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Author Topic:   Identifying false religions.
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 479 (564448)
06-10-2010 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Dr Adequate
06-10-2010 8:29 AM


Re: Corroborating Evidence
Dr Adequate writes:

King Cyrus of Persia (see Isaiah 45:1).

So Cyrus was wounded and killed for the transgressions of the people as per Isaiah 53, etc, sold for 30 pieces of silver, had his clothes divided among the soldiers, as per the Psalms, came back from heaven, landing on the Mt of Olives, as per Zechaiah, had all nations coming up yearly to Jerusalem, his headquarters, to honor him, etc? Is that what you're alleging, Dr Adequate?


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-10-2010 8:29 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-10-2010 4:47 PM Buzsaw has responded

Woodsy
Member (Idle past 1790 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


(1)
Message 47 of 479 (564453)
06-10-2010 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Buzsaw
06-09-2010 11:33 PM


Re: Corroborating Evidence
1. Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, Jesus fulfilling the Judao messianic prophesies.

Or, the writers of the gospels faking it to look like prophesies were fulfilled?

Christianity really does look like a religion cobbled together from lots of stuff floating around at the time. Why would anyone trust any of it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Buzsaw, posted 06-09-2010 11:33 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006


(2)
Message 48 of 479 (564455)
06-10-2010 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Buzsaw
06-10-2010 4:28 PM


Re: Corroborating Evidence
So Cyrus was wounded and killed for the transgressions of the people as per Isaiah 53, etc, sold for 30 pieces of silver, had his clothes divided among the soldiers, as per the Psalms, came back from heaven, landing on the Mt of Olives, as per Zechaiah, had all nations coming up yearly to Jerusalem, his headquarters, to honor him, etc? Is that what you're alleging, Dr Adequate?

No, I'm alleging that the Bible calls him Messiah ( משיח ), the Lord's Anointed.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Buzsaw, posted 06-10-2010 4:28 PM Buzsaw has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Buzsaw, posted 06-11-2010 7:40 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 49 of 479 (564606)
06-11-2010 7:40 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Dr Adequate
06-10-2010 4:47 PM


Re: The Lord's Anointed
Dr Adequate writes:

No, I'm alleging that the Bible calls him Messiah ( îùéç ), the Lord's Anointed.

    l. Cyrus was king of Persia and not a Jew so the wording in Isaiah 45:1, i.e. anointing simply refers to being established on his throne for the purposes of Jehovah and to help his people Israel.
    2. All of Israel's kings during this era were the Lord's anointed, being anointed by the high priest to become king. This was not the case with Persian kings.

Edited by Buzsaw, : rephrase


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-10-2010 4:47 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Peg
Member (Idle past 3346 days)
Posts: 2703
From: melbourne, australia
Joined: 11-22-2008


Message 50 of 479 (564721)
06-12-2010 1:17 AM


if a religion is 'invented' by man, it is false.

Isaiah 44: 14 writes:

 There is one whose business is to cut down cedars; and he takes a certain species of tree, even a massive tree, and he lets it become strong for himself among the trees of the forest. He planted the laurel tree, and the pouring rain itself keeps making it get big. 15 And it has become [something] for man to keep a fire burning. So he takes part of it that he may warm himself. In fact he builds a fire and actually bakes bread. He also works on a god to which he may bow down. He has made it into a carved image, and he prostrates himself to it. 16 Half of it he actually burns up in a fire. Upon half of it he roasts well the flesh that he eats, and he becomes satisfied. He also warms himself and says: “Aha! I have warmed myself. I have seen the firelight.” 17 But the remainder of it he actually makes into a god itself, into his carved image. He prostrates himself to it and bows down and prays to it and says: “Deliver me, for you are my god.” 18 They have not come to know, nor do they understand, because their eyes have been besmeared so as not to see, their heart so as to have no insight. 19 And no one recalls to his heart or has knowledge or understanding, saying: “The half of it I have burned up in a fire, and upon its coals I have also baked bread; I roast flesh and eat. But the rest of it shall I make into a mere detestable thing? To the dried-out wood of a tree shall I prostrate myself?”


Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Huntard, posted 06-12-2010 3:36 AM Peg has not yet responded
 Message 62 by killinghurts, posted 06-15-2010 1:30 AM Peg has responded

Huntard
Member (Idle past 711 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 51 of 479 (564739)
06-12-2010 3:36 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Peg
06-12-2010 1:17 AM


Peg writes:

if a religion is 'invented' by man, it is false.


So, all are. Thanks Peg.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Peg, posted 06-12-2010 1:17 AM Peg has not yet responded

Kitsune
Member (Idle past 2717 days)
Posts: 788
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 09-16-2007


(1)
Message 52 of 479 (564875)
06-13-2010 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Pauline
06-08-2010 6:29 PM


I would first study the religion and its scriptures if any, then talk to as many number of claimants of the religion as I wish as ask them if following their religion has changed them in anyway for the better.

Sounds reasonable enough to me. Though there will be Christian fundamentalists who will claim that being born-again into hatred of science, homosexuals, liberals, women, non-Christians, other Christian sects (i.e. Catholicism), pro-lifers, feminists, etc, has changed them for the better and got a place for them in heaven. Just speaking for myself, I would not find this persuasive.

I would try to assess if what they claim reflects reality

And how would you determine this?

so I would preferable talk to friends

Whose friends, yours or theirs? And how would they be able to determine what the reality is?

Since religion is about morality

Is it? Is it just there to tell us what's right and wrong? Atheists and agnostics seem to be able to live by morals too. Why do you think this is?

I also think religions that people are willing to give their life for carry special merit.

So suicide bombers are paragons of virtue? That's kinda scary.

Just picking your brains here, since I have not seen anyone else in this thread directly address these statements yet.

Edited by Kitsune, : No reason given.

Edited by Kitsune, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Pauline, posted 06-08-2010 6:29 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Pauline, posted 06-13-2010 11:57 PM Kitsune has responded

Pauline
Member (Idle past 2152 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 53 of 479 (564950)
06-13-2010 11:57 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Kitsune
06-13-2010 12:21 PM


Peg writes:

if a religion is 'invented' by man, it is false.

Huntard writes:

So, all are. Thanks Peg.

Sorry, Peg...but that was hilarious.

Sounds reasonable enough to me. Though there will be Christian fundamentalists who will claim that being born-again into hatred of science, homosexuals, liberals, women, non-Christians, other Christian sects (i.e. Catholicism), pro-lifers, feminists, etc, has changed them for the better and got a place for them in heaven. Just speaking for myself, I would not find this persuasive.

Hatred of science? People who hate science have serious problems and need immediate help. THAT is a sickening disease.

On topic,

If someone claims to have self-confessed hatred towards an object, then either their religion that they accurately follow is false or they inaccurately follow a inherently true religion...which makes THEM false believers in a true religion. No one can be a true Christian and also, hate willingly, willfully, and pleasurably. To put it bluntly, I would just make the assessment that something is wrong with Christians that hate as opposed to something is wrong with Christianity itself.

And how would you determine this?

By observing the lives of my friends. This is why I mentioned that I'd make my observations on friends.

If a friend of mine who has problems with a notoriously bad temper confessed to have experienced a change in his temper for the better and attributes it to prayer, then I would talk to him about it. Ask him why he prayed. Ask him what exact happened when he prayed. Ask him why he thinks prayer has changed him etc.

Atheists and agnostics seem to be able to live by morals too. Why do you think this is?

Because we all define morality differently. What I think are moral you might think are immoral and vice versa.

So suicide bombers are paragons of virtue? That's kinda scary.

No. Okay, cross off the word merit and make that "deserve special attention"

I meant, when people give their lives for the sake of their religion with no earthly benefits to reap then they must seem to live for a higher purpose and I would try to give that purpose special attention in my analysis. That purpose might or might not be valid, but it certainly speaks out loud. If that purpose turns out to be highly invalid and immoral, like Jihad or whatever, then.....its time to wrap this one up and start probing a different religion to find the true one. But its turns out to be valid and beneficial to everyone, then I would delve deeper into that particular religion.

