Morality research sheds light on the origins of religion

Feb 08, 2010

The details surrounding the emergence and evolution of religion have not been clearly established and remain a source of much debate among scholars. Now, an article published by Cell Press in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences on February 8 brings a new understanding to this long-standing discussion by exploring the fascinating link between morality and religion.

There is no doubt that spiritual experiences and , which are ubiquitous across cultures and time and associated exclusively with humans, are ultimately based in the brain. However, there are many unanswered questions about how and why these behaviors originated and how they may have been shaped during evolution.

"Some scholars claim that religion evolved as an adaptation to solve the problem of cooperation among genetically unrelated individuals, while others propose that religion emerged as a by-product of pre-existing cognitive capacities," explains study co-author Dr. Ilkka Pyysiainen from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Although there is some support for both, these alternative proposals have been difficult to investigate.

Dr. Pyysiainen and co-author Dr. Marc Hauser, from the Departments of Psychology and Human at Harvard University, used a fresh perspective based in experimental moral psychology to review these two competing theories. "We were interested in making use of this perspective because religion is linked to morality in different ways," says Dr. Hauser. "For some, there is no morality without religion, while others see religion as merely one way of expressing one's moral intuitions."

Citing several studies in moral psychology, the authors highlight the finding that despite differences in, or even an absence of, religious backgrounds, individuals show no difference in moral judgments for unfamiliar moral dilemmas. The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments.

"This supports the theory that religion did not originally emerge as a biological adaptation for cooperation, but evolved as a separate by-product of pre-existing cognitive functions that evolved from non-religious functions," says Dr. Pyysiainen. "However, although it appears as if cooperation is made possible by mental mechanisms that are not specific to religion, religion can play a role in facilitating and stabilizing cooperation between groups."

Perhaps this may help to explain the complex association between morality and religion. "It seems that in many cultures religious concepts and beliefs have become the standard way of conceptualizing moral intuitions. Although, as we discuss in our paper, this link is not a necessary one, many people have become so accustomed to using it, that criticism targeted at religion is experienced as a fundamental threat to our moral existence," concludes Dr. Hauser.

Explore further: Understanding the economics of human trafficking

More information: Pyysiainen, Hauser et al.: "The origins of religion Q1 : evolved adaptation or by-product?'", Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

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pshr
1.8 / 5 (21) Feb 08, 2010
This study seems to discount the possibility that there might actually be a God. What if He really does exist??
arturv
3.9 / 5 (16) Feb 08, 2010
This study seems to discount the possibility that there might actually be a God. What if He really does exist??


dont be silly. it's a science journal.
CarolinaScotsman
1.9 / 5 (28) Feb 08, 2010
This study seems to discount the possibility that there might actually be a God. What if He really does exist??


I realized the other day, that if those of us who believe in an afterlife are wrong, we will never know the difference. But if those who believe there is no afterlife are wrong, they will be in for a very shocking surprise (perhaps even a hellish surprise).
freethinking
1.6 / 5 (21) Feb 08, 2010
I agree with pshr and with arturv and this shows that this study is flawed and doesnt prove a thing.

Since science doesnt deal with God, then the study to find out where religion comes from cant be studied by science. The reason for this is that science cannot/willnot say God exists. But if God exists then it must be placed in the discussion where religion oriented.

Religion exists because of biology (prove or disprove)
Religion exists because of society (prove or disprove)
Religion exists because there is a God. (Cant have this as an answer, since science cannot prove or disprove)

Therefore Dr. Hauser study is flawed.
JayK
4.5 / 5 (16) Feb 08, 2010
@CarolinaScotsman

What if you are of the wrong religion, you'll be in for a heck of a surprise, right?

What you used is called Pascal's Wager and is typically a pretty non-entertaining argument for religion.
JayK
3.3 / 5 (7) Feb 08, 2010
Prove there isn't a teapot orbiting Saturn, science will not/can not prove if there is, or there isn't, a teapot orbiting Saturn.

http://en.wikiped...'s_Wager
PinkElephant
4.4 / 5 (12) Feb 08, 2010
Gee, morality is rooted in universal instincts and known brain mechanisms (the limbic system), that are common among all social mammals?

Wow, what a "revelation"...

True, though, I have indeed noticed that religious people tend to harbor the delusion that without their religion, they'd have no morality.

For my part, I'd argue religion arises and flourishes not because it aids group cohesion (family ties and ordinary friendships suffice for that), but rather because it motivates otherwise unthinkable, even suicidal, risk-taking when conflicts between tribes occur. It is much easier to fight like a madman, not caring whether one survives the battle, if one believes that by dying bravely one will be rewarded in the afterlife. This would serve as a great advantage for a more religious tribe, any time there's war afoot. Of course, religion is also advantageous to the leaders of a tribe, who can use superstitions to prop up and expand their authority, and promote their offspring.
freethinking
1.6 / 5 (10) Feb 08, 2010
If there was a teapot orbiting Saturn, did it occur naturally, was it place there by an alien, was it place there by a human?

An interesting aside to Pascal's Wager, it only works for the Christian religion. No other religion that says it is the only way, the only truth, and only through their God can you get to heaven.

Ie. if you are a Christian and there is a muslim god, according to muslims, god chooses who he wants and Christians can get into heaven.
If you are a Christian and a Hindu god is real, reincarnation will save or at least give them another chance.
freethinking
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 08, 2010
btw jayk, I dont rank all your comments at 1.
RobertKarlStonjek
4.1 / 5 (9) Feb 08, 2010
Religion is rooted in tribal myths, legend and traditional knowledge and has been the place that almost all human innovation has passed before separating into independent disciplines, industries or other enterprises. We associate religion with spirituality today only because this is the one area that was never separated into non-religious endeavours. Science, government, art, literature, philosophy, architecture, the institution, education etc all passed through a religious phase between individual's knowledge/behaviour and shared tradition/knowledge.
PinkElephant
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 08, 2010
An interesting aside to Pascal's Wager, it only works for the Christian religion. No other religion that says it is the only way, the only truth, and only through their God can you get to heaven.

Haha. Think again, free"thinking". Ever heard of Egypt back in the days of the Pharaohs? According to Buddhists, you are doomed to eternal suffering until you finally embrace enlightenment. According to the Norse, you can only be beloved of the Gods if you die bravely in battle; cowards and peasants are condemned to an eternity of misery and regret in the shadow-lands. According to the Jews, both the Christians and the Muslims are worshiping false gods. I'm not even a scholar of these things, and I could keep going beyond the 1000-character limit, listing out examples. You ought to open your eyes, and learn about your reality -- lest you make the mistake of forming your entire life-story around a spurious delusion.
JayK
3 / 5 (6) Feb 08, 2010
The God Gene explains a lot of what has been found in linking religion to evolution and genetics. Species beliefs are helpful because of the commonality and the communal effects, as well as the idea of tribal identity. The reduction in fear and the idea of purpose were most likely helpful when our minds were smaller and less able to work out complex ideas and communicate them. Now we call those people Republicans.

As for rating all of your posts as a 1? I've explained that you deserve those, your posts are inept or unscientific at best, and are antithetical to your pseudonym, freethinking.
HarshMistress
5 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2010
The basic methodological flaw of this study is that it generalizes religions. There is a huge difference between animistic and monotheistic religions, starting with their fundamentally different moralities.
Caliban
3.9 / 5 (7) Feb 08, 2010
Nah- my bet is that religion is a purely structuralist phenomenon, originally based in Humanity's need to understand a violent, capricious world of Nature, graded through successive phases of propitiation, proclaimed understanding of it, and eventual usurpation by proclamation of Diety over the age-old forces of Nature. Each phase created greater concentration of temporal power, wealth and control into the class of The Initiated Elite, and greater influence of the Faithful. Does that in any way confirm OR negate the existence of God(s)? No.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Feb 08, 2010
As to the Morality/Religion question- Morality can be, and frequently is independent of Religion, but Religion cannot be devoid of Morality- even if only in a relativistic sense.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Feb 08, 2010
@HarshMistress,
There is a huge difference between animistic and monotheistic religions, starting with their fundamentally different moralities.

What about polytheistic religions, or non-theistic ones (Buddhism): if you're going to display religious bias, at least have the common courtesy of being thorough.

"fundamentally different"... Really, now. Is empathy not a universal trait, not just among all humans, but among many other mammals as well? What about the innate sense of fair play: do you really believe it is taught, rather than felt? The "golden rule" is a mathematically optimal stable strategy within groups (game theory proves this); why is anyone surprised to observe all social animals tend toward behavioral mechanisms that favor it?
HarshMistress
5 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2010
@PinkElephant
"fundamentally different"... Really, now.


Try this:

In animistic religions the world is unified, with man being equal to everything else in nature. In judeo-christian religions, man is the supreme ruler of all beings.

Those are two different consiousnesses, two different moralities. We've witnessed the consequences throughout the history of humankind.

Now try this: decency.
TheBigYin
3 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2010
Is it me, or is PhysOrg tending to post deliberately contentious stuff these days, masquerading as science?

This piece of hokum was supposed to prove if religion was a survival trait enabling non-kin cooperation, or if it was a by-product of higher cognitive function. And the results? A bit of both... i.e. the experiment/investigation was non conclusive - this is a failed science experiment, come back when you can prove something.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2010
@HarshMistress,
In animistic religions the world is unified, with man being equal to everything else in nature. In judeo-christian religions, man is the supreme ruler of all beings.

When most people talk of "morality", they mean things like "don't kill", "don't steal", "share", "be polite", etc. That's what I thought you were talking about. Now, it appears you were instead referring to metaphysics.

I'll disagree with you on account of the "consequences throughout". Some of the worst atrocities in history were driven by so-called "animists". For example, ever heard of a guy by the name of Genghis Khan? Or how about the Japanese Shoganates. Or what about the far-ranging depredations of the Vikings. In meso-America, we had the Aztecs -- with their blood-soaked conquests, their slave-driven empire, their human sacrifice...
Ronan
3.3 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2010
Hm. Interesting study, but there seems to be an implicit assumption in the conclusion that the authors draw; they assume that because morality is not inherently religious, that religion could not have evolved as a social glue. But there are other ways for something to work as a social glue than just by promoting a moral code! If, for instance, religion gives a society of not-necessarily-related people a sort of pseudo-kinship ("We all worship the same deities"), then it'll be selected for even if it has no effect on morality whatsoever. And, of course, as others have already pointed out, lots of social creatures have their own versions of moral codes (or, at least, senses of fairness, reciprocity, etc.) without the slightest hint of religion. Again, interesting study, but I think the authors are stretching their conclusions a little further than is justified.
JerryPark
2 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2010
Just another of those "studies" which are not really studies and not really scientific, since they are designed to produce the author's biases.

