Notices
Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: Why do most religions fail?

  1. #1 Why do most religions fail? 
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,121
    My favourite religion, if it still existed, would be that of Ancient Egypt. They have a trinity and a holy book (Book of the Dead). But it died out when it was overrun by Islam. Many ancient religions are extinct while others have declining numbers and are virtually wiped out. So is there a scientific explanation? There is if you consider the theory of Memetics, where it is the object of replicating ideas to get inside human brains, just as it is the blind ambition of genes to get into bodies. If anything can develop a defence mechanism for protection, its memes (or genes) proliferate. A few examples of how successful religions protect their memes:
    * You don't understand the Incarnation, the Eucharist, or the Trinity, so call them mysteries.
    * Exclude lesser people from even greater mysteries, so form secret societies.
    * Challenged by doubters, apostates, or heretics, then use violence - even to the point of organising inquisitions, crusades and terrorist attacks.
    * Box up the memes in bound pages and call them holy books.
    * Declare that unbelievers will be thrown into the subterranean fire.
    * Declare the superiority of your memes by wearing special regalia: crosses, turbans, skullcaps, shiny suits etc.
    * Promote a leader such as a rabbi, priest, imam, ayatollah to blurt out the memeplex to the masses.
    * Declare an unusual or unexpected event to be a miracle.
    * Practice misogyny because idle talk will dilute the memeplex, even to the point of sealed lips and burkas.
    * Condemn homosexuals to death, as the memes will not be passed on.
    * Encourage early marriage and so alienate dissolute single men, and revile single women for not being mothers and wives.

    That is why the Egyptian religion died out. It simply lacked most of these assertions.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2 Re: Why do most religions fail? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,376
    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    My favourite religion, if it still existed, would be that of Ancient Egypt. They have a trinity and a holy book (Book of the Dead).
    They had an entire pantheon that far exceeds a mere "trinity." Ptah, Atun, Ra, Horus, Seth, Isis, to name but a very few.

    But it died out when it was overrun by Islam.
    Ancient Egyptian cult practices lasted well over 4,000 years. They were replaced by a combination of first Greek, then Roman, then Christian cult worship. Islam came much later.

    Many ancient religions are extinct while others have declining numbers and are virtually wiped out. So is there a scientific explanation?
    Human social progress and the various theories of religious evolution (Bellah 1964).

    There is if you consider the theory of Memetics, where it is the object of replicating ideas to get inside human brains, just as it is the blind ambition of genes to get into bodies. If anything can develop a defence mechanism for protection, its memes (or genes) proliferate. A few examples of how successful religions protect their memes:
    The idea of the meme is an interesting one and certainly not to be easily discounted, but it isn't comparable to the gene in the way some would like. Unlike the physical aspect of the Chromosome and DNA through which genes transport their "information," a meme isn't a physical object. One cannot stick a meme under a microscope like you can a gene.

    Still, as a trope and a working concept, the meme idea has some possibility as long as people don't go too far in applying the same pressures of evolution to it.

    * You don't understand the Incarnation, the Eucharist, or the Trinity, so call them mysteries.
    Or call them what they are: mythical.

    * Exclude lesser people from even greater mysteries, so form secret societies.
    This is bigotry, a much more basic human condition than the meme.

    * Challenged by doubters, apostates, or heretics, then use violence - even to the point of organising inquisitions, crusades and terrorist attacks
    .

    See above.

    * Box up the memes in bound pages and call them holy books.
    Once codified into doctrine and dogma, they are, by definition, no longer "memes." They're doctrines. The method of transmittal is independent of the human element.

    * Declare that unbelievers will be thrown into the subterranean fire.
    This is not necessarily a meme, rather fear-based dogma.

    * Declare the superiority of your memes by wearing special regalia: crosses, turbans, skullcaps, shiny suits etc.
    Again, you don't seem to have an understanding of what the idea of "meme" is or what makes it useful in discussing human beliefs, superstitions, and culture.

