Religion: The Deuce

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bloatyspizzahog
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bloatyspizzahog » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:18 pm UTC

"For someone so strongly promoting the scientific process for establishing beliefs, you're making a strong claim that's well beyond what science tells us. You seem to have a lot of confidence in what we can get without religion even though we've never known a world where religion hasn't been a dominant force. I think that here you are doing precisely what you are saying is wrong with religion. You don't have sufficient evidence, but you promote your beliefs as fact."-guenther (sorry i couldnt get it to quote right)

good one, you got me there. all that other stuff was pretty smart too. i guess we dont have enough evidence to "prove" we'd be better off without religion, but i think i have sufficient reason to make that at least my current hypothesis. seeing as we have seen a world where religion is the dominant force and from my count there might have been plenty of nice things on a personal level in peoples lives but on the large scale it causes more harm then good. my beef isnt with god, just the fact that religion can be and has been too easily abused in the hands of man. and like i said you make a good point, we havent seen what a world dominated by science would bring so dont you think it should at least get one chance?

obviously you can see my point, you are a smart person, probably way smarter then me which is why i can respect the fact you can retain belief. but 99% of religious folk are not quite so thoughtful and use it as an excuse to not learn more about the world around them. this might not be the place for this but i think its important at least it is to me, what reason if any do you have for being a religious person yourself if you are one?
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guenther
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby guenther » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:29 am UTC

1) If you hit the "Quote" button, it takes care of the syntax for you. But here it is:

Code: Select all

[quote="guenther"]Something I said[/quote]

2) I'm not convinced religion causes more harm than good in the large scale. One argument I've heard for the benefit of religion is that it has long inspired a lot of artists, poets, musicians, etc. to make amazing creations. But the counter is that these people would have been so inspired without religion, it's just that religion was a convenient subject since it was so prevalent. Well, a similar argument can be made about war or whatever other large-scale atrocities people tend to blame religion for. It's hard to pin down causality for large scale things.

3) As I said before, science isn't a replacement for religion. It's a tool that has demonstrated a great efficacy in the hands of well-trained experts studying very specific types of problems. But it's not well tested in the role of a personal guide to life. However, one can certainly construct a secular replacement for religion, perhaps something like Secular Humanism. This is pretty new, so it's hard to know how it truly compares. But if you and others want to develop it and encourage growth in the community, then I say go for it. In fact, I think this is a positive thing since constructing something new is better than simply fighting against something old.

4) I'm not so sure about your 99% statistic. I know many religious people who have been well educated and have an interest in learning more. My experience is that religious people are quite capable of being both thoughtful and thoughtless, and I don't think it's been shown that anything fundamental to religion is an impediment to this area.

5) You can read where I shared my own personal story both here and here.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:40 pm UTC

guenther wrote:4) I'm not so sure about your 99% statistic. I know many religious people who have been well educated and have an interest in learning more. My experience is that religious people are quite capable of being both thoughtful and thoughtless, and I don't think it's been shown that anything fundamental to religion is an impediment to this area.
except the bit where you're asked to believe in an unverifiable statement, as fact, without question or inspection (yes yes not all religious practices do this, but most do, and it's indeed a fundamental part of most religion) "you must believe in the lord god your savior", "you must believe in allah", "that there joseph smith is a great guy, oh yeah, he's also a profit and here's some underwear that stops bullets", "dude, thetans are the shit!", "unicorns and fairies are playing in the back yard, lets go look!", lather, rinse, repeat. the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn. in the majority, when someone runs into a question they can't answer, they leave it to "god". "dude, i don't know how evolution works, but i bet god did it", "man i have no idea how i'm going to get through this emotional stress in my life, i give it up to god because through him all things are possible". you kind of stop inspecting yourself and the world around you at that point.

a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.
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marky66
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby marky66 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
guenther wrote:... I don't think it's been shown that anything fundamental to religion is an impediment to this area.
except the bit where you're asked to believe in an unverifiable statement, as fact, without question or inspection (yes yes not all religious practices do this, but most do, and it's indeed a fundamental part of most religion) "you must believe in the lord god your savior", "you must believe in allah", "that there joseph smith is a great guy, oh yeah, he's also a profit and here's some underwear that stops bullets", "dude, thetans are the shit!", "unicorns and fairies are playing in the back yard, lets go look!", lather, rinse, repeat. the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn. in the majority, when someone runs into a question they can't answer, they leave it to "god". "dude, i don't know how evolution works, but i bet god did it", "man i have no idea how i'm going to get through this emotional stress in my life, i give it up to god because through him all things are possible". you kind of stop inspecting yourself and the world around you at that point.

Accepting a given simply allows me to move on with more important things. I don't need to derive pi or test its accuracy every time I want to use it, but I can challenge it if my wonder leads me in that direction.
And we accept things as fact all the time without question or inspection, rather we wait until something demonstrates unreliability before we even think about testing it. Is electricity available at every one of the outlets in your house? How do you know? What about water pressure? Did the main break since the last time you turned on a faucet? Will your car start?

a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.

I can know exactly how a semiconductor gate is manufactured and still be amazed at a microprocessor. Or I can know with 100% certainty that "Intel did it" and wonder just as much how they did it, or why they did it a particular way. And whether or not I understand the workings of a microprocessor or think it is a little square of magic inside my PC, does not at all impact my ability to wonder about the applications that run on the PC.

guenther
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby guenther » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

@DSenette:
You state your whole case as fact. And based on what you've said in the past, I presume you wouldn't believe in such a thing unless it's been tested and verified, correct? So where's the evidence that faith squashes curiosity and the will to learn? Where's the evidence that a belief in God removes wonder? I ask because this is completely contrary to my own personal experience with faith, and the experience of pretty much every religious person I've known.

I'm still not convinced that you understand how faith works. People don't tattoo certain beliefs onto their brain so they never have to think about it again. I don't know of any religious person who hasn't questioned nor inspected their faith.

EDIT: Ninja'd.
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DSenette
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:16 pm UTC

marky66 wrote:
DSenette wrote:
guenther wrote:... I don't think it's been shown that anything fundamental to religion is an impediment to this area.
except the bit where you're asked to believe in an unverifiable statement, as fact, without question or inspection (yes yes not all religious practices do this, but most do, and it's indeed a fundamental part of most religion) "you must believe in the lord god your savior", "you must believe in allah", "that there joseph smith is a great guy, oh yeah, he's also a profit and here's some underwear that stops bullets", "dude, thetans are the shit!", "unicorns and fairies are playing in the back yard, lets go look!", lather, rinse, repeat. the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn. in the majority, when someone runs into a question they can't answer, they leave it to "god". "dude, i don't know how evolution works, but i bet god did it", "man i have no idea how i'm going to get through this emotional stress in my life, i give it up to god because through him all things are possible". you kind of stop inspecting yourself and the world around you at that point.

Accepting a given simply allows me to move on with more important things. I don't need to derive pi or test its accuracy every time I want to use it, but I can challenge it if my wonder leads me in that direction.
And we accept things as fact all the time without question or inspection, rather we wait until something demonstrates unreliability before we even think about testing it. Is electricity available at every one of the outlets in your house? How do you know? What about water pressure? Did the main break since the last time you turned on a faucet? Will your car start?
yeah except that all the things you listed are based on physical evidence.

i can be relatively certain that electricity is available at every outlet in my house because i'm relatively certain of the (shitty 1950's era) wiring that's in it. i've looked at the wires, i've plugged something into every outlet, and historically i've had physical proof that every outlet in my house is physically capable of functioning correctly. if i plug something into an outlet and it doesn't work, it's not because my faith in the outlet was misplaced, it's because something in the system has gone wrong and i need to eyeball the process.

belief in god has NO physical evidence, no rational proof other than faith. which allows for the concept of accepting something on faith and faith alone (in the ABSOLUTE and 100% complete absence of evidence) to be applied to other areas of reality.

marky66 wrote:
a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.

I can know exactly how a semiconductor gate is manufactured and still be amazed at a microprocessor. Or I can know with 100% certainty that "Intel did it" and wonder just as much how they did it, or why they did it a particular way. And whether or not I understand the workings of a microprocessor or think it is a little square of magic inside my PC, does not at all impact my ability to wonder about the applications that run on the PC.

you've got physical evidence of how a microprocessor works, you've got physical evidence that intel did it and you can be amazed by the fact that they did what they did and you cannot. however, would you simply dismiss the creation of a NON-intel created semiconductor as "intel did it"?
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DSenette
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:24 pm UTC

guenther wrote:@DSenette:
You state your whole case as fact. And based on what you've said in the past, I presume you wouldn't believe in such a thing unless it's been tested and verified, correct? So where's the evidence that faith squashes curiosity and the will to learn? Where's the evidence that a belief in God removes wonder? I ask because this is completely contrary to my own personal experience with faith, and the experience of pretty much every religious person I've known.

