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Old 07-10-2014, 12:52 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,280,365 times
Reputation: 2973

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyInfo View Post
Yes, the Bible provides compelling evidence that God exists.
Really? Where? How? When? Elaborate please. I do not see any evidence for the existence of god in the bible. Let alone "compelling" evidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyInfo View Post
The existence of an orderly universe containing life points to a Creator.
Why? Because you simply say so? Assertion is not fact you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyInfo View Post
As humans, we have an innate desire to understand thje meaning and purpose of life
No. "As Humans" we are compelled to assume there is a "purpose" of life. But assuming it is all we are doing. There has been no substantiation presented, much less by you, to suggest there is one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyInfo View Post
Detailed prophecies in the Bible were written centuries ahead of time and came true exactly as predicted.
Regale us with these detailed prophecies please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyInfo View Post
Bible writers had scientific knowledge that was beyond the understanding of their contemporaries. For example, in ancient times many peoples believed that the earth was supported by an animal, such as an elephant, a boar, or an ox. In contrast, the Bible says that God is “suspending the earth upon nothing.”
Please demonstrate that such a concept was not contemporary at the time. Not by pointing out a few people who believed otherwise (We still have flat earth believers here in the world today for example) but by showing that this knowledge was, as you said, simply absent at the time. I think you will find it was not at all absent and in fact mere observation of the sun and the moon was enough to lead many people to create hypotheses about the nature of the earth too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyInfo View Post
Similarly, the Bible correctly describes the shape of the earth as a “sphere,” or “globe.”
Which we know know to not actually be true. The earth is not spherical. Were the bible to have predicted THIS bit of knowledge you might be able to say something impressive. But as I said all the bible is doing is reflecting the ignorance of the time and easily met hypotheses that could be made simply by observation of the sky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TyInfo View Post
The Bible answers many difficult questions
Regale us with these questions and their answers please.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,348 posts, read 2,975,717 times
Reputation: 2030
So...the following comment:

Quote:
but I would see it as a stretch to say a belief in a sort of celestial parent would be damaging for youth. There are very few scenarios I can imagine where that would be a negative.
(this came from post #364)
is an abomination. It is one of the stupidest comments I have ever seen. Unfortunately, for some reason I had decided to type it.

I'm pretty sure parts of our discussion have been smashed into an unsalvagable train wreck because of that above revolting monstrosity of a comment. I will therefore skip over your responses that seem infected by it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
The rest of your post appears to not reply to anything I said however so I will just reply to this part.

You want to know why I think children of religious nut jobs actually enjoyed being watched die slowly of easily treated ailments for no other reason than those parents had an imaginary friend which tut tuts at them about medical intervention?

Then I simply invite you to allow yourself to die slowly of such an easily treated ailment and you too will likely acquire the same doubts as I possess. There is a reason such parents were prosecuted and jailed for crimes like horrific abuse, neglect and man slaughter.
I'm skipping that (above). I'm assuming it was in some way referencing my stupid comment above it.

Quote:
That entirely depends on what measure you are using. You seem to be measuring it as direct, personal and limited scope negatives. I use a wider measurement. The influence of religion on our education system, sciences, ethics and halls of power are negatives for our species as a whole. Just because Joe Soap sitting on his couch does not personally feel direct effects of these does not mean they are not there.
This makes sense. (above)

Quote:
Children in our society die at the hands of parents who for nothing other than religious reasons are willing to watch their children die of painful but easily treated ailments. That is a negative for US ALL. Not just "most people you know". Anyone who feels these are not negatives simply lack the empathy it takes to view negatives as a whole in humanity and are simply focused on nothing but the negatives in their own personal subjective sphere.

