Religious experience.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Kframe, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Even saying "Well, it's nice for people to believe in fairies in the garden sometimes, we really shouldn't scrutinize it" places religion far from what it once was, an idea that might truly reveal something about how the world works, and places it in the irrelevant, but somewhat nice bin. This is the last defense of religion, a beaten beast now just braying "Leave me alone you meanies." At this point it's not even claiming any real truth, just that on an individual level some people like it.

    This is what it means for god to be dead.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  2. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    We also have the violent death throws, the beast braying; "we have no arguments left, so we will use bombs, beheadings, lobbyists and unethical academics instead".
  3. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Yeah, good point, I'm sometimes needlessly optimistic. :[

    Violent Death Throw would be a great name for a judo technique.
  4. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    However, I do think that it is a mistake to blame religion for its own continued existence in most cases.

    I see it as a failure of secular culture to address functions and desires of the human psyche. The authors of ancient texts can be forgiven for not knowing better, but we can't.
  5. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Yeah, I kind of enjoy the existentialists for all that; their quest to find meaning amidst a very cold and uncaring universe. I guess I see religion as laying claim to all that is beautiful in the world, art, love, nature, etc. and there needs to be a project to reclaim all of that, rehabilitate it and show that it can exist in the vastness of space. That even though we are very, very, very small, we can still decide for ourselves what our existence means and that it's OK if it doesn't mean anything to the universe at large but it means something to us, here and now.
  6. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I didn't say you couldn't scrutinise it, I said your scrutiny won't matter. As long as people get something positive out of religion scrutiny won't matter to them. And if it's harmless, like the majority of religious people are then it won't matter to me either.

    I can scrutinise the bad things that come from the internet age - like how much easier it has made the life of the predatory people chasing youngsters.. and swapping their images and so on. Any number of things. But in light of a business using the internet and therefore employing x amount of people because of it. That same Scrutiny is neither here nor there.

    Religion is no less good or bad than the internet age.

    So I will repeat, you can bark on all you like. Your scrutiny is like a woofing dog in a forest with no one to hear it. Does it even make a sound ? :D
  7. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    The funny thing about telling people the Emperor has no clothes is 1) It makes it a lot harder to take force lightning seriously and 2) It is impossible to continue to believe that the Emperor has clothes in the same way as before. Western Civilization no longer treats religion as it once did, which is, all in all a good thing. This is a direct consequence of nerdy little folks sitting around writing desks saying "Well, what if it's all wrong?"
  8. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I absolutely agree that existential nihilism is a beautiful foundation stone for secular ethics, and even mysticism, if that kind of thing appeals to a person.

    However, how many people who've been through a state education know what existential nihilism is? You don't see many existential nihilist meeting houses full of ex cons. It's so much simpler to believe in the great sky daddy.

    Trouble is, I think this is a symptom of our economy, as education is generally thought of as something that must have an economic return. It's economics that have killed exploration of the psyche, and religion basically feeds from that niche like a parasite while going about the mundane business of building a real estate portfolio.
  9. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I don't think that is a good analogy.

    People, by and large, want to improve the internet and make it safer. The issues you bring up are not immutably tied to the very concept of an internet.
  10. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Again I agee mostly, but your misusing the word theory

  11. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    No, I'm not.

    The book has not been shut on any scientific theory. They are still expanding fields of knowledge, and they will only ever be predictive models, which are not fundamental truths.

    The thing about paradigm shifts is, you have no way of seeing them coming.

    "According to Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), ‘paradigm shifts’ are replacements of the core theories scientists use to describe the world. We can say more loosely that they are ‘fundamental changes in perspective’. The classic examples of paradigm shifts tend to come from astronomy and physics. They include the replacement of Ptolemaic astronomy by the Copernican system, or the transition from Newtonian mechanics to Einstein’s relativity. These pairs provide good examples of what Kuhn sometimes referred to as ‘incommensurable’ theories: there is no way to make sense of a Ptolemaic model of the solar system from a Copernican perspective. Actually, the first one is just plain wrong and has been abandoned. The situation is similar for the Newtonian vs Einsteinian view of space-time: a rigid unchanging medium in the Newtonian case, a pliable fabric in the Einsteinian."

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  12. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I think it's just fine. Why don't moderate religious people also qualify for that: wanting to make religion safer for you.

