Finding Religion

Ermintruder

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#91
May I respectfully-but-relevantly point-out....that in many ways...the pursuit of absolute truths, the search for answers to the hardest of questions concerning life, the universe and everything....is religion (ie faith without evidence). Or science (belief only with evidence).

Or, there is also, in our parlance, Fortean Studies. Which can *in some way* be viewed as being a valid religious path for atheists.

I'm currently reading "Christ's Ventriloquists: The Event That Created Christianity" by Eric Zuesse. It is extremely good...and I will need to invoke my book-club proposition for shared analysis of it, here, on FMB. Be warned- if you do read it, you will never be able to look at Christianity in the same light ever again.

Not from that book, but from me: a thought.

Every religion knows beyond any doubt that only their route to enlightenment and salvation is right, and all others (importantly, even the closest of cousin beliefs) are all fundamentally-flawed and should cease to exist.

Therefore, the first-encounter inescapable logic is that they must all be wrong.

Each can (and should, at least) be a comfort. A conformity of useful and theraputic return, utility benefits deriving from a mythical investment.

See, how they dance to the gods? They have made they sun rise again, this morning. Had they not done so, it would be still cold and dark. Thank-you for your golden coin, which shines like old sol himself....I shall pray for you when I am at the market this morning. God speaks to me so much more clearly on a full belly...
 

Comfortably Numb

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#92
...but from me: a thought...Every religion knows beyond any doubt that only their route to enlightenment and salvation is right, and all others (importantly, even the closest of cousin beliefs) are all fundamentally-flawed and should cease to exist...
Is that maybe close to my, 'imagery conversation on a train', I sometimes brought up in related discussions some 30 years ago?

...said I was on a journey and the three others seated next were of profoundly differing religions. So... I asked of them, 'Why is Your Religion the Only True Religion?'.

...and they replied in unison... 'Because God Spoke to Me'...

"God speaks to me so much more clearly on a full belly"...

About to yet again attempt scrambled eggs like my mum used to make... we all know, 'not in a trillion years'...

Ma's scrambled eggs were truly heavenly inspired... and don't get me started on her clootie dumpling.

Angels used to wait at the Gate for it.
 
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Ermintruder

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#96
Some more interim comments on possible reasons as to why humanity >may< have always convergently-evolved religion/conversations-with-the-cosmic beliefs, across the world (and the ages):

  • there are some indications that as homo sapiens has continued to evolve over time (from a neurobiological perspective) our expanded capacity for abstract reasoning is also a ready substrate for psychosis and multiple personality disorder / and dissociative identity disorder. We are very prone to hear inner voices by our own natures.
  • there is still much to consider that emerges from the fascinating hypothesis that even very-recently, we as thinking creatures actually used to think in a very-different way to the mode we believe we now do https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)
Bicameralism
(the condition of being divided into "two-chambers") is a radical hypothesis in psychology that argues that the human mind once operated in a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking", and a second part which listens and obeys — a bicameral mind. The term was coined by Julian Jaynes, who presented the idea in his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, wherein he made the case that a bicameral mentality was the normal and ubiquitous state of the human mind as recently as 3,000 years ago, near the end of the Mediterranean bronze age
This dichotocerebral mode of thought may actually still be fully in place, at some levels, in all of us. And therefore, when we seek answers from the great beyond, in truth (whatever that may be) they are but 'echoes in the shell'.
 

EnolaGaia

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#97
May I respectfully-but-relevantly point-out....that in many ways...the pursuit of absolute truths, the search for answers to the hardest of questions concerning life, the universe and everything....is religion (ie faith without evidence). Or science (belief only with evidence).
Or, there is also, in our parlance, Fortean Studies. Which can *in some way* be viewed as being a valid religious path for atheists. ...
Every religion knows beyond any doubt that only their route to enlightenment and salvation is right, and all others (importantly, even the closest of cousin beliefs) are all fundamentally-flawed and should cease to exist. ...

See, how they dance to the gods? They have made they sun rise again, this morning. Had they not done so, it would be still cold and dark. Thank-you for your golden coin, which shines like old sol himself....I shall pray for you when I am at the market this morning. God speaks to me so much more clearly on a full belly...
These two passages illustrate two distinguishable aspects of 'religion' (as that term is treated and discussed nowadays) which I believe:

- represent two distinct orientations to what purpose is served by 'religious activity';
- represent two distinct contexts within which 'religion' intersects individual versus collective experience;
- correlate with two differentiable phases or stages of historical socio-cultural development; and ...
- are woefully conflated in modern times because the later version has a vested interest in obscuring, if not denying, the earlier version.

