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What is a religion?

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What is a religion?
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Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Greetings,

Myrtonos wrote:In Sapiens: A brief history of humankind, religion is defined as a set of norms and values founded on a belief a superhuman order.

I don't find his definition coherent - all ideologies, whether religious, political, economic and/or social, are based on what humans decide are their tenets.

The only truly "superhuman order" is Nature.

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
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:01 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Dragan Glas wrote:
Myrtonos wrote:In Sapiens: A brief history of humankind, religion is defined as a set of norms and values founded on a belief a superhuman order.

I don't find his definition coherent - all ideologies, whether religious, political, economic and/or social, are based on what humans decide are their tenets.



And it's arse about tit. Norms and values have always existed in all human societies, religious narratives came later and evolved over time and in some instance co-opt those existing norms and values. This then shows that the two components are independent of one and other, can exist without one and other, and therefore neither can be founded on the other.

Myrtonos, are you just going to repeat the same statement but add 'must' or appeal to common sense again?
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:20 pm
MyrtonosPosts: 86Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:23 am Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Dragan Glas wrote:I don't find his definition coherent - all ideologies, whether religious, political, economic and/or social, are based on what humans decide are their tenets.-

But it doesn't just say 'founded on a superhuman order' but 'founded on belief in a superhuman order'. The key word is 'belief'. They may be founded by humans, but they are founded by humans who believe in a superhuman order.

Dragan Glas wrote:The only truly "superhuman order" is Nature.

Not according to followers of any religion. For example, followers of all Abrahamic faiths believe that the law of God is superhuman and even believe that Nature is subject to the power of God. And Buddhists believe that the law of karma is natural and unchangeable.
The same goes for political ideologies, for example a capitalist believes that the law of supply and demand is natural and unchangeable, and a communist believes the law of history is superhuman.

Sure, Buddhism may have been founded by humans, but the people who founded it believed that the law of human nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama. And communism was founded by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin, who all believed that Marx and Engels discovered the law of history.

Sparhafoc wrote:Norms and values have always existed in all human societies, religious narratives came later and evolved over time and in some instance co-opt those existing norms and values. This then shows that the two components are independent of one and other, can exist without one and other, and therefore neither can be founded on the other.

What religious narratives? Note that religion did exist in all pre-literate societies. They may not have had scriptures, but they had oral traditions explaining things like how the world began and how the human race originated.
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:21 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3491Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Myrtonos wrote:If Kangaroos had language, religion, etc, they would never have been locked up in zoos and maybe it would have been harder for humans to conquer the Great Southern land.


You do realize that slavery and colonialism have happened, right? Jails and prisons are still a thing, right? Humans have locked up other humans and conquered other peoples lands. those people had language and religion.
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Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:17 am
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SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Myrtonos wrote:Sure, Buddhism may have been founded by humans, but the people who founded it believed that the law of human nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama.


How contorted?

Buddhism was founded by... Siddhartha Gautama, right?

So your sentence reads Buddhism may have been founded by humans, but Siddhartha Gautama believed that the law of human nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama.

Also, since when does human nature become superhuman? :lol:



Myrtonos wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:Norms and values have always existed in all human societies, religious narratives came later and evolved over time and in some instance co-opt those existing norms and values. This then shows that the two components are independent of one and other, can exist without one and other, and therefore neither can be founded on the other.


What religious narratives?


All of them.


Myrtonos wrote:Note that religion did exist in all pre-literate societies. They may not have had scriptures, but they had oral traditions explaining things like how the world began and how the human race originated.


Oh great!

I've only studied this all my life... but somehow I've never seen a single piece of surviving evidence of these oral traditions from the Bronze Age and older specifying that ALL their beliefs contained concepts about the origins of the planet and humans. Given the confidence with which you lecture at me, I assume you must have pretty darn compelling evidence for your assertions?

No?

Nothing?

Yes, nothing. Just-so stories are for children, Myrtonos.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:16 am
MyrtonosPosts: 86Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:23 am Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Sparhafoc wrote:
How contorted?

Buddhism was founded by... Siddhartha Gautama, right?

So your sentence reads Buddhism may have been founded by humans, but Siddhartha Gautama believed that the law of human nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama.

