The Experience of God

The catch-all forum for general topics and debates. Minimal moderation. Rated PG to PG-13.
huckelberry
God
Posts: 1165
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:48 pm

Re: The Experience of God

Post by huckelberry »

dastardly stem wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:41 pm
huckelberry wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:43 am

Stem, there is perhaps a layer of your question which is not just silly as it appears to be on the surface. I did already propose a simple answer. By their nature mammals are more interesting than virus because the harmony of their potential is greater.

perhaps I could wonder what sort of damage god would have to have undergone to find paint drying as interesting as a play by Shakespeare?

I am willing to pause a bit to search in my mind for some place your question might make sense. Are you concerned about the role competition has in the scheme of things?
Hey Huckelberry...I'll be honest. I can't tell what we're saying anymore. You took issue with me saying something about God demands people worship him. I get the wording sounds problematic if we are to think God is good, but I can't figure out why its problematic other than people want to assume he's good. I can't see why believers worship God other than to please him. If they refuse to worship him (granted, as we said, worship can mean many things) does that not please him? Who knows? I guess. I might just keep thinking God demands worship, and hope to find a better way to express that concern of mine.
Stem, perhaps the reply of mine sounded a bit too grumpy. I did think that comparing paint drying and Shakespeare was worth a tiny chuckle.

perhaps I should have copied your questions to be able to keep a bit closer on track.

You asked :"If there is a God I would hope to see him care about something other than himself. That'd be nice to know. I also do not see why god would care about people more than say viruses, as I mentioned earlier. Its all his creation, according to many--even if Hart sees calling god a creator a big ol mistake. To Hart a Creator is not God. God, on his view, doesn't have creations for us to respect. For those who think God's a creator, is it worshipful for us to respect his creations like COVID 19? Or ALS? or sticker bushes? If we disrespect those how do we satisfy God's demand to respect him?

As per what God demands...I don't know. Its the way it comes off to me--God demands people worship him, according to religion as I've heard it. I still don't know how else to frame it. Why would it be reasonable and appropriate to worship him? Does he want or not want people to worship him? I honestly still can't tell how you view it. "
/////I will try to state how I view it.
If a person believes that God is creator, that he gives us the gift of life then unless one is in a state of hating life a certain gratitude is natural. If a person believes that connection to God is possible in terms of inspiration and guidance then I desire to listen would be natural. I think these are basic to what worship is or should be. People who worship believe there is a gift from God that they receive in worship. Because people believe that the gifts from God continue the purpose contained in our existing it would be natural for God to wish us to worship.

I had previously stated worship included respect for what God has created and you pointed out that such respect should fit the kind of respect God would have. You then asked how we would know Gods form of respect. He created small pox or covid and could well have respect for them. I observed that the kind of respect may fit the nature of the things in question. (which is more interesting paint drying or Shakespeare?)

I could extend this thought a bit. We of course do not see inside Gods caring so have no direct knowledge. I think the closest we could come is by being what we can truly be. That of course is a journey with incomplete answeres. I think the mode of consideration could work for great people and ordinary people .It could work for both mice and men. I would expect God would have respect for mice in accordance to their nature and potential. The same could be true of Small Pox even if part of its potential is to be eradicated by humans.
User avatar
DrStakhanovite
Deacon
Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:55 pm
Location: Cassius University

Re: The Experience of God

Post by DrStakhanovite »

Gadianton wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 3:09 am
In Hart's view (assuming you're aware of it), how does the failure of "materialism" to explain mind score a point for God?
I think the strategy is to undercut the explanatory power of the natural sciences to make atheism less appealing. I honestly think Hart has more or less succumbed to the apologetic mindset, where the “Great Religious Traditions” are in a zero sum contest with “Dogmatic Atheism” and anything that can be snatched from the purview of a smug atheist is a gain for the religious.

But as your comments are already pointing out, this isn’t how any of this actually plays out in the world of philosophy. I think this can be best demonstrated with a personal anecdote.

When I got to take philosophy of the mind, I went into it as a physicalist and came out of it a non-physicalist. What really changed my mind was a combination of Colin McGinn and Galen Strawson. I recall this time period because just after I had finished Colin’s ‘Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem?’ and a few hours later I saw the sexual harrasment allegations against him getting passed around (McGinn resigned his tenured position as a result).