More specifically, though sketched with extremely broad strokes ...

The earliest folkloric / mythic traditions were aimed at explaining the world - its state, its dynamics, and one's place within it. The earliest role of mythos was descriptive. This role became prescriptive to the extent (a) it provided useful tips for orienting to the world (e.g., aided survival) and (b) these tips comprised a body of descriptive lore worth passing on to new members of a group.

Such traditions were at least partially the 'theoretical science' of their time. Rituals, employed with respect to leveraging or influencing the world / environment, represented the 'applied science' or of their time. The payoff was power to reliably survive in the world, and the ultimate measure of a tradition's merit related to such survival.

With increased populations, more permanent settlements, and role differentiations among the collective, there emerged a growing utility in, if not an outright need for, fostering similar coherence and stability in the social realm. Mythos was further operationalized (I would say 'weaponized') to serve as an instrument of social coherence, coordination, influence, and hence control.

The descriptive aspect shrank in importance relative to the prescriptive aspect, to the point it served solely as the background justification for exercising social power. Ritual was increasingly re-directed to leveraging or influencing the people rather than the world. The payoff was power to coordinate and employ the population, and the ultimate measure of merit related to whatever objectives the powerful pursued.

The descriptive aspect for practical effect was sub-contracted, and eventually spun off entirely, to (e.g.) philosophers, naturalists, and eventually scientists / engineers - many of whom suffered greatly at the hands of elites remaining within the socially prescriptive institutions that had arisen.

It is this latter version of the 'mythos industry' that most closely correlates with 'religion' as we use the term today. This second-stage 'religion' has a vested interest in maintaining its status (a socially-contextualized parameter) in terms of being a separate and superior domain of human interest and endeavor.

It does so by denigrating 'science' as mere handiwork of no cosmic or spiritual significance and denigrating earlier mythic / ritualistic traditions as inferior predecessors to its own social role or as outright 'evils' to be eradicated.

The personal void to which Ringo originally referred relates all the way back to the descriptive / orientational character of the earlier role of mythos. Whether he - or anyone else - wishes to address that void in terms of the later institutionalized version we call 'religion' is a matter of personal preference or taste.
 

Ringo

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#98
^That's a post right there. I had to read it a couple if times to truly absorb it.

So would you argue, Enola, that my (and others) that this call "to search" is hereditry and passed on genetically? And is stronger in some rather than in others? Or just a default in the human condition which some choose to address/ignore?

When I try to analyse my own feelings, I'm not in search of an explanation for everything. The end goal for me is not to "know" but just to feel at peace with how everything is. Finding out "why" or adopting a mythos isn't that motivating but if it happens along the way then so be it. I would prefer to fast-track and bask in the glow of enlightenment and that smug feeling that everything's fine. Time to break out the DMT maybe?

I think it's the blind confidence and sense of satisfaction in believers that I envy. Listening to religious people, they seem so certain and take comfort in knowing that there is something greater going on. That comfort, that certainty and that "relaxed" position is a very attractive prospect. They seem to be in on the answer.

Here's an example: In my job, I pretend to be psychic and deliver messages from the dead. I am honest in my stage shows and tell people that I am not psychic. I am a Mentalist. During a normal show, I demonstrate mind-reading and talk about Houdini "exposing psychic charlatans". I reproduce "paranormal" phenomena during a false seance and talk about how people can be tricked into believing supernatural things.

Yet after all of that, there is ALWAYS somebody who approaches me after the show and whispers, "I know you say that you are not psychic but I can tell you are" or they'll say "Between us, tell the truth, you are Psychic aren't you?". And the thing is, no amount of arguing can convince them otherwise. And there is one thing they all have in common - they are all happy. They are all happy in the knowledge that they know the answer. They have an inner peace that I recognise time and time again - in those who "believe" in something.

The sceptical members of the audience, the disbelievers, the one's who know it's just entertainment, don't have that same quality. They don't seem to have that inner peace.

And this is what I'm getting at. I am jealous of people who have found religion, who believe in something else - be it life after death, a deity or some other spiritual level. I want that "inner peace" and tranquility that comes from knowing.
 

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#99
This dichotocerebral mode of thought may actually still be fully in place, at some levels, in all of us. And therefore, when we seek answers from the great beyond, in truth (whatever that may be) they are but 'echoes in the shell'.
There is some FOAF and anecdotal evidence that this is somehow related to autism....
 

EnolaGaia

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^That's a post right there. I had to read it a couple if times to truly absorb it.
I apologize for the 'density', but I had to lay a lot of requisite groundwork in a concise manner.

So would you argue, Enola, that my (and others) that this call "to search" is hereditry and passed on genetically? And is stronger in some rather than in others? Or just a default in the human condition which some choose to address/ignore?
Respectively: No - at least not as stated; Yes; and Oh, Hell Yes.

RE: Inheriting the 'Call to Search'

On the first point, I'd refer you back to my post #73, where I claimed the 'call to search' is an inescapable side-effect of our constitution and cognitive capacities. The constitutional bit is hereditary, and it can vary with genetic specifics (e.g., lineage). The constitutional aspect is biological / neurobiological, and merely sets the stage for operational human cognition.

The capacity for abstraction and imagination that dooms us to be able to wonder what's beyond the current horizon is an operational characteristic afforded by one's constitution (e.g., one's neural equipment), but it is manifested and mediated through the same operational tactics by which we symbolize discrete objects of reference and operate in language.

The 'call to search' arises with the latter (operational) bit rather than the former (constitutional) bit. As such, it is not 'hereditary' in the biological sense. However:

- constitutional aberrations or deficits may prevent, limit, or distort it, and ...
- the form of its manifestation and implications can be passed on in the course of life operations (e.g., conversations; education).


RE: Relative Strength / Impetus in the 'Call to Search'

The 'call to search' definitely varies among individuals. To some folks, the (e.g.) 'cosmic' is of no personal concern. To others, it's a lifelong obsession. The bases and reasons for these variations are as individual and situational as the bases and reasons for any other personal beliefs or orientations.


RE: The 'Call to Search' as an Aspect of the Human Condition

Most definitely 'yes' ... This follows from my position stated in post #73, my attributing some modes of dealing with the 'call' as being socio-cultural in form (post #97 above), and the differentiation between innate biological and operational cognitive characteristics described earlier in this post.
 

EnolaGaia

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When I try to analyse my own feelings, I'm not in search of an explanation for everything. The end goal for me is not to "know" but just to feel at peace with how everything is. ...
I think it's the blind confidence and sense of satisfaction in believers that I envy. ... They seem to be in on the answer. ...
And this is what I'm getting at. I am jealous of people who have found religion, who believe in something else - be it life after death, a deity or some other spiritual level. I want that "inner peace" and tranquility that comes from knowing.
Ahhh ... You want the certitude of peace within your 'life world', but not necessarily at the cost of subordinating your 'life world' to a particular platform (orientation; doctrine) supporting a state of absolute certainty.

On the one hand, that's a wise approach. On the other hand, it's not especially realistic.

It's wise to the extent it frames the quest with regard to a specific criterion for a satisfying result.

It's unrealistic to the extent it presumes you can achieve satisfaction without adopting a particular stance (orientation; theory; worldview) or exerting the effort required to roll your own out of available parts and / or your own original creations.

FWIW here's my take on the prospects ... There's an old saying of uncertain origin:

"Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans."
(See: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/05/06/other-plans/)

I would play off this meme to say:

"Peace with the complexities and futility of understanding life is what happens to you while you're busy examining and / or experimenting with all the ways others have claimed to achieve it."

Once you sense the 'call', the only fixed point of reference is the quest. If you diligently pursue the quest, a peace may settle upon you - even if it's merely peace with the prospect of an endless quest.

Think of it as Cunard Cosmology - "Getting there is half the answer." :evillaugh:
 

INT21

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Ermintrude,

Rather a lot happened since I was last here' Where to start ?

...Every religion knows beyond any doubt that only their route to enlightenment and salvation is right, and all others (importantly, even the closest of cousin beliefs) are all fundamentally-flawed and should cease to exist.

Therefore, the first-encounter inescapable logic is that they must all be wrong. .
.

Not at all.

My atheist perspective tells me that they are all probably wrong. Note the word 'probably'; very important.

But if it turns out that religious belief in a deity is correct, then there are two remaining options.

One of the current ones is true; the others false.

Or they are all wrong as the true one hasn't yet been found.

Would you not agree ?

INT21.
 

INT21

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Enolagaia,

..RE: The 'Call to Search' as an Aspect of the Human Condition ...

And this may be subject to another aspect of human condition.

The need for an answer.

Atheist would like an answer. But they cannot find one in beliefs.

