i also believe that meaning is to glorify life and creation
But how did you come to that conclusion?
it’s all we’ve got. why should we trash it? that’s self hatred. i believe in evolution, that we are of this earth. it’s like killing our mother. i also believe we’re of the universe of course. and all of us have a piece of god. killing another is like killing yourself. there’s nothing to fight about
i accept that some people need formal religion and that’s fine. but when they use it against others there is a problem. there is no ‘ultimate truth’ that makes them better than anyone else
Fair enough, but then you claimed that we didn’t have any evidence that the writers of the Bible were frauds. Yet you claimed that somehow the lack of evidence of them being frauds was still just as much evidence for one not to believe them.
No, my point is that the internal reports from the religious believers are not useful in deciding whether or not that religion is fraudulent. We can see that the mormons are fraudulent, but they won’t tell us that themselves. We can see that scientology is fraudulent, but they won’t tell us either.
When people show up claiming to have seen impossible things, the obvious conclusion is that they are making it up. People are outstanding at making stuff up—story telling, right? If the impossible things cannot be made to happen again and again, and if there is no permanent evidence that doesn’t depend on what supposed eyewitness saw, then it is a very bad idea to believe such people. Sometimes they tell you to go down into the jungle in Central America and drink poisoned Koolaid.
Why would so many people radically change their lives in a way that to most people seemed detrimental to follow a brand new sect unless miracles including the ressurection of Christ had really been observed and people were feeling the power of a holy spirit?
Why would people sell their houses and give all their money to an end-of-the-world kook like that guy last year? He was just the latest in a long string of doomsayers. They get followers somehow. The early christians had this imminent end-of-the-world theme too.
Let me play devil’s advocate here and suggest a rational for morality independent of religion. How about evolutionary self interest? We are born with the instinct to survive and reproduce, thereby ensuring the survival of our species. As civililization has flourished we are have also come to expect a certain degree of security, comfort and happiness.
Murder and lesser crimes violate this instinct. Since we know that our own survival (ect.) depends on that of others, our entire moral outlook can be justified as expanded self interest. This not to say that compassion doesn’t play a role, but even that may be based upon the idea that we can only protect ourselves (and our species) by protecting others.
How can you justifiably hate anything if you can’t be sure that the concept of something being “wrong” is even possible?
Well just cause I hate something doesn’t mean I think it’s “wrong!”
However, I will say that I think a good, broad definition of what’s wrong is to hurt other people. And I guess something that is good is to help and be nice to other people. And I think demonizing people is not nice.
That the meaning of this world is to glorify Him.
That’s a place where I get kind of confused with really religious people. If that’s the whole meaning of the world, why do you do things that don’t directly glorify him? For example, running the director’s cup? Or would you say that exposing people to cinema glorifies God? (Cause that’s something I could definitely get behind hahaha!)
But I still don’t understand what you mean by “meaning.” From what you’re saying, it sounds like “purpose” might be a better word. Do you view the two as synonymous?
For me, “meaning” implies something else entirely. Like someone tells you a story and you ask “what was the meaning of that?” I don’t know if I think life has some kind of meaning like that where we’ll die and figure out what the “meaning” was, like a surprise ending to a movie.
I would rather just think that the “purpose” of life is to simply be alive.
Also, I really like House’s description of Taoism’s oneness of the universe. I feel that pretty strongly from time to time, and I like that interpretation of it.
>>i accept that some people need formal religion and that’s fine. but when they use it against others there is a problem. there is no ‘ultimate truth’ that makes them better than anyone else<<
There seems to be a bit of throwing out the baby with the bathwater in this. Obviously, there are many who use religion as an excuse for cruelty and arrogance. Just as many people use money as the same excuse, but we don’t blame the money.
I watch the news and I see horrible things happening in the name of religion. Is this religion or the abuse of religion? When I see and meet actual believers in Churches and Synagogues in my own life, I see good people coming together as a community whose faith serve them well. I don’t think my community is unique or special. I see the bad apples giving the larger majority a bad name.
