• frank
    8k
    Both are using morality as a coping mechanism that innately harbors hidden contradiction.Merkwurdichliebe

    I don't see the contradiction for the believer. Is it that he has created God in his own image?
  • frank
    8k
    Is it odd? Maybe it seems that way because you don't know him as well as I do.

    He can keep his damnable pearls. This pig ain't interested.
    praxis

    I haven't talked to him.
  • praxis
    3.8k
    the nonbeliever does not believe in God, thus there is no internal source to compel his morality. The nonbeliever lacks the transfigured judge which is lurking over the shoulder of the believer at all times.Merkwurdichliebe

    Both believer and nonbeliever have the same internal moral intuitions. Their justifications (after the fact) differ, merely.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    I don't see the contradiction for the believer. Is it that he has created God in his own image?frank

    On the right track, but not all believers create their God in their own image, for many, God is completely alien, and their knowledge of God is suspended as it were. They still believe, but with a power that is derided by the unbeliever - what is called blind faith.

    Now there is no contradiction for the believer, but to other classes of believers, and to all nonbelievers, the contradiction always arises.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Both believer and nonbeliever have the same internal moral intuitions. Their justifications (after the fact) differ, merely.praxis

    And before the fact too. I assume the fact you refer to is the ethical decision. I would say that the nonbeliever is more likely to justify a posterior, while the believer a priori, hence the believer is more likely to base his morality on principle.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k


    Take Muslim women for example. They cover their faces because it is the right thing to do. They wake up every day, and the desicion to cover their faces is made, every day. Now take the US citizen. They cover their faces because it is the right thing to do. But a year ago, no one ever contemplated that covering one's face would be the right thing to do. And every day, most people wake up and wonder if "they" will say uncovering your face is "ok", every day...almost.

    You see?
  • praxis
    3.8k


    Yes, the believer is more likely to believe that they are moral beings due to their affiliation with ultimate authority, but that is an unfortunate illusion because it stifles moral development.

    Believers must be kept dependent so the development of virtue is never seriously pursued. Sinners are forgiven, and in so doing kept dependent on a forgiver.

    The development of virtue leads to independence. The nonbeliever may base their development on principles.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Yes, the believer is more likely to believe that they are moral beings due to their affiliation with ultimate authority, but that is an unfortunate illusion because it stifles moral developmentpraxis

    It is a "delusion", not illusion. And you are incorrect! It actually cultivates moral development.
  • KerimF
    162
    To be good, believers obey the rules of a religious formal system.
    To be good, followers, supporters, citizens and patriots obey the rules of a civil/political formal system.
    But it is also usual that one is ready to obey both kinds of a ruling system... to be on the safe side :)
    By the way, a typical atheist sees that it is enough for him to obey one ruling system only :)
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Believers must be kept dependent so the development of virtue is never seriously pursued. Sinners are forgiven, and in so doing kept dependent on a forgiver.

    The development of virtue leads to independence. The nonbeliever may base their development on principles.
    praxis

    The nonbeliever may indeed base their moral development on principles. But those principles themselves are baseless and unprincipled. For the nonbeliever, moral principle can only be sourced from within as personal opinion, which renders morality a matter of subjectivity and nullifies a universal application - hence the nonbeliever is the epitome of relativistic. Even if it is adopted from an external source (viz. State law or church authority), the nonbeliever always apprehends and mediates it into a charge of personal opinion.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k


    The nonbeliever lacks belief, that is a quality of conviction which is unparalleled in relation to the believer
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    To be good, believers obey the rules of a religious formal system.
    To be good, followers, supporters, citizens and patriots obey the rules of a civil/political formal system.
    But it is also usual that one is ready to obey both kinds of a ruling system... to be on the safe side :)
    By the way, a typical atheist sees that it is enough for him to obey one ruling system only
    KerimF

    You said it well :up:
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    To be good, believers obey the rules of a religious formal system.KerimF

    I must amend this to say: "believers obey [their conviction of] the rules of a religious formal system [which is generally, but not always, the source of their principles].
  • StreetlightX
    7.3k
    What we should learn from that is that religion doesn't arise from particular cultural circumstances.Hippyhead

    While this amateur armchair speculation is very cute, I will refer you to the article in the OP - on which this thread is about - which demonstrably shows otherwise. Religion dies when people live (well). The correlation is inverse, and healthy.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Religion dies when people live (well). The correlation is inverse, and healthy.StreetlightX

    What is the definition of religion, according to the article? I must have read way way way too fast
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Religion dies when people live (well). The correlation is inverse, and healthy.
    — StreetlightX

    What is the definition of religion, according to the article? I must have read way way way too fast
    Merkwurdichliebe

    Yeah. I searched. No definition. But it is an excellent compilation of statistics, and as everyone knows, I am a statistics guy
  • StreetlightX
    7.3k
    Yeah, it doesn't give one, but I think it takes the self-reports of people who say they believe in God as counting for the religious.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.8k
    Yeah, it doesn't give one, but I think it takes the self-reports of people who say they believe in God as counting for the religious.StreetlightX

    Well, as a statistics guy, I must remark that that is rather unscientific. For starters, by what criterion do we determine that the self reports of "people who say they believe in God" counts as the religious. Without a definition with a reasonably justified criteria, I must declare philosophical anarchy.
  • KerimF
    162
    I must amend this to say: "believers obey [their conviction of] the rules of a religious formal system [which is generally, but not always, the source of their principles].Merkwurdichliebe

    In your turn, you amended it well :up:
  • Bitter Crank
    9.6k
    It is clearly not necessary to believe in God in order to be good, because there are people who are good who do not believe in God. Conversely, there are people who believe in God who are not good.

