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Posted: 24 February 2007 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“Ted”]Can you explain that last bit using smaller words?

“keep your lamp trimmed and burning” is a good approximation.

Proselytization, in effect, makes you responsible for eradicating the cognitive dissonance experienced by the believer in the face of atheism.

Some believers proselytize other people in response to their own cognitive dissonance in the face of atheism. It’s just a theory, pal.

You can believe whatever you want. How can you expect to bother other people with it and then resent the fact that they think you’re kooky?

Okay.  So, I understand you to say that it is the responsibility of the atheist to show the religious that he/she is off/wrong/kooky when the religious try to prselytize the atheist.  Have I understood that correctly?

If so, is that a responsibility only when someone tries to proselytize?

Also, is this a universal truth, or should you be starting that statement of belief with “I believe”? :D

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Posted: 24 February 2007 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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[quote author=“Occam’s Razor”][quote author=“andonstop”]My question to you is, when there can be no factual basis for your faith regarding afterlife, why would you choose annihilation?


This is ‘Pascal’s wager’, isn’t it? ie The consequences if god does exist and you don’t believe in him are are much worse than if he doesn’t and you do…therefore I’ll believe, just to be on the safe side, like…

Actually not that deep, Occam. As I explained in an earlier post,  CanZen’s response to my question about his belief regarding afterlife was, “Once death comes the anihilistic force destroys the holistic nature of being . . . and nothing remains.” Since this belief cannot be based on fact, the only conclusion could be CanZen had made a conscious choice to believe he will be annihilated.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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[quote author=“Ted”]. . . If so, is that a responsibility only when someone tries to proselytize? . . .

Ted, picture in your imagination a future time when you’ve managed to free yourself of religious baggage. I realize you don’t see it as baggage, but you can go along with a thought experiment, right? One day something jogs your memory and you think back to past successes you may have had witnessing to others. Suddenly you’re overcome with guilt feelings because you realize that you’re unable to undo what you now see as mistaken. I sometimes feel this way when I think about my sister, though I was not the person who actually convinced her to become a hard-core Christian by way of Seventh-Day Adventism. I was actually non-denominational and for the most part avoided churches, but I know that I probably influenced her over the course of many years. I am left unable to do anything about it, since she now relies on her church life to an extent that she might not fare will without it. I’m just glad that I was never much of a proselytizer. My guilty feelings are rare and mild. But it’s something you may want to consider seriously, especially if you’re raising children.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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[quote author=“homunculus”][quote author=“Ted”]. . . If so, is that a responsibility only when someone tries to proselytize? . . .

Ted, picture in your imagination a future time when you’ve managed to free yourself of religious baggage. I realize you don’t see it as baggage, but you can go along with a thought experiment, right? One day something jogs your memory and you think back to past successes you may have had witnessing to others. Suddenly you’re overcome with guilt feelings because you realize that you’re unable to undo what you now see as mistaken. I sometimes feel this way when I think about my sister, though I was not the person who actually convinced her to become a hard-core Christian by way of Seventh-Day Adventism. I was actually non-denominational and for the most part avoided churches, but I know that I probably influenced her over the course of many years. I am left unable to do anything about it, since she now relies on her church life to an extent that she might not fare will without it. I’m just glad that I was never much of a proselytizer. My guilty feelings are rare and mild. But it’s something you may want to consider seriously, especially if you’re raising children.

I understand the guilt associated with giving someone bad advice, and I am sorry for your pain.  Really.

Salt Creek wrote, “Proselytization, in effect, makes you responsible for eradicating the cognitive dissonance experienced by the believer in the face of atheism.”

I responded, “Okay. So, I understand you to say that it is the responsibility of the atheist to show the religious that he/she is off/wrong/kooky when the religious try to prselytize the atheist. Have I understood that correctly?

If so, is that a responsibility only when someone tries to proselytize?”

My understanding of SC was that if you (an atheist) find yourself the subject of a religionists attempt at proseltyzation, then you (the atheist) are responsible for relieving the religionist of his or her cognitive dissonance.  So my questions was, is that the responsibility of an atheist ONLY when being proselytized, or is it the responsibility of an atheist to remove the coggnitive dissonance from every religionist?

