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Is it rational (for an athiest) to believe in religion?


dimreepr
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7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

And that's the point of my Berty quote, thanks...

Bertrand has quoted many wise utterences, one being, "science is what we know; Philosophy is what we don't know" 

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

It is if it's science that claims it...

Nonsense. You put the cart before the horse. All science says is that we have no evidence for anything supernatural with regards to any magical creation of the universe. The onus is on those claiming thier magical spaghetti monter of choice did it, to show evidence of that myth. And obviously that chance is gradually lessening everyday and  is constantly being pushed further and further back into oblivion as science gathers knowledge, makes further observations, going back further and further in time. 

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

But like I've said, in this thread, it's NOT about a god...

Isn't it? The irrational thread title is "Is it rational (for an athiest) to believe in religion?" I have already given my own and Wiki's definition of religion. And aaalso Atheist.

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

How is this thread an attack on science?

I didn't specifically say it was. I was addressing another member. What I have said a dozen times now, is that the thread as per the title, is irrational.

4 hours ago, TheVat said:

Please stop, guys.

Just read some of the carryings on last night, and yes, you are correct. I'm also out of here and this irrational  merry-go-round.

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8 hours ago, Prometheus said:

That doesn't follow from the definition you provided.

There are more than enough caveats in your provided definition of religion to have a religion that is entirely consistent with science.

I think the WIKI definition, covers all contingencies including my definition.

On the second statement, all I can say is that again any thought of ID is unscientific, as is all supernatural and paranormal explanations. And I suspect all religions when we get down to the nitty gritty, requires some form of ID, if not then mythical overtones re communion with nature, transcendence, karma and other such  concepts that invokes out of this world type of experiences. That doesn't sound like science to me.

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Krishnamurthi, the Indian philosopher (sometimes considered a  "scientific guru") developed the idea that there could be a scientific sort of spirituality, based on introspective observation and mental experiments.   He was somewhat exceptional, among spiritual teachers, in his scrutiny of what constituted belief.  Here's an article about him.  Some of his ideas remind me of Unitarians a bit.

 

http://www.journal.kfionline.org/issue-1/krishnamurti-and-the-scientific-mind#:~:text=Krishnamurti's approach to religious questions,and recommend experimentation and investigation.

 

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10 hours ago, TheVat said:

Krishnamurthi, the Indian philosopher (sometimes considered a  "scientific guru") developed the idea that there could be a scientific sort of spirituality, based on introspective observation and mental experiments.   He was somewhat exceptional, among spiritual teachers, in his scrutiny of what constituted belief.  Here's an article about him.  Some of his ideas remind me of Unitarians a bit.

 

http://www.journal.kfionline.org/issue-1/krishnamurti-and-the-scientific-mind#:~:text=Krishnamurti's approach to religious questions,and recommend experimentation and investigation.

Interesting article, still though based on the soft sciences at best.

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13 hours ago, beecee said:

I think the WIKI definition, covers all contingencies including my definition.

On the second statement, all I can say is that again any thought of ID is unscientific, as is all supernatural and paranormal explanations. And I suspect all religions when we get down to the nitty gritty, requires some form of ID, if not then mythical overtones re communion with nature, transcendence, karma and other such  concepts that invokes out of this world type of experiences. That doesn't sound like science to me.

ID isn't a feature of most religions. Like I mentioned above some religions don't have a creation myth, and some explicitly refuse to answer cosmological questions such as this.

Even something like karma, which literally means action or more generally consequences of action, can be easily understood in a naturalist framework - recourse to the supernatural is not a defining feature to the belief, even if it is a common one.

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28 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

ID isn't a feature of most religions. Like I mentioned above some religions don't have a creation myth, and some explicitly refuse to answer cosmological questions such as this.

I see the highlighted bit by me as false, and while there maybe a small minority that don't maintain a creation/ID myth, they still certainly maintain, mythical overtones re communion with nature, transcendence, karma and other such  concepts that invokes out of this world type of experiences.

Again that doesn't sound like science to me.

28 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Even something like karma, which literally means action or more generally consequences of action, can be easily understood in a naturalist framework - recourse to the supernatural is not a defining feature to the belief, even if it is a common one.

https://edge.oregonstate.edu/2017/08/23/the-science-of-karma/#:~:text=“In the Buddhist point of,and OSU's Contemplative Studies Initiative.

Karma, however, is deeply personal. “In the Buddhist point of view karma is a psychological phenomenon. It happens because of the way the mind works. It’s not some general force that exists in the universe. It’s not the hand of God,” says John Edwards, director of CLA’s School of Psychological Science and OSU’s Contemplative Studies Initiative. “The basic idea is that your own behaviors and actions lead you to experience the world in a certain way.”