    That is why the Egyptian religion died out. It simply lacked most of these assertions.
    I saw very little if anything mentioned above that the Egyptian cults had that do not exist in some form today. You clearly haven't a good grasp of how sociologists and anthropologists use the term. The Egyptian religion is, to date, far more successful than any of the extant religious superstitions. Christianity has been in existence only about 2 ka. Judaism has been around much longer, but there are only a meager handful of adherents remaining. Islam is younger still. The Egyptian religion could probably also boast a larger percentage of the adherence if changes in world population and information transmission are accounted for.

    I recommend the following resources:

    Blackmore, Susan (1999) The meme machine, Oxford University Press.

    Blackmore, Susan (2000) The power of memes, Scientific American 283 (4):52–61.

    Bellah, R. (1964, June). Religious Evolution. American Sociological Review, 29(3), 358-374.

    Jones, A. (2007) Memory and Material Culture. Cambridge University Press

    Dawkins, R. (1989) The Selfish Gene, revised edition, Oxford University
    Press.

    Distin, K. (2005) The Selfish Meme. Cambridge University Press.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3 Re: Why do most religions fail? 
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    * Box up the memes in bound pages and call them holy books.
    I think the book does a lot. Taken together with the printing press, it creates a seed that can be spread far and wide with little effort. Essentially the idea spreads by massive self replication.

    * Declare that unbelievers will be thrown into the subterranean fire.
    This allows you to use Pascal's Wager, which is a very effective way of shifting the evidence requirements for belief. "How sure can you be that we're wrong? A billion years in hell sure? How about a trillion years in hell sure? How about infinity years?...."

    * Declare the superiority of your memes by wearing special regalia: crosses, turbans, skullcaps, shiny suits etc.
    I don't think the outfits make much of a difference. Protestant Christianity really doesn't use that stuff much and it's highly successful.


    * Promote a leader such as a rabbi, priest, imam, ayatollah to blurt out the memeplex to the masses.
    Also not really present in Protestant Christianity. At best the ranks are ambiguous.

    * Declare an unusual or unexpected event to be a miracle.
    Becomes more and more effective the further the event is in the past, so nobody can really examine it to be sure.

    * Practice misogyny because idle talk will dilute the memeplex, even to the point of sealed lips and burkas.
    * Condemn homosexuals to death, as the memes will not be passed on.
    * Encourage early marriage and so alienate dissolute single men, and revile single women for not being mothers and wives.
    Numbers are incredibly important, because most of the meme's claim to credibility is to say "Look how many people believe it. How could all of them be wrong!??"

    Well, it's because the original group of deluded fools had a lot of kids.

    That is why the Egyptian religion died out. It simply lacked most of these assertions.
    I'm not so sure about lacking the costumes and ranks, or even sexual reproduction. Polytheistic religions do lack Pascal's Wager, though, since you can always gain salvation under another god's cult if you don't like the one you are in.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    266
    Actually Christianity became popular in Egypt than Islam.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,376
    Quote Originally Posted by ishmaelblues
    Actually Christianity became popular in Egypt than Islam.
    I normally don't comment on the syntax and grammar of others, but, in this case, your sentence is so poorly written as to render its meaning and intent questionable. Did you intend a "more" to precede "popular" or "then" in place of "than?"

    If you're only going to write a sentence or two every so often, the least you could do for us who genuinely wish dialog is to write it well.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6 Re: Why do most religions fail? 
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,121
    Judging by all the compelling books on atheism that have appeared in recent years, religion should be dying out. One particular rant I come across is the Vatican's support for Mussolini and Hitler. It protects its memes in it's own small enclave, and is above the law. In this case it was threatened by communists and jews, and it was able to use political memes to protect it's own. Where was 'love thine enemy'? I think the best book on atheism is Michel Onfray's 'In Defence of Atheism'. Better than Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Paragraph after paragraph in this book proves the defensive power of the memeplex:
    Fatwas, book burning, lists of forbidden books, dying for the faith, homophobia, misogyny, taboos, violence, scaremongering, aversion to reason, resistance to science. All of these, and many more, that have afflicted religion through the ages. But he doesn't take into account that atheism is a weak meme, because its only robust defence mechanism is that of reason and intelligence.
    I for one, started as a theist (because I was indoctrinated at an early age), then I became an atheist (when I found reason), then a theist (upon the loss of a loved one), and eventually an atheist again. Others jump religions, and a few seem to embrace several at once.
    So what's going on? The answer lies in that you need to look at things from the memes point of view. Then theism, atheism, agnosticism become redundant. They are simply different sides of the same coin, with agnosticism the edge. Everything in life is more or less done for the protection of memes and genes, and few of us are free.
    I have no problem with followers of religion. They are usually nice people if you don't start to attack their faith. After all, they are there to protect it. There to protect the memeplex with whatever tools can be found.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Don't you just hate it when the only cogent response you can come up with is 'Bollocks'?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,376
    Agnosticism isn't some "edge" in the middle. One can be an agnostic-theist or an agnostic-atheist.

