Study: Believers' inferences about God's beliefs are uniquely egocentric

Nov 30, 2009
New research compares religious people's beliefs to their estimates of God's beliefs and the beliefs of other people. The research was led by Nicholas Epley, Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Credit: Dan Dry

Religious people tend to use their own beliefs as a guide in thinking about what God believes, but are less constrained when reasoning about other people's beliefs, according to new study published in the Nov. 30 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nicholas Epley, professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, led the research, which included a series of survey and neuroimaging studies to examine the extent to which people's own beliefs guide their predictions about God's beliefs. The findings of Epley and his co-authors at Australia's Monash University and UChicago extend existing work in psychology showing that people are often egocentric when they infer other people's beliefs.

The PNAS paper reports the results of seven separate studies. The first four include surveys of Boston rail commuters, UChicago undergraduate students and a nationally representative database of online respondents in the United States. In these surveys, participants reported their own belief about an issue, their estimated God's belief, along with a variety of others, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Major League Baseball's Barry Bonds, President George W. Bush, and an average American.

Two other studies directly manipulated people's own beliefs and found that inferences about God's beliefs tracked their own beliefs. Study participants were asked, for example, to write and deliver a speech that supported or opposed the death penalty in front of a video camera. Their beliefs were surveyed both before and after the speech.

The final study involved to measure the of test subjects as they reasoned about their own beliefs versus those of God or another person. The data demonstrated that reasoning about God's beliefs activated many of the same regions that become active when people reasoned about their own beliefs.

The researchers noted that people often set their moral compasses according to what they presume to be God's standards. "The central feature of a compass, however, is that it points north no matter what direction a person is facing," they conclude. "This research suggests that, unlike an actual compass, inferences about God's beliefs may instead point people further in whatever direction they are already facing."

But the research in no way denies the possibility that God's presumed beliefs also may provide guidance in situations where people are uncertain of their own beliefs, the co-authors noted.

More information: Believers' estimates of God's beliefs are more egocentric than estimates of other people's beliefs," Nov. 30, 2009, early edition of the , by Nicholas Epley, Benjamin A. Converse, Alexa Delbosc, George A. Monteleone and John T. Cacioppo.


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marjon
2.4 / 5 (7) Nov 30, 2009
"The first four include surveys of Boston rail commuters, UChicago undergraduate students and a nationally representative database of online respondents in the United States"

How many were people of faith and had studied the Bible?

Ronan
5 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2009
Marjon: Well, I'd bet that the majority were people of faith; atheists are always in a minority, no matter what. But why should it matter (for this study's purposes, I mean) whether or not they'd studied the Bible (or their holy book of preference; "God" generally means Yahweh, but it can be pretty flexible, and I imagine a certain number of the respondents weren't Christian)? Constraining it only to a subgroup of highly devoted scholars skews the results, and doesn't give you a good idea of how average people behave/think.
ealex
4.2 / 5 (9) Nov 30, 2009
Shocking. Gods are a reflection of ourselves. Who'd have thunk it.

IMHO more wasted study money, there are no new and certainly no surprising conclusions here.

Find some better uses for the world's cash. Feed a kid, grow a stem cell, etc.
nkalanaga
2.5 / 5 (14) Nov 30, 2009
Even atheists are "people of faith". It's impossible to prove the nonexistence of God, whether God exists or not, therefore that nonexistence has to be taken on faith.
otto1923
3.4 / 5 (7) Nov 30, 2009
I believe God believes he doesnt exist. Prove me wrong.
more wasted study money,
Its good to see it in print tho, isnt it?
JerryPark
2.4 / 5 (8) Nov 30, 2009
There have to be research projects to use research dollars -- and researchers generally conclude from such projects whatever it is that the researchers wants to prove.

Another waste of money.

A similar study about researchers could be titled:
"Researchers' inferences about God are uniquely egocentric", but you won't see such a study because researchers are not about to honestly admit to promoting their own biases.
otto1923
2.8 / 5 (4) Nov 30, 2009
Or would god still exist if everyone who believed in him were dead, and he/she/it was forgotten? Not until Judgement day when the faithful are raised in corporeal form you say?
bhiestand
4.4 / 5 (11) Nov 30, 2009
Even atheists are "people of faith". It's impossible to prove the nonexistence of God, whether God exists or not, therefore that nonexistence has to be taken on faith.

Even Zeus Deniers are "people of faith". It's impossible to prove the nonexistence of Zeus, whether Zeus exists or not, therefore that nonexistence has to be taken on faith.

Substitute the tooth fairy, unicorns, leprechauns, or Shiva as you wish.

Absence of belief does not, by definition, require belief. That's all atheists are, people who don't believe.
NeilFarbstein
1 / 5 (2) Nov 30, 2009
Stop asking god what he belives in and dont bother him about playing dice!
210
2 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
"How many were people of faith and had studied the Bible?"

BINGO!!!

A predilection for consumerized religion can be enhanced by embracing any given faith at an early age!
This is a poison pill for any test/poll data especially if personal expression is anecdotal. The Christian faith says,"...made in God's image..." so does that mean or imply we & God must to some degree THINK the same?!? Our 'thoughts' are not the same, but our moralistic thinking IS the same...? In open/muslim cultures how many women are required to wear a veil? Does this change my/her perception of my/her value or role in our culture AND our faith? In North America, Blacks were taught they were inferior to Whites... That is, White church-goers, thank God for their food and drink, got up and murdered another human being for the color of their skin! Was it the hate in religion/God or the lack of love in that culture that made this possible? What makes us any DIFFERENT than what we say the other guy IS?
Damon_Hastings
3.1 / 5 (8) Dec 01, 2009
Absence of belief does not, by definition, require belief. That's all atheists are, people who don't believe.

Well, atheism is actually a pretty broad umbrella. I think nkalanaga was referring to "strong atheism", which is what most people think of when they think of atheism. A strong atheist is someone who positively believes that there is no divinity. Now, of course, they can't prove there's no divinity; they just "know" it, in much the same way that a theist "knows" that divinity exists. It's an article of faith.

However, I think you're referring more to "weak atheism", also known as agnosticism. An agnostic (such as myself) has a complete lack of belief either way. We neither believe nor disbelieve. Therefore, the burden of proof never lies on the agnostic. But both theists and strong atheists carry a burden of proof (neither of which can ever be satisfied, imho.)

If you just say "atheist", it can lead to a lot of confusion and rancor. The term is ambiguous.
Smellyhat
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
@Ronan: marjon has a good point, actually.

I recall a reading recently that arab students with strongly religious backgrounds were less likely to be influenced by extremist jihad-via-terrorism teachings, as they better understood how greatly the jihadi beliefs diverged from the normal understandings of the Koran.

Likewise, in this instance one might think that a religious person who is familiar with a logically sophisticated sectarian doctrine would face a set of constraints when attempting to describe the deity's likely opinion that one with a looser understanding of their creed.

From what is presented, five out of the seven studies discussed do seem to beg the question about the origin of these beliefs. It seems unlikely that many persons of faith, being familiar to their understanding of the opinions of the deity, would disagree with that opinion in any significant way.
wiserd
1.8 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2009
210 - First, while there were certainly people who used the bible to justify bad things the evidence tends to run against your hypothesis - that fewer churchgoers engaged in atrocities than those who were atheists or non-devout.

Stastistically, socialism and racism have a strong correlation.

Also, this is a chicken and the egg problem. If a person believes that God is against the death penalty and they change their beliefs accordingly, how is that egocentric?

The researchers need to demonstrate that a person's beliefs about morality preceeded their belief in God, or their hypothesis is invalid.

In any case, both those who believed in spontaneous generation and those who believed in evolution believed their beliefs matched the natural world. Does that mean that scientists are 'egocentric?!'

jamesrm
4 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2009
"Stastistically, socialism and racism have a strong correlation."

From the "bureau of right wing nut job statistics" to gods ears my friend :)

Regards
James
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2009
The question was, what are God's beliefs.
How could anyone provide a reasonable answer unless they had read and studied his Word?
Given the poor attendance in churches theses days, I ask again, how many in the survey could provide an answer based upon the literature about God?
Vanhite
5 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
What God believes. Mmm. Let's make it easier. You have a better chance to know what an unknown person 240 miles from you believe in. We do not know what God believes in. We read the bible and we get told what he does not like.

But that is the extent of it. If you think you know what he believes in. Well done. Because I bet you would be wrong.
cakmn
3.8 / 5 (6) Dec 01, 2009
"God's beliefs" is meaningless because God simply IS - whatever that might mean to anyone who believes or knows that God is.

@ealex: Yes, God is, for any particular person, a reflection of his/her highest ideals. As one progresses along the spiritual path, one's ideals evolve which means one's concept of and beliefs about God also evolve.

@Damon: You're making distinctions that aren't helpful to clear and efficient communication. What you are calling a "strong atheist" is simply an atheist and what you are calling a "weak atheist" is simply an agnostic.

