The Great Debate: "Has Science Refuted Religion?

by dark angle 239 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • sizemik
    And the energy required to keep up the cognitive dissonance is astounding.

    That's chaffing against the default (skepticism) . . . not pacifully investing in it. If that is the case you were a doubtful believer at best. I guess there are levels of belief. The default position doesn't need to be quantified . . . only occupied.

    The effort required varies, but is accomplished with relative ease for the majority. Knowledge is usually tailored into the belief and simply modifies it . . . without seriously questioning the core belief. For others it can destroy it completely.

    The discomfort and distress of non-belief may not always register at a cognitive level . . . but it is unnatural and seeks to correct. Most non-believers don't go past a 6 . . . leaving the opportunity for belief to return.

    I want to believe . . . and it wouldn't take that much for me to do so . . . just enough to convince me. Whether that warrants ritualised worshipful subservience, regular supernatural communication etc . . . I seriously doubt it.

  • botchtowersociety
    Knuckl - I was referring to the scientist's comment about the "Cosmic Egg"! Didn't you read my post????

    He also called it the primeval atom. So what is your point again? I am not seeing it. Both are good metaphors. Big bang is another one.

    Not if you're switching genders around like that. "Goddesses" were worshipped FIRST - and from a LONG time back. Then came the male "gods", and more recently, the gender-neutral "it" has occasionally been used...

    It seems to me you have some male/female sex hangups. It doesn't bother me.

    This is the oldest religious artifact. It doesn't appear male or female. It is a snake.

    A convenient dodge. They aren't "labels", anymore than the various names and characteristics and personalities of ALL the wide variety of 'deities' worshipped by various humans in various locations and various times, all throughout human history, are just "labels" for some nebulous "one god"....

    I'm not dodging. That is how I really see it. People have all related in some way, within their culture and language, to some ultimate thing. That is all I am saying. But maybe I should go back to my original points, which were on topic.

  • NewChapter

    That's chaffing against the default (skepticism) . . . not pacifully investing in it. If that is the case you were a doubtful believer at best. I guess there are levels of belief. The default position doesn't need to be quantified . . . only occupied.

    I certainly did not feel like a doubtful believer---I was all in. However I would get incredibly uncomfortable when certain lines of logic were used on me. I remember the exact feeling, and discomfort is the best description. It really bothered me when I couldn't think of a reply that didn't sound wonky even to my ears. So maybe that is what you mean. I had to work especially hard to push away doubts. Those rare moments when I could see my beliefs as others saw them were especially bad. It was just exhausting.

  • botchtowersociety

    One should never push away doubt. Life is doubt, and faith or life without doubt is death.

    From one of my favorite Spanish philosophers (Unamuno):

    Those who believe that they believe in God, but without any passion in their heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God-Idea, not in God Himself.

  • sizemik

    Nice quote botch . . . I agree, and both groups of "believers" are well represented I suspect.

    The belief in the "God idea" is probably all that's required for some to occupy the default position of belief.

    On a less romantic note, I think doubt is closely aligned with curiousity and our sometimes fervent need for answers. Doubts rise from "questionable" belief. Some choose not to question and ignore the doubt . . . push it away. But it's hard to get truthful answers unless you keep asking the questions.

  • ziddina
    "This is the oldest religious artifact. It doesn't appear male or female. It is a snake. ..." Burn, page #7, post #5521

    "A Canadian archeologist has discovered what's being hailed as the world's oldest known religious artifact: a six-metre-long, serpentine rock carving made 70,000 years ago by a prehistoric, python-worshipping people in what is now the African nation of Botswana. ...
    The python remains a key figure in San mythology, Coulson said. According to the culture's creation myth, humans descended from the snake, which was also believed to have carved ancient dry streambeds by slithering around the hills searching for water. ..."


    A whole 70,000 years old...

    The significance of the discovery is that the archaeologist can trace said carving to a local 'creation' myth still present in the "San" peoples' mythology.

    Apparently you've never heard of the Tan-Tan "venus"? Or the Berekhat Ram figurine?

    These are the OLDEST representations of "human" figurines in the world, and undoubtedly represented a type of "mother goddess"

    Both female figurines are well over TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND years old...