Non-personal religions would not even qualify in my list of religions to probe.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Kitsune, posted 06-13-2010 12:21 PM Kitsune has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by DrJones*, posted 06-14-2010 12:15 AM Pauline has acknowledged this reply
 Message 55 by Theodoric, posted 06-14-2010 9:21 AM Pauline has acknowledged this reply
 Message 56 by Kitsune, posted 06-14-2010 9:57 AM Pauline has responded
 Message 57 by Rahvin, posted 06-14-2010 1:13 PM Pauline has responded

DrJones*
Member
Posts: 2059
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 08-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


(2)
Message 54 of 479 (564951)
06-14-2010 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Pauline
06-13-2010 11:57 PM


If that purpose turns out to be highly invalid and immoral, like Jihad or whatever, then.....its time to wrap this one up and start probing a different religion to find the true one

Sure you may find their purpose to be invalid and immoral according to your false religion but that doesn't stop it from being valid and moral according to the true one.


It's not enough to bash in heads, you've got to bash in minds
soon I discovered that this rock thing was true
Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil
Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet
All of a sudden i found myself in love with the world
And so there was only one thing I could do
Was ding a ding dang my dang along ling long - Jesus Built my Hotrod Ministry

Live every week like it's Shark Week! - Tracey Jordan
Just a monkey in a long line of kings. - Matthew Good
If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - Get Your War On
*not an actual doctor

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Pauline, posted 06-13-2010 11:57 PM Pauline has acknowledged this reply

Theodoric
Member
Posts: 7042
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 55 of 479 (564996)
06-14-2010 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Pauline
06-13-2010 11:57 PM


If that purpose turns out to be highly invalid and immoral, like Jihad or whatever, then.....its time to wrap this one up and start probing a different religion to find the true one.

So christianity is a false religion? Lets think about things like the crusades, the reformation, inquisition, manifest destiny in the USA, to name just a couple things.

If you want to give me your exact mini-sect(because all christian "religions" are just off-shoots of others), I am sure I can find instances of immorality and violence in its history.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Pauline, posted 06-13-2010 11:57 PM Pauline has acknowledged this reply

Kitsune
Member (Idle past 2717 days)
Posts: 788
From: Leicester, UK
Joined: 09-16-2007


Message 56 of 479 (565005)
06-14-2010 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Pauline
06-13-2010 11:57 PM


Hi Dr. Sing, I am still confused about the criteria you are using to evaluate what a "true" religion is.

I agree, religion should not teach people to hate. It does seem ironic that the most fundamentalist Christians are people who seem to think it's OK to hurl abusive vitriol at people they believe are not "saved," such as homosexuals, liberals, etc (see my list above). They claim to me that these people deserve it because they're sinners, they've rejected God, etc. There really is no possibility of rational discussion with them.

If a friend of mine who has problems with a notoriously bad temper confessed to have experienced a change in his temper for the better and attributes it to prayer, then I would talk to him about it. Ask him why he prayed. Ask him what exact happened when he prayed. Ask him why he thinks prayer has changed him etc.

So if your friend was a Buddhist, Hindu or New Ager, you'd still be intrigued enough to look into it? It isn't just Christians who pray.

What I think are moral you might think are immoral and vice versa.

Let's put it this way: neither I nor my non-Christian friends think it's OK to kill, steal, or generally be nasty to people. You will find that most cultures will have these morals no matter what religions they support, because otherwise the cultures would not survive. Human society succeeds through the co-operation of groups. (One thing we could perhaps do with remembering nowadays.)

There seems to be this fear some people have that without religion, we'd all go off the deep end. Personally I would be looking for spirituality through religion, if I decided to join one (which I wouldn't, but I'm being hypothetical) -- something that gave me a sense of a community working for a higher purpose, and that that higher purpose existed. It's interesting that you have not mentioned this at all and have been focusing on how we need religion to tell us what to do.

when people give their lives for the sake of their religion with no earthly benefits to reap then they must seem to live for a higher purpose and I would try to give that purpose special attention in my analysis. That purpose might or might not be valid, but it certainly speaks out loud. If that purpose turns out to be highly invalid and immoral, like Jihad or whatever, then.....its time to wrap this one up and start probing a different religion to find the true one.

Fanatics for any cause, are often willing to die for that cause. It could be a member of a cult, or someone who believes that people should not wear fur. I'm not sure I'd want to walk that minefield in search of any kind of religion. (Of course, my own opinion is that we don't need organised religion anyway; that we can be spiritual beings without it.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Pauline, posted 06-13-2010 11:57 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Pauline, posted 06-14-2010 9:59 PM Kitsune has responded

Rahvin
Member (Idle past 71 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(1)
Message 57 of 479 (565043)
06-14-2010 1:13 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Pauline
06-13-2010 11:57 PM


quote:
Peg writes:

if a religion is 'invented' by man, it is false.


