THE GREAT DEBATE: RELIGION VERSUS RATIONAL THINKING
By Fahim A. Knight-EL
This writer had written an article entitled: Religion versus Cult: And Our Quest For Truth” that I web published on October 1, 2008. I knew from the outset that anytime you write or talk about religion, it is often a hypersensitive and emotional topic of discussion, in particular if you are attempting to give a critical assessment and evaluation. Thus, I have enjoyed engaging varying minds in an intellectual discussion relative to religion over some weeks and of course Logic and Rational thinking always win out. Religion is based on an emotional driven social science and it does not stand up under the rigors of intellectual and empirical proof and scrutiny. This has been a very good exchange between myself and others on the David Icke website and perhaps may be we all made some baby steps a long the way, but religion can always be a very sensitive discussion. I am always willing to succumb to any superior and/or logical reasoning and I do not want to come across of not being tolerable of others ideas and positions, but I know in any dialog it should always be based on a give and take exchange.
I am perhaps guilty at times of boring my audiences with lengthy citations and wordy content; however, I have always tried to present alternative viewpoints and to at least give the readers something else to think about, but in the truest sense what is more credible than citing your own personal experiences and expressing your opinions relative to a topic. Moreover, which is just as valuable as the next person giving theirs, surely after these many years, I have embraced a worldview as a primary objective witness to life, as opposed to relaying on what others may have uttered on this said topic. I took an entirely different approach in constructing and writing this article, I very seldom write in the first person tense and my professor and mentor Dr. Earl Thorpe is probably turning over in his grave.
I do enjoy reading Blogs and articles where people cite their own personal testimonies, which to me these type writing styles exemplify the highest form of artistic writing; when a writer can convey personal experiences in a narrative form, it speaks volumes of their skill level and the comfort level that they have with their intellect and experiences having the ability to standup under scrutiny and at the same time offering something to the scope of literary science. This is a literary art style that I truly envy because I have never been able to adopt it as my own, but I appreciate those that have the intellectual ability to do so. I was trained by a historian named Dr. Earlie Thorpe who is now decease, but historians write like private investigators; the most important thing to them is documentation and verification and making every attempt to be empirical in their research findings.
Religion is such a sensitive topic that it is often difficult to have a rational conversation relative to religion with those that adhere to organized religion. The original article came about due to some deep introspective and reflections that I was having about my own personal spiritual journey. I had taking a few philosophy courses in college some years ago and one of the courses was titled philosophy of religion taught by a professor named Dr. Clack, it reshaped my worldview.
I must admit as a young student, I enjoyed watching Dr. Clack’s analytical mind at work critically evaluating schools of thought that had not been fully tried and tested. So, I never told Dr. Clack, I really admired this man for his intellectual daring approach to take on "hot topics." But what I found to be most attractive, was his willingness to discuss topics that were considered off limits and he was not fearful of disagreeing with the popular view and tradition. I truly walked away from his class as a Free Thinker and over the years this position has gotten me in trouble. This experience led me to seek a deeper understanding of my own spirituality and I debunk organized religion in the formal sense years ago—Thus, I am tolerant of those that have chosen organized religion as their path.
Let me digress a bit and discuss what is differential between religion and spirituality. Spirituality does not answer to a set of agreed dogmas or does not need hierarchy clerics to determine their relationship as a microcosm entity or being, but fully understand their relevance to the macrocosm. This is purely internal development and has very little to do with the external. Spirituality can not be viewed from a corrupt perspective of Western lens.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT IS ACCEPT AS SPIRITUALITY
Spirituality encourages people to learn how to think. Spirituality invites everyone to trust themselves. Spirituality is led on guidance from within.
Spirituality teaches people to question everything. Spirituality is guided by the spirit of the human heart. Spirituality combines head and heart to form a conscious connection to The Source of All That Is. Spirituality welcomes challenges -- Challenges are food for growth and to tools with which to become stronger. Spirituality teaches that heaven is a state of being. Spirituality is reborn moment-by-moment right-here right-now. It is born out of one's own knowing that every person is a divine being having a human experience. Spirituality is all inclusive and teaches that every religion is its own pathway to God. Spirituality acknowledges that trying to stick God into a single religion is like trying to fit the universe into a shoe box. Spirituality teaches that humans are divine beings experiencing an earth-life in a human body. Spirituality teaches that personal behavior is a function of knowing in one's own heart what’s right and wrong and then following that inner guidance. Spirituality teaches that the mind must be brought into play--that there is no one else to blame for whatever is dysfunctional in the outside world or in one's own personal life. Spirituality acknowledges that every human being has his or her own direct connection to God by way of the God-Self within. (See Matthew 6:5-6 and Luke 17:21.Spirituality has only one weapon, the truth.