But you said the even the oldest surviving Buddhist scriptures were written after his lifetime. Indeed according to the legend, Siddhartha did discover the four noble truths and the eightfold path.

Sparhafoc wrote:I've only studied this all my life... but somehow I've never seen a single piece of surviving evidence of these oral traditions from the Bronze Age and older specifying that ALL their beliefs contained concepts about the origins of the planet and humans. Given the confidence with which you lecture at me, I assume you must have pretty darn compelling evidence for your assertions?

Before the Great Colonisation period, hardly any non-Eurasian peoples had written languages, but as far as I know, they all had religions, and indeed theist ones. I have heard of Australian Aboriginal creation myths, also see here for the Inca religion, they had no writing either. See here for more information on religions of pre-literate societies.
Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:07 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Myrtonos wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:
How contorted?

Buddhism was founded by... Siddhartha Gautama, right?

So your sentence reads Buddhism may have been founded by humans, but Siddhartha Gautama believed that the law of human nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama.


But you said the even the oldest surviving Buddhist scriptures were written after his lifetime. Indeed according to the legend, Siddhartha did discover the four noble truths and the eightfold path.


And now perhaps you could read what I wrote?


Myrtonos wrote:
Sparhafoc wrote:I've only studied this all my life... but somehow I've never seen a single piece of surviving evidence of these oral traditions from the Bronze Age and older specifying that ALL their beliefs contained concepts about the origins of the planet and humans. Given the confidence with which you lecture at me, I assume you must have pretty darn compelling evidence for your assertions?


Before the Great Colonisation period, hardly any non-Eurasian peoples had written languages,...


Citation, please.

And also, so what? Is your argument going to be an appeal to ignorance? Because we don't know what they believed, you get a carte blanche to make up whatever you want?

You claimed that 'religion did exist in all pre-literate societies.... they had oral traditions explaining things like how the world began and how the human race originated.'

That's what I took exception to.

But when asked to corroborate that claim with evidence, you now start explaining away the lack of evidence for your claim! Well, that makes me wonder on what you based your claim, given that it wasn't evidence. Did you intuit it while thinking deeply about the primitives?

Quantify 'hardly any' and show where you came by that statistical assumption.



Myrtonos wrote:... but as far as I know, they all had religions, and indeed theist ones.


Citation, please.

As far as you know amounts to what in real terms? Is it a valid yard-stick? I know fuck all about quantum mechanics, so any expression I proffer on the topic of quantum mechanics which starts with 'as far as I know' almost guarantees what follows will be complete and utter tosh.


Myrtonos wrote: I have heard of Australian Aboriginal creation myths,...


You've heard OF them? Not actually heard them or read them? Just heard that they exist?


Myrtonos wrote:.... also see here for the Inca religion, they had no writing either.


They had quipu.

Also, quick rule of archaeology. Not finding X =/= they did not have X. It just means no evidence has been found of X.

Finally, where's this going? Why 'Eurasia' when it's such a vast landmass, but yet its populations are so disparate? Seems to be an exceptionally wide net that's being cast. European populations had more frequent contact with African populations until the last few centuries, so I am not sure it's just contact with the great civilizing powers that achieved the literary coup de grace.


Myrtonos wrote: See here for more information on religions of pre-literate societies.


If you could just teach me to suck eggs, I'd be your grandma.

You cite a website. Operated by whom? I dunno - some dudes on the internet. What's these dudes' mission? Oh lookee! It's a Christian biased source! :D And the article cited is an excerpt from a book by an historian writing in 1952.

Is this a good source?

Did you read it?

If so, then how about this...

First of all, there must be a relatively long tribal history during which legends may grow up, institutions arise, religious faith take form, and the emergence of a desire to perpetuate this by transmitting it verbally to succeeding generations.


So even your source posits a sequence whereby religions come after a long tribal history. Now read back to what I was saying earlier about how religions come later and necessarily incorporate pre-existing social and cultural narratives. It's wrong to posit the religion as being the source of any beliefs in 'superhuman order' - any such existed prior to the religion, as I already said.

Is it possible you don't want to consider this because it would scupper the numerous confident declarations you made to the contrary?


