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What is Religion?/the dynamic of religion : This is not about the definition of religion but the entity itself
Posted: 20 October 2012 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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Imaginos

Atheism is the rejection of god, and that is the only thing that atheism explains

That may be true in an academic or theoretical manner.  But my personal experience with active atheists at CFI International as well as many other places makes me think that we atheists are little better than any strong religious believer in these matters.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 20 October 2012 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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I don’t think so.  I believe the bible was written to direct their society, social behavior, and also explain distressing physical phenomena in terms of an all-powerful overseer, that is, god causes everything; they are not caused naturally.

The bible gives quite a few statements and examples of things that are at odds with reality as demonstrated by scientific investigation.  Geocentric universe, production of humans from ribs, worldwide flood, all animals from pairs, droughts caused by god, are just a tiny few I thought of at the moment.  Many who observed and stated differences between the bible and reality were at best excommunicated or even executed.  If Galileo hadn’t been a friend of the pope he wouldn’t have only been under house arrest. 

Occam

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Posted: 20 October 2012 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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Occam. - 20 October 2012 01:20 PM

Or self-awareness? smile

Occam

Right, why not just say “self awareness”, instead of a “sense of entityness” or a sense of self-hood” or a “sense of self”?  It would be less confusing to have one term, and agree on a working definition, as they all essentially seem to be the same thing.

[ Edited: 20 October 2012 01:52 PM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 20 October 2012 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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Occam. - 20 October 2012 01:36 PM

I don’t think so.  I believe the bible was written to direct their society, social behavior, and also explain distressing physical phenomena in terms of an all-powerful overseer, that is, god causes everything; they are not caused naturally.

The bible gives quite a few statements and examples of things that are at odds with reality as demonstrated by scientific investigation.  Geocentric universe, production of humans from ribs, worldwide flood, all animals from pairs, droughts caused by god, are just a tiny few I thought of at the moment.  Many who observed and stated differences between the bible and reality were at best excommunicated or even executed.  If Galileo hadn’t been a friend of the pope he wouldn’t have only been under house arrest. 

Occam

Was this a reponse to Gary’s post #119?

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 20 October 2012 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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That may be true in an academic or theoretical manner.  But my personal experience with active atheists at CFI International as well as many other places makes me think that we atheists are little better than any strong religious believer in these matters.


Perhaps in our zeal, but not in the same manner that theists derive their beliefs, which are built on faith in a specific religious dogma. Atheists have replaced this with empiricism if you want to refer that to a belief of sorts. But we’re free to explore the facts and form our own truths from emperical analysis. Maybe that’s why we have a difficult time forming an “atheist church”. we all come at the"truth” a little differently than those who allow themselves to follow a pre-conceived path to a predetermined end. But when you think about it it’s a hellova lot easier to do it that that way. No thought, just part of the herd. Maybe it’s genetic, religion that is, and we didn’t get the chi-ro gene. And BTW, you don’t have to be an academic to be an atheist. You just have to be curious with the ability to read.


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Posted: 20 October 2012 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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TimB - 20 October 2012 01:55 PM
Occam. - 20 October 2012 01:36 PM

I don’t think so.  I believe the bible was written to direct their society, social behavior, and also explain distressing physical phenomena in terms of an all-powerful overseer, that is, god causes everything; they are not caused naturally.

The bible gives quite a few statements and examples of things that are at odds with reality as demonstrated by scientific investigation.  Geocentric universe, production of humans from ribs, worldwide flood, all animals from pairs, droughts caused by god, are just a tiny few I thought of at the moment.  Many who observed and stated differences between the bible and reality were at best excommunicated or even executed.  If Galileo hadn’t been a friend of the pope he wouldn’t have only been under house arrest. 

Occam

Was this a reponse to Gary’s post #119?

Yes, you’re right, Tim.  I started writing it when #119 was the last one so I thought I’d be immediately below it and wouldn’t need a quotation or reference.  However, some other members were quicker than I was and slipped in their posts before I entered mine.  Sorry if there was any confusion.

