What is the role of religion in our modern secular world?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Magical Realist, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Secularism has already totally replaced religion in our modern world. People now largely live their entire lives 24/7 without worrying about a God or damnation or sin, pursuing their education and lucrative careers and relationships and cultural interests that now supply all the necessary meaning to their lives. You start spouting your god shit on your average urban street corner and people will quickly regard you as a nutcase. That's the kind of world we now live in. Religion is now largely seen as irrelevant, desperate, bigoted, superstitious and out of place in a universe that functions perfectly well without it. No one is interested in it anymore. There's just so many more interesting things goin on these days that it is essentially dying a long overdue death.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
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  3. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    last I checked death still has a 100% success rate.
    :shrug:
     
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Are you sure the paradigms pertain to the premise of primary assumptions?
     
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  7. lightgigantic Banned Banned

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    as much as you specify specious suggestions to slyly synthesis science and secularism.
     
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Except yourself, apparently, because you keep bringing it up.

    If you're going to criticize this or that, at least clean up your language, and don't make silly generalized claims.
     
  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Cut the guy some slack, that is the entirety of his criticism.

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    Yet another one frightened to explore the depth of religion, clinging to ''pop'' religion to justify his fear (faithphobia).

    jan.
     
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    That's what we do given the OP. We keep "bringing it up."
     
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Exploring the "depth of religion"? What is THAT like? Generalizing the term "God" past all of its original meaning into some abstract metaphysical principle that could mean anything to anyone at any time? Tillich anyone? A little Bultmann to make that wafer go down smoother? Theologians have been striving for over a century now to reinvent God for the new godless universe that now surrounds us. A vain attempt at secularizing Skydaddy to keep him relevant in a universe from which he is conspiciously and consistently always missing. In the meantime, man continues to evolve towards a new multireality that is bristling with possibility and creative potential. The old myths are dying away like they always do. Gods, saviors, angels, and devils. All slowly rotting away now on top of the fairies and satyrs and mermaids and witches stuffing the big fat dumpster of history's forgotten storybook characters.
     
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Totally? I don't think so.

    So what's up with your own belief in ghosts? Why are you so interested in the possibility of your own personal subjectivity surviving death? Why do you stoutly reject scientific physicalism and favor more idealistic ontologies?

    I still think that of all the people posting here on Sciforums, you have one of the strongest senses of personal religiosity. You have a stronger sense of and a deeper longing for the transcendent than most of the rest of us. I certainly don't mean that as an insult, it's just an observation. I kind of like it.

    'Religion' is a broad term and it encompasses a lot more than the hated Christianity of your youth.
     
  14. arauca Banned Banned

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  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    That's what all the evidence shows. In that sense I'm being more scientific than those who just dogmatically deny the existence of paranormal phenomenon to support their own physicalist ontology. That's what you do isn't it? Deny the existence of transphysical phenomena because well you just know for a fact that reality is only physical? BTW, believing in the paranormal while being expected therefore to believe in God and angels is like believing in extraterrestrials while being expected therefore to believe in Darth Vader. One's an actually measurable phenomenon. The other is a storybook character.

    Everybody in the world knows what religion refers to except apparently you and Jan. But then that's the typical apologetic strategy isn't it? Redefine religion into something so general and nonspecific that every horrible instantiation of it can be dismissed as an exception to the rule.
     
  16. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

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    It can. What role it plays is up to the individual.
    For instance. My religion is one that I practise privately with a small group. Sometimes I take part in larger, public activities. But it's mostly a private thing that helps me connect spiritually to the cycles of nature, the land, and the gods. That's what role my religion plays for me. But religion doesn't necessarily have to play the same role for others. It can be more public, more private, more based on ethnicity, more based on spirituality, more based on transcendence, or any other things. It's really up to the individual.
     
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Do you accept the existence of paranormal religious phenomena? Miracles, religious experiences and whatever? There's certainly no end of reports of them, from many different cultures and traditions, throughout history.

    If you do accept that stuff, then isn't it evidence for the truth and reality of what you started this thread to bash?

    If you don't accept the existence of paranormal religious phenomena, then how do you distinguish the sort of paranormal phenomena that you do favor from the religious examples? How are the religious and non-religious examples different? Why do you believe that the non-religious examples are more credible?

