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Religion is Darwinian

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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Burning ghost
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 21st, 2018, 9:22 am

Mlw-
Atheists like Dawkins presume that there is nothing beyond that which can be grasped with our mental categories; insights afforded to us via observation and mathematical equations. But it is an unscientific standpoint as they provide no proof for their standpoint, neither mathematically nor empirically.


This is so flimsy a position I don’t quite know where to start. If there is “anything” beyond our mental categories then it is “nothing.” Kant pointed this distinction of noumenon (negative and positive) centuries ago. Are you familiar with his work at all?
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Felix » July 21st, 2018, 1:50 pm

If there is “anything” beyond our mental categories then it is “nothing.”
Well, it would be ineffable, just because we cannot conceptualize it does not mean it is nothing.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 21st, 2018, 11:08 pm

Felix wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 1:50 pm
If there is “anything” beyond our mental categories then it is “nothing.”
Well, it would be ineffable, just because we cannot conceptualize it does not mean it is nothing.
How else would you define something we have no capacity to conceptualise or realise? I would say such a “thing” is no thing at all. It is merely a trick of language.

Note: I am not saying there are phenomenon out there we’ve yet to conceptualise, what I am saying is that any presupposed possible phenomenon is a “thing” and is partially conceptualised. What is beyond our capacity of comprehension and conception is nothing to us - Kant makes this distinction by using the term “noumenon” (of which only the “negative” is of use, the “positive” is merely an illusion of langauge.)

To su mup in plainer terms, if “it” cannot be conceptualised “it” is not an “it.”
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 22nd, 2018, 1:23 am

Kant didn't say that the noumenon didn't exist. Anyway, Kant has been proven wrong by modern science. He said that the grounds for the phenomena we today call quantum phenomena (such as the hotness of a stone) will never be known to science--the thing-in-itself is forever beyond our conceptual categories (cf. Kant, Prolegomena). Today, science knows what causes the hotness of a stone, and such things. It is because we have recourse to abstract concepts and can understand hotness as high velocities among atoms and molecules. So it is high time to throw out Kant. He has been thoroughly refuted.

Although we cannot see these things in the quantum world that underlie our perceptions, we understand them perfectly well. In fact, quantum physics is the most successful of all the sciences. In the same way, we can come to grasp the divine, although we cannot perceive it directly. St Thomas Aquinas explains that we may form concepts that are analogous with the divine, so that they have a relative truth-value.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 22nd, 2018, 1:31 am

I merely expressed what Kant said. If you don’t understand how he differentiated between negative snd positive noumenon then you’re going to grab hold of the wrong end of a completely different stick.

I was referring to NEGATIVE and POSITIVE noumenon. It is a very tricky idea to grasp and even trickier to express.

Kant’s articulation of “positive noumenon” necessarily manifests as negative noumenon. Positive noumenon is the supposition of non-existence; meaning that which is beyond any realm of human comprehension is beyond human experience, and therefore zilch because “that which is beyond any possible comprehension” is not a “that.”

Seems like this to[ic is infecting several other threads because I seem to be repeating what I’ve said elsewhere.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 22nd, 2018, 2:14 am

The term noumenon is irrelevant today, so you can forget about it. There is no strong dichotomy of noumenon versus phenomenon, or subject versus object. Subject and object aren't entirely different things; they aren't two entirely separate realities. Kant made a theoretical idealization of these concepts that doesn't conform with reality.

St Thomas, on the other hand, got it right. He explains that there are indeed things that go beyond our capacity of perception. But this is not because it is noumenal, i.e., forever beyond our grasp--it is imperceptible because it extends beyond the capacities of our faculties. We cannot see God because he is too bright, corresponding to how a bat cannot see the sun, due to the fact that its eyes are used to darkness (Summa T. Ia.12.1). (Aquinas erroneously thought that bats navigate with their eyes; but we understand his point.)

Today, thanks to photographic instruments, we can see the ultraviolet patterns on flowers that we couldn't see before. The "noumenon" has become perceptible.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 22nd, 2018, 2:32 am

Anyway, to backtrack. You are claiming that Dawkins says something he doesn’t. I was trying to point this out. If you refuse you refuse.

To be clear whilst Dawkins would obivously rile against any knowledge beyond human capacity that does not mean there are not new things to be learnt. The two are VERY different and it is unhelpful to dress up someone’s position as almost the complete opposite of what they’ve publicly declared.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 22nd, 2018, 2:39 am

To put it simplier still, we CANNOT know what we CANNOT know. That is the essence of what is being framed by Dawkins and what Kant outlined with the terminological difference between noumenon in teh +ve and -ve sense.

The issue beyond that is in how we frame something as “known” and “knowable.”
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 22nd, 2018, 4:02 am

No, you cannot say that we cannot know what we cannot know, because we don't know that we cannot know that which we don't know. How could Wittgenstein argue so stupidly? How can we know that there are things that we cannot know? To make this conclusion, it requires that we already know that the nature of things that we don't know are "permanently unknowable". How can we know this? It is self-contradictory.

The philosophers of old, such as Pseudo-Dionysius and Thomas Aquinas, never took the word "transcendent" to mean "radical metaphysical alterity". This is something that Kant invented, and it is absurd. How can noumenal metaphysical reality always escape recognition? It requires that there is some kind of relation between the human mind and noumenal reality, where the latter adapts to the former, like a squirrel hiding behind the tree trunk, moving when the other party moves. Noumenal reality can reach into our reality, whereas the opposite cannot be achieved, per definition. It is an absurd postulate.

