Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Messages 11421 - 11440 of total 23050 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
cintune

climber
The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Dec 4, 2012 - 06:26pm PT
Gotta love the delerious slope of postmodern oneupsmanship. Is the narrative of these myths itself not yet another myth? ;-)
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 4, 2012 - 06:43pm PT
Right now atheists are a discriminated against group and they have lashed out in reaction. That reaction won't convert their religious enemies and it is off putting to a lot of other people, many of whom still go to church but are not fanatics. The religious moderates are the very people who should be their allies against fanaticism. So why attack them too? (This is a rhetorical question not directed at you personally).


first of all I think the religiously moderate generally are philisophicaly allied along moral lines with secularists, more so than with the religiously fanatic. Yet many of the religiously moderate will align politically with the fanatics, or at least remain neutral in the face of their aberrant demands and behavior. Why is this? You should have insight into this. I think it is pure pragmatic tribalism. In other words, moral considerations are cast aside for the purpose of maintaining political power. The allegiance to God the authority supercedes moral considerations. When push comes to shove, religion for all its moral posturing, proves to be nothing more than just another power structure that serves itself before ideal.

Case in point is attitudes toward man made global warming. Many many moderate christians side or at least go along in silence with the fundamentalist denial of the science and defense of the corporate status quo, against overwhelming science as well as the moral imperative to take action. The only plausible reason is a meek deference to authority against all reason. Exactly the same can be said for attitudes toward homosexuality. Admittedly there is some bias here written in the good book but our best "Real world" understandings of this issue prove it to be missplaced. Regardless, loyalty to unassailable dogma supercedes all other observation to the contrary. Creationism ditto. This all results in the moderates taking on or at least permitting the attitudes of the fanatics.

This tribal devotion works great if all you have is a monoculture, but we don't. Even egypt dosn't. And it certainly dosn't bode well for advancement in science, which undeniably is related to advancement of humanity.

I dunno Jan. I'd say the moderate faithful need to do an about face and rebel against thier political overlords (the fanatics) if they are a truly moral people.

The aetheists / secularists are not "attacking" the moderates. We are challenging the morality of their choice of allegiance with the fanatics and thier irrational devotion to the authority of various books written in the stone age. I think you'll find that the majority of us think Jesus was a perfectly good guy and its a crying shame his lessons have been co-opted by various political power structures to dubious effect.


Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 4, 2012 - 06:56pm PT
Mike - my opinion is that morality, or more accurately how it applies as ethics, is often in flux but it evolves in a progressive direction not regressive or static. Religion is largely responsible for getting us this far, but due to its inability to respond to a world that constantly changes around it it is becoming irrelevant as a guiding force. Thanks for the lift to here but I think its got a flat tire.

I don't know if we can go on without it , but its getting obvious that it is lacking the tools for a modern world. Afganistan maybe, but not here.

I'm not sure what your getting at with the play on "myth". Healthcare for instance is hardly a myth to those on the operating table. Maybe you are suggesting that the myth of noahs arch is just as real to some so by that comparison both are myths?
MH2

climber
Dec 4, 2012 - 07:00pm PT
Here on the Arayu, one of the lonely places of the earth with all the winds of Asia droning over it, where the mountains seemed like the bones of the world breaking through, I had the sensation of emerging from a country that would continue to exist more or less unchanged whatever disasters overtook the rest of mankind.


A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush
Eric Newby

1958

(about a trip in 1956)



And don't forget the disasters that have since not overtaken Afghanistan.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 4, 2012 - 07:09pm PT
MH2 - I admit my knowledge of afganistan is squat, so really i was just referring to the myth of an authoritarian monoculture steeped in ancient religous dogma, which could equally be applied in south Carolina or Georgia
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 4, 2012 - 07:17pm PT
Too many flowers today
so I will just knock it out
Credit: Dr. F.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 4, 2012 - 07:24pm PT
Problem?
How can you just pass up a plant in full bloom without taking the time to take a F-ing photo of it.

It's just too hard, it's like a sentence from above,
you must not let that plant go without taking a f-ing picture of it, you lazy ass bastard, now pick it up, bring it into the garage, put it on the background stand, turn the lights on, and take a f-ing picture!
ok, your wish is my command; oh wise one.

Credit: Dr. F.
Credit: Dr. F.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 4, 2012 - 09:19pm PT
Healthcare for instance is hardly a myth to those on the operating table.

(An Almighty Supreme Being is hardly a myth to Go-B, Splitter, and others.)


Hey, Bruce:

I certainly agree that religion is a dominant, pervasive, and fundamental myth (no pun intended) that spawns many other powerful myths, while yet others are just minor myths or even just little falsehoods.

What I was trying to get at are the differences between what's promised, what's understood by what's promised, and what's realized over time as myth founders' revelations become codified, administered by yeomen, and pragmatically practiced by regular folk.

I can't think of any important concept / program that really worked out as advertised.