I'm still not convinced that you understand how faith works. People don't tattoo certain beliefs onto their brain so they never have to think about it again. I don't know of any religious person who hasn't questioned nor inspected their faith.

EDIT: Ninja'd.

ninjared as well.

i state my case as a generalization based in factual observation. i say again that i cannot speak towards the whole of humanity any time i say a thing. i've said over and over and over again that i'm speaking towards the observed majority of the religious. if it doesn't apply DIRECTLY to you, then i'm not talking about you.

the fact that you can cite exceptions to general statements doesn't mean that the situation in said statement doesn't exist (no more than making a generalized statement means that it applies to all without exception).

if you guys want to stick to the whole "dude, don't use generalized speech" then this thread is going to get ridiculously long.

i know A LOT of people who have tattooed beliefs on their brain, do not question it, and think it evil to question it. the percentage of the population that feels the same is MUCH larger than you seem to suspect. and it includes non-christians.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bloatyspizzahog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

You can be amazed at the applications on your PC and what to learn and study them but if you assume the little square inside is magic then you are preventing yourself from learning the most important part of the system.

If you want proof that mass religion is detrimental to society then i have something you should look up. its called thousands of years of human history. Although you are right that i cannot proof this without a shadow of a doubt, it does stand to great reason that if they had the understanding and knowledge to educate themselves and learn and progress many of the atrocities throughout history could have been avoided. Such as the crusades and holy wars that has continued for thousands of years. Its insane. And i also count all the horrible things done in the name of pseudo science such as Hitlers attack on the Jews only because the ability for people to accept things without fact stems from religious beliefs.

You have been very lucky in your life to know many a religious folk who aren't just accepting of whatever is told to them. I was raised religious and went to many churches and met many people all of whom blindly accepted the words of anyone with any religious "authority". I assume you just don't surround yourself with idiots, and thats probably why you don't see many of those people but it is still widely accepted to this day that the earth is less then 10,000 years old, people lived with dinosaurs, and the earth and universe was created in 7 days. (at least in America it is) Not to mention all the over population cause most catholics and many other religions think its a sin to wear a condom, and some even saying to have as many kids as possible. Like i said before, insanity.

Edit: And no offense but your personal experience with religion does not change the way religion effects the world.
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guenther
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby guenther » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:47 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:i state my case as a generalization based in factual observation. i say again that i cannot speak towards the whole of humanity any time i say a thing. i've said over and over and over again that i'm speaking towards the observed majority of the religious. if it doesn't apply DIRECTLY to you, then i'm not talking about you.

the fact that you can cite exceptions to general statements doesn't mean that the situation in said statement doesn't exist (no more than making a generalized statement means that it applies to all without exception).

The fact that your conclusion sounds right in your head doesn't mean it does exist. That's what the scientific method is for, to test and validate if our guesses are correct.

You said: "the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn." You also said: "a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder." I presume that you're talking about faith in both of these, in which case both of these statements are testable. You can gather people who have faith in God and people who don't and measure curiosity, willingness to learn, and their sense of wonder*. Have you seen any data on this? If not, does it matter for you to stand by those claims as fact?

* EDIT: As I mentioned earlier when testing faith and reason, you have to control for things like culture.

bloatyspizzahog wrote:Edit: And no offense but your personal experience with religion does not change the way religion effects the world.

And no offense, but neither does yours. If you want to claim that something fundamental to religion is the cause, this should be testable.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bloatyspizzahog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:17 pm UTC

But how accurately can we test history? If i say large scale religion is the cause for most of histories atrocities i would find it difficult to do any kind of large scale tests on the subject, especially considering it would mean repeating such atrocities. It would be difficult to test that Einstein pooped on any regular occasion simply because the evidence has long such vanished but we can still conclude to a reasonable degree of certainty that it still happened. Yes you do have me at a stand still on that one. It would seem pretty impossible to test whether or not the crusades had some kind of religious influence, but at this point it seems kind of unreasonable. We have to just go by which theory stands best to reason until more sufficient evidence comes to light. But the opposite is true for religion. Its "We will believe the more absurd side until you have proven 100% that we are wrong" then when we do they say ok you're right about that but we're still right about everything else. The problem is you shouldn't have any preconceived ideas or any bias which is what religion has in crap loads.

I read your story and i can relate. The teachings of Christ are very compelling and i life my life by many of them. i have also studied many other religions and have incorporate much of their wisdom into my everyday life. This is the reason religion has lasted so long (and also cause it is in our genetics to be spiritual) but i also draw the line at "if you want eternal bliss just accept *blank*" Thats the line between wisdom we can use to make the world a better place and a dangerous weapon used to control the masses.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:23 pm UTC

guenther wrote:
DSenette wrote:i state my case as a generalization based in factual observation. i say again that i cannot speak towards the whole of humanity any time i say a thing. i've said over and over and over again that i'm speaking towards the observed majority of the religious. if it doesn't apply DIRECTLY to you, then i'm not talking about you.

the fact that you can cite exceptions to general statements doesn't mean that the situation in said statement doesn't exist (no more than making a generalized statement means that it applies to all without exception).

The fact that your conclusion sounds right in your head doesn't mean it does exist. That's what the scientific method is for, to test and validate if our guesses are correct.

You said: "the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn." You also said: "a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder." I presume that you're talking about faith in both of these, in which case both of these statements are testable. You can gather people who have faith in God and people who don't and measure curiosity, willingness to learn, and their sense of wonder*. Have you seen any data on this? If not, does it matter for you to stand by those claims as fact?
i don't have linkable data sets at hand. but i do have my own anecdotal statistics. which, i'll point out, you're using anecdotal statistics as your counter so you cannot exclude them from presentation.

in my anecdotal experience religion/faith has the effects that i have described. the fact that there are large (larger than should be) groups of people denying themselves and their children medical treatment because they believe that god will cure their cancer proves it, the fact that there are large (larger than should be) groups of people that actively deny physical evidence that the world is NOT 6,000 years old proves it, and the fact that anyone factually believes that a communion wafer is transubstantiated into the body of christ proves it. all of these things are testable, and disprovable, yet blind faith causes people to still believe them.


guenther wrote:* EDIT: As I mentioned earlier when testing faith and reason, you have to control for things like culture.
except when faith/religion is the culture that you're talking about.


bloatyspizzahog wrote:Edit: And no offense but your personal experience with religion does not change the way religion effects the world.

And no offense, but neither does yours. If you want to claim that something fundamental to religion is the cause, this should be testable.[/quote]
is a belief in the existence of god fundamental to any religion?
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morriswalters
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby morriswalters » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:54 pm UTC

On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve. There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve. There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.

since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?
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marky66
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby marky66 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:42 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
marky66 wrote:
DSenette wrote:
guenther wrote:... I don't think it's been shown that anything fundamental to religion is an impediment to this area.
except the bit where you're asked to believe in an unverifiable statement, as fact, without question or inspection (yes yes not all religious practices do this, but most do, and it's indeed a fundamental part of most religion) "you must believe in the lord god your savior", "you must believe in allah", "that there joseph smith is a great guy, oh yeah, he's also a profit and here's some underwear that stops bullets", "dude, thetans are the shit!", "unicorns and fairies are playing in the back yard, lets go look!", lather, rinse, repeat. the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn. in the majority, when someone runs into a question they can't answer, they leave it to "god". "dude, i don't know how evolution works, but i bet god did it", "man i have no idea how i'm going to get through this emotional stress in my life, i give it up to god because through him all things are possible". you kind of stop inspecting yourself and the world around you at that point.

Accepting a given simply allows me to move on with more important things. I don't need to derive pi or test its accuracy every time I want to use it, but I can challenge it if my wonder leads me in that direction.
And we accept things as fact all the time without question or inspection, rather we wait until something demonstrates unreliability before we even think about testing it. Is electricity available at every one of the outlets in your house? How do you know? What about water pressure? Did the main break since the last time you turned on a faucet? Will your car start?
yeah except that all the things you listed are based on physical evidence.

i can be relatively certain that electricity is available at every outlet in my house because i'm relatively certain of the (shitty 1950's era) wiring that's in it. i've looked at the wires, i've plugged something into every outlet, and historically i've had physical proof that every outlet in my house is physically capable of functioning correctly. if i plug something into an outlet and it doesn't work, it's not because my faith in the outlet was misplaced, it's because something in the system has gone wrong and i need to eyeball the process.

Your knowledge of what makes electricity work is immaterial to whether you'd expect an outlet to work. If your experience tells you that this outlet has worked the last 800 times you've used it, you are going to expect it to work on the 801st. You don't first check the breaker, and call the electric supplier to ensure they are delivering and have no reports of outages.

I think people accept faith in God similarly. They choose to accept on faith that the outlet is going to work God is doing something in their life, and when they plug something in have an issue and pray about it, and the device turns on issue is resolved, their faith in the outlet God is bolstered.

belief in god has NO physical evidence, no rational proof other than faith. which allows for the concept of accepting something on faith and faith alone (in the ABSOLUTE and 100% complete absence of evidence) to be applied to other areas of reality.
And people could apply mathematical tests to their relationships with their spouses. You can't dismiss all methods of doing something because it the method isn't deal for every situation.


marky66 wrote:
a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.

