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Afterlife hypothesis

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rad
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PostPosted: Sat 13 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

I agree bruno, worshiping god out of fear of going to hell is purely motivated by the prospect of eternal damnation, not faith. Naturally one wouldn't find such a lifestyle fulfilling, they are just living in fear.

As for looking for existence of god, even though I am all for scientific evidence, no proof exists that conclusively verifies god's presence(or lack thereof), so any search would be ultimately fruitless. Still though, I have an inquisitive mind, you can't blame me for trying to make some sense out of the situation can you?

Also, I never said that I did believe in god, nor that I consider him to be precisely as I described. In fact, I would call myself an atheist if I didn't consider it such a closed-minded point of view. Like I said before, I'm scientifically minded, and when it comes to science something isn't considered factual(a law, as it were) unless through concrete evidence and/or verifiable, repeatable, experimentations prove that it is so(since there's no proof one way or the other in this case, I cannot firmly establish my position on either side of the argument). Being neither a believer, nor an atheist, I fall into the agnostic group.--Having said this, you will see that my view of god's behavior in the previous post is how I would prefer god to be in the event that he/she/it was real.

As far as the 'proving god is killing god' thing, I am trying to discover your reasons why you believe that is(I'm not saying you're wrong, I just like to look at your reasons, it helps me more clearly grasp your beliefs). Is it because you believe that having a god that humans understand prevents him from being omnipotent? That understanding his ways would reveal his motives(which might be selfish and/or unbecoming of an all-powerful entity)? Or maybe you are alluding to your previous argument that a known god will garner followers purely because they know he exists and not as an act of faith in a higher power? Then again you might look at deities as the mythological figures, who upon giving humans the 'fire' gave humans a more god-like understanding of the world(lessening their position of complete superiority)...


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Bruno
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Oh. It's something like the "if we understand god then they're not omnipotent after all" thing, but somewhat different if I got what you tried to imply with that. Knowledge is restriction—not always in a good sense. The whole Nietzschean theory of nihilism originated from a personal abyss he faced when he found himself in the middle of a clash; a clash between academic knowledge and his visceral, orthodox beliefs. His crisis drove him to develop a series of ideas by which he found evidence that there is contradiction at the base of any epistemological system ("world view"). The implications of this were that human knowledge was never to be known true for sure, and that furthermore the more advanced and complex a place of human thought became, the more it limited the possibilities of the True Real, as if the naive, childlike eyes philosophers and scientists must have when looking at the world become more and more artificial, everyday tougher to maintain. So human knowledge, says Nietzsche, is not freedom, but exactly its contrary: it is, in short, blatant restriction. I don't know about the implications Fried draws from his basic idea—they're mostly rhetorical after all. But when applied to god and the divine, that stream of thought is perfectly fine: knowing god, in any sense, is not knowing the True God, but only pretending to know—and in that sense, claiming to know god is in fact to kill god. Do I make any sense here?

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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

this is the after-life

".....there is no such thing as death and life is only a dream in which the imagination is of ourselves"

birth is death
death leads to birth

the stratification is based upon either karma, or your own fee will of who you want to be

course who really knows? only YOU can know, and figure it out


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rad
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

It seems like the dominant theme in Nietzschean philosophy is that ignorance is bliss. It seems like a perfectly reasonable argument in the juxtaposition of religion vs. science, but beyond that I find the whole thing to be a little outdated. I mean how could he be sure that the way humans perceive things aren't how the actually are? To say for sure that there is no 'true real' is making a statement that contradicts the very argument it seeks to make..He says that this is how things are, and humans will never know for sure that what they believe to be fact is, in fact, true. Well that statement alone taken from the same point of view can't possibly be the right way to look at things since we don't know for sure that our world view is wrong.

If we were to take this philosophy to heart and live our lives by it, we would never accomplish anything. This whole nihilism attitude isn't compatible with forward-thinking individuals, we must take what we know to be true(as far as we can perceive it) and apply it. I'm pretty sure that Nietzsche wouldn't jump off a cliff because he believed that our interpretation of gravity is a lie on some level, and it's forces won't make him plummet to his demise. I don't see how this idea can be so all-encompassing, knowledge is power as far as I'm concerned, and learning more about how things work allows one to better understand the world(not limit it). Once we understand something, we can eliminate things that we know not to be true. In this sense we aren't limiting our understanding of how things work, we are widening our understanding of how they don't work and gaining a fuller understanding of their true operation.

