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Comparative Religion

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Can we be arsed?
Yes
66%
 66%  [ 2 ]
No
33%
 33%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 3

Flash
1218.  Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:02 pm Reply with quote

I always think that the only sensible birthday present to give an astronaut would be a fridge magnet.

 
Frances
1235.  Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:46 am Reply with quote

An executive toy with clicky balls wouldn't be much use, certainly.

No pun intended.

 
Jenny
1248.  Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:33 pm Reply with quote

As a scientific approach to religion, has anybody come across the 'Blessed bandwidth' project?

http://www.tate.org.uk/netart/blessedbandwidth/

Is it art, religion, science, technology or an (un)holy mixture of all of them?

 
Flash
15835.  Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:49 pm Reply with quote

Sorry, Jenny - I've been meaning to reply to this, but 16 months just sped by and now I can't remember what I wanted to say.

So I'd like to share an insight from my 12-year-old atheist son (nothing to do with me ... the atheism, that is): he thinks that, given the perceptible state of the world, pagan religions make, if anything, more sense than monotheistic ones in that the existence of a pantheon of capricious and sometimes malign gods offers a better explanation for the world-as-we-know-it than the idea of one god who is omnipotent and benign.

I can't think how to refute this other than by shouting.

 
Jenny
15838.  Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:12 pm Reply with quote

I think that's a highly intelligent boy you've got there, Flash.

Now introduce him to the idea that we are God and God is us, and the world is in the crap state it is in many places because we haven't sorted ourselves out yet, and see where he runs with that one...

 
Flash
15839.  Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:44 pm Reply with quote

He's just been packed off to bed, but I'll raise it with him tomorrow.

 
Gray
15845.  Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:30 am Reply with quote

Quote:
pagan religions make, if anything, more sense than monotheistic ones in that the existence of a pantheon of capricious and sometimes malign gods offers a better explanation for the world-as-we-know-it than the idea of one god who is omnipotent and benign
That's certainly true. Although there is one other explanation that makes even more sense.

I feel you know where I'm going on this one...

Quote:
my 12-year-old atheist son (nothing to do with me ... the atheism, that is)
Sounds to me like you taught him to think. Isn't it always the parents' fault. :-)

 
Natalie
15848.  Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:57 am Reply with quote

What I don't get with religion, especially Christianity, is that if you use the argument that there is so much order and design in the world to prove that there is a God, then that means that you automatically don't believe in the Big Bang. And if you believe that the world was created by the Big Bang, then you are an atheist and don't believe in a God, which is probably what makes me an atheist.

My point is though: What happens if you don't really believe in either? The Big Bang could only have happenend when certain elements were exactly correct, so there must be something there that its powerful enough to make that happen.

:s

 
Gray
15850.  Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:38 am Reply with quote

The confusion you're having is caused by not quite seeing what sort of beasts science and religion are. Once you understand what they are, you can accept them both if you want.

Science just puts forward theories as to why something is the way it is - Big Bang theory in the case of the Universe. It's just a theory, and it only sits 'at the top' because it explains better than any other theory what actually happened, which we can never 'truly' know. You don't have to believe it or not believe it - it doesn't require 'believing' for it to be a good theory. If a better theory comes along (which looks like it's happening - it's called M-theory), then the Big Bang theory will be abandoned.

There are so many weird things in this world that if we only accepted the ones we believe, we'd ever have got anywhere. Who'd believe we could have flown, or gone to the Moon?

Religion, on the other hand, is purely about belief, and rational argument has no place there. It brings some people pleasure to believe that there is a higher power, either malevolent or benevolent (or both!) that is looking over them - protecting them or loving them or punishing them. As long as you don't try to 'justify' the belief by asking questions of it, or trying to 'prove it', you can hold a belief indefinitely for whatever reasons you like.

So, you can accept that the Big Bang is a reasonably good theory, and believe that God loves you, without any problems.

Problems come when you try to mix science with religion - if you try to state that it's "true" that God created the world in six days (or that anything in the Bible is 'true'), then it's also tempting to try and 'prove' those things using rational argument, which doesn't really work, because they're based on 'faith', which is unquestioning belief. Proof and faith cannot ever cross swords.

 
Natalie
15851.  Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:45 am Reply with quote

OK thanks. I suppose mixing science and religion is like when you try and say that there was no time before the Universe existed, so therefore God could not have created the universe in 6 days.

 
Jenny
15852.  Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:20 am Reply with quote

Natalie - if you haven't read back through the beginning of this thread, you might find it interesting to read post post 69 and post post 105 that I wrote earlier on, and also the posts of Button Onion in that vicinity.

 
Natalie
15853.  Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:36 am Reply with quote

Ok. Thanks. I'll read them

 
Frances
15855.  Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:43 am Reply with quote

Having just had a totally useless discussion with a born-again friend about this, I am not, repeat not, going to get myself all wound up about it again. But I do think that Flash's son shows remarkably good sense.

 
Caradoc
15857.  Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:49 am Reply with quote

The Gods are real, trouble is they are all senile now.

 
Jenny
15861.  Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:55 pm Reply with quote

I find it very hard to cope with born-agains. That degree of certainty about something that is essentially unknowable is very off-putting.

 

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