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Why is it always about theism and athiesm

  1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    I find the god no god discussion so tired. Yet for some reason when human behavior is discussed good and evil creeps in, sin and virtue.

    What about humanity and its complexity without tainting it with religious antireligious sentiment?

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      What about humanity? I am not sure I recognize the concept of "good or evil" outside of certain social constructs. I do not think there is anything inherently good or evil. Just stuff I agree or disagree with. big_smile

      One mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Well, I'm surprised to agree with you on something. but generally yeah. good and evil is really relative to perspective. there are also different aspects of it that i would get into if I didn't have to take my daughter to yoga class just now.

      2. McHamlet profile image62
        McHamletposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Think of the most extreme examples though; is the rape and torture of children in order to make snuff films for sadists something you would characterize as just stuff you disagree with? Serious question.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          It is something I violently disagree with to the point of being prepared to personally, and with malice aforethought - do much harm to the people doing so. It is certainly evil in the social construct we have created for ourselves.

          Inherently evil? I don't know because I am not sure I recognize that as a concept. Do you?

          Is drowning the entire human population except for a chosen few inherently evil? Serious question.

          1. McHamlet profile image62
            McHamletposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I think it requires some kind of faith (not necessarily religious) to believe in inherent good and inherent evil. It's not something you can gather objective empirical evidence for. The nature of our consciousness is that it's part of the world but not something we can objectively examine.  We can't turn it on itself without losing something. I'm not  of any religion, but I believe when it comes to acts of the type I mentioned, there is something inherent in them that is wrong that goes beyond my personal opinion. I can't prove that to anyone else without appealing to their own subjectivity and I wouldn't try. As for your last question, I'm not sure why you asked me that. But anyway, if a deity existed and that deity were the JCI God then by definition the act could not be inherently evil. (In saying that I'm disregarding the paradoxes involved in believing the actions of the JCI God as described in the Bible actually happened.) If it were nature that caused it, then the answer would be no. If there were an evil deity in existence such as Satan and he did it then the answer would be yes. If humans did it to each other, the answer would depend, for me, on the context. It would take a bit of imagination to come up with a scenario where that would be justified but there is no theoretical reason to think there isn't one.

            1. McHamlet profile image62
              McHamletposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              You may notice from this that I'm not taking a deontological stance.

            2. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Well - the example to chose was pretty easy to claim some sort of inherent evil beyond your understanding because the abuse of a child hits something deep within many people, and it is in our nature to protect our young, therefore anything which damages them is "evil." 

              How about preventing an old lady from being beaten to death by a gang of armed youths, and accidentally shooting a child in the process? The child lingers in agony for three days before eventually succumbing.

              Inherently evil?



              Well, if you gain an understanding of your nature, and our nature as a species, I am pretty sure you will be able to identify exactly why it is that you feel this act is evil. In fact - you feel it so strongly - you appear to need to attribute that to something outside of yourself. I do not need to do that. I know why I find this act abhorrent or "inherently evil," in your case.



              I just wondered - that is all. But - as you are arguing that the "inherent evil" or lack thereof seems to depend on who is doing the act - not the act itself -we seem to be back to where we started. Which is things that I disagree with or agree with. wink

              1. McHamlet profile image62
                McHamletposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I studied evolution in University Mark; and I think I mentioned before in a different thread (that you were also involved in) that "Darwin's dangerous idea" is one of my favourite books. So I know the arguments about our nature as a species. In fact I've made them myself many a time. It's pretty easy to go that route. Scientifically, it's untouchable. I also want to say I don't base my beliefs on needs (not consciously at least which is as far as I can analyze) I base them on my personal experience with life. And I don't object in the slightest to people who believe there are no grounds for an absolute morality, which is essentially what a belief in inherent good or evil involves, because through the lens of a scientific examination of the world particularly based on evolutionary psychology we don't have one and if that's the lens you want to look through you'll never have one. That's why I said it takes a leap of faith to believe there is something beyond that. I brought up the extreme example just to highlight the gap between a glib scientific dismissal of morality and what people actually feel. 

                But anyway, notice that I argued that inherent evil exists, not that a particular act can easily be defined as good or evil. I didn't say human beings even had to be capable of judging every act one way or another, just that in the end, it's possible that there are standards that exist in some sense that go beyond human understanding. I'm sure you know enough about evolution and cosmology to know that the human mind is not necessarily the most complex expression of consciousness in the universe. It would take a fair amount of faith to believe it is. And if you accept that then presumably you'd accept that there may be more enlightened ways of looking at this than our present scientific grasp of it allows.

                You brought up the baby example. Well, accidentally shooting someone while trying to do good is not an inherently evil act in my view. And there are much more difficult examples than that that you could send my way. How about torturing someone in order to save the life of another even if the one being tortured has done nothing wrong? Now that could be a conundrum. 

                In your last paragraph, the argument seems to be a non-sequitur. The evil of an act depending on the context in which it occurs within which the nature of the actor him or herself being an obvious consideration does not require that the judgment of that act as evil or not evil be based on personal opinion. And if you're referring here to my comments about Gods etc., I think you've misunderstood. If there were a God of course he would be the ultimate arbiter of morality. Not just 'someone' doing the act. The act would already be defined as good or evil by the subject. There would be no debate. God himself would define absolute good. The same goes for Satan in terms of evil. Nature, the other possible force I mentioned is also not 'someone' of course.

                Let me sum up by saying this, anyone with a basic knowledge of reality can argue scientifically against absolute moral standards. It doesn't take much to make that argument and the argument can't be defeated scientifically. So, in the end I'm not trying to convince you of anything Mark, I don't feel it would be a productive use of my time. My aim is only to discuss the issue because I personally think it's not as straightforward as the purely religious or the purely scientific mindset describes it.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  No. Not me. Never mentioned Darwin - or evolution. And I have never read that book. None of which has anything to do with our nature as a species. Which is strangely unique on this planet - as we seem to be the only animal to have reached this level of self awareness



                  I see. And what personal experiences with life have led you to this conclusion? Although - at least you are open to the possibility that you are unconsciously influencing yourself.


                  Rather making an assumption here I'm afraid. I do not look through a scientific lens. Just personal observation. I have never seen anything to suggest an absolute morality.


                  I am not making a "glib" scientific dismissal. You may want to check into your subconscious impulses in using that word in order to denigrate my opinion. Because the word "glib" suggests a thoughtless answer and I have given this much thought. I did not dismiss what you felt either. I suggested it was such a powerful feeling that you felt the need to ascribe it to something outside yourself. I do not feel that need. 



                  Perhaps there are. An you now claim to be able to identify these things that are "beyond human understanding" - which makes no sense. either they are beyond our understanding - in which case you should not be able to express them. Or they are not - in which case - they are not beyond our understanding. What you really seem to be arguing is the case that I should accept what you say because it i beyond MY understanding - but - you feel comfortable expressing it. Which sounds very religious to me.


                  There may well be. Are you saying you know of these ways?

                  I am not suggesting we are the most complex expression of consciousness in the universe. But - if you can express it and I can understand it - then it is no more "enlightened " than that.



                  Sure - and any time you want to give me a list of "inherently evil" acts - I will give it due consideration.


                  As I said - you seem to be arguing that the act itself is not inherently evil - because it depends who is doing it. I do it - evil. Supreme being does it - not so much, because they tend to work in ways beyond the ken of mere mortals and also get to decide what constitutes good and evil. wink Which rather makes a good case against "inherently evil," acts.

                  Nature just "is" and I do not see anything inherently good or evil in that either.


                  I am not approaching this from a "scientific " standpoint. Merely from my own personal experiences and observations.

                  Why do you assume that there is nothing in between the "purely religious or the purely scientific mindset."?

                  1. McHamlet profile image62
                    McHamletposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Mark wrote: "What you really seem to be arguing is the case that I should accept what you say because it i beyond MY understanding"

                    Mark, I specifically said I wasn't trying to convince you of anything. I'm just expressing my view. I also said I have no problem with the view you express, that I understand it and that I realize none of us know what our subconscious impulses are. Please argue against the points I actually made.

                    Mark wrote: "I am not making a "glib" scientific dismissal...the word "glib" suggests a thoughtless answer and I have given this much thought. "

                    I never said you haven't thought about this issue but I can't see into your thoughts; in this medium where we barely know each other I can only judge you on what you write. What you wrote in the post I replied to came across to me as glib. Also, I've read some of your other posts in response to the religious. Please tell me Mark, what level of thought the use of expressions like woowoo and lololololol should impress upon a neutral observer?

                    Mark wrote: "Why do you assume that there is nothing in between the "purely religious or the purely scientific mindset."?

                    I don't, in fact my whole point is that I don't.  There's plenty between the purely religious and the purely scientific. I said in my post that I wasn't of any religion but that nor do I think science has all the answers. The whole field of philosophy is right there in between and I think it's a good grounding for the answers to the sorts of moral or ethical issues we debate here.

                    Mark, let me reiterate my stance in case it's not crystal clear: your position and the position of those who agree with you makes perfect sense. I understand it, I respect it and I've often shared it. I think it's limited but I know of no way to demonstrate that to you or those like you. That's OK with me. I don't feel the need to convince anyone of my point of view. I just like to express it. Let people take what they will, if anything from it. I will respond though if someone misunderstands or misrepresents it.

                    There's certainly no need for rancour or ill-feeling in a forum like this, the purpose of which is presumably to get at the truth rather than try to prove the other person wrong for the sake of it, which would be less than constructive, don't you think?

          2. 0
            Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Odd representation of humanism, Marcus.


            Consider this: remove the deity from that question and replace it with nature. Is it now acceptable because it was an 'act of nature'? Who can humans blame now?

            Yet those acts committed by humans are grossly accepted by all of society -even though they openly speak out against them. If they truly believed in humanism, all peoples would have zero tolerance for any acts against another human being. This is something many see in Hebrew old culture and scoff at or -like one Hubber- use to prove some strange psychosis. It was because of such social initiatives and penalties that caused them to develop personal responsibility, even amoral one -else face immediate death- which all of us & laws stem from. These acts of society today are no different -though multimedia would have the masses believe otherwise. Today's penalty is four years at the Concrete Hilton and a law degree...

            -James

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I never said it was acceptable or otherwise. I asked a theoretical question.

              Shit happens. People die in accidents all the time. You forget - I do not need to attribute this to an invisible Super Daddy in the Sky.

              If it is random nature - there is no good or evil involved.

              If it is the act of a psychopathic God - well - there you go.

              I agree we need laws to control the members of our society who do not agree with accepted limits. These change as society changes - as do the punishments.

              But - maybe - just maybe - people would be more inclined to follow them and believe they were for the common good - if they were not attributed to the Invisible Super Daddy in the Sky and were something we all had a hand in developing?

              1. TruthDebater profile image61
                TruthDebaterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I don't think more people would follow laws if a broader mindset was used to make them. People break the laws they create all the time, many only create them so they know how to break them. If you want all to believe in a common goal and purpose as a whole, you have to give them something agreed on as the whole. They thought this was a God, but this also has flaws as we see. The purpose made for society has to give them hope and faith along with logic for them to follow.


                The hope and faith given by a belief in God gives people faith this life has a divine purpose from a creator in which there will be rewards for living and following the government.


                What does logic promise at death to those who follow and live an orderly life?

                1. 0
                  china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  No they don't - they have to be ETHICAL not Moral.

                  1. TruthDebater profile image61
                    TruthDebaterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Ethics (also known as moral philosophy) is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality; that is, about concepts such as good and bad, right and wrong, justice, and virtue.
                    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical


                    Looks pretty much like the words can be used the same.

                2. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I think you missed my point.

                  I suggest we teach ethics as a matter of course to our children, and educate them in how to go about developing ethics instead of merely giving them a list of rules they must follow. Whether this list pf rules comes from the government Inc or the Church Inc is besides the point. We need to educate them to be able to discern the reasoning behind them, and give them a reason to follow them that is not solely punishment based.Then they will be educated enough to have some input.

                  Thanks to the abuse of religion and money - a small powerful elite have always made the laws - often based on religious principals and often laws the makers are not bound by.

                  I am only too aware of the reasons behind many laws - and it ain't to look out for me. wink

                  1. TruthDebater profile image61
                    TruthDebaterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I absolutely agree with you, many of the most powerful that teach and use faith are the ones that abuse it. I think this is to make people dependent on them to gain power when the true power is teaching them to independently empower themselves. Thanks.

              2. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                The god that you know is not G-d.

                It is a projection of the chaos produced by you being cut off from yourself too long.

                Your attitude towards G-d is a mirror of how you look at yourself. and by you I mean in general.

    2. Cagsil profile image83
      Cagsilposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Why is it always about theism or atheism?

      This one I'll start with first- because philosophies are always compared to one another and not nor should be set in stone.

      Religion is suppose to be about a moral conduct(actions). Man-made "morality" ties the good and evil concept to actions of individuals, in order to assess(judgment) level of morality used in the actions taken.

      Religion comes in and makes claim "sin" is evil and "virtue" is good. Same distinction, different wording.
      The problem is that too many people believe too deeply that life is complex, with the truth is much different.

      Life is easy, it is people who make it complicated. smile

      1. Kangaroo_Jase profile image80
        Kangaroo_Jaseposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        To both Mark's and Cagsil's commentary, this is likely the most astute comments made in reference to this particular forum topic.

        Plain, simple, easy to understand and digest and straight to the heart of the matter.

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I would say mark is astute and cagsil is an oversimplification.

      2. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Okay, this is an exception. I agree with almost everybody except you.And trust me I will expound maybe tonight.

      3. Jeff Berndt profile image91
        Jeff Berndtposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Here's an observation and a question:

        I've noticed that the atheist crowd* (or the anti-religionist crowd, if you like) like to call the theist crowd dogmatic and inflexible, and the theist crowd tends to accuse the atheist crowd of moral relativism, claiming that some things are universally True, regardless of one's situation/culture/station in life/what have you.

        But it seems that religion has in the past, and currently does, let theists justify actions that would be considered universally reprehensible to most atheists. Slaughtering the women and children of the enemy nation, for example, or burning people (whether witches or abortion doctors) alive, or blowing up skyscrapers and marketplaces, or whatever.

        So the question is this: is it harder for an atheist to justify wrong actions than it is for a theist, who can invoke the will of a god to make it okay for him to do, well, anything?

        *I'm talking overall trends in the wider world, not necessarily anything that's been said here in the forums.

    3. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I wish there was a way to see all new posts except ones with certain keywords.  They do get very repetitive.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image92
        Marisa Wrightposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        So do I.  Or to exclude certain threads altogether.  I know you can do that on your homepage to some extent, but it's not as easy to navigate.

    4. Beelzedad profile image60
      Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      One is a direct consequence of the other. One would not exist without the other. One would not be necessary at all if the other were valid.

      There would be no "antireligious sentiment" if there were no religion. smile

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        which is why there must another language for humanity to discuss itself. They are in existence. The problems is, the religious antireligious camps are too invested in their stance they can't see clearly.

        1. Beelzedad profile image60
          Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Invested in what? The disbelief of fairy tales? LOL.

          They wouldn't have to invest in anything at all, you see. smile

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Invested in what they know. The reptilian brain likes to keep faithful to what it has learned at the expense sometimes of new knowledge.

            Fairy Tales are not exactly just made-up stories. They are stories of the dynamics of human consciousness in the language of emotions, not logic, which is why they capture our imagination.

            The language of fairy tales is universal and it is able to instruct the consciousness of self-knowledge. They are like tips on how to use the machinery, but they are coded language that the unconscious uses to trigger connections.

            But you wouldn't understand even if I told you. You are too invested in what you know.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Woowoo - you are missing the obvious fact that the people operating the machinery are using it backwards. And no amount of reasoning is going to persuade them to use it the right way 'round. Try speaking to them instead of constantly berating the people trying to teach them how to use the machinery correctly by discarding their misinterpreted manual.

              Or is that too difficult? wink

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Well, talk to the snake you get a snake.

                But talk on a higher level (literally and figuratively) and you get a higher answer.  If you're always getting them fearful, it activates protective instincts and old notions stick.

                The thing is if you change the subject, the old subject will die.

                The human consciousness is a vast topic and if you talk on a higher plain, universality. what makes us the same despite our diversity, you hit notes of unity, not discord.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  Wrong. Your condescension is not doing anything constructive.

                  1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    What is condescending about saying that everybody can talk in a higher plain?

                    "You're wrong!" is constructive? The word "wrong" assumes there is one right. And you yourself admit that these are shades that can be relative to context.

                    It's reptilian to be condescended. The high road is not about who is superior. It is about who is sincere.

            2. Beelzedad profile image60
              Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              The language of fairy tales? LOL!

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Yes, the language of fairy tales is the language of the unconscious. It is coded.

                Like in dreams.

                1. Beelzedad profile image60
                  Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  What do you see "coded" in Mother Goose? LOL.

                  1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Charles Perrault was an intellectual. The Stories of Mother Goose was originally a compilation of classic tales that has roots to ancient fables. It was originally titled :

                    Histoires ou contes du temps passé, avec des moralités: Contes de ma mère l'Oye.

                    Which mean Stories and Tales from times past with morals.

                    He was a mythologist.

                    Coded language are symbols that though are usually affronts to logic can be understood by the subconscious and recorded in the unconscious in its pure form. They are instructions on how to think and behave in certain difficult mental states transcribed and coded in the language of dreams. While we dream, we store what we learned connecting facts and our reaction to it through the absurdity of dream vocabulary.

                    For example : Angels.

                    angels are really sentient forces that defy gravity. They defy the mundane. But as I am saying this. I realize that that invites more questions than answers. sentient forces that defy gravity are best described in the form of a vision of a person with light hair bearing dovelike wings. The human brain is efficient in its coding. It will not spell it out. It will code it in formula combinations of emotional value, factual associations and visual symbols.

                2. Don W profile image83
                  Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  I agree ceciliabeltran. A story with key information embedded within the narrative is extremely powerful. That's why fairytales and myths are of such fundamental importance to culture and identity.

                  1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    True.

                    This thread reminds of Percy Jackson's Lightning Thief plot. The son of the messenger wants to destroy the gods and make it a time of man, created in our own image.

                    Man is the image of the forces that created it. Call it evolution or whatever you wish. We are shaped by the order of appearance of certain intelligences that life acquired through its will to ascertain reality outside of its nature.

                    That the human brain is a model of the universe is a theory that is fueling the research behind the Blue Brain Project. A project where they are approaching the creation of a truly intelligent computer.

                  2. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Thanks Don, yeah..beginning to feel I was talking to a vast empty landscape of ruins.

    5. Pandoras Box profile image81
      Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Because an astounding number of people still believe that the bible is the word of god, and an equally astounding number of people who don't believe in the Bible's infallibility still inexplicably believe in most of its fables and teachings anyway.

      If we go around them it doesn't do much good. That just legitimizes them and further perpetuates the misguided thinking. So we have to go through them. It's where we are at in the history of human development.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Wow I am agreeing with so many people its amazing. It is true. It is time the bible fallacy, legitimacy talk to end. There are many other discussion where the human consciousness will actually make progress. It's annoying. True not true true not true. what about its other dimensions and the more important dimension of all why that exists in the human context.

    6. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      From what I've seen there are three positions being expressed here, not two: Theism, atheism and anti-theism. The anti-theist opposes theistic belief and its expression.

      What's interesting if you look at anti-theists on the forum is that they are every bit as dogmatic and unjustifiably assured of correctness as theists, which in my opinion is nonsensical and self-defeating.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I agree they are gradients of the same thing. Kind of like a volume of theism.

      2. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        But your opinion seems to be - exactly the same as you complain about. wink

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I'm open to the possibility of being wrong.
          Are you?

          I'm aware you didn't actually deny being "unjustifiably assured of correctness". Does that mean you believe you are unjustifiably assured of your own correctness?

          Maybe this can clarify:

          Do you accept that some claims made by theists fall outside the scope of scientific method, and therefore the veracity of those claims can't be tested according to an evidentialist criteria of knowledge?

          If so, do you accept that therefore you don't (and currently can't) know whether claims of the above type are true or false according to that approach to truth?

          If so, do you accept therefore that the most you (or any non theist) can say, if being intellectually honest, is simply that you think the truth of claims of the type described above is unlikely?

          If so, do you accept that a claim being unlikely does not preclude it from being true?

          If so, do you accept therefore that claims of the type described above could in fact be true, and therefore you could in fact be wrong?

          If so, then I am wrong and not all anti-theists on the forum are "unjustifiably assured of correctness" as I implied. If not, then I believe my point stands (with regard to at least one anti-theist on the forum).

          Either way, I think this post is an example what I said on the first line, and it goes some way to finding out the answer to the question on the second.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image60
            Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Dear me.

            Of course I could be wrong. But - I am more anti-religionist than anti-theist.

            Tell me there is a god - OK - who knows? Maybe there is - maybe there is not? Pink Unicorn? Flying Spaghetti Monster? Biblical God? Zeus? Sure - Who knows? Why not? Sounds utterly ridiculous and goes against all observable phenomena - but - why not? No harm in believing that.

            Sure - some claims made by theist cannot be disproven. That does not mean there is any validity to them. Because you seem to be arguing that any claim - no matter how insanely ridiculous has as much validity as any other - solely on the basis that there is no evidence either way. Is that correct?

            Tell me you know what this god wants and He wrote a book that I must follow?

            I am going to be fighting with you every step of the way. wink

            1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
              ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              You see?

              Will you even read the works of Joseph Campbell and his interpretation of myths? Or would you call him woowoo?

              Joseph Campbell explains in the most grounded way the role of these myths in our lives. They are mirrors. You cannot eradicate them from the human experience if you wanted to because our consciousness speaks in these codes.

              You do not want to listen and insist it is NONSENSE. It is not.
              Your construct is incomplete. Widen your scope of understanding. Then you'll see.

              there is both a god and no god.

              1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                You will never get these believers to see that, Woowoo. Sorry. It is Nonsense if you do not understand it.

                Cut down the weeds to let the new growth flourish. The old way does not work.

                1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                  ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  You do not even know what I'm talking about.
                  Read Joseph Campbell's work. You will see there is both a god and there is also no god.

                  G-d is an elementary idea of man. He is the mirror of the collective journey towards full knowing embodied and personified in our myths.

            2. Don W profile image83
              Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Don't put too much store in validity. Validity is not the same as truth. The truth/falsehood of an argument is irrelevant to its validity. Validity simply means an argument passes the barest minimum evaluation of reason. For example:

              All unicorns are pink.
              The animal in my garden is a unicorn.
              The animal in my garden is pink.

              Is this argument valid? Yes, the conclusion necessarily follows on from the premises. Are the premises true? No. So we can say the reasoning of the argument is valid, but the premises are untrue. So if the truth of the premises can't be determined we can still determine if the argument is valid or invalid, but doing so says nothing about the truth/falsehood of the premises.

