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Are we atheistic Humanists able to predict the Next religious tradition?
Posted: 02 December 2012 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Sharing the love for music with others is almost
what I talk about when I try to predict or imagine
The Next Future Faith.

Music has norms for how to behave. Interpretations
that a group of music lovers share. diversity among
the different traditions. Classic music in Europe does
not sound like Classic music in Turkey or Irak or Persia
or India or Japan or so many different ways to be Classic.

Folk music being so diverse the world over.
Music theory almost as detailed and debated
like Theology. The acts of playing being a bit
like religious ritual that it is almost as sacred
and taken seriously even if just playing for fun.

The concentration and listening to each other
and cooperating in imagining or performing the
music together to make a whole out of all the details.

I just ramble sorry. But there is something sacred about music too.

Jazz musicians got very upset about the commercial exploitation
they saw Rock’nRoll to be using a mix of style like Blues and Boggie
and Country and HillBilly and Shuffle and terms I have no idea what it is.

Jazz musicians found the simplicity of Rock to be almost a sin or
a breach of agreement or a cheating or a faked music or to not be music.


I’ve come to the conclusion that some atheist take religion even more serious
than many believers. One guy in another forum told them about his religion.
It is an accepted branch of one of the oldest religions and they did not accept
his believe to be a real religion. To them what he did was a modern version
of an old religious tradition and not the old real religion itself.

Take my naive notion that it should be okay for me to start already now
to believe in a coming Next Future Faith. I will have to take on faith without
any evidence for it that in the far future there will exist a religion that
gets approved of by those living then and that that religion started by
me sawing the seed of it by my naive writing.

When I tell that to fellow atheist they find it ridiculous. Not a real religion.

A bit like the Jazz musicians finding Rock to be too simplistic and fake.
Real atheists don’t do things like Fred do and real atheist don’t believe
in Next Future Faith. Atheist lack belief in God.

I think it is obvious that I am not a good thinker.

To get you going on what a religion is I give this link.
http://atheism.about.com/od/religiondefinition/a/definition.htm
it has a quote in it that goes to The Encyclopedia of Philosophy

It lists traits of religions rather than declaring religion to be one thing or another, arguing that the more markers present in a belief system, the more”religious like” it is:

  Belief in supernatural beings (gods).
  A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
  Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
  A moral code believed to be sanctioned by the gods.
  Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual, and which are connected in idea with the gods.
  Prayer and other forms of communication with gods.
  A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it.
  A more or less total organization of one’s life based on the world view.
  A social group bound together by the above.

Read how they have a very similar definition that is their preferred view.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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FredW - 02 December 2012 09:53 AM

...Back to my theme. Suppose the experiment at the Harvard Medical School
would be/gets done at other labs too and confirm
that to openly tell something is placebo
and that it still would work. I would love that.
...

I would set up such where I live and invite people
to do placebo rituals with me each week.

Sure one need to find ethical ways to do it and to not promise something
with side effects.

There is a discussion about placebo effect, starting on page 2 of the thread “Calm Mind-Heal Body?” under the topic Alternative Medicine.

In the Harvard study, it looks like the dependent variable is self-report of the subjects.  My first thought is that the group with placebos may have been on a schedule of self-monitoring, that roughly matched their pill-taking schedule.  (Not that they were told to regularly think about how they felt, but I think taking the pills, on a regular schedule, would prompt them to do so).  They may have then, when asked how they felt throughout the experiment, recalled more times that they were feeling okay - compared to the group that took no pills, who may have tended to remember only when they felt badly.

Anyway, what we call the “placebo effect” is often a result of more complexities than simply believing something will work.

However, I don’t mean to discourage you in this line of thinking, but to encourage you to look at the various things you may be talking about when using the term “placebo effect”.

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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: 02 December 2012 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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I’ve lived a long life!  Things do happen if you pay attention.  Time for my afternoon meds.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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TimB - 02 December 2012 01:39 PM

There is a discussion about placebo effect, starting on page 2 of the thread “Calm Mind-Heal Body?” under the topic Alternative Medicine.

