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General Chat Thread, Islam and depictions of Muhammad in General; I wonder what would be the response if somehow a child was managed to be raised until adulthood with no ...
  1. #91

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    I wonder what would be the response if somehow a child was managed to be raised until adulthood with no knowledge or exposure to religion?
    What would that child think when suddenly exposed of the perceived existence amongst various groups of a myriad of Gods and beliefs? Or would the child have invented their own?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I wonder what would be the response if somehow a child was managed to be raised until adulthood with no knowledge or exposure to religion?
    What would that child think when suddenly exposed of the perceived existence amongst various groups of a myriad of Gods and beliefs? Or would the child have invented their own?
    So long as they were still educated appropriately they should be fine. There is a tencancy of the mind to find patterns and associations where they are none so some form of superstition or religion is probably going to be there but without so much weight added to it they should not be bound by it.

  3. #93

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I wonder what would be the response if somehow a child was managed to be raised until adulthood with no knowledge or exposure to religion?
    What would that child think when suddenly exposed of the perceived existence amongst various groups of a myriad of Gods and beliefs? Or would the child have invented their own?
    Good question. I think it's down to where and when the question is framed. In a modern, scientifically advanced civilisation, or in remote land in stone-age times?

    We can see the current state of religious 'evolution'. Each tribe, culture or civilisation develops their own religion, either from common roots or independently. They may be separated by geography, ideology or culturally.

    These are some of the known religions; of which there are thousands: List of religions and spiritual traditions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
    I will leave the question of 'is religion man-made' open, but I think the answer is clear from the evidence. Most religions were created to provide answers to the (as then) unknown. Man is a pattern-seeking mammal, and when a good explanation is not available, a bad explanation will do.

    Here is a religion we could watch evolving from scratch.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult
    Some find it amusing, but I think it's quite sad.

    Some, more sinister religions, were created to exploit the credulity of others but that was the topic of another thread!

    So, would the child have any good reason to invent a god or religion to explain things? I don't think so. Religion and the invention of gods was the product of a need to understand natural events, but now these events are thoroughly understood*. On the other hand, the invocation of gods would require an insurmountable amount of explanation.

    *unless you're Bill O'Reilly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyHzhtARf8M
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 22nd September 2012 at 12:07 PM.

  4. #94

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    <snip>...
    The problem is, all the good stuff done by religious groups never makes the news, it's only the extremists causing trouble or the silly arguments in the CofE that make the headlines. Overall, if you actually looked at all the good stuff being done today by religious groups, it far outweighs the negatives.

    Just my thoughts and an alternative view...
    This topic was often debated by Christopher Hitchens. The argument went something along these lines:
    Agreed, religious people can be involved in altruistic work. But is this done in the name of religion or would they do it anyway because it's a good thing to do? Hitchens debates are all on Youtube, and there are many in which this topic is debated. He went into further philosophical depth, asking if an atheist's good deed was of more worth because there could be no prospect of a heavenly reward, and so on, but that is far beyond the scope of a technical forum. Anyway, I recommend you check out his videos.

    He often put down the challenge:
    1. Name one good deed that could only be done by a person of faith (it was never answered),
    2. Name one atrocity committed in the name of religion (spoilt for choice).

    Hitch wasn't very keen on Mother Teresa - well worth a watch is you have time. http://youtu.be/zQ7G79WvTPE

    Bertrand Russell wasn't as scathing as Hitchens, conceding that there may be some good done by religious groups, but 'They condemn acts which do no harm and they condone acts which do great harm.'
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 22nd September 2012 at 01:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    So long as they were still educated appropriately they should be fine. There is a tencancy of the mind to find patterns and associations where they are none so some form of superstition or religion is probably going to be there but without so much weight added to it they should not be bound by it.
    I believe its called ontic dumping. Going from i cant control the weather to i wonder who does

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    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    I believe its called ontic dumping. Going from i cant control the weather to i wonder who does
    Islam and depictions of Muhammad-ck20120206u.jpg

    Carol, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    I will leave the question of 'is religion man-made' open, but I think the answer is clear from the evidence.
    If humans eventually colonize Mars and the only people allowed to go are atheist's, it would be interesting to see if there were any religions after several hundred years.

