The Necessity of Secularism, pg 93

Jan 17, 2017

“Let’s take stock for a moment. We entered into this discussion of revelation because it is through revelation that we are supposedly made aware of God’s commands. If God is to have any direct role to play with respect to morality, either as moral dictator or moral adviser, we would need to be able to receive instructions from him. Our analysis of revelation has established that God effectively has no way to communicate his commands to us. Even if he were to transmit a command through a prophet, we would have no way of confirming this was a divine command. But the situation is even worse that this. What purported revelations we do have from God are inconsistent.”

–Ron Lindsay, The Necessity of Secularism, pg 93

15 comments on “The Necessity of Secularism, pg 93

  • @OP – Our analysis of revelation has established that God effectively has no way to communicate his commands to us.
    Even if he were to transmit a command through a prophet, we would have no way of confirming this was a divine command.

    It should be obvious that the various manipulative “commands” come from god-delusions in the heads of those who are psychotic, delusional, cynically exploiting people for their own ends, simply power-mad, – or a combination of these.

    But the situation is even worse that this.
    What purported revelations we do have from God are inconsistent.”

    Indeed! Not only are the “revelations” inconsistent, but they are often contradictory (even when purporting to come from the same god), – and that is before we even look at the fighting between individuals and groups over contradictory “revelations”.
    Not only that, but the revelations and the gods named as sources, are coincident with the historical times and the geographical isolation of the individual humans and groups where the god-delusions dwell!

    Due to genocides, extinctions of populations, forced conversions, and cultural evolutions and mergers of religions, many earlier god-delusions have gone extinct, while others have branched and diversified into many conflicting forms! – Often with earlier “holy records”, edited, “reinterpreted”, and rewritten, to make them comply with, and predict, the later views of particular cults.

    All this evidence points to “revelations” being generated by god-delusions in the heads of particular individuals, interacting in localised cultural groups at particular historical times.
    The “revelations” are also consistent with the ignorance of science, prevalent in those populations, at those times in those geographical locations.

    Atheists may well have inspiring ideas, dreams, or hunches, which are worth considering and testing further, but do not attribute these to gods.
    Nor do they believe these have some divine badge of authority!



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  • M27Holts #2
    Jan 18, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Alan,
    Do you mean that the words in holy-books are just made up by men?
    What a crazy idea is that! 🙂

    Not entirely!
    Some are made up by women, while others are made up by god-delusions which their host organisms do not even recognise as parts of themselves!
    Shamen seeking religious revelations, often used psycho-active drugs to reach those parts of themselves not normally accessible to the conscious mind!



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  • Christianity (and probably other religions) teach people not to question, for obvious self preserving reasons. People raised in this mindset, especially children, are “programmed” to look externally for answers. Unfortunately, this mindset persists even into adulthood and remains one of the main draws toward religious organizations. In my opinion, what would benefit people the most is an understanding that God is a mental-social construct and therefore God (or more precisely the concept of God) is internal. If people are looking for God to provide ethical answers, let’s have them look in the mirror!



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  • I object to the overtly biased nature of this paragraph. It skews any possible response into the fictional realm.

    Infinitely more pain and suffering is caused by our mortal, biological and naturally selected nature than by all religious beliefs combined.

    Existence and its true nature on the other hand may yet have a few (hopefully pleasant) surprises in store for us.

    GL

    P.S. Richard I have a first elemental tree draft ready (10 years in the making) and surprise, surprise it does contain a few additional twigs and branches. Still the central core, the ferromagnetics remain an unsubstantiated mystery for the moment, introducing an unacceptably high degree of speculation into this draft.

    Feedback Q: Are the ferromagnetics a first amplified state of matter?



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  • 6
    fadeordraw says:

    So I had to look up “revelation” and in the paragraph it should have been capitalized. I don’t like these paragraphs from these seemingly self-help books on getting over religion. I’d really like to know how well they sell with RD site promotion (results-base justification). I think for our discussion and learning, RD paragraphs would be more enlightening. Anyway, this one is provincial to Christianity, as the same such is in the Old Testament, with Islam and even Buddhism; what was written centuries after the archetype’s presence, or not, on the planet. None of this, it seems to me, is key to getting folks to perceptions of planetary living.



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  • Revelation is no simple matter. It may not exist; but it is no simple matter. Again, read Kierkegaard.—He blows this superficial yet well-meaning author (Lindsay) away. Lindsay might as well say that hell is not deep in the earth and that heaven isn’t in the sky.—Simple, simple, simple.

    Here’s an analogy. In a good play the antagonist and the hero have to be more or less equal, evenly matched. Otherwise you get a drama that has no impact. If you are going to try to rid the world of pernicious religious practices and thinking, then make an attempt to do justice to the complexity of what you are addressing and opposing. Faith and revelation are not simple matters.

    By the way, watch Sen. Al Franken question the religious billionaire DeVos on YouTube. I enjoyed it and so will you.



