What does religion do for mankind that the statement "Be kind" doesn't do better?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Seattle, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    From the perspective of the non-believer, "be kind" is considered in a material sense, do no harm, be helpful, comforting, be generous, provide medical aid, etc. For a believer it can mean both the material sense as well as the fantasy world of a supernatural realm, where it is your soul/spirit that is of primary concern. Examples:

    (1) The inquisition would find torture a kindness as it could purge the soul of evil.

    (2) Mother Teresa used her notoriety as powerful political pressure to prevent the spread of condoms and contraceptives in the third world and was indirectly responsible for many thousands of deaths through aids. Her medical centers were understaffed and lacked adequate medicines, since her primary role as she saw kindness was to pray for the souls of those who were ill.

    "Be kind" becomes a fickle term if religious fantasy concepts are considered acceptable. From a rational perspective religion does not offer any value beyond being kind to others.
     
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  3. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    So is humorous irony arising from hypocrisy that presents itself literally in every paragraph.
     
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  5. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Gee.
    If the Inquisition or Mother Theresea couldn't adequately personify the trait amongst the religious of the world, I guess no one can.
     
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  7. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    A sincere answer requires a sincere question.
     
  8. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    The point is that religious fantasy can and does often distort the meanings of commonly held human ideals. Wars become to easier to rationalize when it is believed death is not an ending. Persecutions of people through, gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, etc, all become common themes with religions based on ancient fantasy rules. Basic kindness becomes hatred in such situations.

    It is not simply that religion does not add anything beyond kindness but that in many cases it turns what should be opportunities for kindness into torment, often of minorities that especially need kindness, understanding and help.
     
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Mebbe so. Put my non-appreciation of your hypocritical irony down to frustration in getting no response to:
    Which atheists were guffawing over the Notre Dame fire?

    Also: the comparison which launched this thread was between religion and the injunction to be kind as they benefit mankind.
    Not cars, doctors, pineapples,mechanics, excrement, murderers, the horrors of business regulation, bigotry or any other irrelevancies people have dragged in.
    So far, we have: religion is better at 1. laying down laws 2. hooking up with God 3. collecting money and 4. instilling fear.
    Are any of these assessments incorrect?
    Evidence required.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  10. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    The point is that religion by no means has a monopoly on this human frailty you are highlighting. Actually what you are talking about is a good introduction to the subject of why "Just be kind" is forever relegated as a prescriptive ( as opposed to normative) description in this world.
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It doesn't, actually.

    If a Flat-Earther (or Moon Hoaxer) came on this board and tried to flog his conspiratorial ideas, we can, would - and do - calmly dismantle his arguments, one at a time.
    The motives or sincerity of such an accuser is immaterial to the actions of one who speaks the truth. The truth doesn't care about motives and doesn't hide behind coyness.

    Were your views a reflection of reality, you should be able to do this. You should be able to lay out, in very small words for we ignorant, exactly what this reality is that we are blind to, but could see with your guidance. Reality, as you know it, should be practically bursting over us like a wave, and it is we who should be refusing to answer your questions, lest we inadvertently see it.

    But it isn't. You don't want to discuss because you know full well it will reach a point where you will only be able to say "I don't know. You just gotta have faith."
     
  12. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    I agree to the extent that humans tend to believe whatever they want whether true or not, even outside of religion, imagination and propaganda tend to rule, science and reason is much harder. But for this topic religion was the object.
     
  13. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Your illusion is thinking so-called science is the diametric opposite of imagination, propaganda, etc, as opposed to being just as susceptible to it as any other, once the prime movers of wealth, power etc shape it into a social institution.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  14. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Actually the threads you indicate are good examples of the frolicking hostile woo bashing delight that appears to be the exclusive reason for many members regular contributing to this site.
     
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Woo-bashing, friendly or hostile, with or without frolicking delight, is always a worthwhile undertaking. See to it!
     
  16. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    I had to go back to the start of this thread to trace the trigger for what seemed a confusing exchange. It looks like -

    To the question - What does religion do for mankind that the statement "Be kind" doesn't do better?

    That is not something that can be tested. The essence is that the connection is made via direct perception, a complete bypass of the material senses leading to a direct communication with the spirit/soul. At least that is the usual definition of the concept. Without the ability to test we have no way to show whether this is fantasy or not. It looks and feels like fantasy, and without anything else to verify the assertion it seems quite safe to call this idea fantasy.

