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Old 12-16-2015, 09:10 PM   #101
Louis Cyphre
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Originally Posted by esspoker View Post
I'm sorry for the way you were forcibly exposed to religion. I don't think that is right. But now as an adult you have a choice to believe in a higher power or not. I don't know that God exists, and neither do you, but I choose to have faith.
Some of us choose to go where the evidence leads us.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:51 PM   #102
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Well for someone claiming you understand the mind of a religious person, I am a religious person and I don't think like that. So if you're genuinely curious, why don't you ask me?
Well, you do think atheists are angry little kids, like rebellious teenagers. You clearly don't have much to do with atheists. The concept of God is bizarre to me and most people I know, but bizarre in a distant way, kind of like how you'd look at witchcraft or astrology or paganism. A relic of deeply superstitious age where we didn't know much about the world and, being social creatures, invented and imagined human forms in everything to understand it. I don't live around religious people and I'm not rebelling against God any more than I'm rebelling against witches or aliens or The Matrix.

Apart from that I'd be interested to know what you believe. Do you believe in the supernatural claims of Christianity? Why?
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I can tell you that for me the world is a mystery, and faith is evidence that I think it's a mystery. If it weren't, I would call it "fact" and not faith.

If what you're saying about the limitations of the human mind is true, then atheists are indoctrinated as well. The logic cuts both ways.
Atheists aren't indoctrinated. Religious people are usually told from childhood specific claims which are presented as true, namely (for Christianity):

1. You have an eternal soul which contains the essence of you and survives death
2. There is a powerful force who loves you like a parent and is on your side on some level
3. You have to love this force back and be open to it to receive it
4. A bunch of associated claims/historical events come with this entity, some of which are plainly ridiculous, but despite this you have to have a special something called "faith" in order to prove #3
5. Faith is special and should not be questioned
6. (in most cases) This entity did all kind of things and had dealings on Earth, including sending his "son", the light made flesh, to save your unworthy souls
7. Questioning of the truth of 6. means your soul won't be saved and also means you fail at 3.

These receive constant social reinforcement, which is incredibly powerful given that people are naturally tribal.

In contrast, this is the indoctrination most atheists receive:









Do you see why people brought up without the specific indoctrinated and reinforced tenets elucidated above, and free from the social circles that provide intense direct and indirect pressure to adhere to them, are more likely to be rational and correct on matters relating to those tenets?

I'll agree with you that some atheists are just as dense and unselfaware as religious people and are atheists for reasons of rebellion or recalcitrance. These seem to be the people you're angry at, but there's mostly people who grow up in heavily religious communities - which makes me think you come from a heavily religious community. Because this type of atheists barely exists elsewhere; they have nothing to rebel against.

I would expect an atheist to be more correct about the ultimate truth of the various supernatural claims of Hinduism than a Hindu, of Islam than a Muslim. Wouldn't you? Do you think Muhammed was a divine prophet? Do you think you're better at determining the truth of that fact than the 1.6 billion people who deeply believe he was a divine prophet (if the answer is no, then you should become a Muslim).
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There might be a God, there might not be a god. Anyone who says for certain there is no God is a moron, someone incapable of intellectual honesty.
My claim is that the concept of a God in a person's head has no relationship or correlation with God or to an actual entity or power who could be God.

When people say "God" they are talking pure fluff. It is a catch-all word to group a bunch of feelings and indoctrinations and leftovers from 20 years of parentally oriented thinking. As for the existence of supernatural entities, who knows? Reality is weird. We're ultra complex machines who can somehow feel and imagine and know themselves, crawling on a tiny ball of rock suspended in nothing in vast ocean of nothing where time itself is a dimension and only existing as an unfolding property of the universe. Pretty much anything could be possible.

But I can tell you for a fact that the human conceptions of God I've come across that are bound to religion are retarded and infantile. I know this the same way I know that a child that says there's a four eyed monster under their bed doesn't have a four eyed monster under their bed. I know how a child's mind works to a good approximation and I know they are prone to creating fantasies and misunderstandings, and the claim presented is of a type that very clearly comes from that place because that is how a child's mind works. The same procedure applies to religious people bound to the claims of mainstream religions. Their beliefs weren't revealed or discovered. They were implanted in their minds. No Muslim has spontaneously come to Jesus without ever hearing of Jesus. Nor has any Mexican in the 9th century. Few people come to Christianity or Islam without being born into it or encountering it heavily in their social and cultural life. The chain of how the knowledge and "faiths" have came to be prominent and believed is very clear, and its very causal. As is the way in which and the reasons why people defend their religion. There is a causal chain.

