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'The God Delusion'.. But is it true?


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#76    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:24 AM

View PostlibstaK, on 14 May 2013 - 09:47 PM, said:

I do not believe Dawkins has walked the walk, simply because he has no results of practice in meditation and prayer to offer us in the first person.  I think he would find it difficult to approach a study in meditation for the length of time and with the humility required to eventually attain the results and therefore evidence that comes with the extended effort.  That may seem unduly judgemental, I'm not sure I can avoid that given his dismissal of what people have evoked by making the effort.

But that presupposes that prayer, an actual communing or communication with an actual god, is a real phenomenon, when that is the real question.  I'm not sure what kinds of things you don't specifically believe in that people claim are true, but the above is kinda like saying, 'you can't say astrology is bunk without studying and understanding the effects of the precession of eclipses' (that's made-up LG word salad, I don't know what expert astrology entails, but I think you understand where I'm going).  No, I can kinda say astrology is bunk because there is no evidence the positions of stars and planets have anything to do with people's births, there is no evidence of any mechanism by which the stars could influence us, etc.

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Yes, beliefs should be questioned rigorously and regularly - it is part of the humility inherent in the path that we do not claim mastery of a particular piece of knowledge, true masters are rare beasts in history, it would be foolish to believe we have it all figured out unless we are egoic enough to believe we have the capacity to be a master ourselves - the ultimate foolishness.

What I use to test my perception of the material world is not that different to what I use to test my spiritual perception. I think for instance that many could tell you they can recognise and are well aware how very little genuine meditation took place in those first few years, how many false ideas, intrusive fascinations and "false silences of the mind" they have passed through experiencing in the course of whatever present state they may have reached.  But what would you make of it?

That a person can convince themselves of absolutely anything - we know that, it's the point of self observation to be absolutely mindful of that. That perception is a false reality and that it was fascination that led them to their current beliefs? - we know that too, it's a part of the self observation process to discover those fascinations and investigate them to know them for what they are "bring them into the light" so to speak  Those things are easy to put upon another from the outside looking in - I know for myself it does not account for the many hours and reflections, what was discovered and what was discarded as false that happened along the way.  These are just generalised examples but the gist is - what can anyone actually say that will prove that what they are experiencing is the real deal to another person?  

I think I probably need to understand better the definitions of the terms we're using.  When I hear 'spirit', I assume a supernatural component and not just its metaphorical use; I'm not sure if that's the same meaning you are using partly because when I read through the above quote, at no point do I see the need of a supernatural spirit to make sense of it, allowing that it is generalized as you noted.  I'm assuming that the spirit is something that is somehow independent from the brain.

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Delusion

Hmmm, those definitions all seem to work, I don't necessarily see any fighting words in any defintion except the psychiatric one.  I don't think it's that important and don't get me wrong, I don't deny that Dawkins can be intentionally provocative nor that he can be insulting, ha, there's no shortage of evidence for that.  I don't know technically at what point someone is said to be having delusions when the delusions don't outright conflict with reality.  Is it wrong to think that people who claim to have been abducted by aliens or are being followed by the CIA are delusional?  If someone bases these specific beliefs merely on what they apparently experienced in their head but it has no necessary evidence in 'the real world' that would be inconsistent with it, is it fair to say they are delusional?  If we are to just say that you simply can't understand that something is true because you haven't personally experienced it, then I would guess the answer is no.  That doesn't seem quite right to me though, as it's not really that big of a leap then to a person actually 'seeing' and talking to people who, to everyone else, is not there, that seems to be a pretty clear sign of delusion though.

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Claiming that belief that there is a God is a delusion is negating the possibility of a God.

Not necessarily, it's possible that people are being visited by people only then can see, that people are abducted by aliens with no physical evidence left behind, etc.  Not very likely though.

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I would say that what we you have found out is that the material world functions absolutely perfectly, as it was intended to do when it was manifested by God. :P

Ha!  :yes: Well played.

