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Survival of the Kindest

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posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 09:59 AM
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Start off, by shrugging off all preconceived ideas and beliefs, as it will not help one see the forest for the trees.

We should begin by treating others the same way we wish for others to treat us, and morality is just a label.

We like to label and make things seem so complicated, and that is why am neither religious nor am I an atheist.

Conditioning one's self is a self imposed limitation.

I am that am I


edit on 13-9-2011 by InnerPeace2012 because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Star and Flag for an excellent thread OP.

I've read the series of contributions to this thread and have taken note of virtually each and every posting being a literal homogeny of belief systems. For example, there are those who "mix and match" various religious pronouncements with an additional ingredient of science. Others, while apparently making specific mention of their personal strategy for dealing with everyday "life" (whatever belief system it is to which they subscribe) - simultaneously seem to be furthering their own quest for understanding through asking questions of others or, simply, by reading then considering the thoughts placed in this thread.

Perhaps this very premise of mixing and matching was the initial catalyst for the creation of Philosophy; that there MAY be an ounce of "truth" in all belief systems...

On more of a personal note, I subscribe to the Seth Information - channeled through Jane Roberts; and although I make this statement without reservation, I know that I have "individualized" that Information through both personal understanding and personal application of it. My acceptance of this premise allows me the very real "luxury" of realizing that the veracity of any and all conclusions at which I arrive when interacting with this "reality" is questionable - at best - with the sole exception of being "probably right and probably true" to and for--me.

For me, this premise is unlike any and all carved-in-stone belief systems in that there is nothing exclusively "true" - with the exception of that "truth" presented by each Individual to themselves.

Questions dealing with "morality" and its possible/probable source (i.e. religion, evolutionary biology (genetics)) or displaying a moral demeanor simply for the hell of it, the central question seems, for me, to always return to the Individual - and the choices they make insofar as to how those choices relate to their respective system of belief...and the interactive impact those choices have on the "reality" with which they surround themselves.

Thanks again OP.

Mindpeace



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


No one's saying Religions don't change with the times. You even quoted me saying that the religious' foundations will adjust itself. However the main tenets remain the same in all religions.

The point is, people use religion as a blueprint for living along side the divine so to speak. Not to mention there is help from within the community, no one is on their own, which I'm sure is more comforting for some.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:43 PM
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Luke 17:20-21
King James Version (KJV)
20And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


When I was in my twenties I was an agnostic. I rebelled against the religion I had been raised in. I wanted to see what else was out there, assuming there was a power greater than myself to find. At first I explored the roots of Christianity; I wanted to know how the early Christians worshipped. I attended masses at an Eastern Orthodox church. I found the services incredibly beautiful but short on explanations.

I went on to explore, at different times, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, the Mennonites, the Quakers, a whole range of Protestant denominations, and several charismatic groups. I dipped into Buddhism, Hinduism, and some esoteric writings.

I wasn't doing all of this to either please or displease God. I believed (and still do) that God (as I understand Him) is big enough to withstand the doubts and fears and disbelief of humans. I was searching for something I could hold onto, a rock I can cling to in times of trouble and times of joy.

In the end I have gone back to the religion I was raised in. I still have my qualms and questions, and some people will say my spiritual experiences are imaginary. That's fine with me. I don't think that skepticism or outright disbelief will injure either Him or me.

In my experience, I have found that the kingdom of heaven is indeed within us if we allow it to be.



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 09:19 PM
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My apologize for subverting the topic once again, but I have a really bad pet peeve of the incorrect use of atheism and agnosticism.

First off. Atheism in its broadest sense is the lack of belief in a higher power.
Atheism, is not as most people use it, the belief that no god exists, though many who identify as atheist make this claim.
By this broad definition buddhism could also technically be called an atheistic religion since it is not about the belief or disbelief in a deity.

Simple question. Do you believe a higher power exists. Yes? Your a theist. No? Your an atheist.
Maybe a bit dichotomistic but, maybe, I don't know, or I don't care do not seem as valid options to me.

