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 Post subject: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2016, 14:47 

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Sometimes it is hard to square the circle of why religion matters.

Surely, in modern times, when science has opened so much knowledge, religion ought to be confined to mythology.

Yet, we have this strange paradox where people are killing in the name of religion.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2016, 15:31 
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Albus wrote:
Sometimes it is hard to square the circle of why religion matters.

Surely, in modern times, when science has opened so much knowledge, religion ought to be confined to mythology.

Yet, we have this strange paradox where people are killing in the name of religion.


It is not religion that kills but those who use religion for political purposes. The purpose of religion is to improve humanity in its relationship to God.

Science has been around since before the early Greeks and the Arab Empire preserved much of it with their own innovations later.

The idea that religion and science are in conflict is misleading. The great German physicist, Max Planck, explained that before embarking on a scientific experiment he would seek inspiration from something beyond. He was referring to God.

Religiosity is the human feeling there is something greater than all of us. Now, you either feel this or you do not.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2016, 15:54 

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The problem is that there are too many using religion for political purposes when in reality there is nothing remotely rational about a belief system not based on scientific evidence. God, it appears, can never be proven or disproved.

Whilst, you could argue that the overwhelming majority practice religion peacefully even a minute percentage who do not can cause a lot of damage.

I think it is healthy to debate the existence of God and the need for religion.

Religion itself is not a problem until it becomes a dogma.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 28 Jul 2016, 16:28 
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Albus wrote:
The problem is that there are too many using religion for political purposes when in reality there is nothing remotely rational about a belief system not based on scientific evidence. God, it appears, can never be proven or disproved.

Whilst, you could argue that the overwhelming majority practice religion peacefully even a minute percentage who do not can cause a lot of damage.

I think it is healthy to debate the existence of God and the need for religion.

Religion itself is not a problem until it becomes a dogma.


The term dogma can be applied equally to both political ideas as well as religion. It usually refers to an arrogant declaration of opinion. Opinion, you could say, is a belief based on grounds short of proof ... or a view held as probable. Religious belief is based entirely on faith, which requires no proof whatsoever.

Religion is not based on scientific evidence, that's true. Therefore the criteria are different. Belief in God is a matter of feeling, intuition and so on. As I explained in the previous post, you either feel this or you do not. Citing scientific processes does not apply, as such. Who said religion is rational, anyway?

I do not see how you can debate the existence of God when you view everything in terms of scientific evaluation. From the start, you will reject the idea of faith because it is not based on rationality. For you, God does not exist because you can not touch or see Him. Anything you can not view in material terms does not exist.

On the other hand, millions believe in God and would lay down their lives for God. "Debating" God's existence does not apply, as such. Religious faith is total and complete. It can not be dissected, taken apart for examination and then put back together again. It defies reasoning or rational thinking. Science can not be applied to it.

Personally, I believe in complete religious freedom. I reject any attempts at suppressing religion as I reject any attempts at suppressing political ideologies. Leave people to their choice of belief and then we would all get along fine.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 10:28 

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It's often said that where science fails to explain God enters.

The conflict between science and religion, if there is such a conflict, only asserts itself when science proves a point that is itself contradicted by religious belief.

The classic case is proof in heliocentricity against geocentricity when Galileo was locked up by the Pope.

Today, there is still some who refute evolution, the creationists, or turn down life saving blood transfusion.

Religion, the belief in God, should be debated because it is healthy to point out that some religious literal translations are inaccurate.

This in no way should hinder freedom of religious worship.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 11:19 
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I do not believe there is a conflict between science and religion. They can complement each other.

How are you going to debate belief in God when you do not hold that belief? Your aim would always be to decry such belief. Is that true debate? I think you will find it is a dead-end.

As for "literal translations", the ancients were not so concerned with the accuracy of certain events. They were more concerned with what moral lesson one can draw from them. The moral and ethical were paramount.

I prefer allegory in religion as opposed to literal fundamentalism. To me, these fundamentalists are as unbendingly limited as the scientific rationalists and neither can see beyond their noses.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 13:08 

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What I was trying to say is discussing the "act" of the belief in God rather than the actual belief itself.

Belief in God is so subjective that I very much doubt that two people would be able to fully understand each others belief.

It is such a personal act and only God can hold that person accountable for their actions.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 13:29 
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Albus wrote:
What I was trying to say is discussing the "act" of the belief in God rather than the actual belief itself.

Belief in God is so subjective that I very much doubt that two people would be able to fully understand each others belief.

It is such a personal act and only God can hold that person accountable for their actions.


I disagree. In some religions the act of worship is often communal and not entirely personal. In Islam, for example, with Friday prayers in the mosque.

All our thoughts are subjective. It is not entirely to do with belief in God. Believing the Earth is flat and not spherical is subjective. Believing that science is the totality of our understanding of all things is also subjective. We, each of us, feel we are the centre of the Universe. It is called ego. The essence of subjectivity.

I can understand both perspectives ... the scientific and the religious. Understanding is one thing, believing is another.

Belief in God is shared by all who believe. Thus they call themselves brothers in that regard. So it is not an entirely personal act.

In Islam, the term jihad is applied on two levels. The first is personal when it means to improve oneself as a Muslim on a daily basis. The second level is the believer's obligation to defend the community when it is threatened or under attack.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 15:19 

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Yes, I see your point. I wonder if the act of worship, which can be communal, differs from the act in a belief of, say, God (Allah).

