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Offlinecrunchytoast
oppositional

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 1,133
Loc: aporia
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
reconciling spirituality and reason
    #4121610 - 05/02/05 02:13 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

i'm pretty hard-headed when it comes to reason and seeing things in objective terms. i go to work by mass transit and i have lots of confidence in the laws of physics/chemistry people have employed to give my mode of transportation momentum. if i drop a rock from my hand yes i expect gravity will pull it to the floor.

but i try to see things from other perspectives as well. personally i believe that most persepctives have some truth in them, as well as some falsehood: spirituality.

my theory is that spirituality creates emotional reality for people. it functions in a certain way. let's say someone's uncle dies they were close to. by saying 'my uncle died and is now in heaven' it might fill a certain emotional need: if the spirit i know as my uncle doesnt go to heaven and is totally obliterated by death, well maybe i interpret that the emotional connection ive had with him disappears. so if i think 'my uncles not in heaven, he's dead and his 'spirit' is obliterated, that basically invalidates the relationship i had with him.' then i become sad and morose and withdrawn because i see parallels between this relationship and everything else- i might think, whats the point of fostering relationships if those things are temporary? i go on to live a tortured, unhappy life. IWO traumatized by the experience.

that's something short-circuited by the belief 'there is a heaven' which serves as an emotional bridge for the living through death. this belief in turn helps this hypothetical survivor to live a happier life, rather than being stricken by grief.

another example is this poem by ezra pound i was made to read in highschool

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:
Petals on a wet, black bough.

regardless of whether you like the poem, there's a metaphor. now obviously the poet isnt saying that peoples faces at the metro literally are petals on a bough, but petals on a bough have the same emotional meaning for him as the faces he saw. he's talking about an emotional reality.

same goes for spirituality. personally i think discussions of whether there really is a god, an afterlife, etc., in a lot of ways miss the point. i mean, i think theyre fruitful discussions from a rational standpoint. it would be really interesting if there were an afterlife. but from a spiritual standpoint that sort of discussion misses the boat.

this sort of discussion seems to appear on these boards a lot: is belief xyz viable from a rationalist/scientific viewpoint? those are good questions but i think its good looking at things from a spiritual standpoint too.

one example: i have a friend who's hard-core christian. he's in grad school not having a good time of it, worrying that he's going to fail etc (very nervous sort of dude). he was in a car accident (alone) where he was unscathed but the car was totalled and he's told me he feels like god wanted him to survive because god has a plan for him. this was a few months ago. the other day, he's stressing out about his grades and tells me how he feels, but he's so worried he might not rise to the occassion, really beats himself up about what that means if he doesnt cut it. to help him mellow out, i tell him, 'whatever happens, youre meant to do this, there's a plan for your life and its already in motion, and its going to happen for you regardless of what you want for yourself, you were saved from the car accident for a reason, go with it.' he knows i believe god is the universe and we are all part of that. he knows i dont think god is jesus or a person and that god doesnt perform divine intervention like he means it. but i was able to connect with him on this level because my own spirituality says everyone's life is blessed and a blessing and if he was saved, then that really is divine intervention in a way because thats dumb luck and the laws of physics saving his ass and he really will make positive contributions to the world that he otherwise wouldnt have been able to. its about connecting reason and spirituality.

im curious what other people think about reconciling the two. do you think they can be reconciled? do you reconcile them in your life? why/why not? and if yes, how far can you go with that?
(ps please dont answer questions youre uncomfortable with)


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
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Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 3,546
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Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4121651 - 05/02/05 02:24 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
its about connecting reason and spirituality.

im curious what other people think about reconciling the two. 

1) do you think they can be reconciled?
2) do you reconcile them in your life?  why/why not?  and if yes, how far can you go with that?





1) Yes, to a degree... if you want it more specific, going to need a more specific question.

2) I entertain all things spiritual.... but reason reigns. Most things, especially many new age notions of spirituality are playing on the fact that they are contrived, and don't have to account for proof of their validity. :shrug: I mindfuck myself enough, no need to let others do it. :smile:


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
oppositional

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 1,133
Loc: aporia
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4121686 - 05/02/05 02:33 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

1) Yes, to a degree... if you want it more specific, going to need a more specific question

Well, you say "to a degree"- to what degree?  In what ways?  Any examples?  What do you have in mind when you say "to a degree"?  I'm looking for different people's takes/a person's different takes on this question, from as many angles as the thought-generous s&pers will provide :smile:


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
PositiveCynicist
Male
Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 3,546
Loc: California, Monterey Coun...
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4121698 - 05/02/05 02:35 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

The degree is always dependant on the form. Which forms are you talking about? We're talking in generalities, such that the only thing I can do is give a general response.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4121734 - 05/02/05 02:45 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

'whatever happens, youre meant to do this

...adn Jeffery Dahmer was "meant to" be a cannibal. Yes, that is quite useful.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
PositiveCynicist
Male
Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 3,546
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Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Swami]
    #4121759 - 05/02/05 02:54 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

:lol: well if god let it happen... :smirk:


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4121760 - 05/02/05 02:54 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

he was in a car accident (alone) where he was unscathed but the car was totalled and he's told me he feels like god wanted him to survive because god has a plan for him.

