Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Sushan
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Ukaegbu Confidence wrote: March 26th, 2024, 6:29 pm If you grew up in a religious or nonreligious family, then your views generally on life will be guided by your religion or lack of subconsciously, so it's hard to separate the two.
Your point about the subconscious influence of our upbringing on our views is well-taken. Recent research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience suggests that our subconscious can indeed be trained or reconditioned. Techniques such as mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and exposure to diverse perspectives can help individuals become more aware of their subconscious biases, including those shaped by religious or nonreligious backgrounds. These methods can aid in critically evaluating these ingrained beliefs and potentially separating personal spirituality from organized religious doctrine when discussing broader concepts like consciousness. Training the subconscious involves consistent practice and reflection, aiming to foster a mindset that can distinguish between deeply held beliefs and an objective analysis of new information or ideas.

How do you view the feasibility of training the subconscious in this manner to achieve a more neutral perspective, especially in discussions where religion and spirituality intersect with other domains like consciousness?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Chidinma Dijeh
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

Post by Chidinma Dijeh »

The debate on religion and its role in discussions about consciousness is a complex one. Some might find it difficult to separate the two entirely, while others might prefer a purely scientific approach.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Austin Rhodes wrote: March 27th, 2024, 7:11 am
Joannasbookshelf wrote: January 25th, 2023, 1:08 pm It is difficult for someone who is very religious to completely put aside any religious feelings while reading this book. One’s religious beliefs influence their values, which in turn influences their thoughts while reading. However, I don’t see this as a negative thing because everyone is going to have a different experience reading.
I agree with you on this. Religion has been one of the basic approach and ways to govern human so a lot people see things has having religious connections. This is to say, religion shaping one’s mindset about things.
I concur that religion has historically been a fundamental force in shaping human mindset. However, in today's rapidly evolving world, the role and influence of religion seem to be undergoing significant changes. With the rise of secularism, scientific understanding, and cultural diversity, the impact of religion on individual thought processes and societal norms appears to be shifting.

In this context, how do you see the place of religion evolving, and what implications might this have for your idea that people see things as having religious connections? Does the diminishing or changing role of religion in some societies affect how we should approach discussions about consciousness and spirituality, especially considering the diverse ways in which people now form their understanding of these concepts?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Abdul Jah wrote: March 27th, 2024, 6:04 pm Personally, I believe it's certainly possible to have philosophical discussions about consciousness without including religious references. In fact, there are many schools of thought that approach the topic of consciousness from a purely secular perspective. For example, philosophers like John Locke and René Descartes explored the nature of consciousness and self without relying on religious beliefs. They relied on logic, reason, and observation to try to understand the human mind.
Let's take the example of John Locke's philosophy. He argued that consciousness is not something that is separate from the body, but rather it is a product of the body and mind working together. He believed that the mind is made up of ideas and sensations, and these are what give rise to our consciousness. In this view, there is no need for a religious explanation for consciousness, as it is simply a product of the physical world. The truth is most people force this religious references when it comes to discussions about consciousness.
I appreciate your perspective and the examples you've provided. Indeed, the conversation about consciousness can be enriched by considering both religious and secular perspectives, highlighting the diversity of thought on this complex subject. The philosophies of John Locke and René Descartes offer valuable secular insights into understanding consciousness.

Locke’s theory that consciousness arises from sensory experiences and reflections, and Descartes’ famous assertion "Cogito, ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am), emphasize the ability to think and exist independently of religious interpretations. Similarly, modern cognitive science and psychology approach consciousness by examining brain functions, behaviors, and mental processes, further supporting the view that discussions on consciousness can be conducted within a secular framework.

Moreover, existentialist philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre and Friedrich Nietzsche delved into human existence and consciousness without necessarily invoking religious beliefs. Sartre’s concept of existence preceding essence, and Nietzsche’s critique of traditional religious morals, demonstrate that philosophical inquiries into consciousness can indeed stand apart from religious frameworks.

Your point about people often injecting religious references into discussions about consciousness highlights a significant aspect of our cultural and intellectual landscapes. This tendency may stem from historical associations between religious institutions and the pursuit of knowledge, or from personal beliefs and values that shape one's understanding of the world.

Given this context, how can we create a balanced dialogue that acknowledges both the religious and secular dimensions of consciousness, ensuring that discussions are inclusive and representative of diverse viewpoints?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Chidinma Dijeh wrote: April 3rd, 2024, 12:38 am The debate on religion and its role in discussions about consciousness is a complex one. Some might find it difficult to separate the two entirely, while others might prefer a purely scientific approach.
You bring up a valid point about the complexity of separating religious influences from discussions about consciousness. The correct approach, then, might lie in acknowledging and respecting the diversity of perspectives. Instead of attempting to completely isolate or remove religious references, we could aim for a more integrated discourse that allows room for both scientific and religious viewpoints.

