Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

Christianity, Islam, Other Religions & Belief Systems.

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Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#1  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 16, 2016 12:25 am

The culture is the main thing with religion imo - the orthopraxy - the behavioural instruction and tradition and ritual. The "existential beliefs" - ie, the invisible bit which doesn't actually do anything, is the secondary or even unnecessary part of religion. To abandon religion simply because one does not believe in a supernatural intelligence or miracles would be akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Thoughts?
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#2  Postby Thommo » Jul 16, 2016 12:30 am

No. There's no baby.

There are loads of other ways of getting community and ritual or habit than introducing religious practice to your life. Join a running club.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#3  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 16, 2016 12:34 am

I don't believe in running. I do believe in community, moralistic teaching, trying to be kind, music, beautiful architecture and ritual. Christianity fits the bill. There is too a baby.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#4  Postby Thommo » Jul 16, 2016 12:44 am

But there's a really major difference between what you said in #3 and what you asked in #1.

Your justification in #3 is what you like. Well, fine, do what you like. You want to go to church, knock yourself out, you don't need anyone's permission for that and certainly not that of a bunch of non religious types on an internet forum. But what you asked in #1 wasn't what you liked, or what I like, it was what is more important in religion, it was a generality.

The fact remains that religion offers nothing unique apart from belief in a deity. There are people who get their drive, community and a lot of their ethics from joining a communist party. We've had some of them around here from time to time. But what is important to communism is still none of those things, it's the core beliefs and ideas that its built on.

Personally I've never been comfortable going to church, proselytisers bore me to tears and religion offers nothing at all for me. There's no gap in my life to fill. But I'm guessing that knowing that about me doesn't actually mean much to you does it? My feelings and your feelings don't really answer the question.

Are we here just to trade anecdotes? Well ok, you like Christianity. I don't.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#5  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 16, 2016 12:49 am

The fact remains that the belief in god/the afterlife is invisible and doesn't actually do anything. The orthopraxic components have real effects. How anybody could think that an invisible belief is more important than a real world behaviour is beyond me.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#6  Postby Thommo » Jul 16, 2016 12:56 am

Well, it tends to be that beliefs lead behaviour. There's no neat dividing line. Without firm conviction people slip into bad habits and don't get a lot of the benefits you think might come with Christianity.

But as I said in the first place, you can get any of the positive consequences of religion by other means, so that side of religion is of no real consequence. "Community, moralistic teaching, trying to be kind, music, beautiful architecture and ritual" aren't even hard to obtain without Christianity.

So do what you want, I don't see the appeal of dressing it up in jargon or pseudo-philosophical argument. :dunno:
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#7  Postby scott1328 » Jul 16, 2016 5:04 am

For religion to succeed behavior is the overriding concern; belief is irrelevant, professing belief is paramount. Of course it is far easier to obtain the desired behavior, the profession of belief, if the adherent actually does believe. Thus we have indoctrination of children. Part of that indoctrination is to inculcate the unfounded assumption that religion provides a moral compass. this insidious assumption is drilled in so well, that even when individuals have shed themselves of the core tenets of their childhood indoctrination and become irreligious, they cling to the thoroughly unsupported and irrational idea that a religion has anything of value to offer. Some even continue to attend religious worship knowing full well it is a lad of bullshit, and start multiple threads defending this ridiculous notion.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#8  Postby Shagz » Jul 16, 2016 5:13 am

Religion without belief is like showing up to a party late: Everyone is stupidly wasted, but you're still sober.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#9  Postby Weaver » Jul 16, 2016 5:21 am

Keep It Real wrote:I don't believe in running. I do believe in community, moralistic teaching, trying to be kind, music, beautiful architecture and ritual. Christianity fits the bill. There is too a baby.

Christianity has a long history of immorality guised as morality - oppression of minorities, oppression of gays, deliberate wars of conquest. It is not a source of pure moralistic teaching. It is fatally flawed - as its adherents demonstrate constantly.

Morality is not dependent on religion. Religion, with its assertion that its teachings come from a (utterly fictional) higher power, suppresses criticism of immorality, and demands obedience. Fuck that shit.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#10  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Jul 16, 2016 8:08 am

Weaver wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I don't believe in running. I do believe in community, moralistic teaching, trying to be kind, music, beautiful architecture and ritual. Christianity fits the bill. There is too a baby.

Christianity has a long history of immorality guised as morality - oppression of minorities, oppression of gays, deliberate wars of conquest. It is not a source of pure moralistic teaching. It is fatally flawed - as its adherents demonstrate constantly.

Morality is not dependent on religion. Religion, with its assertion that its teachings come from a (utterly fictional) higher power, suppresses criticism of immorality, and demands obedience. Fuck that shit.


And religious morals often miss the mark by not thinking about ethical principles, and how combinations of them apply in particular cases, with a view of minimizing physical harm or mental angish. Instead it is often just about following a bunch of absolute edicts, or in the case of the less fanatic, cherry-picking according to personal taste and opinion. :doh:
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#11  Postby Briton » Jul 16, 2016 8:11 am

Belief. It annoys me when people talk of moderate religious people. All religious belief is extreme, even if it doesn't lead to extreme behaviour.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#12  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 16, 2016 8:14 am

Keep It Real wrote:I don't believe in running. I do believe in community, moralistic teaching, trying to be kind, music, beautiful architecture and ritual. Christianity fits the bill. There is too a baby.

