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Judgement Day and We Can Know: What the hell?

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Guek wrote: »
    Enig wrote: »
    They're supposed to take it on faith that the truth claimed by their religion is, in fact, true.

    Yes but your supposition that people of faith aren't allowed to question, analyze, and try to further understand that truth is wrong.

    Only in an absolutist assertion, but it's not an incorrect statement to attribute that quality to the large swath of dangerous fundamentalist elements in all religions.

    I mean, anyone strapping a bomb to themselves to blow up a bus probably really needs to believe that 72 virgins are waiting for him.

  • GuekGuek Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Guek wrote: »
    Enig wrote: »
    They're supposed to take it on faith that the truth claimed by their religion is, in fact, true.

    Yes but your supposition that people of faith aren't allowed to question, analyze, and try to further understand that truth is wrong.

    Only in an absolutist assertion, but it's not an incorrect statement to attribute that quality to the large swath of dangerous fundamentalist elements in all religions.

    I mean, anyone strapping a bomb to themselves to blow up a bus probably really needs to believe that 72 virgins are waiting for him.

    Ah, for sure. I'm not saying that it doesn't happen.

  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Enig wrote: »
    They're supposed to take it on faith that the truth claimed by their religion is, in fact, true.

    Again, you're generalizing from a single strain of religion to all religions. You might as well just say they're atheoi. And you're assuming that tenets of faith cannot be questioned somehow.

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  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    mythago wrote: »
    Enig wrote: »
    They're supposed to take it on faith that the truth claimed by their religion is, in fact, true.

    Again, you're generalizing from a single strain of religion to all religions. You might as well just say they're atheoi. And you're assuming that tenets of faith cannot be questioned somehow.

    Right, and then one either accepts or denies the tenet of faith as true, thus creating anew religious outlook.

    One doesn't question a tenant of faith, determine you have no faith in it, then keep following it.

    Either one has faith in the religion and follows it or one does not, questioning it is a transitory step towards re-accepting the religion, moving to another one or creating some modified form of the original minus the things that are no longer believed in.

    Saying one follows a religion when questioning some of it's basic foundations is, I don't know, self deceptive.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    mythago wrote: »
    Enig wrote: »
    They're supposed to take it on faith that the truth claimed by their religion is, in fact, true.

    Again, you're generalizing from a single strain of religion to all religions. You might as well just say they're atheoi. And you're assuming that tenets of faith cannot be questioned somehow.

    Right, and then one either accepts or denies the tenet of faith as true, thus creating anew religious outlook.

    One doesn't question a tenant of faith, determine you have no faith in it, then keep following it.

    Either one has faith in the religion and follows it or one does not, questioning it is a transitory step towards re-accepting the religion, moving to another one or creating some modified form of the original minus the things that are no longer believed in.

    Saying one follows a religion when questioning some of it's basic foundations is, I don't know, self deceptive.


    I don't think I understand completely the point being made here.

    Is it in general saying that because I don't personally ascribe to all of the tenets of Judaism (Working on the sabbath, I don't keep as kosher as possible, I go outside without my hair covered) that I'm not really Jewish, but I'm some self-made version of some new religion that's based on Judaism, but it's not really Judaism?

    It's like, Ahavaism?

    Is that what's being stated, because if so, then ok, I can go with that. It's a bit silly that it would need to be that either/or black/white type of thing, but I can go with my own faith. I sometimes even describe it like that, when in a deep conversation about such things. My beliefs are based in the Jewish upbringing and faith, but have adapted to fit myself over the years. That's cool and I have no problems saying that I have my own faith.

    But, it gets problematic when trying to discuss religion in a more broad sense. Like a generic situation where you're just getting to know people. Or, for example, when the Mormons come knocking on my door. It's so much easier to say, "no thank you, I'm jewish" than it is to say "No, thank you, I'm Ahavaist" Because on the first one, they'll leave you alone. The second one tend to get much much more complex.

    Kinda like (and I know I'm gonna start a shitstorm here and if anybody wants to yell at me for my poor understanding, which I will admit I have, I will be happy to talk about it in PMs) sexual identity. You have your generic identity that you can give to somebody in the world at large and they will understand what you mean. Straight, Bi, Gay, Lesbian, Asexual, Transgender. Your LGBT labels. Most people in the world understand those labels. They give a good starting point from which you can get an idea of who a person is and then branch out from there. But nobody is going to get down to the minute details of your sexual preferences and self-identification if they're not into you, or the conversation.

