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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:ok, first of all i'd like to say this thread is not for bagging religion, there are many other threads where you can feel free to critique religion as you please.

basically i've been thinking for a while how many people talk about the dominance of religion, how in history people were generally more religious than they are now. i have a problem with this belief. because whereever i look in history i can see the likelyhood that there were many non-believers of the dominant religion of their time.

for example, god cleanesed the earth allowing only noahs family to live, why? because people had turned away from him, this could be an example of a majority of people not being believers, even before other recorded history began.
Next is Buddha, siddartha was raised as a hindu as far as i know, yet he turned away from that faith and sought other knowledge, with many people slowly joining him, showing that at least some people must have doubted that religion.
The time of christ, where pagans seem rampant according to the bible.
The spread of islam, where wars were started to spread the faith to non-believers.
the middleages, where people are labeled witches and burnt at the stake for alledgedly practicing witchcraft instead of christianity.
nowadays, where science is the reason for people to turn away from religion(i mean this in a general way, i believe that science can support religion) and people are saying that not as many people believe in religions anymore.

basically i get the feeling that there has always been a silent group of doubters all over the world, but seeing as it has often been major religions that keep recorded history that silent group has gone somewhat unnoticed. i think when people say there are less religious people now they are incorrect, i think that there has always been many believers and also many non-believers

what do you guys think?


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:I think it depends, there used to be a lot more people who insisted on things like leaving gifts for well sprites, but the organized churches have often fought tooth and nail to get accepted.....

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Written by: Mr Majestik
for example, god cleanesed the earth allowing only noahs family to live, why? because people had turned away from him, this could be an example of a majority of people not being believers, even before other recorded history began.



Actually.... God was reported to have done that. The Bible cant be undeniably proven as either Fact or Fiction for a very long time, possibly ever.
And Im sure whoever wrote, what I belive to be the worlds greatest storybook, wrote in that God punished the non belivers so that anyone who didnt believe what the Bible said, or Christianity in general, would be forced into adapting these beliefs otherwise they wold feel that God would punish them.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.


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DoktorSkell
DoktorSkell

addict
Location: Van Diemans Land
Member Since: 11th Jan 2005
Total posts: 475
Posted:Christianity and infact all religions are still around purelly for the fact that they are based on a system of fear.

Christianity, Judaism (<--- basically the same thing) and islam say that if you dont believe in and worship their god. You will go to hell.

Simple.

Its a system of control.


Fair luna bright, fair luna moon
it shines at night but fades too soon
fair luna moon, fair luna bright
forever we dance
we dance under starlight

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Ummmmmm .... Jews don't belive in Hell, sorry! Nor are christianity and judaism basically the same thing christianty and islam are possibly a bit closer even.... now!

The control thing, yes, christianity, islam, confucicism(sp, dang), hinduism, all very heavily used for control. Judaism has been used on and off for control, but with less sucess and over smaller populations. Many religions are more open and community based tho, and part of the reason they ARN'T as dominant is because they don't fight back for their own control against the power-hungry ones....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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DoktorSkell
DoktorSkell

addict
Location: Van Diemans Land
Member Since: 11th Jan 2005
Total posts: 475
Posted:Written by: Kyrian

Nor are christianity and judaism basically the same thing



Christianity is a jewish religion.


Fair luna bright, fair luna moon
it shines at night but fades too soon
fair luna moon, fair luna bright
forever we dance
we dance under starlight

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:umm, it must have been the way i've written it, but i'm not sure you've understood what i mean. everyone knows religions controll people, the thing i'm trying to get at is that there has always been people that doubt the religions. for example the battle between catholics and protestants in ireland, i really dont believe that all irish are either catholic or protestant, yet that is what would appear to be the case(to me) as its all the religion news that i hear about from that part of the world.

i'm just saying that despite history saying 'this is the dominant religion for this time and place' its usually forgotten that many people wouldn't have believed that religion for a second

@UCOf, i know the bible is unproven. but i think that is irrelevant to the point i'm trying to make, the story just shows that there were always doubters


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Psychaotica
newbie
Location: The Peach Kingdom
Member Since: 3rd Jan 2006
Total posts: 20
Posted:Written by: Kyrian

Nor are christianity and judaism basically the same thing



Jesus was a jew. And as stated earlier, christianity is a jewish religion.


