1. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Apr '08 12:38
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13782-religion-a-figment-of-human-imagination.html
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    28 Apr '08 20:48
    Nice to see religion cast amongst the other fantasies that show the weakness of the human mind, such as ghosts, voodoo and loch ness monsters.
    The power of the mind on the other hand never ceases to amaze me from the Cern experiments to scrapheap challenge!
  3. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Apr '08 07:09
    I wonder if you dullards can read through your blinkers. The article cites religion as an example of the power of imagination: "Religious-like phenomena in general are an inseparable part of a key adaptation unique to modern humans, and this is the capacity to imagine other worlds, an adaptation that I argue is the very foundation of the sociality of modern human society."

    Blink, blink.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Apr '08 07:40
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    I wonder if you dullards can read through your blinkers. The article cites religion as an example of the power of imagination: "Religious-like phenomena in general are an inseparable part of a key adaptation unique to modern humans, and this is the capacity to imagine other worlds, an adaptation that I argue is the very foundation of the sociality of modern human society."

    Blink, blink.
    I think it says religion is a two edged sword. On the one hand, it lends to longevity of societies, on the other to stilted thinking, blinders on art and science and suppression of women. It's still imaginary. Men have the ability to start with absolutely nothing and build huge logical edifice mountains of nothing.
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    29 Apr '08 07:47
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    On the one hand, it lends to longevity of societies, ....
    Do you have any evidence of that?
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Apr '08 07:57
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Do you have any evidence of that?
    Er, you ever hear of Judaism? Or Christianity? Or Islam? Been around over one thousand years, all of them. Zorastrians have been around a few thou too.
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    29 Apr '08 08:10
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Er, you ever hear of Judaism? Or Christianity? Or Islam? Been around over one thousand years, all of them. Zorastrians have been around a few thou too.
    The religions have been around. I don't dispute that. But you claimed that religion benefits the longevity of societies. That is quite a different claim and not supported by the longevity of religions. Er, for example you might have noticed that the land of Israel was under foreign rule for most of its existence. The roman empire collapsed under Christianity and Islam could be blamed for the decline of Arab scholarship. I don't know of any successful Zorastrian societies, do you?
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    29 Apr '08 08:12
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Do you have any evidence of that?
    Well, true of false - you can't deny that it is a powerful meme.
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    29 Apr '08 08:27
    Originally posted by Retrovirus
    Well, true of false - you can't deny that it is a powerful meme.
    I don't deny it. I also disagree with leedsagain that it "show(s) the weakness of the human mind" but rather agree with Bosse de Nage that it is "an example of the power of imagination". Imagination is a strength not a weakness. Intelligence and logical thinking however should enable us to determine when our imagination has run away with us. However it seems that the majority of the worlds people don't have that ability.

    I have recently been thinking about the psychological effect of Pascals wager. It seems to me that it could be a significant reason for the success of religion. The fact that we are all susceptible to the effect is undeniable hence the success of lotteries, Nigerian email scams etc. If the apparent payoff is big enough we tend to loose our ability to think logically.
  10. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Apr '08 09:20
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I don't deny it. I also disagree with leedsagain that it "show(s) the weakness of the human mind" but rather agree with Bosse de Nage that it is "an example of the power of imagination". Imagination is a strength not a weakness. Intelligence and logical thinking however should enable us to determine when our imagination has run away with us. However it se ...[text shortened]... etc. If the apparent payoff is big enough we tend to loose our ability to think logically.
    Imagination is always a double edged sword. You can see the terror of a child in a strange dark room, imagining all kinds of monsters.
    The same with religion, only it's organized, all the monsters are agreed upon before hand. They are still imaginary.
    Imagination is what gives us art, what makes us human for sure.
    The problem is people acting on the imagined monsters and killing people as a result.
  11. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    29 Apr '08 09:31
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Imagination is always a double edged sword. You can see the terror of a child in a strange dark room, imagining all kinds of monsters.
    The same with religion, only it's organized, all the monsters are agreed upon before hand. They are still imaginary.
    Imagination is what gives us art, what makes us human for sure.
    The problem is people acting on the imagined monsters and killing people as a result.
    To what extent is your anti-religious animus a product of fear multiplied by imagination - or are you the only guy can see things how they really are?
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    29 Apr '08 09:53
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The problem is people acting on the imagined monsters and killing people as a result.
    And those 'monsters' are rarely religious ones. The terrorist activity against the US is people acting on the encouragement of human monsters (not imagined) and against the US monster (partly imagined).
    I do think that religion does tend to cause divisions which leads to conflict, but it is quite rare that anyone goes out to kill because he thinks his God told him too. (no I didn't believe Bush when he made that claim).
  13. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Apr '08 10:051 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And those 'monsters' are rarely religious ones. The terrorist activity against the US is people acting on the encouragement of human monsters (not imagined) and against the US monster (partly imagined).
    I do think that religion does tend to cause divisions which leads to conflict, but it is quite rare that anyone goes out to kill because he thinks his God told him too. (no I didn't believe Bush when he made that claim).
    Oh, you never heard of the monster devil? The Devil will get you if you don't repent, the devil will get you if you commit sin. Of course catholics think we are born into sin so the devil gets you unless you are catholic. How naive are you?
    You ever hear the term Jihad? Holy War? What planet are you from anyway?
  14. Cape Town
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    29 Apr '08 10:12
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Oh, you never heard of the monster devil? The Devil will get you if you don't repent, the devil will get you if you commit sin. Of course catholics think we are born into sin so the devil gets you unless you are catholic. How naive are you?
    So are you claiming that people go out and kill others because the devil told them to? Or are you just desperately trying to back up your claim with whatever ridiculous thing comes to mind? You have quite an imagination and it certainly seems to be bad for you.

    You ever hear the term Jihad? Holy War? What planet are you from anyway?
    Yes I have. Can you explain how me hearing about it will support your point? What relevance is my planet of origin? Sounds like your imagination is getting away again - I am not an alien.
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    29 Apr '08 15:55
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So are you claiming that people go out and kill others because the devil told them to? Or are you just desperately trying to back up your claim with whatever ridiculous thing comes to mind? You have quite an imagination and it certainly seems to be bad for you.

    [b]You ever hear the term Jihad? Holy War? What planet are you from anyway?

    Yes I have. ...[text shortened]... is my planet of origin? Sounds like your imagination is getting away again - I am not an alien.[/b]
    So you don't think killing goes on in the name of the 'lord'? You are really naive.
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