Huntard writes:

So, all are. Thanks Peg.

Sorry, Peg...but that was hilarious.

Indeed. But I'd like to tackle that seriously by simply stating that the method of delivery is irrelevent to the veracity of a claim. A broken clock is right twice a day. A human being could conceivably randomly stumble upon an accurate description of reality that we would identify as a "religion." Simply identifying a religion that was created by man in no way falsifies the claims of that religion - it's simply attacking the messengerratehr than the argument, a classic ad hominem fallacy.

Hatred of science? People who hate science have serious problems and need immediate help. THAT is a sickening disease.

Indeed, though it does happen with unfortunate frequency. The fear of some sort of "liberal white-tower intellectual establishment" is nearly palpable, at least here in the US. In many cases, the public has a greater appreciation for what a random guy in a bar says about an important issue than they do for the opinion of a recognized expert on the subject. I don't know about you, but I like to get myinformation from experts, for exactly the same reason that I trust a doctor more than I trust a random guy in a bar when it comes to prescribing medication or diagnosing a disease.

On topic,

If someone claims to have self-confessed hatred towards an object, then either their religion that they accurately follow is false or they inaccurately follow a inherently true religion...which makes THEM false believers in a true religion. No one can be a true Christian and also, hate willingly, willfully, and pleasurably. To put it bluntly, I would just make the assessment that something is wrong with Christians that hate as opposed to something is wrong with Christianity itself.

Why do you say that? Is it impossible that a religion could by factually correct and demand hatred of something? Is there some requirement that the veracity of the claims of a religion be beholden to the moral compass of believers? What if there really is a deity, and He demands that you hate...I don't know, squirrels. If I could, for the sake of argument, prove that the Squirrel-Hating God is objectively real, you can talk to Him directly and receive responses, He performs miracles in full view of people, and so on, would His requirement that you hate squirrels make Him disappear in a poof of logic because a religion that demands hatred is impossible? I realize I'm using a silly example to keep things light, but the question itself is serious.

quote:
And how would you determine this?

By observing the lives of my friends. This is why I mentioned that I'd make my observations on friends.

If a friend of mine who has problems with a notoriously bad temper confessed to have experienced a change in his temper for the better and attributes it to prayer, then I would talk to him about it. Ask him why he prayed. Ask him what exact happened when he prayed. Ask him why he thinks prayer has changed him etc.

Does your friend's opinion about how prayer caused a change in his attitude have a guarantee of accuracy? Would simply asking even a large number of people about their opinion of prayer carry statistical weight? After all, you're not exactly performing a double-blind investigation here - you'll easily be able to establish correlation, but not cvausality, and you have nothing uppon which to make a model of the mechanism that causes behaioral change. For all you know, you troubled friend could have also taken anger management classes, or could be on a new medication; perhaps the prayer did help, but was it through divine assistance, or would he have had the same result praying to any deity? Would he have seen the same results through non-religious meditation?

There's a reason that psychiatrists don't simply ask their patients if they have a specific disorder and then take their word on it. I have friends of a variety of religions as well as atheists, ranging from Mormons to Christians to Jews to new-agers and so on. If I were to ask any of them about the positive effects of their faith, they would be able to respons with a variety of effects that may or may not have anything to do with the veracity of their religious beliefs.

The emotional satisfaction or personal benefit of believing something to be true has nothign at all to do with whether the belief is actually true. Looking at my bank account doesn't tend to have a positive effect on me, yet I am assured by my bank that the balance is in fact accurate and I am not a millionaire. If I believe that when I die I will be reborn as a deity in my own Universe, I may find that personally comforting and I could perhaps use any moral instruction given by my new faith to improve my own behavior and life. That doesn;t mean I actually get to be a deity after I die.

THat's the thing about belief: false belief looks absolutely identical to accurate belief in any and all circumstances unless you're comparing those beliefs to reality, where you can use objective testing to determine the accuracy or inaccuracy of any belief.

quote:
Atheists and agnostics seem to be able to live by morals too. Why do you think this is?

