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Religion, God, and Theology Discussion of God, religion, faith, theology, and spirituality.

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Old 08-14-2016, 09:25 PM   #51
ToothSayer
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Inzaghi View Post
Bertrand Russell once said that "there can't be any practical reason for believing in what isn't true." Source: Skip to 15 seconds on the following video.

Why is he wrong? What are the so-called obvious reasons?
Ambiguity, lack of certainty, a feeling of love without specifics, a high purpose (again without specifics), a feeling of belonging in a meaningful system, a belief that life isn't meaningless or final, the promotion of selflessness, all have good side effects.

Whether they're ultimately net good or bad in the big picture is beyond me to answer, but sometimes (often) life doesn't fit with what we emotionally and philosophically need to function and thrive as humans or as groups of humans, so believing things that aren't true - or at least giving weight to their possibility - can help.

In the modern worlds with our comforts and safeties and predictabilities, the need for a lot of these false beliefs is diminished. We've managed through technology to make life fit better with our emotional/spiritual needs.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:29 PM   #52
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by ToothSayer View Post
In the modern worlds with our comforts and safeties and predictabilities, the need for a lot of these false beliefs is diminished. We've managed through technology to make life fit better with our emotional/spiritual needs.
This claim is dubious.

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/0...ect-happiness/

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A study from Stanford University, published Wednesday, wrestles with a new question: How is technology affecting their happiness and emotional development?

The answer, in the peer-reviewed study of the online habits of girls ages 8 to 12, is that those who say they spend considerable amounts of time using multimedia describe themselves in ways that suggest they are less happy and less socially comfortable than peers who say they spend less time on screens.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-...b_1723625.html

Quote:
Modern technology is affecting our sleep. The artificial light from TV and computer screens affects melatonin production and throws off circadian rhythms, preventing deep, restorative sleep.

New research out of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden reinforces this fact, specifically relating to young adults. Doctoral student Sara Thomée and her colleagues at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy conducted four studies to find out the effects of heavy computer and cell phone use on the sleep quality, stress levels, and general mental health of young adults.
Technology certainly has benefits, but it's not clear that one of those benefits is happiness.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:07 AM   #53
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Re: Pick a religion

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I want to understand what you've said (having thought on it at some length). But in order to do so i think i need your definition of spirituality- if you'd be so kind?

And how would you, for instance, distinguish between a religion and a cult, if indeed a distinction should be made at all? Is it (without meaning to put words in your mouth) that the former carries spirituality (definition needed) while the latter does not?

It would seem to me that there's no distinction as both simply exhibit some ideal. Why am i wrong?



Bertrand Russell once said that "there can't be any practical reason for believing in what isn't true." Source: Skip to 15 seconds on the following video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP4FDLegX9s

Why is he wrong? What are the so-called obvious reasons?
Bertrand Russell was a brilliant logician and mathematician but was raised by parents who were avowed atheists and whose mother was openly having an affair with Bertrand's tutor as a child with approval by her husband, Bertrand's father. In adulthood, he himself was married and divorced several times. With this background, it would have been difficult for him to ever accept Christianity. As far as not accepting something that is not true, Bertrand could never be sure that theism was not true. In the video he recommends to reserve judgement in cases of doubt. Late in life he famously said "I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong".
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:10 PM   #54
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
Bertrand Russell was a brilliant logician and mathematician but was raised by parents who were avowed atheists and whose mother was openly having an affair with Bertrand's tutor as a child with approval by her husband, Bertrand's father. In adulthood, he himself was married and divorced several times. With this background, it would have been difficult for him to ever accept Christianity. As far as not accepting something that is not true, Bertrand could never be sure that theism was not true. In the video he recommends to reserve judgement in cases of doubt. Late in life he famously said "I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong".
none of this is justification for god, or belief in god
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:50 PM   #55
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Re: Pick a religion

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none of this is justification for god, or belief in god
Um, he didn't say it was.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:15 PM   #56
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Re: Pick a religion

Just commenting on Bertrand Russell's video was all I was doing. Btw, the interviewer was trying to get at something that Russell just skipped over.

We humans have to make moral decisions and life decisions based on something. We don't have the luxury of waiting for some empirical scientific method to analyze it all. So each person tends to pick some principles, secular or religious, to provide some guidance on how to live and plan their life. For secular people it might be socialism, or materialism, or fascism, or hedonism, or egoism, or some version of humanism, or some hodgepodge. Some religious people choose a specific type of monotheism and interpretations of certain ancient texts to live by and it works out pretty well for them. Is it always perfect? No, but which system of beliefs is?
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:44 AM   #57
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
Just commenting on Bertrand Russell's video was all I was doing. Btw, the interviewer was trying to get at something that Russell just skipped over.
I thought this too- at the point where she asks about the potential for an inspirational benefit from religion.

