Religion? What for?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by jayleew, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Balerion Banned Banned

    It is a valid criticism. Indoctrination is a cornerstone of religion, and Christian theology (among the other monotheistic religions) teaches specifically that questioning their faith is wrong. Who is currently fighting to keep evolution out of public schools, or to allow mythology to be taught as a valid alternative? Who argues that science poisons the mind, and could lead to children losing their faith? Certainly not me, or "SP" (whoever that's supposed to be...I'm guessing you meant to say "SG?") Those claims are made by Christians. And finding one who doesn't fit the mold means absolutely nothing, since Christians are still among those who try to keep their children (and mine, and yours) ignorant. I'm sure we could find a psychopath or two who have never killed anyone, but that wouldn't invalidate the claim that psychopaths kill people.

    If you had done anything other than attempt to poison the well, I would have remained silent. But you're just trying to get a rise out of him, nothing more. That's trolling.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Balerion Banned Banned

    Exactly. What Jan is saying here is, essentially, "Your idea is wrong because I believe in my idea!" He's simply asserting the superiority of his sectarian ideas over another's on the basis that he believes in one and not the other.

    And how is one supposed to ascertain what system of knowledge and values is superior without the mind?
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Please back this claim up with evidence.

    Same as above.

    Same as above.

    Same as above.

    Hold on a minute, you just claimed that ''Christians'' are responsible for these things, and now you're saying that because one, who could be bothered to school you and SG by showing up your emotional bias means ABSOLUTELY nothing! On the contrary, it shows that SG is wrong (which is a no brainer).

    A pyschopath is a psychopath whether or not they kill people, so your analogy (intended to be equated with Christianity most likely) is not relevant to the point.

    Please explain how my concern was to ''poison the well''?
    And so what if I'm trying to ''get a rise out of him'' (I presume you mean to provoke a reaction to his heinous remarks), isn't that part and parcel of engaging in discussion, debate, and argument, especially one as idiotic as the one you're defending?

    Also I've noticed you haven't said anything about his provocative remarks.

  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Balerion Banned Banned

    So you're just going to stick your head in the sand and pretend you aren't aware of any of these phenomena? You don't know anything about the arguments over Creationism being taught in schools, or about children being indoctrinated by religious parents?You're unaware of all of these things?

    Don't be lazy.

    No, it means that just because one member of a group adhere to group tendencies doesn't mean that those group tendencies are invalid. Not all Nazis wanted to kill Jews. It doesn't mean that Nazis didn't kill Jews. But by your hyper-idiotic logic, it would mean that.

    Seriously, think about what you're saying:

    "Nazis are responsible for the murdering of Jews. Not all Nazi killed Jews. Therefore Nazis are not responsible for the murdering of Jews."

    That's how your logic follows. See the error in your thinking yet?

    As usual, it flew right over your head. See above.

    You're not trying to engage him, you're trying to harass him. That's why your post lacked anything besides vitriol. Hence, trolling. Sort of like what you're doing here with me, except your goal here is intellectual evasion. That's why you're pretending to know nothing of the debate over evolution and Creationism is public schools, indoctrination, and how doubt is viewed so negatively. You feign ignorance of these subjects to avoid discussing them.

    ...are you serious?

    This is me saying something about his remarks.

    Is this more evasion, or do you really have difficulty reading?
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    So you're just going to walk away from backing up your claims and pretend they all fall under the creation/evolution debate?

    Very weak!

    So let me get this straight. If a Christian adhere's to Christian tendencies, it doesn't mean that Christian tendencies are invalid.
    Is this the gist of your confusion?

    Wtf are you banging on about? All I said was that you and SP know that the comments SP made were not valid if for no other reason than at least one person contradicted them.
    Now you're harping on about pyschopaths and nazi's.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    You're not a psychopathic nazi are you?

    Look in the mirror then repeat those words.

    SP accuses people of not wanting their children to think for themselves based on their religion, someone comes along with all the credentials of being parented in that religion and explains that it's not actually like that, effectively blowing SP's claim out of the water
    (a claim neither you or he can back up). That's my logic.

    All I'm saying is that aside from the claims being idiotic and wrong, you've both been proven wrong.
    Now the question is can you defend your claims (preferably without digress)

    How exactly am I trying to do this?

    You're delusional.


    Stop it! Stop it! You're killing me.

    You may find that if you even attempt to answer my questions (which you haven't), you'll find that we can move further.

    Seriously though Balerion, why is it that you hardly ever answer my questions, but pretend that you have, or try to make out that the answers are so obvious that you don't need to answer them. What are you frightened of?

