New science of religion

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by arauca, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    You mean you actually want to discuss myth and superstition, or you're just feeling extra feisty today?
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Oh, how zen.

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  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I am pointing out that you, as a human, do not have it in your capacity to discern an omniscient and omnipotent entity. Because it requires omniscience and omnipotence to discern omniscience and omnipotence. And as a human, you do not have omniscience and omnipotence.
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  7. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Aqueous Id,

    ''Devout atheist'', that's a new, but not surprising adjective.

    I'm afraid you haven't answered the question.
    You've simply created a scenario which you are pretty sure will not occurr, but just in case it did, it could be in the realm of science to figure it out.

    IOW, God does not exist, is all you need to say.

    By ''magic'', do you mean the pulling rabbits out of a hat type?

    Best evidence of what, exactly?

    What are the ''superstitious roots''?

    All you've given me so far is your opinion.
    Hardly amounts to an explanation of your extraordinary claim, does it?

    Interesting that you use the term ''dimension''.

    But while it may seem like a different dimension for you, it's all the same to me.
    As a musician, I can play heavy metal, and I can play bossa nova.
    It's just music, period.

    What I don't do, is divide everything up.
    When you watch a good band, you are watching however many people in the band, tuning in the a pulse.
    And from that pulse we can CREATE innumerable beatifull rythmic patterns, and out of that, construct melodies that speak to the part of that oneness that is trapped within the body.

    So to me, logic is a natural phenomenon, not something to collect, hoard, and/or hit people over the head with.

    Do you see how you defended the folk who go to the gym, and kinda put the natural guy down (subtely)? I think that is your worldview kicking in.
    That statement says alot about you.

    When I get it right, it's great.

  8. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Oh, cool. But as a mere mortal I can crush the illusion of God like a bug because it just has a thin crunchy shell with a squishy filling. I don't like enjoy stomping on insects so I probably wouldn't derive any sense of omni-anything. All of that would occur to me as more of the same illusory ideation.
  9. arauca Banned Banned


    Yes lets talk about Dark matter , dark energy, we can talk about Big Bang and about inflation , at the same time about multy universe or a single universe,
    I suppose all that is real and we believe in it . Oh as time goes on it becomes real and or we will change it into to accommodate some that we don't know but we will add a fudge factor to make it more real .
  10. keith1 Guest

    Thank you wynn, for finalizing this discussion, and until the time two deities get together and..."discern their omniscient and omnipotent entity status", they must remain the figures of mythic discernment, as human capacity must leave them.
    Until that day, as wynn has so eloquently stated, with only human discernment as our poor guide, all deities remain "dubious in all forms discerned" or, "not to be believed as discerned", or "falsified omniscient and omnipotent entities".

    Again wynn, hats off to your thought string.

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  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Just silliness really.
    My position is that of the average informed person: God is a myth. Had this story not unfolded in our culture, we would have some other one, perhaps involving a pink elephant or even nothing at all. If God did not originate out of myth, but out of some universal natural event (like a voice that hollers "Time to get up, people, c'mon let's get moving" emanating from the sun every morning) then God would have entered into the human experience in an incontrovertible way. Just the fact of entering through myth kills the possibility of it, equating it with nothing more than human invention. The nail in the coffin is all the the magic.
    Anything that suspends the laws of nature, albeit usually for dramatic effect. Not magic, as in a magic feeling, looking into someone's eyes and sensing their energy.
    Anything. At present the best evidence of God is myth, or myths if you cross over into other cultures.
    The tendency of ancient people to attribute unexplained phenomena to causes that have no basis in the natural world. Ancient and primitive people were terrified of the ravages of nature, they found magic causes in just about anything they didn't understand. Those motives are at the roots of the stories that early people invented to explain their belief of what we might today call a Supreme Commander of the Universe.
    What makes what I'm saying seem extraordinary? As far as I know, all I've said is common knowledge. Didn't you early life schooling include classes, perhaps in world history, that taught about ancient mythology? Here's an example if you'd like a cite. This came up in another thread so I have it handy. It's an excerpt from a high school text book:

