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BS: why do we need religion

John Hardly 17 Sep 05 - 11:47 AM
John Hardly 17 Sep 05 - 11:40 AM
Amos 17 Sep 05 - 11:38 AM
Bill D 17 Sep 05 - 11:06 AM
Little Hawk 17 Sep 05 - 08:48 AM
freda underhill 16 Sep 05 - 11:52 PM
Bill D 16 Sep 05 - 10:34 PM
beardedbruce 16 Sep 05 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 16 Sep 05 - 07:55 PM
Ebbie 15 Sep 05 - 09:10 PM
Amos 15 Sep 05 - 09:01 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 05 - 08:57 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 05 - 08:46 PM
Ebbie 15 Sep 05 - 08:31 PM
katlaughing 15 Sep 05 - 08:01 PM
Little Hawk 15 Sep 05 - 07:03 PM
Amos 15 Sep 05 - 06:53 PM
Little Hawk 15 Sep 05 - 06:28 PM
Little Hawk 15 Sep 05 - 06:02 PM
Peace 15 Sep 05 - 05:57 PM
GUEST, Ebbie 15 Sep 05 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Jdozs 15 Sep 05 - 05:25 PM
Amos 15 Sep 05 - 05:24 PM
Little Hawk 15 Sep 05 - 03:40 PM
katlaughing 15 Sep 05 - 02:18 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 05 - 01:54 PM
katlaughing 15 Sep 05 - 01:27 PM
Bill D 15 Sep 05 - 11:35 AM
Pseudolus 15 Sep 05 - 11:00 AM
dianavan 15 Sep 05 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Jdozs 15 Sep 05 - 08:09 AM
Amos 14 Sep 05 - 11:52 PM
Bill D 14 Sep 05 - 02:55 PM
Little Hawk 14 Sep 05 - 12:14 PM
Bill D 13 Sep 05 - 09:43 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 05 - 08:43 PM
Ebbie 13 Sep 05 - 08:12 PM
Bill D 13 Sep 05 - 07:40 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 05 - 05:52 PM
Ebbie 13 Sep 05 - 05:52 PM
Wesley S 13 Sep 05 - 05:50 PM
katlaughing 13 Sep 05 - 04:41 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 05 - 04:37 PM
Amos 13 Sep 05 - 03:47 PM
Bill D 13 Sep 05 - 03:39 PM
Pseudolus 13 Sep 05 - 02:37 PM
Amos 13 Sep 05 - 02:04 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 05 - 02:03 PM
Wesley S 13 Sep 05 - 01:56 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 05 - 01:49 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 11:47 AM

Are you itchin' for relitchin'?


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: John Hardly
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 11:40 AM

[best homer simpson voice] m-m-m-m-m-m chem-i-cals [/best homer simpson voice]


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Amos
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 11:38 AM

BB:

As a violators of grammar in poetry yourself I am surprised you should make such an objection; perhaps thou dost protest too much?

As for a better class of poetry, there's always that indeed.

You will find plenty of liberties taken with grammar in excellent poetry, from the (just for example) Kiplingesque pounding of the "Bells, bells, bells, bells, bells!" to the fanciful inversions of ee cummings and the uproar of Alan Ginsberg. Grammar is a framework readily bust on behalf of some transcendent communication. My point, then and now, is that good poetry breaks the mold of entrammeling logic in order to offer some leakage into a freer plane of being.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 11:06 AM

good for you, Little Hawk....

I hope I will have some lead time when I am ready to go, and I KNOW I will have loose ends to be tied up. I hope I have a friend or two to help like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 08:48 AM

The chemicals are the after-effect of the consciousness, not its cause, in my opinion. ;-) For example: You get angry about something, and your body immediately starts producing adrenalin, etc...chemical responses TO the anger. The adrenalin did not cause the anger, the anger caused the adrenalin to be released into your system, providing enhanced "fight or flight" capabilities to the physical body.

Note that this puts YOU in charge of your life, rather than making you a passive victim at the effect of "chemicals" or some other uncontrollable factor, and that's important! If you can control your consciousness, then your whole life becomes empowered and greatly blessed. If you can't control your consciousness, then you're just a pawn of various outer conditions.

I know which approach sounds good to me. Chemicals? Bah! Humbug! ;-)

I have spent some good time with my friend, and he's feeling fairly serene, I'd say. He just wants to complete a few things here before he goes, and I'm helping with that.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: freda underhill
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 11:52 PM

that account of your friend's experience was wonderful, Little Hawk. my sister always dismisses anything like this as a "psychosis" brought on by the body's "chemicals". i wish my body would produce a few chemicals like these..

freda


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 10:34 PM

(I think he means 'sometimes' violates 'standard' grammar to make its point..)


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: beardedbruce
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 08:03 PM

Amos, I think I object to your comment

"Poetry violates the rules of grammar, the norms of language, and the predispositions of normal reading."


Under some circumstances, it can stretch the norms, but I fail to see how it violates rules of grammer. Perhaps you need to look for a better class of poetry...


