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Featured Is Understanding fatal to Worship?

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by blü 2, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    In the thread Why is God Invisible and Where does he Live? the idea that God lived in another dimension was proposed.

    That idea has been around since the latter 19th century, following popular explanations of the maths of Bernhard Rieman (d. 1866) of n-spaces. By 1884 Edwin Abbott had successfully published Flatland, a story of Mr Square who lives in a two-dimensional universe encountering Lord Sphere, a 3D being. This was the age of Spiritualism and astral planes &c and god as a multidimensional being was discussed even more generally as a vindication of belief &c.

    I don't think that works, but I'm interested to hear other views.

    My point is that people have no reason to worship what they understand. If god is simply a multidimensional being then that brings him into the realm of physics and under the microscope (or over the telescope, or as the case may require).

    He may be a superscientist, but who wants to worship a superscientist? Respect, fine, but worship? No, the thing you do with a superscientist is ask her for her knowledge, and if she won't tell, then to find out by all available means.

    Note how no one does that with gods. I don't know a single religion with a department dedicated to the science ─ the nuts and bolts ─ of performing miracles. If I thought the supernatural was out there, I'd be investigating it very hard and very thoroughly, to use that knowledge for humanity and the sheer joy of knowing (aware that commerce and defense (=attack) wouldn't be far behind).

    No, to worship something, it seems to me you have to think it's beyond understanding of this kind. It can do magic, it can make worlds just by wishing, it can answer my impossible prayers. The moment you truly understand it is the moment all the magic drains away and we're back in the real world.

    Perhaps it's an example of the 'no man is a hero to his valet' principle.
     
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  2. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    It's also based on fear. People tend to worship what they fear can hurt them if they don't.
     
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  3. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Understanding is coming to a conclusion about a subject, which is taken to be knowledge. And just as conclusions can easily be wrong so can their subsequent understandings. If their understanding about X is such that it that it deserves to be worshiped then they do have reason to worship it. This isn't to say the understanding can't be screwy as hell, but it does come down to being their understanding, and it's only fair to grant them whatever benefit they may derive from it. Concoct, borrow, or buy whatever kind of supreme being you wish, and worship it, revere it, venerate it, adore it, glorify it, and exalt it all you want. And if your only reason for doing so is because it gets you off under the sheets, then so be it. My only advice would be not to try selling it in school yards.

    .
     
  4. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    A good point.

    But rather than worship, is that better called 'appeasement' or 'placation' or 'buying off', though?
    .
     
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  5. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I'll give my own thoughts coming from my eastern/Hindu perspective.

    Here's a little ditty I posted five minutes ago in another thread:

    Brahman/God is all that exists, it is pure consciousness best described as sat-cit-ananda (being-awareness-bliss). The universe is play/drama of Brahman (Maya) in which He separates Himself from Himself and then returns Himself to Himself.

    So, we individuals always are only Brahman but temporarily under the illusion of separateness (Maya). In Moksha nothing changes except for the banishment of ignorance.

    So, in my personal beliefs, 'worship' is not really the correct word. A better term is 'Self-Realization' or 'Brahman/God Realization'. That said worship/devotion is also highly important in Hindu thought. The goal of the worship of a god is in the end mergence with that god (as all is One). In the very beginning there is a master/servant relationship.

    As for me personally, I am also not a fan of the word 'worship'.
     
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  6. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Before there was love, there was silence
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    Fear what? I worship Kali. In the end, She devours us all and I look forward to this. :D
     
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  7. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    True, but I had in mind the nuts-and-bolts kind of understanding that science can bring. Even though science can and does make mistakes, its power to bring an unmagical atmosphere to the magical, its sense that a real explanation is, if not present, at least available, is the kind of understanding I'm talking about.

    Since often enough I break bread with intelligent people who are believers, it's clear to me that both unmagical and magical attitudes can coexist in the one brain.

    My question in those terms is, do they need to regard X as magical, as not understood as to how it exists, or how it can do things, or both, before they conclude it deserves to be worshiped?
    .
    .
     
