"You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can't lead to a good conclusion."
-- Julian Assage
The devil is in the details, of course.
Yesterday I was with a guy who said he believed in god but wasn't religious, that climate change was a hoax, that Eric van Daniken had explained how it all started, and so on, and so forth. What was the point of explaining to this man that the word religion mean believing in God (I have no idea what he thought the word meant). What does one say to people who believe that climate change is a hoax?
There are so many people who believe that their opinion is of equal worth to an exact evidence based piece of information.
If truth is evidence based information, Julian Assage is perfectly correct. If it is hearsay (what you heard your friends and peer group say), it may or may not be truth. From experience, 95% of what people say is not evidence based.
Don't like to disagree with you, but it's perfectly possible to believe in a divine entity or God without being religious. A religion is system of practices and views. There are many people who are religious (such as belonging to a faith or church) who don't believe in God.
And of course people's opinions are of equal worth to whatever they compare them with - that's how humans operate. That doesn't mean you have to agree or see it in the same way.
The problem with evidence-based facts is that they can change; be turned on their heads even, as science discovers more. Nothing is written in stone. Even the idea that CO2 causes global warming.
Open mindedness and the willingness to change your beliefs is always a good thing
The dictionary says religion is "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods."
Certainly the word can have shades of meaning, but always a belief in a god means one is religious. What has happened for the past half century is that evangelical Christians have started preaching that to be religious means to go to church and that a spiritual relationship with god, etc. doesn't mean that you are religious. They preach this - that they aren't religious - that they just believe in god. Clearly none of them have ever checked what the meaning of the word is in a dictionary.
Certainly science can be changed. |That's the whole beauty of it. If evidence comes in to change it, then it changes. This is what makes it the most reliable system to establish what truth is. However science doesn't change all that often.
Nobody has suddenly proven that the sun revolves around the earth instead the earth revolves around the sun. Nobody has shown that gravity doesn't exist and we can now jump from buildings and we won't fall to the ground.
The so called 'food scientists' are no more scientists than I am because I have a science degree - in interior design.
'Food scientists' are paid by the food industryt, and they consequently bias the results in order to favor sales. This is NOT the science methodology.,
The scientific method means that something must be tested over and over and over again. Then it must be submitted for peer rewview. The tests would be conducted in science laboratory all over the world. There is NO industry involved. This is why straight physics and chemistry don't change their results. It's only food 'science' that does.
Opinions are absolutely not of the samne worth. An opinion by someone in the 7th grade on astrophysics is nowhere near the opinion of someone who has a doctorate in the topic. The only people who like to think that all opinions are equal are those who don't have the academic background to back their facts.
There is this horrendous social discourse thingie (especially amongst women) that in a discussion everybody is allowed to be right some of the time so that nobody's feelings are hurt, and so that everybody feels special and valued.
I value accuracy a lot more than I value people's opinions and hearsay. If I can't find half a century's had research, consistently supported by universities throughout the world, with no corruption by business interests, as far as I'm concerned, it's not a fact, and I'm not interested.
Here's what your Guardian says,
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr … eve-in-god
I believe in some kind of intelligent force, I can't define it, but I feel there is 'something'. However, I am not in any way religious. Religious people follow a code or set of behaviours or are affiliated to some organisation. They observe certain customs in accordance with their faith. However, I can go outside at night, look up at the sky and feel filled with awe at the apparent coincidental mechanisms that keep our little planet floating in exactly the right place and circumstances to sustain life. It's spiritual, not religious.
What I'm trying to say is that the man you were talking to knows whether he is religious or not. He gets to decide.
My point about people's opinions is that they are valuable to the individual who is expressing them, not to some self-appointed opinion-judge. A seven year old's opinion is just as valid and equal as a 70 year old's... to that child.
And how often has some observation or remark by a non-expert been the key that unlocks the next level of knowledge. Hundreds and even thousands of years ago, people recorded their observations, opinions and calculations of the world around them and the sky above, and we are now discovering they were right all along. They didn't have doctorates.
I'm not sure what your point is about women saying that everyone gets a chance to be right. However EVERYONE has the right to their own beliefs; they also have the right to express their opinion and to decide whether they are religious or not.