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Psychology of course is best described as a "soft science"

Just out of interest, my biggest argument in this thread, is the irrationality of the subject at hand, as described by the title......Is it rational (for an athiest) to believe in religion?

Atheist= a  person who does not believe in a creator/deity/ID/god

Religion = The belief in a super duper omnipotent being/god, and the supernatural and the paranormal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

Rational = A belief based on reason, logic and evidence. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=rational+foundations+of+religion&rlz=1C1RXQR_en-GBAU952AU952&oq=rational&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0i67i131i433j0i67j0i67i131i433j69i60l3.2928j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

"Rationalism holds that truth should be determined by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith, dogma, tradition or religious teaching"

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23 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Dawkins can't prove that God doesn't exist, yet he's happy to point the finger and claim, they're delusional.

As Genady stated, why does he need to prove a nonexistence? It's for those who claim god is real to prove existence. He points his finger at those who claim beyond doubt at the same time contradicting/ignoring or not providing scientific evidence. He only claims the people delusional who actually for all intent are delusional when they make unfounded and absurd claims with nothing but blind faith to back it up.

From the talks and interviews I have seen him in he shows the upmost respect for people who have religious faiths & beliefs but at the same time respect the scientific method.

If I were to proclaim that I believe in the flying, 2 headed, pig god, who talks to me all the time and is the creator of all things and that the science is wrong, would you consider me delusional? 

Should I ask you to prove the non existence of such a being?    

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21 hours ago, dimreepr said:

 

240310582_5041704585850512_8082034835866989648_n.jpg

My apologies @Genady I was a bit drunk yesterday.

31 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

As Genady stated, why does he need to prove a nonexistence?

Because he's the one making the claim, faith doesn't require proof; the religious who claim science is wrong, then they need to provide evidence that he's wrong.

37 minutes ago, Intoscience said:

If I were to proclaim that I believe in the flying, 2 headed, pig god, who talks to me all the time and is the creator of all things and that the science is wrong, would you consider me delusional? 

Should I ask you to prove the non existence of such a being?

I don't care what you believe, if it makes you happy; the scientific method is to provide a bias free way to investigate ourselves and our world, not a means to destroy subjective contentment in other's. 

1 hour ago, beecee said:

I see the highlighted bit by me as false, and while there maybe a small minority that don't maintain a creation/ID myth, they still certainly maintain, mythical overtones re communion with nature, transcendence, karma and other such  concepts that invokes out of this world type of experiences.

What makes you doubt that karma is practically Newtonian?

PTSD is well established and causes pain and suffering to those who have encountered a traumatic event; a normal person that kills someone, will sufer as a result.

There's nothing supernatural about it.

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1 hour ago, Genady said:

In what way "karma is practically Newtonian"?

For every, negative, action there is a positive action; in life two negatives doesn't produce a positive; for instance, if I don't have two sheep and I take away two sheep, how do I suddenly have four sheep?

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

For every, negative, action there is a positive action; in life two negatives doesn't produce a positive; for instance, if I don't have two sheep and I take away two sheep, how do I suddenly have four sheep?

1. What does it have to do with being "practically Newtonian"?

2. "if I don't have two sheep and I take away two sheep, how do I suddenly have four sheep?" -- you don't; why would you think you do? looks like an arithmetic's error to me; do you know arithmetic?

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14 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

For every, negative, action there is a positive action; in life two negatives doesn't produce a positive; for instance, if I don't have two sheep and I take away two sheep, how do I suddenly have four sheep?

This is elementary short trading, surely. You have information that the price of sheep is about to fall dramatically. So you arrange to sell 2 sheep you don't have, borrowing them from someone else, then, when the price of sheep drops, you may be able to buy back 6 sheep with the money you got from selling the 2 you borrowed. You then give 2 back to the owner........... and you have a profit of 4 sheep. 😁

Edited by exchemist
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2 minutes ago, Genady said:

1. What does it have to do with being "practically Newtonian"?

PTSD suggests, if I do harm to other's I do harm to me; I choose to feed the happy wolf.

2 minutes ago, exchemist said:

This is elementary short trading, surely. You have information that the price of sheep is about to fall dramatically. So you arrange to sell 2 sheep you don't have, borrowing them from someone else, then, when the price of sheep drops, you may be able to buy back 6 sheep with the money you got from selling the 2 you borrowed. You then give 2 back to the owner........... and you have a profit of 4 sheep. 😁

But I don't have the value of two sheep...

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19 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

PTSD suggests, if I do harm to other's I do harm to me; I choose to feed the happy wolf.

