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Author Topic:   Identifying false religions.
killinghurts
Member (Idle past 5078 days)
Posts: 150
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 1 of 479 (563814)
06-06-2010 10:04 PM


One thing that really seems quite amazing to me is the number of religions/cults that claim to worship the one and only 'true' God. Surely they can't all be correct, according to the bible there is only one God (Exodus 20:1-6)
What steps would you take to identify a false religion?

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Message 2 of 479 (564107)
06-08-2010 9:28 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Identifying false religions. thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

AZPaul3
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Posts: 8593
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Message 3 of 479 (564110)
06-08-2010 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
06-06-2010 10:04 PM


What steps would you take to identify a false religion?
This is much too easy.
Is it 'my' religion with 'my' conception of 'my' god?
If not then it is false.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Huntard
Member (Idle past 2380 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


(1)
Message 4 of 479 (564112)
06-08-2010 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
06-06-2010 10:04 PM


How it works
1) See if it preaches the same things I belive in
2) If it does it's true!
3) If it doesn't it's false!
4) ?????
5) Profit!

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 Message 1 by killinghurts, posted 06-06-2010 10:04 PM killinghurts has not replied

bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4274 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 5 of 479 (564125)
06-08-2010 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
06-06-2010 10:04 PM


That is simple, they all are false since all are man created. In one sense, one could say there are about 6.6 billion religions since everyone, seemingly, has his own input and beliefs.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002
Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969
Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008

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Huntard
Member (Idle past 2380 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 6 of 479 (564126)
06-08-2010 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by bluescat48
06-08-2010 11:53 AM


bluescat48 writes:
In one sense, one could say there are about 6.6 billion religions since everyone, seemingly, has his own input and beliefs.
But could we really call all of those "religious/religions"?

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Asking
Junior Member (Idle past 5122 days)
Posts: 19
Joined: 05-19-2010


Message 7 of 479 (564128)
06-08-2010 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
06-06-2010 10:04 PM


Surely they are all false as they claim to be mutually exclusive and none of them can back up their claims.

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Rahvin
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Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 8 of 479 (564131)
06-08-2010 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by killinghurts
06-06-2010 10:04 PM


How do you determine what is real?
One thing that really seems quite amazing to me is the number of religions/cults that claim to worship the one and only 'true' God. Surely they can't all be correct, according to the bible there is only one God (Exodus 20:1-6)
What steps would you take to identify a false religion?
Your scenario only accounts for Christian sects; other faiths claim the existence of multiple "true gods."
However, the method for testing the veracity of a religion is roughly the same regardless.
A set of religious beliefs is actually nothing more than a set of assertions about the real world. Those claims can be evaluated in the same way any other claim can be.
Like many claims, however, religious claims are often unfalsifiable. Claims such as the global Flood or 6-day Creationism are easily falsified or supported through observable evidence, but claims like "there exists and intelligent entity for whom the laws of physics are more like 'guidelines' than actual laws, who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient" can never be falsified.
The easiest way to determine whether a claim is rational and logically consistent is to ask what set of circumstances would not be explained by the claim. For example, if I claim that my neighbor ran over my cat with his car and killed it, my claim would not explain circumstances like my cat still being alive, or my neighbor having been in a different city at the time in question, etc.
If, however, I claim that there is an invisible and intangible unicorn in my garage, my claim explains any scenario equally well. Normally you would ask to see the unicorn, but this one is invisible. You might ask to touch the unicorn, but this one is intangible.
If my claim equally supports any outcome of any test, then my claim is so vague as to be worthless for all practical purposes. By equally explaining anything and everything, I in fact effectively explain nothing at all. Further, by anticipating the results of any test as being identical to a scenario in which the unicorn does not exist, I in fact demonstrate that I don't actually believe that there is a unicorn in my garage either.
In any case where I am presented with a claim (religious or otherwise) that the claimant insists would be valid regardless of any possible observation or experimental outcome, I immediately dismiss the claim as irrational at best and possibly delusional (most religions) or even maliciously manipulative (Heaven's Gate or any televangelist faith healer, for example). This tends to rule out my belief in most concepts of "god" right off the bat as simply being too vague to evaluate. If I cannot determine the relative accuracy of a claim, then I cannot rationally think that the claim may be any more accurate than any other vague claim.
Other claims can be evaluated, even if not always conclusively. A global Flood claim, for example, would explain a global sediment layer and a universal genetic bottleneck for every species on Earth, but would not explain the lack of these things. Claiming that there is a pencil on my desk would explain my observation of a pencil resting on my desk, but would not explain my lack of such an observation or the lack of a desk in the first place. These are claims for which it is possible to evaluate accuracy relative to reality, and that's exactly what should be done, whether a claim is supposed to be "religious" in nature or otherwise. Positive proof is not always possible (my lack of observing a pen on my desk could simply be because I haven't looked under my keyboard, for example), but we can at least gather data which supports or contradicts the predictions of any set of hypotheses, and we can see which ones appear to be more likely to be accurate.
Gut instinct or "feelings" are irrelevant; they're frequently wrong, and so I don't trust them.
Claims made by a trusted individual can still be wrong, and still need to be evaluated according to evidence. The trusted individual should be able to support their claim, and if not, the trusted relationship should itself be re-evaluated.
Popular beliefs can be (and very, very often are) wrong, and still require evaluation of supporting evidence.
In any and all cases, where a belief or claim contradicts reality, reality always wins. It doesn't matter how much a belief or claim is "liked," or how long it's been considered to be true; reality is the ultimate arbiter of accuracy, and if a claim is directly contradicted by evidence, continued adherence to the claim is the very definition of delusion.
Adherence to a claim whose accuracy cannot be evaluated because it equally explains any and all possible data is simply a flight of fancy, a daydream, a fantasy. Such things are often harmless and emotionally pleasing, but ultimately they are childish self-delusions with no tie to reality. It may be emotionally soothing to think that I might see my grandfather again someday after death, but there is no reason to think that this will actually be the case beyond my own desire that it should be so, and while wishful thinking increases our instinctive sense of probability, it has no effect on reality (else I imagine we'd all be wealthy and disease, starvation, and all manner of suffering would cease to exist).
All claims should be evaluated against reality. The original question, "What steps would you take to identify a false religion?" is incorrect. The right question is "What steps would you take to identify a claim consistent with reality and evaluate its likelihood of accuracy against all possible mutually exclusive claims?"

