Moderator: felix dakat
It refers to a method of maintaining a gathering or group via their beliefs.
but the term “religion” literally means “what one does about what one believes.”
"God" has not been defined in the writing yet is being argued as non-existent. How can you logically determine the existence of something not yet defined?
The only other possibility for the origination of the universe, apart from an infinitely existing one, is through the work of an eternally existent Creator.
Nothingness is an impossible state.
There was never a time when absolutely nothing existed. There must have always been some sort of eternal matter, energy, or being.
Ade wrote:Furthermore, a Strawman argument requires that an opponent has raised an opposing argument, and the offender substitutes a similar argument and considers the initial proposition "defeated" through his refutation of the substituted proposition. I have not argued with anyone yet, so I could not have committed this offense unless I misrepresented a dissenting proposition in the initial work itself.
If the author defines "God" as He/It that sparked the universe from nothingness, then the author is defining God to be an impossibility from the start. But by doing so, he is substituting the real argument with a false argument and thus accomplishing the exact scenario you spelled out as "strawman".
Ade wrote:That which "sparks the universe from nothingness" doesn't necessarily have to follow the rules of the universe itself, and thus is not necessarily an impossibility.
Ade wrote:I am not arguing likelihoods here. What I am saying is that if there IS a Creator that exists apart from the rules of the universe, it would have to exist in the manner I described.
Ade wrote:I think Christians and Jewish people agree that God was prior to the universe and made it from "nothing," so to speak. The "matter that comprises the universe" and "God" were not existent at the same time, according to these doctrines. "In the beginning the world was formless and void...," yet the author of Genesis quickly acknowledges that God formed everything in this world.
Ade wrote:As the author of the essay, I omitted my name and school because this is the Internet...using that as a strike against the paper is a fallacy called "poisoning the well."
Ade wrote:Nothing was defined incorrectly. The terms were laid out fairly and understandably. I only want to see if others have the same experience of religion as I do, and if they feel it should be dealt with in the same way.
Ade wrote:I also want to know if people think that natural morals can and SHOULD be reached without the use of religion.
Ade wrote:This paper was an attempt at discovery, not an attempt to "defeat" anyone.
Anything that most people will agree to will instantly become the religion (that which keeps them together).
Now how they discover it is another issue. I am currently discussing that very issue on another thread ("Master of the World" in Philosophy).Ade wrote:If everyone had to discover moral behavior through rational inquiry, there would be no coercion involved, and no system of "belief." It would be hard work, but it would be worth it because people would understand why something is good or bad beyond "it has been decreed."
Ade wrote:Other than nuances of doctrine, you agree with me about how one must think of God as the Creator of the universe. I really don't see where our disagreement is, or where anything was defined incorrectly. I think you are just spoiling for a fight.
Ade wrote:Either matter/energy is eternal, or the Creator is; it cannot be both.
Actually the Creator/Cause ("First Cause", "Principle Cause") CANNOT be made of energy/matter. The energy/matter is the effect, not the cause/principle. Principles are not of physical existence, but conceptual (ie. "spiritual")Ade wrote: If there IS a Creator, it does not necessarily have to be comprised of matter/energy.
Ade wrote:Nobody knows what the "Grand Unifier" is.
Ade wrote:The great thing is that it does not actually matter if God exists. You can still conceive of the being and strive to be like it. The major problem I'm after here is that religions waste energy and resources trying to NAME this thing, or figuring out how this thing ought to be praised. It is clear that, given what we can know, none of this ritual benefits mankind. We would be better to conceive of God as a purely theoretical being and free ourselves from the concern of whether or not He actually exists.
Ade wrote:The major problem I'm after here is that religions waste energy and resources trying to NAME this thing, or figuring out how this thing ought to be praised. It is clear that, given what we can know, none of this ritual benefits mankind.
Why take out such a important thing out of peoples lives? As long as people are curious they shall seek god and thus, it´s definition.