    Being agnostic simply indicates that one recognizes that knowledge regarding one's conclusions isn't had. An agnostic-theist believes there's a god but recognizes that he or she shall never have proof one way or another. Likewise, and agnostic-atheist believes there is no god but recognizes that he or she shall never have proof one way or another.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,121
    I have a great love and respect for religion, great love and respect for atheism. What I hate is agnosticism, people who do not choose.
    (Orson Welles)
    Dawkins also makes the case against agnosticism.

    Q: Why is the Catholic church the largest flavour of Christianity?
    A: Apart from its conquest by the sword, it encourages no birth control.

    Religions are subject to natural selection, just like anything else. The most successful are those with the most potent defence mechanisms, in order to preserve their memeplex. Islam and Christianity prevail. The others never really employed conquest by the sword, for example the religion of ancient Egypt.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,376
    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    I have a great love and respect for religion, great love and respect for atheism. What I hate is agnosticism, people who do not choose.
    (Orson Welles)
    Dawkins also makes the case against agnosticism.
    Wells was ignorant of the definition of agnostic as Huxley defined it and others have refined it. And Dawkins, in the book you're probably thinking of, spent a chapter saying what I said in a few lines. Dawkins probably said it better, but I see no where he disagrees with me. And, even if he did, his authority isn't the end all-be all of atheism.

    Q: Why is the Catholic church the largest flavour of Christianity?
    A: Apart from its conquest by the sword, it encourages no birth control.
    The fixation of religious superstitions on sex is hardly limited to Catholic cults of Christianity. Many Protestant cults and several others (the Mormon cult, for instance) also preach procreation gospels to varied degrees. While the Catholic cult is the single largest of the Christian cults, it only accounts for approximately 33% of Christianity. The remaining 67% is comprised of various Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, and "Other" Christian cults.



    Religions are subject to natural selection, just like anything else.
    The organisms (people) who comprise religion are subject to natural selection. Religion itself is not since this is a concept not an organism. We can use some tropes and metaphors when making comparisons between religion and biological evolution, but, ultimately, the analogies reach a failing point because religions aren't organisms or populations. They're ideas conceived of and held by organisms and ideas. The analogy between concept evolution and biological evolution on works to a certain extent.

    The most successful are those with the most potent defence mechanisms, in order to preserve their memeplex. Islam and Christianity prevail. The others never really employed conquest by the sword, for example the religion of ancient Egypt.
    Egyptian religion survived longer than Christianity has been around. At least twice longer. Egyptians were very good at promoting and spreading their religious superstitions throughout the Middle East. Indeed, much of it survives in Christianity today to varied degrees. So it isn't clear how you can imply that Egyptian religion was unsuccessful. If Christianity survives another 2,000 years, it will reach a point of being just as successful as Egyptian religion.

