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View Poll Results: Why do you accept the proposition that a deity exists?
I know God through reason, science, etc. 3 8.33%
I accept God through belief or personal revelation 10 27.78%
Other 12 33.33%
I am an atheist but want to vote in this poll because polls are dope 11 30.56%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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  #25  
Old May 17th, 2018, 01:07 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

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Originally Posted by ollie View Post
Why base it on the "final result"? How does that cancel out the meaning we have now?
I mean I agree that now has meaning. I think that because I won't remember any of this after I die, in the grand scheme does it matter if I was happy or not?

~JS, who hasn't thought this through too far so admittedly, the course of reasoning may be flawed
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  #26  
Old May 17th, 2018, 01:10 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

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Originally Posted by Joseph Sweeney View Post
...does it matter if I was happy or not?
Yes.

(Also happiness and meaning aren't the same thing.)
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  #27  
Old May 17th, 2018, 01:12 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

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Originally Posted by ollie View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Sweeney View Post
...does it matter if I was happy or not?
Yes.

(Also happiness and meaning aren't the same thing.)
Why?

(And fair enough)

~JS

Last edited by Joseph Sweeney; May 17th, 2018 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Don't have much of an argument left, so just gonna ask why
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  #28  
Old May 17th, 2018, 01:41 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

To look at it another way - does it matter if if doesn't matter if you were happy or not?


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  #29  
Old May 17th, 2018, 02:22 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

Imagine two universes, identical except that in one somehow time got paused for an hour so that we could play a game of Heroscape. This game has no effect on how we act or feel after the hour is up. Which universe is better? (I now realise that this is actually a trickier choice than I intended because, obviously, I will crush you in the game. )

If you do think that one is better than the other, then whatever you leant on to make the call also gives you your foundation for mattering.
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  #30  
Old May 17th, 2018, 02:25 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

Interesting proposition, ollie.

But it requires an impossibility (as I'm sure you know). We can't fathom an event that doesn't impact other events.

This isn't meant to push nihilism though. It's instead meant to say that the things you do and the enjoyment that you find in them will matter even after you're dead. Probably in small ways, and ways you don't have any way of knowing or quantifying.

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  #31  
Old May 17th, 2018, 02:59 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

Hey, it's a religion thread, impossible stuff is completely fair game.

I mostly wanted to remove the opportunity cost and consequences from the thought experiment: these exist in any real situation but don't have a bearing on whether someone thinks it's possible for one alternative to be better than another.
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  #32  
Old May 17th, 2018, 03:07 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

I suppose 'meaning' is much like beauty and lies in the eye of the beholder.

A painting can be an incredible work of art to one and pointless paint blobs to another.

Each person must find their own path to a meaningful existence.
I think setting the bar at having to make an impact that resonates throughout eternity may be a little high to achieve. I believe you could do it, JS. You just have to believe in yourself.


and ollie

now if we could just get @Dad_Scaper in the mix, we may have the best thread ever.

Last edited by Tornado; May 18th, 2018 at 04:23 PM.
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  #33  
Old May 17th, 2018, 04:22 PM
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Tangential

Ollie now has me trying to remember if there's an SCP where that is possible.

Personally I think I'd arguably find my meaning from some kind of starfish thing regardless of which worldview I possess. (Yes, I've only ever really had a Christian worldview but I propose it would hold if I ever became an atheist or switched religions based on it still being a core thing when I shifted my understanding of Christianity)

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  #34  
Old May 17th, 2018, 05:35 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

Hmm, this seems to have strayed a bit from just talking about deities, so that seems like the perfect time to jump in.

Quote:
Conclusion (from 1, 2, 3, and 4): Either God is not omniscient, not omnipotent, not all loving, there is no threat to humanity by way of non-belief, or God does not exist.
This is something that I have found resonates with me (in the case that some sort of deity exists, which I doubt it does in the classical way... Depending on how rambly I get here I'll say more on that later). If there is an omniscient/omnipotent God I have a really hard time believing they are omnibenevolent. I know it's a bit of a trope, but the 10,000+ children dying daily from not having food does not make any sense to me if there is a God that encompasses all three of those traits. Free will is not a very good argument for allowing this to happen, either. If one is all powerful it would be possible to create free will that doesn't lead to that kinda stuff (I think my parents encouraged/created my free will, to an extent, and I'm pretty great ).

Of course, there could be an omniscient, omnibenevolent God that is not omnipotent, and that would fit into my logical understanding of what those words mean. I like to imagine a creator figure that had two choices: create everything or create nothing (and semantically you could still call that omnipotent, I suppose). "God" in this case could still be omniscient and omnibenevolent and end up with a planet like this one (in fact, they would have to). This is getting into the goofy, modern, sci-fi, infinite (or "near infinite") multiverse idea. Even though this all-loving figure would know that there would be downright mortifying amounts of suffering in this creation, they would also know that without the creation there would be no anti-suffering.