  8. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    haha!! I should have said ''some''....some people worship out of fear. :D

    I don't know if I worshiped out of fear...or out of respect. Idk. I did have a fear somewhat of ''god'' as I was taught to believe in Christianity.
     
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  9. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    A consummation devoutly to be wished! (as Hamlet put it).

    Interesting. But then you say ─

    This poses a lot of questions for me; but perhaps not for this thread.

    Thanks for your remarks.
     
  10. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    Idk, I think when you're immersed in your faith life, however it is you arrived there, you just flow with it all. It doesn't seem wrong when you're in it, you know? I recently have hit a cross roads, and my struggle is coming to an end with it all. I was an atheist, and then came back to Christianity, and over the past few weeks have been questioning again, mainly because my mindset has always felt atheistic. It was more my emotions that needed to catch up, if that makes sense. So, for me personally, I can only speak, and I just know that much of my worshiping came from emotions. It didn't feel like appeasement, it felt more like this is what I've been taught to do, so if I don't do it, something bad might happen. :oops: Indoctrination habits die hard. lol
     
  11. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Even assuming by "magical" you mean at least supernatural, I'm still not following you. :shrug:

    .
     
  12. Kemosloby

    Kemosloby Well-Known Member
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    Speculating isn't understanding.
     
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  13. Kapalika

    Kapalika ⛧♡ॐ Jaṭā wearing Succubus Queenॐ♡⛧
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    I don't believe so, otherwise Jnana yoga wouldn't be a valid path.
     
  14. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    That suggests you didn't worship out of fear, and if that's right then in your case it wouldn't be a question of appeasement.

    But did you ever take an analytic approach to god, wondering in what manner, exactly, he existed, or how, exactly, miracles are done, or why on earth he might want to keep increasing billions of dead humans happy forever &c?

    Or would it be fair to say (reading the rest of your post) that you were there for the emotional and analysis didn't come into it? eg
     
  15. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    I'm talking about a state of mind in which particular tales of magical / supernatural events and cures are accepted uncritically, the reward of worship being in the emotions and not in the understanding of the magical or supernatural elements as such.

    As distinct from thinking eg that god is just a powerful humanoid, or superscientist, &c ─ which, I'm suggesting, is a state of mind not inclined to worship.
    .
     
  16. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    But with the right attitude it can on the road to understanding ─ the postulating of testable hypotheses, for example.
     
  17. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    How so?

    I ask as one unfamiliar with Jnana yoga.
     
  18. Deidre

    Deidre Follow thy heart

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    I've only analyzed it now and five years ago, when I initially left Christianity. Only when I step away from it, can I analyze it objectively. When you are following a faith/religion, you don't question. Because you're not supposed to. Not all faiths are closed minded like that, but the Abrahamic faiths are definitely not open to personal discovery or interpretation, although, many people cherry pick what they believe. I guess I cherry picked so much that eventually, all that was to no longer believe. That is how I view atheism...a conclusion after you evaluate your beliefs. What kept me in faith though was emotion. My grandmother died a little over two years ago, and it rocked my world as an atheist, then. I couldn't make sense of loss and grief without faith, back then, so I soon went back to it. Now that I've healed from her death, I'm again looking at it objectively and coming back to that same conclusion towards atheism. :)
     
  19. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    In Hinduism, a key idea is that all beings inherently have the same divine nature as God and the purpose of spiritual practice is to concretely understand and experience this fact for oneself.
     
  20. Kapalika

    Kapalika ⛧♡ॐ Jaṭā wearing Succubus Queenॐ♡⛧
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    I quote @sayak83 so you can keep that in mind.

    But basically Jnana is the yoga of realizing that through intellectual understanding. It's considered one of it not the hardest yoga but it's still possible. It's very philosophy, reason, and logic based.

    Jnana yoga - Wikipedia

    I practice it to augment my Tantra, but I've always been one that likes to try to understand my religion on that level, it's kind of compulsive actually.
     
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