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The Pitch: Banning All Religion
#31
Sorry, talk about your books:

Thank you for your eloquent and passionate response. I am glad you are not for presenting one side of the story alone when it comes to religion. I think that would be a great mistake, and one--unfortunately-- we are already making. Sometimes it seems to me like the whole world of intellectual debate has descended into a Bill O’Reillyesque version of “fair and balanced”, where all we get is a system of polemics in which people only talk over or past one another and never to each other. Unfortunately, even from my fellow liberal friends, I find that I am often given G. W. Bush line of “you are either with us or against us”.

Zophia Wrote:There are positive teachings in religions such as Christianity, but those things do not need the religion to flourish. Morality does not need a god or gods.

Oh, I agree with you whole heatedly. Religion is not necessary to be a good person. But I don't think it inhibits a person from being good either. If religion is what some people need in order to be a good person, then I am glad they have it. I’d rather people be good and religious if that is what they need than be bad and irreligious. And, make no mistake; I do believe some people need that support, that belief in a higher authority to be good. I say, give it to them.

Zophia Wrote:Religion is often treated carefully because no one wants to offend anyone. I would like the opposite -- a more critical, truthful eye. The reality is that a lot of things about religion do not stand up to scrutiny...

Religions have certainly earned some ridicule, but I don’t think that it is treated all that carefully. It is obviously despised by many on GS and those opinions are certainly not the product of spontaneous generation. I understand many GLBT peoples’ distaste for religion, especially the Abrahamic Religions, as many have been victims of religiously based bigotry (I know it took me a long time to get over my own anger at religion). Yet, even people who are not gay often rail against religion. There are many people in the media who treat it with similar distaste as those on GS. Some have even made a career of criticizing religion. And yes, we do have websites and videos detailing the inaccuracies, hypocrisies, and biased politics of religion. I just don't think that ONLY talking about its negative aspects is honest, objective, or productive. I don't like institutionalized religion, but I acknowledge that it has its place and serves its purpose for those who do like it.

You know, many people remember William Cullen Bryant (he is the one portrayed as the idiot in the video below as Brady) as a religious zealot, a nut. And, yes, he was religious, but he was far from being a nut. The reason that he feared Darwinism had nothing to do with the fact that it challenged the Christian creation story, not really. No, he was very much afraid of Spencer and Malthus; he was afraid that if people started seeing each other as mere animals, they would start treating each other as mere animals; he was afraid that “the survival of the fittest” would not only be a scientific principal but also an economic and social principal, which was very much against his religious beliefs. Of course, as we learned a few years later with the German experimentation in eugenics, he was terrifyingly accurate in his concerns.

Despite the fact that his fears were realized, he was and still is depicted as his own particular type of monster:




What we don’t have much of in my opinion, are people who are willing to try and listen to each other on either side of the argument. And I think that it is this fact, which causes us to move farther and farther to extremes, and I am sure that you know the dangers of extremism. After all, it is not religion that is responsible for the crusades and witch hunts, the violence between Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Muslims, or even the Inquisition. Religion was only the vehicle of extremism and extremism CAN AND WILL attach itself to any idea we humans can have if left unchecked, and that includes atheism.

Zophia Wrote:and contradictions with science start on the first page. Can truth be biased? If something does not make logical sense or is shown to be false, do we ignore it to protect those who believe it, or to protect the institution itself?

Many people make the mistake of treat science as if it is an objective, godlike entity; they mythologize it. It has become for some its own form of idolatry. In truth, science is more often wrong than right, which is why human understanding of the world is constantly evolving. That is part of the beauty of science. And science, as much of a boon as it grants us, cannot provide the answer to everything. Indeed, science cannot reach a conclusion on any qualitative subject, and that leaves out a great deal of human knowledge and understanding.

Einstein once said, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” This is true in my opinion. Science has not been able to help us develop our humanity. The majority of our current technology has been developed for war--from satellites, space travel, to the internet. On the other hand, religion is ONE OF MANY forms of philosophy which endeavors to develop humanity. Who is to say that religion is not the way to do it . . . at least for some people? And, indeed, some people, many people, do become more humane because of their faith. It may not be necessary for either of us, but if it is for them, so be it.

As to your question about whether truth can be biased, the answer that I accept to this question is yes, truth can be biased . . . or rather, truth, absolute truth--as far as humans are concerned--is unattainable.




Really, the perspective I have is that I don't know what is good for other people, what they should do with their lives, what they should believe, who or what they should or should not worship. I cannot know, just as they cannot know what is good for me or what I should believe or do. Who would want that responsibility to begin with?

