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Charlotte Philosophy Discussion Group Message Board › HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

HUMANIANITY: The Most Important Religion

Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,867
Todd, you seem to be using a definition of religion that includes a creed that all members of that religion accept. I believe that is correct for some religions, but not all. Do you believe Unitarian Universalism has a creed?
Yes. A creed is a statement of belief as with Unitarian Universalism.
What is the Unitarian Universalist creed?


If we look at all those things we have called "religion," we will find some without a creed.
Disagree. All religions share in a common creed of a belief.
What is the Unitarian Universalist creed?


Also, you are looking at the way things have been, whereas I am looking into the future.
One can look forward or towards the the future, by no one living knows or can look into or see into the future.
I am talking about making predictions about what is likely to happen. Do you say this is impossible?


I believe we are beginning to see some acceleration of our third exponential change (a change in our ethics).
Ethics and for that matter morality has never and will never change.
Why do you say this? What do you think of my argument in favor of my belief? Do you find an error?


My concept of Humanianity is related to this third exponential change? How familiar have you become with "Humanianity"?
Limited knowledge yet enough to state that if one knows not of today, how can one have a clue of tomorrow.
We can’t predict climate change? Are you saying we don’t know of today? What does that mean?
Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 26
Todd­, you seem to be using a definition of religion that includes a creed that all members of that religion accept. I believe that is correct for some religions, but not all. Do you believe Unitarian Universalism has a creed?
Yes. A creed is a statement of belief as with Unitarian Universalism.
What is the Unitarian Universalist creed?

""We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote"
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

May we replace Creed with an Oath?


If we look at all those things we have called "religion," we will find some without a creed.
Disagree. All religions share in a common creed of a belief.
What is the Unitarian Universalist creed?

"We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote"
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

May we replace Creed with an Oath?


Also, you are looking at the way things have been, whereas I am looking into the future.
One can look forward or towards the the future, by no one living knows or can look into or see into the future.
I am talking about making predictions about what is likely to happen. Do you say this is impossible?

Your words above were "Also, you are looking at the way things have been, whereas I am looking into the future." You did not mention your predictions which you surely can make but seeing into the future the living surely cannot.


I believe we are beginning to see some acceleration of our third exponential change (a change in our ethics).
Ethics and for that matter morality has never and will never change.
Why do you say this?

Can a case be made that all are born different? If so all are born with their own ethics. Yes, these ethics may be altered by bad or good choices but one can never escape their as born ethics.

What do you think of my argument in favor of my belief?

I have no argument or opinion of your belief, thus as is it yours.

Do you find an error?

I do not find or look for error in others belief nor do I question them.


My concept of Humanianity is related to this third exponential change? How familiar have you become with "Humanianity"?
Limited knowledge yet enough to state that if one knows not of today, how can one have a clue of tomorrow.
We can’t predict climate change?

Climate change is an act of nature and nature cannot be questioned. As far as predicting Climate change - absolutely but in the same text is anyone predicting the why? If this is the case I question why predict?
Are you saying we don’t know of today? What does that mean?

No. The question may be better suited with the question of is "one" aware of ones today or owns now existence. Until one knows who they are, how can one know who they can become?



Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,871
Working....
Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 27
Working....
I bet you are thinking on in a subjective and or a perspective response.

I only type and or speak in an objective format so your response will take some time - NP
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,872
­Todd, you seem to be using a definition of religion that includes a creed that all members of that religion accept. I believe that is correct for some religions, but not all. Do you believe Unitarian Universalism has a creed?
Yes. A creed is a statement of belief as with Unitarian Universalism.
What is the Unitarian Universalist creed?

""We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote"
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

May we replace Creed with an Oath?



If we look at all those things we have called "religion," we will find some without a creed.
Disagree. All religions share in a common creed of a belief.
What is the Unitarian Universalist creed?

"We, the member congregations …. existence of which we are a part.

May we replace Creed with an Oath?


Todd, you are making a good point. I was inaccurate in what I said. The inaccuracy has to do with the concept of “Creed,” I believe. It is indeed true that all of the religions are defined by a set of beliefs. However, the important distinction to make, I believe, is with regard to the kind of beliefs that we are talking about. Most people, when they think of the various religions, think of what existential beliefs are maintained by the adherents of those religions. By existential beliefs, I mean beliefs about how the world is, was, and/or will be, including what is likely to happen or to have happened. Thus., they think about whether there is a God or are gods, whether Mary was a virgin, whether miracles were performed, whether life began 6000 years ago, whether there is a God in the volcano, etc., etc. However, all of the religions also have a set of ethical beliefs (about what you, I, we, or they should or should not do), and the presence of such ethical beliefs is indeed, I believe, the defining characteristic, because of being the most fundamental characteristic, of all of the religions.

