Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Mar '19 03:17
    I don't think the concept of "free will" applies convincingly or effectively to religious beliefs. I think it is weak from the psychological point of view and demonstrates a faulty take on human nature.

    People realize that they believe in supernatural things; they don't decide to believe them.

    People who realize they no longer believe in supernatural things, having believed them before, experience this as a realization - or even a process of realizing what it is they do and do not actually believe - and not a matter of making a decision as an act of "free will".

    When I was a Christian and believed what Christians do [which is not the topic here, by the way], I did not have the "free will" to not believe in the supernatural things that are interwoven with Christian beliefs. Once I had lost that faith, I could not somehow deploy my "free will" to decide to reinstate that faith.

    No one can use "free will" to decide to believe in the Hindu deities. They can use "free will" to decide to investigate and expose themselves to Hindu beliefs but, unless the realization that these supernatural beings and phenomena have taken hold in their psyche occurs and they coincide in some way with their instincts, there is no amount of "free will" that can enable a person to simply make a decision to believe them.

    Belief in supernatural causality and "free will" do not have the relationship that religionists seem to think they do. Nor are religionists persuasive when they contend that not having a certain belief in supernatural causality is immoral and worthy of punishment.

    What bearing are these claims (of immorality) and threats (of supernatural revenge and punishment) supposed to have on the "free will" of someone who is not a member of their religious group?
  2. Stargazing
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    04 Mar '19 11:34
    “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” “
    Romans 12:3

    I believe that we are spiritual beings and the Christian interpretation is that faith is given by God, in varying measure to believers and also to those who seek him.

    However Romans 3:10 - states from the OT
    10 As it is written:
    “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
    there is no one who does good, not even one.”

    And Jesus himself says in John 6:44
    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

    So it is absolutely demonstrable from scripture that we cannot choose to believe, that God is sovereign over is all, is responsible for us and accountable for all things.

    If we agree with this, and then add eternal suffering into the mix we turn a loving responsive father figure God into a despotic monster. Doctrines have to be tested against each other, in sequence and parallel so to speak. Take eternal suffering out of the above scenario and it makes moral sense again.

    Free will? Like a sheep has free will to cross from one side of the field to the other.
  3. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    04 Mar '19 12:28
    So Dive...

    And Jesus himself says in John 6:44
    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”


    Are you saying that FMF specifically isn't drawn by the Father, and has not been predestined for heaven or...?

    Because he isn't a christian.

    But I am not even sure what is theoretically the conclusion to draw from this because you do not believe hell exists.

    Is everyone drawn to God? And people just don't come sometimes... because... ?

    Or is FMF drawn to God, but he chooses not to come..?

    How does this work?
  4. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    04 Mar '19 12:34
    @fmf said
    I don't think the concept of "free will" applies convincingly or effectively to religious beliefs. I think it is weak from the psychological point of view and demonstrates a faulty take on human nature.

    People realize that they believe in supernatural things; they don't decide to believe them.

    People who realize they no longer believe in supernatural things, having believe ...[text shortened]... shment) supposed to have on the "free will" of someone who is not a member of their religious group?
    Fun question:

    If someone is a racist, and they just believe it to be this way...

    this, too, would be against their free will, right?

    Can we judge anyone who is a racist, sexist, or Islamic fundamentalist, then? They do not choose to be it -- just like, apparently, no one chooses to be anything.
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Mar '19 13:051 edit
    @philokalia said
    Fun question:

    If someone is a racist, and they just believe it to be this way...

    this, too, would be against their free will, right?

    Can we judge anyone who is a racist, sexist, or Islamic fundamentalist, then? They do not choose to be it -- just like, apparently, no one chooses to be anything.
    My OP is about belief in supernatural things. It's odd that you did not discern that.

    The OP is not about things like racism or sexism unless they are perceived to have some supernatural basis.

    I'd say that if an Islamic fundamentalist takes violent or murderous action then that is a decision they make using their "free will" [indoctrination, blackmail, mental health etc, notwithstanding], even if they feel some compulsion or imperative based on their religious beliefs.

    But their underlying belief in the Abrahamic God ~ and all the faith invested in the supernatural beings and phenomena attendant thereto ~ would not be something they could switch on or switch off using "free will".
  6. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Mar '19 13:08
    @philokalia said
    If someone is a racist, and they just believe it to be this way... this, too, would be against their free will, right?
    I don't think you have understood the OP at all.
  7. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    04 Mar '19 13:16
    So what would be different about a religious belief and a perception about reality?

    If someone stated that they just believe meat is murder or just believed that Asians have the highest average IQs due to their genes, not due to nurture, or that women are overly emotional by nature, these things, too, are perceptions of reality as a whole, right?

    If a man says that he thinks gays are disgusting or women are overly emotional and he can't choose to think or perceive or feel otherwise about it, why is he a liar... but someone who says they just can't possibly believe in God because it is against their will not a liar?
  8. Stargazing
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    04 Mar '19 13:43
    @philokalia said
    So Dive...

