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Author Topic: Religion and Philosophy (was in Reform Celtic Recon To-Do List)  (Read 11242 times)
Mandi
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« Topic Start: March 30, 2007, 09:16:39 am »

From what I have read afterlife was part of the < at least Welch, beliefs.  Meaning of life and good/evil seem to be common for most organized religions.

Not to be difficult in your personal direction, but to be difficult in a general direction;

Unless a person is of the mentality to ask god what is right and wrong, which many people of non-mainstream faiths are not, then religion doesn't have to answer the questions that life experience and society already have sewn up. 

In a faith, I don't need to say that lying, cheating and stealing are not ethical practices, because should you lie cheat and steal, you will experience real life consequences that will hopefully teach you the lessons that you haven't learned yet, and will inhibit you from pursuing meaningful spirituality in a way that is honest with yourself.  Life is the school.  You will learn what you need in a way that you will remember it, or you will experience the lesson again, with increasing return.  Hopefully this time you will remember.

Most religions spend a lot of time looking at how mankind should treat each other, and very little time talking about how mankind should look at god.

The other 'what should I do with my life' question is one that is answered through practice not by practice.  If a dogma attempts to set a meaning of life, no matter how obscure or rhetorical, it becomes dated.  Suddenly there is a limit to how long the path will remain workable, because there is no meaning in life that isn't subjective to an individual, and the time in which they live.  Even the lie cheat and steal ethics have limitations and perspective by which they are given degrees.  Ten years, or a few hundred miles can make incredible changes to how much of the aforementioned is acceptable.

Short of live long and prosper, but both prosper and long being subjective again seems sort of trite, summing up the purpose of the universe in one to two easy chapters/ sentences? 
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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« Reply #1: March 30, 2007, 09:26:09 am »


The other 'what should I do with my life' question is one that is answered through practice not by practice.  If a dogma attempts to set a meaning of life, no matter how obscure or rhetorical, it becomes dated.  Suddenly there is a limit to how long the path will remain workable, because there is no meaning in life that isn't subjective to an individual, and the time in which they live.  Even the lie cheat and steal ethics have limitations and perspective by which they are given degrees.  Ten years, or a few hundred miles can make incredible changes to how much of the aforementioned is acceptable.

As a Counter eg. "Improve the universe to the best of your abilities and understanding" Closely followed by "expand your abilities and understanding"
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« Reply #2: March 30, 2007, 10:05:07 am »

As a Counter eg. "Improve the universe to the best of your abilities and understanding" Closely followed by "expand your abilities and understanding"

Not meant as a dig at any particular path or individual who holds these as their meanings of life;  because I'm sure there are many who do.  This is simply why these don't work for me.

Could one be any more rhetorical?  There is an 'open to lip service' clause here because the only judges of whether you are doing these things are yourself and god.  It's cerebral, it's vague, and when you don't actually do anything other than what you've always done, your butt is still covered. 

-Well, I did learn how to make gravy from a package, so I guess that counts as expanding my abilities.  If you can go through life WITHOUT expanding your knowledge of anything, then my hat is truly off to you.  It would take serious effort.  Even if the knowledge, like the gravy package was happenstance. 

The significance is so user subjective that a life spent increasing your knowledge of the flavor of pixie sticks could be seen as equally meaningful next to one spent increasing your knowledge of what makes cars work or how to solve world hunger.

Improving the universe is another one to be filed under vague, subjective and dated.  We do what we think is best, according to what we know at the time, and the rest goes under the oops, I'm really sorry category.  To put this in a religion almost implies that deity sees shortsighted foibles regardless of their long term cost to be an acceptable part of human nature.

What anyone sees as improvement is subjective, and whether it's long term improvement remains to be seen. 

So I guess I see "Improve the universe to the best of your abilities and understanding" Closely followed by "expand your abilities and understanding" to be an empowered version of 'Always do your best' but I'm so jaded on the concept of what an individuals 'best' is (Bush is doing his *best*), that it would take OCD as a religion to satisfy that criterion.  Thus I don't see religion as addressing the meaning of life. 

Are we here to suffer?  Are we here as an accident?  Are we here to make changes?  Are we here to make as few changes as possible?  Are we an animal and here to breed?  Are we here as custodians of this planet?  Are we an infestation of the planet, are we just a liminal species here till the next big thing shows up and laughs us and our gods back to the last ice age?
 
I leave philosophy in the hands of the philosophers, what is the meaning of life, and religion between an individual and their gods.  With god, I ask; what is the meaning of our relationship.


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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #3: March 30, 2007, 10:37:51 am »

Improving the universe is another one to be filed under vague, subjective and dated.  We do what we think is best, according to what we know at the time, and the rest goes under the oops, I'm really sorry category.  To put this in a religion almost implies that deity sees shortsighted foibles regardless of their long term cost to be an acceptable part of human nature.

