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Author Topic: Finding God in music.  (Read 7988 times)
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coldforge
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Posts: 11924


« Reply #75 on: Sep 13, 2009, 12:46:35 AM »

Oh, you can definitely be agnostic and not have any interest in spirituality at all; it's just an epistemological position.  don seemed to be implying more than just "I dunno," which is why I asked.
No, agnostic without any interest in RELIGION at all. You seem to come to this discussion with the assumption that spirituality and religion are the same, and anybody who uses the terms differently is mistaken—either in matters of vocabulary, or, heaven forfend, theology. I think that position betrays a bias that is out of step with the general up-with-peoplism that you display in most other matters.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
donblood
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« Reply #76 on: Sep 13, 2009, 12:48:13 AM »

Well, but I would push you to order your thoughts more.  How is "faith in the unknown slowly becoming known" not agnosticism on one hand or eliminative materialism on the other?  Not asking that as a put-down.  I'm honestly interested.

a) because of what coldforge said, and
b) if it turns out that the end state of the unknown slowly becoming known means that there is something like what we call God, I wouldn't be surprised or displeased

I guess my personal form of agnosticism (and it definitely is agnosticism, albeit with a bit more wonder involved than is generally implied by the term) seems like faith to me.  You say "God made all this" and I say "it's here for some reason that can't yet be explained, but I have faith that there's a reason, whatever it is, and I have faith that our weirdo brainiac species will come ever closer to figuring it out."

xposts
« Last Edit: Sep 13, 2009, 12:53:54 AM by donblood » Logged
dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #77 on: Sep 13, 2009, 12:57:06 AM »

Oh, you can definitely be agnostic and not have any interest in spirituality at all; it's just an epistemological position.  don seemed to be implying more than just "I dunno," which is why I asked.
No, agnostic without any interest in RELIGION at all. You seem to come to this discussion with the assumption that spirituality and religion are the same, and anybody who uses the terms differently is mistaken—either in matters of vocabulary, or, heaven forfend, theology. I think that position betrays a bias that is out of step with the general up-with-peoplism that you display in most other matters.

I'm unsure what you mean by "spirituality" then.  I mean, there are quite a few self-identifying agnostics whose basic position is "I don't know if there's a God or not but I really, really fucking doubt it."  Where's the spirituality there?  Or is your position just that they are atheists mislabeling themselves?  In common usage "agnostic" is a blanket term for a whole bunch of people between religion and atheism, but in a technical sense it just means "dunno" on the question of the existence of God.  Being indifferent or unsure as to the existence of God doesn't necessarily imply spirituality.   
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dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #78 on: Sep 13, 2009, 12:58:45 AM »

Well, but I would push you to order your thoughts more.  How is "faith in the unknown slowly becoming known" not agnosticism on one hand or eliminative materialism on the other?  Not asking that as a put-down.  I'm honestly interested.

a) because of what coldforge said, and
b) if it turns out that the end state of the unknown slowly becoming known means that there is something like what we call God, I wouldn't be surprised or displeased

I guess my personal form of agnosticism (and it definitely is agnosticism, albeit with a bit more wonder involved than is generally implied by the term) seems like faith to me.  You say "God made all this" and I say "it's here for some reason that can't yet be explained, but I have faith that there's a reason, whatever it is, and I have faith that our weirdo brainiac species will come ever closer to figuring it out."

xposts


Thanks for this.  I really wasn't trying to being a dick; I was honestly curious.
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coldforge
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« Reply #79 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:07:17 AM »

Oh, you can definitely be agnostic and not have any interest in spirituality at all; it's just an epistemological position.  don seemed to be implying more than just "I dunno," which is why I asked.
No, agnostic without any interest in RELIGION at all. You seem to come to this discussion with the assumption that spirituality and religion are the same, and anybody who uses the terms differently is mistaken—either in matters of vocabulary, or, heaven forfend, theology. I think that position betrays a bias that is out of step with the general up-with-peoplism that you display in most other matters.

I'm unsure what you mean by "spirituality" then.  I mean, there are quite a few self-identifying agnostics whose basic position is "I don't know if there's a God or not but I really, really fucking doubt it."  Where's the spirituality there?  Or is your position just that they are atheists mislabeling themselves?  In common usage "agnostic" is a blanket term for a whole bunch of people between religion and atheism, but in a technical sense it just means "dunno" on the question of the existence of God.  Being indifferent or unsure as to the existence of God doesn't necessarily imply spirituality.   
Of course it doesn't imply it. But db described himself as 'spiritual' and you countered that he sounded more like an agnostic, as though he couldn't be both. I don't think that anyone here needs it to be demonstrated how there could be someone who is unsure of the concrete existence of god, or unsure of any of the details of the existence of some higher power, and yet still feels the suspicion or sensation or curiosity that there does exist something that exists in a supernatural or extra-ordinary way, anywhere between the real action of kismet to the influence of an omnipotent but as-yet unknown deity.

