The only savior man has is himself.

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Eaglerising
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The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Eaglerising » June 24th, 2017, 9:45 am

Man’s inability or unwillingness to accept complete and total responsibility for himself causes him to believe in a savior outside himself. Being completely and totally responsible for himself is unacceptable to him because he has no excuse or alibi. He cannot blame something or someone for his thoughts and actions. It is easier and more comforting to believe in a savior outside himself, regardless of what it is called.

Likewise, he doesn’t realize the only one who can change or resolve his problem is the individual who created it, which is himself. Furthermore, his uniqueness prevents anyone from saving him, because he is the only one who has the solution to his problem. Yet, man thinks and believes he understands himself, which perpetuates the illusion.

-- Updated June 24th, 2017, 11:44 pm to add the following --

The following is a revised edition of my original post:

The only savior man has is himself
Man’s inability or unwillingness to accept complete and total responsibility for himself causes him to believe in a savior outside himself. Being completely and totally responsible for himself is unacceptable to him because he wouldn’t have an excuse or alibi. He wouldn’t be able to blame something or someone for his thoughts and actions. It is easier and more comforting to believe in a savior outside himself, regardless of what it is called.

Likewise, he doesn’t realize the only one who can change or resolve the problems he created, is himself. Furthermore, his uniqueness prevents anyone from saving him, because he is the only one who has the solution to the problems he created. Denial of his responsibility perpetuates the illusion of an external savor.

Pages
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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Pages » July 4th, 2017, 10:37 am

Welcome to the real world
Two possibilities exist... Either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
- Arthur C. Clarke

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Greta
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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Greta » July 4th, 2017, 7:21 pm

Life is a balancing act. How are we affected by the idea that there's a safety net beneath us.

If we believe there is no safety net then we may either take responsibility and work harder or we might become too anxious and fall.

If we believe there is a safety net, we may become lazy and smug and fail to get things done or we may be calmed and reassured enough to press forward with confidence.

For those with PTSD and generalised anxiety disorders, belief in a safety net may help them function normally.

Spectrum
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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Spectrum » July 5th, 2017, 12:58 am

The only savior man has is himself.
Agree totally.

To do so, one must 'Know Thyself' and ideally strive to understand one's own machinery to its finest details and operation.

The question is what is preventing the individual[s] from understanding their own self[s] [physical and mental machinery]. What are the stumbling blocks?
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Dark Matter
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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Dark Matter » July 5th, 2017, 2:06 am

Spectrum wrote:The only savior man has is himself.
Agree totally.

To do so, one must 'Know Thyself' and ideally strive to understand one's own machinery to its finest details and operation.

The question is what is preventing the individual[s] from understanding their own self[s] [physical and mental machinery]. What are the stumbling blocks?
The fact that beyond the physical and mental machinery there is an essence.

Eaglerising
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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Eaglerising » July 5th, 2017, 5:43 am

Spectrum wrote:
The question is what is preventing the individual[s] from understanding their own self[s] [physical and mental machinery]. What are the stumbling blocks
?

That is an excellent question. Unfortunately, it is difficult to answer because there are so many variables. First of all, not everyone is meant or capable of doing what is necessary to "know" and "understand" self. I say that because some people are more curious than others, some people are more adaptable than others, and some are more persistent and others. Curiosity, adaptability, and persistence are all needed to "know" thyself. In other words, it is about ALLOWING as opposed to seeking or avoiding.

Secondly, how do you see yourself? Are you the physical body or something else? it is impossible to "know thyself" if you see yourself as being the physical body. To obtain the right result you premise must be right, because what you begin with is what you end up with.

Thirdly, you have to be able to approach everything from the "unknown" as opposed to the known. In other words, you need to approach everything freshly, as if you had never seen or heard of it before,

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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Spectrum » July 6th, 2017, 1:18 am

Eaglerising wrote:Spectrum wrote:
The question is what is preventing the individual[s] from understanding their own self[s] [physical and mental machinery]. What are the stumbling blocks
?

