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Can we reopen the "rational foundations of religion" thread again?


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For no other reason than to destroy the OP with witty retorts. You guys got to have all the fun!

@swansont

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Opinions aren’t necessarily supported by evidence. I think chocolate is better than vanilla. Am I a cult?

I don't know why but this had me in stitches, really! Also if believing chocolate is better than vanilla, makes you a cult, that's fine. More chocolate for the cult!

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10 hours ago, MSC said:

For no other reason than to destroy the OP with witty retorts. You guys got to have all the fun!

@swansont

I don't know why but this had me in stitches, really! Also if believing chocolate is better than vanilla, makes you a cult, that's fine. More chocolate for the cult!

Less chocolate for the cult, per capita. That's why the initiation rites are so...grueling.

 

But the answer is no. The OP has been banned, so witty retorts are moot.

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On 4/1/2022 at 5:34 AM, swansont said:

Less chocolate for the cult, per capita. That's why the initiation rites are so...grueling.

Ohhh... so it's more like a highlander thing than a cult then? There can be only one... to which all the chocolate belongs! Nah, can't do that. My wife would kill us both.

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48 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

Why open a thread on an oxymoron? 

Was just contemplating myself the rather contradictory terms of "rational" when referring to "religion".

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Just to be fair, it isn't referring to religion. It doesn't  say "rational religion"; it says "rational foundations". As with other institutions, like nationalism and capitalism, the canon may sound outlandish, the practices may seem bizarre, but a function is served: somebody benefits.

Edited by Peterkin
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1. It wasn't proposed as a discussion of specific philosophies

2. It was not a proposal to discuss Rationalism, what it holds as a test of knowledge (or even truth).

3. It was not proposed as a discussion of dogma or faith. 

It was a proposal regarding the foundations of a wide-spread social phenomenon that encompasses many kinds of institution in every civilization, in every period of history, in every form of governance. Each of those institutions was or is based in a rational purpose and organized on a rational system of administration. In every society, religion has served and does serve one or more rational purpose.

It is not uncommon to reject religion of any kind. That decision is usually based on a rational reason.

It is not uncommon to profess a religion one does not truly believe. That, too, is based on a rational reason.

It is not uncommon to refuse to take part in any discussion in which the word 'religion' is mentioned. Nor is it uncommon to participate without contributing.

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On 4/1/2022 at 4:34 AM, swansont said:

Less chocolate for the cult, per capita. That's why the initiation rites are so...grueling.

 

I had a recent initiation that was literally gruel-ing, when my wife initiated me into the dark underworld of chocolate malto-meal.  

 

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2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Just to be fair, it isn't referring to religion. It doesn't  say "rational religion"; it says "rational foundations". As with other institutions, like nationalism and capitalism, the canon may sound outlandish, the practices may seem bizarre, but a function is served: somebody benefits.

Six of one half dozen of the other much? 

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19 hours ago, TheVat said:

I had a recent initiation that was literally gruel-ing, when my wife initiated me into the dark underworld of chocolate malto-meal.  

 

I've been in that inner circle of hell!

17 hours ago, Peterkin said:

I can't tell which quantities you're comparing.

Religion is far from rational, religion's foundations have nothing to do with rationality. 

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2 hours ago, Moontanman said:

Religion is far from rational,

This is true.

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religion's foundations have nothing to do with rationality. 

This is false.

 

 

Most things have a rational foundation at the start. That's why they get started, because they're needed and they make sense. Explaining various phenomena as best you can with the knowledge at your disposal is rational behavior. Religion is no different to begin with. We wanted life to have certain rules and consistencies, so we made them up and we made them important enough so everybody would follow them. The foundations were rooted in the kind of reason we were capable of at the time, and included philosophies we knew would help humans survive closer proximity to each other in denser populations. You may not like what modern religions have become, but their foundations at least were rational.

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All the same, I would not want the thread reopened and further trivialized. There is subject matter there that could be discussed to some purpose, but once it's become bawdlerized, there is little point in continuing. Perhaps the phrasing of the question was unfortunate.  

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2 hours ago, Moontanman said:

Religion is far from rational, religion's foundations have nothing to do with rationality. 

Yeah that's 100% correct....the "rational" foundation of "religion", are contradictory. 

