Can there be an atheistic religion?

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This topic contains 79 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 2 months ago.

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  • #9654

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Why throw away extra wisdom when you don’t need to?  I find that the living waters metaphor is very useful for the pressure to thrive, especially as you can “save up” thriving and use it or give it away later.  Also, water makes life possible.

    The mustard seed is about how something that is small has tremendous power and potential to grow to something large and influential.  It’s more than “great oaks from little acorns grow” because it talks about how the plant can shelter the whole sky – another aspect of the pressure to thrive: it looks after the organism.

    #9655

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I haven’t used the religions as a basis for constructing an ethical system, I did that from first principles.  But I find that the religious systems support the results I got.

    #9656

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Have you noticed theists will often brand atheism a religion when they are on the attack? As if they want say, “see, you are really as ridiculous as us”. Or somehow evolutionary biology is really a religion.  These tactics seem to be from an AIG playbook or something.

    Darwin was an extraordinary scientist and human being. He understood explicitly that his discovery was fatal to fundamentalism and he introduced his theory as gently as he could. If the bible had only said something like this:

    Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. -C. Darwin

     

    #9657

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Robert, i have not noticed that.

    Have seen atheism portrayed that way out of ignorance.  When on attack it can be a way of asserting that absence of belief requires faith.

    #9658

    Strega
    Moderator

    @simonpaynton I am still waiting to hear what it is in religion that is so special and useful that I’d be a fool to throw it away.  That some religions mirror some aspects of morality is not a surprise, because humans carry that morality within them, and it will inevitably spill out into any religion they come up with.  But you have stated that only a fool would toss out all religion. Please explain.

    #9659

    jakelafort
    Participant

    “I’m not at all an atheist. I mean, of all the possible theologies, atheism is the least plausible,” he said at the time. “I mean, you’ve got to explain the existence of the universe, and to assume it invented itself or created itself is rather odd.”

    Above quote is Charles Krauthammer who is about to die.

    #9660

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @strega – I’ve named two metaphors which as far as I know are unique to Christianity – the living waters, and the mustard seed.  These are both metaphors for the pressure to thrive, or at least, they fit with it perfectly.

    #9661

    Davis
    Participant
    1. Indeed @robert . The concept of a lack of something as still somehow a kind of that something…isn’t hard to understand in just about any life example except with religion. Because…you know…religion…so they say…apparently.

    1. I have a blue napkin

    2. I have a red napkin

    3. I have no napkin

    1. Wait there a minute. Take it easy. What you mean is you have an anti-napkin. You claim your non-napkiness is not like our napkins but in the end…it is a napkin denial…which is really just another kind of napkin.

    3. I made no such claim nor denial. What color is the napkin? Where exactly is it? How can I find it?

    1. With that kind of skepticism you’ll never understand my poor napkin-less-but-still-napkin-having friend.

    ——–

    1. The spots on my face is acne

    2. The spots on my face are chickenpox

    3. The spots on my face are mosquito bites

    4. I don’t have spots on my face!

    (Gasps)

    1. First of all…chicken pox guy you should be quaranteed. Second of all…you spot doubter…how can you deny having spots on your face. They may not be from acne or a disease or a mosquito or any visible or discernable appearance or cause or symptom…but none the less it is still a kind of face spot.

    2 and 3: Yeah

    4. F@ck off all three of you

    1. Wow…what an aggressive extreme radical anti-napkin warrior you are!

    ——-

    1. I believe there is only one way to raise a child and that is smothering and spoiling a child

    2. Eh no. The only correct way is to give children space to explore their own universe.

    3. I have no belief whatsoever about childrearing.

    (Silence)

    1. But of course you do. Your non-statement of how to rear children is a belief in how to rear children.

    3. No it isnt. It is a lack of any beliefs whatsoever.

    2.You must be spiritually empty and sad.

    3. I feel sorry for both of your children.

    ——–

    1. I believe in a supernatural God

    2. I believe in a supernatural universal consciousness.

    3. I believe Albinos are supernatural witches who should be chopped up with machetes.

    4. I have no supernatural beliefs.

    1, 2 and 3: WHAT????

    1. That is still a supernatural belief.

    2. Yeah. Get him..he’s a witch.

    3. Chop him up!

    4. I should have stayed in Denmark.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Davis.
    #9663

    Strega
    Moderator

    @simonpaynton You’re saying that we are fools to discard two petty metaphors that are actually irrelevant to the religion?  I’m still trying to understand where foolishness comes in and what I would lose, to my detriment, by discarding all religious speech as spouting nonsense.

    You said we would be fools to ignore certain religious content.  What is this content that we would be fools if we ignored?

    #9664

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @strega – those two metaphors are central to the essence of Christianity.  If you understand them, you understand Jesus’ central message.

    #9665

    Davis
    Participant

    I’ve named two metaphors which as far as I know are unique to Christianity – the living waters, and the mustard seed.

