another discussion about religion - Page 8
Old 12-15-2010, 07:39 AM   #141 (permalink)
LX
with pink peppercorns

In the Paint


 
LX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 27,641
Representing:
Default

I must be a frickin' saint to be able to understand you Toraps. It must have been all those years going to church.

But it's true that the intent of all religions is quite the opposite of how things often turn out. Ultimately they all direct people to become less egotistical, and consider their worst enemy to be equal to themselves, or actually to be the same as themselves.

The problem is one of context for everyone approaching religion. There can be some good out of building a foundation upon any of it, but there has to be room to adapt and make room for difference. Being stuck in the past just for the sake of avoiding the here and now is not going to allow for much good to occur. Having a living and breathing relationship with the past that allows a big move forward is what is too often lost. But there are some notable examples where not war, not repression, not division occurs, but civil rights, an end to imperialism, and more healing than thought possible in places like South Africa.

But I can understand looking past the intent of major religions and just pointing out all the evils that have sprung out of obeying specific elements. Instead of living and breathing, the institutions built around them have largely left us with little air to breathe for ourselves, and that seems to happen in connection with helping to prop up existing power structures.

If I had superpowers I would require all religious texts to be seen on the same footing as any other books. I would point out the need for people to lose a good deal of their ego, and to see others as though they make up a part of themselves. And at the same time I would point out the failure of those in the past from being able to do so, and that various rituals have tended to make them blind to their failures and only allowed them to be controlled. The ways of the past have shown themselves to be broken, for the most part, so why not move on with some idea of what all the messages were meant to be and do everything we can to promote an ego-less freedom rather than self-serving control? By moving away from the sway of religions, we might actually find the means to adhere to the original intent. Or we could just be inevitably doomed regardless.

I see a much greater factor than the fear of death in play. I see a fear of ourselves. And there is a whole lot of straying from the truth of ourselves as a result, just like so many generations have strayed from the true intent of religious thought and practices.
LX is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2010, 06:03 PM   #142 (permalink)
Truth

Member
 
Cory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 257
Representing:
Default

I agree with Einstein when he said science without religion is lame. But it's important to keep in mind that Einstein, and most bright people are not "literal minded". What I mean is, bright people see the content of religion as symbolic and metaphorical. There was no garden of eden in a literal sense, but it certainly serves as a great metaphor. Adam and Eve weren't the first human beings, but again, they are a thought provoking symbol for man woman interactions and the source of strife. Cain and Abel, Job, heaven, hell - religion clearly offers a wealth of symbols and metaphors. Problem is, people are dumb. They take everything literally, and miss the deeper meaning.

Even the concept of God is perfectly logical from a pantheistic perspective. The totality of nature is our creator, why not refer to that as God? Who knows, Jesus could have been an atheist who defined God as nature itself. It's fine to refer to peaceful states of mind as heaven, and to create heaven on earth.

Artful metaphors are OK. Literal mindedness (the inability to think flexibly, metaphorically, creatively and artfully) is the problem.

Last edited by Cory; 12-15-2010 at 06:05 PM.
Cory is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 01:45 PM   #143 (permalink)
LX
with pink peppercorns

In the Paint


 
LX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 27,641
Representing:
Default

I'm not sure about the inability to think in terms of metaphors or symbols being as big of a problem as not being able to recognize metaphors, symbols, or anything tending towards the poetic as being such. Thomas Jefferson took the gospels and extracted all the improbable events therein, leaving many level-headed lessons that could not be not hindered by literal-mindedness. Not a bad idea if there is any chance of misinterpreting allegory for reality.
LX is online now   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 12:23 AM   #144 (permalink)
the gat'll killya quicker, when I'm drunk off the liquor

The Mara sisters are hot!
 
Bill Haverchuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,865
Representing:
Default

From the Wednesday edition of the Globe and Mail:

Quote:
More than half of Canadians in the 15-to-29 age cohort either have no religion or never attend a service of worship, says Statistics Canada. Only 22 per cent say religion is very important to them, down from 34 per cent in 2002. And in a recent poll done by Nanos Research for The Globe and Mail, just one in five of the under-30 age group say they are the generation of their family that attends weekly religious services.
The cause, on the one hand, is a product of a progression that began with the crash of religious attendance 50 years ago, with each succeeding generation becoming further removed from – and ignorant of – religious beliefs and practices.
Quote:
Religious scholars see perhaps the majority of today's young Canadian adults as disappearing down a black hole of spiritual illiteracy from which institutional religion cannot retrieve them.
Whatever.

Quote:
The cause is also a product of young adults increasingly seeing organized religion as illogical and out of touch with reality.
Pretty much.

Quote:
At first blush, changing demographics would seem to help offset the decline. But while the stream of devout immigrants from South and Southeast Asia – nearly a million every four years – has helped increase religiosity in the short term, the evidence suggests that this lasts only one generation, at best two.
Interesting.


