Author Topic: Religion chat anyone  (Read 9831 times)

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #60 on: February 10, 2009, 04:10:59 pm »
To summarize it: I believe in God so I can ignore science.

To scoff at this sentiment does not make one a radical whom the world needs less of. You reject all that all the beauty and good in the universe out of your supreme laziness. You reject knowledge itself. That is a radical position.

Tell me how the world would be better if it were populated entirely by lazy, actively ignorant people. Describe this utopia of yours for me.

placidchap

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #61 on: February 10, 2009, 04:25:33 pm »
I'm sorry, I don't get this reasoning...  People are arguing over something so they should all die, argument solved?

...Yeah I definitely don't get that...

[/tongue-in-cheek]

FouCapitan

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #62 on: February 10, 2009, 04:27:54 pm »
I'm sorry, I don't get this reasoning...  People are arguing over something so they should all die, argument solved?

...Yeah I definitely don't get that...

[/tongue-in-cheek]
[/overmyhead]   :lol:

chrono eric

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #63 on: February 10, 2009, 04:36:50 pm »
So all in all science is good, but theories and discoveries sometimes take themselves too seriously.  How often does it seem like we're at the pinnacle of science only to discover we were dead wrong about something?  It's less evident looking back only 10-20 years, but go back 100 years and see how much technology, laws of physics, universal exploration, and even knowledge of our own planet has changed.  Every decade to every year we're discovering something new, and many times it totally debunks something old.  So basically, science in itself is prone to error, so it shouldn't be defended as though its not.

I often hear people say this, but the problem with this is that it presupposes that there has been zero or next to zero progress since several hundred years ago. It presumes that in that time we have observed nothing substantial about objective truth. I can go to the doctor now and have great confidence that I will be cured of an illness, whereas 100 years ago - not so much. I have great confidence that hundreds of years from now atomic theory, cell theory, and other basic scientific theories will not be greatly changed because they have allowed us to effectively predict and advance technology. Every modern technology that we have today is based upon the scientific theories that led to the creation of it. They are clearly representative of objective truth.

The whole of scientific progress is like observing a giant jigsaw puzzle that is the universe. The big, major pieces have already been placed and we can be confident that they will not be moved. The smaller, more intricate pieces might not fit exactly the way we originally thought - but we can already see what the overall big picture is.

I agree with you though, the nature of a scientist should be that of an individual who is optimistically skeptical. Old theories should be continually retested and old presumptions should be continually re-examined. In all my science education I never once heard a professor utter anything close to that sentence, which is truly a shame.

If mankind evolved so smart and dominant, why didn't any other species on earth?  Several other species have had ample time to evolve, and there are plenty of other intelligent animals on the earth, but none come close to mankind.

Evolution does not proceed in a particular direction, and human beings are not the pinnacle of evolution anymore than any other animal is. It seems like you are using intelligence as a measuring stick of evolutionary progress to justify an anthropocentric worldview (although I'm sorry if I misinterpreted you). I could just as easily say that there are plenty of animals out there with a superior sense of smell, but humanity doesn't come close in that regard. Why pick intelligence as a characteristic with which to judge the superiority or inferiority of all other species by?

I get what you're saying though, I just felt like going off on a tangent  :D. Our level of intelligence is a unique trait to be sure, but don't underestimate the cognitive faculties of other animals. There are many animals that have cognitive abilities that do indeed overlap that of human beings. Our intelligence was clearly an adaptive trait in the past, but who is to say that it will be in the future? For all we know we could nuke ourselves to extinction and life will continue on as it always did, forgetting humanity and our "superior" evolutionary status.

EDIT: On re-reading what you posted, I now think you were asking why our superior intellect was such a rarity? Well, I won't get too in depth into primate evolution and the number of things that first had to develop in order for our intelligence to develop, but I would submit for argument the concept that many other traits besides intelligence have (for all we know) evolved once or only a few times in the long history of life on earth. Just because we were probably the first doesn't mean that we will be the last.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 04:51:54 pm by chrono eric »

BROJ

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #64 on: February 10, 2009, 04:43:32 pm »
For all we know we could nuke ourselves to extinction and life will continue on as it always did, forgetting humanity and our "superior" evolutionary status.
This is my greatest fear; that mankind would so easily and willingly give in to Entropy.