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It really does come down to the position of certainty that there is no God, atheists are pretty sure they have all the answers on that matter or they would not be atheists.
Dawkins himself says, in this book I believe, that he cannot be absolutely certain that God does not exist.  I don't know any atheist who expresses certainty with near the conviction and fervency of some theists.

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Science tells us what the components of the Universe are and how they operate - it has done nothing to tell us which things are likely true (or false) in the spiritual realm.

There's two possible answers for that:  either the spiritual realm is for some reason defined as being inaccessible by science, or the spiritual realm doesn't exist to study.  Science has likewise has been able to tell little about the Twilight Zone save that it is very Serlingish, it's otherwise impenetrable.  If we just want to say that belief in the spiritual realm is equivalent to belief in the Twilight Zone, then I agree.  If we want to say that no, they are different, then we need to provide a reason or argument to say that the TZ does not actually exist that cannot be likewise applicable to the spiritual realm.

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You made my point, from the outside looking in one could argue the beliefs are based on just about anything and the experiencer would never have a means to prove otherwise, most won't bother to try for that very reason.   Like I said, it is a conundrum, a veritable pickle.

I disagree, I think it has a very basic and obvious answer:  people believe what isn't true all the time.  We have proven perceptive and cognitive biases, our brain's awesome pattern recognition capability can sometimes mislead, we can hallucinate and misinterpret.  There is abundant evidence of this: 1 billion Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet like the other prophets and 2 billion Christians believe he was the son of God, they can't both literally be true short of some extremely creative gymnastics. I'm sure that atheists are no exclusion to that rule either, but most of us can say we're at least trying.

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#77    laver

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:25 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 15 May 2013 - 01:13 AM, said:

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smart people those people of the Wolf Clan ...

Tell that to Prof Richard Dawkins...?


#78    shrooma

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:26 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 15 May 2013 - 01:13 AM, said:

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smart people those people of the Wolf Clan ...
.
ah, but third eye, how smart would they be if the time-travelling egyptian aliens hadn't have taught them how to think? or wear clothes?
or eat.
;-)

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#79    third_eye

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:31 AM

Its all contextual ... Dawkins and his science ... the ancients and their wisdom ...

its the organized power hungry sects that wants to keep it all apart ...  one more just for the fun of it :

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~image copyright Lucy West

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' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

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#80    shrooma

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:39 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 15 May 2013 - 01:13 AM, said:


smart people those people of the Wolf Clan ...

View Postlaver, on 15 May 2013 - 01:25 AM, said:



Tell that to Prof Richard Dawkins...?
.
I think you're missing the point that dawkins makes.
he states that spirituality is a humam construct, and therefore has no basis in truth, but he doesn't particularly denounce people their spirituality, just that it's not for him.
he wouldn't attack the wolf clan for being delusional, same as he doesn't attack the rabbis & bishops that he often debates with.

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#81    third_eye

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:43 AM

Hey guys ... if you're quoting posts with images would please kindly edit out the repeated images links ?

One too many oft repeated image is a sore fro the eyes ..

thanks and appreciate for the cooperation .... .

~edit to add

I forgot the point of this my post :

I like Prof Dawkins ... I have his book "The Greatest Show On Earth" The Evidence For Evolution
Great reference book to sit on the shelf

:tu:

Edited by third_eye, 15 May 2013 - 01:47 AM.

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer


#82    laver

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:59 AM

View Postshrooma, on 15 May 2013 - 01:39 AM, said:

.
I think you're missing the point that dawkins makes.
he states that spirituality is a humam construct, and therefore has no basis in truth, but he doesn't particularly denounce people their spirituality, just that it's not for him.
he wouldn't attack the wolf clan for being delusional, same as he doesn't attack the rabbis & bishops that he often debates with.

When you tell a cleric that his god is a delusion and the prayers and veneration are nothing more than just mumbo jumbo... I kind of think that is an attack..? Is it not ..?


