Is religion good even if it's false?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Post Number:#31  Postby Toronto » May 12th, 2009, 7:20 pm

ape wrote:Good and bad are relative since each can be defined in terms of the other.
Therefore all good religions are also bad,
and all bad religions are also good.
In short, all religions are good and bad.

I might agree that all religions are good and bad in different respects (good in some respects and bad in other respects), but just because good can only be defined by lack of bad, and bad by lack of good, doesn't make all things good thereby bad and all things bad thereby good.

I don't agree that all good religions are also bad (perhaps they will be bad in some respects, but certainly not because good can only be defined as the opposite of bad).
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Post Number:#32  Postby ape » May 12th, 2009, 8:09 pm

Deleted Double Post.
Last edited by ape on November 2nd, 2009, 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Number:#33  Postby ape » May 12th, 2009, 10:10 pm

Toronto wrote:I might agree that all religions are good and bad in different respects (good in some respects and bad in other respects), but just because good can only be defined by lack of bad, and bad by lack of good, doesn't make all things good thereby bad and all things bad thereby good.

Ape: And you'd be right too if good and bad were only defined as each other by lack of their respective opposites. But I am sorry: it gets a lot 'worse' or 'better' depending on the perspective, as Nameless wd say!:) : Good and bad are a lot more interdefinable than that:
Good is less bad than bad.
Thus, ANY bad that is less bad than ANY other bad is also good!
And bad is less good than good: thus, ANY good less good than ANY other good is also bad!
So good and bad are completely interdefinable.
This is also true of all opposites. So using the Scientific Method, we should not be able to see any good anywhere in any one that is not also bad, and vice versa! Examples using good:
Sun shine is good. But only sunshine is bad: causes deserts. Rain is good. But only rain is bad: causes floods. God is good. But having a God who is only good is bad: taken advantage of.
Example using bad: God is bad: but having a God who is only bad is good: we get to love him as all bad or as our enemy!!!!
[quote="Toronto"]I don't agree that all good religions are also bad (perhaps they will be bad in some respects, but certainly not because good can only be defined as the opposite of bad).
Ape: I understand your consternation. But as the above shows, good being bad and bad being good, and all opposites being completely interdefinable composites, is the ontological reality composed of those ontological realities.
Thus, the only solution is what is divinely prescribed in all religions and makes perfect sense, even a-religiously, scientifically and logically: since all words and their opposites are completely interdefinable, the only prescription any divine doctor can order is: Love all opposites/enemies/opponents/antonyms/contradictions! This is why Love is the greatest good and the closest approximation to absolute goodness there is or can be! Love, applied to already completely interdefinable good and bad, makes goods out of every bad, makes betters of every good and makes bests out of all betters!Romans 8:28.
Because of Love loving all words, Hate of any word, including the word Hate itself, is the nearest thing to absolute bad there is or can be, and is why Hate is the greatest bad! Hate makes good bad, bad worse and worse worse/worst! This Misapplied Hate is why bad goes from worse to worse. Please read Matthew 5:43-48.6:24 as you would any piece of literature. It makes perfect sense.Please ask any follow ups and or make comments.
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Post Number:#34  Postby Toronto » May 13th, 2009, 12:59 am

ape wrote:Good is less bad than bad.

Yes good is less bad than bad, but anything less bad than bad isn't thereby good. Less bad than bad is necessary but not sufficient for good.
Thus, ANY bad that is less bad than ANY other bad is also good!

No. Once again, good isn't just anything that is less bad than another bad, it something less bad than a certain amount of a bad (that would thereby be arbitrarily defined as good).
And bad is less good than good: thus, ANY good less good than ANY other good is also bad!

Again, this I would considered "incorrect".
So good and bad are completely interdefinable.
This is also true of all opposites.

Interdefinable, yes, but not interchangeable.
[So using the Scientific Method, we should not be able to see any good anywhere in any one that is not also bad

What about in the term good itself, as isn't good (in theory at least) not bad in any way.
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Post Number:#35  Postby ape » May 13th, 2009, 12:39 pm