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Posted: 21 October 2012 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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That may be true in an academic or theoretical manner.  But my personal experience with active atheists at CFI International as well as many other places makes me think that we atheists are little better than any strong religious believer in these matters.

I suppose it depends on the individual. A lot of people take Richard Dawkins as an example when it comes to hostile atheists. Here we have someone who’s been writing books on evolution for some 30 years, a branch of science which is the unifying theory of biology, something that is not up for debate as to whether or not it happens and he is constantly pummeled by morons who try and totally dismiss it in favor of their fantasy creation myths. But the reason he is publicly hostile is because they are trying to make it, amusingly, a science. So, for this particular person as well as many others, even religious ones mind you, it needs to be called out and exposed for the nonsense that it is. Like Thevillageatheist was saying, it’s empiricism. It does take on a hostile approach sometimes unfortunately, but religious beliefs are based on emotions so it’s easy to feel threatened and act according to those emotions.

And we’re all aware of the negative connotations attached to the word atheist, I think some of us tolerate it more than others, or have been affected by the negative responses to their disbelief. A sort of pre-emptive hostility. But it’s not the disbelief itself that makes them that way.

But anyways, I’m just babbling along now. I agree with you though, no doubt some atheists get a little arrogant, but they most likely aren’t doing it for the same reasons. Sometimes, people on both sides just need to chill out tongue rolleye

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Posted: 21 October 2012 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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Occam. - 20 October 2012 01:36 PM

I don’t think so.  I believe the bible was written to direct their society, social behavior, and also explain distressing physical phenomena in terms of an all-powerful overseer, that is, god causes everything; they are not caused naturally.

The bible gives quite a few statements and examples of things that are at odds with reality as demonstrated by scientific investigation.  Geocentric universe, production of humans from ribs, worldwide flood, all animals from pairs, droughts caused by god, are just a tiny few I thought of at the moment.  Many who observed and stated differences between the bible and reality were at best excommunicated or even executed.  If Galileo hadn’t been a friend of the pope he wouldn’t have only been under house arrest. 

Occam

I don’t disagree that the Bible gives many statements “that are at odds with reality as demonstrated by scientific investigation.”  This is understandable if you remember that these statements were based upon the general knowledge available to the authors at the time.  These writers were not attempting to create a scientific text or do scientific research.  What the authors were attempting to do (in the first five books) was create what today we would call a nation out of groups of Bedouins and escaped Egyptian slaves to invade and control Canaan.  Even if an individual author or two were capable of scientific thought, which is doubtful in that time and society, it would not have accomplished there purpose to do so. 
The people that they were trying to influence would not have understood.  What the general populace of the time, would have been familiar with is versions of Babylonian, Persian and Egyptian mythologies, i.e. the flood story from the Epic of Gilgamesh, so this was what was available and used.

We cannot condemn the people of the past for not having the knowledge we have today.  Who we can condemn are the people today, such as the fundamentalists, who intentionally deny the advancement of knowledge to further their own political agendas.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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George - 20 October 2012 10:38 AM

Of course Karma is a natural law to them. But just because they are ignorant and primitive, it doesn’t make them not religious. The Bible also described natural laws until science showed it was all nonsense, and faith (as opposed to evidence) became extremely important to the Christians. The concept of faith vs. facts is less than hundred years old.

I was waiting for someone to comment on this, it did not happen. I think one needs to go beyond superficial understanding of the topic,  beyond the Eurocentric notions of what is primitive, and beyond missionary-evangelistic writings on the topic.

Dr. Balagangadhara (Balu) in his book looks at the history of Christianity, and how that shaped how Europeans viewed other peoples and cultures. Reading it made me understand quite a lot about North American and European cultures and also the fact that, except for a small number, almost all texts written in English about Indic cultures need to be relegated to the rubbish heap. And much of that goes for scholars in India writing about their own culture too.

Perhaps that is because I come from Indic traditions and culture. But I am fairly certain that reading Dr. Balu’s book will help persons who are from North American and European cultures gain a better understanding of their own culture’s making.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 03:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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Imaginos,
But anyways, I’m just babbling along now. I agree with you though, no doubt some atheists get a little arrogant, but they most likely aren’t doing it for the same reasons. Sometimes, people on both sides just need to chill out.

