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Conseravitives want to believe liberals think religion is 'all evil' etc. Truth is, we think the whole thing is a joke. People are judged by individual motivations, and religion is a conveient mask for people's motivations.
I'm gonna change your thread right here.


Religious is what one does "religiously". even picking one's nose in public.


Faith in God is the same as faith that the damned highway department built the OTHER half of a bridge when you are driving over the first visible half.

EVERYONE has faith in certain things. Anyone who does not is simply stupider than a rutabaga. lol

Anon, since you don't believe in a G-d, then what IS your Religion?   We all have one form or another?   Is it the State?  Environmentalism?   It has to be something, as it is built into our genes.

Here is what Michael Crichton has to say about religion and Environmentalism, which is just one other religion for the urban atheist.

Quote:I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

So what is your religion Anon?
In other words, as soon as multitude adopts any fresh idea it inevitably turns the idea into a dogma. Fast.
ag Wrote:In other words, as soon as multitude adopts any fresh idea it inevitably turns the idea into a dogma. Fast.

Anything is possible with some folks. Personally, I am convinced that M. Crichton is right on the money. As an anthropologist, I have known for a long time that the environmentalist movement has exhibited ALL the classic characteristics of a 'full blown' religion. And today, this Global Warming thing is getting to be another limb from the same tree.
I do believe in *something*. Not necessarily God.
Anonymous24 Wrote:I do believe in *something*. Not necessarily God.

Yes, but which is it? Surely you can tell us what you worship.
Order in the universe.
Anonymous24 Wrote:Order in the universe.

Very good! And, of course, that order comes from out of nowhere, right? Can you answer that one effectively? Sort of like Sh!t happens, right?
And what does this thread have to do with International Politics exactly?

Would someone explain please?
Go ahead and transfer it.

John, I don't know where the Order came from. It is possible there is some Godlike entity, but I don't think It acts as the Bible says God acts.

I do believe in the rules of the Bible - because I believe what you do, effects you. If you indulge all your appetites, you may very well end up in Hell, but not because God gets mad and sends you to a land of fire - because if you indulge your appetites, you'll never get enough, you'll be consumed by desire. You know - karma.
John L Wrote:
Anonymous24 Wrote:Order in the universe.

Very good! And, of course, that order comes from out of nowhere, right? Can you answer that one effectively? Sort of like Sh!t happens, right?
Why the order should come from some entity? What about another extreme - chaos? Does it also have to come from some entity? Order and chaos seems to be opposites to each other, isn't it? So, 1. if some entity had "created" an order, s/he should have created a chaos as well together with our ability to distinguish the order from chaos: how else would we know the difference? 2. What the order and chaos were created from?
It is a well known fact that there is no perfect order (except in artificial crystals) within the universe as well as no perfect chaos. Actually it is easier to arrange matter in a perfect crystal (artificial diamonds, anyone?) than to create a perfectly random (and not Q-mechanical) arrangement of matter (if you find how to do it you can make decent bucks selling the method to NSA).

And yes, pretty often order does come "from nowhere". It is usually an emergent property of a self-organizing system. And it is closely connected to something called a phase transition. For example, molecules in water are not in any particular order, molecules in ice are. Would you claim that water freezing into ice does it because of some divine intervention? I think a simple drop in energy would suffice. Although there were times when it was a mystery worth of divine intervention. The same is true for any other unsolved Natures' puzzles. So even if the God does exist s/he is always receding into a background. Like a fog. Except for people who think they know God's will and ready to shovel their interpretation down your throat without any regard to your wishes: are you ready for a Kalifat? :lol: :lol:
I also puzzled why one must "believe" in something? And I do not think that trust in the decency of a highway department (as per Ken's example) qualifies as "belief". :lol: (Often unconscious) probability estimate doesn't qualify either.
Yeah, but who decided upon " emergent properties of self organizing systems"?

"natural laws" like you described with water vs. ice are the bedrock of science. One cannot change the laws...only understand the rules better and less pressure/lower boiling point.

With no "Law Giver" might choose to be unorganized on Mondays lol

Faith chooses to believe mankind is commanded to deal justly and mercifully by that same law giver. And there is the tie to international politics.

KenBean Wrote:Yeah, but who decided upon " emergent properties of self organizing systems"?
Can you justify any need for a decision-maker? In other words, can you demonstrate that without such entity the complex systems would fail to self-organize?

Quote:"natural laws" like you described with water vs. ice are the bedrock of science. One cannot change the laws...only understand the rules better and less pressure/lower boiling point.
True. So?

Quote:With no "Law Giver" might choose to be unorganized on Mondays :lol:
It "might". Or it might not. You are extrapolation from the fact that there is a law of Nature to a hypothesis that those laws are set by something supernatural. If one chooses to believe such hypothesis, fine. But the hypothesis is still just a hypothesis. And unfalsifiable one to boot.

Quote:Faith chooses to believe mankind is commanded to deal justly and mercifully by that same law giver.
So? One can chose to believe whatever one chose to believe, isn't it? There is no way to measure or in any other way to verify one's belief. Compare this to something like gas/liquid/solid, or synchronizing pendulums, or swarming of insects, or various predator-pray dynamics, etc.
OK just to continue to muse...

Faith in a "decision maker"...............whose decisions will stand as law...forever...was the beginning of our understanding of, and faith in, those systems being depended upon. Until the concept of "eternal laws maker"..."gods" could...and probably would... change their minds on a whim.

So? we confront "reality"...we do not invent it. call God the inventor of a reality we can depend on.

That's the might...or it might not. Who decided it always will...always.

No way to verify...until we pass from this perhaps another? lol

You are correct of course. We might just all die and become dog-food, but if so, what is the point of science in the first place? In that case it is a crime to put yet another generation through the anguish. Don't reproduce and die, and be done with it.
Best regards
As for the concept of religion being universal - I look more toward the tenets of behavioral psychology rather than hard-wired faith, per se. Not every faith follows the Eden-expulsion scenario. Eastern religions are far more inward-looking, probably related to very common-sense measurable environmental considerations. Zen, for instance, is a low-calorie consumption religion. Contemplating flower-arranging is more conducive to an island with a dense population and not enough food to waste on high-energy lifestyles.

What is universal is Religious conversion. Given the right message and under the right malleable plastic state induced by trauma - anyone can be impressed and converted to whatever religion or ethos is being offered. If the message is followed by appropriate schedules of reinforcement, the message will become deeply embedded - far beyond common sense, into that mystical area known as belief. After the conversion, the embedded ethos cannot be dismissed easily, even if it is fundamentally unbelievable and illogical. A Puerto-Rican steam bath attendant can be God as easily as a bearded being bigger than life who wields lighting bolts.

Of course politics and environment can be impressed as religion. So can sexual desire. It is all vested in the same behavioral psychology.
Do you then admit that inducing trauma is part of the Christian indoctrination process?

Yes and no. One can come to form one's personal ethos using logic, research, and common sense as easily as someone else can be brainwashed. It always comes down to how much control over your own life you allow.

For instance, there is no very good answer for what came before. The Big Bang theory is just an intermediate step. Studying history doesn't give us all the answers - but the harder you look, the closer you can come.
Well, specifically what I'm suggesting is that parents induce trauma in their children in order to make them accept religious beliefs. If you're a toddler and your parents tell you there is a land of fire and torture where you will go if you don't believe certain things and act in certain ways... you get the idea.
Anon. that would be true if that is how religion was taught. There may very well be a few poor, lost fire-and-brimstone types - but they are the exceptions, not the rule. Christianity is generally spread by proselytizing, by witnessing the good message of faith, not by threatening damnation to unbelievers.

It's like when we talked about science coming directly from Christianity. The religion speaks of an orderly God with unchangeable laws with which he created Heaven and the Earth. Laws that allow those with questions to search and find their answers. Things tend to make sense.

Jonathon Edwards did discover the power of brainwashing and evangelizing by inducing trauma and taking advantage of the plastic period that results. Some cult religions are spread with the passing of poisonous snakes around a congregation to induce indoctrination. But such efforts are meaningless, because impressed belief owing to psychological defense mechanisms can be true or false. Validity has no meaning. Those who come to their faith by introspection and study are righteously faithful. They can tell you what they believe and why. They can defend their beliefs with logical debate and can win you over by using their own lives as examples of what their beliefs can mean.

Islam, for instance, is said to be spread by sword and fire. Its history is one of compulsion - of forcing conquered nations to submit to their religion or die. Big difference.
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