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Religion is Darwinian

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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Burning ghost
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 20th, 2018, 9:49 am

Alias wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 9:45 am
It's intent is serious. Its content is silly.
Since people like believing silly things, any idjit can be pope, CEO or president and make serious profit.
Why is its content “silly”, and what is its “content”?
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 20th, 2018, 11:32 am

Burning ghost wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 9:49 am
Why is its content “silly”, and what is its “content”?
Choose a religion and I'll explain why its content is silly.
In general, all of them have in common a belief in something for which there is no objective evidence; just one fallible human being communicating his internal vision to others. That, in itself is not silly: it would be true of all story-telling and invention. What's silly is taking a story so seriously that you're willing to kill anyone who doesn't believe it.
Then, there are the costumes.... !

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Burning ghost
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 20th, 2018, 11:43 am

Alias wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 11:32 am
Burning ghost wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 9:49 am
Why is its content “silly”, and what is its “content”?
Choose a religion and I'll explain why its content is silly.
In general, all of them have in common a belief in something for which there is no objective evidence; just one fallible human being communicating his internal vision to others. That, in itself is not silly: it would be true of all story-telling and invention. What's silly is taking a story so seriously that you're willing to kill anyone who doesn't believe it.
Then, there are the costumes.... !
I find that to be a “silly” argument. Can you see why?
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 20th, 2018, 12:03 pm

Of course I can. Silliness ought not to become tragic - and religious silliness has been immensely tragic.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Burning ghost
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 20th, 2018, 1:38 pm

So parts of the stroy are silly if you say they are. What if other people don’t think they are silly and don’t kill anyone? I fail to see how you’ve thought this through to any great length - at least you’ve not exposed your thinking just yet.

Don’t worry I do find the more common conception of “religion” as rather silly too. My qualms are more with the institutions of religions than with the history of ideas. I don’t think we can really have knowledge without misinterpretation though - you can see that in stark existence even in how scientific data can be selected and used to bolster quite anti-scientific ideas today. Such is the is the ignorance of man, the ignorance is not wholly in the sphere of the holy though.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 20th, 2018, 2:06 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 1:38 pm
So parts of the stroy are silly if you say they are.
That isn't all all what I said. I said there is nothing wrong with story-telling or invention. The general silliness that all religions have in common is that whole communities of people believe, literally and absolutely, one man's implausible story, with no supporting evidence.
What if other people don’t think they are silly and don’t kill anyone?
We have not heard of that religion. I'm not saying there are none such, only that if there are, they have failed to achieve world prominence. Maybe the more aggressive religionists killed them?
I fail to see how you’ve thought this through to any great length
Some length. It's not my life work.
- at least you’ve not exposed your thinking just yet.
The subject area is too vast for particulars. And that is why I asked you to provide one example for analysis.
My qualms are more with the institutions of religions than with the history of ideas.
It's rarely the ideas that cause all the harm; it's the institutions, power-structure and indoctrination.
The OP was directed specifically at religion as a proponent of social evolution: something that gives one group an advantage over its rivals.
I see that as cutting both ways: 25 batches of heavily-tattooed boys kept falling on their knees and crossing themselves, so how come the least tattooed and least Christian team won?

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 20th, 2018, 2:15 pm

Correction: least pious of the teams, with players of different religious affiliation.
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Burning ghost
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 20th, 2018, 2:26 pm

Alias -

None of that pans out. You sem to be using conflation so I’ll join in and ask why it is you think all religious people are murderers? Get it?

Provide an example? Pick any you like, makes no difference to me. I wouldn’t look at religion as being of group mentality only anymore than anything else. There is a lot to be said for the net effect of how the individual takes up religious attitudes (whatever they may be.)

I know what the OP was getting at. I was just pushing back against the idea that the content of religions is “silly.” Seemed like a sweeping and unfoudned statement to me. Even Dawkins admits that people find strength and resolve through “religion.” Then there is what some prefer to call “spiritual” which is something like saying “I believe in something, but I don’t believe in a deity, nor do I follow a doctrine, I merely pick out what makes sense to me.” No doubt you’ve heard that one many times before like I have.

People who go around killing do so because they have a limited scope and/or because their world view has been threatened - the former usually manifests the later and the more myopic and rigid the original position the more potential there is for either violent change or a fruitful explosion of ideas.

The crux is defining what is meant by religion. The OP failed to do this and I said so. It must be addressed more thoroughly by everyone in order to move forward. I feel like this because it has been a subject of great fascination for me for some time and I’ve taken the time to study in my own way.

Most theories about religion have applicable ideas. The “opiate for the masses” is a workable proposition and I do imagine that it is the case for so people. I don’t think any theory encompasses the whole landscape of what we often refer to as “religion.”

I been meaning to post something about Geertz’ definition of religion for some time so I’ll get round to it when on my hols if this thread pans out in an agreeable manner (which I hope it does.)
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 20th, 2018, 2:58 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 2:26 pm
Alias -None of that pans out. You sem to be using conflation so I’ll join in and ask why it is you think all religious people are murderers?
I said nothing about murder, though taht also happens. I said killing, which continues apace. https://www.thetoptens.com/atrocities-c ... -religion/
Provide an example? Pick any you like, makes no difference to me.
Then you could accuse me of prejudice.
I wouldn’t look at religion as being of group mentality only anymore than anything else. There is a lot to be said for the net effect of how the individual takes up religious attitudes (whatever they may be.)
And just as much to be said against.
I was just pushing back against the idea that the content of religions is “silly.”
Matter of opinion, then. You asked which content I consider silly. If you simply reject the idea that any of them are, that's fine.
Why waste the question-and-answer exercise?
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 20th, 2018, 3:52 pm

Alias -

You said “its content is silly.” Not some content is silly.

Of course atrocities have been committed in the name of religion. Many atrocities have been committed in the name of many things that are non-religious too. Again this comes to the issue of defining religion again. I kind of view “patriotism” as a kind of religious attitude too. Dying and killing for ideas doesn’t mean the idea is always religious or that the greatest killings have taken place under the name of this or that religion - eg. Look at the 20th century as an example.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Alias » July 20th, 2018, 4:51 pm

Burning ghost wrote:
July 20th, 2018, 3:52 pm
You said “its content is silly.” Not some content is silly.
And I stand by that opinion, regarding all religious doctrine.
Of course atrocities have been committed in the name of religion. Many atrocities have been committed in the name of many things that are non-religious too.
And some of those other things are silly, too. People do a lot of things for silly reasons.
How does that make religion more of an evolutionary advantage than those other things?

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 20th, 2018, 5:19 pm

Mlw wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 1:28 pm
The function of religion is to compensate for our worldly obsession and egocentric ambitions.
Please demonstrate!

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Count Lucanor » July 20th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Mlw wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 1:28 pm

Without religion, neither the modern mind nor civilization could have emerged, because people would not have been socializable, unable to see the bigger picture. Religion is the bigger picture.
Religion is a product of socialization, one of many that would emerge, and not the cause of civilization. We can perfectly be civilized without it.

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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Burning ghost » July 21st, 2018, 12:31 am

Alias -

Your opinion is that everything about the content of religion is silly or that some of it is? You cannot have it boh ways.

Hobbes -

One can easily demostrate that humility is part of religious doctrines. It is certainly not perfect, but it would be dishonest to suggest that religious ideas don’t highlight atruism and humility in some respects. And be VERY careful not to take this as me saying that is all they are about. Clearly politics and power play has got involved.
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Re: Religion is Darwinian

Post by Mlw » July 21st, 2018, 4:25 am

Religion is based on tenets of faith. Augustine explains that spiritual knowledge must be based on faith. We cannot build proper knowledge of the divine on anything else, because the divine transcends the worldly. God cannot be known through our mental categories in the same way as we have knowledge of a tree. So the articles of Christian faith aren't silly. They are the basis of divine knowledge, just as numbers and the four rules of arithmetic are the basis of scientific knowledge.

Atheists like Dawkins presume that there is nothing beyond that which can be grasped with our mental categories; insights afforded to us via observation and mathematical equations. But it is an unscientific standpoint as they provide no proof for their standpoint, neither mathematically nor empirically.

Augustine explains that Platonic truths are thoughts of divine mind. They do not belong to the human mind but to God. The fact that the angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees is because God continually upholds this truth in his mind. Should he cease to think these truths, the universe would collapse. So the laws of physics and mathematics exist in God's mind.

In fact, the physicists are baffled that they can understand the universe with the abstract content of their mind. Augustine explains that it's because these laws are the content of mind--divine mind. Modern physicists have not come up with a better explanation than this. It is very plausible!

Mats

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