Author Topic: Religion  (Read 351 times)

Sriram

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Religion
« on: February 19, 2019, 04:57:39 AM »
Hi everyone,

Most of the people here seem to think of religion as just a meaningless faith in a God up there somewhere. Also, the word 'religion' immediately seems to conjure up images of killings, terrorism, crusades, witches burnt at the sake...and so on. This is wrong.

Religions need not necessarily be about a God up there. Maybe the Abrahamic religions do emphasize this image but even they do talk of a God within. Indian religions emphasize bringing out the God within. For this, many paths are prescribed one of which is praying to external images of deities, temple rituals etc.

Secondly, all religions do not go to war all the time or keep fighting among themselves or other religions. Islam admittedly has a bad track record, but even there most Muslims are peace loving, pious people.

It is surprising that many people, especially those trained in science, have a blind spot when it comes to religion.  They just cannot or don't want to see the positives. The discipline, the self control, the compassion, the altruism, family values, humility, brotherhood and other positive features that religions have not only taught but have also enforced among the people for centuries.

This kind of an extreme and knee jerk reaction towards religions has to go!

It is a faith in God and in after-life that keeps the Ego in check. Once the Ego is controlled, wisdom and self control automatically arise. That is the point of faith.

Cheers.

Sriram

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2019, 07:53:31 AM »
They just cannot or don't want to see the positives. The discipline, the self control, the compassion, the altruism, family values, humility, brotherhood and other positive features that religions have not only taught ...
Religion doesn't have a monopoly on those values though, does it - indeed societies that have the highest proportion of people who choose not to be religious, while having a choice, tend to be those we consider to be the most compassionate, altruistic etc - e.g. the Scandinavian countries.

... but have also enforced among the people for centuries.
Blimey - sounds very authoritarian. And besides you cannot force people to be compassionate, altruistic or humble - the value only exists when it is freely chosen.

Maeght

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Re: Religion
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2019, 08:26:35 AM »
Hi everyone,

Most of the people here seem to think of religion as just a meaningless faith in a God up there somewhere.

That is one aspect of religion but of course the definition of what is a religion is difficult and not agreed by all.

Quote
Also, the word 'religion' immediately seems to conjure up images of killings, terrorism, crusades, witches burnt at the sake...and so on. This is wrong.

Not the first thing that comes into my head.

Quote
Religions need not necessarily be about a God up there. Maybe the Abrahamic religions do emphasize this image but even they do talk of a God within. Indian religions emphasize bringing out the God within. For this, many paths are prescribed one of which is praying to external images of deities, temple rituals etc.

Of course.

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Secondly, all religions do not go to war all the time or keep fighting among themselves or other religions. Islam admittedly has a bad track record, but even there most Muslims are peace loving, pious people.

Of course.

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It is surprising that many people, especially those trained in science, have a blind spot when it comes to religion.  They just cannot or don't want to see the positives. The discipline, the self control, the compassion, the altruism, family values, humility, brotherhood and other positive features that religions have not only taught but have also enforced among the people for centuries.

Not sure I agree with that. Scientists are humans who on the whole will recognise these aspects of religion. Certain branches of science which study mental well being and the like recognise the positive and negative aspects of religious belief within their field of study. The effects of religious beliefs do not impact on most fields of science however.

Quote
This kind of an extreme and knee jerk reaction towards religions has to go!

How wide spread do you think it is? Why do you think it particularly needs to go?

Quote
It is a faith in God and in after-life that keeps the Ego in check. Once the Ego is controlled, wisdom and self control automatically arise. That is the point of faith.

If you say so.

Phyllis Tyne

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Re: Religion
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2019, 08:28:42 AM »
Religion doesn't have a monopoly on those values though, does it - indeed societies that have the highest proportion of people who choose not to be religious, while having a choice, tend to be those we consider to be the most compassionate, altruistic etc - e.g. the Scandinavian countries.
Cambodia of the Khmer Rouge, Stalins USSR, Etc, etc. In fact any non religious country you can turn your rose tinted spectacles at.

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Religion
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 08:30:19 AM »
Cambodia of the Khmer Rouge, Stalins USSR, Etc, etc. In fact any non religious country you can turn your rose tinted spectacles at.
Which part of while having a choice didn't you understand Vlad.

