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The split between religion and science does not exist

I also am confused. How can this so called "God" be a notion of causality and dictator of actions in the Universe while at the same time encourages free will towards a self defined ideal. Does this supposedly neutral pattern of existence have some grandiose plan in store especially for you?'

Edit: Perhaps I am confusing Cargests definition with Conservationists. This is why I argued earlier that "The Universe" is interchangeable with "God", the Universe lacks all the unnecessary connotations while being founded on an organic worldview.

My underlying problem still remains this: Why do we need this extra conceptual entity? Does it satisfy some neurotic fear of unknowing or a subconscious desire for slavery?
I'm sorry to answer your question with a question, but this has been bothering me. Your statements seem to be couched within Freudian terminology. Why do you rely on a psychological framework that has long been dismissed as pseudoscience (not to mention its dismemberment at the hands of Wittgenstein)?

Speaking my mind, I would say that Stars is being purposefully immature.  In fact, I sincerely hope that this is the case.  His insistence that we should not even consider "God", and the narrowminded view of what "God" might be which causes this insistence, is frought with the basic confusions of most popular modern "religions" (i.e. the bullshit and watered down versions of Judeo-Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism).

God is often created in our image, not we in "His" image.  It is far easier for we, as humans, to understand a process or fact if we can relate it to an aspect of our own being.  The problem arises when we start to believe that our relating God to ourselves means that God is actually like ourselves, thus taking allegory and metaphor as being Truth, when, clearly, they were never intended to be such.

Quote from: istaros
I don't know why it's necessary, but it's fairly obvious that it is. Same goes for sleeping.
Bad analogy and logic.

Quote from: An Hero
We had a 14 page thread last summer (Religion in Modern America) were all your concerns are addressed
That thread turned into a major clusterfuck, and I don't think it really answers all of the concerns.

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There are different strata of humanity and each one needs to have the world explained to them in a different way. The truly enlightened, who do not actually exist, would not need symbols or allegories to help them understand the world, they need no God Concept. On the other end, there are the dumbest and/or least philoposhical who need rules like "Thou shalt not lie" explained to them by saying "You'll go to hell if you lie."
I'll grant you that very stupid people need a concept like God to keep their asses in line, but why would an intelligent person need any concept of God, no matter how sophisticated or abstract you make it.  It just seems unnecessary and disingenuous.

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4. Religion as an abstracted concept (that is a group devotion to a set of beliefs) is just part of human nature and if we don't have an cultural institution to fill that need, what will?
Good question.  I don't know that I have an answer to that question, but as far as I can tell every modern religious institution is full of con-artists.  (Yes, even the Hindus.)

Quote from: cargest
Speaking my mind, I would say that Stars is being purposefully immature.
I wouldn't say immature.  He's attempting to show the absurdity of claims being made by applying similar logic to ridiculous scenarios.  This is the same tactic RedReign was using in the older thread.  It's a common tactic that atheists use, but I don't find it to be particularly effective.

Not bad logic - no logic. It's necessary because it has never not existed. I see now that "necessary" is a loaded term - "unavoidable" is better, although that subtly implies a dissatisfaction with the fact it's unavoidable. Religion is a consequence of human existence, and the common atheist's humanistic tendencies are no less irrational than a belief in pixie dust - their own views are guilty of the same fallacies which they levy against religions.

In essence, atheists are religious themselves(which is not the same as "atheism is a religion"), although the masses are too blind to understand that you don't need a formalized god-figure for a belief system to be based in myth. You can always cite the exceptions, atheists who are also nihilistic - but you could do the same for non-atheists, so it's a moot point.

Symbols outweighs facts in terms of motivating humans. This can be used for feats of wonder or for debasement.  As an example of the former, see the pyramids at Giza, where the symbolism of gods and spirituality has left eternal monuments. For the latter, see modern Western culture, where intoxication on symbols has led to an inability to see the aspects of the world beyond those which our social symbols use as focal points of attention(e.g. caring about Haiti, not bombing Iran). Religion isn't an issue in today's world, although weakness very much is.

See, this story is useless not because it's not true but because it doesn't help anyone understand anything. You made it up to sound implausible and stupid not to motivate good behavior as deemed by a cultural standard.
When did science and philosophy devolve into the art of sheep herding? More over, why should an intelligent person feel compelled to be either shepherd or sheep.

