Mythology and Religion: In The News

What needs do mythology and religion serve in today's world and in ancient times? Here we discuss the relationship between mythology, religion and science from mythological, religious and philosophical viewpoints.

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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:57 pm

I get it Ron and I agree with you. Scientists also treat religion not as metaphorical of the transcendent mystery but as something factual .. They are stuck with their image, the others guys are stuck with their image, we are stuck with an image...

Oh well... :D
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Post by Roncooper » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:12 pm

Very well put. Part of our image is scientific fact and we should accept this, but it is only part. We are forced to rely on reason and personal experience to fill out the image.

I remember reading an interesting statement about the hierarchy of knowledge from Vishishtadvaita Hinduism. To summarize it said:

If you have a question look to science for an answer. If it is not found there look to personal experience. If that fails look to reason, and if all of these fail look to dogma.

I thought that was a reasonable approach.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
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Post by romansh » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:28 am

Roncooper wrote:Rom,

Please explain. I don''t follow.
Carl Sagan is/was a materialist ... but I find him quite spiritual.
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Post by romansh » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:40 am

Andreas wrote:Scientists also treat religion not as metaphorical of the transcendent mystery but as something factual .. They are stuck with their image, the others guys are stuck with their image, we are stuck with an image...

Oh well... :D
So do the vast majority of Christians and Muslims at least to some degree. Not sure about Jews.

Now (atheistic) scientists as whole argue against interpreting scriptures literally (as we do here, do we not?) and would encourage a metaphorical interpretation.

And based on what I have read, approximately 60% of scientists are believers in some shape, form or another. So these "scientists" I suspect are a little apocryphal.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
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Post by Roncooper » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:40 am

Rom,

Thank you for the explanation about Sagan.
Last edited by Roncooper on Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Roncooper » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:53 am

I wrote 2 days ago:


I believe that the drive to play the piano comes from the experience of beautiful sound. The child hears beautiful music and wants more. The child takes up the piano because the sound from the piano is pleasing, and as they practice their brain develops in a way that enhances this experience of beauty.
I just had a moment of synchronicity. i posted this two days ago and I just received an email from The Institute for Sacred Activism. The email was advertising a new book by Andrew Harvey which is about his interviews with Seymour Bernstein, a concert pianist. It also mentioned a movie called "Seymour an Introduction," which has won awards. I went to Netflix and started watching it. About eight minutes in he recalled the first time he played a piano at home. He was 5 or 6 years old. He said he began crying as he played and his mother asked him why. He replied that this was the most beautiful music he had ever heard.

Not bad synchronicity. Out of nowhere and less than two days after my post.

I strongly recommend the movie, especially if you enjoy music. It is a real teaching moment.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
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Post by Andreas » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:28 am

romansh wrote:
Andreas wrote:Scientists also treat religion not as metaphorical of the transcendent mystery but as something factual .. They are stuck with their image, the others guys are stuck with their image, we are stuck with an image...

Oh well... :D
So do the vast majority of Christians and Muslims at least to some degree. Not sure about Jews.

Now (atheistic) scientists as whole argue against interpreting scriptures literally (as we do here, do we not?) and would encourage a metaphorical interpretation.

And based on what I have read, approximately 60% of scientists are believers in some shape, form or another. So these "scientists" I suspect are a little apocryphal.
Rom, for me a metaphorical interpretation besides the obvious explanations we can give, also has meta-physical properties, a loaded term I know but still... not everything can be explained with logic.

So yeah even though I don't like religion either.. I feel that science as philosophy or mythology doesn't offer anything different.. That's my main issue with science. Other than that I find a lot of the discoveries and the observations we make very fascinating, yes.. even spiritual..
“To live is enough.” ― Shunryu Suzuki
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Post by romansh » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:11 am

Andreas wrote: Rom, for me a metaphorical interpretation besides the obvious explanations we can give, also has meta-physical properties, a loaded term I know but still... not everything can be explained with logic.

So yeah even though I don't like religion either.. I feel that science as philosophy or mythology doesn't offer anything different.. That's my main issue with science. Other than that I find a lot of the discoveries and the observations we make very fascinating, yes.. even spiritual..
My point remains, some scientists, and perhaps even Campbellians would advise against a literal scriptural interpretation; even some progressive religionists and I suspect many Buddhists.

I am not sure what metaphysics is, other than a book next to a book on physics.
We don't have to make stuff up to make this world somehow more palatable: it is fine as it is. Even Greece. :)
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Post by Andreas » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:24 am

First, Greece is not fine u can be certain about that.

Second, If the world is fine what does it matter if we make it palatable or not? But yeah you are right the world is fine... who cares if we read the scriptures literally...


:lol:
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Post by lancimouspitt » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:06 am

Andreas wrote:
romansh wrote:
Andreas wrote:Scientists also treat religion not as metaphorical of the transcendent mystery but as something factual .. They are stuck with their image, the others guys are stuck with their image, we are stuck with an image...

Oh well... :D
So do the vast majority of Christians and Muslims at least to some degree. Not sure about Jews.

Now (atheistic) scientists as whole argue against interpreting scriptures literally (as we do here, do we not?) and would encourage a metaphorical interpretation.

And based on what I have read, approximately 60% of scientists are believers in some shape, form or another. So these "scientists" I suspect are a little apocryphal.
Rom, for me a metaphorical interpretation besides the obvious explanations we can give, also has meta-physical properties, a loaded term I know but still... not everything can be explained with logic.

So yeah even though I don't like religion either.. I feel that science as philosophy or mythology doesn't offer anything different.. That's my main issue with science. Other than that I find a lot of the discoveries and the observations we make very fascinating, yes.. even spiritual..

I hear talk come up occasionally on the news or different websites that kids don't show an interest in science that the pro's think they should.
I can only speak for myself,but at times it feels as if even the scientist,the pro's themselves present things so "dull" and drab I'm surprise anyone can pay attention.

Yes, I understand the light is a burning ball of gas and other things that is all ready gone, and the light from that place is just now reaching my eyes.
I get it.
But sometimes saying it's a dead hero getting ready to slay an eternal bull or whatever other animal you want to insert "___",just gives it so much more meaning to me. :lol:
The idea of the universe as a hologram did however,keep me fascinated for a long,long time.
A ship is safe in harbor,but that's not why a ship is built.
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Post by Andreas » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:42 pm

Hey lanc,

Agreed :)

Romansh, I hope you didnt misunderstood my reply as not caring for our very interesting conversations. But "The world is fine" is not an argument. If that was true nobody would care to make any conversations or change things but we do. Anyway I hope this is more clear now.
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Post by romansh » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:42 pm

Andreas wrote:Hey lanc,

Agreed :)

Romansh, I hope you didnt misunderstood my reply as not caring for our very interesting conversations. But "The world is fine" is not an argument. If that was true nobody would care to make any conversations or change things but we do. Anyway I hope this is more clear now.
No problem, I am relatively speaking thick skinned and insensitive ... :)

I think Campbell's three types of religions fit in nicely here:
  1. 1) religions that celebrate nature and accept things are place in the circle of life.
    2) religions that want to withdraw from life .
    3) religions that want to make life better (in the sense of less evil rather than easier).
The last of the three tend to be the predominant theistic religions in the west. I can't help thinking that those of us who have spent large amounts of time in the west have been infected by the theistic world view, at least to some degree.

But that is OK too.
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Post by Roncooper » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:20 pm

IMHO all of these have a common thread in that they all want to enhance the experience of the transcendent mystery. They all strive for more love, awe, honor, beauty, mystic experience, etc.

The desire for the transcendent experience is a pandemic infection.
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Post by Clemsy » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:58 pm

Well, thank goodness not all bacteria are bad. lol

In Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett, Death has to save the Hogfather (Discworld's equivalent of Santa Clause). There are some interesting quotes from that story. Here's a couple good ones:
“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

MY POINT EXACTLY.”
Death speaks in all caps. lol.

Here's another. My favorite:
“WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HADN'T SAVED HIM?

"Yes! The sun would have risen just the same, yes?"

NO

"Oh, come on. You can't expect me to believe that. It's an astronomical fact."

THE SUN WOULD NOT HAVE RISEN.

"Really? Then what would have happened, pray?"

A MERE BALL OF FLAMING GAS WOULD HAVE ILLUMINATED THE WORLD.”
Give me stories before I go mad! ~Andreas
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Post by Roncooper » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:53 pm

Clemsy,

I don't know how to respond to these quotes. they are truly depressing for me. I feel sorry for someone, like these people, who have never had a life changing experience.

In my opinion a person who has lived a full life has bumped into "God" several times, and is no longer trapped in this depressing intellectual prison.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
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