A Critique of Religion

Theology, Religious Studies, religion, god, faith and other topics of a spiritual nature.

Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby rajnz00 on October 1st, 2017, 5:17 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:And that is why supported you on one of your objections with regards to Islam but opposed you with regards to your hate mongering generalizations to demonize a whole group of people. The former was a legitimate concern but the latter is an example of personal belief and rhetoric which adversely affects other people's lives in a way which is not justified.

Do you imagine I will take such an allegation lying down? Would you kindly point out where I have demonised a whole group of people? I can where you have - “… the hostility and violence of Hindus towards Muslims is hard to equal in all the world.

Let me make it perfectly clear. I criticise only the religion and the ideology. But this is automatically taken as "hate-mongering" whenever Islam is criticised. It has portions where it calls its believers to violence against non-believers, apostates, and also those that criticise the religion or its founder. Of course the vast majority of its followers reinterpret it to bring its ethics more in line with modern values, but the fact remains that sufficient numbers believe in its literal interpretation to carry out these violent commandments. And this happens often when they get more religious. We see the effects, not only in the news but in our daily lives, whenever we board a plane and go through rigorous checks, or in the barriers that are now cropping up across the boulevards of Europe.

The roots of Islamic extremism lie within the ideology of Islam. It's like HIV and Aids. Not everyone infected with the HIV virus has full blown Aids, but the danger lurks.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby mitchellmckain on October 1st, 2017, 7:06 pm 

And I could use the same sort of rhetoric with regards to atheism. I simply know that this is no more valid than yours. Both Islam and atheism have been the basis of destructive ideologies used to justify the murder of a great many people. In both cases I could point to both writings and prevalent attitudes as being at the root of this. The numbers of murders in the case of ideologies based on Islam have come nowhere near those based on atheism. But in neither case do these justify comparing either one of these with a disease, and in neither case is the claim that atheism or Islam lead people into violence against others legitimate. The truth is that people have turned to violence no matter what their religious beliefs were.

My statement about a fact of Hindu and Muslim relations was in no way used to criticize Hinduism, the religion. Furthermore, it was an objection to a one-sided comparison. The fact is that if it came to choosing which I would prefer then I would probably choose Hinduism also, though truth be told I find the treatment of women in both of these religions (culture?) to be hard to stomach. But then Christianity (especially historically) has its flaws in that area as well.

Furthermore, it is abundantly clear, I am not the only one who has this objection to your posts. I am not a fan of Islam. Far from it. But I will not support rhetoric which is incompatible with the ideals of a free society. Islam is not an ideology and your interpretations and arguments do not apply to Islam as a whole. You asked about that implied "but" in Braninvat's post and so I gave you an explanation which I think is correct.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby rajnz00 on October 1st, 2017, 7:42 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote: My statement about a fact of Hindu and Muslim relations was in no way used to criticize Hinduism, the religion.

You absolutely do not get it. I would have no objection to your criticising Hinduism, the religion but I do to your blanket criticism of Hindus.

Religion is not sacred or to be revered. People are. I don't know where you have got this " fact of Hindu and Muslim relations" (the most violent on Earth) from. I have colleagues who are Hindus and Muslims and I have never witnessed anything but the most cordial relations between them.

That is the problem with being a person of religion. You think religion is sacrosanct, so you will thus defend all religions ultimately or you weaken your own case. You will also try and say a religion is not an ideology or is somehow distinct from a sect. That's because if you acknowledged there is no difference you would not have that false crutch with which to defend your own beliefs. (Oh no ideologies are bad .. but ...or that sect is bad ... but .. my belief is OK).
I could use the same sort of rhetoric with regards to atheism. ..Both Islam and atheism have been the basis of destructive ideologies used to justify the murder of a great many people. In both cases I could point to both writings and prevalent attitudes as being at the root of this.

Atheism is an absense of belief. How that could be blamed for anything is absurd. You have to have some belief like Nazism, or Stalinism, to take action on behalf of.

Just because I forsook Christianity because I couldn't believe in it anymore and forsook other religions thereafter, does not mean I turned murderous. I still value the morality of Christianity over all other religions. Only I look on it from a secular and logical perspective. Rejecting the extremely pacifist ideals where they violate common sense.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby mitchellmckain on October 1st, 2017, 9:46 pm 

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote: My statement about a fact of Hindu and Muslim relations was in no way used to criticize Hinduism, the religion.

You absolutely do not get it. I would have no objection to your criticising Hinduism, the religion but I do to your blanket criticism of Hindus.


It was no such blanket criticism of Hindus and you know it. This is nothing more than an excuse and part of a consistent pattern where you falsely accuse people of doing something which only you are doing.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:Religion is not sacred or to be revered. People are.

