The philosophy thread (reminder philosophy is not politics nor conspiracy theories)


I’m christian and probably always will be (for personal reasons I won’t get into here) but I’m a fan only of my personal relationship with God, not church. Like 0% a fan of church. Which is cool IMO, that worked out well enough for Martin Luther.

But the thing I have to dislike most about church is that what they teach was summarized to me by on-campus evangelists as people are down here and God is up there. Nothing we do can ever bring us up to God’s level, we’re human and inherently lesser than him (all uncomfortable but true enough as far as I’m aware). Jesus died for our sins, and as long as we believe in him, we can be good enough (to get to heaven, I suppose is the goal). However, that’s not because Jesus raises us up to God’s level, he drags God down into the dirt with us so that he can’t damn us without damning himself. And that has to be some of the most demoralizing, messed up thinking I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing. That teaches you that, in life, you shouldn’t seek to better yourself to meet that challenges that come your way, you should act like your lord and savior and drag the challenges down to a level that you can manage in the first place. Wow, no. Maybe that’s the sin of pride, but if so, that’s one God is going to have to forgive me for, because I do not work that way. If I don’t go to bed a better, smarter, stronger person than when I woke up in the morning, I feel like the day was wasted. You are never, ever, going to catch me trying to drag other people down so that I can succeed, and I think people who do are practicing some Machiavellian trickery. That is some medieval, anti-humanist shit right there. I thought the church had moved beyond it, but when I realized they’d learned nothing from enlightenment or the Protestants, that really ended my participation in church.


Theres actually translations of other gospels online that were omitted from the bible of which was created with the council of nicea, one particular book that has struck me was the gospel of Thomas it’s literally just a list of things jesus said, and keep in mind in ancient times not everyone knew how to read and write…these books were written down a few hundred years later based off of word of mouth stories…and if im not mistaken christianity originally started out as a sect from Judaism iirc and then diverged into different sects before the formation of the Roman catholic church to unify everyone…

But I’m assuming we all know some version of the history…

Its Interesting how people diverge with their own interpretations of things…

Like how two people can attend the same concert and have totally different experiences even though they attended the same event


TANGENT! :stuck_out_tongue:

(And before I get started…I mean no ill-will, nor challenge to anyone’s personal beliefs in the below. I simply have a passion for textual anthropology, and specifically regarding early Christian textual provenance due to a frustration with the negligent amount of work done in this sub-field in the past to such a shocking degree…imagine having a text and not having its provenance defined, but then asserting one without any supporting hypothesis from evidence! This would be like having a grand painting, claiming it to be a DaVinci, having no papers to prove its authenticity through provenance, taking no steps to do so, and having it appear in a major art gallery catalog without any such review, demand, or opinion of anyone ever taken, nor critically examined.)

There is actually no archeological record to support this tradition.
The first christian groups present in the archeological record are extra-Judaic cultures.

The first archaeological evidence is in Rome and Egypt. This alignment is also present in the texts. For example, Luke is remarkably of the Athenian academic tradition and contains unique attributes in its language only of value to a culture familiar with that tradition, such as the focus and dominance of importance upon the idea of Logos, and the non-substantiality, yet tangibleness of it.
Another small example is that Matthew is really only intelligible to Egyptian culture familiar with a sectarian faction of Judaism (which began during the life of Onius the IV who built a huge Judaic temple in Egypt in rejection of the Hellenist high priest usurpation in Judah around the same time of the great priest schisms which were around the same time as the emergence of the Dead Sea Scrolls) subsequent the diaspora, as it contains a heavy bend on the value of Egypt as provenance, and places a value upon Eastern Magi (i.e. Zoroastrian priests) for the validation of Jesus; something no Jewish individual in or from Judah would ever accept as validation - it would confirm exactly the opposite in that cultural value set, actually. However, Matthew shows lots of Hebraic textual literary traditions embedded within it, and an interest in focusing on Hebrew peoples with a familiarity of their political relation (e.g. Jesus’ ban on preaching in Samaria - which was a relative of Judaic Hebrew peoples; they even had a temple to the Jewish god, El), and the familiarity with Daniel-like chiastic literary form in the structure of Matthew (which no other Christian text attempts to follow in such grand detail).