    "Phase III: Later Acheulian Phase (500,000 to 100,000 BP). Around 500,000 years ago in Africa, the Near East, Europe and elsewhere, there emerges a further refinement in biface workmanship as indicated by extensive 'soft hammer' technique, increased counts of flake scars and decreased relative thickness. During this period one finds beautiful masterpieces of mirror symmetry in 3-D Euclidean projective space. Correspondingly, during the Later Acheulian the symbolic, spiritual nature of the biface is even more self-evident. For instance, at European sites there appears to be a standardization to one biface type ('handaxe') for symbolic purposes and there is convincing evidence of representational sculptures in flint and other materials. These Later Acheulian sculptures appear to have four typical symbolic themes:
    a female figure symbolizing a divine 'Giver of Life' ('Birthgiver' and perhaps also 'Death-Giver',
    a thematic drawing upon meanings previously encoded in the Middle Acheulian Abbevillian type biface
    the human head in 3-D or profile, or as a skull
    animals, especially carnivore predators and herbivore prey of the hunt
    the mirror symmetric, aesthetically pleasing biface (so-called 'handaxe') which appears to recapitulate significations of the Middle Acheulian pick and cleaver, i.e., 'spirit in its soaring and grounding qualities'; 'passageway to the spirit world'; and a divinity of this spirit
    The most securely dated examples of Later Acheulian figurative art are the Tan Tan (Morocco) figurine, gender indeterminate (Acheulian, 300-500,000 BP) and the Berekhat Ram (Israel) female figurine (Acheulian, 233,000-470,000 BP). In Northwestern Europe Later Acheulian sculptures that exemplify all four symbolic themes have been documented in publications of the journal Archaeologische Berichten (Elst, Netherlands) over the last decade or two, as well as in prior publications of unheralded pioneers such as Walther Matthis (Hamburg-Wittenbergen site, Hamburg, GR). ..."


    Bold, underline and hi-lite mine.

    I stated earlier that the earliest known representations of "deity" are goddesses, but the site I linked also mentions the possibility that the symmetrical nature of some of the tools made by the Acheulean culture may have had spiritual significance, also - though any 'spiritual' symbolism incorporated into the tools isn't as clear as the representation of a female 'deity' - symbolized by the female figurines representing "goddesses"...

    But his mention of a "spiritual" significance to the stone tools, does put me in mind of the apparent spiritual symbolism of the double-headed axes of ancient Crete.

    At any rate, as I mentioned earlier, the earliest solid examples of "divinity" are of "goddess" - and their ages of at least 233,000 years before present, totally outdistance the 3,500-to-maybe-4,000-year-old bible 'god[s]'...

  • botchtowersociety
    Apparently you've never heard of the Tan-Tan "venus"? Or the Berekhat Ram figurine?

    There is a great deal of doubt that these are of human manufacture. The oldest uncontroversial venus figurines are considerably younger than that.

  • ziddina

    Actually, the statues have been studied and confirmed to have been modified by human effort...

    "The early Stone Age figurine of Berekhat Ram (Birkat Ram), discovered in hills north of Israel, is believed to be one of the oldest pieces of prehistoric sculpture known to archeology. Although initially highly controversial - as some paleontologists preferred to see it more as a product of natural erosion rather than a deliberate human act of creativity - its status now seems more secure following the discovery of a second similar and contemporaneous figurine - the Venus of Tan-Tan, in Morocco.
    Furthermore, microscopic analysis by Alexander Marshack appears to confirm that humans were responsible for the figurine.
    Of equal significance is the fact that recently, examples of rock art from an even earlier Stone Age culture have been discovered in India - these are the petrogyphs of Bhimbetka - which supports the proposition that prehistoric art originated far earlier than previously thought. ..."

    This article addresses the nature of the evidence for symbolling behaviour among hominids living in the Near East during the Middle and Upper Pleistocene. Traditionally, Palaeolithic art and symbolling have been synonymous with the Upper Palaeolithic of Europe. The Berekhat Ram figurine, a piece of volcanic material from a Lower Palaeolithic site in Israel, described as purposely modified to produce human features, challenges the view of a late emergence of symbolic behaviour. The anthropogenic nature of these modifications, however, is controversial. We address this problem through an examination of volcanic material from the Berekhat Ram site and from other sources, and by experimentally reproducing the modifications observed on the figurine. We also analyze this material and the figurine itself through optical and SEM microscopy. Our conclusion is that this object was purposely modified by hominids. ...";jsessionid=A6C649A54F9882F6E8E99426FCE92903.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=76619 Bold and hi-lites mine...

    I'm not a simplistic "believer", dude.

    I don't spout opinions and expect others to be gullible enough to take them at face value. I back up my statements WITH FACTS or scientific information BASED ON FACTS...

  • botchtowersociety

    Well that's great. I congratulate you and I believe you.

    These seem to be stones that were naturally formed like a human, and kept for that reason. Modifications include adding some sort of coloration, or scratching to magnify the humanlike features.

    What we haven't established, however, is what they were used for, or what they symbolized.

  • NewChapter

    And we'll probably never have a good answer to any of it. It's incredibly problematic to try and unravel symbolism, and any guess is only a guess.

    Fascinating stuff.

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