Respect for Religion
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-12-2012, 02:19 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hi Matt I have read your post and I think I did understand what you wanted to say. I have highlighted the Parts of your post that I would like to show you how I understand it.
(04-12-2012 07:19 AM)Ghost Wrote:  There is a popular notion that evolution is heading somewhere. That there's a destination. This is not at all true. There is no destination, there is no ultimate pinnacle. So it is with culture. You may not agree with another culture, you may not find it sensical, but it is what all cultures are; an expression of humanity's attempt at understanding of and relationship with the world.

...

You see faith, superstition, mythology and you think, "That's incorrect." And within the context of your culture, an Atheist culture that gives primacy to science, you're correct. But that is a culturally biased view. It assumes that just because it doesn't jive with your cultural view that it is somehow invalidated.

...
To the first one, I tried so say in my last post that scientific truth is not part of any culture. You can have an "christian" culture with Jesus and Christmas and so on fine, but the fact that the earth is 4.54 billion years old is not debatable. If you say it is 6000 years old I have to say you are wrong.

You say yourself that all cultures are an attempt to understand nature, if you want to say that if they come to the wrong conclusion I cannot tell them they are wrong then I think I would be really cruel. If you want me to simply accept what they believes because they believe it, then I am sorry, that I cannot do that. Even if we don't count the enormous amount of ethical failures of especially the three monotheistic religions, they make very big claims about the real world. Things I can test and verify.

You seem to say that there are other ways to see the world than science. Sorry there is not if you want to see the real world. Of curs you can put on your Jesus glasses and life in bunny land, but then I have to say, sorry you behave like a child.

To this thing you call an "atheist" culture I have to say that there is no such thing as an atheist culture. There can, however be an secular culture. If you say I give primacy to science then what is wrong with this? It is the best thing we humans ever had! It gave us cool things like oh medicine, technology and an understanding of the world no other human ever had. The things the average kid in school learns today is knowledge no human in any other time could even have imagined.

If we had never learned of this great way of understanding the world we would live on average not for longer than maybe 30 Years, would die of diseases like oh polio. Think of your relatives and friends and then count the ones who would life today when there would be no modern medicine, think of the ones older than 30 or 40, they would be most probable dead, would you be here? Seriously would you want to life in a world without this? Even the religious ( well the really crazy ones don't ) trust science when they drive a car, fly a plane or are ill. Why do they accept it there but if it tells them something which contradicts a 2000 Years old book about an illiterate crazy prophet they go totally nuts?

And please don't assume that a culture without god would automatically be like the Vulkans. I am as atheist as one can probably be and I am full of wonder about the universe, the great vastness of the space. The marvelous formations of stars, to wonder about a black hole, how does it work? To understand how life works, does it exist on other planets, how do I get there, know how the cells of my body actually work. All of this is so full of wonder and there is so much to explore and wonder about, so many books to read, I fell so sad when I think about people who don't know this kind of awe, who have only one book.

I hope I was able to show you what I meant.

Thanks,
Marcus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2012, 07:16 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hey Marcus, I think it is important to state that all Christians are not "equal". Is it absolutely unreasonable to believe that the universe was started by an unmoved mover. And Religion and science are not polar opposites. The Catholic church loves science. The Catholic church considered science second only to theology. The reason being that science is the the study of God's creation.

Not only is there a huge body of Catholic teaching in terms of it being reasonable. You also have to consider that some people have personal experiences. Alexis Carrel was a Nobel prize winning doctor, and when he witnessed what he thought was a miracle there, he converted. He was a Doctor and he fully could not see any explanation as to how this occurred. Incidentally this miracle has been rejected as an official miracle by the Catholic church.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

Up to the heretic, smack, smack, smack!
Down to the jail went Good St. Nick!

When people say WWJD just remember that flipping tables and whipping people is still a valid option.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-12-2012, 09:56 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hey, Marcus.

Quote:To the first one, I tried so say in my last post that scientific truth is not part of any culture.

