29 pm [Replying to Purple Knight in post #58]

Would you agree that you worship - if not morality - then the idea of morality?
I don't think so. Worship is something that, to me, should be provided to what helps me be moral. That would have to be a real (or even fictionally real) thing. Morality itself doesn't help me be moral.

If my goal is to go to the store, and to drive the fastest car to get there the quickest, it would be like asking me, why don't you ride in the idea of the car?

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