Peer Review Process (was Evolution Stuff (was What is Religion, exactly?))

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AuthorTopic: Peer Review Process (was Evolution Stuff (was What is Religion, exactly?))
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I always come up against confusion on this point. I personally define religion as "a set of beliefs about the spiritual realm". Under this definition, Atheism and (proper) Agnosticism count as religions. This makes sense to me, since I see no difference between "beliefs about religion" and "religious beliefs", which is a distinction some people like to draw.

Comments?

[ Sunday, June 04, 2006 17:51: Message edited by: Ash Lael ]

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My understanding is that "religion" is a codified belief system. The rules and such can be written down and geographically distant people can both practice the same religion if they are abiding by the same rule set. As such, athiesm and agnostism do not fall into the category of religion. Unless the rules are the definition of the words. My 2 cents.

Ignore the fact that this has been marked as edited. There is no yellow Police tape. Carry on.

[ Monday, May 29, 2006 23:13: Message edited by: Indifferent Salmon ]

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


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The problem with your definition, Ash, is that it makes the word "religion" less useful. If absolutely everybody who has thought enough about "the spiritual realm" (whatever the heck that term means) to come to have some opinion about it counts as having a religion, then calling somebody religious no longer says anything meaningful.

Broadening the term "religion" to include any belief about "the spiritual realm", regardless of whether that belief is associated with any particular behaviour or social group, is like broadening the term "hat" to include "any object on top of someone's head"; sometimes we would like to be able to use language to distinguish whether the object sitting atop a statue is a hat or a pigeon.

Personally, from a strictly descriptivist perspective, I would argue that any social group and/or belief system which claims to be a religion is a religion, and any social group and/or belief system which claims not to be a religion is not a religion, and that no other definition of religion will adequately encompass the various things most people consider to be religions. Of course, that definition works better if you're interested in discussing religion as a social phenomenon rather than a philosophical one.

[ Monday, May 29, 2006 23:21: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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I like how you compared religions to things like pigeons and hats.

Edit- Let's pretend that this was a very insightful and long post. And then it was tightened up by the editors. It's like "make-believe."

[ Monday, May 29, 2006 23:23: Message edited by: Indifferent Salmon ]

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


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Salmon, please make a little prompt: waht was the long post about, so it was cut-edited down to one line about hats and pigeons? :)

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Religion to me=rules and regulations+spiritual beliefs.

[ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 00:03: Message edited by: Cairo Jim ]

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My definition of Religion has always been "a belief or beliefs revolving around a spiritual being of power".

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You don't need a god to have a religion. It's uncommon, but some Taoists and Wiccans are atheists.

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quote:
Originally written by Ash Lael:

I always come up against confusion on this point. I personally define religion as "a set of beliefs about the spiritual realm". Under this definition, Atheism and (proper) Agnosticism count as religions. This makes sense to me, since I see no difference between "beliefs about religion" and "religious beliefs", which is a distinction some people like to draw.

Comments?

Religion is a set of gnostic beliefs prescribing an otherwise logically unreasonable system of action or presumed knowledge.

In other words, religion is a whirlwind of bellyfeel.

You're naturally going to dispute this, because you'd prefer to posit your own religion as reasonable (on account of you're one of a fool or a charlatan, and I haven't worked out which yet).

To be frank, it is impossible to produce any particular system of religious belief without recourse to gnosis (received truth) as opposed to logos (wisdom - gained through experience). (Part of this is because belief is inherently gnostic, but more on that later.) Empirical investigation will not turn up God or any but the most intensely rudimentary universal systems of ethics.

So you either reject your religion - your conception of God, what have you - or you partially or totally reject the wisdom principle and fill in gaps based on gnostic revelation.

I believe you would call that gnosis faith, the falsehood it adds up to a belief, and the house of mendacity that stands upon that falsehood and its comerades religion.

And there you have your definition, with other terms of use to have fun with when taunting second-class citizens.

Your definition, by the by, is completely useless. It presumes a concept of a 'spirit realm', specifically one radically linked to your own belief system (disqualifies most isolated native religions, incl. Shinto, due to the fact they don't regard the spiritual and the material as separate).