This approach recognizes that individual beliefs and cultural backgrounds significantly shape how we perceive and understand concepts like consciousness. It also accepts that the scientific method, with its emphasis on empirical evidence and objective analysis, provides a critical framework for exploring consciousness in a universal, non-religious context.

However, determining the "correct" approach raises the question of certainty. Can we ever be entirely sure that one approach is definitively correct, especially in a field as inherently subjective and multifaceted as consciousness?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Jimmy Cook
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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I feel like is religion is what calls our consciousness to order. If religion didn't exist the world would have been a very terrible place. So I don't it's possible for someone to write about consciousness without referencing to religion.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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It's inherently challenging to disassociate religion from spirituality and the broader aspects of life. Religion serves as the foundation of civilization, irrespective of one's personal religious beliefs. Religions tend to adapt and evolve to align with prevailing narratives and societal contexts. Perhaps this evolutionary process is what has given rise to the multitude of religions we observe today, with individuals continually shaping them to better fit the world around them. While individual religions may exhibit rigidity and resistance to change, the overarching concept of religion has indeed undergone significant evolution over time.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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All individuals hold some belief regarding religion, whether in favor or against it. When engaging in discussions about human existence, the topic of religion often arises unavoidably. However, I believe it's feasible to employ more inclusive language and encourage participation from individuals of all beliefs. By doing so, we can foster a more open and respectful dialogue, inviting everyone to contribute to the conversation regardless of their religious stance.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Jimmy Cook wrote: April 8th, 2024, 6:09 am I feel like is religion is what calls our consciousness to order. If religion didn't exist the world would have been a very terrible place. So I don't it's possible for someone to write about consciousness without referencing to religion.
It's an interesting perspective that religion plays a fundamental role in ordering our consciousness and moral landscape. However, the history and impact of religion on society is a complex topic with arguments both for and against its overall benefit to humanity.

On one hand, religions have undoubtedly shaped cultures, laws, and ethical standards throughout history, providing a sense of community and belonging to many. Religious teachings can inspire acts of great charity, peace, and unity.

On the other hand, there have been numerous instances where religious ideologies have been used to justify wars, persecution, and discrimination, leading to immense suffering. Critics argue that many conflicts could have been mitigated or avoided without the divisive aspects of religious dogma.

For a meaningful dialogue about the role of religion in society and its influence on our collective consciousness, we must consider both its constructive and destructive impacts. How can we draw on the positive aspects of religious teachings while minimizing the negative outcomes? This balance could potentially lead to a more inclusive and harmonious understanding of consciousness in our diverse world. What are your thoughts on finding this balance?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Goodness Kene wrote: April 8th, 2024, 7:00 pm It's inherently challenging to disassociate religion from spirituality and the broader aspects of life. Religion serves as the foundation of civilization, irrespective of one's personal religious beliefs. Religions tend to adapt and evolve to align with prevailing narratives and societal contexts. Perhaps this evolutionary process is what has given rise to the multitude of religions we observe today, with individuals continually shaping them to better fit the world around them. While individual religions may exhibit rigidity and resistance to change, the overarching concept of religion has indeed undergone significant evolution over time.
Absolutely, the intertwining of religion with personal and societal ethics throughout history is undeniable. However, it's crucial to recognize that much of the manipulation of religious tenets has often been conducted not by the religions themselves, but by individuals or groups with vested interests.

Historically, numerous examples showcase how religious doctrines have been skewed to serve the personal agendas of the powerful. For instance, during the Crusades, religious rhetoric was employed to justify what were essentially political and territorial wars. Similarly, in the colonial era, European powers often used the guise of religious missions to justify the subjugation and exploitation of indigenous populations.

In more modern contexts, we see how religious ideologies can be manipulated in political realms to rally support or suppress dissent, often diverging significantly from their original spiritual and ethical foundations.

These instances highlight a broader issue: the potential for human greed and power to co-opt religious narratives. This manipulation can distort the true essence of religious teachings, which often aim to promote peace, compassion, and understanding.

Given this, it’s important to question and critically evaluate how religious teachings are used in public discourse and policy. We must strive to distinguish between the true ethical teachings of religions and their manipulations by those seeking power.