Religion is sacred to some people and people are sacred to others, while to many neither of these things are sacred. These are subjective choices and judgments and you have no more right to push your choices on other people than Muslims do.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:I have colleagues who are Hindus and Muslims and I have never witnessed anything but the most cordial relations between them.

Indeed, and this is why people object to your hate mongering.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:That is the problem with being a person of religion. You think religion is sacrosanct, so you will thus defend all religions ultimately or you weaken your own case.

That is the problem with being an intolerant ideologue. You think your choices are sacrosanct, so will make them the measure of everything.

I do not defend all religions. I have specifically stated that not all religions are compatible with the ideals of a free society, and neither are all ideologies or all rhetoric.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote: You will also try and say a religion is not an ideology or is somehow distinct from a sect. That's because if you acknowledged there is no difference you would not have that false crutch with which to defend your own beliefs.

You will try and say your opinions and prejudices are not an ideology or push the absurd argument that they are an absence of belief -- that all infants are like you by default. It is a typical crutch for all those who intolerantly seek to justify pushing their ideas on other people. They always try claiming that their opinions and bull-malarkey is special and different from all the others. They are special -- so they alone have a right to trample all over the freedoms of other people.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:
I could use the same sort of rhetoric with regards to atheism. ..Both Islam and atheism have been the basis of destructive ideologies used to justify the murder of a great many people. In both cases I could point to both writings and prevalent attitudes as being at the root of this.

Atheism is an absense of belief.

Nonsense. Atheism is a choice of belief on a religious question. I reject this correct-by-default BS ideological rhetoric. Infants are not atheists. Atheists are those who have considered the question of the existence of God and decided they have, at the very least, no reason to believe this is the case -- this doesn't change the fact that this is a choice of belief -- not in the slightest.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote: How that could be blamed for anything is absurd.

But that is just the point! I do not blame atheism for anything, but rather give it credit for some amount of good. Nevertheless the fact remains that people have turned atheism into particular ideologies which have killed 93 million people.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:You have to have some belief like Nazism, or Stalinism, to take action on behalf of.

You have to take whatever position it may be, atheism, Islam, Christianity, antisemitism, or whatever and turn it into an excuse for hate mongering and murder. This is why we have learned to speak out and say stop when we see people doing this.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:Just because I forsook Christianity because I couldn't believe in it anymore and forsook other religions thereafter, does not mean I turned murderous.

No more than people who convert to Christianity or Islam turn murderous.

However their are intolerant ideologies based on either atheism or religion which have turned people murderous -- fanatical groups who concocted a belief system justifying murder which really have little to do with either atheism or the religion which they started with.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote:I still value the morality of Christianity over all other religions.

How curious.... I do not value the "morality of Christianity" any more than the morality of atheism. I know for a fact that morality is exactly what motivates the majority of those who become atheists.

rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm wrote: Only I look on it from a secular and logical perspective. Rejecting the extremely pacifist ideals where they violate common sense.

Yes secular reasoning is quite sufficient for human morality in a free society. I do not embrace pacifism (not any more, though I once did during my childhood), but I wouldn't say that I reject it either. I would say it is one of those difficult moral dilemmas we face as human beings and must choose as best we can.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby rajnz00 on October 1st, 2017, 11:53 pm 

Because you cling onto an illogical and untenable position, your reasoning is also warped and contorted. You lash out wildly at Christianity, while at the same time defending it God knows how. You criticise it for the qualities that are admirable and praise it for aspects that are akin to other vile ideologies.
mitchellmckain wrote:Atheism is a choice of belief on a religious question.

That is a truly absurd statement and an example of your contorted reasoning. Atheism is not a choice of belief on a religious question.

I am not atheist just agnostic, as most people are. I don’t know if there is a God or life after death, just that there is no evidence for it. If the evidence suddenly appeared I would change my mind. It is on that basis that I reject religion, because every religion presupposes life after death. I rejected it like a child growing up and realising that Santa Claus is not real. There is a sense of loss, betrayal and sorrow. It would be better if one were not put through it.

What I really find offensive is your hurling the accusation and abuse that I am a “hate monger”. Abuse is the last resort of a person who utterly fails on reason.

Let me analyse this accusation, (which is also levied at anyone who criticises Islam). The criticism of religion, (and in Islam it is specifically forbidden by the religion), engenders hate in the mind of the religious adherent, whose religion is being criticised, towards me. So the religious person, whose religion is being criticised, accuses me of being a “hate monger”.

In a way I have generated hate, but I am not the hater. In psychology, this is known as projection or transference, or in common parlance blame shifting. But I don’t hate you or anyone. I merely think that you or they are delusional, self-deceivers.

