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TEG

There is no universal human religion

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Hello.  As an ex-fundamentalist I am still fascinated by the phenomenon of religion.  And I have asked myself, is it possible that there really is something “out there,” meaning some sort of deity or spiritual world, or something “in there,” meaning a non-corporeal soul.  It seems to me that if there really were some sort of spiritual world that was accessible to man, then there would be some sort of universal human religion.  We all see the same moon; why don’t we all see the same god?  Example:  hinduism and buddhism are two of the world’s main religions.  But as I understand it, they do not agree on something as fundamental as the existence of the atman, or soul.  Hindus say there is one, buddhists say there isn’t.  This seems like a pretty important question for religion to answer.  Another example:  Jesus told his disciples that the holy spirit would guide them into all truth.  Down through the centuries, he has not been a very good guide, as evidenced by religious divisions and even warfare, with each group using the tinfoil-hat argument that the devil has deceived their opponents.  Another example:  how many gods are there?

 

I can imagine someone objecting to this by saying that when people have spiritual experiences, it is so unlike everyday experience that it cannot be put into words, or that everyone sees things from a different angle and so has a different perspective.  But I still have trouble with the fact that the amount of agreement between religions is so small, and can’t help but think it is much more likely that religious experiences are basically hallucinations.  Even near-death experiences, which have common elements, have neurobiological explanations; plus, they happen when a person is dying and their brain is starved of oxygen.  People having heart attacks often have chest pain, shortness of breath, etc.; people whose brains are shutting down sometimes have near-death experiences.

 

So what I have been searching for is some reason to believe that religion or spirituality is based on something “real” other than a feeling that you have, and I have not found it.  The ancient babylonians and greeks used the same trigonometry that we use.  Anyone on earth doing basic experiments would come up with the same value for the acceleration due to gravity.  But religions are as diverse as science fiction novels.  So I have concluded that religion is, basically, science fiction that people actually believe.  It is the product of man’s mind, and is thus as diverse as man himself.  It sometimes makes people better, and sometimes makes them worse, just like everything else.  If someone’s religion or spirituality helps them through life’s rough spots, the way that crutches help people walk, fine; but I do not believe that there is anything more real to it than that.

 

Just wondering if anyone else has wondered along these lines.

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23 minutes ago, TEG said:

Just wondering if anyone else has wondered along these lines.

 

Not no more.

 

23 minutes ago, TEG said:

So I have concluded that religion is, basically, science fiction that people actually believe. 

It's fiction all right.

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3 hours ago, MOHO said:

 

Not no more.

 

It's fiction all right.

Yayyyyy for opinion!

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPS!

 

Did not expect this to wind up in a genuine discussion forum.

Need to think before commencing with the yuck yucks.   :blush:

 

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On 8/14/2019 at 2:33 PM, TEG said:

Hello.  As an ex-fundamentalist I am still fascinated by the phenomenon of religion.  And I have asked myself, is it possible that there really is something “out there,” meaning some sort of deity or spiritual world, or something “in there,” meaning a non-corporeal soul. 

 

I'm still fascinated by religion as well. I think there may be a spiritual world  that science has not detected, or science maybe just has not detected the 'extent' of the properties of physical matter and space. The universe is 13 billion years old. We've been studying it for 1000 years? Maybe? We probably don't know that much yet. :)

 

Quote

So what I have been searching for is some reason to believe that religion or spirituality is based on something “real” other than a feeling that you have, and I have not found it. 

 

 :) Matt Dillahunty might say "You have NO GOOD REASON to believe in God (or faeries or ESP or Ouija boards, etc). And if I were a Vulcan trying to repress half of my brain then I might agree. But in my agnostic opinion I do have a good reason. That reason is "Because I want to believe" and "Because I want to enjoy spirituality." I might say I have NO GOOD REASON to enjoy baseball. It is irrational to watch people stand around for 9 innings. It's irrational to listen to music. Why do anything irrational at all? Fiction isn't real yet there is a whole illogical multi-billion dollar industry in Hollywood devoted to it. I'm not sure why 'feeling good' is a bad thing. 