Not long after my departure from physicalism, I was in a special topic seminar that focused on the metaphysics of personal identity and a philosopher from Calvin College named Kevin Corcoran was a guest presenter for one of our meetings. Dr. Corcoran published a book in 2006 called ‘Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul’ and his relevance to the course material was that he rejected the view that a person’s identity could be identified with either something like an immaterial soul or some kind of disembodied mind, but rather their material body. I had the opportunity to basically test my new found convictions about the broad failures of physicalism and so I threw everything I had at him.

You basically had an atheist philosophy student who was the acting secretary for his school’s chapter of the Secular Student Alliance at a public university getting his dialectical-butt kicked by a Christian philosopher who worked at a college named after John Calvin that was actively defending an explicit materialist position.

From the apologetic mindset, the above anecdote would be seen as a strange turn of events, but in the world of contemporary philosophy it is business as usual. The issues surrounding physicalism/materialism cannot reliably demarcate between atheists and theists, too many of each are to be found on either side.
Gadianton wrote:What is the best argument for God, in your opinion?
For a priori arguments, I think ontological arguments have the most going for them. For a posteriori arguments, Fine Tuning probably has the most going for it. Buddhism gets a really favorable reaction from a lot of atheist types when it comes to the metaphysics of personal identity.
Image
User avatar
Gadianton
God
Posts: 2148
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:56 pm

Re: The Experience of God

Post by Gadianton »

Reverend K wrote:Glowing review, Dean? A glowering review would be a negative one, no? One in which the reviewer is metaphorically glowering at the book and its author?
Indeed, you're right. I thought that word meant the same thing as glowing, and that's how it came out. But I see I was wrong about the definition.
Reverend K wrote:What Hart may inadvertently achieve is demonstrating that Orthodox theology already addressed many of those problems better than Mormonism could.
That's absolutely true. When Don comes back, I can share the link to James Faulconer's presentation at the Mormon philosophy club a couple years ago, which basically just says Mormonism doesn't address any philosophical problems at all. There's not a single reason why the New MI went the direction it did, but a chief reason, is that narrative theology or some continental knockoff stuff is really the only viable option for being taken seriously. I'm interested in how people like Don navigate being a Mormon while being heavily invested in classical theology.
Reverend K wrote:When it comes down to it, most physicalist arguments I have read did not resonate with my experience of life, and I don't see that it is necessary to hold such views to be a rational thinker and a decent human being.
Do non-physicalist argument resonate with you and your experiences in life? Stem posted a rebuttal to David Chalmers by Sean Carroll. Carroll gave a fair representation of Chalmers' argument I'd say, If you wanted to skim through it. Chalmers has the most aggressive argument against physicalism that I'm aware of. Do you find his thought experiment about zombies as something that resonates with your life experience? If not, then it's probably more accurate to say that the entire contemporary discussion about the mystery of consciousness probably doesn't intersect much with your life experience, in terms of the stakes of being a physicalist or nonphysicalist.

There are two broad distinctions in physicalism, reductive physicalism and supervenience physicalism. You can see DCP bring the word "reductive" in all the time. My point earlier is that the New Atheists also reject reductive physicalism! Dennett calls reductive physicalism "hardware chauvinism". Reductive means that your mind is identical to neurons firing. If that's true, then computers can never be sentient. Lots of futurist atheists dream of sentient computers, and it's not a hard to sway the typical atheist away from hard physicalism once they see the definitions of things. Supervenience physicalism just means that mind depends on matter in some way, but can be instantiated through various configurations, this opens up categories like functionalism. The same mind could be instantiated by different hardware. So my point is that, as a believer reads arguments for functionalism, and then even more aggressive arguments against supervenience physicalism, they probably aren't observing something that is warming up to God.

A long time ago, there probably was a heavy investment by atheists in materialism and materialism became a lot of different things, from an assumption about science to Marxism. And so there are lots of broad ways in which a person can be skeptical of "materialism". But specifically, when the argument involves the inexplicability of mind, and philosophers being baffled, they're talking about the context I'm talking about.

