What good is God?
Posted: 05 July 2017 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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What good is religion?

I can understand church, the rituals, the community, the singing together, the fellowship with like minded and all that.

Where it all went monstrously wrong is when people started claiming they know God and “God’s Will” with certainty and that it was their duty to force their own fabricated understanding onto others.

Historically and sociologically I can completely understand why religions were such empire builders in the old days and why they continue to be so successful.  But, that doesn’t make them any more honest.  Nor a Personal God any more real.

What I myself can’t understand is how the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment turned out to be so worthless at exposing religions lies, and scientific crazy-talk which fed into political economic lies, which led to a genuinely crazy man owning our White House, and our government in the hands of people who have dedicated their lives to destroying liberal enlightened democracy as we know it.

Religions devoted to the mystery of God, and a focus on living their convictions, (rather than telling everyone else how to live), seem to me respectable endeavors.

Religions that assume they have cracked the mystery of some billions year old God seem to me the ultimate in dangerous self-delusion. 
This delusional unquestioning self-certainty in turn allows unbalanced minds that hate humanity and sexuality and music and art and the animal kingdom and this planet that provides us with all, to pretend they are doing god’s work.

So sad.

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Posted: 06 July 2017 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It seems to me the whole phenomena of religion is simply too large to characterize in any meaningful way.  And the social implications are very complicated. 

Some group that adamantly claims they and they alone know the “one true way” may then use that certainty to perform very constructive social action. As example, Catholic Charities is the second leading provider of social services to the needy in the United States, topped only by the federal government.  But then some of the same people who led that effort are also raping kids behind the altar. 

It seems to me to that focusing on the big picture can be very powerful whatever conclusions one may come to,  and that power can be applied in many different ways for both good and ill.

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Posted: 06 July 2017 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You bring up a lot in one post CC. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m not afraid to jump in anyway. We’re tribal. That led to the “Leviathan” role of religion you alluded to and helped build kingdoms. It gets out of control at that point. We can see early glimmers of science going back thousands of years and see how those were squashed by military that was led by people claiming to have all the answers and be the only right way.

As for the role of religion today, there are certainly a lot of people who say they need a place to express their feelings of oneness and joy as well as their fears, a place where they can find support in dealing with the unanswered and possibly unanswerable questions. Where I see that going wrong is when those fears are played upon and answers are provided with no truth behind them. That’s just evil, and I can’t explain why it exists.

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Posted: 06 July 2017 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 05 July 2017 10:05 PM

What I myself can’t understand is how the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment turned out to be so worthless at exposing religions lies

This book might help: https://www.amazon.com/Why-Religion-Natural-Science-Not/dp/0199341540

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Posted: 06 July 2017 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 05 July 2017 10:05 PM

What I myself can’t understand is how the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment turned out to be so worthless at exposing religions lies….

Well, maybe because a real child of the intellectual enlightenment would see there is no proof that the claims of religion are lies.

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Posted: 06 July 2017 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Tanny - 06 July 2017 05:39 PM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 05 July 2017 10:05 PM

What I myself can’t understand is how the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment turned out to be so worthless at exposing religions lies….

Well, maybe because a real child of the intellectual enlightenment would see there is no proof that the claims of religion are lies.

Does the name Karl Popper mean anything to you Tanny?

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Posted: 06 July 2017 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Tanny - 06 July 2017 05:39 PM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 05 July 2017 10:05 PM

What I myself can’t understand is how the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment turned out to be so worthless at exposing religions lies….

Well, maybe because a real child of the intellectual enlightenment would see there is no proof that the claims of religion are lies.

  LOL
I must have read a different version of the Bible than you do.

Rejecting birth control and contraceptives to mention but one the bigger insanities foisted on innocents by Religious dogmatists.
Perhaps the Bible isn’t to blame one that, but it’s what people say.
Maintaining that Earth has no value other than our pleasure and she’s made to consume as fast as possible, is another biggie.
Rejecting the evolution of life here on Earth.

Oh and so many more.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Biblical_scientific_errors

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Posted: 07 July 2017 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 06 July 2017 07:03 PM

Rejecting birth control and contraceptives to mention but one the bigger insanities foisted on innocents by Religious dogmatists.

The majority of Catholics in the U.S. reject those teachings.  This can be confirmed by researching Pew Research studies of Catholic opinion in America.