Tell me how the world would be better if it were populated entirely by lazy, actively ignorant people. Describe this utopia of yours for me.
Not to be a smart-ass, but methinks The Time Machine's future 'utopia' is somewhat similar to what you are describing.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 04:50:24 pm by BROJ »

ZeaLitY

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #65 on: February 10, 2009, 04:47:13 pm »
Quote
How often does it seem like we're at the pinnacle of science only to discover we were dead wrong about something?

How much farther would we be if our government for the last eight years hadn't been a religious shill? Federal funding for stem cells is the most obvious example.

Quote
It's less evident looking back only 10-20 years, but go back 100 years and see how much technology, laws of physics, universal exploration, and even knowledge of our own planet has changed.  Every decade to every year we're discovering something new, and many times it totally debunks something old.  So basically, science in itself is prone to error, so it shouldn't be defended as though its not.  A bit of skepticism doesn't hurt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

You really blew the lid off the scientific method, there. Of course it's prone to error; humanity is prone to error. And while science fixes itself and move on, religious people cling to the same ridiculous beliefs and largely selectively ignore the scientific evidence that contradicts their religion. Mormons ignore the DNA evidence contradicting their idea that Native Americans are descended from Lamanites. Catholics continue to revere reliquaries filled with fake relics. Muslims accept the record of the life of Muhammad as infallible. Buddhists have their incredible sweeping generalizations about the nature of the universe. Shintoists believe that spirits inhabit objects. And don't even start on the hilarity of Hindu or new age religion. And every region believes in the soul, which has yet to be scientifically proven.

You're all deluded. Science dares to say "I don't know, so let's find out" instead of "I don't know, but I heard from my preacher that Jesus raised some guy from the dead; that sounds pretty cool, so yeah, God exists."

Quote
If mankind evolved so smart and dominant, why didn't any other species on earth?  Several other species have had ample time to evolve, and there are plenty of other intelligent animals on the earth, but none come close to mankind.

Because we got here first, and because evolution takes place over thousands of generations. This is like asking "why were we born on Earth?" Because Earth had an environment suitable for abiogenesis. Religious people say that Earth was created for us, but we were created from Earth's conditions.

As for that revisionist stuff, Lord J Esq illustrated well in the last two religious threads how deeply the faith-diseased people of this forum think that religion is a net positive for humanity. Arguing that is futile. If you honestly believe religion has been good for humanity, despite the millennia of sexism, war, rape, enmity, ignorance, and oppression, God help us. We do not need religion to be charitable, or friendly, or have ethics. Nor do we need religion to have human curiosity, ingenuity, and achievement. For every Church-sponsored research of the Middle Ages, there was a Galileo put down.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 04:49:49 pm by ZeaLitY »

placidchap

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #66 on: February 10, 2009, 04:53:30 pm »
I agree with you though, the nature of a scientist should be that of an individual who is optimistically skeptical. Old theories should be continually retested and old presumptions should be continually reexamined. In all my science education I never once heard a professor utter anything close to that sentence, which is truly a shame.

That brightened my day.  After watching Star Trek: TNG for the past couple months, I found my way to some information on speed of light.  Turns out, as it stands nothing with mass (or at all, I can't remember) can go faster than the speed of light (in a vacuum).  That ruined my hope to see a warp engine before my time is up.  Someone needs to fix that...prove that things can go faster than the speed of light.

chrono eric

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #67 on: February 10, 2009, 05:00:15 pm »
That brightened my day.

Glad to be of service good sir  :D. I personally am not very optimistic for our species. I too would love to see something like that, but I think the probability that war/famine/disease wipes us out before we have the chance to leave this planet for other worlds is very high indeed.

I was just thinking, it is amusing to me that when I posted a thread about the spiritual uses of entheogenic drugs there was no great outcry from Compendium members (a position that I think is even more despised than atheism in this country because it explores the concept that spiritual experiences can be created chemically and not through divine intervention), but a simple thread about skepticism in Christianity quickly turned into a huge verbal holy war.


