Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

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Kishkumen
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Kishkumen »

Themis wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:36 am
I never felt relief when I realized the Mormon God did not exist, but it did free me up for other possibilities. I suppose if believe in God was attached to having to do things one does not want to do it might be a relief realizing that God does not exist. I'm not sure what you think is at stake, unless it is something like we see In Mormonism or Christianity of not believing in God means being damned, but then we probably wouldn't get the right one anyways. I like what Amy from Big Bang theory says "I don't object to the concept of a deity, but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance". It reasonably baffles me that God would want belief in God in order to avoid punishment or receive a reward. For me the most reasonable position is agnostic in light of no good evidence of God.
That’s cool. At the end if the day, we all decide what our best life strategies will be, and I don’t see anything unreasonable in yours. My intention is not to criticize you or your approach. I am thinking through different positions that I have not thought through before, and I thank you for indulging me as I do that.

What I notice in your comments is a persistent tendency to anthromorphize Deity. Comparing God to Bigfoot, God taking attendance, and the like. For a former Mormon, that is probably the most natural thing to do, and what I am suggesting is that it is these acts of anthropomorphization that probably trip people up in thinking about the existence of Deity.

I am primarily thinking about Deity here as a logical construct that mystics relate to the mystical experience of infinite being. Both the logical construct and the mystical experience bear very little resemblance to the anthropomorphized image or construct of Deity. Those who operate in the frameworks of mysticism and classical theism have very different criteria from those who want to find God’s poop in the Garden of Eden before they ‘believe’ in Deity.
While one existing would have real significance to us, it doesn't change the fact they both lack good evidence. Lack of evidence means one doesn't need to argue for their non-existence. Those claiming they exist need to make good arguments involving good evidence they do exist in order for others to reasonably agree with their claims. The most reasonable position is that they probably don't exist, but open to any evidence they do. Most people have no problem dismissing extraordinary claims that don't relate to religious or political beliefs.
I can see what you are saying, but I also see that this line of thinking is completely disconnected from theism as I have been discussing it. Mystics hold their experience of infinite being to be sufficient evidence. Maybe that is the evidence that is available to the small apertures of the human organism. But if your expectations of God were always conditioned to be anthropomorphic in nature, you will continue to think that the evidence must be different.

That said, I am not saying there is anything wrong with what you are saying, and I am not trying to be difficult. I am deliberately cutting against the grain of our usual discussions of this subject to experiment.
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Lem »

Themis wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:45 pm
...I think the atheist and agnostic take is if God wants to prove God exists then fine. Until then there is no reasonable grounds to seriously consider God existing. When it comes to the big questions about the universe, the hard sciences have a better track record of collecting evidence and explanations.
Very reasonable. Continuing with the thought of heuristics as a useful tool in the face of limited time and opportunity, unless there is a compelling reason, simply arguing against the existence of things that have not yet adequately been shown to exist is not necessarily a productive use of effort and time. The human imagination is limitless.
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Themis »

Kishkumen wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:09 am
What I notice in your comments is a persistent tendency to anthromorphize Deity. Comparing God to Bigfoot, God taking attendance, and the like. For a former Mormon, that is probably the most natural thing to do, and what I am suggesting is that it is these acts of anthropomorphization that probably trip people up in thinking about the existence of Deity.
While I am aware of some different concepts of God, The anthropomorphized God is the most common. I didn't use Bigfoot in that way. It was just an example that came to mind when it comes to extraordinary claims to existence. God taking attendance or wanting us to believe in God has less to do with anthropomorphizing God then it has to do with God being interested in us and how we live and believe and how that may affect us.
I am primarily thinking about Deity here as a logical construct that mystics relate to the mystical experience of infinite being. Both the logical construct and the mystical experience bear very little resemblance to the anthropomorphized image or construct of Deity. Those who operate in the frameworks of mysticism and classical theism have very different criteria from those who want to find God’s poop in the Garden of Eden before they ‘believe’ in Deity.
I agree and It's certainly not just the anthropomorphized God that has some problems.
I can see what you are saying, but I also see that this line of thinking is completely disconnected from theism as I have been discussing it. Mystics hold their experience of infinite being to be sufficient evidence. Maybe that is the evidence that is available to the small apertures of the human organism. But if your expectations of God were always conditioned to be anthropomorphic in nature, you will continue to think that the evidence must be different.