Quote:
Manveen Puri, 24, a second-year medical student from Mississauga, Ont., decided to discontinue wearing his turban and maintaining an uncut beard, both hallmarks of the Sikh identity, shortly after becoming an undergraduate student. His younger brother followed him shortly afterward.
Their close-knit family survived their decision. But Mr. Puri says his father, whose religion remains strong, wants to believe it's just a phase his sons are going through.
Initially, Mr. Puri stopped wearing his kara – the bracelet that is one of the five articles of his faith and that is worn to remind Sikhs of the morals of their religious teaching – but later put it back on because it's a symbol of his culture. For much the same reason, he still goes to the gurdwara with his family. But he adds: “I won't necessarily pray.”
Mr. Puri, who was born in Singapore and moved to Canada with his family when he was 18, said he considered the elements of the Sikh faith one by one over what he called “a six-month struggle” and at the end concluded that he could not reconcile faith with his new rationalist beliefs. It was, he said, “sort of like waking up” and, afterwards, he felt relieved.
Quote:
He termed it a common experience among his Sikh friends, a number who hide their faith-alienation from their parents and others who have been angrily told to leave their family homes.
:facepalm:

Quote:
Ethicists like McGill University's Margaret Somerville lament the vanishing of religious morality from the public sphere on key public-policy issues involving life and death.
:facepalm:

Quote:
Some sociologists cite the bowling-alone syndrome given celebrated currency by U.S. scholar Robert Putnam – the continuing fragmentation of collective life and its resulting individual unhappiness.
Jessica Page, a medical student from Victoria who labels herself a religious illiterate, admits to qualms about the cultural loss of religion. And other young Canadian adults interviewed for The Globe and Mail's series considered the meaning of cities and towns with empty churches and temples – architecturally beautiful but ever more marginal to society.
Quote:
The conflict of religious faith and rational thought became no longer containable for Jonathan Bright, a 23-year-old law student at University of Toronto. Six months ago, he quit the Roman Catholic Church. He had kept his mother, a regular churchgoer, informed of the decision taking shape in his mind. Still, he acknowledges, “she was a little upset,” as was his former girlfriend, a devout Catholic.
The final impetus for his decision was both a fresh series of priestly sex scandals and cover-ups in Europe and the force of logic. The constraints imposed by the church no longer made sense to him – on matters such as homosexuality, abortion and contraception. He saw ways to follow an ethical life through the teachings of the law that didn't require some necessary hierarchy.
Quote:
For Chinese-born Janet Li, 22, a master's student in mathematics at U of T, culture, religion and identity have come together in her life through the spiritual practice of her parents, both software engineers.
The practice, known to sociologists of religion as Chinese familialism – it's not tracked by the census, likely a contributing factor to why British Columbia, with a large ethnic Chinese population, shows the lowest level of religious adherence outside Quebec – combines Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism in a holistic mind-body spirituality with prayers to forebears.
Ms. Li values her family rituals around a fireplace shrine. She likes the tradition. “They make you remember family. They bring the family together.” But asked if she will continue them in her own adult life, she says, “I guess I only do them with my family, so I'll retain it as long as I gather with my family. Maybe my sister and I will continue together? I am not sure, that is very far down the road.”

Last edited by Bill Haverchuck; 12-17-2010 at 12:26 AM.
Bill Haverchuck is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 08:41 AM   #145 (permalink)
Taz
playing catch-up.

Back in the game.
 
Taz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 1,709
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Haverchuck View Post
Quote: He termed it a common experience among his Sikh friends, a number who hide their faith-alienation from their parents and others who have been angrily told to leave their family homes. :facepalm:
Its happened to more than a few Muslim friends that we know. Sad.
Taz is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2010, 01:40 PM   #146 (permalink)
tired of shitty Toronto teams

Senior Member
 
Yuksek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 571
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Haverchuck View Post
From the Wednesday edition of the Globe and Mail:





Whatever.



Pretty much.



Interesting.






:facepalm:



:facepalm:
Great Article. By the way, I know some of the people who they interviewed

I totally agree with the assessment. Religion is dying and even in immigrant communities. My parents were both devout in their faiths until they met each other I never grew up with a strong presence to pick a religion. I believe in god and what not, but I don't believe I should isolate myself to ONE religion and separate myself from all those around me.
Yuksek is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 11:59 AM   #147 (permalink)
stank

member
 
Someguy again's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,380
Representing:
Default

simple evolution, we needed to invent it in mankinds early stages to keep us in check with the fear of a omnipresent being watching over us, but we are in the 21st century and will be growing out of it and use logic and reason to benefit humanity.

theres probably a god, but not a microinterventionist one.
Someguy again is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 02:34 PM   #148 (permalink)
Truth

Member
 
Cory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 257
Representing:
Default

There might be another God out there somewhere, besides me.
Cory is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 03:28 PM   #149 (permalink)
elT
brainfarting keyboard eater

Dwane Casey kicks ass!
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 562
Representing:
Default

Well, it has been a long time, but I've stumbled upon this thread and can't help my self to not get involved at least a little bit. So first of all, my kindest greetings to everyone.

A few of things I'd like to point out.

There is a growing number of 'militant' atheists that I've been simply stumbling upon either around the web or in daily life. By militant I mean the following and nothing other then the following without any desire or intent to offend anyone:

1) Excessive rants about what they perceive to be 'religion'
2) Very emotional
3) Intelligent, Informed and respectable enough to be listened and responded to
4) Display some of the very same behavior they claim to oppose
5) In all cases they confuse religion with these institutions and their representatives, the doctrine and the deception that is present while totally forgetting to look for what it's really all about

I'm happy to see that my dear friend LX, as usual, has a very interesting and well informed opinion on the topic though we are in different camps on this one. (Cheers! LX!)

At the same time, I've seen a growing number of what I call "self indulging self proclaimed followers of the right path" who do very little of thinking on their own, simply repeat what they've been told, claim to know it all while making an enormous effort to look and show off better then anyone else, cleaner, more in tact with the spiritual world, innocent and disgusted by all the worldly 'sins'.

Now, copy/paste the five points about 'militant atheists' and it pretty muches perfectly matches the "self indulging self proclaimed followers of the right path".

Before I continue, I think it's only fair to clearly say that I am a Muslim, that I do believe in God and His Messengers, His Books and the Unseen(Hidden) world and that there is no God but Him and that Mohammed is His Messenger and His Servant.