And mmmmmm.... interesting source! :)

What is Religion Online?
Purposes

Religion Online is designed to assist teachers, scholars and general "seekers" who are interested in exploring religious issues. The aim is to develop an extensive library of resources, representing many different points of view, but all written from the perspective of sound scholarship. While the initial orientation has been to seek material written primarily from a Christian perspective, the ultimate aim is to broaden the scope to include material on all the world's major religions.


Harari's an historian. This means he is intimately, intrinsically, necessarily always aware of bias. Perhaps the most pernicious form of bias is source selection. When something says that which concurs with your opinion, that doesn't make it a legitimate source.

From the perspective of an early 20th century Christian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_S._Braden: Braden obtained his BA in 1909 from Baker University, and his BD in 1912 from Union Theological Seminary.[1] ... In 1914 he became a Methodist minister and undertook missionary work in Bolivia (1912–1915) and Chile (1916–1922), before completing a PhD in practical theology in 1926 at the University of Chicago.[1]), I would expect the non-Christian pagan world to appear rather different than how I might see it today and from the work of the intervening century, not least because I am not trying to shoe-horn it into my existing belief structures, which is exactly what that articles does.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:13 pm
MyrtonosPosts: 86Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:23 am Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Sparhafoc wrote:And now perhaps you could read what I wrote?

I already read plenty of what you write.

Sparhafoc wrote:And also, so what? Is your argument going to be an appeal to ignorance? Because we don't know what they believed, you get a carte blanche to make up whatever you want?

Well, certainly the Aztecs had a short tradition of writing, that Mayans had it too, but as far as I know, there were no other scripts in the Americas, and I mean ones capable of reproducing speech in stone or on a page.
Hunter-gatherer societies could not have developed writing, indeed I know our Aborigines had no written language, same with the Papua New Guineas. I have never heard of a script native to Sub-Saharan Africa that was devised before colonial rule brought writing, if you are going to claim they had a written language, then show me an example of a script (and I really mean one that actually reproduced speech on tablets) they had before colonial rule.

Sparhafoc wrote:You claimed that 'religion did exist in all pre-literate societies.... they had oral traditions explaining things like how the world began and how the human race originated.'

That's what I took exception to.

But when asked to corroborate that claim with evidence, you now start explaining away the lack of evidence for your claim! Well, that makes me wonder on what you based your claim, given that it wasn't evidence. Did you intuit it while thinking deeply about the primitives?

Well, obviously they didn't have science, they didn't know about evolution, so how would they think the human race originated? They could not have known that the Earth is round, and likely thought the Earth was flat. That is what the peoples of Eurasia thought before the Greeks discussed the shape of the Earth.

Sparhafoc wrote:Quantify 'hardly any' and show where you came by that statistical assumption.

What non-Eurasian writing systems where there apart from those of the Aztecs and Mayans?

Sparhafoc wrote:
Myrtonos wrote:... but as far as I know, they all had religions, and indeed theist ones.


Citation, please.

Name one or more non-Eurasian societies that had a religion without a god, or a political ideology. Here is some information about religion in Sub-Saharan Africa:
*The African belief website
*AfrikaWorld
*Animism in modern Africa Animism is the belief that the world is populated by an abundance of beings in addition to people. They may believe that various objects have personalities, needs and desires.

Sparhafoc wrote:You've heard OF them? Not actually heard them or read them? Just heard that they exist?

I have heard a few of them, I can't remember them that well, they talk a lot about dreamtime. They did have names for deities that created the world, such as Baiame, see here for more information.

Quipu was not written or drawn on tablets or sheets. Each quipu was simply coloured cords made of wool or cotton, each cord having several knots tied in different places. Combining different knots on different cords with different colours recorded tons of mathematical data relating to things like tax collection and property ownership. But it couldn't represent any other type of information belonging to other fields of activity.
For example, it could not be used to write religious scriptures.

Sparhafoc wrote:Finally, where's this going? Why 'Eurasia' when it's such a vast landmass, but yet its populations are so disparate? Seems to be an exceptionally wide net that's being cast. European populations had more frequent contact with African populations until the last few centuries, so I am not sure it's just contact with the great civilizing powers that achieved the literary coup de grace.

