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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Holland Addison wrote: March 3rd, 2024, 12:47 pm Given that humans are spiritual beings, I do think it would be challenging to keep religious references out of discussions about consciousness. Humans are conscious of their surroundings thanks to their mental faculties. As spiritual creatures, we are in sync with the God within us and the God within others. Therefore, it is impossible to talk about consciousness without also talking about our awareness of God.
While I personally do not subscribe to the concept of a God in the traditional sense, I'm intrigued by the notion of feeling a profound connection or awareness that could be described as "the God within us and the God within others." This idea suggests an interconnectedness and a depth to consciousness that transcends mere cognitive processes.

Your mention of humans being inherently spiritual beings and the challenge of separating religious references from discussions about consciousness prompts me to reflect on the diverse interpretations of what it means to be conscious and connected. The concept of a universal consciousness, or collective unconscious as proposed by Carl Jung, touches upon similar realms of thought—suggesting that there is a shared foundation of consciousness that connects us all, beyond individual experiences and beliefs.

I'm curious to explore further how you understand and experience this connection to "the God within." How does this awareness shape your perception of consciousness and your interactions with the world and others? Additionally, how do you navigate conversations about consciousness with individuals who may have different beliefs or conceptual frameworks?
“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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Nqobile Mashinini Tshabalala wrote: March 3rd, 2024, 1:16 pm I believe we absolutely can discuss spiritual stuff without religion. However, for some of us, our religions are our way of life. We, therefore, cannot and do not desire to separate ourselves from our religions.
Your insight offers a valuable perspective on how deeply interwoven religion can be with an individual's identity and daily life, highlighting that for many, religion transcends belief to become a living, breathing way of life. This intertwining of spirituality and religion as a way of life indeed poses an interesting question when considering the modern world, where the spectrum of belief ranges widely from staunch religiosity to secularism.

Given the diverse global landscape today, marked by an increase in secularism in some areas and a deepening of religious fervor in others, it prompts us to ponder: Is religion still the way of life for many, or are we witnessing a shift towards a more secular or spiritually eclectic approach to life and consciousness?

In your experience, how does this adherence to religion as a way of life interact with the growing pluralism and secularism of contemporary society? Do you find that religion's role as a guiding principle in daily life is changing, or does it remain steadfast amidst the evolving cultural and spiritual landscape?
“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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Fanny Lebura Ueh wrote: March 3rd, 2024, 6:41 pm I do not think it is too hard; it is dependent on where the logic is drawn from at that point. In a world where a lot of humans work to draw logical links from non-religious contexts, then it definitely wouldn't be difficult.
It's true that in attempts to logically approach religious beliefs, individuals often encounter conflicts, especially when these beliefs intersect with scientific understanding or personal experiences that challenge traditional doctrines.

For example, the concept of creation as presented in many religious texts often conflicts with the scientific explanations provided by evolutionary biology and cosmology. Another area of contention arises with the religious interpretations of consciousness itself—where some traditions may attribute consciousness to a soul or divine spark, while others, leaning on neuroscience, view consciousness purely as a function of the brain's physical processes.

These conflicts not only highlight the tension between faith and reason but also raise questions about how we define truth and knowledge. The attempt to reconcile these differences has led some to adopt a more metaphorical or allegorical interpretation of religious texts, while others find themselves in a state of cognitive dissonance, struggling to hold onto their spiritual beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence.

In your experience, how do these conflicts manifest when people try to logically approach religious concepts? Do you find that such attempts at reconciliation enhance or diminish the spiritual significance 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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Amarachi Nwogo wrote: March 4th, 2024, 6:47 am I think it is hard because most of people's beliefs about consciousness are based on religious views.
Thank you for your contribution. Your observation suggests that for many, separating consciousness from religious frameworks might feel like navigating uncharted territories. This intertwining of belief systems and existential inquiries certainly enriches the dialogue but also presents challenges in striving for a more secular or universal understanding of consciousness.

Given the diversity of religious traditions and the vast array of beliefs about consciousness they encompass, I'm curious to hear more about your experiences or observations in this realm. How do you see these religious views influencing discussions on consciousness in different cultural or philosophical contexts? Moreover, do you believe there's a pathway to exploring consciousness that can resonate across these varied perspectives, or is the conversation inherently fragmented by the diversity of religious belief systems?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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

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As a religious person, I will say that religious ideas often come up when talking about spiritual topics like love and consciousness. This happens because religion has influenced how we think about these things for a long time. But I also think that you can talk about spiritual things without bringing up religion if you want to. It just depends on who you're talking to and how you want to explain things.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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It is very hard because in the real sense religion is the core of out consciousness dna. Religion shapes whatever we think more than we can imagine.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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For religious people, I think it would be hard to do that. However, for the non religious people. They would have no problem doing that.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

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Osakwe Emmanuel wrote: March 16th, 2024, 9:29 am As a religious person, I will say that religious ideas often come up when talking about spiritual topics like love and consciousness. This happens because religion has influenced how we think about these things for a long time. But I also think that you can talk about spiritual things without bringing up religion if you want to. It just depends on who you're talking to and how you want to explain things.
Thank you for sharing your perspective.