But I don't have the value of two sheep...

OK. This answers my questions clearly. You don't know arithmetic. And you don't know the meaning of being Newtonian. You don't know. You just talk. Talk and drink, drink and talk. Don't bother to apologize again - this was the second time already - or even reply. I will not talk to you anymore. Ever.

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3 hours ago, beecee said:

I see the highlighted bit by me as false, and while there maybe a small minority that don't maintain a creation/ID myth, they still certainly maintain, mythical overtones re communion with nature, transcendence, karma and other such  concepts that invokes out of this world type of experiences.

Again that doesn't sound like science to me.

https://edge.oregonstate.edu/2017/08/23/the-science-of-karma/#:~:text=“In the Buddhist point of,and OSU's Contemplative Studies Initiative.

Karma, however, is deeply personal. “In the Buddhist point of view karma is a psychological phenomenon. It happens because of the way the mind works. It’s not some general force that exists in the universe. It’s not the hand of God,” says John Edwards, director of CLA’s School of Psychological Science and OSU’s Contemplative Studies Initiative. “The basic idea is that your own behaviors and actions lead you to experience the world in a certain way.”

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Psychology of course is best described as a "soft science"

Just out of interest, my biggest argument in this thread, is the irrationality of the subject at hand, as described by the title......Is it rational (for an athiest) to believe in religion?

Atheist= a  person who does not believe in a creator/deity/ID/god

Religion = The belief in a super duper omnipotent being/god, and the supernatural and the paranormal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

Rational = A belief based on reason, logic and evidence. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=rational+foundations+of+religion&rlz=1C1RXQR_en-GBAU952AU952&oq=rational&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0i67i131i433j0i67j0i67i131i433j69i60l3.2928j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

"Rationalism holds that truth should be determined by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith, dogma, tradition or religious teaching"

If you define religious belief as irrational, of course it will be irrational - but that's just a tautology.

The point is if there are some religious followers, even a minority, consistent with science then faith or supernatural beliefs it is not a defining feature. Therefore it can be rational for an atheist to believe in a religion - depending upon the religious tenants they believe.

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36 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

If you define religious belief as irrational, of course it will be irrational - but that's just a tautology.

The point is if there are some religious followers, even a minority, consistent with science then faith or supernatural beliefs it is not a defining feature. Therefore it can be rational for an atheist to believe in a religion - depending upon the religious tenants they believe.

This is so, if my understanding of what constitutes a religion is thrown away. What is a defining feature then? How do I know what is and what is not a religion? Can we apply that test to Marxism (because I know about it more than I ever wanted)?

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There does seem a lot of argument generated by the vagueness of the word religion.  As someone who leans toward the nontheistic spiritual life, I would say religion is just a formalized system to attain spiritual calm and contentment through some form of existential awareness.  That awareness can be directed towards a postulated deity (and one's relation to it) or it can be directed towards enhancing consciousness and understanding of one's own mental structure and how it interacts with reality.  Some forms of religion are directed towards developing particular virtues, whereas others are directed towards a general enlightenment (from which, it is presumed, a virtuous life follows).  

Marxism seems more to be a political philosophy with a great deal to say about social class and economics and how wealth is distributed, how labor is valued, and how capital is concentrated.  I would have to ask if Marx would have ever wanted to see "ism" following his last name.  He did not seem to be much for religion, at least the forms of religion he saw around him in 19th century Europe.  

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1 hour ago, TheVat said:

There does seem a lot of argument generated by the vagueness of the word religion.  As someone who leans toward the nontheistic spiritual life, I would say religion is just a formalized system to attain spiritual calm and contentment through some form of existential awareness.  That awareness can be directed towards a postulated deity (and one's relation to it) or it can be directed towards enhancing consciousness and understanding of one's own mental structure and how it interacts with reality.  Some forms of religion are directed towards developing particular virtues, whereas others are directed towards a general enlightenment (from which, it is presumed, a virtuous life follows).  

Marxism seems more to be a political philosophy with a great deal to say about social class and economics and how wealth is distributed, how labor is valued, and how capital is concentrated.  I would have to ask if Marx would have ever wanted to see "ism" following his last name.  He did not seem to be much for religion, at least the forms of religion he saw around him in 19th century Europe.  

Like most religions and ideologies, Marxism evolved and branched. I learned the official version of the КПСС, Communist Party of Soviet Union, founded by Lenin. According to this, Marxism consists of three parts: philosophy (not a political philosophy, but rather dialectic materialism), economic theory, and social theory. After the revolution of 1917, the economic theory became purely academic, the philosophy became a demagogic lingo, and an active essence of Marxism concentrated in the social theory. Its main point was, building a happy communist society. Is this a religion?