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 07:55 PM

It really does seem to come down to wishful thinking. I don't mean that facetiously. All of us do it, but from the cover of the many dogmas that are our various religions.

Logically, we are wasting so much of our finite time and energy on things that are, to me, unknowable.

I'll just wait and see---or not.

Love to all,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 09:10 PM

I agree with you, Amos. Fresh grief demands more certainty than does later reflection. But I do love examining my biases and hidebound beliefs.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 09:01 PM

In my father's house are many mansions, one spiritualist.

Beautifully told story, LH!

I think that postulating to meet someone again is like postulating anything -- sometimes you make it happen just that way and other times it gets put on hold while other things unfold. Sometimes it springs on you like a quail in a back-country snowdrift, wham, and you're all caught off guard and fluttering like a baby.

It is a question of what and "how much" you are being at the time you create that postulate; anyone has experienced being more full themselves at some times than others. The difference in energy and awareness and sensitivity can shift wildly and with those thing, so also the power of any given decision made.

Just as you cannot solve a problem at the same energy level at which it was created, you tend to be more swept up by decisions made at energy levels higher than you presently operate at; this is why some people have problems deciding on which fork to use, while others can comfortably weigh much bigger problems, like which continent to use. Like nested, cascading shells of diminishing being, the things we leave unhandled and unfaced tend to haul us into smaller scopes of existence, until all we have to reckon with is the body and a small array of very solid thoughts about things to buy. The reverse is also true -- the more you face squarely and openly, the freer you are.

Anyway, ya never know when you're gonna meet someone you have unfinished business with, for better or for worse! :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 08:57 PM

(several posts while I cogitated, I see)

Little Hawk....I too, have NO doubt your friend was totally honest about his experience. No matter what it means ultimately, it has personal meaning for him, and I hope sincerely that the images involved make whatever time he has left easier.

Kat...you be careful about my possible past lives! I shudder to think of the ramifications if it turns out I used to teach rhetoric to Little Hawk!


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 08:46 PM

such a plethora of 'maybes' there, Little Hawk.. :>0

Maybe in a former life I was sitting in the Lyceum, baiting Socrates about his 'method'....but maybe not.

you say "I find it fun to discuss such things, just in order to raise the possibility and give it some thought." ....yep, it is a useful and traditional exercise in order to practice thinking and explore our shared experiences. I do it myself about some things. What I often see, however, is the line being crossed bewteen "what if X were the case?", to "that sounds so good and hangs together internally, that I bet it is probably true!"

It is not too hard to construct an internally consistent theory, much as David Hume did with his very 'solipsistic' view of experience. (I can't prove that anything exists outside my own mind)...but there is little practical application for such a theory. You can't get a court to ignore your crimes by claiming that 'there really isn't any 'bank' that can BE robbed.

At their worse, 'what ifs' can be dangerous and detrimental. Small children, who believe things easily, can be seriously traumatized by scary stories and lies. Religious cults based on the fantasies of charismatic, but disturbed, leaders can bring misery to many people.    There is a long, convoluted continuum between harmless, creative speculation and dangerous, inaccurate distortion of reason for dishonest purposes, and obviously, there is no clear 'line in the sand' where it shifts from bad to good. Just as in defining 'folk', there are many things to consider when evaluating a claim or idea.
   As you may have possibly noted in passing, (*VERY big grin*), one of my favorite targets is careless use of language and lack of reasonable disclaimers when promoting a less-than-obvious notion. I do this because of the POWER of words, written or spoken, to influence receptive minds; and a well-tuned and emotionally presented FALSE idea can win support easier than a careful, logical, BORING explanation of the alternatives!

Is it worth my time?...well, it got things like: "(that's more spiritual theorizing...nothing more) (I'm not saying I know.)" included in one post! A huge step...*smile*

You know what the situation is: in a forum like this, we have folks steeped in Astrology, Religion, Para-normal abilities, Witchcraft, Alien Encounters, theories of alternate Universes, theories of multiple levels of THIS Universe, Mythology, ...and who knows, maybe Phrenology, Tarot, tea-leaves and sheep entrails too! Since all those things have been important parts of our history as humans, I have no problem with those who wish to explain why they are intrigued by such ideas, but when their statements assume the truth of the notions, my alarm bells go off!

( yeah, we have a few contributors who really can't deal with this discussion and who I seldom bother to talk to...this usually means religious fundamentalists who simply have no idea how to debate their beliefs....but CAN include those who just as vehemently and carelessly deride and ridicule a belief because of some emotional baggage...

