Where to draw the line: how Platonism haunts our discourse and the search for exorcism

by slimboyfat 168 Replies latest jw friends

  • slimboyfat

    How is the thing in itself an explanation?

    Isnt that like saying a car is because “a car”? What does that mean?

    If not God, then what?

  • OrphanCrow
    If not God, then what?


    Just this

    Why do you need a god?

    Is existence not enough for you?

    We exist

    We live

    and then we die

    That is reality - reality is simply a clear (fearless) look at death

    That is all

    We are fleas on the back of a dog

    Scary, huh?

  • _Morpheus

    Just to go along with crow, your not looking for answers, slim. Your looking for meaning. The “laws of physics” describe the actions, the movments , the interactions between objects etc etc.. you looking for “why” on some deep level when the answer is no more deep than “because”. Things work as they work, we observe and describe them, there is no deeper meaning. Feel free to ascribe it to god but even in that you simply end up in the same place... what do i mean..? Well, why did god make pi equal 3.14 and not 3.16? “Because he decided it” is the only answer. In the end looking for reason in god is no more satisfying, it simply ascribes reason to something and that alone makes some people feel better.

  • jp1692
    SBF: If not God, then what?

    Nothing. It just is.

    Can you let it be what it is and not try to make it something it isn't?

    Let the stillness be still, the quiet be quiet. What is, is. Nothing more or less.

  • slimboyfat

    It is possible there is nothing behind it, it just is. It just doesn't seem very likely that's all.

    I find I agree completely with Krauthammer on this topic, although I agree with him about little else. (I wrote an essay about him once as a seminal neocon for an assignment)

    Krauthammer says the idea that humans are able to answer such questions is dubious. And that atheism is one explanation among many, and doesn't seem very likely as an explanation.


    “I feel the way that I think Newton once said. I feel like a snail on the side of a great ocean and the idea that I can understand a notion like God or humans can as if we’re expecting a snail to understand the motion of the tides through calculus and physics,” he said.
    Krauthammer added, “That’s not possible. So I see the same kind of intellectual gap in the capacity of humans to understand in any deep sense about theology of God as for a snail to figure out how the tides work.”
    “I’m not at all an atheist. I mean, of all the possible theologies, atheism is the least plausible,” he said at the time. “I mean, you’ve got to explain the existence of the universe, and to assume it invented itself or created itself is rather odd.
    Krauthammer added, “I mean, the only important question, the most important question is why is there or can there be anything, and how can there be consciousness? Atheism is not an answer that is plausible in any way to me.”

    Exactly so. Two weeks ago at church we had an open discussion about whether religion is a crutch. We all agree that it was, but that various things in life can be a crutch. Atheism is a crutch as well, for those who find comfort in a universe that doesn't have meaning. We also discussed whether different kinds of religion can be a crutch more or less. Some tend to think liberal traditions, like Unitarianism or universalism are less crutch-like than more fundamentalist beliefs, but we agreed this may be wishful thinking. Unitarianism has been described as, "the featherbed for the falling Chrisitan".

  • Old Navy
    Old Navy

    Greek philosophy and thinking regarding the origin of matter and of life itself is far from Truth.

    One day in future we shall all comprehend and "see" Truth as it really is.

    In the meantime we spin our wagonwheels.

  • cofty
    Atheism is a crutch as well, for those who find comfort in a universe that doesn't have meaning.

    Bollocks. Atheism is nothing more than what we call it when we are unconvinced by the grandiose claims of theists.

    Nobody finds a purposeless universe comforting. It just is.

  • jp1692

    To be clear, SBF, I'm not an atheist.

    I just don't believe in any of the gods that humans have invented; they are all horrible, malformed reflections of ourselves and projections of our existential fears.

    Here are two viewpoints on the subject that nicely articulate my thoughts as well:

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

    "Those who raise questions about the God hypothesis and the soul hypothesis are by no means all atheists. An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to ultimate causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the universe than we do to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and to be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed." - Carl Sagan

  • Old Navy
    Old Navy

    Without Pi there would be no radio, television, computers, smartphones, wifi or any other of what have become indispensable necessities to our enlightened lifestyles. It is big.

  • slimboyfat

    I agree.

    Except I think there might be a real God behind the Bible. A lot of it is human interpretation a d myth of course. I found James Barr on the subject helpful. A lot of former JWs have found James Barr useful for his books on the "fundamentalist" outlook. Which describes JWs very well. But he also defended a liberal reading of the Bible in books like this:



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