Are there mystics and highly intelligent people for whom those models don't apply? Sure, and in some of them their thoughts and understandings and wisdoms are beyond my grasp. But 99% of religious people and religious claims, including about faith, are as straightforward as the kid with the monster under his bed. It is to those I am referring. The other are probably of the same type, merely with convolutions or abstractions beyond my mental capacity, but I wouldn't be so arrogant as to claim that they are of the same type, since I don't understand them.
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Old 12-16-2015, 10:26 PM   #103
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

Very well said, ToothSayer. I'm saving that one...
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:35 PM   #104
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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1. You have an eternal soul which contains the essence of you and survives death
<snip>
What happens when you die ?
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:44 PM   #105
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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...and by the same logic, anyone who says for certain that there is a God is a moron, someone incapable of intellectual honesty. (Or is this where the faith kicks in?)
Check out the big brains on Brad!
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:51 PM   #106
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Originally Posted by Louis Cyphre View Post
Some of us choose to go where the evidence leads us.
Everyone chooses to go where the evidence leads them. I do. Not all evidence is created equal. It seems incomprehensible to me that the world randomly happened without a creator. If you can't sympathize with that point of view even a little, I would question your sanity. No offense. It just seems insane.

I do sympathize with atheists. I was one for five years, so I know all the arguments. I don't think atheists are stupid just sophomoric. That's my honest opinion if you want it, although in a lot of ways I do respect atheists and I respect their right to believe what they want. Unfortunately that feeling is not often mutual.

Tolstoy said something which I think is true, something to the effect of: "Only the completely stupid and the very wise are religious. People with some intellect become atheists."

I don't even know why I'm arguing this anymore, because it's falling on deaf and (some) smug ears.
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:55 PM   #107
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post
Well, you do think atheists are angry little kids, like rebellious teenagers. You clearly don't have much to do with atheists. The concept of God is bizarre to me and most people I know, but bizarre in a distant way, kind of like how you'd look at witchcraft or astrology or paganism. A relic of deeply superstitious age where we didn't know much about the world and, being social creatures, invented and imagined human forms in everything to understand it. I don't live around religious people and I'm not rebelling against God any more than I'm rebelling against witches or aliens or The Matrix.

Apart from that I'd be interested to know what you believe. Do you believe in the supernatural claims of Christianity? Why?

Atheists aren't indoctrinated. Religious people are usually told from childhood specific claims which are presented as true, namely (for Christianity):

1. You have an eternal soul which contains the essence of you and survives death
2. There is a powerful force who loves you like a parent and is on your side on some level
3. You have to love this force back and be open to it to receive it
4. A bunch of associated claims/historical events come with this entity, some of which are plainly ridiculous, but despite this you have to have a special something called "faith" in order to prove #3
5. Faith is special and should not be questioned
6. (in most cases) This entity did all kind of things and had dealings on Earth, including sending his "son", the light made flesh, to save your unworthy souls
7. Questioning of the truth of 6. means your soul won't be saved and also means you fail at 3.

These receive constant social reinforcement, which is incredibly powerful given that people are naturally tribal.

In contrast, this is the indoctrination most atheists receive:









Do you see why people brought up without the specific indoctrinated and reinforced tenets elucidated above, and free from the social circles that provide intense direct and indirect pressure to adhere to them, are more likely to be rational and correct on matters relating to those tenets?

I'll agree with you that some atheists are just as dense and unselfaware as religious people and are atheists for reasons of rebellion or recalcitrance. These seem to be the people you're angry at, but there's mostly people who grow up in heavily religious communities - which makes me think you come from a heavily religious community. Because this type of atheists barely exists elsewhere; they have nothing to rebel against.

I would expect an atheist to be more correct about the ultimate truth of the various supernatural claims of Hinduism than a Hindu, of Islam than a Muslim. Wouldn't you? Do you think Muhammed was a divine prophet? Do you think you're better at determining the truth of that fact than the 1.6 billion people who deeply believe he was a divine prophet (if the answer is no, then you should become a Muslim).

My claim is that the concept of a God in a person's head has no relationship or correlation with God or to an actual entity or power who could be God.

