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Old 01-28-2018, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
Oh no. It matters. You can't say that Moses may or may not be "pretend", without saying that everything is the bible may or may not be pretend.
Ok. Everything in the bible may be spiritual - symbolic - not meant to be taken literal.
If you want history - go get a history book.
If you want science - go get a book about science.
Etc.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
18,945 posts, read 8,893,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
Ok. Everything in the bible may be spiritual - symbolic - not meant to be taken literal.
If you want history - go get a history book.
If you want science - go get a book about science.
Etc.
That is exactly what many of us who are atheists have been saying. Thank you for putting it so succinctly.

Unfortunately, many Christians keep saying that the bible is a history book. Is a science book.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,571,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
It doesn't matter if Moses is all pretend - the question is, "Did a belief in Moses create influence?" And there is no doubt that yes - plenty! This is where many - especially those who come out of some dysfunctional religious upbringing - get lost because they throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. They see so many people worshipping a map, mistaking it for the terrain, that they want nothing to do with the map, and they get lost.
I recognize that tendency in myself and take significant effort to counter it. I have softened toward liberal Christianity for example, and gotten out of my comfort zone to see the point in it. It's difficult, coming from a tradition that leads with doctrine, to understand what the point of loosely held beliefs even are. I tend to see them as either true or false, and it doesn't help that as a fairly heady personality, I don't tend to be very impressed with symbolism or metaphor.

So ... yes, I largely agree with you here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
IE: The placebo effect is known to be so significant, it is the 1st listed factors tested for medication effectiveness. Placebo effect is essentially believing a lie which produces influence on your body. We do this all of the time - we're affecting our health for good or bad, by how we think (besides other factors like diet etc). Belief is not something you can just throw out - you do believe many things that are not true - we all do. And I realize that religion often is interpreted in dysfunctional ways to make people believe things that produce shame, anxiety or depression. But some aspects of religion - especially symbols taken symbolically not literally - can help inspire and uplift beliefs which can positively affect psychological and physical health. It's not all-or-nothing.
Yes, belief effects how you experience life and it is a powerful influence. And no one is 100% rational or can supportably say they're 100% correct in their beliefs. However ... I don't see belief as a thing-in-itself that is its own source of some sort of "power". I see belief as influential, and therefore, I strive to have supportable beliefs -- substantiated beliefs -- beliefs that will tend to lead me to a closer approximation of a clear understanding of reality. But I don't believe just for the sake of belief. There's plenty that's worthy of belief, plenty that's not.

This raises the point that belief doesn't HAVE to be 100% correct or proven to be useful. I'm happy if my beliefs have me headed in the "right direction" -- toward, rather than away from, a decent approximation of an accurate understanding of actual reality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
Sorry, you're right I am assuming too much. You wrote, "However if there's a "collective unconscious" in play along with other mechanisms of societal morality negotiations, it presents no problem for me." And I assumed you were apathetic about it all, but that's not really what you wrote.
THANK YOU for his. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Respectful discussions are so rare here, that it's amazing it would even be remarkable that someone would listen to my actual beliefs / thoughts / feelings and acknowledge them rather than presume to tell me what they are. Alas ... it IS worth remarking on because it seldom happens.

As for a collective unconscious, I find the concept interesting and as a matter of fact I find the contention between Jung and his mentor, Freud, even more interesting. I like that Jung was open (even if, I think, a little TOO open) to eastern thought and attempting to integrate that into his thinking, etc. As you say, I'm not indifferent, just skeptical and looking for more evidence than I have so far seen.

Anecdotes of scarab beetles appearing at seemingly serendipitous moments are far more likely to represent confirmation bias than any sort of reproducible measure of collective unconscious, in my view ... but, there is always a chance that it hints at things we don't yet understand.

Last edited by mordant; 01-28-2018 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,571,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I believe that how you define God tells much more about you than about God. Or rather, your particular stage of faith (or lack of)... Chart of James Fowler's Stages of Faith | psychologycharts.com
I was aware of Peck's simplification (and Wilbur's elaboration) of this concept but had not actually seen Fowler's version before, so thanks for the reference.

I think these "stages of faith" concepts are a little bit overwrought to begin with, and applied too literally / rigidly by some, but they are not without value if taken as a very general way of understanding the typical evolution of people's thinking about philosophical matters. In fairness to Peck, he did admit that people could ratchet back and forth, get "stuck" at a certain stage, etc.

One thing that always struck me about Peck's writing on the topic is that it was uncomfortably autobiographical. It just happened to explain his philosophical evolution. And of course everyone wants to think that the transition from being reactive / unbelieving in god to returning to a more liberal version of their old faith beliefs, to always be an evolution rather than either a regression or just a concession to some practical need.

