Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:21 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
When Religion is not poison 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 5033
Location: California
Thanks: 575
Thanked: 1273 times in 991 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post 
axisage: "one of the ways in which religion takes a beating is with the in-group / out-group aspect of it. but i see the same thing happen with the in-group / out-group of science versus religion."

Could you explain what you mean here? Are you referring to the exclusionary structure of religion? There are different standards to which religion excludes beliefs compared to science. Religion excludes beliefs which are different from what is written in a book. Science excludes hypotheses that have been experimentally tested and shown to be false. Science does not condemn people who believe in these falsities to suffer in eternal hell. It simply says, to the best of our current understanding, some things are false. The apparent exclusion comes into play when someone believes in something that science indicates is false. Science cannot be blamed for this any more than visible light cannot be blamed for falling within a specific range of wavelengths.

Given the rigor involved in discerning the truth using this method, it’s foolish to reject it’s findings because you believe in something different, especially when that something different isn’t held to any standards of discerning veracity. At the very least, incorporating the findings of science into your current beliefs is a reasonable solution. Religion has learned this the hard way, after many instances of opposition. Consider the essay from the Pope in '96, "Truth cannot contradict truth".

axisage: "both, to me, are systems of approaching an understanding of the world, and i enjoy them both immensely. while religion focuses on allegory and myth, science takes what is observable, studies it, and makes calculable assumptions."

Both science and religion can use allegory and myth to explain their findings. The difference is the method of acquiring this understanding. To gain a perspective on how religion has come to discover the world is to consider the authors of the bible. What methods did they use to verify their accounting of genesis? Was it divine influence during the writing process, where the holy spirit entered their brains and caused them to write what they did? Was it merely their imagination, coupled with their best guesses?

If you read Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”, you’ll notice he uses metaphors and analogies and as many explanatory devices as he can to help you understand his accounting of how certain aspects of the universe work. The methods used by him to gain this understanding are entirely seperate from the methods used to explain them to others. To gain understanding, the scientific method is used, which has rigorous standards to which one must abide. That the authors of the bible use allegory and myth to explain their understanding, that doesn't answer the question; what methods did the authors of the bible use to gain their understanding?

Understanding how the world works is different from understanding people and relationships. Religion may have insight here, but it is merely the wisdom of other men(unless you create your own religion based on your own wisdom). Most people assimilate this wisdom and assume that it is more than mortal wisdom, that it’s instead divine wisdom. If this is the case, we are full circle back to this wisdom being an explanation of reality, with a claim to objectivity.



Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:17 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
Location: new york
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
okay.



Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:58 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
Location: new york
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
sorry about that, interbane. didn't mean to leave you hanging. i don't know that i can address all of your content though.

maybe this can shed a little light; my mother is a believer, my stepfather is an atheist. my mother speaks using symbols i have come to understand and be okay with - i see it as her paradigm, or template for understanding the world. my stepfather and i enjoy great discourses on practical, matter-of-fact things, and talk science and green energy. and so on.

recently i read a book called "the field," by lynne mctaggart, and i loved it. (sorry if it's inappropriate to bring up other books - is it?) "the field" was fascinating to me. as these physicists discussed their work with quantum mechanics; things like "electrons once in contact will remain in contact no matter the time and space that separates them," and discussion of "the field" itself (this thing both a backdrop and a sort of ether surrounding and binding all,) i start to think of God. [for clarification: to me, "God" is basically the sum total of all things. energy, matter, consciousness. in this case, the whole is something even "greater" than the parts - as in a house built of boards and shingles becomes a "home."]

religion and science to me are both ways of attempting to understand the world. i see them as both meeting at the end. i understand, though, that we are talking about the practice, and the issues therein. i don't see scientists going door to door to preach their findings, or a war waging and lives lost because of an ancient disagreement between biologists and cosmologists. (lol, that's a good idea for a book, tho...)

so, i think i get it. people killing people over their beliefs-based-on-books, influencing governments, and all of the rest, that kind of blows, if you'll permit me. i guess the problem is, you can show gravity by dropping the apple. you can't "show" that allah or jesus is great, so you might have to hit someone over the head with it. which is waaayyy unnecessary. i think for the most part, you can judge the tree by the fruit it bears.



