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Ah, a world without religion
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Andy8
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Aug 20, 2008, 09:43 PM
 
Saw this on digg:

Written by Jake Farr-Wharton.

Yes, the world would be better without religion.

I write this as a response to the question Mikey posed in his post about a 15 month old boy who was starved to death in a religious cult for not saying the word “amen” after praying.

To completely circumvent logic in the place of religious belief is denying the very thing that makes you able to worship, your brain. I would bet that these retards had no idea that the word “Amen” simply means “Let it be so; truly”? It is not a secret utterance unique to their cult, it is not a word of praise and certainly it is not a word that would have meant anything to a 15 month old infant.

Unlike Mikey, I am an atheist who does not believe in religious tolerance. I believe (yes, I recognise the irony) that the burden of worth, truth and proof lies with the actual religion, not the individual. Most religions are a scourge; they breed nothing but ignorance and preach nothing but intolerance.

If this were not true, terrorists would not use Islam as a weapon, the KKK would not use Christianity as a weapon, Qi Gong practitioners would not need to give up their organs to wealthy Chinese, good Catholic boys would never be touched by their priests and 15 month old boys could have hope for the future.

Religion should never be given the benefit of the doubt. Just because it worships one god over another, claims past miracles or fulfilled prophecies and is exempt from taxation, does not mean that your one religion is more likely to purify your soul over another.

In so many ways, I feel so very sorry for any child that is not allowed the freedom of choice in their own spirituality. If religion truly were the individual pursuit for spiritual purification or perfection, it would be personal, not congregational, and no country or family or child would be labelled under it.

Without religion women would be free from their idiotic repression in the Middle East.
Without religion people would be more concerned with what they did with their lives, and what they avoided.
Without religion the strongest and most divisive form of segregation would be dissolved and many wars and borders would become irrelevant.
Without religion stem cell research could continue uninhibited and cure many debilitating diseases.
Without religion the scourge of AIDS and other STDs would be controlled by a condom.
Without religion, people wouldn’t pray for peace, they would work towards it.
Don’t get me wrong here kids; I understand that going to church or mosque or synagogue has a positive influence on a great number of people. I suggest though that this has a lot more to do with there being a social congregation of like-minded people than there actually being any spiritual connection or closeness to one deity or another.

Answer this, apart from social interaction, what does your religion actually do for you that you couldn’t for yourself?
     
OldManMac
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Aug 20, 2008, 09:52 PM
 
T'would be nice, but people need something to attempt to explain what they can't fathom. They also need leaders to tell them that what they're doing is right (or wrong, as many religions do).
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
stupendousman
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Aug 20, 2008, 10:37 PM
 
One thing to be sure....

This thread is clear evidence that without religion, we wouldn't likely be free of prejudice, stereotyping, gross generalizations or bigotry.
     
dcmacdaddy
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Aug 20, 2008, 11:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
One thing to be sure....

This thread is clear evidence that without religion, we wouldn't likely be free of prejudice, stereotyping, gross generalizations or bigotry.
True. The world doesn't need religion for people to make illogical statements. But I would be willing to bet there wold be a whole lot less illogical thought in the world if religions didn't exist.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
OldManMac
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Aug 20, 2008, 11:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
One thing to be sure....

This thread is clear evidence that without religion, we wouldn't likely be free of prejudice, stereotyping, gross generalizations or bigotry.
You're right, but it's the most used excuse we have.
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
stupendousman
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Aug 20, 2008, 11:30 PM
 
You guys REALLY crack me up!

Someone needs to fix your irony detectors.
     
Shaddim
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Aug 21, 2008, 12:08 AM
 
Can't have a world w/o religion, the atheists would cry over not having something to bitch about.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Aug 21, 2008, 12:59 AM
 
People who are inclined to Believe will always find something to Believe in. Even if their only option was science, they'll just start Believing in science the same way they Believe in religion, ie blindly. People are going to act however they're going to act; religions are just a name for it, they're not the cause. Taking away religion will not somehow make the crazy act sane or the greedy act selflessly.
     
stupendousman
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Aug 21, 2008, 06:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
People who are inclined to Believe will always find something to Believe in.
The assumption (false) there is that all or most people "believe" simply because they are "inclined" to do so. That's a stereotype based on prejudice.

