Quantcast

imagine no religion

  • Enter the Ridemonkey Secret Santa 2020!

    Come exchange gifts with other monkeys! From beer, to light-up bike nuts, to custom machined holiday decorations, there's something for everyone. To participate, make sure you send your email by November 29th.
    Click here for details and to learn how to participate.

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
Would you please explain to me how you have determined that animals (other than homo sapiens) are incapable of respect for each other?
it's a philosophical concept, not an empirical observation to which we can attach a man-made word

we don't invent behavior, just the definitions which we use to categorize them.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
"Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."

-- Ecclesiastes 2:1,2 (NIV)




just sayin
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
25,638
4,012
In my pants
apart from the vast unabridged list of other attributes, why do we have 'respect' for others, whereas animals only have 'reverence' (i.e., fear)?
Because drinkin beer with others is always funner brah.

IUnfortunately, the founder turns out to be one of my cutest friends, and she was not amused that I was amused by her attempt to combat the religious oppression on campus and her own marginalization.
Still cute?

If so, I respect her ideas and would like to subscribe to her newsletter.
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
Everyone has their gods; it's just a question of whether your god is a helpful and beneficial one or not. The problem isn't religion itself (and even if it is, religion isn't going away any time soon, so get comfortable), but distorted and uncritical understandings of religion (from the western, Christian perspective in any case). Also, what most people who reject "religion" actually reject is a poor reflection and misconstrued understanding of what religion is or perhaps should be. Religion is often seen as assent to propositions, which is, to my mind, false or at least severely impoverished.

As noted earlier, any sort of extreme is probably a negative thing. Religious extremism can be just as harmful as, say, absolute positivism, radical materialism (philosophical materialism, not economic) or any number of other ideas. That's my opinion, in any case. Moderation is a virtue.

Rejecting religion, as it is often seen in the world today, should not entail a radical materialism or other similar notion. That is vicious thinking. If you oppose "religion" be critical of what it is you actually object to. Simply, rejecting the dogmatism of religious groups doesn't mean that religious sentiment is unfounded, no divinity of any kind exists, the material world is the most and only real world. I deplore dogmatism, but accept the latter statements.
 

Silver

find me a tampon
Jul 20, 2002
10,847
0
Orange County, CA
Religious extremism can be just as harmful as, say, absolute positivism, radical materialism (philosophical materialism, not economic) or any number of other ideas..
You ever wonder why atheists get touchy sometimes?

Thanks for casually lumping me in with suicide bombers. Asshole.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
apart from the vast unabridged list of other attributes, why do we have 'respect' for others, whereas animals only have 'reverence' (i.e., fear)?
I think if you looked at other social animals, you'd find similar behavior. Packs of wolves define hierarchies and abide by them. Groups of ungulates migrate with one another with the innate understanding that cooperation enhances the probability of survival. To my mind, human "respect" is nothing more than the expression of these same instincts within the society we've created. Are two rival groups of wolves fighting over territory doing anything altogether different than two aboriginal tribes of humans fighting over the same thing?
Any emotional response (fear, respect, love, anger) we could possibly experience has a viable evolutionary explanation.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
Everyone has their gods; it's just a question of whether your god is a helpful and beneficial one or not. The problem isn't religion itself (and even if it is, religion isn't going away any time soon, so get comfortable), but distorted and uncritical understandings of religion (from the western, Christian perspective in any case).
Or more likely it is simply the case that whichever religion you happen to subscribe to is utterly incorrect in its assertions; and thus any attempt to "understand" it is basically pointless because the religion itself is illogical and it's impossible to ever understand something that doesn't make any sense, and since religions by their nature are dogmatic, in that they claim to explain away the mysteries of existence often to the contrary of how other religions do, that means they're also naturally divisive.



As noted earlier, any sort of extreme is probably a negative thing. Religious extremism can be just as harmful as, say, absolute positivism, radical materialism (philosophical materialism, not economic) or any number of other ideas. That's my opinion, in any case. Moderation is a virtue.
It would seem to me, that if I actually believed there was this great ghost in sky watching and judging my every move, I'd be a fool not to be "extremist" in my attempts to appease it. Eternity is a long f*cking time.
 

