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Difference between revisions of "Essay talk:Why religion is bullshit"

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(Morality)
(I've removed my name from this one as I'm going to be away for a while.)
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:::::::That's why I said "usually".--[[User:Bob_M|Bob]][[User_Talk:Bob_M|<sup>bing up</sup>]] 09:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
 
:::::::That's why I said "usually".--[[User:Bob_M|Bob]][[User_Talk:Bob_M|<sup>bing up</sup>]] 09:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
 
I suspect that most wars are over economic issues at their root (and the others are caused by leaders' egomania).  However, often other issues are papered over them to ignite the passions of the draftees - religion, patriotism, revenge for perceived past wrongs, etc.  I think most wars would not have started without some economic impetus. Truly making this case would be beyond the efforts I want to make right now, though. '''[[user:human|<font color="#DD00DD" face="comic sans ms">human</font>]]'''{{User:Human/sigtalk}} 12:14, 1 February 2008 (EST)
 
I suspect that most wars are over economic issues at their root (and the others are caused by leaders' egomania).  However, often other issues are papered over them to ignite the passions of the draftees - religion, patriotism, revenge for perceived past wrongs, etc.  I think most wars would not have started without some economic impetus. Truly making this case would be beyond the efforts I want to make right now, though. '''[[user:human|<font color="#DD00DD" face="comic sans ms">human</font>]]'''{{User:Human/sigtalk}} 12:14, 1 February 2008 (EST)
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== Remove name ==
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RT: I've removed my name from this one as I'm going to be away for a while. This may also free you up to use your slightly more confrontational writing style.  I wish you well with the essay.  :-) --[[User:Bob_M|Bob]][[User_Talk:Bob_M|<sup>bing up</sup>]] 03:52, 2 February 2008 (EST)

Revision as of 08:52, 2 February 2008

Hey! I've been planning an essay on this! (Only my title was going to be a tad less confrontational.)--Bobbing up 05:49, 27 January 2008 (EST)

I hope you don't mind but I've added the essay template. Which ironically tells other users not to touch it.--Bobbing up 05:58, 27 January 2008 (EST)
I think there can be more than one essay on the subject. Or you can help with this one, if you like. --Rational Thinker 06:00, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Well you've made a lot of the points that I was going to make. So they'd be pretty similar. But there are some things that I'd like to add (but they'd reinforce the thrust rather than change it) - so shall we make it a collaboration? If you don't like what I add then we can edit it back out and I'll do my own. But I don't that that'll happen.--Bobbing up 06:07, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Why not -- go ahead :-) --Rational Thinker 06:09, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Actually, before I do, do you really want to go with this sentence: Moral decisions are best made by rational thinking. I think it may go a bit further than I would want to go. For instance there could be circumstances where starting wars, stealing or killing people might be the most rational choice - but not necessarily the most moral one.--Bobbing up 06:16, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Well, but if for example one steals things, then he will have no authority to forbid others to steal from him. So while he will have more possession in the short term, this is not true in the long term. Immoral decisions that appear rational usually are irrational if you think through all the consequences. Can you provide a counterexample? --Rational Thinker 06:30, 27 January 2008 (EST)
While it might be reasonable to conclude that if one steals things one could not forbid others from stealing from you, this is clearly not the case. Mafia bosses, for example, whose business are based on criminal activities have no problems forbidding others from stealing from them. Another question is - how long term? It is easy to imagine wealthy families whose fortunes were originally obtained by morally dubious terms and who have yet had to pay a price for selling slaves or weapons or whatever. Their were rational but immoral (at least in today's terms) but the long term has yet to punish them.--Bobbing up 08:19, 27 January 2008 (EST)

Mafiosi have a track record of killing each other for various reasons, so I wouldn't count that as a particularly rational lifestyle. Of course you might just not be caught stealing, but is it rational to live with the constant risk? Then maybe we have somewhat diverging notions of rationality. I mean, you can also survive Russian Roulette, but that doesn't make it a particularly rational pastime, does it? --Rational Thinker 09:13, 27 January 2008 (EST)

