Finding different points of view

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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secretsofthemind
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Finding different points of view

Post by secretsofthemind »

I have always believed in maintaining a well-rounded perspective when it comes to faith. With this in mind I have continuously searched the web for reasonable or interesting points of view and for the most part, what I've found falls into neither category. Across countless blogs, forums and news sites I've seen people dogmatically approach the topic from all sides. There have been the occasional gem such as http://secretsofmybelief.tumblr.com/ but again, there is a lot of vile diatribe out there.

Which leads me to this simple question - where do most people go to find a balanced view on faith?
chaz wyman
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by chaz wyman »

secretsofthemind wrote:I have always believed in maintaining a well-rounded perspective when it comes to faith. With this in mind I have continuously searched the web for reasonable or interesting points of view and for the most part, what I've found falls into neither category. Across countless blogs, forums and news sites I've seen people dogmatically approach the topic from all sides. There have been the occasional gem such as http://secretsofmybelief.tumblr.com/ but again, there is a lot of vile diatribe out there.

Which leads me to this simple question - where do most people go to find a balanced view on faith?
You do not have a balanced view, as a balanced view assumes that there is an objective fulcrum from which to take your point of view. There is not.
The only reasonable view, and I do not pretend any balance here, is that faith is the residue of ignorance and confusion - a yearning to fill the empty spaces of our understanding caused by hybris and dogmatism.

I get this (balanced) view from reason.
thedoc
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by thedoc »

I can start by offering where not to look. Athiests and Preachers are both looking for those who are active and passonate in their beliefs. Christian preachers tell us that God Does not want a lukewarm christian, and then critisize a terrorist. Athiest leaders are critical of any who hold a religious belief. There are a few who teach that all Mythology/Religion had the same origin and are, in essence, the same. This may be a good place to start looking for balance. Religions do not have emperical evidence as support, but then not everything of value is supported by emperical evidence.
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Notvacka
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by Notvacka »

You might find this old, long and winding thread of mine to be of some interest: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4768
Mike Strand
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by Mike Strand »

"Finding a balanced view on faith" is not quite the same issue as "Finding different points of view", is it?
chaz wyman
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by chaz wyman »

thedoc wrote:I can start by offering where not to look. Athiests and Preachers are both looking for those who are active and passonate in their beliefs. Christian preachers tell us that God Does not want a lukewarm christian, and then critisize a terrorist. Athiest leaders are critical of any who hold a religious belief. There are a few who teach that all Mythology/Religion had the same origin and are, in essence, the same. This may be a good place to start looking for balance. Religions do not have emperical evidence as support, but then not everything of value is supported by emperical evidence.
Everything of lasting value needs demonstrability and replicability. If a phenomenon cannot be demonstrated and replicated then it is of no use at all - by definition. Thus the aim to seek a 'balance' is a collection of definitively useless ideas, needs some justification.
On the other hand what you could do is try to balance myth with reason; the old nutshell distinction between mythos and logos.
That which is reasonable is on the side of logos - everything that is unreasonable or not understandable attracts fantastic parables which are factually incorrect but employed to assert moral opinions. So much is obvious enough. Simply dip into the historical past of defunct religions, rather than living ones and see if they stand up to muster.
The pantheon of ancient Greece for example says much about human behaviour - do we take any of it literally? NO - but the messages are still useful. This should give us a clue about the veracity and utility of religions today. Ought we to take god, jesus and mohammed literally - no. For me the balance ends right there.
Make up your own parables, don't pretend they are factual. Do they work> Is there an element of truth in them. Case closed.
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Kayla
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by Kayla »

chaz wyman wrote:I get this (balanced) view from reason.
could you explain the difference - if any - in views obtained from reason - and your own views
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Kayla
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by Kayla »

chaz wyman wrote:Everything of lasting value needs demonstrability and replicability.
demonstrable/undemonstrable and replicable/unreplicable are not either or things but a matter of degree

something may be demonstrable and replicable for one purpose but not another

for example i get severe headaches from diet coke and the like - anything with aspartame

this has been demonstrated and replicated to a degree sufficient for by purpose - me not getting severe i am going to blow my brains out unless this fucking stops headaches

the fact that there are no clinical studies conclusively establishing link between aspartame and headaches is not relevant for my purpose

this fact might be relevant if someones purpose is developing public policy with regard to aspartame


likewise gods existence has been demonstrated to me to my satisfaction

i have no more doubt about gods existence than i have about the reality of my diet coke induced headaches

but it is sheer lunacy to insist that ones own personal experience of the divine must be the basis for public policy - that is where many of my coreligionists go wrong


there is not enough evidence for aspartame s effects to develop a public policy

there is not enough evidence for existence of god to let god into discussions of proper public policy

but evidence must always be evidence for some specific purpose

it is absurd to talk about evidence that is universally good for every purpose in existence
thedoc
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by thedoc »

Much of faith and belief depends on perspective and what is acceptable and what is not. Here is a story that illustrated different points of view.

