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#61 Sasun

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 09:50 PM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 13 2004, 10:31 PM)
If deep inside everyone wants to be happy and satisfied with life and you say that the change in a person brought by religion makes one happy and satisfied why doesn't everyone want to be changed? Is it because some people don't know of the benefits by turning to religion? Or they aren't born religious? Whichever reason it is it shows that only some will truly benefit from religion. If it had been otherwise this world would have been a different place.

Well, one maybe not religious in this life but religious in subsequent lives. There are many-many opportunities for each soul to take advantage of spiritual practices and evolve towards liberation, if not in this life, then in next, if not in next then the one after, etc...

#62 Sasun

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 09:54 PM

QUOTE (Sip @ Jun 13 2004, 11:14 PM)
Anoushik, it's human nature to simply that which she cannot understand in order to make sense of it. Religion and God is just a by product of that so I think it was inevitable that it would exist as we evolved.

Not really Sip, that's not what religion is about. In most cases religions are not concerned about understanding things or explaining things.

#63 Sip

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 10:06 PM

To me, religion is an institutionalized belief system used to guide those who cannot think for themselves. That "rule-based" existence is a simplification of how things should be in my opinion. I assume I don't have to go into how the concept of "God" (or gods) is a simplifying model (an abstraction) to explain things we don't understand.

#64 Sasun

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 10:37 PM

QUOTE (Sip @ Jun 14 2004, 12:06 AM)
To me, religion is an institutionalized belief system used to guide those who cannot think for themselves.

Are you saying that religious people cannot think for themselves?

QUOTE
That "rule-based" existence is a simplification of how things should be in my opinion.† I assume I don't have to go into how the concept of "God" (or gods) is a simplifying model (an abstraction) to explain things we don't understand.


It seems to me that you are saying, whatever people could not answer they just invented God and that was the explanation. Well, it maybe your opinion but there is no truth in it. In all major religions there were direct experiences with God, and that is how people came to learn of God, and that is how religions originated. Now if you want to believe that its not the case and people just invented God you will not be able to support with the history of religions.

What you are saying maybe true for some people who don't know much, and when asked about things they will simply refer to God. But that doesn't prove anything.

#65 Sip

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 10:48 PM

Just that we are on the same page, here's the dictionary definitions of religion:

1.a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

2.The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

3.A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

4.A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

---------

In def 1, we have "God" and the belief in him. Def 2 is irrelevant to us at this point. Def 3 is what I was referring to with the leader telling the others what to do. So the others have to take the leaders words for granted. I think def 4 seems to be closer to what you have been saying Sasun.

Now whether a god exists or not or if the basis on which the specific religion is founded is valid or not, I am saying the mere concept of having an institutionalized belief system simplifies human existence. My point in this thread in reply to Anoushik was that as the human masses were evolving and becoming slowly educated, such a methodology for existence was bound to manifest itself sooner or later.

At this point, I am not arguing whether the foundations of any specific religion have been valid or not. I am merely saying, as you pointed out, that those who resort to a "religion" to guide their existence are not thinking too much on their own.

#66 Sasun

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 10:59 PM

OK, I can see your reasoning but I cannot agree in principle with your last sentence. True, religion is a guidance and it may imply a strict discipline for the follower. However, it is not about thinking. No matter how good a thinker one is, there is still something beyond reasoning, that thing is morality which is largely irrational. If one picks morality it doesn't mean he/she cannot or should not think. This is about the sense of right and wrong. Religion says you must do the right thing. It is morality, and it is a guidance that cannot be replaced by any thinking, it is a moral choice. One still needs to do a great deal of thinking. But one thing is clear, one cannot come to morality by thinking.

#67 Sip

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 11:08 PM

I seem to recall us having had this discussion before. I believe that morality can be arrived at through logic and thought.

#68 ED

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 11:12 PM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 13 2004, 08:59 PM)
OK, I can see your reasoning but I cannot agree in principle with your last sentence. True, religion is a guidance and it may imply a strict discipline for the follower. However, it is not about thinking. No matter how good a thinker one is, there is still something beyond reasoning, that thing is morality which is largely irrational. If one picks morality it doesn't mean he/she cannot or should not think. This is about the sense of right and wrong. Religion says you must do the right thing. It is morality, and it is a guidance that cannot be replaced by any thinking, it is a moral choice. One still needs to do a great deal of thinking. But one thing is clear, one cannot come to morality by thinking.

Sasun, humans have and always been both, rational and irrational giving the source of such a state of mind, but what you are saying is, if one is rational in thinking and at the same time understands and excepts the teachings of a specific religion or all that can not be, how else would one know and differentiate the value of the teaching(s) in which it is suppose to fallow? And why canít one be rational and have moral values at the same time. Donít you agree religion would be best served if one understands the value of it, which is by thinking and absorbing it? Like every single information or a concept we encounter in life!