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:confused christianity is a jewish religion????

Where have I spent the last 2000 years? Neither do Jews believe in Jesus to be a prophet nor do they accept the New Testament - right?

This would be the same statement as to say: Buddhism is a Hindu religion... ubbloco

One derived from the other and is certainly no part of the former. There is an evolution in the spiritual "science", as in any other.

I also oppose that religion controls people. If you refer to religion as a tool to gain control over yourself, I would be much more sympathetic to your query. smile

Basically I'd wish to see a clear destinction between the underlying philosophy and the later religion. What the Bible states is not necessarily what Jesus, or even Mose has said. It's what people made out of it. It has been changed and modified over the centuries.

Even in a nowadays thread (within 20sec's) people modify what one has said - what's your guess over the timespan of a few hundred years?

offtopic spank ok....

@Majestik: I agree completely. Of course it's not hard to say "I believe" if there's a "priest"(s little helper) who holds a match to the pile of wood under you, or a knife to your throat.

Indonesia is believed to be one of the biggest Muslim countries of the world, hence they do not practice the Islam but tstill their unique form of animism. In India you will find pictures of Krishna and Jesus side by side - what would you call them then HinduChrists?

As to everything: Render and experience for yourself - don't believe it just because... Draw a destinct line between the philosophy, the belief and the temple. shrug meditate


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:I think a lot of the time a religion seems dominant in certain periods of history because during those periods of history that particular church wanted people to think that.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: UnbeatenChampionOfFighting

Written by: Mr Majestik
for example, god cleanesed the earth allowing only noahs family to live, why? because people had turned away from him, this could be an example of a majority of people not being believers, even before other recorded history began.


Actually.... God was reported to have done that. The Bible cant be undeniably proven as either Fact or Fiction for a very long time, possibly ever.


From the evidence it's extremely unlikely that the bible is literaly true. A world-wide flood and a pan-species popultion bottleneck would have to have left some kind of trace especially if it happened only three thousand years ago or so. You need to go to America to find mainstream belief in the bible's literal truth in a western country nowadays.

I think it's only been relatively recently that athieism has become a logical choice. A thousand years or so ago god would have been the only explanation for a myriad of phenomena so it would have been a perfectly rational exlanation, perhaps more so than disbelief.[/museings]

Back on topic I think that the small degree of control a religion can exert over some people can be a useful thing. Not everybody is capable of doing things alturisticly and needs a carrot-and-stick approach in order for them to behave themselves. In christianity and islam the carrot is the prospects of heaven and the stick is eternal damnnation. By effectivly tricking (in my opinion, of course wink) otherwise selfish people into behaving responsibly, even kindly, you can create a much more pleasant and efficient society. The morality of such a situation is a completely different matter however. And of course when things get taken too far things become very unpleasant with crusades and jihads and what not.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:I did make an ontopic post the first reply!

For example, monogomy, which still was pretty much unaccepted in 800/900 AD. I'm not a lot further on in the book I've been reading, so I can't tell you when the switch was made, but at least in england it was pretty steady pre magna-carta. Oddly, england seems to have been more willing to accept monogomy than mainland europe, despite that their population was almost completly made of former europeans after the saxon invasion... but thats not on topic blah blah blah anyway! The point is that some churches work very hard to exert control but once they gain it it tends to multiply itself by spreading thru generations...


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)
From the evidence it's extremely unlikely that the bible is literaly true. A world-wide flood and a pan-species popultion bottleneck would have to have left some kind of trace especially if it happened only three thousand years ago or so.



One might consider of how big the world in fact was at this time.. in the perception of man at least smile many parts of todays landscape was blank then. A flooding of a small part of todays "world" could have been interpreted as a world wide destruction. This part of the Bible is speaking of a time long gone by (if I had to estimate - maybe even 8 - 10.000 BC.)

Written by: jeff(fake)
A thousand years or so ago god would have been the only explanation for a myriad of phenomena so it would have been a perfectly rational exlanation, perhaps more so than disbelief.



If god is in all and all is in god - which is what a monotheism actually does state - also scientific approach cannot deter or rationalise that belief.

But to set the record of my previous post straight: Hindu in fact is a patchwork of many different religions - which makes it so attractive to many. Hindu accept a wide variety of practices as one way to god and a variety of deities as various emanations of the same - which is why so many different religions can co-exist (mostly) peaceful within Indian borders.

