# God is a preference

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Seattle, Dec 8, 2016.

1. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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I think you missed the car / boat thing.

If you design a car you design a car.

If you design a boat you design a boat.

But but but you don't design a car and use it as a boat.

*****

Money is subjective in so far as you decide how much you are willing to pay for something.

You might be willing to pay $100 for a TV someone else will try to bargain down to$50.

Your telling the salesman it's worth $100 of your labour while the other person thinks it's worth$50 of his labour.

However the subjective value leads to real life concequencies.

Nothing wrong there.

I refer you to my previous post about money as a commodity destroys the levelling effect.

*****

Think on safer ground with religion as subjective.

Where I feel religion, any religion, has its biggest problem is its insistence in the supernatural.

The preachers of all religions insist their version of the supernatural is the only correct version.

Truth is ALL versions of supernatural are equally valid as long as none can provide proof of their pronouncements.

Here Humpty Dumpty endith the lesson to go for coffee.

3. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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3,117
Sorry I must have missed this section of this earlier post

The con lies in the promise to deliver the undeliverable.

Condescending to think religion brought civilization.

From the 7+ billion inhabitants of Earth I'm guessing there are about 4.5 billion religions. (I would have calculated it closer but the lead on my pencil broke).

So I plead guilty of cherry picking the low hanging fruit.

Correction 4.5 billion religions + 1.

Actually my version of reincarnation depends on what they do with my body when I'm dead.
• Buried in dirt - come back as worms. Some tell me that's not a change.
• Tossed in the sea - come back as fish.
• Put in a bird feeder - back as birds.
• Shot into space - back as a little green ???? who knows. I like this option.

This cannot be the only alternative surely????

5. ### Jan ArdenaValued Senior Member

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Besides being a person of faith, James cannot explain what faith is because he regularly confuses faith with belief.

Faith: the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.

Knowledge: Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.

That's what you'd like to think it is. Hence the reason you categorize religious faith as different to the kind of faith you have, when there is absolutely no difference.

That's like saying someone is good at being happy.

jan.

7. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

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30,278
On the contrary, I explained it at some length in a thread which I dedicated to that discussion topic.

A meaningless deepity.

I'm not sure what you're referring to by "the kind of faith _I_ have", but I am confident that I clearly discussed different meanings of the word "faith" in various contexts in the thread I just mentioned.

8. ### Jan ArdenaValued Senior Member

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You have discussed what you would like faith to be, or, how you see faith.
You certainly haven't sincerely discussed it.

jan.

9. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,200
He has sincerely discussed it. You haven't sincerely embraced it. You understand very well that "faith" in the religious sense is very different than "faith" as used colloquially to mean that there's a high probability of something happening.

I have "faith" that my friend will do well in school because he always does well. If someone has faith in the existence of ghosts that's an entirely difference usage of the word "faith".

10. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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51,605
Faith is a form of belief that is indifferent to evidence.

Michael 345 likes this.
11. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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I don't exist. "I" is a conceptual framework used as a metaphor for the attributes of a persistent highly localized weather disturbance made of mostly water.

Michael 345 likes this.
12. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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Indifferent to evidence is a mild assessment.

Frequently evidence is dispised, ridiculed, mocked, disputed and counter punched.

Of course none of those make any change to the evidence.

And faith remains intact.

Faith appears as insulation par excellent. If we had a physical version I think we would have the beginning of a perpetual energy storage device.

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Sweet

14. ### Jan ArdenaValued Senior Member

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He sincerely discussed something, but it wasn't really about faith as it is, but more like an atheist trying to explain in a way that makes their position look good, and a theist position look bad. IOW it is a tad biased.

No one here as really explained what faith in the religious sense is.
What 'religion' do you mean, and how does it manifest itself as faith.

If he always does well in school, there is no actual need for you to have faith in him.
If however, he goes through a period where his standard drops especially if it increases as time goes by. Then your faith in him, to get back to his original standard, because you know he is more than capable, will strengthen. That's how faith works.

jan.

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No it's not.

jan.

16. ### spidergoatValued Senior Member

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You don't exist, only your body does. Get over it.

17. ### SeattleValued Senior Member

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2,200
Isn't that what a discussion is? Wouldn't that description apply to your comments as well?

What religion doesn't matter. Pick one. Faith, in the religious sense, is believing in something for which you have no evidence (otherwise, faith wouldn't be needed).

That's not faith as used in the religious sense. That's just having confidence (probability) based on past "evidence". That's a misuse of the word "faith" but that's how words creep into our common vocabulary. We know no "faith" is actually involved. You know this too.

"Believe" is used this way also. I believe the sun will come up tomorrow actually requires no "belief" in the sense that someone has a "belief" in God or ghosts or whatever supernatural entity you might invoke.

18. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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20,285
Again, this goes back to what a con is. A con has a con artist. Most theists genuinely believe, therefor they're not conning their children and friends when they relate their belief. Also, we cannot know whether Gods, Aliens or supercomputers do not exist (we could know if they did exist, they could provide good, repeatable, verifiable, evidence for their existence). E.g.: Elon Musk believes we live in computer simulation, because he has relayed this belief, now I hear others (mainly atheists) starting to entertain this idea. Is this a con? I don't think so. Though, I do find it telling that some atheists are happy to seriously entertain the idea.

Civilization requires a certain concentration of humans - at which point many people will not know the others around them. Religion provides a set of beliefs governing their interactions. A cornerstone of culture. Yes, Nationhood helps (I'd suggest we probably don't have this any longer). And the Romans really put this to good effect. However, they also had a thriving set of religious beliefs, some based on the old beliefs, others replicating the Greeks. From Egyptians to the Japanese - religion has played a role in all large civilizations. And when it hasn't (under communism) belief in the State is what replaced it. I have friends of mine from China, who used to pray to Mao before dinner. Literally, they had his picture up where a Catholic may put a picture of Jesus - and prayed to him before eating. Notice how many Eastern European States, after having become (supposedly) atheistic - are voluntarily returning to religious belief. In Japan, while you'll hear Japanese say they don't believe in Shinto Gods, or maybe even Buddhism, the idea ghosts don't exist?! Come on, of course there's ghosts!

If we think of religions as meme's in competition, then we'd have to give the gold to Christianity. Not only did it successfully out-compete other religions, it did so in areas of high IQ across many cultures - for the most part, through voluntarism. Only Buddhism, IMO, comes in a close second. That said, given the general IQ continues to fall, either we will live in a police state, where the government will modify the behavior of low IQ individuals, or Islam is about to make a massive headway into western society. Obviously self-governance is much more effective, and less resource intensive, and given the IQ is mostly hereditary, the obvious solution to regulating the behavior of IQ-85's (those most likely to commit violent crime) is a religion like Islam. Which is why it was invented.

And this is why religion/s are not cons. They provide a number of social services - such as: modifying IQ-85's behavior (e.g.: Islam); providing for comfort during times of mental duress (both in war and peace); self-forgiveness an inner peace in IQ-100 societies (e.g.: Christianity); development of empathy, possibly even hippocampal neurogenesis through meditation in >100 IQ societies (e.g.: Buddhism). All of these services would cost a lot of time and resources - with a religion, these are nearly free (policing oneself is free vs a police state is pricey), or are greatly subsidized. This social cohesion allows for resources that would have otherwise been directed towards maintaining social order, can now be directed towards civil institutions, thus playing an important role in human civilization.

It'd be interesting to see what happens to Europe across the next 200 years. I bet Islam becomes the norm - just to maintain social order. I wouldn't be surprised if in 200 years, Europeans utilized the very same cultural practices employed by Governments of Islamic countries across the M.E. and north Africa - for the exact same reasons. I believe the demographic shift occurs in as little as 4 years?

There may be some biological evidence that we atheists have a smaller areas of specific brain regions, such as the gyrus of the anterior cingulate cortex. This reduces our ability to process some emotional activity in the manner others do. Probably giving us a more rational brain, but, at the cost of some empathy. Further research will need to be conducted, however, it's reasonable to suggest what modifies our behavior, perhaps an inner monologue and foresight, isn't going to fly for a gimme-dat socialist

I'm thinking cryogenics.

