Author Topic: Any relevance for religion?  (Read 15513 times)

Kai

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2012, 11:54:44 pm »
You haven't provided evidence that humans need religion, that they are somehow biologically incapable of living without it.

I think this is actually an offensive position, because it requires them to be somehow something lesser than those who can do without. How is this any different than the reification of intelligence through IQ and saying that the lower classes are only suited for labor type occupations because it's in their blood?
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2012, 12:01:36 am »
You haven't provided evidence that humans need religion, that they are somehow biologically incapable of living without it.

I think this is actually an offensive position, because it requires them to be somehow something lesser than those who can do without. How is this any different than the reification of intelligence through IQ and saying that the lower classes are only suited for labor type occupations because it's in their blood?

I've never stated that they are biologically incapable of living without it.  If humans were incapable of living without it, there would be no outliers (ie, you).  What I AM saying is that there are billions of people who do require it, and who will - and do - outright reject empirical evidence that contradicts their religious beliefs. 

And in no case, as CAN be demonstrated, is religious need tied to income, competence, or intelligence.  In fact, it doesn't seem to be tied to any other behavior...Though I have noticed, anecdotally, that most people who strongly require religious belief tend to be somewhere in the middle of some given heirarchy.  What that means is beyond me, though I have a few guesses.

Lastly, I fail to see how someone showing a need for religion is in any way inferior to someone who does not demonstrate that need.  I do not view an atheist as being more realistic or mentally competent than an agnostic or a believer, since it is my view that religion and science are utterly divorced from each other, by the very tenets that make them what they are...IE, you cannot disprove the existence of a deity, and you can't prove it, either (and if you did, the whole concept of faith "belief without proof" would be voided, and the whole structure of religion would be rendered useless).

Kai

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2012, 12:18:35 am »
You haven't provided evidence that humans need religion, that they are somehow biologically incapable of living without it.

I think this is actually an offensive position, because it requires them to be somehow something lesser than those who can do without. How is this any different than the reification of intelligence through IQ and saying that the lower classes are only suited for labor type occupations because it's in their blood?

I've never stated that they are biologically incapable of living without it.  If humans were incapable of living without it, there would be no outliers (ie, you).  What I AM saying is that there are billions of people who do require it, and who will - and do - outright reject empirical evidence that contradicts their religious beliefs. 

And in no case, as CAN be demonstrated, is religious need tied to income, competence, or intelligence.  In fact, it doesn't seem to be tied to any other behavior...Though I have noticed, anecdotally, that most people who strongly require religious belief tend to be somewhere in the middle of some given heirarchy.  What that means is beyond me, though I have a few guesses.

Lastly, I fail to see how someone showing a need for religion is in any way inferior to someone who does not demonstrate that need.  I do not view an atheist as being more realistic or mentally competent than an agnostic or a believer, since it is my view that religion and science are utterly divorced from each other, by the very tenets that make them what they are...IE, you cannot disprove the existence of a deity, and you can't prove it, either (and if you did, the whole concept of faith "belief without proof" would be voided, and the whole structure of religion would be rendered useless).

I'm still having trouble with this 'need', this 'requiring' you speak of. We can speak of addicts 'needing' heroin. Is that the same?
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2012, 12:25:19 am »
You haven't provided evidence that humans need religion, that they are somehow biologically incapable of living without it.

I think this is actually an offensive position, because it requires them to be somehow something lesser than those who can do without. How is this any different than the reification of intelligence through IQ and saying that the lower classes are only suited for labor type occupations because it's in their blood?

I've never stated that they are biologically incapable of living without it.  If humans were incapable of living without it, there would be no outliers (ie, you).  What I AM saying is that there are billions of people who do require it, and who will - and do - outright reject empirical evidence that contradicts their religious beliefs. 

And in no case, as CAN be demonstrated, is religious need tied to income, competence, or intelligence.  In fact, it doesn't seem to be tied to any other behavior...Though I have noticed, anecdotally, that most people who strongly require religious belief tend to be somewhere in the middle of some given heirarchy.  What that means is beyond me, though I have a few guesses.

Lastly, I fail to see how someone showing a need for religion is in any way inferior to someone who does not demonstrate that need.  I do not view an atheist as being more realistic or mentally competent than an agnostic or a believer, since it is my view that religion and science are utterly divorced from each other, by the very tenets that make them what they are...IE, you cannot disprove the existence of a deity, and you can't prove it, either (and if you did, the whole concept of faith "belief without proof" would be voided, and the whole structure of religion would be rendered useless).

I'm still having trouble with this 'need', this 'requiring' you speak of. We can speak of addicts 'needing' heroin. Is that the same?

Nope.  Religion seems to be an emotional need (I have no proof to back this up, just personal observation and opinion) that is exhibited by the majority of humans.  There's no denying that billions of people do exhibit that need, or religions would be utterly marginalized (which is undoubtably NOT occurring).  Given the costs and requirements for belonging to a religion, this makes no sense without there being a need on some level or other.

The level of need varies wildly, too, from your stereotypical CoE member that thinks a wild sermon means the vicar went 30 seonds over, to the other end of the spectrum that includes the victims of Jim Jones (I make no distinction between cults and religions), and from the "goes to church on Christmas and Easter" to the devout Hindu aesthetic.

And it doesn't seem to make any difference WHAT the religion is.  I consider Dawkins and his adherents to be religious (though without a deity) no less than the Pope and his followers.