Spirituality is far beyond what many religious people can conceive. Thus, you can not adequately fit spirituality into one’s religious worldview, it just might not fit. However, one can be religious and spiritual, but also one can be spiritual without being religious (this dictum or axiom is often mindboggling to those that practice organized religion). The above represents some of the principles that I acknowledge relative to the concept of spirituality, it is in no way limited to this list nor does this list presents an exhaustive definition of spirituality. These are not my words but this is what I adhere to which differs in many ways from the western concept of religion.
I hope this explanation gives my readers some clarity, relative to how I see and view spirituality.
I had not fully realized the kind of impact that Dr. Clack’s intellectualism had on me and as I stated in the initial article it led me to become a Free thinker, It would be Dr. Clack's rational thinking approach to God and religion that led me to delve deeper into the realm of critical thinking, and eventually evolved into one who did not mind challenging ideas. Thus, as one grows and develops intellectually, it becomes difficult to allow any conscious and/or subconscious restraints to be placed on your mental capacity to think and explore ideals and concepts. There would be no topic or subject that would be considered off limits—this included religion.
Thus, as have stated above, I left organized religion along time ago, but it was once a big part of my personal experience and development and perhaps may be in some of my prior written articles those experiences come across in my thinking, as well as in some of the philosophical ideas being expressed. Life is about traveled paths and religion led me to spirituality, but I truly know that I would have come to that conclusion without religion. I became very uncomfortable with my personal faith tradition; based on the fact that you could not question the tenets or the theology (but deep down inside, I was always a rational thinker before I even met Dr. Clack; however, my thinking formalized itself a little better upon meeting Dr. Clack) this frustrated me because it prohibited me from having an outlet to debate, explore and weigh evidence and theories in order to satisfy my own inquisitiveness.
My wife is religious, but I must say she is truly my alter ego, because even in religion there are some principles that are irrefutable. I became exposed to logical and rational thinking and this process forced me to raise certain questions because I was searching for rational and logical answers not fairly tales, magic and superstitious concepts. Organized religion is not comfortable with analytical reasoning and I could have accepted a long time ago the cleric just telling me he just did not have the answers to certain questions, as opposed to telling me boogieman stories because I dared to question that which did not add up to being rational.
I am of the further opinion, that there is no defense for religion; it is all concocted magic designed to make people feel good and rob them blind. Religion is one of the biggest con and hoax that has ever been played on humanity. Somebody has a God complex. Let me give you an example, if you look at most global conflicts that are taking place around the world today, you will often find at the basis of these conflicts, is religion (which is systematically used by the Invisible Rulers to keep humanity divided and mentally and really physically enslaved). They use these so-called "Holy Books" as control mechanisms and slavish drive us in various political, economic and social directions. Many that were debating me had weak analytical arguments and were trying to hold on to the tradition of magic and superstitious beliefs—called religion. But in reality had no credible rational defense other than stating to me that “people have the right to practice their feel good faith tradition.” This point is valid, at least from the vanish point of us living inside the United States of America. Yes, I side more with rational theories and science (logic) and I am not willing to allow myself to be duped by the clerics of "tricknology".
What was there before organized religion and before these holy books arrived? Religion in my opinion was a mere concoction invented by man and therefore, the so-called perfection story (the creation and man's attempt to explain his reality) and absolute started out flawed. You can not place something as flawed as religion into a mathematical equation. The physics and math will only show that it’s even more flawed because of the root of its intellectual premises, if we can call it that. Science starts out from the premises of looking to solve the X factor that which is unknown and then it takes you through stringent processes of analyzing data—being tried and tested in order to ascertain a definitive value for X. Thus, this process of assessing and evaluating principles are forever evolving; the science keeps on validating itself. Religion just does not standup to the scientific method and logic is the antithesis to such unproven theories called religion (faith).
I have studied practically all world religions (and their theology) and have walked different paths in my life and those paths (and my acquired experiences) have brought me to this space and time where I am right now, as I write this article. Whatever one considers to be working for them that is their prerogative and however, one determines the benefits or non-benefits of their association with organized or non-organized belief structure, it is better for them to define their religious reality than for me to unfairly render a blanket conclusion about the concept of faith tradition. I have a problem with it all, because I feel for humanity and how these concepts of god and religion keeps us divided and foster human conflict, but this is being done systematically, often unknowing to the innocent one’s who practice organized religion.
I am of the belief that to have a serious conversation about religion, it can not start from the premise of emotionalism because to start from that premise will only compromise the possibility of objectivity. I had no other motive for writing this article other than looking to engage people in an honest and open debate about religion—not to criticize religion, although I am of the opinion that religion is not above critique. My critique is meant to evoke greater understanding, but not to be overly judgmental of people who find it necessary to embrace organized religion.