--------------------------

As for agnosticism, it is not a belief system unto itself.
Agnosticism is merely the belief that one can not know whether a higher power does or does not exist. Or in other words, based on the evidence put forth one can not know whether a higher does or does not exist.
It has no bearing on whether you believe or lack belief in a higher power.
Gnosticism is its counter part. It is the belief that one can know whether a higher power does or does not exist. Or in other words, based on the evidence put for one can know whether a higher power does or does not exist.
It however has no bearing on whether you you believe or lack belief in a higher power.

Do you believe based on the evidence presented to you, that you can know whether a higher power does or does not exist? Yes? You are a gnostic. No? You are an agnostic.
Again maybe a bit dichotomistic but, maybe, I don't know, or I don't care do not seem as valid options to me.

I will now refer you to this image found on freethinker.co.uk


As one can see it is possible to be an:
Gnostic Theist
Agnostic Theist
Agnostic Atheist
Gnostic Theist

----------------------------------
My apologize to the OP for subverting this thread, especially when religion was not the main focus of the topic. but I feel it is important to have a common understanding when using these terms, as it helps us to understand each other better.
edit on 13-9-2011 by FreezingVoid because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by bestintentions
 


The voice that truly tells us how to look after ourselves in the face of danger – may that danger be what ever it is – could that behaviour, to be in touch and in honour of that inner knowledge and to cultivate it, be called spiritual?

According to the linked article, the voice is that of instinct. One could call it spiritual, certainly, but it is also an evolved, physical response.

*


reply to post by juveous
 


The main tenets remain the same in all religions.

If this is true, is it not because we humans all share a common basic morality, one that is instinctive to us, and which all religions are obliged to take account of if they are to succeed in recruiting believers?

*


reply to post by FreezingVoid
 


My apologize to the OP for subverting this thread, especially when religion was not the main focus of the topic.

Your apology is accepted; it is very much in order, for there are many who will try to turn this thread into another religion-vs-atheism debate. I would prefer that we focus on the original proposition – ‘is morality instinctive, and if so what is the purpose of religion?’ – and leave discussing religious generalities for a different kind of thread.

Thank you, FreezingVoid.



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 12:24 AM
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Religion is something that is meant to confuse and produce ripples in the pond of the truth. Give children of Earth what they want, something to believe in and fear. Then that would give enough power to control and enslave.



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by StandingTall
 

You speak of the use made of religion by those in power, be they religious authorities or secular ones.

I think we all agree on this.

However, religion must be of some use to the believer, or at least it must be perceived as useful, otherwise the authorities would never be able to ‘sell’ it to the masses.

Many religious people believe the value of religion is to make us morally aware and encourage us to behave better. But if morality is already wired into us by evolution, that cannot be the real use of religion. What is it, then, that makes religion so appealing?

What is the use of religion to the believer? Please bear in mind the biological aspects of the argument when replying. That is what the thread is about.



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Another "Hello" Astyanax.

For me, an interesting exploration parameter:

"What is the use of religion to the believer? Please bear in mind the biological aspects of the argument when replying. That is what the thread is about."

*********************************************

For me, it's the demonstrated Individual behavioral traits which can be identified by those who choose to interact with this "reality" - as to how those observations compare to the accepted "norm" of a given societal structure which would define "morality" (or lack of it). Those observed behavioral "clues" which can, and DO, hint at their possible/probable source on many levels.

Demonstrated and observed behavioral traits are, to me, an identifiable "fingerprint" proclaiming specific Individuality.

To me, if a given observer/researcher/explorer assumes that some biological source proves to be not only the original progenitor of basic morality but perpetually and significantly influences the displayed, observed and defined "moral or immoral behavior", then the "...biological aspects of the argument..." search boundary would seem to bestow great importance upon physical [genetic] influence on moral behavior.*

*In other words, I accept the premise that assumptions an explorer chooses to apply to their explorations will significantly influence and even partly determine their ultimate findings and/or conclusions.

Please bear in mind, my friend, that absolutely no offense is offered or inferred here. I'm merely trying to determine the direction this exploration is taking.

