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Thread: Methods of measuring religion?

  1. #1 Methods of measuring religion? 
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    As an anthropology undergrad, I am very much interested in researching religion, superstition and conspiracy theories. What are some methods in which religion can be measured from a scientific point of view? Psychological methods like freelisting and questionnaires seem to be a good way but I'd like to know what you all think.


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    The CAT scan.


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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    The CAT scan.
    CAT Scan? I think you mean the fMRI? The neurotheology researchers seem to be interesting but I honestly don't know much about what they have done. The "God Helmet" is pretty interesting as well.
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    What are some methods in which religion can be measured from a scientific point of view?
    It can't so don't even try.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    What are some methods in which religion can be measured from a scientific point of view?
    It can't so don't even try.
    Well, the anthropology of religion, cognitive science of religion, psychology of religion, sociology of religion, neuroscience of religion, comparative studies of religion and about a dozen other sciences specifically focusing on religion would have to disagree with you.
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    What units do you measure religion in? Martyrs?
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

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    I think they mean the strength of their beliefs, in which case I believe an fMRI would indeed work.
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    Well, it depends on what branch of research you are considering. My personal favorite branch is what I am hoping to go to grad school for, which is the cognitive science of religion. Using psychological, neurological and anthropological methods, many scholars like Pascal Boyer, Stewart Guthrie and many others have found how religious belief is formed in the mind. For instance, the belief in the afterlife is part of how we think. We learn personalities of others and can form simulated conversations within our mind of these individuals. After they die, we still can "speak" to these people in our minds and some people may mistake these cognitive simulations for the "Spirit" of the individual. Stewart Guthrie has found that much of what religion is is based off of the overuse of anthropomorphism. Pascal Boyer has shown that religious ideas are formed by intuitive theories and are spread by changing how we think of things in certain ways (very oversimplified). Bruce Hood has shown that we all naturally see certain things through "essentialist" viewpoints that create a variety of superstitions and most likely religious beliefs. There is a great deal of science out there that is dissecting religion to understand how it works, why people believe in it, and the causes/functions it proposes on society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blahgory View Post
    I think they mean the strength of their beliefs, in which case I believe an fMRI would indeed work.
    Yes it does actually. There have been many studies already performed using the fMRI to understand religious beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Well, it depends on what branch of research you are considering. My personal favorite branch is what I am hoping to go to grad school for, which is the cognitive science of religion. Using psychological, neurological and anthropological methods, many scholars like Pascal Boyer, Stewart Guthrie and many others have found how religious belief is formed in the mind. For instance, the belief in the afterlife is part of how we think. We learn personalities of others and can form simulated conversations within our mind of these individuals. After they die, we still can "speak" to these people in our minds and some people may mistake these cognitive simulations for the "Spirit" of the individual. Stewart Guthrie has found that much of what religion is is based off of the overuse of anthropomorphism. Pascal Boyer has shown that religious ideas are formed by intuitive theories and are spread by changing how we think of things in certain ways (very oversimplified). Bruce Hood has shown that we all naturally see certain things through "essentialist" viewpoints that create a variety of superstitions and most likely religious beliefs. There is a great deal of science out there that is dissecting religion to understand how it works, why people believe in it, and the causes/functions it proposes on society.
    You might be interested in David Bohm's "Thought as a System" where he argues quite convincingly that our thoughts comprise an amalgam of our past experiences and suppresses, enhances and generally reshapes the information we receive at any point in time. Our thoughts shape our emotional responses and are ultimately manifested in our behaviour. Without critical thinking, your thoughts take control of your lives and can lead to incoherent ideas that can actually run counter to our survival as a species. Thoughts seek to make you think that what you experience is the way things 'really are' but it is only when you independently assess your thoughts and critically evaluate why you responded to a stimulus in a particular way, that it ineviably can be traced back to a past experience. Your mind uses these past experiences as a benchmark to guide your emotional responses dealing with the day to day world........ As every relativist knows however, beware of illusions associated with a specific frame of reference as that reference follows a causative pathway that is distinct from other frames of reference (drawing a long bow here but I see it as relevant to appreciating why we experience things as we do).

    Religious teachings are aimed at getting to the subjects as early in life as possible to plant the seeds of experience into the mind and ensure that these experiences are integrated with religiosity. Alternatively thay can be directed towards those who may be vulnerable at a point in life where they are searching for a 'liferaft'. That way, as the mind further develops it continuously uses as a comparative benchmark those previous *contrived* experiences as a basis for evaluating life and shaping an illusory reality. The key for religion is to embed itself in the daily lives of people so it's power ratchets up in the psyche of the individual. For the ardent believer it becomes impossible to seperate religion from everyday life.

    But please note this is hot having a specific crack at religion or any form of indoctrination....it is actually having a crack at our thoughts as being the mischievous devils they are at seeking to control the mind. Our thoughts thrive on incoherence and ignorance, we just have to appreciate that and ensure that our thoughts do not overtake our lives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    What are some methods in which religion can be measured from a scientific point of view?
    That depends on what aspect of "religion" you'd like to measure.


    1. Number of adherents - ranges from a simple headcount to community demographics in categories such as gender, age group, frequency of worship, observance of traditions, etc.
    2. Level of religious literalism amongst adherents,
    3. Level of (science?) education amongst adherents,
    4. Level of skepticism for certain topics and subjects - samples include much debunked conspiracy theories such as Faked Moon Landing, Anti-Vaccination stance, NWO, etc.
    5. Associative "magical" thinking - views on "Luck" and compilation of (if any) favorite items and idiosyncratic routines that the subject is personally aware of and thinks may influence outcomes.
    6. Etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Well, it depends on what branch of research you are considering. My personal favorite branch is what I am hoping to go to grad school for, which is the cognitive science of religion. Using psychological, neurological and anthropological methods, many scholars like Pascal Boyer, Stewart Guthrie and many others have found how religious belief is formed in the mind. For instance, the belief in the afterlife is part of how we think. We learn personalities of others and can form simulated conversations within our mind of these individuals. After they die, we still can "speak" to these people in our minds and some people may mistake these cognitive simulations for the "Spirit" of the individual. Stewart Guthrie has found that much of what religion is is based off of the overuse of anthropomorphism. Pascal Boyer has shown that religious ideas are formed by intuitive theories and are spread by changing how we think of things in certain ways (very oversimplified). Bruce Hood has shown that we all naturally see certain things through "essentialist" viewpoints that create a variety of superstitions and most likely religious beliefs. There is a great deal of science out there that is dissecting religion to understand how it works, why people believe in it, and the causes/functions it proposes on society.
    You might be interested in David Bohm's "Thought as a System" where he argues quite convincingly that our thoughts comprise an amalgam of our past experiences and suppresses, enhances and generally reshapes the information we receive at any point in time. Our thoughts shape our emotional responses and are ultimately manifested in our behaviour. Without critical thinking, your thoughts take control your lives and can lead to incoherent ideas that can actually run counter to our survival as a species......as thinking beings, that seems to run counter to survival of the species????. Thoughts seek to make you think that what you experience is the way things 'really are' but it is only when you independently assess your thoughts and critically evaluate why you responded to a stimulus in a particular way, that it ineviably can be traced back to a past experience. Your mind uses these past experiences as a benchmark to guide your emotional responses dealing with the day to day world........ As every relativist knows however, beware of illusions associated with a specific frame of reference as that reference follows a causative pathway that is distinct from other frames of reference (drawing a long bow here but I see it as relevant to appreciating why we experience things as we do).

    Religious teachings are aimed at getting to the subjects as early in life as possible to plant the seeds of experience into the mind and ensure that these experiences are integrated with religiosity. Alternatively thay can be directed towards those who may be vulnerable at a point in life where they are searching for a 'liferaft'. That way, as the mind further develops it continuously uses as a comparative benchmark those previous *contrived* experiences as a basis for evaluating life and shaping an illusory reality. The key for religion is to embed itself in the daily lives of people so it's power ratchets up in the psyche of the individual. For the ardent believer it becomes impossible to seperate religion from everyday life.

    But please note this is hot having a specific crack at religion or any form of indoctrination....it is actually having a crack at our thoughts as being the mischievous devils they are at seeking to control the mind. Our thoughts thrive on incoherence and ignorance, we just have to appreciate that and ensure that our thoughts do not overtake our lives.
    This is great. I think this will help my studies for sure. Thanks for the post Implicate Order!
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    No problemo ReligionOfTheSemites. Just be aware that his book does not come to any firm conclusions and Bohm has a non-confrontational, considered and deliberate style that takes some time getting use to. Bohm continually holds you back in jumping to conclusions which can be frustrating for the reader wanting a quick solution. He does this so the reader is forced to systematically assess thought in such a way to divorce the reader from his/her own thought processes (which is the crux of the dillema) and critically analyse what is being discussed from the point of view of rational thinking. This process allows the reader to forge their own conclusions based on the principle that it is 'only coherent thought that should be used as a basis for decision making which is a healthy exercise in itself' and necessitates that we step back and consider in detail the reasons for our emotive responses.