Your scope is simply too limited here.
This makes sense. (above)

Quote:
If X brings no benefits than can not be attained without X.... and X even causes ONE harm.... then X is already in negative equity of utility and benefit.
I have two primary complaints about the above statement (the statement in bold). The first is that it seems to me change is usually acompanied by removal costs. Those removal costs are why I do not think it's a good idea to go out of my way to tell a 96 year old Baptist there is no god, unless he began the conversation about whether or not there is a god. The costs of removing his religion would appear most likely to me to be higher than any benefits he or others would gain from the removal of his religion in the few years he likely has left. Therefore I see no value to the above statement (in bold) except to mislead and think it should never be stated again, except to mislead.

My second complaint is that there are some things we cannot get back once we've gotten rid of them. I think a genuine belief in a god could be described as one of them. Unless we find some way to brainwash ourselves, we can't choose to genuinely believe in a god once we've stopped. We can't get rid of our removed tonsils (so if it turns out they serve a purpose we are unaware of, we're out of luck). Therefore, it may not be desirable to remove X if X only causes one harm.

Quote:
Religion brings no benefits that we can not attain by other means.... and it causes many harms..... therefore I see utility in getting rid of it.
I disagree. For example, there is the belief in an afterlife. Through a sort of halfway self-deception, I can come close as I think is useful to me to believing in an afterlife...but I'm not convinced everyone who really strongly wants an afterlife is as skilled at self-deception as I am (for better or worse).

I am not at peace with the prospect of not living forever in some form. Envisioning some halfway-believed in magical happy land of rainbows and unicorns that there is absolutely no reason to believe in keeps me in a good mood, so that's what I do. My alternative strategy is not thinking about death. The only time in my memory I've ever begun contemplating that suicide might not be that bad of an idea was upon thinking heavily about death. I don't like that feeling and see absolutely no reason to experience it again. I wonder how someone might behave if they experience a similarly strong liking for the idea of a life after this one as I do, and are not as skilled at lying to themselves as I am to myself, and they lack any sort of religion. Hedonism maybe? Deism and religions with neither the concept of a punishment for nonbelief in future lives or an afterlife, nor extensive peer pressure, would seem to be the perfect combination of afterlife and lack of the more damaging aspects of many religions.

I'm really not convinced a few more scientists and a few more seemingly minor benefits would be worth the loss of that (keeping in mind I'm only defending the religions with neither punishment for nonbelief, nor an unhealthy type of peer pressure).

Now, a belief in an afterlife only seems like the potential advantage of religion atheism is least likely to be able to mirror. There are other potential benefits (and in my opinion likely benefits for some people) atheism might be able to mimic, but not recreate as advantageous of a copy as religion can. One of these possibilities (or in my opinion, probabilities) is the genuine belief in a loving god. I would say that when these illusions become harmful enough...yeah, boot them out. Until then, why go out of our way to boot them out? Why would an envisioned being that is envisioned due to neither the motivation of fear of helfire, nor peer pressure be more likely to be disadvantageous than advantageous for either tbe believer, or the society of the believer?

Quote:
Not an over night deletion of it. I am talking about the steady multi-generational erosion of it that we, I hope, are already seeing under way.
Well, I cannot prove it, but I think there are some religions that could be beneficial to humans centuries from now, now, and most of the time in between.

Quote:
Yet I do not. I just outlined in the post you quoted exactly one set of reasons why I think she is upset and justifiably so.
I think her anger would be justified as well.

Quote:
And I do because I think such a reality likely adds perspective and value to this life. The concept of an eternal after life actually cheapens the value of this current life and for many actually skews into horror some of their ethical and moral intuitions on how to treat this life, the people in it, and the world we find ourselves in.
My reaction to that depends on what type of afterlife you are referring to. If you are referring to the afterlife of a religion that emphasizes peer pressure, or tells of punishment for nonbelief in an afterlife, then I agree. If you are referring to the type of afterlife most likely to be envisioned by people not of religions that emphasize peer pressure or an afterlife punishment for nonbelief, I disagree. If you are referring to both my stated varieties of afterlifes, I also disagree. I'm thinking that unless someone is pressured/frightened into it, the most likely envisioned afterlife will be a magical happy land with no likely negatives of having that fantasy that outweigh the benefits of the fantasy.