So, I don't believe in banning religion because I cannot say what is good for other people. And I don't get upset when they believe something that I don't, though I do dearly love to be right. The only time I get upset and try to do something is when people begin to try and impose their beliefs on me. And, yes, SOME religious people try to do that very thing . . . some secular people do too. And in each case, I stand up and fight for my rights, but I refuse to lower myself to the same hypocrisy that those who would make me conform to their idea of right and wrong are guilty of. I will not condemn people for trying to make me live like they do and then turn around and try and make them live as I do. For that reason, I won't try and slander their beliefs no matter how much I may disagree with them, I won’t try and ban them or prohibit them from practicing their religion. Why? Because it is not what I believe in, and I won’t let those who stand against me change who I am.
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#32
Zophia Wrote:The same book that gives you feel-good stories about prodigal sons also gives out bloody commands to put people to death. It has the potential to inspire good works but also acts of hatred and denigration. And its followers have the potential to take it all as the literal truth -- not just bits and pieces, but to act as if every word -- commands about loving your neighbor AND those that say "their blood is upon them." -- came from the mouth of god. Cry

If it were only like Chicken Soup for the Soul then I think you'd have a point... but it really isn't. Most of the Bible actually isn't like that at all, and it isn't often treated as just an inspirational storybook.

Emotional and inspiring things should not be done away with. I don't think anyone has said that. But you don't need religion for it. Confusedmile:

Oh, I don't disagree with you that there are some fairly bad ideas in the Bible, as there are in many religions, but I don't see a whole bunch of people cutting off each others hands, selling their daughters into slavery, or stoning the farmer next door to death because he planted corn and barley close together either. But there is a big difference between being a religious person and being a religious extremist too. You should read the portion of my response to you about extremism.

Most of the Bible actually isn't like that at all, and it isn't often treated as just an inspirational storybook: Most of the Bible is historical/pseudo historical.

It isn't often treated as just an inspirational storybook:

No, I suppose not, people do actually believe it. But, it gives them hope and inspiration, and so long as they don't try and force it upon me, I am glad that they have it.
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#33
Inchante Wrote:Sorry, talk about your books:

LOL! You really outdid me on that! Smile

Quote:Thank you for your eloquent and passionate response.

Thanks for yours!! I love civil discussions. While my position hasn't changed, you have given me some things to think about!

Quote:Oh, I agree with you whole heatedly. Religion is not necessary to be a good person. But I don't think it inhibits a person from being good either.

What I worry about here are people who used to be like I was back when I was an early teenager (I am definitely not proud of that). They don't understand why there are rules against certain things (like, sex before marriage, for example) but they defer to god on such topics, when otherwise they might disagree, due to a fear of punishment. I think, in this way, it can inhibit a person from being good (of course, "good" is subjective). If someone believes what the Bible might say about homosexuality, then even if they don't understand how it could be wrong, they may vote and make decisions on how they treat people based on those beliefs. And if someone believes what the Bible says about the role of women, it could pose similar problems.

I want to stress that I feel bad mentioning Christianity so much -- it is merely what I know the best. Other religions are guilty of the same sorts of things. Every religion we covered in our Comparative Religion class had *something* against women -- even Buddhism (Theravadin Buddhism to be exact), where it mentioned some texts were edited to portray women as hindrances to monks' spiritual development.

A problem with most religions is the way people approach their beliefs -- not as inspirational books or ideas to pick and choose from, using one's own logic and conscience to light the way, but as written-in-stone rulebooks and guidelines never to be broken. Some people, granted, break free from this mold -- like Liberal Christian denominations who don't always take things so literally -- but according to a Gallup poll (conducted between 2005-2007), 1/3 of Americans believe that the Bible is literally true. (I am new to these forums. Is posting a link to sources looked down upon?) That is scary. It worries me that people would accept a viewpoint blindly and not think for themselves.

Quote:If religion is what some people need in order to be a good person, then I am glad they have it. I’d rather people be good and religious if that is what they need than be bad and irreligious.

I think the majority of people can easily be "good" without it. But I have nothing to really back up that claim except naivete and a belief that most people are naturally empathetic. Smile Will find you a cool vid on that a bit later.

Quote:I understand many GLBT peoples’ distaste for religion, especially the Abrahamic Religions, as many have been victims of religiously based bigotry (I know it took me a long time to get over my own anger at religion).