Part of the reason you are doing this is to try and assume the moral high ground, the high horse, to make up for your loss in logic. Sorry, you can’t claim it.

In fact, I will quote Don Juan here “So this is not power obsessed, angry, self-absorbed, manipulative, unforgiving, vindictive, contolling, jealous, sadistic, glory seeker etc etc. Read your arguments again and SEE these underneath. You are practicing the very things you criticize.

Now to be fair to you I don’t know if you are a power obsessed, angry, self-absorbed, manipulative, unforgiving, vindictive, controlling, jealous and sadistic, glory seeker (and I don’t know if you are not), but it gives me a bit of satisfaction that you have been called one by someone who seems to have given a reason (which I have not studied for validity). So please refrain from hurling abuse at me – remember the morality of Christianity, that you so despise in preference to the dogma, “do unto others….”
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby Don Juan on October 2nd, 2017, 12:01 am 

mitchellmckain » October 1st, 2017, 6:56 pm wrote:
rajnz00 » October 1st, 2017, 8:34 am wrote:
Don Juan wrote:Are you fortune teller?

Yep. Pretty much like Newton who predicted the return of Halley's comet. The application of logic and reason to observations.


The difference between the honest inquiry of science and your pseudo-science (rhetoric pretending to be science) and is that science tests its hypotheses rather than simply looking for evidence to support it and it is founded on objective observations (written procedures which produce the same results regardless of belief) not on personal judgments from subjective beliefs.


That is not enough, one has to include a reviewed understanding of the problem based on current and previous knowledge with some form of rigor so that the hypothesis made will be well-formed after formulation.

When it comes to deciding upon your own personal beliefs, personal experience and feelings, pragmatic and abductive reasoning, analogy and metaphor, dreams and revelations, even values and personal taste are all valid reasons for a decision. Life presents us with a deluge of possible ways to spend our time and energy and we have to make choices about what interests us mostly without much room for exhaustive analysis. And why should we not use whatever reasons work for us because it is our life to live?


These are all dependent on context and the dynamic organization of the individual in terms of its mental model. Even a cell evolves in a certain manner so as to increase clear information flow in itself and its interaction with the environment forming hierarchies of structures and functions. A rule-governed life is not necessarily purely restricted because the rules can be in the form deep under the details. There is a range of states and form for cells, but they exist between or within certain limits.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby mitchellmckain on October 2nd, 2017, 4:53 pm 

Don Juan » October 1st, 2017, 11:01 pm wrote:That is not enough, one has to include a reviewed understanding of the problem based on current and previous knowledge with some form of rigor so that the hypothesis made will be well-formed after formulation.

Of course. There are restrictions on what constitutes a proper scientific hypothesis. The scientific method will not work if the hypothesis is not testable in some way. Thus those which are unfalsifiable like the existence or involvement of an unmeasurable (like a spirit or god) then it must be rejected as a scientific hypothesis.

It should be obvious from the context that I have little reason to object to additional requirements (as long as they are valid, of course).

Don Juan » October 1st, 2017, 11:01 pm wrote:These are all dependent on context and the dynamic organization of the individual in terms of its mental model. Even a cell evolves in a certain manner so as to increase clear information flow in itself and its interaction with the environment forming hierarchies of structures and functions. A rule-governed life is not necessarily purely restricted because the rules can be in the form deep under the details. There is a range of states and form for cells, but they exist between or within certain limits.


It is the essence of life that it grows, learns, evolves and thus become more than it was. Therein lies the nature of life which like mathematical induction implies unlimited possibilities. I don't think we really can place limits on the process except those to do with...
1. logical coherence.
2. consistency with natural law.
3. linguistic categories, saying that changes beyond certain limits mean it has ceased to be a cell and becomes something else.
4. the process of life itself beyond which it would cease to be alive. Though it is possible a transformation to life in another medium could be involved.

P.S. I congratulate you on moving past our communication difficulties.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby Don Juan on October 3rd, 2017, 3:18 pm 

mitchellmckain » October 2nd, 2017, 10:53 pm wrote:
Don Juan » October 1st, 2017, 11:01 pm wrote:That is not enough, one has to include a reviewed understanding of the problem based on current and previous knowledge with some form of rigor so that the hypothesis made will be well-formed after formulation.

Of course. There are restrictions on what constitutes a proper scientific hypothesis. The scientific method will not work if the hypothesis is not testable in some way. Thus those which are unfalsifiable like the existence or involvement of an unmeasurable (like a spirit or god) then it must be rejected as a scientific hypothesis.

It should be obvious from the context that I have little reason to object to additional requirements (as long as they are valid, of course).



