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  1. #21
    Hung Angel Platinum Poster trish's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    People have terrible needs and deep resentments. They want to live in a world that's fair and where justice prevails, at least insofar as it applies to them. When they perceive the world around them is not such a place, they imagine things will even out on a cosmic scale.

    Religions pretend to tell us how Divine essences prefer us to live, what is moral behavior and what is immoral. Religions pronounce laws on every type of human action, from what we shouldn't eat to who needs to be stoned (Pass the joint Dino). It's not at all surprising that religion would press its views on politicians whose job it is to make law. This will always be the case.


    Last edited by trish; 01-31-2014 at 07:06 AM.
    "...I no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize."_Alice Munro, Chaddeleys and Flemings.

    "...the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way". _Judge Holden, Cormac McCarthy's, BLOOD MERIDIAN.

  2. #22
    Platinum Poster robertlouis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    What people have difficulty in doing is separating the religious from the political where activists and states have succesfully warped the universal message into a particular ideology; it sounds like a cop-out to many these days but I think it is true.
    I agree completely. It's also why, albeit an atheist, I have absolute respect for the Quakers. Their independence of mind and spirit is something that other religions should emulate, to the general good.


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  3. #23
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by trish View Post
    People have terrible needs and deep resentments. They want to live in a world that's fair and where justice prevails, at least insofar as it applies to them. When they perceive the world around them is not such a place, they imagine things will even out on a cosmic scale.

    Religions pretend to tell us how Divine essences prefer us to live, what is moral behavior and what is immoral. Religions pronounce laws on every type of human action, from what we shouldn't eat to who needs to be stoned (Pass the joint Dino). It's not at all surprising that religion would press its views on politicians whose job it is to make law. This will always be the case.
    Poeple have a terrible need to be on the RIGHT side ,and to believe that all others who think and believe otherwise are Wrong .

    that brings the question: what kind of god is it , to give special red phones all over the world and whisper in the ears those "chosen ones" : you are right , everyone else is wrong?

    this god certainly needs a shrink ASAP.



  4. #24
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by trish View Post
    People have terrible needs and deep resentments. They want to live in a world that's fair and where justice prevails, at least insofar as it applies to them. When they perceive the world around them is not such a place, they imagine things will even out on a cosmic scale.

    Religions pretend to tell us how Divine essences prefer us to live, what is moral behavior and what is immoral. Religions pronounce laws on every type of human action, from what we shouldn't eat to who needs to be stoned (Pass the joint Dino). It's not at all surprising that religion would press its views on politicians whose job it is to make law. This will always be the case.
    Although I think some people need the comfort that a religious belief provides them, for example to confirm that death is not the end and that there is some kind of eternal rest, I think it is also important to recognise the link between religion and science in the ancient world. These days we know enough about the chemicals in food to prevent people eating infected products, although even in our modern world there are still food-borne diseases.

    But consider: if you live in a society where God not only exists but God as absolute power informs social relations giving great importance to a priesthood, or witch-doctors for that matter, a prohibition on the consumption of pork, to take one example, is not just a moral law, it is a health and safety provision if rinderpest is endemic in that region.

    The moral repugnance to same-sex relations, infidelity and abortion may be a response to a threat to the survival of the group, dealt with through the creation of rules whose primary function is to breed, given that before the advent of modern medicine and even after that and in some places today infant mortality is higher than we have become used to.

    An anthropologist visiting the Andaman Islands (not Radcliffe-Brown I can't recall his name but I read a book on this some years ago) noted how common anal sex was among men, and concluded that it was both an act of pleasure and an alternative to masturbation which was and is in some societies (in Papua New Guinea) considered a waste of semen. It may be that in ancient societies anal sex and fellatio among men and boys was more common than we would like to believe, though the practices of the Greeks are reasonably well known. Could there also have been infections which enabled the priesthood to impose a ban on same-sex relations again, as a health and safety issue?

    The point is that other than spiritual matters, there may often be a practical reason why in the past the wrath of God was invoked to amend human behaviour, where these days we can rely on rationality and clinical evidence...



  5. #25
    Hung Angel Platinum Poster trish's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    The anger and the beneficence of Gods have been invoked to explain weather, volcanic activity, crop yields, plagues, wars, the abundance of game or lack thereof, the ability to score a touchdown etc. One can appease the Gods with sacrifice, or prayer; as long as you do your best to keep their laws. But if your neighbor is a homosexual, your whole town might get torn up by a tornado...so says Pat Robertson.