When people say "God" they are talking pure fluff. It is a catch-all word to group a bunch of feelings and indoctrinations and leftovers from 20 years of parentally oriented thinking. As for the existence of supernatural entities, who knows? Reality is weird. We're ultra complex machines who can somehow feel and imagine and know themselves, crawling on a tiny ball of rock suspended in nothing in vast ocean of nothing where time itself is a dimension and only existing as an unfolding property of the universe. Pretty much anything could be possible.

But I can tell you for a fact that the human conceptions of God I've come across that are bound to religion are retarded and infantile. I know this the same way I know that a child that says there's a four eyed monster under their bed doesn't have a four eyed monster under their bed. I know how a child's mind works to a good approximation and I know they are prone to creating fantasies and misunderstandings, and the claim presented is of a type that very clearly comes from that place because that is how a child's mind works. The same procedure applies to religious people bound to the claims of mainstream religions. Their beliefs weren't revealed or discovered. They were implanted in their minds. No Muslim has spontaneously come to Jesus without ever hearing of Jesus. Nor has any Mexican in the 9th century. Few people come to Christianity or Islam without being born into it or encountering it heavily in their social and cultural life. The chain of how the knowledge and "faiths" have came to be prominent and believed is very clear, and its very causal. As is the way in which and the reasons why people defend their religion. There is a causal chain.

Are there mystics and highly intelligent people for whom those models don't apply? Sure, and in some of them their thoughts and understandings and wisdoms are beyond my grasp. But 99% of religious people and religious claims, including about faith, are as straightforward as the kid with the monster under his bed. It is to those I am referring. The other are probably of the same type, merely with convolutions or abstractions beyond my mental capacity, but I wouldn't be so arrogant as to claim that they are of the same type, since I don't understand them.

From your posts I gather that you think all religious people are fundamentalists. This is far from true.
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:51 AM   #108
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Originally Posted by esspoker View Post
I'm sorry for the way you were forcibly exposed to religion.
Im not. I have a lot of pleasant memories of Church.

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I don't think that is right.
Meh... my parents taught me what they were taught and thought they were doing a good thing. Its all good.

Quote:
But now as an adult you have a choice to believe in a higher power or not. I don't know that God exists, and neither do you, but I choose to have faith.
I made no choice to disbelieve either, afaik. And i cant just believe and disbelieve in things at a whim. Need reasons to go one way or the other.
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:27 AM   #109
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Originally Posted by esspoker View Post
Everyone chooses to go where the evidence leads them. I do. Not all evidence is created equal. It seems incomprehensible to me that the world randomly happened without a creator. If you can't sympathize with that point of view even a little, I would question your sanity. No offense. It just seems insane.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:09 AM   #110
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:12 AM   #111
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Im not. I have a lot of pleasant memories of Church.



Meh... my parents taught me what they were taught and thought they were doing a good thing. Its all good.


I made no choice to disbelieve either, afaik. And i cant just believe and disbelieve in things at a whim. Need reasons to go one way or the other.
To not make a choice is a choice.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:28 AM   #112
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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To not make a choice is a choice.
I made no choice as in, well i guess i dont believe now i made a decision. It was more, damn this new info caused me to disbelieve. No choice to make on the info. It made it for me. Like i cant chose to think hot water is cold. The water info makes it for me.

Just wondering how long you have been a believer? Because you dont seem very knowledgeable about religion.

Last edited by batair; 12-17-2015 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:02 AM   #113
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

At least Harris seems to be closer to the mark for pushing for an Islamic reformation. It seems rational and beneficial for all.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:37 AM   #114
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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I made no choice as in, well i guess i dont believe now i made a decision. It was more, damn this new info caused me to disbelieve. No choice to make on the info. It made it for me. Like i cant chose to think hot water is cold. The water info makes it for me.

Just wondering how long you have been a believer? Because you dont seem very knowledgeable about religion.

That sounds like a very passive way to go through life.

On what basis do you think I don't seem knowledgeable about religion?
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:43 AM   #115
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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That sounds like a very passive way to go through life.
If thats the way you want look at it. But since i dont think You can make the choice to believe hot water is cold and the water makes it for you. Meh...
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On what basis do you think I don't seem knowledgeable about religion?
Your posts.
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:15 AM   #116
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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If thats the way you want look at it. But since i dont think You can make the choice to believe hot water is cold and the water makes it for you. Meh...