    If the printing press were taken out of the equation, Christianity would likely have failed long ago regardless of how many swords it armed itself with.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    exactly at what point do the analogies fail?

    i can point out a few important differences. there is one way to pass on your genes, you have kids. there are however at least two ways to make new christians, jews, etc. you can encourage the population of believers to reproduce(thus the remark on no birth control affecting catholic promenance), or you can make new believers or at least followers through conversion via a variety of methods, including conquest by the sword.

    the basic idea of natural selection however appears to apply to memetics fully. the most successful traits(those which are most able to make more of themselves) will out-reproduce the less successful traits and in the next generation(a term which should be replaced in the case of memetics) the more successful traits will be most prevalent. of course as has been pointed out previously, the possible rate of mutation in memetics is unimaginably greater than in biology. we see evolution occur over the course of hundreds of thousands or millions of years. all of the changes in memetics have occured since the dawn of sentient apes.

    and skinwalker you raise an interesting point in the last section of your post. it is possible for a meme to jump from one memeplex to another and copy itself into it, taking advantage of the potentially more successful new host. i think that these memes are certainly not equatable to biological evolution. they exhibit wonderful and interesting qualities that a body restrained to the physical form of a gene could never replicate.

    i apologize for what i percieve may be a slight stray from the OP's topic. however i suspect that the main theme may have in fact been memetics and its effects on egyptian and other religions. would you care to clarify ox?
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,121
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Egyptian religion survived longer than Christianity has been around. At least twice longer. Egyptians were very good at promoting and spreading their religious superstitions throughout the Middle East. Indeed, much of it survives in Christianity today to varied degrees. So it isn't clear how you can imply that Egyptian religion was unsuccessful. If Christianity survives another 2,000 years, it will reach a point of being just as successful as Egyptian religion. If the printing press were taken out of the equation, Christianity would likely have failed long ago regardless of how many swords it armed itself with.
    Revivals of Egyptology have been attempted, notably by the Golden Dawn secret society. It failed because it was trying to compete with a far more potent memeplex in the form of Christianity, with its defensive mechanisms already established as described earlier. The printing press was a great gift to Christianity. No better way of spreading the memes once the Bible had been translated away from Greek and Latin.

    Religion, unlike atheism, cannot be dismantled by reason.
    You can be informed that the founders and champions of religion had blood on their hands (Moses, Abraham nearly, Mohammed, Constantine), and it won't make any difference.
    You can be informed that none of the gospel writers had ever met Jesus, and it won't make any difference.
    You can be informed that Jesus was not an historical character, because the only reference from a true historian was that of Josephus, interpolated though it almost certainly was, and it won't make any difference.
    You can be informed that many other virgin born and/or crucified saviours preceded Jesus, and it won't make any difference.
    You can be informed that supernatural acts (magic carpets, dead rising from graves) bear no resemblance to reality, and it won't make any difference.

    In order to understand the selfish gene theory properly, you have to make the big flip to understand what bodies really are (horrible though it is). The same is true of memetics. In order to understand how brains are sculpted into minds, you have to flip to looking at everything from the memes point of view. And the memes do not necessarily know reason. I am not championing Dawkins here because he was himself championing much of the reasoning of earlier scientists.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    489
    For mine, the religion of Ancient Egypt was far from unsuccessful, and lasted much longer than Christianity, because the latter is effectively the very same religion of Ancient Egypt to this very day, after being resurrected in early part of the third century under the label of Rome in order to bring strength and unity to the rapidly fragmenting empire.

    When Constantine recognised that Rome was in dire need of unification, he selected the adoption of perhaps the most effective, successful and brutal system of population control the world has ever witnessed - that of Ancient Egypt under Pharaoh, where the life and purpose of every individual was as a slave to the universal religion in it's purpose of glorification of their human leader; the deity in the making.

    Of course most of the names had to be changed to incorporate the Jewish Messiah everyone was talking about, but all the usual suspects and traditions were carried across, including the head 'guy in the sky' and his association with the sun, as well as his underlings and enemy - the dreaded snake deity of the underworld - which of course had to be somewhat amended after the world transitioned from flat to spherical. The extended pointy hats to identify the superiors made the conversion along with the living proxy between Joe Normal and the head deity - through the sitting Pharaoh himself, I mean - the sitting Pope.

    Perhaps the most significant reverberation back to Ancient Egyptian theology, to which Christianity still clings and identifies however, is indeed the signature that all disciples are instructed to invoke at the end of their every personal conversation with the head-guy himself; who after 3500 years, happens to yet retain the very same name; 'Amen'.