What anyone sees as improvement is subjective, and whether it's long term improvement remains to be seen. 

So I guess I see "Improve the universe to the best of your abilities and understanding" Closely followed by "expand your abilities and understanding" to be an empowered version of 'Always do your best' but I'm so jaded on the concept of what an individuals 'best' is (Bush is doing his *best*), that it would take OCD as a religion to satisfy that criterion.  Thus I don't see religion as addressing the meaning of life. 

Are we here to suffer?  Are we here as an accident?  Are we here to make changes?  Are we here to make as few changes as possible?  Are we an animal and here to breed?  Are we here as custodians of this planet?  Are we an infestation of the planet, are we just a liminal species here till the next big thing shows up and laughs us and our gods back to the last ice age?
 
I leave philosophy in the hands of the philosophers, what is the meaning of life, and religion between an individual and their gods.  With god, I ask; what is the meaning of our relationship.

Erm.  I really don't see what the first half of what I quoted has to do with the second half.  This philosophy doesn't work for you, ergo, religion shouldn't ask these questions?

Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean religion should be thrown out the window.  Religion and philosophy have always been intertwined.  I really don't understand how you can just have the meaning of the human-god relationship and throw out everything else.

And it certainly doesn't make any sense in BUILDING a religion.
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« Reply #4: March 31, 2007, 08:03:32 pm »

I leave philosophy in the hands of the philosophers, what is the meaning of life, and religion between an individual and their gods.  With god, I ask; what is the meaning of our relationship.

That actually is a philosophical position because there is no connection without need and no understanding of need without query...  and that process is the foundation of philosophy.  It may be personal, and it may be pragmatic, but it has a philosophical aspect.

Most relationships with gods/desses arise from the very fact of trying to answer some of these questions at least in some small way.  Virtually all religious or spiritual belief involves a value system of some sort, which means engaging in philosophy at least on some level. 



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« Reply #5: April 04, 2007, 10:19:39 am »

Erm.  I really don't see what the first half of what I quoted has to do with the second half.  This philosophy doesn't work for you, ergo, religion shouldn't ask these questions?

Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean religion should be thrown out the window.  Religion and philosophy have always been intertwined.  I really don't understand how you can just have the meaning of the human-god relationship and throw out everything else.

And it certainly doesn't make any sense in BUILDING a religion.

The only part of a faith that comes directly from deity is your relationship with deity.  That is the central glue that holds a faith together.  The rest is a set of social assumptions.  Regardless of whether they were written yesterday, or a thousand years ago.  We have yet to find a piece of paper written on by god.

By putting the answers to philosophical questions in the hands of god, you are giving a socially generated opinion divine weight.  You are saying, I feel this way because god says I should; rather than saying that I feel this way because of personal experience.

This can be, and already is used as a tool for manipulating others.  Consensus social interaction dictating which gods, are more or less moral, have higher purposes in life for their adherents, have more right to do as they feel they are being told by their god, regardless of how it infringes on others who do not believe as the demographic does.

That being the case, philosophy is a better place to answer those questions, because it doesn't demarcate based upon what god you have a relationship, but what principles you feel address your social needs.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #6: April 04, 2007, 11:49:34 am »

The only part of a faith that comes directly from deity is your relationship with deity. 

What if you believe your deity actually has expectations?

If your central deity is one of compassion, might it not be reasonable to hold compassionate behaviour as a tenet of your religion?

Are Gods allowed to have opinions, or make requests?  Because if only philosophy can be involved in determining morality etc, it sounds to me like one is saying 'sit down and shut up God, I'm calling the shots.'

I mean, what if your deity actually *has* requirements?  And what about the theology and cosmology surrounding the *whys* of those requirements?
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« Reply #7: April 04, 2007, 01:26:32 pm »

What if you believe your deity actually has expectations?

If your central deity is one of compassion, might it not be reasonable to hold compassionate behaviour as a tenet of your religion?

Unless you felt emulation of a deity to be the nature of your relationship with them, then no.  If emulation is the nature of your relationship, then how do you choose which aspects are safe and reasonable to emulate?  Especially for those following war, death or underworld gods.

The deity that one feels is one of compassion, another person may believe is one of devotion or health.

Quote
Are Gods allowed to have opinions, or make requests?  Because if only philosophy can be involved in determining morality etc, it sounds to me like one is saying 'sit down and shut up God, I'm calling the shots.'

I mean, what if your deity actually *has* requirements?  And what about the theology and cosmology surrounding the *whys* of those requirements?

