The soul - good and/or evil?

  • #76
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Les Sleeth said:
Fine so far. I didn’t say both thieves went to paradise; I said there is nothing Jesus is recorded as saying that clearly indicates because one doesn’t end up in paradise means one ends up burning in hell for eternity. I am not arguing the truth of falsity of hell or heaven, only what we can safely assume from Jesus’ words.

Well know you got me all mixed up. How can you believe in heaven and hell and assume from what Jesus said that he does not, where did you get your notion that a heaven and a hell exists from then, even if you consider hell as something many do not?

It doesn’t matter “what he did not speak.” You can’t assume anything from what he didn’t say, you can only be sure of what he did speak (or what biblical authors say he spoke). He didn’t say the non-repentant thief was going to Los Angeles, so should we assume he might have been sent there?

You can assume not for two reasons Los Angelus did not exist at that time. How can you contend that the words spoken to the good thief have no implications on what is meant to the other? Do you really believe this? You said that you had undergrad degree in religious studies, is this conclusion of what they teach? My education is based on San Tomas Aquinas and it is quite the opposite of there conclusion. Notwithstanding I understand quite well why this happens because no one really understands there own interpretation of the words that someone else spoke either insinuated or not because you can not know there thoughts. Only sometimes do we get it real close and sometimes we are way off the mark.

But that isn’t true. We can and do think in plenty of ways other than opposites. Only blockheads think only black or white. The discriminating thinker forms his concepts from the way reality is, and reality is more than one extreme or the other.

You know what I mean but if you insist I am a blockhead that’s OK. If you’re interested in how I think read this thread you missed. Moving Finger did not get it maybe you can. https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=121360

Now you’re talking. Logically, if paradise is to be in the presence of, or one with God, then the absence of God might be interpreted as hell (at least for lovers of God – those who don’t love God might not consider not being unified with God a problem). All I said (or meant to say) was that the mainstream conception of hell as burning in agony for eternity is not supported by Jesus’ references to Gehenna.

I think I have understood you on that point and you have understood mine.

There is a big problem here though, (at least for me) if God is not separable from the universe, how would it keep part of it, to not know itself? An easy solution would be that it is.
 
  • #77
Les Sleeth
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Rader said:
Well know you got me all mixed up. How can you believe in heaven and hell and assume from what Jesus said that he does not, where did you get your notion that a heaven and a hell exists from then, even if you consider hell as something many do not?

You are just misunderstanding me. I said that in this discussion I am not trying to argue whether there is a heaven or hell, or whether there is not heaven and hell (what I believe about them is irrelevant to my point). I have only been trying to argue that burning forever in hell cannot be soundly inferred from anything Jesus said if you understand the history of the words he used and the cultural context within which he is speaking.



Rader said:
You can assume not for two reasons Los Angelus did not exist at that time. How can you contend that the words spoken to the good thief have no implications on what is meant to the other?

Yes it does have implications, and that is that one thief is headed for paradise, and the other isn't. That is it, period. There is no fact you have that Jesus is implying anything more than not being in paradise, which is entirely different that saying not in paradise equals burning forever in hell.

Do you understand that this argument all started with me saying Jesus did not talk about the fire and brimstone hell so popular in Christianity. That has been my only point (about hell at least), and all that I am defending.


Rader said:
You said that you had undergrad degree in religious studies, is this conclusion of what they teach?

My education is based on San Tomas Aquinas and it is quite the opposite of there conclusion.

As you can see, you are putting words in mouth. If you understand my above points then yes, that is exactly what a historical study of the facts renders.

And surely you don't think a Catholic education is going to give you pure objective history when it comes to Christianity and Jesus do you?


Rader said:
You know what I mean but if you insist I am a blockhead that’s OK.

Noooooooooooo. I wasn't referring to you. o:) I am sure you don't think only black and white. I was just referring to those who do (and I know a few).


Rader said:
There is a big problem here though, (at least for me) if God is not separable from the universe, how would it keep part of it, to not know itself? An easy solution would be that it is.

A great question. Since you seem to be Catholic, there are some great monastics in that tradition who have said that the body itself is set up to create the illusion of separation. In essence we are still one with the God, but the body, by limiting our perception to the physical senses, convinces us we are separate. This achieves two things.

One is, the body individuates us, where before we were indistinct within the greater consciousness (aka, God). The second is that it creates a longing to rejoin our source, but conscious now as an individual. To retain our individuality it has to be our CHOICE to remerge our consciousness with the greater one. In order to do that we have learn to feel our essence which is still one with the source. That is why mystics like John of the Cross, Teresa, Meister Eckhart, et al spent so much time practicing union. They wanted to be conscious of God, not just present in God which we all are already (according to the "mystical" model of course).
 
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  • #78
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arildno said:
Don't ask me.
Why, for example, should Jesus in the first place "atone" for a taint that for no reason whatsoever was attached to every other person??
This idea is wholly at odds with a morality where the central concern is that of individual responsibility/respect for a person's fundamental autonomy, i.e, concerns springing directly out from the assumption of free will.
There you go again with this strange notion of assumptions of free will.

