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Boss Cat

Logically - you must believe in God..

It's obvious really, isn't it?  I mean, if logic is you guide.
northernstar

Logic and religion certainly don't go together, what's logical about superstition and myth?
Shrub Dweller

Re: Logically - you must believe in God..

Boss Cat wrote:
It's obvious really, isn't it?  I mean, if logic is you guide.

You're not getting away with that one !!!    

What do you mean it is obvious ?    

First, you have to define what you mean by God......  
Boss Cat

Well, I think it's perfectly simple.

There might be a God, there might not be a God, you don't know and what's more I don't either.  No-one does.

If there is a God then those of us who believe in God are quids in, tough luck to les autres (but He might be quite a nice God, in fact I think He is, if He exists, so don't worry).  

If there isn't a God then more material things matter; logically the things that make you healthy, happy, fulfilled become more important.  Now I am sure there are some hiccups here, but generally research shows again and again (Chalmers, Call, Koenig, Yates, Swinyard, James) that having a religious belief is associated with living longer, happier, healthier lives; having better marriages; higher levels of emotional well being; better recovery from illnesses.  I read somewhere (but couldn't reference so won't cite this as fact) that religious belief is associated with being more successful in evolutionary terms (eg, having more children).

So it's clear.  God or no God, acting as though there is one makes good sense.

(You might find this difficult, ie, acting as though something is there when you are sure it isn't, but I wouldn't worry about that if I were you.  Well, unless you think things like truth and honesty matter, but I wouldn't begin to go down that road, you might end up in some strange places...)
genghiscant

Quote:
(but He might be quite a nice God, in fact I think He is, if He exists, so don't worry).


This raises more questions. Is your God a nice God all the time & to everybody? If you say yes, then you're a fool. I don't think you're a fool so I'm assuming that your answer would be "no". You then have to ask why God isn't nice all the time. Why does God allow the rape of children by adults? Why does God allow hideous deformities & illnesses in innocent babies? Why does God allow natural disasters that kill thousands & diseases that kill millions? You may think God has been kind to you but I think you look at your God through rose tinted glasses.
genghiscant

Quote:
having better marriages


Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm

I could find a link on the Internet that refutes every one of your claims. Just saying it doesn't make it true.
The Boyg

Boss Cat wrote:
Well, I think it's perfectly simple.

There might be a God, there might not be a God, you don't know and what's more I don't either.  No-one does.

If there is a God then those of us who believe in God are quids in, tough luck to les autres (but He might be quite a nice God, in fact I think He is, if He exists, so don't worry).  

If there isn't a God then more material things matter; logically the things that make you healthy, happy, fulfilled become more important.  Now I am sure there are some hiccups here, but generally research shows again and again (Chalmers, Call, Koenig, Yates, Swinyard, James) that having a religious belief is associated with living longer, happier, healthier lives; having better marriages; higher levels of emotional well being; better recovery from illnesses.  I read somewhere (but couldn't reference so won't cite this as fact) that religious belief is associated with being more successful in evolutionary terms (eg, having more children).

So it's clear.  God or no God, acting as though there is one makes good sense.

(You might find this difficult, ie, acting as though something is there when you are sure it isn't, but I wouldn't worry about that if I were you.  Well, unless you think things like truth and honesty matter, but I wouldn't begin to go down that road, you might end up in some strange places...)


This appears to be just another version of Pascal's wager.

The problem being, which of the many gods available does one choose?
bnabernard

Sciience discovers laws untill there is a build up of laws and one overall law that says abide by the laws, tweeking the laws generaly ends up in a knock on situation like where a man takes one tablet for one thing then another to counteract the effect of the first and another to put right the combination and finaly ends up copping with a different problem.

God is a bit like that.

bernard (hug)
Leonard James

It is quite logical to believe the universe had a cause. It is NOT logical to believe we know anything about it, because nobody does.

If you want to call the cause of the universe God, then I believe in it, because I believe that something caused the universe to start ... but any more than that is guesswork.