#69 Sip

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 11:15 PM

This is an interesting point ... given a wide array of religions, picking the "right" one does require significant thought. This is assuming one is free to chose (or that one even tries to chose rather than following a religion blindly for whatever reason).

#70 Anoushik

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Posted 13 June 2004 - 11:40 PM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 13 2004, 07:48 PM)
What is secular humanism? Where does it come from?

"What Is The Origin of Secular Humanism?

Secular humanism as an organized philosophical system is relatively new, but its foundations can be found in the ideas of classical Greek philosophers such as the Stoics and Epicureans as well as in Chinese Confucianism. These philosophical views looked to human beings rather than gods to solve human problems.

During the Dark Ages of Western Europe, humanist philosophies were suppressed by the political power of the church. Those who dared to express views in opposition to the prevailing religious dogmas were banished, tortured or executed. Not until the Renaissance of the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, with the flourishing of art, music, literature, philosophy and exploration, would consideration of the humanist alternative to a god-centered existence be permitted. During the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, with the development of science, philosophers finally began to openly criticize the authority of the church and engage in what became known as "free thought."

The nineteenth century Freethought movement of America and Western Europe finally made it possible for the common citizen to reject blind faith and superstition without the risk of persecution. The influence of science and technology, together with the challenges to religious orthodoxy by such celebrity freethinkers as Mark Twain and Robert G. Ingersoll brought elements of humanist philosophy even to mainline Christian churches, which became more concerned with this world, less with the next.

In the twentieth century scientists, philosophers, and progressive theologians began to organize in an effort to promote the humanist alternative to traditional faith-based world views. These early organizers classified humanism as a non-theistic religion which would fulfill the human need for an ordered ethical/philosophical system to guide one's life, a "spirituality" without the supernatural. In the last thirty years, those who reject supernaturalism as a viable philosophical outlook have adopted the term "secular humanism" to describe their non-religious life stance.

Critics often try to classify secular humanism as a religion. Yet secular humanism lacks essential characteristics of a religion, including belief in a deity and an accompanying transcendent order. Secular humanists contend that issues concerning ethics, appropriate social and legal conduct, and the methodologies of science are philosophical and are not part of the domain of religion, which deals with the supernatural, mystical and transcendent.

Secular humanism, then, is a philosophy and world view which centers upon human concerns and employs rational and scientific methods to address the wide range of issues important to us all. While secular humanism is at odds with faith-based religious systems on many issues, it is dedicated to the fulfillment of the individual and humankind in general. To accomplish this end, secular humanism encourages a commitment to a set of principles which promote the development of tolerance and compassion and an understanding of the methods of science, critical analysis, and philosophical reflection. "

Secular Humanism

#71 DominO

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 07:23 AM

QUOTE (Edward @ Jun 13 2004, 11:12 PM)
Sasun, humans have and always been both, rational and irrational giving the source of such a state of mind, but what you are saying is, if one is rational in thinking and at the same time understands and excepts the teachings of a specific religion or all that can not be, how else would one know and differentiate the value of the teaching(s) in which it is suppose to fallow? And why canít one be rational and have moral values at the same time. Donít you agree religion would be best served if one understands the value of it, which is by thinking and absorbing it? Like every single information or a concept we encounter in life!

You make it look like "Rational" is what science is and "Irrational" what religion is. This is not the cases, science in itself is the study of nature, foundamental science is based on math which is rational, but to explain things that are not necessarly rational. Quantum phenomenen are counter intuitive, the observation itself is irrational, but we explain it with a rational matter. Religion is the same thing, but in the differences that it deals with the methaphysic and does not have to explain any irrational thing in a rational mather... it can, and many time it will... but rational does not necessarly mean its the right way. Because in religion the princpe of prediction does not exist, the principe of repetability does not exist either.

This is how rationalist philosophy appeared, it tries to use logic to explain the methaphysic and not physic phenomenen... philosophy is about the qualia of things, and unlike religion that is dogmatic, philosophy is not, just like science, it moves adapt etc...

And here the new baby that appeared, the multiverse, biggrin.gif its the unification of everything, it is the future of everything... religionists, like scientists, as well as philosophers will get from it what they want... it's more magical than magical. smile.gif We will finally get the unification of the 4 foundamental forces, we will understand that humans are not physical antities, but that there is a syncornised superposition between every "me" in infinit numbers of universes, and that consciousness has an impact on the destiny of the selectec universe(selected by consciousness).