@Smellyhat: Yes, anyone who has a strong understanding of his/her religion and a deep faith would also have a strong and deep sense of self and, therefore, would be unlikely to be swayed by the arguments and enticements offered to try to recruit fighters for any kind of "holy war." An essential aspect of all religions is some formulation of the Golden Rule which would keep one from going astray.
tkjtkj
3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 01, 2009
Balderdash! Any article which capitalizes the 'G' of a deity has done nothing but to reveal its bias. And WHY is this in a sience-related site at all????
Smellyhat
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
@cakmn: No, that was neither what I said nor what had been inferred by the researchers interviewing arab students. Rather, being familiar with mainstream islamic doctrine, the students realized how crazy the extremist version sounded. It was ABSOLUTELY NOT due to their deep faith and strong sense of self allowing them to ignore arguments and 'enticements'. Rather, they were familiar with versions of faith which DID NOT NEED TO IGNORE ARGUMENTS to be maintained. The type of faith you are describing might feel good, but IT IS DANGEROUS TO ALL THE OTHER HUMANS AROUND YOU.

danman5000
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
I don't understand what is meant by "God's beliefs." Since such a being is omniscient, he would just know all facts and wouldn't have to have faith in anything. A "belief" requires a lack of knowledge, otherwise it's a fact. He also couldn't "believe" something is right or wrong since he created the concepts in the first place and applied them to what morals he, being the creator of the universe, applied to it.
Damon_Hastings
5 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
I don't understand what is meant by "God's beliefs." ...He also couldn't "believe" something is right or wrong since he created the concepts in the first place and applied them to what morals he, being the creator of the universe, applied to it.

When the article says "God's beliefs", I think they're using a layman's term for "moral values as defined by God." For example, would God consider abortion to be wrong? If God says it's wrong, then of course it's wrong by definition (assuming you accept that definition!) -- but people might disagree on whether God says it's wrong. Even lifelong Biblical scholars can have heated debates over Biblical interpretation. And, of course, the Bible is not the only holy book that humans follow!
Ronan
4.5 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
"The question was, what are God's beliefs.
How could anyone provide a reasonable answer unless they had read and studied his Word?
Given the poor attendance in churches theses days, I ask again, how many in the survey could provide an answer based upon the literature about God?"

Ah...Apologies, Marjon; I think we were talking at cross purposes. If "What are God's beliefs" was the question, then (granting the existence of said deity), you're quite right, and it would have been best to seek out those with the best knowledge of the Bible. I read the study, though, as being a means of interpreting how people interpret the intentions of God--not whether they were RIGHT or not, but just what they thought. If that's the goal, it makes sense to me to not pick and choose who you survey, but just try to get the broadest sample size you can, so that you pick up both the Bible scholars, the casual believers who haven't been to church in a decade, and everyone in between.
Damon_Hastings
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
Damon: You're making distinctions that aren't helpful to clear and efficient communication. What you are calling a "strong atheist" is simply an atheist and what you are calling a "weak atheist" is simply an agnostic.

That depends on who you ask. nkalanaga was using the term to mean "strong atheist", while bhiestand used it to mean "weak atheist", and so they were arguing at cross purposes. And I see this all the time: people just assume that others have the same definition for "atheist", but they don't.

Using such an ambiguous term also encourages people to blur the distinction between strong and weak atheism in their own minds, even though they're extremely, fundamentally, different. As an agnostic, I consider Christians and strong atheists to be more similar to each other than they are to me. They are both "believers".
danman5000
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
Thanks for the clarification Damon. It still seems like a weird phrase to me, but it makes a bit more sense now.
Damon_Hastings
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
Now, there is an official "correct" definition of atheist -- but most people (including yourself, cakmn) don't use it that way. The official definition DOES include agnostics!! (See http://en.wikiped..._atheism ) This is the source of all the confusion, and agnostics live in the middle of it. So it can be a real pain for us. :-P
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
Balderdash! Any article which capitalizes the 'G' of a deity has done nothing but to reveal its bias. And WHY is this in a sience-related site at all????


Such tolerance of others!
thales
5 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
"God" is a proper noun, as indicated by the lack of an article "a" or "the" preceding it; it should therefore be capitalized. Lowercase "god", on the other hand, is just a noun. It's a matter of grammar. I wouldn't write "zeus" just because Zeus doesn't exist.
Bobr
1 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
I had a friend who years ago had a near death experience, and said that they met GOD. While the details were somewhat fuzzy, GOD was described as warm, accepting, and that SHE had the most wonderful ebony skin with mahogany overtones.

Why does everyone always insist that divinity be male.

:)
Damon_Hastings
5 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
Divinity is typically seen as male in the Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), but I think most adherents of these religions are open to the idea that God in fact transcends gender and is neither truly male nor truly female. Gender is an aspect of sexually reproducing species, which would open up all kinds of questions about His parents... :-P
wiyosaya
5 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
Personally, I think this article has a disturbing connotation:

God believes what the "believer" believes.
defunctdiety
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
Conceptually if something exists, assigning that characteristic precludes that it at some point must not exist. Much like light and darkness, one necessitates the other. If there Is only light or only dark, you can't ascribe a state to it as such because that is all that Is. The same goes for existence, if something exists (such as sentience), it must at some point not exist otherwise the state occupied is something else conceptually.

If something is Eternal, no beginning no end (as is ascribed to most deities), it transcends existence. It Is. Therefore, no god can exist as such, and therefore cannot be ascribed characteristics of existence such as are commonly ascribed to deities (divinity, wrath, etc.), as those preclude existence and as we've established, deities cannot exist.

Interestingly, what is the only other phenomenon we can ascribe Eternal to? Energy. In an enclosed system (such as existence, the universe, man's experience of Reality) energy cannot be created or destroyed.
dtxx
1 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
I think what they are saying is that people find a way to bend religion to whatever their thinking is. If someone hates gay people, for example, they can find plenty of support for that in many religions. But, if someone else is tolerant of gay people then he can find things in most religions saying to not judge and embrace your fellow humans.

We see scientists all the time bending data to their beliefs. I'm talking hard data; numbersets. If someone wants to show AGW or disprove AGW would be one example that comes to mind. There is nothing so "black and white" in any religious text. Take "spare the rod, spoil the child." Lots of kids got beatings over that one, and other parents took it to mean don't hit your kids. The high level of ambiguity in human languages tends to encourage this.
bhiestand
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
That depends on who you ask. nkalanaga was using the term to mean "strong atheist", while bhiestand used it to mean "weak atheist", and so they were arguing at cross purposes. And I see this all the time: people just assume that others have the same definition for "atheist", but they don't.

I didn't mean to give off the impression that I was only talking about weak atheists. I was talking about the umbrella term, atheist in general, as being someone who lacks belief in a god.

Although I also maintain that no "faith" is required for strong atheism. You wouldn't say faith is required to believe leprechauns to be an obvious fairy tale.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
Much like light and darkness, one necessitates the other.
Exactly. So how could the god of everything be only good? Xians excuse this disconnect the same ways they excuse the absence of positive evidence (no written secular accounts for instance) and the presence of negative evidence (small holyland settlements in place of solomons kingdom, adulteration and mistakes in the bible) by saying we're not supposed to understand which is the ultimate unintellectual, gutless copout.

The god of good was conceived in order to define who your enemies are. What is good for you is bad for them and vice versa. What they do is bad because they are godless and can thus be killed with a clear conscience. Bad things done to 'bad' people has been justified throughout history expressly because religion gives its adherents the right to do so.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
The article is shortsighted in that it doesnt acknowledge the political power that religions generate, to define what god thinks for a population and to motivate them to act out gods will. Priests and politicians are more than willing to tell the people what gods will is for them. When war is necessary they can be convinced by invoking the old testament. When conciliation and forgiveness are needed, the new testament has all the answers. A time for war and a time for peace- they even tell you WHY it was written. A beautiful system.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009


The god of good was conceived in order to define who your enemies are. What is good for you is bad for them and vice versa. What they do is bad because they are godless and can thus be killed with a clear conscience. Bad things done to 'bad' people has been justified throughout history expressly because religion gives its adherents the right to do so.


Sounds like the AGW religion. Deniers should be abused, ridiculed, denied their right to employment.....
radiohalos
1 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
Centuries ago, God wrote His law in stone (maybe God's beliefs here...), and we're still supposed to keep it today according to christians. They also said that it's absolutely true that violating any part of God's law always brings negative consequences. i.e. "...as crime overruns our cities, doesn't it make sense that for peace and safety we need to obey the laws of the land? Well, this same principle applies with God's law - the Ten Commandments - in our own lives too! They aren't called the ten suggestions, ten recommendations, or the ten greatest ideas. Since so much is at stake, you should take a few minutes to seriously consider your responsibility"...those are God's beliefs according to christianity.

If people doesn't read the Bible, how can they know about God's beleifs even when it was only for a random statistical survey..?
physpuppy
4 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
Take "spare the rod, spoil the child." Lots of kids got beatings over that one, and other parents took it to mean don't hit your kids. The high level of ambiguity in human languages tends to encourage this.


Especially when studying a text that was translated from ancient language. Some folk here talk about the bible as if it were a singular entity - after all there are multiple versions, translations, with added and omitted parts. Even if I were to stick with Christianity should I look at the King James, the New American, New Jerusalem, the Book of Mormon? Perhaps I could reconcile the dead sea scrolls and other omitted works as heretical, but could the folks that declared that have been mislead in some way or maybe they are absolutely correct?