I say that openly only for everyone to be clear where I'm coming from and without any preaching or any of the "HOLIER THAN YOU" attitude that is often demonstrated by "self indulging self proclaimed followers of the right path" found in every religion including Islam, Christianity, Judaism etc.. etc.. and also Atheism. I also will not hide behind mind tricks or loaded questions to realize any potential hidden agenda of mine. I'm merely here to state my opinion and belief in a as kind way as I can manage at this moment.

And yes, IMO, Atheism is a "religion" as any other "religion".

Now, for the last time, I'm not here to in any way insult or upset anyone. I'd also like to emphasize that I will not engage in answering questions coming from the overly popular challenges based on misinformed propaganda and out of the context examples of the so called discrimination in Islam nor will I be defending my self nor my religion from any potential challenges/claims/attitudes/opinions that are coming from ill will and misinformation. I have been in these situations many times before it's just simply waste of time. So if anyone plans on doing any of this know that I simply will not be bothered to answer, go Google your stuff. Honest, polite, smart or informed questions and challenges on any topic are very welcome.

Here is some stuff I think is very important to understand if we are to progress in our individual understanding of the individual experience we are all having.

Religion and institutions as well as their representatives should never ever be confused in any way shape or form. There are as many religions as there are individuals, no matter how willing they might be to accept or admit that. Once more people understand that, their experience is unique to them and that their belief is like no other belief no matter how many people they might agree or disagree with, only then will we be able to really talk about religion in a comfortable way and attempt to understand it. To confuse the two is as idiotic, IMO, as to claim the earth is flat so the water wouldn't spill.

Doubt is part of the process, it is the investigative mind that is part of the engine that drives our mental/material/biological/spiritual/intellectual/conscious/unconscious development trough out the experience we commonly refer to as life. It is there for to be accepted as mean of progress in self upbringing and development. It is present and sometimes hidden but it is there.

Opinion without doubt is not an opinion for it has no chance to change nor even be challenged and as such it becomes a factor of mental and spiritual regression within the intimate domain while within the public domain it also manifests in more tangible, material ways of regression.

As the doubt is part of every single human being it is inherently part of every human product including the institutions be those the Government, the University or the [symbol] Church/Mosque/Synagogue/Any Temple[/symbol]. In every single point in history, where any of these or other large and powerful institutions were not facing enough doubt and challenge there has been instant atrocity. It is a direct manifest of how an ignored resource can lead to a disaster.

However, institutions that claim to represent a religion/faith become the easy targets simply because of their history, involvement in every part of our lives, directly or indirectly and mostly because in 99,99% of the cases they simply refuse challenge or doubt and more often than not with a "How dare you", "Holier then you" mentality. This, probably showing they deserve a lot of flack. Lately, these are using or the hoopla to their advantage in an attempt to portray themselves as victims.

The fact is, governments are equally as bad and in fact worse trough out history especially since a lot of people actually think they can influence their government while not seeing how they have been taken on a well planned ride where the few improve and the many suffer. That is a totally different topic, on fringe of conspiracy (theory) that I have no intent to further get in to... for the time being.

Also, schools and universities invest a lot in their own means of indoctrination and are becoming more immune to any kind of challenge than any government or "cleric conglomerate." The scientific progress of the global society has basically stopped for some time now and it has only to do with the exact same ignoring of a valuable resource, probably on purpose. There are many glorious scientific reports that promise a better new world but it has all remained in the drawers, on papers, journals etc.. etc.. yet nothing of significance or substance. It is astonishing fact that most of the progress in today science is driven strictly by and for profit. On that is hasn't always been a part of it but never, IMO, at this magnitude.

Yet, all of the focus on the source of bad remains on religion, most of the time while all these corrupt individuals get to shield themselves with their mantels and suits and ties and offices and what not.

Being as hardheaded Bosnian as they come, it was basically impossible for me to get behind any of this and follow it blindly like so many people are doing. And here's why.

The experience called life is so amazing and so full of opportunities and dimensions that it's really stupid to not think about what it's all about. Most of the people fall in two traps that can be titled in a few ways or in as many ways as one may see fit. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindu, Atheist, Scientist, Materialists, Westerners, Easterners, Liberals, Communists, Democrats, Thief, Policeman, Lawyers etc.. etc... Pick any two. And I'm not talking about mere labels stuck on people based on education/opinion/value system/career/belief. I'm talking about self inflected experience mutilations that are solely based on frustration with "the other camp".

In this, a lot of religious folks deny and oppose science, evolution, progress and improvement in most surreal manner with such a strong and directed drive that it's almost impossible to comprehend. Almost.

A lot of scientists will display the very same behavior exchanging science, evolution, progress and improvement with religion, belief, spirituality etc..etc..

All of it, simply based on frustration with the other camp. AND IT HAS PRODUCED NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE! NOTHING AT ALL! FROM ANY OF THESE!

The reason is, people deny themselves the beauty of an immense amount of amazing experience. Radicals get to lose out on all the beauty of math and physics and chemistry and what not. Other Radicals get to lose on all the beauty of infinite rhythm and manifestation of spirituality. Third Radicals lose on both and fall in to passive walk through of their experience. etc etc.

Idiotic that we think so high of ourselves to choose what is right and what is wrong in such short period of time in such a huge sweeps that we basically cut down our own wings.

