Debating all religions at once

Rigor_OMortis
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Debating all religions at once

I thought of starting this topic because RRS has been attacked numerous times that it's focusing on Christianity only. The truth value of that accusation right now is meaningless, but, since it has been brought forward, I thought of doing something about it.

So, here would be the arguments that work against all (or at least most) religions at once.

 

1. argument from creation account - most religions have a creation account, which should be obvious since "how we came to be" is possibly the most important question that religions seek to answer. The problem is that religions do not agree on how the world was created, how long ago, by whom and with what purpose. Right now, no religion stands out of the crowd with a more coherent and plausible account, and none bring any proof of their creation account. While some religions do estimate that the Universe is extremely old (some possibly getting close to the actual age), still there is no "more plausible" account to validate one (or some) religion(s) over the others

2. argument from analogy and social purpose - numerous religions have been born and have died since the beginning of recorded history. That should be no surprise to anyone. Observing the patterns of religious evolution, one cannot but come to the conclusion that the only religions that have indeed survived are those that are socially and pollitically more efficient, eliminating huge complexities and unnecessary waste of resources (examples such as Egyptian polytheism, with enormously complex celebrations, offerings and worship techniques). Also, what we can see is that before the great rush for globalization and before opening of communication channels across all earthly regions, ALL religions had a local character - worshippers and believers were found only in a certain area, without any example of same divinity, same worship techniques or same accounts appearing in different parts of the world, isolated from one another (which would seem more logical if one religion was indeed true). Long story short - many religions have lived and died out, ultimately being reduced to falsehood. Why would today's religions be different?

3. argument from choosing and social purpose - numerous religions advance the idea of "chosen people" (this indeed does not apply to ALL religions). Coincidentally, the chosen people were exactly the ones that have started such religions, one being able to notice a real reluctancy for other people to embrace it and respect its teachings (in short, you won't see any nation willingly submitting to slavery to another, or willingly giving away land or resources because they weren't "the chosen people&quotEye-wink. That leads us to conclude that religions were, in fact, more of a social and pollitical instrument rather than truth

4. argument from lack of proof - no surprises here: no religion has ever successfully proven their claims

5. argument from moral distinction - no surprise here as well: different religions (same as different cultures) have had (and some still have) different moral codes. In some lines they are similar, but there are many differences, especially when it comes to justification of behavior

6. argument from lack of unity as a social purpose - I have yet to see ONE religion that has not split into more sub-religions (or cults). The reason is very simple: a religion cannot get global just like that: it needs adapting to different styles, cultures and people. Unfortunately for religions, some cultural gaps are simply too large to fill, thus spawning an entirely different branch (Catholic + Orthodox, Sunni + Shiite, etc.) which (not surprisingly) is just as well localized and which (again not surprisingly) reflects the way of being of the society and culture it is supposed to exist in

7. argument of exclusion and mutual exclusiveness - it should come to no surprise that one cannot be part of two or more religions at once. It should be no surprise again that not being part of a religion is a ticket for that religion's hell. No religion, until now, has addressed the question of whether or not a person that has never heard of a religion (we imagine a modern-day Robinson Crusoe with kids that are never rescued in time before their natural death) will be "saved" or not.

8. argument from lack of instinct - unfortunately for all religions, nobody has yet ever noticed a certain religion coming out as an instinct. Again unfortunately for all religions, we have noticed the opposite. Which should severely undermine any religion.

9. argument from probability - pretty straightforward: what is the percentage of positively-answered prayers? What is the percentage of god-blessed wars that have actually been won? This alone should prove my point

10. argument from non-duplication - no religion has ever been able to duplicate claims of miracles or of divine occurrences. No religion has ever been able to prove that the claim for afterlife is a valid one

11. argument from silence - it is very strange that the gods that were once very verbose, and actively interviened in the life of humans are now silent, distant, non-responsive, and seem as if they are simply not there (this again does not apply to ALL religions). As I said before in the "The gods that have suddenly become silent", should any god wish to promote his message, now would be the right time for it. Yet none does. Today would be a good moment (now that we have a much greater understanding of the world than in Bronze Age) for a god to speak and say "So yes, my creation, this is how I did it, this is the truth of the world, this is what I expect you to do", but the gods are still silent

12. argument from non-universality - should be straightforward: no religion is universal, and no religion even holds human majority

And last, the last and most powerful ace from the sleeve:

Argument from plurality - to sum up, there is no apparent reason why one should choose one religion over the other, but, since they are mutually exclusive, only one of them can be right. Which one is it and why?