 

I dont think you will find a religion or spirituality that critical thinking will approve of. But being spiritual is not the job of your rational mind. It is the job of the emotional mind which still has that fascination for religion. Why do you have to be "positive" that a spirituality is "real" ? What would happen if you just let your self go and started doing something spiritual that made your rational mind have a hissy fit. (haha)

 

I ask these questions for self reflection , not saying you're wrong. Spirituality is a needed/welcome thing for some. For others it isnt. 

 

 

 

Quote

 

Just wondering if anyone else has wondered along these lines.

 

I've gone past wondering. I enjoy my own personal spirituality even if others think it's baloney. Even if my rational mind tells me it's baloney. Once "I" decide to do something spiritual my left brain will roll its eyes and say, "Ok we're doing that again, eh? Well alright, but let me show you to do  it the 'right'  way." And it will come up with some 'reasonable' method...my left brain hates to be left out. :) 

 

edited...added more drivel

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I think you nailed what I am getting at.  People invented baseball because they like it, it is good exercise, it is quality time with the kids, etc.  And people invent spirituality and religion for all kinds of reasons, some good, and some bad.  If it helps you cope, if it promotes your better qualities like altruism and perseverance, if it bonds you with your family, far be it from me to stand in your way.  But that doesn’t make it real, in the sense that there isn’t really a god who will reward or punish us, there isn’t really a heaven that we go to when we die, and so forth.  But if it feels good, do it . . . .

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2 hours ago, TEG said:

I think you nailed what I am getting at.  People invented baseball because they like it, it is good exercise, it is quality time with the kids, etc.  And people invent spirituality and religion for all kinds of reasons, some good, and some bad.  If it helps you cope, if it promotes your better qualities like altruism and perseverance, if it bonds you with your family, far be it from me to stand in your way.  But that doesn’t make it real, in the sense that there isn’t really a god who will reward or punish us, there isn’t really a heaven that we go to when we die, and so forth.  But if it feels good, do it . . . .

 

If there isn't really a god to punish us, I'm completely on board with that. :)  Let the fantasy begin! lol The more something doesn't really exist, the safer it is. (Well, if it's my creation, anyway. Cant say the same for the mindfuck of mainstream religions)

 

And since I invented my own religious practice I'm still at a good 85-90% sane. :)  Dont take rationality or emotion too awful seriously. Enjoy life whatever way best suits you.

 

My 2 cents anyway.

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I practice my own form of "spirituality" as well, loosely centered on the 5 precepts and 8-fold path of Buddhism.  Mine is based solely in practice, without any attendant beliefs.  I do it because it makes me happy.  It reminds me to strive toward compassion, patience, wisdom, and peace: all of which are irrational to me.  But I've gotten enough battle scars in my life to consider that maybe striving toward the irrational is the most rational thing I can do sometimes.  I don't believe Buddhism to be the Truth; nor do I expect, insist, or even desire, for anyone else to practice what I practice.  That, too, would be irrational.

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@TEG,

Good topic. Sorry for my juvenile previous response. Did not mean to marginalize your post.

 

I used to ponder this a lot but all but gave up doing so after deciding that there very likely is nothing in existence along the realm of spirituality and the like. That's just a label we've placed on our conscious thoughts. That may sound arrogant but, so far, science has explained so many of the forces acting on our universe that it is justifiable to disregard any thoughts of spirituality or beings in other dimensions etc. I may find out otherwise after expiring but there is no reason to believe that we would be a part of anything esoteric at that point anyway so no need to ponder beyond entertainment purposes.

 

 

 

 

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The most universal religion/truth/purpose I have come up with, is to promote the wellbeing of mankind by studying what contributes to the wellbeing of mankind.

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On 8/14/2019 at 9:29 PM, LuthAMF said:

Yayyyyy for opinion!

 

Yes, in his opinion he looks around and sees inconsistency between and within all religions. Simple deduction, there is no universal religion. People are all over the place and wishful thinking looks to be at the base of it. It looks as though religion is little more than science fiction that people actually believe in. 

