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Old 12-08-2017, 04:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
No doubt that has validity, at least in asking the "Why religion?" question. But apparently using it to sideline the validity of religion -question has (for me) the danger of getting sucked into what I consider is an invalid argument 'We need religion - true or not".

True, there are those (see the de Botton initiative) who saw a role or use for religion in society, even if it was debunked pretty much, and I have taken on board o lot of those arguments, but the logical place to start is not by assuming a validity of religion through a human need for it, but by assuming that religion has no intrinsic validity and let it makes its' case as to why time, effort or money should be devoted to it at all?
It seems you didn't read the link OP posted:

"Sociology of religion is distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that it does not set out to assess the validity of religious beliefs. The process of comparing multiple conflicting dogmas may require what Peter L. Berger has described as inherent "methodological atheism". Whereas the sociology of religion broadly differs from theology in assuming indifference to the supernatural, theorists tend to acknowledge socio-cultural reification of religious practice."


Reification (also known as concretism, hypostatization, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete real event or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating something that is not concrete, such as an idea, as a concrete thing. A common case of reification is the confusion of a model with reality: "the map is not the territory".


I don't really consider myself in some belief-box of combining sociology of religion - but I have evolved in my beliefs to realize "the map is not the territory" or that the sign is not the destination but just a help to get there. Religion - whether it be Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc... they all can serve to help point people to symbols that help them progress spiritually. Of course, there is a common tendency for people to get caught up in mistaking the religion (sign) for the goal, or for rejecting the sign because you think it's so silly and don't realize it's not supposed to be taken literally -but rather symbolically.



Fowler faith stages explains:
  • people who taking religious symbols literally are in stage 3
  • people who reject religious symbols because they don't see the symbolic nature are in stage 4
  • people who realize "the map is not the territory" as in sociology of religion may be about stage 5.
Chart of James Fowler's Stages of Faith | psychologycharts.com
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:25 PM
 
655 posts, read 239,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post

I don't really consider myself in some belief-box of combining sociology of religion - but I have evolved in my beliefs to realize "the map is not the territory" or that the sign is not the destination but just a help to get there. Religion - whether it be Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc... they all can serve to help point people to symbols that help them progress spiritually. Of course, there is a common tendency for people to get caught up in mistaking the religion (sign) for the goal, or for rejecting the sign because you think it's so silly and don't realize it's not supposed to be taken literally -but rather symbolically.



Fowler faith stages explains:
  • people who taking religious symbols literally are in stage 3
  • people who reject religious symbols because they don't see the symbolic nature are in stage 4
  • people who realize "the map is not the territory" as in sociology of religion may be about stage 5.
Chart of James Fowler's Stages of Faith | psychologycharts.com
Thanks for sharing. A lot of psychologists are also indifferent and some are very harsh on religion. I think it depends on the person and circumstance as to whether it's a net benefit.
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hljc View Post
The ideas through Christian is God has a son through Jesus and the followers are His family , so any social ideas are of God`s family ...... Other religions don`t believe in the family of God as they would say ``God had no son ``
The aphorism is "god has no grandchildren", actually. Meaning that each person must make their own "leap of faith" -- god has only children, not grandchildren.

So I guess what is generally believed by the religious is that god has no EXTENDED family, you might say. Each believer makes a family of two -- a child and (heavenly) father. Might be a quaking child and stern authoritarian judgmental father; might be a beloved child and a kindly father -- depends on the emphasis.

That doesn't mean the same people won't turn around, and illogically talk about the "family of god". Indeed we used to sing "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of god". It was a rather dysfunctional family in my experience. Not much of a loss to me.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Jumbo10 View Post
Isn't the logical place to start by studying society and people? Once one does that they can draw conclusions if religion is a net positive or negative, possibly like Marx's religion is the opium of the people
Well if you're trying to determine the value of religion to society I suppose it's the place to start. The value of religion to you personally is not necessarily going to be the same as to society. I know they're different in my case.

Transponder mentions Alain de Botton, he of "atheism 2.0". Alain does not see value in religion as-is, but is trying to distill the objective benefits within religion and try to gin up something without the religious dogma attached. I think there's some value to that exploration, but am not confident it's going to amount to much. He speaks of the human need for community and refuge as two things religion is good at providing, but I think it's good at providing a shared experience to generate and sustain the sense of belonging.

Atheists are pretty much the antithesis of shared experience. We have no dogma, no rituals, only one very narrow common (un)belief, and so we're pretty much like herding cats.