Lets just abolish science, religion and philosophy. Afterall philosophy as well appeared because of the indeterminism of things... multiple universe has few determinated things which are the same in every universes.

laugh.gif

#72 THOTH

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 08:47 AM

Anoushik - thanks - very nice...and Domino - sorry I just don't buy it...its all suposition on your part - just as any other religion (unproven and by definition wrong/not imbude with sufficient facts etc to truly reach such/any real conclusions). And in fact I can see no evidence to at al support your theory regarding humans as this multi dimensional etheral entity spanning the cosmos..its just another version of the man centered universe IMO and very arrogant regarding the rest of - whatever we may call it - Universe/multiverse/exsistance etc etc....What is clear is that we are flesh, blood and electro-chemical processes (as most all othe rmulti-celled creatures we know about)...we are born, we live and we die...and I think what goes on in between - and what we leave for future generation is what is important...and while its OK (and interesting etc) to speculate...its really nothing more then an entertaining intellectual exercise - as we have not the facts to come to any real conclusions...and I cannot imagine how the results of such would effect our day to day lives in any event...but OK...carry on - always interesting and amusing...

Edited by THOTH, 14 June 2004 - 08:49 AM.


#73 Sasun

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 08:53 AM

QUOTE (Sip @ Jun 14 2004, 01:08 AM)
I seem to recall us having had this discussion before. I believe that morality can be arrived at through logic and thought.

Hmm... I don't think it is possible. There is never a logical answer to questions like "why must we be good?", "why must we care for others?", etc... these questions cannot be answered through logic and reasoning.

#74 THOTH

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 14 2004, 09:53 AM)
Hmm... I don't think it is possible. There is never a logical answer to questions like "why must we be good?", "why must we care for others?", etc... these questions cannot be answered through logic and reasoning.

untrue. First there is love that exists for ones family...and this can be extended to ones greater kin group, village or what have you - with the understanding that these folks share in the bounty of life with you etc etc - and its also logical to be good to others so that they might act the same with you - etc etc - and all this predates religion...even predates speach - if you think about it...

#75 THOTH

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 09:01 AM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 13 2004, 10:50 PM)
Well, one maybe not religious in this life but religious in subsequent lives. There are many-many opportunities for each soul to take advantage of spiritual practices and evolve towards liberation, if not in this life, then in next, if not in next then the one after, etc...

or perhaps in another universe eh? No matter...

Religion is fine for folks that need it. And I won't argue that some people are better of with religious beliefs for a variety of reasons...but not all ... some of us just have no need for such and do very well without it...

#76 Sasun

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 09:10 AM

QUOTE (Edward @ Jun 14 2004, 01:12 AM)
Sasun, humans have and always been both, rational and irrational giving the source of such a state of mind, but what you are saying is, if one is rational in thinking and at the same time understands and excepts the teachings of a specific religion or all that can not be, how else would one know and differentiate the value of the teaching(s) in which it is suppose to fallow? And why canít one be rational and have moral values at the same time. Donít you agree religion would be best served if one understands the value of it, which is by thinking and absorbing it? Like every single information or a concept we encounter in life!

I agree that we are both rational and irrational, and there is nothing wrong with that. We must be rational and moral at the same time.

#77 Sasun

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 09:22 AM

QUOTE (anoushik @ Jun 14 2004, 01:40 AM)
"What Is The Origin of Secular Humanism?

Secular humanism as an organized philosophical system is relatively new, but its foundations can be found in the ideas of classical Greek philosophers such as the Stoics and Epicureans as well as in Chinese Confucianism. These philosophical views looked to human beings rather than gods to solve human problems.

During the Dark Ages of Western Europe, humanist philosophies were suppressed by the political power of the church. Those who dared to express views in opposition to the prevailing religious dogmas were banished, tortured or executed. Not until the Renaissance of the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, with the flourishing of art, music, literature, philosophy and exploration, would consideration of the humanist alternative to a god-centered existence be permitted. During the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, with the development of science, philosophers finally began to openly criticize the authority of the church and engage in what became known as "free thought."

The nineteenth century Freethought movement of America and Western Europe finally made it possible for the common citizen to reject blind faith and superstition without the risk of persecution. The influence of science and technology, together with the challenges to religious orthodoxy by such celebrity freethinkers as Mark Twain and Robert G. Ingersoll brought elements of humanist philosophy even to mainline Christian churches, which became more concerned with this world, less with the next.

In the twentieth century scientists, philosophers, and progressive theologians began to organize in an effort to promote the humanist alternative to traditional faith-based world views. These early organizers classified humanism as a non-theistic religion which would fulfill the human need for an ordered ethical/philosophical system to guide one's life, a "spirituality" without the supernatural. In the last thirty years, those who reject supernaturalism as a viable philosophical outlook have adopted the term "secular humanism" to describe their non-religious life stance.

