The purpose of Religion.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Jaster Mereel, May 31, 2006.

  1. Jaster Mereel Hostis Humani Generis Registered Senior Member

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    I posted that in another thread, and I thought it was an interesting point of discussion to start a whole new thread with. Tell me what you think, whatever your view. I'm interested in knowing what each person thinks the purpose of religion is, and whether or not they can come up with something as interesting as the point I made. What do you think that the purpose of religion is?
     
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Religion is like a virus, without purpose, but naturally selected for it's abilities to reproduce and compete with other religions. It exists because the human mind is a ripe field with room for the evolution of ideas to occur.

    Sure, there are minor purposes, like social order, political affiliation, food taboos, reproductive controls, but I think these are secondary.
     
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  5. Little_Birdie Registered Senior Member

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    agent smith much
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
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  7. Jaster Mereel Hostis Humani Generis Registered Senior Member

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    How do you mean "religion is like a virus"? Can you explain that in a more detailed manner? How did you come to this conclusion?
     
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    I'm referring to the meme theory, that ideas and cultural artifacts act like organisms in competetion, evolving, reproducing, defending themselves, ect...

    So, the more virulent (to a point) the religion is, the more it will spread. The various religious texts are like genes, sometimes combining with others, like the OT, and later gospels. Some have adopted better defensive strategies, like Islam, which advocates holy war in some circumstances. Some included built in population controls like virgin sacrifice. Some are recent mutations, like Mormonism.
     
  9. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

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    You have killed this thread. Thousands of cyberpunks and other netHipsters are about to flood us with the dank, sticky by-product of their masturbations to Web 2.0.

    ps meme theory sux
     
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry. I guess meme theory has become a meme.
     
  11. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

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    Hah. Yes it has.
     
  12. Jaster Mereel Hostis Humani Generis Registered Senior Member

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    Meme Theory is rediculous. How do you quantify a thought, or an idea, or a practice? What is the composition of a meme? How do you measure it? Explain it to me, please.
     
  13. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

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    Correction: Jaster has (actually this time) killed his own thread. Way to open a can of worms!
     
  14. Jaster Mereel Hostis Humani Generis Registered Senior Member

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    Honestly, baumgarten, I don't care. Meme Theory is ridiculous. Maybe I should just start a new thread about Meme Theory?
     
  15. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

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    Yes. Please do that.
     
  16. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

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    Meme theory in it's simplest form is far from rediculous. A meme has the features of a simple replicator. Memes that are successful are spread by their agents (people). Think of memes as coding for or causing certain behaviors, just as genes code for or cause certain behaviors.
     
  17. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

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    Religion has no purpose. It's a way of thinking that provided a service for ancient people that is no longer necessary.
     
  18. Jaster Mereel Hostis Humani Generis Registered Senior Member

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    Wow... that's plain silly. If it had no purpose, and a useful one at that, then it would no longer persist. The reason why people hang on to religion is not because they are stupid or stubborn, but because the purpose of religion is something altogether different than the purpose of science, as I have stated on numerous occasions. You don't seem to get it at all. It's not a matter of explanation of the way the universe works or what it is composed of, but a matter of providing a context for the self in order to allow one to relate oneself and what he or she experiences as existence with one another. Religion is not ancient science.
     
  19. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    Purpose implies a targeted intent and history shows religions did not originate in that manner. Primarily they evolved from earlier times out of ignorance about how the universe functioned. The common element to all major religions is their dependence on death. Where they diverge is how they build a fantasy around how to survive this unwanted eventuality.

    There is now nothing about any religion that serves any useful purpose that we could not replace with a non-religious equivalent.
     
  20. sony Registered Senior Member

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    Purpose of religion... From my experience, the purpose of most of these archaic beliefs was to give an "easy-access" purpose to an individual's life who would otherwise find everything empty and worthless.. So, in a sense, it depends on the individual; Some need it, and some believe that it'll only decelerate the search for the real understanding and "truth". One is more interested in the questions(physically getting rid of obstacles), and the other is happily suited with an answer(creating spiritual comfort/meaning out of obstacles, and accepting them).
     
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    You just observe it.
     
  22. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

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    I don't agree at all. You are giving religion a "purpose" that sounds good to you but has nothing to do with religion. Science is far more suited to giving one a context for the self and how it relates to others. Why would an intelligent person use a set of fantasies to base their understanding of their place in the cosmos?

    Religion still exists (as I've said before) for the same reasons that appendices and toes still exist. If there's no selection pressure for or against a thing, it will just slowly degenerate due to random mutations (think thousands of sects of what were once coherent religions). I see active atheists as a bit of selection pressure against religious psychopathy.
     
  23. Jaster Mereel Hostis Humani Generis Registered Senior Member

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    Superluminal,

    You didn't understand what I meant. Scientific thought cannot provide a context for the self from a personal standpoint, i.e. subjectively and from the view of the person having the experience. Science requires that one remove oneself from their own personal experiences in order that he or she can observe the phenomenon objectively, so no, science cannot provide a personal set of reference points with which to relate to everything else.

    What I am saying is that, if you take myths and ritual practices metaphorically then such ideas make perfect sense in relation to the real world. Most people are incapable of using religion the way it should be used because they take those myths literally rather than figuratively. It's like saying that a song that contains a lot of imagery and metaphor is speaking of these things as if they are real, but of course they are not. Those metaphors and that imagery are there to give you a subtle understanding of the point that the poet or musician is trying to make. Religion is the same.
     

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