ape:lol You already know, I am sure, people who, when you say 'that's good' or 'that's bad,' ask:
Compared to what? :) :idea: You just have to think about it--let it sink in.Hint: Think 'not only-but also,' and not only 'either--or' but also 'both--and.' We can know nothing about anything unless we compare&contrast one word with another. All words are similes & comparables and so make xlnt parables and metaphors and parallels and etc.:)
WS had fun with it:Antony & Cleopatra[II, 7]
Here is some more for your Brain's Digest:
Good is good and also bad. Bad is bad and also good!
Friend is friend and also enemy.Enemy is enemy and also friend. Opposite is opposite and also composite.Composite is composite and also opposite.
Summary:What is is and also is not!
What is not is not and also is! This what is being said here: "We can only know one thing about God - that he is what we are not. Our wretchedness alone is an image of this. The more we contemplate it, the more we contemplate him."Emile Novis aka Simone Weil But we can only know what God is because we also are it! So we too are and are not so we can know God as he is and is not!Just a way of saying: It takes one to know one! 1 John 3 1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. More explicitly:Ecclesiastes 3: 1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:2A time to be born in Love, and a time to die in Love; a time to plant in Love, and a time to pluck up in Love that which is planted in Love;3A time to kill in Love, and a time to heal in Love; a time to break down in Love, and a time to build up in Love;4A time to weep in Love, and a time to laugh in Love; a time to mourn in Love, and a time to dance in Love;5A time to cast away stones in Love, and a time to gather stones together in Love; a time to embrace in Love, and a time to refrain from embracing in Love;6A time to get in Love, and a time to lose in Love; a time to keep in Love, and a time to cast away in Love;7A time to rend in Love, and a time to sew in Love; a time to keep silence in Love, and a time to speak in Love;8A time to love all words at all times, and a time to hate no words at no time; a time of war in Love, and a time of peace in Love.
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Post Number:#36  Postby ape » May 14th, 2009, 12:05 pm

Here is something similar to what I wd say that might help with the exception to Conclusion #5.

It's from Dewey re. Insiders and Outsiders:

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:11 pm    Post subject: Who sees it better, the outsider or the insider?
I'm a dedicated philosopher. Accordingly, I enter into discussions only when I have the necessary opinions and emotions on which to base my arguments. I certainly have enough emotion for this discussion! Nothing annoys me more than a political candidate prattling that he/she can do a better job because he/she is an "outsider".

My thinking on this question goes like this:
1. All people are outsiders with respect to each other. 2. All people are insiders with respect to humanity. 3. Thus, people are outsiders or insiders only with respect to particular things.
4. These things comprise other things comprising other things, ad infinitum. 5. One cannot be both an outsider or insider relative to a particular thing.
6. Thus, to be an outsider or insider with respect to a thing, one must be an outsider or insider with respect to all the other (significant?) things comprised in that thing. And so, when that political candidate brags to me that he is an outsider, I hear him confessing he knows absolutely nothing about politics. My wife read all the above and said: "Why don't you just say those terms ("outsider" and "insider") are meaningless. But, of course, she's not cut out for philosophy. Too incisive!
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Post Number:#37  Postby Paggos » May 28th, 2009, 9:02 am

I believe it can bring about better morals for most religions, but it can also bring harm to most. It can give you the keys on how to live your life, in a positive manner (Atleast the main teachings of Christianity.)Radical Christians are the ones to blame for all the troubles.
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Post Number:#38  Postby ape » May 29th, 2009, 3:00 pm

Paggos wrote:I believe it can bring about better morals for most religions, but it can also bring harm to most. It can give you the keys on how to live your life, in a positive manner (Atleast the main teachings of Christianity.)Radical Christians are the ones to blame for all the troubles.

Hi Paggos,
What defines a Christian or anyone as radical?
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Post Number:#39  Postby lmwal931 » November 1st, 2009, 8:54 pm

religion is full of problems. but to be a "believer" is full of love, hope, and joy.

and i am filled with passion, love, hope, and the
HOLY SPIRIT.
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Post Number:#40  Postby ape » November 2nd, 2009, 12:17 am

lmwal931 wrote:religion is full of problems. but to be a "believer" is full of love, hope, and joy.

and i am filled with passion, love, hope, and the
HOLY SPIRIT.

Excellent, Imwal1931!:)
What do you think of the following:
Compassion or the Passion of Love is the Spirit of the mind of God.
And since God is holy and God is Love, Love is holy, and thus Love is the Holy Spirit in and of the Mind of God.
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Is Religion Good

Post Number:#41  Postby JPhillips » November 17th, 2009, 7:20 pm

Religion can be good, or bad, or both. Accepting the doctrine of any religion as absolute truth when it defies logic, reason, and absolute scientific evidence cannot be good.

One can believe in God without conforming to any religion. I believe in God, but I have my own concept of who God is based on my perceptions of the Universe and life in the Universe. Music and art and the wondrous things in nature should be proof enough there is a God.

I would tend to view any belief system that espouses values, morals and principles of right and wrong and gives hope, comfort and an explanation for human suffering and dying in a positive light. I would tend to dismiss as harmful, any belief system that teaches intolerance, hatred, and violence against people who are fundamentally good people but don’t share the same belief system.

Perhaps it is just human nature that we tend to place too much faith in traditional views, especilly when it is very old tradition. If it could be proved that the Old Testament was written a million years ago and not one word has ever been changed, this one not make it any more true than if it was written yesterday.

