Author Topic: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community  (Read 1899 times)

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Offline Seze Mune

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The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« on: April 08, 2012, 01:41:10 pm »
It takes a well-known atheist to come to the conclusion that there is value in having values.  That is to say, having a system which promotes community-strengthening values increases chances of survival on several levels. Organized religions, for all their inherent problems, seem to help in this regard.  Score one for Eywa vis a vis the Na'vi.

According to atheist Jonathan Haidt in his new book "The Righteous Mind" scientists miss the point when they focus on individuals rather than on systems.  One study he cited reported that "...of 200 communes founded in the 19th century, only 6 percent of the secular communes survived two decades, compared with 39 percent of the religious ones. Those that survived longest were those that demanded sacrifices of members, like fasting, daily prayer, abstaining from alcohol or tobacco, or adopting new forms of clothing or hairstyle.

“The very ritual practices that the New Atheists dismiss as costly, inefficient and irrational turn out to be a solution to one of the hardest problems humans face: cooperation without kinship,” Haidt writes."

And that's what you guys are discussing here: tribal cooperation without kinship.  How are you going to make that likely to work?

It seems that there is long-term tribal survival value in creating a system of values, which is exactly the kind of thing which seems to overlap with religion.  A new book, “Religion for Atheists,” by Alain de Botton, a man from a Sephardic Jewish background who was raised in a secular family. He maintains that atheists can derive benefits from the study of religion.

“One can be left cold by the doctrines of the Christian Trinity and the Buddhist Eightfold Path and yet at the same time be interested in the ways in which religions deliver sermons, promote morality, engender a spirit of community, make use of art and architecture, inspire travels, train minds and encourage gratitude at the beauty of spring,” de Botton says.

“The error of modern atheism has been to overlook how many aspects of the faiths remain relevant even after their central tenets have been dismissed.”

Science as we have it today is arguably made possible by the more cohesive elements of religions, which can provide a stable social platform for their development.  These values which some religions promote are not only not acknowledged by scientists, but are deliberately exorcised from their equations.  It is taboo within the sciences to consider the value of one's concepts of god, and some espouse this taboo so religiously that they have to make light of it whenever they see it in others.

I am not promoting religion here.  The article I read and quoted above made me curious about the etiology and enculturation of values within the proposed tribe, and how these might best be used to promote cohesive survival of the group.  If you guys can address these respectfully with each other, you have probably just enhanced your chances of survival as a group entity.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 01:44:42 pm by Seze Mune »

Offline Niri Te

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Re: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 08:15:52 pm »
 Seze Mune,
  You make some very good observations about the book and it's author, I will write more later after we return from our Veteran friend's house.
Niri Te
Tokx alu tawtute, Tirea Le Na'vi

Offline Tsmuktengan

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Re: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 08:29:25 pm »
Eltur tìtxen si. I have heard of this kind of views as well. Irayo ma Seze Mune for sharing this.

I also think this generates cohesion because, while someone can interact with the entire group this way, it also creates a group identity that we can identify to.

But here again I would not fallback on religion on this, I prefer, in my own personal view, to think "spirituality" and "way of interacting openly" rather than religion, who I believe encloses people a bit too much. :)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 08:32:07 pm by Tsmuktengan »


Offline Nìmwey

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Re: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 03:04:38 am »
...I don't get it. :-\
I appreciate your efforts, but it's too vague for me.

//Boring, diehard atheist/non believer who doesn't even understand the concept of spirituality.

Offline Tsmuktengan

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Re: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 08:02:54 am »
...I don't get it. :-\
I appreciate your efforts, but it's too vague for me.

//Boring, diehard atheist/non believer who doesn't even understand the concept of spirituality.

Never mind then.  ;)


Offline Seze Mune

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Re: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 09:59:33 pm »
Eltur tìtxen si. I have heard of this kind of views as well. Irayo ma Seze Mune for sharing this.

I also think this generates cohesion because, while someone can interact with the entire group this way, it also creates a group identity that we can identify to.

But here again I would not fallback on religion on this, I prefer, in my own personal view, to think "spirituality" and "way of interacting openly" rather than religion, who I believe encloses people a bit too much. :)

That's a good place to start.  What's the difference between religion and spirituality?

Offline Tsmuktengan

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Re: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 05:35:54 pm »
Basically, religion is often a social structure regulating the life of a group of people; It establishes moral rules, laws and specifications for events in life. It had two aims : regulating societies and offering a spiritual learning. But it also has many flaws : interest conflicts, proselytisms, competition between tendencies, tensions with other views, opposition to science, and while it was supposed to free humans, it often led to enclose them into doctrines, leading to theocratic regimes. This has been proven numerous times across history by the way. :)

Spirituality is different : it can be a way of looking ourselves interiorly what we are and what we exactly want for us and others, and how. Spirituality does not opposes itself to sciences at all, in opposition to religion. It helps having both reason and intuition. In fact,

Religion : rejects totally science and reason
Strict scientific mind : totally rejects religion and intuition (even if not religious)
Spirituality: total acceptation of reason and intuition.

In this way, we can say that the difference between religion and spirituality is that spirituality is a way of refusing dogmas, keeping both reason and intuition. Spirituality does not have dogmas or beliefs (or very few). It bases itself on notions and reality, it bases itself on our own eyes and not on second hand knowledge.

Spirituality, while being solid anchored in reality, can be a way of finding easy and good principles to find a way of life that is good for anyone of us and for any other person as well, and be much more effective in keeping the eyes opened on the world around us, not to close ourselves only on us wanting to hide or ignores what happens around us.

This is something I think I have spotted and found interesting in Avatar, although the Na'vi have a spirituality that goes close to a religion in my opinion. I did like this concept a lot. And I think this is a key thing that can strengthen a community around same simple values that we would all agree with.


Offline Seze Mune

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Re: The glue of woo aka strengthening the community
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 11:12:23 pm »
I like your thoughts, ma tsmukan.  I am not sure where the line can be drawn between spirituality and religion. It probably fluctuates somewhat. 

Where does religion come from? I have an idea that it comes from petrified spirituality.  People discovered ways towards the spirit and built rules which eventually became dogma. Often form became the goal rather than spirit. 

Where does spirituality come from?  I'm not wholly sure, but I think this is an innate drive amongst humans.  Children are more innocently aware of this until they are carefully molded by adults who have lost the true connection.  I have wondered if this was the original meaning for the Biblical emphasis on having faith as a child does.

I see things a little differently from you, I think.  For me, the lines between all of these are blurred.  Here is where I am at right now in my thoughts:

Spirituality: the attempt to express one's being in the most life-affirming, loving way in the context of one's interrelatedness with all things.  Science and intuition have their places, and sometimes they are even married.

Religion: Often only the hollow shell from which spirituality is supposed to emerge but is sometimes aborted, if it ever succeeds in gestating at all.

Science: Often a vehicle driven by a robot, in the sense that it is all mechanical and deliberately soulless.  Sometimes intuition is used, but then it is paved with rigorous maths to legitimize it.  When steel in science can be tempered with the implications of deep spiritual awareness, I think we could have the best of all possible worlds.

Since these are only my thoughts, they aren't really important here.  YOUR thoughts and those of your group are MORE important.  It is good to talk of these things beforehand.  And perhaps build some overt social recognition of certain things like membership, partnering, birthing, giving gratitude, etc. (that's how rituals begin).






 

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