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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 479 (564148)
06-08-2010 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Asking
06-08-2010 12:09 PM


Asking writes:
Surely they are all false as they claim to be mutually exclusive and none of them can back up their claims.
Not necessarily. The inability to back up a claim does not mean that claim is incorrect, it simply means there is a lack of reason to accept it.

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Pauline
Member (Idle past 3820 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 10 of 479 (564154)
06-08-2010 4:17 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by AZPaul3
06-08-2010 9:33 AM


AZP3 writes:
This is much too easy.
Is it 'my' religion with 'my' conception of 'my' god?
If not then it is false.
And you think the world we currently live is...in bad condition?
Just think what would happen if all of the 6 billion people in the world thought the same way you did....we would end up in a more moral and orderly world, right? Right!!
How can someone not seethe idiocy of such statements?

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 Message 11 by Rahvin, posted 06-08-2010 4:33 PM Pauline has replied

Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 11 of 479 (564158)
06-08-2010 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Pauline
06-08-2010 4:17 PM


Hi Doc,
And you think the world we currently live is...in bad condition?
Just think what would happen if all of the 6 billion people in the world thought the same way you did....we would end up in a more moral and orderly world, right? Right!!
How can someone not seethe idiocy of such statements?
Not that I'm actually agreeing with AZ here, but I;d just like to point out that your statement here implies an appeal to consequence fallacy.
Any given claim (religious or otherwise) would be either true or false regardless of whether the population of the world is "more moral and orderly." If the Christian god (or any other god) exists, then we would not necessarily expect the world to be any more or less "moral and orderly" than if he did not. Beyond that, the accuracy of a claim is similarly independent of the desirability of its implications; the Christian god exists or does not exist, regardless of how nice the idea of eternal life is.

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 Message 10 by Pauline, posted 06-08-2010 4:17 PM Pauline has replied

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 Message 13 by Pauline, posted 06-08-2010 6:29 PM Rahvin has replied

bluescat48
Member (Idle past 4274 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 12 of 479 (564160)
06-08-2010 5:33 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Huntard
06-08-2010 11:57 AM


But could we really call all of those "religious/religions"?
Maybe not in a true sense, but it seems that according to some, they know everything about everything, of course, this is absurd.

There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002
Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969
Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Huntard, posted 06-08-2010 11:57 AM Huntard has not replied

Pauline
Member (Idle past 3820 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 13 of 479 (564166)
06-08-2010 6:29 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Rahvin
06-08-2010 4:33 PM