 

In your opinion (the tinfoil-hat example) the devil (a preassumed belief on your part) has deceived your religious opponents and christian peers who have failed to agree with your specific theological beliefs (dear Abby confessions...) and only you and those who believe and think exactly like you are the "true christians." This little science fiction of yours is the "absolute truth." 

 

On 8/14/2019 at 5:33 PM, TEG said:

Another example:  Jesus told his disciples that the holy spirit would guide them into all truth.  Down through the centuries, he has not been a very good guide, as evidenced by religious divisions and even warfare, with each group using the tinfoil-hat argument that the devil has deceived their opponents. 

 

Two opinions.

 

1) The former, rather sensible and well thought out opinions to consider.

 

2) The latter, pretty nonsensical and glass house EGO driven and superiority complex driven opinions. 

 

That's my opinion any way.......

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On 8/14/2019 at 5:57 PM, MOHO said:

 

Not no more.

 

It's fiction all right.

That is considered  a well thought out opinion to consider? That's what I responded to. Nothing else.

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As I heard an old man say years ago, "this is  much ado about nutten."

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I was contemplating a possible sci-fi spirituality recently... here me out lol. There are some pretty smart people who think humans will reach immortality soon. The idea is basically that nano tech will scan everything that goes in the brain and eventually develop prosthetics. Soon consciousness could exist separate from the body in androids. The next step would be linking multiple brains. Eventually you could have an internet of sorts linking all human consciousness and experience. Sort of an all knowing mind, capable of knowing true good and evil because it had the experiences of both the oppressor and the oppressed. Perhaps an alien civilization could have reached this point already. Perhaps multiple alien civilizations have reached this point and linked together making an even more knowledgeable mind with more experiences. Furthermore, perhaps this celestial mind is observing us and preserving our conciseness or “soul” when we die...

 

does anyone know anything about these new science religions?  I’m wondering if there’s any religious nuts saying stuff like this lol. I don’t actually think any of that has happened or will happen... but I don’t know why it would be impossible. If it were true, than the “higher consciousness” and “learning lessons for the after life” type religions could have some merit. 

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30 minutes ago, TEG said:

Who knows; one of those alien civilizations may have created us:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-living-in-a-computer-simulation/

Right.

"Who knows?"

"...may have..."

"What if?..."

I think there is a premise for debate in there somewhere. Somehow. Who knows?

We could ask

Green walks door three Beagle swallow. 

Could be.

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9 hours ago, Christopherhays said:

I was contemplating a possible sci-fi spirituality recently... here me out lol. There are some pretty smart people who think humans will reach immortality soon. The idea is basically that nano tech will scan everything that goes in the brain and eventually develop prosthetics. Soon consciousness could exist separate from the body in androids. The next step would be linking multiple brains. Eventually you could have an internet of sorts linking all human consciousness and experience. Sort of an all knowing mind, capable of knowing true good and evil because it had the experiences of both the oppressor and the oppressed. Perhaps an alien civilization could have reached this point already. Perhaps multiple alien civilizations have reached this point and linked together making an even more knowledgeable mind with more experiences. Furthermore, perhaps this celestial mind is observing us and preserving our conciseness or “soul” when we die...

 

does anyone know anything about these new science religions?  I’m wondering if there’s any religious nuts saying stuff like this lol. I don’t actually think any of that has happened or will happen... but I don’t know why it would be impossible. If it were true, than the “higher consciousness” and “learning lessons for the after life” type religions could have some merit. 

Hey, 5G and AI, baby. Soon man will be making beings in his own image. 

 

Then we'll say "Oooooooh. So THAT'S  how God did it."

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15 hours ago, LuthAMF said:

That is considered  a well thought out opinion to consider? That's what I responded to. Nothing else.

yes. I am aware of that and took the criticism to heart.

 

Yuk yuks are not always appreciated.

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18 minutes ago, MOHO said:

yes. I am aware of that and took the criticism to heart.

 

Yuk yuks are not always appreciated.

Joshpantera's quote was the confusing one. He only took my response to your original.

Yuk yuk all you want. It eases the tension. 