    But these are not examples of religion adapting. Religions that warned against the eating of pig might have had some adaptive value by preventing the spread of trichinosis. Would they also they would have been more adaptive by recommending pig be well cooked?

    At one time, it was thought that religion could explain the workings of the physical world. This is no longer the case. Religion has been confined to the moral and the spiritual. Religions that continue to insist the world is just a few thousand years old, or that blastocysts have souls are not adaptive. In spite of that, I think even these maladaptive attributes of religion will survive into the future. How so? Because hypocrisy is adaptive. One can be against vaccinations and benefit because others in your community are vaccinated. One can be against the findings of science and still benefit from its discoveries.


    "...I no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize."_Alice Munro, Chaddeleys and Flemings.

    "...the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way". _Judge Holden, Cormac McCarthy's, BLOOD MERIDIAN.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by trish View Post
    The anger and the beneficence of Gods have been invoked to explain weather, volcanic activity, crop yields, plagues, wars, the abundance of game or lack thereof, the ability to score a touchdown etc. One can appease the Gods with sacrifice, or prayer; as long as you do your best to keep their laws. But if your neighbor is a homosexual, your whole town might get torn up by a tornado...so says Pat Robertson.

    But these are not examples of religion adapting. Religions that warned against the eating of pig might have had some adaptive value by preventing the spread of trichinosis. Would they also they would have been more adaptive by recommending pig be well cooked?

    At one time, it was thought that religion could explain the workings of the physical world. This is no longer the case. Religion has been confined to the moral and the spiritual. Religions that continue to insist the world is just a few thousand years old, or that blastocysts have souls are not adaptive. In spite of that, I think even these maladaptive attributes of religion will survive into the future. How so? Because hypocrisy is adaptive. One can be against vaccinations and benefit because others in your community are vaccinated. One can be against the findings of science and still benefit from its discoveries.
    It is only hypocrisy if you believe that those people who oppose vaccination for religious reasons are behaviing in a deliberately irrational manner, to them it is in fact a rational response to the options as they see them. That doesn't make them right, but it does mean that explaining the benefits of vaccination to them is going to be a challenge. The benefits of contraception to the Philippines may have produced a different outcome if the Roman Catholic church for decades had not opposed it.

    What you have indicated is the way in which knowledge has been compartmentalised, with scientific disciplines taking what was once an holistic view of life on earth and the cosmos, and rationalising each component -chemistry, physics, medicine, and so on. My point was that until this fragmentation of knowledge, religion was integral to the development of science -the development of mathematics was not the work of atheists, but religious men and women, and its purpose at one time was to use numbers to understand the laws of God, just as the ancient Egyptians used mathematics to design pyramids in which chambers would have direct access to the stars at specific times of the year, on the assumption that humans were directly linked to the cosmos. It may look absurd in the modern world, and people in the modern world can look and sound absurd when they attribute physical phenomena to God or the gods when there is a rational explanation at hand, but this doesn't mean rationality and religion are mutually exclusive.



  7. #27
    Hung Angel Platinum Poster trish's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    ...What you have indicated is the way in which knowledge has been compartmentalised, with scientific disciplines taking what was once an holistic view of life on earth and the cosmos, and rationalising each component -chemistry, physics, medicine, and so on. My point was that until this fragmentation of knowledge, religion was integral to the development of science -the development of mathematics was not the work of atheists, but religious men and women, and its purpose at one time was to use numbers to understand the laws of God, just as the ancient Egyptians used mathematics to design pyramids in which chambers would have direct access to the stars at specific times of the year, on the assumption that humans were directly linked to the cosmos. It may look absurd in the modern world, and people in the modern world can look and sound absurd when they attribute physical phenomena to God or the gods when there is a rational explanation at hand, but this doesn't mean rationality and religion are mutually exclusive.
    Religion compartmentalized the world into good and evil, godly and ungodly, terrestrial and celestial etc. Until Newton, it was thought the Heavenly spheres operated in accordance to a higher set of rules than the mere terrestrial. That the same force that made things fall on Earth was the very force that moved the planets was a break from religious dogma and a unification, not a compartmentalization. Evolution too is an example of an astounding unification that had to fight against the constraints of religious thought. Numerology is not precursor to number theory; accounting perhaps, but not numerology.


    "...I no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize."_Alice Munro, Chaddeleys and Flemings.

