Does religion make us better people?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Magical Realist, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    It might be the case though. It requires having the right mental capacity. The brain has to wired for compassion. Given another set of circumstances each of us could change.
     
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

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    So the only thing holding you back from slicing another's throat is the promise of an afterlife?
     
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  5. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    What about the lynch mob or the bullet, life imprisonment, the shame or derision? There are far more immediate restraints. One way or the other you've got to be able to live with yourself as well.
     
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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    So the only thing holding you back from slicing another's throat is the notion that the world is made up of atoms?
    :shrug:
     
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

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    What? When have I ever said that being made up of atoms is a good reason to be moral?

    Silly straw man. Try harder.
     
  9. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    when did I suggest that the afterlife is required to prevent one from slitting another's throat?
    Silly straw man. Try harder.

    :shrug:
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Why not? Why is compassion, our experience of it, the way it makes us act, any different whether it arises from a combination of atoms or from something else?
    What is it about being a combination of atoms that you think would necessarily negate our experience of it (which is what you imply), such that we would have no argument?

    Or is this the misconception you were asked about - such that you're actually saying that it is a misconception that "if compassion ultimately arises from...." etc?
     
  11. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    If you are classifying compassion as ***ultimately*** an issue of atoms then automatically any issue of how we experience those said atoms are secondary at best or irrelevant at worst .... unless you have some weird argument for tables and chairs being incorporated into our justice system/moral outlook

    If you don't believe me just try and explain how you can bring ethical/moral/judicial issues to bear on someone accepted as having no higher ontological status beyond being a collection of atoms

    :shrug:
     
  12. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    4,199
    I used to think of it like this. We are biological and made in the image of God. We are not made gods but in the image of God. Like a photo is the image of something else we are far from being replicas, but merely images.
    So the chemicals and brain waves unite to reproduce an image akin to compassion. Even though I will be willing to up grade my view on this. For I too believe the spirit can interact with the mind (e.g. God inspired dreams). So there is something very difficult to explain.
     
  13. Balerion Banned Banned

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    When you said it, clown.

    :shrug:
     
  14. Balerion Banned Banned

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    I don't know what "tables and chairs" means in this context, but I've never met one person--not even an atheist--who thinks of life in that way. Knowing our ultimate makeup is no more reductionist than knowing our family history; Just because I'm of Irish decent doesn't mean that's all I am. People with compassion have come to a general agreement that life is valuable, regardless of what anyone believes our origins are. And it's our compassion that informs that agreement.

    At some point, I would've imagined that the religious zealots would realize they're the only ones who believe that life is worthless without some kind of creator or divine meaning to life. And yet...
     
  15. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    And what is wrong with such issues being secondary?
    From a practical point of view such issues are primary as we (I,e. the conscious selves) do not act at the level of atoms, but it nonetheless rationally appears to those of us that hold such a view that the conscious self is derived from that level. I.e. such issues are primary to our level of existence, but secondary to the level that all others are derived from (e.g. atoms et al).
    One could possibly argue that they are included in our consideration by way of exclusion. I.e. we need to know to what our outlook is relevant, and in doing so we consider all other things and exclude them. It is not incorporation by way of inclusion, but incorporation into helping define the relevancy of out outlook.
    Again, I don't see any issue with it being secondary, but ***ultimately*** an issue of atoms etc.
    Perhaps you can explain why you think it problematic to think of such things as secondary, given that this viewpoint has us also operating at that secondary level (which would make such issues primary to us at that level etc)?
    :shrug:
     
  16. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    then feel free to elaborate on what aspects of reality one can hold as "ultimate" outside of reductionist paradigms


    no doubt because you don't ultimately think you are irish

    My point is that this notion not only is beyond a reductionist paradigm, but establishing a reductionist paradigm as ultimate undermines it

    Instead its plainly obvious that not even gross materialists can wholeheartedly abide by the fundamentals of reality they hold as sacred
    :shrug:
     
  17. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    err no I didn't, clown

    the after-life et al only appear in your contributions, not mine ...
    Its your strawman
    Not mine

    So please take it with you after you close the door on your way out

    :shrug:
     
  18. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    16,330
    then they become contingent on what is primary ... which then of course renders all subsequent conjectures that necessarily arise from them not being secondary (such as good arguments for moral/civil/judicial acts) irrelevant

    Hence one could say that a good argument has, at its core, a practical element.