    The size of the problem we see today by way of the internet is because of the internet. No amount of cleverness changes that fact. Take the net away and the current scale of that grooming problem and the ease of which it happens and has taken hold vanishes with it. Denial is futile and unbecoming. As a father of a young girl it worries the crap out of me as it makes it that much harder to protect them from it and increases the avenues.

    All it shows is that like many things in life, they can be a double edged sword. Just Like religion
    These things just expose and sometimes magnify what is inherently wrong about some people.

    Neither are the bad bits you don't like about religion immutably tied to the concept of believing in a God or Gods, Brahman, Pantheism etc. and the rituals that may arise around said beliefs.

    The problem with the pair of you is you want to have it both ways and think you are somehow "right". But, truth is you don't have all the answers and you can't have it both ways all the while arrogantly and condescendingly lecturing people about their ways of life.

    Let's lecture People here about their drinking habits instead, why not ?
    People just as well know all about the potential harmful (fatal even) effects to themselves, others, relationships. And then it can just as well be a harmless thing that makes them feel a bit better about things.

    This is not any different, not by one little bit. Sorry to have to break it you.
    The difference here is the self importance and sheer arrogance you place on your own narratives. It's just ego and a need to demonstrate your "cleverness".

    The clever people are the ones living happier lives and research suggest that believers are happier than non believers and I can certainly understand those finding well enough.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  13. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    It's less a matter of having all the answers and more a matter of recognizing that the nature of our society's quest for truth has changed in such a way as to largely sideline religion in our lives. As soon as we all agree that a murder conviction should be obtained through a trial by evidence rather than what this person or that person or those group of people believe to be true through faith alone, we have made the claim that there is a right way to investigate the world. There are certainly other forms of investigating the world, such as the aesthetic, but again, these tells us more about humanity and ourselves than they do about the nature of the universe. The harms of religion are tied to the sort of irrational faith that can make someone say "Well, I really do believe she is a witch, therefore..."

    See, you keep saying you disagree with me, but then you say things like "Let's keep [religion/drinking] to the weekend and not put the most [faithful/drunk] person in charge of nuclear weapons."
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Somebody didnt read the link it seems, all the above and more was on the wiki link including why a scientific theory isnt the same as "just a theory".

    If you want to discover fundamental truths, science is the only way that has ever and will ever happen, anything else is just wishfull and flawed thinking.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  15. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    I think he's using it correctly - because theories rely on inductive reasoning they are not 'certain' the way that deductive reasoning is.

    It's why evolution isn't proven, it's incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly well supported.
  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    How is being honest about my own spiritual explorations a condescending ego trip?

    Why can't we all throw our ideas into the ring and discuss them openly?

    Surely if there is an omnipotent creator of the universe it can cope with a few apes saying they don't believe in it.

    First, I'll repeat this question:

    The moderate religious people who change interpretation of sacred texts over time are creating a "god of the gaps", as far as I can see. The fundamentalists who change interpretation of sacred texts are simply finding a different flavour of number 1.

    Secondly, I'm not sure that comparing religious beliefs with drinking is a great analogy either.

    Just because an idea can be benign, or even beneficial, that doesn't mean that we should just draw a line under it and never broach the subject, in my opinion. We should look at what is beneficial and improve upon it, in a way that doesn't contradict our best understanding of the universe.
  17. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    That just becomes silly semantics IMHO.
    Much like a god that is invisible and a god that isn't really there are VERY alike so is something proven and something very well supported.
    Something that is incredibly, incredibly, incredibly, incredibly well supported is "proven" in, at the very least, a sense we can work with, work into policy and culture, improve the future, etc etc.
  18. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I did read the link, and I never said that a scientific theory is "just a theory".

    You don't seem to be getting my point. Theories change, and if we accept the scientific method we must also accept that fundamental truths are beyond our grasp. This should be liberating.

    We can have incredibly precise predictive models, but that is not the same as fundamental truths.
  19. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Yes, it is proven to a satisfactory scientific standard.

    But continually challenging ideas is part of it, as long as that same rigorous standard is applied (therein lies the rub, and I think where you and dead_pool are misunderstanding me).

    Nothing should be taken for granted, because then we'll end up with some awful religion of science worshipping at statues of Darwin.
  20. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Sounds a damn sight better than the religion worshipping at statues of a torture victim we currently have.

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