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Customer Discussions > Religion forum

What's the point?


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Showing 26-50 of 90 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013, 3:06:43 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2013, 8:52:25 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013, 3:14:25 PM PST
Allan says:
''In other words, identifying selfishness with culture and cooperation/community with genes just won't hold up to scrutiny.''

IMO it certainly does.

'' Our genetic conditioning as a tribal animal includes considerable impetus to try to be king (or queen) of the hill in that tribe.''

Only for the Alphas. The followers do just that, follow.

'' Our self-centeredness is not entirely cultural, just as our ability to be effectively tribal is heavily cultural. ''

Can you expand on this please, as for me neither is correct.

Bottom line is the individual can't survive without the tribe, and the tribe can not survive without the mutual support of all members. I have a reasonable knowledge of the culture of tribal life.

''Our self-centeredness is not entirely cultural...''

You may be being led astray by the simple fact that we in our citified, Capitalist, culture have lost contact with our tribal roots, which is the main reason our society is in so much trouble.

''Ideally culture continues to increase the resources by which reason allows us to make sense of our competing urges, and to find a path in which the tension between them is managed creatively rather than chaotically leading to excess stress and even destructive behavior.''

Clearly that is not working. In addition, we are now destroying our Pale Blue Dot.

Before we came, the Australian Aborigine was aware enough to leave sufficient animal and vegetable life behind them for it all to regenerate.

We leave holes in the ground, denuded land, and are fast running out of a wide range of resources.

Are you aware of the environmental damage caused by factory farming, and the loss of nutritional value in the food it produces?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013, 3:26:31 PM PST
Allan says:
'' It seems to need the authority of "absolute inerrancy" for many of them, and it needs the stability of "unchanging truth", but these are easily managed without losing the essential quality of a narrative of sin and redemption. ''

Karen Armstrong covers this well in Battle for God.

Uncertainty in an uncertain world, fear of change at a time when change is paramount, increases the desire for "absolute inerrancy" and "unchanging truth".

''So, in other words, what's the point of your critique of literalism?''

Fortunately Literalism does not have the impact on our education system and politics that it does in the USA but, as Richard Dawkins and other have pointed out, there is a fear this is beginning to change.

We need to stop it before science is demonised and fundamentalist religion rules in parliament as it seems to in the USA and certainly does in countries such as Saudi Arabia.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013, 3:58:29 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Allan says:

[Four years of reading posts from Literalist ID/Creationist End Times fundies have got me really wondering at the childish narrowness of their thinking]

Religious fundamentalism is an extreme point of view as is atheism. Both are equally stupid, myopic, and more or less useless for anything. Debating with people from either group is a complete waste of time and energy.

Christian fundamentalism is only one interpretation of the bible. There are others.

Rather than wasting time talking about how stupid both of those groups are why don't you start a more meaningful discussion ?

I won't be following this discussion just so you don't respond to this in case you want me to answer you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013, 4:17:03 PM PST
Allan says:
''I won't be following this discussion just so you don't respond to this in case you want me to answer you.''

Pity, as I'd like to know what Jeff considers is ''extreme ...stupid, myopic, and more or less useless for anything'' about saying that in all my decades of experience I have found nothing at all which permits me to believe in what I term anthropomorphic deities, which means that, for now at least, I am by definition, an atheist.

Posted on Jan 16, 2013, 3:38:08 AM PST
S. Schoby says:
It is important to rise above the extremes , its sort of like driving to work in a big hurry to get there, everything seem to be in the way slowing you down, you might yell at the other cars or point out how someone else is driving that bugs you.

The cure is easy leave earlier, and or mind your driving, others do not rule your life you rule it.
You have talk shows like Rush, don't listen, no listeners, no advertisers, no advertisers no money, no money no talk show.

Some religious extremist chatting about how sinful everyone is or how you must live, don't let it rule over you, morality is a practice thing it is not something to preach, morality needs no god belief it requires ethics and the wisdom to know what is ethical.

Some may say its not that easy, look at all those others doing all this, it is that easy because you are not doing it.
You lead by the examples you do, not by the preaching, you roll in the mud you get dirty,or you don't roll in the mud, you rule your life.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 8:43:04 AM PST
Harry Marks says:
Allan -

''HM: Our self-centeredness is not entirely cultural, just as our ability to be effectively tribal is heavily cultural. ''
A: Can you expand on this please, as for me neither is correct.

Our self-centeredness is inherent in our genetic make-up. We care about our own advancement, and our own security, and our own status, etc. These are often bound up with the success of others. And thus culture teaches us how to understand these interdependencies, as well as how to work within them, including to perform roles that are bound up with them. But culture also teaches us how to set limits on their demands, how to act against impositions we do not agree with, including with subterfuge. I think culture probably plays more role than genetics in creating mutual benefit out of cooperation, but both are clearly involved.