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Originally Posted by Pokerlogist View Post
We humans have to make moral decisions and life decisions based on something.
Just one thing- I pay you the privilege in assuming you're a good person with decent morals. Do you think you would be less so in the absence of religion?

I'm unfamiliar with the topic of morality and ethics so my understanding is narrow but I always thought, and i could be wrong, that:

"we are born with a moral grounding as a result of evolution by natural selection." (Richard Dawkins, succinctly paraphrased)
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:29 PM   #58
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Re: Pick a religion

Imo I would be less moral without having been exposed to some religious training. Surely Dawkins doesn't believe that the education or training of young people in morals and values is unnecessary. That is pretty extreme imo.
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:21 AM   #59
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Re: Pick a religion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inzaghi View Post
I want to understand what you've said (having thought on it at some length). But in order to do so i think i need your definition of spirituality- if you'd be so kind?

And how would you, for instance, distinguish between a religion and a cult, if indeed a distinction should be made at all? Is it (without meaning to put words in your mouth) that the former carries spirituality (definition needed) while the latter does not?

It would seem to me that there's no distinction as both simply exhibit some ideal. Why am i wrong?



Bertrand Russell once said that "there can't be any practical reason for believing in what isn't true." Source: Skip to 15 seconds on the following video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP4FDLegX9s

Why is he wrong? What are the so-called obvious reasons?
My comment was directed to the OP, not to anything Bertrand Russell said. IF people are going to believe in a religion, true or not, it seems to me the belief in reincarnation would be useful in the sense that it might give people incentive to make this world a better place, knowing (or believing) that they will return in a future life.
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:50 PM   #60
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Re: Pick a religion

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A friend comes to you and says, "I've just had my first child, I've never been very religious or interested in religion, but I think religion can be a useful way to install good values in children. What religion or religious denomination should I join and why?"

What do you say?
I think the concept of Brahman can be used to support the idea of "we are all connected (as humans)" or "we are all one" which lends itself to good morality. This is still a (religious) belief rather than strictly proven facts, but maybe preferable to teaching that a man was born from a virgin, walked on water, resurrected etc. (imo Brahman doesn't require belief in Hindu mythology like Krishna and Shiva etc.)

so my answer would be a secular-ish Hinduism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman
Quote:
In Hinduism, Brahman (/brəhmən/; ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:46 PM   #61
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Re: Pick a religion

Buddhism, just for the meditation. I meditate every day and I can say that there hasn't been anything else I've ever done for myself that has had a bigger impact on my life than meditation. It takes a while to notice the benefits, but when you do, you realize how incredibly valuable the skills meditation teaches are.

For example, I am basically unaffected by anger anymore. There is a buffer period for me now when something happens that has the potential to make me angry. That time allows me to make a conscious decision whether or not to get angry. And most of the time there is no logical reason to get angry, so anger has very little control over me now.

Also, my concentration has increased significantly. I can much easier pay attention to boring lectures or books. I can learn much quicker.

Meditation also give me power over my other emotions. If I feel depressed, I can get into a meditative state and just let the feelings pass by without identifying with them.

I really can't recommend meditation enough.
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Old 08-31-2016, 04:08 PM   #62
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Re: Pick a religion

A tally so far

Liberal Christianity - 3
Mormonism - 1
Judaism - 1
Liberal Judaism - 1
Buddhism - 3
Taoism - 1
Secular Hinduism - 1
Scientology - 1
Unitarian Universalism - 3
Humanism - 3
No religion - 3
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:28 PM   #63
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by th14 View Post
I think the concept of Brahman can be used to support the idea of "we are all connected (as humans)" or "we are all one" which lends itself to good morality. This is still a (religious) belief rather than strictly proven facts, but maybe preferable to teaching that a man was born from a virgin, walked on water, resurrected etc. (imo Brahman doesn't require belief in Hindu mythology like Krishna and Shiva etc.)

so my answer would be a secular-ish Hinduism
You could arrive at some flavor of Advaita Vedanta this way. I would probably pick something somewhat similar, mostly for aesthetic reasons.

Quote:
The experience of Dawn is one of the simplest and most complete of all human experiences. It unites in itself a vision of nature, an aesthetic awareness, a fresh opening for Man toward a hopeful future, and a mystical insight into the horizon beyond the rising light from where all good things come. A vision of the Dawn is not an experience of the Sun. You do not see Dawn, but you share in her light; you are not illumined by the Dawn as you are by the Sun; you are enwrapped in her light, you participate in her all-encompassing beauty and sense that nature is more than nature and that God is less than supernatural....

- Raimon Panikkar, The Vedic Experience, commenting on Vedic verses to Uṣas, the Dawn
Panikkar is metaphorically contrasting the pantheistic idea of Brahman (symbolized as Dawn), experienced non-dualistically, and classical transcendent monotheistic ideas of God, symbolized as the Sun.

