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Question for Atheists (+BM)

 
Nick_A
 
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Nick_A
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05 April 2012 14:16
 

Very few, if any, appreciated the natural beneficial relationship relationship between the atheist and believer. Probably just this suggestion gives the impression of my being deranged. However Simone Weil, in her usal laconic fashion, allows one to experience the potential for this relationship.

Simone Weil was a celebrated French Marxist and social activist who died a Christian mystic. Leon Trotsky admired her intelligence and she became an intellectual influence on Pope Paul V1.

Albert Camus wrotein 1951:

Simone Weil, I still know this now, is the only great mind of our times and I hope that those who realize this have enough modesty to not try to appropriate her overwhelming witnessing.

For my part, I would be satisfied if one could say that in my place, with the humble means at my disposal, I served to make known and disseminate her work whose full impact we have yet to measure.

She wrote:

Religion in so far as it is a source of consolation is a hindrance to true faith; and in this sense atheism is a purification. I have to be an atheist with that part of myself which is not made for God. Among those in whom the supernatural part of themselves has not been awakened, the atheists are right and the believers wrong.
- Simone Weil, Faiths of Meditation; Contemplation of the divine
the Simone Weil Reader, edited by George A. Panichas (David McKay Co. NY 1977) p 417

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened? This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

[ Edited: 18 July 2012 05:08 by Nhoj Morley]
 
SkepticX
 
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05 April 2012 14:23
 
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened?

Many of us are apostates, so this isn’t terribly impressive. But have you turned your question around and aimed it your way, by any chance ... and not just given it lip service?

 

Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

Do you have anything to offer in support of this notion that’s not an appeal to (archaic) authority or just a pure empty assertion, by any chance?

I’d be willing to wager that a large number of us are about 14 steps ahead of you on this one ...

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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05 April 2012 14:44
 

Can’t see him for the dust of our passage.

 
 
Nick_A
 
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Nick_A
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05 April 2012 14:56
 
SkepticX - 05 April 2012 12:23 PM
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened?

Many of us are apostates, so this isn’t terribly impressive. But have you turned your question around and aimed it your way, by any chance ... and not just given it lip service?

 

Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

Do you have anything to offer in support of this notion that’s not an appeal to (archaic) authority or just a pure empty assertion, by any chance?

I’d be willing to wager that a large number of us are about 14 steps ahead of you on this one ...

I hope they are ahead of me. I welcome the chance to learn. But the beginning has to be a willingness to open to the idea that opening to a potential human connection with higher consciousness cannot come through a psychologicl attachment to daily societal life described by Plato as if in a cave reacting to shadows on the wall.

It takes humility and the need for something more than daily life offers for a person to be willing to open to a quality of reason the ancients new as “pondering.”  Without the need to open and the humility making it possible, personal verification is impossible.

Simone is suggesting that because atheists are often highly efficient in daily life has nothing to do with objective human meaning and potential..

 
GAD
 
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05 April 2012 15:39
 
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened? This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

No I don’t have the humility but I do have the balls to call bullshit bullshit, so bullshit.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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05 April 2012 15:40
 
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:56 PM

I hope they are ahead of me. I welcome the chance to learn. But the beginning has to be a willingness to open to the idea that opening to a potential human connection with higher consciousness cannot come through a psychologicl attachment to daily societal life described by Plato as if in a cave reacting to shadows on the wall.

It takes humility and the need for something more than daily life offers for a person to be willing to open to a quality of reason the ancients new as “pondering.”  Without the need to open and the humility making it possible, personal verification is impossible.

Simone is suggesting that because atheists are often highly efficient in daily life has nothing to do with objective human meaning and potential..

It does take humility to think critically, absolutely. The humility that most people have trouble with is the humility to accept our personal sentiments and intuitions and such have to be subordinate to actual evidence and data and reasoning and such (the way we know the cosmos functions), and that our personal sentiments are in no way binding upon the cosmos. Reality is under no obligation to accommodate us in any way, shape or form.