Amos...if you are reading way down here, I don't think I did 'miss the point'...I see what you are trying to convey about the power of poetry (in its various forms) to expand the mind and help us express things that proper grammar often limits...but....(you knew there'd be a 'but', huh?)...but, your sentence:
"By breaking those rules, it bypassed the filtering machinery so often used to stand between the self and immediate apperception."
breaks what *I* consider to be rules by (very long pause here, as I sit and stare at the screen and try to express my concern..)....let's try this....by exaggerating inflating? the concept of 'self' and loosely applying the very possibility of immediate apperception to what a 'self' might be able to do at all.
   Kant used language like "pure apperception", and it does have cognative relevance in some contexts, but he was purty durn strict about his usage. [I ain't too sure whether my 'self' (as differentiated from 'me') CAN 'immediately apperceive' anything if that means something different from 'experience'.] Husserl used the idea of an 'eidetic reduction' to explain certain theoretical philosophical processes, but no one ever seriously suggested that we could go about doing eidetic reductions, as if it were just a matter of practice, like Yoga breath control.


well...as usual, more answer than I planned, or than anyone probably wanted. .....but I typed it, and I'm jolly well gonna hit the damn submit button before I lose it all!


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 08:31 PM

As I age, I frequently muse on the 'Great Mystery'. There are so many things to ponder.

'We' like to say that we'll "meet again" but what do we really mean? Surely not the child left behind when his young mother died and who is now 90 years old? Surely not one's first love when other loves have come and gone? Surely not the baby that died when we were 15 years old and alone? Surely not the dear friend I lost to death when we were 19 years old and I am now 80?

If there is anything to the concept of life after death, it must be that only pure all-embracing Spirit survives. For that to be meaningful it seems to me that each Spirit must have undergone many incarnations, and that each Spirit treasures the many lives they have had together.

I doubt that my hypothetical husband is 'waiting for me there', when I've had other dearly loved husbands since. I doubt that my young mother will enfold this old woman in her arms, welcoming her baby home.

I still love Gospel songs though!


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 08:01 PM

LH, that is beautiful...I wish you and your friend moments of peace and memories...thanks for sharing it with us. It is a true friend who can understand and be there for someone when they are dying.

I also got a chuckle when reading your possibilities for BillD's past lives.**bg** Nice balance there between the two.

BTW, a Rosicrucian, first and foremost, is a walking question mark.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 07:03 PM

I have an old friend who is probably quite close to his time of death. He just called me on the phone to tell me that he had a heart attack, I think it was a day or two ago. He's at home now. The Doctors feel he has not long to live (but maybe as long 6 weeks, they said).

I have seen this coming for quite some time now.

Now here's the thing. He had an experience during that heart attack: what is called a "near death" experience. He found himself out of the body, inside a white room. In that room was every person he has ever loved or truly cared about...and lost...in this life. He said that they were not physical people, they were spiritual presences, like bodies of light. He said that he also was not a body anymore, but a living presence of energy or light. He could easily recognize everyone, although they were not in physical form. They spoke to him. They all told him that they love him, that life is eternal, that he will never die, that he will be with them when he leaves the body.

This guy is not going to be here long. I know he's telling me the truth. He's got nothing left here to be putting on a show for.

He has seen the same "white room" before, when he nearly died of a drug overdose several decades ago. He says the only difference this time was, there were some new people in the room who weren't there the first time. They hadn't died yet.

This my oldest friend in this town. I have to think about spending some time near him while I still can. I'll be doing that. We have stuff to talk about.

He says he is not afraid of death now, not in the least, because he knows that what he really is will not die. But he's suffering a lot of physical pain in the meantime.

We're all going to have to deal with this one day. I consider it a privilege to have known this man, and I will know him when I'm no longer "here". Depend on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 06:53 PM

Surely the hand of the Almighty is quite capable of making stuff to ignore? Hey, even I can do that by the bucketful, and I have no pretensions to godhead.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 06:28 PM

Bill, this occurs to me. Maybe you have such a strong instinct for "shooting down wild claims", because you yourself made a lot of wild claims in some other lifetime! You may have been a snake oil salesman or a person who conducted seances for big bucks and brought "messages" to people from their dear departed grandmothers, while tapping the bottom of the table with your boot! Maybe your own past karma is what is causing you to react so much to that sort of stuff.

Just one among numerous possible theories. ;-)

It wouldn't be the first time, for instance, that a former drunk has come back in the next life as a moral campaigner against alcoholism...or any number of other such examples. That's duality for you. The thing people most can't stand is their own glaring past errors, demonstrated by others.

(that's more spiritual theorizing...nothing more) (I'm not saying I know.)

I find it fun to discuss such things, just in order to raise the possibility and give it some thought.   Who are we here to work on and improve? Others or ourselves?


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 06:02 PM

LOL! Yay! Best comments yet, Peace.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Peace
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 05:57 PM

IMO, we need religion for two reasons:

1) Give God something to ignore
2) Give religious 'leaders' something to do


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 05:41 PM

I keep looking at the title of this thread: Why do we need religion.

It's easy to change the words- and totally change the meanings:

'Do we need religion?'
'Why we need religion'.
'We need religion.'
'Why religion?'