What about LDS theology? Does it resonate with you? Because I don't see how LDS theology is anything but physicalism. No such thing as material matter. Spirits are matter. God is matter. The only thing on the table for non-physical is "intelligence", but nowhere is that revealed as non-physical. In fact, Bruce R. and others insist that rather than having a 3-tier Russian doll, its a 2-tier, with tier 1 being the spirit body that is constructed of intelligence, and so even that is matter.
User avatar
Kishkumen
God
Posts: 3192
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:37 pm
Location: Cassius University

Re: The Experience of God

Post by Kishkumen »

Gadianton wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:03 am
That's absolutely true. When Don comes back, I can share the link to James Faulconer's presentation at the Mormon philosophy club a couple years ago, which basically just says Mormonism doesn't address any philosophical problems at all. There's not a single reason why the New MI went the direction it did, but a chief reason, is that narrative theology or some continental knockoff stuff is really the only viable option for being taken seriously. I'm interested in how people like Don navigate being a Mormon while being heavily invested in classical theology.
Don will of course speak for himself, but I will say that the Mormon theology of God is not its strongpoint, and I don’t think that Mormonism rises or falls on the issue of theology. I know the mantra in LDS circles is to gush about the superiority and good common sense of the LDS view of God, but if the LDS God provides no answer to the question of first cause, then it has a huge deficit it is unlikely to make up.

Honestly, I think the real advantages of Mormonism are to be found in its broadly conceived priesthood and its focus on the importance of the family in the plan of human salvation. Its theology is a complete mess.
If not, then it's probably more accurate to say that the entire contemporary discussion about the mystery of consciousness probably doesn't intersect much with your life experience, in terms of the stakes of being a physicalist or nonphysicalist.
LOL! Fair enough.
What about LDS theology? Does it resonate with you? Because I don't see how LDS theology is anything but physicalism. No such thing as material matter. Spirits are matter. God is matter. The only thing on the table for non-physical is "intelligence", but nowhere is that revealed as non-physical. In fact, Bruce R. and others insist that rather than having a 3-tier Russian doll, its a 2-tier, with tier 1 being the spirit body that is constructed of intelligence, and so even that is matter.
Not really. I don’t think of the basic structure of the afterlife as a pack or stack of perfected primates. I don’t know anything about an afterlife. I don’t think that everything is matter. I have no idea what matter is. It is a useful concept in most everyday situations and in scientific/technological applications. But I have no clue what the cosmos is made of. I tend to think of it as more pregnant with order, intelligence, and life than as lifeless and mindless. That is probably why most atheist views I have encountered don’t work for me. I could be wrong. Obviously I am not well versed in all of the arguments. I have encountered supervenience before in the little reading on mind that I have done.

I just tend to think that people work with the a priori assumptions that resonate most with them. In our day the “grown ups” who can deal with the “cold hard facts” and don’t need the “crutches” of “Jesus, Santa Clause, or healing crystals” are atheists. Their position is in part a reaction to the inadequacies of religious culture, politics, and deficits in the explanatory power of religion in most daily and scientific matters. They may not ultimately be right, but I don’t think that much is riding on their belief or disbelief. I don’t imagine an offended or insecure God waiting to punish humankind because contemporary religious cultures stagnated or were bawdlerized and generally insipid.
“Academia’s continual campaign to disregard or neglect the classics is a sign of spiritual decay, moral decline and a deep intellectual narrowness running amok in American culture.” ~ Cornel West
User avatar
Gadianton
God
Posts: 2148
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:56 pm

Re: The Experience of God

Post by Gadianton »

Interesting story, Stak, thanks. Sounds like you had some good times.
User avatar
Gadianton
God
Posts: 2148
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:56 pm

Re: The Experience of God

Post by Gadianton »

Most people who call themselves atheists or agnostics or skeptics, Gemli being a prime example, assume philosophy is stupid, and that a scientific worldview along with a few commonsense insights are all that you need. And so "physicalism" has become totally divorced in just about every way from the large number of irreligious people who believe only in hard-nosed reality and evidence. "Physicalism" has become high metaphysics. David Lewis, who invented supervenience physicalism, was one of those rare people who was so smart that he could conjure the most crack-smoking ideas you've ever heard and still stand the test of time. No card-carrying member of skeptics.org would ever read David Lewis. And so you read a story like Stak's, and ask yourself why this happens, and it's because physicalism is squarely in the court of metaphysics along with theology. It's unsurprising then, that the Staks of the world, who are non-believers, end up having more in common in some ways with theologians than they do fellow atheists.

I have no investment in metaphysics, all I'll say is that if somebody can get around it, great. Dennett, who had his phil. Phd at Oxford as something like age 22, has no problem throwing philosophy under the bus. His book, Consciousness Explained, is freaking awesome. I criticized Dennett as an atheist, but that's for his work as an amateur sociologist and general pretension. Dennett would be about #1 on my list on phil. mind, with a huge caveat, that his novel ways of trying to get around philosophical terminology probably fails, and he doesn't appear to me to be able to crystalize any thoughts with absolute clarity on how he's solved these problems, or why these problems are irrelevant. It's a lot of having cake and eating. He ends up as a de facto postmodernist.

