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Old 12-08-2015, 03:16 PM   #51
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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It might help if we agree on a definition of religion. There is a difference between organized religion and religion in general. And there is a difference between the dogma of a religion and what religious people do in their daily lives. For example, based on a quick google search, 83 percent of Americans are Christians, but only 20 percent of these Christians go to church on Sunday. So then what makes them Christian? It can't be their outer behavior, since that would be in church! It must be their beliefs, or their inner behavior. So these people think they are christians even though they don't attend any form of ritual (besides church, that I know of, but I can't think of any other rituals they would attend if they are not at church). Prayer is probably the most common form of religious practice. A google search says 55% of people pray every day. There is mathematical evidence that the inner aspect of religion is more common than the outer element.
You claimed that religion was inherently solitary and internal. I said that this didn't seem accurate because some religions, such as Shinto and Judaism, seem more community-oriented in their practice. So why are you talking about Christianity?

Also, for what its worth, prayer is also often communal.
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:18 PM   #52
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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There's 25 options if you want. Obviously, I think 2 are more relevant than the rest.
There might be 32. But yeah, probably not.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:47 PM   #53
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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A google search says 55% of people pray every day.
Does that include people saying something like "Jesus, please let me win this pot!", or do this many people actually get down on their knees and pray? If so, scary statistic.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:56 PM   #54
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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You claimed that religion was inherently solitary and internal. I said that this didn't seem accurate because some religions, such as Shinto and Judaism, seem more community-oriented in their practice. So why are you talking about Christianity?

Also, for what its worth, prayer is also often communal.

Religion should be defined as the relationship to the divine. Or the definition I gave earlier of one's attitude toward the greatness within oneself. Some religions might express that relationship more in communal settings, I'll give you that. I still don't see how that is harmful.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:25 AM   #55
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

I would guess the most common prayer in Christianity is communal. At dinner.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:53 AM   #56
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Does that include people saying something like "Jesus, please let me win this pot!", or do this many people actually get down on their knees and pray? If so, scary statistic.
What is scary about it?
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Old 12-09-2015, 02:01 AM   #57
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Religion should be defined as the relationship to the divine. Or the definition I gave earlier of one's attitude toward the greatness within oneself. Some religions might express that relationship more in communal settings, I'll give you that. I still don't see how that is harmful.
I'm glad we can agree on the bolded.

As for the rest, my point was not that religion is harmful (although I think it is in some instances), but that it can be harmful. I think that any attempt to understand religions while ignoring their institutions and the ways they affect in-group/out-group dynamics is incomplete. I also think that, just like with state, corporate/business, and family institutions, some religious institutions are more successful than others in preserving people's autonomy, preventing violence, and increasing their happiness. Religions with institutions and values that don't do a good job at these things should be criticized.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:56 AM   #58
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Religions with institutions and values that don't do a good job at these things should be criticized.
Shouldn't a distinction be made between the institutions and their dogma and the social aspect of individual churches, mosques or synagogues?

One sets a desired law of standards, the other does human stuff like potlucks, fundraisers, tragedy rallying, etc.

So posit: Religions at fault can only be criticized by its masses within.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:43 PM   #59
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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I'm glad we can agree on the bolded.

As for the rest, my point was not that religion is harmful (although I think it is in some instances), but that it can be harmful. I think that any attempt to understand religions while ignoring their institutions and the ways they affect in-group/out-group dynamics is incomplete. I also think that, just like with state, corporate/business, and family institutions, some religious institutions are more successful than others in preserving people's autonomy, preventing violence, and increasing their happiness. Religions with institutions and values that don't do a good job at these things should be criticized.

I agree that some religions do a bad job. I think the problem is in interpreting the relationship to the ineffable, in pride, intolerance, and all those things that religion can be great at curbing, but goes awry and ends up propagating. I think religion goes astray when people look at their religion as a tool for political or personal gain, rather than as a way of enlightenment or fulfillment, or a higher purpose.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:12 AM   #60
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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What is scary about it?
To those of us who don't believe in an invisible friend, it's scary to imagine there are so many people who still subscribe to this stone-age myth. Where it is particularly scary is when presidential candidates think this way and think prayer is a legitimate course of action to solve problems. I weep for the future of this country if we become a theocracy.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:02 AM   #61
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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To those of us who don't believe in an invisible friend, it's scary to imagine there are so many people who still subscribe to this stone-age myth. Where it is particularly scary is when presidential candidates think this way and think prayer is a legitimate course of action to solve problems. I weep for the future of this country if we become a theocracy.
Every single President so far has believed in prayer (except maybe the
current poser), did you weep for all the past Presidents? Do you
think life was "particularly scary" for them because they prayed?

And actually some (or all) of our greatest Presidents were men of prayer.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:19 AM   #62
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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And actually some (or all) of our greatest Presidents were men of prayer.
You do realize a fair % of the original signers were Libertarians?