Why do you think the “need for something more than daily life offers” in required to be open to reason, and what do you mean by this “quality of reason the ancients knew as ‘pondering’”? That sounds like a way to say “if you’re not on the Kool-Aid then you’re not biased in the ‘right’ way to ‘understand’ what I’m on about here” (or in other words, if you don’t agree with me then you don’t get it).

First you have to define “supernatural” and “higher consciousness”, actually. If you’re talking about notions that have no reference to reality, even in theory, then you’re talking about null concepts—ideas with no applied or objective meaning (not real, basically).

 
 
Mike78
 
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Mike78
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05 April 2012 15:49
 

It takes humility and the need for something more than daily life offers for a person to be willing to open to a quality of reason the ancients new as “pondering.”  Without the need to open and the humility making it possible, personal verification is impossible.

Thinking you are meant for something better than what daily life offers has something to do with humility?  Don’t think so.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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05 April 2012 15:52
 
SkepticX - 05 April 2012 01:40 PM
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:56 PM

Why do you think the “need for something more than daily life offers” in required to be open to reason, and what do you mean by this “quality of reason the ancients knew as ‘pondering’”? That sounds like a way to say “if you’re not on the Kool-Aid then you’re not biased in the ‘right’ way to ‘understand’ what I’m on about here” (or in other words, if you don’t agree with me then you don’t get it).

First you have to define “supernatural” and “higher consciousness”, actually. If you’re talking about notions that have no reference to reality, even in theory, then you’re talking about null concepts—ideas with no applied or objective meaning (not real, basically).

Yup.  I also think you have to define the cave.
And you have to do so successfully without resorting to special pleading, other fallacious thinking, or sourcing specific scripture (unless you want to go down the rabbit-trail of qualifying which scripture is worthy of consideration, and which is not.)

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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05 April 2012 15:59
 

People can and do imagine/think beyond the immediate, they can extrapolate, or create whole scenarios that are influenced by but go beyond that which impacts their lives; they can to a degree put themselves into someone else’s shoes; they can conjure up whole worlds with no existence in their reality.  As a result, we learned how to fly, to go across oceans and space; to cure some diseases and physical injuries; to harness electricity and tap the energy of the atom.  Religion maybe in part such an effort, except that it tends to resist change, rather than promote it.

 
 
Nick_A
 
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Nick_A
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05 April 2012 16:01
 
GAD - 05 April 2012 01:39 PM
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened? This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

No I don’t have the humility but I do have the balls to call bullshit bullshit, so bullshit.

Well at least you’re honest. I am concerned with relating with those more open minded and able to contemplate their potential limitations.

 
GAD
 
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05 April 2012 16:05
 
Dennis Campbell - 05 April 2012 01:59 PM

People can and do imagine/think beyond the immediate, they can extrapolate, or create whole scenarios that are influenced by but go beyond that which impacts their lives; they can to a degree put themselves into someone else’s shoes; they can conjure up whole worlds with no existence in their reality.  As a result, we learned how to fly, to go across oceans and space; to cure some diseases and physical injuries; to harness electricity and tap the energy of the atom.  Religion maybe in part such an effort, except that it tends to resist change, rather than promote it.

Religion resists change because it is the truth and the truth doesn’t change, even when it is wrong.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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05 April 2012 16:06
 
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 02:01 PM
GAD - 05 April 2012 01:39 PM
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened? This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

No I don’t have the humility but I do have the balls to call bullshit bullshit, so bullshit.

Well at least you’re honest. I am concerned with relating with those more open minded and able to contemplate their potential limitations.


Our “potential limitations” aren’t delimited by scripture, though that is too often the claim.  When Morg gazed at the stars and the medicine man of the tribe derided him since they are obviously just holes in the sky through which the spirits watched us, he was saying “accept what you see.”  Morg did not do so.

 
 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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05 April 2012 16:09
 
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 02:01 PM
GAD - 05 April 2012 01:39 PM
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened? This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

No I don’t have the humility but I do have the balls to call bullshit bullshit, so bullshit.

Well at least you’re honest. I am concerned with relating with those more open minded and able to contemplate their potential limitations.

“Relating” how? You want a bunch of confirmed atheists to say…Hey, maybe I’ve closed myself off to God all this time?

