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God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
#11
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
(December 6, 2021 at 11:47 pm)Belacqua Wrote:
(December 6, 2021 at 10:41 pm)LadyForCamus Wrote: I can understand a conception of god that inherently disqualifies god from the category of ‘magical, imaginary things,’ i.e. the tooth fairy, Santa Clause, etc. (thank you @Neo-Scholastic for harping on the subject often enough that it finally tickled my thinker), and I’m happy to be charitable toward any argument that attempts to make such a distinction.

Open-mindedness! Here in the 21st century! This makes me happy.

One good book on this subject is The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart. He is an academic, Eastern Orthodox Christian. This book avoids unreadable jargon and provides an introduction to what you're asking about here. 

I predict it will NOT make you a theist, but it will show how the God = tooth fairy argument is naive. The quote from the Guardian on the Amazon page is accurate, I think:

"Hart marshals powerful historical evidence and philosophical argument to suggest that atheists—if they want to attack the opposition's strongest case—badly need to up their game."—Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian

https://www.amazon.com/Experience-God-Be...filtered=1

Out of a spirit of Christian charity, I suspect Dr. Hart would be OK if you pirated a copy:

http://libgen.rs/book/index.php?md5=682A...6AFEEA19C2

Will check it out, thank you. 🙂
Nay_Sayer: “Nothing is impossible if you dream big enough, or in this case, nothing is impossible if you use a barrel of KY Jelly and a miniature horse.”

Wiser words were never spoken. 
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#12
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
The godster make the big bad scary go bye byes. Jehovah, or jevz to those in the inner circle, is also a world class contortionist, and can fit into any box believers dream up.

Magic is just amazing.
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#13
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
(December 7, 2021 at 12:18 am)LadyForCamus Wrote:
(December 6, 2021 at 11:47 pm)Belacqua Wrote: Open-mindedness! Here in the 21st century! This makes me happy.

One good book on this subject is The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart. He is an academic, Eastern Orthodox Christian. This book avoids unreadable jargon and provides an introduction to what you're asking about here. 

I predict it will NOT make you a theist, but it will show how the God = tooth fairy argument is naive. The quote from the Guardian on the Amazon page is accurate, I think:

"Hart marshals powerful historical evidence and philosophical argument to suggest that atheists—if they want to attack the opposition's strongest case—badly need to up their game."—Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian

https://www.amazon.com/Experience-God-Be...filtered=1

Out of a spirit of Christian charity, I suspect Dr. Hart would be OK if you pirated a copy:

http://libgen.rs/book/index.php?md5=682A...6AFEEA19C2

Will check it out, thank you. 🙂
 
Thanks for that, I'll see if I can get hold of a copy.

Most religions, including Christianity have a mystical tradition. This mysticism is about union with the divine and is invariably described as blissful at the every least. I have no problem with the notion of bliss. I have a big problem with concluding that such experiences are in fact  a direct experience with the divine. 

The reason for my scepticism is because I have experienced bliss  in this sense twice in my life. The first time was in 1963 at age 16.  I was on a weekend retreat with all the boys in my class, to a local Passionist monastery. We were in the chapel with the rite of benediction of The Blessed Sacrament***. The priest was behind us giving a homily on the mystery and joy of the Eucharist****. It  was then I was suffused with utter peace and joy. The feeling lasted only a few minutes.


***Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, also called Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament or the Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction, is a devotional ceremony, celebrated especially in the Roman Catholic Church, but also in some other Christian traditions such as Anglo-Catholicism,[1][2] whereby a bishop, priest, or a deacon blesses the congregation with the Eucharist at the end of a period of adoration.[3]

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament - Wikipedia

****Eucharist (from εὐχαριστία, "thanksgiving") here refers to Holy Communion or the Body and Blood of Christ, which is consumed during the Catholic Mass or Eucharistic Celebration. "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood, ... a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.'"[1] As such, Eucharist is "an action of thanksgiving to God" derived from "the Jewish blessings that proclaim – especially during a meal – God's works: creation, redemption, and sanctification."[2]

Eucharist in the Catholic Church - Wikipedia


((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((9)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

The second time was ten years a later. I was walking to my car on the way home from work.  A walk o about 1/2 a mile. The army has an apt description of my mental state at the time "thumb in bum, mind in neutral"  Without prior thought, I solved a Zen koan which I had heard about five years earlier and promptly forgotten.  The feeling was similar to the other experience, but more intense, "an expansion of consciousness' doesn't really cover it. The feelings lasted for only a few minutes and has never returned.   The idea of the experience being a joining with divine did not occur to me.


(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((9)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

My position as an atheist is that I do not believe in god(s) Nor do I except personal experience as demonstrating the existence of god. I demand empirical evidence discovered with scientific method. IE it must be repeatable
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#14
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
Quote:My position as an atheist is that I do not believe in god(s) Nor do I except personal experience as demonstrating the existence of god. I demand empirical evidence discovered with scientific method. IE it must be repeatable

How many times must one be probed by God's little helpers to be deemed as evidence?

Buy I wish Vorlon was here. Gone but not forgotten.
No God, No fear.
Know God, Know fear.
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#15
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
(December 7, 2021 at 1:42 am)ignoramus Wrote: Buy I wish Vorlon was here. Gone but not forgotten.

Don't worry. You'll be with your boyfriend again soon. Wink
[Image: mtfbwyf.jpg]
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#16
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
I see no difference between claims of a God/gods/deities/ or the super natural, or unicorns or elf, or Spiderman. If one can accept that the woman was not sawed in half in a magic show, then all belief in superstition still amounts to suspension of disbelief. The only difference between religion and Santa or Yoda is degree of literalism and political power.
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#17
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
(December 7, 2021 at 2:16 am)Foxaire Wrote:
(December 7, 2021 at 1:42 am)ignoramus Wrote: Buy I wish Vorlon was here. Gone but not forgotten.