You are quoting an opinion from someone who hasn't bothered to look the word up in a dictionary? You do know that there is a section in the Guardian called 'Opinions,' don't you?
Yes, of course someone's opinion is valuable to himself - especially when they are governed by ego. Whether someone considers their opinion important or not is not a measure of whether their opinion is worth something or not.
So let me understand this. According to your reasoning, someone who has brown hair and is colorblind gets to decide s/he is blonde? Because what?
Someone who thinks that the car in front of him/her is a Corolla when it is actually a Nissan has a valuable opinion? He must be believed because his subjective opinion is right - in the face of all evidence to the contrary? Or because his or her ego would be hurt if it was pointed out he was mistaken?
That way lies madness. There is an objective reality and, in our day and age, it can be measured using observation, measuring instrumentation, and analysis.
The word religion, according to every dictionary out there, means a belief in god. People who believe in god and think that they aren't religious, as per the opinion writer in the Guardian, reveal their ignorance.
So why is it important to religious people out there not to be seen as religious? Because the word has some negative connotations. Religious people don't want that aspect attached to them.
So they have been brainwashed by the church that the word means something that it doesn't. For the past half century - that is.
Certainly everyone has the right to their own beliefs. If they wish to believe that the sea is purple with green spots and that if they walk on it, they won't sink, that is their absolute legal right. They don't, however, have the legal right to be respected for it, nor do they have the legal right to force others to accept their 'opinion' as correct. And people who think that it's not possible to walk on water without sinking - as evidence proves - have every legal right to deny any worth to the water walker.
I think you are confusing a modern interpretation of politeness with 'truth.'
In my day, someone with an uneducated opinion would have known better than to offer it. All opinions are not equal, and there was a time that opinion needed to be backed up with empirical evidence and the line of reasoning leading to it shown.
I disagree with both of you, Tess and Bev.
CO2 is a greenhouse gas there's nothing that will change that. To save myself some time, I'm going to paste something below. Facts are not always up to change, some facts are set in stone. Water is made up of 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, it's set in stone. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that's set in stone. How much it contributes or how it contributes to the issue we are facing right now is a different story, not one I will get into.
Nitrogen, oxygen and argon together make up close to 100 percent of the atmosphere. But all three are invisible to incoming "short-wave" radiation from the sun and outgoing "long-wave" radiation from the Earth's surface. They play no role in regulating the planet's atmospheric temperature.
But carbon dioxide and other trace gases in the atmosphere do absorb the outgoing long-wave radiation.
So while their concentrations are minuscule, their effect is anything but: If the atmosphere didn't have those trace amounts of greenhouse gases, New York City would be covered in ice sheets – not sweltering – on a typical summer afternoon. The globe's average temperature would be almost 60 degrees Fahrenheit lower.
Tess, you seem to be mixing up the word religion with the word religious. Your definition of religion is right, but this is what it means to be religious:
"relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity"
" of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances"
You can believe that there is a God but not worship that said God or follow any particular form of devotion and observance. Thus someone can very rightly say they believe in a God or multiple Gods but are not religious. I know the rules of football and I know it's a sport, this does not make me a football player.
CO2 and football are tangible truths because they are measurable. God, faith, religion, or religious are immeasurable. You cannot measure one's faith or desired faith. You cannot measure the power or influence of God or faith. It's a personal journey for the ultimate truth in one's religious belief.
By the way, I like the thought-provoking comments.
You also cannot measure the invisible cheetah in the room that the schizophrenic person sees and you don't.
There was a bit of research a while ago that showed that people who were religious had a greater difficulty with differentiating fact from fiction.
How can you determine what is fact and what is fiction if you are willing to accept one thing without evidence and not the other?
How is one imaginary friend real but not another? Why are Jesus, Shiva, Allah, and Thor real, but not Zeus or Osiris?
Ahh, the argument is based on illusions or delusions. And, these cannot be measured either. But, knowing God is a personal matter that cannot be quantified or carried in one's pocket for show and tell. Thus, the trickster can enter and say all sorts of things about religion.
Nobody knows God - there isn't a god. The entire thing of having a 'personal relationship' with god is nothing more than an imaginary friend.
If someone says something and it cannot be demonstrated, there is no evidence that it is anything more than a delusion. And that includes religion.
You are saying we are not sentient or aware of being alive. When we die, we morph into Earth and never live again.
No. Not quite sure how you arrived at that conclusion. Your analysis of English leaves much to be desired.
Of course, we are sentient. For however many years we live. Then we die, and the sentience goes away.
The reason that Christians can't believe this is that they don't want to believe that they are unimportant and that life does come to an end, and there is nothing afterwards. It's a psychological response - not a rational one.
I don't think there was a comparison between CO2 and football with religion. I was just replying to previous comments.
Ah, Brandon, you have a point. So let me get this right because it would explain a lot of things. So Trump can believe in god, but he doesn't have to follow the precepts of the Christian religion. He can destroy, lie, cheat, whatever. The fact that he believes there is a god doesn't mean that he is obeying that God. He can simply chose to go to hell?
As I belonged to various evangelical churches for 10 years, and as all these people went to church every Sunday, praised the lord, and said in the same breath, "I am not religious," I am somewhat confused.
With the info you gave me about Trump in the first paragraph, yes, he does not have to necessarily obey that God, the same way some kids know for a fact that they have parents and they know that they must obey but they choose not to.
The people who went to church every Sunday are religious. That's the textbook definition of being relgious, following a certain practice.
The first thing you learn in science is that common sense is not to be trusted. The world may look flat but it isn't.
Comforting stories are not to be trusted either. Earth, water, air and fire made a satisfying set of elements in the ancient world but adds up to a poor understanding of the physical world.
I could go on but I know I am wasting my time, lol.
'Tis the populist age, and what people want to be true, suddenly is true.
"What people want to be true, suddenly is true"
Yup, it's called opinion, and everybody's opinion is equal.
Drives me nuts.
Populism is fine except for the fact that populists are so easy to manipulate.
I trust the decency of ordinary folk far more than I trust the decency of governments. I trust that decency far more than I trust the decency of corporations.
But bad actors can so easily exploit anyone who is not willing check the facts and question the motives of their "leaders".
We need more people who can honestly lead.
Unfortunately, because most people are so easy to manipulate, and precisely because they don't check what they read and what their friends tell them, I don't trust them as far as I see them
I did - once upon a time. It led me to becoming an evangelical Christian for 10 years which led to my getting PTSD and declining the most amazing opportunities. Never again.
Sorry to hear that, but a bad experience with one group of religionists, is not a good reason to denounce all religionists.
Or you are obliged to reject most of humanity.
I'm not that stupid that I would draw a conclusion based on one group of people. I spent 10 years as an evangelical Christian with many denominations and in several cities. I attended church twice on Sunday and some sort of bible study once or twice a week, with several prayer meetings,outreaches, and social occasions the rest of the week. My entire week was filled Christian meetings and activities.
Believe me, in ten years, one is exposed to all sorts of Christians.
I also went to a church school where I attended chapel/church morning and evening, plus had religious lessons.
In addtion, I set aside prayer time for two or three hours each day and read the bible as well during that time.
At one point, in 18 months, I read the bible 18 times from beginning to end.
In addition to that, I had to learn Hebrew and to read Torah in Hebrew when I converted to Judaism. My knowledge of the bible and religion, morals, ethics, etc. was so great that I was elected to the board of the leading (and richest) synagogue of South Africa directly after my official conversastion. I was aslo the only convertee allowed on the Bimah during my conversion period.
Please believe me,. I reject all religion - every single bit of it. There is no god. It is all socialization and it is delusional.
I studied secular history, have read the Koran, studied comparative religion, etc.
I became an atheist formally when I was 55 years old.
I think that is time enough to be very, very sure of something. And I am 100% sure there is no god and that all religious people, no matter what god they believe in, are mistaken.
Does it matter that they are mistaken? There are enough pluses in Christianity to give it a pass. As long as you avoid the zealots.
