Religion and Reason
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21-06-2011, 11:52 AM
Religion and Reason
How many believe that religion and reason are incompatible? How many believe in something different and what is it? How many would frame it differently and how? Of those that believe that religion and reason are incompatible, does that mean that the religious are incapable of reason?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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21-06-2011, 12:55 PM
RE: Religion and Reason
Religion and reason are incompatible. The only reasonable explanation for the vast number and varities of religions in the world is that man has made them up to suit himself according to previously held morals and customs. As cultures die out, so do their religions. As new cultures emerge, so do new religions. And as cultures evolve, so do their religions. Clearly this idea that we were created by God in His image is a case of the tail wagging the dog; nothing should be more obvious to an objective person that it was the other way around. The sheer vastness and complexity of our universe was obviously beyond the comprehension of the authors of most of the religions people adhere to today. But as long ago as Napoleon's day, scientists had figured out God was not required for the Earth and the solar system beyond it to exist and orbit around each other. Since that time none of the evidence we have accumulated has dispelled that fact.

I think in other threads there has been extensive discussion about how religious people can certainly be well-educated men and women who apply reason and logic to all aspects of their lives- except when it comes to their faith. When it comes to religion many people have a blind spot in their world view, historical, and scientific understanding. They're uncomfortable with the idea of there being no afterlife, so they choose to be religious in the hope that it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy that they will go to heaven or be reborn after they die, rather than disappear into the abyss. There is no greater fear than that of death. Since we all know it is inevitable, it becomes probably the most powerful motivator possible for people to embrace fairytales about castles in the sky populated with all their previously deceased loved ones awaiting their arrival. But those beliefs, given the complete lack of evidence to support them, are indeed unreasonable.

The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eye of Reason. - Ben Franklin
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21-06-2011, 02:16 PM
RE: Religion and Reason
Yeah...I think they're largely incompatible.

I smoke. I'm trying to give up...I know smoking is stupid, it's expensive and ultimately it kills you. It does a ridiculous amount of harm to my body...but I just love a cigarette and a coffee.

Right now, I'd crawl over broken glass for a cigarette! Despite trying to live a rational, open minded and ultimately good life I have this massive blind spot when it comes to smoking...

I think religion is kind of like that. Even when you know there's evidence out there, even when you feel the rituals are a little silly...you just turn your brain off and inhale.

Fuck it...need a smoke.
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21-06-2011, 02:20 PM
RE: Religion and Reason
(21-06-2011 11:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  How many believe that religion and reason are incompatible? How many believe in something different and what is it? How many would frame it differently and how? Of those that believe that religion and reason are incompatible, does that mean that the religious are incapable of reason?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I think of everything as a model... everything I see through my senses makes up my model of "reality" (or more specifically "Naïve realism") . The model has flaws... all models have flaws. Science tries to define their models as close to "reality" as possible using an updating method. I use the scientific model to reason and understand my own model of "reality".

Each Religion is another(older) model attempting to also define "reality". The religious use their religions model to explain and reason their own personal model of reality.

In each system the model IS derived by reason and IS rational depending on which model you subscribe to. The problems come up when you start testing them for accuracy.

To me the scientific model is the better model because it WORKS and is a self correcting, accurate model. This does not mean that I have any "better" reasoning skills than a religious person. It just means that the reasoning skills I have using the scientifc model will produce, on average, higher success rates than someone using an "out-of-date" religious model. But this is only because I am reasoning using a more accurate model. In 1000 years, if our species makes it that far, they should have a better, more accurate model than what we have today. They won't be "reasoning" better, they will just have a better model to reason within.

When I argue with religious people I am always arguing using reason within the context of my model of the scientific model. They are reasoning from their model of their religions model. Each of us is reasonable within our own model and each of us can't understand why the other can't understand our reasoning. ;-) When in reality it's just that the models are incompatible.


myst

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
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21-06-2011, 02:32 PM
RE: Religion and Reason
Hey, Myst.

Bravo. That was awesome. We are so on the same page. George EP Box? He's awesome. I don't know that I'd personally use "more accurate" but that was really well said.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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21-06-2011, 02:56 PM (This post was last modified: 21-06-2011 03:06 PM by myst32.)
RE: Religion and Reason
(21-06-2011 02:16 PM)Shannow Wrote:  Yeah...I think they're largely incompatible.

I smoke. I'm trying to give up...I know smoking is stupid, it's expensive and ultimately it kills you. It does a ridiculous amount of harm to my body...but I just love a cigarette and a coffee.

Right now, I'd crawl over broken glass for a cigarette! Despite trying to live a rational, open minded and ultimately good life I have this massive blind spot when it comes to smoking...

I think religion is kind of like that. Even when you know there's evidence out there, even when you feel the rituals are a little silly...you just turn your brain off and inhale.

Fuck it...need a smoke.

Your reasoning is sound... smoking is bad for you.. however, you choose not to follow it. Your decision to continue smoking is irrational. But you know it is irrational. Choosing the irrational path is itself irrational.. but that is kind of what makes us human... We are all irrational creatures. You are knowingly weighing the consequences of making this irrational decision. We all make irrational decisions every day. I love ice cream... So I don't really count this as all that irrational.

Deciding to continue to smoke because your father lived to his 90s and smoked 10 packs a day so cigarettes will never kill you.... is irrational.

myst

(21-06-2011 02:32 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Myst.

Bravo. That was awesome. We are so on the same page. George EP Box? He's awesome. I don't know that I'd personally use "more accurate" but that was really well said.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Thanks!! I have never read Box's work... Will take a look

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Orson Welles
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21-06-2011, 09:21 PM
RE: Religion and Reason
It depends on your religion. Not only the title of your religion, but the view you have. All Religious texts are guidelines for people to make their story from. The most common and horribly inaccurate mistake to make is that your view must be correct. This is not solely a religion issue, plenty of irrational atheists. You must be able to accept not knowing while feeling that something is most likely.

My view is very definite, but it still has clauses. I also don't denounce the existence of their god but my determination of it. My atheism is about my views of myself, I would not honor anything that created what I've seen so far (at least not as intelligent).

The definition of irrationality to me is that you hold a view that has no strong bearing without accepting the fact it may be wrong. To push an incorrect view. There are so many ways to be irrational, but on the topic of religion it is to be certain. You can be certain that everything humans have brought up is inaccurate, but there's always the shadiness of what exists beyond so that keeps being certain of if they've hinted at truth would be inaccurate.

There is nothing wrong with holding and living a belief, but you have to be able to see beyond your view. You have to accept that someone else can be right and there is no deception. Someone is only deceived if they feel they can be certain. Many people feel this, and those are the people we see as irrational. There are also many people who aren't deceived in this way and if they don't agree with you it doesn't make them irrational. This can be hard to determine sometimes, but should always be remembered when talking with those who don't share your views. Otherwise you're being irrational =p

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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22-06-2011, 02:34 AM
RE: Religion and Reason
"How many believe that religion and reason are incompatible?"

I don't believe religion and reason are incompatible, however it is my experience that when reason is applied to ones religious convictions with the goal of finding what is true, one doesn't stay religious for long.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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22-06-2011, 11:51 AM
RE: Religion and Reason
(21-06-2011 11:52 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Something about why/how you do this EVERYTIME makes me like you less, I don't know why.
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22-06-2011, 01:58 PM
RE: Religion and Reason
Hey, NotSoVacuous.

You don't know me from a hole in the wall so go fuck yourself.

There.

Did that balance things out?

Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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