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#61119 - 11/05/11 03:46 AM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: felixgarnet]
Vondraco Offline
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Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 28
Loc: Houston, TX
 Originally Posted By: felixgarnet
The belief that something is worthy of examination and perusal is not unintelligent - quite the opposite. To dismiss something without making the effort to study it in the pre-established belief that this can't be worthwhile isn't too bright, either.


So true. This is why, in days past, I have made an effort to become familiar with several different belief systems / religions from the inside. I have always learned something from doing so. Learning something new is always worthwhile.
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#61139 - 11/05/11 02:35 PM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: felixgarnet]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2367
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: felixgarnet
The belief that something is worthy of examination and perusal is not unintelligent - quite the opposite. To dismiss something without making the effort to study it in the pre-established belief that this can't be worthwhile isn't too bright, either.

Well said; otherwise one is, in effect, "believing in disbelief".

"Belief" also happens to be a fuzzy word/concept. Consider its relationship to concepts such as trust, estimation, expectation. I believe the Sun will come up today because it always has previously. I believe that it is safe to drive a new car because I trust the manufacturer to build it well. I believe that Obama will be re-elected because that is my estimate of the factors comprising the election. And so on.

The "attack" here seems to be on "completely unfounded" belief, but that is easier to claim in the abstract than it is to establish in fact. Religions, for instance, have a belief-aspect to them, but are also based on interpretations of historical events & personalities, natural principles & laws, and so forth. "Belief" is arguably also an ultimately individual phenomenon, since no two people usually believe in the same thing in the same way/for the same reasons.
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#61153 - 11/05/11 09:18 PM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: felixgarnet]
voxintus Offline
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Registered: 10/29/11
Posts: 7
Loc: northern california
I was referring to belief in a God. there is no rational/logical way to come to the belief that there is a god IMO. So people shut off their thinking and reasoning when they choose to believe in a supernatural daddy IMO. saying i don't know for sure, but seriously doubting the existence of a deity is the logical answer for me. That's it.
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#61161 - 11/06/11 12:17 AM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: voxintus]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
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Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2367
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: voxintus
there is no rational/logical way to come to the belief that there is a god IMO.

That which establishes and enforces natural law, e.g. universal consistency. To do so it [or the neteru] need to be superior to the matter/energy being thus regularized. Cf. my article on "Fields" elsewhere in the 600C.

Classically it was also argued that the requirement for an original agent of universal creation (bringing everything into existence) necessitated a creator God/gods, but this is negated by simply extending time/space infinitely into the past, in which case no creation is needed. Same thing forward into the future, of course. J/C in particular requires a God who starts and stops things for its doctrine to work right.

Of course a god/gods who merely maintain natural laws as they are, and don't whimsically or selectively violate them, aren't actively involved with individual-consciousness discretionary actions either. Hence worship of such a universal god/gods is just not screwing up what natural law harmonizes and regularizes.

It occurs to me that atheists/materialists are actually "ultimate theists" insofar as they believe exclusively and completely in natural law, including their own existence and sensation of consciousness. Thus most 600Cers are actually the most extreme sort of religious fanatics, since they adamantly deny that anything else exists from this omni-everything God.

Elsewhere I have proposed that various "redeemer"-figures - Christ, Buddha, et al. - are in actually symbolic media for humans' separate, non-natural consciousnesses to "atone" for their "sin" of being outside of natural law, and convincing themselves through ritual, punishment, grace, or bouncing severed heads down from Mayan pyramids that they are "back inside" it. [They aren't, of course: The Gift of Set is irrevocable.]
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#61183 - 11/06/11 09:50 AM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
Goliath Offline
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Registered: 09/26/10
Posts: 93
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
It occurs to me that atheists/materialists are actually "ultimate theists" insofar as they believe exclusively and completely in natural law, including their own existence and sensation of consciousness. Thus most 600Cers are actually the most extreme sort of religious fanatics, since they adamantly deny that anything else exists from this omni-everything God.


I think that, if you go this far, you're doing the same thing you've accused others of doing: namely, giving words private meanings to suit your own purposes.

Among other things, this reminds me of the position taken by some people that Atheism requires faith. They make this claim by using the word "faith" to mean something it doesn't ordinarily mean. But if you use that word to mean what most people mean, arguing that you need faith to be an Atheist is like arguing you need cigarettes to be a non-smoker.