Here is a nice list of bible versions:

http://www.tyndal...ndex.htm

physpuppy
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
If people doesn't read the Bible, how can they know about God's beleifs even when it was only for a random statistical survey..?


Do you think that people doing this kind of study wouldn't have good understanding of the beliefs of the people that they are studying - the Bible (at least the one(s) that the people in the study read would be primary source so I would suppose that they have read it in some way, as well as interpretations.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
The article is shortsighted in that it doesnt acknowledge the political power that religions generate, to define what god thinks for a population and to motivate them to act out gods will. Priests and politicians are more than willing to tell the people what gods will is for them. When war is necessary they can be convinced by invoking the old testament. When conciliation and forgiveness are needed, the new testament has all the answers. A time for war and a time for peace- they even tell you WHY it was written. A beautiful system.


Yes, gods like diversity, political correctness, AGW, economic 'justice',.....justify all sorts coercion.
Damon_Hastings
3 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
Although I also maintain that no "faith" is required for strong atheism. You wouldn't say faith is required to believe leprechauns to be an obvious fairy tale.

"Faith" is defined as belief without evidence (more or less). If you believe leprechauns to be a fairy tale, but you have no supporting evidence, then this belief is an article of faith, by definition. Of course, that doesn't mean I'm going to run to the store for leprechaun traps. ;-)

There is a misconception among strong atheists that negative beliefs carry no burden of proof. But suppose I give you a box and say it contains a gerbil. You say "You have not proven the gerbil exists. Therefore the box is empty." This is obviously flawed logic, yes? And so your claim is just as specious as mine, until the box is opened. Okay, and now further suppose that the box is unopenable (and soundproof, etc). Does this suddenly make your claim valid?
AdvancedAtheist
3 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
Well, atheism is actually a pretty broad umbrella. I think nkalanaga was referring to "strong atheism", which is what most people think of when they think of atheism. A strong atheist is someone who positively believes that there is no divinity. Now, of course, they can't prove there's no divinity; they just "know" it, in much the same way that a theist "knows" that divinity exists. It's an article of faith.


Specious distinction. Compare atheism with veganism. All vegans share the belief in not doing something (using animal products); but the activist vegans go further by writing books, having debates with meat eaters and giving speeches about how carnivory poisons everything. In other words, on behalf of all vegans, they attack the world view and values of animal exploiters. Yet most of the low-profile vegans would probably consider themselves as "strong" as the militant ones.
radiohalos
1 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
If people doesn't read the Bible, how can they know about God's beleifs even when it was only for a random statistical survey..?


Do you think that people doing this kind of study wouldn't have good understanding of the beliefs of the people that they are studying - the Bible (at least the one(s) that the people in the study read would be primary source so I would suppose that they have read it in some way, as well as interpretations.


That's the point my little physpuppy...apparently they don't have any Bible knowledge.
AnarchoFuturist
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
Damon, your comparison of God to a gerbil is flawed because unlike the word "God", "gerbil" has a coherent and testable definition. This is my main problem with agnostics and weak atheists is that they assume there is a coherent and testable definition of "God".

Let me ask you something, if you opened that box and it was empty, would you be comfortable saying "there is no gerbil in this box", or would you say you don't know? I for one feel totally comfortable saying the gerbil is not in the box.

The word "God" is either meaningless or self-contradictory, like a square circle. The strong atheist says that self-contradictory entities cannot exist. I feel just as comfortable saying "square circles don't exist" as I do saying "a scientific conclusion cannot be reached without evidence".If you want to suggest this thing called "God"(or anything else) exists and then ask for evidence, you must answer the first fundamental question, "what is a God?".
nkalanaga
5 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
I agree with the distinction between strong and weak atheists, and was referring to the strong ones. In the sense I was using it, an agnostic doesn't believe there is, or isn't, a god, while the atheist actively believes there is no god. The agnostic, which includes me, doesn't believe either way.

Incidentally, (strong) atheism is legally considered a religion by the US military. I don't know about the IRS...
bhiestand
3 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
I think AnarchoFuturist brought up the real heart of the argument... nobody seems to be able to properly define their god, and when people describe the personality and beliefs of their god, they tend to be talking about themselves. As this study has shown.

I'll also add that the gerbil in the box example rather proves my point when taken to its conclusion. We've x-rayed the box, poked holes in it and taken a peak, shook the box, did everything we could to try to find some evidence of a gerbil in the box. Now that we've opened it and looked inside and said "There's no gerbil in this box!" the gerbil believers have told us that the gerbil is invisible and moves in mysterious ways.

Strong atheists have asked for a proper definition of "God" and been given none. We evaluated the evidence and found it lacking. All evidence points to there not being a currently active personal god.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
I believe the whole point of God is to develop faith. The entire theme of the Bible is to teach humans to have faith.
Viktor Frankl believed faith, not necessarily in God, helped him survive the NAZI death camps.
Numerous authors have documented how the power of positive thinking, faith, enable them to achieve so much in their lives.
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
I believe the whole point of God is to develop faith.

Too bad it's usually packaged with sexism and other bigotry, as well as the general goal of quelling individual thought and freedom with arbitrary moralism.

The whole point of God (religion) is to control people.

You can have faith, in humanity, in yourself, in the meaning and purpose of life, in anything and everything, without fabricating this system for social and moral control.

Of course one can have religion, and God even, without the attempt at control, indeed many realize the unequaled value of individual freedom in seeking true faith through their own intensely personal spirituality and self-reflection. Most people just don't want that kind of responsibility.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
"Too bad it's usually packaged with sexism and other bigotry, as well as the general goal of quelling individual thought and freedom with arbitrary moralism."

I wonder how all those people of faith could have started the Enlightenment if faith in God was only meant to control people.
Jesus never forced anyone to follow him and never advocated the use of force by anyone to encourage anyone to follow Him.
thales
4 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
Well, this same principle applies with God's law - the Ten Commandments - in our own lives too! They aren't called the ten suggestions, ten recommendations, or the ten greatest ideas. Since so much is at stake, you should take a few minutes to seriously consider your responsibility"...those are God's beliefs according to christianity.


Yeah, God's top 10 priorities. My favorite is the one where God prohibits boiling a baby goat in its mother's milk. I mean, rape, kidnapping, torture, and starvation didn't quite make the list, but it is important to maintain good cooking practices.

http://www.bibleg...sion=KJV

This is one of the problems with pointing to any of the religious texts to derive "God's beliefs" - they are contradictory and ambiguous. It's not really surprising that people turn to subjective judgment instead.
otto1923
3 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
Jesus never forced anyone to follow him and never advocated the use of force by anyone to encourage anyone to follow Him.
No but the Romans who commandeered your religion and turned it into something useful, did. Your church was established on the blood of millions of martyrs throughout the ages whose ideas of how god thought were a little different than the status quo. How many people in the above study wouldve been burnt for expressing their god concept back then (or today in Tehran or tomorrow in Duluth)? Still fishin eh marion?
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
Jesus never forced anyone to follow him
Of course, offering to heal your sores and your blindness (and especially the promise of escape from death) in return for your commitment can be just as effective as muhammads sword. Miracles dont happen and still the people buy into it, strange.
enantiomer2000
2 / 5 (1) Dec 01, 2009
"But suppose I give you a box and say it contains a gerbil. You say 'You have not proven the gerbil exists. Therefore the box is empty.' This is obviously flawed logic, yes?"

When deducing the validity of statements, I use my known context of the working universe. I would probably look at the box and if it was of the right size, I would consider that the gerbil might be in there. I know about gerbils as I have observed their existence. If you told me that God was in the box, well I wouldn't believe you. I have never seen God, nobody has ever observed Him/Her/It. In fact there is no direct proof of this God concept at all. Therefore, it is perfectly logical to doubt your claim about God in the box because it doesn't fit within the known universe.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
@physpuppen
singular entity - after all there are multiple versions, translations, with added and omitted parts
you could even branch out, explore the catholic books not in the Protestant canon (macabees, Ecclesiasticus), or the apochrypha (book of Enoch, gospel of Mary magdeline, the one Jesus loved nudge nudge) or even try the Babylonian enuma elish which the OT was copied from. Much to research. I like how 'sea of reeds' became the red sea over time.
marjon
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
Jesus never forced anyone to follow him
Of course, offering to heal your sores and your blindness (and especially the promise of escape from death) in return for your commitment can be just as effective as muhammads sword. Miracles dont happen and still the people buy into it, strange.


How horrible, believe one can be well and Jesus makes it so.
Evidence suggests people who believe they will get well have a better chance of doing so.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
Jesus never forced anyone to follow him and never advocated the use of force by anyone to encourage anyone to follow Him.
No but the Romans who commandeered your religion and turned it into something useful, did. Your church was established on the blood of millions of martyrs throughout the ages whose ideas of how god thought were a little different than the status quo. How many people in the above study wouldve been burnt for expressing their god concept back then (or today in Tehran or tomorrow in Duluth)? Still fishin eh marion?