Because we all define morality differently. What I think are moral you might think are immoral and vice versa.

Close. Morality tends to be defined socially\culturally more significantly than personally. More importantly, there are objective results to certain behaviors that cause a certain degree of commonality in moral standards even across cultures. Neither an atheist nor a Christian is likely to identify murder as a moral positive, and the reason is simply that the objective effects of homicide except in specifically dictated circumstances (self-defense, etc) are undesireable to the individual - the possibility of being murdered oneself or having one's family or friends murdered, and of course the potential breakdown of society if homicide were considered a moral net positive (I rather like the benefits of living in society, like computers, electricity, medical care, and grocery stores for instance).

quote:
So suicide bombers are paragons of virtue? That's kinda scary.

No. Okay, cross off the word merit and make that "deserve special attention"

I meant, when people give their lives for the sake of their religion with no earthly benefits to reap then they must seem to live for a higher purpose and I would try to give that purpose special attention in my analysis. That purpose might or might not be valid, but it certainly speaks out loud. If that purpose turns out to be highly invalid and immoral, like Jihad or whatever, then.....its time to wrap this one up and start probing a different religion to find the true one. But its turns out to be valid and beneficial to everyone, then I would delve deeper into that particular religion.

I'm curious as to why the zeal of a set of follwoers has anything to do with the accuracy of their beliefs, however. That the inividuals could be "living for (what they believe to be) a higher purpose" doesn't mean their higher purpose actually existsoutside of their own minds. Isn't it possible that the beliefs of a compeltely indifferent person who would immediately renounce them if threatened with violence could still be accurate?

Non-personal religions would not even qualify in my list of religions to probe.

Why?

I maintain that any religion's set of beliefs constitute a set of claims about reality: "Deity X exists," or "Y happens when you die," or "Z happened a long time ago." Contrary to what you seem to think, Doc, I don't believe for one moment that the way to tell whether a given set of beliefs is accurate will in any way be helped by asking the opinion of a friend, or by determining the moral or emotional satisfaction of the beliefs, or by examining the zeal of believers. Contrary to Peg, I don't care whether the beliefs come from the President of the United States, some drunk guy in a bar, or a Mysterious Voice in the Sky.

I think that the only way to determine whether any set of beliefs is accurate is to measure those beliefs against reality, regardless of their source, regardless of their consequences, and regardless of whether or not I personally like them.

So far as I can tell, every single other method one could use to determine whether a given religion is true or false involves one or more logical fallacies.

Further, a set of religious beliefs cannot be taken as an all-or-nothing set. Some claims of a religion could be inaccurate, and others could still be accurate. There having existed a religious leader named Mohommad, for example, in no way means that he was actually a prophet; each claim must be analyzed for veracity individually.

The only rational approach to religion or indeed any other set of claims is to approach each claim from the position of "I don't know," to then make predictions based on each claim, and to evaluate those predictions based on objective reality. It requires experimentation, double-blind studies, and an open mind. Above all, regardless of personal feelings, reality always wins the argument. If objective evidence falsifies a claim, that claim is false, regardless of how believing the claim to be accurate might positively affect the lives of believers. If objective evidence supports a claim, then we need to accept that, even if we would prefer different results.

A nice, relaxing, positive fantasy is still a fantasy. It might be harmless, but the question wasn't "how do we identify harmless beliefs," but rather "how do we identify false religions?"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Pauline, posted 06-13-2010 11:57 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Pauline, posted 06-14-2010 9:23 PM Rahvin has responded

Pauline
Member (Idle past 2152 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


(1)
Message 58 of 479 (565123)
06-14-2010 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Rahvin
06-14-2010 1:13 PM


Rahvin writes:

Indeed. But I'd like to tackle that seriously by simply stating that the method of delivery is irrelevent to the veracity of a claim. A broken clock is right twice a day. A human being could conceivably randomly stumble upon an accurate description of reality that we would identify as a "religion." Simply identifying a religion that was created by man in no way falsifies the claims of that religion - it's simply attacking the messengerratehr than the argument, a classic ad hominem fallacy.

It struck me as humorous because Peg pretty assertively made a quite false judgment and Huntard followed it up with another false judgment leaving no room for further perusal of the claim made at the beginning.

