The only philosophical question concerning religion
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12-02-2012, 01:33 PM
The only philosophical question concerning religion
In my opinion, the only philosophical question concerning religion is as follows:
Do humans through a universal frame of mind create religious beliefs to explain the unexplainable (life, death, existence) OR does a God exist who apparently continues to send savior after savior in human form to save humanity from itself?
Basically, do humans have a religious instinct, or is it actually God in control of these events and he uses the same theme over and over?

Saviors: Dionysus, Osiris, Jesus, Prometheus,
This repeated theme:
-God made flesh, the savior and “Son of God.”
-His father is God and his mother is a mortal virgin.
-He is born in a cave or humble cowshed on December 25 before three shepherds.
-He offers his followers the chance to be born again through the rites of baptism.
-He miraculously turns water into wine at a marriage ceremony.
-He rides triumphantly into town on a donkey while people wave palm leaves to honor him.
-He dies at Easter-time as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
-After his death he descends to hell, then on the third day he rises from the dead and ascends to heaven in glory.
-His followers await his return as the judge during the Last Days.
-His death and resurrection are celebrated by a ritual meal of bread and wine, which symbolize his body and blood.
…and He is always a Man.

What say all?

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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12-02-2012, 01:47 PM
RE: The only philosophical question concerning religion
I'd go for religious instinct.
This mechanism has a good analogy. You hear a noise in the bush. Your options are run or don't. If you run because of the wind you are ok , if you stay and it's a tiger you're dead. So this mechanism to believe things that aren't necessarily there seems integrated in human psychology.
As for the savior part , I haven;t had proof of the actual person , that they were a physical entity.

Although I must say I think you are creating a false dichotomy , consider this scenario : each generation had a few learned people , and these people had their ideas integrated into myth and when said myth was institutionalized into organized religion they became the messiah of the myth. Only issue here is you have to prove the person existed first.(there are other options , just a counter scenario)

Also , in many ancient cultures rulers , such as let's say the Pharaoh in the case of Egypt , were seen as incarnations of gods and a whole smoke screen was created for the layman to trust authority unquestioningly.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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12-02-2012, 02:05 PM
Or C.) None of the above.
(12-02-2012 01:33 PM)Thomas Wrote:  In my opinion, the only philosophical question concerning religion is as follows:
Do humans through a universal frame of mind create religious beliefs to explain the unexplainable (life, death, existence) OR does a God exist who apparently continues to send savior after savior in human form to save humanity from itself?
Basically, do humans have a religious instinct, or is it actually God in control of these events and he uses the same theme over and over?

Saviors: Dionysus, Osiris, Jesus, Prometheus,
This repeated theme:
-God made flesh, the savior and “Son of God.”
-His father is God and his mother is a mortal virgin.
-He is born in a cave or humble cowshed on December 25 before three shepherds.
-He offers his followers the chance to be born again through the rites of baptism.
-He miraculously turns water into wine at a marriage ceremony.
-He rides triumphantly into town on a donkey while people wave palm leaves to honor him.
-He dies at Easter-time as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
-After his death he descends to hell, then on the third day he rises from the dead and ascends to heaven in glory.
-His followers await his return as the judge during the Last Days.
-His death and resurrection are celebrated by a ritual meal of bread and wine, which symbolize his body and blood.
…and He is always a Man.

What say all?

I suspect that belief in the supernatural is the result of the mis-firing of evolutionarily useful aspects of the brain/mind, e.g. seeing 'intention' in animals and events, seeing causation where there is only correlation, etc.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-02-2012, 04:21 PM
RE: The only philosophical question concerning religion
People speculate about the world and how it works, according to their ability to observe it. People tell stories - often tall ones - about their personal, familial and tribal history. People like the concept of luck, guardian spirits, fetishes, totems, spells, potions and talismans to get an edge over their competitors/ enemies.
People also organize themselves into societies and hierarchies.
Heirarchic priesthoods turn casual superstition, lore and speculation into a system of dogma and ritual to serve the interests of the ruling elite.

