The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
July 15, 2020, 02:10:37 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 15, 2020, 02:10:37 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Can religion lead you to error?  (Read 13728 times)
Yez
Apprentice
**
Last Login:June 22, 2009, 01:53:25 am
United States United States

Religion: Daoist, apparently
Posts: 24


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #15: May 15, 2009, 07:49:36 pm »

Religion is bad in the way that books and cars are bad.

Exactly.

[I don't know the quote thingy well enough to do the slick multiple-quote thing, so I'll just use italics:]
It doesn't make my parents weak, it just means they recognize a specific biological need and accommodate it in a relatively harmless way.

I doubt that it's biological and I doubt that it's a need, but I have no proof either way....

Some people are crazy. Crazy people with religion are crazy with religion.

Bwaaaaahahaha, amen :>

For more clever people, religion provides a right-shaped peg for an empty slot.

I don't think I have that particular slot {{{cough}}}.  I could be having a semantics crisis here, though, since I think of religion as an organized, formal-tending-toward-rigid group endeavor.  I think of spirituality as an individual examination of the nature of higher powers and one's behavior & role in this lifetime.  OTOH I don't think I have a slot for that either; I just made room for it in my life.  My ethical guidelines are probably an amalgam of the golden rule, experience and plain common sense. 
Logged

Black holes are where God divided by zero. - Stephen Wright

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:July 11, 2020, 09:37:09 am
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #16: May 15, 2009, 11:47:34 pm »

It's not Crat's beliefs I was hoping to be discussed, but rather his proposal that religion offers ethical guidance that might otherwise be lacking. 
I think the proposal is based on a false premise, that ethics can only exist in context of religion.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
Yez
Apprentice
**
Last Login:June 22, 2009, 01:53:25 am
United States United States

Religion: Daoist, apparently
Posts: 24


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #17: May 16, 2009, 02:49:11 am »

I think the proposal is based on a false premise, that ethics can only exist in context of religion.

I've reread Crat's post, and I don't see where you're getting the "only".  Sandi paraphrased Crat's proposal: "...religion offers ethical guidance that might otherwise be lacking."  Might, I think, is the keyword here.

Crat said, "It can be very very hard to establish your own set of principles for correct behavior."  To me, "very very hard" doesn't mean "impossible".

Crat adds, "...people without the skill to develop a socially assimilable ethics of their own would tend to generate a practical hazard to themselves and others...."  I infer from this that he believes there are people with the skill to develop ethics of their own without the use of religion.
Logged

Black holes are where God divided by zero. - Stephen Wright
SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:July 11, 2020, 09:37:09 am
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #18: May 16, 2009, 02:02:16 pm »

I've reread Crat's post, and I don't see where you're getting the "only".  Sandi paraphrased Crat's proposal: "...religion offers ethical guidance that might otherwise be lacking."  Might, I think, is the keyword here.

Crat said, "It can be very very hard to establish your own set of principles for correct behavior."  To me, "very very hard" doesn't mean "impossible".

Crat adds, "...people without the skill to develop a socially assimilable ethics of their own would tend to generate a practical hazard to themselves and others...."  I infer from this that he believes there are people with the skill to develop ethics of their own without the use of religion.
I should have been more precise (comes of not looking back on the OP for specifics).  The false premise is that externally-derived ethics can only exist in the context of religion.  As the quotes you provide illustrate, Crat is positing that the only alternative to a religious source of ethics is for the individual to generate hir own.

My position is that ethics are not peculiarly religious at all, but cultural (of which religion is simply one aspect) - the ethical aspects of a culture are often supported, and may be enforced, by the religious aspects of that culture, but ethics/morals are a function of a culture's desire for self-preservation, rather than a function of its religion.  The appearance of ethics as a specifically religious matter is an offshoot of Western thought's intellectual separation of religion from other cultural matters.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
Yez
Apprentice
**
Last Login:June 22, 2009, 01:53:25 am
United States United States

Religion: Daoist, apparently
Posts: 24


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #19: May 16, 2009, 02:38:17 pm »

The false premise is that externally-derived ethics can only exist in the context of religion.

Ah!  Okay, yes - I hadn't made that distinction.  (I'm such a Western thinker!)  My experiences, which contributed to my ethics, are certainly a matter of culture, as the "golden rule" arguably is (I think the GR is used in a secular manner as well as being a tenet of many religions).  Thanks for clearing that up for me :-)
Logged

Black holes are where God divided by zero. - Stephen Wright
Starglade
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:April 02, 2012, 03:07:59 pm
United States United States

Religion: Tibetan Buddhist
TCN ID: Starglade
Posts: 1614


Life is a work in progress.

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #20: May 16, 2009, 03:37:19 pm »

<snippage>

My position is that ethics are not peculiarly religious at all, but cultural (of which religion is simply one aspect) - the ethical aspects of a culture are often supported, and may be enforced, by the religious aspects of that culture, but ethics/morals are a function of a culture's desire for self-preservation, rather than a function of its religion.  The appearance of ethics as a specifically religious matter is an offshoot of Western thought's intellectual separation of religion from other cultural matters.