It is not enough that the hypothesis is testable in some way. We need to have a good grasp of the knowledge base of the problem we are dealing with and we have to examine our own assumptions and its levels. For example, why do you assume existence and measurement when you reflect on God? Why do you tend to forget to note the vast unknown in the whole of your existence in this universe?

It is the essence of life that it grows, learns, evolves and thus become more than it was.


Essence? All of these you mentioned have at least one thing in common - the quest for clarity of information in a dominantly ambiguous and uncertain universe.

Therein lies the nature of life which like mathematical induction implies unlimited possibilities. I don't think we really can place limits on the process except those to do with...
1. logical coherence.
2. consistency with natural law.
3. linguistic categories, saying that changes beyond certain limits mean it has ceased to be a cell and becomes something else.
4. the process of life itself beyond which it would cease to be alive. Though it is possible a transformation to life in another medium could be involved.


You don't think we really can place limits EXCEPT?

P.S. I congratulate you on moving past our communication difficulties.


It seems I have nothing to do with it on a substantial part. I was surprised by your move and so I am now in an observation mode.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby mitchellmckain on October 3rd, 2017, 11:02 pm 

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » October 2nd, 2017, 10:53 pm wrote:Of course. There are restrictions on what constitutes a proper scientific hypothesis. The scientific method will not work if the hypothesis is not testable in some way. Thus those which are unfalsifiable like the existence or involvement of an unmeasurable (like a spirit or god) then it must be rejected as a scientific hypothesis.

It should be obvious from the context that I have little reason to object to additional requirements (as long as they are valid, of course).

It is not enough that the hypothesis is testable in some way. We need to have a good grasp of the knowledge base of the problem we are dealing with and we have to examine our own assumptions and its levels. For example, why do you assume existence and measurement when you reflect on God? Why do you tend to forget to note the vast unknown in the whole of your existence in this universe?

To use the scientific method, it requires that the hypothesis be testable in some way. Your added requirements for scientific progress in general do not change this simple fact. Just because someone is not aware of what the scientific community has achieved does not mean that someone using the scientific method is not doing science. It just means their personal scientific inquiry is not contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge of humanity as a whole. Thus it seems to me you are nit picking excessively for very little justification. None of it has any bearing on the discussion this was a part of.

Why do you assume/treat my beliefs as "assumptions?" Are all your beliefs simply assumptions?

It is the nature of human belief in God that people have also sorts of reasons and boundaries in their belief and this is part of what makes it so unfalsifiable. Who should know what they are willing to worship as God except themselves. I will not worship an alien, for example, and thus I would never call such a thing "God." Aliens are measurable because they are part of mathematical space-time structure of the physical universe. God is not. God is spirit and spirit is non-physical by definition and thus not a part of the system of physical law, and thus not measurable. If I met a being who was not any of these things -- who was measurable, then no matter how much he might claim credit for things in the Bible usually attributed to God, I would still call this being an alien, not God. I suppose we might still be friends though, as long as he doesn't push all the obedience theology nonsense, that is.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
It is the essence of life that it grows, learns, evolves and thus become more than it was.

Essence? All of these you mentioned have at least one thing in common - the quest for clarity of information in a dominantly ambiguous and uncertain universe.

They have many things in common. They are words. They are on the internet. They are in English. So....?

Furthermore, just because you see these things as "quest for clarity of information" doesn't mean that I do. That looks rather interpretive, philosophical, and quite subjective to me -- not to mention a bit strange, like you are shoving a lot of round pegs into square holes. But... ok... whatever... you are entitled to your way of thinking just as much as I am entitled to mine.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:You don't think we really can place limits EXCEPT?

That is what I said. You can clarify your position in response to this or not, as you like. DO YOU have something to say?

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
P.S. I congratulate you on moving past our communication difficulties.

It seems I have nothing to do with it on a substantial part. I was surprised by your move and so I am now in an observation mode.

Back to hiding in the bunker eh?
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby Don Juan on October 4th, 2017, 3:00 am 

mitchellmckain wrote:To use the scientific method, it requires that the hypothesis be testable in some way. Your added requirements for scientific progress in general do not change this simple fact.

Just because someone is not aware of what the scientific community has achieved does not mean that someone using the scientific method is not doing science. It just means their personal scientific inquiry is not contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge of humanity as a whole. Thus it seems to me you are nit picking excessively for very little justification. None of it has any bearing on the discussion this was a part of.


I don't think so. I do not discount testing hypothesis. I am aware however that more than that, scientific method also essentially include characterizations.

Why do you assume/treat my beliefs as "assumptions?" Are all your beliefs simply assumptions?


Can one claim 100% truth in science? Did I not mention mental models and maps and faithfulness to the territory in terms of structure? I was talking of 'assumption' in terms of 'presupposition' in that question.

