Christianity

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Belinda
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Re: Christianity

Post by Belinda »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:58 pm
uwot wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:08 pmWake up Gus. Christian ideas are simple:

To be conceived is to be guilty.

Knock yourself out - have a productive conversation with a fuckwit who believes that.
Well, what you could not understand, obviously, is that the idea or the concept that you are speaking about, which you dismiss absolutely (and for your own reasons naturally, and within a social and cultural context that can't, or won't, examine the idea in depth (for a group of reasons), is an idea that I have mulled over. In thought of course but also on other levels (intuitively, internally, subjectively).

In a basic sense I accept the idea as *being true*. I put a different twist on it, and in a way expand the idea, which amounts to a way to open up the idea to consideration. But the way I do this is somewhat outlandish and, also, I borrow from other religious traditions.

I believe that souls enter this world through an inconceivable process. Yes, it is through biological conception, but in the sense of my understanding that is a *superficial* sense of it. A soul enters this domain of experience, which means the flesh-body, through processes of what I might call *attraction*. All kinds of souls are, allow me to say, attracted to this specific sphere (the notion of loka or 'planet' can help in the conception of what I mean). Yet since I see in all creation, and the entire cosmic manifestation, endless possibilities and non-limitation of possibilities, I speculate, or intuit, that any number of similar planes of manifestation, lokas or planets, may well exist. [Loka (Sanskrit: लोक) is a concept in Indian religions, that means plane or realm of existence.]

So, how it happens that a given soul -- I refer to you or to me or to anyone -- arrives here, that is, incarnates into a body that carries it and births it, my sense is that there are many many mysteries connected with that.

The notion of 'conceived in sin' or 'born in sin' is an idea that (of course only if one is inclined to do so) one that can be sounded out. But I know of no other way that this could be carried out except one that is subjective and intuitive.

I see the very nature of the world, the ecological systems of the natural world, as encasing the rather terrible situation we are really in, if we take time to examine it. To be thrust into the natural world, like an animal, is to be thrust into a cruel world where 'biological machinery' determines everything. That world is merciless and in that world beings feed on other beings. Because this is inevitable, one is bound-into this system when one arrives here (in one way or another, to one degree or another). So just in that basic sense one is 'born into a sinful world' or born into circumstances where *sin* is inevitable.

But how to explain 'guilt'? Or how to explain debt and/or incarnation, here, as 'punishment'? Because obviously in this sense the Fall is punishment and also simply consequence. But what is that debt or punishment? How did this happen?

It requires a comparative perspective to work this idea out. So, there must be worlds (planes of experience) that are either far *better* and less inflicted compared to ours, or simultaneously far more difficult, far more torturous, and in this sense far more punishing.

I recognize that these are very old metaphysical notions, and I recognize as well that they are Stories told about life. In the sense that DontAskMe seems to mean, all such ideas are notions "painted thinly on the void" (to quote an Incredible String Band song).

There seems to me a certain definite advantage that can be gained by entertaining a deeper examination of these sort of ideas. Yet I also recognize that they can be simply dismissed by those without the inclination in this direction. It is a tendency of certain people to do this, I have noticed. And for some there is absolutely no sense to the endeavor.
AlexisJacobi is Intuitively Heideggerian, common sense really, until
It requires a comparative perspective to work this idea out. So, there must be worlds (planes of experience) that are either far *better* and less inflicted compared to ours, or simultaneously far more difficult, far more torturous, and in this sense far more punishing.
There is insufficient reason to believe in the ontic reality of worlds (planes) of experience that are better (Heaven)than this one or worse (Hell) than this one. It's our responsibility to decide on our values, so Heaven is value, top quality, beauty, peace, justice, mercy, and truth. Brief glimpses of any of those are also experiences of this world. Absolute reality is probably true, whereas Heaven is what we aspire to and hope for.

The absolute can be personalised but few people understand personification and in a scientific materialistic age I doubt if personal deities are much general use except for consolation of believers. The rituals of mainstream Christian churches, and mosques , can offer occasional glimpses of goodness. I am not a Calvinist , and I appreciate symbolism, and I regret that the RC mass is not open to pagans like me.


Ideas and perceptions are "painted on the world" (nice metaphor; fine art is a medium for the transcendent virtues) and that's a main insight of advaita vedanta, which DontAskMe seems to support.