    It's similar with religions (imho). I say that I'm Jewish. You say that you're an atheist. We now have a basic level of understanding from which to further discuss topics knowing where the other person is most likely coming from. There's no need for you to know that at times I will look up at the Thunderclouds and ask Grandfather Heno (native american) to bring the rain. There's no need for me to know which branch of atheism you ascribe to, or if you really just haven't given it much thought.

    This whole can't be one without every detail is just boggling to me. Nobody is going to be a perfect anything, whether it's Jew, Homosexual, or Atheist, something somewhere will be missing. And the idea that you can't use the basic everyday familiar term to describe yourself to others because you're not a perfect example of that religion, or you may not believe everything about it.. that just seems rude and a needless point of tension between all sides.



    I could, of course, be reading that wrong and I'm just responding to the 'no true catholic' things that i've seen over and over and over again in these kinds of threads. If I am reading it wrong, I apologize.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Either one has faith in the religion and follows it or one does not, questioning it is a transitory step towards re-accepting the religion, moving to another one or creating some modified form of the original minus the things that are no longer believed in.

    Seriously, you need to educate yourself about the fact that not all religions are exactly like fundamentalist Christianity with more or less quantities of Jesus. Because that's all you're describing: a particular religion that is rooted in unquestioning faith, and one either adheres 100% to that faith or GTFO.

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  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Sorry, I did not mean to imply that every tenant of every faith was unshakable and had to be believed to be part of it, the context that this was being talked about was in terms of fundamentalist (apocalyptic) Christianity, where basically everything being said is based directly on a core tenant of the faith. Yes, if you are questioning a small part you are questioning the whole thing in a fundamentalist context.

    In terms of other religions, I understand that there are many beliefs which are not central to the faith. There is room for interpretations and differences in many areas. However, there are still core beliefs which if questioned and rejected or reinterpreted would make it a different faith. This is why there are splits between religions and different sects and orders and such, to differentiate the different belief systems which till hold some things in common.

    My point is that if you question the truths of your religion and come up with different answers then you HAVE modified your religion to some extent. Most religions have a great deal of leeway on what beliefs one can have before no longer being a part of it. However if you reject fundamental parts of it (the idea of god, sin and salvation, the books it is based on) then it is a different religion or the meaning of differences between them are lost.

    My point was that even if one can question, analyze and further understand the truths of a faith, once one leaves certain boundaries it does become a different religion if one accepts the new interpretations. So there are some things that one simply must accept if your going to be part of a particular faith.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus IT'S DARE! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Compassion for your fellow man is not comparable to believing in any sort of deity. To say they are both matters of faith and therefore equivalent is as disingenuous as to say that both creationism and evolution require faith and so they are equally valid.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    My point was that even if one can question, analyze and further understand the truths of a faith, once one leaves certain boundaries it does become a different religion if one accepts the new interpretations. So there are some things that one simply must accept if your going to be part of a particular faith.

    "Things that one simply must accept" != "articles of faith". That's where you and Enig keep getting stuck.

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  • EnigEnig a.k.a. Ansatz Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    This seems to be getting way off track.

    The actual point of what I originally said was not about judging who is and isn't worthy of being called religious. If it makes it more clear, my statement was essentially applied to religions which have a god/gods (or similar "absolute" concept). I think that is fair given the actual topic of this thread. Note that is not an implied dismissal of other types of religions, so please stop being offended.

    I am also quite aware that it is possible for religious people to question all or part of their faith. That doesn't mean there aren't absolute truths at the core (such as God in Christianity and Judaism, for example).

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think the phrase, "questioning one's faith," needs to be better delineated in this thread.

    In the context of being a verb, a la, the act of questioning one's faith, well, some sects may frown on that, but who's going to stop you, really? I've known people while growing up in the deeply fundamental parts of the South that became angry and dissonant when you broached the subject of questioning faith, so obviously there people out there uncomfortable with anything but taking the Bible (and more likely, their preacher) as verbatim spiritual truth.

    However, if we're talking about one's position on generally-accepted tenets of faith (for whatever dogmatic sect), I'm not sure you can land on "questioning," certainly regarding some core elements, and maintain your self-identification within that sect (at least from a functional and/or technical regard).