It is the nature of human belief in God that people have also sorts of reasons and boundaries in their belief and this is part of what makes it so unfalsifiable. Who should know what they are willing to worship as God except themselves. I will not worship an alien, for example, and thus I would never call such a thing "God." Aliens are measurable because they are part of mathematical space-time structure of the physical universe. God is not. God is spirit and spirit is non-physical by definition and thus not a part of the system of physical law, and thus not measurable. If I met a being who was not any of these things -- who was measurable, then no matter how much he might claim credit for things in the Bible usually attributed to God, I would still call this being an alien, not God. I suppose we might still be friends though, as long as he doesn't push all the obedience theology nonsense, that is.


Your obedience theology concepts must have been "hard written" in your brain, I wonder if that model is an "addiction." Do you presuppose God must be a being in the first place?
Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
It is the essence of life that it grows, learns, evolves and thus become more than it was.

Essence? All of these you mentioned have at least one thing in common - the quest for clarity of information in a dominantly ambiguous and uncertain universe.

They have many things in common. They are words. They are on the internet. They are in English. So....?


Did I not mention 'essence'? In terms of essence, those you call essence has even more shared fundamental principles. The next question in your assertion was why at least a single cell grow, learn, evolve etc etc.

Furthermore, just because you see these things as "quest for clarity of information" doesn't mean that I do. That looks rather interpretive, philosophical, and quite subjective to me -- not to mention a bit strange, like you are shoving a lot of round pegs into square holes. But... ok... whatever... you are entitled to your way of thinking just as much as I am entitled to mine.


That is why we need to look at a common reference, at least a cell, and other sources of information say a biology text. We'll see hierarchies of organizations of elements, from membranes to the contents of the cell, to the cell itself and the whole external and internal communications and contexts of the cell.
Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:You don't think we really can place limits EXCEPT?

That is what I said. You can clarify your position in response to this or not, as you like. DO YOU have something to say?


In short, you do think that one can place limits at least on some aspects.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
P.S. I congratulate you on moving past our communication difficulties.

It seems I have nothing to do with it on a substantial part. I was surprised by your move and so I am now in an observation mode.

Back to hiding in the bunker eh?


Not really a bunker...a plane over the landscape. So we can at least three observation points: a bunker, a plane, and a satellite.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby mitchellmckain on October 4th, 2017, 2:16 pm 

Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 2:00 am wrote:I don't think so. I do not discount testing hypothesis. I am aware however that more than that, scientific method also essentially include characterizations.

Again... so what? You still haven't said anything which you have shown to have any bearing on the discussion. It leads me to wonder if you are just playing word games with little intention to actually communicate something.

Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 2:00 am wrote:Can one claim 100% truth in science? Did I not mention mental models and maps and faithfulness to the territory in terms of structure? I was talking of 'assumption' in terms of 'presupposition' in that question.

A demand for absolutes is a fools game. I will let you indulge in the wild goose chase for certainty while I shall stick to what is reasonable and relevant to human existence and life. Presuppositions are unavoidable. You are of course welcome to challenge any you think need challenging but then you need to do the work of presenting a case for it.

Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 2:00 am wrote:Your obedience theology concepts must have been "hard written" in your brain, I wonder if that model is an "addiction." Do you presuppose God must be a being in the first place?

Odd notion. If it is "hard written" in my brain then you must of written it there because I hadn't used the term until I read that post of yours. I have previously noticed a tendency of religions to interpret things in terms of obedience and pondered why this was the case, coming to the conclusion by means of what you have called abductive reasoning that a quest for power was at the root of it. Though I suppose it could also be put down to an inability to escape a child's way of looking at the world.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:Did I not mention 'essence'? In terms of essence, those you call essence has even more shared fundamental principles. The next question in your assertion was why at least a single cell grow, learn, evolve etc etc.

Therefore... I obviously saw no reason to agree what you were talking about had anything to do with the essence of the phenomenon/process of life. Sounds more like what you have decided to make your own personal mental life all about.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
Furthermore, just because you see these things as "quest for clarity of information" doesn't mean that I do. That looks rather interpretive, philosophical, and quite subjective to me -- not to mention a bit strange, like you are shoving a lot of round pegs into square holes. But... ok... whatever... you are entitled to your way of thinking just as much as I am entitled to mine.

That is why we need to look at a common reference, at least a cell, and other sources of information say a biology text. We'll see hierarchies of organizations of elements, from membranes to the contents of the cell, to the cell itself and the whole external and internal communications and contexts of the cell.

