Monday, 20 April 2009

Religion is Useless


I've talked about this before, but some things need to be repeated until they sink...

I keep hearing about how science is one way of knowing about the world, while religion is another way of knowing about the world. That's a load of BS. Religion is a way of making stuff up and guessing one knows about the world, while pretending to have knowledge that one does not possess. Point of fact: we, as humans, have never learned one fact about the world through religion/prayer/revelation/etc. Not one.

Now, I'm not saying that theologians have not learned things. Sure, some theologians have learned about human behavior. But, they did not do these things by engaging in religion, but instead by engaging in scientific principles of observation and testing! We learn by doing science, not by praying, revelation, and any by making up some religious tenet (which is how they are all made anyway).

Theists, prove me wrong. Name one verifiable thing that we learned through religion. I've asked this countless times of various theists and have never gotten an answer, yet those theists always maintain that religion is a way of knowing about the world. So, my counter-question is why would anyone make that claim if they can't even give one example of something that we have learned from religion or something that we know from religion?

69 comments:

Tigerboy said...

Not only have we learned nothing from religion, but religion has stood directly in the way of virtually every attempt at a clearer understanding of our true circumstances, a clearer understanding of how the universe actually looks and operates.

Religion, because it offers an alternate view of reality, confuses the hell out of people.

Most people can't even name the planets in our solar system, so a universe peopled with cherubim and seraphim, flying to and fro, playing their golden harps, seems like a reasonable representation of reality.

In the face of overwhelming evidence for evolutionary theory, we still have people claiming that the best way to educate our children, in publicly funded schools, is to teach them that intelligent design should be considered equally valid.

The teaching of mythology as reality appeals to our natural tendency toward lazy thinking.

It's difficult to understand all the vagaries of atmospheric manifestations, so . . .

What causes wind? God. What causes storms? God. What causes ice crystals? God. What causes tornadoes? God. What causes lightening? God. What causes the jet-stream? God. What causes snow? God. What causes El Nino? God. What causes hale stones? God. What causes climate change? God. What causes rainbows? God.

It is the answer of a totally dull mind with no understanding of true causation. It would be seriously laughable, if only it did not represent the truly infantile level of scientific understanding of the majority of people in this country, if only it didn't threaten the safety and security of us all.

It would be seriously laughable, except these are the people who will determine whether we should fund stem-cell research. These are the people who will determine whether a woman should have the right to control what happens to her own body. These are the people who will determine whether suffering, terminally ill people should be allowed to choose the hour and method of their own death. That's when the joke stops being funny.

What causes contagious, rampant stupidity? God.

Pine said...

Who claims religion teaches us scientific knowledge? Who says that science leads us to moral conclusions?

If anyone believes the purpose of the Bible was to teach sciene, then I would like them to show why they feel that way. Most Christians believe the Bible was written to teach us about God and to teach us about how to have relationship with Him.

Anyone who believes their conclusions about morality based on science had better have some pretty good reasons to back up their claims as well. Science teaches us HOW things work or the way things are... not WHY things work or WHY things are the way they are.

GCT said...

"Who claims religion teaches us scientific knowledge?"

I have not asked for that. What I've asked for is how religion teaches us anything at all.

"Who says that science leads us to moral conclusions?"

A scientific process leads us to moral conclusions, not some deity. Did religion teach us that slavery is wrong, that killing others is wrong, that women and minorities are equal to white men? No, no, and no.

"Most Christians believe the Bible was written to teach us about God and to teach us about how to have relationship with Him."

And, what has it taught us? IOW, what can you say that you know about god? At best, you can express a belief in the attributes of god, not knowledge. If you want to figure out how things work, you turn to science. If you want to guess about stuff you turn to religion.

"Anyone who believes their conclusions about morality based on science had better have some pretty good reasons to back up their claims as well."

First of all, we have learned that morality seems to be evident in many animals, not just humans, so there's an element of heredity in it (learned by science). We also learned the golden rule, for instance, via observation, testing, and reasoning (which itself has its roots in observation and testing). Yeah, there's ample reason to believe that the process of science taught us that as well, not religion.

"Science teaches us HOW things work or the way things are... not WHY things work or WHY things are the way they are."

Science teaches us about reality, what is real. Religion has not increased our human knowledge one iota. So, where else has our knowledge come from?

Pine said...

GCT:

Please tell me by what scientific process we determined that the golden rule is a 'good' moral. Please also tell me how you can scientifically qualify anything as either universally 'good' or 'evil'.

Your question is extremely redundant unless you mean to allow for subjective evidence. If not, then it seems you are asking for scientific evidence to prove the claims of religion supported without the use of the scientific method...

GCT said...

BTW,
"Who claims religion teaches us scientific knowledge?"

YECs do this.

"Please tell me by what scientific process we determined that the golden rule is a 'good' moral."

By the process of observation and reason.

Of course, moral "oughts" are not absolute facts, so it's a bit tenuous to posit this as knowledge.

"Please also tell me how you can scientifically qualify anything as either universally 'good' or 'evil'. "

Universally? You're presupposing that such things exist.

"Your question is extremely redundant unless you mean to allow for subjective evidence."

Not at all. You can claim that you subjectively learned about god, but since you can't know that that is true - all you can do is claim belief - then your subjective "evidence" doesn't count.

"If not, then it seems you are asking for scientific evidence to prove the claims of religion supported without the use of the scientific method..."

The problem for you is that you realize that we only learn through the scientific method, so you wrongly think it is unfair to ask the question at all. It's not. If people are going to assert that religion is a way of knowing about the world, then they need to tell us how it works and what we've learned about the world. That you seem to admit that we have to learn about the world through science simply backs up my point.

Anonymous said...

This is too easy. Religion has taught us how to make good people do evil things! (Weinberg)


Maynard
(I gotta get me one of them blogger accounts)

Tigerboy said...

Morality doesn't come from religion. Morality is not taught, except through observations of our parents, siblings, fellow man, children, and the morally bankrupt.

The morality of God is an absolute. Judgment. Heaven. Hell. Absolutes.

Sorry, moral absolutists, there ain't no such thing. Morality changes depending on the circumstances.

Morality is the social contract we have with our fellow humans, our fellow mammals, our fellow sentient world co-inhabitants.

In other words, if you want to get by, in this world, you better learn the rules. And, you learn 'em by a very early age.

Do you think that you are going to have a happy life, find someone to help you when you are sick, find someone to consent to sex, find someone to cooperate with you in your search for food, find someone who may choose you to be the father/mother of their offspring, etc., if you don't learn behavior that is socially acceptable?

Some species exploit a different strategy. Some species are not social. Is it immoral when a shark commits murder? No. Of course not. That's what sharks do. They are very different, in their interactions with other sharks, other species, than we would be with our fellow humans, other species. They may have some form of Basic Shark Rules of Behavior that must be observed, but they are in no way social animals in the same way that we are.

Is murder wrong for humans because it makes Jesus cry? No. It is wrong because it violates the social contract. Do you want to survive until you can breed? Do you want your offspring to survive? Do you want your genes carried down through the generations? Do you want your genes to figure in the evolution of the species? You BETTER follow the social contract, and teach your offspring to do likewise.

We, a social species, survive, because we follow certain rules about helping one another. We empathize with our fellow man in distress. This is morality, and other animals, certainly other vertebrates, absolutely other mammals, have their own version of it.

THAT is morality, not what's written in the Bible.

Morality is not taught to us by religion. Morality is innate. Humans create morality in order to survive. It is an evolutionary strategy.

Absolutely, morality can be explained in scientific terms, and without much difficulty.

Now, explain the morality of God creating a population of abject sinners, and then roasting them in the fires of Hell for being abject sinners.

Nice guy.

Pine said...

GCT:

If you hold that there is no binding absolute morality in the universe, then I see no reason why one person's subjective morality is better than anyone else's (in terms of fact). Rape is wrong because it is conventionally held to be wrong, not because it is actually wrong. When you write you seem to imply we have 'progressed' from things like oppression of women, slavery, etc. If there is no absolute moral to which to compare our current subjective morality with, then we have not actually progressed. We have merely changed what is conventionally accepted as 'morally right', but in truth nothing has changed and slavery and oppression of women is really ok so long as society as a whole accepts it.

Tigerboy:

So sharks can kill because other sharks don't say it's wrong? So humans can kill each other without violating moral principles so long as most other humans think its ok?

Tigerboy said...

Pine:

That is precisely the point, most humans do not think it's okay to murder. We never have, we never will.

We have absolutely zero need for the Bible, in order to understand that we believe it to be wrong to kill our neighbors, or for our neighbors to believe it to be wrong to kill us. We never have, we never will.

The innate understanding that it is wrong to kill, steal, rape, etc. is one of the evolutionary strategies we have employed so that we might live together, help each other, prosper and grow together. It has helped Homo sapiens succeed.

The vast majority of the members of this tribe of Homo sapiens wishes for basically the same things:

A sturdy, waterproof shelter in which to house ourselves and our offspring.

A safe community of other Homo sapiens among whom we can live and raise our offspring.

To be comfortable, well-fed, free of disease, safe from predators.

To feel that we are being treated fairly by our community of fellow Homo sapiens. Also known as "Equality under the law."

We all understand what it means to want, basically, the same things, safety, health, security, food, sex, comfort. We don't need religion to explain it to us.

We all have a developed mammalian brain, which has, as one of it's features, empathy for our fellow man. We developed this feature, because it was advantageous to our social species. We help each other. We help those we perceive to be deserving of help. Virtually all primates have some form of these behaviors.

