Religion Defined

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Cris, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    Not really quite sure where you are going with your questions, so I apologize if what follows might seem patronizing.

    I don't really know what "spiritual" means when religious people use that term. I usually take it to mean - "a feeling good and inspired" type of feeling/emotion. I guess being able to trace and observe the specific neuro-networks that create that emotion could be considered evidence, but that isn't what we mean here. The subject here is the non-natural soul/spirit concept from duality - is it real or not? It is a concept that is currently not supported by any known evidence.

    Many ideas in science begin with a speculation or concept where there is no initial appearance of evidence for support. An attempt is made to find evidence to support the ideas, and if none is found the idea is abandoned or the search continues, potentially indefinitely. The soul concept can be similarly treated.

    My last point was about attempting to show that a soul is no longer a viable offering. The idea originated in times of significant ignorance about how the brain functioned - just how could something physical generate such apparently subjective things as thoughts and emotions? With neuro-science comes very clear insights as to how these things are generated in the physical world. Given that we now know the brain provides such things as memory, identity, cognitive abilities, and emotions, all of which were traditionally considered the role of the soul, what then does a soul contribute? It would seem nothing.

    So what I was trying to say was that looking for evidence to support a soul concept is effectively futile since it is a concept that provides no attributes.

    Now I know some religionists will claim that the soul is some type of lifeforce and is essential - but that is another whole debate. Just feels like a reluctance to let go of thousands of years of assumption that a soul is real.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,658
    I thank one reason for belief in dualism is... its necessary in order for us to have free will.!!!
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    I may have been premature in stating "afterlife", I'll work on a modification that essentially says "cheat death". It's the same end result.

    But no I disagree with your perceptions of Taoism and Judaism - both have duality heavily implied. It's a lot like the way we treat gravity - we don't talk about it but unthinkingly assume it is always there.

    From my opening post I referenced the two components of religion -

    1. The objective - cheat death. I think this is true for every religion - open to discordance though.
    2. The rules for achieving (1).

    In effect the rules dominant religion, and in most cases to the point where the real objective is so distant and obscured that it is often lost on most adherents, as seems typical especially of Judaism.

    Judaism 101 -

    Traditional Judaism firmly believes that death is not the end of human existence.
    Belief in the eventual resurrection of the dead is a fundamental belief of traditional Judaism.

    In Taoism -

    Duality is defined more like inseparable parts in a similar way in the west we would talk of a mind/body connection - they are different but form a oneness.
    Tao is more like "the force" in Star Wars. We are all a part of this whole. This leads also to an immortal spiritual body that would survive after death - kinda feels like "the force is with me".
    Taoism seems to have many different aspects and interpretations that at times seem in contradiction. Makes it difficult to make broad assertions about what is believed and what is not.
    There is also a distinct philosophical Taoism vs a religious Taoism.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    How so?

    If the universe is entirely deterministic - every event has a cause - then in theory what you do is entirely determined by a potentially infinite past set of events (see the philosophy of determinism). Free will is effectively an illusion, although there is some disagreement even with that scenario.

    If, however, there is considerable randomness or in-determinant events, e.g. quantum physics seems to suggest this, then free will become a distinct and probable likelihood.

    This would be the case where there is no dualism - a human = entirely physical.

    I don't quite see how having or not having a spiritual component would alter the attribute of having free will.
     
  8. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,658
    The spiritual component is that God gave us free will.!!!

    How so... do in-determinant events make free will a probable likelihood.???
     
  9. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    If the universe is entirely deterministic then you would have no free will to do anything other than perform the activities determined by prior cause and effects sequences. If there are no such sequences (broken by randomness) then you can do as you wish - you would have free will.

    If you didn't have free will, whether denied by a god or not, then you would simply be an automaton, and religion and life would be meaningless.

    It makes no sense to assert that free will was given by a deity since nothing would make any sense if you didn't have free will.

    Free will is an axiom for being an individual. Whether you are dualistic or not.
     
  10. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    291
    I'm sorry, but the word "afterlife" makes no sense to me. What is after life? For me that is like saying what is after air.
     
  11. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    I have used the term here to reflect common usage, even though the term lacks precision or clear meaning. I suspect you fully understand what is intended.

    But just in case - if life as we know it ends and humans have a non physical component to their structure then it is assumed that second part continues after the physical life ends - in what is loosely termed afterlife. Give the concept a different name if you like.
     
  12. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    291
    That would be correct. It was more of a rhetorical question/statement.

