Author Topic: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists  (Read 8595 times)

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Offline Barbarella

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #150 on: October 13, 2015, 01:54:45 pm »
Okay, given the feelings of aloneness that Barb has expressed, I guess I should come out and say it: I also hold beliefs about the universe that are currently considered irrational. If forced to describe myself with a label, I would probably call myself a spiritual pantheist as well.

That being said, I don't believe in the supernatural per se. After all, many phenomena we now understand the mechanics of were once attributed to supernatural causes. I just think that we haven't come up with the proper tools to measure things like psychic abilities, ghosts, etc. The short version is that I think the universe is both more subtle and more responsive to consciousness (and may itself BE conscious) than is generally believed.

What's my evidence? A whole lot of personal experiences, which happen often enough that I feel it at least stretch the boundaries of pure probability, if not break it entirely. At the same time, the plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence", so I try to remain skeptical of extraordinary claims. The difference I see between my mindset and most people here is that I try to use skepticism as a method rather than holding it as a worldview; the difference I see between my mindset and U.P. and Barb's is that if I can't come up with an explanation for something, I'm more likely to shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, that's a toughie" than say "because God."

Is this way of looking at the world less rational than the pure reason many of the people here seem to go for? Possibly. Am I trying to derive a sense of purpose and comfort from the universe that it simply doesn't owe me? Possibly. But I don't try to make the claim that my views are just as rational as the current scientific consensus, nor do I try to claim that they give me insight into some divine plan or that I have a direct line to the Universal Consciousness (as I call it). After all, it's a big universe; even if I'm right about it being conscious in itself, it may not care about us any more than we care about individual cells in our bodies. If these beliefs are irrational, then it's an irrationality I'm comfortable enough with not to argue about or debate with others. I don't care if you're a pantheist, polytheist, monotheist, deist, atheist or anti-theist; I care about how you treat other people and animals and the impact you try to leave on the world around you.

You've said it better than I could. Thank you so much.  :)

One thing I must clarify to the others....Again, I respect Atheists and would gladly side with Atheists fighting frummerism and Atheist-Rights.

Anyway. It's been a fascinating talk. I'm not looking to convert anyone. In fact, I perfectly understand why some would find spiritual stuff "irrational". Different people see things in different ways. Different minds....different perceptions.

To me, Ultimate Paragon, R.U. Siruis & whatever....The spiritual/metaphysical/non-corporeal/mystical/etc. is absolutely REAL & plausible to us. To others, it's about as believable as the Tooth Fairy. That is okay. People are people. Only character should be judged. Things only become problematic if it involves fanaticism and conning people of their life-savings or free-will in a dangerous cult or "psychic" scam.

However, being a moderate person who goes to an Episcopalian Mass every Sunday while not being a judgmental nut who rejects science & common sense is fine......Same with a guy who shells out $15.00 for a psychic reading for fun.

In fact, my spirituality has kept me from losing my marbles.


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Offline Ironchew

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #151 on: October 13, 2015, 02:24:00 pm »
To me, Ultimate Paragon, R.U. Siruis & whatever....The spiritual/metaphysical/non-corporeal/mystical/etc. is absolutely REAL & plausible to us. To others, it's about as believable as the Tooth Fairy. That is okay.

No, not really.

I mentioned over in another thread that I care about truth. Objective reality isn't something that's true for some people and false for others. When you assert to others that your beliefs are "absolutely REAL", you have to be ready to examine them critically and generally make an effort to determine if they're true or not. Retreating to wishy-washy subjectivity isn't a defense; it's an unwillingness to defend what you asserted.
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Offline guizonde

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #152 on: October 13, 2015, 03:33:32 pm »
To me, Ultimate Paragon, R.U. Siruis & whatever....The spiritual/metaphysical/non-corporeal/mystical/etc. is absolutely REAL & plausible to us. To others, it's about as believable as the Tooth Fairy. That is okay.

No, not really.