In all of this, I have come to a conclusion that there has been one way for me, personally to deal with this and that is, open the mind to the challenge and to the ever growing information overload. And filter what I enjoy and what I feel is feeding my desire for information, for discussion, for spiritual fulfillment. And my choice for some time now has simply been Islam and what I know of it as a filter of high quality information and feeds that are helping me improve to where I want to be. I've taken the trip back in my past and felt bad for all the opportunities I missed, all the things I never learned for no reason and those are the things I could have a use of right now.

But, instead of dwelling on the past, my religion has become for me the path that I try to walk on and ask questions and be challenged and discover and enjoy and love and everything for if I had known only things that I have been told and nothing on my own and had it remained this way I would still be dwelling upon all the stuff I wish I had done differently.

A religion is a way to move forward not an institution that will "tell you" where you need to go, what you need to do. This has been created by the clero-fascist all over the world who simply are corrupt and abuse the honest people out of their very own, individual religion. For people to massively bill the atrocities committed by these ego maniacs to religion is a sure fire way to disaster. Not because the sky will fall or earth will open but because so many people are denying themselves such an invaluable quality of experience that they are simply being mutilated by their own hand.

I have experienced wonderful things trough both the east and west, the science and the religion, the material and the immaterial that I simply can't mentally or spiritually afford my self to be a blind follower of one camp while excluding the other.

It is therefore stupid, IMO, to give up on anything based out of frustration and half informations. Be it science, religion, love for humanity, the world we live in the world we can't see the amazing music from around the globe be it Nick Cave or Omar Faruk Tekbilek or John Coltrane or Thelonius Monk or whomever all these wonderful dimensions that are simply there to be studied and challenged, loved and cherished, doubted and defended.

Excluding things simple does the individual a disservice. Not because of the punishment of an unknown debts but because of not reaching the unknown highs, simply remaining this file in the drawer with little if any real progress.

It's really simple in the end to understand that when fighing the evil, we should fight the individuals who are evil not whole nations or continents or groups or whomever. Only then can the evil be removed not from our country or planet but from within us because like it or not, each and everyone of us is so sinful and so desperate and stupid while at the same time being completely the opposite, this beautiful, amazing being. And since we are naturally like this, there's no need to further divide in the drawers and choose a side.
There's only one side and everything is possible on that side.

Until next time...

Peace!
elT is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 04:44 PM   #150 (permalink)
pensive

feat. Otto Neurath
 
Ligeia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,069
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someguy again View Post
simple evolution, we needed to invent it in mankinds early stages to keep us in check with the fear of a omnipresent being watching over us, but we are in the 21st century and will be growing out of it and use logic and reason to benefit humanity.

theres probably a god, but not a microinterventionist one.
I disagree with just about everything you said. Belief in god is not, so far as we know, a matter of simple evolution (usually this is a belief held by people that don't understand evolution). It's not clear to me that we ever needed to invent it, and I certainly don't think it was "invent[ed]...to keep us in check."

Obviously giving a causal explanation of religion is going to be difficult and will draw from many different disciplines, but I will give the least-reductive simple hypothesis I can propose. I will argue that it is the product of evolution, but not a necessary product of evolution. When you look at any organism, you're looking at a great deal of chance (filtered by non-random selection), so there is never a reason to assume that evolution will head towards a particular goal other than fitness (which is itself a very tricky concept).

What I would suggest is that there are psychological mechanisms that produce a wide array of behaviour. As more mechanisms are added and amplified, the behaviour produced changes. I would speculate that the very beginnings of religious belief are grounded in something simple (relatively speaking) like patternicity. What begins as a clear fitness advantage (recognizing false patterns is less harmful than failing to recognize true patterns) ends up producing a number of what might be called emergent or epiphenomenalist behaviours. A simple way of putting this might be to say that religion is not the direct product of anything, but rather a by-product of a number of psychological mechanisms which were beneficial for other reasons.

Also, I'm not sure that the question of god's existence is something you can say "probably" or "probably does not" exist, as I think that is implying some sort of probability calculation which I'd like to see the work on. Most Bayesian attempts, which I think have come closest, have utterly failed at being convincing.
Ligeia is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 05:09 PM   #151 (permalink)
pensive

feat. Otto Neurath
 
Ligeia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,069
Representing:
Default

I will leave with a brief critique of the most galling points in elT's response (some of which was ok, some of which wasn't):

Quote:
And yes, IMO, Atheism is a "religion" as any other "religion".
Which is absolutely laughable. Tell me: what are the contents of the concept called "atheism"? Atheism is a commentary on only one question (does god exist or not). Have you ever heard the phrase "Atheism is a religion like non-stamp-collecting is a hobby"?

Most of your argument is actually against naturalism, which is quite distinct from atheism (though many atheists are also naturalists).

Quote:
There are many glorious scientific reports that promise a better new world but it has all remained in the drawers, on papers, journals etc.. etc.. yet nothing of significance or substance. It is astonishing fact that most of the progress in today science is driven strictly by and for profit. On that is hasn't always been a part of it but never, IMO, at this magnitude.
Absolute garbage. For you to say that nothing of signifance or substance has happened in science of late only demonstrates how fundamentally ignorant of science you are. To take but one absolutely monumental discovery of the last couple decades: you don't think sequencing the human genome was of the utmost importance? I'd also wonder how closely you read any scientific papers (do you get your science from the media or the scientific journals?) because scientific papers are chock full of caution; very rarely do they make any claims about how revolutionary their research is. If you want to blame scientists for the work of science journalists in the popular media, I suppose that's your choice.

Quote:
A lot of scientists will display the very same behavior exchanging science, evolution, progress and improvement with religion, belief, spirituality etc..etc..
I don't see how you can call that the same behaviour. Would you say that someone passionate about bettering the world is exhibiting the same behaviour as someone passionate about destroying the world, just because they're both passionate?

