Is religion universal?

Re: Is religion universal?

Postby Tigerman » 27 Sep 2011, 14:41

Got To Be Kidding wrote:Many claim that evolution is established fact, when we have yet to discover the mechanism that drives evolutionary processes.



Chris wrote:We do indeed know the mechanisms that drive evolutionary processes. They include mutation and natural selection. No faith is involved: it's based on a convergence of reams evidence from disparate fields.


Got To Be Kidding wrote:See? Faith in action!


Chris wrote:You've got to be kidding.

Or do you really think evidence is faith?


purewater wrote:But evidence and proof aren't the same thing, right? So, by acting on evidence, there's still an element of faith (trust) involved. I'm talking in general terms, not specifically related to evolutionary theory or anything.


That's correct, purewater! Evidence is used to try to prove fact. Sometimes the evidence is relevant, other times it is not. Sometimes the evidence is has probitive value, other times it does not. Personally, I believe the evidence supports a conclusion that evolution is how we got to where we are now. But, we could be interpreting the evidence wrongly. Its possible. :idunno: Unless, like the Pope, scientists are infallible! :)
As it is, we seem to regard it as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has taken one side or the other. We regard it (in other words) as a positive objection to a reasoner that he has contrived to reach the object of his reasoning. We call a man a bigot or a slave of dogma because he is a thinker who has thought thoroughly and to a definite end.

From: All Things Considered - The Error of Impartiality
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby Zla'od » 28 Sep 2011, 10:21

I would say that "religion" is a cultural construct. The etymology is Latin, but the concept seems to have arisen with Christianity. (Cicero didn't mean the same thing by religio as early Christians, who saw their tradition as distinct from the wider Hellenistic-Roman culture.) That is, one of the beliefs of Christianity is that there are these things called "religions," and that Christianity is one such religion. Other cultural and identity groups have found it difficult to separate "religious" from "non-religious" aspects.

Chinese culture abounds with phenomena which might be considered "religious," or might not: Confucianism, fortune-telling, qigong, Chinese medicine... The word "religion" conflates traditional cosmologies, social hierarchies, law and etiquette, ritual, myth, and many other things which may well be fundamental to human nature, but are not always found together in the same cultural package.
[I can't resist pasting this brilliant post by Bryan Davis, from dharmawheel.net)
Here is how I introduced [Buddhism to] my grandmother when she saw a chenrezig pendant hanging in my car:

Grandmother: Is that Buddha? Are you some kine of Buddhist? (in a sarcastic aggressive tone)
Me: No, it's a Chinese Jesus. (anything with Asian flair to her was chinese)
Grandmother: (tone now changed to happy and excited) Really? I did'nt know chinese had jesus?
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby jdsmith » 28 Sep 2011, 10:28

I would say that "religion" is a cultural construct.


Well, where ELSE would it come from?
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby Zla'od » 28 Sep 2011, 18:35

Well, it is possible to argue that it is biological, given the claim that all human societies have religion. (The problem then becomes one of defining religion.)
[I can't resist pasting this brilliant post by Bryan Davis, from dharmawheel.net)
Here is how I introduced [Buddhism to] my grandmother when she saw a chenrezig pendant hanging in my car:

Grandmother: Is that Buddha? Are you some kine of Buddhist? (in a sarcastic aggressive tone)
Me: No, it's a Chinese Jesus. (anything with Asian flair to her was chinese)
Grandmother: (tone now changed to happy and excited) Really? I did'nt know chinese had jesus?
Zla'od
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby jdsmith » 28 Sep 2011, 18:49

Zla'od wrote:Well, it is possible to argue that it is biological, given the claim that all human societies have religion. (The problem then becomes one of defining religion.)


I really think Jung went through this quite extensively and Joseph Campbell brought it right to our doorsteps.

Human beings, biologically, due to how the human brain is constructed, share similar archetypes. Human environments differ, which explains why interpretations of the archetypes differ.

When you talk about "religion" I don't know what you're talking about. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or simply the attempt of organized human civilizations to weave creation myths from their common archetypes which are automatically recognized and valued by hardwired brain function.

There will always BE religion because there will always BE the archetypes and unless human brain physiology changes so dramatically to the point where it does not try to organize and interpret these archetypes...well, people should just get used to it or get over themselves...
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby Zla'od » 28 Sep 2011, 19:11

It is not clear whether "archetypes" exist, or if so, which archetypes exist, or what sort of existence they have. In any case, this involves the symbolic or mythic aspect of religion, but there are many others (such as ritual). This is why the definition of religion is such an issue--I don't know what I'm talking about either!
[I can't resist pasting this brilliant post by Bryan Davis, from dharmawheel.net)
Here is how I introduced [Buddhism to] my grandmother when she saw a chenrezig pendant hanging in my car:

Grandmother: Is that Buddha? Are you some kine of Buddhist? (in a sarcastic aggressive tone)
Me: No, it's a Chinese Jesus. (anything with Asian flair to her was chinese)
Grandmother: (tone now changed to happy and excited) Really? I did'nt know chinese had jesus?
Zla'od
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby jdsmith » 28 Sep 2011, 19:36

Zla'od wrote:It is not clear whether "archetypes" exist, or if so, which archetypes exist, or what sort of existence they have. In any case, this involves the symbolic or mythic aspect of religion, but there are many others (such as ritual). This is why the definition of religion is such an issue--I don't know what I'm talking about either!




In modern times, researchers have been able to collect and compare the myths, legends, and religions of cultures from around the world. They have been fascinated to discover that for centuries, people who had no contact with each other at all had passed down stories whose characters and events were strikingly similar. Many great thinkers have tried to explain this phenomenon. Noted psychoanalyst Carl Jung introduced a theory that humans have a collective unconscious, which means that there is a store of information that we, as humans, somehow hold. This collection of information includes archetypes, or symbolic figures. Archetypes influence the way we think and behave, as people follow the same patterns throughout time and around the world.

Archetypal Character

Examples

The Hero

The Father Figure

The Mother Figure

The Fatal Woman or Temptress

The Witch

Monster/Villain

The Innocent

The Alter Ego or Double

The Trickster/The Fool

The Underdog


I'm pretty sure all these exist and are easily recognizable in any culture or people in the whole human history. I am DOUBLY sure they are all represented in religious texts. I agree wholly with your final statement. :lol:
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby Zla'od » 28 Sep 2011, 19:51

Of course not everyone is a Jungian.
[I can't resist pasting this brilliant post by Bryan Davis, from dharmawheel.net)
Here is how I introduced [Buddhism to] my grandmother when she saw a chenrezig pendant hanging in my car:

Grandmother: Is that Buddha? Are you some kine of Buddhist? (in a sarcastic aggressive tone)
Me: No, it's a Chinese Jesus. (anything with Asian flair to her was chinese)
Grandmother: (tone now changed to happy and excited) Really? I did'nt know chinese had jesus?
Zla'od
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby jdsmith » 28 Sep 2011, 20:06

Zla'od wrote:Of course not everyone is a Jungian.

Not according to Jung.
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Re: Is religion universal?

Postby TainanCowboy » 28 Sep 2011, 20:52

Thank G-d there is debate n this matter.
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