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Featured Superstition vs. Faith

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by SigurdReginson, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Speaking for myself, I don't claim to know what God is. However, I do comment on what believers claim to know about their god. You do see the difference, don't you?
     
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  2. Evangelicalhumanist

    Evangelicalhumanist "Truth" isn't a thing...
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    Sorry, but can't see no atheist in that comment.
     
  3. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    You like diving into the deep end, don't you? I think the main difference to begin with between faith and superstition, is that superstition is about causation. Per the dictionary, "a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief"

    A tragically reductionistic view of religion tries say that people evolved understandings of the Divine, or God, as an explanation for natural events. Why are there stars in the sky, for instance. While that has some 'placeholder' for science truth to that, that is not its primary function. It's not for a lack of scientific knowledge that people have faith in God. It's not about that at its most fundamental truths. Therefore, it's not "superstition", as it's not about causation.

    Prayer to God, or belief in angels, or belief in or petition to ancestors, are existential matters. There are far beyond, or more deeply rooted before the rise of cause and effect questions of the mind, "where did that come from", sort of thing.

    It can also have to do with a certain amount of fear of the unknown, of course. But that is existential at its base. It has to do with existence and survival, and the threat of death is existential.

    Now someone could then ask their ancestors or God to protect them, and in that sense it gives the person praying a sense of empowerment, as opposed to a complete loss of control. That has the effect of giving them agency, ultimately if that person believes with the god's help, they are empowered.

    So faith in God is different than superstition in that it has psychological and spiritual agency or empowerment as fundamental, as opposed to questions of the mind about how nature works.

    From there, things get interesting.
     
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  4. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    I think faith means in the Bible loyalty. And I have understood superstition means belief in fate or magic. God is not magic, or fate, therefore belief in God is not superstition.
     
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  5. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    First, a parable is an illustrative story, so yes an animal can be part of a parable story or used in an illustration story.
    I find in the inspired book of James written at James 2:19 that the demons believe....... ( Luke 4:41)

    Jesus gave the power to the 70+ in his name to cast out demons - Matthew 10:8; Mark 3:14-15; Mark 6:13; Luke 9:1; Luke 10:17.
    The instructions for us are found at Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 24:13-14; Acts of the Apostles 1:8.
    There are No instructions for us today to cast out demons.
    So, yes, I am sure Jesus didn't instruct to do that even unto this day.
     
  6. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    I don't consider the old Hebrew Scriptures as superstition.
    Jesus based his 'faith' (confidence) in teaching from the old Hebrew Scriptures.
    Jesus often prefaced his statements with the words, " it is written..." meaning already written down in the OT, and Not on superstition.
    Jesus used logical reasoning on the OT on which to base his teachings.
    So, it was Not 'blind faith' (credulity) but that Scripture is: religious truth, God's Word the Bible is religious truth - John 17:17
    What did Jesus teach that is superstition_______________
     
  7. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    What is the basis for your opinion?

    The answers to questions like "where did that come from" are the reason for man's creation of gods. If you think prayer to a god predates "where did that come from", then explain why man created gods to begin with.

    Angels come way later.
     
  8. Crawford

    Crawford New Member

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    The point I made was that science itself now claims that the Universe is not eternal, according to most scientists, If matter, energy, space itself and time had a beginning then the universe had a beginning. I am not a scientist but reading what they have now been saying for nearly 100 years and they are saying it not me. How can there be a universe if the space in which to put it did not exist?
     
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    In practice, usually none.

    I could come up with nuanced differences between the two terms, but it seems to me that "faith" is usually used by superstitious people as a euphemism for their own superstition.
     
  10. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I think you're generally right. "Faith" also describes trust that God is honest.

    Hebrews 1, the chapter that famously talks about faith as "being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see," talks mostly about relying on God's word. For instance, it describes Noah obediently building the Ark even when the need for it wasn't apparent.

    IMO, it's only relatively recently that "faith" has been reinterpreted as "belief without evidence" or "belief contrary to evidence." Still, that newer sense is the sense in which it's used most of the time now.
     
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  11. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Questions and superstitious answers 5000 years ago...


    Why does all that hot stuff come out of the top of that mountain?
    God is angry with the people. We must worship him and make sacrifices.

    Why do the locusts eat all our crops?
    God is angry with the people. We must worship him and make sacrifices.

