Categories generally don’t fit me well. I accept them when they fit though.

I’ve honestly found very few category assignments generally speaking that fit me well. I’m not special, just skeptical to an extreme of even being skeptical of skepticism at times.

I tend towards Embodied Cognition rather than computational models of the brain for example, yet I don’t discount computational models of the brain for metaphorical purposes, but I reject the aristotilean law of excluded middle/non-contradiction and reject the Platonic realm, wherever it shows up, except as a useful tool for comprehension, in which case it can be helpful.

That’s one example.

I don’t have a God, without knowing how you are defining God, in which case, perhaps I do, unknowingly and perhaps I don’t. Not enough information to answer your question.

Same thing applies. How are you defining the word? I have my own definitions for things and, considering the load of a question with the word god in it, I must know before I can answer accurately.

As I don’t believe in a platonic realm, all is natural in some form

To warn you, I do think differently. http://www.amazon.com/Out-Context-Cross…/dp/B00KFOQIG6 – I compiled a thesaurus crosslinking 100,000 words in the English language with their synonyms to see what patterns it fell into.

I see things in terms of metaphors, so I may be difficult to pin down if you are assuming standard definitions for things. I have my own definitions and I will happily explain but i will ask a lot of questions to undersand exactly what you are asking.

It’s unlikely you will be able to ascertain my beliefs using the standard 20 questions. But I’ll go through them, and perhaps you’ll get somewhere.
I’m agnostic. I don’t know.
First off: I don’t know what specifically you are referring to when you mention God. I don’t have an image in my mind of a

“generally transcendent type, supernatural gods”

But I’ve heard definitions of God that are “all natural” and not supernatural. Or definitions that are downright materialist, where God encompasses the collective energy/matter of the Universe itself and we’re a part of God.

In short, I don’t have enough information from you to give you an answer that you will find suitable.

I know there are things about the Universe that we don’t know.
There are things we have barely begun to unravel.
There may _be_ extra dimensions overlaying our own. Darned if I know. I’ve heard theories of gravity that involved two dimensions removed from the dimension of space that has a weak interaction with our own Universe that explains the 10x drop in expected force for gravity.

And then, you have Einstein who is like, “dude, gravity is a fictitious force – why are you looking for gravitons?”

So I can’t fully answer without more information. If I happen to fit your definition of atheist, then by all means; include me in your club.

But I have theists that include me in theirs as well because it suits their logic.

I’m fine with either but I accept neither for my self-description. I can’t say God doesn’t exist. I can say the platonic realm doesn’t exist. But I can’t say that there isn’t a block view of Time from which all of spacetime can be viewed at once, in which case, that’s a traditional “god’s eye view”.

I don’t use the word God much because of the amazing amount of misunderstanding from all sides. It is a politicized issue.

But if someone says, “pray with me”, I’ll do so. I’ll see prayer to God as beneficial both as self-talk (psychological POV) and also because: I don’t know. Maybe somebody *is* listening. There’s too much we don’t know yet about the workings of things, even though we’ve gotten as cocky as 19th century scientists did.

If someone talks about an old man in the sky view of God and then says, “God does not exist”, I can agree to that. By that, I literally mean: an old man sitting on the clouds, which I don’t believe that ANYBODY ever believed in… ever. I know enough of Christian theology pre-16th century to know they didn’t think that.

Maybe post 16th century, I dunno. Protestant reformation produces a lot of idiocy.

If there *is* a form of God, then it’s likely gnostic theism would be suitable, with a refinement that the “beyond” isn’t platonic but simply unknown.

This is where it gets tricky:
I’m a fan of embodied cognition.
With embodied cognition, we are not brains in vats, but rather our brain body and environments all continually interact with each other.

For example, when I am typing to you, you are a part of me in some sense.

We are connected physically (remember energy/matter is ultimately same thing, different forms) – brain to brain.

You have a thought in your brain which goes out of your fingers into your computer, across the ‘net, into my computer, into my eyes, and into my brain and jiggles my internal state machine which I process what you said and formulate a response, typically within my phonological loop.

Even if there is a gap in time, it doesn’t matter because I don’t think time is an arrow or a block but has processes that are likely similar to how we utilize time in our languages, which is far more flexible and far more confusing.

My answer is: I don’t know. The science in this area (embodied cognition) is at the beginning stages. Some work has been done, but not enough yet for me to declare either way.

