A present day example of how all religious belief doctrines are born
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04-05-2012, 06:26 AM
RE: A present day example of how all religious belief doctrines are born
Hey, Light.

Damnit! You just had to go and be nice and understanding. Fuck. That shit's my kryptonite!

Just because I like you, here's a brief point form complaint list. It's not exhaustive nor is it in depth, but it should give you an idea.

Quote:Something completely natural occurred, people (or one person in the case

of Scientology) wrote it down in the form of a story filled with

supernatural splendor and moral self-righteousness, it was passed along

from generation to generation, and now, the people that are

indoctrinated into the belief system are convinced that not only is the

story 100% accurate (regardless of the obvious inconsistencies and

inaccuracies) but that it is proof or undeniable evidence of divinity.

And in some cases, the believer is also convinced that theirs is the

only true story, divinity, etc.

Wrote it down: No. Saying it was written down implies that religion begins with Cuneiform, which is demonstrably false. Religion predates writing by tens of thousands of years; at least. Religion for a long time was transmitted orally; what we call primary orality (and still is today in some cultures, at least residual orality). The manner in which oral traditions and written traditions transmit information are drastically different.

Moral self-righteousness: How someone can write that and expect to be taken seriously is beyond me. Really? He's gonna tell me that Animism is filled with moral self-righteousness? It's just ludicrous to begin with, never mind inaccurate and utterly biased.

100% accurate: There are so many things wrong with this I don't actually know where to begin. It's an absolute statement that is based entirely on stereotype. That ain't science. That's horse shit.

Inconsistencies and inaccuracies: ALL ideologies have inconsistencies and inaccuracies (even secular ones) and EVERYONE is always both affected by and an agent of ideology. This is simply a product of the manner in which human cognition operates. Plato knew this thousands of years ago, and modern day theorists still agree. Discourse produces knowledge. That knowledge results in a view of the world; a way of thinking, doing and seeing that is wholly constructed and riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Hegemony naturalises that ideology (makes it seem like irrefutable common sense) and sutures its inherent inconsistencies.

I'm just gonna stop there. The point is, this guy has taken something, the cargo cults, and suggested that there is a mechanism at work in the genesis of those cults that is the same mechanism that spawns all religions: an assertion that is simply false, ESPECIALLY as he outlines it. It's a ploy used to make all religions look stupid. The cargo cults may seem silly to us, but that doesn't mean sweet fuck all. Using our emotional response to the cargo cults and our prejudice towards all religion to shape our view of all religions is the dictionary definition of demagoguery; enemy number one of science. Now I have no particular love of religions, but I have spent my life studying how societies function. When this kind of dilitante joker comes along and manipulates (read bastardises) facts to support his agenda, it pisses me off. Most of the people on this site don't accept it for a second when a creationist does this with biology, but for some reason it gets a pass here. People forget that the social sciences are a discipline with decades of history, reams of verifiable data and countless peer-reviewed journals. One can't just make pronouncements about how religions form any way they like. It's just unacceptible. If people wanna hate on religion, go ahead. But the credulous acceptance of anything some crackpot vomits that just happens to reinforce one's worldview is nonsense because there's plenty of avenues for denouncing religion; it's just that this guy's demonstrably false crap ain't one of them. Be dedicated to science and fact, or don't be.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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04-05-2012, 08:35 AM
RE: A present day example of how all religious belief doctrines are born
(04-05-2012 06:26 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Light.

Damnit! You just had to go and be nice and understanding. Fuck. That shit's my kryptonite!

Just because I like you, here's a brief point form complaint list. It's not exhaustive nor is it in depth, but it should give you an idea.

Quote:Something completely natural occurred, people (or one person in the case

of Scientology) wrote it down in the form of a story filled with

supernatural splendor and moral self-righteousness, it was passed along

from generation to generation, and now, the people that are

indoctrinated into the belief system are convinced that not only is the

story 100% accurate (regardless of the obvious inconsistencies and

inaccuracies) but that it is proof or undeniable evidence of divinity.

And in some cases, the believer is also convinced that theirs is the

only true story, divinity, etc.

Wrote it down: No. Saying it was written down implies that religion begins with Cuneiform, which is demonstrably false. Religion predates writing by tens of thousands of years; at least. Religion for a long time was transmitted orally; what we call primary orality (and still is today in some cultures, at least residual orality). The manner in which oral traditions and written traditions transmit information are drastically different.

Moral self-righteousness: How someone can write that and expect to be taken seriously is beyond me. Really? He's gonna tell me that Animism is filled with moral self-righteousness? It's just ludicrous to begin with, never mind inaccurate and utterly biased.

