What's the Point of Religion?

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
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Trevor Salyzyn
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What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Trevor Salyzyn » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:57 am

If an alien came to our planet looking for redeeming qualities of our societies, would religion be one? Is a religious society further advanced than a pre-religious one? Does religion have a point? If so, is that point still relevant? If we lost all religion, would humankind suffer? Is a post-religious world more advanced than a religious one?
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SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:49 pm

If anything the only relevant point I can see in religion (in some cases) is sharing wise words.

All the other parts, such as gathering together or worshiping certain religious figures, doesn't seem to do much more than make people dismiss other ideas and remain attached to a narrow view.

deceit
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by deceit » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:39 pm

Life in itself is Religious. Religion addresses needs of the spirit. Although as a whole religion sucks these days and its rather just a large ploy. Regardless of whether Deities were alive or real they represent the forces of life that are ever present in our daily lives. They represent aspects of our daily lives in which we use them to celebrate.
Although these "gods" have been removed and in place is some other symbolic Personage. Further dividing the true essence of what were seeking to guide us or worship. Ie Instead of celebrating the Sun or any representative, Sun God, for its endless Energy and Light, we celebrate something thats placed in between furthering us away from the thing we should be celebrating which is usually something Life Affirming. ie The Pope is a great example.

Tenver-
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Tenver- » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:46 pm

Telling us how to live.

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Russell Parr
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Russell Parr » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:21 pm

Religion was used mostly as a tool for teaching astrology, numerology, etc. by use of anthropomorphic mythologies before Christianity came along. The myths were then 'literalized' and used as a tool for manipulating people with fear.

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Alex Jacob
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Alex Jacob » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:45 am

There are numerous levels to the notion of 'religion'. You would have to define what level you are speaking to. Effectively there is no man alive for whom his 'religion' is not his very interpretive structure, or lens if you wish, of his existing in this plane of reality. I say that every person has one. It is what defines us. 'Advanced theology' is the definition of religion at a superior level and like philosophy at its best is in no sense for the commonality but for the few. A month or so back, Trevor, I was reading a post of yours from around 2005 when you were rereading Augustine. You were trying to communicate to persons on that thread that though you could not (in accord with 'wisdom') accept the metaphysic of Augustine (his specific lens), nevertheless his predicates were much better and more geared toward the possibility of higher life than what surrounded him. Any definition of our location in this plane of existence will (I think) function as our 'religion'. Any definition of moral or ethical imperatives, if they arise from our basic existential definitions, will function in the same way as either the most sophisticated or the most brute religious system.

The real problem is in the essential unpreparedness of the Mass Man who cannot and may never be able to function at a 'higher' level within a religious system. And another level of this problem is that the Mass Man in our age has far too much power and can assert himself so blatantly. It seems to me that the main argument against 'religion' is because of fear and contempt for what that Mass Man can do-is doing in our world.
Deceit wrote:Regardless of whether Deities were alive or real they represent the forces of life that are ever present in our daily lives. They represent aspects of our daily lives in which we use them to celebrate.
This is an important observation. Especially true for we Westerners as we function in a 'world' with slightly submerged Greek and Pagan 'gods' which are representations of situational relationships in our reality. I would cite Hermes as a good example: how Randomness and Chance and 'Fortune' function for any being that moves within the world. The way that Mimicry and Costume are used by different beings to conceal an underlying and basic intent: the Lie covering over what is really going on.
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Alex Jacob
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Alex Jacob » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:08 am

Trevor wrote:Does religion have a point? If so, is that point still relevant?
I was reading some Karl Barth theology: an endeavor of a certain intensity for the denseness of his ideas (in this case a long commentary of Romans). In describing his notion of the Incarnation he used the example of one 'wheel' of force or energy or intent intersecting another 'wheel' which in his metaphor would be 'the natural world', and possibly the natural world without consciousness; and the intersecting 'wheel' being Christian consciousness as he defines and appreciates it: a radical intervention. But something with opposed tendencies.