Scientists are generally focused on what is empirically verifiable. Religion is the antithesis of empirically verifiable. Stop falsely equivocating the two so that you can produce your desired conclusion.

Quote:
Religion and institutions as well as their representatives should never ever be confused in any way shape or form.
Could you maybe do us both a favour and tell me what religion is, and how you determined that to be the case? I think you're ignoring all the etymology and sociological data that contradicts your view.

Last edited by Ligeia; 12-20-2010 at 05:18 PM.
Ligeia is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 05:13 PM   #152 (permalink)
pensive

feat. Otto Neurath
 
Ligeia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,069
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory View Post
Even the concept of God is perfectly logical from a pantheistic perspective. The totality of nature is our creator, why not refer to that as God? Who knows, Jesus could have been an atheist who defined God as nature itself. It's fine to refer to peaceful states of mind as heaven, and to create heaven on earth.
The term "god" imports a number of conceptions that have nothing to do with nature, because that's how the word god is generally used. Why not just call it nature?
Ligeia is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 05:37 PM   #153 (permalink)
pensive

feat. Otto Neurath
 
Ligeia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,069
Representing:
Default

One last thing (how many times have I said that) that is tremendously important to consider:

Since the dawn of modernity, great thinkers have predicted the impending demise of religion. Popular in sociology more than 100 years ago was secularization theory. Much as is being argued here, the theory predicted that as people got smarter and smarter that religious belief would decline, particularly in the public sphere. Peter Berger is a very notable sociologist who has argued that instead of secularization in modernity, you see pluralism: people go a little post-modernist and lean towards the perspective that every religion is, in some sense, equally valid, and often these folk believe that a fundamental problem with any particular religion will be group X who "pervert" what religion is really about ("and aren't we all after the same thing?").

The polling on religious numbers can be very misleading. I tend to agree with those who argue that the number of real atheists isn't increasing significantly; rather, the way the questions are asked combined with the type of impression a person would like to give ends up lumping a lot of "disenfranchised believers" into the non-religious category (because that person might choose not to identify with a particular church). In the US, for example, the number of atheists has been stuck at 5-6% for a while.
Ligeia is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2010, 07:23 PM   #154 (permalink)
Truth

Member
 
Cory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 257
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
The term "god" imports a number of conceptions that have nothing to do with nature
nature is creative. Nature is omnipotent. Nature is immortal. Nature/God is our origin and our destiny. To be enslaved to a particular facet is hell, to be be at one with all, is heaven. I know.

Last edited by Cory; 12-20-2010 at 07:28 PM.
Cory is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 11:37 AM   #155 (permalink)
elT
brainfarting keyboard eater

Dwane Casey kicks ass!
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 562
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
I will leave with a brief critique of the most galling points in elT's response (some of which was ok, some of which wasn't):

Which is absolutely laughable. Tell me: what are the contents of the concept called "atheism"? Atheism is a commentary on only one question (does god exist or not). Have you ever heard the phrase "Atheism is a religion like non-stamp-collecting is a hobby"?
And inherently all other questions coming from the main question. It is why these discussions always get out of hand. Perhaps it's insulting or uncomfortable for atheists to be called members of yet another religion but the behavior and the value system is there and it simply is what it is. And, atheists simply believe there is no God. To them there's a bunch of proof that it's so. To me there is a bunch of proof that God does exist. But, it's matter of faith in the end. Or lack there of. Depends on the side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
Most of your argument is actually against naturalism, which is quite distinct from atheism (though many atheists are also naturalists).
My argument is against excluding anything out of our lives, especially preemptively, as it directly makes us poorer in every single way, making our experience dramatically worse then what it could be. And yes that includes both doubt and faith, science and religion etc.. etc.. I'm both attacking and embracing everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
Absolute garbage. For you to say that nothing of signifance or substance has happened in science of late only demonstrates how fundamentally ignorant of science you are. To take but one absolutely monumental discovery of the last couple decades: you don't think sequencing the human genome was of the utmost importance? I'd also wonder how closely you read any scientific papers (do you get your science from the media or the scientific journals?) because scientific papers are chock full of caution; very rarely do they make any claims about how revolutionary their research is. If you want to blame scientists for the work of science journalists in the popular media, I suppose that's your choice.
I think sequencing the human genome is an excellent progress. It's simply amazing.

I wanted to make a point about sciences effect on our daily life. My intention was not to diminish everything scientists are doing but it seems I have done that in my previous post and I apologize for that, it just didn't come out right.

I'd say mostly from around web and yes that in fact means the media.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
I don't see how you can call that the same behaviour. Would you say that someone passionate about bettering the world is exhibiting the same behaviour as someone passionate about destroying the world, just because they're both passionate?

Scientists are generally focused on what is empirically verifiable. Religion is the antithesis of empirically verifiable. Stop falsely equivocating the two so that you can produce your desired conclusion.
I believe you haven't quite understood what I'm saying, hence the stupid loaded question and comment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
Could you maybe do us both a favour and tell me what religion is, and how you determined that to be the case? I think you're ignoring all the etymology and sociological data that contradicts your view.
From the start I'm saying there are as many religions as there are individuals in the world, meaning that once you strip away institution and the representatives, what's left is the religion. And that's how it should be.

When I look at a Canadian, I don't look at him/his trough his/her government or the actions of his/her government. That's the institution part of his/her citizenship. I'm more interested in the human, the individual. At that point, I forget I'm looking at a Canadian, just another human.