    And Jesus himself says in John 6:44
    “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”


    Are you saying that FMF specifically isn't drawn by the Father, and has not been predestined for heaven or...?

    Because he isn't a christian.

    But I am not even sure what is theoretically th ...[text shortened]... .. because... ?[/i]

    Or is FMF drawn to God, but he chooses not to come..?

    How does this work?
    No I’m not saying any of that. What I am saying is clearly laid out in my post.
  9. Stargazing
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    04 Mar '19 13:451 edit
    @philokalia said
    Fun question:

    If someone is a racist, and they just believe it to be this way...

    this, too, would be against their free will, right?

    Can we judge anyone who is a racist, sexist, or Islamic fundamentalist, then? They do not choose to be it -- just like, apparently, no one chooses to be anything.
    You’re a proven racist here at rhp, and you are one because you have allowed your vanity to override your limited intelligence through the absorption of substandard ideas which are relayed to your psyche through the crappy books you read and racist online material you expose yourself to.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Mar '19 14:06
    @philokalia said
    So what would be different about a religious belief and a perception about reality?
    Complete lack of evidence for belief in supernatural beliefs, in my view. I think this sets it apart from other beliefs, although if you want to argue that there are non-religious beliefs that are impervious to "free will", I'm sure you're right. I'm sure there are some things that we believe so strongly that we cannot shed them even if we want to. Nevertheless, my OP is about "free will" versus belief in a god or gods and is in connection with 'spirituality' and is some personal testimony of sorts.
  11. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Mar '19 14:17
    @philokalia said
    If someone stated that they just believe meat is murder or just believed that Asians have the highest average IQs due to their genes, not due to nurture, or that women are overly emotional by nature, these things, too, are perceptions of reality as a whole, right?

    If a man says that he thinks gays are disgusting or women are overly emotional and ...[text shortened]... who says they just can't possibly believe in God because it is against their will not a liar?
    Yes, I am sure there all manner of beliefs about all kinds of things that many people cannot change their mind about even if they want to.

    But the OP is about the psychologically bogus idea that people can somehow decide to believe in supernatural beings if they don't. Just as it is a psychologically bogus idea that people can somehow decide to not believe in supernatural beings if they do.

    I think it runs counter to the reality of human nature, at least to my way of thinking.

    And yet the notion of "free will" is a key gimmick when Christians talk to atheists about their lack of belief: as if atheists can somehow just decide to believe in something they don't find credible.

    Of course, Christians are unable to demonstrate their idea of "free will" regarding faith in action by deciding to believe in Hindu Gods for a year and then deciding to belive in Jesus again after that.

    I have "free will" now with regard to most things but it doesn't work on supernatural things. I can't decide to be a Christian. At the height of my Christian belief, I could not have used my "free will" to decide to not believe in Jesus.

    It simply doesn't work like that. I explain it in the OP.
  12. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    04 Mar '19 21:45
    @divegeester said
    No I’m not saying any of that. What I am saying is clearly laid out in my post.
    Then is FMF not being called by God? Does God hate FMF in your idea of this passage, Dive?
  13. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    04 Mar '19 21:47
    @divegeester said
    You’re a proven racist here at rhp, and you are one because you have allowed your vanity to override your limited intelligence through the absorption of substandard ideas which are relayed to your psyche through the crappy books you read and racist online material you expose yourself to.
    This isn't true at all.

    I'm not a racist.

    You didn't understand the nuances of my positions... And you never engage in debates in a way that seeks the truth. You seek emotional validation so you're perpetually offended.
  14. Seongnam, S. Korea
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    04 Mar '19 21:48
    @fmf said
    Complete lack of evidence for belief in supernatural beliefs, in my view. I think this sets it apart from other beliefs, although if you want to argue that there are non-religious beliefs that are impervious to "free will", I'm sure you're right. I'm sure there are some things that we believe so strongly that we cannot shed them even if we want to. Nevertheless, my OP is about " ...[text shortened]... f in a god or gods and is in connection with 'spirituality' and is some personal testimony of sorts.
    There is no way to untangle nature versus nurture.

    Doesn't this fit into the category of supernatural belief being that it is based on feelings of what is thought of as true as opposed to what we can objectively believe is true?
  15. Subscribermoonbus
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    04 Mar '19 21:491 edit
    @FMF

    A great deal depends on how one understands “freewill”. So long as you think of it as a sort of uncaused causer of psychic events (such as whether to believe something or not believe it), you will run headlong into nonsense and paradox. “The will” is an imaginary faculty, a grammatical fiction. “The will” is merely a linguistic convenience which allows us to avoid the ridiculously cumbersome circumlocution “we are not responsible, liable, or accountable, for everything that happens.”
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