Are we regressing?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by modernpaladin, Jul 18, 2023.

  1. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    Dont for one second kid yourself! So does science on many levels. Pure speculation built on a mountain of other speculations and 'assumed' proofs!

    Yup! Guv Believers! Top Shelf!
    Far worse than any God believers now days!
    For so many God is dead Guv, (their party) is their Lord thy God!
    The funny thing about religion is we can turn 'anything' into our religion.
     
  2. Dirty Rotten Imbecile

    Dirty Rotten Imbecile Well-Known Member

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    I read and watch a lot of layman’s science and I don’t find that there are a lot presenting information as solid fact unless it is so.

    You and I understand theory differently. A theory is a working model of how a studied thing most likely is, based on observation, experimentation and
    peer reviewed science. A theory is usually described based on its acceptance. Just an example, if you search Nebular hypothesis you are lead to a description of one of the most widely accepted theories on how the solar system formed. Almost as soon as it is described, alternatives are mentioned. Weaknesses in the theory are discussed. As with most theories, more work still need to be done to flesh it out more.

    You aren’t going to read a biblical treatise that gives you alternative ideas about how salvation could otherwise be achieved or the weaknesses in god’s plan and why you might want to consider alternative religions.


    Anyway back on the original subject, I think another thing to mention is that burying the dead with their most valued belongings doesn’t necessarily mean a belief in the afterlife. Also, if burying the dead with their belongings does indicate a belief in the afterlife, it still doesn’t indicate a belief in a god or gods. Not that I would suggest that primitive men were atheists. The practices of prehistoric hominids provides no evidence at all about the existence of an afterlife or gods.

    I think that humans have deep emotional connections with their families and their larger social group. When one of us dies the rest of us will miss the missing person and want to express grief overtly and symbolically. Funeral rites, to me, indicate more about the complexity and depth of family and social relationships. The “religious” or “spiritual” beliefs that spin off from our grief in an effort to explain tragedy is important too, but I think the real thing to focus on from an anthropological perspective is how connected we are as people that we have to have these funerary rituals to help us cope and let go.

    So, if anything funeral rituals provide greater evidence of the social bonds in early hominid groups than evidence that god or gods exist or that we are something less for not subscribing to a belief in a supernatural mode of existence.
     
  3. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    Have you ever heard of Stephen Hawking? I saw him, on his show How To Think Like A Genius, say that every time we make a decision, we create a new universe in which that is our decision, as opposed to a different decision, which has its own universe, and so forth. He didn't, once, use the word theory; he presented it as a fact. The ironic part, was that he had begun the show, making fun of the silly, belief of old, in "magic." Yet he ended the show with this assertion about endless, parallel universes, in which every possibility is given a chance to express itself, but didn't mention how any of that occurs-- I guess it must just be magic.

    You have either been misreading me, or just ignoring what I've said, when you reply. It began with your comment:

    Dirty Rotten Imbecile said: ↑
    So yeah it’s advanced thinking to be considering a cause for everything but it is also undisciplined thinking to conclude an assumption is a fact.



    I answered, that the same was true, in all fields, and human interactions:

    DEFinning said: ↑
    Of course, this applies not just in spiritual matters, but in all those of the mundane world, and by no means excludes concepts, adopted in the various fields of science (medicine, physics, and so on) in which assumption is very often treated as fact.

    If you counter argue, btw, that: no-- science does not think of these as facts (which is a contention, itself, that could easily be shot to bits, with examples) but as only their best guesses, based on current information-- well then that exact same caveat could be applied to religious beliefs.


    You ignored what I'd said about scientists falling into the same traps as the religious, and tried to turn it around, to say that you wished the religious would be as scientific as scientists:


    Dirty Rotten Imbecile said: ↑
    I wish that exact same caveat were applied to religious beliefs. Good science typically talks mainly about what is most likely and what evidence suggests.
    And yeah there’s a bunch of people who are anti-evolution or anti climate change who are sharpening their pencil to criticize that statement but for the most part that is true.