Secular humanism can appeal to the common humanity in everyone, but everyone experiences that very individually.

I think shared experiences can grow up around hobby, artistic and sports interests, or common cause such as charity or activism, better than around humanism or atheism. But even those will lack the durability of religion, I'm willing to admit. For example I play cards with usually four other men at the local senior citizen's center each week. All of those men are older than me, one in his late 80s. It is the remnant of a once huge group that coalesced around various forms of "crafting", like making craft items to sell at auction to raise money, chair recaning, and the like. Culturally, there's no more interest in or market for that kind of thing, so an organization that goes back to right after World War 2 and used to have dozens of members is in its death throes. There is of course still the human element and we inquire after each other if someone is ill and that sort of thing but unless I can find others who want to socialize in the same way the group will die a natural death in the next 5 or so years.

In my view what religion has going for it, socially, is a sort of cradle-to-grave support commitment (at least nominally) and a sense of continuity and tradition that sort of undergirds it. Sometimes I wonder if religion will survive for its actual social benefits, its pet dogmas on the other hand will fade. Sort of like how the Masons continue as a fraternal order but don't generally ply the trade that gave birth to them anymore.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:08 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
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Read 25 pages or so of this book (written by a philosophy professor, but about the sociology/psychology of religion) a few weeks ago. It's a new release, far newer than anything referenced on that wiki page.

https://www.amazon.com/Meaning-Belie...ning+of+belief
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Read 25 pages or so of this book (written by a philosophy professor, but about the sociology/psychology of religion) a few weeks ago. It's a new release, far newer than anything referenced on that wiki page.

https://www.amazon.com/Meaning-Belie...ning+of+belief
Thanks. Added to my reading list.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:16 PM
 
655 posts, read 239,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Read 25 pages or so of this book (written by a philosophy professor, but about the sociology/psychology of religion) a few weeks ago. It's a new release, far newer than anything referenced on that wiki page.

https://www.amazon.com/Meaning-Belie...ning+of+belief
Cool, thanks. Looks interesting.

I come from a background of liberal to very liberal religion so seeing some of the more fundamentalism beliefs and experiences on here is a bit eye opening.

But I can see how it can help some people personally and how an extreme fundamentalist and extreme atheist will never see that and are only going to push each other further into opposite directions.

I think Sam Harris has a pretty good approach to this and knows he can't personally influence fundamental Muslims, but he wants more discussions around ideas and human rights and is calling on progressive Muslims to try to influence more conservative Muslims.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbo10 View Post
Cool, thanks. Looks interesting.

I come from a background of liberal to very liberal religion so seeing some of the more fundamentalism beliefs and experiences on here is a bit eye opening.

But I can see how it can help some people personally and how an extreme fundamentalist and extreme atheist will never see that and are only going to push each other further into opposite directions.

I think Sam Harris has a pretty good approach to this and knows he can't personally influence fundamental Muslims, but he wants more discussions around ideas and human rights and is calling on progressive Muslims to try to influence more conservative Muslims.
As as former fundamentalist my contacts with liberal Christianity have been as eye-opening as yours with fundamentalism. They are really quite alien to each other in many substantive ways. And in all honestly, I'm very slow coming to the party even provisionally when it comes to liberal Christianity because due to my fundamentalist background, it simply doesn't compute at a gut level. It's taken me a long time to see the "point" of religion that doesn't have fairly black-and-white doctrinal stances that have primacy over everything else.

I constantly engage with fundamentalist Christians who claim any morality without some sort of absolute anchor in God's authority (which they falsely claim is, itself, objectively determinable) is worthless and "just my opinion". Yet only fairly recently have I seen that religion has at least in theory positive things to offer even apart from pledging fealty to some shibboleth or other. That religion can be defined, in short, by things other than doctrinal statements. Such was my operant conditioning. If I expect fundamentalists to overcome their conditioning, then I have to overcome the remnants of my own fundamentalist conditioning, too.

My wife and I had a convo about this just this morning. She appreciates my resistance ... I spent years prying religion out of my head with a crowbar, why would I want to have any sort of rapprochement with it. Well ... fundamentalist religion and liberal religion are quite substantively different, both in theory and maybe even more particularly in practice, that's why. My wife is for various reasons largely cut off from her extended family ... and I don't have much of a functional extended family left myself, mostly due to attrition and geography. We are forced by circumstance to seek community of some kind outside of family. Given all that, yes, I'm willing to dip my toes in the water at least provisionally, given the right circumstances.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:10 AM
 
655 posts, read 239,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
As as former fundamentalist my contacts with liberal Christianity have been as eye-opening as yours with fundamentalism. They are really quite alien to each other in many substantive ways. And in all honestly, I'm very slow coming to the party even provisionally when it comes to liberal Christianity because due to my fundamentalist background, it simply doesn't compute at a gut level. It's taken me a long time to see the "point" of religion that doesn't have fairly black-and-white doctrinal stances that have primacy over everything else.

