What good did religion bring us?

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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:50 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:Niels, you aren't reading me properly. I'm not saying you need to EXPERIENCE Christianity.
Neither did I say that you have to experience BDSM. I only said you should study it. You aren't reading me properly.

You're not making an informed attack on the faith.
In this thread, I'm not attacking faith - although I went off topic to answer a direct question from you. I'm simply asking what explicit good scripture or its study have brought us.

That's why I can brush you off so easily.
Feel free to brush me off - but I'd prefer if you'd post in this thread to answer my question.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:54 pm

Your analogy is fatally flawed because Christianity is not as simple as bondage. It's been around for over 2000 years, and you get all brain tied when I explain basic theological principles. It'd be like you denying BDSM while not knowing what a safe word is. Your knowledge is deficient.

If you want to make an argument, which you are not doing, you could tell me why your knowledge base is sufficient. But you know you can't do that.

I've answered your question. It'd be too tedious for me to answer it a second time. You can't tell me why my answer isn't an answer, so I'll leave it here.

EDIT: And sorry for the confusion on BDSM, when you said "exultation" I thought you were referring to sexual pleasure. Of course, to get that you'd have to participate.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:44 pm

@SySy: You come in here like a door to door salesman. You claim that your product is fantastic, but when I ask what it would add to my life, you have no convincing answer. As I would say to any door to door salesman: No deal. Why don't you try next door?

(Actually, if this were real life, I would long ago have slammed the door in your face.)
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:48 pm

Heh, you misunderstand my intentions. I'm not here to tell you about how great Christianity is.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:22 pm

Just for the heck of it, like me try to make SySy's argument for him:

SySy could have wrote:
@Niels: You seem to subscribe to Ethical Consequentialism, while I subscribe to Virtue Ethics. I think that pursuing happiness is highly overrated. Instead, one should wonder what a human was designed to be, and strive to stay true to this purpose.
The purpose of the human being is found in holy scripture and its interpretations; it is out of reach of science.

In our current society, where people judge themselves not by the consequences of their actions but by their intentions, it's clear that the Virtue/Aristotelean/Christian view of morality is ingrained in our culture, at the expense of Consequentialism. If that isn't proof for the power of scripture, then I don't know what is.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:43 pm

No, that's not my argument. However, this is off topic. And oddly irrelevant.

Though, I will say that Aristotle believed the telos would make one feel eudaimonia. There is no conflict between pursuing happiness and pursuing virtue.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Dont_Vote_Palin on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:05 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:No, that's not my argument. However, this is off topic. And oddly irrelevant.

Though, I will say that Aristotle believed the telos would make one feel eudaimonia. There is no conflict between pursuing happiness and pursuing virtue.

I just read through all 3 pages of this, and I must say, Neils raped you with logic, my friend.

Neils' BSDM reference was a perfect analogy to your argument, with perfect consistency. There was not a legit reason for you to not answer the question, and the only reason you didn't answer the question was probably because you knew it was a logical trap. If you know a particular question directed toward your assertions can trap your logic and tear it apart, then your assertions are....illogical.

Plus, I have to disagree with your vague historical references to why Christianity has been a positive contributor to mankind and society. You mentioned that you cannot get into the specifics because it would make it meaningless, or something similar to that... Anyway, can you imagine how theists would react if biologists asserted that Macro-Evolution has been proven on a large scale, but getting into the specifics of "how" or "why" is a completely pointless attempt, and it shouldn't be pursued. I can safely assume theists would rip that statement to shreds.

Btw, don't bother trying to disassemble my analogy, like you did to Neils', because even though I'm comparing a hypothetically factual assertion (mine) to a philosophical assertion (yours), it doesn't demean the point I'm making. If you cannot list one specific detail, then Neils and I can stick with our previous conclusion that Christianity, or any religion for that matter, has not made any positive contributions to society.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:20 pm

Neils' BSDM reference was a perfect analogy to your argument, with perfect consistency.

If you think religion can be compared to BSDM in regard to any consistency I'd suggest you pick up a religion textbook. BSDM is a fairly recent subculture, and very specific. Religion is a vast aspect of culture which has existed since the dawn of writing. And has been written about since then.

There is inherently a certain amount of complexity involved with religion. Which is why I say Niels finds it impossible to make an informed argument against religion as such. He can only attack a caricature of his making.