Guilty as charged. I am definitely angry when it comes to religion. Not just for myself in the past but every time I hear of a horrible situation inspired by it. What makes it worse for me is how religion seems so very FALSE and farfetched -- entirely unbelievable -- yet people are hurting each other over it.

Quote:Yet, even people who are not gay often rail against religion. There are many people in the media who treat it with similar distaste as those on GS. Some have even made a career of criticizing religion.


The Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens of the world seem few and far between to me. At least where I live, it seems like Christianity is surrounded by an impenetrable blanket of political correctness. Along with politics, it is definitely not something you discuss at the dinner table. Perhaps it is different elsewhere. Smile

Quote:And yes, we do have websites and videos detailing the inaccuracies, hypocrisies, and biased politics of religion. I just don't think that ONLY talking about its negative aspects is honest, objective, or productive. I don't like institutionalized religion, but I acknowledge that it has its place and serves its purpose for those who do like it.

I am not sure that it has its place but I can respect that it is not my place to decide what someone believes. All I can do is provide education (or my point of view). I have a VERY unfavorable view of religion, and perhaps some of that is colored by my own experience. I do think that highlighting inaccuracies and hypocrisies is important, though, and I'd venture to guess that people already know enough about the higher points of religion, but not enough about the negatives. I do not think that the positive points should be ignored -- I find there are some good things to take out of most religions, otherwise why would anyone follow them? -- but I do think the negative trumps these things. I suppose my main issue is -- if you can be a good person and follow an exceptional moral code, and treat others with charity and kindness WITHOUT a religion, which carries with it some rather (IMO) immoral, discriminatory teachings, then shouldn't that be preferable? Like cake icing without trans fat vs. cake icing with it. If they taste the same, why not go for the "healthier" version? (Lame analogy, I know, but I'm tired!! Throw me a bone, here! Wink )

I will have to get to the rest of your post a bit later. Smile I have class tomorrow and it is late (I've already stayed up later than I should have! Crap! I'm blaming you if I fall asleep at my desk! For shame!)
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#34
I find religion quite interesting and beautiful in theory but not in practice (Love your next and turn the other cheek. Love peace and harmony). Over the time religion has been manipulated on such grade its original purpose faded away, as for an example when Gustaf Wasa converted Sweden into Protestantism to loot the church goal to vanquish the Danish emperor, and later his heirs to conquer big parts of Europe.

The religions that builds on inner divinity is often speculated and created by others and not by god him self cause they were Enlighten by god them self. Religion is also a way to suppress the masses by kings, dictators, popes and other persons to regain power. Jesus, Mohamed seemed like cool persons, aye i am close to them so obey me!. The problems really isn't religion but it is how its manipulate others and how its remade into higher purpose of power instead of love and ecstasy. Like Jesus said turn the other cheek, but tell me one, JUST ONE in power who has turned the other cheek?

The humankind in general are greed and backstabbing and doing anything to regain they're goals. Gosh Hitler killed lots of Jews to regain power, but where in Christianity does it say that you shall kill anyone since it is and still is a Christian state? Religion also need to have some grip over the population to survive also. The only pure religion left i would say is Tibetan Buddhism were they can not possibly break loose from Chinas iron grip cause they were taught to never hurt a creature, they can't even dig holes cause they might hurt worms in the ground. With this in mind anyone could conquer it cause they would do no resistance and so this also leaves this religion pretty vulnerable and weak to. There is simply no way to regain peace in this world cause humankind is to corrupt, no matter religion...
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#35
Inchante Wrote:The reason that he feared Darwinism had nothing to do with the fact that it challenged the Christian creation story, not really. No, he was very much afraid of Spencer and Malthus; he was afraid that if people started seeing each other as mere animals, they would start treating each other as mere animals; he was afraid that “the survival of the fittest” would not only be a scientific principal but also an economic and social principal, which was very much against his religious beliefs. Of course, as we learned a few years later with the German experimentation in eugenics, he was terrifyingly accurate in his concerns.

I have to say that I'm entirely ignorant about this person. So I can't comment much on this but to say that I definitely believe science and morality are two separate spheres. Also, Eugenics, according to current knowledge, doesn't make sense for human beings. There is more genetic diversity between people within same "race" than there is outside of it. Race is more of a social construct than anything else. (More about science and morals further down.)

Quote:What we don’t have much of in my opinion, are people who are willing to try and listen to each other on either side of the argument. And I think that it is this fact, which causes us to move farther and farther to extremes, and I am sure that you know the dangers of extremism.

