Since Confucianism is not really a religion, I chose it. Most religions do not make any real sense to me because almost all of them are founded upon superstitions which hold no water when subjected to reason. However, since Confucianism is more of a moral philosophy, it makes more sense than the other three.
Both Catholicism and (especially in most cases, except for the most liberal denominations e.g. Epicopalian and Presbyterian) Protestantism are founded on an ancient tome that is full of internal contradictions, scientific inaccuracies, and many ourright atrocities. Buddhism is a little better, but it preaches reincarnation (which there is little to no evidence for) as well as state of enlightenment which does exist (nirvana or nibbana). Even though I'm not very familiar with Confucian philosophy, I am unaware of any illogical assertions made on it's part, so thjat why I voted for it.
Although I don not agree with any of these religions, I would appreciate it if you could share your oppinions with me and enlighten me on the subject. Thanks!!
I personally favor syncretic animistic systems which attest that everything in the universe has a life-force or spirit which should be honored according to its importance to you and in the grand scheme of things. The ancient Egyptian religion was one good example of this, and most Native American religions have similar precepts.
There are some other notable missing options like Taoism and probably a few more, but I'm tired and haven't thought about the issue for a few years.
At this point the process diverges for Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Let's look at the Roman Catholic version first:
We learn from the pages of the New Testament (which we don't yet consider as inerrant) that Jesus intended to establish an infallible Church (the Roman Catholic Church) which was to be the authority on matters of faith and doctrine. A key passage is: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church" (Mat 16:18).
The Church then determined and decreed that the Bible is inerrant. So this is what we must accept on faith.
Now let's consider the Protestant version:
Once we know that the Bible is trustworthy, we can look within its pages to learn whether or not it is infallible. Passages such as "all Scripture is God-breathed" (2 Tim 3:16) are cited as evidence.
The Foundation of Inerrancy
In the Protestant view of inerrancy it is necessary to first place our faith in a particular interpretation of certain Biblical passages before we can know that the Bible is inerrant.
The explicit distinction between what can be reasoned and what must be accepted on faith, I claim, is an example of the Catholics attempting to "make sense." Both Catholic and Protestant views "beg the question" to a certain extent, but the Catholics say "this step requires faith" right out loud where the Protestants try to sweep it under the rug.
The Buddhists (the Zen branch) believe (act as if they believe) that the effort to "make sense" moves one away from understanding. I mean, what are koans, if not ways to show the problems with "making sense"?
As "reason" is the primary requirement for something to 'make sense', and almost all other religions require faith - which is when a person vests trust in a person or thing where: evidence exists which throws doubt upon or compels the rejection of trustworthiness; or where insufficient evidence exists to compel or suggest trustworthiness, I suggest that, so far as I am aware, the CoV is the only "sensible" religion.
PS There are no grounds to assume that the "Jesus" of the New Testament existed, and we know that not only has the Catholic church made many serious errors, but that the babble (OT & NT) is also full of errors. The arguments advanced in favor of catholicism require these facts to be ignored. Which means that it is by no means "sane" (even though I agree that many Catholics are probably less insane than the often more fundamentalist protestants). Unfortunately, when we see the results of Catholocism, e.g. the breeding patterns advocated by the RC church devastating 3rd world communities, the inversion of "good" and "evil" (e.g. The Sainted Theresa), the paederist paradigm that apparently invests many of their schools, then it becomes apparent that what little "sanity" they may seem to have is extremely limited in practical effect.
First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing your ideas with me, but I have to disagree with Hermit on one thing- I don't believe the CoV is a "religion", because, as you said, religions require faith, and all the CoV asks is for people to have an open mind and realize that there is no such thing as a "higher being".
« Reply #6 on: 2003-05-09 16:45:24 »
Bear in mind that the CoV regards dogma as having been shown to be harmful. Thus what follows is not "dogma" but merely my reporting of the concensus opinion held (articulated or not), by Virians with whom I have communicated and whose opinions I respect.
A "religion" is: "a set of beliefs concerned with explaining the origins and purposes of the universe, usu. involving belief in a supernatural creator and offering guidance in ethics and morals" (wordsmyth.net). Note "usually." "Belief in a supernatural creator" is not obligitory.
1) I would suggest that most if not all Virians accept that:
1.1) All "truths", including these founding "truths", are incomplete, provisional and falsifiable*. 1.2) Anything that is provisionally true is at least theoretically falsifiable. 1.3) The scientific method (Refer, [ FAQ: The Scientific Method ] is the only effective means to establish provisional truths. 1.4) Irrational belief is not a component of the scientific method. 1.5) Rejection of evidence is not a rational action. 1.6) Fabrication of evidence is not a rational action.