Thusly, are you referring to the potential source of the "peace of mind" a true believer enjoys? Are you implying a source which would possibly contribute to a "more ordered existence" which would, logically, result in a more measured approach to "life"? All this "sourced" within a biological framework that is merely a genetically-sourced and incessantly-influenced manifestation identified as behavior?

Thanks for your patience with me Astyanax.

Mindpeace


edit on 14-9-2011 by Mindpeace because: An afterthought...



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

reply to post by juveous
 


The main tenets remain the same in all religions.

If this is true, is it not because we humans all share a common basic morality, one that is instinctive to us, and which all religions are obliged to take account of if they are to succeed in recruiting believers?


What difference does it really make if that is the case? People still do wrong. They know right from wrong, still do wrong. Just because someone believes also doesn't make them right. Changing their life for serving their God in how they should live is a part of it.
As much as religion defends what is moral, religion defends more on changing morals.



posted on Sep, 14 2011 @ 06:45 PM
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I feel good mentally and physically when I am friendly and kind to others. Being negative and hostile always leads to feelings of regret, stress.. etc.



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by Mindpeace
 


To me, if a given (person) assumes that some biological source (is) not only the original progenitor of basic morality but perpetually and significantly influences the displayed, observed and defined "moral or immoral behavior", then the "biological aspects of the argument" search boundary would seem to bestow great importance upon physical [genetic] influence on moral behavior. In other words, I accept the premise that assumptions an explorer chooses to apply to their explorations will significantly influence and even partly determine their ultimate findings and/or conclusions.

So, if we seek a biological explanation for anything, will we always find one? Is there a biological explanation as to why sodium burns with a yellow flame? Why radioactive decay occurs? Why the tides rise and fall? Surely not. To attempt such an explanation would be to stretch anthropocentrism until it breaks.

It isn’t because we are predisposed to one particular sort of explanation that we look to evolutionary biology to suggest where the roots of morality might be found. We do so because we observe that social animals have behaviour patterns which involve altruism, reciprocity, cooperation and hierarchical dominance/status arrangements. We look at these patterns and we see what, in human terms, would be described as moral behaviour.

Now we know that evolution determines the behaviour of animals as much as it determines their physical form. If animals act instinctively in ways that appear to us as moral, then is it not fair to say that moral behaviour in animals is evolved and instinctive? Then, since we are at least animals ourselves (regardless of what else we may or may not be), it follows that moral behaviour in us, too, is probably instinctive. Further research reinforces this conclusion, until we feel confident in stating it: moral behaviour in humans is at least partly instinctive. Morality is evolved.

This is not, of course, to say that moral codes are evolved. They may be, in the sense that different societies evolve their own and that these codes do keep on changing as the human environment changes. But that is social, not biological evolution, and could be affected by many factors, including (if you believe in them) human consciousness and will. Keep in mind that I am not saying the Ten Commandments refer to evolved instincts; I don’t believe we are instinctively driven to honour a single deity to the exclusion of all others, or to react like eunuchs around our neighbours’ wives, etc., although we may be instinctively driven to honour (or at least to obey) our mothers and fathers. Moral codes are something very different from morality. The former are largely artificial, but they are based on some understanding or perception, however vague, of the latter, which are instinctive.

The question is, where (if anywhere) does religion fit into all this?


Are you referring to the potential source of the "peace of mind" a true believer enjoys?

Are you suggesting that this is what religion is good for? Would you care to expand on this?

*


reply to post by juveous
 


What difference does it really make if that is the case?

It makes all the difference in the world, because it removes one of the arguments frequently offered for having a religion in the first place. One can no longer argue that religion makes us better people, or at least better-behaved people. That obliges us to ask of those who choose to believe: of what use is religion to you?

Your responses in the thread so far have been of the ‘people need religion because...’ variety. It may impose some clarity on our understanding of your position if you were to tell us why you need religion. Or don’t you? And if you don’t, what makes you believe that other people do? What makes you different in this regard?



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 01:50 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
It makes all the difference in the world, because it removes one of the arguments frequently offered for having a religion in the first place. One can no longer argue that religion makes us better people, or at least better-behaved people. That obliges us to ask of those who choose to believe: of what use is religion to you?