I can know exactly how a semiconductor gate is manufactured and still be amazed at a microprocessor. Or I can know with 100% certainty that "Intel did it" and wonder just as much how they did it, or why they did it a particular way. And whether or not I understand the workings of a microprocessor or think it is a little square of magic inside my PC, does not at all impact my ability to wonder about the applications that run on the PC.

you've got physical evidence of how a microprocessor works, you've got physical evidence that intel did it and you can be amazed by the fact that they did what they did and you cannot. however, would you simply dismiss the creation of a NON-intel created semiconductor as "intel did it"?

If Intel were the only one claiming to make microprocessors, yes I think I would attribute any microprocessors to them. What's the alternative, that nature formed them randomly?

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bloatyspizzahog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:44 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
morriswalters wrote:On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve. There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.

since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?


I must agree with my friend here. there is no proof religion doesn't hinder free thought and introspection. While there is more then sufficient proof to the contrary. The proof is i can walk into just about any church in America and ask if the religious people inside if they have and logic behind their beliefs. (not the logic of the teachings) and the will not only not have logical reasoning but will state that any such logic be unnecessary and even not possible "its beyond our understanding". The proof is thousands of years of primitive culture rituals and behavior. You cant exactly reason with a person who thinks reason isn't always applicable.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby marky66 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
morriswalters wrote:On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve. There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.

since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

I thought the established standard was that the positive assertion bears the burden of proof.

DSenette wrote:in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?

You bring up an interesting point. Maybe we should debate whether all cultures should be abolished, whether they do more harm than good.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:51 pm UTC

guenther wrote:
DSenette wrote:i state my case as a generalization based in factual observation. i say again that i cannot speak towards the whole of humanity any time i say a thing. i've said over and over and over again that i'm speaking towards the observed majority of the religious. if it doesn't apply DIRECTLY to you, then i'm not talking about you.

the fact that you can cite exceptions to general statements doesn't mean that the situation in said statement doesn't exist (no more than making a generalized statement means that it applies to all without exception).

The fact that your conclusion sounds right in your head doesn't mean it does exist. That's what the scientific method is for, to test and validate if our guesses are correct.

You said: "the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn." You also said: "a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder." I presume that you're talking about faith in both of these, in which case both of these statements are testable. You can gather people who have faith in God and people who don't and measure curiosity, willingness to learn, and their sense of wonder*. Have you seen any data on this? If not, does it matter for you to stand by those claims as fact?


I thought this paper might be relevant. It's a nice review of some research on the effect of religiousity, particularly religious fundamentalism and sectarianism, on achievement in college students, and isn't too long or technical, but well sourced. Here's some highlights:

Spoiler:
The Good:
"Religious participation and personal religiosity can help lower rates of substance abuse, and limit activities that undermine college careers (Regnerus 2000)."

"Religious activities provide a basis for social support outside of the home, thus combating the loneliness and isolation which can lead to mental health problems (Sherkat & Ellison 1999)"

"Indeed, religious students and their organizations have forged the backbone of social activism on a variety of causes; from civil rights for African Americans, to opposition to the war in Vietnam, to the anti-Apartheid movement, to homelessness, to opposition to support for varied brutal dictatorships (Zald 2000)."

The Bad:
"Sectarian affiliation and biblical fundamentalism have an especially negative impact on the educational attainment of women (Sherkat & Darnell 1999; Glass & Jacobs 2005)."

"Beginning in high school, sectarian Protestants and biblical fundamentalists have been shown to be less likely to take college preparatory coursework. Predictably, students who avoid taking courses like biology,
chemistry, calculus, and British literature in high school are less likely to successfully complete college (Darnell and Sherkat 1997)."

"The burden of early marriage and fertility are also likely factors in low rates of educational attainment for conservative Christian men, since having a family often requires forsaking future rewards which could accrue from educational attainment for the immediate benefits of employment. Large family size, coupled with limited wealth (Keister 2003), will also hinder sectarian Christian parents’ ability to help finance the educational pursuits of their children. This may help explain lower rates of college attendance and completion among conservative Christians (Darnell & Sherkat 1997; Lehrer 1999; Glass & Jacobs 2005)"

The Ugly:
"The focus on religious explanations for all manner of phenomena in fundamentalist communities does not conform to the standards of secular education (Hood et al. 2005). The focus on religious sacred texts as the only source limits the cognitive complexity of thought (Hunsberger et al., 1994, 1996; Sherkat 2006), which may well lead to poor performance and exacerbate conflict with professors."

"Finally, young sectarian and fundamentalist Christians often have difficulty dealing with environments and situations where they are not monitored by parents and coreligionists, and this often leads to risky unplanned experimentation with sex and substance abuse."

"Sectarian Christians spend most of their lives in a segregated religious community, isolated from people of different races, ethnicities, and religious tradition [...] Because of this isolation and aversion, conservative Christians tend to hold substantial prejudices against ethnic, religious, and especially sexual minorities (Edgell et al. 2005; Burdette et al. 2005; Emerson et al. 1999)."

"Critical argumentation about issues in politics, history, ethics, or sociology is difficult for fundamentalist Christians, since they believe that biblical pronouncements are not only necessary explanations, but also sufficient."

"While religious commitments can forestall the initiation of sexual activity, religious effects do not last forever, and research shows that sectarian Christians often engage in risky sexual behavior once they do begin their sexual careers (Bearman & Bruckner 2001). Similar findings hold for alcohol: while sectarian Protestants are more likely to abstain from alcohol; if they do drink, they are more likely to drink in excess
(Moulton, Ellison, and Sherkat 2003)."

I point out in passing that, under the definitions of the study, 25% of the population under review was considered "sectarian" and 60% of sectarians, 30% of mainline, and 21% of Catholics are also "fundamentalist". Assuming I've done my calculations right, that means that about 40% of the total population of people under 25 are either sectarian, fundamentalist, or both. I would consider this pretty alarming in light of some of the results described above.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:07 pm UTC

marky66 wrote:
DSenette wrote:
marky66 wrote:
DSenette wrote:
guenther wrote:... I don't think it's been shown that anything fundamental to religion is an impediment to this area.
except the bit where you're asked to believe in an unverifiable statement, as fact, without question or inspection (yes yes not all religious practices do this, but most do, and it's indeed a fundamental part of most religion) "you must believe in the lord god your savior", "you must believe in allah", "that there joseph smith is a great guy, oh yeah, he's also a profit and here's some underwear that stops bullets", "dude, thetans are the shit!", "unicorns and fairies are playing in the back yard, lets go look!", lather, rinse, repeat. the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn. in the majority, when someone runs into a question they can't answer, they leave it to "god". "dude, i don't know how evolution works, but i bet god did it", "man i have no idea how i'm going to get through this emotional stress in my life, i give it up to god because through him all things are possible". you kind of stop inspecting yourself and the world around you at that point.

Accepting a given simply allows me to move on with more important things. I don't need to derive pi or test its accuracy every time I want to use it, but I can challenge it if my wonder leads me in that direction.
And we accept things as fact all the time without question or inspection, rather we wait until something demonstrates unreliability before we even think about testing it. Is electricity available at every one of the outlets in your house? How do you know? What about water pressure? Did the main break since the last time you turned on a faucet? Will your car start?
yeah except that all the things you listed are based on physical evidence.

i can be relatively certain that electricity is available at every outlet in my house because i'm relatively certain of the (shitty 1950's era) wiring that's in it. i've looked at the wires, i've plugged something into every outlet, and historically i've had physical proof that every outlet in my house is physically capable of functioning correctly. if i plug something into an outlet and it doesn't work, it's not because my faith in the outlet was misplaced, it's because something in the system has gone wrong and i need to eyeball the process.

Your knowledge of what makes electricity work is immaterial to whether you'd expect an outlet to work. If your experience tells you that this outlet has worked the last 800 times you've used it, you are going to expect it to work on the 801st. You don't first check the breaker, and call the electric supplier to ensure they are delivering and have no reports of outages.

I think people accept faith in God similarly. They choose to accept on faith that the outlet is going to work God is doing something in their life, and when they plug something in have an issue and pray about it, and the device turns on issue is resolved, their faith in the outlet God is bolstered.
EXCEPT in the instance of the outlet there is actually measurable evidence to support your claim.

with religion/faith/god there isn't. there's no measurable or observable evidence to support the faith. there just isn't. religious faith is supported ONLY by religious faith. your faith in prayer to god (in the bit where you replaced outlet with god) your assertions are only supported by your faith in the assertion itself. it would be equivalent to me plugging a device into an outlet, it NOT working, and me unplugging and then replugging the device over and over expecting the outcome to change because i believe the outlet is functional.