Even if we allow presumption of that concept, it also seems to posit that any sort of presumed knowledge constitutes belief, which is wholly absurd. Presumed knowledge only becomes belief when it is based on gnosis and as such will not be trumped failing the intercession of new gnosis.

Example: I presume to know gravity is an immutable constant.

If new experiments with, say, the lunar ranging array produce results inexplicable by my current understanding - and I still presume to know, in full knowledge of those experiments, that gravity is an immutable constant - that is belief.

My system of belief about the constant becomes faith, and my faith is a partial foundation for a religious approach to physics without foundation in the logical universe.

...

And that is religion, so far as I see it. It is a fairly jaundiced view, so allow me to mollify it a little: there are far too many gaps in understood knowledge for a little gnosis, and thus a little religion, to do any harm. I, myself, maintain the beliefs that alien life exists, clinical immortality will be plausible within my lifetime, and consciousness may have some seat beyond the brain.

With how little we understand about the world around us, a responsible citizen of the Earth could hardly go without filling a few things in on his or her own.

I do not, on the other hand, condone discarding empirical understanding in favor of gnosis. If it turns out however long down the line I haven't got an immortal soul after all, I'm certainly not going to remain steadfast in my error after it is discovered.

[ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 01:00: Message edited by: The Worst Man Ever ]
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quote:
Originally written by Little Billy Sue:

You don't need a god to have a religion. It's uncommon, but some Taoists and Wiccans are atheists.
Religion doesn't need a god to worship for any sort of spiritual salvation stuff, it's just a set of behaviours and spiritual beliefs so that one may be able to have some sort of special afterlife or something similar.

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I know my religion is completly unreasonable. Jesus told about it himself, God did many of those things and still does many things in such a way as to confound the wise (plus other reasons). I don't think Christianity needs any explaination from a practical standpoint. God said that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to him. From our point of view in general everything about God is either backwards, contradictory, or insane looking. Unless you happen to get born closer to him than normal,even then he can turn into an enigma on you if you try to bind him by human logic. After all, he himself declares that "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts".

It's not until one disregards appearences and logic as we know it and accepts that if God really does exist then, he is right and you may be wrong that any information about him can or will be given as to his nature or workings. He doesn't want people to understand and then believe, he wants them to believe and then he'll let them understand. But whether you are born close to him or not he can't be fully comprehended or figured out ever. So it's pointless to find a problem with Christianity or Judaism on the basis for want of logic, there was never intended to be any humanly discernable reasoning.

I think of religion itself though as a complex series of beliefs. I often view modern science as a religion. Now this is from a none asscociated viewpoint. Think about it, No person has any real scientific proof that God even exists, just faith and a lot of what often appeares to some to be amazing examples of coincidence. Well, evolution hasn't any real scientific proof either does it. There's a lot of superficial appearence that it happened, but no one has ever yet been able to get one dynamic of it into action or even explain it according to the logic it claims to uphold to. Nor has any evidence of it been found. Saying "well it took a million years" is no good explaination for why something strictly biological seems to have broken its own laws of function. People in the "scientific" community will argue all day that it happened though. They're excuse for a religion they can handle is "well this is science". Is it really? So what if it is true? In its present state is it anything more than a religion? This is just an intersting pit of debate on what makes religion a religion, by the way.

Edit: I left something out.

[ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 02:23: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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(DISCLAIMER: Christian theology unless noted otherwise.)

quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

I know my religion is completly unreasonable. Jesus told about it himself, God did many of those things and still does many things in such a way as to confound the wise (plus other reasons). I don't think Christianity needs any explaination from a practical standpoint.
Yes it does. A fundamental point of proper Christianity is justification of faith.
quote:

God said that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to him.