We understand what it means to be cold, hungry, wet, suffering. We empathize, and we help, because we understand that we, ourselves, may need help someday. We help each other, we succeed together.

Are there people who violate the social contract? Of course! There are as many different strategies to get through life as there are people! Some people think they have a better plan. They steal, they kill, they rape, they oppress others, they do all kinds of things that we, as a society, recognize as antisocial behaviors.

Do some get away with it? Yes! That's why people keep trying it. Do some profit from it? You bet! It's like the lottery. Most fail, a few succeed.

But, antisocial behavior is a form of disfunction. In general, people who employ antisocial behaviors fail, get caught, are ostracized from their communities. Violating the social contract is NOT a good idea.

We don't need religion to tell us that.

Do some SOCIETIES try immoral, evil strategies? Hey, this nation was built, to some extent, an the oppressed backs of African slaves. Hitler slaughtered Jews. But, eventually, the majority of humans recognize right from wrong. The community of humans, eventually, employs the "Golden Rule."

We all want to live in a world where all people are treated fairly. Morality comes from human empathy, not from a preacher in the sky. We treat others fairly, because we wish such treatment for ourselves.

Empathy is a form of self-protection.

Morality is the rule book we all use in order to live peacefully among other human beings. Moral behavior is how we demonstrate, to the world, that we are deserving of fair treatment, of help, should we need it.

And yes, the rules of moral behavior change, depending upon your circumstances. And yes, what your fellow man judges to be acceptable, or unacceptable, changes. What your fellow man judges to be acceptable has everything to do with whether, or not, you are acting morally.

When we lived in caves, scrabbling for every morsel of food, was there a lot of discussion about the morality of killing animals? Hardly.

Now that we all live right down the street from a well-stocked grocery, with shelves overflowing with fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables, now, some people see the situation differently. It changes. Society changes. Morality changes.

Let's look at one situation from several points of view: You kill a deer.

Other people will have opinions about this action you have taken. Some are already viewing you as evil. You took the innocent life of another being.

Was the deer the mother of young, really cute offspring?

Did those offspring have long eyelashes, like Bambi? (It's a joke, but not really. Big eyes with long eyelashes trigger human empathy for a young child in need. We are hard-wired to care for the helpless.)

Most people would want more information.

Did you kill the deer humanely, or did you cruelly make the deer suffer?

Did you kill the deer with a bow and arrow, because you enjoy the challenge of pitting your basic skills against another, or did you trap it's leg in a bear trap, and then cut off it's living head with a chainsaw, because you are a psychopath?

Did you need that deer meat to feed your starving family?

What if you are a very comfortable, well-fed individual, but you just killed the last example of the rarest species of deer on earth? None left.

The morality of your actions change, depending on the circumstances. Who judges whether your actions are moral, or not? Your fellow man. The rule of law. The boys in blue. A jury of your peers.

You may want there to be a final judge, a wise old man, in a flowing robe, who hands out chocolates, milk, and honey, or eternal damnation, but you know what? That is the childish wishful thinking of the primitive part of our brain. It's not true.

Is life absolutely fair? Do all wrong-doers get caught and punished? Sorry. Do all good people get a big piece of cake, and 72 virgins? Sorry. Life doesn't work that way. Wishful thinking.

IN GENERAL, wrong-doers fail. People who behave properly, according to the social contract, the social contract as understood by our fellow humans, those people generally do better.

Absolute right and wrong? Don't count on it.

GCT said...

Maynard,
LULZ.


Pine,
You're drawing a false dichotomy between absolute morality and complete subjective morality. You would do well to note that this is not correct. Further, absolute is not the same as objective, and we should also not forget the evolutionary aspect of it, which Tigerboy's comment talks about.

Further, I don't see how religion necessarily entails a solution to any moral question. Euthyphro's Dilemma seems rather applicable here.

Pine said...

Tigerboy:

Ok, you claim that as a society murder never has and never will be acceptable. What if one day it is? Then you're ok with it, right? Same with rape? Slavery? Subjegation of women as second class citizens?

Doesn't eugenics claim to offer a better way of evolving? What if the majority of us agreed with the eugenists? Would that make eugenics "ok" in your opinion?

Furthermore, if social acceptance is ALL it takes to make something moral, then I would argue that historically speaking religion has been MUCH more effective at communicating morals than science has as most of our morals as humans throughout history has been based upon religion.


GCT:

I'm not so sure I'm the one who's confused. You wrote: "Did religion teach us that slavery is wrong, that killing others is wrong, that women and minorities are equal to white men? No, no, and no."

Ok well, if there is no absolute morality then there was NOTHING to be taught. We simply changed our minds on these things. And should we change our minds about them again then these actions will become perfectly moral again and we shall look back to the 'dark ages' of prohibition when we limited our conduct due to silly scientific conclusions we no longer hold dear.

GCT said...

Pine,
"Ok well, if there is no absolute morality then there was NOTHING to be taught."

You're still making the same mistake, that it's either absolute morality or no morality. It's a false dichotomy, and invalidates your argument.

"And should we change our minds about them again then these actions will become perfectly moral again and we shall look back to the 'dark ages' of prohibition when we limited our conduct due to silly scientific conclusions we no longer hold dear."

This is a non-sensical argument. We don't do certain things because, as Tigerboy pointed out, we have evolved not to do them. Are you suggesting that we will evolve further into a culture that values rape and murder? That would hardly allow us to propagate our genes.

Further, the point that you are missing is that we have the capability to reason, and we use this reason to make observations, and we figure out pretty quickly that if we go on a murder spree, there's nothing to stop others from murdering us.

Let me ask you this: if you were to learn tomorrow that god does not exist, would you go on a murder/rape spree? Why or why not?

Finally, this all came about because religion does not posit answers to these problems, nor does it actually teach us anything about these things. You have yet to dispute the original point.

Tigerboy said...

Pine:

---"Ok, you claim that as a society murder never has and never will be acceptable. What if one day it is? Then you're ok with it, right? Same with rape? Slavery? Subjegation of women as second class citizens?"

A majority of the human population that suddenly decides that murder and rape are okay, has not the LEAST resemblance to the world as I know it to be.

People's attitudes, regarding that which is fair, generally move in the direction of righting injustices. Social progress includes a tendency, among the general population, to begin to understand that which has been unfair, but had not been generally understood to be unfair.

Greater social justice, not less. Less social justice leads to revolution.

Religious oppression.
Racial oppression.
Unequal treatment of women.
Hateful treatment of homosexuals.
The Civil Rights Movement.

It is very difficult for me to picture the "Legalize Murder NOW Movement" getting much traction.

People have no reason to want that, to fight for that.

When some despot comes along, think Hitler, Stalin, they may develop great power for themselves, and they may do evil things.

Did they last? Or, did humans put a stop to it?

Can you name bad guys that have great power, today? I'm certain that you can. Which is more likely to result in the overthrow of these despots? The Bible? Or, a population that decides they have had enough?

Again, humans want the same basic things. Food, sex, health, security, fairness. We only put up with oppression for so long. The truly oppressed, assuming they are not starving, will rise up and throw off the shackles. People yearn for freedom, social justice, a decent life.

The right to rape and steal? Those don't really inspire coups.

In the TOTALLY UNIMAGINABLE situation where a majority of the human population decides that murder, or any of these antisocial behaviors, is preferable to living in harmony, then anything written in the Bible is not going to stop them. Those humans are in a far better position to decide that which is correct, for them, than the writings of some first-century Palestinian goat herders, or even, you or I.

It won't happen. People don't want to live that way. A society that legalizes rape doesn't sound good to me. It won't sound good to future humans, either. People want their children growing up in a good world, a fair world, a harmonious world. Not a Steal-Whatever-You-Want-World.

No matter what, religion doesn't help.

In fact, religion is the ONE THING that, with great regularly, will get people to feel they are totally justified in doing horrible things to their fellow man. Religion can even make people act, vote, live, whatever, AGAINST their own best interests.

Suffer now, paradise later.

You end up wasting your ONE and ONLY life, groveling on your knees, begging the empty sky for forgiveness. Wouldn't you rather enjoy this wonderful community of Earthlings, now? Appreciate the beauty that is all around you, my friend, because, I promise you, this is it.

People think that atheism leads to depressing nihilism. Just the opposite, it actually can give you a far greater appreciation for this very precious, very singular event called life.

Pine said...

GCT:

When you state that the moral 'progressions' we've made are the result of our evolution as mankind... it seems to me that you assume those 'progressions' you value are those which will hold. What about prohibition in the US? But I guess you'll argue a majority of people didn't really agree with that. What if we one day discover that a majority of people really never valued women's rights as equals. I guess we could awake from this dark age of prohibition towards woman abuse and get on with the evolution of our society.

So what if we're not dealing with absolutes? You CAN'T define anything as good or bad because they don't exist outside of what we subjectively deem to be good or evil. Please explain, in further detail, this suppossed false dichotomy.

Tigerboy:

You wrote: "a majority of the human population decides that murder, or any of these antisocial behaviors, is preferable to living in harmony, then anything written in the Bible is not going to stop them."

Would you say more people are atheists or more people hold to a religion of one sort or another? Let's even include agnostics in MY group. I would argue that most people today restrain themselves BECAUSE of religous beliefs and often ONLY because of religious beliefs. Unless you want to argue that religion holds no sway over the moral choices of people in society. But if that's the case then why is religion demonized by atheists so much since people are really acting upon the moral tendencies they were born with thanks to evolution?

GCT and Tigerboy:

I've thought about this a few times, and I don't like to think about what I might be capable of if I believed there was no God. I mean if I truly stopped believing altogether. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't rape or murder. But I have the knowledge and skills to make a few dollars at the expense of others and I'm not ashamed to admit that were I convinced this life was my "one and only shot" then I would certainly live to make myself and my family as happy and as comfortable as possible at any cost.