Why blame Jesus for the sins of man?
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Dec 01, 2009
Jesus never forced anyone to follow him and never advocated the use of force by anyone to encourage anyone to follow Him.
No but the Romans who commandeered your religion and turned it into something useful, did. Your church was established on the blood of millions of martyrs throughout the ages whose ideas of how god thought were a little different than the status quo. How many people in the above study wouldve been burnt for expressing their god concept back then (or today in Tehran or tomorrow in Duluth)? Still fishin eh marion?


How many people were murdered by socialists in the past century trying to make the perfect secular state? AGW believers have even expressed committing violence against the skeptics.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2009
This is the source of all the confusion, and agnostics live in the middle of it. So it can be a real pain for us. :-P
Wouldn't say so. While theists suffer from not being able to convince other people that one or more supernatural beings exist and (strong) atheists suffer from not being able to convince other people that there don't exist any supernatural beings only the agnostics don't feel that pain. They just don't care.
innuendo
5 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2009
But this was reported by the "PNAS" - great acronym chaps!
thales
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
But this was reported by the "PNAS" - great acronym chaps!

Sounds like you're suffering from PNAS envy.
CarolinaScotsman
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
My, all this research and fancy language just to verify the statement, "Man creates God in his own image."

In my own view, God does exist, but He (and I use the male pronoun out of habit, gender probably doesn't apply) is so far above us that there is no way we could concieve of who or what he is.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2009
But this was reported by the "PNAS" - great acronym chaps!

Sounds like you're suffering from PNAS envy.


Really high brow comments!
Damon_Hastings
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
But suppose I give you a box and say it contains a gerbil. You say "You have not proven the gerbil exists. Therefore the box is empty." This is obviously flawed logic, yes?

Damon, your comparison of God to a gerbil is flawed because unlike the word "God", "gerbil" has a coherent and testable definition.

Yes, well, I was arguing against a strong atheist position, which implicitly accepts "God" as a meaningful term. ;-)

You, on the other hand, seem to be a "theological noncognitivist". A noncognitivist says the term "God" has no cognitively meaningful definition, and therefore any talk about God is nonsensical. A strong atheist says "There is no God", but this claim is nonsensical unless "God" has a definition. So the noncognitivist says this claim is neither true nor false; in fact, it's not even a claim. Thus, I consider noncognitivists to be fellow agnostics (though there's some debate on that.)

In other words, I agree with you. ;-)
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2009
Why blame Jesus for the sins of man?
The legend of Jesus the man, rabbi, and evangelist was replaced (by force) by roman-jesus the supernatural man-god, hercules/heracles incarnate, complete with 3 personas in one and the ability to escape death like the phoenix. If he was not just another charlatan prophet roaming the levant back then, he might well be appalled at the charicature you all worship today, and of all the monumental sins committed in his name. But really, as any original bible tales have been adulterated beyond recognition, and no independent accounts to corroborate, and absolutely no physical evidence whatsoever, there is no way to tell whether he or any biblical character ever even existed or not. Like Paul Bunyan and his big blue holy ox Leviathan. You sure youre in the right website marjoe?
marjon
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
Why blame Jesus for the sins of man?
The legend of Jesus the man, rabbi, and evangelist was replaced (by force) by roman-jesus the supernatural man-god, hercules/heracles incarnate, complete with 3 personas in one and the ability to escape death like the phoenix. If he was not just another charlatan prophet roaming the levant back then, he might well be appalled at the charicature you all worship today, and of all the monumental sins committed in his name. But really, as any original bible tales have been adulterated beyond recognition, and no independent accounts to corroborate, and absolutely no physical evidence whatsoever, there is no way to tell whether he or any biblical character ever even existed or not. Like Paul Bunyan and his big blue holy ox Leviathan. You sure youre in the right website marjoe?

Regardless, what is wrong with 'love your neighbor as yourself'? And, Jesus never advocated or used violence. The whole point of the exercise is faith, not proof.
Damon_Hastings
5 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2009
Regardless, what is wrong with 'love your neighbor as yourself'?

Nothing. If only Christians actually practiced that.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2009
Regardless, what is wrong with 'love your neighbor as yourself'?

Nothing. If only Christians actually practiced that.


If people don't follow the command of Jesus, how could they believe he said that?
That destroys the gist of the study.
Damon_Hastings
5 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2009
People believed they were obeying Jesus/God's commands when they slaughtered countless innocent Muslims, without provocation, during the crusades. They quoted scripture to justify it. They quoted scripture when they burned "witches" during the Inquisition. Jefferson Davis famously said "Slavery was established by decree of Almighty God and is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments from Genesis to Revelation". Later, people quoted scripture to justify banning interracial marriage, and, most recently, to ban gay marriage. People will say that they are "loving their neighbor" even as they do all of these things. Jesus' commands are open to interpretation.
otto1923
4 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2009
Regardless, what is wrong with 'love your neighbor as yourself'?
'Jesus' the commitee was only paraphrasing earlier pronouncements:
http://en.wikiped...(ethics)
-Better to acknowledge the original sources.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
Ive had this theory about xian 'love' and the constitution of the church... as growth was to be encouraged in xian europe in order to support large armies and a consolidated culture, what members might dilute such an imperative? Homosexuality had to be vilified to encourage rapid pop growth, but pragmatic Planners knew there would always be the few too pure in spirit to participate in normal family life. What better source of loyal clergy than this subgroup who could find refuge and acceptance in rectories, seminaries, monasteries and nunneries? Their icons were the epitomy of their own self image: a softspoken, gentle, longhaired, apparently celibate young god, surrounded by male admirers; and his mother, a woman who was never sullied by the touch of a man? The concept love had a dual meaning for this religion. Both constantine and charlemagne issued written admonitions regarding the debauchery in monk houses and convents. It would explain the updated golden rule.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
People believed they were obeying Jesus/God's commands when they slaughtered countless innocent Muslims, without provocation, during the crusades. They quoted scripture to justify it. They quoted scripture when they burned "witches" during the Inquisition. Jefferson Davis famously said "Slavery was established by decree of Almighty God and is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments from Genesis to Revelation". Later, people quoted scripture to justify banning interracial marriage, and, most recently, to ban gay marriage. People will say that they are "loving their neighbor" even as they do all of these things. Jesus' commands are open to interpretation.


People claim the US Constitution gives them the right to kill babies and redistribute wealth.
I'll stick with first principles and use them as the standard.
Damon_Hastings
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
By "first principles", do you mean something other than scripture? Because scripture is what everyone in the examples above were using "as the standard".
marjon
not rated yet Dec 03, 2009
By "first principles", do you mean something other than scripture? Because scripture is what everyone in the examples above were using "as the standard".


I'll settle with the last seven commandments, Jesus's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself and the US Constitution.
Profissimo
not rated yet Dec 04, 2009
Who would be naive enough to believe in a god that was as naive as himself?
CarolinaScotsman
5 / 5 (3) Dec 04, 2009
"I'll settle with the last seven commandments, Jesus's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself and the US Constitution"

Elevating the constitution to the status of holy book and turning patriotism into religion is one of the major problems in the U.S. today.
thales
not rated yet Dec 04, 2009
I'll settle with the last seven commandments, Jesus's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself and the US Constitution.


Marjon, this list doesn't make sense (though I will say "the US Constitution" made me giggle - what, no Magna Carta?). Do you know what a first principle is? From Wikipedia:

"A first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption."

An argument could be made that some of the statements in the US Constitution and the Bible could be derived from first principles (e.g. the prohibition against murder is based on a principle that human life has value; the Constitution assumes certain principles such as "human welfare is good"). But I would be surprised if either the Bible or the Constitution contain an actual first principle.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 04, 2009
Why blame Jesus for the sins of man?


Jesus was supposedly God personified. Meaning that for all intents and purposes Jesus=God.

God allegedly created everything, including sin.

Which means that all Sins, their roots, and their cause were created by your "creator".
marjon
not rated yet Dec 05, 2009
I'll settle with the last seven commandments, Jesus's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself and the US Constitution.


Marjon, this list doesn't make sense (though I will say "the US Constitution" made me giggle - what, no Magna Carta?). Do you know what a first principle is? From Wikipedia:

"A first principle is a basic, foundational proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption."

An argument could be made that some of the statements in the US Constitution and the Bible could be derived from first principles (e.g. the prohibition against murder is based on a principle that human life has value; the Constitution assumes certain principles such as "human welfare is good"). But I would be surprised if either the Bible or the Constitution contain an actual first principle.


Why does human life have value? Who says?
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Dec 05, 2009
People believed they were obeying Jesus/God's commands when they slaughtered countless innocent Muslims, without provocation, during the crusades. They quoted scripture to justify it.

Yes. But to grasp the perversity of crusades we have to understand that crusaders don't slaughter "only" enemies. In 1204 they turned against Konstantinopolis, the largest Christian city of the world, and slaughtered the Christian inhabitants. too.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2009
People claim the US Constitution gives them the right to kill babies and redistribute wealth.
[1] Explicitly or by your conclusion?
[2] How did the wealthy become wealthy without redistribution?
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2009
Why does human life have value? Who says?

It's a useful social convention.
Historical evidence shows that societies without this convention are instable.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 05, 2009
Why does human life have value? Who says?

