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  1. #51
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyrdsister View Post
    OK then why use that term if you can't describe it?

    /me is perplexed.
    It's a difficult concept for me to articulate. Knowing and sensing a difference between the two does not mean you can explain that difference to somebody else. Rather than have me butcher the idea... it's better to let somebody else do it. Just call me lazy.

  2. #52
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    one reason

    common values

    so when you marry you marry into familiarity

  3. #53
    Senior Member Bushranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    You asked: whats the point of religions if I can come up with morality without them and make myself happy.

    The point of religions has nothing to do with making you happy or moral, their purpose is transcendent and one that we can not understand because it is outside of the province of reason.
    From the anthropological perspective the point of religion can any of a number of things.
    Two possibilities:
    • Basis for social cohesion
    • Philosophical cornerstone of a culture. (Consider the differing underlying assumptions of eastern and western philosophy)


    There is no need to call upon the transcendent when our reasoning faculties can explain things using the realm of the finite.

    Hypotheses that assume the existence of the infinite or the transcendent as anything more than ideas should be treated with the greatest scepticism since there is no direct evidence to support either.
    I'll get you my pretty, and your little hermit crab too!

  4. #54
    Senior Member Bushranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Here is Kant in a nutshell.

    God is infinite and we are finite, we can never understand him because he is too big for our box.
    This is a cop out. Unfortunately it is so old that people no longer recognise it as such.

    The question of creationism requires knowledge of the other-world, and we are only confined to the knowledge of this world so we can not talk about those things meaningfully.
    There is no shortage of evidence that creationism is scientifically unnecessary until we get to the root cause (a concept that is itself based on an assumption, why must there be a root cause?). Once we get to that point we merely have to consider the number of available creation myths. Consider these in the context of Pascal's wager, which breaks down as soon as optional religions are brought into the picture (The odds shifting in favour of agnostics/atheists).

    So yes, we can talk about these things meaningfully, even if it is merely to refer to them as meaningless.
    I'll get you my pretty, and your little hermit crab too!

  5. #55
    Senior Member Bushranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cut the grass View Post
    one reason

    common values

    so when you marry you marry into familiarity
    Succinct and quite accurate. This discussion is getting caught up in unnecessary complexity.
    I'll get you my pretty, and your little hermit crab too!

  6. #56
    Senior Member wyrdsister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushranger View Post
    Succinct and quite accurate. This discussion is getting caught up in unnecessary complexity.
    Common values? But if two people are from the same demographic they would also have common values. This is not specific to religion.
    Wyrd is a concept in Anglo-Saxon and Nordic culture roughly corresponding to fate. It is ancestral to Modern English weird, which has acquired a very different meaning.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Bushranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyrdsister View Post
    Common values? But if two people are from the same demographic they would also have common values. This is not specific to religion.
    It is not unique to religion, but nevertheless it is a large part of its purpose.
    I'll get you my pretty, and your little hermit crab too!

  8. #58
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Surely religion exists still because we as a people wish it to. If we ceased to wish it to exist then it would cease to exist. Simple really.

    Kinda like politics, it's based on human desires and as long as it is propped up by those desires it will continue.

    ~Apologies to anyone religious but I prefer to be transparent about my position. To do otherwise could be deemed patronising.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Religion's task is to give one meaning in life by answering the biggest questions of cosmology. There are two kinds of religions, those that run on theology and those that run on mythology. Theological religions use reason juxtaposed with the Holy writings to make sense of the world, the other kind just rely on absurd and clumsy fairy tales to satisfy the masses.

    All in all I would say that even theological religions are not acceptable, as questions of eschatology need scriptual testimony for legitimation.


    Beliefs like that in Christian God can only be accepted on a wild leap of faith and they can only be believed because they talk about things that we can not ascertain of with our reason. Hence, you dont know if God exists or not if there is an afterlife, or whatever, so leave it. And maybe, just to be safe accept Jesus (as Pascal would say) who knows, if he really was right, this would be the best decision you'd ever make. But again, you're not in the position to make assessments on how likely he is to be right or not because he speaks of things that are outside of our grasp.