3 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Most things have a rational foundation at the start. That's why they get started, because they're needed and they make sense. Explaining various phenomena as best you can with the knowledge at your disposal is rational behavior. Religion is no different to begin with. We wanted life to have certain rules and consistencies, so we made them up and we made them important enough so everybody would follow them. The foundations were rooted in the kind of reason we were capable of at the time, and included philosophies we knew would help humans survive closer proximity to each other in denser populations. You may not like what modern religions have become, but their foundations at least were rational.

But isn't the point that now we know those so called "foundations" to be wrong/false? If engineers fail to adequately construct a proper foundation for a skyscraper, that skyscraper aint gonna stand for very long. Case in point.....https://sydneysentinel.com.au/2020/12/the-leaning-towers-of-mascot/

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16 minutes ago, beecee said:

But isn't the point that now we know those so called "foundations" to be wrong/false?

The foundations of religion [general term for a social phenomenon] are not interchangeable with the tenets of any particular religious belief.

 

18 minutes ago, beecee said:

If engineers fail to adequately construct a proper foundation for a skyscraper, that skyscraper aint gonna stand for very long.

And yet the phenomenon of religion has lasted for thousands of years, if not tens of thousands; even particular religious institutions have lasted hundreds, and in some cases, at least two thousand years. What's "not very long" in the life-cycle of a skyscraper? 

Social structures are not like buildings; they have different foundations and serve different purposes.

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18 minutes ago, beecee said:

But isn't the point that now we know those so called "foundations" to be wrong/false?

Which ones, the ones that emphasized working with nature to ensure easier living, or the ones that established fair trade practices, or the ones that emphasized bonds of friendship and family and nation, or the ones that attempted to show the difference between good and evil to bronze age humans? 

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48 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Which ones, the ones that emphasized working with nature to ensure easier living, or the ones that established fair trade practices, or the ones that emphasized bonds of friendship and family and nation, or the ones that attempted to show the difference between good and evil to bronze age humans? 

All of those of course highly desirable. But what about the other side...the holier then thou attitude....the my religion is better the your religion...the rejection of scientific reasoning in favour of myth handed down through generations, the virgin birth, the trinity, the resurrection....The myth of ID, in a super omnipotent being...the instilling of the fear factor, heaven and hell, life after death attitude for personal comfort in the main...the brain washing of little children....the many wars and conflicts caused by religion...

Finally let me say that some of the worst most vindictive people in the world are religious. Some of the greatest and most goodly humans are also religious. Some of the greatest people in the world are non believers and simply followers of reason. Some of the worst  people in the world are non believers. 

53 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

The foundations of religion [general term for a social phenomenon] are not interchangeable with the tenets of any particular religious belief.

The foundations of religion, some good, many bad, were formed in an age of ignorance.

53 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

And yet the phenomenon of religion has lasted for thousands of years, if not tens of thousands; even particular religious institutions have lasted hundreds, and in some cases, at least two thousand years. What's "not very long" in the life-cycle of a skyscraper? 

Social structures are not like buildings; they have different foundations and serve different purposes.

Yes, I covered that, the brain washing of little children etc, can and does do harm. And of course while the great proportion of the worlds population, say they are religious, how many practise the rites and laws of that particulare religion. (I'm talking about the reasonable non harmful rites, like church etc, not the evil terrorism stuff by fanatics) eg: I am a Catholic, unless of course the Pope has excommunicated me without my knowledge!😜

Edited by beecee
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1 hour ago, beecee said:

All of those of course highly desirable.

You said they were wrong/false earlier. Whichever you really believe, I think you're being irrational now.

1 hour ago, beecee said:

But what about the other side...

None of these were foundational goals. They had no science to reject wrt Bronze Age mysticism. They put all the wisdom they could muster, at that time, into their beliefs, and if they prospered after getting others to believe similarly, it was proof to them they had it right. If a religion tells a Bronze Age person about a god who created everything yet wasn't created himself, and believes ultimately in giving humans a choice between good and evil to test their worthiness and make them responsible for their choices so they can bring happiness to the world, it's foundations aren't to blame for what is done with that religion later.

 

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1 hour ago, beecee said:

The foundations of religion, some good, many bad, were formed in an age of ignorance.

There is no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' foundation. There are reasons for building a structure, and if the structure meets the needs it was designed to meet, it lasts. 