  8. #98
    kernewek-sam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    I wonder what would be the response if somehow a child was managed to be raised until adulthood with no knowledge or exposure to religion?
    What would that child think when suddenly exposed of the perceived existence amongst various groups of a myriad of Gods and beliefs? Or would the child have invented their own?
    I'm not sure if Richard Dawkins has said that we have part of our brain that leads us to believe in a God. I haven't read his books so I can't be sure on that. Though if that were true, I'd be interested to see if they invented their own.

    <ideal world> It would be nice if people could have their various religious or non-religious views/beliefs and be able to respect each others difference of opinions.</ideal world>
    @Earthling Maybe it would take another evolutionary step to achieve that, unfortunately.

  9. #99


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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    So, would the child have any good reason to invent a god or religion to explain things? I don't think so. Religion and the invention of gods was the product of a need to understand natural events, but now these events are thoroughly understood*. On the other hand, the invocation of gods would require an insurmountable amount of explanation.
    I dont think it's correct to say that events/things are "thoroughly understood" (not even close). Much of what we have is theory - good working models but with known (and critical) deficiencies. Then there are the unprovable (in principle) questions : "what happens after I'm dead". I don't see why people would not want to comfort themselves with 'spiritual/religious' answers. I'd call them (spiritual/religious ideas) 'natural memes' - I'd expect them to turn up in one form or another regardless.

  10. #100


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    Quote Originally Posted by kernewek-sam View Post
    I'm not sure if Richard Dawkins has said that we have part of our brain that leads us to believe in a God. I haven't read his books so I can't be sure on that. Though if that were true, I'd be interested to see if they invented their own.
    There was an interesting experiment where they stimulated a part of the brain and the subjects described feelings of epiphany. However, one of this years ignoble prizes was awarded for "demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere even in a dead salmon. "
    <ideal world> It would be nice if people could have their various religious or non-religious views/beliefs and be able to respect each others difference of opinions.</ideal world>
    That is just another belief people wish to impose on others. It will always fail while there is a genuine freedom of belief because beliefs can be mutually incompatible (X believes Y which compels them to hate W because W believes Z). I'm not even sure what people really mean by "respect" in that context. If I believe in a sceptical, evidence based approach to life, how can I meaningfully "respect" someone who believes in something that I believe is "woo". And someone might show the ultimate respect of my beliefs by challenging them. Whereas if I challenge the religious beliefs of someone in exactly the same way, people might tell me I am "disrespecting" them. Respect is relative and in the context, probably largely meaningless.

  11. #101

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I dont think it's correct to say that events/things are "thoroughly understood" (not even close). <snip>
    My error. I should have said that we understand the natural phenomena that perplexed early mankind (floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, droughts, storms, etc) which they attributed to gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Then there are the unprovable (in principle) questions : "what happens after I'm dead". I don't see why people would not want to comfort themselves with 'spiritual/religious' answers.
    As for taking comfort in religion/spirituality, well, if someone honestly believes it then it is a comfort. It doesn't make it true, though. It might be true, but it doesn't make it true. We shouldn't trip up on the 'genetic fallacy' which states that just because a proposition is not supported by strong argument or evidence, it doesn't mean that the proposition is necessarily untrue. There might be an afterlife. We might be corporally reassembled in heaven after we die. I don't think that there's any evidence for this, and I think that the arguments for an afterlife are only convincing if you want to believe in the conclusion. I must conclude that there is (probably) no afterlife.

    I'm with Epicurus on this.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 23rd September 2012 at 02:13 PM.

  12. #102

    X-13's Avatar
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    @jinnantonnixx that picture made mobile shrink down to nothing...

    Also, I can't believe this thread is still going...

  13. #103

    jinnantonnixx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    @jinnantonnixx that picture made mobile shrink down to nothing...
    That's the Epicurus effect. It's a well known problem on mobile sites.

    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    Also, I can't believe this thread is still going...
    I shall now wrap it up.

    The end.
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 23rd September 2012 at 09:08 PM.

  14. #104

    teejay's Avatar
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    What, a religious thread finishing after 7 pages, thought there would be another 20 or so to go

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