Your responses in the thread so far have been of the ‘people need religion because...’ variety. It may impose some clarity on our understanding of your position if you were to tell us why you need religion. Or don’t you? And if you don’t, what makes you believe that other people do? What makes you different in this regard?


To say that good morals are instinctive does not help in preventing immorality. If one of the arguments that is offered for religion is that attempts to change peoples perspective of right and wrong, then it is because people have a problem with their moral instincts. - I said it makes no difference whether there are instincts or not, because religion is trying to keep a base on what may be right or wrong, and offer ways to follow it.

I don't need religion, it is not a necessity to my being, however I understand it's place in society for those that can use it for their sake. I don't even know if I would say that other's need it, but that is arguable. I may not need any philosophy in my life, but I feel that when we attempt to contemplate the divine or when we create a narrative in which you can better appreciate reality, I feel that is a life-enriching ability, and for someone to say that approach in life has no use is just disingenuous. I understand it is full of stories that are inaccurately relevant, but maybe that is the point. Either way, I have been one to support and criticize religion.



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 02:13 AM
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In my opinion, religion only offers a belief system for the mediocre. It's often moralistically described as the “common good” yet as anyone with any taste knows—anything that is common cannot be good. Take Christianity for example: it is steeped in Platonism and other past philosophies; it's merely another perception of what morality should be (according to it's ancient author[s]). Maybe its philosophy became widely accepted by the many: the underprivileged, the suffering and the slaves of the time. It offered courage to the oppressed and despairing, it orders us to protect the decadent and preserve that which should perish—to experience the same suffering through our pity. It was a philosophy that reached and appealed the masses as it tried to find reason in chaos, which is a severe contradiction. People don't want to believe that they are suffering because of themselves and their environment, rather they find comfort in believing otherwise.

In summary, I believe religion is morality for the fearful masses, but morality doesn't come from religion. I think it comes from an instinctual need to co-exist with other members of our species and evolves due to our proximity with others.

Cool thread



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 05:56 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I would like to further debate with you the point, that the inner voice of knowledge is instinct and that instinct is an evolved physical response.

wouldn’t that mean, that my instinct only works when I’m faced with experiences my physicality has already experienced? or do I need to understand, that these experiences and responds are in my genes? how on earth could they have gotten there in the first place if they never change. did my first ancestor experience everything that is possible? (please do keep in mind that I do not understand genes really) maybe truly God is my first ancestor.

I’m pretty sure my being distinguishes between instinct and inner voice though. my instinct works e.g. when I’m faced with a task, that I with my intellect can’t solve. my inner voice on the other hand tells me of things, I’m not even aware yet.


however these nuances may be, I came to a conclusion that might answer the question you raised ::
‘’’ However, religion must be of some use to the believer, or at least it must be perceived as useful, otherwise the authorities would never be able to ‘sell’ it to the masses. What is the use of religion to the believer? Please bear in mind the biological aspects of the argument when replying.’’’

I happen to have two young men visiting. since I’m not religious and have not much of an answer to the above question, I decided to ask them ‘are you religious’.
one of them said, yes I’m a Christian, I go to church every Sunday. why I asked, and he answered: I don’t know.
what! you go to church every Sunday and you don’t know why?
well, he thought a bit and then said: it comforts me. although I’m not troubled every Sunday, I still go. otherwise it doesn’t work. you have to be there every Sunday.

wow

then I decided to google “what does religion do for people” and came straight to a site where a teacher had asked the very question to his students.
he concluded



.......a student said, "Religion soothes you."
Religion soothes you.
Okay, Karl Marx, maybe it is the opiate of the people, but if you're in pain you need an opiate. So religion soothes you.

godsrbored.blogspot.com...

wow

after these my experiences I can only conclude one thing and that thing would be powerful enough ‘to sell it to the masses”: religion is a drug. it works on our chemical household. we are addicts to our own chemicals, that’s why we dwell for ever in a certain mood, specially the bad ones, and hardly manage to change our habits. that’s what happens when people think they fall in love. ats is a drug.

this could be the reason why people defend their addiction - aeh I mean religion - like maniacs.



posted on Sep, 15 2011 @ 09:12 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Good Morning Astyanax.

