I was mostly educated in catholic schools. As such, I did read, and analyse, considerable portions of the bible. Also, althought I've never read the Quran or any Buddhist and Hindu texts, I did study their beliefs in my religion classes. Therefore, I do think I know what religion is quite well.
Which God? I know it may be tempting to assume that everyone believes more or less is the same god since Abrahamic religions have become so overwhelmingly dominant, but that is simply not true.
Christianity defines God as being omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and good. Islam seems to point in a similar direction, and so does Judaism (although the part of it being good is particularly questionable in this one), but that's only because these three religions happen share the same roots. Sometimes there are many gods, none of them omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent, and many of them are not good. If you want to say that God is mankind's oldest ide and it has survived through millenia, you're going to have to come up with a definition of God that applies as well to christianity as to greek polytheism and whatever religion the people who built Stonehenge practiced.
You're probably not going to like it, but let me try to do that for you: God is the supernatural, it is something that escapes human comprehension, and as such can't be expected to conform to the laws of the universe, which including the laws of physics and also basic logic.
This is pretty much the only definition I can think of that covers every theistic religion.
Religions are not "based around morals", they are constructs created to impose someone views on morals on other people. As primitive men didn't find reason to be a good enough criteria to tell right and wrong appart, they just made up invisible men in the sky and that worked better.
I know this is the way humanity as always done things, but I think lately we have proved that we can do it a different way. With centuries of rational phisophical discussion of ethics. Still, religion is not likely to go away, but that doesn't mean we should embrace it.
I absolutely agree with this
That's just not what a God is, at least not in traditional religions. God is a supernatural entity that commands reality without obeying to its laws. The concept of religion implies the search for a purpose outside of humanity and the physical world.
Let me quote wikipedia's entry on religion here:
There is no scholarly consensus over the definition of "religion". Conventionally, a "religion" is any cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental.
I do not consider positions that search for God inside the Universe to be religious at all. If anything, "spiritual" movements such as pantheism and religious naturalism are just attempts to attribute religious characteristics to something that is not religious. In other words, these movements are for people who know that there is no God, and yet still feel the need for one, therefore resorting to calling God to something different. Something that does exist but yet has nothing magical about it.
God exists as a concept, I wouldn't quite say it exists as a "being". It is no more real than unicorns and fairies, the only difference is that very few people actually believe in unicorns and fairies whereas many do believe in God. A popular illusion is still and illusion nonetheless.
Aso, God most definetly does not exist as a concious being (which is part of the definition of a theistic God).
You see, this is the problem with all these new "Jungian" pseudo-religions. You recognize that religion is basically just a form of collective insanity, and yet you say that people should pray to their own insanity instead of trying to get rid of it. That's just not right.
You just don't need a religion to do this. Religion is the wrong way to do it. If this is about getting people to do what is right, then you should that by persuading them with rational discourse, not by telling them lies.
Granted, but I do need to point out that people currently don't agree with each other on what system of thought leads a "happy life and more good than harm to one's surroundings". The reason why people create religions is because they don't want to defend their own systems of thought through rationality, and so they just make up lies to justify them. They don't want to explain why they're right, they just want to be recognized as being right.
True, but if everyone just suddenly started smoking opium right now and they showed no signs of being willing to give it up, that wouldn't make opium a good thing that should be embraced. I don't need opium, therefore, I won't smoke it, and I'll advise everyone to do the same. I'll definetly not spend my time and energy creating a new type of opium so I can further my own agenda at the expense of others.
The idea doesn't need to "stand" because it's not supposed not be scrutinized through reason but accepted out of blind faith. God is supposed to be above reason, above nature (hence being supernatural), and ultimately above reality. Therefore, by claiming that reality is determined by something that escapes the laws of reality as we know it, religion ultimately does deny reality.
Now, your position seems to be different. Similar to pantheism, which I've already discussed in this post, but let's see more...
So, you do believe in personal God, right? Or at least you want other people to believe in it, I don't know...
