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Mikah
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05 Aug 2021, 2:27 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
I wish you'd said when the views you expressed weren't your own.


They are my views and they are shared by the majority of Christians at as it regards understanding the demand to worship. Well, at least as far as I know, I suppose there might be some who agree with the atheists that the demand for worship is because God is moody and insecure (and also doesn't exist) - but I haven't come across that myself.

ToughDiamond wrote:
As an atheist, there's not a lot I can do with that.


Yeah I know, I was on the atheist train almost into my 30s. This all sounds silly if you reject the concept of God and an immortal soul, but I hope you can at least comprehend the idea in theory.

ToughDiamond wrote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by a god-shaped hole.


It's just the idea that many, if not most humans might have a deep psychological need for religion or something similar.


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I will not say the Day is done,
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RetroGamer87
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06 Aug 2021, 5:23 am

AngelRho wrote:
9. and 10. Do not covet--in other words, do not despise the achievements of others, but rather celebrate them. Work hard to earn and deserve the things that matter most (see 7).

I broke 9 and 10 a lot. Well, looks like I'm going to to hell.

Hey wasn't there a version where do not bear false witness was number 9?


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magz
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06 Aug 2021, 7:33 am

RetroGamer87 wrote:
Hey wasn't there a version where do not bear false witness was number 9?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Comma ... #Numbering


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ToughDiamond
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06 Aug 2021, 11:37 am

Mikah wrote:
They are my views and they are shared by the majority of Christians at as it regards understanding the demand to worship. Well, at least as far as I know, I suppose there might be some who agree with the atheists that the demand for worship is because God is moody and insecure (and also doesn't exist) - but I haven't come across that myself.

I doubt you'd find many atheists who think both that there is no deity and that the deity demands anything. I saw a Christian meme that propagated a similar idea, that atheists hate God. But clearly, if you don't believe a thing exists, you can't believe it demands anything and you can't have any feelings about that thing.

This all sounds silly if you reject the concept of God and an immortal soul, but I hope you can at least comprehend the idea in theory.

Looking again at the idea, "To truly fear and worship God is an ideal, one that is rarely reached, except perhaps in key moments," yes I think I see roughly what it means, though there's more than one definition of the term "worship," and the term "fear" is also not as straightforward as it may look - I gather the original word was the Hebrew "yare," which can be translated as "awe" which appears to be defined as:

"an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe of great political figures."
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/awe

So there does seem to be an element of fear in it along with other sensations. It would be interesting to know what a psychologist would make of it, whether or not all those things were considered to be real human emotions. The whole concept smacks of primitive societies wrongly assigning their rotten luck to imagined super-beings who were displeased with them, and their desperate attempts to appease these beings by making sacrifices, flattery, and other rituals. This "ideal" state of worship and fear that you mentioned seems remarkably like those primitive societies attempting to refine their communications with their super-beings in the hope of finding a perfect form that would turn their bad luck around, win them a place in some afterlife, etc.

But these things are pretty alien to anything I've ever noticed in myself. For one thing I'm strongly egalitarian, so to admire and revere a "great" person or being would be letting the side down and buying into the whole hierarchical ethos - if I don't see every being (human or otherwise) on the same level as myself, I end up looking up to some beings and looking down on others, and the latter in particular would go against my sense of right and wrong.

It's just the idea that many, if not most humans might have a deep psychological need for religion or something similar.

It seems to be a "need" or tendency that's in decline, judging by the surveys. One thing that arouses my suspicions is that it's just the kind of suggestion I'd expect priests to push - "you need Jesus, you aren't whole without accepting him, it'll end in tears for you if you leave" - in order to maintain their power over people. Human intelligence has this very unfortunate by-product that we can anticipate our own deaths, and it must be a great comfort to feel that we will survive death if we behave ourselves. I think that's one strong reason why religion has traditionally attracted so many.



AngelRho
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06 Aug 2021, 12:38 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Mikah wrote:
They are my views and they are shared by the majority of Christians at as it regards understanding the demand to worship. Well, at least as far as I know, I suppose there might be some who agree with the atheists that the demand for worship is because God is moody and insecure (and also doesn't exist) - but I haven't come across that myself.

