Bryan & Anthony, Seventh Day Adventists… Kinda |404|

#1
Bryan & Anthony, Seventh Day Adventists… Kinda |404|
by Alex Tsakiris | Mar 5 | Uncategorized


Bryan and Anthony from the Badventist podcast, can Christians access extended consciousness?
photo by: Skeptiko

Sometimes people say to me, “Pastor Jeff, how do you know there’s a God?” and I say, “It’s simple math. God either exists or he doesn’t.” So, let’s be cynical, worst-case scenario, there’s a 50/50 chance, and I like those odds.


That’s wrong.


That’s a clip from Young Sheldon, a TV show about a brainiac kid who likes to tell adults how stupid they are and how smart he is for following science and logic.


You’ve confused possibilities with probabilities. According to your analogy, when I go home, I might find a million dollars on my bed or I might not. In what universe is that 50/50?


Alex Tsakiris: Now, if you’ve listened to this show very much you know that the science versus religion debate (non-debate), is an itch I can’t resist scratching...


...And when I say, is Christianity worth saving, why is it necessary? I mean, it’s really cool that if you travel to a foreign country and you get really sick that you have a network that you can tie into. That’s awesome on a practical level, but on a spiritual level, if that is based on some things that are not true, in the way that we normally think about things being true, have you kind of made some compromises there that may inhibit your spiritual growth?


Bryan: I struggled with that question, like, oh yeah, why don’t I study Sufism or pickup Zen Buddhism?


Alex Tsakiris: That’s Bryan Nashed from The Badventist podcast. Bryan’s a young guy in his early 20s who along with his podcasting partner Anthony joined me today to rehash these questions about Christianity and about, regardless of whether or not it can hold up to the scrutiny of Young Sheldon, it might still offer a language with which to access the very real, scientifically established, realms of extended consciousness.


Bryan: The answer that I came up with was, “Oh, because the Christian language that I grew up with is the most accessible language for me to interact with the spiritual.”


Alex Tsakiris: Stick around, my interview with Bryan and Anthony from The Badventist podcast is coming up on Skeptiko.


Today we welcome Bryan and Anthony from The Badventist podcast. Two young guys who are really blazing a new trail in the progressive Christian movement.


I met Bryan a few months ago and he helped me out a great deal with some Skeptiko projects and then I was super excited to hear that he had started his own podcast along with Anthony. I listened to a couple of them and I thought they were so relevant to some of the topics that I’ve been haranguing people about lately, that I really wanted to have these guys on.
 
#2
Young Sheldon has conflated qualification versus domain. This is a common trick of pseudo-skeptics. $1 million is a qualification, a qualified possibility, and the possibility of 'God' is a domain of thought. One cannot apply probability to a domain - while one could apply it to a qualified possibility.

False Domain Equivalence - a form of ambiguity slack exploitation wherein one equates the probability metrics which can be derived from a qualified, constrained or specific domain or circumstance, to be comparable to the use of 'probability' inside a broad domain or one lacking Wittgenstein parameters, constraints or descriptives.​

This elicits the difference between nihilistic atheism, agnostic atheism and ignostic atheism. The nihilist conflates the two (an informal fallacy of soundness), the agnostic considers the argument valid, but does not know the answer - and the ignostic does not consider the argument, nor its definitions as valid at all.

A second error implied here by Young Sheldon's posturing is the appeal to skepticism (an informal fallacy of fear)

Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy (of Irrelevance)
2a. The declaration, assumption or implication that a consensus skeptical position on a topic is congruent with the consensus opinion of scientists on that topic.​
2b. The argument assumption or implication that an opinion possesses authoritative veracity or a proponent possesses intellectual high ground simply through allegiance to a consensus skeptical position on a topic.​
3. The presumption or contention that taking a denial based or default dubious stance on a set of evidence or topic is somehow indicative of application of the scientific method on one’s part, or constitutes a position of superior intellect, or represents a superior critical or rational position on a topic at hand.​
Here is how the two work together. The second error, the appeal to skepticism, is not a condition of being 'wrong' per se, as it is merely an informal fallacy. Rather, it is this agency-acceptance which renders one's mind vulnerable to being exploited by the first error - a critical fallacy of soundness. It is not that young Sheldon formulated the first fallacy on his own (because if he had he would have understood its flaw) - rather that...

...because of the second informal fallacy of susceptibility (fear of skeptics) - he memorized the first fallacy of soundness without questioning it.​
This is called 'being a useful idiot'. It elicits the danger of academic rote/memorizing of philosophy. The error of the religious, to wit (below):

continuing to listen....
 
