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Thread: Deriving a moral philosophy from Jesus.

  1. Top | #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Steve never meant to actually learn anything, I suspect. He wanted Christians to post so he could disagree with us about stuff.
    Something I realized way back when I started posting on religion in the earlier version of the form. Atheist are far more knowledgeable on religion and Christianity than the typical Christian.

    The Christian arguments all boil down to a half dozen or so forms. Christianity is fairly simple compared to Hinduism, Buddhism, or Judaism. Jews have a long history of side teachings.

    I understand the Christian experience, it is no different than any other religiois pr philosophical experience.

    As you will not post what you believe it ids not possible to discuss with you.

    Go ahead, educate me.
    I certainly know plenty of atheists who are knowledgeable on religious matters, especially those who converted as adults. But then, I know a lot of knowledgeable religious people as well. I tend to think that being knowledgeable on any subject is a reflection of how much time a person has spent seriously studying it, rather than an inherent property of some faith label.

    Christianity has well more than twelve forms! There have been hundreds if not thousands of major variants on Christian thought over the centuries. And this is no secret.

    I don't think there is a singular "Christian experience" to understand, for much the same reason. Nor is religious understanding something easily reached. If you believe that percieving what enlightenment is truly like is something easily accomplished by reading a few books and forming an opinion based on some stuff you heard, you don't in fact understand religion, and are likely confused when people describe themselves as devoting their life to religious contemplation. Why would someone devote their entire lives to something that Wikipedia describes in three paragraphs?

    Like many amateur scholars in any field of inquiry, you imagine that you find the subject simple because it is simple, rather than because (as is almost always the truth of the matter) you are thinking about it simply.

    I do agree that other religious traditions are just as worth critically but enthusiastically exploring, and indeed educate people on the religious traditions of the world (the whole world) for a living.

    As to the last comment, no one can educate you against your will. But I am baffled by your claim that I "don't post what I believe, as I am a fairly frequent contributor to this forum. I don't always post about my personal beliefs, if I do not think they are relevant to a topic, but I'm hardly secretive in character.
    You apparently have nothing to tech me.

    I have read books on religion, the Bible, the Koran and assorted traditions through the years beginning in the 70s. My Koran translation was a gift from a Muslim. Read several books on Mohammed and history of Islam.

    Do you know without a net search what the Sunni Shia divide is about?

    Are you aware of the mystical Christian traditions that exists through today?

    Do you know what the variations in modern Judaism is today? What are the practices of the ultra orthodox Jews?

    Chant with me. OM MANI PADME HUM. Or maybe Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. I am not quite up to doing the full lotus position anymore.

    Back in the 70s there was a Sikh American ashram in my neighborhood. I spent a few weeks getting up early and doing yoga and chanting with them. Sa Ta Na Ma. Kundalini Yoga. Sexual energy. The adults' got up at 4:00AMAM, the kids got up and practiced later.

    Now paganism is something I am unfamiliar with. Never met one who practiced pagan tradition, unless you count witchcraft. Wiccan as they like to be called.

    I have always gone out of my way o explore someone's religious belief. Pathological curiosity.

    Almost all traditions express the same fundamental human truths with different cultural metaphors. Expressed in different ways The Golden Rule is common.

    So, where shall we start? I read The Tibetan Book Of The Dead. Is it really about reincarnation or is it really a guide for the living through metaphor?



    I have always taken opportunities to speak with people about faith.

  2. Top | #142
    Intergalactic Villainess Angry Floof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    What is the mental process by which someone becomes convinced in the existence of a God and all that this entails?

    You could say that believers are knowledgeable about the teachings of their faith, but what is known about the truth of the theology or the process by which they were convinced that it is true?
    I say the mental process has nothing to do with actual faith in any god. It's ordinary human social dynamics and psychology.

    I think there are transcendent types of experiences where people feel they were aware of a greater, more powerful presence than themselves, and that's what I would call a first hand experience, but whether it's a literal meeting with God is open for interpretation, and people tend to interpret such experiences through whatever cultural or religious concepts they're most familiar with.

    That's rare, though. The vast majority of religious believers worship the group label, the ideology, the authority figures, the concepts, the tribal identity, and nothing more.
    The Authoritarians

    GOP and Trump supporters will not be able to say they didn't know. Vote in numbers too big to manipulate.

  3. Top | #143
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    You apparently have nothing to tech me.

    I have read books on religion, the Bible, the Koran and assorted traditions through the years beginning in the 70s. My Koran translation was a gift from a Muslim. Read several books on Mohammed and history of Islam.

    ....


    So, where shall we start? I read The Tibetan Book Of The Dead. Is it really about reincarnation or is it really a guide for the living through metaphor?