Tigerboy said...

Pine:

Well, I'm glad to hear you say that you don't want to rape and murder. I rather doubt that you want to screw people over, either.

I rather enjoy getting along with other humans, it makes me feel good. It helps me feel good about my own experience in the world.

I like to do a little mental exercise, whenever I meet someone I actively dislike. I try to picture what it would be like to share a deserted island with that person. We have plenty of food and water, and the island is big enough that we can avoid each other, if we choose, but this might be the only other human I ever get to talk to, spend time with, ever again.

You see people very differently, when you look at them in this way. There is something endearing about almost everybody. You can find something to love and/or admire, if that's gonna be your only friend.

Occasionally, I meet someone where I still think: "Nope! I just don't like 'em." But, I think you can find community with just about anyone. As we find ourselves living on a more and more crowded planet, with fewer and fewer resources, I believe it to be in all of our best interest that we try to live peacefully, and with compassion.

I really do love my fellow man. I don't wish anyone ill. I do not wish to see anyone suffer. I certainly do not wish to be the cause of anyone's suffering. I have to look myself in the mirror. I want to be proud of who I am.

But, what do I know? I'm just an immoral atheist.

GCT said...

Pine,
First of all, you're not arguing for religious knowledge, so you're far afield of the OP. That's fine, as I'm willing to follow the trail, but I simply wanted to point out that you are not providing anything that we have learned from religion.

"When you state that the moral 'progressions' we've made are the result of our evolution as mankind... it seems to me that you assume those 'progressions' you value are those which will hold."

That our morals have evolved is beyond question. This has nothing to do with the Bible and everything to do with humans better learning to observe and think. It's not about majority votes.

"So what if we're not dealing with absolutes? You CAN'T define anything as good or bad because they don't exist outside of what we subjectively deem to be good or evil. Please explain, in further detail, this suppossed false dichotomy."

First of all, absolute is not the same as objective. Your insistence that either there is an absolute morality or everything is subjective and therefore no morality actually exists is wrong right off the bat. Further, you are ignoring many thoughts on the subject, like situational ethics, etc. There are quite a few moral systems developed that are completely secular and rely on objective morality, like Utilitarianism. It's simply false to claim that it's either god or mob rule. Lastly, you don't get to simply assert that these problems are solved by belief in god. How does god solve these problems? god says rape is bad now (he didn't always say that) and could turn around and declare that it's good tomorrow. Then what will you do/say?

"I've thought about this a few times, and I don't like to think about what I might be capable of if I believed there was no God....(snipped)"

Pine, this sounds almost sociopathic. Do you really want to contend that the only thing keeping you in line is the sky police?

Pine said...

Tigerboy:

You said: "I rather doubt that you want to screw people over, either."

Depends on how much it benefits me or my family. Depends on what kind of danger I would put myself in if I had to choose to not screw them over instead.

You said: "I rather enjoy getting along with other humans, it makes me feel good. It helps me feel good about my own experience in the world."

Great... so we're counting subjective experiences and feelings now? Then I feel good about serving God. Am I "right" now? What about people who don't share your feelings and attitudes towards the world?


GCT:

You said: "Lastly, you don't get to simply assert that these problems are solved by belief in god. How does god solve these problems?"

My belief in God is the basis for my morality. Humans have value because God is the Ultimate Being in the Universe and we are all created in His image. So, anything which sins against God or our fellow man I would view as immoral. That's why I believe Jesus said the greatest command is to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.

You said: "Pine, this sounds almost sociopathic. Do you really want to contend that the only thing keeping you in line is the sky police?"

Not so much that I fear retribution as that my entire system of beliefs about morality is based upon the premise that God exists. Should I be convinced that God does not exist then my entire basis for morality would shift.

To make it practical:

An old vase in my house is said to be worth about $10,000. I take extra care to take care of it because I perceive that it has value. If someone were to break it I would be upset because of the value placed on the vase.

If tomorrow I were convinced that this vase had NO intrinsic value outside the fact that "I" alone thought it was pretty, then my position on how the vase should be cared for, and the way I would feel if the vase should be broken, would change.

To me, if there is no God, then I see no real basis for moral action beyond self preservation. Sure I must accept the 'social contract' Tigerboy speaks of, but when and where I find ways to violate it (or better yet to change it to allow for behaviors I prefer) without endangering myself then I would NOT be "wrong" for doing so as "wrong" in terms of absolute would not actually exist.

GCT said...

Pine,
"My belief in God is the basis for my morality."

No, it's not. How does one base morality on the belief that some entity exists?

"Humans have value because God is the Ultimate Being in the Universe and we are all created in His image."

This doesn't necessarily follow (non sequitor). It's also rather arrogant.

"So, anything which sins against God or our fellow man I would view as immoral."

How do you know what is sin and what isn't?

"That's why I believe Jesus said the greatest command is to love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and strength and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself."

That's great and all, but he supposedly also started the doctrine of hell where you get to go after you die if god doesn't like you.

"Not so much that I fear retribution as that my entire system of beliefs about morality is based upon the premise that God exists. Should I be convinced that God does not exist then my entire basis for morality would shift."

Yeah, it's nothing more than fear of hell. Religion does not give you a basis for your morality, human concepts do. Of course, I don't believe for a second that you would all of a sudden become a sociopath if you were to learn of god's non-existence.

"To me, if there is no God, then I see no real basis for moral action beyond self preservation."

To go back to your vase analogy, would you believe that you have no value if god does not exist?

"Sure I must accept the 'social contract' Tigerboy speaks of, but when and where I find ways to violate it (or better yet to change it to allow for behaviors I prefer) without endangering myself then I would NOT be "wrong" for doing so as "wrong" in terms of absolute would not actually exist."

There's no reason not to try and do that with god as well. Many denominations hold that as long as you repent your sins and believe in Jesus, then you get to go to heaven. There's nothing stopping you from being a rapist and murderer now, so long as you ask for forgiveness. Yet, you don't do that. This shows that you aren't thinking clearly about this issue.

Pine said...

GCT:

You said: "There's no reason not to try and do that with god as well. Many denominations hold that as long as you repent your sins and believe in Jesus, then you get to go to heaven. There's nothing stopping you from being a rapist and murderer now, so long as you ask for forgiveness. Yet, you don't do that. This shows that you aren't thinking clearly about this issue."

I believe in absolute truth. So it's not a matter of me conforming my beliefs to what I want them to be then moving forward, it's a matter of discovering what God has revealed about right and wrong. If someone could convince me theologically to accept a doctrine which allows for rape and murder then I suppose my mind might change on the subject.

To make you feel better about staying to the OP. My argument is that your OP is flawed in that it demands of religion (namely Christianity) an answer to questions that it should not claim and was not designed to answer.

Also, while religion itself is not based by design within the limits of scientific method, would you argue that SHOULD God exist that we WOULD be able to know Him through scientific method?

GCT said...

Pine,
"I believe in absolute truth. So it's not a matter of me conforming my beliefs to what I want them to be then moving forward, it's a matter of discovering what God has revealed about right and wrong."

You are inconsistently applying your ideas. If you would look for loopholes given no god, why not look for loopholes given god? A big loophole is that you get to go to heaven so long as you believe and confess your sins. So, go out and murder, rape, pillage all you like, just make sure you confess and believe in Jesus. That way, you can do things for your family without running afoul of the morality of your theology, since your theology makes morality bankrupt.

"If someone could convince me theologically to accept a doctrine which allows for rape and murder then I suppose my mind might change on the subject."

Are you saved by works or by grace? I think you'll choose grace here, so what you do is not dependent on whether you are saved or not.

"To make you feel better about staying to the OP. My argument is that your OP is flawed in that it demands of religion (namely Christianity) an answer to questions that it should not claim and was not designed to answer."

Ha ha...I didn't say I was unwilling to discuss other matters, but OK. I'm not sure what you mean. What is unfair in my question? This is a question that has come up because so many people claim that religion is a way of knowing about the world. Well, what do we know because of religion?

"Also, while religion itself is not based by design within the limits of scientific method, would you argue that SHOULD God exist that we WOULD be able to know Him through scientific method?"

That's a tough question, and I can see a couple ways to answer it both affirmatively and negatively. In the end, though, in order to "know" his existence is real, it would have to be amenable to scientific inquiry (for a short answer).

penneyworth said...

Pine,
I have a couple of questions for you. But before I ask, I would like to point out that the original point is, in my opinion, a bit less complicated than your responses would indicate. What have we learned from the bible? For starters, you could say: we learned not to kill and steal from the ten commandments, to love our neighbor from jesus, etc etc etc.
You chose to respond to direct questions with more questions about god not having to stand up to the scientific method - I really don't understand what you were getting at. However, I feel certain that you think the bible is meant to teach us things like basic morals. You would probably further maintain that these morals the bible teaches us are "absolute."

Now, question number 1: do you think Deutoronomy 22:28 is absolute truth? It states that if a girl is an unbetrothed virgin and a man rapes her, then that man's penalty is to pay her father 50 shekels of silver, and to marry the girl without option for divorce. Do you believe this is absolutle moral truth, yes or no?

Question number 2: If you had an unbetrothed virgin daughter, and a man raped her, was found guilty, and you had the choice of either the bible's punishment, or the punishment that our modern court system would levy upon the rapist, which would you choose?

Clearly my point is that you, even a devout christian, not only have better moral sense within you (perhaps inate or perhaps learned from your culture) than what the bible offers, but in fact you must resist the direct words of the bible in order to maintain your own sense of decency and morality. The rape issue is just one of many many examples of this.