    [Creationism is] the biblical myth that the universe was created by the Judeo-Christian God in 7 days.

    when officials were considering banning the book the authors replied

    (They retell the history of the controversy)

    At the same time, we will not try to conceal from students the reality that scientific fact often conflicts with religious doctrine. The Earth is billions of years old, not 6000 years, as argued by some Christians; American astronauts did land on the moon in 1969, contrary to some Krishna dogma; and the Earth is not supported by four elephants standing on the back of a tortoise (Hindu mythology).

    The fact that organisms change over time and, specifically, that new species arise through the process of evolution is universally accepted by practicing biologists as both a fact and a powerful explanation for everything that happens in biology. In contrast, the Bible's two creation stories (Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 and Genesis 2:4 -2:25) may be viewed as metaphors, allegories, or the literal truth, depending on one's religious views. But neither is a scientific explanation of how new species form.

    (and they go on to appeal for the book to be kept in the curriculum.)

    Here I simply meant that I had another thought train going through my head, in this case it was simply that you were being down to earth, that there was another way for me to respond than to engage in polemics. I was actually at a loss for words, but I enjoyed thinking about what you said, about the importance of logic as something wells up in us gradually, and ultimately becomes a tool for evaluating other people's honesty. It's the kind of remark that speaks to ethics without getting bogged down in the God polemic.
    It would be if you imagined that I had zoned out for a while.

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    Yes I've played weddings too!

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    ...I think my mind was in another place, but I appreciate your remarks. Those would be at two extremes on the emotive meter. And I understand that in technique, it beaks down to mechanical elements, like pitch, rhythm, dynamics and interpretation of style. At the same time, I imagine there are times when you get goosebumps or feel like you're standing on a mountain or maybe on the verge of crashing. All of that is extraneous to what you are saying, just an observation, giving credit to music as a dimension unto itself (in the sense that I think you used the word above).

    So true. It's one of the most universal of human experiences that bind people together in some kind of common ground. I remember onetime long ago concluding that all the melodies to fit a I-IV-V progression had been used up, only to be surprised how many new fresh tunes hit the charts in the weeks that followed, leaving me in the dust. And of course they keep coming. I think this creative faculty we possess is a deep brain function, closely associated with the most basic elements of speech, the ones that seek sounds to match the desire to express feelings, to be authentic. I can analyze it, and trace it to the way song evolved in birds and go: oh wow, those are my bird genes and they're messing with my mind. But if I step out of that mode and just emote, I get to the place I think you're speaking about, the one that you might call spiritual, but I would just call human. This would bring me to that common ground you speak of, that's not dissected but part of a unified totality.
    I think I have noticed that in your posts, although I don't think I had a name for what it was. That's one reason I came back and said I think I had misunderstood you.
    Let me see what I said. No I said the opposite. The folks who go to gyms have a cushy life and have to set aside time to work out or they'll turn to mush. The folks who live a hard scrabble life get all their exercise on the fly. Well I guess you could take it either way. In any case I wouldn't hold it against anyone as far as either their means of getting by or their means of getting exercise since that's just not important. Even bird song is more important than that.

    Thanks for your positive vibes. I take back my early remarks, even though it was a lame attempt to give you a humorous interlude.
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    This is psychology, which is a "soft science." The scientific method cannot be applied to the hypotheses of psychology as rigorously as it can to the hypotheses of the hard sciences like physics and chemistry. For example, experimentation, one of the key steps in science, is generally unethical or even illegal in psychology.

    Therefore the theories of psychology are not "true beyond a reasonable doubt" as the theories of physics and chemistry are.