Take the simple issue of morality. The authors would have you believe that morality arises independent of a moral arbiter. But if that were the case, everyone would see the same on issues of morality. This is just another attempt to discredit moral behavior by presenting it as essentially irrelevant.

Morality is not irrelevant and it is not malleable. And science is a set of methods used to discover reality. Anytime "science" is perverted into a set of methods to prove a bias, it ceases to be science.
DarwiN100
4.7 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2010
Cooperation among humans yes, but in a sense of controlling the masses, gaining power and control...

No matter how big the community was, there always was a hierarchy and those at the top always claimed to have some sort of supernatural powers or connections, which benefited all of them. Those at the top gained power and worship, while ordinary people got hope and explanations for "weird" natural events like weather (rain) or diseases etc.. So there is enormous cognitive benefits and no wonder this things are so deeply routed in evolution and our history and why the world is still so crazy today..

In other words, religion is just another term for human ignorance,egoism and selfishness.
marjon
2 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2010
In other words, religion is just another term for human ignorance,egoism and selfishness.


Religion AND politics.

I would argue some religions are one way of passing on accumulated wisdom for survival.
The modern baby boom generation believed they knew it all and didn't have to follow the collected wisdom of their ancestors. How much strife have they caused themselves and our society by ignoring fundamental concepts of self-constraint taught by most major religions?
superhuman
3.7 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2010
The concept of god originated from the concept of pack leader.

Development of speech allowed ideas to persist much longer, being passed for many generations. Among those ideas were memories and stories of powerful tribe leaders who made the tribe prosper. This naturally led to the cult of ancestors.

As stories were passed from generation to generation the reality in them became increasingly distorted and ancestors eventually turned into local deities.

Population growth and interactions between cultures eventually weakened polytheism - too many gods is not good, for example how come those who believe in fake gods are not punished by the real ones?

Eventually some enterprising individuals developed monotheism greatly simplifying beliefs. Monotheism also allowed better control over population which made it popular with rulers ensuring it's success.

Various stages of this evolution of religion are well documented by archeology and might even be seen today in some isolated tribes.
CarolinaScotsman
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2010
@CarolinaScotsman

What if you are of the wrong religion, you'll be in for a heck of a surprise, right?

What you used is called Pascal's Wager and is typically a pretty non-entertaining argument for religion.


I wasn't arguing for or against religion, just making an observatio. As to the "right religion", you'll need to talk with someone who thinks there is one; I don't.
HarshMistress
1.5 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2010
@PinkElephant,
...ever heard of a guy by the name of Genghis Khan?

"War, as a product of irrational forces, is beyond grasp of an untrained mind" - Virginia Woolf.

Noble, eh? Wrong! War is economy (nothing irrational about it), the only morality related to war is regulations applied during war. Do we know how many civilisations had been extinguished by Genghis Khan? Mongols RULED China, exploited it, even endorsed Chinese culture, they didn't wipe it out.

"Golden rule" is excersised by animals, too: cannibalism is a taboo in the animal kingdom, with a few exceptions.

The ultimate source of morality is a mistery - is it God, biology, something else? We don't know, but we know that our understanding of the world, and the way we sustain our existence, SHAPES our morality.

Cosmology (pagan vs. monotheistic), no matter how "metaphysical" it may sound, shapes our morality: the way we treat each other and the way we are/aren't one with Nature.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.8 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2010
cannibalism is a taboo in the animal kingdom, with a few exceptions.

Uhm, certainly is not. The majority of animals engage in cannabalistic activity.
The ultimate source of morality is a mistery

Also not true. Morality is a societal survival mechanism. The only thing that's confusing your understanding is any deference to "God".
marjon
1.8 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2010
Eventually some enterprising individuals developed monotheism greatly simplifying beliefs. Monotheism also allowed better control over population which made it popular with rulers ensuring it's success.

Why fabricate a religion, Christianity, that promotes the individual and eschews government? What was in it for Abraham or Isiah or Jesus or Paul?
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2010
To say that Abraham or Isaiah had anything to do with Christianity, is a bit of a stretch methinks.

I think the evidence is pretty salient that the Hebrew religion has its roots in sun-worship (the one true god), characterized by a certain disgraced Egyptian pharaoh (Akhenaten).

At any rate, there's plenty in Christianity, as well, that is rather obviously borrowed from other pre-existing Mesopotamian religions, such as for example virgin birth, baptism, sacrificial death, miraculous resurrection, the dove as a symbol, and ascension to godhood. For example, see an overview here:

http://morpheus9....edo.html

I think it's wrong to imagine that any particular religion (save perhaps for a few modern ones, and even then...) is invented from whole cloth by a particular individual. There is a natural and continuous evolution of memes that underlies the global tapestry of religions at any given moment in time.
HarshMistress
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2010
The representation of private interests ... abolishes all natural and spiritual distinctions by enthroning in their stead the immoral, irrational and soulless abstraction of a particular material object and a particular consciousness which is slavishly subordinated to this object.

Karl Marx, On the Thefts of Wood, in Rheinische Zeitung (1842).

Wise man.
malapropism
4.7 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2010
I have indeed noticed that religious people tend to harbor the delusion that without their religion, they'd have no morality.


I'd go even further and say that religious people harbor the delusion that *nobody* would have any morality if not for their brand of religion.
brembs
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Just FYI: this press release is not about a study. It is about a review article. "Trends in..." journals only publish review articles. Thus, this article provides an overview over the current peer-reviewed literature. Which, coincidentally, explains why there is no deity in the article: there is no peer-reviewed evidence of deities to cite.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.8 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2010

Karl Marx, On the Thefts of Wood, in Rheinische Zeitung (1842).

Wise man.
If he's so wise then why did you pervert his statement by removing over a paragraph of it to suit your point of view?
marjon
1.4 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2010
Pinkie,
You didn't address super's point that religion is used for power and control.
There is scant evidence in the Bible to suggest that any Jewish prophet, Jesus or his disciples used their faith for power and wealth.
It was deadly to be a Christian in Rome for quite some time. Jews have also not been treated well throughout history.
So how has the Judea-Christian faith been used by its followers to gain wealth and power at the expense of others?
Skeptic_Heretic
3.3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
So how has the Judea-Christian faith been used by its followers to gain wealth and power at the expense of others?

You're joking right?

I'm a local thug and come by and steal your women, children, and property. You cannot stop me as I have a band of loyal people who I keep enthralled with money.

You decide you don't like the fact that I can control your actions through tangible force so you counter me by talking to my men about the eternity of torment they're in store for. (ie: the Hell fire sermons that became the norm as Christianity was on the rise in the Medieval period). Suddenly my men don't want to work for me anymore and my power is gone, all the while my former riches are being donated to your church to prevent an eternity in hell. You become powerful economically and theologically while my method of power becomes vaporware.

Seriously, how can you ignore something so blatant? Just look at the powers the Pope wields within countries.
frajo
1 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Karl Marx, On the Thefts of Wood, in Rheinische Zeitung (1842).

Wise man.
If he's so wise then why did you pervert his statement by removing over a paragraph of it to suit your point of view?
No, there was no perversion. The original:
in einer Vertretung der Sonderinteressen zu finden belieben, hebt eine solche alle natürlichen und geistigen Unterschiede auf, indem sie an ihrer Stelle die unsittliche, unverständige und gemütlose Abstraktion einer bestimmten Materie und eines bestimmten, ihr sklavisch unterworfenen Bewußtseins auf den Thron erhebt.
Unfortunately, translation machines are not powerful enough for the style of Karl Marx.
http://www.mlwerk..._139.htm (It's the third paragraph from the end.)
frajo
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
So how has the Judea-Christian faith been used by its followers to gain wealth and power at the expense of others?
I'm a local thug and come by and steal your women, children, and property. You cannot stop me as I have a band of loyal people who I keep enthralled with money.

You decide you don't like the fact that I can control your actions through tangible force so you counter me by talking to my men about the eternity of torment they're in store for. (ie: the Hell fire sermons that became the norm as Christianity was on the rise in the Medieval period). Suddenly my men don't want to work for me anymore and my power is gone,
The preacher preaches and the evil men stop doing evil deeds?
What a fairy tale. :)

http://en.wikiped...antine_I
The mighty ones mis/used the new religion for their very worldly purposes. Not the other way round.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2010
Proper translation is:

The sense of justice and the law is the most significant provincialism of the Rhineland, but it goes without saying that the special interest, as no country, no province, not as general, not so familiar with the local spirit. In direct contradiction to the assertion of the imagination of those writers who perfect for romance, unfathomable emotional depth and fruitful source of individual and peculiar forms of morality in a representation of special interests are pleased to see that raised to such a natural and spiritual differences by their place the immoral, foolish and mindless abstraction of a particular matter and a certain, her slavishly subdued consciousness rises to the throne.


As for your other prior statements, we will continue to disagree as throughout history religion has both used and been used to consolidate power in all forms.
PinkElephant
4.7 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
@marjon,
You didn't address super's point that religion is used for power and control.

I was addressing your post, not super's. However, since you ask I don't entirely agree with super's depiction of religion's evolution. It's not remotely so cut-and-dry, and many competing influences drive it.
There is scant evidence in the Bible to suggest that any Jewish prophet, Jesus or his disciples used their faith for power and wealth.

Nicely selected sample, but surely you jest. In that very same book, Jesus is depicted as supposedly raging against the priests and the money changers. I don't know if you were aware, but once upon a time there used to be this huge Temple in Jerusalem, and it was the seat of power and wealth for the entire region...

Yes, religion has always been very useful to the power elites, in that it breeds useful idiots aplenty. But that doesn't explain why religion arose in the first place, so it's irrelevant to the discussion.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2010
Nicely selected sample, but surely you jest. In that very same book, Jesus is depicted as supposedly raging against the priests and the money changers.


You agree then that Jesus did not seek wealth and power and opposed those who would use religion for such purposes.

I think the basic philosophy of a faith is very important.
Of course people pervert philosophies for power and wealth. That is an indictment against the perverters, not the philosophy.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2010
all the while my former riches are being donated to your church to prevent an eternity in hell.

Ever hear of the Reformation?
Many believers opposed such a practice by religious leaders.
JayK
3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
Religion is not christianity. Stop trying to threadjack, Marjon.

Besides, you can't even prove Jesus existed. Your collection of stories is interesting, but doesn't address the point that is being discussed, which is where religion originated in the human brain, and why evolutionary processes selected for those that were more prone to religious beliefs.