When I look at scientist, I'm not looking at his diploma or awards but again, the individual. etc.. etc..

etc..etc..etc

So, one I look at a Catholic Christian, I'm not looking at him trough the Pope, the Inquisition or whatever the Pope said last Sunday or any of that. I'm looking at the individual, ESPECIALLY when we are talking about religion.

So, just like with anything it comes down to that, the individual. That's why it is an individual matter IMO. The institutions are just parasites on a beautiful organism. I'd like them out of the picture.

Etymology:
Latin: religionem (nom. religio)
"Respect for what is sacred, reverence for God"
"Obligation, the bond between man and God"

Well, the etymology kind of supports what I'm saying. We don't need the institutions.
elT is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 06:45 PM   #156 (permalink)
pensive

feat. Otto Neurath
 
Ligeia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2,069
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
And inherently all other questions coming from the main question.
Not at all. There are atheists that believe they were specially created 5000 years ago (deny evolution) and atheists that believe in the supernatural (deny naturalism). Naturalism does entail atheism (if we agree that supernaturalism is a necessary condition for god), but atheism does not entail naturalism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
It is why these discussions always get out of hand. Perhaps it's insulting or uncomfortable for atheists to be called members of yet another religion but the behavior and the value system is there and it simply is what it is.
It's not insulting to me: it is a false, reductive, equivocation that should actually be more offensive to religious people than to atheists. There is absolutely no value system in atheism (part of the reason why it is so regularly attacked for having no value system!) because atheism doesn't talk about values at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
And, atheists simply believe there is no God. To them there's a bunch of proof that it's so.
Did you get that from reading or talking to atheists, or listening to your religionist friends?

Almost no atheist I have ever known has claimed that there is a bunch of proof that there is no god. Of the popular Western atheists right now, the only one that thinks there really is a case to be made against any gods existing is physicist Victor Stenger (so far as I know; biologist Richard Dawkins, for example, has gone so far as to say "There's probably no god"); the vast majority believe that there is insufficient merit to believe in a god or gods, not that they have any certainty that god does not exist. It's a question about the burden of proof, raised earlier in this thread in reference to Russell's Celestial Teapot. I'll quote it after a brief blurb of my own in your next part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
To me there is a bunch of proof that God does exist. But, it's matter of faith in the end. Or lack there of. Depends on the side.
Well, I encourage you to demonstrate that proof.

It's not a matter of faith for me at all, because I don't lack belief in god out of any faith whatsoever; I'm simply waiting for good arguments and evidence in support of it. Now here's Russell's Teapot:

"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time." - Bertrand Russell, Illustrated, unpublished 1952

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
My argument is against excluding anything out of our lives, especially preemptively, as it directly makes us poorer in every single way, making our experience dramatically worse then what it could be. And yes that includes both doubt and faith, science and religion etc.. etc.. I'm both attacking and embracing everyone.
A posteriori (and that is the situation most of us are in here), you could certainly have information that would warrant excluding something out of your life. Not everything is equally valuable, right, etc., especially in the light of evidence.


Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
I think sequencing the human genome is an excellent progress. It's simply amazing.

I wanted to make a point about sciences effect on our daily life. My intention was not to diminish everything scientists are doing but it seems I have done that in my previous post and I apologize for that, it just didn't come out right.

I'd say mostly from around web and yes that in fact means the media.
I recommend reading the actual papers from the journals as much as possible. The language is obviously more technical but gives you a much better picture of what the research actually says against the background of scientific information; that is a partial outcome of the peer-review process.

Anyways, I think the question of whether science has made a significant contribution to our everyday lives is mostly empirical, and I don't see how it could be denied that it has a more meaningful impact on us now than it ever has. You said there was "nothing of significance or substance" and that could only be described as hyperbole, although you could help clarify that by elucidating on your criteria for "signifiance or substance." Remember that you said this without any valuable justification or explanation:

"The scientific progress of the global society has basically stopped for some time now and it has only to do with the exact same ignoring of a valuable resource, probably on purpose."

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
I believe you haven't quite understood what I'm saying, hence the stupid loaded question and comment.
I read that part more carefully and see I took it somewhat out of context. The equivocation is still terrible, though. One group is against things that are empirically verifiable, and the other is against what is mostly mealy-mouthed nonsense. We can talk intelligibly about consciousness but fall into meaninglessness when we ponder the soul and what many call spirituality. I agree with you that dogmatic opposition is warrantless, but there aren't actually very many scientists who would disagree with us. Most I have spoken with border on po-mo when it comes to value judgements (they're not actively opposed to such judgements).


Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
From the start I'm saying there are as many religions as there are individuals in the world, meaning that once you strip away institution and the representatives, what's left is the religion. And that's how it should be.

When I look at a Canadian, I don't look at him/his trough his/her government or the actions of his/her government. That's the institution part of his/her citizenship. I'm more interested in the human, the individual. At that point, I forget I'm looking at a Canadian, just another human.
I don't begin from the position of "That person is a such and such so I must treat them in this way." However, if a person identifies themselves with a particular well-known dogma by name, am I to not take them at their word? For example, is it silly of me to assume that a person who identifies as a Catholic probably believes in transsubtantiation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
So, one I look at a Catholic Christian, I'm not looking at him trough the Pope, the Inquisition or whatever the Pope said last Sunday or any of that. I'm looking at the individual, ESPECIALLY when we are talking about religion.

So, just like with anything it comes down to that, the individual. That's why it is an individual matter IMO. The institutions are just parasites on a beautiful organism. I'd like them out of the picture.
But you see, Catholicism and the Pope is an especially bad example, because part of what it means to "be Catholic" is to believe that the Holy Spirit literally prevents the Catholic church from being fallible in some respects. If you don't believe that, you're not Catholic.