IMO the key to the problem is for example when I say: I AM RIGHT - and YOU ARE WRONG... and even step further to force my RIGHT upon your WRONG. This is when all goes down the drain...

Do we need priests or cops to tell us what is right and what is wrong, or will our hearts be developed enough one day that we in fact all become like "our creator"? Which is, what Buddhism aims for.

-----------------------------------------------
If you have silenced someone - it doesn't necessarily mean you have convinced him...


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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animatEd
animatEd

1 + 1 = 3
Location: Bristol UK
Member Since: 31st Aug 2004
Total posts: 3540
Posted:It is quite a known fact that the Catholic Church is one of the most corrupt organisations in history...



If the huge flood, noah etc story were true, that would make everybody in the world descended from inbreds... Hell, if Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, surely the population after them would be so inbred, that it would have developed such disability and defect that it would've died out any way, not to mention that they only had two sons, Cain and Abel... doesn't it take a man and a woman to breed? I agree with UCoF, it is the best selling Story book of all time, but in my opinion, to follow it as a religion, is kinda like forming a religion from the hit cartoon, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.



The only thing that the muslims and christians and jews have fought about for years, is not which God to follow, but which person was the true prophet of God.



The best quote I've ever heard (from the film Stigmata, which I actually find way more believable than the bible) is:



'The kingdom of god is inside you, and all around you, not in mansions of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a Stone, and you will find me'


Empty your mind. Be formless, Shapeless, like Water.
Put Water into a cup, it becomes the cup, put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, or it can Crash.
Be Water My Friend.

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:YAY! smile

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: Mr Majestik

basically i've been thinking for a while how many people talk about the dominance of religion, how in history people were generally more religious than they are now.



I think it really depends on what you are meaning by "religious".
I am seeing alot of reference to only the mainstream, widely accepted religions, those with a strongly known and widespread mythos and governing system.
In true, honest to goodness documented history (meaning not the bible), *every* tribe that has ever exsisted has demonstrated having a religious structure and pioty. Even the so-called witches HAD a religion, they simply didn't believe in the one that would oppress their beliefs.

However, in this day and age there are more people turning away from faith on the whole. There are supposedly more documented athiests and agnostics than ever, which is something I do not think you would have found commonly before the age of science. Even those with science still tended to believe in something divine (Egyptians, Mayans, etc).

That is actually what is meant by the statement that there are less religious people today, and I do believe it to be true.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:While there seem to be more fanatics around, I think people are less religious now mainly due to better access to education.



Like when you say "where science is the reason for people to turn away from religion" do you mean people are better educated now, and less gullible to superstition?



Also, the Church had real political power back then.







If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Science plays a large role in Islam where the current view is that science is truth and god is truth. However there is a lot of conflict in the evolution sphere since the Koran repeating the genesis creation story.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Sorry, don't see any science behind Islam. Though you are right, Genesis is a story.

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Philosophically rather than in the core religeous texts. And it kind of breaks down in practise.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Leaning_Towards_Corruption


If the huge flood, noah etc story were true, that would make everybody in the world descended from inbreds... Hell, if Adam and Eve were the first man and woman, surely the population after them would be so inbred, that it would have developed such disability and defect that it would've died out any way, not to mention that they only had two sons, Cain and Abel... doesn't it take a man and a woman to breed? I agree with UCoF, it is the best selling Story book of all time, but in my opinion, to follow it as a religion, is kinda like forming a religion from the hit cartoon, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.




Actually the Bible names 3 sons (you forgot Seth) and also says that they had both sons and daughters besides the three named ones.

Biologically, Adam and Eve (and their children for many generations) would have had complete, perfect human DNA that contained every trait that we see manifested in humans. They probably would have resembled a mixing of every person currently on earth. Inbreeding is a problem now because errors and problems in the DNA in two people pile up. In a human population before mutations and loss of genetic info, there would be no problem with inbreeding.

Does a set of beliefs have to believe in something supernatural in order to be called a religion? I usually treat atheistic naturalism as a religion. The belief that there is nothing outside of our physical universe is based on faith just as much as any other religion, since no experiment has yet been invented that can test for the presence of the supernatural.