FouCapitan

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #68 on: February 10, 2009, 05:02:49 pm »
Quote
How often does it seem like we're at the pinnacle of science only to discover we were dead wrong about something?

How much farther would we be if our government for the last eight years hadn't been a religious shill? Federal funding for stem cells is the most obvious example.

I'm not touching into politics with a ten foot pole in this thread.

If you honestly believe religion has been good for humanity, despite the millennia of sexism, war, rape, enmity, ignorance, and oppression, God help us.

Was that a joke?   :shock:

BROJ

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #69 on: February 10, 2009, 05:06:18 pm »
Fiery as ever, ZeaLity. But, I'll have to say that Religion can be used for nothing more than a tool. It is not 'evil' for it is not a tangible entity; it is simply convenient to control people with, and justify otherwise unethical actions. That said, there is nothing wrong with Religion -- a way of life -- insofar as it does not interfere with the intellectual curiosity and freedoms of others. (which, I'll admit doesn't have a good track record for adhering to this.)

nightmare975

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #70 on: February 10, 2009, 05:09:08 pm »
You know, after typing my last post, I honestly asked myself, "Why do I believe in God?"

Every time I said it was because I hate science, it felt wrong. I had always said I believed in God because of my hate for science, but today felt different. I looked at myself, my father had us go to church for about two years, in which I hated it, but I still had this sinking feeling of God within me. Why did I believe in God?

Every year, on my birthday, my mother says to me, they we are whatever age I turned ie, she said last year that we were nineteen. Not only that, but my father says I was born at 12:30 AM, while my mother says we(there's that "we" again) were born at 12:33 AM. I finally asked her today why she said that, first time I ever asked mind you.

On December 29th, 1989 at 7:00 AM, my mother went into labor with me. At around 11:30 PM, after hours of labor, I had still yet to be born. Doctors learned that my umbilical cord had begun strangling me, slowly killing me. Doctors attempted to get my mother to make one final push, hoping to quickly give birth to me. My mother's heart was failing however and was unable to do as they asked. They gave my mother time to rest, for fear that anymore struggling would kill her. However, on December 30th, 1989, at 12:29, my mother passed away at the age of 26. Doctors quickly did an emergency c-section in order to save my life. At 12:30 I was removed from my mother, declared a still-born.

My father left the room at that point, heartbroken. He blamed God for every mistake that happened. Doctors weighted and cleaned me and sewed my mother back up. Out of nowhere, at 12:33 AM, I cried. Around the same time, my mother's heart began beating once more.

After hearing this, I asked my mom if she knew what death was like. She shook her head, and only said "The only thing I remember was Him giving you to me. Then I woke back up."

I don't know what to say, but my dad tells me that everything my mother said was true. So I guess I believe in God because without him, my mother and I wouldn't be alive today.

ZeaLitY

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #71 on: February 10, 2009, 05:23:21 pm »
That brightened my day.
I was just thinking, it is amusing to me that when I posted a thread about the spiritual uses of entheogenic drugs there was no great outcry from Compendium members (a position that I think is even more despised than atheism in this country because it explores the concept that spiritual experiences can be created chemically and not through divine intervention), but a simple thread about skepticism in Christianity quickly turned into a huge verbal holy war.

Your way is interesting and positive; it's like self-exploration, and there's nothing in there about ignoring science, following an outdated moral code, or anything else. What you're doing seems to be chemically-assisted introspection and reflection. While I probably would never explore that through chemical means (no offense; maybe it'll change), I am very interested in states of mind and being aware of my own thought processes and feelings; it comes with an interest in experience in general. I describe Spring rains to people as a "spiritual experience" (I'll go outside to drive somewhere or just be out when it rains in spring and summer), and I consider things like what John Keats felt as he wrote of the nightingale to be examples of that, too. I want those moments of experience. I wrote about it recently here.

Quote
That said, there is nothing wrong with Religion -- a way of life -- insofar as it does not interfere with the intellectual curiosity and freedoms of others.