    To wit:

    All but the most fundamentalist of ecclesiastical scholars and reverends would be just peachy with someone within their sect arguing the factuality of certain stories within the Bible/Torah/Koran, like Genesis or Job. Those stories have long been argued as metaphor or parable, and one's "legitimacy" as a religious person is rarely requisite upon believing of these highly improbable tales.

    However, one's legitimacy is certainly tested if the same is said about, say, Moses' deliverance of the Hebrews and the Ten Commandments, or Jesus' divine instruction and resurrection. Those stories are at the very heart of their respective faiths, and without them it no longer becomes "faith," but more something else benign, like philosophy.


    TL;DR - If by "questioning" we mean the act of sorting out a religious opinion, it's fairly moot to argue whether or not it can or should be done, because no one is stopping you. If, however, we mean instead "reserve doubts regarding scriptural validity," then that can perhaps preclude someone's religious status in specific instances.

  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    All but the most fundamentalist of ecclesiastical scholars and reverends would be just peachy with someone within their sect arguing the factuality of certain stories within the Bible/Torah/Koran, like Genesis or Job. Those stories have long been argued as metaphor or parable, and one's "legitimacy" as a religious person is rarely requisite upon believing of these highly improbable tales.

    However, one's legitimacy is certainly tested if the same is said about, say, Moses' deliverance of the Hebrews and the Ten Commandments, or Jesus' divine instruction and resurrection. Those stories are at the very heart of their respective faiths, and without them it no longer becomes "faith," but more something else benign, like philosophy.


    TL;DR - If by "questioning" we mean the act of sorting out a religious opinion, it's fairly moot to argue whether or not it can or should be done, because no one is stopping you. If, however, we mean instead "reserve doubts regarding scriptural validity," then that can perhaps preclude someone's religious status in specific instances.

    The silly goosery, it burns.

    YET AGAIN, you are taking a particular religious model - Christianity, which is entirely faith-based - and mapping it to other religions (or the 'Abrahamic' ones, if we're trying to sound all inclusive) as if they were the same model. And YET AGAIN, you choose to ignore where the model doesn't fit or is completely contradicted, because you have a Unified Field Theory of Theism that you're very fond of.

    The literal belief in Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt as a historical act as described in Exodus is not "at the very heart" of Judaism, and it's certainly not in any way analogous to the Christian tenet that Jesus was divine and was resurrected.

    TL;DR: it's alternately very annoying and amusing to listen to people (whether they are Internet Atheists or fundamentalist Christians) try to explain that they, not I, know exactly what my religious tradition is all about, and it's just like Christianity only with better food and less Jesus.

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  • zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    So, what religions are you referring to that aren't faith based, mythago?

    Because I would join up right this minute if there were any evidence based religions. Like, do they have do-it-yourself home miracle kits to prove the veracity of their claims? Unless you're counting philosophies which happen to have religious roots, like certain sects of Buddhism or Taoism.

  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    mythago wrote: »
    All but the most fundamentalist of ecclesiastical scholars and reverends would be just peachy with someone within their sect arguing the factuality of certain stories within the Bible/Torah/Koran, like Genesis or Job. Those stories have long been argued as metaphor or parable, and one's "legitimacy" as a religious person is rarely requisite upon believing of these highly improbable tales.

    However, one's legitimacy is certainly tested if the same is said about, say, Moses' deliverance of the Hebrews and the Ten Commandments, or Jesus' divine instruction and resurrection. Those stories are at the very heart of their respective faiths, and without them it no longer becomes "faith," but more something else benign, like philosophy.


    TL;DR - If by "questioning" we mean the act of sorting out a religious opinion, it's fairly moot to argue whether or not it can or should be done, because no one is stopping you. If, however, we mean instead "reserve doubts regarding scriptural validity," then that can perhaps preclude someone's religious status in specific instances.

    The silly goosery, it burns.

    YET AGAIN, you are taking a particular religious model - Christianity, which is entirely faith-based - and mapping it to other religions (or the 'Abrahamic' ones, if we're trying to sound all inclusive) as if they were the same model. And YET AGAIN, you choose to ignore where the model doesn't fit or is completely contradicted, because you have a Unified Field Theory of Theism that you're very fond of.

    The literal belief in Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt as a historical act as described in Exodus is not "at the very heart" of Judaism, and it's certainly not in any way analogous to the Christian tenet that Jesus was divine and was resurrected.

