Total Posts:91|Showing Posts:1-30|Last Page
Jump to topic:

Religion vs Art

RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
As members know, atheists are sometimes accused of being overly preoccupied with the material and objective, at the cost of the subjective, and hence (if it exists meaningfully) the spiritual.

In reply to that accusation, I offered the case that the subjective is more properly the province of art than religion, and that religion can be thought of as art taking itself too seriously -- turning an exploration of the subjective and conjectural into a claim of authority [http://www.debate.org...]:

At 10/9/2015 7:52:48 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Yes, but the domain that handles this honestly is called 'art' -- it's the domain that shares, compares, contrasts and explores the subjective without ever claiming authority for it. But that humility is what makes art honest.

Take the authority out of religion and what we have is inspirational art. Religion has sponsored and inspired some fabulous art. Alongside building community it's the other thing I like about religion.

Yet what is theology but art seeking authority? Art claiming the authority to advise, prescribe, dictate, judge, set consequence, make normative, while never being accountable for its ignorance, error and self-interest?

And what is art seeking authority but propaganda?

In response, member s-anthony seemed to have argued that art without rectitude is just hedonism, while art with rectitude is the soul of religion [http://www.debate.org...]:

At 10/10/2015 4:06:10 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Art for me is beauty. It is that feeling of satisfaction, a very personal and private gratification.

However, beauty is not complete, in and of itself, but the admiration of beauty and knowing it is not only beautiful but right. For instance, meeting someone and appreciating not, only, the fact she is beautiful but, also, the fact she is right for you.

Beauty without righteousness leaves one feeling guilty, [...]

It is a conviction, knowing something is right, and the admiration of its beauty that completes, or finishes, one's experience.

(Anthony, I hope I have taken your meaning correctly. If I have not, please correct or clarify my summary.)

We often talk about the relationship between religion and science, but this is an opportunity to talk about how religion connects to art. I thought these two views on art and religion were disparate enough and provocative enough in themselves to put up for contrast, comment and critique, and Anthony has consented that we do so.

So here are my questions:

1) Is religion just art taking itself too seriously, or is there more than that, and if so, what?
2) Is art without rectitude just hedonism, or is art more than that, and if so, what?
3) Is religion art with rectitude, or is religion more than that, and if so, what? Finally
4) What difference (if any) is there between inspirational art and religious propaganda?

Of course I have views on this, but I'm also interested in yours.

What do you think?
One_Servant
Posts: 34
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
As members know, atheists are sometimes accused of being overly preoccupied with the material and objective, at the cost of the subjective, and hence (if it exists meaningfully) the spiritual.

In reply to that accusation, I offered the case that the subjective is more properly the province of art than religion, and that religion can be thought of as art taking itself too seriously -- turning an exploration of the subjective and conjectural into a claim of authority [http://www.debate.org...]:

At 10/9/2015 7:52:48 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
Yes, but the domain that handles this honestly is called 'art' -- it's the domain that shares, compares, contrasts and explores the subjective without ever claiming authority for it. But that humility is what makes art honest.

Take the authority out of religion and what we have is inspirational art. Religion has sponsored and inspired some fabulous art. Alongside building community it's the other thing I like about religion.

Yet what is theology but art seeking authority? Art claiming the authority to advise, prescribe, dictate, judge, set consequence, make normative, while never being accountable for its ignorance, error and self-interest?

And what is art seeking authority but propaganda?

In response, member s-anthony seemed to have argued that art without rectitude is just hedonism, while art with rectitude is the soul of religion [http://www.debate.org...]:

At 10/10/2015 4:06:10 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Art for me is beauty. It is that feeling of satisfaction, a very personal and private gratification.

However, beauty is not complete, in and of itself, but the admiration of beauty and knowing it is not only beautiful but right. For instance, meeting someone and appreciating not, only, the fact she is beautiful but, also, the fact she is right for you.

Beauty without righteousness leaves one feeling guilty, [...]

It is a conviction, knowing something is right, and the admiration of its beauty that completes, or finishes, one's experience.

(Anthony, I hope I have taken your meaning correctly. If I have not, please correct or clarify my summary.)

We often talk about the relationship between religion and science, but this is an opportunity to talk about how religion connects to art. I thought these two views on art and religion were disparate enough and provocative enough in themselves to put up for contrast, comment and critique, and Anthony has consented that we do so.

So here are my questions:

1) Is religion just art taking itself too seriously, or is there more than that, and if so, what? : :

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast. Religions started with the building of an object such as a building. All the first shapes and characters for their written languages and mathematics came from the night sky, which was God's geometry class. He put thoughts into certain characters minds to use imaginary lines to connect the white dots in the sky. From these constellations, came various building shapes and characters for their written languages. Some of His people got thoughts in their minds to draw or paint these hand built objects, including music, poetry, stories, etc. to describe these hand built objects.

2) Is art without rectitude just hedonism, or is art more than that, and if so, what? : :

God was using his beast to get man to work carefully with his hands until we built the modern technology we have today, which he is using to teach me exactly how he created everything. Religious people have no idea why they built false gods but I do.

3) Is religion art with rectitude, or is religion more than that, and if so, what? Finally
4) What difference (if any) is there between inspirational art and religious propaganda?

There is no difference. All these ideas came from God's Beast, which is written about in the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation. However, in order to learn about what the Beast actually is, you need to listen to the voice of God and learn what it means. No religious person has ever heard the voice of God and learned what the Beast is.

Of course I have views on this, but I'm also interested in yours.

What do you think? : :

I know that all religious people are deceived by what they observe in this world, particularly all the false gods they built for God without understanding why they built them or what they were used for.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:17:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I like your questions so much I'm thinking about using them as a topic for a new spirituality discussion group I'm facilitating at church.

1) Is religion just art taking itself too seriously, or is there more than that, and if so, what?

