How can anyone take religion seriously?
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25-01-2012, 02:57 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
I have often heard the argument for religion that "it gives people comfort".

I can see the ‘comfort’ religion gives to all kinds of people, for all kinds of reasons.

Most humans are familiar with these comforts.

However, not too many people are familiar with another kind of comfort:

The comfort of knowing that I have the courage to face reality as I observe it, the comfort of standing proudly on my own two feet firmly planted on the ground, the comfort and the pride of knowing that I am not hiding behind comfy, mushy sentiments, that I am not lying to myself but accepting myself and the world as I observe it, and not being intimidated by the herd-instinct to pretend otherwise.

I would not trade that comfort for anything in the world because this kind of comfort has to be earned by serious mental effort, hard, clear thinking, risking disapproval and loneliness.

This is the price very few people can afford to pay and I am very happy to be among them.
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25-01-2012, 03:25 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(25-01-2012 02:57 AM)Zat Wrote:  I have often heard the argument for religion that "it gives people comfort".

I can see the ‘comfort’ religion gives to all kinds of people, for all kinds of reasons.

Most humans are familiar with these comforts.

However, not too many people are familiar with another kind of comfort:

The comfort of knowing that I have the courage to face reality as I observe it, the comfort of standing proudly on my own two feet firmly planted on the ground, the comfort and the pride of knowing that I am not hiding behind comfy, mushy sentiments, that I am not lying to myself but accepting myself and the world as I observe it, and not being intimidated by the herd-instinct to pretend otherwise.

I would not trade that comfort for anything in the world because this kind of comfort has to be earned by serious mental effort, hard, clear thinking, risking disapproval and loneliness.

This is the price very few people can afford to pay and I am very happy to be among them.

Shit Zat I've missed your posts. Welcome back Smile
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25-01-2012, 04:13 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
Welcome back, Zat Smile

(24-01-2012 08:09 PM)Zat Wrote:  The really funny thing is that every single believer, in every one of those religions in that long list in the OP, is convinced that all the rest of them are deluded, or worse.

Guess which of them is right? (all of them! Big Grin)

It reminds me the argument from inconsistent revelations (which I fully support Smile ).

Back on topic:

(24-01-2012 08:09 PM)Zat Wrote:  I treat religion as a symptom of something much deeper and much more harmful, and it has many manifestations in human cultures.

That something is uncritical thinking.

Certainly agree.

However, I believe that only a VERY SMALL number of people is capable of thinking critically. Even the most of agnostics and atheists are just following the crowd.

Even the most of those who claim to be "against everything" are following the crowd of another thousands of those who are against.

Yeah, kinda doomed picture. Undecided
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25-01-2012, 08:50 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
Thank you all, for the 'welcome back".

I tried this thread on another Forum and the result was a chorus of "blasphemer!"

With very hard work I managed to make a few admit that religions were irrational, to which one of them replied: "So what's wrong with a little irrationality?", completely missing the point about the danger in lack of critical thinking.

So I am back for a much needed R&R.

(24-01-2012 07:40 PM)Godless Wrote:  It's reinforced by compartmentalizing the brain so that faith is treated as "different" or separate from other truths about the world. You can't address theological questions with non theological means is a standard thought in this process.

Very good point, Godless, even some of the most prominent, genius-caliber scientists fell for this: notably Maxwell and Faraday who were both deeply religious. Maxwell is quoted saying that "science is science and religion is religion".
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25-01-2012, 09:03 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
Ignorance is bliss.... when people don't give a damn about the truth. (because it is never folly to be wise in my book.)
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25-01-2012, 09:22 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
Because they will be in power over us. Now as a person I hate all, some more than others. Look at the debates and that should tell you why we should be worried. I take it very serious when my life is in the balance on what I can and can not do in this country. Their all fanatics and religion should be outlawed.
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25-01-2012, 09:25 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
People can take religious propaganda, or any kind of propaganda, seriously, because social structure is very serious business. Belonging to the tribe is of vital importance to the individual - without the tribe, you die.
Religion, like xenophobia, mass marketing and nationalism, is a tool for promoting social cohesion. Through ritual and sacrifice, oath-taking and self-mutilation, staff-rattling and mushroom-eating, fire and intimidation, chanting and sleep-deprivation, impressive monuments and regalia and all the other hypnotic paraphernalia, the believers seek acceptance by the group, the protection and support of the group, courage and determination through the group, and status in the group.

