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uziq
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i mean, right-wing catholicism is not exactly unusual. it has historically been the norm. this own pope's past is somewhat dirtied with his association with certain currents of authoritarian politics in latin america; and you don't need me to remind you of the last one's association with nazism and the church's rather ambivalent behaviour in the world war.

it was actually highly unusual for catholicism to be identified with justice-seeking, left-wing thought until the 'liberation theology' movements emerged from mid-20th-century south america, as part of the wave of post-colonial populist movements there. catholicism has traditionally been the fancy spiritual raiment of monarchist/fascist/militarist establishments and their status quo ante politics.

this pope is more clearly attuned to the original message of jesus than any number of throne-sitting pontiffs.

Last edited by uziq (2021-10-18 06:34:12)

SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+567|3052
I read an article about the troubles of the Evangelical church since many members have drifted to Trump occultism. There was a picture like this of some guy praying with Trump.
https://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20200228&t=2&i=1496581207&w=780&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=2020-02-28T165003Z_14658_MRPRC2E9F9E0WCI_RTRMADP_0_USA-TRUMP
I really hate these public displays of faith. I hate that you aren't considered a religious person unless you do these big shows of praying and church attending.

I think the Bible is very clear that religion should be private.

https://www.openbible.info/topics/praying_in_private
https://i.imgur.com/xsoGn9X.jpg
KEN-JENNINGS
I am all that is MOD!
+2,944|5965|949

I read that article in the Atlantic too
uziq
Member
+466|2785
read erich fromm's 'the dogma of christ' if you want to understand both the psychology and economics of christian belief systems. it's short and very good.
uziq
Member
+466|2785
https://www.paulkingsnorth.net/cross

interesting essay from a contemporary british novelist about his journey to finding religion.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX
I've seen people descend into madness, its very sad.
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uziq
Member
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writers are perhaps more mad than your average, but it's just facile to dismiss a well-written account like that. you don't have to agree with it – that's never the point of good writing – but rather to imaginatively extend yourself into what they're saying. you seem singularly incapable of that.

writers spend a lot of time reading, researching, thinking though their thoughts. even if his feelings on this attest to a psychological frame-of-mind or a 'life crisis', he is at least presenting the truth of his experience. isn't that part of being human? the irrational, the occasional feelings of spiritual desolation, the seeking for something more? and, in a certain view, aren't religions or the 'wisdom of the sages' quite beautiful in this regard?

you live in some permanent dawkins-lite, arrested teenager world where 'i am the smartest because i'm an atheist'. you don't realize that a great number of people with religious faith or some conviction started out as atheists, too, or have perhaps thought about this topic deeper than you. i'm prepared to listen to someone who has spent months or years practicing meditation, reading scripture, in an earnest personal investigation. i could even learn something. i don't think anyone has taught you anything since you were about 21. that's not a good thing.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX

uziq wrote:

you don't realize that a great number of people with religious faith or some conviction started out as atheists
Erm pretty sure everyone on earth started life as an atheist.
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uziq
Member
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yes well done. profound point there.

you started out as a pre-verbal grub who, left alone, would have eaten his own faeces. i guess you can call your current state progress?
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX
Yeah of course, and I had the strength not to be sucked into religion.
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uziq
Member
+466|2785
why is an individual embarking on a personal journey of spiritual reflection/exploration a 'weakness'?

feeling humbled before a sense of things bigger-than-yourself, coming to an understanding of your part in a wider whole: humility isn't 'weakness'.

you don't have to go in for the superstitious claptrap and kiddy fiddling to be religious. lots of religions are based on a presupposition of radical doubt about just such things. many varieties of buddhism, for instance, are hardly belief systems for credulous fools who want to be 'sucked into' a power hierarchy.

gnōthi seauton – know thyself – said socrates. a person exploring their feelings of spirituality or contemplating metaphysical matters of 'meaning', 'the beyond', etc. is not by default folding into cowardice and weakness. i'm not saying it's for everyone, or that everyone will encounter such a point in their own lives; but to dismiss it as 'madness' is to dismiss a huge chunk of human experience. thousands of years of people have thought very hard about these questions and you think you've got it all figured out in an afternoon.
uziq
Member
+466|2785


one of the philosophical giants of the last american century. one of the original and groundbreaking academic philosophers who bridged the gap between anglo-american philosophy (analytic philosophy, logical positivism, pragmatism, etc) and continental philosophy (metaphysics, structuralism and poststructuralism, literary theory, plato to nietzsche).