    "...the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way". _Judge Holden, Cormac McCarthy's, BLOOD MERIDIAN.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    The strength and weakness of religion is its holistic perspective of life and death and the rest, good and evil are not separate compartments but conditions which inform each other so you are wrong about that. The strength for believers is the feeling that one is part of a complete system in which it is not possible to get lost or be forgotten; the weakness is that codes of behaviour designed in one millenium may not 'fit' another, that explanations of existence which made sense in say, 500 BCE, make no sense in 2010. If a religion is flexible enough to accommodate change, as you agree, it survives in some form. My point about science is that separate disciplines have emerged in which people specialise, I think I was probably wrong to suggest science as a whole is not holistic, but I think you understand how some think their own niche is privileged over others, that Biology is cutting edge where chemistry is dull or vice versa. Aristotle was both a natural scientists and a philosopher, Leonardo da Vinci a scientist and an artist, and the 19th century provides many examples of people ranging across scientific and non-scientific disciplines, your illustrious Benjamin Franklin being one of them. And you seem to have a problem with mathematics, which is surely more than just 'numerology'?



  9. #29
    Senior Member Silver Poster buttslinger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    When we were kids, one day after school my brother had gotten some explosive, and my friend's older brother devised a cannon of sorts in his back yard, a five foot piece of large drain pipe sunk into the ground, packed with the explosive powder, some rags, and then loaded with metal grapeshot: nuts, bolts, screws, any little metal stuff we could find. It was buried halfway down into the ground because nobody was sure if the whole thing wouldn't blow up like a large pipe bomb. Huey lit the fuse and all of the kids in the neighborhood who had gathered to witness this coolest of cool events ran to the farthest limits of the backyard fence.
    As we were all anxiously and quietly waiting while the fuse sizzled down to zero hour, I heard the distant sound of car tires crunching asphalt in the front yard, and Dave, who had the only real beeline view of the driveway, said

    "Daddy's home"

    KABOOM!!!!

    This is what's meant by God Fearing.
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  10. #30
    Hung Angel Platinum Poster trish's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Concept Of Being "God Fearing"

    My point about science is that separate disciplines have emerged in which people specialize, I think I was probably wrong to suggest science as a whole is not holistic, but I think you understand how some think their own niche is privileged over others, that Biology is cutting edge where chemistry is dull or vice versa.
    In science people take degrees in “specialties,” like Biology, or even Evolutionary Biology. One quickly finds that understanding Evolutionary Biology requires an understanding of Zoology, Paleontology, Geology, Plate Tectonics, Population Genetics, Molecular Biology, Theory of Radioactive Isotopes, Chemistry of Gene Expression, Quantum Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics, Physics, Calculus, Probability, Statistics, etc.

    Perhaps two hundred years ago Biology, Chemistry and Physics were perceived as having distinct and separate interests. Today they still have different aims and directions but they’ve have grown into one textured weave. This is not only the case with Biology, Chemistry and Physics but all of science. Particle physicists depend on input from Cosmologists and vice versa.

    From the outside perhaps science looks like it’s divided into ever schisming sects that grow in number and that each practitioner grows more and more isolated, able to communicate only with members of her own cult. This picture couldn’t be further from the truth. True, a scientist today has much more to learn to reach the point to where she can constructively contribute to the ongoing discussion; but what she has to learn covers a broad array of interconnecting topics. This is to be expected. As we gain knowledge, the lines that were once perceived as boundaries grow together and overlap. Then when old problems are solved, different researchers pick new and different directions to explore. But no one area stands alone without support from the rest.

    Yes, one runs across examples of team pride. Weinberg might write a book wherein he suggests all scientific knowledge ought to be reducible to a few principles of physics. And a biologist might protest in a letter to the NYC Book Reviews. But even this turns out to be an intelligent cross-specialty discussion of interest to the general culture. Moreover, it’s a discussion of just how holistic science might or might not turn out to be.

    My domestic partner was raised Catholic. A few weeks before Christmas he received in the mail a pamphlet published by a local non-denominational (though Protestant) Church denouncing Catholics as idolators who worship the wafer-god. Should I take this to be a bit a razzing from a momentarily overzealous member of the fundamentalist team, or do the multitude of sects to be found within the various religions represent an irreducible compartmentalization of religious thought?


    "...I no longer believe that people's secrets are defined and communicable, or their feelings full-blown and easy to recognize."_Alice Munro, Chaddeleys and Flemings.

    "...the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way". _Judge Holden, Cormac McCarthy's, BLOOD MERIDIAN.

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