    Christianity (because not all religions are like this) demands that you must believe certain things and those things are taken, by necessity, on faith.



    This is, of course, a ridiculous comparison, because science covers things that can be studied, and religion, things that can't be. So your "wish," really translates to your desire for religion to not exist, and for all people's beliefs to be based on scientific evidence. I must say, that is very closed-minded of you.

    My reply was too long to be worth reproducing in its entirety, but it began by trying to explain why science and religion are different types of pursuits:

    DEFinning said: ↑
    There is, of course, a good reason, for this difference: namely, that religious beliefs, cannot be tested, scientifically. It would be a long, and probably pointless conversation, to debate whether religions "should" emphasize, that they have no way of objectively verifying, any of their tenets. While there are a few of us, who are comfortable with that sort of uncertainty, one of the top benefits that most get from religion, is a sense of security. That would only apply, if the devotee was sure of his dogma. Certainly, you must be able to see this.



    The ironic part is that difference, is also something they have in common. That is, people are people; and people, in general, whether or not they are religious, like security. How can one view the undertaking of trying to explain everything, as not an attempt at gaining security, in that knowledge? So I had gone on, in the rest of my post, explaining how scientists latch onto established scientific beliefs, the way that religious adherents clothe their own ideas, in accepted doctrine. There is security in the knowledge, or in the belief, but neither is beyond doubting.

    I tried to make the point that, because we know so little, relative to all there is to be known, even things that we think we are sure of, could be very flawed. For example, Newtonian physics were the model for a very long time, before Einstein added a wrinkle to them, and then quantum physicists came along and turned our ideas upside down, when we try to apply them on a very small scale. So, don't tell me, for centuries, scientists were thinking of these physics, as just theoretical-- they were accepted as factual. But guess what-- surprise, surprise-- when we learned more, we found out that in the realm of the minute, the physics are very, very different from the ones we had long, falsely, believed to be true and absolute. So that had been my point: we do not know enough about the universe to trust anything science has taught us, as an absolute truth, despite that it might be helpful knowledge, all the same.

    Religion is a search for absolute truth. Science is a search for it, as well, though it realizes that we do not have it. Yet it makes the same, illogical error, of assuming that any of its knowledge is absolutely accurate. And I am talking about very basic knowledge. For the longest time, we believed that space was empty. Scientists would state that, if you asked what was most the universe, they would tell you empty space-- not "we think it is empty, but we're not really sure." They were sure; and they were wrong. So my point was that scientists should treat everything as just a working theory; but they don't. As I'd said, this concept plays out again & again, in science: it is not just the things that are thought of as "theoretical," that turn out to be wrong, but the long accepted "truths" of science.

    For another example, for the longest time, radiologists have covered us with lead shields, while taking X-rays, to protect us. Not as a theory, that it might protect us, but as an accepted rule, that this did protect the patient. But now, evidence has shown that these shields actually trap more radioactive particles inside our bodies, than just letting them fly through us, without the shield, because these particles don't stay all in a straight beam, but bounce all around the room.

    Now, you will tout the facts that we did, ultimately, update our physics, with quantum physics; that we did, ultimately, update our idea of the universe from containing vast spaces of almost nothingness, to understanding that these were filled with tiny particles, we now call Dark Matter; that we are in the process of switching our techniques, for X-rays. But you are ignoring, or excusing the fact, that for decades or centuries, in these cases, scientists were sure of ideas, which were false. That is my point: you are using a double standard, when you say that religions should all teach that they are only guessing, and could be completely wrong. Because, even if science has more evidence for its guesses, any of its beliefs, history has shown, might turn out being completely false. But once an idea is firmly accepted by science, it tends to no longer be presented, or thought of, as having the potential to be proven wrong. But everything we think we know, has this potential.


    I don't know what source you are using, but when we were taught, in school, about the formation of the universe, we were not given alternative theories; we learned one set of information, depicted as factual, without even a hint that anyone disagreed about this, or that there might be any reason, to second guess this information. That goes for most science information, we were taught. Was your school experience much different?

