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Author Topic: new religion topic  (Read 12715 times)

Offline Ian33

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #25 on: 10/12/2005 14:33:32 »
Egyptian theologians were scholars, scribes, astronomers and deep thinkers of the origin of the Cosmos. The Creation myths of Amun of Karnak have a rather close description of the Big Bang, of course we know they didn't know how the Universe came into being, but they showed some meaningful thinking in formulating how they thought everything came into being. I'll post up the relevant passage in a min.

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Offline Ian33

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #26 on: 10/12/2005 14:35:34 »
Here is the relevant part of a text from Karnak Temple which details Amun's moment of creation. As I've remarked the theologians showed remakable insights into the origin of the universe, even if they couched it the language of the day, here then, the supreme first God, Amun creates the universe.

" In the beginning there was chaos

Chaos was darkness, the waters of the abyss.

The first God, Amun arose from the waters, using only his own strength to give form to his body.

Amun existed alone.

All was his.

Yesterday and tomorrow were his.

He took his penis in his hand. He made love to his fist. He took his exquisitejoy with his fingers. From the flame of his fiery blast which he kindled with his hand, the universe was formed"

Now, notice that the expression for his climax is termed ' fiery blast' a near perfect description of the big bang, which is now thought was not so much a bang as a super hot expansion of photons, occuring at the speed of 1 second to the power of minus 43. From this, all matter in and energy in the universe was created.


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Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #27 on: 10/12/2005 15:34:33 »
I have now at last found time to skim through this interesting topic so that I can come in with a few comments.  

Firstly let me state my particular point of view briefly.  

You can find more information on my website but it is a bit in need of updating.

I do not believe in God as a form of super intelligence that organises everything but I do believe in religion as a guide to behaviour and a force of broader social cohesiveness.  I am a regular worshipper and contributor to my local Church of England church.

I feel that when it comes to difficult decisions between right and wrong the model that there is someone else who is compassionate but stern who knows what you are doing and will in future ask you to account for it, is as simple a model to live by that I can think of.  The fundamental christian rules are love god (accept the universe as it is) and love your neighbour as yourself.

When it comes to "written" evidence the book of nature is supreme we live in a "what you see is what you get" universe.  The Bible and many other ancient writings and myths contain much wisdom about human nature and good and bad behaviour but must always be read bearing in mind the context and understanding of those who wrote them.  To treat them totally literally is just plain stupid.

As far as religious rituals images and symbolism are concerned I have very few problems with my chosen church although the way I view them may be rather idiosyncratic but I expect everyone else's approach will be a bit different.

To give a couple of examples.  
Isn't the body and blood of the communion service a wonderful way of expressing the essential recycling expressed in life.
The Holy Trinity, god the father son and holy spirit.  The father is the material from which the universe is made matter, space and time.  The son is life as we know it on the earth formed from the original materials by the action of physical and biological evolution, the spirit, that by the use of simple processes and rules creates complexity from simplicity.

I do not expect any personal afterlife except the knowledge that I will be recycled into something else, but possibly even more special! Actions that I have taken and things that I have said to others may live on as part of our continuing heritage.

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another_someone

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #28 on: 10/12/2005 15:36:33 »
I think that if one looks at Genesis, one can also see a fair amount thought and an inquiring mind.

It is true that most of Genesis was not actually written by the Jew, but was taken from sources in Mesopotamia, but it does indicate that the kind of thought that the Egyptians were engaged in was also prevalent elsewhere in the Middle East.

I accept that most of the stuff that the Jews put into the bible was more historical and legal than it was in any way a development of natural philosophy.

Then it must also be said, that although through the development of Christianity in the Roman Empire, and its consequent adoption of the bible, we have a very judao-centric view of Middle Eastern history; ancient Israel itself was never a major political or intellectual force within the Middle East.
 

Offline Ian33

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #29 on: 10/12/2005 23:19:01 »
Certainly, for a small insignificant ancient culture, that Judaism spawned Christianity is almost unbelievable, if it were not for the fact.  We all know the influence a small group of fanatics can have if the climate is right for them.