There is a strong push today among naturalists to require people to assent to the truth of their beliefs. Naturalism presupposes that everything can be explained without the presence of the supernatural, and many teachers (particularly in higher education) require students to work within a naturalistic worldview. In the U.S., it used to be illegal to teach students about the theory that humans may have come from a lower life form. Now, the power has shifted and it is illegal to teach students about the theory that life may have come from a higher life form.

The decision to endorse one view to the exclusion of the other is independent of popular opinion. It is generally justified on the basis that it is the correct view. I suspect that even if there is a massive shift toward naturalism, the people that believe it will be just as intolerant as any other religion to those that will not agree with them.

In most public forums I would expect naturalists to chastise me for even making this comparison, so strong is their faith in the truth of what they believe. But perhaps the popularity of skepticism and relativism will cause most naturalists to embrace agnosticism rather than dogmatic atheism.


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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:You are confusing strong athieism with weak athieism (some may say agnosticism). You wouldn't believe that I have the newly resurrected Christ trussed up in my wardrobe, but nor do you go around actively disbelieving in it. It is the same for me and religion. If something exists but it can't be seen, felt, heard or detected in any way or influence us in anyway then how is it any different from something that doesn't exist? I can't prove that god doesn't exist, you can't prove he does. There isn't any reason to suppose that he exists so why believe that he exists, let alone worship him? Ultimate truth is a pretention of religion, not science.

Also you've become confused on the subject of teaching creationism in America. It can be taught, but not in a science class on the rather obvious grounds that it isn't science.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:Heh, where have you been jeff, it *so* is taught in science classes....

offtopic


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:I think the last line of my post makes it clear that I understand the distinction between what you call "strong" and "weak" atheism.

Whether or not creationism belongs in a "science class" depends entirely on how you define the word. Some creationists would argue that since science class should teach only that which is observable and provable, which would exclude the theory that life came about as a result of random chance.

The things your post says about God can be said about any theory of origin, and most of what is taught in history class. Shall we then not teach about the theory of evolution or Socrates merely because we cannot easily test for their existence?

The idea that everything has a natural explanation is a philosophical choice. To teach it as a scientific fact which supports one theory of origin over another is inappropriate in a science class. If you we wish to leave origin theories out of science class, that is fine by me, but I do not like seeing different interpretations of evidence excluded merely because the people in power do not think that they are correct. I doubt that the ACLU would have been happy with the theory of human evolution being restricted to a course in comparative religions, since it is most interesting when applied to another subject such as history or archeology.

Im not advocating that the people in power try to accommodate everyone. In fact, I think that a religiously pluralistic society is not ideal. However, I believe that, as you have pointed out, the fact that the favored view is taught as science while a competing view is not given the same treatment shows that even a non-supernatural religion held by the powerful results in circumstance similar to the historic examples given by other posts. Perhaps what we are dealing with is not a religious phenomenon but an issue of human behavior in power relationships.

A good example to consider is the man who proposed that if doctors washed their hands it might prevent disease. This theory conflicted with the popular science of the time, and was derided. Any strongly held belief, religious, scientific, or political, seems to want to put down alternative views.


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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:Written by: Patriach917

The idea that everything has a natural explanation is a philosophical choice. To teach it as a scientific fact which supports one theory of origin over another is inappropriate in a science class.




umm The basis of scientific theory is that everything has a cause? Isn't it? Even if we can't observe the cause, then it's perfectly ok for a scientist to hypothesize about the existance of the cause. Isn't that the idea behind early models of the Atom, and Dark Matter?

And with your statement that:

Written by: Patriarch917

the fact that the favored view is taught as science while a competing view is not given the same treatment shows that even a non-supernatural religion held by the powerful results in circumstance similar to the historic examples given by other posts.




No, it doesn't. It shows that one theory (everything has a cause) is demonstratably fact. The other theory (not everything has a cause) is NOT. It's not the opression of religion by science in our curriculem or whatever, it's that one has been made mostly redundant by the advent of the other.

Written by: Patriarch917

A good example to consider is the man who proposed that if doctors washed their hands it might prevent disease. This theory conflicted with the popular science of the time, and was derided.



Well considering that this was just after Pasteur's "Germ Theory" then Science was hardly established as a social division/discipline. It was about this time that "Spontaneous Generation" of insects in dirt had been disproved...


