HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Atheists & Agnostics (Group) » Philosophical phidgeting

Sat Dec 22, 2018, 07:33 PM

Philosophical phidgeting

I was fumbling through some philosophy today and read something from a 19th century philosopher Emile Durcheim (an atheist/agnostic) who said, and I'm paraphrasing from memory so no quotes... The avid atheists are wrong in saying that religion is false. Religion is not about knowing the world factually but about feelings and experience... end. It's an interesting concept if I can rework it a bit.. what if I said religion is not about reality. Religion is a human artistic expression of our view of reality and our questions about it. It seems humans have been terrible artists when trying to force expression into an absolute reality which we have done since Thales and Heraclitus until the present day, swinging from the mystical to reason and back like a pendulum for thousands of years. When doubt is allowed along with freedom of expression there has been relative peace and advancement. When absolutism and mysticism as reality has been forced we have evoked the worst of human nightmares.

I offer the question :

If religious traditions could remain within the realm of human expression, art, and freedom, would you think it useful? Do you think it's even possible? Do you think we are too culturally vulnerable?

Just thinking....

6 replies, 860 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Philosophical phidgeting (Original post)
defacto7 Dec 2018 OP
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #1
defacto7 Dec 2018 #2
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #4
defacto7 Dec 2018 #5
Voltaire2 Dec 2018 #6
Freelancer Dec 2018 #3

Response to defacto7 (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 07:20 AM

1. If pigs could fly.

They wouldn’t be pigs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 12:21 PM

2. So you're saying humans can't be better than they are

or that religion without belief is not religion? I undertand there were periods of time where few actually believed in the ancient pagan religions in Greece and Rome yet they created some pretty amazing things in the name of their religion. Are flying squirrels not really squirrels? Are flightless birds not really birds? Maybe since humans have invented ways to fly, we aren't humans anymore. No, I think we are still human and are capable of expanding on our basic model, and the modes by which we think, dream and create. We're also capable of change and maybe that's the better route. The question is, are we capable of maintaining imaginations without becoming mystical about the unknown.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to defacto7 (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 02:49 PM

4. No. You asked a specific question:

That entailed this condition: “If religious traditions could remain within the realm of human expression, art, and freedom”.

And religions don’t do that. Something else might, for example Surrealism.

Flying squirrels are in fact not squirrels.

Flightless birds are birds but only because they have a common evolutionary heritage. Not all birds fly. Some mammals fly. A pig that evolved wings and started flying would still be a mammal, but not a pig-mammal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 07:37 PM

5. So your answer is no, religions don't do that.

Are you also saying that the religious can't do that, that within the traditions of religion they are incapable of keeping those traditions as expression without the mystical aspects? Actually I would tend to agree with that point but it's worth an argument as I'm still weighing in. I read of cultures doing such at times in history both in the east and west, reformed Judaism is an example, but there seems to be a limit. Whether the limit is universal and insurmountable is an unknown to me.

Wang Ch'ung in the first century CE said he would believe men could fly as soon as one grows feathers. Apropos?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to defacto7 (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 24, 2018, 10:14 AM

6. I see no evidence that theistic religions

are capable of becoming what is essentially something resembling an artistic or cultural movement. There are likely things that could be called religions that could fit your criteria, but only by seriously bending the common understanding of what a religion is. Thus flying pigs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 23, 2018, 02:05 PM

3. Reminds me of a joke Castaneda told

A man saw a green bird walking down the street. Intrigued, he followed. After half a block, it wheeled around and, in an irritated tone, said "Why are you following me?!!" Startled, the man said "I'm sorry, sir. I thought you were a parrot." He turned and walked away.

In front of 800 enthralled new age seminar goers, that joke killed.

Ah, the 90's. [imagine un-invented wistful smiley here]

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread