Why ? Why? WHY???

by rune 160 Replies latest jw friends

  • formerout


    Very, very, very well said. I thought my little quip was fairly well said , but yours was amazing. Direct, to the point and yet with great understanding and empathy.



  • Narkissos
    I have as much of a right as the people who are curious about holy books and invisible beings to be curious about why the heck they need to think of any of that. Communication is the foundation of our thoughts and interactions with one another. Without it we would be savages. Imagination roots from everything we've learned of material objects and observations of the physical workings of the universe. We also possess the ability to conceive a reverse twist to things (visible -> NOT visible). These have enabled us to progress to the point we are at now. Without communication, next to no discoveries would ever have been made, and they especially would not have been transmitted to anyone else.


    Thanks for taking the time to answer to everyone.

    I agree there is a practical function in communicating. The oldest extant written material mostly consists of practical data -- accounts, stocklists, historical annals, and so on. Even the old myths did serve a practical purpose (social and political, for instance). I guess every bit of our cultural inheritance can be analised the same way.

    Yet there is something missing in this functional analysis. Every bit of writing, painting, sculpture, music, exceeds its practical purpose, even though it does have a practical purpose in the first place. And the history of Western culture is one of increasing freedom from practical needs. We have come to call "art" what is "useless", useful as it may be. And this basic excess, however fictitious and delusional it may be (it always can be rationalised as functional), is really what makes our life worth living. It is part of what we are to desire what we are not. From this point of view nothing is stupid imo.

  • rune

    Dansk: You said it pal! I just wish everyone could see humans for the primate-imitators we are. It would shake the foundations of the human race and give birth to an entirely different way of thinking and dealing with one another. Too bad though, since I don't live in fantasies and don't expect this to happen. It seems I'm just a freak in a freak kingdom...what a world. :p

    LittleToe: Well much as your testimonial tries to inspire faith in parental wisdom, I don't see how what you're saying really relates to me. Perhaps if we got to know one another better it would be easier to make snap judgements about one another. The problem is, I have listened in silence for so long, watching and trying to adapt to these people around me - and that is responsible for how I am now. For every generation of adults comes a wave of teenagers hungrily snapping for belief systems to take their place. What can one do? There's nothing 'wrong' with it, though I'd say it isn't ideal. But what is? I was just curious if anyone could give me an answer to change my ideas, which keep getting ever reinforced by the world around me as I watch, listen and grow older in silence. Threatening me is not necessary, as none of my comments are really intended to be a personal stab at anyone - I don't know you well enough - however I will tell people they are deluded if it sounds that way. *shrug* It's my opinion. After all, all I'm getting back from many people is "you're young, grow up some more son and maybe you'll see that growing old makes you tire and give in to mysticism". Yet I do not take offense to this - I don't expect you to understand my angle...and I can see why it would seem arrogant and pretentious of someone younger than you to make challenges at things you base certain aspects of your lives upon. As I said; I posed questions, and I am curious. I accompanied them with my opinions, and I have made replies accordingly with my opinions, because in order to change my ideas someone must make a clear-cut rebuttal to them, to shoot them down so to speak. I want this...but none have done it yet. Also, I wasn't trying to sound fatalistic. What I meant by 'his time hasn't come yet' is simply he has not died yet. You only die permanently once (I'm not talking about being revived on the operating table). My dad turning atheist made me turn the opposite direction. I have sampled many faiths, and rather than appreciating their differences, I was forced to notice a similarity running through all of them...it opened my eyes wider than just leaving the Witnesses. Have I smelled Africa? No. But I can imagine the scent of Africa does not variate greatly from that of many other smells on the planet, although the olfactory senses can pick up a remarkably distinct variety of smells. Smell is one thing. Spirit? That doesn't equate.

    googlemagoogle: I'm not sure if I buy that, but I have read of experiments done with high discharges of electromagnetic energy to the temporal lobes of people that made them have different religious/otherworldly experiences based on what their beliefs are. Some saw demons, some saw Mary, some were greeted by alien visitors...etc. I wonder what I would see? Blackness? Perhaps my own face... I don't hold the Bible relation in any regard however. We still need proof the Good Book is more than just from the quills of a bunch of bored ancient guys.

    LittleToe (again): Respect? Sometimes toes have to be stepped on in a battle of wills and ideas. We're all adults here, can you stay your pride to avoid being shaken by simple observations about you that may or may not be true? Can others? I remember watching the movie Alexander tonight, seeing Alexander argue with one of his father's most trusted friends. The friend insulted him, and Alexander, instead of being an island, grew upset, and demanded an apology. They both grew heated and angry, until Alexander plunged a dagger into the man and killed him. Then in my mind I saw two baboons screeching at each other for dominance, tearing and ripping at each other. No words cause any harm; it is the reaction of the recipient that determines whether harm is taken or given out. These things can be controlled if the person is mature and disciplined enough. I am, are you?

    Granny Linda: I'm sorry you gave up trying to think with others. Again, people do not do things 'because they do'. There is a reason and a motivation behind actions, even if it is imperceptible to you. Or at least, if you buy that cause and effect stuff. Yes, I have a motivation for all of this, but no one wants to refute me, just tell me how young I am. *shrug* I wish someone would actually try to crack me instead of just telling me I'll find out later or that I need to grow up more. If my logic is flawed, point out where. Yes, "to thine ownself be true" indeed. If being true to thineself means not wanting to argue me then by all means, don't reply...but I would love to discuss this further with any of you.

    googlemagoogle (again): Regardless, this would indicate being religious is merely a biological trait, and does not support mysticism in any way that I can see.

    frankiespeakin: I am not wishing for any of you to change, not even in the slightest, but from all of the threads I see here on certain topics I would think that many here are prone to the mystical rather than sitting on the fence about life. I am not looking for absolute answers either, simply put there aren't any (read: extremely low possibility of any) to find. But logic and rationalizing can be refuted, and that's what I'm looking for. For example, answers to my question(s) that I cannot argue with to a point where I am satisfied the answer is wrong. I would love that - being corrected by someone smarter is a growing experience.

    u·nique ( P ) Pronunciation Key (y
    1. Being the only one of its kind: the unique existing example of Donne's handwriting.
    2. Without an equal or equivalent; unparalleled.

    Hmm, nope, this is the unique I meant. I thought you mean it too. Oops.

    frankiespeakin (again): Err, are you suggesting dualism (mind and matter being seperate)? I'm referring to when you said space and time are a thought-based illusion. Where would the universe be without space & time? Doesn't the likelihood that our thoughts are the product of an active system (of chemicals that will degrade and break down one day, unless we find some way to sustain life for longer than is natural) seem much more probable than the universe being bent in any way on us? Perhaps our limited perceptions have nothing to do with the actual formation of universe at all. Isn't it entirely possible the logic / mathematical portions of our ability to think are skewed from properly comprehending the universe in its entirety, even with these theories you speak of? In which case, the most satisfactory thing we could have would be the equivalent to all we can know, without knowing anything we can't. Not that this is relevant, but just saying it for the sake of it.

    Midget-Sasquatch: I never meant to say that the chance of mysticism was eliminated. I am not an atheist. I am an agnostic that clings to probability based on observations of the physical world. Thereby everything is given a chance to exist, at least in consideration, but chances are considered from very probable to infintesimal (almost impossible, but of course not impossible). From a psychological viewpoint, the feelings we had grown from our limbic system & various areas of the brain had also the capacity to disrupt our lives completely; death could bring about tremendous grief from the shock of loss of companionship (massive endorphin & [erm, this other chemical I can't remember the name of right now - extocytin or something] withdrawl). From this and our ability to anticipate (mathematically, even if the anticipations are based on flawed factors/judgements) gave rise to a belief in what wasn't but could be. Group mentality strengthened mainstream belief through communication. Reinforced by leaders and their mobs, the common folk would give in to whatever they were told. Obviously I don't know, just a very rough guess that I'm sure anthropologists/veteran research psychologists in some fields/neuroscientists/biologists are more suited to answer than I am. Clearly there are unfounded possibilities that extend into the skepticists views as well as the mystics. Who knows? I'm starting to suppose that nobody has anything close to a definite clue...hence question #3.

    seattleniceguy: Exactly.

    formerout: Sigh, another case of semantics. The viewpoint you stated was not objective. In an alternate way of using the word, this new reply you gave is not objective either. Nobody should put their feelings on the line in a debate like this, it is needless and serves no beneficial purpose. I am not looking to be admired, nor do I think someone with my views would ever be in a world like this. If I seem a touch acidic to you, then that is just how I write and think - if it becomes a problem I suppose I could just stop posting. I wouldn't like to though. I wouldn't use the word condemning, but I definitely refute anyone who tries to say they are right. I am not trying to convert anyone - please try to remain objective; do not involve your feelings or assume I want to subjugate your beliefs to mine. This is a debate. What is said here can be walked away from without taking any of it to heart, and most likely will be anyway. As I have already mentioned several times, I have indeed noticed people enjoy living in that "delusional" world, and I have even said that is fine and good if it brings them the things they desire. But as I have questioned from my first post - why not do it the other way? What drives people to be like this?

    BrendaCloutier: I'm sorry that you don't understand me, and think that I am some impetuous pup that demands all the answers immediately. I have said that I the possibility of absolute answers seems extremely low, but all the same, strong arguments against or in favor of mine would be nice. Using words like 'gone beyond' aren't likely to sway me into thinking that age brings anything more than more years and more tendency to slide, though I can see that not everyone goes this way. As for your suggestion of taking part in religious practices, I say that if you are not open to believe in them then there is not really a way that they will provide any benefit. I know this because I have attended and participated in services of several religions. Most notably, and the most quirky, was a Wiccan ceremony. I simply do not have the capacity to believe in something that does not stimulate my perceptions in some way, something that does not provide me with a shred of proof that it is happening. Perhaps I am deluding myself from experiencing the spiritual, and you are all sane. I hope that comment doesn't bolster support for 'oh you silly kid you need to grow up *ruffles your hair*' kinds of comments, but hey, it could be true. A lot of things could be true. Countless things. As for your opinion on mutually exclusive theories, I would have to say that is an entirely subjective and arbitrary viewpoint. Some beliefs contradict others - if you think that doesn't mean exclusive, then fine. Science leaves headroom for the mystical only in that it doesn't try to disprove anything specifically, only prove it. This is a very simple concept. If something is thought to exist, you cannot see, experience it, or interact with it in any way in the world, then it most likely does not exist and is a construction of the imagination. You cannot say with certainty that everything didn't start by itself. No one can. It's your belief. Give me a break, and cut me some slack...and a big chunk of hefty rebuttal that tries to shoot me down. Mmm.

    Narkissos: Aesthetic appreciation does not exceed practical purpose, not necessarily. What one someone sees as beautiful may not appear beautiful to another, though there are qualities discerned about art by some that cause some pieces to rise in favor above others. But this may all be as simply as a chemically configured preference in our brain, or more likely, something that developed as we grew up from infants into adults. Everything from cultural influence, moral values, to what shapes and colors you saw the most (and maybe we associated with pleasant sensations or feelings of comfort) could influence what you see as good art and what isn't. Whatever the case may be, the creation and appreciation of art stimulates us, just as many other activities do. Looking at something irregular or interesting may just be as comparable as listening to a series of tones that constitutes music. Again, writing and reading someone's work can be very stimulating, which is probably why people do it all. People repeat things that bring them enjoyment and comfort. It's related to learning and so forth... Whatever the reason for appreciating these things may be for an individual, they are definitely not impractical in the least. Just, er, some art seems less great than others to some, and may beg the opinion of impractical (perhaps it was too costly to create or took too much time for the results). So I see calling art as "useless" to be just plain wrong. Similarly, I have not said mysticism was useless, as some people seem to use it to beneficial effect in their lives. I just don't think it's the best or easiest way to be doing things, and I was wondering why people choose it over contemplating all that could be and enjoying life anyway...but the same points seem to arise; for comfort against the harsh realities of life, for community, for happiness rooting from belief (which may also be said as happiness rooting from an imaginary world paralleled to the real one in a believer's mind), and so on. Mysticism is not stupid, at least not in a utilitarian way of thinking about it, and I never meant to imply it is, just that some people take it way too far and then it causes problems. (I cannot say the same for other ways of thinking about mysticism - hence comments in past posts. :))