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8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

There's nothing supernatural about it.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

For every, negative, action there is a positive action; 

There's nothing scientiufic about it either. But hey! we are in the religious section and open to fantasy.

5 hours ago, Prometheus said:

If you define religious belief as irrational, of course it will be irrational - but that's just a tautology.

Again, I define this thread irrational as per the title.

5 hours ago, Prometheus said:

The point is if there are some religious followers, even a minority, consistent with science then faith or supernatural beliefs it is not a defining feature. Therefore it can be rational for an atheist to believe in a religion - depending upon the religious tenants they believe.

But it isn't just confined to a belief in any particular deity as I listed previously. 

8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I don't care what you believe, if it makes you happy; the scientific method is to provide a bias free way to investigate ourselves and our world, not a means to destroy subjective contentment in other's. 

As I have explained many times, no one is out to destroy your subjective contentment, but don't pretend its science.

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22 hours ago, Genady said:

OK. This answers my questions clearly. You don't know arithmetic. And you don't know the meaning of being Newtonian. You don't know. You just talk. Talk and drink, drink and talk. Don't bother to apologize again - this was the second time already - or even reply. I will not talk to you anymore. Ever.

That seems fair, I've made a proper fool of myself...

But to never forgive our human foibles is kinda the point, it's not rational to dismiss an honest question or belief, even if you don't like it...

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On 4/13/2022 at 4:29 PM, Genady said:

This is so, if my understanding of what constitutes a religion is thrown away. What is a defining feature then? How do I know what is and what is not a religion? Can we apply that test to Marxism (because I know about it more than I ever wanted)?

There isn't a single agreed upon definition of religion - it's a fuzzy and contested concept. Hence, everyone here could define religion in such a way that we are all right.

My problem with most definitions of religion, and the one that dominates here regarding belief in the supernatural (usually god), is that it is a very Western centric perspective with roots in late 19th century anthropologists like E.B. Tyler. Our modern concept of religion is only about 2 centuries old, and has been formed by Protestants who saw god in every religion they studied - because when all you have is a hammer...

Whetter Marxism is a religion - i don't know nearly enough about it, but i'd be surprised if there weren't some definitions of religion that included it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Being an atheist does not exactly entail being "rational". 

I used to go on another forum called DebateIsland in which a user named "Swolliw" -who was a proclaimed atheist- that kept posting anti-religion and pro-atheist sentiment. Stating things like religion is harmful and that atheism is the only rational disposition to hold. He was very militant with his words, to say the least.

I mention this because this is a loaded question that assumes atheists are "rational". Not all of them are. 

Buddhists are the followers of the religious ascetic Siddhartha Gautama or Gautama Buddha. Buddhists may believe in deities but they do not hold positions about god (in the classical sense). Thus, they are atheistic. By the way, I do know that certain Buddhists have varying beliefs about the legitimacy and existence of God but the teachings of Buddha do not explicitly state so. Indeed, Buddhist teaching states that one who goes through the path of the Buddha can become an entity like Gautama Buddha did. 

Buddhists have different dogma and issues for themselves but aren't the kinds of atheists who proclaim odd rhetoric like my aforementioned Swolliw friend. 

To answer the question: Yes. it's entirely rational for an atheist to believe in religion because atheism and religion are completely compatible. Buddhists are the definition of a religious atheist.

Edited by LazyLemonLucas
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8 hours ago, LazyLemonLucas said:

Being an atheist does not exactly entail being "rational". 

I used to go on another forum called DebateIsland in which a user named "Swolliw" -who was a proclaimed atheist- that kept posting anti-religion and pro-atheist sentiment. Stating things like religion is harmful and that atheism is the only rational disposition to hold. He was very militant with his words, to say the least.

I mention this because this is a loaded question that assumes atheists are "rational". Not all of them are. 

But this is not a valid counterexample. One can show instances where religion is indeed harmful, and that atheism is indeed a rational disposition. 

As far as the assumption that atheists are rational, who was assuming that? AFAICT the discussion was about whether a particular position is rational, not the people who hold that position. Every person has irrational thoughts, but that in no way means that all their thoughts are irrational.

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5 hours ago, swansont said:

But this is not a valid counterexample. One can show instances where religion is indeed harmful, and that atheism is indeed a rational disposition. 

As far as the assumption that atheists are rational, who was assuming that? AFAICT the discussion was about whether a particular position is rational, not the people who hold that position. Every person has irrational thoughts, but that in no way means that all their thoughts are irrational.

Ok

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