Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

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Dubious
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Dubious » Wed May 08, 2019 8:47 pm

Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:23 pm
Dubious wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:38 am
Alizia wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:35 am
I can understand why someone would have no 'god inclusion'. But would you not say that, somehow, what is, what happens, what occurs, in this and 'all possible worlds', is happening because it has been programmed in as 'possibility'?
I would give it a definite YES whether as possibility or potential. But within the realm of each exist a myriad of different outcomes. Consciousness itself having reached a certain flash point could go many different paths but history only records a few and these invariably are related to each other even though they appear distinct.
By saying 'yes' you have, in some way, admitted to the point that I wanted to make (and one that I always return to, and the one that essentially keeps me linked to Christian view, and as a theist).
As a theist you are obviously more adept and open-minded in analyzing what it means to be one than IC ever was. Nevertheless there is no further reason, at least for me, to discuss it since the history of Christianity is well-known starting from its foundations. It's history perversely negates the very idea of God as a viable entity which now mostly exists as a comfort zone within the psyches of those who need one.

Alizia
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Alizia » Wed May 08, 2019 9:17 pm

Dubious wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:47 pm
Nevertheless there is no further reason, at least for me, to discuss it since the history of Christianity is well-known starting from its foundations. It's history perversely negates the very idea of God as a viable entity which now mostly exists as a comfort zone within the psyches of those who need one.
OK, I read you. So, you are not interested in conversing more on this topic? (I mean, what you have just mentioned here). I am interested in the final sentence especially.

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attofishpi
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by attofishpi » Thu May 09, 2019 12:32 am

Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 9:17 pm
Dubious wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:47 pm
Nevertheless there is no further reason, at least for me, to discuss it since the history of Christianity is well-known starting from its foundations. It's history perversely negates the very idea of God as a viable entity which now mostly exists as a comfort zone within the psyches of those who need one.
OK, I read you. So, you are not interested in conversing more on this topic? (I mean, what you have just mentioned here). I am interested in the final sentence especially.
What Dubious is saying, in that last sentence, is that theists are stupid and only believe in a God (the bloke that can condemn you to eternal damnation) because they find it comforting, soothing to ones psyche.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Immanuel Can » Thu May 09, 2019 1:26 am

attofishpi wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:32 am
What Dubious is saying, in that last sentence, is that theists are stupid and only believe in a God (the bloke that can condemn you to eternal damnation) because they find it comforting, soothing to ones psyche.
A tidy summary. Well put.

It's not hard to tidily summarize a tired, shallow, trite argument, of course; there isn't much to say, much sophistication to explore, or many nuances to find. But you did a good job, though Dubious gave you little to work with.

That tired old argument began with Freud, really. He argued that "religion" would turn out to be just a wish-fulfillment fantasy of a desire to have a father. Ironically, as Freud himself also admitted, the very same argument works admirably to ad hominem dismiss both "religious" people and Atheists: because if "religion" is a desire to have a father, then Atheism is a childish Oedipal desire to eliminate the father...and the Father. In other words, Atheists refuse to believe in God only because it "soothes their psyches."

When an argument works equally well, and equally badly, for both sides, you can be pretty sure it's a terrible argument. That one smells like overripe tilapia.

Belinda
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Belinda » Thu May 09, 2019 9:50 am

attofishpi wrote: ↑Thu May 09, 2019 12:32 am
What Dubious is saying, in that last sentence, is that theists are stupid and only believe in a God (the bloke that can condemn you to eternal damnation) because they find it comforting, soothing to ones psyche.
But imitating Jesus Christ is quite unlike soothing and comforting. Taking up your cross is heavy and involves an awful lot of self sacrifice.Expectation of rewards and punishments after death is for naughty children and adults with retarded moral development.

uwot
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by uwot » Thu May 09, 2019 10:59 am

Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:11 pm
uwot wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:34 pm
Alizia wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:34 pm
To a Catholic there is a whole other range of information that enters into the picture. Yes, scripture has high relevance. But 'we' have a whole other information-set (unsure how to express it) and that is 'tradition'.
Actually, 'tradition' expresses it very well, being the word the Vatican uses itself. It is no coincidence that the Mafia calls itself 'cosa nostra' - 'our thing'. The church and the Medici had their things, both of which exploited the disenfranchised, some of whom decided to be as corrupt and violent as religion and politics. The whole point of Protestantism was to break with 'tradition' and give control of scripture to individuals. People liked the idea that Jesus could save them, but they wanted salvation on their own terms. The only authority was 'sola scriptura'. The Bible was printed in the vernacular and anyone could interpret it as they saw fit. So now there is a denomination to suit most tastes. If you can't find one that fits, just make up your own, accuse anyone that challenges you of heresy and condemn them to eternal torture, if that pleases you. Which is exactly what Mr Can and his type have done.
Now, now!
Well, the issue was made plain by Xenophanes two and a half thousand years ago:

"But mortals suppose gods are born,
Wear their own clothes and have a voice and body.
The Ethiopians say that their gods are flat-nosed and black,
While Thracians say that theirs have blue eyes and red hair.
Yet if cattle or horses or lions had hands and could draw,
And could sculpt like men, then the horses would draw their gods
Like horses, and cattle like cattle; and each would shape
Bodies of gods in the likeness, each of their own kind."


Have a look at Mr Can's "supreme being". It's a self-righteous, sentimental, reactionary, hypocritical pedant. Whaddya know? So is Mr Can. If ya wanna know what god looks like, look in the mirror.
Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:11 pm
I thought of making a few comments but I do not perceive that you are interested in the topic, except if it involves condemnation.
Yup, I like a bit of condemnation, but if you wish to discuss Catholic doctrine, there are better equipped places to do that. My view is that the Romans with their huge Empire understood perfectly that narcissism is the pith of religion. So for several centuries they tolerated local gods and only demanded that the emperor was also worshipped. Worked pretty well and any dissent could usually be dealt with by a bit of bloodshed. Didn't work in Jerusalem where they absolutely refused to worship Romans and had their temples flattened as a result. No good. 'Ah well,' says Constantine, 'if we're gonna have a really catholic religion, we'd better make the object of worship a Jew.' Oh the irony! The only people who didn't accept Jesus as their 'saviour' were the Jews themselves and as history shows, they have paid for it ever since.
Anyway, a thousand years later and the Vatican had completely forgotten it's original mission and was basically the elites entry to eternal life, which they were happy to pay the indulgences for. The poor and uneducated were left behind by the scholastic sophistry in a language they couldn't speak. So they demanded, and got versions of the bible they could read, from which they cherry-picked the bits that suited them, put on a frock, called it a religion and insisted that they had a right to be taken seriously.
Now as to whether Nietzsche and Heidegger are 'dangerous minds', pretty much the same thing applies. It's like the old joke: What is the most dangerous part of a car? The nut behind the wheel. People take what they want, paste it into their own worldview and pass the buck, making utterly fallacious arguments from authority.
Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:11 pm
I do not say that I blame you necessarily for operating from a perspective of condemnation.
Too kind.
Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:11 pm
But I suppose that to be frank -- that is, if you were frank -- you would (likely?) say that you are a complete atheist and do not value nor respect the 'traditions' referred to...
Well, having recently written ten thousand words on medieval cosmology, I got a pretty good insight to what the various strands of christianity meant then and still do. I have slightly more respect for the dupes who follow the 'traditions' than for the narcissists who make their god themselves.
Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 3:11 pm
...nor do you find much value in the essence of Christian belief (obviously, as an atheist does not believe in such essences, and thus is an atheist!)
The fundamental christian belief is that we are born wicked, and that the only way to escaped punishment is to give thanks for an act of torture and murder. Too fucking right I don't find much value in that.