For me, religion is not, only, a collective set of beliefs and values held by a group (If that were the case, any collective, secular or otherwise, would be considered religious) but, also, a collection of archetypes and motifs that speak to a deeper underlying vein that transcends the group in both space and time, beliefs and values that are universal and too extensive in complexity to subscribe exclusively to any given set of symbols.

The religionist uses symbols to denote the overwhelming nature of that which appears to him, or her, as enigmatic. These symbols do not in any way express, exhaustively, that which is indescribable; they merely abridge the profound to create subjective meaning.

It is the use of the symbolic we call artistic expression. Art is a desire to express that which is abstract with concrete forms.

2) Is art without rectitude just hedonism, or is art more than that, and if so, what?

Art, in and of itself, is incomplete; it must have meaning, and significance. Art is pleasurable, but without meaning, it leaves one empty.

3) Is religion art with rectitude, or is religion more than that, and if so, what?

Religion is knowing one's symbols are just that, symbols. The truly religious does not seek to make idolatry out of his, or her, religion's symbols. For, he, or she, knows they only speak of something of greater profundity.

Finally
4) What difference (if any) is threw between inspirational art and religious propaganda?

Inspirational art is something unique to the individual.

Religious propaganda may be held sincerely or insincerely by a collective.
annanicole
Posts: 19,785
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
One_Servant
Posts: 34
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice. This is how the New Testament was written by the other antichrists who hated the Truth but loved their traditions and pagan ideas they added to their holy books.
annanicole
Posts: 19,785
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
One_Servant
Posts: 34
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:23:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less. : :

That's what all the antichrists did who killed all God's saints and most of His prophets.
annanicole
Posts: 19,785
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:25:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:23:11 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less. : :

That's what all the antichrists did who killed all God's saints and most of His prophets.

Well, apparently they haven't gotten around to killing you yet, despite the fact that you told us that all of God's "saints" testify for only 1,260 days before being bumped off. You're at about 1,500 now and counting.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
One_Servant
Posts: 34
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:27:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:25:22 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:23:11 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less. : :

That's what all the antichrists did who killed all God's saints and most of His prophets.

Well, apparently they haven't gotten around to killing you yet, despite the fact that you told us that all of God's "saints" testify for only 1,260 days before being bumped off. You're at about 1,500 now and counting. : :

It's all in the plan, Anna. You simply weren't chosen to be one of God's believers who listen to His voice and obey His commandments.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it.
One_Servant
Posts: 34
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 7:33:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it. : :

Thanks for getting her off my back my friend. She just doesn't understand who I am or why I'm in this forum. Most theists hate the knowledge I share with them.

What did you think of my answers to your questions? I have lots more knowledge about how God's thoughts have influenced His people to do everything He wanted them to do, say and act out.
annanicole
Posts: 19,785
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 8:07:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it.

No, and I shouldn't have even responded at all to that insane lunatic. He really doesn't deserve a response from anyone, other than another account deletion. I apologize.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
One_Servant
Posts: 34
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/10/2015 8:38:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 8:07:33 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it.

No, and I shouldn't have even responded at all to that insane lunatic. He really doesn't deserve a response from anyone, other than another account deletion. I apologize. : :

The other antichrists in this forum who think like you were the one's responsible for getting me banned in the first place. Antichrists hate the Truth with a passion. They only love their own interpretations of what they read in the Bible and that's why there are so many different denominations of Christianity today. They can't agree on their own interpretations. However, they totally disbelieve the interpretations by the ONE who inspired the scriptures that were written by His saints and prophets.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 3:09:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 8:07:33 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it.

No, and I shouldn't have even responded at all to that insane lunatic. He really doesn't deserve a response from anyone, other than another account deletion. I apologize.

Not a problem, Anna. There are some members I clash with on principle across threads too. It's easy to fall into habits.

Since you're in-thread though, what role do you think art has played in Christianity culturally? I'm talking about stories, hymns, poetry, sculpture, architecture, paintings, icons, morality plays. Many authors feel that the language of the KJV is some of the best English ever written, in terms of cadence and power.

How much do you think the success of Christianity as a faith has depended on the vision of Christian art and artists?
annanicole
Posts: 19,785
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 3:30:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 3:09:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 8:07:33 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it.

No, and I shouldn't have even responded at all to that insane lunatic. He really doesn't deserve a response from anyone, other than another account deletion. I apologize.

Not a problem, Anna. There are some members I clash with on principle across threads too. It's easy to fall into habits.

Since you're in-thread though, what role do you think art has played in Christianity culturally? I'm talking about stories, hymns, poetry, sculpture, architecture, paintings, icons, morality plays. Many authors feel that the language of the KJV is some of the best English ever written, in terms of cadence and power.

As far as I am concerned, the works of Shakespeare and the King James Version stand as the two grandest examples of the English language, both unsurpassed in eloquence of diction, cadence, and quotability.

In art, the Cistine Chapel, the Madonna of Bruges, da Vinci's Last Supper, and the like rank near the top of Renaissance Style Paintings and architecture.

Tennyson's Crossing the Bar is one of my favorite poems, and it bears a Christian view of death, I suppose. At least that's what I got out of it.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 7:14:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 3:30:44 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:09:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 8:07:33 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it.

No, and I shouldn't have even responded at all to that insane lunatic. He really doesn't deserve a response from anyone, other than another account deletion. I apologize.

Not a problem, Anna. There are some members I clash with on principle across threads too. It's easy to fall into habits.

Since you're in-thread though, what role do you think art has played in Christianity culturally? I'm talking about stories, hymns, poetry, sculpture, architecture, paintings, icons, morality plays. Many authors feel that the language of the KJV is some of the best English ever written, in terms of cadence and power.

As far as I am concerned, the works of Shakespeare and the King James Version stand as the two grandest examples of the English language, both unsurpassed in eloquence of diction, cadence, and quotability.

In art, the Cistine Chapel, the Madonna of Bruges, da Vinci's Last Supper, and the like rank near the top of Renaissance Style Paintings and architecture.