Taking away religion will not somehow make the crazy act sane or the greedy act selflessly.
Correct. As we've seen here, not having an inclination to "believe" won't stop people from engaging in irrational thought or prejudiced action, for instance.
     
dcmacdaddy
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Aug 21, 2008, 10:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
You guys REALLY crack me up!

Someone needs to fix your irony detectors.
My irony detector works just fine. I understood what you were doing with your post: pointing out how the poster's comments were ironically indicative of the type of behavior he was condemning as associated with religion.

However, I still stand behind my point. Illogicality is not due to religion but is inherently human. But, without religion in the world, there would be a lot less illogical thought in the world. Or conversely, without religion in the world, there would be more logical thought in the world than there is now. (In other words, the proportion of logical to illogical thought would increase without religion in the world.)

And nothing in my argument discounts the illogical assumptions and generalizations made by the OP.
( Last edited by dcmacdaddy; Aug 21, 2008 at 12:46 PM. Reason: more precise use of my adverbs.)
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
I would prefer my humanity sullied with the tarnish of science rather than the gloss of religion.
     
Dakar the Fourth
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Aug 21, 2008, 11:55 AM
 
Of course, how long would a world without religion really last anyway?
(Philosophically speaking)
     
Chongo
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Aug 21, 2008, 12:06 PM
 
Mao and Stalin are responsible for more deaths than all the religious wars put together.
45/47
     
nonhuman
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Aug 21, 2008, 12:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Mao and Stalin are responsible for more deaths than all the religious wars put together.
I'm not sure that devotion to a political cause is sufficiently different from devotion to a religious one.
     
lpkmckenna
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Aug 21, 2008, 01:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Mao and Stalin are responsible for more deaths than all the religious wars put together.
Of course, Marxism is just a secular religion.

I have no problem with religion, as long as there is freedom of religion. And the freedom to mock religious absurdities, of course!
     
olePigeon
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Aug 21, 2008, 01:55 PM
 
Religion isn't to blame. You can accomplish all of those tasks through a hole in a sheet.
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stupendousman
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Aug 21, 2008, 02:57 PM
 
Religion is just an excuse some people use for acting on their human nature. If religion didn't exist, people would come up with a different reason to act. The problem is greed and a desire to have control in order to come out on top in the "survival of the fittest" - two things that exist even when religion doesn't play a part. There's no reason to blame an organized expression of faith on what would be happening even if it didn't exist. Human nature is human nature.
     
Chongo
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Aug 21, 2008, 04:30 PM
 
Without religion the scourge of AIDS and other STDs would be controlled by a condom.
This has more to do with self control than religion.
45/47
     
DBursey
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Aug 21, 2008, 04:39 PM
 
Some guy named Lennon tried to imagine thus; then came the shot.

     
LegendaryPinkOx
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Aug 21, 2008, 06:59 PM
 
another named Lenin, too!
are you lightfooted?
     
stwain2003
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Aug 21, 2008, 07:10 PM
 
I find it ironic that he cares so much about this 15 month old boy. He says he "hopes that the boy has hope for the future" but then says that without religion, (implied: embryonic) stem cell research would flourish. That's exactly the reason why I disagree with EMBRYONIC stem cell research. It takes away the unborn's hope for the future.
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Helmling
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Aug 21, 2008, 09:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
Saw this on digg:
Religion isn't the problem.

It's just a symptom.

I was reading Kluge by Gary Marcus last night and it's a real eye-opener about human nature and why we're as screwed up as we are. It also points all a lot of shortcomings of the human brain that explain why people believe in religion. Documented psychological processes that probably wired our forbearers to cooperate socially predispose us to believe, as Marcus puts it, "just about anything." From confirmation bias to motivated reasoning, we've learned exactly how religion fits right into flaws in our brains design. Take one of Marcus's studies. Experimental groups were told two different things: one that studies had shown risk-taking behavior correlated positively with job quality for fire fighters; another was told the opposite. The control groups from each group were given other tasks while the experimental groups were given time to reflect on what they thought of the findings. These studies were, of course, fictitious, but here's the punchline: Even when they were told this, the groups that had had time to reflect on what they'd been told continued to believe it, sometimes vociferously.

