Can there be an atheistic religion?
June 9, 2018 at 12:42 pm #9631
in doing moral philosophy, my source materials are pretty much evolution and psychology, with some religious knowledge in there as well.
This discourse has all become so painful its like rust-paper sanding my brain. Simon…you’ve defined philosophy now in like ten different ways over the last few days and none of them resembles what even an armchair philosopher would recognise. You cannot do moral philosophy by studying evolution. Knowledge of evolution can inform you when working out moral systems but you have to…you know…work out those moral systems before you can possibly take anything from evolution. To do so…it is absolutely fundamental to read up in say, the five most common types of moral systems as they greatly help you form your own, most importantly though it keeps you from reinventing the wheel (no matter what idea you have it has mostly been done before) and also helps you weed out the garbage, and no matter how hard you work on anything there will always be garbage in there and if you are working on your first few attempts it will be overflowing with garbage. I have respect for many users here who never took a class in philosophy but are still read up on some of the good and terrible minds and the strongest ideas that have come up and have a giod sense of critical thinking. To get there, they had to pick up books and read, most importantly read things that directly challenge their own ideas. Philosophy is not, as you strawmanned, studying other philosophers, good philosophy almost always involves improving others philosophy…only once in a century philosophers break out something both completely new and useful. Philosophy is not like art. Some people are incapable of forming a coherent premise…let alone conclusion.
So Simon, for your own intellectual journey, I beg you to pick up an anthology of philosophy and read it.June 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm #9632
@robert – I’m not sure what you mean. What arguments against whose position, are you referring to?June 9, 2018 at 12:53 pm #9633
@davis – I’ve done all that, and I’ve read “The Philosophical Life” by James Miller, which consists of biographies of famous philosophers, and I have a copy of the Oxford Companion to Philosophy which I have made use of. My contents list includes most subject areas within morality, including cooperation, reciprocity, The Golden Rule, etc. – the component parts of morality.June 9, 2018 at 1:33 pm #9634
@simonpaynton what exactly would I be throwing away when I throw away everything religion related? “Some stuff” doesn’t really enlighten me.June 10, 2018 at 4:58 am #9636
My contents list includes most subject areas within morality, including cooperation, reciprocity, The Golden Rule, etc. – the component parts of morality.
Sounds like you equate platitudes, precepts, and prescriptions with doing philosophy. “Waste not, want not,” “Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes,” and “A wet bird never flies as night” isn’t doing philosophy, Simon.June 10, 2018 at 7:01 am #9637
@strega – “Some stuff”
– I’ve used the metaphor of the living waters and the mustard seed from Jesus, and the rock and the water from Daoism; “love God, and love your neighbour as yourself” from Jesus, “He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbour remains hungry by his side.” from the Prophet Mohammed. I’m sure there are a lot of others.
@unseen – I haven’t used those sayings, because they’re not relevant to moral philosophy. I’ve used “two wrongs don’t make a right”, and “least said, soonest mended”, and probably others.June 10, 2018 at 3:03 pm #9644
So if I don’t know about a mustard seed as an analogy for something, that makes me a fool? That I cannot be wise without a rock in some water? I’ve already told you the Golden rule has nothing to do with religion, other than being claimed by an assortment of them.
Love god? What the fuck has that got to do with wisdom?
Again, @simonpaynton, what is there in religion that I might lose if I reject it all?June 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm #9645
The golden rule is like golden honey. Show me your brain and i will show you the money-unless that is you are a psychopath. But don’t forget that the so called universal need for sex is not present in asexuals. So a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin…June 10, 2018 at 8:00 pm #9646
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
@simon – I don’t understand why you would look to the Bible or Koran to create a new system of morality or code of ethical behavior. Once you do this you are lowering your standards.
From the Jesus reference above, the platitude to love your neighbor as yourself is ruined because you start it with “love god”. This implies (to my ears) that you must first believe and love “god” before you can be moral. This is where much Christian bigotry stems from as they constantly disparage those of us that do not believe what they believe. Even those that have faiths in different gods or a variation of their god are looked down upon with lines such as “Well, at least they have faith”.
It is the same with the Islamic quote, that unless you accept Allah, then your works of charity are not as “good” as those who carry out such works because they have faith.
To me the opposite is true. If we only do “good works” because we believe it “pleases the Lord” or in order to gain his favor or stack up rewards (or avoid punishment), then it is not as selfless as it should be to be consider an altruistic action carried out because of genuine concern for our fellow brothers and sisters.
The act of charity or kindness should be the reward in and of itself, if it is being done for a sense of reward. I am not saying religious people don’t do good works but when it is done based upon an imaginary god watching then it is a tainted act.
I recently volunteered to help at a soup kitchen to cover for a religious friend who was in hospital. I spent 2 hours in their kitchen helping out, scrubbing out pots, stirring soup, making sandwiches etc. Before we “shipped out” they gave me a t-shirt to wear with some church logo on it. I said I was not a member of that Church so was told then I could not assist at the table because I would not be able to tell people about Jesus. I said I would help setup the tables and carry the heavy pots and boxes but then leave. This was not acceptable to the manager. I said nothing because I could see a few of the other were looking a little upset or puzzled by the remarks. However there was a call to prayer to thank the Creator of the Universe before we left. I said I would leave the room first as I was not of their faith and would meet them outside.