Unfortunately that's demonstrably false. Science is very much a cultural trait. And so is the truth that it discovers. I'm pretty sure that I know where you're coming from, and I know why it seems self-evident to you that what you are saying is right. I simply ask you to revisit that notion. Like I said, if you cannot, then you aren't going to get very far in your quest.

Quote:You say yourself that all cultures are an attempt to understand nature...

I did not say that. That's what you heard. Humans have a need to have a relationship with the world around them. What has been demonstrated for thousands of years is that that relationship does not have to be the relationship that you yourself have.

Quote:...if you want to say that if they come to the wrong conclusion I cannot
tell them they are wrong then I think I would be really cruel.

You make the assumption that there is such thing as right and wrong. Before you counter my statement with, of course there is, see if you can understand what I mean.

Think on this. What if right and wrong are not what are important? What if meaning is the important part?

Quote:If you want me to simply accept what they believes because they believe it, then I am sorry, that I cannot do that.

You are the one who asked how to respect the religious. Obviously, you're doing something that prevents that, otherwise you wouldn't be having that dilemma. So you have to assume that whatever solution anyone offers you will involve an abandoning of some, if not all, of your current beliefs and practices. Think about that before you dig in your heels and shield yourself with what you think is right. That's an automatic reaction. Move beyond that.

I am not asking you to adopt their beliefs. You have yours, they have theirs. That is a fact. Right now, their different world view is a sticking point for you. You cannot see beyond it. I'm suggesting that you do not have to fight it. Instead, I'm asking you to accept, not their beliefs, but that the world is filled with different world views, ones that do not resemble yours, and that that is perfectly fine. Like I said, if you can't keep yourself from dismissing them, then you'll never respect them.

Quote:Even if we don't count the enormous amount of ethical failures of
especially the three monotheistic religions, they make very big claims
about the real world. Things I can test and verify.

All cultures have failings, yours included. People in glass houses...

I know that you can test things and verify things and within the context of your culture, those are important things. The question is, are they important to everyone? Should they be important to everyone? Are there other world views?

Quote:You seem to say that there are other ways to see the world than science.
Sorry there is not if you want to see the real world. Of curs you can
put on your Jesus glasses and life in bunny land, but then I have to
say, sorry you behave like a child.

Do you feel better? Does it make you feel good to mock them? Do you gain something, is your life made better from behaving that way? Do you need to speak of them so dismissively?

Is there another way?

If your question, how do I respect the religious, is rhetorical, then you're wasting everyone's time (and if that's the case, you'd also be acting rather childishly). If it is not, if it's an honest question from an Atheist who has never been exposed to them and wants to learn, then don't speak about them in such a disrespectful manner. That's step one.

Quote:To this thing you call an "atheist" culture I have to say that there is no such thing as an atheist culture.

You are the one that said that East Germany has a huge Atheist community and that you were raised Atheist. So your culture, you, you personally, your culture is Atheist. If you must call it secular, go right ahead (even though that's not actually accurate), but you know what I mean so don't argue semantics for no good reason. We're here for a purpose. Focus.

Quote:If you say I give primacy to science then what is wrong with this?

Absolutely nothing.

Quote:If we had never learned of this great way of understanding the world we
would live on average not for longer than maybe 30 Years, would die of
diseases like oh polio.

Enough with the snark. It's not needed. I'm trying to help you and I'm giving you a considerable amount of my time. So back off a few steps.

This is not an exercise in masturbation. We don't need to look at why your culture is so great. We're trying to figure out how you can respect people from another culture. If you can't get past your superiority complex, you'll never respect them.

Quote:And please don't assume that a culture without god would automatically be like the Vulkans.

Focus. And stop being so defensive.

