Religious Thread [4] - CLOSED


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Message 53858 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 7:12:48 UTC

OK, when I was growing up we were told never to discuss sex, religion or politics in polite company. Well for one thing, Cafe SETI doesn't qualify for polite company, and for another, those three subjects (despite the recent maelstrom) are, in my opinion, the most interesting.

The purpose of this thread should not be conversion or preaching, but an exchange of ideas, such as the purpose of religion (anyone's view, from any philosophy). Why would one adhere to a religion, or not have anything to do with one. Is science a religion? There are lots of things to discuss, and if we try to avoid proselytizing, the subject of this thread is not intrinsically dangerous or provacative.

Any interest anymore? Or was the recent unpleasantry too much?
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Message 53867 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 7:30:47 UTC - in response to Message 53858.
Last modified: 14 Dec 2004, 7:33:10 UTC

...those three subjects (despite the recent maelstrom) are, in my opinion, the most interesting.
Agreed wholeheartedly!

The purpose of this thread should not be conversion or preaching, but an exchange of ideas, such as the purpose of religion (anyone's view, from any philosophy).
That's why all hell broke loose with WordWeaver.

Is science a religion?
I think so, but not in the sense of a Divine Being. Science requires a degree of faith, ie.: That the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, etc., do not change instantaneously without cause. As I see it, certainty and universality are part of Science's foundations - Something which all religions (To a greater or lesser degree) strive for.

Any interest anymore? Or was the recent unpleasantry too much?
I responded, so I guess that answers the question. :-)
The one thing I will do, however, is post the standard disclaimer (If you don't mind)

STANDARD DISCLAIMER:
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of California, the SETI project (including but not limited to the SETI@home and BOINC programmers), its affiliates, or the SETI@home volunteers (including but not limited to forum members contributing processing power towards the SETI@home project).
By posting in this thread you assume full responsibility for the content of your post and absolve the University of California, the SETI project, its affiliates, and the SETI@home volunteers (including but not limited to forum members) from any and all injuries including slander, defamation, libel, obscenity, indecency, and emotional or monetary damage.
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ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER:
Religious preaching, proselytizing, or imposition of one poster's will upon another's/s' will not be tolerated. Trolling is disallowed in all forms. Offenses will be penalized as the posters find appropriate.


One final thing: This thread has spawned from [3] [2] and [1].
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Message 53868 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 7:33:12 UTC

Happy for the Disclaimer! I don't normally have to write those things.
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Message 53870 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 7:38:10 UTC - in response to Message 53868.

Better safe than sorry! :-D Legalese is one of my specialties.
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Message 53921 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 12:44:30 UTC - in response to Message 53867.
Last modified: 14 Dec 2004, 12:48:13 UTC

> Is science a religion?
> I think so, but not in the sense of a Divine Being. Science requires a degree
> of faith, ie.: That the laws of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics,
> etc., do not change instantaneously without cause. As I see it, certainty and
> universality are part of Science's foundations - Something which all religions
> (To a greater or lesser degree) strive for.
>
>

Yes, but then something strange happens, if you are looking at quantummechanics, because having the principle of uncertainty (my poor translation of the principle from the trials, where a photon interacts with the person performing the trial, by "knowing" if it's supposed to act like a wave or a particle). This makes science more interesting, just because we can't apparently count on all, what's going on in nature. Chaos theory is an another area, where everything seems to fall apart.

So, in some areas, science is to be compared to religion. I came to know, when I was doing some research for a book, I was writing, about a professor in biochemistry Rupert Sheldrake, who has developed some very interesting theories about what he calls Biogenetic fields and Morphic ressonance, where a lot of things, that ussually are connected to beliefs, happens.