If you have not perceived it by now, I am trying to establish an understanding of the material difference between proselyzation and “eradicating cognitive dissonance”.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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Ted, it warms my heart to see you wondering about this question.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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[quote author=“homunculus”]Ted, it warms my heart to see you wondering about this question.

Thanks!  Does that mean you don’t know, don’t want to answer, or that I have not clearly communicated that I am asking direct questions of you (and SC)?

What is the difference between religious proselyzation and atheistic “eradicating cognitive dissonance”?

Is it the responsibility of an atheist to eradicate cognitive dissonance of religionists whether or not the atheist finds himself or herself the subject of an attempted proselyzation?

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Posted: 24 February 2007 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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[quote author=“Ted”]
[quote author=“homunculus”]Ted, it warms my heart to see you wondering about this question.

Thanks!  Does that mean you don’t know, don’t want to answer, or that I have not clearly communicated that I am asking direct questions of you (and SC)?

What is the difference between religious proselytization and atheistic “eradicating cognitive dissonance”?

Is it the responsibility of an atheist to eradicate cognitive dissonance of religionists whether or not the atheist finds himself or herself the subject of an attempted proselytization?

Responsibilities are taken on by individuals as they see fit, Ted. My only point in this matter is that it would be a shame for a person in his/her younger years, in attempting to “do good,” to instead cause him/herself later grief as a result of guilt feelings. I’m not intentionally avoiding your questions. The reason I said that it warms my heart is that you, a believer, are taking the words of atheists seriously in matters of ethical consideration. Most unusual, it seems to me, and sort of surprising.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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andonstop? What the heck are you doing spreading this rumour that I choose to have a belief about anihilation at death because I have no facts?  There is one basic fact in regard to this conclusion about the nature of death, but you are choosing to ignore it.  Is that how you can apparently still choose the afterlife even in the face of complete anihilation, by ignoring a few facts?

I said previously that in order to be alive, a physical body must be in constant motion (at minimum internally, but perhaps externally as well).  By motion, I mean the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, and the neurological system to name a few examples of how motion must in FACT play an essential role in keeping any body alive. Perhaps you can deny this FACT, but that seems impossible to me.  Now conscious activity is just another of the systems (motive) that a living body will produce.  In order to be conscious of something, I must, as a living body, direct my cognitive attention toward something (either internal or external or linguistic - to name a few options).  But my ability to attend to something is a FACT of my body & brain being in some sort of active process.  So in order to be alive, motions, self-sustaining motions, must of necessity be occuring continuously.

Death is the stopping of these motions.  WHen the body dies and its motive capacity is fully compromised, then all of the systems that worked in the living state will cease to function.  Conscious activity, as one of the sub-systems of a holistic living system, is no longer possible after the living has ceased.  Deceased means a stopping of the necessary motions.  All of these statements are FACTS that cannot be disputed.  Only those who believe in the existence of consciousness or mind as something disembodied can continue to talk about some sort of “self” continuing after death.  There’s another FACT, in order to speak about an afterlife, the speaker must invent new entities (like a soul or an eternity) that will provide the semantic place to speculate about such imaginings (mostly nonsense).  And that is what you, andonstop, are doing in your strange idea that you can choose to believe in either anihilation or an afterlife.  You are ignoring the FACTS and then you are accusing me of having no facts, meanwhile you have already made up something soul-like that provides you with the capacity to continue talking (and choosing) even after you are dead.

I don’t like your method andonstop.  You are spreading stupid rumours for no apparent reason except perhaps to make me look stupid.  Actually, I don’t need your help on that score, because I can be pretty stupid all on my own.

Bob

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Posted: 24 February 2007 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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[quote author=“andonstop”][quote author=“Occam’s Razor”][quote author=“andonstop”]My question to you is, when there can be no factual basis for your faith regarding afterlife, why would you choose annihilation?


This is ‘Pascal’s wager’, isn’t it? ie The consequences if god does exist and you don’t believe in him are are much worse than if he doesn’t and you do…therefore I’ll believe, just to be on the safe side, like…

Actually not that deep, Occam. As I explained in an earlier post,  CanZen’s response to my question about his belief regarding afterlife was, “Once death comes the anihilistic force destroys the holistic nature of being . . . and nothing remains.” Since this belief cannot be based on fact, the only conclusion could be CanZen had made a conscious choice to believe he will be annihilated.