Last edited by uziq (2021-11-10 02:19:30)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX
Honestly don't care, what happened before the singularity we'll never know and it doesn't matter.

If people feel the need for mumbo jumbo then great I hope they're very happy.
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unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,980|6104|USA

Dilbert, a proponent of the pseudosciences is hardly in a position to throw haughty shade at religions and spirituality. Maybe even a step below, being the worst of both worlds.

It's interesting hearing these defensive angles from uzique, though. I think years back he was much against religion, unless that was another person I'm remembering.
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+567|3052

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

It's interesting hearing these defensive angles from uzique, though. I think years back he was much against religion, unless that was another person I'm remembering.
I think a lot of us were.

There's a lot of layers to it. We all lived through the Bush years where "CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES" ran our government. They are obnoxious and stupid. They pick the worst arguments to defend the worst injustices and miseries in life. I still hate them.

As you get older though, you realize that there are worse things in life than someone politely trying to talk to you about Jesus. You meet people of faith who are reasonable and kind. Kinder than many atheists you know.

There's a lot more but I am too tired to type it all out.
https://i.imgur.com/xsoGn9X.jpg
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,980|6104|USA

Yes, complex topic. Stereotypes at both ends. Kind Christians, jerk Christians. There's both, as with many other various groups of people. Positive influences, negative influences, blah blah blah.

Lack Of Education Leads To Lost Dreams And Low Income For Many Jehovah's Witnesses
https://www.npr.org/2017/02/19/51058596 … -witnesses
uziq
Member
+466|2785
i’ve always been highly skeptical of organised religions and any sort of ‘god package’ that a man in a frock or a mad mullah wants to sell me. i think that sort of swivel-eyed group conformity deserves a fair amount of debunking. i’ve always identified as agnostic though, and found the 2000s dawkins-atheist zeitgeist to be cringe in the extreme.

people like dilbert and others of very low intellectual horsepower have ‘converted’ religious credulity for a sort of equally dogmatic, naive scientific naturalism. they take it that science owns the ground of truth now and that only scientists have managed to access ‘impersonal’, objective, absolute reality, etc. this sort of naturalism is actually bad science – even philosophers of science and eminent scientists don’t commit to such bad faith thinking.

not since the mid-20th century have scientists been so cocksure about claims to truth and totality. karl popper elucidated several major critiques of scientific epistemology, such as his well-known critique of inductive reasoning (à la hume before him in the scottish enlightenment); hence why he tightened up his take on the scientific method by introducing concepts of falsifiability/repeatability as central to the epistemic method (don't dare ask how much of modern science actually practices these ideals of falsifiability or repeatability; 'blind faith' in unrepeated experiments with cherrypicked data and manipulated p-values, anyone?). further thinkers like thomas kuhn, with his paradigm shifts, have shown us by historicising the field how scientific method and truth can find itself in unproductive cul-de-sacs.

i studied arts so clearly the idea that there are worthy realms of experience and meaning beyond the narrow positivism/empiricism of science chimes with me. being intimately familiar with how the practice (and business) of science is done, i see how it is a set of human practices, with human foibles, human errors, human egos, etc, etc, not some perfect and disinterested contemplation of the capital-T truth. science as a human endeavour and set of human institutions has its fair share of problems; yet scientific naturalists take it as given that they’re unequivocally getting at ‘the right stuff’ and have transcended millennia of wisdom, which they hurriedly dismiss as ‘hocus pocus’. (science is, of course, a magnificent achievement and the best expression and sum-total of our empirical intelligence; but empiricism itself has limits which the naturalists won’t admit; a good scientist will readily admit the bounds of their knowledge.)

to me, the religions of the world are anthropological examples of human beings as meaning-making creatures, as homo narrans if you will as well as homo sapiens – knowing isn’t all that characterises us – and this impulse to explain, to make myths, to imbue our lives with telos and purpose and grand narratives is just as human as that part which has been trained to collect data and test hypotheses (science can give us the ‘what’ or ‘how’ but never the ‘why’, or integrate into our lifeworld in such a way that it has an actual appreciable meaning, which is where narrative and the desire to go back to first causes, big bangs and beginnings creeps in; it’s the repressed desire for narrative). if all this stuff is fallible and irrational: well, there’s plenty of bias and fallibility that creeps in to scientific thinking via the back door anyway. the narrative and meaning-making encodes values and purpose where modern science leaves us with reams of big data, shiny toys … and moral void.