Belinda
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Belinda » Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am

Uwot wrote:
The fundamental christian belief is that we are born wicked, and that the only way to escaped punishment is to give thanks for an act of torture and murder. Too fucking right I don't find much value in that.
But the myth is only one component of Christianity.True, Xity is peculiarly a religion of believing myth instead of .like Judaism and Islam, about performing rituals.

Other components of religions besides founding myths and ontologies are maral codes and devotions.

As far as Xian myths are concerned, human sacrifice was abolished by Abraham in favour of animal sacrifice. Jesus ' sacrifice was a willing one as he trusted God to know best. I think that medieval theologians were sophisticated enough to know the the Lamb of God myth was an analogy for a life given over to God.

Moreover, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is the iconic figure who represents that will to good that is exemplified by the lives of many people.

uwot
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by uwot » Thu May 09, 2019 1:05 pm

Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am
Other components of religions besides founding myths and ontologies are maral codes and devotions.
Right, and the moral of Christianity is that someone else pays for your sins. The exception being the refusal to believe that, for which you will be tortured forever and never forgiven.
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am
As far as Xian myths are concerned, human sacrifice was abolished by Abraham in favour of animal sacrifice.
Exactly what use does an almighty God have for a dead animal?
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am
Jesus ' sacrifice was a willing one as he trusted God to know best.
So a god that having tried and failed with flooding the planet, then thinks the best thing to do is get his son nailed to a cross is worth devoting your life to. Really?
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am
...the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is the iconic figure who represents that will to good that is exemplified by the lives of many people.
Maybe, but they are not all Christians.

Alizia
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Alizia » Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm

uwot wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 10:59 am
Well, having recently written ten thousand words on medieval cosmology, I got a pretty good insight to what the various strands of christianity meant then and still do. I have slightly more respect for the dupes who follow the 'traditions' than for the narcissists who make their god themselves.
I read what you wrote in the other parts of your post. I believe I can fairly say that I 'understand where you are coming from'. I have ideas & perceptions that would qualify a good deal of it but ... I don't suppose you are interested.

But for the sake of interesting conversation and learning how other people see things, might you include some quotes from what you wrote about Medieval cosmology?
Right, and the moral of Christianity is that someone else pays for your sins.
I take the essential meaning to be that salvation (which of course is a prospect that must be defined and understood) comes about only through grace. While effort is required to respond to the call, in the end it cannot be achieved without grace. Essentially, it is a gift. It is given, not achieved. You may disagree -- and oppose -- the essence of this understanding of spiritual life and the nature of the world, and all that I might say is that for one who has recognized, in themselves, through some crisis or through hitting bottom, that they cannot rescue themselves in a spiritual sense (though they might do everything and anything else on their own), it not only 'makes sense' but open many interior, and exterior, doors.
The exception being the refusal to believe that, for which you will be tortured forever and never forgiven.
It cannot be denied that there is a sharp polarity within historical Christian thinking. I would suggest though that the crude representations of both heaven and hell, or perhaps I mean to say instead the 'raw' versions of the polarity, have been expanded upon by successive generations of theologians. But still, the issue really is: What is perdition? And then: What is salvation? But if these topics, or these metaphysical facts, are not expounded and understood initially, there could not develop a conversation about what hell means. Myself, I would prefer to understand that 'refusal to believe' has a great deal to do with unwillingness to participate in the processes of salvation, but that a gracious God is -- indeed -- tremendously forgiving and understanding. But, you will obviously notice that I have also clearly indicated -- or strongly suggested -- that there is a 'blind' state of man which is destructive to his 'life' (in the most essential, spiritual sense).