I doubt you'd find many atheists who think both that there is no deity and that the deity demands anything. I saw a Christian meme that propagated a similar idea, that atheists hate God. But clearly, if you don't believe a thing exists, you can't believe it demands anything and you can't have any feelings about that thing.

This all sounds silly if you reject the concept of God and an immortal soul, but I hope you can at least comprehend the idea in theory.

Looking again at the idea, "To truly fear and worship God is an ideal, one that is rarely reached, except perhaps in key moments," yes I think I see roughly what it means, though there's more than one definition of the term "worship," and the term "fear" is also not as straightforward as it may look - I gather the original word was the Hebrew "yare," which can be translated as "awe" which appears to be defined as:

"an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like: in awe of God; in awe of great political figures."
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/awe

So there does seem to be an element of fear in it along with other sensations. It would be interesting to know what a psychologist would make of it, whether or not all those things were considered to be real human emotions. The whole concept smacks of primitive societies wrongly assigning their rotten luck to imagined super-beings who were displeased with them, and their desperate attempts to appease these beings by making sacrifices, flattery, and other rituals. This "ideal" state of worship and fear that you mentioned seems remarkably like those primitive societies attempting to refine their communications with their super-beings in the hope of finding a perfect form that would turn their bad luck around, win them a place in some afterlife, etc.

But these things are pretty alien to anything I've ever noticed in myself. For one thing I'm strongly egalitarian, so to admire and revere a "great" person or being would be letting the side down and buying into the whole hierarchical ethos - if I don't see every being (human or otherwise) on the same level as myself, I end up looking up to some beings and looking down on others, and the latter in particular would go against my sense of right and wrong.

It's just the idea that many, if not most humans might have a deep psychological need for religion or something similar.

It seems to be a "need" or tendency that's in decline, judging by the surveys. One thing that arouses my suspicions is that it's just the kind of suggestion I'd expect priests to push - "you need Jesus, you aren't whole without accepting him, it'll end in tears for you if you leave" - in order to maintain their power over people. Human intelligence has this very unfortunate by-product that we can anticipate our own deaths, and it must be a great comfort to feel that we will survive death if we behave ourselves. I think that's one strong reason why religion has traditionally attracted so many.

Guilt has proven to be a powerful motivator.



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06 Aug 2021, 1:40 pm

dorkseid wrote:
I remember some guy once told me a story, about a woman whom God sent to Hell because she didn't forgive her
So let me see if I can get this straight: first God creates humans, supposedly giving us whatever characteristics we possess. But after that God decides that he is unhappy with the creation that he himself designed. And instead of accepting responsibility for his own screw-up he blames us for having whatever flaws he designed us with and decides that we deserve eternal damnation for being the way he made us. So he creates this horrible place called Hell that exists for no other purpose than to be an expansive sadistic torture chamber where he can eternally punish us for the crime of existing. But because he loves us so much he decides that he has to save us from the Hell that he himself decided to damn us to in the first place. But in order to solve this problem that only exists because he himself chose to create it, he decided for some absurd reason that he is required to sacrifice an innocent person first.

Can anyone explain to me how any remotely intelligent human being can actually think any of this makes a lick of sense?! ! !

Well, as a Thinker, you are trying to reason it out and make sense of it.
(Which is a common endeavor of those who have learned to Think independently.)
- But it is a fool's errand. It doesn't makes sense. It's not supposed to.

In navigating life, some folks need absolutes, i.e. Beliefs.
- Which is fine, have those Beliefs.
Just don't seek to liquidate those who do not share your Beliefs, or those who do not require Beliefs at all.



Misslizard
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06 Aug 2021, 1:58 pm

Why would anyone want to be ( or demand to be) worshipped.That would be annoying.
Makes me think of a NextGen episode where Picard is worshipped by the natives.
Sounds sort of narcissistic to me.That’s the last kind of god I want.