The implications are clear for religion. People are told, usually at a young age by people in authority, that certain things are true--Jesus is God, Zues casts down thunderbolts, whatever. Confirmation bias leads them to see everything as a validation of those beliefs. Motivated reasoning leads them to create illogical justifications for their beliefs. In the end, the effect described above further insulates people against any information that would cause them to, if they were rational, reject the idea of religion.

Back to my point, though. Religion isn't the problem. It may seem that it makes people behave irrationally, but it's almost the opposite.

People believe in religion because we're irrational.
     
Helmling
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Aug 21, 2008, 09:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by stwain2003 View Post
I find it ironic that he cares so much about this 15 month old boy. He says he "hopes that the boy has hope for the future" but then says that without religion, (implied: embryonic) stem cell research would flourish. That's exactly the reason why I disagree with EMBRYONIC stem cell research. It takes away the unborn's hope for the future.
I'm sure those little blastocysts, with their complete lack of any nervous system, are hoping as furiously for their futures as any actual baby, but my concern is that 15-month old, unlike embryos, is actually capable of suffering and that there are other actual human beings who love him and suffer along with him.
     
stupendousman
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Aug 21, 2008, 09:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
The implications are clear for religion. People are told, usually at a young age by people in authority, that certain things are true--Jesus is God, Zues casts down thunderbolts, whatever.
...and all those people who come to religion as adults? All the intelligent scientists and other people with advanced degrees and reasonable IQs? Sorry, the irrational prejudice this sort of argument shows says more about those making it, then those who believe in religion.

People believe in religion because we're irrational.
Speak for yourself.
     
Helmling
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Aug 21, 2008, 10:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
...and all those people who come to religion as adults? All the intelligent scientists and other people with advanced degrees and reasonable IQs? Sorry, the irrational prejudice this sort of argument shows says more about those making it, then those who believe in religion.

Speak for yourself.
The same thing. We all respond to stimuli in this way. This is how we're wired. Reasonable IQ's and advanced degrees have nothing to do with it. We are all susceptible to these basic psychological flaws in our make-up. This is not irrational prejudice, but you citing it without evidence is an example of motivated reasoning, the same sort of defense we all make when our beliefs--religious, political, personal, whatever--make when attacked. You hold up scientists as some sort of trump-card example, but look at how irrationally some of the great scientific minds have struggled against correct ideas that contradicted their own views.

This is human nature.
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 01:24 AM
 
You're certainly right, humans are flawed. It is "human nature". You've just agreed with the Bible 100%.
     
stupendousman
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Aug 22, 2008, 03:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
The same thing. We all respond to stimuli in this way. This is how we're wired. Reasonable IQ's and advanced degrees have nothing to do with it. We are all susceptible to these basic psychological flaws in our make-up.
This theory is predicated on the notion that believing that there might be powers and energy sources in the universe, and maybe even dimensions of being that we don't yet fully understand, as being somehow irrational. The false assumption at the base of the theory about our "flaws" is where the problem lies.
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 05:01 AM
 
So, which group are you all going to join then? The United Atheist Alliance or the Unified Atheist League?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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Chongo
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Aug 22, 2008, 07:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
So, which group are you all going to join then? The United Atheist Alliance or the Unified Atheist League?
Praise Science
45/47
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 07:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
Saw this on digg: another simpleton compilation of arguments long-debunked and the reasoning of a disgruntled 7 year old
Do you have an opinion on the article you copy-pasted or do you just get off on flame-baiting?
ebuddy
     
ebuddy
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Aug 22, 2008, 07:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
The same thing. We all respond to stimuli in this way. This is how we're wired. Reasonable IQ's and advanced degrees have nothing to do with it. We are all susceptible to these basic psychological flaws in our make-up. This is not irrational prejudice, but you citing it without evidence is an example of motivated reasoning, the same sort of defense we all make when our beliefs--religious, political, personal, whatever--make when attacked. You hold up scientists as some sort of trump-card example, but look at how irrationally some of the great scientific minds have struggled against correct ideas that contradicted their own views.

