Religion

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by BeastofBurden, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. BeastofBurden

    BeastofBurden Well-Known Member

    It's a crutch and a control mechanism for and over the weak.

    ~ my 2 gold coins.

    pretend for a moment:

    Your mom tells you she prays to God for the well being of your family and whatever problems your family faces. It makes her feel a lot better knowing she has faith and hope that God looking over you. Anything good or bad that happens to you or your family, you can connect it to God and say "God works in mysterious ways" or "Thank God" and move on because you believe in God.

    Now I bust down the doors telling your mom she's wrong, and that science proves everything wrong about what she believes. No matter how much proof that goes against her religion she just won't believe it because she likes to have that crutch of hope, and that ease of mind which in the better, makes her happier then knowing the actual truth.

    In fact this never happened because you don't want me to tell your mom because you know it'll just destroy her even though you believe in the advances of science and evolution. You rather have her on the crutch instead so she can live happily. Right? or do you tell her what you really believe (if you believe in evolution) and how science disproves the many fairy tale stories of ones magical shroom trip out in the BC era?
  2. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    This isn't a blatant troll attempt at all.
  3. BeastofBurden

    BeastofBurden Well-Known Member

    I thought I was on the ignore list?
  4. LadyKiKi

    LadyKiKi New Member

    I'll bite.

    In my view as long as they don't go do over the top things [i.e. extremists committing terrorism acts] and are comfortable at the end of the daying know X fact, then so be it and let them be, rather than try to "convert" them, because afterall judging by your stance (despite there being presumably concrete proof) you won't accept it either if they try to tell you this this and that from X religion.

    Also, I found it hard to keep myself from laughing because everytime crutch is mentioned in your post I'm reading crotch :(

    So I'll have her on her supports (crutch, sorry, trying to find another word), rather than try to convince. It'll make both of us miserable in the end anyway as we both try to convince each other, might as well let it be and enjoy what we have.
  5. Ilk1986

    Ilk1986 Active Member

  6. LadyKiKi

    LadyKiKi New Member

  7. Ilk1986

    Ilk1986 Active Member

    Glad you liked it ^_^
  8. link6616

    link6616 Well-Known Member

    Religion is a very useful Death Denial tactic.
    Although secular society for the most part deals with all the pre death stuff that religion used to, by giving people a place and purpose in life for the most part.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with it, nor for that matter anything wrong with crutches. When you break your leg they are very useful, or so my friends tell me as I've been lucky enough to never break a limb (leg).

    I think most people use something as a crutch and infact, that's the main idea of the enneagram (well, it's a personality categorizer based on the fact each person has a fear of something, and they strive to keep away from it, fearing emptiness means you fill yourself up with knowledge).

    I also think that people will believe in things, Science is a fairly popular religion right now, and really, if it doesn't harm people, then it's not an issue.

    Also, at SOME point you need something to be just there.
    "There was nothing, then it exploded"

    1) We have equations to work out stuff. But how did those equations get there?

    Answer: that's a silly question, they always were there.

    2) If god made everything, who made him?

    Answer: that's a silly question, he was always were there.

    Odd how 1 seems to be ok, yet 2 is not?
  9. Ilk1986

    Ilk1986 Active Member

    I remember this quote (or something like it) from "I am fluent in Sarcasm" on facebook.

    Atheism: the belief that nothing happened to nothing which put something into nothing which exploded into lots of somethings which turned into dinosaurs.

    At some point, you're right, we just need something to be there. That something was that tiny subatomic particle of an extremely large mass which exploded into the known universe.
  10. Teh_Shadrin

    Teh_Shadrin New Member

  11. Teh_Shadrin

    Teh_Shadrin New Member

    Technically, atheism is just an absence in the belief in god, and doesn't say anything about the origins of the universe beyond that.
  12. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Hahahah, did BoB seriously reply to me telling him his thread is dumb based on the title alone?
  13. BeastofBurden

    BeastofBurden Well-Known Member

    Yes and it wasn't only for you it was for everyone that reads it. Don't feel special because you add nothing to any argument so far on this whole damn website.
  14. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Hahah, he's trying to talk to a guy he knows has him on ignore. Good work, dude.
  15. BeastofBurden

    BeastofBurden Well-Known Member

    Fail more? You wouldn't know unless you have me on ignore to see if I was quoting you. You fucking fail and you're not funny or fooling anyone. Get out of this website and get out of my thread.
  16. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Hah, he's still responding to me. Good thread, dude.
  17. link6616

    link6616 Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty confident that he adds to arguments on this website.

