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 Post subject: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:02 am 
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Ahem ... excuse me but ... there is actually no such thing as 'good' other than our judgement of it. And of course, if you reverse this statement, there can be no such thing as "bad" either.

I've asked you this question before and I will ask again ... because it is a question worth asking .....

Why have beliefs at all?

But answering this question would necessitate a very honest response.

Must one believe in some entity or power or God. Can we not just surrender to the mystery .... We don`t actually know what is going on. We could even say that we don`t even know one another.

We become accustomed to one another for sure and thereby join groups as a way of belonging. Right .... Don`t you define yourself as some religious or national identity. We have a tendancy to do that and that very act of separating ourselves creates obvious separation. As we are very definitely in this together, to identify oneself as a religious or nationalistic `person` is separative. It is actually so simple when we are not divided. The divisions have no real substance anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:16 am 
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It is human nature to be curious. We are so curious that if we cannot find an answer to sate our curiousity we will make one up. Thus, the beginning of our myths and religions as answers to those questions we were not equipped to find answers.

We are also a societal species that forms "packs" and forms them larger and larger into civilizations as we are able. Once we get passed the small tribe level of packs there needs to be a stronger reason to follow the rules that allow the "pack" to continue to grow. Being intelligent creatures with religions created to answer our larger questions, we turned to those religions to help with the laws we needed everyone to follow. If a diety or group of dieties proclaimed a law there was much more weight palced behind it than any other law. since there were also religious answers to what happened after we died, which also gave hope that there was a better reqward than the normal daily existence, the punishment for violation could be extended beyond the lifespan of the individual. Thus, we begin to codify the "good" and "bad" of the society rather than the individual where anything that helped the individual was good and harmed them was bad. Now the individual could be harmed and it was "good" or benefitied and it was "bad" based on the impact on the society.

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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:05 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
It is human nature to be curious. We are so curious that if we cannot find an answer to sate our curiousity we will make one up. Thus, the beginning of our myths and religions as answers to those questions we were not equipped to find answers.

Quote:
We will never be able to give any kind of reason or reasoning to the essence. It is way too unknown.


We are also a societal species that forms "packs" and forms them larger and larger into civilizations as we are able. Once we get passed the small tribe level of packs there needs to be a stronger reason to follow the rules that allow the "pack" to continue to grow.

Quote:
We are smart and able.


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Okay, but as fully formed human beings, and having obtained `human-being`status, we must also see that we co-exist with other species. What is the point of having the awareness if we can`t use it.


Being intelligent creatures with religions created to answer our larger questions, we turned to those religions to help with the laws we needed everyone to follow.

You are assuming we need religion. Obviously one religion pits oneself against another. As soon as you declare yourself as belonging to one, you have set yourself apart from the other.

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If a diety or group of dieties proclaimed a law there was much more weight palced behind it than any other law. since there were also religious answers to what happened after we died, which also gave hope that there was a better reward than the normal daily existence.


Yeah but, the normal daily existance IS IT`.

the punishment for violation could be extended beyond the lifespan of the individual. Thus, we begin to codify the "good" and "bad" of the society rather than the individual where anything that helped the individual was good and harmed them was bad. Now the individual could be harmed and it was "good" or benefitied and it was "bad" based on the impact on the society.


Yes and yup. This makes sense, but there is no reason for punishment. We made it up.


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:38 am 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Why have beliefs at all?


Sounds like you're confusing beliefs with religion. Religion is a form of belief. Everyone harbors beliefs, but not everyone has religion. The reason we have religion is the same as why we have any other beliefs--because it is in our nature to believe.

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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:44 pm 
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In nature, an animal needs motivators and deterrents. Pain of hunger and of being too cold or too hot are motivators to do the right things for survival. Pain of injury, fears, and muscle fatigue pain are deterrents to prevent harmful actions. As soon as animals live in groups, pain is no longer applicable for a motivator or deterrent for the group to be acting as a meta-individual. What replaces it is praise and punishment for a motivator and deterrent. This works as long as the activity is noticed by a different individual in the group. Religion is simply creating a omnipresent member to provide the praise and punishment that the group requires when other members are not witnesses to the actions of individuals. Lack of religious continuity among groups such as the Babylonian empire created the need for a replacement for religion and that came in the form of governments. The problem remains for actions that are not observed that deserve praise or punishment. Suicide crimes add a new dimension because we, here on earth among the living, have no way of praising or punishing the actions after the person is dead. Again, religion steps in. This is why I see humanitarians as a form of religion... trying to create a praise and punishment in the form of knowing you will help or hurt others by your actions.

