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If you were ever a theist...
#31
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm)Deidre32 Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:42 pm)Whateverist the White Wrote: If you ever feel like sharing any particulars of that journey (either here or by PM) I would be interested to hear them.  Not to try to change you of course but rather just to better understand the whole faith/god belief phenomenon.

It is only when one shoe horns the particular dogma of a tradition into such transformative experiences that faith gives way to belief and falls off the radar of my interest.  I prefer the noumenal raw and messy.  Once it's been dissected, tidied up and edited it .. meh.

I'll pm you, okay.  Smile

*Sad that chew toy won't come outside and play*
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#32
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm)CapnAwesome Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm)Whateverist the White Wrote: So I wonder how from an anthropological perspective you answer questions like why did religion or god belief arise?  Or, what is its purpose?

Just for the record anthropology is only a hobby of mine. My degree is in history. Personally I think it probably arose from an attempt by ancient man to explain the world around him. The limitation of knowledge of ancient man is pretty staggering. I think we don't have a very good perception of how little truly ancient people probably understood about anything. So when people ask basic questions, why do we die, what happens after death, why are there rainbows, why do people get sick, naturally people want to fill in the blanks. Given their limited understanding, they do their best and come up with supernatural explanations. That snowballs into religion. Although it is important to note the idea Theists sometimes say that 'every tribe worships' isn't really true. Most primitive people have supernatural beliefs but not all believe in deities and hardly all worship them.

As to why, some people have thought that religious belief gives some sort of advantage in survival or something like that. I don't really think so, I think the how of it is enough. There is no why, so to speak. They don't give a society any advantage today and didn't give primitive man any advantage either. Social evolution I think is like biological evolution. Not everything in biological evolution is an advantage, like our appendix or the fact we have 5 fingers rather than 6. Religion is like that, the appendix of social evolution.

Maybe and maybe not. If you look back to the Paleolithic time period, there are researchers who believe that religion (for want of a better word) took shape back then in the form of Shamanism. If that made society 'better off' who knows, but maybe mankind's sheer desire to wonder and be open to all it does not know and could never know, is where some of these ideas and rituals stemmed from.
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#33
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 5:07 pm)Crossless1 Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: I'll pm you, okay.  Smile

*Sad that chew toy won't come outside and play*

hahahaha!!  Big Grin Hmmmm...
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#34
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm)Deidre32 Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:52 pm)Simon Moon Wrote: You say this as if faith is a virtue.

Faith is not a path to truth. As far as I can tell, it is no different than gullibility.

The majority of humanity believes in different gods than you do, with equal amounts of faith. Yet, their faith has lead them to the "wrong god belief" according to Christians. And from the view of an outsider, I have no way to tell who, if any, is correct.

Curious that when you returned to a god belief, it turned out to be the one you were raised in, in a country where Christianity is the dominant god belief. What a coincidence, right?


My own journey is like this.

I was a born skeptic. Unless a claim is accompanied by supporting: demonstrable evidence, reasoned argument and valid and sound logic, I withhold belief for that claim.

About the age of 15 or so, I came to the realization that I was not examining my god beliefs with the same level of scrutiny as other existential claims and supernatural claims. As soon as I did, I discovered that they did not hold up. In order to maintain my intellectual honesty, I could no longer hold on to my god beliefs.

I'm not claiming anything, just what happened in my own life. And this thread isn't to spar over it, to be honest...it's just an interest I've had to hear why people left their respective faith beliefs and now identify as atheists.

Why do you feel it's intellectually dishonest to hold beliefs that can't be defined by a scientific process, or that level of scrutiny?

Because I have an overriding passion to have as many true beliefs as possible, and as few false beliefs as possible. I want my internal model of the universe to map as closely as possible to the actual universe. I think that making decisions with the most accurate map of reality as possible, is more likely to achieve better results.

Besides your god beliefs, how many other beliefs do you hold based on faith? I'll bet when when you hear about: alien abductions, speaking with the dead, dowsing, bigfoot, telekinesis, astral projection and other supernatural claims, you don't believe them on faith. You, like most theists, are skeptical of at least some of these claims, if not all of them.


Quote:Unless those beliefs harm others, then that's a different story. But, to me, spirituality, faith, whatever one calls it...is a private thing, and if it edifies my life, why would that be 'intellectually dishonest?'

Because I don't believe it is possible to keep one's beliefs entirely to themselves. Your beliefs don't live in a vacuum, they inform your actions.

You'd believe if you just opened your heart" is a terrible argument for religion. It's basically saying, "If you bias yourself enough, you can convince yourself that this is true." If religion were true, people wouldn't need faith to believe it -- it would be supported by good evidence.
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#35
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 5:12 pm)Simon Moon Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: I'm not claiming anything, just what happened in my own life. And this thread isn't to spar over it, to be honest...it's just an interest I've had to hear why people left their respective faith beliefs and now identify as atheists.