The 2000 year old religion that you are so enamored of borrowed stories and ideas from hundreds of other religions and tribal practices in order to attract as many followers as possible, and therefore increase its coffers and power.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
There was a very nice article one year ago in the NewScientist: "Born believers: How your brain creates God".
http://www.newsci...god.html
JayK
3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
Interesting that another article on PhyOrg here discussed how brain damage can increase the likelihood of "spirituality".

http://www.physor...522.html

Seems to be a likely explanation for Marjon.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2010
Interesting that another article on PhyOrg here discussed how brain damage can increase the likelihood of "spirituality".

http://www.physor...522.html

Seems to be a likely explanation for Marjon.


What tolerance!
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 10, 2010
Religion is not christianity. Stop trying to threadjack, Marjon.

Besides, you can't even prove Jesus existed. Your collection of stories is interesting, but doesn't address the point that is being discussed, which is where religion originated in the human brain, and why evolutionary processes selected for those that were more prone to religious beliefs.

The 2000 year old religion that you are so enamored of borrowed stories and ideas from hundreds of other religions and tribal practices in order to attract as many followers as possible, and therefore increase its coffers and power.


So many are attacking all religion and making claims they can't support (how scientific!) and I refute.
And for attempting a rational discussion I am personally attacked.
You 'science' people are not very nice.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
So many are attacking all religion and making claims they can't support (how scientific!) and I refute.
And for attempting a rational discussion I am personally attacked.
You 'science' people are not very nice.

Blame God, he "made us this way."
PinkElephant
4.5 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2010
I'm not convinced it is correct to treat religiosity as somehow heritable. IMHO, religion is a *learned* and *taught* phenomenon, not a physiological one. Religion propagates via memes, not genes.

That said, ignorance breeds superstition. A large part of superstition is due to the human tendency to project humanity (including human intelligence, emotions, motivations) onto non-human and even inanimate objects. It's an over-employment of a vital and natural component of the human behavioral arsenal: empathy. To bring about social cohesion within a tribe, humans need the ability to understand that other individuals are just like them. It's a form of projecting one's own personality upon others, which aids in modeling and understanding their motives and behaviors. When applied to non-human targets, you get spirits, demons, gods, and so on. There, I think, lay the true 'physiological' origins of religion: the very human delusion that the universe revolves around us.
JayK
3.3 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2010
Talking of a series of stories about a fictional character that has been passed down to generation from generation as if it were fact and belonged in a scientific forum might have been a slight mistake on your part, eh, marjon?

Religion is regarded as an unneeded bi-product of evolution by a large portion of academia and international intelligencia for a reason.

http://www.cell.c...ure=true

As more and more of these studies are written and discussed amongst the educated "elites" of our generation, will humanity finally see an end to the yoke of religion? One would hope so.
JayK
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Actually, given the studies that do imply a strong link between evolution and spirituality (see God Gene for instance) will humanity ever be able to revert to a simple spirituality might be a better question. I don't think a general atheism/agnosticism will exist across the greater expanse of humanity, but perhaps education and a slow denial of the social yoke of religion might happen, giving rise to another Enlightenment period of great artistry and scientific discovery.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
WRT to the "God Gene", I think it's more a case of over-active pleasure centers. The "bliss" achieved in prayer or meditation, is a form of mental masturbation: a deliberate and skillful activation of reward centers in the brain, learned through practice with the benefit of built-in direct biofeedback. I doubt this has much survival value (indeed, people who tend to pray/meditate the most, also tend not to reproduce much -- i.e. the "monks" and "nuns" of the world.)

More along the lines of the New Scientist article frajo linked above, I think religiosity in itself is just a side-effect of other, much more adaptive human traits.

Of course, once religions do arise, they also compete against each other on the world stage. This can occur only once populations are already sufficiently large (i.e. the species is already successful) -- but indeed, a religion must prove to be more virulent, and/or more socially beneficial (or less socially harmful), than others, in order to propagate.
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2010
As more and more of these studies are written and discussed amongst the educated "elites" of our generation, will humanity finally see an end to the yoke of religion? One would hope so.

Never happen as long as you 'educated elites' remain so arrogant.
JayK
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
The world stage has only been in the competition for the last few hundred years, at the most.

I'm not so sure that the simple pleasure centers of the brain are the main culprit of spirituality/religion. Empathy and compassion are observed in non-human primates (and other mammalia) and so the idea of a "golden rule" might be a separate trait that evolved much later than pleasure centers.

I still think humans are predisposed to rigid belief systems due to complex factors. Atheism/Agnosticism does not seem to be a default state for humans, but rather a choice made by the higher level consciousness of the human mind, a more recent addition to our patchwork brain.
frajo
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Religion is regarded as an unneeded bi-product of evolution by a large portion of academia and international intelligencia for a reason.
What's the difference between a "product" and a "by-product" of evolution?
And what are the kriteria for a "product of evolution" which allow us to determine its "neededness"?
It seems a lot of people show a deep lack of empathy for the needs of the common man two and three millennia ago.
will humanity finally see an end to the yoke of religion? One would hope so.
I want to see an end of injustice, exploitation, and pain. The abolishment of religion won't help to reach this goal. There are no indicators that an areligious world will be any better than a religious world.
JayK
3 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
I would consider a by-product of evolution to be an un-selected interaction of selected behavioral traits (in this instance, particularly).

As for the negatives of society, those will be there as long as communal/tribal instincts encourage an us vs. them attitude to prevail over the idea of the golden rule.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
The world stage may have been a bit overstated on my part, but certainly the triumvirate of Africa, Europe, and Asia had been in cross-cultural contact for many thousands of years. Long-range caravans traversed the landmass from ocean to ocean. There were long-range migrations and conquests. There was interracial and intercultural mixing. None of this started just a few centuries ago. For example, you may have heard of such a thing as the Indo-European language group...

When I speak of pleasure centers, I don't mean strictly the same ones as activated during sex. There are many varied shades of pleasure available to humans: the pleasure of a full stomach, the pleasure of belonging and closeness, the pleasure of Platonic infatuation, the pleasure of making another person feel good, the pleasure of cleanliness, aesthetic pleasure, pleasure of insight, and so on. These are the sort of reward mechanisms that practiced worshippers/meditators are able to stimulate at will.
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
WRT to the "God Gene", I think it's more a case of over-active pleasure centers. The "bliss" achieved in prayer or meditation, is a form of mental masturbation: a deliberate and skillful activation of reward centers in the brain, learned through practice with the benefit of built-in direct biofeedback. I doubt this has much survival value
Try to have a look at life from the perspective of the common man some millennia ago. Life was daily horror. Natural catastrophes, illnesses, slavery, unmoderated brutality of the mighty ones - you never knew what hardship the next day would bring. In circumstances like these, where there is no hope of peace in life, the common man has an urgent need to find at least a way for his inner peace of mind. And this is why religions came along. Maybe Buddhism is best example - an answer to the inhumane rules of hinduism. No bliss involved, only a psychological relief from daily horror.
JayK
3 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Communication capabilities in the last 20 years have changed religions beyond anything that could have been carried horseback and by word-of-mouth propagation. Religious purity seems to be a much more important factor in the acceptance of the individual into group identities. With massive splits of ordinations due to the new ability to accurately share belief structures we may see more division amongst the group identities.

Intelligently designed pleasures, maybe? What I mean, besides the pithy phrase, is that perhaps advanced intelligence allows for pleasure centers to be activated, not based on a predefined set of stimuli, but more upon how the advanced cognizant human brain interprets it? If that is true, then possibly those pathways can be altered by generational sized societal trends so that religion will be considered a quaint historical tradition, rather than a necessary opiate.
PinkElephant
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Life was daily horror.

Not necessarily. What's horrific to you and I, is so because we are not used to it. But when it's reality du jour, it just recedes into the background and becomes the norm. It's a broad neurological phenomenon, called habituation.

With this in mind, "catastrophes" are only events than are relatively speaking even worse than the "horrid" norm. Whereas the "blessings" can be anything that is just tenuously better -- even something you and I still might not perceive as remotely satisfactory.

I don't deny the comfort that people find in religion; however I don't think that without this crutch people would be committing suicide right and left. Humans are just naturally much more resilient than the modern mollycoddled culture tends to give credit for. And then we all stand in "awe" of how "brave" somebody is in the face of total devastation or loss (e.g. in Haiti, or Sudan) -- it's nothing special, just normal human behavioral repertoire.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2010
Intelligently designed pleasures, maybe? What I mean, besides the pithy phrase, is that perhaps advanced intelligence allows for pleasure centers to be activated, not based on a predefined set of stimuli, but more upon how the advanced cognizant human brain interprets it? If that is true, then possibly those pathways can be altered by generational sized societal trends so that religion will be considered a quaint historical tradition, rather than a necessary opiate.

Replace one opiate with another?
marjon
1 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2010
As for the negatives of society, those will be there as long as communal/tribal instincts encourage an us vs. them attitude to prevail over the idea of the golden rule.

Jesus promoted the golden rule as did those who believed Him.
That empathetic message seems to have taken quite some time to stick and is now at risk of becoming 'unstuck' as our secular society devalues life.
JayK
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
Replace one opiate with another?


I said nothing of the sort, but perhaps you are suggesting it? Anything would be better than scolding people for traditions based upon misguided moralities out of a 2000 year old fiction story.
JayK
4 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2010
Jesus promoted the golden rule as did those who believed Him.


(insert random fictional moral character here) went around proposing that (insert random moral story here) in (insert fictional moral story here) which sounds really good until (insert unliked current paradigm here) ruined it.

Yeah, something like that, marjon.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Jesus promoted the golden rule...

Him (assuming he's real, and not just a folklore composite), and a few hundred thousand other Rabbis, in the Hebrew tradition alone (that is, not counting any other religions all over the globe...)
That empathetic message seems to have taken quite some time to stick and is now at risk of becoming 'unstuck' as our secular society devalues life.

You have an odd way of equating a rise in individuality and freedom of conscience, not to mention objective and rational thought, to devaluation of life. Perhaps for you, mindless submission to authority is life itself. If so, maybe you ought to reconsider your religious affiliation: I hear Islam is looking for converts...
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2010
"There were in fact two historians who mention Jesus as a historical personage.
They are the Jewish historian FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS(37 AD - circa 100 AD ) and the great Roman historian Tacitus (AD 55-c.AD 117).
So, the first century Jewish historian Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews 18.3.3 says:"

"TACITUS, wrote in 109 AD of a Christ who “suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus”.
Here is the quote from 'Annals' 15.44, where Jesus and the Christians are mentioned in an account of how the Emperor Nero persecuted the Christians in order to draw attention away from himself after Rome's fire of 64 AD:"
http://en.allexpe...rist.htm
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2010
You have an odd way of equating a rise in individuality and freedom of conscience, not to mention objective and rational thought, to devaluation of life.

Who are promoting abortion and euthanasia? Educated 'elites'.
PinkElephant
4 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
@marjon, regarding historians:

First, you'll notice that both of those historians post-dated the "events" they were describing, by about a century. In other words, this is "hearsay" at best. Second, there were tens of thousands who suffered "the extreme penalty"; crucifixion was a very common method of execution at the time. Third, there were many rebels and rebellions against Rome, and many "Messiahs". Fourth, we know Odysseus probably was real since we found Troy: but that doesn't mean either the ten-year return voyage itself, or the gods, fantastic beasts, and magic involved in the Odyssey were real; ditto for the magic, miracles, life story, and deeds attributed to Jesus in the Bible. Never mind the conflicting gospels that were excised from the canon as "apocrypha", but for the remainder we have plentiful precedents and analogues in preexisting religions of the region, which rather strongly indicates that much of the New Testament is not original, but derivative work.
PinkElephant
4.3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2010
Who are promoting abortion and euthanasia? Educated 'elites'.

We've already discussed the warped nature of your definition of "human life" on other threads. Fetuses are not human beings, any more so than cadavers. (Ironically, your Bible agrees: the punishment for killing a fetus against a mother's will is not remotely the same as punishment for murder -- look it up.)

As for euthanasia, if it weren't for modern technology in the first place, most of the people who are kept alive and in pain today would've died long ago. If you think that condemning violently ill people AGAINST THEIR WILL to prolonged torture until death is either merciful or supportive of life, then I can't argue with you: you're using some form of logic that's fundamentally incompatible with mine. Euthanasia is about a person's right to arrange for an end to their own life with dignity while avoiding needless suffering. Only a merciless, sadistic psychopath would consider this a devaluation of life.
frajo
1 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2010
Euthanasia is about a person's right to arrange for an end to their own life with dignity while avoiding needless suffering.
I really appreciate most of your comments, but here your argument shows a dangerous historical blindness.
Neglecting the historical euphemistical misuse of the Greek expression for "happy death" will result in repeating historical crimes.
The future needs all the past - not only glorious selections.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2010
"TACITUS, wrote in 109 AD of a Christ


Josephus was a known liar and drunk.

As for Tacitus, he merely repeated a story he had heard. That is unless you think Jesus was crucified at the ripe old age of 71.

If you think Jesus was real you should read up on Apollonius of Tyana.
frajo
1.3 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2010
Non-religious people who try to prove that Jesus wasn't a real person remind me of missionaries who are afraid to concede "I don't know and I don't care".
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010

We've already discussed the warped nature of your definition of "human life" on other threads.

Is this from an 'educated elite'?
Now you 'elites' decide what is human life and what is not?
Some Germans tried that a few decades ago, no?
PinkElephant
4.3 / 5 (3) Feb 11, 2010
Now you 'elites' decide what is human life and what is not?

If your memory is too short, let me refresh it: no brain -- no human.

Dolls look human in shape, but they're not alive. Anencephalic infants are human in body, and even have human reflexes (such as grasping, swallowing, breathing) but they're not human beings (lacking most of the mid- and upper-brain.) Brain death officially delineates the death of a human, as a matter of widely accepted and practiced law: even if the rest of the cadaver can be kept "alive" indefinitely in an ICU.

Going forward, increasingly sophisticated prosthetics will allow us to replace most of the human body with artificial parts, or parts regrown from stem cells. The only body part that is irreplaceable, is the brain.

Further onward, it is inevitable that eventually human-scale artificial intelligence will be created. It will have to be accorded the equivalent rights of human beings, despite having no human DNA or biological components.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
Now you 'elites' decide what is human life and what is not?


Dolls look human in shape, but they're not alive. Anencephalic infants are human in body, and even have human reflexes (such as grasping, swallowing, breathing) but they're not human beings (lacking most of the mid- and upper-brain.) Brain death officially delineates the death of a human, as a matter of widely accepted and practiced law: even if the rest of the cadaver is "alive", and can be kept thus in an ICU.

Going forward, increasingly sophisticated prosthetics will allow us to replace most of the human body with artificial parts, or parts regrown from stem cells. The only body part that is irreplaceable, is the brain.

Further onward, it is inevitable that eventually human-scale artificial intelligence will be created. It will have to be accorded the equivalent rights of human beings, despite having no human DNA or biological component

A long winded answer to say "Yes, elites decide."
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2010
A long winded answer to say "Yes, elites decide."

I'll choose the elites of science and philosophy, over those lodged in the Vatican, any day and any time.
GaryB
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 12, 2010
This study seems to discount the possibility that there might actually be a God. What if He really does exist??


I realized the other day, that if those of us who believe in an afterlife are wrong, we will never know the difference. But if those who believe there is no afterlife are wrong, they will be in for a very shocking surprise (perhaps even a hellish surprise).


Yes, you'll get to feel all self-righteous about choosing God against all reasonable evidence while that God tortures the rest, the huge mass majority of all humanity, *forever* and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Oooh will that feel good.
GaryB
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 12, 2010
This study seems to discount the possibility that there might actually be a God. What if He really does exist??


I realized the other day, that if those of us who believe in an afterlife are wrong, we will never know the difference. But if those who believe there is no afterlife are wrong, they will be in for a very shocking surprise (perhaps even a hellish surprise).


I gave answer one, that, as conceived, your God is irredeemable evil no matter how you couch it in mysterious ways. Now let me attack the premise of immortal life, since I think such a thing is clearly impossible, except, as in ancient fables, heaven is a complete forgetting of self and self-awareness (essentially death). If you do survive as you, what will you ever do for billions and billions of years. You dare not learn anything new since all that you are will completely wash away. Every essence every thought, the structures and categories of self will wash away. The "you" cannot survive change.
GaryB
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 12, 2010

Why fabricate a religion, Christianity, that promotes the individual and eschews government? What was in it for Abraham or Isiah or Jesus or Paul?


I've grown sick of religion, but I do credit Christianity with founding the "me" generation -- my soul, my survival, my self. It is quite literally a selfish rather than a tribal religion and that was a great advance in human thought. I also like their attempt to conquer death ... but I put more hope in science for that than in ancient gods.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2010
A long winded answer to say "Yes, elites decide."

I'll choose the elites of science and philosophy, over those lodged in the Vatican, any day and any time.

Who decides who is 'elite'? The 'elites'?
marjon
1.4 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2010
A long winded answer to say "Yes, elites decide."

I'll choose the elites of science and philosophy, over those lodged in the Vatican, any day and any time.

Who decides who is 'elite'? The 'elites'?

I suspect many hate and attack the concept of God because He is superior to they and they can never be better than God. Humility is just too much for them to accept so they must reject the concept of a higher power to elevate themselves. They establish 'elite' universities and cliques to establish their (perceived) dominance over the 'little' people.
I thought the the more knowledge someone acquired, the more he would realize how much more there was to know. Honest 'intellectuals' should appreciate that the more they learn, the more they learn how truly ignorant they are.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2010
Who decides who is 'elite'? The 'elites'?

In your case, you. You are the one calling anyone who rejects your ill-reasoned and ill-grounded claims, an "elitist".
I thought the the more knowledge someone acquired, the more he would realize how much more there was to know.

You are right. That's precisely why, the more people learn, the farther away they retreat from naive childhood certainties. And that includes religions in a VERY big way.

And that's long after one discovers the broad anthropological tapestry of human history, and realizes that all religions and cultures the world over have only one singular and common origin: the mind of man. Personally, this is something I understood since I was in my early teens: simple realizations like that don't take the level of an "intellectual elite".
SMMAssociates
5 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Just me, but "organized religion" is just the matrix that various groups use to describe the beliefs they hold.... The bases are probably accidental, as a result of things like slippery spots on a trail.

However, we then have the case of two fish swimming in a little fishbowl. One says to the other: "If there's no God, who changes the water?"

:D

RobertKLR
1 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
"and associated exclusively with humans" ... We don't know the minds of animals. We barely know our own minds. Science is a set of theories based on approximations, assumptions, and guesses.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2010
Who decides who is 'elite'? The 'elites'?

I suspect many hate and attack the concept of God because He is superior to they and they can never be better than God.


The elites want you to believe in God. Look at what belief in God does to modern sociey. You're divided, confused, and resistant to change. That's what the elites would want, the more predictable you are the easier you are to control and guide, sight unseen.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Feb 13, 2010
Who decides who is 'elite'? The 'elites'?

I suspect many hate and attack the concept of God because He is superior to they and they can never be better than God.


The elites want you to believe in God. Look at what belief in God does to modern sociey. You're divided, confused, and resistant to change. That's what the elites would want, the more predictable you are the easier you are to control and guide, sight unseen.

That depends upon 'the god' one worships. Is your god science, government power, yourself?
The God I believe in wants me to control myself, not others. He wants me to share His message, not force it on anyone.
That is quite opposite of our latest 'hope and change' messiah, Obama, who wants to everyone to change to socialism. Thank God there are people who are resistant to such change.
PinkElephant
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
He wants me to share His message, not force it on anyone.
That is quite opposite of our latest 'hope and change' messiah, Obama, who wants to everyone to change to socialism.

Funny... I thought you were a Christian. If you actually ever bothered to delve into Christ's message, you'd find it's not only Socialist, but downright Communist at its core.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Feb 13, 2010
He wants me to share His message, not force it on anyone.
That is quite opposite of our latest 'hope and change' messiah, Obama, who wants to everyone to change to socialism.

Funny... I thought you were a Christian. If you actually ever bothered to delve into Christ's message, you'd find it's not only Socialist, but downright Communist at its core.

Christ encourages His followers to DONATE their time and treasure.
Jesus never supported the use of government coercion to TAKE from the rich and 'give' to the poor.
The classic example was his message to the rich man, donate all your wealth and follow me and you will find salvation.
What is most important to Jesus was not the physical welfare of but the spiritual. Recall He praised the widow for her two mites.
I see no socialist message in Christianity. If you do, it is a ploy by socialists to gain power.
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
Jeez this thread is thick with Pudels and trolls-
"organized religion" is just the matrix that various groups use to describe the beliefs they hold....
There is an Elite who have dedicated Themselves to preserving this world despite the Flood of humanity which has engulfed it... They have commandeered your religions as they have the rest of your social constructs, and turned them into something They could use. Their definition of morality is this: to let Knowledge be lost to ignorance or inaction is Evil and they will let nothing to chance in preserving this most precious of all human possessions. Their definition of Morality for all of you is exactly this: They decide what is right and wrong, good and bad, for any given people, in any given region, at any particular point in time. They have had Their religions to do this in the past; but lately they have developed more efficient venues, ie tv and the internet.

