Isaiah Berlin on Religion

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,1547854,00.html

    Clear, sensible, and above all rational.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    I believe that life has meaning. Why else would it be so important to me?

    However, to channel that near-universal impulse into organised religion is not my kind of thing... and I reserve the highest contempt for those who attempt to proselytise and berate others into joining their movements.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #3

    -- Jane Roberts, The Nature of the Psyche

    (kinda my view on these matters)
     
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #4
    I rarely find people I'm that in agreement with. That's almost entirely my own views on religion (or should I say Life, Universe and Everything). :)

    Almost needless to say I appreciated the article... ;)
     
  5. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #5
    I need to re-read it, but I'll note that I tripped over one of the very first sentences in the piece:
    Who are these "most people" that the author is referring to? I don't accept his claim that most people believe that religion is nonsense. I know it's poor form for me to make this claim without having a link to back it up, but isn't there a survey every year or so that indicates that a majority of people believe in a god of some kind?
     
  6. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    I tend to agree that that particular sentence is out of place. As for the rest, I tend to agree, period.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    Perhaps he is taking this question from a British perspective, I don't know. I did think this assertion was a bit over the top, especially given the number of people in the world who are devoted to their religions. I wonder, though, whether "belief in God" and "religion" should be seen as one in the same. The major organized religions do not after all have a monopoly on faith and sprituality, despite what they may advertise.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    Justin Cartwright said it, I believe it, and that settles it. ;)
     
  9. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    I like that one. The "will to become" has always seemed a more meaningful concept than an old white bloke with a beard.
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    While I've never cared much for organized religion, I've always felt there's more to life than as seen by Berlin. His views, and Cartwright's, seem to me to make for a rather drab world. Boring, if nothing else.

    From what I've seen of individuals who reject religion, their big gripe is against the requirement of self-control, of self-discipline. I've noted a rather spoiled-brat view of "Nobody tells me what to do, how to live!" I'm not talking about independent thinking, here, but about little-child behavior.

    For all the talk about secular ability to set up notions of right and wrong, I think that since all our moral notions derive in one way or another from one or more religions, it's a bit arrogant to pretend a secularist is starting from scratch. Like it or not, he's building on religious ideas. That doesn't mean any god exists, of course...God need not exist in order that there be a religion built around Him or Her or It.

    But Gaia gave us barley and malt and corn and hops and grapes, so pop a top and give thanks!

    :D, 'Rat
     
  11. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    Another view would be that if you need an old white bloke with a beard to keep you on the strait and narrow, you should learn to navigate on your own. Some ethics are based solely on philosophy.
    I'll drink to that!
    :D
     
  12. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #12
    Verily, verily he hath said unto thee:
    "Religion is the opiate of the masses."
    Karl Marx
    "Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form."
    Karl Marx http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Karl_Marx/ That the previously quoted person is Groucho Marx is of little significance.
    X
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    I would like religion so much more if it wasn't constantly being used against others. But it is, so I'll have nothing to do with it.
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #14
    Where is it required that the universe be exciting?

    You need to meet more people then. Most I know who reject religion are very well behaved, thoughtful people. Not childish at all. In fact, most are so polite that they will not say anything when a religious person assumes they believe in god incorrectly.

    See here's the problem with that statement: If I don't believe in a god than I think the religious folk got their morality from the secular before the secular re-emerged and started talking about a morality without god. So like it or not, the religious folk are not starting from scratch either, they are all part of the continuum of human knowledge.

    I do. Routinely. :)
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    How often has somebody blown past you on the freeway at 20 MPH over the speed limit, and as they go by, you see that fish logo on the back of the car? I call them "speeders for Jesus." God gives them permission to ignore secular rules, I guess. They're answerable only to a higher power.

    So the idea that religion somehow imparts morality and ethics, let alone is its only source, is a bit of a laugher in my experience. As often as not, faith seems to gives people what they view as an unlimited license to behave in whatever way they like, even antisocially. They're forgiven in advance, right?
     
  16. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    The bible is clear about following laws...

    Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be in subjection to rulers, to authorities,to be obedient, to be ready unto every good work.

    Deuteronomy 16:18-19 Judges and officers shalt thou make in all the land... And they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. Though shall not wrest justice: thou shall not respect persons...

    Romans 13:1 Let every man be in subjection to higher powers.... For rulers are not a terror to good work, but to evil. And if thou doest good you have no reason to fear. Do that which is good and you shall have praise from the same power.

    Someone can easily contend that a so-called Christian who doesn't obey the law is also not following Christ.

    Although a Christian is called to disobey the law if it is contrary to God's law.
    Acts 5:27-29 (After being told not to teach about Jesus) Peter said " We must obey God not men"
     
  17. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #17
    [At 23:00h on a Saturday night, a speeding vehicle skids in to a corner, fishtails, overturns and crashes in to a concrete wall. A drunk from across the street witnesses the accident. He staggers over to the overturned car and, seeing the driver crawling out from the wreckage, asks:]
    Drunk - "Are you alright?"
    Driver - "Yes, the Lord was with me."
    Drunk - "Well you better let'm come walk with me. He's not safe driving around with you."
    X
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I didn't say that religion imparts morality. For all I know, the city council folks in New London are regular churchgoers.

    To rephrase, the ideas we have today about morality and ethics and such were first talked about in religious discussions, thousands of years ago. It may have been that there were people around back then who were completely secular, but somebody's gonna have to put a name to the tribe...

    Anybody know of writings from thousands of years back which denied the existence of any gods?

    So: Anybody can believe that his ideas as to proper behavior derive from a secular philosophy, but I don't see how those ideas can be all new and "untouched by religious hands".

    :), 'Rat
     
  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Clearly then freeway speed limits are in conflict with God's law. You learn something new every day.
     
  20. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #20
    Not if you buy that 'God's law' changes when crossing the border from Kansas to Colorado. And of course there's always Nevada where atheists can put the pedal to the metal and keep up with the "honk if you love Jesus" people. Isn't that a kind of relativity where it depends on who is your relative?
    X
     
  21. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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    #21
    They (along with their authors) were likely burned by godly folk :(
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
  23. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Which like the new anti Tobacco commercials say "would be funny if it wasn't true."

    Whether one tends to believe in God or not really comes down to a personal choice.
    I for one find it horrifying what many organized religions have done over the centuries.
    I also think that power is the main corrupting influence of organized religion.
    Remove the power structure and most religions at their base teachings teach compassion and respect for your fellow human beings.

    Many people on these boards criticize Christians very harshly. I can understand this because terrible atrocities have " been performed in the name of Christ" but I wonder how a so-called Christian can forget to turn the other cheek. How they can forget that if their brother offends them to forgive him 7 times 70. How they can forget that their Savior forgave the Woman caught in adultery ( Which was punishable by death under the law at the time) etc. etc.

    James 1:22-27 Be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves........If any man thinketh himself religious, while he bridles not his tongue but decieves his heart his religion is in vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God is this , to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

    In other words be like the good Samaritan and not like the Pharisee or the Priest.

    I will leave with this thought to the so-called Christian.
    Mathew 7:18-22 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit....... Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
     
  24. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Again

    Mathew 7:18-22 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit....... Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
     
  25. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #25
    Looking in disbelief (my apologies to all believers) at this video clip and quote, I couldn't help but think of Howard Cosell's infamous and insensitive remark on a national network which brought about his early retirement. There are and will be "Christian Right Wingers" who will "amen" this comment to the hilt and scamper to find Chapter and Verse to substantiate its mentality. Another day, another quote from another religious leader which leaves me numb.
    X
     

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