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Avatar Samantha Ai

Skeptics Dilemma

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And at my age, the ability to cope with a virgin every two days would need more of a pharmaceutical than a metaphysical remedy!

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Describe a religion that you would find acceptable, people need the magic and stuff remember, so what is the most benign way you could package it so religion would do the world least harm.

Rather than create a new set of myths to replace the old ones, why not just have the honesty to admit that the metaphysical is unknowable. We can never know, objectively, if there really is/was a god, etc., much less answer questions that stem from that assumption.

The person who says that he knows there is no evidence of the supernatural and that it is unknowable, but on the basis of faith alone, believes anyway, is on pretty solid rational ground. It is the one with weak faith who must try to prop up his faith with poorly-understood scientific concepts, who is out in left field.

We can't have it both ways. Either we believe on the basis of faith, or we don't. There is no middle ground.

Doug

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I'm not sure I caught that one; at my age it takes a lot of religion.

You don't need a religion for that, just live your life that way... Your own form of spirituality that allows you that freedom you described beforehand

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So the "religion" i would create would differ from all the others in the sense that we do not think we have all the answers and try to force it on other people, but to admit that we dont have the answers

Here's one that fits your requirement: Jainism. One of the fundamental Jain concepts is:

"Anekāntavāda (Devanagari: अनेकान्तवाद) is one of the most important and fundamental doctrines of Jainism. It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anekantavada

Simply put, Anekāntavāda means "it's complicated".

I can't read Sanskirt, but I believe the Jain motto (as seen in my avatar) means either; Ahimsa paramo dharma (non-violence is the paramount teaching) or "live and let live". How accomodating is that?

p.s. although I have adopted the Jain symbol as an avatar, I am not a professed Jain. I just happen to agree with most of their teachings (not all though).

Edited by redhen
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I won´t argue with that. I find it quite likely that most people feel better (safer), if they can believe in something. It makes life simpler... being a sceptic takes energy.

But that says nothing about the benefit of the belief system for society. Were the girls of the Mason Family happy and healthy while they were in the cult? Probably. The members of Aum Shinrikyo? The members of the Jim Jones cult? Hardcore Nazis? The pilots of the 9/11 planes? Probably yes, in all cases.

But please do not tell me that these destructive belief systems are good for the rest of us. You still have to look a the content of the religion; there is no way around it.

Here we reach the point where social values and ethics conflict with individual values and ethics and that gets complicated and tricky.

In general I believe social values and ethics should prevail because it is our society which protects us and allows us our individual rights and privileges. However, there may well be some cases where an individuals ethics conflict with his/her society's. For example I am for voluntary euthanasia but my society and most other societies oppose it. I am philosophically opposed to abortion "on demand" with no checks and balances, yet my society accepets and allows this. I remain personally opposed to certain things while recognising that, in a democracy we have both rights and obligations,

Under a tyranical rule individuals may have a duty and an obligation to oppose that rule, but this is much harder to justify under a democracy.

Ps i never found being an atheist took any energy while I was one. I never thought about it once I had established the apparent logic of the position. It was just how I was and my society seemed to be. I dont think I thought about it or talked about it for years at a time. Maintaining a consistent, working, secular humanist set of ethics and values, and an accompanying philosophy, DID take considerable time thought and energy

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....that is called Stockholm Syndrome. But yes, I accept that some women fell happy in a subordinate role. But that is irrelevant to the question if all religions are equally good or bad. Again, they are demonstratable not.

Actually, most people are born into a religion, so the question of "need" does not arise. But anyway, if all religions accepted that you adopt and leave them as you wish, it would be great. In the event, not all religions do that. E.g. in Islam: you can join any time (just say the Shahada), but leaving is punishable by death according to islamic law (apostacy). So right there is a clear difference: A religion kills you for leaving is clearly objectively more evil than one that allows you to leave. How can you say the two doctrines are the same?

That is simply a false statement, but I do not want to get into a Christianity vs islam theological debate, which is why I precisely did NOT mention Christianity. Taking Islam and Jainism as examples makes my point as clear as it can get.

Not all religions allow you to pick and choose. So this gets back to the same point: You need to look at the content of a religion. Generalizing about "all religions" is pointless and based on wishful thinking.

To take your last point first. No it is not wishful thinking. It is what is necesary in all things, not just religions, for humanity to survive and prosper.

Each individual is accountable for their own thoughts and for their own deeds. All functioning humans have the abilty to know what is desrtuctive and wh t is creative and hence individually we are all accountable The nuremberg trials established that in International law. That is exactly the same for an atheist as for a religious person

The matter of statistics on cause of deaths is interesting, but there is no doubt that christianity over 2000 years has been directly and indirectly responsible for more deaths than islam since its incepetion.

HOWEVER what i did not point out is that "secular" wars and conflicts over that time have killed more than either. From genghis khan to stalin, the cultural revolution of china, and the killing fields of the khymer rouge, their secular death toll exceeds either christian or muslim.

I do not argue that DOCTRINES are the same quite the opposite but religions whatever their doctrines come form the same place serve the same puproses and survive if they are effective

Humans, if not "born into a religion" will create their own because of how humans construct belief.

I agree that many beliefs are passed on, but so are values and ethics indepndent of religion. An adult human can think for them selves and can decide their own set of values ethics and religious beliefs.

In western societies, while the total number of religious people is remaining the same, many are swapping beliefs. Islam is growing as are eastern faiths like buddhism. This may relfect the comparative modern relevevance of some religious beliefs (or aspects of them)compared to others.

I didnt say subordinate. That is a value judgement.

My wife would hit you if you called her subordinate, yet she lives a traditionall christian based role as a wife.Eg I work and provide all her material needs, while she does what she loves, maintaining the home, garden and our animals. That suits her temperament and personality She does not enjoy engaging with people or being tied down to work under a boss and being told what to do. She is her own boss in our home.

This would not suit every woman but it suits her She also does not wear make up or dress to look sexy despite being the sexiest woman I have ever met. Again that is her choice based on her values.

I teach young girls who are forced/ indoctrinated by society to look like sexual objects and to act as one. They think that is right and natural because they have been conditioned to do so. Rather than value self for self, they see their value as a sexual object for another Or in what they can earn and provide..

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If Byronism's only belief was in absolute pacifism, then what does it even mean to say that someone can be a Byronist terrorist, it means nothing more than that they have affixed this label to themselves

My point exactly, at least I know I'm not incomprehensible in what I am trying to say. Thanks :tu:

~ Regards,

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Just a side bar. Jainism is an interesting belief set. While some jainists won't go outside at night because they are more likely to accidentally kill something, and some won't eat root vegetables because small Insects may be killed in harvesting them, it is quite jusifiable and even seen as necessary in jainism to kill in defence of self or innocent people, and to join the army police as a part of a role in protecting life. It is a practical religion in some senses, which is what appeals to me. It allows for individualism, and categorises protecton of life into different priorities.

I also like its basic tenets, especially the idea of an individual being in control of, and personally responsible for, their thoughts emotions and behaviours.

Edited by Mr Walker

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1)

The matter of statistics on cause of deaths is interesting, but there is no doubt that christianity over 2000 years has been directly and indirectly responsible for more deaths than islam since its incepetion.

2)

HOWEVER what i did not point out is that "secular" wars and conflicts over that time have killed more than either. From genghis khan to stalin, the cultural revolution of china, and the killing fields of the khymer rouge, their secular death toll exceeds either christian or muslim.

3)

I do not argue that DOCTRINES are the same quite the opposite but religions whatever their doctrines come form the same place serve the same puproses and survive if they are effective

Humans, if not "born into a religion" will create their own because of how humans construct belief.

OK, one by one

1)

Christianity has 800 years ahead of islam, so in the name of fairness, you might want to chop off 800 years of counting Xtian violence. Secondly, your claim is still plainly wrong. Just take the islamic conquest of India alone. That was the biggest holocaust the world has ever seen, with historians estimating it at 90 million Buddhists and Hindus murdered. That alone makes your claim absurd, regardless of what macabre headcount you come up otherwise. ("Hindukush", by the way, means "killing ground for Hindus".... are you aware of that?)

2)

About "secular wars"; I would be hesitant to label the ideologies that drove Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot as purely "secular". Even if there was no god involved; what drove them were irrational, brutal, belief systems. Belief systems that they thought wer worth murdering for. Is that not also a religion? Because by e.g. calling Buddhism a religion, you have already acknowledged that a religion does not necessary need to have a god.

So basically you are making my point: You need to look at the content of a belief system. You can not label them all together. E.g. Jainism is IN NO WAY comparable to Pol-Potism.

3)

The only way in which you could argue that "religions serve the same purpose" is that they answer an innate human need to believe in something. If that is what you wanted to say, I agree. Otherwise, absolutely not. The contents of various religions are COMPLETELY different.