Cower in Their presence. Praise human Ingenuity and Deceipt. :-)
otto1923
1.7 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
Er, uh, Deceit. And Tretchery!

http://en.wikiped...ommunism
"Donate" to save your soul. Another filthy Xian lie.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2010
Pinky:

"The dean of Baylor's Truett Seminary, Paul Powell, has written: We can force outward conformity but not inward commitment. The results are always disastrous when we do. Says Powell, Coercion can only result in people becoming hypocrites, not genuine Christians. ... Persuade, yes; coerce, never. The gospel is to be shared, not shoved. "

Socialism is 100% coercion.
otto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
"Donate" or roast in the fires of hell. How many have been roasted here on earth because they refused to "donate" to Xian domination? How many ostracized in Xian families, villages, and parishes because they were reluctant to embrace the nonsense which is the Xian lie?
NeptuneAD
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2010
I love browsing physorg and finding a religious article, always guaranteed lots of comments arguing on both sides, usually the same people over and over again.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2010
I love browsing physorg and finding a religious article, always guaranteed lots of comments arguing on both sides, usually the same people over and over again.

I don't know why they keep publishing such articles except to generate hits. How capitalistic!
marjon
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2010
"Donate" or roast in the fires of hell. How many have been roasted here on earth because they refused to "donate" to Xian domination? How many ostracized in Xian families, villages, and parishes because they were reluctant to embrace the nonsense which is the Xian lie?

What is Xian?
GDM
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Yes, I see you're still here. I guess the capitalists won over another christian. So much for roasting in hell forever, which, by the way, is a frequent threat to all nonbelievers in the Koran. Being a christian, that means you, too.
droom
5 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Christianity says believe in God/Jesus and be saved, if not you go to hell to suffer eternally. The Bible also states that God loves every person moreso than we can possibly love another. However I wouldnt send a person I seethingly hated to hell to suffer eternally. Direct and simple fallacy of the Christian "God".

How the religious type can be ok with the mass majority of humans suffering horrendously throughout eternity just because they didnt believe God, is beyond me. I wouldnt worship such an a-hole deity.
tkjtkj
2 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
CarolinaScotsman " I realized the other day, that if those of us who believe in an afterlife are wrong, we will never know the difference. But if those who believe there is no afterlife are wrong, they will be in for a very shocking surprise (perhaps even a hellish surprise).


Once again, your logic is a bit off: just how do can you feel that if there is no after-life, the person would have a hellish surprise in finding that out??

Do i hear the word 'nonsequitor'??

get this: HE'd BE DEAD WITH NO AFTERLIFE, NOR ANY WAY TO SENSE HELLISHNESS OR ANYTHING ELSE!

NeptuneAD
3 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2010
you got that wrong, it's if you believe there is no afterlife and there is, then you get a surprise, not the other way around
otto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2010
Xian, for anyone besides the troll who knows full well what it means, is the abbreviated version of Christ-ian or Christ-mas. It evokes either the cross itself or the sound of the root. It may also hearken to the original symbol for Christ, the chi-rho:
http://en.wikiped.../Chi-Rho
-I see a curious connection between Xian and Zion, both with militancy at their core (myth has it that Constantine adopted the religion after a vision he had on his way to battle another emperor, but in reality Romans had been tailoring the religion for centuries by cheerfully culling the Xian throngs of arrians and others whose beliefs ran counter to this new social control mechanism). This Xian/Zion coincidence- much like the Jesus/Joshua/Jehovah character, only lend more weight to the obvious conclusion that these religions were all concocted by the same enduring Organization, for the same Purpose.
JayK
3 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2010
@NeptuneAD

As I said before, that argument (Pascal's Wager) has been dealt with and is a poor argument for religion of any sort. Do you have something useful to add to this discussion?
NeptuneAD
not rated yet Feb 13, 2010
I was merely correcting tkjtkj's mistake, not using it as an argument for anything, I didn't realise that was forbidden, sorry master.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
Xian, for anyone besides the troll who knows full well what it means, is the abbreviated version of Christ-ian or Christ-mas. It evokes either the cross itself or the sound of the root. It may also hearken to the original symbol for Christ, the chi-rho:
http://en.wikiped.../Chi-Rho
-I see a curious connection between Xian and Zion, both with militancy at their core (myth has it that Constantine adopted the religion after a vision he had on his way to battle another emperor, but in reality Romans had been tailoring the religion for centuries by cheerfully culling the Xian throngs of arrians and others whose beliefs ran counter to this new social control mechanism). This Xian/Zion coincidence- much like the Jesus/Joshua/Jehovah character, only lend more weight to the obvious conclusion that these religions were all concocted by the same enduring Organization, for the same Purpose.

So you just want to insult Christians. I'm not surprised.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 13, 2010
Yes, I see you're still here. I guess the capitalists won over another christian. So much for roasting in hell forever, which, by the way, is a frequent threat to all nonbelievers in the Koran. Being a christian, that means you, too.

It is interesting that if you check out capitalist.org, it is an Ayn Rand based site. Rand was a flaming atheist.
Why is it such a surprise that Christians support individual liberty and private property rights? That philosophy spans many religions.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Xian, for anyone besides the troll who knows full well what it means, is the abbreviated version of Christ-ian or Christ-mas. It evokes either the cross itself or the sound of the root. It may also hearken to the original symbol for Christ, the chi-rho:
http://en.wikiped.../Chi-Rho
-I see a curious connection between Xian and Zion, both with militancy at their core (myth has it that Constantine adopted the religion after a vision he had on his way to battle another emperor, but in reality Romans had been tailoring the religion for centuries by cheerfully culling the Xian throngs of arrians and others whose beliefs ran counter to this new social control mechanism). This Xian/Zion coincidence- much like the Jesus/Joshua/Jehovah character, only lend more weight to the obvious conclusion that these religions were all concocted by the same enduring Organization, for the same Purpose.

So you just want to insult Christians. I'm not surprised.

otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Xianists are too lazy to think for themselves or edit their posts. Xianists and all religionists insult everything that is good and right and reasonable about this world. Time for religion to end.
Why is it such a surprise that Christians support individual liberty and private property rights? That philosophy spans many religions.
Only the current pap you've been fed. Used again.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
Xianists are too lazy to think for themselves or edit their posts. Xianists and all religionists insult everything that is good and right and reasonable about this world. Time for religion to end.
Why is it such a surprise that Christians support individual liberty and private property rights? That philosophy spans many religions.
Only the current pap you've been fed. Used again.

Is that how you justify your insulting behavior?
Bloodoflamb
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Is that how you justify your insulting behavior?

I would like to be sexually involved with you and both of our feces. Are you in?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Feb 13, 2010
Is that how you justify your insulting behavior?

I would like to be sexually involved with you and both of our feces. Are you in?

Such discussions about religion bring out the best in people.
Bloodoflamb
1 / 5 (1) Feb 13, 2010
Is that how you justify your insulting behavior?

I would like to be sexually involved with you and both of our feces. Are you in?

Such discussions about religion bring out the best in people.

You didn't answer my question.
PinkElephant
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
Christ encourages His followers to DONATE their time and treasure.

The central philosophical premise of Communism was, that if children are raised from the beginning with the ethic of altruism and sharing, a new form of society will emerge: the Commune. Of course, standing in the way of this was the established social structure, with its classes and stratification, and its embedded selfishness and vices. This was to be scrubbed away, forcefully (as it can't be done any other way), to be eventually replaced by the Communist ideal society. This is the so-called "bright future", in the name of which Lenin and Stalin and the rest of them didn't bat an eye at murdering millions of people.

The ultimate vision of Communism is very Christian indeed. And the ideals of Christianity are very Communist: wealth doesn't matter, property doesn't matter, nothing matters except righteousness and wholesomeness. You can't get more Communist (and anti-Capitalist) than that.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
[That depends upon 'the god' one worships. Is your god science, government power, yourself?
The God I believe in wants me to control myself, not others.
Then why are you here telling us that we're wrong?

He wants me to share His message, not force it on anyone.
You're being rather forceful now.
That is quite opposite of our latest 'hope and change' messiah, Obama, who wants to everyone to change to socialism. Thank God there are people who are resistant to such change.

Socialism and Christianity go hand in hand. Wasn't it Jesus who began redistribution of wealth by handing out food, the only form of wealth at the time, to the poor and huddled masses?

And an all knowing, all seeing God who made you can't want you to control yourself. He already knows what's going to happen and made you anyway. Your logic is faulty.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2010
Socialism and Christianity go hand in hand. Wasn't it Jesus who began redistribution of wealth by handing out food, the only form of wealth at the time, to the poor and huddled masses?


Maybe the point is too subtle for you to understand. Jesus wants us as INDIVIDUALS to give. Giving is VOLUNTARY. He does not want us to form a government, take the wealth from others and distribute such plunder to buy votes.

The Puritans combined their Christian faith with hard work and private property to create very prosperous society that spawned literacy and opposed slavery in the USA. The Puritans 'forced' parents to teach their children to read so they could read the Bible for themselves so they did not have to depend upon a Pope or priest to interpret the Bible for them. They wanted people to think for themselves.

otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2010
Maybe the point is too subtle for you to understand. Jesus wants us as INDIVIDUALS to give. Giving is VOLUNTARY
A very recent, local, and temporary interpretation. 'Jesus' wanted you to give up everything including your identity, personality etc and follow him. So did puritans, an extremely totalitarian society- hence the name. They burned unattached women you know.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2010
Maybe the point is too subtle for you to understand. Jesus wants us as INDIVIDUALS to give. Giving is VOLUNTARY
A very recent, local, and temporary interpretation. 'Jesus' wanted you to give up everything including your identity, personality etc and follow him. So did puritans, an extremely totalitarian society- hence the name. They burned unattached women you know.

What is so great about Christianity is the capacity for forgiveness and a fresh start. People may never forgive or forget, but God will, if you are sincere. That philosophy is used by substance abuse programs to encourage people to take control of their lives. Christians are not perfect, but they are forgiven. But one must have the humility to ask, and mean it.
I don't get the sense that many who have commented here have such humility. But, the door is always open, if you choose to walk through it.
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
'Jesus' wanted you to give up everything including your identity, personality etc and follow him
Which was a very convenient definition for the church (and still is) who figured that if you didn't WANT to give the tithe or serve n Xian armies you must be a heretic. So you burned. Same way today (in Lebanon?) but not as draconian- depending on the sect, members are hounded, ostracized to to 'donate' and conform. And to disbelieve and reject the latest version of heresy as defined by the church. Puritans and all xians need their priests to interpret the bible for them- 'do we embrace the stranger or assume he's Satan? Is it ok to marry our cousin or not? Do we spare the rod and spoil the child? Do we eat fish on Friday? Do we harass the Moslems/Jews/gypsies/comanches/Lutherans or merely tolerate them? Do we believe king James or NIV? does the Teacher say everything is meaningless or just that we are all too vain to understand?
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2010
He wants me to share His message, not force it on anyone.


