Religion - is one better than another?

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Message 1458875 - Posted: 30 Dec 2013, 18:07:58 UTC - in response to Message 1458871.  
Last modified: 30 Dec 2013, 19:05:31 UTC

I had a "discussion" with Ozzfan some years ago when I stated that belief or disbelief were opposite sides of the same coin. i.e. One side could totally believe without definitive proof that a deity existed and the other side likewise could totally "disbelieve" without any definitive proof that it didn't.

My argument was that both sides could hold a firm belief (or disbelief) without any proof (or disproof) that would hold up in a Court of Law and therefore both were equal but opposite demonstrations of the same mind set

As is his wont, Ozzy tried to throw the burden of proof onto the believers but was likewise unable to offer any incontrovertible proof that a deity did NOT exist.


You're (conveniently?) leaving out my viewpoints and not doing our conversation justice.

[Edit] I said that it is on the person making the claim to provide their proof, and that an Atheist doesn't claim there is no god [/edit], therefore it is not on the Atheist to disprove god's existence. I also said that Atheism isn't a belief as it is a lack of belief, which is why it is not the opposite side of the same coin. I also stated that there's a difference between belief (truth) and fact (evidence).

To state that an Atheist must prove their disbelief is of course foolish. Their lack of belief stems from a lack of evidence. Therefore it is not the result of a truth (belief) but a lack of facts (evidence).

Totally agree.

Plus present day science knowledge shows that most of what has happened is perfectly possible without the intervention of any outside forces.
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Message 1458884 - Posted: 30 Dec 2013, 18:21:36 UTC

We appear to be taking a rather narrow view of "religion".
Let me explain.
On the UK census form there is a question about one's religious beliefs, this listed a number of religions including atheism and agnosticism, but had a box for "none of the above", and a box alongside that for a written answer. Two of the people I worked with took this as an open invitation to express their beliefs by ticking "none of the above" and entering their religion, one wrote "Jedi Knight", and the other "Manchester United". A visit to their houses would show that their devotion to their chosen religion is very sincere...
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Message 1458888 - Posted: 30 Dec 2013, 18:31:24 UTC - in response to Message 1458884.  

We appear to be taking a rather narrow view of "religion".


I'm taking the dictionary definition that religion is a set of beliefs as it pertains to the creation of life, the purpose of the Universe, and a supernatural existence that is thought to have started it all.

The word religion is purposefully narrow.

Let me explain.
On the UK census form there is a question about one's religious beliefs, this listed a number of religions including atheism and agnosticism, but had a box for "none of the above", and a box alongside that for a written answer.


The problem I would have with that is that Atheism and Agnosticism are not religions.
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Message 1458891 - Posted: 30 Dec 2013, 19:10:14 UTC

A very narrow definition, which is aimed squarely at the "Mosaic" based religions with the deliberate intention of excluding many of the "polytheistic" and almost all the non-theistic religions. A wider definition, such as that proposed by Clifford Geertz who defined religion as a "system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."


But setting that aside we return to Es's question - yes, just ask any religious person (using either definition) and they will almost certainly answer "yes, mine is the best and all others are second class", or words to that effect.
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Message 1458893 - Posted: 30 Dec 2013, 19:13:37 UTC - in response to Message 1458891.  
Last modified: 30 Dec 2013, 19:23:59 UTC

A wider definition, such as that proposed by Clifford Geertz who defined religion as a "system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."


It seems to me that anyone can redress a definition in an attempt to include everything they want the definition to include, but that means changing the previously agreed upon definition, or defining a new word. It also seems to me that this definition would still exclude Atheism and Agnosticism.

But setting that aside we return to Es's question - yes, just ask any religious person (using either definition) and they will almost certainly answer "yes, mine is the best and all others are second class", or words to that effect.


Agreed. Such is the obviousness of their bias.
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Message 1459099 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013, 11:11:54 UTC - in response to Message 1458893.  

But setting that aside we return to Es's question - yes, just ask any religious person (using either definition) and they will almost certainly answer "yes, mine is the best and all others are second class", or words to that effect.


Agreed. Such is the obviousness of their bias.

No. A bias implies that one deliberately chooses one thing over another for trivial reasons. But asking people about why they follow their specific religion is like asking someone what their favorite color is. Would you accuse someone who likes red better then any other color of being biased?

You cannot make a fair comparison of religions and then claim one to be better or worse than others. In order for such a question to work, you first need to establish how you measure a religions worth. So you need to define religion and from that definition take a number of objective elements that can be found in each religion (afterlife, miracles, ect), and then ask people to score it. But here you start to run into a problem. The vast majority of people have only tried one religion, so they can't objectively score how the chosen elements work in other religions.

Therefor, this question cannot be objectively answered (well DUH). It also means you can't accuse people of being biased because one cannot be biased in a situation where there is no objective 'correct' answer. Again, refer to my favorite color example.
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Message 1459134 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013, 12:24:42 UTC

Bias is not always based on trivial matters, it can be based on very significant events, or environmental, or sociological influences. Your example of someone liking red is not an appropriate example, as colour preference is as much due to sociological influences as anything else.
By having only tried one religion the vast majority have first been biased on that one direction by the society in which they live, then by the teachings of that religion, and those of the particular sub-group of that religion they find themselves within - they are thus biased to what they know, in the same way that an Englishman is biased towards eating roast beef and Yorkshire pud for Sunday lunch, while the French will gladly sit down to a plate of snails sauteed in a garlic and herb sauce...
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Message 1459140 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013, 13:13:29 UTC - in response to Message 1459134.  