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#3
"Is [doctrine] worth saving?"

Flaw of Doctrine - doctrine is a truth which lacks Wittgenstein basis. A set of syllogism, which is only circularly coherent - and which bears no entropy of knowledge in its eventual loss (no one is worse for its loss). Doctrine is not conserved.​
All three gents address the fundamental essence of the role of doctrine. Is it real? Or is it merely a mental lever, much akin the lever which rendered Young Sheldon above, as a useful idiot?​

Alex raises the phenomenon of community, possibly as the critically (or even sole) important part of a religious sect. Perhaps community is really the substance of this phenomenon and not the doctrine at all (or to a much lesser degree)? This was not posed in the pejorative.

Bryan and Anthony regard literalist views as being the fertile ground of para-political activism. The problem, for right or for wrong. Our generation is beginning to reject the 'paranoid and wild' views which come as a bundle with this type of literalism. This risks the existence of the religion and its possible eventual extinction. "The Christians of tomorrow are not going to be the Christians of yesterday."

Man Needs to be Redeemed (?)

An innate sense borne by more than simply Christianity. Does this impart an essence which then transcends doctrine? Does the redemptive moral of the Jesus story bear imperative, or from a personal standpoint - primacy? Is there then a doctrine which is innocent and does not suffer the Flaw of Doctrine?

Alex cites that many doctrines can be pork-barreled inside this (innocent) primacy of redemption.

Anti-cathedral movements (nee 'imperial'), hold this as essence. We must begin again with the innocent observations and hesitate to craft doctrine from them - OBE's, NDE's, ghosts, etc... Is the word 'Magic' simply a Flaw of Doctrine term handed to us from an opposition cult? Never leave your religion by simply jumping right into the opposing religion. You are still a cowboy, who has merely changed horses. It is no claim to innocence.

Great show Bryan, Anthony and Alex... awesome thought! ;;/?
 
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#4
"Is Christianity worth saving?"
Alex,

Maybe I am too literal minded but I don't understand what you mean by the question, "Is Christianity worth saving?". It sounds to me like you are implying Christianity is going to disappear and skeptiko listeners have the power to prevent that.

Could you please clarify what you are asking?

What is "saving Christianity"?

What is "not saving Christianity"?


Thanks
 
#5
Coincidentally, I am reading a fascinating new book about the severe problems associated with Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darwin-Dev...id=1551807916&sr=8-1&keywords=darwin+devolves

I am about half way through, and it introduces an interesting new argument as to why natural selection won't work on a big scale. I feel that as one of your guests said, Christianity may need to drop some of its ideas to stay relevant, but this book indicates that the rest of society - and particular science - may soon be forced to move in the direction of spirituality.

I have felt for a long time that some form of ID is unavoidable, but this book explains how one experiment in particular has enabled evolution to be explored in the laboratory - so maybe NS can be dragged into the realm of something experimentally testable (so it can be discarded!).

It might be tough to read the book if you don't have some science background, but if you do, I'd highly recommend it to everyone here.
I'll finish the book (and maybe re-read it) before I start a new thread and try and explain that argument in detail, but I hope Bryan and Anthony are going to stick around so we can discuss the larger significance of some form of Intelligent Design right here.

More generally, I think that the religious groups could usefully contribute to a new spirituality (which is what I think this podcast is all about), if they dropped their exclusivity and some of their dogma - they should realise that by far the most important thing is to realise that there really is a spiritual domain.

David
 
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#6
Been listening for about 4 years now. Skeptiko and Miguel’s Aeon Byte are must listens for me. Always look forward to a new show each week. Alex I agree with you on a lot of things, but with all due respect. You pose a loaded bomb question like “Is Christianity worth saving?” Not just to anyone, but to two Seventh Day Adventist? Who go on to agree with you and say well yeah, it was all about control. The irony is too rich for me. I get it. Us Christian’s are easy targets but dude I would rather hear you try to pin some hard questions to this professor of religious studies Greg Carlwood just had on Dr Diana Pasulka. Anyways thanks. Very grateful
 
#7
Whether "Christianity" is worth saving depends on what one understands by the term. Does it mean dogma, or does it mean an underlying truth upon which Christianity (actually, one of the many different flavours of the religion) has constructed its various dogmas? If it means the former, then it probably isn't worth saving to many.

Mind you, whether or not it's worth saving says nothing about whether it will become extinct. I'm inclined to agree with one of the guests that for some people, it offers one (of many) frameworks within which a lot of people can connect with the "spiritual", or, put another (and in my view better) way, a framework for them to seek after truth.