These are small snippets of examples, but it goes on and on the more one looks at cultural assignment of these things. Provenance is only just getting traction instead of simply granting an axiom of provenance without critical examination in the field. And two simple things are apparent:
A) There were lots of different cultures with their own values involved in early Christian culture, and they were likely very loosely familiar or concerned with each other (imagine having as many sects as we do today, but with far less facility, or concern, for communication between them).
B) None strongly contain Jerusalem Judaic traditional cultural values in full scope, and where small sympathy is present in the texts, it is poorly defined or peculiarly wrong. For example, Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath comes in a few forms in the texts, but let’s just take John’s. Jesus spits on the ground, makes mud and uses it to heal the man’s sight. The spitting, nor healing, were prohibited on the Sabbath; nor making of mud. What would have actually been a problem was the practicing of magic.
The prohibition of healing isn’t full-stop for Sabbath. What causes some healing to be prohibited are actions which require creation (which defines the dominant form of Sabbath prohibitions), and therefore a person can’t make oils, ointments, or medicines because they require taking of things and grinding them up to create something (spitting in mud doesn’t appear to have counted as creating something). However, if such things are already extant, then it was perfectly fine. Further the Sabbath has exceptions permitted, and one of those exceptions is for the preservation of life. Obviously a successfully alive people are not going to survive long banning the preservation of life on one day a week. All one would need do to wipe them out is release a poison upon the population on the Sabbath and walk away (there’s also military exception with the Sabbath).
The issue, therefore, in each case (not just the one in John) isn’t that Jesus broke the Sabbath, it would have actually been that he was practicing magic - which was a heresy regardless of the day.
This is a kind of example of how the cultures involved in such textual witnesses are those with a passing, or moderate, familiarity with the complexities of Jerusalem Judaism, but not intimate familiarity. It’s more akin to someone who has heard that healing was prohibited because at some point someone heard of an act of healing (not related to preservation of life, and which required the mixture and creation of medicines) and was shocked by how they understood that idea to mean (a ban on all healing; full stop).

Regardless if Jesus was real or not, and without pressing any reliance upon any individual to feel one way or the other about their personal belief, the one thing that seems growingly evident with an increasing dismissal of an axiomatic provenance replaced by an anthropologically evident provincial examination is that the physical and textual evidence shows us peoples who appear as the first Christians were varied, and not intimately familiar with Jerusalem Judaism.



Fyi @Jayson I do not have a problem with anything you’ve said I guess it just means I was taught a different version of history…based upon the knowledge that was available 10-15 years ago…but I havent done much research on the topic since then so what was previously thought to have been known might of changed or conversely you and I most likely have come across different sources of information


It seems to me acceptance would only ever be a beginning to solving a problem?


I’ve never really thought much beyond the statement on its face, as I try and not overthink things too much these days. But, yes I’d say you are correct in certain cases.

Obviously different problems will have a different number of steps to solve depending on the nature of each problem. That said, I often find many problems I encounter have a way of resolving themselves shortly after the acceptance piece by virtue of me not getting in the way and trying to control things to fix whatever it is I am facing. This is because, in actuality the majority of my problems are a function of my mind only. Taking myself out of the way, stepping back, slowing down, etc is sometimes all that needs doing and oftentimes anything else will only create more problems, hence the statement.

Problems are multifaceted as you pointed out so one does have to be careful with axioms like this so as not to move into apathy, simply throwing hands up, every time a problem occurs. I’ve seen this happen many times and it never ends well.

Edit: it is true what you have pointed out though. Acceptance is always the best first step. There can be little forward movement without it. It took me a long time to get this but many things opened up once I did.


As someone who was raised by Christian missionaries, I think I can sort of relate. I was member of their church right up until I left home, at around 18. Everybody in that small town was in the church, though, it was generally not presented as an option to us, as children, that we could somehow “opt out of it”, if we wanted.