    Nonetheless, Jung's model explains supernaturalism better than the competing explanations, such as religion, which asks us to accept as fact notions that violate the Rule of Laplace at every turn.
    There is plenty of cultural evidence. Jung showed that virtually all societies in virtually all eras share a set of archetypes about supernatural phenomena: they manifest in various ways as legends, visual images, rituals, etc. Each society combines them in slightly different ways, and blends in experiences that have occurred in real life during its own history, giving rise to the various similar but different religious traditions. For example, the human, bird or other creature rising from the dead; the flood that covers the land completely; the omnipotent overlord who punishes entire tribes for displeasing him; the place where those who displeased him go for eternal punishment (a very hot place for people in Mesopotamia who would rather retire in Greenland, or a very cold place for the Vikings who would rather retire in Africa).

    The 21st century, which is billed as the Century of Biology (as the last was the Century of Physics and the one before that the Century of Chemistry), will probably give us the technology to map the human brain and the currents that pass among its circuits. We will then probably be able to find out whether supernaturalism is, indeed, a set of pre-programmed instincts with which humans are born.

    Perhaps we'll also be able to figure out why families like mine are born without it. Living in the same society as you, with the same influences, we are told the same legends as you about gods and angels and resurrections, yet we are able to slap our foreheads and say, "What a load of crap! Do educated adults actually fall for this?"

    It's inevitable that we are attracted to the philosophy of cynicism. It's very difficult to respect adults who walk around believing an exaggerated version of the Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy myth.
  13. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    You never had to do curve fitting, or to extrapolate from an incomplete set of data, or to model some behavior that didn't locally fit a particular equation as precisely as you wanted?

    How does the process of hypothesis testing and discovery compare to surrendering, throwing away the data and following some ancient myth about an ancient fudge factor they called God? :bugeye:
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    If only you would!
  15. arauca Banned Banned


    Sure I have extrapolated curves . I had to make fit and eliminate some point that were way out O had to select the best equation to fit my observation, bit my point to you is you are labeling things very positively as if it were a true fact, that is my discrepancy with your labeling.
  16. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    The problem with the Cynics is they assumed life had meaning. My faith tells me the meaning of life has everything to do with good and evil. Virtue in agreement with nature. Virtue is nature. Vengeance on a murderer. They are foolish for the most part not to seek good health, or wealth.
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  17. rcscwc Registered Senior Member

    There is NO Krishna dogma that earth is supported by elephants. Where did you pick it?
  18. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    I must disagree we are 'hard-wired' to believe in the supernatural.

    Children have no concept of gods or supernatural phenomena. These concepts are taught.

    I have never believed in God. Never. Let me repeat that again. NEVER. Yet (like you) I was raised in a conservative Christian society; all those in my 'universe' insisted the existence of God was a 'given'. My siblings, parents (apparently unlike you), grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, peers ... all professed to believe in God.

    There were countless daily 'reinforcements' in the form of religious symbols, buildings, social gatherings, special days, school prayers, recitations, songs, references in the media ... and on and on.

    So why didn't I believe in gods, or magic, or monsters, or ghosts, or, or, or ...?

    Was I a genetic mutant? I don't think so. And I don't think you are either.

    We are programmed to accept the existence of the supernatural after birth.

    Indoctrination. Conditioning. Threats. Peer pressure. Punishments. Rewards. The list goes on and on.

    How I withstood this I will never know. But not once did I ever attribute any credibility to the 'god' story.

    In my view, it was (and remains in large part, thanks to the efforts of the previously indoctrinated) a world of the deranged. An asylum without boundaries.

    I agree that it (religious belief) is a tremendous handicap to our advancement as a species, as it (by definition) suppresses the intellect. As one (presumably Christian) poster just mentioned "I know nothing of the universe". No surprise, since such knowledge is presumed by them to be superfluous (if not dangerous) to the faith.

    On another thread I posted the Catholic school curriculum. Step by careful step, innocent, naive children are indoctrinated into the religion. It is sickening to read ... frightening. These people are no different than any other religious cult. There's just more of them. Mormons do exactly the same thing, except they retain even tighter control (if that's possible) over the information their children are exposed to.

