Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Sullust

Left Behind.

Recommended Posts

Originally Posted By: FnordCola
So...animals, and even other humans are also ineffable? In that case, why is divine ineffability a distinctive or meaningful quality? We've essentially defined ineffability/incomprehensibility away to nothing if any being that is not the self in question has that attribute.


Yeah, just like saying heat has no meaning because everything has it... oh wait.

It's a matter of scale. Ineffability is a relative quality - one's ability to speak of the word is directly proportional to one's vocabulary and knowledge of the world. Some things are harder to describe or know than others. As a sidenote, it's never been my argument that all things are ineffable - just that the quality is no way unique to hypothetical entities.

As far as I'm concerned, divine ineffability neither has or needs any other quality to set it apart. How meaningful it is entirely contingent on the matter at hand. Sometimes, admitting that you can't tell why things happen is fundamental to progress.

My original gripe with your statement came from the fact that you gave way too much weight to a singular attribute being human, and/or too little weight on what omniscience implies. My argument is that from the viewpoint of non-omniscient operator, you can't make informed assessments about the morality of an omniscient entity; the gap in knowledge and perspective overshadows any ostensible similarity in basic psyche. This, in my mind, justifies the "strange are the Lord's ways" argument.

Unless you yourself start reaching for omniscient levels of knowledge, the best you can hope for is whatever the greater entity happens to tell you. If one accepts, say, the New Testament as such revelation, then that's it. The God tells you he's a loving person, and you aren't in the position to second-guess him.

You could always assume that he's lying - which is why I think the New Testament stresses its apocalyptic nature and importance of faith. You can always choose to not have faith and assume the worst - I've yet to see a world-view that isn't robbed of meaning at the face of such nihilism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surrpised no one mentioned greek gods yet. Or say they are greek just moved to the us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Goldenking
We have no record of any actual immortals,


What about that cheerleader from Heroes huh? tongue

I wasn't actually trying to form a coherent or robust argument earlier, partially because I don't care enough about the subject (after already making my own mind up), but my post does have some merit, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Lilith
Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
I also think it would be easy to make the argument that not all of our personal identity is really essentially us, that a lot of things are indeed tied to the physical state of the brain and get lost with our bodies, but that some essential things hang out with consciousness instead.


honestly this just seems like wishful thinking to me. how do we pick and choose what parts of us are really us and what parts aren't?


It's like that with the Bible! You have one group saying that they believe one part of the Bible but this other part. Or that they agree with what one part says but not some other spot. I was under the suspicion that the ENTIRE Bible is God's Word. If you can trust what He says in one spot...why not the other?
You can't just say that you believe that God is Love and Forgiveness without also believing that God is Justice, Jealous, and Patience.

Post #545 cool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Lier Beneath the Silent Skies
You can interpret different bits of it differently.


Let's say that there's about 7 or 8 verses that talk about Believing and being baptized to be Saved and about 2 or 3 that talk about being Baptized to be Saved. You have to look at the entire picture and not base your beliefs on those 2 or 3 verses while neglecting the others.

Post #547 cool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully, we'll soon be able to figure out where consciousness comes from, measure it, and pin down its brain structures. I think we should all get our stories straight now, and then when the truth is found out the person who guessed right can laugh at the rest of us.

 

I for one think consciousness is just distributed neurons measuring neurons. If there was a full brain structure for consciousness it must have been very well hidden. But we can look at animals with few neurons, like jellyfish or starfish, and move up the taxonomic tree through reptiles and birds and monkeys to humans. And clearly more conscious things have more brain. Clearly drugs that affect cognition do so by affecting the brain. Therefore consciousness is distributed and has a real basis in the brain.

 

Although I will concede that there is counterevidence, that removing even a substantial part of the brain can sometimes leave a person functional, and their personality intact.

 

===

 

 

Originally Posted By: Goldenking
Now, hold on. We don't just gain understanding by making comparison of things that are the same. To the contrary, it is through contrasting of unlike things that we learn a lot about things. 'Hot', for instance, is meaningless if we compare only amongst things that are of the same temperature; it is only when we add in the element of cold that the concept of 'hot' gains any meaning. We have to know the other in order to know the same.

But you have nerves that, one way or another, perceive heat. Some of us have been saying that, if God is all the Bible says he is, and if human minds are of a different origin than God's mind, then there's no sensible way of comparing or contrasting. Comparing a God's mind to a human's mind isn't like comparing hot to cold; it's like comparing hot to math, or maybe to a drawing of a fish, or maybe to a drawing of something undrawable.

