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Xiam
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I'm a bit tentative about starting a post here but I was curious if anyone had considered this before.

Religion is a logical redundancy. It is an attempt to explain the unexplainable with something that cannot be explained (god).

As Carl Sagan once said, why not just skip a step and say that it's unexplainable, rather than invent something even harder to explain? (Ignoring, of course, that physics can explain most things).

Curiosity is human nature. We need to know. It's why science does all this crazy s**t to find out the answers.
So (from an atheistic standpoint) why did we create something harder to explain? Perhaps just because it's all encompassing? New plant! God did it.
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Xiam
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I'm a bit tentative about starting a post here but I was curious if anyone had considered this before.

Religion is a logical redundancy. It is an attempt to explain the unexplainable with something that cannot be explained (god).

As Carl Sagan once said, why not just skip a step and say that it's unexplainable, rather than invent something even harder to explain? (Ignoring, of course, that physics can explain most things).

Curiosity is human nature. We need to know. It's why science does all this crazy s**t to find out the answers.
So (from an atheistic standpoint) why did we create something harder to explain? Perhaps just because it's all encompassing? New plant! God did it.

Wait... which is harder to explain?
Blade Dancer's avatar

Distinct Phantom

Xiam
Blade Dancer
Xiam
Cogent Dream
I'm a bit tentative about starting a post here but I was curious if anyone had considered this before.

Religion is a logical redundancy. It is an attempt to explain the unexplainable with something that cannot be explained (god).

As Carl Sagan once said, why not just skip a step and say that it's unexplainable, rather than invent something even harder to explain? (Ignoring, of course, that physics can explain most things).

Curiosity is human nature. We need to know. It's why science does all this crazy s**t to find out the answers.
So (from an atheistic standpoint) why did we create something harder to explain? Perhaps just because it's all encompassing? New plant! God did it.

Wait... which is harder to explain?
The questions like, what created god? What was before god? If these questions are answered with "God always existed" we are forced to conceptualize infinity.
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Xiam
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Xiam
Cogent Dream
I'm a bit tentative about starting a post here but I was curious if anyone had considered this before.

Religion is a logical redundancy. It is an attempt to explain the unexplainable with something that cannot be explained (god).

As Carl Sagan once said, why not just skip a step and say that it's unexplainable, rather than invent something even harder to explain? (Ignoring, of course, that physics can explain most things).

Curiosity is human nature. We need to know. It's why science does all this crazy s**t to find out the answers.
So (from an atheistic standpoint) why did we create something harder to explain? Perhaps just because it's all encompassing? New plant! God did it.

Wait... which is harder to explain?
The questions like, what created god? What was before god? If these questions are answered with "God always existed" we are forced to conceptualize infinity.

What's wrong with infinity? We'll be forced to conceptualize it with or without God.
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Distinct Phantom

Xiam

What's wrong with infinity? We'll be forced to conceptualize it with or without God.
True. However, ancient European cultures thought the world flat, they gave it an edge where you would fall off. (Speaking of, does anyone know what they thought happened when you fell off? Death? Infinity?) They cancelled infinity (unless they fell for infinity, in which case, nevermind). My.thoughts are that the creation of a god, and the infinity that it creates is not as relevant to their lives as "what happens after we die".
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re·li·gion
   [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1.
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Um...Sounds like at least partly a logical redundancy. That's why Cogent Dream specified BETWEEN personal faith and organized religion.
Here's his difference:
Quote:
Organised religion is an institution with standardised teachings and beliefs.

Quote:
Personal faith is a belief in whatever the heck you want because it's personal.


Religion in general is a set of beliefs or practices, organized or not. Did you not see definition 2 or 3? Also the idea that religion is "explaining the unexplainable" is based on the outdated premise that science and religion are at odds with each other. While popular in public, historians of science don't support it.
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rmcdra
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rmcdra

re·li·gion
   [ri-lij-uhn] Show IPA
noun
1.
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
Um...Sounds like at least partly a logical redundancy. That's why Cogent Dream specified BETWEEN personal faith and organized religion.
Here's his difference:
Quote:
Organised religion is an institution with standardised teachings and beliefs.