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Harry Haller
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06 Aug 2021, 2:22 pm

Misslizard wrote:
Why would anyone want to be ( or demand to be) worshipped.That would be annoying

Yeah, no kidding!
I generally want people to
Go
Away!
:lol:



AngelRho
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06 Aug 2021, 2:26 pm

Misslizard wrote:
Why would anyone want to be ( or demand to be) worshipped.That would be annoying.
Makes me think of a NextGen episode where Picard is worshipped by the natives.
Sounds sort of narcissistic to me.That’s the last kind of god I want.

That was a great episode.

The demand for worship has nothing to do with what God needs. Man is created in the image of God which, in the context of the Old Testament religion, meant the same thing as the first of the 10 commandments--that man must not create engraved images/idols to worship. Man cannot create an image of God to worship--man IS the image of God to be worshipped. It is not that man worships man, but rather that by taking care of other people, man performs the same function for man as offering sacrifices or food to gods. Rather than completely burning up food on an altar to non-living idols created by men and not giving anyone any benefit from it, what we are supposed to do is love others by displaying God's love for all of us, which we do by offering food to the hungry and so forth. All the singing and bowing down and burning incense is actually pretty worthless in Christian worship except that it is all an expression of praise--not out of blind obedience, but out of the need of the worshiper to express it. EVERYONE ends up worshiping God one way or another whether you believe in him or not. If you want to stay alive, you'll obey God's commands. That can range from anywhere from avoiding danger through humility and avoiding hubris, feeding and protecting your children, maintaining law and order, protecting your country from foreign invasion, keeping a fair and reasonable system of justice, etc. The point is not to reach heaven, but rather to enjoy a long life on earth. Heaven is attained through salvation and righteousness, and that requires something beyond what human beings are capable of doing for themselves.

But it is never about what God needs or demands for himself. It's always about what's best for us individually. Praise and worship from the heart of a believer who loves God and wants to offer those things is strictly at the discretion of the individual worshipper. God created us and loves us and wants what's best because of the high value he's given us. The unattractive bit about being a created being is ultimately belonging to God and living subject to divine will rather than our own. If God wants to destroy us, regardless of how we may feel about it, he absolutely can in whatever way he chooses and there's nothing we can say or do that can change that.



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07 Aug 2021, 7:02 am

Harry Haller wrote:
Misslizard wrote:
Why would anyone want to be ( or demand to be) worshipped.That would be annoying

Yeah, no kidding!
I generally want people to
Go
Away!
:lol:

Of course you do ,Steppenwolf.


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dorkseid
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10 Aug 2021, 8:06 pm

Mikah wrote:

ToughDiamond wrote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by a god-shaped hole.


It's just the idea that many, if not most humans might have a deep psychological need for religion or something similar.


I agree that there seems to be a psychological need in humans that religion functions to fulfill, to a degree. But that does not prove that there is any actual gods; it likely just means that its a trait our species evolved for some reason. For one, it serves to help unify the members of a group and strengthen their loyalty to the group and its leaders while also serving as a sort of justification for irrationally disfavoring outsiders. Another function it may serve is create a belief that there is an inherent justice to the world. The world is random and uncaring, and people need some way of alleviating the anxiety that comes with realizing that. The belief in gods who bring justice after death may have been necessary to prevent ancient cultures from becoming crippled by existential anxieties.



ToughDiamond
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11 Aug 2021, 12:11 pm

dorkseid wrote:
Mikah wrote:

ToughDiamond wrote:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by a god-shaped hole.


It's just the idea that many, if not most humans might have a deep psychological need for religion or something similar.


I agree that there seems to be a psychological need in humans that religion functions to fulfill, to a degree. But that does not prove that there is any actual gods; it likely just means that its a trait our species evolved for some reason. For one, it serves to help unify the members of a group and strengthen their loyalty to the group and its leaders while also serving as a sort of justification for irrationally disfavoring outsiders. Another function it may serve is create a belief that there is an inherent justice to the world. The world is random and uncaring, and people need some way of alleviating the anxiety that comes with realizing that. The belief in gods who bring justice after death may have been necessary to prevent ancient cultures from becoming crippled by existential anxieties.