I had a friend who died in a terrible accident. Is it OK to tell her family that God hated her (as evidenced by the brutal death) because she failed her mission and gave up on her?

Oh wait! I get it! We are supposed to make up rosey fairly-tales as if everyone were still three years old.

BTW, my very religious girlfriend lost a grown daughter and her beliefs have not lessened the pain one iota after six years.

Bullshit is bullshit.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
oppositional

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 1,133
Loc: aporia
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Swami]
    #4121902 - 05/02/05 03:22 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

1984 how about this? do you think a person can be a total rationalist and a total spiritualist at the same time? for example, i dunno, about the afterlife, miracles, fate, belief in god.

swami ha! i love that response. ill argue that death is part of the life process. or that life is part of the death process. or theyre both one thing...

the point would be for my friend to move on from beating himself up. that would be the usefulness. as for jefrrey dahlmer being meant to be a cannibal, maybe that perspective is useful to someone out there, personally i do not find thinking about that in particular useful to me!

the thing is, i dont think its always easy to take a step back and say 'gee would believing this be useful to me?' because i think its hard for anyone to really understand all the consequences of something like that. but sometimes by following emotional "logic" --if a person creates a spiritual/emotional reality for themself, it has the potential to facilitate their own life process or whathaveyou.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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Offlinecrunchytoast
oppositional

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 1,133
Loc: aporia
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4121942 - 05/02/05 03:30 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

no i dont think its not okay to tell her family god hated her. that would obviously have a BAD effect on them.

im sorry to hear about your girlfriends loss. if her beliefs havent lessened her pain then theyre pretty useless/worthless in that case.

what im saying is that sometimes a "spiritual" belief can have a good effect, and if it has a good effect, then thats a good thing. a good effect is a good thing.

if it has a bad effect then its a bad thing. ive known people whove been racked with guilt over sex because of their beliefs. personally i think that is another example of spirituality as bullshit. which is bullshit.

but i dont believe it just has bullshit effects.


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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Invisiblemoog
Stranger

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1,296
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4122343 - 05/02/05 08:56 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Spiriturality and reason go hand in hand for me. What's the point of spirituality if you're going on blind faith? Isn't that called ignorance? Spirituality doesn't fulfill any emotional need for me. Just the opposite, it fulfills a need for reason. I have several "beliefs" which to anyone I would mention them to, might seem unsubstantiated. But I don't hold any "beliefs" without substantial evidence or logic behind them. If the point of spirituality is a search for truth, then reason must be the basis for it.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
irregular verb
 User Gallery

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 19,693
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: moog]
    #4122349 - 05/02/05 09:02 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

just like jerry seinfeld said

there is good naked (where what you see is gorgeous)
and there is bad naked (where what you see is gross)

there is good spirituality (open and unafraid of the unknown/ onging creation)
and bad spirituality (recycling other's visions of the infinite without understanding)

spirituality is like being naked, some dignified approach is necessary and there is lust too


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OfflineAlan Stone
Corpus

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 986
Loc: Ten feet up
Last seen: 11 years, 5 months
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4123786 - 05/02/05 04:52 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

I see no contradictions between spirituality and reason.

The biggest problems atheists have with religion is that it portrays God / Gods too well, making it easy to scrutinise details. Face it, God cannot be known as a person and will always remain a mystery. Those Christians that actually read the Old Testament should know this, as it is said in terms akin to "You cannot see God's face, only his backside".


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
PositiveCynicist
Male
Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 3,546
Loc: California, Monterey Coun...
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: crunchytoast]
    #4124055 - 05/02/05 06:13 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

No... I don't believe in absolution. The totality of it beyond that isn't possible as you have to place faith in much that is spiritual without rational, nor proof.... so overall one could suggest that they are in contradiction, but that's dependant on the belief as well.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
PositiveCynicist
Male
Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 3,546
Loc: California, Monterey Coun...
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Alan Stone]
    #4124061 - 05/02/05 06:15 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

I'd say the biggest problem aethists have is the contradictions associated with most doctrines.... that's just me though.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
oppositional

Registered: 04/07/05
Posts: 1,133
Loc: aporia
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4125357 - 05/02/05 10:59 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

i like these posts! no contradiction between spirituality and reason, that's an excellent concept. solving the contradiction with mystery... i was raised catholic and (while i quit years ago) there was a place in catholicism for the appreciation of religious mystery, something i still like without liking the religion itself.

i gotta say i tend to find posts here by redgreenvines make me very introspective.

moog im curious after your post, what are some of your seemingly "unsubstantiated" beliefs you were talking about?


