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Sunday Gota Meetin' Religion and the discussion of right and wrong

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  #11  
Old September 20th, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Amadon View Post
Both are personally experienced in a unique way by each individual, so ultimately it is the person who has those experiences that can best sort through them. But "religion" is a tough term to pin down at times...different definitions abound. All I can say for myself is that my religious experiences are not the same thing as my personal emotions - they are quite different.
I felt the universe spoke to me the first time I understood, really, truly understood, the Maxwell equations for electromagnetic radiation. Still, I would probably not be too upset if someone pointed out to me that that feeling of elation is idiosyncratic and not something to build my world view on.

But more to the point: religion, whatever it may be as a personal experience, is also a powerful social power that most certainly needs all the external criticism it can get.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 07:30 PM
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Unless you are a Muslim, then everyone has to STFU.
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“I think it’s unfair. We voted for Hillary Clinton, but it is Trump who won. It is unfair,” Heloïse said.
Gentlemen, he said I don't need your organization, I've shined your shoes
I've moved your mountains and marked your cards
But Eden is burning either brace yourself for elimination
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 08:29 PM
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But more to the point: religion, whatever it may be as a personal experience, is also a powerful social power that most certainly needs all the external criticism it can get.
By "social power", you mean institutionalized, organized religion? If so, I certainly agree that it needs and deserves external criticism. But religion as a personal experience cannot logically be criticized from the outside.
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  #14  
Old September 21st, 2012, 11:05 AM
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By "social power", you mean institutionalized, organized religion? If so, I certainly agree that it needs and deserves external criticism. But religion as a personal experience cannot logically be criticized from the outside.
Neither can any other feeling. That doesn't mean feelings are beyond criticism, especially if people act on them.

Ultimately it doesn't really matter to me if the Libyans killed the ambassador because they thought Allah demanded it and the Koran said so or because the thought of offing Yanks just gave them a raging hard-on. Neither case makes it impossible for me to brand them as subhuman scum. And the fact that I have no idea what bowel movements were made in the tender inner sanctum of their souls matters not a whit to me.
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Old September 21st, 2012, 11:35 PM
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Neither can any other feeling. That doesn't mean feelings are beyond criticism, especially if people act on them.
For the sake of argument, we'll call religious experience a "feeling", ok, fine. But I don't quite understand what you're saying here. In your first sentence you say that no feeling can be logically criticized from the outside. In the second, you say they aren't beyond criticsm. Are you saying it's okay to make illogical criticisms?

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Ultimately it doesn't really matter to me if the Libyans killed the ambassador because they thought Allah demanded it and the Koran said so or because the thought of offing Yanks just gave them a raging hard-on. Neither case makes it impossible for me to brand them as subhuman scum. And the fact that I have no idea what bowel movements were made in the tender inner sanctum of their souls matters not a whit to me.
Well, since true religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother, the Libyans might conceive of the first part (God as Father), while forgetting the second (man as brother). Then add the fact that their concept of God is at a very low level (to them he's angry, vengeful, legalistic, petty, jealous, etc). Now we can begin to imagine why their actions might become rationalized in the minds of the Libyans. Also consider that they are raised in a culture of extreme intolerance. To me, it's interesting to understand that stuff, but - different strokes for different folks, I guess.
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Last edited by Amadon; September 22nd, 2012 at 07:30 AM.
  #16  
Old September 22nd, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Amadon View Post
For the sake of argument, we'll call religious experience a "feeling", ok, fine. But I don't quite understand what you're saying here. In your first sentence you say that no feeling can be logically criticized from the outside. In the second, you say they aren't beyond criticsm. Are you saying it's okay to make illogical criticisms?
I'm saying I don't much care about your feelings. I do care about not having your feelings imposed on me as a part of some policy package.
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Well, since true religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother,
Says who? Obviously they feel differently. And their feelings on the subject are just as valid as yours for an objective outsider - that is to say, not at all.
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the Libyans might conceive of the first part (God as Father), while forgetting the second (man as brother). Then add the fact that their concept of God is at a very low level (to them he's angry, vengeful, legalistic, petty, jealous, etc). Now we can begin to imagine why their actions might become rationalized in the minds of the Libyans. Also consider that they are raised in a culture of extreme intolerance. To me, it's interesting to understand that stuff, but - different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Nietzsche begs to differ, and I agree with him.
  #17  
Old September 24th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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I'm saying I don't much care about your feelings. I do care about not having your feelings imposed on me as a part of some policy package.
Since arguing about the existence of God, or one's experiences with God, is pointless, it's therefore equally pointless to try and impose a policy package based on that.

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Says who? Obviously they feel differently. And their feelings on the subject are just as valid as yours for an objective outsider - that is to say, not at all.
Why is it logical to suppose that one who rejects the idea of a personal, divine being such as God, is more objective than one who doesn't? If one is uninterested in the differing concepts of God, and categorizes them all as useless, then I guess that confers a sort of objectivity, but I don't see much value in it. Surely you can see the value of comparing different concepts of God, and the actions of the adherents of each concept.