Dogma =/= moral reasoning.
And you don't need Christianity for any of those other points either.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#13  Postby Briton » Jul 16, 2016 8:51 am

Weaver wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I don't believe in running. I do believe in community, moralistic teaching, trying to be kind, music, beautiful architecture and ritual. Christianity fits the bill. There is too a baby.

Christianity has a long history of immorality guised as morality - oppression of minorities, oppression of gays, deliberate wars of conquest. It is not a source of pure moralistic teaching. It is fatally flawed - as its adherents demonstrate constantly.

Morality is not dependent on religion. Religion, with its assertion that its teachings come from a (utterly fictional) higher power, suppresses criticism of immorality, and demands obedience. Fuck that shit.


Thumbs up but don't forget the oppression of women.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#14  Postby Cito di Pense » Jul 16, 2016 9:38 am

Keep It Real wrote:The fact remains that the belief in god/the afterlife is invisible and doesn't actually do anything. The orthopraxic components have real effects.


Real effects on whom? In any crowd, there will be some level-headed folks and some complete ninnies, including in church. You can waste a lot of time searching for a global solution that at first blush looks good in general, but only operates on individuals.

Sure, you can roll the dice, and hope that it works for you, but you will never be able to generalize as you are trying to do.

That's why people shrug and say, "Whatever works for you." Lots of folks waste their entire lives flitting from one proposed solution to another, based on what looks good at the moment. In fact, searching is more important to these folks than finding a solution (so that you can go on and try to solve a different problem), so maybe that's why it looks good to you for the time being. Most ad hoc greedy algorithms are incorrect, but that's only an analogy. The point is that it is myopic to base a general criterion on what looks good to you at the moment - that contradicts itself. If you think it's about ethics and morality, you'll soon discover yourself surrounded by folks who don't look at it that way, regardless of belief (or not) in supernatural shit.

Keep It Real wrote:If an ailment could be cured through self-help no placebo would be recommended...


You might recall how you started that other thread. If you like ritual, you can just invent your own, but that depends on having a little spark of creativity. You're searching, but you have no algorithm, so you're basically fucked. Maybe it's time to pick a different problem.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#15  Postby LucidFlight » Jul 16, 2016 11:55 am

Believe in yourself and be the best that you can be at being you. Belief can drive behaviour. Mind over matter. And the reward of your behaviour will in turn drive your belief. Yin and Yang, man. Yin and Yang.

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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#16  Postby igorfrankensteen » Jul 16, 2016 7:39 pm

Keep It Real wrote:The culture is the main thing with religion imo - the orthopraxy - the behavioural instruction and tradition and ritual. The "existential beliefs" - ie, the invisible bit which doesn't actually do anything, is the secondary or even unnecessary part of religion. To abandon religion simply because one does not believe in a supernatural intelligence or miracles would be akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Thoughts?



?????!!!!!?????

All orthopraxy is designed around the "existential beliefs" of the whatever.

The simile you want isn't the "baby and the bathwater" motif. Maybe something more along the lines, that it isn't important whether there's a baby or not, as long as you make sure the diaper isn't wet, and that you still wake up five times a night for several years.

The way religion is commonly discussed, especially in this context, is always so narrow in scope and appreciation of the nature of human behavior over the history of this planet, it's discouraging. People get caught up in only one or two aspects of a few belief systems, and then run off on rants about how their own choice of limits to the discussion, naturally result in apparent absurdities being "discovered."

If you think that all religions are JUST magic-based notions that collections of people happened to have, and then pushed on their children, you will ignore over 99% of the truth of the world we infest. If you think they are ONLY about control of the masses, you are being intentionally obtuse. If you declare that the magical stories connected to them are the only reason why followers remain involved, you are short-sighted, and destined to remain deeply and intensely ignorant.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#17  Postby igorfrankensteen » Jul 16, 2016 8:12 pm

By the way...any chance that this query results from the desire to continue to have a sense of community and belonging, while allowing the embarrassing magical explanations for why people cooperate, to slip away?
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#18  Postby Weaver » Jul 16, 2016 10:17 pm

Briton wrote:
Weaver wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:I don't believe in running. I do believe in community, moralistic teaching, trying to be kind, music, beautiful architecture and ritual. Christianity fits the bill. There is too a baby.

Christianity has a long history of immorality guised as morality - oppression of minorities, oppression of gays, deliberate wars of conquest. It is not a source of pure moralistic teaching. It is fatally flawed - as its adherents demonstrate constantly.

Morality is not dependent on religion. Religion, with its assertion that its teachings come from a (utterly fictional) higher power, suppresses criticism of immorality, and demands obedience. Fuck that shit.


Thumbs up but don't forget the oppression of women.

Absolutely right.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#19  Postby Keep It Real » Jul 16, 2016 11:58 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:By the way...any chance that this query results from the desire to continue to have a sense of community and belonging, while allowing the embarrassing magical explanations for why people cooperate, to slip away?


i WAS RAISED ATHEIST AND REMAIN SO. i'VE NEVER BEEN PART OF A RELIGION, BUT I CRAVE COMMUNITY (woops, caps lock on). I guess I'm just lonely. Will I go to church later today? Probably not, but I'm tempted.
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Re: Is belief or behaviour more important in religion?

#20  Postby Thommo » Jul 17, 2016 12:06 am

Keep It Real wrote:I guess I'm just lonely. Will I go to church later today? Probably not, but I'm tempted.


Lots of people are lonely, and there are worse things that wanting community and socialization. If you want to go, just go.

Anyone who'd judge you just for wanting a bit of company is an arsehole anyway.
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