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Author Topic: I just don't like religion
rollainm
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I think it's pretty much a given that people have these experiences (numinosum, awakening, enlightenment, etc.) which lead them to/from religion or to make any other sort of change in their lives. Calling that experience something doesn't really bring us any closer to understanding religious conviction.

quote:
My knowing of God looks like the knowing that you use when you love someone.
I think that this analogy is even more subject to criticism than your last, especially given the inherently subjective and fallacious nature of the feeling/experience we refer to as love. Could you be more specific?

quote:
Getting friends, falling in love doesn't involve research (we don't want take our friends/lovers through a battery of psychology tests before we decide to give them our trust and love)
Sure it does, and sure we do. I think most of us, subconsciously at the very least, subject people to "a battery of psychological tests before we decide to give them our trust and love." I wouldn't necessarily word it so crudely, but it is more or less true. My commitment to my fiancee, the integrity of our relationship, is in large part due to her "passing" (or exceeding) of my "tests" and mine of hers.
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
subconsciously at the very least

This is what I mean. The subconscious is very much part of us. Religion helps me make contact with that part.

quote:

I think that this analogy is even more subject to criticism than your last, especially given the inherently subjective and fallacious nature of the feeling/experience we refer to as love. Could you be more specific?




Sorry if my analogies donít work. You may throw them away if they are not helpful.
I can not at this time be more specific.


quote:

Calling that experience something doesn't really bring us any closer to understanding religious conviction.



I think it does. We now have a name that we can refer to. So even when I cannot be more specific, You can read others on this subject. (see my link in the previous post)

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MightyCow
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Real life friends interact with you and do things to earn or lose your trust and friendship. You can't use this analogy with something mythical, which never shows any testable interaction.

Again, it's not intuition, it's "making things up." Intuition requires some experience upon which to have built up unconscious evidence.

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rollainm
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quote:
This is what I mean. The subconscious is very much part of us.
My use of subconscious is separate from the ongoing debate on what defines intuition. What I refer to here as subconscious behavior is testable, observable. Whatever you want to call it, it is not the same as the "intuition" religious conviction is supposedly based upon.

Or what MightyCow said.

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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by MightyCow:
You can't use this analogy with something mythical, which never shows any testable interaction.

I didn't use the anology to prove something.

I used it to get some common ground, an experience that we all have and that is based upon something more than just testable things.

Didn't work. Maybe I wil try again sometime.

remember: I am only trying to make you understand what religion does to me. So for me this is not a debate that can be won or lost. The winning is only in better understanding on both sides.

My conviction is not based on any proof. It's just a feeling from within. So in that part I will never ever have a satisfying answer for you. I can only give you insights in how this works for me.

If these insights are in anyway helpful I will keep posting.

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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by rollainm:
(numinosum, awakening, enlightenment, etc.)

Numinosum is a more useful term than "awakening" and "enlightenment" and probably "etc." too.

Numinosum is just to describe an experience. The inventor of the term and the writer I talked about do not give it the religious meaning or implication that the other words do. So it is more neutral ground. It can lead to what people call awakening but it isn't in itself.

For me I don't like the words awakening or enlightenement. That would mean that I think that I was and you still are asleep or in the dark. This is not how I see it.

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King of Men
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quote:
Getting friends, falling in love doesn't involve research
No, but generally speaking we are sure that they exist before we experience any such emotion. [Roll Eyes]
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bootjes
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Getting friends, falling in love doesn't involve research
No, but generally speaking we are sure that they exist before we experience any such emotion. [Roll Eyes]
but is the emotion in itself not sort of "numinous"?

(trying to get across the concept: "numinosum")

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rollainm
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In a word, no, at least not necessarily (not that I think it matters anyway).

I think I and others here understand its meaning and application well enough. Perhaps your inability to see this is indicative of your own lack of understanding of the subjective nature of the term. Whether or not it is synonymous with enlightenment, awakening, etc. isn't of any significant importance to the discussion at hand.

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bootjes
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Time to throw in the towel.

So there is this grey area. In which things like numinosum and intuition and subconscious all have a part. Now of course there can be mechanisms at work that science will someday discover. But for now it is in the mist ( a cloudy picture in a mirror).

Now I make up stories (no I use stories that others made up) to somehow make sense of this. And they do. They actually help me make sense of my feelings in an way that science canít . That is the most simply I can put it. Closer than this I fear I will not come. So goodbye to this thread.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Threads:
Saying that most people use intuition incorrectly does not imply that intuition is unreliable.

Yet no one seems to be able to explain how one is to know that they are using intuition correctly.

quote:
Poker players can test their intuition by following it and seeing if it is correct.
Do you really think that top poker players routinely disregard the facts of probabilty, their observations of player's playing habits, and observations of body language, when their instincts tell them to do the opposite of what all those facts tell them?

quote:
Obviously a lot of poker consists of reasoning and facts but good intuition gives the true pros an edge.
Ah, we are really back to where we started.

Everyone seems agreed that using facts and reasoning works really well. And no one seem to be able to refute the fact that prejudice, and biases, and selective memories, and crummy heuristic logic contribute to what one calls "intuition". And I don't think that anyone has tried to argue that using logical fallacies and prejudice leads to good decisions.

