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Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...

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  • The Sierants
    Dear Ray: Please clarify what you mean by the necessity of religion. Do you mean the belief in a god, or in organized religion? Some would argue that our
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
      Dear Ray:

      Please clarify what you mean by the necessity of religion. Do you mean the
      belief in a god, or in organized religion? Some would argue that our belief
      in science has become a religion. My opinion is that there is a need for
      religion, but on a more personal and individual level. On a lighter note,
      my relationship with my God is a dysfunctional one, based on love and
      respect...we just argue all the time.

      --Peter Sierant
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Ray Zur" <cyberg0th@...>
      To: <existlist@egroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:02 PM
      Subject: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...


      > I'd like to start a debate as to whether religion is actually a necessity
      at
      > this point in human evolution...opinions?
      > -Jason
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    • The Sierants
      Another thought about religion... If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics and morality of any kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
        Another thought about religion...
        If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics and morality of any
        kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it be based on? Many
        believe now in total hedonism, in satisfying the individual needs without
        conscience. This will only lead to chaos and extreme selfishness in my
        opinion, where everyone is right and everyone would be wrong at the same
        time. So there is a foundation for religion to help teach the less
        cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the value of good and evil,
        right and wrong.

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <Beth302002@...>
        To: <existlist@egroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:31 PM
        Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...


        > In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:03:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        > cyberg0th@... writes:
        >
        > > I'd like to start a debate as to whether religion is actually a
        necessity
        > at
        > > this point in human evolution...opinions?
        > > -Jason
        >
        > We seem to be letting it go. don't we? Church attendance is getting
        smaller
        > and smaller. Children are not being taught the the rudimentary ideas of
        God
        > and Jesus and faith. Human evolution.....hmmmmm....I would say it is not
        a
        > necessity.
        >
        > I have questions. What has replaced God in our lives? Why is religion no
        > longer a necessity? What is going to happen to those of us to whom it is
        not
        > a necessity any more? Do we stop evolving? Do we evolve higher by taking
        > responsibility for our own growth, ideas, feelings, what we give back to
        > society without the restrictions of the church and the idea of right and
        > wrong? Is it us now, and not God? Is God each one of us...and I don't
        mean
        > IN each one of us, I mean is each one of us God? Good topic Jason.
        >
        > Just an opinion.
        >
        > Beth
        >
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        > >From The Exist List...
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      • Beth302002@aol.com
        In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:40:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I agree, but is religion doing that now? It s a case of preaching to the choir. Those that
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
          In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:40:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
          sierant@... writes:

          > So there is a foundation for religion to help teach the less
          > cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the value of good and evil,
          > right and wrong.
          >
          I agree, but is religion doing that now? It's a case of preaching to the
          choir. Those that go to church don't need the teaching because it is already
          part of their lives. The people who need the teaching...the children who
          need something rock solid in their fragmented lives, are not being reached.
          Jesus or Bugs Bunny...If you were 6,7,8 which would you pick?

          You have to know about something in order to take advantage of it, and too
          few churches are reaching out to the community. I know of two where I live,
          and I am proud of them, but I live in a big city...only two? It also
          snowballs...if your parents did not go to church, or at least did not send
          you to Sunday school, how can you teach your children anything?

          My basis for opinions here is that I am a preacher's daughter, and I was for
          several years, from age 16 to 26, a church organist. The people are not
          reaching out to the church for teaching about God, and the church is not
          reaching the people. The last church that I played in, sent out 8,000
          pamphlets, followed up by phone calls and visits, inviting people in the
          surrounding neighborhoods to come to church. Only 2 out of 8,000 responded.
          My vote is still that organized religion is perceived to be not needed
          anymore, morals are breaking down, christian education is not getting where
          it needs to get.

          I have been on this tirade for months now, I guess since the times of the
          first school shootings. Intellectually or not, existentially or not,
          religiously or not, we are not caring for our childrens souls. And it is
          going to bite us some day soon, worse than it already has.

