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rmcdra


That would be personal faith then, not organised religion. An ethical story doesn't claim to be factual - therein lies the difference.

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


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).
Buddhism has gods.
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rmcdra
People make religion, that's obvious I would think.
Sorry, I used the wrong modifier. Let me rephrase. According to scientists and historians, why did people create religion?
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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).

Seems accurate to me. Many religions involve those Great Mysteries of the Cosmos. What could be described as the Eternal "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?"

Lao Tzu said that "The Tao that can be described is not the eternal Tao." It seems to mesh well with various overall thoughts that there is a certain driving force behind everything, but we just can't really explain it. Physicists are working on it, of course, but they're still having difficulty with what they call the "Theory of Everything," which is supposed to be a small equation of... well, you know. And it's difficult to come up with such a theory, which is why many philosophers just throw their hands up in the air and say, "Whatever, it is what it is."
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People make religion, that's obvious I would think.
Sorry, I used the wrong modifier. Let me rephrase. According to scientists and historians, why did people create religion?
They're still trying to figure that one out. There's quite a few theories out there, what seems most plausable to me is that basically that people with similar experiences and philosophies that they felt were important and organized communities and rituals that would either re-create and/or reinforce certain philosophies and experiences for present believers and future generations. Again I must stress this is purely speculation and most takes into account western traditions of religion.
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Buddhism has gods.


Apparently not: http://www.buddhanet.net/ans73.htm
rmcdra
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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?


1. Personally, I think memes have a much stronger basis for evidence. As we can't work in absolutes, we treat the highly likely as "fact" for all intents and purposes, until something comes along to redefine that "fact". I'm fine with that, it's how things work. Every intellectual pursuit requires a starting point.

2. I think religion aside, conflicts of accepted knowledge are limited to the more prosaic. As far as I can see, religion is the largest rejector of accepted "fact". Of course, we can't perfect the world, but we have to start somewhere to improve it. Not that I think religion should be entirely obliterated either, just that an effort be made by everyone to promote pursuit of knowledge. I like to quote the Catholic Church's acceptance of evolution as a fact because it fits nicely with this idea - they see knew knowledge and are willing to accept it.

3. I was just defending my comment that I hadn't specified this as the only aspect of religion. It's irrelevant to this discussion anyway so moving on.

4. I should have clarified that by "conflict" I don't necessarily mean "an intrinsic intellectual conflict between religion and science and that the relationship between religion and science inevitably leads to public hostility", I just mean that the ideas and explanations disagree with each other based on a different standard of proof (one being scripture based and the other scientific).

5. I should also clarify that myth is coined after a falling out of belief, or after being reasonably disproven by science. Greek mythology is a modern concept, to them it was a reality. That's why I was surprised you used the word myth, because that implies that you don't actually believe it is factual.

6. Access to information is irrelevant to truth. If I say a tomato is a vegetable, I'm wrong. If I read that it's a fruit, don't believe what I read, and still say it's a vegetable, I'm still wrong. The difference there is just an unwillingness to accept accessible information.

7. I agree that the stories can still have value in conveying cultural ideas, but again, the problem is that they are being touted as absolute truth. It would have been so helpful if the bible simply included a verse saying "don't take me literally". Easier for both of us, and the rest of the world lol. In this sense, I'm no longer trying to prove you "wrong" because I agree with your point of view, I'm just trying to show you that religion has no business claiming to be the truth anymore - but it can still exist for other purposes. I believe somebody said something like "as science answers the physical, religion has increasingly occupied the spiritual realm", and I agree with that path.

8. I think we talked a bit about this in the other thread about the biblical verses saying god gave us the Earth to rule over all its creatures and use them as food, etc. It may have been misinterpreted or be another contradiction (as you quoted non-canon that did not support this view). I don't presume to make an assertion to its meaning, but I do want to point out that as long as obscure verses are there, there will be people that interpret it wrongly and act on it as if it were fact. I fully agree with your example of global warming.

9. Purpose is subjective, I agree. Aristotle's view on it was from an ethics/philosophy point of view. However, I don't think purpose is purely unscientific. Evolutionary purpose seems very scientific to me - without it your species ceases to exist. For example, a self-destructive trait is evolutionarily stupid, which can be broadened into scientifically stupid.

10. I wasn't trying to falsify identity, I was just pointing out that you can get identity from anything. Religion is not a "necessity" by any extent.

Anyway, as I get to know more of how you think and your views, I feel bad for being sharp with you before. Thanks for the well-thought out responses.
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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).
Wasn't that Ockham?
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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.

Well... Start advertising! Invite your friends! I'd like a much more balanced scale myself.
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1. Personally, I think memes have a much stronger basis for evidence. As we can't work in absolutes, we treat the highly likely as "fact" for all intents and purposes, until something comes along to redefine that "fact". I'm fine with that, it's how things work. Every intellectual pursuit requires a starting point.
Interesting since the Journal of Menetics is now defunct.

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2. I think religion aside, conflicts of accepted knowledge are limited to the more prosaic. As far as I can see, religion is the largest rejector of accepted "fact". Of course, we can't perfect the world, but we have to start somewhere to improve it. Not that I think religion should be entirely obliterated either, just that an effort be made by everyone to promote pursuit of knowledge. I like to quote the Catholic Church's acceptance of evolution as a fact because it fits nicely with this idea - they see knew knowledge and are willing to accept it.
I do believe that knowledge should be pursued to but I think religion is being given too much credit for rejecting information. Especially since religions do change and accept new information as it becomes more and more established as fact. Granted religions are slow to change, but most social organizations are resistant to change due to how new information affects power dynamics. Businesses for example don't like change, especially change they aren't in control of. Most organizations follow the view, "if it's not broken, why fix it". Getting people, humans, us creatures of habit, to accept that something is broken, can be difficult depending on the person and how much one values their habits as a result of the brokenness.