    I'm well aware of the debate over the two subject matters. But what does that have to do with my questions to you. The ones you've clearly avoided.

    But you've been proven to be wrong, while at the same time you are unable to defend or even explain your views with any reasonable explanation or demonstration. Are we supposed to just take your word for it?

  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    ''One's own mind'' is the only tool we have when it comes to making decisions, even if we use superior (whatever that means), or other systems of knowledge.

  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    I never said they all fall under that debate. I said everything I mentioned is common knowledge, and I'm not going to the trouble of explaining it all to you, especially since you're already fully aware of it and simply trying to get out of the discussion. I'm not playing your game, Jan. If you want to discuss those subjects, feel free, but let's not pretend that you need me to start posting press clippings to get you up to speed. Have some integrity for once.

    In other words, finding an example of X that doesn't behave like the rest of X doesn't mean that said behavior isn't a tendency of X. No group is all one thing, so trying to invalidate a notion simply because you've found a free-thinking child of Christian parents is asinine.

    It's an analogy meant to demonstrate how your logic fails. Spidergoat (how does that translate to "SP" in your demented little world, I wonder?) did not say that "all" Christians do anything. He made a general statement that tends to be accurate, but never claimed that every Christian was as he suggested. You don't seem to have the capacity to understand these subtle but important differences, which is why you are so miserably off-base here, but I assure you that his words do not implicate all Christians. And since he is merely speaking of Christians in general as opposed to all Christians, he is not proven wrong by the presence of one product of a Christian household that breaks the mold.

    Do you understand now? Or is this genuinely beyond you?

    But that's not logic. Spider never said all Christians do anything. Never said it, so nothing he's said is discredited by one example to the contrary. Meanwhile, there are millions of brainwashed people in the world who stand in evidence of his claim. How about you, Jan? Were you raised in a religious household, or did you gravitate to group-think naturally?

    And again, I'm saying you're wrong. Even setting aside the validity of his claim for a moment, your argument that he's proven wrong by bivon's existence is incorrect because spidergoat wasn't talking about all Christians. If he were, then you'd be right in saying he was busted by the existence of a free-thinking person raised by practicing Christians. But he didn't say that. You understand the difference, yes?

    What didn't you understand about what I've already said? Is this a pathological thing, repeating questions that have already been answered?

    Pot, meet kettle.

    I've already tried that, and found it wanting. You usually just pretend I haven't answered you. Sometimes I can chalk it up to your lack of intellect, but this business is just dirty pool.

    Case in point.

    Then why are you pretending you don't?

    Are you kidding me? You asked me to give you evidence that religious people want evolution out of public schools, and that they want Creationism taught in its place. You asked me for evidence of this, then have the gall to say you're aware of the debate.

    This is why I'm not going down that road with you, Jan. It leads nowhere. You are a black hole of ignorance and dishonesty, and I won't go there. If you know the answer and are aware of the phenomena I spoke of, then why are you asking me for evidence of their existence? This is just another one of your stupid little games in which you run and hide until the big, bad brainyman goes away.

    Look at you, you can't even keep your story straight. Do you know what I'm talking about or don't you? You can't say you know and then say you're not taking my word for it.
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    And that's all fine and well: as long as we talk about things that we don't consider as contextualizing our own mind (and our own existence in general).

    Religion/spirituality, however, typically offer statements that, at least nominally, contextualize our mind (and our existence as a whole).

    And one cannot use one's own mind to choose to believe what one's own mind is about - at least not as long as one wishes to remain consistent and sane.
    Much like one cannot choose who one's parents are.

    With entities that are bigger than oneself or which precede one, one does not have choice in the way one has choice, for example, which socks to wear.
    With entities that are bigger than oneself or which precede one, there is a number of things that are not within one's competence to decide about - because those decisions are up to the bigger/preceding entity.

    If God is defined as the one entity that contextualizes your existence and upon Whom you constitutionally depend (and Who makes your mind function, among all the other things about you that He makes possible, such as your bowel movements; this constitutional dependence is not a matter of your choice, it precedes you and it is a given), you cannot, in a logically consistent manner, choose to believe said God exists, nor can you choose to accept God. In this case, concepts of "your choice" and "you accepting God" simply do not apply, they are beyond you.

    There may be a number of things in relation to God that you may have some power of choice about*, but belief in the existence of God or conviction of what His qualities are, are not things you'd have power of choice about.

    *(such as whether to eat carrots or not (as they are deemed unsuitable to be offered to God in some religions)

    One may have much more power of choice in relation to a demigod, though, because a demigod, per definition, does not contextualize one's whole existence, but only a part of it, or a part that one has chosen for that demigod to contextualize (such as asking a demigod to provide a good harvest and then relying on that demigod).