"faith" that the outlet SHOULD be working when i plug a device into it is supported by physical evidence and reasonable assumptions based in logic (i.e. well, the other outlets are working so the house has electricity, everything in this specific room is working, so the room is getting electricity, other things plugged into this circuit are working so surely this one plug hasn't physically malfunctioned.)

marky66 wrote:
belief in god has NO physical evidence, no rational proof other than faith. which allows for the concept of accepting something on faith and faith alone (in the ABSOLUTE and 100% complete absence of evidence) to be applied to other areas of reality.
And people could apply mathematical tests to their relationships with their spouses. You can't dismiss all methods of doing something because it the method isn't deal for every situation.
depending on the math, you could actually apply mathematics to relationships.

and, actually, you can dismiss a method as invalid if it doesn't apply at all, or doesn't give accurate results, or introduces more issues than it fixes.

REGARDLESS, we're talking about the negatives/positives of religion. the application of religious belief to matters of science (i.e. evolution/creationism) is a detrimental factor of religion. so your postulation of applying math to relationships is not quite on point.


marky66 wrote:
dsenette wrote:a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.

I can know exactly how a semiconductor gate is manufactured and still be amazed at a microprocessor. Or I can know with 100% certainty that "Intel did it" and wonder just as much how they did it, or why they did it a particular way. And whether or not I understand the workings of a microprocessor or think it is a little square of magic inside my PC, does not at all impact my ability to wonder about the applications that run on the PC.
dsenette wrote:you've got physical evidence of how a microprocessor works, you've got physical evidence that intel did it and you can be amazed by the fact that they did what they did and you cannot. however, would you simply dismiss the creation of a NON-intel created semiconductor as "intel did it"?

If Intel were the only one claiming to make microprocessors, yes I think I would attribute any microprocessors to them. What's the alternative, that nature formed them randomly?
suggesting the existence of a processor as "intel did it" in the absence of evidence to support that is the issue here.

marky66 wrote:
DSenette wrote:
morriswalters wrote:On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve. There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.

since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

I thought the established standard was that the positive assertion bears the burden of proof.
ah but there is a positive assertion coming from the other side. their assertion is that religion fosters free thought, introspection, and wonder.


marky66 wrote:
DSenette wrote:in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?

You bring up an interesting point. Maybe we should debate whether all cultures should be abolished, whether they do more harm than good.
we can if you like.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby morriswalters » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:19 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?


Where is the proof it does? Since in point of fact we got to this level with Religion in the mix, what argument can you make that we would have gotten any further had it not existed? It is arguable that the age of reason was a product of Religion. Certainly Religious Philosophers have shown all those traits(free thought, introspection, and wonder). You are not arguing that all knowledge was produced by atheists are you? You work so hard to simplify a process that is not simple. Any process is subject to any number of influences. You can't separate culture from Religion and you can't separate people from their bias. The perversion of genetics was caused by people who had agendas and was used to justify things by others with their own agendas. The one commonality between all extremes of behavior is people, Philosophies are tools, people are tool users. I accept that there may be better ways than Religion to provide a moral framework for behavior. What I doubt is a basis for that possibility today.

edit: inserted [is], marked by italics
edit 2: edited edit 1 for clarity :?

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bloatyspizzahog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:27 pm UTC

bloatyspizzahog wrote:
DSenette wrote:
morriswalters wrote:On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve. There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.

since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?


I must agree with my friend here. there is no proof religion doesn't hinder free thought and introspection. While there is more then sufficient proof to the contrary. The proof is i can walk into just about any church in America and ask if the religious people inside if they have and logic behind their beliefs. (not the logic of the teachings) and the will not only not have logical reasoning but will state that any such logic be unnecessary and even not possible "its beyond our understanding". The proof is thousands of years of primitive culture rituals and behavior. You cant exactly reason with a person who thinks reason isn't always applicable.


As i state above. Its clear through a long human history of going no where that we see how it hinders science. Yes there were some religious philosophers who helped with some progress despite the fact they had their faith but these are no where near the average religious persons views.

only in recent times have we had real progress where we in educated countries have the ability to be free to learn and help each other without judgment in an unprecedented scale never seen before because we finally have the answers science gave us to contend with the answers religion claims to give us.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:29 pm UTC

all of you people that are arguing from the same side here, it may benefit you greatly to read your compatriot's posts AS WELL as the people you're attempting to debate with. might add a large amount of context.

morriswalters wrote:
DSenette wrote:since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?


Where is the proof it does?

you can keep asking for that proof just as much as i can ask for proof in the other direction. i've given anecdotal proof, LG just posted statistical proof. so where's your proof that it doesn't?


morriswalters wrote: Since in point of fact we got to this level with Religion in the mix, what argument can you make that we would have gotten any further had it not existed?
to take the place of Geunther, where's your proof that the things you're claiming religion did as good weren't done because of the culture? what fundamental portion of religion is the causality of those good acts? or was religion just the justification for them?

morriswalters wrote: It arguable that the age of reason was a product of Religion.

citation needed

morriswalters wrote: Certainly Religious Philosophers have shown all those traits(free thought, introspection, and wonder).
as a function of their religion? or was it a cultural effect? what fundamental portion of religion caused their contributions? was religion the cause or the justification?

morriswalters wrote: You are not arguing that all knowledge was produced by atheists are you?
nope

morriswalters wrote: You work so hard to simplify a process that is not simple. Any process is subject to any number of influences. You can't separate culture from Religion and you can't separate people from their bias.
you can separate people from their biases, it's done all the time.
and you can separate culture from religion, assuming that the specific culture in question isn't based upon religion.

"Tattoo culture", some people within that culture are religious, some are not, but the base culture is not based in religion so you can separate religious tattoo culture from tattoo culture as a whole.

however, if the base culture is religious in nature, you cannot separate the two, so you cannot suggest than any effect wrought by that culture is a cultural effect instead of a religious effect.

morriswalters wrote:The perversion of genetics was caused by people who had agendas and was used to justify things by others with their own agendas. The one commonality between all extremes of behavior is people, Philosophies are tools, people are tool users.
right, and when you see someone using a hammer like a dumbass you tell them to quit doing that.

morriswalters wrote: I accept that there may be better ways than Religion to provide a moral framework for behavior. What I doubt is a basis for that possibility today.

well i doubt the possibility of us traveling to mars tomorrow, doesn't mean it won't happen
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bloatyspizzahog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:52 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:all of you people that are arguing from the same side here, it may benefit you greatly to read your compatriot's posts AS WELL as the people you're attempting to debate with. might add a large amount of context.

morriswalters wrote:
DSenette wrote:since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?


Where is the proof it does?

you can keep asking for that proof just as much as i can ask for proof in the other direction. i've given anecdotal proof, LG just posted statistical proof. so where's your proof that it doesn't?


morriswalters wrote: Since in point of fact we got to this level with Religion in the mix, what argument can you make that we would have gotten any further had it not existed?
to take the place of Geunther, where's your proof that the things you're claiming religion did as good weren't done because of the culture? what fundamental portion of religion is the causality of those good acts? or was religion just the justification for them?

morriswalters wrote: It arguable that the age of reason was a product of Religion.

citation needed

morriswalters wrote: Certainly Religious Philosophers have shown all those traits(free thought, introspection, and wonder).
as a function of their religion? or was it a cultural effect? what fundamental portion of religion caused their contributions? was religion the cause or the justification?

morriswalters wrote: You are not arguing that all knowledge was produced by atheists are you?
nope

morriswalters wrote: You work so hard to simplify a process that is not simple. Any process is subject to any number of influences. You can't separate culture from Religion and you can't separate people from their bias.
you can separate people from their biases, it's done all the time.
and you can separate culture from religion, assuming that the specific culture in question isn't based upon religion.

"Tattoo culture", some people within that culture are religious, some are not, but the base culture is not based in religion so you can separate religious tattoo culture from tattoo culture as a whole.

however, if the base culture is religious in nature, you cannot separate the two, so you cannot suggest than any effect wrought by that culture is a cultural effect instead of a religious effect.

morriswalters wrote:The perversion of genetics was caused by people who had agendas and was used to justify things by others with their own agendas. The one commonality between all extremes of behavior is people, Philosophies are tools, people are tool users.
right, and when you see someone using a hammer like a dumbass you tell them to quit doing that.

morriswalters wrote: I accept that there may be better ways than Religion to provide a moral framework for behavior. What I doubt is a basis for that possibility today.

well i doubt the possibility of us traveling to mars tomorrow, doesn't mean it won't happen


Thanks for putting those all up for us because it was getting pretty scattered. So when the religion=good side puts in their rebuttal it would be much appreciated that you address more then just one of these points, just for the sake of not having to reiterate. Thanks.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Zcorp » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:57 pm UTC

Little behind on this thread now, I'll probably catch up over the next week.
And Bloatyspizzahog much of this has been discussed, please read the thread a bit before jumping in.