You're being rather forceful now.

How am I forcing you to do anything?
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2010
'Jesus' wanted you to give up everything including your identity, personality etc and follow him
Which was a very convenient definition for the church (and still is) who figured that if you didn't WANT to give the tithe or serve n Xian armies you must be a heretic. So you burned. Same way today (in Lebanon?) but not as draconian- depending on the sect, members are hounded, ostracized to to 'donate' and conform. And to disbelieve and reject the latest version of heresy as defined by the church. Puritans and all xians need their priests to interpret the bible for them- 'do we embrace the stranger or assume he's Satan? Is it ok to marry our cousin or not? Do we spare the rod and spoil the child? Do we eat fish on Friday? Do we harass the Moslems/Jews/gypsies/comanches/Lutherans or merely tolerate them? Do we believe king James or NIV? does the Teacher say everything is meaningless or just that we are all too vain to understand?

Read the Bible and think for yourself.
otto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2010
Cont.- Does Jesus really want me to feel guilty just because I bleed once a month? Should we stone Ethel because she's pregnant and unwed? Ok I'm done. The bible was written in such a manner as to REQUIRE priests to interpret it for you. The OT says attack your enemy; the NT says embrace him. Either will get you killed at the proper time; either can be appropriate at the proper time, so saith your priests as decided by the People they work for. Save or spend- scatter stones or gather them up- They decide for you. You keep a years supply of food in your basement like the Mormons? Do you refrain from rounding the corners of your head like the hassidim? Do you even cover your head when you go out in public or -gasp- into a church?
otto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2010
Let's see, the bible says we stone Ethel so... what the hell? Gods will-
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2010
Let's see, the bible says we stone Ethel so... what the hell? Gods will-

Think for yourself.
The Bible says don't murder and love your neighbor as yourself.
otto1923
3.8 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2010
What is so great about Christianity is the capacity for forgiveness and a fresh start
The only reason you crave absolution is because from birth your religion has made you feel guilty for being born a sinner; and if you don't beg daily for forgiveness you will burn for it. This guilt pervades your life; you heard it from your parents, your priests, you read it in your bible and you teach it to your kids. The sin of being a human being binds you to that institution like nothing else. It keeps you paying, and worshipping and heeding until you forget what reality is. The church punishes you for no reason. You had nothing to be sorry for to begin with, and if you weren't Christian you wouldn't feel the need to be absolved of anything. We all suffer this residue of religionist guilt; our culture is full of it. When the church is gone we will all be absolved.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
Let's see, the bible says we stone Ethel so... what the hell? Gods will-

Think for yourself.
The Bible says don't murder and love your neighbor as yourself.

My mother, an atheist said that as well, she didn't need a billion adherants to instill morality in myself and my brothers.

It's sad that you assume all morality comes from religion, when under scrutiny it's plain that is not the case.
otto1923
4 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2010
The Bible says don't murder and love your neighbor as yourself.
You obviously don't read the bible yourself so how would you know? What's the matter- afraid of what you'll find? You have to read it the way it was written, not they way your priests tell you to. Read the NIV- less overall lying and obfuscation through translation.
Bloodoflamb
1 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
Read the Bible and think for yourself.

Will you read it WITH me? I've always found that reading the Bible with someone else always brings me closer to that person, and I want to be close to you.
boru
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
I humbly urge you all to read and study the Tao Te Ching, the Bible, the Koran, The Guru Granth Sahib, The Upanishads, The Dhammapada, The Bhagavad Gita, Native American myths, All the Greek and Roman myths. Any and every thing you can think of that can be considered a "holy book"-read. Read the translations, read all of them. Read them in their original language; at least try to grasp its original intended meaning. Learn the history of these texts. Research their origins, their writers, their proponents and their enemies. Just read, analyze and critically think about the subjects at hand, and do it before you open your mouth or write some seriously inaccurate post for or against a particular worldview.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
Read the NIV- less overall lying and obfuscation through translation.

That may be why mainstream Christianity has such deep disagreements with the NIV translation.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2010
do it before you open your mouth or write some seriously inaccurate post for or against a particular worldview
Uh, that's a lot of work there, you got a specific complaint to save us a little time?
Bloodoflamb
1 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2010
I humbly urge you all to read and study the Tao Te Ching, the Bible, the Koran, The Guru Granth Sahib, The Upanishads, The Dhammapada, The Bhagavad Gita, Native American myths, All the Greek and Roman myths. Any and every thing you can think of that can be considered a "holy book"-read. Read the translations, read all of them. Read them in their original language; at least try to grasp its original intended meaning. Learn the history of these texts. Research their origins, their writers, their proponents and their enemies. Just read, analyze and critically think about the subjects at hand, and do it before you open your mouth or write some seriously inaccurate post for or against a particular worldview.

Who has 10+ years to dedicate to all of this? Not me, buckaroo.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2010
That may be why mainstream Christianity has such deep disagreements with the NIV translation
Lies upon lies. I like how the last part of Mark was tacked on because somebody didn't like the way it ended, and the other gospels just copied it that way.
mauinut
5 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
look at it simply, the human bio-computer just like any other computer must have a Basic In Out System(BIOS program) "religion" or rather a specific set of morals (algorythyms) fill this need, somewhere sometime somebody figured out how to pervert this basic system into a social control system and has been disguised as a system of belief all the while. "God" is the "singularity, the beginning and the end, trying to define or prove his/her existence will consume an entire lifetime to no avail. are you willing to spend your life just to prove it?
boru
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
My complaint is specific to people talking out of ignorance, not curious, analytic, and thoughtful individuals who see time as the only difference between religion and science. Apparently Mauinut gets it, at least from my POV. Its very useful to have a dialog among non-experts on the field in this particular type of forum, I'm just urging some research on whatever the matter is at hand.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2010
What is so great about Christianity is the capacity for forgiveness and a fresh start
The only reason you crave absolution is because from birth your religion has made you feel guilty for being born a sinner; and if you don't beg daily for forgiveness you will burn for it. This guilt pervades your life; you heard it from your parents, your priests, you read it in your bible and you teach it to your kids. The sin of being a human being binds you to that institution like nothing else. It keeps you paying, and worshipping and heeding until you forget what reality is. The church punishes you for no reason. You had nothing to be sorry for to begin with, and if you weren't Christian you wouldn't feel the need to be absolved of anything. We all suffer this residue of religionist guilt; our culture is full of it. When the church is gone we will all be absolved.

You have no guilt about anything? Not ashamed of insulting others and looking stupid?
droom
5 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
Think for yourself.
The Bible says don't murder and love your neighbor as yourself.


Ahh I love using the Bible to prove Christians wrong.

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. Deuteronomy 17:12

If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives. Leviticus 20:13

A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. Leviticus 21:9
droom
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
cont.

And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and' fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us? 1Samuel 6:19-20

So this is the god of the OT. Jesus preached a very different message, "love your enemy" "turn the other cheek". Yet another Christian "God" fallacy. So God/Jesus/Holyspirit are all one being, a timeless eternal being. Yet for some reason, that ultimate timeless being completely changes his tone a thousand years later. Same being, contradicting ideas at different times, all laid out in the actual book these people DONT read.

Sad thing is, Im positive Ive read the Bible many more times than most Christians. Though it makes it fun to argue with them, as I know their source material better.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2010
1 Samuel 8:10-21:
o Samuel told them, delivered God's warning to the people who were asking him to give them a king. He said, "This is the way the kind of king you're talking about operates. He'll take your sons and make soldiers of them—chariotry, cavalry, infantry, regimented in battalions and squadrons. He'll put some to forced labor on his farms, plowing and harvesting, and others to making either weapons of war or chariots in which he can ride in luxury. He'll put your daughters to work as beauticians and waitresses and cooks. He'll conscript your best fields, vineyards, and orchards and hand them over to his special friends. He'll tax your harvests and vintage to support his extensive bureaucracy. Your prize workers and best animals he'll take for his own use. He'll lay a tax on your flocks and you'll end up no better than slaves. The day will come when you will cry in desperation because of this king you so much want for yourselves. But don't expect God to answer."
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2010
What is amazing about the Bible is that it says many things to many people at different times in their lives.
droom: Satan knew the Bible well too.
The question regarding any literature is do you understand the meaning?
From what you have written and boasted, obviously not.

Why did I post the bit from Samuel? It points out that God understood government and its costs making it unlikely he supported communism.
I will say, that that the only way a socialist society can be succeed is with 100% volunteers. Monasteries are probably the only successful socialist societies today as all participants are volunteers.
Socialist governments fail because they must use force as not all want to play. That is not the type of socialism Jesus wanted.
droom
5 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
droom: Satan knew the Bible well too.
The question regarding any literature is do you understand the meaning?


So, basically what you are saying is that it doesnt matter what it actually says like killing all gays

If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives. Leviticus 20:13

but what you personally interpret it as. I understand more of the Bible than you would think, I was in training to be a pastor in my younger years. Ive been drunken with the holy spirit(aka massive endorphin release). So Ive experienced plenty, and Ive read plenty. In doing so, I see the massive inconsistencies within the verses, I see the contradicting thoughts, and I also see the simple fallacies of "God".
JayK
4 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2010
marjon obviously is skewed towards believing that a common dictatorship is the same as socialism.

Say, marjon, do you actually understand socialism or is it just a buzz word that you throw around to mean "a social/economic model that I don't like"? Also, communism and socialism aren't interchangeable, but someone that actually had an iota of education would already know that.
kphysorg
5 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2010
This study seems to discount the possibility that there might actually be a God. What if He really does exist??


Whether god exists is irrelevant. God might exist and the world's religions might have nothing to do with him (her/it), and nothing to do with the evolution of human morality.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
I'm just urging some research on whatever the matter is at hand
You say people here who are anti-religion don't know what they're talking about. I say prove it.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
Satan knew the Bible well too
Satan doesn't exist and neither does god.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2010
Say, marjon, do you actually understand socialism or is it just a buzz word that you throw around
marjoe is full of dogma.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
Why did I post the bit from Samuel?
Because you wanted people to think you actually read the bible and not just the pamphlets they hand out in church. Because you googled 'bible' and 'government' and 'socialism' until you found a passage you could use, like you usually do. Because you're a phoney like your god is. These are not insults because they're true, am I right? You think it's ok to be dishonest when battling satanists, I know. You a Jesuit or something?
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2010
marjon obviously is skewed towards believing that a common dictatorship is the same as socialism.