Well, yes, the Egyptians and the peoples of Mesopotamia, were engaged in the sciences of the day. And it has to be said, the Babylonians were up in there in terms of seeking knowledge, mapping the skies and mathematics.

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« Last Edit: 10/12/2005 23:22:50 by Ian33 »
 

another_someone

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #30 on: 11/12/2005 01:38:15 »
quote:
Originally posted by Soul Surfer

I do not believe in God as a form of super intelligence that organises everything but I do believe in religion as a guide to behaviour and a force of broader social cohesiveness.  I am a regular worshipper and contributor to my local Church of England church.

I feel that when it comes to difficult decisions between right and wrong the model that there is someone else who is compassionate but stern who knows what you are doing and will in future ask you to account for it, is as simple a model to live by that I can think of.



So, let me see if I can understand this.  You believe that there is a God who is compassionate, is omniscient (if not omnipotent), but is sufficiently omnipotent to guarantee some form of retribution for your wrongs?

quote:

When it comes to "written" evidence the book of nature is supreme we live in a "what you see is what you get" universe.  The Bible and many other ancient writings and myths contain much wisdom about human nature and good and bad behaviour but must always be read bearing in mind the context and understanding of those who wrote them.  To treat them totally literally is just plain stupid.



I have no problem with this interpretation, but the same can be said for a great many philosophical writings pertaining to human nature, from the likes of John Locke, Michel de Montaigne, and many others; as well as numerous other religious texts from other religions (including Buddhism, which does not inherently require a God in its religious model, although I believe some variants of Buddhism do include the notion of some type of God).
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #31 on: 11/12/2005 10:06:28 »
No I do NOT believe that there is a God who keeps things going or interferes with the workings of the universe but the mental model that there is one that could call me to account is I believe simple and useful.

I do not presume any great originality for this idea.  Descartes would probably have agreed with it.

As for there being a lot of other good and useful writings I agree totally but that is not a reason for rejecting the bible as a useful source of ideas.

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Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #32 on: 11/12/2005 10:12:16 »
No I do NOT believe in any sort of God who meddles with the universe but I do find that the concept of God is a useful and simple mental model to guide behaviour.  Can you come up with a simpler and/or a better one?

I totally agree that there is a great deal of wisdom in other writings but that is not a reason to reject the Bible as one of many sources.



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Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #33 on: 11/12/2005 10:13:48 »
oops two replies for the price ov one !  I had'nt realised it had started another page and thought my first reply had failed  :-)

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Offline peterclarke

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #34 on: 11/12/2005 21:11:22 »
quote:
I do find that the concept of God is a useful and simple mental model to guide behaviour.

But that behaviour is often not 'good', especially when it leaves the personal level and becomes a 'religion'. Just think of all the atrocities that are/have been committed in the name of god/religion.
There is an interesting letter in New Scientist this week about goodness, co-operation and self sacrifice for the good of others being a basic evolutionary necessity. The god concept may seem to be useful but it nearly always becomes corrupted into a religion, so it may not be a successful mental model in the context of the survival of the human species.

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Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #35 on: 11/12/2005 23:50:56 »
I agree that a great many atrocities are committed in the name of religion but think that an even greater number are committed in the name of self interest.

The evolutionary theorests are at last getting down to the vital role of cooperation insuccessful species.

Man in isolation is very weak and a family group is still only good for the most basic things to get anywhere near the efficiency of modern life organisation and cooperation on a global scale is essntial.  I feel that without the initial cohesivenes offered by religions the essential stelp from tribe to nation would not have been achieved.

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Offline neilep

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #36 on: 12/12/2005 00:34:07 »
Is religion the antithesis of science ?

If so, I will move this thread to the ' just chat ' section instead of here in General Science.


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Offline Crazy117

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #37 on: 12/12/2005 02:35:59 »
quote:
Originally posted by peterclarke

quote:
I do find that the concept of God is a useful and simple mental model to guide behaviour.