              So even 'insane' arguments can be perfectly valid. Does that mean we must take every valid argument seriously? No. There are other criteria we use to decide what arguments to take seriously. But we do need to be honest and accept that an arguments reasoning may be valid, even though we disbelieve (or can't determine the truth of) its premises. That doesn't say anything about whether we should take it seriously or not, but it is more intellectually honest.



              Okay, so you're not against people believing in something you disagree with. You are against people who tell you they "know what this god wants ..." etc.

              If that means you oppose those in political office basing their policies on theistic belief, and therefore indirectly "telling" you to live according to those beliefs; And if it means you also oppose politicians basing policies on anti-theist or anti-religious belief, therefore indirectly "telling" theists to live according to those beliefs; Then I agree with you.

              On the other hand, if that means you oppose the public expression of theistic belief e.g. having a distinctive place of worship, style of dress, customs, practices, traditions etc, or 'advertising' their belief through private publications, public debate, trying to 'convert' or persuade others of the benefits of their belief. If you oppose theists literally telling you what they think of you according to their beliefs, then I disagree with you.

              Freedom of "thought, conscience and religion" and the expression of the same has been ratified by members of the UN as a human right, and I agree with that designation. As long as doing so doesn't impinge on anyone else's rights, then I don't see the issue.

              The key, in my opinion, is realising that your right to believe a theist is 'deluded' and to tell him so, is no more or less important than a theists right to believe you are a 'sinner' and to tell you so.

              1. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                One other thing, the current US president summarised the issues of religion and politics well in my opinion. I think the transcript of the speech this excerpt comes from (often quoted out of context) is an interesting read for theists and non theists alike.

              2. Mark Knowles profile image60
                Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Right. I am using observable data and common sense as my criteria and I do not take the argument of a supreme being/creator with an interest in us seriously because it does not make sense and does not fit with any observable data. 

                The fact that there is no evidence either way is completely besides the point.



                No that is not what I said at all. I think they are lying when they tell me their god gave them a message for me and I despise liars. But basically - yes - I genuinely don't care what you believe until you start sharing it with me and trying to get me to believe it.

                Politicians will use whatever works for them to get what they want for the people who paid to get them inti office. What does that have to do with anything?



                I never said any such thing. But I do think it is the root of many conflicts and the current backlash against such practices is part of the continuing conflict that is caused by people behaving in this fashion.

                As to the outward displays of religious affiliation - you keep fooling yourself it is not going to cause a problem when two opposing factions meet somewhere.

                I personally hold a far lower opinion of some one when the very first thing they tell me is that they belong to a religious cult that I do not. I think it is divisive, tribal thinking that will always - until one religious cult has managed to wipe out all the others - cause conflict.



                Ah - so you are blind to the attempts by theists to introduce secular laws based on their ridiculous beliefs. This has been a part of our history ever since the first religion came to power.



                Exactly what I am doing. So why are you fighting with me when I tell them their beliefs are total garbage?

                I am not trying to get laws introduced to prevent them from doing whatever they want or curtail their right to do so in any way shape or form. What gave you that idea?

                Every time a religionist tells me I am not doing what his god sez - I am going to laugh in his/her face, point out that they do not follow their own god's rules and tell them their belief is garbage.

                So - what is your point exactly? I have never ever suggested a religionist should not be allowed to hold a belief.

                1. Don W profile image83
                  Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  If a claim is outside the scope of scientific method, you can't use observable data to test it. That's the point. You can only hazard a guess based on the assumptions you make about the world. So by "it does not makes sense" you mean it doesn't make sense according to the set of assumptions you  make about the world. Others make different assumptions, and it makes sense to them according to those assumptions. So in the absence of observable data, whatever "sense" you make of such a claim is subjective, not objective. To suggest one subjective view is more accurate than another subjective view is problematic for obvious reasons.

                  Agreed. It makes no difference to whether a claim is true or not. It only makes a difference to how we approach such a claim. How do we try to determine if it's true or not? What makes us decide one way or another? What forms our belief? What prevents our belief? I think those are the questions at the root of the theism/non theism debate.

                  I'm glad you aren't in favour of laws restricting religious belief and expression. It's true, the nature of theistic belief makes compromise difficult, but the nature of a pluralistic society makes it essential. I think we agree on that much. Where we differ is in the approach. 

                  From your comments you don't seem content to simply "laugh in the face" of theists who try to tell you how to live. Your comments suggest a desire to stigmatise theistic belief, to make it somehow socially unacceptable. I think that's counter-productive. I think it's a cop out, and I think it's an avoidance of the main issue.

                  The deep suspicion between secular and religious needs to be addressed. The aim in my opinion is not to ridicule someone into not expressing their beliefs, but to find a way for the religious and non religious to co-exist in a pluralistic society. That shouldn't mean a religious person has to disavow all form of religious belief for fear of ridicule.

                  As far as I'm concerned people shouldn't have to leave their religious faith at the door. Like it or not such faith is what guides some people's values and beliefs. The job of reconciling those beliefs with common values and beliefs that all in society can share is difficult, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to do it.

                  The alternative is to give in to frustration and disillusionment, which leads to useless ridicule, bickering and name-calling, and I think we can be better than that.

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                    Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes. But I am not the one making the claims.

                    Subtle, I know. Possibly beyond your ability to understand. But - important nonetheless.

                    Still - I am not making these claims that are impossible to substantiate.

                    See the difference?


                    Not really. I understand where the theistic beliefs come fro, have studied the background and - fear and a desire to control is at the root of them.



                    And what is your approach exactly? Because the nature of theist belief makes compromise utterly impossible without force applied. Or do you not read any history books?


                    Yes - I think it is evil and should be eradicated. Ridicule is my chosen weapon. I am open to suggestions though. Not having seen you make any headway at all when discussion this with theists.



                    And exactly how do I exist in a society that considers me scum that will be burned for all eternity? The only reason I am able to express my opinion is 100 years of fighting.



                    Open to ideas - not seen anything from you that suggests you have had any success. I am a fool for not believing. How do I reconcile being called a fool?



                    No - I purposely ridicule - because I am not really speaking to them - I am breaking a meme.

    7. kess profile image60
      kessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      These things are because of good and evil , truth and lies. duality in all things.

      Where there is perfection there will be the combination and the separation.

      The combination is of TWO which will achieve perfection and answering the mystery of all things an Life being dominant.

      The continued separation of this duality will will result in the death being nothing and totally subjected unto Life.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        hence the mystical meaning of the tree of life where human consciousness achieves knowledge through the the contractions of light and darkness, good and evil etc. part of the process of knowing.

        1. kess profile image60
          kessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          And this tree of Life is Truth and it is singleness of the eye........

    8. wilmiers77 profile image61
      wilmiers77posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      In a humanity sense, virtue and sin is a relative term that varies with each individual or group, but people's minds needs an absolute definition for all folks. Religion give this definition; one that doesn't change with the wind.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        The mind changes with the wind, that is why we grow. There are universal "agreements". One does not need to be imposed.

    9. aguasilver profile image88
      aguasilverposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I guess it's because only one opinion can actually be correct.

      Theists stand on their beliefs and atheists stand on their lack of belief.

      The atheists seem to have most to lose if they are wrong, plus they are emboldened since the RCC was stopped burning them at the stake for heresy, and generally we live in times of 'iniquity' so folk gravitate towards the concepts that allow them most 'freedom' to do as they wish without feeling guilt or conviction, this leads to fanatical attempts to silence all and any criticism of the non believers lifestyle choices or behaviour.

      Any mention of possible consequences for your actions in today's world is viewed as an attack on ones right to free expression, or as a death threat due to the fact that in some way it is construed to promise a fiery doom for the non believer.

      Why is that?....

      When they don't believe in anything post death anyway?

      Fortunately, we will all find out soon enough who was right and who was wrong..... and even this statement will probably be taken as an affront to atheistic principals and (lack) of belief.

      Come soon Lord Jesus..... smile

      1. Beelzedad profile image60
        Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Christians have everything to lose if they are wrong. They have already lost their entire lives to worshiping a false god. And, if Allah is the right god, they will lose everything in the afterlife too.

        At the very least, atheists have lived happy, moral lives.




        You may not think it to fortunate when you find out you were wrong. smile

        1. aguasilver profile image88
          aguasilverposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          An opinion and an incorrect one, if the Quoran were to be the word of God, then any bible believing Christian would still be OK, Muslims recognise Christ, just not as God, we (Muslims and Christians) agree on more things than we disagree upon, the differences are few, but major, and not penalising towards Christians if we were wrong.

          If Pantheism is correct, we are all OK!

          The ONLY exclusive claims are made my Christ, but equally He stated that WHOSOEVER wanted to was able to take advantage of His Grace and Mercy, but they needed to do it NOW, before they passed the opportunity up in death.

          One of the galling things for non believers must be that if they are wrong, they will fully know about it.

          That must challenge the intellect and determination a bit!

          1. Mark Knowles profile image60
            Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Your misunderstanding of the Muslim faith aside - not in the slightest. Clearly you do not appreciate how ridiculous your claims and threats are.

          2. PrettyPanther profile image86
            PrettyPantherposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I rarely wander into the religious discussions, but I just have to say that I am a nonbeliever and I don't spend any time at all wondering if I am wrong.  That is not to say that I know I am right; I just don't waste time thinking about it because it wouldn't make any difference at all in how I live my life, one way or the other.

          3. Beelzedad profile image60
            Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            "If only they [i.e. Christians] had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course, but many of them follow a course that is evil" (5:66).

            "Oh People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion, nor say of God anything but the truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, was (no more than) a messenger of God, and His Word which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in God and His messengers. Say not, 'Trinity.' Desist! It will be better for you, for God is One God, Glory be to Him! (Far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs" (4:171).

            "The Jews call 'Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the son of God. That is but a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. God's curse be on them; how they are deluded away from the Truth! They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of God, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary. Yet they were commanded to worship but One God: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him! (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)" (9:30-31).



            I don't put any faith in the threats of Christianity any more than the threats of any other religion, as do you, evidently. smile

      2. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        'today the scriptures has been fulfilled'-Jesus

        This means, that if you take it upon yourself to rise above your body and into the mind, if you raise your consciousness the TIME OF THE MESSIAH will be at hand.

        The language of fairy tales is very powerful.

    10. RKHenry profile image81
      RKHenryposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      CB, I couldn't agree more.

    11. Pcunix profile image92
      Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yet here you are starting just such a discussion.

      We atheists wouldn't have to say a word if you theists didn't keep shoving your religion in our face. 

      In 1864, theists in this country added a religious motto to our coinage.  Our founding fathers never contemplated such a thing: until the prayer crowd got its way, the only motto was "Liberty". 

      In the 1950's, theists added similar nonsense to our Pledge.  I was a pup in grade school then, and remember it well because our day began with the Pledge.  I refused to mouth the addition.

      We were also led in Christian prayers.  This in a town that was a little less than 70% Jewish.  Of course, it was a State mandate.  Some of the Jewish kids  refused to say the prayers.  I refused also, though for a different reason.  As the teachers had good reason to ignore the Jewish refuseniks, they also could easily ignore me.  That didn't  make it any less disgusting or ludicrous.

      I don't mind your beliefs.  Pray as much as you want, brainwash your poor kids into the same nonsense, I'm fine with it.   I believe you have a quirk in your makeup that gives rise to a need to believe this against all rational indication to the contrary.   I would never want to interfere with something you plainly need so badly.  That would be cruel, and I do not like to be cruel.

      I just want you to stop shoving it in my face.  If it is so incredibly obvious, why the need to force feed it?  Why the need to seek the validation of others?  You'd think you'd be happy enough in your own  little imaginary world, but you are not.