Quote:
It is not really that I see it AS a disease but many aspects of it are ANALOGOUS to a disease in ways that are helpful to envision. Analogy can be a very useful tool in conceptualizing how things work.

Daniel Dennett for example pushes powerfully for treating and studying Religion as a natural phenomenon. Something resisted by many. And his arguments benefit heavily from showing the analogies between religion and viruses. And how religions form and change over time is something we understand much better when we view religion as a memetic entity which is subject to Natural Selection in much the same ways as Biological genetics.
I watched two Daniel Dennett videos. I was looking for videos of him talking about religion being analagous to a disease. The ones I watched didn't tell tell anything about religion being analagous to a disease, despite the fact I watched the fifty minutes of a video titled "Daniel Dennett-origin and spread of religion"
Daniel Dennett - origin and spread of religion - YouTube

I'm not doubting he has the view religion is analogous to a disease...I just don't feel like looking anymore at the moment

I was suprised you referenced an atheist (Daniel Dennett) who both would be fine with his grandchildren going to Sunday school, and who appears to view some types of religion as positive (He distinguishes between toxic and non-toxic religion, and has several positive things to say about the non-toxic variant.)

That was an interesting person to learn about though.


I have a question, if you happen to read this and have an interest in answering. In the video shown above, there is a section that goes from about 19:00 - to about 21:35. Here is their discussion:

Daniel Dennett talks about humans having a sweet tooth. He goes on to tell that there is a deep biological reason why we have a craving for sweet things.

Interviewer: "As we have a craving for god?"

Daniel Dennett: "Indeed. In fact, by general admission our sweet tooth is no longer such a good thing. It's sort of outlived its biological usefullness now that we live in a world where there's a surfeit of sugar. It no longer helps us...but we can't get rid of it. It's in our genes. We don't have to indulge it. We don't have to succumb to it. Some people do, but we don't have to. We've learned how to work around our sweet tooth. Now, do we have a sweet tooth for god? Yeah, we sure do."

Interviewer: And you think there's a surfeit of that sweet tooth for god, don't you? That's what I think. One of the things I took away from your book is that you think we have a surfeit of belief in god.

Daniel Dennett: "No, actually. I do not know. Because, here's what I don't know, and I say in the book, until we do more research we just can't tell. We have sugar and we have saccharine. Saccharine is maybe the healthier substitute for sugar and they both satisfy our cravings. Now the question is: religion, is it sugar or saccharine? If it's saccharine and we cut it out of our diet, we may be in real trouble. Because then we may indulge our cravings, whatever they are, with things that are worse for us than religion.

Have any opinions about that conversation? I didn't read the book they are discussing.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,105 posts, read 45,622,935 times
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We are all free to raise our children according to our beliefs. Every belief has an opposing view. What I'm wondering is how long you will have to sleep on the couch?
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:22 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,107,861 times
Reputation: 3965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
So...the following comment:

(this came from post #364)
is an abomination. It is one of the stupidest comments I have ever seen. Unfortunately, for some reason I had decided to type it.

I'm pretty sure parts of our discussion have been smashed into an unsalvagable train wreck because of that above revolting monstrosity of a comment. I will therefore skip over your responses that seem infected by it.






I'm skipping that (above). I'm assuming it was in some way referencing my stupid comment above it.



This makes sense. (above)



This makes sense. (above)



I have two primary complaints about the above statement (the statement in bold). The first is that it seems to me change is usually acompanied by removal costs. Those removal costs are why I do not think it's a good idea to go out of my way to tell a 96 year old Baptist there is no god, unless he began the conversation about whether or not there is a god. The costs of removing his religion would appear most likely to me to be higher than any benefits he or others would gain from the removal of his religion in the few years he likely has left. Therefore I see no value to the above statement (in bold) except to mislead and think it should never be stated again, except to mislead.