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Written by: Mr Majestik

ok, first of all i'd like to say this thread is not for bagging religion, there are many other threads where you can feel free to critique religion as you please.

basically i've been thinking for a while how many people talk about the dominance of religion, how in history people were generally more religious than they are now. i have a problem with this belief.



I certainly agree with this up to a certain point. Where and when is the question. If you are talking about the few last centuries in the west - I cannot agree, as the "average" population has worshipped more at this time.

Written by: MrMajestik

because whereever i look in history i can see the likelyhood that there were many non-believers of the dominant religion of their time.




This is definately a fact, it's a question of "how many" - as stated before, Indonesia is for example considered to host the largest muslim population on the planet - which is a shallow conclusion. People there are practicing their animism (along), or sometimes their variety of Islam - which has not necessarily to do with the original script (Koran).
In parts of India you find Jesus next to Shiva (just to make sure wink) - there Jesus is widely accepted as a "Guru" (Teacher) and this is what prophets basically are: teachers

Written by: Mr. Majestik
for example, god cleanesed the earth allowing only noahs family to live, why? because people had turned away from him, this could be an example of a majority of people not being believers, even before other recorded history began.



We are talking mostly about a time maybe 6-10.000 B.C. or further back. The reference of this time in the bible is most likely about the areas of the mediterranean (around the mare nostrum) the middle point of the world - by this you already get a clue how limited the view of this record is. A natural desaster like the tsunami may easily have happened and wiped out 90% of the population... the above statements are no proof that this has never happened.

Written by: MrMajestik
Next is Buddha, siddartha was raised as a hindu as far as i know, yet he turned away from that faith and sought other knowledge, with many people slowly joining him, showing that at least some people must have doubted that religion. The time of christ, where pagans seem rampant according to the bible. The spread of islam, where wars were started to spread the faith to non-believers.
the middleages, where people are labeled witches and burnt at the stake for alledgedly practicing witchcraft instead of christianity.
nowadays, where science is the reason for people to turn away from religion (i mean this in a general way, i believe that science can support religion) and people are saying that not as many people believe in religions anymore.



By looking at the philosophies and understanding that these have been appropriate for the specific period - it becomes obvious that over time and evolution that the underlying philosophy has to adapt to the changing fortune of time.

Theories go that the first belief in fact was a monotheism, that "degenerated" in a polytheism... just in order to come back to a monotheism. One of the first attempts (if not the first) have been made by the Jews. Another theory claimes that they have been a part of the ancient egyptian tribes - not their prisoners and that mose in fact was an egyptian ruler (a ruling "pharao" - not just a lost and found child - echnaton to be precise) who got "awakened" by getting aware of the present practices (the kind of incest at the time - a pharao would marry his sister, who was in fact his mother) .

Also there was a shift around 500 B.C. as the power of the pries-cast was getting too strong and the rituals too difficult, so noone could understand them anymore and noone could folow them, but the priests (who claimed to be the only connection between man and god - much like the pope today). There was an uprising against the priests and Brahmans in order to take away their power and to restore "freedom".

As stated in a former (different) thread: Infomation is given to children (and to mankind) step by step. First all is magic and a miracle, then there is an explanation for everything, and finally all becomes magic and mysterious again. The aproach of Buddhism is one of the most reasonable - whereas personally I do not support the theory of "asketic practice".

Written by: Mr.Majestik
basically i get the feeling that there has always been a silent group of doubters all over the world, but seeing as it has often been major religions that keep recorded history that silent group has gone somewhat unnoticed. i think when people say there are less religious people now they are incorrect, i think that there has always been many believers and also many non-believers

what do you guys think?



So I certainly follow up on your impression. smile

To round it up: Knowledge about the world is liberating - hence it doesn't explain the phenomenon itself. Some things have to be experienced still in order to complete the picture. This has nothing to do with holding on to a straw, or to mystify existence. It's merely "getting awareness".

Today (in the west) we do not necessarily get punished and killed for our beliefs anymore (errm - maybe) we do not necessarily have to follow the mainstream, we can make up our own ("patchwork-religion") and see how happy and far we can get with it.

After all religion is a) about getting faith and strength (to do the right thing and to stand by the right principles) b) selfcontrol over ones own (righteous) actions and c) forming a society that can live together in peace, with least necessary control by authorities (the inner cop and jugde) and least threat from outside.