I never said that or anything that resembles that. I offered them as an illustration of my point. My point was that a purely logical, purely scientific society, lacks many of the traits that make us human. There are no such societies that I know of which is why I offered a fictional one. But the warning is, if we close ourselves off, we lose as much as we gain.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William Shakespeare

Watch the following videos and think of two things:
1 - The idea that your culture isn't THE culture
2 - The idea that other ways, vastly different ways, ways that are anathema to your own, have value for those people (the example of the Australian Aborigines in particular)








Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2012, 01:49 AM
RE: Respect for Religion
Thanks for the huge reply Matt. Sadly today I have only the time To read it and a lot of work. So if I do not reply today or tomorrow I will do so on the weekend.

Thanks,
Marcus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-12-2012, 02:06 AM
RE: Respect for Religion
I personally have no respect for religion at all anymore. I find that it is the root of all that is wrong with this world... it's stupid.. and I pity the people that blindly follow that crap.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes ddrew's post
08-12-2012, 05:20 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hi Matt,

Quote: Unfortunately that's demonstrably false. Science is very much a cultural trait. And so is the truth that it discovers.
I have no Idea what you are talking about, could you specify what you mean when you say that the facts science discovers are a cultural trait? It seems we are not speaking from the same thing, another culture can choose to value knowledge or not. But the fact that the earth for example goes around the sun wont change whatever culture you life in. If you say science can be applied by a culture or not then yes this is possible, the truth that we learn of is not part of a culture. And I would ask you again please, to explain how that is demonstrably false.

Quote:Think on this. What if right and wrong are not what are important? What if meaning is the important part?
What could be more important than what is right? How do you see the Aztekes? They had a culture which sacrificed people to they're gods, by burning them, skinning them or stabbing them with arrows. There was even ritualized cannibalism. I will not tell any numbers because there are very different numbers you can find but the important question is, are they wrong? Is what they were doing a good way to maximize human happiness? So it seems to me that I can criticize their culture and say there is a better way. So where is the difference when I criticize people who kill for their religion today, who scare their children with hell and let them die because they think prayer will help them?

Quote:I am not asking you to adopt their beliefs. You have yours, they have
theirs. That is a fact. Right now, their different world view is a
sticking point for you. You cannot see beyond it. I'm suggesting that
you do not have to fight it. Instead, I'm asking you to accept, not
their beliefs, but that the world is filled with different world views,
ones that do not resemble yours, and that that is perfectly fine. Like I
said, if you can't keep yourself from dismissing them, then you'll
never respect them.
First I would like to distant myself from your claim that I have beliefs just as they have. The way you are writing it you compare two things that are not the same. They only assumption I have to make for my worldview is that the universe operates on a set of laws which are testable and reproducibly. The worldview that the believer believes in is a completely different matter, one which is not a topic here and I don't have to explain.

I can accept that the world is full of different cultures and I never said that this is wrong but what has the acceptance of the existence of religion to do with respecting them? Can I accept that there are suicide bombers, obliviously I have to there is plenty of evidence for them but I am not compelled to respect them.

Quote: Do you feel better? Does it make you feel good to mock them? Do you gain
something, is your life made better from behaving that way? Do you need
to speak of them so dismissively?



Is there another way?



If your question, how do I respect the religious, is rhetorical, then
you're wasting everyone's time (and if that's the case, you'd also be
acting rather childishly). If it is not, if it's an honest question from
an Atheist who has never been exposed to them and wants to learn, then
don't speak about them in such a disrespectful manner. That's step one.
Do I feel better? No. Do I feel good mocking them? No. Do I gain something? No. Do I need to speak of their believes believes dismissively? Yes.

Is there another way? No. I would have to tell them otherwise they would never have their believes challenged.

And no the question is in no way rhetorical. It is a honest question I had not the possibility to discuss really. So I came to this forum specifically to ask it. Does anything of my previous posts indicate that this is a prank, that I just want to toss mud at people who are probably even not reading it?

We are now in an argument over a subject and I can enjoy a good debate. If you cannot do this please don't feel forced to do it. I have no intention of wasting your time.