    I have always taken opportunities to speak with people about faith.
    And I took two graduate programs in relevant fields, but you don't see me bragging emptily about how "no one has anything to teach me". Are you seriously trying to argue this down with credentials? Because you met a Muslim once? Proof's in the pudding as far as I'm concerned.

  4. Top | #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angry Floof View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    What is the mental process by which someone becomes convinced in the existence of a God and all that this entails?

    You could say that believers are knowledgeable about the teachings of their faith, but what is known about the truth of the theology or the process by which they were convinced that it is true?
    I say the mental process has nothing to do with actual faith in any god. It's ordinary human social dynamics and psychology.

    I think there are transcendent types of experiences where people feel they were aware of a greater, more powerful presence than themselves, and that's what I would call a first hand experience, but whether it's a literal meeting with God is open for interpretation, and people tend to interpret such experiences through whatever cultural or religious concepts they're most familiar with.

    That's rare, though. The vast majority of religious believers worship the group label, the ideology, the authority figures, the concepts, the tribal identity, and nothing more.
    It has become obvious to me that the mental process is primarily inherited brain architecture. In my family of eight siblings we represent the spectrum from strong atheism to devout theism. Our upbringings were identical. The two most devout siblings would enjoy dressing up as religious figures when they were very young, something that I thought was extremely weird at the time. They would sew their own outfits so they would look like historical religious figures, and have parades around the yard and on the street carrying their icons. To me such behavior was daff.

    There was no convincing them of anything, they were born being convinced in the heroism of their learned religious traditions. To me those same stories about miracles were boring and unbelievable. To them they were transcendent experiences that needed to be relived. I wanted to go fishing.

    Their attachment to their woo was more than social dynamics and psychology. No one else took up the behaviors they did.

    I've had those experiences where I felt like I knew all the universe had to offer, the answer to every question, but I never associated the experience religiously or thought there were god creatures living in the sky. And to be honest, had those siblings not been indoctrinated to religion they would have invented one, so strong was their inclination in that direction.

    For many people, and I know a few, their lives are dependent on religious loyalty. It's not just an identity, it's an actual dependency that if it was severed they would probably not survive without help.

    My one uncle's family is another good study, two of the children are as non religious as myself and the one is extremely religious, a deacon, devoutly loyal to the RCC and preachy too. But his kids are the opposite. People are born this way.

    Religion continues to fascinate me because it is so strange a behavior, not something I want to adopt, but rather understand. It has to do with observing a family member, strong atheist, become bipolar and become religious, think he was being communicated to by a god, and watch his life fall apart. That had nothing to do with social dynamics and psychology imho anymore than the color of his eyes.

  5. Top | #145
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    And while I'm on my soapbox.

    We've all heard about the Chinese coronavirus. Consider that tens of thousands of people have come in contact with the virus, perhaps many times that. Some of those people die. Some become seriously ill but recover with medical intervention. Some show very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

    The range of reactions has nothing to do with social dynamics or psychology, obviously, and everything to do with biology, biological architecture if you will, inheritance, mutation, natural selection and luck. Organisms are different in how they will react to environmental stress and changes. Why do we think religious behavior is something different? People's brains are as different inside as their outward bodies. Woo to the brain is like a virus to the immune system. There will be a range of responses depending on the architecture of the brain, and how that architecture changes.

  6. Top | #146
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    And while I'm on my soapbox.

    We've all heard about the Chinese coronavirus. Consider that tens of thousands of people have come in contact with the virus, perhaps many times that. Some of those people die. Some become seriously ill but recover with medical intervention. Some show very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

    The range of reactions has nothing to do with social dynamics or psychology, obviously, and everything to do with biology, biological architecture if you will, inheritance, mutation, natural selection and luck. Organisms are different in how they will react to environmental stress and changes. Why do we think religious behavior is something different? People's brains are as different inside as their outward bodies. Woo to the brain is like a virus to the immune system. There will be a range of responses depending on the architecture of the brain, and how that architecture changes.
    Thank goodness there are some genetically superior atheists to come along and replace us with their very powerful brain architecture.

  7. Top | #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    And while I'm on my soapbox.

    We've all heard about the Chinese coronavirus. Consider that tens of thousands of people have come in contact with the virus, perhaps many times that. Some of those people die. Some become seriously ill but recover with medical intervention. Some show very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

    The range of reactions has nothing to do with social dynamics or psychology, obviously, and everything to do with biology, biological architecture if you will, inheritance, mutation, natural selection and luck. Organisms are different in how they will react to environmental stress and changes. Why do we think religious behavior is something different? People's brains are as different inside as their outward bodies. Woo to the brain is like a virus to the immune system. There will be a range of responses depending on the architecture of the brain, and how that architecture changes.
    Thank goodness there are some genetically superior atheists to come along and replace us with their very powerful brain architecture.
    That would be a response I would expect to hear from an extremely devout sibling while she was reenacting a religious event. Who said anything about "very powerful" brain architecture?

