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Death and religion

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Teslasmate, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    t's not fair, M'Lud! I put my kid in a Church school and they talked to her about Jesus.

    Judge: That's what Church schools do. Didn't you read the bumf?

    OP: Yes, but it downplayed the religious schtick. Plus the point of the CofE is to suppress the wacky nutjob religious tendency by making religion too tedious to get all excited about. They appear to have decided to be actually religious and not tell anyone.

    Judge: Caveat emptor. Yes they should have been clear that their mission has changed. Bad form.
  2. baitranger

    baitranger Established commenter

    The NASA website tells us that over 95% of the known universe is made up of "dark matter" and "dark energy", which is a fancy way of saying no-one knows what it is. And then there is the stupendous possibility of the unknown universes, other dimensions-and who knows what.
    Given how much we don't know and don't understand, we humans are often the epitome of arrogance when we say categorically that the idea of a supreme being is a fairy tale or a symptom of mental illness. Some very , very intelligent people have been and are religious.
  3. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    Burden of proof. It's on the believer. The believer says 'this thing is true', they must provide evidence. The idea of a supreme being is a hypothesis with no evidence, and thus can and should be ignored. It is a fairy tale, until evidence is presented. It's not a mental illness though, religion comes from fallible human mental architecture. As I said before, yes some very clever people are / were religious. Religious =/= stupid.
    Religion is a mental virus. A maladaptive set of ideas that are inculcated into children before reason has formed, that replicates itself via teaching the next generation. It also mutates constantly, sometimes into more virulent forms, sometimes into more destructive forms. It damages the host by altering their perception and reactions to reality. It damages society by making them waste resources and create laws to fit in with unreal concerns.
    Having said all that, yes anyone can believe anything they like. But no one has the right to their own facts. No one has to respect those ideas, and indeed can mock them if they like.
    However, many religious people get very upset when religion is criticised. They appear to think religious ideas are above analysis and criticism. They take it personally.
    Well I take the horror unleashed by religion personally. The hate. The abuse. The violence both physical, psychological and emotional. The torture. The murder. The child rape. The theft of resources. The unwarranted assumption of authority. There was a time in this country when religion was in charge. Thankfully I don't live in that time. I would have been murdered as a heretic.
  4. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I really think you need to separate Christianity from some forms of organised religion, institutions and members of such. As a totally uncommitted person on the topic of whether “ I believe” or not and so not a practising anything, I have no issue with people or children being encouraged to follow a moral code such as the one laid down by the teachings of a historically identified figure ie Christ. I feel it is one of our modern problems that so many people have no moral or ethical code so feel free to inflict at best anti social behaviour and at worst something far worse .
    I think your “ insidious influence” relates to probably 50 years ago and that the reaction to it means we threw the baby out with the bath water.
    If I still had primary school children I would have no issue with them being taught Christian principles of behaviour. However if you are speaking of the hypocrisy that some people resort to in the name of religion, any religion, I would agree with you. I do think we pillory Christianity unfairly because of the failings of the past and the intractability of Victorian attitudes to it whilst upholding other faiths without doing the same to their medieval interpretations of their Male dominated ignorance.
    monicabilongame and lardylady like this.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Death isn't a huge thing. Plants die all the time. Especially when I own them. Wasps. People actually kill them! Horses, dogs, people.

    It leaves a bit of a void for a while. Only humans make a big thing out of it. Yes, I know other social animals are upset at the loss of a pack member. But I don't think the grieving lasts more than a few days. Not entirely sure.

    What to say about death? The things we do know? Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, food for worms, pushing up the daisies, leave space on the planet for the next lot of people, it's going to happen to every one of us some day. That we do know.

    As for the rest? That's the realm of those unicorns. Wouldn't it be lovely if there were magic unicorns who could grant wishes and stop aches and pains. Wouldn't it be lovely if I could come back as the child of wealthy and loving parents but still possessing the knowledge I acquired in this lifetime? Separate the two though. What we know for sure and what we think might happen to our soul/spirit. And yes. That's actually a whole other conversation. Body and mind.

    I'm all for honesty. Never did all that sky-fairy stuff with my kids. What do we know about death? And what would we like to happen, given that it definitely WILL happen! Why must a kid be denied the truth?