The following user would like to thank axisage for this post:
Chris OConnor
Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:05 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Moderator
Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 5033
Location: California
Thanks: 575
Thanked: 1273 times in 991 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post 
Hey axisage! I was hoping you were still around somewhere. The relationship you have with mother and stepfather is exactly like the one I have with mother and father. My mother is religious, and my dad is a sciency and practical kind of guy.

I'm still unsure what you mean when you say religion can help people understand the universe. If we were to separate the teachings of the bible into parts applicable to what we're talking about, I guess we'd have a cosmology column and a human wisdom column. The cosmology column would contain things like genesis, where explanations of the universe are contained, where we came from, how things work, etc. The human wisdom portion would contain subjective wisdom, the interactions of people with other people and their environment. The cosmology column is what I would think helps us to understand the universe. The problem is, it's completely bogus. The only thing that can't be outright dismissed is the idea of a god, but that is because it is an undisprovable concept. Yet, even in the case of a god, the only one that survives critical examination is a god that created the universe then disappeared from the scenes, never to even have influenced the universe since it's creation. That is not a biblical god, and is not a useful hypothesis(it doesn't help us understand the universe). I guess what I'm saying is that the only parts of the bible that help us understand the universe is the human wisdom part. The constant appeal to divine authority in the bible is what confuses things, making it seem that the wisdom is more than merely human. And even then, it's not as though this wisdom helps us understand the universe. It helps us understand people and their interactions.

When a house built of boards and shingles becomes a home, it doesn't become a home objectively. It becomes a home in the eye of the homeowner. It is all in your head, so to speak. This is true of god also. Yet, the realness of feeling is sometimes mistaken as making the object of that feeling objectively real. No one would argue against the feeling of a place being 'home'. Yet, no expert on the subject would argue that such a feeling isn't only in your head.



Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:47 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
Location: new york
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
cool, cool i get what you're saying. however i don't treat "genesis" in the bible as an explanation of how life began. i don't know how life began. nor do i presume to know how the infinite (or even finite, if that's your bag) universe works. no way. science doesn't know what dark matter is. gravity is even a mystery to those big enough to admit it. as is the electromagnetic field. or how memory works in the brain. or learning. we simply don't know these things. or, at least i don't. to me, they're in the mind of the believer, just like the concept of a "home" is. science doesn't give me unequivocal answers, science keeps me interested and exploring and excited about this wild world. religion doesn't give me unequivocal answers either. religion often uses poetic language and creative license to approach things unknowable, like how it all began. i think it was in the upanishads that it is written, 'there is not truth. there is only story.' i don't go around telling anyone "i know that god made the world in seven days." i like the balladry of that story, the paean to how huge it all is. i also don't go around saying, "i know that a big bang created everything that exists." i mostly go around saying, "hey, look at me, i'm cool, give me some money." lol



Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:28 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Master Debater


Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 20
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 5 times in 3 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: When Religion is not poison
With simple observation we see

Some ignorant people use religion for their own benefit and to the detriment of others
Some greedy lawyers misuse the LAW for their own benefit and to the detriment of others
Some judges misuse the LAW for their own benefit and to the detriment of others
Some Police Officers misuse the LAW for their own benefit and to the detriment of others
Some businesses misuse politicians, the law, the environment, and their workers for their own benefit and to the detriment of others
Some ..and the list goes on
do you think that the economic slavery that is what many people are exposed to by working so hard just to be able to afford a roof over their head for this month came about because of religion alone? of course it did not. there is greed and corruption on every level of society, it is found in every corner.

it is greed, it is ignorance, it is the illusion of superiority and business for us, and a country for us that segregates all of the other people in the world. The ignorance of putting the other business out, and a contract that is in our country's favor instaed of a fair deal. How about working together? How about making contracts that are mutually benefcial and fair?



Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:30 am
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 14
Location: new york
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: When Religion is not poison
omid-

very well said!



Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:41 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 37 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


A Nation Under Judgment by Richard Capriola


BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books






BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Frankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2011. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank