Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Religion and the existence of entities such as God

Recommended Posts

I'm doing my TOK essay and i thought it might be interesting to ask people about their own opinions/justifications for their perspective on this.

My question pretty much states where having a religion is justifiable, or what kind of evidence do we need to really prove whether we should have certain religion or not. Same goes for the entities, i mean what kind of evidence do we really need to prove or disprove these two aspects.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea... if you're doing the 5th one, I'd refrain from using religion. You might descend into a religious debate instead of actually answering the question. It would be mentioned briefly if anything.

If your aim is to set the question into context... then that doesn't really make it correct either. Inaccuracies such statements should be corrected instead of explained away. For example, if I said that all computers are black because I have a black computer in mind, you wouldn't say that it's ok for me to say that based on the context, you'd correct me.

Anywho, to answer your question, I think you... still need to be careful when dancing with religion here. Some will say, 'you need empirical evidence for God's existence!' whereas others would say 'the existence of god and the validity of religion is not an empirical question but a philosophical one'. I.E you need a rational justification for God's existence rather than empirical proof because God's existence by definition cannot be proved that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea... if you're doing the 5th one, I'd refrain from using religion. You might descend into a religious debate instead of actually answering the question. It would be mentioned briefly if anything.

If your aim is to set the question into context... then that doesn't really make it correct either. Inaccuracies such statements should be corrected instead of explained away. For example, if I said that all computers are black because I have a black computer in mind, you wouldn't say that it's ok for me to say that based on the context, you'd correct me.

Anywho, to answer your question, I think you... still need to be careful when dancing with religion here. Some will say, 'you need empirical evidence for God's existence!' whereas others would say 'the existence of god and the validity of religion is not an empirical question but a philosophical one'. I.E you need a rational justification for God's existence rather than empirical proof because God's existence by definition cannot be proved that way.

Well my teacher said that talking about religion is fine as long as i have reasonable knowledge issues expressing my opinion because that's what the question is asking, no? it's about personal opinion.

anyways, that's some good advice coming from same year mate, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disclaimer: Don't hate on me if you're very religious, this is simply my opinion. :)

In my opinion, all religion is a load of nonsense. If a god existed, why would the god care whether one of something like a billion Muslims eat some pork or one of something like a billion Hindus eat some beef, deem them sinners, and send them to hell, or push them down caste ladders? Combine that with the fact that different religions have different beliefs, and the fact that there are different gods, this just starts sounding more and more impractical. If our purpose is to do good and go to heaven, I'm really not buying it. We're not special. How are we any different from single-celled bacterium? Well, we have more cells. If they don't have that as their purpose, I'm certain we don't. In my opinion, religion is the tool built by society, which essentially ensures people think twice before they do something immoral, like steal, inflict pain, commit adultery, etc.

We have no evidence to suggest that god exists, but also no evidence to suggest that god does not exist. However, that leaves optimistic people to believe in a god. And while I don't believe in having faith in religion, a "god" could potentially be possible. I highly doubt the gods we envision through religions we have on earth are real, but who knows! The universe is so ginormous, and so it'd be illogical to say that god doesn't exist, I mean, we only actually know about a small, small, small portion of the milky way galaxy, and there are something like 80,000,000,000 galaxies (and counting), so it's hard to definitively answer yes/no. But I lean toward no.

(^My views on the subjects at hand (agnostic, mainly), thus leading in to answers to your questions. Also I'm assuming this wasn't just for your question, considering you asked an open ended question that sounded very debatey, but more on that below.)

Having a religion is justifiable, it's in our nature to want to have a purpose, or to want to feel as if we're part of something. Religion gives us that. Religion also gives us some kind of hope that there is someone to listen to our prayers, and thus makes us feel safe. As well as this, many of the greatest scientists of the past look to god and religion when they reach the boundaries of their genius; Newton is a great example, particularly because of his genius (THE GUY INVENTED CALCULUS IN LIKE 2 MONTHS IN HIS EARLY 20'S!). He worked out how to do orbit calculations between two planets, but when it came to 3 or more, he couldn't figure it out, because he calculated that the orbits would be impossible to sustain, and so he said it was the work of the gods in his publication, "Principia". Today there's a working theory for that, I forget its name, agh (*Edit, I think it's 'Perturbation Theory', if I'm not mistaken.) Either way, it's highly justifiable to be religious.

As to the second part, people are 'allowed' to 'pick' a faith, so I assume, as long as you believe what your religion believes, that is proof enough that it is the 'right' religion for you.

What evidence would we need to prove/disprove the existence of god and other such similar entities? I don't really know. If god wanted us to survive and populate the planet, why does nature kill as many innocent people as it does? An argument against that would be that nature harms those who deserve it, or something (Fainthearted, don't read this: (but consider drowning because you accidentally take a breath underwater.)) But that is pretty crappy evidence. The alternative: we search the entire universe! (Before this, we need to know how to detect every type of matter.) And if string theory is right, we have ...a lot more universes to search LOL.

Yeah, that might be a bit hard, LOL.

I'm sorry if you (the reader of this post) feel insulted because I don't believe in religion or god. But it is only my opinion. Please don't hate me *cry*.

Also, an interesting resource, search YouTube for: Neal deGrasse Tyson Religion. (<- Genius astrophysicist on his views about religion.)

Edited by unicornication
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well my teacher said that talking about religion is fine as long as i have reasonable knowledge issues expressing my opinion because that's what the question is asking, no? it's about personal opinion.

anyways, that's some good advice coming from same year mate, lol.

I understand that. I'm just letting you know of the problems you could run into if you include religion. It's why I'd keep away from it.

If you've heard of the quote 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' then that might give you something to think about. It seems that some people demand evidence for something but are never clear on the type of evidence they'd require. Which isn't helpful. But then again, you could say that it's up to the person making the claim to just provide convincing evidence.