    Why did the rain come and water our crops?
    God is happy with the people because we worshipped him and made sacrifices.


    Questions and realistic answers 5000 years ago...

    Why does all that hot stuff come out of the top of that mountain?
    We don't know. If we work hard to understand nature we will find the answer.

    Why do the locusts eat all our crops?
    We don't know. If we work hard to understand nature we will find the answer.

    Why did the rain come and water our crops?
    We don't know. If we work hard to understand nature we will find the answer.
    We (mankind) did work hard and did find the answers. Perhaps you still believe volcanoes are caused by God's wrath.

    Meanwhile, back to your question.
    How can there be a universe if the space in which to put it did not exist?
    Your question indicates you have very little understanding of the nature of things.
     
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  12. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    Personal experience, observation, and the research of experts.

    What is the basis of this opinion? I have heard that speculated by some, but I don't agree with that. The questions of origins comes later in human evolution. Those are intellectual questions.

    I do not believe that at its core, religion is merely about questions of causation. I think that more than oversimplifies things. The religious impulse goes much deeper than that. That is much more evident than gods being invented to explain why it rains.

    Gods are a later development in human religion, as the research of cultural anthropologists have noted. The beginnings of religion were animistic and magical. The supernatural quality of an early awakening structures of human consciousness confronted with reality, sees things as inextricably tied to themselves, as an extension of it.

    The development of gods is still at its heart magical reality, but rather than you having the power, it is externalized into something else that has the power. That then evolves all the typical mythologies you and I are familiar with in anthropomorphic images of God as a superman.

    You can read more about these stages here, and you'll see that gods comes later on. This is the basis (along with other information) for why I say what I do. (focus on the magic and mythic sections, as well as the archaic stage which comes before both of those): AN OVERVIEW OF THE WORK OF JEAN GEBSER
     
  13. Bird123

    Bird123 Well-Known Member

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    Simply because something is written down does not mean it is not superstition.

    If Jesus teaches judging, blaming, condemning, threats of Hell, favoritism of the kids, kids flawed from birth and such, it is no more than teaching people to value so many of the petty things mankind holds so dear. It is not a Higher Level. It is not God. It is no more than superstition, valuing the petty thing of wanting to control others through threats and intimidation.

    That's what I see. It's very clear!!
     
  14. Crawford

    Crawford New Member

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    I am only indicating what science seems to be saying and your answer does not seem to respond adequately to my point. Perhaps you could enlighten me further as you claim to understand things.
     
    #134 Crawford, Mar 2, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  15. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    "Personal experiences" are not a good source for rational beliefs or reality. Many people have had the personal experience of being anally probed by aliens.

    Which research experts?

    Do you really want to consider "Where did we come from" an intellectual question. Three-year-olds ask where babies come from.

    Magical how? Did man see magic in the wanderings of elk? How did that magic lead to worship and religion?

    Religions are, by definition, built around the worship of gods. No gods, no religions.

    I have given some examples of the possible orgins of beliefs in gods. You disagree bu thave not provide any examples.

    Which "cultural anthropologists" have come to those conclusions?

    I'm really not much into the beliefs and pronouncements of philosophers. For every view taken by any, there are opposing views from many others. Certainly, Gebser is not a cultural anthropologist. In any case, your link is to a review of one of Gebser's works. But even from there we see:

    With the advent of the Cro-Magnons, man became a tool-making individual, also one who formed into larger social structures. As Feuerstein points out, it is clear from the archaeological finds that the Cro-Magnons had evolved a symbolic universe that was religious and shamanistic.​

    Again, no gods, no religion. Curiosity is innate in primates. Where did we come from, why do we die, what happens to us when we die would have been asked as soon as there was primitive language. You might also note that leaders never say "I don't know". How would you have answered: "Where did First Man come from"? Even today, millions of people believe the answer is GodDidIt.
     
  16. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Previously you wrote...
    The wording led me to believe that you were really stating you don't believe in the Big Bang concept. Rather, to you, the only way the universe could exist is if God had created it.

    In response, I pointed out that man has used "GodDidIt" to explain the then inexplicable since long before your Judeo/Christian God was invented. Attributing things to a god has always been shown to be wrong.
     