What are your thoughts on how we can better educate ourselves and others to recognize and resist such manipulations, ensuring that the core positive values of religions are not lost or misrepresented?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Aurora Benjamin wrote: April 9th, 2024, 8:31 am All individuals hold some belief regarding religion, whether in favor or against it. When engaging in discussions about human existence, the topic of religion often arises unavoidably. However, I believe it's feasible to employ more inclusive language and encourage participation from individuals of all beliefs. By doing so, we can foster a more open and respectful dialogue, inviting everyone to contribute to the conversation regardless of their religious stance.
While it's true that religious themes commonly surface in discussions about human existence, I would argue that this intersection isn't as inevitable as it might seem. Historically, the insertion of religious explanations into discussions about phenomena like consciousness often stems from traditional practices rather than necessity, especially when secular or scientific explanations exist.

For example, the neurological underpinnings of consciousness and the biochemistry of emotions offer substantial scientific insights that stand independently of religious interpretations. These scientific perspectives can provide a framework for understanding human experiences without necessarily invoking religious doctrines.

In the modern discourse on consciousness, emphasizing scientific and empirical approaches could help to clarify that while religious interpretations are valuable to those who hold them, they are not the only avenues for exploring such complex subjects. By promoting this understanding, we can respect religious perspectives while also valuing secular contributions to our understanding of consciousness.

How do you think we can better integrate both secular and religious perspectives in discussions about consciousness to enrich our overall understanding without conflating the two unnecessarily?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
Baggett Yoria
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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I will say that there is a way to talk about spirituality without having to use religious reference. First, what is religion? A religion is an organized spiritual tradition formed by people who share similar spiritual believe. However, there are group of people and individual who are not into religion traditions but must have their personal spiritual believes because I believe every individual is a spiritual being. You don't need to attend church, mosque or shrine before you have some spiritual knowledge about yourself. And that was how religions started in the first place. People realized their spirituality and shared the personal experience with one another. Then later develop it into organized forms. Even an atheist has a spiritual believe about him/herself and the world around him/her.

So I will say that spiritual concepts can be discussed without reference to religions. I've discovered that there are many ways to explained spiritual concepts.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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No, it is not hard. It is just that religious people see themselves as religious first and try to impose their way on people. They always judge others.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Wemby Jordan wrote: April 15th, 2024, 11:35 am No, it is not hard. It is just that religious people see themselves as religious first and try to impose their way on people. They always judge others.
I appreciate your perspective on how personal religious identity can sometimes lead to imposing views on others. Indeed, throughout history, there have been instances where religious affiliations have influenced not only personal but also societal interactions. For example, during the Enlightenment period, many thinkers began advocating for separation between church and state, arguing that religious dogmas should not govern secular life. This was a response to centuries during which the church had significant control over political and educational systems, often leading to judgment and exclusion based on religious beliefs.

This historical context highlights the importance of maintaining a respectful dialogue where multiple perspectives, including both religious and non-religious views, can coexist without judgment. It's crucial in discussions about universal concepts like consciousness, where diverse interpretations can enrich our understanding rather than narrow it.

Moving forward, how can we ensure that discussions about such profound topics remain open and inclusive, allowing all participants to feel valued regardless of their religious stance?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Baggett Yoria wrote: April 13th, 2024, 6:34 am I will say that there is a way to talk about spirituality without having to use religious reference. First, what is religion? A religion is an organized spiritual tradition formed by people who share similar spiritual believe. However, there are group of people and individual who are not into religion traditions but must have their personal spiritual believes because I believe every individual is a spiritual being. You don't need to attend church, mosque or shrine before you have some spiritual knowledge about yourself. And that was how religions started in the first place. People realized their spirituality and shared the personal experience with one another. Then later develop it into organized forms. Even an atheist has a spiritual believe about him/herself and the world around him/her.

So I will say that spiritual concepts can be discussed without reference to religions. I've discovered that there are many ways to explained spiritual concepts.
Indeed, the essence of spirituality often transcends organized religion, allowing individuals to explore and express their beliefs in diverse ways. For instance, mindfulness and meditation practices, which have roots in Buddhism but have been secularized to some extent in the West, offer a way to cultivate spiritual awareness without religious connotations. This shows that spiritual concepts can indeed be discussed and appreciated outside the confines of specific religious traditions.

Furthermore, your point about every individual being inherently spiritual, regardless of religious affiliation, opens up an inclusive dialogue about consciousness. This approach allows us to explore how different cultures and philosophies understand the human spirit and consciousness, which can enrich our collective understanding.

How might we continue to develop a discourse on spirituality and consciousness that embraces both religious and non-religious perspectives, fostering a deeper understanding across diverse viewpoints?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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