The institution is not literally the religion, but it is not to be ignored out of hand, either, just so that you can wave your hand at all the bad things that religious figures of authority have done and said. A core part of many religions is the deference to precisely those authorities!

Quote:
Originally Posted by elT View Post
Etymology:
Latin: religionem (nom. religio)
"Respect for what is sacred, reverence for God"
"Obligation, the bond between man and God"

Well, the etymology kind of supports what I'm saying. We don't need the institutions.
How does an atheist fit into that etymology?

If you believe that part of the bond between god and man involves insitutitions (as many do), then the institutions should certainly not be excluded from consideration.
Ligeia is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 09:04 PM   #157 (permalink)
the gat'll killya quicker, when I'm drunk off the liquor

The Mara sisters are hot!
 
Bill Haverchuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,865
Representing:
Default

@ elT

You warned people not to make ill informed statements about Islam, yet you proceeded to offer ill informed opinions regarding atheism. You wanted us to do research on Islam before speaking about it. Did you hold yourself to the same standard?

For the record, this video was posted a couple of pages back and was available for your viewing before you ever posted.

Bill Haverchuck is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 10:29 PM   #158 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

Senior Member
 
Superjudge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,593
Representing:
Default

wow, you guys sure can write a lot of really big posts about religion!

jesus!

HA!

See what I did there???? ahh, nevermind.
Superjudge is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2010, 11:01 PM   #159 (permalink)
elT
brainfarting keyboard eater

Dwane Casey kicks ass!
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 562
Representing:
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Haverchuck View Post
@ elT

You warned people not to make ill informed statements about Islam, yet you proceeded to offer ill informed opinions regarding atheism. You wanted us to do research on Islam before speaking about it. Did you hold yourself to the same standard?

For the record, this video was posted a couple of pages back and was available for your viewing before you ever posted.

Lack of belief in gods
First, I skipped over the video out of rush to respond. My bad. I've seen it now and will comment on it in a bit. I also skipped over the large portion of the thread. Perhaps I shouldn't have done that but... I simply didn't have the patience. I probably will not go back to read it all since I think it's more important for me to continue to discuss the current updates.

Second, I didn't warn, I simply made it clear that I will not answer to ill willed questions. What I meant was taking something out of context(e.g. a verse or a part of a verse from Qur'an) and posing it as a question companioned by a violent act by a Muslim. I've seen that done to me way many times and it just ruins the discussion.
My comments on atheism and atheists were not ill willed one bit, not even in the slightest. Might have been misinformed or uninformed and even that obviously wasn't intentional.

re: the video

Thank you, haven't seen it before. I formed my opinion "atheism being a religion of it's own" based on numerous discussions I have had with people proclaiming to be and making their argument for being atheist. I assumed, falsely it seems as the video now shows, that an atheists believes there is no God. But, as I didn't know what atheism really is it seems that a whole bunch of people who say they are atheists but are in fact not. Perhaps naturalists? Or whatever, I will have to look it up now.

I disagree with one claim in the video though and that is the part of "God needs worship". I have no idea where that comes from but it's certainly not the case in Islam, the opposite is quite clearly emphasized numerous times.

A lovely example of this comes from Rumi, please take time to read this:

Moses and Shepard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalal-e-Din Rumi
On the path Moses came upon a shepherd
His prayers with his God he overheard.
Where are you so your needs I can serve
Mend your shoes, your hair comb, curl & curve.
Wash your clothes, kill your lice, pick your nits
Bring you milk, while your Majesty just sits.
Kiss your lovely hands, and rub your tiny feet
When it is time to sleep, sweep your room, make it neat.
For you I will sacrifice all my goats
Thinking of you I shout and sing my notes.

The shepherd is this manner went on and on
Moses asked, who do you talk to my son?
Said to the only One who gave me birth
Did the same with the skies and this earth.
Said Moses, poor man, you just ruined your luck
Not yet found God, infidel, you are stuck.
You blaspheme, you babble such idle talk
Gag yourself, inside your mouth stick a sock.
Of your blasphemy, the whole world now stinks
Piety in mire and muck now sinks.
Sandals and leggings are what you deserve
Wanting all these for the One, you have some nerve.
If at once you do not hold your tongue
Fire and brimstone will burn so strong
If there is no fire, then whence the smoke?
Soul is blackened and spirit is broke.
Did you know that God himself will be the Judge?
Your belief and insolence will make him grudge.
Mindless friendship is no more than enmity
God has such servant for as long as eternity.
Who do you think you address? Uncle or aunt?
For Glorious One, body and need don't count.
He who drinks milk needs to be growing up
Shoes are but for the feet that need to walk or hop.
If you speak of these, say for creatures
What God said, he is me, I, his features.
He who thus speaks, will roll in disease
As well as he, I too have lost my ease.
He who has lost hearing as well as sight
This disease is much worse, with endless fright.
If you call him Fatima, a woman's name
Though in creation, they are both the same
Will seek vengeance with blood, and will blame
Although compassionate, kind and perhaps tame.
Fatima, for a woman is only praise
For a man, spear wound, set ablaze.
Arms and legs our features define and paint
Yet for Almighty God, pollute and taint.
What the Almighty deserves is only praise
Parent & child, he will give birth and raze.
Whatever has a body, birth must own
And what is born, on this side is thrown.
Everything in existence in this world
Is caused and no doubt will unfold.

Said, Moses, you have now cut my tongue
I repent, cause you have made my soul wrong.
Rent his own shirt, steamed and sighed
Unto the arid desert fled and cried.