    Basically, you're offering an approach according to which a person (such as yourself) can keep their own sense of independence and privacy, while nominally stating they adhere to a particular religion / doctrine. That approach seems fairly common and works very well as ego maintenance.

    It looks like you didn't understand what I'm talking about.

    Epistemology has never been your strong suit, and you are prone to wrongfully simplify epistemological issues. Which, of course, makes it easy for you to seemingly win in these exchanges ...

    You'll probably fret even over the word "epistemology", saying it's too abstract, unnecessary etc., as you have done before.
    But "epistemology" is just a fancy word for issues of "knowing how one knows one knows something".
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Which is why I think that about 98% of discourse on the topic of religion is superfluous.
    Or maybe these pseudo-philosophical pissing contests do serve a transcendental purpose after all!
    Wish I knew what that was, though ...

    Your question doesn't apply.
    The issue is loaded from the get go.
    Nobody suggested that one ought to try to ascertain things without the mind. I'm just pointing out a flaw in Jan's reasoning.

    "I used my mind, which is mine and mine alone, to come to the conclusion that my mind isn't really mine, but is God's energy."*

    I guess you either see the flaw in such reasoning, or you don't.

    (* There is a verse in the scriptures that Jan believes in, where it is stated that the mind is God's energy. But Jan maintains that he used his own mind to come to ascertain that said verse is true (that's akin to saying "I chose which woman would give birth to me.") Ie. that he used his own mind to ascertain that his mind isn't really his; so he now simultaneously believes his mind is his and isn't his.)
  13. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

    Interesting point. So, what is religion for? Would you say to control people, as what is so commonly thought of?
    How can people live free from persecution or harassed by the people with a "gut feeling"?
  14. Balerion Banned Banned

    I don't see the point of commenting on this. If you find the subject so pointless, why are you here?

    But you called the mind inferior in regards to ascertaining the superiority of knowledge and value, which implies that there is some better means by which to make such determinations. I'm asking you which means you're talking about.

    No, it isn't. There is nothing about the mind being God's energy that precludes it from being the means by which Jan determines the truth of God. It could be said (if you were to presuppose the truth of that particular passage) that Jan noticed in his mind something that made it inherently divine. Like a fingerprint of God, or something. To fix your analogy, that would be like saying he determined who his mother was by noticing that they share a birthmark.

    That's a mischaracterization of the relationship Jan is saying he has with God. The mind being a part of God does not preclude it from being Jan's mind. It's not an either/or situation, so there is no dichotomy.
  15. Balerion Banned Banned

    This makes no sense. All you're doing is making claims and not supporting them with any sort of argument. Could you take a stab at explaining why God by nature is a given?
  16. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    It's not common knowledge, it just seems that way to you and others who think like you (perhaps the result of indoctrination). You made the claim and I'm asking you to back it up, not just for me, but for anyone else who may be interested in this subject.
    If you continue to reject my questions it will come across that you cannot back up what you're saying.
    Are you okay with that?

    You're trying to make out that billvon is a rare find. I know loads of Christians like billvon. Maybe you're just out of touch with reality.

    Are you really that petty that you're going to make an issue out of every little typo or slip that I make?
    ''Demented''? Because I put a 'P' instead of a 'G'?

    SP (short for spider) said:

    ''It's conditioning. That's why "family values" as so important to Christians, it's very important to them that their children never think for themselves. They must internalize the cosmic policeman.''

    he went on to say:

    ''I think it's a valid criticism. Many of them don't even want to send their kids to a secular school, for fear that science will contradict their precious mythology. Or maybe that they don't pray (brainwash) the kids enough.''

    There is nothing to indicate, in the first post, that he was being selective. Plus, in my reply to him, I accused him of generalising which prompted him to make the second quote, to which he seemed to accept. In the second quote he made the distinction, but it was clearly an addition to his first quote.

    Why would he need to state ''all Christians...'' if he actually meant all?
    And why would he make the distinction in the second quote?

    There you go again with the insults. I obviously have the capacity to understand subtlety, everyone does. It's part of our humanity. Why would you want to de-humanise me like that? Do you hate me? Would the world be a better place with people like me?

    But getting back on track: How exactly can you assure me that his words do not implicate all Christians, when there is nothing in what he said to suggest that?

    Well, obviously he cannot be speaking about ''all Christians'' as he has been proven wrong in, this thread alone. But what gives him the right to make the assumption that ''Christians in general'' don't want their children to think for themselves? You say this is ''common knowledge'' but you cannot come up with a single shred of evidence to back up this claim. Or can you?