    This book is a compilation of seminars he held with a participant group and you should be able to find some of the video sessions on the web.
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    If I have two people of equal intelligence (capacity to learn) and one studies a known scientific discipline and the other a religion then which person has the higher probability of accruing true knowledge (facts)? Could we measure religion this way, by comparing the amount of real factual knowledge gained by any scientist studying any one of the true scientific disciplines with that of one who studies a religion that requires one to believe certain aspects that have no supporting evidence?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    If I have two people of equal intelligence (capacity to learn) and one studies a known scientific discipline and the other a religion then which person has the higher probability of accruing true knowledge (facts)? Could we measure religion this way, by comparing the amount of real factual knowledge gained by any scientist studying any one of the true scientific disciplines with that of one who studies a religion that requires one to believe certain aspects that have no supporting evidence?
    There might be a way. For example comparing and contrasting posts of a sample of members of a science forum versus a similar sized sample of members of a religious forum. I was thinking that the process of accruing knowledge in a science forum leads to a change of post response that embeds that new understanding within it. For example if we were to review a sample of 200 responses of a member over the course of say 3 years, we might be able to detect direct contradictions between earlier posts to suggest that new learning has been obtained. I was wondering if the results were compared against the results derived from a religious forum whether a significant material variation occurred in the degree of contradictory responses. .......it would be very subjective and there would be a large sample error but might garner sufficient supporting data to suggest a correlation at least between those accruing knowledge versus those that don't and whether that is more prevalent in a science forum or religious forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Blahgory View Post
    I think they mean the strength of their beliefs, in which case I believe an fMRI would indeed work.
    Yes it does actually. There have been many studies already performed using the fMRI to understand religious beliefs.
    For those like myself fMRI: Thanks Wikipedia.
    Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) is a functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow.[1] This technique relies on the fact that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases.
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    ~ It would be my well considered opinion. That no such study of religious belief could be described as scientific.
    It would be a very un scientific revue that draws conclusions of facts of scientific revue from religious doctrine.
    There are none.. It's not science. It's belief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post

    There might be a way. For example comparing and contrasting posts of a sample of members of a science forum versus a similar sized sample of members of a religious forum. I was thinking that the process of accruing knowledge in a science forum leads to a change of post response that embeds that new understanding within it. For example if we were to review a sample of 200 responses of a member over the course of say 3 years, we might be able to detect direct contradictions between earlier posts to suggest that new learning has been obtained. I was wondering if the results were compared against the results derived from a religious forum whether a significant material variation occurred in the degree of contradictory responses. .......it would be very subjective and there would be a large sample error but might garner sufficient supporting data to suggest a correlation at least between those accruing knowledge versus those that don't and whether that is more prevalent in a science forum or religious forum.
    Well I'm not sure just how much factual knowledge can be obtained by scientifically studying a religion that's dependent upon beliefs unless believed facts are counted. We'd probably encounter through careful analysis more knowledge gained about the believers than their beliefs. We could do the same for a scientist studying a discipline. Personally I wouldn't include facts about beliefs as actual knowledge. For example, try scoring the level of factual knowledge obtained by comparing the knowledge gathered through spectral analysis versus spectre analysis. I see a spectre believer immediately falling behind on the scoreboard.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post

    There might be a way. For example comparing and contrasting posts of a sample of members of a science forum versus a similar sized sample of members of a religious forum. I was thinking that the process of accruing knowledge in a science forum leads to a change of post response that embeds that new understanding within it. For example if we were to review a sample of 200 responses of a member over the course of say 3 years, we might be able to detect direct contradictions between earlier posts to suggest that new learning has been obtained. I was wondering if the results were compared against the results derived from a religious forum whether a significant material variation occurred in the degree of contradictory responses. .......it would be very subjective and there would be a large sample error but might garner sufficient supporting data to suggest a correlation at least between those accruing knowledge versus those that don't and whether that is more prevalent in a science forum or religious forum.
    Well I'm not sure just how much factual knowledge can be obtained by scientifically studying a religion that's dependent upon beliefs unless believed facts are counted. We'd probably encounter through careful analysis more knowledge gained about the believers than their beliefs. We could do the same for a scientist studying a discipline. Personally I wouldn't include facts about beliefs as actual knowledge. For example, try scoring the level of factual knowledge obtained by comparing the knowledge gathered through spectral analysis versus spectre analysis. I see a spectre believer immediately falling behind on the scoreboard.
    I was thinking that the study would measure the propensity for learning as opposed to indoctrination. Anecdotally science as a discipline should demonstrate learning, but inevitably there is a significant component of acceptance amongst the community who are not professionals in the field. In this way there are, albeit small, similarities to a religion. Significant trust is placed on professionals in the field and in the way science is presented to the general community.
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    A state of pure awareness.

    “You ask, how can I know the infinite? I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects. You can only apprehend the infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer, in which the Divine Essence is communicated to you. This is Ecstasy. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness.”¯ [Plotinus 204 AD- 270AD]

    Pure awareness has been referred to as Cosmic Consciousness, Unity Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, Universal Mind, Buddha Consciousness, God Consciousness, The Great Awakening, Spiritual Enlightenment, Oneness with the Universe and of course, Samadhi and Satori.

    http://noetic.org/discussions/open/469/
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    Quote Originally Posted by serloco View Post
    A state of pure awareness.

    “You ask, how can I know the infinite? I answer, not by reason. It is the office of reason to distinguish and define. The infinite, therefore, cannot be ranked among its objects. You can only apprehend the infinite by a faculty superior to reason, by entering into a state in which you are your finite self no longer, in which the Divine Essence is communicated to you. This is Ecstasy. It is the liberation of your mind from its finite consciousness.”¯ [Plotinus 204 AD- 270AD]

    Pure awareness has been referred to as Cosmic Consciousness, Unity Consciousness, Universal Consciousness, Universal Mind, Buddha Consciousness, God Consciousness, The Great Awakening, Spiritual Enlightenment, Oneness with the Universe and of course, Samadhi and Satori.

    http://noetic.org/discussions/open/469/
    This thread is an attempt at scientific discussion of religion. The divine essence, cosmic consciousness, unity consciousness and universal mind are not scientific concepts. Please keep them out of science threads, and preferably out of The Science Forum. Thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    What are some methods in which religion can be measured from a scientific point of view?
    It can't so don't even try.
    Well, the anthropology of religion, cognitive science of religion, psychology of religion, sociology of religion, neuroscience of religion, comparative studies of religion and about a dozen other sciences specifically focusing on religion would have to disagree with you.
    Since all religions were started by someone telling a "story" that they thought was true then how does one find where that story actually began since many religions had no way to write about it but could only pass down information through human to human with storytelling. While it is true that one day they had a way to write down what was passed down the interpretation of that story had been changed over the decades / centuries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post
    I was thinking that the study would measure the propensity for learning as opposed to indoctrination. Anecdotally science as a discipline should demonstrate learning, but inevitably there is a significant component of acceptance amongst the community who are not professionals in the field. In this way there are, albeit small, similarities to a religion. Significant trust is placed on professionals in the field and in the way science is presented to the general community.
    You would also need to be clear about what you considered a fact.
    Believers are just loaded with facts. The facts might be based on fictions or on received wisdom instead of independent verification, but in their system of thought they are still facts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    This thread is an attempt at scientific discussion of religion. The divine essence, cosmic consciousness, unity consciousness and universal mind are not scientific concepts. Please keep them out of science threads, and preferably out of The Science Forum. Thanks.
    Well many people disagree here, myself included, although it is often debated. Even the header of this board says "The scientific study of religion". I consider theology to be the scientific study of religion as well as many others. You can even find it said in the wiki.

    Awareness and consciousness both are in the scientific fields of psychology and neurology, including all states of consciousness and awareness. Pure awareness being a state of consciousness that can see something for what it is purely. Many genius' are considered to able to see the essence of something, understanding it clearly just by focusing on it.

    "Is theology a science? This claim would normally receive considerable skepticism, not only from scientists but from many philosophers and theologians as well. To the contrary, I use the philosophy of science as developed by Thomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos to argue that the scientific method applies across many different disciplines, including theology. The result is that there is no firm demarcation between science and non-science. One must judge, instead, between good and bad science, as well as between progressive and degenerative research programs. In this light, theology can and should be considered a science, but with significant limitations and qualifications."
    The Scientific Status of Theology
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    Quote Originally Posted by serloco View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    This thread is an attempt at scientific discussion of religion. The divine essence, cosmic consciousness, unity consciousness and universal mind are not scientific concepts. Please keep them out of science threads, and preferably out of The Science Forum. Thanks.
    Well many people disagree here, myself included, although it is often debated. Even the header of this board says "The scientific study of religion". I consider theology to be the scientific study of religion as well as many others. You can even find it said in the wiki.

    Awareness and consciousness both are in the scientific fields of psychology and neurology, including all states of consciousness and awareness. Pure awareness being a state of consciousness that can see something for what it is purely. Many genius' are considered to able to see the essence of something, understanding it clearly just by focusing on it.

    "Is theology a science? This claim would normally receive considerable skepticism, not only from scientists but from many philosophers and theologians as well. To the contrary, I use the philosophy of science as developed by Thomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos to argue that the scientific method applies across many different disciplines, including theology. The result is that there is no firm demarcation between science and non-science. One must judge, instead, between good and bad science, as well as between progressive and degenerative research programs. In this light, theology can and should be considered a science, but with significant limitations and qualifications."
    The Scientific Status of Theology
    On this forum, theology is not science. Persist in this course and you will be banned.
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    Could the scientific study of religion use a level of certainty as its measuring stick? For instance, if a religion consists of a god then what is the level of certainty that this god exists? How high on the certainty scale does actual real conventional science need to be before it can be said that a theory or hypotheses is practically a sure thing? I think the problem with measuring religion is not so much how certain some aspects are but how willing people are to accept what's observed scientifically. Even if the belief is proven to have a certainty level of damn near zero there is still a problem in accepting that result by most believers.
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; August 26th, 2014 at 08:10 PM.
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    Level of belief might be a good metric. If we go off number of adherents, then either Catholocism wins, or maybe some branch of Islam.

    Measuring a religion is like measuring a person. There's no metric for a person's "personhood". You have to choose a trait before you begin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Level of belief might be a good metric. If we go off number of adherents, then either Catholicism wins, or maybe some branch of Islam.
    No neither. There are byzantine Catholics, maronite Catholics, oriental Catholics, and many others. they all share the same faith. The difference is in the way they worship. the byzantines, for example, use the same liturgy as the greek orthodox church. in fact, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a byzantine catholic mass and an orthodox mass. the reason for these different churches is that when the eastern and western churches split, some of the bishops of the east chose to remain connected to Rome.The same can be said for Islam there is a myriad of different denominations.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Don't know how one could scientifically measure religion, anymore than I would know how you would religiously measure science.