Most people can see this world is sufficiently hellish, so there is no need for other-worldly punishment .
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

uwot wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:13 am And you can build an entire philosophy on that premise, all of it perfectly coherent and logically valid. You might even persuade yourself that it is true, with or without asterisks. If that happens, you might start believing that you are right. The reality is that you don't know, but the more you think you know, the more detached from reality you become.
When one examines what you say here you are, I think, restating what Dubious (or is it DontAskMe?) says in a nutshell: that we invent stories about this place or reality in which we find ourselves; that all stories are unreal; and the only *thing* that we have recourse to are the hard and solid facts that are described in material science, if indeed we even have that. I think this is a clear encapsulation of where we have come to -- in our cultural processes and in our epistemological evolution.

So, clearly, you negate an epistemological realm that you view through the lens of your particular mental organization. Does that seem right and fair? Have I stated it correctly and fairly? What 'knowing' is assembled there is simply invented.

My first response is: 1) I described to you an 'intuited perception'. What that is and where it comes from I am not sure that I can say definitively. However, I cannot but agree with you (in a sense) when you say (in grand declarative style) "the reality is that you don't know", which when examined is a definitive statement about Reality. I do not know, I cannot know, and such cannot be known is the logical inference. So what you are describing, it seems fair to say, is your (own) relationship to epistemology. Is it absolutely solid? or is it flexible and even perhaps 'fragile'? How did you come to it? In this sense, because your assertions are common in our world, your declarative stance is one that has deeply penetrated the culture at large. So it also has a determinative power and also function.

2) I think the ramifications of the collapse of *intuited knowing*, which is how I interpret your position, is a necessary outcome of those processes of which you are well aware. It seems to me to involve the collapse or undermining of an entire way to *see* and understand our situation in this reality. Given your background surely you understand well enough what I refer to. But the part that interests me is that when you 'collapse' all possibility of meanings -- and all our meanings come from metaphysical musings, and intuited reception of metaphysical ideas and *notions* -- when you have collapsed all of these you will have undermined the possibility of any *meaning* at all. The *world* you will then be capable of describing will be one that is merely or solely mechanical. If you really really carried out this collapse-process fully, and took it to its end, you would eventually be able to say nothing about anything. And by *saying* I mean any and all interpretive statements.

What a peculiar impasse.
The "social and cultural context" you blame for my lack of acquiescence fundamentally is the idea you claim I can't, or won't examine in depth. I don't merely examine the idea Gus, I live it.
I think I understand what you are saying and certainly I believe you. I have got the sense that you seek to present yourself through the status that you assign to your particular mental organization, which indeed involves dedicated activity and is an accomplishment (i.e. those 'letters' that come before or after your name). I am interested in *you* (a plural you of course) as an agent of power in those epistemological battles that seem to be raging so intensely. There are very low, very sordid, very unsophisticated levels to the *battles* going on, while simultaneously there are levels in these battles which occur on a far higher plane. There, it really does have to do with perception of and expression of *meaning*.

Based on what I read of you -- always clipped, always a bit snotty (if you will allow me to express myself in this way) but always so assertive while also dismissive -- my impression is that you have located yourself in a middling territory. Not extremely low in the sense of some sorts of 'conversation' that go on around the ideological battles I refer to, but nearly completely outside of the *high* and *elevated* territory that I simultaneously allude to.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:06 pm But when I gave you nothing but the Word of God itself and asked you what you thought, you chose not to respond. I cannot help but note that fact, and wonder at it.

Why?
You believe that I am not responding, yet in fact I am responding. It is just that I do this in a different way. I have responded, quite honestly, over a number of posts in which I reveal some ideas which have become part of my foundation.

What you are asking me, after presenting me with specific Scriptural passages, is Do you, or do you not, believe that these express absolutely solid truth? Are they absolutely truthful statements, or are they not?

But my answer has to do with my ideas about *lenses of perception*. And we are those lenses. We are fashioned, ground if you wish, and calibrated according to established design.

You may say God Speaks. Or "Here, in this, God speaks" and I will only be capable of saying that there had to be a 'lens' that received what was seen, or an 'ear' which heard it, so while I would not deny or dismiss 'revelation', and I certainly do not and cannot dismiss or *explain away* Divinity or the higher dimensions of metaphysics, I certainly can and I do tend to examine the sort of lens that is doing the refracting; and all lenses refract.

[Latin refringere, refrāct-, to break up : re-, re- + frangere, to break; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.]