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  • 9
    fadeordraw says:

    Faith and revelation are not simple matters.
    Faith and revelation are not simple matters

    Actually Dan, as with your reading of Kierkegaard, whom long time ago I chose to deke by, I also chose not to read/study Lost In Paradise, these are very simple matters; though not for those who like delved and dwell in all the intricacies of angles of a pin head. But faith and revelations are simple; which does mean that they get dismissed; like a meme going extinct, like one of our precious planetary species going extinct; and so Kierkegaard and Milton going extinct! Faith and revelations are evolutionary/meme cultural matters. They are, with perspective, simple to understand. There overcoming, to achieve the planet living perspective, appears to be more complex/challenging.



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  • @9

    I understand your resentment and deep disdain for religion all-too-well.

    But I assure you that the issue of faith is not simple. But many religious people are simpletons. It’s like anything else. Depends who you’re talking to.

    “I’m so misunderstood that people misunderstand me even when I tell them I’m misunderstood.”
    ― Søren Kierkegaard

    You might like Paradise Lost, fadeordraw. Give it a try. It’s art. It’s a classic. Literary art shouldn’t go extinct. (Remember Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451?) It’s a memorable work. And it took the fellow something like twenty-five years to write it. Milton’s Adam-before-the-fall was an inquisitive skeptic; he asks some angel at one point why God found it necessary to create planets and stars and moons.—Such superfluity. The angel basically says: “don’t go there.” And Satan has some great lines.

    (Interesting that you mention Paradise Lost in connection with Kierkegaard. Sounds like someone who has read and understood both.)

    (Paradise Regained sucked.)



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  • Hi Guy [#5],

    I object to the overtly biased nature of this paragraph

    In what way is overtness – openness and honesty – objectionable?

    I can understand recoiling from a comment that sets out a point of view so baldly – without any of the supporting argument (though the bare facts appear to be presented). That is an unfortunate side effect of the Paragraph of the Week format, it strips away context. Lest we forget; the paragraph came from a book of 224 pages and we must presume that Ron Lindsay had rather more to say on the subject.

    That said, in this case the format is surely a godsend [cough] for any theist? They have an open field to counter in whatever, and in whichever, manner they deem most appropriate … no?

    It skews any possible response into the fictional realm

    There is no possible true response only if the Responder has no logic or facts.

    Are you saying that there is no theist out there worth their salt? What, not even one?

    Infinitely more pain and suffering is caused by our mortal, biological and naturally selected nature than by all religious beliefs combined

    That is an interesting, not to say eccentric, claim. Can you back it up?

    Existence and its true nature on the other hand may yet have a few (hopefully pleasant) surprises in store for us

    Dreaming without doing is for fantasists – ambition is what drives dreams to reality. By all means dream and hope – but never forget to do.

    Peace.



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  • 13
    fadeordraw says:

    Dan @ 10

    But I assure you that the issue of faith is not simple.

    Yes well I might have touched at bit of both. Shakespeare and Mozart will mostly not go extinct, and others. But for some of the old masters, in whatever field, their memes will fade, fade away and disappear from planetary cultures. How could it work otherwise?

    Faith is powerful. It has people adhere to and rejoice in the preposterous. Faith indeed is the opiate for people happily living delusionary lives, or living crappy and dangerous-for-others’ lives with faith that there’ll be a glorious afterlife. Faith is a psychological state and a mob induced hysterical state. What it is not is complicated; rather it is a specific way of being. Barring the appreciation for a joyous faith in science and reason, faith takes folks away from perceptions of planet living. And it would be preferable were a sizable majority of our sapient population to get to these perceptions, which would involve overcoming many a faith addiction. So the faith addiction is powerful, but, to quibble, therefore a simple, obstinate thing.



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  • fadeordraw

    Perhaps you’re right.

    How many Kierkegaard’s are there? He stood alone. He had an enormously complex view of faith, the dialectics of faith. His works –rich in irony and artistry – will endure; but his conception of faith (a multi-faceted one) was utterly atypical. Faith, on the whole, will surely die. Let it. I hope that Kierkegaard’s works never die. And perhaps there will be one or two, a handful of people, in every generation, who will gain, by reading him, an understanding of what Kierkegaard considered to be the authentic “Christian” mode of existence. This understanding may enhance one’s life or diminish it – or both.— My verdict isn’t quite in yet. But I do consider him to be a beautiful writer and a truly profound man.

    I hope Dante’s works survives. And Chopra’s (Kidding.)



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  • 15
    fadeordraw says:

    I hope that Kierkegaard’s works never die.

    Here’s another thought for you Dan. Nature, the instincts that come with living on the planet, wants everything to want to live forever; whether via genes and offspring, name-associated immortal works, and as evident in the imagined afterlife. Our desire to not have a Kierkegaard disappear/go extinct is indeed a planetary instinct. But realistically, with 8 billion + sapiens, and growing, there’s lots of these dedicated and brilliant people now and since. The post-renaissance thinkers and writers had a head start on university courses, but there are many standing on their shoulders and, for developing current minds, it very well might be best to begin with them, which means that a Kierkegaard fades. From this perspective, I have always found it curious that scientist persistently acknowledge scientists who went before in a given subject; scientist are very much into the immortal name-promotion game. The thing is, with science and technology, one is only really interested in conventional wisdom and the leading edge. So scientists also have this name-immortality gene/meme/instinct, but in the very scientific approach, such an instinct has been excluded.



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