    Science means in some ways something almost opposite of religion to me. Like re - legion would be re uniting with something larger and more Universal, and science would be trying to measure repeatable physical experiments to see if you can come up with repeatable results. Ok, that said, maybe they are both about not thinking in new ways. Just that one will come up with experiments to prove they are right and also (unless thay are actually a GOOD scientist) re - legioning with what they think they have learned and quoting Einsten and G and S R in pretty much every post they make. Einsteiniansim I think is for many much like a religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayflow View Post
    ... and also (unless thay are actually a GOOD scientist) re - legioning with what they think they have learned ....
    and that is actually a good point.
    Religion and scepticism are fundamentally different ways of approaching the world and many who think they are doing science are treating it as recieved wisdom instead of dealing with it in the manner of sceptics.
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    Some ways of measuring religion:

    Comparing the In-Group with the Out-Group.
    The number of believers against the number of perceived heretics and infidels outside each faith group.
    At what point does deviation become heresy in any faith system?

    The strength of belief.
    Are holy texts to be taken literally (hard religion) or can they be cherry-picked (soft religion).

    Fundamentalism.
    The threat posed to women, gays, human rights and peace. Are you freely allowed to challenge faith?

    Faith and the Supernatural.
    Can there be faith without a belief in the supernatural and how literally is it taken?
    Does a Xian actually believe that his saviour was beamed up to heaven?
    Does a muslim actually believe that his prophet rode up there on a winged horse and split the moon?
    Can you measure faith in terms of gullibility?

    Morals and beliefs of the Stone Age.
    What relevance do these have to the present age of science.

    Number of Deities.
    The significance of a belief in 0 god (Buddhism, Jainism), 1 (Monotheism), 3 (Xianity), 3 million (Hinduism).

    Religion or not.
    Is it a religion, a philosophy or even a sport?

    Level of superstition.
    Is religion a metaphor for superstition?
    Are atheists far less likely to have superstitions?

    Strange case of the Chinese.
    The fact that one quarter of world's population are not so religious proves that belief is not hard-wired into brain but must be the result of brainwashing, but that does not prevent them from being superstitious.
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    Everything can be read, every surface and silence, every breath and every vacancy, every eddy and current, every body and its absence, every darkness every light, each cloud and knife, each finger and tree, every backwater, every crevice and hollow, each nostril, tendril and crescent, every whisper, every whimper, each laugh and every blue feather, each stone, each nipple, every thread every color, each woman and her lover, every man and his mother, every river, each of the twelve blue oceans and the moon, every forlorn link, every hope and every ending, each coincidence, the distant call of a loon, light through the high branches of blue pines, the sigh of rain, every estuary, each gesture at parting, every kiss, each wasp's wing, every foghorn and railway whistle, every shadow, every gasp, each glowing silver screen, every web, the smear of starlight, a fingertip, rose whorl, armpit, pearl, every delight and misgiving, every unadorned wish, every daughter, every death, each woven thing, each machine, every ever after.

    -Twelve Blue
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Everything can be read etc.
    Apart from being untrue (signal/ noise ratio) you're also ignoring eisegesis.
    What can be read is not necessarily read correctly.
    Plus, of course, this goes no way to answering the question of the thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    What units do you measure religion in? Martyrs?
    I think so. One has to go through certain situations
    , and personal attacks to become a nice person. Think you are up to it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Everything can be read etc.
    Apart from being untrue (signal/ noise ratio) you're also ignoring eisegesis.
    What can be read is not necessarily read correctly.
    Plus, of course, this goes no way to answering the question of the thread.
    Just because your sciences can not yet measure it/them surely does not mean they can not be measured. It merely means the level of awareness of science and the men who make it has not yet reached that point.

    Is it awareness itself that creates the measuring instruments? The man who makes the machine? The man who sees the possibility? What of the man who sees no possibility at all? What is the difference between the two? One will reach his goal, and the other will not.

    I think the best way to measure religion is to enter into it yourself, learn of it yourself first. Keep in my mind we all have different finger print, different levels of energy, belief, trust, faith, and willpower. Can these things be measured? They are energies yes? Science can not read them merely because they have no machine that is accurate enough, or set up enough, however man can certainly read these things, observe these things for one's self. DO you need a science book to tell you what religion is for you? We are individuals for a reason. Atoms, Adams, do split yes? They create DIFFERENT people no? There are different directions yes? Space? And so I think the best way to measure these things is through your own psychological conscious awareness.

    eisegesis? Can you not see past yourself? Many cultures practice this, as well as psychologists and therapists. Suspend the mind, observe freely. It is merely the awareness of self and the no self, the inner and the outer alignments. Also energies that can be measured. Do not all things contain both positive and nagative forces within them? So that one thing can stop, and another start? Can you use your negative energies to stop what you do not want to happen and use your positive energies to support the way you want to be?

    Just my opinions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Just because your sciences can not yet measure it/them surely does not mean they can not be measured.
    And just because you can make this claim doesn't mean that it's correct.
    (In fact there are fundamental limits to what can be measured).

    It merely means the level of awareness of science and the men who make it has not yet reached that point.
    Unsupported claim.

    Keep in my mind we all have different finger print, different levels of energy, belief, trust, faith, and willpower. Can these things be measured? They are energies yes?
    Faith isn't an energy.
    Nor is belief, trust, willpower or fingerprints.

    Science can not read them merely because they have no machine that is accurate enough, or set up enough, however man can certainly read these things, observe these things for one's self.
    Nope.
    Science can't measure them because they're subjective.

    And so I think the best way to measure these things is through your own psychological conscious awareness.
    I.e. an entirely subjective "measurement" - and thus of zero value.

    eisegesis? Can you not see past yourself? Many cultures practice this, as well as psychologists and therapists.
    I have no idea what your point is here.

    It is merely the awareness of self and the no self, the inner and the outer alignments.
    And this is gobbledeygook.

    Also energies that can be measured.
    As stated above, we're not measuring "energies".

    Do not all things contain both positive and nagative forces within them?
    No. (At least not in the sense you appear to be using).

    So that one thing can stop, and another start?
    No.

    Can you use your negative energies to stop what you do not want to happen and use your positive energies to support the way you want to be?
    Whut?

    Just my opinions.
    And thus neither scientific nor capable of providing measurement.
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    If faith and belief and will had a 0 value they would not exist, thus they have value. Perhpa for you they have none, mine certainly do. If i had no will nor intent, I would not be here living my life.. Thus it is something, and some people have it stronger then others too. I call them energy personally. I think everything is made of the same stuff.

    Show me something that is not made up of the energies of creative and destructive forces?

    Wel could science measure light before they found they could? Could they measure lies? Feelings? They do you know measure these things. And so what is so hard to accept with my 'claim' that science will learn to measure these things? Seems obvious to me that science seeks to understand what it does not know, seeks to learn of all things.

    And how is the 'claim' that science has not reached this level unsupported? Can they measure intent yet? No. Not yet.

    It is scientifically proven that our brain puts off waves of energy, and so why not think that belief and intent and will is not energy?

    No positive and negative in your mind? You can not think one way and then another? Intend one thing then another, or stop intending something? Is there different levels of willpower? Surely there is. You can lose your will to live. Negative energy.
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    ‘Willpower would be the energy that is used towards self-control"
    Dr Roy F. Baumeister is a Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    If faith and belief and will had a 0 value they would not exist, thus they have value.
    Which is not the same as saying they can be measured objectively.

    I call them energy personally.
    Whatever YOU call it isn't relevant.
    This is a science forum and we need to be precise about terms and definitions.

    I think everything is made of the same stuff.
    Atoms.
    Otherwise you're wrong.

    Show me something that is not made up of the energies of creative and destructive forces?
    Er, you made the claim, it's up to you support your claim.
    What is a "creative force"? Or a "destructive" one?

    Wel could science measure light before they found they could?
    What?

    Could they measure lies? Feelings? They do you know measure these things.
    Nope.
    They don't. They measure physiological responses.
    Not lies. Not feelings.

    And so what is so hard to accept with my 'claim' that science will learn to measure these things?
    I gave a link showing that there are limits on measurement.
    Obviously you didn't bother to read it.

    Seems obvious to me that science seeks to understand what it does not know, seeks to learn of all things.
    So what?
    Seeking isn't always finding.

    And how is the 'claim' that science has not reached this level unsupported? Can they measure intent yet? No. Not yet.
    And another unsupported claim.
    What makes you think we'll be able to measure "intent"?

    It is scientifically proven that our brain puts off waves of energy, and so why not think that belief and intent and will is not energy?
    Um, because the energy that is produced is electrical, chemical... etc. NOT "belief", "will" or "intent".

    No positive and negative in your mind? You can not think one way and then another?
    And another erroneous conflation.
    Thoughts aren't "energy".

    You can lose your will to live. Negative energy.
    Nope.
    It's a lack of "positive" i.e. zero will to live.

    ‘Willpower would be the energy that is used towards self-control"
    Dr Roy F. Baumeister is a Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
    Ooh, you managed to cherry-pick a quote.
    And left out context.
    Along with leaving out asking if he meant energy in the physics sense or as a "shorthand" 1.


    1 actually it's shorthand for "the capacity of the self to change oneself" (Roy F. Baumeister).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    If faith and belief and will had a 0 value they would not exist, thus they have value.
    Which is not the same as saying they can be measured objectively.

    I call them energy personally.
    Whatever YOU call it isn't relevant.
    This is a science forum and we need to be precise about terms and definitions.

    I think everything is made of the same stuff.
    Atoms.
    Otherwise you're wrong.

    Show me something that is not made up of the energies of creative and destructive forces?
    Er, you made the claim, it's up to you support your claim.
    What is a "creative force"? Or a "destructive" one?

    Wel could science measure light before they found they could?
    What?

    Could they measure lies? Feelings? They do you know measure these things.
    Nope.
    They don't. They measure physiological responses.
    Not lies. Not feelings.

    And so what is so hard to accept with my 'claim' that science will learn to measure these things?
    I gave a link showing that there are limits on measurement.
    Obviously you didn't bother to read it.

    Seems obvious to me that science seeks to understand what it does not know, seeks to learn of all things.
    So what?
    Seeking isn't always finding.

