Rationalism and religion

by Narkissos 72 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • frankiespeakin

    Hey I don't even know if I really exist.

    I don't know if my senses are giving me correct data,,about what exists out side my body,,or if my thoughts are in my body,,or if this is just a dream,, or if there could be just what some call the "self" and that is all there is,,and that the self is nothing,,I don't really know what death is,, or if the color blue looks exactly the same to you.

    Some people like things more definate,, and find a comfort in some one who has got all the answers and that could be there own perception thru the senses.

    Rationalism to me, seems to be, for lack of a better word, reasonable. Some people are just too attached to there own assumed reality to see it as anything but true.

  • Narkissos


    As you like it...

    If sometime you feel like answering my two last questions (even briefly), I would be sincerely interested though...

  • LittleToe


    I'm going to lapse into the LittleToe mode and just pepper the board with pithy pointillist prattle.

    I'm afraid you''ll have to explain that one for me. I thought "pointilism" was an artform. You make it sound like an insult

    IMHO it takes far more effort to post something succinct than to post verbose diatribe

  • StinkyPantz


    He called me 'pithy' as well. Now I feel special.

  • Abaddon


    Hey, why are you beating upon the Calvinists?

    Because they have a philosophy that tastes of ashes?

    Just my opinion of course, but in additon to knowing something about Calvanism I live in a country where the chief cultural influence before this century was (in the North of the country) Calvanism. Uptight, puritanical, conformist, penny-pinching yet simultaneously ostentatious... self-rightous... ick, ick and yay, thrice, ick.

    At least Catholics know how to party.

    You know how they start a Dutch birthday party? With coffee. That's what you give people at 3am when you want them to bog off home! Not what you give people to greet them! And then do you know what they do at the birthday party? They sit round in a circle and have polite conversation (polite as in not very interesting; the conversational equivalent of day-time TV). About an hour and a half or two hours later (one hour if your host is feeling racey) you might get offered a beer of some wine. But you still stay sat in a circle having polite conversation. It's like solitary confinement without the benfit of being alone.

    Believe me, I work in an International Call Centre, and every foreigner working here will grimace as if remembering something unpleasent and painful if you mention Dutch birthday parties.

    Of course, one good thing about Calvanism is that it is so patently absurd Holland is now one of the most secular countries in the World as essentailly if Calvanists are right, God is a bastard and we are fucked anyway (if we were fucked in the first place) so one may as well have a good time and concentrate on making money (the new religion of many countries, not just Holland, but one that they seem to take especial interest in - you'll perhaps not of heard that copper wire was invented by a Dutchman and a Scotsman fighting over a penny).

    Yeah, so Calvanism is icky, and as Derek point's out, van Tillians's are worse.

    As you say Narkissos, philosophy of that ilk is a prime example of regligious 'rationalism'. If I could have a dollar for the number of times I have been sneered at by ass-wipe commando Calvanists doing a self-rightous self-suck on this board... they normally claim to be masters of logic and reason, which is pretty fucking stupid for anyone with major presuppositions in their belief structure... "I am right because I say I am right" was never much of an argument to begin with... but people get pulled in by the internal logic and obviously by the elitism of it all.

  • Terry


    Pointillist painting is an artform. Putting tiny dots of color one next the other. When you stand back you see the Big Picture.

    I admire your ability to say so little and yet, when you stand back---there is the Big Picture.

    I, on the other hand, must blather and exert and churn and wrench the contents of my guts out on the page in buckets of words----all to little or no avail. Verbose? Surely that! Brevity is the soul of wit. By my word count I couldn't earn a merit badge as a half-wit!

    Don't take my exposition personally. I'm not anybody to concern you with my opinion. I'm a blindman knocking his red-tipped cane about searching for the path home and those "knocks" are just that stick clanging out the idle blow.

  • Terry

    NARKISSOS asks:

    Two additional questions:

    1. The kind of "objective thinking" you advocate was built upon the scientist postulate (myth) of a "universal observer", which according to me is nothing but an avatar of the metaphysical "God". How long do you think this "universal observer" can survive the "death of God"? Or, how long do you think "objective thinking" can survive the death of both?

    What has science done for every man, woman and child with technologies of medicine and labor-saving instruments? Then, compare that with what God has done. There lies the answer. I see God as the disease of man's mind and science as the cure. Not perfectly, to be sure.

    2. You repeatedly suggested that your rationalistic view of reality is frightening to the mystic mind. That is certainly true for some people. But has it ever occurred to you that it might as well be just boring? Making up too shallow, or too narrow a "reality" where at least some people don't feel like living?

    Certainly. I'm not preaching rationalism. People are drawn to what they crave and what they have the capacity to hold and use. I have utterly rejected the emotional content of God. I now drink at the well of the objective and the rational. The sip I had from God made me vomit up my life. If this happens with my gulps from objective and logical methodology--you can be sure I'll walk away from that too. I'm just another Pilgrim on the road--who knows where?

    (* See my Topic on Delusional thinking while a Jehovah's Witness.)

    Narkissos says:

    It's pretty obvious that we deeply disagree, and there is no harm in that. But it may be useful to both of us to understand how and why we disagree.

    As Socrates said: "I only know that I know nothing". How can you disagree with the fact that I know nothing? I'm just expressing my current views. I'm not recruiting soldiers for the next battle. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.

  • LittleToe


    I admire your ability to say so little and yet, when you stand back---there is the Big Picture.

    Part of that may be that after over three years, on a board, you get fed up of repeating yourself. You geta picture of people, and others of you.

    Don't take my exposition personally. I'm not anybody to concern you with my opinion.

    On the contrary, I'm interested in your opinion. You've contributed a lot, in the short time you've been here. Of course I don't agree with it all, but that's entirely to be expected, and I love nothing more than a robust discussion on such things. I usually pick a few main points, rather than a line by line rebuttal/agreement with an individual, so please don't feel that I disagree with everything you've had to say. Far from it!

    So you specifically mean "Dutch Calvinism" then? I've had no experience of that.
    Here, in Scotland, a gathering will often start with some kind of alcoholic beverage.
    Also, smoking isn't as frowned upon (even in Christian circles) as it is in some other parts of the world.

    No doubt we have some hangups of our own, but I suspect that many things are regionalised.

    Thanks for relating the experience. I find cultural diversity absolutely fascinating.

  • Undecided

    I don't know how this comment of mine to my wife who is a God fearing Christain would apply to this thread but I said about God and the storms,"God either doesn't care or he can't do anything about the destruction of them."

    Ken P.

  • LittleToe


    ... I said about God and the storms,"God either doesn't care or he can't do anything about the destruction of them."

    I get twitchy when I see just two options presented. It's post-borg syndrome, methinks
    Is that really the only two options, from a believer's perspective?
    I could at least add to that list:

    • Maybe He caused the storms
    • Maybe they have a different significance to Him (e.g., and I mean this with absolutely no disrespect to families hit by this, maybe the "dead" are going to become more intimately acquainted with him any second...)

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