    TL;DR: it's alternately very annoying and amusing to listen to people (whether they are Internet Atheists or fundamentalist Christians) try to explain that they, not I, know exactly what my religious tradition is all about, and it's just like Christianity only with better food and less Jesus.

    At some point your particular sect of Judaism demands belief in the divine, does it not? Most sects do, and while the exact instances within scripture that these demands appear can be malleable, they are there regardless.

    Because that's all I'm saying. You particular faith can (and surely does) have its own rituals and interpretations, but somewhere within are dogmatic statements regarding divinity and/or divine instruction. Those are the lynchpins of anyone's religious beliefs, and are certainly prominent in Abrahamic faiths. Without them, it's simply not religion, except in the barest, universalist kind of way. At best you're promoting a vague appeal to spiritualism; that's not religion.


    And don't get your dander up. I'm not attacking you (or anyone else's) religious position. My post wasn't even specifically directed at you.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    So it's only a religion if it requires dogmatic adherance to beliefs in divinity? And, by extension, only dogmatic, theistic beliefs can be called religious? That's a very....narrow view, I guess you could say. Hell, even constricting a definition of religion down to only personal beliefs is probably overly restrictive.

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    So it's only a religion if it requires dogmatic adherance to beliefs in divinity? And, by extension, only dogmatic, theistic beliefs can be called religious? That's a very....narrow view, I guess you could say. Hell, even constricting a definition of religion down to only personal beliefs is probably overly restrictive.

    Maybe it can support a definition less restrictive, but I would wager to say that for something to be "religious" it does require a divine element which can possibly be debated as to its exact value, but not outright denied.

    Simply, it's that a religion has to have a divine component. Dogma is usually inherent (depending on arrangement of divine structures), but not wholly requisite.

    I think what mythago was arguing, and he's free to correct me, is that subscription to the divine is not necessarily inseparable from being "religious," and that one can self-identify with a religion (or faith, or belief, or whatever) and still denounce (or "question") its divine instruction or origination.


    A position that I feel is baloney.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I'm really curious about what precludes, say, a deist religion as opposed to a theist one? If there isn't anything, then your 'divine element' necessary for religion is a pretty meaningless statement - you could choose anything for that up to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

    For that matter, why must the religion itself be based on the beliefs regarding a god or gods? Hell, you could argue that much of Christianity is based more on a belief concerning human nature (we are irredeemable without intervention) than the statement that 'God exists', or even that the belief that God exists follows from the need for outside intervention instead of the other way around.

    As far as I can tell there's no reason you can't have a non-transcendental religion, unless you define 'religion' specifically to preclude such a thing.

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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    So it's only a religion if it requires dogmatic adherance to beliefs in divinity? And, by extension, only dogmatic, theistic beliefs can be called religious? That's a very....narrow view, I guess you could say. Hell, even constricting a definition of religion down to only personal beliefs is probably overly restrictive.
    A position under which fall between 70% and 90% of the world's population is hardly narrow.

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  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    So it's only a religion if it requires dogmatic adherance to beliefs in divinity? And, by extension, only dogmatic, theistic beliefs can be called religious? That's a very....narrow view, I guess you could say. Hell, even constricting a definition of religion down to only personal beliefs is probably overly restrictive.
    A position under which fall between 70% and 90% of the world's population is hardly narrow.
    It is in the sense that 'dogmatic theism' is one of dozens of philisophical positions regarding the existence of God that could be taken, and that the existance of God is not the only thing upon which religious practices could be based. Most life is ultimately dependent on solar energy in some form for example, but you would never say that colonies of simple life that rely on geothermal energy are not life because it's not fueled by the same source as 90+% of other life forms.

    There seems to be a lot of self-serving definition going on in here. By your definitions sects like Unitarians don't even exist, and the idea of a non-creedal church is impossible. This would probably be a surprise to the Quakers, for example. There are many places that have a minimum bar of 'believe something is worth worshipping', whether that belief is theistic or deistic or patheistic (with the Quakers being an example). The neo-pagan thing is an extreme example of this; I think you can believe literally anything about God and be in that religion, all the way from 'there isn't one' to 'I am one', because they don't consider it to be all that important and are incredibly fractured and basically any nutter can self identify (and many do).

