Would you still believe WITHOUT the supernatural?

albedo_00
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Would you still believe WITHOUT the supernatural?

A question mostly (but not exclusively) aimed at theists. Suppose you come across a system of belief in which it is a value to respect one another, not only in their person but their properties and relatives as well, a belief which tells you to "do to others what you would have them do to you" (G.B. Shaw's version of it, anyways), a belief that encourages you to aid the sick, feed the hungry, assist and care for the week and meager, to love your enemy, believe in private and respect other beliefs, and just about everything good old common sense can tell you about being a good person, both to you and yours as well as others, and suppose this belief tells you about a guy, let's call them Susej, who came up with this rules and practiced them and he was happy ever after BUT, it doesn't tell you stories of Susej performing neat tricks like magically producing bread and fish to feed them poors, miracously healing the sick (even the untreatable) by merely touching them, and walking on water (I don't see the value or use in that, but anyways).

The story's not over, suppose this belief tells you about how Susej continued on preaching this teachings until he died of old age, happy and sorrounded by his loved ones, and did not, say, commited suicide by letting himself be beaten, tortured, and crucified in the hopes his gruesome death would somehow cleanse us from, oh I don't know, some inherit crime even the most virtuous is guilty of by merely being born.

Hell, I'll take it one step further, Imagine (It's easy if you try) that this belief teaches this is the only life you'll ever, ever gonna have, and thus you must make the most of it, for if not, once your time is near, you will spend your last hours in regret over things not enjoyed enough, people not loved enough, a life not lived enough, and you will never, NEVER gonna have a second chance, for we are finite beings, and all that has a beggining must have and end, yet those who lived their lives virtuously, can meet their end with a smile, over a life lived right. Imagine it tells you this instead of telling you that life is pretty much a waiting line at some fancy, very exclusive club, lets call it the Kingdom of Heaven, to which you can gain your admittance if and only if you're hip and cool by their definition and standards, this is, dress the way they tell you, act, do and think (yes, they can check your thoughts too) the way they they you to, because if they reject you, you'll be stuck at the other option, a rundown pub with dim light and no air conditioner, you know the place, the kind that only attracts the bad kind of crowd....

 

Ok, now that you're done cursing me for making ass fun of your chosen system of belief, let me point out the obvious: It's all true! Strip all the christianity off the bible and you get a simple guy, talking nothing but good old commons sense, but every time I see you rooting for jesus, rarely you stay with the good stuff, you have to throw in the supernatural: "Jesus is the way and the light, for he rose from the dead; Jesus healed the sick; Jesus claimed he could move a mountain by commanding it to, and he promised we could too if we believed in him". But it's not just a christian thing, every theistic religion gives you supernatural "proofs" of their claims (the drunk who got this tablets from Macaroni, the angel, that sandy-ass raider who got a trip heaven, and so forth), So, it is wrong to affirm that your decision to believe is based upon the evidence of miracles? (like it or not, you also demand evidence before believing. We're just more picky in accepting ours).

 

And so, we come to the point of all this, would you theist adhere to a system of belief which offer no supernatural mumbo jumbo, no miraculous evidence to "back it up", and non of the afterlife kickbacks to lure you into it? in one word, would you be a religious, without the religious bs?

Lenore, The Cute Little Dead Girl. Twice as good as Jesus.


Xeron
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umm...you forget religion is

umm...you forget religion is submission? religion by definition needs a BOSS , a really powerfull BOSS , who can do the rules as he pleases . Common sense , good stuff , that`s all secondary , what`s the point of worshiping if the Boss isn`t there , doesn`t care , won`t reward or punish you . Religion was never about doing good or living good , it was allways about finding the big bad dude to go hide behind him and serve him so you may get a piece of the pie when the time comes


albedo_00
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Xeron wrote: umm...you

Xeron wrote:
umm...you forget religion is submission? religion by definition needs a BOSS , a really powerfull BOSS , who can do the rules as he pleases . Common sense , good stuff , that`s all secondary , what`s the point of worshiping if the Boss isn`t there , doesn`t care , won`t reward or punish you . Religion was never about doing good or living good , it was allways about finding the big bad dude to go hide behind him and serve him so you may get a piece of the pie when the time comes

No I don't, and saddly that's the point. Religion is not, as good ol' Pat Condell puts it, about the message, is about the miracles, and the supernatural, and about surrendering oneself to a higher anything, to trade your ability to choose for yourself in exchange of a preordained "way-to-life" (wonder if its a trade-up or down). The only thing that I also try not to forget is that many (I wish I coud say most) theist actually do follow the hand-picked worthy sections of their belief system, and disregard the voluminous rest. They still believe in the invisible man in the sky, but at least they don't embrace the folly of leviticus, nor do they go about blowing themselves up, and refuse to go door to door anoying the faith out of people. People who doesn't buy into all of their respective crookspels, but only those parts which, I myself admit, are worth living by, and I frankly think that this "believe the good stuff, discard the rest" approach would be something of a good "detox program" for the addicted of the soul (or rather, addicted to the soul, but that's step two).

Lenore, The Cute Little Dead Girl. Twice as good as Jesus.


Eloise
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albedo_00 wrote:

albedo_00 wrote:

in one word, would you be a religious, without the religious bs?

Yeah, I think so. I mean, I probably can' t remove the influence of early sunday school stories, now deeply embedded in my personality, from my psyche and give you an absolute answer, but I think on the whole I would believe in those ethical principles for their own sake. I've made a lot of choices in my life that I have based solely on my concern or love for others and even a couple of big ones before I'd even heard of jesus, so I'm moderately confident that I can say yes, in the possible world of Susej who promises no afterlife, I would still believe in this stuff.

 

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LosingStreak06
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Frankly I don't think

Frankly I don't think you'll get very far with any crowd if you use the "Christianity is basically a great way of living without all the woo-woo thrown in" idea.

It's just not a healthy path to travel down, for a few reasons:

First of all, your view of Christian theology is, suffice to say, very leftist. Not that I don't think it's a good philosophy, but I'm sure others would disagree that the points you made were the important ones.

Secondly, the thing you need to understand about most people is that they reside in the conventional stages of Kohlberg's morality model. So while they might be convinced to to all those things by other people, the real reason they follow all the order of this Jesus fellow is because they believe in his authority. If his (supernatural) authority is taken away, then he has no special authority to guide morality in their eyes.

Beside that, you never really gave an explanation for all the "miracles" Susej performed. So I don't see how leaving some of the "supernatural" in there would make a difference. Oh, and in the future, please don't say "theists" when you really mean "Christians". It's rather tiresome.

But to answer your main question: would I follow a religion that did not invoke the supernatural? Probably not. Certainly not the one you describe (If I wanted to follow Christian moral guidelines, I'd just be a Christian). The way I see it, what's the difference between a religion without the supernatural, and a plain old philosophy?


albedo_00
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LosingStreak06

LosingStreak06 wrote:

First of all, your view of Christian theology is, suffice to say, very leftist. Not that I don't think it's a good philosophy, but I'm sure others would disagree that the points you made were the important ones.

If loving and respecting one another, and leading a full and virtuous life aren't the important points, then which are they? This is what surprise me most of the woo-woos of religion, and the reason I consider them their most poingnant element.

LosingStreak06 wrote:

Secondly, the thing you need to understand about most people is that they reside in the conventional stages of Kohlberg's morality model. So while they might be convinced to to all those things by other people, the real reason they follow all the order of this Jesus fellow is because they believe in his authority. If his (supernatural) authority is taken away, then he has no special authority to guide morality in their eyes.

They also reside in Piaget's preoperational stage of cognitive development. But seriously now, while I understand the psychological and developmental imperative to believe, or rather, our intrinsic need to believe (uncertainty is unbearable, after all) it just isn't enough for me to explain my originally intended question: why believe the filling portions of religion? what is it that drive us into adherance to any questionable belief system (in that, at least, holds no real proof of their supernatural claims), hell, let's put aside religion and cults, call it astrology, numerology, luck charms, anything. I reached the conclusion that it could be an evolutionary consecuence of our increasing capability of imagination and cognitive/emotional development (I brushed this subject in a previous post and I'll discuss it further on another) and yet somehow I fell it lacking, and Kohlberg's model, while useful, doesn't really complete the picture. since it explains moral development, not the *possibly* intrinsic need to believe.

On the supernatural authority of Jesus (or any other supernatural entity), again, I stand in muted disbelief over what people chooses to believe, and the reasons they choose to do so.

LosingStreak06 wrote:
Beside that, you never really gave an explanation for all the "miracles" Susej performed. So I don't see how leaving some of the "supernatural" in there would make a difference. Oh, and in the future, please don't say "theists" when you really mean "Christians". It's rather tiresome.

On that point I owe you all one big apology, I was a bit tired when I wrote that, and didn't realised I left out part of a half erased sentense, and thus it appeared as if Susej also performed miracles. What I intended to stress out is that he didn't performed miracles at all. Mistake corrected and again, sorry.

On the theist for Christians, I was gonna put the respective spinnofs for the Mormon and Islamic religions, but that would have made the whole thing needlesly lenghty, so they just got mentioned on the way but, to clarify, I treat all unfounded beliefs equitably.

Lenore, The Cute Little Dead Girl. Twice as good as Jesus.


LosingStreak06
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You are curious as to where

You are curious as to where the desire for objective morality comes from? I would point towards terror management theory.


Hambydammit
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Well, I think the primary

Well, I think the primary point here is decent.  Most people, because of evolutionary hard wiring and socialization, are in the business of being basically good.  Reciprocal altruism doesn't just work because of some mystical magical pixie dust.  It works because of mathematics.

It's not hard to preach being good without the supernatural, and this is what separates theism from atheism.

Atheist: Well, duh.  You should be a good person because it's in everybody's best interest, and it feels much better to be good than bad.  Being loved for goodness is a lot better than being hated for um...badness.  It's pretty simple.  

Theist: I HAVE INVOKED THE POWER OF CTHULU!!!! AND THE GIANT SPUMONI IN THE SKY!!!!!  HE HAS DECREED THAT YOU MUST BE GOOD!   YOU MUST BE GOOD OR DIE!!!!!!

Theist:  Oh... and give me 10% of your income....

OR DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cthulu...now there's a god

Cthulu...now there's a god for you.  A real god's god.