Jump to content

Is there a rational reason for religion?


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 218
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

You believe in intellectualism for the reasons we don't know and may be you can't justify! But at least you invest a lot in it here and you worship ideas that work for you  Bravo

Besides the obvious difference between a religion and a cult in numbers of worshipers, isn’t majority of modern cults led by a living person treated like a deity by the worshipers where as in religion

Er, no. the whole point is that if something works, we don't need to use belief. For example your computer works, because the underlying technology works, because the underlying science works. 

5 hours ago, mistermack said:

Maybe it's philosophers who misuse the term "logic". :)   

Maybe it's the Brits who misuse the English language so the Americans and Canadians had to improve it. :)

5 hours ago, mistermack said:

Formal logic has always looked to me like a failed attempt to insert rules where they won't fit. Ok for the very simplest exercises, but doesn't hold up like maths does. 

But your version of "logic" is worse. It attempts to foist validity on mere opinion. Many people claim to invoke "logic" because they're a "skeptic" and have a "theory", all without knowing what those words really define. Their "logic" is based on what they want to be true, they remain "skeptics" their whole lives because they don't bother to learn, and their "theory" is something they stitched together while showering last week.

And maths is exactly where I'd expect to find logic being applied correctly

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most people would use the word logic to describe how a conclusion is reached, following arguments made using evidence that you are invited to agree with. It's a persuasion thing, whereas formal logic tries to make an unbreakable case along the lines of this is true, therefore this must be true, therefore this must be true. 

I lost all hope for it after listening to William Lane-Craig try to make the case for a god. It's so easy to abuse it that I would never trust any claim derived by that method. Maths is great, but as soon as you involve words, you introduce fuzziness.

Charles Darwin used what most people would describe as logic, to make the argument for natural selection. Listing lots of evidence, and describing why you think it means this or that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Most people would use the word logic to describe how a conclusion is reached, following arguments made using evidence that you are invited to agree with.

Right, and I'm telling you they're using it incorrectly. The words you want for what you're describing is "reasoning", or "critical thinking", or "rational thought". Why drag a mathematical or philosophical concept like logic into this discussion when you know it doesn't work? Didn't you say: 

10 minutes ago, mistermack said:

I lost all hope for it after listening to William Lane-Craig try to make the case for a god. It's so easy to abuse it that I would never trust any claim derived by that method.

?

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Right, and I'm telling you they're using it incorrectly. The words you want for what you're describing is "reasoning", or "critical thinking", or "rational thought". Why drag a mathematical or philosophical concept like logic into this discussion when you know it doesn't work

Well, I have a right to, because the word isn't owned by the tiny number of people who study philosophy. It's freely available to the general public, who use it in the same way I do. That's why I think the term "formal logic" is better for what you are describing.

Otherwise, you are at odds with most of the English speaking world, on the meaning of a very widely used word. In language, the masses always win in the end.

Edited by mistermack
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, mistermack said:

Well, I have a right to, because the word isn't owned by the tiny number of people who study philosophy. It's freely available to the general public, who use it in the same way I do. That's why I think the term "formal logic" is better for what you are describing.

Otherwise, you are at odds with most of the English speaking world, on the meaning of a very widely used word. In language, the masses always win in the end.

I come here instead of going to languageforums.net. The scientific method works best when people don't abuse standard scientific definitions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I come here instead of going to languageforums.net. The scientific method works best when people don't abuse standard scientific definitions.

I think that's rather overstating the case. 

This is from the main wiki page on logic :

"There is no universal agreement as to the exact scope and subject matter of logic " and

" However, agreement on what logic is has remained elusive, and although the field of universal logic has studied the common structure of logics, in 2007 Mossakowski et al. commented that "it is embarrassing that there is no widely acceptable formal definition of 'a logic'".[6]

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, mistermack said:

I think that's rather overstating the case. 

This is from the main wiki page on logic :

"There is no universal agreement as to the exact scope and subject matter of logic " and

" However, agreement on what logic is has remained elusive, and although the field of universal logic has studied the common structure of logics, in 2007 Mossakowski et al. commented that "it is embarrassing that there is no widely acceptable formal definition of 'a logic'".[6]

I'm sorry you don't see a need for clarity, rigor, and precision. These are some of the hallmarks of reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have learned something from this discussion, so it's not a dead loss. I noticed that my suggestion, "formal logic" already has an accepted specific meaning, and it's own definition. Again from wiki :

  • Formal logic is the study of inference with purely formal content. An inference possesses a purely formal content if it can be expressed as a particular application of a wholly abstract rule, that is, a rule that is not about any particular thing or property. The works of Aristotle contain the earliest known formal study of logic. Modern formal logic follows and expands on Aristotle.[3] In many definitions of logic, logical inference and inference with purely formal content are the same. This does not render the notion of informal logic vacuous, because no formal logic captures all of the nuances of natural language.