That is an excellent question. Unfortunately, it is difficult to answer because there are so many variables. First of all, not everyone is meant or capable of doing what is necessary to "know" and "understand" self. I say that because some people are more curious than others, some people are more adaptable than others, and some are more persistent and others. Curiosity, adaptability, and persistence are all needed to "know" thyself. In other words, it is about ALLOWING as opposed to seeking or avoiding.

Secondly, how do you see yourself? Are you the physical body or something else? it is impossible to "know thyself" if you see yourself as being the physical body. To obtain the right result you premise must be right, because what you begin with is what you end up with.

Thirdly, you have to be able to approach everything from the "unknown" as opposed to the known. In other words, you need to approach everything freshly, as if you had never seen or heard of it before,
The most effective approach to know about one self is to start with the known. This is what Science and other faculties of knowledge have been doing, i.e. studying within the known to uncover further knowledge and abstract verifiable principles therefrom.
From what is known and its principles we can dig deeper into the unknown. This is how physics ventured from solid to invisible quarks and Quantum Physics.

Thus for Know-Thyself we should research from the following two broad categories;
  • 1. Physical Self - known to unknown [possible and the impossible]
    2. Mental Self - known to unknown [possible and the impossible].
We need to understand what is possible and what is impossible with regards to the self.
Square circles or any contradiction [same sense and time] are impossible so is human ability to fly by their own power and without additional peripherals.

I believe humanity [by some people] has understood 90% of what is to know of the Physical self, but there is still a lot to understand its operations to the associated behavior, e.g. being the workings of the neurons as one of the last frontiers.
As for the mental self, we still have a long way to go, e.g. in understanding the soft problem of consciousness and other neural psychological activities.

I understand different people has different inclinations to learn and to know.
However I believe humanity MUST set an ideal and strive to ensure the majority learn and know what is already known. Humanity is way behind on this and there is no organized efforts on a collective [humanity] basis to do so.

Example, note sex education. Every human has the potential for sexual urges but they do not know what are underlying root principles for it.
As with this forum, every human has the potential to be religious towards spirituality, but the majority are ignorance of why they are clinging to an illusory God.

I believe humanity must strive and if we establish a mission and effective strategic plans we can begin to nudge the majority to know-themselves as much as possible.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Dark Matter
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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Dark Matter » July 6th, 2017, 2:13 am

There is a third categoy: the Essential Self - unknown to unknown [the existential and the potential].

-- Updated July 6th, 2017, 2:18 am to add the following --

Or the transition from essence to existence.

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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Maffei » October 15th, 2017, 2:15 pm

I think this is a premature conclusion:
Spectrum wrote: To do so, one must 'Know Thyself' and ideally strive to understand one's own machinery to its finest details and operation.
Is knowing yourself a possible thing? In all our lives we experience many things and only a very little part of them appears to our conscience. That's why we don't have any control of the major part of our thoughts and emotions. They keep appearing to our minds and we don't know where they came from.
- Are they origined in our memories or in present impressions?
- Are they only internal, as a result only from the memory, or are they a result from actual external pressions?
- Is my concept of myself an active idea resulting of an objective analysis or is it influenced by who I want to be?

As we may observe, there are multiple factors that keeps us from perceiving the precise cause of our concept of ourselves. And maybe this is the motive of the search for a God: the fact that we don't accept our ignorance of the causes that makes us who we are.

So we strive for a self understanding in rational means, as if being rational would avoid us from being ignorant. I'm observing that science and some philosophers (I include most of us in this) want to skip this admission of ignorance and give a convincent image of how would be a secure knowledge of the self: things like machinery, robots and other stuff that men have control. We want to know ourselves as we can perfectly observe us from the outside and create ourselves freely, like if we have an separated existence from everything else.

However, as I demonstrated, is impossible to obtain this knowledge. I agree with Eaglerising when he says
Eaglerising wrote: you have to be able to approach everything from the "unknown" as opposed to the known. In other words, you need to approach everything freshly, as if you had never seen or heard of it before
While we sit here discussing, humanity is taking many actions and responsability for their actions. We don't wait to know everything about ourselves to take actions, we just do it based on the reasons we found fair to rely upon. So we can give god-based justifications or scientific-based justifications, and they keep being justifications created by men and their desires.

That's why I don't think that God is an excuse to doing wrong things, because if you want to do it, you will find another excuse anyway.

Spectrum
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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Spectrum » October 16th, 2017, 1:11 am

Maffei wrote:I think this is a premature conclusion:
Spectrum wrote: To do so, one must 'Know Thyself' and ideally strive to understand one's own machinery to its finest details and operation.
Is knowing yourself a possible thing? In all our lives we experience many things and only a very little part of them appears to our conscience. That's why we don't have any control of the major part of our thoughts and emotions. They keep appearing to our minds and we don't know where they came from.
- Are they origined in our memories or in present impressions?
- Are they only internal, as a result only from the memory, or are they a result from actual external pressions?
- Is my concept of myself an active idea resulting of an objective analysis or is it influenced by who I want to be?

As we may observe, there are multiple factors that keeps us from perceiving the precise cause of our concept of ourselves. And maybe this is the motive of the search for a God: the fact that we don't accept our ignorance of the causes that makes us who we are.
Since humans emerged millions of years ago to the present, we have already known a lot about our selves.
What we need is to know more about our self, the machinery and processes that drive our thinking and actions.

Humanity has already mapped the human genome [once thought impossible].
What is next is to map the full neural circuits of the human brain and we are on the way,
http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/
I understand humans will never comprehend the human brain fully but we can strive for quantum jumps with reference to knowledge of the workings of the brain.

It is not easy to understand how thoughts arise but one thing we can do is to improve one's impulse controls and ensure we do not follow through with negative and evil thoughts. To do this we need to know how the impulse control circuits works in the brain [know thyself] and thus come out with techniques to improve one's impulse control.

Another interesting area of the brain and mind is to understand how and why one is driven to believe in God.
Because believing in a God has its ugly and evil consequences, e.g. SOME Islamists are terrorizing and killing many non-Muslims, it is critical to understand how and why [know thyself] one is driven to believe in God.

My thesis is the belief in a god by the majority is driven by 'zombie parasites' in the mind. Once we understand the mechanics involved we can develop techniques to deal with this unavoidable parasite and minimize the evil consequences from SOME theists. All these require 'know thyself.'
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Maffei » October 16th, 2017, 1:04 pm

Spectrum, reading your post raised so many questions that I will try to list them.

1. Why should I believe that technological improvement have benevolent purposes if most of its use involves creating better war equipment, games, medicine improvements that only a few have access and an industrial progress uninterested in new employees or in nature conservation?
2. If technological progress is proportional to the 'knowing thyself', how can we prove this historically? The rise of all sorts of personality fragmentation, mood disorders and depression were some kind of deviation that has nothing to do with it?
3. When images show brain areas stimulated by the feeling of hate, can this technique or some evolved form of this technique also capture the origin of hate?
4. If such origin of hate is the entire miserable life of this person, what would be the proper solution...? 
5. Psychology already showed us that rage and initiative, for example, have the same source of power. It would be better to eliminate both, since the impulse control is the supposed solution?  Is pulling out the tooth  the better way to cure toothache ?

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Re: The only savior man has is himself.

Post by Newme » December 10th, 2017, 5:19 pm

Eaglerising wrote:
July 5th, 2017, 5:43 am
Spectrum wrote:
The question is what is preventing the individual[s] from understanding their own self[s] [physical and mental machinery]. What are the stumbling blocks
?
That is an excellent question. Unfortunately, it is difficult to answer because there are so many variables. First of all, not everyone is meant or capable of doing what is necessary to "know" and "understand" self. I say that because some people are more curious than others, some people are more adaptable than others, and some are more persistent and others. Curiosity, adaptability, and persistence are all needed to "know" thyself. In other words, it is about ALLOWING as opposed to seeking or avoiding.

Secondly, how do you see yourself? Are you the physical body or something else? it is impossible to "know thyself" if you see yourself as being the physical body. To obtain the right result you premise must be right, because what you begin with is what you end up with.