Bias is not always based on trivial matters, it can be based on very significant events, or environmental, or sociological influences. Your example of someone liking red is not an appropriate example, as colour preference is as much due to sociological influences as anything else.
By having only tried one religion the vast majority have first been biased on that one direction by the society in which they live, then by the teachings of that religion, and those of the particular sub-group of that religion they find themselves within - they are thus biased to what they know, in the same way that an Englishman is biased towards eating roast beef and Yorkshire pud for Sunday lunch, while the French will gladly sit down to a plate of snails sauteed in a garlic and herb sauce...

Isn't your religious preference also based on sociological influences? Good point non the less.
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Message 1459179 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013, 17:45:22 UTC - in response to Message 1459140.  

Bias is not always based on trivial matters, it can be based on very significant events, or environmental, or sociological influences. Your example of someone liking red is not an appropriate example, as colour preference is as much due to sociological influences as anything else.
By having only tried one religion the vast majority have first been biased on that one direction by the society in which they live, then by the teachings of that religion, and those of the particular sub-group of that religion they find themselves within - they are thus biased to what they know, in the same way that an Englishman is biased towards eating roast beef and Yorkshire pud for Sunday lunch, while the French will gladly sit down to a plate of snails sauteed in a garlic and herb sauce...

Isn't your religious preference also based on sociological influences? Good point non the less.

Religion in most cases is determined by the religion you were raised with. People don't "pick" a religion. They are indoctrinated into it.
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Message 1459345 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013, 23:45:57 UTC - in response to Message 1459179.  

Bias is not always based on trivial matters, it can be based on very significant events, or environmental, or sociological influences. Your example of someone liking red is not an appropriate example, as colour preference is as much due to sociological influences as anything else.
By having only tried one religion the vast majority have first been biased on that one direction by the society in which they live, then by the teachings of that religion, and those of the particular sub-group of that religion they find themselves within - they are thus biased to what they know, in the same way that an Englishman is biased towards eating roast beef and Yorkshire pud for Sunday lunch, while the French will gladly sit down to a plate of snails sauteed in a garlic and herb sauce...

Isn't your religious preference also based on sociological influences? Good point non the less.

Religion in most cases is determined by the religion you were raised with. People don't "pick" a religion. They are indoctrinated into it.

I would say for the most part that is true. But I do know one man who picked his own. His parents belived he had the right to choose his own so when he was younger they took him to every faith they could find. He ended up choosing the Jewish faith. His parents were Cathlic.
[/quote]

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Message 1459350 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013, 23:56:24 UTC - in response to Message 1459099.  
Last modified: 1 Jan 2014, 0:20:26 UTC

But setting that aside we return to Es's question - yes, just ask any religious person (using either definition) and they will almost certainly answer "yes, mine is the best and all others are second class", or words to that effect.


Agreed. Such is the obviousness of their bias.

No. A bias implies that one deliberately chooses one thing over another for trivial reasons.


The definition of bias is "prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair," which only mentions unfair (but only 'usually'), not trivial.

But asking people about why they follow their specific religion is like asking someone what their favorite color is. Would you accuse someone who likes red better then any other color of being biased?


Are there any fair reasons to pick one color over another if all else is the same?

It also means you can't accuse people of being biased because one cannot be biased in a situation where there is no objective 'correct' answer.


Having a bias doesn't imply that there is an objectively correct answer. A bias is the reason why one favors a thing, group, or person over another.
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Message 1459533 - Posted: 1 Jan 2014, 10:52:54 UTC - in response to Message 1459179.  

Religion in most cases is determined by the religion you were raised with. People don't "pick" a religion. They are indoctrinated into it.

People 'pick' almost nothing. Lots of your behavior and preferences are determined by the environment you live in. Your attitudes towards race, the probability of you committing a crime crime, your favorite food, your taste in music, your political views, the type of car you drive. All things determined by your environment.
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Message 1459654 - Posted: 1 Jan 2014, 16:55:19 UTC

Religion today

Two days after Xmas Day and in a supermarket car park of all places. Just where was the religious fervour of caring for one's fellow man?
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Message 1459663 - Posted: 1 Jan 2014, 17:18:12 UTC - in response to Message 1459660.  

Exactly my point. Most religions preach about caring for one's fellow man. It seems to have disappeared here.

I cannot believe that over those three days, there was not one catholic, protestant or any other religious person that visited that store and not notice anything amiss.
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Message 1465716 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 11:13:23 UTC

Are those with strong religious beliefs really that blind and naïve?

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Message 1465733 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 12:17:07 UTC - in response to Message 1465721.  

As a man, I find it extraordinary that a woman can be 9 months pregnant and not know about it, but gynecological matters are not for these boards given the PG14 rating. What is fairly likely is that if she is keeping the child, she will be leaving the convent, else have it adopted.

Actually, it happens from time to time. There was a case in the Netherlands were a girl got pregnant and didn't notice it until one day in the shower it came out (it was a miscarriage though) to much of her own shock and horror. Anyways, in some instances the swelling of the belly is not that obvious and the weight gain is minimal, and other symptoms are also not present or not that obvious. I don't think its a good sign when that happens though.
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Message 1465746 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 13:05:35 UTC

"The news has drawn international attention to the small city of 47,700 inhabitants."

WHY?

What were they expecting? Another "virgin" birth?
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Message 1465757 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 13:35:29 UTC - in response to Message 1465746.  

"The news has drawn international attention to the small city of 47,700 inhabitants."

WHY?

What were they expecting? Another "virgin" birth?

That just sounds like a desperate attempt on the part of the news agency to make this sound like important news when actually its not.
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Message 1465761 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 13:44:28 UTC - in response to Message 1465757.  

...and you know for certain that the news agency has no religious staff?
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Message 1465772 - Posted: 18 Jan 2014, 14:02:43 UTC

It's obvious, she got duffed by the old toilet seat myth. :-D

Cheers.
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Message boards : Politics : Religion - is one better than another?


 
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