Religion without God?

Dmasterman
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Religion without God?

Perhaps the first thing that may come to mind is Buddhism. There probably are other sects of religions (much smaller ones) where worship is either given to an animal, a spirit realm, or even the Earth or Sky. Maybe even the Sun. Perhaps these people are rational enough to not believe in God, but still believe can treat something like a God. To me buddhists build statues of Buddha here and there, and their teachings in a way are somewhat religious, even if they don't pray to a god.

 

Do you think these people are better than religious people who do believe in God? Perhaps better? Maybe worse? Or as equally as irrational?


Luminon
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Belief is belief, only some

Belief is belief, only some ideas are more favored for belief than other. I'd say it's better to believe in something harmless, that doesn't have books or organizations telling you to behave even more irrationally.

There is also a group of people, who are convinced that some of these god-like things are perfectly real. It involves a substantial experience of some kind, not just thinking about rather fuzzy and incoherent idea like God or Allah. Whether this is a belief or not, I don't know.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


mellestad
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Dmasterman wrote:Perhaps the

Dmasterman wrote:

Perhaps the first thing that may come to mind is Buddhism. There probably are other sects of religions (much smaller ones) where worship is either given to an animal, a spirit realm, or even the Earth or Sky. Maybe even the Sun. Perhaps these people are rational enough to not believe in God, but still believe can treat something like a God. To me buddhists build statues of Buddha here and there, and their teachings in a way are somewhat religious, even if they don't pray to a god.

 

Do you think these people are better than religious people who do believe in God? Perhaps better? Maybe worse? Or as equally as irrational?

 

That depends on how they make choices.  If they base choices purely on their quasi-religious dogma, then no, they are not any better.  If they base their choices on rational thinking, then they are better.

 

Better is, of course, subjective.

 

I'm usually totally fine with deists, pantheists and liberal theists for this very reason...they don't use their religion as an objective decision making tool.

On the flip side, I don't like irrational atheists (ghosts, alien abductions, homeopathy, etc) any better than irrational theists.  I'll take a mostly rational theist over a mostly irrational atheist any day of the week.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


BeyondForlorn
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As long as they don't

As long as they don't believe that whatever they worship on Earth will send them to some kind of afterlife once they die they're okay. Maybe a little crazy, but hey, who am i to judge. As long as they aren't telling me i'm going to Hell for my beliefs constantly, it's whatever to me.

"Nocturnal majesty, Sworn to black we'll always be."


Answers in Gene...
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 Luminon wrote:There is

 

Luminon wrote:
There is also a group of people, who are convinced that some of these god-like things are perfectly real. It involves a substantial experience of some kind, not just thinking about rather fuzzy and incoherent idea like God or Allah. Whether this is a belief or not, I don't know.

 

Well Luminon, if there is no actual evidence, then I am going to throw in that what you have in mind is a belief.

 

That much being said, if the evidence is not there, that does not mean that nothing is there. At the cutting edge of science, there are often competing theories that are waiting for someone to find the evidence needed to sort them out.

 

As an example, let me suggest the idea that alien critters somehow played a role in life on earth. OK, perhaps. However, there is plenty of evidence that whatever might have happened was not really a dramatic thing. If they did drop by and tweak a few parameters, they certainly did not do so in such a big way as amounts to the having carved their initials in our DNA.

 

Past that, the Sci-Fi author Larry Niven has written extensively on a scenario where there was a gigantic alien intervention on the Earth of about 2.5*10^9 years ago. If anything like that is the case, then there will be no evidence which will ever be found on this world.

 

If you want to look that stuff up the google search would be “tales on known space”. In that case, the smoking gun comes when we have colonized a couple of dozen star systems (don't bother asking how we do that) and it turns out that alien DNA is just to close to Earth DNA to not be part of a bigger picture.

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Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

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Luminon
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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

 

Luminon wrote:
There is also a group of people, who are convinced that some of these god-like things are perfectly real. It involves a substantial experience of some kind, not just thinking about rather fuzzy and incoherent idea like God or Allah. Whether this is a belief or not, I don't know.

 

Well Luminon, if there is no actual evidence, then I am going to throw in that what you have in mind is a belief.

 

That much being said, if the evidence is not there, that does not mean that nothing is there. At the cutting edge of science, there are often competing theories that are waiting for someone to find the evidence needed to sort them out.

I wonder whether one can believe in something that can bump right into your nose. Something that is tangible and with some diffculty observable. Where is the border of belief? Imagine, that you're given a completely strange alien artifact, you can touch it and examine as you want, then it is taken away from you, and now you face accusations of believing in alien artifacts.

There is a certain conceit in demanding universal evidence. Are we persons or universes, personal evidence is not enough, only universal? I really like Jake's quote that is taken from here.

Jake wrote:
Again, contrary to how you know reality works.The claim of existence is an objective claim. In other words to know something exists, one has to have a physical awareness of said thing. All claims of existence are provable.
Well, considering that I do have a physical awareness of woo in various degrees of materialization, then I can classify that awareness as knowledge, not belief. What do you think?
 

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
As an example, let me suggest the idea that alien critters somehow played a role in life on earth. OK, perhaps. However, there is plenty of evidence that whatever might have happened was not really a dramatic thing. If they did drop by and tweak a few parameters, they certainly did not do so in such a big way as amounts to the having carved their initials in our DNA.

 

Past that, the Sci-Fi author Larry Niven has written extensively on a scenario where there was a gigantic alien intervention on the Earth of about 2.5*10^9 years ago. If anything like that is the case, then there will be no evidence which will ever be found on this world.

 

If you want to look that stuff up the google search would be “tales on known space”. In that case, the smoking gun comes when we have colonized a couple of dozen star systems (don't bother asking how we do that) and it turns out that alien DNA is just to close to Earth DNA to not be part of a bigger picture.

Yeah, I have read a lot of Niven. Also Zecharia Sitchin. Hypothetically, even if some extraterrestrials would create the early people, their intervention is certainly not genetically obvious. According to Sitchin they just mixed a little of their DNA with local naturally evolved hominid and the result was used for servitude, like gold mining in Africa. It's really interesting story and describes a lot of troubles and crimes committed by one minor Anunnaki called El Shaddai or Yahweh Smiling

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


harleysportster
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My take

Dmasterman wrote:

Perhaps the first thing that may come to mind is Buddhism. There probably are other sects of religions (much smaller ones) where worship is either given to an animal, a spirit realm, or even the Earth or Sky. Maybe even the Sun. Perhaps these people are rational enough to not believe in God, but still believe can treat something like a God. To me buddhists build statues of Buddha here and there, and their teachings in a way are somewhat religious, even if they don't pray to a god.

 

Do you think these people are better than religious people who do believe in God? Perhaps better? Maybe worse? Or as equally as irrational?

At one point in my life, I did dedicate some time to buddhism ( I've rejected it now) and originally liked some of the ideals. But like any other organization, what can appear on the surface and what can appear underneath were two different matters. One thing about it, some of the big guru type monks that love to promote and push all of their books onto the public turn out to be complete and total frauds that do not practice anything that they preach. Search for Seung Sahn for instance, and he is one of many. Let's take the Dalai Lama for example, the guy that travels all over the world and lives in total luxury, but loves to tell everyone how the material things are not important. But I bet that he loves rubbing shoulders with all that Hollywood glitz and glammer. Also remember this, the ruling powers of Tibet, before China, might have been a Paradise for the Lamas and the elite ruling power, but rest assured that it was a theocracy equal to Iran and Iraq. Punishments that included cutting out tongues and gouging eyes were involved under the rule of "Enlightened" Lamas. Granted, China has certainly not been a good thing for Tibet, but I wonder if some of these people that are screaming for the freedom of Tibet are aware of what that would mean. It would mean giving the Dalai Lama total control over it again and implementing a primitive theocracy. But, all of that aside, Buddhism more or less teaches people a few things that sound good on paper, but to get to the core of it all, they are another religious cult that seems to scorn natural desire and seems to try and push back some of our basic emotional drives that make us human. It might work for some people but I find it to be just as bad as any other organized religion.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Ken G.
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Dmasterman wrote:Or as equally as Irrational ?

     As Christopher Hitchens wrote;Religion posions everything.In the west Buddhism gets a real break,most people think of it as a Religion for the non-religious.If you look into Buddhism you'll find that it is filled with atrocities against the common person.Google "The Dark Side of the Dali Lama" even a person such as Sam Harris gives Buddhism a break,not me though.Or you can read Michael Parenti's " Friendly Feudalism" at  www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html  there's a really good book from Germany about a couple that spent a few months with the Dali Lama and they really seen thru him,but it took awhile for them to realize just how F<>Ked-Up this Buddhism really is.  

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harleysportster
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My thoughts exactly

Ken G. wrote:

     As Christopher Hitchens wrote;Religion posions everything.In the west Buddhism gets a real break,most people think of it as a Religion for the non-religious.If you look into Buddhism you'll find that it is filled with atrocities against the common person.Google "The Dark Side of the Dali Lama" even a person such as Sam Harris gives Buddhism a break,not me though.Or you can read Michael Parenti's " Friendly Feudalism" at  www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html  there's a really good book from Germany about a couple that spent a few months with the Dali Lama and they really seen thru him,but it took awhile for them to realize just how F<>Ked-Up this Buddhism really is.  

 

My thoughts exactly Ken. I like the title of Hitchen's chapter in God is not Great called "There is no Eastern Solution". I know that alot of this interest in Buddhism, springs from people that have become very discouraged by the trappings of Christianity. But it is no better. There seems to be some sort of common belief that because a tradition can claim to be thousands of years old and draw inspirations from the "ancients" that it must somehow have a handle on the truth.  Like Christianity, much of their teachings are inherently contradictory and not really grounded in rational thought. Right after I had abandoned my own Christian religious upbringing, I wasted time on buddhism for a little while. I spent hours being told to figure out "What is the sound of one hand clapping" and "Does the dog have Buddha nature" before I realized what a waste. Go to any Buddhist retreat, and you find a self-appointed, all-knowing guru that is always right and students are always wrong. They will tell you to be of the world and not in the world, but then they tell you that how deeply attached that you have to be to the world. It is just another movement that pretends to scorn materialism and selfish behavior, all the while it's leaders practice materialism and are selfish natured. If the Dalai Lama had so much compassion for the less fortunate, why does he charge such huge amounts of money to speak to them ? Kind of like when I see these Hollywood celebrities in interviews talking about how prestige, money and materials are meaningless to them. Funny how easy they can say that, when they have plenty of prestige, money and materials.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


ThusSaidYAH
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Religion is a system of faith

I guess religion without God is possible. Although a deity or other-unearthly influence manages to make an appearance at some point.

Convinced athiests are religious too, even though he/she will profess no belief in god.

If we examine the thought processes that cause us to think and behave in routine and habitual ways, we might find that we "believe" systematically in an object or concept that governs our view of existence.

That includes our interpretation of evidence. A person who believes in God, is presented with exactly the same evidence as one who doesn't.

How the evidence is interpreted, is a matter of what we believe.