However, considering love as a concept, its universal nature allows it to transcend religious boundaries. On one hand, love can be deeply entwined with religious beliefs, where divine love or the love one feels within a religious context is seen as a reflection of a higher power’s love for creation. This intertwines love with faith, making it a core element of religious experiences and teachings.

On the other hand, love's universality means it can be understood and experienced outside of religious contexts, tapping into the basic human need for connection and empathy. This aspect of love as a fundamental human experience suggests that it doesn't necessarily require a religious framework to be valid or meaningful. Love, in its essence, can be a pure expression of human consciousness and connection, independent of any religious affiliation.

This duality poses an intriguing question: can love, as a component of consciousness, retain its depth and significance without being anchored in religious doctrine? Is it possible that by exploring love from both religious and non-religious perspectives, we can arrive at a more holistic understanding of its role in human consciousness?
“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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KELVIN KAY 2 wrote: March 16th, 2024, 1:04 pm It is very hard because in the real sense religion is the core of out consciousness dna. Religion shapes whatever we think more than we can imagine.
Your point about religion being central to our consciousness DNA is intriguing and highlights the profound influence of religious thought on our understanding of concepts like consciousness. However, considering the perspective of atheists who do not subscribe to religious beliefs, their understanding and exploration of consciousness still exist and are often based on scientific, philosophical, or existential frameworks.

Atheists might approach consciousness from a materialistic perspective, viewing it as a product of neural processes without any religious or spiritual underpinnings. This doesn't necessarily diminish the depth or complexity of their understanding of consciousness; rather, it offers a different lens through which to examine the same phenomenon.

Given this, I'm curious about the basis of your statement regarding religion's role in shaping consciousness. How do you reconcile the diverse ways in which people, including atheists, experience and conceptualize consciousness? Do you think that the influence of religion on our understanding of consciousness is universal, or could it be that our perception of consciousness is shaped by a broader range of cultural, philosophical, and individual factors?
“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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Ije Bons wrote: March 17th, 2024, 7:39 pm For religious people, I think it would be hard to do that. However, for the non religious people. They would have no problem doing that.
Your distinction between religious and non-religious people's engagement with consciousness raises important considerations. Knowing about a religion and holding religious beliefs represent two different levels of engagement with religious thought. Someone might be well-versed in religious teachings without personally subscribing to them, while being religious implies a deeper, personal commitment to those beliefs and practices.

This distinction likely influences how individuals think about consciousness. For the religious, their understanding of consciousness might be deeply intertwined with their faith, viewing consciousness as an aspect of the soul or a connection to the divine. In contrast, non-religious individuals might approach consciousness from a more secular perspective, perhaps seeing it as an emergent property of brain processes or a phenomenon to be explored through scientific inquiry.

Given this, I'm curious about your perspective on what affects an individual's thoughts on consciousness more significantly: is it the knowledge of religious teachings or the personal commitment to religious beliefs? And why do you think that is?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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

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For someone who is deeply religious, it can be hard to read this book without considering their religious beliefs. Our values, shaped by our faith, affect how we interpret what we read. But I don't see this as a bad thing because everyone's reading experience is unique.
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

Post by Ukaegbu Confidence »

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.
Austin Rhodes
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

Post by Austin Rhodes »

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.
Abdul Jah
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Re: Is it too hard to exclude religious references from discussions about consciousness?

Post by Abdul Jah »

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

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Mary Clarkee wrote: March 26th, 2024, 3:51 am For someone who is deeply religious, it can be hard to read this book without considering their religious beliefs. Our values, shaped by our faith, affect how we interpret what we read. But I don't see this as a bad thing because everyone's reading experience is unique.
Thank you for your perspective. Your point about individual reading experiences being shaped by personal values and faith is insightful. However, do you think this approach might lead to biased interpretations, especially if the author's intent was not to embed the narrative within a religious framework? Could there be a risk of misinterpreting the text if one were to overlay their religious beliefs onto it, potentially distorting the intended message? How can readers navigate this delicate balance between their interpretative lens and the author's original intentions, particularly in discussions around universal themes like consciousness?
“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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