Hmm. The way it looked to me was that if you have an idea of what happens after death that ‘cannot be based on fact’, which you do, then you’re basing it on something other than fact. You’re hoping (you don’t know for a fact, remember?) that by professing faith in Jesus you’ll avoid annhilation and enjoy eternal life. Now if you’re right about Jesus then you’re laughing all the way to the cloud and the poor atheists are screwed - and if you’re wrong then at least you’re not getting any less eternal life than the atheists. Sounds kinda like Pascal’s wager to me.

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Posted: 24 February 2007 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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I agree completely Occam’s Razor.  The imaginary concepts involved are pretty well the same and the idea of eternal life is the whole crux of the matter for Pascal, as well as the lack of evidence (facts).  I don’t know why andonstop is arguing with you, maybe he doesn’t like Pascal and doesn’t wish to be associated with the one who took his wager??  Maybe the “gamble” aspect makes it look so frivolous to andonstop - and it is of course.

Bob

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Posted: 24 February 2007 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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Occam’s Razor wrote:

You’re hoping (you don’t know for a fact, remember?) that by professing faith in Jesus you’ll avoid annhilation and enjoy eternal life.

Not exactly. He will still be annhilated (by his definition), but hopes to enjoy eternal life afterwards.

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Posted: 25 February 2007 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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[quote author=“CanZen”]I agree completely Occam’s Razor.  The imaginary concepts involved are pretty well the same and the idea of eternal life is the whole crux of the matter for Pascal, as well as the lack of evidence (facts).  I don’t know why andonstop is arguing with you, maybe he doesn’t like Pascal and doesn’t wish to be associated with the one who took his wager??  Maybe the “gamble” aspect makes it look so frivolous to andonstop - and it is of course.
Bob

If Irecall, Pascal used his wager as a negative example.  Agreeing with the wager is a weasly ass covering cop-out.  To quote the prayer of the sufi saint Rabia, “Lord, if I worship thee from fear of hell, cast me into hell.  If I worship thee from desire of heaven, deny me heaven.”

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Posted: 25 February 2007 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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[quote author=“CanZen”]andonstop? What the heck are you doing spreading this rumour that I choose to have a belief about anihilation at death because I have no facts?  There is one basic fact in regard to this conclusion about the nature of death, but you are choosing to ignore it.  Is that how you can apparently still choose the afterlife even in the face of complete anihilation, by ignoring a few facts?

I said previously that in order to be alive, a physical body must be in constant motion (at minimum internally, but perhaps externally as well).  By motion, I mean the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, and the neurological system to name a few examples of how motion must in FACT play an essential role in keeping any body alive. Perhaps you can deny this FACT, but that seems impossible to me.  Now conscious activity is just another of the systems (motive) that a living body will produce.  In order to be conscious of something, I must, as a living body, direct my cognitive attention toward something (either internal or external or linguistic - to name a few options).  But my ability to attend to something is a FACT of my body & brain being in some sort of active process.  So in order to be alive, motions, self-sustaining motions, must of necessity be occuring continuously.

Death is the stopping of these motions.  WHen the body dies and its motive capacity is fully compromised, then all of the systems that worked in the living state will cease to function.  Conscious activity, as one of the sub-systems of a holistic living system, is no longer possible after the living has ceased.  Deceased means a stopping of the necessary motions.  All of these statements are FACTS that cannot be disputed.  Only those who believe in the existence of consciousness or mind as something disembodied can continue to talk about some sort of “self” continuing after death.  There’s another FACT, in order to speak about an afterlife, the speaker must invent new entities (like a soul or an eternity) that will provide the semantic place to speculate about such imaginings (mostly nonsense).  And that is what you, andonstop, are doing in your strange idea that you can choose to believe in either anihilation or an afterlife.  You are ignoring the FACTS and then you are accusing me of having no facts, meanwhile you have already made up something soul-like that provides you with the capacity to continue talking (and choosing) even after you are dead.

I don’t like your method andonstop.  You are spreading stupid rumours for no apparent reason except perhaps to make me look stupid.  Actually, I don’t need your help on that score, because I can be pretty stupid all on my own.

