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Society Religious Discussion and Q&A Thread

Discussion in 'General World Topics' started by amar_kun, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. SonOfDaws

    SonOfDaws Registered User

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    And you're basing this upon...? What exactly? Anecdotal evidence?
     
  2. xi0

    xi0 あの術

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    Except when people were effectively coerced into believing hell exists out of pure self-preservation.
     
  3. zimbardo

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    Trying to prove the existence, or lack thereof, of any form of afterlife appears to be a wasted venture.

    I wouldn't waste my time with nonsence like that, well, not until I can finally fix the last few bugs with my machine for talking to ghosts.
    :mono
    --- Double Post Merged, Feb 8, 2018, Original Post Date: Feb 8, 2018 ---
    For me, the topics of human psychology and behaviour, which can drive a religious person to act in a specific way, are much more interesting (and profitable) uses for one's time and effort.
     
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  4. SonOfDaws

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    This guy talks a lot about stuff like that:

    Long ass video, but I thought it was an interesting listen. There's probably short clips from that around, but you can probably find those yourself if you're interested.
     
  5. M3J

    M3J MH Senpai

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    But how many of them were atheist or not religious? I'll bet you there existed far less atheists and irreligious people back then.

    Were they? History textbooks and sources say that lot of preachers and ministers used churches to instill fear of God and Satan in the congregation so they'd be religious and pious. The "Hell and Brimstone" sermon (I don't know if you know what I'm talking about), which we learned in school, talked about how everyone was a sinner and was going to Hell or something. Oddly, there are other ways to connect with neighbors that don't require churches. Churches are more because people are expected to go so they can try to get in God's good grace and go to Heaven.

    I''m 100% sure it'd make a major difference. For tons of religious people, I know it definitely would. Nearly all of them that I've talked to or debated with told me they'd rather be right about God and go to Heaven than be wrong and go to Hell. Plus, at least one sermon back then had people fear God's wrath and being sent to Hell, with Hell described vividly as a hot and horrible place. If religious people doubted the existence of Heaven or didn't believe in the afterlife, they'd be far less likely to go to churches, pray, or do anything religious. I'm also willing to bet they wouldn't be as moralistic if they knew God wasn't real.
    Do you think we could prove it by having someone about to pass away give us a sign that afterlife does exist? there are stories of ghosts and paranormal activities, though I'm sure for one reason or another, they aren't real.

    But religion is also important because it's a bigger indication of how a religious person will act. How many religious people are homophobic because of their religion? Why do religious people think Jesus will cure sickness and doesn't want them going to doctors or using technology? Why do religious Americans believe it's a god-given right to own guns? Why are/were Jewish people so despised?
     
  6. zimbardo

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    The bigger the claim, the stronger the evidence required.

    I don't just mean hearsay, or individual experiences, I mean replicatable scientific investigations.
    This is something which is kinda out of our current abilities (or, should no afterlife exist, it's impossible).

    Ghost stories/paranormal activities are often easily explained through natural processes.

    Of course religion has a strong influence on an individual's mindset. Even if the person ends up as an atheist, any upbringing will affect their development. This is similar to how culture will affect how someone thinks (and therefore, acts). It's not really possible to not be formed by your upbringing (perhaps not entirely, but it certainly isn't easily ignored).

    And, of course, this isn't only limited to childhood - who you hang around with, what you discuss, what you believe, all will impact on how you think and act. If someone is taught (and believes) that being gay is a sin, then it isn't unbelievable that they could act differently towards people they know to be gay, than those they believe to be straight. If they are taught (and believe) that prayer will cure the sick, they might be less likely to seek the medical help that they actually require, when they require it.

    Sure, religion can have a strong influence on someone's mindset - as can culture, upbringing, diet even.
    As I said before, the effect religion can cause is far more interesting to me than the religious beliefs themselves (such as the existence of an afterlife).

    I am not sure of the tie-in with guns - not sure that's not more down to your infatuation with your constitution, than specifically an issue of religious upbringing.
     
  7. M3J

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    What about photos? It's somewhat hard to replicate paranormal activities if ghosts are picky. But I agree, it's usually our brains making us think it's paranormal or ghosts.


    I also agree on that, but I'm saying that religious beliefs are just as interesting because they tend to dictate how a person should, could, and/or will live, which ties in to the effect religion can cause.

