On 1/8/2013 12:25 PM, Alberto G. Corona wrote:
Le me add some meat here

Nah.  It's just your wishful thinking that everybody has to believe in God.

We can not reduce the concept of God to a boring principle that we need to put somewhere. Like a ugly furniture inherited from the grand-parents which for its sentimental value we have to keep and locate somewhere, so that the familly visits show that you are a well educated and respectful person. God is like the refligerator. if you drop the old one, you need another.

That will come as a shock to ten million atheists in the U.S. as well as those in Europe where they constitute a plurality of religious opinion.

Why? because religion -or an extended notion of religion and divinity- is deeply embedded in human nature. An objective study of God includes an explanation of the subjective reality or the resulting description is incomplete. if the reality is overall, mental and divinity a neccesity, then the divinity is part of reality

For reasons that I detail below, God must be the absolute source of meaning in all aspects. therefore it embodies the causation and direction of what is "physical" as well as what is mental, personal or moral and any else. Therefore, for the believer, God must be personal, among other things, or else, the believer lacks a foundation for the aspects that God does not includes.

Sounds like you've studied John Clark's "How to Become a Liberal Theologian".

As I tried to show in robotic Truth, religion is a neccesity for the operation of social beings. If there is no agreed meaning, that is, goals, there is no inequivocal rules for social action. if there are no inequivocal rules for social coordination, descoordination and internal decomposition of the group follows. For that matter religion is the core social instinct. it is as deeply embedded in social nature as is other unique human traits, like the white in the eyes, another social adaptation (facilitates the reading of the emotional states and intentions of others).

I agreed with your point that social robots would develop social values. But that doesn't mean they would have to invent a supernatural robot who defined the values.

Probably the first religion was a cult of the person of the recently dead leader of the tribe that was an example and a guide to all the other members by emulation. That's why by history and by neccesity a god, must be personal .

Actually the first religions embued animals and weather with agency. There was no sharp line between science and religion because agency, which could be manipulated by prayer and sacrifice, was ubiquitous. Only later did the voice of the dead leader and dreams become the basis of spiritualism and eventually religion with shamans and priests.

A society with a impersonal Principle is full of smalller personal gods in conflict, sometimes violent.

Which was the case in Mesopotamia around the time Judaism developed. Yaweh at first insisted on being the top god, over all the personal and household gods. Then later he evolved into the only god - as explained by Craig A. James in "The God Virus".

Philosophers, Demagoges, scientis, rock stars, Soccer clubs. This politheism becomes salient and agressive when there is no personal God, or, at least, no Cesar or Zeus that make clear who is the ultimate authority. A dialectic materialist society need a Lenin and a Stalin because its impersonal Principle is not personal. The abstract and incognoscible Allah need a ruthless political Mahoma.

The cult to the blood, the leader and the territory. These are the almost mathematically inexorable traits of the primitive tribal religion that we have by default in the genes. In the origin, the cult to the leader, the public rites, The bloody sacrifices, All are devoted to strengthen coordination and ensure collaboration, and mutual recognition between the members. And the sharp distinction between us and the others.

Yes, it must be sad for theists who long for the good old days of the Aztecs, the Holy Inquisition, the Albigensian Crusade, the unifying force of The Cultural Revolution,...

A membrane separates the entity from the outside and defines an living unit that perdures in time, be it a cell or a society, in the latter case, the membrane is created by religion, the physical territory and the blood ties. In this sense, primitive religion may be exigent, very exigent and dangerous. The bloody mesoamerican religions, which grew unchallenged during centuries, with his pyramids of skulls illustrate how a primitive religion evolves in itself when not absorbed or conquered by a superior civilization.

That´s why the belief in a all transcendent God that created all men at its image and dignity and incarnated in a person, Christ to imitate, is the best use of this unavoidable and necessary part of us called religion. In this sense, Christianity free us from the obedience to the dictatorial earthly leaders, the bloody sacrifices, the cult to the lebensraung (vital space) of the tribe , or the supertribe, with its psycopathic treatment to "the others".

And it gave us Hitler and The Final Solution, the slaughter of the Cathars, the burning of witches, the Crusades,... "What shall we do with...the Jews?...set fire to their synagogues or schools and bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them." ---Martin Luther

Because nihilism is unbearable except as a self-steem booster by means of a self-exhibition of strength for a certain time, as the young russians did in the early XX century. If hihilism would not be painful it would not be a matter of exhibition. Sooner or later the nihilist has to choose between the suicide, that has a perfect evolutionary sense, since someone isolated, with no guide to help others in society is a social burden, and suicide is the social apoptosis, by means of which the social body re-absorb the useless.

What makes you think an atheist is not part of a society (however much you may wish it were so). 93% of the members of the National Academy of Science are atheists. They don't seem much prone to suicide or isolation or not helping others. In fact they are far more help than those theists who prayed to cure polio and small pox.

Or else the , guided by its simple instints and devoid of the experience and traditions of the past, and therefore with no vaccine for the recurrent errors of humanity,

So Christianity is a kind of vaccine, one that activates the skeptical immune system to save us from infection by theism. I can buy that, although I think Santa Claus works too.

the unbeliever will reinvent again and again the primitive cults to the earth the tiranic leader and the blood. Of course with the fashionable decorations of our time; Probably some eco-globalist-aborto-eugenesist cult with a greath leader that would suspend our rights, for the good of humanity and the planet, of course.

The only recent eugeneist cult was that of the Nazis, founded by a good Catholic boy. No wars have been fought or pogroms instigated for ecological reasons or to allow women to choose abortions; but a great many have been fought over theist dogma.

"Once you have backed into the faith corner, you have no
recourse against terror and repression in the name of religion,
no recourse against bigotry, demagoguery, misogyny, or abuse
posing as religion. You have no basis for criticism of cruel
religions. This is precisely because faith is not a matter of
evidence and analysis, not a matter of argument and criticism."
         --- Patricia Churchland

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