When the manager came out he looked a bit agitated and I even thought a little angry. In my mind I heard the words “OK, here we go again”. He demanded, in front of most of the others, to know what faith I was. I said it was not relevant and none of his business. He started ranting about how he was inspired by a love of Jesus and would not do such work if it were not for his faith. I said I was helping out because it was helping those less fortunate. He again asked me “what denomination” I was. I told him I was an atheist. He almost choked with the frustration. I began to load the back of a car with food and he shouted to me to stop and not to touch the food again.
Me: “But I helped make all the sandwiches and soup. I have had contact with most of it already”.
Him: Just just just LEAVE it alone. We will load up.
Me: OK, but why are you so quick to anger?
Him: It’s people like you with your ulterior motives for doing anything of value to humanity!!
Me: of “value to Hannity”? What’s Fox News got to do with anything?
Him: What the fuck are you talking about?????
Me: Oh please there is no need for such vulgarity with young teenagers about.
Him: Leave now. You are not welcome back here.
Me: (to the others) Ok, keep up the good work. It was a pleasure to spend time with you.
Him: I asked you to leave so please get off our fucking property.
Me: Just let me wipe the dirt of my shoes and I will be gone. You need to deal with your anger issues and get a medical check-up as you are sweating profusely and very red faced.
Him: Just please fucking leave!!
Me: Ok, calm down and ask yourself what Jesus would think of your actions now. And don’t worry, I am prepared to forgive you of your foul language as I am sure the others will too. In fact I will forget I ever heard such words and just turn the other cheek.
And as a parting shot to him,
As it says in 1 Cor. 4:12, we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it………..so bless you and have a great evening.June 10, 2018 at 8:24 pm #9647
I’ve used the metaphor of the living waters and the mustard seed from Jesus, and the rock and the water from Daoism; “love God, and love your neighbour as yourself” from Jesus, “He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbour remains hungry by his side.” from the Prophet Mohammed. I’m sure there are a lot of others.
THESE ARE NOT CONCEPTS INVENTED BY, UNIQUE TO OR IN THE SOLE DOMAIN OF RELIGION. OPEN YOUR EYES, PICK UP SOME BOOK NOT WRITTEN BY SOMEONE YOU ALREADY AGREE WITH…READ THEM AND YOULL SEE FOR YOURSELF.
Simon. Your claim that religion offers us moral judgments and moral wisdom that nonreligious ones haven’t covered or cannot incorporate…has failed. Most of what you’e quoted is just COMMON SENSE. Stuff these mythical characters just reworded in poetic phrases. Any moral idea the Jesus character communicated had already been done far earlier by Greeks who wrote in a relatively secular setting in books that never mentioned God. Jesus invented none of it. He worded it in a new way. In fact…no…authors a century later reworded it in four different ways by four different authors…versions conflicting with one another. Its insulting to be told you are a fool for not taking second hand advice that any moderately intelligent human being could work out for themselves. The fool is the person who cannot admit they may be wrong.
June 10, 2018 at 8:51 pm #9649
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Davis.
Really good thread here. In Simon’s defense, in spite of his defense of religion, I’ll bet most of us can see how far ahead he is of typical religious people and their tribes. “Can there be an atheistic religion?”. I wouldn’t mind a bit if Simon’s ideas could replace current traditions, or if he can get religious people to discover the solely human, non-divine origins of religions.
Most everyone here is interested in freedom of thought and speech, as long as it’s not imposed on any majority or minority by force or institutional corruption, i.e. selectively enforced for the benefit of institutions. Whenever we argue over the finer points of our philosophies, I hope some of us can still interest and positively influence any pro-religious readers, even if they only happen on our conversations months or years from now. There is a lot of good food for thought in these pages, amongst our personal passions and differences.
Jeebus (and Moe Hamma Sandwich Peanut Butter Upon Him and Mary and Joeseph), I’d like to go even wider at times… big picture… places like Afghanistan and nearby countries, or the Middle-East, suffering so much more from imposed religions and corrupted idealisms than we are. If only we (here) could help them more to discover and nurture freedom! I shall write with bigger pictures and audiences in mind, too. When I can remember to.June 11, 2018 at 2:56 am #9650
The golden rule is like golden honey.
How do you apply The Golden Rule if you’re a masochist?June 11, 2018 at 3:11 am #9651
Ya hook up with a sadist.June 11, 2018 at 3:31 am #9652
How do you apply The Golden Rule if you’re a masochist?
Well…you reincarnate yourself as a human…wait until you are 33…set yourself up for a thrashing fest and crucifixion festival…and then offer the same experience to anyone else who asks for it. i guess the consent part is important. You don’t want to reincarnate someone into a savior bound for a torture extravaganza if they don’t explicitly ask for it.June 11, 2018 at 6:48 am #9653
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