My second complaint is that there are some things we cannot get back once we've gotten rid of them. I think a genuine belief in a god could be described as one of them. Unless we find some way to brainwash ourselves, we can't choose to genuinely believe in a god once we've stopped. We can't get rid of our removed tonsils (so if it turns out they serve a purpose we are unaware of, we're out of luck). Therefore, it may not be desirable to remove X if X only causes one harm.



I disagree. For example, there is the belief in an afterlife. Through a sort of halfway self-deception, I can come close as I think is useful to me to believing in an afterlife...but I'm not convinced everyone who really strongly wants an afterlife is as skilled at self-deception as I am (for better or worse).

I am not at peace with the prospect of not living forever in some form. Envisioning some halfway-believed in magical happy land of rainbows and unicorns that there is absolutely no reason to believe in keeps me in a good mood, so that's what I do. My alternative strategy is not thinking about death. The only time in my memory I've ever begun contemplating that suicide might not be that bad of an idea was upon thinking heavily about death. I don't like that feeling and see absolutely no reason to experience it again. I wonder how someone might behave if they experience a similarly strong liking for the idea of a life after this one as I do, and are not as skilled at lying to themselves as I am to myself, and they lack any sort of religion. Hedonism maybe? Deism and religions with neither the concept of a punishment for nonbelief in future lives or an afterlife, nor extensive peer pressure, would seem to be the perfect combination of afterlife and lack of the more damaging aspects of many religions.

I'm really not convinced a few more scientists and a few more seemingly minor benefits would be worth the loss of that (keeping in mind I'm only defending the religions with neither punishment for nonbelief, nor an unhealthy type of peer pressure).

Now, a belief in an afterlife only seems like the potential advantage of religion atheism is least likely to be able to mirror. There are other potential benefits (and in my opinion likely benefits for some people) atheism might be able to mimic, but not recreate as advantageous of a copy as religion can. One of these possibilities (or in my opinion, probabilities) is the genuine belief in a loving god. I would say that when these illusions become harmful enough...yeah, boot them out. Until then, why go out of our way to boot them out? Why would an envisioned being that is envisioned due to neither the motivation of fear of helfire, nor peer pressure be more likely to be disadvantageous than advantageous for either tbe believer, or the society of the believer?


Well, I cannot prove it, but I think there are some religions that could be beneficial to humans centuries from now, now, and most of the time in between.


I think her anger would be justified as well.


My reaction to that depends on what type of afterlife you are referring to. If you are referring to the afterlife of a religion that emphasizes peer pressure, or tells of punishment for nonbelief in an afterlife, then I agree. If you are referring to the type of afterlife most likely to be envisioned by people not of religions that emphasize peer pressure or an afterlife punishment for nonbelief, I disagree. If you are referring to both my stated varieties of afterlifes, I also disagree. I'm thinking that unless someone is pressured/frightened into it, the most likely envisioned afterlife will be a magical happy land with no likely negatives of having that fantasy that outweigh the benefits of the fantasy.



I watched two Daniel Dennett videos. I was looking for videos of him talking about religion being analagous to a disease. The ones I watched didn't tell tell anything about religion being analagous to a disease, despite the fact I watched the fifty minutes of a video titled "Daniel Dennett-origin and spread of religion"
Daniel Dennett - origin and spread of religion - YouTube

I'm not doubting he has the view religion is analogous to a disease...I just don't feel like looking anymore at the moment

I was suprised you referenced an atheist (Daniel Dennett) who both would be fine with his grandchildren going to Sunday school, and who appears to view some types of religion as positive (He distinguishes between toxic and non-toxic religion, and has several positive things to say about the non-toxic variant.)

That was an interesting person to learn about though.