In the Harvard study, it looks like the dependent variable is self-report of the subjects.  My first thought is that the group with placebos may have been on a schedule of self-monitoring, that roughly matched their pill-taking schedule.  (Not that they were told to regularly think about how they felt, but I think taking the pills, on a regular schedule, would prompt them to do so).  They may have then, when asked how they felt throughout the experiment, recalled more times that they were feeling okay - compared to the group that took no pills, who may have tended to remember only when they felt badly.

Anyway, what we call the “placebo effect” is often a result of more complexities than simply believing something will work.

However, I don’t mean to discourage you in this line of thinking, but to encourage you to look at the various things you may be talking about when using the term “placebo effect”.

Thanks Tim I take a look at that thread then.

Yes I trust that self reporting is very unreliable.
During the 30 years that I as an aggressive atheist loved to hate the believers
then I felt very good and if someone had asked me if I had had religious feelings
then I would deny that I had ever had such.

But when I lost my cock sure atheism 1983 then I got aware of that I had had religious feelings
all those 30 years only that I translated them to love for music including Christian music
which I ironically hated very much but Mahalia Jackson and Rosetta Sharpe they sang Blues Gospel
so that where a special brand of Christian music so my body kept the religious feelings hidden
as Love for music and it just did happen that some of that music where religious.

So my body fooled my conscious awareness for some 30 years so I don’t trust self reporting at all.

Sadly a lot of research is based on self reporting and that makes it very unreliable.
If one can trust Michael Gazzaniga then the IP the InterPreter is very good at lying to us.
A kind of Auto-Pilot that answer all our questions so how can one know anything about
what really goes on inside the hidden part of the brain?

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Posted: 03 December 2012 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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The self-monitoring aspect of the placebo effect, mentioned by TimB, might be used as an argument for the benefits of observing some sort of ritual.  If the daily self monitoring ritual had any positive effect, even if only in the way subjects perceived their illness, it could be said to have real benefit.  It would be interesting to see a study of a group of patients meeting for the purpose of monitoring and focusing on ways to improve their health, an experience in some small way paralleling religious ritual but without requiring supernatural belief.  If such a study showed benefits, then the argument could be made that a communal exchange, perhaps with some simple ritual but no woo, could have a real positive effect for the participants.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Maybe the setting of placebo within testing of new meds
trigger us to see the Doctor/Health Service and we lose
the topic of the thread in sight smile

I mention placebo as a known example of “faith” that does not
have to be supernatural. Doctor give a science tested med
and not a magical cure from supernatural sources smile

So think of Humanist gatherings within CFI if one live near such.

The “illness” can be such things as loneliness or boredom even.
or “existential angst” if it has to be dramatic to count as worthy of
spending time on?

For my personal needs it is enough problem to get myself an identity
that support my sense of self worth that has been a struggle for some 30 years
and I still have no sure identity.

To be a “religious” atheist is a poor indentity. I am no Buddhist or other such
and I am not a Pagan or Wicca so I don’t fit into the “spiritual” practice gang.

I am a lost child in the wilderness if you can picture such image.

I need a real human friend but my Asperger weirdness seems to make
that very hard to achieve. Have been alone for 30 years so that is terrible.
I feel utterly alone and I barely survive.

So I need a kind of Imagined Friend to relate to.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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I read a lot of comments similar to what has been written here and I feel left out.  I have little need for an imaginary friend as I apparently have spent 60 years yearning to be alone.  I come from a large noisy group of musicians who gave me piano lessons simply to add to group of other musicians in need of another musician to fill in something missing.  My mother had been a classical music professor at USC and had a wonderful ear for singers who would eventually classify for grand opera.  Our home became a place for auditions and even a touch of jazz gigs to make a lot of noise.  I had been in a car accident that did a job on my right hand and I lost part of my middle finger.  I considered this a gift releasing me back to my serious pursuit of body surfing.  I wasn’t just an only child, I was the only child of Kathryn and therefore in great demand for an added musician. 

