Author Topic: The Evolution of Belief  (Read 9328 times)

Croghan27

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The Evolution of Belief
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2007, 07:23:52 AM »
here is the religion of Japan - Shinto. Another Intelligent Design.

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Japan, this Island Earth

The gods created two divine siblings, brother Izanagi and sister Izanami, who stood upon a floating bridge above the primordial ocean. Using the jeweled spear of the gods, they churned up the first island, Onogoro. Upon the island, Izanagi and Izanami married, and gave forth progeny that were malformed. The gods blamed it upon a breach of protocol. During the marriage ritual, Izanami, the woman, had spoken first. Correctly reprising their marriage ritual, the two coupled and produced the islands of Japan and more deities. However, in birthing Kagutsuchi-no-Kami, the fire god, Izanami died. Traumatized, Izanagi followed her to Yomi, the land of the dead. Izanami, having eaten the food of Yomi, could not return. When Izanagi suddenly saw Izanami's decomposing body, he was terrified and fled. Izanami, enraged, pursued him, accompanied by hideous women. Izanagi hurled personal items at them, which transformed into diversions. Escaping the cavern entrance of Yomi, he blocked it with a boulder, thus permanently separating life from death. (Rather like Persephone in Hades, isn't it?)
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Holly Stick

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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2007, 11:00:03 AM »
Croghan "intelligent design" was invented in the 1980s.  It's not really accurate to use that term for ancient creation stories.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

brebis noire

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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2007, 12:59:51 PM »
Intelligent DesignTM was maybe coined in the 1980s as shorthand for "We believe in the literal Biblical account of creation and are spending big $$$$ marketing our efforts" but I don't have a problem with Crogh using the term while amusing himself and us with ancient stories of creation.

Holly Stick

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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2007, 01:24:26 PM »
But intelligent design is an attempt to put a scientific veneer on to creationism and biblical literalism which are recent developments.  They are different ways of thinking from the telling of creation myths.

Making historical parallels is a mug's game; but I would consider the rise of creationism and intelligent design as a backlash movement similar to the RC Church's Counter-Revolution.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

skdadl

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The Evolution of Belief
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2007, 01:38:15 PM »
While I agree with brebis noire and Holly Stick about the recent, highly political uses of the term "intelligent design," it's also true that that wouldn't have been a misnomer for the arguments advanced by many scientists and deists of the C17-C18, who were progressive in their time for talking past the dogma of the Roman church and trying to think about deeper reasons for human spirituality. Among those people would be, eg, Sir Isaac Newton and Voltaire. Actually, I don't see that Einstein's statements about the spirit of the universe differ so much from theirs.

Croghan27

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« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2007, 02:43:21 PM »
I happened upon this list of 'explainations' for the world in various cultures in a magazine called, 'Live Science'. While I do not really like the scarcastic tone of the individual pieces, it does have the glory of having so many theories of the reason for being in one place. They are strung out over several days for mechinical reasons, putting them all in one entry would make a immense post.

I disputed with Caissa (for whom I have huge respect) in another thread as to whether science and religion deal with the same thing, taking the position that as for a search of 'first causes' they do - even if that is so broad as to be almost meaningless.

Each of these societies believed in these, what we so paternalistically call, myths, in the same way that we believe in science: sometimes tolerating other visions, sometimes not.

jj in in her unrepentant old hippy has a wonderful post on how (once again) the anti-abortion forces are trying to get abortion made into legally synonmous with killing. They are using 'protection of a pregnant woman and her feotus' as the lever to introduce it. I believe that Intelligent Design being used in the same way - a patina of rationalism to introduce what is essentially a super-rational explaination for the universe.

skdadl's comments about the C17-C18 are especially relevant here as progressive thinkers considered themselves very rational in those times. In the last four or five days I have had the phrase: "Everything happens for a reason." laid upon me and I consider that too as an attempt to both suggest there is a mind behind the existential phenomena about us, even as science strives mightly to find more physical reasons, and an anthropormophism regarding God. (Can a spiritual being think as we know it?  :roll: ) Whatever, the statement is true both in an evolutionary sense and a ID one.

While ID may be a new expression, it is itself evidence of some kind of intelligent design - a very old and very human 'design' to bring a particular brand of religion/world view into the public sphere.I am not averse to the idea of spirituality being introduced into the public sector, but those that support ID, so far as I can see, are not philosophers or secular thinkers, but very partisan backers of a specific kind of view that I find distasteful.

For what it is worth, I see our current slant toward 'scientific explainations' and bias against any other, as very similar to the ones I am posting. The difference being, of course, that we know we are correct.  :whis:
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Holly Stick

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« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2007, 03:07:20 PM »
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...Each of these societies believed in these, what we so paternalistically call, myths, in the same way that we believe in science: sometimes tolerating other visions, sometimes not...
I don't agree.  Science is a way of looking at the material world, at things that can be measured and weighed and which act according to the laws of physics, etc.  Religion deals with spiritual issues that science doesn't go near.

