• S
    6.8k
    Communism is teleological, it has a symbolic metanarrative, all kind of symbols and rituals and texts that are more than texts, and idealized personalities. It doesn´t just organize economic life, but also culture and the very way people think and feel and behave about themselves and family and friends. What more is needed to call it a religion?DiegoT

    Most glaringly, an absolute authority figure (more than an idealized personality), and an aspect of transcendence.praxis

    You both seem to be conflating communism, the political ideology, with communist states. To my knowledge, there's nothing in communism which says that there must be a Stalin-like or Mao-like figure.

    Or did you perhaps mean Marx? He is just one of a number of people to produce writings on the subject, and it's his ideas which matter, and they matter based on their own merits or demerits.
  • Athena
    273
    Most glaringly, an absolute authority figure (more than an idealized personality), and an aspect of transcendence.praxis

    That appears to be the Christian hang up I hope we get past. Christians have humanized a God and that is not necessary to have a belief in a mighty and strong force that manifest our three-dimensional experience of reality. The Christian God authority is counterproductive. I promise you there is no God that wanted animal sacrifices. However, there is a right way and wrong way of doing things. When we do things right we get good results and when we do things wrong we get bad results. Believing a God will save our sorry asses so we don't have to use science to figure things out, is a mistake. Do you see the difference between believing there is a supernatural authority and believing science is important to staying out of trouble? Going from town to town flogging yourself or burning witches will not spot plagues, but science can.
  • S
    6.8k
    Why is it a contradiction to say there is a mighty and powerful force that is beyond our comprehension? We can know creation is the result of a mighty and powerful force. We experience the manifestation of that mighty and powerful force and we can study the manifestation of this force, so we can know of the manifestation, but the mighty and powerful is beyond our comprehension. Maybe someday as we explore the energy of all creation more fully or/and if we come to understand multiple dimensions, we might think we comprehend the mighty and powerful force, but not today. There is no contradiction. We do not know everything.

    I like the saying, the beginning of wisdom is "I don't know." When we think we know something, we stop learning of it. It is better to think we don't know, than to believe we do know. That is to say when we think we know God, we know not God, but only what we think we know.
    Athena

    Mighty, powerful, a force, a creator of the universe, able to manifest itself in ways which can be experienced and studied by humans, universal law, the cause and effect that rules our lives, greater than us, essential to preventing humans from believing they are the highest power, essential to preventing humans from projecting themselves into a concept of a god and believing that they can know the will of God, not a human force, not a superhuman, you seem to suggest it has a will, manifests our three-dimensional experience of reality, does not want animal sacrifices...


    You know and comprehend all of this about it. Yet it's unknowable and beyond our comprehension.

    Sure.
  • praxis
    887
    Most glaringly, an absolute authority figure (more than an idealized personality), and an aspect of transcendence.
    — praxis

    That appears to be the Christian hang up I hope we get past.
    Athena

    Rather, it's what I believe are two essential qualities of what may be regarded as 'religion', which I point out in response to DiegoT's query.

    The Christian God authority is counterproductive.Athena

    Counterproductive to what purpose? If God's not the ultimate authority then who does God answer to?

    I promise you there is no God that wanted animal sacrifices.Athena

    This is a non sequitur that you cannot promise me, unless you're a God or something. Maybe there is a God and he gets a kick out of critter sacrifices."

    Do you see the difference between believing there is a supernatural authority and believing science is important to staying out of trouble?Athena

    "Trouble" is a little ambiguous so I can't quite agree that science is important to staying out of it, or even that staying out of it is a desirable objective.

    Going from town to town flogging yourself or burning witches will not stop plagues, but science can.Athena

    The science exists to end world hunger, as well as many other human challenges, yet millions starve to death each year. Fuck religion and science, people need to wake up.
  • DiegoT
    313
    so these movements say. But we can not study social phenomena from the point of view of the phenomena themselves; the scientific study of the Bible started to progress when an author questioned that the Torah was written by Moses. You can not ask, say, FARC narco terrorists what they are; they will tell you they are the people´s army of liberation. You need to observe and compare with similar phenomena before making a classification. I argue that communism and christianism are part of the same phenomenon because they share many common features, not to mention a common origin.
  • Athena
    273
    First of all, you need to stop saying that it's unknowable if you're going to tell me about it. That's a blatant contradiction.S

    Okay, and how do you propose we go about researching God?
    It's like if you were to tell me that the Loch Ness Monster exists, and then when I react with disbelief, you explain that you only meant as an abstraction, it would deflate the issue to a triviality.S