I have a feeling that for whatever reason (upbringing?) you were attracted to zealots and then took a long time to get around to rejecting them.
Something that you needed to do for your own development?
I grew up in an environment of extreme abuse, was not permitted to socialize with other people, was not socialized at all, not taught a single thing by my parents, and was on the autistic spectrum (auditory processing disorder).
I could not understand why I was struggling so much, and one day someone from my old school (I was 25) asked me how I was. I told her I was struggling and that I didn't understand why.
She told me that if I gave my life to Jesus, all my problems would be solved. In fact, they weren't. The degree of victimisation, harassment, spite, malice, ignorance, and whatever else increased to the extent that I developed PTSD.
I was diagnosed in my mid 50s, attended 30 months of disability counselling and finally over a period of the next 10 years learnt to undrstand what was going on.
Yes, it does matter that they are mistaken. They accused me of being possessed by the devil, of being evil, told me I wasn't allowed to do ballroom dancing, not allowed to be a TV continuity announcer, had to submit to men. I subsequently married a man who had an IQ of 86 (Mine was 165). He came from the poorest of a poor dropped and dropped out of school when he was 10 or 11, and I have a classical education. I married him because the church said I had to be married because my 'beauty was tempting to men.'\
So, yes, it does matter.
IT was science that saved my life. It was science that diagnosed me as on the autistic spectrum and gave me a life. It is knowledge that saves - not ignorance.
Unfortunately, I grew up in a country where television was illegal, that was run by religious bigots (they said that people of colour were monkeys and therefore not permitted to be educated - thus apartheid). It was only when I left South Africa that the healing process and education started. I was told I had PTSD by London government workers almost immediately after I landed. I took me a long time to work through that.
But I did.
Then it took another 10 years to figure out why I was struggling and the auditory processing disorder was diagnosed.
None of this came from the church. The church was filled with ignorant, unedeucated, narrow minded people. All of them.
Religion can certainly become part of the apparatus of repression in very repressive regimes. You were lucky to escape it.
I don't think you will really be free of the past though until you realize that it was the politics that was the problem not the religion.
Why don't you blame the medical establishment in the South Africa of your youth, or the education system or all the other aspects of the state that could have helped you but did not?
Why the special animus for Christians?
No, it actually was the religion. I gather you believe in God otherwise you wouldn't have an issue with this. There was never any answer to prayer and if god is so mighty and so loving, there was no need to ignore me. Plus the people who were supposedly 'filled with the spirit' spouted nonsense half the time. They were delusional.
The medical establishment on three continents didn't get it. I eventually figured it out and then asked for confirmation.| I was right.
Why the special animus for Christians?
Self righteous, malicious, and can't keep their religion to themselves. Want to impose their religion on everybody else. Delusional, etc. Thta said, I have no time for people who believe in god. I need sane people, and there are many out there that think belief in god is a mental illness.
Not a believer, myself but I know and value some who are. None of them are zealots. People in the UK are loath to talk about their faith, usually. Very few are evangelical.
It sounds to me as if you fell into the clutches of a cult.
The Anglican church (the church school I went to) was not a cult. The Assemblies of God, the Church of England, the Baptists, Congregational, and many others, all had similar creeds - that one could have a personal relgionship with god, etc.
The problem is that praying to a non-existant god does not bring solutions.
Religion brings comfort to many. It brings hope. What it does not bring is real help.
If one doesn't require help, it is a pretty benign thing if one isn't trying to convert the world in order to trigger the return of JC. It's when one really needs help that it is less than useless - and in my case, downright destructive.
"None of this came from the church. The church was filled with ignorant, uneducated, narrow-minded people. All of them."
I disagree with this statement just because you say ALL of them. I was raised Catholic and my schooling was in a Jesuit institution (the same order of the current Pope) and I had a few priests and many other Catholic teachers among others. All of them were very educated and not narrow-minded at all. Yes, in this case, I did say ALL. This does not mean that I have not meant narrow-minded people.
Some of the finest doctors, psychologists, and parents I know are Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jain. Then there are those who are stupid and take relgion to an extreme, the extremists. Those are the stupid, ignorant, narrow-minded people.