--------------------
"consensus on the nature of equilibrium is usually established by periodic conflict." -henry kissinger


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Offlinestarseed1066
officially hosed

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 325
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Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: moog]
    #4125394 - 05/02/05 11:10 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

moog said: If the point of spirituality is a search for truth, then reason must be the basis for it.




:eek:

i think i need to ponder this further over a bong hit...

really though, at times i have trouble with spirituality versus reason/science. i dont even consider myself religious. i definitely believe in the fuels that power my car and buses and etc, i understand how they work, i know about the mechanics, i know the chemistry, and i can hear it when i wind out 2nd gear.

but there are things all around that are very much more sublime than all that. i feel like saying "this (life, etc) is all random." would just be too much; if you've ever looked into theories on the exact conditions and chemicals required to spawn life as we know it then you know what i'm talking about.

anyway, i feel that my luck has held out too well for random chance, as well. i should have died at my own hands behind the wheel far more times than i care to think about, and only had one wreck. (i dont drive like that anymore :laugh:)

i feel....yeah, i feel. i feel things that science cant explain. at least no science that we know of. that and i swear i have a memory i couldnt have, not one from this lifetime.

i dunno. spirituality vs. reason is not something i have found for myself just yet...


--------------------
Under his instruction, I taped drumsticks to his head and turned him into a sort of mummy, or perhaps a caterpiller in a cocoon. He remains this way for about three hours, making bizarre noises, pretending to be a new species that must learn to walk and talk and eat, etc. And he communicates with other life forms by way of the antennae on his head. Eventually we jam a tube from a waterbong into it's mouth and figure he's learned all he needs to know.


Edited by starseed1066 (05/02/05 11:22 PM)


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OfflineAlan Stone
Corpus

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 986
Loc: Ten feet up
Last seen: 11 years, 5 months
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4126409 - 05/03/05 03:47 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

I'd say the biggest problem aethists have is the contradictions associated with most doctrines.... that's just me though.



And how do these contradictions arise? By the religion portraying the deity(ies)'s personality and wishes too clearly in one age, and generations further down the road trying to do the same thing.


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
PositiveCynicist
Male
Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 3,546
Loc: California, Monterey Coun...
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Alan Stone]
    #4126430 - 05/03/05 03:54 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Interpretations and falsification of doctrines to support an agenda; although the telephone game through generations doesn't help either.

Even in their state without contradictions (literal definition) most if not all religious doctrines are subject to various degrees of hypocrisy and contradictions.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
OfflineAlan Stone
Corpus

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 986
Loc: Ten feet up
Last seen: 11 years, 5 months
Re: reconciling spirituality and reason [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4126464 - 05/03/05 04:11 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Interpretations and falsification of doctrines to support an agenda; although the telephone game through generations doesn't help either



This is a genuine question, not a subverted ad hominem: "Do you have trust issues?". If you're going by the rational route solely, you can't be finding conspiracies everywhere. I myself, being a layman only, have no agenda to promote. Just questions to raise. The "telephone game through generations", as you call it, is a rational explanation.
The Bible was not written in one go, and not by one human either. If you don't believe it was printed and distributed in a limited edition by God himself, you'll have to accredit this idea.
Comparing religion to politics, it is also quite obvious that fashionable ideas change with time, depending on the Zeitgeist and the authors' backgrounds.
Paul, for instance, being a Romanised Jew who had supported the eradication of Christians, couldn't possibly have had the same views as for instance Mozes had.

Another thing to consider is that some parts of the Bible were adopted by Jews during the Babylonian Exile. The story about Noah's ark for instance. Those cultural influences are sure to contradict the "pure" Jewish culture of afore. This is no testament (pun intended) for the inability to apply biblical texts to your own life.

When trying to see that there is no contradiction between religion and rationality, it is important not to loose one's imagination. Any (good) writer will apply poetic liberty and use metaphors, so this has to be taken into consideration. It is also rational to assume you can know something without having been provided with its proof, because science highly depends on exactly this type of conviction.

Rationality is not about semantics. It's about logic in core ideas and how they relate to reality. The reality of the time they were written in.


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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