Moonwood the Hare wrote: ↑
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:15 pm
First of all I want to note that you have once again done something that you do quite often.
You are being hypocritical here. What you do quite often is ignore my poignant questions (like what is your evidence for any gods existing?) and usually switch to referring me to some dusty old Christian book that doesn't interest me in the slightest.
First you present an argument leading to a conclusion. Secondly when someone shows that the argument is not valid you replace it with a completely different argument leading to the same conclusion without ever acknowledging that your original argument has failed.
Yeah? Let's see how that pans out for you.
You argued that because Christians have many different opinions Christianity must be subjective.
Incorrect. My argument was that because of the 45,000 denominations of Christianity all having different opinions on how to interpret "God's word" that it must be entirely subjective - which it clearly is. Especially if members of the same church can't agree on basic tenets.
I countered this by giving examples of other spheres where there are different opinions where you are not drawing that conclusion. Instead of admitting the failure of your argument or trying to defend it you simply switch to a new argument, in this case one that is not your own.
Oh wot crud! Here's how it went:
Moonwood the Hare wrote: ↑Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:21 pm
So, would you therefore conclude that scienceis entirely subjective with no external referent?
I gave this very concise answer that you refused to answer:
No, scientific results should be objective, regardless of who conducts the experiment. Science doesn't need a god for an external referent. Science changes when new knowledge is brought forward, tested and if the results are repeatable we accept it as being true, replacing the old knowledge. Religion doesn't work that way. New knowledge is frowned upon and your Bible can't ever be wrong.
Having said that I don't mind discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand if that is what you want to so. Let's take it piece by piece:
Craig Biddle April 20, 2017
Many people regard religion as the opposite of, and the antidote to, subjectivism. In fact, however, religion is a form of subjectivism. Indeed, it is the most extreme form of all.
To see why, consider the nature of secular subjectivism, both personal and social, and compare them to religion.
Personal subjectivism is the notion that truth and morality are creations of the mind of the individual, or matters of personal feelings or opinion. Social subjectivism is the notion that truth and morality are creations of the mind of a collective (a group of people), or matters of social convention.
In the past you have always argued that morality is subjective; have you changed your mind and become an objectivist or do you not actually agree with this part of the argument.
I DO agree with it
If you reject this part then since the rest depends on it the argument fails. Quite clearly though I think there is a subjective aspect to morality; feelings, hopes, aspirations, empathy, these are subjective phenomena that play a part in morality; I don't think these can be totally excluded; so there is a subjective aspect to morality. For an alternative perspective on this readCarl Rogers essay 'Do we need a reality' which you will find in this collection https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carl-Rogers-Re ... 648&sr=8-1
The concept of social subjectivism is an oxymoron. Clearly there are aspects of morality that are a consequence of agreement in a group. For example most people would agree that it is dangerous and immoral to speed on the road but the speed limit is set by social consensus.
The personal subjectivist says, “If I say something is true, then it is”—or “It’s right because I say so”—or “It’s good because I feel that it is”—or the like. The social subjectivist says, “If my group says something is true, then it is”—or “It’s right because my tribe says so”—or “It’s good because that’s the consensus”—or the like.
If I experience something as true then it is true for me; that is Rogers point and as the Thomas theorem states 'If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences'. For an overview of this perspective see Berger and Luckmann's 'The Social Construction of Reality' https://www.amazon.co.uk/Social-Constru ... 188&sr=8-3
Aren't you arguing that morality is objective and comes from your gods?
In short, subjectivism is the notion that an idea is true or an action is moral because someone or some group says so.
No, it isn't. The statement that something is true is secondary to the experience of it as true whether by the group or individual.
Sorry, I don't agree. How do you know it's moral or immoral if someone doesn't tell you it is?
With that in mind, what does religion say about the source of truth and morality?
many things. You canot treat all religion as homogenous in this way.
Yes, but I think she was talking holistically.
Religion is the idea that a God exists and demands our faith and obedience.
No. Religion canot be that as there are non-theistic religions.
Again, I'd think that you would agree that idea is generally the case.
He is alleged to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good being who is the creator of the universe, the source of all truth, and the maker of moral law. According to religion, if God says something is true or right or good, then it is—by virtue of the fact that he said so.