I mentioned over in another thread that I care about truth. Objective reality isn't something that's true for some people and false for others. When you assert to others that your beliefs are "absolutely REAL", you have to be ready to examine them critically and generally make an effort to determine if they're true or not. Retreating to wishy-washy subjectivity isn't a defense; it's an unwillingness to defend what you asserted.

to be fair, we can't hit 100% objectivity. personnal interpretation plays a major factor. that's why courts exist. and once somebody believes something, then they are in the strictest sense of the word, telling the truth because the believe what they say. they can be objectively wrong, (climate-change deniers, for example), but they believe their truth. and i'll stop here because it's a philosophical question for the ages.

i believe spuki when she says that the spiritual is real to them. however, she makes it clear it's not real to us.
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Offline Ironchew

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #153 on: October 13, 2015, 03:47:06 pm »
To me, Ultimate Paragon, R.U. Siruis & whatever....The spiritual/metaphysical/non-corporeal/mystical/etc. is absolutely REAL & plausible to us. To others, it's about as believable as the Tooth Fairy. That is okay.

No, not really.

I mentioned over in another thread that I care about truth. Objective reality isn't something that's true for some people and false for others. When you assert to others that your beliefs are "absolutely REAL", you have to be ready to examine them critically and generally make an effort to determine if they're true or not. Retreating to wishy-washy subjectivity isn't a defense; it's an unwillingness to defend what you asserted.

to be fair, we can't hit 100% objectivity. personnal interpretation plays a major factor. that's why courts exist. and once somebody believes something, then they are in the strictest sense of the word, telling the truth because the believe what they say. they can be objectively wrong, (climate-change deniers, for example), but they believe their truth. and i'll stop here because it's a philosophical question for the ages.

i believe spuki when she says that the spiritual is real to them. however, she makes it clear it's not real to us.

Which, again, is a complete disregard of the notion of what is true and what isn't. Questions of certainty aside, either something is true or it isn't. It doesn't get to be true for some people.

An argument that relies on me disregarding truth just enough to believe a claim is totally unconvincing.
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Offline guizonde

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #154 on: October 13, 2015, 04:10:43 pm »
To me, Ultimate Paragon, R.U. Siruis & whatever....The spiritual/metaphysical/non-corporeal/mystical/etc. is absolutely REAL & plausible to us. To others, it's about as believable as the Tooth Fairy. That is okay.

No, not really.

I mentioned over in another thread that I care about truth. Objective reality isn't something that's true for some people and false for others. When you assert to others that your beliefs are "absolutely REAL", you have to be ready to examine them critically and generally make an effort to determine if they're true or not. Retreating to wishy-washy subjectivity isn't a defense; it's an unwillingness to defend what you asserted.

to be fair, we can't hit 100% objectivity. personnal interpretation plays a major factor. that's why courts exist. and once somebody believes something, then they are in the strictest sense of the word, telling the truth because the believe what they say. they can be objectively wrong, (climate-change deniers, for example), but they believe their truth. and i'll stop here because it's a philosophical question for the ages.

i believe spuki when she says that the spiritual is real to them. however, she makes it clear it's not real to us.

Which, again, is a complete disregard of the notion of what is true and what isn't. Questions of certainty aside, either something is true or it isn't. It doesn't get to be true for some people.

An argument that relies on me disregarding truth just enough to believe a claim is totally unconvincing.

it depends on what is considered "truth" (absolute, scientific truth, or philosophical truth?), if the point of view is considered (in which case it's de facto subjective), and if there are degrees to that truth or not.

"some people believe in god" is truth, as in, observable scientific truth. it's also a subjective truth based on the person considered, and some people believe more than others. its corrolary is equally true.

as for your last sentence, you can see it as a thought exercise. what can be true for someone may not be for another if it's a subjective truth.
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Offline Art Vandelay

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #155 on: October 13, 2015, 08:15:34 pm »
it depends on what is considered "truth" (absolute, scientific truth, or philosophical truth?), if the point of view is considered (in which case it's de facto subjective), and if there are degrees to that truth or not.
No, actually, it's really not. We're talking about how the real world supposedly works. Either gods, ghosts, psychics and all that other woo exists or it doesn't. Much like anything else, just because someone believes one way or another does not mean it's literally true for one person and false for another.
"some people believe in god" is truth, as in, observable scientific truth. it's also a subjective truth based on the person considered, and some people believe more than others. its corrolary is equally true.
Of course. Whether or not whatever they actually believe is true is another matter entirely. If I were to claim that there's a railway line near my house, and you were to disagree, it's true that we'd both believe different things. However, whether or not the railway line actually exists is another matter entirely. Either it's there or it isn't. It's not physically in existence for me and yet somehow not there for you. That would just be stupid. It's no different with anything else, "supernatural" or otherwise.

