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Yet another religion thread: what constitutes weird?

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by hyena, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. MagSec4

    MagSec4 .:..::.: :.::..:.

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    Regardless of whether or not you can prove anything or whether or not you care to prove anything, the "burden of proof" most certainly does lie on you.
    Why? Because YOU have the outrageous claim.
    If a group of people comes up claiming they saw a real-life blue genie in an old coca-cola can, the burden of proof is on them to shift what is accepted as "truth".
    What's more outrageous, that there lives a being that defies the way the world is KNOWN to work, or that the world continues to work in the way it always has and has consistently and reliably proven itself to work? Now, I'm not saying anything about whether or not that person is actually right, I'm just pointing out that there's a pretty reasonable way to assign the "burden of proof".

    Just to give an example. Some might claim that all those stories in the Old Testament in fact occurred. For instance, Noah's Ark. I know many of you know that there are millions of species just under the heading "insects", and millions under "amphibians", and so on without mentioning all the different types of animals that exist on land. Does anyone in this forum truthfully believe that all the existing species in the present day are descendants from an original pair that one family managed to collect from all over the world, and actually were organized and fit inside a single ship, within a relatively short period of time?
    I ask, what's more probable, and what's more outrageous? That? ..Or the alternative, which is that the story of Noah (like other stories in the Bible and thousands of other pieces of ancient folklore) was simply a story passed on by word of mouth through generations, and at some point written down by men (Men, by the way, who at the time probably had very limited knowledge about how the world works, and were easily susceptible to finding other (supernatural) explanations to natural things that happened all around them, like a period of severe flooding.

    When somebody claims to have had an experience that proves to the person something religious or supernatural, I don't call him or her a liar. But I do say that it's the least likely of possible explanations. Hey, I'll even say I had such an experience myself about 6 years ago. But it's so easy to be perplexed and assign religion and the supernatural to what we perceive ..and make him or herself feel better by further feeding our very-human hope for something more.
    The truth is, much is actually known about the human brain and how our perception works. And there are very real and logical explanations for so many things out there that people claim.

    As for the real world and its workings..
    An everyday thing like an automobile, is among a long list of things that are testament to how predictable, reliable, and how well-understood the rigid, ever-present, laws of thermodynamics are.

    So all I say is that given:
    a) A religious claim defying, for instance, thermodynamics
    b) The real world and how it is known to work.

    ..I think the burden of proof (be it taken or not) lies in the former.


    That's exactly right. You said it yourself. The whole reason behind having the word and its definition in the first place is to excuse religions from having to make sense. It is the greatest shield religion made for itself, to protect it against any attack ..even those involving reason, logic, wisdom, and knowledge; and to maintain its followers, especially when they start using their head and realizing certain things. What they often don't realize is that it's not a solid shield ..it's an empty ideal of a shield that protects the religion in much the same way that a scared small child is protected by his invisible impenetrable jacket.

    A phrase stating "I cannot prove it, but I believe it to be true" should not be followed by a phrase stating "Thus something is .."

    Oh yeah :p Thanks, buddy!
    ..I just wandered in for some reason and got carried away reading through this thread.
     
  2. ian.de

    ian.de Member

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    I've never seen a thread with so many theists/agnostics and so few atheists, especially on a death metal forum.

    Thanks for the eloquent post MagSec4
     
  3. Kovenant84

    Kovenant84 T-369 days

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    Haha, np Mag. Although I like how I temporarily became younger through your quotes ;)

    I think you may have missed the point of some of my statements. Specifically, what you said about Noah's ark. I agree wholeheartedly. My point was that there is most likely a grain of truth to the story, in that some guy named Noah lived through one of the worst flash-floods in history by piling his family and all of their animals into a boat.

    Another was that I did not define 'faith' to solely apply to religion. I was merely stating that there is no difference between a religious person having faith in their chosen god and afterlife and a scientist who believes that a certain sequence of events transpired .1x10^-100 seconds after the big bang. Both have equally unprovable claims. Yes, the burden of proof should be on them, but I was agreeing with Hyena that a chief element to Christian faith is the idea that you know you will never be able to prove it, and being ok with that. Do I agree with that conjecture? Meh. But I respect the position.