I learn on Science for much, especially Cognitive Science. But knowing the limitations of fMRI at present (it’s still primative) and that even the mappings of the brain are mostly fictional and the templates are hopeful at best (all of our brains settle into positions unique to each of us – the neatly labelled charts are a nice idealised fiction) – I can’t give me my 100% – just a work-in-progress.

In short, the certain answer I can give you again is, “I don’t know”. Not that it can’t be known. Not that I should deny someone else their beliefs or assert my own in the process. I can only speak subjectively given the information I have at hand at the time.

I learn on Science for much, especially Cognitive Science. But knowing the limitations of fMRI at present (it’s still primative) and that even the mappings of the brain are mostly fictional and the templates are hopeful at best (all of our brains settle into positions unique to each of us – the neatly labelled charts are a nice idealised fiction) – I can’t give even it my 100% – just a work-in-progress.

In short, the certain answer I can give you again is, “I don’t know”. Not that it can’t be known. Not that I should deny someone else their beliefs or assert my own in the process. I can only speak subjectively given the information I have at hand at the time.

Keep in mind, Lucas Choate that certainty is an emotional state and subject to error as is any part of the human cognitive processes.

I’m generally secular, but then I also spent some time in an Eastern Orthodox monastery in my late 20s and experienced subjective knowledge of systems whose processes I don’t completely comprehend yet, although I have some ideas about their nature, likely a result of the inability to categorize experiences which involve “oneness” experience; if there’s no past/present/future or self/other designation, our languages don’t support it, even in our own semantic systems.

That’s why people who come out of mystical experiences sound like babbling idiots. Words can’t express it. Cognitive Science can only point to areas of the brain that are highlighted. Nothing much beyond that.

I was one of these guys for a short time. Still online friends with a couple of them, even though I’ve been agnostic since 2000 and really, I was agnostic even during that time. But I’m fascinated by systems and processes and had to see if there was some merit, and there was.

Well, I can’t fix idiocy in others. I never considered the 6000 year old earthers to be Christian because it was an unreasonable position. They’re a large cult of strange beliefs to me.

I was raised Methodist. WE had a vague God. Be nice, do good, be good. Jesus was like a good template to consider following in some ways. Son of God was metaphorical. Raising from the dead was psychological. Everything seemed reasonable and there was no contradiction for me.

Experimented with Quaker, Vipassana Meditation, Unitarian Universalist, almost became Roman Catholic (’cause I had a job data entry at a RC college) and I made good friends with a bunch of the priests in training.
One day, looked in the yellow pages at lunch. I wanted to see if I missed any religious group I was interested in.

Eastern Orthdox was intriguing. I called up, the priest’s wife answered. Me? Impressed. “Father is out blessing houses”. House blessing? That seemed cool to me.

So I met with the priest a bunch of times in one on one sessions and after some research, joined up. They weren’t a church for converts – it was an ethnic church (Carpatho-Rusyn), so he was rather rusty at “new people” but he did his best.

[that’s a good example of a parish that fits your video by the way tongue emoticon )

Learned a lot about the systems and processes and one of the greatest benefits was an expanded view of history.

The period of time between fall of rome and Renaissance was filled in with things other than knights and rats with diseased fleas. Whole parts of the world glowed with new knowledge. Greece, Russia, Middle East.

Even taught myself some Russian.

Had a blast.

PS – did you know that Epicurean communities (friendship communities) never went away? They just changed form.

As Christiandom spread across the early part of Byzantine empire, they came across the friendship communities. With the added benefit of protection from the government (which they didn’t have when they were by themselves), they folded some of the Christian things into their friendship communities but in very unique ways that were suitable to them.

So Epicureanism lived on in those monasteries. Monsteries were either male or female – they didn’t have nunnaries – since all are friends in friendship communities, they took very seriously the concept of “in christ there is no male or female” and all monasteries were given the same high status within the Eastern Church.

Mind you, this is all pre 11th century stuff.

Great Schism mucked a lot up. Fall of Constantiple 400 years later mucked more stuff up.

yet, when I was in the monastery, there it was – the epicurean community I always loved the idea of. It’s actually my retirement plan. Food, water, bed, something to do each day, and when you allow yourself to consider that MAYBE there’s something to these methods and procedures that is beneficial in some way and you do them, and find they actually do produce tangible results, well, it’s not so bad.

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