  • frenchbabyface

    Rune : Mysticism is not stupid, at least not in a utilitarian way of thinking about it, and I never meant to imply it is, just that some people take it way too far and then it causes problems.

    and about religion it is more than obvious (all over) it's just such a waste of love and lives in fact

  • formerout


    I started reading your reply to everyone and got half-way through your comment to Little Toe and felt I needed to make a comment.

    Don't believe that age is a factor in anybody's opinion of your comments. Sometimes recognizing your age is a "polite" way to disagree with your opinions. I have learned more from my children than I ever learned from my parents, and my kids are much younger than you.

    Most people on this forum are not here to piss you off or tell you that you are wrong. However you might get pissed off at them even though they didn't intend to make you feel that way. YOU are in control of your feelings. IMO, your basic feelings seem to be anger and hate.

    Like I said in a previous post, vent away my friend, but don't expect others here to be as angry as you seem to be.

    In order to help you out things into perspective in your life it may do you well to read through this post: http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/8/80403/1.ashx

    This is all meant to be said in a positive, helpful way and I hope that you find some meaningful answers to what you are searching for.


  • formerout


    Holy shit, buddy. You said this to Little toe, in your second commentary:

    No words cause any harm; it is the reaction of the recipient that determines whether harm is taken or given out. These things can be controlled if the person is mature and disciplined enough. I am, are you?

    Yet YOU have taken great offense to people's words even when they are just trying to allow you to see it in a different light. WOW!!

    I am reminded of the saying, "He knows not what he is saying." Your "reaction" has been one of insults and condescention. Look at yourself before you accuse others of being of less than you. Quite often the accuser is proven to be the one with the greatest character flaws.


  • Narkissos

    Rune: I think the "useless" we* are really interested in is to be found within, not without, the scope of the "useful" (sex, for instance). We have the unending capacity to create "useless" dimension and value out of really "useful" things. And this "useless", fictional addition is, I propose, the very object of our desire. Whatever we thus "invent" (religion, myth, art, etc.) can always be rationalised, a posteriori, by a functional, utilitarian analysis. But this kind of analysis is always one step late.

    * We = "speaking subjects", which is not exactly the same thing as "biological individuals", although it is not "something else".

  • frankiespeakin


    * We = "speaking subjects", which is not exactly the same thing as "biological individuals", although it is not "something else".

    These things we are talking about as the above quote are very subtle and require a subtle thinker. I find it so hard to put these things into words and acurately ideas. So much gets lost in the translation.

  • formerout


    You said: I wish someone would actually try to crack me instead of just telling me I'll find out later or that I need to grow up more. If my logic is flawed, point out where.

    Ok, I'll try to explain where your logic is flawed. Google "Borderline Personality Disorder". Then OPEN-MINDEDLY read the signs of that disorder. Then let me know if any apply to you.

    P.S. No one is going to be able convince you that your opinion is somewhat flawed unless you are ready to perceive that it may in fact be flawed.


  • LittleToe

    I would suggest that your opinion is being reinforced because you don't appear to be actually listening.

    If you want to tread on toes, feel free to avoid mine - they're steel capped.
    That's not a threat, merely an indication that you don't bother me one jot.
    Further, if I didn't think it worth an attempt to help you self-assess, I wouldn't bother wasting my time posting to your thread.

    Did you take me up on my suggestion to research those that you are attempting to rile?
    For example, try the following thread for some info on Dansk:

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