For Easter, I was in the UK and helped an aunt in the Church and there were many old women helping out. I heard a conversation among them where they say that they are happy that their Catholic church is accepting and helpful to everyone whether they are gay, divorced, etc. Seems like not all of them are narrow-minded even though they are religious.
I'm sure it's different for those who are religious to be able to distinguish fact from fiction. But some of the prominent scientists in all fields are religious. Having a friend, imaginary or not does not seem to be the cause for people not being able to analyze fact. It's just something that many of them have in common as it's something a majority of the population has in common. There are a few atheists that I have seen on Youtube that believe that the Earth is flat.
Being dumb and being religious don't go hand in hand. But if someone is dumb and is religious, dangerous things can happen.
I am sorry to hear this happened. Not every Christian or every church will lie or lead their congregation with duress and emotional upheaval.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic … ne.0207125
I attended many different churches and denominations during the ten years I was an evangelical Christian. I attended chapel and church twice a day during the 5 years I was at a Christian church school.
I have studied the bible throughly (according to some people who have doctorates in Christianity, etc. my knowledge is exceptional), plus I later studied church history and, more importantly, how I came to believe it all.
The research is out there. People believe in imaginery gods when their lives are in a mess, when they are desperate, etc. It's all imagination. Particular areas of the brain light up when they are talking about Jesus, their imaginery friend. The area in the hypothalmus that differentiates reality from fiction is also damaged.
Viability of an idea or thing is a good way to measure the truth of it. Does it truly help society or worsen society?
Not quite sure what you are saying but an idea that has been wrong for a thousand years is still wrong today.
History is filled with leaders who lied, maimed and killed thousands and millions of people.
And history is full of people who supported liars and did so because of their own self-interest and delusions. Take Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, for instance...Leaders cannot be leaders without the support of 'the people.'
Ahh, that is where our responsibilities come into play.
Yes, and I noticed a lot of irresponsibility amongst climate deniers, Trump supporters, Boris Johnson supporters, people who think that it's okay to pay other people minimum wage and take home billions. All very irresponsible (and evil) people.
Earth, water, air and fire are still the same thing though. We don't understand them any different. At one time we thought the atom was the smallest element, but now we know better. This does not mean that the atom does not exist anymore.
Sorry Brandon, but we do understand each of those aspects of nature a good deal better than the Greeks and I am sure you could reel off their properties as well I could.
Also, they are not elements in any sense that a modern person would understand.
They are certainly not chemical elements, they are nothing close to the fundamental building blocks of matter and they do not get you to e=mc2.
Nor even a usable refrigerator.
Tess said only atheists can honestly lead. Hitler was an atheist, so were Stalin and Lenin.
Hitler believed he was a Christian. Check your facts.
http://www.cbn.com/700club/features/chu … andhitler/
No atheist would have pretended to be a Christian. Certainly, he was an evil men, but many Christians are incredibly evil.
There still is Lenin and Stalin. Did you check to see if they were Christian? Did you check to see if all the Nazi's where Christians, too? Did you check to see if Napoleon is Christain? How about Pretty Boy Floyd or Dillenger? How about J. Edgar Hoover? Genghis Khan?
And all the other dishonest leaders were Christians.
I read an article on Hitler about his religious beliefs. He played politics with what he said about religion. Quotes can can found from him on both pro christian and proatheists. He said whatever he thought would gain him an advantage at that time. In reality he was a pantheist, is the closest he can be identified as. He was a follower of Nietchie. He greatly admired nature. If he had a god, it was nature. But he probably had no god. I read up on both Stahlin and Lenin. They were both atheists.
Tess is a hurting woman. Been through some mighty tough things. I feel for her.
I was raised Church of England/Episcopal but started questioning it all pretty early, around the age of eight. By the time I was eighteen, I was an atheist. I don't really have any issues with religion generally, even though I am none believer. I don't do religion because I think the chances of life after death and God or gods existing are pretty remote, plus it all has the feel of something man-made.
Living in the US, however, has made me realize that many people's experience of religion is less gentle than my own. Some of the US protestant groups are pretty extreme and kind of all-encompassing, especially in the old south and mid-west. There's also very much a "you're with us or against us" mentality.