Yet there is still this insistance that intuition really is a "great" tool, and that it is more important than logic and reasoning still crop up. It's just faith.

quote:
I doubt this is true of every situation. For example, there are police officers who are particularly adept at recognizing shady behavior and I doubt that they could tell you the specific algorithm that they use for doing so.
There are police academies. They do teach police officers things.

You're pointing out one example of an area that you don't think can be well articulated is hardly very convincing.

quote:
If they could then they should be able to tell other officers so that all police officers become as good as they are. That doesn't happen in practice.
No, it could require a very complicated algorithm, with lots of variables. And it could be different in every neighborhood. And not all police offficers are as observant as others.

And even if you were able to teach the officers perfectly, some would think that their biased and prejudiced "intuition" is more valuable than observing as they were taught.

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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
quote:
Poker players can test their intuition by following it and seeing if it is correct.
Do you really think that top poker players routinely disregard the facts of probabilty, their observations of player's playing habits, and observations of body language, when their instincts tell them to do the opposite of what all those facts tell them?
What is "reading" an opponent other than observing that player's body language and playing habits?

EDIT3: Which I would classify as intuition.

quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
Yet there is still this insistance that intuition really is a "great" tool, and that it is more important than logic and reasoning still crop up. It's just faith.

I haven't made that argument. I've tried to show how intuition can be a great tool but I've never claimed that it is more important than logic and reasoning.

quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
quote:
I doubt this is true of every situation. For example, there are police officers who are particularly adept at recognizing shady behavior and I doubt that they could tell you the specific algorithm that they use for doing so.
There are police academies. They do teach police officers things.

You're pointing out one example of an area that you don't think can be well articulated is hardly very convincing.

<snip>

No, it could require a very complicated algorithm, with lots of variables.

That's part of my point. If the officers in question cannot state the precise algorithm that they are using in the recognition process then they are using intuition.

Just to be clear, earlier I stated that "intuitions are abilities that are learned subconsciously." This is the definition I am using in this discussion.

EDIT: My only point in the poker example was that intuition can be a reliable tool. I wasn't making a generalization or trying to make an argument for religious intuition. This may have not been clear since other people were making broader arguments.

EDIT2: Post sounded more confrontational than I wanted it to.

[ July 14, 2008, 02:05 AM: Message edited by: Threads ]

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sylvrdragon
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Here's the problem I see with the phrase "religious intuition". The term "intuition" as I understand it implies the presence of evidence, whether conscious or subconscious. I was always under the impression that religion, as a rule, was based on a concept called "faith". Now I always thought that the definition of "faith" was something along the lines of: acceptance without evidence.

I could be wrong on one or both of those definitions, but I don't think I am. As such, it is "faith" that you should be trying to defend rather than a made-up term like "religious intuition". Not that I think "faith" has a very strong argument... but at least it's not a contradictory term in and of itself.

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Tresopax
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"Acceptance without evidence" is not really what I'd think the religious mean by "Faith". "Faith" is more along the lines of "Acceptance in spite of doubt." I think most, if not all, religious folks believe that their particular faith has some sort of evidence to support it, whether that be personal observations about the world, intuition, the Bible, or whatever. BUT along with the evidence, there are usually also doubts that come along, because religious evidence never seems to be 100% complete. Faith is all about overcoming those doubts.

...

If the question this thread is asking is "What's the point of religion?" I think it is essential to accept the value of intuition, personal observation, and other more subjective sorts of evidence. If you don't recognize those things as evidence, I'd think it will be difficult to understand where religions is coming from. Religion is NOT about coming up with an objective proof of God. Philosophers historically have engaged in that sort of thing, but I think the average religious person mostly worries about finding objective proof of God when atheists demand such proof. That's why debates about the Cosmological Argument, or Pascal's Wager, or any given attempt to prove God, though interesting from a philosophical perspective, really kind of miss the point of religion.

The point of religion is more to guide a person's decisions about what is important in life and how we should direct our lives. The aim is less about having a precise or provable model of the universe and more about having good judgement as an individual person. That's an endevour that by nature requires some subjectivity.

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Threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
"Acceptance without evidence" is not really what I'd think the religious mean by "Faith". "Faith" is more along the lines of "Acceptance in spite of doubt." I think most, if not all, religious folks believe that their particular faith has some sort of evidence to support it, whether that be personal observations about the world, intuition, the Bible, or whatever. BUT along with the evidence, there are usually also doubts that come along, because religious evidence never seems to be 100% complete. Faith is all about overcoming those doubts.

This is interesting but do these doubts manifest themselves in practice? It seems like if one were 80% confident that the God of the Bible existed then it would make sense to be Christian* but it would not make sense to "specialize" as 100% Protestant or 100% Catholic or some other type.

* Pascal's Argument is valid if the prior probability of Christianity being correct is significantly above that of other religions.

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Mucus
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On the other hand, it could be observed that many people do in fact "bend the rules" in favour of increased non-religiousness but still retain their "label" if asked. Christians with declining church attendence, Jews that become more secular and stop keeping kosher, etc.

Perhaps we could start calling them 80% Christians or 80% Jews [Wink]

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Threads
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That would get tedious [Razz]

In all seriousness though, it's more accurate to view beliefs as probabilities rather than binary choices.

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Morbo
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quote:
Originally posted by Threads:
In all seriousness though, it's more accurate to view beliefs as probabilities rather than binary choices.

Fuzzy logic in both the mathematical definition and casual use. Cool.
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