God, in His wisdom, created the world - in other words, we could do the same thing if we studied on it well enough. Elevating a metaphysic system besides wisdom/logic to the godhead is an affront to the abrahamic God - because His universe is logical.
quote:
From our point of view in general everything about God is either backwards, contradictory, or insane looking. Unless you happen to get born closer to him than normal,even then he can turn into an enigma on you if you try to bind him by human logic.
But human logic is a product of God; it is the means by which we relate with God, and if we are created in His image surely our powers of reasoning are an aspiration to the divine.

quote:
It's not until one disregards appearences and logic as we know it and accepts that if God really does exist then, he is right and you may be wrong that any information about him can or will be given as to his nature or workings.
'he is right'? Nobody was arguing with God here!
quote:
[b]
He doesn't want people to understand and then believe, he wants them to believe and then he'll let them understand.
[/b]
It's late and I'm not the best biblical scholar, but I'm almost certain you're wrong. Faith without understanding is regarded as worse than understanding without faith; the latter may be wrong, but at least it's not as capricious and wicked as the former.
quote:

But whether you are born close to him or not he can't be fully comprehended or figured out ever.

The only major Abrahamic theology which complies with a fully inscrutable God is Islam.
quote:
So it's pointless to find a problem with Christianity or Judaism on the basis for want of logic, there was never intended to be any humanly discernable reasoning.
What a hateful denial of the glory of Creation!

quote:
I think of religion itself though as a complex series of beliefs. I often view modern science as a religion. Now this is from a none asscociated viewpoint. Think about it, No person has any real scientific proof that God even exists, just faith and a lot of what often appeares to some to be amazing examples of coincidence.
Coincidences are horrible reasons for God to exist; as Catholicism can attest to, there are precious few miracles in the modern world. I tend to hear Him justified more on the basis of subjective experience, which is more unreliable.
quote:
[b]Well, evolution hasn't any real scientific proof either does it.
[/b]
Nope. Just a theory, just like gravity.

quote:
There's a lot of superficial appearence that it happened, but no one has ever yet been able to get one dynamic of it into action or even explain it according to the logic it claims to uphold to.
What do you call animal husbandry, then? A fluke?
Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it can't be explained. Evolution can be explained more comprehensively and elegantly than any other theory for the same thing.

quote:
Nor has any evidence of it been found.
...? Yes there has. Consider the English peppermoth; it is a clear example for microevolution in recent memory. Macroevolution takes a fossil record to establish, but it kind of explains why you find some fossils only at one depth and others only at another.
quote:
Saying "well it took a million years" is no good explaination for why something strictly biological seems to have broken its own laws of function.
I'm afraid you'll have to rephrase that; it is not English.
quote:
[b]People in the "scientific" community will argue all day that it happened though.
They're excuse for a religion they can handle is "well this is science".
[/b]
Do you even know what 'science' is? You seem to be one of the people who equates it in a quaintly facile way with dudes in lab coats holding beakers. There's more to it than that.
quote:

Is it really?

Yes, and there's an overwhelming body of evidence for it, but you refuse to believe it because it conflicts with your personal revelation. Which leads to your next statement -
quote:
So what if it is true?
So nothing, I suppose, if you're absolutely unwilling to accept any objective truth. For the rest of the universe, though, it being the truth is jim-dandy.

quote:
[b]In its present state is it anything more than a religion? This is just an intersting pit of debate on what makes religion a religion, by the way.
[/b]
Not so much interesting as asinine. There are areas of science which have gotten religious in nature, I suppose, but your warped, ignorant, and self-congratulatory concepts of both science and religion impede you making a point on either - let alone both - that is anything more than vaguely annoying.

quote:
Edit: dear me I got little dyslexic there.
I'm a dyslexic, you coward.
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quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

There's a lot of superficial appearence that it happened, but no one has ever yet been able to get one dynamic of it into action or even explain it according to the logic it claims to uphold to. Nor has any evidence of it been found.
Your assertion does not bear any relation to fact.

[ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 03:05: Message edited by: Maimonides ]
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quote:
Originally written by The Worst Man Ever:

Religion is a set of gnostic beliefs prescribing an otherwise logically unreasonable system of action or presumed knowledge.

In other words, religion is a whirlwind of bellyfeel.

Hey, I'm all for more bellyfeel! Where do I sign up? Bring on the golden calves and swords!

