Monday, April 20, 2009

Religion:A Necessary Social Construct?

Below is a status post of facebook regarding religion-- interesting dialouge

Chad Cornett ...is religion a construct of the human mind to explain the unknown? interested in your thoughts

William at 10:51am April 20
Interestingly, neurobiologists discovered a portion of a brian that was labeled the "God spot" that showed hypersensitivity to religious words and ideas. Of course, the tests were run on epileptic patients, so...Then, the human mind tends to humanize the world around t hem, aka anthropomorphism, as you can see in any mythology or legends from any... culture. A guy named Muller said that most mythology is just "primitive" man's explanation of the natural world.So is God just a way to explain the unknown? Like primitive man, do we just not have the vocabulary or knowledge to explain God as he could not explain a flood or typhoon?

Rachel at 11:57am April 20
in undergrad I read a modern christian philosopher that wrote that every human has a map of their worldview, what makes sense to them about what's true in the world based on their observations. Modern christian philosophers believe that the Christian worldview, the one which includes God & Jesus in the picture, makes the most sense of our observations about the world, what we know to be true. That's all from me.

Kate at 1:21pm April 20
I thought it was created by Catholics and early european government to instill fear to create a stable society and a money-collection system. but apparently in a world view there is more to it than that.

Don at 1:30pm April 20
Chad, this is an interesting question. At least from my perspective, religion is a social institution allowing people to share spiritual beliefs, embody those beliefs in practice and engage in rituals that reinforce these beliefs and practices. "Explanation" is a rational function of the thinking mind. From a Western societal standpoint, science is... Read More the institution most interested in developing rational explanations of phenomena. The "unknown" is probably best envisioned as the vast hidden part of an iceberg in an ocean. The tip that we see is what we know in a cognitive sense. Some philosophers argue that intuitive knowledge exists. This latter form of knowledge is about feeling and sensing in a less mental conditioned/cognitive way. Perhaps a part of the hidden knowledge under the sea is accessed through our intuitive channels. Probably more than you asked for...

Aaron at 1:36pm April 20
I would say religion is the social instution that is designed to promote conformity to socio-political heirachical systems and is used as a political tool that allows for the justification for the actions of those who "have the power to define" (our leaders). Also, religion can be viewed as being an economic form of spirituality wherein one's ... Read Morepayment will be recieved in the here after..."You do this while you are living, and then you will be able to experience an afterlife of bliss and contentment." This is why Marx states, "Religion is the opiate of the masses. Individuals are not addicted to the high of worshipping a diety, but merely the idea of life everlasting; a life without the troubles and misfortune of today. This opiate more or less relieves the pain of living! Religion, when viewed as a socio-political structure, leads to the continuation of current social norms and customs.Now...Spirituality must be the focus...

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