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Religion Thread

What is your Religion?  

58 members have voted

  1. 1. .

    • Christianity
    • Islam
    • Hinduism
    • Buddhism
    • Sikhism
    • Judaism
    • Atheism
    • Agnosticism
    • Wiccan
    • Satanism
    • I don't follow an organised religion
    • Other (Please tell me and I'll add it in!)
    • Pastafarianism (Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster)
    • Kemetic Orthodox

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On 2016-07-20 at 0:24 AM, owl said:

Some people may have spiritual/religious beliefs of their own which don't follow an organised religion, but still believe in some sort of god (I guess?)


Then I did it wrong :o

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Ok, we have a low posting frequency here. :D

On 9/7/2017 at 12:09 AM, NullVector said:

It's interesting, as you say, how weak the arguments are for a lot of these sorts of things that tend to get taken for granted (by 'atheists' in particular?) To the extent I think about it at all (philosophy makes my brain hurt! xD)

The most perplexing thing is when popular writers on atheism, and this happens constantly, after professing reductive materialism, slip into some kind of ill-justified quasi-Cartesianism. They need that, otherwise their views would just become too unpalatable for the general public. For example, Dawkins: “All animals look after their short-term interests. Homo sapiens is the only species that can rebel against the otherwise universally selfish Darwinian impulse. We are Earth's last best hope. Our brains follow their own rules, which can rise above the rules of natural selection.”


So, reason, which presumably allows us to “rise above the rules of natural selection”, where does it come from? Dawkins thinks from sexual selection, but are not a few details missing here? :D How do we get from sexy flirting to, for example, number theory?


Dennett says that the evolution of language was the starting point. I guess, we can explain counting and calculating, a purely finite activity1, as something arising from language. But the insight that mathematical induction (implicit already in some of Euclid's proofs) works is very different, because it rises vastly above this finite activity, to infinity; and at least that's the point where number theory seems to become irreducible to language. Right before anything interesting happens…


1 there are even axiomatized formal systems far weaker than PA: they contain enough for doing calculations with natural numbers but can't express any general statements and, of course, lack an induction axiom. And so no interesting math can be done with them.

On 9/7/2017 at 12:09 AM, NullVector said:

Of course, I'm not claiming any originality of thought here: probably the empiricist philosophers like Hume and Berkeley laid it all out fairly comprehensively (wouldn't know: not read them first-hand! :P)

Well, I also don't know that much about Hume. But mental concepts (ideas) are just mental images for him (same for Berkeley). This seems very, very strange (for example, it also makes him claim that mathematics must be strictly finitist), but is central for his philosophy. That's also an essential part of his attack on causation… so if one believes in causation, I don't see how Hume's arguments could really induce any skepticism of it.

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On 7/15/2016 at 6:50 AM, DannyFenton123 said:

So this thread coming from an atheist is arguably rather strange, but a small incident this morning got me thinking about religion and I felt like starting a topic on Arocalypse. This isn't an atheist thread; everyone is welcome to share their beliefs and things pertaining to it on here:arolovepapo:

So I read something about the connection of religion and romantic love in Daniel Dennett's 2006 book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon and instead of posting a new thread, this seems to be on-topic here.


And if you are so much as willing to think about comparing your religion with others, or with having no religion at all, you must not be in love with your religion. This is a very personal love (not like the love of jazz, or baseball, or mountain scenery), but no single person — not the priest or the rabbi or the imam — or even any group of people—the congregation of the faithful, say — is the beloved. One's undying loyalty is not loyalty to them, singly or together, but to the system of ideas that unite them. Of course, people sometimes do fall in love — romantic love — with their priest or with a fellow parishioner, and this can be hard for them to distinguish from love of their religion, but I'm not suggesting that this is the nature of the love most God-loving people experience. I am suggesting, however, that their unquestioning loyalty, their unwillingness even to consider the virtues versus the vices, is a type of love, and more like romantic love than brotherly love or intellectual love.  It is surely no accident that the language of romantic love and the language of religious devotion are all but indistinguishable … (p. 251)


Has our evolved capacity for romantic love been exploited by religious memes? It would surely be a Good Trick. It would get people to think that it was actually honorable to take offense, to attack all skeptics with fury, to lash out wildly and without concern for their own safety — let alone the safety of the person they are attacking.  Their beloved deserves nothing less than this, they think: a total commitment to eradicating the blasphemer. (p. 256)

well, that's a pretty creative explanation… Do you think it's plausible?


What about religious aros? Doesn't their existence disprove the theory? Though more than half voted for some non-religious option (atheist, agnostic, …) here, the poll shows that they obviously do exist.


It's especially damaging to Dennett's theory if we find aros with a religion in which they didn't even grow up and adopted later as adolescents or adults. Like Wicca or Kemetic Orthodox1 (in all likelihood) – for which in total we have three votes!


1 Okay, not to offend anyone … that of course hinges on Wicca and Kemetic Orthodox being taken seriously… Are they? -_- Especially Kemetic Orthodox. From the Egyptian Gods I absolutely love Seth and the Seth-animal (Sha) is just too cool. So I understand the appeal of Seth. But that believing in Seth – as anything more than purely symbolic – is a live option (in the sense of William James' The Will To Believe) for some people, would be quite surprising, indeed. xD

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