    Oh! Watch last night's "Supervet". Family came in with cat. Run over. The little girl (10?) was the one who said that all those operations and treatment wouldn't be kind and shouldn't the cat be allowed to die as that would be kinder? Knocked everyone for six. And she held the cat while they put it to sleep. She cried. Better that than pretending the cat was going to heaven. That little girl made the right choice for the right reasons because she knew about suffering and about the reality of death.
  6. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    No, no, no. Why should Christianity (see Teslaman above about evidence) be treted any better than any other religion. ALL religions are as bad as the next. They all prey upon the gullible with made up nonsense for power and control, and of course extortion.
  7. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    And, of course, they are wrong and you are right. OK.
  8. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    These arguments usually sink to the lowest point like this. Teslaman has written above somewhere that the burden of proof for any deity is on the believer. There is no proof of the existence of any deity. There is proof of a universe, atoms, molecules and the rest of science. there is no proof that any deity ever influence and event on this planet. As a religious person, you can believe what you want, but you cannot prove any of it is true. When you die, your energy dissipates to the environment, your atoms and molecules are changed, broken down and recycled in some way, and thats it. There is no "soul", "essence" or "spirituality". How could there be, it is intangible. The usual argument now is: "you don't know, you can't prove there isn't", maybe, but that is not the scientific method via empiricism, you need evidence. Deities affecting us? Just as bonkers as fairies, goblins, elves, leprechauns, sant claus, flying reindeers, and superman.
  9. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    Like some in religion, I believed, then lost faith, and, at length, I have recovered a form of faith, but a more cautious and sceptical one than in my youth.

    I would argue that the truth of religion is functional, i.e. it helps us to encounter and deal with aspects of reality that other, usually more empirical fields do not. That includes the painful experiences of death and personal failure ("sin" in religious language). There can be no empirical or deductive verification of most religious doctrines, even the most central ones like the existence of God, but, I would argue, a reasonable judgement can be formed as to the likely truth of the overall doctrine.

    Most people do not think in such nuanced ways, especially children (if they ever do). Fundamentalist approaches benefit religions and their institutions because they are:

    a. Cheap and simple to promote;
    b. Immediately satisfying for believers, and;
    c. Promote institutional flourishing and survival.

    The practising Christians that are left are more and more likely to be of this variety. As a Catholic, I have found that the fundamentalist-fringe (who, quite literally, have six or more children and have deep homophobia) are on the rise, fuelled by the respectable(ish) crack of their faith. I have a feeling that they will become more present in religious schools. I imagine it's similar with the CofE (I cannot comment more specifically as I am not Anglican).

    It may be wise to take your daughter out of school. On the other hand, the experience of dealing with cheap, bad, daft faith early on may well be valuable, like a vaccination to bad ideas.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  10. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I've only skimmed through this. OP - just tell your daughter that no one knows what happens when we die but that some people think we go to heaven. I told mine to wait until they were older and then make up their own minds but to try not to worry about it. They didn't ask what I thought, though one of mine aged three wanted to know what happened to his friend's body - the little boy had died suddenly of meningitis. Now that was hard and I don't think I told him - totally fudged it. We are all happy atheists.
    (Singing the St John Passion tonight - a gripping story, you couldn't make up a better thriller, sublime music, beautiful soloists and we'll be making a massive effort to do it as well as we can.)
    sadscientist and grumpydogwoman like this.
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Enjoy! :)

    I am unable to take part in our own concert next week (including Puccini's 'Messa di Gloria') due to a family commitment.

    Whatever the underlying truth (or otherwise) of religion, it has resulted in the creation of some wonderful music.
    lindenlea likes this.
  12. bajan

    bajan Occasional commenter

    I don't understand why parents choose to send their children to a religious school (i.e. C of E) if they are not religious.
    monicabilongame and lardylady like this.
  13. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Both my sons had a 'religious' upbringing. Neither practises now. My older lad supports his ex-wife's desire to raise their children as Catholics and happily takes his share of driving them to and from church activities. My younger son's Dutch wife (with no region in her upbringing) is keen for their daughter to know about Christianity (especially as it figures in the curriculum of her secular primary school) and asked my wife to supply her with a children's bible. As our children did, theirs will make their own choices. It could well be a lifelong process. Confident that they will have the tools for the job, we don't fear indoctrination.
  14. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    As I pointed out earlier, sometimes one has no alternative (we had to choose between a C of E or an RC primary school).
  15. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    As a private tutor, one thing I have noticed is that religiosity is often a good indicator of how easy a family will be to deal with. Moderate religiosity seems to make no difference but a greater degree seems to indicate that they will be a pain. Too much investment in it appears to be detrimental.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  16. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Top post:
  17. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    [QUOTE="sabram86, post: 12778720 Too much investment in it appears to be detrimental.[/QUOTE]

    Funnily enough, I've found exactly the same thing with Jewish, Muslim and Hindu parents, though, of course, one needs to ask 'detrimental to whom?'
    monicabilongame likes this.
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Detrimental to tolerating other people? Detrimental to exercising common sense? Detrimental to an openness to listen to other people? Detrimental to showing respect for others?
  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Welcome to identity politics.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Picked up the Dawkins virus in a bargain bin, I see.

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