I have a question, if you happen to read this and have an interest in answering. In the video shown above, there is a section that goes from about 19:00 - to about 21:35. Here is their discussion:

Daniel Dennett talks about humans having a sweet tooth. He goes on to tell that there is a deep biological reason why we have a craving for sweet things.

Interviewer: "As we have a craving for god?"

Daniel Dennett: "Indeed. In fact, by general admission our sweet tooth is no longer such a good thing. It's sort of outlived its biological usefullness now that we live in a world where there's a surfeit of sugar. It no longer helps us...but we can't get rid of it. It's in our genes. We don't have to indulge it. We don't have to succumb to it. Some people do, but we don't have to. We've learned how to work around our sweet tooth. Now, do we have a sweet tooth for god? Yeah, we sure do."

Interviewer: And you think there's a surfeit of that sweet tooth for god, don't you? That's what I think. One of the things I took away from your book is that you think we have a surfeit of belief in god.

Daniel Dennett: "No, actually. I do not know. Because, here's what I don't know, and I say in the book, until we do more research we just can't tell. We have sugar and we have saccharine. Saccharine is maybe the healthier substitute for sugar and they both satisfy our cravings. Now the question is: religion, is it sugar or saccharine? If it's saccharine and we cut it out of our diet, we may be in real trouble. Because then we may indulge our cravings, whatever they are, with things that are worse for us than religion.

Have any opinions about that conversation? I didn't read the book they are discussing.

Thanks for your comments.
Saccharine, IMO. I'll tell you when I change my mind (because conditions can/will cause me to). But for now, despite my atheism, I say religion is definitely saccharine (once again, IMO). In this country, there is such a cultural vacuum--I shudder to think at what might fill it were sugar to prevail.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:45 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,280,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I have two primary complaints about the above statement (the statement in bold). The first is that it seems to me change is usually acompanied by removal costs.
Which is irrelevant to the statement I was making as the statement I was making was independent of the costs of removing it. The statement was showing that X is in negative equity of utility. The removal of X is a different conversation entirely.

To my mind the costs will not be high because the removal is SLOW. A sudden deletion of religion from the world would be disastrous of course. The slow steady erosion of it, that we see in so many ways already today, however is a better approach. The religious population is an aging one too it seems with atheism figures higher in lower age groups.

Of course this means I will not live to see such dramatic change in my life time. Nor will my childrens children most likely. But that makes me no less proud to be part of the process now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
My second complaint is that there are some things we cannot get back once we've gotten rid of them. I think a genuine belief in a god could be described as one of them.
And I see no loss there at all which kind of negates the statement you appear to be trying to make. If we were to rid our species of such an unsubstantiated notion, I can think of no reason why we may wish to bring it back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I disagree. For example, there is the belief in an afterlife. Through a sort of halfway self-deception, I can come close as I think is useful to me to believing in an afterlife
I do not agree that belief in an after life has any utility at all really. I think it is positively harmful and it cheapens the value of actual human life in the here and now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I am not at peace with the prospect of not living forever in some form.
Then this is a personal issue you have and has little bearing on what I am discussing. I wish you well in dealing with it. I myself do not share the ability to lie to myself either. Reality seems to get in the way pretty instantly every time I try. Perhaps I am more connected of the reality around than most, who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
One of these possibilities (or in my opinion, probabilities) is the genuine belief in a loving god.
Which again I see no utility in. And like your previous point above where you said essentially the same thing..... your point builds into it the assumption that such a belief is good.... or else the point falls apart. Alas I do not make that same assumption and you have just made it.... not supported it or argued for it.

I see no utility in such a belief and much harm and potential for harm from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
If you are referring to both my stated varieties of afterlifes, I also disagree.
I am referring to any and all kinds of eternal after life. The very concept is abhorrent and cheapens the value of actual life here and now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I watched two Daniel Dennett videos. I was looking for videos of him talking about religion being analagous to a disease.
You could read his book "Breaking the Spell" or watch the videos on you tube with the title "Religion as a natural phenomenon". You will find the memetic disease analogies in both of these places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
Have any opinions about that conversation? I didn't read the book they are discussing.
I agree entirely with him saying that we need to study it further to answer such questions. He is being nothing more than an honest scientist by saying he can not answer certain questions entirely and completely without certain data or research.