#83    shrooma

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:08 AM

View Postlaver, on 15 May 2013 - 01:59 AM, said:



When you tell a cleric that his god is a delusion and the prayers and veneration are nothing more than just mumbo jumbo... I kind of think that is an attack..? Is it not ..?
I think if you were a bit of a wuss you'd think that, yes, but the clergy are built from sterner stuff i'm afraid.
not that prof. dawkins would do that anyway, he always, and I mean always, engages them in serious theological debate, not childish namecalling.
are you sure you've read the book, or are you just pulling misquotes from google??

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#84    third_eye

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:09 AM

View Postlaver, on 15 May 2013 - 01:59 AM, said:

When you tell a cleric that his god is a delusion and the prayers and veneration are nothing more than just mumbo jumbo... I kind of think that is an attack..? Is it not ..?

Its all contextual ... half empty half full ///

It just means what science can come up with given the line of reasoning regarding faith ... not bad or good ... just the way it is ...
Take it out of the labs and scientific environment ... scientists can be as spiritual as the little old lady next to you in any place of spiritual worship be it temple, church, mosque or synagogue.

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer


#85    shrooma

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:19 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 15 May 2013 - 02:09 AM, said:


Take it out of the labs and scientific environment ... scientists can be as spiritual as the little old lady next to you in any place of spiritual worship be it temple, church, mosque or synagogue.
.
indeed third eye. dawkins tells at great length in TGD about his friendship with three religious scientists, none of whom he beats with sticks, or ties to chairs while he calls them names, merely that he doesn't understand their faith!

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#86    third_eye

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:23 AM

View Postshrooma, on 15 May 2013 - 02:19 AM, said:

.
indeed third eye. dawkins tells at great length in TGD about his friendship with three religious scientists, none of whom he beats with sticks, or ties to chairs while he calls them names, merely that he doesn't understand their faith!

I am reminded of another great read ... Robert M Pirsig's Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Posted Image

:)

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer


#87    libstaK

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:42 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 15 May 2013 - 01:24 AM, said:

But that presupposes that prayer, an actual communing or communication with an actual god, is a real phenomenon, when that is the real question. I'm not sure what kinds of things you don't specifically believe in that people claim are true, but the above is kinda like saying, 'you can't say astrology is bunk without studying and understanding the effects of the precession of eclipses' (that's made-up LG word salad, I don't know what expert astrology entails, but I think you understand where I'm going).  No, I can kinda say astrology is bunk because there is no evidence the positions of stars and planets have anything to do with people's births, there is no evidence of any mechanism by which the stars could influence us, etc.
It is a real question, that becomes the point - and how is that question answered?  By taking the journey others have taken and seeing what is at the destination.  Again we reach the conundrum, will an atheist observer actually take the same journey spiritually? Or will the mind dismiss the evidence placed before it because "there has to be a scientific explanation".

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I think I probably need to understand better the definitions of the terms we're using.  When I hear 'spirit', I assume a supernatural component and not just its metaphorical use; I'm not sure if that's the same meaning you are using partly because when I read through the above quote, at no point do I see the need of a supernatural spirit to make sense of it, allowing that it is generalized as you noted.  I'm assuming that the spirit is something that is somehow independent from the brain.
The spirit or soul does exist independent of the physical body.

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Hmmm, those definitions all seem to work, I don't necessarily see any fighting words in any defintion except the psychiatric one.  I don't think it's that important and don't get me wrong, I don't deny that Dawkins can be intentionally provocative nor that he can be insulting, ha, there's no shortage of evidence for that.  I don't know technically at what point someone is said to be having delusions when the delusions don't outright conflict with reality.  Is it wrong to think that people who claim to have been abducted by aliens or are being followed by the CIA are delusional?  If someone bases these specific beliefs merely on what they apparently experienced in their head but it has no necessary evidence in 'the real world' that would be inconsistent with it, is it fair to say they are delusional?  If we are to just say that you simply can't understand that something is true because you haven't personally experienced it, then I would guess the answer is no.  That doesn't seem quite right to me though, as it's not really that big of a leap then to a person actually 'seeing' and talking to people who, to everyone else, is not there, that seems to be a pretty clear sign of delusion though.
I suppose a delusion is manifest when people cannot function correctly in their society and interactions with others.