And indeed, you have pointed to that set of beliefs that characterize the Unitarian Universalist religion. What I was pointing to was the fact that Unitarian Universalism does not have a set of existential beliefs that all the members agree to and perhaps are expected to agree to, as an act of obedience (to someone’s pronouncements or to some religious literature). If you look at all of the statements that you have listed that Unitarian Universalism has adopted, you will find that they are all propositions that model ethical beliefs. The word “should” is not present in any of the propositions, but all of them can be converted to propositions that do.

The absence of existential beliefs that are considered necessary to be a Unitarian Universalist, but the presence of a set of ethical propositions that are advocated for by members of that religion, make it a good example of emerging Humanianity.

So thank you for challenging that statement of mine. I recall having had some misgivings when I wrote it, being indeed aware of their having the principles that you have called to our attention.

I am sorry it has taken so long to respond. There is much more to respond to, and I intend to do so, but I have been tied up with other things. I appreciate your contributing ideas for us to work on, and I note that now Chuck has done the same. I hope that we will get some very meaningful discussion out of these contributions, and I am looking forward to getting to that task.
Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 30
Thank you Bill for your kind words of Chuck and myself.

Back to the discussion as I attempt to respond to your above and will admit, not easy but will give it a shot.

By definition of existential beliefs; "copied and pasted defininition below"

Existentialism takes into consideration the underlying concepts:

Human free will
Human nature is chosen through life choices
A person is best when struggling against their individual nature, fighting for life
Decisions are not without stress and consequences
There are things that are not rational
Personal responsibility and discipline is crucial
Society is unnatural and its traditional religious and secular rules are arbitrary
Worldly desire is futile

Existentialism is broadly defined in a variety of concepts and there can be no one answer as to what it is, yet it does not support any of the following:

wealth, pleasure, or honor make the good life
social values and structure control the individual
accept what is and that is enough in life
science can and will make everything better
people are basically good but ruined by society or external forces
“I want my way, now!” or “It is not my fault!” mentality

I think the above definition for existential beliefs is at a point, "laughable"

"The below was not copied and pasted"

"You choose to bring up God in your above response so I will react". If it is the case and it is true that existential beliefs fails to mention one's choice of belief in God the almighty and creator of all my statement may be "why not". I question did Jesus Christ, the power of the holy ghost and almighty God ever once require or pleased by "wealth, pleasure, or honor make the good life" as a prerequisite? I have searched and found no record of such a requirement. To be the best person you can be every day I believe is prerequisite to one's future and to be remembered in others history. Just my opinion.

The gift of choice is the greatest gift from God yet is not a set of any type of existential beliefs. The reason I say this is because we all have the choice to believe in what we choose per the gift of God. I think God the creator didn't really make it hard to believe ones faith in him, as he is the ""I am"". Religions, existentials beliefs, Humanianity all question or attempt to qualify ones belief in the God almighty as followers of a groups Alpha Omega's belief. Each one has their own belief thus I say I accept it and respect it, yet I am not a follower of others beliefs and require no Alpha to convince me of their beliefs.

My question to you is "what is your belief" as you exclude others beliefs or opinions or perspectives? I only ask that you make what you believe is an accurate statement thus would be an objective statement. Your postings of what "you" believe and I need to consider your beliefs is really not taking any flight with me and maybe not of your flock.

Chuck and myself drove some distance last Sunday to share a new way to think which fell on deaf ears and I know why now. I have noticed that all your responses since I joined your group lead back to justifying your belief of Humanianity and I will never question one's belief as it is of one's choice.

I am very curious of this Bill...



Todd
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,873
Todd,

I am running behind in responding.




Also, you are looking at the way things have been, whereas I am looking into the future.
One can look forward or towards the the future, by no one living knows or can look into or see into the future.
I am talking about making predictions about what is likely to happen. Do you say this is impossible?

Your words above were "Also, you are looking at the way things have been, whereas I am looking into the future." You did not mention your predictions which you surely can make but seeing into the future the living surely cannot.

”Looking into the future” is a metaphoric phrase that most people I believe automatically understand to mean “attempting to predict and therefore imagine what is likely to happen.” Your act of taking my metaphor and treating it as if it is not a metaphor is a good example of the danger in using metaphors. But did you really not know what I meant? Did you really not know that I was using a standard metaphor? If you did know, then what was your purpose in treating it as not a metaphor? This is an example of how I find I have trouble communicating with you and Chuck. There seems to be a tendency to try to create confusion rather than understanding. Nevertheless, I hope there is something to be learned from this process.