I hope you didn't get that from my post because I am more than willing to listen to other peoples' points of view. I'm sorry if I gave you the impression otherwise!! I enjoy talking to other people even when I disagree with them. It's a great opportunity to learn things or to look at something in a way I wouldn't have thought to, left to my own devices. I've already gotten a little bit of that from speaking with you!

Quote:After all, it is not religion that is responsible for the crusades and witch hunts, the violence between Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Muslims, or even the Inquisition. Religion was only the vehicle of extremism and extremism CAN AND WILL attach itself to any idea we humans can have if left unchecked, and that includes atheism.

I definitely agree with you. I think that extremism needs to be dealt with, though, and not ignored. I would never stand for someone trying to take rights away from Christians, for example... which is why I would never support the banning of religion. Do I think we're better off without it? Sure thing! Do I think I should do my best to educate people out of it? Sure thing! But in the end, it is their choice. Forcing such a choice on them would be an affront to personal freedom, something i feel is very important. But I don't believe there is anything wrong with trying to sway someone to your side, especially through education (not public education, you know what I mean!).

Quote:Many people make the mistake of treat science as if it is an objective, godlike entity;

I do not feel that science is godlike or infallible. But it at least tries to find out the answers and is ever changing as mistakes are corrected. Smile It is an ongoing process based on our current knowledge and not a static position staunchly defended by the faithful. And that's what I like about it. Some things are very well established though. Evolution ties well into many different fields... and a literal interpretation of the Bible does not hold a place for that. Neither does it hold a place for basic knowledge about our solar system.

Quote:Einstein once said, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” This is true in my opinion. Science has not been able to help us develop our humanity.

Nice quote! I agree that science is not where humanity should go for moral knowledge, because that is not science's purpose.

Quote:Really, the perspective I have is that I don't know what is good for other people, what they should do with their lives, what they should believe, who or what they should or should not worship. I cannot know, just as they cannot know what is good for me or what I should believe or do. Who would want that responsibility to begin with?

Perhaps I am arrogant to think that I know better than so many people who embrace religion... But I look at the havoc that religion has wreaked in my own life and those of others around me and I think, "there has got to be a better alternative to this." I think one could make a great case for how humanity at large would be better off without certain teachings. But would the faithful give them up if they believe those teachings were born on the lips of their god?

Quote:And I don't get upset when they believe something that I don't, though I do dearly love to be right.

Me, too! Haha. Smile

Quote:The only time I get upset and try to do something is when people begin to try and impose their beliefs on me. And, yes, SOME religious people try to do that very thing . . . some secular people do too.

I don't mind proselytizers. If someone tried to force me to be a Christian I'd get a little feisty, though. Force is not the way. How do you feel about people taking their beliefs and imposing them upon others by making it law, though, such as in the case of gay marriage? Because that's a pretty big issue for me, even though I'm currently in a heterosexual relationship. It boils my blood.

Quote: For that reason, I won't try and slander their beliefs no matter how much I may disagree with them,

I don't believe it is slander, though. I think (but am not sure) that to call it slander would mean it had to be untrue or misleading. And it is neither. It just isn't positive...

Quote:I won’t try and ban them or prohibit them from practicing their religion. Why? Because it is not what I believe in, and I won’t let those who stand against me change who I am.

I wouldn't ban or prohibit them either. It has never and would never be my goal to force anyone to give up what they believe.

Also, I can't post the video I spoke about in my last post yet because I'm new and my post count has to be 50 or greater. If you go to youtube and search for "RSA Animate - The Empathic Civilisation" you can find it. Smile
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#36
Zophia Wrote:I have to say that I'm entirely ignorant about this person. So I can't comment much on this but to say that I definitely believe science and morality are two separate spheres. Also, Eugenics, according to current knowledge, doesn't make sense for human beings. There is more genetic diversity between people within same "race" than there is outside of it. Race is more of a social construct than anything else. (More about science and morals further down.)

Oh, yes, I know that eugenics makes no sense according to current science. My point is that people who are religious can be and are demonized in media despite the fact that they may be correct (in philosophy if not in fact) on the subject they are talking about.

Zophia Wrote:I hope you didn't get that from my post because I am more than willing to listen to other peoples' points of view. I'm sorry if I gave you the impression otherwise!! I enjoy talking to other people even when I disagree with them. It's a great opportunity to learn things or to look at something in a way I wouldn't have thought to, left to my own devices. I've already gotten a little bit of that from speaking with you!

Oh, no, not you at all. I'm recalling past conversations I have had on the topic.