While rational decisions may be made on the level of risk involved, I don't think think moral ones should be. Logically, if I had literally zero risk of getting caught robbing a bank then it would be rational to do it. But it would clearly be wrong morally. Please note that I in no way make this point in an effort to support religious morality, but only to point out that suggesting that morality is based on rationality is a dubious philosophy.--Bobbing up 11:40, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Well, if you really want, edit that out, it's not the main point anyway ... I'm still not convinced however: your last example is definitely not a real-life example. And clearly, if you can rob a bank safely, then someone else should be able to do that, too. And if everyone starts robbing banks, the economy breaks down and money becomes worthless, so the robbery was not such a rational thing to do... But as I said, it's not the main point, so you can edit it... though I wonder, if you say that moral is based neither on religion nor on rationality, on what then? --Rational Thinker 12:11, 27 January 2008 (EST)
That is a very good question which we have debated here (somewhere) before. It seems to me that it comes from some sort of nebulous social development. Consider that this site includes deists, theists, agnostics, and atheists. But we all feel that, for example, slavery is wrong. A few hundred years ago we would probably not have thought this as a group. How is it that people of such different philosophical backgrounds would reach such similar conclusions? It would seem remarkably coincidental if we had independently and simultaneously reached this moral conclusion based on our theism, agnosticism atheism or whatever. The logical conclusion is that there is something which influences us independently of these views; and that we then back-reason this conclusion into our existing philosophies. What is it? The only thing that occurs to me is the ongoing moral evolution of society. I must say that I rather don't like even this interpretation very much as it seems to suggest that "evolution" means "better", which isn't necessarily the case either. But it's the best I've got. But OK with that out of the way I'll join in this one.  :-) --Bobbing up 12:51, 27 January 2008 (EST)

OK, I'll leave it for now. :-) --Bobbing up 13:55, 27 January 2008 (EST)

Eh, I don't want to seem like I'm restarting a dead argument, but there is a moral philosophy based purely off "rational decisions". It's called utilitarianism, and it fell out of favor for not insignificant reasons. By the way, technically there is no such thing as a "moral" decision. Morals, strictly speaking, are what you believe in, nothing more. What you mean is ethics, which is how you act on those beliefs, and when those beliefs start to affect others. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:52, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Well, it was removed from the essay anyway, so perhaps that part of the debate is no longer that relevant here. :-) --Bobbing up 07:06, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Oh, poo. Always spoiling my fun, Bob.  :-) --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:10, 1 February 2008 (EST)
You could always start a debate on it. We don't seem to use that much.--Bobbing up 07:17, 1 February 2008 (EST)
See, that's exactly why I keep you around, Bob. God-like as I am, even I can't think of everything. But I rest assured knowing that you're here to cover me.  :-) --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:21, 1 February 2008 (EST)
I'm gratified if you feel that I'm helping both your needs and, apparently, your new-found egomania!!--Bobbing up 07:34, 1 February 2008 (EST)

Sinfest!

Tatsuya Ishida's timing is always impeccable. This time, however, it's almost frighteningly so. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 06:47, 27 January 2008 (EST)

A response...

I'm working on an essay that deals with some of the issues raised in this one hereDrop by and give me your thoughts...PFoster 13:07, 27 January 2008 (EST)

I hope you develop it. But it doesn't seem to be trying to explicitly refute the points raised here.--Bobbing up 13:20, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Not yet - right now I'm trying to get at what rubs me the wrong way about the spirit of what's going on here.PFoster 13:23, 27 January 2008 (EST)
I might have preferred the title "Why religion is irrational." But the points would have been similar. I look forward to your rebuttal - I always enjoy debate and I'm always prepared to be proven wrong.--Bobbing up 13:32, 27 January 2008 (EST)

one thought

I'd like to add that the concept of being "purely rational" is also impossible. And in reality, we all carry a host of irrationalities around in our heads, "believers" or not. Not that that statement contradicts the title assertion, of course. humanUser talk:Human 19:57, 27 January 2008 (EST)

