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Passions in Poetry

The Ontological Argument for God's Existence

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Brad
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25 posted 03-24-2011 01:39 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I knew I forgot to do something.  The good people/bad people sound bite is from Stephen Weinberg.  Here's the original quote:

"With or without religion, good people will do good, and evil people will do evil, but it takes religion to get good people to do evil."
moonbeam
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26 posted 03-24-2011 10:45 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

"With or without religion, good people will do good, and evil people will do evil, but it takes religion to get good people to do evil."

It's not so much "not true" as Ron was arguing, as too simplistic as to be of any value.  If there really was any such thing as a purely "good" or "bad" person then I guess you might begin set up a debate.  As there isn't you can't.

And even if you talk hypothetically you run into the chicken and egg argument immediately.  How can someone "good" be good if they succumb to the evils of religion? Clearly they were inherently "bad" even before that badness became manifest, and vice versa.  

Anyway I was taught that we are all miserable sinners who "are not worthy even to gather up the crumbs under your table".

Stephanos
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27 posted 03-24-2011 08:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad:  
quote:
On the other hand, it seems reasonable to me to find value in the religious process itself whether or not it is true. I know you don't buy that but don't misunderstand me. I don't mean that in any pejorative sense.
.

And don't get me wrong either Brad.  I probably strained a bit in that statement about Spong and Hitchens.  I don't fail to appreciate that some people can appreciate "Faith" for what they see as sociological or psychological benefits.  It's just that for me, the whole idea of "good" and "right" makes no sense apart from God, rendering sociological benefit, by itself, an insipid and untenable idea.  I also feel that atheists who hold any serious notion of moral good, only do so by arbitrarily presuming upon a worldview foreign to their own.  In such a muddle, I sometimes find myself appreciating those voices, like St. Paul's, which have underscored the inevitability of final choices ... what C.S. Lewis referred to as the "Great Divorce".  I too, certainly don't mean any of this as perjorative, only as descriptive.  

And yet, that doesn't mean I don't sometime appreciate some common ground, even if we're on different roads.  I think all of that serves a purpose.  


I would always look forward to your thoughts on some of the more common arguments for God.  Though I'd still insist that Christian apologetics, at its best, does not depend upon a lynch pin, or silver-bullet argument  (I know that TAG has been used this way).  Rather all of these thoughts, in addition to many outside of these categories, illuminate what Christians consider to be good evidence, not irrefutable proof.  


Always good to chat Brad.


But about that melodramatic video clip ... I suspect the "majority" status in many of those categories was assumed, as well as the notion that most Christians want atheists simply to pack up and leave.  In my version, they are our fellow human beings and even friends.  


Hey Moonbeam, good to see you!

quote:
Anyway I was taught that we are all miserable sinners who "are not worthy even to gather up the crumbs under your table"


"Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

The doctrine of Original Sin tells us we are fallen gods, not swine.  I guess that's why we can't quite shake the desire to sit at the table.  Therefore those doctrines of depravity which forget whose image we were made in, don't sit well with most of us.      

  
Stephen      
Denise
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28 posted 03-24-2011 09:01 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

It's should be its.
moonbeam
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29 posted 03-25-2011 06:26 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Stephanos

As usual I get the feeling that if you had been my divinity teacher 40 years ago, I'd be a Bishop by now .  Seriously though, you have an knack for explaining the almost unexplainable, thanks

Denise??

"It's should be its."

Was that at me?
Brad
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30 posted 03-25-2011 08:50 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
As usual I get the feeling that if you had been my divinity teacher 40 years ago, I'd be a Bishop by now .  Seriously though, you have an knack for explaining the almost unexplainable, thanks


Yep.  Stephen is our version of William Lane Craig.  

Oh, Denise wasn't talking to you.  She was just answering an earlier question of mine.  She was right.

Response to the comments


Brad
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31 posted 03-25-2011 09:13 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Just not my comment.
moonbeam
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32 posted 03-25-2011 09:25 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Thanks Brad What a relief.

I hate having my grammar corrected, lol.
Brad
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33 posted 03-25-2011 10:22 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Um, why does grammar correction bother you?

I'm used to it.
moonbeam
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34 posted 03-25-2011 04:48 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Insecurity.
Stephanos
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35 posted 03-26-2011 06:50 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

MB, at least you capitalized that and put a period after it.  
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36 posted 03-26-2011 06:53 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"I am afraid we are not rid of God because we still have faith in grammar." - F. Nietzsche

Just thought we should at least try and tie this into the subject matter.


Stephen
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37 posted 03-27-2011 06:17 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

steeve asl rotf

Brad
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38 posted 03-27-2011 06:40 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

MB,

What does "asl" mean?