    I don't think it's related to religious upbringing, but it does imply they believe God allows us to own guns. Related to the Second Amendment, yes, but also a claim that God is okay with people having guns. There also have been many right wings who blame mass shootings on USA becoming less Christian or allowing abortion or some other shit, as well. I wonder if they realize they're making God look like an asshole or rather, more of an asshole than the Bible portrays him?
     
  8. zimbardo

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    Photos are terrible proof of anything - and not only because of how easy it is to doctor them.

    No, I mean scientifically testable, replicable (and not 'replicable' in the way that it's possible to create a similar image using Photoshop), and [most importantly] falsifiable, experiments, by numerous independent researchers.

    An effect so prevalent that it has its own term (pareidolia).

    Something you find more interesting than I do - as to me, it's not that much more different from anything else (it's just a different kind of stimulation).

    Perhaps I just haven't read/watched the same things you have.

    Sure, I've seen religious nutjobs preaching of the sanctity of the 2nd amendment - but I've seen non-religious nutjobs making similar arguments also.
     
  9. M3J

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    Well, I was talking about old photos, like over half a century ago. No Photoshop there ma'am, unless people are scanning old photos and have skills with Photoshop enough to make it look like apparitions were actually in the photos.

    Firefox says "pareidolia" isn't a word. :fry:


    Atheists or not as religious? Though I suppose "God-given" is a phrase and not necessarily meant to be taken as "God gave us the right and freedom to kill his own children with guns!" I've seen people on Twitter try to explain mass shootings by using abortion and becoming a God-less nation as reasons why God is punishing us. In the large scheme of things though, God does seem like he's not a benevolent as he would like us to think.
     
  10. zimbardo

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    Which is never done?

    Silly old Firefox - when in doubt, it's Uncle Wiki who you need to turn to

    'Not as religious' always sounds odd to me - either you are religious, or you are not.
    You just follow the rules which you believe are necessary/demanded by your faith (or beliefs).

    'Not as religious' just sounds like a way to graduate belief - the old 'I believe more strongly than you do'.
    What they actually appear to mean is that 'I'm willing to do more stupid things/enforce more restrictions on myself than you are'.

    Interpret your book in one way and all who don't see it as you do are less religious?

    Happy to accept Leviticus 18:22, but not follow 24:16? Or 20:10?
    Perhaps the Pope ain't that religious after all... Not sure the last time he called for a good old biblical stoning.

    Or, perhaps, a lot less omnipotent than he would have us think.

    If that's the best he could do to convince us of our errors, then he really is rather weak.

    My gods don't suffer such disabilities - nor do they rely on morons to prove themselves/act on their behalf.
     
  11. kawaii_i

    kawaii_i Registered User

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    Don't you think that all religions are preaching the same thing, I mean the main goal is the same?
     
  12. zimbardo

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    I guess it depends on what you mean when you say their 'main goal is the same'.

    If you mean, their main aim is to expand and draw in new converts, I'm not sure I agree - not all religions appear to practice proselytism in the same vein as the main contenders do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  13. Onyx Darkmatter

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    You're referring to achieving the Ultimate Realm of some sort? I.e. Abrahamic faiths reaching Heaven, Buddhists joining Siddhartha, break away from Samsara...
    They certainly don't preach the same thing at all, but certainly their goal are more closely aligned to one.

    There's one thing that religion provides an answer that not even science could answer: life after death. These faiths tend to explain what happens to us when we die, only problem is that we don't really know that ourselves, especially when nobody could die and come back to life. Even if that were the case, proving it would be virtually impossible.
    Just imagine if Science were to provide an answer to life after death: religion would die out because they got their answer.
     
  14. zimbardo

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    But 'religion's' answers are unreliable, inconsistent, and no better than the ravings of a madman.

    Religion doesn't answer any questions about 'life' after death, it merely gives possibilities without proof.

    And here's the kicker.

    Provide an answer? It does, there is no discernible life after death.
    Now this might not be the correct answer, but Science doesn't work that way, anyway.

    Science is about making testable predictions. It relies heavily on the process of proving things not to be as we expect them to be. If some new evidence comes out contrary to that (whatever that might be in this particular case), then the theory needs to be discarded/altered to fit the new information. Sure, there would be scientists (probably many at first) who would try and validate the evidence. But, should it hold up to rigorous scrutiny, any who discard it (purely because they don't appreciate its implications) are not doing 'science' any more.

