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Religion dissapoints me. The values that are shown are nice, very beuatiful in fact. However the contradictions shown within its followers are not.
What i dont like most about religion is the belief in a "supreme being"
In all honesty, how can a collective mass of energy, or thought as the case may be, create the universe? It's just not feasiable. ergo its all faith. faith in something which you've never seen, heard, touched, tasted (ie senses, dont take this the wrong way).
And if you have faith in a god of some sort, how can you not believe in things like aliens, or demons, or ghosts?
Can you imagine a world with out Religion. Imagine the lack of war. No " Holy War" initiated by the muslims agaisnt the westerners, no war in ireland between the Catholics and Protestants. The list goes on.
Deep down inside i personnally believe that a religion (such as catholocism) is a way people have made up for there own insecurities, and made up for the missing part of there life. and as such the corruption in such religions and the fickle beliefs makes me seriously question its value. Why do we have religion. Its not needed in the world we live in.
How can a god who loves everybody equally let children in africa starve to death, let plauges and viruses kill thousands, let people such as peadophiles and rapists and murderers exist in his "perfect world".
What the hell use is this "messasiah" good for if they dont save the people that he/she/it created. what are they doing, Guiding us? i dont think so.
No at religions believe in a supreme being, and not religions believe the world was created at all, let alone by a supreme being.Originally Posted by bonjordo
I agree with you in many ways, but I think you're coming from a very modern, rational Western standpoint. Religion is a fundamental part of what makes the human psyche.. Even today that's true.
In the western world, we have our own religions. They have merely diversified from the hegemonic tools of statecraft which used to exist. If you look at it a certain way, science is a religion, and secular philosophy has scraped religion more times than I can mention. These are simply another way of trying to explain the inexplicable.
As long as there is uncertainty in the universe, human beings will need something to cling to. Whatever that is, it is religion, in one form or another.
Hmmm... as for this "supreme being", the way I see it, there are 3 possibilities:
1. God never exsisted, it's just mass histeria or the manipulations of those higher up, who created him to, to control and manage the populace.
2. God is dead.
3. God is there, but still all these horrible horrible things go on... What happened to god during the holocaust? Did he stop the killing of millions by lunatics like Stalin or Hitler? What were those events? A lesson? I heard a great quote that sums it all up: "There is no plan, God is just a kid on an antfarm with a magnifying glass, sitting there, watching us squirm."
Oh my god (heh heh) this is a big one Jordo.
I was talking with my girlfriend about religion last night and she said (and I'm inclined to agree) that it seemed to her as if every religion had similar basic values which could be discovered by anyone themselves, without religion at all, through intuition or thought.
Then she said there are all these tacked-on bits which are so obviously social, political, added by people for their own reasons, or just outdated attempts at understanding nature, and the problem with religions is that you can't take just the intuitive bit, you have to take all the other bits too. She reckons everyone who is religious has to be lying to themselves on some level, not about the existence of God (or Brahman or whatever), but about all the obviously human additions, and they pretend to themselves that those bits are equally from God (or whatever).
Her mum was a wiccan (she died a couple of years ago) and my gf was saying how she just couldn't believe that someone who grew up in a modern western society could truly believe to the core of her being that the moon is a goddess and that there's a god of the forest with horns who is the consort of the moon. Really believe it, the same way you believe that the earth is a sphere and revolves around the sun. She said her mum must have been lying to herself, and why couldn't she just take the intuitive part of wicca (what you do to others gets done to you, don't direct bad thoughts towards other people, respect nature, etc) and ignore the gobbledygook?
Likewise you can ask why can't you just take the basics of say, christianity (the idea that there's a god who wants the best for us) without having to believe Jesus was his son, there's a holy spirit, all that other stuff? How can a modern Jew honestly believe God came down from heaven and told Moses not to eat lobsters?
The point of all this rambling is that I think what you are feeling Bonjordo is the dichotomy between spirituality (the intuitive ideas) and religion (the tacked-on bits to get people to follow orders.)
You're not the first.
On the other hand people of faith often argue that accepting the bits which seem ludicrous is just a way of expressing spirituality, by submitting your intellect to the will of the divine. This is a very common attitude in the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) in fact "Islam" is the arabic verb "to submit." So theres a good argument there too.
I have a feeling this is either going to be very long and interesting thread or everyone will be too scared to post and it will crash and burn.
EDIT:I just did a philosophy course called "Science vs. Religion," and one of the things in the course that spun me out was that Immanuel Kant (a German phiosopher in the 1800's) posed this problem called the "synthetic/analytic a priori." I won't go into it here but basically it was a (hellishly complicated) logical proof that the way science finds truth is circular and subject to a paradox, and so can't be true.Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis
Kant proposed a solution called the "imposition solution" which solves the problem but at the cost of science's objectivity. This means faith in science can no more be intellectually justified than faith in any other truth finding system.
The freaky thing is that no-one has thought of a better solution, so if science chooses to ignore Kant's solution it still has to face the original problem. So that means that according to our current knowledge, science is no more able to discover "truth" than prayer, faith, or any other form of knowledge gathering.
This doesn't mean science isn't real, but it does mean that it has limits. It cannot possibly find out about anything that doesn't physically exist or any sort of "ultimate truth." It means if a scientist ever opens their mouth about anything metaphysical, like saying that they can prove God doesn't exist or some such nonsense you can safely ignore them as they are going beyond the capabilities of their discipline.