    Also, he can tell you are posting, not that you are quoting. It's just a little bit of an assumption. Which happens to be correct.
  18. Ilk1986

    Ilk1986 Active Member

    And another thread derailed...

    These forums are honestly starting to look like the battle.net ones.
  19. Teh_Shadrin

    Teh_Shadrin New Member

    There was nothing to this thread in the first place, so it would be impossible to derail it.
  20. BeastofBurden

    BeastofBurden Well-Known Member

    Yea seriously. You can thank the band of scarred butt hurt losers and idiots (imo) of past arguments with me. The only time I've been wrong was stating HD remix was out in japan.
  21. Avatar Z

    Avatar Z Well-Known Member

    So the moral of the thread is: George Carlin is fucking AMAZING!!! :D

    ~Z
  22. Avatar Z

    Avatar Z Well-Known Member

  23. Qzzy

    Qzzy Member

    Wait, what?
  24. Avatar Z

    Avatar Z Well-Known Member

  25. Teh_Shadrin

    Teh_Shadrin New Member

  26. Ilk1986

    Ilk1986 Active Member

    Fucking awesome.
  27. FinalSlayer

    FinalSlayer Banned

  28. LadyKiKi

    LadyKiKi New Member

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm.
  29. Hawk one

    Hawk one New Member

    Two misconceptions:

    First of all, science isn't a religion. Science is a method for finding out facts about the universe, and uses theories to help explain these facts. The theory of gravity explains the fact that things fall down, and you don't have to have anything resembling religious faith to accept that, unless you're one of those "but we could all be living in a dreamworld kind of thing" type of person.

    Not to mention that as a rule, religion pretty much demands complacency, and following the rules. Science encourages to ask questions (preferably informed questions, though. It's more than a bit silly to criticise a scientific theory if you haven't even read the Wiki entry on it. Actually, it's equally silly if you have read the Wiki entry, so get a proper textbook on the subject if you want to know what to criticise). Sure, individual scientists can be awfully arrogant and defensive with regards to their specific pet theories, but as a whole, science will steamroll over those people with good, hard evidence.

    And of course, the other misconception is that the universe started off as "nothing". It did start off as something, but at the time, nobody can really say for sure what that something really was. The best we have managed is that we have a pretty decent idea what happened after what is known as a planck length (about 1/43 millionth of a second after the initial reaction got going). Of course, what was "before" that will probably remain unanswerable for a really long time, partially because what was "before" doesn't necessarily have to follow the rules of the universe we have. Heck, we can't even say for sure time (as we understand it) was passing, since time is a property of this universe (wehich is why I put "before" in quote marks).

    Man, it's a pity I lack any real understanding of all of this, as it's so frickin' exciting, but requires me to study a very specified language called "physics" to get even a glimmer of the real thing.

    In any case, just because we don't know it yet, that really is no reason to resort to what is basically fairy-tales. Heck, even if an entity that could be likened to a god was behind it all, it's a fair bet that this entity is nothing at all like all those human-made god myths, because they are basically myths about humans with really great super-powers.
  30. elliott20

    elliott20 Member

    the thing is, scientific theory at it's core is a process of discovery, not the actual facts themselves. as such, if there is evidence of something proving a previous theory invalid, then the scientific community will simply throw out the theory or figure out where the inconsistency came from.

    religion, on the other hand, rests on dogma. You don't question religious dogma, you simply accept it as truth or at least accept it's practice as truth.

    avatar Z's video is indeed full of win.
  31. BillTheManiac

    BillTheManiac New Member

    Let's review:

    That's efficiently constructed, it's not a temple.

    Nothing in science suggests it will harm things.
  32. Avatar Z

    Avatar Z Well-Known Member

    That picture looks suspiciously like the shaft of the Death Star's superlaser to me...