Instinct harnessed to opportunism.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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12-02-2012, 09:31 PM
RE: The only philosophical question concerning religion
(12-02-2012 01:47 PM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Although I must say I think you are creating a false dichotomy

I will concede your point on a false dilemma to a degree. I see that the possibility may exist that both options can be false. There could be no god and we may not have a religious instinct.

My motivation for posting this question was an argument that I read today making the case for Jesus being a warmed over savoir theme and unoriginal idea. This may be an argument for Jesus not being “the” savoir, but it doesn’t make the argument for him not being “a” savoir among many.

So we have evidence that the savoir story has been told many times, in many parts of the world, and at different dates a wide apart as several thousand years. The question is what is the connection? I thought either a deity with a blueprint or a human instinct evolved far back in our past. I can’t think of another possibility.

We do know from the fossil record that our ancestors, Homo Sapiens, were down to about 600 individuals 70,000 years ago and lived along the southern coast of Africa. Could it be that we developed the savoir myths that far back and as we exited Africa carried it throughout the globe? This would indicate that Christianity has its roots in an African sun worshiping cult 70,000 years ago. We cannot know for sure what they were worshiping if anything, but we do know that as far back as we can go there is a god in human form saving humanity by dying for its sins and resurrecting.

This is why I think it is the ultimate question. If we could answer this we would have answered everything about the roots of religion.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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12-02-2012, 10:21 PM
RE: The only philosophical question concerning religion
The early sacrificial god/man myths were not about sin and redemption at all. They were about fertility: the return of spring, the Nile flooding, the monsoon, or whatever was needed where people lived. The god/man was murdered by another deity, or died of wounds in a battle, or was sacrificed, only to be revived, reborn or raised up, good as ever for another cycle.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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13-02-2012, 12:04 AM
RE: The only philosophical question concerning religion
(12-02-2012 09:31 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(12-02-2012 01:47 PM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Although I must say I think you are creating a false dichotomy

I will concede your point on a false dilemma to a degree. I see that the possibility may exist that both options can be false. There could be no god and we may not have a religious instinct.

My motivation for posting this question was an argument that I read today making the case for Jesus being a warmed over savoir theme and unoriginal idea. This may be an argument for Jesus not being “the” savoir, but it doesn’t make the argument for him not being “a” savoir among many.

So we have evidence that the savoir story has been told many times, in many parts of the world, and at different dates a wide apart as several thousand years. The question is what is the connection? I thought either a deity with a blueprint or a human instinct evolved far back in our past. I can’t think of another possibility.

We do know from the fossil record that our ancestors, Homo Sapiens, were down to about 600 individuals 70,000 years ago and lived along the southern coast of Africa. Could it be that we developed the savoir myths that far back and as we exited Africa carried it throughout the globe? This would indicate that Christianity has its roots in an African sun worshiping cult 70,000 years ago. We cannot know for sure what they were worshiping if anything, but we do know that as far back as we can go there is a god in human form saving humanity by dying for its sins and resurrecting.

This is why I think it is the ultimate question. If we could answer this we would have answered everything about the roots of religion.

I have always found the guru Jesus, Moses ,Mahavira, Buddha,
Zarathustra et al, as guides to eternal bliss theory, extremely simplistic.
I do not feel that any god, appreciable to secular reasoning, could be more than an extension of our best considered moral convictions.

As for evolving cosmic dramas, possibly transcending scienctific methodologies, I am not willing to deny such, and am only able to look at such issues in keeping with the cognitive abilities available to me.

To me the whole notion of an absolutely perfect god as posited by religious people has debased the whole issue relating to the possibility of higher astral beings, of some form, superior and/ or different to us. I think that intuition need not be fobbed off as gross stupidity, and that speculations based on such need be taboo.

It is the unjustifiable boxing in of people minds with weird notions that I find.unacceptable, not issues relating to epistemological and ontological ponderings,
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