Most of the time I don't hold onto that belief in a single, father-figure-like, capital 'G' God. I usually don't believe in nothing either, because it's too intense to stomach (kinda like hell), and also I can logically back up that there must be something that happens with our consciousnesses because if matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, why would consciousness be able to pop into existence and then poof out of existence.

The lack of a capital 'G' God in my ideology is, in large part, because of the logical problem of evil, but also because I don't feel a connection to a singular "dude" in the way that I can feel a connection to a wider interconnectedness of things. This is getting into that "atheistic but spiritual" side of things that I think a lot of people feel. While I don't meditate all that much and I'm still a pretty novice lucid dreamer, I think both of those practices have reinforced my beliefs that there has got to be something more than just these atoms floating around following laws in a way that would make our universe both deterministic and soulless. While I do believe that this universe is deterministic, I really liked Aldin's post in the most recent religion thread about the book/universe analogy; where even though you could "skip to the end" and see what happens that doesn't mean that characters don't actually make the decisions that they do.

One idea that I like to play with is the idea that we are all just a little piece of the universal mind (which I think Hinduism gets into a bit, but I haven't done any research to that end) and that the one consciousness experiences everything. So you and I and my bearded dragon Muerte and my parrot Alfred and the guy sitting across the park from me on his cell phone and the person he's talking to are all the same consciousness, just at a "different point" in its existence. I don't think this is some sort of level up system, and like all of my philosophical thinking it can coexist with nihilism, but I think of this as a system that is good. Objective good and bad are really hard concepts, and if the God in the Bible is real then I apparently cannot trust my own logic, that He designed for me, to determine good or bad, and have to give up my logical reasoning skills to be saved, which makes no sense to the brain that he designed for me. Like JS's Santa Claus argument, I don't think you can actually choose what you believe, but that's getting back to determinism.

The only way I could see there being a God similar to the God in the Bible is if "there is no threat to humanity by way of non-belief," and this is why I firmly believe that if I believe in heaven I'm a Universalist. I guess that makes sense, since I grew up going to a Unitarian Universalist church (which to me isn't Christian at this point, and basically preaches, "believe what you want and try to be a good person").

Even though I love to get into debates/discussions with any of my friends who are willing to talk religion, whether they come from a similar place as me or a Christian background or a totally atheistic/when-you're-dead-you're-done nihilism or what have you, the core of my beliefs lie in that everyone's beliefs are factually incorrect (not wrong, just not The Truth) and that hakuna wasiwasi is a good philosophy (hakuna matata actually means no trouble, while hakuna wasiwasi means no worries). I have a hard time getting totally away from Devo's devolution philosophy regarding planet Earth, but dwelling on that is pretty fruitless and doing your best to do something good where you can and hoping for some positivity on a cosmic scale is certainly good. If God's requirement for heaven is based more on belief than trying to be a decent person, then I think we should probably not believe in Him because that sounds like some sort of trap to me, almost like He's assembling some sort of easily persuaded mob to do his bidding on some higher level...

That starfish thing is perfect. Even though we're all just little tiny drops, why not try to have some good ripples go out. I can get extremely positive or negative about the butterfly effect and chaos theory and all that, hence Devo, but I think the important bit is putting the effort to do some good for something out there, and keeping an open mind. Good intentions are all we've got, and I really don't think they pave the road to hell. (I do enjoy the argument presented by Ivan in The Brothers Karamozof, which I've only heard of through Crash Course Philosophy, where he poses that if there is a hell he wants to go there because he doesn't want to be with a God that could do such a thing, but I only enjoy that argument and find it extremely off-putting, as I think just about everyone does.)

Now that I posted one overly long post that probably didn't say that much, I can join in on the fun, right?

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  #35  
Old May 17th, 2018, 06:25 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

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Originally Posted by Dr.Goomonkey View Post
...and also I can logically back up that there must be something that happens with our consciousnesses because if matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, why would consciousness be able to pop into existence and then poof out of existence...
Other things can pop in and out of existence: money, biomass, fashions,... what's the argument that consciousness is more like matter/energy than these?

And where was your consciousness before you were born? Or while you're knocked out? Do you experience different levels of consciousness while awake (either long-term as you age or short-term as you pay more attention or do interesting drugs)?

I don't buy it.

(Although I enjoyed the post as a whole; past experience suggests that everyone getting into every point that everyone else raises is not the best way to have a conversation like this, so I'm picking on the bits I disagree with or find most interesting.)
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  #36  
Old May 17th, 2018, 06:45 PM
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Re: Food for Thought: A Discourse on Deities

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Originally Posted by Dr.Goomonkey View Post
... I can logically back up that there must be something that happens with our consciousnesses because if matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, why would consciousness be able to pop into existence and then poof out of existence.
This sort of blew my mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Goomonkey View Post
... I really liked Aldin's post in the most recent religion thread about the book/universe analogy; where even though you could "skip to the end" and see what happens that doesn't mean that characters don't actually make the decisions that they do.
Could you link that? That plays into to my theory that fate is essentially a 'choose your own adventure' book. You you can make any decision but you could never do anything not in your 'book'.

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