Observe how your comment makes no mention of the vast diversity among the “religious dogmatists” which would seem to make you an “atheist dogmatist”.

Leaping from one dogma to another does not solve the problem of dogmatism.

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Posted: 07 July 2017 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Tanny - 07 July 2017 05:37 AM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 06 July 2017 07:03 PM

Rejecting birth control and contraceptives to mention but one the bigger insanities foisted on innocents by Religious dogmatists.

The majority of Catholics in the U.S. reject those teachings.  This can be confirmed by researching Pew Research studies of Catholic opinion in America.

Observe how your comment makes no mention of the vast diversity among the “religious dogmatists” which would seem to make you an “atheist dogmatist”.

Leaping from one dogma to another does not solve the problem of dogmatism.

Notice how your post wants to favor some of the people within the group that contains the problem people, not to mention not mentioning that the leaders of the group are the ones promoting the bad thing. So, to be part of the community that your family is in, your neighbors, the people who supported you and got you through high school, you have to keep putting money in the collection plate knowing that it supports actual Catholics teaching people with far less opportunity than you that to get to heaven, they can’t have control over their reproductive system.  So you keep taking your kids to hear the dogma and you hope they aren’t buying it and will learn to think for themselves. Great system.

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Posted: 07 July 2017 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Damned if I know.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
― George Eliot, Silas Marner[/color]

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Posted: 07 July 2017 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Beltane - 06 July 2017 03:02 PM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 05 July 2017 10:05 PM

What I myself can’t understand is how the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment turned out to be so worthless at exposing religions lies

This book might help: https://www.amazon.com/Why-Religion-Natural-Science-Not/dp/0199341540

Perhaps when I have time for the book club.

Right now I was asking for people’s own thoughts. 

Although, now that I checked it out, I can see why you didn’t want to show the title of that book.
Sounds like it could be a hell of a laugh, a intellectual kindergartener who thinks he knows god, telling rational people:

Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not 1st Edition

The battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries. Now scientists themselves are looking at cognitive foundations of religion—and arriving at some surprising conclusions.

Over the course of the past two decades, scholars have employed insights gleaned from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines to illuminate the study of religion. In Why Religion is Natural and Science Is Not, Robert N. McCauley, one of the founding fathers of the cognitive science of religion, argues that our minds are better suited to religious belief than to scientific inquiry. {Yeah, maybe when you’re still a baby human-being, but when you start growing up, honestly understanding the real world becomes important}

Drawing on the latest research and illustrating his argument with commonsense examples, McCauley argues that religion has existed for many thousands of years in every society because the kinds of explanations it provides are precisely the kinds that come naturally to human minds. Science, on the other hand, is a much more recent and rare development because it reaches radical conclusions and requires a kind of abstract thinking that only arises consistently under very specific social conditions.
Religion makes intuitive sense to us, while science requires a lot of work. {Well okay, one glaring truth revealed.}

McCauley then draws out the larger implications of these findings. The naturalness of religion, he suggests, means that science poses no real threat to it, while the unnaturalness of science puts it in a surprisingly precarious position.

Yeah and sucking on a boob is the most natural thing in life, but you don’t want to do it your entire life   smirk

Children cling to teddy bears, security blankets and mom’s bosom.  But as you grow up you learn that you exist in a vast world.
If you are curious and want to learn about that world, 
science has given us the tools that religion with it’s demands of blind obedience simply can not manage.

At the heart of those rules is WE NEED EACH OTHER TO KEEP OURSELVES HONEST
A huge community of informed learned people sharing observations and learning and looking over each others’ shoulders.
A community ethic that observations and honestly is paramount to learning.

Observations and facts drive our convictions, though that doesn’t mean we aren’t always correct,
but the fact is ‘we’ remain curious, self-skeptical, and can face up to our own mistakes and learn from them.

All religion has offer ‘us’ is repeating the same mantra like a broken record “praise thee, praise thee, praise thee,...”
Oh and “give me, give me, give me,...”

Okay, many religions have a lot of nice stuff going too - but the shutting down of the mind
and the willful embrace of transparent bullshit, keeps it pretty low on my respect register.