That is as far as logical thought can take you.
gone

Leonard James wrote:
It is quite logical to believe the universe had a cause. It is NOT logical to believe we know anything about it, because nobody does.

If you want to call the cause of the universe God, then I believe in it, because I believe that something caused the universe to start ... but any more than that is guesswork.

That is as far as logical thought can take you.


I agree.  
Leonard James

Here is a logical approach to the problem. I have just been given it and fell about laughing. The man is a genius.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o
Boss Cat

Law
Well I don,t think it matters which God you choose , as far as I can see its having the belief that is important.  As for being able to find links on the net to refute all of my claims, well of course you can.  I am sure that I could find links on the net assuring you that Elvis is working in a chip shop in Batley.   But what about the quality of the references?  I mean are we talking peer reviewed academic journals or are we talking a trawl of the net?

I don't think you will get 100 per cent agreement in anything but there is a general agreement among the academic research that religious belief is good for you.

Doesn't mean there is a God of course and that's not what I was demonstrating.  But it does tell us something about being human though doesn't it?  And how you could live your life.
genghiscant

Quote:
Law
Well I don,t think it matters which God you choose , as far as I can see its having the belief that is important.  As for being able to find links on the net to refute all of my claims, well of course you can.  I am sure that I could find links on the net assuring you that Elvis is working in a chip shop in Batley.   But what about the quality of the references?  I mean are we talking peer reviewed academic journals or are we talking a trawl of the net?

I don't think you will get 100 per cent agreement in anything but there is a general agreement among the academic research that religious belief is good for you.

Doesn't mean there is a God of course and that's not what I was demonstrating.  But it does tell us something about being human though doesn't it?  And how you could live your life.


All very well, but show me some peer reviewed academic journals that describe God as being "a nice God". Have you any evidence at all that your God is universally benevolent.


Quote:
but there is a general agreement among the academic research that religious belief is good for you.


Not for suicide bombers its not.
There is also evidence that owning a pet is good for you, having a non stressful job is good for you, drinking water, breathing. Taken on its own it's meaningless.
Shrub Dweller

Boss Cat wrote:
Well, I think it's perfectly simple.

There might be a God, there might not be a God, you don't know and what's more I don't either.  No-one does.

If there is a God then those of us who believe in God are quids in, tough luck to les autres (but He might be quite a nice God, in fact I think He is, if He exists, so don't worry).  

If there isn't a God then more material things matter; logically the things that make you healthy, happy, fulfilled become more important.  Now I am sure there are some hiccups here, but generally research shows again and again (Chalmers, Call, Koenig, Yates, Swinyard, James) that having a religious belief is associated with living longer, happier, healthier lives; having better marriages; higher levels of emotional well being; better recovery from illnesses.  I read somewhere (but couldn't reference so won't cite this as fact) that religious belief is associated with being more successful in evolutionary terms (eg, having more children).

So it's clear.  God or no God, acting as though there is one makes good sense.

(You might find this difficult, ie, acting as though something is there when you are sure it isn't, but I wouldn't worry about that if I were you.  Well, unless you think things like truth and honesty matter, but I wouldn't begin to go down that road, you might end up in some strange places...)

The thing is for this to work you have to truly believe it, not just act it out. You have to be 100% convinced. It's like the placebo effect, if you believe it to be true (even though it is not, but it's unknown to you) you get better. Once you are told it is a sweetie and not a medicine then it won't work. Another effect of both of these phenomenons is the caring effect of a 'parental' figure. A doctor in a white coat can have the same effect as well. This then is the association of the symbolic imagery which triggers the necessary regions in the brain. With illnesses all this can only go so far but what you have mentioned above, with religion, works on the emotional side of things which is easier to manipulate and govern using these placebo effects. And this is what our social and community make-up has been evolved to do or function on; on symbolism and imagery. We all feel at home when we are surrounded by familiar scenes (symbols), by those objects of our culture and 'tribe'. Football is a common analogy to all this with its team colours, badges and those very important 'parental' figures the players and the manager. The whole thing is an evolutionry con ! That is, it turns us into mere animals responding to stimuli.
SceptiKarl

Of course I believe in God! Eric Clapton is God. I know this because I saw it painted on a brick wall underneath a railway bridge. I also saw "Glenn Hoddle is God" painted on a motorway bridge, but I sensed a "false" prophet!