      That is why this stuff goes on and on.  If you'd leave us alone, you wouldn't even notice us.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I was talking about consciousness, not religion.

        So, it is interesting that you would have me pegged as a bible preacher.

        The study of consciousness raises the myths of religion to the level that it can be milked for its mundane value.

        1. Pcunix profile image92
          Pcunixposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Pardon me, but go read your first post.  Read the blankin title of the thread.

          If you meant to talk about consciousness, fine: there is no such thing. It's all just feedback mechanisms and echoes.  Nothing to talk about because it's only an illusion.

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            It was a challenge to talk about something else going on in between. As you can see, the talk naturally led to the mind.

  2. Good Guy profile image94
    Good Guyposted 6 years ago

    Because of the BIG EGO!  "I am right and you must believe in what I believe."  Or is it the lack of ego, the feeling of insecurity? 

    What others believe is their business.  I am not interested in what they believe.  Likewise I hope they can leave me alone.  Then we will have peace.  Otherwise you will find only hatred and ill-will in "religious" forum.  I never join in the "war of words" over there.  Instead of spreading good vibrations, they are always the source of anger, ill-will, and discord.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      not always

  3. Pandoras Box profile image81
    Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago

    Yeah, but really. Isn't that all just more mystical, pulled-it-out-of-my-ass hocus pocus bullshit?

    I mean. I'm all for drawing meaning from -wherever- in our own personal journeys or whatever, metaphors that help us understand and explain. But you can do that with anything.

    Everybody thinks they have the Truth-with-the-capital-T. The funny thing is that if they knew it, they'd reject it, because it isn't what they're seeking. The Truth is too mundane, too meaningless, to ever be the Truth-with-the-capital-T.

    wink

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      no, only to those who do not understand what it means.

      just like a ringing cellphone is mystical to a monkey. (I am not saying you're a monkey, just illustrating a point)

      what the tree of life is saying is this.

      It's not about sides, its about the wave, the motion in the ocean. the cups and saucers pouring water back and forth. people who understand this know its not supernatural. It is a perspective that allows you to know how to respond to evil, or to good when it presents itself.

      It's worth knowing but nobody can teach it,you just get it one day. If you bother to ask the question.

      I know I know it sounds mystical, it sounds audacious. People hate it and accuse me and others like  me to act like we're wiser. It's not about that.

      Its the difference between having seen the short cut to the mall and not having seen the short cut. It is as plain as that. Sometimes people get it when they die, sometimes when they're 8. Each in his own time. Nothing fancy about it, nor special. At some point you get it.

  4. Pandoras Box profile image81
    Pandoras Boxposted 6 years ago

    Love ya guys! I'm off, not coming back till next week sometime. Have a good weekend and to my fellow americans, enjoy the 4th.

  5. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    Don't you get tired trying to be right?
    Try real for once.

  6. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    You cannot raise other people's awareness. Just your own. your own is enough.

    Just saying, share what you know. and that is enough.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Like Jesus did? We can see how well that worked. sad

      Why do you cling to the old way that has not worked for the last several thousand years? Are you blind to reality?

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        we all are. reality outside our senses and our constructs is the thing that we've been striving to get. that said....back to sleep.

        1. 0
          Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          again...agreed.



          To the thread:

          The prison you have decorated so well, filled with every type of gadget image is the only thing you know. Not ironic is that 'knowing' is said to be where the ENTIRE problem began. You were created to be something else, instead you choose to be just something (a believer, a non-believer, a scientist, a christian, a sock puppet). You are none of these things. Do you know what they tell children that is called: pretend; make believe; fantasy; denial; the terrible 2's; rebellion. So, the indulgence of your own mind remains, until no breath in you. Then, you'll find out either way...

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            It is very difficult to put it into words I realize. It becomes part knowing instead of full knowing.  And I find the more I engage in snake talk, the more I sacrifice the divine child. So you're right. It may not be a good idea to go down the monkey bar so much.

  7. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    but before that...

    there is no one old and new way. these are not absolutes. they are cyclical.

  8. TruthDebater profile image61
    TruthDebaterposted 6 years ago

    I think part of it has to do with us being conditioned to be biased to one belief or the other which creates the controversy. If all were unbiased instead of picking one side over the other, would there be more progress or more confusion?

  9. Jenna~sea profile image61
    Jenna~seaposted 6 years ago

    Sometimes i humor the idea that alot of people have saddly misinterpted the message that the bibleor even the Quoran may be sending,and just maybe its the nonbelivers that search for divine truth???( Just a Thought)

    1. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Dude, this thread n general and this post in particular just demonstrate the problem.  It's sad.

    2. Dave Barnett profile image62
      Dave Barnettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Hey Jenna Don't know you, but that's a very deep thought. Deserves applause. Awakening, opening the eyes. Misinterpretation is the main misunderstanding about what a certain somebody said. If a person reads what the person named Jesus actually said, and disregard the rest, it is NOT what has been taught. It is VERY eye opening and bears no resemblance to conventional Christianity. It is about us, as individual divine creations.

      1. Dave Barnett profile image62
        Dave Barnettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        There is no Santa Claus figure above us, there is only us, and if we've screwed everything up, and if we can't save ourselves then we aren't worth saving!

  10. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    These things can be easily checked online. And yet some of you are too lazy to confirm it. Oh not lazy. But afraid to have your neat world jumbled up and down and you have to learn something new? What works doesn't need fixing? Ignorance is persistent in that it believes it knows all there is to know.

    1. Dave Barnett profile image62
      Dave Barnettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Can't know that till you pass beyond, then who you gonna tell, everyone there already knows. (or not), Some think we just simply cease to exist, and in this particular universe that is more impossible than the existence of a life form beyond our understanding. Yet, HERE WE ARE!

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        as I said, if this is the mindset, then let's just all go to the beach. why think? why study biology? why study at all?

        The point is the pursuit of the unknowable is what pushes us to evolve. It is what created intelligence as we know it.

        We strive to know the unknowable because that is how we grow.

        1. 0
          china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Unknown I think - we can't know that it is unknowable until some kind of end surely - sorry to interject but I am bored and hot and should have gone to bed ages ago - you know how it is on a quiet Sunday and no-one worth arguing with on here at the moment in my areas of interest big_smile

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            so am I, hubpages forums are a bad habit. I'm going outside. Ciao everyone. Interject away!

    2. Beelzedad profile image60
      Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yet, I researched it and found that you were wrong. Who is the lazy one here?

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I am glad that you are reading up on it. If you look at mythology for instance you will find very interesting topics that explain the nature of myth and its relation to depth psychology. If your interest is earnest understanding of the argument, you will find it an eye opener as to why myth is very powerful.

        Movies are patterned against the mythic journey of the hero. If it does not, the movie fails. If it does, the movie is a major blockbuster. People are drawn to mythic plots for a reason. It resembles the events of the psyche.

        If however your interest is just to pick on me, then just pick on me. I really don't care.

        1. 0
          china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Myths do match our thought processes, but that is how they were made, someone thought them up - I guess to explain the unknown like the Asian turtle that carries the world on its back through space.  This does not mean that myths carry deep racial memories, just are written in the way we think.

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you for appreciating it.

            It is a product of the human mind, I agree. We have universal experiences like being born, being formed. Living inside the womb etc. Our body "remembers" how it evolved, its breakthroughs because it is encoded in our DNA.

            Myths transcend race. They cross racial boundaries. There are aspects of myth that recurs in every race despite the fact that there seems to be no connection between cultures.

            One recurring myth is the tree, and the man and the woman. In southeast asia, the myth of the tree being cut into half giving birth the Beauty and Strength (the names of the first woman and man)
            by a bird is such an apt symbolism of the left and right hemispheres of the brain being split into two by the medial brain. A brain associated with the evolution of birds.

            Although the culture colors the myth, the essence of the myth and its plots are universal.

            1. 0
              china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Well we all come from one family of monkeys somewhere way back then, and man as he is about now seems to go back way way further with every fossil find.  Without TV a good oral story can just keep on rolling, especially if it is in harmony with the way that we think.  Like the sonnet form - and the movie heroic story you mentioned above, we just think that way.  So the argument can go both ways - it is not impossible that myths have some foundation in fact which is unproveable I guess, or they are stories that last because we like them that way.  I have to go with the latter.

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                well, although I agree with you.The next question is why do we like them? Because the story is familiar. (not my opinion but the opinion of mythologists)

        2. Beelzedad profile image60
          Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Your pet theories are interesting but don't make a lot of sense.



          Nonsense. People are indoctrinated into religions and drawn to myths because of it.



          No one is picking on you, just correcting the parade of false information and pet theories you produce.

  11. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    Myth exists because the larger construct is terrifying to the pitiful snake brain who has not recognized it too contains that knowledge, albiet instinctively.

    1. Dave Barnett profile image62
      Dave Barnettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Very good Cecil- I like it. I think that's a celtic snake!

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        It's all the snakes in totems, carvings and whatnot, we all instinctively know its influence.

        1. Dave Barnett profile image62
          Dave Barnettposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          maybe a link to a primordial truth, ay? I'm Scottish so I like the celtic snake, but my kin are tribal, so they are tuned more to the totems.

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            oooh... I have yet to read up more on Celtic lore! The Celtic structures are curious!

            1. 0
              china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              You were discussing the snake in mythology, the fact that it appears in similar myths over most of the world could only mean that it was orally transmitted from one single set of myth stories before any time we know much about?  I always stands for knowledge I think.

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Hmm...well it is more plausible that it just recurs everywhere. We instinctively associate snakes to power and primal instincts.

                While there may be some instances of culture contamination, what is more interesting is why they survive and why they are believed.

  12. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    I can understand why myths survive. Why they are still believed is another matter. Mental illness caused by indoctrination perhaps?  smile

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Woowoo does not seem to be able to get her head around the fact that it "is always about theism and atheism" - (which it actually isn't - it is usually theism vs theism) because a large group of the population can be molded and persuaded to give a lot of money and power to a small group of the population by coercing them into believing the myth is real.

      And they are very resistant to any explanation of where the myths originated that does not include a super Daddy in the Sky that will give them a reward if they say certain things.

      I have given up and now use ridicule, rational argument and reason - not necessarily in that order.

      Woowoo thinks that being condescending and claiming a higher understanding is the way to go. 1800 years of this not working is enough to persuade me that a more aggressive approach is in order. wink

    2. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      well the impact of the biblical myth in your case is like the hydra. you can cut off all of its heads with a sword and it will only produce more heads.  The only way to kill it is to make it look at Medusa in the eye.

      Medusa is the knowledge of the nature of the ego. Look at why it has power over you. Persues looked at a mirror. A mirror-- which means he looked at his own ego and disembodied it. Meaning, it removed its ability to control the body. So to immobilize the monstrous egos of the external beasts, like people who impose their beliefs on you, according to myth...the way is to expose the  ego, the fears of the internal snake.

      Myth as history is so effing destructive. It is meant to be a vehicle of understanding not confusion. But people use it to hide or to control. That is why, it is very important to put it in its proper context. Myth is the language of the consciousness. Whether mechanized or not, it still behaves and operate in certain ways. Our myths subconsciously instructs us about these ways.

      For some people, the first step is to disembody the external myth and to replace it with one that is harmonious to the internal landscape. For others it is to embrace a myth that calls them to take their own journeys, and sometimes these myths are handed down.

      No can say what myth works best. We have to have our own personal myths. In this way, myths have a good reason to exist.

      1. 0
        china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        By looking itself in the eye - doesn't that mean understanding its existence, knowing that it is just myth kills it?