I think we need to sit back and think about what is entailed within the term "religion". It is a very broad one and because of that, discussions like this one can easily get stuck in the murk. Let's consider what traditional organized religion represents. It is an incredibly effective vector for the transmission of values. These are values which have persisted for generation after generation because they either work or are neutral with respect to how things work, hence the Kamehameha II example, where the old order was swept away without a peep of complaint except for the most ardent of traditionalists, a peep which was (importantly) ignored.
To say that "it hasn't killed us yet" is really all that is required for it to pass the selective test. Lacking a crystal orb with which to see into the future, I can't say with absolute certainty what will and won't work in the future but I can tell you what does work in the present and what has worked (and what hasn't worked) in the past. Remember Master Eisai's famous maxim: I know nothing of Buddhas present, or future. But I know that cows exist." Cancer kills people, most assuredly, but that doesn't mean that the balance between the potential for cancer and the ability for our cells to regenerate themselves hasn't struck a fine balance, right? People still get sick and people still get arthritis (an auto-immune disease) but that doesn't mean that our immune system hasn't struct a workable balance between fighting off the causes of sickness and not doing so in so valiant a manner that the body destroys itself. That sickness and arthritis exist is proof that this system is imperfect, but so what? I think it is a fair assumption to say that these elements have persisted because they work. Granted, that is circular but it is a foundational assumption and one that I think can be meaningfully built off of. Now, the mechanisms whereby they work are often seem suboptimal from an outside perspective, especially when it comes to dealing with members of the out-group but under most situations even that is stable. Those situations are, for better or for worse, the bread-and-butter of society. Time allows human nature to shape both the philosophy and manifestation of these institutions to fit its needs. I think that is a sound way to proceed since we don't fully understand human nature.
Newer institutions don't have the luxury of being worn down into a sleek package by the sands of time. That means we have to relive all the growing pains all over again. And for what? So that we can end up with an institution that looks just like the one it sought to replace, only this time there is an added hundred-or-so years of bloody transition? We've vetted all manner of post-religious systems since the Enlightenment and they all have either embraced basic religious sensibilities or gone the way of the Dodo. Not merely extinct, but extinct by human hands!
That doesn't meant that modern movements in religion aren't problematic. They have the same problems that secular humanism, communism, fascism, nazism, hippi-ism, objectivism, positivism/modernism, and so on have. Again, this makes sense because modern religious movements tend to be reactions to these movements so they necessary adopt the means and techniques of them while modifying the message to agree with their worldview. Christian Fundamentalism in America, for example, is a very modern movement. I'll leave the precise dating to Christian scholars who know more about it than I do, but it happened sometime around the end of the long 19th Century. That doesn't mean that there weren't other crazy religious movements in America (the Great Awakenings come to mind), crazy religious movements seem to be part of the American national character. But what we think of as Fundamentalist Christians in a prejorative sense, you know the anti-science YECs frothing at the mouth, stems from that time. The alliance of this group with the economic right wing happened a little later as a reaction to the Red Scare. This is a very modern group. Likewise, radical Islam (Al-Qaeda and such) is a modern phenomenon. Radical Islam was a reaction to the failures of both capitalist and communist ideologies in the Middle East due to Cold War power-plays by both sides and so it dates to the post-WWII period!
Now, both Christian Fundamentalism and Radical Islam do have antecedents in history. They didn't appear out of nowhere whole cloth, but the same can be said of anything. They represent significant departures from the older system which they have replaced (or seek to replace/are replacing, depending on your view of the matter) and their point of departure stems from the adoption of the means/tactics of the newer ideologies. They have tried to co-opt their competitor by being more modern (even if that entails a rejection of the project of modernity in toto), but the important thing is that their origins are rooted not in the traditional systems with which they are normally associated but rather with the modern systems they are engaged in a struggle with! A nasty arms race that ends rather badly.