[And look at all the interesting cognates that come out of that old word bhreg: Examples of words with the root bhreg-: anfractuous, bracken, brake, bray, breach, break, breccia, brioche, chamfer, defray, diffraction, fraction, fracture, fragile, fragment, frail, frangible, infrangible, infringe, irrefragable, ossifrage, refract, saxifrage, septifragal, suffragan, suffrage.]

My answer is, therefore, that I take what Scripture says in those instances as 'allusions' to true things. But they are not, and they cannot be, the true things themselves. The distinction seems to me to be pretty important.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:39 pm What you are asking me, after presenting me with specific Scriptural passages, is Do you, or do you not, believe that these express absolutely solid truth? Are they absolutely truthful statements, or are they not?
Yes, that's what I'm wondering about. Do you think those statements, which all clearly describe a permanent judgment, are telling the truth or are mistaken in some way? Does permanent judgment exist?
But my answer has to do with my ideas about *lenses of perception*. And we are those lenses. We are fashioned, ground if you wish, and calibrated according to established design.
That doesn't really help. The existence of a thing is a all-or-nothing matter, and really is regardless of perception. A perception of something that does not exist is what we call a "hallucination" or a "dream." It may be perceived, but it does not exist.
My answer is, therefore, that I take what Scripture says in those instances as 'allusions' to true things. But they are not, and they cannot be, the true things themselves.

So...let me see if I can understand this.

You're saying, when Scripture speaks of eternal judgment, it's alluding not to exactly what it says, but to something else? And you say that eternal judgment "cannot be true in itself"? Have I summarized your view aright?

I have to wonder at the reasoning for both statements.

To what other thing does "eternal judgment" allude?

And what's your reason for deciding that the Scripture is not telling you what's "true in itself" about that?
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Belinda wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:15 pmThere is insufficient reason to believe in the ontic reality of worlds (planes) of experience that are better (Heaven) than this one or worse (Hell) than this one. It's our responsibility to decide on our values, so Heaven is value, top quality, beauty, peace, justice, mercy, and truth. Brief glimpses of any of those are also experiences of this world. Absolute reality is probably true, whereas Heaven is what we aspire to and hope for.
I think that I understand what you are getting at. But I cannot be certain what is absolutely true. My present position is that the reality in which we find ourselves (this world, this kosmos, the universe) is so outlandishly impossible, and yet so seemingly complete and real, that whatever put it into motion could have put, and I think likely did put, any number of 'realities' into motion. In this sense, to employ the common metaphor, the mind of God is infinite. There are no limits that could be placed on *it*. Anything is possible!

Is this an insane dream? Is this vain speculation? How could I answer?

The speculations about a tripartite Reality are ancient indeed. While I cannot 'prove' the assertion (obviously) it does, for reasons I cannot precisely define, seem to me logically tenable. But I admit that the *logic* is of another sort or pertains to another domain.

Again, I have referred to the 16 chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita which, rather obviously, elucidates that ancient idea. It is true that the notion of a heaven-realm is aspirational; and it is also true that fear over a hell-realm produces a sense or desire to avoid negative consequences. But we are talking about the same thing, aren't we? If 'ideas have consequences' certainly actions have consequences.

So it is a question of deeply investigating the consequences of all that we think and do.

So when I have examined the ontological description of, let's say, the Medieval conception (or a tripartite world), the sense of it is not lost on me, perhaps because of some sort of inner predilection.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:56 pm Yes, that's what I'm wondering about. Do you think those statements, which all clearly describe a permanent judgment, are telling the truth or are mistaken in some way? Does permanent judgment exist?
How can I definitely know? My position is one between the thorough rejection of Uwot and what I understand of your position -- and that one is based, unless I am wrong, on faith that it is so.

If there is, in truth, the absolute and 'eternal' punishment that you speak of, I would have to conclude that we really live in a merciless universe. I simply put have absorbed a softened perspective, and I fully admit and clearly state that I have been influenced by ideas that derive from other religious conceptions.

If there is a God that would allow some errant soul to be eternally condemned to unremitting tortures, with no way out, with no redemption possible, I am not sure if such a God is probable or possible. And I would turn to examine the *lens* of the one who came up with the fixed description.

If I do believe in -- as I assume that you do and must -- a 'grace' which has entered our own world and opened the doors to salvation (which I do not think you have adequately defined) then I have a way of defending the view that I do have.