Purely Rationell is not impossible for me! I am purely rationell and scientific! Bow to my big rushional Brain! --Rashunell tinkar 04:37, 28 January 2008 (EST)
Hey! Where is everybody! I must call you bullshit! I'm so rashunull and scientific! BE IN AWE WITH GREAT AWE! YA! YA! YA! --Rashunell tinkar 07:48, 28 January 2008 (EST)
They're either sleeping or at work. Come back later. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 07:54, 28 January 2008 (EST)

category

You might want to put this in Category:Blasphmeny (probably). Sterilexx 08:25, 28 January 2008 (EST)

Nine! Blashpemy is bullshit! This is hard raciunal SCIENCE, man! We don't censor categorize rayshanal facts here! --Rashunell tinkar 09:25, 28 January 2008 (EST)

Hahahahaha brilliant. Please shoot me now. --Rational Thinker 14:23, 28 January 2008 (EST)

Seconding Bob's suggestion on retitling

And then go nuts rehashing The God Delusion. Any nice succinct formulations of his arguments should probably find a home here too. --Robledo 15:22, 28 January 2008 (EST)

Morality

Oh-kay, now. "The various consequences of religion - such as the numerous religious wars raging from early history to the present day - would indicate that that religion is hardly a basis for moral decisions." Come on, Bob. You're a smart guy. You know we live in a complex world. I can't possibly imagine that you would be so reductionist as to believe that 'religious' wars happen just because of religion. Take a look at the causes of the Thirty Years' War, probably the most important one of them, then try to think that one over one more time. And then, of course, there is the question of why the fact that a few people have waged wars on the basis of religion should reflect badly on those uncountable millions of other religious people who arguably have had nothing at all to do with it. Unless you wish to argue that there is some essential thing inherent in religion that makes people more prone to starting wars.

Also: "Wherever moral decisions come from, it is pretty clear that they are not based on religion - as religious interpretations of what is moral typically change with the generations and are not the fixed absolutes which religions claim." This sentence does not seem entirely internally consistent. First you claim that morals are not based on religion. But in the very next sentence, you yourself point out that there are "religious interpretations of what is moral", and that these "change with the generations". Now, given that morals also change with the generations, that would rather seem to indicate that, on the contrary, there is at least some connection between morals and religion. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 08:38, 1 February 2008 (EST)

That part was by Rational Thinker. Check the earliest version in the history. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:43, 1 February 2008 (EST)
I'm not sure which of us wrote that bit but it carries both our names so I'm not going to duck it on that basis. I may even be persuaded to modify it. Let's see.
I accept that it is highly unlikely that any conflict would have any single cause. However I am sure that we would all agree that religion has been an important factor in many conflicts and, in some cases, the most important factor. I may edit the essay to reflect this later.
With regard to AKjeldsen's second point I'll think if over and either justify it or clarify it.--Bobbing up 08:50, 1 February 2008 (EST)
I started *ahem* a debate on these lines. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:54, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Yes... religion has been an important factor, but there are proximate causes, and then there are ultimate causes, which can often be quite different. In any case, I think it would be more precise to say that that wars break out because of conflicts of interest over important issues, one of which can be religion, rather than those issues themselves. I mean, there are plenty of wars that have started over trade conflicts, but that doesn't mean that trade in itself is a bad thing, does it? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 09:00, 1 February 2008 (EST)
I agree - but "trade" usually makes no claim to setting moral standards.--Bobbing up 09:11, 1 February 2008 (EST)
One could argue that it does, to a certain extent, with Adam Smith or the 17th century Mercantilists, for instance. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 09:22, 1 February 2008 (EST)
That's why I said "usually".--Bobbing up 09:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)

I suspect that most wars are over economic issues at their root (and the others are caused by leaders' egomania). However, often other issues are papered over them to ignite the passions of the draftees - religion, patriotism, revenge for perceived past wrongs, etc. I think most wars would not have started without some economic impetus. Truly making this case would be beyond the efforts I want to make right now, though. humanUser talk:Human 12:14, 1 February 2008 (EST)

Remove name

RT: I've removed my name from this one as I'm going to be away for a while. This may also free you up to use your slightly more confrontational writing style. I wish you well with the essay.  :-) --Bobbing up 03:52, 2 February 2008 (EST)