Tennyson's Crossing the Bar is one of my favorite poems, and it bears a Christian view of death, I suppose. At least that's what I got out of it.

I'm a fan of John Donne's devotional poems. While the message isn't personally meaningful to me as an atheist, the art remains passionate and compelling.

As for The Last Supper, I prefer Dali's painting for its proportions and beauty. :D

Do you think such art makes a difference to the success of faith?
annanicole
Posts: 19,785
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 8:50:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 7:14:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:30:44 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:09:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 8:07:33 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:27:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:21:56 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:20:31 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 7:17:04 PM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
At 10/10/2015 5:43:53 PM, RuvDraba wrote:

Everything that man built came from God's thoughts called the Beast.

Say no more. The clown is back. : :

Antichrists take one sentence out of what was written by God's saints and then use it to reject His voice.

No, I simply took the one sentence and positively ID'ed our semi-resident lunatic. No more and no less.

Anna, do you have an on-topic comment? If so, I'd like to hear it.

No, and I shouldn't have even responded at all to that insane lunatic. He really doesn't deserve a response from anyone, other than another account deletion. I apologize.

Not a problem, Anna. There are some members I clash with on principle across threads too. It's easy to fall into habits.

Since you're in-thread though, what role do you think art has played in Christianity culturally? I'm talking about stories, hymns, poetry, sculpture, architecture, paintings, icons, morality plays. Many authors feel that the language of the KJV is some of the best English ever written, in terms of cadence and power.

As far as I am concerned, the works of Shakespeare and the King James Version stand as the two grandest examples of the English language, both unsurpassed in eloquence of diction, cadence, and quotability.

In art, the Cistine Chapel, the Madonna of Bruges, da Vinci's Last Supper, and the like rank near the top of Renaissance Style Paintings and architecture.

Tennyson's Crossing the Bar is one of my favorite poems, and it bears a Christian view of death, I suppose. At least that's what I got out of it.

I'm a fan of John Donne's devotional poems. While the message isn't personally meaningful to me as an atheist, the art remains passionate and compelling.

As for The Last Supper, I prefer Dali's painting for its proportions and beauty. :D

Do you think such art makes a difference to the success of faith?

Not really.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 10:01:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 8:50:46 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 7:14:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:30:44 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:09:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Since you're in-thread though, what role do you think art has played in Christianity culturally? I'm talking about stories, hymns, poetry, sculpture, architecture, paintings, icons, morality plays. Many authors feel that the language of the KJV is some of the best English ever written, in terms of cadence and power.

As far as I am concerned, the works of Shakespeare and the King James Version stand as the two grandest examples of the English language, both unsurpassed in eloquence of diction, cadence, and quotability.

In art, the Cistine Chapel, the Madonna of Bruges, da Vinci's Last Supper, and the like rank near the top of Renaissance Style Paintings and architecture.

Tennyson's Crossing the Bar is one of my favorite poems, and it bears a Christian view of death, I suppose. At least that's what I got out of it.

I'm a fan of John Donne's devotional poems. While the message isn't personally meaningful to me as an atheist, the art remains passionate and compelling.

As for The Last Supper, I prefer Dali's painting for its proportions and beauty. :D

Do you think such art makes a difference to the success of faith?

Not really.

If you're comfortable in sharing them, what were your earliest experiences of religion?
annanicole
Posts: 19,785
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 10:11:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 10:01:04 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/11/2015 8:50:46 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 7:14:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:30:44 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:09:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Since you're in-thread though, what role do you think art has played in Christianity culturally? I'm talking about stories, hymns, poetry, sculpture, architecture, paintings, icons, morality plays. Many authors feel that the language of the KJV is some of the best English ever written, in terms of cadence and power.

As far as I am concerned, the works of Shakespeare and the King James Version stand as the two grandest examples of the English language, both unsurpassed in eloquence of diction, cadence, and quotability.

In art, the Cistine Chapel, the Madonna of Bruges, da Vinci's Last Supper, and the like rank near the top of Renaissance Style Paintings and architecture.

Tennyson's Crossing the Bar is one of my favorite poems, and it bears a Christian view of death, I suppose. At least that's what I got out of it.

I'm a fan of John Donne's devotional poems. While the message isn't personally meaningful to me as an atheist, the art remains passionate and compelling.

As for The Last Supper, I prefer Dali's painting for its proportions and beauty. :D

Do you think such art makes a difference to the success of faith?

Not really.

If you're comfortable in sharing them, what were your earliest experiences of religion?

Oh, the usual. Just going to Sunday School and worship services.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 10:25:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 10:11:51 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 10:01:04 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/11/2015 8:50:46 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 7:14:11 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:30:44 AM, annanicole wrote:
At 10/11/2015 3:09:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Since you're in-thread though, what role do you think art has played in Christianity culturally? I'm talking about stories, hymns, poetry, sculpture, architecture, paintings, icons, morality plays. Many authors feel that the language of the KJV is some of the best English ever written, in terms of cadence and power.

As far as I am concerned, the works of Shakespeare and the King James Version stand as the two grandest examples of the English language, both unsurpassed in eloquence of diction, cadence, and quotability.

In art, the Cistine Chapel, the Madonna of Bruges, da Vinci's Last Supper, and the like rank near the top of Renaissance Style Paintings and architecture.

Tennyson's Crossing the Bar is one of my favorite poems, and it bears a Christian view of death, I suppose. At least that's what I got out of it.

I'm a fan of John Donne's devotional poems. While the message isn't personally meaningful to me as an atheist, the art remains passionate and compelling.

As for The Last Supper, I prefer Dali's painting for its proportions and beauty. :D

Do you think such art makes a difference to the success of faith?

Not really.

If you're comfortable in sharing them, what were your earliest experiences of religion?

Oh, the usual. Just going to Sunday School and worship services.

Which did you find reached you best, and how?

