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humor me for a moment

Decipheris

What is this thing you call "happiness"?
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#1
Okay, so. Religion.

Supposing the concept of religion was completely abolished (I don't think that could ever happen personally, but, nonetheless)- I think people would become more logical and objective, but I also think existential angst and dread would certainly perpetuate. Life could become perceived as meaningless and chaotic by many, society could regress and potentially become morally corrupt, or rather the lack of morals (due to no real premise enforcing them, such as religion) would result in such.. in other words, morals would likely not be as firmly established as they once were under the previous condition of religion existing.

What do you think?
And how do you believe would the *theoretical* abolishment of religion would affect society?
 

Serac

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#2
I think that if you flick through the law book of any western country nowadays, you would be hard-pressed to find even one law which is justfied by a religious doctrine. This shows that we have a pretty good idea of what morals we need without needing the recourse of religion, and this has been the general trajectory since The Enlightenment. So I don't think you would notice any difference if religion were abolished.

Except, perhaps, for the benefit that you would see fewer cases of people flying airplanes into buildings.
 

Animekitty

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#3
Biology sets personality, not religion.
Sure no difference would happen besides less time at church.
But some people would still not give a fuck.
They would be more rational but then some would be rational assholes and rational flat-earthers. Rationality does not make your view correct just that they can be explained i.e. epicycles vs heliocentric model. A rational model of reality is a model that you understand not one necessarily true. So many times I meet people believe they have a rational model of reality. I think what they think is unlikely true. Not everyone can be good at science. But I suck too. I just sometimes think I have good model of reality. But sometimes I am like god fucking damn it, how stupid. Difficult people are difficult. Biology sets personality, not religion.
 

Cognisant

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#4
Religion has nothing to do with morality and never has, it's the business of guilt and shame, going to a confessional doesn't change anything it just absolves you of the rightful guilt you feel for what you've done wrong. A priest standing before his congregation preaching about how sinners go to hell isn't trying to make them better people he's brainwashing them into feeling ashamed and afraid, feeling like they need to prove themselves to the church, then the donation plate comes around.

Go read some history about the atrocities committed, pointless wars fought, the crimes of the missionaries, the notion that religion has anything to do with morality is a sick joke.
 
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#5
Religion has nothing to do with morality and never has, it's the business of guilt and shame, going to a confessional doesn't change anything it just absolves you of the rightful guilt you feel for what you've done wrong. A priest standing before his congregation preaching about how sinners go to hell isn't trying to make them better people he's brainwashing them into feeling ashamed and afraid, feeling like they need to prove themselves to the church, then the donation plate comes around.

Go read some history about the atrocities committed, pointless wars fought, the crimes of the missionaries, the notion that religion has anything to do with morality is a sick joke.
I take it you have not read Jung?

In order to get rid of religion, you would first have to get rid of belief, which is impossible. Belief is something that rules our actions and gives us direction. We are bombarded with information constantly. We can't make sense of it all so belief is the thing that fills in the gaps. Belief is what our unconscious mind does with information where it then comes out the other side as consciousness in both actions and thoughts. Belief is probably as old as the first human to look up at the night sky and see stars. Without belief, we are a more primitive and simple animal.
 

The Grey Man

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#6
I have seen completely irreligious people who are so convinced that their half-baked moral doctrines are infallible and applicable under all circumstances that they may as well believe them to be acts of divine legislation; ironically, hardline atheists are exemplars of the sort of dogmatism they claim to oppose. If religion was abolished, it would probably be invented again to awe people who don't know better into following some fool's "secular" code of conduct, probably based on some mystic's teachings, though it probably wouldn't be as successful if forgotten and re-introduced today because we are apt to treat such mystics as frauds rather than prophets, regardless of the wisdom they impart, because their claims are "unscientific".

Our God is science, our churches laboratories, our cathedrals the Hubble Space Telescope, the Large Hadron Collider, the International Space Station. It is now in these awesome focal points of congress between the mundane and the sublime, the immanent and the transcendental, that the clergy ritualistically renews the infinitely reassuring covenant between us mortals and the divine, not by furnishing moral guidance in interpreting and expounding the words of prophets, but by discerning new patterns in nature, abstracting physical laws from phenomena, expanding the frontiers of our putative knowledge of creation the myriad concretizations of which are the technologies that provide us with unprecedented means of combatting external threats and, for the first time, the ever-looming ability to destroy ourselves. "Onward and upward"; the promise of divine justice is supplanted by the promise of godlike supremacy as we strive toward a mirageic manifest destiny, driven with abandon by our irrepressible will to power, our everlasting hunger for what we don't have. At last we can serve both God and Mammon. There is no room in this church of power and licentiousness for the careful development of the soul and morality; it is pushed to the margins, and so the Damoclesian sword dangles ever more precariously as our emergent leaders steer us into great folly, themselves driven, as we, by their obsession with power and seldom by a sense of duty, let alone wisdom.
 