Ignorance and knowledge co-exist all the time. Every moment is the present for one moment.  Every society, at every moment, is at the cutting edge of its evolution; every generations know all that is available for it to know, and yet members of the same generation vary greatly in what and how much of that they know. The Chinese of 2000 BCE had technology and skills and refinements that the Australians of that time lacked, and the natives of Australia were boat-builders and pioneers 60,000 years before that. Everybody knows something that other people don't know.

1 hour ago, beecee said:

Yes, I covered that, the brain washing of little children etc, can and does do harm.

That has nothing to do with foundations. Somebody had to have an idea before he could communicate it to anyone else. The little children were not told of it until long after any particular belief system had been established. 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

But what about the other side

There are no 'sides'. All human ideas can be applied by people with good and bad intention, for good and bad purposes, or even purposes that seem good to one and bad to another or that seem good in one situation and bad in another. All human institutions are subject to abuse, co-optation and corruption; an institution or capability or tool may become dangerous, may be put to the service of evil. That does not make its foundations irrational.

Edited by Peterkin
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10 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

You said they were wrong/false earlier. Whichever you really believe, I think you're being irrational now.

I inferred there is much wrong, as I am sure you agree. The points you mentioned were the good points, or actually points that do not necessarily need religion to exist. eg: Not all atheists are evil and some are better morally and every other way then any supposed chiristian/religious person as I am sure you will agree. There is good and bad.

13 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

None of these were foundational goals. They had no science to reject wrt Bronze Age mysticism. 

That's why I said, 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

The foundations of religion, some good, many bad, were formed in an age of ignorance.

 

17 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

If a religion tells a Bronze Age person about a god who created everything yet wasn't created himself, and believes ultimately in giving humans a choice between good and evil to test their worthiness and make them responsible for their choices so they can bring happiness to the world, it's foundations aren't to blame for what is done with that religion later.

A myth in an age of ignorance, which gives man a choice. Some good, some bad. I don't see belief in myth as good, despite perhaps giving humans a choice between good and evil...oh, and then beg forgiveness later if they chose the wrong path.

That's why I finished with...

1 hour ago, beecee said:

Finally let me say that some of the worst most vindictive people in the world are religious. Some of the greatest and most goodly humans are also religious. Some of the greatest people in the world are non believers and simply followers of reason. Some of the worst  people in the world are non believers. 

 I also have a couple of good religious friemds, and a Mrs also. 

 

1 minute ago, Peterkin said:

There is no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' foundation.

Of course there is.

2 minutes ago, Peterkin said:

Ignorance and knowledge co-exist all the time.

And we can chose to grovel in one, or advance and learn with the other.

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7 minutes ago, beecee said:

And we can chose to grovel in one, or advance and learn with the other.

Which is what some people in every age did.

Actually, all people, both.

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14 minutes ago, beecee said:

I inferred there is much wrong, as I am sure you agree.

I'm trying to be extremely specific and thoughtful in my wording, and you're trying to dial your arguments back to the point of overgeneralized meaninglessness, so no, I don't agree. I'm arguing that the foundations of most religions are rational, and you seem to be arguing that it can't be true because of what they've become.

16 minutes ago, beecee said:

The points you mentioned were the good points,

I'm trying to defend the site owner's decision to encourage posting about the rational foundations of religion, so I focused on just that, the foundations.

20 minutes ago, beecee said:

A myth in an age of ignorance, which gives man a choice. Some good, some bad. I don't see belief in myth as good, despite perhaps giving humans a choice between good and evil...oh, and then beg forgiveness later if they chose the wrong path.

I think you're forgetting that it wasn't myth to the people who created the foundations of the religion. You have a modern perspective that lets you see myth = bad, but Zoroaster brought a whole bunch of people together in the belief that, if you believed in the wisdom and benevolence of Ahura Mazda and fight to uphold his principles of happiness for all, good will conquer evil. It wasn't myth then, and those foundations influenced the best parts of most other religions that came after. 

 

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I think we have different points of view.

I don't see religion - the concept or the institutions or the practice - from inside any particular belief system, but as an anthropological phenomenon. I don't see mythology as pernicious lies, but as the stories people tell about their origins, group identity and world-view. I don't think of religion as starting from a bronze-age dogma, but as an organic product of human imagination, curiosity and awe. I do draw a distinction - quite a sharp one - between ancient, primitive beliefs and modern religious institutions. 

So  I don't think we're talking about the same thing, and doubt if we can.

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