Best early Christian sect or heresy?

Ebionite - Jesus was a Jewish prophet   0 votes - 0 %
Marcionite - Two Gods, old testament badass and nice new one   1 vote - 11 %
Manichaean - Good god, bad god   1 vote - 11 %
Gnostic - Memorize the secret passwords to heaven   4 votes - 44 %
Adoptionist - Jesus a man adopted by God as his son   1 vote - 11 %
Docetist - Jesus a non-suffering God who faked being a man   1 vote - 11 %
Patripassianist - Jesus was God become flesh   0 votes - 0 %
Proto-orthodox - Jesus is wholly human wholly divine sacrifice for our sins   1 vote - 11 %
WIPO   0 votes - 0 %
 
9 Total Votes
Atheism thing. by Herring (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 04:59:13 AM EST
Terrible argument. Also, straw man: "The new atheism, however, tends to claim reason as a decisive combatant on its side only".

And: "it is important to recognise the limits of reason". What the fuck does that even mean?

Read the thing on libertarians & climate change. There seem to be several web fora where outspoken denialists hang out (including The Reg). I think there's also an element of contrarianism in it: the government agrees -> the government are wrong about things -> it must be false. But yes, I can see why libertarians would be upset about anything that requires collective action and limits their freedom to do what the fuck they want.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

IAWTP - Failure to think alert. by Phage (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 05:24:38 AM EST
You cannot, on the one hand, put forward a view that says great intelligence is easily over-ridden by psychological delusions and, on the other, claim that one unique group of people can see clearly what reason demands and free themselves from such grips

BAH !

I had a whole paragraph here. But why waste our time ?



[ Parent ]
Limits of reason by R Mutt (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 05:32:18 AM EST
Well, reason alone is fairly limited when it comes to ethics and morals. It doesn't help that much about how to lead the best life you can.

Also, most people agree that a rational person seeks happiness, health, to help others and to have a long life. Studies generally show that religious people are happier, healthier, live longer and are more charitable than atheists. So it's pretty clear that on average, religious people are more rational than atheists.

[ Parent ]
The bit where atheist advocacy fails by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 05:36:06 AM EST
Is its inability to demonstrate you can have all that happy ethical healthy life without abdicating responsibility to an invisible sky giant, tree nymph or oddly shaped potato chip.


[ Parent ]
I strongly suspect by Herring (2.50 / 2) #5 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 05:52:07 AM EST
that religion evolved as a formalisation of pre-existing behaviour patterns. You can see in primate (and possibly non-primate) societies things like punishment of antisocial behaviour.

That behaviour, in turn, probably evolved as a survival mechanism in species where group living is the norm. Social cohesion is important in these scenarios and so behaviour has to be appropriate.

When explaining behaviour to a child, it's easier to use Santa/The Tooth Fairy/God than to try to give a proper explanation.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
Especially since by spacejack (3.50 / 2) #28 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 02:42:28 PM EST
telling people to be good because animals evolved altruistic instincts just isn't all that inspiring (or rational.)

[ Parent ]
"Studies" by Herring (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:40:14 AM EST
Without exmination, I can't tell if studies show that middle-class CofE attendees live longer than council-estate residents. Or, if taliban era afghans lived longer than secular europeans.

"Happier" is easier to explain.

"Charitable" - well, since most religous organisations are registered as charities, again an easy one to explain. My wakeboaring club isn't a charity. Also, studies show that poorer people give more to charity (as a percentage of income) than richer people. Where does that fit in?

Also, I am not so sure that there aren't "reason based" explanations for moral behaviour. Maybe I don't punch random people in the street because I don't want to live in an environment where random stranger-punching is considered normal. Similarly with theft etc.

Anyway, being an habitual miserable bastard, I would always rather be right than happy.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
The limits of reason by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:10:07 AM EST
Werner Herzog's film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is about this - Kaspar Hauser is a mute dressed in regal clothes who appears in a village one day. He is studied intently by scholars who collect reams of data on him. Despite this, they find out nothing about him.

Reason is limited because some things are unknowable; that's where imagination, art, storytelling and other means of speculation come in.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Why do you think by Herring (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:21:21 AM EST
art (including writing, music etc.) is outside of reason? Unkowable even - which is a pretty strong term.

What gets my back up is the brigade who declare "Science can't explain X, therefore condoms are evil". OK, there are normally a few more steps in between, but that's the essence of the argument.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
It's not necessarily outside reason by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:41:35 AM EST
It's just that some things are. Of course art can be about rationalised things - but it doesn't have to be.

"Science can't explain X, therefore condoms are evil" is of course idiotic, but so as lumping any philosophy that embraces a bit of ambiguity in with it.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Sorry, I wasn't clear by Herring (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 06:50:12 AM EST
What I meant is that there is, in my opinion, a reasonable explanation for why people produce and enjoy art/music/literature. It's not about reducing the production of art to a set of standard algorithms - even if it were possible it's probably not desireable.