I can see where this how argument doesn't fall apart though, and that is when dealing with something that will never be known for sure. Such is the case of god and the supernatural. It's always open to interpretation by the individual. It can never be tested, answers cannot be confirmed to be either wrong or right so you can truly never move ahead in your understanding. If you do believe that you have figured something out about god, you will be killing the true god by seeing him however you think he is(which is what I think you were getting at). Still though, what if god didn't exist, and he really was whatever you wanted him to be in your life. It sounds like Nietzsche was very convinced that god was real(and that a great many other things he believed were absolutely true), I think perhaps he would have formed a greater argument if he didn't have any preconceptions about either god or science to begin with(because from the sound of it, he seems a bit too biased for me to take him very seriously). eh


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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Ryan wrote:
It seems like the dominant theme in Nietzschean philosophy is that ignorance is bliss.

That's about the commonest mistake about Nietzsche's Nihilism—thinking it is a negative stream of thought. Nihilism as a school of thought, as a tradition, has become mostly pessimistic and negative over the years, yes, arriving to the very conclusion you suggest.

But Nietzsche himself was an optimist, believe it or not. He thought of his findings as humankind's letter of manumission; after him, people would drop their dogmatic ways of living and would start fresh on a quest for all possible truths—rather than the arrogant, restrictive "choose a theory the simplest and yet most functional while altogether fittest with our ideologies and stick to it" mantra of the western world, he proposed we dug into every single theory worth digging into, every single plausible theory, each and every one that hadn't been falsified yet.

Ryan wrote:
It seems like a perfectly reasonable argument in the juxtaposition of religion vs. science, but beyond that I find the whole thing to be a little outdated.

Oh, indeed it is outdated. Nihilism was superseded in its most fundamental points by Yank Pragmati(ci)sm, especially by Peirce and James and Dewey. The "New Nihilism," so to speak, of some Post Modern theorists was also eventually refuted and absorbed by the New Pragmatism, especially that of Richard Rorty. So yes, in a sense, Nihilism is outdated: every attempt to bring it to life is confronted by a school of thought that absorbs its crucial propositions and is yet broader than nihilism itself can be.

Ryan wrote:
I mean how could he be sure that the way humans perceive things aren't how the actually are?

He at no point said that. All he said is that contradiction arises from the assumption of known truth. So you can talk about what you perceive, and you can try to explain the world, but you can't say—or at least you can't prove—that what you say is how what you see behaves, and that what you see and predict is the truth. It might be that this is indeed the case. But you can't prove it, that's all.

Ryan wrote:
To say for sure that there is no 'true real' is making a statement that contradicts the very argument it seeks to make..

He doesn't say there's no true real, he only says (and proves on strictly logical grounds) that whether or not there is a true real, we cannot assert about it for sure—we can't "reach" it, if you will.

Ryan wrote:
He says that this is how things are, and humans will never know for sure that what they believe to be fact is, in fact, true. Well that statement alone taken from the same point of view can't possibly be the right way to look at things since we don't know for sure that our world view is wrong.

I see what you're trying to say. smile The way you put it is irrelevant to his theory, as he doesn't say what you claim him to say, but I understand what you mean, and you're indeed just a step away from the basic ideas of Critical rationalism, which together with Yank Pragmati(ci)sm, supersedes the Nihilistic school.

Ryan wrote:
If we were to take this philosophy to heart and live our lives by it, we would never accomplish anything.

Not necessarily. You're drawing implications not only from what I exposed of Nietzsche's thought, but also from former value–judgments of yours. It is possible to crystallize the Nihilistic philosophy into a positive, affirmative doctrine of constant discovery and permanently free, responsible action. That's how I dealt with some demons of my past life for quite a while, before I converted to Peirce and Rorty's Pragmati(ci)sm.

Ryan wrote:
This whole nihilism attitude isn't compatible with forward-thinking individuals, we must take what we know to be true(as far as we can perceive it) and apply it.

You're being too Platonic here. Who says we need dogmas to live?

Ryan wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Nietzsche wouldn't jump off a cliff because he believed that our interpretation of gravity is a lie on some level, and it's forces won't make him plummet to his demise.

Yes, but that's not what Nihilism implies.

Ryan wrote:
I don't see how this idea can be so all-encompassing, knowledge is power as far as I'm concerned, and learning more about how things work allows one to better understand the world(not limit it).

