Author Topic: Any relevance for religion?  (Read 20413 times)

Elder Iptuous

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #135 on: March 20, 2012, 07:43:32 pm »
i think, by that criteria, it certainly could...
using observation and rational thought, rules and structures for human relations are developed.
many people prefer to turn to science to explain the weird shit, and will not accept superstition even if science doesn't have an immediate answer, but there is comfort in the assumption that it can/will explain it someday...
and, although it may not provide the egocentric comfort that some request, it can illuminate our place in the context of the cosmos to a degree.
why not?
when you were working on the Emergence thought train (which i understand that you have since shelved) you were attempting just this, no?

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #136 on: March 20, 2012, 07:48:49 pm »
i think, by that criteria, it certainly could...
using observation and rational thought, rules and structures for human relations are developed.
many people prefer to turn to science to explain the weird shit, and will not accept superstition even if science doesn't have an immediate answer, but there is comfort in the assumption that it can/will explain it someday...
and, although it may not provide the egocentric comfort that some request, it can illuminate our place in the context of the cosmos to a degree.
why not?
when you were working on the Emergence thought train (which i understand that you have since shelved) you were attempting just this, no?

The problem with emergence is that it's basically phlogiston. Thus I dropped that thought train. But yes, it seems like a functional equivalent.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #137 on: March 20, 2012, 07:51:33 pm »
Thinking more about science as a functional equivalent of religion, if it is, how exactly is it so?

I don't thing science is a form of religion, as belief is not required, and is in fact anathema.

I DO think atheism is a form of religion.  It's also unscientific, as it mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence.

Dok,
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Isn't there and assumption of absence in absence of evidence? (i guess absence of reasonable hypothesis should be included...)

Assumptions?  In MY science?
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #138 on: March 20, 2012, 07:52:18 pm »
Thinking more about science as a functional equivalent of religion, if it is, how exactly is it so?

I don't thing science is a form of religion, as belief is not required, and is in fact anathema.

I DO think atheism is a form of religion.  It's also unscientific, as it mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence.

Dok,
Militant Agnostic (I don't know, and NEITHER DO YOU).

I wasn't asking about whether science was religion, so much as whether science was functionally equivalent to religion in the way LMNO talked about. Functionally equivalent, meaning it serves the same functions as religion, yet is not religion. Functions such as providing rules and structure to human relations, and answers to "why weird shit happens".

Still gonna say no.  I think what you guys are pointing at is "rationalism", which isn't quite the same as science.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #139 on: March 20, 2012, 08:01:46 pm »
Thinking more about science as a functional equivalent of religion, if it is, how exactly is it so?

I have heard some people (can't remember who exactly, or when) speak of science as a valueless system, that there are not any rules of ethics or conduct implicit.

I'm not sure how that can be true, since science is mostly drawn from the epistemological philosophy of empiricism. Empiricism values evidence through physical reality.

So you can ask "Why should I seek the truth in physical reality?" and science can give the statement "because knowing the true nature of physical reality is something to value".

The nice thing about physical reality is that it encompases everything. Including human relations. So you can seek through science, using that value of knowing physical reality, to seek a morality outside of religious prescription.

Or am I just spinning in the air.


I don't think science could replace religion, but I do think that scientific discoveries about human needs, human physiology, psychology ans sociology could very well provide insight into WHAT religion fulfills in humans... but there would need to be some implementation beyond simply empiricism for most (but not all) people. Antero Ali uses scientific methods to break down traditional rituals and see what bits are actually affecting the human,  Joseph Campbell used scientific methods to break down myth and see what bits are actually affecting humans. More research in this sort of area could very well lead to systems that meet the social/emotional/experiential needs of humans without the nonsensical dogma of religion. Of course, given human tendencies, any system that has that sort of affect on people could be used to control or manipulate... so in a few generations we could see these non-religious social systems being used just like religion is today.

In the end though, its like the difference between writing a book on baking cakes vs baking and eating a cake. The book is useful, helpful and can define things like ingredients, temperature, process... but the experience is something different.

Quote
"because knowing the true nature of physical reality is something to value"


(to play the devil's advocate here)
Why? For the average person... why should they value knowing that physical reality is made up of little invisible atoms, instead of little invisible angels dancing? On the one hand, it may mean that they are less scared of hell, but on the other hand, maybe some people would be far more scared of not knowing, or believing that its a black nothingness that awaits them.

For example, JW's teach that when you die, you're dead. No heaven (unless you are one of 144,000 individuals selected over the past 2000 years), no Hell. They believe that the Good people will be Resurrected to a perfect life on earth after God kills all the bad people... and the bad people will just stay dead, gone, returned to the dust. Many times when I used to preach from door to door, people would tell me that such a concept scared them more than hell.

It goes the other way as well. My grandmother (not a JW) once said that unless she could believe that her father was burning in hell, she wouldn't accept the religion. My great-grandfather was a pretty horrible guy from what I've been told.

What is more important for most people, that they know the physical reality, or that they have some belief that helps them get through the day without losing their mind?
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Kai

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #140 on: March 20, 2012, 08:19:03 pm »
Or, does rejecting all these mean that I have long since lost my mind because I don't have some belief that helps me get through the day?