Got this video sent to me for my birthday from a good friend, and while I'm certainly not making the case that this represents anywhere close to the majority of Christianity it doesn't make this any less scary.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby ExplodingHat » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:...the fact that anyone factually believes that a communion wafer is transubstantiated into the body of christ proves it. all of these things are testable...

a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process.

What I notice in both of these statements is an unwillingness (or perhaps inability) to distinguish between different types of knowledge. The physical appearance of a communion wafer is as bread; this can be measured scientifically. However, transubstantiation deals with the ontological substance, in this case the Body of Christ. Similarly, "we were created by God" is a teleological claim, and has no bearing on an empirical understanding of the universe's origin or workings. I would argue that wonder about the physical universe and that of the nature of God can most certainly coexist, if not reinforce each other.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby bloatyspizzahog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:19 pm UTC

ExplodingHat wrote:
DSenette wrote:...the fact that anyone factually believes that a communion wafer is transubstantiated into the body of christ proves it. all of these things are testable...

a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process.

What I notice in both of these statements is an unwillingness (or perhaps inability) to distinguish between different types of knowledge. The physical appearance of a communion wafer is as bread; this can be measured scientifically. However, transubstantiation deals with the ontological substance, in this case the Body of Christ. Similarly, "we were created by God" is a teleological claim, and has no bearing on an empirical understanding of the universe's origin or workings. I would argue that wonder about the physical universe and that of the nature of God can most certainly coexist, if not reinforce each other.


So what i understand from what you are saying is that God has no physically measurable effect on the universe? I agree that the wonder of God and of the universe can co exist if one doesn't outright accept God as absolute fact (cause that is no longer wonder, which is their point) but fail to see how one would reinforce the other.

And if God has no measurable effect on the universe it sounds like He might as well just be imaginary.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:15 pm UTC

ExplodingHat wrote:
DSenette wrote:...the fact that anyone factually believes that a communion wafer is transubstantiated into the body of christ proves it. all of these things are testable...

a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process.

What I notice in both of these statements is an unwillingness (or perhaps inability) to distinguish between different types of knowledge. The physical appearance of a communion wafer is as bread; this can be measured scientifically. However, transubstantiation deals with the ontological substance, in this case the Body of Christ. Similarly, "we were created by God" is a teleological claim, and has no bearing on an empirical understanding of the universe's origin or workings. I would argue that wonder about the physical universe and that of the nature of God can most certainly coexist, if not reinforce each other.

so, you disagree with the religious teaching that states that transubstantiation quite literally converts bread and wine into literal flesh and blood? great! so do i, HOWEVER, some do not. and no amount of telling them that they're wrong will change their stance.

yes yes most Christians don't believe in literal transubstantiation, but some do. most christians don't believe that snake handling is a good idea, but some do. and most christians don't believe that putting their faith in the lord alone and eschewing modern medicine in the face of cancer is a good idea, but some do.


in the proper context, wonder about the physical universe and wonder about god (or belief in god) can coexist, the point is that oft times they can't.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby ExplodingHat » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:43 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:so, you disagree with the religious teaching that states that transubstantiation quite literally converts bread and wine into literal flesh and blood?
No, I don't disagree with it at all. I believe that in the utmost reality of things, it is in fact the Body and Blood of Christ. As aforementioned, the physical properties are (obviously) still those of bread and wine, but the ontological substances have changed. Anyone who says it physically becomes flesh and blood is clearly deranged, but understand that in a theological frame "physically" and "actually" are not necessarily the same thing. In this case, it is actually the Body and Blood; it only appears physically as bread and wine.
DSenette wrote:no amount of telling them that they're wrong will change their stance.
That is because a metaphysical claim can only be refuted by another metaphysical claim. (Except for the trivial argument rejecting metaphysical thought entirely.)

Physical claims (I.e: snake, cancer) however, are addressable by physical arguments. I guess I'm going to play the "straw man" card (by sacrificing 2 of my monsters of combined level 8 or higher :wink: ) on those examples, though, as religion in general does not necessarily make physically verifiable claims.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:48 am UTC

ExplodingHat wrote:
DSenette wrote:so, you disagree with the religious teaching that states that transubstantiation quite literally converts bread and wine into literal flesh and blood?
No, I don't disagree with it at all. I believe that in the utmost reality of things, it is in fact the Body and Blood of Christ. As aforementioned, the physical properties are (obviously) still those of bread and wine, but the ontological substances have changed. Anyone who says it physically becomes flesh and blood is clearly deranged, but understand that in a theological frame "physically" and "actually" are not necessarily the same thing. In this case, it is actually the Body and Blood; it only appears physically as bread and wine.

ah yes, the smoke and mirrors explanation. "it is the body of christ, but god made sure that it still looked like bread so that we couldn't find him out". this argument is the same as the unknowable god mentioned before. which is the same as a non existent god.

IF the eucharist is the body of christ, but it's been "magiked" into still looking like bread, then scientifically it is the same as it still being a cracker. so the only thing that is supporting your claim to the contrary is your faith, which again is only supported by your faith. ergo you're having to accept a thing as fact without having evidence of any kind (other than your faith that's only supported by your faith). which can serve to stifle free thought, introspection, and general learning.



ExplodingHat wrote:
DSenette wrote:no amount of telling them that they're wrong will change their stance.
That is because a metaphysical claim can only be refuted by another metaphysical claim. (Except for the trivial argument rejecting metaphysical thought entirely.)
not exactly. metaphysical claims can be dismissed as there is no supporting evidence. a dismissal of a claim is a refutation of a sort. but that's neither here nor there. you are aware of certain sects that actually do believe in the physical transformation right? their belief is that there is a physical change (this is by far one of the most marginalized and least populous of all of the groups of christianity that i've ever encountered, but they do exist)

ExplodingHat wrote:Physical claims (I.e: snake, cancer) however, are addressable by physical arguments. I guess I'm going to play the "straw man" card (by sacrificing 2 of my monsters of combined level 8 or higher :wink: ) on those examples, though, as religion in general does not necessarily make physically verifiable claims.

and how is it a strawman to state the existance of something that exists again? are you unaware of religious groups who handle snakes as part of their faith? or religious groups that suggest that their members not seak medical attention because god will carry them through instead?
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby guenther » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:19 am UTC

bloatyspizzahog wrote:But how accurately can we test history? If i say large scale religion is the cause for most of histories atrocities i would find it difficult to do any kind of large scale tests on the subject, especially considering it would mean repeating such atrocities.

While testing history is hard, I'd say the big problem with a claim like that is it's imprecision. We don't have the same large scale religious structure today that we had back during the crusades. So even if you could 100% prove you're right, how much of that applies to religion as it exists today? Has things like separation of church and state and freedom of religion been enough to remove those problems, or is it something more fundamental like faith or a belief in God? These sorts of questions have a lot more relevance, and if something fundamental to religion is to blame, then my case becomes a lot weaker.

bloatyspizzahog wrote:But the opposite is true for religion. Its "We will believe the more absurd side until you have proven 100% that we are wrong" then when we do they say ok you're right about that but we're still right about everything else. The problem is you shouldn't have any preconceived ideas or any bias which is what religion has in crap loads.

I don't think that religious people are more likely to believe in random absurd stories than the areligious. However, religious people are biased to believe in their particular religious claims, and maybe that's a bother to you. But I think this is the nature of how people form groups and share ideas. They form a narrative, and group members are biased to believe it. This is easily observable in politics where members of the opposite parties will tend to interpret events in ways that's consistent with their own beliefs. But I also think this is how morality gets propagated as well. It would be hard for many people to rationally consider whether something like slavery or rape is OK because they are repulsive concepts. Most people are biased against these ideas, and I think that's great.

DSenette wrote:i don't have linkable data sets at hand. but i do have my own anecdotal statistics. which, i'll point out, you're using anecdotal statistics as your counter so you cannot exclude them from presentation.

I used anecdotal evidence to explain why I questioned your statement of fact. But I'm not presenting my own personal experience as fact. It is what it is, my own personal experience. And you didn't answer my question: Does the lack of testing and verification for your claims affect whether you stand by them as fact?

DSenette wrote:(A)except when faith/religion is the culture that you're talking about.
(B)is a belief in the existence of god fundamental to any religion?

(A) Faith is not a culture. There are religious cultures that promote faith. But then culturally how that faith is lived out is very different for different groups.
(B) I'd say so.

LaserGuy wrote:I thought this paper might be relevant. It's a nice review of some research on the effect of religiousity, particularly religious fundamentalism and sectarianism, on achievement in college students, and isn't too long or technical, but well sourced.

This is interesting and relevant to the thread, but I don't think it's relevant to DSenette's claims. In fact, I'd say it's evidence against. A faith in God is common to almost all Christians, but it's only the sectarian and fundamentalists that measurably perform poorly in that paper. So clearly it's something else that's causing the difference. (Admittedly I didn't get a chance to read the actual paper yet, so I'm going off of your quotes. I'll try to read the paper soon.)

