Why I think religion is the bunk

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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby asthmatic camel » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:20 am

And add to that the sheer number of different sects believing in the same god but violently disagreeing with each other.

Madness.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:30 am

asthmatic camel wrote:And add to that the sheer number of different sects believing in the same god but violently disagreeing with each other.

Madness.


I take issue a little bit with this observation.

The notion that for example Jews, Christians and Muslims "worship the same God" is meaningful only if said God really exists (with all these different guys worshiping Him mostly the wrong way).

If said deity is non-existent, then they are worshiping different figments of different imaginations.

This also applies among different flavors of Jews, different flavors of Christians, different flavors of Muslims, etc.

Only One GodTM equates to innumerable figments of innumerable imaginations.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby asthmatic camel » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:16 am

Mass psychoses then, if you prefer. Is it likely that any one of these groups has got it right?

Answers on a postcard to...
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Doctor X » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:32 am

I am aware of no religion that remains unchanged.

Science does not change; the understanding of reality increases.

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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:18 pm

asthmatic camel wrote:Mass psychoses then, if you prefer. Is it likely that any one of these groups has got it right?

Answers on a postcard to...


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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:20 pm

Doctor X wrote:I am aware of no religion that remains unchanged.

Science does not change; the understanding of reality increases.

--J.D.


Every religion changes. Some more than others.

And then there are Jehovah's Witless, whose new doctrines are issued with expiration dates. :)
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Witness » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:18 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Witness wrote:
ed wrote:God is Trendy

Hell is a good example, quite out of fashion now, but very present in the-past-is-another-country the USA. ...


FTFY. :|


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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Doctor X » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:22 am

He defeated Russia!

And won Notre Dame!

I believe him!

--J.D.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby ed » Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:19 pm

The core of the problem is that the Bible (all versions as far as I can see) do not provide any evidence, or even suggestion, that they are written by or inspired by anyone other than fallible humans. Power grasping and evil folks too, if it comes to that. So that when one surveys the writings one is struck by the basic banality of them. There is not Lord of the Universe there, just people who are as afraid as we are about coming to grips with the universe and who have constructed some sort of fabric (highly derivative, I might add) to help them cope. They invented (or elaborated upon) a daddy/mommy figure who, if you obey the rules, will keep you safe.

The arguments about specifics in these books are misguided (no one can possibly take them literally, no one does. No one does because the prisons are not full of bible "literalists") since such arguments miss the core point: we are looking at a work of fiction. Go ahead, read it and quote something that reflects wisdom that no one knows. Quote something that creates an ineluctable argument that causes the scales to fall from the eyes of non-believers. Find something that stands on it's own without the need to explain or make excuses for or fall back on the sloppy argument that "you just don't understand".

If the bible were the work of an alien intelligence with the all knowing characteristics that seem to be the profile de jour of the deity, we'd have some nuggets in the texts that present some sort of something that are new and insightful and that speak to the ages.

Nothing zero zilch. What we have is exactly what we would expect from writers from an agrarian culture whose knowledge extended precisely as far as the next hill. And to make it more we have apologetics. The very existence of which makes my point eloquently.

Then we have the trendy nature of the bible. The eternal word of god is manifested in the clothing of the current climate, political and social. As one would expect from a pastiche made by many hands over many years, the sum total is a Rorschach. It is a sad bible scholar that cannot make it say what he or she desires. Women priests? Homosexuals in the clergy? Homosexulas NOT cast into everlasting fire? Homosexuals cast into everlasting fire? Everlasting fire? Good acts? Belief? Slaves? Erastianism? Salvation for all? For many? For few? Depends when you lived and who was speaking.

Nothing consistent, nothing definitive. Just the belief of sad, frightened humans trying to make sense of their existence.

The core of my argument is that there is clearly nothing whatsoever to argue that the books (in all of their translations and assemblages) that we collectively call the bible are anything more than the works of sad frightened members of a preindustrial, uneducated, primitive society, added to and expounded upon by others with similar characteristics.