What exactly do you mean "why Eurasia"? It is not clear from the context. But anyway, agriculture, civilisation and indeed writing have long been more common in Eurasia (which includes North Africa) than they were on any other inhabited continent, or even Polynesia, before colonisation. In fact, the alphabet only arose once in history, as far as anyone knows, and it was somewhere in Eurasia where it came into being.

Which African populations? There are such big geographical, bio-geographical and cultural differences between North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa that it is hard to believe that Egypt and Lesotho are on the same continent.

Sparhafoc wrote:You cite a website. Operated by whom? I dunno - some dudes on the internet. What's these dudes' mission? Oh lookee! It's a Christian biased source! :D And the article cited is an excerpt from a book by an historian writing in 1952.

I didn't know it was Christian biased.

First of all, there must be a relatively long tribal history during which legends may grow up, institutions arise, religious faith take form, and the emergence of a desire to perpetuate this by transmitting it verbally to succeeding generations.

I don't fully understand this part.

Sparhafoc wrote:So even your source posits a sequence whereby religions come after a long tribal history. Now read back to what I was saying earlier about how religions come later and necessarily incorporate pre-existing social and cultural narratives. It's wrong to posit the religion as being the source of any beliefs in 'superhuman order' - any such existed prior to the religion, as I already said.

I never said that religions weren't devised by humans, I just said they are all founded belief in a superhuman order, the latter being what came first according to followers.

For example, Christians fully acknowledge that their religion was founded by humans, but believe that their God created the first humans, not that humans created god, or made the law of God.

Buddhists fully acknowledge that their religion was founded by some human being but believe that the law of karma was discovered, not made by the founder.

What is Religion Online?
Purposes

Religion Online is designed to assist teachers, scholars and general "seekers" who are interested in exploring religious issues. The aim is to develop an extensive library of resources, representing many different points of view, but all written from the perspective of sound scholarship. While the initial orientation has been to seek material written primarily from a Christian perspective, the ultimate aim is to broaden the scope to include material on all the world's major religions.

Then why would it simply be called 'Religion Online'? The name must be misleading. The name certainly doesn't indicate that it is from a Christian perspective.
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:15 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Hunter-gatherer societies could not have developed writing...



Sorry Myrtonos, but you talk a load of bollocks - framing it in absolutes doesn't change that, it just makes your error worse.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:24 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Myrtonos wrote:
What is Religion Online?
Purposes

Religion Online is designed to assist teachers, scholars and general "seekers" who are interested in exploring religious issues. The aim is to develop an extensive library of resources, representing many different points of view, but all written from the perspective of sound scholarship. While the initial orientation has been to seek material written primarily from a Christian perspective, the ultimate aim is to broaden the scope to include material on all the world's major religions.


Then why would it simply be called 'Religion Online'? The name must be misleading. The name certainly doesn't indicate that it is from a Christian perspective.



/facepalm

No, the name doesn't indicate it nor does it have to (it could be called A Tin of Baked Beans, for all that the name matters), but their mission statement clearly does say they are biased towards a Christian perspective as you can see from the quotation I provided for you. Perhaps next time you might want to inspect your own sources rather than have someone do it for you then argue the toss with them even when the evidence is right there.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:25 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Greetings,

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:I don't find his definition coherent - all ideologies, whether religious, political, economic and/or social, are based on what humans decide are their tenets.-

But it doesn't just say 'founded on a superhuman order' but 'founded on belief in a superhuman order'. The key word is 'belief'. They may be founded by humans, but they are founded by humans who believe in a superhuman order.

That doesn't mean the "superhuman order" actually exists.

If such an order doesn't exist, then it's irrelevant.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:The only truly "superhuman order" is Nature.

Not according to followers of any religion. For example, followers of all Abrahamic faiths believe that the law of God is superhuman and even believe that Nature is subject to the power of God. And Buddhists believe that the law of karma is natural and unchangeable.
The same goes for political ideologies, for example a capitalist believes that the law of supply and demand is natural and unchangeable, and a communist believes the law of history is superhuman.

Again, irrelevant - it's a case of belief versus reality.

Myrtonos wrote:Sure, Buddhism may have been founded by humans, but the people who founded it believed that the law of human nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama. And communism was founded by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin, who all believed that Marx and Engels discovered the law of history.