This is human nature.
You're not one of faith right Helmling? How is it that you were to come to this place of psychological stability while the majority remainder of us are imprisoned to our imaginations?
ebuddy
     
besson3c
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Aug 22, 2008, 07:57 AM
 
How is religion rational?

I think that people get offended at the idea of their faith being irrational, but the thing is that we all do and think irrational things, this is part of being human. However, at the end of the day your faith cannot be rationalized.
     
ebuddy
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Aug 22, 2008, 08:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
How is religion rational?
Why ask if you're already convinced it's not? Hardly an educational moment to be had with this degree of rigidity.

I think that people get offended at the idea of their faith being irrational
I think that people are likewise offended by the inherent accountability of faith.

but the thing is that we all do and think irrational things, this is part of being human.
I agree and this is why threads like this bother me. I have no problem with introspect as the result of one's rebuke of me. I have no problem being held to account for my unsavory actions or having my ideology challenged. I do have a problem with others' definitions of unsavory at times and I do have a set of criteria that one must satisfy in order to qualify as a credible critic. I find these threads most disappointing on all counts.

However, at the end of the day your faith cannot be rationalized.
I disagree. We're all bound by laws. Just as there are biological or physical laws, there are natural laws or laws of human nature. There is a certain moral code that human nature generally follows, but can break with free will. Regardless of culture, if I repeatedly take and do not give, I am regarded as selfish. If I shy away from confrontation when called upon to defend, I lack courage. Honesty and fairness are regarded as virtuous. If I copy-paste an article without an opinion of my own, I'm in violation of rule#8. While there have been great pains taken by self-indulgent philosophers to complicate this basic premise, these fundamentals are absolutely true and these traits are as evident as any empirical science. It is entirely rational to conclude that with laws, there is a law-maker. I believe faith and religion have flourished through all societies specifically because it is so rational.

Given the short span of human existence, our study of ourselves, and the infancy of our understanding of true origins; it is both premature and irrational to a priori reject the possibility of a law-maker IMO. While faith may indeed be irrational, I'm not seeing anything to suggest that no faith is more rational.
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Aug 22, 2008, 09:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
Why ask if you're already convinced it's not? Hardly an educational moment to be had with this degree of rigidity.
At least I'd like to know what your take on this is.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I disagree. We're all bound by laws. Just as there are biological or physical laws, there are natural laws or laws of human nature. There is a certain moral code that human nature generally follows, but can break with free will. Regardless of culture, if I repeatedly take and do not give, I am regarded as selfish.
That's the rationalization of the function of religion, a set of moral guiding principles that help people live with each other (preferably in peace). The details may differ locally, but the basics are very similar. All major religions say that stealing is bad, as is (unnecessarily) killing other people. They emphasize kindness to others, etc.

But this doesn't rationalize the content of a specific religious faith.
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
While faith may indeed be irrational, I'm not seeing anything to suggest that no faith is more rational.
This is a different argument.
If you want to see this world scientifically, for example, you have to assume that you can predict measurably things by means of logic. I did not use faith on purpose here, because of the religious connotation in this context. But the belief that such a description is possible requires `faith' (in the broader sense: believe in something you cannot test). And unlike religious principles, scientific predictions can be tested.

You have to use other things that are based on faith as well, e. g. what philosophy/moral principles you use to make decisions in life. Since life is very complex, these guiding principles are usually not very precise and you can often come to either conclusion (rationalization?) even if both reasonings are based on the same moral principles.

So I agree that nobody can avoid believing in things that he has no proof for (or in things that are in principle impossible to prove or disprove).
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besson3c
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Aug 22, 2008, 09:42 AM
 
What OreoCookie said... If ebuddy's points remain consistent, this would mean that any religion which provides/explains/guides us with moral laws is rational, right? Since they all do this, can there be one true religion? Is it possible to be a Christian, which entails the premise that Jesus died for our sins, while simultaneously believing that other religions (Christian and non-Christian) are equally valid and grounded?
     
ebuddy
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Aug 22, 2008, 10:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
At least I'd like to know what your take on this is.
I cannot speak for the religions of others, but it seemed the "law-maker" anomaly sufficed in this context.