Defenestrated

Turbo Monkey
Mar 28, 2007
1,657
0
Earth
It would seem to me, that if I actually believed there was this great ghost in sky watching and judging my every move, I'd be a fool not to be "extremist" in my attempts to appease it. Eternity is a long f*cking time.
If it turns out there is an omnipotent being watching everyone on earth, and the things christian/muslim fundamentalists are doing to appease said being are at all well received by him, then I can only infer that god is an asshole.
 

Samirol

Turbo Monkey
Jun 23, 2008
1,437
0
If it turns out there is an omnipotent being watching everyone on earth, and the things christian/muslim fundamentalists are doing to appease said being are at all well received by him, then I can only infer that god is an asshole.
The crusades were our version of watching snakes and mongooses fight on the animal planet
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
You ever wonder why atheists get touchy sometimes?

Thanks for casually lumping me in with suicide bombers. Asshole.
That's a ridiculous assertion that only betrays your complete incompetence and absolute refusal to be reasonable on these matters. You can self-identify as atheist and still not be a positivist or a complete materialist. I can accept theism (not saying that I do) and identify myeslf as a positivist. If you took the time to think about it, you might have come to these conclusions. Your "argument" is also not well served by name calling.

If you think that I was "casually lumping [you] in with suicide bombers" I suggest you take a step back and reconsider. If I said "both atheists and ultra-conservative Christians are human beings" does that mean I made no distinction between you (assuming here that you are an atheist) and people who bomb abortion clinics? No, and to say so would be absurd. Comparison and attribution of a single predicate to two subjects doesn't entail that the two things are equivalent. I feel ridiculous even writing that because it's so obvious, but yet you failed to grasp it.

My point is that any philosophy taken to a dogmatic extreme and marked by a refusal to be open to other perspectives can be harmful and can impact the world negatively. Many if not most religious views that people hold (as far as dogmatic matters go, in any case) are distortions of reality and human experience. Similarly, in my opinion, positivism and materialism can be distortions. Any simple, systematic belief, taken to extreme, can have negative ethical and philosophical consequences.

I didn't compare you to suicide bombers.
 

Silver

find me a tampon
Jul 20, 2002
10,847
0
Orange County, CA
That's a ridiculous assertion that only betrays your complete incompetence and absolute refusal to be reasonable on these matters.
I refuse to argue with you because you're going to take down the net when it's time for you to serve, and then put it back up when I'm supposed to hit the ball over.

Before you speak of complete incompetence, remember who believes in the invisible man in the sky...
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
I refuse to argue with you because you're going to take down the net when it's time for you to serve, and then put it back up when I'm supposed to hit the ball over.

Before you speak of complete incompetence, remember who believes in the invisible man in the sky...
You didn't even argue; you called names (for reasons that lack any real explanation) and quit. I replied with a clear counter statement that explained what I was trying to say. How am I not playing by the rules when you're not even playing the game?

Maybe it's because you think you know who I am and what I believe. But how do you have any idea what my beliefs are and why do you feel free to assume and then draw a caricature of your assumptions? I may be wrong much of the time, but I don't think I am incompetent seeing as these types of issues are what I spend the majority of my time thinking about and researching.

Fact is, you have very little idea of what my religious beliefs are and, from your statement, it sounds like they are very far off. Your assumptions, closed-minded approach and uncritical statements make you just as unreasonable as the people you rail against. I don't see how your attitude is anything but dogmatic.
 
Last edited:

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
Expand, please, on positivism as a distortion.
Not a view shared by all, to be sure. And to be honest, I've not read much in the way of the classical texts of positivism; I have mostly a generalized understanding. But in any case: I do not share positivism's exclusion of metaphysical concerns (I share a suspicion of metaphysical claims, but not assertions that they should be excluded). I do not believe in the full power of the scientific method (simply, it has limitations where our minds may not- such as metaphysical concerns). I do not believe that the scientific method reflects the way the human mind actually works most of the time, which makes positivism taken far to be something not very practical for an actual lived philosophy. I think it places too much emphasis on the sensory world as the locus of truth and reality or, alternately, its methods of gathering sense data are perhaps limited in many conceptions o positivism. It departs from ancient and much modern philosophy in ways that I do not necessarily find enlightening or helpful. It doesn't and can't provide a full account of human life and lived experience.

I should note that I do not want to defend religion as it exists in the world. My own beliefs are not what most people would call "religious" in the general sense of the term, but I believe most people to be mistaken. Rejecting dogmatic religion as it exists does not necessitate positivism or materialism as the only alternatives. Life is bigger than that.
 
Last edited:

Samirol

Turbo Monkey
Jun 23, 2008
1,437
0
I do not believe in the full power of the scientific method (simply, it has limitations where our minds may not- such as metaphysical concerns). I do not believe that the scientific method reflects the way the human mind actually works most of the time, which makes positivism taken far to be something not very practical for an actual lived philosophy.
The scientific method only deals with the rational and logical, because it is based off of the assumption that the mechanics of the world are rational and logical.

If you want to know how a clock works, you look at the underlying mechanisms.

Just say that you are spiritual, but not religious like every other person that believes what you do, instead of trying to redefine religion.
 
...
I should note that I do not want to defend religion as it exists in the world. My own beliefs are not what most people would call "religious" in the general sense of the term, but I believe most people to be mistaken. Rejecting dogmatic religion as it exists does not necessitate positivism or materialism as the only alternatives. Life is bigger than that.
I think that any either/or dichotomy is a mistake. There is a spectrum of viewpoints that are useful for considering the universe in which we are enmeshed. To lock one's mind into a single view is to commit (might I say?) spiritual suicide.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
I think that any either/or dichotomy is a mistake. There is a spectrum of viewpoints that are useful for considering the universe in which we are enmeshed. To lock one's mind into a single view is to commit (might I say?) spiritual suicide.
yet your single view is to consider everything, right? wouldn't this be a dangerous practice in everyday activities? once trust is gained, say, it would be just as foolish to demand it be re-earned as it would to blindly issue it to a stranger w/ nefarious motives.

point is, we should seek to gain wisdom to be leveraged. narrow is the way, but not the mind
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
The scientific method only deals with the rational and logical, because it is based off of the assumption that the mechanics of the world are rational and logical.

If you want to know how a clock works, you look at the underlying mechanisms.

Just say that you are spiritual, but not religious like every other person that believes what you do, instead of trying to redefine religion.
True enough. The question (for me, in any case) is whether the mechanical aspect of the world is the definitive, sole and full valid explication of reality and whether it satisfies the human mind and life. I don't dispute scientific claims in general; I just question the limits of materialistic scientific knowledge and processes.

If you want to call me spiritual but not religous, that's fine, I suppose. I wouldn't let that suggest that I am not interested in truth claims, however. Contrary to popular belief, I can be interested in religious truth claims without being dogmatic.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
True enough. The question (for me, in any case) is whether the mechanical aspect of the world is the definitive, sole and full valid explication of reality and whether it satisfies the human mind and life. I don't dispute scientific claims in general; I just question the limits of materialistic scientific knowledge and processes.
Everyone who is rational does. Particularly scientists themselves which is why they're always trying to learn new ways to test things... rather than just saying.. "Uh, jesus did it".
 

JRogers

talks too much
Mar 19, 2002
3,789
1
Claremont, CA
Everyone who is rational does. Particularly scientists themselves which is why they're always trying to learn new ways to test things... rather than just saying.. "Uh, jesus did it".
I am talking about absolute limits- metaphysical limits in some respects- not just relative or historical ones. And I don't rely on divine revelation for my views.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
As an inquisitive atheist, I feel compelled to point out that Jesus supposedly did command his followers to "test everything." To even point at "religion" as a whole is often useless...it's like saying "African..." Sometimes handy, but generally not accurate, because you're encompassing such a variety of groups, individuals, philosophies, and histories that on closer look, there's no one singular thing to examine.

The scientific method is a useful tool for accomplishing certain tasks. If you want to design a drug or build a bridge, its methodologies and their results will help you get it done. It doesn't see the way into a metaphysical question; I tend to find metaphysics useless. To extend any philosophy (or religion) so far as to try and define reality through it, rather than simply using what's useful, is where we go wrong and where extremism of all forms begin to develop.

Re: the scientific method in particular, the world isn't some 100% "logical" clockwork mechanism. The world doesn't exist in and of itself per se; we only experience and define it as an interaction of our selves and an external reality. It's incredibly personal and incredibly impersonal at the same time. By the nature of its interactive existence, it has illogic, randomness, and un-reason built into it. (And "logic" itself is a human mental construct, not some "thing-in-itself" that exists outside our heads...)