    Likewise, most reports meant for lay people-- again, not just in scientific matters, but not excluding science, either-- are oversimplifications, which by virtue of all they leave out, are misrepresentative, at best, if not deceptive, or very often, useless, because not enough information is given, to truly understand. This applies in a t.v. segment on Bitcoin, or on CRISPR. And it also applied to reports about Covid protocols, and vaccines. For that matter, even traditional vaccines are misrepresented (again, do not make the mistake of thinking me an anti-vaxxer). How will a doctor or medical person describe it: "it trains your immune system, to recognize the pathogen and attack it." Great-- so vaccines apparently run little seminars, for our immune cells. What they leave out, is the way they do their training: by getting our bodies defenses, to attack our own, infected cells.

    To sum up, science is overly trusted, just like religion, and it is falsely presented, just like religion. So you are expecting more of religion, than of science.

    And most people of science will not give you all the different options, either. They are just as partisan, as religious folks. If you go to a surgeon with a problem that might be treated in various different ways, if surgery is one of them, that is the one, 9 times out of 10, the surgeon will recommend, even if non- surgeon specialists, would recommend other treatments, and say that surgery should be left as a last option, not used as a first one.
     
  4. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Hm, no, I'm not saying religion is not different from the deer, I'm saying belief in the unquantifiable is not different from the deer. I'm saying there is a difference between the deer and religion, and that difference lies in abstraction and persistence of ideas (among other things, I'm sure). I'm saying the active component that makes religion do anything impressive has not been the belief in the unquantifiable, but the capability of abstraction and persistence of ideas.



    Um, sure. I don't really know what conclusions you draw from that either.
     
  5. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

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    Agreed, as I write, religion also requires abstraction and persistence of ideas (among other things, I'm sure). A deer reacting to a threat is an unquantified belief, but it takes more to do any of the things the OP is talking about.
     
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  6. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well it should be obvious, but I am not sure, from your comments, if you recognize, that religion motivated human advancement. Having abilities is of no value, of one is not inspired to use those abilities. That covers both of your touchstone abilities in this thread: abstraction, and creating persistent behavior. Abilities, like muscles, only strengthen, if they are used. And not even the desire to eat, caused man to employ his abilities for abstraction to the degree as did religious pursuits. As impressive as it is that man learned to sharpen stones to butcher animals, as well as for spear tips, and later arrowheads, to kill them; as admirable, the amount of time and dedication went into creating these things, it pales with the investment of planning & effort that went into constructions, tied to religion. So it was religion, which enabled these abilities to develop. They would not have developed nearly so much, without something that both challenged man, and which he felt was worth all that effort. There is no factual basis to say, "well, if there hadn't been religion, man just would've found some other cause, for employing and developing his nascent abilities."
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2023
  7. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Arrow heads were for defense and for hunting game.

    Right??
     
  8. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    I don't follow your point. That I should have added defense, along with hunting, as the reason for making weapons? Sure. But that has really nothing to do with my argument; that is, the specific motivations for the other applications of our constructive abilities, aren't the point. Rather, it is that no other motivation, was behind such grand, massive, complex employment of human potential, as was, what might be deemed "religion."

    Right??
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2023
  9. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    My impression is that there is broad agreement that religion was used as a method of control of populations, in some cases a surrogate for government.

    The OP question is:
    "So, if religion (or spirituality, mysticism, what have you) is one of the fundamental differences that separates humans from other animals, why is it, today, that religion/spirituality/mysticism -the beleif in something unquantifiable and unreproduceable- is instead considered 'superstitious', 'uneducated', 'unintellectual' -undavanced?"

    We're better off when we separate religion from government.

    We are NOT better off when we accept the "unquantifiable and unreproducible" as being the foundation for our progress in government. Nor are we better off having a prelate who declares unassailable positions based on superstition.