    And how is the 'claim' that science has not reached this level unsupported? Can they measure intent yet? No. Not yet.
    And another unsupported claim.
    What makes you think we'll be able to measure "intent"?

    It is scientifically proven that our brain puts off waves of energy, and so why not think that belief and intent and will is not energy?
    Um, because the energy that is produced is electrical, chemical... etc. NOT "belief", "will" or "intent".

    No positive and negative in your mind? You can not think one way and then another?
    And another erroneous conflation.
    Thoughts aren't "energy".

    You can lose your will to live. Negative energy.
    Nope.
    It's a lack of "positive" i.e. zero will to live.

    ‘Willpower would be the energy that is used towards self-control"
    Dr Roy F. Baumeister is a Francis Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
    Ooh, you managed to cherry-pick a quote.
    And left out context.
    Along with leaving out asking if he meant energy in the physics sense or as a "shorthand" 1.


    1 actually it's shorthand for "the capacity of the self to change oneself" (Roy F. Baumeister).
    Atoms = Energy

    '0 will to live' sure, but how do you go from a '7' to a 0???????????????????????????????!!!
    -
    do the math.
    Its very simple really. Scientists did not know how to measure emotions, thoughts, etc, and then they learned because they intended and willed themselves to that place. My 'claim' is merely based on past science, the entire of scienctific disocvery that seeks to know all things. They find things that they did not previously know, or even dreamed of. This is not a claim but a fact. It is the logical course of science to find the answers. They bare seeking as we speak.

    "It does not mean that if you seek you will find"

    That is the form of your intent and will present in you, towards your sciences. Can you see it? It is encapsulated in the awareness, the knowledge you present. Thus your intent and will sustains it, because you believe it. It is your REALity.


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    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Atoms = Energy
    Incorrect.

    '0 will to live' sure, but how do you go from a '7' to a 0???????????????????????????????!!!
    - do the math.
    No.
    Assigning a numerical value to things like "will to live" would be solely for indicative purposes: it wouldn't mean there was any numerical value, which in turn doesn't mean that there is any "negative" required to reduce it.
    As noted earlier, the "energy" in the brain comes from a number of sources: stop feeding the brain and that energy reduces to zero.
    A constant input is required to maintain that level.
    Stop the input (no negatives required) and the output ceases.

    Its very simple really. Scientists did not know how to measure emotions, thoughts, etc, and then they learned because they intended and willed themselves to that place.
    And they STILL don't know how to measure emotions.

    My 'claim' is merely based on past science, the entire of scienctific disocvery that seeks to know all things. They find things that they did not previously know, or even dreamed of. This is not a claim but a fact. It is the logical course of science to find the answers. They bare seeking as we speak.
    And you're extrapolating to an entirely unjustified extent.
    As shown by the link I gave (that you still haven't apparently, bothered to read).

    That is the form of your intent and will present in you, towards your sciences. Can you see it? It is encapsulated in the awareness, the knowledge you present. Thus your intent and will sustains it, because you believe it. It is your REALity.
    What?
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    Quantum physics says that as you go deeper and deeper into the workings of the atom, you see that there is nothing there – just energy waves. It says an atom is actually an invisible force field, a kind of miniature tornado, which emits waves of electrical energy.

    Those energy waves can be measured and their effects seen, but they are not a material reality, they have no substance because they are… well, just electricity. So science now embraces the idea that the universe is made of energy.

    Dr Bruce Lipton, a former professor of medicine at Harvard University and author of the best-selling ‘Your mind is greater than your genes’ says the result of such invisible meetings we call ‘good vibes’ and ‘bad vibes’, depending on whether the other waves we meet are in synch with us or out of synch.

    This means it is important to be aware of whether you are in an environment where you are getting entangled in destructive energy waves or constructive energy waves. The cells that make up our bodies know instinctively what is nourishing and what is toxic (Lipton demonstrates this with cells in petri dishes which move away from toxic stuff and towards nourishing stuff). And in fact all animals and plants communicate through vibrations, ie by sensing whether the energy is good for them or not. But we have been taught not to listen to our feelings but instead to what people say.(emilito excluded) So we are not trained to use our ability to sense energy, even though we have it just as all plants and animals have.


    The new Science: We are made of Energy, not Matter | LifeTrainings
    Last edited by emilito; September 1st, 2014 at 12:48 PM.
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    Of course if you have a strong will to live and then you lose that will then yes you have encountered negative energies, reactions.

    Roy F. Baumeister sayus many times that many people lose their will, thus "lose" IS negative value. Naturally.

    It doesn't matter about the number value, I only used it for an example.
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Of course if you have a strong will to live and then you lose that will then yes you have encountered negative energies
    This is the same unsupported assertion that you pushed earlier.
    It has not been shown that "negative energy" is involved.
    It HAS been shown that "negative" needn't come into it.

    Roy F. Baumeister sayus many times that many people lose their will, thus "lose" IS negative value. Naturally.
    No.
    It's a failure to sustain the required input.
    A paucity is not a negative.

    It doesn't matter about the number value, I only used it for an example.
    And it didn't help your case one bit.
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    "......out of these particular experiments, a new field of science was born, called quantum physics. This change was a complete reimagining of the world we’d thought we lived in, and it led to the proverbial rug being pulled out from under our feet—feet we used to think were planted on solid ground. How so? Think back to those old toothpick-and-Styrofoam- ball models of the atom. Before quantum physics came along, people believed that an atom was made of a relatively solid nucleus with smaller, less substantial objects either located in or around it. The very idea that with a powerful enough instrument we could measure (calculate the mass of) and count (number) the subatomic particles that made up an atom made them seem as inert as cows grazing in a pasture. Atoms seemed to be made of solid stuff, right?
    Nothing could be further from the truth as revealed by the quantum model. Atoms are mostly empty space; atoms are energy."

    -Joe Dispenza, D.C., the author of Evolve Your Brain, studied biochemistry at Rutgers University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in neuroscience.

    Gotta go... later.
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    If you can not see that if your will level is high and strong and then is not, even though you want it to be, and you still can not see a negative energy here...then I can not help you. A decline in a level of energy holds a negative value. Subtraction is -
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Quantum physics says that as you go deeper and deeper into the workings of the atom, you see that there is nothing there – just energy waves. It says an atom is actually an invisible force field, a kind of miniature tornado, which emits waves of electrical energy.
    Those energy waves can be measured and their effects seen, but they are not a material reality, they have no substance because they are… well, just electricity. So science now embraces the idea that the universe is made of energy.
    This only trivially relates to your claim that atoms = energy.
    (And see later).

    Dr Bruce Lipton, a former professor of medicine at Harvard University and author of the best-selling ‘Your mind is greater than your genes’ says the result of such invisible meetings we call ‘good vibes’ and ‘bad vibes’, depending on whether the other waves we meet are in synch with us or out of synch.
    Unfortunately for your claims Lipton happens to be something of a nutcase. "He is. .. a New Age promoter, "of the delusion of mind cures...[who incorporates] references to quantum physics and Eastern mystical notions, such as chi and chakras, into their repertoires."
    He can claim whatever he wants. But he can't show it to be the case.

    This means it is important to be aware of whether you are in an environment where you are getting entangled in destructive energy waves or constructive energy waves.
    Nope, you're making stuff up again: "destructive energy waves/ constructive energy waves". Not real

    Oh, that's where you got the first stuff in this post from: a crank site. Please use science sites in the future.
    The writers of that unscientific drivel happen to be not scientists.

    "......out of these particular experiments, a new field of science was born, called quantum physics. This change was a complete reimagining of the world we’d thought we lived in, and it led to the proverbial rug being pulled out from under our feet—feet we used to think were planted on solid ground. How so? Think back to those old toothpick-and-Styrofoam- ball models of the atom. Before quantum physics came along, people believed that an atom was made of a relatively solid nucleus with smaller, less substantial objects either located in or around it. The very idea that with a powerful enough instrument we could measure (calculate the mass of) and count (number) the subatomic particles that made up an atom made them seem as inert as cows grazing in a pasture. Atoms seemed to be made of solid stuff, right?
    Nothing could be further from the truth as revealed by the quantum model. Atoms are mostly empty space; atoms are energy."
    -Joe Dispenza, D.C., the author of Evolve Your Brain, studied biochemistry at Rutgers University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in neuroscience.
    Yeah, calling on yet another woo-ridden halfwit doesn't help your argument.
    Why does every nutter think using the words "quantum physics" automatically means their nonsense is correct?
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    oops double post sorry.
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    While de Broglie waves were difficult to accept after centuries of thinking of particles are solid things with definite size and positions, electron waves were confirmed in the laboratory by running electron beams through slits and demonstrating that interference patterns formed

    The dark and light regions are called interference fringes, the constructive and destructive interference of light waves. So the question is will matter also produce interference patterns. The answer is yes, tested by firing a stream of electrons.

    If the physicist looks for a particle (uses particle detectors), then a particle is found. If the physicist looks for a wave (uses a wave detector), then a wave pattern is found. A quantum entity has a dual potential nature, but its actual (observed) nature is one or the other.

    Further experimentation showed that reality at the quantum (microscopic) level consists of two kinds of reality, actual and potential. The actual is what we get when we see or measure a quantum entity, the potential is the state in which the object existed before it was measured. The result is that a quantum entity (a photon, electron, neutron, etc) exists in multiple possibilities of realities known as superpositions.

    Quantum Physics

    here man read it yourself if you want, lots there for ya!

    yes they use + and - forces or creative and destructive (annihilation) they are called quantum operators.

    and I made nothing up either btw. you are making stuff up about me tho.
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    Unless you can EXPLICITLY point exactly how your posts on quantum physics (a subject I've studied at degree level by the way - so you're unlikely to teach me anything by quoting random websites) then don't bother.
    All you're doing so far is waving your hands in a general direction without specifying how it helps your claims.

    yes they use + and - forces or creative and destructive (annihilation) they are called quantum operators.
    Quantum operators are NOT "creative or destructive forces".

    and I made nothing up either btw
    That would be false: "destructive energy waves/ constructive energy waves"

    you are making stuff up about me tho.
    As would this.
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    Creation and annihilation operators - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    the last page clearly told you that they use both constructive and destructive waves. It is written from U of Oregon lecture.