It's a useful social convention.
Historical evidence shows that societies without this convention are instable.


Then the West is unstable as it supports euthanasia and abortion.

But I agree the the authors of the Declaration if Independence were correct, Life and Liberty...
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 05, 2009

[2] How did the wealthy become wealthy without redistribution?


Generation and retention.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2009
How did the wealthy become wealthy without redistribution?
Generation and retention.

Giving wealth to one's heirs is selective redistribution to people who have done no work for that wealth.
Retention of what? When you are born there's nothing to withhold.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 05, 2009
Why does human life have value? Who says?
It's a useful social convention.
Historical evidence shows that societies without this convention are instable.
Then the West is unstable as it supports euthanasia and abortion.
Involuntary euthanasia is not supported by any country AFAIK.
Voluntary euthanasia is nothing to deplore.

Abortion is not killing of human life. It's the right of every pregnant human being to be the sovereign of one's body.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 05, 2009
Besides, abortion and birth control are the only things saving this overcrowded planet from total social collapse, ecological ruin, and major superpower wars. So far.
ONE BILLION ABORTIONS beginning 2-3 gens ago and enabled expressly by the destruction of religion-based cultures throughout Eurasia courtesy of the greatest wars and revolutions ever staged Haleluia. 'I love it when a Plan comes together.' -BJ Barakas
marjon
not rated yet Dec 05, 2009
Why does human life have value? Who says?
It's a useful social convention.
Historical evidence shows that societies without this convention are instable.
Then the West is unstable as it supports euthanasia and abortion.
Involuntary euthanasia is not supported by any country AFAIK.
Voluntary euthanasia is nothing to deplore.

Abortion is not killing of human life. It's the right of every pregnant human being to be the sovereign of one's body.


What kind of life is baby? I has the same number of chromosomes as most humans. It looks like human. It acts like a human, why is it not a human life form?
Truth
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
We had a tornado pass thru here a few years ago. It destroyed many houses, one of which belonged to my co-worker, a religious "zealot". The tornado completely wrecked her house, but she and her husband escaped injury. She later loudly proclaimed that she was "annointed of God" because she had been spared death. I said that, well, I must be even more annointed of God because my house wasn't even touched. She suddenly got the "deer caught in the headlights" expression on her face, couldn't think of a way out, and then took off in a huff. She never spoke to me again. Apparently, after what I said, she didn't feel quite so "annointed". Hence, I believe what this article says: we all see what we want to see.
MatthiasF
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
Internet article with the word "God" in title = hundreds of comments from crazies of all types.

Gotta love the Internet!
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
What kind of life is baby? I has the same number of chromosomes as most humans. It looks like human. It acts like a human, why is it not a human life form?


Spell check!!!

What kind of life is a baby? It has the same number of chromosomes as most humans. It looks like a human. It acts like a human. Why is it not a human life.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
We had a tornado pass thru here a few years ago. It destroyed many houses, one of which belonged to my co-worker, a religious "zealot". The tornado completely wrecked her house, but she and her husband escaped injury. She later loudly proclaimed that she was "annointed of God" because she had been spared death. I said that, well, I must be even more annointed of God because my house wasn't even touched. She suddenly got the "deer caught in the headlights" expression on her face, couldn't think of a way out, and then took off in a huff. She never spoke to me again. Apparently, after what I said, she didn't feel quite so "annointed". Hence, I believe what this article says: we all see what we want to see.


Your comment says more about what you and your neighbor believe than about what God may believe.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2009
I don't think you realize how greatly you limit your life and your perception of beauty by establishing an all powerful sovreign being?

Under god there are no coincidences.

Under no god, coincidences happen, and that makes life even more beautiful, more happy, more sad, and over all greater than life under a god.

The faithful think life is empty and meaningless without god, when the opposite is true., The only difference between the faithful and the faithless is fear. Fear of what life is really about. The faithful require meaning, while the faithless are happy enough to go find it on their own.

ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
marjon - it is a human lifeform, there is no doubt about it. But to me, quality of life is more important than life itself. Therefore, abortion should be allowed, but strictly controlled, so that the mother and the baby being aborted would not suffer (..must be done before the nervous system is developed etc..).

Ask yourself: If my parents did decide to abort me, would it matter to me if I wasnt even conscious? For me, the honest answer is no, it wouldnt.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
marjon - it is a human lifeform, there is no doubt about it. But to me, quality of life is more important than life itself. Therefore, abortion should be allowed, but strictly controlled, so that the mother and the baby being aborted would not suffer (..must be done before the nervous system is developed etc..).

Ask yourself: If my parents did decide to abort me, would it matter to me if I wasnt even conscious? For me, the honest answer is no, it wouldnt.


What is 'quality of life'? Thank God our human ancestors were more concerned about life and offspring than their own selfish needs. Historically, those who are most concerned about their personal 'quality of life' did so at the expense of others' 'quality of life'. Tyrants like Castro, Mugabe and Ill come to mind.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2009
The faithful require meaning, while the faithless are happy enough to go find it on their own.
Yes. And that's why the majority of people need some faith, some religion. For the majority of people is too weak to find their own, meaningful way through life all by themselves.
Weakness is not evil. But weakness attracts evil and is prone to be misused. The weak in most cases are misused by those whom they trust.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
Yes. And that's why the majority of people need some faith, some religion. For the majority of people is too weak to find their own, meaningful way through life all by themselves.
Weakness is not evil. But weakness attracts evil and is prone to be misused. The weak in most cases are misused by those whom they trust.


And what prevents the church from doing the same?

Your supposition on faith is premised by assuming that people who do not hold religion have faith in nothing, and that couldn't be further from the truth. You also pre-suppose that the church can do no wrong, which we all know is not true.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2009
Yes. And that's why the majority of people need some faith, some religion. For the majority of people is too weak to find their own, meaningful way through life all by themselves.
Weakness is not evil. But weakness attracts evil and is prone to be misused. The weak in most cases are misused by those whom they trust.

And what prevents the church from doing the same?
Nothing - as we all know by historical evidence.
Your supposition on faith is premised by assuming that people who do not hold religion have faith in nothing,
No.
and that couldn't be further from the truth.
Yes.
You also pre-suppose that the church can do no wrong,
No.
which we all know is not true.
Yes.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
You also pre-suppose that the church can do no wrong, which we all know is not true
Religions are the ultimate users and abusers. That's what they're designed to do! They take a common human failing and turn it into an institution. Effective and useful, but their time is at an end. We don't need them anymore. This will be demonstrated with the one last great rampaging religion left; a revolt to rival the French or the Russian. Another grand concept will hit the human trash heap. A lesson for all time. The world will have had enough of religion.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (1) Dec 06, 2009


What is 'quality of life'? Thank God our human ancestors were more concerned about life and offspring than their own selfish needs. Historically, those who are most concerned about their personal 'quality of life' did so at the expense of others' 'quality of life'. Tyrants like Castro, Mugabe and Ill come to mind.


By quality of life I meant mothers freedom of choice and babys right to be born wanted. If abortion is available and mother still decides to have the baby, it is clear that she wants it and cares about it, not about her selfish needs.
Also, abortion, if done well, is not at the expense of anyone, so your comparation to Castro, Mugabe is wrong.
ivandurakov
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
This sounds more like secularists projecting their own beliefs on those don't share their own views. Specifically, the concept of "everyone has their own truth within" in the usual postmodernist vein. Those who "do it by the book" are branded fundamentalists and inflexible. Make up your mind which way you don't like it, please.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
mothers freedom of choice
Ha! Mechanics of the Freedom to Choose:
'Well, I dunno, sex? Well ok, if that's what you want...'
'You're what? Pregnant?? You'll get it then, right? No- listen you slut, you WILL get an abortion, you understand?' (cellphone conversation overheard outside a truckers motel)
-Most abortions I submit are gotten by women who are incapable of making decisions for themselves. I once knew a guy whose gf had had 4 abortions. The REASON for their legal availability is population control, not the relative freedom of people who don't really know the difference. Religions would force these unfortunates to be born into a life of misery, growing up to be the kind of idiots their parents were.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
-And then to slowly starve or to be shunted off to the battlefield in a world again filled way beyond capacity. Religions will tell you that god will provide for however many kids you want to have, another lie in return for service. And when they start to wail from hunger you will be willing to do anything for that institution which promises to feed them. We westerners have no idea how bad it can get, and how quickly it can happen.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
Yes. And that's why the majority of people need some faith, some religion. For the majority of people is too weak to find their own, meaningful way through life all by themselves.


This confuses me. 100% of all people are born ignorant, do we therefore let them live in ignorance? No - we try to teach.

So what if the majority of people are weaklings who could turn to religion as an 'easy out'. Why not help them to find inner strength so that they don't need that crutch?
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
Religions are the ultimate users and abusers. That's what they're designed to do! They take a common human failing and turn it into an institution.


Governments top religion hands down. They use common human failings like greed and envy and turn them it laws that discriminate and steal.
It has been hundreds of years since any religion in the West could use the power of the sword or gun. Government still has such power.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
Yes. And that's why the majority of people need some faith, some religion. For the majority of people is too weak to find their own, meaningful way through life all by themselves.