    I think i'll understand when you cite the (common knowledge) evidence.

    But that's not logic. Spider never said all Christians do anything. Never said it, so nothing he's said is discredited by one example to the contrary. Meanwhile, there are millions of brainwashed people in the world who stand in evidence of his claim.

    We both know that he didn't SAY ''all Christians'', but we both know that he meant Christians in general, and you backed it up with indoctrination being the CORNERSTONE of not only Christianity, but most monotheistic religions.

    Now once again. Can you back that claim? It's a very simple request. Don't be afraid.

    How about you, Jan? Were you raised in a religious household, or did you gravitate to group-think naturally?
    Wow! Another insult. How surprising.

    Don't you know Balerion? You seem to have me all figured out.

    What didn't you understand about what I've already said? Is this a pathological thing, repeating questions that have already been answered?
    Obviously you haven't answered the question, or you think you've answered the question within what you've said, or some other combination. But my question to you is genuine, so I'll leave it up to you.

    I said you're delusional because you're accusing me of an attitude in my responses that doesn't actually exist. And the very same writing is questioning something which does include that attitude but you can't see it.

    What's your reason for calling me delusional?

    My understanding is that most Christians want both to be taught, but atheist like yourself don't, which is why I asked for evidence of your claim that Christians want it thrown out of schools and replaced by creationism.

    And that wasn't the only thing I asked for evidence of. Do you remember?
    Why haven't you responded to the other questions?

    Look at you, you can't even keep your story straight. Do you know what I'm talking about or don't you? You can't say you know and then say you're not taking my word for it.

    I'll tell you what would clear this whole thing up. Use that big old superior, elite brain of yours to simply answer my simple questions.
    How's about it big fella?

  17. Balerion Banned Banned

    It is common knowledge, it just doesn't seem that way to you and other who can't think. (perhaps the result of indoctrination).

    I've discussed these matters at length on these forums, so anyone who really wants to know can research old posts. And I'm sure I'll discuss them again, with honest, genuinely interested people. But this isn't that time, and you aren't one of those people.

    I'm not saying anything of the sort. I'm saying that most Christians are against knowledge that would challenge their faith.

    It wasn't a slip. You used it several times.

    Again, the absence of "all" indicates he's not talking about all of them. The inclusion of "all" would indicate he was talking about all of them. This really isn't difficult. The reason he made the distinction in the second post was because he was qualifying his previous comment to you. You see, when people share ideas, they make claims and then support them. I know this sounds crazy to you, since your arguments are made up of about 98% claims, and when you do bother to "support" one, it's a non-sequitur.

    I'm not dehumanizing you. There are people in this world who don't get subtlety. You seem to be one of them. You either don't pay attention to detail, or you can't pay attention to detail. One is your fault, the other isn't.

    As for if the world would be a better place without dishonest religious apologists? Yes, absolutely it would.

    I've answered this earlier in the post, but I shouldn't have had to. What you're basically telling me now is that you can't speak English.

    Stop and think for a second, Jan. If he wasn't speaking about "all Christians," then he couldn't have been proven wrong.

    If he wants to dig up statistics and studies, that's his business. I'm not doing it, because I know it will be wasted on you. You'll dismiss anything that disagrees with you out of hand and then demand "real" evidence. I know where the road leads, Jan, and it's an intellectual dead end. If you're really interested in the subject, look it up.

    I sincerely doubt that. We've had several lengthy discussion only to see you come away just as ignorant as you were going in. There's no point, Jan. You haven't demonstrated a willingness or ability to learn in your time here at sciforums. Quite the opposite.

    Yes, and both SG and I are correct.

    Look it up.

    You're not a complex creature, Jan. You debate dishonestly, you troll members you disagree with, and your grammar is crap. But that doesn't mean I know what kind of household you were raised in.

    Case in point. The entire post you quoted of mine was a commentary on Spidergoat's "controversial" post. Now you're pretending it wasn't. What on earth makes you think I'd continue with this? You obviously don't have the integrity do argue on the level.

    Because you believe you're part of some grand design. Because you think you're more than an insignificant speck in a universe that for the most part isn't even aware of your existence, let alone created with you in mind. Because you think you have special abilities to commune with God. Because you think all religions are talking about the same thing. (well, that's as much ignorance and delusion) Shall I go on, or do you get the gist?

    This is what I mean by you not paying attention to detail. Here's what I said:

    If you need evidence, look it up.

    Because it's pointless with you.