I believe we are beginning to see some acceleration of our third exponential change (a change in our ethics).
Ethics and for that matter morality has never and will never change.
Why do you say this?

Can a case be made that all are born different? If so all are born with their own ethics. Yes, these ethics may be altered by bad or good choices but one can never escape their as born ethics.
Here again I have difficulty understanding what you are talking about. Your use of the word “ethics” seems atypical. By “ethics” I mean that set of beliefs that a person has as to what should be done or not done. I think that it is believed by most of us that that set of beliefs is acquired through learning, primarily during the process of child rearing, but also on a continuing basis from the responses of others that are a part of the individual’s subculture and culture. And I believe that one’s set of ethical beliefs can indeed undergo change during one’s lifetime, as one observes and interacts with others who have different ethical beliefs and behaviors based upon those beliefs.



What do you think of my argument in favor of my belief?

I have no argument or opinion of your belief, thus as is it yours.


Do you find an error?

I do not find or look for error in others belief nor do I question them.
I see you and Chuck as believing strongly that many of us have erroneous beliefs, and that you and he are offering to help us acquire better ones, if we will only listen. And I observe you asking questions, indicating such doubt that we are correct.




My concept of Humanianity is related to this third exponential change? How familiar have you become with "Humanianity"?
Limited knowledge yet enough to state that if one knows not of today, how can one have a clue of tomorrow.
We can’t predict climate change?

Climate change is an act of nature and nature cannot be questioned. As far as predicting Climate change - absolutely but in the same text is anyone predicting the why? If this is the case I question why predict?

I believe that it is obvious that we humans are asking why climate change is taking place, and that we are coming up with answers, important ones that will be useful in our decision-making.


Are you saying we don’t know of today? What does that mean?

No. The question may be better suited with the question of is "one" aware of ones today or owns now existence. Until one knows who they are, how can one know who they can become?
And again there is confusion. What do you mean by a person “knowing who they are”? Knowing their name? Knowing their personality characteristics? And how much of whatever they should know is enough to qualify them as “knowing who they are”? The sentences sound meaningful, but are they really? Do they contribute any to making one’s life better, or even to any decision-making at all, other than to try to find out what they mean?

Your posts are helpful, in that they help us to look more deeply into why we humans have such difficulty coming to agreement about accurate beliefs. The problem is that our language ambiguities allow for all sorts of derailment (metaphor) of communication.
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,874
Todd,
Thank you Bill for your kind words of Chuck and myself.

Back to the discussion as I attempt to respond to your above and will admit, not easy but will give it a shot.

By definition of existential beliefs; "copied and pasted defininition below"

Existentialism takes into consideration the underlying concepts:

Human free will
.
.
.
I think the above definition for existential beliefs is at a point, "laughable"

"The below was not copied and pasted"

"You choose to bring up God in your above response so I will react". .
.
.
.
I think God the creator didn't really make it hard to believe ones faith in him, as he is the ""I am"". Religions, existentials beliefs, Humanianity all question or attempt to qualify ones belief in the God almighty as followers of a groups Alpha Omega's belief. Each one has their own belief thus I say I accept it and respect it, yet I am not a follower of others beliefs and require no Alpha to convince me of their beliefs.

My question to you is "what is your belief" as you exclude others beliefs or opinions or perspectives? I only ask that you make what you believe is an accurate statement thus would be an objective statement. Your postings of what "you" believe and I need to consider your beliefs is really not taking any flight with me and maybe not of your flock.

Chuck and myself drove some distance last Sunday to share a new way to think which fell on deaf ears and I know why now. I have noticed that all your responses since I joined your group lead back to justifying your belief of Humanianity and I will never question one's belief as it is of one's choice.

I am very curious of this Bill...
Well first, in the above you have changed the meaning of “existential beliefs” from the meaning I was using to another possible meaning, namely, the beliefs that those who adhere to the philosophy of Existentialism usually have. This may have resulted from an inadequacy in my communication. I don’t know what sentence, from what post, you are responding to, that has my use of “existential beliefs” in it. What I try to do is explain what I mean by the phrase the first time it is used in a post, but I may have failed to do so. I explain what I mean by giving my explanation in parentheses after my first use of it. But I use the phrase often, and could have overlooked giving that explanation.

I use the following, or something like it, in the parentheses:
“(beliefs about how the world is, was, and/or will be, including what is likely to happen or have happened)”
This is to be contrasted with “ethical beliefs” (about what I, you, we, or they should or should not do).