Sriram

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Re: Religion
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 09:15:16 AM »
Religion doesn't have a monopoly on those values though, does it - indeed societies that have the highest proportion of people who choose not to be religious, while having a choice, tend to be those we consider to be the most compassionate, altruistic etc - e.g. the Scandinavian countries.
Blimey - sounds very authoritarian. And besides you cannot force people to be compassionate, altruistic or humble - the value only exists when it is freely chosen.


You're not getting my point.  You are talking about the 20th and 21 centuries. I am talking about the role of religion over the centuries leading to the recent centuries.

For example, can you imagine 15th century or 10th century Europe or Asia without any religion to enforce social norms?!

Trentvoyager

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Re: Religion
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 09:25:03 AM »
Quote
For example, can you imagine 15th century or 10th century Europe or Asia without any religion to enforce social norms?!

When you say social norms are you talking about beheading perhaps? Or, maybe you are talking about slaves which were also a social norm.
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ekim

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Re: Religion
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 10:01:33 AM »


Religions need not necessarily be about a God up there. Maybe the Abrahamic religions do emphasize this image but even they do talk of a God within. Indian religions emphasize bringing out the God within. For this, many paths are prescribed one of which is praying to external images of deities, temple rituals etc.

Secondly, all religions do not go to war all the time or keep fighting among themselves or other religions. Islam admittedly has a bad track record, but even there most Muslims are peace loving, pious people.

It is surprising that many people, especially those trained in science, have a blind spot when it comes to religion.  They just cannot or don't want to see the positives. The discipline, the self control, the compassion, the altruism, family values, humility, brotherhood and other positive features that religions have not only taught but have also enforced among the people for centuries.


It is a faith in God and in after-life that keeps the Ego in check. Once the Ego is controlled, wisdom and self control automatically arise. That is the point of faith.



It might be better if you posted about those Indian religions and perhaps called them Yogas as opposed to religions.  As regards 'many paths', I think you will find that the Abrahamic religions will say that there is only one path and each of the four main organised religions will say that their's is the only true way and have gone to war with or persecuted each other to assert that claim.  The 'ego' has been controlled by those in power to form a collective 'ego' along the lines of a dictatorship.  As regards 'altruism, family values, humility, brotherhood', perhaps you could explain to those who don't understand,  how the caste system features in this respect.

Sebastian Toe

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Re: Religion
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 11:25:02 AM »
Which part of while having a choice didn't you understand Vlad.
..all of it, probably.
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends.'
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Sriram

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Re: Religion
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 01:35:22 PM »
That is one aspect of religion but of course the definition of what is a religion is difficult and not agreed by all.

Not the first thing that comes into my head.

Of course.

Of course.

Not sure I agree with that. Scientists are humans who on the whole will recognise these aspects of religion. Certain branches of science which study mental well being and the like recognise the positive and negative aspects of religious belief within their field of study. The effects of religious beliefs do not impact on most fields of science however.

How wide spread do you think it is? Why do you think it particularly needs to go?

If you say so.



"Not the first thing that comes into my head."


Check out Trentvoyager's post  above.......

Maeght

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Re: Religion
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 01:47:32 PM »


"Not the first thing that comes into my head."


Check out Trentvoyager's post  above.......

Yes, but you were talking about 'most of the people' weren't you?

ProfessorDavey

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Re: Religion
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 04:05:51 PM »
For example, can you imagine 15th century or 10th century Europe or Asia without any religion to enforce social norms?!
True - but those social norms weren't ones of compassion, altruism or fraternity, but ones of gross inequality involving grinding poverty and precious few freedoms for the vast, vast majority of the populations.

And certainly in Europe religion was used as a mechanism to keep the masses down - effectively teaching people that they had to accept that their lives were unspeakably awful, because they'd be rewarded in a hypothetical next life.

Sriram

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Re: Religion
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2019, 04:45:41 PM »
True - but those social norms weren't ones of compassion, altruism or fraternity, but ones of gross inequality involving grinding poverty and precious few freedoms for the vast, vast majority of the populations.

And certainly in Europe religion was used as a mechanism to keep the masses down - effectively teaching people that they had to accept that their lives were unspeakably awful, because they'd be rewarded in a hypothetical next life.


Every society develops its rules according to the people.  Just as we treat children of different ages or different natures differently. If society at that time needed tough rules the local culture and religion would have come up with that.