Quote:
Personal faith is a belief in whatever the heck you want because it's personal.


Religion in general is a set of beliefs or practices, organized or not. Did you not see definition 2 or 3? Also the idea that religion is "explaining the unexplainable" is based on the outdated premise that science and religion are at odds with each other. While popular in public, historians of science don't support it.
A word need not have to comply with all definitions. I quoted the first because that's the definition that applied to what I was saying. I'm skeptical on accepting your last point, but regardless, even today religious people use the argument "What created the universe if not for god?" It seems likely to me and I'm sure many people, that this argument could easily have been used by the ancients to ask others "if not for god how did the world come to be?" or even create religion itself. By religion in this instance, I mean the creation of a god, ergo organized religion.

You say that explaining the world and such isn't why religion exists according to scientists and historians, what do they say IS the reason for religion existing?
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A word need not have to comply with all definitions. I quoted the first because that's the definition that applied to what I was saying.
true but it shows that idea of distinction between "personal faith" and "Organized religion" is moot and splitting hairs since he doesn't make such a distinction in the OP, only when I brought it up to him.

Quote:
I'm skeptical on accepting your last point, but regardless, even today religious people use the argument "What created the universe if not for god?" It seems likely to me and I'm sure many people, that this argument could easily have been used by the ancients to ask others "if not for god how did the world come to be?" or even create religion itself. By religion in this instance, I mean the creation of a god, ergo organized religion.
The trouble is that for the longest time, religion and education, which included the sciences, were linked closely together. "God created the universe" is a philosophical basis for certain religion but it's not the end all by any means, if it were, then why would religious individuals such as Newton, Mendel, and Lemaître proceed looking for further explanation, since philosophical bases don't answer questions about functionality or mechanics. The conflict thesis: the idea that religion and science are competing entities with one eventually becoming the "winner", assumed to be science; is regarded as inadequate since it assumes that both are bodies of knowledge which they aren't. It's also based on 19th century assumptions and biases which were not actual history and not as rigorous in it's academics as historical methods we have today. If you'd like more information on this, here's a starting point. The article is well cited and gives modern books devoted to this subject.

Quote:
You say that explaining the world and such isn't why religion exists according to scientists and historians, what do they say IS the reason for religion existing?
I'd say it's because humans are tribal animals and like being in groups that share the same beliefs and practices. Also we as humans, are hardwired to being prone to emotion attachment to concepts whether they have any truth to them or not. We're very crude reasoning machines and most times we have to be trained to reason, but we're very proficient when it comes to rationalizing. Certain beliefs and practices become associated with group identity and eventually to personal identity. In short, beliefs and practices associated with beliefs perpetuate because they define the group. The rationale of why certain beliefs and practices are held by a group depends on the goals of the group in question.
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Distinct Phantom

rmcdra
Blade Dancer


You say that explaining the world and such isn't why religion exists according to scientists and historians, what do they say IS the reason for religion existing?
I'd say it's because humans are tribal animals and like being in groups that share the same beliefs and practices. Also we as humans, are hardwired to being prone to emotion attachment to concepts whether they have any truth to them or not. We're very crude reasoning machines and most times we have to be trained to reason, but we're very proficient when it comes to rationalizing. Certain beliefs and practices become associated with group identity and eventually to personal identity. In short, beliefs and practices associated with beliefs perpetuate because they define the group. The rationale of why certain beliefs and practices are held by a group depends on the goals of the group in question.
The first two parts make a lot of sense, but on this last bit I was asking where religion CAME from. What created it in the first place, not what propagates it.
Lucky~9~Lives
Cogent Dream
Lucky~9~Lives
Not all religions posit (a) god.