^ I like what Brad said too. Although it’s easy to point out abuses of religion, I definitely think that religion has done more good than bad in the history of the world. (whatever “good” and “bad” mean :P)
well yes, i don’t have a problem with religious people. as long as they aren’t shoving it down other’s throats. like declaring this a ‘christian nation’ and trying to institute biblical laws. and there is a pretty large movement afoot in this country to do just that, in case u haven’t noticed
organized religion has done much good in the world, granted. balance that with the crusades, etc
but i think it’s a relic and in future it will gradually decline. in times of fear it gets stronger and that’s what’s happening now. how many crimes are committed in the name of god? innumerable. hopefully at some point we can leave all that in the past
^ I suspect that may be just as much a byproduct of politics as religion (which is not to say I’m not concerned by some of the more radical zealots out there.)
and see, i don’t think those people have paid much attention to what jesus actually taught. or they’ve rationalized it away somehow. cuz he certainly never taught intolerance and hate. and if there’s any doubt the mssg has been corrupted, just look at the catholic church, aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of children for years. it just makes me very angry. and this kind of stuff is my problem with organized religion
^ Yeah I think most of the ultra-right-wing religiosity in this country right now is faaaaaaar more political than religious. But I don’t think religion will gradually decline. It’s been going forever, and I don’t see any reason to think it’ll ever have to stop…
Risselada—You seem to think that in order for there to be meaning or moral values, these things must be pegged onto an inscrutable supernatural entity. But my question is, why do you think that is satisfactory? The opinions of something inconceivably different from humans should matter to us?
You might try this. Here’s a simple moral claim all of us here agree with: the men in Afghanistan who punish and kill women for being rape victims are horribly wrong. Why are they wrong? Well, we can imagine ways to step back. One I like comes from John Rawls and his idea of a veil of ignorance. If that Afghan man had to help build a society from scratch, but he didn’t know whether he would be a man or a woman in it, he wouldn’t agree to those brutal anti-women practices.
here’s to a new age of reason. let’s please leave superstitions in the past. they are based in fear. then church and state shall never meet and we might even achieve our goal of freedom and equality for all
Ruby – do you think that all religions are based in fear? What about Eastern religions?
Even Christianity I think is based much more in hope than in fear!
Let’s separate the actual religion from extremist rhetoric.
in fear and wonder. i believe they began as a way to explain things we didn’t understand. sacrifices were made to appease angry gods so they wouldn’t destroy us with floods or fire. now science has explained some of those things so there is a conflict with the literal interpretation. of course fear of death is a constant. the power to defeat death is a huge attraction of religion. and we’re hard wired for rituals. and since i was raised in southern baptist church i have a hard time relating to less extreme churches? are there churches that accept evolution?
now science has explained some of those things so there is a conflict with the literal interpretation.
Just curious – what do you think science has explained that directly contradicts religion? In my mind, science and religion are never contradictory. They’re similar things (people seeking explanations), but working in different areas with different tools.
Of course, there are a lot of extremists who say they are opposed. But for every extremist I think you could find a couple hundred people who don’t see any conflict between the big bang etc and their religious thoughts.
are there churches that accept evolution?
Yeah, the Catholic Church accepts evolution. I’m sure there are others, too. I would venture to say that most mainline Christians accept evolution. Can anyone vouch for that?
good, i hope that’s true, doofu. i don’t know any of those people
i agree they are similar searches. i’d throw art in there too
Even limited to Christianity, Churches are quite the varied lot and I’m sure you’ll find opinions all across the board about something like evolution. I’ve known many Christians and only a tiny handful deny evolution. Polls seem to bear this out.
I like the concept that God created evolution.
yes =D me too ^ or that god IS evolution
but i would guess if i took a survey here, 8/10 would deny evolution. let’s not forget i live in rural arizona
i thought the catholics were sticking with the adam and eve story. and if they’re not then why are they still subjugating women? are we not responsible for original sin anymore?
ok i see the church has rationalized something about evolution after over 100 years of study lol
Must be pretty out there.
@ HOL Word
@Riss religious constructs, was referring to
meaning making, getting out of bed in the morning – I’m on the rampage against battery chicken egg production at the moment
There’s also a major divide between Biblical literalists and those who favor interpretation. That’s why some extreme sounding Bible quotes aren’t necessarily indicative of the current state of the theology.
@brad: it has it’s compensations but intelligent discourse isn’t usually among them
also, doofu, i think science has explained the causes of weather phenomena and the movement of planets as well as many diseases and conditions that were thought to be scourges from god or demon possession. these were all causes of fear in the ancient world so man sought a way to control his environment through prayer, fasting and sacrifice
How would people feel if you told them you were never baptised?
_Christian mythology is very clear on this- if someone didn’t pour water over your head, a snake is going to torture you for all eternity. _
Ha ha ha. I was very drunk last night when I posted that and had to spend all of today out in the countryside and fresh air; it’s nice to return to this sense of humour and so far nobody has tried to baptise me! I think maybe the closest I have been to getting baptised was a bar fight and having drinks thrown on me, but I do know the bible and I do disagree that baptism is important or necessary for salvation.
It’s not that I grew up in a secular society, I grew up in the Balti Triangle and also the best place in Europe to be a pure Muslim. Nobody should let my name on here confuse them, it’s just I own one as a pet I guess this was the first name that came to mind, though i’ve seen a few hedgehogs in my garden the past few nights and I am considering a name change.
