Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Too postmodern for me. No, if you are hit by a truck, you will be hurt, end of story. Relativities matter, rendering absolutes irrelevant in a practical sense.
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Sy Borg wrote: September 21st, 2022, 4:09 pm Too postmodern for me. No, if you are hit by a truck, you will be hurt, end of story. Relativities matter, rendering absolutes irrelevant in a practical sense.
Yes, as I said:
Pattern-chaser wrote: September 21st, 2022, 7:44 am First you spot a potential risk, and then you remove yourself from the path of the lorry, car, or sabre-toothed tiger. First you move out of range of the potential snake, and then, when you're safe, you might check again to see if it's a snake or a stick. ... There is no time or need to assess confidence; recognising a potential risk is sufficient: you avoid it. A numerical evaluation of your confidence is impossible and unnecessary.
I commented only on your assertion that we are 100% confident of something whose probability is not evaluable (if that's a word). This is not theoretical philosophy, or post-modernism, this is real-world philosophy.
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 11:52 am
Sy Borg wrote: September 21st, 2022, 4:09 pm Too postmodern for me. No, if you are hit by a truck, you will be hurt, end of story. Relativities matter, rendering absolutes irrelevant in a practical sense.
Yes, as I said:
Pattern-chaser wrote: September 21st, 2022, 7:44 am First you spot a potential risk, and then you remove yourself from the path of the lorry, car, or sabre-toothed tiger. First you move out of range of the potential snake, and then, when you're safe, you might check again to see if it's a snake or a stick. ... There is no time or need to assess confidence; recognising a potential risk is sufficient: you avoid it. A numerical evaluation of your confidence is impossible and unnecessary.
I commented only on your assertion that we are 100% confident of something whose probability is not evaluable (if that's a word). This is not theoretical philosophy, or post-modernism, this is real-world philosophy.
Nope, we can indeed be 100% confident about the relativities - which are all that matters in most contexts.

If some mindless road-hog runs you down in their gas-guzzling, road-damaging SUV, does it matter that you, the driver and the SUV may actually be the dreams of God, or characters in an alien video game? Again, in most contexts relativities are all that matters.
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 11:52 am I commented only on your assertion that we are 100% confident of something whose probability is not evaluable (if that's a word).
Sy Borg wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 4:50 pm Nope, we can indeed be 100% confident about the relativities - which are all that matters in most contexts.
I commented only on mistaken and misleading claims to 100% confidence.

What matters is something quite different. 👍
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Pattern-chaser wrote: September 23rd, 2022, 9:27 am
Pattern-chaser wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 11:52 am I commented only on your assertion that we are 100% confident of something whose probability is not evaluable (if that's a word).
Sy Borg wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 4:50 pm Nope, we can indeed be 100% confident about the relativities - which are all that matters in most contexts.
I commented only on mistaken and misleading claims to 100% confidence.

What matters is something quite different. 👍
Okay, this looks to be just a matter of language. There appears to be little friction between us when it comes to what phenomena are real or not.
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Sy Borg wrote: September 23rd, 2022, 5:06 pm Okay, this looks to be just a matter of language. There appears to be little friction between us when it comes to what phenomena are real or not.
Yes, my point is more focussed than that: when we claim 'certainty' — or, indeed, anything close to 'certainty' — we are kidding ourselves. Especially when we erroneously put numerical values — e.g. "100% certain" — on a quantity (probability) that is incalculable. This, and also that we don't, in our real-world lives, think or speak in terms of exact probabilities; we talk/think in much more general terms, using words like "likely" or "expect", or just an unvoiced expectation based on past life-experience. Because of their vagueness and imprecision, these terms ideally express our actual knowledge, which is general, approximate, and guesswork too.

Uncertainty is pretty much universal, in practice, in the real world (whatever that is! 😉).
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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I am okay with 100% practical certainty based on relativities, while remaining aware in the background of the possibility that reality may be far more strange than we realise.

I think that, on a philosophy forum, it can be taken as a given that there are unknowns, just as an astronomer won't expect other astronomers to correct them when they refer to "the universe" because it might actually be a multiverse.
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Sy Borg wrote: September 24th, 2022, 4:12 pm I think that, on a philosophy forum, it can be taken as a given that there are unknowns...
If that was/is true, then fair enough. But some unknowns are rarely referred to, and others are 'enumerated' even though their numbers cannot be known. It's almost as if we want to deny the existence of unknowns, or to pretend there are less of them, or to pretend that there are so many 'knowns' that we can ignore the unknowns by comparison. It seems as though we seek to ignore unknowns, and will try any rationalisation we can come up with to avoid admitting to ourselves that we know so much less than we might have hoped.

We even, sometimes, seek to quantify probabilities — with an arbitrary numerical value of our choice — when there is no basis (that we know of) on which they might be calculated. We seek, in the way we express ourselves, to 'big up' what we know, to make it sound more complete, and maybe more authoritative. After all, if we know something is 67% probable, we probably know quite a lot of other stuff about it too, right? It sounds like we know more than we do.

My thought is that we exaggerate, as I have just described, to hide from uncertainty, and to pretend we have solid and dependable knowledge and certainty on which to base our cogitations. Philosophically, we know that such claims go beyond our knowledge, and beyond such evidence as we have. And yet we set all that aside, unwilling to see that our ideas are built on sand. We prefer to think they're erected on a foundation of solid rock, and we will do much to avoid saying or thinking otherwise.

So if you are right, and philosophers automatically and knowingly take it as given that there are all these sorts of unknowns, then I am wasting my time. But do we really bear unknowns in mind, or do we, perhaps, work really hard to hide from them? Even expressing ourselves in such a way as to emphasise, and incorrectly magnify, all the things we do know?
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Still, there's no need for frame shifting. If I say that cars are expected to stop at a red light, it's not helpful to point out that colours do not actually exist in themselves.
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Re: Gnosticism, Mysticism and the Idea or Imagining of 'God': How May Religious Experience be Understood?

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Sy Borg wrote: September 25th, 2022, 9:49 am If I say that cars are expected to stop at a red light, it's not helpful to point out that colours do not actually exist in themselves.
Indeed so. 👍 Context is all; horses for courses.
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