I'm thinking myself around in circles about this. Yes, it seems that science is descriptive and religion is descriptive /and/ prescriptive. Yes, it seems that the majority of people want meaning and purpose prescribed from outside themselves rather than self-prescribed. So where does that leave me? Is this the point many people go running in terror because they don't have a hierarchy installed?
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #141 on: March 20, 2012, 08:26:00 pm »
Or, does rejecting all these mean that I have long since lost my mind because I don't have some belief that helps me get through the day?

I'm thinking myself around in circles about this. Yes, it seems that science is descriptive and religion is descriptive /and/ prescriptive. Yes, it seems that the majority of people want meaning and purpose prescribed from outside themselves rather than self-prescribed. So where does that leave me? Is this the point many people go running in terror because they don't have a hierarchy installed?

I think that depends on the individual and their experiences in life. Had I even considered these kinds of discussions 15 or 20 years ago... I would have been terrified to think that Jehovah wasn't watching over me. Now, functionally I have no religion... except for Discordianism whch is sometimes perscriptive and sometimes descriptive and sometimes just a lot of fun.

While we all have Common Walls (awesome concept by LMNO) we also have unique walls and bricks in our BiP. Maybe your cell configuration doesn't need the religious sort of thing, or maybe your fascination with science replaces that need. Just because most people need it, doesn't mean everyone needs it. We humans are not so easily categorized, labeled and defined.

I mean, unless you're running around your computer right now in terror... in that case accept Eris into your heart and remember that John Dillenger AND King Kong died for your sins ;-)

Hail Eris!
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #142 on: March 20, 2012, 08:28:36 pm »
Or, does rejecting all these mean that I have long since lost my mind because I don't have some belief that helps me get through the day?

No.

The great thing about people is that we're all wired differently.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, shattered underpance lies,
With blown elastic, and exploded back,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Doktor Howl, Spag of Spags:
Look on my ass, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #143 on: March 20, 2012, 08:30:30 pm »
Or, does rejecting all these mean that I have long since lost my mind because I don't have some belief that helps me get through the day?

No.

The great thing about people is that we're all wired differently.

Absolutely, if you don't want to Hail Eris, you can always 'Praise Bob!'  :lulz:
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Kai

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #144 on: March 20, 2012, 09:08:38 pm »
Or, does rejecting all these mean that I have long since lost my mind because I don't have some belief that helps me get through the day?

I'm thinking myself around in circles about this. Yes, it seems that science is descriptive and religion is descriptive /and/ prescriptive. Yes, it seems that the majority of people want meaning and purpose prescribed from outside themselves rather than self-prescribed. So where does that leave me? Is this the point many people go running in terror because they don't have a hierarchy installed?

I think that depends on the individual and their experiences in life. Had I even considered these kinds of discussions 15 or 20 years ago... I would have been terrified to think that Jehovah wasn't watching over me. Now, functionally I have no religion... except for Discordianism whch is sometimes perscriptive and sometimes descriptive and sometimes just a lot of fun.

While we all have Common Walls (awesome concept by LMNO) we also have unique walls and bricks in our BiP. Maybe your cell configuration doesn't need the religious sort of thing, or maybe your fascination with science replaces that need. Just because most people need it, doesn't mean everyone needs it. We humans are not so easily categorized, labeled and defined.

I mean, unless you're running around your computer right now in terror... in that case accept Eris into your heart and remember that John Dillenger AND King Kong died for your sins ;-)

Hail Eris!

No, not running around in terror. Should I be? Honestly, it's the every day interactions that terrify me far more than any end-life scenario.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #145 on: March 20, 2012, 09:15:25 pm »
I would suggest science is not equivalent to religion in the sense of providing meaning because the data available thus far does not seem to support such a notion.

While some people can have, for lack of a better word, transcendental experiences from scientific endeavours and achievements, it is notable that in modern times, and with the progression of scientific knowledge, there has been an explosion in religious belief that cannot be entirely attributed to population growth alone.

Obviously there are problems with this theory, it does not account for everything (uneven distribution of scientific teachings, the resurgence of religion due to collapse of Communism etc) but it is suggestive of the idea that science is not a compelling replacement for religion.  Unfortunately.

Kai

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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #146 on: March 21, 2012, 12:02:09 am »
I'm not sure religious belief is any more prevalent now, rather, the proponents are louder.
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #147 on: March 21, 2012, 01:12:32 am »
The atheists are more vocal too. Im sure there were plenty of atheists in the middle ages but they knew enough to ever say so.
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #148 on: March 21, 2012, 04:17:00 am »
Maybe it goes in cycles. Reason, batshit religious zealotry, reason, batshit religious zealotry...
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Re: Any relevance for religion?
« Reply #149 on: March 21, 2012, 08:16:06 am »
I'm not sure religious belief is any more prevalent now, rather, the proponents are louder.

From 1900 to 1980, the pecentages of world population who considered themselves adherents to Protestant and Catholic Christianity, Islam, and Hindiusm all increased.

Meanwhile, although atheism did increase during that time period, it's increase coincides almost exactly with the advent of the Chinese revolution, and the 19% of the world population that moved from Chinese folk traditions into the nonbelieving column during that time period, which strongly suggests the Chinese Communist Party simply reclassified them.

More fundamentalist versions of those beliefs have also been rising the fastest, but that only overlies the general trend towards increased religious commitment.