Say, marjon, do you actually understand socialism or is it just a buzz word that you throw around to mean "a social/economic model that I don't like"? Also, communism and socialism aren't interchangeable, but someone that actually had an iota of education would already know that.

Socialism: state control of private property. Mises wrote a nice summary.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2010
droom: The Bible has inspired many people to great things.
Gutenberg was able to make a commercial success of his press by printing and selling Bibles. People learned to read using the Bible. Such education inspired the Protestants to become independent from the power of the day, the Holy Roman Empire.
The Bible was the reason Puritans required their children to learn to read.
Puritans valued classical education and established Harvard to "To advance Learning and perpetuate it to Posterity; dreading to leave an illiterate Ministry to the Churches."
Wilberforce led the campaign to end slavery in the British Empire.
Christian abolitionists in the USA took great risks to help slaves escape.
Millions of other examples exist.
Salinger recently died. Many claimed Catcher in the Rye was a great book. I didn't think so when forced to read it in school.
droom, have fun debating the Bible with Christians. But be careful, you might someday find something that inspires you.
JayK
3 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2010
So marjon, you googled socialism and came up with the name Mises and you STILL got the definition of socialism wrong.

Good jorb!@
Bloodoflamb
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
Socialism: state control of private property. Mises wrote a nice summary.

VON Mises, love.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 14, 2010
"It is the aim of Socialism to transfer the means of production from private ownership to the ownership of organized society, to the State.[1] The socialistic State owns all material factors of production and thus directs it. This transfer need not be carried out with due observance of the formalities elaborated for property transfers according to the law ..."
"If the State takes the power of disposal from the owner piecemeal, by extending its influence over production; if its power to determine what direction production shall take and what kind of production there shall be, is increased, then the owner is left at last with nothing except the empty name of ownership, and property has passed into the hands of the State." http://mises.org/...ch2.aspx

The State does not have to have 'legal title' to own the property. Controlling the means of production with regulation is much easier.
Ergo, socialism is state control of 'private' property.
Bloodoflamb
not rated yet Feb 14, 2010
Jesus titty ****ing christ, I can't keep doing it.

Socialism is characterized by public/labor ownership or regulation of capital/the means of production, NOT NECESSARILY STATE OWNED OR REGULATED.
JayK
1 / 5 (1) Feb 14, 2010
Controlling the means of production with regulation is much easier.
Ergo, socialism is state control of 'private' property.


No, no it isn't. You've oversimplified in order to attempt to deflect the fact that you have no idea what you are talking about.
fourthrocker
5 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
Religion is one of man's greatest inventions. It provides the perfect control mechanism. It puts extreme fear of disobeying into people with no cost, the reward is provided after death so the leaders (priests, mullahs, popes, etc.) do not have to pay the people they control. Truly brilliant.
Bloodoflamb
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
No. Religion's conception was as an attempt to explain the questions of: "where did we come from?" and "why are we here?" What is so disappointing is that it has become more and more obvious that WE create the "why" yet still religious people cling to something else to give their lives purpose.
marjon
2 / 5 (8) Feb 15, 2010
Controlling the means of production with regulation is much easier.
Ergo, socialism is state control of 'private' property.


No, no it isn't. You've oversimplified in order to attempt to deflect the fact that you have no idea what you are talking about.

That's what the N A Z I s did. Industry was 'privately' owned, but still controlled by the state. Just like we have in the USA. The medical industry is heavily regulated and controlled by the state.
People own themselves, but cannot legally accept wages lower than a state mandated limit.
I find it is the socialist sympathizers who do not like Mises' definition as it exposes their agenda.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 15, 2010
Jesus titty ****ing christ, I can't keep doing it.

Socialism is characterized by public/labor ownership or regulation of capital/the means of production, NOT NECESSARILY STATE OWNED OR REGULATED.


The 'public' IS the state.
Bloodoflamb
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
The 'public' IS the state.

Not necessarily.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 15, 2010
The 'public' IS the state.

Not necessarily.

Care to elaborate?
In representative democracies, the public is the state.
Bloodoflamb
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
I'm not part owner of the military, or of the Pentagon, or of the White House or of Capital Hill. The state and the public are not identically equal.
marjon
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 15, 2010
I'm not part owner of the military, or of the Pentagon, or of the White House or of Capital Hill. The state and the public are not identically equal.

Now you are starting to get it. Even though you helped to pay for such property, you have very limited authority to control such property, therefore you don't really own it.
You don't really own yourself if the state controls the price of your labor.
otto1923
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
The 'public' IS the state.
Jesus you're an idiot.
weewilly
1 / 5 (5) Feb 15, 2010
I have never seen more comments on any subject than this one. It must have really hit a nerve or two with most of us. I'm a believer and I do not need more proof than what there already is. Men and women of good hearts and minds are what will be in what we call Heaven. Doesn't really matter what and who you are or the color of your skin. Does the existance of God, have to be proven to those that cannot feel, see, hear, smell or taste with their hearts and minds? There are many that you will never convince. So be it. I guess that is why there is a hell. Only time will prove who is right and who is wrong.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
That's what the N A Z I s did. Industry was 'privately' owned, but still controlled by the state.

Wrong. The NAZIs owned all private business.

There are a lot of misconceptions here.

Socialism is merely a method of resource distribution, not a political state. All members of the society receive equal compensation or resources based upon the total count of residents. Resources are always evenly divided between residents regardless of need.

Communism- all residents of the society receive exactly what they need from the community, resources are shared by the public based upon need.

Representative Democracy - the representation of a group of people by an individual, a state in which all office holders are decided by popular suffrage (vote), and said office holders execute legislation in the best interests of the people.

Representative republic- Representatives elected by popular suffrage instill legislation and office holders based upon vote of the representatives.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (7) Feb 15, 2010
" "The German and Russian systems of socialism have in common the fact that the government has full control of the means of production. It decides what shall be produced and how. It allots to each individual a share of consumer's goods for his consumption."

The difference between the systems, wrote Mises, is that the German pattern "maintains private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary prices, wages, and markets." But in fact the government directs production decisions, curbs entrepreneurship and the labor market, and determines wages and interest rates by central authority. "Market exchange," says Mises, "is only a sham."
"Reimann documented how the "monster machine" of the Nazis crushed the autonomy of the private sector through onerous regulations, harsh inspections, and the threat of confiscatory fines for petty offenses."
http://mises.org/...icledate
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 15, 2010
Socialism is merely a method of resource distribution, not a political state. All members of the society receive equal compensation or resources based upon the total count of residents. Resources are always evenly divided between residents regardless of need.

Who divides and allocates the resources?
What if one individual does not want to share?

BobSage
1 / 5 (7) Feb 15, 2010
The success of science is based on an axiomatic denial of the existence of consciousness. By igoring the only thing that each individual scientist knows to be true, science freed itself to explain material phenomenon without the burden of explaining where it came from. Denying consciousness also denies God, since God would have to be conscious. It is disingenuous of science to make claims about God's existence when God has been axiomatically proscribed in its philosophy.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
There are many that you will never convince. So be it. I guess that is why there is a hell. Only time will prove who is right and who is wrong
-guy's been reading psalms. I hate it when godders threaten disbelievers. If only your god knows the ultimate results of our actions, how can you be sure your self-righteousness hasn't already condemned you, and my critical honesty has not saved me? Jesus the Logos- the Word- Truth- will set you free. The truth comes from questioning, and accepting what you learn. Your bible will fall just like every other false idol meant for blind adoration and not for understanding.
droom
5 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
I There are many that you will never convince. So be it. I guess that is why there is a hell. Only time will prove who is right and who is wrong.


Are you ok with torture? Are you ok with murder? Are you ok with seeing other people suffer? Yet you are ok with your God sending the large portion of the human population throughout its entire existence to a hell where you suffer eternally.

Christians really dont understand the implications of hell. Its just a SCARE TACTIC. Its 100% INCONSISTENT with your core beliefs.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
Who divides and allocates the resources?
The society.
What if one individual does not want to share?
I'm sure the society would develop laws to address this.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
Who divides and allocates the resources?
The society.
What if one individual does not want to share?
I'm sure the society would develop laws to address this.


Like threatening to take his life?
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
The success of science is based on an axiomatic denial of the existence of consciousness. By igoring the only thing that each individual scientist knows to be true, science freed itself to explain material phenomenon without the burden of explaining where it came from. Denying consciousness also denies God, since God would have to be conscious. It is disingenuous of science to make claims about God's existence when God has been axiomatically proscribed in its philosophy.

Quantum mechanics seems to involve the observer.
I find Scully's 'Demon and the Quantum' quite interesting.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
In the eyes of marjon, Von Mises is the second coming. Whatever Von Mises says or defines, is tautologically true by marjon's definition: just like the Bible. The rest of us must either accept Von Mises upon our hearts, or suffer the consequences of marjon's wrath.
Rotundo_Pierluigi
5 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
God can never be denmostrated by science. If yes faith would be useless.

Rotundo Pierluigi
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
Like threatening to take his life?

Take his liberty, more likely. Or more likely still, his property. But property is irrelevant: Jesus said so. And liberty is in the mind of the beholder: the TRUTH shall set you free. Isn't that right, marjon? Speaking of which, life's short and fleeting, compared to the infinite bliss guaranteed to the righteous after death. Frankly, I don't see why marjon would be upset with any evil-doing or usurpation in the material world: the spiritual world is where it's at.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to easily deprive non-participating individuals of taxpayer-funded services? Like, not admitting them to emergency rooms, not allowing them to drive on public pavement or use subsidized forms of transport (buses, rail, airplanes...) Not allowing them to use services of police, firefighters. No subsidized electricity, water, or fuel. No schools for kids. Not admission to any park. Etc.

In practice, it's much easier to levy a fine...
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
Christians really dont understand the implications of hell. Its just a SCARE TACTIC. Its 100% INCONSISTENT with your core beliefs
Hence the source of religions great propensity for violence. Wanting their enemies to burn in hell is one step away from actually sending them there. But Jesus says to love your enemies? Love, hate, they're still your enemies and if you're told they need to die then Xian soldiers can kill them without remorse. Or censure them without reasonable cause, in more peaceful times. An early and very effective, and very brilliant, form of doublethink. It's their smug piety that irks me.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
God can never be denmostrated by science. If yes faith would be useless.
Rotundo Pierluigi
I have faith that whatever is real can eventually be uncovered and understood by science. I have an enduring suspicion that god is not one of those things and hence is not real. My faith is better than yours because I and a great many others say so. Now threaten me with eternal damnation.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
In the eyes of marjon, Von Mises is the second coming. Whatever Von Mises says or defines, is tautologically true by marjon's definition: just like the Bible. The rest of us must either accept Von Mises upon our hearts, or suffer the consequences of marjon's wrath.