I do not think that this means, in my mode of conception, that there are not drastic consequences that will have to be lived out; nor do I deny the possibility of 'rewards'. It is simply that I see it in a wider scenario (in comparison to you who sees it in very strict, and very defined terms).
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:11 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:56 pm Yes, that's what I'm wondering about. Do you think those statements, which all clearly describe a permanent judgment, are telling the truth or are mistaken in some way? Does permanent judgment exist?
How can I definitely know? My position is one between the thorough rejection of Uwot and what I understand of your position -- and that one is based, unless I am wrong, on faith that it is so.
Not on a gratutious faith. And not a faith ginned up because I want it to be so. Personally, I have no independent reason to want there to be such a thing as an eternal judgment, a Gehenna, a Lake of Fire, or a lost eternity. Those things seem very serious to me.

Such faith as required is very simple: it's just faith that what the Bible is telling us is the Word of God, and is thus true. God would surely know whether an eternal judgment is impending; and all I'm doing is taking His word for it, believing His testimony of what He intends to do.
If there is, in truth, the absolute and 'eternal' punishment that you speak of, I would have to conclude that we really live in a merciless universe.
Not if there were a way of salvation. Then, you might well marvel at God's mercy. For a God who has every right to judge, but foregoes that right in order to save us, and yet that in a righteous way, is surely much more gracious and more wise than we might expect. But we can hardly expect a righteous God to forgo any judgment at all...and remain righteous.

For there's the opposite side, as well: if there is no judgment, then Hitler and Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, Manson and Dahmer...to say nothing at all of the myriad "lesser" sinners, all got off easy. The Atheists who mocked God were not rebuked. Even those who despised God and insulted him all their lives recieved no fitting response. The wickedness they did was not met with a concommitant judgment, and the Sovereign of the Universe winked at evil...a thing that that the prophet Habbakkuk, in the Tanakh, insists cannot be so: "Your eyes are too pure to look at evil..."

Even from a human logical perspective, a God who does not judge, having the power to do so but refusing forever to condemn evil, cannot be a righteous judge. He would be, instead, a condoner of wickedness.

So it brings us back to this: what do we think of God's character? What will HaShem do for His name, when men call Him unjust and say that He has permitted evil? And when men say they want nothing to do with God, will God force them to accept Him, or will He honour their personal choice and individuality, and give them the outcome they demand?

Having pleaded already with all men to accept His salvation, and having offered Himself in earnest of that, what will God do in response to those who then spit on His offer? Indeed, what do you think a righteous God should do?
If I do believe in -- as I assume that you do and must -- a 'grace' which has entered our own world and opened the doors to salvation (which I do not think you have adequately defined)
What do you think you would like to add to the account of salvation so far? Or what do you think remains unclear?

Is it my "common language" definition you are speaking of, or the much more expansive website's theological discussion you find "inadequate"? And what do you think the Bible's definition of it actually is?
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:38 pm
Not on a gratutious faith. And not a faith ginned up because I want it to be so. Personally, I have no independent reason to want there to be such a thing as an eternal judgment, a Gehenna, a Lake of Fire, or a lost eternity. Those things seem very serious to me.

Such faith as required is very simple: it's just faith that what the Bible is telling us is the Word of God, and is thus true. God would surely know whether an eternal judgment is impending; and all I'm doing is taking His word for it, believing His testimony of what He intends to do.
The very notion of heaven, and of hell, was brought into focus as those lenses of perception continued looking. I do not think that you will be able to understand the perspective I work with, and this for a number of different reasons, and I do not ask that you accept my view. You ask me, and you ask that I answer you, and here I am answering you.

When someone, anyone, describes *what is seen*, we have to focus on the nature of the one doing the seeing. All assertions have ideological import. There is a 'purpose' to every metaphysical assertion. The 'fire & brimstone' set of assertions, within the preaching undertaking, have as their purpose the unsettling of people's certainty. I went over this when referencing Knox's Conversion. The preaching technique of Wesley, for example, can be examined as coercive manipulation of the listener. The same techniques used to *undermine certainly and stability* deal directly with manipulating profound sentiments. They can be seen as emotionally manipulating.

In this sense the content of the message increases to a pitch needed, by the one preaching, to unsettle and topple the sovereignty of the listener. And the psychological outcome is to experience a sort of *devastation* that requires falling under the will of the preacher, master manipulator.