Zcorp wrote:Got this video sent to me for my birthday from a good friend, and while I'm certainly not making the case that this represents anywhere close to the majority of Christianity it doesn't make this any less scary.

Missionary Dinosaurs, RAWR

Happy birthday and thanks for the link. This is very sad and something that I think should be opposed.
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby morriswalters » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:24 am UTC

DSenette wrote:a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.
Here's where it started.
morriswalters wrote:
Spoiler:
On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve.
There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.


DSenette wrote:since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?
morriswalters wrote:
Spoiler:
Where is the proof it does? Since in point of fact we got to this level with Religion in the mix, what argument can you make that we would have gotten any further had it not existed? It is arguable that the age of reason was a product of Religion. Certainly Religious Philosophers have shown all those traits(free thought, introspection, and wonder). You are not arguing that all knowledge was produced by atheists are you? You work so hard to simplify a process that is not simple. Any process is subject to any number of influences. You can't separate culture from Religion and you can't separate people from their bias. The perversion of genetics was caused by people who had agendas and was used to justify things by others with their own agendas. The one commonality between all extremes of behavior is people, Philosophies are tools, people are tool users. I accept that there may be better ways than Religion to provide a moral framework for behavior. What I doubt is a basis for that possibility today.

The problem during the middle ages was that had not the Church maintained the skills needed that the age of enlightenment might not have happened until much later. Follow the link. In modern terms I have provided sources, such as a list of Institutions who derive from Religious beginnings. And not all scientists or researchers are atheists.

I think free thought, whatever definition you want to use, is pretty much as free as it can get right now. Or we wouldn't be talking. If you can think it you can pretty much say it. No matter how stupid. Everybody who argues this point is doing some form of introspection, at least I hope they are. And most people do. They just don't think about what you think about.

Define culture as you mean it. Otherwise I think you mean society. In which case, I would like you to tell me how to separate cause and effect, without knowing the degree and mechanisms of linkage. They are too closely linked. If you mean something else then I hope you would share it with me.

In terms of you last post, trying to determine cause and effect for the influence of Religion on the things I've cited is impossible, one way or the other, but they exist. What part of society would you suggest was responsible for their knowledge and curiosity? Until Gutenberg developed movable type in 1439 the Church had preserved European literacy, as I've cited previously. The invention of the press allowed information to move out of the control of the Church. But by the same token had the Church not preserved much information then progress might have been much slower. I suggest you research how the writings of the Greek philosophers were preserved. Think about the problem when all texts had to be hand copied. How were the men who did it educated and supported? The Church was the information culture of the western world. And the age of Enlightenment came out of that.
DSenette wrote:ah but there is a positive assertion coming from the other side. their assertion is that religion fosters free thought, introspection, and wonder.

Now about wonder. You asserted that Religion destroyed wonder, you defend it. I went through the rigmarole of quoting to point out the chain of the argument. If that is offensive then ignore it.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby infernovia » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:38 am UTC

The problem during the middle ages was that had not the Church maintained the skills needed that the age of enlightenment might not have happened until much later. Follow the link. In modern terms I have provided sources, such as a list of Institutions who derive from Religious beginnings. And not all scientists or researchers are atheists.

Thats one way of seeing it, here is another.

Christianity and the platonic ideal regressed ideas so far that if they had not existed, the enlightenment would have happened earlier. It is unquestionable that Europe had fallen into the Dark Ages while the Islamic and the Chinese world were the forefront of education for a millennium. Of course the enlightenment could have only come from universities, which were purely Christian beforehand because that held dominance in all of Europe. But it would be a mistake to subscribe Christianity as the belief system that brought about the enlightenment. It was the revival of the Greek texts (which the christians had burned and sabotaged earlier) that allowed them to finally break free from backwardness of dogmatic ideas.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Wodashin » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:01 am UTC

To stereotype religious people is ridiculous.

Image


The fundamentalist Christian is the vocal minority. Perhaps you've heard of that? Most everyone is Christian in America. They aren't all living in the 1600's. Most people do question their religion, especially now. I feel that some people become atheistic just to feel smarter. Obviously not anyone on this site, but thinking that religious people are all one way and atheists are all another way is sickeningly stupid. It's disgusting to see the kind of hostility on both sides by each of the vocal minorities, and the normal people on both sides think that's how the other side must be. All of 'em are crazy. The people who would accept religion without thought are the people that would accept atheism with no thought, and there are those who do this as is quite evident by Yahoo Answers, the internet's anus.

The rhetoric that exists between the two is FAR worse than anything a politician could come up with. Sarah Palin would blush at just how dumb some people on both sides are.

I propose that religious tolerance should be something we do rather than say. Not acceptance, but the diatribes are unnecessary. People are intelligent, and should they choose atheism or religion, it doesn't really matter. If anyone says a word about how religion starts wars, know that wars have never been started over religion. Wars are always, and always have been about power, land, and resources and nothing more. Religion is a tool to be used in war, yes, but not a cause. People at the top can bend things to their will sometimes. Muslim extremists don't exist because Islam is pure evil incarnate, it exists because they cherry pick what to teach and use the religion to brain wash their followers.

I'm probably so off topic, and am sorry.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby mmmcannibalism » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:07 am UTC

Sarah Palin would blush at just how dumb some people on both sides are.


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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:02 am UTC

Wodashin wrote:The fundamentalist Christian is the vocal minority. Perhaps you've heard of that? Most everyone is Christian in America. They aren't all living in the 1600's. Most people do question their religion, especially now.


According to this Gallup Poll, about one third of Americans believe that the Bible is "absolutely accurate and that it should be taken literally word for word", and four in ten believe in Young Earth Creationism. These are beliefs that I would consider strongly associated with fundamentalism; I might go so far as to say that the former defines fundamentalism. Note that these aren't talking about American Christians; they're talking about Americans. This isn't a small vocal minority; this is very nearly the majority of American Christians.

Wodashin wrote:I propose that religious tolerance should be something we do rather than say. Not acceptance, but the diatribes are unnecessary. People are intelligent, and should they choose atheism or religion, it doesn't really matter.


It matters when the religious people start using the legal system to take away other people's rights. It matters when they start imposing their moral system on people who don't believe the same things they do. It matters when they believe that Jesus' return is likely to happen in their lifetimes and thus they shouldn't care about long-term problems like the environment. It matters when they believe that peace in the Middle East is a bad thing because it prevents some prophecies regarding Israel from being fulfilled. It matters when the leaders of these groups are on the speed-dial of the President of the United States.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Wodashin » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:51 pm UTC

Some of the graphs contradict each other, and for all I know this was simple and not stratified. 1000 doesn't seem like a good enough sample for this topic. Not really sure how they sampled, and towards the end you can see that the data is an estimate.

E: Not talking about second one at all actually. Second one seems good. Says everything.

Back on topic though, yeah, you're right, religious people only care about waiting for Jesus and taking away everyone's rights. All of them.

Also, even if 30% believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, that still says NOTHING. Quakers believe in the Bible being the word of God and they're some of the nicest people you'd meet. Believing in one thing now makes you a bad person automatically? Because all people who believe that obviously want to hang gay people and throw atheists into pits to be stoned.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby Azrael » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:47 pm UTC

Wodashin wrote:Believing in one thing now makes you a bad person automatically? Because all people who believe that obviously want to hang gay people and throw atheists into pits to be stoned.

Did anyone indicate anything even remotely close to this?

No? Good.

Now stop beating that ridiculous strawman.

Wodashin wrote:If anyone says a word about how religion starts wars, know that wars have never been started over religion. Wars are always, and always have been about power, land, and resources and nothing more. Religion is a tool to be used in war, yes, but not a cause.

And this is pure, unsupportable rhetorical fantasy. Certainly, wars have power and resource based causes. But religion is, throughout history, an incredibly strong and often the primary power structure. Even something as basic as the Crusades belies your statement -- without religious reasons, the Holy Land would have had no meaning and no need to be freed from occupation by a different religious structure. The resource excuse is virtually null regarding the HRE and Jerusalem, and the power structure was entirely built on religion.

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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
DSenette wrote:a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.
Here's where it started.
morriswalters wrote:
Spoiler:
On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve.
There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.


DSenette wrote:since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

in the circumstances you've listed (age of reason, creation of schools, creation of the printing press), was that religion that did that or culture?

genetics being perverted into eugenics? was that caused by genetics? or culture?
morriswalters wrote:
Spoiler:
Where is the proof it does? Since in point of fact we got to this level with Religion in the mix, what argument can you make that we would have gotten any further had it not existed? It is arguable that the age of reason was a product of Religion. Certainly Religious Philosophers have shown all those traits(free thought, introspection, and wonder). You are not arguing that all knowledge was produced by atheists are you? You work so hard to simplify a process that is not simple. Any process is subject to any number of influences. You can't separate culture from Religion and you can't separate people from their bias. The perversion of genetics was caused by people who had agendas and was used to justify things by others with their own agendas. The one commonality between all extremes of behavior is people, Philosophies are tools, people are tool users. I accept that there may be better ways than Religion to provide a moral framework for behavior. What I doubt is a basis for that possibility today.