He is simply saying that until we study it we can not be over confident in our assertions as to the benefits or harms of religion. He like I would say that while ALSO acknowledging the fact that RIGHT NOW we have no arguments, evidence, data or reasoning to think religion is harmful or that removing it will be dangerous. There simply is none. But that does not mean we should not make the attempt to find some before we do anything too drastic.

But until such evidence arises I am happy to be a proponent of, and small participant in, the demise of religion.

Just as coca cola hyper stimulates our biological need for sugar.... I do agree that religion likely hyper stimulates other areas of our biological make up. Such as our agency detection and what Dennett calls "The intentional stance" in how we view the world.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:12 AM
 
1 posts, read 879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WSPHXPELON View Post
My son is 5 years old. Ever since he was born I have been asking myself how I am going to educate him in regard to religion...My wife's side of the family are fairly Catholic. My mother-in-law had my son baptized when he was a baby (I did not protest). Well, I had finally decided that what I would tell my son regarding "God" would be that I would just avoid the subject and/or "play it off" like I was a believer when the subject came up...

Well, today, for the first time ever, my son started asking me questions about God. I just couldn't make myself betray my son by feeding him lies. I told him the truth, that God, "is not real"; and I explained that some people believe very strongly that God does exist but that my personal belief which I feel to be true is that God does not exist.

Well, he was okay with it. He said, "Okay, God isn't real. Only Santa Claus is real and he is the one that takes care of us, right?" So, I had already broken the news to him about God (the big lie), so I broke the news to him about Santa Claus as well. I told him that Santa Claus is not real either and that the presents are from me and my wife. I told him that the only people that will "take care of us", are us; and that is why we must be good people and value and appreciate each other and our families. He seemed very understanding and none of it seemed to upset him the slightest.

Long story short, did I just mess up?? Should I have let the facade carried on for years??

What do you think? How have you handled raising children being an Atheist? Please just share some thoughts on this topic because it has really been bothering me....
To : WSPHXPELON

do you think ? you answered him , or you told him your belief .
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,348 posts, read 2,975,717 times
Reputation: 2030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
Which is irrelevant to the statement I was making as the statement I was making was independent of the costs of removing it. The statement was showing that X is in negative equity of utility. The removal of X is a different conversation entirely.
Okay, this makes sense. Apologies. I had misinterpreted/misread the comment or something. (In reference to the above).




Quote:
And I see no loss there at all which kind of negates the statement you appear to be trying to make. If we were to rid our species of such an unsubstantiated notion, I can think of no reason why we may wish to bring it back.



I do not agree that belief in an after life has any utility at all really. I think it is positively harmful and it cheapens the value of actual human life in the here and now.
Here's a point where I disagree. I think an afterlife makes this life more worthwhile for some people. I think we need to keep the belief around for some people's sake. It should not be brainwashed into people's minds though. If people are not pressured into the belief...then I'm thinking what will usually happen is that if it's important to someone to believe in an afterlife, he or she will, and if it's not important, he or she will not.

There is a beatiful sentence I heard an atheist type on Citi-Data once. It goes: "I am the universe contemplating itself." That could be seen as misleading. It's meant to imply to ourselves that we are part of something vast and infinite...but I don't think the statement is true. Without consciousness, it is not useful to describe us as being "I" anymore, and most of the universe seems to lack consciousness. Therefore, I am not the universe. I am a piece of the universe.

However, the phrase "I am the universe contemplating itself," adds a bit more beauty to this world we live in, and therefore the statement has value. The statement gives the universe more beauty. That's what religion can do. A belief in a potential afterlife can do that for some people, I think. A personified universe can do that for some people, I think.