    Besides, there is no agreement on religion.
     
  10. Injeun

    Injeun Well-Known Member

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    Our values, which we gather from the light of conscience which shows us right from wrong, are the values we lift into law as standards of conduct. Then we build our civilization around those values. We say it is wrong to steal, murder, and rape. We know it by our consciences that our values are good and true. But our consciences cannot be validated or proven by science. Nevertheless we live by conscience anyway, lift its standards, hold people to them, and build civilization around those standards. It isn't superstitious to know and live by that which isn't tangible or is scientifically unproven as is the light of conscience. Contrary to popular belief, science isn't all that. It is a useful tool, not our God or guiding light. It would be vain and superstitious to live by science alone.

    There are also plenty of people who think that theft, rape, and murder are perfectly normal and appropriate according to the circumstance. Would we say then that because we can't scientifically validate the conscience from which we establish our values and laws, therefore we can't hold our fellow man to them, thus giving free reign to utter brutality? Civilization revolves around the supernatural. And that's the truth.

    So to say that because God can't be proven to exist, that it is then vain to believe in God or hold oneself to divine standards, is in alignment with counseling the peaceable and virtuous to commit acts of lawlessness, because the laws have no provable foundation and are merely arbitrary whims to suit and empower those who make them. But that mentality is a lie. We lift our standards in our obeisance to them. And find them to be light, like the yoke of God. They are only harsh to the wicked.
     
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  11. Dirty Rotten Imbecile

    Dirty Rotten Imbecile Well-Known Member

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    um, well if science is so wrong, how do you explain this?
    IMG_5835.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
  12. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    Will, I hope you will pay attention as I point out how your supposed reply, is not only non sequitur to anything in my post, but is also, by your own definition, non sequitur to the OP. It seems to have no place, in this thread.

    1) Which is irrelevant, unless you are misinterpreting that "broad agreement," to have been that this was the only thing religion was "used" for.

    Is there nothing bad that could be found, in the history of institutional science? Are you kidding?

    Government, also, has been used "as a method of control of populations"-- so that discredits all government, in your book? Of course it doesn't. Therefore, this is a meaningless, misleading, disingenuous, and erroneous argument.


    Pay special attention to this next part:
    Question: how many times does your own quoting of the OP, mention "government?" Do you count zero, as I do?
    Next, let's look at how you follow that statement of "the OP question."


    2) WTF are you talking about? Let me rephrase that: why are you talking about separation of religion from government? What the hell does that have to do with the OP question, you'd just quoted? Ditto, your bringing up progress in government. For what reason would you bother to quote the OP, only to not address what you have quoted? Where, in the OP, do you read anything about a "prelate," or any religious authority, issuing dictates, backed (from the context of your post) with governmental authority? Do you see those things, implied in the OP?-- I really want to know. It would help explain, a fair number of your non sequitur replies, I've received.

    Do you think you are talking about the OP's question? Do you think you are addressing
    my post? The only way you could be doing so, would be if you are presenting the "broad agreement," to be that controlling people is all that religion has been used for, which would be utterly false. My post had been about religion's role in human advancement, in giving man a purpose, toward which he was willing to invest so much time & effort, in technological feats of construction, astronomical observation and calculation, and so forth, thereby honing those skills, and fostering the development of those abilities, through putting them into practice. You say nothing about my post, despite quoting it. And you do not address the OP question, regardless of your going out of your way to quote that, as well. Your post, then, to my mind, does not seem to even belong in this thread, much less seems like it should be addressed to me.

    Here, again, was the post you'd quoted:
    DEFinning said: ↑

    I don't follow your point. That I should have added defense, along with hunting, as the reason for making weapons? Sure. But that has really nothing to do with my argument; that is, the specific motivations for the other applications of our constructive abilities, aren't the point. Rather, it is that no other motivation, was behind such grand, massive, complex employment of human potential, as was, what might be deemed "religion."

    Right??

