Cicatrix - ur right. Atheism is a form of religion (complete with it's set of beliefs that must be taken on faith), just like no pattern is a pattern.
Rationalism and religion
Cicatrix opines: " We are what our minds/brains perceive the world to be. What's rational to one person may be totally irrational to someone else, or even to that same person when their perception of the world and their environment changes due to new experiences. Kind of "I think, therefore, I am."
This is all well and good except for ignoring one thing which is the standard that trumps all opinion: Reality.
The objective thinker endeavoring to apply rational standards uses Reality as the referent.
You say 'What our minds/brains perceive the world to be is what we ARE' Oh? The Christian Scientist would claim we are insubstantial spirits who "imagine" we are flesh. The Scientologist would claim we are Thetans (all-powerful spirits) trapped in meat bodies and implanted with the false engram (a kind of programming) that we are ONLY flesh.
Would you say both of these persons could stand up against the trump card of reality?
The test of our mere opinions comes when the rubber meets the road.
Several people who have posted seem unable to disentangle OPINION from the REAL WORLD as if there is no reality; only perception of reality.
You know who I blame for this? Immanuel Kant who poisoned the well of philosophy along with his co-conspirator Nietzche. They are mystics. As I have said before, in order to control you the mystic has to first detach your alarm system which is your rational mind.
If you can be convinced you cannot trust your own perceptions and your own rational mind you are left defenseless to any wild and wooly claim or colorful story or feel-good scenario by any shyster or emissary of God's wild kingdom.
The Philosophical community at large has bought the bill of goods and passed it on to generations of college students who parrot the company line. It filters into every venue of society.
The world's greatest crackpot right now is Deepak Chopra. Before him it was Fritjof Kapra. Physicists are not philosophers or theologians. When anybody strays outside their area of expertise they are as susceptible to crackpottery as C.T. Russell when he strayed outside of men's clothing businesses and found the Great Pyramid of Egypt!
ATHEISM A RELIGION?
That is trying too hard, isn't it? Don't we have to do violence to the term, religion, to make this assertion work? Why go so generic just to make a point. Really!
Definitions of religion on the Web:
a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality"
institution to express belief in a divine power; "he was raised in the Baptist religion"; "a member of his own faith contradicted him"
a subjective relationship to certain metaphysical, extramundane factors. A kind of experience accorded the highest value, regardless of its contents. The essence is the person's relationship to God or salvation. Jung called them psychotherapeutic systems and believed they contained, offered a gradiant for, and transformed instinctual (hence asceticism), nonpersonal energies, giving people a cultural counterpole to blind instinct, help through difficult transitional stages, and a sense of meaning. They also help separate the growing person from his parents. For Jung, the unconscious had a religious function, and religion rests on an instinctive basis. Different from creeds, which are codified and dogmatized versions of a religious experience. Creeds usually say they have THE truth and are a collective belief. For Jung, no contradiction existed between faith and knowledge because science has nothing to say about metaphysical events, and beliefs are psychological facts that need no proof.
Generally a belief in a deity and practice of worship, action, and/or thought related to that deity. Loosely, any specific system of code of ethics, values, and belief.
belief in supernatural or divine power that invites expression in conduct and often involving ethics and a philosophy (or a specific system of such belief and conduct)
The adoration and service of God as expressed in divine worship and in daily life. Religion is concerned with all of the relations existing between God and human beings, and between humans themselves because of the central significance of God. Objectively considered, religion consists of a body of truth which is believed, a code of morality for the guidance of conduct, and a form of divine worship. Subjectively, it is a person?s total response, theoretically and practically, to the demands of faith; it is living faith, personal engagement, self-commitment to God. Thus, by creed, code and cult, a person orders and directs his or her life in reference to God and, through what the love and service of God implies, to all people and all things.
It seems obvious that reason and belief are not in general mutually exclusive, because so many of the things we believe are based on reasoning processes of some sort, skeptics and believers alike. In fact everyone is reasoning most of the time, what matters is the premises, are they valid or not. JWs have a very strong logical system but it's based on absurd premises.