For some reason, despite heavy indoctrination, I have always intuitively regarded the biblical God (Yahweh) as a fictional character, - and, because of that, more and more, I began to feel that the right thing for me would be to leave.

What finally prompted the decision, was me taking on a student-job as a church choir singer (I needed money for weed). Singing out those prayers, psalms and religious proclamations every Sunday, in the presence of actual believers, made me feel disrespectful (and in a sense I was). I was a phoney pretending to be a Christian, basically. So I quit my job and left the church (and the town).

Sometimes I still miss those guys, but so it goes.


On a related tangent to the on-going conversations revolving the philosophy of Christianity which many of us have had to come to terms with in our own ways one way or another, I’ll toss mine into the ring.

I was almost immediately at odds with Christian philosophy from day one without trying to be so.
I was, like so many of us, raised in a Christian household. Now, my raising was pretty stereotypical. Pick any 1980’s movie where a bratty teenager runs around doing whatever in rebellion of his upper-middle class Christian family household, screaming about not becoming a doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc… and you pretty much have my environment. It was the typical upper-middle class American conservative protestant household; complete with a wealth of arguments about my future and how I was throwing it away by dismissing an academic focus in exchange for these non-fruitful arts ventures.
When my Dad and I buried the hatchet when I was an adult, and he made his first visit to our home (now complete with two kids of our own in their preteens at the time), his gleeful remark to my wife was, “I never thought he’d do it!”, referring to getting a house and a career job with security.

That’s not really all that relevant, but it gives a backing of the environment I was raised into. The real problem that I faced with Christianity had nothing to do with this. This part of my life was pretty good, except that I took my environment for granted and didn’t value any of it much, and valued the arts and philosophy far more.

No, my issue with Christianity actually began when I was only five years old. Yep. At five, Christianity caused me to have an existential crisis that would go on to last for most of my youth until I worked things out.

By five, I had seen death twice in two forms: my cat died, and my grandmother died. My cat was first and the lesson that I learned was that death was death, and that was it. Done. When my grandmother died, everyone was very sad. The lesson I learned there was that because death was death and that was it, it made people sad because you lose them forever.

This made sense to me as a toddler. Everything around me seemed to follow this same reasoning. Plants died and that was it. Things broke and that was it; they went to the dump. Finality made sense, and followed the same logical understanding in all things I experienced.

Without thinking about it, I had assumed the same was for humans because there was nothing ever given to me that said anything different, and no one reacted differently about humans than anything else regarding that finality. They said a bunch of things, and prayed - things I didn’t understand, so the meaning of words and conversations went right over my head. All I picked up on was emotional telecasting, which I understood because I felt that way about my cat and my grandmother…well, at least a bit. People seemed much more sad than I felt, but that didn’t mean much to my toddler mind. I couldn’t have even expressed thought over the matter at the time. I was just a typical oblivious toddler jovially running around doing silly early 1980’s things (e.g. eating play dough, dressing up as Darth Vader, making mud pies, shooting cap guns, riding my big wheel like a boss, eating junk food and watching Dukes of Hazard and GI Joe, etc…).

Then there was that one day. It sticks out in my memory like a traumatic accident in one’s early years does in others. It’s actually the first Church memory I have. I know I went to Church before this, because I have foggy memories of playing with, and losing, my metal die-cast Star Wars figures in the Church lawn, but this day is the first where I remembered anything about actual Church.

It was Sunday school and I have a memory of paying attention to the other kids in the sitting circle more than I was really listening to the teacher. At some point, however, my ears peaked and I paid sudden attention to what she was saying because I recall that she talked about heaven and how we go there after being dead.

She wasn’t talking about heaven, hell, the plan of salvation, or any other of the trappings of the discussion…not that I recall. She was just talking about the idea of heaven.