It occurs to me that only one of those alternate titles actually seeks information.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: GUEST,Jdozs
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 05:25 PM

yes dianavan hope is not dependant upon belief in an afterlife. But an afterlife is dependant upon hope. I'm not sure if you read my post in full. Maybe you were torn by the 150 posts above it or maybe I did not understand the topic. I do not feel the need of religion in my life. However others do. I was trying to explain why I thought people needed religion. Seeing as I too walked that life of god and religion I wanted to express my thoughts just as you did. You are correct any cult would serve the same purpose I however do not belong to any cult nor any religion for that matter. And people do need something to blame whether it is god when a family member dies or god when the weather is great. I'm a realist I see things for what they are. And the way I see it is religion fills a void, it allows those who do not wish to own up to there choices someone to blame. It gives peace of mind to the questions they can not answer. Is it wrong? no it is not. at least not for those who believe in it. My grandmother once told me if you follow a life of god and die and find out it wasn't true what harm did it cause in living that life. None absolutely none. This is a topic that has been discussed for many years. The answers are out there. The truth is right in front of you. The wisdom to understand it however is not always within you. http://www.godlessgeeks.com/WhyAtheism.htm
Check out the link it has some very good points. But atheism is turning into a cult also. I enjoy discussing, debating, and arguing these topics but I understand at the end of it all it still comes down to choice and I can not make your choices for you. It's been fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Amos
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 05:24 PM

I suggest you missed the point, Bill.

Poetry violates the rules of grammar, the norms of language, and the predispositions of normal reading.

By breaking those rules, it bypassed the filtering machinery so often used to stand between the self and immediate apperception.

There was nothing lame about it. (Sorry, kat.)

There is absolutely no logic in comparing a woman to a summer's day.
But it works anyway.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 03:40 PM

The one thing I know, Bill, is that I don't know! ;-) I just live and learn as best I can.

I'm not debating or arguing, just discussing things that interest me. When they interest me a lot, I get passionate about it.

My supposition is that a mind builds a body one cell at a time from pure energy, using a high level of organized and purposeful biological intelligence. It's also possible that a mind in quite a confused state could build a body in a sort of unaware way through the same biological method. The biological structures are there to do it, obviously. Science agrees on that.

In the same way, an assembly line in an auto factory is there, along with tools, paint, etc...to build a car...but nothing whatsoever will happen until a mind makes to decision to get the process rolling, right? A number of minds have to be there to monitor and supervise the process. I think everything works that way, by intelligence...mind decides, natural laws provide, and something is accomplished.

I might be wrong.

There is no way for me to set up a lab experiment confirming or denying my suppositions. At least, not that I know of...

But then, like I said, the one thing I know is that I don't know. And just about nobody else does either. The commonest error people make is to think they DO know a lot when in fact they know precious little about reality. They just accumulate available facts. The facts they accumulate make up what amounts to a few grains of sand on a very, very long beach, in my opinion.

But it's just my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 02:18 PM

Well, my tongue was in my cheek when I asked, but you have done well, Billdarlin'...in a reasoned and not so longish reply. (I didn't go in to it as I knew it cold go on forever, too!**bG**) Thanks!

An interesting side discussion, though, could be the mass consciousness and the effect Bush's fearmongering has had on it manifesting all manner of paranoia, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 01:54 PM

ah, kat, I would wear all (ummm...10, at the moment) fingers to nubbins trying to answer what philosophers and physicists and poets have struggled with for thousands of years! Any simple answer is open subjective interpretation, and any complex answer is open to detailed dissection by folks with VERY sharp knives!

I could say "reality is what we all experience in the same way" sound good? But what about color blindness? What about dreams? are they 'real', even though yours are very different from mine?

I could say "reality is what we experience" ...and all those who claim to have 'experienced' ghosts or OOB flights or auras will claim me as one of theirs! *shudder*

"Reality" is a word...it is useful in context among people who agree to use it in a consistent way for the purposes of communicating and not spending all their time arguing....but like 'folk', you will never get a consensus. There are those who want to say 'folk' is "anything done by 'folks'", and then imagine they have said something! I prefer to use a working, inductive definition that can be useful without being so broad as to include anything the claimant feels strongly about....

Thus, I treat attempts to subsume personal feelings and subjective (those which are by definition untestable)theories under very broad notions of 'reality' as rhetorical manipulation.

(translation: my hobby is shooting down wild claims and asking folks to not implicitly suggest that their pet theory really 'ought' to be mine also)


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 01:27 PM

BillD, I thought the poetry thing was lame, too (sorry, Amos) but, you said, but poetry is an attempt to reflect reality, not an independent piece OF reality.

Like the eternal question of "what is folk music" I would ask you "what IS reality?"

(Feel free to use both hands in reply:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 11:35 AM

"This is not subject to proof, of course, but to my mind, is never the less true."

the "to my mind" part is a direct violation of the rule that says "You cannot just say "you pick your (rules) and I'll pick mine" , Amos, as well as points 2), 3), 4), and 5 above. (That rule, by the way, is not just some arbitrary thing, ol' Bill decided to make up so he could harass free-thinkers....it is a distillation of the essentials of logic, scientific method (and probably, of Roberts Rules of Order, too ;>)

You USE poetry to DEFEND poetry as a way of getting around my claim that poetry, by itself, is not a valid substitute for proof.
   Poetry certainly does provide illuminating metaphor and linguistic entry into ways of re-evaluating experience, but I'm not sure it gives us 'knowing', unless we allow a pretty ambiguous, subjective and vague definition of 'knowing'. *I* use poetry...I like poetry...I can move into a mode where I need poetry to 'flavor' my feelings and capture a mood--but poetry is an attempt to reflect reality, not an independent piece OF reality.