The Old Testament was written during extremely harsh times. Modern day comforts and luxuries did not exist even for the very affluent and rich. The New Testament , perhaps, was written in a somewhat more civilized, humane period. Yet during this period human conditions were deplorable by today’s standards. Public torture and execution were daily, normal events. How could anyone argue that the people who lived in the European nations of the Dark Ages were a hardened lot as compared to people who live in the so-called free countries in the modern world. Even today, people in the Middle East lead a much harder life as compared to the people of the free world. It is reasonable to assume that people who don’t have to struggle to survive, and in fact actually enjoy living for the sake of living, have a different perspective on life. We should expect them to be more compassionate toward other human beings. We expect them to have a tendency to view God as a gentler God.

You cannot expect science to conform to religion, but rather religion must conform to science. It is most likely that we will never be able to prove the existence of God through science because He exists outside the realm of the laws of the Universe which govern all matter. However, to insist that the earth is less than 10,000 years old based on faith with total disregard to science is silly.

I believe God did inspire the words of the Christian Bible just as I believe He inspired the words in all books of faith. I also believe the words were inspired by the personal beliefs and opinions of the author, who was effected by the attitudes and prejudices of the existing society at the time and place of the writings.

I have studied the available evidence and have come to my own conclusion that something can't come from nothing without a Creator. I also do not believe the state of consciousness and self awareness are the products of the brain, but are rather mystically connected to the brain. I have also come to the conclusion that God expects me to "see" Him through the window to my soul. However, I also agree with Galileo Galilei, when he said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use”.

Now let me ask another question. Would the world be better off if we were all atheists who believed we should take all we can from this life as there is no life after this one?
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Post Number:#42  Postby Juice » November 17th, 2009, 8:32 pm

I know I might receive some serious heat for what I am about to say but I just need to make a point of clarification. There is, unfortunately, a great deal of misconception on how and why Christians believe what they believe.

Science is fallible! There is not a dating method developed by man which will claim 100% accuracy. That said, there is a difference by which Christians, especially those who follow and examine the evidence that science demonstrates, define the realities of existence. While some view science as able to define material reality, Christians view science as able to define and support scripture. It is not that Christians refute all of science but that we view what man discovers and defines as fallible when applied in a purely material context without seeing if it applies to the word of God. Frankly it takes more of a leap of faith to believe what science portends unless it is identified with scripture.

And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.’ Compared to what God knows, we know ‘next door to nothing!
1 Corinthians 8:2


I have to take issue with the contention that religion must conform to science. This of course requires a good understanding of both the Bible and science, and the could sense to have enough humility to believe in God.

I think Galileo meant that we should use our the gifts God has given us to our best abilities.
When everyone looks to better their own future then the future will be better for everyone.

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Religion

Post Number:#43  Postby JPhillips » November 17th, 2009, 9:51 pm

Juice

To expound upon my meaning:

I googled the following:
"On 31 October 1992, Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, and officially conceded that the Earth was not stationary".

This does not support the infallibility of the Church. Of course science is not infallible, either.
My point was that you cannot totally dismiss empirical, scientific evidence because it goes against the traditional views of your religion, without damaging the credibility of your religion.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind". Albert Einstein
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Post Number:#44  Postby Juice » November 17th, 2009, 10:23 pm

JP-Galileo was persecuted at the time for his support of Copernicus' heliocentrism theory. While the church hierarchy displayed some bias towards Galileo it eventually came around and supported printing of Galileo's ideas, all Father John Paul did was officially proclaim Galileo innocent of his conviction.

I would like to point out that "Fixed Point Theory", Relativity and the fact that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic meaning that the universe looks the same, in every direction, no matter where one is.

There are some very interesting conceptualizations about movement in our universe considering the numerous, observable, gravitational anomalies which are inconsistent with much of the known physics. A truly remarkable universe we have which I suspect we have only uncovered 0.00000009 of its mysteries.

Also my contention is that the word of God is absolute, not any religion.

I disagree with Einstein, in that science without "God" is lame.

I will say JP that science has become so much more interesting for me sense I have included God. He has blessed me with intuition. Would you believe that I confirmed the definition for heliocentrism even before you mentioned Galileo?
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An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.
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Re: Religion

Post Number:#45  Postby OTavern » November 17th, 2009, 11:23 pm

JPhillips wrote:This does not support the infallibility of the Church.


Just for the record, the RC Church does not claim infallibility in all matters and under all circumstances.

The claim applies to matters of faith and morals, only when, for example, the Pope makes a proclamation "ex cathedra" from the full authority of office (Sacred Magisterium) and when specific rulings are made by ecumenical councils.This does not happen very frequently and was certainly not an aspect of Galileo's case.
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