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Sat Jun 30, 2012, 06:42 PM

What if we divided Religion into to two subset groups...

Hear me out, please, I may have found a way for the incessant shit-slinging to stop and the meaningful conversations to begin.


In my time at DU, it seems to me that in this forum, we argue two from two mutually exclusive POV's simultaneously. This is why it seems we are always talking past each other, instead of to each other. Let's divide the argument between these two points-of-view; the Philosophical and the Empirical.

The Empirical argument is one of proof. Here in the real, physical world, we reply on empirical proof to determine what is real and true. When one makes a claim, the one making the claim bears the responsibility of supplying empirical evidence to support the claim. This is not my assertion, this is simply just how our world works. Yes, I simplified it, but only so that my point is clear.

The Philosophical argument is about subjective ideas. One is free to propose a whole range of ideas and arguments where the ideas and/or arguments themselves are discussed, and perhaps the probability of those ideas being true. IOW, the question of what may be. Again, simplified, for only for clarity.

Perhaps by dividing Religion into these sub-groups, the OP's automatically have the benefit of letting the readers know up front, from what point of view they are coming from. For example, were I to post a story about a water/blood/oil/(insert own choice here) dripping (insert religious artifact here) in the Empirical Religion sub-group, I would expect the conversation to be about the empirical view of the topic. Responses would need to also be from the empirical realm. Yet were I to post the same story in the Philosophical Religion sub-group, I would expect the conversation to be of the philosophical implications of such an event. Responses would be free from objective, empirically based arguments, and subjective ideas/anecdotal evidence would be the norm. In both sub-groups, we all know just what it is we are talking about. The result: meaningful conversation.

By doing this, we have alleviated the usual and expected cross-talk and nonsense we have all come to know and love. I urge you to just give it a moment of thought, and see just how the next OP you post, or argument you make in response could be strengthened or weakened if constrained to an empirical or philosophical POV, for the purposes of meaningful conversation.

Or at the least, simply note in your next OP, up front, about which POV you are coming from.


Your thoughts?

On edit: If you disagree, kindly reply with why, and include an alternative that may get us past the usual nonsense.

4 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
Sounds like a good idea.
2 (50%)
No sir, I don't like it.
2 (50%)
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Disclaimer: This is an Internet poll

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Arrow 53 replies Author Time Post
Reply What if we divided Religion into to two subset groups... (Original post)
cleanhippie Jun 2012 OP
stopbush Jun 2012 #1
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #2
skepticscott Jun 2012 #3
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #4
skepticscott Jun 2012 #12
rug Jun 2012 #6
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #7
rug Jun 2012 #9
skepticscott Jun 2012 #10
rug Jun 2012 #11
skepticscott Jun 2012 #13
rug Jun 2012 #14
skepticscott Jul 2012 #18
rug Jul 2012 #19
skepticscott Jul 2012 #36
rug Jul 2012 #37
skepticscott Jul 2012 #41
rug Jul 2012 #43
skepticscott Jul 2012 #47
rug Jul 2012 #48
skepticscott Jul 2012 #49
rug Jul 2012 #50
skepticscott Jul 2012 #52
rug Jul 2012 #53
dimbear Jun 2012 #5
cleanhippie Jun 2012 #8
dimbear Jul 2012 #15
muriel_volestrangler Jul 2012 #16
cleanhippie Jul 2012 #22
humblebum Jul 2012 #17
LineLineReply .
cleanhippie Jul 2012 #23
cbayer Jul 2012 #25
humblebum Jul 2012 #32
EvolveOrConvolve Jul 2012 #20
rug Jul 2012 #27
EvolveOrConvolve Jul 2012 #28
rug Jul 2012 #33
humblebum Jul 2012 #21
cbayer Jul 2012 #24
RegieRocker Jul 2012 #26
patrice Jul 2012 #29
Speck Tater Jul 2012 #30
cleanhippie Jul 2012 #31
Speck Tater Jul 2012 #35
cbayer Jul 2012 #34
trotsky Jul 2012 #38
trotsky Jul 2012 #39
cleanhippie Jul 2012 #40
trotsky Jul 2012 #42
cleanhippie Jul 2012 #44
skepticscott Jul 2012 #45
Dorian Gray Jul 2012 #46
Ian David Jul 2012 #51

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 06:49 PM

1. Unfortunately, Philosophical POV's about religion insist that they have bearing in

the Empirical domain that we call reality.

