Talk:Baptism

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I don't think we should pull any punches. Should this have the Bullshit category? --Edgerunner76 10:32, 15 December 2007 (EST)

Why? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 10:34, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Is this glorified shower actually washing sin from the soul? Religious bullshit shouldn't have any sacred place compared to other forms of bullshit. --Edgerunner76 10:36, 15 December 2007 (EST)
"Actually" according to which criteria? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 10:38, 15 December 2007 (EST)
I tend to think that there is a bit of deceit in telling someone that they'll be able to get an eternal reward in an "afterlife" for having had someone splash them with some water. --Edgerunner76 10:42, 15 December 2007 (EST)
It can hardly be called deceit when the people involved believe in it themselves. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 10:46, 15 December 2007 (EST)
I agree with you there. I think what I am getting at is POV. Is the major RW POV (it is mine) that this is bullshit? I agree that believers in baptism would be of the opposite opinion. --Edgerunner76 10:51, 15 December 2007 (EST)
I don't see on what grounds it should be called bullshit. It's not as if baptism makes any scientifical claims as such. It claims to rinse the soul of sin, but since neither soul nor sin are things that can be meaningfully measured, exactly which yardstick are we to use here? Some people believe in it, and some people don't, that's all there is to it. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 10:59, 15 December 2007 (EST)

Alright - I see why one would want the Bullshit category, but is baptism the same kind of bullshit as ear candling, crystals or chelation therapy? Not so sure. Another thought - is aggressively insulting people's core belief systems - as flawed as one might find them - going to do much to make people re-think those sorts of ideas, or just piss people off for now reason? PFoster 11:02, 15 December 2007 (EST)


NOMA[edit]

And so we come again, and by yet another route, to the question of NOMA I think. Religion may make certain claims about the existence of things called "souls" or "Gods". Some religious people would claim that the existence of these things can be proved; while others, perhaps the majority, would accept that they cannot. Some of us would claim that believing in something which by definition cannot be proved is, indeed, bullshit. Others of us would maintain that the principle of NOMA protects religious belief of this type from rational attack. If we want to be consistent in our treatment of these topics then we really should thrash out the question of NOMA.--Bobbing up 11:37, 15 December 2007 (EST)

Yes, but it's more than just NOMA, it's also a question of epistemology in general. More precisely, how is it possible, not to mention constructive, to use the natural scientific method to test something such as baptism which, I must repeat, does not make any claims to having a measurable physical effect. This makes it essentially different from ear candling and similar woo, which does claims to have such an effect. This also has a bearing on other academic fields. The arts and humanities do not, as a rule, make scientific claims either. Should they have to submit to the scientific method as well, regardless? I should hope not, because that would seem like an unfortunate attempt by the natural sciences to establish a methodological monopoly. That has been tried before, and it failed miserably. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 11:51, 15 December 2007 (EST)
And one of the reasons it failed was that rational "just-the-facts-ma'am" thinking cannot fathom anything beyond the concrete, physical nature of the "measurable world".
The upshot of that type of thinking gave us, (via NASA and the need to keep costs down), flavorless "food bars" that had everything necessary for good health except an appetite to eat the damned things.
I would have to hearken back, back, back to the posts I did in the forum under an atheism thread, the crux of which I will encapsulate here:
The same creative, oh let's call it, Qi that enables Homo sapiens to think "why?" also supplies an answer.
Now, the answer might not be correct but is a "working theory" to get by on until we learn differently. When we learn differently we can either move on with the new information or hold on to the old answer: doing the former is called "being rational", doing the latter is (tacitly, to me, at least), "religion". CЯacke® 12:21, 15 December 2007 (EST)
People obviously have a right to believe in things for which there is no evidence. However, one might rationally ask, "Why believe them then?" Although people generally believe them because it's what their parents' told them to believe, people frequently feel constrained to invent other more logical-sounding reasons for their belief. AKjeldsen, however, is usually exquisitely careful not avoid suggesting that any empirical evidence could be provided to support what I assume are his beliefs. Other religious people, and I don't know if they are the majority, are not so careful. I am not sure whether all fields should submit to the scientific method - but surely the idea of having, for instance, "evidence" is a good idea? --Bobbing up 12:35, 15 December 2007 (EST)
Evidence is always nice to have, but there are many fields where it's not really necessary, because your subject matter is usually given from the start, and the central issue is the interpretation of it. In literary theory, for instance, you might occasionally have to address whether or not a given work was in fact written by whoever it's attributed to, but most of the time, you can pretty much skip that step and get down to the real question of interpretation. And scientific method is not at all useful there, since there is no objective way to test whether or not any given interpretation is more "correct" than another. Essentially, that means that you have to "use theory to produce observations", as opposed to the natural sciences where the observations ideally produce the theories.
Other fields, such as history or anthropology, are more dependent on "evidence", but even then, the various methods used with such evidence is only a preliminary exercise used to establish the subject matter before you get down to the real question of interpretation.
My point is that using the scientific method is in most cases simply not a fruitful way to approach subjects in the humanities, because you more or less limit yourself to a simple question of "is this thing verifiable or not?", rather than the much more interesting one of "why do these people believe this?". Or to put it concisely, while the natural sciences are about explaining phenomena, the humanities are about interpreting them. The scientific method is fine for explanations, but it simply doesn't do interpretations - in fact, it's practically designed to eliminate the subjectivity inherent in interpretation. So to do that you need hermeneutics or something similar. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 09:32, 16 December 2007 (EST)

Jesus baptism[edit]

He was baptised - did he baptise any of his followers? If not why not? — Unsigned, by: 82.198.250.3 / talk / contribs 18:15, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

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"for some religions"[edit]

This wording is contentious. As far as I can glean, it's only done by Christians (including some of the more marginal groups like Mormons). The inclusion in the article of something seemingly "baptism-like" from Judaism doesn't mean Jewish people, or any other non-Christians, practice baptism. CogitoNotStirred (via telepathy) (talk) 20:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)