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  1. #41
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heart&Brain View Post

    But it doesn't make sense to call a religious belief "personal" since it is by definition cosmological and universal in scope. To believe in any religious worldview is to believe it exists outside yourself, that it is true for everybody, no matter what they may believe themselves.

    To spell it out: You don't believe you alone will get reincarnated while other's won't. You can't believe that some astrological 'star-influence' only hit you at birth, but failed to influence the un-believers. And the moral one: Do any Catholics think that only Catholic gays will spend their afterlife tortured in hell while homosexual Zeus-believers will be spared? Etc. ad nauseam.

    This 'personal faith' stuff is just an excuse for religions not to face the music of criticism and responsibility.
    Sure, if you never look to diversity in spiritual experience as the norm and instead rely on a sense of misguided universalism.

    ...I think you missed my point. Terribly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heart&Brain View Post
    I believe gravitational laws are true about the world. Not because of a personal taste, but because of strong arguments, strong evidence and strong theoretical consistency. This opens the peossibility that an even stronger theory might come up in the future, which would force me to change belief. To say "Personally I believe in gravitation" would be just as non-sensical as saying "I believe in a God that only exists for me until I change my taste tomorrow."
    You don't "believe" in gravity. Gravity is empirical. Gravity is falsifiable.

    Religion is neither. Religion depends on faith. Faith is conclusion without confirmable data. Faith doesn't use experimentation or clinical research to arrive at a conclusion. Adherence to -personal- theistic ideology depends only on strength of personal conviction.

    This is an important distinction and is central to your confusion of my stance.

  2. #42
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I appreciated your entire post. It draws important distinctions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heart&Brain View Post
    But it doesn't make sense to call a religious belief "personal" since it is by definition cosmological and universal in scope. To believe in any religious worldview is to believe it exists outside yourself, that it is true for everybody, no matter what they may believe themselves.
    It is possible for a person to hold a view that there is some sort of higher power and that many paths could lead to enlightenment or something like that. It would apply to everyone, but allows for an almost unlimited number of interpretations. How would you approach something along those lines? Is it a personal preference or a universal world view that affects others by nature?
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  3. #43
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heart&Brain View Post
    But it doesn't make sense to call a religious belief "personal" since it is by definition cosmological and universal in scope. To believe in any religious worldview is to believe it exists outside yourself, that it is true for everybody, no matter what they may believe themselves.
    While I think you are veering far off track in Night's purpose in using that sort of phrasing (he just basically meant, "Tell us what YOUR beliefs are, rather than trying to tell someone else what their beliefs should NOT be"), I think the issue you raise is notable and is one of the roots of the conflict in religious discussion.

    To whit, if Baptists just meant that bad Baptists went to hell for not following their theology, it wouldn't be a big deal; but Baptists insist that everyone is subject to their understanding of the universe. And there are many religions who try to dictate truth for everyone... so to hold the belief personally is still to subject everyone else to it.

    Claims of religious faith are 'strong claims' because either they are valid independant of personal taste or they are invalid. So are claims of gravitational laws. While there is nothing wrong with strong claims as such, they will of course need to be backed by equally strong reasons to be granted status as anything more than personal fantasies.
    I think if people could stick with living out the tenets of their beliefs within their own lives rather than demanding others agree and follow their rules, then the world would be a happier place. Unfortunately, we don't live isolated lives, we live in cultural settings that demand some level of compromise, and people have a hard time acting in ways or accepting things that seem to compromise their view of morality; the reason the strife is so tenacious is because on some level it's admirable and a sign of integrity to stand up for one's beliefs rather than running away, and people feel like they are choosing the high ground by pursuing their beliefs publicly.

    Religious attempts at defining our shared world must be challenged, it must be held responsible for internal inconsistencies and external counterevidence. Because they are invariably speaking about the life and the world of everybody, religious ideas can't be allowed to hide behind the protection of 'personal taste', that we provide personal sexual or gastronomic preferences. Actually this protection express the strong claim that who people screw and what eat is their personal judgment alone, provided the don't hinder others' ability to judge these matters for themselves. Which religious morality invariably does.
    True. Although then again, your morality/opinion here is an attempt to justify that others follow your reasoning and agree with your conclusions, and you are not being accepting that theirs demands a conflict with a dissenting culture.

    Ethics really determines the interactions of relationship. This can be a relationship with other individuals, a relationship with the culture and world at large, or a relationship with oneself. Religious beliefs are codified ethics that are passed down wholesale and accepted on those terms and then applied to relational behavior. That is probably my biggest gripe, that ethics are not being derived and established from actual experience but that external ethics are being imposed over real-life interactions without caring if they are actually applicable.

    If a person is going to consciously hold other people accountable by their own mode of ethics, they should at least derive the ethics from the common pool of experience rather than from some template overlaid from a culture that has been dead for centuries. But that continues to happen.

    This 'personal faith' stuff is just an excuse for religions not to face the music of criticism and responsibility.
    I agree with you in part.
    But just in part.

    You have no way to accurately ascribe such totality of emotion to the complex reasons why someone might hold religious values.