Will is right that most of the world is religious, it's very much a major part of being human for most people. I would also say that people tend to behave bad and good whether they identify as religious or not. But I do think individuals can suffer when the religion seeks to take over every aspect of their life - it's controlling and kind of creepy, but unfortunately not uncommon in the USA.
I reckon it is entirely legitimate to denounce authoritarianism and control-freakery in religion. But when you start attacking human beings simply because they practice a religion it does not help.
Also, I reckon Tess would benefit from seeing that what happened to her was a very particular experience and letting it drift into blaming and "us versus them" type formulations is a kind of defense. Which she may or may not need.
I think what you're missing here is that Christians do this type of harm all the time. I was just one of many millions of casualities.
Take, for instance, my first time at Hubpages. Coming from the civilized first world, I was totally unaware that America was a country which contained a great many evangelical Christianis. I was absolutely destroyed by the fanatical right wing on Hubpages. I left - despite the fact that my monthly income was quite a bit. Enought to say that within 9 months of joining, I was close to a million views.
During the 25 years I have been on the web, on the many, many sites I have been on, it is evangelical Christians who have trolled, insulted, etc. people who are on the left, who are atheists, etc.
Generally, you are correct, though. That just because some peopple from a particular group are malevolent, one shouldn't assume that everyone in that group is.
I have the same issue with white people damning black people in South Africa.
However who does one trust? The moment someone starts with their belief in imaginary gods (and there is no evidence whatsoever for the existence of any god), then one knows one is speaking to someone who is a) either brainwashed or desperate to believe in a magical fairy godmother b) not particularly keen to know the real facts c) relativelyu uneducated d) not particularly intelligent. Then, again, human beings aren't that bright when it comes to reasoning,
I cannot afford, for my own safety, well being, sanity, to connect to any people that are religious - be it Christian, Jew, Hindu, whatever.
Right now, Evangelical Christians are destroying the USA,
Their impact is felt right across the world with their denial of climate change, their deranged efforts to set off WWIII so that the non existent Jesus Christ can come back.,
Of course, they define that as truth.
That is quite an ideology. I can see how you'd get a million views disagreeing and being caustic with others - twisting what they post and such.
There is another Hubber, created a lot of views on the same ideology, though she hasn't posted on the forum for a while. She was caustic, too, if you didn't agree with her ideology.
Many atheists feel the way I do.
Unlike evangelical Christians, though, I do not force my 'ídeology'on others. I just refuse to associate with these people.
I am not caustic with others. I am factual. There is a difference.
Sorry I didn't reply sooner. My laptop collapsed and I had to buy a new one.
What one experiences can influence their behavior and cause one to be caustic. Caustic doesn't stem from facts. It comes from experience or ideology of something.
Not all Christians are bad, just like not all Muslims or bad.
You're right. All Christians are not bad. It's my experience of group think - that event that takes place when a whole lot of people are together and they act collectively.
That happens constantly amongst human beings - when they might disagree with the group, but they don't like to say so because to be without the group is threatening to them. It takes courage (and sometimes foolhardiness) to disagree with a group.
The thing is that the 'group'has collectively stood against me. You see that on hubpages. Groups take issues with various people. Actually, you see that on social media - one person says something, and then a whole group of people will join against that person.
Again, I'm not caustic. Terse. Yes. Irritated at times with ignorance and stupidity, yes. But I'm not caustic.
Albeit, I can see that it comes across that way.
I read something a while ago - that most people were amoral. They didn't realize it - they simply acted in their own self-interest, and they did not see the long term consequences in other people's lives.
So apart from my having experienced group malice, etc. and your being correct that on an individual basis, that does not hold true for everybody, let me say this.
I will grant you that. All Christians are not bad. All atheists are not bad. All Muslims are not bad. All people are not bad.
However, they are bad for me. I cannot afford to be with people who are deluded (mistakenly believe) that there is a god, and that he is going to come along and make things better in my life, etc.
It makes me angry because I know it not to be true.
