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What is the Real origin of Religions?

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.
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Semtek
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Semtek » April 8th, 2019, 4:37 pm

I wanted to ask you about the epistemic value of religious experience among other things.

And forgive me if these questions are overly simple.

You asserted that religious or mystical experience is non-dogmatic perhaps by definition (non-propositional... knowledge of... or knowledge by acquaintance). I am wondering how this couples with the belief or assertion that god is entirely transcendent (and therefore not immanent and transcendent).

First I think that the ineffability of God does originate in or is expressed in the mystic strands of the monotheisms. In Islam it is found, and Hinduism, and Judaism...

I am wondering what would be the nature of the knowing person in relation to this claim that God is completely unknowable. How does one come to adopt it? Also it leads to a negative definition of God to whom does not apply any of our haughtiest concepts or experiences...

Again, I am sorry if this is simple. But then of what value is religious experience if it refers not at all to God and therefore gives us no understanding or evidence of the posited being... What does it tell us? Perhaps all we can say rationally is that such experience is different than ordinary consciousness and stop there. I think James talked about the noetic quality of religious experience which I took to mean the sensation of being within a larger mind or standing in conscious relation to a larger mind...

I hope these questions are intelligible.

Also relying on authority may not be best construed as necessarily arational or totally static. Perhaps experience may serve as a basis for continued trust or greater trust in what is originally taken on the alleged authority or foundation of the belief. Not sure.

Also there is the idea that revealed theology is revealed to persons in history and that reports of it may be accepted as factual to some degree.

Belindi I am not super familiar with Plato. But what is the nature of the God for Plato. I thought he asserted the existence of a demiurge.

Also it is immanence in addition to transcendence that matters. What does a entirely transcendent being do?

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Belindi » April 10th, 2019, 4:24 am

Semtek wrote:
Belindi I am not super familiar with Plato. But what is the nature of the God for Plato. I thought he asserted the existence of a demiurge.
I understand the nature of the Form of the Good for Plato and Platonism is that the Good is the sovereign Form. This is intuitive as we see that other more relative Forms such as Justice and Health aspire to the Good.

In our worldly lives instances of justice and health are evaluated according to societal norms, but only authoritarian individuals or authoritarian regimes claim that they can evaluate the Good in human terms; and that is why I claim that the Good is the sovereign Form.

The Judeo- Christian God is a personification of Platonic Form of the Good.
But then of what value is religious experience if it refers not at all to God and therefore gives us no understanding or evidence of the posited being..
The Good cannot be pinned down like a dead butterfly in a collector's case. Evil however can be defined and frequently is defined as lodging in the same events , such as The Holocaust, or the destructions of Daesh, on the parts of both authoritarians and social liberals. It follows that good is absence of evil: being itself cannot be evil so it must be good.

I trust that the above answers Semtek's question of some days ago
I would ask how one comes to belief in God in a way that is not dogmatic...
Postscript: my post as above has nothing to do with the real origin of religions. The real origin of religions is 1) explanations and strategies relating to how human are oriented vis a vis their environments and 2) the more efficient management of human societies especially after the advent of division of labour.

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Semtek
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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Semtek » April 12th, 2019, 8:52 pm

A few comments.

I thought we were working under the idea that God is totally ineffable and, yet, can been known via mystical experience. Now you seem to be ascribing positive ideas to "it"... as being good or by your describing the forms. Also I think that Plato said that the Philosopher Kings should rule because they can know the form of the good.

Also, the forms are abstract entities as opposed to concrete particulars. I am flying by the seat of my pants here. Are they causally efficacious? You seem to suggest this by saying the other forms "aspire" to the Good. This sounds like a personal state or intentional state... a willing or striving to be like something else... Is the realm of the forms completely impersonal?

God is not evaluated in personal or human terms... as trying to put God into our collection of concepts (which is perhaps what many practicing religion in fact do) It is in virtue of being created in the image of God that we are persons.

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Felix » April 14th, 2019, 7:35 pm

Semtek: "I am wondering what would be the nature of the knowing person in relation to this claim that God is completely unknowable."

Not unknowable but indescribable, therefore any description of the Supreme/Transcendent will be incomplete and inadequate.

There is mystical experience and then there are the descriptions of it and what it may mean. The experience is ineffable and transcends mental conception. As Lao Tzu said, "the Tao that can be spoken of is not the eternal Tao."

Semtek: "But then of what value is religious experience if it refers not at all to God and therefore gives us no understanding or evidence of the posited being... What does it tell us?"

Mental comprehension and spiritual understanding are two different things, you may have one without the other. To quote Franklin Merrell-Wolff: "God is either known directly through Identity or He is not known at all. In contrast to formal and empirical knowledge, Real Knowledge is essentially wordless, for It does not deal with objects. This is Knowledge through Identity."

Semtek: "Perhaps experience may serve as a basis for continued trust or greater trust in what is originally taken on the alleged authority or foundation of the belief."

Yes, I agree, I was not suggesting that one should forsake all authorities.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: What is the Real origin of Religions?

Post by Belindi » April 15th, 2019, 3:28 am

Semtek wrote:
I think James talked about the noetic quality of religious experience which I took to mean the sensation of being within a larger mind or standing in conscious relation to a larger mind...
I expect that is true . When I had a 'mystical' experience I was not interested in God or religion and I ascribed my euphoria to my interest in the growing grass about which I had been thinking with passive interest For perhaps about a minute it became more important to me than myself. There may be ways deliberately to induce the euphoria that banished ego but I don't know what these might be.

People who ascribe that type of euphoria to God already expect that all good things , or all mysterious experiences, and so on,come from God. It follows that there is a component of personal memory in mystical experience, in the case of sacred experiences the particular personal memory is about what that person has learned about God, or the Immaculate Conception,or a beloved deceased friend, and so on.

Euphoria is real and can probably be measured by electronic exploration of the brain activity or, for all I know, detection of various biochemicals that influence states of consciousness. A sacred interpretation or in my case a growing grass interpretation comes from the individual's private memories and cognition. The epistemic status of private subjective beliefs is low and gets what status it has from studies of cultural belief systems i.e. cultural anthropology. Jung posited archetypes which I think were supposed to be common to all men, so the epistemic status of mystical God experiences is higher if you subscribe to Jungian psychology.

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