“So, if we seek a biological explanation for anything, will we always find one? Is there a biological explanation as to why sodium burns with a yellow flame? Why radioactive decay occurs? Why the tides rise and fall? Surely not. To attempt such an explanation would be to stretch anthropocentrism until it breaks.”

Of course, I wouldn’t substitute a biological explanation for what would probably be, for example, a “chemical” one – as would be the case of your burning sodium cite. Or radioactive decay (physics), tidal rise and ebb (astronomical/physics), etc. There must be a certain measured “method” applied to any logical approach to exploring given subject matter for the conclusions to at least appear to carry an acceptable level of “validity” – most especially when the validity of those conclusions is considered by others.

My point is simply that a researcher bringing what could be considered as being assumptive “baggage” (consciously or otherwise) into that exploration will view whatever relevant evidence is encountered through that lens, that prism. For me, assumptions and judgments are always in the mind of the beholder – and the beholder, in this or ANY event, can and IS either the researcher or those who choose to weigh those conclusions against their own "truths". In other words, the beholder is all of the above who contribute to the collective realization of the event itself.

For example, in an attempt to discern the degree of “morality” [apparently] being displayed, the explorer inevitably weighs encountered “evidence” against whatever directly related subject matter he/she sees fit to apply as their "control sample" or, in other words, their comparative benchmark. Now, for me, this approach to discerning the “probable truth” concerning the source of morality is, quite literally, replete with personal judgments, assumptions applied to accepted benchmark evidence and individual choices made BEFORE the (assumed) actual evidence is encountered. Once the evidence is encountered and weighed, the conclusions cannot represent anything but what is “contained” by the explorative strategy itself; and this premise most certainly includes ALL information inserted into the mix as various comparative benchmarks, personal judgments and assumptions which have been applied to the actual exploration.

To me, my friend, the researcher is an active and instrumental portion of the exploration itself; and again, to me, hardly a separate, unbiased observer – this despite protestations to the contrary by the explorer. As mentioned above, explorations into ANY subject matter inevitably carries the weight of personal judgments, assumptions and comparative benchmarks. And religious beliefs are, to me, more than a bit mired in those personal judgments and assumptions. Now these assumptions by yours truly obviously don’t translate into any sort of universal “truth”. Quite the contrary is probably “true”…

…though I assume that Schroedinger’s Cat would probably disagree.


“The question is, where (if anywhere) does religion fit into all this?”

For me Astyanax, personal judgments, assumptions and individual beliefs always orbit a core (and quite individual) “truth”; those judgments, assumptions and individual beliefs being supportive of that central “truth”. The FRAMEWORK of their system of beliefs is constructed around that personal “truth” – in this instance, trust in a god or gods who provide all the tools that are needed for individual salvation to be realized. To others not inclined to believe in religious dogmatic doctrines, THEIR core “truth” could very well ascribe nothing more than silliness to those practicing their religion and, the Church itself, as performing the role of “shepherding” of that silliness.

Whether it is the gadgetry and knowledge discovered by the belief system of science, the "peace of mind" assumed to be provided by associations with established religious doctrine or whatever belief system is accepted as probably "true", the point is simply that Individuality plays a central role in any and all events created and encountered. It is "What does this subject matter mean to me?" that drives Individuality when a given Individual encounters an event...such as "morality". When those numbers of Individuals who accept the validity and "truth" of a given exploration reach an accepted level, then those conclusions become collectively accepted as "fact". Of course, we all know how fleeting "facts" can be...

For me, it can be no other way.

