Does Religion Cause Violence?

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Blake Bowden, Mar 27, 2012.

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  1. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    No..., but I can safely include religion with all the other things in the list that are often used to define "the other". I guess you missed that part.
     
  2. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    The atheists are not at all different from the truest believer of <insert religion here>. And yes, Brother, you are spot on about the need to "...admit the possibility that our most cherished beliefs..." are imperfect. There's even a term for the person who has mustered the courage to admit as much; agnostic. Mind, an agnostic, as Huxley defined the term, does not mean "doubter". That's a common misunderstanding. Humility and faith are not mutually exclusive.
     
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  3. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Agnosticism and its cousins are all about doubt--they are about doubting my own infallibility.
     
  4. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    To continue, though, agnosticism does not include "I do not know and it cannot be known." The moment you say that something cannot be known, you have chosen a dogma.
     
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  5. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    We're splitting hairs here, but you are correct. Still, I see a huge gulf between the believer mistaking gnosis for faith and the agnostic's (arguably) incorrect conclusion that this or that thing can not be known. The latter still commands a certain humility that the former simply can not abide.
     
  6. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I have spent several days turning Huxley's definition, which I like by the way, over in my mind. Yet I am not quite sure that it would apply to me. I have certain specific, cherished beliefs regarding deity, and I engage in certain specific, cherished practices aimed at improving my spiritual condition. Yet I find that I must remain open to the possibility that these beliefs and practices are imperfect. I do not believe that Huxley's definition applies to me.
     
  7. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    To me it would be an unbeliever's mistaking gnosis from faith. To me gnosis means direct knowledge and that suggests direct personal observation. Those who have direct personal observation of deity by some mystical experience don't think they have any need for faith on which to base their belief. This suggests that taking it on faith is what is done by those who believe without having had direct personal observation of deity. Careful inspection of the issue shows the problem of objective repeatable observations versus subjective internal observations. Some unbelievers suggest that those who have had direct personal observation hallucinated or lied.

    One of the agnostic stance is that existence can't be proven. If left at that step any of us who believe but understand we could be in error could call ourselves agnostics. It's usually extended to withholding judgment until there is proof or refusing to participate until there is proof.

    Another meaning of agnostic is lacking direct personal knowledge. Again if left at that step those of us without direct personal observation of deity could call ourselves agnostic until they do experience deity. It's also not the only step taken in most cases. Some do some don't have direct experiences and no one has ever figured out how to cross that bridge. it just happens or doesn't.

    Anyways, the fact that it is not yet proven is not good evidence that it never will be proven. Every scientific discovery made today is something not proven for the entire previous existence of humanity. there's more to it than that as there are statistical patterns and such, but new discoveries do keep on happening.
     
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  8. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Regardless of whether or not the dogma is correct, to state that something cannot be known is to adopt a dogma. It is to reject agnosis and embrace a gnosis that something cannot be known.
     
  9. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    The "specific, cherished practices" are not at all incompatible with the definition of agnostic. Again, gnosis and faith are not the same thing at all. If your faith carries you in a particular direction, does it matter whether or not anyone (including you) can "prove" your path is the "right" one?
     
  10. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    dfreybur likes this.
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