Cooperation requires more than dominance hierachies that come out of the endocrine system - it requires a sense of how much contribution is appropriate, and, for the Alphas, how much contribution may be expected. If there is terracing or irrigation going on, it must be determined how much time people give to the community portions. If there is warfare going on, it must be determined how much risk an individual can be expected to take for the tribe to succeed. I think it is ridiculous to suggest that that is just worked out on instinct, each time anew, without any teaching or other content-based communication.

HM: ''Ideally culture continues to increase the resources by which reason allows us to make sense of our competing urges, and to find a path in which the tension between them is managed creatively rather than chaotically leading to excess stress and even destructive behavior.''
A: Clearly that is not working. In addition, we are now destroying our Pale Blue Dot.

Clearly the problem is not fully solved. But I would suggest that, for example, Malthusian nightmares of overpopulation have been effectively put off by decades, and probably vanquished forever. How? By a standard of living that includes interesting occupations for women beyond child-rearing, and that makes investment in children a more secure source of happiness than creating a large number of them. In the process, we have learned a tremendous amount about raising children, and at least in some ways we can do a much more effective job of it than the average tribal society.

Are we destroying our pale blue dot? Maybe, maybe not. We may be making a home for an incredibly large number of people, and settling in to restore our balance with the environment.

We have done incalculable damage, and I am concerned that we may push things past the point of no return, but that is not yet known and therefore not yet decided. Since the environment has a huge capacity for regeneration and restoration, I put my bet on human ingenuity to find a sustainable path before we have pushed it too far. Not with anything like complete confidence, but with far more hope than for, say, returning to tribal society.

As has been observed elsewhere in another context, it is impossible to put the genie of knowledge back in the bottle, so an agreement to "live simply" would be simply evaded.

A: "Are you aware of the environmental damage caused by factory farming, and the loss of nutritional value in the food it produces? "

Probably not. I would prefer to be enlightened on the subject of how tribally-oriented ways of living are offering a high standard of living with less environmental damage, for former Capitalists, if you know of any such occurrences.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 8:57:30 AM PST
Harry Marks says:
Buck -
"How well functioning that frontal lobe, is and how well it is able to interact with the more primitive part of the brain, is an entirely individual thing depending on any number or combination of factors.
This frontal lobe, with great concentration, can take charge of the process if allowed, and given the right condition it will, but for the most part, from my oservations people don't choose to activate and take full advantage of this capacity.
Instead, they occupy this function with soothing fairy tales and fantastical imaginings of all kinds of strange fancies."

I think you will find that use of the frontal lobe for storytelling is a valuable and efficient method for harmonizing social activity to "be on the same wavelength" for a wide array of people with sometimes diverging goals.

Hsu, Jeremy. The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn ( Preview ), Scientific American. August 2008.

The art does not need to be rigidly separated from more systematic inquiry. In fact my experience with churches is that the opposite happens. The stories pull people into speculation and banter that would sometimes scorch the socks off an Inquisitor, but people don't see these discussions as raising "questions" that need "answers" any more than you feel the need to settle whether we are really a speck on the rim of a great wagon wheel rolling around and around in the universe.

Plenty of intellectual engagement occurs around consideration of sacred sources, but the main goal of most of it is to figure out how better to manage the trials of life, which is what we are supposed to be thinking about.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 8:59:02 AM PST
Astrocat says:
Excellent, Allan. The more I study the effects of Zoroaster/Zarathustra's theology on the Jews, and later, of course, on the Christians, the more obvious it becomes that that's exactly how it happened.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 9:02:26 AM PST
Harry Marks says:
Allan -

" Literalism does not have the impact on our education system and politics that it does in the USA but... there is a fear this is beginning to change."

I understand the concern, but I think the most likely case is that things look darkest just before dawn, and that the reactionaries are getting more and more desperate precisely because they are clearly losing the power struggle and the hearts and minds of constituents. The USA is a long, long, long, long way from a theocracy. Anybody who has lived in Saudi Arabia will tell you that even Saudi Arabia is a long way from the consistently oppressive society that the Wahhabists would like to portray it as. People live their lives, religious conservatives try to drag their feet to prevent change, but the larger forces grind slowly on and the fundamentalists just provide grist.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 5:27:30 PM PST
Allan says:
''... the reactionaries are getting more and more desperate precisely because they are clearly losing the power struggle and the hearts and minds of constituents.''

I'd love to agree with you, but see the increasing fundamentalism in USA Christianity (in particular) and that in militant Islam creating a real danger of nuclear war. The adherents are firmly convinced they have nothing to lose, as their deity will clean up the carnage.