I think we mentally construct the beauty in the universe. Thinking "I am the universe contemplating itself" gives the universe more beauty for some people. Calling the universe "god" and personifying it gives the universe more beauty to other people. Envisioning a potential afterlife also gives this life more beauty for some people. The lack of an afterlife can be depressing for some people, so the prospect of an afterlife can put some of us in a good mood until we kick the bucket and don't have to worry about it anymore.

We mentally construct the purpose of the universe, I think. Without these mental constructions the universe has no purpose, so I think it's good to keep around slightly misleading statements such as "I want to understand the mind of god" (when someone is talking about wanting to learn more about the universe) as well as "I am the universe contemplating itself."

Both "I want to understand the mind of god" and "I am the universe contemplating itself" are basically doing the same thing. They're making the universe more beautiful to some people by making the universe seem more beautiful to some people. So, I think these illusions people have like "I am the universe contemplating itself" or and some variants of beliefs in gods probably should be kept around just because they seem to make the universe more uplifting/pretty to some people.

I think smashing those illusions is no different from smashing artwork, so the artwork/type of illusions to which I'm referring should be obviously damaging before they're smashworthy.

Last edited by Clintone; 07-21-2014 at 01:54 AM..
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:26 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,280,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I think an afterlife makes this life more worthwhile for some people.
I get that you think that, you indicated as much, it is the WHY you think that part that remains opaque.

Why is gold precious? It is precious because it is rare. If you could multiply the quantity of gold on this planet 100,000 times bigger over night it would lose most of its value.

So similarly what makes life precious? Its transience, rarity and uniqueness. What value does your life have if it is only a precursor to an ETERNAL after life?

Take the Jesus myth for example. Jesus was said to have "sacrificed" his life for man kind. Yet what sacrifice was made? He traded up from a minuscule blink of an eye life of some discomfort and pain, for an eternal life of bliss and dominion. How can a "sacrifice" be taken at all seriously in this context? Especially when it makes a mockery of those of our species who actually did give their life for a personal, place or ideal. With no expectation of, let alone guarantee of, an eternal after life. The Jesus myth and its claims of an eternal after life are an insult to those people who bettered our world by giving their own lives in service of it.

And what of those parents who willingly watch their children die painfully of treatable diseases all because their religion teaches them the sinful nature of medical intervention in their god's eyes? There is no reason to think there even IS an after life, and yet these children had their lives needlessly cut short for no other reason to to ensure their after life would be of a suitable quality. Clearly to people like that this concept of an after life not just diluted the value of THIS life.... it entirely removed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I think we need to keep the belief around for some people's sake.
I see no reason to think so. Have more respect for your fellow man than this. It is a crutch and that people have become reliant on that crush in no way justifies thinking they require that crutch. Removal of it, like weening a child off a security blanket, might be slow and, for some, painful. But that does not negate the benefit of the change.

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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
The statement gives the universe more beauty. That's what religion can do.
And yet the sentence you exampled did not require religion to do it. Perhaps religion CAN do it too. But the point I made a few times now is you can not simply isolate a few things you think religion does well and act like this justifies wishing to keep it. One has to pan out to the bigger picture and not just cherry pick these isolated examples, but see what the COST of them is too.

The question I always ask when someone cherry picks some perceived benefit in religion is "Can we achieve this self same benefit without religion and the harms and costs of religion?" and very clearly in THIS example the answer is yet because you yourself gave an example of it.

The benefit you describe is very real, but I think it is nothing to do with religion at all. But, as with most things, something religion commandeered and assimilated in order to improve itself, not anyone or anything else.

Remember Marx did not simply say religion was the opiate of the people as he is often misquoted. He went on to say (bolding mine to highlight the bits relevant to your thinking here)........... "The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness….The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo….Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and cull the living flower.”
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:38 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
I get that you think that, you indicated as much, it is the WHY you think that part that remains opaque.

