Author Topic: Any relevance for religion?  (Read 15766 times)

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2012, 01:33:24 pm »
How does religion function?

- It provides rules and structure so that people within the group can interact socially with a minumum of conflict.
- It provides an answer (however inaccurate it may be) to the question of Weird Shit That Happens.

I think (but can be convinced otherwise) that all other common (negative) features of a religion are not necessary, and relate more to power politics than anything else.

I don't think that you have have religion (or society) without the presence of a narrative of history, which is usually pretty far removed from the actual events that took place.
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Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #46 on: March 14, 2012, 01:46:42 pm »
Thats true too. Religion at least on the mythology end is kinda like to history what alchemy is to chemistry. A precursor to it but not accurate. Usually its broken down into a strictly mythological part where god(s) create(s) the world and a legendary part which is partly historical except with obvious bias and superheroes like samson cuchulainn or achilles.
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2012, 01:53:18 pm »
Unlike the chemistry/alchemy relationship, though, I think we still need the "not true" part of history. We need for things to have happened because it's part of a story that makes sense to us, not because a bunch of people did things nearly at random because people are useless, fickle assholes who can't even sort out their own motives before the fact and just make it up afterwards. Whether that story is "God working in mysterious ways" or "Communists are cartoonishly evil bad guys who hated freedom and would do anything to conquer the West" doesn't seem like that big a difference to me.
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LMNO

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2012, 01:54:39 pm »
Thats true too. Religion at least on the mythology end is kinda like to history what alchemy is to chemistry. A precursor to it but not accurate. Usually its broken down into a strictly mythological part where god(s) create(s) the world and a legendary part which is partly historical except with obvious bias and superheroes like samson cuchulainn or achilles.

But that's either backstory to generate the appeal to authority when establishing the rules (Item1), or it's there to explain Weird Shit (Item2).

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2012, 01:55:34 pm »
You mean the russians WERENT actually out to get moose and squirrel?
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #50 on: March 14, 2012, 02:02:06 pm »
But is that always necessarily the case lmno? Sometimes its an attempt to describe some aspect of history without setting up appeal toa uthority or explain the weird shit, no?
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #51 on: March 14, 2012, 02:08:09 pm »

I don't think that you have have religion (or society) without the presence of a narrative of history, which is usually pretty far removed from the actual events that took place.

Interestingly that is quite close to the anthropological definition of Mythology
 a narrative of history which is, or may be, far removed from the actual events that took place.

When anthropologists use the term it in no way implies whether any given myth is based in truth or fiction.

ed Errant commas and stuff
« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 02:15:47 pm by MMIX »
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LMNO

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #52 on: March 14, 2012, 02:16:59 pm »
But is that always necessarily the case lmno? Sometimes its an attempt to describe some aspect of history without setting up appeal toa uthority or explain the weird shit, no?

I dunno.  Even the Book of Kings ultimately is there to establish YHWH's authority over the Jews and strengthen His rules.

And if the stories aren't there for either of those reasons, is that part of the religion, or is it just fucked up social history?  I mean, what stories did you have in mind that are neither about establishing rules nor explaining Shit That Happens?

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #53 on: March 14, 2012, 02:25:57 pm »
What comes to mind is the account of how ireland was settled. First it was by two peoples that each died of plague. Then by the fir bolg who had primitive weapons then by the tuatha de danann (the "gods") who were in turn defeated by the milesians (human gaels). It doesnt on a whole seem to describe anything other than a distorted account of how people came to ireland. The only thing i can see it setting up is the concept of reincarnation (since it is told by tuan maccarrell who is present in each era and tells this history to christian monks)
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #54 on: March 14, 2012, 02:47:24 pm »
Since I'm not as familiar with the celtic mythos, I'm afraid I can't directly answer you.  However, it sounds like your overview might be missing something, in the same way of saying "Kings 1 and 2 is just an extended family tree of Jewish kings." 

