The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:30 pm

Greetings

My apologies for ramblings against Buddhists. I realize that I am disappointed by my own expectations (of Buddhism/-ts), and this disappointment got a while out of control. I say this not to justify my behaviour but to de-emotionalize.


May I ask out of interest what expectations have been let down?


How can you seriously discuss the topic of "The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid"? Can't you imagine that it may be an offense to anyone who considers himself religious? If the goal of choosing this topic was to provocate, to make people angry: it's a success! (see above )


While the title of the thread isnt perhaps the best the content of the thread is about how when certain religious dogma is taken to an extreme literal interpretation and the effect that has on a persons rationality (thats my take of the thread anyway)

And for the argument: Yes, there are bad examples. But you can enumerate thousands and still proof nothing. That's what I mean with "proof by example" - it's logically illegal. The only thing this shows is that there are "stupid" people, and some of those justify their doing with their believe. Nothing more. Maybe these people just misused the religion to have an excuse, maybe they misunderstood the teachings, maybe they are in an orthodox sect which does not represent any majority... and so on.


This is from my own personal opinion but i agree that religion doesnt make someone "stupid" but impacts on rational thinking. I cant speak for the OP but i think that is what is meant and not the idea that religion is for the uneducated. Hence by saying "The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid" it means, from what i understand from the discussion, "The never-ending capacity of religion making people irrational"

Especially this does not prove any causality, not even a connection, between level of intelligence and religion.


Of course not, many intelligent people have been religious



So if I go and do something "stupid", like having many babies(!), and honestly believe (or just claim) that it was in the name of the Dhamma, what exactly would that prove?


That you didnt understand Dhamma since it doesnt teach that, the point i was trying to make is that if one states that religion is having a negative effect on a person then one has to look at the destructive views said person is holding in comparrison with the text. If its found that their irrational and destructive belief is backed by the text then one can make a stronger case for the religion being the negative influence on the person instead of visa/versa


Is it clearer now what it is I didn't like?


Indeed, my understanding is that you take issue with the claim that religion makes people stupid or is for stupid people. I agree with you here however as i said the word "stupid" as used in this thread wasnt intended to mean of low intelligence but an absence of rational thinking and fundementalist dogmatic thought

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby freki » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:01 am

clw_uk wrote:May I ask out of interest what expectations have been let down?

Long story, maybe the short version is understandable: It was three expectations:
• Buddhists are noticeably bettered by meditation, regarding to tolerance and kindness
• humans can have fair and respectful arguments about metaphysical topics
• this forum's different
How can you seriously discuss the topic of "The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid"? Can't you imagine that it may be an offense to anyone who considers himself religious? If the goal of choosing this topic was to provocate, to make people angry: it's a success! (see above )


While the title of the thread isnt perhaps the best the content of the thread is about how when certain religious dogma is taken to an extreme literal interpretation and the effect that has on a persons rationality (thats my take of the thread anyway)

"isn't perhaps the best"? Is this euphemism or an answer to my question ("Can you imagine if it is offensive...") with a "no, not really". :(
So if I go and do something "stupid", like having many babies(!), and honestly believe (or just claim) that it was in the name of the Dhamma, what exactly would that prove?


That you didnt understand Dhamma since it doesnt teach that, the point i was trying to make is that if one states that religion is having a negative effect on a person then one has to look at the destructive views said person is holding in comparrison with the text. If its found that their irrational and destructive belief is backed by the text then one can make a stronger case for the religion being the negative influence on the person instead of visa/versa

No, it doesn't. It tells you nothing about the influence of religion on that person. A religion may influence a person in three ways:
• negative: make a person more irrational and irresponsible. Or it may be
• neutral: no change - the person may be equally irrational, maybe then using another belief system to justify his behaviour.
• positive: a person can be stabilised by and find happiness in the religion. The idea is that an unstable and unhappy person acts more irrational and destructive.

None of these possibilities can be backed up by examples. Do you understand "proof by example" and why it is a fallacy? This explanation is not the best but better than nothing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_example

And besides, if (in the above example) my understanding of the Dhamma is wrong... Who can judge what's right understanding? Maybe your interpretation is wrong. Even worse: deciding the "right interpretation" of another religion where you have only superficial knowledge of the scriptures?