i’m not particularly interested in questions of ‘is there a god fella’ and ‘what does he want from me’, and i’m not sure that’s what ‘spirituality’ is in an everyday sense anyway. i don’t need a doctrine or a daddy figure; i’m merely open to the supra- or irrational as being irreducibly part of what being human IS. in the same way that a scientific empiricist can try to reduce love down to chemical triggers and effects and a narrowly causal-deterministic model: well, that doesn’t negate or rubbish 2,000 years of love poems, songs, drama, sheer human experience, does it? telling someone that their feeling of joy (or grief) is just a set of chemical reactions in response to external stimuli might be the best scientific understanding we know, but it’s surely inadequate at getting inside the subjective qualia and ‘meaning’ of such things: that involves things surplus to reason, like empathy and imagination, for instance (no surprises dilbert lacks these).

lastly, and importantly, i don’t think spiritualism and scientific thinking are incommensurate. i interact with many top-level scientists who are full of wonder and imagination when it comes to the content of science. dilbert approaches it like a dry dullard and a technician. no scientist presumes to be able to answer every question: every professional scientist knows, after popper, that the best we have is consensus-making through hypotheses, after which the inductive method runs aground on the limits of sense-experience (hume) and inference (logic). but dilbert and all the snarfing, scoffing dawkins-bestseller readers like this narrative that science is a ‘progress’ from earlier thinking – nevermind that the apparatus of logical reasoning itself was transmitted from pagan ancients through pious monks – much in the same way that they like the ‘simple’ tales of ‘evolution’ that they tell themselves when being terrifically scientifically illiterate racists.

Last edited by uziq (2021-11-10 15:04:22)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

Dilbert, a proponent of the pseudosciences is hardly in a position to throw haughty shade at religions and spirituality. Maybe even a step below, being the worst of both worlds.
What pseudosciences have I proponed? I don't remember proponing a single one.

derpziq wrote:

people like dilbert and others of very low intellectual horsepower have ‘converted’ religious credulity for a sort of equally dogmatic, naive scientific naturalism. they take it that science owns the ground of truth now and that only scientists have managed to access ‘impersonal’, objective, absolute reality, etc. this sort of naturalism is actually bad science – even philosophers of science and eminent scientists don’t commit to such bad faith thinking.
Lol OK, hilarious given your unwavering commitment to your dogmatic ideologies.

Religion basically comes down to ego. "Am I important? Religion says I am, so I'll adopt religion"

The ego can't deal with the idea that it is of no significance at all in the universe, so goes mad and invents all kinds of gibberish to tell itself it is.

Think how much time spent on religion and pondering spirituality could have been spent on something useful.
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uziq
Member
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what 'unwavering commitment' do i have to ideologies? i'm not part of any political party and have voted 3 different ways in the last 3 elections. i would love to know just what my 'hipster woke ideology' is supposed to entail. i think at some point you decided to construe me as a woke hipster antifa LGBTQ+ BLM subscriber when i haven't ever committed to any of those things. explaining them to you doesn't mean i'm on the barricades as a radical. (ironically you accuse me of ideology when you're the one who is impervious to actual statistics on any of these political topics, LOL.)

religion comes down to the opposite of ego for many people and faith systems. it's about humbling yourself before an entity or understanding that exceeds yourself. you honestly argue using an edgy schoolchild's conception of religion. 'buddhism? it's all about ego isn't it. people wanting to feel important'. i don't know how you can say that the teachings of jesus christ are about worship of the self or ego, either. look up the greek/christian concept of kenosis – it's central to the whole thing, duh.

you yourself have made up all sorts of gibberish to give your life a coherent meaning and a sense of purpose. you just took your explanations and justifications from a different shelf in an engineer's toolshed rather than a scholar's library. don't pretend your own ego and fragile sense of self isn't all deeply libidinally invested in constructing an 'identity' for yourself and a 'narrative': as i said, that's what human beings ARE. you haven't transcended this basic psychic mechanism/existential fact because you learned how to use a lathe and solve mechanics equations. every human being goes through this process of identity-formation and individuation, whether improvised or formulated according to a creed/ideology. you are not exempt. and there is plenty of smug, self-satisfied ego on display in the result, dilbert.

as the original piece said, quoting g. k. chesterton:

'Wherever the people do not believe in something beyond the world, they will worship the world. But above all, they will worship the strongest thing in the world.'
or, in a more 21st century mode, here's a quote from david foster wallace:

'Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.'