Yes, it is.  But the ultimate point of the book was to show how wicked they were, and how YHWH destroyed them all.  So maybe there's a deeper point to the myths you're talking about?

Plus, in the realm of dead religions, how sure are we about how they were practiced?

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #55 on: March 14, 2012, 02:49:30 pm »
Quote
The religious person concerns himself only about the 'Proofs for God's Existence' because he, as bound fast within the circle of belief, inwardly reserves the free movement of the understanding and calculation. Here, I say, the spirit is dependent upon an object, seeks to explain it, to explore it, to feel it, to love it, and so forth . . . because it is not free, and since freedom is the condition of genius, therefore the religious spirit is not inspired. Inspired piety is as great an inanity as inspired linen-weaving. Religion is always accessible to the impotent, and every uncreative dolt can and will always have religion, for uncreativeness does not impede his life of dependency.
- Max Stirner "Art and Religion
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Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #56 on: March 14, 2012, 03:03:32 pm »
Since I'm not as familiar with the celtic mythos, I'm afraid I can't directly answer you.  However, it sounds like your overview might be missing something, in the same way of saying "Kings 1 and 2 is just an extended family tree of Jewish kings." 

Yes, it is.  But the ultimate point of the book was to show how wicked they were, and how YHWH destroyed them all.  So maybe there's a deeper point to the myths you're talking about?

Plus, in the realm of dead religions, how sure are we about how they were practiced?

That's a fair point- a lot of other stuff happens in those eras, but as far as I can tell, Tuan MacCarrell only gives an overview to the monks.

With Irish mythology it can get pretty tricky to figure out what is going on. The pre-Christian Irish didn't write down the mythology. It was written down as a point of interest by local monks, who occasionally interject their own obvious bits from Genesis into the narrative (for example, the first wave of invaders are said to be outlaws who somehow escaped the Flood without Noah or God noticing. Goidel, whose name is the root for Gael, is said to have constructed what would eventually evolve into Old Irish out of all the "good parts" of the 72 languages that emerged after the Tower of Babel incident). The Tuatha De are variously described as gods, false gods, wizards, some spags who came from the North or people who descended from the skies in a cloud of smoke.



But, comparing their names to names found on the continent, it's apparent that they were at one point considered gods in Ireland. As far as the practice goes, we don't know for sure. Druids didn't like to write things down. No one knows who they were or.... what they were doing.

I'm just taking that one blanket account, which I interpret as garbled history of immigration. I can look into it deeper, but the running theme in the details seems to be allegory for the cycles of nature and/or how history tends to repeat itself.
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #57 on: March 14, 2012, 03:30:51 pm »
According to Joseph Campbell myths are most importantly models/guidelines/training for the life that the individual will experience. We are all the Fool when we start on our own Hero's journey.

We see that sort of mythology in modern storytelling. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Inuyasha, Heroes, the majority of comic book stories... all telling the same ancient myths with modern trappings. Maybe those will eventually fill some of the gaps that mythology used to fill.
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #58 on: March 14, 2012, 04:13:34 pm »
According to Joseph Campbell myths are most importantly models/guidelines/training for the life that the individual will experience. We are all the Fool when we start on our own Hero's journey.

We see that sort of mythology in modern storytelling. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Inuyasha, Heroes, the majority of comic book stories... all telling the same ancient myths with modern trappings. Maybe those will eventually fill some of the gaps that mythology used to fill.

How does religion function?

- It provides rules and structure so that people within the group can interact socially with a minumum of conflict.
- It provides an answer (however inaccurate it may be) to the question of Weird Shit That Happens.

I think (but can be convinced otherwise) that all other common (negative) features of a religion are not necessary, and relate more to power politics than anything else.

 8)

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #59 on: March 14, 2012, 05:21:13 pm »
No one knows who they were or.... what they were doing.
:lulz:

What if the purpose of the myths is to establish a sense of cultural identity/superiority/awesomeness? Would that make them fall into LMNO's "establishing the rules" criteria?
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