 

To all:

So let's suppose God's mind is comprehendable and comparable to that of a human mind, because one of those minds made the other. Then what does a God think about? Not food, right? Why does he really think about resting? Apparently he needs rest. For an unfettered omnipotent abstract being, he seems to need many arbitrary things: one day of rest and worship for seven days of work, three days to resurrect his son, ten people in a city full of sinners, seven plagues. And does it take time for him to think? Why is his favorite number seven? Why does he have a gender? Asking these sorts of questions makes this mind of God seem like an imperfect system. I can understand something tangible having physical limitations, but why would there be limitations or arbitrary constants that keep on reappearing?

 

===

 

I guess what I'm getting at is, if most of what I say is right, and if God is conscious and has humanlike thought, there must be a God neural network floating around somewhere. And if God is as arbitrary as he seems, then it must be a biological brain with physical limitations. But that's silly to think about, nobody wants that and nobody says that. Hopefully if God's brain network exists, it's mostly network and very little interconnected neurons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
But this seems perverse to me, since it hardly seems to be the case that exact continuity of my physical body is necessary for me to remain me. My atoms are indistinguishable from other atoms. If I stub my toe I lose some of them. Supposing I had surgery to remove a brain tumor, I would lose some presumably more important ones. I'd still be me.

In other words, I am not exactly a pattern, but a class of patterns. But this is redundant, because that's what all patterns are.


on the other hand, if you hold that having a certain degree of resemblance to you is enough for an entity to be you, then you have to hold that if there are two sufficiently similar copies of a particular object, both of them are actually the same object. that's a bullet i am unprepared to bite, especially since we don't use that standard for determining identity in anything other than people. if you and i both own a black 2007 Honda Civic, we'd say that your car and my car are both the same model of car, but we wouldn't say that your car is my car -- even though your Civic is more similar to my Civic than me-at-age-24 is to me-at-age-12.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Lilith
Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
But this seems perverse to me, since it hardly seems to be the case that exact continuity of my physical body is necessary for me to remain me. My atoms are indistinguishable from other atoms. If I stub my toe I lose some of them. Supposing I had surgery to remove a brain tumor, I would lose some presumably more important ones. I'd still be me.

In other words, I am not exactly a pattern, but a class of patterns. But this is redundant, because that's what all patterns are.


on the other hand, if you hold that having a certain degree of resemblance to you is enough for an entity to be you, then you have to hold that if there are two sufficiently similar copies of a particular object, both of them are actually the same object. that's a bullet i am unprepared to bite, especially since we don't use that standard for determining identity in anything other than people. if you and i both own a black 2007 Honda Civic, we'd say that your car and my car are both the same model of car, but we wouldn't say that your car is my car -- even though your Civic is more similar to my Civic than me-at-age-24 is to me-at-age-12.

I don't mind the implications of this. Sarachim 2011 is more reliable, has more features, and looks nicer than previous versions. A definite upgrade, even if the warranty is a bit shorter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Metatron
For an unfettered omnipotent abstract being, he seems to need many arbitrary things:

His 'needs' are only ascribed to him. The old Biblical writers wrote about what they knew. Even today we can not comprehend the mind of God, how do you think they felt? They just ascribed to God things they they themselves felt or thought.

Quote:
one day of rest and worship for seven days of work,
It was six days of work and the seventh was His 'rest' day. He didn't realy need to rest, he was setting up the future calander for the Hebrews to live by.

Quote:
three days to resurrect his son,
It was prophesied that Jesus would be in the heart of the Earth for 3 days. Matthew 12:39

Quote:
ten people in a city full of sinners,
God knew that Abraham would never be able to get even 10 righteous people out of Sodom and Gomorrah, but He knew that for Abraham's sake that Abraham would at least have to try.
It's like learning from your mistakes. You can tell your kid not to do something. Sometimes they listen, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes they just have to learn on their own that life has consequences to their actions.
This story of Sodom and Gomorrah is found in Genesis Ch 19.

Quote:
seven plagues.
I believe you're refering to the ten plagues of Egypt. God used the plagues for three purposes.
1. To show His power to the Egyptians. The Egyptians would need to be weakened in order for the future state of Israel to thrive.
2. To show his power to the Israelites. Many Israelites had begun to serve the pagan gods of the Egyptians. The plagues were used against the Egyptians to show the Israelites that the Hebrew God is more powerful than any Egyptian God.
3. To show his power to other nearby countries. When the Israelites did leave Egypt, they didn't know how to fight (for the most part). News of the plagues was sure to spread to nearby countries. They would not dare attack them for fear that the same thing might hapen to them.