Please, I am not trying to trick you with sophistry, I am just asking questions. Please answer directly. And please do not cloud your answer with vague poetry - if you think god changed his mind, and the penalty for rape has changed, just say so. If you think the moral lesson the bible taught about rape in this situation was absolute, but you as a mere human cannot fully understand its wisdom, just say so. I am simply curious.

GCT said...

Welcome Penneyworth, and good questions.

Anonymous said...

It's entirely possible that Pine and many others are only able to maintain the "social contract" because of fear of retribution in an afterlife. I find this very scary. But I find hopeful that the fear of hell or hope of heaven would simply be replaced by fear of imprisonment or hope of freedom if there were no god for them.
IOW god is a default indoctrinated at a young age so the afterlife is the long term and jail is less worrisome. Jail is a frightening consideration for most of us but if you feel you will be vindicated after death, it might not have the same level of deterrence.
If religion is what keeps Pine, et.al., in line with today's moral code, it can be considered useful. But if human levied punishment could accomplish the same thing, it's use is actually nil.
It's unfortunate for us here and now that desert-born religions are the ones that became so prolific in our society. I wonder if jungle religions, which tend to be much happier, could have taught us something about reality? (I expect the answer to be no.)

Maynard

Pine said...

GCT:

You said: “You are inconsistently applying your ideas. If you would look for loopholes given no god, why not look for loopholes given god? A big loophole is that you get to go to heaven so long as you believe and confess your sins. So, go out and murder, rape, pillage all you like, just make sure you confess and believe in Jesus. That way, you can do things for your family without running afoul of the morality of your theology, since your theology makes morality bankrupt.”

I don’t believe there are ‘loopholes’ in morality because God exists. The Bible states, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” (NASB, Galatians 6:7) The sin/confess loophole you refer to is NOT something I believe exists. I do not believe that one truly experiences the grace of God apart from true repentance. To be clear, I believe repentance is changing your mind about something and actually putting yourself in agreement with God about your sin. Repentance is not always an easy thing. If I steal $500 from you, how can I know I repented later? Well… I could start by giving you back $500 and confessing this sin to you. But what about things that can’t be restored? What if I killed someone? What if I rape someone? How do I truly come to the place where I know I repented? I don’t believe it’s as easy as flippant confession that I did something wrong. So… I don’t feel there is a true ‘loophole’ to speak of.

You asked: “Well, what do we know because of religion?”

I believe the Bible teaches us about God and how to have a relationship with Him.

Pennyworth:

You said: “I really don't understand what you were getting at.”

I don’t think it’s fair to criticize religion in the way the OP did as I don’t believe the Bible was written as a science textbook. As I believe it was written to teach us about God Who I do not believe can be defined scientifically and GCT seemed to hint they might agree with me should they believe God exists. I also feel that religion contributes to society greatly as it provides an absolute standard and basis for morality.

You asked: “do you think Deutoronomy 22:28 is absolute truth?”

This passage is found near the end of a section dealing with various types of adultery and rape. To first answer whether or not I feel this verse represents absolute truth, the answer is no. This verse is casuistic and I believe it is meant to serve as an expansion of commandment 7. The fact that the verse begins with the word “If” suggests this is referring to a very specific situation and is providing a basis as to how Israel should interpret the absolute (apodictic) laws.

Question 2, I will admit, is much more difficult to answer. First I would have to understand more about the culture of the Israelites at that time. Also I would have to know what the current practices were like in other cultures around that time in that area. Casuistic law was meant to interpret absolute laws for the conditions of the current society they were being applied to. Culturally speaking, I’m not sure this was talking about rape. For one thing the verses read, “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.” (NASB, Deuteronomy 22:28-29) Notice it says if THEY are discovered, implying they are both guilty. Also notice in the punishment it says “he” cannot divorce her all his days. Culturally speaking, would this have been more of a punishment on her or him? I’m not sure I know enough information to say for sure if I can relate this law to our modern society.

Anonymous:

You said: “It's entirely possible that Pine and many others are only able to maintain the "social contract" because of fear of retribution in an afterlife.”

Ack! Really, no matter what I say I’m simply ‘afraid’ of hell and that is my motivation in all I do? That’s like saying the only reason people obey speed limits is because they know speed kills. It’s ridiculous. Yes, if I drive at 100 MPH down the highway I significantly increase my risk of serious injury or death. But this knowledge of harm which may come my way is not the ONLY factor which contributes to my decision of whether or not I should speed. I may not want a speeding fine. Maybe I have concern for the safety of those in the car with me. Perhaps I want to be courteous to the other drivers on the road. Maybe I want to take good care of my car as I drive so I choose to take it a little easier on the engine. Maybe I want to conserve gas by driving at fuel efficient speeds. But that’s not how you would have it. The second someone points out the legitimate dangers of speeding this instantly becomes the one and ONLY reason that person feels they must drive at safe speeds.

If I believe God punishes sinners for all eternity, then yes (on some level) I do not want to experience punishment so it serves as a slight deterrent to acting in ways I consider “evil”. But to jump to the conclusion that this legitimate (it’s legitimate in a worldview which accepts the existence of God) fear of punishment is the ONLY reason I choose to act morally (which is not what I’ve said or implied) is really absurd.

Anonymous said...

Pine,
I only said that it was possible that you felt that way. I don't know. Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. I didn't mean to imply different.

Based on your last paragraph, humanity is what you expect but not anticipate?

And sorry I'm not registered yet but I sign my work. You can refer to me as Maynard.
James Maynard if you like.
Austin, TX.

Tigerboy said...

From one of Pine's recent posts in response to me:

---Me: "I rather enjoy getting along with other humans, it makes me feel good. It helps me feel good about my own experience in the world."

---Pine: "Great... so we're counting subjective experiences and feelings now?

I was merely making a point about how my moral behavior does not require a God. My subjective feelings are not being used to defend outlandish claims, but your response begs the question:

Do you really want to be mocking subjective feelings?

Subjective feelings are all religious folk have. Where is there anything objective that points to there being a God?

This notion that science and religion talk about different topics is ridiculous.

From Pine's very first post:

---"Who claims religion teaches us scientific knowledge?"

---"If anyone believes the purpose of the Bible was to teach sciene, then I would like them to show why they feel that way."

Religion makes numerous claims, about the natural world, that we all know to be absurd:

Virgins do not have babies.

Snakes do not talk.

Bushes do not burn without being consumed.

Living humans do not transform into pillars of salt.

Humans cannot turn aside oceans.

Water does not instantly become wine.

Jewish preachers do not rise from the dead, or fly bodily up to the sky.

These are called lies. I am so sorry, good friend Pine, but lies is what they are.

"Religion talks about completely different things than science" is another lie.

Religion makes definite claims about the natural world. False claims. If you want to talk philosophy, talk philosophy, but, as soon as you start talking about suspension of the natural laws of the universe, we all have the right to call it by it's right name. It's a total lie.

Making claims about the world, which have no relationship with reality, is not merely a "different topic" than science.

Science describes the world, religion lies about the world.

Science is objective, and has credibility. Religion is not objective, and has no credibility.

Science never lies. It might be mistaken, but it always admits it's mistakes and takes great pains to correct them. Religion is quite comfortable telling lies. Huge lies. To quote from "The Way of the Master:"

Q: What does that make them?
A: Liars.

Pine said...

Maynard (Or James Maynard, I'll use whichever you prefer):

I should have noticed the name. My apologies, no disrespect was intended. I'm not registered either, I use the "Name/URL" option.

You asked: "Based on your last paragraph, humanity is what you expect but not anticipate?"

Not quite sure what you're asking here.


Tigerboy:

You said: "I was merely making a point about how my moral behavior does not require a God."

I know you were "merely making a point". I just found it ironic as most atheists reject subjective evidence as ever being legitimate proof, so it seemed odd you would use it to justify your position.

You asked: "Do you really want to be mocking subjective feelings?"

Depends on the topic and the way they are presented as evidence.

You said: "Making claims about the world, which have no relationship with reality, is not merely a "different topic" than science."

You sure we know enough about science to rule out any of the occurences you listed? Newton was pretty sure about physics... darn that Einstein...

Even still, once you accept that God exists, aren't all these occurences at least plausible?

Tigerboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tigerboy said...

Again, my subjective feelings are not being used as evidence of something outlandish, of something supernatural, of something devoid of objective proof.

Any Tom, Dick, or Harry could talk with me for five minutes, and easily believe my claim that I am, innately, moral. (A claim, by the way, from which many religious folk would automatically disqualify me, sight unseen, due to my atheism. Another example of how religious folk are far too willing to embrace that which is false.)

My claims of my own innate morality are plain to see. (Or, at least as plain to see as anyone else's.) I am kind, I am considerate. I treat my fellow man with compassion and respect. I am honest. I obey the law. I give to charity. I attempt to see situations from other people's points of view. I try to help strangers.

Religious folk give credence to their subjective feelings about things which rational folk know to be false, which rational folk have excellent evidence that they are false.

Our respective subjective feelings are not being put into evidence for comparable things.

I will totally grant your point:

"Even still, once you accept that God exists, aren't all these occurences at least plausible?"

Sure, you are right.

Once you accept that there is an all-powerful, illogically eternal being, who does what he wants, who's actions can only be described as cruel, but who cannot be questioned, who never reveals himself, who plays games with people's lives, who is able to do anything and everything he wants, without justification, who demands the murder and suffering of his own child, who watches us, every moment of our lives, and then convicts us of our thoughts, but we are commanded to love this dictator, who can create and destroy, but illogically exists without anything causing him to be, who exists in the infinite, but is greatly offended by the actions of the finite, insignificant ants, yes, once you accept all that, anything IS plausible.

