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Old 02-20-2014, 07:42 AM
 
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Good to see the above posts. We are different and yet there looks as if we can come to some understandings and get enlightened on various positions of belief. And it helps to see things through other eyes.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:30 AM
 
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Absolutely wonderful. Break out the beer and Pizza. And when we have all finished dancing the Romulka, we can discuss this business of doing away with organized religion.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:37 PM
 
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Absolutely wonderful. Break out the beer and Pizza. And when we have all finished dancing the Romulka, we can discuss this business of doing away with organized religion.
heheh...And I just shut down a rendition of 'Kumbaya' amidst incense billowing like the burning bush int he The ten Commandments


So here goes .... 'organized religion' is in it.....

Well you know we're not in Nero's Rome getting comfy quarters in the Colosseum and then baskng on the sands with bustling wildlife but I'd say the zeitgeist is truly not accepting the status quo of Christianity nor for that matter all of organized religion from a particular quarter. Question is what kind of change is wanted? What are the critical attacks for? get the shop in order? Ridding the shops? Organized religion today is dealing with an attacking, offensive push. Understandable considering the new multi-belief systems coming on. We know the medieval is gone. Yet when I look at the situation I'm not sure of the motivation.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by travric View Post
heheh...And I just shut down a rendition of 'Kumbaya' amidst incense billowing like the burning bush int he The ten Commandments


So here goes .... 'organized religion' is in it.....

Well you know we're not in Nero's Rome getting comfy quarters in the Colosseum and then baskng on the sands with bustling wildlife but I'd say the zeitgeist is truly not accepting the status quo of Christianity nor for that matter all of organized religion from a particular quarter. Question is what kind of change is wanted? What are the critical attacks for? get the shop in order? Ridding the shops? Organized religion today is dealing with an attacking, offensive push. Understandable considering the new multi-belief systems coming on. We know the medieval is gone. Yet when I look at the situation I'm not sure of the motivation.
I can guess, but it doesn't matter. realizing that organised religion is a man -made institution is the way to a society run on secular lines, but with freedom of religion (and from it) guaranteed.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I can guess, but it doesn't matter. realizing that organised religion is a man -made institution is the way to a society run on secular lines, but with freedom of religion (and from it) guaranteed.
Freedom of and from religion are simply a special case of the most basic and under-appreciated of human rights -- freedom of association. I don't buy travric's concern that religion is undergoing some sort of ominous and insiduous general pushback, particularly in democratic republics.

Here in the US, even if you want to be a snake handling hyper-fundamentalist, not only can you do it, but you might make good money being on a reality TV show about it, at least until the fatal bite comes. Total freedom of association; no one is abroad with buckets of boiling tar trying to run you out of town -- or at least no more than is explicable from your behaviors, apart from any theological underpinnings those behaviors may happen to have.

On the other hand if you don't want to be a theist, while you also are pretty free here to make that choice, you certainly feel more societal pressure to conform, at present, than do theists. And there is a much higher chance of laws and practices and norms that interfere with your freedom FROM religion than would interfere with a theist's freedom OF religion.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting that theists aren't sensing an actual sea change, or even that this sea change is not a long-term threat; only that they are misinterpreting it. The sea change is not a rising tide of actual persecution, but that theism's free ride is ending. By that I don't even mean that their tax exemptions are going away, I just mean that the unearned respect and deference to ridiculous (= "worthy of ridicule") beliefs is coming to an end and they are going to have to actually compete in the marketplace of ideas without the board tilted artificially in their favor.

This is an actual long-term threat to theism, not in terms of some looming gulag or other romantically pleasing persecution fantasy. It is a long-term threat in that theism doesn't have an empirical leg to stand on and humanism does. The erosion of the topsy-turvy idea that belief without evidence is a virtue and "mere human wisdom" is a vice, is causing young people to leave theism in droves, and there is already a generation of young parents who are liberal theists, indifferent nones, or outright unbelievers, and guess what sort of religious ideations THEIR children are likely to have?

And, there is not a thing they can really do about it. When, in the 1960s and 1970s it was becoming pretty unworkable to avoid a college education if you wanted decent paying jobs, theists intuited that their children would be "tempted away" from the faith by those "godless" institutions. Even church-founded colleges had to meet certain standards to be state-accredited, which meant their children would be exposed to the full range of science and philosophy that they had been so meticulously "protected" from at home. And, of course, they would no longer be in an environment of enforced sexual repression and naļvete. That is why the pseudo-intellectual arguments for theism were honed in the form of pseudo-hip packaging like Josh McDowell's book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It was an attempt to inoculate their young against all the aforementioned "evils".

It didn't work. And it planted the seeds that are maturing today: people aren't automatically buying religious belief anymore. Theists are having to work harder and harder and even the people they are holding onto are not the ones who can contribute much to their bottom line. They are people who are incurious, passive and/or particularly prone to guilt, shame, and fear, and inherently, those tend to be lower wage earners who bring less to the bottom line as well as contribute less than zero to religion's already-impoverished intellectual climate. At a time when they need more Alvin Plantingas with an impressive sounding list of alphabet soup titles after their name to promulgate flawed but superficially appealing arguments for theism, they are instead getting the hand-wringers and knuckle-draggers. Simply because on the way to all that alphabet soup, very few pop out the other end of the process caring to defend the faith they were born into. Secular humanism is peeling away the cream of the crop and theism is getting the leavings.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:02 AM
 
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And there was me, presuming to lecture you on this point in the atheism logic thread. But, as in other threads, the protagonists are bouncing points off each other for the consideration of the readers.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
And there was me, presuming to lecture you on this point in the atheism logic thread. But, as in other threads, the protagonists are bouncing points off each other for the consideration of the readers.
Yes of course ... I have never felt lectured to by you and I hope you've not felt it from me. As you state, I usually have far more in mind the lurking doubter than the person I'm actually replying to.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:44 AM
 
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On the other hand if you don't want to be a theist, while you also are pretty free here to make that choice, you certainly feel more societal pressure to conform, at present, than do theists. And there is a much higher chance of laws and practices and norms that interfere with your freedom FROM religion than would interfere with a theist's freedom OF religion.
From the gist of that, it looks like regardless of beliefs everybody seems to be in the dock! Today, in this multi-belief environment no one's getting any rest. So what I see in the quest to say get 'share of voice' is that the rate of and cackle rises and tolerance gets diminished. And 'offense' , sometimes in all its meanings, is believed to be the best defense by both believers and the godless. Both militant atheists, Christian fundamentalists and Islamic radicals are examples of that.

