"The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

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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Thomyum2
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by Thomyum2 » April 15th, 2020, 2:34 pm

gad-fly wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 10:42 am
My suggestion for the crucial issue in religion has graduated from "The Creator" to "Creation and Afterlife". Creation here is defined by "coming into existence before anything else is known". Otherwise it is "development, reproduction, invention, multiplication, or recreation". I would like to hear what can be more appropriate and more relevant suggestion of the said issue than mine, if there is any in this forum.
May I suggest that perhaps what is 'crucial' in religion is belief itself? Or perhaps more accurately faith - because this is where the source of religion lies in the first place, in the human experience, which is at its core. (I prefer 'faith' because it captures that element of trust in the context of relationship, rather than 'belief' which is typically used more in the sense of a thought, or an act of the intellect - the mind rather than the heart, so to speak.)

It is the religious experience, the experience of faith, that is the very 'crucible' of religion. Notions of a God, a Creator, Heaven, Hell, Afterlife - these all proceed from that experience, and are commentary on it, attempts to explain it or represent it in terms or metaphors that are comprehensible. These ideas are the expression of religion, not the substance of it, which lies within the individual and beyond language.

Have you read William James' lectures contained in The Varieties of Religious Experience? I think he captures this well. A couple of passages to consider (my emphasis added):

Religion, therefore, as I now ask you arbitrarily to take it, shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine. Since the relation may be either moral, physical, or ritual, it is evident that out of religion in the sense in which we take it, theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organizations may secondarily grow.

Our impulsive belief is here always what sets up the original body of truth, and our articulately verbalized philosophy is but its showy translation into formulas. The unreasoned and immediate assurance is the deep thing in us, the reasoned argument is but a surface exhibition. Instinct leads, intelligence does but follow.

creation
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by creation » April 15th, 2020, 3:10 pm

gad-fly wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 10:42 am
creation wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 5:53 am

What do you mean by 'crucial' exactly? And, what do you mean by 'religion'?

The 'Creator' is just a term used by human beings. What is 'it' that you challenge us to 'suggest better' in relation to exactly?
Meaning of terms I usually find in the dictionary. My suggestion for the crucial issue in religion has graduated from "The Creator" to "Creation and Afterlife". Creation here is defined by "coming into existence before anything else is known". Otherwise it is "development, reproduction, invention, multiplication, or recreation". I would like to hear what can be more appropriate and more relevant suggestion of the said issue than mine, if there is any in this forum.
If you are not able to and will not clarify and explain what you actually mean by the words you use, then I am not able to grasp and understand fully what it is that you are saying and asking for here.

gad-fly
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by gad-fly » April 15th, 2020, 5:57 pm

creation wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 3:10 pm

If you are not able to and will not clarify and explain what you actually mean by the words you use, then I am not able to grasp and understand fully what it is that you are saying and asking for here.
Make it simple. You source your meaning of the terms, based upon which you may suggest as the crucial issue. Interesting, Challenging, and Mind-opening if any. Fine if none. This is why I am in this forum: to listen, to philosophize, to be influenced, but not necessarily to reach agreement.

creation
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by creation » April 15th, 2020, 6:50 pm

gad-fly wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 5:57 pm
creation wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 3:10 pm

If you are not able to and will not clarify and explain what you actually mean by the words you use, then I am not able to grasp and understand fully what it is that you are saying and asking for here.
Make it simple. You source your meaning of the terms, based upon which you may suggest as the crucial issue. Interesting, Challenging, and Mind-opening if any. Fine if none. This is why I am in this forum: to listen, to philosophize, to be influenced, but not necessarily to reach agreement.
Did I previously write that, to me, there is NO crucial issue in religion?

