Nareed
Nareed
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March 22nd, 2014 at 11:53:26 AM permalink
Quote: teliot

That, my friend, is the biggest problem with religion, in a nutshell.



Actually that would be its one redeeming quality, if it were true.

Quote:

One of the greatest gifts of science is the realization that we are not special.



On the contrary. The mere fact we have science is proof we are special. Unless you can come up with evidence that, say, chimpanzees build computers, casinos, movie studios, cars, farms, factories, etc.

Don't make me quote Shakespeare.
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teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 11:57:23 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Don't make me quote Shakespeare.

I almost used that quote.
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FrGamble
FrGamble
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March 22nd, 2014 at 12:08:53 PM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs

It is possible to be rational about religion.

Quote: teliot

Exactly!



Exactly!
teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 12:18:20 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Exactly!

There you go, thinking we agree on something 8-)

A purple invisible mouse is flying around my head, I can't see it but I know it's there. I also can speak with the mouse in a language I can't quite describe that goes on silently in my head. I spend time at night speaking to the mouse in that language. In that language, the mouse is telling me how to live a good life, which I couldn't possibly figure out on my own. It also tells me that it will help my neighbor start believing in the purple mouse. I think that mouse is special and somehow convince myself that the invisible purple mouse thinks I am special.

Am I (a) psychotic, or (b) religious?

[forgive my edit -- you quoted it, so I reposted it]
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FrGamble
FrGamble
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March 22nd, 2014 at 12:29:32 PM permalink
Quote: teliot

That, my friend, is the biggest problem with religion, in a nutshell. One of the greatest gifts of science is the realization that we are not special. I find it extraordinarily arrogant for religions to teach such things. Destroy all the forests. Pollute the water. Heat up the planet. Kill of the species. None of that matters because we are special.



The list of environmental sins are directly against God's commandment to take care of this beautiful planet. When I say that human beings are special it is connected to the next point that you ridiculed - that we are all created equal. Every human life has a value and dignity beyond measure.

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Religion creates random and meaningless orders that have to be refuted for science to progress. A good case can be made that your religion has, at every point in the course of scientific revolution, persecuted scientists.



This is absolutely not true and I'm speechless, sad, and concerned that you would write it. I don't know where I should begin because you have given no reasons for such an outlandish statement. So let me remind you that many of the greatest scientists of all time have been religious. Very few scientists of any belief system, if any, would agree with your statement. I don't know if you are referring to the most public case of Galileo, who was trying to prove a theory first proposed by a Catholic priest about the Heliocentric universe, but if you are the Church's failure in that instance doesn't amount to an all out persecution. Good grief.

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I agree with you, sociopaths are bad for society at large. But, I don't need a tablet to tell me that.



How do you tell who is a sociopath? How can you say what is bad or good for me or for others without some type of grounding or authority that is universal for all people? You don't need a tablet for that but you do need something more than your feelings, personal thoughts, or the community's values.

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If you wonder about the boundaries of science, they I invite you to start learning about how that question is being answered. Read about Godel's theorem, the P v. NP problem, and about the current competing cosmological models. Having spent most of your life studying angels of various types, imagine how much you could know had you spent just a fraction of that time studying real things.



I love learning about science and especially cosmology because it is super interesting and a good lead in to studying the things that ultimately matter. I will be happy to try and read Godel's theorem. How about if I do that you pick up a philosophy book?
teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 12:31:58 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

How about if I do that you pick up a philosophy book?

I read a lot of Schopenhauer in my day. I like Stephen Batchelor's books on Buddhism. P.D. Ouspensky wrote some good stuff. I read "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass stoned on LSD. That was quite something. "Autobiography of a Yogi" was a bit over the top. Aristotle and classical philosophy was mostly college stuff. I really like the poetry of Billy Collins. I'm going to see him next month.

Who would you recommend?

I'd like to suggest you start with Steven Pinker's "The Stuff of Thought."
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FrGamble
FrGamble
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March 22nd, 2014 at 12:42:13 PM permalink
Quote: teliot

There you go, thinking we agree on something 8-) Here's a test of rationality.