    Humans would have had to learn how to get along socially whether or not religion was around.

    They would have had to develop a sense of morality (just as I did) ... a functioning social structure ... out of logic. Or they wouldn't have had a society at all.

    No, I don't think we are hardwired for 'God'. But I can understand why one might come to this conclusion. After all, there are so many believers in the world.

    However, this just speaks to the effectiveness of the indoctrination process. But what would you expect?

    They have had 2,000 years (Christians, anyway) to perfect the process.

    On the other hand, I will agree we are 'hard-wired' for curiosity. Pity religion suppresses that, too.
  19. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    We are not hard wired for belief in a deity, but we are hard wired to seek and see patterns, be they visual, aural or logical. And when we see patterns our brains seek to categorize and try to explain what we see(it may be necessary to flee or fight, after all). So we see a face when we suddenly look into the trees(and stop dead in our tracks to peer at it intensely), but it soon resolves itself into it's component parts(a leaf, a shadow, a stem, some moss)and with that explanation the face disappears and cannot be seen without conscious effort. If the brain cannot categorize the information or has no information or explanation for a phenomena, it will make crap up that satisfies it's internal logic(the initial face(tiger, snake, bear)is just it's snap judgement, which often is the worst case scenario(in the interest of survival), further consideration follows that initial conclusion as the brain tries to confirm or modify that first conclusion). The same thing goes for natural phenomena, lightning is beyond the ability to understand to a scientifically ignorant mind, so it makes sense to the mind that it must be the result of a conscious actor's direct action, thus Thor and Odin. If you see a strange, floating mist you might conclude it was a ghost and the unscientific mind stops there, satisfied. Belief in things that are simply not reality then becomes the norm, reinforced by all their similarly non-scientifically inclined peers. To them the existence of ghosts(gods, devils, etc.)is perfectly satisfying and logical. Thus religious belief. Creationism is a perfectly logical and satisfying explanation to those completely ignorant of the facts, and they will deny those facts to the point of hysteria because their whole world view is based on such beliefs. They even try to impose their ignorance on our children in our public schools rather than seek to educate themselves with the facts. It is a mental disorder and a drag on society that has long lost any usefulness it had for primitive, ignorant man. We are not and cannot afford to continue to be so ignorant or to allow such ignorance to have any influence in society.


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  20. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Not me?
  21. kx000 Valued Senior Member

  22. pywakit Registered Senior Member

    Don't know what country you live in, but in the US, Christians comprise the vast majority of our local, city, county, state and federal governments. Not too long ago I looked into this ...

    For example:

    Only 9.8% of the US Congress are not some form of Christian faith, and when you take out the Jewish (7.3%) that leaves only 2.5%.

    I find the disparity between the (reported) religious demographics of the American people and their representation quite fascinating too.

    For example:

    Jews make up only 1.7% of the population, yet hold 7.3% of the seats in Congress. Hmm.

    I am somewhat unnerved every time I allow myself to think about this issue. From my perspective, the vast majority of people who run this country are incapable of distinguishing between fantasy and reality. What's worse, they are continually scheming behind the scenes (at every level of governance) to pass laws, rules and regulations that are in compliance with their imaginary god's dictates.

    For example:

    Christians unhappy with the SCOTUS's decision to remove creation and prayer from public schools have been working tirelessly to undo this ever since. In the case of Intelligent Design, the Discovery Institute (now there's an oxymoron) worked with the Christians in Dover, Pa to get ID in the schools.

    You have to give the Christians 'A' for effort on this one ... And an 'F' for ethics.

    Dover was chosen (one must assume) for it's generally conservative demographics and another, far more important reason. I'll get to that in a minute.

    First order of business was to get a solid majority of conservatives on the school board. They did.

    Once this was accomplished, the school board decreed science teachers must teach a 'new' theory of life: Intelligent Design.