This being said, you also have to explain "magic". I define magic as phenomena that defy explanation by the audience. In a magic act, we know we are being fooled but we find it entertaining anyways. In the case of a miracle, we can explain it away or we can take it as a sign of the omnipresent member of our group commonly known as God or a god. House brownies and spirits/ghosts are other forms of omnipresent beings. I see science as a new omnipresent being replacement... the laws of science will never change (assuming we understand them correctly). The problem comes when a miracle cannot be explained with science as we know it. It becomes either magic (we do not know how) or supernatural (something is able to break the laws of science). There still is the possibility that we do not understand science enough such as the possible existence of other dimensions or ways to defy the passage of time or the limits of the speed of light... but that would then fall under magic. Magic can either be accepted or an explanation can be formed. The supernatural is an easy explanation but requires belief in a "higher power". The "god formula", a mathematical formula that connects all the phenomena we know about science in one harmonious mathematical explanation, is one excuse for magic... we do not yet have a god formula so obviously we do not yet understand science and thus miracles can be ignored as magic... yet-unexplained science. Finally there is the matter of matter... where did it come from? If you go with "from energy", you still have to answer "well, where did the energy come from then?". The Big Bang theory hopes to explain that but we still have the magic of dark matter and theoretical particles like the Higgs boson and of course math that defies university level courses.


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Very good, Ann! What is in those "house brownies"? Marijuana? Legal Zombie Matter? Or are they "Air Biscuits"?
Here is a good read for agnostics and others;
http://silkworth.net/bb/weagnostics.html

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Last edited by Johhny Electriglide on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:04 pm 
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I can not forget this;
The Lovin' Spoonful
Do You Believe in Magic Lyrics

Do you believe in magic in a young girl's heart
How the music can free her, whenever it starts
And it's magic, if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
I'll tell you about the magic, and it'll free your soul
But it's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll

If you believe in magic don't bother to choose
If it's jug band music or rhythm and blues
Just go and listen it'll start with a smile
It won't wipe off your face no matter how hard you try
Your feet start tapping and you can't seem to find
How you got there, so just blow your mind

If you believe in magic, come along with me
We'll dance until morning 'til there's just you and me
And maybe, if the music is right
I'll meet you tomorrow, sort of late at night
And we'll go dancing, baby, then you'll see
How the magic's in the music and the music's in me

Yeah, do you believe in magic
Yeah, believe in the magic of a young girl's soul
Believe in the magic of rock and roll
Believe in the magic that can set you free
Ohh, talking 'bout magic

Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic
Do you believe like I believe Do you believe, believer
Do you believe like I believe Do you believe in magic
[Fade]

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"With every decision, think seven generations ahead of the consequences of your actions" Ute rule of life.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”― Chief Seattle
“Those Who Have the Privilege to Know Have the Duty to Act”…Albert Einstein


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
Very good, Ann! What is in those "house brownies"?
Here is a good read for agnostics and others;
http://silkworth.net/bb/weagnostics.html


Neat read. Thanks.

Some of the strongest, most obstinate demonstrations of faith I've ever seen came from folks uttering: there must be a scientific explanation!

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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Here is another good one from Grand Funk Railroad;
Child; "if you're good, you'll live forever. and, if you're bad, you'll die when you die" ... echo......

Chorus; "I can feel him in the morning, I can feel him in the evening too. I can hear him in the morning, tellin' me what I got to do. Got to make a new world, ought to make the old one right. I can see him in the morning, I can see him in the stars at night." :-({|=
Copied from MetroLyrics.com
(words I believe, do, experience, and that are a big part of my life and spirituality. Trying to make a new world or make the old one right, :angel: and those not die when they die. :twisted: ) :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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"With every decision, think seven generations ahead of the consequences of your actions" Ute rule of life.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”― Chief Seattle
“Those Who Have the Privilege to Know Have the Duty to Act”…Albert Einstein


Last edited by Johhny Electriglide on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:29 pm 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
Very good, Ann! What is in those "house brownies"?
Typical gifts to brownies to keep on their good side include porridge, cream, butter, honey, and chocolate... sounds like a recipe.


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Ann Vole wrote:
Johhny Electriglide wrote:
Very good, Ann! What is in those "house brownies"?
Typical gifts to brownies to keep on their good side include porridge, cream, butter, honey, and chocolate... sounds like a recipe.