Believers MUST have an answer. and they satisfy this by saying 'God did it'.

They can't provide scientificaly acceptable proof of God, but that doesn't matter because atheists can't disprove it.

So religion, and it does work quite well for many, is a comfort zone. No need to provide proof. Just 'believe'.

The poor atheist simply has to shrug his/her shoulders and accept that he/she will maybe never have an answer.

It comes with the territory.

Meanwhile the believers are wanting to destroy those who will not accept that they know the answer.

The atheist says 'who cares ?'; and gets on with life with no particular concern for what awaits at the end of it.

INT21.
 

INT21

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Ringo,

...That comfort, that certainty and that "relaxed" position is a very attractive prospect. They seem to be in on the answer.

If you came to that position from one of not believing, would you not still have that niggly feeling that really, deep down, you do not actually believe. And that you are just fulfilling a quite reasonable need for 'togetherness'.

I don't know if you have read 1984 recently.
But right at the end, Winston suddenly 'knew' that the loved Big brother.

I read that as he had finally capitulated to the pressures exerted upon him. His brain eventually took the easy (only) way out.

INT21.
 

INT21

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Frideswide,

This autistic aspect you mention. Do you mean the observation that autistic people tend to obsessively pursue a problem or interest beyond the point where others would have given up on it ?

Ermintruder,

.....And therefore, when we seek answers from the great beyond, in truth (whatever that may be) they are but 'echoes in the shell'. ...

If we go off at a tangent and speculate that we are but players in some great cosmic electronic game all the rules change.
If we are just characters, then maybe some of the characters have not been programmed sufficiently deeply and are somehow aware that there is something going on in the background that they can sense but can't pin down.

INT21.
 

Ringo

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I apologize for the 'density', but I had to lay a lot of requisite groundwork in a concise manner.
No apology necessary. I though it was an excellent post that warranted reading twice. You have given me a lot to think about as regards the human condition. My line of work walks the tightrope between science and superstition. I wonder how much of my recent inner dialogue has come from my advances in the field of Menatlism?

I don't know if you have read 1984 recently.
But right at the end, Winston suddenly 'knew' that the loved Big brother.

I read that as he had finally capitulated to the pressures exerted upon him. His brain eventually took the easy (only) way out.

INT21.
It's been a few years since I read it but I have read it many times in the past. That line always resonated with me and I have thought about it often. I agree with your conclusion, he lost control of his mind and it was easier for his brain to give up the struggle and to "go with the flow". I think we have all, at one time or another, felt like Winston.

And to answer your question, I suppose that if I just pretended to believe in something to achieve an inner peace then I would eventually feel like I was faking it - yes. If I somehow manged to become one with everything without believing in anything, then maybe I would have hit the jackpot. Trancendental meditation maybe?
 
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INT21

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Dr wu,

May I take it that he included himself in that ?

You are right though. No one knows what the really big picture is. It is just too big with too many unknowns.

Leonard Susskin suggests that anyone who knows says they know how quantum physics works is fooling them selves. No one knows.

But they use their best estimate and work with it anyway.

INT21.
 
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Ahhh ... You want the certitude of peace within your 'life world', but not necessarily at the cost of subordinating your 'life world' to a particular platform (orientation; doctrine) supporting a state of absolute certainty.
As I clumsily alluded to at the start of the thread, the desire for ‘peace in the life world’ is a vestigial echo of a way of interpreting the world from a social perspective that we evolved very early on in our development.

That this has led some of us to a kind of spiritual yearning (cf. 'Call to Search' ) is neither here nor there in terms of the truth of the matter. I’d argue that if one is unsettled, it’s a dissonance between this idea that there is ‘something’, and a more rational calculation that suggests there is nothing there, further tainted or perhaps reinforced by a peace that others who embraced some form of spirituality, appear to have.

This latter may be no more than the peace we all derive from being part of a group and accepted by the group, another vestigial (tribal/social) feeling.
Yet after all of that, there is ALWAYS somebody who approaches me after the show and whispers, "I know you say that you are not psychic but I can tell you are" or they'll say "Between us, tell the truth, you are Psychic aren't you?". And the thing is, no amount of arguing can convince them otherwise. And there is one thing they all have in common - they are all happy. They are all happy in the knowledge that they know the answer. They have an inner peace that I recognise time and time again - in those who "believe" in something.
You entertain with mentalism and are open and honest about the nature of your act. You are a truth-teller and possibly a seeker of the truth. In your mind you are not a charlatan or a psychic. You consider yourself comfortable with this.

The audience that enjoy the act and go home reinforce this self-image. The ones that come to see you and say they think you really are psychic bother you because their apparent ease with their beliefs essentially undermines your identity. You are the truth-seeker, they are deceiving themselves, yet they are comfortable. This slight cognitive dissonance is amplified by peoples (your) natural tendency to seek spiritual meaning.

There is a need, I suggest, to reconcile the empirical with the spiritual yearning. This is my view of a method of acceptance: I go fishing;

I can view this as a mystical exercise by looking at it from one point of view; viz. the mystery in the depths of the water, a search for a leviathan, construction a narrative of mystery and questing, the Jungian view of what water represents and use special swords fishing rods inscribed with some spell mot juste.

Or, I’m a guy with a stick, string, hook and worm who likes to be outdoors, can’t shake off a hunting instinct, so catching a fish feels good.

It’s like the three spinning lady optical illusion. The way you see the middle lady depends on which of the left/right images you last looked at. It’s a point of view biased by a set of pre-conditions (or primed one might say) and some of us are predisposed to left a left spin and some the right, but we can all probably watch the left to see the left OR watch the right to see the right spin..

But in the end, the centre image is an illusion generated by some stuff and some priming.


4r8KslR.gif

Life is the same - one can view it through a spiritual lens or a real lens. You're looking at the same thing though. This doesn't fix or explain anything, but for me at least, understanding this enables me to reconcile the 'stick and fish' with a 'mystical expedience'. So I don't see an issue with either view and one view doesn't make me uncomfortable.

(If I’ve dumbed down the thread, I apologise).
 
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That sounds like my experience of shifting from consubstantiation, or memorialism, to transubstantiation. I attended RC masses, as a protestant, to support people who couldn't attend on their own. And then, part way through the service I suddenly realised - to my amazement - that I believed.
Funny that! I just can't accept transubstantiation. Imho it means that the priest is performing an act of magic. If I ever do return to religion it'll likely be as a smells 'n' bells Anglican.
 

INT21

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Interesting illusion.

If you are quick, and starting with either image.

Observe, say, the left one and the centre.
then quickly move your gaze to the right and centre,

The centre image will appear to stop and change direction of rotation in mid spin.

I suppose it relies on her not having any other reference points. No stripes.

A good one.

INT21

p.s. If you cover one eye you can see them 'pairs' rotating in opposite directions.
 
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INT21

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Markrkingston,

Re LaVeyan Satanism ..

...That is to say, he included spiritual ritual that mimics the traditions and ritual formats of conventional religion but has no conventional religious content (i.e. no belief whatsoever in gods, angels, demons or devils, or any other supernatural entities, no requirement for faith, etc.)...

I don't see how anything with the word 'Satanism' in it can be seperated from religion. Surely Satan was a key player in things Biblical.

Please explain.

INT21.
 

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As I clumsily alluded to at the start of the thread, the desire for ‘peace in the life world’ is a vestigial echo of a way of interpreting the world from a social perspective that we evolved very early on in our development.

That this has led some of us to a kind of spiritual yearning (cf. 'Call to Search' ) is neither here nor there in terms of the truth of the matter. I’d argue that if one is unsettled, it’s a dissonance between this idea that there is ‘something’, and a more rational calculation that suggests there is nothing there, further tainted or perhaps reinforced by a peace that others who embraced some form of spirituality, appear to have.

This latter may be no more than the peace we all derive from being part of a group and accepted by the group, another vestigial (tribal/social) feeling.


You entertain with mentalism and are open and honest about the nature of your act. You are a truth-teller and possibly a seeker of the truth. In your mind you are not a charlatan or a psychic. You consider yourself comfortable with this.

The audience that enjoy the act and go home reinforce this self-image. The ones that come to see you and say they think you really are psychic bother you because their apparent ease with their beliefs essentially undermines your identity. You are the truth-seeker, they are deceiving themselves, yet they are comfortable. This slight cognitive dissonance is amplified by peoples (your) natural tendency to seek spiritual meaning.

There is a need, I suggest, to reconcile the empirical with the spiritual yearning. This is my view of a method of acceptance: I go fishing;

I can view this as a mystical exercise by looking at it from one point of view; viz. the mystery in the depths of the water, a search for a leviathan, construction a narrative of mystery and questing, the Jungian view of what water represents and use special swords fishing rods inscribed with some spell mot juste.