I do believe in Dyonisus, Greek god of wine as well!
Leonard James

Quote:
That is, it turns us into mere animals responding to stimuli.

Which is precisely what we are, of course!
Shrub Dweller

Leonard James wrote:
Quote:
That is, it turns us into mere animals responding to stimuli.

Which is precisely what we are, of course!

No. Animals are not self conscious, they are only conscious. They have no intentionality, no differentiation, no sense of "I" and the other of the world, no subject-object.
Shrub Dweller

SceptiKarl wrote:
Of course I believe in God! Eric Clapton is God. I know this because I saw it painted on a brick wall underneath a railway bridge. I also saw "Glenn Hoddle is God" painted on a motorway bridge, but I sensed a "false" prophet!

I do believe in Dyonisus, Greek god of wine as well!

And when you play your God's music you will feel good and at one with the world. You will feel happy and feel warmth towards your fellow human beings. You will feel alive and healthy and a joy inside your being. Just like any other religious nutter.  
SceptiKarl

Shrub Dweller:

Quote:
Just like any other religious nutter.


M'lud, I must plead not guilty!

Leonard James

Shrub Dweller wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Quote:
That is, it turns us into mere animals responding to stimuli.

Which is precisely what we are, of course!

No. Animals are not self conscious, they are only conscious. They have no intentionality, no differentiation, no sense of "I" and the other of the world, no subject-object.

You didn't mention being self conscious, you merely said responding to stimuli, and we do.

In any case it has been shown recently that apes are intelligent enough to recognise themselves.

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/278/1725/3694.abstract
Boss Cat

Actually, placebos have a significant effect even if people know they are placebos, don't they?  I mean, people's conditions improve even if they are told they are being a placebo, not just if they think it might be a placebo.  Not always of course.

It could apply to religious belief too - off the top of my head one of the most important benefits of religious belief comes from  observance, taking part...if you are taking part for show I don't suppose that will do much for anyone but if you are taking part because in some vague way you feel part of something bigger then I think it makes sense you might gain some important emotional, physical, health benefits.

How on earth could I show you peer reviewed academic journals showing that God is a nice God, Genghis?  What on earth could they tell us about God?  

My God being a nice God is my own construction.  It's unique to me.  I think of the universe, with or without God as largely benevolent because it gave me life and sustains me; but I think of it as a place of cruelty and destruction too.   But that's my view, not something I could prove.

As for suicide bombers, the research I cited looks at effects within cultures, comparing like with like.  Suicide bombers (secular and religious) flourish in specific situations.   Of course, we can't say it would never happen here (it has).   We can only generalise.  For instance, among some ethnic minority groups in poorer parts of urban USA being part of a church community is the number one (by a long way) protective factor against being involved with crime.  But I don't know if that's the case among white groups of young people in the south of England.

I don't know whether a religious belief is always, sometimes, generally or never helpful in impoverished, war torn or threatened communities. Probably it can be good (gives identity, strength and safety) and bad (leads to paranoia, encourages 'other' thinking).  My personal view, based on limited knowledge from some Syrian Christians, is that secular government can give protection to minority groups sometimes.  But it is far from perfect and can be as repressive as any other regime.

I dunno, but that's not what the thread was about.  And if you think it a meaningless discussion (and feel free too) why the hell are you contributing to it?
SceptiKarl

Boss Cat:

Quote:
Actually, placebos have a significant effect even if people know they are placebos, don't they?  I mean, people's conditions improve even if they are told they are being a placebo, not just if they think it might be a placebo.


Yes I think that's true, and no doubt investigations are going on as to why. AFAIK, placebos have never cured anyone of serious illness.