I'm fine debating what brand of underwear Santa wears. But as soon as the Santa believers block the entrance to an abortion clinic because people aren't wearing that brand of underwear, I'm out.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 06:50 PM

2. Well, maybe only here on DU, we may be able to do it differently.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 07:57 PM

3. That's what religious safe haven groups are for

 

So that (in theory) people who are interested can discuss things like "serious theology" and not be annoyed by people pointing out that even such a philosophical discussion is laughable without good evidence that the god you're talking about exists in the first place. In this room, I see no reason to let such intellectually bankrupt nonsense pass without comment as a matter of principle.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 08:05 PM

4. You make a valid point.

Last edited Sat Jun 30, 2012, 09:10 PM - Edit history (1)

However, that is why I would like to divide the room into two subsets. That way there can be both Objective and Subjective discussions. It solves the problem for everyone. It also takes the piles of shit out the room, so that there is no shit to fling. Any flung shit would be obvious trolling.

I would hope that you can acknowledge, while you may not agree with my idea, that things will NEVER change in this group unless we do SOMETHING differently? I've grown tired of the nonsense, and wish to move beyond it. This is just one way to do that.

If you have an idea to do things differently in here, I would love to hear it.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:28 PM

12. There is no need for two "subsets"

 

to this room. Separate safe haven rooms already exist ( in theory) to accommodate what you're suggesting, but they're hardly used. In any case, to try to separate all discussions about religion into completely Objective ones and completely Subjective ones simply isn't possible.

And what exactly NEEDS to change about this room? If there is nonsense here, it's being spouted by the religionists and apologists. Give us some examples of the kinds of discussions you'd like to have with them, and then tell us why they are impossible as the room and the site are currently organized.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 08:44 PM

6. No, that's what the A/A safe haven group is for.

 

An empirical discussion about religion is a short one.

Religious beliefs are, per se, empirically unprovable. To turn a discussion about religious belief into a discussion about empirical methods is a dead end. Nevertheless, a discussion about the implications of religious belief can be fruitful, whether one believes or not.

The other purpose of discussing religion is its impact on society.

Both are good topics for the Religion Group. Empiricism, not so much.

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Response to rug (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 09:14 PM

7. Wouldn't a discussion about religions "impact on society" need empirical evidence

to support any assertion made about said impact? If so, that would be an Empirical Religion group discussion.

Your example is a good one, I think, to demonstrate why a particular POV should be included with an OP on the subject, no?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 09:26 PM

9. Sure, but not for the beliefs themselves.

 

There are many discussions about the impact of beliefs on society without a discussion of the empirical bases for the beliefs.

Those are the far more interesting, and far more important, discussions.

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Response to rug (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:19 PM

10. Sorry, baloney

 

It's only a "dead end" when religionists' (frequent) claims to have empirical evidence for their god are shown (as always) to be less than compelling. When they think they've got something, though, they're all about how science "proves" god.

Fundamentally, any "god" claimed to be capable of influencing, and being influenced by, events in the physical, material world (as most are) is in principle amenable to critical, empirical examination.

And religionists have their own safe havens on this site, as you're well aware. They just come up with lame excuses for not using them, to hide the fact that they have nothing particularly interesting to say when they're by themselves, and free of the mean ol' atheists.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:27 PM

11. Show me where anyone has claimed an empirical basis for belief.

 


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Response to rug (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:34 PM

13. So you're completely ignorant

 

of the claims for the effectiveness of intercessory prayer, used as empirical evidence to support the belief that god exists and heals the sick in response to prayer?

Sure you are. And ignorant of all the others too, I'm sure.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #13)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:45 PM

14. We're discussing this group. Do you have any empirical basis to support your claim?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 09:52 AM

18. Nice try, but just more goalpost moving

 

Your statement was: "Religious beliefs are, per se, empirically unprovable." That's a general statement, not one confined to what goes on in this room and, as demonstrated, total bullshit (I can provide more examples if you'd like to look even more foolish). And to the extent we're discussing things in this room, we're discussing what could be discussed in the future, not just what has been discussed in the past. Fail there too.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 10:04 AM

19. Yes, provide more examples.

 

It would be nice if you could present one.

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Response to rug (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 09:25 PM

36. The religious belief that

 

in the Catholic eucharist, the wine transforms into literal, actual, physical blood. That is a claim that is empirically testable.