We see hierarchies of organization of elements in a lot of things which are not alive, therefore we have no reason to see them as the essence of life. Life has more to do with how this organization of elements got there which is all to do with growth, learning and adaptation and that is why these are the essence of life. "Quest for information" imposes too much anthropomorphizing motivation. Just because a process collects information does not mean that this is what motivates it. Looks more like a means to an end to me. It could be a useful way of looking at things but that doesn't make it a valid basis for an objection. This means it should therefore be introduced into the discussion as a suggestion with reasoning to support why it is useful in the context of the discussion.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:You don't think we really can place limits EXCEPT?
That is what I said. You can clarify your position in response to this or not, as you like. DO YOU have something to say?

In short, you do think that one can place limits at least on some aspects.

Shorter isn't always better. One dimensional black and white characterizations are distorting thus we specify the types of limitations in order to clarify the reality of the situation. There are always limitations, but are they the limitations which matter in the discussion. For example, is there a limitation in counting numbers? Well, of course there are limitations implied by the very meaning of the word counting -- it means we are talking about numbers and the progression made by adding to the number we are at to get a higher number. But these are only a matter of clarifying what we mean by counting and it does not limit us in the most likely way that the word limiting refers to in the context, which is how high of a number we can reach by counting. The limitations I listed were clearly of this clarifying sort.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:Not really a bunker...a plane over the landscape. So we can at least three observation points: a bunker, a plane, and a satellite.

The point is that whether you do so by distance or fortification you are erecting barriers to communication. It looks rather defensive either way. Communication requires making your position plain so it is out there for everyone to see. There is something a little dishonest about taking pot shots at the views of other people from either distance or cover. If you don't actually have a position on the subject then you should at least make that clear. And if you do have a position, then you should make some effort to state what it is. It should be clear from this thread that this is one thing which I have made every effort to do, even if I have to make guesses about what it is someone wants to know.

Communication is difficult. Misunderstandings are as much a part of communication as mistakes are a part of learning. So putting yourself (your position) out there for criticism is one of the best measures of sincerity in the communication process. Just saying... for clarification NOT accusation.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby Don Juan on October 4th, 2017, 10:46 pm 

mitchellmckain » October 4th, 2017, 8:16 pm wrote:
Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 2:00 am wrote:I don't think so. I do not discount testing hypothesis. I am aware however that more than that, scientific method also essentially include characterizations.

Again... so what? You still haven't said anything which you have shown to have any bearing on the discussion. It leads me to wonder if you are just playing word games with little intention to actually communicate something.


We have already began, since our first discussion. When you wish to do an inquiry, you prepare your materials, you do your homework, check the context, check the literature and references, the procedures, the method of analyses, etc etc. The same with almost every activity, like farming, writing discourse...and from time to time you reflect about it if whether there are things you haven't considered during preparation. We have already began I assure you. At least you discovered that I am not coming from your angle and we do not share some concepts, principles and approaches. Now since this all began with your discussion of 'original sin' relevant to this topic on Critique of Religion, I now ask (because I might have misunderstood you), what do you mean by 'original sin' and where does the meaning came from and please do provide me a reference so I can check also. Now understand that we are talking not only of words, sentences and paragraphs, but also of terms, propositions and arguments. So you have the liberty, but of course not so much liberty, to refer to them.

Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 2:00 am wrote:Can one claim 100% truth in science? Did I not mention mental models and maps and faithfulness to the territory in terms of structure? I was talking of 'assumption' in terms of 'presupposition' in that question.

A demand for absolutes is a fools game. I will let you indulge in the wild goose chase for certainty while I shall stick to what is reasonable and relevant to human existence and life. Presuppositions are unavoidable. You are of course welcome to challenge any you think need challenging but then you need to do the work of presenting a case for it.
[/quote]

I have already began, it's just the pacing is slow as we undergo into some rough preparations. Before I launch into an inquiry, please do share with me what you mean by 'original sin' - refer me also to some references to support or those contributing to the meaning.
Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 2:00 am wrote:Your obedience theology concepts must have been "hard written" in your brain, I wonder if that model is an "addiction." Do you presuppose God must be a being in the first place?

Odd notion. If it is "hard written" in my brain then you must of written it there because I hadn't used the term until I read that post of yours.


Well, it does not follow that if it is your first time to use the term in this forum it is not there in your brain a long time ago. The network of ideas about it are set in you, so at least the potential is there and that potential keeps on expressing the term.

I have previously noticed a tendency of religions to interpret things in terms of obedience and pondered why this was the case, coming to the conclusion by means of what you have called abductive reasoning that a quest for power was at the root of it. Though I suppose it could also be put down to an inability to escape a child's way of looking at the world.