That's the rationalization of the function of religion, a set of moral guiding principles that help people live with each other (preferably in peace). The details may differ locally, but the basics are very similar. All major religions say that stealing is bad, as is (unnecessarily) killing other people. They emphasize kindness to others, etc.

But this doesn't rationalize the content of a specific religious faith.
The content is generally the nature of the law-maker as the subject of that faith. It is cause for content. The generally agreed to laws of human nature transcend mere function in that they govern not only peaceful coexistence, but even how we feel when breaking these otherwise unwritten tenets. One who has never seen an airplane before may describe one in a very archaic manner, but this does not mean he or she is wrong or somehow without reason.

This is a different argument.
I disagree. It is core to the discussion. By what criteria do you define rational?

If you want to see this world scientifically, for example, you have to assume that you can predict measurably things by means of logic.
Now I think you're treading into a different argument.

I did not use faith on purpose here, because of the religious connotation in this context. But the belief that such a description is possible requires `faith' (in the broader sense: believe in something you cannot test). And unlike religious principles, scientific predictions can be tested.
The conclusions of that testing are still subject to varying interpretation. The reason "consensus" or "degree of certainty" is often used in science is specifically because conclusions are still subject to varying interpretation. While the pursuit of absolute truth is inherent, rationality is not what is being measured with the terminology. I believe it is more easy to define "irrational" as an immovable degree of rigidity than it is an openness to alternatives. In this it is possible that a religious person has an immovable degree of rigidity, but this is not exclusive to religion. In other words, the entire premise of the observation is without a control. It is worse than merely antagonistic, it is meaningless and baseless.

You have to use other things that are based on faith as well, e. g. what philosophy/moral principles you use to make decisions in life. Since life is very complex, these guiding principles are usually not very precise and you can often come to either conclusion (rationalization?) even if both reasonings are based on the same moral principles.
There are means to conflict with any law. The degree of precision we assign is still subject to our definition.

So I agree that nobody can avoid believing in things that he has no proof for (or in things that are in principle impossible to prove or disprove).
We have a consensus after all.
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Aug 22, 2008, 10:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What OreoCookie said... If ebuddy's points remain consistent, this would mean that any religion which provides/explains/guides us with moral laws is rational, right?
It is possible that aspects of all religions give some absolute truth. Yes.

Since they all do this, can there be one true religion? Is it possible to be a Christian, which entails the premise that Jesus died for our sins, while simultaneously believing that other religions (Christian and non-Christian) are equally valid and grounded?
You can bet there are those who do. An adherent of one religion who believes all other world views are mistaken may be closer to rational than one who believes they are all false.
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Aug 22, 2008, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by stupendousman View Post
This theory is predicated on the notion that believing that there might be powers and energy sources in the universe, and maybe even dimensions of being that we don't yet fully understand, as being somehow irrational. The false assumption at the base of the theory about our "flaws" is where the problem lies.
Well, no. It is, though, based on confidence in the scientific method that does depend on the assumption of an external reality that can be empirically verified--which, I suppose, could be what you meant.

Quoting "flaws" is a apt step, though. After all, what makes these tendencies (if we even accept the psychological data that supports their existence) "flaws" at all? Is it our assumption that they work one way when evidence suggests they work another? Might we not counter from another point of view that they are working precisely the way evolution designed them to?
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 12:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
You're certainly right, humans are flawed. It is "human nature". You've just agreed with the Bible 100%.
Interesting. Let me clarify: Are you ceding any contest about the validity of this research and its central conclusion in favor of discussing how such "flaws" in the human mind might be analogous to the concept of original sin in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

If so, I think we'd need to get specific about what in the Bible you mean, because I don't actually know where in the Bible is says human beings are flawed. As far as I knew, that was extra-Biblical interpretation of scripture.
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 12:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
You're not one of faith right Helmling? How is it that you were to come to this place of psychological stability while the majority remainder of us are imprisoned to our imaginations?
No, no, you mistake me. I don't think this applies only to religion. I'm assuming the same indictment applies to my own thinking on...well, everything.

Now, that's put me in a bit of a corner as I'm trying to deal with the paradox of my confidence in the scientific method having led me to an idea that inspires me to call into question all my beliefs...which must invariably include my confidence in the scientific method.