This confuses me. 100% of all people are born ignorant, do we therefore let them live in ignorance? No - we try to teach.

So what if the majority of people are weaklings who could turn to religion as an 'easy out'. Why not help them to find inner strength so that they don't need that crutch?


Millions of people find strength in reading the Bible. Why do you ridicule what works for them?
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
The faithful require meaning, while the faithless are happy enough to go find it on their own.
Yes. And that's why the majority of people need some faith, some religion. For the majority of people is too weak to find their own, meaningful way through life all by themselves.
Weakness is not evil. But weakness attracts evil and is prone to be misused. The weak in most cases are misused by those whom they trust.


Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.'
Max Planck "

Yes, the founder of quantum theory was weak.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
common human failings
Sorry marduk, these other guys can rub you but I don't feed trolls.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
By quality of life I meant mothers freedom of choice ...


Yes, a mother's 'freedom' to regret her decision to kill her baby for the rest of her life. Just as the infamous 'Jane Roe' has done.
To paraphrase Stan Lee, with great freedom comes great responsibility.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
So what if the majority of people are weaklings who could turn to religion as an 'easy out'. Why not help them to find inner strength so that they don't need that crutch?


Why do you think religion is an 'easy out'? People struggle their whole lives trying to live up the example set by Jesus to love their neighbor as themselves and to keep faith with God.
It seems much easier to follow the popular, secular, feel good fad of the day.
rjm1percent
not rated yet Dec 06, 2009
It seems much easier to follow the popular, secular, feel good fad of the day.


Hah, then why not just do that? If it's easier, provides more freedom to the individual without adhering to some strict guidelines set by an arbitrary 'infinite spaceman', and makes you feel good, I don't see the problem. I can love my neighbour and still be an atheist.
antialias
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Why do you think religion is an 'easy out'? People struggle their whole lives trying to live up the example set by Jesus to love their neighbor as themselves and to keep faith with God.

That's the point, though: In your case people should (mindlessly) follow that example. In my (ideal) world people should understand for themselves what it means to lead a good life. It's not particularly hard to derive that from first principles yourself. No god required. There'd be much more happiness all around.
It seems much easier to follow the popular, secular, feel good fad of the day.

I think this is where the misunderstanding comes from: you look for an atheist rule book in which the 'fad of the day' is stated. There is no such thing. As an atheist You just have to be a good person BECAUSE YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON - not because someone tells you how to be one or offers you brownie points as a reward for acting like one even though you may not be.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
You just have to be a good person BECAUSE YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON


Why? Who defines good? I recall a philosophy "If it feels good, do it." What is wrong with that?
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Why? Who defines good? I recall a philosophy "If it feels good, do it." What is wrong with that?

Good may not be a first principle, however, good is determined by the social majority, that phrase you recall was the motto of a social minority.
ShotmanMaslo
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Altough I am not a believer, I understand them. Belief definately can give people hope and strengh, make them happier. Heck, I would love there to be an all-knowing, caring god for us.
Therefore, atheism is not an easier way.
It is "sad but true" way.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Why? Who defines good? I recall a philosophy "If it feels good, do it." What is wrong with that?

Good is that which is viable (long term). That which merely feels good (e.g. killing the guy who cut you off in traffic) is definitely not a viable long term strategy since you'll face serious reprecussions sooner or later.

Being a good person simply means considering consequences, taking responsibility and generally acting in a way so that, if everyone acted in that way, things work out as well as can be for everyone.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Being a good person simply means considering consequences, taking responsibility and generally acting in a way so that, if everyone acted in that way, things work out as well as can be for everyone.

I agree. Wisdom used to be passed on verbally, then via written word. From Greek tragedies to Bible stories to Shakespeare to reality TV, people still fail to consider the consequences of their actions. Children must learn for themselves. Religion is and has been an additional resource to encourage what you describe as 'good' behavior.
Are you angry that people still need such assistance to help them be good?
Our modern society does little to encourage responsible (good) behavior. However, society once did reward good behavior.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Altough I am not a believer, I understand them. Belief definately can give people hope and strengh, make them happier. Heck, I would love there to be an all-knowing, caring god for us.
Therefore, atheism is not an easier way.
It is "sad but true" way.


How can it be 'true' if the existence of God cannot be proven or disproves? Maybe you mean agnostic instead of atheist? I consider atheism a faith as they believe God does not exist.
marjon
5 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2009
Yeah, agnosticism is better word...


Saying, "I don't know.", seems to be difficult for many.
El_Nose
5 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2009
I wonder if anyone will even read this ....

A lot of people in this post argue that there is no need for religion.

I submit this... Yes religions are flawed.. but every institution on this planet is flawed... all seven are flawed.. religion, technological, economic, political, interactive, ideological and world view.

If we were to get rid of religions it would be replaced. we have developed a sense for when someone is a zealot or overly religious and can recognize issues that come from this. Religion is no more good or bad than the other institutions wars and disagreements have happened because of all of them.

Dislike religion if you choose... but do not be so quick to totally throw it away.

While basic decency gave us our first laws ... religion helped refine some of the more basic ones like - not having sex with your first cousin, or family members - most people accept that as morally wrong before it was scientifically proven to produce genetically deficient kids.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2009
If we were to get rid of religions it would be replaced.
Yes, by something worse: superstition/esoterism.
Anybody who thinks life has been better before the evolution of the dominant religions has forgotten the social environment e.g. in ancient Egypt.

But evolution never stands still. Social evolution has brought about the great religions and will dilute their influence while the global society is forming in the course of the next millennium.
It's all quite natural.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2009
religion helped refine some of the more basic ones like - not having sex with your first cousin, or family members - most people accept that as morally wrong before it was scientifically proven to produce genetically deficient kids.


Tell that to the Akhenazim Jews.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2009
While basic decency gave us our first laws ... religion helped refine some of the more basic ones like - not having sex with your first cousin, or family members - most people accept that as morally wrong before it was scientifically proven to produce genetically deficient kids.
Nowadays, you can have very nice sex without producing any kids at all.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Yeah, agnosticism is better word...


Saying, "I don't know.", seems to be difficult for many.


I find it very difficult to say "I don't know if unicorns and fairies exist". There is a point when "I know" is a lot closer than "I don't know". Because "I don't know" does not translate just on how much reliable evidence, or lack of it, is involved in the belief. For some people (mind you, certainly not all) "I know" is more intellectually honest, and other people should be able to cope with it, provided one explains the basis for that conviction, and how rational it is.
AdseculaScientiae
5 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2009
Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive. Gnosticism says something about the claim of knowing (or unknowing with agnosticism) and theïsm says something about the belief in (theistic) god(s) (or a lack of belief in a god with atheism). Many atheists are agnostic as well. They don't believe in a god, while understanding that the existence of supernatural entities can not be disproved.

But it's something different for theistic religions that make specific claims about their god and its relation to our natural universe. Those claims cán be disproved and ultimately rejected.

Pixelgrease
5 / 5 (3) Dec 07, 2009
Very useful study.

Here's my interpretation: you can quickly uncover a person's inner nature by asking their opinion about God's beliefs. They may seem pleasant, but if their God is an sob you can bet they are too.

Myself, I believe God could care less about religious surveys.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2009
Yes, by something worse: superstition/esoterism.
But... thats what religion IS. Any religion, from the perspective of another religion or from that of an a-religionist.
Anybody who thinks life has been better before the evolution of the dominant religions has forgotten the social environment e.g. in ancient Egypt.
Many good books and articles trace the beginnings of your contemporary religions to Egypt and before. Tutankamun = jesus, Akhenaten = Moses, osiris/horus/isis = the trinity, egyptian/greek oracles = the pope, gilgamesh (sumer) = the creation myth, etc. Why else would many major xian churches have authentic egyptian obelisks posted out front, if not to demonstrate continuity? Both you and egyptians worship gods who return from the dead (or maybe not). Youre both dead-centered, dead-preoccupied. Hence the dying god symbol around your neck (ankh), the bodypart relics in your churches, the cannibal eucharist, etc.
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2009
Tell that to the Akhenazim Jews.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain. Be fruitful and multiply- fill up the earth. When Balaam shows Balak israelites as far as the eye can see from atop the hill. Lot and his daughters and the approval of GOD. The bar and bat mitzvahs when they used to literally turn 13 year olds into adults. 'As arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of our youth. Happy is the man who has a quiver full of them'. Etc. The formula that allows conqueror peoples to quickly replace battle losses and outgrow the enemy; warfare of the cradle. I read not too long ago a plea for tolerance toward immigrants who show up in the US with spouses who are 1st cousins and other uncomfortable relationships. I'm just rambling here.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
forgotten the social environment e.g. in ancient Egypt
I guess youve forgotten what it was like in Goshen after Joseph and his best buddy Pharoah ended up owning all of Egypt. Like anywhere, things are good during those years of feast when people entertain themselves by growing large families. Plenty for everybody!
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2009
I consider atheism a faith as they believe God does not exist.