    ~Z
  33. elliott20

    elliott20 Member

    you need to have some death star troopers on the side with no railing to make that complete.
  34. link6616

    link6616 Well-Known Member

  35. Eclipse

    Eclipse New Member

    Some religious people do in fact question religious dogma. I've met them, and they're usually very intelligent, and have reconciled their religion with the world as we know it in a sensible fashion.

    I don't know if you could call me religious or not. I don't really follow any set religion, but I do believe in God and an afterlife. I doubt any religion has got it just right though.

    I also think science does a great job explaining how things work... if it didn't, then it wouldn't be nearly as effective in letting us expand our knowledge of the world. Besides which, if it didn't work, we wouldn't have video games. :eek:

    My view tends to be that God more or less set things (like the laws of physics) up, then let them work so we can experience life here and learn from it. Now, it's pretty well hands off, aside from an occasional (and not physically obvious) helping hand.

    Of course, no one really knows in the end, but that's my own view in a nutshell.
  36. elliott20

    elliott20 Member

    to clarify, I'm certainly not saying that religious people are incapable of questioning and examining their religion, it's meaning or it's interpretation. I do, however, believe that even such examination rests upon the notion that certain religious dogma MUST be true. the most important one being that God exists. You simply cannot carry a theological discussion without that very single piece of belief in place.

    What I'm trying to say is that when you discuss religion, you approach it from the perspective of learning the religious teachings, and applying it back to life, then trying to reconciling it with your life when there are inconsistencies.

    Science goes the other route where none of it's laws are too sacred to throw out.

    The thing is though, to me religion and science are about completely different things. Science is about understanding how things work, religion is about values and spirituality. The two are not mutually exclusive to one another.

    oh yeah, Eclipse, Sir Issac Newton expressed similar sentiment to yours. :)
  37. pictish

    pictish Member

    This idea is also known as 'Non-Overlapping Magisteria' (Or NOMA), written about by Stephen Jay Gould. I'll explain a little about why I object to it, but you'd honestly be a lot better reading the chapter about it in 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins because I am going to be poorly reconstructing some of the excellent points he made about it.

    So, the NOMA idea states science is about finding out how, religion is all about the 'why's. There are a few problems with that. The first one that springs to mind is that the only reason religions are not claiming the how is because there is no evidence for their supernatural claims.

    An illuminating example is, say tomorrow we found actual evidence that Jesus had no parental DNA, just maternal. What would be the reaction to this news? It would certainly not be a polite insistance that the church does not care about science, the how's, they care about the why questions, values, spirituality. They would instantly leap all over this news. Religion's would certainly have a lot more respect for science's truth-finding powers if it ever backed up their claims.

    Next up we ask, why religion? If science cannot find the answers to a moral problem, why do we decide the buck should be passed to the religious? If science is limp to answer it, with it's proven ability to find truth and make advances over and over - what chance does say, Christianity have? To defer to the bible as soon as science fails is a massive non-sequitor.

    As well as all that, religion's do indeed make scientific claims about the universe. This is mostly going back to the first point, but religion really does make claims about how the universe works and acts! These are either true, or they are not. A world with a personal God who cares about what you do, what you eat and how you have sex is a very different one from a world without one. The claim that miracles happen really is a scientific claim - it's just completely baseless and lacks any evidence. Religion isn't all about the why's, it's just that it's so lacking and incapable at the 'how's that they would rather you forget they do try and answer those questions, if you'll listen.

    Anyway, NOMA is a very romantic idea, and I like that it says we can all just get along and do our own thing, but it's sadly just not really well founded. Religions make claims about how the universe works, without evidence, and even if they didn't there's nothing logical about turning to them for moral guidance when science fails.

    (Though, I do agree with the rest of your post. You really nailed the key thing that excludes science from being a religion. It is ready to throw out any idea as long as there is sufficient evidence!)
  38. elliott20

    elliott20 Member

    Actually, you made the points pretty competently, if you asked me.

    I obviously cannot defend religion and religious institutions and their ability to keep the spiritual seperate from the factual. I simply do not have the devotion to an institution to do that.

    A lot of my posts stems merely from the belief that most people do not go to religion for factual but spiritual guidance. Some take more from it, some take less. The reasoning that most reasonable people don't take it wholesale is just for the very reason you have stated, religion is utterly incapable of proving itself. Religion often utilizes circular logic and exists within a tautology of itself.