So, what I was saying is that I belive that reason does explain the existence and the nature of art.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
There's a new book by spacejack (2.00 / 0) #27 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:37:05 PM EST
about this making the rounds lately.

I don't think it matters whether or not it's desirable to have art generated by algorithms because I'm sure that if we could we would. So far we've got occasionally neat-looking fractals, and sometimes a robot will happen to take a nice photo.

[ Parent ]
Isn't that strong agnosticism ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 07:48:44 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Not sure by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 08:06:08 AM EST
I thought atheism was defined solely by not believing in God, and didn't stretch to a belief that all things are knowable through science?

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Apparently not by Phage (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 08:36:48 AM EST
One of the forms of Agnosticsm (or possibly weak atheism) is to say that the existence of God(s) is unknowable and there are no perceived effects in our reality. Accordingly the wjole question is moot.

IANAPhilo/Theosopher

[ Parent ]
The unknowable doesn't just apply to God by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:39:47 AM EST
See my original comment re: the Werner Herzog film

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
unknowability and Herzog by lm (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:45:22 AM EST
Does Herzog define unknowability in terms of discursive reason? One of my biggest complaints about critical thinkers is the all too common conflation of knowledge with discursive reason. Something may lie outside the set of things which can be logically analyzed yet lie within the set of things which can be known. A few philosophers caught onto this (Plotinus, Husserl) but most of the western tradition, especially analytic philosophy, has lost sight of it.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
It's hypothetical by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:10:15 AM EST
He's not a philosopher. You'd have to see the film really.

What's discursive reason?

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
as an oversimplification, logical analysis by lm (4.00 / 1) #21 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:36:13 AM EST
A logical syllogism would be an example of the use of discursive reasoning. Another example would be the Cartesian method that most of modern science is built on.

The common complaint among those who critique scientific knowledge as the only form of knowledge or logical analysis as the only form of philosophy is that these things can't explain themselves so if they are the only form of knowledge, we can't actually know that anything is true.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
That's interesting by Phage (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:13:21 AM EST
Would you be willing to expand a little in those items which may be known but are not able to be logically analysed ?

[ Parent ]
The usual example is the rules of thought by lm (4.00 / 1) #22 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:41:35 AM EST
In philosophy, logical analysis cannot prove the law of non-contradiction or the law of identity or even solve the problem of the one and they many.

I believe (but I could be wrong) that the field of linguistics has a similar problem with meaning.

Then there are also the fields of ethics and aesthetics. Once one knows what the good or the beautiful is, one can use discursive reasoning to know if this particular thing is good or beautiful. But without first knowing what it means to be good or beautiful, logic alone fails.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
that's classical agnosticism by lm (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 09:41:59 AM EST
The usual breakdown, which is certain to start a massive flamefest among atheists, is that agnosticism is certain form of weak (or soft) atheism. Soft atheism being a lack of a positive belief in any God. Strong atheism is the flip side of the coin,  a positive belief about God not-existing.

One can be a soft atheist without holding to the epistemological viewpoint of agnosticism. For example, one could believe that the question of the existence of God is answerable in principle but that there is not presently a preponderance of evidence on either side. Or one could simply not care about the question altogether and simply not have formed any belief about anything supernatural. The flamefest really stars up when one calls agnostics atheists in this sense and you get a rousing chorus of ``I'm not atheist, I'm agnostic'' which is about as funny as Evangelical chorus of ``I'm not Protestant, I'm Baptist.'' And then some agnostics start accusing all atheists, whether weak or strong, of being just as irrational as theists.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Heh - Sounds familiar by Phage (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 10:15:28 AM EST
I thought I had seen a breakdown of the different types of agnosticcism somewhere, which was very good. It certainly agrees with what you've said.
I'll have to see if I can dig it up.

[ Parent ]
The newest Atlantic by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 07:01:40 AM EST
talks about the business positive aspects of early Christianity, it gave traveling Christian's a base to work from where ever they went.


As in client base? by greyshade (4.00 / 1) #26 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 01:10:27 PM EST
Wouldn't that be true of any faith?

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #23 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 11:02:20 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky



The libertarians by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:52:05 PM EST
I have read do nothing of the sort you propose above; they challenge the data quality and the model used to predict the effect. 

They see (to their eyes) bad science feeding into new bad laws and additional taxation (one of their bugbears) required to worship at the altar of "Climate Change".


[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 12:59:40 PM EST

This comment has been deleted by yicky yacky



[ Parent ]
I know! by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #29 Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 04:10:14 PM EST
He's good, isn't he?


[ Parent ]