Why is gold precious? It is precious because it is rare. If you could multiply the quantity of gold on this planet 100,000 times bigger over night it would lose most of its value.

So similarly what makes life precious? Its transience, rarity and uniqueness. What value does your life have if it is only a precursor to an ETERNAL after life?
It has value because this life does. We cannot compare gold to an afterlife. The fact is...death is depressing for some people, so stopping it from being depressing would seem to be valuable.




Quote:
I see no reason to think so. Have more respect for your fellow man than this. It is a crutch and that people have become reliant on that crush in no way justifies thinking they require that crutch. Removal of it, like weening a child off a security blanket, might be slow and, for some, painful. But that does not negate the benefit of the change.



And yet the sentence you exampled did not require religion to do it. Perhaps religion CAN do it too. But the point I made a few times now is you can not simply isolate a few things you think religion does well and act like this justifies wishing to keep it. One has to pan out to the bigger picture and not just cherry pick these isolated examples, but see what the COST of them is too.
I am not cherry picking. I am not convinced there is a replacement for religion for some people...and I'm not convinced there should be either, if it does not cause obvious harm.

We make the universe uglier or prettier by how we make it seem. The value of religion is that it seems like it can make things prettier. It would be good to work on ways of making the universe prettier through atheistic perspectives, such as the term "I am the universe contemplating itself," or ideally, concepts that are both as pretty as "I am the universe contemplating itself" and more accurate...but I don't think we have many terms that are as beautifying as that yet, for the atheist perspective. Ideally our descendants will think some up...but I'm not sure the atheistic view will every work optimally for everyone, insofar as making the universe beautiful.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:58 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,280,365 times
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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
It has value because this life does. We cannot compare gold to an afterlife.
I am not comparing them. I am making an analogy. The point is that the rarity, transience and uniqueness of life is what gives it is value. The concept of an after life erodes these facts into nothing. If you have something precious in one box, and then another box containing an infinite supply of that something precious.... then the contents of the first box will not be so important to you after all.

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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
The fact is...death is depressing for some people, so stopping it from being depressing would seem to be valuable.
Not really. Ignoring facts because they do not sit well emotionally is not "valuable'". One can not simply avoid reality where reality fails to be pleasing. Our species are not children. We might shield children from many of the horrors of the world while they are young, but eventually they have to grow up and learn these realities. There is no utility in lying to them ALL their lives.

Similarly our species needs to grow up and get with reality. There is no utility I can see to delude oneself, and serperate ones world view from reality, simply to avoid facts that do not sit well.

And this is all, as I keep saying, before you pan out to the big picture and not just look at "an after life makes things less depressing" and start looking at the side effects and costs of maintaining this happy slappy world view.

And I think even theists often do not really believe what they pretend to. Why then do theists grieve for the dead? It makes little sense in the light of their purported expectation to relatively soon see the dead people again, and then continue to do so for all eternity.

For people who claim to believe in an after life, the graving theists appears to act like they do not actually hold any such expectation at all.

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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I am not cherry picking.
Except yes, yes you are. You are cherry picking a few of the benefits you think religion affords us. And you are doing so in isolate of the side effects and cost of those religions too.

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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I am not convinced there is a replacement for religion for some people...and I'm not convinced there should be either, if it does not cause obvious harm.
But religion does cause obvious harm, and a lot of it.

And you already yourself gave examples of replacements for it. I see no reason to think that if such replacements work for one, they can not work for everyone. It is quite the claim to suggest that they would not. And yet your basis for suggesting this is entirely absent.

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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I don't think we have many terms that are as beautifying as that yet
Then you should read more Carl Sagan, Neil De Grasse Tyson and VS Ramachandran, to name but a few, because their prose is replete with beautiful and nonsense free depictions of our universe, and the life within it.
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