Rahvin writes:
Hi Doc,
DS writes:
And you think the world we currently live is...in bad condition?
Just think what would happen if all of the 6 billion people in the world thought the same way you did....we would end up in a more moral and orderly world, right? Right!!
How can someone not seethe idiocy of such statements?
Not that I'm actually agreeing with AZ here, but I;d just like to point out that your statement here implies an appeal to consequence fallacy.
Hey Rahvin,
I know of no better way to evaluate the merits and demerits of a desire, wish, or claim than to assess its consequences.
Any given claim (religious or otherwise) would be either true or false regardless of whether the population of the world is "more moral and orderly.Any given claim (religious or otherwise) would be either true or false regardless of whether the population of the world is "more moral and orderly." If the Christian god (or any other god) exists, then we would not necessarily expect the world to be any more or less "moral and orderly" than if he did not. Beyond that, the accuracy of a claim is similarly independent of the desirability of its implications; the Christian god exists or does not exist, regardless of how nice the idea of eternal life is.
I can't see how you can disconnect a claim form its consequences while assessing it and why you would do something like that.
KH writes:
One thing that really seems quite amazing to me is the number of religions/cults that claim to worship the one and only 'true' God. Surely they can't all be correct, according to the bible there is only one God (Exodus 20:1-6)
What steps would you take to identify a false religion?
Hey Killinghurts,
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. I would try to assess if what they claim reflects reality (so I would preferable talk to friends). Since religion is about morality, the more the religion changes a person for the better, the better it is in my eyes. I also think religions that people are willing to give their life for carry special merit.
Edited by Dr. Sing, : No reason given.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Rahvin, posted 06-08-2010 7:39 PM Pauline has replied
 Message 52 by Kitsune, posted 06-13-2010 12:21 PM Pauline has replied

Rahvin
Member
Posts: 4046
Joined: 07-01-2005
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 14 of 479 (564175)
06-08-2010 7:39 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Pauline
06-08-2010 6:29 PM


Hey Rahvin,
I know of no better way to evaluate the merits and demerits of a desire, wish, or claim than to assess its consequences.
Desires or indeed any suggested course of action should be evaluated according to their consequences. You will find no argument from me regarding that.
However, claims about reality are independent of whether the consequences are desirable. For example, if Bob shoots Dave, I may be unhappy, but my desire that Dave should spring back to life has no effect on reality; Dave remains dead. Whether I would prefer that the Sun rise in the West tomorrow or not has no effect or relevance to whether the Sun will, in fact, rise in the West.
The consequences of having my bank account suddenly multiply a thousand-fold would be extremely beneficial to me and as such is highly desireable...yet alas I remain middle class in reality.
Our hopes and desires and values can, should and do have a great effect on our own chosen courses of action. They do not, however, directly translate to reality - facts are facts, and truth is truth, regardless of whether we like it or not.
quote:
Any given claim (religious or otherwise) would be either true or false regardless of whether the population of the world is "more moral and orderly.Any given claim (religious or otherwise) would be either true or false regardless of whether the population of the world is "more moral and orderly." If the Christian god (or any other god) exists, then we would not necessarily expect the world to be any more or less "moral and orderly" than if he did not. Beyond that, the accuracy of a claim is similarly independent of the desirability of its implications; the Christian god exists or does not exist, regardless of how nice the idea of eternal life is.
I can't see how you can disconnect a claim form its consequences while assessing it and why you would do something like that.
The consequences of a claim are only useful when taken as predictions. For example, as a consequence of a round-Earth model, I can predict that if I fly West for long enough, I will eventually approach my starting location from the East. THis would be a useful test of a claim that the Earth is round.
However, the desirability of a round vs. a flat Earth has no bearing on whether the Earth is in fact round or flat or square or a pyramid.
An argument that appeals to the desireability of the consequences of a claim, such as "God must exist, because without Him there would be no Heaven," is logically fallacious. In this specific example, God and Heaven either exist or do not exist, regardless of whether the speaker's preference.
Does that help explain the Argument from Consequence fallacy?

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Pauline, posted 06-08-2010 8:03 PM Rahvin has replied

Pauline
Member (Idle past 3820 days)
Posts: 283
Joined: 07-07-2008


Message 15 of 479 (564180)
06-08-2010 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Rahvin
06-08-2010 7:39 PM


So, why are you treating AZ's statements as a statement of fact rather than an expressed philosophy? I can see how the fallacy would apply if I had said said words in response to a...well, fact. If I said "well, this world is a bad place because the sun rises in the east"..then the fact that the sun rises in the east still remains intact and untainted. But we're not dealing with facts here, are we?
You've used facts, Rahvin, to make your point clear to me. Facts about the earth, the sun etc. I fail to see how AZ's:
AZP3 writes:
Is it 'my' religion with 'my' conception of 'my' god?
If not then it is false.
is a fact rather than philosophy........or why you would make it out to be that way in order to facilitate a logical fallacy. All I cannot help but see in that philosophy is ego-centrism....
The consequences of having my bank account suddenly multiply a thousand-fold would be extremely beneficial to me and as such is highly desireable...yet alas I remain middle class in reality.
The consequences of 6 billion people following the philosophy in question would be infinitely detrimental to the world's moral state. So, am I not allowed to draw any conclusion about the merits of the philosophy based on its consequence? Or is that a logical fallacy....I don't see what benefit there is to make it out to be. At best, we would disagree with each other...
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:
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