    A concept can be expressed through an infinite amount of metaphors. Perhaps Jesus was the first to express the concept of the pressure to flourish with a mustard seed…but the only unique part of it was the particular “seed” he used to tell a story. Any of us if we thought long enough could come up with an equally compelling metaphor on the same concept of “starting as a tiny nearly insignificant thing with the potential to realize vastness and/or greatness” using a different seed and expressing an equally incredible final result. How about this metaphore that I’ve just invented now:

    A poor boy found four nearly broken wooden wheels and made a go-kart out of it. It fell apart and never won a race and people laughed at him. 20 years later he is a champion driver, has a beautiful family who he provides for an nurtures…all by the simplicity of learning from his setbacks and strong faith and determination to realise one’s own potential. He gave those wheels to his youngest son when he turned 12 and told him those wheels could be the start of any dream one could strive for. The invisible pink unicorn rewarded the man with a huge renovated house and Martha Stewarts services for two weeks.

    Clearly you can only understand the concept of realizing vast potential with determination from the tiniest of origins and flourish…by reading this parable in the book of the invisible pink unicorn (all hail him or her or it or whatever). You’d be a fool to not consult the book of the invisible pink unicorn. The unique metaphors are invaluable.

    These are both metaphors for the pressure to thrive, or at least, they fit with it perfectly.

    Simon, the concept of the pressure to thrive is one that existed far early than the time of Jesus. Aristotle covered this topic extensively in his Metaphysics using many examples of realizing one’s potential with the intention of flourishing. Also well before Jesus was Homer’s “Illiad” in which several characters are the embodiment of the concept Jesus expressed (centuries later) with a mustard seed. Homer did a much better job. And Jesus was not the last person to tell a metaphor about the topic. The film “The power of one” or the book “The alchemist” or the Harry Potter franchise and just about every children’s book written by Roald Dahl … covers this concept in metaphors, subtext, metatext both blatantly or subtly. By your reasoning I could say “You’d be a fool to not read and learn lessons from the books of Roald Dahl”. Actually to be honest there is a whole lot more worth learning in Roald Dahl’s books than the bloody bible.

    Jesus and Christianity do not have monopolies on these concepts. They didn’t create them and the metaphors they use to express this concept is in no way more compelling than most others created by other people.

    Religious advice has nothing to offer that cannot be easily found in secular sources written before and after the major religions.

    #9666

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I don’t want to pile on Simon.

    However i am coming at it from slightly different angle. HERO WORSHIP

    I don’t have to indicate throughout history what happens when a people worship a hero.  The whole power and checks and balances to counter centralized power …

    It is not a great thing.  Even in our day to day lives when we are so very enamored of a person we are more apt to ascribe good intentions that may not be present. We lose objectivity because the pronouncements of our hero take on greater importance than they may deserve. We even compromise others for the betterment of our heroes.

    As to jesus fuck him and the donkey he rode in on.  There is lots of crap that he is supposed to have said.

    #9669

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    @davis – we would hope that the more people spread the word of “the Perennial Philosophy” the better.  So, if it turns up all over the place, that is good.

    #9670

    Unseen
    Participant

    “I’m not at all an atheist. I mean, of all the possible theologies, atheism is the least plausible,” he said at the time. “I mean, you’ve got to explain the existence of the universe, and to assume it invented itself or created itself is rather odd.” Above quote is Charles Krauthammer who is about to die.

    Of course, believing in a cosmic sorcerer who creates energy/matter through an act of magic is the most plausible view, along with the notion that consciousness isn’t an epiphenomenon of a material brain and nervous system. Yeah, that really makes loads of sense…right?

    #9671

    _Robert_
    Participant

    “I’m not at all an atheist. I mean, of all the possible theologies, atheism is the least plausible,” he said at the time. “I mean, you’ve got to explain the existence of the universe, and to assume it invented itself or created itself is rather odd.” Above quote is Charles Krauthammer who is about to die.

    Of course, believing in a cosmic sorcerer who creates energy/matter through an act of magic is the most plausible view, along with the notion that consciousness isn’t an epiphenomenon of a material brain and nervous system. Yeah, that really makes loads of sense…right?

    Jake, I didn’t recognize the name Charles Krauthammer until I looked him up and then I recognized his picture. Anybody who doesn’t bother to study the the standard logic flaws seems to be condemned to commit them. With the newest work related to the “hot big bang”, there are so many possibilities that explain our growing observational database. It truly is an amazing time to be alive and we are on the threshold of great discoveries. I am also thankful to the scientists who take the time to explain it the small percentage of the general population who want to stay informed and keep up. I recall Unseen mentioned (long ago in another universe) something to the effect that the all great discoveries are based on ideas that can be condensed to a few relatively simple sentences. It helps to have great scientist/teachers like Richard Feynman,  Neil deGrasse Tyson,  and Brian Cox. Also historians like Richard Carrier and Francesca Stavrakopoulou seem to be turning “bible studies” upside down. Oh and that we can download their books or learn from these people as they interact with others on YouTube anytime of the day or night is well….simply overwhelming at times.

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