Abductive reasoning is an interesting topic. It's powerful, yet I sense some 'sinister' effect in it because it is meant to be well-grounded on facts more than logic especially on critical issues having to do with life and freedom.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:Did I not mention 'essence'? In terms of essence, those you call essence has even more shared fundamental principles. The next question in your assertion was why at least a single cell grow, learn, evolve etc etc.

Therefore... I obviously saw no reason to agree what you were talking about had anything to do with the essence of the phenomenon/process of life. Sounds more like what you have decided to make your own personal mental life all about.


You are too fast. We begin with distinctions. What is fundamental to you may not be fundamental to me - but we have to check that with common references.
We see hierarchies of organization of elements in a lot of things which are not alive, therefore we have no reason to see them as the essence of life. Life has more to do with how this organization of elements got there which is all to do with growth, learning and adaptation and that is why these are the essence of life. "Quest for information" imposes too much anthropomorphizing motivation. Just because a process collects information does not mean that this is what motivates it. Looks more like a means to an end to me. It could be a useful way of looking at things but that doesn't make it a valid basis for an objection. This means it should therefore be introduced into the discussion as a suggestion with reasoning to support why it is useful in the context of the discussion.


I am looking at the edge, between non-living and living, and how "problem solving" may have occurred at the level of life's beginning, aan assembly of macromolecules in a certain organization maintained and improved its survival gaining clear information through greater and greater dynamic configurations and organizations manifesting growth, learning, evolution etc etc.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:You don't think we really can place limits EXCEPT?
That is what I said. You can clarify your position in response to this or not, as you like. DO YOU have something to say?

In short, you do think that one can place limits at least on some aspects.

Shorter isn't always better. One dimensional black and white characterizations are distorting thus we specify the types of limitations in order to clarify the reality of the situation. There are always limitations, but are they the limitations which matter in the discussion. For example, is there a limitation in counting numbers? Well, of course there are limitations implied by the very meaning of the word counting -- it means we are talking about numbers and the progression made by adding to the number we are at to get a higher number. But these are only a matter of clarifying what we mean by counting and it does not limit us in the most likely way that the word limiting refers to in the context, which is how high of a number we can reach by counting. The limitations I listed were clearly of this clarifying sort.


We begin with 'original sin.'

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:Not really a bunker...a plane over the landscape. So we can at least three observation points: a bunker, a plane, and a satellite.

The point is that whether you do so by distance or fortification you are erecting barriers to communication. It looks rather defensive either way. Communication requires making your position plain so it is out there for everyone to see. There is something a little dishonest about taking pot shots at the views of other people from either distance or cover. If you don't actually have a position on the subject then you should at least make that clear. And if you do have a position, then you should make some effort to state what it is. It should be clear from this thread that this is one thing which I have made every effort to do, even if I have to make guesses about what it is someone wants to know.


I don't think so. I begin with observation for characterization - then I state my position - then test that position. We check the map and see where we are located - we even check if whether the map is updated or obsolete. Before you say that the machine is not working and do repairs, check first if whether it is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Communication is difficult. Misunderstandings are as much a part of communication as mistakes are a part of learning. So putting yourself (your position) out there for criticism is one of the best measures of sincerity in the communication process. Just saying... for clarification NOT accusation.


That is why if one launches into a diarrhea of concepts, there so much noise in there. This is not about sincerity, but about what is in the territory and are we faithful to it, and with that faithfulness, can we have answers to our questions regarding the topic.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby mitchellmckain on October 5th, 2017, 5:21 am 

Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote: Now since this all began with your discussion of 'original sin' relevant to this topic on Critique of Religion, I now ask (because I might have misunderstood you), what do you mean by 'original sin' and where does the meaning came from and please do provide me a reference so I can check also.

On the previous page I gave the most general definition and a survey in comparative religions on the subject. Then in response to your comment (and added to in subsequent posts) I gave my personal view on the matter. Are you asking me to repeat myself or do have something more specific in mind. As for references for the general and comparative religion discussion, why not start with Wikipedia. For my personal view on the matter, I am the only reference you can expect.

Don Juan » October 4th, 2017, 9:46 pm wrote:
I have previously noticed a tendency of religions to interpret things in terms of obedience and pondered why this was the case, coming to the conclusion by means of what you have called abductive reasoning that a quest for power was at the root of it. Though I suppose it could also be put down to an inability to escape a child's way of looking at the world.

Abductive reasoning is an interesting topic. It's powerful, yet I sense some 'sinister' effect in it because it is meant to be well-grounded on facts more than logic especially on critical issues having to do with life and freedom.

Seems to me that thinking for yourself and making decisions on issues in the subjective arena of religion would only be seen as sinister by a religion obsessed with power and control over other people.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
Therefore... I obviously saw no reason to agree what you were talking about had anything to do with the essence of the phenomenon/process of life. Sounds more like what you have decided to make your own personal mental life all about.