Them apples gots a few rotten spots, Amos......*grin* I'll nibble on 'em, but I won't bite with my eyes closed.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Pseudolus
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 11:00 AM

Dianavan, If you believe that I need my peers to give me confidence to be morally superior to those who believe differently than me then you have shown only that you don't know me, or for that matter my peers. I don't feel superior to anyone morally or otherwise. If I did, that would mean that I have judged and it is not my right to judge anyone. You may want to read the post from Jdozs again. He didn't state that he believed "People need to depend on things greater than themselves" or that HE needed to be able to blame God, he was describing what he thought was behind people needing religion.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that life is bleak and I am not a member of a cult. I just believe that there is a God, he watches over me and when I die, it won't be the end, just the end of life as I know it now.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: dianavan
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 10:35 AM

"The reason I go to church every week is to be with a group of people who all believe the same thing that I do."

Thats just like any cult.

Trouble is, right or wrong, your peer group gives you the confidence to believe that you are somehow morally superior to those who are not part of your cult.

"People need to depend on things greater than themselves."

Maybe you do but not everyone needs this. Sounds like helplessness and despair to me.

"Lack of control gives man someone to blame when things do not work out the way they wanted."

Yeah, right. Blame it on God!

"An ideal of afterlife gives hope in a world of unexplainable chaos"

Hope is not dependent on a belief in an afterlife.

If anything, I feel sorry for people who think that life is so bleak that they need to believe in something that does not, in fact, exist. Its a state of mind.

The way you talk, any cult would serve the same purpose.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: GUEST,Jdozs
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 08:09 AM

I'm 26 with 2 children and a wonderful wife. I am a high school graduate without college education. I spent all but 3 years in 2 different baptist private schools. My parents were alcholics and drug addicts among other things and did not have the time to teach basic moral principals to me. I write that only to give you a better understanding of me and maybe shed light into why I Choose the path I lead. I struggled for last few years with thoughts of religion and god. I wished I had some sort of answer to all of this. I slowly started loosing my faith in the church and as that diminished so did my faith in a higher being. I believe this was due to the fact that I no longer needed it. I did not need to believe in a protecter, in afterlife, creation, or things greater than myself. I wondered is this it no longer. I didn't care. If this is it than why not make the most of it. If this is not all there is than worry about that train when it comes. Religion fills voids not much different than an addict needs a fix. People need to depend on things greater than themselves. Lack of control gives man someone to blame when things do not work out the way they wanted. An ideal of afterlife gives hope in a world of unexplainable chaos. Life is a series of choices whether they be yours or someone elses. Grasp what is here. Love your family, self, friends, and all things around you. Death is not to be feared but rather embraced as the final cycle of all living things.

I fear I may have been a little long winded so I will end with this

"Right and wrong is in the costitution of ones own mind" RWE


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Amos
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 11:52 PM

Poetry, among other things, is valued because it touches the Knower in a way that he did not know he was knowing but knows he was as soon as it is pointed out.

This is not subject to proof, of course, but to my mind, is never the less true.

How d'ya like them apples, Bill? :D

With fond regards,


A


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 02:55 PM

" EVERYONE has a chosen set of assumptions..." hmmm...if you mean something like a "working hypothesis"...maybe I do, but the flavor of the remark is that of inflexible and pre-digested 'answers'. That, I do NOT do...and you suggest that you don't either. "I have been examining my basic assumptions, and challenging them, ever since my early 20's." ... yet, your usual way of formulating responses seems to state that "this is how it is" rather than "this is how it seems to me. You may consider this nit-picking, but to me it is important to not phrase things in such a way as to imply "...and if you'd just open up and allow yourself to see the truth, YOU'D see it my way, also"!
Perhaps I am over-sensitive to language that resembles, except for details, religious prosyletizing that I have struggled with for years. Plus, 6-7 years of serious study in philosophy also have attuned me to notice positions that don't include disclaimers when they make generalizations.

Do I think " mind arises from the body"?...well, I am not sure. I can, at least, describe a process that is internally consistant, compatible with most of the relevant scientific principles, and seems to account for all of the observable phenomena. You say you ARE sure of the opposite, but you never say quite 'how' a mind can 'build' a body. From what? Where is a mind located BEFORE it is "fully integrated"? How can we even conceptualize mind without body?