Having Faith
I was trying to explain faith to a man who had no faith.

"How can you believe in something you can't see?" he asked me.

It was a fair question.

I placed my hand upon my chin like the famous statue, "The Thinker."

Glancing back and forth, I tapped my foot for a moment. Then turning toward him, I pointed my finger as if about to respond. I stopped and returned my hand to my chin.

He smiled that kind of smile that said, "I've stumped you."

Then looking back I said, "There's something about the wind."

He shook his head and said, "What? The wind?"

"Oh, it's simple enough for me to explain my faith, but first I've got to explain yours," I said.

"I have no faith!" he said.

"Sure you do."

"Okay, go for it." he said.

"Do you feel the wind?" I asked.

"Sure."

"You can't see it, but you believe it's there."

"Ah, but I can feel it."

"You can feel faith, too."

"How?"

"Faith was there when I found out both my wife and son had cancer. I felt it in my heart. I touched it when I touched their faces in the last moments before they went into surgery. I couldn't see it. I could feel it soak deep into my being giving me peace. A peace only a man of faith can have."

"But that was faith in the doctor. You saw the doctor, you heard him speak. That's not faith that's fact."

"But I had faith in his abilities. My faith told me to trust the man God inspired to be a doctor and all the nurses who found their place in life helping others."

"That's not the same."

"But there's something about the wind," I repeated.

"Now we're back to the wind."

"See that tree is moving because the wind is moving it, not because it can move on its own. Now, see that older woman sitting on the porch? She sits there on this hot day so that the wind can cool her, but she cannot see it. She was warm, looked outside her window and saw the tree swaying. She knew the tree could not move on its own...it must be the wind.

There's something about the wind."

"You keep saying that."

"I can't see it, but I know it's there. If I were a sailor, I could set my sails and know it would take me where I want to go. Without it, I would be on my own. But sailors know the wind just like people of faith know God.

You accept that the wind exists because you can see the tree move, the boat sails bend and it's touch upon your face.

But there's something about the wind."

"There you go again," he said.

"Explain the wind to me, then," I asked of him.

He fumbled with his hat. He nervously tapped his fingers on the table and said, "Because I just know."

"But there's something about the wind," I said one more time as I smiled.

He shook his head in frustration.

Placing my hand on his shoulder I said, "My friend, you believe the wind exists because you see the tree move. I believe that God exists because I can see the tree."
chaz wyman
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by chaz wyman »

thedoc wrote:Much of faith and belief depends on perspective and what is acceptable and what is not. Here is a story that illustrated different points of view.

Having Faith
I was trying to explain faith to a man who had no faith.

"How can you believe in something you can't see?" he asked me.

It was a fair question.

I placed my hand upon my chin like the famous statue, "The Thinker."

Glancing back and forth, I tapped my foot for a moment. Then turning toward him, I pointed my finger as if about to respond. I stopped and returned my hand to my chin.

He smiled that kind of smile that said, "I've stumped you."

Then looking back I said, "There's something about the wind."

He shook his head and said, "What? The wind?"

"Oh, it's simple enough for me to explain my faith, but first I've got to explain yours," I said.

"I have no faith!" he said.

"Sure you do."

"Okay, go for it." he said.

"Do you feel the wind?" I asked.

"Sure."

"You can't see it, but you believe it's there."

"Ah, but I can feel it."

"You can feel faith, too."

"How?"

"Faith was there when I found out both my wife and son had cancer. I felt it in my heart. I touched it when I touched their faces in the last moments before they went into surgery. I couldn't see it. I could feel it soak deep into my being giving me peace. A peace only a man of faith can have."

"But that was faith in the doctor. You saw the doctor, you heard him speak. That's not faith that's fact."

"But I had faith in his abilities. My faith told me to trust the man God inspired to be a doctor and all the nurses who found their place in life helping others."

"That's not the same."

"But there's something about the wind," I repeated.

"Now we're back to the wind."

"See that tree is moving because the wind is moving it, not because it can move on its own. Now, see that older woman sitting on the porch? She sits there on this hot day so that the wind can cool her, but she cannot see it. She was warm, looked outside her window and saw the tree swaying. She knew the tree could not move on its own...it must be the wind.