Why do you feel it's intellectually dishonest to hold beliefs that can't be defined by a scientific process, or that level of scrutiny?

Because I have an overriding passion to have as many true beliefs as possible, and as few false beliefs as possible. I want my internal model of the universe to map as closely as possible to the actual universe. I think that making decisions with the most accurate map of reality as possible, is more likely to achieve better results.

Besides your god beliefs, how many other beliefs do you hold based on faith? I'll bet when when you hear about: alien abductions, speaking with the dead, dowsing, bigfoot, telekinesis, astral projection and other supernatural claims, you don't believe them on faith. You, like most theists, are skeptical of at least some of these claims, if not all of them.


Quote:Unless those beliefs harm others, then that's a different story. But, to me, spirituality, faith, whatever one calls it...is a private thing, and if it edifies my life, why would that be 'intellectually dishonest?'

Because I don't believe it is possible to keep one's beliefs entirely to themselves. Your beliefs don't live in a vacuum, they inform your actions.
Those are good points, but I happen to think people who claim some of those examples above, are of the opinion they witnessed those events, and not taking it by faith. I mean, yea...could it have been a bear, but they claim it's big foot? Yes, and that can go on and on...but they claim to have witnessed something. So, there's that. (but I have the option to not believe their claims, and I don't...but, I bring that up because belief in those types of things isn't based on faith. No belief systems are surrounding those things, you know?)

I believe I had an experience of faith, otherwise I wouldn't have returned to Christianity. I hadn't been 're' assessing my beliefs whatsoever, I truly felt 'done' with it all. A while ago. But, my wavering atheism started last year, when my grandmother fell ill. Christianity was not on the horizon however, but more of a general malaise that I felt towards atheism at the time. We all have walked a different walk, so...hard to explain entirely if you have decided to consider such things to be trivial, etc. You know what I'm saying?
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#36
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm)Deidre32 Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm)CapnAwesome Wrote: Just for the record anthropology is only a hobby of mine. My degree is in history. Personally I think it probably arose from an attempt by ancient man to explain the world around him. The limitation of knowledge of ancient man is pretty staggering. I think we don't have a very good perception of how little truly ancient people probably understood about anything. So when people ask basic questions, why do we die, what happens after death, why are there rainbows, why do people get sick, naturally people want to fill in the blanks. Given their limited understanding, they do their best and come up with supernatural explanations. That snowballs into religion. Although it is important to note the idea Theists sometimes say that 'every tribe worships' isn't really true. Most primitive people have supernatural beliefs but not all believe in deities and hardly all worship them.

As to why, some people have thought that religious belief gives some sort of advantage in survival or something like that. I don't really think so, I think the how of it is enough. There is no why, so to speak. They don't give a society any advantage today and didn't give primitive man any advantage either. Social evolution I think is like biological evolution. Not everything in biological evolution is an advantage, like our appendix or the fact we have 5 fingers rather than 6. Religion is like that, the appendix of social evolution.

Maybe and maybe not. If you look back to the Paleolithic time period, there are researchers who believe that religion (for want of a better word) took shape back then in the form of Shamanism. If that made society 'better off' who knows, but maybe mankind's sheer desire to wonder and be open to all it does not know and could never know, is where some of these ideas and rituals stemmed from.

Right, that's pretty similar to what I am saying. I'd say as soon as there is a Shaman, there is a religion. Anthropology leaves a lot of room for speculation on ancient man though and ancient man probably varied wildly from tribe to tribe back then, especially when we consider the time period that we are thinking about. Man existed in nature as hunter gatherers for many multiple the time that we have been civilize.
[Image: dcep7c.jpg]
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#37
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm)Deidre32 Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm)CapnAwesome Wrote: Just for the record anthropology is only a hobby of mine. My degree is in history. Personally I think it probably arose from an attempt by ancient man to explain the world around him. The limitation of knowledge of ancient man is pretty staggering. I think we don't have a very good perception of how little truly ancient people probably understood about anything. So when people ask basic questions, why do we die, what happens after death, why are there rainbows, why do people get sick, naturally people want to fill in the blanks. Given their limited understanding, they do their best and come up with supernatural explanations. That snowballs into religion. Although it is important to note the idea Theists sometimes say that 'every tribe worships' isn't really true. Most primitive people have supernatural beliefs but not all believe in deities and hardly all worship them.