Quote:
It could apply to religious belief too - off the top of my head one of the most important benefits of religious belief comes from  observance, taking part...if you are taking part for show I don't suppose that will do much for anyone but if you are taking part because in some vague way you feel part of something bigger then I think it makes sense you might gain some important emotional, physical, health benefits.


We are social animals, and the same claim could be made for, say, football fans, trekkies, dog lovers, musicians, or any other group of similar minded people acting out their passion in a group.

Quote:
I dunno, but that's not what the thread was about.  And if you think it a meaningless discussion (and feel free too) why the hell are you contributing to it?


The thread was about it being logical to be a believer. So far I'm entirely underwhelmed with the "logic".

....................................................................................

BTW Leonard, re your link to George Carlin. Yes he's brilliant, sums it up in a nutshell! I have been watching that clip for some years now, and it always makes me laugh.

........."But He loves you!"

Cheers SK  
Boss Cat

Well, the point I am trying (and for you, at least) failing to make is that if there is no God (which none of us know) then being as happy, useful and healthy as you can in this life becomes important.   According to most of the research (some cited in OP) this is linked to having a religious belief.

Of course is there is a God then it would make sense to try to understand what that means, and you can only really do that if you believe in God.

You might like to go back to the OP and let me know what I didn't make clear.

That's how I see it anyway.  What don't you agree with?
Leonard James

Boss Cat wrote:
Well, the point I am trying (and for you, at least) failing to make is that if there is no God (which none of us know) then being as happy, useful and healthy as you can in this life becomes important.

Surely that is important whether there is a God or not?
Quote:
According to most of the research (some cited in OP) this is linked to having a religious belief.

Even if this is true, it refers only to belief, not fact.
Quote:
Of course is there is a God then it would make sense to try to understand what that means, and you can only really do that if you believe in God.

You underestimate our powers of imagination. When I was a Christian, I understood perfectly what belief in God meant ... and I still do.
Quote:
That's how I see it anyway.

Yes, but we don't see it the same way. We see nothing logical in believing in something for which there is zero evidence, except that derived from human imagination.  
Boss Cat

Well you see it that way, but for me it only really matters whether there is a God or not if there is one.  If there's not then what gives this life meaning gets more important.

You are right to pick up that on one level I am talking about belief, not fact.  I am glad I made that clear.

On your next point though; if there is a God that is fact, not belief.  I was referring to understanding God, not the meaning of a personal belief in God.  I expect that you have a reasonable grasp of what your own belief in God meant, although of course you will be looking at your twenty year old self from a completely different perspective.

On your last question, if imagination gave life meaning (and it does, particularly in your field I'd think) wouldn't that make imagination a good thing?
Leonard James

Yes, imagination is a good thing. It provides us with recreation, and it is an important factor in the progress of science and the solving of everyday problems.
Boss Cat

And in helping us to see things differently.  You've acted in comedies - perhaps we can agree that there is nothing like good comedy for new insights and for seeing how ridiculous things can be.
Leonard James

Boss Cat wrote:
And in helping us to see things differently.  You've acted in comedies - perhaps we can agree that there is nothing like good comedy for new insights and for seeing how ridiculous things can be.

Yes, plays of all sorts can combine entertainment with enlightenment.
SceptiKarl

Yes the human imagination is indeed a powerful phenomenum! I can watch Harry Potter movies knowing it is all fiction and still get scared. I can "feel" the ghostly presence of Hamlets's ghost on the battlements of Elsinore and the same unwelcome presence of Banquo's ghost at MacBeth's banquet.  I know it's all fiction, but I still get scared!

And I also get scared by reality too! Even if it's already happened. When watching a rock climber make the crucial move on YouTube, still makes me scared even though I know he made it.  I do still tend to lift my leg when someone is making a high jump or pole vault!

Irrational, or just human empathy? I don't know.