Your posts.

OK Meursault, live your life
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Old 12-17-2015, 04:25 AM   #117
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

Um yeah....ok
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:51 AM   #118
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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If thats the way you want look at it. But since i dont think You can make the choice to believe hot water is cold and the water makes it for you. Meh...
This isn't entirely fair but you didn't seem to want to go anywhere.


I do think you made a choice or leap of faith with your belief. If what you are saying is accurate and you weren't sure if a God exists.

But thats not how all belief works. Sometimes the evidence is so overwhelming there are no choices. For me it was like that with my disbelief in the biblical God.

Not that i have not taken leaps of faith or made choices without overwhelming info. Like you would have me do.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:01 AM   #119
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Everyone chooses to go where the evidence leads them. I do. Not all evidence is created equal. It seems incomprehensible to me that the world randomly happened without a creator.
That's because your understanding of the world is utterly broken. You are arguing from a point where your mind goes "this is too ****ing hard, I just want comfort and certainty". This is deeply sophomoric and childish, but lots of people are like you.

Quote:
If you can't sympathize with that point of view even a little, I would question your sanity. No offense. It just seems insane.
Again, think about this very carefully. The fact that you can't imagine a universe that wasn't created by a conscious entity means you have very large shortcomings in imagination, and in your understanding of reality and philosophy.

There are religious people who can comprehend a world, or many worlds, without a creator, so faith has nothing to do with it. It your own incapacity to move beyond sophomoric thought that leads you to the quote above.

This is self evident if you really think about it.

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I do sympathize with atheists. I was one for five years, so I know all the arguments. I don't think atheists are stupid just sophomoric. That's my honest opinion if you want it, although in a lot of ways I do respect atheists and I respect their right to believe what they want. Unfortunately that feeling is not often mutual.
You believe people who don't share your cognitively challenged view of the world ("I can't imagine a world without a creator!! It doesn't make sense!!!!) are "sophomoric" and "insane". It is you who lacks respect, not the other way around. You lack more than respect - you lack imagination and philosophical depth. Both atheists and religious people can imagine many plausible worlds and possibilities where there isn't a creator. Your cognitive failure in this area isn't other people's fault.

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Tolstoy said something which I think is true, something to the effect of: "Only the completely stupid and the very wise are religious. People with some intellect become atheists."
Religion, especially in Tolstoy's day, is a powerful tool to achieve social control and acceptance and misdirection. Truly wise people would not give that up. It's like hamstringing your own power.
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I don't even know why I'm arguing this anymore, because it's falling on deaf and (some) smug ears.
It's you who is smug. One day, I hope when you meet God, he will lift your pathetic cognitive block, and peel the arrogance from your eyes that stops you seeing that it is a cognitive block. And then you will realize that while you were right about God, you were wrong about everything else, including your arguments for God.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:58 AM   #120
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

I think you misunderstood my post completely. It's certainly possible there is no God, I've said that on multiple occasions.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:10 AM   #121
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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What happens when you die ?
Eventually someone comes along with a travel jar of Vicks Vaporub.

Last edited by Kristofero; 12-17-2015 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Churches also smell nice. Personally I like tents myself. anywaaay.
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:20 AM   #122
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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This isn't entirely fair but you didn't seem to want to go anywhere.


I do think you made a choice or leap of faith with your belief. If what you are saying is accurate and you weren't sure if a God exists.

But thats not how all belief works. Sometimes the evidence is so overwhelming there are no choices. For me it was like that with my disbelief in the biblical God.

Not that i have not taken leaps of faith or made choices without overwhelming info. Like you would have me do.
OK, fair enough. Is it the idea of the literal biblical figure as described that you find impossible to believe, or the idea of any creator of the universe?
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:38 PM   #123
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

From Supersensible Knowledge : Rudolph Steiner, Lecture 12, Richard Wagner and Mysticism

Speaks to something here, for what its worth.