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4. I should have clarified that by "conflict" I don't necessarily mean "an intrinsic intellectual conflict between religion and science and that the relationship between religion and science inevitably leads to public hostility", I just mean that the ideas and explanations disagree with each other based on a different standard of proof (one being scripture based and the other scientific).
The different standards is that religions tend to be experiential and modern science tends to be empirical. The conflict arises when one tries to conform empirical evidence to experiential expectations or for an experiential worldview onto empirical evidence. Basically assuming a conclusion and using anything to support that conclusion. Rationalization, something that we humans are very proficient at due to the fact that we instinctually react to information as if it were some sort of creature.

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5. I should also clarify that myth is coined after a falling out of belief, or after being reasonably disproven by science. Greek mythology is a modern concept, to them it was a reality. That's why I was surprised you used the word myth, because that implies that you don't actually believe it is factual.
Factual in being a scientific document, no. Factual in conveying experiences, philosophies, and understanding of the world at the time of a particular culture, yes very much so.

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6. Access to information is irrelevant to truth. If I say a tomato is a vegetable, I'm wrong. If I read that it's a fruit, don't believe what I read, and still say it's a vegetable, I'm still wrong. The difference there is just an unwillingness to accept accessible information.
But how can one claim that someone is unwilling to accept accessible information if such information is inaccessible to them due to lack of technology and discoveries? It's unjust to compare theists of the past to theists today due this gap. You would have to demonstrate that such theists of the past would reject such information if given access, the tools, and the understanding of today to make such a comparison.

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7. I agree that the stories can still have value in conveying cultural ideas, but again, the problem is that they are being touted as absolute truth. It would have been so helpful if the bible simply included a verse saying "don't take me literally". Easier for both of us, and the rest of the world lol. In this sense, I'm no longer trying to prove you "wrong" because I agree with your point of view, I'm just trying to show you that religion has no business claiming to be the truth anymore - but it can still exist for other purposes. I believe somebody said something like "as science answers the physical, religion has increasingly occupied the spiritual realm", and I agree with that path.
We have some common ground here at least.

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8. I think we talked a bit about this in the other thread about the biblical verses saying god gave us the Earth to rule over all its creatures and use them as food, etc. It may have been misinterpreted or be another contradiction (as you quoted non-canon that did not support this view). I don't presume to make an assertion to its meaning, but I do want to point out that as long as obscure verses are there, there will be people that interpret it wrongly and act on it as if it were fact. I fully agree with your example of global warming.
When one is told that "a book is the word of gawd" and told that "no training or education is needed to read it", considering that it contains worldviews and cultural sayings that don't translate well (try translating "It's raining cats and dogs" literally to another language, it doesn't covey the same English meaning), you set yourself up for a lot of problems. Then mix politics that depend on particular philosophies being "correct" and you have even more problems.

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9. Purpose is subjective, I agree. Aristotle's view on it was from an ethics/philosophy point of view. However, I don't think purpose is purely unscientific. Evolutionary purpose seems very scientific to me - without it your species ceases to exist. For example, a self-destructive trait is evolutionarily stupid, which can be broadened into scientifically stupid.
But a philosophical purpose approach is different from a scientific purpose approach. While yes a philosophical approach will derive it's conclusion from available information and knowledge, it is primarily for creating or supporting a particular worldview, going a step further than just the facts and what technology can be gained from the facts.

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10. I wasn't trying to falsify identity, I was just pointing out that you can get identity from anything. Religion is not a "necessity" by any extent.
No I mean that figuring out identity is not an empirical process because identity is generally considered non-falsifiable. Since it's not a falsifiable concept, it cannot be derived from a purely empirical method and must rely on experiential methods which are non-scientific. I do understand that religion is not a necessity but it is one of the tools in culture that we have to find it. But you already acknowledge that so I guess I'm "preaching to the choir" razz

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Anyway, as I get to know more of how you think and your views, I feel bad for being sharp with you before. Thanks for the well-thought out responses.
It's okay, I could have been a little less high strung myself when I first responded to you. I think I was having a bad day when I first replied.
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rmcdra


That would be personal faith then, not organised religion. An ethical story doesn't claim to be factual - therein lies the difference.

Lucky~9~Lives
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Religion is a logical redundancy. It is an attempt to explain the unexplainable with something that cannot be explained (god).


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).


Of course not. It's a philosophy whose counterpart is Pyrrhonian Skepticism.
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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.

Well... Start advertising! Invite your friends! I'd like a much more balanced scale myself.


Most of my friends have lives...they don't want to waste there time on a Anime forum designed for children, where we do nothing but big ourselves up and argue pointless trivialities like Religion.
Haha Coffee
Riahlize
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Haha Coffee
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.

Well... Start advertising! Invite your friends! I'd like a much more balanced scale myself.


Most of my friends have lives...they don't want to waste there time on a Anime forum designed for children, where we do nothing but big ourselves up and argue pointless trivialities like Religion.

Get the rest of your friends then. xp
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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.
I find a startling correlation between those who are learned, educated, and deeply knowledgeable about religion and those who do not believe it.

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