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The role of justification in forming beliefs


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2 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

The only god I want is the one I have created in my image, for whom I have no awe or respect and whom I can think of, instead, as everyone's ever-loving, all-accepting, never-judgmental Pal!

This sentiment seems false. In the Old Testament we have a God that condones chattel slavery. In the 19th century we have a God that has the exact same racist views as the prophet Brigham Young. I’m not sure it’s just modern people that invent God in their own image. It sure seems to me that prophets have been doing that since the dawn of time. So when you worship the God revealed by prophets, that’s fine, you’re just worshiping the God the prophet created in his image instead of the one that you would make up. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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On 11/4/2022 at 7:50 AM, Benjamin Seeker said:

This thread is an invitation to debate the pros and cons of this way of thinkng and forming belief. 

How can one debate a way to think, while thinking about a way to debate?

Please define "this way of thinking"

Also please define "justification".

No examples, just definitions, please.  As I see it all you have said is  "Can we justify this way of thinking?" without defining any terms.

In general it seems you are against taking religious beliefs on faith, which is in my opinion, a non sequitur.

Religion is HOPE for things UNSEEN.

If you want EVIDENCE for things SEEN you are in the wrong place.

It seems to me you are trying to cook dinner in the refrigerator, or use a screwdriver to slice bread.

Ain't gonna work.

You are in the faith department.

Look around the corner in the science department. 😊

Edited by mfbukowski
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13 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I should clarify that I’m specifically pointing out the danger of giving your moral authority over to someone else. Your gut feeling may be to say something is wrong, but you feel strong armed to ignore your judgement because of an authority’s position on it. I think that can enable abuse in some situations.

Turns out I was passing on bad info. Sorry! Also, just a little embarrassing.

Sure. I can see that situation, but the result can also be holding onto traditions that are harmful.

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion." 

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13 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion." 

CFR

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56 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

CFR

Obnoxious abuse of CFR unless you were just wondering where the quote came from (and it was presented as a quote not a fact). 
 

https://www.physlink.com/Education/essay_weinberg.cfm

The quote is factually false (there are numerous ways to convince good people to do bad things), but it does expose the problem of ceding moral authority to someone else in the name of good. 

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2 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

CFR

9/11

And another quote for the road:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/86758.Steven_Weinberg

Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”

ETA: I believe in God, but this Steven guy may be Atheist. 

Edited by Tacenda
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34 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

9/11

And another quote for the road:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/86758.Steven_Weinberg

Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham. Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”

ETA: I believe in God, but this Steven guy may be Atheist. 

9/11 doesn't prove that for good people to do evil it takes religion though.   All it proves is that religion can be used to do evil things.

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23 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

These women on this podcast have helped me cope with things that have troubled me about my religion. And make very good points, I wish for all to receive it. :)

https://atlastshesaidit.org/

I'm personal friends with one of the women that frequently appears on that podcast.  She's had a hard faith crisis and is still coming to terms with it but she's a good woman and I'm glad that she (and you) were able to find support there.

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1 hour ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Obnoxious abuse of CFR unless you were just wondering where the quote came from (and it was presented as a quote not a fact). 
 

https://www.physlink.com/Education/essay_weinberg.cfm

The quote is factually false (there are numerous ways to convince good people to do bad things), but it does expose the problem of ceding moral authority to someone else in the name of good. 

The quote about a designer has nothing to do with good and evil as concepts.

One must have SOME concept of a definable differentiation between good and evil to decide if any act is one or the other.

Yes atheists can be good or evil as much as religious folks can be good or evil- and of course atheists, I believe, in general are as good or evil as believers.

One does not need a concept of "God" to have a definition of good or evil, but still if one believes that good and evil are even definable, certainly that is a religious position.

Yes that is itself a secular religion- the idea that one "OUGHT" or "SHOULD NOT" to do one thing or another is a HOPE FOR THINGS UNSEEN, and therefore a faith position.

It is a "secular religion" like thinking it is "wrong" to put too much carbon into the atmosphere.  The unseen hope of salvation from Global Warming is a secular religion.   If we are all good boys and girls and act perfectly, humanity will create its own salvation and we will all live in a heaven of perfect balance with "The Universe".  If that is not a religious statement I don't know what is.  I have heard simpleton atheists say things like "Well, I guess the Universe just wanted to reward me for...."

My brother in law who is a bishop presently won't go to Europe on a vacation for his fear of sinning by helping these evil airlines put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

If you are not good I ;)  will drag out my good old video where Christopher Hitchens, atheist extraordinaire, ;) (one can make a good living being an atheist OR a preacher) in which he concludes that atheists have a "daemon" or some kind of conscience that is just IN them that seeks the good and eschews evil.

But where did the conscience come from?  

The atheist says "Oh it evolved- society requires that!" But of course that doesn't answer the question- the question is not about God but about good deeds vs bad deeds.  And a direct response could be that God can work through evolution as well as He can work through any other natural process.

So yes it is true, if were there no definiton for good or evil, good people could not do evil nor could bad people do good.   Good or evil would not exist as concepts unless we had the words/concepts defining them

And so yes the Word created all things, it is said, and there was no "death" before the fall.

All of these things are true literally "by definition" !

So now @Benjamin Seeker, how about some definitions so we know what the heck we are supposed to be talking about here??

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17 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

 

If you are not good I ;)  will drag out my good old video where Christopher Hitchens, atheist extraordinaire, ;) (one can make a good living being an atheist OR a preacher) in which he concludes that atheists have a "daemon" or some kind of conscience that is just IN them that seeks the good and eschews evil.

That kind of sends me back to Plato's Republic. In the opening scenes of the Republic, Glaucon and Adeimantus are in an uncomfortable position. They wish to believe in the existence of justice but they cannot justify it. They look at a world in which the sun shines on both the evil and the good and cannot find it in their minds to affirm why justice does or does not exist. Socrates endeavors to convince them that there really is such a thing as justice, but before embarking on his argument he pauses to observe Glaucon, who desperately yearns for the existence of justice even though he is positioned to prosper in a world not bound by it. "Truly," quips the Mad Gadfly, "something divine must have happened to you." Then he embarks on the argument which will provide the basis for the entire practice of Western political philosophy, building Kallipolis from speech alone, all to prove to Glaucon something which he already knew but despaired of understanding. 

There is a problem in all of this, though. Not everybody has Socrates at hand to prove to them that justice exists. Likewise, not everybody has the time nor temperament to sit and ponder the Republic or the legions of works written in reply to it, a corpus that dwarfs the scroll-shelves of Alexandria...but everybody must be good. Seems like the most consequential beliefs of our lives must be taken on...faith. 

Somewhere in heaven Kierkegaard is rejoicing...or lecturing God about the manifest unjustness of God's being evident to Heaven's residents.

Edited by OGHoosier
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6 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I’m not sure it’s just modern people that invent God in their own image. It sure seems to me that prophets have been doing that since the dawn of time

Of course- that's what it is all about.

The question about whether or not humans created God or God created humans is A) In my opinion though others differ, the most important in theology and (B) why I became LDS.

It is no longer a problem but you cannot see the forest for the trees how "LDSism" (A new abbreviation? ;) )

Both are true statements.  God made humanity to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of humans.   Humans made God because they needed to create a belief in a Perfect Human and so the best solution to both quandaries is LDSism.

We believe that all humans can follow that image of the PERFECT HUMAN by emulating stories about God AS that being and then become a God ourselves through exaltation.

This paradigm can be literally true if one wants to follow that path, OR it can be seen as literally true pragmatically- that it IS the best possible paradigm for humans to believe, bringing about the best Humans trying to be Perfect.

God IS the ideal human AND Humans worship their own paradigm of what it is to be Perfect themselves.

This really is an amazing and perfectly logical church.   When God is a Human, humanism becomes theology.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

There is a problem in all of this, though. Not everybody has Socrates at hand to prove to them that justice exists. Likewise, not everybody has the time nor temperament to sit and ponder the Republic or the legions of works written in reply to it, a corpus that dwarfs the scroll-shelves of Alexandria...but everybody must be good. Seems like the most consequential beliefs of our lives must be taken on...faith. 

Well it's good that SOMEONE hereabouts actually reads philosophy!

The ironic problem here is that it's Plato who created that difference between the "Spiritual" Realm- of the Intellect, which can only be known by faith/Reason- vs the crass study of matter and arts and crafts.  Look at Plato's allegory of the cave- and you will see that it is Abstract Ideas - or Forms- which are TRUE REALITY as opposed to the muddy world of APPARENT reality in which we live.   We all are shadows of God's light, the Source of all reason.  And unfortunately, for Plato there WAS no difference between Faith and Reason- all that was important was REASON and deducing and abstract Ideas- the very idea that what we saw around us could be "evidence proving or disproving"God" was a contradiciton of terms.   One starts with abstraction and thoughts NOT with the world of illusion in which we live!

So he would find what we call "Science" as nothing more than analyzing the illusions of this earth instead of concentrating on true reality.  ;)

https://www.wondriumdaily.com/how-plato-and-aristotle-influenced-scientific-thought/

Quote

 

Plato’s Philosophy: Rejecting the Material World

Rejecting the material world is the view that led Plato to express his famous picture of reality set out in the allegory of the cave in his masterwork, The Republic. This view contends that there are two worlds, distinct realms.

Statue of Plato in front of the University of Athens in Greece

One realm is the material world, which is ever-changing. A material thing can always change, just use a big enough sledge hammer. This means that the material world will never be perfect, always corrupted and corruptible.

The other domain, the realm of ideas is different. All material things are part of a species, a type, a kind. What defines that species is a set of essential properties.

To have real knowledge of a thing is to understand this essence, or form, as Plato called it. Wisdom comes from rejecting the imperfect representations of the forms—that is, the material things—and embracing the immaterial forms—the perfect, unchanging ideas of the things.

In Raphael’s famous painting, The School of Athens, the great thinkers of classical Greece are seen together. At the very center of the image are Plato and his student Aristotle. Plato is pointing up while Aristotle is portrayed pointing down.

Aristotle’s Essentialism

According to Plato, reality exists away from the material world, within the world of forms, which can only be viewed with the eye of the mind. Reality, for Aristotle, was right here in this world. It was Aristotle’s elevation of the material realm that launched what we think of as science.

 

 

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7 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

How can one debate a way to think, while thinking about a way to debate?

Please define "this way of thinking"

Also please define "justification".

No examples, just definitions, please.  As I see it all you have said is  "Can we justify this way of thinking?" without defining any terms.

In general it seems you are against taking religious beliefs on faith, which is in my opinion, a non sequitur.

Religion is HOPE for things UNSEEN.

If you want EVIDENCE for things SEEN you are in the wrong place.

It seems to me you are trying to cook dinner in the refrigerator, or use a screwdriver to slice bread.

Ain't gonna work.

You are in the faith department.

Look around the corner in the science department. 😊

Let me clarify, and hopefully make the discussion question seem clear and simple.

Justification: Overcoming your qualms or misgivings on a given issue or concept by appealing to a different set of values.

I’ll dodge giving a definition on “way of thinking” by saying that a clearer way of stating what I meant was:

What are the pros and cons of forming moral beliefs within a faith paradigm when that formation involves justification to overcome misgivings you may have on a particular issue?

 

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5 hours ago, Tacenda said:

These women on this podcast have helped me cope with things that have troubled me about my religion. And make very good points, I wish for all to receive it. :)

https://atlastshesaidit.org/

Off topic- but I listen too.  I can’t relate to the ascorbic nature of their energy sometimes- I just want to say WHAT “DO” YOU LIKE - and there’s a few other things I don’t love, but I’m always interested in the concerns they share.  

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7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

"With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion." 

Nice quote. I think religions, political parties, and other influential philosophies all have the power to manipulate behavior in both very positive and terrible ways.

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22 minutes ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

Nice quote. I think religions, political parties, and other influential philosophies all have the power to manipulate behavior in both very positive and terrible ways.

So perhaps a better phrasing would be “Good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes something they care deeply about” (though even this way I don’t believe it, good people doing evil is just pure stupidity at times).

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1 hour ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

What are the pros and cons of forming moral beliefs within a faith paradigm when that formation involves justification to overcome misgivings you may have on a particular issue?

What you call "justification" isn't, I think, unique to faith paradigms. It's a characteristic of normative paradigms generally. You can't have grand unified theories of right and wrong without anomalies, which must either be explained within the paradigm or break it. 

If you want to discuss the pros and cons of social norms at all, it would basically be the same discussion. 

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10 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

What you call "justification" isn't, I think, unique to faith paradigms. It's a characteristic of normative paradigms generally. You can't have grand unified theories of right and wrong without anomalies, which must either be explained within the paradigm or break it. 

If you want to discuss the pros and cons of social norms at all, it would basically be the same discussion. 

I guess so, but I’d rather have a Mormon-centric discussion. :)

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19 hours ago, bluebell said:

I'm personal friends with one of the women that frequently appears on that podcast.  She's had a hard faith crisis and is still coming to terms with it but she's a good woman and I'm glad that she (and you) were able to find support there.

I'm glad she has you as a safe person to talk to! ❤️

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On 11/4/2022 at 10:50 AM, Benjamin Seeker said:

In dealing with a difficult subject, many church members gradually overcome the issues they have with it, and through an intellectual and spiritual process they come to a belief that it was in line with the will of God. Common problematic issues in Mormonism include polygamy and the abuses therein, the priesthood ban, the church’s recent policy that excluded the children of same gender couples from full participation, and the absence of full female participation in church leadership. Having been told these are or were the will of God or that they were the result of revelation, many though not all come to a belief that they were God-given or at the very least, resolved by God. For some, this process comes easily and for others it’s an arduous long fought struggle. 
 

This thread is an invitation to debate the pros and cons of this way of thinkng and forming belief. 

There are so many different ways of thinking, and a mental state that is only one of many facets of our experience, so when it comes to spiritual or religious conclusions and commitments, I would say the best approach is to find which principles, when properly applied, help us help others in a unifying way. If something rubs us the wrong way, such a lifestyle will eventually help us run across someone who can help us.

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I'm glad she has you as a safe person to talk to! ❤️

She's an amazing person to talk to.  She has wonderful insights and used to teach at BYU so super knowledgeable in scriptures and hebrew.  We don't agree on as much as we used to but that's ok.

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17 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

What are the pros and cons of forming moral beliefs within a faith paradigm when that formation involves justification to overcome misgivings you may have on a particular issue?

I had to read that 3 times to be able to translate what I think it means; this is it:

"How can you find the benefits of moral beliefs when one is biased?" 

Answer: Alma 32. Go with what feels "sweet".

This is not science, it a question about emotion. There is no science of good and evil

Is a fetus a human being? Yes or no is not a matter of science.  Which feels best?

I am pro choice.  Make the choice and take the consequences. 

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15 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

I guess so, but I’d rather have a Mormon-centric discussion. :)

Unfortunately Mormons think just like real humans.

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