You ask, "What is your point?" (and make it brief ;>) )..ok, one brief try.
My point is,
1)we do have models for 'how' things work in my (current)view of reality, and we CAN measure and test them.
2)*IF* we postulate other views, we need some sort of test. If a view is postulated that, by definition, cannot BE measured or tested, then it IS merely a linguistic construction...even if it is ultimately true.
3)UNTIL there is a way to 'know', it remains a linguistic construction, like poetry.
4) *IF* more is claimed for a position than being linguistic poetry, the burden of proof is on the assertor. Poets do not claim universal application for their concepts. Coleridge never said "Xanadu" was a place in reality, just as Plato never really said his "forms" had independant existance.
5)..and here is the subtle part...IF one posts anything that LOOKS like claims of stuff that is not testable, measurable, repeatable, photographable, they are gonna get called on it..*grin*. A circular argument that "It's NOT provable, and I don't care to try, I just KNOW it!" is like a red flag. Some of us just can't resist.

(fingers itching to expound & enlarge...but I may already may be beyond 'brief') (you know the old college remark, "I don't have TIME to write a short paper"?)


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Sep 05 - 12:14 PM

I'm not conducting a debate, Bill. Maybe that's why I don't get your point. I'm simply discussing things I'm interested in.

What is your point, anyway? Try and make it brief. ;-)

EVERYONE, Bill, EVERYONE has a chosen set of assumptions about reality! (unless they are in a coma or otherwise unconscious)

It's just that most people take their own chosen set of assumptions about reality so totally for granted that they don't even know they have them! I don't do that. I have been examining my basic assumptions, and challenging them, ever since my early 20's. I have changed my opinion about a whole lot of things, and I will no doubt continue to change my opinion with further investigation.

Life is not about "proof", as far as I'm concerned. It's about transformation.

I wouldn't say that mind and body are independent, exactly, I'd say that they are fully integrated while the body is alive, but that body is much secondary to mind, an effect of mind...since it was built BY mind in the first place, and is later discarded by that same mind when it wears out. Kind of like a car...built by mind, used by mind, discarded by mind. Only...a body is built through normal biological processes (conception, 9 months in the womb, birth, growth, etc.) whereas a car is built on an assembly line.

I assume that you think mind arises from the body, whereas I think it's exactly the other way around. I see little likelihood that we will arrive at a resolution of that philosophical difference, and I see no way of effectively dealing with it through your debating system. No way whatsoever. You can't play chess with a deck of cards or saddle a moonbeam with a refrigerator. ;-)

I am NOT debating. I'm discussing. Who needs a debate?


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 09:43 PM

ah, Ebbie...I am not so sure I WOULD be happy! It very much depends on whose version of eternity or 'higher planes of existence' turns out to be true. I have had some of them explained that, "no thank you, I don't care to go forever under those bylaws"

I don't expect it to be an issue, somehow.

Little Hawk: over & over you miss my point....I am not arguing 'reality'...I don't HAVE a "chosen set of assumptions about reality"....I have an 'opinion' about how to conduct a debate, plus, way down low in priority, some 'suspicions' about what reality is probably not.

You use words like "every thing" and "validate" and "provable" in slippery ways that are very close to, if not totally, equivocation. ...this does not make you 'wrong' about reality, but it IS a flawed usage There are rules about proof, logic, coherent argument, etc., that are not subject to 'agreement'. You cannot just say "you pick your (rules) and I'll pick mine".

You can say "It is my opinion that mind and body are independant", and you can say "I choose not to enter this discussion or abide by those rules you refer to", and there is little I can say... "You say to-may-to, I say to-MAH-to"...but you can also say "I don't like 2+2 always equaling 4", and it won't get you $5 at the bank.


so...I do understand that you have a different set of concerns, and that you feel you have had experiences that justify, if not 'prove', your viewpoint...(and yes, I understand that you don't really feel the need to justify OR prove any basis for thinking differently than I do.)
We both know that we shoulda called it a draw a long time ago....*grin*...but I'd venture we both derive a certain satisfaction from refining our viewpoint in these various discussions......I will, however, refrain from direct confrontation on these issues in the future, if you think it best. I like debate, but I don't like getting close to antagonism with folks I truly respect and enjoy....


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 08:43 PM

I'm not interested in trying to validate it as true, Bill. I'm interested in interpreting it, given that I have some experiential awareness of it.

I frankly don't care whether or not it's "validated", by your system or anyone else's. I accept what I experience as it comes to me, and I interpret it as best I can. Spiritual things and emotional and mental things are not to be validated and thus proven "true", they are to be experienced directly and interpreted in order to derive meaning from them.

If you don't experience them, I've got no problem with that at all.

You don't see the "basis" of my belief in a soul that is independent of the physical body, because it doesn't meet your chosen set of assumptions about reality. Fine with me. It doesn't matter. Your view of reality is fine for you, and mine is fine for me. I don't see the "basis" of voting for either the Democrats or the Republicans, nor do I see any rational basis for those 2 parties continuing to exist (given their record). Okay? You pick your basis, and I'll pick mine.

Note: When I use the word "thing" in the above context, I am referring to a subjective experience...something one experiences in a conscious way. An experience is a thing. It's not a tactile or measurable thing, but it is something that one experiences....