His recent project is her

http://www.sheldrake.org/

But for some, religion are substituted by science, and it can be very controversial in most scientific circles to express any kind of belief. Here, on this site, where we are looking for extraterrestrial life, if we believe it exists or not, we must have so much free room for each other and have an open mind. There are so many things out in space, which is not explained by science, and even not long ago, the theory about space was that it will eventually implode, now the theory goes that it will expand forever, since there seems not to be matter enough to cause an implode. So science change all the time, and, who knows, maybe they find traces of a God out there! One can get dizzy pondering what caused the Big Bang! Do we have other alternative Universes somewhere? Do we have equal universes in pairs, one with matter and another with antimatter? I think every person must think for themselves, what they believe in, if there is a god in their belief or if there is science, for what this may be, since they discover new things all the time. I'm very keen on society subsiditing money enough for fundamental research. Now a scientist (a Dane, by the way :-)) has managed to stop the speed of light. What consequenses this have, and what this can be used for, we don't know at the moment, but later we will see this as a tool just as when gravity was defined. It's a very interesting time to live in, I might say! Indeed!

About belief, I think every person must find their own path, and every path is just as good as the other. I don't belong to any formal kind of church, but my relationship with MY god is very close. I try to be humble in my daily life showing compassion and love to other. But, of course, being a human someone can tick me too!
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Message 53985 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 21:30:44 UTC

This message is moved here from the Atheist Thread. D'oh!

I was raised in a Protestant Church (Congregationalist). And for most of my teenage years and into my twenties that’s what I considered myself to be. One of the things that many churchgoers in the Midwest (where I’m from) seem to believe, is that prayer should not be used for personal gain. Yet, one of the deep dark secrets of many religious people is that they use prayer for that very reason.

Do I have this wrong? I am familiar with at least one non-Christian sect, the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists, whose main selling point seems to be chanting for what ever one desires, though there are no guarantees.

It seems to me that divine intervention into one’s life, representing a boon to a person, is more serendipity than religious reward. Indeed (and even atheists may have an opinion on this), if there is a purpose for religion it could not be to provide personal physical gain to its adherents. If that were so, you wouldn’t find many believers among history’s oppressed classes. There must be another reason for religion to exist that confers a benefit on those who practice it.

I believe that the reason for religion is to promote social order. That gives a benefit to individuals (here is at least some protection from the lusts of others), and a benefit to society in general (greater order, which promotes greater advancement). In fact, the basis of most civil and criminal laws can easily be found in the source material for religious belief systems. Although most religious books also contain rules and prohibitions that may not be applicable to modern society, there are some rules that seem to span time, culture and geographical location.

Can this be done without religion? Certainly, but even the strictest adherents of atheism must see that our current legal system borrows heavily from religious precepts. This does not explain why I follow a particular religion, but it is an explanation for why I believe religion has been, and continues to be important to society (despite the fact that it has been misused by so many resulting in war and destruction).


ID: 53885 / Rating: 1 - rate: + / -

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Message 53995 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 22:05:05 UTC - in response to Message 53921.

> So, in some areas, science is to be compared to religion. I came to know, when
> I was doing some research for a book, I was writing, about a professor in
> biochemistry Rupert Sheldrake, who has developed some very interesting
> theories about what he calls Biogenetic fields and Morphic ressonance, where a
> lot of things, that ussually are connected to beliefs, happens.
>
> His recent project is her
>
> http://www.sheldrake.org/


I've read Sheldrake's book, his hypothesis is astonishing, but also too controversial for most academics to consider. The only people I have mentioned it too thus far, a zoology Professor and a Chemist, both dismissed the hypothesis without even bothering to look at it, and made the blanket statement that the hypothesis was 'untestable' since no one can see the fields involved, which is absurd because it's like saying gravity is untestable because no one can see the gravity fields. In fact, researchers have been trying to actually 'see' gravity ever since Newton and have continuuosly failed, yet all scientists still hold faith that gravity will eventually be seen because its effect is obvious, which is something I'd say is true about Biogenetic fields and Morphic resonance as well. So far every experiment that Sheldrake has suggested that has been performed has confirmed his predictions, and that is how a hypothesis becomes a theory, it was not required of thousands of currently accepted theories that we be able to see the causative agent to accept its existence, merely that we see its effects clearly and consistently demonstrated with predictable results (perhaps the first such force mankind ever accepted was the air and wind, which can now be 'seen' under a microscope but could not be for thousands of years).

I hope that scientists will take a better look at Sheldrake's hypothesis, because even if his ideas are not specifically correct, at least some of his ideas must be right and also he is right that there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding the nature of material forms that must necessitate answers beyond those we currently possess.
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Message 54001 - Posted: 14 Dec 2004, 22:45:02 UTC - in response to Message 53995.

