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Author Topic:   How do you know truth?
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 114 (26660)
12-15-2002 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by forgiven
12-13-2002 9:50 PM


Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life"
can't think of a better definition.
------------------
saved by grace

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by forgiven, posted 12-13-2002 9:50 PM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by forgiven, posted 12-15-2002 7:05 PM funkmasterfreaky has not replied

  
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 114 (26669)
12-15-2002 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by funkmasterfreaky
12-15-2002 5:13 PM


quote:
Originally posted by funkmasterfreaky:
Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life"
can't think of a better definition.

yayus... and to know truth one must ?????

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-15-2002 5:13 PM funkmasterfreaky has not replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5950 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 33 of 114 (26700)
12-16-2002 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by robinrohan
12-13-2002 11:53 AM


quote:
You, however, refuse to admit this because you want to have your cake and eat it too. We are natural products of the universe. We are complicated combinations of star-stuff which knows nothing and prefers nothing and has no morality. We are natural machines. Ah, but that's ok, say you. My culturally dependent morality tells me that in my small way, if I add a little light to stave off the darkness, if I help one fainting robin back to its nest again, I shall not live in vain. Sweetness and light! True, my morality is meaningless since I could not help but think the way I do, but who cares?
My nihilism is more honest.
I suppose you want me to define nihilism.
You're right. Who cares? If this entire discussion is simply you trying to justify your nihilism, you're barking up the wrong tree with me. "Sweetness and light", hunh? LOL. Nice dismissal of someone who disagrees with you. I have witnessed, up close and personal, most of the worst things that humans are capable of doing to each other both individually and in the aggregate. I have narrowly avoided losing my own life at the hands of others - primarily through pure luck and slightly faster reactions - and have been forced, to my eternal regret and (for many years) recurring nightmares, to take the life of others in order to preserve my own. And yet, at the same time I have seen many selfless and even "heroic" acts; I've witnessed much kindness; I've been the recipient of deep friendship; and I've experienced great beauty - both man-made and natural.
I arrived at the philosophical position I adhere to, and which you dismiss so cavalierly, after many years of quite difficult reflection - "soul searching" the theists would call it. Guess what? In spite of my experiences, I haven't given up. I haven't come to the conclusion that "life sucks and then you die". I haven't lost "faith" in humanity. Nihilism honest? Nihilism is defeatist, utterly selfish, supremely arrogant, intellectually vacuous, and morally bankrupt. It's the default position of people who haven't got the strength to face up to the vicissitudes of life. It consigns the entirety of humanity to hopelessness and dispair while abrogating any personal responsibility to make any effort to change the situation. I can't imagine how a true nihilist can even get out of bed in the morning.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by robinrohan, posted 12-13-2002 11:53 AM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 6:32 AM Quetzal has replied
 Message 40 by robinrohan, posted 12-16-2002 3:27 PM Quetzal has replied

  
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 114 (26712)
12-16-2002 6:32 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by Quetzal
12-16-2002 3:24 AM


hi Q
quote:
Originally posted by Quetzal:
You're right. Who cares? If this entire discussion is simply you trying to justify your nihilism, you're barking up the wrong tree with me. "Sweetness and light", hunh? LOL. Nice dismissal of someone who disagrees with you. I have witnessed, up close and personal, most of the worst things that humans are capable of doing to each other both individually and in the aggregate. I have narrowly avoided losing my own life at the hands of others - primarily through pure luck and slightly faster reactions - and have been forced, to my eternal regret and (for many years) recurring nightmares, to take the life of others in order to preserve my own. And yet, at the same time I have seen many selfless and even "heroic" acts; I've witnessed much kindness; I've been the recipient of deep friendship; and I've experienced great beauty - both man-made and natural.
I arrived at the philosophical position I adhere to, and which you dismiss so cavalierly, after many years of quite difficult reflection - "soul searching" the theists would call it. Guess what? In spite of my experiences, I haven't given up. I haven't come to the conclusion that "life sucks and then you die". I haven't lost "faith" in humanity. Nihilism honest? Nihilism is defeatist, utterly selfish, supremely arrogant, intellectually vacuous, and morally bankrupt. It's the default position of people who haven't got the strength to face up to the vicissitudes of life. It consigns the entirety of humanity to hopelessness and dispair while abrogating any personal responsibility to make any effort to change the situation. I can't imagine how a true nihilist can even get out of bed in the morning.
a nihilist can make one tired, yes? ... but it's always seemed to me that a person who denies the transcendent God has only nihilism to fall back on, and has to make a concious effort to avoid nihilistic thoughts... if all we have is the accidental bumping and grinding of molecules, if there is no more, then life really is meaningless...
i read your post very closely, and many of the things you wrote can be said of my own life... i think you have made a mature and wise decision to live your life the way you do... i simply believe that your worldview, your philosophy of life, has been chosen *because* nihilism is the only, and distasteful, alternative... i hope that makes sense