    I hardly think a notion of God is equal to a notion of the Loch Ness Monster. How could an argument about the existence of a Loch Ness Monster be abstract? The existence of a Loch Ness Monster is universal in what way? How would knowledge of a Loch Ness Monster make us think or behave differently? Compared to the notion of a mighty and powerful force that we must come to understand for our very survival. Are you wanting to argue there is no mighty and powerful force that gives form to the three dimensional experience we have, and 2+2 does not equal 4 on the moon or Mars but only on earth does 2 + 2 equal 4, or that a triangle on Mars is not the same as a triangle on earth? Are you understanding what math has to do with abstract thinking? Would "do unto others as you would have them do to you", be different on a different planet?

    Sure. That's the false or unsubstantiated side of the fork.S

    I am sorry, I do not understand the meaning of that sentence. Greek stories of the gods contain truths. When we interpret them abstractly we can have the advantage of the truths. However, if we interpret the stories concretely then our understanding is false. Same with interpreting the Bible. There is wisdom in holy books and we see it when are thinking abstractly, however, when we are thinking concretely we have false beliefs mixed up in the wisdom and the result of this can be very bad. That is why the church didn't want uneducated people to have Bibles that they could read for themselves. Things like the witch hunts, or beating the devil out of our children, can come out of uneducated people reading the Bible.
  • Athena
    273
    Rather, it's what I believe are two essential qualities of what may be regarded as 'religion', which I point out in response to DiegoT's query.praxis

    I do not think you find that in Hinduism or Buddhism?

    Counterproductive to what purpose? If God's not the ultimate authority then who does God answer to?praxis

    Ah, God is the authority of what and how does that work? What you said is completely incomprehensible to me because I do not believe there is a God that can be as a human authority. There is a right way and wrong way to do things, but that is not because a god says this is so. It simply is how things work. Our planes can appear to violate the laws of gravity because of taking advantage of air flow, and there is no god authority that says this is how things will be. It is the laws of physics that makes it so. Starting a war with another country may have some benefits but the problems will likely outweigh the benefits, although we are unlikely to be conscious of them. If we were more conscious it is unlikely we would engage in war. That is saying, it is wrong to start a war because of the destruction, not because a god wants us to war or doesn't want to war. We are the only human authority. The mighty and powerful force is not such an authority.

    This is a non sequitur that you cannot promise me, unless you're a God or something. Maybe there is a God and he gets a kick out of critter sacrifices."praxis

    What evidence do you have that there is a god that would want animal sacrifices? Without evidence why would anyone think a god would want such a thing and what would be the qualities of such a god? Frankly, I think it is repulsive for humans to think they can manipulate a god to do their will by sacrificing animals or saying prays. Perhaps we should try cannibalism and see how well that works. I can not judge that myself but must wait for a god authority that I don't believe exist, to tell me cannibalism and sacrificing animals doesn't please a god? That is nuts. It is a good example of why such a belief is counterproductive. It prevents us from knowing truth. Welcome to the dark ages, brought on by Christian thinking. No thank you, that is what I am opposing.

    "Trouble" is a little ambiguous so I can't quite agree that science is important to staying out of it, or even that staying out of it is a desirable objective.praxis

    Yeap, welcome to the dark ages brought on by Christian thinking. And folks, god has allowed Satan to have power on earth and we are in the last days, so ignore what science has to say about global warming, and those who are quite sure destroying another country is not the will of God. This is a huge thinking problem and I hope we get past it.

    Liberal education prepares us for scientific thinking and good moral judgment (abstract thinking). That is not education for technology (concrete thinking) Your thinking here has been concrete, not an abstract and this is a serious problem in the world today. It seems you need a Bible to tell you cannibolism is not okay because you don't think we can make these moral (science) judgments for ourselves. That means liberty and democracy are not possible, so why are we paying so much to defend our democracy? Maybe China has better leaders and can give us a better economy and better defense? What would make a president of the US a better leader if liberty and democracy are bad ideas?