As far as I'm concerned, most people who describe themselves as 'spiritual' have a concern with matters like the existence of a reality beyond the world, an afterlife, an extra-mundane foundation for morality—but no real necessary interest in pursuing those notions through ritual practice as prescribed and followed by any sizeable established group of people, including the acceptance of a certain set of doctrines that those people have agreed upon. The ritual practice and doctrine of those people, they call 'religion'.

I don't think that's a wholly unuseful distinction to make. Again, it sounds like you dismiss that distinction out of hand as confused or unrigorous.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
donblood
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« Reply #80 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:13:58 AM »

(trying to order my thoughts)

Here are the parts where I don't feel like I'm copping out with an "I dunno" or an "I really, really doubt it"

* the sum total of what we as a species don't know.  To me, equally attributable to God or universal mechanics we haven't figured out.  (And the more we figure out, the more mysteries present themselves.)

* chance, coincidence, unintended consequences.  systems of human interaction so complex that it's best to fall back on "be nice to people."

* honestly: the sun, our planet, the absolute freak occurrence of our big brains, our languages, and my own existence.

* a million other easily-understood but still amazing phenomena, derived from the above, that look like magic from where I'm sitting.  That music can go through a wire, that I'm looking at a screen in my apartment and talking to people I've never met but feel like I know, that occasionally it feels like I'm willing the world into existence.  That I can't prove to myself I'm not willing the world into existence.

I hope that makes some sense, but if it doesn't, it makes no less sense than "An invisible man made all this."

more xposts, this is fun
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dieblucasdie
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« Reply #81 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:15:26 AM »

Fair enough.  I knew I was phrasing that poorly to don, which is why I included that caveat about it not being a put-down.  Again, I don't think it's necessarily a meaningless distinction, it's just that, 99% of the time, people who say it don't actually mean anything by "spirituality."  Don is a great example of someone who does.  He just told us what he means by it. 

As a pseudo/cafeteria/foreign-legion Catholic myself, I'm actually very interested in what a serious sense of spirituality divorced from any actual religion could look like.  Which is why I find it maddening when it's used as a platitude.  That's all.

xpost to cf
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donblood
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« Reply #82 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:19:49 AM »

I don't think that anyone here needs it to be demonstrated how there could be someone who is unsure of the concrete existence of god, or unsure of any of the details of the existence of some higher power, and yet still feels the suspicion or sensation or curiosity that there does exist something that exists in a supernatural or extra-ordinary way, anywhere between the real action of kismet to the influence of an omnipotent but as-yet unknown deity.

Well said.  I'm pretty sure my belief can be boiled down to "Well something's going on here, but I sure as hell don't know what it is."

blucas, now that I've spilled my spiritual agnostic guts, maybe you could spill whichever guts you've got?
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coldforge
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Posts: 11924


« Reply #83 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:25:06 AM »

Fair enough.  I knew I was phrasing that poorly to don, which is why I included that caveat about it not being a put-down.  Again, I don't think it's necessarily a meaningless distinction, it's just that, 99% of the time, people who say it don't actually mean anything by "spirituality."  Don is a great example of someone who does.  He just told us what he means by it. 

As a pseudo/cafeteria/foreign-legion Catholic myself, I'm actually very interested in what a serious sense of spirituality divorced from any actual religion could look like.  Which is why I find it maddening when it's used as a platitude.  That's all.

xpost to cf
To tell the truth, it does sound to me like you might be giving many so-called spiritual folk the short end of the terminological stick. I'm sure you've had your fair share of maddening undergraduate conversations, but when I think of spirituality—in addition to about.com or beliefnet anchor pages with doughy, whitebread middle aged ladies' faces on them and instructions for a Samhain evening celebration the whole family can enjoy—I think of a range of potential human experience as broad and deep as the sum total of everyone who has ever lived and thought about why it rains. Speaking purely from a humanistic perspective, I have seen every single kind of way to think about god and reality and one's own place in the middle of all that. Many of the people who spend their time talking about these things are deeply obnoxious. But I really do think its disingenuous to claim that the people that were being lampooned in the Stella routine constitute 99% of them. I know with whom I speak and wouldn't dare utter the word str_wman, but there you have it.