    Of course, I'm also kind of a romantic at heart. So maybe my way of seeing the world will come off as very naive at times.
  39. pictish

    pictish Member

    You're certainly right that a lot of people want spiritual guidance from religions. I'm probably some kind of extremely cliche atheist, because now I'd reccomend reading books/listening to youtube stuff of Sam Harris, who makes the point about spirituality a lot.

    He says, more or less, that there really is a desire for spirtuality - but that the word has a lot of baggage. It's tied up in a lot of supernatural superstition. People want to feel compassion for others, to stop looking for happiness in moment to moment, to clear the constant chattering of thought in their head. He says this is a really valid pursuit, but science has been hesitant to approach it due to how much religious and supernatural baggage terms like 'Spirituality' are wrapped up in.

    It's perfectly possible to meditate and lose the sense of 'I', to become more than the moment to moment desires and thoughts without appealing to some supernatural power - it's just that the only game in town for investigating these pursuits. I think there's more effort being put into this now though. What brainstates are achieved through meditation, how can people get themselves to this state most easily, blah blah.

    An understanding of these things would mean sooner or later, we could have 'spirituality' (compassion, feeling of escaping your moment to moment perception, being less self centred, or whatever!) but with absolutely no religious baggage. That'd be quite something.

    In the meantime, you can hardly blame people for looking into religion for that stuff when they are the only ones touting it - just a shame really, maybe something that science will address soon.
  40. Avatar Z

    Avatar Z Well-Known Member

    My chat with God:

    Dear God: LRN2internetmeme. Amen.

    Dear God: LRN2starwars. Amen.

    ~Z
  41. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    Here's my thoughts on the subject:
    The underlying assumption behind science is that the universe follows a set of rules that are finite and consistent.

    Religion asserts that there are some events (i.e. miracles) which are not consistent with any finite set of rules.

    Although proper science cannot assert that its conclusions are always true, some people do indeed make such an assertion, thereby using science as a religion. Such a religion should be referred to by some name besides 'science' since it makes assumptions beyond what science says. I refer to this religion as 'scientific atheism'.
  42. pictish

    pictish Member

    That's still nonsense. Science always carries the best evidence for it's conclusions, or simply says 'We don't know. Yet.'. While you should be wary that at any time some new evidence could bowl over or just nitpick a theory, there's nothing wrong with trusting science's current conclusions and rolling with that if you're not a scientist. If it turns out what you know is wrong, you'll find out when the scientists do, and can change your position on whatever. You should end up decently well informed, and since you're not following a dogma, if you say 'Man, that lamarckism is so great and true' someone can say 'that was totally discredited, where were you?' and you go 'Oh, I didn't know. Now I do. Thanks!'

    To even begin to describe science as a religion requires either a fundamental misunderstanding about what science is, or a willful misrepresentation to confuse people.

    In fact, reading this again:

    I have NO idea what you are saying. Let's see if I can demystify what you're saying -

    'Some people trust science to be right, but sometimes science is wrong. If you believe science is always right when sometimes it's wrong, that qualifies are religious.'

    On the face of it, this isn't even an actual problem. So what if people trust science 100% when science is not always correct? When it is discovered science was incorrect, scientists will not desperately cling to old ideas or claim old research papers were merely metaphorical - they'll update science so that what we now know to be true IS science.

    What it sounds a lot more like to me is that you see ideas such as naturalism as dogmatic, that scientists are secretly 'trying' to make things fit naturalism, or that science can't be trusted with the old 'Evolution is only a theory' line of misunderstanding the word 'theory' in a scientific context.

    If that's what you believe, then tee hee, that's amusing. Otherwise, could you explain what you actually meant - or how trusting current science to be true is dangerous if you are not a professional scientist who should be looking for holes and new stuff?

    EDIT: IN FACT, reading your post again it makes even LESS sense.

    First, you define religious. Organisation that asserts there are miracles/supernatural events.

