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PostPosted: 04 Nov 2007, 09:51 
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Over in the Newsstand, I posted a link to an anthropologist who brought up the aspects of belief in the supernatural in a culture having demonstratible functions. Witches, werewolves and many non-corporal supernatural entities have aspects of punishment for wrongdoings (equality of justice), as means to keep people from hoarding (economic equality), or to insure that they would aid each other and pay each other back in kind (group equality of labor input).

Now, the more we get into cultures where these aspects are handled increasingly by bureaucracies, it seems the need for the supernatural to level things out decreases. So, in some ways, you could look to our modern, industrial society as having the luxury of not needing belief in order to survive. This then, could also help explain the need people feel for religion in their lives, even in the face of the disproving effects of arguments that attack facts integrated into the foundational myths of the religion.

So, a question that sticks in my mind is:

Is there an inherent need for belief in people due to the inequalities (real or perceived) in human societies?


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2007, 13:15 
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Hex wrote:
...Is there an inherent need for belief in people due to the inequalities (real or perceived) in human societies?


Well, it all depends on how we are defining "belief" of the "religious" variety.

Humans are not biological thinking machines equivalent to metal and plastic computers. We have a psychological aspect. This cannot be ignored and must be dealt with somehow.

Awe of the mystery of existence will always be there. Many will need the guide and support of some organized religious or spiritual based group think. This may or may not be sad, but it is true. The individualist regarding such matters will be in a small plurality for some time, I'm thinking. All that can be hoped for is the establishment of tolerance within the law.

In my opinion, an important goal of our secular western societies is to allow religious freedom to the greatest degree - even the freedom to join an insane cult - as long as the basic laws of democratic and secular republics are enforced.

And, especially, theocratic impulses must be countered by all legal means to ensure everyone's right to the greatest degree of freedom of belief. A great part of that is to encourage ecumenicism and discourage sectarianism (of all types, religious or secular).

What more need be said?

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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2007, 13:55 
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JGL53 wrote:
Hex wrote:
...Is there an inherent need for belief in people due to the inequalities (real or perceived) in human societies?


Well, it all depends on how we are defining "belief" of the "religious" variety.


Okay, that's a fair enough question. I was looking to apply this to not just 'religious' stuff, but any supernatural 'judicial' entity or body thereof. Is it something where we all 'need' to feel that those who get away with the stuff we daren't do because we fear some retribution will 'get theirs' later on?

JGL53 wrote:
In my opinion, an important goal of our secular western societies is to allow religious freedom to the greatest degree - even the freedom to join an insane cult - as long as the basic laws of democratic and secular republics are enforced.

And, especially, theocratic impulses must be countered by all legal means to ensure everyone's right to the greatest degree of freedom of belief. A great part of that is to encourage ecumenicism and discourage sectarianism (of all types, religious or secular).

What more need be said?


Well, where I had meant to point me question was more in the 'do inequalities (real/perceived) drive a need for belief', I can see where you're headed here. And I agree wholeheartedly. I think the Libertarian catchphrase of 'Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose' really -should- be applied to the church/state separation that the US -should- have (I want my liquor stores open all week long, and I want to be able to see my bottle of liquor when I travel to a bar in Utah!). In that way, you're free to practice your religion however you see fit until it interferes with someone elses' rights. Secular laws shouldn't advocate one particular sacred actions over another group's. :thumbleft:


But, that said, any views on if the inequalities between people make the belief important?


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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2007, 22:08 
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Belief is a comforting factor. It provides a psychological security blanket for those times when we cannot, may not, or will not be soothed by the evidence and facts that are before us. It provides us with a way to reconcile our own "selfish" natures to the reality that we face, as well as reconciling us to the unknown.

This belief need not be a "religious" matter, though any system of belief might be described as religious, depending on one's point of view.