There's something about the wind."

"You keep saying that."

"I can't see it, but I know it's there. If I were a sailor, I could set my sails and know it would take me where I want to go. Without it, I would be on my own. But sailors know the wind just like people of faith know God.

You accept that the wind exists because you can see the tree move, the boat sails bend and it's touch upon your face.

But there's something about the wind."

"There you go again," he said.

"Explain the wind to me, then," I asked of him.

He fumbled with his hat. He nervously tapped his fingers on the table and said, "Because I just know."

"But there's something about the wind," I said one more time as I smiled.

He shook his head in frustration.

Placing my hand on his shoulder I said, "My friend, you believe the wind exists because you see the tree move. I believe that God exists because I can see the tree."
Pass me a bucket quick!
chaz wyman
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by chaz wyman »

Kayla wrote:
chaz wyman wrote:Everything of lasting value needs demonstrability and replicability.
demonstrable/undemonstrable and replicable/unreplicable are not either or things but a matter of degree

something may be demonstrable and replicable for one purpose but not another

for example i get severe headaches from diet coke and the like - anything with aspartame

this has been demonstrated and replicated to a degree sufficient for by purpose - me not getting severe i am going to blow my brains out unless this fucking stops headaches

the fact that there are no clinical studies conclusively establishing link between aspartame and headaches is not relevant for my purpose

this fact might be relevant if someones purpose is developing public policy with regard to aspartame


likewise gods existence has been demonstrated to me to my satisfaction

i have no more doubt about gods existence than i have about the reality of my diet coke induced headaches

but it is sheer lunacy to insist that ones own personal experience of the divine must be the basis for public policy - that is where many of my coreligionists go wrong


there is not enough evidence for aspartame s effects to develop a public policy

there is not enough evidence for existence of god to let god into discussions of proper public policy

but evidence must always be evidence for some specific purpose

it is absurd to talk about evidence that is universally good for every purpose in existence
~The existence of aspartame and god is not the same thing.

But you make your point for me. You have noticed that headaches often follow your use of aspartame - that is a working hypothesis, upon which you can act by seeing if the cessation of aspartame in your diet helps with headaches.
As for your version of god, you might have satisfied yourself, but all you have done is reconciled your indoctrination with a way to get through your life.
If you ask me, your belief in god doe not make you a better person, in fact given your last outburst in which you insulted teachers, especially supply teachers and gym teachers is a poor reflection on you and by extension others who claim to believe in god.
Despite no believing on god I forgive you as you are only speaking from ignorance and hatred - common features we see in christians everyday. You have no idea what it is like to be a teacher, and the difficulties they suffer at the hands of little shits like you. One day you will grow up.
Last edited by chaz wyman on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Felasco
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by Felasco »

I have always believed in maintaining a well-rounded perspective when it comes to faith.
That's a great first sentence in a first post on a philosophy forum, well done.
Across countless blogs, forums and news sites I've seen people dogmatically approach the topic from all sides.
Yes, indeed. It might be noted that this is true both between believers and non-believers, and within each of those camps as well.

This ego driven polarization arises in pretty much any subject human beings can consider. If I were to start a thread claiming chocolate cake is the best form of desert, I'm sure we could quickly escalate such a trivial claim in to a big argument.

If that's true, then that's a good clue as to the source of all the endlessly dogmatic conflicts we see unfolding across human culture. What do all topics share in common?
Which leads me to this simple question - where do most people go to find a balanced view on faith?
Hmm.... That's a great question, that I can not provide a great answer to, as I'm puzzled by this question myself.

If you wish to engage in an open minded balanced inquiry in to faith, god, religion etc you will first have to find people who are actually interested in these topics, and that's quite difficult.

Of course it looks like lots of people are interested in these topics, but we should question whether this is really true. It seems more accurate to state that lots of people are interested in their conclusions on these topics, which is rather a different thing.

It seems true interest would be characterized by a spirit of discovery and learning, a process which is considerably limited once one attaches one's ego to a particular conclusion, which appears to be the most common experience by far.

Can groups of people discuss topics like religion without becoming prisoners to their conclusions? It's a great question. If you should find an answer, please share it with us.
chaz wyman
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Re: Finding different points of view

Post by chaz wyman »

On the question of balance; there is no such thing.
Except...
The balance between ourselves, our opinions, needs and feelings and the rest of the world we observe.
Whilst some pretend to balance that view in an objective sense we are inevitably confronted with the stark reality of our own internal dialogue and our relationship with the world we construct with the world of experience.
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