    Hardly random.

    ALso you failed to see that it is both energy and matter depending on how you look at it, the position of your observational awareness.

    Deny it if you like, comes straight from the universities for you.

    IMAGINE!! Reality is how you look at it to be! Says a lot to support my post, thank you very much. But if u want to ignore it then feel free.
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    Er, yes.
    "Creation and annihilation operators are mathematical operators"
    Oh wait, what is a mathematical operator?
    "An operator is a mapping from one vector space or module to another."
    It's a mathematical function.
    Nothing whatsoever to do with "constructive or destructive waves".

    the last page clearly told you that they use both constructive and destructive waves. It is written from U of Oregon lecture.
    No it doesn't.
    It quite clearly states "the constructive and destructive interference of light waves".
    This is not, nor does it imply "constructive waves" (nor "destructive waves").

    Hardly random.
    Since you haven't bothered to read what the links actually state then they are random.
    Because they in no way support your claim.

    Deny it if you like, comes straight from the universities for you.
    Your links may well "come from universities".
    But they do NOT say what you claim they are saying.
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    Right... I have not a clue. I said there are constructive waves and destructive waves, which their are, and you say they are not real.

    Yes quantum operators work with these waves..

    I never said quantum operators were the forces. They work with them.

    "When two or more waves come together, they will interfere with each other. This interference may be constructive or destructive. If you take two waves and bring them together, they will add wherever a peak from one matches a peak from the other. That's constructive interference. Wherever a peak from one wave matches a trough in another wave, however, they will cancel each other out (or partially cancel, if the amplitudes are different); that's destructive interference. "

    Interference
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    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Right... I have not a clue. I said there are constructive waves and destructive waves, which their are
    If there are why can't you provide a reference to them?

    Yes quantum operators work with these waves..
    Go back and actually read your own link in my last post.

    I never said quantum operators were the forces.
    Yes you did: "they use + and - forces or creative and destructive (annihilation) they are called quantum operators" - i.e. the operators are what the forces are called.

    "When two or more waves come together, they will interfere with each other. This interference may be constructive or destructive. If you take two waves and bring them together, they will add wherever a peak from one matches a peak from the other. That's constructive interference. Wherever a peak from one wave matches a trough in another wave, however, they will cancel each other out (or partially cancel, if the amplitudes are different); that's destructive interference. "
    Interference[/QUOTE]
    Exactly.
    It's the interaction between the waves that determines "constructive" or "destructive".
    Not the waves themselves.
    There are NO "constructive/ destructive" waves.
    (And the "construction/ destruction" ONLY works on the two waves that are involved).

    Since you obviously don't know what you're talking about (or, conversely, you do know but you're being dishonest about what is written) then it's off to the ignore list with you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by emilito View Post
    Right... I have not a clue. I said there are constructive waves and destructive waves, which their are
    If there are why can't you provide a reference to them?
    I thought I did. Already. Lemmie check...1 sec. ... yup found it..
    ``The dark and light regions are called interference fringes, the constructive and destructive interference of light waves.``
    and I also said ``Yes quantum operators work with these waves..``

    then I said ...


    ``If the physicist looks for a particle (uses particle detectors), then a particle is found. If the physicist looks for a wave (uses a wave detector), then a wave pattern is found. A quantum entity has a dual potential nature, but its actual (observed) nature is one or the other.``

    Which is stating the observation controls the experiment. They did the tests here and found you can look at it as either. Its from the U o O lecture....Quantum Physics


    I never said quantum operators were the forces.
    then you

    .
    Yes you did: "they use + and - forces or creative and destructive (annihilation) they are called quantum operators" - i.e. the operators are what the forces are called.

    which is me saying "they use (quantum peeps) the forces of creative and destructive energy, and are called quantum operators." I did say it poorly I admit.

    you said
    Exactly.
    It's the interaction between the waves that determines "constructive" or "destructive".
    Not the waves themselves.
    There are NO "constructive/ destructive" waves.
    (And the "construction/ destruction" ONLY works on the two waves that are involved).

    Since you obviously don't know what you're talking about (or, conversely, you do know but you're being dishonest about what is written) then it's off to the ignore list with you.
    What is a car? All the energies within it that make the car. What do you get when you remove all the 'value' within something? It is no longer a car. We use positive and negative energy to create pure energy.

    We are talking about the values of light energy waves, AND their interactions.. The light wave, each one, contains a different value within each, they interact differently. When you look into an object you see that it is light at its center, and thus particle becomes light. Amazing isn't it? It's the observer that affects the experiment. The lectures walk you through it pretty well. explains it. Read it me thinks. If you see it they also say that the light seems to know about the other lights around them
    Last edited by emilito; September 2nd, 2014 at 06:12 AM.
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    Measure how religious a person is? Here's the questions. 0 points for a "no" and 1 point for a "yes"
    Do you believe that there is a conscious creator of the universe?
    Do you believe that the universe is not an accident?
    Do you believe that there is a conscious creator of the universe that interacts with humans?
    Do you believe that earth is less than 20,000 years old?
    Do you deny the theory of evolution, that there is a common ancestor of many, most, or all living things on earth?
    Do you go to church at least once a week?
    Do you believe that atheists are evil or bad people?
    Do you believe that being close to God makes a person significantly happier?
    Are you close to God?
    Do you pray before having a meal and/or before going to bed at night?
    Do you pray every time there is a big issue in your life?
    Do you have a holy religious book in your house? (this being the main book, like the bible for Christianity and the Qur'an for Islam)
    Do you have many religious inspirational books in your home?
    Do you try to study religion and think about it a lot?
    Do you believe that atoms don't exist and that everything is made of Jesus magic?
    Scores out of 15.
    I suppose this isn't real scientific, but it would be a neat scale. I think a questionnaire would be the best method of measuring how religious somebody is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by anticorncob28 View Post
    Measure how religious a person is? Here's the questions. 0 points for a "no" and 1 point for a "yes"
    Do you believe that there is a conscious creator of the universe?
    Do you believe that the universe is not an accident?
    Do you believe that there is a conscious creator of the universe that interacts with humans?
    Do you believe that earth is less than 20,000 years old?
    Do you deny the theory of evolution, that there is a common ancestor of many, most, or all living things on earth?
    Do you go to church at least once a week?
    Do you believe that atheists are evil or bad people?
    Do you believe that being close to God makes a person significantly happier?
    Are you close to God?
    Do you pray before having a meal and/or before going to bed at night?
    Do you pray every time there is a big issue in your life?
    Do you have a holy religious book in your house? (this being the main book, like the bible for Christianity and the Qur'an for Islam)
    Do you have many religious inspirational books in your home?
    Do you try to study religion and think about it a lot?
    Do you believe that atoms don't exist and that everything is made of Jesus magic?
    Scores out of 15.
    I suppose this isn't real scientific, but it would be a neat scale. I think a questionnaire would be the best method of measuring how religious somebody is.
    More than one person could get the same score but be totally different religiously. I think there are real flaws in the design of your questionnaire.
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    If we define religion as a set of behaviors, and further associate patterns of neural activity to specific behaviors, then we can quantify religion in individuals fairly reliably with an fMRI; Video: Neuroscientists Measure Brain Activity in Love Competition | Underwire | WIRED
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    Lucky me. Lucky mud.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ It would be my well considered opinion. That no such study of religious belief could be described as scientific.
    It would be a very un scientific revue that draws conclusions of facts of scientific revue from religious doctrine.
    There are none.. It's not science. It's belief.
    It's crazy how little people understand about the science of religion on this website. So, you're saying here that the cognitive science of religion, psychology of religion, anthropology of religion along with many other branches of science aren't actually science but are belief? I think you should do a little research on the subjects before expressing this misunderstood position.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Some ways of measuring religion:

    Strange case of the Chinese.
    The fact that one quarter of world's population are not so religious proves that belief is not hard-wired into brain but must be the result of brainwashing, but that does not prevent them from being superstitious.
    How does this prove religion isn't hardwired into our brain? "...must be the result of brainwashing..."? I don't think so. This just shows the power of culture's influence if anything. Every single known civilization, no matter how small, has independently created religion in some sense. I am an atheist and have no religion but almost everybody I see in the world does have a religion and/or secular superstitions that dominate their lives in some form. I am not an atheist because of logic or intelligence since nobody really can know whether or not religions and/or gods exist or not but I am an atheist mostly because of the culture I live in. Many of the cognitive mechanisms that create religious belief are actually mechanisms that create supernatural beliefs as most, if not all, religions are partly made up of superstitions. We can only speculate today about why our brains evolved to incorporate superstitions but many scientists are doing so in evolutionary sciences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ It would be my well considered opinion. That no such study of religious belief could be described as scientific.
    It would be a very un scientific revue that draws conclusions of facts of scientific revue from religious doctrine.
    There are none.. It's not science. It's belief.
    It's crazy how little people understand about the science of religion on this website. So, you're saying here that the cognitive science of religion, psychology of religion, anthropology of religion along with many other branches of science aren't actually science but are belief? I think you should do a little research on the subjects before expressing this misunderstood position.
    Cognitive science is the study of thought. Which is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the thought behind religion does not make religion fact.

    Psychology is the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours. Which too is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the mental functions and behaviours behind religion does not make religion fact.

    And Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Which has nothing really to do with religion other than it's traditions and beliefs in regard to humanity. So again we are back to it being clearly based in the subjective. Religious stories have no objective basis. Studying why people turn to religion does not make religion fact.
    Thus it remains faith/belief.

    As Astromark was trying to convey. Religious study can never be anything more than supposition, as it has no basis in fact.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ It would be my well considered opinion. That no such study of religious belief could be described as scientific.
    It would be a very un scientific revue that draws conclusions of facts of scientific revue from religious doctrine.
    There are none.. It's not science. It's belief.
    It's crazy how little people understand about the science of religion on this website. So, you're saying here that the cognitive science of religion, psychology of religion, anthropology of religion along with many other branches of science aren't actually science but are belief? I think you should do a little research on the subjects before expressing this misunderstood position.
    Cognitive science is the study of thought. Which is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the thought behind religion does not make religion fact.