Yes, electromagnetic fields are invisible too! And natures own experiments shows it too; I'm thinking of the two examples: the one, he uses in his book "The Presence in the Past" about the blue titmice in England that started to pick hole on the lids of the milkbottles to dring the cream, which phenomenon spread all over Europe in very few years, and the other example with the monkeys on the Japanese island that started to wash their food.

But, as he told me (I met him in Copenhagen at a lecture, he held there), just when a scientist gets the Nobel price or retire, he/she dares to express, what Einstein said also, that God doesn't play dice with the Universe.

May I quote one of my friends: "Some days I feel like Schödingers cat!"
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Message 54141 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 7:24:12 UTC - in response to Message 53995.

> > So, in some areas, science is to be compared to religion. I came to know,
> when
> > I was doing some research for a book, I was writing, about a professor
> in
> > biochemistry Rupert Sheldrake, who has developed some very interesting
> > theories about what he calls Biogenetic fields and Morphic ressonance,
> where a
> > lot of things, that ussually are connected to beliefs, happens.
> >
> > His recent project is her
> >
> > http://www.sheldrake.org/
>
>
> I've read Sheldrake's book, his hypothesis is astonishing, but also too
> controversial for most academics to consider. The only people I have
> mentioned it too thus far, a zoology Professor and a Chemist, both dismissed
> the hypothesis without even bothering to look at it, and made the blanket
> statement that the hypothesis was 'untestable' since no one can see the fields
> involved, which is absurd because it's like saying gravity is untestable
> because no one can see the gravity fields. In fact, researchers have been
> trying to actually 'see' gravity ever since Newton and have continuuosly
> failed, yet all scientists still hold faith that gravity will eventually be
> seen because its effect is obvious, which is something I'd say is true about
> Biogenetic fields and Morphic resonance as well. So far every experiment that
> Sheldrake has suggested that has been performed has confirmed his predictions,
> and that is how a hypothesis becomes a theory, it was not required of
> thousands of currently accepted theories that we be able to see the causative
> agent to accept its existence, merely that we see its effects clearly and
> consistently demonstrated with predictable results (perhaps the first such
> force mankind ever accepted was the air and wind, which can now be 'seen'
> under a microscope but could not be for thousands of years).
>
> I hope that scientists will take a better look at Sheldrake's hypothesis,
> because even if his ideas are not specifically correct, at least some of his
> ideas must be right and also he is right that there are a lot of unanswered
> questions regarding the nature of material forms that must necessitate answers
> beyond those we currently possess.
>
>
>
>Overview:
Therapeutic Touch (TT) practitioners, (a.k.a. healers) believe that a Universal Life Force Energy flows freely in, through, and out of the body when a person is healthy. But illness, pain, injury etc can interrupt or unbalance this life force. Skilled practitioners believe that they can detect these fluctuations by passing their hands above the patient's body. The energy imbalances can be equalized, and a contribution made to the patient's healing. There are about 40,000 practitioners in the world. As of 1988, TT was taught in 80 colleges and universities in the U.S. and in 65 foreign countries.

The technique has come under attack by various skeptics groups in recent years, and is seen by some as worthless, practiced by sincere but deluded practitioners. Numerous studies have indicated that TT is effective. However, no study has shown it to be more effective than an untrained but caring empathic individual aimlessly waving their arms over a patient.

An award in excess of $1 million dollars US has been offered to any individual who can prove under controlled conditions that they can detect human energy fields. All a therapist has to do to claim the award is to pass their hands over a space that might contain a person's body or may be just air. If she/he can correctly identify whether a body was present for a certain number of tries, then the money is theirs. The claimant and the prize sponsor must first agree on a precise protocol before the test begins. One TT healer tried for the award but failed; she was unable to detect energy fields with an accuracy any better than pure chance. The award is called "The $1,000,000 Paranormal Challenge" and is awarded to anyone who can prove paranormal abilities: from water dousing to the detection of human energy fields. Persons who believe that they have psychic powers, or think that they can detect personal auras, or believe that they have built a perpetual motion machine might wish to compete for the prize. Nobody has succeeded yet. Meanwhile the amount of the challenge continues to increase.
>
>
>
Is Touch Healing a Religous belief ? Or a scientific curiosity that cant be proved. The human touch is very powerful.