There are different strata of humanity and each one needs to have the world explained to them in a different way. The truly enlightened, who do not actually exist, would not need symbols or allegories to help them understand the world, they need no God Concept. On the other end, there are the dumbest and/or least philoposhical who need rules like "Thou shalt not lie" explained to them by saying "You'll go to hell if you lie."
Again, what relevance does this have to us? I am under the impression that most people here are of reasonable intellect and philosophically inclined.

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Second, why apply a literal criticism to a metaphorical story? Do you do that every time you read fiction? Do you think Tolkien is stupid because there is no such thing as magic or dragons in reality? Then why do it to the bible?
I don't know how the Bible came up, since this has nothing to do with Conservationists brand of philosophy. However, LOTR doesn't posit itself as true or applicable to the real world.

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These same ideas are the similar to those espoused by the Nazis which coerced millions of idiotic sheep into committing the holocaust, going to war and dying pointlessly for imperial gains.

But these ideas did motivate them. They're apparently the only way to motivate the masses. And if they can motivate them for purposes we deem bad, then they can be used for purposes we deem good. What do you want to do, not have a society? The people need direction and it needs to be delivered in a way effective for the audience.
Again, art of sheep herding, not philosophy. You could similarly argue that psychiatry is necessary because it keeps people in check, laws are necessary because we wouldn't function without them, jails are necessary because without them deviance would destroy society. These are subjects of sociological inquiry, not philosophy.

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4. Religion as an abstracted concept (that is a group devotion to a set of beliefs) is just part of human nature and if we don't have an cultural institution to fill that need, what will?
Human nature is a load of nonsense. There's no nature of anything, if I completely reject religious beliefs and molest children, is it against nature or a part of my nature? At best, you could generalise as I have previously that religion is a symptom of mass neurosis.

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5. You tell from the length of this post that the issue is more complicated than just applying Occam's razor to each myth, isolated from context. And that might be where you start to go wrong (I think, anyways) is that you remove the concept of religion from the context of humanity and criticize it from what it is in itself. Can anything we make stand up to that?
Find me a gene which makes someone inherently religious, otherwise again, it's pure nonsense. Religion is better understood as a cultural phenomenon, not a biological one. Religion is becoming increasingly irrelevant in modern society, are we going against the grain or is it our nature to move from primitive theories of the world to scientific ones?

I also am confused. How can this so called "God" be a notion of causality and dictator of actions in the Universe while at the same time encourages free will towards a self defined ideal. Does this supposedly neutral pattern of existence have some grandiose plan in store especially for you?'

Edit: Perhaps I am confusing Cargests definition with Conservationists. This is why I argued earlier that "The Universe" is interchangeable with "God", the Universe lacks all the unnecessary connotations while being founded on an organic worldview.

My underlying problem still remains this: Why do we need this extra conceptual entity? Does it satisfy some neurotic fear of unknowing or a subconscious desire for slavery?
I'm sorry to answer your question with a question, but this has been bothering me. Your statements seem to be couched within Freudian terminology. Why do you rely on a psychological framework that has long been dismissed as pseudoscience (not to mention its dismemberment at the hands of Wittgenstein)?
Neurosis (my only use of Freudian terminology) is a general term for depression, anxiety, existential issues, etc. I'm not suggesting any scientific theory nor am I offering complex psychological explanations for behaviour (Freud by the way, is only dismissed as pseudoscience because it's unfalsifiable, there maybe truth to it, but unfortunately it can't be tested). My rare use of Freudian terminology is comparable to someone using Nietzschean or Foucauldian terminology. If you think that there may be another reason for people turning to religious ideas besides ontological/existential issues (or laziness), feel free to criticise.


Speaking my mind, I would say that Stars is being purposefully immature.  In fact, I sincerely hope that this is the case.  His insistence that we should not even consider "God", and the narrowminded view of what "God" might be which causes this insistence, is frought with the basic confusions of most popular modern "religions" (i.e. the bullshit and watered down versions of Judeo-Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism).

God is often created in our image, not we in "His" image.  It is far easier for we, as humans, to understand a process or fact if we can relate it to an aspect of our own being.  The problem arises when we start to believe that our relating God to ourselves means that God is actually like ourselves, thus taking allegory and metaphor as being Truth, when, clearly, they were never intended to be such.
There's nothing immature about it (unless you consider concepts of God as immature). Pixie dust has the same function, state and explanatory power as God, except pixie dust hasn't been the cultural norm for understanding the Universe.