If you take what I am referring to as 'true' and as 'real' -- that manipulation is possible -- then you may also be able to see that the *pitch* of the sermonizing will necessarily rise as is needed to gain the conversion result.

Now, this is not how I approach spiritual knowledge, or metaphysical knowledge, but I am far more inclined to define such knowing in terms of gnosis, not as a result of a psychological crisis.

Obviously, you did not write these texts, and they pre-existed you, and you as believer came into them and developed your faith and your preaching methods for specific purposes. So I could not say that your belief is 'ginned up'.

But all the tenets of structured Christianity, in my view, can be examined from the position of a certain distance, and as I say comparatively, and thereby seen and understood (somewhat) differently.
Even from a human logical perspective, a God who does not judge, having the power to do so but refusing forever to condemn evil, cannot be a righteous judge. He would be, instead, a condoner of wickedness.
Yet I did not deny that *judgment* is real, nor would I. I would say that in this *world* we are all constrained by judgment. The judging capacity is both something we understand to be external to us, and as well is something that resides in us. The question is in how the perception and understanding of it are honed.
So it brings us back to this: what do we think of God's character? What will HaShem do for His name, when men call Him unjust and say that He has permitted evil? And when men say they want nothing to do with God, will God force them to accept Him, or will He honour their personal choice and individuality, and give them the outcome they demand?
Are you asking me what I imagine God's character to be? Or are you reiterating that you believe the only source for understanding God's character (what a concept!) is found solely in Jewish and Christian literature? (I know ehre you stand on this question so my question is rhetorical).
Having pleaded already with all men to accept His salvation, and having offered Himself in earnest of that, what will God do in response to those who then spit on His offer? Indeed, what do you think a righteous God should do?
A 'righteous God' is a God absolutely outside of human issues and problems. In this sense a 'righteous' God must be an absolutely intelligent God, and thus knows that in one way or another, in one moment or another, all souls can be reached.

I think in some sense I evince here a greater faith than you in God's power. Also, I think that you assume that the 'fire & brimstone' approach to preaching is effacacious and can, or should, win converts.

But I predicate my sense of the value of Christianity on a wider foundation. I seem to be far more -- what is the word? -- tolerant of human foibles, of man's incapacity to live up to the demands of extreme idealism.
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Re: Christianity

Post by uwot »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:22 pm
uwot wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:13 am And you can build an entire philosophy on that premise, all of it perfectly coherent and logically valid. You might even persuade yourself that it is true, with or without asterisks. If that happens, you might start believing that you are right. The reality is that you don't know, but the more you think you know, the more detached from reality you become.
When one examines what you say here you are, I think, restating what Dubious (or is it DontAskMe?) says in a nutshell: that we invent stories about this place or reality in which we find ourselves...
Then I agree with Dubious (or is it it DontAskMe?).
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:22 pm...that all stories are unreal...
No Gus; what you presume is poverty is actually richness. I do not think that all stories are unreal; on the contrary I know full well that any one of many might be real.
We can skip a bit of your twaddle, based as it is on a misapprehension, and get to the point:
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:22 pmSo what you are describing, it seems fair to say, is your (own) relationship to epistemology. Is it absolutely solid? or is it flexible and even perhaps 'fragile'?
It is absolutely solid. My relationship to epistemology is the same as everyone else, even those who don't know it.
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:22 pmHow did you come to it?
I'm sure there are other routes, but in my case it was Socrates and Descartes - the Oracle at Delphi and the Cogito in a nutshell.
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:22 pmIn this sense, because your assertions are common in our world, your declarative stance is one that has deeply penetrated the culture at large. So it also has a determinative power and also function.
As it happens, this year is the 60th anniversary of the publication of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - that is the declarative stance that has deeply penetrated the culture at large. If you haven't already, you could read my short biography of Kuhn in Philosophy Now: https://philosophynow.org/issues/131/Th ... _1922-1996
We all "invent stories about this place or reality in which we find ourselves", even those committed to "the hard and solid facts that are described in material science". If you drop a brick, it falls. That is a hard and solid fact even non-scientists know. Any story/paradigm that is consistent with that fact could be true. Broadening it out, there is a universe, at least of phenomena. Any story that is consistent with that hard and solid fact could be true, including those referencing blokes with beards walking on water 2000 years ago. The hard of thinking, those dumb fucks who cannot entertain more than one idea at a time, will demand that their story be taken more seriously than others. Why you want to be one of those fucking idiots escapes me.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

uwot wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:29 pmNo Gus; what you presume is poverty is actually richness. I do not think that all stories are unreal; on the contrary I know full well that any one of many might be real.
I am contented to know that whatever you do and think is understood by you to result in and to be richness. It would distress me if you said "All that I think and believe, though I sincerely believe it true, nevertheless feels like impoverishment".