So I'm a bit late with that suggestion

Edited by mistermack
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, mistermack said:

Well, I have a right to, because the word isn't owned by the tiny number of people who study philosophy. It's freely available to the general public, who use it in the same way I do. That's why I think the term "formal logic" is better for what you are describing.

Otherwise, you are at odds with most of the English speaking world, on the meaning of a very widely used word. In language, the masses always win in the end.

Could you clarify the way you use the word logic? It’s a colloquially used word in everyday life and it could mean a lot of things, I wonder how you correlate it with the subject at hand.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a big difference between the processes of 'rational' and 'logical' and thought.

As I already said logical thought is concerned with establishing a truth value of something consistent with initial premises or axioms.

Those premises are simply statements of fact ie they have assuumed truth values and no more.

Such as' the grass is green'

 

On the other hand rational thought processes have a much wide ambit.

They can analyses aims, goals and desires and provide courses of action.

Wanting or not wanting an ice cream have no different truth values.

Few would say I fancy an icecream is alogical thought, but many would consider it a rational one in the right circumstances.

 

5 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Maybe it's the Brits who misuse the English language so the Americans and Canadians had to improve it. :)

Actually the North Americans have not moved forwards, like the English so have kept many of the words they their founding fathers took with them, whilst the English have enhanced the dictionary with new words.

A prime example would be your faucet and our tap coming from our jolly tradition of tapping a beer barrel.

:)

Cheers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, studiot said:

There is a big difference between the processes of 'rational' and 'logical' and thought.

 

Few would say I fancy an icecream is alogical thought, but many would consider it a rational one in the right circumstances.

 

That's why I thought "logical" would be better in the OP. 

It's blindingly obvious that lots of rational people follow various religions. Their reasons might be wrong, or illogical, but they can't all be irrational. Unless maybe you argue that they are compartmentalising religion, and are irrational in that one sphere, and rational for the rest of their beliefs. 

Obviously, I'm using logical in the common parlance way, meaning coming to a reasonable conclusion, from evidence that is generally accepted as true. 

I suppose it boils down to the question "is it rational, to believe something for which there is no good evidence or logical argument for?" 

Or "is faith rational" ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mistermack said:

That's why I thought "logical" would be better in the OP. 

It's blindingly obvious that lots of rational people follow various religions. Their reasons might be wrong, or illogical, but they can't all be irrational. Unless maybe you argue that they are compartmentalising religion, and are irrational in that one sphere, and rational for the rest of their beliefs. 

Obviously, I'm using logical in the common parlance way, meaning coming to a reasonable conclusion, from evidence that is generally accepted as true. 

I suppose it boils down to the question "is it rational, to believe something for which there is no good evidence or logical argument for?" 

Or "is faith rational" ?

 

I don't know why you seem determined to change the OP, which was

Is there a ratioanl reason for religion?

Neither Faith nor Logic were  mentioned.

So in short, yes there is a rational reason for religion because

Religion offers a harmonius code of conduct and a sufficient proportion of religous people live their lives in this way.

That is not to say that there are not disharmonius religous people or disagreable aspect of religion.

That is a rational reason but not a logical one.

 

Given the premise that religion leads to harmonius people a logical 'conclusion' (as you put it) would be that there is a reason for religion.

 

I don't know if you can see the differences in the two statements.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course I get what you're saying. But the same argument could be used to support worshipping the great invisible teapot that is orbiting Jupiter. So long as the teapotters had a harmonious doctrine. 

I'm not so sure that that would be rational. But it's not much worse than Mormonism. Trouble is, we've got used to the established religions, so we aren't hit by the irrationality any more.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, studiot said:

Actually the North Americans have not moved forwards, like the English so have kept many of the words they their founding fathers took with them, whilst the English have enhanced the dictionary with new words.

A prime example would be your faucet and our tap coming from our jolly tradition of tapping a beer barrel.

:)

Cheers.

I was just trying to show mistermack why it wasn't philosophers who misused the term "logic". 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mistermack said:

Of course I get what you're saying. But the same argument could be used to support worshipping the great invisible teapot that is orbiting Jupiter. So long as the teapotters had a harmonious doctrine. 

I'm not so sure that that would be rational. But it's not much worse than Mormonism. Trouble is, we've got used to the established religions, so we aren't hit by the irrationality any more.

