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Religion and contradictions.

 
 
Cyracuz
 
Reply Sun 13 Oct, 2013 04:34 pm
Religion is a big part of human life.

And yet, I do not know if there exists one single religion that is entirely free of contraditions.

Can we therefore conclude that a religion that has no contradictions is not a succesful religion, and that contradictions are a vital part of what makes religion work?

And if we can, can we not also assume that the purpose of religion is not to give answers, but to create questions?
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Oct, 2013 06:20 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
Can we therefore conclude that a religion that has no contradictions is not a successful religion, and that contradictions are a vital part of what makes religion work?

I don't think contradictions are a necessary part of religions. I think they are just an accidental occurrence of mythologies which evolve over time and across various cultures.

But I would have to hear some examples of what you call "contradictions" before I could really answer this.

Cyracuz wrote:
And if we can, can we not also assume that the purpose of religion is not to give answers, but to create questions?

Religions don't give answers because they don't have answers, but I don't think it's their intended purpose to create questions, just the only option they've got; to try to appear philosophically insightful by turning the questions back on the questioner. We see this same practice played out on the "small" stage every day (and here on A2K).

fresco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2013 12:01 am
@Cyracuz,
"Logic" is a sub-area of semantics not a substate for it, and what we call "contradictions" have been said to be inevitable in all systems of propositions, religious or otherwise, by some philosophers of language (see Derrida's aporia for example). It seems unlikely then that the issue of contradiction has any substantive import in a discussion of the psychological functioning of religion.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Oct, 2013 12:42 am
I submit that one is a fool to overlook contradictions in his faith. How, for example, does one reconcile the perception of the Hebrew God as cruel with scriptural pronouncements that "God is love"?

Yet I believe it is possible to realize the validity of Jesus' statement recorded at John 18:37 "I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth"

You may have to work at it, though.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2013 05:56 am
I've been trying to formulate a response that would keep this thread going, but rosborne and fresco make too good arguments. Another one bites the dust. Smile
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2013 09:19 am
@Cyracuz,
Smile
Try working on one function of religion for some may be to resolve contradictions by transcending them. (I'm thinking Schopenhauer may have had something to say along these lines).
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2013 12:07 pm
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
And yet, I do not know if there exists one single religion that is entirely free of contraditions.

Cyr, a religion posing no contradictions is apodictical existential pantheism. One of its tenets that creation, very controversial and paradoxical, is readily dispatched by the assertion that She has always existed in one form or another, forever

Even Her very existence, then, is reduced to mere semantics

Quote:
Can we therefore conclude that a religion that has no contradictions is not a succesful religion
No but of course that's my own intuition

Quote:
And if we can, can we not also assume that the purpose of religion is not to give answers, but to create questions?
One purpose maybe
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2013 01:19 pm
Apparently my thoughts have been dismissed at face value.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2013 01:36 pm
@neologist,
Quote:
Apparently my thoughts have been dismissed at face value.
Not by me

I hope
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Oct, 2013 01:45 pm
@rosborne979,
Quote:
But I would have to hear some examples of what you call "contradictions" before I could really answer this.
I second this motion
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 07:25 am
@dalehileman,
I've been thinking about examples of contradictions. It seems that those who find contradictions in religion are generally those who seek to find logical flaws to validate their skepticism.

One rather humorous "contradiction" is this: "If god created the sun on the fourth day, how could four days have passed?" It is fairly easy to understand the thinking, since the sun is what we have to measure days, and there would be no days and nights without it. This reveals something, but it is not something about god or creation. It's something about language and how we think..
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 09:41 am
@Cyracuz,
Actually, if you read the verses closely, you will note that the "heavens and earth were created before the first day. So the description of six creative days must have to do with the appearance of things from the perspective of earth. Keeping in mind the assumed density of the atmosphere at that time, the account does not seem unreasonable.

BTW, no one can say for sure how long each of the six creative "days" were, or even if they were of equal length; but it should be noted that the seventh day has not yet ended. So billions of years may have transpired.
Cyracuz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 11:01 am
@neologist,
I think the biblical creation story is a sort of "summary" of what must have been, as seen through human eyes.
From the perspective of a human being, all things have a beginning, and so it is sensible to ask about the beginning of the world.
So the story assumes two things: Things that are now haven't always been. And there was a time when none of it existed.
So we try to picture this nothingness, and how it might come to be filled with ourselves and all the things we see around us. Given the cultural, environmental and biological conditions we exist under, a story about what might have taken place during the creation of the universe is bound to have a ring of truth, even if it comes only from addressing the questions we will inevitably have as listeners, giving answers that breathe life into the story, making us feel that it answers questions we have about reality.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 11:10 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

Actually, if you read the verses closely, you will note that the "heavens and earth were created before the first day. So the description of six creative days must have to do with the appearance of things from the perspective of earth. Keeping in mind the assumed density of the atmosphere at that time, the account does not seem unreasonable.

Density of the atmosphere at what time? 4.3billion years ago, or 6000 years ago?

I don't see how you can get from the physical reality of the formation of the earth and solar system to the biblical account without stretching the timeline and sequence of the biblical account so far out of shape that it's unrecognizable.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 11:23 am
@Cyracuz,
Lots of "contradictions" around...and as has been noted, not only in religions.

One of the thoughts that came to my mind in that regard was directed at the words "...more perfect union..." in the preamble to the Constitution.

That is essentially a contradiction.

Religions do seem to have more than their fair share, though.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 11:32 am
@rosborne979,
neologist wrote:
Actually, if you read the verses closely, you will note that the "heavens and earth were created before the first day. So the description of six creative days must have to do with the appearance of things from the perspective of earth. Keeping in mind the assumed density of the atmosphere at that time, the account does not seem unreasonable.
rosborne979 wrote:
Density of the atmosphere at what time? 4.3billion years ago, or 6000 years ago?

I don't see how you can get from the physical reality of the formation of the earth and solar system to the biblical account without stretching the timeline and sequence of the biblical account so far out of shape that it's unrecognizable.
I don't know where you got the 6000 year figure, other than the Biblical history of man goes back only about 6000 years. Adam was created in the sixth day and the seventh has not ended. The total creative period certainly lasted much longer.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 11:34 am
@Frank Apisa,
What would you have thought of the founding fathers having used the phrase "better union"?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 11:47 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:

What would you have thought of the founding fathers having used the phrase "better union"?



A “better Union” seems to me to be an improvement over “a more perfect Union”…but the entire of the “in order to” seems stilted, almost like it is there “just because.”

The founders intended to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty…and could have used those intentions alone as the resons for establishing the Constitution.

Fact is, I really have no problem with “…in order to form a more perfect union.” It has a nice ring to it. I merely mentioned the passage as part of the general discussion of “contradictions”…which I see (as others do) as a general problem rather than a problem specific to religion.

neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 12:31 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I was going to say "mo better" , but thought against it

Until now Very Happy
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Oct, 2013 12:59 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyr #…..983 well put, rings somewhat of my assertion about intuition
0 Replies
 
 

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