Your circular argument about the existence of God has safely returned to it's beginning, and started back around, again.

Anonymous said...

Pine:
"To me, if there is no God, then I see no real basis for moral action beyond self preservation."

and

"But to jump to the conclusion that this legitimate...fear of punishment is the ONLY reason I choose to act morally...is really absurd."

So if your religion is your moral basis, then what could stop you from acting completely immoral without it? What makes you act humanely if it isn't some grand final reward?

Maynard

Pine said...

Tigerboy:

You said: "Any Tom, Dick, or Harry could talk with me for five minutes, and easily believe my claim that I am, innately, moral."

Could they? What if their definition of what is 'moral' and what is 'immoral' differs from yours? Perhaps they would claim you were completely immoral. Would they be wrong? Why or why not? Why would your definition stand or fail? What standard would you use to determine who was right?

You also said: "A claim, by the way, from which many religious folk would automatically disqualify me, sight unseen, due to my atheism"

Your actions are not immoral because you are an atheist. What I am arguing is that you cannot define morality because you are an atheist. (well, can't define it beyond meaningless speculations about either your or society's claims of morality) The person who claims that non-believers cannot act in a way which is morally upright is not very familiar with the Bible. I do not hold to this idea.

You said: "Your circular argument about the existence of God has safely returned to it's beginning, and started back around, again."

No, my argument that the Bible was never meant to teach us scientific facts about the world and that scientific facts do not always necessarily indicate we have arrived at proper conclusions still stands.

Maynard:

You asked: "So if your religion is your moral basis, then what could stop you from acting completely immoral without it? What makes you act humanely if it isn't some grand final reward?"

When I decide upon a course of action I must weigh whether or not I believe this action is moral or immoral. I want to make moral choices. But my definition of what is moral is based upon my worldview in which God exists and absolute standards for right and wrong exist.

If I were convinced that God did not exist, then I would still want to make 'moral' choices, however my definition of what constitued a moral or immoral choice would drastically change. I would adopt a subjective approach the highest goal of which would be self-preservation.

Anonymous said...

Alright Pine, I think I see where you're coming from. I don't agree with it, but I think I might understand it.
Although telling Tigerboy that he can't define morality because he's an atheist is...well...stupid.
Someone said on recently on Daylight Atheism (I'm too lazy to go back and look it up right now) that it was the serpent in the garden of eden that told the truth. God said it's wrong to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge because then you know right from wrong. So how can you be condemned for doing wrong when you don't know what wrong is and how can you base morality on an entity that would put someone in that situation?

Maynard

Pine said...

Maynard:

You asked: "God said it's wrong to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge because then you know right from wrong. So how can you be condemned for doing wrong when you don't know what wrong is and how can you base morality on an entity that would put someone in that situation?"

Adam and Eve knew it was wrong to eat from the fruit because God told them it was wrong. Being told something is wrong and knowing it is wrong because you're told it's wrong is much different than having the ability to discern for yourself if an action is wrong. If God came to you personally and spoke to you then (1) You would be quite certain of His existence and (2) Would have to assume that since God exists whatever He is telling you is binding as He is the Ultimate Authority over EVERYTHING.

When Adam and Eve were tempted to 'know good and evil' it was temptation to "know for themselves" what 'good and evil' were outside of God's revealed truth. Eve was deceived by the serpent to think something was lacking in her understanding of right and wrong and that she needed to eat so she could make moral choices for herself. In reality God had equipped Adam and Eve with everything they needed to obey and avoid sin.

So no they did not blindly sin. They knew they should not eat from the fruit because God had personally told Adam not to. Eve even argues with the snake that she should not eat. This hesitation and discourse shows that Eve really did understand she should not eat from the tree, though she may not have understood WHY.

To say it as plainly as I can think to; While Adam and Eve did not possess the ability to evaluate their choices as good or evil on their own, God had revealed to them that one specific action (eating the fruit) was evil. They rejected God's revelation and instead opted to know for themselves what was good or evil.

My 3 year old does not understand morality and lacks the ability to discern if her actions are "good" or "evil". But she does know and understands quite well that when daddy says "no", it would be wrong to proceed.

You said: "Although telling Tigerboy that he can't define morality because he's an atheist is...well...stupid."

I have not found any argument which provides a satisfactory basis for morality in a world in which God does not exist. Can you offer me another option other than the personal subjective morality of individuals or the agreed upon subjective morality based upon the feelings of society as a whole towards morality?

For instance. Why would theft be wrong? You wouldn't like to be robbed. You wouldn't like it if it happened to one of your family members. You would want to punish the person who committed the act. But none of these self-preserving vengeance-seeking reactions equates to theft, in and of itself, being "morally wrong". If you could get away with the theft without endangering yourself, and if by committing the act you somehow enhanced your 70 year existence, then on what MORAL basis would you argue the theft is wrong?

You may feel "good" about the morals you choose. They may even be agreed upon by society. But what it boils down to is that you expect someone to act right because of fear of punishment, or because society has agreed to subjectively choose certain actions to be right or wrong, or because you feel there is some 'higher purpose' in living for something other than yourself. If there are no absolutes in morality then I reject all these notions as silly rubbish and would expect that I should feel quite free to choose "morality" for myself and see no real reason (beyond self-preservation) to accept the moral standards of any other individual, or society for that matter, as my own. What is stupid about being a free thinker when it comes to morality?

It really seems that you want free lunch. You want to claim quasi-absolute morals that are somehow binding without being absolute. I think it’s because without the existence of God there can be no absolute morals and you know it.

GCT said...

Pine,
There's lots of issues with your statements, so bear with me here:

"I do not believe that one truly experiences the grace of God apart from true repentance. To be clear, I believe repentance is changing your mind about something and actually putting yourself in agreement with God about your sin."

IOW, your theology is not based on grace alone, but on deeds. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways.

"I believe the Bible teaches us about God and how to have a relationship with Him."

I'm going to declare victory here. Your statement that you believe in the Bible is enough to show that we don't actually learn anything. One needs to believe in your god in order to agree with your statement. Hopefully you see why this is an issue.

"I don’t think it’s fair to criticize religion in the way the OP did as I don’t believe the Bible was written as a science textbook."

I've already told you that I was not doing this.

"I also feel that religion contributes to society greatly as it provides an absolute standard and basis for morality."

And, this is an incoherent stance to take. First off, Xianity does NOT provide for absolute morality, as the morality employed by god is different from that demanded of us. Second, your claims to divine command theory are not absolute (what happens when god decrees that rape is OK, as he has done). Third, I find your treatment of Penneyworth's questions to be pretty solid indications of situational ethics, not absolute morality, which is inconsistent with your claim to absolute morality. (Note, I also find your claims about who is punished more after a woman is forced to live with her rapist and is somehow also at fault to be highly inhumane and immoral.)

"Ack! Really, no matter what I say I’m simply ‘afraid’ of hell and that is my motivation in all I do?"

At its heart, your "moral" system is based on god holding a gun to your head and saying, "Do as I say, worship me, etc. or go to hell."

"You sure we know enough about science to rule out any of the occurences you listed? Newton was pretty sure about physics... darn that Einstein..."

In every instance we find, science seems to disconfirm religious guesses, not confirm them. Also, aren't you the one complaining about the Bible being used for science?

"No, my argument that the Bible was never meant to teach us scientific facts about the world and that scientific facts do not always necessarily indicate we have arrived at proper conclusions still stands."

Then you are arguing against a straw man.

"But my definition of what is moral is based upon my worldview in which God exists and absolute standards for right and wrong exist."

Yet, you are still in the position of having to interpret what god means and trying to apply it. It's not a very good system.

"Adam and Eve knew it was wrong to eat from the fruit because God told them it was wrong."

I'm sure your 3 year old never does anything that daddy tells her not to? Punishing all of humanity (immoral) for the actions of 2 people who had the moral capacity of three year olds (at best) is moral? Expecting three year olds to make choices about morality that will affect all generations is sane and rational? Putting rat poison within easy reach of toddlers is sane and rational?

Finally, if you knew that they would eat of the apple, why would you allow it? If you knew that X number of people would end up in hell and all you had to do was to move the tree to a location where they couldn't access it, wouldn't you? This is laughable and not a story that is worth defending.

"...Would have to assume that since God exists whatever He is telling you is binding as He is the Ultimate Authority over EVERYTHING."

And, there you have it - not absolute morality. It's based on what god says. When god says, "Go commit genocide," as he has done countless times, then it becomes moral to do so, even after he also said not to commit murder.

"I have not found any argument which provides a satisfactory basis for morality in a world in which God does not exist."

What? Really? I already did. I've mentioned Utilitarianism to you already, as just one example. C'mon now.

"Can you offer me another option other than the personal subjective morality of individuals or the agreed upon subjective morality based upon the feelings of society as a whole towards morality?"

Can you offer me an argument that doesn't rely on a false dichotomy - as I've already pointed out to you twice?

"It really seems that you want free lunch. You want to claim quasi-absolute morals that are somehow binding without being absolute. I think it’s because without the existence of God there can be no absolute morals and you know it."

Again with the false dichotomies here. Hell, even with the existence of god, I'm not seeing a compelling argument that absolute morality exists.

Tigerboy said...

Absolute morality doesn't exist.

Unless you can prove the existence of an absolute, perfect judge, and every single human on the face of the planet--let's say, every single sentient being on the face of the planet--AGREES and abides by the perfect judge's judgments, there is no such thing as absolute morality.