I do not wish to make the claim that you need a certain amount of knowledge to accept or reject religion. So if we were to assume that BSDM has the complexity of Religion (which it certainly does not) I would still be well within my rights to reject it. What would be wrong is if I told other people to, and fancied myself to have made a reasoned rejection. And I would look ridiculous if I then attempted to talk about it and act like I'm being reasonable.

If you wish to have an informed discussion on the subject of religion you must have a certain basis of knowledge which Niels clearly lacks.

Plus, I have to disagree with your vague historical references to why Christianity has been a positive contributor to mankind and society. You mentioned that you cannot get into the specifics because it would make it meaningless, or something similar to that... Anyway, can you imagine how theists would react if biologists asserted that Macro-Evolution has been proven on a large scale, but getting into the specifics of "how" or "why" is a completely pointless attempt, and it shouldn't be pursued. I can safely assume theists would rip that statement to shreds.

You have it backwards. It's impossible to speak generally, it would be meaningless.

I'm comparing a hypothetically factual assertion (mine) to a philosophical assertion (yours)

How is an assertion "hypothetically factual"? It's a fact or it isn't a fact. And if it is a fact it's not an assertion.

EDIT: Further, how does one say a specific culture generated something? Science and Religion are not alike. Religion is more akin to a culture. There are many variables at play when discussing whether a religion influenced something. For example, Niels may have issues with Church Bells. However those Church Bells were not created by Religion, they are a technological development. The reason was to be put on a Church. But there's no reason to believe a specific type of bell was designed for that purpose.

The question is impossible to answer. Assume we remove Religion, what would we have? There's no way of knowing because it's so entrenched in human society.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Dont_Vote_Palin on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:39 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:
Neils' BSDM reference was a perfect analogy to your argument, with perfect consistency.

If you think religion can be compared to BSDM in regard to any consistency I'd suggest you pick up a religion textbook. BSDM is a fairly recent subculture, and very specific. Religion is a vast aspect of culture which has existed since the dawn of writing. And has been written about since then.

The details of the two being compared are not relevant when making a logical comparison. Derp.

[quote="SyntheticSylence"]
is inherently a certain amount of complexity involved with religion. Which is why I say Niels finds it impossible to make an informed argument against religion as such. He can only attack a caricature of his making.

If religion is so complex, why does it seem that only uneducated simpletons accept it to be "good" and "true"? Plus, you're the one making the caricature, not Neils. Neils' assessment is consistent with my version of history on the matter.

[quote="SyntheticSylence"]
you wish to have an informed discussion on the subject of religion you must have a certain basis of knowledge which Niels clearly lacks.

If Neils lacks such knowledge on the matter, then you should be able to slap him around with your superior arsenal of facts and logical reasoning. On the contrary, you refuse to answer a simple question presented by Neils. Something isn't adding up....

[quote="SyntheticSylence"]
have it backwards. It's impossible to speak generally, it would be meaningless.

Okay, well it goes both ways, so you should be able to still answer the question. If the facts were on your side, you could give a generalization of history, and after Neils challenged your generalization, you could diverge into deeper and more specific details on the particular subject. You're not doing that either....

I'm comparing a hypothetically factual assertion (mine) to a philosophical assertion (yours)

[quote="SyntheticSylence"]
is an assertion "hypothetically factual"? It's a fact or it isn't a fact. And if it is a fact it's not an assertion.

Yeah umm, the hypothetical situation I was comparing contained a factual assertion being made. (Scientists asserting that Macro-Evolution has been observed) Since that is a falsifiable claim, it can be considered factually correct or incorrect. Your assertion is based on virtues and morality, which is philosophical...

I figured you would attempt to opportunistically pry the contrast of details apart, so you could demean the analogical argument I made. As a measure of preventative maintenance, I pointed out that the contrast of details had no affect whatsoever to the logic behind the argument I made.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:52 pm

The details of the two being compared are not relevant when making a logical comparison. Derp.

Huh? Of course they are! If he makes a comparison I have two choices, reject or accept. I choose to reject the comparison, for that I must give reasons. My two reasons are centered on the heart of my argument: the complexity of religious thought and presuming comprehensive knowledge of things you don't know in a conversation.

If religion is so complex, why does it seem that only uneducated simpletons accept it to be "good" and "true"?

Because that isn't the case. How much theology have you read? Have you ever engaged religious thought? Or do you only talk to fundamentalists? Poor uneducated simpleton Galileo, that devout Catholic who believed his faith to be good and true...

If Neils lacks such knowledge on the matter, then you should be able to slap him around with your superior arsenal of facts and logical reasoning.