I know it is difficult for some to depart from tradition, but just look at man's inhumanity to man that is done in the name of God and religion. For example, Constantine and Church in 325 A.D. concocted the Christian creed (they built Christianity on lies and religious deception). Why do not the religious zealots begin a campaign to right (write) the religious historical wrongs? Plain and simple, give the people the truth, Isa Ben Yosef (Jesus the son of Joseph) did not teach the lies that is attributed to his ministry. Let’s start right there.
The paths we all choose depends upon one's understanding of reality—some will embrace the human struggle others will betray the human struggle, it has nothing to do with the criticism and mischaracterization of one’s educational level and assuming the higher level somehow this makes them more susceptible to become reactionary. The enemy has co-opted all types of people, some are part of academia and others are not. I do not have a problem with the pursuit of learning be it formal or be it outside the conventional four wall classroom settings that we in the Western World associate with learning. The question should be, what side are you on.
I think formalize education has its place; it dependents upon one's worldview whether or not they become part of the problem or part of the solution. Thus, I have met some highly trained people who were intellectually insane and I have met some laypersons who had not attained any academic letters, but I would consider them highly educated. I do not think its fair to pigeon hole somebody because of training and/or there lack of. We are at war for the hearts and minds of humanity and I am sorry, I just see organized religion as being an antagonistic contradiction in human development.
Thus, for daring to write about topics dealing with religion, I have been called atheist, agnostic, evil, devil, Satan, Benedict Arnold, etc., and various other derogatory names by people who profess to be believers. I am neither. I have a deep respect and appreciation for that which gives me a rational explanation about creation, the universe, human existence, and the system of universal laws that governs our existences.
This article came about due my involvement as a member of David Icke’s website where I posted the original article titled, “Religion versus Cult and Our Quest For Truth”. I had read or better yet studied Icke's book titled, "The Biggest Secret" and I found him to be an outside the box thinker and one of the few scholars that was willing to challenge conventional thinking. But I was starting to wonder that those who opposed me on the David Icke forum, perhaps had not really read or been listening to Icke (this was his official website) about his views on religious subliminal seduction (religion is some real mind control) which some of them were trying to defend; he meaning Icke, does a much better job of dismantling this magic than I.
I found most of his information credible and welled researched. Icke tackled subjects ranging from such topics as Freemasonry, New Age, Conspiracy, Paranormal topics, Reptilian, International Banking and Finance, religion, the Dynastic Family Cabal, New World Order, Illuminati, etc.
Thus, my article “Religion versus Cult and Our Quest For Truth” as I have stated above when I posted the article, it was immediately met with some opposition from members of the David Icke’s website, but most of those who opposed my views did it out of sheer emotionalism and many of their arguments were void of the practicality of rationalism. I took all of their comments and arguments and in my opinion deconstructed their arguments because they were arguing from the basis of "faith" and "belief."
But there was one gentlemen who went by the Internet handle of Mephibosheth, I suspect this was not his real name, but I found him and his argument interesting. Thus, unlike many of the others on the David Icke website who ventured into this debate this gentlemen Mr. Mephibosheth appeared to be a little more philosophical and he definitely was better read in philosophical theories than his constituents on the site. I suspected that he has had some formal training and education in the field of philosophy and he appeared very comfortable in opposing my theories.
I do not think even him or myself cared much for organized religion, but I believe he took the opposite position of me for the sake of debating the antithesis and perhaps both of us viewed this argument and debate more as a mental exercise in the area of ideas; more so than either of us holding onto immovable theoretical convictions. He was a formidable debater and he and I for a few days debated religion back and forth. I would like to share a portion of that debate with my readers because the argument that we were having in my opinion was much bigger than us.
There are perhaps many more beyond those who will access my Blog and David Icke’s website who could benefit from this discussion. So I have decided to expand this conversation to other audiences and forums beyond just the David Icke’s website.
Those who access this article via Internet have my permission to repost my article on your Blog pages and websites, if you find this conversation to be a necessary discussion as well as take this discussion to your preacher, priest, Imam, minister, Rabbi, elder and discuss it with them. I personally think this conversation is a much needed one, as humanity continues to make theological, religious, spiritual, social, political, and economic transitions.
We no longer can allow ignorance, emotionalism, fear, and unfound dogmas to continue to guide humanity's thinking because the results of this is evident by humanity's lack of spiritual development and it has adversely affected the state of humanity to live in peace and harmony with ourselves and the planet. However, I do think there are good people who practice organized religion and have benefitted from the principles and tenets and have used the various faith traditions and texts to personally better themselves, family and the community. Nevertheless, stated below is the discussion and debate between Mephibosheth and myself:
Mephibosheth stated: by logic. You realize, of course, that this is hopelessly circular, and by necessity.