If in its most high sense a 'religion' and a thorough theology represent the way that we conceive and symbolize a wheel of radical intent entering our world, in this sense I think you could claim that religion indeed 'has a point'. But how would you define that point? A little complex to do so. If we can conceive of and also symbolize a 'radically different intent' to the basic and eternal functions of the material world, which has no need for our human consciousness, we can begin to locate an area where our consciousness is a radically valuable and perhaps unique thing. By honing that consciousness we hone that essential thing which differentiates us literally from 'the world' itself. And out of that differentiation there has arisen everything about us that we can value, even if we might also loath some of it, or even if that selfsame consciousness might also be a consciousness leading to self-contempt and even desire for self-annihilation, which is in a way a refusal to accept the 'responsibilities of consciousness'.

Seen in this way it seems to me that 'it' is still vitally relevant.
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Leyla Shen
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Leyla Shen » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:09 pm

Trevor wrote:
Is a religious society further advanced than a pre-religious one?
It would depend on what you value and how you measure it, wouldn’t it?

Language, and with it philosophy, technology and economic practices, are clearly more advanced in that they are certainly more sophisticated today than in their historical antecedents. There is no evidence so far to indicate that they had any greater technology here on earth than petroglyphs and pictographs in order to propel their advanced ideas long into the distant future.
Historically, flourishing societies have clashed, one against the other, “bad” ideas decay, “good” ones remain until their usefulness passes along with the material conditions and social relations dependent on them. If they cannot adapt economically to their environment, conflict is internal and decay begins from within with nowhere else to go but to eat itself up.
This would necessarily apply to any alien society, too—on an interplanetary level, or otherwise.
Does religion have a point?
Two-fold: a) fills an emotional void of knowledge, and; b) the glue of socio-economic relations.
If so, is that point still relevant?
Relevant? To man's ignorance, yes.
If we lost all religion, would humankind suffer?
You mean, more than he is suffering now?

We’ve lost religions before, and replaced them with different ones; ones which unify the conduct of society, or dull the individual’s senses... take your pick. Beliefs don't effect suffering, suffering effects belief.
Is a post-religious world more advanced than a religious one?
Given the above, it follows as a logical necessity.
If an alien came to our planet looking for redeeming qualities of our societies, would religion be one?
You mean, like some sort of benevolent god? How archaically Judeo-Christian of you...
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Tomas
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Tomas » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:43 am

Trevor Salyzyn wrote: 1. -- If an alien came to our planet looking for redeeming qualities of our societies, would religion be one?

2. -- Is a religious society further advanced than a pre-religious one?

3. -- Does religion have a point?

4. -- If so, is that point still relevant?

5. -- If we lost all religion, would humankind suffer?

6. -- Is a post-religious world more advanced than a religious one?
1. -- No.

2. -- Superstition will always be with us.

3. -- If organized, then Yes.

4. -- If one is attending a particular religion, then it is.

5. -- No.

6. -- I'll not live long enough to see that come about. That said, the last religious ceremony was at my father's funeral over twenty years ago. I regret going because I viewed his pickled (embalmed) body on display. If it were me I wouldn't be pickled but have a private ceremony with me on display to those who wish to say goodbye. We all react differently to religion as that's why I say there is no post-religion any time soon.

BTW - I'm being buried next to a badger pit on my grand-mother's homestead. We all gotta eat.

Don't wanna upset the badger's stomach with embalming fluid.
Don't run to your death

SeekerOfWisdom
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by SeekerOfWisdom » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:46 pm

In a way we are very lucky, it's clear how not-seriously most of you guys take death,
I know personally if I were told I was going to die or was seriously ill I'd be as fine as I am now.

Not to mention being free of all the loss others constantly experience and force themselves to wallow in.