Animekitty

World A.I. transfomantion is Near
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#7
The United Atheist Alliance (UAA) is an organization founded in the mid-21st century in an alternate timeline. The UAA believe that their answer to the great question of what atheists should call themselves makes more sense than the rival groups'. Cartman appears to work with the Alliance for the most part despite being unfrozen by the Unified Atheist League (UAL) and spending a lot of off screen time with the Allied Atheist Alliance (AAA).

eric cartman buck rogers
The fate to decide the name of the organization of all atheists in the last great war.

 

Hadoblado

The choicest fuckboi
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#8
I don't think much would change. People are really good at compartmentalising thoughts that aren't congruent with one another. Atheists aren't noticeably more rational than theists for the most part.

Existential angst might go up, then again, we might address it more if there was a vacuum where religion used to be.
 

Cognisant

Condescending Bastard
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#9
I take it you have not read Jung?
I've read about him, seems full of shit to me.

QuickTwist said:
In order to get rid of religion, you would first have to get rid of belief, which is impossible.
Oh well then lets go live in a theocracy where they believe the earth is flat, disease is caused by foul odors and the trickle-down theory of economics has merit. Actually no that would be stupid, I keep getting in trouble for using that word but if not fighting the blight upon humanity that religion is because subjectivity cannot be totally averted isn't stupid I don't think there's any further down for the bar to go.

QuickTwist said:
Belief is something that rules our actions and gives us direction. We are bombarded with information constantly. We can't make sense of it all so belief is the thing that fills in the gaps. Belief is what our unconscious mind does with information where it then comes out the other side as consciousness in both actions and thoughts. Belief is probably as old as the first human to look up at the night sky and see stars.
Ignorance is something that rules our actions, ignorance fills in the gaps, all gods are and necessarily must be the "god of the gaps" because like light and darkness ignorance exists only in the absence of understanding. Since the dawn of mankind we have been plagued by ignorance and those who would use it to take advantage of us, exploiting our greatest hopes and fears. These charlatans and sophists are the cause of countless atrocities like holy wars, genocide, parents refusing medical to their own fucking children and you dare even suggest to me that there is anything good about religion?

Subjective experience is fundamentally how we obtain information but that is not what matters, it is what we do with that information that matters, through the scientific method we uncover the true nature of the phenomena we experience, we develop an understanding of what it actually means. Rats do not simply abiogenically appear in dirty rooms, diseases are not caused by evil spirits, faith is no substitute for medical care, there are no ghosts or devils to be warded off and if it somehow wasn't already obvious the exponents of religion are absolutely not a moral authority.

QuickTwist said:
Without belief, we are a more primitive and simple animal.
Because subjective experiences precede objective understanding you're saying that without the capacity for subjective experiences we would be primitive, and I agree, to lack a capacity for subjective experiences we would have to lack brains entirely. Which proves absolutely nothing, indeed without the capacity for complex thought and communication required to formulate an objective understanding of the phenomena we experience I say we would be no more than "primitive and simple animals".
 

Cognisant

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#10
The Grey Man said:
I have seen completely irreligious people who are so convinced that their half-baked moral doctrines are infallible and applicable under all circumstances that they may as well believe them to be acts of divine legislation; ironically, hardline atheists are exemplars of the sort of dogmatism they claim to oppose.
The defining trait of being an atheist is not doing something, there's as much a doctrine among atheists as there is a common doctrine for people united by their inability to ski.

There are groups of people united by their atheism, or rather reactionaries united by the pervasive/oppressive influence of religion and it follows that any doctrine they may attempt to have will be a reaction to the dogma of the religions they oppose. These groups are hilariously difficult to organize and quick to disband, since they're only reactionaries as soon as you take away that which they are reacting to they lose all cohesion.

The Grey Man said:
If religion was abolished, it would probably be invented again to awe people who don't know better into following some fool's "secular" code of conduct, probably based on some mystic's teachings, though it probably wouldn't be as successful if forgotten and re-introduced today because we are apt to treat such mystics as frauds rather than prophets, regardless of the wisdom they impart, because their claims are "unscientific".
Well, yeah, I mean is unverifiable wisdom actually wisdom?

"Hey buddy do this thing, it'll have no verifiable impact on your life."
"If there's no verifiable impact why do it?"
"Because faith"
"I should do the thing that has no verifiable impact because it's irrational?"
"Precisely"
"Is there some sort of medication you should be on?"

The Grey Man said:
Our God is science, our churches laboratories, our cathedrals the Hubble Space Telescope, the Large Hadron Collider, the International Space Station. It is now in these awesome focal points of congress between the mundane and the sublime, the immanent and the transcendental, that the clergy ritualistically renews the infinitely reassuring covenant between us mortals and the divine, not by furnishing moral guidance in interpreting and expounding the words of prophets, but by discerning new patterns in nature, abstracting physical laws from phenomena, expanding the frontiers of our putative knowledge of creation the myriad concretizations of which are the technologies that provide us with unprecedented means of combating external threats and, for the first time, the ever-looming ability to destroy ourselves.
"by furnishing moral guidance in interpreting and expounding the words of prophets"
Have you actually read the bible? It's some pretty fucked up shit.