I don't want to have to be with people who, well meaningly enough, give me platitudes and remind of things that cost me a lot in the past.
We have the right of association. I don't have to associate with people that distress me. And Christians (and all people who believe in God distress me).
Bear in mind that I don't force them to not to have abortions or not to vote or not to live in my street or not to do a multiple other things. I am quite happy for them to have ever human civil right and ever legal right, etc. I am simply saying that I don't want to associate with people who believe in god. Even if they are nice people. Even if they are good people.
Is that acceptable to you?
A person can get caught up in all sorts of obsessions. I don't judge people for the choices they make. But, I hope they take responsibility for them.
I know there is a body, mind, and soul.
I don't try to persuade people of what I know because what is true for you is true for you.
I have studied religion and worked with religious leaders of all faiths. They are great people and done tremendous help on many levels of society.
There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there is a body, mind, and soul. You cannot, therefore, know it. You believe it. That is an entirely different matter.
All the 'tremendous help' that religion has done for society has been very little. Whenever one comes across 'charitable programs' by religious organisatins, it is always with the intent of converting. \
The one exception is Judaism. That's becauise it is absolutely forbidden to try to convert people. In fact, When one tries to convert, the rabbis go out of their way to make it very difficult for you, and they charge you about two years income.
Society is what it is today because of religion. Religion whether true or bogus is what (in the past) united people towards a common cause. This unification of people is what resulted in larger societies that could work towards a single goal.
Today due to the establishment of this society we have other common goals which are scientifically proven that we can work on together, but this is only possible because of the past. So to say religion did not play a role in building the world is not right.
I would suggest reading Sapiens: A brief history of mankind. I don't totally agree with the author on everything and it does get a bit repetitive, but there are some good points that he makes.
Three views on religion from a philosophical/sociological perspective:
Functionalists believe that religion offers emotional comfort, moderates existential angst and creates spaces for social interaction and integration.
Critical theorists suggest it helps maintain patterns of social inequality.
To interactionists, beliefs and experiences are not sacred unless individuals in a society regard them as sacred. So if you have a wonderful "spiritual" experience you could ascribe it to the numinous, excess serotonin or maybe that cider you drank.
I know what I know. That cannot be taken away or discounted by other peoples' ideology.
I have not read Sapiens because I have a good grasp of the evolution theories. Will Durant and his wife (Ariel) wrote an 11 volume piece - The Story of Civilization. It's quite extensive but covers many aspects of our history. They were popular books for some time.
Sapiens is not at all about evolution theory. It's a brief history which begins just before homo sapiens switch from hunter-gatherers to agriculture. The author talks about how society developed and the influence of different things. The book is still on bestseller charts.
Haven't read any of those 11 pieces.
I looked briefly at a review, which described it as such. I just went to the author's website. Yes. I had it wrong. Thanks for the correction. Will Durant's books are older than Yuval Noah Harari. Scholars, researchers, students use Durant's books.
And, it closes the door to opportunity and understanding.
I don't hate. That would destroy me. I never hate. If I feel even the slightest bit of hatred rise inside me, I deal with it immediatley.
There is a difference between refusing to associate with people who have harmed one and hating them. The former if for protection. The latter is for vengeance, and it destroys one.
I would never allow myself to be destroyed by succumbing to hatred.
People come to their own conclusions. We can't force anyone how to believe, think, or know. To try and change what they think or believe or know is futile. In reverse, it is the same. We are responsible for our actions.
Returning to the original post of this thread, which is a quote from Assage, is about truth.
I follow a rule I learned from a great philosopher. "What is true for you is true for you." I don't allow my truth to be alloyed.
When someone points their finger at me and says, "I am like this," "I am like that," "I am meaning this...," or whatever. I will not agree with it, and I will correct it.
Ah. Thank you. That is what I meant. You have put it in a much better way. That is why I think it depends on what someone means by the truth. A fact is different to 'truth' these days.
It never used to be that way. At one time, when someone spoke about truth, they meant facts. Then as the scientific method became more common and people became more adept at using it, people began to realize that what was thought to be truth, just wasn't.
Of course, a great many people (most) never learnt how to use the scientific method to determine what is factual (truthful) and what is not.