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Message 54154 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 9:02:24 UTC - in response to Message 54141.

Human touch can go as far as killing: Marasmus.
It's very creepy what touch can do.
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Message 54233 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 16:39:27 UTC - in response to Message 54141.
Last modified: 15 Dec 2004, 18:28:50 UTC

>>>touch healing

Why not?
We keep kicking the doors of perception
But they only open a crack at a time

Some seem to be better, some lesser endowed

Some can can hear music in birdsong
But it sounds like birdsong to me

One might touch and transform perception or lessen illness
Or both...Or most anything
We're still using wooden clubs on the doors
When humanity invents the crowbar-
Our prying open capability will be enhanced



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Message 54252 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 18:15:58 UTC


>-the purpose of religion?


It far more affective to enslave the mind then the body!








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Message 54293 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:11:46 UTC - in response to Message 54252.
Last modified: 15 Dec 2004, 22:12:08 UTC

> >-the purpose of religion?
>
> It far more affective to enslave the mind then the body!

It's not slavery if it is voluntary.
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Message 54294 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:15:45 UTC - in response to Message 54293.
Last modified: 17 Dec 2004, 9:46:40 UTC

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Message 54297 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:21:46 UTC - in response to Message 54294.
Last modified: 15 Dec 2004, 22:23:48 UTC

>
> Forget not that some societies had voluntary slavery to pay off debts.
>

"voluntary", huh??? The only voluntary slaves I know about, are these, where there are a black leather or rubber dressed mistress involved.....
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Message 54298 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:26:13 UTC - in response to Message 54297.
Last modified: 17 Dec 2004, 9:44:46 UTC

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Message 54300 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:31:53 UTC - in response to Message 54298.
Last modified: 15 Dec 2004, 22:32:34 UTC

> > "voluntary", huh??? The only voluntary slaves I know about, are these,
> where there are a black leather or rubber dressed mistress involved.....
>
> Wouldn't know anything about those, not being a resident of Denmark, but there
> was voluntary slavery in some of the city states of ancient Greece, before the
> Roman conquest.

Richard,
Your definition of slavery must be work without pay. Even at that, if the work was to pay a debt, there is a sort of compensation. Superbubba seemed to be talking about the absolute control aspect of slavery; yet control voluntarily ceded to another (and thus capable of being withdrawn) is not absolute.
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Message 54301 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:37:06 UTC - in response to Message 54300.
Last modified: 17 Dec 2004, 9:45:03 UTC

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Message 54304 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:46:01 UTC - in response to Message 54301.
Last modified: 15 Dec 2004, 22:46:25 UTC

>
> You are applying modern definitions to ancient practices. Once a person
> entered slavery that person could not leave it 'til the debt was paid but were
> subject to all the abuses of slavery. Perhaps some city states were more
> 'enlightened' than others; but it was still slavery in ancient times -
> something that was not nice as it still is not in the world today.
>

No, but as soon as just before the Russian revolution, the peasant in Russia were owned by the people, who owned the land. These "kulaks" were a huge cause for the revolution to be so succesfull. They really wanted the zar, his family and the court removed, as it was them who owned the land and there with themselves. I don't think, they saw themselves in a voluntary kind of slavery, even they were born into it. So even in modern days slavery has existed as you discribe it from the ancient practices.
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Message 54306 - Posted: 15 Dec 2004, 22:51:41 UTC - in response to Message 54301.

> You are applying modern definitions to ancient practices. Once a person
> entered slavery that person could not leave it 'til the debt was paid but were
> subject to all the abuses of slavery. Perhaps some city states were more
> 'enlightened' than others; but it was still slavery in ancient times -
> something that was not nice as it still is not in the world today.

OK, but how does that apply to his position that the purpose of religion is to enslave the mind? In America, Canada and most other modern industrialized countries, adherence to a particular religion is voluntary, so it's hard for me to see how one is "enslaved". I have changed my religion, and many on this board have chosen to forego religion completely. One who is enslaved can not simply decide not to be a slave, whether in the ancient or modern world.

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