    If there is no ultimate grounds for excluding them, you are simply talking about the play of things relegated to the sphere of the inconsequential.
    IOW that i sthe sphere you relegate justice/morality etc

    as I said,

    If you don't believe me just try and explain how you can bring ethical/moral/judicial issues to bear on someone accepted as having no higher ontological status beyond being a collection of atoms

    IOW the only way you can introduce a good argument for it being wrong for one set of atoms to interact with another set of atoms (such as the atoms of a knife working its way through the atoms of a living entity's throat) is if there are very important, primary precepts about reality beyond the mere organization of atoms

    :shrug:
     
  19. Balerion Banned Banned

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    8,596
    What makes you think our ultimate origin has to take precedence in how we think of ourselves? And what evidence do you have that this has ever been the case? I live my life knowing full well what I'm made of, and it doesn't affect my ability to feel. I still empathize with people, still look out for others and take care of my family. It's innate, it's a part of who I am.

    Somewhere along the way, you decided that "ultimately" means "first and foremost." This is incorrect. What I am "ultimately" made of--or what my ancestry ultimately is--is of little relevance to my life. The only argument you have against this reality is the ridiculous assumption that if I indeed believed this, I'd be slitting throats left and right, a fatuous argument you can't support with any practical examples.

    Again, saying we're made up of atoms isn't reductionist. It's fact. You don't just get to label things as reductionist because you're afraid of what it means for your eternal soul.

    Yeah, that's the most likely scenario. It's all a big conspiracy.

    :shrug:
     
  20. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    16,330
    huh?

    What on earth makes you think ideas about our ultimate existence do not take precedence in how we think of ourselves?

    errr .. well if you think you are something you have already defaulted to the position of having an idea about yourself
    :shrug:

    hence there is a disparity between your ideas on what you think you are and how you behave ... so I guess from here we can troubleshoot to work out whether its your behaviour that isn't up to par or your ideas about reality



    1ul·ti·mate adjective \ˈəl-tə-mət\
    1
    a : most remote in space or time : farthest
    b : last in a progression or series : final <their ultimate destination was Paris>
    c : eventual 2 <they hoped for ultimate success>

    (emphasis mine)

    no doubt because you have issues above and beyond (aka : ultimate issues) mere ancestry

    the other possibility is that your ideas about reality are off-centre



    unfortunately its not a fact backed up by science ... or even your behaviour (assuming your previous rectitudinous display re: the goat in distress wasn't a clever ploy of reverse psychology or something)

    lol

    saying a reductionist outlook is a fact doesn't magically render it something other than a reductionist outlook



    anomalies between behavior and ideas are more numerous than physicists running away from the field of biology

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  21. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Emotional enslavement does have a secondary benefit, though: it prevents the person from being aware of their own part in their suffering and the suffering they cause to others, and thus also prevents the person from taking responsibility for doing so. And the more harm people cause to themselves and others, the stronger will be the pressure not to be aware of it.
    Which in part explains why someone who has been bitter and angry for some time, finds it so difficult to change their ways.


    Desire has a bad reputation even in Buddhism; even though in traditional Buddhism, desire - as in right desire - is actually one of the four bases for success (iddhipāda).
     
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    15,058
    How many times have we already had this discussion ...
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Rather it becomes a matter of the level to which you wish to define as primary for practical purposes. One can do so yet still acknowledge a sub-level.
    Of course. It is the just a matter of whether you consider the practical level to be primary or not. In my view it is primary with regard things that operate out of consciousness, and secondary with regard the underlying machinations of the universe. Such things that operate out of the practical have no applicability at levels below, hence the validity of referring to the practical level as primary, as long as one remains mindful of the applicability of the term as used.
    There is thus not necessarily an issue with one person considering the level primary, and another considering it secondary, as it just a matter of perspective.
    So I see no issue, where you seem to.
    Issues may arise when one ignores the difference in reasoning, and asserts the reasoning for primary on the conclusion of secondary, and vice versa. So perhaps this may explain it?
    Who says there is no ultimate ground for excluding them? But beyond that, why should any ultimate ground necessarily be primary in anything other than in defining the applicability of the outlook.
    I.e. it goes back to the level at which you are viewing things.


    And I disagree, as explained (which may be purely to what we see as the applicability of whatever is considered "primary")
    What you may see as an absolute primary I may see only as primary in as much as it defines the lowest level of applicability.
    So far from your posts I have assumed that you do refer to such "primary"s as being absolute / objective, but I maybe wrong in that?
    And if so perhaps you would care to clarify?
     

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