18 November 2005

Some more writing on the site now:

The frustration of e-shopping: My labeller ran out of tape last night. I will have the car tomorrow so I could go to Staples at Hermiston Gate and get more, but I thought I’d see what I could get online quickly. Ebay only had auctions with 2-3 day delivery. eBuyer.com had good prices but the slowest site in the world and after 5 wasted minutes realised the ‘buy’ button didn’t work in Firefox, so had to go through the whole process again in Internet Explorer, only to find that to get a tape costing about £8 delivered tomorrow I’d have to pay about  £25 in postage and charges! Staples site had it but said ‘Next working day’ and I don’t know if Saturday counts as a working day;  I’m not going to use it tonight so I’ll just wait till I have the car tomorrow.

A further comment on CBQ’s posting yesterday:

The practices of being a good and mature person are of value. The
question is whether or not the religious belief systems are necessary
for people to carry out such practices.

You say
"The practices come first, the beliefs and the organisations second."

I don’t know if that’s indeed the case but I would hope so – that
way people can be “good and mature” without dragging in all the
religious baggage

Certainly ‘baggage’ sounds unattractive, and people can be ‘good and mature’ without religion; people can also be healthy, but medicine is still useful. People can be honest, but a police force can be helpful. Religious practices and, to a lesser extent, belief systems are not necessary, but they are a valuable resource and have many positive aspects, particularly contrasted with the belief system of consumer capitalism, which so many people do not even accept as a belief system – they call it ‘reality’ or ‘human nature’ or ‘just the way things are’. Bar-room critics of religion often hold up science as their personal ideology – objective, rational, free from superstition and free from self-motivated partiality. As if! There are very, very few people who live in this way, and certainly not the majority of armchair critics of religion. The vast majority of us in this society are believers, to varying degrees of consciousness, who can be placed somewhere on the belief continua of consumer capitalism and  liberal  democracy. As such they have firmly held, if often unexamined, beliefs and assumptions about the nature of reality, human nature, what is morally right etc. They are not scientists.

1 thought on “18 November 2005”

  1. Hi Norman
    Thanks for more comments. I appreciate your taking the time to consider the situation, which I think in these days of fundamental Christianity and Islam is more important now than it’s probably been at any time in the last 100 years.
    I would comment as follows (although, as I hold my hands up to in my blog, I am not one for inciteful insights etc)
    You say
    “Certainly ‘baggage’ sounds unattractive, and people can be ‘good and mature’ without religion; people can also be healthy, but medicine is still useful.”
    I comment
    Do you mean if people were good and mature (cf were healthy) and became bad and immature (cf ill) religion could bring them back to goodness and maturity (cf health)?
    You say
    “People can be honest, but a police force can be helpful.”
    I comment
    A police force is necessary because some people are not honest. So perhaps religion is necessary because some people are bad/immature?
    You say
    “Religious practices and, to a lesser extent, belief systems are not necessary, but they are a valuable resource and have many positive aspects,”
    I comment
    Much as I do not like religions (due to their overwhelming negative aspects in fostering the need for a crutch in relation to reality), I concede that some of their practices can be a valuable resource and that they can have positive aspects. For me though, taken as a whole, the negatives outweigh the positives.
    You say
    “particularly contrasted with the belief system of consumer capitalism, which so many people do not even accept as a belief system – they call it ‘reality’ or ‘human nature’ or ‘just the way things are’.”
    I comment
    I believe that Free Market Capitalism (which, unfortunately has probably never truely yet existed) is wholly in line with human nature. Religion is against reason.
    You say
    “Bar-room critics of religion often hold up science as their personal ideology – objective, rational, free from superstition and free from self-motivated partiality. As if!”
    I comment
    Granted but – any wars ever fought over scientific beliefs? I concede wars have been fought over materialism but, if you’re going to fight a war, better to fight it over something tangible surely than abstract faith? Of course I am anti-war before you ask.
    You say
    “There are very, very few people who live in this way, and certainly not the majority of armchair critics of religion.”
    Do you mean by armchair critics of religion, people who criticise without having studied religion in any detail – those who might be said to be “spouting off about religion”? Since religious beliefs are based on faith (for example that there is life after death) rather than reality, they are quite an easy target, with or without study. It’s fairly simple to criticise people for believing in something which can never be proven to be true (especially when they defend themselves by saying “aah, but you can’t prove it’s NOT true”)
    You say
    “The vast majority of us in this society are believers, to varying degrees of consciousness, who can be placed somewhere on the belief continua of consumer capitalism and liberal democracy.”
    I comment
    The difference is some believe things which can be proven to be true.
    You say
    “As such they have firmly held, if often unexamined, beliefs and assumptions about the nature of reality, human nature, what is morally right etc. They are not scientists.”
    I comment
    Religious beliefs do not bear up to “examination” as they are based on faith rather than reality.
    Man, what a lot of work just because I said religion was a load of old tosh. You’re making me think harder about it though

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