The original quote that started this off was:

"Even atheists agree there is a God-shaped hole in the human psyche."

To make plainer the sweeping nature of that suggestion, and to reduce any brainwashing power, it's perhaps helpful to remove the word "even":

"Atheists agree there is a God-shaped hole in the human psyche."

Now it's easier to see the plain assertion. So, to examine that, how many atheists actually concur that this "hole" exists as per the religionists' description of it? It would make an interesting survey. I suspect the answer would be not many of them, and I know that some of them don't. I suppose what theists are driving at is the notion that an individual without (Abrahamic?) religion will always feel something vital is missing inside them. I've heard that a few times from those wishing to convert me. But when I looked, I found no such hole, and when I pondered their motives for saying this, I noticed that it looks very much like a propaganda move - "you know in your heart that you can't make it without our religion." Here's what a bunch of ex-Christians have to say about the "hole." Much of it is more bitter than I've ever felt myself. I think that's probably because religion didn't get its claws into me as deeply as it did into theirs.

https://www.reddit.com/r/exchristian/co ... _everyone/



Mikah
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11 Aug 2021, 1:21 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
But when I looked, I found no such hole


They usually don't find it in themselves, but are generally happy to accept it exists in most humans (some in that reddit thread accept the "longing" exists but believe it is artificial rather than natural). It's a way to explain the power and persistence of such beliefs and such longings are often described in late life conversion stories. If you want to dig deeper into evolutionary psychology and view religion (shock, horror) as having a role to play in human evolution - it also makes sense that the religious "ability? sense? susceptibility?" for lack of a better word might have been selected for over the generations.


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Though here at journey's end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell.


AngelRho
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11 Aug 2021, 3:52 pm

Mikah wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
But when I looked, I found no such hole


They usually don't find it in themselves, but are generally happy to accept it exists in most humans (some in that reddit thread accept the "longing" exists but believe it is artificial rather than natural). It's a way to explain the power and persistence of such beliefs and such longings are often described in late life conversion stories. If you want to dig deeper into evolutionary psychology and view religion (shock, horror) as having a role to play in human evolution - it also makes sense that the religious "ability? sense? susceptibility?" for lack of a better word might have been selected for over the generations.

I think "ability" and "sense" are both good words describe it, with the latter being perhaps the best word for it. It seems logical that some people have senses that are better attuned to certain things than others, and people have the ability to suppress or reinterpret their perceptions. I think it also makes sense in evolution that humans are selected for making the fullest use of all the senses, including the divine sense. It's not that someone with an impaired or suppressed divine sense is necessarily consigned to the flames, but rather they are less likely to believe or may find faith more difficult. Humans are the kind of creatures that will adapt so long as the desire is there and strong enough. Blind people can read, deaf people can perceive vibration through other senses, and so on.



Mikah
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11 Aug 2021, 4:49 pm

AngelRho wrote:
I think "ability" and "sense" are both good words describe it, with the latter being perhaps the best word for it. It seems logical that some people have senses that are better attuned to certain things than others, and people have the ability to suppress or reinterpret their perceptions. I think it also makes sense in evolution that humans are selected for making the fullest use of all the senses, including the divine sense. It's not that someone with an impaired or suppressed divine sense is necessarily consigned to the flames, but rather they are less likely to believe or may find faith more difficult. Humans are the kind of creatures that will adapt so long as the desire is there and strong enough. Blind people can read, deaf people can perceive vibration through other senses, and so on.


You might enjoy this : https://www.unz.com/article/are-atheist ... evolution/

Others in the thread probably won't hehe. I posted it here a few years ago. It's about a paper entitled The Mutant Says in His Heart, “There Is No God”: The Rejection of Collective Religiosity Centred Around the Worship of Moral Gods is Associated with High Mutational Load

Computer models have proven that the more internally cooperative group—which is also hostile to infidel outsiders—wins the battle of group selection [The Evolutionary Dominance of Ethnocentric Cooperation. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation by Max Hartshorn, June 2013]. This very specific kind of religiousness was selected for and, indeed, it correlates with positive and negative ethnocentrism even today.