The Grey Man said:
"Onward and upward"; the promise of divine justice is supplanted by the promise of godlike supremacy as we strive toward a mirageic manifest destiny, driven with abandon by our irrepressible will to power, our everlasting hunger for what we don't have.
I am so hard right now.

The Grey Man said:
There is no room in this church of power and licentiousness for the careful development of the soul and morality; it is pushed to the margins, and so the Damoclesian sword dangles ever more precariously as our emergent leaders steer us into great folly, themselves driven, as we, by their obsession with power and seldom by a sense of duty, let alone wisdom.
A theocracy would not be any better, consider Jerusalem and the Vatican if you have any doubt about that, but yes our irrepressibly fallible human leaders are a cause of great vexation, sadly we yet lack the philosophy or the technology to replace them.

Science has no master, it grants boons upon those who serve it with no regard for their worthiness only the ever present threat of being left behind should they fail to continue marching in the direction of their non-god.
 

The Grey Man

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#11
Well, yeah, I mean is unverifiable wisdom actually wisdom?

"Hey buddy do this thing, it'll have no verifiable impact on your life."
"If there's no verifiable impact why do it?"
"Because faith"
"I should do the thing that has no verifiable impact because it's irrational?"
"Precisely"
"Is there some sort of medication you should be on?"
I used the term "mystic" rather loosely to refer to teachers of morality (which may be the stereotypical bearded, smelly hermit or a prim and proper academic, both of whose teachings could be adapted into a body of dogma), in contrast with empirical science. Empirical science makes no ethical conclusions. There are no instruments for measuring good and evil, except in science fiction (Rick and Morty).

"by furnishing moral guidance in interpreting and expounding the words of prophets"
Have you actually read the bible? It's some pretty fucked up shit.
Bits and pieces. I don't think it's right, or even that my hypothetical clergyman's guidance was right, just that it is unlike the scientific method and the dissemination of its findings and they should not be viewed as alternatives to each other. You might say that my post was a response to a "straw atheist".

Science has no master, it grants boons upon those who serve it with no regard for their worthiness only the ever present threat of being left behind should they fail to continue marching in the direction of their non-god.
What exactly do you mean by "left behind"?
 

Cognisant

Condescending Bastard
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#12
The Grey Man said:
I used the term "mystic" rather loosely to refer to teachers of morality (which may be the stereotypical bearded, smelly hermit or a prim and proper academic, both of whose teachings could be adapted into a body of dogma), in contrast with empirical science. Empirical science makes no ethical conclusions. There are no instruments for measuring good and evil, except in science fiction (Rick and Morty).
Empirical science makes no ethical conclusions but it can inform ethical conclusions, there's no inherent right or wrong a philosopher must create those definitions and he does so by evaluating what is best for society and the individual. That evaluation could be him sitting in an armchair making shit up that sounds right to him or debating it with his peers, but that is merely a substitute for making an informed decision, a decision informed by empirical studies is in my opinion the ideal case.

The Grey Man said:
Bits and pieces. I don't think it's right, or even that my hypothetical clergyman's guidance was right, just that it is unlike the scientific method and the dissemination of its findings and they should not be viewed as alternatives to each other. You might say that my post was a response to a "straw atheist".
The problem with the clergy is that they are at best armchair philosophers and I seriously doubt the philosophical rigor of someone who can't tell fact from fiction.

The Grey Man said:
What exactly do you mean by "left behind"?
The international arms race is one example, the generational/cultural gap between those who can and can't utilize the latest technologies is another, the Amish are quaint but irrelevant, the only reason they haven't been swept aside is that have had the good sense to stay out of the way.
 

The Grey Man

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#13
Empirical science makes no ethical conclusions but it can inform ethical conclusions, there's no inherent right or wrong a philosopher must create those definitions and he does so by evaluating what is best for society and the individual. That evaluation could be him sitting in an armchair making shit up that sounds right to him or debating it with his peers, but that is merely a substitute for making an informed decision, a decision informed by empirical studies is in my opinion the ideal case.
This informed decision that marries ethical principles and empirical data does so by generating conclusions that are completely determined by the former applied as rules of inference to the latter. They are both indispensable to the process of deciding what to do in a given situation, so it doesn't make any sense to abandon one and focus exclusively on the other. Neglect the principles and you have an irrelevant, however detailed description of your situation. Fail to relate the principles to the data and you have an irrelevant, however detailed doctrine. The clergyman might not be spending his days on an armchair, but trying to combine experiences, including novel experiences, with the principles he's assimilated over time to provide himself with direction. He may not succeed in discerning what is best for society, but the one who expects wisdom to emerge from empirical studies and discounts all candidate principles certainly won't. Again, I'm attacking a straw position as far as you're concerned, I realize (although I have seen flesh-and-blood examples). I just liked the idea of awesome, uniquely engineered instruments of measurement and data collection as our analogue to the medieval cathedrals.
 

