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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not sure I should take that question seriously and respond given that its based upon such a reductionist and prejorative understanding of religion and religious thinking.
    you shouldn't - it presents you with an ideological mirror for your understanding of ethics without the support of religion by asking what is left of religious faith without real ethics, and you rightfully found the reflection to be simplistic to the point of ridicule and belittling. asking yourself what you have to say to that or how you can argue against it should be the last question on your mind.

  2. #12
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    To the extent that religion is helping our cultures pass on good, solid values--great; I think that it can be a good vehicle for that. Perhaps it's not necessary, perhaps it's slightly off target, and perhaps it introduces some unnecessary fluff, but it's better than promoting nothing at all about ethics.

    In any case, we ought to pass along distilled ethical wisdom in some form, be it through religious teachings or otherwise. A starting/reference point is useful, even if we're to eventually do away with it or otherwise progress from it.

    I'd hope that these thinkers would believe that we have 'obligations' to man (and, perhaps, to whatever we regard as greater than ourselves) for some reason--even if that reason is simply because we're wired to, because it's human nature.

  3. #13
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    I only understand half of the OP. Are we really straying from humanism? There seems to be an implicit premise here that's not explained.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    To the extent that religion is helping our cultures pass on good, solid values--great; I think that it can be a good vehicle for that. Perhaps it's not necessary, perhaps it's slightly off target, and perhaps it introduces some unnecessary fluff, but it's better than promoting nothing at all about ethics.

    In any case, we ought to pass along distilled ethical wisdom in some form, be it through religious teachings or otherwise. A starting/reference point is useful, even if we're to eventually do away with it or otherwise progress from it.

    I'd hope that these thinkers would believe that we have 'obligations' to man (and, perhaps, to whatever we regard as greater than ourselves) for some reason--even if that reason is simply because we're wired to, because it's human nature.
    There's always going to be values and beliefs transmitted, consciously or unconsciously, a lot of the time simple desires or wants are communicated as beliefs or values and in that respect its market and consumer values which have come to predominate. This isnt a recent conclusion, Tawney was writing about religion and the rise of capitalism around about the second world war period I think and describing how capitalism had eclipsed everything else or at least its religious precursors.

    Socialism, communism and other systems all failed because they wanted to out capitalist the capitalists, they didnt represent a fundamental change in direction or culture. When it highlighted the failings of capitalism it was in some sense only to suggest they could provide what capitalism promised instead of rejecting its first principles or fundamental premises.

    I dont believe, like Marx and others, that religion is something that people eventually out grow, in fact I think the converse. When I was younger I used to think that way about religion but now I think differently about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by animenagai View Post
    I only understand half of the OP. Are we really straying from humanism? There seems to be an implicit premise here that's not explained.
    I consider most of the world religions to be or contain a humanistic component, atheism doesnt, it can but its not necessary and the sort of unreflective atheism which IS popular among believers and unbelievers alike has no humanistic aspect. It means that the present or future state of man could be worse than the miserable one which atheists and secularists suggest preceeded it.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I consider most of the world religions to be or contain a humanistic component, atheism doesnt, it can but its not necessary and the sort of unreflective atheism which IS popular among believers and unbelievers alike has no humanistic aspect. It means that the present or future state of man could be worse than the miserable one which atheists and secularists suggest preceeded it.
    Yeah, but by itself atheism is fairly vague. Consider the opposite: theism doesn't inherently have any moral obligations or humanist aspects, it's just as wide and vague as belief in a diety. All that stuff you're talking about isn't because of a belief in God, it's because of ancillary information around a belief in God that breaks in into more specified categories. Atheism is the same as theism: by itself, it really isn't a complete belief system, it's just a statement. So atheists, like every specified religion, have to fill in additional details to have the fact of their atheism have (or have no) relevance.

    Ao as a theist, if your belief has any bearing on your moral responsibilities at all, it is because you belief in this God or even this very specific, even personal, interpretation of this God. Just as easily a theist could believe in a God that advocates murder or hatred. Replace theist with atheist and God with moral ideology and you've got a situation that's identical.

    Basically my point is the general idea of believing in God is no better than the general idea of not believing in God because both things are so incredibly variable and vague practice, if they even affect you at all. In both cases, it's what you think around those incredibly basic statements that effects morality or humanism.
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    Actually there is no special ethic or morale of atheism. Therefore it is a good question. Atheists arent nihilists and they provide that morale and ethical principles have their basis in human nature and rationality, like according to Kant. Furthermore they draw their conclusions from empirical and evolutionary perceptions and they seperate themselves from the blind acceptance of religious values but rather encourage to question them.

    Atheists think that humans have invented religion from morales and ethics humans invented before religion. Atheists do not believe that religion invented morales or ethics. Furthermore atheists do not think that religious morales are bad, but they think that following a strict set of rules does delimit the evolution of the society as a whole. Because newly learnt values and a transformation of morales and ethics doesnt happen in religion or it does happen very slowly and therefore hinders progress. And example would be the pope telling a country like Africa who suffers a lot from AIDS that condoms are the work of the devil. Or religion saying that abortion should be forbidden. In that regards society has evolved faster than religion did.

    Atheists believe in human nature by trusting it to regulate itself. Meaning it is human rationality, emotions and feeling that does define morale and ethics and will define it forever. Atheists believe in a dynamic evolution of society with human rationality being the common regulator. Opposed to religion who does define a static set of rules everybody shall live by and thru that hindering evolution, atheists give up on total security by not defining a concrete value system but trusting in humanity to regulate itself.

    And if it doesnt, it can blow itself up.
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    Atheists and non-atheists alike can all enjoy the harmony of the cosmos and cosmic consciousness.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont believe, like Marx and others, that religion is something that people eventually out grow, in fact I think the converse. When I was younger I used to think that way about religion but now I think differently about it.
    Oh, yeah. I think that we'll continually refine how we package our values for future generations--but we do have to package them. We ought not to stray away from that, and we ought to pass lessons down to future generations in some form or another. It's almost inevitable that these lessons will come hand-in-hand with what we believe to be the source of those lessons--and, whammo, we've got a religion in some form.

    Interesting conclusions about socialism and communism. I'm not well-versed on history and political systems.. could stand to learn more about them

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