That humans who are not born into a religion will form one is probably generally true. The Cargo Cults of the Pacific are an excellent example for this. However, to state that Cargo Cults has the same content as e.g. Christianity would be absurd.

And where it gets criminal is when a religion declares that not only are children born into a religion, but also do not have the right to ever leave it, the punishment for apostesy being death. Any religion that does this should not be acceptable for modern society.

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there should not be such a thing as a Christian terrorist or a Muslim terrorist. Nevertheless, they exist. Despite my belief that both beliefs teach tolerance and respect (yes, even though I am a Christian, my studies of Islam lead me to think that it also wants peace)

If you don´t think there are islamic terrorists, just open your newspaper. And that only scratches the surface. The fact is that striking terror into the hearts of the disbelievers is a religious tenet for fundamentalist muslims, and the root goes right back to the founder.

And if you fall for the simplistic talking point that islam wants "peace", you only show that you have not studied the issue. I would recommend to inform yourself about the definition of "peace" within islamic dogma. Hint: It is not what you and I understand by "peace".

All I can say to you is I hope you inform yourself more about the topic before posting strong opinion statements.

Edited by Zaphod222

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In theory though, and I don't know enough about Jainism and how core pacificism is to that belief system to know if it's a good example, it seems possible to have a "'x religion' terrorist" that is a contradiction, or at least a meaningless label.

No, it is NOT possible, which is precisely why I picked these two religions as an example for diametrically opposed content.

An islamic terrorist is perfectly logical; and justified in the teaching, which is why the thousands of islamist terrorist organizations around the globe are typically lead by "clerics". Concepts such as "jihad", "jihza", "shahid", "fitna" etc., are all part of the glory of killing and dying for the victory of the religion.

In Jainism, all that is absurd. Jainism is passionately pacifistic, and knows not counterpart to the above islamic concepts. Jainism has no interest in conquering and ruling the world. A Jainist "Boko Haram" or "Hizb-Allah" would be a contradiction in terms.

But the keyword here is "I don't know enough".... at least you acknowledge that. I hope you do some research and form an opinion following that.

Edited by Zaphod222

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Obviously Luciferianism is the only intelligent and least harmful religion!

Of course I am biased :innocent:

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One way to view skepticism is as a middle way between credulity and cynicism.

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If you don´t think there are islamic terrorists, just open your newspaper.

I didn't say there weren't any Islamic terrorists. I said there shouldn't be any Islamic terrorists if these Muslims properly read their text and understood their beliefs.

And that only scratches the surface. The fact is that striking terror into the hearts of the disbelievers is a religious tenet for fundamentalist muslims, and the root goes right back to the founder.

And if you fall for the simplistic talking point that islam wants "peace", you only show that you have not studied the issue. I would recommend to inform yourself about the definition of "peace" within islamic dogma. Hint: It is not what you and I understand by "peace".

All I can say to you is I hope you inform yourself more about the topic before posting strong opinion statements.

I have read up on Islam, and I don't buy into the scaremongering that their "peace" isn't really the same peace as ours. At its core, Islam is a religion of peace. Unfortunately some of its adherents don't realise this. And unfortunately some of its clerics who want to promote their brand of hatred and are able to influence the minds of young impressionable adherents to go and blow up something in the name of their selfishness.

Your dismissal of my opinion is noted, but not agreed with. All the best,

~ Regards, PA

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So you want the coolest legally accepted religion, ehhhhh.

That's most easily accomplished with a visit to....

:w00t:THE CHURCH OF ED WOOD :tu:

http://www.edwood.org/

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Hey tor, just a note on your quote saying, "There is no god in foxholes." What about Inari, the god of foxes? :devil:

Edited by Mr Walker

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To take your last point first. No it is not wishful thinking. It is what is necesary in all things, not just religions, for humanity to survive and prosper.

Each individual is accountable for their own thoughts and for their own deeds. All functioning humans have the abilty to know what is desrtuctive and wh t is creative and hence individually we are all accountable The nuremberg trials established that in International law. That is exactly the same for an atheist as for a religious person

The matter of statistics on cause of deaths is interesting, but there is no doubt that christianity over 2000 years has been directly and indirectly responsible for more deaths than islam since its incepetion.

HOWEVER what i did not point out is that "secular" wars and conflicts over that time have killed more than either. From genghis khan to stalin, the cultural revolution of china, and the killing fields of the khymer rouge, their secular death toll exceeds either christian or muslim.

I do not argue that DOCTRINES are the same quite the opposite but religions whatever their doctrines come form the same place serve the same puproses and survive if they are effective

Humans, if not "born into a religion" will create their own because of how humans construct belief.

I agree that many beliefs are passed on, but so are values and ethics indepndent of religion. An adult human can think for them selves and can decide their own set of values ethics and religious beliefs.

In western societies, while the total number of religious people is remaining the same, many are swapping beliefs. Islam is growing as are eastern faiths like buddhism. This may relfect the comparative modern relevevance of some religious beliefs (or aspects of them)compared to others.

I didnt say subordinate. That is a value judgement.

My wife would hit you if you called her subordinate, yet she lives a traditionall christian based role as a wife.Eg I work and provide all her material needs, while she does what she loves, maintaining the home, garden and our animals. That suits her temperament and personality She does not enjoy engaging with people or being tied down to work under a boss and being told what to do. She is her own boss in our home.

This would not suit every woman but it suits her She also does not wear make up or dress to look sexy despite being the sexiest woman I have ever met. Again that is her choice based on her values.

I teach young girls who are forced/ indoctrinated by society to look like sexual objects and to act as one. They think that is right and natural because they have been conditioned to do so. Rather than value self for self, they see their value as a sexual object for another Or in what they can earn and provide..

I think a female can be equally indoctrinated to think taking pride in her beauty or sexuality is wrong. Either perspective can be taken to the extreme MW.

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I think a female can be equally indoctrinated to think taking pride in her beauty or sexuality is wrong. Either perspective can be taken to the extreme MW.

Self esteem is important. Tieing that to one's appearance or sexual appeal is a false hood. Self esteem is a construct which can be created based on any value of self. To tie it to how one looks is both limiting, and proven to be very dangerous, to women.

Why, logically, is it any more important how a woman looks, than a man? Is a woman's worth, more in her looks than a man's is? If you are older, less perfect in figure or skin, less beautiful or less attractive, are you less worthy or valueable/valued? Of course not, and no one should ever be allowed to think they are.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and has always been an arbitrary measurement. There are many better, and more accurate, ways to judge oneself. (If one feels one must judge oneself.)

And surely the concept that sex (and sexuality), based on physical attractiveness or not, is a commodity to be traded for other things, is no longer socially acceptable.

Edited by Mr Walker

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Self esteem is important. Tieing that to one's appearance or sexual appeal is a false hood... etc.

But Sherapy said, "I think a female can be equally indoctrinated to think taking pride in her beauty or sexuality is wrong. Either perspective can be taken to the extreme MW."

I don't think that she said that self esteem is tied to self appearance or sexual appeal. She said (if I'm not mistaken) that there's nothing wrong with either perspective. Girls take pride in their appearance and they will eventually become sexual beings. However, girls becoming simple objects, or girls becoming cloistered are equally as bad and that it shouldn't be taken to the extreme. :)

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But Sherapy said, "I think a female can be equally indoctrinated to think taking pride in her beauty or sexuality is wrong. Either perspective can be taken to the extreme MW."

I don't think that she said that self esteem is tied to self appearance or sexual appeal. She said (if I'm not mistaken) that there's nothing wrong with either perspective. Girls take pride in their appearance and they will eventually become sexual beings. However, girls becoming simple objects, or girls becoming cloistered are equally as bad and that it shouldn't be taken to the extreme. :)

Read the relationship between my original post and her response. She is implying that pride in beauty and good looks is a positive characteristic. I argue it is not, and indeed has many recognised dangers. There are many more constructive elements about anyone to value than theirr beauty or good looks We are so socialised (Indeed indoctrinated) as a society, especially by mass media and advertising, that many people really do not recognise this. Yet is having serious negative consequences for young women and girls. The question is WHY take a pride in our appearance. It is basically unconnected to sexuality. Neither should it be connected to to social acceptabilty and conforming to social norms. We should take "pride" in our appearance as part of taking "pride" in who and what we are. We will feel better about ourselves, if we are neat, clean, tidy and appropriately dressed for any situation.

Yes anything taken to extremes is a danger, but in western society the sexualisation and objectification of even very young women is already about as extreme as it can get. We don't face any danger from the opposite extreme.

My wife, all her life, has worn no make up, dressed modestly, and worn almost no jewellery. Neither has she ever drunk alcohol, smoked, or taken any other drugs. She does not swear, or read or watch things she finds demeaning to humanity. She has been a loving and faithful wife for nearly 40 years

In our society that is about as extreme as a woman can get, yet no one in 70 years has ever commented negatively on any of those factors in her life.

Im not sure wha tyou mean by cloistered. I once went out with a catholic girl and got to know a whole group of nuns from young to old They were "cloistered" and yet were among the happiest and most content human beings i have ever met. if you mean keeping a young girl away from trouble by responsible parenting, then i am all for that. What young people want is not always what is best for them and it is a parents job to do at eleast a little cloistering of their teenagers.

Is it cloistering to expect a fifteen year old girl not to be out alone on the streets at night? Not in my book.

Of course it depends on the individual child/parent and relationship of trust one has built up, but there are real dangers for all young people and especially for young women, even the well behaved and trustworthy ones.. I woudn't let a fifteen year old girl go to a party where i knew alcohol was freely available, and there were a lot of older teenage boys and no adult supervision.. And yet i see parents allow 12 and 13 year old girls go into exactly that scenario.

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I didn't say there weren't any Islamic terrorists. I said there shouldn't be any Islamic terrorists if these Muslims properly read their text and understood their beliefs.

I think it has escaped your attention that a) all islamic terrorist groups and islamic terrorist-supporting regimes are led by clergy. Who by definition have read up on their religion.

And that b ) there is no objection to terrorism on religious grounds --- compare that to the raging islamic mobs that can be called up on any time, when someone claims that mohammed has been cartooned. What a contrast of enthusiasm!

I have read up on Islam, and I don't buy into the scaremongering that their "peace" isn't really the same peace as ours.

Obviously, you have not. Which you are demonstrating here.

At its core, Islam is a religion of peace.

Again, that depends on your definition of "peace". If you define "peace" as the state where the whole world is subdued under islamic rule, then yes. But that is not the definition that you or I are using, is it now.

Edited by Zaphod222

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Again, that depends on your definition of "peace". If you define "peace" as the state where the whole world is subdued under islamic rule, then yes. But that is not the definition that you or I are using, is it now.

I think it more depends on your definition of "Islam", which seems to be excessively narrow and does not seem to acknowledge the breadth of belief under that umbrella.

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It doesn't take many adherents flying airplanes into buildings to give a religion a bad reputation.

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Read the relationship between my original post and her response. She is implying that pride in beauty and good looks is a positive characteristic. I argue it is not, and indeed has many recognised dangers. There are many more constructive elements about anyone to value than theirr beauty or good looks We are so socialised (Indeed indoctrinated) as a society, especially by mass media and advertising, that many people really do not recognise this. Yet is having serious negative consequences for young women and girls. The question is WHY take a pride in our appearance. It is basically unconnected to sexuality. Neither should it be connected to to social acceptabilty and conforming to social norms. We should take "pride" in our appearance as part of taking "pride" in who and what we are. We will feel better about ourselves, if we are neat, clean, tidy and appropriately dressed for any situation.

Yes anything taken to extremes is a danger, but in western society the sexualisation and objectification of even very young women is already about as extreme as it can get. We don't face any danger from the opposite extreme.

My wife, all her life, has worn no make up, dressed modestly, and worn almost no jewellery. Neither has she ever drunk alcohol, smoked, or taken any other drugs. She does not swear, or read or watch things she finds demeaning to humanity. She has been a loving and faithful wife for nearly 40 years

In our society that is about as extreme as a woman can get, yet no one in 70 years has ever commented negatively on any of those factors in her life.

Im not sure wha tyou mean by cloistered. I once went out with a catholic girl and got to know a whole group of nuns from young to old They were "cloistered" and yet were among the happiest and most content human beings i have ever met. if you mean keeping a young girl away from trouble by responsible parenting, then i am all for that. What young people want is not always what is best for them and it is a parents job to do at eleast a little cloistering of their teenagers.

Is it cloistering to expect a fifteen year old girl not to be out alone on the streets at night? Not in my book.

Of course it depends on the individual child/parent and relationship of trust one has built up, but there are real dangers for all young people and especially for young women, even the well behaved and trustworthy ones.. I woudn't let a fifteen year old girl go to a party where i knew alcohol was freely available, and there were a lot of older teenage boys and no adult supervision.. And yet i see parents allow 12 and 13 year old girls go into exactly that scenario.

You're a lucky man Walker!

My wife teaches a course on Tantric sex and can induce multiple orgasms in a male . . . god I love her!

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I think it more depends on your definition of "Islam", which seems to be excessively narrow and does not seem to acknowledge the breadth of belief under that umbrella.

I'm afraid the proof is in their scripture . . . it is full of hate, genocide, selfish agendas, and war mongering. IMO it is the bottom of the Abrahamic barrel.

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