Serac

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#14
I think that when the contemporary "science guys" like Degrasse Tyson, Dawkins, etc, are pitted against religious spokesmen and asked: without religion, how do you create meaning in life?, they are sort of backed up into a corner and are forced to come up with some narrative about the beauty of the physical universe and the molecular composition of flowers and whatnot. However, I think the majority of everyday people out there who live mostly atheistic lives don't care about that stuff nor derive any meaning from it. Exactly what they derive meaning from is mostly a mystery to me (I think I even made a thread about it once), but to me it looks mostly like something derived from social validation. As long as an individual is not forced to deal with death and imminent misery on a daily basis, be able to go out and have a beer with his friends on Fridays, get enjoyment from his work and hobbies, and get approval for his endeavors from his peers, then he is unlikely to contemplate ethics and the meaning of life on a daily basis, and for most people that is nothing less than an ideal life
(as it should be).
 
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#15

jbar

non sequitur
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#16
There are plenty of examples of religious people working together to make a better society, just as there are examples of atrocities committed in the name of a god or religion. In my thinking it all comes back to a common, primal drive within us to protect our own survival through a tribal means. I see this connection everywhere. People join an organization like a church and turn off their brains because they start to feel safe, even if they can't articulate it that way.

Think about the aforementioned methodology of religious leaders who use fear to keep the tribe in line. Fear is a great way to keep community members from running outside the social borders where it's "unsafe". Afterlife theology is a part of this too. "Stick with us and you won't be tormented in the great 'flesh fry' at the end of history." Tools like fear and shame are effective for keeping the community together, and that's the main thing. This is much of religion, unfortunately. But I don't think it accounts for all. There are religious communities that seem to own up to the fact that we are just looking for a place to relate properly to other people and to make it through life "safely", by sticking together, welcoming the "other" into the community and generally making the world a better place. I'm much more tolerant of the Episcopal church for this reason.

I don't think violence and hatred is an inherent part of a belief in God, gods, or any diety. But it's a likely place for such things to form if the participants' understanding of community and society is underdeveloped and is based on defending "territory" (instead of working to learn from the bordering territories, for example).

With all that said, I think society would not crumble without religion... I just think if religion disappeared then it would quickly reappear, due to our primal drive to be a part of communities.

(It could be that I'm giving too much credit to the idea of humans as social animals...)
 

Animekitty

World A.I. transfomantion is Near
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#17
Carl Jung Full of shit?

I shit every day. I am full of shit. normal people shit. Jung is normal.

But Jung is correct that divinity does exist in the subconscious.
Freud believed only evil exist there, he is wrong.
The brain contains patterns that we can call Divine.
When I experienced it was like when Neo saw gold in the machine city.
In the matrix movies. This is a real thing even if it was in dreams.

I have been to where the tunnel of white light is leading to. I was in the white light.

And I have been to realities inbetween the dream world and the DMT reality.

humor me for a moment

What if these realities are real?
 

Cognisant

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#18
The Grey Man said:
This informed decision that marries ethical principles and empirical data does so by generating conclusions that are completely determined by the former applied as rules of inference to the latter. They are both indispensable to the process of deciding what to do in a given situation, so it doesn't make any sense to abandon one and focus exclusively on the other.
Of course that's absurd, without a philosopher setting the moral goalposts you wouldn't have the metrics by which to assess your data, I'm not saying creating a doctrine of ethics is an entirely scientific pursuit rather the science informs the philosophy and the philosophy is better off for it.

Indeed the scientific method is itself a practical application of philosophy. I also want to stress that philosophy like science is a discipline, there are countless hacks and sophists who would call themselves philosophers just as there are many charlatans who pretend to be scientists, the distinction being that the true scientists and philosophers are disciplined in their pursuit of knowledge/understanding, they abide by the rules of their discipline.

It's all well and good to point out that nothing is truly certain, we cannot know the utmost extend of our ignorance, but that does not give credence to every half-baked theory the sophists and charlatans come up with. There are degrees of certainty and extraordinary claims, especially those the contradict established knowledge, require extraordinary evidence.

Theologians completely lack this discipline, they base their claims on faith and whatever fiction they deem to be canonical.

The Grey Man said:
Neglect the principles and you have an irrelevant, however detailed description of your situation.
The philosophical principles.

The Grey Man said:
Fail to relate the principles to the data and you have an irrelevant, however detailed doctrine.
Which I argue is worse than no doctrine at all.
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

The Grey Man said:
The clergyman might not be spending his days on an armchair, but trying to combine experiences, including novel experiences, with the principles he's assimilated over time to provide himself with direction. He may not succeed in discerning what is best for society, but the one who expects wisdom to emerge from empirical studies and discounts all candidate principles certainly won't. Again, I'm attacking a straw position as far as you're concerned, I realize (although I have seen flesh-and-blood examples). I just liked the idea of awesome, uniquely engineered instruments of measurement and data collection as our analogue to the medieval cathedrals.
And I hate the comparison because they are things of a fundamentally contradictory nature, we do not worship at the alter of science, no amount of faith is going to make the next discovery, likewise with every passing year religion becomes more primitive and irrelevant because it is nought but a relic of a bygone dark age that hasn't had the decency to fuck off and die.
 

Cognisant

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#19
humor me for a moment

What if these realities are real?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you haven't got any at all.
 

Animekitty

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#20
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and you haven't got any at all.
how cliche

You need to use imagination.

The psychic world does not need to be objective to be real. look into your subjective self.
 

The Grey Man

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#21
The philosophical principles.
I prefer "ethical principles" in this case, actually. It's more specific. I'm talking about what beliefs concerning what one ought to do as opposed to those concerning what is or what might be, which might also reasonably be called philosophical principles and, yes, may be more or less rigorous, more or less thorough in its agreement with observation.

In contrast, we run into problems when we try to apply similar standards of rigour to ethical principles. Even if we are thoroughly not wrong, fully descriptive of the "keyhole" that is our consciousness in its manifold phenomena, we cannot tell how thoroughly right we are because, as you pointed out, we do not know the extent of that to which we are ignorant. We place limits on the possibly limitless intricacies of the universe in the construction of our world maps for strategic planning because it's the only way to discern finite chains of cause and effect relationships amenable to the as-yet undetermined influence of our will, upon which to base mutually exclusive courses of action, from which those are selected which most accord with our values. The scientific mind does this with Ockham's razor- the simplest model that conforms to what he knows to be right is taken to be right itself for planning purposes. But his "confidence" in this simplest model has nothing to do with an imprecision of measurement; it is a psychological act of faith, just like the religious zealot's belief in God or the afterlife (actually it quite resembles the religious conservatives that refused to entertain Descartes' experimental notion that God might be deceitful, for it supposes that we can gain all the knowledge we could ever need merely by extrapolating from our own experience). Both, by virtue of their desires, constitutionally embody ethical principles that, when expressed as philosophical principles, are infinite in the scope of their consequences because of the aforementioned limitations on what is possible that they imply (ought implies can; ought and can both imply that my choices won't have unaccountable effects, and thus be indistinguishible from each other, due to the infinite intricacy of the universe). The analysis of the finite selection of accessible phenomena is incompetent to justify either of their value systems; they are both based on fantasy, considered theoretically. So on what grounds does one assume superiority to the other?

And I hate the comparison because they are things of a fundamentally contradictory nature, we do not worship at the alter of science, no amount of faith is going to make the next discovery, likewise with every passing year religion becomes more primitive and irrelevant because it is nought but a relic of a bygone dark age that hasn't had the decency to fuck off and die.
Something has to get the intrepid explorer out of bed in the morning. Why not faith in progress? Why is this a dirty word?
 

Cognisant

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#22
The Grey Man said:
I prefer "ethical principles" in this case, actually. It's more specific. I'm talking about what beliefs concerning what one ought to do as opposed to those concerning what is or what might be, which might also reasonably be called philosophical principles and, yes, may be more or less rigorous, more or less thorough in its agreement with observation.
You say "belief" and I hear "arbitrary made up nonsense".
An ought is not an is but when talking about what someone should do that should is based upon values and the merits of those values can be evaluated objectively, for example the relative weight of importance attributed to the rights/freedoms of the individual relative to the rights/freedoms of society can be reduced to a simple cost/benefit analysis. There is no benefit to someone having ownership of their organs after they die however these is great benefit to someone who is in desperate need of a surrogate organ thus (despite what religion might have to say about it) all citizens should be organ donors by default and only excluded under sensible circumstances (no point donating an organ with cancer or that's too old to be of use to anyone) and the very notion that they should not is, by this set of values, monstrous.

The Grey Man said:
In contrast, we run into problems when we try to apply similar standards of rigour to ethical principles. Even if we are thoroughly not wrong, fully descriptive of the "keyhole" that is our consciousness in its manifold phenomena, we cannot tell how thoroughly right we are because, as you pointed out, we do not know the extent of that to which we are ignorant.
(sarcastic voice) Oh nooo science can't explain consciousness so its credibility is in tatters, quick let us consult the soothsayer for actually reliable advice.

Yeah nah fuck off.

The Grey Man said:
We place limits on the possibly limitless intricacies of the universe in the construction of our world maps for strategic planning because it's the only way to discern finite chains of cause and effect relationships amenable to the as-yet undetermined influence of our will, upon which to base mutually exclusive courses of action, from which those are selected which most accord with our values.
Values with merits that can be objectively evaluated.

The Grey Man said:
The scientific mind does this with Ockham's razor- the simplest model that conforms to what he knows to be right is taken to be right itself for planning purposes. But his "confidence" in this simplest model has nothing to do with an imprecision of measurement; it is a psychological act of faith, just like the religious zealot's belief in God or the afterlife (actually it quite resembles the religious conservatives that refused to entertain Descartes' experimental notion that God might be deceitful, for it supposes that we can gain all the knowledge we could ever need merely by extrapolating from our own experience). Both, by virtue of their desires, constitutionally embody ethical principles that, when expressed as philosophical principles, are infinite in the scope of their consequences because of the aforementioned limitations on what is possible that they imply (ought implies can; ought and can both imply that my choices won't have unaccountable effects, and thus be indistinguishible from each other, due to the infinite intricacy of the universe). The analysis of the finite selection of accessible phenomena is incompetent to justify either of their value systems; they are both based on fantasy, considered theoretically. So on what grounds does one assume superiority to the other?
On the grounds that this is a load of shit, you're just reiterating what you wrote before, trying to discredit science because it doesn't have all the answers while ignoring the fact that religion doesn't have any! I don't need to be fucking omniscient to come up with a better moral doctrine than any a theologian can provide because their moral doctrines are baseless made-up shit.

Talk about the mystery of consciousness and the infinite universe all you want, it doesn't matter, it's not relevant, I'm not debating with a god, you don't know anything more about consciousness or the universe than I do heck I'd wager you know even less!

The Grey Man said:
Something has to get the intrepid explorer out of bed in the morning. Why not faith in progress? Why is this a dirty word?
Because faith is just self delusion.
 

The Grey Man

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#23
You say "belief" and I hear "arbitrary made up nonsense".
An ought is not an is but when talking about what someone should do that should is based upon values and the merits of those values can be evaluated objectively, for example the relative weight of importance attributed to the rights/freedoms of the individual relative to the rights/freedoms of society can be reduced to a simple cost/benefit analysis. There is no benefit to someone having ownership of their organs after they die however these is great benefit to someone who is in desperate need of a surrogate organ thus (despite what religion might have to say about it) all citizens should be organ donors by default and only excluded under sensible circumstances (no point donating an organ with cancer or that's too old to be of use to anyone) and the very notion that they should not is, by this set of values, monstrous.
It is believed that all citizens should be organ donors by default because, more fundamentally, it is believed that we should make those decisions which yield the highest net benefit for the individual and society. But it's not obvious to me where you get the idea that the cost/benefit analysis should be limited to human beings, if not from very archaic dualistic beliefs which are, for example, exemplified by Christianity. So it appears that this set of values reduces to, in your words, "arbitrary made up nonsense" conditioned by the evolution of mankind (for prioritization in our strategic planning, or its functional equivalent, of the survival and wellbeing of our kin has made us competitive in the game of natural selection) and certainly not what I'd call objective evaluation.

(sarcastic voice) Oh nooo science can't explain consciousness so its credibility is in tatters, quick let us consult the soothsayer for actually reliable advice.
Tatters? Hardly, but it does have certain limitations, not that I'm advocating credulity when it comes to alternative self-professed purveyors of knowledge that claim to go beyond them.

On the grounds that this is a load of shit, you're just reiterating what you wrote before, trying to discredit science because it doesn't have all the answers while ignoring the fact that religion doesn't have any!
There's no reason to assume that having some of the answers is better than having none of them. Zealously pursuing an agenda that seems bound to do nothing but good may actually do harm if it's based on an incomplete picture of the conditions it seeks to influence. What's that you said about good intentions?

Because faith is just self delusion.
Self-delusion is necessary for any semblance of a meaningful life.
 

Cognisant

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#24
The Grey Man said:
But it's not obvious to me where you get the idea that the cost/benefit analysis should be limited to human beings, if not from very archaic dualistic beliefs which are, for example, exemplified by Christianity.
We're only talking about human beings, remember I don't believe in any kind of universal morality, I'm not talking about developing an ethical doctrine for all life in the universe I'm talking about philosophers developing an ethical doctrine that best suits the needs of a society and the individuals of that society.

The Grey Man said:
So it appears that this set of values reduces to, in your words, "arbitrary made up nonsense" conditioned by the evolution of mankind (for prioritization in our strategic planning, or its functional equivalent, of the survival and wellbeing of our kin has made us competitive in the game of natural selection) and certainly not what I'd call objective evaluation.
Survival of the fittest is not arbitrary, it's the survival of the fittest.
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here.

The Grey Man said:
Tatters? Hardly, but it does have certain limitations, not that I'm advocating credulity when it comes to alternative self-professed purveyors of knowledge that claim to go beyond them.
Yah kinda are, but okay.

The Grey Man said:
There's no reason to assume that having some of the answers is better than having none of them. Zealously pursuing an agenda that seems bound to do nothing but good may actually do harm if it's based on an incomplete picture of the conditions it seeks to influence. What's that you said about good intentions?
So what never do anything ever for fear of the consequences of having good intentions? Don't be ridiculous the quote is about acting with good intent but without understanding, even if that understanding is incomplete some understanding is still greater than none, or are you saying we should have no ethics at all?

The Grey Man said:
Self-delusion is necessary for any semblance of a meaningful life.
Why does life need to be meaningful?
 

The Grey Man

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#25
We're only talking about human beings, remember I don't believe in any kind of universal morality, I'm not talking about developing an ethical doctrine for all life in the universe I'm talking about philosophers developing an ethical doctrine that best suits the needs of a society and the individuals of that society.

Survival of the fittest is not arbitrary, it's the survival of the fittest.
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here.
Survival of the fitness is not arbitrary, but the values that have helped us get to this point are, unless it's assumed that what's good for the continued survival of humans is good full stop, which is just those same values talking, circular reasoning.

Yah kinda are, but okay.
I'm not. Maybe I used ambiguous language somewhere, but I never intended to give the impression that I think the moral teachings of mystics or religions are right or should be accepted without analysis.

So what never do anything ever for fear of the consequences of having good intentions? Don't be ridiculous the quote is about acting with good intent but without understanding, even if that understanding is incomplete some understanding is still greater than none, or are you saying we should have no ethics at all?
I'm saying that there is far more going on in the universe than human beings, or even all life, and that our ethics, in the overwhelming majority of cases, don't pay attention to this (frankly you don't even need to consider the infinitude of possibilities to see how ridiculous naive dualist doctrines are- they scorn Ockham's razor as well). I have no idea how to respond to this myself. I have on this forum described myself as "a zealot without a cause"; I crave the feeling of self-approbation, great "meaning" that comes from a embodying a doctrine in which I have complete faith, doing my duty. I want ethics, badly. The trouble is, as far as I can tell, most if not all existing ethical systems are bullshit.

Why does life need to be meaningful?
Ask yourself. Your faith that your deeds have meaning is implicit in everything you do to shape the future. "Onward and upward". It may be faith that it is within your power to achieve a blissful hereafter of being godlike rather than being with God, but it's there.
 
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Cognisant

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#26
I have on this forum described myself as "a zealot without a cause"; I crave the feeling of self-approbation, great "meaning" that comes from a embodying a doctrine in which I have complete faith, doing my duty. I want ethics, badly. The trouble is, as far as I can tell, most if not all existing ethical systems are bullshit.
You've been brainwashed into believing a lie and you don't know it because it happened to you when you were young, they got to you before you even had a chance.

We need music for this.

The lie is that life has some intrinsic transcendental meaning, that you're special, and you're not, you never were, you're not destined for great things or some small part of a grand divine plan it's all just a narrative perpetuated by those in power to make you feel like you're missing something, like a drug addiction you have a craving for something you never needed and you've craved it for so long you don't know any different, they've convinced you that you need it, that you need them, that you need meaning in your life, that you need somebody to tell you what you should do!

ASK YOURSELF: MEANING TO WHOM?
 

Animekitty

World A.I. transfomantion is Near
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#27
it's all just a narrative perpetuated by those in power to make you feel like you're missing something
No it's not. You cog want to gain immortality and that is what you strive for. Those is power actually fill the need they do not create the missing something you need. They channel it into grand projects. But you cog are deluded if you think people have not striving for something. that is what gave me the most horrible depression for 11 years now. I want to be creative, I do not want to stagnate, I want to fill the whole of boredom and Sloth. I do not want to sit in my room doing nothing but stare at white walls my whole life. I want to do stuff. that does not come from bullshit ideas of a power system telling me I need to be more than a vegetable. Because I suck at doing stuff I get depressed I feel worthless, I feel inferior, I cause brain damage trying to hard to be better than I am. I don't have friends. I do not have close relationships bonds attachments. meaning is a simple concept if is feeling you are valued and that you are worth something that you do something meaningful. People in power do not give people that kind of meaning, your argument then is bullshit. Meaning is a feeling. That does not mean people do not follow other to get meaning. But I suck and I cannot do anything because I am stupid so instead I study stuff even though I am useless and what I do does not matter, it has not utility where I am. I just want to learn what I do because It's all I can do. My meaning is to self-improve my ideas. I have my own ideas I work on. I get depressed because I cannot utilize them but It feels good to understand things. If I am useless I might as well be a smart useless person. I would cry in School because I could not implement my ideas. I have no choice but to find meaning in my ideas alone because I can never create them in real life. (my happy thought, Peter Pan)
 

The Grey Man

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#28
To myself, that's precisely my point. You asked why life must have meaning, my answer (in a roundabout way), was that I have no idea, but it does. You, me, the intrepid explorer, the clergyman, we all get up out of bed in the morning and to all kinds of things that regress into "nonsensical" circular reasoning when we attempt to justify them outside of their psychological contexts, but make perfect sense when you consider that they express our constitutional values; there's an implicit sacrificium intellectus in everything that we do, whether we serve the church or the edifice of scientific progress. I don't need theoretical justification to recoil from a fire so that I don't get hurt; it is my nature that I should do so. I'm perfectly aware that my sense of duty is partly a result of my upbringing, and I don't really care because it's part of me now and I've got to deal with it.
 