    Thinking a religion is stupid does not mean it's not a religion. And thinking it's *not* stupid doesn't make it not a religion.

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think we should pass a rule that if you have to use Unitarian Universalism to support an argument that you automatically lose.

    It's the Godwin of religious debate.

  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    MikeMan wrote: »
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    So it's only a religion if it requires dogmatic adherance to beliefs in divinity? And, by extension, only dogmatic, theistic beliefs can be called religious? That's a very....narrow view, I guess you could say. Hell, even constricting a definition of religion down to only personal beliefs is probably overly restrictive.
    A position under which fall between 70% and 90% of the world's population is hardly narrow.
    It is in the sense that 'dogmatic theism' is one of dozens of philisophical positions regarding the existence of God that could be taken, and that the existance of God is not the only thing upon which religious practices could be based. Most life is ultimately dependent on solar energy in some form for example, but you would never say that colonies of simple life that rely on geothermal energy are not life because it's not fueled by the same source as 90+% of other life forms.

    There seems to be a lot of self-serving definition going on in here. By your definitions sects like Unitarians don't even exist, and the idea of a non-creedal church is impossible. This would probably be a surprise to the Quakers, for example. There are many places that have a minimum bar of 'believe something is worth worshipping', whether that belief is theistic or deistic or patheistic (with the Quakers being an example). The neo-pagan thing is an extreme example of this; I think you can believe literally anything about God and be in that religion, all the way from 'there isn't one' to 'I am one', because they don't consider it to be all that important and are incredibly fractured and basically any nutter can self identify (and many do).

    Thinking a religion is stupid does not mean it's not a religion. And thinking it's *not* stupid doesn't make it not a religion.
    First, I never offered a definition of religion so I don't know where you're getting that.

    Second, I'd just like to address the main thrust of this post.

    You seem to be saying that people who are defining religion to include the vast majority of religious people are somehow committing a grave error. In reality they are merely framing the debate in the most appropriate way. Are there philosophical and theological positions that do not require a belief in the miraculous or divine without evidence? Of course. But are they relevant to a discussion of religion as it is practiced by most human beings on this planet? Not really. And it's not a grave error to treat an incredible minority position as if it is less than relevant on the world stage.

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  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I didn't have to; any non-creedal faith would do. I made another example with Quakers in the next sentence, and pagans at the end which....well, paganism might be a better example of a 'religious Godwin' since saying someone is a pagan doesn't really imply jack shit about anything regarding their religious beliefs, practices, culture, etc.

    [Edit]
    And I was responding to the claim that no religion can even exist that doesn't center around theistic beliefs. That has nothing to do with what percentage of religions or religious people hold those beliefs; it's just a transparent attempt to demonize *all* religion because of your dislike of a subset of practicioners of *some* religions.

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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    it's just a transparent attempt to demonize *all* religion because of your dislike of a subset of practicioners of *some* religions.
    Again, the majority of the majority is only a subset of some in the most backhanded doublespeak.

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    MikeMan wrote: »
    You seem to be saying that people who are defining religion to include the vast majority of religious people are somehow committing a grave error. In reality they are merely framing the debate in the most appropriate way. Are there philosophical and theological positions that do not require a belief in the miraculous or divine without evidence? Of course. But are they relevant to a discussion of religion as it is practiced by most human beings on this planet? Not really. And it's not a grave error to treat an incredible minority position as if it is less than relevant on the world stage.

    This, completely.

    One the things that bugs me so much about the debate and discussion over religion is that at some point it always wrecks upon the shoals of someone blustering off about how so-and-so's argument is invalid because their definitions ignore the Unitarians/pagans/Quakers/furries/techno-druids/what-the-fuck-ever.

    I here-forth assure everyone that I have no interest in discussing the ramifications of divine belief w/r/t extreme fringe groups, nor do I feel that any opinion upon them (from within that group or without) has any real relevance in the context of broader religious discussion.


    I do not mind, however, discussing the nuance of religious definition with parties who support and/or self-identify with those religions.

  • ACSISACSIS Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think what mythago was arguing, and he's free to correct me, is that subscription to the divine is not necessarily inseparable from being "religious," and that one can self-identify with a religion (or faith, or belief, or whatever) and still denounce (or "question") its divine instruction or origination.


    A position that I feel is baloney.