"some thing..." Anything that is something is some thing. ;-) Anything we can discuss is something, including any totally hypothetical concept. It's a concept, and a concept is a thing. It's a mental thing. Is it provable? Maybe, and maybe not. Do I care? No, not really.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 08:12 PM

Ah, but Bill D, just think how happy you will be if you are proved wrong! *G*


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 07:40 PM

well, Little Hawk...I see a bit more in your explanation about your personal, ultimate 'concerns'. If most of your interest is in all those concepts about conciousness and its functioning, of course you will both 'see' and phrase things differently than I might...but we still must debate and communicate 'as if' we follow the same set of constraints, since no matter how we view matter & reality, we are both trapped in it in similar ways.

That's why I pick and poke at some remarks. In your thoughts, you make a couple of statements that, by their nature, have debatable assumptions embedded in them:

"there are a great many things that cannot be proven or disproven, though they can certainly be experienced in one way or another."

This calls into question just what a 'thing' is, and what it means to be experienced without being 'proven'...and even how to deal with 'in one way or another'. We DO have experiences, both of obvious physical things like doors, and of not-so-obvious things like ideas and dreams. You treat some of these concepts as if it is given that they are independant of the body doing the experiencing. THAT is the great debate ...and the important point is not whether they ultimately are or are not, but whether the answer can be given and unquestioned.

"I will not be an objective phenomenon when I leave this body,"

same basic point...you **state** that there IS a separate 'you' that will 'leave the body'. There might be...I don't claim I can prove that there is not, but I certainly see no way to know this, and from my viewpoint, claims that "this is how it works" are at best, vague, and at worse, wishful thinking. I see the allure, I just don't see the basis. Sorry, but just explaining that it is 'not subject to standard "proof" does not validate it as true.
   If, as you say, you consider being 'in' a body prosaic and boring, it is nevertheless the case that while you are in it and subject to this awkward way of communicating with your fellow 'trappees', certain rules apply to all our situations, one of which is...we won't KNOW the answers about mind/body dichotomy until we die...(or leave this body, and there I am at a disadvantage...if I am right, I don't get to say "I told you so".....'taint fair, says I...I guess I compensate for this unfairness by excessive pedantry while I'm here...


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 05:52 PM

Kat, you are a good soul, and I am sending you a big smile!

I don't know much about the Rosicrucians. Maybe I was one in another lifetime.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 05:52 PM

Kat said: "...working to have the most profound effects on each and every one of us. IMO, it is up to all Christians who do not agree with them, and the rest of us, to oppose them."

I agree. Just like we think that the less visible Muslims should be out there protesting the violent ones. Lately some Muslim leaders are making clear their opposition and disapproval.

Some Christians are doing their part too, for instance, Jim Wallis of God's Politics is very clear and articulate in his views of what is wrong today and how we can fix it. However, we need higher profile people, vociferous people, people who state their positions and hammer it home.

If we don't - and soon - I think this country is in deep doo doo and will be for a long time to come.

(Reminds me of a commentator who said he saw a young woman dressed in her high heels and finery step out of a limo onto the sidewalk and exclaim: 'Oh shit! I stepped in some doo doo.")


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 05:50 PM

It's as easy to generalise about Christians as it is to generalise about folk singers. In other words - you can't. Or shouldn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: katlaughing
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 04:41 PM

I think it is important to remember that Christians, in the US, at least, may be painted with a broad brush because the extremists of Christianity have become the vocal majority and *embedded* their *crusaders* in every level of our government, working to have the most profound effects on each and every one of us. IMO, it is up to all Christians who do not agree with them, and the rest of us, to oppose them.

LH, you sure you weren't ever a Rosicrucian?**bg** Well-put.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 04:37 PM

Well said, Frank. The best reason to attend any church or such group, in my opinion, is that it allows one the company of kindred souls. ("where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I also")

This would be just as true for a gathering of physicists or a gathering of refrigerator salesmen, by the way, quite regardless of religion. We humans are creatures who benefit tremendously from sharing our minds and hearts in common purpose with others.


Bill - I get you. But...there are a great many things that cannot be proven or disproven, though they can certainly be experienced in one way or another. Oddly enough, it is primarily those things that concern me. The things which can be proven or disproven in this life hold little interest for me.    They're just not that important to me. I guess if I was a detective trying to solve a murder case...or a research scientist investigating DNA...then I'd be more concerned about such things! ;-)

It's primarily consciousness itself that concerns me...perceptions of reality...inner concepts and belief systems, and how they function in a person, and what results from their functioning. Silence. Thought. Love. Compassion. Jealousy. Wisdom. Insecurity. Faith. Wonder. Passion. Imagination. Idealism. Hope. Joy. Sorrow. Self-esteem. Those are the things that really concern me. The "inner man". Consciousness. Being. The awareness that "I am". None of them are susceptible to either proof or disproof in any respect that I know of. They are subjective in nature, not objective. They cannot be measured, yet they are crucial to existence. I am concerned about subjectivity.

Objectivity is logical, procedural, and usually quite obvious (to me, anyway) and it doesn't fascinate me. I use it merely when I need to use it to accomplish something practical. It's prosaic.

I will not be an objective phenomenon when I leave this body, Bill, and I am only going to be here in this body for a ridiculously short blip in the annals of time. My body...without the conscious being that is me...will have no function, and will vanish pretty quickly.