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Quetzal, posted 12-16-2002 3:24 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-16-2002 8:59 AM forgiven has replied
 Message 36 by Quetzal, posted 12-16-2002 9:17 AM forgiven has replied

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 114 (26719)
12-16-2002 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by forgiven
12-16-2002 6:32 AM


"I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through Me"
Jesus Christ is the way. Jesus Christ is the truth. Jesus Christ is life. And through his way of truth and life we may come to the Creator/Father.
We may pass unto understanding, and ABSOLUTE TRUTH through the grace of God bestowed upon us by Christ Jesus. Praise be to God Most High who reigns supreme, to him be all Glory, Honour and Praise. He has provided a way to reconcile us unto him, and to save our eternal soul. That he loves even the worst of us is incredible to me. He will even provide absolute truth.
And all God's people SAID?!!??!!
------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 6:32 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by forgiven, posted 12-18-2002 9:03 PM funkmasterfreaky has not replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5950 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 36 of 114 (26723)
12-16-2002 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by forgiven
12-16-2002 6:32 AM


quote:
a nihilist can make one tired, yes? ... but it's always seemed to me that a person who denies the transcendent God has only nihilism to fall back on, and has to make a concious effort to avoid nihilistic thoughts... if all we have is the accidental bumping and grinding of molecules, if there is no more, then life really is meaningless...
On the contrary, life - human life anyway - is entirely what you make of it. It is only meaningless if you allow it to be so - for good or ill. I'm kind of surprised you would say that. Isn't there an old Christian prayer that talks about (and apologies if I misquote), "1. Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, 2. the courage to change that which I can, 3. and the wisdom to know the difference"? Think of it from a non-theist perspective and it still makes sense.
1. Take the world and the universe as it is, not what you wish it to be. Accept that humans, being a highly aggressive and territorial species, are quite capable of committing the most heinous acts. But realize at the same time that we are ALSO capable of an incredible amount of greatness. We are a study in contrasts. The same species that can fly and land on another world and whose vision can probe the furthest reaches of the sidereal universe, also condemns the vast majority of its populations to abject misery, starvation and death. The same species that can produce Rembrandt, Bach, Darwin or Einstein, can also produce Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and Pizarro. The same species that can imagine the existence of an all-loving God, can turn around and use this same God as justification for slaughtering its own. We are an amazing species: full of contradictions and complexity. Accept it - it's what we are. No one individual will ever be able to change it. An attempt to try changing the entire species is doomed to failure.
2. If you can't change the human condition, then what's the point? The point is every individual CAN make a difference, even if infintessimal. You effect what you are able, you improve where you can. Just imagine if everyone thought that way? Even if they don't, so what? The motivation to act where you can comes from within. The act becomes its own reward. I would argue that this is the third option you neglected to mention: neither theist nor nihilist. A "humanist" (although the term has become more and more empty over the years, hence the quotation marks) outlook. Wholly secular, and a refusal to chuck the whole thing as a bad job. Can't change the overall misery index? Nope - but I CAN change it in my immediate environment, which is all that can be asked of a selfish organism anyway.
3. You have to pick your battles. Some simply can't be won - accept it. The trick is to know when to attack and when to retreat; when to try and improve things, and when your efforts will be vain. Anything else is stupid.
quote:
i read your post very closely, and many of the things you wrote can be said of my own life... i think you have made a mature and wise decision to live your life the way you do... i simply believe that your worldview, your philosophy of life, has been chosen *because* nihilism is the only, and distasteful, alternative... i hope that makes sense
Thank you. I appreciate your candor. As I hope I've pointed out, nihilism isn't the only alternative to theism. There are many other roads, more than I can imagine, I'm sure. I feel mine is pretty internally consistent. It accepts life as it is, allows understanding of the whys and wherefores, and seeks to make things incrementally better where possible. I don't necessarily advocate it - it is an outgrowth of my experience and may not even make sense to someone else. It ain't all roses - I currently work in a country that has one of the most corrupt governments on the planet. Trust me that I haven't lost any of my cynicism . I am constitutionally incapable of simply giving up...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 6:32 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-16-2002 9:22 AM Quetzal has replied
 Message 42 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 7:13 PM Quetzal has replied
 Message 46 by forgiven, posted 12-17-2002 7:22 AM Quetzal has replied