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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05 April 2012 16:13
 
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 02:01 PM
GAD - 05 April 2012 01:39 PM
Nick_A - 05 April 2012 12:16 PM

Do you have the humility to admit the possibility that you have a supernatural part that has not yet opened? This part if it exists is unnecessary for our daily lives described as within Plato’s cave but yet is what makes human conscious evolution into the “New Man” as described in the Gospels, a human potential?

No I don’t have the humility but I do have the balls to call bullshit bullshit, so bullshit.

Well at least you’re honest. I am concerned with relating with those more open minded and able to contemplate their potential limitations.

By open minded you mean those who accept baseless claims for fear of being deemed to lack humility.

 
 
Nick_A
 
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Nick_A
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05 April 2012 16:17
 

Sceptic asks what consciousness is and

Why do you think the “need for something more than daily life offers” in required to be open to reason, and what do you mean by this “quality of reason the ancients knew as ‘pondering’”? That sounds like a way to say “if you’re not on the Kool-Aid then you’re not biased in the ‘right’ way to ‘understand’ what I’m on about here” (or in other words, if you don’t agree with me then you don’t get it).

First of all I don’t know if you are open to the concept of consciousness without content as distinguished from its contents. Without being open to this concept, nothing further can be explained. Jacob Needleman gives a good description in his book “A Sense of the Cosmos.”

http://www.rawpaint.com/library/jneedleman/jnch1d.html

Being open to consciousness without content and content becoming results of the interactions of universal planes on distinct cosmplogical levels. then the question of the supernatural becomes related to consciousness. As usual Simone gives a vivid description

“The sea is not less beautiful to our eye because we know that sometimes ships sink in it. On the contrary, it is more beautiful still. If the sea modified the movement of its waves to spare a boat, it would be a being possessing discernment and choice, and not this fluid that is perfectly obedient to all external pressures. It is this perfect obedience that is its beauty.”  “All the horrors that are produced in this world are like the folds imprinted on the waves by gravity. This is why they contain beauty. Sometimes a poem, like the Iliad, renders this beauty.”  “Man can never escape obedience to God. A creature cannot not obey. The only choice offered to man as an intelligent and free creature, is to desire obedience or not to desire it. If he does not desire it, he perpetually obeys nevertheless, as a thing subject to mechanical necessity. If he does desire obedience, he remains subject to mechanical necessity, but a new necessity is added on, a necessity constituted by the laws that are proper to supernatural things. Certain actions become impossible for him, while others happen through him, sometimes despite him.”  Excerpt from: Thoughts without order concerning the love of God, in an essay entitled L’amour de Dieu et le malheur (The Love of God and affliction). Simone Weil

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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05 April 2012 16:17
 

I do my level best to remain open to new information, new experience and better reasoning. Including that which may challenge my current definitions. I’m quite certain that there are an endless supply of mysteries for me to explore. I don’t really regard this as humility (although you are free to do so if you like of course) Its more like a healthy spirit of exploration and adventure. A sense of joy and wonder at the unknown.

And I’ve really tried with religion. I was raised a christian and did everything I could to make it work. Praying, singing, studying, getting deprogrammed by youth pastors, dunked in cold water and so forth. So I must be forthright with you that its rather trying to be asked such questions. The veiled presumption being that a non believer is someone who never gave religion a fair shake. That is overwhelmingly untrue as a generalization. I tried for over twenty years, with everything I had. And its the same with a majority of people I meet at atheist gatherings.

And to be honest with you, opening the floor with something like that really feels like projection. If we consider an aggregate of religious believers world wide what percentage of them have ever seriously reflected on the possible truth of confessions outside their own local favorite? I would accept any credible positive evidence but I think we both know the answer. The more culturally isolated a community is the more dominant and unchallenged is its religious tradition. This could be pure coincidence but it also could be pointing to something intrinsic about the nature of faith. Admitting the possibility of error is an unspoken fundamental of a scientific perspective. While being the anathema of religious authority.

I honestly think the burden rest on whoever makes the claim. Not the one who asks for better reasons.

[ Edited: 05 April 2012 16:22 by Brick Bungalow]
 
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