    So Ox, I guess the good news is you can now be a Christian with great confidence of getting on board with - both your favorite, and also most successful religion of all time - all in one.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    So Ox, I guess the good news is you can now be a Christian with great confidence of getting on board with - both your favorite, and also most successful religion of all time - all in one.
    I actually think that I could take more comfort from the Book of the Dead than the Bible or Koran. It is not full of bloodlust. I don't have to be selective about what I read. I simply stay relaxed in its pages, knowing that a great culture put so much trust in the perceived afterlife. Alas, there are more differences than similarities.
    Hail to Ra when he rises.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker

    Religions are subject to natural selection, just like anything else.
    The organisms (people) who comprise religion are subject to natural selection. Religion itself is not since this is a concept not an organism. We can use some tropes and metaphors when making comparisons between religion and biological evolution, but, ultimately, the analogies reach a failing point because religions aren't organisms or populations. They're ideas conceived of and held by organisms and ideas. The analogy between concept evolution and biological evolution on works to a certain extent.
    Your memes survive or die with you the same way the bacteria in your stomach survive or die with you. If one person has slightly better bacteria in their stomach than another person, to help them digest food, then their odds of survival are increased just by that slight amount. Over time of many generations and people, the odds gradually bear out, and the more helpful stomach bacteria survives.

    Same goes for religion. The more helpful the religious meme, the more it contributes to the survival of the host, the more probable it is that the host will survive and preserve the meme.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    which of course had to be somewhat amended after the world transitioned from flat to spherical.
    the roman empire had to prepare the religion for a discovery that occured centuries later? wow, maybe they(christians) were right because i can't think of any way the romans would have known the future.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    489
    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    Quote Originally Posted by Apopohis Reject
    which of course had to be somewhat amended after the world transitioned from flat to spherical.
    the roman empire had to prepare the religion for a discovery that occured centuries later? wow, maybe they(christians) were right because i can't think of any way the romans would have known the future.
    I'm sorry but you appear a little confused - the Romans certainly did not know, or plan for the future, but nevertheless needed to modify their doctrines when, over time, the future became the present.

    When Constantine adopted the political structure of Ancient Egypt, as effectively employing the universal religion of the society to control the population along religious lines under threat of death, the world was still largely considered flat. As such, the doctrine of the evil enemy deity of the underworld - that other 'world' under the flat earth, remained unchanged.

    But the church eventually had to accede to the growing acceptance that the planet was indeed spherical rather than flat, therefore was required to quickly amend the doctrine, from; the place where evil lived, being under the earth - to being inside the planetary orb - so out went 'the underworld', replaced in the picture frame by Hell!

    Btw, you might be interested that the evil underworld deity of Ancient Egypt, who later, for the purposes of Roman theology became 'Satan', was Apopohis - the snake, and it is my considered belief that this name was furthermore the inspiration for the original title of the final book of the Bible - Apocolypse.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    you are correct, i was mistaken.

    nice name btw, drawing together what you just told me about the meaning of apohisis, and my knowledge of other religions at the time, i'm assuming that your name means you are not only a reject from the god apopohis but from the underworld itself. of course that would mean that you not only don't go to the area of the underworld for the "evil" but don't go to the underworld at all, thus being immortal.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    482
    Is this why there's an obelisk in St. Peter's Square?
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

    Fancy a game of chess?
    http://www.itsyourturn.com/
    Challenge me, Delphi, and join the Pythian games.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Apopohis Reject's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    489
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Is this why there's an obelisk in St. Peter's Square?
    I’m not sure if the question was meant for me, but I will engage - in case it was.

    Somewhere in the dark recesses of my memory, I seem to recall the obelisk to which you refer was originally taken from Egypt and after transportation to Rome, erected where it now stands.

    Even though I have never been sure as to the (ancient) significance of obelisks, they certainly appear to have been important to the Egyptians, and later became a fascination for the Romans, and as you suggest; it would definitely be my expectation that as the latter were taking on the Pharaonic model for the reconstruction of their failing empire, a great many artifacts would also be reinstituted.