Also... after a bit of hunting, I found Boticelli's Madonna of the Pomegranate, one of my favourite Renaissance Christian paintings. It's rich with Roman Catholic symbolism of the era, but also human poignance. So I like it both as Christian art and as art. And half a milennium later, the colours remain gorgeous, and you can see how much Renaissance art had progressed from art only two centuries earlier [https://upload.wikimedia.org...]
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 10:46:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 7:17:02 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I like your questions so much I'm thinking about using them as a topic for a new spirituality discussion group I'm facilitating at church.

Anthony, thank you for your post, and apologies for not responding earlier. It's a side of me that I think might surprise some members, but I often enjoy religious art (I'm pickier about the art than the faith it represents.)

1) Is religion just art taking itself too seriously, or is there more than that, and if so, what?

For me, religion is not, only, a collective set of beliefs and values held by a group (If that were the case, any collective, secular or otherwise, would be considered religious) but, also, a collection of archetypes and motifs that speak to a deeper underlying vein that transcends the group in both space and time, beliefs and values that are universal and too extensive in complexity to subscribe exclusively to any given set of symbols.

Religion often seeks to grasp the numinous -- or perhaps the imminent, potentially universal, but not fully apprehended. But so, of course, does art.

The religionist uses symbols to denote the overwhelming nature of that which appears to him, or her, as enigmatic. These symbols do not in any way express, exhaustively, that which is indescribable; they merely abridge the profound to create subjective meaning.

If we replaced 'religionist' with 'artist', do you feel that would be any less true?

I confess, I want to argue the heck out of your earlier characterisation of art, and of religion. On the other hand, your perspectives interest me enough that I'll forego that just to tease them out more. :)

It is the use of the symbolic we call artistic expression. Art is a desire to express that which is abstract with concrete forms.

It could be, but it could equally be the desire to find the abstract in the concrete -- and isn't that similar to the way religious idealism works?

2) Is art without rectitude just hedonism, or is art more than that, and if so, what?
Art, in and of itself, is incomplete; it must have meaning, and significance. Art is pleasurable, but without meaning, it leaves one empty.

That's a restatement, Anthony. Let me try and tease out more here...

Let's say that great art poses more questions than answers. So an artistic experience is always incomplete. But is life more complete or incomplete? And is being incomplete a problem or a virtue, or a bit of both?

I'll inject a bit of personal perspective here: religion is always offering answers to questions we've barely begun to explore. Do we need that? What are we willing to sacrifice for that? Art does that too, though. So why isn't an artistic answer enough?

3) Is religion art with rectitude, or is religion more than that, and if so, what?
Religion is knowing one's symbols are just that, symbols.
Again, isn't that also true for art? (If it weren't, wouldn't science set one straight about that? :D)

The truly religious does not seek to make idolatry out of his, or her, religion's symbols.
Okay, that I want to challenge. With no intent to offend anyone, let's talk about the artwork called 'Piss Christ'. Created by photographer Andres Serrano, it features a Christian symbol: a plastic crucifiixion in a yellow liquid that the artist asserts is urine. We've no way of knowing what the liquid is, since it's only a photo. It could be apple juice, or lemon cordial, or... anything. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]

If you ignored the title, there's a sort of Golgothan beauty in the art. If someone were to make an inspirational movie, you could imagine the same sorts of colours and textures being used to evoke a bleak and tormented mood, and that would be seen as artistically legitimate.

But this is a very controversial artwork. It has seen protests in numerous exhibitions, and vandalism at several.

My question for reflection: if the image of the crucifixion isn't idol worship, why the protests? But if it is, you're talking about hundreds of millions of Christians who venerate such images. Are you saying that so many devout aren't truly religious?

4) What difference (if any) is threw between inspirational art and religious propaganda?

Inspirational art is something unique to the individual.
Really? Why publish it then?

Religious propaganda may be held sincerely or insincerely by a collective.
So the act of publishing inspirational art makes it propaganda?

Virtually all mediaeval fine art, and about 80% of renaissance fine art is religious. It represents some of the earliest roots of modern culture.

Is it really all propaganda? If so, how should it be treated?
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 11:14:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/10/2015 6:27:49 PM, One_Servant wrote:
Religions started with the building of an object such as a building. All the first shapes and characters for their written languages and mathematics came from the night sky, which was God's geometry class. He put thoughts into certain characters minds to use imaginary lines to connect the white dots in the sky. From these constellations, came various building shapes and characters for their written languages. Some of His people got thoughts in their minds to draw or paint these hand built objects, including music, poetry, stories, etc. to describe these hand built objects.

Allowing for a certain poetic license, Brad, I don't disagree with any of that at all.

Beauty has always been powerful, hasn't it? And similarly with mathematics and language. And nature has been a massive inspiration to humanity since before we had writing.

I cannot myself separate religion from art, except in terms of ethics. Art (generally) upholds the ethics of individual exploration, of personal authenticity, of honesty, of fearlessness, of being willing to challenge orthodoxy. Religion takes art and tries to legislate it, make it normative, supremacist.

But where is the power of religion if not in art?

Is it in religious philosophy? I'd say not, because secular philosophy tends to be broader, deeper and smarter (or does a member disagree?)

Is it in religious law? Can anyone truly argue that any religious law has been kinder or more just than secular law has been? (Actually, I know some members would argue that -- but I don't think they'd manage to convince many other members.)

Is it in religious science? Is there even such a thing as religious science, when science is about ignoring dogma, being open minded, and adhering strictly to evidence?

I know that all religious people are deceived by what they observe in this world, particularly all the false gods they built for God without understanding why they built them or what they were used for.

Aside from the God bit, I can't disagree with any of that either, Brad. :D I'm not trying to be dismissive or contemptuous when I say religion always looks to me like art taking itself too seriously -- over-reaching its competence in physics and metaphysics.

Our colleague Anthony has argued otherwise. If I can paraphrase it, he's argued that:

Religion = Art + Morality.