    For one, sometimes people DO good-naturedly trying to call it "personal faith" in order to keep others from feeling attacked. I think the position as you have pointed out seems intellectually inconsistent, true... but I don't think it is always done for negative reasons.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #44
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    Religion does have personal aspects, it just isn't restricted to such.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    You don't "believe" in gravity. Gravity is empirical. Gravity is falsifiable.
    Isn't the whole of human knowledge based on, at least, theoretical falsifiability? That's why I see value in ignosticism. Why should whether god does or does not exist be any different than any other question in the universe?

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    Why should whether god does or does not exist be any different than any other question in the universe?
    Because God is the first cause of the universe.

  7. #47
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    Isn't the whole of human knowledge based on, at least, theoretical falsifiability? That's why I see value in ignosticism. Why should whether god does or does not exist be any different than any other question in the universe?
    Because the other questions have verifiable answers.

    ...

    Both ways of answering are valid. As there are different methodologies for obtaining "truth", equating a belief in gravity with a belief in god/s is erroneous.

    Faith and reason are entirely separate entities.

  8. #48
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    You don't "believe" in gravity. Gravity is empirical. Gravity is falsifiable.

    Religion is neither. Religion depends on strength of belief.
    Actually, I'd like to note that gravity is practically religious belief.

    Note that gravity wasn't known of nor understood for a very long time. Even after it's "discovery", the only things we've managed to ascertain about it is that it seems to affect things at a consistent rate. We have no clue how it works, or why it works, and by all rights, it pretty much is pure magic.

    Electromagnetic forces rely on fields of energy. Even the strong and weak nuclear forces make sense at a highly complex level.

    Gravity though... there's no fields. No electrons. No matter or energy source that's able to be seen or identified. It seems to have unlimited effect as it never gets weaker or runs out. Any piece of matter invariably makes a gravitational field that lasts *FOREVER* with no increase or decrease, it's always constant until yeu change its' mass value. Electromagnetics require the giving away of electrons, and even an electromagnetic field is an identifiable FIELD which can be measured and proven to exist.

    Gravity just... 'is there'. We have literally no idea how it's even possible to do whot it does, or how it works. It is literally MAGIC to us right now. Gravity on the earth's surface is 9.80m/s/s, but that's due to mass and distance, but we don't know HOW it actually pulls things towards it...

    That being said, we still believe inherently in gravity as "fact", despite that we can't prove it's existence. We know it's there, because we feel it's effects, we see it work in ways we don't understand, and we have no clue how it actually works. For all intents and purposes, these traits are identical to the belief in god or spirits or anything else.

    Those who believe inherently in god, see him as "fact", despite they can't prove his existence. They 'know' he's there, because they feel his effects on their lives. They see him work in ways they don't understand, and they have no clue how he actually works.

    Essentially, gravity is as good of a definition of religion as anything. It is belief in existence, without actual proof. People feel the effects second hand but truly have no explanation for them. It's infinite, which goes against all understanding of physics otherwise... as it literally has no point as which gravity is ZERO. Yeu are affected by the gravitational pull of the entire universe at once, it weakens in distance, but it never reaches a true value of 0. It never weakens over time either, it doesn't 'give up' anything to provide its' effects. And of course there's the fact that it's far weaker than any of the other three forces, to the point that noone's really sure why it's so much weaker. Their best guess so far, is that the other forces act independently, only existing within this single dimensional space; gravity, they think, operates possibly on other dimensional levels beyond whot we can perceive. That would also comply with a definition of 'god'.

    So yeah, I'd think the 'gravity' argument is more of an argument *FOR* god, rather than against.

  9. #49
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    Actually, I'd like to note that gravity is practically religious belief.

    [...]

    So yeah, I'd think the 'gravity' argument is more of an argument *FOR* god, rather than against.
    You're missing the point.

    All the methodology you cited makes us of experiment and testable hypothesis. Gravity is independently understood as a falsifiable physical force.

    Not so with religion.

    There's no scientific method. No critical experiementation. It's an alogical construct that depends on force of personality and subjective interpretation of historical text.

    The differences couldn't be more significant.

  10. #50
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    Actually, I'd like to note that gravity is practically religious belief.
    <...explanaition...>
    So yeah, I'd think the 'gravity' argument is more of an argument *FOR* god, rather than against.


    The best example and comparison would probably be if several groups came about who called gravity different things and attributed additional characteristics to it which could not necessarily be proven or refuted. Then all you need is the desire to get others to agree with you and you have a whole religion system.

    I tend to think that this extrapolation is where religion goes wrong and is why people fight rather than any need for people to "live and let live".

    I think Heart&Brain is on the right track in that if you do say that gravity is what draws light to things then you ARE saying that anyone who thinks different is wrong. The only way to negotiate this is the same as we do for food and other things at that point.

    "Yeah YOU may like cheese but I think it's horrible congealed stuff that sticks to your teeth."

    Perhaps it is only because sex and food are but fleeting things we engage in at certain times of the day (not that such times are really timetabled you understand) where as religion kind of permeates the entirety of one's life and is therefore ever present. It's like having a different philosophy. Most people I've seen with differing philosophies tend to be at best dismissive of the other's thinking stating that it's because they're "different".
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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