    Then, you say that some people believe all of science's conclusions are true, and they make science a religion. But that doesn't entail any miracles! If they believe science as it is in the current day is flawless and we have nothing more to learn, then they are incorrect and have misunderstood what science is, but they have not turned it into a religion. Even if they always trust science to have the closest-to-fact theories we can know at any given time, that's still not religious, it's sensible. There's no other method to acquiring knowledge that is tested and works. Your post makes no sense.
  43. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    My statement about religion and miracles was meant to be an aggregate statement about several religions rather than a definition of religion. I apologies for being unclear.

    What I meant with the last comment is that their is a distinction between believing that scientific theories are true and believing that they are absolute truth. The first belief is not a religion, but the second one is. I will elaborate further and claim that most people who believe that scientific theory is absolute truth are not scientists.
  44. FinalSlayer

    FinalSlayer Banned

    Interesting note-

    Some of the most brilliant scientists and mathematicians I've known, easily smarter than everyone else here combined, including Sirlin and garcia, are also very devout, religious individuals.

    Religion by itself doesn't have anything to do with one's ability or belief in science.
  45. pictish

    pictish Member

    I agree FinalSlayer, though I'd still say the religious stuff would be at best superfluous. I've met people who are perfectly intelligent and very logical, rational, and so on. Then I discuss religion with them and they happily toss up arguments they would not entertain in any other field... it's really odd.
    I have no idea what the difference between truth and absolute truth would be. I mean, it could mean there are some people that believe modern day science as it is has reached perfection already, and any new advances should be ignored or something. But I've never met anyone like that, just people that acknowledge the best way of gaining knowledge there is is science, and that evidence is our best way forward.

    I mean, I've also met atheists who know nothing about why they are an atheist and make as poor arguments as any religious person with no clue why they are religious - but they're not making a positive claim with atheism so I cut them slack. And it doesn't have much to do with science, either.

    Okay, so yeah, I'm not sure what the difference between truth and absolute truth is that you're getting at.
  46. vesu

    vesu New Member

    There are no absolute truths, but to assume a person is not using a word like truth or absolute for the sake of elegance and emphasis when describing a theory that has an extremely high chance of being true. People make incorrect assumptions based on valid data all the time, though this phenomenon has absolutely nothing to do with religious faith, IE, the practice of believing something regardless of data. To make a mistake interpreting data and arrogantly defending it is a failed attempt to understand reality, but religious faith does not try to understand reality in the first place. The two concepts have almost nothing in common.

    Also, please reconsider your name for this arrogance. It isn't scientific, and it certainly isn't necessarily atheist. I wonder if this is an attempt by you to equivocate atheists with non-functioning scientists, but I won't assert that just yet.

    Finally, there actually are absolute truths, just ask your math teacher. And even if a theory is not absolutely true, I've already explained how pointless it is to assume that it has to be taken as truth.

    My personal opinion is that religion is a force that deludes humanity, ultimately damaging it. I have severe philosophical reservations in believing things that are false. Fortunately, that is my only reservation, so rectify it and I will start believing whatever it is you have demonstrated to be "true".

    Devout is a very strange choice of a word. I'm confused if you are saying that some brilliant individuals have made a decision based on data to believe that a particular religion is true, or if they have religious faith in spite of being brilliant people?

    In any case, apathetic religious outlooks must be considered too. Not everybody who was raised to say they are a Christian actually believes in it's teachings, and fewer still believe strongly enough that it invades their lives. It's rather obvious, but still relevant whenever you ask the question of what a person believes.
  47. FinalSlayer

    FinalSlayer Banned

    Why in spite of? They simple believe in a religion, study its holy texts regularly, pray, and separately from that, are brilliant scientists and/or mathematicians.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?
  48. vesu

    vesu New Member

    Faith and brilliance are on opposite sides of a spectrum, but coming to the conclusion that a particular religion is factually true is different from just faith. The latter only means that either the nonreligious or religious person has made a mistake. Mistakes are good, self delusion by force of will is not.
  49. Eclipse

    Eclipse New Member

    Faith and brilliance don't have to be opposite though. Religious views can be held separately from scientific views. The problem comes when you get people who want to assert that the earth is flat, or global warming isn't a problem since God will take care of it, or that intelligent design or creationism should be taught alongside (or instead of) evolution in science class. Most religious people I know aren't like this though, and understand the difference between science and religion.
  50. Waterd103

    Waterd103 Well-Known Member

    Finalslayer define smart

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