Zophia Wrote:I definitely agree with you. I think that extremism needs to be dealt with, though, and not ignored. I would never stand for someone trying to take rights away from Christians, for example... which is why I would never support the banning of religion. Do I think we're better off without it? Sure thing! Do I think I should do my best to educate people out of it? Sure thing! But in the end, it is their choice. Forcing such a choice on them would be an affront to personal freedom, something i feel is very important. But I don't believe there is anything wrong with trying to sway someone to your side, especially through education (not public education, you know what I mean!).

Oh, I agree, extremism does need to be dealt with, that is why I said "if left unchecked".


Zophia Wrote:I do not feel that science is godlike or infallible. But it at least tries to find out the answers and is ever changing as mistakes are corrected. Smile It is an ongoing process based on our current knowledge and not a static position staunchly defended by the faithful. And that's what I like about it. Some things are very well established though. Evolution ties well into many different fields... and a literal interpretation of the Bible does not hold a place for that. Neither does it hold a place for basic knowledge about our solar system.

Like I said, its ability to change is its greatest beauty. Perhaps we need to find a sphere of moral philosophy that is capable of testing and changing its answers.

Zophia Wrote:Nice quote! I agree that science is not where humanity should go for moral knowledge, because that is not science's purpose.

Nor could it answer questions of ethics and morality, that has to be up to other fields of philosophy.

Zophia Wrote:Perhaps I am arrogant to think that I know better than so many people who embrace religion... But I look at the havoc that religion has wreaked in my own life and those of others around me and I think, "there has got to be a better alternative to this." I think one could make a great case for how humanity at large would be better off without certain teachings. But would the faithful give them up if they believe those teachings were born on the lips of their god?

People wouldn't give up those beliefs if you could prove without question that there was no such thing as god. Like I said, I thin some people need that belief in some greater knowledge, in some greater power than themselves.

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with religion when you were growing up. I was fortunate, in that I had parents who, though they are christian, allowed each of my siblings and I to seek our own answers when it came to religion. As a result, I am Deist (after a time bouncing between atheism, agnosticism, and Wicca), my sister is Rastafarian (I think for more than any other reason because it allows her to justify smoking pot), and my brother, after a stint with Buddhism, is now Christian.

Also, I grew up an still live in the inter-mountain west, which can be conservative in parts . . . but it is a small government, "mind-your-own-dawned-business" type of conservatism.

Zophia Wrote:I don't mind proselytizers. If someone tried to force me to be a Christian I'd get a little feisty, though. Force is not the way. How do you feel about people taking their beliefs and imposing them upon others by making it law, though, such as in the case of gay marriage? Because that's a pretty big issue for me, even though I'm currently in a heterosexual relationship. It boils my blood.

That is an instance of imposing a belief system on another. Boils my blood too.

Zophia Wrote:I don't believe it is slander, though. I think (but am not sure) that to call it slander would mean it had to be untrue or misleading. And it is neither. It just isn't positive...

Right, well that is what I mean. There are many religious teachings which modern society views as negative, and rightly so. I don't have a problem pointing those out so long as we can be just in doing so and say, "though religion can lead to bigotry, it can also lead some to openness"; "though religion a teaches x science teaches y"; etc.

I think it would be irresponsible to teach only one side of an issue. Perhaps more than anything, we need to teach people how to analyze and question.

I first declared myself to be an "atheist" at the age of 13. That is because I questioned religion, the only religion I knew at that point in my life, and found it lacking.

Zophia Wrote:Also, I can't post the video I spoke about in my last post yet because I'm new and my post count has to be 50 or greater. If you go to youtube and search for "RSA Animate - The Empathic Civilisation" you can find it. Smile

If you go into the advanced post, a youtube icon will appear above the table. Hit that button and HTML brackets will appear on the table. Copy and paste everything between "v=" and "&" (some don't have an &) from the URL between the two brackets and you will be able to post your video.




It is an interesting video, but I don't necessarily think the information is all that new . . . at least much of it can be inferred from the fact that our evolutionary history is that of a gregarious species. That is, for the sake of survival, we have developed characteristics which require us to empathize with and depend on one another. Indeed, I am more than willing to bet that the dogs and dolphins will have the same "mirror neurons" they found in primates. As I am willing to bet they will find them in all sentient and gregarious species.

One thing I think that the presenter misses is competition between the other and the self, the other and the self can refer to groups as well as individuals. This is a huge part of human survival instinct, and as long as humans are competing for space and for resources, our instincts toward empathy will be subject to the instinct of, for lack of a better term, "supply and demand".

