What should religion be based on?

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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ReliStuPhD
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

A short helpful write-up on the word "religion": http://atheism.about.com/od/religiondef ... nition.htm
Immanuel Can wrote:Etymology is helpful, but is not the answer to everything...
Agreed, but in this case, Hobbes is basing his argument on only one of two possible etymologies, so it's perhaps more relevant than you let on here. If religion rises from religare, then he's correct to point to some sort of "bound"-ness at the root of the term. If, however, it rises from religere, this notion of people being bound would be eisegesis rather than exegesis.

(We could even go a step further and consider that "religion" in the Western context a few centuries ago simply meant "Christianity" at one point and was to be used to separate "religion" from "paganism," etc. It's not until the late-19th century (Max Muller) that we really get into a sort of comparative mode where "religion" is coherent as a category. The debate going on here is distinctly modern.)
Immanuel Can wrote:It's more important to ask, "How is the word being used now?"
There is currently a serious and extended debate within the Religious Studies field over both the meaning and etymology of "religion." Some appeal to Emile Durkheim, others to Clifford Geertz, still others to Mircea Eliade, etc, etc, etc. In short, what the scholars are quickly finding out is that this attempt to definitively state what constitutes "religion" is perhaps a hopeless task, the scholar being better-served to definition "religion" with a particular context (i.e. their work). So to alter your quote a bit, I would say that it's "more important to ask 'How is the word being used in this thread?'" insofar as it's difficult to get at even popular uses of the term, much less technical ones.

Personally, I'm inclined to agree with Hobbes that "religion" at its core carries with it an element of binding, though I disagree with him as to what is the nature of that binding.

EDIT: I.C., I see that you've mentioned the above in an earlier post. That's what I get for coming in halfway. If this post proves to be redundant, mea culpa.
Last edited by ReliStuPhD on Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
thedoc
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by thedoc »

A_Seagull wrote: Going back to your reference about music..... Do you not learn about Beethoven's symphonies without asking any questions? Indeed I would suggest that 'asking questions' would detract from the experience.

And I can tell you that asking questions can only enhance the experience. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (the 1st movement) was described by one friend of Beethoven as reminding him of Moonlight reflecting on Lake Lucerne, and the name stuck even though it was 4 years after Beethoven had died. Beethoven wrote a "Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia" (a Sonata in the form of a fantasy) so what would that sound like? You need to forget Moonlight and go back to Beethoven and try to imagine what he was trying to depict, what would a fantasy sound like? Bolero, by Ravel, is one long crescendo intended as an orchestral exercise, not to be preformed in concert. Asking questions and learning something about the composers intentions can enhance the experience and make the listening much more interesting and the playing much more true to the composers intentions.
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A_Seagull
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by A_Seagull »

thedoc wrote:
A_Seagull wrote: Going back to your reference about music..... Do you not learn about Beethoven's symphonies without asking any questions? Indeed I would suggest that 'asking questions' would detract from the experience.

And I can tell you that asking questions can only enhance the experience. .
Yes, you can say that. But it is entirely meaningless.
thedoc
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by thedoc »

A_Seagull wrote:
thedoc wrote:
A_Seagull wrote: Going back to your reference about music..... Do you not learn about Beethoven's symphonies without asking any questions? Indeed I would suggest that 'asking questions' would detract from the experience.

And I can tell you that asking questions can only enhance the experience. .
Yes, you can say that. But it is entirely meaningless.

Interesting, you post as if you know nothing about music, perhaps you think "Rap" is the highest form of musical expression there is? And there I would agree, it's best that you don't ask any questions about what they are really saying. Just curious, are Beethoven symphonies something you've heard some one talking about?
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ReliStuPhD
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

A_Seagull wrote:
thedoc wrote:
A_Seagull wrote: Going back to your reference about music..... Do you not learn about Beethoven's symphonies without asking any questions? Indeed I would suggest that 'asking questions' would detract from the experience.
And I can tell you that asking questions can only enhance the experience. .
Yes, you can say that. But it is entirely meaningless.
So is your broader contention that the asking of question somehow inhibits philosophical... inquiry? (Maybe some other word, since "inquiry" implies/entails questions)

Also, what do you mean by "meaningless." thedoc's statement obviously has meaning, no?
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A_Seagull
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by A_Seagull »

ReliStuPhD wrote:
So is your broader contention that the asking of question somehow inhibits philosophical... inquiry? (Maybe some other word, since "inquiry" implies/entails questions)

Also, what do you mean by "meaningless." thedoc's statement obviously has meaning, no?
Point 1: The asking of questions is not an essential part of making sense of the world.