Or, I’m a guy with a stick, string, hook and worm who likes to be outdoors, can’t shake off a hunting instinct, so catching a fish feels good.

It’s like the three spinning lady optical illusion. The way you see the middle lady depends on which of the left/right images you last looked at. It’s a point of view biased by a set of pre-conditions (or primed one might say) and some of us are predisposed to left a left spin and some the right, but we can all probably watch the left to see the left OR watch the right to see the right spin..

But in the end, the centre image is an illusion generated by some stuff and some priming.


View attachment 13234

Life is the same - one can view it through a spiritual lens or a real lens. You're looking at the same thing though. This doesn't fix or explain anything, but for me at least, understanding this enables me to reconcile the 'stick and fish' with a 'mystical expedience'. So I don't see an issue with either view and one view doesn't make me uncomfortable.

(If I’ve dumbed down the thread, I apologise).
Interesting images. BTW fishing is spiritual. I've lost interest in organized religion for the most part, due to my personal experiences of having encountered liar's, nuts and weirdos (spiritualist, fundamentalist, cults, etc.). I do at times have difficulty reconciling that there isn't something beyond life as we know it and have my own leaning here. Note: have seen a few things that are hard to explain. I thy to respect those of faith and those who profess to lack faith equally. I've a bit of a bone to pick w those who try to convince - force there views on others, but am willing to listen to someone reasonably stating there beliefs - viewpoints.
 

markrkingston1

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Markrkingston,

Re LaVeyan Satanism ..

...That is to say, he included spiritual ritual that mimics the traditions and ritual formats of conventional religion but has no conventional religious content (i.e. no belief whatsoever in gods, angels, demons or devils, or any other supernatural entities, no requirement for faith, etc.)...

I don't see how anything with the word 'Satanism' in it can be seperated from religion. Surely Satan was a key player in things Biblical.

Please explain.
(a) I said that LaVeyan Satanism's psychodrama has no "conventional religious content" (bold added here for emphasis). This is indeed the case. As I said, LaVeyan Satanism requires no belief in or worship of any kind of supernatural beings (i.e. no gods, no devils, no angels, no demons, no ghosts, nothing like that), no belief in miracles of any sort, and it requires no faith in anything. And yet conventional religious content is predicated on these very things: Belief, one or more supernatural beings, miracles, faith, etc. Consequently, despite the name, LaVeyan Satanism rejects any kind of belief in or worship of Satan.

(b) LaVeyan Satanism is a religion, so it doesn't need to be separated from religion. Nevertheless, it is different in nature to most conventional religions (certainly those of the Judao-Christian tradition). As I note above, it is differentiated from conventional religions by its intentional lack of the things that turn many rational people off from conventional religions.

(c) As was mentioned in earlier messages in this thread (#30, #48), "Satan" and "Satanism" were chosen by Anton Szandor LaVey for both practical and psychological/emotional reasons. These included: To dissuade certain types of unwanted wouldbe followers, to create publicity, to create outrage in 1960s middle class USA (which also provided publicity), and to use "Satan" as a symbol for the flesh and blood self and pleasures of the flesh, the only things that LaVey thought were worth 'believing' in.


Thus LaVey created LaVeyan Satanism as a counterpoint to what he perceived as the guilt-enforcing, hypocritical, promises of "jam tomorrow" (well, "jam in the afterlife" so to speak), and essentially corrupt Judao-Christian conventional religious tradition. He created a religion which he intended to satisfy the common unconscious/subconscious human need for psychodrama but without the bullshit/hypocrisy (faith, supernaturalism, etc.) that comes with most conventional religions.
 
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Some more interim comments on possible reasons as to why humanity >may< have always convergently-evolved religion/conversations-with-the-cosmic beliefs, across the world (and the ages):

  • there are some indications that as homo sapiens has continued to evolve over time (from a neurobiological perspective) our expanded capacity for abstract reasoning is also a ready substrate for psychosis and multiple personality disorder / and dissociative identity disorder. We are very prone to hear inner voices by our own natures.
  • there is still much to consider that emerges from the fascinating hypothesis that even very-recently, we as thinking creatures actually used to think in a very-different way to the mode we believe we now do https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)


This dichotocerebral mode of thought may actually still be fully in place, at some levels, in all of us. And therefore, when we seek answers from the great beyond, in truth (whatever that may be) they are but 'echoes in the shell'.
I meant to say btw, that this is a most interesting notion and many thanks for posting that. I shall add the book to my Christmas list post-haste.
 
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