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 114 (26724)
12-16-2002 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 36 by Quetzal
12-16-2002 9:17 AM


Where are you from Quetzal?
------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Quetzal, posted 12-16-2002 9:17 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Quetzal, posted 12-16-2002 9:41 AM funkmasterfreaky has replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5950 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 38 of 114 (26728)
12-16-2002 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by funkmasterfreaky
12-16-2002 9:22 AM


quote:
Originally posted by funkmasterfreaky:
Where are you from Quetzal?
Colorado, why?
(I know what you meant. Just pulling your chain.) I currently live and work in Ukraine. I've spent most of the last 20+ years living and/or working in the developing world. Ukraine is actually the most "civilized" - yet oddly enough, the most corrupt - country I've ever lived in.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-16-2002 9:22 AM funkmasterfreaky has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 12-16-2002 9:48 AM Quetzal has not replied

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 114 (26732)
12-16-2002 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Quetzal
12-16-2002 9:41 AM


That's awsome, I am so often saddened by the narrowness of my own experiences. I am very fascinated by other cultures though, as one of those people more excelling in social history. Wondering if you would feel like fleshing out your comments on social/political conditions in the Ukraine. I love firsthand commentaries!
------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Quetzal, posted 12-16-2002 9:41 AM Quetzal has not replied

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 40 of 114 (26843)
12-16-2002 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Quetzal
12-16-2002 3:24 AM


My point is that materialism and moralism do not mix. Materialism precludes free will and moralism demands it.
I can't believe you reacted so emotionally.
It's not a matter of what makes us feel good or what is good for us or any other sentiment--it's a matter of what's true.
[This message has been edited by robinrohan, 12-16-2002]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Quetzal, posted 12-16-2002 3:24 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 7:09 PM robinrohan has not replied
 Message 44 by Quetzal, posted 12-17-2002 2:53 AM robinrohan has replied

  
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 114 (26877)
12-16-2002 7:09 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by robinrohan
12-16-2002 3:27 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
My point is that materialism and moralism do not mix. Materialism precludes free will and moralism demands it.
I can't believe you reacted so emotionally.
It's not a matter of what makes us feel good or what is good for us or any other sentiment--it's a matter of what's true.
[This message has been edited by robinrohan, 12-16-2002]

i have to agree with your first paragraph, robin... if materialism is all there is (objectively speaking), whatever philosophy one finally adopts is meaningless... and that regardless of how we approach it...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by robinrohan, posted 12-16-2002 3:27 PM robinrohan has not replied

  
forgiven
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 114 (26878)
12-16-2002 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Quetzal
12-16-2002 9:17 AM


quote:
Originally posted by Quetzal:
quote:
a nihilist can make one tired, yes? ... but it's always seemed to me that a person who denies the transcendent God has only nihilism to fall back on, and has to make a concious effort to avoid nihilistic thoughts... if all we have is the accidental bumping and grinding of molecules, if there is no more, then life really is meaningless...
On the contrary, life - human life anyway - is entirely what you make of it. It is only meaningless if you allow it to be so - for good or ill. I'm kind of surprised you would say that. Isn't there an old Christian prayer that talks about (and apologies if I misquote), "1. Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, 2. the courage to change that which I can, 3. and the wisdom to know the difference"? Think of it from a non-theist perspective and it still makes sense.
ok thinking... *making half-way intelligent expressions... or painful*... sorry Q it just seems to me that if life is an accident, so are the things that make up our individual lives... and if this is all there is, there is no purpose... the serial killer and the pope are both ecstatic to be doing what they want in life and in the end it doesn't matter one whit...
thank God there is more, eh?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Quetzal, posted 12-16-2002 9:17 AM Quetzal has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by robinrohan, posted 12-16-2002 8:12 PM forgiven has not replied
 Message 45 by Quetzal, posted 12-17-2002 3:40 AM forgiven has replied

  
robinrohan
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 114 (26898)
12-16-2002 8:12 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by forgiven
12-16-2002 7:13 PM