You are too fast. We begin with distinctions. What is fundamental to you may not be fundamental to me - but we have to check that with common references.

Not sure what you are trying to say here but (shot in the dark) perhaps this reference might help. Here is a link to the thread "What is life" where I give my own answer to this question.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:I am looking at the edge, between non-living and living, and how "problem solving" may have occurred at the level of life's beginning, aan assembly of macromolecules in a certain organization maintained and improved its survival gaining clear information through greater and greater dynamic configurations and organizations manifesting growth, learning, evolution etc etc.

The earliest method of problem solving is given in the basic mechanics of evolution: variation and selection, which in many ways is the fundamental process of learning in all living organisms -- try different things and keep doing what works. I see no reason not to extend this all the way back to abiogenesis because I think we can find things somewhat close to variation and selection even in non-living examples of self-organized phenomenon.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
Shorter isn't always better. One dimensional black and white characterizations are distorting thus we specify the types of limitations in order to clarify the reality of the situation. There are always limitations, but are they the limitations which matter in the discussion. For example, is there a limitation in counting numbers? Well, of course there are limitations implied by the very meaning of the word counting -- it means we are talking about numbers and the progression made by adding to the number we are at to get a higher number. But these are only a matter of clarifying what we mean by counting and it does not limit us in the most likely way that the word limiting refers to in the context, which is how high of a number we can reach by counting. The limitations I listed were clearly of this clarifying sort.

We begin with 'original sin.'

Are you suggesting a connection with limitations in the development of life, or are you just tabling this topic of limitations for now?

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
The point is that whether you do so by distance or fortification you are erecting barriers to communication. It looks rather defensive either way. Communication requires making your position plain so it is out there for everyone to see. There is something a little dishonest about taking pot shots at the views of other people from either distance or cover. If you don't actually have a position on the subject then you should at least make that clear. And if you do have a position, then you should make some effort to state what it is. It should be clear from this thread that this is one thing which I have made every effort to do, even if I have to make guesses about what it is someone wants to know.

I don't think so. I begin with observation for characterization - then I state my position - then test that position. We check the map and see where we are located - we even check if whether the map is updated or obsolete. Before you say that the machine is not working and do repairs, check first if whether it is plugged into an electrical outlet.

I believe our dispute on the issue of original sin was comparable challenging whether either the authority of "maps" or bills for "electrical outlet" power should even be accepted on this sort of topic.

Don Juan » October 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm wrote:
Communication is difficult. Misunderstandings are as much a part of communication as mistakes are a part of learning. So putting yourself (your position) out there for criticism is one of the best measures of sincerity in the communication process. Just saying... for clarification NOT accusation.


That is why if one launches into a diarrhea of concepts, there so much noise in there. This is not about sincerity, but about what is in the territory and are we faithful to it, and with that faithfulness, can we have answers to our questions regarding the topic.

There is a difference between...
1. Intentionally throwing out worthless and unpleasant (implied by the word diarrhea) terminology as a tactic of rhetoric .
2. Simply deciding that the terminology used by another person is worthless and unpleasant for whatever reason.

Your explanation here suggests to me that you have employed 1 because of doing 2, and if so, it explains a great deal which has puzzled me, as well as looking like a confirmation of at least a small lack of sincerity on your part.
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Re: A Critique of Religion

Postby rajnz00 on October 22nd, 2017, 3:26 pm 

mitchellmckain » October 1st, 2017, 7:06 pm wrote:And I could use the same sort of rhetoric with regards to atheism.[In response to my "The roots of Islamic extremism lie within the ideology of Islam. It's like HIV and Aids. Not everyone infected with the HIV virus has full blown Aids, but the danger lurks."

You could, I suppose, and would, and have, but with absolutely no basis in logic or reason.

"Atheism" is merely the absence of belief. Like me, most "atheists" are simply agnostics. They have stopped believing in God and religion because of the absence of evidence for the existence of one, and the absence of a logical requirement to believe in one.

There is no ideology of agnosticism, no Holy Book, no calls to ritual, or the murder of "non-believers" [in this case believers in God], no punishments for "sin". Merely an adherence to reason and logic.

In the case of Islam, however, there is a Holy Book, one that the vast majority of Muslims throughout the world, believe is the word of "God" [PEW research, as opposed to Braininvat's "Muslim"]. This Holy Book has over 100 commandments to violence against the unbeliever.

That most believers do not follow its more violent commandments is not a proof that they do not exist. In fact they do. Those reasons that most believers do not follow those commandments are a mixture of ignorance and reinterpretation to make them more in tune with modern morality and humanism. But like a virus, the fundamental beliefs of the ideology can, and does, rear its ugly head
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