And I think that's an important point, which we haven't considered:  Religion doesn't require a deity, as such, though most follow one or more.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2012, 12:28:02 am »
I'd actually define "religious need" as "a requirement for a set of observable rules or beliefs whose adherents require no evidence of the belief system's validity."

El Sjaako

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2012, 12:30:26 am »
It seems sort of arrogant: I don't need religion, but those other people do. But I think it is, in some sense, true.
Who said I don't need religion?
I was talking about the person referred to in the OP. Should have quoted, I guess.

I think it's absolutely necessary, as demonstrated by the fact that people will always generate one.

The fact that people always generate religion does not demonstrate that religion in necessary. I think religion pops up because it's easily created by someone crazy and/or seeking power, and memes of the religious type have a built  in ability to stick around.

On the other hand, the continued existence of religion in places like the USSR and North Korea proves something. According to wikipedia, 80% of the USSR professed religious belief, even after all the state anti-religious stuff.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2012, 12:31:37 am »
It seems sort of arrogant: I don't need religion, but those other people do. But I think it is, in some sense, true.
Who said I don't need religion?
I was talking about the person referred to in the OP. Should have quoted, I guess.

I think it's absolutely necessary, as demonstrated by the fact that people will always generate one.

The fact that people always generate religion does not demonstrate that religion in necessary. I think religion pops up because it's easily created by someone crazy and/or seeking power, and memes of the religious type have a built  in ability to stick around.

On the other hand, the continued existence of religion in places like the USSR and North Korea proves something. According to wikipedia, 80% of the USSR professed religious belief, even after all the state anti-religious stuff.

I said that a heirarchy is necessary.  Please don't take me out of context.

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2012, 12:32:22 am »
I'd actually define "religious need" as "a requirement for a set of observable rules or beliefs whose adherents require no evidence of the belief system's validity."

I'll buy that. It fits in with my observations that people will behave with a religious fervor in discussions on things like martial arts, sports teams, and automobile manufactures

El Sjaako

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2012, 12:33:26 am »
I said that a heirarchy is necessary.  Please don't take me out of context.
Sorry, I misread. It's late here.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2012, 12:34:26 am »
I said that a heirarchy is necessary.  Please don't take me out of context.
Sorry, I misread. It's late here.

S'ok.  Happens to everyone.

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2012, 12:34:57 am »
I'd actually define "religious need" as "a requirement for a set of observable rules or beliefs whose adherents require no evidence of the belief system's validity."

I'll buy that. It fits in with my observations that people will behave with a religious fervor in discussions on things like martial arts, sports teams, and automobile manufactures

Also political parties, economic systems, and people who drink tea.

Don Coyote

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2012, 12:41:39 am »
I'd actually define "religious need" as "a requirement for a set of observable rules or beliefs whose adherents require no evidence of the belief system's validity."

I'll buy that. It fits in with my observations that people will behave with a religious fervor in discussions on things like martial arts, sports teams, and automobile manufactures

Also political parties, economic systems, and people who drink tea.

I think that the 'religious need' is a manifestation of the 'tribal need' of primates as well.

Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2012, 12:44:40 am »
I'd actually define "religious need" as "a requirement for a set of observable rules or beliefs whose adherents require no evidence of the belief system's validity."

I'll buy that. It fits in with my observations that people will behave with a religious fervor in discussions on things like martial arts, sports teams, and automobile manufactures

Also political parties, economic systems, and people who drink tea.

I think that the 'religious need' is a manifestation of the 'tribal need' of primates as well.

Oh, absolutely.  Most humans need a heirarchy...And the more the merrier.  So they join a religion, a political party, the PTA, anywhere where they can be reasonably sure where they stand in the pecking order.

Some even join forums where they debate things like heirarchies.  :lol:

In any case, religion as a substitute for the tribe is a strong argument, but doesn't address why small tribes also seem(ed) to need religion as well.  If it was merely a substitute for the tribe, small tribes would not demonstrate an apparent need for religion.

Don Coyote

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2012, 12:48:19 am »
I'd actually define "religious need" as "a requirement for a set of observable rules or beliefs whose adherents require no evidence of the belief system's validity."

I'll buy that. It fits in with my observations that people will behave with a religious fervor in discussions on things like martial arts, sports teams, and automobile manufactures

Also political parties, economic systems, and people who drink tea.

I think that the 'religious need' is a manifestation of the 'tribal need' of primates as well.

Oh, absolutely.  Most humans need a heirarchy...And the more the merrier.  So they join a religion, a political party, the PTA, anywhere where they can be reasonably sure where they stand in the pecking order.

Some even join forums where they debate things like heirarchies.  :lol:

In any case, religion as a substitute for the tribe is a strong argument, but doesn't address why small tribes also seem(ed) to need religion as well.  If it was merely a substitute for the tribe, small tribes would not demonstrate an apparent need for religion.

I never thought about that. I guess it ties in with the need for something that is beyond the mortal experience.

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2012, 12:52:19 am »
I disagree that you exist without mythology. You write yourself a story about who you are, where you came from, what it means to be you and what it means to be part of your community. You take in other myths about the world around you, like electromagnetic forces and DNA and transatlantic voyages.

There is a fundamental difference between these myths and the ones that we generally call religion, in that yours are measurably "less wrong" than the ones that most religions are based on, but there's really no way you can say you exist entirely without myths.
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