    I guess from a theist perspective this idea is all that matters. The actual deed of being kind or not kind to others is largely irrelevant, although to go through the motions of being kind may be necessary to fulfill the desire to achieve immortality in a promised afterlife - since that is the only real object of religion. The real act of being kind or even perhaps altruistic would be an illusion since the real objective is the promised eventual personal reward. Of course any potential kindness would be subject to the particular religion - race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc, might require appropriate hatred rather than kindness - such is the irrational cultural vagaries of religions in our world. So even with a direct connection a theist might be kind or cruel. The God connection doesn't appear meaningful or worthwhile in this case for mankind as a whole. But then it is only a fantasy.
     
  17. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

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    No, I have no illusions, I was thinking of science not so-called science. Most published papers come with substantial bias and poor quality, much depends on the sponsors, funding, and personal career goals of the researchers, and rampant conflicts of interests. Actual objective science is, as I said, hard to achieve, and even harder to find and recognize. I spend much of my time in nutrition research - it is a nightmare of conflicts, and propaganda, and with media unable to discern quality science from the junk. I could say a lot more.

    Imagination is the start of science, but then must be shaped and targeted with evidence for it to go further if it can ever become science aka knowledge. Religion starts and ends with imagination, and goes nowhere.
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    None of which could possibly happen in the face of honest and forthright answers.

    You don't get woo-bashing in discussions about logical, rational subjects.

    We would be all "Well, you have laid me low with your ironclad logic and your irrefutable evidence."

    This is on you.
     
  19. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    In light of some of the happenings around the world at the moment there is something religion does for you that being kind does not do

    Makes you a target for other religious nutjobs to attack you especially when in groups

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
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  20. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Empiricism, by its very nature, is imperfect and incomplete. It is this intrinsic epistemological weakness that peak bodies, commercial interests etc exploit to their own ends. It is the nature of any epistemological methodology (of which, empiricism is but one) to be strong in some areas and weak in others, and this weakness is what can be exploited and corrupted, even (or perhaps uts more accurate to say, "particularly") on an institutional level. To think otherwise is to be in illusion.
    Hence at the end if the day, "science" is an identical beast.

    This is just your values speaking. You don't see the value in religion, so, at best, you have only a vague idea where it starts and absolutely no idea where it finishes.
     
  21. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    Another spectacular helicopter crash-like attempt at subject change.
    If you had bothered to read and comprehend Dave's post, (which I am sure you haven't, can't and won't) you would see that he is extending himself the generousity of not having the requirement of sincerity being posited before him by the opposition.
    Your response is moot.
     
  22. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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    On the contrary, you use different varieties of philosophy to positively connect different varieties of things. You are just not accustomed to analyzing things in terms of epistemology.

    The same way as any other:
    Identify the relationship between things, establish a process to accommodate or realize that relationship, and finally, qualify the process with criteria by which one can determine it's success (or failure), or establish what the goal of the said process is.

    Yes.
    Regardless whether one is actually in a position to perceive how it is tangible.
    For instance an unexperienced driver may completely fail to understand that their car was taken to a mechanic and tuned up. The driver's ignorance in no way invalidates the mechanical service.

    [/QUOTE]
    Cite an example of a religious authority that could provide an unquestionable connection to a supernatural deity.
    [/QUOTE]
    Someone who establishes devotion to God in the greater community as opposed to the standard animalistic pursuits that society is otherwise engaged in.

    But these services tend to be utilized exclusively by persons who are actually not in a position to empirically validate them.

    So an irrational observer would be like someone who busts into the pilots cockpit with a newly purchased handbook of "Flying for Dummies", as they unrealistically demand the empirical be laid out before their unqualified mind and senses, yes?

    It is a poor example since courtrooms accept "expert findings" from the professionals. If a professional is not given the "expert" rubber stamp, their testimony is of no value. IOW your courtroom example is an elaborate begging of the question since the credentials of experts are already established by institutions outside the legal institution. Can you think of a better way to frame the question?

    On the contrary, the numerous caricatures produced by the atheist community suggests otherwise.
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I think you may be confused. Take a moment to figure out who you're talking to.
     

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