Which is what I did. You don't realize that because, as I see, you also only hold to a caricature of faith. You evidently believe faith and science are necessarily opposed. I would guess you have no clue who Karl Barth is, or who Paul Tillich is, or who John Howard Yoder is.

And I also addressed his logic. I don't think you're very good with logic... You've certainly already proved you're not very good with reading.

Okay, well it goes both ways

Which is why, after I noticed what was going on, I came to reject the question itself. Please keep up.

Yeah umm, the hypothetical situation I was comparing contained a factual assertion being made. (Scientists asserting that Macro-Evolution has been observed) Since that is a falsifiable claim, it can be considered factually correct or incorrect. Your assertion is based on virtues and morality, which is philosophical...

You're confusing me. What's my philosophical assertion? And why can't philosophical assertions be falsified? Do you know how logic works?

Regardless, I accept macro evolution so I don't know what you're getting at.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:58 am


And if you want to speak on that level, Martin Luther King Jr. was a baptist pastor with a Doctorate in systematic theology.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:41 am


This is the example that SySy couldn't supply: Some actual good of religion. Religious prayer helps its practitioners to vent their religious violence in a neutral way. After all: Prayer is proven to be quite harmless. It's even carbon-neutral.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:51 am

Niels wrote: Religious prayer helps its practitioners to vent their religious violence in a neutral way. After all: Prayer is proven to be quite harmless. It's even carbon-neutral.

Religious people may do violent things, but you can't prove they wouldn't do that if they weren't religious. So you can't prove a causal link.

But I do believe there have been studies done showing that prayer may be positive to mental health.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:42 am

SyntheticSylence wrote:
But I do believe there have been studies done showing that prayer may be positive to mental health.
Hold on.

Earlier, you claimed that asking for the good of religion was the wrong question to ask, while now you seem to try to answer it after all.

Which is it: Is the question worth debate or not?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:45 am

It ain't. But prayer is much more specific, and a much more reasonable question.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:00 am

SyntheticSylence wrote:It ain't. But prayer is much more specific, and a much more reasonable question.
I know: Your religion is undefined and undefinable. But we're not necessarily discussing your religion here. We're talking True Christians here, not yellow bellied neo-catholics (In the words of Pastor Deacon Fred, from Landover Baptist Church).
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:09 am

No, all religion is undefinable. Though, I would think that if one is talking about the divine, which is by nature simpler and greater than the human mind, definition or comprehensive knowledge would be impossible.

Which is why Christians tend to focus on revelation. There is a strong vein of the incomprehensibility of God in Christian thought. St. Paul talks about mystery, Pseudo-Dionysus the Aeropagite championed negative theology and was very influential on Thomistic thought. Martin Luther taught his Theology of the Cross which stated that God could only be known through Christ in which he is simultaneously revealed and hidden.

I wouldn't know how to define a "true" Christian, and I am curious as to why you think you can. Besides, it would seem to run afoul of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

EDIT: And if your knowledge of Christianity comes from a parody site that would explain everything.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Dont_Vote_Palin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:20 pm

Yeah dude, you're not getting it....

You tell me to "keep up" when your replies are non sequiturs, which I originally thought were because of intellectual dishonesty, but I have realized are actually a result of you not be able to "keep up", ironically. You're not able to track my logical reasoning long enough to even keep on topic for a second, or address the point I'm actually presenting; not some caricature of the point I'm presenting. I know this isn't because I'm being too obtuse, so I must be arguing too intricately for you. I can't really dumb down the argument when trying to pull apart your logic at this level, so I'm just going to remain an observer at this point.

For the continuing debate between you and Neils, I'll inject some things here and there if I feel like I have a good, yet simple point to make. May God bless you, and God bless Amerika
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:03 pm

DVP, I just want to make sure I understand this right. Because I have to confess I'm very confused.

You tell me I was raped by the long dick of logic. Then you say some generalities without getting into specifics. When you do get into specifics you make an analogy with two major flaws.

1. You misunderstood my argument, so you try to disprove its mirror image (already invalidating the analogy from the get go).
2. There is no hostility between theists and evolutionists as you imagine.

When I point out that you misunderstood my argument, you respond, "well, yeah, but it cuts both ways." To which I replied in the affirmative. Which is why I decided the question is meaningless.