I don't think, however, that reason and religious belief are necessarily mutually exclusive. If you have a particular experience, it's perfectly reasonable to base your beliefs on it. It's not reasonable to expect everyone else to share your beliefs. Skeptics and believers both do this. Skeptics say "I've never experienced god, so he must not exist, and you're an idiot if you think he does." That's no different than the believer who says "I experienced god and so he must exist and you're an idiot if you think he doesn't".
Myauntfanny says: "It seems obvious that reason and belief are not in general mutually exclusive"
The __method__reason employs is LOGIC--and logic is the art of NON-CONTRADICTORY measurement.
REASON is the only means of grasping reality and of acquiring knowledge. The rejection of reason leads to men acting REGARDLESS of the facts of reality.
BELIEF is blind acceptance of propositions without regard to evidence.
Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]
REASON and BELIEF not only are mutually exclusive; they don't even stand in the same room.
What religious people use when they analyze things under the mystical spell of "belief" is the standard of FAKE REALITY.
See above, Logic is the art of non-contradictory measurement. Fake Reality allows contradictory measurement and abolishes Logic.
Eastern Mysticism embraces contradiction, for example. The symbol of the Tao is a circle with a couple of swirls that represent yin and yang. The East didn't have the benefit of Aristotle's law of the excluded middle. They missed out on logic. The civilization fell behind the west as a direct result of failure to apply rational and logical reasoning to their everyday practical lives.
There is no better example of the mutually exclusive nature of Reason and Belief.
Terry, Well, this seems to be one of your favorite subjects.
Until a person who is swallowed up by religion realizes that the Boogeyman in the closet is just an old hat and raincoat--they won't stop smothering themselves under the blankets of religious "protectionism".
I love it. You are absolutely right, about some but not all religion. Since you are here in the US, especially Texas, I understand your position. The noisy religions here in the South are fundamentalist and DO rely on and promote Fear. (That is what our famous Chistian, Texan President is doing) However, I know for a fact that many religious people seek love and connection through religion and despise the fear hounds. These folks deserve a little credit. Jst2laws
JST2LAWS says: The noisy religions here in the South are fundamentalist and DO rely on and promote Fear. (That is what our famous Chistian, Texan President is doing) However, I know for a fact that many religious people seek love and connection through religion and despise the fear hounds. These folks deserve a little credit. Jst2laws _____________________________________________________________________________________ Okay....religion as a means to an end of meeting nice people.....sounds harmless. But, remember, the fish who grabs the hook is aiming at the worm!
Very interesting thoughts.
I'll try to add some, confuse as they may be.
Rationality is multiple.
Yet all rationalities share a common use of language, so they can always communicate with each other, in spite of mistranslations and misunderstandings.
There is a world of difference between the Greek logos and its Latin "equivalent" ratio. If I try to connect them to the Lacanian paradigm, the former points to our symbolical function and the way it works (logic). The latter points to our imaginary assessment of reality. The former is unique and universal in the human sphere. The latter is not. I do not share the common ratio of JWs, but I do share their logos for there is but one.
Irrationality cannot stand as a permanent alternative to rationality. Even the mystics rationalize their experience by telling it afterwards; they feel the need to apologize or account for it. It may alter their ratio, but the altered ratio is still a ratio (or, the altered worldview is still a worldview, with all the inner consistency this implies). But the same logos flows upstream and downstream of the experience. Rationalities and presuppositions are what changes.
I feel what we usually call "irrationality" plays a very important, albeit provisional and transitory, role. For instance when one's rationality comes to a crisis, i.e. when our presuppositions change. As a JW I would have sworn that I had been rationally convinced of the three presuppositions to my religious rationality. But now I know this was not the case. I chose to believe because I chose to believe. And I later chose to disbelieve, or believe something else, because I chose so.
I need the light of day. But I also need the darkness of night and its "irrational" dreams (which still belong to language, even though they don't seem so). Both motivate my actions, even if the daylight falsely claims everything.
Okay....religion as a means to an end of meeting nice people.....sounds harmless. But, remember, the fish who grabs the hook is aiming at the worm!
And sometimes, just as there is no spoon, there is no hook...
Immanuel Kant who poisoned the well of philosophy along with his co-conspirator Nietzche.
You'll have to tell me someday how Nietzsche is Kant's co-conspirator. The charge you level at both is exactly the one Nietzsche levels at Kant as far as I remember.