Nationalism seems to be the only other option for now. Crazy huh? Well, that's the world we live in. And the average IQ in the west is decreasing, possibly for as long as 100+ years (or even longer). I'd suggest anyone with the means, to abandon the West for the East.

Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
19. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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3,117
Porkie.

Faith has never worked in the past.

Will not work currently.

Will never work in the future.

However if you can provide me with the method or mechanism of faith in action which is repeatable and / or published studies on faith workings I am more than willing to increase my knowledge by reading them.

20. ### Michael 345Valued Senior Member

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3,117
As Humpty would want I checked con and found 10 meanings.

The relevant two are

6
con
Other forms: conned; con·ning
First use
: 1896

7
con
noun
• : something (as a ruse) used deceptively to gain another's confidence; also : a confidence game: swindle
First use: 1901

True enough but for me that just indicates family and friends are being influenced by the con second hand.

Not a con but a good sifi idea.

Did Elon Musk have this idea before or after the Matrix?

I find it strange that conning people to behave with weird beliefs is considered superior to providing truth.

Come on seriously????

Evidence.

Delusional.

Not sure of its roots so unable to make informed comment regarding its invention.

My gut feeling is the inventors were mild psychotic frustrated control freaks who wrote the rules to suit their view of how things should be giving themselves the positions of power to enforce.

Not going to happen.

I'm thinking don't waste your money.

However if you haven't got other options your dead so what does it matter.

****

I am sure you know the Kalamas of Kesaputta. I didn't but I like this story.

The Kalamas who were inhabitants of Kesaputta sitting on one side said to the Blessed One: "There are some monks and brahmins, venerable sir, who visit Kesaputta. They expound and explain only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces. Some other monks and brahmins too, venerable sir, come to Kesaputta. They also expound and explain only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces. Venerable sir, there is doubt, there is uncertainty in us concerning them. Which of these reverend monks and brahmins spoke the truth and which falsehood?"

"It is proper for you, Kalamas, to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blamable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill,' abandon them.

21. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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If by true, you are referring to the true-value? What truth is that? Because the value is unknown. The question cannot be given a truth-value.

I always think it's best to defer to a real world example.

Let's suppose you have a 25 year old, 6'2" male individual with an IQ of 85. High enough to correlate with motivation, low enough to not consider the long-term consequences of an action.

Pretty much the ideal predator.

This person sees you and you have an iPhone7. They think: I want that. Suppose they've beaten the phone off a few others in the past. So far, so good. They corner you, what Truth is it you want going through this teenager-like brain, when they decide whether or not to beat you senseless, maybe murder you, and take your phone? Maybe rape you too, if you're a woman.

You think a nihilist view of a meaningless existence, buffered by stuff, is going to hold a candle to an all seeing vengeful God more than willing to burn your arse in hellfire for eternity? Not to mention the 72 hotties.

History suggests religious belief works best, provides the greatest results per costs. Pretty much self replicates with some guidance by a religious leader. Probably a pillar of civilization.

And less dangerous than Nationalism.

Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
22. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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The demographics suggest otherwise. But, we'll see. Let's see if the ideals of the enlightenment, philosophical reasoning and science displace Islam for modulating lower IQ individuals whose deepest thoughts hoover between gimme dat and she hot.

High IQ skilled immigrants, yes, they'll probably become as European and as atheists / agnostic as the rest of us and Europeans. The thing is, they're also not having children. They'll be displaced together with ethnic Europeans and in time, people will come to see Islam for the usefulness it has: Regulating the behavior of low IQ high impulse reactive men. Maybe this isn't PC but that's most likely to be true.

Or so I think.

There's a chance genetic manipulation may change this future. Or perhaps Islam will be banned? Maybe a civil war will occur? Maybe pregnancy will be regulated? Or children grown in vats?

I think governmental regulators would prefer to make use of Islam. It fits their way of thinking. It works well enough. It's here. Plus, that's what they're doing now. Nothing to do but let the general population normalize - Which is happening. As we speak.

Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
23. ### Michael歌舞伎Valued Senior Member

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Maybe. The belief was invented, together with the Muhammad protagonist, sometime in the 8the century. Who knows? You're probably correct. Though I'd suggest the Justinian Plagues played a role too.