That said, I am not saying there is anything wrong with what you are saying, and I am not trying to be difficult. I am deliberately cutting against the grain of our usual discussions of this subject to experiment.
Sure. That sounds a lot like the spiritual experiences we find throughout many religions, and yes they usually consider it sufficient evidence for what they believe. I did at one time, but gaining some knowledge and experience no longer suggests it should be considered good evidence for the existence of deity. Maybe some good Psychedelics could change my mind. :)
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Themis »

Lem wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:59 am

Very reasonable. Continuing with the thought of heuristics as a useful tool in the face of limited time and opportunity, unless there is a compelling reason, simply arguing against the existence of things that have not yet adequately been shown to exist is not necessarily a productive use of effort and time. The human imagination is limitless.
True, but do you think we could all save some more time by just using the magic 8 ball?
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

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Themis wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:36 am
While I am aware of some different concepts of God, The anthropomorphized God is the most common. I didn't use Bigfoot in that way. It was just an example that came to mind when it comes to extraordinary claims to existence. God taking attendance or wanting us to believe in God has less to do with anthropomorphizing God then it has to do with God being interested in us and how we live and believe and how that may affect us.
And all of the language you are using, leaving Bigfoot aside, is anthropomorphizing. "God being interested in us . . . ."
I am primarily thinking about Deity here as a logical construct that mystics relate to the mystical experience of infinite being. Both the logical construct and the mystical experience bear very little resemblance to the anthropomorphized image or construct of Deity. Those who operate in the frameworks of mysticism and classical theism have very different criteria from those who want to find God’s poop in the Garden of Eden before they ‘believe’ in Deity.
I agree and It's certainly not just the anthropomorphized God that has some problems.
Sure. That sounds a lot like the spiritual experiences we find throughout many religions, and yes they usually consider it sufficient evidence for what they believe. I did at one time, but gaining some knowledge and experience no longer suggests it should be considered good evidence for the existence of deity. Maybe some good Psychedelics could change my mind. :)
Joking aside, it actually has changed some people's minds. The mystical experience is quite different from the warm fuzzies, and although both the warm fuzzies and the mystical experience are treated as evidence, that does not mean that they are on the same level.
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Lem »

Themis wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:41 am
Lem wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:59 am

Very reasonable. Continuing with the thought of heuristics as a useful tool in the face of limited time and opportunity, unless there is a compelling reason, simply arguing against the existence of things that have not yet adequately been shown to exist is not necessarily a productive use of effort and time. The human imagination is limitless.
True, but do you think we could all save some more time by just using the magic 8 ball?
For the imaginary things? I’m sure I can rustle up a magic 8 ball with the settings “Nope,” “probability so close to zero as to be nonexistent,” “Quit wasting my heuristic time,” “Seriously?” and “Surely you must be kidding!” :D

Seriously, though, the heuristic in this case is simply the decision to not take stories of supernatural events at their face value. Once one understands the source of stories like this, they become very similar and one doesn't need to take up one’s time evaluating every little piece. And by understanding the source, I mean as was explained by DrW in a very interesting thread on the old board, I think titled something like “from whence come spiritual experiences?” The bottom line is that all of it comes from within the human brain.

So putting that piece on the table that helps with decision-making, whether it is called god by some, or philosophical thought by others, it's always still the human brain coming up with the piece, fleshing out its meaning, and putting it on the table. Nothing supernatural about that.
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Themis »

Kishkumen wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:58 pm

And all of the language you are using, leaving Bigfoot aside, is anthropomorphizing. "God being interested in us . . . ."
It's the only kind of God for us to be interested in regards to how we live our life. All the rest either don't care or don't have that or other human traits.
Joking aside, it actually has changed some people's minds. The mystical experience is quite different from the warm fuzzies, and although both the warm fuzzies and the mystical experience are treated as evidence, that does not mean that they are on the same level.
I sense a little dig at Mormonism. While I think Mormonism puts a lot into what you probably define as warm fuzzies, it certainly is not limited to it. It's also worth looking what the differences really are. I would suggest the warm fuzzies as common sensations humans are fairly familiar with, while mystical level experiences are much more intense and less common. Many see it as evidence, but I am not sure it is being used accurately at what it is evidence for.

The body appears to have the capacity on it's own to create powerful experiences. Experiences that can create the feeling of knowing or understanding. Psychedelics can reproduce many of these kinds of experiences. The best position may be to have a healthy amount of skepticism of what we think we know from them, but many do not. I'm reminded of some dreams in which things just made so much sense, but when I awoke I said that makes no sense. I wonder if that was the result of my mind creating a feeling of it making sense as apposed to logical thinking.
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Themis »

Lem wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:03 pm
Seriously, though, the heuristic in this case is simply the decision to not take stories of supernatural events at their face value. Once one understands the source of stories like this, they become very similar and one doesn't need to take up one’s time evaluating every little piece. And by understanding the source, I mean as was explained by DrW in a very interesting thread on the old board, I think titled something like “from whence come spiritual experiences?” The bottom line is that all of it comes from within the human brain.