BTW, are you so sure that our ethics are as historically progressive as you make out? I'm sure that there are many differences of opinion, but here's the first paragraph from the World Happiness Report:

We live in an age of stark contradictions. The world enjoys technologies of unimaginable sophistication; yet has at least one billion people without enough to eat each day. The world economy is propelled to soaring new heights of productivity through ongoing technological and organizational advance; yet is relentlessly destroying the natural environment in the process. Countries achieve great progress in economic development as conventionally measured; yet along the way succumb to new crises of obesity, smoking, diabetes, depression, and other ills of modern life.

(http://www.earth.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/Sachs%20Writing/2012/World%20Happiness%20Report.pdf);

MH2

climber
Dec 4, 2012 - 09:34pm PT
Bruce,

The Nuristan economy described by Eric Newby seemed to consist of goats, mulberries, and walking to a town several days away to trade cheese for hats to look chic in. I'm only guessing that they are still loca-vores, except for the caps. In the USA maybe folk like the Amish will get by but I bet most of the South is too globalized to weather any disaster that, for example, denies them the use of pick-up trucks.



edit:

From what I recall, it's the mountains of Nuristan that make regular roads impractical so that people must depend on what they can make and grow locally, for the most part.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Dec 4, 2012 - 09:51pm PT
One of those odd little historical links having nothing to do with this thread: Eric Newby learned to climb on Eckenstein's Boulder in Wales. Eckenstein was the British father of bouldering (1890s). His eponymous boulder was also the site at which Eckenstein introduced the modern version of balance climbing to prominent alpinists like Geoffrey Winthrop Young.

;>)
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Dec 4, 2012 - 09:59pm PT
ok Mike I think Ifollow. and no i'm not sure they are progressive or have turned out progresive or that the progresiveness is more myth than fact, but I hope that at least the effort and motive is progressive.
Also I don't doubt that in the end the Nuristani's with whatever myths they hold may have been more successful than all others in attaining gross domestic happiness across the board, even if some of their social mores seem a little off to us whitey tighties. The real test however would be if a spaceship of gay martians suddenly crash landed and upset the happy balance. Could they handle it with grace and dignity? Would gay martian pride parades be allowed? What if their daughters suddenly took a fancy to lesbianism? Would same or mixed gender marriages of martians and Nuristani's destroy the social order and fabric of thier society requiring a pogrom which should have happened a while ago.... or would thier society grow as a result?

I don't know what goes on there but thats what happens here, and the only real problem are the uptight religious nuts.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Dec 4, 2012 - 10:20pm PT
. The Grand Inquisitor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Grand Inquisitor is a parable told by Ivan to his brother Alyosha in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov (18791880). Alyosha is a novice monk and Ivan questions the possibility of a personal, benevolent God.

The Grand Inquisitor is an important part of the novel and one of the best-known passages in modern literature because of its ideas about human nature and freedom, and because of its fundamental ambiguity. Dostoyevsky's notebooks show that he was inspired to use the figure of the Grand Inquisitor after he encountered it in a play by Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos (17851787). [citation needed]

Parable

The tale is told by Ivan with brief interruptive questions by Alyosha. In the tale, Christ comes back to earth in Seville at the time of the Inquisition. He performs a number of miracles (echoing miracles from the Gospels). The people recognize him and adore him, but he is arrested by Inquisition leaders and sentenced to be burnt to death the next day. The Grand Inquisitor visits him in his cell to tell him that the Church no longer needs him. The main portion of the text is devoted to the Inquisitor explaining to Jesus why his return would interfere with the mission of the Church. The Inquisitor frames his denunciation of Jesus around the three questions Satan asked Jesus during the temptation of Christ in the desert. These three are the temptation to turn stones into bread, the temptation to cast Himself from the Temple and be saved by the angels, and the temptation to rule over all the kingdoms of the world. The Inquisitor states that Jesus rejected these three temptations in favor of freedom, but the Inquisitor thinks that Jesus has misjudged human nature. He does not believe that the vast majority of humanity can handle the freedom which Jesus has given them. The Inquisitor thus implies that Jesus, in giving humans freedom to choose, has excluded the majority of humanity from redemption and doomed it to suffer. Despite declaring the Inquisitor to be an atheist, Ivan also has the Inquisitor saying that the Catholic Church follows "the wise spirit, the dread spirit of death and destruction," i.e. the Devil, Satan. He says "We are not with Thee, but with him, and that is our secret! For centuries have we abandoned Thee to follow him." For he, through compulsion, provided the tools to end all human suffering and for humanity to unite under the banner of the Church. The multitude then is guided through the Church by the few who are strong enough to take on the burden of freedom. The Inquisitor says that under him, all mankind will live and die happily in ignorance. Though he leads them only to "death and destruction," they will be happy along the way. The Inquisitor will be a self-martyr, spending his life to keep choice from humanity. He states that "Anyone who can appease a man's conscience can take his freedom away from him." The Inquisitor advances this argument by explaining why Christ was wrong to reject each temptation by Satan. Christ should have turned stones into bread, as men will always follow those who will feed their bellies. The Inquisitor recalls how Christ rejected this saying, "Man cannot live on bread alone," and explains to Christ "Feed men, and then ask of them virtue! That's what they'll write on the banner they'll raise against Thee." Casting himself down from the temple to be caught by angels would cement his godhood in the minds of people, who would follow him forever. Rule over all the kingdoms of the Earth would ensure their salvation, the Grand Inquisitor claims. The segment ends when Christ, who has been silent throughout, kisses the Inquisitor on his "bloodless, aged lips" instead of answering him. On this, the Inquisitor releases Christ but tells him never to return. Christ, still silent, leaves into "the dark alleys of the city." Not only is the kiss ambiguous, but its effect on the Inquisitor is as well. Ivan concludes, "The kiss glows in his heart, but the old man adheres to his idea." Christ's kiss may also mirror an event that occurs earlier in the novel when the elder Zosima bows before Dmitri Karamazov. No one seems to understand why Zosima did this. Fyodor Karamazov exclaims, "Was it symbolic of something, or what?" Not only does the parable function as a philosophical and religious work in its own right, but it also furthers the character development of the larger novel. Clearly, Ivan identifies himself with the Inquisitor. After relating the tale, Ivan asks Alyosha if he "renounces" Ivan for his views. Alyosha responds by giving Ivan a soft kiss on the lips, to which the delighted Ivan replies, "That's plagiarism... Thank you though." T
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 4, 2012 - 10:29pm PT
WOW! BRAVO MIKEL BRAVO