Whence comes all your rage? Presumably if your experience is so different from mine and the mere mention of human spirituality throws you into a rage, you have been talking with a very different demographic than me. Who are these people who gave you the impression that 99% of unaffiliated human spirituality is platitudinous? Surely you know better, blucas, than to spend too much time speaking with college freshmen.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
sashwap
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Posts: 1316


« Reply #84 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:34:22 AM »

I don't think that anyone here needs it to be demonstrated how there could be someone who is unsure of the concrete existence of god, or unsure of any of the details of the existence of some higher power, and yet still feels the suspicion or sensation or curiosity that there does exist something that exists in a supernatural or extra-ordinary way, anywhere between the real action of kismet to the influence of an omnipotent but as-yet unknown deity.

Well said.  I'm pretty sure my belief can be boiled down to "Well something's going on here, but I sure as hell don't know what it is."

blucas, now that I've spilled my spiritual agnostic guts, maybe you could spill whichever guts you've got?


spiritual agnostic? what the heck, don. just bite the bullet and admit you're an atheist!! you think the world and universe you live in is a beautiful, wonderful, mysterious, unfathomable place. you're totally right. it is. and it's REAL. and realness is far more fulfilling before you muck it all up by trying to shoehorn god -- or something, as you say -- into it. we may not know all the answers, but that's part of the fun.
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coldforge
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Posts: 11924


« Reply #85 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:35:01 AM »

oy.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
milly balgeary
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Posts: 11512


« Reply #86 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:37:01 AM »

you guys have gone fuckin' bananas.
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G.C.R
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Posts: 6219


« Reply #87 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:39:04 AM »

Really? I thought this was one of the most coherent and interesting religion argument threads ever had on the plane
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dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #88 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:41:53 AM »

blucas, now that I've spilled my spiritual agnostic guts, maybe you could spill whichever guts you've got?

Well, most people already know this, but I am a semi-observant Catholic.  I have a very committed faith in the existence of God, and a much-more-shaky but nonetheless very real and personally important faith in the basic tenants outlined in the Nicene Creed (which I'm just using here as a shorthand, I could definitely elaborate).  

But beyond that 90% of the Catechism can go fuck itself.  I could go into more or less detail about what keeps me Catholic despite "the general up-with-peoplism that I display in most other matters" but it would only be of interest to other Catholics or lapsed Catholics, I suspect.  A convenient metaphor I always use with my liberal-minded friends is that I feel the same way about the Catholic Church that I feel about America.  I was born into it, and I feel like it has at its center important, radical, populist ideals that it's betrayed or otherwise fucked on a regular basis for as long as it's existed.  But I was born there and I'll die there; and it's too important a project to abandon to crazy conservative people.  

xposts

Here I am spilling my guts and you guys are going crazy.  Again, cf, I really don't disagree much with anything you've said.  But yeah, again, I'm admitting I'm generalizing based on personal experience here.  And I'm admitting that it's a more or less irrational bias I've developed based on encounters with people who are like A B and C I described upthread.  
« Last Edit: Sep 13, 2009, 01:43:33 AM by dieblucasdie » Logged

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milly balgeary
Registered user

Posts: 11512


« Reply #89 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:42:12 AM »

there are people who claim to be a mirror of Christ but are merely trying to reflect themselves.

right. edit (to gcr's statement about the lucidity of this thread)
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jebreject
Registered user

Posts: 27071


« Reply #90 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:43:04 AM »

We are the tyrants
Messengers of Satan
We pledge you all
Raise your hands
This is the solstice
Hail legions arise
We'll raise the roof
Touch the skies

Were praying for
The wings of Mayhem to arrive
The screaming fury burns
Brings us alive

Stand up and be counted
Stand up and be counted

We are the demons
Children of fire
Your turn has come
Live your desire
Burning ambition
Were were staying wild
We stand as one never denied

Defiant and proud
We stand together
Metallic and loud we will fight
Devastation, pure Hell
Legions of the night

Stand up and be counted
Stand up and be counted

Come on, raise your hands

We are the black metal gods

V-E-N-O-fucking-M
Are you with us
Right until the end?

Stand up and be counted
Stand up and be counted

Come on right at the back
You wanna be counted as well?
Stand up!
And be counted..
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donblood
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« Reply #91 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:43:59 AM »

spiritual agnostic? what the heck, don. just bite the bullet and admit you're an atheist!!

That's a negative, good buddy.  Read my last few posts and tell me how I'm an atheist.  Or tell me how humanity will arrive at perfect information.  Ever.