I'm concerned about me...the Life that animates this body. I am not provable or disprovable...except as a body. The fact that you see this post is proof that I (or somebody) just typed it. So what? ;-)

What's important is not proof that I typed it, not proof that I have a body at the moment, but the meaning that is communicated IN what I just typed...

(and that can be debated about some, but not proven)


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 03:47 PM

Frank:

The free and voluntary association of like-minded souls is the exception of which I speak. I am deeply opposed to any form of spiritual tyranny, which is why I sometimes sound off about groups I consider to be heavy-handed, dogmatic, or doctrinaire. The reason associations can be tricky is because it is only a small step from "talking to a group of like minded souls", and letting your soul become like the group mind, a very different thing indeed.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Bill D
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 03:39 PM

" When it's less extreme it might just be called prejudice."

Prejudice: "A partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation"

yeah, there ARE those who operate that way....I don't. I was raised IN a religion,and I still don't hate it, and my disagreement with it is not prejudice, because I came to my views THROUGH 'objective consideration'...unlike most of those who are still members. Thus, I do not state that religion is wrong, but merely that I see most of the defenses of it as flawed, i.e.unproven. I STILL retain an open mind, but 'open' does not mean 'trying very hard to believe' in my view...it means looking at all points of view and accepting or rejecting them according to proof, logic, and fairness- not 'comfort level'.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Pseudolus
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 02:37 PM

Wesley, I have to disagree. Things happen in people's lives and they find religion, lose religion possibly several times throughout their lives. I do agree that there will always be a group for and a group against and it's unlikely that we can all agree and be on the same page. But there will always be some folks changing groups.

Amos, You make an interesting point on "organized religion". I guess in some ways I would be against organized religion for organized religion's sake. I read your post and I thought about why I go to my church every week. It's not because I have to, it's not because of a fear of going to hell if I don't. The reason I go to church every week is to be with a group of people who all believe the same thing that I do. My church family has been an incredible support system at times when I really needed it and I've had the opportunity to experience the feeling of helping when others have been in need. Is that unique to my church? Of course not. Are we "organized"? Yep! It's no secret that I believe in heaven and plan on going there. I don't believe that you have to be part of any religion or believe any certain things to be welcome when the time comes.

Little Hawk, I totally agree that as soon as you tell someone you are a Christian, there are assumptions made about you and not all of them are good! I too hate it when those assumptions are made especially with sweeping remarks in a thread.


Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 02:04 PM

Regardless I think it is informative to make an important distinction between the experiential nature of spiritual events (including OOB, remote perception, transcendant insights, epiphanies of various kinds, contact with the Infinite, and on through the long list of religious experiences as individuals have perceived them) VERSUS and IN CONTRAST WITH the establishment and institutionalization of fixed agreement sets which passes for organized group-religion on this whacko planet.

I personally abhor organized religion, considering it to most often be an oxymoron and a scam, with some distinct exceptions. But I do not believe anyone, any state, individual or authority-figure has any right to gainsay anothers individual experiences or lack thereof, or tell him what he should think about these.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 02:03 PM

Nobody likes other people making false assumptions about them.

If I said I was Christian, people would make plenty of false assumptions about me. So I don't say that. I do believe in "the Christ Spirit", but I'm not Christian. The Christ Spirit predated Christianity, and in any case, predated this whole planet, in my opinion. If you don't know what I mean by the "Christ Spirit", then telling you this won't accomplish a damn thing, will it? And do I care? No.

I don't need to be Christian. I just am, period. I am. That's all there is to it. I am. I always have been and I always will be. I was when there was no Christianity. Same as you. We are.

See what you can assume out of that. You cannot NOT BE what I am. You know why? Because you are too. If that's okay, great. If not, don't worry about it. Cos if you're not into it, then from your point of view it would be a waste of time to worry about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Wesley S
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 01:56 PM

Pointless - exactly.

Those that believe - will continue to believe.

Those that don't - won't.

And never the twaine shall meet.


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Subject: RE: BS: why do we need religion
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 01:49 PM

I think Stephen has basically got it fairly right there, Bill. For "hate" you could substitute the words "feel superior to".

Most threads that are started with a title such as the title of this thread are started out of the poster's basic hostility to or smug sense of superiority over the very idea of religion. Hostility is hostility. When it's more extreme, it's called hatred. When it's less extreme it might just be called prejudice.

People who are hostile toward what they call "religion" generally lump all forms of spiritual belief whatsoever in with organized religion...as if the two had to be synonymous. They don't. Not by any means.

In other words, the person who dislikes religion decides that it has and must have one specific definition (which he made up)...which is the prejudiced, pejorative way that he sees "religion"...and he then consigns all forms of spiritual belief (most of which he is very ignorant of) within the straitjacket of that specific dumbass definition of his...which he created out of his own prejudice, just so he can have something to look down on and feel better than.

His definition may be equivalent to a crock of shit. It would be like asking Hitler for his opinion of Jews. Pointless.


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