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Religious Extremism


fredtosser
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What do you mean by spiritual? I don't want what anyone talks about when they say spiritual and spirituality. Do you mean you belief in spirits? Or do you mean that there is something out there, and, if so, what is it?

 

Rituals aren't hardwired into our brains. They're performance and practices that are learned. Do you mean something else than rituals?

 

Keeping an open mind is being very sceptical. If someone demonstrates that something is very likely to be true then you might have good reason to start believing that it is. Until then, doubt is the best thing. But open-minded is not thinking that it is likely we have souls, invisible unicorns in our warbrobes, ghosts, reincarnated souls, fairies under bridges, etc. when there is bugger all to show for such beliefs.

 

You might not believe dreams are a result of chemicals in the brains and neurons firing. It seems to me the most plausible explanation considering such things would appear very similar to our normal thoughts. But if you believe there are other reasons for them then you need to have good reason for that. It is better to say you don't know if anything.

 

If you like, I can categorise you, if that's helpful. Do you think that Gods exist? If you answer is anything other than yes then I'd put you in the atheist camp regardless of whether you are keeping an open mind to something called spirituality. If you are without belief in a God then an atheist you are.

Edited by La_Dolce_Vita
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God is a supernatural intelligence who created the universe. Taking it one step further he is also bothered by what we on an insignificant planet in an insignificant galaxy get up to. On step further still and he uses that to decide our fate once we die.

 

Those last two features depend on your belief system, but the first one pretty much sums it up for most I think.

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God is a supernatural intelligence who created the universe ... pretty much sums it up for most I think.

God can also be a metaphor for the unknown or a reflection of ourselves. In a sense the one God could be seen, for example, as standing for the many gods who were once believed to be the explaination for what was not understood.

 

The number of gods in general has reduced as human understanding has progressed. The small mysteries have all been dealt meaning that many of the gods could be stood down - eg the wind, fire, the waters, the seasons, the sun and the moon etc

 

ETA: and I still cannot get my mind around the concept of The Trinity. Sometime I think I've almost got it, but it always slips away again.

Edited by pongo
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I think that (as pongo illustrates) god can mean pretty much what ever the believer wants. That lack of definition is one of the reasons that so much counter-evolution "evidence" becomes available as the creationists desperately try to establish their position.

 

 

 

People need to keep an open mind or else they're no better than religious fanatics.

Not sure that's entirely true. Even Dawkins admits he is not 100% confident of his position and surely only someone stupid or arrogant could ever be 100% sure.

 

At least the non-believer has some scientific evidence to support their stance where the believer has none. The degree of arrogance or stupidity of those at the polar opposites of opinion would therefore not appear to be comparable.

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So your sense of spirituality comes from a metaphor?

 

There are multiple things we know nothing about - but to methaphor-ise these into the idea of a divine is a fascinating psychological leap.

 

Why is it necessary?

 

For me a divinity has to be different from nothing - if the divine's influence on this world is indistinguishable from natural processes then you are simply adding layer of explanation which adds nothing and is impossible to examine - the universe unfolds under the natural laws, but is controlled by a green bunny who hops bringing hope to your dreams.

 

If this is a strawman, how is it different from "real" theology? How can we distinquish between "real" and "made up" ideas of the divine?

 

I liked Wrighty's effort to define God.

 

Daniel Dennett defines religion as:

 

"Social systems whose participants avow belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought."

 

Dennett's definition presumes we can define supernatural.

 

For me the definition seems to be invisible, or maybe an entity which only communicates via your internal mind.

 

So much of religion, for me, has to do with the concept of an after-life. Religious Buddhists and Hindus, as far as I understand, think your after-life is dependent upon how you behave in this life. The form of the after-life (reincarnation), may be different from in Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions (being sent to heaven or hell), and who judges and decides whether you come back as a slug, a Bodhisattva or escape to Nirvana is a lot more nebulous than for the judging God of the Bible or the Koran, but the basic idea of some supernatural which is involved in deciding an afterlife for you is a central issue of what I think are religions.

 

I've always felt that when you die you rot and so have found these ideas pretty unhelpful in understanding the divine.

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So your sense of spirituality comes from a metaphor?

 

There are multiple things we know nothing about - but to methaphor-ise these into the idea of a divine is a fascinating psychological leap.

 

Why is it necessary?

 

For me a divinity has to be different from nothing - if the divine's influence on this world is indistinguishable from natural processes then you are simply adding layer of explanation which adds nothing and is impossible to examine - the universe unfolds under the natural laws, but is controlled by a green bunny who hops bringing hope to your dreams.

 

If this is a strawman, how is it different from "real" theology? How can we distinquish between "real" and "made up" ideas of the divine?

 

I liked Wrighty's effort to define God.

 

Daniel Dennett defines religion as:

 

"Social systems whose participants avow belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought."

 

Dennett's definition presumes we can define supernatural.

 

For me the definition seems to be invisible, or maybe an entity which only communicates via your internal mind.

 

So much of religion, for me, has to do with the concept of an after-life. Religious Buddhists and Hindus, as far as I understand, think your after-life is dependent upon how you behave in this life. The form of the after-life (reincarnation), may be different from in Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions (being sent to heaven or hell), and who judges and decides whether you come back as a slug, a Bodhisattva or escape to Nirvana is a lot more nebulous than for the judging God of the Bible or the Koran, but the basic idea of some supernatural which is involved in deciding an afterlife for you is a central issue of what I think are religions.

 

I've always felt that when you die you rot and so have found these ideas pretty unhelpful in understanding the divine.

 

Those five words say it all. Now, moving forward.................

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...you also go on to form part of other things, other creatures and stuff on earth, then other solar systems and stars, possibly even future aliens. But eventually end up in a Black Hole and in 100 trillion years as just a bunch of photons floating about in an infinite void.

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...you also go on to form part of other things, other creatures and stuff on earth, then other solar systems and stars, possibly even future aliens. But eventually end up in a Black Hole and in 100 trillion years as just a bunch of photons floating about in an infinite void.

 

When I was younger, people said that one day I would become a star.

I thought they only said it because I had a pointed head!

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...you also go on to form part of other things, other creatures and stuff on earth, then other solar systems and stars, possibly even future aliens. But eventually end up in a Black Hole and in 100 trillion years as just a bunch of photons floating about in an infinite void.

Then you get elected to Keys.

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Recently been redefined by the media as "mental health issues" I believe.

Perhaps religiosity will come to be seen as a mental health issue. Terrorism more or less seems to be - and religion seems to be a common factor in that typically.

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The only get out clause in a mental health assessment that differentiates practising religion from a delusional or even a psychotic illness is cultural acceptability. The example we were given in med school was the belief and practice of voodoo. For a peasant in Haiti it's OK, if a middle aged bank manager from Milton Keynes does the same he's displaying signs of psychiatric illness.

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