I was sent to boarding school and became my own person.  The pleasure of not being in a musical group made room for my own addiction found in books.  I discovered a long list of authors who fed my addiction and I became part of characters found in the   minds of all the great fiction writers from 1948 to the present time.  I added history books at the same time politics took a big part of my world.  I still have a couple of newly written biographies of Lincoln and Jefferson and was annoyed at having to set them aside until Thanksgiving and Christmas are over and I can sit in my old comfortable chair that I share with an ancient black cat who is 23 years old and we listen to some CD of opera while we read about the history of my own nation. 

Being a Mother meant sharing my time with my own kids and needing to write notes to my grandkids who are just starting out in their own lives with their new homes.  I have a couple of childhood pals from the surfing days and we share emails being just on the edge of not driving too far from home.  Getting old is simply recognizing our inabilities and coping with them.  My age group displays the maturity to be able to admit our sight and memory problems and we choose to laugh at the whole thing.  My old pal of 50 years will be driving up from the San Fernando Valley to get away from her 5 kids and all their kids.  Her husband died earlier this year and she will find her first Christmas without Jack might be a problem.  She knows where to go for her place of sympathy.  Women know how to survive.  We reach out to each other because the holidays do not need God anymore.  We pass off the cooking for dozens of people when we discover we may have forgotten the names of several of them.  I passed off my huge platters several years ago but still volunteer my ironing of the linens that make our dinner tables look elegant.

Even with our memory lapses, the holidays continue and many of us know that after the first of the new year, our books are still waiting to be picked up for our attention again.  Who needs imaginary friends when Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln demand that we start from page One so we will accept everything the authors intended.  We can forgive the hypocrisy of these two gentlemen and we can even remember when our own bigotry was once very strong.  This is the glory of secular humanists.  We are not confined to one point of view on anything. 

Being totally free of faith in some silly image of an angel or devil waiting to pounce on us for a wayward thought is something to celebrate and I am the first to wish anyone and everyone a Merry Christmas!  Shoot me!

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Posted: 03 December 2012 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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I sure want real friends but not all of us
have the talent to get friends or even
someone to spend time with without
being best friends.
.
So I opt for the next best which is imaginary such.

Sure an animal pet would serve some emotional needs
due to it being a living being but the responsibility is huge.
It is totally dependent on my ability to be there for it.
Two of my neighbors have lost their Cats.

You are fortunate to have kids and friends. I have none of that
and have been alone since 1983.

I surely trust that you don’t need any imaginary friend at all.
But don’t you want me to find the little happiness that I am able
to get the few years I have left in life.

I don’t force you to have such imaginary friends
so I hope your don’t that you don’t force me to
be totally alone rest of my life. How do you know
that I am alone in this. Research say that very many
old men have neither male nor females to talk to.

They are very alone but it is taboo to admit it.

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Posted: 03 December 2012 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Jeciron - 03 December 2012 04:13 AM

The self-monitoring aspect of the placebo effect, mentioned by TimB, might be used as an argument for the benefits of observing some sort of ritual.  If the daily self monitoring ritual had any positive effect, even if only in the way subjects perceived their illness, it could be said to have real benefit.  It would be interesting to see a study of a group of patients meeting for the purpose of monitoring and focusing on ways to improve their health, an experience in some small way paralleling religious ritual but without requiring supernatural belief.  If such a study showed benefits, then the argument could be made that a communal exchange, perhaps with some simple ritual but no woo, could have a real positive effect for the participants.

Right, if the hypothesis about self monitoring is the correct one.  That is why we need to identify what is the actual active variable/s, when we look at results that attributes an effect to “placebo”.  (So that we can utilize the knowledge more specifically and effectively.)  Thinking about the placebo effect as simply being about someone’s “belief” making the difference, is way too general, and often inaccurate. I think this can be seen when one rigorously assesses research about the placebo effect.

