Religion...

Come here to talk about topics that are not related to development, or even Kansas City.
earthling
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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:24 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:
earthling wrote: We do have very very powerful imaginations though and most will fill in unknowns or blanks with some form of wishful thinking when needs aren't met.
Yes, but I think we are also becoming much more narcissistic which might be a reason we are seeing more people rejecting the idea of something higher than themselves. We've replaced the belief in a God with a belief that we are God, the center of the Universe.
Well growing understanding of natural forces replaced the god concept for many. I'm with the natural forces camp, that we are more likely the result of natural forces changing over time, not a god ourselves. Our growing understanding of natural forces allows us to manipulate it to our needs for better or worse, and misuse of that might be considered 'playing god' to some believers. Is curious how easy it is to attribute anything we don't understand to supernatural forces. Doesn't take much power of imagination and power of suggestion to get there. And it only takes a few generations to cultivate it into a belief system. In the instant Information Age, that seems to be unwinding.

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Re: Religion...

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:46 pm

Why not a belief in God and natural forces? God as Mother Nature so to speak. Although my God is a Christian God my concept is a God who started things going and more or less has been hands off as things develop. Through our increase in knowledge of what is around us (science) we can discover what God is.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:49 pm

Feel free to if you'd like. In my studies of tribal cultures and wide variety of beliefs, like I said... Is curious how easy it is to attribute anything we don't understand to supernatural forces. Doesn't take much power of imagination and power of suggestion to get there. And it only takes a few generations to cultivate it into a belief system. Happens in most every culture, ours is no different. Many belief systems are simply imagination run amok applied to appearances of logic, especially when it is something people want to hear. The development of Judeo-Christian belief system literally parallels Mediterranean area mythology, heavily borrowing from it.

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Re: Religion...

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:03 pm

earthling wrote:Is curious how easy it is to attribute anything we don't understand to supernatural forces. Doesn't take much power of imagination and power of suggestion to get there.
You might think it easy. I think the belief in a higher power that you can't see or scientifically explain is the most difficult belief that a mind can have.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:08 pm

Not difficult at all... Early humanity in a volcano area would easily attribute eruption killing many to an 'angry god volcano', or a hurricane to an ocean god, etc. Attempting natural explanations typically don't come first. The first reaction is often 'why' in distraught, not 'how'. And if you ask the 'why question', you're probably implying a being is responsible. All it takes is a small suggestion of a mind at work and it can become easily cultivated into worshiping a volcano god then offering sacrifices or prayers to appease it. Sound familiar?

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beautyfromashes
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Re: Religion...

Post by beautyfromashes » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:21 pm

Are you comparing Christians to cavemen or island savages? :)

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:25 pm

I'm talking development of human belief systems and how easy it is to attribute a powerful situation to a higher power, not which is superior. You said it's actually difficult to believe in a higher power, but in history of humanity, it's all too easy to go there.

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Re: Religion...

Post by mean » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:31 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:
earthling wrote:Is curious how easy it is to attribute anything we don't understand to supernatural forces. Doesn't take much power of imagination and power of suggestion to get there.
You might think it easy. I think the belief in a higher power that you can't see or scientifically explain is the most difficult belief that a mind can have.
As someone who has always identified as a non-believer, I agree. I just don't get it. But it seems to work for people, so good on them I guess.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:33 pm

These days, it _should_ be more difficult as it conflicts with increasing rate of reasonable info that suggests otherwise. Perhaps why we are seeing fewer religiously affiliated people in the age of instant information.

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Re: Religion...

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:44 pm

No, the first reaction is "Oh, shit!" Then the why and how together. They lack the knowledge or ability, and maybe time due to early survival needs, to find out how so the easy explanation is a higher force.
Kinda like a bow and arrow. They may not know the science explanation behind how it all works they just know how to make a bow and an arrow and how to use them together.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:53 pm

Different context there. When many lack knowledge of how an event occurred, many make up well intended explanations. Like some being must be responsible for the volcano eruption. Asking 'why' something happened, why did the volcano kill my family, implies a mind at work. Very easy to go there, very easy to believe in higher powers instead of determining a natural explanation by asking how. All it takes is a suggestion, others building on it and a cultural belief system starts to develop. Then many generations later it perhaps transitions into all kinds of gods with certain specialties then a hundred generations later all the gods get so complicated it transitions into only one simple to sell mono-thesitic good (mostly) god that is omni-present and then it had a half-human son that can do supernatural tricks that parallels the exact mythology it transitioned from. But with relatively better intentions so it must be the 'correct' god. Sound familiar?