In order to answer the question, we first need to define "man-made" and also its converse. After this, the people that dogmatically assert that God cannot be detected or understood by human efforts can happily withdraw from the debate. The people that do agree that God-made religion(s) are detectable now need to agree on a set of criteria that identify supernatural origins. And to my knowledge, there is no objective way to detect supernatural "footprints" like you would detect the presence of H2S gas in a chemical reaction. This is where faith comes in.

Rahvin writes:

A broken clock is right twice a day. A human being could conceivably randomly stumble upon an accurate description of reality that we would identify as a "religion." Simply identifying a religion that was created by man in no way falsifies the claims of that religion - it's simply attacking the messengerratehr than the argument, a classic ad hominem fallacy.

Exactly. To me, this disqualifies man-made or heaven-made as a criterion for identifying the true religion. I could tell someone that the Bible is straight from God's mouth....but again, couldn't a Hindu claim that the Bhagavad Gita is of divine origin or something like that? Faced with a situation where pretty much no religion confesses to be man-made, what do you do? Ultimately, it is what one chooses to believe in with faith, not evidence.

Indeed, though it does happen with unfortunate frequency. The fear of some sort of "liberal white-tower intellectual establishment" is nearly palpable, at least here in the US. In many cases, the public has a greater appreciation for what a random guy in a bar says about an important issue than they do for the opinion of a recognized expert on the subject. I don't know about you, but I like to get myinformation from experts, for exactly the same reason that I trust a doctor more than I trust a random guy in a bar when it comes to prescribing medication or diagnosing a disease.

True. But again, there's always two sides to a coin. Just like when the stethoscope was invented, medicine started to become more about the disease than the patient, so also as technology-through science-progresses, some people have made their lives become more about technology itself rather than using technology to make something out of their lives. Balance, is missing.

What I was thinking of when Kitsure mentioned theists hating science, is when people choose to ridicule science when one or more of its theories disagree with what their specific religion claims. Religion does very little to tell us about scientific laws or principles...science is where we get that type of information from. And we should respect that. The reason I do not agree with the ToE, however, is because it does not accurately depict reality, IMO. I may be considered a fool for thinking this, but this is the stance I'll take for now.

Rahvin writes:

Why do you say that? Is it impossible that a religion could by factually correct and demand hatred of something? Is there some requirement that the veracity of the claims of a religion be beholden to the moral compass of believers?

Absolutely. There is a reason why every human being, in general, has a sense of right and wrong. Whether a kid has been taught the concept of murder or not, if he does it--then he's going to feel bad about it. Constructive emotions such as love and kindness had a beneficial effect on the human society as a whole. When a religion teaches us otherwise, we are entitled to question--why? If the answer is based on plain dogma (well, because the reliigon says so), then somethings wrong. This said, if the religion in question--like you propose-- calls for squirrel hatred, then we are entitled to question the motive behind this. I wouldn't be impressed by a religion that does this because there is no point to it. (Or, I think there is no point...someone else may love the idea of squirrel-hatred, IDK)

Rahvin writes:

If I could, for the sake of argument, prove that the Squirrel-Hating God is objectively real, you can talk to Him directly and receive responses, He performs miracles in full view of people, and so on, would His requirement that you hate squirrels make Him disappear in a poof of logic because a religion that demands hatred is impossible?

No, assuming you're giving me objective evidence, said god would still god, whether I admire his squirrel-hating ideas or not. The question is, should the squirrel-hating imply something about the god? Does it imply that he enjoys causing others pain? Does he ill-treat lower creatures? Etc. If all said and done, he turns to be a hate-loving god, then I really would be VERY hesitant to worship him. I would think about it.

Does your friend's opinion about how prayer caused a change in his attitude have a guarantee of accuracy? Would simply asking even a large number of people about their opinion of prayer carry statistical weight? After all, you're not exactly performing a double-blind investigation here - you'll easily be able to establish correlation, but not cvausality, and you have nothing uppon which to make a model of the mechanism that causes behaioral change. For all you know, you troubled friend could have also taken anger management classes, or could be on a new medication; perhaps the prayer did help, but was it through divine assistance, or would he have had the same result praying to any deity? Would he have seen the same results through non-religious meditation?

There's a reason that psychiatrists don't simply ask their patients if they have a specific disorder and then take their word on it. I have friends of a variety of religions as well as atheists, ranging from Mormons to Christians to Jews to new-agers and so on. If I were to ask any of them about the positive effects of their faith, they would be able to respons with a variety of effects that may or may not have anything to do with the veracity of their religious beliefs.

The emotional satisfaction or personal benefit of believing something to be true has nothign at all to do with whether the belief is actually true. Looking at my bank account doesn't tend to have a positive effect on me, yet I am assured by my bank that the balance is in fact accurate and I am not a millionaire. If I believe that when I die I will be reborn as a deity in my own Universe, I may find that personally comforting and I could perhaps use any moral instruction given by my new faith to improve my own behavior and life. That doesn;t mean I actually get to be a deity after I die.

THat's the thing about belief: false belief looks absolutely identical to accurate belief in any and all circumstances unless you're comparing those beliefs to reality, where you can use objective testing to determine the accuracy or inaccuracy of any belief.

To take their word for it, would be pretty naive. And...foolish. In this sense, I 'm with you.

This particular idea of "religion bringing about a positive change in a believer's life" really stemmed from personal experience. Growing up, I was a pretty stubborn kid. I was great at academia and often used this as an excuse for being obstinate and not listening to my parents. "I know everything". Right around 10th grade, I started taking my religion seriously. Nothing about my parents' upbringing had changed. They have always been people of discipline. Nothing really in my surroundings changed much. I was still great at school. But I experienced a big change in the way I thought ever since I started practicing my religion with all my heart. To my best knowledge, the change was supernatural. I mention this at the risk of "exasperating" you, Rahvin (as you will remember our conversation from the Forum name change thread ), but I do think this is how religion is supposed to work. It’s supposed to change you and that change should, objectively, be attributable to religion and only religion. This would mean that I would first ask my friend if he took anger management classes, or started doing yoga, etc in order to rule out any alternate possibilities. It would be more me—the outsider—making an assessment as to whether or there exists supernatural work in a given person’s life, rather than just taking their word for it. This is what happens when I read missionary biographies. William Carey’s life, for example, bears distincy marks of supernatural intervention. Jim and Elisabeth Elliot’s does. You get the drift. Contrary to how subjective it may sound, I do think that assessment of supernatural working is not only distinguishable and appropriate, but also necessary in religion. Consider Christianity’s, The fruit of the Spirit, the point behind is was precisely this. Do people change for the better and is this because of their God? If you think otherwise, you will explain to me. And I would like to hear.

DS writes:

Non-personal religions would not even qualify in my list of religions to probe.


Why?

Non-personal religions are ritualistic and that is a trademark of salvation by works, which IMO, is impossible, salvation by works that is. In Hinduism, for example, you earn your way into nirvana by accumulating good deeds throughout your lives….and who knows, you may or may not make it to moksha. It is strictly man-based. And therein lies a problem. In religion, you shouldn’t have to rely on yourself to achieve spirituality because spirituality thus gained is fallible.

Rahvin writes:

I think that the only way to determine whether any set of beliefs is accurate is to measure those beliefs against reality, regardless of their source, regardless of their consequences, and regardless of whether or not I personally like them.

How would you verify whether belief in Hanuman, a hindu god is accurate or not?
How would you, Jesus Christ?
How would you, Allah?
How exactly do you test beliefs against reality?

Further, a set of religious beliefs cannot be taken as an all-or-nothing set. Some claims of a religion could be inaccurate, and others could still be accurate. There having existed a religious leader named Mohommad, for example, in no way means that he was actually a prophet; each claim must be analyzed for veracity individually.

What exactly is your conception of God, Rahvin? I ask this because what you just said begs the question, is a religion’s God incapable of making it a prefect religion? Is this because he is imperfect? You would think that the true God would create the true faith…..true implying everything in it is true.

It requires experimentation, double-blind studies, and an open mind. Above all, regardless of personal feelings, reality always wins the argument. If objective evidence falsifies a claim, that claim is false, regardless of how believing the claim to be accurate might positively affect the lives of believers. If objective evidence supports a claim, then we need to accept that, even if we would prefer different results.