This is another misunderstanding. The Ochamites say this but that is one possible view. Here is an alternative: God creates a cosmos and within that cosmos there are human beings. They are ways of human functioning that are optimal and ways that are not. You will notice that this second claim, which has always been part of natural law theory, is quite similar to what Rand says. We can reverse engineer this optimal behaviour or in some instances God can tell us what it is, but in no case it it simply a matter of being the case because God says so. That is like saying the manufacturer's instructions for a machine are simply arbitrary fiats.
You're stretching a long bow there. Ask most Christians whether it is arbitrary if God says something is true or right or good and there are good arguments where God is wrong. I've never heard a Christian doubt the word of God - unless his faith is smashed. Can you think of any verses in the Bible where God has ballsed it up?
Well, we can see one level of subjectivity right there. Truth and morality are whatever God says they are. But the subjectivity involved in religion goes further.
No. This is a misunderstanding for the reason's given above.
I think she is spot on for reasons explained.
In order to accept that God’s say-so is the standard of truth and morality, you have to accept the say-so of religionists who say that it is. “God exists and His word is the truth.” How does the religionist know this? He “knows” it because he said so—or, as he will put it, “because I have faith,” which means: “because I accept ideas in support of which there is no evidence.” And he expects you to accept it because he said so. (Otherwise he would present evidence.)
And now we see a profound problem with this kind of objectivism, its failure to comprehend the views of the other. A theist may say just accept this or he may present a case, which you can accept or reject. There is just no way he is bound to say 'believe this because I say so' nor is it the case that the theist believes because he himself says a thing is true. No case has been presented why this must be the case it is simply asserted.
You are arguing for me here.
Seen in this light, religion—or “supernatural” subjectivism—is significantly more subjective than secular subjectivism. It is super subjectivism.
At this point this just looks like self serving nonsense, but then for Rand self serving is unavoidable.
It made a lot of sense to me.
None of this is to say that people don’t have a right to be religious. They do. People are (or should be) free to believe in God and to practice their religion—as long as they do not enact any religious laws or commandments that call for murder, rape, or other rights violations.
Isn't he generous!
I would go further and get them to stay away from kids and swaying government on the basis of their silly "holy" instructions.
But people are not free to be religious without being subjectivists. Religion is not only a form of subjectivism. It is the most subjective form of all.
Case not proved.
Where is your proof that God exists?
No you have leapt to the assumption that we can only have grounds to believe what we can prove. That is not only false but it has been proved to be false (in 1929).
In the 5 or so years that we have spoken hear, you have never presented any evidence or even any reasons why you believe in the existence of God. Is it really that embarrassing?
You and other Christians here DO believe on faith alone, even despite evidence to the contrary.
This is assertion not argument.
I can trawl up evidence where this is the case, but there is no point. You will believe in your faith no matter what I say. I am a lot more open minded than that. Give me some verifiable evidence of ANY god from any era of man's existence and I will get down on my knees and pray my head off.
You believe that a dead Jew from 2,000 years ago got re-animated from a god's magic and he is still alive today. You believe that he actually walked on water. You believe on faith alone that a huge number of slaves got emancipated from a cruel unnamed Egyptian pharaoh, wandered in the Sinai desert for 40 years and got fed by your god from food falling from the sky. Need I go on?
No. We have discussed all this before. You find it impossible to reflect what Christians believe without adding your own distorted interpretations. When you can present what we believe as we believe it you will be ready to criticise it. Again I encourage you to read that essay by Rogers.
And I encourage you to read all of Carrier's books.
It depends whether you think that your religion was subject to religious syncretism or not. I think that there is clear evidence that it was, what do you say?
I say you had better begin by explaining what you mean by syncretism.
Read all about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_syncretism
I don't make decisions about anything using faith alone (like you do), it's an incredibly poor tool to work out what is the truth.
We have been over this in great detail. When we had the thread on this everyone involved explained to you that they did not take the approach you were attacking, none the less you continue to criticise this position that no one holds. If you were producing some kind of argument that although people were claiming not to hold this position they did hold it really, then you might have a case but you are not; you are simply stating that people hold this position, that faith in isolation is a route to truth, in spite of their clear rejection of that. So let me be clear once again: I have absolutely no idea what it would be like to make a decision by faith alone; I don't do it and I don't know of anyone who does do it.