    <End Quote>


    3) Once again, this has nothing to do with either my post, or with the OP. It can only be surmised that you must be carrying on some alternate conversation, in your own mind.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
  13. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    LOL--

    Strike 1: I say that science, writ large, "is so wrong?" That would be terribly inaccurate reading, on your part. Could you highlight that part of my post?

    Strike 2: "How...the first human being... might have looked"-- LOL, again. (That actually looks like an image of Keith Richards).

    Your "counter-argument," did not address the main point (or really any part) of my quoted post's argument-- Strike 3!


    Or does a picture of Keith Richards, prove that people of science do, in fact, think of everything we think we know, as potentially wrong?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
  14. Injeun

    Injeun Well-Known Member

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    How do we live and breathe, and thus give praise to God, if there is no God to praise. Sure, we can keep our lives and breath to ourselves as if we were God. But to what end? Should we praise ourselves? Mankind didn't create itself, the earth, the universe or anything which sustains us for that matter. So how can we justly praise ourselves without exhibiting a boat load of ignorant vanity. It is the heights of superstition and madness to esteem ourselves and dismiss God.

    Some say, as a segue to self adoration and in the absence of God, that we are naturally evolved, like an avalanche that goes uphill, naturally. I'm astonished at the patience of God, that he isn't moved from his place for the cause of correction. They say that his absence is proof of his nonexistence. But to me it is the call to abide and endure his return. And to say there is no God is an excuse to continue in evil and procrastinate repentance.

    Now if we are all, believers and nonbelievers, generally inclined towards perfection and justice. Then the question is, if we all arrive at that table, will we arrive with clean hands or dirty hands.
     
  15. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    Apologies for missing this, but here's a link that has more details when it comes to elephants: Elephant cognition - Wikipedia

    I might do a thread at some point about animal cognition and empathy. It's one of my favorite topics to study and I highly suggest the works of Frans de Waal if you are interested. He's done a lot of research on animal empathy and has even shown that highly empathetic primate "alphas" are more common and more long lived than the stereotypical "alpha" bullies.
     
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  16. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    During the High Middle Ages some very smart and well learned men who had fallen in love with Aristotle thought that they could arrive at an understanding of God by harmonizing Greek Rationalism with Christian thought. Then came along an even smarter and well learned friar and logician from England by the name of William of Ockham (of "Ockham's Razor" fame) who recognized that there was a profound problem there - that the two could not be reconciled with one another and the Scholastics were trying to project their own thinking on God and essentially create Him in their own image (and that of the Greek Rationalists). Being a man of Reason who understood Man's limitations, William quickly concluded that this was all nonsense, and worse yet, contrary to Jesus' goal of overthrowing the Ancient World's assumptions and acceptance of natural inequality that was a core component of Greek Rationalism. This could not stand, and fortunately for Christianity and the West the friar from a tiny village in Surrey would not let it stand. Thus the Doctor Invincibilis declared that Reason could only take us so far in understanding something (or someone) that was beyond our ability to understand. To reach an understanding of God required more than Reason, it also required one or both of the following things: faith and revelation, and by revelation this could include personal experience. Well, this kinda rekt the party for the Scholastics and their intellectual pursuit, but it did free up people to contemplate other things, such as Man and Nature and Science, which ultimately freed us to pass from the intellectual world of the Middle Ages and on to those of the Renaissance and the Modern Era.

    As you stated about Science, the same can be said for Reason, and perhaps the terms and concepts can be used interchangeably. Both are useful tools, but both have their limitations - they can only take us so far in understanding the existence and nature of many things.

    I also think the aforementioned intellectual pursuits speak to the question @modernpaladin posed in the OP - are we regressing? - and perhaps the point @DEFinning made in Post #31 about the benefits of exercising our intellectual and spiritual faculties.
     
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  17. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    That, my friend, is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    What is religion/spirituality/mysticism but part of the effort to understand who and what we are and our place in the universe (or the "grand scheme" of things)?