I tend to think that the tendency to embrace liberal faith traditions is an artifact of two very understandable things: it's often as not relatively hard to find sustainable and meaningful community outside of some faith tradition, and, as you get older, that sort of community becomes increasingly important and even critical to your well-being.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:03 PM
 
10,516 posts, read 4,146,327 times
Reputation: 1193
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I recognize that tendency in myself and take significant effort to counter it. I have softened toward liberal Christianity for example, and gotten out of my comfort zone to see the point in it. It's difficult, coming from a tradition that leads with doctrine, to understand what the point of loosely held beliefs even are. I tend to see them as either true or false, and it doesn't help that as a fairly heady personality, I don't tend to be very impressed with symbolism or metaphor.

So ... yes, I largely agree with you here.


THANK YOU for his. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Respectful discussions are so rare here, that it's
yes, all fundy's do this. they are very literal and can't understand much past the nose on their face.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:41 PM
 
34,587 posts, read 8,914,192 times
Reputation: 4800
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
Ok. Everything in the bible may be spiritual - symbolic - not meant to be taken literal.
If you want history - go get a history book.
If you want science - go get a book about science.
Etc.
What "Etc"? If you want a bok about symbolism go get a book about it. If you want a book about "spiritual.." what even IS "Spiritual?"

What is the Bible actually good for - these days? I have agreed that it had its' points in the old days when we had little better (the Greekphilosophers were pretty much unknown), but with the Enlightenment,people began to devise better logical, eidential and ethical structures and the Bible is not no more than a book of old tales, which we should no more take as a guide to living than the Greek Myths.

if you want a book of Myths...
Etc..
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:53 PM
 
Location: minnesota
5,256 posts, read 1,679,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I'm glad you liked it. I relate to it too and to what you experienced growing up. I've had to really work through some thoughts and feelings to figure out what I think and want, because for so long, I lived by others' values and shame-based "shoulds."

I forgot where I read it, but consider this: If you happened to be born into a family down the street, you may have been treated so differently - and had different experiences. If you felt never good enough, it wasn't so much you as it was the circumstances you were brought up in. And another point: some people who don't have all of the usual abilities can feel better about themselves than someone with abilities - so it's not so much about reality as it is how you think towards and feel about yourself.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:47 PM
 
2,379 posts, read 2,607,629 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I recognize that tendency in myself and take significant effort to counter it. I have softened toward liberal Christianity for example, and gotten out of my comfort zone to see the point in it. It's difficult, coming from a tradition that leads with doctrine, to understand what the point of loosely held beliefs even are. I tend to see them as either true or false, and it doesn't help that as a fairly heady personality, I don't tend to be very impressed with symbolism or metaphor.

So ... yes, I largely agree with you here.
Some symbolism is not impressive to me either, but I think that's the point - each of us resonate uniquely. I think it was Jung who suggested the number of different spiritual beliefs was the same number of living human beings.
Do you acknowledge the power of subconscious activity? If so, how do you see symbolism applying?

Quote:
Yes, belief effects how you experience life and it is a powerful influence. And no one is 100% rational or can supportably say they're 100% correct in their beliefs. However ... I don't see belief as a thing-in-itself that is its own source of some sort of "power". I see belief as influential, and therefore, I strive to have supportable beliefs -- substantiated beliefs -- beliefs that will tend to lead me to a closer approximation of a clear understanding of reality. But I don't believe just for the sake of belief. There's plenty that's worthy of belief, plenty that's not.

This raises the point that belief doesn't HAVE to be 100% correct or proven to be useful. I'm happy if my beliefs have me headed in the "right direction" -- toward, rather than away from, a decent approximation of an accurate understanding of actual reality.
Well, that's definitely logically reasonable. Still, what is "actual reality"? It's all subjective! Everything I think is what I think, based on my limited, subjective awareness. And the same with each of us. Reality may be based on the most popular beliefs - but even many science books (esp. medicine) require annual updating because of new findings.


I realize there's a need to see things as they are as much as possible. IE: Many people BS themselves and say they're thick boned or obesity runs in their family so they have no respons-ability. They give up the ability to change by seeing it worse than it is. Then there are others who don't see their flaws so are unable to change them. I try to have beliefs that are not in denial, but also are inspiring to get up each morning and live with some sense of meaning and purpose.

Quote:
THANK YOU for his. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Respectful discussions are so rare here, that it's amazing it would even be remarkable that someone would listen to my actual beliefs / thoughts / feelings and acknowledge them rather than presume to tell me what they are. Alas ... it IS worth remarking on because it seldom happens.
Thank you too, Mordant. I've appreciated your reasonable perspectives and how you do not engage in ad hominem attacks and other logical fallacies. Ideally, in conversation, both learn, which I hope with you.


Quote:
As for a collective unconscious, I find the concept interesting and as a matter of fact I find the contention between Jung and his mentor, Freud, even more interesting. I like that Jung was open (even if, I think, a little TOO open) to eastern thought and attempting to integrate that into his thinking, etc. As you say, I'm not indifferent, just skeptical and looking for more evidence than I have so far seen.