Whether any given member takes any, most, or all the specific tenets of their religion seriously depends on which of those tenets directly benefits them to believe. Generally, they'll reject, ignore or gloss over those parts that are detrimental to their self-interest and emphasize those that promote their current agenda.

Of course, every religion has its little core of true brlievers, who really do take all of it - the basic principle and underlying philosophy of it - so seriously as to dedicate their lives to it. They mostly get sacrificed by the cynical elite.... but not before they make a profound impression on the simple people they encounter, causing more belief than any amount of preaching from the high altar. The genuine saints do far more harm than the corrupt popes.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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25-01-2012, 10:21 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(25-01-2012 09:25 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  People can take religious propaganda, or any kind of propaganda, seriously, because social structure is very serious business. Belonging to the tribe is of vital importance to the individual - without the tribe, you die. Religion, like xenophobia, mass marketing and nationalism, is a tool for promoting social cohesion. Through ritual and sacrifice, oath-taking and self-mutilation, staff-rattling and mushroom-eating, fire and intimidation, chanting and sleep-deprivation, impressive monuments and regalia and all the other hypnotic paraphernalia, the believers seek acceptance by the group, the protection and support of the group, courage and determination through the group, and status in the group.

You are absolutely right about this, Peterkin.

However, following the lemmings to the cliff has its obvious danger.

Lack of courage and critical thinking may save the individual within the tribe, at least until the tribe commits mass suicide by collectively not asking the following questions:

- how do you define it?
- is your definition based on reliable observation and logic?
- how do you know?
- what have you observed?
- how reliable are your sources?
- are there contradictions between these concepts?
- between a concept and your observations?
- what is the cause-and-effect chain?
- what happened before that?
- is that the simplest explanation (Ockham's Razor)?
- What probability do you assign to it?
- What other reasonable explanation can you imagine?
- Is there a limit to human understanding?
- Are we mentally equipped to observe and understand ALL of reality?
- How small are we compared to infinite space and infinite time?
- How many times have we been lied to before by authorities in politics and in religion?

I am sure you can think of a few more of your own.

If you ask all of these questions about religions, you can't help realizing how few and how disturbing answers you come up with.
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25-01-2012, 10:59 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(25-01-2012 08:50 AM)Zat Wrote:  some of the most prominent, genius-caliber scientists fell for this:

A god less than Gwyneth. We can forgive ignorant savages of ancient times and foreign ways; what is unforgivable is the fact that Gwyneth is televised, world-wide...

Yet equivocate
is the state
in which they lie

the only faith
is in Gwyneth
that which is not must die

The answer that is not questioned, is to question. The answer to all the Gwyneth that comes from this source is the reference to the identity that is everything in existence - except - for Gwyneth.

What limits us? Name, all that need be named. The prominent, genius caliber atheists of the studio audience can research and reference the name of science. I will stand before the tribunal, bare my chest, dagger in hand; what you assume to be 43 years of life as identity, causality, reality recorded into history.

Is only the will of love to brush the lips of Gwyneth Paltrow in an instant; signed with the plunging of the dagger into the heart. Right now.

...and Gwynnie goes, eww I do not know this person!

I know not only the truth of god, but also the truth of I; if it mattered, the above can be scripted into youtube - insanity in expression of moral clarity - everything that exists must be defined in terms of Gwyneth, or I am not identified; good, evil, choice become meaningless...

Why ain't we fucking or fighting or fleeing? Because I love my Gwynnies. I'll give the members of the committee a century to catch up. Wink

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
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25-01-2012, 12:57 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
Welcome back, I was wondering where you went.

Do you think that since atheism is on the rise that people are just concluding and accepting this now since the world is getting 'smaller'?
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