Well, Gemli's pragmatism and postmodernism go hand-in-hand. As a pragmatist or an instrumentalist and an anti-realist, we accept observed reality and eschew drawing ideal pictures to frame it. If the instrument reads 758, then what we know is 758. If the instrument detects God, then hey, Gemli is happy to welcome God. It's just, these attempts to avoid philosophy talk end up falling prey to philosophy talk at some point, and at that point, end up being simplistic or well-worn ground for guys like Stak. So someone needs to dethrone metaphysics properly, if the desire is to bring materialism back into line with commonsense, hardnosed reality and skeptics.org atheism.
User avatar
Doctor CamNC4Me
God
Posts: 4903
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:04 am

Re: The Experience of God

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

To kind of go in hand with the discussion of physicalism, metaphysics, and related issues I watched a Lex Fridman sit-down with Donald D. Hoffman - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_D._Hoffman . It’s episode #293, and get ready to get your dick blown off by a I-don’t-even-know grenade. Some of what he discusses I understood from various existentialist philosophers who mused if the table you see and feel is actually a table, or if it’s even there, and Hoffman does a great job at touching upon a range of issues that dip into psychology, philosophy, physics, and consciousness to, if you haven’t already, open your eyes to a reality that I didn’t really know might be there and reorients the way you might view 3d and 4d metrics.

- Doc
1. Speech is aggression.
2. Every utterance has a winner or a loser.
3. Curiosity is feigned.
4. Lying is performative.
5. Stupidity is power.
User avatar
Rivendale
1st Counselor
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:21 pm

Re: The Experience of God

Post by Rivendale »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Thu Jun 16, 2022 6:41 pm
To kind of go in hand with the discussion of physicalism, metaphysics, and related issues I watched a Lex Fridman sit-down with Donald D. Hoffman - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_D._Hoffman . It’s episode #293, and get ready to get your dick blown off by a I-don’t-even-know grenade. Some of what he discusses I understood from various existentialist philosophers who mused if the table you see and feel is actually a table, or if it’s even there, and Hoffman does a great job at touching upon a range of issues that dip into psychology, philosophy, physics, and consciousness to, if you haven’t already, open your eyes to a reality that I didn’t really know might be there and reorients the way you might view 3d and 4d metrics.

- Doc
Thanks for this recommendation. There are those that disagree mainly because he is basing this on one study. He seems fixed on an illusion that only benefits reproduction . If we didn't see reality as it is, why could we pull a space cowboy scenario and divert an asteroid? Dinosaurs would have loved that skill. They were the dominant evolutionary organisms in terms of sexual reproduction and it bit them in the ass. Don't get me wrong, I agree much of what we see is small but I don't think illusionary. Credit to Beleur for some of these bullet points. And he didn't get the size dosen't matter joke, dude is dead inside.
dastardly stem
God
Posts: 1245
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:38 pm

Re: The Experience of God

Post by dastardly stem »

We ought to recognize that arguments for gods existence is what tires people on philosophy as much as anything. I certainly don't know what Gadianton has in mind when he speaks of the virtues of ontological argument via Anselm. I suppose imagining a god sounds like a fun philosophical game, but to any one listening its never more than that. Ah...yes, let's imagine the greatest being ever...Got it. I thought of Superman and added to him the ability to listen to billions of prayers simultaneous and even being able to respond to 4 of those at a time, just like god. Is there something greater than that? Beats me. It's all I got. Someone else might think God is a guy who refuses to wear underwear under gowns, grows out his beard and once spit in a blind person's face...but that can't be greater than someone who shoots laser beams out of his eyes. Let's throw that imagined debate into the schoolyard and suddenly we can imagine the greatest debate on god ever:

Kid 1: "Superman beats god because he can actually pick up a big rock--god gets all perplexed when he tries to make a big rock to pick up. And superman can melt metals by looking a them."

Kid 2: "Jesus is best because he was, you know, kinda humble. I mean he got upset at people he didn't know for not thinking as he did, but he also let a sex worker (kids are trained to be PC on that prostitute talk) wash his feet. Now that's greatness."