But you know this already. So why are you making a bigger fool of yourself by pretending otherwise? (OK, yeah...silly question..sue me)

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #36)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 09:40 PM

37. No it's not a claim that is empirically testable.

 

It's a philosophical construct to explain a theological concept.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/603196/transubstantiation

http://isseicreekphilosophy.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/history-and-philosophy-of-transubstantiation-iii-descartes-on-transubstantiation/

Feel free to disagree with it but the basis for disagreement is not empiricism.

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Response to rug (Reply #37)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 10:25 AM

41. No need to disagree

 

Your own sources make my point quite nicely, that the claim and belief of TS is that the underlying physical substance (an empirically testable thing) of the wine and host have changed, even though the outward appearance has not.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #41)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 11:54 AM

43. No, you have it wrong.

 

It is all about the philosophical distinction between substance (or essence) and accident (or appearance). It explains precisely why it is not subject to empirical testing.

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Response to rug (Reply #43)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 09:07 PM

47. Just BS special pleading

 

The change is not symbolic and it is not philosophical. It is about real, actual, physical substance. Wriggle all you want, but that's the way it is.

Still waiting for you to pull the same lame shit with intercessory prayer, btw. Or with the earth being less than 10,000 years old. Very disappointing.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #47)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 09:10 PM

48. Oh, that's very persuasive.

 

I'll stick with philosophy over your wiki list of fallacies.

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Response to rug (Reply #48)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 10:00 PM

49. Still waiting for you to show that your claim isn't bullshit

 

You haven't even gotten started on my list of religious beliefs that ARE empirically testable, and there are lots and lots more. But here you are hung up on "wiki list of fallacies" whatever the freak that means. Nice try at diversion, but your claim still crashes and burns.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #49)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 12:52 PM

50. I'm still waiting for you to provide a single example of anyone here claiming religious belief to be

 

based on empiricsm.

All I see is sour, testy, defensive, failed snark.

You do realize that things do not exist just because you say so. Show the example.

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Response to rug (Reply #50)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 09:57 PM

52. Sheesh, you already tried that dodge

 

Your claim was "Religious beliefs are, per se, empirically unprovable", not "No one in this room has ever claimed that religious belief is based on empiricism". Your claim was bullshit when you made it and it still is. See my answer in #18. And your continued failure to counter multiple examples of religious beliefs that ARE subject to empirical inquiry.

Oh, wait...you HAVE seen it. And since you obviously have nothing better than dredging up failed arguments from the same thread, we're done here.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #52)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 11:46 PM

53. I must conclude that you have seen no post in this Group claiming religious beliefs are empirical.

 

Because you haven't posted a single example.

Read the OP again. It is entirely about what goes on in this Group.

And one correction: you're done.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 08:16 PM

5. I see us as just one big happy family. Schisms always end up badly. n/t

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Response to dimbear (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 09:15 PM

8. I wouldn't classify it as a schism, merely a partitioning of the discussion.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:19 AM

15. This is a marketplace of ideas. A fleamarketplace of ideas. The best fleamarkets are the biggest

ones. You can buy practically anything you want. There's lots of junk, but what you don't like just walk on by.





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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 06:00 AM

16. Please will people try to keep this discussion productive and civil

If we keep this meta-discussion inside this group (and it can't have a poll with it if it's in the Meta-Discussion Forum instead), can people not fall back into the typical Religion sub-threads?

As far as the suggestion goes, I don't think it's very helpful; I think it would confuse anyone new to the group, who would feel they're being told to 'take sides' on something that many don't understand or feel there's a dividing line involved, before they can post. And a lot of threads here are just news stories about religion, and what people (in the world)'s attitudes are. I can't see them as easily classifiable.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:06 PM

22. You may be right.

Like most ideas, mine is full of flaws.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 08:10 AM

17. Yes. There are OWOK.

 

Whether or not you agree does not change the fact that they do exist.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:07 PM

23. .

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #23)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:23 PM

25. And that, sir, is an excellent idea which I wholeheartedly support (I read your edits)

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #23)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:05 PM

32. So then you are denying that which you have already acknowledged?

 

Amazing.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 11:04 AM

20. I didn't vote

I think it's a good idea that would be nearly impossible to implement since there's so much gray area between the two.

Instead of splitting up the Religion group, we should leave it the way it is and get a new safe-haven group for believers. There was a thread in A&A that included the requisite ten votes for the new group, and now all it needs is someone to take it to admin. That person probably should be from the believer camp.

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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #20)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:47 PM

27. Or, you can get a new safe haven group for non believers whose basis for nonbelief is empiricism.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:50 PM

28. I don't understand you

Why you gotta take a shit in this thread?

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Response to EvolveOrConvolve (Reply #28)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:08 PM

33. Empiricism is not the only reason people don't believe.

 

It is certainly not the reason most people believe. Nor is it the basis for a religion group.

Your suggestion that believers seek a new group is woefully misdirected. If people want to discuss how unempirical, unscientific, and foolsh religious belief is, I'm sure a safe haven can be established for them to do so. That vew is not synonymous withh A/A.

I'll ignore your question.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 11:39 AM

21. "two points-of-view; the Philosophical and the Empirical" - a more apt division would be

 

"the empirical and the non-empirical." That such a division exists is in itself a philosophic POV.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:21 PM

24. I can't support this.

Drawing more lines is exactly the opposite of what I would like to see happen here.

I would suggest instead that if we want to see the incessant shit slinging stop, or least be reduced, members make an effort to be civil. The shit slinging generally starts with some broad brushed statements about one group or the other, generally includes inflammatory language and almost inevitably becomes a personal attack.

I wish more people would walk away from the conversation once that happened. As long as it is reinforced with attention, it will continue.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:39 PM

26. Kudos for the attempt

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:54 PM

29. What you need is somekind of starting point, not perfect, but something to orient by anyway, the one

you suggest seems like a good one.

And then starting points can also be collectively modified if/when discussion progresses to a point at which that would be beneficial TO THE DISCUSSION.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:02 PM

30. Let's split RELIGIONS into two groups.

 

Religions themselves, not the DU group:

1. Religions that are largely harmless and may have some beneficial psychological effects for some people.

2. Religions that are harmful and encourage hatred and intolerance.

Never mind what their beliefs or justifications are. Just "judge them by their fruits". And then outlaw the hateful, destructive ones.

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #30)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:04 PM

31. Hopw does one outlaw a belief?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #31)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:12 PM

35. You can't outlaw a belief.

 

But you can outlaw certain acts that tend to follow from certain beliefs. For example, the belief that other people's life has no value cannot be outlawed, but the serial killer who acts on that belief is committing acts that can be outlawed.

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #30)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:32 PM

34. I would place in the first group those that champion Democratic causes which

we all agree on.

It would be nice to be able to make that distinction and I would include atheism in there, though I realize that it is not a religion.

We have had some interesting discussions here about language and how it is currently inadequate for making these kinds of distinctions. It would be helpful, as we (Democrats, liberals, progressives) do have a common enemy in some religious groups.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #34)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 07:46 AM

38. What are the causes that "we all agree on?"

Jim Wallis, heralded regularly in this very group as one of today's notable liberal Christians, opposes marriage equality. Does this mean one can oppose marriage equality and still be in the first group? Or would Jim Wallis be excluded?

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 07:51 AM

39. I oppose any changes or splits.

Safe havens are for the philosophical warm fuzzies. This is the only place on DU where open discussion about religion (and its role/influence in politics) is allowed. I confront religious bigotry in here on a regular basis - and if people don't like that being pointed out, they are free to put me (and anyone else) on ignore or just stay out of the group.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #39)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 10:18 AM

40. I don't think I implied any "safe haven" status, merely a distinction between POV's.

I'm unsure how anyone, and there seem to be several, that inferred I was advocating for a safe-haven split. That was never my intention.

Trotsky, I'm simply just tired of the same incessant BS in here. I want to continue participating, but am finding it increasingly difficult to do so in the current environment. For me to continue to participate, something has to change. Was it Einstein that said something to the effect of "insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results". We have got to do something different. This just isn't working (for me) any longer. Would you agree?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #40)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 11:05 AM

42. I agree about the BS.

But I don't see that going away with your proposal, either. Some people are jerks and that's not going to change.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #42)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 12:15 PM

44. So how do we improve it?

I'm am not tied to my idea, it just one persons thought, nothing more.

But if you agree that something, anything, must change in here for progress to be made, let's make some changes. Let's try something different. Anything.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #44)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 06:46 PM

45. Progress towards what?

 

What do you see as the great goal and purpose of this group that is not being achieved? And what are the reasons that it is not being achieved?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #39)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 08:51 PM

46. I agree with this

There are times where I wish every thread didn't have to come down to the arguments that they do come down to, but if people want to have actual discussions with people in threads, they can choose to ignore posts from other members challenging them.

Regardless, I think that if there wasn't any contentiousness, the forum would probably be a lot more quiet.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Tue Jul 3, 2012, 12:58 PM

51. TL;DNR

Give us an executive summary?

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