thoughts out of season


In many posts on this blog, I have, for example, when discussing freewill or religion insisted that the failure to agree on definitions could be part of the reason some debates have gone on for decades or millennia. In my previous post, I wrote

I further suggest that the word self-sacrifice is a word that has no place in the dictionary

and I later offered a definition of what I mean by self-sacrifice

the giving up of one’s own interests or wishes to help others or to advance a cause.

which I said no one has been known to do anything like this. I will go on a limb for purposes of argument that Jesus dying on the cross, if actually happened doesn’t pass muster. Among other things he was assured of his place in heaven and as god-man, it would be most beneficial to him that men were saved from hell than not. Anyone who argues for self sacrifice is free to offer me a definition what they mean.

To illustrate this point further, this post talks about religion of thought, which makes everything religion. With such usage, the word religion then becomes useless for we can’t tell exactly what is and isn’t religion. It is for this reason I define religion as a belief in the supernatural, whatever these are.

John Hick, a christian, I must add, in his book arguments for [the existence of] god, argues that many, if not all the arguments for god are deficient. He maintains, and I agree, that none of them prove what their authors intended them to prove. I can only assume this author is not familiar with the objections to all the arguments for god. The simplest objection being that were a god really known, no argument would be necessary.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

31 thoughts on “thoughts out of season

  1. john zande says:

    The simplest objection being that were a god really known, no argument would be necessary.

    This is true.

    How did you go on the grenade story? Change your mind?

    Like

  2. “The simplest objection being that were a god really known, no argument would be necessary.” I concur. A truer statement I’ve not read in many a day. Oh, except this one: “That’s not hair. It’s a space station.” Obi Wan Kenobi to Luke Skywalker in reference to Donald Trump’s hair. May, 1977.

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  3. Hariod Brawn says:

    “Jesus dying on the cross, if [it] actually happened, doesn’t pass muster. Among other things he was assured of his place in heaven and as god-man.”

    Yeah but still, Augustine was way shrewder in his prayerful youth: “Lord make me chaste, but not yet.”

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  4. You know, I wonder if a sacrifice counts as a sacrifice if the thing that’s slaughtered was only created for the purpose of going through the ritual. Jesus did as he was told by himself.

    Oh, and there are only 2 real deities – Smergie and Puppykins. We know this because words exist. Christians intentionally deny their existence because they don’t want Smergie to dribble sweet jellied chaos onto their foreheads.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ladysighs says:

    You are always in season and always full of reason. 🙂

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  6. Barry says:

    I think you’re going to have to clarify what you mean by “belief in the supernatural” before your definition of religion can hold water. As your definition stands, I am not religious, yet I claim to be otherwise. And by your definition, one atheist I know would be religious because he refused to say who he believed would win the Rugby Word Cup in case he jinxed the result.

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    • makagutu says:

      Hi Barry,
      In what sense is the statement belief in the supernatural, whatever they are, not clear?
      If you believe in the supernatural, whatever you define them to be, you are religious.

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      • Barry says:

        So the atheist I described above is religious? Do you draw a line between superstition and belief in the supernatural?

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        • makagutu says:

          and what is superstition? Are they within the realm of the natural?

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          • Barry says:

            Kissing dice before rolling them; carrying a rabbit’s foot to protect you from bad luck; crossing fingers for luck; being uneasy on Friday the thirteenth; crossing fingers for luck; belief that a bird flying into a house is an omen of death; being afraid to enter a graveyard after dark. a person who checks their horoscope each morning. I think the “super” in superstition implies a supernatural causation. But I hardly think that carrying around a rabbit’s foot can be called a religion.

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          • makagutu says:

            Barry this has made my afternoon -> carrying rabbit’s foot as protection from bad omen.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            It didn’t do the rabbit much good, so ‘s unlikely to be very effective for a human, but it’s a relatively common good luck charm in these parts.

            But you still haven’t answered my question. Do any of the superstitions I mentioned amount to a religion?

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          • makagutu says:

            Yes, all those who carry them have some belief they would act in a way to protect them even if there is no active ritual attached to the belief

            Liked by 1 person

  7. shelldigger says:

    This —> The simplest objection being that were a god really known, no argument would be necessary.

    Ok, we are done here! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ron says:

    The simplest objection being that were a god really known, no argument would be necessary.

    Exactly! Give me empirical evidence; not lame arguments and appeals to your deeply held faith. As Bertrand Russell so aptly put it:

    “Where there is evidence, no one speaks of ‘faith.’ We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.”

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  9. Mystro says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate (or Jesus’ advocate? Is there a difference?), the line “The simplest objection being that were a god really known, no argument would be necessary” could be thrown back at you to justify the believers’ complete lack of coherent reasoning. “Of course atheists can find fault with all our theistic arguments. We know god, so, as you say, we don’t need a good argument. Thanks for letting us off the hook on that one”.

    I don’t expect any of them to be that clever or intellectually honest, but it’s a thought that amuses me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      No difference really. The challenge wouldn’t work, the theist would have to tell us what god is before he gets off the hook.

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      • Mystro says:

        Sorry, Maka. I think you underestimate the power of completely abandoning reason.

        “Tut tut! You want a definition and, presumably, you want it to be justifiable, coherent definition. That is, you want a definition supported by a good argument. But as stated earlier, no argument is needed. I know my god, so I don’t need to provide a valid argument nor, by extension, do I need to provide a meaningful definition. And it’s a good thing too, because I certainly don’t have either.”

        It is a good thing that most theists want at least a semblance of reason. Then at least, theoretically, once they are shown how religious beliefs don’t make sense, there is a chance they might drop those beliefs. There is little hope for a person who doesn’t care about making sense.

        Liked by 1 person

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