A recipe for good house brownies ... just don't bake them in the oven for too long. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Fosgate wrote:
Some of the strongest, most obstinate demonstrations of faith I've ever seen came from folks uttering: there must be a scientific explanation!
One of the things I love about the character Kowalski from the "Penguins of Madagascar" TV show is his religious faith in science.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOb8f7sMcvk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZKFpzcsOCM


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:14 pm 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
It is human nature to be curious. We are so curious that if we cannot find an answer to sate our curiousity we will make one up. Thus, the beginning of our myths and religions as answers to those questions we were not equipped to find answers.

Yes. Maybe our ancestors were as uncomfortable with the mystery of emptiness, nothingness, not-knowing, .... as we seem to be. So we fill it in with belief. And then, unfortunately, we bicker(and sometimes even kill each other in the name of belief) about which is the right or better one.

Yet I love stories and myths. They bind us together in the predicament that is human. But somewhere along the line, we have become bogged down in them. Joseph Campbell explains it beautifully.


Quote:
Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble. (brainy quotes.com)

We are also a societal species that forms "packs" and forms them larger and larger into civilizations as we are able. Once we get passed the small tribe level of packs there needs to be a stronger reason to follow the rules that allow the "pack" to continue to grow. Being intelligent creatures with religions created to answer our larger questions, we turned to those religions to help with the laws we needed everyone to follow.

The need to keep social order also distanced us from the myth/story. The metaphor became belief.

If a diety or group of dieties proclaimed a law there was much more weight palced behind it than any other law. since there were also religious answers to what happened after we died, which also gave hope that there was a better reqward than the normal daily existence, the punishment for violation could be extended beyond the lifespan of the individual.

Yes, so the church, which in its day was more powerful than the state (in western civilization anyway), became the "authorities" who imposed these religious 'rules' on the people, even into the afterlife. Obviously a very good method of control. There must have been many who didn't believe but still had to live in this kind of power structure.

Thus, we begin to codify the "good" and "bad" of the society rather than the individual where anything that helped the individual was good and harmed them was bad. Now the individual could be harmed and it was "good" or benefitied and it was "bad" based on the impact on the society.


Not sure I understand what your saying in this last paragraph.


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Fosgate wrote:
animal-friendly wrote:
Why have beliefs at all?


Sounds like you're confusing beliefs with religion. Religion is a form of belief. Everyone harbors beliefs, but not everyone has religion. The reason we have religion is the same as why we have any other beliefs--because it is in our nature to believe.


No, I realize that religion is a form of belief, but I am also questioning belief at all.
A simple inquiry. Why have belief?

It is certainly our "habit" to believe and I suppose that after awhile, habit becomes nature.


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 Post subject: Re: Why have beliefs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:51 pm 
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animal-friendly wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
It is human nature to be curious. We are so curious that if we cannot find an answer to sate our curiousity we will make one up. Thus, the beginning of our myths and religions as answers to those questions we were not equipped to find answers.

Yes. Maybe our ancestors were as uncomfortable with the mystery of emptiness, nothingness, not-knowing, .... as we seem to be. So we fill it in with belief. And then, unfortunately, we bicker(and sometimes even kill each other in the name of belief) about which is the right or better one.

Yet I love stories and myths. They bind us together in the predicament that is human. But somewhere along the line, we have become bogged down in them. Joseph Campbell explains it beautifully.


Quote:
Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble. (brainy quotes.com)

We are also a societal species that forms "packs" and forms them larger and larger into civilizations as we are able. Once we get passed the small tribe level of packs there needs to be a stronger reason to follow the rules that allow the "pack" to continue to grow. Being intelligent creatures with religions created to answer our larger questions, we turned to those religions to help with the laws we needed everyone to follow.

The need to keep social order also distanced us from the myth/story. The metaphor became belief.

If a diety or group of dieties proclaimed a law there was much more weight palced behind it than any other law. since there were also religious answers to what happened after we died, which also gave hope that there was a better reqward than the normal daily existence, the punishment for violation could be extended beyond the lifespan of the individual.

Yes, so the church, which in its day was more powerful than the state (in western civilization anyway), became the "authorities" who imposed these religious 'rules' on the people, even into the afterlife. Obviously a very good method of control. There must have been many who didn't believe but still had to live in this kind of power structure.

Thus, we begin to codify the "good" and "bad" of the society rather than the individual where anything that helped the individual was good and harmed them was bad. Now the individual could be harmed and it was "good" or benefitied and it was "bad" based on the impact on the society.


Not sure I understand what your saying in this last paragraph.


With the religion basis the definition of what is "good" or "bad" based on the impact to the individual being impacted changed to what was "good" or "bad" for the society, which would allow the individual to be hosed if the outcome benefited the society in general and thus was "good".

Or as Spock stated, "the good of the many outweigh the good of the few"

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“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none”
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"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
Albert Einstein


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