          And I want to say that I am very aware of the parents that care, and try, and
          teach, and love. I just wish there were more of you. Thanks for my turn on
          the soapbox...shutting up now to listen to others. :o)

          Beth
        • Jared Frailey
          You should live your life the way that you want others to live. If your opinions are right, people should be drawn to them on their merits, and not because
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
            You should live your life the way that you want others
            to live. If your opinions are right, people should be
            drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
            "should" or "ought" to do or think something. To me
            morality and ethics are a way for society to say you
            "should" do this, but you "shouldn't" do that.

            The ideas of morality and ethics need to be
            demystified. A group of individuals came up with our
            current morality, therefore it has no more meaning
            than an opinion.

            One point you mentioned was that religion may be
            needed to teach good and evil, or right and wrong, to
            the uneducated. In other words, the ignorant masses
            should be subjected to a group of individuals ideas on
            right and wrong? If left to their own devices, the
            uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
            and wrong. Remove the brainwashing of man by society,
            government, and religion, and you will have a new
            species of man able to decide what is "right" for
            himself, and what is "wrong."

            You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
            child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
            marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons, etc...
            Once I realized that the sources of my information
            were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
            society without gods, religions, and governments as a
            society with man thinking for himself.

            I'm done rambling,
            Jared



            -----Original Message-----
            From: The Sierants <sierant@...>
            To: existlist@egroups.com <existlist@egroups.com>
            Date: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:41 PM
            Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
            necessity of God...


            Another thought about religion...
            If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics
            and morality of any
            kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it
            be based on? Many
            believe now in total hedonism, in satisfying the
            individual needs without
            conscience. This will only lead to chaos and extreme
            selfishness in my
            opinion, where everyone is right and everyone would be
            wrong at the same
            time. So there is a foundation for religion to help
            teach the less
            cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the
            value of good and evil,
            right and wrong.
          • Yana Youhana
            ... Question: What do you mean by the above statement? This is a world of acheivments, (dogy dog world), if one wants to live his/her life the way she/he
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
              >From: Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...>
              >Reply-To: existlist@egroups.com
              >To: existlist@egroups.com
              >Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...
              >Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 23:29:36 -0700 (PDT)
              >
              >You should live your life the way that you want others
              >to live.
              Question: What do you mean by the above statement?
              This is a world of acheivments, (dogy dog world), if
              one wants to live his/her life the way she/he wanted to
              live, they would be loosers!!!!




              If your opinions are right, people should be
              >drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
              >"should" or "ought" to do or think something.
              I don't think you live anywhere near Silicon Valley
              , SF or NY?

              >
              >One point you mentioned was that religion may be
              >needed to teach good and evil, or right and wrong, to
              >the uneducated. In other words, the ignorant masses
              >should be subjected to a group of individuals ideas on
              >right and wrong? If left to their own devices, the
              >uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
              >and wrong. Remove the brainwashing of man by society,
              >government, and religion, and you will have a new
              >species of man able to decide what is "right" for
              >himself, and what is "wrong."
              That sounds better.




              >
              >You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
              >child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
              >marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons, etc...
              > Once I realized that the sources of my information
              >were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
              >society without gods, religions, and governments as a
              >society with man thinking for himself.
              >
              >I'm done rambling,
              >Jared
              >
              >
              >
              >-----Original Message-----
              >From: The Sierants <sierant@...>
              >To: existlist@egroups.com <existlist@egroups.com>
              >Date: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:41 PM
              >Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
              >necessity of God...
              >
              >
              >Another thought about religion...
              >If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics
              >and morality of any
              >kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it
              >be based on? Many
              >believe now in total hedonism, in satisfying the
              >individual needs without
              >conscience. This will only lead to chaos and extreme
              >selfishness in my
              >opinion, where everyone is right and everyone would be
              >wrong at the same
              >time. So there is a foundation for religion to help
              >teach the less
              >cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the
              >value of good and evil,
              >right and wrong.
              >

              ________________________________________________________________________
              Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
            • Jared Frailey
              I m not sure I could handle others thinking I am a looser. :-) That is part of the problem: people should not worry about what other people are doing, or
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
                I'm not sure I could handle others thinking I am a
                "looser." :-) That is part of the problem: people
                should not worry about what other people are doing, or
                what other people will think. Success and failure,
                like good and evil, are terms for the individual to
                define. What I consider good may not be your idea of
                good, and what I consider to be an achievment may not
                be your idea of an achievment.