        I gotta go out and eat something before I fade away - but I will be back ! smile

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          yes, knowing it is just the myth of others imposed on you. But myth that captures your imagination is not bad. It contains something you wish to learn.

          Like in the case of Avatar and Return of the Jedi. We know they are just stories. But how many people watched these movies over and over. The story had a coded instruction our consciousness wanted to learn!

      2. Beelzedad profile image60
        Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Is there anyone other than yourself who proposes this theory?



        Myths are fine for general entertainment and Disney movies, but that's about it. All they actually do when compared with reality is confuse and obfuscate.

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Oh, yes...there are many.

          I'll give you the most prominent:

          Joseph Campbell, he has an entire library of work.

          mythologist Joseph Campbell,
          archaeologist and archaeomythologist Marija Gimbutas,
          psychologist James Hillman

          and more recent ones would be
          pinkola estes and thomas moore.


          and disney movies are using myth to make millions. Walt Disney was into the study of the esoteric and he embedded his stories with esoteric symbols.

          The Red Rose, the name of sleeping beauty as "Aurora" blessed by fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. These are all symbols.

          1. Beelzedad profile image60
            Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, those folks lead me here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurgan_hypothesis

            Please take note that none of these folks share your pet theories. smile

            1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
              ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Then research on the Mitochondrial Eve. Go.

              1. Beelzedad profile image60
                Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Once again, you toss out something else that does not support your pet theories. Sorry. Keep trying. smile

                http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/mitoeve.html

                1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                  ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  read up, don't troll around. You expect me to believe you can really read up on it in the same minute you are talking to me. Keep on reading.

                  1. Beelzedad profile image60
                    Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Again, your pet theories are not supported anywhere that you have provided. smile

  13. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    Wow. peoples responses are very different aren't they?
    I thought Avatar was the weakest most patronising and moralising pile of claptrap I have seen for years. smile
    The way movies build their archetypes for characters should not need to be this crass! smile

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It was a hit, with a cult following Earnest. Just like the Jedi.

      it was the critics who hated it. The masses went in droves.

      and by the way, the critics loved 9 and nobody saw it.

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yep, I know it did well at the box office. smile So did most of Cecil B's B graders.

        Most of those were ninth-rate too!
        I'm with the critics on these two. smile

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          well I personally like indies more.  But the formula is there because some bozo turned Joseph Campbell's path of the hero, to Hollywood's path to big bucks.

          cut off the head, more will sprout out.

      2. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Aww - Woowoo - don't you know that the studios manipulate this stuff? And no matter how dismal the public response - it would have had a "cult following" and been "a huge success"? What is more telling is the speed with which Avatar went to DVD for £9.99. wink

        Naive.

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I was part of that manipulative machinery Mark. Warner Brothers is my favorite client because of all the free stuff we got. For my birthday my clients gave me a bugs bunny t-shirt and mug that i used all the nights trying to friggin edit bad execution of a film into something that looks nice on preview.

          If first weekend succeeds, its the marketing. If it becomes a blockbuster its the movie. aren't you in the movie industry? shouldn't you know this?

          If the archetype is wrong, no matter how you sell it, they won't buy.

          It has to hit that universal note.

  14. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    Mark Knowles wrote:

    "No - I purposely ridicule - because I am not really speaking to them - I am breaking a meme."

    lol
    Having an Ephalbic episode Mark?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pSXQbEO_28

    goodluck!

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Please don't nail me to a cross, Woowoo.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Ephalba: I think I'll try defying gravity. And you can't pull me down!
        Glinda: Can't you understand you're having delusions of grandeur!"
        Ephalba: I'm through accepting limits, just because someone says they are so! Some things I cannot change, but till I try I'll never know.


        What is crucifying about that? People go through Ephalbic episodes when they go through oppressive lying Wizards who are actually quite impotent in the end! It can be a good thing. Particularly when you actually find love in the end with someone who sees you for who you truly are within.

        Myth is powerful in that it can portray internal events dramatically. Wicked is a great play!

  15. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    You are truly taking it too personally, Mark. I totally understand what you're going through. People need to go through what they need to go through. But you are terrorizing the munchkins of OZ. Somebody has to speak for them! They need the Wizard until the real one arrives in their personal lives. And the real one is none other than themselves.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Woowoo - you do it your way - I do it mine. You are not a good listener are you? Oh - that is right - you have all the answers.

      The Munchkins are quite capable of speaking for themselves, and I assure you that being this patronizing about the poor dears is  more damaging in the long run.

      Because this is exactly what their religion does to them and this tends to turn them passive/aggressive wolves in sheep's  clothing.

      See - "Little Red Riding Hood" for a better understanding. lol

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I'm not trying to change you mark. I'm just saying there are less grating way to express what you know while allowing others to express theirs.

        "Don't be offended by my frank analysis, think of it as personality dialysis" -Glinda

        What I am saying is only patronizing to those who have unnaturally bloated egos.

        Afterall, the message that the Messiah is within is not unknown. But people need to go through what they need to go through. You can't yank them into your disillusionment.

        Share what you know. That is enough. But if you need to terrorize the munchkins, then maybe because the munchkins weren't nice to you in school. Just saying, you can be who you want to be, everybody has that right. Not just you.

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Oh and this is my song for you:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hXU6Sv2 … e=related\

          wink get a sense of humour mark.

        2. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          LOL You really do have a listening disorder don't you?

          It doesn't work like that Woowoo. Although - your lack of understanding in this area is interesting to me, and I genuinely wish I could go back to your level of naiveté. I can only assume you never read enough Grimm brothers as a child.

          Once the box has been opened it is all but impossible to get the lid back on. People have been trying your way for the last several thousand years, and the crunch time has arrived.

          For things to evolve, the past version must be wiped out - this is a perfectly natural occurrence and nothing for you to concern yourself with. The grown ups are dealing with it.

          I understand why you need to cling to the old ways. They certainly are comforting - like an old blanket. wink

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I am listening. I am just saying Karl Marx had the same idea.
            The Romantics...remember. We had this conversation before and the result is Communism (or Socialism calling itself Communism)

            So, do what you want, but I have every right to do what I want. And what I want to do is, every time you mock someone for believing in G-d, I will show you Medusa's face.

            You got a mission. well so do I. So not that I expect you to change. I just gotta do what I gotta do, just like you.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I totally understand Woowoo. Changing your understanding of the world is hard - especially in this case.

              As long as you are aware of the complete hypocrisy of your actions and understand that you doing exactly what you are preaching against is precisely the problem with religion.

              Too bad you cannot see you are perpetuating the myth. But - that is how it gets you. wink

              1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                myth perpetuates because it is the language of our consciousness. it does not need my help. the only way to beat it is to understand it....zzzzzz....

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  LOL

                  We are going to have to agree to disagree, Woowoo. wink

                  To understand it - you need to break it down. Odd I never see you attempting to genuinely explain to the "other side" that their beliefs are simply mythological constructs to explain the human psyche. Why is that? wink

                  1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Oh I do, i've had my moments with Brenda. But they get it or they just go silent. They are mostly very polite.

  16. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    goodnight Elphie...wink goodluck freeing the flying monkeys.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Sweet dreams. big_smile

  17. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    Ok, I really got to sleep now.

    under theism and atheism is us and our struggle to understand our own consciousness. IS there a G-d? Or is there not? Is just a metaphor for the greater question:

    what are we and where did we come from?

  18. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    I'm game.
    I'd say we are sentient animals with poor skills of discernment.

    Many other animals running on instinct are better equipped than we are in many ways, such as making judgements that matter.

    Humans destroy their own air and water, most animals don't do that as far as I know. Our dog knows we are upset before we do. We have lousy hearing and eyesight, our DNA is a mess and mental illness strikes one in five of us.

    Such madness as externalising a subconscious entity as crazed as the sky fairy in the form of the most unlikely story the world has ever heard is an example of just how useless it can be owning a brain.
    It is 2010 fer gords sake! We know about the sub-conscious now!

    No need for hate and fear from above, it's all in the box on top of our shoulders, and scientifically supportable. smile

  19. 0
    china manposted 6 years ago

    Well if you all have gone to bed then I can sneak in big_smile

    Reading the thread I can't see where CCBT and our Mark really disgree.  He, quite rightly in my opinion, fights tooth and nail against the idea of imposing myths on society as fact, CCBT is trying to say that myths are deeply attractive to our subconcious, or whatever.

    The argument surely is whether the myths have any basis in fact carried down as race memory or something. Myth-ology is a well explored subject and there is plenty of evidence to show that they are definately racial stories if I can use that term to describe them. Where they come from, either from the imagination of some ancient storyteller trying to explain huge concepts to villagers and tribes-people that caught their imagination enough to be passed on and on and eventually down to us - or if they have any basis in actual events can be argued forever, and maybe both can be true.

    We don't know if some dinosaur things survived into the era that included man, just because we find no evidence is just that, so stories of dragons could just conceivably have a basis in fact. The same goes for little people as a basis for fairies and elves and whatnots - there is plenty of archaeological evidence to show that some creatures miniaturised at different periods - horses for instance once were around half a metre high for some period somewhere, human like creatures the same, maybe.

    But then there are the metaphysical myths like the Oedipal myth, it is too close to the mental condition of coming of age that it is surely invented, maybe elaborating a real story.  To assume that ancient people were not capable of very high level thinking, maybe higher than ours, is a myth in itself. If we are to believe that Plato et al thought all that stuff up in one short period of time is to ignore that he was probably just discussing and teaching material handed down orally, his pupils were just the first to write it down )as they had handily just invented writing that could cope with it).

    Did people meet and talk to an invisible super being - that is so clearly a way of explaining the big questions when we knew little about our Universe, like where do we come from and how did we get here.  Well we know that now and the big book of myths has been shown to be wrong in so many ways that it is clearly just that - myth.

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      You know there are many books that can tell you about these things. Jung's idea of a collective consciousness and the aryan myth's time to return into consciousness brought about the holocaust.

      It was campbell who clarified that the myths are more universal than racial memory.

      And to clarify. My stand is this.

      Myths have a function. They are there to instruct us of the drama of our consciousness. They become oppressive if we do not see them as symbols but as history. They are there to teach us about us in a language that can be understood by our consciousness.

  20. Diane Inside profile image87
    Diane Insideposted 6 years ago

    If theism and atheism is such a tired subject for you, why post this thread?

  21. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    Gravity. It is all because of gravity. smile

  22. 0
    china manposted 6 years ago

    because we love to argue tired old stuff maybe ?  well they do actually, i just like to drop in now and again and leave random stuff that nobody takes any notice of big_smile

  23. 0
    china manposted 6 years ago

    You need Ethics - you are talking about Morals.

    The abuse of children, sexual or otherwise, does immense harm to the child both physically but more importantly mentally.

    Therefore if you did not want that to happen to you when you were a kid then you should not do it to others. 

    And I agree with Mark except I would be quite happy to see serious child molesters and child pornographers shot without any problem whatsoever, and yes I would be happy to do the job.

  24. 0
    Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago

    Marcus -I know this is not your quote, but I wanted to point this out, seeing it applies. Again, removing "Daddy Sky Fairy Star Goat Spaghetti Monster", then Nature becomes default -in essence a god. The acceptable level is clear: sh!te happens, which is a general social apathy. It gives way to the following quote:

    Note the Quality, the apex, the united humanism of sensation (hope-faith) with equation (logic). Unified Choice. Notice an absence of something...

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Yes. Logical deduction, correct grammar and proper usage of the English language. wink

      You have also jumped to the erroneous conclusion that nature by default becomes a god. Tsunamis/accidents/floods etc do not happen because of social apathy.