I did not just make up this usage of the phrase. I acquired it through my study of philosophy years ago, learning that that was what the phrase meant when used in certain philosophical contexts. However, I did a brief google search and found no evidence for that use of the phrase, and of course much evidence for the use of the phrase as you have interpreted it. So maybe you really did think that your meaning was the meaning that I was using. The reason there is some doubt in my mind is that I know from much experience that people do sometimes engage in deliberate changing of the meaning of the words used by someone so as to make it seem like what that someone is saying is not so (or even ridiculous), such that there is no reason to pay that person any attention.

Given all that, please note that all that you have posted about beliefs maintained by “Existentialists” is not relevant to our discussion, in that my meaning of “existential beliefs” is as given above. I believe the classification of beliefs into “existential beliefs” and “ethical beliefs” is a very useful one for certain purposes.

Next,
Chuck and myself drove some distance last Sunday to share a new way to think which fell on deaf ears and I know why now.
Well, I tried to warn you and Chuck that you might be disappointed, because the group makes the decision about what it will discuss at the beginning of each meeting, from a list of topics suggested by the members present. Actually, the group was very considerate to the two of you. It is our usual procedure for someone suggesting a topic to limit the description of the topic to just a few sentences, because of the otherwise natural tendency for the explanation to turn into the actual discussion, thus automatically ending the decision-making process with progression into that topic no matter what other topics may have been proposed or might be proposed. But in your case, the group granted you your requested five minutes of presentation of what you meant by your proposed topic (“the two-penny argument”), and though your presentation was actually less than the five minutes, the Q&A extended for more than the five minutes. At any rate, after that was over and we took a vote on the topics proposed, your topic got very few votes. My own impression of the reason was that what you presented was very difficult to follow, at least by me. (And there was a point at which some people had looks of puzzlement and even disbelief on their faces, it seemed to me.) So I am sorry if you and Chuck feel that you wasted your time, but I do believe I warned you of such possible disappointment.

I have noticed that all your responses since I joined your group lead back to justifying your belief of Humanianity and I will never question one's belief as it is of one's choice.

I am very curious of this Bill...
This seems like a contradiction. When you say you are curious, are you wanting me to explain something? I cannot tell what it is you want me to explain, but I am willing to do so. But I guess you would have to ask a more specific question that I could understand the meaning of, and maybe you believe you should not do so. Here on our message board we expect to question each other and to be able to explore our differences in beliefs, in order to acquire increased wisdom and increased ability to communicate in a very difficult area of discourse.

My question to you is "what is your belief" as you exclude others beliefs or opinions or perspectives? I only ask that you make what you believe is an accurate statement thus would be an objective statement. Your postings of what "you" believe and I need to consider your beliefs is really not taking any flight with me and maybe not of your flock.
My belief about what? And what is the meaning of your reference to “flock”? The usual use of this metaphor is pejorative, implying that those in the “flock” have no independence and are inferior to the person who is “leading the flock,” like sheep are to the sheephearder. There are only two or three people in the group so far that have any interest in Humanianity, and so far we have not had Humanianity as a discussion topic. And it is not my impression that there is any set of philosophical ideas that I have that even the majority of our group also have. And the choice of what we talk about is by group vote, and is seldom of the topic which I have suggested. (And that is the way I would have it.) So your implication (by using the word “flock”) would seem to me to be inaccurate. If you have evidence to the contrary, it would be great if you would share it.

Again, Todd, thanks for posting.
Todd W.
user 104073922
Columbia, SC
Post #: 33
Bill, your above post is lengthy therefore will you allow me to keep my responses short to each paraphrase until I can fully respond?

I very well could have Googled a different definition than yours therefore as for your post of definition;

""I use the following, or something like it, in the parentheses:
“(beliefs about how the world is, was, and/or will be, including what is likely to happen or have happened)”
This is to be contrasted with “ethical beliefs” (about what I, you, we, or they should or should not do).""

Can I first ask for your definition or your use of "world" as in the above?

Thanks
Bill Van F.
wvanfleet
Group Organizer
Charlotte, NC
Post #: 1,880
Thanks, Todd. Yes, you have identified a very murky word, that can have all sorts of meanings. My use of it is, I believe, approximately what most people mean by it most of the time. But the concept has deeply embedded in it that underlying and extremely important philosophical problem that gives us so much trouble as we try to develop a consistent set of philosophical ideas. In the Mind-Body Problem book, I deal with those difficulties extensively, and I am awaiting someone reading the book (conscientiously) to see if I have solved the problem (to the extent possible) or not. I think people either oversimplify that answer to the problem or just walk away from it. But it has an important, negative impact on all our lives. So I refer you to the first three chapters (beginning with Introduction) where the problem is being laid out to some extent. The Introduction begins the process, and is at http://homorationalis.com/homorationalis/hr302.html­, and the subsequent chapters are one click away. I will quote that chapter in the next post.
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