Point 2: When the meaning of the message received is so different from that of the message sent (taken in literal terms) one can infer that the message is essentially meaningless.
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ReliStuPhD
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

A_Seagull wrote:Point 1: The asking of questions is not an essential part of making sense of the world.
Hmmm. I'm not convinced, but that doesn't strike me as obviously wrong.
A_Seagull wrote:Point 2: When the meaning of the message received is so different from that of the message sent (taken in literal terms) one can infer that the message is essentially meaningless.
This does strike me as obviously wrong. An erroneous interpretation on the part of the recipient does not render the original message meaningless.

EDIT: You say "Kill the black snake." I reply "Why do you think I should bring an umbrella?" Your comment was not without meaning just because I did not understand the point you wished to convey. Or, another example: you say it to someone who doesn't speak English. It still has meaning (e.g. you could write it down, teach your interlocutor English, then come back to it in a few years).
Last edited by ReliStuPhD on Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
Melchior
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by Melchior »

I do not understand the question.
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A_Seagull
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by A_Seagull »

ReliStuPhD wrote:
A_Seagull wrote:Point 1: The asking of questions is not an essential part of making sense of the world.
Hmmm. I'm not convinced, but that doesn't strike me as obviously wrong.
A_Seagull wrote:Point 2: When the meaning of the message received is so different from that of the message sent (taken in literal terms) one can infer that the message is essentially meaningless.
This does strike me as obviously wrong. An erroneous interpretation on the part of the recipient does not render the original message meaningless.

EDIT: You say "Kill the black snake." I reply "Why do you think I should bring an umbrella?" Your comment was not without meaning just because I did not understand the point you wished to convey. Or, another example: you say it to someone who doesn't speak English. It still has meaning (e.g. you could write it down, teach your interlocutor English, then come back to it in a few years).
It is not necessarily erroneous to interpret a statement in a different way from its literal meaning.
thedoc
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by thedoc »

A_Seagull wrote: Point 1: The asking of questions is not an essential part of making sense of the world.
Asking a question can take many forms, other than just verbalizing the question. Looking for information is a form of asking a question. Doing an experiment is a form of asking a question. Examining the world around you is a form of asking a question.

Asking a question is the only way to gain information, and information is the only way to make sense of the world. Thinking and exploring your own thoughts will only give you ideas that are in your own head and not of the real world. It's called "Ivory Tower Thinking" and it will only get you the thoughts in your own head, and they will have no meaning or relationship to the real world unless you correlate them with real world experience.
thedoc
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by thedoc »

A_Seagull wrote: Point 2: When the meaning of the message received is so different from that of the message sent (taken in literal terms) one can infer that the message is essentially meaningless.

If the meaning of the message received is different than the meaning of the message sent, then the error is in the one who received the message. They have their head screwed on backwards.
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A_Seagull
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by A_Seagull »

thedoc wrote:
A_Seagull wrote: Point 2: When the meaning of the message received is so different from that of the message sent (taken in literal terms) one can infer that the message is essentially meaningless.

If the meaning of the message received is different than the meaning of the message sent, then the error is in the one who received the message. They have their head screwed on backwards.
But not if the person who sent the message is delusional.
thedoc
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by thedoc »

A_Seagull wrote:
thedoc wrote:
A_Seagull wrote: Point 2: When the meaning of the message received is so different from that of the message sent (taken in literal terms) one can infer that the message is essentially meaningless.

If the meaning of the message received is different than the meaning of the message sent, then the error is in the one who received the message. They have their head screwed on backwards.
But not if the person who sent the message is delusional.
Please continue to move the goalposts, perhaps someone else will chase them.
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ReliStuPhD
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by ReliStuPhD »

A_Seagull wrote:It is not necessarily erroneous to interpret a statement in a different way from its literal meaning.
Agreed. But that doesn't advance your argument concerning the "meaninglessness" of a statement that is interpreted other than it's literal meaning. It simply means the statement has multiple meanings.

That you disagree with thedoc's assertion is clear. That the thedoc's assertion was meaningless is anything but.
A_Seagull wrote:But not if the person who sent the message is delusional.
Absent a demonstration of such, this contributes little in the way of valid objection.
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Re: What should religion be based on?

Post by A_Seagull »

thedoc wrote: Asking a question can take many forms, other than just verbalizing the question. Looking for information is a form of asking a question. Doing an experiment is a form of asking a question. Examining the world around you is a form of asking a question.

Asking a question is the only way to gain information, and information is the only way to make sense of the world. Thinking and exploring your own thoughts will only give you ideas that are in your own head and not of the real world. It's called "Ivory Tower Thinking" and it will only get you the thoughts in your own head, and they will have no meaning or relationship to the real world unless you correlate them with real world experience.
I don't see you asking many questions. Perhaps you are not so much interested in making sense of the would as you are in foisting your delusions on other people?

Which brings us back to the theme of this thread. For, in my opinion, this is what religionists do, they only want to foist their delusions upon other people.
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