There's an old Sufi tale about Moses, who came across a simple shepherd whom he heard worshipping God in the most literal way, saying how he wanted to comb His hair, wash His feet, and so forth. Moses berated the man for his naivete, but then God berated Moses for denigrating the shepherd, saying that He found the latter's worship to be perfectly acceptable; what really mattered was what was in the Shepherd's heart. So Moses ran after the shepherd and apologised; but the shepherd thanked Moses for his intervention, having realised through it a more refined appreciation of God. Viewed in this light, religion can be a vehicle for turning man's thought to towards a greater truth. As long as a man genuinely means well in his heart, he may well eventually get closer to truth.

The doctrine of the redemption (absolutely central to Christianity) is in my view deeply flawed; we are supposed to believe that we are born burdened by Adam and Eve's original sin: a sin that only Christ could redeem through his crucifixion on our behalf. I see this doctrine as limiting the scope of the truth-seeking we are able to perform; as casting our truth-seeking capabilities in chains, even if our hearts are in the right place.

A change of viewpoint is able to make some sense of the doctrine of redemption. I don't believe that Jesus came to die for us and thereby offer a way for our original sin to be expunged provided we accepted church dogma. That's a version of events (real or mythical, take your pick) that helps church administrations gain and retain control over the masses.

I think we arrive in this world imperfect to be sure, but not burdened by original sin. We aren't guilty of anything, but we do tend to have an inherent desire to understand where we came from, and where we are going. We sense our own ignorance from an early age, and it is this ignorance that easily morphs into a vague feeling of guilt that the various flavours of Christian religions may, often unwittingly (remember many of those in church hierarchies have been through the same conditioning mills), take advantage of.

Better than redemption from sin in my view is the idea of liberation from ignorance, of an awakening to a more refined truth symbolised by the (mythical or otherwise, take your pick) resurrection. In order for any of us to come to lead better lives, we need to die to a degree of ignorance and be reborn to a greater degree of truth. In this sense, Jesus could be regarded as being no more special than any of us, and the resurrection not as a one-off event, but as a continually recurring event in all of our lives -- if we are prepared to make apposite efforts. Every one of us is a Christ insofar as we try to make those efforts; Jesus wasn't the only chosen one: we all are, at least potentially.

The Christ myth, interpreted in this way, whether or not Jesus actually died and rose again, is a potentially rather beautiful metaphor offering a template for life. Some may understand it in a basic and literal way, whilst others may have more nuanced interpretations. That said, all, if their hearts are in the right place, should be able to appreciate others' interpretations and to communicate without denigration.

The idea that Christianity is a completely cynical exercise in control, a conscious effort by elites to keep the masses in their place, mostly applies when one habitually thinks in an essentially materialistic way. Despite there being elements of this at all times and in all religions, the fact remains that underneath is a truth that at least some people manage to glimpse regardless of their interpretation. In Christianity, I'd say at best it centres on altruism regardless of the belief of recipients (I have a soft spot for the the Salvation Army's praxis - they help anyone regardless of creed or colour). At less worthy levels, it may be more conditional.

I doubt the essence of Christianity will ever truly die. Specific organised sects may die, but so what? The underlying essence has informed and will continue to inform Western society's ethics, morals and laws.
 
#8
Whether "Christianity" is worth saving depends on what one understands by the term. Does it mean dogma, or does it mean an underlying truth upon which Christianity (actually, one of the many different flavours of the religion) has constructed its various dogmas? If it means the former, then it probably isn't worth saving to many.

Mind you, whether or not it's worth saving says nothing about whether it will become extinct. I'm inclined to agree with one of the guests that for some people, it offers one (of many) frameworks within which a lot of people can connect with the "spiritual", or, put another (and in my view better) way, a framework for them to seek after truth.
My problem with Christianity is that it has many alternative versions, and that it morphs over time. To build a worthwhile base for spirituality you need to solve both problems, and even then decide if it is compassionate or mean.

David
 
#9
Deciding whether or not Christianity is worth saving is rather easy for anyone who longs to at last enter a world free of pain, fear and worry. For our Soul a place of perpetual bliss, an everlasting high better than any drug or sexual experience. A number of near death experiencers who have had what are classified at the Near Death Experience Research Foundation as, Exceptional Experiences will vouch that such a place indeed exists. Jesus promises such a place to all who are willing to live by his Gospel instructions. Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not of this world." For me the question is never whether Christianity is worth saving but instead, "Dear Jesus, when may I come to the Gate?"
 