Last edited by well named; 08-31-2016 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:31 PM   #64
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by Original Position View Post
A tally so far

Liberal Christianity - 3
Mormonism - 1
Judaism - 1
Liberal Judaism - 1
Buddhism - 3
Taoism - 1
Secular Hinduism - 1
Scientology - 1
Unitarian Universalism - 3
Humanism - 3
No religion - 3
You forgot:

Zenoism 1.5*

*BTM2 is the 0.5
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Old 12-08-2016, 11:22 AM   #65
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Re: Pick a religion

Baha'i should be put out there. I'm not knowledgeable or an advocate myself, but it comes up occasionally among science and engineering students. As does Wicca--but I think Baha'i is more seriously organized.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:19 PM   #66
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by well named View Post
You could arrive at some flavor of Advaita Vedanta this way. I would probably pick something somewhat similar, mostly for aesthetic reasons.



Panikkar is metaphorically contrasting the pantheistic idea of Brahman (symbolized as Dawn), experienced non-dualistically, and classical transcendent monotheistic ideas of God, symbolized as the Sun.
But what if your true nature is to be a stupid jerk?

(sorry for the lack of snappiness in my comeback)

Also, a song (which I hope makes up my temporal insufficiencies):

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Old 01-23-2017, 06:55 PM   #67
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Re: Pick a religion

Study all religions.. see the truth in the overlap
Study all science... see the truth in the overlap

Question everything.. especially the atheist indoctrination in the school system.

Not everything taught in school is fact .. not everything is bad.

Have an open and critical mind.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:10 AM   #68
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Re: Pick a religion

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I'd say that they don't need religion "to install good values in children". I think it's ok for me to say that given how you worded the OP "what do you say?", but I'll go along with what I assume the intent was, that I should pick a religion from the ones I'm aware of, and I'll choose Buddhism, which for the purposes of this conversation I'll include as a religion when I wouldn't normally, but I think you regard it as a religion? The alternative for me would be to abstain from the conversation. I couldn't recommend another religion and I would do my best to make alternatives seem more appealing.

Why Buddhism? Although I don't share a belief in reincarnation (really it's just another way of using something like 'hell' to encourage good behaviour IMO), I think that generally Buddhism has values that are 'good', even 'nice'. I don't think Buddhist tenets can be interpreted in ways that support violence, homophobia, sexism or nationalism etc that's a good start. And I prefer to idea of karma to 'sin'. I don't think Buddhism seeks to control the way other religions do.
You should read Zen at War and some other criticisms.
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Old 01-28-2017, 03:13 AM   #69
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by David Sklansky View Post
It should

3. Acknowledge that non believers have logic on their side. (in other words acknowledge that logic would deduce that the totality of all possible non beliefs is more likely to be true)
I strongly doubt this is true. And I would discuss it with any philosopher. And if I would lose I would give up believing. I would openly say Religions are bullsh.
Mr. Skalnsky, just get me someone here in the forum who understands philosophy and logic.
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Old 02-01-2017, 04:24 PM   #70
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Re: Pick a religion

IF i had trusted the man/woman who questioned me like that, i would recommend to trust Jesus, Gods Word, instead of man like me.

◄ Matthew 6:26 ►
25Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns — and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?…
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:12 AM   #71
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by shahrad View Post
I strongly doubt this is true. And I would discuss it with any philosopher. And if I would lose I would give up believing. I would openly say Religions are bullsh.
Mr. Skalnsky, just get me someone here in the forum who understands philosophy and logic.
Rereading what I wrote back then, I realize I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to say that non belief in religion was logical. I meant to say that non belief in any particular religion was logical. In other words you take religion x and I take atheism plus all other religions combined.
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:21 AM   #72
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Re: Pick a religion

So Mr. Sklansky still doesn't believe in teh jewish Jesus. Tell me David, if the odds were 1,000,000,000 to 1 that Jesus didn't die for your sins and rise again, would you really take that risk versus the infinity in hell?
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:13 AM   #73
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Re: Pick a religion

What are the odds on all the other possible Gods who will get pissed off and put me in their hells if i accept Jesus? Think you need to put the odds on the punishments for worshiping false prophets in there somewhere too.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:29 AM   #74
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Re: Pick a religion

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Originally Posted by batair View Post
What are the odds on all the other possible Gods who will get pissed off and put me in their hells if i accept Jesus?
Given that "all the other possible Gods who will get pissed off and put me in their hells" is pretty much an undefined statement, I would say that the probability is -17.
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Old 02-03-2017, 04:50 AM   #75
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Re: Pick a religion

Ah. But the odds on Jesus are well defined which is why you quoted the response instead of making your point with the poster who started the odds making up game.

If he is making up odds he needs to put more into it then one God and there punishments to be fair.

Last edited by batair; 02-03-2017 at 05:00 AM.
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