So putting that piece on the table that helps with decision-making, whether it is called god by some, or philosophical thought by others, it's always still the human brain coming up with the piece, fleshing out its meaning, and putting it on the table. Nothing supernatural about that.
That would be the most reasonable explanation. Its the problem with private experiences like this. Hard to truly know one is experiencing some other reality or the supernatural.
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Kishkumen »

Themis wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:08 am
It's the only kind of God for us to be interested in regards to how we live our life. All the rest either don't care or don't have that or other human traits.
I am not sure what the issue is. The existence of God versus what kind of God you care about are different questions and the second was not really what I was talking about.
I sense a little dig at Mormonism. While I think Mormonism puts a lot into what you probably define as warm fuzzies, it certainly is not limited to it. It's also worth looking what the differences really are. I would suggest the warm fuzzies as common sensations humans are fairly familiar with, while mystical level experiences are much more intense and less common. Many see it as evidence, but I am not sure it is being used accurately at what it is evidence for.

The body appears to have the capacity on it's own to create powerful experiences. Experiences that can create the feeling of knowing or understanding. Psychedelics can reproduce many of these kinds of experiences. The best position may be to have a healthy amount of skepticism of what we think we know from them, but many do not. I'm reminded of some dreams in which things just made so much sense, but when I awoke I said that makes no sense. I wonder if that was the result of my mind creating a feeling of it making sense as apposed to logical thinking.
No dig at Mormonism or the warm fuzzies. Also not a downgrading of experience. Experience is how we interface with the world. I am to the contrary not in favor of reducing experience to something the body simply manufactures as a matter of will or for no intelligible reason at all. That seems like a satisfying explanation, but “the body does it” could be said of any sense perception. The big difference, it seems to me, is that we are so inured to certain perceptions that we grant their reality, whereas with rare ones we don’t because we don’t know what to do with them.
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Re: Another Mopologist Bites The Dust, Bryce Haymond Edition

Post by Gadianton »

Themis wrote:The body appears to have the capacity on it's own to create powerful experiences. Experiences that can create the feeling of knowing or understanding. Psychedelics can reproduce many of these kinds of experiences. The best position may be to have a healthy amount of skepticism of what we think we know from them, but many do not.
Testimony = DMT? I don't really agree. I do agree that in principle the brain states of "religious experiences" have contributing factors like DMT. But from there, it's a hell of a lot of glossing over. For instance, "feeling of knowing?" Mormons are pretty unique in their belief that they can read a block of text and then pray, and get confirmation through a calm feeling. Most people out there don't think a block of text is true because of a calm feeling, including religious people. And save for extreme cases of fasting and self-flogging, Mormons don't have a physiological pathway from reading a block of text, to praying, and then plucking the obligatory burning in the bosom as confirmation. With investigators, we'd really reach deep to the bottom of the barrel: "Now that Elder White and I have finished singing that hymn off key, how do you feel? ... So you don't feel "bad or anything" and perhaps even "okay"? ... "Maybe kinda good?" ... "I think we can agree the devil wouldn't want you to feel 'kind of good' and so I'd say that feeling came from the Holy Spirit, and it's telling you to get baptized into the Mormon Church."

To the extent that such tactics can actually work, it's other factors doing the lifting. It's not the same as in an intense worship session where people are speaking in tongues and letting loose. Mormon services are boring. Temples are boring. Reading the Book of Mormon at 6:00 AM for exactly 30 minutes is boring. Mormons don't do drugs and fight over whether Barq's root beer is okay. So what you have in Mormonism is this huge belief, which is as much collective urban legend as it is actual doctrine from the top, that you "get a testimony" after providing a list of positive statements about the Church in prayer, as the Holy Spirit times a burning in the Bosom just right in response. You can say "I know the Church is true" because of the burning.

But the chances of getting that burning with a Mormon lifestyle are low. Mormons question their testimonies all the time because they never had that powerful experience. Well, since there is no such thing as the Holy Ghost, and since they aren't doing anything that would result in the requisite brain chemistry changes, then they can either thirst, or lie. Most Mormons in my opinion who have the stones to come flat out and say the spirit has borne witness, are simply lying about it. There is no need to invoke brain chemistry. They probably didn't have an actual big experience. What they do have is a lifetime of conditioning, telling them that they need to get that big experience to say "I know" afterward, and eventually, they invent something, or bear testimony with qualifications because they don't want to lie, or they go on some sweet lemon trek -- what they really feel is desperation and disappointment, but that comes out at the pulpit as 'this Church is everything to me'.

My main point is that it would be deadly wrong to suggest that there are millions of Mormons out there because their brains have tricked them into belief. If it were that easy, then baptisms would be soaring. Mormons are so impossible for the exact opposite reasons. It's not 'easy sex' keeping them in the relationship.
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