Morality is a judgment call, a decision by the people, of a society, who must live with the results of their choices, and who must look their parents and their children and their grandchildren squarely in the eye.

Morality starts out as a discussion with our own conscience. "How would I feel if I were in that situation?" Empathy.

Morality is a society's application of the "Golden Rule."

Morality, like etiquette, over time, in a general way, starts to be agreed upon. Humans agree, in general, basic ways, about things that please them, or offend them.

Individuals, and societies, ask themselves: "Will I be proud of myself, will my children be proud of me, after I take these actions?"

Morality is a judgment, not an absolute.

Tigerboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tigerboy said...

Pine:

---"Can you offer me another option other than the personal subjective morality of individuals or the agreed upon subjective morality based upon the feelings of society as a whole towards morality?

---"For instance. Why would theft be wrong? You wouldn't like to be robbed. You wouldn't like it if it happened to one of your family members."

That's right, Pine, I wouldn't like to be robbed! I wouldn't like it if it happened to my family! That's why we, as a society, have agreed that it is immoral.

It is immoral because we all clearly understand that we would not enjoy having that happen to us, or our families.

We don't need the Bible to explain it to us.

We don't feel comfortable robbing, because we know we wouldn't like to be robbed. It's innate. Religion doesn't explain morality to man. Man created religion as metaphor to explain and codify his innate feelings of morality.

Morality came before religion.

You refrain from robbing people because you know it is wrong. Why is it wrong? Because an unprovable, invisible and mysterious deity says so?

Not at all! It's wrong because you understand what it would feel like to have that happen to you.

We all do.

Anonymous said...

Pine,
I could go and draft a long response but I would just sound like I was echoing what Tigerboy and GCT already have posted.

Absolute morality. I don't know it nor ever expect too. Self preservation, and the preservation of those around me that I care about, is enough of a reason for me to follow the current moral code of my society. As long as the moral code allows me to do just that. It makes me feel good, and I don't have to worry about punishment. To expect others within that society to do the same is not too much to ask (IMHO).

And that code has to be flexible in order to accommodate new information or technologies. Not absolute.

Again: Religion has taught us how to make good people do evil things.

Maynard

Anders Branderud said...

Quote: ” Religion is a way of making stuff up and guessing one knows about the world,”
Assumption.

I recommend you to read an article in my blog (http://bloganders.blogspot.com/2009/08/proof-of-existence-of-intelligent-and.html). It contains a formal logical proof, based on scientific premises, that proves the existence of an Intelligent and Perfect Creator of this universe (i.e. the Prime Cause of this universe (the cause of Big Bang)); and it also proves that His instructions are found in Torah, and that His purpose of humankind is for us to practise those Instructions in Torah.

GCT said...

No, it's a conclusion - one based on the fact that religion has a terrible track record.

I'll take a look at your proof, but I predict that you will make all kinds of unjustified assumptions and claim that they are verified fact and that it somehow proves you are right. I predict, from the little you put here, that you will claim that everything has to have a cause, that the universe was caused, and that god is behind it - which is all incorrect and no more provides proof for your god as for any other god.

GCT said...

My predictions came true. Comments aren't allowed there, so I'll tear it apart here.

"According to science our universe has a beginning."

According to science, the universe as we understand it began at the big bang, but that's a rather innocuous statement and lends no support to a personal god.

"It is a fundamental law of physics (causality) that every physical occurrence in the universe has a cause."

Wrong. At the quantum level we find many things that are uncaused (such as virtual particles). Additionally, causality is a function of time. Time (as we know it) is a function of this universe and means very little "before" time t=0, and may be a non-sensical thing to talk about. If there is no such thing as time, then how does causality exist? How does a being cause something outside of time? I should also point out that we've got some special pleading going on in that your god seems to have no need to be caused due to what exactly?

But, let's say that something did bring about the universe. Is it a foregone conclusion that it must have been a personal god? No. A meta-universe could have spawned this universe as part of a purely natural process in that universe, for just one example of how this could happen using purely impersonal causes.

"Being logically consistent (orderly), the orderly universe must mirror its Prime Cause —Who must be Orderly ; i.e. Perfect."

So, this universe is completely orderly? Try quantum mechanics at some point, or just look at the random mutations that make up the material acted upon by evolution to bring about changes in species.

"Therefore, no intelligent person can ignore that our purpose and challenge in life is learning how we, as imperfect humans, may successfully relate to a Perfect Creator without our co-mingling, which transcends the timespace of this dimensional physical universe, becoming an imperfection to the Perfect Creator."

Sorry, but this does not fit from the errors that you've made, nor would it fit from what you've asserted even if it were true.

"Therefore, the Creator's "Life's Instruction Manual" has been available to man at least since the beginning of recorded history. The only enduring document of this kind is the Tor•âh'..."

Sorry, but wrong on many counts. The Torah was written well after the beginning of written history, and there are many religious texts still in existence that pre-date it.

Anonymous said...

Religous people wake up it is time now. You have been forced in the erly ages of the developing human society into this believe. If it was due to poverty or some crutial rulers to be easier controlled by them and now you still keep on doing it cos it is mutch easier then opening a book and study for years how the real world works. Learn about gravity the elements and the universe and how it works.It is the greatest thing ever on earth to understand it, an honor to be a living thing thats capable to build this cathedral of universal knowledge and wisdome. And yes the real world is a unpredictable and cruel place but it`s got lots and lots of good things out there. And we know that you are scared and voulrneble and are looking out in god jesus mohammed or who else ever for securaty and strength. But you got to find it in your self and stop seperating the world into religous army camps that are killing each other for no real reason.You got to stop it!!! Understand and controle your instincts! And in the end just open up your mind, its that easy and it doesnt hurt, i can promise you = )

Anonymous said...

i did not have time to red through the entire argument on this page, but what bothers me is why people believe in religion at all. If you look at all religions instead of focusing on one, you would see that there are many religions that often have very conflicting beliefs and ancient writings and so forth. Since there are so many that claim to be right without any way of proving it, the logical reasoning would be that they are all wrong. If religion were removed from society, nothing would change, the laws that have been established by communities would still be in effect, which guides morality without the need of fictional characters to illustrate the concepts and divide humanity. I wont be coming back to this blog anytime soon so don't bother replying.

could be wrong, hopefully not said...

What exactly is your concept of god anyway tigerboy? and you haven't made it clear whether your argument is against the possibility of an omnipotent being or against the validity of any religion. hey, i'm all for darwin's theory, natural selection is obvious in every species. but science itself is merely a system of measurement, and measurement, after all, is confined by perception. which is why not everyone uses the metric system, why some civilisations don't comprehend the number 0 because it would imply nothingness, and why even particles act differently when being observed. you choose to anthropomorphize god so much that to you, it's a singular being that has the power to change causality instead of a non objectifiable explanation for causality itself. jesus, buddha, mohammed, and other prophets that would be considered schizophrenic by todays standards saw humanity as one. science gives us an accidental universe with no purpose, experiencing life is better than measuring it imo.

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

i don't belong to any faith btw. a higher power would mean not all life is equal, and power seems to be the root of all evil, without it there would be no violence, rape, misunderstanding, or greed. i think we as a species should feel the harmony of free will rather than the sense of abstract entitlement. for all we know, this is our one chance at life. why waste it worshiping or judging something unknowable? existence is unbelievably beautiful, even through the veil of limited perception, where the hostility of the laws of nature and fear of the unknown seperate us as a whole. reality is a point of view, no?

GCT said...

"but science itself is merely a system of measurement, and measurement, after all, is confined by perception."

No, it's a tool that we use to uncover facts about the universe.

"which is why not everyone uses the metric system, why some civilisations don't comprehend the number 0 because it would imply nothingness, and why even particles act differently when being observed."

Those things don't happen because of some short-coming of science.

"science gives us an accidental universe with no purpose, experiencing life is better than measuring it imo."

Then why are you typing on a computer that science was able to bring about due to its study?

"reality is a point of view, no?"

No, it's not.

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

thanks for the response, listen, i don't think anyone has the right answers. if science has shortcomings it proves that it's not infalible. now concepts in religion like anti music beliefs from the wahhabi way of life, or anti homosexuality in the bible, those are destructive beliefs that keep us from progressing. religion has a lot of theism directed towards culture, most of it is restrictive, what you're allowed to eat, who you're allowed to love, these things take away freedom. every way of seeing thing has shortcomings. there could be a creator, or creators, i don't think there is, and if there is, it doesn't care if we worship it, or what we do with our lives. but people like jesus, martin luther king jr, and countless women have suffered so we could all get a little closer to being equal. and they don't reflect the beliefs of the organizations their legacy created. life is just a ride. and if reality isn't a point of view, then why doesn't every organism percieve the same reality?

Tigerboy said...

Might be wrong:

---" . . . if reality isn't a point of view, then why doesn't every organism percieve the same reality?"

Because perception is subjective.

Religion is highly subjective.

Reality is objective.

Science is objective.

You asked me what is my concept of God. My concept of God is that I have never seen anything that indicates that there is one.

I have never encountered any aspect of the circumstances in which we find ourselves (our place in the universe), or any aspect of my personal experience of consciousness, or any aspect of our collective experience as a social species trying to help each other survive in a hostile environment--I have never seen any aspect of ANY of those situations where I thought the most likely explanation for something I didn't understand was:

"An Omni-Max father figure, sitting on a throne made of clouds."

Just because one cannot explain everything, it doesn't mean the answer to all one cannot explain is: GOD. (A fictitious character, BTW, who was dreamed up for just that very purpose! He was invented by people to explain the mysterious.)