    Miraculously, books showed up in the nick of time for distribution to teachers and students: Of Pandas and People, published by the Foundation for Thoughts and Ethics (another oxymoron), a non-profit Christian group ...

    The Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) is a Christian non-profit organization[1] based in Richardson, Texas, that publishes textbooks and articles promoting intelligent design, abstinence, and Christian nationism. In addition, the foundation's officers and editors are some of the leading proponents of intelligent design. The FTE has close associations with the Discovery Institute, hub of the intelligent design movement and other religious Christian groups.

    The FTE is best known for publishing Of Pandas and People, an attempt to introduce creationism into public school science classrooms by raising questions about evolution while presenting intelligent design as an alternative. The book played a significant part in the court case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, known as the 'Dover Trial,' the first direct challenge brought in United States federal courts against a public school district which tried to mandate the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution.

    While FTE did not become a party, Jon A. Buell, the president of FTE testified on July 14, 2005 at the Dover pretrial hearings. Buell denied having known about actions of the Thomas More Law Center to which the Judge said it "strains credulity."[1]

    People and organizations sued (not unexpectedly) and the Christians were ready. Or so they thought.

    Once again, they had stacked the deck. The other (and much more critical) reason Dover was chosen was because George W. Bush had appointed a conservative Republican (Lutheran) judge to the bench for that district.

    John Edward Jones III (born June 13, 1955) is an American lawyer and jurist from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. A Republican, Jones was appointed by President George W. Bush as federal judge on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in February 2002 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on July 30, 2002. He is best known for his presiding role in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case, in which the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes was ruled to be unconstitutional.

    Those crafty Christians. Lol. They were quite sure Jones would rule in their favor, and as a federal judge, this ruling would apply to all federal jurisdictions ... the entire country.

    They were quite literally stunned when he ruled against them. And they didn't take it very well ...

    After the ruling was handed down, some pundits immediately attacked it, notably Bill O'Reilly on Fox News accusing Jones of being a fascist and an activist judge. Casey Luskin and Jonathan Witt of the Discovery Institute, and activist Phyllis Schlafly, have leveled similar charges.[3] Jones also received death threats as a result of which he and his family were given around-the-clock federal protection.[4]

    In a speech to the Anti-Defamation League on February 10, 2006 he responded to critics who claimed that he had "stabbed the evangelicals who got him onto the federal bench right in the back"[3] by noting that his duty was to the Constitution and not to special interest groups.[5]

    All that time. All that effort. All that money. All that planning.

    Too funny.

    Jones also went so far as to say some of the conspirators ... yes conspirators ... should have been prosecuted.

    They certainly deserved it.

    But sadly, that ignorance you refer to is still not only alive and well in this country, but continues to hold a majority of the positions of power.

    Except maybe in the Dover school board. None of the members who voted for Pandas were re-elected.

    At least there was some justice done.
  23. rodereve Registered Member

    This is simply not true. Religion was not a necessity for scientific discovery. It did promote it, fund it, but it was not necessary. "People" made scientific discovery, not religion. The fact that those people subscribed to a popular religious doctrine or not, is incidental. Because there was religion, there were de facto religious people that made scientific discoveries. If there was no religion, there'd still be scientific discoveries, but made by non-religious people. Do you see the big difference?

    And I don't agree with that idea that religion is ingrained into human nature, or something inherent, part of our instincts or DNA. Stupidity is also within human nature, so is defective diseases and irrationality. That doesn't mean we have to embrace all the facets of human nature. And what about atheists? Are we some sort of people born without that instinct? The idea that people throughout history, all had independently come up with a concept of "God" or religion, does not mean that people have an inherent belief of God. Some believed the Sun and the Moon were Gods, and had human sacrifices to please the Gods. Some believe in Christianity or Islam. But those are all human attempts at explaining the world around us. I think the inherent value in human nature is curiosity, and a need to explain what they see. People can explain that with religion. or explain that with science. But religion or science are not inherent.

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