How about anyone that believes in the Apostles' Creed without any supporting evidence?
In order to believe the creedhe would need to use his reason to understand it. Therefore it would not be by faith alone.
You were invoking the "No True Scotsman" fallacy and the Argument from Ignorance when you said, "I don't know of any serious scholar who thinks he is mythical". There could be lots of "serious" scholars that you aren't aware of! How about if I say that the existence of Moses was lacking in historical evidence, so I don't believe it was the truth?
You might find, say, a journalist using the term mythical of Moses but you are not going to find anthroplogists or students of literature using it in that slipshod way. How about if you do say that? You are certainly free to chose criteria for belief.
That would only make sense if you could present evidence that Moses only believed in one god. It gets thrown out the window with the verses depicting him believing in other gods.
Suppose a Christian were to say the Christian God is better than the Muslim God. You might take that to imply that both God's exist but more likely he would be comparing two concepts. The distinction between conceptualisation and instantiation is a very sophisticated one. People struggle to make it but itwas not until the early twentieth century with the development of logical languages that this could be made clear. But if the distinction itself is very hard to make clear in ordinary language then reading that distinction, which may not have existed in people's minds because they had no lnguage to express it, back into statements made in earlier eras is very precarious.
He still could have made the distinction of expressing them as "false" gods. But he didn't. He supposedly said, "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other gods,..." not Now I know that the LORD is greater than all other FALSE gods, which means he thought other gods existed, but they weren't as great. Why would he say that God is greater than something that doesn't exist? What would be the point of that?
The point would be to compare two ideas or behaviour sets. Language does not work in the way you assume it does. Peopledon't put everything into clear forms that exclude possible misunderstandings at times in the unspecified future. If they did it is doubtful their contemporaries would understand them
If that's the case, what's the point of paying any attention to the Bible at all if you don't understand what people in those days thought or believed in?
There is realy no need for this kind of textual nihilism. Of course scribes will try to interpret a disputed text in line with what they think it is likely to have said but that is true in the present as well as the past. Textual studies are an attempt to get past that. If you were to say on the basis of our limited number of texts and the variations no one knows what, say, Plato thought people would laugh at you, same applies here.
Except that generations of evangelical scribes didn't fiddle with what Plato wrote to suit their agendas.
I do not know where you are getting these generations of evangelical scribes from. The evangelical movement began in the nineteenth century and most evangelicals would accept the masoretic text for the Hebrew which they would have no opportunity to tinker with (it's a Jewish work). For the Greek, the textus receptus was produced by Erasmus of Rotterdam who was not an evangelical (read his debates with Luther if you think so) and the revised text was the Work of Westcott and Hort who were liberal Catholics. None of those responsible for the transmission of the texts prior to these editions could fairly be described as evangelicals.
I was using it in the sense of having an agenda of promoting Christianity. From Wiki:
The term may also be used outside any religious context to characterize a generic missionary, reforming, or redeeming impulse or purpose.
Okay, so your argument is that the scribes that transmitted the scriptures were Christians and therefore distorting its message.
Not just Christian scribes.
I think you are saying this was a deliberate conspiracy of some kind.
Absolutely! Don't you think that there was political and theological control over what was written and preserved? If you don't you are very naive.
Do you have evidence to support that claim rather than a more general claim that scribes tend to interpret a text in terms of what they think it likely to say, which would apply in the other cases where you say it wouldn't.
Back atcher - Read most of Bart Ehrman's books on this subject.
You're not saying that animists didn't believe in lots of gods are you?
I am saying animism is distinct from polytheism which was the term you used. Go back and take another look at Tyler.
I know it is distinct from polytheism, but both include belief in many gods.
Not really. Animists don't necessarily believe in gods at all though animism could exist alongside god beliefs. And as you said later polytheism emerged from earlier polytheism that claim is irrelevant. And to make it clear I think Tyler's views are not tenable but if you are going to make a case for that kind of position you do need to understand it.
Yes, Animists don't necessarily believe in lots of gods and spirits (aren't they the same thing?), but mostly they did. Even in Daniel, the people worshiped "the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone" (Daniel 5:4).
“One would go mad if one took the Bible seriously; but to take it seriously one must be already mad.”