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Thread: God(s) are real...

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    Stephen T-B
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    God(s) are real...

    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."
    Gods, demons, angels are stories told by human beings. This is not to say that their existence is not real, but rather they are common experiences people have because the things we experience as them are neurological phenomena. You have within you, formed from your birth, something analogous to all the angels, gods, and devil's described by humans. Their power is exactly the power you have because they are a part of you. This means they are not of imagination, but rather they are part of the thing that is you, imagining.

    They are not supernatural, but rather a pattern in nature, but rather they are true and echoing parts of what we are, bound to us and given narrative form by the stories we tell about our experiences.

    To give something that is not purely and 100% human credit for the great and terrible things we do, though, is a grievous insult to all that we are and have accomplished.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."
    The most significant flaw is that this argument unreasonably elevates gods and supernatural entities above all other fictional constructs.

    The conclusion is a subset of the broader but equally accurate "fictional entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."

    There's no justification to imply that god(s) is/are more real than any other fiction(s).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities..."
    They're not supernatural entities if they're products of the imagination. That's an important flaw to think about.

    So maybe they're real imaginations with real effects (like many concepts are). But any claims about them being more than that, about them having any effect in nature outside of what humans do (like creating the universe or designing life) isn't supported by this argument.

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    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."
    The most significant flaw is that this argument unreasonably elevates gods and supernatural entities above all other fictional constructs.

    The conclusion is a subset of the broader but equally accurate "fictional entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."

    There's no justification to imply that god(s) is/are more real than any other fiction(s).
    I'm going with this also.

    Culturally, religion has had an elevated position on the superstition ladder, likely because so many of us are superstitious. Religious superstition is simply the most popular form of superstitious behavior. It's a psychotic condition that has been normalized because so many people are incorrigibly affected, even into their adult years.

    It's best to think of superstition and religious superstition as an unregulated business enterprise - products, services, supply and demand and all that.

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    Stephen T-B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarhyn View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."
    Gods, demons, angels are stories told by human beings. This is not to say that their existence is not real, but rather they are common experiences people have because the things we experience as them are neurological phenomena. You have within you, formed from your birth, something analogous to all the angels, gods, and devil's described by humans. Their power is exactly the power you have because they are a part of you. This means they are not of imagination, but rather they are part of the thing that is you, imagining.

    They are not supernatural, but rather a pattern in nature, but rather they are true and echoing parts of what we are, bound to us and given narrative form by the stories we tell about our experiences.

    To give something that is not purely and 100% human credit for the great and terrible things we do, though, is a grievous insult to all that we are and have accomplished.
    "You have within you, formed from your birth, something analogous to all the angels, gods, and devil's described by humans." I disagree; these concepts didn't just well up within my consciousness. They were put there by my parents, initially, and what they taught me was later supplemented by what others told me and what I read.
    "...they are not of imagination, but rather they are part of the thing that is you, imagining". Sorry, I don't know what that means. It looks like a contradiction.
    "To give something that is not purely and 100% human credit for the great and terrible things we do, though, is a grievous insult to all that we are and have accomplished". Do you think the OP gives credit to things which are not 100% human? (I'd say imagination and wishful thinking are 100% human).

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    Stephen T-B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."
    The most significant flaw is that this argument unreasonably elevates gods and supernatural entities above all other fictional constructs.

    The conclusion is a subset of the broader but equally accurate "fictional entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."

    There's no justification to imply that god(s) is/are more real than any other fiction(s).
    They are not more real; the OP suggests that they are peculiar (and by implication, not to be compared with "any other fictions") because they ride on wishful thinking and imagination. People desire them to be real, and for all sorts of reasons. And the reality they give them is not passive; it requires them to act.

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    Stephen T-B
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."
    The most significant flaw is that this argument unreasonably elevates gods and supernatural entities above all other fictional constructs.

    The conclusion is a subset of the broader but equally accurate "fictional entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."

    There's no justification to imply that god(s) is/are more real than any other fiction(s).
    I'm going with this also.

    Culturally, religion has had an elevated position on the superstition ladder, likely because so many of us are superstitious. Religious superstition is simply the most popular form of superstitious behavior. It's a psychotic condition that has been normalized because so many people are incorrigibly affected, even into their adult years.religion has had an elevated position on the superstition ladder, likely because so many of us are superstitious.

    It's best to think of superstition and religious superstition as an unregulated business enterprise - products, services, supply and demand and all that.
    "

    "Culturally, religion has had an elevated position on the superstition ladder, likely because so many of us are superstitious."
    And where does superstition lie?
    Surely it lies in wishful thinking - the need to believe that something out there is in greater control of what happens to us and in the world around us than any human agency - and in the power of imagination?

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    What are the flaws in the statements which follow?

    "The power of gods, demons, angels and all other supernatural entities to affect human behaviour comes directly from the power of wishful thinking and imagination.
    "This power is generated and stimulated by personal testimony and by priestly assertions and exhortations, and it is supplemented by stories and song, by ancient and modern texts, and by visual representations in the forms of pictures and sculptures.

    "These supernatural entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."
    The most significant flaw is that this argument unreasonably elevates gods and supernatural entities above all other fictional constructs.

    The conclusion is a subset of the broader but equally accurate "fictional entities are real to the extent that belief in them has real psychological and physical consequences."

    There's no justification to imply that god(s) is/are more real than any other fiction(s).
    They are not more real; the OP suggests that they are peculiar (and by implication, not to be compared with "any other fictions") because they ride on wishful thinking and imagination. People desire them to be real, and for all sorts of reasons. And the reality they give them is not passive; it requires them to act.
    That's not peculiar to religious fictions though.

    There are plenty of people who think non-religious fictional characters are real. Ask any TV star - they all know of fans who don't grasp that the actor isn't the character, and/or think the actor should have the same abilities as their character, even where those abilities are impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen T-B View Post
    .... "You have within you, formed from your birth, something analogous to all the angels, gods, and devil's described by humans." I disagree; these concepts didn't just well up within my consciousness. They were put there by my parents, initially, and what they taught me was later supplemented by what others told me and what I read.
    I agree that they do not just well up.

    I used to think the notion we have pre-formed images in our minds is true. I asked a psychologist what he thought about "the wise old man" and other myth-based images that cropped up in my imaginings (dreams and elsewhere). He said that happens to people who read fantasy books. And I thought he was a shallow fellow, lol.

    Years later, after I'd stopped reading both Jung and fantasy novels for a long while, I realized that such specific myth-based images had stopped showing up in my imagination, and I came to agree with that "shallow" psychologist.

    Maybe there are archetypal patterns in the mind but I don't know why they'd take so concrete a form as gods, angels, demons, except the imagination's mirroring back the material it's given. "Oh, look, gods in my imagination!" a person says. "So they're real! or at least they are 'in here'!" And, extremely likely, it's that the person is reading books about such images and longing for their reality.

    The imagination reflects back what you give it.
    And then fantasists attribute too much significance to the mirrored-back images.

    With some fervor added the beings can come to feel like they're extra-psychic.

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