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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
A watch(ed) maker never (produces a plague of) boils
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mobbsy From: mobbsy Date: November 5th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I found TGGD quite interesting to read the very first time I saw it as an undergraduate (on ucam.chat). I hadn't really been exposed to much theological debate before, to the point I think that even the omnipotence paradox was new to me¹.

I'd agree that after the first time, or rather after a while into the first time, TGGD is pointless, repetitive and dull. However, there's the off chance that it might be new and interesting to somebody, even if they aren't participating.

OK, so that probably doesn't constitutes enough of a good to counteract the tedium of the constant circular arguments involved for everybody else nearby.

¹ I was brought up as church-going CoE, and increasingly as a teenager got bored of it all and stopped bothering rather than actively deciding anything. I don't think religion was ever important enough to me for me to have thought deeply about it. The zeal of newly awakened atheism was important for a bit, but I got over that.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 7th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I found it quite interesting the first time too, and in retrospect I think if I hadn't had that sort of arguing as a corrective to the evangelical lunacy that I was caught up in at the time when I was discovering usenet, I might have ended up in a very different place. But IME the argument just gets too circular and too aggressive to be interesting, too quickly.

I agree that the argument might be interesting to people to whom it's new. But I think I will leave that teaching/demonstrating role to other people. I'm just not patient enough to go round old arguments for the sake of people who haven't had them before. :-}

I was brought up as church-going CoE [...]

I did things the other way round -- brought up areligious (not even atheist, particularly, just no mention of religion except colouring-inRE lessons at school), was a stereotypical disaffected sixth-form atheist, rebelled against stereotypical rebellion by Getting Religion at university, found that there wasn't room in the evangelical church for people who believed in thinking. Escaped with thought processes mostly intact... (touch wood (not really because that's just a superstition ha ha)).

BTW, I know you've read a lot of philosophy -- as an atheist, do you find the theological aspects of philosophy irrelevant/pointless/irritating? (Surely until relatively recently most philosophy was also to some extent theology? -- but IANAP so that may be a naive assumption...)
mobbsy From: mobbsy Date: November 7th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I wouldn't say I've read a lot of philosophy, more pottered around its foothills a little with a quick jaunt up the enticingly geeky "Mount So-what-is-consciousness-anyway?" to find some Answers. When it comes to traditional philosophy, I wouldn't really recognise a Hegelian dialectic in the wild unless it was jumping around waving a special little flag.

Given that the essence of the moral basis for our society is founded in theological philosophy, it can't be ignored.

When a good philosophical argument comes down to "and so, God", it's more disappointing than anything else. I should admit to having read very little regarding philosophy from between the greeks and the enlightenment, partly because it seems to have been so constrained by needing to fit within a conventional theology. To my (doubtlessly over simple) view, philosophy really starts to get interesting with Locke (though Hobbes gets a creditable mention).

That said, I appreciate that the empiricists didn't spring up intellectually fully formed and suddenly decide one afternoon to have an Enlightenment. The little I know of the likes of Thomas Aquinas leaves me in no doubt of their brilliance.

I think overall, I find theological philosophy in itself interesting as an intellectual exercise, and often very informative. I prefer to try to pick out the bits of god and leave them on the side of the plate (or find better minds than mine that have already done that).
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