#10
My problem with Christianity is that it has many alternative versions, and that it morphs over time. To build a worthwhile base for spirituality you need to solve both problems, and even then decide if it is compassionate or mean.

David
I think you mean that Christian religion has many different forms. Underlying those may be just the one truth.
 
#11
Christianity will always keep evolving. Worth saving is a very interesting way to word the question. All good things get hijacked at some point for power and control. But aside from the materialistic money grabbing mega churches and the darkness of The Catholic Church that aren’t “worth” saving. At its core I side with Rupert Sheldrake. Christianity just works for me here. As a spiritual vehicle. Not so much if I was an Indian living in Bombay. And through pilgrimage, prayer and meditation, worship/singing of hymns and participating in the Holy Communion I can connect with the divine and have conscious contact with the Great Reality deep within. That is my current experience. The spiritual structure of Christianity seems to be encoded in my DNA. It just works
 
#12
At its core I side with Rupert Sheldrake.
I too like Rupert - even though I am not a Christian!
I think you mean that Christian religion has many different forms. Underlying those may be just the one truth.
Maybe, but as it stands there is no way to separate the various forms from the truth We (well not me personally) have struggled with that religion for 2 milenia - we need something where everyone has an equal say as to how the religion evolves.

The Catholic experience must inform all Christian sects, because they have all been involved in child molestation to some degree. I'd say that they should butt out (to quote George Bush 2) of all things sexual, except to the extent that a sin is committed when someone hurts someone else in some way or another.

David
 
#13
Deciding whether or not Christianity is worth saving is rather easy for anyone who longs to at last enter a world free of pain, fear and worry. For our Soul a place of perpetual bliss, an everlasting high better than any drug or sexual experience. A number of near death experiencers who have had what are classified at the Near Death Experience Research Foundation as, Exceptional Experiences will vouch that such a place indeed exists. Jesus promises such a place to all who are willing to live by his Gospel instructions. Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not of this world." For me the question is never whether Christianity is worth saving but instead, "Dear Jesus, when may I come to the Gate?"
Well you certainly can't claim NDE's to be specifically Christian. People of all beliefs and none have had these experiences, and the nature of these experiences varies quite a lot. Usually they are comforting and positive, but not necessarily religious, but a small percentage are 'hellish' - though the people who experience these do not seem to be any different from those that experience the more common positive kind.

David
 
#14
Well you certainly can't claim NDE's to be specifically Christian. People of all beliefs and none have had these experiences, and the nature of these experiences varies quite a lot. Usually they are comforting and positive, but not necessarily religious, but a small percentage are 'hellish' - though the people who experience these do not seem to be any different from those that experience the more common positive kind.

David
 
#15
"a small percentage are 'hellish' - though the people who experience these do not seem to be any different from those that experience the more common positive kind." Well actually, from what I've read, David, It would seem that they are. Howard Storm, for instance, experienced a scary life changing experience. I've read of several others who were entirely wrapped up in life on Earth and constantly seeking advantage while here who also received a disturbing "awakening."
They had forgotten the new commandment which Jesus gave us: "..That ye love one another." John 13:34.
 
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#16
If God loves us, I imagine we have the relationship backwards within christianity. We are all the divine beings on the cross. It's no wonder we are so cruel to each other. I think flaws are simply part of the natural and limited creativity we all share. How else to explain extreme unnecessary suffering?

Oh! Pin yourself to a cross and declare it necesary and good. I can't worship that. Too many suicides, wars, famine, flesh eating bacteria, bodies dissolved in acid. The mere potential of horror disproves the model christianity has created. Also, the deity knows nothing more than what we know!

Is god a special category? Sure why not, but not from this side of the veil. From this side, god owes us an explanation. Religion is too entitled to offer hope, but instead wallows in delusion, excuses, and ignorance. So what if the brain is not the mind? We are still here.
 
#17
Young Sheldon has conflated qualification versus domain. This is a common trick of pseudo-skeptics. $1 million is a qualification, a qualified possibility, and the possibility of 'God' is a domain of thought. One cannot apply probability to a domain - while one could apply it to a qualified possibility.

False Domain Equivalence - a form of ambiguity slack exploitation wherein one equates the probability metrics which can be derived from a qualified, constrained or specific domain or circumstance, to be comparable to the use of 'probability' inside a broad domain or one lacking Wittgenstein parameters, constraints or descriptives.​

This elicits the difference between nihilistic atheism, agnostic atheism and ignostic atheism. The nihilist conflates the two (an informal fallacy of soundness), the agnostic considers the argument valid, but does not know the answer - and the ignostic does not consider the argument, nor its definitions as valid at all.