Again, irrelevant to the real world.

Nature is IT, whether people believe it or not.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"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
Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:40 pm
MyrtonosPosts: 86Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:23 am Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Dragan Glas wrote:That doesn't mean the "superhuman order" actually exists.

If such an order doesn't exist, then it's irrelevant.

What has this to do with the matter at hand. It does not have to be an objective reality for any number of people to believe in it.

Dragan Glas wrote:Again, irrelevant - it's a case of belief versus reality.

First you say the only true superhuman order is nature, then I note that it is not the case according to followers of a religion, then you say it is irrelevant.

Dragan Glas wrote:Again, irrelevant to the real world.

Nature is IT, whether people believe it or not.

What do you mean "nature is IT"?

Laws of science are indeed superhuman, humans did not make the laws of physics and cannot change them. But humans can change mankind's understanding of them through observations and experiments that falsify existing descriptions.

Religion is also founded on a belief in an order that:
*Followers believe should guide human actions.
*Was not made by humans, or any flesh-and-blood beings.
*No flesh and blood beings can change them, even machines can't.

For example, Christians and Muslims both believe in an all-powerful God who created the world, and has superhuman powers such as the power to control the weather, and even reward or punish people after they die. They believe that God made laws that flesh-and-blood beings can't change, believe that even machines can't change them.

Buddhists, as noted above believe in natural and unchangeable laws but you claim it is irrelevant to the real world.

I know I have said it before, but I can't think of what else to do.

Can anyone here see how belief in a common superhuman order and basing the rules of society on them helps ensure social stability in large groups of people?
Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:10 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Laws of science are indeed superhuman,


You have already had this explained to you, but you're repeating exactly the same error. You seem unable to acknowledge mistakes and thereby hove closer to the truth.

You're wrong, this is pseudoscientific wibble.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:53 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Greetings,

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:That doesn't mean the "superhuman order" actually exists.

If such an order doesn't exist, then it's irrelevant.

What has this to do with the matter at hand. It does not have to be an objective reality for any number of people to believe in it.

Dragan Glas wrote:Again, irrelevant - it's a case of belief versus reality.

First you say the only true superhuman order is nature, then I note that it is not the case according to followers of a religion, then you say it is irrelevant.

Dragan Glas wrote:Again, irrelevant to the real world.

Nature is IT, whether people believe it or not.

What do you mean "nature is IT"?

Laws of science are indeed superhuman, humans did not make the laws of physics and cannot change them. But humans can change mankind's understanding of them through observations and experiments that falsify existing descriptions.

Religion is also founded on a belief in an order that:
*Followers believe should guide human actions.
*Was not made by humans, or any flesh-and-blood beings.
*No flesh and blood beings can change them, even machines can't.

For example, Christians and Muslims both believe in an all-powerful God who created the world, and has superhuman powers such as the power to control the weather, and even reward or punish people after they die. They believe that God made laws that flesh-and-blood beings can't change, believe that even machines can't change them.

Buddhists, as noted above believe in natural and unchangeable laws but you claim it is irrelevant to the real world.

Early Christians believed that Jesus would return at the end of the first century AD - that was part of the "superhuman order" according to Christians.

When he didn't, Christianity changed.

You continue to claim that the "superhuman order" can't be changed by people - since the religion is based on people's belief, which change over time, this is clearly not the case.

Another example: the Aztecs believed that sacrificing people every day ensured that the sun would rise the next morning. When the Conquistadores arrived, and stopped the practice, the Aztecs were terrified that the sun wouldn't rise - it did. At which point, the Aztecs realized that they didn't need to sacrifice anyone any more. Their "superhuman order" collapsed.

Another example: cannibalism doesn't survive contact with non-cannibalistic societies. Any tribes for whom cannibalism is part of their "superhuman order" stop killing/eating people.

Another example: it's estimated that there are some 4000 extant religions across the world, and between 4000-6000 religions that have gone extinct. Why? Is it because people stopped believing in those "superhuman orders"? In other words, those "superhuman orders" changed because people changed.

In all cases, the "superhuman order", which you claim can't be changed by humans, changes as people's understanding of how the world works and/or other more advanced societies live.