True, but the major ones do and the ones that don't are arguably not religions (I know people say Buddhism isn't actually a religion).


I know people say Christianity isn't actually a religion.


Again, true. But I see that only as a subjective attempt to assert their superiority over other religions. I could also clarify that "the unexplainable" does not necessarily have to be (a) god. It could just be a set of beliefs that are inconsistent with modern evidence.

rmcdra


I fail to see how your post does anything but support my case.

"beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"

A belief concerning anything is a personal explanation of it. If that belief rejects all other beliefs and evidence, and is taught as "fact", then it is an attempt to assert factuality where none exists. Nor did I postulate that the only purpose of religion is to explain the unexplainable, but when you simultaneously uphold your beliefs as fact and reject all other evidence, you are essentially trying to replace any other explanation with your own.

Also, I like how you referred to religion as a "mythos". Again, it supports my case. If scripture was a mythos, then yes, it could be acceptable as an ethical story. The problem is people interpret it as much more than that, hence the existence of religions. And yes, doesn't evolution make creation stories irrelevant? The only reason it hasn't is because people have refused to change their views (although I did a course at my university taught by Christian scientists reconciling science and religion - and they viewed evolution as a fact, though one started by god).

Dardanos Immortalis


Thank you, that works too. Although, as I mentioned above, the "unexplainable" does not necessarily have to be god. Karma, for instance, is not verifiable.

Fermionic


Again, it doesn't have to have a deity. But yes, I'm pretty sure most religions have their own explanation for life and creation.

Blade Dancer


Thank you, and love the sig by the way. Rorschach is awesome.

Xiam


It definitely is, but in the interest of "knowing", isn't the use of (a) god as an explanatory tool essentially shooting our cause in the foot? Because there's no way to ever know god, by invoking one, you've given up the pursuit of knowing.

As for what's harder to explain, theists posit that god has no creator or beginning and thus refuse to address the question. It essentially means god is impossible to explain (and thus is the harder one to explain).

----------------------------------------------------

You guys continued the discussion yourselves so I'll jump back in when it feels right lol.
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You say that explaining the world and such isn't why religion exists according to scientists and historians, what do they say IS the reason for religion existing?
I'd say it's because humans are tribal animals and like being in groups that share the same beliefs and practices. Also we as humans, are hardwired to being prone to emotion attachment to concepts whether they have any truth to them or not. We're very crude reasoning machines and most times we have to be trained to reason, but we're very proficient when it comes to rationalizing. Certain beliefs and practices become associated with group identity and eventually to personal identity. In short, beliefs and practices associated with beliefs perpetuate because they define the group. The rationale of why certain beliefs and practices are held by a group depends on the goals of the group in question.
The first two parts make a lot of sense, but on this last bit I was asking where religion CAME from. What created it in the first place, not what propagates it.
People make religion, that's obvious I would think.
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I fail to see how your post does anything but support my case.

"beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"
How so? Oh right, you're assuming that beliefs concerning cause must be in conflict with physics. Gotcha. Well have fun complaining about seven day creationists and their like. Seems like you are just grasping for anything now.

Quote:
A belief concerning anything is a personal explanation of it. If that belief rejects all other beliefs and evidence, and is taught as "fact", then it is an attempt to assert factuality where none exists.
And if a belief does not conflict with accepted knowledge where is the conflict? Oh and hi welcome to the human race. We do that culturally regardless of religion and have been doing it for a long time now.

Quote:
Nor did I postulate that the only purpose of religion is to explain the unexplainable, but when you simultaneously uphold your beliefs as fact and reject all other evidence, you are essentially trying to replace any other explanation with your own.
yes you did.
you
Religion is a logical redundancy. It is an attempt to explain the unexplainable with something that cannot be explained (god).
Stop trying to back pedal. And again, when the beliefs don't conflict with a body of knowledge where is the conflict?

