Discussion in 'SF Open Government' started by Balerion, Nov 27, 2013.
posts 66 through 81 should be deleted.
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This and That
And theists, these days, generally have no clue what God is.
Science cannot address an inherently untestable thesis.
A bit I bring out every once in a while:
It is a Freudian theorem that each individual neurosis is not static but dynamic. It is a historical process with its own internal logic. Because of the basically unsatisfactory nature of the neurotic compromise, tension between the repressed and repressing factors persists and produces a constant series of new symptom-formations. And the series of symptom-formations is not a shapeless series of mere changes; it exhibits a regressive pattern, which Freud calls the slow return of the repressed, “It is a law of neurotic diseases that these obsessive acts serve the impulse more and more and come nearer and nearer the original and forbidden act.” The doctrine of the universal neurosis of mankind, if we take it seriously, therefore compels us to entertain the hypothesis that the pattern of history exhibits a dialectic not hitherto recognized by historians, the dialectic of neurosis.
The thing is that the dialectic of neurosis would apply, theologically, to a consideration of how anyone, theist or otherwise, shapes an image of God. There is a reason that theism, subsumed in cult, creed, and code, produces a counterintuitively small and weak monotheistic source and sustenance of all things. With Christianity, I refer to it as a "shoebox god" that can be found in the nightstand drawer at any red-light, hourly-rate motel. Whether or not God "exists", the God we praise, reject, or otherwise dwell on in our minds is entirely each unto his own.
• • •
More to the point, in my opinion, is that the separation is largely impossible. Even if we make some obvious point about the Easter Bunny, there is, in fact, a record somewhere in history of how that particular myth came about, and it will inherently tie into theology, since the mythical creature is attached to a religious celebration.
Furthermore, given the role of mythopoeia in the development of religion (cf Stetkevych, Muhammad and the Golden Bough; Markale, The Celts; Freud, Totem and Taboo; &c., as there is a considerable amount of literature either directly analyzing or incorporating established components of the thesis) it's just hard to separate the elements and maintain the substance. To wit, who is Abu Righal? Does it matter? Only in the context that he is a character in pre-Islamic myth, and his story reiterates itself over and over in the Islamic experience. Stetkevych's thesis depends on subsequent interpretations of the Golden Bough myth, from its origin on through Frazier and into the twentieth century. But if we recall, for instance, that an old meaning of jihad essentially described flight from a threat, occasionally pausing to throw rocks or potshoot, or whatever, to slow the pursuit, there comes a point in the theological exploration of Islam that we cannot deny the prima facie appearance of a relationship between this persistent myth—it enters Islam at least as early as 661 CE, in an apparent theopolitical dispute between Banu Thaqif and Hassan Ibn Thabit, and emerges prominently around 725 in a satire of al-Farazdaq and Jarir, with the significance being that Abu Righal is so reviled that the faithful stop at his grave when they pass to throw stones, or Abu Righal is a main player also in the culture of stoning in these societies—and modern Islam; he is a vital component of the jihad mythopoeia, which so greatly affects Islam.
And that is as convenient and concise an answer as I can give; the myth of Abu Righal is a tough one to figure. But it's also the sort of discussion we will never be able to carry out in our Religion subforum; it delves so deeply into the historical record that, yes, I would be greatly surprised if our community had the patience to carry out that kind of inquiry.
Still, though, recalling the history of Sciforums, and the reason we had a Religion subforum in the first place (sort of an inevitable necessity of the news clipper Archaeology criteria including such religious considerations as the latest dating efforts on the Shroud of Turin, or the science of a relic like the blood of San Gennaro), I would think such questions would be the sort of thing our former motto of "Intelligent Community" might hope for.
More fun might be had exploring "The Joke of Jesus", or the idea of whether or not Jesus was a nihilist. This, of course, requires a little explanation. A few years ago, in the back room, Bells and I had a brief dispute over the idea that Christians were obliged to die. It came up in the wake of someone shooting up a Colorado megachurch. There is, of course, a theory that says, "God bless the security guard that stopped him", and even the atheist can get that one without snagging on the God point. But there is a much more uncomfortable notion suggesting the armed security guard reflects a lack of faith, and that Christians in such circumstances are to put their faith in God. After all, if Christians hew strictly to Jesus, the result would be the extermination of all Christians. But therein lies the "joke": What if that's the point? Reading Jesus as a nihilist results in an arguable assertion that the Kingdom of God comes to the Christians when they're all dead.
Then again, I suppose I digress; or maybe not. There is a myth of Jesus that is linchpin for the larger religion. And this myth, too, has a history that predates its emergence in the Judeo-Christian cultural arc.