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Re: Religion...

Post by mean » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:35 pm

The impulse you're describing also easily explains why when some people see lights in the sky that they can't explain, their thought process goes something like, "What is that? I've never seen anything like that before. I don't know what it is. It must be aliens." Or the people who, when they're home alone and a door shuts in a different room, attribute it to ghosts. It's completely bizarre behavior to me, but hey, people are weird. And many clearly have not learned very good critical thinking skills. I mean, Donald Trump. Enough said.

edit: Side note regarding Trump and critical thinking... not convinced these aren't actors, but if not... yeesh...: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MubunsD-7g

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:23 pm

mean wrote:The impulse you're describing also easily explains why when some people see lights in the sky that they can't explain, their thought process goes something like, "What is that? I've never seen anything like that before. I don't know what it is. It must be aliens."
UFOs are real indeed. It is true that there are unidentified flying objects that have not yet been identified. Implying they are alien is a bizarre reaction and you can thank early SciFi flyers. When alien based SciFi books/periodicals hit mainstream interest in early 20th century, significant scale of belief in aliens visiting Earth jumped out of nowhere. We underestimate the power of imagination and power of suggestion.
And many clearly have not learned very good critical thinking skills.
Is interesting to discuss with close religious friends who are highly intelligent and big thinkers. They understand the modern challenges of reason vs. faith but then rely on the theology/philosophical logic card, which doesn't work. If bloogins > mackermans and mackermans > folwarts, then bloogins > folwarts. Completely logical yet completely made up. It prompts very dangerous rules for behavior (sin) that uses such logic but ultimately based on (likely) made up belief. They get caught up in the near perfect logical system of someone like Aquinas not realizing you have to have faith in the premise first. The logic doesn't justify the faith itself, it's just a logical application of the faith. Logic is applied in fantasy writing of made up worlds, where you generally need to have a 'working logical system of the world' despite being made up or will lose attention of the reader, well a critical reader. There is essentially no difference between the world of theology and the world of fantasy writing - both attempt to apply logical systems but one realizes it's just fantasy, the other doesn't.
Last edited by earthling on Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Religion...

Post by mean » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:38 pm

Sure, UFOs are 100% real; the only problem I have is when one presumes that unidentified implies anything beyond "I don't know" as that is the literal definition of unidentified. I don't seek to blame anyone for it, maybe it is early SciFi flyers, maybe it is some religious impulse. Don't know and don't care, really. I guess I'm not cut out to be a sociologist. To me just seems like a failure of the brain, like optical illusion. You got tricked by Geiger, that staircase can't do that. Doesn't mean you're broken or inferior, just means you aren't good at a certain application of logic.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:41 pm

^Bogus explanations often come from those who are insecure of being uncertain.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:26 pm

Fairly new article from Gallup...
http://www.gallup.com/poll/193271/ameri ... aign=tiles

Over 10% drop of belief in 15 years is pretty significant, with 'not sure' increasing most...
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Re: Religion...

Post by mean » Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:32 pm

Said Geiger, meant Escher. Blame beer.

earthling
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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:21 am

mean wrote:Said Geiger, meant Escher. Blame beer.
Escher... who made whom...

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Re: Religion...

Post by flyingember » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:24 am

That's better data the direction I was interested in knowing. and you can see again how the average before 2008 is clearly higher than after 2008, by about 5 points. So that matches the other trends.

What's interesting is unsure and no are largely following each other. So that kind of parallels my thoughts that a large number people are finding organized religion unappealing but aren't necessarily going all Atheist.

I would argue that the ~10% unsure will include a lot of people struggling with "details" rather than being really unsure. This seems like a group that could identify as a believer again more than the don't group would.

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Re: Religion...

Post by earthling » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:49 am

Yes agree, the data on last page is 'unaffiliated' with religion, not 'atheist'. The decline in straight 'belief' of higher power is significant for just 15 years though. Much more decline in most of Europe.

It happens to correlate with the notion that we've gained more understanding of nature in the last 15-20 years than in history of mankind. Add to it the instant Information Age, which allows cross referencing that information much faster for more comprehensive understanding as well as getting the message out faster. More are questioning traditional concept of supernatural forces as understanding of nature grows, although there are bigger factors probably - more and more simply don't think religion or concept of supernatural forces can solve their problems or are relevant in their lives. More and more realize or at least question it's all man made ideas to begin with.

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