Now a person might have a religious faith in science, as in "I don't understand how it works but I believe because the scientists say it's so."  But that's not scientific thinking.

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...In the last four or five days I have had the phrase: "Everything happens for a reason." laid upon me...
Aha! You've been watching "Criminal Minds" haven't you? :twisted:  I noticed that too.  I saw most of last season, but not the first season, and I wondered if it is getting more religious and why.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Croghan27

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The Evolution of Belief
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2007, 03:31:35 PM »
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Aha! You've been watching "Criminal Minds" haven't you?  I noticed that too. I saw most of last season, but not the first season, and I wondered if it is getting more religious and why.

The eagle eye'd Holly is once again correct - even if the twist is that I received emails from two people that had watched the show and they recommended that I do as well. (Beyond the reality shows of baseball and football, I do not watch much TV.)

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I don't agree. Science is a way of looking at the material world, at things that can be measured and weighed and which act according to the laws of physics, etc. Religion deals with spiritual issues that science doesn't go near.


I could not agree more here, Holly  :D  .. but the supporters of ID (Okay, many of the supporters of ID) feel this is the actual and measurable way the world was created - as we all know in 6006BC  :wink:

Aside from those dedicated souls that try, try, try to mesh science and religion, the external appearance of those that see science as the only and complete answer is remarkably similar to religious fundamentalists, in just about any religion.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Holly Stick

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The Evolution of Belief
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2007, 04:05:55 PM »
Quote from: Croghan27
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Aha! You've been watching "Criminal Minds" haven't you?  I noticed that too. I saw most of last season, but not the first season, and I wondered if it is getting more religious and why.

The eagle eye'd Holly is once again correct - even if the twist is that I received emails from two people that had watched the show and they recommended that I do as well. ...

Gloat. :twisted:   It was a very good episode; Garcia the computer nerd had been shot at the end of the previous episode, and there was a good explanation for why he did it.  I don't like it when they try to bring God into the story, as if She had written the script instead of some writer who was soon to be on strike.  It's the old deus ex machina ploy and not convincing.  Though it was nice that Garcia found a soul mate. She's an appealing character, and a great contrast to all the FBI types.  :popcorn  (Of course if you don't watch the show, you won't know what I'm talking about; but it's an intelligent show, better than most cop shows.)

Quote from: Croghan27
...Aside from those dedicated souls that try, try, try to mesh science and religion, the external appearance of those that see science as the only and complete answer is remarkably similar to religious fundamentalists, in just about any religion.
There is much in what you say. :mrgreen:
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

anne cameron

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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2007, 11:37:53 AM »
I've been reading the posts and then staring out the window, trying to figure out exactly WHAT it is I "believe"...we've had more than a few religious nuts in our family and, unfortunately , none were of a joyful kind.  Nobody dug tunnels and then painted them with murals, nobody turned Avco huts into chapels, they just sort of glowered and promised us we'd either rot in hell for eternity or not make it through Armaggedon and perish for all time.  You know, the boring shite.  As a result I didn't so much "walk away" as run full-tilt boogie as soon as I could.  And since then have read, read, read, trying to get a grip on Something...and I think I've made it to the point where I feel It Is and it's big and my brain isn't big enough to absorb the All so I'll settle for doing the best I can with the flawed little I have.

I've watched Criminal Minds and was disappointed they brought Gawd into it, the scenes in the church bored me (predictably, I suppose).  They've done some church-stuff before but never quite so blatantly, and while they did manage to (almost) make the test of faith stuff at least swallowable, it irked me.  But I figured last week that's what we'd get some of after Garcia got shot.  They've managed to "test" the characters one at a time, still have a couple to go but that might be fair ball when you figure in the kind of shite with which they have to deal.  How much decapitation, disembowelling and torture can you encounter in your job of work without feeling twinges of tested faith?

The Garcia character works for me the way Tasha Yar did , which is odd as they are so different in so many ways.  Maybe it's that the actor does such a superb job of presenting the character.  Garcia isn't anywhere near the nerd the genius is (he often needs a good slap to get him off his prissiness!).  I thought her apartment was absolutely spot on; playful and funny and just a bit wistful.

I did think she was up and on her feet pretty damned fast after being shot, going flat on the operating table and damn near dying!!  Incredible powers of recuperation, that woman.  Not only talking, and thinking, but walking.  

I like it that the ultimate computer expert is a woman.  Almost all the other programmes have a man running the technology.

Holly Stick

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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2007, 12:30:41 PM »
I should have called her a hacker instead of computer nerd.  It was interesting that she apparently got into trouble with her computer in the past and that's why the FBI recruited her, like the guy Leonardo DiCaprio played in Catch Me If You Can.  And notice the other hacker was pretty scruffy looking, not an FBI-type.  I wonder if there really are unconventional hackers at the FBI, or if they all wear suits and ties and pokers up their butts.