There are a lot of people who believe that a monistic great goddess somewhere at one point was a central figure in a utopian society and religion in which blood sacrifice, sex magic and meat eating were taboo.  They are thus required to abstain from these things.  Those who don't worship goddesses the same way, are doing it wrong.  They horrible terrible destructive people who are twisting the message of the goddess.

How is writing out a criteria for how any god saying a person should live any different? 

There is also a big difference between saying god wants me to give up cigarettes, and saying god says smoking is bad. (thus people who smoke are not following my god)  The "for me" qualifier is addressing that it is your relationship.  The other is an individual applying their personal message/opinion to others as divine edict.

Once you are in a position where you feel comfortable making judgment against the faith of another person, either based upon their morality, how they worship a deity, or their perception of a deity as being consistent with yours then you aren't listening to a god.  You're pretending to be one.


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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #8: April 04, 2007, 01:49:39 pm »


Are you saying that to act on rules handed down from your god is hubristic?  Do I have that right?
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« Reply #9: April 04, 2007, 01:54:45 pm »

Once you are in a position where you feel comfortable making judgment against the faith of another person, either based upon their morality, how they worship a deity, or their perception of a deity as being consistent with yours then you aren't listening to a god.  You're pretending to be one.

I...  wonder if there are two different conversations going on here.  What I'm seeing everyone else talking about is ordering their own lives according to the priorities and directions of the deity/ies they follow.  What I'm seeing you talking about is people saying that other people ought to be living their lives by those same rules.  There's a big difference there, and one that you yourself seem to recognize in the post I'm replying to here, so I wonder if somehow there's some miscommunication happening.
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« Reply #10: April 04, 2007, 02:26:15 pm »

Are you saying that to act on rules handed down from your god is hubristic?  Do I have that right?

Nope.  Smiley

I'm saying that to require for someone else to worship the same deity as you are correctly that they must do so according to your perception of that deity is arrogant, pigeonholing and even impious.

Assuming that you speak for god, holds elements of hubris.



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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #11: April 04, 2007, 02:28:24 pm »

Nope.  Smiley

I'm saying that to require for someone else to worship the same deity as you are correctly that they must do so according to your perception of that deity is arrogant, pigeonholing and even impious.

Assuming that you speak for god, holds elements of hubris.

I see a huge difference in saying, "To worship God X, you must do Y" and "to be a member of this faith, you must do Y."  One is a statement that limits the god.  The other is a statement of community.

I don't understand why you're seeing it as the first one, given that I don't see anyone else even arguing that point.
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« Reply #12: April 04, 2007, 02:31:26 pm »

I...  wonder if there are two different conversations going on here.  What I'm seeing everyone else talking about is ordering their own lives according to the priorities and directions of the deity/ies they follow.  What I'm seeing you talking about is people saying that other people ought to be living their lives by those same rules.  There's a big difference there, and one that you yourself seem to recognize in the post I'm replying to here, so I wonder if somehow there's some miscommunication happening.

I'm going from this:
Quote
a list of things we'll probably want to figure out at some point in the development of this path

and this:
Quote
Life meaning.
good/evil explanation

My position is that in order to inject these philosophies into a structured religion, designed for adherents instead of just a personal spirituality, is in many ways to assume that you speak for god.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #13: April 04, 2007, 02:32:34 pm »

I see a huge difference in saying, "To worship God X, you must do Y" and "to be a member of this faith, you must do Y."  One is a statement that limits the god.  The other is a statement of community.

I'd take it a step farther and say what I'm actually seeing here is more just "members of this faith do Y".  Which I suppose implies "to be a member of this faith, you must do Y", but the intention is less to limit than to simply describe.  But I may be reading people wrong.

Quote
I don't understand why you're seeing it as the first one, given that I don't see anyone else even arguing that point.

I admit I'm a little confused about this too.
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I can also now be found on Goodreads.
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« Reply #14: April 04, 2007, 02:40:11 pm »

I see a huge difference in saying, "To worship God X, you must do Y" and "to be a member of this faith, you must do Y."  One is a statement that limits the god.  The other is a statement of community.

I don't understand why you're seeing it as the first one, given that I don't see anyone else even arguing that point.

Because in the original thread, the list of things being established as I read it, was what you would put into a religion.  Which I took to mean as a social institution. 

When building a religion, personally I would stick to elements related to worship, rather than those concerned with regulating the behavior of others.

Quote
here's my current (and continuous) list of things to think about when buliding a religion from scratch.

This is just meant as a list of things we'll probably want to figure out at some point in the development of this path, and it's in no particular order.

modifying to add, perhaps I took the original posters usage of the word *we* and *this path*to imply a community, rather than using 'an individual' and *their path*

Gotta run pick up the kid.  bbiab.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2007, 02:43:55 pm by Mandi » Logged

I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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