    Such things as the hierarchical religious order being positioned principally as an army to control the populace, the ever present fear of death for heretics in their arsenal, the leader being promoted as (at least) a deity in the making, the religious staff topped with a cross (ankh for Pharaoh, crozier for Pope), the temples being also the centre of trade for society – with the priests skimming off the top over every deal, the eternally wicked snake enemy to keep them all anxious, and obelisks making some kind of monumental statement about who to thank for all the fun.

    When you think about it, why wouldn’t the fascination of ancient Egypt generate such replication – especially when the model was being resurrected so? People around the world even today, continue to be charmed by its grandeur and magnificence, so it’s perfectly cordial in that regard. It also made sense to the leaders to enslave their population under a strict religious fear-based domination – as long as they provided sufficient enemies to hate and fear, and enough entertainment to convince everyone that it was all in their very best interest.

    Such has ever since been the games the rulers play with us - being the plebs they supposedly serve????

    They might have even invented suicide bombers if they had the means to blow them and a few others into wall splatters – dread, diversion and delight all in one – direct from your caring clergy, errr bishop, I mean …… governor!

    Hey, all that sounds to me, a little like how we exist in society today. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone, for indeed we continue to live under the very same religious umbrella and the ongoing fear of eternal death such umbrella has always proclaimed – which kinda brings me back to the previous post by saul – to which I will respond after giving it a little more consideration.
    sunshinewarrior: If two people are using the same word, but applying different meanings to it, then they're not communicating.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    117
    To answer the original question - religions fail because they are all anachronistic
    mumbo jumbo devised by clerics to control people [ by threatening them with purgatory ] and provide a 'quick and dirty' answer to the question 'why are we here'. There is also of course, the unimaginable suffering and murder committed in the name of religion that alone is a mandate to get rid of it.

    We should be looking back at religion in the context of 'this is what we used to think before we became aware of the facts'.

    Incidentally I dont think this thread has any place on this forum. How can you have a scientific study of religion ?

    One is pure fact, the other is complete fabrication.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,376
    Quote Originally Posted by tszy
    Incidentally I dont think this thread has any place on this forum. How can you have a scientific study of religion ?
    It is a significant human behavior. Human behavior has shown to lend itself quite readily to scientific inquiry. In fact, there is large precedence for the scientific study of religion and religiosity in the disciplines of anthropology, archaeology, sociology, psychology and neurology. The question would, therefore, be: how can we not have a subforum dedicated to the scientific study of religion?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    ox
    ox is offline
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,121
    Quote Originally Posted by tszy
    To answer the original question - religions fail because they are all anachronistic.
    No. Today there are 4 main religions of the world. One of these is becoming more and more powerful (Islam), despite the fact that in non-muslim states there is opinion against it. The way it protects its memeplex is all too evident. Martyrdom, evangelism and outbirthing are rampant at this point in time. Muslims cannot marry non-muslims, so the memeplex remains undiluted. Mosques are built to hold large numbers of people (thousands as opposed to hundreds in churches and cathedrals). Compare this with early Christianity in the Roman Empire. Mithraism as a likely offshoot of Zorastrianism, was practiced by the Roman elite, and lesser mortals were excluded from its mysteries. Mithraic temples were small buildings for the worship of Sol Invictus. I have visited a Mithraic temple on Hadrian's Wall in England and it could only have held about a dozen people. As Christianity gained acceptance, Mithraism died out. St. Peter, as the great martyr, was clever enough to have insisted on being crucified upside down. There were probably no Mithraic martyrs and yet the 2 religions have their similarities. One scholar theorised that had it not been for Christianity, Mithraism would be a world religion today.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24 Repost [s] 
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    117
    To the last 2 resposes

    religiosity - although it appears in the [US] spell check, is not a word. It is a made up term.