    It wouldn't clear anything up. You'd either completely fail to understand it, or simply pretend it isn't good enough. You don't seem to realize that you've run out of goodwill here, Jan. Nobody's buying what you're selling. That's likely why Spider hasn't gone to any length to go into greater detail, whereas in other threads, with posters of more integrity, he does. I suggest you either change your ways or go find a new forum to troll. But that's just my opinion.
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    And we have to use statements as a means of communication. IOW speaking about these things, as we see fit, is a natural human function. So the idea of instructing people what they can and can't talk about say's a lot about the rule makers. When you have some time, take a look at the societies whose leaders enforced these rules and regulations.

    The words ''religion'' and ''spirituality'' are nothing but subtitles like ''happy'' or ''sad''. In this society we have to use these definitions to convey our understanding of them because there are no words in the language that put us directly in touch with our essential self, and/or the source. As a result of this, we have become lost with regard to God, and self, using these words whimsically and thereby becoming entrenched in our own personal understanding, or falling prey to some idea of superior intellect, or brute force conditioning.

    The mind deals with what it can deal with. The purpose of God-centered religion is to put one in touch with real reality, from that position one can understand that there is no precedence of beings. In this way the mind can make decisions on that scale. The problem with us, is that we don't wish to align ourselves with real reality, preferring the flickering, temporary, illusory reality we see before us, trying to make sense of it.

    Whether or not we believe (choice or not) that God exists or doesn't exist, is neither here nor there. There is literature which takes for granted that God exists and proceeds to inform us of who and what we are, who and what God is, and how we can make the connection. Accept it or don't. It's your choice. By ''accept it'' I don't mean you decide one day ''hmmm! I think I'll believe in God today'', acceptance simply means you surrender, all that you think you know, you put aside.
    The universe exists, personally I only know an infinitesimal part of it, namely the part of it I occupy, but I have to put aside all my conception of it's entirety, and accept it exists and there are parts of it I will never know about as long as I live. But it doesn't matter whether or not I accept that it exists because reality prevails.

    The process is the same, one has to surrender, it's just that one prefers to surrender conditionally than unconditionally with regards to worship of gods. If the process is the same then whatever choice or condition we may have used to come to this conclusion, is the same.

    No, I offered the statement ''One's own mind'' is the only tool we have when it comes to making decisions'', which has nothing to do with ego maintenance. Can you contradict it?

    I understand what you are talking about perfectly well... response came with hope attached to it, the hope that you would explain what you mean by using the mind as a decision making tool, is an ''inferior system of knowledge'', meaning that there is ''superior'' one.

    I'm basically pulling you up on it rather than taking it for granted.
    The reason why I ''seemingly win these exchanges'' is because I seek out and destroy these little statements that are readily accepted in our society, and taken for granted. Usually my opponent is left speechless because they themselves have been taken in, and they realise they don't have a basis.

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  19. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Balerion, thanks for the discussion, it was fun, but I think it's time to end it now.

  20. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    How so?

  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I don't know if religion is intended to control people, but it is certainly often used for that purpose.

    I don't know, but it seems fairly doable.
    Perhaps there is a way to approach this also more analytically, more as a matter of a skill that can be developed. But most of us don't have the time to do so, so we go by "gut feeling."
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I said I think 98% of discourse on the topic of religion is superfluous. I didn't say which 98%.

    This is what I said:

    The mind of an individual human is an inferior tool, in comparison to omniscience, or at least in comparison to any greater capacity.

    That might work, if there would be no religious diversity, and if there wouldn't be numerous theists, all of them disagreeing with eachother, and each of them claiming that he is the only one who is right or who has the superior knowledge.

    So we have someone who claims to be a Christian, and who claims that by using his own mind, he ascertained that the Catholic doctrine is the one and only right one.
    Then we have someone who claims to be a Muslim, and who claims that by using his own mind, he ascertained that the Islamic doctrine is the one and only right one.
    And then we have someone who claims to be a Jew, and who claims that by using his own mind, he ascertained that the Jewish doctrine is the one and only right one.

    And so on.
    All these people, using their minds, and coming to mutually exclusive answers to which religion is the right one.
    That has got to make you think whether using your own mind really is the right tool for ascertaining which religion is the right one.

    Sure, that's what some theists like to think, especially in hindsight (so that their claims of their abilities don't appear so egregious).

    But Jan doesn't acknowledge that "The mind being a part of God does not preclude it from being Jan's mind," at least not in the beginning.
    Instead, he's taking credit for having figured out which theistic tradition speaks the truth about God and which ones don't. He's giving no credit to God for having given him this ability (even as he nominally believes that his mind isn't exactly his, but is actually God's energy).
  23. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Copy-paste where I said that "God by nature is a given."

Share This Page