Religion is also something which tries to help deal with the loss of loved ones.
Its easy for someone to cling to "Don't worry, God's got them now"

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:34 pm

Trevor Salyzyn wrote:Does religion have a point? If so, is that point still relevant? If we lost all religion, would humankind suffer?
The point of religion is to act as assembly hook, a unifying set of concepts to pull and hold separate items together by internal relating. Indeed also the "glue of socio-economic relations" per Leyla but as well a more general glue to bind, making overall sense of separate items and generating coherence in the process. Religion therefore as image of cognitive resonance or in a yet even more obscure lingo: a ritualised syntax of some mother tongue.

The art is to recognise a ruling religion and not confusing it with some mummified remains of older systems which just have transmigrated to become a referral, emblematic or just cover(!) for the actual active religion in place, more often than not acting as some subterranean religion with its members high on the "glue".

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Leyla Shen
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Leyla Shen » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:22 am

The art is to recognise a ruling religion and not confusing it with some mummified remains of older systems which just have transmigrated to become a referral, emblematic or just cover(!) for the actual active religion in place, more often than not acting as some subterranean religion with its members high on the "glue".
Right! When rigid, doctrinal structures become concrete.
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Cahoot
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Cahoot » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:28 am

The point of practicing religion is to experience peace of mind.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:14 am

High on the glue!

But peace means unifying, far beyond pity-full experiencing though.

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Cahoot
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Cahoot » Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:28 am

Some people find peace of mind from practicing religion.

Some people find it while fishing.

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Leyla Shen
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Leyla Shen » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:13 pm

Cahoot wrote:Some people find peace of mind from practicing religion.

Some people find it while fishing.
There's a skill to fishing.

Religion?
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Trevor Salyzyn
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Trevor Salyzyn » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:44 am

Alex Jacob,
Alex Jacob wrote: Effectively there is no man alive for whom his 'religion' is not his very interpretive structure, or lens if you wish, of his existing in this plane of reality. I say that every person has one.
So, someone who transcends his local religion is merely (necessarily) creating a new one?
Alex Jacob wrote:Especially true for we Westerners as we function in a 'world' with slightly submerged Greek and Pagan 'gods' which are representations of situational relationships in our reality.
If someone is raised on Marvel/DC comics and not Greek/Pagan myths, would he take an exception to this?
Alex Jacob wrote:Seen in this way it seems to me that 'it' is still vitally relevant.
I didn't quite follow what you were saying about the wheel of intent. I can't be convinced if I don't understand it.
A mindful man needs few words.

nathan9482

Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by nathan9482 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:03 pm

Science
11 249 183 230


Religion
185 347 746 200 468 974 809 580


Nathaniel
21 984 988 915 194 199 468 778 727 407 633 696 640


notice the 9/4/1994 has 12 digits before it and this is my 12th birthday


notice the 8891 flip 1988 - 6 = 1982 and the 88 has 6 digits before it
and the 1984 - 2 = 1982 and the 1 is the 2nd digit



refer to my other post " help calculating probability of mathematical phenomenon " to see how I derived these numbers.

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Cahoot
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Cahoot » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:57 pm

Leyla Shen wrote:
Cahoot wrote:Some people find peace of mind from practicing religion.

Some people find it while fishing.
There's a skill to fishing.

Religion?
Religious peace of mind derives from attentiveness to what does not change.

deceit
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by deceit » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:18 pm

Religion is a tool.

Some institutions use it to control, some for poetry, conceptualism, discovering the world, information to transcend, coping mechanism, or some conspiracists would say its the Illuminati's guide to ruling the Earth haha (the bible that is)

Question is do you think the Judaeo/Catholicism/Roman/English/American Religion will ever evolve or change?

In the event of a catastrophe or future world event. Do you think anything could evolve for a new religion to usurp
this prehistoric garbage. The stuff that's taken literally. Their is much wisdom in all Religious texts.