A second error implied here by Young Sheldon's posturing is the appeal to skepticism (an informal fallacy of fear)

Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy (of Irrelevance)
2a. The declaration, assumption or implication that a consensus skeptical position on a topic is congruent with the consensus opinion of scientists on that topic.​
2b. The argument assumption or implication that an opinion possesses authoritative veracity or a proponent possesses intellectual high ground simply through allegiance to a consensus skeptical position on a topic.​
3. The presumption or contention that taking a denial based or default dubious stance on a set of evidence or topic is somehow indicative of application of the scientific method on one’s part, or constitutes a position of superior intellect, or represents a superior critical or rational position on a topic at hand.​
Here is how the two work together. The second error, the appeal to skepticism, is not a condition of being 'wrong' per se, as it is merely an informal fallacy. Rather, it is this agency-acceptance which renders one's mind vulnerable to being exploited by the first error - a critical fallacy of soundness. It is not that young Sheldon formulated the first fallacy on his own (because if he had he would have understood its flaw) - rather that...

...because of the second informal fallacy of susceptibility (fear of skeptics) - he memorized the first fallacy of soundness without questioning it.​
This is called 'being a useful idiot'. It elicits the danger of academic rote/memorizing of philosophy. The error of the religious, to wit (below):

continuing to listen....
Dude you say what I feel l, but have trouble expressing verbally. I deal with emotion and intuition more than reason.
What books have you read that have helped you tremendously and how often do you read a day or week? Good post
 
#18
If God loves us, I imagine we have the relationship backwards within christianity. We are all the divine beings on the cross. It's no wonder we are so cruel to each other. I think flaws are simply part of the natural and limited creativity we all share. How else to explain extreme unnecessary suffering?

Oh! Pin yourself to a cross and declare it necesary and good. I can't worship that. Too many suicides, wars, famine, flesh eating bacteria, bodies dissolved in acid. The mere potential of horror disproves the model christianity has created. Also, the deity knows nothing more than what we know!

Is god a special category? Sure why not, but not from this side of the veil. From this side, god owes us an explanation. Religion is too entitled to offer hope, but instead wallows in delusion, excuses, and ignorance. So what if the brain is not the mind? We are still here.
Dieties are made from man's imaginations, they were meant to be used archetypically to over come are lower base animalistic nature to become divine gods and goddesses or in some views become titans. It went south when the Dieties were idolized and worshipped surrounded in superstition as opposed to be used as a form of subconscious energy a tool able to transcend this paradigm we are stuck in.
The current saying "with great power comes great responsibility" rings a bell here. Often I wonder personally why are my PSI visions so spontaneous and random. How do I exert control of them? I have to keep in mind my psi is only one timeline on the specific event and has many courses it can change to. The level of training and concentration must be massive for anyone willing to partake in some of these "occult" abilities.
We gave our power away to the archtypes externally, the external is the last part of reality, thus we stifled our divine spark for the sake of materiality and subconsciously trying to make up for it with transhumanism, making humans God's Externally
 
#19
Oh! Pin yourself to a cross and declare it necesary and good. I can't worship that. Too many suicides, wars, famine, flesh eating bacteria, bodies dissolved in acid. The mere potential of horror disproves the model christianity has created. Also, the deity knows nothing more than what we know!
I agree with you and so might Jesus Himself that Christianity in it's many corrupted divisions is a harm to many who are not of that particular division. But true Christianity as explained by Jesus in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is harmful to no one. If it were only at last embraced by humanity in it's true form the entire cruel, selfish world would be changed. Certainly suicides would come to an end as we each receive an Agent from God to strengthen us through our life path.
 
#20
"a small percentage are 'hellish' - though the people who experience these do not seem to be any different from those that experience the more common positive kind." Well actually, from what I've read, David, It would seem that they are. Howard Storm, for instance, experienced a scary life changing experience. I've read of several others who were entirely wrapped up in life on Earth and constantly seeking advantage while here who also received a disturbing "awakening."
They had forgotten the new commandment which Jesus gave us: "..That ye love one another." John 13:34.
Garry - the best way to quote someone is to press the 'quote' button, and then start typing right at the bottom of the new message - that way everything holds together nicely.

I am not that up in the subject of Hellish NDE's, but this is what IANDS has to say:

https://iands.org/ndes/about-ndes/distressing-ndes.html#a3

Nevertheless, I do agree that someone who was leading a very selfish life might get a jolt from experiencing an NDE.

David
 
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