  25. 0
    china manposted 6 years ago

    There is thread for having a fight up at the moment - you two are perfect for it - come on over.  BTW - it is a male female catfight so bring weapons.

  26. 0
    china manposted 6 years ago

    You two should really really come over to the argument thread where insults are required to post big_smile

    1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I don't care for that. I am interested in ideas.

  27. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    "I have followed your wild goose chases enough times to know you never do your homework or even read the sites you suggest. Try again."

    uhm. read my profile. do your homework.

    1. Beelzedad profile image60
      Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      "Non-fiction Writer, Still Life Photographer and certified Yoga  teacher"

      Oh yes, I can see your scientific background would give you ample reasoning to discuss things like physics and psychology.

      So, did you learn physics from photography or yoga?

  28. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    lol
    i mean what's funnier is why i bother.

    1. 0
      china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I have been asleep around 8 hours - and you two are still at it - exactly the same point at where I went to sleep.  You sure you wouldn't prefer to come over to the argument thread big_smile  at least there it is the whole point to put up fake ideas and argue them big_smile

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Oh really? what's the name of the thread?

        1. 0
          china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Anyone in the mood for a little argument

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            geez...yeah I'll drop by. smile

  29. ceciliabeltran profile image86
    ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

    Anyway, my point is. Mythology encompasses all myth even biblical myth (they are stories of the ancients not lies). Jung and Freud have identified the language of myth and dreams to be related. It is how our brain encodes all of our knowledge.

    The debate about theism and atheism is a debate that fixates on myth being historical accounts.

    Myth is not historical in a literal sense, although most of them may have been based on actual historical events embellished with symbolism to increase its emotional impact.

    To continually talk about myth as false or true is a primitive discussion. Myth is one of the gateways to how our mind works, and understanding it will bring us greater understanding of what we are and where we came from.

    1. 0
      china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      This would be right i think - and it is also how most stories are written today. The issues of myth and legend definately resonate with our thinking process in some ways.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Glad you agree, China Man. big_smile

        The human brain is indeed a pretty interesting thing. smile

        1. 0
          china manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          The thing is we create myths all the time based on a bit of fact and a bit of imagination or something else normally unrelated.  Urban myths are a really simple way of seeing how it is done, also the seductive manner of myth that perpetuates them. There is an urban myth that Osama Bin Laden is living quietly in America and has even had hospital treatment there.  The idea is ridiculous on the one hand but so possible on the other that it 'catches' our own imagination; same with the idea that some sections of the US Administration knew about 9/11 and let it happen to confirm the idea of terrorism in the US and the world generally - ridiculous of course, but given Bushes record and thinking horrifically possible, just possible.  Then the myths feed on and into conspiracy theory.  It is all about the unknown, when information is with-held, or simply not known, theories rise to the top, if science or philosophy nails something and it agrees with the myth then it is claimed the myth must be based in fact, but it is just that the ancient story tellers got it right. Many or most myths are proven to be srong and they then turn into sci-fi type stories etc.

    2. Beelzedad profile image60
      Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Nope. That is entirely wrong. Freud NEVER said anything like that. Please do your homework before posting.



      You can support your pet theory with evidence, if you wish. smile

    3. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago

      Once again - you are twisting what I said to meet your needs to  create an argument. Admittedly - this  is typical of your dishonest approach to this discussion. I clearly stated that "I am not making the claims that are impossible to substantiate."

      That is all. I never said anything else. I never said "with observable data." These claims are impossible to substantiate in any way shape or form. And - wow -- look at you making an assertion without providing any evidence.

      Plus - you are once again being dishonest by suggesting that I share these "assumptions" with other people, which is the real issue. Not that anyone believes something - but that they feel the need to evangelize and put this belief system forwards as the "right" way to live. In some extreme cases (the last 2000 years) even go to the trouble of having these beliefs written into secular law to force other people to follow their moral code.

      Have you actually read any history books?


      I think we will both agree that a forum such as this is an impractical venue to substantially make an argument as to where religious beliefs derive from, and how the dogma has evolved into a control tool. Feel free to follow some of Woowoo's links - but for the moment - Holding a belief that you will live forever - which is at the root of the Christian faith - is based in a fear of death and the unknown, and was not at the root of the original teachings.

      My point is - and always has been - that it is impossible to compromise with people making assertions that - first of all are given by divine will - and secondly cannot be substantiated. They will always have the advantage because they do not need to back up their claims in any way shape or form. Oddly enough - you are now insisting that I substantiate my claims.

      One rule for the religionist one for me? Is that it? Sounds familiar. Shall I just make up my own god to give me instructions directly into mu head - and then I can start making baseless assertions that do not need to be substantiated? wink


      Sure - looking forward to it because the only argument I have ever seen you make has been directed at non-believers and instructing them that what they should really do is admit that they cannot disprove any of these claims and therefore they are perfectly valid. Sorry - no - claiming to have a god telling you what to do to justify your actions is not a valid argument. And yes - I do genuinely think that religion is a destructive negative force that we would be better off discarding.



      And what are the real issues Don? That I should listen to the Muslims and the Christians fighting more aggressively every day and accept that because their claims are impossible to substantiate in any way shape or form - they both have a perfectly valid viewpoint that I should respect and learn to live with? Who is on the crusade here exactly? Grow up - look in a mirror and read a few history books.



      Attempting to force your beliefs on some one else by trying to scare them is always a hateful approach. And - it is at the root of the Christian/Muslim faith. But - you have made my argument for me that fear is at the root of many people's belief.

      It is hateful, and on a personal level - it took many years to get the fear out of my head having had it insidiously inserted by adults as a child. Child abuse Don. Child abuse. Is this one of the "real" issues? wink



      Hmm - personal attacks. Not going to respond. Typical of you though. Accuse me of being rude by attacking me. Sorry you have such a low opinion of me. You ability to discern the intentions behind the actions is apparently a little one-sided.


      Lovely rant - hope you feel better. Please try reading a few history books and - I don't know - maybe you could give me a dozen or so examples of  a compromise being reached with a religious perspective that did not involve force and conflict - usually armed?

      Once again - you show an extremely low opinion of me and are apparently unaware that I formed my opinion of and attitude towards religion years before I even heard of Dawkins.

      I have decided that ridicule is a more gentle way of getting rid of religion than any of the other approaches that have been tried ion the past.

      I still don't know what your approach is other than to tell me you think I should behave the way you want me to.

      Dishonest, lop-sided argument Don. I look forward to your hub which I hope will be a little more equitable, but - I will not be responding to any more of your personal attacks and unsubstantiated rants.

      1. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        A few posts ago I said your approach is counter-productive, but I wanted to show you, rather than explain it. The most effective way of doing that was to send you a post from yourself, or at least someone posting in a Mark-Knowles-style. The intention was not to genuinely offend, but to test my own hypothesis. So what did that post, and your reaction to it show?

        It showed what I've been trying to explain: that when someone uses aggressive rhetoric, tries to ridicule, or belittle you, or your views, the natural response is to either maintain the aggressive rhetoric, escalate it, or completely disengage from meaningful discussion altogether (as it happens, you chose a combination of the first and third options).

        As soon as you felt I was attacking you personally, or trying to belittle you in some way, you made a few sharp comments of your own, then said "I will not be responding". That's a natural reaction we as human beings make when we feel we're being attacked. It's the intellectual equivalent of fight or flight. So what? Well the same reasons you did that, is the same reasons theists who are actually open to discussion, withdraw from meaningful discussion and become defensive. They simply do what you just did. So what's the problem with that?

        I understand your view is that meaningful discussion with theists is impossible because 'divine will' and unsubstantiated claims are impossible to argue with. As a counter to that though I'd point out a number of things. The first is that theistic belief and its expression through various religions has undergone changes before historically, and there's no reason to suggest it can't continue to do that.

        At the risk of telling you what you already know, one example is how Judaism underwent a revolutionary transformation resulting in a completely different expression of Judaic theistic belief. Core Judaic theistic beliefs remained the same, but found new expression which we of know as Christianity. As you know, it developed through certain key figures, then developed further as a result of deliberation and discussion in forums such as the council of Nicaea where changes from Judaic beliefs were ratified. An example of how this expression of theistic belief differed from Judaism is the attitude towards gentiles in relation to Jewish communities. This attitude is exemplified within Christian teaching texts such as the story of the Samaritan. Likewise Christianity itself has undergone transformations. For example, in response to perceived injustices and corruption within the church of the time, Martin Luther developed his 95 theses which he posted in protest. This challenged Roman Catholic doctrine and practices which were the dominant expression of Christianity at the time. As you know this new expression of Christianity, became known as Protestantism. So theistic belief can and does change in relation to its cultural and social context. In that sense it is not static, but dynamic and that capacity for change is well documented. So what?

        So within the various interpretations of what the 'divine will' is, there is room to manoeuvre. I did my own little test of this. On a previous thread I asked theists on the forum if re-interpretation of some of their beliefs is consistent with the core of their beliefs *. The response from most theists that responded in a way that related to the original question, was in the affirmative. What does that show? Well it was a very small sample group, but at the very least it refutes the assertion that discussion with all theists is meaningless because arguing with 'divine will' is impossible. Because you are not in fact arguing with 'divine will', you are arguing with an interpretation of what it is. The fact is, as shown by that thread, there are theists who recognise that although 'divine will' is perfect and immutable according to their beliefs, the interpretation of divine will is not. Those theists are therefore open to re-evaluation of those interpretations, but that kind of discussion requires trust. The approach you, and the wider 'new atheist' movement takes, of ridiculing any and every theist, therefore does harm in the context of having discussions with theists around such re-evaluations which could bear fruit in the fullness of time.
        *(A Question for (some) Theists

        Another counter argument to the reasons for your approach is that the assertion religion is 'evil' doesn't fit available data. There is a growing body of evidence that religion promotes human health and well-being. 79% of studies looking at a religion-health relationship have concluded that religion has a beneficial effect on mental and physical health (Harold G Koenig and Harvey J. Cohen, The Link Between Religion and Health: Psychoneuroimmunology and the Faith Factor, Oxford University Press 2002). Of course there are pathological types of religious belief, but that doesn't invalidate the results from these evidence-based studies. So the characterisation of religion as evil is refuted by objective observations of the affect of religion on individuals. But hang on. Why do we apply the standard of objective observation to arguments about theism, when theism itself does not use such criteria? Isn't that one standard for theism, another standard for everything else?

        Two reasons: 1) in most cases that's the criteria the anti-theist himself is applying, the standard by which he is considering theism. Therefore counter arguments to the anti-theist position are more meaningful (to the anti- theist) if they conform to his own standards; And 2) Because unlike theism, which by its very nature can't be substantiated by objective observation, some arguments about theism, can. The only reason we don't prove or refute theism with objective observation is because we can't, otherwise we would. However objective observation has been proven to be very useful in describing phenomenon, so it makes sense to utilise that process of acquiring knowledge where it's possible.

        Another counter argument as to why this approach is counter-productive, is that ridicule, in this context, is a form of coercion. What context? The context of using it in an attempt to force someone to behave (or think) differently to the way they already do by applying some form of pressure. What pressure? Pressure that stems from the desire of human beings to feel accepted within social groups (commonly known as 'peer pressure'). Granted this does not (usually) cause physically harmful, but used in this way it is a form of coercion by the very definition of that word. What of it?