To say 'anyone of them might be true' actually means -- if I perceive it rightly -- that it is likely that no one of them is true.
Why you want to be one of those fucking idiots escapes me.
Well, what I have got from you, always, is your surly arrogance and your clipped, declarative comments. Additionally, you have an unfortunate and afflicted sense of humor.

You are not very believable to me, or to put it another way you convince me of little because you do not in fact assert much at all.

So in this sense what I receive from you is non-enriching and in that sense impoverishing.

It will mean little to you but my interest is in larger meaning, not in systems of thought that undermine it or invalidate it. My impression of you is that you are quite deeply involved in the latter, hence not highly relevant, one way or the other, to me and to what I seek.

I did gloss your article. Sure, makes sense, pretty basic stuff at this point.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Belinda »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:57 pm
Belinda wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:15 pmThere is insufficient reason to believe in the ontic reality of worlds (planes) of experience that are better (Heaven) than this one or worse (Hell) than this one. It's our responsibility to decide on our values, so Heaven is value, top quality, beauty, peace, justice, mercy, and truth. Brief glimpses of any of those are also experiences of this world. Absolute reality is probably true, whereas Heaven is what we aspire to and hope for.
I think that I understand what you are getting at. But I cannot be certain what is absolutely true. My present position is that the reality in which we find ourselves (this world, this kosmos, the universe) is so outlandishly impossible, and yet so seemingly complete and real, that whatever put it into motion could have put, and I think likely did put, any number of 'realities' into motion. In this sense, to employ the common metaphor, the mind of God is infinite. There are no limits that could be placed on *it*. Anything is possible!

Is this an insane dream? Is this vain speculation? How could I answer?

The speculations about a tripartite Reality are ancient indeed. While I cannot 'prove' the assertion (obviously) it does, for reasons I cannot precisely define, seem to me logically tenable. But I admit that the *logic* is of another sort or pertains to another domain.

Again, I have referred to the 16 chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita which, rather obviously, elucidates that ancient idea. It is true that the notion of a heaven-realm is aspirational; and it is also true that fear over a hell-realm produces a sense or desire to avoid negative consequences. But we are talking about the same thing, aren't we? If 'ideas have consequences' certainly actions have consequences.

So it is a question of deeply investigating the consequences of all that we think and do.

So when I have examined the ontological description of, let's say, the Medieval conception (or a tripartite world), the sense of it is not lost on me, perhaps because of some sort of inner predilection.
1.2.2 Infinite modes
The most salient feature of infinite modes is that they are more directly related to substance than finite modes are. Spinoza claims that infinite modes follow more or less directly from “the absolute nature of any of God’s attributes,” whereas finite modes do not follow from the absolute nature of God’s attributes (see Ip21–22 and Ip28d). According to some interpreters, understanding this distinction is the key to understanding whether or not Spinoza was a full-blown necessitarian.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

and AJ:
the universe) is so outlandishly impossible, and yet so seemingly complete and real, that whatever put it into motion could have put, and I think likely did put, any number of 'realities' into motion. In this sense, to employ the common metaphor, the mind of God is infinite. There are no limits that could be placed on *it*. Anything is possible!
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:24 pm When someone, anyone, describes *what is seen*, we have to focus on the nature of the one doing the seeing. All assertions have ideological import. There is a 'purpose' to every metaphysical assertion. The 'fire & brimstone' set of assertions, within the preaching undertaking, have as their purpose the unsettling of people's certainty. I went over this when referencing Knox's Conversion. The preaching technique of Wesley, for example, can be examined as coercive manipulation of the listener. The same techniques used to *undermine certainly and stability* deal directly with manipulating profound sentiments. They can be seen as emotionally manipulating.
Here, we are dealing with three: Jesus, Paul and John. The question is, are they speaking only about their own "perspectives," or about something God says is real.
If you take what I am referring to as 'true' and as 'real' -- that manipulation is possible -- then you may also be able to see that the *pitch* of the sermonizing will necessarily rise as is needed to gain the conversion result.