Christ, do I have to start a thread on the importance of grammar?

Steven,

If you have time, can you expand on the moral argument here?  I have tended to shrug it off but I'm truly interested in what you think.  You know, or I think you remember, that I tend to see that is simply confusing origin versus identity.

At least we both agree that theists and atheists can be moral (insofar as we can be moral at all), right?
Stephanos
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39 posted 03-28-2011 09:19 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad, Who is Steven??    




Okay, I'll pretend that's my name.  And I'll respond as soon as I can.

Brad
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40 posted 03-28-2011 10:27 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I think I have a mental block when it comes to your name, Stephen.  

You're not alone, I was calling a guy named Kent Kurt for about two months (He couldn't be named after a superhero, could he?).  

And don't get me started on my Julia/Julie or Ann/Annie/Anna problems.

It's a mental defect, I'm sure of it.
Stephanos
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41 posted 03-28-2011 10:49 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I really don't care Brad ... Just giving you a hard time.
Stephanos
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42 posted 03-29-2011 03:25 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad, I may have more to say later about the Ontological argument ... So I thought it might be best to make a new thread about the Moral argument.  So that's what I'll do.  

Stephen
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43 posted 03-29-2011 03:53 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ess:
quote:
God is an artistic confusion.  It is just as unicorn: horse (nature) + horn (nature) = unicorn (imagination).  But if we tried to make an equation like that to account for God it would surely be almost endless, so much has our art modified concepts that were originally just snapshots of nature.   In any case, it all exists.


But Essorant, God is not described, Biblically, as an amalgam of temporal objects.  The horse, like the unicorn, is stately and majestic and art in itself, yet it is temporal and not a necessary thing.  A universal mind or consciousness who is necessary, as God, would be a better description of the artist ... not the art.  Since you are so keen on explaining away Divinity in terms of art, my question to you is how you might describe nature, without using the concept of art (ie, not created).  And if you don't invoke the art/artist relationship with nature, how is "it just happened" a good or satisfying explanation to you?

If you think God is an "artistic confusion", I think you should at least question whether you could be confusing art and artist.  God as art, would certainly explain the similarities between God and humanity that you've noted, at the expense of leaving the "art" of nature unaccounted for.  But God as artist would also explain these similarities, while retaining an origin for the mythical beauties in nature you've described.  

And anyway Essorant, it's been a while.  Good to "see" you again, and exchange some thoughts.


PS)  We were at post "42" Douglas Adams' supreme answer to the secrets of the universe.  Why did I have to go and mess that up??

Stephen
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44 posted 03-31-2011 12:03 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Hi Stephanos

Good to see you as well!

quote:
Since you are so keen on explaining away Divinity in terms of art, my question to you is how you might describe nature, without using the concept of art (ie, not created).  And if you don't invoke the art/artist relationship with nature, how is "it just happened" a good or satisfying explanation to you?


I'm not really trying to explain it "away", but address a seeming-contradiction that I think many of us struggle with:  on one hand we objectively find nature working through its own processes and yet subjectively and in our art and imagination, find or think about, and believe in or not believe in a God and some kind of divine creation or control over things.  

Watching a tree grow, may make you think of God, but the tree is still objectively the tree, and its growth is still objectively its growth, and no matter how you look at it, objectively there is no magical hand there, creating new branches, leaves etc.  Scientifically, the tree is working through its own processes and we can basically explain them all in great detail.    

Everything (subjectively) changes though when we allow imagination to be in the equation and not be ashamed about it.   When we use our imagination, then we can find God, then there is a magical hand creating the tree.    Should we be ashamed to say we are using our imagination when we believe in a God?   I don't believe so.   That is one of the things I think imagination is for.  

Where do we get our imagination from though?   We get it from taking snapshots of the world around  us such as "horse" and "horn" and then imagining something more or different through modifying them in our mind, to something such as "unicorn" as I mentioned.   When we look outside our imagination there is no unicorn (objectively) but  when we look through or within our imagination, then there is a Unicorn (subjectively).   The same is true about God because God exists (subjectively) in our mind/heart/ imagination.  

No one that believes in God ought to be ashamed of this.  I am not .  There is nothing wrong with only being able to experience something subjectively or spiritually.    We need to beware not to let let something we experience subjectively blind us from acknowledging objective truths about the natural world around  us, but likewise I think we need to allow objective things not take away subjective/spiritual experiences that are very important to us and experiencing everyday life.  
 
Essorant
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45 posted 04-08-2011 02:09 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

“He who knoweth his own self, knoweth God” - Muhammad (SAW)
 
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