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Nietzsche begs to differ, and I agree with him.
Could you elaborate a bit?
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  #18  
Old September 24th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Since arguing about the existence of God, or one's experiences with God, is pointless, it's therefore equally pointless to try and impose a policy package based on that.
True enough. But then you could argue the wisdom of having a conversation on the subject at all. "-God spoke to me thusly! -Fool, God spoke to ME and you're all wrong!" Solipsist cage death match.

Anyway, it turns out that in practice religion tends to very much prescribe policies wherever it shows up.
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Why is it logical to suppose that one who rejects the idea of a personal, divine being such as God, is more objective than one who doesn't?
The total lack of empirical evidence to back up the god theory?
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If one is uninterested in the differing concepts of God, and categorizes them all as useless, then I guess that confers a sort of objectivity, but I don't see much value in it. Surely you can see the value of comparing different concepts of God, and the actions of the adherents of each concept.
Well, certainly that latter part is interesting, at least. But you'd have to sell me on the concept of "personal gods" staying personal and not solidifying into dogma faster than you can say "jihad!"

I'm not seeing much evidence of that. But then again, by the very nature of not solidifying, it would be much harder to see, so I could accept this being an observer effect.

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Could you elaborate a bit?
Theoretically: "When you gaze into the Abyss, the Abyss also gazes into you."
Practically: The soft-personal religious people tend to be useful idiots for the islamofascists. Just like the Christian counterparts are.
  #19  
Old September 25th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by moomin View Post
True enough. But then you could argue the wisdom of having a conversation on the subject at all. "-God spoke to me thusly! -Fool, God spoke to ME and you're all wrong!" Solipsist cage death match.

Well, that's the wrong way to go about it of course. As with any sharing of ideas/experiences, the first prerequisite should be mutual respect. Building on that, religionists should be open to the possibility that others have experienced truths that they themselves have not - truths that could enhance their own lives. It shouldn't be about imposing rules (or your experiences) on others, it should be about inspiring others with things that have inspired you.

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Anyway, it turns out that in practice religion tends to very much prescribe policies wherever it shows up.
True, people tend to create detailed rules and regulations based on their interpretations of religious truths, or what they perceive as religious truths. It's all a slow, often painful, process of evolution.

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The total lack of empirical evidence to back up the god theory?
Spiritual realities are outside the reach of material science. The assumption that science can prove or disprove the existence of God is not objective.

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Well, certainly that latter part is interesting, at least. But you'd have to sell me on the concept of "personal gods" staying personal and not solidifying into dogma faster than you can say "jihad!"

I'm not seeing much evidence of that. But then again, by the very nature of not solidifying, it would be much harder to see, so I could accept this being an observer effect.
That's the ideal - that our individual relationships with God stay that way, and don't get used to justify the imposition of creeds and dogma upon others. There are plenty of people out there who manage to live up to that ideal - an ideal that I think you would prefer to see in religious people...?

How does this grab you:

(1091.6) 99:5.7 Just as certainly as men share their religious beliefs, they create a religious group of some sort which eventually creates common goals. Someday religionists will get together and actually effect co-operation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes rather than attempting to do so on the basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs. Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists. Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience. Let the term “faith” stand for the individual’s relation to God rather than for the creedal formulation of what some group of mortals have been able to agree upon as a common religious attitude. “Have you faith? Then have it to yourself.”

Quote:
Theoretically: "When you gaze into the Abyss, the Abyss also gazes into you."
Practically: The soft-personal religious people tend to be useful idiots for the islamofascists. Just like the Christian counterparts are.
Not if they subscribe to the ideal I outlined above.
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True religion is to know God as your Father and man as your brother. Religion is not a slavish belief in threats of punishment or magical promises of future mystical rewards.
- The Urantia Book
  #20  
Old September 26th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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Spiritual realities are outside the reach of material science. The assumption that science can prove or disprove the existence of God is not objective.
Fine. Then Occam's. Which isn't "material science".
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That's the ideal - that our individual relationships with God stay that way, and don't get used to justify the imposition of creeds and dogma upon others. There are plenty of people out there who manage to live up to that ideal - an ideal that I think you would prefer to see in religious people...?
Everything else being equal, I'd prefer no religious people. But if there has to be, then certainly those that can make a distinction between my notions and the laws of the polity where I live are preferable.
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How does this grab you:

(1091.6) 99:5.7 Just as certainly as men share their religious beliefs, they create a religious group of some sort which eventually creates common goals. Someday religionists will get together and actually effect co-operation on the basis of unity of ideals and purposes rather than attempting to do so on the basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs. Goals rather than creeds should unify religionists. Since true religion is a matter of personal spiritual experience, it is inevitable that each individual religionist must have his own and personal interpretation of the realization of that spiritual experience. Let the term “faith” stand for the individual’s relation to God rather than for the creedal formulation of what some group of mortals have been able to agree upon as a common religious attitude. “Have you faith? Then have it to yourself.”
I fail to see the distinction between "co-operation on basis of unity of ideals and purposes" and "basis of psychological opinions and theological beliefs". Where does, say, pro-life fall on that scale?
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