Mindpeace.



edit on 15-9-2011 by Mindpeace because:
edit on 15-9-2011 by Mindpeace because: An afterthought...
extra DIV



posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by Mindpeace
 


For example, in an attempt to discern the degree of “morality” [apparently] being displayed, the explorer inevitably weighs encountered “evidence” against whatever directly related subject matter he/she sees fit to apply as their "control sample" or, in other words, their comparative benchmark. Now, for me, this approach to discerning the “probable truth” concerning the source of morality is, quite literally, replete with personal judgments, assumptions applied to accepted benchmark evidence and individual choices made BEFORE the (assumed) actual evidence is encountered. Once the evidence is encountered and weighed, the conclusions cannot represent anything but what is “contained” by the explorative strategy itself; and this premise most certainly includes ALL information inserted into the mix as various comparative benchmarks, personal judgments and assumptions which have been applied to the actual exploration.

Imagine you are an ethologist observing a troop of primates in the wild. You see them practise mutual grooming, exchange gifts for favours, band together to fight off intruders, protect and nurture their offspring, etc. You are able to establish (also by observation) that individual primates produce these behaviours spontaneously, without having learned them by observation from others. What conclusions will you draw? Can you explain – not generally, but in detail specific to the situation I have outlined – how and why those conclusions are likely to be ‘replete with personal judgments, assumptions applied to accepted benchmark evidence and individual choices made BEFORE the (assumed) actual evidence is encountered’? Can you also show that it is not possible to design an experiment so as to eliminate such judgements, assumptions and other factors?



posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by juveous
 


To say that good morals are instinctive does not help in preventing immorality.

Two questions:

  1. Is this the purpose of religion, then – to ‘prevent immorality’?

  2. Why do you think understanding the origins of morality won’t help in propagating moral behaviour?

All animal behaviour consists of responses to stimuli. The better we understand the behaviour, the more likely we are to be able to stimulate it.

States, religions, schools and other authorities already do this, offering incentives for good behaviour and threatening penalties for bad. They also try to create conditions that encourage good behaviour and deter its opposite – for example, it is known that well-tended neighbourhoods deter vandals and petty criminals, so town councils, when they can afford to, spend money on making their towns clean and tidy. If we better understand the roots of good behaviour, we will be better able to create the conditions that promote it.


It makes no difference whether there are instincts or not, because religion is trying to keep a base on what may be right or wrong, and offer ways to follow it.

But if morality is at root instinctive, and religious ‘morality’ is at odds with those roots, do you not see the problem? And do you not see that religious ‘morality’, imposed by fiat, would be (i) always trumped by instinct in the long run and (ii) actually not morality at all, but immorality?


I don't need religion, it is not a necessity to my being, however I understand it's place in society for those that can use it for their sake. I don't even know if I would say that other's need it, but that is arguable.

Nonetheless you have been arguing for it. Why ?

And why do you think you don’t need religion? What makes you different from others?

*


reply to post by bestintentions
 


I would like to further debate with you the point, that the inner voice of knowledge is instinct and that instinct is an evolved physical response. Wouldn’t that mean, that my instinct only works when I’m faced with experiences my physicality has already experienced?

No, instinctual responses can be, and often are, responses to situations the organism has never before experienced.


Or do I need to understand, that these experiences and responds are in my genes? how on earth could they have gotten there in the first place if they never change. did my first ancestor experience everything that is possible? (please do keep in mind that I do not understand genes really) maybe truly God is my first ancestor.

Yes, the responses are in your genes. They are there because animals with those responses are your ancestors; the ones without them made the wrong responses and died as a result. No, it was not necessary for your first ancestor (which was probably nothing but a replicating molecule) to have all those experiences. Evolution is a cumulative process; it adds up. I urge you to learn about genetics; it is dangerous to live in today’s world without such knowledge.


after these my experiences I can only conclude one thing and that thing would be powerful enough ‘to sell it to the masses”: religion is a drug. it works on our chemical household. we are addicts to our own chemicals, that’s why we dwell for ever in a certain mood, specially the bad ones, and hardly manage to change our habits.

So your answer is that religion is a drug that soothes and comforts people, and to which they become addicted.

Perhaps you are right, though I am sure many will disagree with you.

But if religion is merely an addictive drug, how did religious teaching come to acquire a moral character?

Now, since I have it before me, let me quote the whole passage in which Marx speaks of the ‘opiate of the people’. It is more subtle than the quote itself suggests.


Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. It is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusions about its condition is the demand to give up a condition that needs illusions. The criticism of religion is therefore in embryo the criticism of the vale of woe, the halo of which is religion.

Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers from the chain not so that man will wear the chain without any fantasy or consolation but so that he will shake off the chain and pluck the living flower. Source

Stirring stuff.


edit on 16/9/11 by Astyanax because: of typos.



posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 09:11 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Good Morning Astyanax.

The fascination of this thread continues for me...excellent questions my friend!

By the way, your own "established parameters" set for my response here won't be followed to any great degree...due to my own "established parameters" for replying to questions. I'm merely framing what you are about to encounter...

If I were an ethologist, meaning here that I subscribed to the basic tenets of that discipline and applied ONLY recognized standard approaches to both observation techniques and methods used to arrive at scientifically-acceptable conclusions, I would without doubt reach ONLY those conclusions which were in keeping with the methods applied – with very little in the vein of acceptable “wiggle room”. In other words, citing the example of identifiable behavioral traits and recognizable behavioral “patterns” by applying previously accepted “standards” is, to me, akin to using the ingredients for an Apple Pie, baking it…all the while expecting nothing but an Apple Pie to be removed from the oven.

But if a Cherry Pie resulted from those predetermined ingredients, it would be denied, dismissed and, in some cases, even discarded as being nothing more than an anomaly.

Put another way, let’s suppose that those predetermined ingredients were a bit more “malleable” than actually recognized as such by the powers that be of the scientific community. Now, this “malleability” was, say, the result of a previously-unrecognized/accepted inclination of the ingredients themselves; an inclination for "change" - of their own [unrecognized] volition. This premise, of course, would begin to take the explorer on an exciting journey of discovery in order to explain the anomalous state of being exhibited by the Cherry Pie - although the explorer would have to recognize the “truth” that he/she would be required to “widen their gaze” in order to begin to comprehend what was actually occurring. In other words, the very explorative parameters set by the scientific community (the assumptions and, ultimately, accepted judgments OF the scientific community reflected by the selected comparative benchmarks/control samples established for acceptable conclusions to “fit” within those parameters) would, for the explorer, no longer suffice.

However, in the face of such anomalous evidence, would the scientific community at large continue their denials, their dismissals and, perhaps, even disassociation?

To you, my friend, would the answer to this question be “yes”, “no”, “maybe”? Would distinct and recognizable “patterns” be a carved-in-stone tenet which could never be challenged? Could it be that those accepted “patterns” are illusory, with the seeming flow of predictable action actually being representative of something else entirely? Whatever the case, another question raises its head – and that question, for me, deals with possible motives for stances taken and boundaries set. But, for the moment - enough of that…

In the King James Version of the Bible, within the New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 7 – the writer states “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

For me, there is much “truth” flowing through that particular verse. In other words, I myself accept the premise that if a given Individual seeks “patterns”, then patterns are what they will encounter. But if there is a bit of a rogue streak in that Individual – then this personality “enhancement” would potentially enable the explorer to recognize not only those patterns which would be acceptable by the scientific community at large, but also encourage the probability of recognizing more than what those preset and predetermined observational parameters would allow.

At this point Astyanax, the only counsel I follow is simply to enjoy whatever pie I come across with as few accepted "truths" as necessary; "truths" which would, after all is said and done, actually determine the degree to which I could enjoy it.

Mindpeace.

p.s. If you consider the basic sentiments in the first paragraph of this response (starting with "If I were...) and place those sentiments in tandem with those of my previous posting concerning the framework/structuring of belief systems, you may encounter an interesting thought...or you may not.

edit on 16-9-2011 by Mindpeace because: An afterthought...I have a lot of those.


edit on 16-9-2011 by Mindpeace because: I told you...




posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 11:44 AM
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Religion is just another way to enslave us and keep us all enslaved and fearful of everything. Religion is looking externally for answers.

Spirituality is freedom from suffering and fear and looking most inward for answers. I look externally somewhat and confirm whether I agree or not by listening to my "inner voice" if you will.



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