What's your view on the question?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disclaimer: Don't hate on me if you're very religious, this is simply my opinion. :)

In my opinion, all religion is a load of nonsense. If a god existed, why would the god care whether one of something like a billion Muslims eat some pork or one of something like a billion Hindus eat some beef, deem them sinners, and send them to hell, or push them caste ladders? Combine that with the fact that different religions have different beliefs, and the fact that there are different gods, this just starts sounding more and more impractical. If our purpose is to do good and go to heaven, I'm really not buying it. We're not special. How are we any different from single-celled bacterium? Well, we have more cells. If they don't have that as their purpose, I'm certain we don't. In my opinion, religion is the tool built by society, which essentially ensures people think twice before they do something immoral, like steal, inflict pain, commit adultery, etc.

We have no evidence to suggest that god exists, but also no evidence to suggest that god does not exist. However, that leaves optimistic people to believe in a god. And while I don't believe in having faith in religion, a "god" could potentially be possible. I highly doubt the gods we envision through religions we have on earth are real, but who knows! The universe is so ginormous, and so it'd be illogical to say that god doesn't exist, I mean, we only actually know about a small, small, small portion of the milky way galaxy, and there are something like 80,000,000,000 galaxies (and counting), so it's hard to definitively answer yes/no. But I lean toward no.

(^My views on the subjects at hand (agnostic, mainly), thus leading in to answers to your questions. Also I'm assuming this wasn't just for your question, considering you asked an open ended question that sounded very debatey, but more on that below.)

Having a religion is justifiable, it's in our nature to want to have a purpose, or to want to feel as if we're part of something. Religion gives us that. Religion also gives us some kind of hope that there is someone to listen to our prayers, and thus makes us feel safe. As well as this, many of the greatest scientists of the past look to god and religion when they reach the boundaries of their genius; Newton is a great example, particularly because of his genius (THE GUY INVENTED CALCULUS IN LIKE 2 MONTHS IN HIS EARLY 20'S!). He worked out how to do orbit calculations between two planets, but when it came to 3 or more, he couldn't figure it out, because he calculated that the orbits would be impossible to sustain, and so he said it was the work of the gods in his publication, "Principia". Today there's a working theory for that, I forget its name, agh. Either way, it's highly justifiable to be religious.

As to the second part, people are 'allowed' to 'pick' a faith, so I assume, as long as you believe what your religion believes, that is proof enough that it is the 'right' religion for you.

What evidence would we need to prove/disprove the existence of god and other such similar entities? I don't really know. If god wanted us to survive and populate the planet, why does nature kill as many innocent people as it does? An argument against that would be that nature harms those who deserve it, or something (Fainthearted, don't read this: (but consider drowning because you accidentally take a breath underwater.)) But that is pretty crappy evidence. The alternative: we search the entire universe! (Before this, we need to know how to detect every type of matter.) And if string theory is right, we have ...a lot more universes to search LOL.

Yeah, that might be a bit hard, LOL.

I'm sorry if you (the reader of this post) feel insulted because I don't believe in religion or god. But it is only my opinion. Please don't hate me *cry*.

Also, an interesting resource, search YouTube for: Neal deGrasse Tyson Religion. (<- Genius astrophysicist on his views about religion.)

I respect your idiology as much as i respect mine, yes i'm religious and no i wasn't offended at all infact i'm quite happy that you gave your opinion on that in such detail. Your theory behind every religion being different is quite wrong in fact, i don't know if you've read bible and/or Quran. Both books talk about the same God and the legend (are those legends?), the Noah one, the solomon one, they are both quoted in both books and infact, the tone which is used in both books are pretty much the same as if they were written by the same source and it's the same case with Torah.

You said that some muslims eat pork whereas some don't because in their religion they're not allowed to, so why would God prevent muslims from eating pork. Well, it is evident that there are MANY things in the world which science doesn't have an answer to, i don't have to give examples i believe. Recently i was reading an article and it stated that "circumstances" prevents virus from being collected in that area thus chances of transferring a virus is very low whereas Muslims had been getting circumstances since the time, islam came into being. So there are many hidden things we don't know the circumstances of. I mean that's just my opinion that religion has many aspects which we are unaware of, and since we don't have an answer for everything, we should respect everyone's religion.

My friend is pretty optimistic about religions, he says that being optimistic about religion give you a 50% chance of succeeding when one dies lol. Anyways, i shouldn't be scaring you since you might be right and i might be wrong XD.

You said that there's no difference between a bacteria and human beings and that we're animals. I strongly disagree with that, surely we have some things in common like cells since we're an earthling but that doesn't mean we're same, there's a difference between same and similar. A quote from from Professor Bruce Thornton at Fresno State University

Forgive me if i misunderstood what you were saying!

What makes us recognizably human, then, is not what is natural about us but what is unnatural: reason and its projections in language, culture, ritual, and technology, self-awareness, conscious memory, imagination, and the higher emotions; and, most important, values, ethics, morals, and the freedom from nature’s determinism that allows us to choose, whether for good or ill. Nothing else in nature possesses any of these attributes, despite the wishful thinking of those who believe they are teaching chimps to “talk,” or who consider a monkey digging up termites with a stick to be “using tools,” or who label baboon rump-submission a “social practice,” or who subjectively interpret the behavior of animals to indicate the presence of “self-awareness” ore higher human emotions such as love, grief, regret, guilt, shame, or loyalty. For every dog that howls over the body of its dead master there is another that, if necessary, will happily eat his corpse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@shad0wboss

Talking from the point of a historian or an anthropologist, it is true that the abrahamitic religions all share the same ancestry, with islam and christianity being off- shots of the original religion of the region, judaism. This does not, however, mean that they worship the same god. Even within the religions people claim that they are not worshipping the same god, then how would it be true between the religions? If this was true, then clearly god must be able to let it slip by that some are not following his true message, but the perverted (like islam claiming that the quran is the true message from god, while the torah and the bible are the same texts being perverted by man). Clearly this is not the case.