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


Strafio
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Good list.I'd like to add a

Good list.
I'd like to add a suggestion:

Argument from Naturalism
Most religions make supernatural claims of some sort.
These supernatural claims do one of two things:
1) Directly contradict our most fundamental understanding of reality. That is, requires us to give up more or less everything we used to consider knowledge and more or less comes to the conclusion that we understand absolutely nothing.
2) Makes claims about the being something outside and beyond our current understanding of reality. Here, they are not contradicting our current knowledge anymore but now we are asked to talk about something beyond our understanding and comprehension. If so, anything we tried to say about such a 'thing' could only be false or meaningless.


Rigor_OMortis
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If I may... BUMP! I do

If I may...

BUMP! I do expect a theist answer for this one.

 

Quote:
Argument from Naturalism
Most religions make supernatural claims of some sort.
These supernatural claims do one of two things:
1) Directly contradict our most fundamental understanding of reality. That is, requires us to give up more or less everything we used to consider knowledge and more or less comes to the conclusion that we understand absolutely nothing.
2) Makes claims about the being something outside and beyond our current understanding of reality. Here, they are not contradicting our current knowledge anymore but now we are asked to talk about something beyond our understanding and comprehension. If so, anything we tried to say about such a 'thing' could only be false or meaningless.

Let's restructure it a little bit, shall we? And let's make it juicier at the same time, because it's a really good one.

X. Strafio's argument from naturalism - most religions make supernatural claims of some sort, that directly contradict our most fundamental understanding of reality, requiring to give up more or less everything we used to consider knowledge and more or less comes to the conclusion that we understand absolutely nothing. Such religions motivate their miracles through there being something outside and beyond our current understanding of reality. That way, it appears as if they are not contradicting our current knowledge anymore but now we are asked to talk about something beyond our understanding and comprehension. If so, anything we tried to say about such a 'thing' could only be false or meaningless compared to what that religion's "initiates" consider to be the truth... which process looks more like a self-defense one than like a miraculous one. Furthermore, taped, examined and scientifically tested miracles (not to say able to be duplicated) have yet to happen.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


RhadTheGizmo
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I believe you will get a

I believe you will get a theist answer as well.  I believe there are a few misconceptions about religion within this post.  For instance.. that all religions are mutually exclusive.  This is not the case.  To the best of my knowledge, judiasm is not a mutually exclusive religion. Me.. as a non-jew, am not judged by the jewish religious system, in fact, I'm not even considered.

Furthermore, universalist, as well, are not mutually exclusive.

There are some instances of overlapping.. as well as some instances you will find within religions in which one religion does not claim that one 'must' believe as that 'one religion' believes 'or else'.

Of course.. this is my interpretation of what you meant by 'mutually exclusive'.. perhaps it is not.

I hope to get to all these things I one point, I must admit I have only skimmed.

Take care Rig.

(p.s. Yes, I have returned for a short while.. who knows how long.  Trying to expand the mind.. always fun. Sticking out tongue


Rigor_OMortis
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Quote: I believe you will

Quote:
I believe you will get a theist answer as well.  I believe there are a few misconceptions about religion within this post.  For instance.. that all religions are mutually exclusive.  This is not the case.  To the best of my knowledge, judiasm is not a mutually exclusive religion. Me.. as a non-jew, am not judged by the jewish religious system, in fact, I'm not even considered.

If two things are mutually exclusive, that would mean you cannot have one and the other as well. You either have one or have the other, or you have none. And you must agree that this applies to religion: you cannot be Muslim and Christian at the same time. You have to be either one, or another, or none. That's what I'm trying to suggest.

Quote:
Furthermore, universalist, as well, are not mutually exclusive.

Universalism may not claim to be exclusive regarding the others, but all the others are exclusive regarding Universalism, so it's pretty much the same point...

Quote:
There are some instances of overlapping.. as well as some instances you will find within religions in which one religion does not claim that one 'must' believe as that 'one religion' believes 'or else'.

Perhaps that "or else" might be missing from a few religions, but still to be part of a religion is to accept its dogma and believe in its teachings. That would be the definition of being part of a religion.

Quote:
(p.s. Yes, I have returned for a short while.. who knows how long.  Trying to expand the mind.. always fun. Sticking out tongue)

Welcome back. Do have fun doing that. Oh, and thanks for the law resources.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


Debauchrist
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I do like the list, but it

I do like the list, but it seems very modern Western. Many Eastern religions don't include a concept of Hell. In fact, if you think that punishment is possible, then you haven't succeeded in rational thought according to these religions. Religion (in regard to the supernatural) is absurd, however, there might be some areas worth studying.

In the case of Christianity, a study in how obviously bad memes can propagate is in order. In the East, a study in material Nihilism could benefit us.

Anyway, thank you for the list, it's very inclusive of what a religion should not be... religion shouldn't be a lie. It's too bad that I haven't found one case where religion wasn't.