    The science exists to end world hunger, as well as many other human challenges, yet millions starve to death each year. Fuck religion and science, people need to wake up.praxis

    We can also feed all the stray cats and dogs, and I do not think that is a good idea. If you want to start a thread to debate if we can feed the world or not, and if that is a good idea or not, pm me and I will throw in my two cents worth.
  • Athena
    273
    DiegoT
    285
    ↪S so these movements say. But we can not study social phenomena from the point of view of the phenomena themselves; the scientific study of the Bible started to progress when an author questioned that the Torah was written by Moses. You can not ask, say, FARC narco terrorists what they are; they will tell you they are the people´s army of liberation. You need to observe and compare with similar phenomena before making a classification. I argue that communism and christianism are part of the same phenomenon because they share many common features, not to mention a common origin.
    DiegoT

    In 1830 Tocqueville wrote that Christian democracies becoming a despot, a totalitarian government that would so control our lives our lives they would be meaningless and unfulfilling. I have always seen the conflict between communist and Christians totally baffling. Communism is applied Christianity, isn't it?
  • praxis
    887
    What would make a president of the US a better leader if liberty and democracy are bad ideas?Athena

    If liberty and democracy are bad ideas then we currently have the best possible leader.

    If you want to start a thread to debate if we can feed the world or not, and if that is a good idea or not, pm me...Athena

    You would debate whether relieving human suffering is a good idea or not? Granted that merely feeding the hungry (1 out of 6 people currently alive, approximately), isn’t a fix to universal human flourishing, but the effort would be in the right direction, I believe.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.3k
    So, what do you think?

    Religion poisons everything?!
    TheMadFool

    The late-great Christopher Hitchens took a very strongly worded position against religion and did his best to dissuade the world at large from taking it seriously, but I think there is at least a drop of hyperbole in the statement.

    Religion may indeed poison everything (to varying degrees) but, it has nurtured some other things too...

    Hitchens would probably have liked the following aphorism:

    "You can have a glass of perfectly clean and drinkable water, but if you add just a single drop of feces it ruins the lot"

    It's fair to say that religion does cause some harm to just about everything in some form or another... And religion being the prevailing home-team, I don't exactly blame him for over-stating his case (it's meant to be pushed back against)...
  • DiegoT
    313
    That is why the church didn't want uneducated people to have Bibles that they could read for themselves. Things like the witch hunts, or beating the devil out of our children, can come out of uneducated people reading the Bible.Athena

    The first two books that Gutenberg printed out: The Bible and Maleus Maleficarum. There you had the religious wars and the witch hunts.
  • S
    6.8k
    Okay, and how do you propose we go about researching God?Athena

    Wow. That's a blatant red herring. Just to clarify, is your "Okay" a concession to the following quote which you were responding to?

    "First of all, you need to stop saying that it's unknowable if you're going to tell me about it. That's a blatant contradiction".

    I hardly think a notion of God is equal to a notion of the Loch Ness Monster.Athena

    That's missing the point. The point wasn't that they're equal. That's not what analogies are supposed to do. Analogies are just supposed to show that there's something in common, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification. I could make an analogy between a man and a mouse. I wouldn't be suggesting that they're equal.

    How could an argument about the existence of a Loch Ness Monster be abstract?Athena

    Really? It could obviously be abstract if I'm talking about the concept or idea of the Loch Ness Monster, instead of talking about an actual creature.

    You know what, I think I might end it here. Sorry, but your response isn't very rational. Maybe if you show some improvement we can try again. Yes, I know you'll probably think that I'm arrogant for saying such a thing. That's because I am. But I've also been generous enough to try to help you out by identifying where you've gone wrong.

    For example, in your reply to praxis, you respond to him saying that your claim that there is no God who wanted animal sacrifices is a non sequitur, that it's possible there is, and that you can't know either way, by asking him questions and making comments as though he had in fact said that there is such a God, and then you strongly express your disapproval. This is a textbook fallacious response.

    I'm guessing that praxis recognised that and decided that it wasn't worth the bother.
  • DiegoT
    313
    In 1830 Tocqueville wrote that Christian democracies becoming a despot, a totalitarian government that would so control our lives our lives they would be meaningless and unfulfilling. I have always seen the conflict between communist and Christians totally baffling. Communism is applied Christianity, isn't it?Athena

    Communism is as you say, a practical answer to "Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." It´s no wonder that first socialists and the first feminists were deeply religious people; all totalitarian movements born as a response or reaction to the Masonic cultural revolution (Enlightenment) and the tragedies of the Industrial Revolution, that is: socialism, marxism, anarchism, feminism, fascism, nazism and more; all share the same basic ideas. These ideas are:1 the suprapersonal structure (the people, class, race, political movement) are the real human subjects and individuals are only cells of these organisms, with no inherent value separated of the suprapersonal movement. We see this in feminism, where the movement ask for more posts for women for being women, not for their individual merits. 2. The Salvation metanarrative: the Jewish foundational myth, that is not so original (Aztecs had a similar one, exodus included), is about a people that needs to be liberated from oppression and march to a new promised land that ultimately needs to be conquered by force; this ethnic aspiration is legit because it´s part of a grand divine plan to lead human History to its literary climax or resolution of all conflicts. All revolutionary movements we know are adaptations of this recurring theme in the Torah. 3. Manicheism, or belief that moral categories are not mere subjective appraisals of how actions relate to our personal values; but real cosmic forces of which men, with free will, are also part: History as a fight of good versus evil.
  • AJJ
    98
    Communism is as you say, a practical answer to "Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."DiegoT

