[LMB] Religion question

tidsel egern at protonmail.com
Mon Jul 12 10:36:43 BST 2021

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‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

On Monday, July 12th, 2021 at 00:48, Matthew George <matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Jul 10, 2021 at 6:36 AM tidsel via Lois-Bujold <
> lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:
> > Not sure about that. If we go back in time, it would be more like trying
> > to understand the world and what happens,> > and stay on the good side on the powers you believe is there (in the
> > absence of other explanations)

M> Oh? Name one example of classical religion that makes it easier to
> understand the world. One.

T:I think we are talking completely past each other here. My thoughts are with the first humans
trying to survive and make sense of what happens. Storms, lightning, drought, floods, moon, stars and all other
natural phenomena influencing their lives.

M: Nope. One of the other things religion does is provide people with the
> illusion of being able to affect things.

T: The first superstition/spirituality/religion was very likely because you knew you could NOT
affect things - just attempts to understand, and make it as safe as you could by not insulting
whatever powers were seen to run things.


M: Thus, superstitions provide the illusion that the world is
> knowable and known, and more importantly, that it can be influenced or
> controlled.

T: Quite the opposite, I see it as an attempt to survive in a world you know you cannot control.

M: The greatest difference between superstition and religion is that the
> latter exists on the level of society rather than an individual.

T: That would depend on how you define superstition, and religion.


M You may find it informative to look up accounts of people maintaining and
> even beginning 'cargo cults' in the modern-day South Pacific. They people
> involved aren't stupid or ignorant, and know perfectly well the practices
> will not bring cargo; the reasons they give for continuing the religion are
> quite germane to this discussion.

T: Sailors, farmers, all people who depend on powers beyond their control - weather - some of these will be superstitous for that reason. Actors say 'break a leg'.
It is just a thing people do. Even atheists sometimes pray if someone is seriously ill or no one can help them.

M: Morality is a society's collective standards about right and wrong. No
> more, no less.

Are you saying that all societies will have different standards about right or wrong? Or are there universal rights or wrongs?

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