Quote:
Also, I like how you referred to religion as a "mythos". Again, it supports my case.
Yes because I use the proper name to describe a set of literature intended to describe purpose and teach lessons conveying what a particular author knew during the time they lived so supports your case.

Quote:
If scripture was a mythos, then yes, it could be acceptable as an ethical story. The problem is people interpret it as much more than that, hence the existence of religions.
Such as what, literal history? The creation stories in Genesis is regarded as mythic by mainstream Christians and Jews. Seven day creationism has been on the decline for quite some time now. Now considering that canonized scriptures are supposed to be used as the measuring stick for how to define what is and is not acceptable in their respective cultures, of course one is going to be emotionally invested in it.

Quote:
And yes, doesn't evolution make creation stories irrelevant? The only reason it hasn't is because people have refused to change their views (although I did a course at my university taught by Christian scientists reconciling science and religion - and they viewed evolution as a fact, though one started by god).
Change their views to what? Conforming to your view that it's all bullshit because you see no value in it? Since creation stories are regarded as mythic, they still serve a purpose of defining cultural identity within a particular culture. The theory of evolution does not attempt to explain purpose or define cultural identity.
rmcdra
Cogent Dream

I fail to see how your post does anything but support my case.

"beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe"
How so? Oh right, you're assuming that beliefs concerning cause must be in conflict with physics. Gotcha. Well have fun complaining about seven day creationists and their like. Seems like you are just grasping for anything now.

Quote:
A belief concerning anything is a personal explanation of it. If that belief rejects all other beliefs and evidence, and is taught as "fact", then it is an attempt to assert factuality where none exists.
And if a belief does not conflict with accepted knowledge where is the conflict? Oh and hi welcome to the human race. We do that culturally regardless of religion and have been doing it for a long time now.

Quote:
Nor did I postulate that the only purpose of religion is to explain the unexplainable, but when you simultaneously uphold your beliefs as fact and reject all other evidence, you are essentially trying to replace any other explanation with your own.
yes you did.
you
Religion is a logical redundancy. It is an attempt to explain the unexplainable with something that cannot be explained (god).
Stop trying to back pedal. And again, when the beliefs don't conflict with a body of knowledge where is the conflict?

Quote:
Also, I like how you referred to religion as a "mythos". Again, it supports my case.
Yes because I use the proper name to describe a set of literature intended to describe purpose and teach lessons conveying what a particular author knew during the time they lived so supports your case.

Quote:
If scripture was a mythos, then yes, it could be acceptable as an ethical story. The problem is people interpret it as much more than that, hence the existence of religions.
Such as what, literal history? The creation stories in Genesis is regarded as mythic by mainstream Christians and Jews. Seven day creationism has been on the decline for quite some time now. Now considering that canonized scriptures are supposed to be used as the measuring stick for how to define what is and is not acceptable in their respective cultures, of course one is going to be emotionally invested in it.

Quote:
And yes, doesn't evolution make creation stories irrelevant? The only reason it hasn't is because people have refused to change their views (although I did a course at my university taught by Christian scientists reconciling science and religion - and they viewed evolution as a fact, though one started by god).
Change their views to what? Conforming to your view that it's all bullshit because you see no value in it? Since creation stories are regarded as mythic, they still serve a purpose of defining cultural identity within a particular culture. The theory of evolution does not attempt to explain purpose or define cultural identity.


1. What am I grasping at? I merely said that the religious understanding of cause is an unverifiable belief. You mentioned a possible extreme - fundamentalist creationists - but it applies to more than that.

2. If it doesn't "conflict with accepted knowledge" then there is no conflict. You already predicated that in your premise. Try not to confuse yourself. And yes, humans do that as well as religion, but we're talking about religion here aren't we?