Following other peoples principles and therefore become (like) them is impossible. We are all individual and following in other peoples footsteps is pointless (as one doesn't leave his own wink ) - this can only carry a certain part of the path, but a fair bit of the road... the final steps have to be taken individually - there is no way around it.

And these days (in the west) it is (most likely) somehow possible wink

That's how I see it - your turn meditate


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:
Yes Mr Majestik, I think even today there is intolerance to people that dont believe in the One god. If you say you dont believe a supreme creator, then I suspect many would see you as a bit odd.

Ive discussed my opinions on religion, with a Muslim colleague from Jordan. He said, if I said stuff like that in Egypt, they would kill me. This made me realise how great it was to live in a country with a democratic government.

My view on the source of our need to believe, is that it came from a necessity to understand nature to survive. So we believed in natural gods. Then along comes Zoroaster, with the One god, supreme being thing and we start to loose our ties to reality.

Patriach917, creatism is more credible without the quasi science smile

A few quotes from the above BBC link.

Multifaith note: Judaism, Christianity and Islam are known as 'Abrahamic' religions, or 'Religions of the Book.

On Atheism as Opposition to Religion. It's perfectly possible to be both religious and an atheist. Virtually all Buddhists manage it, as do many members of other faiths.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Creationism without quasi science is at least logicaly consistant. The fact of the matter is that there is a large bulk of mutualy supporting evidence that the earth is about 6 billions years old and life has been evolving since that time. Old school creationism states that all this evidence was fabricated by god to test our faith and there isn't any way to argue with that except philosophicaly with plausability.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

Also you've become confused on the subject of teaching creationism in America. It can be taught, but not in a science class on the rather obvious grounds that it isn't science.



In many areas if evolution is taught in a science class then creationism must be taught as well. And it isn't actually on the grounds that it isn't science. We have laws in place which seperate church and state. Public schools are owned and governed over by the state and therefore must observe a seperation (theoretically that is).


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Come on jeff(fake), are you serious ?

Written by:
Old school creationism states that all this evidence was fabricated by god to test our faith and there isn't any way to argue with that except philosophicaly with plausibility



What a load of old cobblers, not even in a parallel universe.

smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

Creationism without quasi science is at least logicaly consistant. The fact of the matter is that there is a large bulk of mutualy supporting evidence that the earth is about 6 billions years old and life has been evolving since that time. Old school creationism states that all this evidence was fabricated by god to test our faith and there isn't any way to argue with that except philosophicaly with plausability.



It would be more correct to state that there is a large bulk of mutually supporting interpretations of evidence that claim the earth is that old and that life has evolved from non-life. While I am sure there are some misguided people who think that that God planted "fake" evidence, I have never met or read anything from such a person, and they are neither mainstream nor orthodox.

Aside from those you mentioned, serious scientists and laypersons who believe in Creation work from the same evidence as everyone else, only with different assumptions. An easy to understand example is the grand canyon. Someone who assumes uniformity will look at the river in the bottom, calculate how long that river would take to carve out such a canyon at it's present rate, and decide that the canyon is very old. Someone who assumes that there was once a global flood will be more likely to assume that the canyon was formed quickly by very large amounts of water, and that the present flow was not responsible for the bulk of the erosion.

Similarly, one who assumes an old earth might come up with a theory that, since there are fossils on top of mountains, that much of the world was flat and covered by a shallow sea long ago (my science books taught this as a child, I think the theory has been abandoned now). Someone who believes in the global flood will reach a different, obvious conclusion.

Some say that the discovery of soft, unfossilized dinosaur tissue indicates that the dinosaur did not die 65 million years ago. Others working within the conventional worldview claim that it means no such thing.

Evidence does not speak for itself. It must be interpreted, usually based on assumptions. Evolutionary naturalism, like creationism, is a set of philosophical assumptions that can be used to interpret evidence. There are other theories, but these are the most popular and most interesting. Neither has been conclusively proved or disproved, and I doubt that any experiment can be invented that can disprove either theory in the near future. Any claim that one theory has been disproved is quasi-science at best.

To called evolution a philosophical choice that provides assumptions with which evidence is interpreted infuriates some people, since they very much believe it to be true. The word fundamentalist has lost almost all meaning, but it might be helpful to consider its application in this context.


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