Quote:
And does it take time for him to think?
I would think not. I haven't come across a passage in the Bible where God needs time to think.

Quote:
Why is his favorite number seven?
I guess everything revolved around the Creation. It took 7 days, so I guess the number 7 just stuck.

Quote:
Why does he have a gender?
He is ascribed gender by the early Biblical writers. In essence, God has no gender but retains the characteristics of both seeing as both male and female were created by God.

Quote:
Asking these sorts of questions makes this mind of God seem like an imperfect system. I can understand something tangible having physical limitations, but why would there be limitations or arbitrary constants that keep on reappearing?
Trying to put human emotions or behaviors into the mind of God is confusing. We will probably never know (this side of Heaven) how God's brain works. I'd say that it is something similar to ours but infinitely better.


Post #550 coolgrin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg

His 'needs' are only ascribed to him. The old Biblical writers wrote about what they knew. Even today we can not comprehend the mind of God, how do you think they felt? They just ascribed to God things they they themselves felt or thought.


what happened to believing all of the bible

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Lilith
what happened to believing all of the bible

Like the parts where Moses and Joshua command the sun to stop moving in the heavens so their forces can win a battle? H.G. Wells wrote about what would have happened. smile
Click to reveal..
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, meaning we get to keep moving after our reference frame stops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Lilith
Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg

His 'needs' are only ascribed to him. The old Biblical writers wrote about what they knew. Even today we can not comprehend the mind of God, how do you think they felt? They just ascribed to God things they they themselves felt or thought.


what happened to believing all of the bible


What does that have to do with what I said?

Post # 551 cool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg

What does that have to do with what I said?

 

Post # 551 cool

 

it sounds to me like you're giving things your own interpretation to fit what you're comfortable believing about God

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg
I was under the suspicion that the ENTIRE Bible is God's Word.




Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg

His 'needs' are only ascribed to him. The old Biblical writers wrote about what they knew. Even today we can not comprehend the mind of God, how do you think they felt? They just ascribed to God things they they themselves felt or thought.


Which is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing funnier than quoting the Bible at Christans and watching them trip up is quoting the Constitution at Libertarians and watching them trip up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately that fun stuff only works on Christians who have a rather crude theory of what the Bible is. Don't try it on a Jesuit, for example. They've had a few centuries to get their story straight.

 

About similarity and identity:

As Sarachim points out, we are all changing every moment, whether we like it or not. If subsequent versions of me differ, but remain the same in respect of being me, then clearly different versions of me can both be me.

 

Originally Posted By: Lilith

on the other hand, if you hold that having a certain degree of resemblance to you is enough for an entity to be you, then you have to hold that if there are two sufficiently similar copies of a particular object, both of them are actually the same object. that's a bullet i am unprepared to bite, especially since we don't use that standard for determining identity in anything other than people. if you and i both own a black 2007 Honda Civic, we'd say that your car and my car are both the same model of car, but we wouldn't say that your car is my car -- even though your Civic is more similar to my Civic than me-at-age-24 is to me-at-age-12.

 

I think you're begging the question by saying that I am "an object". Naively, at least, it would seem foolish to say that two very similar apples were the same apple. But it is reasonable to say that two sufficiently similar air pressure histories are the same tune.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A TIMELY REMINDER

 

Religion is not off limits as a conversation topic here. However, this is not the best place for detailed expositions of personal religious views, nor is it the best place to cross-examine those views.

 

Also, please remember that there may be many people here who disagree with your views, whether you are theist, atheist, or something else entirely. Therefore, it is polite to say "according to my views" or "according to the Bible" or "according to such-and-such a group" before stating things like "God did this" or "God does not exist". That makes it extra clear that you respect people whose opinions differ from yours, and is a great way to prevent flame wars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appologize for the delay in answering your question.

 

Originally Posted By: The Turtle Moves
Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg
I was under the suspicion that the ENTIRE Bible is God's Word.

 

 

 

Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg

His 'needs' are only ascribed to him. The old Biblical writers wrote about what they knew. Even today we can not comprehend the mind of God, how do you think they felt? They just ascribed to God things they they themselves felt or thought.

 

Which is it?