I guess you are talking about circumcision. The opinions differ, but uncurcumcised males can enjoy sex more, seeing as most nerve- ends can be found in the foreskin. And even if it is true that it prevents the spreading of viruses, it can be asked if all the complications that can and does happen is worth it, seeing how using a condom would rid us of the risk of getting infected altogether. People should be able to choose for themselves for whatever reasons, if they want to be circumcised, but this should be done after a certain age when they can judge for themselves.

As long as the religious themselves can't point out what is helpful and what is not in the text, it is not a good argument, it is just guesswork. And what do we do with the rites and rules that have been proven to be bad for us?

For the 50/50, look up pascal's wager http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascals_wager. In essence, this is not an argument for religion at all, when analyzed, but an argument against it. Imagine all the gods, deities, and endless philosophies that promise things if you live a certain way. Now, you have one to choose from and you can't anticipate which one is wrong and which one is right. This means that there are near infinite options, and every option come with certain benefits if true BUT also with downsides, such as other options condemning you to hell. Thus every option have near infinite probability to lead to hell (or other gruesome things) and infinitely close to zero chance of heaven. Check this vid:

And that quote is nothing but opinions and can easily be disregarded, not a single argument is used to strengthen his point.

As you can tell, I don't believe religion have anything to give us, it is aa artefact of a time when we could not explain things, when no scientific theory were present. If you are going to be spiritual, I see no reason to be religious, as they can not make claims that there metaphysical claims are any more sane or better than yours.

No one knows what happens after death, which makes the idea of religions being based on absolute truth, coming from countless entities holding different sets of rules and laws, ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Disclaimer: Don't hate on me if you're very religious, this is simply my opinion. :)

In my opinion, all religion is a load of nonsense. If a god existed, why would the god care whether one of something like a billion Muslims eat some pork or one of something like a billion Hindus eat some beef, deem them sinners, and send them to hell, or push them caste ladders? Combine that with the fact that different religions have different beliefs, and the fact that there are different gods, this just starts sounding more and more impractical. If our purpose is to do good and go to heaven, I'm really not buying it. We're not special. How are we any different from single-celled bacterium? Well, we have more cells. If they don't have that as their purpose, I'm certain we don't. In my opinion, religion is the tool built by society, which essentially ensures people think twice before they do something immoral, like steal, inflict pain, commit adultery, etc.

We have no evidence to suggest that god exists, but also no evidence to suggest that god does not exist. However, that leaves optimistic people to believe in a god. And while I don't believe in having faith in religion, a "god" could potentially be possible. I highly doubt the gods we envision through religions we have on earth are real, but who knows! The universe is so ginormous, and so it'd be illogical to say that god doesn't exist, I mean, we only actually know about a small, small, small portion of the milky way galaxy, and there are something like 80,000,000,000 galaxies (and counting), so it's hard to definitively answer yes/no. But I lean toward no.

(^My views on the subjects at hand (agnostic, mainly), thus leading in to answers to your questions. Also I'm assuming this wasn't just for your question, considering you asked an open ended question that sounded very debatey, but more on that below.)

Having a religion is justifiable, it's in our nature to want to have a purpose, or to want to feel as if we're part of something. Religion gives us that. Religion also gives us some kind of hope that there is someone to listen to our prayers, and thus makes us feel safe. As well as this, many of the greatest scientists of the past look to god and religion when they reach the boundaries of their genius; Newton is a great example, particularly because of his genius (THE GUY INVENTED CALCULUS IN LIKE 2 MONTHS IN HIS EARLY 20'S!). He worked out how to do orbit calculations between two planets, but when it came to 3 or more, he couldn't figure it out, because he calculated that the orbits would be impossible to sustain, and so he said it was the work of the gods in his publication, "Principia". Today there's a working theory for that, I forget its name, agh. Either way, it's highly justifiable to be religious.

As to the second part, people are 'allowed' to 'pick' a faith, so I assume, as long as you believe what your religion believes, that is proof enough that it is the 'right' religion for you.

What evidence would we need to prove/disprove the existence of god and other such similar entities? I don't really know. If god wanted us to survive and populate the planet, why does nature kill as many innocent people as it does? An argument against that would be that nature harms those who deserve it, or something (Fainthearted, don't read this: (but consider drowning because you accidentally take a breath underwater.)) But that is pretty crappy evidence. The alternative: we search the entire universe! (Before this, we need to know how to detect every type of matter.) And if string theory is right, we have ...a lot more universes to search LOL.

Yeah, that might be a bit hard, LOL.

I'm sorry if you (the reader of this post) feel insulted because I don't believe in religion or god. But it is only my opinion. Please don't hate me *cry*.

Also, an interesting resource, search YouTube for: Neal deGrasse Tyson Religion. (<- Genius astrophysicist on his views about religion.)

I respect your idiology as much as i respect mine, yes i'm religious and no i wasn't offended at all infact i'm quite happy that you gave your opinion on that in such detail. Your theory behind every religion being different is quite wrong in fact, i don't know if you've read bible and/or Quran. Both books talk about the same God and the legend (are those legends?), the Noah one, the solomon one, they are both quoted in both books and infact, the tone which is used in both books are pretty much the same as if they were written by the same source and it's the same case with Torah.

You said that some muslims eat pork whereas some don't because in their religion they're not allowed to, so why would God prevent muslims from eating pork. Well, it is evident that there are MANY things in the world which science doesn't have an answer to, i don't have to give examples i believe. Recently i was reading an article and it stated that "circumstances" prevents virus from being collected in that area thus chances of transferring a virus is very low whereas Muslims had been getting circumstances since the time, islam came into being. So there are many hidden things we don't know the circumstances of. I mean that's just my opinion that religion has many aspects which we are unaware of, and since we don't have an answer for everything, we should respect everyone's religion.