Again, lets recontextualise Conservationist's original post.

I believe what we do with science is to understand the mechanisms of pixie dust

I believe what we do in philosophy is to understand their patterning, shape and form, and to predict the combined consequences of many causal relationships as a single, functioning entity.

I believe religion is a subset of philosophy.

Evolution is real; it is the hand of pixie dust.

Pixie dust is not a guiding personality, but a groundwork of logic and an impetus toward its refinement.

We will not ever fully understand pixie dust.

Give me an honest answer as to what differentiates pixie dust (or lunar beams and invisible tarantulas) from God.

Both are:
1. Immaterial
2. Have purpose and function
3. Beyond observation

Find me a gene which makes someone inherently religious

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7147-genes-contribute-to-religious-inclination.html
My mistake, I should have written "everyone inherently religious". However, that article still emphasises the importance of cultural traditions in religiousity. If religion did not exist, would people with those genetic profiles need to invent it? My answer would be no, there's no symbiotic relationship between human existence and religious beliefs.

Give me an honest answer as to what differentiates pixie dust (or lunar beams and invisible tarantulas) from God.

Pixie dust hasn't been the cultural norm for understanding the Universe, neither invisible tarantulas. Why? Because they don't have the same purpose and function. God has an unique function which is not the same of a flying spaghetti monster or whatever reductio ad absurdum specification you will.

Yet, the concept of God is enough defined to be compared to diverse cultural concepts as Tao or Brahma. And as I said, they aren't just synonyms of Everything.

Give me an honest answer as to what differentiates pixie dust (or lunar beams and invisible tarantulas) from God.

Pixie dust hasn't been the cultural norm for understanding the Universe, neither invisible tarantulas. Why? Because they don't have the same purpose and function. God has an unique function which is not the same of a flying spaghetti monster or whatever reductio ad absurdum specification you will.
What is this difference exactly?

By the way, for those mentioning atheism, I'm not an atheist, being an atheist implies believing in a negation (there is no God), I simply argue an indifference to God concepts, since they are equally as plausible as other absurdities, flying spaghetti monsters, pixie dusts, lunar beams and so on. I'm perfectly functional and content existing in a state of unknowing.

Pixie dust hasn't been the cultural norm for understanding the Universe, neither invisible tarantulas. Why? Because they don't have the same purpose and function. God has an unique function which is not the same of a flying spaghetti monster or whatever reductio ad absurdum specification you will.
What is this difference exactly?
Reality.

When a continent falls under the spell of pixie dust for several centuries, let us know.

Pixie dust hasn't been the cultural norm for understanding the Universe, neither invisible tarantulas. Why? Because they don't have the same purpose and function. God has an unique function which is not the same of a flying spaghetti monster or whatever reductio ad absurdum specification you will.
What is this difference exactly?
Reality.

When a continent falls under the spell of pixie dust for several centuries, let us know.
To borrow from computer science; Garbage In, Garbage Out.

There's no logical reason to believe there's a difference between nonsense such as God and pixie dust except for resorting to nonsensical arguments like "Well it's been so popular for so long, that gives it legitimacy!"

You started off with a garbage world view and consequently all you're arguing is garbage. If there's any validity to the garbage, it would be a result of random chance.

There's no logical reason for anything. This is the way the world is, and it includes random chance(or at least what we can only describe as random chance).

Give me an honest answer as to what differentiates pixie dust (or lunar beams and invisible tarantulas) from God.

Pixie dust hasn't been the cultural norm for understanding the Universe, neither invisible tarantulas. Why? Because they don't have the same purpose and function. God has an unique function which is not the same of a flying spaghetti monster or whatever reductio ad absurdum specification you will.

What is this difference exactly?

God has a social functionality that a magical ninja chicken-hippopotamus doesn't. At a functional level, God is the sublimation of ethos and the teleological crystallization of individual and communal destiny... I'd like examples of pixie dust doing that. Of course, God can derive in bad results, as every high concept does (heroism, love... black metal).

Now, the metaphysical level is even better. As Schuon said: "The Absolute is not the Absolute inasmuch as it contains aspects, but inasmuch as It transcends them." Does pixie dust serve as concept to contain that which is beyond the multiplicity? Does pixie dust as concept, seek to solve the duality between subject and object?