    I did not state that all religions are anachronistic.
    I stated that all religions are anachronistic mumbo jumbo.

    mumbo jumbo is not a made up term - it means gibberish, rubbish, hogwash, drivel, claptrap etc. Do you get my drift ?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    6,042
    Quote Originally Posted by ox
    Today there are 4 main religions of the world. One of these is becoming more and more powerful (Islam), despite the fact that in non-muslim states there is opinion against it.
    How does one religion become more powerful than the other? Well the other has to be closer to death. It's not more powerful because of its supposed ability to intimidate the competition, it's because the other religions are on the way out. You see it as strength & and I see it as being extremely weak. Currently when one religion dies another takes its place. Islam will some day be old and past its time. So here's to Islam being the last relic of man's stupidity.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26 Re: Repost [s] 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Posts
    2,376
    Quote Originally Posted by tszy
    To the last 2 resposes

    religiosity - although it appears in the [US] spell check, is not a word. It is a made up term.
    The entirety of any human language is "made up." So your point is lost in its own mediocrity.

    As a term of scientific value, "religiosity" has been in use since the 1800's (Ragozin 1887: 149). Many scientists, with lucrative results in research on religion, have used the term in the titles of their books (Hill and Hood, 1999; Moffitt 1997; Whitehouse 2004). "Religiosity" is a very utilitarian term that refers to a quality of being religious. It's often used in contexts by scientists who study religion as qualitative and, sometimes, a quantitative value. An example can be found in this quote:

    "This study examines the relationship between religiosity and the number of sexual partners among never-married adults in pooled samples of the General Social Survey (Barkan 2006)."

    You may now consider your self educated on the term religiosity where you were not previously.

    I did not state that all religions are anachronistic.
    I stated that all religions are anachronistic mumbo jumbo.
    This would be akin to saying:
    "I did not state all geese were white.
    I stated that all geese where white birds."


    In addition,
    it means gibberish, rubbish, hogwash, drivel, claptrap etc. Do you get my drift ?
    We get your "drift," we just question your ability to convey your "drift" from an educated position. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. But if you insist on making statements of confidence regarding things you clearly are ignorant of (the scientific study of religion, the term religiosity, etc...), then we can hardly be expected to accept your oversimplification of Religion among the human species. There certainly exists among the religious in humanity a fair bit of "gibberish," but there are also many bits, if not most, that are not "gibberish" at all -indeed they are quite understandable when viewed in social, anthropological, historical, and psychological contexts. The same goes for the "rubbish" claim. While there is much about Religion left to be desired in it's utility (transubstantiation, virgin sacrifice, female genital mutilation, etc.) there are many aspects that have great utility to society (soup kitchens, clothing donations, financial burden relief to parishioners, social networking, community cohesion, etc.).

    I'm very much the atheist and have very little personal use for religion or the religious. But I'm at least willing to view Religion under objective terms and with a scientific eye. Those that oversimplify and so quickly dismiss religion, one of the single most pervasive of human institutions, reveal their own ignorance and unreasoned attachments to personal beliefs and prejudices.

    References

    Barkan, Steven E. (2006). Religiosity and Premarital Sex in Adulthood. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 45(3), 407-417.

    Hill, Peter C. and Ralph W. Hood (1999). Measures of Religiosity. Birminham, AL: Religious Education Press.

    Ragozin, Zénaďde Alexeďevna (1887). The story of Chaldea from the earliest times to the rise of Assyria, treated as a general introduction to the study of ancient history. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

    Moffitt, Leonard C. (1997). Religiosity: a propensity of the human phenotype. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science Publishers.

    Whitehouse, Harvey (2004). Modes of Religiosity: A Cognitive Theory of Religious Transmission. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    117
    I don't understand your point about the geese - are they some kind of religious symbol? or have I ruffled your feathers.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    3,499
    Quote Originally Posted by tszy
    I don't understand your point about the geese
    The geese comment was a simple comparison to help you realize by using another context how illogical your previous point had been.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,150
    "Why do most religions fail?"

    Because Religions are a blend of culture, superstitious ignorance and a large serving of bullshit. Culture changes and evolves over time, ignorance changes (and receeds a wee bit), and the Bullshit is eventually no longer credible.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •