Non-Abrahamic theists

Sentinel
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Non-Abrahamic theists

I have a question to ask. I see a lot of strong atheists here and see most of the attacks of irrationality being laid against the God of Abraham. But do you feel as strongly towards those who have ventured away from Jehovah and are worshipping the gods that their ancestors worshipped(i.e. Pagans, Asatru, Wiccans, Satanists, etc.)?

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha


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Religion, no matter which

Religion, no matter which flavor, is irrational. We spend most of our time discusssing and debunking the Abrahamic religions because most of the people we encounter believe in one of them.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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To some extent or another

To some extent or another that is true, but I don't think humans are evolved enough to be without religion. Religous ceremonies provide a form of emotional release for people.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha


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I am sure that in ancient

I am sure that in ancient times a prayer to Zesus or Apollo comforted someone that lost a loved one. Many current religious ceremonies do provide comfort to the believers but is that a good thing? It's time to grow up and leave such nonsense in the past. It's time to go to school and leave the blankee at home.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


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Not all humans have the

Not all humans have the mental fortitude to leave such things behind just yet. Especially in this country.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha


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Sentinel wrote:To some

Sentinel wrote:
To some extent or another that is true, but I don't think humans are evolved enough to be without religion.

The philosopher Plato agreed with you, which is why he endorsed the idea of useful lies to control the masses.

Freud was also asked about the same problem. He felt that if it was true that people had a need for religion, then they would hold to it, even in the face of evidence. So providing facts for the masses is more likely to help those on the cusp of maturity - those able to move past their emotional need for religion.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


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Sentinel wrote:I have a

Sentinel wrote:
I have a question to ask. I see a lot of strong atheists here and see most of the attacks of irrationality being laid against the God of Abraham.

I only know of one strong atheist out of our several thousand members. I'm sure there are more, just thought I should point that out though. Not a single person on this list is a strong atheist: http://www.rationalresponders.com/our_team

Quote:
But do you feel as strongly towards those who have ventured away from Jehovah and are worshipping the gods that their ancestors worshipped(i.e. Pagans, Asatru, Wiccans, Satanists, etc.)?

Yes, we feel that believing in those gods are just as irrational.

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I saw a good response to the

I saw a good response to the argument that religion makes people feel better - if a doctor told all his terminal patients that they would recover, that would make them feel better, but it would be very unethical and I'm sure they would rather be told the truth than lied to.

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Sapient wrote:Sentinel

Sapient wrote:

I only know of one strong atheist out of our several thousand members. I'm sure there are more, just thought I should point that out though. Not a single person on this list is a strong atheist: http://www.rationalresponders.com/our_team

I suspect he meant strong as in ardent, vocal. Not in the technical sense. I could be wrong though.


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In addition the the points

In addition the the points that others have made, there are a few other reasons I focus more on Christianity. For one, I used to be a Christian and therefore know most about it. I don't know enough about, say, Hinduism to comment in anything but general terms.

And, while I believe it is true that there have been killings and wars in the name of other religions, like Hinduism, at least in the current global landscape, Abrahamic religions are the justification for most religious wars.

But, in general terms, I don't see any validity in any form of theism, if that answers your question. Though I generally avoid the term "irrational" as that is a very hard to define word. There's a good post by Philosophos on this subject in the IG forum that I agree with.


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caseagainstfaith wrote:

caseagainstfaith wrote:
Though I generally avoid the term "irrational" as that is a very hard to define word.

These definitions work fine:

not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical
without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment.

Quote:
There's a good post by Philosophos on this subject in the IG forum that I agree with.

Are you talking about where he says atheism does not=rational? If so, we all agree to. However he probably fails to mention something we'd all agree on (here at RRS).... theism always=irrational. He likes to play angels advocate.

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I meant strong, in the sense

I meant strong, in the sense that most everyone here claims that Jehovah does not exist vs. the weak position of simply not believing in a god or gods. Stating that there is a God or that there is no God is a positive statement and would require the person making said statement to prove their point as they are claiming to have knowledge pertaining to that subject. The person who states that they do not believe in God or gods is making a negative statement and leaves the burden of proof lying in the hands of those that claim to hold knowledge of such things.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha


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Right thanks for the

Right thanks for the clarification, so allow me to reitterate:

I only know of one strong atheist out of our several thousand members. I'm sure there are more, just thought I should point that out though. Not a single person on this list is a strong atheist: http://www.rationalresponders.com/our_team

- Brian Sapient


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Am I that one? If not,

Am I that one? Shocked If not, there is more than one! Laughing out loud


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You make the second one I

You make the second one I know of, I don't remember the first persons name, I'll know it when it pops up.

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Hard to believe when I was a

Hard to believe when I was a kid I truly believed and though atheists were bad people! By 16 I was an agnostic, but it took me another 15 years to be honest and admit I was an atheist. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for the Freedom From Religion Foundation! They pretty much got me to admit it. This was before I found this site of course!

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Quote:To some extent or

Quote:
To some extent or another that is true, but I don't think humans are evolved enough to be without religion. Religous ceremonies provide a form of emotional release for people.

You need to provide evidence for this for it to hold any footing in reality. You also need explain what in the biology causes people to need to have mystical beliefs. I personally don't think this is true at all, just look at the more secular European countries. If this were true, there would me some problems in the societies. In England, only about 5% of the population attend church regularly. This means only 5% engage in some kind of regular ceremonies. Even then the ceremonies, I would think, are not "intense".

The thought for the last sentence that I wrote makes me wonder what kind of problems would occur to the individual or society from nonbelief? Why is religion the only way or most efficient to release emotions in some individuals? What does release emotions even mean? What does evolved enough mean?
Now that I think about it, you would need a coherent hypothesis to provide evidence to. For it to even be a hypothesis you need to provide evidence of some sort.

I think that we can find, through science, ways to get emotional releases, if I think I even know what that means.


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I meant to say religious

I meant to say religious services, not church.


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The way I see it I am

The way I see it I am anti-theist about most gods, but atheist about all.

If the bible is what defines god we can disprove it, but there are many ways to define god say I can't say I can disprove them all. Although most of the ideas of god that can't be disprove are not much of a god...


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God slayer wrote:Quote:To

God slayer wrote:
Quote:
To some extent or another that is true, but I don't think humans are evolved enough to be without religion. Religous ceremonies provide a form of emotional release for people.

You need to provide evidence for this for it to hold any footing in reality. You also need explain what in the biology causes people to need to have mystical beliefs. I personally don't think this is true at all, just look at the more secular European countries. If this were true, there would me some problems in the societies. In England, only about 5% of the population attend church regularly. This means only 5% engage in some kind of regular ceremonies. Even then the ceremonies, I would think, are not "intense".

The thought for the last sentence that I wrote makes me wonder what kind of problems would occur to the individual or society from nonbelief? Why is religion the only way or most efficient to release emotions in some individuals? What does release emotions even mean? What does evolved enough mean?
Now that I think about it, you would need a coherent hypothesis to provide evidence to. For it to even be a hypothesis you need to provide evidence of some sort.

I think that we can find, through science, ways to get emotional releases, if I think I even know what that means.

There is a device in psychology called psychodrama, whereby the participants engage in a production of sorts meant to release the pent-up emotions that are causing them trouble. All religious ceremonies are psychodramas. Now, obviously not everybody needs religion as a means of controlling emotional release and in no way do I mean to imply that we can't get by without religion, but I still think we are a long way off from abolishing religious beliefs. Because of our highly developed brains, humans are always going to want believe that there is something more out there. They want to feel comfort in knowing that their life has meaning beyond their daily grind. I love science and hope that someday that it can prove conclusively what the origin of life is on Earth, but the question is whether or not humans as a whole can handle that devastating revelation. I would like to quote fro you now a paragraph from H.P. Lovecrafts, Call of Cthulhu.

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The science, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but someday the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha


caseagainstfaith
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Sapient wrote:Are you

Sapient wrote:
Are you talking about where he says atheism does not=rational? If so, we all agree to. However he probably fails to mention something we'd all agree on (here at RRS).... theism always=irrational. He likes to play angels advocate.

No. I'd have to try to dig it up. But, he noted that we don't define "irrational" as simply in error. We can accept somebody believing something in error and not be "irrational". So how does one determine if a person is simply in error, or actually being "irrational"? Flying planes into building is completely "rational" *if* you believe that will earn you eternity in paradise.


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I do not know how that

I do not know how that theory in psychology was founded since some of the theories in psychology seem to me mostly phisolophical than scientific. The connection between biology and religion is not well known and there needs to be more investigations about it. I definitely do not think that you need to hold irrational beliefs in order to satisfy a biological need that may come from religion if there is one or one of any significance. Biologist and psychologist and other scientists, I am sure, can find less destructive ways to satisfy these needs.

Here is Steven Pinker's hypothesis on religion:
http://pinker.wjh.harvard.edu/articles/media/2004_10_29_religion.htm

In my opinion, although I am not very knowlegable in this, he is much better than you conventional psychologist and evolutionary psychology is a good field of psychology.