    Psychology is the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours. Which too is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the mental functions and behaviours behind religion does not make religion fact.

    And Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Which has nothing really to do with religion other than it's traditions and beliefs in regard to humanity. So again we are back to it being clearly based in the subjective. Religious stories have no objective basis. Studying why people turn to religion does not make religion fact.
    Thus it remains faith/belief.

    As Astromark was trying to convey. Religious study can never be anything more than supposition, as it has no basis in fact.
    Again, you clearly have no idea what these sciences are or what they study. I am an atheist and don't believe in any supernatural beings and never stated that these well established branches of science ever proving any certain religion. The anthropology of religion has studied most of the religions first hand by living with different tribes from around the world. W. Robertson Smith wrote The Religion of the Semites which was the first theory that stated that Christianity evolved from earlier religions (written in the 1800's). Today, Pascal Boyer is trying to understand how religious beliefs are created in the mind and how they are exchanged cognitively. Other topics in anthropology would be evolution of religions, how religions begin from a biological point of view and what religion is. Many of these topics would be of great interest to an intelligent non-believer.

    Cognitive science of religion (which Pascal Boyer is a main contributor) understands the cognitive mechanisms that create religion and shows how religious belief is created in the mind. I believe I already explained all this on this post at some point but there are many great books and scholars in understanding different aspects of religious belief. Stewart Guthrie wrote Face in the Clouds which is a theory on the heavy use of anthropomorphism in religions. Pascal Boyer wrote Religion Explained which covers how religions use inference systems and creates a theory for how religious belief is created in the mind. The Science of Superstition is written by Psychologist Bruce Hood and describes how many superstitions (which is part of religious belief) is created in the mind as well. I can provide many more examples for anyone who is interested.

    I think your assumption is that these sciences I refer to are religious adherents trying to prove religion(s) true but, like I said, try to actually look it up before passing judgement. You are just proving my point by this response that nobody has any idea about these well established branches of science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Cognitive science is the study of thought. Which is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the thought behind religion does not make religion fact.

    Psychology is the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours. Which too is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the mental functions and behaviours behind religion does not make religion fact.

    And Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Which has nothing really to do with religion other than it's traditions and beliefs in regard to humanity. So again we are back to it being clearly based in the subjective. Religious stories have no objective basis. Studying why people turn to religion does not make religion fact.
    Thus it remains faith/belief.

    As Astromark was trying to convey. Religious study can never be anything more than supposition, as it has no basis in fact.
    Again, you clearly have no idea what these sciences are or what they study.
    Oh so Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology are completely different, from there religious versions. Ok I see, I bow to your superior intellect.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    The anthropology of religion has studied most of the religions first hand by living with different tribes from around the world. W. Robertson Smith wrote The Religion of the Semites which was the first theory that stated that Christianity evolved from earlier religions (written in the 1800's).Today, Pascal Boyer is trying to understand how religious beliefs are created in the mind and how they are exchanged cognitively. Other topics in anthropology would be evolution of religions, how religions begin from a biological point of view and what religion is. Many of these topics would be of great interest to an intelligent non-believer.
    Why! knowing why a person is gullible, is only really worthy in psychiatry. I'd rather just stick with the sciences of Psychology, Anthropology, and Cognitive science, adding religious gullibility to it does not do the science any justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Cognitive science of religion (which Pascal Boyer is a main contributor) understands the cognitive mechanisms that create religion and shows how religious belief is created in the mind.
    Wow! That is so similar to Cognitive science. Are you sure they're not related?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    I think your assumption is that these sciences I refer to are religious adherents trying to prove religion(s) true but, like I said, try to actually look it up before passing judgement.
    And there I thought that Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology were related science.
    How could I be so wrong!
    I'm glad your here, I'd be going through my life with the completely wrong information. Thanks.

    In closing though I'll repeat "As Astromark was trying to convey. Religious study can never be anything more than supposition, as it has no basis in fact." So it matters not what science you use to study it. You will never be able to make it anything more than a belief.
    So you condemning Astromark was unjust, as you make the statement several times that religion, is nothing more than of the mind, a belief.

    It isn't really relevant why it's past on or adhered too.

    Do they have a study called the cognitive science of the football fan? Or the cognitive science of the republican?
    Why does religion get the science label?
    Has anybody gone around studying most football fans first hand by living with different teams from around the world? Wouldn't that be equally important?
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Cognitive science is the study of thought. Which is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the thought behind religion does not make religion fact.

    Psychology is the scientific study of mental functions and behaviours. Which too is clearly based in the subjective. Studying the mental functions and behaviours behind religion does not make religion fact.

    And Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. Which has nothing really to do with religion other than it's traditions and beliefs in regard to humanity. So again we are back to it being clearly based in the subjective. Religious stories have no objective basis. Studying why people turn to religion does not make religion fact.
    Thus it remains faith/belief.

    As Astromark was trying to convey. Religious study can never be anything more than supposition, as it has no basis in fact.
    Again, you clearly have no idea what these sciences are or what they study.
    Oh so Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology are completely different, from there religious versions. Ok I see, I bow to your superior intellect.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    The anthropology of religion has studied most of the religions first hand by living with different tribes from around the world. W. Robertson Smith wrote The Religion of the Semites which was the first theory that stated that Christianity evolved from earlier religions (written in the 1800's).Today, Pascal Boyer is trying to understand how religious beliefs are created in the mind and how they are exchanged cognitively. Other topics in anthropology would be evolution of religions, how religions begin from a biological point of view and what religion is. Many of these topics would be of great interest to an intelligent non-believer.
    Why! knowing why a person is gullible, is only really worthy in psychiatry. I'd rather just stick with the sciences of Psychology, Anthropology, and Cognitive science, adding religious gullibility to it does not do the science any justice.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Cognitive science of religion (which Pascal Boyer is a main contributor) understands the cognitive mechanisms that create religion and shows how religious belief is created in the mind.
    Wow! That is so similar to Cognitive science. Are you sure they're not related?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    I think your assumption is that these sciences I refer to are religious adherents trying to prove religion(s) true but, like I said, try to actually look it up before passing judgement.
    And there I thought that Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology were related science.
    How could I be so wrong!
    I'm glad your here, I'd be going through my life with the completely wrong information. Thanks.

    In closing though I'll repeat "As Astromark was trying to convey. Religious study can never be anything more than supposition, as it has no basis in fact." So it matters not what science you use to study it. You will never be able to make it anything more than a belief.
    So you condemning Astromark was unjust, as you make the statement several times that religion, is nothing more than of the mind, a belief.

    It isn't really relevant why it's past on or adhered too.

    Do they have a study called the cognitive science of the football fan? Or the cognitive science of the republican?
    Why does religion get the science label?
    Has anybody gone around studying most football fans first hand by living with different teams from around the world? Wouldn't that be equally important?
    Your response is pretty embarrassingly misguided. Anthropology is a general term for the 4 sub-fields that make up anthro: linguistics, biological anthro, cultural anthro and archaeology. Anthropology of religion is a sub-field of cultural anthropology. This is all day-1 stuff if you have any idea of what you're talking about (which clearly you don't). I'd recommend going to college. You don't just study "anthropology", you have to choose a sub-field to work in. Anthropology of religion is large branch of anthropology. You can actually go to the nearest state college and take a class yourself and maybe you'll understand just how ridiculous your responses have been.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Your response is pretty embarrassingly misguided. < snip > You can actually go to the nearest state college and take a class yourself and maybe you'll understand just how ridiculous your responses have been.
    Wow! I had already bowed down to your superior intellect, do I have to kiss your a**e too. Mind you! You did make me smile, thank you for that!
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ It would be my well considered opinion. That no such study of religious belief could be described as scientific.
    It would be a very un scientific revue that draws conclusions of facts of scientific revue from religious doctrine.
    There are none.. It's not science. It's belief.
    I return to this to attempt to clear any ambiguity about what I said and attempted to say.. what am I saying ?.... and.
    ~ Theology ~ Is it a science ? and that universities and Phd's are NOT statements of science but of history.
    Yes I am of chines descent and that for some years a small group of monks cared for my well being and education..
    That I mention this stands for the FACT that I am atheist of view.. I have no religious doctrine belief.
    Any study can be labeled as scientific. *The STUDY of the science is as to say that scientific revue can be applied to religions.*
    Religious belief and religious faith are not science based theorems.. are they.
    Some sort of spiritual structure as yet no science has found as real. Is a well reasoned argument of the scientific method. To which I would adhere to religiously.... That some of the contributors here do not see so clearly what is written so large..
    No religious belief is science based.. That is not a opinion it's a fact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Your response is pretty embarrassingly misguided. < snip > You can actually go to the nearest state college and take a class yourself and maybe you'll understand just how ridiculous your responses have been.
    Wow! I had already bowed down to your superior intellect, do I have to kiss your a**e too. Mind you! You did make me smile, thank you for that!
    Okay, are you done? Great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ It would be my well considered opinion. That no such study of religious belief could be described as scientific.
    It would be a very un scientific revue that draws conclusions of facts of scientific revue from religious doctrine.
    There are none.. It's not science. It's belief.
    I return to this to attempt to clear any ambiguity about what I said and attempted to say.. what am I saying ?.... and.
    ~ Theology ~ Is it a science ? and that universities and Phd's are NOT statements of science but of history.
    Yes I am of chines descent and that for some years a small group of monks cared for my well being and education..
    That I mention this stands for the FACT that I am atheist of view.. I have no religious doctrine belief.
    Any study can be labeled as scientific. *The STUDY of the science is as to say that scientific revue can be applied to religions.*
    Religious belief and religious faith are not science based theorems.. are they.
    Some sort of spiritual structure as yet no science has found as real. Is a well reasoned argument of the scientific method. To which I would adhere to religiously.... That some of the contributors here do not see so clearly what is written so large..
    No religious belief is science based.. That is not a opinion it's a fact.
    Theology is not science. The scientific study of religion isn't the study of individual religion's belief systems or out to prove/disprove any religion. It asks other questions and I honestly already went over it twice on this thread so just read my earlier responses if you care to understand what the science of religion actually researches. I had no idea that this thread would start a debate on the basic fundamentals of science. Please note that I am an atheist as well and study religion from a secular point of view.
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    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Oh so Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology are completely different, from there religious versions. Ok I see, I bow to your superior intellect.
    If you don't think there is such a thing as scientific study of religion, you are kindly invited not to participate. Stop trolling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Oh so Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology are completely different, from there religious versions. Ok I see, I bow to your superior intellect.
    If you don't think there is such a thing as scientific study of religion, you are kindly invited not to participate. Stop trolling.
    Who's trolling. I never once said that, now did I.
    He suggested they weren't related. Hence the sarcasm.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Oh so Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology are completely different, from there religious versions. Ok I see, I bow to your superior intellect.
    If you don't think there is such a thing as scientific study of religion, you are kindly invited not to participate. Stop trolling.
    Who's trolling. I never once said that, now did I.
    He suggested they weren't related. Hence the sarcasm.
    Sarcasm is unnecessary to get your point across. Hence the accusation of trolling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Oh so Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology are completely different, from there religious versions. Ok I see, I bow to your superior intellect.
    If you don't think there is such a thing as scientific study of religion, you are kindly invited not to participate. Stop trolling.
    Who's trolling. I never once said that, now did I.
    He suggested they weren't related. Hence the sarcasm.
    "Do they have a study called the cognitive science of the football fan? Or the cognitive science of the republican?
    Why does religion get the science label?"