    Imagine there is a truth. We don't need to discuss details here, it doesn't matter. Knowledge of this truth gives those who realize its lesson the ability to act wisely and steer clear of some rougher cliffs of society. Something truly useful.

    Some people will claim its (and maybe they are right, who can tell?) a divine path of higher wisdom to turn life and/or society into something better.

    There always will be those who follow the particular truth because they realize the social value and follow it for that reason. They realize that the individual is the smallest part of the society and realize the responsibility each individual has as part of the society as such. They might belive in a divine being or NOT... because thats not where their motivation comes from. They take the concept to heart because its comperable to avoiding shooting a bullet through your foot. They need no devil to haunt them to stop doing it nor a divine offering as reward. They are perfectly happy with a non-shot foot.

    Interestingly both paths lead to the same conclusions. The path doesn't matter in the end.
    I found that realization incredibly illuminating.

    Why argue about the messenger when the important thing is the message?

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ACSIS wrote: »
    Why argue about the messenger when the important thing is the message?

    Because those who choose to follow the message because they believe it is good are more capable of choosing to stop following it when it ceases to be good, while those who choose to follow it because they believe it is divine are less capable of ceasing to believe that it is divine when it ceases to be good.

  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ACSIS wrote: »
    Why argue about the messenger when the important thing is the message?

    Because this is a discussion specifically regarding whether or not the messenger can be argued over.

    While I agree that using "religion" as a personal philosophy projected onto one's interaction with society can (and does) achieve desirable results, that doesn't omit the discussion of:
    - using religion in this manner still disqualifies it from actually being a religon, and
    - this is still parsing out the fringe exceptions that prove the rule.



    I know that it's widely assumed that the internet is populated by atheists, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's not equally populated by religious contortionists.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The majority of the majority absolutely IS a subset. Hell, it's not even necessarily a majority subset of the entire population. I have no problem with claiming that membership in most religious systems implies something regarding belief in the nature or existence of God (hence my earlier comment re:pagans). I do have a problem with stating that membership in any religion implies specific beliefs in that area.

    What you're really claiming is that you can use religion as a shorthand for theism and that holding theistic beliefs implies something regarding an individual's ability to reason in other areas of their lives. I think you're also saying this is somehow dangerous to society, but I could be wrong. Regardless, it seems like you seriously underestimate of people's capacity for doublethink and it's essentially a giant ad hominem against any theist ("He believes in Yaweh! He must be incapable of rational thought!").

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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    The majority of the majority absolutely IS a subset. Hell, it's not even necessarily a majority subset of the entire population. I have no problem with claiming that membership in most religious systems implies something regarding belief in the nature or existence of God (hence my earlier comment re:pagans). I do have a problem with stating that membership in any religion implies specific beliefs in that area.

    What you're really claiming is that you can use religion as a shorthand for theism and that holding theistic beliefs implies something regarding an individual's ability to reason in other areas of their lives. I think you're also saying this is somehow dangerous to society, but I could be wrong. Regardless, it seems like you seriously underestimate of people's capacity for doublethink and it's essentially a giant ad hominem against any theist ("He believes in Yaweh! He must be incapable of rational thought!").
    Is this directed at me?

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  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ACSIS wrote: »
    Imagine there is a truth. We don't need to discuss details here, it doesn't matter. Knowledge of this truth gives those who realize its lesson the ability to act wisely and steer clear of some rougher cliffs of society. Something truly useful.

    Some people will claim its (and maybe they are right, who can tell?) a divine path of higher wisdom to turn life and/or society into something better.

    There always will be those who follow the particular truth because they realize the social value and follow it for that reason. They realize that the individual is the smallest part of the society and realize the responsibility each individual has as part of the society as such. They might belive in a divine being or NOT... because thats not where their motivation comes from. They take the concept to heart because its comperable to avoiding shooting a bullet through your foot. They need no devil to haunt them to stop doing it nor a divine offering as reward. They are perfectly happy with a non-shot foot.

    Interestingly both paths lead to the same conclusions. The path doesn't matter in the end.
    I found that realization incredibly illuminating.

    Why argue about the messenger when the important thing is the message?

    Just because there are some universal truths and instructions for finding happiness embedded in the Bible doesn't change that accepting it as divine invites a whole massive host of other problems, many of which can potentially lead to dangerous and in certain cases deadly actions which are a net harm to all involved.