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Alex Jacob
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Alex Jacob » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:27 am

Trevor wrote:If someone is raised on Marvel/DC comics and not Greek/Pagan myths, would he take an exception to this?
Someone raised in a comic-book world would probably desire to fight with you about which comic group publisher is superior and why you put Marvel first. As with a beloved brand. But with a bit more seriousness one could cite quite a long period within German culture, in art and ideas, where Greek philosophy and cultural motifs have had such a very strong expression that studies have been made (as The Tyranny of Greece Over Germany) to speak about it (not a very flattering picture of said influence mind you). Walter Otto in The Homeric Gods traces the 'tangible presence' of the Greek gods as motifs into the weft and woof of Western thinking and I might say 'perception'. Presented in that way it is akin to beginning to analyze, first by noting the presence, of something there at a very basic level. I would like to have included a link to some of Walter Otto's writing on the Olympian gods but couldn't find anything.

Take a look here. I think you are secretly a DC man myself...so click appropriately.
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HUNTEDvsINVIS
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by HUNTEDvsINVIS » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:23 am

It serves various purposes.

Some rulers used it to legitimize their position in society ( they alleged the gods chose them etc ).

It can be used to maintain order and forms of morality in societies.

It can be used to explain why things exist ( and let's face it, we really do want to know why things exist, don't we! )

It lets us have fun rituals!

How WOULD a society look without religion? Well North Korea is an atheist state.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:35 am

Today I came across this article Deprivatization of Disbelief?: Non-Religiosity and Anti-Religiosity in 14 Western European Countries, published recently in the Cambrige Journal "Politics and Religion". From the conclusion:
The analysis presented above shows that anti-religiosity does resonate well with people in the streets of Western Europe. However, it does so more, with disbelievers in highly religious contexts, preferably when they are younger and higher educated. In the streets of the countries with lower levels of religiosity, the older, lower educated disbelievers are attracted to anti-religious ideas.
The suggestion made here is that anti-religious notions (especially the "militant atheist") thrives as social phenomenon as reaction to a dominantly present religious culture. While atheism functions in a less religious society mostly as a tolerant and agnostic belief, promoting freedom to believe without passing strong judgments. Or in other words, it's the strong presence of (past) religion which triggers the anti-religious sentiment in a society but not education or non-belief in itself. My own spin on this would be that any structure, "edifice", contains and creates its own forces of resistance and eventually perversion and undoing in various, competing forms and methods.

What the countries are with "lower levels of religiosity" or how that looks like would be another discussion. In my view this article is only addressing the concept of classical world religions.

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Russell Parr
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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by Russell Parr » Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:35 am

Diebert van Rhijn wrote:Today I came across this article Deprivatization of Disbelief?: Non-Religiosity and Anti-Religiosity in 14 Western European Countries, published recently in the Cambrige Journal "Politics and Religion".
the article wrote:“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Buses with these words drove around London and other British cities from the beginning of January 2009.
If that were on buses around here in Bible belt USA, people would be calling for someone's head. Of course, all of the offensive and oppressive Christian billboards are allowed to stand.

It's easy to see that these people are driven (or restrained) by immense fear. Try to discuss a reality with no God with one of these people, and they can't wait to tell you how you better "watch your mouth" or their sky-daddy will reign supreme justice on your ass. Logic goes out the window in the blink of an eye.

If religion serves any purpose around here, it's to keep the people unified in pessimistic closed-mindedness. This results in a docile society in which consumerism and indulgence run rampant. No wonder the fattest states in America are also the most religious.

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Re: What's the Point of Religion?

Post by HUNTEDvsINVIS » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:29 am

Where I live religion is big...it is HUGE. I am of a different culture than the people around me. I see them practicing their religions and I say nothing. The society I am in is run smoothly enough, crime rates are low, incomes are high, charity boxes are full of big notes. I can't really complain. There is a reason why I would not convert to the religions here, though, actually it is something most people overlook.

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