My friend is pretty optimistic about religions, he says that being optimistic about religion give you a 50% chance of succeeding when one dies lol. Anyways, i shouldn't be scaring you since you might be right and i might be wrong

You said that there's no difference between a bacteria and human beings and that we're animals. I strongly disagree with that, surely we have some things in common like cells since we're an earthling but that doesn't mean we're same, there's a difference between same and similar. A quote from from Professor Bruce Thornton at Fresno State University

Forgive me if i misunderstood what you were saying!

What makes us recognizably human, then, is not what is natural about us but what is unnatural: reason and its projections in language, culture, ritual, and technology, self-awareness, conscious memory, imagination, and the higher emotions; and, most important, values, ethics, morals, and the freedom from nature’s determinism that allows us to choose, whether for good or ill. Nothing else in nature possesses any of these attributes, despite the wishful thinking of those who believe they are teaching chimps to “talk,” or who consider a monkey digging up termites with a stick to be “using tools,” or who label baboon rump-submission a “social practice,” or who subjectively interpret the behavior of animals to indicate the presence of “self-awareness” ore higher human emotions such as love, grief, regret, guilt, shame, or loyalty. For every dog that howls over the body of its dead master there is another that, if necessary, will happily eat his corpse.

Haha, thank you. :)

I'm sure Hinduism has several million gods though, and thus I'm not quite sure as to what you mean by that. As well as that, religion is faith, faith is belief. If I found a bunch of people who had the same beliefs I do, however ridiculous or sane, I could call it a religion - and thus anything could be possible, i.e. we could believe that water is 'God' (as a silly example of what I'm trying to convey).

I'm not quite sure I understand what you're trying to say in the second paragraph, either. (I'll attempt to respond based on my interpretation.) If god didn't (eg) want Muslims to eat pork, that contradicts your first point, that they're all talking about one god? Because (eg) Hinduism has no problem with eating pork. And if these restrictions were based on viruses and geography, doesn't that suggest religion is social construct? (I'm very unclear on that second part, forgive me if I'm totally off, which I probably am, haha!)

We don't have an answer to every question. In fact, we know pretty much nothing when we put what we know against what we don't, hence my agnostic stance on an almighty 'god'. But religion, I just don't buy it. You may be surprised to know that I am a highly optimistic person. HAHA. With regards to showing respect, I show respect to people, and thus their beliefs, and so I wouldn't say something like "oh you're a blah blah because you believe in blah blah", but I certainly will not show respect toward 'religion', because in my opinion (as aforementioned), it's a bunch of nonsense. (Sorry if that was offensive to anyone, however it shouldn't be.)

From the quotation you provided - well, that's my point, lol. Technology, language, morals, etc, etc, etc - these are all social constructs. We weren't naturally born to believe that (eg) stealing is bad. The first humans that ever existed (by a process of appearing on the face of the earth or by evolution, your pick) probably didn't have any notion of morals. Hungry? Eat your friend, no problem. <- Speculation, but it's probably true.

Focusing on morals. We're animals, it's true. It's just that society has brought us up to a level where we don't have to feel like animals, because fortunately for us, we have computers, cars, clothes, language, etc, etc.

Okay, from here on out, it's just pure speculation, but it's some pretty good speculation. Religion was probably created to create order, hence heaven, hell, and laws by which people live by (i.e. the ten commandments). If you did bad stuff, like eat your friends when you were hungry (okay assuming we have language by now, kill a guy who stole your beer, or something? I don't know - something bad basically!), you'd go to hell, and if you didn't break these laws, you'd go to heaven. Hell sounds like a scary place, and so we tend to avoid doing stuff that might lead us there. People feared hell, they were afraid of it, and so they didn't want their children to go to hell, and so they taught them how the ten commandments said they would go to heaven. No one has seen either, so who knows? They could exist. And so if we live in a society where (eg) murder was perceived to be a bad thing, we've been brought up by the fact that it's a bad thing, we're going to live our lives thinking it's a bad thing. I would continue, but I don't want to have to ask something philosophical and weird, like "is murder a bad thing?"

But if we didn't have morals (which stem from society), we'd essentially be animals. I mean, okay, this is a pretty crappy response, because when it comes to religion, it's basically no evidence vs. no evidence, so we could keep going on and on about this - but it's not going to get anywhere. As long as we are comfortable in our own beliefs, aren't extremists who will go to great lengths to prove our beliefs are 'better' than others, and don't try to change/influence others' beliefs with malicious intent - we don't have to try and prove one another wrong.

Also, it will never be truly possible to prove or disprove the existence of heaven, hell, and god - because the universe is expanding, there could even be more universes, there could be forms of energy and matter we've never come across, and so this is a timeless debate that depends heavily on what you believe, and how you feel comfortable living your life.

I thought of a counter-argument that's highly stupid HAHA. But okay. Trying to prove the existence of heaven/hell/god is like trying to prove that imaginary friends are in fact real. People who believe their imaginary friends are real can't really have their belief be disproved, but they can only be talked out of it. This is not to say that 'god' is an 'imaginary friend', it's just I was having trouble trying to come up with an example, haha.

Interesting (but long) video that answers some of points raised by your quotation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGenk99YDwY

Professor Richard Dawkins and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson - around 20 minutes they start talking about the difference between chimps and humans, if not helpful for this, quite an interesting watch. :)

This is probably the worst post I've made on this forum, I'm sad. :c

Also I'm far too lazy to actually do any research, so forgive me if I'm wrong about anything, anywhere. haha.

Edited by unicornication

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't have an answer to every question. In fact, we know pretty much nothing when we put what we know against what we don't, hence my agnostic stance on an almighty 'god'. But religion, I just don't buy it. You may be surprised to know that I am a highly optimistic person. HAHA. With regards to showing respect, I show respect to people, and thus their beliefs, and so I wouldn't say something like "oh you're a blah blah because you believe in blah blah", but I certainly will not show respect toward 'religion', because in my opinion (as aforementioned), it's a bunch of nonsense. (Sorry if that was offensive to anyone, however it shouldn't be)

I don't think this makes a terrible amount of sense. You've said you respect people and their beliefs... then you said you won't show respect to religion. Even though religious belief is a main belief for many many people. (to be fair, the number doesn't make a difference here). You either mean you respect their right to a belief or your first statement contradicts your second one.