Thirdly, you have to be able to approach everything from the "unknown" as opposed to the known. In other words, you need to approach everything freshly, as if you had never seen or heard of it before,
Although I agree with the general idea, it is factually incorrect to state that one person is his/her only savior. A savior is one who saves another from danger. Our mothers were our 1st savior - in nurturing our lives and protecting us from danger in the womb. Then our mothers and other caregivers - and many others have probably helped save us in indirect or direct ways. And obviously, we are often saving ourselves from what we perceive to be danger. In more affluent societies - often the danger is more psychological than real, so that does need to be addressed.

That said, I love this topic - because it is really the core of philosophy, which is the core of everything! To understand myself and realize I am paradoxically both my worst enemy and most essential savior is to realize that everything I think - my concept of knowledge and reality - is all filtered through that. And I do believe that in order to save ourselves from (physical, emotional, financial, social and spiritual) danger, we do need to understand the danger (our weaknesses as well as external dangers) and the tools we have to defend against it and thrive (our strengths & how to draw on resources).


To address the variables you mentioned: 1) I believe everyone is meant to know and understand themselves, but I agree that the degree of ability and/or will to do so varies. One major challenge is the tendency to ignore or try to escape uncomfortable emotions, which many do by various distractions - including mind-altering substances, TV, internet etc. Positive disintegration is practically unheard of because it is unpopular among those who want to take or sell a quick fix in a pill, yet it is the rough but necessary path that leads to self-discovery.

2) Again, we are multi-faceted human beings - with real physical needs, as well as emotional, financial, practical, spiritual, intellectual and social needs. I cannot compartmentalize myself and say that I am only a spirit - or only a body etc. I am all of that - and maybe more than I don't even realize yet!

3) The beautiful thing about having children is the opportunity to experience everything new from your child's fresh eyes. Yet, I think that travelling and pushing myself to do things that scare me a bit can also work in that way.


Another important point is that we are complex, multi-faceted individuals - and some aspects of us cannot be known or developed assuming the same rules from other facets of ourselves. In other words, you don't use a screwdriver to apply deodorant. :D When it comes to understanding finances or logic, you need to systematically think it through. But when it comes to spirituality, over-thinking and skeptical analysis can interfere.

I grew up believing in Jesus as my Savior - and although I tried to understand how the "atonement" worked - I never did and have since come to see human sacrifice scapegoating as actually kind of evil - in attempting to shift blame rather than taking response-ability. Still, it makes sense that all religion is symbolic - including Jesus - if you go a bit deeper than the usual orthodoxy. Jesus can represent the spiritual developmental stages which we all would do good to follow him, as he repeated kept suggesting...
  • 1) Birth - "without a parable spake he not unto them" - that story is not so we celebrate Jesus's birthday - but so we celebrate our own - physical and spiritual births.
    2) Respecting our parents while doing God's will... which sometimes means not always doing as they did. As a child (about 12), Jesus wandered off from his parents and was found teaching in a temple. We're meant to do better than our parents - to learn from them and improve upon it and yet still honor them.
    3) Nature is important in dealing with emotional and spiritual matters - Jesus spent 40 days in the (mountain?) wilderness wrestling with Satan (his shadow self) and overcoming it - saving himself from himself.
    4) Jesus loved well - no matter who it was because he realized in addressing all of his negatives, that "in each of us is a bit of all of us." Jesus learned to tap into potentials - of mind-body influence.
    5) The time wrestling with Satan was not a one-time thing - he again had to address it in the Garden of Gethsemane - and just as we may have epiphany - we ideally will have another and another - being spiritually born again and again...
    6) Human relationships inherently involve betrayal. Every one of his friends/disciples betrayed him - lied and said they didn't know him. He was betrayed to the point of death - and yet he still said, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." And often that is the key to forgiving - to realize that people who are hurting hurt others often not realizing the full consequences of their actions.
    7) Pain is a powerfully real part of life and death - which may be why so many relate so deeply to Jesus being nailed to the cross to be killed. And yet, the story of him overcoming it - resurrection - to me may imply physical reincarnation (not in the same body) - but spiritually - overcoming depression, the "dark night of the soul" and other painful experiences.

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