Offline guizonde

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #156 on: October 13, 2015, 09:05:38 pm »
it depends on what is considered "truth" (absolute, scientific truth, or philosophical truth?), if the point of view is considered (in which case it's de facto subjective), and if there are degrees to that truth or not.
No, actually, it's really not. We're talking about how the real world supposedly works. Either gods, ghosts, psychics and all that other woo exists or it doesn't. Much like anything else, just because someone believes one way or another does not mean it's literally true for one person and false for another.
"some people believe in god" is truth, as in, observable scientific truth. it's also a subjective truth based on the person considered, and some people believe more than others. its corrolary is equally true.
Of course. Whether or not whatever they actually believe is true is another matter entirely. If I were to claim that there's a railway line near my house, and you were to disagree, it's true that we'd both believe different things. However, whether or not the railway line actually exists is another matter entirely. Either it's there or it isn't. It's not physically in existence for me and yet somehow not there for you. That would just be stupid. It's no different with anything else, "supernatural" or otherwise.

in which case it becomes "absolute, objective, scientific truth". right, we're on the same page. just wanted to clarify the whole shebang between "objective truth" and "belief = telling the truth = subjective truth".
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Offline Art Vandelay

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #157 on: October 13, 2015, 09:07:00 pm »
it depends on what is considered "truth" (absolute, scientific truth, or philosophical truth?), if the point of view is considered (in which case it's de facto subjective), and if there are degrees to that truth or not.
No, actually, it's really not. We're talking about how the real world supposedly works. Either gods, ghosts, psychics and all that other woo exists or it doesn't. Much like anything else, just because someone believes one way or another does not mean it's literally true for one person and false for another.
"some people believe in god" is truth, as in, observable scientific truth. it's also a subjective truth based on the person considered, and some people believe more than others. its corrolary is equally true.
Of course. Whether or not whatever they actually believe is true is another matter entirely. If I were to claim that there's a railway line near my house, and you were to disagree, it's true that we'd both believe different things. However, whether or not the railway line actually exists is another matter entirely. Either it's there or it isn't. It's not physically in existence for me and yet somehow not there for you. That would just be stupid. It's no different with anything else, "supernatural" or otherwise.

in which case it becomes "absolute, objective, scientific truth". right, we're on the same page. just wanted to clarify the whole shebang between "objective truth" and "belief = telling the truth = subjective truth".

Ah, gotcha. I thought you were actually arguing that "belief = truth". My bad.

Offline guizonde

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Re: Rationality and Religion: Debating Anti-Theists
« Reply #158 on: October 13, 2015, 09:15:26 pm »
it depends on what is considered "truth" (absolute, scientific truth, or philosophical truth?), if the point of view is considered (in which case it's de facto subjective), and if there are degrees to that truth or not.
No, actually, it's really not. We're talking about how the real world supposedly works. Either gods, ghosts, psychics and all that other woo exists or it doesn't. Much like anything else, just because someone believes one way or another does not mean it's literally true for one person and false for another.
"some people believe in god" is truth, as in, observable scientific truth. it's also a subjective truth based on the person considered, and some people believe more than others. its corrolary is equally true.
Of course. Whether or not whatever they actually believe is true is another matter entirely. If I were to claim that there's a railway line near my house, and you were to disagree, it's true that we'd both believe different things. However, whether or not the railway line actually exists is another matter entirely. Either it's there or it isn't. It's not physically in existence for me and yet somehow not there for you. That would just be stupid. It's no different with anything else, "supernatural" or otherwise.

in which case it becomes "absolute, objective, scientific truth". right, we're on the same page. just wanted to clarify the whole shebang between "objective truth" and "belief = telling the truth = subjective truth".

Ah, gotcha. I thought you were actually arguing that "belief = truth". My bad.

in a sense, it does, but truth is big. perhaps my post was poorly worded. let's just say i never got over my philosophy baccalaureate exam and whenever questions about the nature of truth appear, i get very fidgety with the definition of what kind of truth we're talking about. objectivity versus subjectivity. both can be true at the same time, but it's coincidental, not correlated.
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