Religion is an institution created by man, initially for the purpose of explaining things not understood, and subsequently adapted for purposes of exercising political power.

Hey American women on this board: your right to use contraception is under attack. Don't let freako conservative men set you back 100 years - vote for your rights.
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Worst Man Ever, how on earth ever did you get so much faith in the human race? Humanity has strayed greatly from God. And its logic and reasoning in an affront to right minded creatures everywhere.

And justification of faith, There is a difference between why it is the good or right thing as opposed to why it makes sense.

And God didn't create the world by wisdom alone. I also think that this may mean that he had a plan for it as well as setting its parameters. And his wisdom is far from universal since the fall of man. Very far, quite higher in fact.

Human logic is not a product of God, it is a perversion. God invented logic but all the natural man has is corrupted logic fit only for life in this world. Ridiculous and corrupt logic for a fallen and screwed up world.

God does want people to believe first. Its in the new testament.

Glory of creation? Its only a memory, a rusted out former world champion race car with no engine and no wheels has more glory than this world itself still retains. And by the way there is a lot of logic to Judaism and Christianity but I left that out because it was different from the world's logic, which has no part with it. God did not by the wisdom found in the world do anything and that's obvious by everything about how he operates. Example: He stays hidden instead of showing everyone that he exists.

I didn't say coincidenses were the reason God existed I said that it appears to worldly minded people that thats all there is when confronted with non-solid evidence. Example: A situation of extremely unlikly occurences changing the outcome of a situation right when a person prays to God to do so. With eyewitnesses to it all. Meaning that if I asked God to do anything in front of you and it happened, unless you at some point admited that God did it, all there is in your eyes is a coincidence. And in a way, logically so. But which logic would you be going by? What I'm saying is on point of view from patterns of thinking.

Gravity can be measured can't it? Gravitational force? You can definatly see it in action at any given time. You are bound by it in many ways. What is there between evolution and Gravity? Something measurable, detectable, essential, vs something no one has yet to find any hint of the existance of outside of coincidence. My argument here being on what a religion is. Evolution is no more a science then Catholicism. Science has lost its way.

So evolution can be explained can it? Then why does the story of how it happened have to change every ten years as someone finds another horrendous flaw with it that makes it look more ridiculous to the intelligent mind than any other thing to date. Even by this world's reasoning there is no logic to it. Unless you just throw all real and true science out the window.

There is no more evidence of evolution happening in the English Peppermoth than there is evidence of God creating it.

Sorry I don't have perfect English your majesty.

I know that real science is more than just hollow and pointless philosophy used as an argument against ligitimate religion, or an feeble excuse to feel proud of one's self for being the most advanced creature in the known world. Do You?

Body of evidence, Where is there evidence of evolution where there is none of creation?

And furthermore, I don't care if its true or not but it is an embarassment to the scientific community and they don't seem to realize it.

And don't give me a lecture on objective truth, the truth is its foolish to have an image of the universe conformed to your view of things. I have no view of the universe except what God tells me, Thats a lot better than putting getting my view of the universe from a bunch of highly educated insects and my own faulty perceptions. By the way, I don't go by my own perceptions, I'd be wrong and foolish to try to say I have an idea whats going on in the universe as I know it, anyone who does only makes a fool of themselves.

Asinine, warped, ignorant, self-congratulatory, thank God I'm only vaguely annoying and not anything you should be worried about. But how am I self congratulatory? Do I really sound that conceited? Just because I tell things for the way they are doesn't make me proud of it. I don't do this to feel like I'm better than anyone. I'm more concerned with people thinking outside the box.

Coward? yes you're right. Thats why I stand up for what I believe in. And the state of my cerebral cortex is not open for debate anyway. For your information I do have brief periods of dyslexia. But I'm not going to give any medical information out on the net.