Belief is a necessary function of understanding, coping, or accepting, but I do not see it as a function (directly) of inequality. The need to understand, cope, or accept inequality is what provides an inherent need for belief, not the "fact" of inequality or a perception of it.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2007, 10:52 
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I would tend to agree that belief is not specifically caused by perceived inequalities, but I would not dismiss that cause -- only suggest that it is a special case of the larger cause. And the larger cause seems to be that holding beliefs is necessary for quick and decisive actions, with quick and decisive actions being in turn a valuable skill for survival. (False beliefs obviously can lead to the wrong actions, so I'm not giving religion a free ticket here.) So perceived inequalities are a threat, and belief presents as a capacity to mitigate that threat, though whether or not it does so successfully is always contingent.

Also, I think that many secular-minded people (like myself, to a certain degree) tend to believe that they don't hold beliefs in the same way that the religious do. Like with accents, it's everyone else that has one, not me.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2007, 18:36 
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So it would be accurate then to say that all religion is belief, but not all belief is religion? I can live with that.

Society also plays the role of providing a safety blanket for individuals within it to experiment with new belief systems to see if they are workable. A cult that develops a belief system that allows its members to flourish can be considered a successful "belief" system, where a cult that dies out is one that was unsuccessful.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2007, 22:25 
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jess drags out the old m-w again...

Quote:
Main Entry: re·li·gion
Pronunciation: \ri-ˈli-jən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back — more at rely
Date: 13th century
1 a: the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1): the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
— re·li·gion·less adjective


Quote:
Main Entry: be·lief
Pronunciation: \bə-ˈlēf\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English beleave, probably alteration of Old English gelēafa, from ge-, associative prefix + lēafa; akin to Old English lȳfan — more at believe
Date: 12th century
1: a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2: something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3: conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence


Quote:
Main Entry: 1faith
Pronunciation: \ˈfāth\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural faiths \ˈfāths, sometimes ˈfāthz\
Etymology: Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust — more at bide
Date: 13th century
1 a: allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one's promises (2): sincerity of intentions
2 a (1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2): belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1): firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>


All three of these seem to imply an agreement of some sort of 'group'. hmmm...

I would think that religions are more ethics and beliefs are more morals--- but of course, that could open a new can of worms. Religions seem to be a coalesing of beliefs into a structure that can be controlled.

Quote:
all religion is belief, but not all belief is religion
is certainly right. I can see no potential arguement for that at all.


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PostPosted: 06 Oct 2008, 06:31 
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Lurking Goth Chic Photo Show?


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PostPosted: 06 Oct 2008, 10:12 
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HavenMage wrote:
Lurking Goth Chic Photo Show?


Err ... Deleted as spam ... Oops ... :dspam:

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 Post subject: Okay, you get the point.
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2009, 06:26 
:dspam:


Last edited by Hex on 07 Jan 2009, 09:54, edited 1 time in total.
WoWgold spam removal ...


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2009, 06:49 
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love4life1 wrote:

I can't believe that people will pay real money to get game money. Sure you need money in game to get some things done but really :roll:

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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2009, 08:03 
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Tao of Pooh wrote:
love4life1 wrote:

I can't believe that people will pay real money to get game money. Sure you need money in game to get some things done but really :roll:


In japan they have entire businesses set up around doing this.


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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2009, 10:05 
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nygreenguy wrote:
Tao of Pooh wrote:
love4life1 wrote:

I can't believe that people will pay real money to get game money. Sure you need money in game to get some things done but really :roll:


In japan they have entire businesses set up around doing this.

They also gamble for ball bearings. They're weird.

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PostPosted: 17 Jan 2009, 15:14 
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Tao of Pooh wrote:
nygreenguy wrote:
Tao of Pooh wrote:
love4life1 wrote:

I can't believe that people will pay real money to get game money. Sure you need money in game to get some things done but really :roll:


In japan they have entire businesses set up around doing this.

They also gamble for ball bearings. They're weird.


This really confused me, but then I remembered pachinko which is what you must mean.
I think they turn in the ball bearings for money when they are finished playing.

That is I believe this is true, which puts this thread back on topic.
:cool:


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PostPosted: 17 Jan 2009, 19:35 
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Taliesin wrote:
That is I believe this is true, which puts this thread back on topic.
:cool:

Thanks! :thumbright:

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