    It's like saying why is it any different to just keep eating mold until you find Penicillin versus actually taking antibiotics. Because hey, you're totally getting the Penicillin anyway.

    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I wouldn't claim that anybody is capable of rational thought. The question, though, is how much irrationality should be tolerated? It's certainly useful to draw the line somewhere before solipsism, but where, roughly, should that line be?

  • ACSISACSIS Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    jothki wrote: »
    ACSIS wrote: »
    Why argue about the messenger when the important thing is the message?

    Because those who choose to follow the message because they believe it is good are more capable of choosing to stop following it when it ceases to be good, while those who choose to follow it because they believe it is divine are less capable of ceasing to believe that it is divine when it ceases to be good.

    I disagree.

    If a concept is not working people loose faith and turn to a concept that works. You could argue those acting on knowledge rather than faith are at an advantage, however you have to realize you need first to reach the apropriate level of perception. Its not that people acting on knowledge are always free of delusion. That is very hard to achive. To figure out a flawed concept can be as hard - if not harder than simply following a indoctrinated path.

    To me, there is no percivable difference. Thats why i stopped arguing about the right approach. Because there is no such thing. You only insult people by trying to drag them from their chosen path. Its a very individual thing and there are many paths to enlightment. Its a very personal thing.
    as divine invites a whole massive host of other problems, many of which can potentially lead to dangerous and in certain cases deadly actions which are a net harm to all involved

    Whilst that is true a perfectly rational approach based on a flawed perception can be just as bad.

    I posted this earlier but i am posting it again as i think it hits the nail on the spot here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzPk0QVr_nQ

  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ACSIS wrote: »
    I disagree.

    If a concept is not working people loose faith and turn to a concept that works. You could argue those acting on knowledge rather than faith are at an advantage, however you have to realize you need first to reach the apropriate level of perception. Its not that people acting on knowledge are always free of delusion. That is very hard to achive. To figure out a flawed concept can be as hard - if not harder than simply following a indoctrinated path.

    To me, there is no percivable difference. Thats why i stopped arguing about the right approach. Because there is no such thing. You only insult people by trying to drag them from their chosen path. Its a very individual thing and there are many paths to enlightment. Its a very personal thing.

    Did you see the study earlier in this thread that said the very opposite? People actually become more dogmatic and rabid when a tenant of their faith is successfully challenged.

    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think it was actually Ross who roughly equivocated all religion with theism in some kind of 'no true Scotsman' definition of religion initially, but I'd have to go back and check. I've honestly forgotten who if anyone played the 'it's dangerous because it hinders rational thought' point, or if it's even been said in this particular thread, but it does come up in religion threads around here a lot.

    So short answer no, not directed specifically at you aside from the subset point.

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  • ACSISACSIS Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Did you see the study earlier in this thread that said the very opposite? People actually become more dogmatic and rabid when a tenant of their faith is successfully challenged.

    Yes, but Dogma is not neccesarily limited to religion.

  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ACSIS wrote: »
    Did you see the study earlier in this thread that said the very opposite? People actually become more dogmatic and rabid when a tenant of their faith is successfully challenged.

    Yes, but Dogma is not neccesarily limited to religion.

    While that's true the concept of Religious Faith is unique in that it requires a very high level of active belief and personal emotional investment. If my faith in a friend's ability to pay me back the money he owes is shaken, my entire life is not thrown into disarray unless I was dumb enough to give that friend more money than I could afford if they didn't pay me back.

    On the other hand if someone accepts mainstream religion it immediately supplants itself at the heart of your psychological and emotional being. In general there are no room for argument on core tenants. God immediately becomes more important than all things in your world and your belief in that God becomes the center of your life. At least that's if you actually do as your told and follow religious instruction as told which not all people do. (I won't even begin to get into issues of people selectively applying the tenants of their chosen religion because that's a can of worms squared and I'd rather not open it.)

    Suddenly because those core tenants are the center of your life and your entire being will now be thrown into chaos if they can be challenged successfully. It creates an extraordinarily powerful vested interest in actively denying reality to maintain a modicum of sanity.

    I just don't see how anyone can accept that approach as valid when it's fought with so much danger and there are many, better alternatives available that do not have as steep a cost.