But all this does offer a chance to reiterate a difference: Right now, the Religion forum is "let's talk about religion", something akin to kaffeeklatsch. This, like Politics, is a subforum in which the established record is irrelevant to what turns out to be a back-and-forth about who started what and eye-for-an-eye. This is what we, as a community, have chosen over the years. And, yes, the staff has torn itself to shreds, tied those tatters in knots, and set them all aflame over the years about these very questions.
A specific Theology subforum is reasonably described by our neighbor Syne, but in this particular juxtaposition, I would remind that it is the difference between rational study and dismissing the scholarly record as irrelevant to petty trading of insults because somebody else started it.
Brown, Norman O. Life Against Death: The Psychoanalytic Meaning of History. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1959.
I think that discussing religion with atheists is like beating yourself in the head with a shovel; which is probably great fun for the shovel, but not fun for me.
An Obvious Ouch?
If all you have is a shovel, and everything looks like your head ....
what i've said about atheists applies equally to theists when it comes to the topic of god.
one says there isn't, the other says there is, science says have at it guys.
the really interesting question is why is this such a wide spread and long lasting phenomenon?
fads do not become global and persistent.
And is that the fault of science or the thesis?
What fault? It is what it is.
the one that arises from having a thesis that is untestable by science of course.
so is popeye
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the method is one of discovery and has withstood the test of time, a very long time.
to say it's faulty somehow you must point out where.
the only fault in the method i see is that it cannot work with only one data point, it MUST have at least 2 and possibly many more.
the method has been amended only once, and that was to account for the human condition.
Are you talking about science or the thesis?
in post 89 i was talking about the scientific method.
A fascinating question, indeed. A rough sketch would be to start with two reasons, both occuring inside our brains.
Neurologically, religious impulses occur in specific creative centers of the brain.
Psychologically and especially cognitively, imagination is simply easier.
Introudce a dialectic of neurosis and you've got interesting times for generations.
The thing is that we can certainly find other ways to exercise those creative centers in the brain, but unless nature presents, through natural selection, a specific pressure to adapt, there really isn't any reason for the basic religious sense—Sinn und Geschmack fürs Unendliche, the sense and taste for the infinite, as Schleiermacher put it—to change. In general terms, the function as it is, for all its symptoms and manifestations good or ill, has no reason to change.
We are a species that will revive other extinct species because studying their bizarre reproductive methods might help us with gastrointestnial medicinal practice. We might be watching a disruptive adaptation in bees, who have hitherto not undergone any major evolutionary adaptations for three hundred million years simply beacuse they have not needed to. When we strip away all of the sentimental regard for the manifestations of this seemingly necessary imaginative function of the brain, the underlying structure and processes have not selected out simply because there is no disruption sufficient to result in an evolutionary change.
Superstition is always easier than knowledge. It is one thing to say there is a kernel of truth at the heart of every myth; it is another to declare that said truth has any relevant, common meaning to us millennia later.
Thus, the simplest reason for the persistence of religious behavior is that it has inertia. Monotheism is an inevitable theological destination. Redemptive monotheism is an inevitable outcome of the dialectic of neurosis within human society. And given the abstract stakes—eternity of experience—we cannot expect the vector will change radically anytime soon, barring cataclysm.
i don't buy it.
anyone that seeks the truth cannot possibly put ANY faith in superstition or magic or whatever else might be "supernatural".
it could very well turn out to be such though.
a nice little conundrum wouldn't you say?
it hurts my brain thinking about all of this.
it seems life/universe/time are fractals, the closer you look the more complex they get.
the fault lies not only with the number of data points but the nature of them.
IOW if a particular problem requires "data points" that are logically unapproachable by the discipline of science, it then becomes a fault if persons play this scientific limitation as some sort of trump card in ontological discussions (which include not only topics pertinent to religion, but also cosmogyny, consciousness and many other topics that contextualize our existence/patterns of observation etc)
Because God is the most famous person, ever.
Venereal Disease has existed just as long as any God entity, does it make it God?
Veneral disease is not as famous. And there exists no consensus on how long it supposedly exists.
I'm pretty sure it's famous enough, and it's definitely existed as long as animals have copulated.
The point is that any statement that can be applied as true can also be ludicrous in nature (and most assuredly false)
Big difference between being most famous and famous enough ... or more correctly infamous
Yet it requires a complete suspension of intelligence to declare two two objects of fame as categorically identical without factoring what they are famous for (or even the quality and quantity of it) ... so you are not talking about truth at all but rather a weak exercise of logic .
You might as well be saying that there are no fish in the river since you have never seen one come out of the bathroom tap ... I mean in both cases its water, right.
The point is that any statement can be implied as true can also be ludicrous in nature (and most assuredly false) for as long as one finds it convenient to gloss over the quality and quantities of the said statement.
Separate names with a comma.