Author Topic: Any relevance for religion?  (Read 21357 times)

Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #105 on: March 19, 2012, 07:00:59 pm »
Kai, do you also live without (as I made sure to include) "the functional equivalent" to religion?

I don't think anyone has defined "the functional equivalent".

I will.

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Kai

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #106 on: March 19, 2012, 07:02:30 pm »
Well, here's the deal:  Religion is obviously relevant, and probably necessary, because the great majority of the world's population has been engaging in it for thousands and thousands of years.

WHY it is so important is another story.  All we can say for certain is that people engage in it...That's undeniable.  So, the question should be "Why is religion relevant and so seemingly important to most people?"

Replace "religion" in the first statement with "slavery". It assumes the necessity of something which people can live without.

Religion's more like beer. You don't need it and some people are better off without it, but try convincing people that pint on the table isn't relevant.

It's relevant to the people who believe in it.

I agree that religion is relevant. I asked if it was necessary.

Well, you actually asked both:

Does religion serve a necessary place in the human world? Is it relevant in an age of science where what were formerly the most profound questions are now answered (e.g. where does the sun go at night?)?

Oh wow.

Okay, I'm very sorry, Roger. That was a major, stupid mistake on my part. I completely forgot what I wrote. Please forgive me.
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #107 on: March 19, 2012, 07:03:17 pm »
Well, here's the deal:  Religion is obviously relevant, and probably necessary, because the great majority of the world's population has been engaging in it for thousands and thousands of years.

WHY it is so important is another story.  All we can say for certain is that people engage in it...That's undeniable.  So, the question should be "Why is religion relevant and so seemingly important to most people?"

Replace "religion" in the first statement with "slavery". It assumes the necessity of something which people can live without.

Religion's more like beer. You don't need it and some people are better off without it, but try convincing people that pint on the table isn't relevant.

It's relevant to the people who believe in it.

I agree that religion is relevant. I asked if it was necessary.

On an individual by individual level, I think the answer would vary.

On a macro/humanity level, history suggests that it is.  More humans than not have practiced some kind of religion and more often than not it looks and feels like the point of these religions and their myths and fables are to fill knowledge gaps, or to put people at ease with their existence.  An existence that isn't and never will be 100% defined with respect to their universe. 

So I think on that kind of level it is a necessity, for humanity to feel at ease with itself and its tiny little place in this big, still vastly mysterious universe. 

It so happens that there are small subsets of humanity who feel completely at east now knowing the WHY's of this existence. 

Though, absence of religion doesn't necessarily = no-faith.  And even if it did, is no-faith a faith? 
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #108 on: March 19, 2012, 07:03:40 pm »
Ah.

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.

To go further into point two, this includes not only experiences that current standard knowledge cannot explain, but also the times that many people have had what I call "trancendent experiences" which, for one reason or another, cannot be adequately communicated through third-circuit means.

So I guess the question that I think hasn't really be answered is basically, which part of religion are you objecting to?  The trappings of a Sky Daddy?  The Belief Without Proof part?  Codified superstition?

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #109 on: March 19, 2012, 07:04:39 pm »
Well, here's the deal:  Religion is obviously relevant, and probably necessary, because the great majority of the world's population has been engaging in it for thousands and thousands of years.

WHY it is so important is another story.  All we can say for certain is that people engage in it...That's undeniable.  So, the question should be "Why is religion relevant and so seemingly important to most people?"

Replace "religion" in the first statement with "slavery". It assumes the necessity of something which people can live without.

Religion's more like beer. You don't need it and some people are better off without it, but try convincing people that pint on the table isn't relevant.

It's relevant to the people who believe in it.

I agree that religion is relevant. I asked if it was necessary.

Well, you actually asked both:

Does religion serve a necessary place in the human world? Is it relevant in an age of science where what were formerly the most profound questions are now answered (e.g. where does the sun go at night?)?

Oh wow.

Okay, I'm very sorry, Roger. That was a major, stupid mistake on my part. I completely forgot what I wrote. Please forgive me.

 :?

What's to forgive?
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Kai

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #110 on: March 19, 2012, 07:05:16 pm »
Well, here's the deal:  Religion is obviously relevant, and probably necessary, because the great majority of the world's population has been engaging in it for thousands and thousands of years.