Sunflower


This is what HHDL is talking about, I think, in his book Ethics for the New Millennium. His point is, religiously derived ethics seem to have been divisive, historically speaking, because of the "I/mine" involved. "My religion says this, you aren't of my religion, therefore you are [fill in the blank--evil, foolish, stupid, damned, whatever]."  The system he proposes and discusses takes religion, anyone's religion, out of the picture entirely and focuses on the common human ethical system instead: "Everyone wants to be happy, and to not suffer." From that springboard one can create a system that doesn't require "We/our" and "they/their" at all. There is no "we," there is no "they," there are humans--the same, everywhere, with the same basic desires and needs.

I have to admire a spiritual leader who has the courage to say "Religion, I think, is something we could perhaps do without." Spirituality/ethical beliefs and practices, no--religion/dogma, yes.

Logged

The source of all misery in the world lies in thinking of oneself. The source of all happiness lies in thinking of others. -- Shantideva

My public transcript is available for viewing.
http://www.brainbench.com/transcript.jsp?pid=7189853
Sandi
Apprentice
**
Last Login:April 30, 2010, 05:58:25 pm
United States United States

Religion: Zen Taoist
Posts: 24


You are a mere human.

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #21: May 18, 2009, 03:07:05 pm »

As the quotes [Yez] provide[ed] illustrate, Crat is positing that the only alternative to a religious source of ethics is for the individual to generate hir own.

I think this is a key point. If, as Crat suggests, there are "people without the skill to develop a socially assimilable ethics of their own", would they have the skills to assimilate and embrace any other external system of ethics?

If the answer is 'no', would it not be fair to say they are then forced to accept these ethics on faith?

Now, I'm no expert on Western thought, but I find it unlikely that an ethics based on rationality and reason is presented with a preface of "I've spent years working out this philosophy, and you should accept it blindly because I'm so smart."?

And thus, would not an ethical system embedded in a religion (which is primarily a support structure for faith), better serve, as you put it, the function of a culture's desire for self-preservation?
Logged

If it was meant for everyone to follow a teacher, would there be a single person who'd be without a teacher for a moment? Does the quest for knowledge mean replacing one's true feelings with the teachings of someone else?  -- Zhuangzi (translated by Nina Correa)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #22: May 18, 2009, 03:22:39 pm »

And thus, would not an ethical system embedded in a religion (which is primarily a support structure for faith), better serve, as you put it, the function of a culture's desire for self-preservation?

You could argue that our laws are a non-religious ethical system.

Don't murder people, don't steal from people, etc.
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
BGMarc
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 17, 2011, 09:57:32 pm
Australia Australia

Religion: Stoic (with declining druidic/wiccish hangovers and emergent Hellenic/Kemetic affiliations)
Posts: 1525


Blog entries (0)

Marc Larkin 6marc9
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #23: May 18, 2009, 06:01:48 pm »

Now, I'm no expert on Western thought, but I find it unlikely that an ethics based on rationality and reason is presented with a preface of "I've spent years working out this philosophy, and you should accept it blindly because I'm so smart."?

Stoicism can come close at times. It certainly includes an ethical component that is independent of religion. Technically it views all (or at least most) of us as having an imperfect rationality that may not be able to determine why a thing is ethical at any given point in time; however, if we follow the Stoic way (which is to say follow the dictates of our fundamental nature), we are assured of being ethical in the overwhelming majority of situations. It could be said that we have faith in the rationalism that we apply to the Sage and may deploy faith as our reason for following the Sage's path.
Logged

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

BGMarc at the Pub
BGMarc
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 17, 2011, 09:57:32 pm
Australia Australia

Religion: Stoic (with declining druidic/wiccish hangovers and emergent Hellenic/Kemetic affiliations)
Posts: 1525


Blog entries (0)

Marc Larkin 6marc9
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #24: May 18, 2009, 06:04:12 pm »

You could argue that our laws are a non-religious ethical system.

Don't murder people, don't steal from people, etc.

My knee-jerk reaction to this is that it lacks a component of explanation. Law tells us what we must/must not do without giving us a reason why. To me this means that it doesn't qualify as ethics. Is this component of explanatory meaning something that others here feel is necessary for a system to be an ethical system?
Logged

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

BGMarc at the Pub
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #25: May 18, 2009, 08:09:42 pm »

My knee-jerk reaction to this is that it lacks a component of explanation. Law tells us what we must/must not do without giving us a reason why. To me this means that it doesn't qualify as ethics. Is this component of explanatory meaning something that others here feel is necessary for a system to be an ethical system?

well, the reason why is "because otherwise you get fined/ go to jail".

Which really isn't different from "because otherwise you go to hell" - it's not a system of POSITIVE ethics (you should do this because it's the right thing to do) - but it is a system of ethics.  I think.
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:June 23, 2020, 07:47:48 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #26: May 18, 2009, 10:34:17 pm »

well, the reason why is "because otherwise you get fined/ go to jail".