I constantly engage with fundamentalist Christians who claim any morality without some sort of absolute anchor in God's authority (which they falsely claim is, itself, objectively determinable) is worthless and "just my opinion". Yet only fairly recently have I seen that religion has at least in theory positive things to offer even apart from pledging fealty to some shibboleth or other. That religion can be defined, in short, by things other than doctrinal statements. Such was my operant conditioning. If I expect fundamentalists to overcome their conditioning, then I have to overcome the remnants of my own fundamentalist conditioning, too.

My wife and I had a convo about this just this morning. She appreciates my resistance ... I spent years prying religion out of my head with a crowbar, why would I want to have any sort of rapprochement with it. Well ... fundamentalist religion and liberal religion are quite substantively different, both in theory and maybe even more particularly in practice, that's why. My wife is for various reasons largely cut off from her extended family ... and I don't have much of a functional extended family left myself, mostly due to attrition and geography. We are forced by circumstance to seek community of some kind outside of family. Given all that, yes, I'm willing to dip my toes in the water at least provisionally, given the right circumstances.
I can totally understand your resistance. I probably wouldn't want to set foot anywhere near a church if I had your childhood experiences with them. For myself, I grew up going to a Catholic church and I always found it so extremely boring I never thought I would be interested in going to church. So I was quite surprised when I found one that I actually find interesting and enjoyable.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:02 PM
 
34,638 posts, read 8,934,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
It seems you didn't read the link OP posted:

"Sociology of religion is distinguished from the philosophy of religion in that it does not set out to assess the validity of religious beliefs. The process of comparing multiple conflicting dogmas may require what Peter L. Berger has described as inherent "methodological atheism". Whereas the sociology of religion broadly differs from theology in assuming indifference to the supernatural, theorists tend to acknowledge socio-cultural reification of religious practice."


Reification (also known as concretism, hypostatization, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete real event or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating something that is not concrete, such as an idea, as a concrete thing. A common case of reification is the confusion of a model with reality: "the map is not the territory".


I don't really consider myself in some belief-box of combining sociology of religion - but I have evolved in my beliefs to realize "the map is not the territory" or that the sign is not the destination but just a help to get there. Religion - whether it be Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism etc... they all can serve to help point people to symbols that help them progress spiritually. Of course, there is a common tendency for people to get caught up in mistaking the religion (sign) for the goal, or for rejecting the sign because you think it's so silly and don't realize it's not supposed to be taken literally -but rather symbolically.



Fowler faith stages explains:
  • people who taking religious symbols literally are in stage 3
  • people who reject religious symbols because they don't see the symbolic nature are in stage 4
  • people who realize "the map is not the territory" as in sociology of religion may be about stage 5.
Chart of James Fowler's Stages of Faith | psychologycharts.com
Yes, I got that. The De Botton initiative (and others like it) talk of finding value or use in religious practices, without the Belief -tackle. Some of these are already in place, like Agnostic churches and support groups for those who left religion. When only has us being accused of being a religion . There is also the use of Mediation and Yoga which carries no religious clutter at all, though one vicar refused to allow Yoga classes in his village hall as he thought it was a false religion ( I trust it was explained to him).

I could write quite a bit about the war on Christmas, but I won't, just mow, but will mention that we goddless bastards are a bit paranoid, I'm sorry to say. And when someone rolls up suggesting adopting religious stuff...not with any intent to suck us into religion..no, of course not..w.e tend to be a bit wary.

I am simply not going to impressed by anyone talking of 'spiritual progress, by eclecticism, selectivism, invenctivism, reflectivism or deflective -hypostasis -redivergiencianism, because to me 'sportual progress' means either the most advanced humanist thought we have, which (for me) needs no religious clutter, and is better off without, or it relates to some unproven and Faith based belief in a higher cosmic guiding principle, which I as a concrete -thinking, materialist, physicalist, humanist, Darwinist atheist and co -author of 'The Baby cookbook", have no time for.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 12-16-2017 at 12:13 PM..
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