Myrtonos wrote:I know I have said it before, but I can't think of what else to do.

Can anyone here see how belief in a common superhuman order and basing the rules of society on them helps ensure social stability in large groups of people?

Sure - until there are schisms within said ideology and/or conflicts between two or more ideologies.

You now appear to be arguing in favour of religions - is this where you're headed when you started this topic?

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"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 Oct 28, 2018 3:12 pm
MyrtonosPosts: 86Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:23 am Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Dragan Glas wrote:Early Christians believed that Jesus would return at the end of the first century AD - that was part of the "superhuman order" according to Christians.

When he didn't, Christianity changed.

Well, they still believe in the same God, and maybe the law of God (which includes the Ten Commandments) stayed the same.

Dragan Glas wrote:You continue to claim that the "superhuman order" can't be changed by people - since the religion is based on people's belief, which change over time, this is clearly not the case.

Although people's belief does change over time, their religion is founded on a belief in a superhuman order that either only the great gods can change, or are natural and unchangeable.

Dragan Glas wrote:Another example: the Aztecs believed that sacrificing people every day ensured that the sun would rise the next morning. When the Conquistadores arrived, and stopped the practice, the Aztecs were terrified that the sun wouldn't rise - it did. At which point, the Aztecs realized that they didn't need to sacrifice anyone any more. Their "superhuman order" collapsed.

Okay, they stopped believing in their great gods, right? It was belief in their "superhuman order" that stopped.

Dragan Glas wrote:Another example: cannibalism doesn't survive contact with non-cannibalistic societies. Any tribes for whom cannibalism is part of their "superhuman order" stop killing/eating people.

This is not a clear example.

Dragan Glas wrote:Another example: it's estimated that there are some 4000 extant religions across the world, and between 4000-6000 religions that have gone extinct. Why? Is it because people stopped believing in those "superhuman orders"? In other words, those "superhuman orders" changed because people changed.

Yes, people did stop believing in the Gods of those religions, and started believing in different superhuman orders.

Dragan Glas wrote:In all cases, the "superhuman order", which you claim can't be changed by humans, changes as people's understanding of how the world works and/or other more advanced societies live.

Note that theists believe that superhuman orders, if they were changed, were changed by the great gods, not by flesh-and-blood beings or even machines.

Dragan Glas wrote:Sure - until there are schisms within said ideology and/or conflicts between two or more ideologies.

What "schisms"?

Dragan Glas wrote:You now appear to be arguing in favour of religions - is this where you're headed when you started this topic?

If you count political ideologies as religions, you can't really argue against them. I know most don't, but they do have a lot of features of religions, especially natural law religions.

But get this; During the 1960s, people around the world believed that the Beatles would keep on performing together for as long as all four of them were able to perform. When the Beatles split, Beatle fandom changed, but there were hopes of a Beatles reunion. Various offers were made from them to perform together again.
But after ten years of John, Paul, George and Ringo being apart, a deranged fan, Mark David Chapman, ended all hopes with a pull of the trigger. Beatle fandom changed again and has also become like a religion.
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:01 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 148Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: What is a religion?

Trinitarian doctrine is something that developed after Christianity. Is this an example of a changing superhuman order?
Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:07 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Toss it on the pile with the other examples of 'superhuman orders that can't be changed by humans' being changed by humans.
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:56 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Greetings,

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Early Christians believed that Jesus would return at the end of the first century AD - that was part of the "superhuman order" according to Christians.

When he didn't, Christianity changed.

Well, they still believe in the same God, and maybe the law of God (which includes the Ten Commandments) stayed the same.

You're still attempting to defend your claim that the "superhuman order can't be changed by humans" - even when I, and others, point out that it does change because of those very same humans.

The OT is Judaism, the NT is Christianity - the fact that "Christians" cite the Ten Commandments, instead of the Eight Beatitudes, shows that their not au fait with their "superhuman order".

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:You continue to claim that the "superhuman order" can't be changed by people - since the religion is based on people's belief, which changes over time, this is clearly not the case.

Although people's belief does change over time, their religion is founded on a belief in a superhuman order that either only the great gods can change, or are natural and unchangeable.

It's humans who decide what is the "superhuman order", and what their deities can and cannot change.