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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: 03 December 2012 09:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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You sound like a woman after my own heart, Sandy, and we’re almost neighbors. 

.....

 

Sandy Price - 03 December 2012 07:39 AM

I read a lot of comments similar to what has been written here and I feel left out.  I have little need for an imaginary friend as I apparently have spent 60 years yearning to be alone.  I come from a large noisy group of musicians who gave me piano lessons simply to add to group of other musicians in need of another musician to fill in something missing.  My mother had been a classical music professor at USC and had a wonderful ear for singers who would eventually classify for grand opera.  Our home became a place for auditions and even a touch of jazz gigs to make a lot of noise.  I had been in a car accident that did a job on my right hand and I lost part of my middle finger.  I considered this a gift releasing me back to my serious pursuit of body surfing.  I wasn’t just an only child, I was the only child of Kathryn and therefore in great demand for an added musician. 

I was sent to boarding school and became my own person.  The pleasure of not being in a musical group made room for my own addiction found in books.  I discovered a long list of authors who fed my addiction and I became part of characters found in the   minds of all the great fiction writers from 1948 to the present time.  I added history books at the same time politics took a big part of my world.  I still have a couple of newly written biographies of Lincoln and Jefferson and was annoyed at having to set them aside until Thanksgiving and Christmas are over and I can sit in my old comfortable chair that I share with an ancient black cat who is 23 years old and we listen to some CD of opera while we read about the history of my own nation. 

Being a Mother meant sharing my time with my own kids and needing to write notes to my grandkids who are just starting out in their own lives with their new homes.  I have a couple of childhood pals from the surfing days and we share emails being just on the edge of not driving too far from home.  Getting old is simply recognizing our inabilities and coping with them.  My age group displays the maturity to be able to admit our sight and memory problems and we choose to laugh at the whole thing.  My old pal of 50 years will be driving up from the San Fernando Valley to get away from her 5 kids and all their kids.  Her husband died earlier this year and she will find her first Christmas without Jack might be a problem.  She knows where to go for her place of sympathy.  Women know how to survive.  We reach out to each other because the holidays do not need God anymore.  We pass off the cooking for dozens of people when we discover we may have forgotten the names of several of them.  I passed off my huge platters several years ago but still volunteer my ironing of the linens that make our dinner tables look elegant.

Even with our memory lapses, the holidays continue and many of us know that after the first of the new year, our books are still waiting to be picked up for our attention again.  Who needs imaginary friends when Thomas Jefferson and Abe Lincoln demand that we start from page One so we will accept everything the authors intended.  We can forgive the hypocrisy of these two gentlemen and we can even remember when our own bigotry was once very strong.  This is the glory of secular humanists.  We are not confined to one point of view on anything. 

Being totally free of faith in some silly image of an angel or devil waiting to pounce on us for a wayward thought is something to celebrate and I am the first to wish anyone and everyone a Merry Christmas!  Shoot me!

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Posted: 04 December 2012 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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I’m delighted to meet you Lois.  I settled on a set of priorities years ago and apparently there are a lot of us who have managed to survive without hurting too many others.  I read a lot of sadness on these threads and many opening their hearts in searching for a grand moment to debate.  I even pick up a certain guilt for choosing a secular form of belief in place of the great love of a religious leader to guide us as individuals. 

Yesterday I watched a great movie based on a book I had read years ago called “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown.  My kids had read the book when they visited Rome and were able to follow the maps described in the Vatican and watch the murder mystery unravel as they stood at the places that were clues to the mystery.  We are not Catholics and the symbolism had to be researched and Dam Brown made this easy.  I was not with them on this trip but I could only imagine their delight to be part of the design.  This is my youngest daughter and her husband and is the one who shares her emotions with me.  My oldest girl is involved in Buddhism and lives in her belly button trying to find herself.  Without a sense of humor, she remains an outcast to the rest of my insane DNA-sharing family.  She is 55 years old and has rejected us for some unknown reason and we pretend to be concerned and we step carefully over her without hurting her in any way.  She does not pretend to be hilariously impacted by the rest of us and of course, we will not be rejected again. 