    That beatitude is an admonishment to live a gentle life; its practical answer is just that. Forceful overthrow of perceived oppressors would be its opposite.

    As I understand, early Christians were communist in that they owned no private property and shared everything, but the politicisation of Communism is different, and the claim that the USSR, say, embodied a kind of practical Christianity is odd.
  • TheMadFool
    2.7k
    "You can have a glass of perfectly clean and drinkable water, but if you add just a single drop of feces it ruins the lot"VagabondSpectre

    Thanks but how about ''a word of truth is better than an entire library of lies''

    All in all, your warning heeded, his book does have truth in it. If I were a believer I would make my relationship with God a personal one and sidestep the priestly middlemen. Of course I would seek guidance in the interpretation of scripture. Understanding God is likely to be impossible without some goodly assistance.

    Do you think most of Christopher Hitchens' worries about religion has to do with the failures of organized religion with its dogmatic tendencies?

    This may not be entirely true because he reveals that God commanded genocide and rape in the holy books.

    Any ideas?
  • S
    6.8k
    This may not be entirely true because he reveals that God commanded genocide and rape in the holy books.TheMadFool

    Oh no, you've misunderstood. You see, with the goodly assistance from your local priest, you can discover that that sort of thing was just a colourful metaphor for loving your neighbour or something.
  • DiegoT
    313
    As I understand, early Christians were communist in that they owned no private property and shared everything, but the politicisation of Communism is different, and the claim that the USSR, say, embodied a kind of practical Christianity is odd.AJJ
    Perhaps it is odd in North America? In Europe there are lots of connections. The Catholic Church has right-wing and left-wing factions, and this division has been going on for some centuries. However, both main branches share many tenets of the Left. When you put the Poor and the Marginalized first and say that the Rich go to hell, as Gospels proclaim; you are creating a communist mindset.
  • AJJ
    98


    Well the Churches are not Christianity, as if they’ve somehow superseded Christ, so their political alignments are beside the point. Peter Hitchens’ description of Moscow, during the final hours of the Soviet Union, depicts a filthy swamp of petty corruption, where everyone informed on everyone else, abortions outnumbered live births, and a simple politeness like holding a door open for someone was viewed with suspicion. And, as far as I understand, Marxism doesn’t have a problem with being rich per se, as Christianity does, but only with riches gotten through exploited labour.

    Christianity advocates a practical communism - repudiation of private property and everything shared according to need - but Communism is not inherently Christian, because so much of the Christian message is absent or explicitly rejected.
  • TheMadFool
    2.7k
    Oh no, you've misunderstood. You see, with the goodly assistance from your local priest, you can discover that that sort of thing was just a colourful metaphor for loving your neighbour or somethingS

    I'm way off-track :grin:
  • Athena
    273
    If liberty and democracy are bad ideas then we currently have the best possible leader.praxis

    I love your reply.

    You would debate whether relieving human suffering is a good idea or not? Granted that merely feeding the hungry (1 out of 6 people currently alive, approximately), isn’t a fix to universal human flourishing, but the effort would be in the right direction, I believe.praxis

    Yes, I would debate the notion that it is possible to do that, and I would debate the idea that it is a good thing to do. A debate is about gaining information and that is important to have a good plan. I am concerned that the food supply is very vulnerable and that this problem is getting rapidly worse. Also feeding people results in breeding people and that makes the problem worse.
  • Athena
    273
    Wow. That's a blatant red herring. Just to clarify, is your "Okay" a concession to the following quote which you were responding to?S

    I often say things to prompt some thinking on what is said. If you want to argue a god is knowable that means doing some research, but the best we can do is research the manifestation of a mighty and powerful force and infer something about the mighty and powerful force and that is being done.

    Analogies are just supposed to show that there's something in common, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.S

    But what does the mighty and powerful force have in common with the Loch Ness Monster? How is our thinking of the two same? Now if you are speaking of Zeus or the God of Abraham, they share in common imaginary ideas of what exists. But I have said believing these notions of gods are real is concrete thinking, either they exist or they don't. Concrete.