In addition, Atheism and materialism are not synonymous, and are separated by much more than a mere stroke. There's no reason why someone can't believe that something exists besides matter and motion, and still disbelieve in a god or gods. In fact, I would argue that this position is quite common in contemporary society. It's also possible to believe that nothing exists besides matter and motion, and still believe in a god or gods, as Epicurus did.

What is more: it seems to me that you're arguing that exclusive and complete belief is somehow the ultimate expression or form of theism. When on the one hand, theism does not necessarily imply exclusive belief in anything: and on the other, there's no reason why wholehearted belief must be exclusive. There's no reason why I can't believe completely in my own god, and other people's gods as well.

I also think you're overlooking what people have called the "spiritual impulse" or the "religious temperament." In my experience, whether a person is a theist or an Atheist has more to do with their character and personality than their worldview. Once again--there's no reason why you can't combine a religious temperament with a naturalistic worldview. If you do that, you wind up with the sort of pantheism or panentheism espoused by Spinoza, or more recently by Princeton philosopher Mark Johnston, who has argued that supernatural conceptions of God are a form of idolatry. And it hardly needs saying that irreligiousness and supernaturalism go together as well.

Similarly, a dogmatic and persecuting temperament is just as compatible with Atheism as it is with theism. True Believers don't have to believe in God. They just have to believe in Something. In the past couple of hundred years, those 'Somethings' have included the Revolution, the Nation, the State, and other things besides. So it seems to me that what you're really criticizing here is a certain type of person, their attitudes, and their behaviour, rather than "Atheism/materialism."

I've been both a monotheist and an Atheist in my life, and I can tell you for a fact that an irreligious Atheist's attitude toward the laws of nature is nothing like a monotheist's attitude toward the will and word of the divine superthou. In fact, I would argue that the term "laws of nature" is a misnomer, and an example of what an anthroposophist friend of mine once called "the spectre of the watchmaker"--the use of religious language to describe a fundamentally non-religious concept.

A physical law is just an empirical generalization that seems to apply at all times and everywhere--such as "light travels through a vacuum at 299,792,458 metres per second" or "f=ma" But there's no reason why nature has to obey this or any other "law," and physicists at CERN may recently have recorded particles moving faster than this speed. If these experimental results are confirmed, then we'll just have to amend the "law" to take account thereof. And the same would be true if f suddenly started equaling five-eighths of m times a.
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#61208 - 11/06/11 08:48 PM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: Goliath]
Michael A.Aquino Offline
senior member


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2367
Loc: San Francisco, CA, USA
 Originally Posted By: Goliath
 Originally Posted By: Michael A.Aquino
It occurs to me that atheists/materialists are actually "ultimate theists" insofar as they believe exclusively and completely in natural law, including their own existence and sensation of consciousness. Thus most 600Cers are actually the most extreme sort of religious fanatics, since they adamantly deny that anything else exists from this omni-everything God.

I think that, if you go this far, you're doing the same thing you've accused others of doing: namely, giving words private meanings to suit your own purposes.

Actually I said this a bit tongue-in-cheek, because an omnipresent, omnilaw "God/gods" reduces the concept to a sort of automatic pointlessness - which is why, being deists, the U.S. Founding Fathers could give lip service to God without actually having to pay any attention to him in their decision-making.

If you take the position that there is nothing outside the OU, including everything that is "you", then that is an affirmation of this kind of "God", since it necessitates the everywhere-existence of the consistency and permanence of natural law. You [or the illusion that is you] become a sort of "supertheist". Of course "worship", in the sense of deliberate, optional, intentional obedience to/adoration of such an omniGod would be pointless, because in fact there would be nothing "separate" to do the obeying/adoring.

I don't think that most self-proclaimed [which requires a self to proclaim, of course] atheists take their Atheism this far. To them it just means jettisoning the slave-religion cartoon gods, which is all they care about.

 Quote:
In addition, atheism and materialism are not synonymous

Arguably they're only different in that Atheism actively contends there is no God/gods, while materialism doesn't bother. Both agree that the OU is all-there-is, and both deal with the problem of the existence & enforcement of natural law by not dealing with it. Nevertheless it is there.

 Quote:
What is more: it seems to me that you're arguing that exclusive and complete belief is somehow the ultimate expression or form of theism.

No, that would be a different assertion, which I am not taking up here,

 Quote:
There's no reason why I can't believe completely in my own god, and other people's gods as well.

Again a different issue. Digressing to it, you'd get along fine in non-J/C/Islam environments. In pre-Constantine Rome, for example, everyone was welcome to mix & match. It was just Judaism and its later Christian/Islamic corruptions that got pissy about Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me and so on.