This shook me down to my core. It scared the shit out of me. I had presumed death was death and that was all there was to it, as mentioned above, I had seen and observed, and therefore learned that this was how the world works and had fully adopted this idea into my understanding of reality. It made perfect sense and felt right; I had no quarrel with it. My parents didn’t have to console me with talks about how I would see people or pets again in heaven - that never happened (which…in reflection, is actually odd, all things considering).

NOW I was being told exactly the opposite. There’s more after you die, and that in fact, you never actually die. You die from here, but that just means you go to somewhere else and in that other place you live forever.

That eternal living part. That is what was terrifying me.
My hand eagerly shot up and I asked the teacher something along the lines of, “What if we don’t want it?”
What I meant was, what if we don’t want to live forever; can we ask to stop? Can we just be done?

I don’t think she really understood. At the time, I was confused by her answer, but in reflection I think she thought that I was misunderstanding the definition of heaven because her answer was something along the lines of, “You’ll want to be there.; it’s not a bad place”

That didn’t really help. I wasn’t questioning whether it was a good or bad place.
To me, the very premise of not being dead; not being nothing was itself a type of torment; a form of hell.

As I grew up this became much worse because then I learned the rest of the story of the ontological set up regarding the weight of sin, hell, heaven, and the whole gambit we are thrust into in life as one giant growth and trial for the afterlife.

This made it so much worse, in fact, that I began to think, and say, things like, “I’m jealous of my cat!”
On the logic that cats, as it was explained to me, didn’t have special souls like humans do, so they don’t go anywhere when they die; only humans do.

Cool. Can I have what the cats are having then? “No”, was the answer. Well fuck. That meant I had to work on trying to make it into heaven because hell was a nightmare, but the whole time I’m working on getting into heaven by being a good human, I’m working towards the lesser of two nightmares, really.

So it was not exactly shocking when I finally fell out with Christianity once I grew up enough to realize that I had a choice in the matter and that Christianity wasn’t the only game being played on the planet regarding ontology.
The first bit of peace that I got was actually when we read “Siddhartha” as freshmen in high school.
By this point I had grown into a very angry kid, never feeling very well fit into my world.

And then we read that book and just the fact of watching the character go through a variety of life experiences from a young person to an old man and their reflections on life; for some reason, I found a peace in that. It clicked in some primal manner. It spoke like the simple world I had assumed as a toddler and struck a chord deep inside. I wore that book out with reading.

From there, my rebirth back to my original disposition began and my allegiance to Christian philosophy, already tenuous, began to degrade and would eventually be fully severed.

I never fully felt that “atheism” well satisfied my position. Because atheism simply expressed a non-belief in gods, and that wasn’t really my position. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a belief in gods due to lacking any compelling reason to believe in them, it was that even if there were gods, I wouldn’t want to be dealing with them. Eventually I learned of apatheism and that felt more accurate.

I don’t just not believe in gods. I don’t care about them. I care about humans and I love studying anthropology, but mostly I love astrophysics and engineering, or anything that takes creative problem solving and some wit to accomplish.
If there were gods, none of this would change. I would be exactly the same because if there are gods, then based on what every ontology I’ve looked at (and I’ve looked at every major religion on the planet now and through history via anthropology), none contain anything of my interest, or function in any manner which dominantly requires my attention.

The only ones that suppose a requirement of attention are those which control some regard over the afterlife, and I have a visceral dislike and rejection of an afterlife, so there’s nothing attractive for me in these ontologies or deities.

So my philosophy became defined by this. I’m an apatheistic humanist because I care about humanity, but not about a personal ontology in the slightest, and view being human as one of the greatest experiences that we have - just being human is already amazing in itself when you consider the breadth of articulation we have the capacity for in experience compared to other species on the planet.

I no longer envy the cat, that is, because rather than wishing for its finality, I assume I have the same finality, and in so doing, I have the one-up on the cat because the experiences that I can have while alive are vastly larger than those which the feline neurology is capable of facilitating.

As I’ve come to simplify it: The greatest achievement any human can reach is accomplished by simply waking up at the begging of a day. Everything else is icing on the cake.