    Actually, you definitely implied that any type of science of religion isn't scientific here. Either that or I may have missed your point in all the gabble, if you even had one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Oh so Cognitive science, Psychology, And Anthropology are completely different, from there religious versions. Ok I see, I bow to your superior intellect.
    If you don't think there is such a thing as scientific study of religion, you are kindly invited not to participate. Stop trolling.
    Who's trolling. I never once said that, now did I.
    He suggested they weren't related. Hence the sarcasm.
    "Do they have a study called the cognitive science of the football fan? Or the cognitive science of the republican?
    Why does religion get the science label?"

    Actually, you definitely implied that any type of science of religion isn't scientific here.
    However didn't say there wasn't any did I.
    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Either that or I may have missed your point in all the gabble, if you even had one.
    So I'm not allowed to ask questions now either.
    As there is a cognitive science of religion why isn't there a cognitive science of the republican, etc. Both are equally valid are they not?
    Surely nationality, team and gang mentality are all equally as valid as the study of religious mentality. That's the point.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    So I'm not allowed to ask questions now either.
    As there is a cognitive science of religion why isn't there a cognitive science of the republican, etc. Both are equally valid are they not?
    Surely nationality, team and gang mentality are all equally as valid as the study of religious mentality. That's the point.
    If you want to have a scientific study of republicans, etc., you can do that, but this is the scientific study of religion sub-forum. Do you have a point, other than trying to disrupt the discussion here? Please stop it. I'm going to start putting my posts in red letters pretty soon, because this argumentation is not going anywhere.
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    Ox - I honestly wouldn't be worried about the theological threats of religions as it seems to just be a tactic for conversion purposes. Many people would be afraid to leave their faith because of the "what if I am wrong?" aspect of it. Many people use Pascal's wager in order to justify their beliefs. I cannot prove or disprove the idea of a certain religions version of "Hell" or something similar but it seems reasonable to conclude they are all superstitions to at least some degree. As humans, we can make up anything we want and pretend it's real as long as it's unfalsifiable. Unfalsifiable concepts (concepts that cannot be proven or disproven) seem to be the foundation of religion, conspiracy theories and superstitions.

    Everybody else: A way to measure religion could be to analyze at what point people give attention to their gods. We could find out the psychological mechanisms that coalesce religion and average human experience. Hunter/gatherers tend to turn to religion when they need "luck". When they hunt, fish, give birth, explore and other times in which they need luck they will ask their gods to essentially turn the tides in their favor.

    Bruce Hood has been studying superstition for many years. He wrote the book called The Science of Superstition which goes into great detail about what he researches. Superstition occurs due to the way our brain evolved and exists in even the most non-religious people. He did an interesting study dealing with a sweater of a serial killer. Turns out that 9/10 people wouldn't wear the sweater in his study. We tend to project an "essence" to certain items and with the serial killers sweater the people who wouldn't wear it stated it had an "evil" essence. Although there is no real "essence" and it only exists in our minds, it seems that this cognitive mechanism is a basis for many widespread superstitions. Religions also use this essentialism as a large part of religion are superstitions.

    Our ability to anthropomorphize is another aspect of religion that Steward Guthrie goes into great detail in his book Faces in the Clouds. Giving non-human objects or organisms human characteristics seems to be a foundational belief in most religions as well. In the case of Christianity, giving a fictitious God human characteristics is summed up by the well-known phrase "Our we made from God's image or is God made from our image" (< paraphrased).

    How to measure religious belief seems to be a questionable idea on his thread for some reason. How can we really measure religion? I wasn't thinking I was going to have to defend this very basic idea as I originally thought more people would have had more scientific training. Here are some links to scholars who study religion from an anthropological and psychological points of view:

    1. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...74894050,d.cGE
    2. Subjecting Belief to the Scientific Method
    3. JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
    4. Paranormal belief and reasoning
    5. Paranormal believers are more prone to illusory agency detection than skeptics
    6. The Adaptive Value of Religious Ritual » American Scientist
    7. JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
    8. JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
    9. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...75097201,d.cGE
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    I have relocated some off topic debate so that this thread can get back on track. This is one of the few threads which has actually endeavored to have a scientific discussion of religion.

    If you want to discuss religion as an anthropological subject post here.

    If you do not think religion is a proper subject for anthropological study, post elsewhere.
    If you feel a need to declare that you are an atheist, post elsewhere.
    If you want to discuss whether religions adhere to the scientific method, it is stipulated that they do not. Post elsewhere.
    If you want to hold a theological discussion, post elsewhere.
    If you want to belittle people for their religious beliefs, post elsewhere.
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    If you are going to try measuring something you have to be careful in defining just what it is you are measuring.
    What aspect of religion would you be wanting to measure?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    If you are going to try measuring something you have to be careful in defining just what it is you are measuring.
    What aspect of religion would you be wanting to measure?
    I currently am developing a research project that will be participant observation on two different denominations of Christianity: a more "average" protestant denomination along with a Pentacostal (faith healings, speaking in tongues) denomination. I will observe many aspects of the two church services like: proxemics, linguistic analysis (what verses are used, how many times they are used, how they are interpreted) along with some rudimentary interviews. I don't need help or anything with my own research but I just really wanted to hear people's ideas and if they had any research experience themselves. Not to sound corny, but "knowledge is power" when it comes to research. lol
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    I don't have access to any research so it is a good thing you don't need help with your research.

    If you know about Pew Research and Adherents.com you have access to some statistics and some examples of possible measurements.

    Pew Research Center | Nonpartisan, non-advocacy public opinion polling and demographic research

    World Religions Religion Statistics Geography Church Statistics

    edit: Maybe this link for Pew is better.
    http://religions.pewforum.org/
    Last edited by dan hunter; September 12th, 2014 at 01:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I don't have access to any research so it is a good thing you don't need help with your research.
    Have you tried Google Scholar? It's a pretty useful tool for finding research of all kinds. Otherwise JSTOR.org is normally where I go to find anthropology, psychology and other similar types of research, but I think you need a college ID to log into it.
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    How do you intend to measure proxemics?
    I could see maybe measuring the spaces and different elevations in the buildings and how they are used, like separation between the stage, the speakers, the audience (congregation) and so on, but short of measuring how close the pastors actually stand to their flocks and finding a way to normalize for cultural as well as personal differences I don't know how it could be done.

    Anyway, let me ask what the measurements you intend to make are intended to tell you about the different religions?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    How do you intend to measure proxemics?
    I could see maybe measuring the spaces and different elevations in the buildings and how they are used, like separation between the stage, the speakers, the audience (congregation) and so on, but short of measuring how close the pastors actually stand to their flocks and finding a way to normalize for cultural as well as personal differences I don't know how it could be done.

    Anyway, let me ask what the measurements you intend to make are intended to tell you about the different religions?
    There are many different ways to measure proxemics. Measure how close people are intended to sit in relation to one another, how close different members of the church hierarchy stand when speaking to the followers before and after church services, where the church leadership place themselves during the services, the positioning of the everyone during ritual, placement of symbolic sacred items. I have a bit of research to do before choosing exactly what I am going to implement into my study. This will ultimately be a small part of my research.

    My study would suggest how certain denominations of Christianity use space within church services but more importantly it will shed light on how people use the Bible and apply it to their own lives. Showing a long term use of exactly how the Bible is used and interpreted can suggest something about how any religion with a scripture uses and interprets their scriptures. Linguistics is part of anthropology and cognitive science and if I conduct my research efficiently and correctly, I will be able to say a lot about the cognitive mechanisms of how scriptures shapes people's lives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    .... but more importantly it will shed light on how people use the Bible and apply it to their own lives. Showing a long term use of exactly how the Bible is used and interpreted can suggest something about how any religion with a scripture uses and interprets their scriptures. ....
    And possibly how they don't use it too?
    I have noticed quite a few places where the scripture is basically ignored except for when a certain catch phrase is wanted.
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    I went for coffee and came back to see my posts had vanished.. very strange.. So here is what I might have said; or wanted to be understood as saying..
    or is this just another way of engaging the question... ? * Scientific study of religions. Methods of measuring religion.*
    I made a quick flippant point that counting attendees at churches might actually answer this quest..
    ~ but now I see there was no quest after all. Just statements of views. Any deviation will not be tolerated and some grumpy old men arguing about .. what ? I have no argument with religious doctrine and even would encourage this if I thought it could help a person in need of that type of support.. But we must be aware of a danger of accepting as truths that which can not be.. and that in a question of how could we gauge the support for such beliefs.. Is clear to me.. 'Ask people.' Do a head count of people with religious view.
    A census of opinions. Lets see if this gets dumped on.. or just talked of..
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    I was also hoping that someone would have defined the unit of religion by now. I have a reasonable notion (I think) of what the units of other topics are on this forum. The unit of mathematics I would define as the number, physics as the particle, chemistry as the atom, biology as the cell, politics as the decision, philosophy as the idea, history as the event. When it comes to religion this is not so easy.
    It's not martyrs or fanatics, or attendees at churches. It could be memes, but I think it is too general to say that. It could be sacred verses, but as many are contradictory then I would challenge that. It could be believers but then all religions have their unbelievers.
    As has been pointed out many times on this forum we are all atheists of some description. The monotheist is an atheist when it comes to the Hindu gods, or in fact any god other than the god of Abraham. Some Muslims I have spoken to are atheistic when it comes to identifying the god of Abraham with their Allah.
    Until someone can clearly define the unit of religion then there is no way of measuring religion.
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    Astromark, by counting the number of people who go to church is a valid scientific idea that I has been done. It only measures how many people who to church in a few religions as not all religions have a "church". I'm not sure how it answers any quest that you mention either.