    Of course, we can only speculate why some uneducated, unintellectual and unadvanced people would consider this "uneducated", "unintellectual" and "unadvanced", but I think we have already arrived at the answer to that question. However, I think there may be some environmental and personal factors involved beyond people projecting their own shortcomings on to others. On an environmental level, the West is becoming enslaved to Reason, and ironically the same can be said for many close-minded people who are incapable of looking and thinking beyond their own perception and experience. Their minds are slammed shut like a bear trap, and that has made many of them hostile towards anything and everything that might shatter their certainty and assumptions.
     
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  18. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Religion also provides solace.

    There have been abuses of those who claim science, I'm sure. But, that is not the foundational purpose of science, as I'm sure you will agree.

    The point is that government was a PURPOSE of religion.

    Science is not based on government as an objective. Science did NOT come about to achieve government or achieve solace.

    This is not changed by weighing abuses that you may find. We don't have to discuss inquisitions or whatever.
    I'm really not sure what you are counting. Plus, I'm not so sure it matters how many times I said something that I would still say.

    The problem with religion is that it is an immutable argument made by one religion - the religion that has governmental control.

    Religion may not be challenged in any way. If god is believed to have said "X", then "X" is irrefutable, using ANY kind of evidence.

    The history of western government struggled to recognize that for a long time. By the time our founders created OUR government, it was well known that government has to be secular.

    Yes, you said that. Clearly there have been times when religion was the government. So, that has happened.

    But, the problems coming from that are why theory of western government has moved away from that concept. It's why our founders divided religion from government.


    I hope the above helps.
     
  19. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    So that means what, as far as the OP question, about our "regressing?"

    Or, how does it apply to my point about the unrivaled position of religion, to motivate?


    I am saying that you put this connection between religion & government in the center of your response, though have not explained what that has to do with either my post, you were answering, or with the OP's question.

    It doesn't-- because you still haven't explained the relevance of that connection, vis a vis the question we are discussing.



    So you are now crediting religion with giving mankind government-- an irrefutable advancement of society, I think, irrespective of the fact that there have been, and will continue to be, bad governments-- but using that to call religion "regressive?" Or using it to claim that our species' development was not promoted and advanced, because of religion? I do not know how I can make clearer, that you are not tying your "reply" to anything that went before it. To what idea, are you "replying?"


    I'm going to take a stab at deciphering your argument. You are saying that religion held us back, because without it, we would have achieved the same heights, as a species, yet would have done so, democratically? That, since you don't seem to recognize it, is a HUGE claim, which appears extremely dubious, on its face. Perhaps you could provide something more akin to an actual, persuasive argument, to support it?

    The problem with your argument, is that you are only looking at a part of the overall picture. Also, it is clear that you do not well understand religion, nor have much awareness of the wider role it has played (beside the one of being the voice of government).

    It would take your being more directly responsive to the ideas I offer, for it to seem worth my while to go more in depth, into the development of both human religion, and government. For now, I will leave it at the idea that where we now are, is the result of a process, which played out over millennia. I think that religion had been, at one time, a crucial part of that process. As for now, you fail to recognize many of religion's dimensions; you see it only as comforting superstition-- the opium of the masses-- used to control them. This leaves a lot out of your concept.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
  20. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I see NO evidence that religion is unrivaled in terms of motivating individuals.

    We have many motivators. We have survival, for instance.
    You talked about the motivation of religion.

    What I suggested is that motivation for creation of religion was to provide government, and authority for government.

    There are other motivations for human activity - survival, defense, better standard of living, etc.
     
  21. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I think we've found that replacing that early use of religion as government with our secular government as defined by our founders has been an improvement.

    And, it seems that we retain strong motivation from other sources.
     
  22. Bullseye

    Bullseye Well-Known Member

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    Huh? The Founders were far from secular. Where do you basic rights come from " . . . endowed by their Creator" - sound familiar? Not very secular.
     
  23. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with any of this.

    Stephen Hawking and the field of theoretical physics is defined as the extension of what we know from experimental physics using math and measures of consistency. This field goes beyond what is testable by technology available to humans. The theory of "multiple worlds" shared by Sean Carroll, Hawking (I think) and others comes DIRECTLY from the Schrodinger Equation which is well known and fully depended upon in quantum field theory. It is NOT some wild diversion. It IS impossible to test at present.

    That is different from experimental physics, where results are based on observation and testing. One can not test "multiple worlds" "string theory", etc. One can test many of the results from quantum physics, etc.

    >> Religion is not like EITHER of these, as religion has NOTHING to do with observation and it is not an extension of observation as is theoretical physics.

    Religion is a totally separate start, based on ancient writings, works of philosophy, etc. What is observed is often irrelevant. God is taken on faith - not evidence. Jesus invalidated Judaism - not up for debate, it is simply a fact of Christianity.

    As for science, the whole purpose is to methodically extend our understanding of the universe. That is NOT the objective of religion. Religion is social and static. It took YEARS to convince Christians that women should be allowed to vote. Religion has nothing to say about our galaxy.

    So, what we learn through science IS going to change as constant improvement is the whole idea.

    Doctors give their best concerning the numerous factors present in a specific case. A different doctor might ignore certain factors or introduce others. Doctors will always give alternatives if asked. So, always ask!! Doctors will volunteer multiple options in cases where there is significant risk, or other reasons for the patient to choose.

    It is not the case that in all levels of education it is better to give all theories that exist. For one thing, there is very little time dedicated to science and understanding even one theory might be a stretch for the particular class.
     
  24. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    Which was the basis of my comparison, between the kind of technological achievements, spawned by our desire to survive-- weapons & tools, for instance-- versus the grand pyramids, temples, megaliths, and celestial observatories, created for "religious" purposes. On its face, survival loses that argument, of motivating as much abstract thought, and advancing our concepts of engineering, construction, design, and mathematics, for example.

    You might try offering more of a rebuttal, than that you "see no evidence that religion is unrivaled." IOW, why don't you enumerate those accomplishments, which show a rival inspiration, which was as animating?

    None of these other motivations, however, inspired us to reach as far.The thing is, because of our greater than average intelligence, merely "surviving," did not push our capabilities nearly to their maximum. We were like the very bright kid, who could get good grades without need of really pushing himself. What drove us to push harder, was our pursuit of the gods-- wanting to emulate them.

    These gods, IMO, were extraterrestrial visitors. Of course, this is a contentious claim, so I have not, in this thread, felt it important to go into that debate. The thing that cannot be denied, are all the structures that were built (though some, apparently with technological assistance, if not built entirely by others). Since I think you do not ascribe to any ancient alien theory, you must credit all these monuments to mankind. And for your counter argument, of the heights, to which the struggle for survival, raised our species, you cite what? Arrow heads?


    You realize, that you are misinterpreting my point? I had not been focused on what had been the motivation behind religion (which seems to be your consuming concern), but the things which the pursuit of "religious" ideas, motivated man to do. Again, if you are adding "create government," to that list (which I had not been including), I can only see that as, culturally speaking, an evolutionary advancement, overall. Do you disagree?
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2023
  25. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    First, I would disagree with your characterization of the foundation of governing structures in human society, to be religious. Our species was once tribal, and had chiefs, who were not initially determined by religion, but by brute strength.

    Religion came along later, in its use in validating a particular royal line, for instance, or vouching for the power of whomever held the position of King. But, while one can find fail with this system, the alternate history of an entire world, self-governed, is an utter fantasy, which cannot be credibly supported as a likelihood, in lieu of religion. Without religion, we would be looking at a world of warlords, with a few city states, but with less organization than feudal Europe, or the Roman Empire, or the network of Greek city-states.

    As I have already said, man's government has been a process-- one that is still evolving: authoritarianism continues to exist. The problem with your argument is, you offer no reason to believe that we could have gotten even to this point, without having come through the steps which came before; they were a part of the route.
     

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