The problem during the middle ages was that had not the Church maintained the skills needed that the age of enlightenment might not have happened until much later. Follow the link. In modern terms I have provided sources, such as a list of Institutions who derive from Religious beginnings. And not all scientists or researchers are atheists.
yeah, and you left out the part where those institutions favored religion over everything else for the vast majority of their existence. science wasn't exactly something that schools in europe embraced that early.

morriswalters wrote:I think free thought, whatever definition you want to use, is pretty much as free as it can get right now. Or we wouldn't be talking. If you can think it you can pretty much say it. No matter how stupid. Everybody who argues this point is doing some form of introspection, at least I hope they are. And most people do. They just don't think about what you think about.
freedom of speech and free thinking are completely different concepts.

being in a religion that holds it's dogma and faith at the top of the list of "things you must do" makes free thought difficult. i'm not talking specifically about people EXPLICITLY stating that you can't think what you want to think, i'm talking about power differentials.

example: you're in a religion that doesn't allow for question with regards to the religious practice, dogma, or faith. now, you've got some doubts, and you'd really like some answers. so, you go to your clergy and ask the questions. they answer them with something that you don't think really answers the question so you keep digging, they get irate and tell you that it is how it is and you "had better" get right with god on the issue. you're still allowed to think what you want, but at this point you're not allowed to express that without fear of something happening from the people you treat as your culture.

now take that example, and instead of you being you, you're a teenager, and instead of the clergy you're talking to your parents. can you not see how that can cause issues with free thought and free decisions?

morriswalters wrote:Define culture as you mean it. Otherwise I think you mean society. In which case, I would like you to tell me how to separate cause and effect, without knowing the degree and mechanisms of linkage. They are too closely linked. If you mean something else then I hope you would share it with me.

In terms of you last post, trying to determine cause and effect for the influence of Religion on the things I've cited is impossible, one way or the other, but they exist. What part of society would you suggest was responsible for their knowledge and curiosity?
sweet, then we're on the same page. you can't separate religion from a religious based culture. and since you can't do that, you can't delineate between religion being the cause and culture being the cause but religion being the justification.

in the interest of full disclosure i must admit that my last line of questioning had some extra motives attached. i encourage you to go back and read guenther's most recent posts (over the last two pages) and look for his cultural argument. i included that line of questioning to see if you had been paying attention to anything that has been said by the people who are in this thread arguing from the same side as you, and to hopefully prod guenther into replying directly to you so that you'd at least read one of his posts. it would save a shit ton of time if you would read everything that's being said in a topic that you're actively engaged in, instead of just what you want to read.

morriswalters wrote:Until Gutenberg developed movable type in 1439 the Church had preserved European literacy, as I've cited previously. The invention of the press allowed information to move out of the control of the Church. But by the same token had the Church not preserved much information then progress might have been much slower. I suggest you research how the writings of the Greek philosophers were preserved. Think about the problem when all texts had to be hand copied. How were the men who did it educated and supported? The Church was the information culture of the western world. And the age of Enlightenment came out of that.

yeah, you left out the part where EVERY SINGLE one of those books that the church "preserved" was HEAVILY edited and censored, in most cases they were edited so much that they were no longer the original works that they were "preserving". i suggest you try to find the english translations of those greek works, and compare them to the originals and see how close they are to each other. religion, ESPECIALLY european religion (and even current religion) is has been responsible for the destruction and bastardization of knowledge with regards to literature. we are JUST NOW getting to a point where society at large is finally getting pissed off about people editing literature because of "moral" guidelines.

also, see the later post by infernova about the comparison between the "age of enlightenment" compared to the advancements of the "barbarous hethans" of the middle and far east.

morriswalters wrote:
DSenette wrote:ah but there is a positive assertion coming from the other side. their assertion is that religion fosters free thought, introspection, and wonder.

Now about wonder. You asserted that Religion destroyed wonder, you defend it. I went through the rigmarole of quoting to point out the chain of the argument. If that is offensive then ignore it.

please, for all that is good in the world, PLEASE learn how to quote with context. what you just quoted was a reply from me, to someone else, on a completely different topic. IF you're going to quote a portion of a post where someone else is responding to someone that isn't you, PLEASE copy BOTH portions. if you don't you're not only taking the quote out of context in your argument, but you're removing context COMPLETELY from the statement. and it's enraging

this is the conversation that you were quoting:

DSenette wrote:
marky66 wrote:
DSenette wrote:
morriswalters wrote:On String Theory, oddly enough I saw this. Kinda Makes you wonder. It was interesting how the rebuttal to the question of whether Religion destroys wonder was sidestepped. Generalization about any topic tends to have the effect of painting an idea with the brush of generalization. Therefore if Religion does bad than Religion is bad. Both are very broad generalizations and are very hard to argue against. Genetics was perverted into eugenics. Does that mean genetics is bad? There is certainly evidence that people pervert philosophies to achieve goals they wish to achieve. There are cases where Religion has stifled some ideas but overall Religion has helped move knowledge forward. The age of reason was largely a product of Religion. Schools and Universities derived from Religious education. The largest bar to knowledge was the lack of a way to transmit knowledge forward to everyone versus the elite. Which was solved by Gutenberg.

since we seem to want to go around in circles

where's your proof that religion doesn't hinder free thought, introspection, and wonder?

I thought the established standard was that the positive assertion bears the burden of proof.
ah but there is a positive assertion coming from the other side. their assertion is that religion fosters free thought, introspection, and wonder.
so the part that you quoted was completely out of context with regards to your post. marky stated that the side with the positive assertion bore the burden of proof. i countered that both sides are making positive assertions.

guenther wrote:
bloatyspizzahog wrote:But the opposite is true for religion. Its "We will believe the more absurd side until you have proven 100% that we are wrong" then when we do they say ok you're right about that but we're still right about everything else. The problem is you shouldn't have any preconceived ideas or any bias which is what religion has in crap loads.

I don't think that religious people are more likely to believe in random absurd stories than the areligious. However, religious people are biased to believe in their particular religious claims, and maybe that's a bother to you. But I think this is the nature of how people form groups and share ideas. They form a narrative, and group members are biased to believe it. This is easily observable in politics where members of the opposite parties will tend to interpret events in ways that's consistent with their own beliefs. But I also think this is how morality gets propagated as well. It would be hard for many people to rationally consider whether something like slavery or rape is OK because they are repulsive concepts. Most people are biased against these ideas, and I think that's great.

what about groups, who's "group bias" promotes negatives? like, intolerance (antihomosexual bias, and, well hell let's throw in the KKK)? are the benefits of propagating morals (which can be done sans religion) worth keeping the negatives?

guenther wrote:
DSenette wrote:i don't have linkable data sets at hand. but i do have my own anecdotal statistics. which, i'll point out, you're using anecdotal statistics as your counter so you cannot exclude them from presentation.

I used anecdotal evidence to explain why I questioned your statement of fact. But I'm not presenting my own personal experience as fact. It is what it is, my own personal experience. And you didn't answer my question: Does the lack of testing and verification for your claims affect whether you stand by them as fact?
just because i don't have linkable statistics doesn't mean it's not testable. it just means that i have not tested it directly or personally other than through anecdotal observation. as infernova and the like have been able to find statistical evidence, it suggests (as i would assume) that someone HAS tested the theories.

and again, i can state anything as fact when it's personally observable. i can tell you that it's a fact that the second shift casting supervisor thinks that wearing his lucky underwear on game day makes the local college team win their games. because i've observed through personal contact that he believes this. i don't need to do a scientific study to verify this as fact.

just like i don't need to have a gallop pole to identify a bias or trend within a specific group of people with whom i have interacted personally.

guenther wrote:
DSenette wrote:(A)except when faith/religion is the culture that you're talking about.
(B)is a belief in the existence of god fundamental to any religion?

(A) Faith is not a culture. There are religious cultures that promote faith. But then culturally how that faith is lived out is very different for different groups.
(B) I'd say so.
fine, if you want to separate faith from religion.......whatever.

so, when religion is the culture that you're talking about, then what? then can religion be the thing we're talking about instead of arguing whether "culture" did it or religion did it?

so if a belief in god is fundamental to religion (most), wouldn't that be something fundamental to religion that goes to the point that we're making about religion discouraging certain aspects of free thought and rationality? so if your belief in God, and your practice of that belief in God is handled in such a way that it discourages free thought and introspection, would you agree that something fundamental to your religion/faith/whatever is at fault for this situation?

guenther wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:I thought this paper might be relevant. It's a nice review of some research on the effect of religiousity, particularly religious fundamentalism and sectarianism, on achievement in college students, and isn't too long or technical, but well sourced.