http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA0...070328p01.html



Already his work The Flying Dutchman bears witness to his belief in the existence of a spiritual world behind the physical. You must bear in mind that I do not for a moment suggest that Wagner himself was conscious of the things I am indicating. His artistic impulse developed according to spiritual laws, as a plant develops according to laws of which it is not conscious, but which are discovered by the botanist.
When a materialist observes his fellowmen, he sees them as physical entities isolated from one another, their separate souls enclosed within their bodies. He consequently believes that all communication between them can only be of an external physical nature. He regards as real only what one person may say or do to another. However, once there is awareness of a spiritual world behind the physical, one is aware also of hidden influences that act from person to person without a physical agent. Hidden influences stream from soul to soul, even when nothing is outwardly expressed. What a person thinks and feels is not without significance or value for the person towards whom the thoughts and feelings are directed. He who thinks materialistically only knows that one can physically reach and assist another person. He has no notion that his inner feelings have significance for others, or that bonds, invisible to physical sight, link soul to soul. A mystic is well aware of these bonds. Richard Wagner was profoundly aware of their existence.
To clarify what is meant by this, let us look at a significant legend from the Middle Ages that to modern humans is just a legend. However, its author, and anyone who recognizes its mystical meaning, is aware that this legend expresses a spiritual reality. The legend, which is part of an epic, teils us about Poor Henry who suffered from a dreadful illness. We are told that only if a pure maiden would sacrifice herself for him could he be cured of his terrible infliction. This indicates that the love, offered by a soul that is pure, can directly influence and do something concretely for another human life.

Such legends depict something of which the materialist has no notion, namely, that purely spiritually one soul can influence another.

Another:

Ashasverus' destiny is caused by the fact that he cannot believe in a Redeemer; he cannot believe that someone can guide mankind onwards to ever greater heights and more perfect stages of evolution. An Ashasverus is someone that has become stuck where he is; human beings must ascend stage by stage if they are to progress. Without striving, he unites himself with matter, with external aspects of life, and becomes stuck in an existence that goes on and on, at the same level. He pours scorn on Hirn that leads mankind upwards, and remains entangled in matter. What does that mean? Existence keeps repeating itself for someone who is completely immersed in external life. Materialistic and spiritual comprehension differ, because matter repeats itself, whereas spirit ascends. The moment spirit succumbs to matter, it succumbs to repetition. - See more at: http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA0....kkEsbuT5.dpuf
- http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA0....B8zPjye8.dpuf
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Old 12-17-2015, 12:47 PM   #124
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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From your posts I gather that you think all religious people are fundamentalists. This is far from true.
No, I certainly don't think this. I live in a country with over 60% religious people, and very few are fundamentalist. Mostly faith is a private thing here. A lot of Muslims and Americans are however very fundamental.
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I think you misunderstood my post completely. It's certainly possible there is no God, I've said that on multiple occasions.
I apologize if I have misunderstood you. What am I misunderstanding in this? The below is what I responded to in depth when you claimed I "completely misunderstood":
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Originally Posted by esspoker View Post
Everyone chooses to go where the evidence leads them. I do. Not all evidence is created equal. It seems incomprehensible to me that the world randomly happened without a creator. If you can't sympathize with that point of view even a little, I would question your sanity. No offense. It just seems insane.
To me this is merely a cognitive/creative/philosophical incapacity. Or perhaps you just got tired of thinking at some point.

It is entirely comprehensible that the world randomly happened, to anyone with a functioning mind and philosophical depth. It's probable that most of the hard questions can never have satisfying or knowable answers. Knowing this yet needing an answer so deeply is "sophomoric", as you like to say. In fact, I'd estimate it's 99.9% likely that the ultimate nature of reality is fundamentally incomprehensible, given that our mind are deeply bound to the experience of linear four dimensional space and time and world that experience tells us obeys classical laws. For example, relativity is a very simple concept, but no one can intuitively grasp it. Similarly with many aspects of quantum mechanics.

Why on Earth does the world need a creator? What aspect of the world is incomprehensible without a creator?

Is it that everything you see has a cause, so you can't imagine something without?
Is it the incredibly rich complexity of the lifeforms around us (where common experience tells you that complexity doesn't just arise)?
Is it the seeming improbability of anything existing at all? (i.e. the set of all possible universes with all possible settings is a (big number)^(big number) times larger than the ones where something complex could exist?)
Is it that the sum of human experience is incomprehensible to you as a mere product of atoms obeying blind laws?
Is it something else?

I would like to explore this. Where exactly do you run into a brick wall?
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Old 12-17-2015, 01:56 PM   #125
batair
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

Quote:
Originally Posted by esspoker View Post
OK, fair enough. Is it the idea of the literal biblical figure as described that you find impossible to believe, or the idea of any creator of the universe?
The bibles God. The universe might of been created. Who knows.
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