    The first topic that most philosophy of religion classes address is the definition of the word 'religion'. And fact is, there isn't any universally accepted definition. Many definitions have been proposed, of several different sorts, and all of them fall prey to objections.

    Probably the best approach (in my opinion at least) is to treat religion as a 'family resemblance' concept. In other words, there might not be any single essence of religion, some set of defining characteristics that all religions possess and no non-religions do.

    What seems to have happened in history (at least in early modern times in the English language) is that 'religion' was first applied to the three 'Abrahamic' religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Then after the voyages of discovery, Europeans came into contact with a host of things in foreign lands that shared many, but not all, of the characteristics of these three paradigmatic (to Europeans) religions. Buddhists had monks and temples and scriptures. But confoundingly, they didn't have any central God or any idea of sin and redemption. The Confucians were another problem case. The so-called 'tribal religions' presented others.

    So 'religion' came to mean pretty much anything that resembled Christianity (and Judaism and Islam) enough to be recognizably the same kind of phenomenon, without any expectation that there's any one single defining characteristic that all religions must all share in common.

    If the question of whether or not something is a religion is a matter of family resemblance, and if the boundaries of what is and isn't a religion is notoriously vague and poorly delineated, then questions do arise.

    It seems to me that a belief system that emphasizes the promise of personal survival of death, affirms the reality of spiritual beings, and holds that a spiritual realm of being exists that's more true, real and fundamental than this physical space-time-matter universe, does share many characteristics in common with more conventional religious doctrines. In particular, it seems to me that the motivations for believing in such a vision are probably much the same.
     
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    The sole criteria I use for deciding if a paranormal event is real or not is evidence. If it has good evidence, then I accept its possibility. If it has no evidence, then no I do not accept it. To my knowledge there have never been any confirmed religious miracles. Many claims that's for sure. But scant evidence at best.

    Actually paranormal investigations paint a rather disturbing portrait of the afterlife. Many reveal entities trapped in cyclic hauntings or in ignorance that they are even dead. Others portray an almost "wild west" aspect to the ghost realm-- a mix of innocent souls, mentally ill souls, and evil sadistic souls all interacting and fighting with each other and scrounging around for free energy. Do I look forward to an afterlife like THAT? No! The best accounts of the afterlife come from departing goodbyes by recently deceased relatives or friends who appear to be moving on to some higher plane. Some do that. Many don't. I'd hate to end up a ghost bound to this earthly plane. Much more stress free to just not exist at all. But if that's how it turns out I'll deal with it somehow.
     
  19. Balerion Banned Banned

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    What evidence? You mean paranoid delusions from unbalanced personalities and those trying to cash in on our culture's appetite for ghost stories? Because I can't think of a single shred of scientific evidence for anything that would qualify as paranormal. So, by all means, share.

    Even pit against this straw man interpretation of paranormal deniers, your position is at best one of gullibility rather than scientific discipline. I have no idea what has swayed you to believe in an afterlife or the existence of a paranormal realm (except your previously established desire to live beyond death, of course), but I feel safe in the assumption that you're willing to take on "eyewitness" accounts as concrete evidence. That you consider this evidence at all, let alone enough to render a judgment in the affirmative, says one of two things: Either you don't know anything about the scientific method, or you're so desperate to believe that you'll literally believe anything.

    No. The reason people deny the existence of an afterlife or the paranormal is because there is no evidence to suggest there is, and plenty of evidence to suggest there isn't.

    If paranormal activity is a measurable phenomenon, where are the measurements?

    Now, while I've posed several questions and made several points here, I expect nothing less than a total bailout from you in response. You'll feign offense at some perceived slight and use it as an excuse to beg off having to actually support your claims with anything other than straw men and ad hominem. I'd love for you to surprise me by actually showing some conviction in your delusion, but as typical of the deluded, you intellectually know you're talking nonsense and won't have the stomach to spar with someone you can't push around with rhetoric.

    He's right in the fact that your belief in the supernatural is religious.
     
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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  21. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Okay, so it is as I thought. You just believe whatever bullshit people feed you.

    Either that, or Youtube searches equal scientific evidence now.

    :shrug:
     
  22. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Magical Realist,

    You mean, you believe there is no depth to religion at all?


    Can you give examples of this.

    Are you angry with God because you're homosexual, and all scriptures (God-centered) regard your lifestyle as an abomination?

    jan.
     
  23. Economister Registered Member

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    As a component of meditation and spirituality.
     

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