Phenomenology, a school of philosophy developed in the early-to-mid 19th-century, has a great deal to say about all of this. It is worth looking into.

As far as his analysis regarding heaven and utopia, I suppose he would be correct regarding a lack of empathy in such places if such things could possibly exist. Christians believe that heaven is its own type of existence characterized by an all consuming love, a complete and total empathy, perhaps that is what is necessary for a place without suffering to exist. I don't believe in either, personally, but "it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket", to quote Jefferson, for others to believe so.
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#37
Inchante Wrote:Like I said, its ability to change is its greatest beauty. Perhaps we need to find a sphere of moral philosophy that is capable of testing and changing its answers.

Do you think Humanism would work here?


Quote:Nor could it answer questions of ethics and morality, that has to be up to other fields of philosophy.

Absolutely right! Smile

Quote:I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with religion when you were growing up. I was fortunate, in that I had parents who, though they are christian, allowed each of my siblings and I to seek our own answers when it came to religion. As a result, I am Deist (after a time bouncing between atheism, agnosticism, and Wicca), my sister is Rastafarian (I think for more than any other reason because it allows her to justify smoking pot), and my brother, after a stint with Buddhism, is now Christian.

Also, I grew up an still live in the inter-mountain west, which can be conservative in parts . . . but it is a small government, "mind-your-own-dawned-business" type of conservatism.

Ah, one of the lucky ones! My current boyfriend was raised that way too. And... he is also a deist. I can't say that deism bothers me much, nor pantheism/panentheism. It leaves the window open for people to make their own choices.

I was raised by a preacherman... my grandfather. Church was everything. We went even on "off" days, if we could find a service or revival, and I went to a Christian school. I even helped write sermons (and still do, sometimes), focusing on positive teachings (and I've written up a wedding ceremony). But I've had to deal with some very dark family stuff (I thought about divulging it but changed my mind)... and a whole lot of religious guilt. We definitely were not given a choice when it came to religion and were judged harshly and as defective human beings if we turned away from any teaching, even if not from the faith itself. My family is just crazy. That's all that really needs to be said.

Quote:I don't believe in either, personally, but "it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket", to quote Jefferson, for others to believe so.

I absolutely adore Thomas Jefferson, probably to the point my boyfriend is jealous. You've quoted him twice -- I was wondering if perhaps you also respect him quite a lot? Because I think he's a BAMF.
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#38
Zophia Wrote:Do you think Humanism would work here?

Uh, well, traditional humanism tends to reject religion out of hand and can be rather dogmatic about it. There was a rise of religious humanism in the early 20th-century. If traditional humanism can be tolerant of religion, it could be very beneficial.

Though, at least one huge moral question hangs over all of this that humanism has yet to answer. This is a major factor where moral philosophy directly butts heads against science. That is human competition. As the human population continues to grow, our consumption will grow, and then it will start to decrease as levels of resources decrease, thus leading to various factors which inhibit human growth.

E.g. war, disease, starvation, on and on and on. Humanism does a great job of saying how we should treat each other, to the point that all its tenets lead to increased growth of the human population. What it doesn't deal with is the fact that we will need to find an ethical way to limit human growth for our own survival.

There is a video series from a lecture given by a professor of mathematics at the University of Colorado which goes into the mathematics and details of this topic.

You can find it by looking up "The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See" on youtube.




Zophia Wrote:Ah, one of the lucky ones! My current boyfriend was raised that way too. And... he is also a deist. I can't say that deism bothers me much, nor pantheism/panentheism. It leaves the window open for people to make their own choices.

I certainly do count myself lucky in this respect. My parents were always very open minded and intelligent, especially considering the fact that they were not all that educated.

Zophia Wrote:I absolutely adore Thomas Jefferson, probably to the point my boyfriend is jealous. You've quoted him twice -- I was wondering if perhaps you also respect him quite a lot? Because I think he's a BAMF.

Yes, I do love Jefferson. He was certainly one of the most brilliant minds of his time, though he was also very much a product of his time. To that point, he was human. If I were to compare him to another philosopher, it would have to be Heidegger, a man capable of great brilliance but also misguided socio-temporal beliefs . . . which could prove detrimental to society as a whole, to that point, I submit a couple more Jefferson quotes:

"I advance it, therefore, as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstance, are inferior to the whites in the endowment both of body and mind."

"Comparing them by their faculties of memory, reason and imagination, it appears to me, that in memory they are equal to the whites; in reason much inferior, as I think one could scarcely be found capable of tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid; and that in imagination, they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous."
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