The act of worship in a group is clearly communal to the extent that it is a visual experience.To the extent that done in a group there are rituals and practices that reinforce the communal experience.

The fact is you cannot disprove God. God can't be put in a laboratory and tested. God is an intangible.

Modern science does not tend to be crudely empirical it is deductive nomological so some subjective reasoning must enter.

One day science might discover God and that would be an eye opener but, until then I think being somewhat agnostic is a good position to be in.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 16:27 
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Albus wrote:
One day science might discover God and that would be an eye opener but, until then I think being somewhat agnostic is a good position to be in.


You are missing the point re science and religion. You can not apply scientific criteria to the religious experience.
Therefore, God can not be "discovered" in a scientific way. God is discovered only through an act of faith.

As for agnostisism, one is either a believer or a non-believer. There is no middle path. You are with God or without God. In my view, Agnosticism is cowardice because many think it sounds better than atheist. The Bolsheviks were atheists. If you do not believe in God then you are an atheist ... without God.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 18:01 

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My position on religion and god in general is uncertain and, hence, agnostic.

I wouldn't described it as cowardice because I went from being a devout Christian to being totally atheist to the present position. So, I was very atheist at one stage having totally rejected religion. I soon realised that life was not that clearly defined. For example, the extraordinary chance of life itself being present on Earth.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 18:32 
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Albus wrote:
My position on religion and god in general is uncertain and, hence, agnostic.
I wouldn't described it as cowardice because I went from being a devout Christian to being totally atheist to the present position. So, I was very atheist at one stage having totally rejected religion. I soon realised that life was not that clearly defined. For example, the extraordinary chance of life itself being present on Earth.


You sound very confused.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 19:55 

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Hence, agnostic.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 20:54 
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Agnosticism is not confusion but simply of the view that nothing is known. It is a refusal to commit to a positive view either way.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 29 Jul 2016, 21:22 

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Precisely. But, I think that a post religious world one based on rationality is better than one based on superstition. In my view, religion is dead. At least in Europe. It died with the enlightenment and never recovered.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 07:24 
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Albus wrote:
Precisely. But, I think that a post religious world one based on rationality is better than one based on superstition. In my view, religion is dead. At least in Europe. It died with the enlightenment and never recovered.

That statement is hardly agnostic, being outright atheistic. Religion is far from dead and thrives throughout the world. Islam, for one, is growing, especially in non-Muslim countries, in Europe, for example

It did not die during the Enlightenment when rational thinking came to the fore. It did not die in the Soviet Union, either, where there is a great revival today of the Orthodox church. There is an obvious need for something beyond the purely rational and materialistic. It seems to act as a good counter-balance to a world becoming obsessed with material things and money.

When Karl Marx stated that religion is the opiate of the proletariat he was referring to the effects of religion on the people. An opiate takes away pain. Thus, it serves to make life feel better.

I would not say that all religion is based on superstition. Islam has the least superstition, Roman Catholicism has the most. The supernatural does exist for a lot of people and many claim to have had first-hand experience of it. Who are you to deny them this?

By the way, it is post-religious and not post religious. The latter suggest something going through the mail. Please use hyphenation where appropriate. It might sound pedantic but it is important, nonetheless.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 16:19 

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I do apologise for any typos. I am using a smart phone and, alas, it is not always easy to write with good draft especially, when these phones have an auto correct which corrects in error.

I agree that religion fills a social function. Unlike the Jacobins that attempted to start a new religion based on rationalism the Soviet Union attempted eradicate religion.

But, in my view, if we are to continue with superstition and the wisdom of roaming nomadic tribes abridging text into a book, passed down the ages, then perhaps the best approach is to rationalise religion just as the Jacobins attempted.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2016, 18:05 

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Have to say I can't fully understand your stance on religion particularly as I have you noted as a very intelligent person.

In my view, religion is mostly adhered to by the ignorant. The clergy are not ignorant as they organise the ignorant and live off them.

We have to agree to disagree on religion.


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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2016, 04:26 
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Albus wrote:
Have to say I can't fully understand your stance on religion particularly as I have you noted as a very intelligent person.

In my view, religion is mostly adhered to by the ignorant. The clergy are not ignorant as they organise the ignorant and live off them.

We have to agree to disagree on religion.


Firstly, I never agree to disagree. If you disagree then stand your ground and use polite argument, as I do.

Defending religion is not a mark of stupidity, as you claim. It takes intelligence to do so.

Religion has produced some of the best people who take their religion as a good guide to life. Islam is a good guide to life. Atheism offers nothing because it is nothing.

You have resorted to patronising insult and have, therefore, lost the argument.

When you say you can't fully understand my stance on religion then I can only conclude you lack the necessary ability to do so. I have argued clearly and precisely.

So much for your debating skills. It is clear you hate religion and dislike any defence of it. Your mask has slipped to reveal complete intolerance.



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 Post subject: Re: A post religious world.
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2016, 09:06 

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Steady on. I'm just debating religion from the point of view of someone who is not particularly religious. However, that has nothing to do with not upholding humanity nor objecting to the freedom of religious practice. I believe that a more educated populous would reject religion particularly, it's literal interpretation. Clearly, there is no heaven above nor hell below. Above us is the universe and below our feet is the Earth's core. The Earth is sort of spherical and moves round the Sun. There is no God up there looking down.

It's clear that your understanding of religion is more deeply felt.


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