But that behaviour is often not 'good', especially when it leaves the personal level and becomes a 'religion'. Just think of all the atrocities that are/have been committed in the name of god/religion.
There is an interesting letter in New Scientist this week about goodness, co-operation and self sacrifice for the good of others being a basic evolutionary necessity. The god concept may seem to be useful but it nearly always becomes corrupted into a religion, so it may not be a successful mental model in the context of the survival of the human species.

Peter


YOU PEOPLE JUST DON'T GET THE ****ING POINT SHUT THE **** UP WITH THAT BULL****.
Soul Surfer you are absoulutley right.
What you are saying peter is that they commit the acts of terrorism because of the religion, but if that religion doesn't support the terrorism then they are not following the mandates of that religion.

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another_someone

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #38 on: 12/12/2005 03:18:53 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

Is religion the antithesis of science ?

If so, I will move this thread to the ' just chat ' section instead of here in General Science.





I would go with that.

While one could weakly consider a discussion of religion as an aspect of social science; but to do that one would have to be discussing it from a totally from the perspective of the effect of religion on society, without regard to the relative merits of religion.

I don't see this discussion having that level of detached observation (with no disrespect intended to its participants).
 

another_someone

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #39 on: 12/12/2005 03:26:28 »
quote:
Originally posted by Crazy117

Quote
Originally posted by peterclarke
YOU PEOPLE JUST DON'T GET THE ****ING POINT SHUT THE **** UP WITH THAT BULL****.



Crazy117, a word of advice; if you want to get your point across, this kind of language will do little to achieve that.

Maybe others don't understand what you are trying to say then regard that as your inability to express yourself adequately for the audience in question.  Maybe some people will understand you with the least effort on your part, may with some others it may take a bit more effort.  That may be their fault, it may be yours, but more likely it is neither, it is just two people speaking a slightly different language.

You started this discussion with some comments about maintaining a moral code where does charity, patience, and respect for others, come within your sense of morality?
« Last Edit: 12/12/2005 03:29:07 by another_someone »
 

another_someone

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #40 on: 12/12/2005 04:04:39 »
quote:
Originally posted by Soul Surfer

No I do NOT believe in any sort of God who meddles with the universe but I do find that the concept of God is a useful and simple mental model to guide behaviour.  Can you come up with a simpler and/or a better one?



Each to his own, but personally, I don't see it myself.

I see it as simply trying to create the kind of world I would like myself and my friends and family to live in.  I do not see it as having any supernatural entity watching over me, but that I should be unflinching in my self-criticism in striving to achieve that world.

I would though ask whether you do not at all feel uncomfortable preying to a God you profess not to believe in?  Personally, I have been (other than as a tourist) in a church maybe once or twice (and as often in a synagogue), and in each case I felt somewhat hypocritical in being there.  I assumed that the others who were standing alongside me did truly believe in the service they were taking part in, and in my superficial pretence to believe as they did, I felt I was actually belittling their own more genuine beliefs.  I was usually present there for the sake of a friend or family member, but I still felt like an interloper.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #41 on: 12/12/2005 17:44:03 »
Interesting experiment.

Take 100 thousand people, convince them that once they are dead, they are dead and there aint no such thing as life after death.

give them all a gun and tell them to fight to the death and see how many of them actually pull the trigger.

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."
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another_someone

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #42 on: 12/12/2005 18:50:13 »
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew K Fletcher

Interesting experiment.

Take 100 thousand people, convince them that once they are dead, they are dead and there aint no such thing as life after death.

give them all a gun and tell them to fight to the death and see how many of them actually pull the trigger.



Rather a nave experiment, is it not.

There are many animals that will fight to the death, and there is no reason to believe any of them believe in life after death.

Life after death, like many aspects of religion, is retrofitted to explain or justify what people (being the animals that we all are) were going to anyway.
 

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Re: new religion topic
« Reply #42 on: 12/12/2005 18:50:13 »

 

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