One note on morality. If one does something out of fear or duress ones motives are suspect and there is no honor in the resulting behaviors. This is so self evident that I would not have mentioned it but for the peculiar assertion that those not feeling threatened by a vast alien presence somehow cannot be "moral", which of course they must certainly be. Certainly more so than those that believe in eternal damnation.

The absurdity of a creator tormenting his creations throughout eternity will have to await another day for discussion. Though one that this sick notion is enough to write finis to any discussion of a deity.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:10 pm

I'll add to what ed just said, particularly about the Bible being written by fallible humans.

It was written by different people with different world views, so that "the Biblical world view" really just means the view of one particular modern manifestation. And that's just Old Testament, without getting into the business of that fellow Doctor X calls "Junior".

Compare for example the 23rd Psalm with the Book of Job. Not just written by different people, written by people who had incompatible conceptions of the relationship of the Supreme Being to His human creation.

Those two authors did not have "the same religion" modern terms, even if they both accepted the same Torah law (if they did) .
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby ed » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:22 pm

You know, consider the evolution of Superman. Originally he was a sorta fallible guy with a modicum of superpowers. As time went on he became more godlike, right? Going thru time, basically immortal and god. Thats when they killed him off becasue he wasn't interesting any longer. Isn't that our "god"? He started off fallible, one of many and now he knows all etc etc. Like a made up superhero.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Anaxagoras » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:50 am

All excellent points.

Although I think I am agnostic about the possibility of some sort of creator of the universe beyond human understanding (or at least beyond our current understanding or anything in the foreseeable future) I am not agnostic about religions. There is no "divine revelation", only delusions and lies, fairy tales or myths, call them what you will, but nothing more than the products of ordinary, ignorant people's imaginations.

So even if there is a god, religion provides no real path to understanding its nature. If there is a path to understanding the nature of this god (and there probably isn't; nor is it likely that there is a way to definitively rule out such) it will be through science, not self-appointed prophets or clergymen claiming to speak for god.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby ed » Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:47 pm

Something else occurred to me.

No one believes in magic. I mean really BELIEVES that natural laws can be suspended by a magicion.

Why? What is the difference between magic and religion?

Apologetics.

Magic is religion without the excuses.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:45 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:... some sort of creator of the universe beyond human understanding ...


That is not the "God" believers believe in.

If they bring up such a concept, it's a rhetorical device to get you closer to Nobodaddy. 8)
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:47 pm

ed wrote:Magic is religion without the excuses.


Do you mean Randi style prestidigitation?

Because there certainly are believers in magic (or "magick").
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby whitefork » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:15 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Anaxagoras wrote:... some sort of creator of the universe beyond human understanding ...


That is not the "God" believers believe in.

If they bring up such a concept, it's a rhetorical device to get you closer to Nobodaddy. 8)

Watch it. There are a lot of Unitarians, Deists, animists, and idolators (not mentioning the noncognitivists) who believe exactly that. There are more gods in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.

And, yeah, there are people being executed these days for practicing magic. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news ... ng-4929838
So somebody "believes" it's "real".
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:24 pm

whitefork wrote:Watch it. There are a lot of Unitarians, Deists, animists, and idolators (not mentioning the noncognitivists) who believe exactly that.


Modulo a non-standard definition of the word "believe". :coolspecs:
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby whitefork » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:27 pm

"No True Believer" fallacy. Paging Eric Hoffer!
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:30 pm

whitefork wrote:"No True Believer" fallacy. Paging Eric Hoffer!


Not at all.

I am accusing them of intellectual dishonesty.
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Re: Why I think religion is the bunk

Postby DrMatt » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:25 am

At least it's intellectual dishonesty with a long history (and a couple celebrities like Spinoza and Sagan). IIRC the Stoics believed in gods that were far away, kept the stars and planets in order, and had no interaction with humans. That's part of what distinguished them from the Skeptics and Epicureans.
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