2) I would suggest that most if not all Virians accept that there is no evidence or necessity for any entities with godlike attributes and that Ockham's law and available consensus models sufficiently explain:
2.1) The origin and development of our Universe (without requiring the intervention of any intelligence). 2.2) That it is unnecessary for the Universe to have a purpose. 2.3) The development of life and self-awareness.
3) I would suggest that most if not all Virians accept that "supernatural" is a null phrase, being self-contradictory, in that if something exists, it is "natural" and must conform to the "natural laws" of the Universe in which it exists. From this it follows that something "unnatural" cannot exist except as imaginary items, and that this must necessarily include instances of the so called "supernatural". As the consensus model of our Baryonic Universe precludes most of the attributes which people would claim are required for gods, and as no evidence or necessity for such beings appear to exist, Virians reject gods as being altogether less likely than tooth-fairies.
4) I would suggest that most if not all Virians hold that available evidence and rational analysis suggests that:
4.1) Humans are essentially pack animals, happiest in relatively small groups of likeminded people (i.e. those holding similar memeplexii). 4.2) Humans are much more likely to be good company and effective when they are happy, healthy and their needs and desires are being met. 4.3) Humans are most likely to achieve the state described in 4.2 when they cooperate with each other. 4.4) Cooperation requires a balance of benefits between those involved and ethical behavior on the part of those cooperating.
5) From the above it follows that:
5.1) That the pursuit of happiness is completely sufficient to establish an ethical and purposeful life. 5.2) That any behaviors which are contrary to our biological fundamentals or which prevent the achievement of happiness are harmful to us. 5.3) That evidence shows that social, technical and scientific progress minimizes the competition for scarce resources which prevent the conditions in 4.2 from being satisfied. 5.4) That the most likely condition under which progress is likely to occur is in a regime based on the scientific method and cooperation between people.
6) These conclusions lead to the further conclusion that the optimum way to live is by adopting and advocating the Virian Virtues, and eschewing the Virian Sins, and that were all people to adopt these principles, that it would be good for humanity as a whole.
7) Every human has the right (and I would say obligation) to independently consider these questions and reach these conclusions (or others), and thus while we have a duty to advocate our principles, that this should be done only with those who request us to do so (feed the hungry), when our values are challenged by others, or when other values are advocated in an open forum.
8 ) In this way, most Virians accept and hold a consistent set of rational, provisional, falsifiable principles which can be refered to as a "belief system" although "belief", in the sense of "irrational belief**", is not needed (and some of us (including me) would say or desireable) to accept the Virian principles. Nevertheless, by common definition, this forms a "belief system."
9) The above shows that in the CoV meets the definition of a religion in that we have:
"a set of beliefs"
1, 2, 4, 5
"concerned with explaining the origins"
2, 4, 5
"and purposes of the universe [Hermit: And self aware beings],"
*Gödelian incompleteness and Popperian falsifiability together necessitate that outside of a formal system of limited application, a "truth", to have any measure of rational support, must by necessity, always be provisional, incomplete and falsifiable, in other words, there must always, at least hypothetically, exist some evidence which would permit that supposed truth to be rejected. This implies that outside of formal systems, the truth of a thing is not an absolute, but encompasses a range of probabilities which will have varying truth values (i.e. from "false" through "insufficient evidence to adduce a truth value" to "true") depending on the evidence for or against such a thing.
**All belief is essentially irrational, as belief can only occur where acceptance is not compelled, for if acceptance is compelled, then belief is not required to accept that thing. Belief is thus the acceptance of some thing as being provisionally true where: contradictory evidence exists which throws doubt upon or compels the rejection of the thing being accepted as truth; or where insufficient evidence exists to compel or suggest acceptance of the thing as truth.
Last night while waiting to fall asleep I had an epiphany... it was basically this "You know the tower of Babel in the book of Genesis, well what if while changing the language and appearance of man he also changed the way he represented himself"
« Reply #8 on: 2005-08-17 23:16:40 »
Of the list, I chose Buddhism... I don't really know enough about Confucianism to say anything about it one way or the other. But I chose Buddhism over Catholicism or Protestantism because i think the monism or nonduality of eastern religions is a more accurate description of the nature of the universe as opposed to some absolute concept of good and evil. Good and evil are concepts created by civilization. In addition, buddhism requires no belief in a god. However, I do not find reincarnation or pantheism plausible in totality. And as a scientist who is quite fond of rational thinking, i detest zen.