                I can't help it, I have to quote Thoreau: "Why should
                we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such
                desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace
                with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a
                different drummer. Let him step to the music which he
                hears, however measured or far away."

                >I don't think you live anywhere near Silicon Valley
                >, SF or NY?
                Actually, I live in the Bible Belt: Oklahoma to be
                exact.

                Regard,
                Jared







                ----Original Message-----
                From: Yana Youhana <yana_youhana@...>
                To: existlist@egroups.com <existlist@egroups.com>
                Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000 2:20 AM
                Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
                necessity of God...


                >From: Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...>
                >Reply-To: existlist@egroups.com
                >To: existlist@egroups.com
                >Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
                necessity of God...
                >Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 23:29:36 -0700 (PDT)
                >
                >You should live your life the way that you want
                others
                >to live.
                Question: What do you mean by the above statement?
                This is a world of acheivments, (dogy dog world), if
                one wants to live his/her life the way she/he wanted
                to
                live, they would be loosers!!!!
                If your opinions are right, people should be
                >drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
                >"should" or "ought" to do or think something.
                I don't think you live anywhere near Silicon Valley
                , SF or NY?

                >
                >One point you mentioned was that religion may be
                >needed to teach good and evil, or right and wrong, to
                >the uneducated. In other words, the ignorant masses
                >should be subjected to a group of individuals ideas
                on
                >right and wrong? If left to their own devices, the
                >uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
                >and wrong. Remove the brainwashing of man by
                society,
                >government, and religion, and you will have a new
                >species of man able to decide what is "right" for
                >himself, and what is "wrong."
                That sounds better.




                >
                >You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
                >child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
                >marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons,
                etc...
                > Once I realized that the sources of my information
                >were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
                >society without gods, religions, and governments as a
                >society with man thinking for himself.
                >
                >I'm done rambling,
                >Jared
                >



                =====
                Best wishes,
                Frailey


                ----------------------
                Revering the universe, caring for nature, celebrating life -
                The World Pantheist Movement: http://www.pantheism.net/index.htm
              • Amber Leigh Griffioen
                ... But isn t that really the POINT of morality and ethics? We speak often of a moral or ethical duty , but what is that except an idea of what we feel we
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
                  Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...> writes:

                  > You should live your life the way that you want others
                  > to live. If your opinions are right, people should be
                  > drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
                  > "should" or "ought" to do or think something. To me
                  > morality and ethics are a way for society to say you
                  > "should" do this, but you "shouldn't" do that.

                  But isn't that really the POINT of morality and ethics? We speak often of a moral
                  or ethical "duty", but what is that except an idea of what we feel we "should" or
                  "must" do. By living your life "the way that you want others to live", you are
                  saying that were anyone in your exact situation, you would want them to (i.e.
                  you believe they "should") do exactly what you decide to do.

                  > The ideas of morality and ethics need to be
                  > demystified. A group of individuals came up with our
                  > current morality, therefore it has no more meaning
                  > than an opinion.

                  One cannot forget the history behind our moral and ethical "system", however. (Do
                  we really even have a system? Laws, religion, I guess. Anything else?) These
                  "opinions" may be flawed, but they are not completely devoid of merit. One could
                  say "you've come a long way, baby" since the days of slavery. I would also arge
                  that we have a long way to go. (Down with capital punishment!) I'm not saying,
                  we give in and "go with the flow". I mean, just look at what the "Mitmachen" did
                  to Germany in the 30s & 40s. I AM saying that we need to give morality a little
                  more credit than "an opinion".

                  > If left to their own devices, the
                  > uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
                  > and wrong.

                  But who's to say it's the "right" sense of right and wrong? It would just be
                  another group of people, coming up with a morality for you to question.

                  > Remove the brainwashing of man by society,
                  > government, and religion, and you will have a new
                  > species of man able to decide what is "right" for
                  > himself, and what is "wrong."

                  Even the Aborigines have a sort of society, government, and religion. And my big
                  question is: does society, religion, etc. determine morality, or does morality
                  determine society, religion, etc. This has always made for interesting
                  discussion. Kind of a "Did Adam have a navel?" or "Which cam first, the chicken
                  or the egg?" question.