K1: "Superman's made of steel, dude. You can't get better than that. He can fly, while eating a potato and wouldn't even get hurt if a missile hits him directly, hoping to shoot him down."

K2: "God loves everyone, well at least everyone that goes to my church...ah come to think of it, there are those wolves in sheep's clothing he hates too. He loves me at least. That I know. And he can keep people living in some unknown form in a place we can imagine exists. That's better than flying and letting missile's hit ya and not dying."

Kid 3 breaks his silence: "What's with you guys? I just imagined that silhouetted lady on my daddy's mudflap. Then I thought she could suck the whole universe up her butt and at the right time she'd toot it all out giving us a delightful ride all the way to heaven where she, in naked form, awaits us again with open arms. Your guys' greatest ever sounds stupid."

Kid 1 and 2: "A woman god? What's wrong with you?"

The greatest island I visited was found on a mountain lake, miles from anyone, accessible by foot. It was cool cause I swam out to it, sat on it looking into the sky reveling in that sense of awe and wonder in the world. I haven't been back, but I don't know there's something better. Putting dinosaurs on it, with a fondue fountain, might seem like an improvement to some, but not to me. I suppose the greatest character out there might be chomping popcorn and tossing back cold ones while watching terrible destruction and catastrophe, but what's so great about him? "well, he's greatest because he actually exists. You know your superman guy is just pretend." Or something.

People don't just believe in God and then suddenly top notch philosophy comes out. Instead they confuse themselves on various philosophical ideas and smoosh Anselm's imagined greatest character right into the mystery they can't explain, then call that an explanation with real explanatory power. And it just so happens the greatest character they imagined was the god their parents told them to believe with plenty of edits to make the fit seem a little more reasonable.

Too bad the greatest being we can imagine isn't the one leading the world's religions or teaching us anything. But apparently we can imagine it. And imagining it is half the battle.

I don't mind philosophy, even though I don't get it most of the time. I just don't think people's attempt to misuse the discipline helps. The various standard arguments for God aren't uncovering God. There's no evidence for him in the real world, and he's also not uncovered when people imagine he's hidden in our mysteries--that's just redefining him and covering him up even more.

"ah...there he is...peaking out of the darkness of that black hole over there, seeing if we still have faith and whether he should bother trying to save us".

"wow...he sure is great. He just peaked out of a black hole. Superman can't do that, probably. Praise Jesus."
“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
User avatar
Gadianton
God
Posts: 2148
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:56 pm

Re: The Experience of God

Post by Gadianton »

Kishkumen wrote: I tend to think of it as more pregnant with order, intelligence, and life than as lifeless and mindless. That is probably why most atheist views I have encountered don’t work for me.
A lot of atheists embrace doomerism. Worse though, are the church-going, humanist atheisms. On paper, they seems pretty good, but man, it's not for me. Many, many years ago, when I was single realizing I was out of religion, I thought maybe I should look into the social side of atheism, and I think it would have been worse than just staying Mormon, going to church and not believing. I'm sure I'd also agree with Hart on Comte. Full credit to Comte for beating Christianity at it's own game in terms of social duty and whatnot, but for me, that's a world of nonstop heavy rain and grey skies.

Anyway, concerning order, intelligence, and life; these things exist in the universe although on what scale we obviously don't know. Which came first, math or physics?

Suppose two things, that physicalists are right and there is no math without atoms, and also that Roger Penrose is right, that the universe is cyclic, which may skirt a Prime Mover. There is no God (as creator, at least), and abstracta don't have an independent life of their own. Well, even in this situation, there is life in the universe, the universe is still deterministic, and life and intelligence appear to be determined. And so there must be some kind of equation showing intelligence eventually reveals itself. But the code for intelligence, spellbinding as it may be, isn't intelligence, anymore than the blueprint for a house is actually a house. until some physical system passes signals around in just the right way (assuming functionalism), there is no mind. Now imagine the greatest mind(s) ever instantiated in physical systems. The greatness of such a mind is no less than if the mind had some existence outside of physical reality.

The main difference might be that if we assume God, then the universe is guaranteed to be full of mind. But maybe not. Plenty of Christians have believed the entire universe is dead save planet earth; it's just us and God. The only thing to bank on I guess is the ultimate mind, God, is guaranteed. In the most rigorous monotheism though, that's still compatible with crusades and radical Islam. Anyway, on the account in the above paragraph, it's hard to see the difference between physicalism of that kind and panpsychism.
Post Reply