This is interesting and relevant to the thread, but I don't think it's relevant to DSenette's claims. In fact, I'd say it's evidence against. A faith in God is common to almost all Christians, but it's only the sectarian and fundamentalists that measurably perform poorly in that paper. So clearly it's something else that's causing the difference. (Admittedly I didn't get a chance to read the actual paper yet, so I'm going off of your quotes. I'll try to read the paper soon.)
a belief in god isn't the only thing that's fundamental to these people's religion and faith. the fundamentalists religion/faith requires certain things that your religion/faith don't.

so while a progressive christian may not have the same drawbacks because they've removed certain fundamental portions to create their faith, the fundamentalists cannot do this, so their faith, their religion, and their application there of is the cause of the results.


edit: changed a word (is, to has been)
The Righteous Hand Of Retribution
"The evaporation of 4 million who believe this crap would leave the world an instantly better place." ~Andre Codresu (re: "the Rapture")

morriswalters
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby morriswalters » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:44 pm UTC

@DSenette
Free thought versus free thinking. Can the Church influence people, sure. Yet we advance. Once the printing press was developed the Church lost the bulk of it's power to impose it's thoughts on the masses. And that changed the Church as much as it changed the masses. You can't remove influences by anyone willing to try and influence in the first place. But that influence is limited, because there are other sources of information available. If people want them. You could argue, in fact, that we now have almost to much information, and are challenged in our ability to make use of it, individually.

Bluntly, I'm not concerned with guenthers posts. I read them but I'm talking to you. Guenther has faith, I don't. I don't believe in God or the Church. What I believe in is the stability the Church provides, lacking any other framework to accomplish the goals I see as important. I'm not arguing the idea that the Church is correct in both deed and moral stance. Rather I argue that, when taken in its totality, that the Church has made European culture more stable. The worlds other great philosophical movements have done the same in their geographic locations.

I won't debate whether the church edited manuscripts while they where translating and hand copying them. However the point was that the church helped preserve knowledge. In the early era of the church a lot of science wasn't done. Literacy wasn't at the level needed to sustain research. Here is link about the translations. Pay particular attention to this section, and particularly to this man, Gerbert of Aurillac. The miracle is not that the texts may have been changed in translation, but that they were translated at all. Try translating a book from Arabic, which was translated from another language, to Latin. Write it out in manuscript form using calligraphy. Think about the practical cost.

infernovia wrote:Christianity and the platonic ideal regressed ideas so far that if they had not existed, the enlightenment would have happened earlier. It is unquestionable that Europe had fallen into the Dark Ages while the Islamic and the Chinese world were the forefront of education for a millennium. Of course the enlightenment could have only come from universities, which were purely Christian beforehand because that held dominance in all of Europe. But it would be a mistake to subscribe Christianity as the belief system that brought about the enlightenment. It was the revival of the Greek texts (which the christians had burned and sabotaged earlier) that allowed them to finally break free from backwardness of dogmatic ideas.

I argue no such thing. What I said was that information was preserved by Christianity. I don't have to worry about why they did what they did, just that they did it. Islamic scholars did similar things. The Chinese had their own philosophical framework. In all cases they provide structure so culture could flourish. The unsaid thing is that absent stable structures there can be no advancement.

@LaserGuy
I would agree that any creed which ascribes to the idea of inerrancy would be described as fundamentalist. They are worrisome, both to me and, I suspect, Christians not so inclined. And this is the danger in my position. While arguing tolerance, how do I deal with them? My answer is to outlast them. They are a production of a dying creed. Southern Baptists for example, are declining, as measured by the number of baptisms, for instance. Nor are they uniform. Islam has it's own version of this effect.
@DSenette
The remark about wonder was directed at the post I quote here in full under a spoiler. I think it supports my point. However if you believe differently than so be it.
Spoiler:
DSenette wrote:
guenther wrote:4) I'm not so sure about your 99% statistic. I know many religious people who have been well educated and have an interest in learning more. My experience is that religious people are quite capable of being both thoughtful and thoughtless, and I don't think it's been shown that anything fundamental to religion is an impediment to this area.
except the bit where you're asked to believe in an unverifiable statement, as fact, without question or inspection (yes yes not all religious practices do this, but most do, and it's indeed a fundamental part of most religion) "you must believe in the lord god your savior", "you must believe in allah", "that there joseph smith is a great guy, oh yeah, he's also a profit and here's some underwear that stops bullets", "dude, thetans are the shit!", "unicorns and fairies are playing in the back yard, lets go look!", lather, rinse, repeat. the very act of having to accept these claims without any proof or validation has the effect (for most) of squashing curiosity and removing the will to learn. in the majority, when someone runs into a question they can't answer, they leave it to "god". "dude, i don't know how evolution works, but i bet god did it", "man i have no idea how i'm going to get through this emotional stress in my life, i give it up to god because through him all things are possible". you kind of stop inspecting yourself and the world around you at that point.

a belief in god also serves the purpose of removing wonder. anything existing (ANYTHING) is such a random improbability, yet all kinds of stuff exist, and through that randomness our planet has oxygen and water and carbon, and even more randomness that caused a bunch of goo to coalesce into a hairless ape, and then EVEN MORE infinitely random that goo became you. that's freaking AWESOME!

reducing all of that random chance to predetermination, or "god did all of that" removes a CONSIDERABLE amount of wonder and amazement from the process. even assuming you have the answer to how any of that went about occurring removes the wonder, and wonder causes curiosity.

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LaserGuy
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:07 pm UTC

Wodashin wrote:Some of the graphs contradict each other, and for all I know this was simple and not stratified. 1000 doesn't seem like a good enough sample for this topic. Not really sure how they sampled, and towards the end you can see that the data is an estimate.


I don't see any of the graphs being obviously contradictory, but that isn't really essential to my point. The first number, about Biblical literalism, is my main interest. The demographic data isn't all that important to my considerations.

Wodashin wrote:E: Not talking about second one at all actually. Second one seems good. Says everything.


Are you referring to Youth Earth Creationism here? Or something else? Your syntax isn't clear to me.

Wodashin wrote:Back on topic though, yeah, you're right, religious people only care about waiting for Jesus and taking away everyone's rights. All of them.


I never said that. You stated it doesn't matter whether somebody is religious or not. I provided examples of situations when it does. It doesn't take all of them to make these sorts of changes. What they have is a significant minority who believes these sorts of ideas combined with a larger swath of more liberal believers who just don't care enough to make a serious effort to stop them. This is often sufficient to have undesirable beliefs seriously considered in the public sphere, if not outright accepted.

Wodashin wrote:Also, even if 30% believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, that still says NOTHING. Quakers believe in the Bible being the word of God and they're some of the nicest people you'd meet.


The key word is here literal. The vast majority of Christians believe the Bible is the Word of God. The difference is whether or not you believe that all of the stories in the Bible happened exactly as written, or whether the stories are allegorical in some sense and what is important is the moral or spiritual lesson associated with them. Literalism is strongly associated with fundamentalism. Most Quakers, incidentally aren't literalists--if anything, they're the opposite; they believe that personal testimony and revelation generally take precedence over Scripture.

Wodashin wrote:Believing in one thing now makes you a bad person automatically?


Well, that depends on what that belief is, but, in a general sense, yes, there are certain specific beliefs that would qualify someone as a "bad person" in my books just for believing in. Nazism, for example. Is biblical literalism one of those beliefs? No. Is it a good predictor of people who are likely to support things that I consider to be undesirable or, in some cases, evil? Regrettably, yes.

Wodashin wrote:Because all people who believe that obviously want to hang gay people and throw atheists into pits to be stoned.


I never said this. But... you'd be surprised how many people are comfortable with the idea that gays and atheists deserve to be tortured for eternity.

infernovia
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Re: Religion: The Deuce

Postby infernovia » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

I argue no such thing. What I said was that information was preserved by Christianity. I don't have to worry about why they did what they did, just that they did it. Islamic scholars did similar things. The Chinese had their own philosophical framework. In all cases they provide structure so culture could flourish. The unsaid thing is that absent stable structures there can be no advancement.

At the cost of the Library of Alexandria, 90% of the greek thoughts, among so many other things. Christianity is the sole reasons that civilization in Europe took such an unintellectual turn from the fall of Rome to 1000 A.D. The rise of intellectuals was heavily reliant upon the Islamic tradition where aristocracy and intellectual pursuits were still well-represented and played a significant role. In fact, the rise of intellectuals is heavily correlated with the fall of Christianity, Church, and "culture", and that is heavily correlated with the rise of Greek thought among the intellectuals.

Your argument does not represent any intellectual cleanliness at all. It amounts to saying that the Western Civilization has become the most powerful Civilization currently, therefore every single thing that happened was important and led to its greatness. Which is called hindsight bias and ultimately useless. At best, we would be thankful for Christianity providing such a pathetic argument for the intellectual that they had to abandon it in search for even higher heights.


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