 

They are both true. There is no contradiction. According to Second Peter 1:21 God's Spirit moved upon the writers of the Bible. They could not fully comprehend what the Holy Spirit was telling them so they put in to words as best they understood what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell them. Does the original writer's (or even a later copier's) interpretation of what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell them mean that it is no longer God's Word?

I really do believe the entire Bible is true, but you still have to understand that these people lived thousands of years ago and didn't experience the things we do today. Also, the Bible was copied over and over by hand over the course of several centuries.

 

Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
<b>A TIMELY REMINDER</b>

 

Religion is not off limits as a conversation topic here. However, this is not the best place for detailed expositions of personal religious views, nor is it the best place to cross-examine those views.

 

Also, please remember that there may be many people here who disagree with your views, whether you are theist, atheist, or something else entirely. Therefore, it is polite to say "according to my views" or "according to the Bible" or "according to such-and-such a group" before stating things like "God did this" or "God does not exist". That makes it extra clear that you respect people whose opinions differ from yours, and is a great way to prevent flame wars.

 

Is this just a nice way to end to our discussions?

 

Post #552 cool

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Arch-Mage Solberg

They are both true. There is no contradiction. According to Second Peter 1:21 God's Spirit moved upon the writers of the Bible. They could not fully comprehend what the Holy Spirit was telling them so they put in to words as best they understood what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell them. Does the original writer's (or even a later copier's) interpretation of what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell them mean that it is no longer God's Word?
I really do believe the entire Bible is true, but you still have to understand that these people lived thousands of years ago and didn't experience the things we do today. Also, the Bible was copied over and over by hand over the course of several centuries.


So it's all true, including the bits that the authors got wrong due to their limited knowledge and understanding, and including the errors in translation and transcription? You really don't see the contradiction here?

Look, I have no problem with someone asserting that the Bible contains a distorted human interpretation of God's will--though I strongly disagree, there's at least a basis for debate. But to claim that the whole thing is God's Word and therefore true, while admitting that parts of it are obviously wrong, defies sense.

It also gives you a very convenient excuse to pick and choose. Which the various branches of the Abrahamic religions have been doing for millennia, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Solberg: Nope, no hidden meaning there, I meant just what I said. Soapboxes and interrogations stay out of the topic. Religious discussions inherently toe the line anyway, simply because people tend to have strong convictions related to them. So it is extra important to keep the tone respectful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What if God is actually a liar and evil? After all, we have only his word in the Bible that he's not petty, spiteful, and cruel for petty, spiteful cruelty's sake. Maybe it's all a hoax so he can laugh at puny mortals trying to appease him fruitlessly. How would anyone ever figure out that the joke's on us?

 

Of course, there's a brighter version as well. You can assume that God is benevolent and that the Bible is false. After all, we still have only God's word, and it's possible that the most benevolent thing to do was produce a Scripture containing falsehoods. Why? I have no idea, but I'm not omniscient. But it's possible that the whole point of the Bible is for people to reject it, pleasing God by doing so.

 

—Alorael, who finds both cases more plausible than the idea that the Bible is the literal truth and that God is evil but constrained by Scripture to treat those who follow its tenets exactly well. And if you stray, even slightly, you're doomed by a gleefully malevolent and omnipotent being who's even angrier because of hits constraints.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am somewhat relieved that this is still going on. And it is a lot more interesting to read through the different conversations going on than I had feared. Well done.

 

What I'd like to comment on is the sense-of-self-, or rather being-me-debate.

 

I would argue that we are all humans, no matter what we believe or don't. I would also argue that I find it still confusing to be attributed a field that says belief where apparently one cannot enter none but has to enter atheist as if that were just another religion. But that's beside the point.

 

What I simply don't get is what we are trying to convince one another of. While I absolutely adore rapier sharp battles of wits I always feel a bit brought down when it comes to convincing others of who's right, especially when it boils down to nitpicking every word that's been sent around. The boundaries between believing, knowing, believing to know or even hoping to believe to know are shallow at best. What it always boils down to is whence your belief system stems from: is it what somebody told you or is it something you distilled by critically thinking through what others told you?

 

In the first case the outcome is always dangerous, no matter what you believe in or what you believe to know. In the latter case, it could be argued, you are bent towards constantly checking what you think and believe. That's a good thing, if you ask me.

 

And if that thinking somewhere down the road leads to your personal conviction that there is no god ( or God for that matter) I think that's just as well. On the other hand, if all this critical thinking leads to your personal conviction that there has to be a god (see above) that's cool, too.