    I simply claimed that brain architecture is different in different people, as different as a person's immunity to coronavirus. If you disagree, what is your explanation for the different reactions to religious indoctrination or higher mind experiences among people?

  8. Top | #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    And while I'm on my soapbox.

    We've all heard about the Chinese coronavirus. Consider that tens of thousands of people have come in contact with the virus, perhaps many times that. Some of those people die. Some become seriously ill but recover with medical intervention. Some show very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

    The range of reactions has nothing to do with social dynamics or psychology, obviously, and everything to do with biology, biological architecture if you will, inheritance, mutation, natural selection and luck. Organisms are different in how they will react to environmental stress and changes. Why do we think religious behavior is something different? People's brains are as different inside as their outward bodies. Woo to the brain is like a virus to the immune system. There will be a range of responses depending on the architecture of the brain, and how that architecture changes.
    Thank goodness there are some genetically superior atheists to come along and replace us with their very powerful brain architecture.
    That would be a response I would expect to hear from an extremely devout sibling while she was reenacting a religious event. Who said anything about "very powerful" brain architecture?

    I simply claimed that brain architecture is different in different people, as different as a person's immunity to coronavirus. If you disagree, what is your explanation for the different reactions to religious indoctrination or higher mind experiences among people?
    My basic assumption when it comes to the mind is that, barring tangible evidence of physiological disfunction, it is the same in all human beings regardless of cultural, national, or religious affiliation. If people disagree on matters of preference, this is likely due to some interaction of each person's cultural influences social interactions, and individual personality and reasoning. Your "analogy" between philosophy and immunology, if you mean it more than metaphorically, ignores some pretty damn enormous differences between the functioning of the nervous system and that of the immune system.

  9. Top | #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post

    That would be a response I would expect to hear from an extremely devout sibling while she was reenacting a religious event. Who said anything about "very powerful" brain architecture?

    I simply claimed that brain architecture is different in different people, as different as a person's immunity to coronavirus. If you disagree, what is your explanation for the different reactions to religious indoctrination or higher mind experiences among people?
    My basic assumption when it comes to the mind is that, barring tangible evidence of physiological disfunction, it is the same in all human beings regardless of cultural, national, or religious affiliation. If people disagree on matters of preference, this is likely due to some interaction of each person's cultural influences social interactions, and individual personality and reasoning.
    Physiological dysfunction? What do you mean by that? Are you claiming that a difference is a dysfunction?

    How exactly do all those differences ever arise in the first place if everyone is, as you claim, the same, culturally, nationally and religiously? Are you saying that the reason humans do not all think identically is because all those brains are dysfunctional? Are we all dysfunctional in our appearance because we are not all identical?

  10. Top | #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post

    That would be a response I would expect to hear from an extremely devout sibling while she was reenacting a religious event. Who said anything about "very powerful" brain architecture?

    I simply claimed that brain architecture is different in different people, as different as a person's immunity to coronavirus. If you disagree, what is your explanation for the different reactions to religious indoctrination or higher mind experiences among people?
    My basic assumption when it comes to the mind is that, barring tangible evidence of physiological disfunction, it is the same in all human beings regardless of cultural, national, or religious affiliation. If people disagree on matters of preference, this is likely due to some interaction of each person's cultural influences social interactions, and individual personality and reasoning. Your "analogy" between philosophy and immunology, if you mean it more than metaphorically, ignores some pretty damn enormous differences between the functioning of the nervous system and that of the immune system.
    You should pick up The Blank Slate by Pinker. Coming from a medical science background I'd hazard a guess that T.G.G. Moogly is pretty much on the money. I've studied the genetics of political affiliation much more than religion, but as a great example there are many solid studies which show that political affiliation is mostly genetic, not cultural. Our brain architecture predicts, to a very large degree, our eventual outlook on the world.

    You can even move into aspects of our behaviour which are classically more benign than in hot button topics. Things like sexual desire. Is sexual desire something we learn, or an intrinsic response of our brain when we see objects of our attraction. Hint: it's the latter. We don't choose who we're attracted to, which foods we like to a very large degree, and a plethora of other things. I don't see why this would be any different for religious or political affiliation. And if you dive into the science this viewpoint is well evidenced.

    Sadly, this also means that people aren't as plastic as we classically think they are. There is plasticity, but much of who we are and what we believe doesn't really change much across our lifetimes.

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