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A Point of View: The perils of belief

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A Point of View: The perils of belief
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3179Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post A Point of View: The perils of belief

Greetings,

John Gray gives his opinion.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:16 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: A Point of View: The perils of belief

Seems a bit daft really. I think the argument is that people do things because of the ideas they have so we shouldn't have ideas. Yes ideas can be bad, but ideas can also be good. I guess there are people (like the Greek Sceptics) who thought this was the way to live but it's not for me.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:42 am
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NahliPosts: 8Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:55 am Gender: Male

Post Re: A Point of View: The perils of belief

Really that author might as well have written that, being bad is bad. Or perhaps he will do better stated his point by saying that people are bad. It is indeed easy enough to look back and lament the evils that people have done whether they've done them in the name of the supposed good or callous carelessness.

As to the point in the article where it states that enslavement, "murder and genocide of traditional peoples has nearly always been but treated under the banner of development and modernization." We should also look at the times in which those events occurred. Though I may be incorrect imagine that a bit of proper study or research would show that in most circumstances such destruction was not motivated by a secular purpose but the purpose of greed.

Further the examples given using the Soviet Union, are not secular either or based on reason or rationale. Whether a crusade is driven by religion or politics as they try to convert those to follow their ways, the true harm is engendered by forced homogenization. The concept of its different so assimilated or destroy it is primitive. As we can see with the advancing of societies all over the world it is when we accept people for who they are for what they are, that we can truly say that we have become advanced.

Belief, faith and other strong ideals are difficult tools to wield. But it is folly to blame the tool not the wielder. To vilify belief, faith or ideals is to seek escape from the blame that should rightly be placed upon the people that perpetrated the actions.

Still later in the article the author mentions miracles of faith versus advances of science. Seeming to almost use these as some kind of metric against the idea of human beings as incurably flawed or the dangers of pride. And although in this section the author describes himself as an atheist, he also seems to praise Deism. When I look at the section though I recall that religion does not advance except to take over. However the most common advancement of science is the furthering of our understanding of the world around us and the advancement of humanity.
Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:07 am
Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Re: A Point of View: The perils of belief

What do you mean by 'secular' in the above Nahli? I would tend to think of secular as meaning 'of this world' (i.e., not supernatural). Under that definition things like human greed and Marxism would be secular but you seem to have a different definition, mind expanding on that point for me?

"murder and genocide of traditional peoples has nearly always been but treated under the banner of development and modernization."
To go a bit further on this point, it may be done under the banner of development and modernisation but if that banner just used as a justification or rationalisation to cover greed and expansion then it's not even the ideas of development and moderisation that can be blamed in that case, since they aren't really being used when we examine core motivations.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:09 am
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NahliPosts: 8Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:55 am Gender: Male

Post Re: A Point of View: The perils of belief

As you wrote one meaning for secular can be of this world as in not supernatural, whereby natural would be all of the observable and measurable facets of the world and the cosmos. If one searches out the definition of the word secular it is an attitude meaning denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis. It can also mean to not be subject to or bound by the religious rule, it can also represent something occurring or persisting over an indefinite period of time, something occurring once every century or denoting slow changes in the motion of the sun or planets. Still other sources would define it as nonreligious like a government, I have seen it defined as a person who uses common sense and deductive reasoning to come to the conclusion that religion is a joke, it has also been called the state of going against logic.

However as I read the intent of the author of the article, it seemed that they were using secular to infer an action taken of humanistic intent or rational intent. By the author of the article's intent they seemed to insinuate that logic was the reason for the actions they described. However the motivation of greed and desire etc. are far from the bounds of logic. Now if we were to use your definition where secular's meaning is of this world or more precisely of nature, which is to say that which is measurable and quantifiable then greed and other such emotions would indeed it not fall within that which is of this world which is of nature which is measurable as emotions are not measurable. However by that right nothing of emotion faith etc. would be considered measurable. At that point now we find ourselves in the midst of philosophy.

As I stated though it seems the author's intent was to insinuate that persons employing reason had accomplished such detrimental actions which is best described as false. For greed is not a rational reason a rational reason is that which makes the most sense in any given situation. To permit your motivation to be greed and greed alone is not wise for that rate you would divest yourself of other advantages simply for the sake of monetary gain.

Lastly I will give my own personal idea my own personal definition of secular, personally when I put together definition that I intend to use I find all the common definitions I can an attempt to lump them together into a single composite form. Which by my measure would make the proper composite definition of the word secular to be that which is factual, I say this because that which is of the natural world is measurable and therefore factual that which is not religious is therefore not based on faith and is far more likely to be based on that which is demonstrable much as knowledge is demonstrable and that which is knowledge is fact.

I know I encroach upon the territory of TLDR, however I was feeling particularly verbose this evening. Please forgive me.
Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:20 pm
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