Critics often try to classify secular humanism as a religion. Yet secular humanism lacks essential characteristics of a religion, including belief in a deity and an accompanying transcendent order. Secular humanists contend that issues concerning ethics, appropriate social and legal conduct, and the methodologies of science are philosophical and are not part of the domain of religion, which deals with the supernatural, mystical and transcendent.

Secular humanism, then, is a philosophy and world view which centers upon human concerns and employs rational and scientific methods to address the wide range of issues important to us all. While secular humanism is at odds with faith-based religious systems on many issues, it is dedicated to the fulfillment of the individual and humankind in general. To accomplish this end, secular humanism encourages a commitment to a set of principles which promote the development of tolerance and compassion and an understanding of the methods of science, critical analysis, and philosophical reflection. "

Secular Humanism

Thanks for the time to find a good answer Anoushik. My question was more rhetoric though. The point I am trying to make is, humanists and religion agree that we must do good, but humanists fail to explain why, while religion will say because God tells us to do so, for example. I believe that humanists share many of the same views with religions, but the scope is limited because they chose to be limited. And again, humanism is not rational. Humanism has COMMANDMENTS, just like religion that must be followed to be qualified as a humanist smile.gif

Edited by Sasun, 14 June 2004 - 09:29 AM.


#78 THOTH

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 09:38 AM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 14 2004, 10:22 AM)
The point I am trying to make is, humanists and religion agree that we must do good, but humanists fail to explain why

wrong

QUOTE
while religion will say because God tells us to do so, for example.


I actually find this sad...we have to be told to do good...like a dog that has to be taught not to bite...some folks don't require to be leashed you know...

QUOTE
I believe that humanists share many of the same views with religions, but the scope is limited because they chose to be limited. And again, humanism is not rational. Humanism has COMMANDMENTS, just like religion that must be followed to be qualified as a humanist smile.gif


Humans share some basic values accross cultures/religions etc...kind of makes sense that we would - doesn't it?

Funny that you claim humanism is not rational...just what is it about re-incarnation is rational? How can it be proven/observed? It is just a belief...based on???? Same with a diety....

Humanism is a philosohy as explained in Anoushiks post. It is basically calling out for awarness...I dont quite think you can say there are any "commandments" - I mean come now...I mean what if we stray from these "commandments" what then...I haven't seen the list of punishments for transgressions or even the suggestion of such.

And for someone who believes in religions/superstitions etc to claim humaninsm is irrational...that is a laugh...

#79 Sasun

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (Domino @ Jun 14 2004, 09:23 AM)
You make it look like "Rational" is what science is and "Irrational" what religion is. This is not the cases, science in itself is the study of nature, foundamental science is based on math which is rational, but to explain things that are not necessarly rational. Quantum phenomenen are counter intuitive, the observation itself is irrational, but we explain it with a rational matter.

Domino, how can science have anything that is not rational? So what quantum mechanics is counter-intiuitive? It is still rational.

QUOTE
Religion is the same thing, but in the differences that it deals with the methaphysic and does not have to explain any irrational thing in a rational mather... it can, and many time it will... but rational does not necessarly mean its the right way. Because in religion the princpe of prediction does not exist, the principe of repetability does not exist either.
This is how rationalist philosophy appeared, it tries to use logic to explain the methaphysic and not physic phenomenen... philosophy is about the qualia of things, and unlike religion that is dogmatic, philosophy is not, just like science, it moves adapt etc...


Domino, why do you always think that religion is supposed to explain things? That's not what religion is about. Religion is only a step in spiritual development. It cannot explain the universe and generally does not try. For more advanced development there is yoga which can and does explain everything metaphysical that science and religion can never explain. Religion is like a kindergarten level of education.

QUOTE
And here the new baby that appeared, the multiverse,  biggrin.gif its the unification of everything, it is the future of everything... religionists, like scientists, as well as philosophers will get from it what they want... it's more magical than magical.  smile.gif We will finally get the unification of the 4 foundamental forces, we will understand that humans are not physical antities, but that there is a syncornised superposition between every "me" in infinit numbers of universes, and that consciousness has an impact on the destiny of the selectec universe(selected by consciousness).


You will have to provide a lot of evidence for this smile.gif

#80 Anoushik

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Posted 14 June 2004 - 11:21 AM

QUOTE (Sasun @ Jun 14 2004, 07:22 AM)
The point I am trying to make is, humanists and religion agree that we must do good, but humanists fail to explain why, while religion will say because God tells us to do so, for example. I believe that humanists share many of the same views with religions, but the scope is limited because they chose to be limited. And again, humanism is not rational. Humanism has COMMANDMENTS, just like religion that must be followed to be qualified as a humanist smile.gif

Humanism is very rational. Humanism is rational while religion is not. Like Thoth said in religion a person is just told to be good without questioning why, but in humanism a person rationally comes to the conclusion that we must be good and do good for the survival of humanity.




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