A rumbling volcano might sound like an angry god lives inside, but that childish explanation teaches us NOTHING valuable about our world. Studying the REALITY about what makes volcanoes rumble might actually save all the people in your village from being buried in molten lava.

If you were to argue that there must be something out there which is far more powerful than Tigerboy, and which is so much smarter than Tigerboy, and which could eat Tigerboy for lunch, I would say:

"I have no doubt there is!"

But, it's not currently communicating with me. It doesn't care with whom I have sex. It doesn't watch me when I sleep. It doesn't keep track of when I've been bad or good (so, be good for goodness sake!). It doesn't care what I eat. It doesn't care what words I mumble to myself. It doesn't care what I wear on my head.

People who claim to know the mindset (the likes and dislikes) of Omni-Max beings are invoking FICTITIOUS Omni-Max beings. People who claim to SPEAK for Omni-Max beings are dangerous. (VERY DANGEROUS.) They wish to control others. They threaten world peace in a BIG, BIG way.

Is there some big and powerful consciousness out there?

I don't know. And, neither does anyone else. (Not if they are intellectually honest. Not if they are rational.) The big consciousness has never spoken to me. I do not believe it has spoken to anyone else, either.

The idea of an Omni-Max seems completely illogical to me.

I do know high-grade, manipulative bullshit when I hear it! The stories surrounding the so-called God of Abraham are primo stuff. Potent bullshit. Dangerous. Childish. Primitive fable-making with a self-fulfilling prophesy angle that could easily destroy us.

We have a moral obligation to speak out against it.

The rest of what you said, about science only measuring stuff, and reality being perception . . . wrong! Science evaluates reality. It makes no difference whether you use a yardstick or a meter stick. Science is (at least, it makes every attempt to be!) objective.

Objectivity is good. We can all agree that the results are valid, unbiased. Reality is not a matter of opinion. It's something that a general consensus of unbiased, objective people can agree is true.

If we wish to have a peaceful relationship with our global neighbors, we need a lot more of that.

GCT said...

"if science has shortcomings it proves that it's not infalible."

No one said it is, but that's one of its strengths. Science doesn't claim to be infallible. Science is self-correcting, however, and has tools for solving disagreements. No religion has yet come up with a way of doing that.

"and if reality isn't a point of view, then why doesn't every organism percieve the same reality?"

If you think that reality is simply a point of view, why do you not fly?

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

tigerboy, you still objectify and anthropomorphize the idea of god so much it hurts. nowhere in the first testament, new testament, q'uran, sruti/smriti texts, theravada and mahayana beliefs does it say Anything about a cloud person. the objectivity of most religion is enlightenment. the unbalanced and extremist followers are the ones to be held accountable for the holy wars. the same kind of people blindly follow politicians. every single culture created beliefs to live by before social systems created law. there is a collective consciousness there. is there a cloud man who punishes us after death? i sure hope not. but where science (which i still think is very useful) fails to explain thought, well lol, it sure wouldn't be possible without it.

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

CGT i lack the ability to fly, through the engineering skills of the wright brothers (who used scientific measurement but were also religious) i am able to experience flight. faith drives people to do amazing things, like einstien and newton. alot of harmful people were driven to destroy instead of create too. but they were murderers, not thinkers. to push the threshold of personal experience is humanities goal. faith and internal human curiosity helps us make the leap to explore, science helps us get there. both are cognitive abilities defined by our perception. this body is a shell, so it feels subjective to experience things, that's when love and laughter come to wake us up that were just sharing this incredible stream of thought with everyone around us. alchemy tried to mix science and spirit, it was all but destroyed by extremists for trying. harmony scares believers.

GCT said...

"the objectivity of most religion is enlightenment."

This sentence makes no sense. Did you mean the "objective" is enlightenment? If so, it is at least coherent, although not necessarily correct.

"the unbalanced and extremist followers are the ones to be held accountable for the holy wars."

No true scotsman fallacy.

"every single culture created beliefs to live by before social systems created law."

Evidence pls.

"but where science (which i still think is very useful) fails to explain thought"

Excuse me?

"CGT i lack the ability to fly, through the engineering skills of the wright brothers (who used scientific measurement but were also religious) i am able to experience flight."

Yet, you can not fly unaided, no matter how you perceive the world. It's an objective fact that has nothing to do with perception, and that's the point. Reality doesn't care what you think of it.

"faith drives people to do amazing things, like einstien and newton."

Einstein the pantheist/atheist? And, faith did not aid Newton in any way.

"alot of harmful people were driven to destroy instead of create too."

In order to get good people to do evil things, you need religion.

"but they were murderers, not thinkers."

No true scotsman again.

"faith and internal human curiosity helps us make the leap to explore, science helps us get there."

Faith is an impediment to that. If you believe that you already have the answers, what is there to explore?

"both are cognitive abilities defined by our perception."

Calling faith an "ability" is stretching it a bit, isn't it? Or, do you mean the ability to make stuff up?

"this body is a shell"

Shell for what?

"were just sharing this incredible stream of thought with everyone around us."

Say what?

"alchemy tried to mix science and spirit, it was all but destroyed by extremists for trying."

Alchemy was "destoyed" because it doesn't work. Faith doesn't work.

Tigerboy said...

Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree with GCT, here. "Incoherent" is a good word for it. Drivel.

---Might Be Wrong: You are sounding more and more like a preacher. You jump from unsubstantiated claim to unsubstantiated claim.

---"faith and internal human curiosity helps us make the leap to explore, science helps us get there. both are cognitive abilities defined by our perception. this body is a shell, so it feels subjective to experience things, that's when love and laughter come to wake us up that were just sharing this incredible stream of thought with everyone around us. alchemy tried to mix science and spirit, it was all but destroyed by extremists for trying. harmony scares believers."

This is utter nonsense. This is the same kind "science-y sounding" spirituality DRIVEL that one might hear from Deepak Chopra.

It doesn't say anything! Say something coherent and we might have a discussion

Why is the body "just a shell?" According to whom?

What does "harmony scares believers" even mean?

---"Alchemy tried to mix science and spirit, it was all but destroyed by extremists for trying." What kind of nonsensical bullshit is this?

In order to have a discussion about these concepts, we must be willing to communicate in a straight forward way.

GCT has WAY, WAY more patience for this type of nonsense than I do.

YOU ASKED ME what is my "concept of God." I answered that my "concept of God" is that I see no evidence that there is one.

If you are making supernatural claims, the onus is on you to explain what form they take, and why anyone should join you in believing those supernatural claims.

I'm not anthropomorphizing God. I'm saying I see no evidence for a God. Not there.

My position is the rational one, BTW.

My position is borne out by 100% of the evidence that rational, objective, unbiased people can all agree on.

What evidence are you offering in support of statements like "the body is just a shell" and "harmony scares believers"?

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

Albert Einstein's entire drive to explain the universe was to " know god's thoughts" Panthiest is a good classification for a lot of spiritual people. and sorry for saying objectivity instead of objective. apparently i'm a completely lost individual with no sense of reality because i don't let the examination of mass, location, and locomotion define my view of the observable universe. my point isn't that i can physically fly with perception, but that without personal experience the universe is just the hurrying of material, endlessly, and meaninglessly. if you both want examples, Ok, even though it's useful and would be impossible without some exclusions, science cannot explain secondary qualities. things like color, scent, aesthetics. these things differ from person to person. concepts of the mind alone that make personal preference work. like what looks, sounds, and tastes favorable. if we're talking about external, observable facts here, quantum physics shows us that an electron appears at discrete positions in space for successive durations of time, instead of being constantly measurable which makes it an anomaly. and things like the bardo, the intermediate state of the mind, what happens before birth and after death. when there is no body to limit the consciousness of all things and in a non metaphorical sense we do have no differences. people like deepak chopra market on things already said by other philosophers, carl jung basically said everything that needed to be said regarding philosophy. and btw, the scientific method requires faith to create a hypothesis.

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

the 16th century battle at white mountain where the alchemical dream died with almost all of king frederick V's people. alchemy works, but it was oppressed before freedom was as important as it was with the boom of modern science in the 17th century.

drvl^2 said...

Drivel based on drivel.

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

the mind-body dualism can't be evaluated scientifically, igorance of ignorance will keep any self proclaimed logical person believing that they know whole truths because novel detail and pattern are more valid to them than experience. panthiesm's perspective of god is that it is nature itself, Einstein stated he wanted to know god's thoughts. nature collectively has thoughts by that logic, which is what i've been dragging on about for a week on here. is it true? i'm not sure. but qualities observed in nature created by the mind alone: taste, color, scent, aesthetics, ect. these things are not drivel, they exist. they just differ from person to person. i don't think anyone should see reality based on novel detail of mass, location and locomotion. it's organismic thought that confounds research, look at how understudied the process of crying is. it happens to all of us, but emotions are excluded from research because they are immeasurable . there is no one-size-fits-all explanation of the universe.

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

btw, i like the zoidberg diety account avatar. as big of a discussion as we're having, that picture still makes me grin everytime i see it.

GCT said...

"the 16th century battle at white mountain where the alchemical dream died with almost all of king frederick V's people."

Would that be the battle that happened on Nov. 8, 1620 (17th century)? I have no idea what that has to do with alchemy.

"alchemy works, but it was oppressed before freedom was as important as it was with the boom of modern science in the 17th century."

Sorry, but alchemy does not work. You can't turn lead into gold and there is no spiritual component to science. And, the so-called boom of modern science has more to do with secularization.

"the mind-body dualism can't be evaluated scientifically"

What dualism? You are aware that there are studies showing that people can become completely different after changes in their brains, right? There is no outside mind, it's all in your brain.