    Ox, there many different units that can be measured in any science. You may have oversimplified about all the "units" of all those sciences. For instance, neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky uses participant observation when observing baboons in Africa and measures much more than just the cell. "Units" include blood samples (which would equivocate to your "cell"), rank structures of the baboons, conflicts amongst the baboons, locations and many other units to measure different aspects of the biological world. The field I go to school for, anthropology, can have thousands of different units of measure and this is the same with religion.
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    ~ OX makes a interesting view real enough.. Things can be surmised as he points out. 'History = events of the past'.. and so on.
    Religions are for 'ME' the study and belief of things that are not able to be so tested as science would demand..
    Just counting attendees at churches only covers those whom have churches or congregations.. I understand a large number of religious doctrines do not have what we call churches.. They might call what they do differently as like the 'Witnesses' do.. They have assemblies..
    others are equally difficult to nail down to a 'church'.. can we label as such.. no.
    ~ So I fall back to 'ASK' conduct a well worded census.. Do you have or hold a religious belief ?

    Note to Harold.. "If you have anything to say to me.. do it here.. So others can judge you as I now do..
    ~ Do NOT pvt message me." You were wrong.
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    You're still off topic because you have contributed nothing to an anthropological discussion. Don't argue about moderation in a thread. That's actually a forum rule.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReligionOfTheSemites View Post
    Ox, there many different units that can be measured in any science. You may have oversimplified about all the "units" of all those sciences. For instance, neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky uses participant observation when observing baboons in Africa and measures much more than just the cell. "Units" include blood samples (which would equivocate to your "cell"), rank structures of the baboons, conflicts amongst the baboons, locations and many other units to measure different aspects of the biological world. The field I go to school for, anthropology, can have thousands of different units of measure and this is the same with religion.
    Really? Would you care to name a few (say 50). You seem confident about this, so it shouldn't take too long.
    I agree that the unit of biology is not just the cell, but that is a good starting point as every living thing is made up of cells. You could then reduce the cell to its constituent molecules and then to atoms and eventually to force and matter particles. We could then arrive at the conclusion that ultimately everything is a form of energy and when this becomes frozen or distorted by spacetime only then does it becomes matter.

    But that is the physical world and clearly religion is not part of physics. I subscribe to the view that there is nothing outside the natural laws of physics. With its fantastic ideas about gravity defying saviours and prophets (and all the rest), religion does not fit into this mould.

    So we are left with replicating ideas ('memes').
    All religions start by picking up on an improbable (supernatural) idea and developing it as part of a faith system. However, there are far too many religious memes than there are minds to fit them into.
    The problem then is that there is no unit of a meme (religious or otherwise) and so measurement is impossible.
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    I disagree with Ox's idea about measurability, but that is beside the point.

    My last concern with the measurements you want to make is what their purose is.
    When we measure something there should be a reason that we are taking the measurement, it should be telling us something that matters, it should be answering a question.
    Otherwise it is just useless data being collected.

    So what will these measurements you are proposing be used for? What questions are they intended to answer?
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    As a start you could try to define "religion" by arbitrarily deciding to call particular belief systems "religions" (to get off the mark).

    Then you try to find points (or a point in common) among them.

    If one of the chosen belief systems has no point in common with the others in the group ,then by definition it is not a religion.

    The points in common of the remaining belief systems would seem to be the essence of what we might call religion -and this might be a basis on how we might "grade" religions.

    (I haven't the energy to follow through so I don't know if this would really be a valid technique or not.)

    It is also interesting the members of/adherents to one religion may refer to another "religion" as a religion.You will not often here it said in a disparaging way "it is not even a religion" (although they do call them false religions of course)
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Otherwise it is just useless data being collected...
    So what will these measurements you are proposing be used for? What questions are they intended to answer?
    Correct. What will we do with the data when we have it? It's not going to change anything.
    Religion's continuing hold on millions of people shows that it is still instinctively felt that religion stands witness to the existence of something true and noble beyond the grasp of reason. And this, despite the the fact that many of its dogmas are hardly worthy of belief. (S.K. Majumdar)
    Religion would not lie within any measurement that science can understand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    So what will these measurements you are proposing be used for? What questions are they intended to answer?
    The same question applies to any area of scientific research. Some have immediate applications and some have no immediate application.There is no reason (I can think of) the study of religion should be exempt from this general rule* (well not "rule " but I can't think of the right word )

    * "outcome"?
    Last edited by geordief; September 15th, 2014 at 05:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Really? Would you care to name a few (say 50). You seem confident about this, so it shouldn't take too long.
    Would I care to name 50? Absolutely not. What exactly is your argument here? You can measure whatever you wanted to. I did a proxemic study on where people decided to sit on a bench and found out that people don't choose any random place on a bench but will tend to sit as far away from others as possible. If there are 2 people sitting on both ends of the bench, the next person will most likely sit equidistant from both directly in the middle of them. I did a cognitive study on 5 different species of primates and used the actions done by their arms as a unit of measurement (this is greatly oversimplified). As stated earlier in this thread, I am using where people place themselves in a church to understand the proxemics of Church-life and also using specific verses to understand a linguistic aspect of religions that use scriptures. See how this works? If you want to understand more, I recommend you take a class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I disagree with Ox's idea about measurability, but that is beside the point.

    My last concern with the measurements you want to make is what their purose is.
    When we measure something there should be a reason that we are taking the measurement, it should be telling us something that matters, it should be answering a question.
    Otherwise it is just useless data being collected.

    So what will these measurements you are proposing be used for? What questions are they intended to answer?
    I'm not sure if you are scientifically trained or not but science is incremental and each study done is on a very small portion of the larger whole. "How is space used from an anthropological point of view in two denominations of Christianity?" and "How are scriptures interpreted and applied to the worldviews of a scripture-based religion?" are the two main questions I am asking for my research.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Religion would not lie within any measurement that science can understand.
    It's adorable that you are trying to explain your viewpoints here but there are already dozens of subfields of science already dedicated to measuring religion (that have existed for over 100 years). It has already been spoken about on this thread and if you want to understand more take 5 seconds to actually try to research this before spouting out nonsense. There are thousands of scientists with PhD's who study religion every day.

    You don't think religion is measurable?...that's great. But the adults are trying to speak here as the moderator stated before, if you just here to give your non-informed opinion about how religion is not measurable, there are many other threads you can go to.
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    ~ As difficult as it obviously is, the very concept that what you so dearly hold as true.. might not be. Offends some..
    A moderator here told me to 'Watch It.' and I think Harold is acting foolishly.. This is a 'FORUM' I would advise a search for the meanings of forum... That I will continue to express a view different is my right. That being equally wrong is a craft I might have mastered..
    I will not buckle to what must be seen as bullying.. This forum asked the question; 'Methods of measuring religion. ?' You are perfectly entitled to not agree with my view.. 'Not in forum.. Do not clutter the forum with side issues.. then answer the question some other way..
    Can you. ? I suggested counting attendances at churches and accept that is not a answer.. Is this a better slant ?
    That the strength of religious view is not countable. To apply a scientific view of belief. A vagueness of fact.
    That I offer a apology for stating a view of scientific demand.. A quick understanding of science and it's demands for revue, testable.
    That being told not to comment as such is wrong.. very, very wrong. This is or reports to be a forum of science.. then do not tell me not to apply science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~ As difficult as it obviously is, the very concept that what you so dearly hold as true.. might not be. Offends some..
    A moderator here told me to 'Watch It.' and I think Harold is acting foolishly.. This is a 'FORUM' I would advise a search for the meanings of forum... That I will continue to express a view different is my right. That being equally wrong is a craft I might have mastered..
    I will not buckle to what must be seen as bullying.. This forum asked the question; 'Methods of measuring religion. ?' You are perfectly entitled to not agree with my view.. 'Not in forum.. Do not clutter the forum with side issues.. then answer the question some other way..
    Can you. ? I suggested counting attendances at churches and accept that is not a answer.. Is this a better slant ?
    That the strength of religious view is not countable. To apply a scientific view of belief. A vagueness of fact.
    That I offer a apology for stating a view of scientific demand.. A quick understanding of science and it's demands for revue, testable.
    That being told not to comment as such is wrong.. very, very wrong. This is or reports to be a forum of science.. then do not tell me not to apply science.
    Any statements on discounting the scientific study of religion is off topic as the OP clearly asks for methods to measure religion...not whether or not religion can be measured from a scientific point of view. I'm simply not going to dilute my topic by answering all of this gabble. If you want to discus whether or not religion can be studied by science, make your own topic.

    You aren't applying science in any one of your posts, I already explained the validity issues with counting people who go to church (churches and "assemblies" only exist in some religions) and I'm not going over it again. If you want to "apply science", try learning science first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    ~
    A moderator here told me to 'Watch It.' and I think Harold is acting foolishly..
    Didn't I just say it was against forum rules to complain about moderation within a thread? You've earned a week off.
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