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Jennywocky

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#29
...I'm perfectly aware that my sense of duty is partly a result of my upbringing, and I don't really care because it's part of me now and I've got to deal with it.
That's an honest thing I can finally agree with.

Many things are instilled in us without our permission or our cogent by-in, rather like the computer system that has OS software installed to give it rules by which to process, and we simply have to learn to deal with them. (Much religious belief is also indoctrinated into us based on our cultural upbringing as well; but basically family and culture frame a lot of things for us that make it hard to step outside of.)

There's actually nothing wrong with this, considering it's just the way things are.... as long as we acknowledge and own it honestly, rather than trying to extrapolate and project our values on everyone around us as something they have to believe as well. Humanity really is both cursed and blessed with consciousness, it leaves us in an existential dilemma of wanting meaning to exist but not being able to tangibly find a source of it.
 

Jennywocky

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#30
Supposing the concept of religion was completely abolished (I don't think that could ever happen personally, but, nonetheless)- I think people would become more logical and objective, but I also think existential angst and dread would certainly perpetuate. Life could become perceived as meaningless and chaotic by many, society could regress and potentially become morally corrupt, or rather the lack of morals (due to no real premise enforcing them, such as religion) would result in such.. in other words, morals would likely not be as firmly established as they once were under the previous condition of religion existing.

What do you think?
And how do you believe would the *theoretical* abolishment of religion would affect society?
As you said, I don't think this could ever happen, so it makes it difficult to imagine a world where it did happen when we're basically agreeing humans can't function as a species without it. If you abolish it, it will rise again -- it's humanity's attempt to instill meaning and purpose in being alive, and since we can't find it in tangible sources, we develop religious belief systems to instill from "outside of us" and bring meaning.

It's damned hard to live existentially, where you are essentially walking daily through the eye of paradox to live as though your life had eternal value while accepting there is no evidence that it does. I also think that not all people can thrive in that kind of mindset, some people really need some amount of blinders in order to function at their realistic peak. I'm not judging this, I'm just saying differences in approach and perspective make it harder for some than for others.

I wouldn't say that people become more logical and objective in essence, as you have suggested, they just find other ways to cater to self and subjectivity -- at least if taken to an extreme (but that's what "abolish religion" is, right? An extreme, so extreme it will never happen?) Somehow we need to have people value science and observation again, and developing a willingness to embrace what they CAN know and what they CAN'T, and then stop judging others and/or forcing them to believe things in the latter category as if they were actual facts. IOW, be firm about our distinction between fact and opinion, between truth and belief. Opinions and beliefs are fine, but not when we stop labeling them as such, thus muddying our perceptions which leads to faulty actions.

Yes, religion is a useful tool in regulating behavior. It's always been that way. Half the shit in the Old Testament rules for Israel isn't actually about god when you step back and review it with a clear mind (for example, so many rules about "cleanliness" -- but they are essentially there for community safety, to prevent disease and plague from gutting a pre-medicine culture; other rules masquerading as religious are essentially rules to maintain property ownership, and so forth... you preserve social stability by creating certain rules that people are afraid to break because of religious weight). Morals aren't necessarily religion, although religion tries to impose some moral values for its own purposes. Coming from a strongly religious background, this is something I had to grow to understand over time, and now I find it more impressive when someone chooses to do something outside of a religious framework -- it's because the individual believes it to be true, not because they were taught it was true, and they're willing to choose to abide by it out of personal conviction. But sure, it does make it more likely there will be a less uniform cultural code, without religion to buttress it. Conformity and uniformity is always safer than diversity and individuality because when you have choice, some people will necessarily choose things that aren't as beneficial for the group.
 

onesteptwostep

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#31
First off its really welcoming to see this kind of topic and secondly I'll try to read everyones posts, but to just quickly jot my thoughts: I think it would have a huge impact on language and that "religion" or theism most likely in this case, would be replaced by a philosopical humanism which would interpret our "religious" past with just another metanarrative but with similar if not exactly the same structure the religions have provided us with, give or take the language being muddled up or not. Essentially much more confused than how we are now, and which we probably are heading towards. Cheers!
 
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#32
ah, I love this question.

I think people would crazy. You ever had that thought when you start thinking about why am I here, what does it mean, and the questions are endless until the point it become scary? Religion answers that question.