The thing I wanted to know of asking this question was if there is a reasonable way to respect people with specific believes. There are differences in the systems so I have to evaluate every case separately. But if I come to the conclusion that there is no way of respecting them for their believes, then I cannot do it, even if I do not like it. My worldview is not limited to the things that are comforting to me, if my conclusion brings me to the point where I have to dismiss a great part of the human race as irrational then I have to do this. And this does not mean that I dislike them or think they are bad people.

I wanted to see if there where points I had not thought of before.

To the rest of your post and the two videos. I don't really see what you want to show with the videos? He showed a lot of cultures and it was kind of pretty to see then I thought wait a minute.

In the end of the first one he really compares the knowledge of the ocean from people in boats made of wood with the achievement to bring people to the moon! They don't even have the ability to dive deeper than a human can go without compressed air. So they don't even have access to the biggest part of the ocean, so from definition they cannot even have the knowledge we have of the ocean.

And to the second one, the biggest impression I had was this. There was a woman who did 55 Years nothing other than reciting a single mantra!!! What should I take from this? Seriously do you can see anything than a waste of time here? In 55 Years the only thing this poor woman came up with is to tell the monks "sorry you are wrong, the only thing that is important is this mantra". Which is kind of funny, I am not an expert on Buddhism but there are a lot of mantras right? So how convenient do you find it that surprisingly the one she choose 55 years before is the right one and not another one?

And to this last statement he made of the dalai lama, well at least we have photos and stones from the moon. What evidence is there to the supernatural claims of Buddhism?

Well you will probably be very upset with this but this is what I make of this.


And something else especially in the last part of your post I found your tone was really informatory. I am here for a discussion and not for you to lecture me. You are not at the finish line that I have to arrive at. I do not have a superiority complex, and frankly I find this accusation rather insulting. I am an educated adult and I would like you to deal with me like one.

And again if this feels like a waste of time for you than please do not do it.

I wish you a nice weekend and a happy Advent.

Marcus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-12-2012, 11:29 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hey, Marcus.

Quote:I wanted to see if there where points I had not thought of before.

There are many. They are legion. But you have to open yourself up to them. Right now, you're not trying very hard. Your reaction to everything is NO. You're falling back on what you know, which is normal, but it just so happens that that is the problem. You cannot do something right now. So you have to learn something new. That's how it works with everything. Can't cook? Learn to cook. Can't drive? Learn to drive. Can't forgive? Learn to forgive. Can't respect the religious? Learn to respect the religious. I'm a very patient man. I truly am. And I will give you as much of my energy and time as you need to expand your understanding and I'll do it happily, but if you aren't going to try at all, well... there's a saying. You can't want more for someone than they want for themselves. You've told me that you want this. I believe you. I honestly do. And right now I'm telling you that you have to try harder if you wish to succeed. Right now, you're like the student walking into the karate dojo for the first time telling the sensei that you want to learn karate but that you already have a black belt. It can't be both. What you're reading as insulting and inflammatory is me telling you that you're approaching this the wrong way. If you want to take that as an insult, then so be it. But it's not. So, since you've already said that your wish is to learn, then learn. Open up. If you feel yourself saying no, ask a question instead. I too am an educated man. I respect the religious. I know how to do what you're looking to learn. I can impart that but only if you allow yourself to learn something new.

So.

Let's begin again.

Quote:
Quote:Quote: Unfortunately that's demonstrably false. Science is very much a cultural trait. And so is the truth that it discovers.
I have no Idea what you are talking about, could you specify what you
mean when you say that the facts science discovers are a cultural trait?
It seems we are not speaking from the same thing, another culture can
choose to value knowledge or not. But the fact that the earth for
example goes around the sun wont change whatever culture you life in. If
you say science can be applied by a culture or not then yes this is
possible, the truth that we learn of is not part of a culture. And I
would ask you again please, to explain how that is demonstrably false.