So you consider non-belief in unicorns, Santa Clause and leprechauns also faith and don't consider it established that these things do not exist? O_o
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Regardless of whether or not someone considers atheism a faith, they should realize that does not validate their own beliefs, or make them reasonable. "Tu quoque" is a logical fallacy. But there are many shades of atheism. One that is by no means a "faith" is the one that asserts, individually, that no considered notion of "God" is backed up by reason or a trustworthy methodology in ascertaining likelihood of existence, and in fact, it is just the opposite. The same criteria that is applied by theists in their dismissal of other deities is applied without double standards by the atheist. There is no "faith" involved.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2009
Nowadays, you can have very nice sex without producing any kids at all.

Yeah but that's considered a sin by most religious organizations.
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Dec 08, 2009
Nowadays, you can have very nice sex without producing any kids at all.

Yeah but that's considered a sin by most religious organizations.
Certainly not in Hinduism and Buddhism.
How representative is the subset of religions which consider sex a sin for the set of all religions?
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 08, 2009
Certainly not in Hinduism and Buddhism.
How representative is the subset of religions which consider sex a sin for the set of all religions?

How many eastern religions fall into the term "organization"?

Most eastern religions are not organization dependent. So let me reclarify:

That is considered a sin by most Western religions; Judiasm, Islam, and Christianity to be precise.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2009
Yes, by something worse: superstition/esoterism.
But... thats what religion IS. Any religion, from the perspective of another religion or from that of an a-religionist.
You carefully omitted the statement I had referred to:
If we were to get rid of religions it would be replaced.
This statement uses the word "religion" and not the word "superstition".
You seem to believe that there was no concept of supernatural beings before the advent of the great religions roughly three millennia ago.
Are you denying evolution?
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2009
Certainly not in Hinduism and Buddhism.
How representative is the subset of religions which consider sex a sin for the set of all religions?

How many eastern religions fall into the term "organization"?
Most eastern religions are not organization dependent. So let me reclarify:
That is considered a sin by most Western religions; Judiasm, Islam, and Christianity to be precise.

Please, let's not equate religion with religious organization; it's generating confusion.
[1] Yes, the monotheistic religions consider sex a sin.
[2] No, the degree of organization varies considerably within the monotheistic set. And I don't know whether the differences in degree of organization between, say, lower clerics of the diverse eastern orthodoxies and the monks of diverse Buddhist organizations are at all considerable.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 08, 2009
Why should there be a double standard in evaluating the rationality of superstitious beliefs, regardless of how "organized" they are, and regardless of how "God" is perceived or acknowledged?
otto1923
5 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2009
Please, let's not equate religion with religious organization; it's generating confusion.
Same thing. Anywhere, anytime religionists congregate, practice, form opinions about themselves versus the people around them and how the world 'ought' to operate constitutes an organization. They dont need a letterhead or an 800 number. Jesus had his deciples- an organization.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 08, 2009
"religion" and not the word "superstition"
SAME THING
-you think one has more 'dignity' perhaps than the other? One is praying while the other is just wishing for things real hard?
marjon
not rated yet Dec 08, 2009
"Anyone can tap into the unlimited and infallible power of their subconscious mind, anytime they want to. "http://www.topbizguru.co.uk/

It works, but only if you believe.
As I mentioned earlier, I think what God is trying to teach man to have faith. Belief without reason has enabled much success in the world as documented by Hill.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 08, 2009
"Anyone can tap into the unlimited and infallible power of their subconscious mind, anytime they want to. "http://www.topbizguru.co.uk/


And making others believe this can make you tap into their wallets.

It works, but only if you believe.


Naturally... in case it doesn't it can always be said "you didn't really believe", and of course it cannot be proven differently, so you can't get your money back.

As I mentioned earlier, I think what God is trying to teach man to have faith.


Too bad you can't demonstrate your god exists, or that even the slightest belief in it is rationally warranted.

Belief without reason has enabled much success in the world as documented by Hill.


We agree. Unfortunately, the case you present is no different. A con artist can con people squealing on other con artists.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 08, 2009
No, they don't consider sex a sin. They consider sex acts that do not lead to procreation to be immoral acts. ie: using contraception.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 08, 2009
Where is the con with Napoleon Hill? Anyone can read his book for free from a library. Anyone can practice the behaviors he documented from hundreds of successful people, for free.
What is there to loose except misery and failure?
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
It's completely irresponsible saying success is a "state of mind", as if it doesn't take intelligence and a proper education to achieve success. Just because some people get lucky in life, that doesn't mean anyone should gamble their finances in complete self-delusion.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
It's completely irresponsible saying success is a "state of mind", as if it doesn't take intelligence and a proper education to achieve success. Just because some people get lucky in life, that doesn't mean anyone should gamble their finances in complete self-delusion.


What luck? The people interviewed by Hill worked hard for their success. They had a vision and did not quit.
Are you stating the only path to success is education and intelligence? The two are mutually exclusive, btw.
There are thousands if not millions of people who are successful and prosperous without a PhD or even a BS. Henry Ford did not graduate high school. Einstein did poorly in school. Rush Limbaugh couldn't complete college.
What Ford and Limbaugh have in common is drive and desire. Something 'education' tends to beat out of its students.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2009
It's completely irresponsible saying success is a "state of mind", as if it doesn't take intelligence and a proper education to achieve success.
You think the taxi driver in a western city who had been physician in Iran is not successful? Or the physicist who retired early to care for his handicapped wife and happens to be happy with his life - is not successful?
Just because some people get lucky in life, that doesn't mean anyone should gamble their finances in complete self-delusion.
Of course not. But the state of mind of the most of those people you call "successful" is not really worth longing for. Whereas no money can buy the state of mind of those people I call successful.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009

Are you stating the only path to success is education and intelligence? The two are mutually exclusive, btw.
Now I understand why you're religious.

Henry Ford did not graduate high school.
80% of people didn't attend High School in Henry Ford's days.

Einstein did poorly in school.
Only in one subject.
Rush Limbaugh couldn't complete college.
Neither can most people who recognize indoctrination.

Something 'education' tends to beat out of its students.
No, that's something that the current educational system beats out of them because backwards people beat it out of the education system with silly concepts like creationism, and teaching everyone that no matter what you do, you're all the same because you were all made equal. Which is the largest load of bs I've ever heard, and comes DIRECTLY from religion. "God loves us all equally."
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.
Those who are naive, repeat foolish idioms.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
"Do not 'feed' the trolls: Do not engage with trolls in the comment threads"
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 09, 2009
Jesus had his deciples- an organization.
Do you have any evidence for Jesus' existence? And who taught you that he - if he once was reality - had disciples?
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
Do you have any evidence for Jesus' existence? And who taught you that he - if he once was reality - had disciples?
Hehe
I'm using your own beliefs against you- clever eh? OK then- robin hood and his merry men (and maid marion/mary magdalene)... king arthur and his knights? The Black Pope and his minions-
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
Do you have any evidence for Jesus' existence? And who taught you that he - if he once was reality - had disciples?
Seriously, who taught you- god or the people who wrote your Book?
marjon
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
Do you have any evidence for Jesus' existence? And who taught you that he - if he once was reality - had disciples?
Seriously, who taught you- god or the people who wrote your Book?

Who wrote the Bible, and why?
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2009
Do you have any evidence for Jesus' existence? And who taught you that he - if he once was reality - had disciples?
Hehe I'm using your own beliefs against you- clever eh?
No. You are assuming, i.e. believing things about me that suit your aversions. This is not clever because it uncovers your weakness, Herr Otto.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
If we were to get rid of religions it would be replaced.
Yes, by something worse: superstition/esoterism.
Anybody who thinks life has been better before the evolution of the dominant religions has forgotten the social environment e.g. in ancient Egypt.
Youre right, I just assumed you were a xianist because you seemed to rush to their defense. But in reviewing the last 2 threads I find no statements of what frajo believes, only purvasive contrariness. So- here's your chance to make a stand, declare your beliefs. Even the denizen Mojo says he thinks Jesus is the shit. Take your time.
acarrilho
5 / 5 (1) Dec 09, 2009
Do you have any evidence for Jesus' existence? And who taught you that he - if he once was reality - had disciples?
Seriously, who taught you- god or the people who wrote your Book?

Who wrote the Bible, and why?


Many people wrote, interpreted, translated, and revised the Bible. Why? Why was any mythology ever put on paper? How does that give any creedence to the gods they describe? They don't, unless you're indoctrinated into a specific religion and stop using the same judgment you apply to other religions and superstitions.
marjon
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009


Many people wrote, interpreted, translated, and revised the Bible. Why? Why was any mythology ever put on paper? How does that give any creedence to the gods they describe? They don't, unless you're indoctrinated into a specific religion and stop using the same judgment you apply to other religions and superstitions.


So you don't want to answer? It was written over a long period of time by various authors. I see no evidence they gained power or wealth for writing such documents. So why write such books?

I do tend to question the Koran as it was supposed to have been 'written' by one man. Same with the Book of Mormon.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
So you don't want to answer? It was written over a long period of time by various authors. I see no evidence they gained power or wealth for writing such documents. So why write such books?

Have you ever took a guess at how much money it would cost to build the Vatican and line it's halls with so many treasures of long dead empires? I'm pretty sure that would be your evidence.