        History has shown that coercion (whatever form it takes) when applied to theism, rarely accomplishes what the group applying the coercion wants it to. In July 1954 The Communist Party of the Soviet Union increased its commitment to atheism in its schools. School books declared religion malevolent with slogans like "Religion is a Perverse Reflection of the World" and "Religion has become the medium of the spiritual enslavement of the masses". They decreed that all subjects should be flooded with atheism. The result? In the 1990s after the collapse of the former Soviet Union a resurgence in religious belief, with at least a third of the population professing some form of theistic belief. So despite much more forceful attempts at indoctrinating the young, and coercing those with existing theistic belief, theism continued. Moreover, those attempts were focused on children, yet some of those children still formed religious beliefs as adults. Coercion (even in the form of state repression) simply does not work with theism as shown in this an many other examples throughout history. There is no evidence to suggest ridicule is more likely to succeed where Crucifixions, fires, lions, and state repression have failed. Indeed comparative analysis shows that modernisation, with the associated urbanisation, communications technology etc which it entails, leads more to a decline in religious activity than any form of organised coercion (Campbell and curtis 1994).

        Lastly there is an ethical question to be addressed. If someone is receiving some benefit as an individual through theistic belief, is it ethical to ridicule them for that belief, or try to dissuade them from it? The non theist could ask in return, is it ethical not to rid them of a false belief. But there's a problem with that thinking. It hinges on theism actually being a false belief. We can't genuinely say it is. Whereas, we can genuinely say that theism enhances psychological coping  (Kenneth I. Pargament, The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice, Guildford Press 1997)  (W. R. Miller and C. E. Thorson, Spirituality, Religion and Health: An Emerging Research Field, American Psychologist, 2003). So the question needs to be reframed: is it ethical to try to dissuade someone, via deliberate  ridicule, of a belief which we can't say is false, but which empirical evidence suggests can be beneficial to the individual? If the moral imperative implied by the word ethical is counter to the philosophical sensibilities of the enquirer, then we can replace 'ethical' with 'helpful' and ask the question again. This question is yet to be properly addressed by those who employ a similar approach to yourself.

        So the intention of the last post was to illustrate a point (which I hope it did) and lead on to the further comments about the reaction it caused in you as the recipient, then address that reaction and how it relates to your chosen style of communication with theists, as well as my reasons for thinking that approach unwarranted and unhelpful in the wider scheme of things. So it was a bit of an experiment, albeit a clumsy one, but an experiment nonetheless.

        And I think the result supported the hypothesis that a deliberate, negative style of communication is counter-productive to meaningful discussion which I think you knew already. But in relation to the theism/non theism debate, it's doubly counterproductive, because there are theists, as I've pointed out, that are open to the kinds of discussions required for theism and non-theism to sit comfortably with each other in society. So, for reasons I've expressed, the shotgun approach of ridiculing all theistic belief, and all theists is tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bath water. I won't flatter myself by thinking my comments will persuade you (or anyone else) to alter your approach, but I hope at the very least it offers some food for thought in what is an interesting and important debate for society.

    4. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago

      No ill feeling here. You have expressed your belief and I accept that this is what you believe. I do not agree with you - but I do not agree with you based on the fact that this claim you make does not fit in with my understanding and observation of the universe. Not from some "glib scientific dismissal."

      I make jokes also, and you should probably take this into context when observing as a third party. When I call some one Woowoo, who habitually calls me "PC" there is no ill will involved - and - I do not take life or this forum that seriously.

      Speaking of which - far as I am concerned - LOLOL is a perfectly valid response to many - such as the one who emailed me to make sure I understood he wanted me to f*** off, then told me to go shoot myself in the head and unilateral decided that myths are not myths because he sed so. lol

      What else can you do but laugh at things like that?

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Its a conversation. A forum conversation. Sometimes your eyebrows raise a little but that's what makes it fun.

    5. TruthDebater profile image61
      TruthDebaterposted 6 years ago

      I think the atheism or theism debate is our motivation to explore, but this is often overshadowed in the infinite fights and disagreements. Whether atheist or theist, a God or lack of has been one of our greatest exploration tools in history.

      1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
        ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Lets face it. Not everybody likes a know-it-all. Just as I don't like know-nothings.

        1. TruthDebater profile image61
          TruthDebaterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Ha, I thought I was being subtle this time. I only claim to know a little if anything, no where close to all.

          1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
            ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I've always been a know it all. lol when harry potter came out, my sister called me and said she had a flashback of when we we were in school. (good thing she's pretty)

    6. 0
      Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago

      This is in the hub trough, err, feed. You are you feeding Ceci?

      1. TruthDebater profile image61
        TruthDebaterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        I am feeding the truth. ha. What is the hub trough? Was it already written?

        1. 0
          Twenty One Daysposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Hub Trough = the RSS Feed Page.
          I recently stumbled on it while in the Hubalicious Contest.

    7. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      you know einstien-face with demon name, the only reason I bother to answer you is this. mythology is the way to understand why people are engaged by theism and a way to bring sanity into the conversation of the bible and how it shaped our culture.

      If I allow you to detract people from learning more about it because of your false claim that you're on a wild goose chase when you just skimmed through links without reading them and read wiki,
      then the opportunity to raise the level of awareness of people who really do benefit from it will be lost.

      I don't care about what you think. You need to do something else with your life man. I am here to work and get the google hits. I don't know why you're here.

      1. Beelzedad profile image60
        Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        More personal insults in light of an argument.



        Again, that has nothing to do with your pet theory, it is a strawman.



        Yet, you've provided nothing that remotely concerns your pet theory for others to learn.



        Yes, I know, that's why you keep repeating your mantra over and over again and only offering up personal insults instead.



        Is that the reason for your pet theory, to get google hits? Too bad you have spread disinformation in order to do it.



        That should none of your concern. What should be your concern is trying to find a shred of evidence to support your pet theory. You didn't. smile

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Here I found a perfect resource just for you :

          The Idiot's Guide to World Mythology:

          "Depth Psychology is closely linked to the study of myth due to its use of archetypes to explain the deeper meanings behind human experiences and behavior."

          "Myth in Depth Psychology, is the collective wisdom of humanity being expressed by symbolic storytelling"
          Page 88, part 2 Heroes

          "Go to www.pacifica.edu for more information (home of OPUS foundation)"

          http://books.google.com/books?id=f-RsCs … mp;f=false

          And for the record, describing the icons you choose to represent yourself is NOT a personal attack. If you say woman hiding behind a book, that is not a personal attack either. Why you choose a demon's name on Einstein's face is beyond me. So if you find it insulting, change it because I am just describing the way your describe yourself.

          Your comments are annoying because of what they imply.
          You want to be spoon-fed links that you can find yourself. JUST TYPE MYTHOLOGY, depth psychology and joseph campbell on google and hundreds of links will appear. And out of all that you choose wiki...now that is sad. But that's ok. I can go on and on about it.

          1. Beelzedad profile image60
            Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Was there supposed to be something there that supported your pet theory? If there was, I didn't see it. Please point out the exact article, paragraphs, etc.

            Or, just copy/paste the relevant evidence that supports your pet theory.



            Yes, those are ad homs. Please take the time to understand the Ad Hominem Fallacy. I haven't reported you yet, but if you continue to insult me, I will.



            Of course, they serve to expose your pet theory as unsupported. smile



            Repeating yourself does not give validity to your pet theory. Sorry. smile

            1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
              ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              Okay at this point I know what's wrong. You probably don't understand archetypes and the foundations of Jungian psychology.

              But wait, what are you getting riled at and threatening me for? I thought I was LOL? You asked for proof, I showed it to you. And yet even when its right there--you cannot see it. I am proving that it is an established area of study and research. I don't know what you're looking for. My claim is always MYTH and DREAMS are the language of the unconscious and are not to be taken literally. I don't know what else is not clear about the links I sent you and the quotes I wrote down.

              I wrote the description of depth psychology as being related to mythology, because mythology is the source of archetypes, which is largely what depth psychology uses. archetypal symbols are found in dreams and is the basis of jungian psychology. I am already over educating you on mythology. It is beyond hub level of information.

              the language of dreams and myth are the same. so theism and atheism is arguing something that should not be argued.

              whatever you think my pet theory is, it probably isn't.

              people can read but not everybody will have the background to understand.

              1. Beelzedad profile image60
                Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Again, this has nothing to do with me.



                Threatening YOU? Why are you lying now?



                There was nothing you presented that supported that theory. Sorry.



                THEY DID NOT SUPPORT YOUR PET THEORY!!! HELLO!!!



                No, you are not. Stop lying, please.



                Nonsense. You have not supported that pet theory.



                You have repeated it over and over again like a mantra, no one could miss it.



                Yes, you've made that quite evident.

                But, since you've gone from insulting me to lying, I am done with you. I didn't mind following up on your links even though they were a colossal waste of time, and I didn't even mind the personal insults as that just eroded your credibility even more, but I will not put up with lies.

                Later. smile

                1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
                  ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  No, not really.

                  You're posts are hilarious, really.lol

                  why:

                  1. you call Depth Psychology "my pet theory"
                  2. even when I quoted verbatim what it is, and joseph campbell's work, ya still don't get it.

                  So conclusion. hilarious.lol
                  I am not insulting you, I'm insulting the stupidity of your comments. You didn't threaten to report me? Not my style to lie, don't need to. read your own words mister.

                  Your comments on this thread are thin and pathetic. You're not countering my claims, you're just saying I'm not credible, it's a pet theory and I'm lying.

                  quote the dictionary and wiki once again, please. Make me laugh!

                  Or better yet try another thread. Maybe your style will work there. big_smile

        2. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Happy now? big_smile

          I have more...

          1. Beelzedad profile image60
            Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I saw nothing that supported your pet theory. Sorry, try again. Or. just copy/paste the relative evidence here for us to see rather than tossing out useless links to book reviews, tv shows and Jung. This is getting very tiresome. thanks.

    8. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      For those who are above Idiot's Guide Knowledge here's a good resource:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=AD3XAA … CE0Q6AEwBw

      It is a book list of the exact connection of religion, myth and dreams.

    9. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      myth-dreams-symbols  by jungian psychologist
      http://www.mythsdreamssymbols.com/woodman.html

    10. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      The mythological unconscious:

      http://www.jungnewyork.com/book_mu.shtml

    11. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      For raw data on Dreams and Myth (you have to pay but the titles are there and if you're really interested...well then pay)

      http://apa.sagepub.com/content/vol2/issue3/

      read the one from Martin Wangh titled Day residue in Dream and Myth

    12. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      Finally here it is:
      Joseph Campbell's Thou art That (you are that)

      "Thou Art That is a compilation of previously uncollected essays and lectures by Joseph Campbell that focus on the Judeo-Christian tradition. Here Campbell explores common religious symbols, reexamining and reinterpreting them in the context of his remarkable knowledge of world mythology. According to Campbell, society often confuses the literal and metaphorical interpretations of religious stories and symbols.

      In this collection, he eloquently reestablishes these metaphors as a means to enhance spiritual understanding and mystical revelation. With characteristic verve, he ranges from rich storytelling to insightful comparative scholarship. Included is editor Eugene Kennedy's classic interview with Campbell in The New York Times Magazine, which brought the scholar to the public's attention for the first time.

      Reviews:

      [A] romp through the Judeo-Christian tradition, a lightning-paced tour with an extremely knowledgeable and provocative guide to illuminate some intriguing, untrammeled paths.... breathtakingly clear in describing mind-opening concepts. -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

      Campbell the armchair speaker... shines through, bouyant with life and with comments that are eerily relevant to current times. -- Parabola

      Overarching [the explorations in this book] is the personal yet universal message of immanence implicit in the Sanskrit saying translated by the book's title, which is a statement locating the essential mystery of religion within the person--every person. Excerpts from postlecture question-and-answer periods and Kennedy's 1979 New York Times Magazine interview of Campbell round out a great way to start a series. -- Booklist, Ray Olson

      This little gem of a book... will serve well anyone attempting to grapple with the symbolic nature of both religious and mythical images and experiences. -- Dennis Patrick Slattery, Zion's Herald"

      http://www.jcf.org/new/index.php?catego … 999_wid=64

    13. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      So if anyone has any more doubts about the connection between myth (particularly the archetypal myth), dreams, depth psychology and the language of the unconscious.