And neither conviction ought to be set in stone. We have to change during our lifetimes, probably as often as every moment. I'd be really appalled if my newborn (3rd child) wouldn't.

 

I guess this means we are always the sum of our past at any given moment, And as our past flies by with every thought or turn of the hand this certainly means we are prone to change of our behaviour and, in essence, what we are.

 

And you know what? What matters is not what we jot down as our religion in a questionnaire - it's what we want to do with our future. With everybody's future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: SoT
But this seems perverse to me, since it hardly seems to be the case that exact continuity of my physical body is necessary for me to remain me. My atoms are indistinguishable from other atoms. If I stub my toe I lose some of them. Supposing I had surgery to remove a brain tumor, I would lose some presumably more important ones. I'd still be me.

In other words, I am not exactly a pattern, but a class of patterns. But this is redundant, because that's what all patterns are.


Originally Posted By: SoT
I think you're begging the question by saying that I am "an object". Naively, at least, it would seem foolish to say that two very similar apples were the same apple. But it is reasonable to say that two sufficiently similar air pressure histories are the same tune.


Anyone who has had to watch a person change due to Alzheimer's and/or Dementia can tell you that someone suffering from it is a completely different person from who they were before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Dantius
The only thing funnier than quoting the Bible at Christans and watching them trip up is quoting the Constitution at Libertarians and watching them trip up.

That would depend entirely on how you define "libertarian."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: RCCCL

Anyone who has had to watch a person change due to Alzheimer's and/or Dementia can tell you that someone suffering from it is a completely different person from who they were before.

 

In fact I've never had this grief. But the way I would try my best to see it is: the person they were before simply goes away. Gradually; there may be a little bit of them left for a long time. But it is not so much a change as a departure. To where, if anywhere, is the question that started this tangent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To play devil's advocate: I'm not sure that really confutes the aforementioned lens argument. It's possible that there exists a soul or essence in there that the brain's degeneration gradually occludes, and that this soul or essence survives death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: RCCCL
Anyone who has had to watch a person change due to Alzheimer's and/or Dementia can tell you that someone suffering from it is a completely different person from who they were before.
My mother works for this Jewish lady in her late 60's. The lady's children say she used to be kind and friendly before she got her Alzheimer's, but my mom sees none of it. The lady treats her like a slave, and absolutely HATES anyone with a dark skin color. If you read the bible in front of her, or even have it out, she will go nuts. She almost never sleeps, and she urinates and defecates way more than a normal person should, and she'll go off on you if she doesn't get what she wants (say, go outside while it's raining). There's much more bad stuff to it, but I'd rather not say.

I don't get how my mother can manage to not do something to her, she gets paid like its slave labor or something! But anyway, that's a pretty big difference compared to what that lady used to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Karoka
My mother works for this Jewish lady in her late 60's. The lady's children say she used to be kind and friendly before she got her Alzheimer's, but my mom sees none of it. The lady treats her like a slave, and absolutely HATES anyone with a dark skin color. If you read the bible in front of her, or even have it out, she will go nuts. She almost never sleeps, and she urinates and defecates way more than a normal person should, and she'll go off on you if she doesn't get what she wants (say, go outside while it's raining). There's much more bad stuff to it, but I'd rather not say.

I don't get how my mother can manage to not do something to her, she gets paid like its slave labor or something! But anyway, that's a pretty big difference compared to what that lady used to be.


To use a much less extreme example, it's a similar situation when meeting an old childhood friend. No, not that they have transformed into spiteful, racist, unreasonable insomniacs; rather, they have grown up, changing dramatically, since you last knew them. There may be a sliver of the person left who is still exactly as you remember, but it's still just a fraction of what is left.

People change over time. Sometimes quite drastically, and sometimes quite rapidly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Character changes can even be unambiguously positive. Sometimes bitter people get mellow, or timid people toughen up.

 

It's really dramatic with small children, in fact. It struck me a few years ago, when I noticed that our older daughter had definitely outgrown being a toddler, and was clearly a little girl instead. And there was even a certain grief in that recognition. The sunny, simple creature whom she had been as a toddler was gone, as irretrievably as if she had died. The child she had become was a very different person.

 

In fact, to a large degree she had become a person. Toddlers are still only halfway out of the baby stage in this respect, and babies are a lot like housepets. You get very fond of them, but it's not really a relationship with another person. There's a relatively short period in which children really become people, whom you can get to know and love as such.

 

But then the toddlers are really gone. It's possible to miss them, even though you'd never really want them back, because you would miss the children they've grown into a lot more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...