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Not necessarily, it's possible that people are being visited by people only then can see, that people are abducted by aliens with no physical evidence left behind, etc.  Not very likely though.
If we can't prove or disprove someone's position then we need to learn to just leave it at that.  What people tell me that I can't prove I leave alone, mostly I know I don't have the interest or energy to truly discover if what they are saying is true because there are only so many things we can focus on in life and therefore I suspend my judgement unless or until their views start hurting themselves or others - thats my gauge on what is healthy v disfunctional on a mental or spiritual level.

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Dawkins himself says, in this book I believe, that he cannot be absolutely certain that God does not exist.  I don't know any atheist who expresses certainty with near the conviction and fervency of some theists.
I can't speak for zealots and extremists - it would make this thread too long and off topic, suffice to say that harming others and then claiming spiritual growth or a true relationship with God would be the point that would make even me call a person deluded - on a case by case basis, I wouldn't blame an entire religion or school of thought for the actions of a few individuals.  If on the other hand claiming fervent knowledge of God is accompanied by joy and a compassionate and kind mind set, then I would be looking and thinking at least they are standing on solid ground regardless of whether their beliefs are provable to others.

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There's two possible answers for that:  either the spiritual realm is for some reason defined as being inaccessible by science, or the spiritual realm doesn't exist to study.  
Yes, and that is we are today - it is the reality that we don't have the tools in science available to answer the question.

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Science has likewise has been able to tell little about the Twilight Zone save that it is very Serlingish, it's otherwise impenetrable.  If we just want to say that belief in the spiritual realm is equivalent to belief in the Twilight Zone, then I agree.  If we want to say that no, they are different, then we need to provide a reason or argument to say that the TZ does not actually exist that cannot be likewise applicable to the spiritual realm.
I don't know anything about the twilight zone as a viable paradigm - I only ever enjoyed the show which I took to be distinctly fictional.

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I disagree, I think it has a very basic and obvious answer:  people believe what isn't true all the time.  We have proven perceptive and cognitive biases, our brain's awesome pattern recognition capability can sometimes mislead, we can hallucinate and misinterpret.  There is abundant evidence of this: 1 billion Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet like the other prophets and 2 billion Christians believe he was the son of God, they can't both literally be true short of some extremely creative gymnastics. I'm sure that atheists are no exclusion to that rule either, but most of us can say we're at least trying.
You proved in the sentence itself why the answer is far from obvious - this matter of personal perception based on personality aka 'cognitive biases' and how that makes us view what others believe.  Atheists do not have the market cornered in trying to discover the truth about beliefs, most theists, or just good folk in general, are also trying.

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If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#88    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:01 AM

View Postlaver, on 15 May 2013 - 01:59 AM, said:

When you tell a cleric that his god is a delusion and the prayers and veneration are nothing more than just mumbo jumbo... I kind of think that is an attack..? Is it not ..?

It's called giving cold truth.

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#89    laver

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:50 AM

View Postshrooma, on 15 May 2013 - 02:08 AM, said:

I think if you were a bit of a wuss you'd think that, yes, but the clergy are built from sterner stuff i'm afraid.
not that prof. dawkins would do that anyway, he always, and I mean always, engages them in serious theological debate, not childish namecalling.
are you sure you've read the book, or are you just pulling misquotes from google??

Have 'you' read the book? Namecalling? At the start of Chapter 2 Dawkins gives his opinion of the God of the Old Testament !! I quoted it in full in an earlier post that you may not have seen - now thats what I call namecalling!

(Page 51 of the paperback editon)

Edited by laver, 15 May 2013 - 10:52 AM.


#90    laver

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

View PostHavocWing, on 15 May 2013 - 05:01 AM, said:

It's called giving cold truth.

This may be true but there is important information in the bible if you know how to interpret it and can read the spin





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