    Solitary Walker,

    In reading your posts, I have noticed a recurring problem with your argumentation style. Namely, your style is not argumentative. You have a tendency to want to jump to give answers for the sake of supplying answers and not for the sake of creating a dialogue with others in an attempt to try to unravel reality and, bit by bit, come closer to the truth regarding a given topic (which is why everyone else is here, I imagine). You often make hasty generalizations that may partially be true in your desire to supply an answer, but your desire for immediate definiteness is your undoing. You seem to be very ambitious in your desire to capture reality, but this is as problematic as it is noble. You tend to want to systematize, but as you know, this has been the major fault of all too many philosophers throughout the ages. You just need to be sure that you are meticulously supplying reasons for everything you say and be careful when you are making generalizations about bodies of knowledge and intellectual traditions that you may not have an encyclopedic knowledge of.

    You also like to use very general words that can mean many, many, many things, and thus you end up saying very little in the eyes of others, even though the ideas that you seem to be trying to express can sometimes be insightful. For example, the word "cosmology" means different things in different contexts. And when you speak of "religion's task", it is difficult to know if you mean that this is what religions actively "try" to do as a means of control or something else, or whether it is a conglomeration and coming together of, among other things, people, history, and ideas in order to collectively come to an agreement on what seems to be true about "the beyond" in a world historical context because of the desire of people to feel a connection with something that transcends the sensble world. There is so much meaningful content that you leave out in trying to really understand the essence of a given thing when you give a one sentence answer to a complicated question.

    No, it is difficult to say that there are "two types of religion", no matter how you qualify that. Certainly, so-called theological religions are not mutually exclusive of "mythology" and legends and vice versa. I certainly don't think that you would count Buddhism as a theological religion or a mythological religion, but then again, that depends on your definition of theological and mythological religion. You do not clarify this to the degree you should. Buddhism is rich with legends and stories, but there is much deep thought that has been made in this tradition. Roman and Greek paganism is usually counted as what you would like to call a mythological religion, but on the other hand, there is much evidence in the philosophical literature and even in poetry and so forth, to show that roman paganism was much more involved and intricate than the average person gives it credit for. Plato and Epicurus wrote on the nature of the gods (as well as the "good and the beautiful" that is often equated with a Christian conception of God). And most classicists agree that they did not see the gods as tangible people or entities, but rather as natural forces in reality. It is likely that most did not really even believe the stories to be literal, but rather stories that helped to grasp the nature of these forces in reality. A final example is the Roman Catholic church, which I would imagine you would be quick to call a theological religion, though this is only an assumption. The Catholic church has much dogma and systemized thought, but it is extremely rich with legends and "fairy-tales" and stories that are not part of the official church canon. Especially in hagiography. So, what is your definition of an "absurd" fairy tale if the purpose of fairy tales is not to dictate truth, but to help one understand an aspect of reality by means of fictional accounts?

    Why are your "theological religions" unacceptable just because of their reliance on scripture? You make it sound as if a tradition or system of thought is "illegitimate" and bereft of value if it does not base itself on epistemologically verifiable principles. If you ask any theologian of any tradition or even any aware believer, the person will tell you that his or her choice to believe was not epistemologically based, leading one to believe that there may be other possibilities for grounds for belief other than stark epistemologically verifiable grounds. For example, it is usually a quality of life decision that leads people to belief. When that is coupled with rational traditions (for example, the Platonic and Aristotelian traditions in Christianity, especially in Christian ethics), one may actually have strong reasons to believe, depending on exactly what is counted as a strong reason, in which case, a leap of faith is not as "wild" as you seem to think, especially when belief does not contradict reason, but rather supplements it. But you do not clarify your position on this.


  10. #60
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnpl0011 View Post
    Why are your "theological religions" unacceptable just because of their reliance on scripture? You make it sound as if a tradition or system of thought is "illegitimate" an bereft of value if it does not base itself on epistemologically verifiable principles. If you ask any theologian of any tradition or even any aware believer, the person will tell you that his or her choice to believe was not epistemologically based, leading one to believe that there may be other possibilities for grounds for belief other than stark epistemologically verifiable grounds. For example, it is usually a quality of life decision that leads people to belief.
    I'll let the rest of this post stand on its own, for SW. Just wanted to say that this last point is something I have found a large factor even in my own quest for truth -- How do I "weigh" the various bits of evidence?

    And the majority of people I have met in the Christian tradition, at least, do not make a commitment based on some abstract philosophical reason or "weighing of evidence," they make it based on the personal improvement of their quality of character and life and relationships with others. There is also the notion of institutional/scriptural authority, that is used to "justify" their commitment, but usually it's a choice made through an engagement with "all of the person," not just their minds.

    (I don't think that these types of evidences are things to disregard just because they are not epistemological in nature.)
    "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

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