    I have come to realize long ago through ongoing personal experiences that there is no afterlife. There is only life. There is no death. It is an illusion. It doesn't exist. The terminology is just a human concept to define an event as observed by those who are disconnected from everything and have no sense or perception of anything beyond this reality. All the religions of the world with their many conflicting and often contradictory beliefs and dogma, and their books containing complicated rhymes and riddles to explain the mysteries of the Universe are completely unnecessary to experience life beyond this reality we are experiencing at this moment. All the knowledge anyone could ever possibly need for guidance and what not can be obtained without the need for any religion or book.

    For me leaving the physical body is no different than getting out of a car. It's just a physical interface used to experience this physical reality.
     
  13. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    Hmm, not so sure about all of that perspective.

    Put more simply - life ends and most people fervently wish that it didn't - so imagination spawns many ideas of how it might not actually end - hence the creation of religions.

    Hitler said it very well - repeat a lie often enough and people will eventually believe it is true. On the essence of propaganda.
     
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
    There was a lady sitting on a bench when an
    old man came over to sit down. He moved over
    to her side and said "Do you believe in the hereafter?"
    and she said "Yes" Then he replied, "Then you
    know what I'm hereafter."
     
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
  16. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    291
    Also from one's perspective. For most, the reason they wished that it didn't "end", aside from the pain that is normally involved with the transition, is because they are totally cut off, and have no hint or clue of anything beyond the 5 physical senses. And because we come into this world with a linear existence where there is a point A and a point B and everything is perceived to begin and end, they quite naturally fear the end of their existence, they fear their identity will cease to be no more.

    Most people of all religions fear death. For that matter, most all living things on this planet fear death - mostly because of the natural self-preservation mechanism that all living organisms share, but for humans it is compounded by the fear of the unknown. Just look at what happens when a gun accidentally goes off in the middle of mosque gathering. They trample each other to death like a herd of cattle trying to escape a predator. Even many of the most devout Christians will fear death, because deep down inside they still have that doubt of life beyond this reality because they have never had that confirmation. They have never actually experienced anything beyond the limitations of the 5 physical senses. All they have is what their preachers have told them and what the Bible tells them. Because they have no first hand experience to validate the existence of the infinite continuity of life then it is nothing more than a belief that many sometimes mistaken as faith.

    This total disconnect from our ultimate reality spawns many beliefs among all people, not just religions.
     
  17. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    Haha - I remember that well - classic Rowan and Martin.
     
  18. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    291
    I've always enjoyed that video. Here is another one of my favorites from Bill Hicks.

     
    cosmictraveler likes this.
  19. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,629
    Believe, not realise.

    Yeah well... if you make up your own definitions you can say anything.

    Since there's no evidence of "life beyond this reality" (whatever that's supposed to mean) how do you know what is and isn't "necessary" to experience it?

    Yeah? And how would that work?

    As opposed to a fantasy "interface" to experience made up crap?
     
  20. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    291
    Do you believe oxygen exists or do you fully realize it?

    Well yeah, lol of course. However, I'm referring to terminology as it is most commonly perceived and defined by Earth's population.

    If you were actually looking for evidence of life beyond this world then that is something you can only do on your own. Perhaps "unnecessary" isn't the word I meant to use. The words "not required" would've been more appropriate. And I don't have to "know" anything. All I have to do is experience it.

    Are you sure you really want the answer to that question outside your desire for cynicism?

    Wait, opposed? Aren't they one and the same thing?
     
  21. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,629
    There is evidence that oxygen exist.
    There's no such evidence for your claim.

    No you're not since death - as "commonly perceived and defined by Earth's population" - most definitely exists.

    Total woo.

    In other words you haven't got an answer.

    I tend to choose my words quite carefully.
     
  22. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    291
    Okay.
     
  23. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,188
    Returning to normal service.......

    I don't think fear of death is a significant factor as an enticement to religion, if at all. If death is simply an end to your existence then there will be nothing for you to experience. Now, fear of a math (or insert of your own academic fear) exam is something of concern, at least for most people since it is something you have to endure. A fear of the dying process, the pain, or slow agony of some diseases is a recognizable fear, and I can share that.

    In Christianity, for most of its lifetime until the recent century, fear of hell - fire and brimstone - was a typical fear that motivated religious obedience, and even today in courts of law the process of swearing on a bible to tell the truth, is meant to remind you of hellish torment in an afterlife if you lie. Even until as recently as the early 20th century atheists were not allowed to be witnesses in a number of US states, since they would not be fearful of telling lies.

    I think the real attraction is simply not wanting life to end, and the sense that there must be more to come. Combine that with a sense of - what is the purpose of life - so really my life was pointless - kinda leads one to hope there is more than just this mortal life. And with no proof that there isn't anything else then false hopes tend to win the day.
     

Share This Page