Cheers SK  
Leonard James

SceptiKarl wrote:
Yes the human imagination is indeed a powerful phenomenum! I can watch Harry Potter movies knowing it is all fiction and still get scared. I can "feel" the ghostly presence of Hamlets's ghost on the battlements of Elsinore and the same unwelcome presence of Banquo's ghost at MacBeth's banquet.  I know it's all fiction, but I still get scared!

And I also get scared by reality too! Even if it's already happened. When watching a rock climber make the crucial move on YouTube, still makes me scared even though I know he made it.  I do still tend to lift my leg when someone is making a high jump or pole vault!

Irrational, or just human empathy? I don't know.

Cheers SK  

I'm the same, Scepti! I think it must be empathy, the ability to put yourself in the situation of somebody else and feel what they are feeling.

Worst of all, I do it with animals when they are being hunted or ill-treated ... sometimes to the point of having to switch to another channel because it churns me up too much.
Boss Cat

I haven't watched the Woman in Black though I've heard it's very good.

I posted here recently that I don't believe in ghosts but I would not spend a night in a reputedly haunted house alone.  I must, then, have several layers of belief and what I tell my conscious mind I think is not always the complete picture.  I also catch myself thinking some very primitive, unsophisticated, magical thoughts, far more simplistic than anything I'd admit to.
Lexilogio

Boss Cat wrote:
I haven't watched the Woman in Black though I've heard it's very good.

I posted here recently that I don't believe in ghosts but I would not spend a night in a reputedly haunted house alone.  I must, then, have several layers of belief and what I tell my conscious mind I think is not always the complete picture.  I also catch myself thinking some very primitive, unsophisticated, magical thoughts, far more simplistic than anything I'd admit to.


I don't believe in ghosts - but I'd happily spend the night in a haunted house - I think I enjoy challenging my beliefs
SceptiKarl

Boss Cat:

Quote:
I posted here recently that I don't believe in ghosts but I would not spend a night in a reputedly haunted house alone.


Why not? I can understand a fear of the local axe murderer wandering around near the house, but a ghost? Especially as you don't believe in them?

The power of the human imagination again, I suspect!

When scientists investigated the most "haunted" areas of Edinburgh Castle, they found that there were areas where there were strong downdrafts of cold air which literally chilled the spine. Personally I've spent loads of nights alone in a reputedly haunted Victorian house with never a spook in sight! Alright, anecdotal, but true!

Cheers SK  
Boss Cat

I know how illogical it is,  but there you are.  I even know about infrasound or whatever it is.

I'm rational, that is, I'm capable of acting rationally.  But I'm other things as well, and I don't think that's a bad thing, do you?
Boss Cat

Anyway, Karl, how many local axe murderers are there in your parts, and how often do they wander in to your house?
bnabernard

Whats a stranger, I'm told it's a friend you have not met yet, however to distingish a friend from an threat one processes the stranger, first exercising caution.
Once having exercised caution one lets ones guard down, and as it turns out is as likely to be taken advantage of.
Is there a way to be exempt from making the wrong choice?

Axe murderer or simply someone who will ruin your life,

bernard (hug)
Shrub Dweller

SceptiKarl wrote:
Shrub Dweller:

Quote:
Just like any other religious nutter.


M'lud, I must plead not guilty!


My point being that religion has its roots as a social tool to unconsciously bond the community; going way back 10,000 of years. The symbolism used then was not only antefacts but music of some form  and your cultural attachment to your favourite music et al is rooted in the same process.

So I'm afraid, in one sense, you're guilty on the basis on that of your state of being human.
Shrub Dweller

Leonard James wrote:
Shrub Dweller wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Quote:
That is, it turns us into mere animals responding to stimuli.

Which is precisely what we are, of course!

No. Animals are not self conscious, they are only conscious. They have no intentionality, no differentiation, no sense of "I" and the other of the world, no subject-object.

You didn't mention being self conscious, you merely said responding to stimuli, and we do.

In any case it has been shown recently that apes are intelligent enough to recognise themselves.

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/278/1725/3694.abstract

OK; the issue is more complex with humans because for some their level of self consciousness gets them to re-value their situation and self observe. But sysmbolism and cultural identity is a powerful mechanism within the human psyche.