    And for clarification, my definition of faith was followed up by the reason I had arrived at that opinion, not a statement of fact.

    ~kov.

    <sigh> And all these years I thought I'd never have to see the Reynold's Transport Theorem again...

    EDIT: Ian.de, I was raised Catholic - went to a Catholic elementary school, and high school. I've taken a more pragmatic stance on religion since then, tending more towards agnosticism as Rahvin put it. I by no means consider myself a Theologian, but I have studied the bible in school, quite intensely for one year of high school. (I say intensely, but there's so much to be studied there that one year barely scratches the surface.) I claim no religious bias on my interpretations of these passages - after all, it was my teacher at that school who started the year by holding up a bible and asking us, "So you know that this is mostly stories, right?" I think between that and the elective I took in Theodicy that I've distanced myself a bit from my upbringing, which initially was more of an ingraining of doctrine than anything else. I do not hold anything against the Church, or anything like that - I know the effects, good and bad, that it can have on people, and I recognize the reasons behind scripture stories, rather than taking them at face value.

    The greatest problem I see, and this could be from your experience as well, living in the states, is that there are so many people out there who look at just the doctrines and the surface of the parables in the Bible and assume that everything therein is factual truth as it is written that is not open to interpretation.
     
  4. Tebus

    Tebus An abode of few.

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    All I know is that I'm leaning more and more towards believing there's a God, because there's no other way all of these people could have reappeared on the forum after this long of a hiatus.
     
  5. Lina

    Lina kickass elizabethan style

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    That's because most of us have been down this path before and can't be arsed anymore.
     
  6. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    Fashion will come and go, even among the metal crowds.
     
  7. ian.de

    ian.de Member

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    I don't follow
     
  8. Siren

    Siren Active Member

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    I beg to differ. Proof is all around us, it's up to each person individually to open his/her eyes and see. It's a matter of what each person is willing and capable to accept as proof. If someone doesn't want to open their eyes, no amount of talking and convincing will make them see.
     
  9. Tebus

    Tebus An abode of few.

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    I think that's a really good point. Perhaps even based on our own life experiences and hereditary traits which are both completely unique, we will see what we want to see and look for answers that make us feel comfortable. I think this is fine to a degree. To me, the problem arises when people go to extremes to keep this level of comfort, such as those that resort to violence, extortion, etc.
     
  10. hyena

    hyena counterclockwise

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    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  11. Siren

    Siren Active Member

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    I have a big problem with that too, no matter the system of belief it might come from.

    As for the rest, i tend to think that the upbringing one had plays a big role too. For example, someone raised by atheists might find atheism more natural and not have any particular feelings of faith or think that believers are crazy, whereas someone raised by religious people and brought in contact with the spiritual side of things from a young age, might find it more natural to believe.
     
  12. ian.de

    ian.de Member

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    Funny how that works huh? Indoctrination at a young age would certainly promote a more pro-faith mentality in older age.

    And I also agree with your statement about proof and evidence. Like I said before, each person has a unique level of standards that must be met before they are content with their beliefs. Just because I'll never understand it doesn't make it wrong I suppose, I am in the minority after all.
     
  13. MagSec4

    MagSec4 .:..::.: :.::..:.

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    Ah, sorry man.. my attention was focused on the post. I didn't realize I changed up the number on your name.

    That's funny I could've sworn I wrote everything correctly.. In my mind I did, without a shadow of a doubt.
    Hmm..
    ..I guess human brains aren't perfect. I think I'll continue to be cautious of what I (and other fellow human-brain-equipped critters) hold as a truth ;)

    And, by the way, It wasn't really a misunderstanding (or an attack on you), it was more along the lines of using your quotes to make points of my own.

    Hey Tebs!
    I think I'm also starting to believe ..not because it's good to see you again, but because I may have seen something that might resemble the face of Saint Mary Agnes in my popcorn (I put some hot shredded cheese on it and a bunch of them got stuck together).
     
  14. Tebus

    Tebus An abode of few.

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    :tickled: .... ahaha. Good to see you again man! Yeah that face is unmistakable.
     