I’m actually a British citizen and David Cameron recently reassured us we are a Christian nation, even if it does not always seem that way to an outsider. Tony Blair even converted to Catholicism when he finished his term in parliament, it shows how important it is.
like RAMPAGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much for sharing that. I feel like we’ve become friends in many ways, so I always like to hear more about you and what you believe. Come to think of it there’s still a lot I don’t know about you. Maybe we should chat more. Next time we do the podcast maybe :)
the idea of a creator assigning his creations to damnation because of the way he created them is anathema to me.
I didn’t know what the word anathema meant so I looked it up and saw that some definitions of it can be “a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.” or “any imprecation of divine punishment.” So was the use of this word meant to be somehow ironic?
I believe in the oneness of things—that body and soul are one, that life and death are one, that good and evil are one, and so on.
So since you’ve been reading along I know you’ve probably seeing me harp on the same question over and over. ;) So the whole good and evil and how we define them and on what authority question. Can you define for me a bit more how good and evil are one and what that looks like?
I’m also incredibly put off by the denigration of human rights put forth by many religions—gays, women, ‘infidels’, and so on. It’s all very unappealing.
I think it’s often ignored that those who claim to be Christians are responsible more often for the forwarding of human rights than they are for their deingration. I’m certainly not denying that many almost unimaginably horrible crimes against human rights have been perpetrated by those who claim to be Christians, but those were certainly not born out of what Christ really taught. So it wasn’t the religion it’self which is to blame but people who speak out as associating themselves with the religion.
I respect everyone’s right to believe what they want as long as it doesn’t infringe on me or anyone else, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time and energy struggling on this point with others who seem bound and determined to remake people in their image.
No one comes to truely believe something they feel they are forced or coerced into believing. I hope you don’t feel like any of my discussions here fall under that description. I don’t think you do though since we seem to have a pretty good raport and understanding even though I’ve shared my feelings before. I’m just enthusiastic and it affects how I think about and see the world regularly, so I want to share what I feel. And I do very much like hearing what other people feel because I always want to be learning and like you feel there’s always a chance I could be totally wrong on things. And also, I just care about other people. I’m always seeking and searching, but I have a certain starting point.
Man is corrupt in nature, and those who seek power usually use it to control others. This is why I see religion largely as a function of control, and looking around I see evidence of this everywhere.
You and Jesus agree on this! It’s the same position he had, especially regarding the religious leaders and practitioner of his day.
I believe in the oneness of things—that body and soul are one
house is going to wet his pants over the austrian cup film.
Oh Lordy, Lordy. I think this link needs to be trimmed down with an actual focus. Currently it seems to be akin to all those Bubbly Babylonians babbling blindly. Half truths, unknown truths, who-knows-if-it’s-truths, snippets of chapters once learned in college, but without context or perhaps even remembered incorrectly. I think Risselada is Satan, known to initiates by one whose forehead is emblazoned with the golden pentangle, and seven horns emerging from the top of the head. Ancient Kabbalah-like symbols are etched around Risselada’s every horn, and from the arched ajna a tiny hole projects a holographic image of 108 gods and goddesses fornicating with barnyard animals and sharing goblets of menstrual blood, mixed with spores from the Pluteus salicinis and maidenhair ginko, while heroes bifurcate their penises and clitori with daggers handed down from the Jomon-jin, and virgins recite the 400 tenets of Ptah left behind by elders of a parallel universe named in druid runes as “Huey, Dewey and Louie.” A fearsome quester of trouble and tricks, and subject of a lost nitrate motion picture last seen in the subterranean vaults of the Fortress of Vrana by a troupe of Croatian negative cutters whose disappearance has become rumored myth in the threads of concupiscence, often debated about among secret sects in Zoroastrian temples by spam originators, and selected South-side societies of pentateuch scholars in Chicago, Illinois. Beware.
we really know edit: nothing of what Jesus thought about anything, he never left a written word and what he was supposed to have thought about things was written a couple of hundred years later as I understand it and has been rejigged many times since.
I listen to theologians in their self imporant measured phoney-respectful-towards-each-other because we are good men, men of god tones sometimes on the radio arguing some inane point of reference in the Bible with their ultra terrestial human ego projection righteous mindlessness and it is highly entertaining to me
But if everything is just arbitrary and temporary do we really “got” anything? If there’s no God and you can do what you want what’s the difference between killing yourself or killing someone else? IN that case everyone is going to die and there will be no conciousness to remember it.
If there is no ultimate truth then there are no problems. A problem indicates that something is not going correctly. And if you are judging whether something is correct or incorrect you are basing that off of some kind of ultimate truth.