Human cognition functions in a very specific way. When you look at something, when you think about something, you are not seeing or thinking about that thing. If you've studied Plato you might know where I am going with this. Your brain interprets light reflected off of objects. Your nervous system uses signal transduction to take the information gathered by your five senses and convert it into a signal that your brain can interpret. Interpret is the operative word there. The way cognition works is intimately linked to our use of language. We take these signal inputs and when we interpret them, we abstract them, we break them into manageable chunks, and we assign symbols to represent those chunks. For example, cow is not a cow. It's the word we use to represent cow (in semiotics this is called the sign/signifier/signified relationship). When you think, you think about these representations, not the actual thing. If we thought about the actual thing, we'd need vastly more computing power that even our brains, impressive as they are, are capable of. You, like the rest of us, are utterly incapable of thinking about the world without the intermediary of language. Everything that you have ever seen, heard or understood is a heavily mediated version of the real. Reality is not some objective thing, but is instead the result of the relationship between the real and culture. Reality is not fixed, it is a mental construction. As it is reliant on language, the single most important cultural trait there is, it is a shared construction, but a construction nonetheless. The statistician George EP Box once said, "All models are wrong but some are useful." The model of reality that we use is wrong (because a 100% accurate model of a thing IS that thing) but it is useful. But what we cannot do is assume that it is reality itself. We cannot assume that useful is a synonym for correct. As the proverb goes, we cannot mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.

All of the things that we have discovered with science are culturally contingent. They make sense ONLY within the realm of our construction of reality. Gravity, physics, mathematics, they are all constructions, models of what is. All of the scientific knowledge in the world is a construction. It is not in and of itself objective truth, but a representation that is not the truth itself.

This is what is meant by demonstrably false. Everything that we know about the brain points to this. This is what Wade Davis meant in the first video when he spoke of the central revelation of anthropology.

When you say that a culture can choose to value knowledge or not, you're misspeaking. All cultures have knowledge and all cultures value it. But all knowledge is culturally contingent. If another culture doesn't share your knowledge, they are not objectively wrong. They are wrong only relative to your culture. There is no objective truth that the human mind is capable of comprehending.

Knowledge can become ideological and beyond that, it can become hegemonic. Our understandings are thought of as the common sense view. They seem self-evidently true. It seems like there can be no other truth. But that is an illusion of the mind that can result from the confusion of the actual relationship between discourse, ideology, hegemony and interpolation.

You and I both think the earth goes around the sun. And that makes perfect sense to both of us within the scope of our cultural understanding. In other cultures, alien to our own, it might be meaningless. Still other cultures might have an entirely spiritual relationship to the sun. It's difficult for me to imagine others because, like you, what my culture thinks makes sense to me. But I have the sense to know that there are different understandings, not just ones that contradict our own, but ones that are fundamentally different. As it is said, it's not the same league, it's not even the same sport.

Quote:
Quote:Quote:Think on this. What if right and wrong are not what are important? What if meaning is the important part?
What could be more important than what is right? How do you see the
Aztekes? They had a culture which sacrificed people to they're gods, by
burning them, skinning them or stabbing them with arrows. There was even
ritualized cannibalism. I will not tell any numbers because there are
very different numbers you can find but the important question is, are
they wrong? Is what they were doing a good way to maximize human
happiness? So it seems to me that I can criticize their culture and say
there is a better way. So where is the difference when I criticize
people who kill for their religion today, who scare their children with
hell and let them die because they think prayer will help them?

What is your standard for judging what is right? That is the central problem of the notion of universal right and wrong. I'm gonna leave that at that because I was talking about correct/incorrect, rather than some moral concern.

Just to take a moment to speak to your point however, to paraphrase Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, "If we compare the best of ourselves to the worst of the other, what are we actually accomplishing?

Quote:First I would like to distant myself from your claim that I have beliefs
just as they have. The way you are writing it you compare two things
that are not the same. They only assumption I have to make for my
worldview is that the universe operates on a set of laws which are
testable and reproducibly. The worldview that the believer believes in
is a completely different matter, one which is not a topic here and I
don't have to explain.