You might have some purely-personal issues with consistency & hypocrisy, of course, if you feel like worshipping Isis and Mary simultaneously, and/or tossing in Yog-sothoth and Yavanna for company.

 Quote:
I also think you're overlooking what people have called the "spiritual impulse" or the "religious temperament." In my experience, whether a person is a theist or an atheist has more to do with their character and personality than their worldview.

Again, don't see the point/relevance here to "supertheism".

 Quote:
Once again--there's no reason why you can't combine a religious temperament with a naturalistic worldview. If you do that, you wind up with the sort of pantheism or panentheism espoused by Spinoza, or more recently by Princeton philosopher Mark Johnston, who has argued that supernatural conceptions of God are a form of idolatry. And it hardly needs saying that irreligiousness and supernaturalism go together as well.

Don't follow you here; I think this paragraph is discontinuous. I would agree that there is no point in creating a "cartoon image" of natural law [as a superGod]. If you exist outside the OU, as Setians do, then you could theoretically apprehend the OU as the total of matter/energy and the natural law (God/neteru) which establish & enforce its consistency, but cartooning that would be mere conceptual shorthand. Nothing wrong with that as long as you know what you're doing. of course. Setians represent Set in his ancient Egyptian semblance, but we know we're actually talking about something much more ethereal & abstract (a Form, Principle, neter).

 Quote:
I would argue that the term "laws of nature" is a misnomer, and an example of what an anthroposophist friend of mine once called "the spectre of the watchmaker"--the use of religious language to describe a fundamentally non-religious concept.

It doesn't make any difference what you call the existent and omni-enforced consistency of OU phenomena. The point is just that it's there.

 Quote:
A physical law is just an empirical generalization that seems to apply at all times and everywhere--such as "light travels through a vacuum at 299,792,458 metres per second" or "f=ma" But there's no reason why nature has to obey this or any other "law," and physicists at CERN may recently have recorded particles moving faster than this speed. If these experimental results are confirmed, then we'll just have to amend the "law" to take account thereof. And the same would be true if f suddenly started equaling five-eighths of m times a.

All you're arguing here is that imperfectly formulated natural laws require correction when such imperfections are discovered - not that natural law in its totality does not exist. [I tossed Einstein's goofs out the door decades ago, of course.]
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Michael A. Aquino

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#62236 - 12/06/11 04:19 AM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: Michael A.Aquino]
TillTheDayIDie Offline
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Registered: 12/03/11
Posts: 23
I think belief is valuable as a tool; nothing else. A practical heuristic we utilize in our day to day life.

Of course, whether we have beliefs or not, there is always some form of intentionality which we owe to us acting a certain way. It isn't merely emotion or raw affect that causes us to jump from one course to another; we do so in response to some vaguely acknowledged essence we typically term 'the world.'

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#67014 - 05/24/12 11:25 PM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: TillTheDayIDie]
MCMLXXXVI Offline
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Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 14
Loc: PA
^
Everyone has beliefs. What people think and what people believe are pretty much the same thing.

Some people's beliefs are effected by their personality traits, tastes, and culture.

Usually if someone grows up in a Christian setting they will hold Christian beliefs. Notice how I said USUALLY by the way.

Even atheists hold beliefs, the non belief in gods.
The absence of belief is still a relation to belief itself.
A shadow is the absence of light, but in order for it to be an absence, it has to be contrasted against its opposite (which is light).

So for someone to say that some people have no beliefs is senseless. The only thing that comes close to describing someone who has no beliefs is someone who is indifferent, like agnostics. They are neither Atheist or theist, religious or not religious.
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#73467 - 12/02/12 05:02 PM Re: Belief is the Death of Intelligence [Re: MCMLXXXVI]
Pynkii Offline
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Registered: 10/21/12
Posts: 25
^ Basiscally you're saying disbelief in something is a belief in something else. Makes sense.

On the same wave as the OP I have the "belief" that those raised and indoctrinated with xian or other dogmatic values, who are raised to put their faiths 100% in to something they can not prove exists, become lazy and complacent fools, and I believe this bleeds in to all aspects of these peoples lives and further in to the proactivity and evolution of societies and cultures. It is detrimental to our growth as a species, but I believe, as do many others, that is what theistic religions were created for in the first place.

Similarly, it is difficult and possibly impossible to rip off the blindfolds of these people and shove knowledge into their cotton stuffed ears; they simply refuse to learn. However, our existence is evolution in itself. But what is the goal? To maintain our survival within a society of sheep or to evolve the species as a whole? Only time will tell
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