I don't doubt that people can "sermonize" purely for a manipulative and scary purpose. No doubt much of the rhetoric around COVID, or "domestic terrorism" is exactly of that sort, and of nothing more.

But when a person tells you the truth about something that's going to happen, then the "scare" factor, "psychological crisis," or any supposed strategic advantageousness of the information is simply irrelevant: if what he says is true, then being concerned is warranted, and taking action is necessary...and this is regardless of any perceived "agendas."

Truth is truth. The only question here is, "Is this the truth?"
But all the tenets of structured Christianity, in my view, can be examined from the position of a certain distance, and as I say comparatively, and thereby seen and understood (somewhat) differently.

I'm willing to hear that. Go ahead.

What is the alternate meaning that is available from the passages I quoted?
So it brings us back to this: what do we think of God's character? What will HaShem do for His name, when men call Him unjust and say that He has permitted evil? And when men say they want nothing to do with God, will God force them to accept Him, or will He honour their personal choice and individuality, and give them the outcome they demand?
Are you asking me what I imagine God's character to be? [/quote]
No. I'm just asking if you believe it's what He says it is.
Having pleaded already with all men to accept His salvation, and having offered Himself in earnest of that, what will God do in response to those who then spit on His offer? Indeed, what do you think a righteous God should do?
A 'righteous God' is a God absolutely outside of human issues and problems.[/quote]
Of course. But that's not the question.

It's not humans who define the situation. Their personal quibbles, preferences and even perspectives weigh nothing. It's God who defines what "the problem" actually is.
In this sense a 'righteous' God must be an absolutely intelligent God, and thus knows that in one way or another, in one moment or another, all souls can be reached.

All souls can no doubt be "reached."

But can they be convinced? Can they be persuaded of the truth? Can they be induced by sweet reason or good judgment to do the right thing, both for their own interests and for God's purposes? That's quite a different question. Human beings are very stubborn and self-willed. And if God is not willing to break their wills and reduce them to entities having no voice in their eternal disposition, then nothing can be done to force a man to believe.

As the saying goes, "A man convinced against his will / Remains an unbeliever still."
I think in some sense I evince here a greater faith than you in God's power.
Oh, power is not the issue.

I have no doubt that God has sufficient power that He could, should He wish to do so, crush every contrary will in the whole universe. The question is, "is that what a just and merciful God would do," not "could He do it?"
Also, I think that you assume that the 'fire & brimstone' approach to preaching is effacacious and can, or should, win converts.

No, I don't think so.

But I think that since eternal damnation is something people can actually choose for themselves, they should be encouraged to choose differently. To sit by and say nothing while this world literally "goes to Hell," would be an act of superhuman unkindness...a truly demonic frame of mind.

As the arch Atheist Pen Jillette so clearly put it:

“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?

“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”


Good point, Mr. Jillette.
Alexis Jacobi
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:18 pmBut I think that since eternal damnation is something people can actually choose for themselves, they should be encouraged to choose differently.
First, I regard the possibility of 'damnation' as real, not false. But this damnation must be (better) described. I certainly believe that people choose their fate, and that our actions and thoughts have consequences, in the Weaveresque (Weaveronian?) sense.

I say that *consequences* as an idea, as an assertion, can and must be examined very carefully and seriously.

So in this sense I am aligned with what I take to be your view and, also, what I interpret of the Pauline view. And yes I am making a re-interpretation, consciously.

What I object to, and what must be objected to, is eternal damnation. So I accept 'damnation'; I question eternal damnation.

I think people learn when they see, for themselves, the consequences that their own actions produce.

Take as an example the sort of awareness and reckoning that Robert Bork channels into his book. The effect of his analysis, his analysis of consequences, worked on me strongly and set me on a path of personal revision.

The ransacking hippies of the Youth Movement (my parent's generation), quite often, did not foresee the consequences of their choices. But later, after the dust had settled, they seem to have sobered up. So there is Robert Bork and also David Horowitz who did a complete turn-around when 'consequences' were fully, or better, understood.

So, when discussing Christian notions I should not mention reincarnation nor the possibility that a given soul could have many lives to lead in a long process of evolution. Yet the idea is central to numerous branches of Indian thought. It is almost a 'necessary' concept. But it was eliminated from Christian concept at a certain point (I have read, I never did myself investigate it).

