More guilty pleasures for you guys! Fresh off the press!

Discussion in 'Philosophy & Religion' started by CrazyMoFo, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. When the argument is made that religion is a product of mankind, and as man is flawed, religion is therefore inherently flawed, there's really nothing that can be said to state otherwise.

    Call me a geek, but I'm just thinking out loud here, mathematically.

    Consider Religion A, B and C.

    Each religion has a subset of moral and ethical beliefs that is good and bad (by the flawed nature of religion). Each of these beliefs are already established and outlined.

    If one were to accumulate all of the beliefs of each religion that one (or society) considers good, would that not be more rapid than having to rediscover each beliefs individually, through historical analysis?

    It's like Calculus. There are many theorems that can be applied to a problem (call them good concepts), but not all theorems are applicable (call them bad concepts). Instead of trying to rediscover these theorems, the theorems exist, and so we only need to apply them. Why waste time rediscovering them?

    Of course I'm not saying one should take religious teachings for granted, one must still critically consider whether the teachings apply, but the bulk of the work is essentially done.

    Though I'm Buddhist, I've gone to a Catholic school, and had to read the Bible. There are definitely some messed up shit that goes on in that work of fiction, however, I'm sure we can all agree that the Bible is essentially an anthology of stories (whether they are true or false is another debate). Throughout history, before the invention of the Gutenberg press in the 1600s, remembering something in order to pass on the knowledge was best done via stories and music. And by generations of heresay, the truth of the story is infinitely small. However the moral of the story is still passed on in the story.

    One of the most famous fable we all heard as a child is "The tortoise and the hare". We all know the fable is fictitious. However as kids, we learn the proverb "the more haste, the worse speed". We never took the content of the fable seriously, however the moral of the story is still true, am I incorrect?

    Applying it to Biblical doctrines, I'm positive we all agree that the work of the Bible is not to be treated seriously in terms of the content, as it is fictitious. However, moral has been passed down from generations to generations throughout the existence of mankind. Yes there are some bad stories, but there are some good stories as well, and it is our discretion that needs to be used when determining whether or not to adopt the moral of the story.

    That's why, though I am Buddhist, whenever I come across a non-Buddhist passage in which the moral is good, I keep an open-mind and am willing to do whatever it takes to be a better person.

    In your opinion (both Ralph and CrazyMofo) is this a fair approach? (Keep in mind, I'm not saying you guys should adopt this as well, I'm just looking for people's opinion on this approach, since there seldom are people who are willing to open up their minds to more than one religion, if any religion at all. It's just a way to help me maximize my assimilation of new moral and ethical beliefs).
  2. CrazyMoFo

    CrazyMoFo Well-Known Member

    I say it's a fair approach, matter in fact, I'm incline to think most of us take this approach without even knowing it. Our human moral compass is based on our life experiences and also teachings from our elders and our society. So for me I was brought up part Buddhist and part catholic, I have to admit that I do take from the good of these 2 religion. But this doesn't mean if we abolish religion, I wouldn't have the same morals. Those who has a brain to think for themselves and have common sense should be able to distinguish what's wrong and what right. Weather they choose to act upon it is a whole different story. For example, a thieve knows stealing is morally wrong, but they do it anyway.

    Let me ask you this, If you were born in the North Pole and you are a Eskimo and had very little encounter with the outside world and no one ever told you about god or any type of religion. Do you think you would have no morals? Would you go around raping, stealing, killing your fellow Eskimos?

    This leads me to my next joke!

    A priest went to the North Pole to teach about god, spreading the good word.
    Eskimo ask priest: If I don't know about god and sin, would I go to hell?
    Priest: No, not if you did not know.
    Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?
  3. ralphrepo

    ralphrepo Well-Known Member

    At Hadouken, thank you for posting that Dawkins episode about the extremism and destructive nature of blindly following dogma and doctrine. It puts into a nutshell most of what is wrong with religions in general across all faiths, and why religion itself has become so dangerous.

    At Dan, you're correct in that morality doesn't solely exist in one religion and that is the most profound concept that one can take from this whole discussion. But what is moral is the question that we each need to answer to ourselves, and the answer isn't something that can be simply given from one event. IMHO, morality is a product derived from a continuum of experience; of having seen, experienced, and felt over time. Further complicating this picture is that what may have been considered moral at one point of our lives may not be so later in life, as our understanding of our world evolves. Truth, it seems, isn't as immutable as we would like it to be.

    At CrazyMoFo, you're right in the assessment that morality isn't solely a human purview; animals have long been documented to have performed acts of compassion when there is seemingly no benefit derived or obtained from their selfless act. Obviously, there is much more within animal psychology that man currently remains clueless about.
  4. CrazyMoFo

    CrazyMoFo Well-Known Member

    Hey guys! I am truly enjoying this thread. It's great when we have different point of views and we can discuss in a civil manner. I am actually learning a lot from this. We have 300+ views. I really like to invite those who are just lurking to chime in. Share your thoughts, ask questions, don't be afraid to stand up for your religion or lack of religion. Help us help you! I promise to be nice! hehe
  5. I certainly don't doubt one can get morality without religion, that's for sure. I'm just stating a possible alternative.

    And yet more true statements. It's funny, I was having some discussions with my folks in regards to topics like this, and they came to a similar conclusion.

    I guess this will all become clearer as I gain some years and experience. Time to be patient.
  6. Not sure if this is the right thread to post this, but I was at Chapters Indigo earlier (equivalent to Barnes and Noble) and I saw this book in the best sellers section:

    Religion For Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide To The Uses Of Religion by Alain De Botton


    For a person who doesn't believe in the existence of a god, I'm starting to sound like a representative for religion lol. Anyway, Alain de Botton is one of the leading thinkers of true atheism, or what he refers to as "Atheism 2.0". I find his view of atheism extremely stimulating, and his approach to religion is incredible compatible to what I personally believe in.

    Here's a link to his TED talk video:

    I just thought this was an interesting approach.
  7. CrazyMoFo

    CrazyMoFo Well-Known Member

  8. Oh did you? I can't remember..

    edit: That's right, my mistake. This was originally shared by CrazyMofo
  9. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

    ^Sadly most monotheistic religious followers think one cannot do good without the religion or god. In other words, apparently we need to be told what to do and we can't think for ourselves to do what is right or wrong. We all carry sins anyway even as an infant .

    good joke by the way. But I believe ignorance of the existence of God is a clear violation in his books. He'd go to hell regardless, as he never accepted Jesus as his personal savior.
  10. And that's quite a shame. I recall hearing somewhere a Christian priest stating:

    "It doesn't matter how much good deeds one has done in his life, if he doesn't believe in God, he will go to hell".

    Quite a huge shame really. I honestly think this goes beyond religion, this is purely human nature. The human nature that tells people to be greedy for power, and the human nature of wanting to be followers to something.