You, like the rest of us, were taught everything you know. You have beliefs. We all do. It isn't a question of content, it's a question of how human beings function.

Quote:I can accept that the world is full of different cultures and I never
said that this is wrong but what has the acceptance of the existence of
religion to do with respecting them?

It has everything to do with respecting them. Other cultures can only be considered other cultures because they are different from your own. Difference is the dividing line. Understanding and accepting difference, and the value of difference is key to respecting other cultures.

Quote:Can I accept that there are suicide
bombers, obliviously I have to there is plenty of evidence for them but
I am not compelled to respect them.

There's a long list of military men in my family. I'm actually the only one to join the army. Most of them were in the RCAF. My grandfather was a wing commander. Flew Lancaster bombers. My grandmother's brother was a tailgunner. A sergeant. He was shot down over Berlin on a bombing run. You're a German. Do I expect you to apologise for the Nazi war machine that killed my grandmother's brother? No. So why on earth do you expect all Muslims to apologise for every suicide bomber?

There isn't a culture on earth that doesn't have a long list of atrocities on their ledger. For all I know, my great uncle, the tailgunner, razed Hamburg and Frankfurt to the ground with firebombs that created firestorms that killed thousands. That's right. Canadians. Murdering thousands. We don't seem so innocent all of a sudden.

No one is expecting you to condone every act of violence or every atrocity in the history books. But just as I understand that you are an individual, not that thing, I expect you to see individuals. Islam is not suicide bombing. Muslims are not suicide bombers. They are people. That's who you are being asked to respect.

Or perhaps I'm wrong and I should dismiss you as a Nazi and be on my way? What say you?

Quote:Do I feel better? No. Do I feel good mocking them? No. Do I gain
something? No. Do I need to speak of their believes believes
dismissively? Yes.



Is there another way? No. I would have to tell them otherwise they would never have their believes challenged.

Why are you in charge of challenging other people's beliefs?

More importantly, why is it important to be dismissive?

Quote:But if I come to the conclusion that there is no way of respecting them
for their believes, then I cannot do it, even if I do not like it.

How do you arrive at that conclusion?

Quote:To the rest of your post and the two videos. I don't really see what you
want to show with the videos? He showed a lot of cultures and it was
kind of pretty to see then I thought wait a minute.



In the end of the first one he really compares the knowledge of the
ocean from people in boats made of wood with the achievement to bring
people to the moon! They don't even have the ability to dive deeper than
a human can go without compressed air. So they don't even have access
to the biggest part of the ocean, so from definition they cannot even
have the knowledge we have of the ocean.

What do you think I wanted to show with the videos? I'm simply curious.

To answer your question, the Polynesian navigators developed a technology that allowed them to navigate the Pacific ocean in canoes. But it was not born of some scientific experiment, it was a profound relationship. It was deeply spiritual. The canoe was sacred. It was not purely rational as we understand it. When the European explorer Cooke discovered them, he refused abjectly to believe that they were navigating the Pacific in canoes when he was having difficulty doing it in his large ocean-going vessel. Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia; they were all the same people, but to this day, we consider them seperate because one man refused to believe that their so-called primitive ways could allow them to accomplish such an incredible feat.

Again. All models are wrong, but some are useful.

The use of this deeply spiritual relationship with the ocean was incredibly useful. But it was devalued entirely by our culture because they went about it the "wrong" way. We look at something like space flight and call it a triumph, but we look at what they did and consider it quaint. Davis' point was that our rubric for valuation is way off, biased to the Nth degree. His point is that people do exactly what you are doing now. They look at an absolute triumph of humanity and dismiss it out of hand. His point is that these people that we look at and call primitive are not failed attempts at modernity, they are not failed attempts at being like us. They are unique, valid, vital answers to the central question of all humanity, what does it mean to be human and alive.