  17. Crawford

    Crawford New Member

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    I see you missed my point because I do believe the Big Bang is the most likely explanation for the universe. With my limited scientific expertise I could understand that recent scientific discoveries show the universe expanding and scientists have extrapolated backwards to the point where the universe began as a infinitely small singularity. What they have measured is that matter, energy, space itself and even time had a beginning. The post I was replying to said the universe was eternal. But if space itself had a beginning then there was nowhere to put matter or energy because matter takes up space. So the Universe could not have been eternal because before the Big Bang where was the space to put it? This has got nothing to do, directly, with religion. It is a discussion of what the science means in lay terms for modern people like you and me. The religious implications will vary according to your world view.
     
  18. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    I've heard that response countless times, and it falls flat every single time. Everything, all thoughts and ideas about anything, are based upon subjective experiences. Even science.

    I cited Gebser's work, which draws from those experts. Same with any philosopher. Check their references, there's usually a lot of them included in their published works. One does trust the integrity of the sources, as one trusts the author they are reading who draws from them.

    You don't think three years olds are developing cognitive intelligence yet? Such a question, is a question of a reasoning mind. Infants don't ask that question yet. And the same thing applies to our evolution. Like the stages of development we see in children, that is how we evolved as a species over millions of years. We aren't born fully developed, and we come into existence as a species fully developed either. I don't believe in creationism.

    My point is, that religion cannot be reduced down to those questions. There is no evidence that supports that in what we see culturally, historically, or even in the present world which researchers have studied in the various fields which deal with human evolution, biological, cultural, societal, mental, emotional, cognitive, etc.

    Gebser explains it somewhat in there. And yes, magic is an early form of how we as a species perceived the world. You can see that in young children today as a stage of development. Our stages of development we go through today, was created by millions of years of evolution. It's like a micro-timeline of a macro-history. Children move from magic stages, to mythic stages, to rational stages, etc. Just like our species has over the millennia.

    Not according to anthropologists. Animistic religions don't have gods. Animism

    "Animism is really more a sensibility, tendency, or style of engaging with the world and the beings or things that populate it. It is not a form of materialism, which posits that only matter, materials, and movement exist. Nor is animism a form of monotheism, which posits a single god in the universe. And, it is not a form of polytheism that posits many gods."​

    Animistic religions come before theistic, or mythic stage gods, historically, as well as developmentally in children and human cultures. Gods come in later on in development. They are an developed view, based upon an early system of magic, which did not have gods yet. The magic is brought forward into the more evolved mythic stage. It is "transcended and included" into the mythic stage. But the religious impulse, is pre-mythic, pre-gods stage.

    You haven't offered any support, other than a flawed argument, that God and religion came into being because we lacked a scientific understanding of the world. That's a very anemic notion that can't really offer much in way of evidence to support. It doesn't explain why non-theistic religions existed before mythic religions.

    The religious impulse goes way deeper into our history, than the agricultural revolution changed the evolutionary course of religion from the more archaic and animistic forms of magic systems, to the more highly evolved mythic systems. It follow the movement from kinship systems, to ethnic systems, to much later cosmopolitan systems which brought all them together. How we view Reality, evolves over time, and modern research shows this in a cross-disciplinary studies. That's a lot of what you see with Gebser. I'd also point you Spiral Dynamics, and Integral Metatheory which is based upon these multiple-fields of research.

    Spiral Dynamics


    Sounds sort of like the complaint about the truth of the election. We can't really know the truth, because everyone is saying something different. Fox news tells a different story, so we can't trust anything. There must be a problem with the election? With so many opinions, whose to know anything at all? Right?

    Shamanism is an Animistic religion, which has no gods. That quote supports what I'm saying.

    Now, if you just want to throw away the thoughts of philosophers and intellectuals and academicians because they have different opinions, then I suppose the Creationists are justified in throwing out evolution and science for those same reasons.
     
  19. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Obviously, I misunderstood. My apologies.
     
  20. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    Our subjective experience tells us the world cannot be a sphere.
    Our subjective experience tells us the moon and the sun are about the same size.
    Our subjective experience tells us Jupiter and Betelgeuse are about the same size.

    The ancients relied on their subjective experiences and came to these very conclusions. Science went beyond subjective experiences to discover truth.

    Some people's subjective experience tells them they were anally probed by aliens.

    Now, what were you saying about comments falling flat?




    You are the one who referred to researchers. When I ask "which researchers" it is incumbent upon you to provide the names. If you want to have a serious discussion, don't tell me to check their references.
     
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