A purple invisible mouse is flying around my head, I can't see it but I know it's there. I also can speak with the mouse in a language I can't quite describe that goes on silently in my head. I spend time at night speaking to the mouse in that language. In that language, the mouse is telling me how to live a good life, which I couldn't possibly figure out on my own. It also tells me that it will help my neighbor start believing in the purple mouse. I think that mouse is special and somehow convince myself that the invisible purple mouse thinks I am special.

Am I (a) psychotic, or (b) religious?



What if the mouse was not invisible and was a real human historical figure who spoke the same language as everyone else. What if that man talked about how to live a good life in a way that echoed similar thoughts from throughout human history but was put together in such a way and with such authority that had never been heard before. This man's message was so comforting and life changing that people started sharing the message with others and it had the same effect on them. Even through great persecution this man's message spread like wildfire throughout the whole world. Thousands of years have come and gone and millions upon millions of people, some of the smartest and greatest men and women ever to live have testified to the difference this man has made in their lives. I believe that this man is special and I believe that this man also thinks I am special.

Am I (a) psychotic or (b) religious?
teliot
teliot
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March 22nd, 2014 at 12:46:01 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Am I (a) psychotic or (b) religious?

By convention, you are (b), religious. But, if you think you are somehow communicating with this dead guy or his dad, for example through "prayer", then maybe a bit of (a), don't you think? Also, you said that you believe he "thinks" you are special. You are ascribing the capacity for normal human thought to a dead man. How many dead men speak to you, exactly?
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Nareed
Nareed
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March 22nd, 2014 at 12:53:47 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Religion has given us the concept that human beings are special and that all people are created equal.



History says otherwise, alas.

The first part would seem to be so. Man, after all, was created in God's image and likeness, right? But every other word I ever hear Christians preach is to the effect of how small, mean, evil, nasty, disgusting, brutish, people are. All encapsulated in the word: sinner.

So we are special, but especially bad, twisted, evil, bespotted and ulcerous. I'd rather do without that disctintion, thank you.

As for equal, please don't make me laugh. Women were never equal to men in any way, not according to scripture, practice or tradition. I may add this isn't exclusive to Christianity. Women were not equal in any society until the XX Century, and even now some inequalites, minute in comaprison, persist.

Next by practice and tradition, all sorts of people were treated as lesser than others. Kings, Popes, Cardinals and Bishops were at the top, and things got progressively worse down the ladder. Again, equality before the law had to wait til the XX ccentury,a nd again it's not complete as yet (and perhaps won't ever be).

But all this can be reduced to one question: how equal were the Jews who got expelled from several Christian nations?

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Religion has taught us that the universe is ordered and has a purpose



Religion has claimed this. It has not shown it or proved it, and it may not even be so. In fact,t here's no eidence as to the second part of your statement.

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and therefore can effectively and usefully be studied



Please. Disordered things cna be as effectively studied as ordered ones.

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(the birth of science, yeah!).



One wonders what were Archimides, Pyhtagoras and even namless pre-human hominids doing when they discovered principles in physics, math and the making of fire.

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Religion gives us hope that this broken and unjust world is not all there is and the inspiration to try to fix it as best we can.



People have been trying to "fix" the world since the first pre-human hominid realized they could eat better if they killed prey. The whole of history can be resumed as "how have various people tried to "fix" the world and make it better." The Roman Republic was a solution to a problem, for example. So is the American Republic.
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s2dbaker
s2dbaker
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March 22nd, 2014 at 1:11:06 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

What if the mouse was not invisible and was a real human historical figure who spoke the same language as everyone else. What if that man talked about how to live a good life in a way that echoed similar thoughts from throughout human history but was put together in such a way and with such authority that had never been heard before. This man's message was so comforting and life changing that people started sharing the message with others and it had the same effect on them. Even through great persecution this man's message spread like wildfire throughout the whole world. Thousands of years have come and gone and millions upon millions of people, some of the smartest and greatest men and women ever to live have testified to the difference this man has made in their lives. I believe that this man is special and I believe that this man also thinks I am special.

Am I (a) psychotic or (b) religious?

I lean toward A. At least the invisible purple mouse is contemporary.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez

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