100% accurate: There are so many things wrong with this I don't actually know where to begin. It's an absolute statement that is based entirely on stereotype. That ain't science. That's horse shit.

Inconsistencies and inaccuracies: ALL ideologies have inconsistencies and inaccuracies (even secular ones) and EVERYONE is always both affected by and an agent of ideology. This is simply a product of the manner in which human cognition operates. Plato knew this thousands of years ago, and modern day theorists still agree. Discourse produces knowledge. That knowledge results in a view of the world; a way of thinking, doing and seeing that is wholly constructed and riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Hegemony naturalises that ideology (makes it seem like irrefutable common sense) and sutures its inherent inconsistencies.

I'm just gonna stop there. The point is, this guy has taken something, the cargo cults, and suggested that there is a mechanism at work in the genesis of those cults that is the same mechanism that spawns all religions: an assertion that is simply false, ESPECIALLY as he outlines it. It's a ploy used to make all religions look stupid. The cargo cults may seem silly to us, but that doesn't mean sweet fuck all. Using our emotional response to the cargo cults and our prejudice towards all religion to shape our view of all religions is the dictionary definition of demagoguery; enemy number one of science. Now I have no particular love of religions, but I have spent my life studying how societies function. When this kind of dilitante joker comes along and manipulates (read bastardises) facts to support his agenda, it pisses me off. Most of the people on this site don't accept it for a second when a creationist does this with biology, but for some reason it gets a pass here. People forget that the social sciences are a discipline with decades of history, reams of verifiable data and countless peer-reviewed journals. One can't just make pronouncements about how religions form any way they like. It's just unacceptible. If people wanna hate on religion, go ahead. But the credulous acceptance of anything some crackpot vomits that just happens to reinforce one's worldview is nonsense because there's plenty of avenues for denouncing religion; it's just that this guy's demonstrably false crap ain't one of them. Be dedicated to science and fact, or don't be.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Please excuse my language, but you've got to be shitting me, Ghost.

I updated the passage that states "written" and included the phrase "shared it orally" (yeah, it sounds somewhat sexual but you know what I mean). A simple oversight on my part. Though to be fair, I listed four specific religions whose doctrines where, for most of their history, passed down via written text.

As for your comment on animism, it's not relevant. I specifically prefaced my statement on self-righteousness by listing for specific, mainstream religions. Animism wasn't one of them.

I'm well aware of the idea that all ideologies are riddled with inconsistency and inaccuracy. It's a byproduct of a homo sapiens sapiens brain that is literally incapable of perceiving physical reality correctly under certain conditions. This is precisely why using the lens that the scientific method of inquiry provides is essentially (e.g. in science, there's no such thing as 100% proof; even the most well-established theories should be continually questioned and attempts at falsification should be ongoing).

The point of that particular passage is that religious doctrines attempts to assert 100% knowledge and certainty, and if that wasn't enough, it's basing that certainty on a concept (divinity, god, etc.) that is utterly and completely unfalsifiable.

I must admit that I'm having a hard time grasping how you can assert that the pathology that gave rise to cargo cults doesn't have any parallels with any and all religious doctrines. Are you suggesting that there has ever been a religious doctrine that did not observe natural phenomena and then attached supernatural aspects to said phenomena and then pass it down from generation to generation as if it were more than simple metaphor or mythology? If so, I'd love to get a better academic understanding (and some supporting evidence) on the matter, because I maintain that the main premise of this article still holds. And this main premise isn't instead to make religions (or the people that adhere to their doctrines) stupid. It's merely intended to provide human beings with some perspective on both the social and cognitive processes that lead to people seeing the divine and supernatural even though a fully natural explanation is fairly self-evident.

By the way, I'm the crack pot that wrote this piece.

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04-05-2012, 03:23 PM
RE: A present day example of how all religious belief doctrines are born
Wow. I walked into that ambush with a dumbass smile on my face. My own fault I guess. Happy blogging, light.
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04-05-2012, 08:40 PM
RE: A present day example of how all religious belief doctrines are born
(04-05-2012 03:23 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Wow. I walked into that ambush with a dumbass smile on my face. My own fault I guess. Happy blogging, light.
FYI - I do take your critiques (as well as that of some of the other militantly skeptical folks in this forum) seriously. It can only help become a better writer.

I just think you were generalizing a bit on this one and perhaps took a few of the passages out of context.

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04-05-2012, 09:26 PM
RE: A present day example of how all religious belief doctrines are born
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

MACBETH

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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