Edit: actually I have more dyslogia, but I do have BOTH. Okay, I'll be honest with you. I have suffered extensive damage to the temporal and frontal lobes. But that's no one's business. Ypu may not think so by how well I seem to do mentally but that is just an outward appearence. I actually tpye like very poorly. My poor english has an excuse! Just llok up what I have to go through in my everyday life on the wikipedia. You'll see that I have a lot to deal with and its not my fault if I repeat myself. I try not to.

[ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 04:33: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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The great light bulb converses its thoughts in a fashion most particular to its complicated nature.

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I wouldn't go quite as far to say that science is as bad as religion. However, you would be correct in saying that it doesn't follow as rigorous a structure as Mathematics. :P

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quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

I have no view of the universe except what God tells me, Thats a lot better than putting getting my view of the universe from a bunch of highly educated insects and my own faulty perceptions.
It is not.

quote:
By the way, I don't go by my own perceptions, I'd be wrong and foolish to try to say I have an idea whats going on in the universe as I know it, anyone who does only makes a fool of themselves.
This is not universally the case.
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Unless God is both real and trustworthy.

I'm either very right or very wrong.
But its up to you to make a decision on that though.
I'm glad you put forth you opinion in such a polite and to the point way.

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The great light bulb converses its thoughts in a fashion most particular to its complicated nature.

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quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

Worst Man Ever, how on earth ever did you get so much faith in the human race? Humanity has strayed greatly from God. And its logic and reasoning in an affront to right minded creatures everywhere.

And justification of faith, There is a difference between why it is the good or right thing as opposed to why it makes sense.

And God didn't create the world by wisdom alone. I also think that this may mean that he had a plan for it as well as setting its parameters. And his wisdom is far from universal since the fall of man. Very far, quite higher in fact.

Human logic is not a product of God, it is a perversion. God invented logic but all the natural man has is corrupted logic fit only for life in this world. Ridiculous and corrupt logic for a fallen and screwed up world.

God does want people to believe first. Its in the new testament.

Glory of creation? Its only a memory, a rusted out former world champion race car with no engine and no wheels has more glory than this world itself still retains. And by the way there is a lot of logic to Judaism and Christianity but I left that out because it was different from the world's logic, which has no part with it. God did not by the wisdom found in the world do anything and that's obvious by everything about how he operates. Example: He stays hidden instead of showing everyone that he exists.

I didn't say coincidenses were the reason God existed I said that it appears to worldly minded people that thats all there is when confronted with non-solid evidence. Example: A situation of extremely unlikly occurences changing the outcome of a situation right when a person prays to God to do so. With eyewitnesses to it all. Meaning that if I asked God to do anything in front of you and it happened, unless you at some point admited that God did it, all there is in your eyes is a coincidence. And in a way, logically so. But which logic would you be going by? What I'm saying is on point of view from patterns of thinking.

Gravity can be measured can't it? Gravitational force? You can definatly see it in action at any given time. You are bound by it in many ways. What is there between evolution and Gravity? Something measurable, detectable, essential, vs something no one has yet to find any hint of the existance of outside of coincidence. My argument here being on what a religion is. Evolution is no more a science then Catholicism. Science has lost its way.

So evolution can be explained can it? Then why does the story of how it happened have to change every ten years as someone finds another horrendous flaw with it that makes it look more ridiculous to the intelligent mind than any other thing to date. Even by this world's reasoning there is no logic to it. Unless you just throw all real and true science out the window.

There is no more evidence of evolution happening in the English Peppermoth than there is evidence of God creating it.

Sorry I don't have perfect English your majesty.

I know that real science is more than just hollow and pointless philosophy used as an argument against ligitimate religion, or an feeble excuse to feel proud of one's self for being the most advanced creature in the known world. Do You?

Body of evidence, Where is there evidence of evolution where there is none of creation?

And furthermore, I don't care if its true or not but it is an embarassment to the scientific community and they don't seem to realize it.

And don't give me a lecture on objective truth, the truth is its foolish to have an image of the universe conformed to your view of things. I have no view of the universe except what God tells me, Thats a lot better than putting getting my view of the universe from a bunch of highly educated insects and my own faulty perceptions. By the way, I don't go by my own perceptions, I'd be wrong and foolish to try to say I have an idea whats going on in the universe as I know it, anyone who does only makes a fool of themselves.