The authors demonstrate that this kind of religiousness has clearly been selected for in itself. It is about 40% genetic according to twin studies, it is associated with strongly elevated fertility, it can be traced to activity in specific regions of the brain, and it is associated with elevated health: all the key markers that something has been selected for.


...

So Dutton and his team argue that, this being the case, deviation from this very specific form of religiousness—the collective worship of moral gods in which almost everyone engaged in 1800—should be associated with these markers of mutation. In other words, both atheists and those interested in spirituality with no moral gods (such as the paranormal) should be disproportionately mutants.

And this is precisely what they show. Poor physical and mental health are both significantly genetic and imply high mutational load. Dutton and his team demonstrate that this specific form of religiousness, when controlling for key factors such as SES, predicts much better objective mental and physical health, recovery from illness, and longevity than atheism.

It’s generally believed that religiousness makes you healthier because it makes you worry less and elevates your mood, but they turn this view on its head, showing that religious worshippers are more likely to carry gene forms associated with being low in anxiety. Schizophrenia, they show, is associated with extreme and anti-social religiosity, rather than collective worship. Similarly, belief in the paranormal is predicted by schizophrenia, and this is a marker of genetic mutation.


_________________
Though here at journey's end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell.


AngelRho
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11 Aug 2021, 5:07 pm

Mikah wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
I think "ability" and "sense" are both good words describe it, with the latter being perhaps the best word for it. It seems logical that some people have senses that are better attuned to certain things than others, and people have the ability to suppress or reinterpret their perceptions. I think it also makes sense in evolution that humans are selected for making the fullest use of all the senses, including the divine sense. It's not that someone with an impaired or suppressed divine sense is necessarily consigned to the flames, but rather they are less likely to believe or may find faith more difficult. Humans are the kind of creatures that will adapt so long as the desire is there and strong enough. Blind people can read, deaf people can perceive vibration through other senses, and so on.


You might enjoy this : https://www.unz.com/article/are-atheist ... evolution/

Others in the thread probably won't hehe. I posted it here a few years ago. It's about a paper entitled The Mutant Says in His Heart, “There Is No God”: The Rejection of Collective Religiosity Centred Around the Worship of Moral Gods is Associated with High Mutational Load

Computer models have proven that the more internally cooperative group—which is also hostile to infidel outsiders—wins the battle of group selection [The Evolutionary Dominance of Ethnocentric Cooperation. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation by Max Hartshorn, June 2013]. This very specific kind of religiousness was selected for and, indeed, it correlates with positive and negative ethnocentrism even today.

The authors demonstrate that this kind of religiousness has clearly been selected for in itself. It is about 40% genetic according to twin studies, it is associated with strongly elevated fertility, it can be traced to activity in specific regions of the brain, and it is associated with elevated health: all the key markers that something has been selected for.


...

So Dutton and his team argue that, this being the case, deviation from this very specific form of religiousness—the collective worship of moral gods in which almost everyone engaged in 1800—should be associated with these markers of mutation. In other words, both atheists and those interested in spirituality with no moral gods (such as the paranormal) should be disproportionately mutants.

And this is precisely what they show. Poor physical and mental health are both significantly genetic and imply high mutational load. Dutton and his team demonstrate that this specific form of religiousness, when controlling for key factors such as SES, predicts much better objective mental and physical health, recovery from illness, and longevity than atheism.

It’s generally believed that religiousness makes you healthier because it makes you worry less and elevates your mood, but they turn this view on its head, showing that religious worshippers are more likely to carry gene forms associated with being low in anxiety. Schizophrenia, they show, is associated with extreme and anti-social religiosity, rather than collective worship. Similarly, belief in the paranormal is predicted by schizophrenia, and this is a marker of genetic mutation.

Oh, how fun! :lol:

Of course, I think I can “sense” the knee-jerk response accusing the authors of bias and such well on its way…