I wish I could have been here earlier but I've been busy with my Beautiful Daughter !
Thank You Jesus for bringing Olive into my life
WBraun

climber
Dec 4, 2012 - 10:32pm PT
Alyosha responds by giving Ivan a soft kiss on the lips, to which the delighted Ivan replies, "That's plagiarism..

It's actually imitation.

There are many imitators who pretend to be genuine in the present day and age and in the past.

But everyone knows real gold when they come upon it.

And that is the test and how one can tell .....
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Dec 5, 2012 - 12:29am PT
Werner - sold my boat tonight to a Krishna - My wife is great friends with his wife and she brought them over- such an amazing family and man - so intelligent - i am usually pretty antisocial these days - but we had a great conversation about many things - he is a Doctor and spent 6 years on a farm as a monk in Mexico - probably sometime in the 70's as he is 60 now.
One of those serendipitous things as I had also worked with this daughter and am very close with her - didnt find out until she wrote me on facebook and told me that i had just sold my boat to her mom and dad.

Thinking of taking my kids to India - maybe home school for 6 months and travel next year - no Internet - just travel and read books.
this Internet thing is the death of us all.

Nature and I spent a lot of time talking about the Bhagavad Gita while i was in Boulder

cheers, Riley
Jennie

Trad climber
Elk Creek, Idaho
Dec 5, 2012 - 02:07am PT
Jan, your posts are superlative...I appreciate your perspective of the big picture.

Sadly, I'm afraid many intellectuals shun open internet forum discussion...perhaps they fear the stubborn public winds of opinion biasing their sifting of the truth.

...or perhaps they remember academics are often first to be silenced by du jour oligarchs coming to power.

The Uncivil War in the U.S. is accelerating...polarization is at its worst since Reconstruction. We seem oblivious to the lessons of twentieth century Europe ...we embrace our culture of demonization like a lost puppy come home.

...do you believe the U.S. is proceeding to a societal breakdown or will respect and tolerance be restored and a new empathetic social order be established?


...hope you continue to post. I think you have many readers who appreciate your expertise in cross-cultural comparison and other aspects of anthropological inquiry...probably more would comment but are avoiding the insults and put-downs.
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 5, 2012 - 08:48am PT
"The kiss glows in his heart, but the old man adheres to his idea."

Love that line.
Donald Thompson

Trad climber
Los Angeles,CA
Dec 5, 2012 - 01:11pm PT
The morally crippling aspect of Religion is the authoritarian political power structure that in fact it is.

I'll leave out the unenlightened, fatuous , and thoroughly forgettable comments about the nature of religion and focus (once again) on the utter ignorance of history revealed in the above comments.
As I have said, for the 10th time on this thread, most of our examples of totalitarian and authoritarian behavior, in terms of magnitude and scope, were the hideous attempts at social engineering carried out by the premiere socialist monstrosities of the last hundred years, namely, Nazism and Communism.
The rise of Islamic fundamentalism has clearly allowed the progressive atheist to gloss over and evade these historical facts. And yet, this Islamism, despite its current media and pop culture status, remains puny in scope and magnitude compared to the appalling atheistic regimes and ideologies that I have mentioned.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Gotta love Howard Bloom. My favorite atheist:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=wdJyafSBCb0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DwdJyafSBCb0

If I were still eating gluten I'd be real hungry for a bagel about now.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Dec 5, 2012 - 01:24pm PT
Mike L.....my heart glows....with the knowledge that you love that line...

Thankyou.....

WBraun

climber
Dec 5, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
HFCS -- "Have the guts to change your mind."

After tasting Gold he thinks one should eat coal ........
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