Richard Dawkins belongs to those who reason in this absurd way. He says that religious beliefs lack scientific evidence; hence God doesn't exist. So he says that we cannot know that which we don't know and therefore it doesn't exist. Everything is wrong about this logic. People have religious experiences. I have had them, too. St Paul says that we will come to know God, although presently we are only looking through a glass, darkly. This makes sense. Only what makes sense appeals to me.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Thinking critical » July 22nd, 2018, 5:09 am

Mlw wrote:
July 22nd, 2018, 4:02 am

Richard Dawkins belongs to those who reason in this absurd way. He says that religious beliefs lack scientific evidence; hence God doesn't exist. So he says that we cannot know that which we don't know and therefore it doesn't exist. Everything is wrong about this logic.
If you are going to quote someone you could atleast have the courtesy to supply a reference point. From what I have read and seen of Dawkins he rightfully states something along the lines of, religious belief lacks any scientific evidence to support it's claims, therefore he see's no good reason to believe gods exist.
There is nothing wrong with this logic.
This cocky little cognitive contortionist will straighten you right out

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 22nd, 2018, 7:43 am

On such lines, there's no good reason to believe that extraterrestrial life exists, because there is no scientific evidence to support such claims.

It is inane reasoning. Scientists practice their scientific method untouched by the question of God. Religion is about the spiritual universe, whereas science concerns the material universe. Theologians never said that God is to be found in the material universe. So if science cannot find him here, it accords with theology--it does not contradict theology. St Augustine, St Paul, and St Thomas--they all say that God is *transcendent.*

The only thing that theologians are adamant about is that God created the universe. Science has not disproved this thesis, nor are they interested in disproving it. They leave the question open. They just continue to apply their scientific method. There is no reason for a scientist to propagandize against religion; nor is there any reason for a theologian to propagandize against science. This is a fake controversy which some propagandists are involved in. Most scientists and theologians just shrug their shoulders.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 22nd, 2018, 9:43 am

Mlw -

I never conflated “don’t know” with “cannot know.” I said “CANNOT” because I meant “CANNOT”. You may believe that we can know literally everything, but I don’t.

Get it?

If not then reassess why you think saying “I cannot know what I cannot know” is contradictory whilst saying “I can know what I cannot know” isn’t. If you don’t see fault (it is not that you CANNOT see fault) then you’re on your own because it’s hard to engage in a discussion you flies in the face of basic reasoning.

There is the possibility that o don’t quite appreciate what I meant by “know”, and I have dangled that question front of you a little. It’s probably a tougher one than the one you asked in this thread though and more a matter of linguistics and epistemology.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 22nd, 2018, 12:30 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 12:31 am
Alias -

Your opinion is that everything about the content of religion is silly or that some of it is?
All religious content. No exceptions.
Religious teaching makes sense when it aligns with reality.
The reality-content of preachment or mythology is unchanged when divested of the religious component. However, the supernatural makes no sense at all; when superstition is stripped of the reality component, it disappears.
Eg. Human-swan coupling is physically improbable (Go ahead, try to picture the procedure! Luckily, you don't have to https://greekmythologyinart.weebly.com/ ... ngelo.html)
and cross-fertily is biologically impossible. No physical sightings of either that swan or Zeus have ever been documented.
However, Leda might have got just as pregnant, and might have borne quadruplets, without any interjection from a god.

The second part of my remark seems to have been lost. The intent of religion is deadly serious.
That's the applied part; the dogma and commandments, the ritual and hierarchy, what they're used for.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 22nd, 2018, 12:47 pm

Mythology is symbolic. The long neck of the swan is obviously phallic. It is a majestic white bird. It is thus symbolic of a potent spiritual and unconscious content that comes down from "heaven" to impregnate the temporal realm. We do not produce every content in our mind deliberately and consciously, but it comes flying into our head, like a divine thought or idea. It can have a very fructifying effect. In Christian theology this concept is continued in the spiritual impregnation of Mary--the Mother of God. It is the same theme as the concept of the Holy Spirit entering our heart, where he whispers to us the thoughts of Jesus--what he is thinking right now. In terms of modern psychology, this depicts how the collective unconscious influences the conscious ego. Much has been written on mythological symbols--in scientific terms.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 22nd, 2018, 1:08 pm

Alias -

All content no exception seems a tad extreme to me. At the same time it does appear you’re willing to except that religious mythos expresses something human though - I call that sort of content serious not silly.

An example would be in how various fables appear as superstituous nonsense only if you wish to look upon all the content as being superstitious nonsense. Stories that express human emotions and talk of sacrifice don’t really seem “supernatural” to me either.

What is more there is a common thread running most religious traditions and the gods tend to be rather ubiquitous in nature expressed as representations of basic human affairs frame in a universal form - gods of war, love, death, knowledge, etc. Some argue that the names of the gods came from actual individuals, but I imagine it is more likely they’re an amalgam of individuals who happen to have impacted their tribe/family/group in such a way so as to be considered one and the same as a force of nature moving through the ages of man.

As you know Serpent, you’ve tried my patience elsewhere and you admit you cannot hold more than two thoughts at once so I’ll just have to accept you’re either unwilling and/or unable to do any real work that goes beyond the facile surface of this topic.
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