Another thing that I've noticed in your posts is that you keep on caling religion nonsense then apologising if it's caused offence to anyone. How about you stop calling it nonsense? Wouldn't that help? For one, calling it nonsense is a pretty big claim. Just saying that doesn't make it nonsense. Furthermore, it doesn't matter whether it's 'just your opinion'. These things can still be offensive. If everyone used that escape route and expected it to be accepted then people could get away with saying some pretty bad things but just qualifying it with 'it's just my opinion, you shouldn't be offended'. It's a poor excuse for saying such things.

From the quotation you provided - well, that's my point, lol. Technology, language, morals, etc, etc, etc - these are all social constructs. We weren't naturally born to believe that (eg) stealing is bad. The first humans that ever existed (by a process of appearing on the face of the earth or by evolution, your pick) probably didn't have any notion of morals. Hungry? Eat your friend, no problem. <- Speculation, but it's probably true.

Focusing on morals. We're animals, it's true. It's just that society has brought us up to a level where we don't have to feel like animals, because fortunately for us, we have computers, cars, clothes, language, etc, etc.

Are you sure it's society or just the fact that we're self aware and we can distinguish ourselves from beings less rational than ourselves?

Okay, from here on out, it's just pure speculation, but it's some pretty good speculation. Religion was probably created to create order, hence heaven, hell, and laws by which people live by (i.e. the ten commandments). If you did bad stuff, like eat your friends when you were hungry (okay assuming we have language by now, kill a guy who stole your beer, or something? I don't know - something bad basically!), you'd go to hell, and if you didn't break these laws, you'd go to heaven. Hell sounds like a scary place, and so we tend to avoid doing stuff that might lead us there. People feared hell, they were afraid of it, and so they didn't want their children to go to hell, and so they taught them how the ten commandments said they would go to heaven. No one has seen either, so who knows? They could exist. And so if we live in a society where (eg) murder was perceived to be a bad thing, we've been brought up by the fact that it's a bad thing, we're going to live our lives thinking it's a bad thing. I would continue, but I don't want to have to ask something philosophical and weird, like "is murder a bad thing?"

Why do you think it's good speculation? Because people have used religion to control others? If so, that doesn't liken itself to being the cause of why religion exists. There are many ideas. One being control (which I don't actually think is a good theory), and others such as a evolutionary coping mechanism, religion being true and sent from God, lack of science etc.

But if we didn't have morals (which stem from society), we'd essentially be animals. I mean, okay, this is a pretty crappy response, because when it comes to religion, it's basically no evidence vs. no evidence, so we could keep going on and on about this - but it's not going to get anywhere. As long as we are comfortable in our own beliefs, aren't extremists who will go to great lengths to prove our beliefs are 'better' than others, and don't try to change/influence others' beliefs with malicious intent - we don't have to try and prove one another wrong.

If you were answering this as your ToK question, you'd end up dismissing your own claims. A lot of this is assertion. But don't worry about that, you probably knew that.

Also, it will never be truly possible to prove or disprove the existence of heaven, hell, and god - because the universe is expanding, there could even be more universes, there could be forms of energy and matter we've never come across, and so this is a timeless debate that depends heavily on what you believe, and how you feel comfortable living your life.

Why is heaven, hell + God dependent on what the universe is doing? Are you really sure that's why we can't figure these things out, or because they outside the universe completely so we will only find out when we die?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this makes a terrible amount of sense. You've said you respect people and their beliefs... then you said you won't show respect to religion. Even though religious belief is a main belief for many many people. (to be fair, the number doesn't make a difference here). You either mean you respect their right to a belief or your first statement contradicts your second one.

Another thing that I've noticed in your posts is that you keep on caling religion nonsense then apologising if it's caused offence to anyone. How about you stop calling it nonsense? Wouldn't that help? For one, calling it nonsense is a pretty big claim. Just saying that doesn't make it nonsense. Furthermore, it doesn't matter whether it's 'just your opinion'. These things can still be offensive. If everyone used that escape route and expected it to be accepted then people could get away with saying some pretty bad things but just qualifying it with 'it's just my opinion, you shouldn't be offended'. It's a poor excuse for saying such things.

Excuse me, poor expression. I respect people, and thus I don't mock them for their beliefs. Nor do I mock their beliefs, I just find no logic or reason to have to believe their beliefs (and people have tried to make me believe in god, etc, hence "to believe their beliefs"), the fact that it is not rooted in logic makes it hard for me to find sense in it, I'm an incredibly logical person, and thus my repeated use of the word "nonsense".

I call religion 'nonsense' because it is what I think about religion, I don't want to have to sugarcoat it, but religion is a controversial topic - and people do get offended. Though why people would be offended by my opinion is beyond me, they have in the past, hence my apologetic nature in response to this topic. However this can be my last response on this thread in order to prevent me from saying it again.

Are you sure it's society or just the fact that we're self aware and we can distinguish ourselves from beings less rational than ourselves?

My theory is society. Spiders eat one another, spiders are animals, and we are intelligent (based on our definition of intelligent, to a more superior life form, we'd essentially just be a different kind of animal?) animals.

Why do you think it's good speculation? Because people have used religion to control others? If so, that doesn't liken itself to being the cause of why religion exists. There are many ideas. One being control (which I don't actually think is a good theory), and others such as a evolutionary coping mechanism, religion being true and sent from God, lack of science etc.

Based on the fact that we have morals, and animals do not - but we are in essence animals with social constructs - the 'difference factor' between us and chimpanzees is the fact that our societies have morals, and intelligence, and language, and several other things. However our DNA is essentially something like 95%+ the same as that of a chimpanzee's. (Morals which are similar to those shown in the ten commandments. Examples: stealing is bad, murder is bad, adultery is bad, etc.)