And he's also argued that 'amoral' art leaves one feeling 'incomplete'.

We've yet to talk about the morality side yet, but in time I hope to do so. Some members (not Anthony, but others) challenge secularism on morality all the time. But religious morality is very vulnerable to critique, in its philosophical foundations, its methods and its history and impacts. And we've yet to talk about whether morality is good because it makes us feel good, or because it creates something better, regardless of how we feel at the time.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 2:34:32 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Anthony, thank you for your post, and apologies for not responding earlier. It's a side of me that I think might surprise some members, but I often enjoy religious art (I'm pickier about the art than the faith it represents.)

That's alright.

Personally, I've always loved religious art even at times in which I did not consider myself religious.

Religion often seeks to grasp the numinous -- or perhaps the imminent, potentially universal, but not fully apprehended. But so, of course, does art.

I agree.

The religionist uses symbols to denote the overwhelming nature of that which appears to him, or her, as enigmatic. These symbols do not in any way express, exhaustively, that which is indescribable; they merely abridge the profound to create subjective meaning.

If we replaced 'religionist' with 'artist', do you feel that would be any less true?

No. I believe art and religion have very much in common.

However, religion has a greater tendency to prescribe and proscribe values. Art tends to be an expression of one's personal values, in which religion tends towards collective values.

It is the use of the symbolic we call artistic expression. Art is a desire to express that which is abstract with concrete forms.

It could be, but it could equally be the desire to find the abstract in the concrete -- and isn't that similar to the way religious idealism works?

I believe the concrete comes from the abstract and the abstract comes from the concrete.

I'm not a big proponent of idealism. There are of course religious idealists, and that's the reason for so much heated debate among religions and religionists. I don't believe there are ideal forms for abstractions. I believe the concrete forms we give for abstractions are very imperfect, and very incomplete. For me, idealism is idolatry; it's taking that which is meant to be abstract and making it concrete. Even though I see nothing wrong with this, I think it must be acknowledged the concrete form is just that, a concrete form; it is not the abstraction it attempts to represent. For instance, take the archetypical abstraction, savior; Christian fundamentalists say Christ is the one and only savior. Savior is an abstract term because it has no physical referent; Christ is a concrete term because it has a physical referent. The problem I believe arises as we take that which is abstract and identify it with that which is concrete. Now, for one to say, "Christ is my savior," or, "Christ is a savior," I see no issue. The problem for me surfaces as a Christian fundamentalist says, "Christ is the savior, and there is no other."

Let's say that great art poses more questions than answers. So an artistic experience is always incomplete. But is life more complete or incomplete? And is being incomplete a problem or a virtue, or a bit of both?

I agree completely.

I believe being incomplete is both a virtue and a vice.

I'll inject a bit of personal perspective here: religion is always offering answers to questions we've barely begun to explore. Do we need that? What are we willing to sacrifice for that? Art does that too, though. So why isn't an artistic answer enough?

Religion, as well as art, for me, is incomplete, in and of itself. We make it more complete, subjectively speaking, by the meaning we give it. This meaning comes from that which is abstract and inexhaustible.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/11/2015 7:07:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/11/2015 2:34:32 PM, s-anthony wrote:
The religionist uses symbols to denote the overwhelming nature of that which appears to him, or her, as enigmatic. These symbols do not in any way express, exhaustively, that which is indescribable; they merely abridge the profound to create subjective meaning.
If we replaced 'religionist' with 'artist', do you feel that would be any less true?
No. I believe art and religion have very much in common.
However, religion has a greater tendency to prescribe and proscribe values. Art tends to be an expression of one's personal values, in which religion tends towards collective values.

I would agree with that, however even without religion, cultures have ways to decide and express values, and most commonly do so with art.

Let's consider the example of a football team. Football teams develop their own thematic colours, images, songs, rituals, stories, traditions, legendary characters. Support of a football team is its own subculture, and in some places (the multicultural Brazil would be an excellent example), sport forms a key plank of defining the culture.

So culture informs art and art informs culture. Art challenges values, but also promotes them. The only difference I see is that religion seeks to control the values art promotes and challenges, rather than letting art create its own conversation, and that difference is both ideological (i.e. we, the religious elite know the best ideas and here they are) and ethical (to contest our ideas is somehow wrong, and must be suppressed.)

But where does that paternalistic, supremacist attitude to art come from?

I think it comes from creating normative and dogmatic answers to unanswerable questions.

Religious adherents often say that the great gift of religion is to answer questions that observation and reason themselves cannot answer, and Anthony, you might call that making the incomplete complete.

However, to me that seems its greatest intellectual and moral weakness.

It's an intellectual weakness because, many questions unanswerable at the time (like: why does the sun shine?) can become answered later (e.g. this is how a nuclear reaction works.) It's also intellectually weak because admitting ignorance is stronger intellectually than pretending to insight we've never tested rigorously, and don't mean to test.

But it's morally weak too, because answering unanswerable questions with dogma can serve no other purpose than to claim influence over others without ever being accountable to them or to ourselves for having done so. One cannot claim ethics without accountability -- so answering the unanswerable with dogma, and turning dogma into moral prescription and proscription seems to me inherently unethical -- a confidence trick whose sole purpose is to gain power over others.

We know that such practice isn't science (science is more rigorous than that), but I think it's bad-spirited art too -- because art is about exploring and challenging the subjective, and not simply telling people what subjective experiences they should have.

for one to say, "Christ is my savior," or, "Christ is a savior," I see no issue. The problem for me surfaces as a Christian fundamentalist says, "Christ is the savior, and there is no other."

For me as an atheist, I still have a problem with the first, and perhaps I should explain that by analogy.

A hypochondriac is a person who believes themselves sick, yet is not. Hypochondria itself is a disease of the mind, but manifests subjectively as diseases of the body. Self-absorbed and neurotic to the point of superstition, a hypochondriac applies remedies for illnesses they don't have, which wouldn't work if they had them anyway, and then insists others may have those illnesses too -- and therefore should apply the same remedies.