Slater: I'm not even American anymore, why the **** do I care.

Last edited by Kristofero; 12-10-2015 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Light touch, Orig. :)
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:31 AM   #63
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Every single President so far has believed in prayer (except maybe the
current poser), did you weep for all the past Presidents? Do you
think life was "particularly scary" for them because they prayed?

And actually some (or all) of our greatest Presidents were men of prayer.
Quite annoying how you make all sorts of assumptions without backing them up...have to ask myself if original position is your brother, your lover or just incompetent.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:34 AM   #64
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Shouldn't a distinction be made between the institutions and their dogma and the social aspect of individual churches, mosques or synagogues?

One sets a desired law of standards, the other does human stuff like potlucks, fundraisers, tragedy rallying, etc.

So posit: Religions at fault can only be criticized by its masses within.
I don't see how your posit follows from a distinction between institutions/dogma and the social aspect of individual religious settings.

I also think these two categories are fairly permeable.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:42 AM   #65
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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I agree that some religions do a bad job. I think the problem is in interpreting the relationship to the ineffable, in pride, intolerance, and all those things that religion can be great at curbing, but goes awry and ends up propagating. I think religion goes astray when people look at their religion as a tool for political or personal gain, rather than as a way of enlightenment or fulfillment, or a higher purpose.
I don't really agree with the bolded. For instance, I don't think you can tell an accurate history of the US civil rights movement without talking about the way its leaders used religion for political ends (MLK is only the most obvious example here). Similarly with abolition and women's rights. While I don't by any means think the influence that religion had on these issues was uniformly positive, I wouldn't say that it went awry because it engaged in the political sphere.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:43 AM   #66
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Quite annoying how you make all sorts of assumptions without backing them up...have to ask myself if original position is your brother, your lover or just incompetent.
You are definitely allowed to make all sorts of assumptions without backing them up on this forum.
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:55 AM   #67
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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I don't see how your posit follows from a distinction between institutions/dogma and the social aspect of individual religious settings.

I also think these two categories are fairly permeable.
Because there isn't one in a global, media-saturated society.

Take Spotlight, for instance: It's forced audiences individually and collectively to question every aspect of human society looking backwards and forwards.

It's a natural patriarchal initiative to assume the position of overclass: A singular authority body that should reserve judgment for itself irregardless of what and whom it is judging.

In terms of the Catholic problem, one should look to a collation of a large body of individual academic opinion within places like Wellesley and the nunneries.

I'm sure Teresa kept journals about her years in Calcutta. Where are they?

You get my meaning? You just can't corner an arena of judgment. Humanity is now too vast and interconnected.

Yet I can. Why is that?

Last edited by Kristofero; 12-10-2015 at 11:57 AM. Reason: VeniceOfIce: Does it matter how I got there?
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:09 PM   #68
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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You get my meaning?
Not really.

As far as I can tell you are now arguing against your posit.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:18 PM   #69
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

It's not my posit to begin with.
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:04 PM   #70
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Quite annoying how you make all sorts of assumptions without backing them up...have to ask myself if original position is your brother, your lover or just incompetent.
Quite amusing how anyone with just a 2nd grade education would know
what I asserted.

It's pretty clear who the incompetent one is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religi..._United_States
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Old 12-10-2015, 02:14 PM   #71
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

festeringZit,

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...sh/revisionism

"evolutionary socialist" such crustless.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:58 PM   #72
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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I don't really agree with the bolded. For instance, I don't think you can tell an accurate history of the US civil rights movement without talking about the way its leaders used religion for political ends (MLK is only the most obvious example here). Similarly with abolition and women's rights. While I don't by any means think the influence that religion had on these issues was uniformly positive, I wouldn't say that it went awry because it engaged in the political sphere.
Fair point, and I'd say that MLK was using religion in the healthiest possible way, appealing to universal moral laws that exist throughout all religions and not just Christianity.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:14 PM   #73
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Fair point, and I'd say that MLK was using religion in the healthiest possible way, appealing to universal moral laws that exist throughout all religions and not just Christianity.
Sure, but note that this included criticism of other religious people. For instance, the Letter from the Birmingham Jail is directly critical of the Christian religious establishment of the time for not being willing to support direct action against the unjust Jim Crow laws of the South.

For instance, he wrote:
Quote:
Martin Luther King, Jr.:
In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.
What I would say about someone like Sam Harris is that while I disagree with his understanding of the nature of religion and some of his prescriptions for getting rid of the harm done by religion, I think he also is appealing to universal moral laws in his criticism of Islam.
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:51 PM   #74
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Every single President so far has believed in prayer (except maybe the
current poser), did you weep for all the past Presidents?
I'll call BS on that assertion.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:20 PM   #75
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Re: The Sam Harris interview from Salon

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Every single President so far has believed in prayer
Well, looking at the list you provided shows that you are wrong on this one. So, maybe it's you who should finally finish second grade?
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