Is that Cosmic mind a sentient being or some abastraction? If it's the first I'd like to ask you the following: Is the cosmic mind magical? What I mean to ask by this is if the way the Cosmic mind is distributed and operates is physical and can one day be understood through the laws of reality or if it's something inherently beyond human comprehension?
If it's the first and the mind is not magical, then what you have is not a religion and you're simply trying to attribute religious characteristic to something that is not religious. If that's the case I'd describe your position as speculation. It would make a good science-fiction novel, but I see no reason why people should pray to your speculative Cosmic Mind and accept a certain system of thought because of it. Saying that you should do the right thing because a Cosmic Mind may be watching is a poor moral argument. Someone with very different moral ideas than your own could perfectly say the same thing. He could say: the Cosmic Mind is wathcing so must kill everyone who's not one of the Cosmic Mind's chosen. And, as you had justified your morals through speculation, you could make no claim of being more right than him. This why religious wars happen.
If the mind is, in fact magical, then you're denying reality. You're saying that God/The Cosmic Mind, is something that doesn't have to operate within the parameters of reality, and yet it does determine reality.
Chaos theory? I'm not sure if you mean string theory or many-worlds intrepretation of quantum mechanics. In the first one it's more like there are extra-dimensions. In second, yes, there are alternate universes, but I don't think that really can be of any use to you in this discussion.
I'm not sure what you mean here. Yes, I do believe that the things I dream of and imagine are, in fact, less real than the things I physically perceive. They're not "beings" but "concepts", they're different things.
And yes, I'll grant you that dreaming and imagining things is a bit like creating tiny universes inside your head. Those universes are, in my opinion, less real than ours and they contain much less information. But I do recognize the possibily that there may be something more real than our universe. We may, in fact, be all living inside some ultra-advanced alien's dream. That alien should have a mind much larger than our own, and it must living in a reality that constain much more information. Is this alien your idea of a Cosmic Mind? It's pretty much the same thing as the idea of the simulators, which Radivis has already brought up to this thread. I do recognize that this is a possibility, but it's all just speculation. The simulators may be real, but I won't pray to them and I most definetly won't use the idea of them to convince other of my views on ethical philosophy by means of creating a pseudo-religion.
I can deny their reasons if their reasons are not rational. When people adhere to a movement or an ideology that should be motivated by and understanding that belonging that movement and substribing to that ideology are rational positions to take. They should not me motivated by fantasies of invisible men in the sky, subjective feelings such as faith, and speculation.
No one. But I've always tried to the best of my ability to know the difference between those two through objective reasoning. And I do demand that other people try to do the same. They may disagree with me, that is perfectly fine, but they cannot refuse to think rationally, that's simply not an option that can be given to people.
Sure, we all know nothing. Without making any assumptions about you and me, I'd like to point out the fact that some people do know more things than other, but that's besides the point. I oppose religion because it claims that we should look fot answer through non-rational means. This is not about individuals knowing more or knowing less, this is a reason and the denial of it that religion represents.
I can never be sure of that, but that doesn't mean I don't have the duty to try make an objective analysis.
The difference is that I justify the thigs I say, or at least I try to. Sure, I myself am probably wrong about a lot of things, but I attempt to make an objective analysis of reality and everyone has the duty to do the same.
No, because I actually try to give people objective reasons why they should follow my "lies", while religion doesn't do that.
This is a very dangerous philosophy. Pure moral subjectivism.
If you think you can impose a moral code on people by justifying with religion, then what stops somenone with a very different moral code of doing the same? You can't say that they're wong, and they can't say that you're wrong, because you both justified your ideas the exact same way. If you really do believe in thsi things, how can you condemn religious terrorism for example? After all, these people are just acting accordingly to their "personal perceptions". You can't say they're wrong.
I'm sorry, but we do have the right to judge other people's morals. Civiliazation demands it.
Right and Wrong is all that matter. There is, in fact, a way of causing the most good for the most people, and that way is, by definition, the right way. And people should accept it solely because they can rationally understand that it is the right way. That's what makes superior to all others.