Fahim A. Knight-EL: No. my man, rational thinking gives way to logical outcomes that are not hopeless; it connects the dots and gives us a reasonable probability and it is not based in unproven spook and mystery God teachings. Question: That you are avoiding, when are you going to produce that mystery God? Yes. I know it's "faith" and this is a reality that is personal? I deal in reality that can be counted and measured. Is this God physical or is it spirit being. Please give us the evidence. I am interested in verifying his/her existence; is it animated or inanimate object?
Mephibosheth stated: If such a God exists, it must be experiencable. If God can't be experienced, then God isn't real.
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Now! this is a good example, of spook teaching. What is the experience you are pertaining to? How do you know that experience is related to "God" but through deductive reason this relegates it-self down to faith (unproven inferences). This is magic at is best.
Mephibosheth stated:" I haven't experienced God personally, so I can't provide witness testimony for you. But I could lead you down the path to where one might attain such an experience. Basically, its the same path all the mystics take."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: This is one of the best rational points that you have made: "I haven't experienced God personally, so I can't provide witness testimony for you." I do accept this as a truth, but you can not lead me to no path where someone could produce that mystery God and verify his existence (this thought or theory only takes us back to "faith" the evidence of things unseen). I put no reliable credence in such non-rational and antagonistic theory." Do you know anyone that can provide via observation a testimony (primary source). I do not mean no damn so-called "Holy" book account of this mystery God?
Mephibosheth stated: "The greatest message from religion is one of self-empowerment. Jesus teaches this, Buddha teaches this, in their own way. That is, they encourage individuals to seek the truth and see reality as it really is, fully and clearly. And this is to see reality beyond words and symbols, concepts, and dualities. But this is difficult for someone to understand if they are stuck clinging to duality and polarity, stuck clinging to the construct of self and the narrative web of meaning built up by language, which does naught but separate us from the immediate and immanent facticity of our being."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Please produce the evidence that the man called Jesus and other Sages ever walk this earth. I got it; you going to refer me to the Bible, a book that was written years after the so-called man (Jesus) was dead. I contend the man never existed. They gave us 66 books (to control the ignorant) and took out those books that truly would have empowered humanity. Why would these "divinely" inspired men do this?
Mephibosheth stated: "Yes, really."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: You have no defense for religion; you are only perhaps pulling from Wikipedia or some other spam site trying to pose and intellectual argument; the stuff that you are posing; you need to at least give credit and citation to source because I have seen this non-senses somewhere else; I just can not put my finger on it. You know it is illegal and against the law to plagiarize someone's intellectual property and not give the source proper credit. Yes, I have seen this somewhere just can not put my finger on it. My man, it is a nice cut and past job. Logic is independent of all the variables you cited and you can not equate something as emotional as religion and assess and evaluate these unproven theories and come up with an empirical and rational fact (truth). Yes, man and woman functioned and reasoned (determined right and wrong) understood the laws of relativity, understood the universal laws of cause and effect, etc., long before these so-called holy books corrupted and tried to redefine the natural order of things. My thoughts are original and I am not stealing other people's work to make my case (your last two responses was someone else’s work). You can not even talk about science and religion in the same breath (they are diametrically opposed) to each other. Logic and rational thought is not based on some unproven concoctions. You can not prove that mystery god exist. Somebody wrote these contradictory fairy tales and called it "divine" scriptures. They told us it was "inspired word" of God. Really!
Mephibosheth stated: you said, and I quote "you are only perhaps pulling from Wikipedia or some other spam site". I asked, 'where's the evidence'? I want to know what's your evidence that I am 'pulling from Wikipedia or some other spam site'? Now, for such a highly rational mind such as yours, this should pose no problem whatsoever, right?
Fahim A. Knight-EL: I accept your clarity and your point is valid.
Mephibosheth stated: "Besides which, your statement above is laughable. If there was no conjecture in science, no one would get anything done."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Science is in the business of testing out; and conjecture is taking through the rigor process of ascertaining what is a highly probability (empirical processes). It seeks empirical conclusions and it has an openness to embrace better science, as we improve on theories and validates new tried and tested data.
Mephibosheth stated: "Meanwhile, your statement that religion is filled with "unscientific theories that stands outside the realm of logic" is utterly nonsensical. Again, this just goes to show that you don't know what logic is, or that you are using the term incorrectly. A religious system, as a system of values, as a system of politics, as a system of metaphysics, can be perfectly logical so long as it is internally coherent and consistent."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Religion: Give me a rational formula that we can measure this theory; so we perhaps can come up with a logical base conclusion. Do not give me X=bible + N=God x R=Truth. This is pure non-senses and I believe deep down inside you know that I am right. You have given me enough (in your argument) to know that you have many questions about this snake oil practice. I think you are in this discussion for the mental exercise and nothing else."