Anecdotes of scarab beetles appearing at seemingly serendipitous moments are far more likely to represent confirmation bias than any sort of reproducible measure of collective unconscious, in my view ... but, there is always a chance that it hints at things we don't yet understand.
I haven't yet completely decided what I think about Jung because he seemed to go so deep and it seems that a lot of it needs to be experienced, not just read about. I do acknowledge the need to not jump to conclusions too quickly. But when it comes to interpreting serendipitous moments, does it hurt to consider that there is some connection between us that is not seen? I suppose a challenge is to constantly consider multiple possible perspectives, while not being paralyzed by a lack of decisive values.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:00 PM
 
2,379 posts, read 2,607,629 times
Reputation: 1191
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I was aware of Peck's simplification (and Wilbur's elaboration) of this concept but had not actually seen Fowler's version before, so thanks for the reference.

I think these "stages of faith" concepts are a little bit overwrought to begin with, and applied too literally / rigidly by some, but they are not without value if taken as a very general way of understanding the typical evolution of people's thinking about philosophical matters. In fairness to Peck, he did admit that people could ratchet back and forth, get "stuck" at a certain stage, etc.

One thing that always struck me about Peck's writing on the topic is that it was uncomfortably autobiographical. It just happened to explain his philosophical evolution. And of course everyone wants to think that the transition from being reactive / unbelieving in god to returning to a more liberal version of their old faith beliefs, to always be an evolution rather than either a regression or just a concession to some practical need.
Yeah, I also think that faith stages should be referred to in general terms, not too exactly personally applied. Still, just for someone to relate to it, I think, requires some mature psychology because it acknowledges that 1) Theism isn't the be-all-end-all, and 2) Atheism/skepticism isn't either. There's more.

I can see what you mean about Peck kind of projecting his experience universally. I've found that since my faith crisis, when I read non-fiction books, I am much more aware of how I disagree with the authors - which I always do to some extent. I think it's a good sign, because before, I tended to believe whatever an "authority" wrote.
Quote:
I tend to think that the tendency to embrace liberal faith traditions is an artifact of two very understandable things: it's often as not relatively hard to find sustainable and meaningful community outside of some faith tradition, and, as you get older, that sort of community becomes increasingly important and even critical to your well-being.
Do you mean it IS hard to find community outside of faith tradition? I live in Utah, and in a little town in a very Mormon area. We used to attend another Mormon congregation in Spanish for several years and my neighbor thought we were "inactive" so she refused to let her kids play with our kids. This helped me and my kids realize more fully how conditional relationships based on cultish religion can be. Still, we attend pretty regularly and I serve (mostly just non-religious activities and helping widows). My kids have regular activities through the church - so it does serve as an unbeatable social network, but it is very conditional. I need to take breaks and find other sources of support, occasionally. I suppose no one person or group can be all things. And we do need others. I read a longitudinal study finding that the top cause of longer life was social connection.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:11 PM
 
2,379 posts, read 2,607,629 times
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Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
What "Etc"? If you want a bok about symbolism go get a book about it. If you want a book about "spiritual.." what even IS "Spiritual?"

What is the Bible actually good for - these days? I have agreed that it had its' points in the old days when we had little better (the Greekphilosophers were pretty much unknown), but with the Enlightenment,people began to devise better logical, eidential and ethical structures and the Bible is not no more than a book of old tales, which we should no more take as a guide to living than the Greek Myths.

if you want a book of Myths...
Etc..
I'd say the bible is overall, a spiritual book - primarily using parables and symbols to teach. Of course, there are history/genealogy sections, but the many whos words are quoted, who wrote, edited, translated and retranslated, did so with the goal of understanding spiritual truths.

I have read the bible cover to cover and have studied parts here & there, but I'm not really a theologian. What I gather from the bible, is that it is a series of parables - symbols. Some of it is so freaking obvious, that it's hilarious when people try to take it literally.

Revelations has some pretty wild imagery, and I can't say definitely what it means, maybe it can mean whatever resonates with you (as many parables are intended to). When you consider the common sense fact that Jesus pointed out how the kingdom of God is not some external event like a 2nd coming, but you experience God WITHIN you, then waiting for the world to go to hell and for Jesus to come again and save everyone is similar to why some people back in Jesus's day were not happy with his way of saving and yelled, "Crucify him!" Some would interpret the following as last days horrors, but if you relate it spiritually/psychologically you can see how it could apply to spiritual development theories.

(Sorry if I already posted - this I have before but not sure if to you.)... And I got some of the spiral-dynamic terms from J. Marion in Putting on the Mind of Christ.

1st seal, a crown is given - birth/life - Archaic & Magical Consciousness
2nd seal, a sword is given - ability to discern good from evil - Mythic Consciousness
3rd seal, balances are had - questioning myths - Rational Consciousness level
4th seal - power was given - can see many perspectives - Vision-Logic Consciousness
5th seal - Shown souls who were slain for the word of God - fears conquered for love - Psychic/Spirit Consciousness
6th seal - earthquakes, sun black, stars fall - see our imperfections "bursts our egotistical bubble" - Dark night of the senses
7th seal - silence, then "all hell breaks loose" with wars & plagues - Confronting "feelings buried alive"- Dark Night/Confronting Shadow Self
Christ reigns - Spiritual union with God, Our Creators - Christ Consciousness, Loving more purely.
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