It won't of course, and we will rue ignoring Einstein's warning: I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 5:30:05 PM PST
Allan says:
Nancy Davison says: Excellent, Allan. The more I study the effects of Zoroaster/Zarathustra's theology on the Jews, and later, of course, on the Christians...

Allan: I've been finding some great, and surprisingly honest, Judaism sites addressing the post-exilic impact of Zarathustra's teaching on Judaism.

Both dualism and the impact of Angra Mainyu/Ahriman are discussed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 5:59:57 PM PST
Allan says:
Ever the optimist, Harry ;-)

Our tax-paid ABC (along the lines of the BBC), with SBS (somewhat similar to your PBS) have run some eye-opening programs recently on new developments in science, and work in progress. They have reinforced my POV that we have the technology, the equipment, the money, to solve all our problems; but we lack the will.

Rather than take our differences point by point, may I say a couple of recent programs have strengthened my perception of the key difference between our genetic, tribal, programming and our self-centred cultural conditioning. One was the USA's Food Inc., the other on the power of our enormously wealthy and politically powerful mining industry. (Would like to know how much coverage Food Inc had in the USA.)

Both made much the same point. Those industries put their shareholders far above benefits to society.

Production and distribution of food in the USA is concentrated in the hands of four corporations, and as a result they are destroying your environment and in effect poisoning your people.

Mining in both countries pays no respect to the environment, and there is a major project under way here, with the help of our conservative politicians (now in Opposition but with a better-than-even chance of winning the next election in a few months) aimed at stripping workers of their hard-gained benefits (you may be aware that we are far better cared for in terms of pay and conditions than are USA workers, and also have an effective tax-paid safety net covering unemployment and health issues).

Both programs focused in part on the impact on people as workers and consumers of the machinations of the city-based power brokers. The people (and the land) are losing ground big time. Even the attacks on AGW are part of the brokers' strategy, and as I understand it the media monopoly in the USA is a valuable weapon in this.

I am not asking for a return to some idealistic Golden Age of primitive simplicity, but have also made the point that our mythologies still current today come from the Stone and Bronze Ages and are irrelevant to our hi-tech, citified industrial culture. We desperately need to update them.

My thanks for your contribution.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 6:23:13 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2013, 8:52:49 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 6:25:01 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2013, 8:52:56 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 16, 2013, 6:28:16 PM PST
Bubba says:
No American TV network, over the air or cable, would show Food Inc. At one time, PBS would have shown it, but not any more, for fear of upsetting Congress/the food conglomerates.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 7:12:31 PM PST
Allan says:
Bubba says: No American TV network, over the air or cable, would show Food Inc.. At one time, PBS would have shown it, but not any more, for fear of upsetting Congress/the food conglomerates.

Allan: Just as I feared, Bubba.

Have you had a chance to see it?

Scary, it was.

Our major chain stores are making an effort to go back to free-range sources following customer pressure. This is overseen by the Government, with strict rules controlling just what can be described as free-range. It is an ongoing battle against such control, of course, but some have been fined heavily.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 8:23:21 PM PST
Bubba says:
Yes, I watched it quite some time ago. Although it is a horror show, I didn't find anything in it surprising. It is available on Netflix -- which is a streaming movie provider. For a monthly fee you can view a rather large number of old and low budget movies, documentaries, and such for an unlimited number of times.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 8:35:06 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2013, 8:53:03 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 8:41:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013, 8:41:31 PM PST
Bubba says:
I will look for "The Corporation", thank you for the suggestion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 8:59:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013, 9:00:31 PM PST
Allan says:
Is this the one, Buck?

The Corporation

Try using the Insert a Product link. Comes in very handy.

You need to select Movies and TV when you want DVDs.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 9:26:52 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 22, 2013, 8:53:09 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013, 9:42:20 PM PST
Allan says:
''I don't want to appear to be a sales rep for it ...''

Why do you think Amazon put the link there, mate?

I could retire in comfort if She paid commission on sales.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2013, 11:04:06 AM PST
Harry Marks says:
Allan -
"the increasing fundamentalism in USA Christianity"

I don't see the evidence for increasing fundamentalism in USA Christianity. There is as much evidence for increased toleration in USA Christianity and increased secularism in USA Christianity. I think the fundamentalists had a brief fling with the limelight when they thought Obamacare was vulnerable, but people like Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum just don't stand up to the scrutiny very well. Neither took very long to wilt.

There is a kind of dialectic that can take place when implacable and opposite positions meet, but I think we are stalled on that in the high profile levels which define the positions of the two sides. At the grass roots level, however, lots of Americans are setting aside their former "dogmatism of disengagement" and the chances of new perspectives "synthesizing" the priorities of the two sides is better than it has been since 911.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2013, 12:59:04 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 25, 2014, 12:41:52 PM PDT]
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