If people change their minds - their beliefs - then the "superhuman order" changes, in contrast to what you claim.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Another example: the Aztecs believed that sacrificing people every day ensured that the sun would rise the next morning. When the Conquistadores arrived, and stopped the practice, the Aztecs were terrified that the sun wouldn't rise - it did. At which point, the Aztecs realized that they didn't need to sacrifice anyone anymore. Their "superhuman order" collapsed.

Okay, they stopped believing in their great gods, right? It was belief in their "superhuman order" that stopped.

Thus humans can change "superhuman orders". QED.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Another example: cannibalism doesn't survive contact with non-cannibalistic societies. Any tribes for whom cannibalism is part of their "superhuman order" stop killing/eating people.

This is not a clear example.

The fact that it may not be as clear does not change the fact that the "superhuman order" changes because of people, not deities.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Another example: it's estimated that there are some 4000 extant religions across the world, and between 4000-6000 religions that have gone extinct. Why? Is it because people stopped believing in those "superhuman orders"? In other words, those "superhuman orders" changed because people changed.

Yes, people did stop believing in the Gods of those religions, and started believing in different superhuman orders.

So, again, "superhuman orders" change at the whim of humans. And given the huge number of religions that have come and gone, that's a lot of "superhuman orders" that have changed due to humans, rather than deities.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:In all cases, the "superhuman order", which you claim can't be changed by humans, changes as people's understanding of how the world works and/or other more advanced societies live.

Note that theists believe that superhuman orders, if they were changed, were changed by the great gods, not by flesh-and-blood beings or even machines.

It is flesh-and-blood beings who decide when and how "superhuman orders" are changed due to how they change their deities' properties, ie what their deities can and can't do.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Sure - until there are schisms within said ideology and/or conflicts between two or more ideologies.

What "schisms"?

Are you really not aware of schisms in religions?

Christianity alone split into Catholic ("universal doctrine") and Orthodox ("right doctrine") early on, then Catholicism split again with the arrival of Protestantism.

Look at Judaism and Islam.

Look at other major religions around the world.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:You now appear to be arguing in favour of religions - is this where you're headed when you started this topic?

If you count political ideologies as religions, you can't really argue against them. I know most don't, but they do have a lot of features of religions, especially natural law religions.

Wrong way round - they are ideologies; whether religious, political, social, economic, etc.

As ideologies, they share similar traits.

Myrtonos wrote:But get this; During the 1960s, people around the world believed that the Beatles would keep on performing together for as long as all four of them were able to perform. When the Beatles split, Beatle fandom changed, but there were hopes of a Beatles reunion. Various offers were made from them to perform together again.

But after ten years of John, Paul, George and Ringo being apart, a deranged fan, Mark David Chapman, ended all hopes with a pull of the trigger. Beatle fandom changed again and has also become like a religion.

Personality cults, although often mistaken for religions, are not classed as such.

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
Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:11 pm
MyrtonosPosts: 86Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:23 am Gender: Male

Post Re: What is a religion?

Dragan Glas wrote:You're still attempting to defend your claim that the "superhuman order can't be changed by humans" - even when I, and others, point out that it does change because of those very same humans.

If theists admit that the order changes, they believe that God changes it, not people, not animals, not computers, etc.

Dragan Glas wrote:The OT is Judaism, the NT is Christianity - the fact that "Christians" cite the Ten Commandments, instead of the Eight Beatitudes, shows that their not au fait with their "superhuman order".

I'm not following this, but both Christians and Judaists really believe that God has to power to change anything about the world he wishes and change any law he wishes.

Dragan Glas wrote:It's humans who decide what is the "superhuman order", and what their deities can and cannot change.

Not according to theists.

Dragan Glas wrote:If people change their minds - their beliefs - then the "superhuman order" changes, in contrast to what you claim.

They change their beliefs about the superhuman order, they don't believe they changed the superhuman order any more than physicists believe that the laws of physics change upon falsification of scientific theories.

Dragan Glas wrote:Thus humans can change "superhuman orders". QED.

Just because people change their beliefs about the superhuman order doesn't mean they think they changed the order itself.

Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Another example: cannibalism doesn't survive contact with non-cannibalistic societies. Any tribes for whom cannibalism is part of their "superhuman order" stop killing/eating people.

This is not a clear example.

The fact that it may not be as clear does not change the fact that the "superhuman order" changes because of people, not deities.

Dragan Glas wrote:So, again, "superhuman orders" change at the whim of humans. And given the huge number of religions that have come and gone, that's a lot of "superhuman orders" that have changed due to humans, rather than deities.

While they might change their beliefs, they don't believe they changed the order itself.

Dragan Glas wrote:It is flesh-and-blood beings who decide when and how "superhuman orders" are changed due to how they change their deities' properties, ie what their deities can and can't do.

But flesh-and-blood beings you say changed their deities properties don't admit they changed them, they claim that they deities made the change.

Dragan Glas wrote:Wrong way round - they are ideologies; whether religious, political, social, economic, etc.
See below

Dragan Glas wrote:As ideologies, they share similar traits.

That is exactly what I have tried to explain, they have more similar traits than different ones, especially when compared to religions without gods. Buddhism is founded on a belief in natural and unchangeable laws, in this case, the four noble truths and the eightfold path. Capitalism and communism are also founded on a belief in natural and unchangeable laws, like the law of supply and demand and the law of history.

Dragan Glas wrote:Personality cults, although often mistaken for religions, are not classed as such.

I have heard of the idea that John Lennon was the Jesus of his generation as if he were the second incarnation of God in human flesh.
Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:25 am
SparhafocPosts: 2607Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: What is a religion?

Myrtonos wrote:If theists admit that the order changes, they believe that God changes it, not people, not animals, not computers, etc.


Them goalposts.

Your assertion is unsupported.


Myrtonos wrote:I'm not following this, but both Christians and Judaists really believe that God has to power to change anything about the world he wishes and change any law he wishes.


No, they don't. Easily disprovable. Can God make homosexual sex a virtue?


Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:It's humans who decide what is the "superhuman order", and what their deities can and cannot change.

Not according to theists.


Yes, according to theists, and irrelevant anyway.


Myrtonos wrote:They change their beliefs about the superhuman order, they don't believe they changed the superhuman order any more than physicists believe that the laws of physics change upon falsification of scientific theories.


Wrong on both accounts.

They changed beliefs, so logically the 'superhuman order' you posit they believe in fundamentally, has itself been changed. Your refusals are completely illogical.

Secondly, you've already been educated as to what physical laws are, so of course they change having been made up by humans in the first place based on their observations of natural forces. Laws can readily be modified as I've already shown you in this very thread.

You're fully into fact-denial now.


Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Thus humans can change "superhuman orders". QED.

Just because people change their beliefs about the superhuman order doesn't mean they think they changed the order itself.


Illogical assertion repeated, and I am sure it is soon to be repeated ad nauseum because you appear to think that merely repeating an assertion lends credibility to it.


Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:So, again, "superhuman orders" change at the whim of humans. And given the huge number of religions that have come and gone, that's a lot of "superhuman orders" that have changed due to humans, rather than deities.


While they might change their beliefs, they don't believe they changed the order itself.


Polly wanna cracker?


Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:It is flesh-and-blood beings who decide when and how "superhuman orders" are changed due to how they change their deities' properties, ie what their deities can and can't do.


But flesh-and-blood beings you say changed their deities properties don't admit they changed them, they claim that they deities made the change.


Factually nonsense, and ad nauseum repetition commenced.


Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:As ideologies, they share similar traits.


That is exactly what I have tried to explain, they have more similar traits than different ones, especially when compared to religions without gods. Buddhism is founded on a belief in natural and unchangeable laws, in this case, the four noble truths and the eightfold path. Capitalism and communism are also founded on a belief in natural and unchangeable laws, like the law of supply and demand and the law of history.


As you've tried to explain from within the paradigm you've postulated, only the paradigm appears to clash with several facts and you seem unwilling to engage in those facts, attempting to brush them aside by repeating your assertions which have already been shown wrong.


Myrtonos wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Personality cults, although often mistaken for religions, are not classed as such.


I have heard of the idea that John Lennon was the Jesus of his generation as if he were the second incarnation of God in human flesh.



Did your mate Dave say that down the pub?
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:17 pm
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