If you were answering this as your ToK question, you'd end up dismissing your own claims. A lot of this is assertion. But don't worry about that, you probably knew that.

I said that because that was my actual take on the issue, as a ToK essay, I'd fail with that kind of a response. Haha. I did clarify by mentioning it was the worst post on these forums, haha. :)

Why is heaven, hell + God dependent on what the universe is doing? Are you really sure that's why we can't figure these things out, or because they outside the universe completely so we will only find out when we die?

My opinion is that if these things exist, they exist as matter, and thus, they exist somewhere. If we can't find these things in our universe, how do we prove their existence? The fact that the universe is expanding means that there will be more and more areas where we haven't been able to search, even once we have searched. I'm not really sure about anything I'm saying, to be honest HAHA. It's believed that we go to heaven or hell when we die, and so if we happen to see these places, I guess the easiest way to see heaven/hell is what we see when we die? But then we'd be dead, so that means there aren't eyewitness accounts. And so that leads back to square one.

I sense a bit of hostility in your response, and thus I apologize if my responses may have offended you in any way. I'll refrain from replying to this thread.

Edited by unicornication

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse me, poor expression. I respect people, and thus I don't mock them for their beliefs. Nor do I mock their beliefs, I just find no logic or reason to have to believe their beliefs (and people have tried to make me believe in god, etc, hence "to believe their beliefs"), the fact that it is not rooted in logic makes it hard for me to find sense in it, I'm an incredibly logical person, and thus my repeated use of the word "nonsense".

I call religion 'nonsense' because it is what I think about religion, I don't want to have to sugarcoat it, but religion is a controversial topic - and people do get offended. Though why people would be offended by my opinion is beyond me, they have in the past, hence my apologetic nature in response to this topic. However this can be my last response on this thread in order to prevent me from saying it again.

You don't mock people's beliefs. You respect people's beliefs. You call people's beliefs nonsense. Is it just me that sees a problem here?

Now, why do you call yourself an extremely logical person? I often here that from people who don't believe in God or have any sort of religious affiliation. Many apologists hold a rational belief in God. It's just the layman that you may talk to who holds a religious belief but hasn't put a lot of thought in it which gives you the impression it isn't rooted in logic. Some of the arguments for God's existence can get quite advanced.

Based on the fact that we have morals, and animals do not - but we are in essence animals with social constructs - the 'difference factor' between us and chimpanzees is the fact that our societies have morals, and intelligence, and language, and several other things. However our DNA is essentially something like 95%+ the same as that of a chimpanzee's. (Morals which are similar to those shown in the ten commandments. Examples: stealing is bad, murder is bad, adultery is bad, etc.)

Who said animals don't have morals? Or at least, any sense of morality?

My opinion is that if these things exist, they exist as matter, and thus, they exist somewhere. If we can't find these things in our universe, how do we prove their existence? The fact that the universe is expanding means that there will be more and more areas where we haven't been able to search, even once we have searched. I'm not really sure about anything I'm saying, to be honest HAHA. It's believed that we go to heaven or hell when we die, and so if we happen to see these places, I guess the easiest way to see heaven/hell is what we see when we die? But then we'd be dead, so that means there aren't eyewitness accounts. And so that leads back to square one.

Why must they exist as matter? Have you read anything that makes a case for them existing in this universe? If they do, are our bodies meant to walk there when we die or something? If so, it sort of defeats the whole spiritual idea of religion. Which is why I seldom see arguments saying that heaven exists as a physical place in our universe. However, in this post you're now highlighting the idea of falsifiablity in regards to heaven and hell etc. If they exist outside of anything we can observe, it's impossible to prove it wrong... or true (if you want to take it that far). It makes more sense than your previous post. Which is a good thing of course.

I sense a bit of hostility in your response, and thus I apologize if my responses may have offended you in any way. I'll refrain from replying to this thread.

I'm not hostile towards you. You can reply to this thread all you want :lol: it's not a problem with me (unless you start spamming :shifty:). It was just highlighting problems I thought you had with your posts. If anything, learn from it. That's the whole point of discussions like these.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't mock people's beliefs. You respect people's beliefs. You call people's beliefs nonsense. Is it just me that sees a problem here?

Nonsense = non-sense = making no actual logical and/or other type of sense.

I think you can believe that somebody is barking up completely the wrong tree/a tree that doesn't even exist, but still respect that we all have a right to bark wherever we please (provided it doesn't hurt other people...). Respect is not the same thing as agreeing with people. Telling somebody that you find their thought processes and contents to contain an awful lot of nonsense is not being disrespectful. It's being frank. Being rude and disrespectful to them personally is a different kettle of fish to explaining the reasons you have difficulty following the sense of their arguments to the point that they seem nonsense. If somebody finds it offensive to be told that there's no logical sense in their arguments and responds to it by reflexively becoming upset instead of trying to explain their arguments, then they should live a sheltered existence away from the upsetting environment of intellectual thought.

Anyway, I agree with the original reply, I think this is a pretty horrific topic to put in a TOK essay. I would definitely avoid religion. It's a worm-like nest of boring circular arguments which can take up a massive part of your essay without ever having really said anything useful or related to TOK. Much simpler and straight forward things exist which you'd be able to deliver a much better essay with! Definitely I would have had an absolute nightmare trying to put anything relating to religion in a thorough manner into a TOK essay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure Hinduism has several million gods though, and thus I'm not quite sure as to what you mean by that. As well as that, religion is faith, faith is belief. If I found a bunch of people who had the same beliefs I do, however ridiculous or sane, I could call it a religion - and thus anything could be possible, i.e. we could believe that water is 'God' (as a silly example of what I'm trying to convey).
.

First of all, both of you (excluding award) stated that the Gods that are believed by christianity, judaism and Islam are different Gods although you do not state how they are different or maybe you cannot say that thus doesn't it become illogical to conclude to whether they all point towards one entity or whether they are different Gods.