Mises was an eye witness to socialism.
One of his students, Hayek, won a Nobel prize in economics.
So far, government interventionist policies are failing miserably.
Why be afraid of following Mises' advice?
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
God can never be denmostrated by science. If yes faith would be useless.

Rotundo Pierluigi


I assume the Bible was written by many people over many centuries. While it was compiled and edited, someone seemed to thing it important to promote the concept of faith.
From Adam to Noah to Abraham to Jesus, a central theme is faith. Faith in God, of course, but faith in something beyond human understanding.
Why should anyone think faith was important thousands of years ago?
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
There is no doubt that spiritual experiences and religion, which are ubiquitous across cultures and time and associated exclusively with humans, are ultimately based in the brain. However, there are many unanswered questions about how and why these behaviors originated and how they may have been shaped during evolution
Yes, ubiquitous but not universal. And as nutrition improves and medicine advances, fewer and fewer people (in the west) are falling prey to this stuff. I keep thinking about the other thread- brain damage and the spiritual experience- and I think this is even more evidence that brain damage is the culprit. This article reinforces the idea that religionism is a normal, natural evolutionary result while it is obviously some form of pathology.
marjon
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
I have faith that whatever is real can eventually be uncovered and understood by science.


Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.
PinkElephant
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
Mises was an eye witness to fascism (in case of Germany) and totalitarianism (in case of Soviet Union). But you and I both are eye witnesses to Socialism: in U.S.A., in Canada, in most of Europe, in Japan, in Korea, in most of Asia, etc...

The government policies so far are failing miserably, because the government no longer represents the will of the people. It is representing the will of the financial elite, instead. And that elite is interested only in its own welfare, not in the welfare of the population at large (indeed, its interests are diametrically opposite those of an average citizen.)

And the reason this has become so, is because the population at large has become convinced, over several decades of sustained effort, that government is the enemy and politics is a farce. Consequently, most people tune out, and lobbyists have the government all to themselves.

The problem isn't with the government. The problem is with the governed. Such as yourself, marjon...
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
I have faith that whatever is real can eventually be uncovered and understood by science.

Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.
That is a non-question which only requires a non-answer. Ever have a brain scan?
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
Adam to Noah to Abraham to Jesus
None of those people ever existed. Neither did Moses, Issac, Jacob, Ruth, Joshua, Gideon, methuselah, Solomon, Saul, david, nor the minor prophets nor the apostles nor Hebrews in goshen et al. Enoch did exist but he was actually Thoth of Egypt. Did you know that the story of superman was taken directly from the Jesus fable, which itself was based on the Hercules/Heracles legend? So was robin hood. Nothing new under the sun. If you want to wow people it's best to start with something they're familiar with. Better cred.
droom
5 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.


See this is why we science types love picking you people apart. To even pretend like science doesnt produce tangible results is just ASININE. Especially when you type said thing on a god damn computer using the internet.

Sciences faith is "We dont know, so we are going to find out".

Religions faith is "We dont know, so we are going to trust a series of ancient scrolls to tell us why we live and how to live"

And science just uses faith in the unknown, there is plenty known to us, and thats why we have technology.
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
That is a non-question
Just to clarify; if that were a proper question it would have an answer. As people have answered it for you many many times already, and yet you continue to ask, then it has to be rather some sort of dogmatic reference or nervous tic or something, instead of a legitimate request for knowledge. A non-question in the sense that it's non-sense. Man, what a waste of time this is.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 15, 2010


The problem isn't with the government. The problem is with the governed. Such as yourself, marjon...

I voted for Scott Brown.
You are welcome.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Feb 15, 2010
Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.


See this is why we science types love picking you people apart. To even pretend like science doesnt produce tangible results is just ASININE. Especially when you type said thing on a god damn computer using the internet.

Sciences faith is "We dont know, so we are going to find out".

Religions faith is "We dont know, so we are going to trust a series of ancient scrolls to tell us why we live and how to live"

And science just uses faith in the unknown, there is plenty known to us, and thats why we have technology.

There can be no faith in science. Faith is belief without proof. Science is a tool to answer your questions because so far, it must answer your questions.
What tools do you use when the science tool can't answer your questions?
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
Adam to Noah to Abraham to Jesus
None of those people ever existed. Neither did Moses, Issac, Jacob, Ruth, Joshua, Gideon, methuselah, Solomon, Saul, david, nor the minor prophets nor the apostles nor Hebrews in goshen et al. Enoch did exist but he was actually Thoth of Egypt. Did you know that the story of superman was taken directly from the Jesus fable, which itself was based on the Hercules/Heracles legend? So was robin hood. Nothing new under the sun. If you want to wow people it's best to start with something they're familiar with. Better cred.

The question remains, why the theme of faith? Since you assume the Bible is fiction, why did the authors stress the importance of faith?
It certainly helped the Jews survive as a culture during centuries of persecution and dislocation.
droom
not rated yet Feb 15, 2010
There can be no faith in science. Faith is belief without proof. Science is a tool to answer your questions because so far, it must answer your questions.
What tools do you use when the science tool can't answer your questions?


Do you even read what you type?? I mean really?
This is one of your own quotes

Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.


So does science have faith? Or does it not have faith? Because you have posted two contradicting thoughts within a couple posts of eachother. Kinda like that book you love so much.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
And science just uses faith in the unknown, there is plenty known to us, and thats why we have technology.

Why didn't we know this 5000 years ago?
otto1923
1 / 5 (1) Feb 15, 2010
It certainly helped the Jews survive as a culture during centuries of persecution and dislocation.
Doesn't mean its real. My goodness look at all the attention the troll is getting. Makes you feel better than going to church and getting ignored I bet.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
There can be no faith in science. Faith is belief without proof. Science is a tool to answer your questions because so far, it must answer your questions.
What tools do you use when the science tool can't answer your questions?


Do you even read what you type?? I mean really?
This is one of your own quotes

Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.


So does science have faith? Or does it not have faith? Because you have posted two contradicting thoughts within a couple posts of eachother. Kinda like that book you love so much.

It's fun is it not?
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
It certainly helped the Jews survive as a culture during centuries of persecution and dislocation.
Doesn't mean its real. My goodness look at all the attention the troll is getting. Makes you feel better than going to church and getting ignored I bet.

Ideas are not real?
Ideas, like liberty and unalienable rights, are what made the USA great.
otto1923
1.5 / 5 (2) Feb 15, 2010
The question remains, why the theme of faith?
Another non-question from the attention glutton which requires only a non-answer. Only your tic remains. Symptom of tourettes you know. Indicates brain damage; but take heart! It's treatable (but not here). Tourettes causes some people to spew profanities uncontrollably. The puritans thought this was possession and would burn the victim. Maybe this explains the load of guilt you feel in need of expunging. Ever happen during communion?
otto1923
1.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
There can be no faith in science. Faith is belief without proof. Science is a tool to answer your questions because so far, it must answer your questions.
What tools do you use when the science tool can't answer your questions?


Do you even read what you type?? I mean really?
This is one of your own quotes

Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.


So does science have faith? Or does it not have faith? Because you have posted two contradicting thoughts within a couple posts of eachother. Kinda like that book you love so much.

It's fun is it not?

Hey
otto1923
1.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
There can be no faith in science. Faith is belief without proof. Science is a tool to answer your questions because so far, it must answer your questions.
What tools do you use when the science tool can't answer your questions?


Do you even read what you type?? I mean really?
This is one of your own quotes

Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.


So does science have faith? Or does it not have faith? Because you have posted two contradicting thoughts within a couple posts of eachother. Kinda like that book you love so much.

It's fun is it not?

Hey

Hey
otto1923
1.3 / 5 (3) Feb 15, 2010
There can be no faith in science. Faith is belief without proof. Science is a tool to answer your questions because so far, it must answer your questions.
What tools do you use when the science tool can't answer your questions?


Do you even read what you type?? I mean really?
This is one of your own quotes

Auto, what evidence do you have to support your faith?
Your 'science' sounds like a religion as it requires faith, just as Max Planck said.


So does science have faith? Or does it not have faith? Because you have posted two contradicting thoughts within a couple posts of eachother. Kinda like that book you love so much.

It's fun is it not?

Hey

Hey

Hey that quote button is pretty slick
fourthrocker
not rated yet Feb 16, 2010
Yes, for many people religion is a search for the meaning of life. Not for the people at the top. Not for the people who invented religion. For them it's about power, control of people. That's why it's perfect. With the promise of life after death and a reward in heaven you can not only control people you can get them to do ANYTHING including dying, willingly, happily. You think the Bin Laden's actually believe they are going to be rewarded in heaven for what they are doing? They use religion, it is merely a tool. The Incan's did it, the Roman's did it, the christian's did it, all the major religions do it. For god and country.
fourthrocker
not rated yet Feb 16, 2010
Religious people have a personality defect. They have a hole that they use religion to fill. The larger the hole the more devout they are, the more fanatical, the less tolerant they are of anyone that questions their beliefs. There is no god, even the religious can't reconcile all the horror in the world with their particular god, that's why they invented the devil. Their loving caring god couldn't be responsible for all the unnecessary suffering and evil, therefore something else must be. But they don't see the contradiction, god must be responsible for him too and, ultimately, still responsible for evil. The religious posters will say I am evil for saying all this, but it's the simple truth and why the most intelligent people aren't religious. This isn't to say I don't believe in life after death. Although I think the odds are there is nothing waiting for any of us, it also seems the mere fact that we exist and are self-aware argues that we are more than just biological machines.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Feb 16, 2010
The question remains, why the theme of faith?
Another non-question from the attention glutton which requires only a non-answer. Only your tic remains. Symptom of tourettes you know. Indicates brain damage; but take heart! It's treatable (but not here). Tourettes causes some people to spew profanities uncontrollably. The puritans thought this was possession and would burn the victim. Maybe this explains the load of guilt you feel in need of expunging. Ever happen during communion?

Still ignoring the question to gain attention Auto?
otto1923
1 / 5 (3) Feb 16, 2010
The question remains, why the theme of faith?
Another non-question from the attention glutton which requires only a non-answer. Only your tic remains. Symptom of tourettes you know. Indicates brain damage; but take heart! It's treatable (but not here). Tourettes causes some people to spew profanities uncontrollably. The puritans thought this was possession and would burn the victim. Maybe this explains the load of guilt you feel in need of expunging. Ever happen during communion?

Still ignoring the question to gain attention Auto?