WHY it is so important is another story.  All we can say for certain is that people engage in it...That's undeniable.  So, the question should be "Why is religion relevant and so seemingly important to most people?"

Replace "religion" in the first statement with "slavery". It assumes the necessity of something which people can live without.

Okay.  I'm just saying what IS going on. 

But since that seems to be unpopular, I will bow out.

Actually, the really unpopular statements in this thread are mine. And I would rather you wouldn't take my statements as some envisioned slight on your character, as they were not.

I wasn't.

What is upsetting me here, Kai, is that you seem to be operating in The World As Kai Would Prefer It, rather than The World As It Actually is.

Religion is of course relevant to the people who believe in it, and we've had religion approximately as long as we've been recognizably human.  It's not a fad, like hoola hoops.  The fact is, the majority of humanity needs it enough to put up with its various down sides.  This is readily observable.  The data is pretty much self-evident.

But what's going on here, is that you are trying to persuade us that it is not "necessary" (ie, the slavery argument).  Most people here, I think, do not require it.  But to say that it is not "relevant" in the world at large is hiding your head in the sand, in the exact same manner that fundamentalists claim that the fossil record isn't "relevant" when it comes to the origin of our species.

I'm sorry. Maybe I should have asked, "What can I do to minimize the harmful aspects of religion?"
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #111 on: March 19, 2012, 07:10:37 pm »
Well, here's the deal:  Religion is obviously relevant, and probably necessary, because the great majority of the world's population has been engaging in it for thousands and thousands of years.

WHY it is so important is another story.  All we can say for certain is that people engage in it...That's undeniable.  So, the question should be "Why is religion relevant and so seemingly important to most people?"

Replace "religion" in the first statement with "slavery". It assumes the necessity of something which people can live without.

Okay.  I'm just saying what IS going on. 

But since that seems to be unpopular, I will bow out.

Actually, the really unpopular statements in this thread are mine. And I would rather you wouldn't take my statements as some envisioned slight on your character, as they were not.

I wasn't.

What is upsetting me here, Kai, is that you seem to be operating in The World As Kai Would Prefer It, rather than The World As It Actually is.

Religion is of course relevant to the people who believe in it, and we've had religion approximately as long as we've been recognizably human.  It's not a fad, like hoola hoops.  The fact is, the majority of humanity needs it enough to put up with its various down sides.  This is readily observable.  The data is pretty much self-evident.

But what's going on here, is that you are trying to persuade us that it is not "necessary" (ie, the slavery argument).  Most people here, I think, do not require it.  But to say that it is not "relevant" in the world at large is hiding your head in the sand, in the exact same manner that fundamentalists claim that the fossil record isn't "relevant" when it comes to the origin of our species.

I'm sorry. Maybe I should have asked, "What can I do to minimize the harmful aspects of religion?"

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #112 on: March 19, 2012, 07:10:54 pm »
Ah.

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.

To go further into point two, this includes not only experiences that current standard knowledge cannot explain, but also the times that many people have had what I call "trancendent experiences" which, for one reason or another, cannot be adequately communicated through third-circuit means.

So I guess the question that I think hasn't really be answered is basically, which part of religion are you objecting to?  The trappings of a Sky Daddy?  The Belief Without Proof part?  Codified superstition?

Codified superstition, yes. If religions were largely harmless, I wouldn't have much of an objection. I have no control over the silly thoughts of others.

Is science the functional equivalent of religion (assuming power structure exists in all human relations)?
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #113 on: March 19, 2012, 07:12:10 pm »
I'm sorry. Maybe I should have asked, "What can I do to minimize the harmful aspects of religion?"

Take all the people out of it?

Frankly, if you got rid of religion somehow, people would find other justifications to do all the harmful shit, because the down side of religion is primarily that it offers a justification for people to do rotten shit to each other.  If they didn't have religion, they'd have some other justification.

Example:  Gay bashing.  Even if the yokels didn't have Paul of Tarsis to fall back on, they'd still be just as nasty...They'd just blame it on "the fate of the Roman empire" (which of course had nothing to do with homosexuality), the fact that "Gays can't reproduce" (which is mostly true, but they never point out that it's the straight people who have Gay kids, or that Gay people have a perfectly valid place in perserving their genetic line, ie, as someone who helps raise the tribe's children without adding any additional burden on the tribe in the form of children of their own).