Quote:And to the second one, the biggest impression I had was this. There was a
woman who did 55 Years nothing other than reciting a single mantra!!!
What should I take from this? Seriously do you can see anything than a
waste of time here? In 55 Years the only thing this poor woman came up
with is to tell the monks "sorry you are wrong, the only thing that is
important is this mantra". Which is kind of funny, I am not an expert on
Buddhism but there are a lot of mantras right? So how convenient do you
find it that surprisingly the one she choose 55 years before is the
right one and not another one?

What I hoped you would take away is this. The good life is not defined as narrowly as you have defined it. You see this woman's life and you dismiss it and you pity her. You call it a waste. She doesn't need or want your pity. But your dismissal is what prevents you from respecting her, even celebrating her life.

I asked you to pay attention to the story of the Australian Aboriginies. Their entire culture is the antithesis of our way of life. Where we value progress, they value stasis. Their culture is a wondrous accomplishment, not a tragic failure.

You also misinterpreted. She didn't say anyone was wrong. She dedicated her life to something, something you might find silly or worthless, and lived a fulfilling life in conditions that make no sense to us.


I had more to say, but I was interrupted quite significantly and I lost my train of thought. So I hope that you gain something from this for now and that it ignights your curiosity. In closing I just want to say that it is important not to conflate criticism with dismissal. I can look at religons and religious people and be critical and offere analysis and constructive criticism. But that is entirely different than dismissing or devaluing them. Entirely different.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-12-2012, 08:26 AM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hi Matt,

I am not really into philosophy or the science of the mind. And I simply do not see how this gives a satisfying answer to my question.

Quote: You and I both think the earth goes around the sun. And that makes
perfect sense to both of us within the scope of our cultural
understanding. In other cultures, alien to our own, it might be
meaningless. Still other cultures might have an entirely spiritual
relationship to the sun. It's difficult for me to imagine others
because, like you, what my culture thinks makes sense to me. But I have
the sense to know that there are different understandings, not just ones
that contradict our own, but ones that are fundamentally different. As
it is said, it's not the same league, it's not even the same sport.
First we both Know that the earth goes around the sun. And everyone who says it is the other way around gets normally funny locks. Yes in other cultures they might think it is not so, but this has no impact on the fact that the earth still orbits the sun. Sorry but I really think that is just a play with words. Because when you think about it for the fact, like you say it, that all cultures have different models in mind when they speak about a topic. International space missions seem the succeed pretty often so it seem different cultures are quite capable to convey what they are talking about.

Quote:What is your standard for judging what is right? That is the central
problem of the notion of universal right and wrong. I'm gonna leave that
at that because I was talking about correct/incorrect, rather than some
moral concern.

Just to take a moment to speak to your point however, to paraphrase Imam
Feisal Abdul Rauf, "If we compare the best of ourselves to the worst of
the other, what are we actually accomplishing?
I made the point with the aztekes to show that there are cultures who are not maximizing human happiness. Basically what Sam Harris talks about in the video below. Killing people because you think the sun will not shine otherwise is bad, it is simply mad. Because we know how the mechanics work and there is no variable for human sacrifice. If you are willing to accept such a culture as good as any other one simply because they exist, I am simply at a loss of words.





Quote:It has everything to do with respecting them. Other cultures can only be
considered other cultures because they are different from your own.
Difference is the dividing line. Understanding and accepting difference,
and the value of difference is key to respecting other cultures.
As I said I have no difficulty accepting other cultures and even admiring them. For example I really like Japan, I train traditional Japanese Swordsmanship and there are things in Japan I think are better than the ones in my culture of birth. Does that mean I have to respect and admire their believe systems like Shinto or Buddhism? No they are different things.

Let me ask you do you respect all cultures and religions? I think I have to give no examples for anyone here of such thinks as bad cultures or mad religions. So let us construct a different culture.

Let us say for example there was a culture in which red haired blue eyed people are considered a sign of bad luck and get killed at birth. A culture whose religion tells them that they are the only people worth living and anyone other has to die and you cannot convert into this religion, you have to be born into it.