And where's the contradiction here? Knowledge is power because knowing deeper is knowing the flaws and the "howevers." Dull knowledge, and by that I mean high school knowledge as oppose to university knowledge (if you have left high school already, you'll know what difference I'm talking about)—dull knowledge is no power, but rather only restriction.

Further knowledge, as the world is set up today, after the advent of nihilism, is positive knowledge of all flaws. Further knowledge is freedom and power in todays world because it consists in a new form of knowledge, a nihilistic form of it, which denies creatively; and furthermore, in–depth knowledge is power also in that it allows you to restrict even more the liberty of those who possess nothing but dull knowledge.

Ryan wrote:
Once we understand something, we can eliminate things that we know not to be true. In this sense we aren't limiting our understanding of how things work, we are widening our understanding of how they don't work and gaining a fuller understanding of their true operation.

Now you've stepped into something! smile That's Critical rationalism! This is the theory that supersedes Nihilism, and is generally considered a better framework of thought today; but as good as it looks today, it wasn't even plausible in Nietzsche's time. Here I can't really argue against you (especially because I agree with you), all I can do is point out that back in Nietzsche's time, people thought academic knowledge was absolute knowledge and that Fried, in spite of this and many other drawbacks, was the first to point out it ain't necessarily so.

Ryan wrote:
I can see where this how argument doesn't fall apart though, and that is when dealing with something that will never be known for sure.

Ah yes, once again you're right. smile Nietzsche may have been refuted for all scientific matter, but Nihilism still holds untouched when it comes to Philosophy as far as your argumentation went.

In Philosophy, it was superseded not by Critical rationalism, but by the (already mentioned) Pragmatic doctrine—which pointed out that if what's "rationally acceptable" as truth can change dramatically over time and no conclusion can be drawn about truth itself in strictly philosophical grounds, then our criteria for what philosophical thought to chose over another should no longer be "what's more or less plausible" (since that leads to nothing) but rather "whose implications lead to what." This leads to a massive discussion which completely escapes this topic, so lets stop it here, yes? smile

Ryan wrote:
If you do believe that you have figured something out about god, you will be killing the true god by seeing him however you think he is(which is what I think you were getting at).

Indeed, that's what I was getting at! yes

Ryan wrote:
Still though, what if god didn't exist, and he really was whatever you wanted him to be in your life. It sounds like Nietzsche was very convinced that god was real(and that a great many other things he believed were absolutely true), I think perhaps he would have formed a greater argument if he didn't have any preconceptions about either god or science to begin with(because from the sound of it, he seems a bit too biased for me to take him very seriously). eh

Now you're starting to sound like Nietzsche. That's the exact same positive nihilistic behaviour he proposed himself: dropping all preconceptions, questioning all claimed knowledge, and seeing where our thoughts, naive as those of a child, would lead us to.


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rad
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Well, thank you bruno for entertaining my questions to satisfy my curiosity ^^ . I've dabbled very little in philosophy aside from the mainstream Greek philosophers(it sounds like this subject is one of your strengths though), so this was good.

Ahh right, this topic is about the afterlife isn't it? Let's get back on topic now, shall we(I have a real problem with derailing these kinds of conversations, huh)?


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PostPosted: Mon 15 Oct, 2007  Reply with quote

Hehehe, what more can be said about death? All of our ideas and thoughts are nothing more than guesses, really. The rest is just plain conjecture. The only real evidence we have of it is perhaps near-death experiences, or maybe even dreams (for instance, seeing a loved one, to say goodbye to. Who knows if that is actually them?) All I know is I am looking forward to my death, perhaps too much so, to find out what happens afterwards.

Hahaha, I am reminded of something from Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where it says, "And the gods decided to make the Universe and start life, which was widely considered to be a bad decision." Or something to that extent. But I don't think that we should spend life thinking too much about death. We can look forward to it all we want, but we should focus on this planet around us. All I know is that we were put on this Earth for a reason. Who knows what it is? hehehe, I gotta tell you, I'm a little pissed at whoever did this to us, but in another way, I'm glad. All this suffering, I think it sort of makes life worthwhile in a way. Without suffering, happiness would mean nothing. Just like life, without death, would be pointless.

Now I'm rambling. Can you tell I haven't had my nightly bath yet? hehehe. ^^


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