Mephibosheth stated: "Again, where's the evidence that this is true?"
Fahim A. Knight-EL: The evidence is this: There is no Mystery God, he does not exist or unless you can prove me wrong.Mephibosheth stated: "This may surprise and shock you, my friend, but I didn't crack a single book nor surf a single website to post replies to this thread. As I said, nothing I wrote here is 'cut and pasted', despite whatever delusions you have about it."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: You have stated this earlier; I am just not convinced; no I am not working from a position of being delusionary. I do not know if you are using that as a noun, verb or adjective (I did fail English in school; for me it is the slave master’s language). Religion makes people mentally unstable and delusionary perhaps you were a bit confused about the characterization relative to practicing and pursuing rational out comes.
Mephibosheth stated: "Why indeed. Amusement only, I reckon. I merely waded in to make some remarks trying to set folk straight on what logic is and what it isnt--which is clearly necessary given some responses in this thread. Who says I practice 'magic'? Lol, what a comedian!!"
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Sorry! You are doing a poor job and you have left the religious sheep without a rational and logical defense. Mr. religious Savior; your arguments have lacked clarity and no magic believer can talk to me about the definitions of logic and rationality. Religion is irrational.
Mephibosheth stated: "I can say the same about your posts."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Really! You can say that, but what I am talking about has processes that can be counted and measured. Not "SPOOKISM".
Mephibosheth stated: "Since you can't provide any evidence that my writing is plagarized, I'll kindly thank you to stop slandering my good name."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: I would like to respect your good name. I accept your clarity and position. I agree it is not ethical to slander a person, but I must say in my defense that was not my intention. But I accept how you feel about me making those statements.
Mephibosheth stated: "And you, meanwhile, are consistenly conflating logic and the empirical method. A science is any application of logic to a domain of discourse. That is, logic, as a tool of organising information, is applied to a field of study in order to organise the information known therein, and try to sort out the relations in a way that allow for a more effective and efficient analysis--and I stress analysis--of that information."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: How is this relative to religion? and can we use this process to derive at certain conclusions and can we discount certain theories based on the availability of the evidence or the lack of?
Mephibosheth stated: A science is first of all a logical discpline (sp.) An empirical science is a logical displine bounded by specific constraints, eg, that all the results of analysis must conform to some interpretation of empirical facts (which are, ultimately, only narratives dictated by some semiotic agent). This further constraint is what allows a science to move from being merely analytical to being interpretative, predictive, and connected to (what we suppose is) a common standard (ie, 'the world'). It allows science to become practical, and not merely formal. But both the formal and practical are still necessary components.
Fahim A. Knight-EL: No, doubt I will take my chances with "semiotic agent" over some cleric and using a so-called "holy" book trying to validate the story of creation from the book of Genesis. Science and rational theories gives us a lot more definitiveness about our earth and universe and man’s creation; than some contradictory fairy tale written in what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad called the poison book ("Holy" Bible).
Mephibosheth stated: "I don't think any sane person could read my posts and reasonably accuse me of being too 'emotional', LOL. But it takes all kinds."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: To make any defense on behalf of religion has to be emotional. Thus, even you stated: “I haven't experienced God personally, so I can't provide witness testimony for you.” This is a truth and the basis of my contentions and if you are still arguing. Yes. Sir at that point it is an emotional argument that you are making and it is outside of what is rational. Or unless at this point it is EGO.
Mephibosheth stated: "Rational thinkers produce run-on sentences. Must be 'thinking outside the box' eh?"
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Now! When one speaks three and four different languages and English might not be their first language. You need to be careful about making such an arrogant statement; this is an atypical Eurocentric perspective. No, just browse through your post (meaning this one and count the mis-spelled words you have made). Thus, ordinarily when a blogger began to make those types of statements they have nothing else to say. We are debating theories not language grammar. I am not trying to impress you in subject—verb agreement. But I do have a command of the English language when I choose. Now! Personally I do not think your misspelled words and poor sentence structures reflect your intelligence and I know if we both were engaged in a more formalized writing exercise those errors would be corrected. Lets not go there.
Mephibosheth stated: "Why don't you go and ask a scientist if anything--ever--has been 'proven', ie, certain, or whether the results of empirical investigation only yield a measure of probability. And here we come back to my first comment regarding Hume and causality. The scientific results you're talking about are a house of cards, waiting to be overturned by some future super-genius with a better idea."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: You are repeating the same argument. Will not dignify any more.