We should not create a false religious/secular lens through which to view history and the modern world but rather to examine systems which represent gradual change and systems which represent radical change. The pricetag attached to radical change is always massive. So when asking ourselves whether we want radical change, what we need to ask ourselves is whether or not the price is worth it. If you are a starving farmer, the price is probably worth it. Right? You are boned either way, so you may as well take a chance on creating a situation where you are somewhat less boned. When the choices are "starving to death", "dead", or "very hungry but surviving", the third choice is clearly the best one. On the other hand, from the comfort of the middle class, the difference between the first and last possibility are usually sufficiently slim not to matter but that middle one, ohhh, that is a doosy!
So morality then becomes expanding the self to encompass ever larger groups so that the traditional, gradual systems can create an environment where radical change becomes unnecessary.
The pricetag attached to radical change is always massive.
The main document wrote:This may seem like an odd starting point, but the term “religion” literally means “what one does about what one believes.”
James S Saint wrote:A) "Religion" literally means "RE-enforcing the LEGION", from the Latin "ligit" (binding). It refers to a method of maintaining a gathering or group via their beliefs. It is analogous to a personal ego but applied to a society.
James S Saint wrote:The God of the Bible is referring to the ONE HIGHEST CAUSE for all things being as they are. It never had anything to do with the creation of a universe from nothingness. Nothingness is an impossible state. The "void" mentioned in English Bibles is referring to the chaos, void of structure (and happens to be talking about society and the mind, not the physical universe as we think of it today).
Ade wrote:OK...so should we fake religion so it doesn't spread any further or not? Also, I will update the meaning of the religion in the paper. Thank you.
Still, I want to know if this idea is worth spreading to others who are as frustrated with religion as I am. I see a tremendous amount of resources wasted on the worship of something that either isn't there or doesn't care (by this I mean: it doesn't need your prayers and is not improved in any way by them).
I don't recommend that you fake anything. If you believe that there is no God, then just leave it at that. If you believe there is a God, but it is being worshiped improperly, then it would be good to join a religion that comes somewhere close such that you do not have to lie, and then gradually, from within, discuss corrections.
Ade wrote:I don't recommend that you fake anything. If you believe that there is no God, then just leave it at that. If you believe there is a God, but it is being worshiped improperly, then it would be good to join a religion that comes somewhere close such that you do not have to lie, and then gradually, from within, discuss corrections.
I assert that any religion that wastes energy and resources on worship has no logical recourse for its actions. Any religion that acknowledges God as a perfect being fully understands that a perfect being cannot be benefitted or improved by offerings of inferior beings (nor can this perfect being be pleased, as moving from a state of "not pleased" to "pleased" implies that an imperfection was present).
If there were a religion that recognized God only in terms of His logically necessary qualities, then I would join them. All of the religions that go on to speculate what this being wants (or needs) are wrong. Or, if they are right, it is only by chance.
The reason I ask if this should be "faked" is that "faking it" might decrease the chances of a religious person spreading his ideals (and the subsequent waste of energy and resources that comes from worshipping). I want to know that, if enough people did this, would it put a dent in religion? I'm asking these questions for the good of future generations. Think about all the energy that is expended on a being that does not depend on our existence or worship to subsist. It would be impossible for such a being to command that its subjects worship Him, as that implies a need, an inferiority.
Any religion that asserts that "God has commanded us to worship him" is either lying, or was deceived by an inferior being. A perfect being would not, CANNOT ask such a thing, as it implies a need.
This isn't the thread.Ade wrote:First of all, don't waste words saying that "you're certain you could beat me in a debate" over some issue. Simply debate it.
AnitaS wrote:Secondly, the "noble lie" has been a commonly accepted method to improve the character of others since the times of Plato.
AnitaS wrote:Finally, to address the question of wastefulness. Although religious organizations devote resources to helping the less fortunate, a secular organization could do the same without the costs associated with maintaining a place of worship.
AnitaS wrote:The "worshipping' is a waste of resources because it has been proven that a perfect being does not need to be worshipped, nor could He ask (or command) for worship, as this would imply a void / need; an imperfection.
AnitaS wrote:Each second you spend in church, you could be out helping someone who needs it.
AnitaS wrote:Why would you waste a single breath telling a pefect being that it is perfect? It's a freakin' perfect being; IT ALREADY KNOWS THIS.
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