Incorporating science into religion, aren’t you? Why?
What if we NEVER are able to identify the true religion in spite of there existing one? If science was as successful as you portray it to be in solving theological problems, then why are we here on this forum talking about true and false religions?

I'm curious as to why the zeal of a set of follwoers has anything to do with the accuracy of their beliefs, however.

It has nothing to do with the accuracy of their beliefs. I only said that my attention would be drawn to it and it would interest me because I think there must be something special about that religion that makes them behave so nobly. They might very well be behaving nobly for a ridiculously lousy cause...but still they draw attention. And that simply is my point.

I maintain that any religion's set of beliefs constitute a set of claims about reality: "Deity X exists," or "Y happens when you die," or "Z happened a long time ago."

Right. So walk me through on how you, as you claim, would dispel the myths and collect objective data?

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Rahvin, posted 06-14-2010 1:13 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Kitsune, posted 06-15-2010 1:45 AM Pauline has not yet responded
 Message 67 by Rahvin, posted 06-15-2010 2:29 PM Pauline has responded

Pauline
Member (Idle past 2152 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 59 of 479 (565128)
06-14-2010 9:59 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Kitsune
06-14-2010 9:57 AM


Kitsune writes:

Hi Dr. Sing, I am still confused about the criteria you are using to evaluate what a "true" religion is.

I agree, religion should not teach people to hate. It does seem ironic that the most fundamentalist Christians are people who seem to think it's OK to hurl abusive vitriol at people they believe are not "saved," such as homosexuals, liberals, etc (see my list above). They claim to me that these people deserve it because they're sinners, they've rejected God, etc. There really is no possibility of rational discussion with them.

The question then is, does Christianity encourage hating people? The answer is no. So where are these people who profess to hate certain sects getting their motivation from? Obviously, selfish motives. There is not one verse in the Bible where it says you will hate one another if ou disagree with one another.

So if your friend was a Buddhist, Hindu or New Ager, you'd still be intrigued enough to look into it? It isn't just Christians who pray.

Absolutely. As a skeptic, I would be fair enough to allot equal attention and persual to all religions within reach.

Let's put it this way: neither I nor my non-Christian friends think it's OK to kill, steal, or generally be nasty to people. You will find that most cultures will have these morals no matter what religions they support, because otherwise the cultures would not survive. Human society succeeds through the co-operation of groups. (One thing we could perhaps do with remembering nowadays.)

Yes, Rahvin and you make the same point: The most basic human instincts are positively oriented to achieve community- wide harmony. However, we wouldn't exactly define these as "morals" A moral is a command. A command often is a prohibition of something. To not murder because it hurts someone is FAR different from to not murder because it is sin. The former is an instinct, the latter is a moral. This is what I would argue.

There seems to be this fear some people have that without religion, we'd all go off the deep end. Personally I would be looking for spirituality through religion, if I decided to join one (which I wouldn't, but I'm being hypothetical) -- something that gave me a sense of a community working for a higher purpose, and that that higher purpose existed. It's interesting that you have not mentioned this at all and have been focusing on how we need religion to tell us what to do.

We need religion to even tell us what the higher purpose in question is, yes? How can you separate the higher purpose and religion? You might argue that atheists live for a high purpose: unity and community. But my problem with this is: different atheists have different purposes in reality. What religion does is it streamlines that higher purpose.

(Of course, my own opinion is that we don't need organised religion anyway; that we can be spiritual beings without it.)

Hypothetically, we can. In reality, I don't think its going to happen.

Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Kitsune, posted 06-14-2010 9:57 AM Kitsune has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Theodoric, posted 06-14-2010 10:05 PM Pauline has responded
 Message 66 by Kitsune, posted 06-15-2010 4:38 AM Pauline has responded

Theodoric
Member
Posts: 7042
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 60 of 479 (565130)
06-14-2010 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Pauline
06-14-2010 9:59 PM


different atheists have different purposes in reality. What religion does is it streamlines that higher purpose.

First of all, you can easily substitute religions for atheist above, or actually any other word that is a subset of humanity.

The second statement is just a bland assertion. Or at least an equivocation of how you used the word for describing an atheistic higher purpose.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Pauline, posted 06-14-2010 9:59 PM Pauline has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Pauline, posted 06-14-2010 10:29 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

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