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Posted: 07 July 2017 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Lausten - 07 July 2017 11:28 AM
Tanny - 07 July 2017 05:37 AM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 06 July 2017 07:03 PM

Rejecting birth control and contraceptives to mention but one the bigger insanities foisted on innocents by Religious dogmatists.

The majority of Catholics in the U.S. reject those teachings.  This can be confirmed by researching Pew Research studies of Catholic opinion in America.

Observe how your comment makes no mention of the vast diversity among the “religious dogmatists” which would seem to make you an “atheist dogmatist”.

Leaping from one dogma to another does not solve the problem of dogmatism.

Notice how your post wants to favor some of the people within the group that contains the problem people, not to mention not mentioning that the leaders of the group are the ones promoting the bad thing. So, to be part of the community that your family is in, your neighbors, the people who supported you and got you through high school, you have to keep putting money in the collection plate knowing that it supports actual Catholics teaching people with far less opportunity than you that to get to heaven, they can’t have control over their reproductive system.  So you keep taking your kids to hear the dogma and you hope they aren’t buying it and will learn to think for themselves. Great system.

Thank you Lausten.
I fully concur.

The Stealth War on Abortion
While more Americans support upholding ‘Roe v. Wade’ than ever, the Tea Party and the Christian right have teamed up to
pass hundreds of restrictions eviscerating abortion rights in GOP-controlled state legislatures across the country

By Janet Reitman
January 15, 2014
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-stealth-war-on-abortion-20140115

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Posted: 08 July 2017 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 07 July 2017 10:00 PM
Beltane - 06 July 2017 03:02 PM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 05 July 2017 10:05 PM

What I myself can’t understand is how the Children of the Intellectual Enlightenment turned out to be so worthless at exposing religions lies

This book might help: https://www.amazon.com/Why-Religion-Natural-Science-Not/dp/0199341540

Perhaps when I have time for the book club.

Right now I was asking for people’s own thoughts. 

Although, now that I checked it out, I can see why you didn’t want to show the title of that book.
Sounds like it could be a hell of a laugh, a intellectual kindergartener who thinks he knows god, telling rational people:

Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not 1st Edition

The battle between religion and science, competing methods of knowing ourselves and our world, has been raging for many centuries. Now scientists themselves are looking at cognitive foundations of religion—and arriving at some surprising conclusions.

Over the course of the past two decades, scholars have employed insights gleaned from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and related disciplines to illuminate the study of religion. In Why Religion is Natural and Science Is Not, Robert N. McCauley, one of the founding fathers of the cognitive science of religion, argues that our minds are better suited to religious belief than to scientific inquiry. {Yeah, maybe when you’re still a baby human-being, but when you start growing up, honestly understanding the real world becomes important}

Drawing on the latest research and illustrating his argument with commonsense examples, McCauley argues that religion has existed for many thousands of years in every society because the kinds of explanations it provides are precisely the kinds that come naturally to human minds. Science, on the other hand, is a much more recent and rare development because it reaches radical conclusions and requires a kind of abstract thinking that only arises consistently under very specific social conditions.
Religion makes intuitive sense to us, while science requires a lot of work. {Well okay, one glaring truth revealed.}

McCauley then draws out the larger implications of these findings. The naturalness of religion, he suggests, means that science poses no real threat to it, while the unnaturalness of science puts it in a surprisingly precarious position.

Yeah and sucking on a boob is the most natural thing in life, but you don’t want to do it your entire life   smirk

Children cling to teddy bears, security blankets and mom’s bosom.  But as you grow up you learn that you exist in a vast world.
If you are curious and want to learn about that world, 
science has given us the tools that religion with it’s demands of blind obedience simply can not manage.

At the heart of those rules is WE NEED EACH OTHER TO KEEP OURSELVES HONEST
A huge community of informed learned people sharing observations and learning and looking over each others’ shoulders.
A community ethic that observations and honestly is paramount to learning.

Observations and facts drive our convictions, though that doesn’t mean we aren’t always correct,
but the fact is ‘we’ remain curious, self-skeptical, and can face up to our own mistakes and learn from them.

All religion has offer ‘us’ is repeating the same mantra like a broken record “praise thee, praise thee, praise thee,...”
Oh and “give me, give me, give me,...”

Okay, many religions have a lot of nice stuff going too - but the shutting down of the mind
and the willful embrace of transparent bullshit, keeps it pretty low on my respect register.

Ok, then don’t read it.

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