Mephibosheth stated: "When have I claimed a mystery God?"
Fahim A. Knight-EL: So are you in agreement with me, that the mystery God does not exist? Let me hear it from you straight and plain and at least we might get over that hurdle and do not have keep revisiting that point.
Mephibosheth stated: "Some let me get this straight. You're content to provide merely 'logical assessment' on the validity of religion, but insist that religion itself be empirically testable? You've got nothing but speculation. I'd love for you to prove this, empirically:"
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Simple are you saying that the holy books are divinely inspired (or did ordinary men write these books). Thus, the writers of Bible had no connection to God and there is not one shred of rational evidence to say that they did. If religion is partially validated based on theological books (interpretation) and we no right off the back this is flawed reasoning (I can not call that reasoning). This disproves it-self; I do not have to spend time on trying to disprove something that is outside the realm of a rational explanation. You admitted that "I haven't experienced God personally, so I can't provide witness testimony for you" I am completely satisfied with your response. Nothing else need to added.
Fahim A. Knight-EL: "man and woman functioned and reasoned (determined right and wrong) understood the laws of relativity, understood the universal laws of cause and effect, etc., long before these so-called holy books corrupted and tried to redefine the natural order of things."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: I stand by that point.
Mephibosheth stated: "No, its a request, which only goes to show your poor comprehension skills. You said, and I quote: "your last two responses was someone else’s work", and I said "Please provide evidence that this is the case." I'm waiting."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Please go up a few paragraphs above; I answered the allegation and gave you the consideration that you were requesting.
Mephibosheth stated: "This is not true of all religion nor all religious thinking. Most religions are based on human experience, just as any scientific observation is. The difference is in how that experience is interpreted. And that depends on the worldview or paradigm one adopts to do the interpreting. Reality itself doesn't hand us 'the correct' paradigm. You ought to remember that we are just making it up as we go along, and fitting things together the best we can, because that's all we can do."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Really! Most people I know gather those experiences from religious fairy tales called scripture and from clerics. Please explain to us what is a religious experience and how does that differs from a super natural experience? Bit curious. Sir. your above remarks is a perfect example of an emotional outlook and worldview.
Mephibosheth stated: "Meanwhile, you fail to recognize the fact that logic is not empirical, and hence, that all your empirical sciences are grounded in something that is non-empirical."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: The results of logic is empirical (can be counted and measured) and that is good enough for me and millions of others.
Mephibosheth stated: "Sort of like how you work in the realm of opinion, telling me that my writing is plagiarism."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: We have clarified that point. No need to revisit.
Mephibosheth stated: "LOL, what do you think, that scientists are some kind of robots or Vulcans? How ludicrous. We're all human beings, and we all construct opinions, and these lead us from one bit of narrative to the next. If scientists never had an opinion, very little innovation would ever happen."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: No, you are being a bit loose and condescending. Science use the human extraction (we are not oblivious to human shortcomings) this is why we do everything possible to let the results of data validates what is rational and from that we draw a logical conclusion and not the other way around. Science does not deal in "SPOOKISM" we deal in what can be proven.
Mephibosheth stated: "Well here's a few sources off the top of my head: Kant, Leibniz, Locke, Hegel, Hume, Berkeley, Cassirer, Hartman, Frege, Sartre, Husserl, Haack, Aristotle, Gardernfors, Priest, Suzuki, Buddha, Chinese ch'an masters (zen stories), and a couple of university degrees."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Well respected intellectuals; I too admire and appreciate many of their philosophical works and the contribution they made to field of rational thinking.
Mephibosheth stated: You said. and I quote: "I have taken on the best intellectual minds and Logic and Rational thinking always win out." Which seems to imply that the either the 'best intellectual minds' are irrational, or that you, in particular, possess highly superior rationality to defeat the best intellectual minds. Surely, it's not hard to see how this might be construed as a form of bragging.
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Stand by the statement.
Mephibosheth stated: "Well, I personally am 'against' 'organised religion' if by that we mean a form of politics that enforces a value-paradigm on people. But I don't think it's useful to take a simplistic view of religion either. Religion is multifaceted. It's a politics, it's a metaphysics, it's an ethics. It has many dimensions. Indeed, Islam is instructive here, as it prescribes an entire lifestyle down to the smallest detail. Let's not forget the fact that religion in one form or another has permeated human reality since before the dawn of time. There is no point in known history that you can point to and say 'human beings weren't religious'."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: You are against organized religion. I am glad to hear you make that point and may be you will join us FREE THINKERS and began to advocate a rational approach to answering the six basic questions: Who, What, Where, When, How and Why. And not continue to dupe these people with this simple defense that you are trying to put up for religion. There is no rational defense that you can put up for religion.