Or here's a fun exercise!  Convince me why I should be an atheist.  Bonus points if it doesn't include an ankh.

milly:  yeah pretty much

blucas:  at no point did I think you were being a dick

coldforge:  keep it together man, we'll get through this, you're doing great

xposts yesssss
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milly balgeary
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Posts: 11512


« Reply #92 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:48:40 AM »

in the upcoming war, i'm with dean and sam winchester.
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sashwap
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Posts: 1316


« Reply #93 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:50:07 AM »

spiritual agnostic? what the heck, don. just bite the bullet and admit you're an atheist!!

Or tell me how humanity will arrive at perfect information.  Ever.


i don't understand. what is perfect information?

i don't have to (or want to) convince you to be an atheist, 'cause what i was saying is it sounded like you are one and you're just trying to dress it up in way that suits you (spiritual agnostic).
« Last Edit: Sep 13, 2009, 01:51:55 AM by sashwap » Logged
dieblucasdie
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Posts: 24493


« Reply #94 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:52:18 AM »

if it turns out that the end state of the unknown slowly becoming known means that there is something like what we call God, I wouldn't be surprised or displeased

Is not very atheistic. 
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G.C.R
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Posts: 6219


« Reply #95 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:53:59 AM »

there are people who claim to be a mirror of Christ but are merely trying to reflect themselves.

right. edit (to gcr's statement about the lucidity of this thread)

I didn't say it was all lucid, just a whole lot more lucid than many of the ones that have preceded it. And I don't want to jinx it, but I'm also finding it a) interesting and b) mercifully free of vicious insults.
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donblood
Guest
« Reply #96 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:55:29 AM »

Well, most people already know this, but I am a semi-observant Catholic.  I have a very committed faith in the existence of God, and a much-more-shaky but nonetheless very real and personally important faith in the basic tenants outlined in the Nicene Creed (which I'm just using here as a shorthand, I could definitely elaborate).

If you would - I just wikipedia-refreshed my memory of the Nicene Creed and I'm curious where you land with that one.  Which pieces are important and which not so much and how much personal interpretation is happening there.

But beyond that 90% of the Catechism can go fuck itself.  I could go into more or less detail about what keeps me Catholic despite "the general up-with-peoplism that I display in most other matters" but it would only be of interest to other Catholics or lapsed Catholics, I suspect.

I'm extremely interested in this too, actually.  Maybe because I grew up in Massachusetts and have spent serious time in New Jersey, which almost makes me a lapsed Catholic by default.

A convenient metaphor I always use with my liberal-minded friends is that I feel the same way about the Catholic Church that I feel about America.  I was born into it, and I feel like it has at its center important, radical, populist ideals that it's betrayed or otherwise fucked on a regular basis for as long as it's existed.  But I was born there and I'll die there; and it's too important a project to abandon to crazy conservative people.  

And I'm really fucking interested in this part, because I'm with you on the America analogy, since I feel pretty much the same way, but I don't see the importance of Catholicism versus the alternatives.  In turnabout: not trying to be a dick, I just want it explained.
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milly balgeary
Registered user

Posts: 11512


« Reply #97 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:58:32 AM »

there are people who claim to be a mirror of Christ but are merely trying to reflect themselves.

right. edit (to gcr's statement about the lucidity of this thread)

I didn't say it was all lucid, just a whole lot more lucid than many of the ones that have preceded it. And I don't want to jinx it, but I'm also finding it a) interesting and b) mercifully free of vicious insults.

whatev, you worship satin.
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donblood
Guest
« Reply #98 on: Sep 13, 2009, 01:59:15 AM »

i don't understand. what is perfect information?

i don't have to (or want to) convince you to be an atheist, 'cause what i was saying is it sounded like you are one and you're just trying to dress it up in way that suits you (spiritual agnostic).

With the perfect information thing: I find it hard to believe that we'll ever be sure that there is nothing we don't know or understand.

On atheism: you might want to look it up.
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coldforge
Registered user

Posts: 11924


« Reply #99 on: Sep 13, 2009, 02:06:08 AM »

That kind of 'oh, you're actually just an atheist' talk is maddening to me. I don't understand it. Why would anybody want to treat the human relationship with the divine in so reductionist a manner?

I should note I'm not referring to atheism as reductionist, just the assumption that any given individual either a) is actually an atheist and they don't know it, or b) they would be fundamentally better off if they just identified as an atheist, or started thinking in atheistic terms, or began to recite the atheistic creed. Many people would look at me and see an atheist and I wouldn't turn down the title, but I've never understood the immediate assumption that anybody else's own brand of agnosticism is actually just atheism poorly understood, and should be demonstrated as such for their own good.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
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