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1 hour ago, LuthAMF said:

Hey, 5G and AI, baby. Soon man will be making beings in his own image.

 

Rogue consciousness!

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3 hours ago, TEG said:

Who knows; one of those alien civilizations may have created us:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-living-in-a-computer-simulation/

 

It sounds a bit far out but I’ve actually read this before and it seems pretty logical to me lol. Life is kinda a lame video game though... I don’t know what the point would be. 

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11 hours ago, TEG said:

Who knows; one of those alien civilizations may have created us:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-living-in-a-computer-simulation/

 

Want to read a story of creation you probably have not heard?  And of peaceful, egalitarian humans who figured out how to live peacefully with no powerful God, or Jesus, or official "government" to guide them For thousands of years?   I don't know how to do a link, so go to Wikipedia and look up the HADZA TRIBE.  National Geographic also did a story about them a few years back. Sadly they are being squeezed out of existence by modern "progress".  They seem to get along peacefully when people leave them alone.

 

How did they achieve (socially) what the word is looking for today, without the guidance of god and Jesus?  LOL, It almost looks like they are remnants of the "garden of Eden".  But God is no longer there.

 

This also ties in with another thought.  That when humans "progress" beyond basic existance, and no longer have to worry about "tomorrow", they start worrying about meaning and purpose.   

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22 hours ago, Christopherhays said:

I was contemplating a possible sci-fi spirituality recently... here me out lol. There are some pretty smart people who think humans will reach immortality soon. The idea is basically that nano tech will scan everything that goes in the brain and eventually develop prosthetics. Soon consciousness could exist separate from the body in androids. The next step would be linking multiple brains. Eventually you could have an internet of sorts linking all human consciousness and experience. Sort of an all knowing mind, capable of knowing true good and evil because it had the experiences of both the oppressor and the oppressed. Perhaps an alien civilization could have reached this point already. Perhaps multiple alien civilizations have reached this point and linked together making an even more knowledgeable mind with more experiences. Furthermore, perhaps this celestial mind is observing us and preserving our conciseness or “soul” when we die...

 

does anyone know anything about these new science religions?  I’m wondering if there’s any religious nuts saying stuff like this lol. I don’t actually think any of that has happened or will happen... but I don’t know why it would be impossible. If it were true, than the “higher consciousness” and “learning lessons for the after life” type religions could have some merit. 

 

If a cybernetic copy of my consciousness was programmed and installed in an android body, would I still be me? And would it matter if I wasnt? Have you watched that show Altered Carbon? What if only my biological brain was installed into an android body? If we could replace failing parts of the biological brain, would you still be you after all your parts were changed out? Or would you be someone else? If, after downloading my consciousness (whatever that is) into a computer brain and giving it a test while my original consciousness was still running in the biological brain, which me would be me?

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And if pigs had wings, could they fly?  (Sorry, that was a yuk yuk.)

If some sort of transporter beam made a copy of you on another planet, then destroyed the you that was here on earth, would you still be you?

And if none of the atoms in your body right now are the same as the ones that were there 20 years ago,  how is that different?

(Your answer to this probably depends on whether you believe in some sort of soul or atman.)

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1 hour ago, midniterider said:

 

If a cybernetic copy of my consciousness was programmed and installed in an android body, would I still be me? And would it matter if I wasnt? Have you watched that show Altered Carbon? What if only my biological brain was installed into an android body? If we could replace failing parts of the biological brain, would you still be you after all your parts were changed out? Or would you be someone else? If, after downloading my consciousness (whatever that is) into a computer brain and giving it a test while my original consciousness was still running in the biological brain, which me would be me?

 

Who knows lol. We don’t know nearly enough about the brain or consciousness yet. I haven’t seen altered carbon but I remember an old Cartoon Network show that had a villain something like that haha. My guess is the hypothetical super brain (god) wouldn’t care either way. It may even be the villain of the story.  Sorta sounds like a comic book villain anyway. Did you ever see the movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis? People basically upload their consciousness into androids while they're still alive and can switch back and forth from controlling the robot and the human. Kinda interesting. Who knows, if something like that could happen maybe you could continue being “you” after you die.

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