"panthiesm's perspective of god is that it is nature itself, Einstein stated he wanted to know god's thoughts."

He also said he doesn't believe in any sort of personal or anthropomorphic god. He was closer to atheism than any brand of theism that most peple would recognize.

"nature collectively has thoughts by that logic, which is what i've been dragging on about for a week on here."

Because Einstein used poetic language doesn't mean that nature literally has thoughts. Even if he did mean that, he wasn't infallible. In fact, he was shown to be wrong with a lot of quantum mechanics.

"but qualities observed in nature created by the mind alone: taste, color, scent, aesthetics, ect. these things are not drivel, they exist."

What in the world are you talking about? These things are not "created by the mind alone." We know where color comes from - it's from the wavelength of the light that reaches the retina. All those others are similarly generated by physical properties of our sensory organs and the stimuli.

"it's organismic thought that confounds research..."

No, it doesn't. It's why we set up things like double-blind experiments.

"...emotions are excluded from research because they are immeasurable ."

No, they are not. They are difficult to study but not impossible.

"there is no one-size-fits-all explanation of the universe."

Maybe, maybe not, but I find this weird coming from the guy who seems to support alchemy. Either way, what this has to do with the topic at hand is beyond me.

"btw, i like the zoidberg diety account avatar. as big of a discussion as we're having, that picture still makes me grin everytime i see it."

Me too, which is why I've used it for so long. Every time I've been tempted to change I end up leaving it as is because I just can't bring myself to do it.

might be wrong, hopefully not said...

well king frederick notably supported john dee the alchemist in the 16th century. mixing logic and spirit was bold and imo could have worked if we as a society had let it flourish, there's a reason there's only one alchemy lab left standing. i don't think it's one-size-fits-all though. double blind experiments prove that personal preference has more to do with the outcome than logical results. most of the time there is no general consensus. it's the mind alone that makes a color what it is though, everyone i know differs on what exact color something is, what sounds good and what tastes good. i like to put my bets on unexplainable things as you can tell, and i know logical methodology doesn't claim to be teleology, but there is a grey area that philosophy has to pick up the slack on when things like the bardo come into discussion.

Tigerboy said...

Might be wrong:

You have a very tenuous understanding of reality.

The mind does not create color. Light refracts through translucent things, like glass and water, and reflects off others. Opaque surfaces reflect some colors and absorb others, and the reflected light carries the color to our retinas. The eye interprets the color. It doesn't affect or create the color. The color exists. It makes no difference who sees it.

Just because several people might see a bright red STOP sign and use different words to describe the shade or hue, it doesn't mean that some people see it as red, and some people see it as lime green, and some people see it as black, and some people see it as cinnamon brown, and some people see it as bright yellow.

If they do, something is wrong with their vision.

Unbiased, intellectually honest people can all agree that a reality exists, concerning that sign, and that it is, in fact, red.

That's not an invention of anybody's mind. It's true. We can all depend on that being true. We can drive our cars around the city streets and KNOW that red means red for everybody.

If you say that STOP sign is sky blue, you are either lying, or there's something wrong with your eyesight.

And, alchemy does not work. That's not a matter of your opinion, or my opinion, or anybody else's opinion, either. It's basic chemistry. Alchemy was an utter failure and we've all known that for a very long time.

Tigerboy said...

Oh, and there actually IS a one-size-fits-all explanation of the Universe. We just don't know what it is. Yet.

That explanation exists. It is there to be discovered.

We don't know all the details, yet. We may not ever get there. We could easily blow ourselves up, first. But we've made huge strides.

The complete Laws of Physics of the entire Universe may be understood within our lifetime.

The cold, hard facts about the realities of the Universe do not "fit" various people differently. We are all part of the Universe. We "fit" within it.

And it's "one size" is big enough for all.

GCT said...

"well king frederick notably supported john dee the alchemist in the 16th century."

The loss of one of alchemy's patrons doesn't mean that it would have been fruitful. In fact, we know now that it wouldn't have been.

"mixing logic and spirit was bold and imo could have worked if we as a society had let it flourish"

I'm willing to let anyone bring anything to the table so long as they can actually show results. Using "spirit" or "faith" has been shown to be disastrously unsuccessful. It simply doesn't work. And it's not due to a lack of trying. How many angels do you think can dance on the head of a pin?

"double blind experiments prove that personal preference has more to do with the outcome than logical results."

Ah, no. A properly set up double blind experiment eliminates personal preference and confounding factors.

"most of the time there is no general consensus."

Um, yeah there is...on scientific matters that are settled. And, when the matter isn't settled and there are disagreements, scientists set up experiments to objectively identify which side is right and which is wrong. When using faith or religion or spirit, there is no way of doing this. This is why science works and why faith, spirit, religion, et. al. do not.

"it's the mind alone that makes a color what it is though..."

No, sorry, color is determined by wavelength. What your brain interprets most likely will differ from just about all other people you may ever meet, but that doesn't actually change the physical properties of the light that reaches your retina.

"i like to put my bets on unexplainable things as you can tell"

Actually, I'd describe it as more you putting your bet on something that is intentionally nebulous and simply doesn't work for reasons already specified.

Bill Davison said...

The Deceit of Religiosity

Positive conclusions of an Nonagenarian.

As the human mind is fundamentally prone to the generation of illusions, we must try to visualize in a realistic manner, the birth & ramose nature of Religiosity. Everyone is infected with an imaginative ‘spiritual’ tendency that is nothing more than a natural sentimental wonderment of our existence & surroundings. Elemental reasoning must be applied to give all ‘fantasial’ thoughts a true perspective.

‘Heavenly’ visions need to be truly assessed & not allowed to sabotage the prevalent common sense & research that seeks to counter Life’s ongoing problems. Unrealistic ‘Beliefs’, the cause of so much mayhem & mortality of past & present, are all very basic Man-made creations - - - devious proclamations of a false & tedious nature, incessantly filling shallow minds with absurd religious dogma.

Unease can result in the mind having a very distorted & tormented view of one’s situation, with an urge to look skywards for help. In order to form a valid judgement on ‘figmentary Gods’ & ‘Heavenly’ matters, a reasonably healthy state of mind is essential.

Nearing the end of a long life, not without bother, the need to rely on any absurd ‘belief’ has never really entered my consciousness! It’s all too apparent that religious ‘Faiths’ are pure humbug, blessed with existence by Impostors & their largely naive followers.

******************************************

To date - ‘Beliefs’ I have ignored - They’ve never really struck a chord
But ageing - Getting more a wreck - I deemed it wise to run a check

Pondered long - Far back in time - & I declare with thoughts sublime
Faith’s nebulous starting point was found - I was correct the first time round!

Following are my DEEP reflections - All plain FACT - NO deceptions!

Continued - http://www.absurdbelief.info

Michael Green said...

religion is wack but proof God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Heaven are real=why out of all thought to be only Those 4's Names are used in vein and literally nothing is just because. Fuck, Shit, Ass, Hell, Dickhead and all words that exist are names of either angel or spirit and there are so, so much more that what you've read. All Holy Life that exists 110% HATE, HATE religion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like just like friends do and friendship's Jesus's One and Only desire; with Eve and Adam He communicated. Misleading religion has rules and regulations and Christ 100% Hates those.

Main point: religion and its ghetto lifestyle is off balance and says unchanging God has 10 commandments and years later has 2; which means it's so, so foolish and harming to live or follow what's in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For more proof=technoandrock5@gmail.com

Peace Out!!

Anonymous said...

Actually science does teach us how as well as why. The more we understand how something works the more we also understand why it works that way. The two go hand in hand. If for some reason we don't understand exactly why something works the way it does after we study how it works then we continue to experiment and further our understanding of it until we reach a conclusion.

Allen Keefner said...

We didn't determine this by a scientific process. All of nature is driven to survive by whatever means necessary. Humans being part of nature and abiding by its laws still have ingrained instinctual characteristics that drive us to survive as a species. We can't very well do that if our inherent nature tells us to just kill each other. Sadly anomalies arise in the form of religious extremists who believe that they are doing good by ridding the world of what they view as immoral or evil and in turn justifying their evil deeds by saying it's the will of God. Other anomalies include mental health problems and social inequality. Some people with mental health problems sadly sometimes succumb in such a way that leads to them slaughtering innocent people while social inequality drives people to go against their own ingrained moral fiber in favor of survival. Nature is a crazy thing but it is what ultimately determines that not killing each other is what's best for the survival of the majority. The problems that arose with the development of free thought change the characteristics of what it means to survive for some people and that's why we kill each other some times. Religion can drastically alter ones perception of what is necessary for survival by brainwashing people into believing that anyone who disagrees with their world view is a threat that must be shut down if not by means of violence then by any other means necessary which is why religious people have a tendency to not want to listen to anyone's beliefs but their own because those beliefs are thought to be dangerous. Such thinking creates great intolerance toward our fellow humans.

Michael Green said...

Out of all thought to be, ONLY God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and Heaven are used in vein.
Y: sin hates those 4 & has infected earth. Reason pretty much all careless bouts feelings Those 4 get used in vein.

Tigerboy said...

Michael Green:
You seem to have a great deal of trouble stringing even a few simple sentences together in such a way that might be understood by others. (It's kind of a theme for you.) I can help you with one thing, however. The phrase you keep failing to use properly is about some action happening " ... in vain." Meaning---Not achieving the desired outcome. Without success. Futilely. (Veins are blood vessels. "In vein" would mean intravenously.) Practice your reading and writing skills. Keep trying to communicate (even if it's in vain). Good luck to you.