      You can purchase PBS NOVA What are dreams here:

      http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.js … h&008=

      In this show you will see the purpose of strange language you find in myth in dreams, as theorized by Jung.

    14. ceciliabeltran profile image86
      ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago

      Theism and atheism is founded on a misunderstanding of myth.
      The study of mythology will move the conversation away from true not true...but more why and what for.

      Thanks wink

      1. Beelzedad profile image60
        Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        If you say so. Myth is defined as "A traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people."

        Notice it has nothing to do with your pet theory? smile

        1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
          ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Really? ok, all I can say is lol
          Even when its there in plain sight you still can't see it. You know what, don't bother. That's ok. I think I've given it enough of my time. lol

          1. Beelzedad profile image60
            Beelzedadposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            More lies. If it was in plain sight, you would have copied/pasted it here, but you didn't. Sad for you to have to resort to lies, now.

            1. ceciliabeltran profile image86
              ceciliabeltranposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              that's the funny thing, I did. very weird.

    15. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago

      LOLOL

      Well in that case.

      Although - you will notice I responded to everything with reason, except the personal attacks - which I said I would not respond to in future - and I still have never seen you offer an alternative suggestion or propose another way. Never.

      "religion has a beneficial effect on mental and physical health?" Sadly this is untrue because the real answer to that is elsewhere.

      "A dominant religion that has largely eradicated competing religions has a beneficial effect on the mental and physical health of the surviving population," would perhaps be a more honest statement. Africa - most religious continent on earth? Need I say more?

      So - 2,000 years of conflict and wars resulting in all sorts of horrors eventually settles down into being beneficial?

      Sure - "the ends justify the means," is a strong argument if you are one of the survivors.

      "If someone is receiving some benefit as an individual through theistic belief, is it ethical to ridicule them for that belief, or try to dissuade them from it?"

      Yes - if just one person is prepared to fly a plane into a building because of it - surely it is better to do so? I hope that properly addresses the question.

      One point you are missing is the conflict involved in forcing a religion to change it's position. I asked you earlier to provide a dozen or so examples from history of a religious perspective being changed without conflict.

      You have chosen no to do so.

      I recall you asking your question. I believe 3 people responded from the dozens that habitually interact here. Although it may have been less. And saying that re-interpreting their beliefs was consistent with their belief system is not the same as actually doing so on a specific subject. I have never seen this happen without conflict. I suggest an experiment. How about we invite 10 religionists who think the bible should be mandatory reading in schools and see if we can change their minds with some sort of reasonable discussion?

      Another point you are missing is the fact that the recent backlash against a monotheistic belief system has come about from an understanding that it simply does not work and is detrimental to us as individuals and as a society. It limits us. It is too deeply embedded in the "one rule for the masses, one for the King" philosophy it was born out of - which is also resulting in a backlash against Big Government, Big Armed Forces and Central Banks.

      Taking religion as a single entity separate from these is unreasonable and dishonest. I do not see religion going without these three also going, and I genuinely think there will be violence involved. I would prefer it if we could do it with out, but having spend many years attempting to reason with Religion and Government have sadly arrived at the conclusion it probably will not be possible. My chosen weapons are rationality - followed quickly by ridicule when that fails.

      What are yours?

      1. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Using a rhetorical device is not enough. You have to reason through the association you've implied, which you haven't done. But I'm happy to.

        If we delve beyond the level of superficial assertion, the available data tells us that religion is by no means the overriding factor in the conflicts in Africa. Many of the problems in Africa are based on ethnic conflicts, rather than conflict between religions or states. It so happens that ethnicity in many African societies is intertwined with religion. But clearly ethnicity can't be dependent on religion, religion is dependent on ethnicity. So ethnicity is the overriding identifying factor with religion as a by-product of that. These conflicts are caused by a combination of poverty, political corruption, and the use of ethnicity (and so by association religion) by politically motivated leaders. That has been a mechanism by which ethnic conflicts are started and maintained in Africa. The main point is that this mechanism is not dependent on religion. It is dependent first on ethnicity. Has religion ever caused conflict in Africa? Yes, but only as part of the much wider social, cultural, political and economic picture. What can we conclude from this? We can conclude that religion is definitely an element within the complex picture that is the African situation. But we can't conclude that politicised religion is the mechanism at the heart of the conflict in Africa, or even the mechanism by which the majority of the conflict in Africa occurs. The most we can honestly conclude on the basis of available information is that religion is the mechanism by which some conflict in Africa occurs, and that the main mechanism is in fact politicised ethnicity. So as much as you'd like your assertion to be true, it simply isn't supported by available information. So the study which showed 79% of studies conclude religion is beneficial to individual health and well-being, remains unaddressed.

        I did address this point. I said based on historical evidence, I don't think you can force religion, specifically the Judaic religions to change. The nature of human beings and the nature of those particular expressions of theistic belief prevent this. If anything, applying force can make theists more entrenched, because it becomes a matter of literally 'defending the faith'. How successful were the crusades in forcing Muslims to convert to Christianity? How successful have Protestants been at forcing Catholics to renounce the Pope? Conflict arises not when change is applied but when force is chosen as the medium of change. That's the mistake that is made repeatedly in history. And it's a mistake made mainly by either extremists, or those pursuing some political gain. My whole argument is that the application of force (even in the form of ridicule) does not bring about change, but instead actually brings about conflict.


        It was about four out of the eight or so who replied. That's 50% who accepted re-evaluating their interpretations of 'divine will' is consistent with their beliefs. According to your argument that figure should be 0. Sure that survey isn't going to win a Nobel prize for anthropological research, but it does mean we can say there are theists on this forum who have expressed an openness to new interpretations of their beliefs. In other words it refutes your assertion that no theists are open to this. As for actual change rather than just expressed openness to it. Well there is already historical evidence that demonstrates such change in religions, including Christianity. Just because no one on this particular forum was present on those occasions, doesn't mean they wouldn't have agreed to those changes. 

        As for change without conflict. Again it's about how the change is applied, and who by. Vatican II the ecumenical council of the Catholic Church held in the 1960's made some revolutionary changes to their dogma. No blood shed. No one burnt as a heretic. Some Catholics went off in a huff but that's all. Why? Because that council was about catholic theologians, philosophers, clergyman and lay people re-evaluating some of the key interpretations of their beliefs.  It was not about changes being imposed on Catholics from outside. The social, cultural and political context of the time certainly had an impact on those changes, but not in such a way that could be described as coercion, but rather as something being naturally affected by the environment it's in. That's how such change can come about without conflict, not crudely and quickly, but subtly and over time in my opinion.

        I'm happy to play hypotheticals, but when you just present a list of assertions as if they are fact, then you do yourself no favours in my opinion. I know showing your reasoning takes longer than just saying what you think, and we don't all have as much time as we'd like, but just saying "[religion] limits us" and is "detrimental to us as individuals" as if they are absolutely true is tantamount to propaganda. You're making a mental leap by presenting what you think is true as what is in fact true. You need to present the steps in between.
        So you think religion limits us because . . .? and you can demonstrate that by referring to . . . ?

        E.g.

        I don't think religion limits us because there is no evidence to suggest that's the case. On the contrary I think religion can be beneficial as demonstrated by the fact that 79 out of 100 studies concluded that religion has a beneficial impact on the health and well-being of individuals (as referenced above). That's my conclusion and my argument. The alternative is to say "Religion benefits us" which is the equivalent of what you've done. In short, I simply don't accept your assertions in this form.


        I believe using weapons to bring about change in religious belief is the problem not the solution, as shown by history. As I said coercion (whatever form it takes) doesn't work with theism. Even extermination, as shown by Hitler, is likely (thankfully) to fail. In my humble opinion organised religion won't cease. I think it will become less important. I think it will become less politically powerful, but I don't think it will cease.

        What will bring about those changes? I think modernisation, time and the subtle influence of changing cultural and social landscapes, mainly because that's what historical evidence suggest, as shown by some of the examples above. Hypothetically speaking, when we are in the technological position of not having limited resources, I think the motivation for politicising religion to engage in conflict will be gone because the main motivation for conflict itself will be gone. Likewise the big central banks will be redundant, because money will be redundant, as money is based on a system of limited resources. No conflict needed, then no armed forces needed. If/when resources become infinite, the idea of a 'valuable commodity' will be obsolete. Religion will then be no more than a system of belief, it wont offer any political or economic leverage and therefore will no longer be used as a political tool. But all that wont be for a very very long time.

        In the meantime, I think trying to mitigate the abuse of religious belief for political ends, and very subtly influencing various interpretations of religious belief so theists and non theists can co exist, is a better option than trying to ridicule theists into submission. My attitude can be summed up by Paul McCartney, "as long as you and I are here, put it there". I think your approach can be summed up by Talking Heads, "we're on a road to nowhere".

        I do intend at some point to get some ideas down in a hub or two, including what I think that 'subtle' approach would look like, but I think I've pretty much said as much as I can within the confines of the forum. I'd love to say more, but I think that would stretch those confines too far (if not so already). I'll leave the last post of this particular discussion with you and jump back into the mad throng that is the rest of the forum.

    16. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 6 years ago

      Don -

      An incredibly lopsided view you hold there. Sadly you are so selective in what you have chosen to address, I can only take it you are of a religious persuasion yourself. I will make one last point which is what you have chosen to ignore.

      There has been a religious war going on in one form or another since religion was created. There are religious wars going on today. I will assume that you can accept this as a fact without me substantiating it?

      Your argument that 79% of studies have concluded that "religion has a beneficial effect on mental and physical health" ignores the past completely and effectively says "the ends justify the means," because those religious beliefs have been involved in numerous atrocities to arrive at the point where there is no competition. Do I need to substantiate that also?

      The book you base your entire argument on misses the point entirely and I assume it was written to promote a dying belief system.

      The simple fact is that many acts that religion promotes such as meditation, inner concentration, sitting quietly, creating a "sacred space," etc is what promotes the mental and physical health. I can back this up with other people's opinions as you seem to think that will prove something:

      http://www.holistichealthtools.com/meditation.html
      http://yogikamal.wordpress.com/2010/04/ … ve-longer/
      http://nccam.nih.gov/health/meditation/
      http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv … Meditation
      And you do not need religion or a belief in God to do these things.

      This is what I mean when I say religion limits us. It attempts to limit our understanding in insidious ways like this. By writing a "scientific " study to show the links between religion and health, while deliberately ignoring the actual reasons older people of religious faith are of the opinion that their health and well being is improved because they are religious is at the root of the reason I think religion is evil. There are dozens of studies that show a link between meditative practices and health. But - despite the fact that this is well proven - your religionist friends prefer to try and sell religion back to the masses as a health benefit - not the truth. And you have bought it. sad

      I quote:

      "Why this connection between religion and physical health exists, however, remains largely a mystery."

      I know why it exists Don. 

      This is part and parcel of the systematic and artificial rationing of resources that blights our society - in this case - knowledge. Religion was specifically created to do this.

      Your one-sided attack has really disappointed me, Don. Using "facts" to sell a lie is the problem. This is what religion - like any type of political party - actually does.

      I am not sure it is worth attempting to deal with your other points. If you do not understand that the religions are - by and large - tribal or "ethnic" in their thinking - you have some studying to do.

      ciao

     
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