                  > You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
                  > child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
                  > marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons, etc...
                  > Once I realized that the sources of my information
                  > were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
                  > society without gods, religions, and governments as a
                  > society with man thinking for himself.

                  Go anarchy! *gg*

                  Anyways, that was my first post to the list, so nice to meet you all. Can't wait
                  for more good discussions!

                  Bis dann,

                  Amber

                  * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                  "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an
                  independent will, which I now exert to leave you." -Jane Eyre
                  * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                  Amber Griffioen
                  griffioe@...
                  amber_griffs@...
                  http://www.geocities.com/amber_griffs
                • Tom J
                  Doesn t morality almost entirely begin and end with other people? What good is a personal morality . What is often termed as brainwashing is inevitable,
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
                    Doesn't morality almost entirely begin and end with other people? What good
                    is a "personal morality".

                    What is often termed as "brainwashing" is inevitable, you can't remove it.
                    Even if you think that you have formed your own opinions, they were surely
                    not based on totally original thoughts? We will still always, to an extent,
                    be cogs in a machine.

                    The uneducated are already developing a sense of what is right and wrong and
                    the fact that it has no moral basis derived from respect for a superior
                    being makes it all the more catastrophic. Directionless futility.

                    Tom
                  • Jared Frailey
                    ... I believe everyone has the prejudice that they are right, and everyone else is wrong. :-) What I was trying to say is that if your opinion is that
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 19, 2000
                      > By living your life "the way that you
                      > want others to live", you are
                      > saying that were anyone in your exact situation, you
                      > would want them to (i.e.
                      > you believe they "should") do exactly what you
                      > decide to do.

                      I believe everyone has the prejudice that they are
                      right, and everyone else is wrong. :-) What I was
                      trying to say is that if your opinion is that
                      important to you, you shouldn't try to convert someone
                      to your ideas but set an example. For example, I
                      consider myself to be a pacifist. I don't believe in
                      the use of violence for any purpose, but I arrived at
                      this opinion on my own. By practicing pacifism, I set
                      an example for humanity. The difference between my
                      opinion and morality is that my opinions will not be
                      maintained by the use of coercive measures by society,
                      government, and religion. After all, coercion is
                      violence. :-) And another difference between my
                      opinions and morality is that I don't view my opinions
                      as something "sacred." I can always change my
                      opinions, but changing morality is almost impossible
                      (I'm exaggerating). In other words, I am against
                      morality, but I am for personal ideals and opinions.

                      >I AM saying that we
                      > need to give morality a little
                      > more credit than "an opinion".

                      I will give you that point: Morals are opinions with a
                      history. :-)

                      > But who's to say it's the "right" sense of right and
                      > wrong? It would just be
                      > another group of people, coming up with a morality
                      > for you to question.

                      Is there a right one? No. And why would it be a
                      group effort? I have my own personal values, and they
                      should have their own. As long as the individual
                      isn't harming another person's freedom, the individual
                      should not be restrained by morality or laws.

                      > Even the Aborigines have a sort of society,
                      > government, and religion. And my big
                      > question is: does society, religion, etc. determine
                      > morality, or does morality
                      > determine society, religion, etc.

                      My guess is that morality came first. :-)


                      > Go anarchy! *gg*
                      >
                      > Anyways, that was my first post to the list, so nice
                      > to meet you all. Can't wait
                      > for more good discussions!

                      Actually, I do consider myself to be an anarchist. I
                      fit somewhere between an Individualist Anarchist and a
                      Communist Anarchist. :-)

                      Best Regards,
                      Jared
                    • Jared Frailey
                      ... What good is a personal morality? Whatever good the individual can get out of it. I tend to enjoy producing my own morals (opinions, ideals, etc.) ... I
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 19, 2000
                        > Doesn't morality almost entirely begin and end with
                        > other people? What good
                        > is a "personal morality".
                        What good is a personal morality? Whatever good the
                        individual can get out of it. I tend to enjoy
                        producing my own morals (opinions, ideals, etc.)