  15. Northern Lights

    Northern Lights Quicksilver

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    Ebay, my friend. Ebay will be the solution to all your (financial at least) problems, provided you didn't eat S:t. Mary Agnes of course.

    Wait, you put cheese on your popcorn? Why?
     
  16. Kovenant84

    Kovenant84 T-369 days

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    @Mag: No worries, buddy. I knew what you were up to, so I didn't take it personally.

    Though I second NL's wonderment at melted cheese on popcorn...

    ~kov.
     
  17. Siren

    Siren Active Member

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    That's true. But don't forget that it also works the other way around, and that there's always the people who will change opinion later in life (turn atheists from religious, or religious from atheists).
     
  18. hyena

    hyena counterclockwise

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    i have been over the subject of "indoctrination at a young age" with a few people, most of whom were raised catholic and then turned agnostic or atheist, and the more i look at different people the more i realize that a religious education is always an asset, except of course for the tragic cases when it is marred by abuse. after all, it gives one a worldview that is not exactly coincident with the contemporary mainstream, and assuming that such worldview is not completely wacky it is always good to have additional analytical categories to choose from. i will now draw upon what was said by tebus and a few others here: normally, major religions are not completely wacky in the sense that they try to turn people's efforts toward helping others, not thinking in terms of the here and now only, etcetera. and while it is of course possible and also quite frequent that such values are passed on also by non-religious parents, religion might help to focus, since it uses categories that are not relative.
     
  19. MagSec4

    MagSec4 .:..::.: :.::..:.

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    NL, Kov: Yeah, that's right! ..I'll put cheese on anyone's popcorn :heh:
    Other things that have found themselves in my instant popcorn bag include lemon and honey. Hey, what's the fun in always eating plain puffed-up starch :p
    (I don't like butter)


    ^ These are great points.
    I'd just like to add that this is a way to see it all from outside the box. Spirituality has definitely been intimately intertwined with humans and human history. Everything from the Bible; to the interesting retold tales of nomad tribes throughout America, Asia, and Africa; to the written rich stories and drama of the ancient Greeks and their religion.. it is all very valuable indeed. It is all a very important part of people's heritage, culture, and art. I only disagree when people single out one of these and truly deem it transcendentally important above all things; when people take it as absolute and literal truth; when people USE one of these pieces of ancient literature as a reason to hold themselves above all other people (and I'm not only talking about the mass-scale tragic consequences, I'm also talking about the very belief that one's religion is "correct" while others' are "false" and "will go to hell but that's their problem").
    I see it all the time.. How everyone seems to be perfectly able to see things outside the box when talking about a number of religions other than their own, but it's interesting to see how their way of thinking drastically shifts, and their logic plummets unapologetically, when talking about their own religion*.

    The Bible, the impressive and extensive Vedas of Hinduism, the Koran, the Greek "myths"... they are all valuable and important, but their highly-important value only lies within the margins of the subject of literature.
    Many will argue that they are rich with moral value that people obtain, ..but I will respond that people derive moral value from many sources, including non-religious literature. I will also argue that morality does not necessarily come from religious-texts*, even though it looks like it does. And ultimately, I am certain that people do not need religion to derive "good" moral values. Many people do, because that's all they think they've known about the source of their morals, but this is not an absolute ..with some more knowledge and thought they would see that they are only restricting themselves.


    *: Has anyone read the Bible and noticed some of the absolutely horrible things it tells? For example, there are at least 2 occasions when it goes on about how men (a parent! in one case) just give away a girl as if it was some property, so that other men may rape her all they want and leave them alone. And they do indeed (in one of the cases the girl is dead in the morning after being raped throughout the night). And it tells it all as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and the men show not a care in the world about it.


    *: This is, by the way, a direct consequence of confirmation bias, among other very well-understood side-effects of the imperfect way in which the brain's attention and memory recall systems work. The tendency is inevitable in these systems since this imperfection is the trade-off for it being highly efficient. If anyone is curious I'd be happy to discuss it, but I otherwise won't bother if all I do is bore people :p
     
  20. ian.de

    ian.de Member

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    You know the chapters and verses for this? I'd like to read that for myself, sounds raunchy.
     

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