I'm not quite sure I understand what you're trying to say in the second paragraph, either. (I'll attempt to respond based on my interpretation.) If god didn't (eg) want Muslims to eat pork, that contradicts your first point, that they're all talking about one god? Because (eg) Hinduism has no problem with eating pork. And if these restrictions were based on viruses and geography, doesn't that suggest religion is social construct? (I'm very unclear on that second part, forgive me if I'm totally off, which I probably am, haha!)

Well i just think that people stopped following the preachings of their religion, whatever it was. I surely read somewhere that in early Christianity Alcohol was forbidden, yet most of the western societies don't even know whether that is true or false. Now i don't have a source for that but i read somewhere in history, from the region of Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq etc), if i find a source i'll provide it.

First thing to make clear is that we're not arguing about a specific religion but having religion in general. One thing is evident that for example, if there are twenty people in a room and what the person has to do next to the other, is to say a story and then pass it on so that no one can overhear it but the person who is being told, by the end, the cycle completes, the person who said the story first, when he hears it from the twentieth person, it would be quite different than what he had said first. Something similar has happened over time with all the religions. Different faiths have been passed on through books etc (excluding the holy books as i have no evidence myself whether there were any changes made), then they were adopted by different cultures etc. My point here is that, it is quite possible that according to Muslims there were 124,000 prophets who came to earth for preaching etc, and that there were different religions formed depending on how the people of specific area took influence from them. It is possible that Hinduism started calling them Gods when they were just messengers by the God according to Muslims and that Jesus was one of the prophets and since he had done miracles, Christianity came into being, calling him the son of God. What i mean is, it is quite possible that they're just the messed up shapes of One God.

I forgot what i was about to say for God's existence.

You don't mock people's beliefs. You respect people's beliefs. You call people's beliefs nonsense. Is it just me that sees a problem here?

Nonsense = non-sense = making no actual logical and/or other type of sense.

I think you can believe that somebody is barking up completely the wrong tree/a tree that doesn't even exist, but still respect that we all have a right to bark wherever we please (provided it doesn't hurt other people...). Respect is not the same thing as agreeing with people. Telling somebody that you find their thought processes and contents to contain an awful lot of nonsense is not being disrespectful. It's being frank. Being rude and disrespectful to them personally is a different kettle of fish to explaining the reasons you have difficulty following the sense of their arguments to the point that they seem nonsense. If somebody finds it offensive to be told that there's no logical sense in their arguments and responds to it by reflexively becoming upset instead of trying to explain their arguments, then they should live a sheltered existence away from the upsetting environment of intellectual thought.

Anyway, I agree with the original reply, I think this is a pretty horrific topic to put in a TOK essay. I would definitely avoid religion. It's a worm-like nest of boring circular arguments which can take up a massive part of your essay without ever having really said anything useful or related to TOK. Much simpler and straight forward things exist which you'd be able to deliver a much better essay with! Definitely I would have had an absolute nightmare trying to put anything relating to religion in a thorough manner into a TOK essay.

In essence to what you said, the most difficult part about that TOK question is the quote by such person who was talking about religion through scientific means which makes it even more impossible to analyse or express an opinion towards

Though i've come too far to go back and change my question, and i have to get an A on this so i'm really digging up the correct knowledge issues. Thanks to unicorn for expressing his belief so explicitly, it's always good to see how people think and feel about certain things.

Interesting thing about religion is how people are convinced and i wouldn't call them illiterate or dumb who have faiths of their own. What is the key which keeps them onto that track including myself. I think, finding an answer to all this isn't just limited to answering a question and getting those bonus points in IB but to really find the real meaning of life.

Edited by shad0wboss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"First of all, both of you (excluding award) stated that the Gods that are believed by christianity, judaism and Islam are different Gods although you do not state how they are different or maybe you cannot say that thus doesn't it become illogical to conclude to whether they all point towards one entity or whether they are different Gods."

The different religions preach different rules, sure you can claim that they all worship one god bu in different ways, but this breaks down when certain rules state that believing in false gods is a sin, making all other religions and in some cases denominations blasphemous.

For example: Imagine two people, one a rugby player, the other an american football player. When someone asks what they do they say, "we basically do the same thing!". And sure, certain similarities exist, especially for someone who do not play either sport, but they would never be able to meet in a game, as they have different sets of rules.

"Well i just think that people stopped following the preachings of their religion, whatever it was. I surely read somewhere that in early Christianity Alcohol was forbidden, yet most of the western societies don't even know whether that is true or false. Now i don't have a source for that but i read somewhere in history, from the region of Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq etc), if i find a source i'll provide it.

First thing to make clear is that we're not arguing about a specific religion but having religion in general. One thing is evident that for example, if there are twenty people in a room and what the person has to do next to the other, is to say a story and then pass it on so that no one can overhear it but the person who is being told, by the end, the cycle completes, the person who said the story first, when he hears it from the twentieth person, it would be quite different than what he had said first. Something similar has happened over time with all the religions. Different faiths have been passed on through books etc (excluding the holy books as i have no evidence myself whether there were any changes made), then they were adopted by different cultures etc. My point here is that, it is quite possible that according to Muslims there were 124,000 prophets who came to earth for preaching etc, and that there were different religions formed depending on how the people of specific area took influence from them. It is possible that Hinduism started calling them Gods when they were just messengers by the God according to Muslims and that Jesus was one of the prophets and since he had done miracles, Christianity came into being, calling him the son of God. What i mean is, it is quite possible that they're just the messed up shapes of One God.

I forgot what i was about to say for God's existence."

the first paragraph speaks in favour of religion as man-made. If it was made by god it should be possible by divine intervention to keep the faith pure, much like how the catholic church claims that the pope cannot err while speaking as the pope. It also shows that it is insane of religions to claim objective truth (in particular, their objective truth!) as they keep changing opinions and facts as much as anyone else, they adapt to the world of today, even though they would probably have it the other way if they had the chance.