With superstition comes profiteering and power grab opportunities.

I do tend to question the Koran as it was supposed to have been 'written' by one man. Same with the Book of Mormon.

Both of which are based upon Christian influences. To question one would be to question all three.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 09, 2009
So you don't want to answer?


Many authors imply many motivations. To make things worse there are also many compilors as well, with their own motivations. There's hardly a straight answer, but one doesn't need to follow with an argument from ignorance.

I see no evidence they gained power or wealth for writing such documents. So why write such books?


Do you apply the same reasoning to books written about Greek or Egyptian gods?

I do tend to question the Koran as it was supposed to have been 'written' by one man. Same with the Book of Mormon.


Different thing. The Koran is supposed to be the best poem a man can write, and could only do so under divine inspiration, and Mohammed himself claims anyone who says otherwise is a liar by default. And we all know poetry is very objective...
marjon
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
Have you ever took a guess at how much money it would cost to build the Vatican and line it's halls with so many treasures of long dead empires? I'm pretty sure that would be your evidence.

The authors of the Bible were long dead before the Vatican ever existed.

Do you apply the same reasoning to books written about Greek or Egyptian gods?

Which ones are currently world wide best sellers?
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
The authors of the Bible were long dead before the Vatican ever existed.

Are you that myopic that you don't understand the connections between religious leadership and absolute power? If you can write a book that convinces everyone there's a being that only your officers can truely speak to that runs ALL of creation, and people buy it, then you've just set yourself up as king of the world.
Which ones are currently world wide best sellers?

Which ones are still adhered to?

Seriously guy, if you don't understand that religion is a base form of social control then you're so far gone as to actually believe the Bible is factual.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
Which ones are currently world wide best sellers?


Leaving aside the blatant logical fallacy, that wasn't the point you were trying to make. You asked why the books were written, arguing their purpose wasn't to enrich anyone, a point no one made btw. That people make money off mythology doesn't mean it was "created" for that purpose. Mythologies evolve over a long period of time. They're not written down at any one time. Other scriptures were written, and the same argument can be made for them. That does not validate the veracity or factualness of their content, or give credence to the gods they describe.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
Some mythologies were/are fitter than others, in that people made them more flexible and "cherry-pickable". Christianity might be the more customizable so far, which is the only reason they have a "world wide best seller".
marjon
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
Some mythologies were/are fitter than others, in that people made them more flexible and "cherry-pickable". Christianity might be the more customizable so far, which is the only reason they have a "world wide best seller".


It couldn't be that people find its philosophy beneficial to their lives?

if you don't understand that religion is a base form of social control then you're so far gone as to actually believe the Bible is factual.


Who was trying for social control?

According to Samuel, the people wanted a king but God warned a king would tax them and demand much. God told his people they did not need a king if they followed Him. So I ask, again, who was trying to control people for any personal gain?
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
It couldn't be that people find its philosophy beneficial to their lives?

It could be, however they never get a chance to make that evaluation if the penalty for questioning scripture is eternal damnation.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
So I ask, again, who was trying to control people for any personal gain?


So you're a tribesman, part of a 20 person group. When it comes to physical prowess you're on the bottm of the list, you can't mate, you get scraps at feeding time, you're forced to do what the other members of the tribe tell you to do. What to do, what to do...

"I got it! Everyone is afraid of lightning, so if I can control lightning I get everything I want! But I can't control lightning...

I bet I can convince everyone that "God" control lightning, and if they aren't nice to other people (including me especially) they'll get struck by lightning! Perfect! Oh wait... then we'll all be equal. But what if I can convince them that only I can talk to god? Ah, then I'll be the Boss!"

Add 6,000 years of superstitious elaboration and say hello to Christianity.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 10, 2009
It couldn't be that people find its philosophy beneficial to their lives?


How about an exercise? Give me a behavior that you presume stems from this "philosophy" and let's see if there isn't an analogous behavior in the animal kingdom.

So I ask, again, who was trying to control people for any personal gain?


Are you kidding? When have priests and priestesses of a religion NOT indulged in their positions, or held significant power over their faithful?
acarrilho
5 / 5 (1) Dec 10, 2009
This study just reiterates something already known... that people behave the way they do because they are influenced by others who do it. Their genetic predisposition plays with their education and experiences. Their moral compass reflects the values of the society they're inserted in, not a moral dictated by scripture. What they think is the way "God" wants them to behave is irrelevant, and the proof is that certain behaviors become unacceptable, regardless of how clearly the scripture condones them, like slavery, etc. As people get more sophisticated, the more intangible "God" gets. More abstract and subjective, until almost nothing remains of the "original" Abrahamic deity... and still they call it "Christianity".
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2009
When have priests and priestesses of a religion NOT indulged in their positions, or held significant power over their faithful?
Concentration camp Dachau: 2720 priests, most of them Polish catholics.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
Let's factor in the number of priests that AREN'T in a predicament of that nature.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2009
Let's factor in the number of priests that AREN'T in a predicament of that nature.


Being realistic I'd have to say the majority of those who work directly for the church are probably good moral people, but, all it takes are a few bad apples to slowly spoil the whole bunch.

Religion doesn't give a methodology by which to remove someone from the field if they're found to be unethical.

Science gives a method by which to completely discredit someone and effectively remove them from the field [of science].
marjon
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
Religion doesn't give a methodology by which to remove someone from the field if they're found to be unethical.

It's called shunning.
Velanarris
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
It's called shunning.

And it doesn't work. If you believe otherwise please provide a sample instance for my review.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 11, 2009
Science gives a method by which to completely discredit someone and effectively remove them from the field [of science].
Yes. But this method sometimes is not used. You know what Wernher von Braun worked for.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
Being realistic I'd have to say the majority of those who work directly for the church are probably good moral people, but, all it takes are a few bad apples to slowly spoil the whole bunch.


That they're people with "good" morals does not take away from the fact that they normally enjoy a position of power and control over the faithful, regardless of whether they choose to act on it or not. Even today they exert great influence, though far from the complete domination of other times and cultures. Priests have manipulated their corresponding mythologies to perpetuate their position of power and influence.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
Or rather... to retain as little as they have, as far as less gullible people are concerned.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 11, 2009
Religion doesn't give a methodology by which to remove someone from the field if they're found to be unethical.
Excommunication or exorcism.

Frajo- state your beliefs for the studio audience bitte. You did say something about a thin veneer of reason over chaos or something? That sounds like dark religionism to me. Or do you think chronic contrarianism is a valid form of discourse like the troll?
Yes. But
Says frajo, all the time.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 12, 2009
Religion doesn't give a methodology by which to remove someone from the field if they're found to be unethical.
Excommunication or exorcism.
Excommunication for catholics, anathema for orthodox believers. But not exorcism.
Frajo- state your beliefs for the studio audience bitte.
I believe in me. And in Sokrates, Bertrand Russell, Karl Popper, and some other people I don't recall just now.
You did say something about a thin veneer of reason over chaos or something? That sounds like dark religionism to me.
Mystical thinking is not chaotic; it's just irrational. The thin layer of enlightenment/reason above an abyss of archaic, irrational, limbic system driven behavior is a concept you'll find at I. Kant, S. Freud and other guys at their level.
Or do you think chronic contrarianism is a valid form of discourse like the troll?
Yes. But
Says frajo, all the time.
This is a science oriented forum. Not a sunday school and not a military service.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 12, 2009
Mystical thinking is not chaotic; it's just irrational. The thin layer of enlightenment/reason above an abyss of archaic, irrational, limbic system driven behavior is a concept you'll find at I. Kant, S. Freud and other guys at their level.


Mysticism seems to be a pretty autonomous response, at least after indoctrination sets in.
otto1923
not rated yet Dec 12, 2009
One question- how can you, or any of us, believe in ourselves if we know that this thin veneer of reason can be frequently and unexpectedly ruptured by the irrational forces which surge beneath? My answer- there are a very few of us who have very strong and graphenous membranes stretched over this abyss and they have the right and the duty to lord over the great bulk of us who dont. Whats your answer? Is your selbstbewusst justified or just a limbic illusion like it is to most? And for all those who dont know the difference, is altruism appropriate beyond convincing them youre doing them a favor while in reality condemning them to the abyss which already has them? Is a future world where reason reigns worth enough for this?
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Dec 12, 2009
how can you, or any of us, believe in ourselves if we know that this thin veneer of reason can be frequently and unexpectedly ruptured by the irrational forces which surge beneath?
Most of us are not serial killers. It's not unreasonable to believe we'll stay that way. Of course, conscientious objectors have better chances.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2009
how can you, or any of us, believe in ourselves if we know that this thin veneer of reason can be frequently and unexpectedly ruptured by the irrational forces which surge beneath?
Most of us are not serial killers. It's not unreasonable to believe we'll stay that way. Of course, conscientious objectors have better chances.


[War] is instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands! But we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers...but we're not going to kill...today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill...today!
-- Kirk in 'A Taste Of Armageddon'
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009
War is not instinctive.

Humans have an inate depression when they kill other humans, that is instinctual.
acarrilho
not rated yet Dec 15, 2009
Everything we do is instinctual... there's just increasingly more complexity leading up to it.

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