The problem is people assume they know better, and so disposed, are determined that that knowledge should be used wisely, and so try to use logic to overcome rational thinking.

IOW which is more meaningful to the question "what is the meaning of life"? 42 or god?

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

which is more meaningful to the question "what is the meaning of life"? 42 or god?

My first impulse was to say god. Because I think that there is no meaning of life, and there is no god. But then I settled on 42, because I've seen 42, I've been 42, and so from personal experience, for the one in a billion billion chance that there is a meaning of life,  it's more likely to be 42. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/2/2018 at 2:57 PM, Ten oz said:

Religion provides a shared structure for ethical behavior. Humans live together in societies and are not loners. There are many benefits within a society to have shared perspectives toward morality, identity, history, and etc. Among secular people there is often wide disagreement regarding right vs wrong and the nature of the world. Tending to a folk is easier that wrangling a gaggle. So it is rational that those with influence in society would turn to a mechanism like Religion to help produce conformity. 

 

Religion is not necessary for the basis for ethical behavior.  Pragmatism provides that.  The vaunted "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", which is often claimed by christians while ignoring virtually the  same statement via other and older religions, is but a pragmatic adaptation in any society that would provide for ethical behavior.  I will not steal from you as you should not steal from me...I will not kill you as you should not kill me, etc.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Bushranger said:

Religion is not necessary for the basis for ethical behavior.  Pragmatism provides that.  The vaunted "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", which is often claimed by christians while ignoring virtually the  same statement via other and older religions, is but a pragmatic adaptation in any society that would provide for ethical behavior.  I will not steal from you as you should not steal from me...I will not kill you as you should not kill me, etc.  

I did not say it was necessary. The OP isn't asking if religion is necessary. It is asking if there are any rational reasons. Shared perspective is a rational reason. I don't feel religion is necessary. The OP is asking for example of how religion can be rational. That isn't to say religious is necessary or a best way to achieve anything.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

I did not say it was necessary. The OP isn't asking if religion is necessary. It is asking if there are any rational reasons. Shared perspective is a rational reason. I don't feel religion is necessary. The OP is asking for example of how religion can be rational. That isn't to say religious is necessary or a best way to achieve anything.

Yes indeed, +1

I have not finished The Whistler by John Grisham.

JG is a first class author who makes perceptive comments about the human condition, human motivation and so forth in his novels.

Towards the beginning he discusses why people repeatedly get married (after divorce) and suggests it is because they don't like to be alone.

I wonder if that is a reason so many adopt religion - they need company?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, studiot said:

Yes indeed, +1

I have not finished The Whistler by John Grisham.

JG is a first class author who makes perceptive comments about the human condition, human motivation and so forth in his novels.

Towards the beginning he discusses why people repeatedly get married (after divorce) and suggests it is because they don't like to be alone.

I wonder if that is a reason so many adopt religion - they need company?

Not wanting to be alone (within any specific condition) could be part of it. Seems to me that humans create subgroup identities for themselves throughout life. Even in the sandbox analogy where people point out children of all races play together regardless of race there is still agism afoot. Children seem attracted to other children. The desire to be with someone else like oneself, brotherhood's and sisterhoods, extends beyond religion race. It can be seen in sports fandom when people refer to private for profit sports organizations as, "my team" and decorate there homes with sawg. On some level being a fan of a specific team helps provide those people an identity. Likewise so too does patriotism, classism, and etc. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Religion was imo necessary. It provided company/formed groups and gave people spiritual guiding.

"Richard Sosis and Candace Alcorta have reviewed several of the prominent theories for the  of religion. Many are "social solidarity theories", which view religion as having evolved to enhance cooperation and cohesion within groups. Group membership in turn provides benefits which can enhance an individual's chances for survival and reproduction. These benefits range from coordination advantages to the facilitation of costly behavior rules."https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology_of_religion

3 hours ago, studiot said:

wonder if that is a reason so many adopt religion - they need company?

I think that's an important reason. 'having company' is necessary for many forms of evolutionary succes. This imo also shows that the properties that can form religion are not limited to humans. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Itoero said:

Religion was imo necessary. It provided company/formed groups and gave people spiritual guiding.

Having a King or Empire gave group guidance too. Lots of different mechanisms can be used.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Ten oz said:

Having a King or Empire gave group guidance too. Lots of different mechanisms can be used.

Indeed, but despots seldom have a good grip on morality.

37 minutes ago, Itoero said:

I think that's an important reason. 'having company' is necessary for many forms of evolutionary succes. This imo also shows that the properties that can form religion are not limited to humans. 

2

There's no evidence as yet, but since, I think, reciprocity is the basis of morality it's just a matter of time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.