Mephibosheth stated: "Meanwhile, what have secular systems gotten us? Communism, nihilism, atomic bombs, sexual degradation, moral corruption. So take a good hard look at the fruits of human nature, expressed in both the spiritual and secular domains. There's more of an argument for humans to reject science and technology because of the dangers it haphazardly throws upon the world than for humans to reject religion and spirituality that try to formulate a moral imperative to improve the quality of human life."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Religion is more lethal than science because the damage it does mentally (this is the worst sought of lynching) to humanity. Many of my fellow human beings are intoxicated off this sedative and will commit all types of atrocities in its name. For example, murder, create mayhem, and behind every conflict on globe today; you will find religion lurking not to far behind. Yes, them damn missionaries are dangerous. The collapse of the social orders that you mentioned had more to do with the Invisible Rulers than some imperfection in the systems it-self. Yes. Someone has the power to induce human conflict and I do not mean God. True; technology has its shortcomings, but you and I perhaps would not be having this conversation if it was not for the benefit of science. I am not for scientific and intellectual stagnation (I see science as a good and important necessity in our human evolution). Now! I am saying that I am for responsible science that takes into account what is ethical and value the lives of humanity.
Mephibosheth stated: "Come come now, you know that Shakespeare was a front for Francis Bacon."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Perhaps you think Sir Frances Bacon was divinely inspired. My point is King James (was a slave making pervert) and he authorized the Bible--King James Version and you expect me to see this flawed book as some sought of divine theological treatise. Please! I prefer a good novel
Mephibosheth stated: "No, its better if you hear it from the actual Muslims on this forum. Go have a peruse of the 'Islam--Ask you Questions' thread."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Send them my way, I will gladly entertain their foolishness too.
Fahim A. Knight-EL: There is nothing you have given that deserves to be challenged. Your defense for religion is emotional, but you make a good attempt to disguise this magic and superstitious snake oil practice in intellectual terms. Religion has very little empirical properties and logic moves us away from thought processes that can not be validated. Please produce that mystery God and give us some defensiveness that he exist; other than in your illogical imagination. This one of the greatest con games they have played on humanity. Philosophy allows us to think outside the box. Tell me more about this mystery God that does not exist.
Mephibosheth stated: "Unfortunately, it's clear to me that you have no idea what logic is or how it works, otherwise you might be more careful when throwing the term around so casually, especially when there are philosophers about".
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Really!
Mephibosheth stated: "Where’s the evidence? Please demonstrate that this is anything BUT a baseless conjecture".
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Science and Rational thinking do not believe in nor accept conjecture, we prefer what can be counted and measured. Now! Religion is full of conjecture (along with unscientific theories that stands outside the realm of logic). Perhaps you a have rational equation for what translate as faith and belief. (I got a grandmother would called it the unexplainable) lol.
Mephibosheth stated: "And is it also illegal to slander people".
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Thus, perhaps I should have said it is unethical to use or paraphrase someone else work and not give them a citation. You pulled a lot of things that I have seen in the past and you are parroting other's work.
Mephibosheth stated: "This proves that you have no idea what I'm talking about, or what you're talking about. You are the one posing as an intellectual here, but there's no substance behind your words."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: This is a relative comment; coming from a person who practice magic. Why are you debating a person with no substance; thus, irrational statement and self fulfilling motive?
Mephibosheth stated: "Nothing from any of my posts here has been 'cut and pasted'. Everything I wrote was off the top of my head, from the tips of my fingers. I challenge you to prove otherwise".
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Really! I am not convinced; not that I am doubting your ability to think, but your argument has been repeated by many and the wording sounds often familiar.
Mephibosheth stated: "My influences in philosophy are broad, but its been years since I earnestly studied it. Although that in no way invalidates the content of my posts."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Philosophers are rational thinkers who uses logic (correlated) as an external variable to produce an empirical fact; you are much to emotional and to caught up in theories that can not stand-up to the scientific method of being tried and tested; yielding a rational and logical conclusionMephibosheth stated: "Truth is a semantic relation, friend. It is entirely relative to context. The empirical world must first be interpreted before it can be communicated via symbols (representing concepts). Words don't really convey 'facts'; only a direct and immediate apprehension of the phenomenal manifold gives access to the facticity of being, such as it is."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: No, truth has been ascertained by the rigors of being proven based on being tested and giving proof to verify and it leaves little to no doubt that this hypotheses is reliable enough to determine it as a fact (can be counted and measured).
Mephibosheth stated: "More conjecture. Where's the evidence that this is 'true'? Please demonstrate".