I guess we can agree that this would be a really evil culture or not? So are there only two extreme? Good cultures and bad cultures? What would be for example in our constructed culture you can convert to their religion. Would this make it less evil?

Would you respect this constructed culture? And if your answer is no then on what arguments do you base your judgement that this culture deserves no respect.

Quote:So why on earth do you expect all Muslims to apologise for every suicide bomber?
I did not mean it that way. What I wanted to say is just because something exists it does not automatically deserve respect. The muslim bombers simply came to my mind first, it could have been the Nazis it would be the same point.

Quote:Why are you in charge of challenging other people's beliefs?



More importantly, why is it important to be dismissive?
Because I think that religious believes kill many people. I think the world would be a better place without religion. You can say I am an Antitheist. I think not only are they are wrong in their assertions but that most of the religions are also highly immoral.

Quote:
Quote:Quote:But if I come to the conclusion that there is no way of respecting them

for their believes, then I cannot do it, even if I do not like it.
How do you arrive at that conclusion?
Actually quite simple, the church of the flying spaghetti monster is considered stupid by the "Real religions". In the same way I consider the "real religions" stupid. If someone who has access to the same information's that I have still comes to the conclusion that stories like genesis are more likely true than what we learned in cosmology. I have no way of admiring their mental capacity. And the question really was how do I respect a religious person who has demonstrated that they are capable to understand the arguments of scientific discourse which contradict their believe system.

To be precise here , I do not say they are bad people. If for example they work in charity because of their religion. I would applaud them for their work but question their motivation.

Quote:To answer your question, the Polynesian navigators developed a
technology that allowed them to navigate the Pacific ocean in canoes.
But it was not born of some scientific experiment, it was a profound
relationship. It was deeply spiritual.
I think it would be more likely to say the ones who came back lived. So it was probably more a Darwinian selection of the boats that swim and the navigation that does not lead you to the open ocean. We have seen these things in many cultures. The Egyptians had no idea of civil engineering so the first pyramids they have build actually collapsed. We know that to be true, they had the wrong angle. So they tried another one until they did not collapse. Does that make their accomplishment insignificant? Of course not.

The fact that they can navigate is something I greatly admire, but you said so yourself it was not science. The Apollo missions were science, so I simply said he cannot compare the two things.

How you value the whole thing is a personal matter. For me personally I think the jurney to the moon was way more impressive. But I am an mechanical engineer so my opinion is quite probable biased.

Quote:What I hoped you would take away is this. The good life is not defined
as narrowly as you have defined it. You see this woman's life and you
dismiss it and you pity her. You call it a waste. She doesn't need or
want your pity. But your dismissal is what prevents you from respecting
her, even celebrating her life.



I asked you to pay attention to the story of the Australian Aboriginies.
Their entire culture is the antithesis of our way of life. Where we
value progress, they value stasis. Their culture is a wondrous
accomplishment, not a tragic failure.
Sorry, I tried to think about what you wanted to say with this, but I cannot come to your position. I know what you say and I understand that my inability to value her motivation leads me to pity her. Maybe my mind has blinders it cannot lock around, but I still think this lady missed so much.

And the same thing goes for the Australian Aborigines. I think living in primitive hunter and gatherer culture is not the maximum you can achieve. They may very well have been happy. But their kids could have lived longer and much healthier lives. Even if you do not count things like knowledge, healthier and longer lives make a better live. In what way is not achieving this for their kids not a failure?

I appreciate the time you invested already in this discussion thanks,

Marcus
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-12-2012, 02:57 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Hey, Marcus.

I find your response disappointing. Quite clearly you do not want my help. Such is life. I wish you the best of luck in your quest. My parting wisdom is this: don't trust in Sam Harris for he will lead you astray.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-12-2012, 04:24 PM
RE: Respect for Religion
Astray from what?

What is so detestable?

A single action is worth more than the words it takes to describe it.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: