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Thread: One for Barry

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    Re: One for Barry

    There is a further interesting question.

    Going back to my description of unpredictability and uncertainty of life being 'intolerable'. It may be that, once our ancestors acquired the faculty of reason, were able to 'imagine' the future, some of them found the future terrible. It might have made them unable to act; unable to bear continued existence; any number of difficulties in going on.

    Some found that they coudl resolve that terribleness by adopting a faith; "life isn't so terrible because either a) the gods love me, and will not let me perish, or b) the gods will at least not destroy me provided I propitiate them".

    It may be that such people were better able to live and reproduce than those who found that they had difficulty in believing in gods and supernatural beings, people who were better able to sense the lack of cause and effect perhaps, and see that sacrificed bulls did not often have any effect on the return of the rainy season.

    So, maybe a 'faith', or an ability to have a faith, provided an evolutionary advantage. More of the people with that propensity survived than did those who did not have it.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    Um - the quickening of Adam from the Sistine chapel. Old man, check. Beard, check. (Er...also, he looks a bit like Blake's painting of Methusaleh. Don't ask me why.) But since I see god as non-existent, does it matter what shape he takes in my imagination?
    it doesn't really matter, other than a topic of conversation on how people visualise things - you have an image that appears in your head when you hear the word "God" just as you do when you hear "banana" Belief that a banana is a herb rather than a fruit are irrelevent

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    So, maybe a 'faith', or an ability to have a faith, provided an evolutionary advantage. More of the people with that propensity survived than did those who did not have it.

    The above maybe true but the fact we don’t 'need' a god now to explain things doesn’t imply their non existence

    A 3yr old doesn’t need a adult to walk but look out if they are left to fend for themselves

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    Um - the quickening of Adam from the Sistine chapel. Old man, check. Beard, check. (Er...also, he looks a bit like Blake's painting of Methusaleh. Don't ask me why.) But since I see god as non-existent, does it matter what shape he takes in my imagination?
    Of course it can

    X = Man Utd (Great Football Team)
    X-1 = My perception
    x-2 = Arsenal Supporter

    If I choose to see the Man Utd football team dressed in gym slips and running around with flowers in their hair , its going to effect my perception of whether their good or not

    We have direct ‘evidence’ that Man Utd are a great football team. Ie X

    My perception will be clouded by what I ‘see’ them and is X-1

    Note how I see them doesn’t effect X because we have direct ‘evidence’ that Man Utd are a great football team

    SO X holds true whether I think X-1 or X-2 (Arsenal supporter)


    If you assume God exists

    Y = God exists
    Y-1 = Needs more proof
    y-2 = Hates all religion

    If im at Y-2 (Arsenal supporter) I’m going to need a lot more evidence to get to Y. I have a closed mind and the ‘proof’ required maybe very high. E.g Man Utd could win the league 10yrs in a row and a Arsenal supporter could argue it was all luck etc

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    It may be that, once our ancestors acquired the faculty of reason, were able to 'imagine' the future, some of them found the future terrible.
    Imagination isn't enough, its the people who can implant their imagination in others that gain an elevated position for themselves. That power from belief in a person, becomes belief in the thought and gives the original idea plenty of legs *





    *pans people

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    Re: One for Barry

    O good grief.

    DS's posts are starting to read like stewart38s.

    Now that would be horrible.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by stewart38 View Post
    The above maybe true but the fact we don’t 'need' a god now to explain things doesn’t imply their non existence

    A 3yr old doesn’t need a adult to walk but look out if they are left to fend for themselves



    Of course it can

    X = Man Utd (Great Football Team)
    X-1 = My perception
    x-2 = Arsenal Supporter

    If I choose to see the Man Utd football team dressed in gym slips and running around with flowers in their hair , its going to effect my perception of whether their good or not