God's voice came to Moses at that time
Separating our lovers is a crime.
You have come with the purpose to join & heal
Not sever and differences reveal.
Keep away with all your might from making part
Creatures begrudge each other and depart.
To each I have given a unique face
And a way to express and embrace.
For him all my praise , for you the blame
For him all sweetness, poison your game.
We transcend cleanliness and things vile
Tardiness, agility, foolishness, guile.
I do not profit from what I demand
For their own goodness comes every command.

Hindis in their own tongue God will praise
Sindis in prayer their arms will raise.
I do not become cleansed from counting beads
Rosary clears and lightens their needs.
We do not hear complaints of their ordeal
We look inside & see what their souls reveal.
We observe and can see the humble heart
Although much arrogance tongue may impart.
Since the heart is the essence, to transform
It's motive, to give birth to shape and form.
How many words, adjectives and metaphors
I want fire, burn with fire, burn in scores.
Fire of Love sets your heart and soul ablaze
Every thought and every word scorch, erase.
Moses, although proper and nice may be some
Others with soul on fire may have come.
The lovers, with each breath once again burn
In a ruined city, you can't tax and earn.
If his word is wrong, do not say that he lies
Washing the martyr's blood, purpose defies.
This blood, every water will exceed
This sin supersedes every good deed.
Inside the Kaaba, which way to face?
Footwear for the diver has no place.
Guidance of he drunkards do not seek
Of mending shirts to renders don't speak.
Nation of Love is other than religion
For Lovers, God is nation, faith and region.
Without love, those ruby lips are just a fad
In the ocean of sorrows love ain't sad.

In Moses' head God then planted the seed
Of hidden secrets that no mind could breed
With many stories, his heart would feed
That sound and sight and sense easily exceed.
Any more explanation is just insane
Giving more information will be in vain.
If I say, it will uproot every mind
If I write, pen after pen it will grind.

When Moses heard the Lord's harsh reprimand
Ran after the old shepherd over the sand.
Footprints of the shepherd he would trace
Dust and wind of the desert gladly brace.
Agitated steps of one like he
Apart from other prints one can see.
One step, just like a rook, straight and long
Another, just like a knight, aside flung.
Sometimes will rise up, like a tall wave
Other times, like a crawling fish behave
Sometimes writes of his state upon the sand
Like a fortune-teller, opening his hand.
Finally Moses found him, ended his search
With good tidings for shepherd to rest and perch.
Seek no ceremony, system or rule
To deny your aching heart will be cruel.
Your blasphemy is faith, light of the soul
You are saved, and the world is in control.
You are exempt from the rules of the Lord
Opening your heart and soul, you can afford.

Said, Moses this too, I have passed by
I drown in bloody tears that I cry.
I've long passed that intoxicant tree
Hundred thousand years back, was set free.
I cracked my whip and my horse returned
Made this great dome that fate overturned.
Keeper of worldly secrets is the divine
I hail the very hands that made mine.
Yet now, my state defies speech
nay, not mine, it's out of reach.
The image in the mirror that you see
Is your own reflection, and not me.
The breath that all breathers inhale
Is worthy of the lungs, yet souls fail.
If you praise or say thanks in loud cries
Like the old shepherd, you will see your demise.
Even if all your praises are better
Compared to God's mercy, they won't matter.
Say no more, cause when the veil is pulled aside
Whatever they thought was, will not abide.
God accepts you praises from his grace
Permits you to pray, while a stone you face.
His prayers with blood are entwined
Your praise, impure images have defined.
Blood may be vile, yet in water dissolves
But impurities of soul, nothing resolves.
This can be cleaned only by god's grace
Else remains inside the man of disgrace.
In prostration I wish you turned your face
Understood meaning of divine grace.
How can I praise when my soul I taint?
Unless I punish evil with the goodness of a saint.
This earth, just like God, is kind and meek
Absorbs every dirt, yet flowers peak.
Till it covers evils in its mud
Instead, it yields flowers that bud.
Infidel surrendered his life in trust
Became worthless, descended lower than dust.
His essence flower and fruit did not yield
Gave up evil to earth, and his goodness shield.
Said I've gone backwards, in going away

I envy dirt and dust, the price I pay
I wish I'd never risen from clay
Like clay, with seeds I'd rather play.
This journey my soul has tested and tried
What gains this journey brought to my side?
He desires to return to the clay
he who sees no benefits coming his way.
To turn back, is nothing but his greed
To go forth, can only stem from his need.
Each plant that is seeking to reach its height
Increase, vitality, growth its right.
Whenever it turns around towards the earth
Will face draught, disease, even dearth.
And when your soul is looking above
It can only increase in its love;
If you look towards the earth for your wage
You're a bird that is trapped inside a cage.

Ligeia, I'm answering to you in a minute...

edit: Sorry Ligeia, will answer a bit later, kind of busy now. I really want to contribute to the discussion and it's taking a lot of time to properly answer all of these.
However, before I surf-off the forum I'd just like to point out that though my wording and perhaps tone might not have sounded like that, I'm really not trying to judge any of you, label any of you or simply blame any of you. I'll, hopefully, make my self a lot clearer in the future as it seems my lack of proper expressions has caused some misunderstanding here. (Foreign language doesn't help in that regard one bit though...) My bad, but it wouldn't be worthy if the discussion was easy.

Peace

Last edited by elT; 12-21-2010 at 11:26 PM.
elT is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 12:54 AM   #160 (permalink)
is pounding the rock!

Senior Member
 
Superjudge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 17,593
Representing:
Default

oh my.

I'm certainly with CORY on this one.....
Superjudge is offline   Boss Key Wife Key Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright RaptorsForum.com 2005-2011

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24