ok thinking... *making half-way intelligent expressions... or painful*... sorry Q it just seems to me that if life is an accident, so are the things that make up our individual lives... and if this is all there is, there is no purpose... the serial killer and the pope are both ecstatic to be doing what they want in life and in the end it doesn't matter one whit...
You are right about that, and in some ways your view is more consistent.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 7:13 PM forgiven has not replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5950 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 44 of 114 (26938)
12-17-2002 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 40 by robinrohan
12-16-2002 3:27 PM


quote:
My point is that materialism and moralism do not mix. Materialism precludes free will and moralism demands it.
You apparently have paid no attention to anything I have posted in this thread, have you? Morality is an evolutionary and cultural adaptation designed to facilitate intragroup cooperation and hence maximize fitness. It is perfectly compatible with materialism (if by materialism you mean functionalism, naturalism, and empricism). I have no idea what "moralism" means in this context. Regardless, you have again made a bald assertion without supporting argument.
quote:
It's not a matter of what makes us feel good or what is good for us or any other sentiment--it's a matter of what's true.
You have not made a case for your assertion being "true". In fact, you have consistently failed to make any case for any of your assertions in this thread or the other. You pretend that "everything is physical" equates to "all of our legal and moral systems are a complete charade" without providing any justification for this conclusion. When challenged, you simply ignore the counter argument or explanation. Rather than addressing the points I've made, you handwave them away, ignore them, or dismiss them.
If you wish to continue this discussion, please begin by responding directly to the points raised in post #22 countering your assertions, then proceed to debate in an honest fashion.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by robinrohan, posted 12-16-2002 3:27 PM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by robinrohan, posted 12-17-2002 2:54 PM Quetzal has replied

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5950 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 45 of 114 (26941)
12-17-2002 3:40 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by forgiven
12-16-2002 7:13 PM


Hi forgiven:
quote:
ok thinking... *making half-way intelligent expressions... or painful*... sorry Q it just seems to me that if life is an accident, so are the things that make up our individual lives... and if this is all there is, there is no purpose... the serial killer and the pope are both ecstatic to be doing what they want in life and in the end it doesn't matter one whit...
Hmm, you seemed to have missed the expansion/explanation that followed the section you quoted here. In essence, I think our basic difference is that I don't agree that there must needs, by definition, be an "ultimate purpose". Life has no goal and is not moving toward anything. Life exists only in an eternal now. It has no purpose except to be.
This does NOT, in spite of robin's unsupported assertions to the contrary, require that an individual's life be without "meaning". Yes the universe is a cold, unfeeling, utterly uncaring place. So what? That's reality. You can wish it away, make up anthropomorphic deities to give you that warm fuzzy feeling, invent an afterlife to hide from the fact of death, or whatever makes you happy. This doesn't make them any more "real" than Schraf's invisible pink unicorns (although I've often wondered how you can have "pink" and "invisible" in the same critter). Alternatively, you can accept what IS, rather than what you wish it to be because it makes you feel better, and live what life you've got to the best of your ability within the constraints of the society in which you were born. It's entirely up to you.
I would venture to guess that you probably do - and I would predict that, in the absence of your religion, you would STILL act very much in the same fashion. Somehow you don't strike me as the type that would be out axe murdering people if you didn't feel constrained by the threat of future divine punishment. Wonder why you wouldn't?
Popes and serial killers: You're falling into robin's trap of bringing up false analogies in a reductio ad absurdum argument. Unless you can truthfully say there is a behavioral or psychological equivalence between the Pope and a serial killer - or alternatively make the case that the two behaviors are normative in their particular cultures - then the examples are fallacious. The behaviors - and the acceptability - of the two are completely different because one is in conformity to social norms, where the other is exhibiting arguably abnormal behavior. (Since you're not Catholic, I leave it up to you to decide which is which ).
In the end, as you put it, the universe will go on quite unconcernedly whether a given individual is a serial killer or a saint. In fact, the universe will go on quite unconcernedly whether life on this particular planet exists or not. Why does this fact bother some people so much?
Of course, you could simply be stating that you believe humans are insane and will run amok unless there is an externally-imposed (read supernatural) constraint on their behavior. In which case, I'd love to see your evidence...
quote:
thank God there is more, eh?
Thank Darwin we know we are smart monkeys who can make "more" of life all by our lonesomes, eh?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by forgiven, posted 12-16-2002 7:13 PM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by forgiven, posted 12-17-2002 7:34 AM Quetzal has not replied

  
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