It might be shitty icing sometimes, but it’s icing. All other species on this planet are eating, at best, cake without icing, or more commonly, they’re not even eating cake.



I had a college professor that introduced me to a random generator. I asked him “how random is it?” He said “pretty random…” :sunglasses:



I’m not so sure.

Watching cats, it has often seemed to me like they were experiencing life quite differently from us, - sometimes sensing stuff that we can’t easilly register. They have vivid imaginations and long memories as well. I think it’s difficult to say which is the “largest”.

In any case, I’ve known cats who clearly regarded humans as inferior creatures;) ha ha!

Thanks for sharing.



I’ve often said humans are unique because it takes a certain amount of capability to be able to be as entirely stupid as we can be. :stuck_out_tongue:



Public service announcement If you express Belief in nihilism it has the effect of people treating you like an asshole …for obvious reasons

Also I see the whole concept of heaven and hell as You having the capacity to make your own heaven or make your own hell via those small everyday decisions you make that lead to larger things… for me heaven and hell was always metaphor…

And part of the takeaway from the bible, and from the bits Ive read in paradise lost was that People have a choice and can decide to either be Angels or demons, partly depending upon the actions of either party involved…the grey area being that it depends on a person’s perspective it’s like that cliche of the glass half full or half empty thing…

and also I’ve learned sometimes having an understanding doesnt fix things because irreparable damage has already been done but it depends upon ones perspective…


Yeah, it depends on how you define nihilism, but in general I would say the term kinda implies that nihilists also don’t see any intrinsic value in socially relevant aspects such as friendship, love, honesty or loyalty. Therefore, social interactions among nihilists could be assumed to be completely instrumental. At that point, it’s hard to differentiate an asshole ideology from (expected) asshole personality or behavior :wink:


no offense but WTF?
I like you, believe in a good philosophical debate, however ,i do believe that finding true meaning to what you seek in life or how to achieve enlightenment , is very personal and subjective. personally i look at my own deeds.
what have i done for others, how am i behaving ,what impact do i have on those around me.
I am of the school keep it simple stupid!i don’t need organized religion. nor do i need organized chaos.
i appreciate what little i have.I am grateful i am alive. i do things for others without reason.i treat people with kindness not condescension.even those who are full of self righteous piety.Thats it.

Now enough with the riddles cloaked in enigma ,surrounded by irony with a side order of obtuse generic platitudes briefly followed by copious quantities of misdirection as well as stupification not necessarily
aimed in the previously aforementioned non specified train of thought.however if A. the aforementioned
premise is to qualify the abhorrent nature of ones own anus , then all is for not.but i digress.
now GET OFF MY LAWN!:thinking:


Not sure if this was a response to my comment about nihilism, but here my reaction just in case that it was:
I try to do the same. But people might still be unsure what to expect, even if they see consistent behavior, if it is not perceived as being consistent with convictions and ideology.


I think it was directed at the premise of the thread - discussion of philosophy.



Yes and no,philosophy is great in moderation.


Broke the rules for the thread without thinking. Deleted it:) Sorry.


I just found this website y’all might like


There is a lot of talk about morality and compassion and how much they should be taken into account in so many things but morality is a social construct which means anything goes. Morals such as compassion are worthless for the most part. The reason we have these morals is because it was beneficial for out tribe to care about their people, tribe members looking out for each other helped them survive. The thing is, we don’t live in tribes anymore therefore they are not needed. Caring about people in society is not the same as caring about your tribe.

There is nothing wrong with lying or manipulating someone else. The strong should torment the weak and stupid people should be exploited, it’s why I think bullying is essential. Bullying is essential becauz people need to know their place as almost everywhere you look there is a hierarchy among the animal kingdom. People have a hard time grasping the nature of the world as they are letting emotions cloud their judgement.

Emotions are blinding us to the reality that life doesn’t care about what humans deem right. It doesn’t care about what we perceive as right or wrong and it doesn’t care about how big the economy is or economic growth. Life is not about peace and freedom, it’s about winning and losing. In life, you win or you die.