Why would one think that moral responsibility entails free will?

Responsibility entails both ownership and determinism, but I can't see what free will has to do with it (the idea of free will isn't even coherent).

Best Regards
 
  • #79
selfAdjoint
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moving finger said:
There you go again with this strange notion of assumptions of free will.

Why would one think that moral responsibility entails free will?

Responsibility entails both ownership and determinism, but I can't see what free will has to do with it (the idea of free will isn't even coherent).

Best Regards

Well Finger, you are the main sponsor here of the idea that a theodicy without "libertarian free will" is no theodicy at all. Apply the same reasoning to a legal system. A Law which proscribes punishment to a robot for carrying out its program is surely unjust, no?
 
  • #80
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Les Sleeth said:
You are just misunderstanding me. I said that in this discussion I am not trying to argue whether there is a heaven or hell, or whether there is not heaven and hell (what I believe about them is irrelevant to my point). I have only been trying to argue that burning forever in hell cannot be soundly inferred from anything Jesus said if you understand the history of the words he used and the cultural context within which he is speaking.

OK I understand your evaluation of this and mine is that there are things that may be known a” priori” that can be deduced from His statements, now understand they are personal and only mine. You might know that either of our views might be considered heresy, since neither of them contemplate a hell with devils and pitchfork in hand.

Yes it does have implications, and that is that one thief is headed for paradise, and the other isn't. That is it, period. There is no fact you have that Jesus is implying anything more than not being in paradise, which is entirely different that saying not in paradise equals burning forever in hell.

Do you understand that this argument all started with me saying Jesus did not talk about the fire and brimstone hell so popular in Christianity. That has been my only point (about hell at least), and all that I am defending.

I understand your point what I do not understand is why you do not want to make a logical deduction from all this. I have meditated much time on this very brief moment in history. To me it is the culmination of human history. It is a new way of thinking. It is the beginning of a thinking to evolve to absolute concepts. The alternative for the other thief is incomprehensible in our present way of thinking.

As you can see, you are putting words in mouth. If you understand my above points then yes, that is exactly what a historical study of the facts renders.

And surely you don't think a Catholic education is going to give you pure objective history when it comes to Christianity and Jesus do you?

The best way to interpret Jesus words imho is through Traditional Catholicism by theologians, would you choose an agnostic in math to do string theory?

Noooooooooooo. I wasn't referring to you. o:) I am sure you don't think only black and white. I was just referring to those who do (and I know a few).

OK fine.

A great question. Since you seem to be Catholic, there are some great monastics in that tradition who have said that the body itself is set up to create the illusion of separation. In essence we are still one with the God, but the body, by limiting our perception to the physical senses, convinces us we are separate. This achieves two things.

One is, the body individuates us, where before we were indistinct within the greater consciousness (aka, God). The second is that it creates a longing to rejoin our source, but conscious now as an individual. To retain our individuality it has to be our CHOICE to remerge our consciousness with the greater one. In order to do that we have learn to feel our essence which is still one with the source. That is why mystics like John of the Cross, Teresa, Meister Eckhart, et al spent so much time practicing union. They wanted to be conscious of God, not just present in God which we all are already (according to the "mystical" model of course).

It quite mystifies me how two different searches for the same answer, come so very close to the same solution. That happens in math sometimes but I do not think it is very common.
 
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  • #81
Les Sleeth
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Rader said:
It quite mystifies me how two different searches for the same answer, come so very close to the same solution. That happens in math sometimes but I do not think it is very common.

I wrote a bunch of stuff, but after thinking about it I deleted it. Maybe what you say here is more important than differences in the details.
 
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  • #82
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selfAdjoint said:
Well Finger, you are the main sponsor here of the idea that a theodicy without "libertarian free will" is no theodicy at all. Apply the same reasoning to a legal system. A Law which proscribes punishment to a robot for carrying out its program is surely unjust, no?
Ask yourself : What purpose does secular punishment serve?

Do we punish agents because we seek to change what they did (ie to change the past)? Obviously not
.
Do we punish agents because we simply seek revenge or retribution as an end in itself? I would argue not.

I believe we punish agents for one or more of the following reasons :

1) If the punishment is imprisonment, this removes the agent from society, and this will prevent the agent from committing further similar acts during its term of imprisonment, thereby protecting society.

2) As part of the punishment, society may choose to offer counseling and treatment to the agent, to try and modify its attitudes or behaviour such that it is less likely to re-offend when released.

3) The punishment acts as a warning to the agent, in effect a warning to change its ways and to obey the law in future if it wishes to avoid punishment.

4) The punishment also serves as a “warning” to other would-be offenders that they should remain law-abiding agents.

Can anyone suggest any other rational purpose served by secular punishment, apart from the (1) to (4) above?

All of (1) to (4) inclusive are completely compatible with a deterministic account of behaviour, without the need to invoke any incoherent free will concept.