When they write God into a show like that I have to think they are just trying to cater to a demographic; likewise with the female agent who always wears skimpy, lowcut tops (different demographic of course; well, maybe).
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

anne cameron

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The Evolution of Belief
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2007, 02:09:42 PM »
Once in a while I tune in to CSI New York but I find it really unsatisfactory.  If the woman was an undercover Vice officer I could maybe accept her skimpy clothing but... and, of course, on CSI Las Vegas we've lost one of the more interesting females.   I think they realized nobody was going to believe she was madly in love with Grissom, who is so bow-legged you could roll a barrel between his legs and he'd never notice.  And Willow is not aging well, she did herself no favours when she got Whatever-in-hell injected to give her those Angelina-type lips.  It seems to be lessening, maybe the rest of her body is absorbing it.  Or something.

Croghan27

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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2007, 02:32:09 PM »
While working for a large corporation they considered it advantageous to have their work force familiar with computers, so they instituted a PC buying program partially subsidized by the Co.

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I like it that the ultimate computer expert is a woman. Almost all the other programmes have a man running the technology.

To drift the thread a bit .....

Some of my fellow workers became quite skilled in working with computers even as far as writing programs without formal training. Out of perhaps 10 people I knew that were 'advanced' in those skills - I would say that 5 were FN people.

Onward and Upward (so to speak) - here is the Hindu version of Intelligent Design. While preparing all these for posting I have noticed that none are in anyway peaceful: murders and incest and rape and killings appear to be common in inteligent designs for any Apocalypse.

I have to ask, like Rodney King: "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"

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Hindu Cosmology's Rendezvous with Brahma

The Hindu cosmology contains many myths of creation, and the principal players have risen and fallen in importance over the centuries. The earliest Vedic text, the Rig Veda, tells of a gigantic being, Purusha, possessing a thousand heads, eyes, and feet. He enveloped the earth, extending beyond it by the space of ten fingers. When the gods sacrificed Purusha, his body produced clarified butter, which engendered the birds and animals. His body parts transformed into the world's elements, and the gods Agni, Vayu, and Indra. Also, the four castes of Hindu society were created from his body: the priests, warriors, general populace, and the servants. Historically later, the trinity of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer) gained prominence. Brahma appears in a lotus sprouting from the navel of the sleeping Vishnu. Brahma creates the universe, which lasts for one of his days, or 4.32 billion years. Then Shiva destroys the universe and the cycle restarts. Relax everybody, the current cycle has a couple billion years left.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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The Evolution of Belief
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2007, 07:54:21 PM »
Getting close to the western bone here - these are the Greeks. If I recall properly a 'classics' course I took at UNBSJ in 1965  they did not really believe in these characters, but they did not really not believe, either. They just accepted them as an explaination and got back to the business of life. (Sorry for the double negative, Mandos   :oops: )

This truncated version does not actually tell where people came from, although it sound like these folks were much to busy to produce mere humans.

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The Greeks and the Titans

The early Greek poets posited various cosmogonies. The best-preserved is Hesiod's Theogony. In this hymn, out of the primordial chaos came the earliest divinities, including Gaia (mother earth). Gaia created Uranus, the sky, to cover herself. They spawned a bizarre menagerie of gods and monsters, including the Hecatonchires, monsters with 50 heads and a hundred hands, and the Cyclopes, the "wheel-eyed," later forgers of Zeus's thunderbolts.

 Next came the gods known as the Titans, 6 sons and 6 daughters. Uranus, despising his monstrous children, imprisoned them in Tartarus, the earth's bowels. Enraged, Gaia made an enormous sickle and gave it to her youngest son, Cronus, with instructions. When next Uranus appeared to copulate with Gaia, Cronus sprang out and hacked off his father's genitals! Where Uranus's blood and naughty bits fell, there sprang forth more monsters, the Giants and Furies. From the sea foam churned up by the the holy testicles came the goddess Aphrodite. Later, Cronus fathered the next generation of gods, Zeus and the Olympians. And, boy, were they dysfunctional!
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2007, 11:14:50 PM »
This is almost redundant to reproduces this one: it is the famous Judeo/Christian Intelligent Design theory.

Here is a discussion of ID and science in the Amazon website of a book I have heard is great. (A friend of a friend wrote it.  :D )
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The Genesis of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic Faiths

Genesis, the first book of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible, contains two origin stories, both of which are accepted as the creation of the world by today's Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths. In the first, God says, "Let there be light," and light appears. In six days, he creates the sky, the land, plants, the sun and moon, animals, and all creatures, including humans. To all he says, "Be fruitful and multiply," which they do. On the seventh day God rests, contemplates his handiwork, and gives himself a good evaluation.

In the second story, God creates the first man, Adam, from the earth. He makes a garden in Eden for Adam, but forbids him to eat fruit from the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Adam names the animals but remains lonely. God anesthetizes Adam and makes one of his ribs into the first woman, Eve.

A talking serpent persuades her to eat the forbidden fruit, and she convinces Adam to do likewise. When God finds out, he drives them from the garden and makes man mortal. They should have stuck with apricots!
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

 

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