In the absence of courts and law enforcement, religions had to prescribe rules and also enforce them.

At any rate Europe developed into a civilized society after that, didn't it?! 


 

Littleroses

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Re: Religion
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2019, 11:46:26 AM »

Every society develops its rules according to the people.  Just as we treat children of different ages or different natures differently. If society at that time needed tough rules the local culture and religion would have come up with that.

In the absence of courts and law enforcement, religions had to prescribe rules and also enforce them.

At any rate Europe developed into a civilized society after that, didn't it?! 


 


Religion has been responsible for more uncivilised behaviour, than civilised, imo.
“Our life’s imprint should not be a blot on the landscape.” RJG

Udayana

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Re: Religion
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2019, 12:06:28 PM »
I think what we are calling progress or civilisation is due to a process of human domestication - by other humans. It allows populations to grow.

The trouble is when it grows too large, culling is required, hence wars and so on.
 
Ah, but I was so much older then ... I'm younger than that now

Littleroses

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Re: Religion
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2019, 11:47:40 AM »
I think what we are calling progress or civilisation is due to a process of human domestication - by other humans. It allows populations to grow.

The trouble is when it grows too large, culling is required, hence wars and so on.

You appear to be suggesting wars are required in order to reduce the population of the planet. Would you say the evil Holocaust was acceptable as so many Jews and others died, which depleted the population of the world somewhat? :o
“Our life’s imprint should not be a blot on the landscape.” RJG

Sriram

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Re: Religion
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2019, 12:22:35 PM »
You appear to be suggesting wars are required in order to reduce the population of the planet. Would you say the evil Holocaust was acceptable as so many Jews and others died, which depleted the population of the world somewhat? :o


Morality is a funny thing. It works differently at different levels.   We cry if one individual is killed. But if an entire species disappears we call it natural extinction.

It is possible that the entire human species could be destroyed in coming centuries.  Is that good or bad?!! 

Littleroses

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Re: Religion
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2019, 01:37:59 PM »

Morality is a funny thing. It works differently at different levels.   We cry if one individual is killed. But if an entire species disappears we call it natural extinction.

It is possible that the entire human species could be destroyed in coming centuries.  Is that good or bad?!!


Do we do we call it natural extinction?  There is generally an almighty fuss if a species looks like becoming extinct. As a human I don't think it would be a good thing if our species was destroyed in the future, although we would be responsible for its destruction.
“Our life’s imprint should not be a blot on the landscape.” RJG

Sriram

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Re: Religion
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2019, 02:40:07 PM »

99% of species that have ever lived have become extinct.  If that's not natural, what can it be?!

Littleroses

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Re: Religion
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2019, 03:06:41 PM »
99% of species that have ever lived have become extinct.  If that's not natural, what can it be?!


Have you got chapter and verse of that claim? 
“Our life’s imprint should not be a blot on the landscape.” RJG

Sriram

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Re: Religion
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2019, 03:24:25 PM »


just google for it....!

Littleroses

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Re: Religion
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2019, 05:03:34 PM »

just google for it....!

I just have and it is even worst than you said, 99.9%, flipping heck! :o
“Our life’s imprint should not be a blot on the landscape.” RJG

Udayana

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Re: Religion
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2019, 10:47:39 AM »
You appear to be suggesting wars are required in order to reduce the population of the planet. Would you say the evil Holocaust was acceptable as so many Jews and others died, which depleted the population of the world somewhat? :o
I certainly did not mean to suggest that war was acceptable, let alone genocide.

What people see as acceptable is directed by population and resource issues though. Hence the "othering" prior to war, genocide and acts of terrorism. 
Ah, but I was so much older then ... I'm younger than that now

Udayana

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Re: Religion
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2019, 05:14:17 PM »
Some recent work on this topic:


Complex societies precede moralizing gods throughout world history


Quote
Moralizing gods are not a prerequisite for the evolution of social complexity, but they may help to sustain and expand complex multi-ethnic empires after they have become established. By contrast, rituals that facilitate the standardization of religious traditions across large populations generally precede the appearance of moralizing gods. This suggests that ritual practices were more important than the particular content of religious belief to the initial rise of social complexity.

I haven't yet reviewed this in any depth myself.
Ah, but I was so much older then ... I'm younger than that now