In between this you tell me I'm only bickering at details, but I reply it's at the heart of my argument. You try to demean philosophy, without noting that science is based on a certain philosophy (so if we are to accept your claims science is not falsifiable, because it requires a philosophical argument to justify its existence). You've also said that unless I have one specific detail... but I've given quite a few. And I've also made an argument in regards to the difficulty of supplying the answer Niels appears to think this requires. Furthermore, one detail does not answer the question, which I contend to be far too general to be proven or disproven.

So this leads to me "just not getting it" and making a series of non sequiturs?

Either I'm out of my mind, or this cover up is so bad you might as well had conceded defeat.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Dont_Vote_Palin on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:32 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:DVP, I just want to make sure I understand this right. Because I have to confess I'm very confused.

You tell me I was raped by the long dick of logic. Then you say some generalities without getting into specifics. When you do get into specifics you make an analogy with two major flaws.

1. You misunderstood my argument, so you try to disprove its mirror image (already invalidating the analogy from the get go).
2. There is no hostility between theists and evolutionists as you imagine.

When I point out that you misunderstood my argument, you respond, "well, yeah, but it cuts both ways." To which I replied in the affirmative. Which is why I decided the question is meaningless.

In between this you tell me I'm only bickering at details, but I reply it's at the heart of my argument. You try to demean philosophy, without noting that science is based on a certain philosophy (so if we are to accept your claims science is not falsifiable, because it requires a philosophical argument to justify its existence). You've also said that unless I have one specific detail... but I've given quite a few. And I've also made an argument in regards to the difficulty of supplying the answer Niels appears to think this requires. Furthermore, one detail does not answer the question, which I contend to be far too general to be proven or disproven.

So this leads to me "just not getting it" and making a series of non sequiturs?

Either I'm out of my mind, or this cover up is so bad you might as well had conceded defeat.

^ Yeah trust me dude, you are NOT getting it. When making the analogy and misunderstanding your original argument, I conceded that I misunderstood it, but I pointed out that the logic can be interchangeable both ways, which is why the details don't matter to the particular point I was making. You didn't get that implication, and I don't know what you got from it, which is why I can't help you there...

I'm also not demeaning philosophy, I'm simply saying it is a non-provable, subjective view of the world, typically derived from an emotional and thought-provoking stance. It cannot be falsified though, because it isn't a collection of factual assertions that can be scientifically tested. Also, when you say science itself is a philosophy, that tells me you don't know what in the fuck you're talking about...

You can claim victory if you want, but like your religion, it will only exist in YOUR mind. Everyone else who reads this will most likely not share your conclusion of "victory".
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:56 pm

^ Yeah trust me dude, you are NOT getting it. When making the analogy and misunderstanding your original argument, I conceded that I misunderstood it, but I pointed out that the logic can be interchangeable both ways, which is why the details don't matter to the particular point I was making. You didn't get that implication, and I don't know what you got from it, which is why I can't help you there...

They don't work both ways. Your analogy would force the scientist to claim macro evolution does not exist if that was the case. I'm saying it's a meaningless question because it's too general and vague. So your scientist is saying Macro Evolution is a meaningless concept because it's too general and vague. Which of course makes no sense. Your imaginary theists would be startled at his admission, but not understand the logic... because there is none.

We have observed evolution from species to species. The evolution from one species to another is obvious. But exactly how causality works with "religion" (or even with "the Bible, God, and theology) is unknown. The question is general and meaningless.

I'm also not demeaning philosophy, I'm simply saying it is a non-provable, subjective view of the world, typically derived from an emotional and thought-provoking stance.

Which demeans a method of thought which strives for objectivity (occasionally so much that it gives up on the question and reverts to radical subjectivity). And I did not say science is a philosophy, science requires a philosophical justification. Before you can say science exists, there needs to be philosophical justification for its method. And if philosophy is non-provable, subjective, and derived from emotions, so is science. It's method was not determined by factual assertions scientifically tested (whatever that means), it's determined by some subjective feely people.

The reason I'm claiming victory is because your arguments appear to be based on misreadings. And you never bother to speak specifically. You don't sound like you're making an argument, you sound like you're covering yourself.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Dont_Vote_Palin on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:59 pm

Science needs a philosophical justification, and because philosophy is subjective, so is science? Wow dude, nuff said. You just owned yourself. lol

The rest of your post was just false dichotomy after false dichotomy....
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:04 pm

I am applying no dichotomies. You're the one forcing dichotomies.

And my point is that philosophy is not subjective. I'm saying that if you hold philosophy to be subjective you just owned yourself if you try to claim science is in some sense superior.
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