Last edited by uziq (2021-11-10 15:31:06)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX
Drugs are good, drugs are great, drugs do no harm, everyone should take drugs, the evidence is unequivocal. Drugs!

You worship drugs.
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uziq
Member
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omfg. i was expecting a bad argument but this is hilarious. are you nancy reagan?

i haven't taken a psychoactive substance other than coffee or alcohol in over 2 years, and the latter sparingly.

i see drugs in a pretty scientific air, i'd say. i read the literature, check the research, and realistically appraise their merits/demerits, benefits/risks. drugs are just tools to access a different frame of mind or enhance a social experience: some are desirable, for pleasure, others are intellectual, for self-exploration; occasionally people's experience of drugs strays into the negative, motivated not by desire or pleasure but the avoidance of pain and suffering. that's about all there is to them. i would hardly say i stray into 'worship', LMAO.

a certain sort of young and inquiring mind finds drugs and altered states of consciousness interesting. it has always been thus. it's part of being young and trying to figure out what life is about. my identity isn't based around 'drug-taking' and i certainly don't think they have access to any higher 'spiritual' realm or deeper meaning. they are, in a strictly materialist sense, chemicals that help you to stretch the folds of regular, habitual consciousness.

and i have literally never said that drugs are without harm and that everyone should take drugs. why don't you behave like an adult? it's a persistent mental and emotional lapse with you.

Last edited by uziq (2021-11-10 15:26:56)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX
Getting high is 'interesting', OK.

'Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.'
Well obviously we should 'worship' non-sensical gibberish instead of science, money, progress etc.

Makes perfect sense.
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uziq
Member
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of course certain states of altered consciousness can be interesting, or quite literally 'stimulating' in the strictly scientific sense of the word. why do you think so many people take them? i'm hardly the first person to experiment with drugs out of intellectual curiosity. and, besides, some drugs are just simply pleasurable. is it news to you that the human organism is a pleasure-seeking animal?

'shooting small projectiles at paper targets is interesting, OK'.

i imagine one of your beloved cats would find catnip pretty interesting if you left them to it, too. aren't you fond of vague generalisations between humans and animals? well there you are.

way to miss the rather simple point of the paragraph. the point being that existing on a purely materialist, acquisitive plane frequently leads to ruin (that goes for the simply materialist pleasure-seeking of drugs too, fyi). human beings have devised thought and belief systems over thousands of years that stress the emptying of the ego, the belonging to a bigger whole, the importance of humility, etc, is more the point. that there are aspects of human existence that involve leaving your own base desires and ego-obsessions at the door. is that really 'gibberish'? is there no wisdom at all in such an effort?

i honestly don't know why religious thinking or the spirituality of others offends you so much. as macbeth said above, lots of religious-minded folk are perfectly pleasant, amiable, and are living their lives according to a coherent value system – trying to do good. what's wrong with that? who cares if the transubstantiation of blood into wine isn't real or physically possible? i don't give a fuck about these aspects of any formal religion. they aren't the point.

as h. l. mencken put it:

'We must respect the other fellow's religion, ... to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.'
that sounds fine and dandy to me. why is it that you turn a lack of civility and tolerance into a virtue? you just parrot the worst aspects of dogmatic religion and offer no good or endearing substitutes.

Last edited by uziq (2021-11-10 15:49:49)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,778|5439|eXtreme to the maX
existing on a purely materialist, acquisitive plane frequently leads to ruin
According to this guy.

From what I can see religion has frequently led to colossal ruination.
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uziq
Member
+466|2785
yes, right, and pursuing only temporal pleasures like money is a sure-fire way to find happiness and wellbeing.

the pursuit of scientific knowledge and 'progress' – whatever that means –  isn't how people structure their lives and sense of self, anyway. they are intellectual pursuits and collective endeavours, not comprehensive ways of living. i would say that you are a good example of why this is badly insufficient: you have turned your vocation into a huge part of your identity and as a result you are an intellectually incurious, ranting, unhappy bore. engineering can't account for or explain everything in the human experience.

Last edited by uziq (2021-11-10 15:46:59)

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