I'm different to you.
If someone points out an error in my thinking, I check it out. If I'm wrong, I correct it. Consequently, my world has fallen apart two or three times in my life. The entire fabric of my belief system has shifted.
In a way, during the last three or so years, my belief system is shifting again, but the previous two times it happened, it happened in a moment, and it was awful.
And those two posts, Kenna's and this one are exactly what I was trying to convey in my own posts on this thread.
"What is true for you, is true for you." And it's a different truth for everyone.
I personally believe that it's better to believe an uncomfortable truth, than a comforting falsehood. Religion works and thrives because it provides people with a sense of purpose, a social/moral structure, and other emotional comforts such as the idea of receiving support from a divine source, life after death, etc. It's no real surprise that it's so well aligned with human anxieties and fears, because it is almost certainly man-made.
Of course, freedom of thought and belief and tolerance are essential, but religion doesn't get any sort of pass from criticism. That said, I think much of the atheism nowadays is a turn off for me, as it's become a kind of "evangelical unbelief" for some (fans of Dawkins, Hitchens, etc). I personally don't really attempt to "convert" anyone to my beliefs. I think religion is so common, both historically and geographically for humans, it's unlikely that it will go away. And when people don't have religion, they don't behave any better morally, nor are they necessarily more rational.
I also thing that there is wisdom that can be found in religion, deeper truths about human nature. It's human wisdom, not divine, but still wisdom. The problems tend to come with the fundamentalists and literalists who see rules, facts, certainty, rather than metaphor and allegory..
Have you heard of apatheism? It means that one doesn't really care if there is a god or not.
That's sort of where an increasing number of us are. We don't see any evidence of god, but bottom line is that if there were a god, as he doesn't seem to intervene in human life, there is absolutely no point in worrying about it. Better to live the life we have and make plans without a god. We get more done.
I absolutely agree that religion is something that gives people emotional comfort, and that is fine until there is the insistance that people aren't allowed to have an abortion, can't have sex outside marriage, can't be gay, have to wear particular items of clothing, or a multitue of other things. It's fine to do those things for oneself if that is what one desires, but to insist that other people do them, and to consistently speak to other people about them, is not fine.
Certainly, there is SOME wisdom in religion, but there is also a great deal of evil. There is also wisdom in the works of many of the philosphers, the work of psychologists, politicians, scientists, etc. Wisdom is something that is acquired through the analysis of knowledge and experience.
Religion, when practiced in the truest sense of the word "study of wisdom," society survives better.
The scientists and philosophers in history proved that SOME religions frowned upon their members questioning their religion, priest, or learning outside their church.
Not just in churches but the schools are known for demoralizing individuals as well. Students learn by memorization without critical thinking or using what they learn in life.
Individuals' survival potential is regulated by acting on a purpose, knowledge, and a plan.
Understanding the human soul, learning for application in life, interpersonal relationships, helping others, and being true to your beliefs facilitates everyone's survival.
I think the most important thing is toleration, between the different religions and religious factions, and indeed between the religious and non-religious. It's the increasing lack of toleration between groups that alarms me the most.
I agree. Tolerance is the solution. Who is causing the factions? Like the play Othello, someone is benefiting the distrust and intolerance.
Most religions are intolerant to each other. In other words, the religions, themselves, teach intolerance. Both the Koran and the bible (which I have read and studied) teach their adherents that those who do not believe as they do must either be killed (Koran) or it teaches they will go to hell (Christianity). Christianity also teaches that it is the Christian duty to do everything possible to convert others to their way of thought (intolerance).
Tolerance just isn't going to happen because the entire point of all these creeds is that they are the only way.
In addition, how does one tolerate intolerance? How does one tolerate someone who is a pedophile or a seriel murder. There are actually things that shouldn't be tolerated.
Certainly, we can tolerate someone wearing red when it is an eysore to our eyes. Or we can tolerate someone eating with their mouth open. But the constant kant of 'we must tolerate' loses sight of the fact that there are things that are both harmful to humanity and intolerable at any level.
by Patricia Scott 3 years ago
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