Don't worry. You'll be with your boyfriend again soon. Wink

You just didn't like him cause he was gay!
Hehe
No God, No fear.
Know God, Know fear.
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#18
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
(December 6, 2021 at 10:41 pm)LadyForCamus Wrote: How can we rationally square that god is simultaneously not of the world, yet tangible in such a way that makes comparing god to magic and fantasy a category error? If a theist proposes that god is being erroneously lumped in with a particular stripe of concepts that he/she/it, de facto, doesn’t belong with, then I would say it’s the theist’s responsibility to lay out a pathway to grounding god in reality that actualizes god without leaving him/her/it susceptible to the same evidentiary standards used for any other real, material thing. 

Yeah, what God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy share in common is a whole tower of ad hoc excuses, and other logical fallacies, to "prove" their existence.

For instance, one example is the location Faerieland from a serious book about faeries by Brian Froud

Quote:Where is 'Faerieland'? Its position is elusive. It is sometimes just over the horizon and sometimes beneath our feet [so fill in the blank yourself]. Yet there have been periods when faerieland was thought to be an actual geographical area [faerie literalists], although even this has tended to shift [so maybe it's just a metaphor, but it is really a fusion of both when you use different points of views when you need them]. For instance, the Welsh first thought it was to the North of their mountainous land, and then in the mysterious, rocky and misty west peninsular of Pembrokeshire [oh, real geography]. Later it moved to an island lying in the Irish Channel off the Pembrokeshire coast [it's magical, it can move]. It was seen sometimes by sailors [anecdotal evidence], and even landed on, but would then disconcertingly disappear [ah, so close, some people are obviously not worthy of it]. Nevertheless, its faerie inhabitants were said to be frequent visitors to the markets of Laugharne and Milford Haxen [anecdotal evidence]. The Irish called the phantom isle Hy Breasail and, for them, it lay to the West. To Britons it was the Isle of Man that was the faerie isle. The Isle of Man is a rich source of faerie lore [oh there must be something there since there is so much 'lore'].

So Faerieland exists but it is always out of reach, and it is both a metaphor and real, and some honest people had interaction with it.

And then there is a famous example of purely ad hoc construction where Carl Sagan uses only ad hoc excuses to prove that there is a dragon in his garage in his book "The Demon-Haunted World". Sagan offers a story concerning a fire-breathing dragon who lives in his garage. When he persuades a rational, open-minded visitor to meet the dragon, the visitor remarks that they are unable to see the creature. Sagan replies that he "neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon". The visitor suggests spreading flour on the floor so that the creature's footprints might be seen, which Sagan says is a good idea, "but this dragon floats in the air". When the visitor considers using an infrared camera to view the creature's invisible fire, Sagan explains that her fire is heatless. You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.`Good idea, except she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick.'

So one can never really disprove that there is no dragon, but there is also no difference if there really is an invisible, incorporeal, dragon living in an imaginary dimension and no dragon at all.
teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. - Sam Harris, "Letter To A Christian Nation"
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#19
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
(December 6, 2021 at 10:41 pm)LadyForCamus Wrote: I realize there’s a possible false dichotomy here: ‘either a god is detectable via methodological naturalism, or god doesn’t exist.’ It may very well be the case that there are things which exist, that are also beyond our ability to investigate. But if carving out a unique, third set that contains god and only god[...]

Limited answer, to just the part quoted above.

A lot of people believe in things which are not detectable via methodological naturalism, yet seem to exist. 

The paradigm case is probably numbers. We can think and talk about the number two, we can use it to reason with, yet we cannot find it in the material world. It cannot be weighed, measured, or located. We know of the number two in two ways: first, by abstracting and extrapolating from the material world. Given enough cases of two thises and two thats, we can begin to discuss the number two separate from any material substantiation. Second, by fitting the number two into a logical and coherent system (i.e. mathematics) we can see that it is meaningful to discuss it without reference to the material world. 

The vehement materialists here [and I'm just going to pass over the fact that Vehement Materialists might make a good band name] will argue that numbers are just names we have for things and have no mind-independent existence. They might be right, but this turns out to be a trickier question than it first appears. There are some very serious people (Plato, Popper, Penrose, etc.) who hold that numbers are real. If they are right, then there are real things which are not detectable via methodological naturalism, but only through logic. 

So it appears that there may well be things that exist, inaccessible to methodological naturalism, which it is possible for us to investigate. But not through empirical methods. 

I bring this up because at least since the time of Plato and Aristotle, God is said to be more like numbers than like Bigfoot. His existence (they say) is known not by empirical evidence, but by extrapolation and abstraction from the material world. 

It is fair to say that in this system God is unique. He is not just another form or another number. He is held to be the sole member of his set, because all the other immaterial things (forms, numbers, etc.) require for their existence that there is one overriding, Logos-giving form. At the same time, saying he is unique is not to say that he is separate from the universe. As the saying goes: "God and the universe do not make two."
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#20
RE: God, Santa, and The Tooth Fairy
God is a man on a stick who turns water to wine and rose from the dead. I love it when folks pretend it's more complicated than this.

Tell you what Bel, you can call people naive for comparing the tooth fairy and god when the faithful believe in something other than exactly this, right here, up above. When you find a classical greek pagan who believes in a philosophers god, it might be a good convo, but as long as we're talking about christians..well, they don't believe in a philosophers god, their god is not asristotles, nor platos.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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