Bob

[smiling] I like your humility, CanZen, but I feel I can pretty well assure you, based on our discussions, that you are and have been anything but stupid.

I think our agreeable disagreement boils down to this: you think the human body is life, I think the human body is merely a temporary vehicle for life.

Your thinking to me parallels those who once thought the earth was flat and the center of the universe. It was not from stupidity they thought that, it was from intelligent conclusions based on the facts they knew. I think you will agree erroneous conclusions can be made from true facts.

This could be all part of the Master Plan. When you reawaken in your next vehicle, your faith will very likely become stronger than mine because so often those who have questioned more strongly become more certain when finally convinced.

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Posted: 25 February 2007 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”]If Irecall, Pascal used his wager as a negative example.  Agreeing with the wager is a weasly ass covering cop-out.  To quote the prayer of the sufi saint Rabia, “Lord, if I worship thee from fear of hell, cast me into hell.  If I worship thee from desire of heaven, deny me heaven.”

I have never heard a better prayer, burt. Thank you.

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Posted: 26 February 2007 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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You are partly correct andonstop, but I do not think that the body (the conceived material thing) IS life, no, according to the facts that we presently know to be true, it is more precisely the MOTION that is factually evident in the body that IS life.  I guess the analogy with the wagon is still apt (to a degree), I need the wheels (the motion) in my body (vehicle) in order to be alive (to work/function), while you’re still set on that pair of wings (the spirit/god) in order to be alive.  You see the difference is that I am depending on what we know to be true in order to come to my (so far, so good) conclusions, while you are depending on what you hope and imagine to be true to come to your conclusions.

Maybe the hopes/imaginings can result in a more “perfected” vision, but what good is such a vision if it has no basis in truth?  I want to know the truth, that is my primary MOTIVation and it gives me eMOTIVe satisfaction to know that I am not deluding myself.  Perhaps people like you and burt don’t need that sort of authentic experience in order to be satisfied, you are the ones who put wings on their wagons and expect them to work, when everybody knows just by an intuitive sense of how physical and motive forces operate that winged wagons don’t actually work.

I guess it hasn’t been explicitly stated although the subtext is there in all of my postings on this thread . . .  what I’m attempting to make plausible is that the thing that religious people are mistaking for a god is the obvious fact of motion itself.  I’ve already equated the idea of motion with the nature of spacetime and JustThis has given us a series of quotes from Einstein, Schroedinger, and Eddington that make it obvious to these physicists that the entire material world is merely a construct of conscious activity (motion).  These physicists agree that thing we call the material realm and all of its qualitative aspects (colour, form, smell, taste, texture, etc.) are produced mostly in our heads even while that evidence can be corroborated by measurements of certain phenomenal presences themselves.  Ultimately the world that we know as the physical dimension is just a dynamic mirage evolving in a constant spacetime environment - and we are merely riders of that cosmic storm.

IN order to actually understand the universal motion that manifests as spacetime, a person might have to travel through the cosmic “looking glass” that is our secondary motive aspect, conscious activity (the primary motive aspect is that of life itself).  It’s still a mystery to me, but at least this mystery is built on the truth of what is actually known in some conclusive domains and then taken specualtively to new vistas.  What burt and you are attempting is the opposite view, you first of all postulate an ultimate truth (god) and from there you attempt to work backwards in order to explain your situatedness in the world.  If some new fact is discovered about the world, then you have two options 1)  you can choose to ignore the facts (andonstop is an expert at this), or 2) you can tweak the god postulate so that it fits more comfortably with what we know is true (you are both experts at that).  Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were all three talking about the same thing, but it’s going to take a good deal more tweaking . . .  and you both know that I don’t like to tweak with my truths unless someone gives me good evidence to do so.

I’m not sure however if andonstop and burt are on the same page though.  If Pascal’s wager (let’s call it wager #2) is about accepting anihilation (no god) or a belief in an afterlife (with god), and andonstop has admitted that this is his cosmic choice, then burt has just described his pal as a “weasly, ass-covering cop-out” because of andonstop’s opting for the afterlife choice.

Bob

ps.  That prayer is only as good as the slave who is shackled by his own untruths.

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