Indeed, my understanding is that you take issue with the claim that religion makes people stupid or is for stupid people. I agree with you here however as i said the word "stupid" as used in this thread wasnt intended to mean of low intelligence but an absence of rational thinking and fundementalist dogmatic thought

The topic itself is stupid enough :tongue: But other definitions of "stupid" don't really make a difference. Neither it sounds less offensive, nor makes it the thesis and argument better.

cheerio,
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:06 am

None of these possibilities can be backed up by examples. Do you understand "proof by example" and why it is a fallacy? This explanation is not the best but better than nothing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_example


Sure, unless the people in question themselves are claiming religious motivation, and who are we doubt that?

As for the topic being stupid, possibly, but then your above arguments apply.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby freki » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:31 am

tiltbillings wrote:
None of these possibilities can be backed up by examples. Do you understand "proof by example" and why it is a fallacy? This explanation is not the best but better than nothing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_example


Sure, unless the people in question themselves are claiming religious motivation, and who are we doubt that?

Is this a joke? I get the feeling that you just want to be provocative.

As for the topic being stupid, possibly, but then your above arguments apply.

Which?
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:36 am

Is your msg a joke, or are you just trying to be hypercritical?

As to which, you are a smart person; you can figure it out.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby Mawkish1983 » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:09 am

*** THIS POST IS AN INTERMISSION FOR A BIT OF METTA SHARING ***
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:23 pm

Hey

• Buddhists are noticeably bettered by meditation, regarding to tolerance and kindness


How do you know what they were like before?

• humans can have fair and respectful arguments about metaphysical topics


Of course they can

• this forum's different


Im not sure that this part means


"isn't perhaps the best"? Is this euphemism or an answer to my question ("Can you imagine if it is offensive...") with a "no, not really".


I was agreeing with you


No, it doesn't. It tells you nothing about the influence of religion on that person. A religion may influence a person in three ways:
• negative: make a person more irrational and irresponsible. Or it may be
• neutral: no change - the person may be equally irrational, maybe then using another belief system to justify his behaviour.
• positive: a person can be stabilised by and find happiness in the religion. The idea is that an unstable and unhappy person acts more irrational and destructive.

None of these possibilities can be backed up by examples. Do you understand "proof by example" and why it is a fallacy?


Well first of all i said a stronger case can be made, not that it has been proven

for example the Roman Catholic Church's stance on contraception, we can see a link between that religious belief and the suffering its causing in africa and conclude that the religious thought has had a negative effect on said catholics state of mind in regards to sound judgement and, i would say, ethics


As for the link you provided it had this example

I've seen a person shoot someone dead.
Therefore, all people are murderers.


I dont think anyone here has said anything like this in relation to religion

And besides, if (in the above example) my understanding of the Dhamma is wrong... Who can judge what's right understanding? Maybe your interpretation is wrong.


Saying that Dhamma teaches everyone to have lots of sex and lots of babies would be a wrong understanding since there is no backing of this view of any kind in the canon

Even worse: deciding the "right interpretation" of another religion where you have only superficial knowledge of the scriptures?


Thats assuming that people dont know other religious scripture


The topic itself is stupid enough But other definitions of "stupid" don't really make a difference. Neither it sounds less offensive, nor makes it the thesis and argument better.


So its wrong to say that the fundementalists are lacking rational thought in regards to certain things, if i say that a creationist who states that the earth is only six thousand years old and evolution didnt happen and that man lived with dinosaurs is irrational is this is being wrong, biggoted and offensive?

(im aware this is a small minority and an extreme case but it is for sake of an example, i know not all xtians belief such things)


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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby freki » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:24 pm

Another feeling tells me it's better to stop further discussion here, so please excuse.

cheerio,
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:40 pm

freki wrote:Another feeling tells me it's better to stop further discussion here, so please excuse.

cheerio,
freki


Too bad. I was going to ask you to show in anything I said that expmlified the logical fallacy you referenced. Alas, it is not to be.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby Mawkish1983 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:08 am

I personally feel its time for this thread to come to a close.
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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:16 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:I personally feel its time for this thread to come to a close.


I agree... there's seemingly nothing positive left to come out of it.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The never-ending capacity of religion making people stupid

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:25 am

I unfortunately seriously misjudged the possibility of negative reaction to such an idea. Of course no one has a monoply of acting badly in the name of religion, but criticizing questionable religious behavior is not to everyone's liking.

To those who were offended, my apologies; to those who weren't my apologies.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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