3. You might want to brush up on semantics a little. I never specified religion is limited to just an attempt to explain using a conditional word such as "only, just, limited to" or anything like that. The entire topic of religion cannot possibly be predicated in two sentences, I was just addressing one aspect. Also, you continue to assert a concept of no conflict without providing examples, nor do you take into account organised religions do not teach concordism (which is a field in which an attempt is made to reconcile religion with scientific fact). If I didn't make it clear enough last time, I'll reiterate - I'm talking about organised religion with standardised teachings because personal interpretation and person faith are unknowable to anyone but yourself.

4. Not only do you imply that what the particular author knew is limited to his/her context, but you essentially affirmed my premise. To "describe purpose" is the same as explaining purpose. Also, you're entirely wrong about the word mythos. It is not the correct literary word - the word mythos is derived from Greek and essentially just means a myth or mythology. Maybe the correct word you were looking for was treatise?

5. It would have been a lot simpler for you to have simply identified your disagreement based on your viewpoint being one where the more outright incorrect points in scripture are not meant to be taken literally. Hence, you are somewhat of a concordist or a liberal theist. If you made this clear I could have been more direct to you. Keep in mind when I address religion, I have to address it as a whole. I can't pander to every detail unless you tell me what that detail is. Now that I know you believe science and religion are not in conflict, the question changes.

First, what do you think of fundamentalist theists? Are they wrong? If no, then you sabotage your own belief. If yes, then you imply that all previous theists before the advent of modern science were wrong, and thus religion was founded on fallacies. So again, the problem is that religion is not logical.

Second, if you can claim one portion of the bible to be myth, what prevents you from claiming the rest is myth too? Do you apply your own subjective judgement to it? What makes you fit to judge the writings that represent god's word? And how can you know if any of it is factual if its integrity has already been compromised?

6. First of all, you're implying that there is less value is truth and education than there is in moral stories. Second, creationism by itself does not have any intrinsic moral story beyond "god is all powerful". Again, it would have been easier if you asserted your own position first. Since your position is that parts of the bible are myth (including creation), and that most of it is to "describe purpose and cultural identity", I'll address that more specifically.

First, purpose and identity are not reliant on religion. To say so would be to accuse all atheists as lacking purpose or identity, which would be arrogant of you. Second, evolution does have a purpose. In fact, it coincides nicely with Aristotle's greatest purpose, which is the flourishing of a species. Also, evolution can provide identity too. We identify ourselves as having a common ancestor to modern apes, and are thus distantly related. Maybe you haven't considered it but life can function without religion. We do not derive every single thing from religion, nor do we require it (hence me saying that it is a logical redundancy). Maybe you haven't considered seeing without your religious lens, which is why you failed to identify any purpose or identity in anything that is not rooted in religion.
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Oh no...no one here has ever EVER considered that.

*Wanders away muttering*

Oh..welcome to the Atheists and Religion forum.


As I haven't had the luxury of perusing every thread here, I honestly would not know. Care to tell me what the typical response to this thought is then?


Complete agreeance, over 2/3's of M&R regulars are Atheists or anti-religious Agnostics.

Us religious types are in short supply.
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1. What am I grasping at? I merely said that the religious understanding of cause is an unverifiable belief. You mentioned a possible extreme - fundamentalist creationists - but it applies to more than that.
I don't know about that. Memes have yet to be verified yet they are still touted as if they actually exist.

Quote:
2. If it doesn't "conflict with accepted knowledge" then there is no conflict. You already predicated that in your premise. Try not to confuse yourself. And yes, humans do that as well as religion, but we're talking about religion here aren't we?
The point is that it's part of the human condition. Humans would do it regardless of religion. It's done in politics, culture, groups, pretty much any organization.

Quote:
3. You might want to brush up on semantics a little. I never specified religion is limited to just an attempt to explain using a conditional word such as "only, just, limited to" or anything like that. The entire topic of religion cannot possibly be predicated in two sentences, I was just addressing one aspect.
And I have been addressing that one aspect.

Quote:
Also, you continue to assert a concept of no conflict without providing examples, nor do you take into account organised religions do not teach concordism (which is a field in which an attempt is made to reconcile religion with scientific fact). If I didn't make it clear enough last time, I'll reiterate - I'm talking about organised religion with standardised teachings because personal interpretation and person faith are unknowable to anyone but yourself.
I did provide proof. The idea of science and religion being competetors is an outdated theory. Historians of science no longer support it because the evidence to support isn't there.

Quote:
4. Not only do you imply that what the particular author knew is limited to his/her context, but you essentially affirmed my premise. To "describe purpose" is the same as explaining purpose. Also, you're entirely wrong about the word mythos. It is not the correct literary word - the word mythos is derived from Greek and essentially just means a myth or mythology. Maybe the correct word you were looking for was treatise?
mythos - a pattern of beliefs expressing often symbolically the characteristic or prevalent attitudes in a group or culture.

Your right I should have said mythic literature.

Quote:
5. It would have been a lot simpler for you to have simply identified your disagreement based on your viewpoint being one where the more outright incorrect points in scripture are not meant to be taken literally. Hence, you are somewhat of a concordist or a liberal theist. If you made this clear I could have been more direct to you. Keep in mind when I address religion, I have to address it as a whole. I can't pander to every detail unless you tell me what that detail is. Now that I know you believe science and religion are not in conflict, the question changes.
My personal beliefs are irrelevant to the argument, hence why I did not bring them up.

Quote:
First, what do you think of fundamentalist theists? Are they wrong? If no, then you sabotage your own belief. If yes, then you imply that all previous theists before the advent of modern science were wrong, and thus religion was founded on fallacies. So again, the problem is that religion is not logical.
False dichotomy. If I admit yes, it doesn't mean that all previous theists were wrong, because previous theists didn't have the same knowledge or access to information as fundamentalist theists do today. The difference lies in access to knowledge and the knowledge available.

Quote:
Second, if you can claim one portion of the bible to be myth, what prevents you from claiming the rest is myth too? Do you apply your own subjective judgement to it? What makes you fit to judge the writings that represent god's word? And how can you know if any of it is factual if its integrity has already been compromised?
The whole bible can be regarded as mythic literature. It's not a history text, though it does draw from actual events for inspiration. We can verify that there was a Jerusalem, it can't be verified that Jesus died and raised from the dead. The point is that whether is that whether any of it literally happened or not is unimportant to the stories and ideas the culture was trying to convey.

Quote:
6. First of all, you're implying that there is less value is truth and education than there is in moral stories.
How?

Quote:
Second, creationism by itself does not have any intrinsic moral story beyond "god is all powerful". Again, it would have been easier if you asserted your own position first. Since your position is that parts of the bible are myth (including creation), and that most of it is to "describe purpose and cultural identity", I'll address that more specifically.
Creationism in general no, but specific creation stories do. Take the creation story in Genesis, the moral of the story is that when we make a decision we become morally responsible for any consequences that action brings about, even if it affect future generations. Our descendants would have to live with the consequences of our actions though they were not responsible for them. Global warming would be a modern day example of this.

Quote:
First, purpose and identity are not reliant on religion.
Of course not, it's just one organization of culture.

Quote:
To say so would be to accuse all atheists as lacking purpose or identity, which would be arrogant of you.
Never claimed that at all, all I claimed was that science was incapable of explaining purpose and identity which if you are actually following the scientific method, your results should not covey such. It seems more suitable to be addressed by philosophy and culture which both can be non-religious.

Quote:
Second, evolution does have a purpose. In fact, it coincides nicely with Aristotle's greatest purpose, which is the flourishing of a species.
And purpose is subjective, not scientific. Other's thought this was the purpose evolution explained

Quote:
Also, evolution can provide identity too. We identify ourselves as having a common ancestor to modern apes, and are thus distantly related.
And this is just one element a person can use to building an identity. Identity contains a lot more than "just the fact". Also when did identity become empirical and falsifiable?

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