Anyway, this movie hits the highlights of the Bible and how the world must change to stay involved.  It is a fairly tale with serious and deadly actions found in the mystery of the Catholic Church.  One must pay attention to the clues to discover why, how and who kills in such a dramatic and colorful way.  My husband had been a nuclear physicist who had contact with the building of the CERN collider and judging from the number of accidents he had driving to work on the freeway, he managed to be a pro on the word “collider.”  He was between wives so I sent him some of the descriptions in the book and he cleared up the association for me. 

The book is filled with questions on why we ever designed this strange God that controls many of our lives.  In the time of the Inquisitions, the Vatican certainly was successful in scaring the Bejesus out of the humans of the Roman Empire.  We are still reeling with this frightening Catholic overtones found in the Tea Party of this last few months of American political actions.  The word “Evangelical” causes me to lock my doors at night for the first time in decades.

How lonesome must Americans be to be taken in by this itshay?  How can we help each other through this?

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Posted: 04 December 2012 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Maybe what your two do is related to Placebo.
Talking about personal things and sharing experiences
sure could be part of a Placebo activity. Rising the spirit
as the believer may refer to it. Being Human to each other…

Not to stop anything between your two but maybe
you can share that over PM even smile Or else I start
to feel left out in my own thread smile

What about Next Future Faith. Can it be named
“Next Humanism.” or “Future Humanism”
nothing wrong with the one we have now
which took over after “Religious Humanism”
or “Ethical Society”

“Future Humanism” may be a better name due to
the word future has a connotation of hope while
the word next is more casual and neutral.

The Future Humanism could inspire to a rekindle
of the current Humanism because competition
may make people motivated to think anew or
to start defending the values they already hold?

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Posted: 04 December 2012 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Fred, you must never feel left out of anything.  It is often rare to find two women on the internet with any similar values.  I am always the odd ball being the eldest almost wherever I go.  The joy of communicating with other humans is that it makes no difference how old wre are, what sex we are or our color or choice of music, art or any form of culture. 

Personally I have little to offer in the realm of religious traditions so I guess I should move on to another thread.  Would that please you?  My problem is that I’m always interested in our differences far more than our sameness.  The last time I joined up with a group who were different, was after I read a series of Ayn Rand essays.  It brought nothing but negative arguments so I backed out of the discussion.  I met the woman and had some discussion with many of her associates.  I had no idea she was considered the enemy of American values.

I have a therapy class for my arthritis and will check back in here to see if anyone finds fault with my words.  It can be painful for me to use my fingers to type but my curiosity is great and I really care what you have to say.  Perhaps you have a plan for the next religious tradition…...?  That has to be a tough one considering most of us are atheists…..no?

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Posted: 04 December 2012 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Thanks for you friendly reply. I don’t mind you being
active in the thread. Only that I want it to concentrate on
my naive take on that logically there is the possibility
that say some 5% of future humans still have religion.

What if we already now saw the seed to what that religion
would become and I do admit that it is outrageous of me
being a total nobody to have any chance of being the one
that trigger that twist of the way it take. I trust others
can do that much better but me being as naive as I am
can trigger those good at thinking to be so upset with my
naive take that they join and tell me that:

“Hey there Fred. The only way to do this is ....”

Yes why not or oh maybe but I am not so sure.
The future will tell if anybody do challenge me
and come up with a better suggestion. So ...

My naive take is:

1.) What if placebo is the answer.
2.) Suppose one are open about this Nest future faith
to be based on ethically applied placebo practice.

3. What would be needed for that to work?

Late at night here locally so I turn in soon smile

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Posted: 04 December 2012 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Fred, How can I possibly know how to respond to you without knowing anything aboiut you.  Why would you question me or want my opinion without knowing more about who I am.  You did mention a love of music and that gives us a stepping stome to grow on.  Get some sleep and I will do the same and maybe tomorrow we might find a strong place to start.

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