In another post I even outlined an after-death scenario where a given soul could, when faced with real consequences, make other choices.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:01 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 7:18 pmBut I think that since eternal damnation is something people can actually choose for themselves, they should be encouraged to choose differently.
First, I regard the possibility of 'damnation' as real, not false. But this damnation must be (better) described. I certainly believe that people choose their fate, and that our actions and thoughts have consequences, in the Weaveresque (Weaveronian?) sense.
I like "Weaveronian." :D And "macaronian," too.
What I object to, and what must be objected to, is eternal damnation. So I accept 'damnation'; I question eternal damnation.

I understand. But then, what does one do with what Jesus, Paul and John actually said about that?
I think people learn when they see, for themselves, the consequences that their own actions produce.

I don't think they do.

I think there are some who do, and God bless 'em if they do; but many who simply become more and more hardened into the bad decisions to which they've become committed. They become rabidly self-justifying, rather than repentant, and more and more angry and indifferent to God and to morality as time goes along.

But there are a great many people who are just committed to the way they've chosen...some of them are even here, on this site, perhaps. And short of breaking their wills and destroying their independent judgment and personhood, even God Himself cannot bring them to change. They just won't have it. They curse and roar more and more, and call everyone who tells them of judgment to mind their own business...but of wisdom and repentance, they refuse to know anything.

Have you not met such?
Take as an example the sort of awareness and reckoning that Robert Bork channels into his book. The effect of his analysis, his analysis of consequences, worked on me strongly and set me on a path of personal revision.

The ransacking hippies of the Youth Movement (my parent's generation), quite often, did not foresee the consequences of their choices. But later, after the dust had settled, they seem to have sobered up.
I wouldn't say they have.

Of that generation, the generation that produced things like the Port Huron Statement, two things happened: a lot of them got older, settled down, and became the "Yuppies" of the '80s. They raised families, made a ton of money, lived in the suburbs, and voted Democrat. But they sold out their "revolution," and they know it.

The other thing that happened is that a lot of those radicals went into fields related to things like the arts, politics and particularly, education. And there, they tried to manipulate others into adopting the same twisted ideology they had imbibed in the '60s. They made Gramsci's "Long March" through the culture, and grabbed hold of all the pedagogical positions they could, from which they could trumpet their values to coming generations. They became the propagandist caste, and we live with their poisonous legacy right now.

But wisdom? Repentance? Even learning from their mistakes? Few of them, it turned out, did any of that.
But it was eliminated from Christian concept at a certain point

Neither in Torah nor anywhere in the New Testament is there any such teaching as reincarnation. But there is active teaching in both to the contrary.

The Hindu idea of reincarnation is inextricably tied to ideas that are antiscientific and contrary to the entire counsel of the Bible...such concepts as the eternality of both matter and spirit (and, consequently, the universe), to karma, dharma, samsara, soul-extinction, caste, untouchables, cyclical time, and a host of other such wrong ideas.

You can't take reincarnation without the entire package. It won't make sense, and won't be the actual belief system anyway.
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Re: Christianity

Post by uwot »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:50 pmTo say 'anyone of them might be true' actually means -- if I perceive it rightly -- that it is likely that no one of them is true.
No Gus. Given a list of propositions it doesn't take any great genius to infer from 'anyone of them might be true' that anyone of them might be true.
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:50 pm
Why you want to be one of those fucking idiots escapes me.
Well, what I have got from you, always, is your surly arrogance and your clipped, declarative comments. Additionally, you have an unfortunate and afflicted sense of humor.
Whatever the flaws with my sense of humour, I am grateful that I have one. Should one ever fall on your lap, grab it with both hands.
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:50 pmYou are not very believable to me, or to put it another way you convince me of little because you do not in fact assert much at all.
Ah, so quantity rather than quality persuades you.
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:50 pmSo in this sense what I receive from you is non-enriching and in that sense impoverishing.
Well Gus, it is not what you hope to hear. How are you enriched by people who agree with you?
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:50 pmIt will mean little to you but my interest is in larger meaning, not in systems of thought that undermine it or invalidate it.
What is your 'larger meaning' worth if it can't stand up to "systems of thought that undermine it or invalidate it"?
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:50 pmMy impression of you is that you are quite deeply involved in the latter, hence not highly relevant, one way or the other, to me and to what I seek.
Then talk to supine halfwits that agree with you.
Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:50 pmI did gloss your article. Sure, makes sense, pretty basic stuff at this point.
Well Philosophy Now is aimed at the general reader but I will happily discuss contemporary epistemology on any level you can reach.
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