    If religion helps people be good, fine and dandy. If it doesn't, try something else.

    Those that think so have a lower income, less education, tend to the political right and are older than those who do not.Banno

    So, wisdom does not necessarily grow with age. It seems like conservative religion seeks out and sucks in the disadvantaged (seeking and sucking being active processes). People living in capitalist cultures are subjected to a lot of messages about who they are vis a vis what they consume. Religion is a commodity so naturally some religions are more suitable to X demographic than others. Dignified mainstream Protestantism (Episcopalians, Lutherans), for instance, meet the needs of a richer better educated demographic better than low-brow Baptists. The low-brow Baptists provide iron clad certainty in a world full of ambiguity. Richer, better educated people have greater tolerance for, and more means to clarify ambiguity.

    Fundamentalist religion has a natural affinity for conservative / right wing politics, just as liberal religion has a natural affinity for liberal politics.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    That's an odd thing to assume. Maybe he doesn't want to throw his pearls in the wrong direction.frank

    A good philosophy professor answers every question with another question, drawing the listener in to their own investigation. A not so good philosophy student demands to know what to memorize for the test.

    Someone who is sincerely interested in a topic will already be involved in their own investigation, as evidenced by them already having something to say. If a person isn't interested in a topic, ok, no problem, their valid choice. But then why waste a lot of words on them about a topic they're not actually interested in? A wiser choice would be to simply bow out, ideally with a bit more class than I usually manage. :-)
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    While this amateur armchair speculation is very cute, I will refer you to the article in the OP - on which this thread is about - which demonstrably shows otherwise.StreetlightX

    Religion has thrived in every time and place, at least since the invention of agriculture, and likely in less organized forms before that. Ignoring this well established fact in favor of ideological wishful thinking is not such great philosophy.

    I've already agreed that changing cultural circumstances can edit the forms that religions take. So, for example, as a society becomes wealthier and more educated the more dogmatic childlike religions may give way to more sophisticated forms of religion. For example, in our times many people report that they are "spiritual but not religious".

    A quick story. When I was young I happened to become close with some VERY rich people who lived nearby. The oldest son of the family, the heir apparent, become a life long drug addict. Our entire society is extremely wealthy compared to earlier times, and our culture is loaded with too many personal problems to begin to list.

    So long as such deeply personal problems exist some people are going to turn for help to communities with thousands of years of experience in welcoming the troubled. And some people will look elsewhere of course, as has always been the case.

    If religion was a creature we would have to say that it's long and persistent survival suggests that it is very well adapted to it's environment. The reason religion persists is because that environment, the human mind, has not changed substantially in many thousands of years.

    Religion arises from the inherently divisive nature of thought itself. Unless and until the nature of thought is somehow fundamentally changed, until we evolve in to something that we wouldn't recognize as human, religion will be with us in some form or another.
  • StreetlightX
    7.3k
    until we evolve in to something that we wouldn't recognize as humanHippyhead

    Yep, sounds good.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    I haven't talked to him.frank

    Feel free anytime. You're asking a lot of good questions. I'm interested.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k


    Religion arises from the inherently divisive nature of thought itself.Hippyhead

    This is where the action is, in my typoholic opinion. And, it may interest you, this can be a basis for offering a valid critique of a great deal of religion, especially the parts that annoy you the most.

    Thought operates by dividing a single unified reality in to conceptual parts.

    1) We are then able to rearrange the conceptual parts in our minds to create visions of reality which don't yet exist. This is the source of our creative genius as a species.

    2) The very same process of division creates the human experience of being divided from reality, our peers, and divided within our own minds as well. As example, consider the phrase "I am thinking X", with "I" presumed to be one thing, while "X" is presumed to be another.

    This process of division, which is built in to what we all are made of psychologically, creates an experience of reality as being divided between "me" and "everything else", with "me" being very very small, and "everything else" being very very big. This perception gives rise to fear, which is the source of most human problems, which in turn is the source of religion.

    A great deal of religion attempts to heal this division with ideologies made of thought, the very thing which is causing the experience of division. Oops!! Thus we see phenomena like Christianity, a religion explicitly about bringing people together in peace, which then divides in to a thousand sects which come in to conflict with each other.

    And then we see ideological atheism arise in response, which at it's best also seeks to bring peace, but attempts to do by becoming just another one of the divided sects in conflict with other sects.

    And then we see this poster arise, who attempts to seek peace by going to war with ideological atheism. :-)

    And so, whatever philosophy one prefers, the conflict goes on and on and on. And it keeps going on and on and on in every time and place because the entire process is being driven by the divisive nature of what we're all made of, thought.

    A reminder. Perhaps the most productive thing a philosopher can do is shift some focus from the content of thought to the nature of thought. Because that's where all the content of thought comes from.
  • StreetlightX
    7.3k
    Didn't read any of that, don't plan to.
  • Hippyhead
    1.1k
    Didn't read any of that, don't plan to.StreetlightX

    What a surprise!!! I'm shocked! Who knew this could happen??? :-)
  • praxis
    3.8k
    Religion arises from the inherently divisive nature of thought itself.Hippyhead

    Undeniably true, but then what doesn’t arise from this creator of worlds, oh wise one?
  • frank
    8k
    A good philosophy professor answers every question with another question, drawing the listener in to their own investigation. A not so good philosophy student demands to know what to memorize for the test.Hippyhead

    I guess if someone wants a quick straight answer, fishing reddit for an expert would work. If you find one, they're usually generous and they'll load you up with sources you never would have found on your own.

    Here, we're mostly just chatting.
  • Athena
    1.4k
    Reading what you said, I thought of primates and social animals in general. The group decides the rules and one's position in the group depends on the rules.
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.