So hypochondriacs aren't just mentally sick themselves -- they make others around them sick, make a mess of medical practice and a mockery of the science of pharmacy.

To me, religion seems full of neurotics who think they're sick when they aren't; peppered by psychotics who think they can heal the sick when they can't. I don't wish to pick on Christianity in particular, but you mentioned it and it's familiar to most members: the notion of 'saviour' seems to me neurotic when people talk about sin, and psychotic when they talk about salvation.

And all of that great, reeking sham of a conceit is conjured and sold culturally through art.

So while I'm fine with diversity among subjective apprehensions (it's inevitable and welcome), I'm not fine with a subjective apprehension being made normative just to give conceit legitimacy. One can hardly blame hypochondriacs for saying "I feel sick", but when they say "I am sick, and here's the disease, and I think you're getting it too", they've overstepped ethically into intellectual dishonesty twice.

I'll inject a bit of personal perspective here: religion is always offering answers to questions we've barely begun to explore. Do we need that? What are we willing to sacrifice for that? Art does that too, though. So why isn't an artistic answer enough?

Religion, as well as art, for me, is incomplete, in and of itself. We make it more complete, subjectively speaking, by the meaning we give it. This meaning comes from that which is abstract and inexhaustible.

I'm noting your answers to the question of completeness, Anthony, which you've also called the question of values and morality. Eventually, I want to argue from a different perspective. However, I think it's worthwhile to explore the terrain first, and it seems that were closely agreed on the premises, though arriving at different conclusions some way down the track.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/12/2015 3:12:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I would agree with that, however even without religion, cultures have ways to decide and express values, and most commonly do so with art.

Even though I don't believe religion and culture are one and the same, it's hard, in many cases, to explain one without the other. This is especially true in many legal systems; many laws were first established in religious moral codes. Secondly, religion and culture have defined societal roles. The almost impossible task is determining which came first, religion or culture, or did they simultaneously develop together? Those are questions I am not equipped to answer. However, I do know, in many cases, religion and culture are so intricately entwined it's hard to separate one from the other or to tell if one would exist without the other.

In saying that, I must say this: There are people who are culturally inclined without being religious; there are secular societies, such as communist countries. However, what compels a person to observe the traditions of one's culture, if those traditions started out as religious rites, if he, or she, is not religious? A prime example of this is the wedding ceremony. Many nonreligious individuals participate in the rite of matrimony. Why would a nonreligious individual insist on having a wedding? What significance, or value, could it possibly afford? Why would it not be sufficient to get a marriage license from the county clerk?

I believe even though many people do not identify as persons of faith, they see the ceremony as identifying with one's culture, which in turn identifies with a given religion. Directly, the ceremony holds cultural significance; indirectly, it holds religious significance. The ceremony would not exist apart from the religion, at least not in that form. In identifying with the culture, indirectly, the religion plays a significant role in the individual's identity. This is one of many conscious ways in which religion shapes culture, and culture shapes our collective identity. There are I believe unconscious factors that also play roles in the formation of our collective selves.

So culture informs art and art informs culture. Art challenges values, but also promotes them. The only difference I see is that religion seeks to control the values art promotes and challenges, rather than letting art create its own conversation, and that difference is both ideological (i.e. we, the religious elite know the best ideas and here they are) and ethical (to contest our ideas is somehow wrong, and must be suppressed.)

I agree, but not all people are individualists in religious matters. Many people are collectivists in this regard. However, is this, necessarily, a bad thing? Do all people have a moral imperative to be individualists in religious matters? In many cases, religion plays roles in the lives of its adherents of which they are unconscious. Religions play roles in the lives of members of societies of which they are unconscious. We are all to some degree collectivists, consciously or unconsciously.

The problem is not individualism or collectivism; for, without these dynamics, neither the individual nor the collective would exist. The problem I see is a tendency for one extreme or the other. A healthy member of a collective is a distinct individual who is aware of his, or her, relationship to one's collective. It's this distinction that allows the individual to define meaning for oneself while appreciating and acknowledging one's dependency on his, or her, collective. We are both servants and masters, foolish and wise; we are both learned and unlearned. Anyone who wishes to master all things will, oneself, master nothing. Anyone who desires to master nothing will, oneself, be the slave of all things.

But where does that paternalistic, supremacist attitude to art come from?

It comes from strong personalities.

I think it comes from creating normative and dogmatic answers to unanswerable questions.

I agree in part. I believe it comes from partial remedies. Subjective meaning is partial; it is relative. We have answers but only those which are incomplete, and imperfect.

Religious adherents often say that the great gift of religion is to answer questions that observation and reason themselves cannot answer, and Anthony, you might call that making the incomplete complete.

Yes, but, only, to the acknowledgement the action is incomplete; it is, itself, dynamic, and not static. In other words, we are always striving for completion, having yet to attain it.

The moment of completion is the very moment of one's death.

It's an intellectual weakness because, many questions unanswerable at the time (like: why does the sun shine?) can become answered later (e.g. this is how a nuclear reaction works.) It's also intellectually weak because admitting ignorance is stronger intellectually than pretending to insight we've never tested rigorously, and don't mean to test.

I don't see religion as being intellectually weak but being intellectually bankrupt. As religious personalities try to put emphasis on intellectual and rational solutions, I believe they have missed the boat, altogether. Faith is not about that which is understandable but about that which is indescribable. Faith is about mystery and enigmata. As we come to a place of confidence and assurance, it is no longer faith. Faith is hope in the midst of doubt.

But it's morally weak too, because answering unanswerable questions with dogma can serve no other purpose than to claim influence over others without ever being accountable to them or to ourselves for having done so. One cannot claim ethics without accountability -- so answering the unanswerable with dogma, and turning dogma into moral prescription and proscription seems to me inherently unethical -- a confidence trick whose sole purpose is to gain power over others.