Re: secular humanism.

I know proponents are happy that man is showing his stuff in discovering the exceptional in science and bringing forth the wonders of the universe. But one thing I miss (and they ignore it) is their negation of another way of interpreting man's success. Each time a discovery is made it also brings us closer to perhaps the inner divinity in the universe made manifest by its apparent incomprehensibility. From the looks of it this appears to be man's development throughout time. Now religions take all this in. There's an understanding there. On the other hand, for the 'godless', that inner hum (hey is it that background radiation?) reflecting another hidden part of man's being in the universe will never get heard. why? Well really I'd say they own the best set of earplugs that money can buy and made by man in the universe....;-)...

And I'd be curious as to how the film 2001 goes over. Really there is no way in 2001 that any religious overtones are given. None at all. But the last scene opens up alot of things. Alot. At the least there would have to be contemplation.
And that contemplation will take one to different realms. It is good that we visit deep into the mind's eye. All in all I think it helps negate negation of some apects of the cosmos.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by travric View Post
From the gist of that, it looks like regardless of beliefs everybody seems to be in the dock! Today, in this multi-belief environment no one's getting any rest. So what I see in the quest to say get 'share of voice' is that the rate of and cackle rises and tolerance gets diminished. And 'offense' , sometimes in all its meanings, is believed to be the best defense by both believers and the godless. Both militant atheists, Christian fundamentalists and Islamic radicals are examples of that.
As an atheist I don't feel my position is difficult to defend; in fact, it's child's play. However, living in a society that is still heavily seeded with faith-based ideations, particularly in pockets like the Bible Belt where those things are really dominating society, it can be a bit tiresome and oppressive, in the same low-grade way that a 25 year old would find it tiresome to live in a retirement community where the prevailing concerns are out of phase with the youngster's and they roll up the sidewalks at 9pm and the main entertainment is bingo games anyway ;-) And perhaps one is upbraided over superficialities like their style of dress or hair or their disinterest in comparing notes on arthritis.

That is what it will eventually be like for theists, I believe; no burning at the stake for them, just a lack of sympathy and camaraderie for their concerns and interests.
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Originally Posted by travric View Post
Each time a discovery is made it also brings us closer to perhaps the inner divinity in the universe made manifest by its apparent incomprehensibility.
Each time a discovery is made it makes us less ignorant -- by definition -- and removes some of that "apparent incomprehensibility". That's not the same thing as saying that we will ever discover everything we would like to. While the metaphysical gaps in which gods live get smaller all the time, the rate of shrinkage will slow and eventually stop, because even I don't believe that science will ever convert all metaphysical gaps into physical knowledge. Not because there is necessarily an immaterial reality that is not amenable to investigation, but because reality is a closed system from which I can't see how we would ever be able to exit it and get a comprehensible "outside-in" view and return to tell the tale. In other words at some point we hit the limitations of our intellectual and sensory apparatus.

There will always be those willing to call what lies beyond these limits "god", even though, as our own Mystic illustrates, the sophistication and abstractness of what constitutes "god" may increase compared to the very specific fantasies constructed by our distant ancestors. And the rest of us will continue to call it "unknown" and perhaps at times "unknowable" and refuse to make stuff up to satisfy our racial need to explain stuff no matter what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
And I'd be curious as to how the film 2001 goes over. Really there is no way in 2001 that any religious overtones are given. None at all. But the last scene opens up alot of things. Alot. At the least there would have to be contemplation.
And that contemplation will take one to different realms. It is good that we visit deep into the mind's eye. All in all I think it helps negate negation of some aspects of the cosmos.
Have you read the book on which the film is based? The film really doesn't make an effort to explicate what the "star child" is, which is simply a very advanced life form which it feels we are finally worthy to have contact with. While even Asimov recognized that any sufficiently advanced technology or life form will have god-like qualities from our perspective, he never lost sight of what it actually was, however subjectively awe-inspiring or mysterious it is to our relatively limited understanding. It is not a "new realm" literally, it is only a metaphor for very unfamiliar territory.

I'm sure that someone from 1614 transported somehow to 2014 would not even be able to comprehend the wonders they would see -- mass media, jet planes, hundred-story buildings, seemingly disembodied voices, and so on. Like Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest, who was uneducated enough to mistake a drunken sailor for a god and then offered him his worship and fealty, so our hapless visitor from the era of King James would fall on his knees before us. Does this hint at "new realms"? Does it say more about the realm, or the visitor?
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:39 AM
 
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It's a shame I can't rep that post.

In many ways, while the ongoing attrition of the supposed evidence for religion is eliciting even more desperate and furious screams of denial, the more cosmic kind of god -ideas seem more worthy of contemplation, especially in view of some the astonishing Woo stuff that physics is coming up with these days.

So maybe there is a lot more mutual understanding and tolerance going on in the areas where nobody really knows very much -even about the origins of the universe.

Just so long as we see an end to efforts to make man - made religion and man - made Holy Books seem like God -inspired universal truths.
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