    We have direct ‘evidence’ that Man Utd are a great football team. Ie X

    My perception will be clouded by what I ‘see’ them and is X-1

    Note how I see them doesn’t effect X because we have direct ‘evidence’ that Man Utd are a great football team

    SO X holds true whether I think X-1 or X-2 (Arsenal supporter)


    If you assume God exists

    Y = God exists
    Y-1 = Needs more proof
    y-2 = Hates all religion

    If im at Y-2 (Arsenal supporter) I’m going to need a lot more evidence to get to Y. I have a closed mind and the ‘proof’ required maybe very high. E.g Man Utd could win the league 10yrs in a row and a Arsenal supporter could argue it was all luck etc
    I'm afraid I got hopelessly lost around about 'Manchester United dressed in gym slips' and found myself wondering W|T|F you've been smoking!!

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    Re: One for Barry

    if you set your spell check klaxon to 2 mistakes or more, you can probably still tell the difference between me and s38

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    Religion promotes a credulous world-view, one which makes people prone to a way of conducting themselves that abrogates personal responsibility. Many believers rise above that, and take personal responsibility anyway; but that is despite their religion, and not because of it. Other believers simply follow the rules, believing that they can depend on other people and ancient writings to tell them how to behave.
    Religion may promote a credulous world-view but they don’t send out the moral police to check what believers are getting up to. I don’t ever recall being stopped at the door of a Church to make sure I believe every word of doctrine I've been taught and follow the rules to the letter before they’ll let me in (which is just as well).

    You acknowledge that some believers take personal responsibility despite their religion and some don’t. What determines the difference? It comes back down to human nature and the personal choice of the individual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    religion encourages people to be credulous; believers are told that they must not question the tenets of the faith; that they must do what they are told ("don't use condoms"); that the more difficult it is to believe something the greater the achievement when you are able to do it (the wafer and the wine literally turn into the body and blood of jesus, no matter how yukky that sounds and no matter that throughout the journey from lips to stomach they always retain the exact and identical flavour and texture of - um - wine and wafer), that other people's interpretation of the bible is to be accepted notwithstanding ("the good book says, give and ye shall receive, so you have to give me $1,000 and the lord will give you back a hundredfold - the good book doesn't lie!") and so forth.
    And yet religious people don’t necessarily do what they are told or believe what they are told to believe. According to this

    75% of US Catholics surveyed believed you could be a good Catholic without obeying the Church hierarchy’s teachings on birth control.

    36% believed you could be a good Catholic without believing the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.

    I can’t find any figures on how many Christians have a literal belief in the Bible. I was brought up very strictly religious but was never taught that the Bible was literally true.

    As in any sphere of life, it's human nature to follow the rules that suit us and ignore the rules that don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    My criticism isn't that religion (defined here as a belief in magical or supernatural divinities) can never have produced any benefit for humans; my criticism is that it no longer provides whatever benefits may have provoked its creation and adoption.
    If belief no longer provided any benefits it would logically have died out by now and yet it hasn’t. Many people still have a faith in God and these are not merely primitive people of low intelligence and poor education.

    Why?

    I can’t answer for others but my own direct experiences of birth, life and death (not my own birth and death obviously ) have persuaded me that there is more to life than meets the eye and that, as far as the Universe is concerned, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Also, even if Barry does hate religions - it doesn't appear to be all of them and I doubt there would be quite so many complaints if Barrys criticisms were leveled at the ancient Greek Gods; most people would be just as critical of that religion as Barry.
    I don't think people have a problem with the particular religions Barry levels criticism at. I doubt there would be quite so many complaints if Barry refrained more often from using derogeratory and offensive language when discussing his views and stuck to debating the issues in a constructive manner rather than stooping to cheap ploys, like mockery.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    75% of US Catholics surveyed believed you could be a good Catholic without obeying the Church hierarchy’s teachings on birth control.