As to why, some people have thought that religious belief gives some sort of advantage in survival or something like that. I don't really think so, I think the how of it is enough. There is no why, so to speak. They don't give a society any advantage today and didn't give primitive man any advantage either. Social evolution I think is like biological evolution. Not everything in biological evolution is an advantage, like our appendix or the fact we have 5 fingers rather than 6. Religion is like that, the appendix of social evolution.

Maybe and maybe not. If you look back to the Paleolithic time period, there are researchers who believe that religion (for want of a better word) took shape back then in the form of Shamanism. If that made society 'better off' who knows, but maybe mankind's sheer desire to wonder and be open to all it does not know and could never know, is where some of these ideas and rituals stemmed from.

Well their are examples where a tribe or civilization benefited from a religion. One example that comes to mind was a tribe (I forget where but can look it up when I get home) that had certain rituals related to agriculture. When the Europeans introduced them to the calendar and use that for determining when you plant and harvest they lost their crops to insects and flooding. Religion has also been used to unite people into a common cause in many instances.

Now I agree that religions are appealing because they explain things we don't know as it's natural to fear the unknown. That explains why people followed but not really how they originate as someone has to fabricate them as I suspect they were not all given sacred script. Some are mentally unbalanced and may believe (jonestown comes to mind) however the majority I theorize were created for a specific goal such as gain prominence in the tribe or attempt to manipulate the tribe into adopting a certain practice
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#38
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm)Deidre32 Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm)Jörmungandr Wrote: So I abandoned my intuitive grasp of reality as interpreted by Hinduism, and over time, embraced the rationalist account of reality instead.  

Wow, thank you...I never knew your ''story'' all this time. ''Intuitive grasp of reality'' ...these insights are not lost on me, so you all know. It is very interesting to me to read of what led people to faith, even if it was indoctrination (like I had been through in childhood, but didn't return to it now, due to that, although, it might seem that way lol).

Do you at all believe that life can be a mixture of objective reason towards reality AND intuition? I mean, I know intuition (let's call it in the case, spiritual intuition) is subjective.

Intuition is very powerful in that it can 'see' things that are in perpetual shadow. But it's also very fickle in that it doesn't explain the connection between intuition and reality; it leaves you at the mercy of time to explain its unfolding. In that sense, one can't directly compare reason and intuition. The one is reliable but limited, the other not so limited but also fundamentally unreliable (in the sense that we can't understand the truth as it is, rather than how our subjectivity colors it). The problem is not in using both, for most often they don't compete in what they tell you. The problem is in determining which one to trust on subjects at which they are at odds. I lost the option to choose 'intuition' at one point where they conflicted and had no choice but to triumph reason. For most things however, such a choice is seldom necessary. Except in the case of religion, where it seems intuition speaks in terms of shadow that never clearly reveal themselves, and reason is perpetually trying to draw us back into the light.

Neither way on their own seems wholly satisfying.
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#39
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 3:45 pm)Quantum Wrote: https://youtu.be/KiU5ht5W_lk

Thank you for that.  It's been a long time since I watched a two hour video, but she's funny as well as insightful.
If there is a god, I want to believe that there is a god.  If there is not a god, I want to believe that there is no god.
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#40
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 6:54 pm)cocunningham Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 5:08 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: Maybe and maybe not. If you look back to the Paleolithic time period, there are researchers who believe that religion (for want of a better word) took shape back then in the form of Shamanism. If that made society 'better off' who knows, but maybe mankind's sheer desire to wonder and be open to all it does not know and could never know, is where some of these ideas and rituals stemmed from.

Well their are examples where a tribe or civilization benefited from a religion.   One example that comes to mind was a tribe (I forget where but can look it up when I get home) that had certain rituals related to agriculture.  When the Europeans introduced them to the calendar and use that for determining when you plant and harvest they lost their crops to insects and flooding.  Religion has also been used to unite people into a common cause in many instances.

Now I agree that religions are appealing because they explain things we don't know as it's natural to fear the unknown.  That explains why people followed but not really how they originate as someone has to fabricate them as I suspect they were not all given sacred script.  Some are mentally unbalanced and may believe (jonestown comes to mind) however the majority I theorize were created for a specific goal such as gain prominence in the tribe or attempt to manipulate the tribe into adopting a certain practice

I'm curious reading both of you about where religion came from and everyone seems to flatly dismiss my claims to the subject and wonder why that is.  I did a lot of research and I am sure that Man didn't just make it up.  All the rituals and stories point to the same conclusion and yet people reach for answers or reply why would we want to know that.  To me it helps to know where religion came from even if you don't believe in it.  I've seen more response to others ideas on pole shifts or aliens.
[Image: userfield_edit.gif] https://sites.google.com/site/fromthedeepoceanabove/  ..."when you look up in the sky you can see the stars and still not see the light"... 
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