Fahim A. Knight-EL: I have provided you with a rational and logical assessment. You have no defense for religion. When are you going to produce that mystery God?
Mephibosheth stated: "Please provide evidence that this is the case. I guarantee you are mistaken, which only makes you look foolish."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: This is an insult statement will not dignify.Mephibosheth stated: "You repeating this line again and again doesn't make it a 'fact' or a 'truth'". Fahim A. Knight-EL: Redounded teaching is a good method to get a student like yourself to retain the lesson.
Mephibosheth stated: "I can conceive of a way that a religious system can be a coherent rational system, which puts it on par with other domains of discourse. Its a simplification to say that they are 'diametrically opposed', especially when we consider that they aim at the same thing--understanding and describing reality. The real difference is the starting premises and axioms uncritically accepted. Religion, often, starts from a different place than empirical science. But empirical science itself is based on logic, which is NOT an empirical science."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: You are way off base, rational system through empirical process reaches the highest level of reliability and works to put forth tried and tested evidences that verify the highest possibility of an outcome. Religion is steeped in faith and determines its worldview to be rooted outside of rational and empirical findings and is not required to be even close to a fact base analysis.
Mephibosheth stated: "Well, that's your OPINION. Obviously, you can't prove that this is a 'fact' or a 'truth' so all you can do is try to convince us that your OPINION is attractive, hence, that we ought to share it. I think its possible that some religious texts are inspired by real mystical experiences. That, like poetry, religion trys to express the unexpressable, and, like science, it attempts to order the world of perceptions into a coherent picture."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Rational and logic thinkers do no deal in "opinions" we prefer facts and empirical out comes. You see you are confusing the language and the two theories. Religion works in the realm of "opinion" and does not have to be based in a fact reality.
Mephibosheth stated: "Sure it is. I think you are confusing 'plagarism' with the expression of someone who actually LEARNED something from a text book or two and is able to express their own ideas in their own words. Nothing you've said is 'new', so I guess you're just plagarising everything you write."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Please give us your source and even if you are paraphrasing. I will not snitch you out (lol).
Mephibosheth stated: "Really. I suggest you go back to 'academia' and hang around there for a while's while longer. Your vision is pretty poor."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: No, academia prepared me to think outside the box. I have acquired all that I need from classroom academics. My vision is not tied to emotional and flawed theories.
Mephibosheth stated: "Bragging now eh. OK, I'm beginning to understand your game. You're not a mature intellectal looking for honest debate and discussion. You're an immature demagogue. Dr. Clark would be soo disappointed!! Me, I actually spoke to my professors and challenged them on ideas, and wasn't afraid that they could 'see right through me'. LOL."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: No, not bragging just confident. To brag is a form of arrogance, but to be confident is a form of being self-assured; you can not compare the two.
Mephibosheth stated: "So now religion is a form of social science? Ok, well that's something."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Better yet it is confused Magic.
Mephibosheth stated: "Somehow, I don't think you have the foggiest idea about what religion does and does not try to 'prove'. Anyway, I never said that a religious system was an empirical system, or that religious ideas were empirically valid, in general."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: I know what religion does; just look around you--past, present and future. It has devastated humanity politically, socially, and economically. They used it as an imperialistic tool to enslave, steal and corrupt. I do not want the God that religion proclaims. Magic, Magic, Magic, Magic!!!!!!! Oh. Lets not forget lies and deceptions.
Mephibosheth stated: "The bible was written by lots of different folk. But there's still lots of question about its validity as a historical document".
Fahim A. Knight-EL: Who King James and Shakespeare. I guess they were divinely inspired. Please!
Mephibosheth stated: "Now the Quraan, OTOH, there's a book that simply had to be written by God."
Fahim A. Knight-EL: I do no think you know what you are saying; your thoughts are unintelligible and your deductive reason is based in pseudo intellectualism with no real point of contention. I do consider myself halfway intelligent, but there was very little that I could discern from your argument that made much sense. You have no logical defense for organized religion: how about this sheer MAGIC AND SUPERSTITION and you can not present any logical argument to prove us Free Thinker wrong. Yes, I base all my positions in the realm of logic and rational thinking, free of "Holy Book" and "clerics". Thus, I do not accept that Mystery God and that Spook teaching that you are trying to intellectualize means absolutely nothing to me. What is your defense for this "SNAKE OIL" belief system? I gave you a 5000 word thesis; you in turn have giving me a weak religious defense that is rooted in outer space. You have no defense for religion, I know that and you know that.
Fahim A. Knight-EL Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in Durham, NC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of goodwill, of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolisms and reinterpreted the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlightened world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power. Fahim A. Knight-EL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,
Fahim A. Knight-EL