By the way, I also, once again, am not grasping nor understanding fully what it is that you are saying and meaning here, other than you are not here in this forum to reach agreement, which to me is fine as I am obviously not seeking agreement here.

gad-fly
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by gad-fly » April 16th, 2020, 11:11 am

Thomyum2 wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 2:34 pm
gad-fly wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 10:42 am
My suggestion for the crucial issue in religion has graduated from "The Creator" to "Creation and Afterlife". Creation here is defined by "coming into existence before anything else is known". Otherwise it is "development, reproduction, invention, multiplication, or recreation". I would like to hear what can be more appropriate and more relevant suggestion of the said issue than mine, if there is any in this forum.
May I suggest that perhaps what is 'crucial' in religion is belief itself? Or perhaps more accurately faith - because this is where the source of religion lies in the first place, in the human experience, which is at its core. (I prefer 'faith' because it captures that element of trust in the context of relationship, rather than 'belief' which is typically used more in the sense of a thought, or an act of the intellect - the mind rather than the heart, so to speak.)

It is the religious experience, the experience of faith, that is the very 'crucible' of religion. Notions of a God, a Creator, Heaven, Hell, Afterlife - these all proceed from that experience, and are commentary on it, attempts to explain it or represent it in terms or metaphors that are comprehensible. These ideas are the expression of religion, not the substance of it, which lies within the individual and beyond language.

Have you read William James' lectures contained in The Varieties of Religious Experience? I think he captures this well. A couple of passages to consider (my emphasis added):

Religion, therefore, as I now ask you arbitrarily to take it, shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine. Since the relation may be either moral, physical, or ritual, it is evident that out of religion in the sense in which we take it, theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organizations may secondarily grow.

Our impulsive belief is here always what sets up the original body of truth, and our articulately verbalized philosophy is but its showy translation into formulas. The unreasoned and immediate assurance is the deep thing in us, the reasoned argument is but a surface exhibition. Instinct leads, intelligence does but follow.
The emphasis and importance of faith in religion is endorsed. Before that much come inspiration, followed by conversion and devotion, which are all equally important.

Belindi
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by Belindi » April 17th, 2020, 5:01 am

Thomyum quoted:

Religion, therefore, as I now ask you arbitrarily to take it, shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine. Since the relation may be either moral, physical, or ritual, it is evident that out of religion in the sense in which we take it, theologies, philosophies, and ecclesiastical organizations may secondarily grow.William James

James was a psychologist, as the above demonstrates.

Although it's true what James wrote the solitary urge towards the divine would amount to nothing like religion unless unless the social regime provides the religious institution and thereby gives shape and form to the solitary urge .

NukeBan
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by NukeBan » May 5th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Thomyum2 wrote:
April 15th, 2020, 2:34 pm
May I suggest that perhaps what is 'crucial' in religion is belief itself? Or perhaps more accurately faith - because this is where the source of religion lies in the first place, in the human experience, which is at its core.
Could we say that what is crucial in religion is experience? Aren't faith and belief just particular optional methods of reaching for experience?

We might use Christianity as an example, because it is so well known to most of us.
Certainly Christian culture is jammed with all kinds of beliefs, but is that what being Christian really is?

The Apostle John said "God is love". Please note that he didn't phrase his declaration as "God is a belief about love" or "God is faith in love". Love isn't a belief, it's an experience. Jesus advised his followers to "die and be reborn", which may be another way of advising us to reach God through love. "Dying" and "being reborn" are experiences, not beliefs.
It is the religious experience, the experience of faith, that is the very 'crucible' of religion.
Well ok, the "experience" of faith, that's better. Why not drop the faith part though? Faith might be described as an act of surrender. Isn't the experience of surrender (the dying to be reborn) the real 'crucible', and what particular beliefs one might have faith in more of a detail?
These ideas are the expression of religion, not the substance of it, which lies within the individual and beyond language.
Ok, I like that, ideas are expressions, not the substance. That's what I'm trying to get at it seems. We're probably saying much the same thing, and I'm trying to turn that agreement in to a debate. :-)

Belindi
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by Belindi » May 5th, 2020, 1:03 pm

The motivation towards gods comes from man's trying to do something about making the future safer against famine and pestilence.

gad-fly
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Re: "The Creator" is the Crucial Issue in Religion

Post by gad-fly » June 27th, 2020, 11:18 am

NukeBan wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Could we say that what is crucial in religion is experience? Aren't faith and belief just particular optional methods of reaching for experience?
You can say that, but you can also say the same about almost everything else. How about: What is crucial in your present struggle is experience. How
about your recovery?

It is how you attribute your experience that matters. The influence may be religious, financial, and so on.

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