Perhaps to an extent. But if 100% of humans decided to tune out, turn off, and drop in to something like an Amish way of life, then the whole of humanity will have stalled. How wonderful that a group of virtually agnostic, forward-thinking people got this country in motion rather than the Puritan bastards who predated them in settling America. The more people who care about this world and move with an open perspective, the faster we'll all benefit and move forward.

chrono eric

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #72 on: February 10, 2009, 05:41:54 pm »
Your way is interesting and positive; it's like self-exploration, and there's nothing in there about ignoring science, following an outdated moral code, or anything else.

Ah, I can see that. I just honestly expected (and admittedly cringed at the thought) that the thread would explode into a huge fight like this one did since I think it is equally offensive to people of western religious faith (if not more so) than atheism.

What you're doing seems to be chemically-assisted introspection and reflection. While I probably would never explore that through chemical means (no offense; maybe it'll change), I am very interested in states of mind and being aware of my own thought processes and feelings; it comes with an interest in experience in general.

Yes, it is certainly not for everyone as such experiences can be downright terrifying at times, especially when you pass the introspective boundary and experience ego-death. But for sure, experiencing such a huge deviation from normal human consciousness has definitely been one of the more valuable experiences of my life. I saw some kids talking about how they were going to go buy 40x Salvia divinorum extract for fun at Zebrahead off of Fry St. in Denton (you know the place, right? It's over by where the Tomato used to be). I thought to myself, "those dumb kids have no idea what they are in for". I almost stopped them, but then I decided to let them learn the hard way and have the holy plant shatter their consciousness into a million pieces and then put it back together again. It would make them think twice about abusing it next time.

I describe Spring rains to people as a "spiritual experience" (I'll go outside to drive somewhere or just be out when it rains in spring and summer), and I consider things like what John Keats felt as he wrote of the nightingale to be examples of that, too. I want those moments of experience.

I think that a spiritual experience can be defined as any deviation from normal consciousness that gives one great admiration of existence, and great introspection into the self. Whether caused by a Spring rain, triggered by entheogens, or experienced while attending a religious sermon - it is no different.

Because I have experienced powerful and awe inspiring visions I am much less critical of people of religious faith than you are, because I know how life-changing such experiences can be. The brain is hard-wired to believe what it experiences - so to a person that has experienced a rush of calm and peace wash over them while they are praying to god, it only affirms their belief in that god and their connection to it. I, however, would attribute it to a release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to produce such sensation and to be released during episodes of prayer. The very neurotransmitter that is curiously enough molecularly mimicked my most entheogenic drugs. But I don't attempt to denigrate their experience, because I know what it is like to experience it and then some.

It is when closed-mindedness and zealotry takes a religious individual over that I have a problem with them. You can't even have a conversation with people like that. It's like talking to a wall.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 05:48:13 pm by chrono eric »

ZeaLitY

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #73 on: February 10, 2009, 05:49:32 pm »
Even if they're the nicest people in the world, they're still foot soldiers of repressive regimes. The nicest Mormon can treat his wife like a goddess and be respectful of others, but he pays tithing to and stands as an example supporting an organization that feels women should be child-bearing machines and "relief society" members who cannot hold the Priesthood or positions of authority. Ditto for a lot of others.

It's like being a cook for the Nazis. You didn't personally kill any Jews, but you were a cog in the machine that did. This is why religious people who wish everyone would get along are still guilty. Through their own actions and affiliation, they legitimize the full reach of their religion.

Thought

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Re: Religion chat anyone
« Reply #74 on: February 10, 2009, 05:52:21 pm »
It is when closed-mindedness and zealotry takes a religious individual over that I have a problem with them. You can't even have a conversation with people like that. It's like talking to a wall.

To be fair, closed-mindedness and zealotry can take individuals of many persuasions over. Politics is another obvious one. But people can be rather petty too; I've seen people shut down like that over which restaurant to eat at or what movie to watch.

Like Socrates, recognizing that one does not know anything (for certain) is the key to wisdom.