Asinine, warped, ignorant, self-congratulatory, thank God I'm only vaguely annoying and not anything you should be worried about. But how am I self congratulatory? Do I really sound that conceited? Just because I tell things for the way they are doesn't make me proud of it. I don't do this to feel like I'm better than anyone. I'm more concerned with people thinking outside the box.

Coward? yes you're right. Thats why I stand up for what I believe in. And the state of my cerebral cortex is not open for debate anyway. For your information I do have brief periods of dyslexia. But I'm not going to give any medical information out on the net.

Edit: actually I have more dyslogia, but I do have BOTH. Okay, I'll be honest with you. I have suffered extensive damage to the temporal and frontal lobes. But that's no one's business. Ypu may not think so by how well I seem to do mentally but that is just an outward appearence. I actually tpye like very poorly. My poor english has an excuse! Just llok up what I have to go through in my everyday life on the wikipedia. You'll see that I have a lot to deal with and its not my fault if I repeat myself. I try not to.

too retarded, didn't read

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Dyslexia. It's no real problem if no one lets it get to them.

Edit: I am a bit unsure of who you meant and I'm not sure if its just me out of context again. Either way I don't think either of us should be blamed for such a misunderstanding.

[ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:01: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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GremlinJoe, you are admitting that there is no proof of God and that the only reason to believe in him is blind faith and circular logic?

Your point that God is meant to be unfathomable is rather like assuming everything a person does is right because they have a higher IQ than you.

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That's not completely true. I believe someone named Godel gave a mathematical proof for the existence of God. I'll get around to buying the book eventually.

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Profile #23
I'm not sure what Alec means by 'gnosis' or 'received truth'. I interpret his 'gnosis (received truth)' as belief on authority of a source, the way many people believe what they read in the New York Times because they trust the Times. If this is the sort of thing he means, I concede that it's frequently absurd, but I suggest that sometimes respect for a source can be wisdom based on experience.

I'm also not sure what he means by "wisdom - gained through experience". But I very much like the appearance of "wisdom" in a discussion like this, precisely because to me it is imprecise. Invoking wisdom seems to me to be claiming that some decision-making processes can still be good ones even though explaining why they are good is extremely hard.

For instance, I count scientific empiricism as this kind of wisdom. Strictly speaking, as Hume pointed out, past performance is no guarantee of future results: the fact that an experiment has been replicated a million times simply does not prove logically that it won't fail the next time, or the next million times. Nevertheless, if you aren't convinced that a millionfold replicated experiment has established a fact of nature, then in my book you're a fool.

But if one insists on asking why I take this attitude, I think you'd have to say I have a prior belief in the regularity of the universe ... a belief which would seem to be 'gnostic' in Alec's scheme.

I have a suspicion bordering on conviction (I can't say whether gnosis or logos) that the foundations of a rational outlook are themselves necessarily non-rational. In my kind of jargon: Bayes' Rule never tells you the priors.

And to me one of the wisest pre-rational priors is a realistic doubt of one's own power and understanding. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 7067
Profile #24
quote:
Do you even know what 'science' is? You seem to be one of the people who equates it in a quaintly facile way with dudes in lab coats holding beakers. There's more to it than that.

No, that does not seem to be what he's drawing. He's saying that you guys make it out to be like this: religion Vs. science. And that that, is not true.
quote:
Nope. Just a theory, just like gravity.

Yes in that it's a theory, no in that it has as much evidence for it.
quote:
too retarded, didn't read

Then how'd you know it was (supposedly) retarted?
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GremlinJoe, you are admitting that there is no proof of God and that the only reason to believe in him is blind faith and circular logic?

No, but neither is there proof that there isn't a god. (There is more proof of divine intervention than you might think though.)

[ Tuesday, May 30, 2006 11:45: Message edited by: Major ]

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"I knocked him out, but I managed to hit the reply button before he fell down."-The person behind him.
Posts: 153 | Registered: Monday, April 24 2006 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #25
More wise words from SoT.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00

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