    Edit:

    To give an example, let's say my faith in my friend's ability to pay me back was practiced the same way religious faith is. I loan him $5, he doesn't pay me back and I accept his reason, then he asks for $10, and I never see that back. But because my faith is so important I can't accept that he won't pay me back and continue to honor and believe his stories and keep honoring requests for more cash. Even if it wasn't a lot at first eventually I could and probably will lose all my money and belongings to that friend, which could have been avoided if I had just paid attention and responded rationally to a real world situation. Religious Faith when practiced as advertised is total anathema to making informed decisions about the world around us.

    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ACSIS wrote: »
    Did you see the study earlier in this thread that said the very opposite? People actually become more dogmatic and rabid when a tenant of their faith is successfully challenged.

    Yes, but Dogma is not neccesarily limited to religion.
    On the other hand if someone accepts mainstream religion it immediately supplants itself at the heart of your psychological and emotional being....I won't even begin to get into issues of people selectively applying the tenants of their chosen religion because that's a can of worms squared and I'd rather not open it.

    Religious Faith when practiced as advertised is total anathema to making informed decisions about the world around us.
    First that 'can of worms' you'd rather not open is basically the only relevant question. Yeah, it's easier if you assume that any member of a religion is a strict adherant and you know their beliefs and how that translates to behavior based on their stated religious affiliation. But that's a strawman at best; that selective application of their religion is the reality.

    And finally there's the ad hominem against all theistic religious folks I wasn't sure had happened yet.

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  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    First that 'can of worms' you'd rather not open is basically the only relevant question. Yeah, it's easier if you assume that any member of a religion is a strict adherant and you know their beliefs and how that translates to behavior based on their stated religious affiliation. But that's a strawman at best; that selective application of their religion is the reality.

    And finally there's the ad hominem against all theistic religious folks I wasn't sure had happened yet.

    Well correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure the argument posed was: "Hey, religion is just as valid a way to find meaning, happiness and goodness as any other philosophy."

    So why is it wrong to point out that if you actually do what it says, you know, approach it in good faith. It instructs you to directly do things that can potentially cause grave emotional/psychological harm? Something tells me an approach to solving a problem that asks me to accept potentially severe psychological consequences is not as equally valid as a philosophy that does not.

    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus IT'S DARE! Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ACSIS wrote: »
    Did you see the study earlier in this thread that said the very opposite? People actually become more dogmatic and rabid when a tenant of their faith is successfully challenged.

    Yes, but Dogma is not neccesarily limited to religion.

    Indeed it is not. Just look at how persistent you are with your claims about extraterrestrial interference with human civilization, despite every time you bringing them up we thoroughly debunk all of it.

    spartasig.gif
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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    At some point your particular sect of Judaism demands belief in the divine, does it not? Most sects do, and while the exact instances within scripture that these demands appear can be malleable, they are there regardless.

    To be clear, I'm not feeling personally attacked. I don't care what value you do or don't place on religion in general or Judaism in particular. I *do* have very little patience with the attitude - held by many atheists and Christians alike - that "religion" and "modern Christian practice" are synonyms, with maybe a few little differences here and there like calling God "Allah" or not eating pork, but otherwise everything is the same. And if they're different, why, then we just say it's a philosophy and not a religion at all, QED.

    "Abrahamic" is a good way to refer to the common origins, btw, but it's a silly way to try and describe the practice. I'm not sure where you get your information that "most sects" (sects? who calls them that?) actually demand a belief in the divine. Remember that you can inherit being a Jew. We don't have confirmation.

    I once heard a rabbi explain it this way: If he walked into his congregation one morning and said "Hands up, who believes in the literal existence of God?" he expected that about a third of the people would immediately put their hands up, a third wouldn't put their hands up at all, and the rest would be kind of wavering with their hands half-up. Whereas if you went into a Christian church and asked the same question, you'd expect everybody to put their hands up. And if somebody didn't, you would ask that person "So, um, what are you doing here?"

    Certainly it's true of many belief systems, religious or no that there are a set of core principles, and if you utterly reject those core principles, then you're not really an adherent of that belief system. If you believe that the means of production should belong to oligarchic capitalists, you probably can't credibly call yourself a Marxist. If you don't believe that rational self-interest should be the primary motivator in human affairs, you are going to have a credibility problem when you insist you're a strict Objectivist. And if you don't believe Jesus is Lord then you probably aren't a Christian.

    But that doesn't mean that all of those things depend on an unquestioning faith-based acceptance of the central tenets.

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