Which really isn't different from "because otherwise you go to hell" -

Not any different at all, IMHO. Except that laws are much easier to change than directives a deity handed down centuries ago.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host
BGMarc
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 17, 2011, 09:57:32 pm
Australia Australia

Religion: Stoic (with declining druidic/wiccish hangovers and emergent Hellenic/Kemetic affiliations)
Posts: 1525


Blog entries (0)

Marc Larkin 6marc9
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #27: May 20, 2009, 10:07:55 pm »

well, the reason why is "because otherwise you get fined/ go to jail".

Why do you go to jail though?

Quote
Which really isn't different from "because otherwise you go to hell"

One significant difference here seems to be the source of authority. Religiously-derived ethics posit that something is ethical because an absolute authority has ordained it so. Laws don't appear to make a claim regarding the ethicality of an action (i.e. its 'rightness' or 'wrongness'), but rather to make an announcement regarding what is allowed and what is not allowed. The former posits a reason for why something should be allowed or not, while the latter merely defines the consequences of doing that which is not allowed.

Quote
it's not a system of POSITIVE ethics (you should do this because it's the right thing to do) - but it is a system of ethics.  I think.

If positivism is not a necessary element of ethics, then what are the necessary elements? For, example, if I tell you to do xyz, is that an ethical directive, or is it just a statement of what I require of you?
Logged

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

BGMarc at the Pub
RandallS
Co-Host
Administrator
Grand Adept Member
*****
Last Login:June 23, 2020, 07:47:48 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
TCN ID: ADMIN
Posts: 17181


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #28: May 20, 2009, 10:19:06 pm »

One significant difference here seems to be the source of authority. Religiously-derived ethics posit that something is ethical because an absolute authority has ordained it so.

One problem with Divine Command ethics is that the absolute authority/deity could define good however it wants. If the absolute authority/God says go kill the people different from you, then killing the people different than you is ethical. Divine Command ethics seems to assume that the deity commanding is basically good as we humans define good as most people would not be willing to consider such a "go kill those different than you" command ethical no matter who the absolute authority is.
Logged

Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog - Forum] -- Out Of Print & Out Of Style Tabletop Roleplaying Games
Software Gadgets Blog -- Interesting Software, Mostly Free
Cheap Web Hosting -- Find an Affordable Web Host
BGMarc
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 17, 2011, 09:57:32 pm
Australia Australia

Religion: Stoic (with declining druidic/wiccish hangovers and emergent Hellenic/Kemetic affiliations)
Posts: 1525


Blog entries (0)

Marc Larkin 6marc9
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #29: May 20, 2009, 10:40:09 pm »

One problem with Divine Command ethics is that the absolute authority/deity could define good however it wants. If the absolute authority/God says go kill the people different from you, then killing the people different than you is ethical.

Absolutely, I make no claim on the quality of such ethics (not that Divine Command is the only teleology able to provide ethics (Stoicism, for example, attempts a rationalist ethics)). That said, it does differ from law in that it makes a claim as to right vs wrong in relation to given acts/thoughts. The law seems to me to make no such claim. Law says only that xyz shall attract consequence abc because the state has so decreed (not because xyz is intrinsically right or wrong.

Quote
Divine Command ethics seems to assume that the deity commanding is basically good as we humans define good

This is only true if we believe that the will of a deity must conform to our individual preferences. In your example, either killing the 'other' is good because the divine command is definitively absolute (and the congregation just has to get over the fact that the universe doesn't run the way they think it should) or there is some set of rules that the individual is aware of and that deity is required to conform with. If that is the case, then what is the well of absolute knowledge to which the individual who disagrees with the Divine Command has access, but to which the divinity itself does not? The only other alternative that I can see is that the individual members of the religion each decide for themselves whether or not their deity knows what it's talking about.

Quote
most people would not be willing to consider such a "go kill those different than you" command ethical no matter who the absolute authority is.

The situation in Iraq and Afghanistan seem to belie this point of view. Particularly when one considers the extensive media coverage of the fundamentalist religions underpinning many/most of the individuals in the major forces.
Logged

"If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been wallpapered" Robin Tyler

It's the saddest thing in the world when you can only feel big by making others feel small. - UPG

Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime. The sentence is death. There is no appeal and sentence is carried out automatically and without pity. Lazarus Long.

BGMarc at the Pub

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Fisher Price Toy Recall - lead paint « 1 2 3 »
Non-Religious News
LyricFox 43 12022 Last post August 17, 2007, 07:10:33 pm
by Purplewitch
Horse track takes lead with no-slaughter policy
Sports and Recreation
LyricFox 4 2227 Last post September 19, 2008, 11:29:06 pm
by AIONIA
All paths lead to the same meadow « 1 2 3 4 »
Philosophy and Metaphysics
Lintu 56 14587 Last post March 22, 2010, 04:17:24 pm
by mandy1216
No Abortion Options Lead to... « 1 2 ... 6 7 »
Non-Religious News
Satsekhem 100 16505 Last post March 08, 2011, 03:34:33 pm
by sailor_tech
Ironic Error
Religious News
Asch 3 2250 Last post June 20, 2011, 06:46:27 am
by Melamphoros
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.062 seconds with 47 queries.