While life certainly goes on in this plane where we find ourselves (this world) and it really has very little -- nothing really -- to do with higher, spiritual life, the revelation of God and about God is about a higher dimension of consciousness that one can participate in and with. The world of Nature is a biological-mechanical world and is not 'spiritual'. But man can become aware of and opened to spiritual life. And as far as I am able to tell it is spiritual life that concerns the Christian.
Exactly what use does an almighty God have for a dead animal?
What would an ultimate, transcendent being get out of any human act or any 'ritual'? You might also ask how it is that man can conceive of meaning through a symbol. Or why a symbolic act (such as giving a gift or performing a symbolic act for someone) has meaning and thus value. In fact, men have employed sacrifice since the human world began. One thing that substitutes for another. Symbolical enactment. Even 'sympathetic magic'. But the entire meaning of Christianity, and with advanced forms of Judaism, is that the conscious person must transcend this silly, imitative limitation. Thus, "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." That was put forth a long, long time ago. It obviously means that the entire emphasis must shift.
So a god that having tried and failed with flooding the planet, then thinks the best thing to do is get his son nailed to a cross is worth devoting your life to. Really?
And yet, all that we can say we value depends on self-sacrifice. Giving up something precious, or seemingly precious, in order to attain or receive something higher. The idea of 'laying down one's life for a friend' is not meaningless. Think of the sacrifices that some religious have made for others in hospitals and especially perhaps in education. I will admit that one could, if one wanted, ridicule the symbolism of the Crucifixion. But yet the meaning stands now and I suggest will always stand, because it is deeply meaningful! But, I agree that one has to 'ascend' to that meaning.

Alizia
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Alizia » Thu May 09, 2019 4:41 pm

attofishpi wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:32 am
What Dubious is saying, in that last sentence, is that theists are stupid and only believe in a God (the bloke that can condemn you to eternal damnation) because they find it comforting, soothing to ones psyche.
I differ from you. I get the sense that his thinking is wider -- and different -- from how you have encapsulated it.

Belinda
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Belinda » Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 pm

[quote
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am
As far as Xian myths are concerned, human sacrifice was abolished by Abraham in favour of animal sacrifice.
Exactly what use does an almighty God have for a dead animal?
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am
Jesus ' sacrifice was a willing one as he trusted God to know best.
So a god that having tried and failed with flooding the planet, then thinks the best thing to do is get his son nailed to a cross is worth devoting your life to. Really?
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 11:49 am
...the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world is the iconic figure who represents that will to good that is exemplified by the lives of many people.
Maybe, but they are not all Christians.
[/quote]

The sacrifice of an animal was better than human sacrifice. The ancient religion was about propitiating a god . This is what we today call superstition and magical thinking. I cannot excuse (or believe ) God's fascination with foreskins.
God did not intervene to save Jesus because God does not intervene in history. There is a trace of propitiation magic in literal interpretation of the crucifixion myth . However it's tragically easy to find others besides Jesus who have been punished for their consciences. It's our responsibilty to sort out which consciences are good ones and which are evil. Under certain regimes if you support poor and despised people against their powerful opponents you will risk torture and death.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/

Dubious
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Dubious » Thu May 09, 2019 8:17 pm

attofishpi wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 12:32 am
Alizia wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 9:17 pm
Dubious wrote:
Wed May 08, 2019 8:47 pm
Nevertheless there is no further reason, at least for me, to discuss it since the history of Christianity is well-known starting from its foundations. It's history perversely negates the very idea of God as a viable entity which now mostly exists as a comfort zone within the psyches of those who need one.
OK, I read you. So, you are not interested in conversing more on this topic? (I mean, what you have just mentioned here). I am interested in the final sentence especially.
What Dubious is saying, in that last sentence, is that theists are stupid and only believe in a God (the bloke that can condemn you to eternal damnation) because they find it comforting, soothing to ones psyche.
Not at all; "comforting, soothing to ones psyche", refers to traditions as the ghosts of once thoroughly held beliefs. There remains a residual degree of comfort in not having completely removed oneself from it. Seeking to displace the void which lies below such traditions is only natural and certainly not stupid functioning on both a personal and societal level. Why do people who no-longer strictly believe still go to church and find comfort in its ceremonies? By what criteria could that be called stupid?