Best Regards
 
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  • #83
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Punishment by society often punishes society itself:

1. Certain ethnic, economic and mental illness classes, are chosen for punishment far more often than others.

2. Permanent punishment, like the death penalty, lobotomy and castration, assumes the ability to judge absolutely.

3. Secondary conditions of punishment, like the incidence of AIDS, tuberculosis and violence in prison, are common consequences of incarceration.

4. The fact that felons have been discriminated against in vocations, voting and social services may disenfranchise them from becoming effective citizens after paying their debt to society.
 
  • #84
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Loren Booda said:
Punishment by society often punishes society itself:

1. Certain ethnic, economic and mental illness classes, are chosen for punishment far more often than others.
Perhaps so – what would you suggest is the best way to manage this situation?

Loren Booda said:
2. Permanent punishment, like the death penalty, lobotomy and castration, assumes the ability to judge absolutely.
Castration is not really a punishment – it’s an attempt to cure the problem. The same could be said of the death penalty and lobotomy. Perhaps these are attempts to balance the costs and benefits of “getting it wrong” with the costs and benefits of “getting it right”. In the case of an alleged child rapist, one has the choice of (a) locking him up for good (b) releasing him after a term of imprisonment and hoping he will not re-offend (c) imposing some “permanent” solution such as castration or other medical or surgical procedure. In deciding the best solution one needs to take into account, and balance, the rights of the alleged offender as well as the rights of the rest of society. In a perfect world we would never punish an innocent person, but the world is not perfect. Perhaps it is better to risk a small chance of castrating an innocent person, compared to the risk of allowing a child-rapist to roam the streets.

Loren Booda said:
3. Secondary conditions of punishment, like the incidence of AIDS, tuberculosis and violence in prison, are common consequences of incarceration.
Perhaps so – what would you suggest is the best way to manage this situation?

Loren Booda said:
4. The fact that felons have been discriminated against in vocations, voting and social services may disenfranchise them from becoming effective citizens after paying their debt to society.
Perhaps so – what would you suggest is the best way to manage this situation?

Your comments are valid, but they simply point to the need to better manage the punishment and rehabilitation of criminals. It’s all still completely consistent with a deterministic account of secular law and punishment.

Best Regards
 
  • #85
3,106
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#1, 3, and 4 - Jail diversion and Crisis Intervention Training, see http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=CIT2&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=31587" [Broken]

Perhaps the last vestige of social prejudice will be directed upon the felon. Many who are arrested for relatively minor drug charges are sent to the "school of crime," making fodder for further law breaking, and denying resources for others in need. Ethnically, give a great education, currently separate and unequal, to allow an out for those in the ghetto. The best solution to criminality is an effective job program - workers have a much less incidence for commiting crime. Violence in prison often results from an environment of torture, rather than rehabilitation. The U.S. is no role model when it comes to the fair treatment of prisoners; in any place criminals are often not of their own volition, but from social forces so abusive that few of us would dare explore them.

Many services could be financed by acknowledging - empathizing with - the basic needs of those eventually being released to society.
 
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  • #86
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Loren Booda said:
The best solution to criminality is an effective job program - workers have a much less incidence for commiting crime.
I'm not defending the existing system of secular law enforcement and punishment, I'm sure there is plenty of room for improvement.

The point is that whatever methods we adopt for secular law enforcement and control of behaviour, they all have deterministic explanations. Including job programs.

Best Regards
 
  • #87
3,106
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Why not altruism? Must all reformation be Pavlovian punishment - deterministic Darwinism, greed, or carrot and stick behaviorism? Can an investment in providing prisoners unconditional positive regard give an attitude of "Love thy neighbor" (as some prison missions do) rather than the quid pro quo, status quo. Many successful ex-cons have found a basis in religious love and discipline. (Admittedly, some use jailhouse "conversion" seeking to gain favor.) A secular education with a moral foundation provided to convicts can also reduce recidivism.
 
  • #88
1,685
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Loren Booda said:
Why not altruism? Must all reformation be Pavlovian punishment - deterministic Darwinism, greed, or carrot and stick behaviorism? Can an investment in providing prisoners unconditional positive regard give an attitude of "Love thy neighbor" (as some prison missions do) rather than the quid pro quo, status quo. Many successful ex-cons have found a basis in religious love and discipline. (Admittedly, some use jailhouse "conversion" seeking to gain favor.) A secular education with a moral foundation provided to convicts can also reduce recidivism.
It seems you are suggesting there are good rational reasons supporting altrusitic behaviour. If altruism reduces recidivism then it seems to me that it is a good means to an end. And all compatible with a completely deterministic account of the world.

"Love thy neighbour" is an example of "do as you would be done by", all understandable based on deterministic models of behaviour.

Determinism is not limited to simplistic behavioural models of "carrot and stick". Humans are very complex agents, but I see nothing in that complexity which is incompatible with determinism.

Best regards
 

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