Thread: Religion
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Old April 20th, 2010, 02:53 PM  
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Default Re: Religion

Originally Posted by Deschain View Post
Because this is a debate forum.
What about outside debate forums?

Originally Posted by SuperShadows View Post
Have fun answering this, I spent ages doing this so it would be nice to have it responded to. BTW out of interest are you religious or are you atheist/agnostic?
I can tell you spent some time on it . I'm an atheist, however, in the past I was a Christian so I know some information on it. As Death said, my posts don't always reflect this because I have the philosophy that if I'm going to debate someone, I'm either going to use my philosophy versus theirs and relate that to the topic at hand. Alternatively, I'm going to step out of my shoes and adopt their view, use evidence from their side to refute them and so forth.

Originally Posted by SuperShadows
OK then, religion can and cannot have a deity. I think a religion involves beliefs in how the universe works and its nature and whatever. For example, some believe that there is a higher being such as 'God' that created the universe and all life forms in it and controls/monitors/has influence over the things that happen in the universe. Some do not believe in a higher being and have some beliefs about how people should live their lives. An example of this is LaVeyan Satanism
This definition seems to be able to include science as a religion because there is no deity and it can explain how the universe works. The deciding factor on this boils down to one word used in your definition: "beliefs".

Originally Posted by SuperShadows
Yes, there is no way that religion can be proved or disproved but this is not a reason to take one up. I do not understand what you mean by 'diminished proof'. Explain this please. I think if God or whatever showed himself to us then that would be the proof I need to get to my local church or mosque or whatever and repent. Until then I refuse to believe that something like it exists. Anyway what kind of God that is supposed to love us lets us blow each other up and do all kinds of horrible things? I know he is supposed to give us free will be there must be a time where he/she/it steps in and says that's enough. Even sending a saviour would help to stop the bad things in the world. If people saw that God does exist then they would try and live better lives as they would know that they could be punished for their 'sins'. Why not give us proof of its existence?
In this counter-argument of yours you seem to have decided to pin-point your argument of religion directly onto Christianity. Although it is a common religion, it is not the only religion and so I'll agree that it's probably a harder one to understand but that does not suffice to refute all other religions. According to your definition of religion, no higher being may be required, so this example of Christianity cannot be used as a template for arguing against religions without higher beings (i.e. how can a religion with no higher being have evidence for its existence or truthfulness?).

By "diminished proof" I mean altering the definition or criteria of proof from being evidence that something is 100% (as we cannot know everything in the universe to this very day) to a definition whereby the evidence is constrained by the knowledge gradient in the modern world. I chose an alternative term, "diminished proof" to make this distinction clear so as to not get confused with simply "proof".

Originally Posted by SuperShadows
My argument is that the idea of a God came from many many years ago when people worshipped the Sun because it gave them warmth and light, helped their food to grow and kept them safe from some kind of predator. If there was no Sun then no life would exist on this planet. Because of this they made the Sun into a God figure and worshipped it. They believed that day = good and night = evil (because of their vulnerability at night when they were at risk from predators and the coldness and darkness of night), giving us our basic good versus evil thing that is the foundation of many religions today. All this is proved by drawings and hieroglyphics left over from then.
Simply put, it seems your argument is that the concept of god came from a primitive society and culture seeking explanations for natural phenomena. However, in this day and age, alternative, reliable, testable explanations via science can suffice much better. Fair enough to me.

Originally Posted by SuperShadows
My other argument is that religion is purely astrologically based.
Hold on, now you're straying away again. Recall your definition of religion and the example you gave of a religion lacking a higher being. This is an incorrect argument right from the start. You have a point that some religions, such as Christianity does have astrology as part of its origin but as mentioned in my previous argument, pin-pointing your argument onto Christianity does not work. It will only work if all others are the same or very similar but they're not in their origin.

Originally Posted by SuperShadows
I do agree with you when you say that you cannot use our senses to prove the existence of a God or higher being. This does not men that we should assume that there is a God though. If I told you that there is a flying pizza in a place called Heaven and that this religion shares many of the features of Christianity you couldn't prove me wrong as you cannot use your sense to disprove this.
Correct, I could not disprove it using my 7 senses. However, I can challenge you by saying that you have the burden of proof but if you fail at providing adequate proof, then one can say your belief is incredibly weak or that it is disproved due to insufficient evidence on your part.

Originally Posted by SuperShadows
You would say that it is impossible for a pizza to be a God etc but why should people think it is possible that we have a creator who watches everything we do and when we die we are judged and send to be persecuted and tortured in Hell or live in paradise in Heaven? Explain this please. I know that people are comforted by religion and I respect this but if anyone started believing in something (not religion) this complex and whatever then they would probably be called delusional.
I think there are various reasons for this and you provided one already. My others revolve around the religion being accepted by a large population for so long that eventually it may be perceived as correct, otherwise it would have been disproven earlier. It's not a strong argument on their part and is faulty but it's one that is commonly used. The others involve socialization and enculturation, meaning one teaches it to their child and the child will believe it for some time. In a small population that is religious to one religion in particular, if someone does not believe in it, then they may have a fear of ostracism. In other words, humans universally across cultures have a desire to be perceived positively, so some may accept the religion just for this purpose or for the self-serving purpose of not being rejected by the society.

Why is religion different? People should be left to their beliefs but why can't I try to disprove them? [/quote]

I never said you cannot try to disprove them, you can do that all you want.

Religion is different because it may be a philosophical belief on life, not one that involves praying. People generally are more receptive then. But, for those that do involve a higher being, it's not always receptive as people may be more inclined to view it as a cult. Also, if there's a large group all believing and practicing, then people may consider it less likely to be due to mental illnesses and more receptive to it because the chances all of them suffer from the same is reduced.

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