Very bendy...
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 12:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
If so, I think we'd need to get specific about what in the Bible you mean, because I don't actually know where in the Bible is says human beings are flawed. As far as I knew, that was extra-Biblical interpretation of scripture.
You could try Romans 3:23.

And all the stuff about Eve and apples.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Railroader
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Aug 22, 2008, 12:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Interesting. Let me clarify: Are you ceding any contest about the validity of this research and its central conclusion in favor of discussing how such "flaws" in the human mind might be analogous to the concept of original sin in the Judeo-Christian tradition?

If so, I think we'd need to get specific about what in the Bible you mean, because I don't actually know where in the Bible is says human beings are flawed. As far as I knew, that was extra-Biblical interpretation of scripture.
99.9% of all Christian Bibles

You'll find a little info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_depravity
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 12:38 PM
 
I don't know why but I had a sudden word-association flash.

Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Total_depravity
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 03:25 PM
 
I would love to live in a world without Religion.
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 04:22 PM
 
I'd love to live in a world without Amy Winehouse.
     
besson3c
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Aug 22, 2008, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by ebuddy View Post
I disagree. We're all bound by laws. Just as there are biological or physical laws, there are natural laws or laws of human nature. There is a certain moral code that human nature generally follows, but can break with free will. Regardless of culture, if I repeatedly take and do not give, I am regarded as selfish. If I shy away from confrontation when called upon to defend, I lack courage. Honesty and fairness are regarded as virtuous. If I copy-paste an article without an opinion of my own, I'm in violation of rule#8. While there have been great pains taken by self-indulgent philosophers to complicate this basic premise, these fundamentals are absolutely true and these traits are as evident as any empirical science. It is entirely rational to conclude that with laws, there is a law-maker. I believe faith and religion have flourished through all societies specifically because it is so rational.

Given the short span of human existence, our study of ourselves, and the infancy of our understanding of true origins; it is both premature and irrational to a priori reject the possibility of a law-maker IMO. While faith may indeed be irrational, I'm not seeing anything to suggest that no faith is more rational.

Is another way of saying this fairly that you believe that there are laws which govern us, and because we don't have a better explanation for where they come from it makes sense to fill in the blank with some sort of supernatural thing?
     
Helmling
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Aug 22, 2008, 06:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
99.9% of all Christian Bibles

You'll find a little info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_depravity
I think you proved my point. The wikipedia article you link to clearly outlines that this is an Augustinian interpretation of the Bible.

This is yet another received opinion, which like all our received opinions is subject to the psychological forces I've been talking about.
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
So, which group are you all going to join then? The United Atheist Alliance or the Unified Atheist League?
That was a brilliant episode...er, episodes.
     
Helmling
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Aug 22, 2008, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
You could try Romans 3:23.

And all the stuff about Eve and apples.
Well, is Romans 3:23 it? I'm honestly asking here, as I haven't read the New Testament in its entirety since I was a teenager. Ok, so this verse says "all have sinned." This doesn't read the same to me as "flawed." That may or may not matter.

And there is nothing about original sin in Genesis. When Adam and Eve violate God's instructions, his actual concern seems not so much their disobedience as that they were then as gods themselves. He casts them out not for sin, but to protect his monopoly on power: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken."

So my point is that most Christians are not so much following the Bible as a huge mass of interpretative tradition. This seems significant to me.
     
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Aug 22, 2008, 09:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Helmling View Post
Well, no. It is, though, based on confidence in the scientific method that does depend on the assumption of an external reality that can be empirically verified--which, I suppose, could be what you meant.
We're not even close to empirically verifying a tiny portion of "reality", but I do find it ironic that many scientific ideas that are mainstream would have been considered philosophical conjecture just 100 years ago.

We find ways to make the universe fit into the boxes we assign based on principles that are almost as ethereal as the belief that the universe is controlled by a white-bearded bloke in the sky who likes to lob lightning bolts at people who piss him off.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Shaddim
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Aug 22, 2008, 09:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
I'd love to live in a world without Amy Winehouse.
No kidding, she's much more terrifying than Ratzinger.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
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