The second paragraph: that could be argued to be one explanation. But there are many historical facts and scripts that show this hasn't happened. And what are we to believe; hypothesis trying to reconcile all the religions for religions sake or theories based on facts and findings of that age, religions today and religios scripts? To me, the answer is quite clear. But if you find anything that confirms your hypothesis, do let me know.

Sorry for hijacking the reply to sandwichs post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the first paragraph speaks in favour of religion as man-made. If it was made by god it should be possible by divine intervention to keep the faith pure, much like how the catholic church claims that the pope cannot err while speaking as the pope. It also shows that it is insane of religions to claim objective truth (in particular, their objective truth!) as they keep changing opinions and facts as much as anyone else, they adapt to the world of today, even though they would probably have it the other way if they had the chance.

The second paragraph: that could be argued to be one explanation. But there are many historical facts and scripts that show this hasn't happened. And what are we to believe; hypothesis trying to reconcile all the religions for religions sake or theories based on facts and findings of that age, religions today and religios scripts? To me, the answer is quite clear. But if you find anything that confirms your hypothesis, do let me know.

Sorry for hijacking the reply to sandwichs post.

The point you talked about, referring to first paragraph, i'm not sure if i understood you there, so please could you rephrase what you said there in a sentence or two?

Now this is the point where hypotheses are failed to be proven because of the lack of evidence there is, or one could find. That's just my own interpretation which is probably wrong.

You said "the answer is quite clear", would you share it here because i would love to hear it.

Edited by shad0wboss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My point here is that, it is quite possible that according to Muslims there were 124,000 prophets who came to earth for preaching etc, and that there were different religions formed depending on how the people of specific area took influence from them. It is possible that Hinduism started calling them Gods when they were just messengers by the God according to Muslims and that Jesus was one of the prophets and since he had done miracles, Christianity came into being, calling him the son of God. What i mean is, it is quite possible that they're just the messed up shapes of One God.
I'm sure Hinduism has several million gods though, and thus I'm not quite sure as to what you mean by that.
Just thought I should clarify one thing: Hinduism does not have a billion gods that different factions of society worship. The essential premise of Hinduism is that we are a monotheistic religion. Every god/goddess/deity, etc. are different representations or expressions of the one God (Capital 'G'), Brahma. Hinduism is in fact the only religion that recognises that other religions exist and that there is more than one pathway to the Lord. Unlike Christianity and Islam which condemn you to Hell if you don't believe in Jesus/Allah alone, Hinduism says believe in whomever you want, as long as you believe with all your heart that the one you're praying to is God.

I normally don't really care to explain such things on such threads, but thought I should point it out in the face of the obvious ignorance being displayed about my religion.

To quote unicornication (with a little modification):

Disclaimer: Don't hate on me if you're very [ignorant], this is simply my opinion.

You know, AWB is right, it is offensive even if you disclaim with "no offence."

Edited by Arrowhead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My point here is that, it is quite possible that according to Muslims there were 124,000 prophets who came to earth for preaching etc, and that there were different religions formed depending on how the people of specific area took influence from them. It is possible that Hinduism started calling them Gods when they were just messengers by the God according to Muslims and that Jesus was one of the prophets and since he had done miracles, Christianity came into being, calling him the son of God. What i mean is, it is quite possible that they're just the messed up shapes of One God.
I'm sure Hinduism has several million gods though, and thus I'm not quite sure as to what you mean by that.
Just thought I should clarify one thing: Hinduism does not have a billion gods that different factions of society worship. The essential premise of Hinduism is that we are a monotheistic religion. Every god/goddess/deity, etc. are different representations or expressions of the one God (Capital 'G'), Brahma. Hinduism is in fact the only religion that recognises that other religions exist and that there is more than one pathway to the Lord. Unlike Christianity and Islam which condemn you to Hell if you don't believe in Jesus/Allah alone, Hinduism says believe in whomever you want, as long as it is God.

I normally don't really care to explain such things on such threads, but thought I should point it out in the face of the obvious ignorance being displayed about my religion. No offence of course.

If that's your definition of monotheistic religion, what would you call a polytheistic religion? because then every religion would come up with their own interpretation of a monotheistic religion. That of course isn't a rhetorical question but for you to answer it.

Edited by shad0wboss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If that's your definition of monotheistic religion, what would you call a polytheistic religion? because then every religion would come up with their own interpretation of a monotheistic religion. That of course isn't a rhetorical question but for you to answer it.

Monotheism is defined by the Encyclopædia Britannica as "the belief in the existence of one god or in the oneness of God."

Polytheism is the worship or belief in multiple deities usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own religions and rituals.

Polytheism is a type of theism. Within theism, it contrasts with monotheism, the belief in a singular God. Polytheists do not always worship all the gods equally, but can be henotheists, specializing in the worship of one particular deity. Other polytheists can be kathenotheists, worshiping different deities at different times.

^ The above is taken from Wikipedia, but I'm too lazy to search for accredited definitions.

The basis of the Hindu texts and the expression of the religion is that there is one true God who is not necessarily a humanoid figure at all. God is just the greater cosmic energy that kickstarted all of creation and will inevitably end it as well and the purpose of human existence is to die and rejoin that energy before (S)He ends everything. (S)He can take on millions and billions of forms or expressions and it is irrelevant because it doesn't change the fact that there is only the one true God.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If that's your definition of monotheistic religion, what would you call a polytheistic religion? because then every religion would come up with their own interpretation of a monotheistic religion. That of course isn't a rhetorical question but for you to answer it.

Monotheistic is worshiping one God. (in the strictest definition) and in hinduism you worship multiple representations of the same God. In polytheism, they're distinctly separate Gods. Like in different pagan religions.

If you want an extremely strict monotheistic religion then you'd have to look at Islam, since they are grey areas everywhere.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.