So religion and spirituality do have a place in the modern world, the same place they always had. They come into their own at the point where science ends. The problem is that back in the days when religions were science, the theories they taught to try to explain the world were given supernatural authority, so if you follow a religion you can't say you don't believe in these things. This is what leads some modern people to doggedly hold to the belief that God made the world in 7 days despite their science-based culture overwhelmingly disagreeing with them. They simply can't pick and choose, they aren't allowed to, whereas a scientist is free to change their mind tomorrow if new evidence emerges.
Wow that was a huge post. Thanks to anyone who bothered to read it!
Last edited by Kahoolin; November 15th, 2005 at 05:01.
Thats exactly what i meant in the statement of "religion is a way of filling empty holes or voids in your life"Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis
However one thingn that science does have is proof of its findings. so people whom believe in it 'intelectually' will know what they believe in (there core beliefs) are true. religion can never boast the same virtue.
A religion i find incredibly stupid is Scientology. if you know little to nothing about them, go to wikipedia.com and search it. stupid....
I don't think science can proove itself, at least, no more so than old religions could point at lightning and say 'look, there is proof that the thunder god is angry with us.'Originally Posted by bonjordo
When you really look at science, you realise that it's not about truth at all. How many times has scientific truth been suddenly overhauled by a new discovery or piece of evidence. The scientific paradigm of today will be laughed at by the next generation, and so on with the next generation after that. Science doesn't proove that what it teaches is true, it prooves only what most 'experts' in that scientific field believe to be true at the present time. The same could be said of priests in old religions.
If the hubble telescope suddenly discovered God sitting on a cloud, for example, the scientific paradigm would require an immediate overhaul, and our view of the world would be changed. Everything which we accept as truth today would become laughable superstition, just as we view the religions of the past.
Science is way of explaining the world around us, and preventing us going insane at what would otherwise be an inexplicable, meaningless existence. What I respect in science is it's capacity to adapt and question, which is generally slightly, albeit actually not as much as you'd think, greater than most world religions.
I, perhaps somewhat optimistically, forsee the religion of the future becoming even more flexible, as people are given more freedom to question the paradigms of belief which current dominate our societies. Before this can happen, however, people need to learn to respect and accept the beliefs of others, even when they run contrary to our own. This includes tollerating beliefs we see as outdated, or blatantly unrealistic.
You see where I'm going here? The real scientist is open to all possibilities, including the existence of god, the literal truth of miracles.. etc.
@ Robotnik. You keep saying that you can't take part of religion without taking all of it. I disagree. To set the scene, I define myself, (what can I say, I like cubby holes), as a Buddhist Christian. Now, the reasoning. First up, religion comes from a Sanskrit word for "truth", (or something like that, it's been a while), doesn't that ean that religion should be the truth. Now, to quote Obi Wan Kenobi, "everything is true, from a certain point of view". So, doesn't this mean that your truth is not someone else's truth? Add the two of them up and you get a form fitting religion. Something that fills in the holes in your own spiritually, not anyone else's, yours.
As an example, I believe in a Christian god, (note the small g). I also believe in Karma and reincarnation. This is how I explain some of the nasty things that have happened to me and my loved ones through the years, (let me tell you, I am burning off some serious bad karma right now). So, am I not taking the parts of religion that fit.
Back to the topic. I believe that religion is VERY important. BUT, how do you define religion. I blieve, (personal belief only, please no flaming), that organised religion is hogwash. It was started as a means to control the masses. I do have some backup for this. My father is a minister in one of the Christian churches, here in Canada, I have seen the political bovine feces involved in the church and it sickened me.
On the other hand, what about persoal religion. How about "faith". Every one has faith, I believe it is impossible not to have faith. Go ahead, argue, then tell me where your home is when you go to work/school. You have faith that your house will not be going on a bender while you are out. Now, to take it a step further, how about faith in yourself? This is the strongest religion in the world. If you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything, ask the Shao Lin monks. If you don't have faith in yourself, there's a word for that, suicidal.
Now, let me rephrase the question, what is the value of Faith?
A little pain never hurt anyone - Larry
I don't think that's entirely true.Originally Posted by THE Hersh
But I think atheists are lying when they say they don't have faith. It takes a great deal of faith to abseloutely rule out the possibility of a spiritual dimension the world.
To utterly lack faith would entail being unable to believe coherently in any one thing in particular. To never take anything for granted, or trust any experience or event as real, and to live in a world utterly devoid of any concept of truth, or assumptions about reality. When my own life was less grounded and stable, I have lapsed into that train of thought at times in the past.
There's only one way to deal with the totally unexplainable nature of existence without faith, and that's to not try and explain it at all, and merely to accept that it cannot be explained. So maybe there is a god, but you couldn't proove it, even if you saw the guy yourself. Maybe there isn't a god, but you also can't proove it, regardless of the circumstances. You can't even trust your own perceptions, because they can be flawed.
It's a pretty tough philosophy to actually practice, but it's the only one which really makes sense to me.
That doesn't stop me finding faith fascinating, however, and I don't think a world without religion would be possible. As humans, we're driven to try and make sense of what we can see, and what we can experience. So long as that urge remains, there will be religion, in some form.
Okay, so, as i said in the next part of the sentence, how do you know I'm not an alien? You believe that I am human, (or some really messed up bot). If you believe, don't you, by default, have faith?Originally Posted by The_Giant_Mantis
A little pain never hurt anyone - Larry
I believe in a flying spaghetti monster. Faith rawks .
Terrorists aren't Muslim like your local redneck radio station will tell you. They are just able to cling to Islam and use it as something to group together with, the spiritual leaders twist Islam to the fanatics.