There is also an immense amount of brain power expended in creating systems which have proven themselves, after a long reign, to be inimical to the human race. In that sense the constructors of theism were anything but stupid having blended disparate elements into ingenious systems over which they presided during those historical periods when such beliefs had a high probability of being accepted. Offering salvation in an afterlife as recompense for a miserable existence in the here & now was an offer impossible to refuse.

uwot
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by uwot » Sun May 12, 2019 12:08 pm

Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 pm
The sacrifice of an animal was better than human sacrifice.
How so? Was it more efficacious? Or better simply because an animal's life was wasted, rather than a human's?
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 pm
The ancient religion was about propitiating a god .

Do you think the world is a better place because of the sacrifices? Is it good that people who bang on about love think killing things is a good idea?
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 pm
This is what we today call superstition and magical thinking. I cannot excuse (or believe ) God's fascination with foreskins.
Well there's different sides to that. On the one hand, it's Plato's fault. All that guff about 'Platonic' relationships is kinda true. Anyone who has been in love knows it is waaaay more beautiful than sex, but the idea that some god created bodies for the sole purpose of being tempted is fucked up, and the idea that the most sensitive part of your body should permanently be stimulated is mental. Unless of course you want a population of men who are always slightly irritated.
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 pm
God did not intervene to save Jesus because God does not intervene in history.
Really? So who's idea was it to send Jesus to Earth?
Belinda wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 5:02 pm
There is a trace of propitiation magic in literal interpretation of the crucifixion myth . However it's tragically easy to find others besides Jesus who have been punished for their consciences. It's our responsibilty to sort out which consciences are good ones and which are evil. Under certain regimes if you support poor and despised people against their powerful opponents you will risk torture and death.

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/
Yup. Totally agree that Amnesty international is a brilliant source of good.

Belinda
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by Belinda » Sun May 12, 2019 12:16 pm

Uwot, obviously you have outgrown these children's stories. I think there is still a lot of good in Christianity if it's reinterpreted for modern adults.

uwot
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Re: Ronald Beiner and his book "Dangerous Minds"

Post by uwot » Sun May 12, 2019 12:38 pm

Alizia wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm
I don't suppose you are interested.
That's twice now. Tell ya what: you let me decide whether I'm interested.
Alizia wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm
But for the sake of interesting conversation and learning how other people see things, might you include some quotes from what you wrote about Medieval cosmology?
Well, it was focussed on these two blokes Bernardus Silvestris and William of Conches. Long story short: Silvestris was more into allegory, partly as a defence, because openly challenging orthodoxy could get you into trouble with the fundamentalists in the church. William was a bit more straightforward, but had to revise his ideas in later life, cos people were grumbling. Lovely little thinkers, the pair of them.
Alizia wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm
I take the essential meaning to be that salvation (which of course is a prospect that must be defined and understood) comes about only through grace.
Grace is a ludicrous concept, only a narcissist could take it seriously. Why would a god give it to some and not others?
Alizia wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm
While effort is required to respond to the call, in the end it cannot be achieved without grace.
Well, the effort is to suppress incredulity - keeping your critical faculties switched off. Easy-peasy if you're thick as shit, but I can imagine it's a real struggle for anyone with two brain cells to rub together.
Alizia wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm
And yet, all that we can say we value depends on self-sacrifice. Giving up something precious, or seemingly precious, in order to attain or receive something higher. The idea of 'laying down one's life for a friend' is not meaningless. Think of the sacrifices that some religious have made for others in hospitals and especially perhaps in education. I will admit that one could, if one wanted, ridicule the symbolism of the Crucifixion. But yet the meaning stands now and I suggest will always stand, because it is deeply meaningful!
Well, it is meaningful if it can be directed at other people. It's a bit of a waste if it is all aimed at something you can't even hold.
Alizia wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 4:34 pm
But, I agree that one has to 'ascend' to that meaning.
Yeah, but religion is a shit way of doing it.

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