All fundamentalist religions are arrogant and exclusive in nature.  “only though me”, “slay the infidel” are statements of hubris, arrogance, and in general obnoxious. If not actively and vigorously opposed, they will attempt by various means to compell you to “obey” the word of their god.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 10:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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Write4U - 22 October 2012 03:04 PM

All fundamentalist religions are arrogant and exclusive in nature.  “only though me”, “slay the infidel” are statements of hubris, arrogance, and in general obnoxious. If not actively and vigorously opposed, they will attempt by various means to compell you to “obey” the word of their god.

A lot of comments in this topic, but we are getting sidetracked. We need to get back to the “dynamics of religion”.

Write4U, which of the “religions” do you consider fundamentalist?.

Regarding arrogance: Its more likely that the believer is convinced that she/he has the One Truth and that it is her/his duty to “make” the other see it. At least at the level of the lay proselytizer, I think it is this which is the driving motivation. At the same time, it is true that some members of the higher echelons of the organization are arrogant and are seeking control and domination. When such a religious organization forms a nexus with the political powers in force, “accept or be slain” results. When the nexus is with great wealth, “accept or starve” results.

Regarding exclusivity: I believe that you mean that the particular religion believes that its version of doctrine and dogma is the “exclusive truth”, negating every other truth-claim. Religion itself (Abrahamic ones) are “exclusive” in the above sense, and they are “inclusive” in the sense that their version of “the Truth” is for “all of Mankind”, and it is enjoined on the believer to make the “other” into a believer.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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suncatcher - 22 October 2012 10:28 PM
Write4U - 22 October 2012 03:04 PM

All fundamentalist religions are arrogant and exclusive in nature.  “only though me”, “slay the infidel” are statements of hubris, arrogance, and in general obnoxious. If not actively and vigorously opposed, they will attempt by various means to compell you to “obey” the word of their god.

A lot of comments in this topic, but we are getting sidetracked. We need to get back to the “dynamics of religion”.

Write4U, which of the “religions” do you consider fundamentalist?

All religions which claim to have the authority to compell me to do something against my will..

Regarding arrogance: Its more likely that the believer is convinced that she/he has the One Truth and that it is her/his duty to “make” the other see it. At least at the level of the lay proselytizer, I think it is this which is the driving motivation. At the same time, it is true that some members of the higher echelons of the organization are arrogant and are seeking control and domination. When such a religious organization forms a nexus with the political powers in force, “accept or be slain” results. When the nexus is with great wealth, “accept or starve” results.

Arrogance is when someone comes up to you and pushes a piece of paper in your hand and tells you, “here, you need this”. IOW, “you’re a sinner and I alone can save you”.

Regarding exclusivity: I believe that you mean that the particular religion believes that its version of doctrine and dogma is the “exclusive truth”, negating every other truth-claim. Religion itself (Abrahamic ones) are “exclusive” in the above sense, and they are “inclusive” in the sense that their version of “the Truth” is for “all of Mankind”, and it is enjoined on the believer to make the “other” into a believer.

Exactly and your use of the word enjoin is apt.

Definition of enjoin (vt),  en·join   [ in jóyn ]

1.command somebody: to command somebody to do something or behave in a particular way
2.impose something: to impose a condition or course of action on others
3.forbid something: to forbid or prohibit something forcefully

Synonyms: order, charge, command, instruct, bid, direct, tell

[ Edited: 22 October 2012 11:28 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 30 October 2012 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
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All fundamentalist religions are arrogant and exclusive in nature.  “only though me”, “slay the infidel” are statements of hubris, arrogance, and in general obnoxious. If not actively and vigorously opposed, they will attempt by various means to compell you to “obey” the word of their god.

Scary isn’t it? Such a simplistic mentality that I can only pity. Those who strongly support this attitude and press it on others are my least favorite humans. And I’m being very mild when saying that.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 134 ]
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I like Gilbert Chesterton’s quote ‘Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair’.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 135 ]
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And from what I’ve seen most love is irrational and driven by our hormones rather than our neurons.  LOL

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