    I am speaking of abstract thinking and that makes the notion of god, a mighty and powerful force, completely open and now we can wonder if the manifestation is limited to 3 dimensions, or if there are multiple dimensions, and how might people living on another planet think of this god? We can ask why did other people say there are different gods? What truths do people share in common and on what do they do they disagree. There is so much more we can come to know when we think abstractly.

    What made Athens so highly intelligent, leading some to believe they were a race of genius, is abstract thinking. In a world full of concrete thinkers, the people of Athens began thinking abstractly and this lead to science and the advancement of western civilization. Then like the US they became focused on technological correctness and began to atrophy.
  • Athena
    273
    where everyone informed on everyone else, abortions outnumbered live births, and a simple politeness like holding a door open for someone was viewed with suspicion.AJJ

    You are speaking of the US, right? We have mandatory reporters. Teachers, health care workers, counselors and anyone working with people is such a way are mandatory reporters who can get in serious trouble if they do not report suspect abuse, and so much as holding a baby and hitting the wives car with a fist, can be reported as child abuse.

    When we "liberated" women, increasingly women and children fell below the level of poverty and abortions increased.

    We used to laugh at the poverty of Russia and many people sharing homes. We now have people sharing homes and those living on the streets tend become like feral cats.
  • S
    6.8k
    I am speaking of abstract thinking...Athena

    Ah! I see. You were talking about abstract thinking, whereas I was talking about abstract thinking. :meh:
  • AJJ
    98


    Yeah, well you don’t hear much optimism about the current state of the West.
  • praxis
    887
    A debate is about gaining information and that is important to have a good plan.Athena

    A debate or argument is also about attempting to persuade others... perhaps so that they may adopt your plan.

    feeding people results in breeding people and that makes the problem worseAthena

    It’s an odd world we live in. In many parts of the world starvation is common and in other parts obesity is a sign of poverty. Both science and religion have failed to promote balance. I think we have to find it for ourselves.
  • Athena
    273
    Ah! I see. You were talking about abstract thinking, whereas I was talking about abstract thinking. :meh:S

    How do you define abstract thinking? I love your argument because it led to me finding the best definition of abstract thinking I have ever seen.

    Concrete thinking refers to the thinking on the surface whereas abstract thinking is related to thinking in depth. Concrete thinking does not have any depth. It just refers to thinking in the periphery. ... While some mental process is involved in abstract thinking, no such effort is evolved in concrete thinking.Mar 31, 2010
    http://www.differencebetween.net/language/difference-between-concrete-and-abstract-thinking/
    — Difference Between

    Now that goes with Daniel Kahneman's explanation of "Thinking, Fast and Slow". Daniel Kahneman explains how our brains work and why even the most highly educated people can make terrible mistakes in judgment. Some people have a gut reaction to the notion of God and that is fast thinking. Those who question the existence of God are slowing down to ponder the deeper implications of the possibility of a God.

    Here is a very short and excellent explanation of fast and slow thinking

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8gpV-xjECM
  • Athena
    273


    My 11 year old great grandson understands arguing as an ego challenge rather than as a method to discover truth. A democracy is rule by reason, not rule by Trump deciding what is best for us. We are to argue what is so and what should be until we have a consensus on the best reasoning. Then we declare this a law as we have a law of gravity. It is universal, not special interest. We all agree to the follow the law because it makes sense and if we do not agree with it, it is our duty, our responsibility to persuade others that the reasoning is wrong, and of the better reasoning.

    Again, this understanding is about abstract thinking. Democracy is a very complex concept. Believing democracy means everyone participates in the government and everyone has a degree of political power is nice but it also far from understanding the deeper meaning and more complex concept. The simple understanding most people have of democracy is concrete thinking, not abstract thinking.
  • S
    6.8k
    How do you define abstract thinking? I love your argument because it led to me finding the best definition of abstract thinking I have ever seen.Athena

    That's not even a definition, it's just someone's opinion about abstract thinking as contrasted with concrete thinking. Abstract thinking is thinking about or in terms of abstractions, and I've already said what abstractions are. Again, they're ideas or concepts. The idea or concept of the Loch Ness monster exists, and the idea or concept of God exists, and claiming that either one exists is trivial as fuck; in the case of the latter, because it misses what the whole atheism/theism debate is about.

    Capiche? :brow:
1234Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.