                        > What is often termed as "brainwashing" is
                        > inevitable, you can't remove it.
                        > Even if you think that you have formed your own
                        > opinions, they were surely
                        > not based on totally original thoughts? We will
                        > still always, to an extent,
                        > be cogs in a machine.

                        I concede that "brainwashing" is inevitable if you are
                        in contact with other individuals, society, religion,
                        or government. My opinions are not based enitirely on
                        my own original thoughts, but the formation of my
                        opinions was an active venture: I sought and analyzed
                        the opinions of others. Morality is an inactive
                        process: the individual absorbs the opinions of
                        others.

                        > The uneducated are already developing a sense of
                        > what is right and wrong and
                        > the fact that it has no moral basis derived from
                        > respect for a superior
                        > being makes it all the more catastrophic.
                        > Directionless futility.


                        Catastrophic in what way? Is it because they are not
                        developing in a direction that you would have them go?


                        The uneducated people, that I know personally, derive
                        all of their values and morals from their church, the
                        members of their church, and other community members.
                        This to me does seem directionless. My ideal would be
                        where every individual decided what would be "good"
                        and "evil" to them personally. There seems more
                        personal direction in my ideal, but societal,
                        governmental, and religious direction would fade.

                        Best Regards,
                        Jared
                      • Amber Leigh Griffioen
                        ... So if I go through an exhaustive mental process and decide that, to me personally, it would be OK to hit another person in the head with a baseball bat,
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 20, 2000
                          Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...> writes:

                          > The uneducated people, that I know personally, derive
                          > all of their values and morals from their church, the
                          > members of their church, and other community members.
                          > This to me does seem directionless. My ideal would be
                          > where every individual decided what would be "good"
                          > and "evil" to them personally. There seems more
                          > personal direction in my ideal, but societal,
                          > governmental, and religious direction would fade.

                          So if I go through an exhaustive mental process and decide that, to me personally,
                          it would be OK to hit another person in the head with a baseball bat, you'd
                          support that because it was my own personal idea of "good"? Because as soon as
                          you step in and say it's not OK, you are imposing some sort of moral law over me.

                          Sorry if I'm nitpicking,

                          *Devil's Advocate*

                          * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                          "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an
                          independent will, which I now exert to leave you." -Jane Eyre
                          * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                          Amber Griffioen
                          griffioe@...
                          amber_griffs@...
                          http://www.geocities.com/amber_griffs
                        • Jared Frailey
                          As long as you are not harming another person s freedom, you should be free to act on or think what you wish. I wouldn t be allowed to lock someone in a cage
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 20, 2000
                            As long as you are not harming another person's
                            freedom, you should be free to act on or think what
                            you wish. I wouldn't be allowed to lock someone in a
                            cage or kill them, but I would be free to do anything
                            that does not harm another person's freedom. :-)


                            --- Amber Leigh Griffioen <griffioe@...> wrote:
                            > Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...> writes:
                            >
                            > > The uneducated people, that I know personally,
                            > derive
                            > > all of their values and morals from their church,
                            > the
                            > > members of their church, and other community
                            > members.
                            > > This to me does seem directionless. My ideal
                            > would be
                            > > where every individual decided what would be
                            > "good"
                            > > and "evil" to them personally. There seems more
                            > > personal direction in my ideal, but societal,
                            > > governmental, and religious direction would fade.
                            >
                            > So if I go through an exhaustive mental process and
                            > decide that, to me personally,
                            > it would be OK to hit another person in the head
                            > with a baseball bat, you'd
                            > support that because it was my own personal idea of
                            > "good"? Because as soon as
                            > you step in and say it's not OK, you are imposing
                            > some sort of moral law over me.
                            >
                            > Sorry if I'm nitpicking,
                            >
                            > *Devil's Advocate*
                            >
                            > * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                            > "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free
                            > human being with an
                            > independent will, which I now exert to leave you."
                            > -Jane Eyre
                            > * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                            > Amber Griffioen
                            > griffioe@...
                            > amber_griffs@...
                            > http://www.geocities.com/amber_griffs
                            >


                            =====
                            Best wishes,
                            Frailey


                            ----------------------
                            Revering the universe, caring for nature, celebrating life -
                            The World Pantheist Movement: http://www.pantheism.net/index.htm
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