As for Apes, and the other animals that recognise themselves, this for them is on the cusp or limit of their capacity where as  for us we sail through, and hold onto, this self consciousness more easily, hence our greater attachment to images and symbols.
Shrub Dweller

Boss Cat wrote:
Actually, placebos have a significant effect even if people know they are placebos, don't they?  I mean, people's conditions improve even if they are told they are being a placebo, not just if they think it might be a placebo.  Not always of course.

It could apply to religious belief too - off the top of my head one of the most important benefits of religious belief comes from  observance, taking part...if you are taking part for show I don't suppose that will do much for anyone but if you are taking part because in some vague way you feel part of something bigger then I think it makes sense you might gain some important emotional, physical, health benefits.

In this case the placebo would come from the feeling of being cared for; loved, whatever you wanted to call it. This is how New Age stuff works, having that personal touch and feeling as you are being treated like a human being as opposed to just being a number, type thing.

As for the second bit - "you feel part of something bigger", is the key to many religious and associated affairs. This is the root of these institutions in that they came about to bond the group or community together. If you feel part of the collective; if you feel valued and loved, then this will naturally instigate in you a cooperative attitude.
Lexilogio

Shrub Dweller wrote:
Boss Cat wrote:
Actually, placebos have a significant effect even if people know they are placebos, don't they?  I mean, people's conditions improve even if they are told they are being a placebo, not just if they think it might be a placebo.  Not always of course.

It could apply to religious belief too - off the top of my head one of the most important benefits of religious belief comes from  observance, taking part...if you are taking part for show I don't suppose that will do much for anyone but if you are taking part because in some vague way you feel part of something bigger then I think it makes sense you might gain some important emotional, physical, health benefits.

In this case the placebo would come from the feeling of being cared for; loved, whatever you wanted to call it. This is how New Age stuff works, having that personal touch and feeling as you are being treated like a human being as opposed to just being a number, type thing.

As for the second bit - "you feel part of something bigger", is the key to many religious and associated affairs. This is the root of these institutions in that they came about to bond the group or community together. If you feel part of the collective; if you feel valued and loved, then this will naturally instigate in you a cooperative attitude.


I would agree that these are features in many religious groups, where there is an established (in terms of buildings and congregations) church.
Shrub Dweller

Lexilogio wrote:
Shrub Dweller wrote:
Boss Cat wrote:
Actually, placebos have a significant effect even if people know they are placebos, don't they?  I mean, people's conditions improve even if they are told they are being a placebo, not just if they think it might be a placebo.  Not always of course.

It could apply to religious belief too - off the top of my head one of the most important benefits of religious belief comes from  observance, taking part...if you are taking part for show I don't suppose that will do much for anyone but if you are taking part because in some vague way you feel part of something bigger then I think it makes sense you might gain some important emotional, physical, health benefits.

In this case the placebo would come from the feeling of being cared for; loved, whatever you wanted to call it. This is how New Age stuff works, having that personal touch and feeling as you are being treated like a human being as opposed to just being a number, type thing.

As for the second bit - "you feel part of something bigger", is the key to many religious and associated affairs. This is the root of these institutions in that they came about to bond the group or community together. If you feel part of the collective; if you feel valued and loved, then this will naturally instigate in you a cooperative attitude.


I would agree that these are features in many religious groups, where there is an established (in terms of buildings and congregations) church.

The root I refer to goes back 10s of ,000s of years (perhaps more) and a key feature of early groups was the coming together to reaffirm the bond between each other through rituals and the like. Hence stone circles and Stone Henge and all that. So the church i.e. congregations and services are a reflexion of this long held tradition of mankind. This works best if the group isn't too large so "Small is Beautiful", which is why for our modern society the local pub has played this role (eating and drinking at these meetings was another part of the activity). But even the pub is underthreat now and this loss will cause even more alienation in our society. I think our numbers and the fall out of the industrial revolution is a real problem for our modern age.

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