    That said, putting forward theories which you know to be fundamentally untestable isn't really 'science' either.

    But, that said, religions wouldn't die out just because proof existed for/against the proposition of life after death.
    Proof for would open the floodgates to further religious explanations/arguments.
    Proof against would be discarded/ignored.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  15. Reebi

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    I don't think religion is soley life after death because Shinto doesn't really answer that. It's more of a faith and believing when there is doubt. That's probably why scientists can never understand the concept.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 9, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 9, 2018 ---
    The only alternative would be science is the "how". Like evolution happened because that is how God created people.
     
  16. M3J

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    Never.

    I never said it wasn't a word though. Oddly enough, I'd trust your spelling over a browser's.

    I disagree. Someone who's not as religious as others may not think of God often, pray as often, and go to church every once a month or twice a month, but he/she is still religious. Someone else who's pretty religious will constantly pray to God and go to church every Sunday, maybe even volunteer during weekdays. What's "I'm willing to do more stupid things/enforce more restrictions on myself than you are" to people like you and I would be "I have more faith and discipline than you!" to them.

    POssibly that as well. There's so many ways one can be more religious than the other, and it depends on points of views. For me my first two sentences is how I see how religious someone is. FOr you, it's either religious or not religious.


    I don't remember if you're an atheist or not though.
     
  17. Onyx Darkmatter

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    I never said they were reliable, but it is still an answer nonetheless.

    But if there were evidence that details life after death, then religion wouldn't be needed anymore because people got their answer.
    Granted, maybe not all of the religions would die out, like Buddhism where they can just study the teachings of Siddhartha

    Of course it's not solely for the answer. However, even Shinto explains what happens to us when we die.
     
  18. zimbardo

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    A non-reliable answer isn't an answer.

    I could make up an answer about what happens:

    Ahem.

    'Your ineffable soul subdivides into a 'good' and an 'evil' half ['good' and 'evil' being determined by the word of 'The Two'] and The Two, all praise to them, shall take their shares. The good half will go to Symiet, who shall have her wicked way with it - corrupting and polluting all that was good. Uusuiel, the creator, shall reforge and purity the evil half - returning it to a state of cleanliness. Having removed all 'good' and 'evil' from the two halves of your soul, The Two shall return to their great feasting hall, where they shall recombine the soul in an orgy of gluttony - totally consuming the soul, then allowing it to recombine within their stomachs. The newly combined parts will then return to the world to be reborn as new beings and the cycle will continue.'

    There you go.

    Just as much of an answer as anyone else is providing.
    :invalid

    No, because just proving the existence of an afterlife doesn't mean proving the existence of a divine being - so they will argue over the nature of that
    Then, just proving the existence of a divine being doesn't mean describing it's persona - so they will argue over that

    And should science determine the existence and persona of a divine being, but it isn't the same being that other people believe in, they will likely reject the new information.

    Should it be possible to determine the existence and personality of a god - people will then argue over how best to worship/ignore it.

    And even should all that be null and void - god isn't all people seek in a religion. The community alone is often enough to drive people into worship, even if they don't believe what they are worshipping.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 9, 2018, Original Post Date: Mar 9, 2018 ---
    Science has no stake over the purpose, it just describes the method by which it came/comes about.

    Religions are free to take the knowledge gleamed from science and fit them around any divinity they like - and many religious people do this - the scary ones are those which reject science, seeing it as incompatible with what they believe, and try to force others to do the same (mainly force the young to do this).

    I'm lucky in the UK that religious groups (such as the CoE) tend to try and adapt with science - rather than reject it.



    Now, this might go against what is actually written in their books, but it is, in my mind, the only sensible way to deal with evidence.
    --- Double Post Merged, Mar 9, 2018 ---
    It's kinda not relevant for this discussion - at least it shouldn't be.
     
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  19. M3J

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    It is if you care about labels. It's probably not if you don't.

    Religions or religious people that accept science are great. Rather than stick to their outdated beliefs, it's good to see they'll accept theories and not complain about how it goes against God.
     
  20. zimbardo

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    I more meant that it should have little to do with the overall merrits of an argument/point.

    If a point can be dismissed solely on the basis of who is stating it, then, in all likelihood, the reasons for dismissal are even less valid than the point which is being made.
     
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