The individualist does not seek out a collective; the collectivist seeks out the individualist. In other words, the individualist has subjective meaning for oneself. The collectivist finds meaning in another.

I agree individualism by nature requires personal responsibility and accountability to the collective. A person who is not personally responsible, or accountable, for his, or her, actions is not an individualist, but a collectivist. He, or she, is not a leader, but a follower. With ownership comes responsibility. A person who lacks self-control does not own himself, or herself.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/12/2015 8:57:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/12/2015 3:12:03 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I would agree with that, however even without religion, cultures have ways to decide and express values, and most commonly do so with art.
what compels a person to observe the traditions of one's culture, if those traditions started out as religious rites, if he, or she, is not religious?
Ceremonies are held to have social and psychological value, whatever their metaphysical significance. Public officials have investiture ceremonies, even when the ceremonies are secular. New citizens often have citizenship ceremonies, and in secular democracies those are seldom religious. Returned soldiers have welcoming parades; triumphant sports teams have celebrations.

I think it's truer to say that religion has exploited a human love of ceremony, rather than that ceremony copies religion.

So culture informs art and art informs culture. Art challenges values, but also promotes them. The only difference I see is that religion seeks to control the values art promotes and challenges, rather than letting art create its own conversation, and that difference is both ideological (i.e. we, the religious elite know the best ideas and here they are) and ethical (to contest our ideas is somehow wrong, and must be suppressed.)

I agree, but not all people are individualists in religious matters. Many people are collectivists in this regard.

I haven't adopted your language of individualism vs collectivism here, Anthony. I don't think those distinct positions actually exist. Everyone depends on societies, yet everyone wants autonomy, so people negotiate freedoms and obligations and renegotiate them. Toward the extremes, individualism without ethical obligations is indistinguishable from narcissism, while collectivism without individual autonomy is indistinguishable from tyranny.

Religious adherents often say that the great gift of religion is to answer questions that observation and reason themselves cannot answer, and Anthony, you might call that making the incomplete complete.

Yes, but, only, to the acknowledgement the action is incomplete; it is, itself, dynamic, and not static. In other words, we are always striving for completion, having yet to attain it.

The moment of completion is the very moment of one's death.

Is that completion or conclusion? A father who dies young, knowing he'll never see his children grow up -- that's completion?

It's an intellectual weakness because, many questions unanswerable at the time (like: why does the sun shine?) can become answered later (e.g. this is how a nuclear reaction works.) It's also intellectually weak because admitting ignorance is stronger intellectually than pretending to insight we've never tested rigorously, and don't mean to test.

I don't see religion as being intellectually weak but being intellectually bankrupt.
Theology certainly, is intellectually bankrupt since it claims absolute and inerrant knowledge of revelation.

But not all religion is theological. For example, some faiths believe you can acquire answers without dogma, from reflection alone. I consider that weak, but not bankrupt until those answers are claimed inerrant.

Faith is not about that which is understandable but about that which is indescribable.
Is that faith, or art?

Doesn't faith do as art does -- explore the subjective and often indescribable -- yet also ascribe authority to those explorations?
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/12/2015 9:40:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't know if you'd call it art but despite my leaving the faith many years ago, I am still moved by many of the hymns I learned as a child. This is particularly true of the Christmans hymns such as 'O, Holy Night'. When the chorus rises to the "Fall, on your knees" part My eyes still fill with tears and my heart wells with emotion. I would never take that from anyone who believes even though I do not.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/13/2015 3:58:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Ceremonies are held to have social and psychological value, whatever their metaphysical significance. Public officials have investiture ceremonies, even when the ceremonies are secular. New citizens often have citizenship ceremonies, and in secular democracies those are seldom religious. Returned soldiers have welcoming parades; triumphant sports teams have celebrations.

I think it's truer to say that religion has exploited a human love of ceremony, rather than that ceremony copies religion.

Religious ceremonies, or sacred rites, are imbued with significance not for arbitrary reasons but because they signify a rite of passage. For instance, coming of age ceremonies mark a significant phenomenon in the lives of every individual, an individuation from the collective; as the child is physically separated at birth, so likewise, the child through the process of rebellion forms his, or her, own beliefs and values. The child distinguishes oneself from the collective in which he, or she, was born, a psychological rebirth. The individual is no longer seen as a child but, now, as an adult with personal responsibility and accountability to the society in which he, or she, lives.

I haven't adopted your language of individualism vs collectivism here, Anthony. I don't think those distinct positions actually exist. Everyone depends on societies, yet everyone wants autonomy, so people negotiate freedoms and obligations and renegotiate them. Toward the extremes, individualism without ethical obligations is indistinguishable from narcissism, while collectivism without individual autonomy is indistinguishable from tyranny.

I could not have said it better, myself.

Is that completion or conclusion? A father who dies young, knowing he'll never see his children grow up -- that's completion?

I have no idea.

But not all religion is theological. For example, some faiths believe you can acquire answers without dogma, from reflection alone. I consider that weak, but not bankrupt until those answers are claimed inerrant.

No one claims his, or her, beliefs are in error. If he, or she, did, they would not be his, or her, beliefs. Having assurance and conviction in that which one believes is not unhealthy; neither is it bad.

Saying because something is true for you, it must be true for everyone else is extremely egocentric.

I'm not saying a person's beliefs remain the same but while he, or she, believes them the person believes they are true.

A person who is close-minded puts too much value in the concrete symbols that represent his, or her, religion while failing to realize these are mere symbols of a deeper, more profound meaning, a meaning that is only seen in part. He, or she, takes one's perspective as being absolute and not subjective, or partial.

The worship of concrete representations of that which is spiritual, and immaterial, is idolatry.

Faith is not about that which is understandable but about that which is indescribable.

Is that faith, or art?

Faith and art seek to give subjective meaning to that which is beyond meaning, or value.

Doesn't faith do as art does -- explore the subjective and often indescribable -- yet also ascribe authority to those explorations?

If the authority is personal conviction, then, it is beneficial; for, it defines the individual.

The individualist does not seek authority over the collectivist; the collectivist naturally submits oneself to the authority of the individualist. The teacher does not seek to master his, or her, students; the students seek out the mastery of the teacher.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/13/2015 4:11:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/12/2015 9:40:52 PM, dhardage wrote:
I don't know if you'd call it art but despite my leaving the faith many years ago, I am still moved by many of the hymns I learned as a child. This is particularly true of the Christmans hymns such as 'O, Holy Night'. When the chorus rises to the "Fall, on your knees" part My eyes still fill with tears and my heart wells with emotion. I would never take that from anyone who believes even though I do not.

Even though I don't consider myself a Christian, I have had the exact same experience with the exact same song.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/13/2015 8:46:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/13/2015 3:58:14 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Ceremonies are held to have social and psychological value, whatever their metaphysical significance. Public officials have investiture ceremonies, even when the ceremonies are secular. New citizens often have citizenship ceremonies, and in secular democracies those are seldom religious. Returned soldiers have welcoming parades; triumphant sports teams have celebrations.

I think it's truer to say that religion has exploited a human love of ceremony, rather than that ceremony copies religion.

Religious ceremonies, or sacred rites, are imbued with significance not for arbitrary reasons but because they signify a rite of passage.
You could replace 'religious' with 'secular', and it would be equally true. Whether sacred or secular, some ceremonies mark rites of passage; others are commemorative. Some are really just excuses. I live not far from a Vietnamese Buddhist monastery, and its monks hold a fete every lunar new year. Is a lunar new year especially important to Buddhist thought, or is it rather some secular Confucian idea originally imported from China, and adopted by their monastery so they'd have an excuse to hang with the laiety? :D

I haven't adopted your language of individualism vs collectivism here, Anthony. I don't think those distinct positions actually exist. Everyone depends on societies, yet everyone wants autonomy, so people negotiate freedoms and obligations and renegotiate them. Toward the extremes, individualism without ethical obligations is indistinguishable from narcissism, while collectivism without individual autonomy is indistinguishable from tyranny.
I could not have said it better, myself.
That surprised me, but thanks and noted. :D

Is that completion or conclusion? A father who dies young, knowing he'll never see his children grow up -- that's completion?
I have no idea.
I've been to enough funerals lately to have some idea. It's not. :(

But not all religion is theological. For example, some faiths believe you can acquire answers without dogma, from reflection alone. I consider that weak, but not bankrupt until those answers are claimed inerrant.
No one claims his, or her, beliefs are in error.
Au contraire.

In science and engineering, every measurement is known to be in error, and therefore every conclusion is known to contain error too. Tolerances (measures of uncertainty) are often depicted as 'error bars', and there are standard methods for estimating error [https://en.wikipedia.org...]. If you present data without acknowledging the error expected to have arisen from the method, you are considered lazy, dishonest and conceited... (Wait, are those words familiar to you? :D)

I think it was Socrates to whom is attributed the words 'the examined life is not worth living'. Examining the processes by which we form belief is critical to recognising the possibility and magnitude of our error. This is part of why the notions of conjecture, evidence, diligence and proof are so important; and why submitting our ideas to the scrutiny of others is good for both our ideas and methods.

Saying 'It's true for me' dismisses the process by which it became true for you, and collapses the products of disparate processes -- those of the lazy egomaniac, the troubled schizophrenic, the diligent philosopher -- into one indiscriminate bucket.

In art, that doesn't matter. The freedom of art is to be wrong in interesting, provocative and entertaining ways. But in religion, with its normative values, moral judgements, customs, myths and claims to metaphysical authority... that's immensely dangerous, and the damage can be done quite early. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au...]

I have no problem at all with people living religion as a sort of life-art, whether individually or as a group. But the moment they start saying it's legitimate regardless of process, or that the process by which they live should be made normative, or that some ideal should apply to them just because they love that ideal, then that produces all manner of moral and ethical problems.

Saying because something is true for you, it must be true for everyone else is extremely egocentric.
Yes, but saying that all beliefs are of equal value, regardless of the process by which they arose, is at best naive.

I'm not saying a person's beliefs remain the same but while he, or she, believes them the person believes they are true.
I don't want to quibble over semantics, but an operational belief is not a truth. Especially, it is not in the same epistemological category as the kind of independent, transparent, accountable, evidence-based truth we can test and falsify.

Whatever language we adopt to capture the distinction, we should not ignore it, nor conflate those categories, and anyone seeking to conflate them to elevate subjective beliefs to the status of tested facts is being disingenuous, and doing both knowledge and ethics a disservice.

Faith is not about that which is understandable but about that which is indescribable.
Is that faith, or art?
Faith and art seek to give subjective meaning to that which is beyond meaning, or value.
Or.. they can both explore subjective impacts and meanings. Not all faith is prescriptive. Some is descriptive and exploratory...

Some art is, too.

In the end, I think the key difference is that religion claims authority. The scope of that authority might vary -- it could be personal, or group-based, or claim universal authority. But at some point, religion says 'this but not that', while art admits 'this but perhaps that too.'

Doesn't faith do as art does -- explore the subjective and often indescribable -- yet also ascribe authority to those explorations?
If the authority is personal conviction, then, it is beneficial; for, it defines the individual.
I think you're talking about identity here. In some sense, I'd agree 'not that' is as important to identity as 'this'.

However, you've ignored the process by which 'this, but not that' is produced. Psychotherapy is full of people who've tried to shoe-horn themselves into idealistic identities to which they don't actually fit.

So no: assertions of idealistic subjective identity are not always beneficial, even to the individual.

The process matters, Anthony. We can't ignore it, or insist that all subjective products are equally good -- not for groups, nor for individuals either.