Of course, the REAL reason isn't that God hates homosexuals, or whatever happened to the Greeks & Romans, etc, but rather that the homophobe spouting all this shit is somehow terrified that they might be homosexual themselves.

That's one example.  War is another good one...If there was no religion to serve as the excuse, they'd just run off and find some other justification for grabbing other peoples' shit.
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #114 on: March 19, 2012, 07:12:30 pm »
I would tend to think the harmful bits are the same harmful bits that are in politics and government.  I think it's the human made machinery of religion that is harmful, not the religion itself.  It's how some people are taught to wield it.  There are many religious people that I know who are perfectly harmless.  They believe what they believe and they don't go out of their way to convert or harm anyone else. 

Where it goes bad is when you get someone who has a thirst for power, and then takes up religion as one of the implements to gather and centralize power. 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #115 on: March 19, 2012, 07:18:43 pm »
Yeah, what RWHN and Dok said.

Not to be excessively trite, but Haters Gonna Hate.  Whether it's god, religion, politics, or science (yes, even science), bad people will find some sort of justification for doing bad things.  Worse, good people will find justification for doing bad things.

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #116 on: March 19, 2012, 07:23:42 pm »
I have found that just because a person is religious doesn't mean they are frothing-at-the-mouth haters and warmongers.  A lot of my family members are religious but don't go around bashing people.  In fact when I was tutoring last semester, the lady was very much Catholic, and she went from "I don't have a problem with gays, but I don't think they should get married" to "Well, why not?" after using her think pan for five minutes.

  And while these otherwise good people might spout your basic anti whatever rhetoric, if they don't harp on about it and don't sound too hot and bothered when the conversation comes up, it is more than likely that they wouldn't think that way at all if their community leaders (preachers, etc.) did think that way. 
If someone does the ďFine, youíre right, Iím clearly a terrible person, Iím Satan, Iím the worst person alive, I should just dieĒ thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #117 on: March 19, 2012, 07:25:26 pm »
In other words, "sheeple" isn't just a Really Real Discordian insult.
If someone does the ďFine, youíre right, Iím clearly a terrible person, Iím Satan, Iím the worst person alive, I should just dieĒ thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #118 on: March 19, 2012, 07:38:15 pm »
I have found that just because a person is religious doesn't mean they are frothing-at-the-mouth haters and warmongers.  A lot of my family members are religious but don't go around bashing people.  In fact when I was tutoring last semester, the lady was very much Catholic, and she went from "I don't have a problem with gays, but I don't think they should get married" to "Well, why not?" after using her think pan for five minutes.

  And while these otherwise good people might spout your basic anti whatever rhetoric, if they don't harp on about it and don't sound too hot and bothered when the conversation comes up, it is more than likely that they wouldn't think that way at all if their community leaders (preachers, etc.) did think that way.

My mother's mother, who is an observant Catholic, occasionally denounces her nephew for being an asshole to his gay brother, and usually finishes up the thought with, "that's just the way God made him. Obviously He has a reason for it."
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #119 on: March 19, 2012, 07:45:58 pm »
I have found that just because a person is religious doesn't mean they are frothing-at-the-mouth haters and warmongers.  A lot of my family members are religious but don't go around bashing people.  In fact when I was tutoring last semester, the lady was very much Catholic, and she went from "I don't have a problem with gays, but I don't think they should get married" to "Well, why not?" after using her think pan for five minutes.

  And while these otherwise good people might spout your basic anti whatever rhetoric, if they don't harp on about it and don't sound too hot and bothered when the conversation comes up, it is more than likely that they wouldn't think that way at all if their community leaders (preachers, etc.) did think that way.

My mother's mother, who is an observant Catholic, occasionally denounces her nephew for being an asshole to his gay brother, and usually finishes up the thought with, "that's just the way God made him. Obviously He has a reason for it."


The hate with regard to religion seems mostly down to what the individual's church goes on at great length about, at least thats the way it looks to me.
If someone does the ďFine, youíre right, Iím clearly a terrible person, Iím Satan, Iím the worst person alive, I should just dieĒ thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in