    36% believed you could be a good Catholic without believing the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.
    Yah, but the next question is how many would put their hands up in church in answer to the same questions? Religion demands conformity, which is another problem.
    If belief no longer provided any benefits it would logically have died out by now
    ...where's the evidence for that?! Astrology hasn't died out yet.
    I can’t answer for others but my own direct experiences of birth, life and death (not my own birth and death obviously ) have persuaded me that there is more to life than meets the eye and that, as far as the Universe is concerned, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
    Well, that's nice for you. (And I mean that most sincerely, folks.) But it's a trifle - vague.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    I don't think people have a problem with the particular religions Barry levels criticism at. I doubt there would be quite so many complaints if Barry refrained more often from using derogeratory and offensive language when discussing his views and stuck to debating the issues in a constructive manner rather than stooping to cheap ploys, like mockery.
    I take it that I'm off your christmas card list, then?

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    ...where's the evidence for that?! Astrology hasn't died out yet.
    Making people feel good,wanted,hopeful is a clear benefit surely ?

    Every time astrology accurately predicts whats going to happen, thats plenty evidence that its absoutely true* ... and it might be true again if you wait long enough



    * perhaps not to everyone but we all have our own thresholds

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    I take it that I'm off your christmas card list, then?
    Surely if someone sent you a Christmas card, you would be deeply offended.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    Yah, but the next question is how many would put their hands up in church in answer to the same questions? Religion demands conformity, which is another problem.
    When would these questions ever be asked in Church? How does religion demand conformity from an individual? The Pope has no idea what I get up to and could care less I'm sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    ...where's the evidence for that?! Astrology hasn't died out yet.
    Astrology hasn't died out because there's something to it but that's another debate.

    Phrenology died out completely because that was total nonsense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    Well, that's nice for you. (And I mean that most sincerely, folks.) But it's a trifle - vague.
    Sure, I couldn't prove anything in a lab, I couldn't persuade somebody else to come round to my way of thinking because of this but it's good enough for me personally. If your experiences tell you there is nothing more to life, that should be good enough for you personally. Why then do you give the impression of not being at peace with this issue? Why do you need everyone to be definite, specific and believe the same thing as you?

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Shnikov View Post
    I take it that I'm off your christmas card list, then?
    Absolutely not! Was I being a bit harsh?

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Every time astrology accurately predicts whats going to happen, thats plenty evidence that its absoutely true* ... and it might be true again if you wait long enough
    Astrology is about description, not prediction. The problem with Astrology is that people judge it based on the nonsense that appears in the newspapers without really knowing anything about it.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Trouble View Post
    Surely if someone sent you a Christmas card, you would be deeply offended.
    Well, I wasn't offended by yours.

    Oh, wait a minute though...

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    Astrology hasn't died out because there's something to it but that's another debate.
    Oh, dear.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Religion does demand conformity. Res ipsa loquitur - if there is no requirement to comply with a set of rules and precepts there can't be a religion in the first place.

    If you want to know why I am not comfortable with the idea (although, if pressed, I may retreat to the position) that people who want to believe should be left alone to believe what they want, then read this.

    Unless one believes that children are in some sense 'the property' of their parents, then this is tantamount to murder. Preceded by torture.

    Other religions or religious beliefs are less obviously dangerous to the children of believers but none the less offensive for that.

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    Re: One for Barry

    Quote Originally Posted by Isis View Post
    Astrology is about description, not prediction. The problem with Astrology is that people judge it based on the nonsense that appears in the newspapers without really knowing anything about it.
    Well, my assertion would be that astrology is proto-magical nonsense, a relic from a time that people believed a direct connection between happenings on earth and what happened on the inside of the black globe, painted with pin-pointed sparkles of light, which surrounded it. Now that we know that there is no relationship between the stars of a constellation, let alone between them and the planets which appear to wander along the ecliptic, other than their visual appearance to earthbound eyes, what is there left for astrology to claim?

    However, if you know of any investigations which show that astrologers can do better than chance in describing, point me to them and make me change my mind!!

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