PF & Religion

  1. ell0!

    First of, a i send a special please, and another special please to PF Admins and Mentors to not lock this thread or delete it until it goes very, very, very, very, very off-track.

    Simply: Why Religion can not be discuessed here in Philosophy Forums, or commenting on beliefs and other spiritual things?

    I might be wrong, but i think discriminating 'religion topics' in a special case from other ones will make it hard sometimes to cover some subjects in the best way.

    Can we [should we] revise the policies? I feel bad to see some thread have been locked in forums here on this website for only this reason.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I thought this matter was discussed in the Guidelines. And it would be appropriate to PM the administrator/owner regarding policy.

    The question is how to moderate a discussion about personal beliefs, especially when a conflict arises, which then may cause someone to become incensed (suffer from great indignation).

    There are other forums to discuss religious topics, e.g. - www.belief.net boards - http://www.belief.net/boards/index.asp .
     
  4. wolram

    wolram 3,762
    Gold Member

    God either did it, or did not, what else can be said.
     
  5. The policy makes sense because physicists or students of physics are scarcely indifferent to the matter. Most of them are either for or against it so the forum would completely change it's color if we started discussing relegion.

    Either way, there's plenty of forums out there that'll discuss relegion if you want to do that.
     
  6. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    Plus we don't need to burden the mods with even more rantings that all end up as meaningless name calling. We already have PWA for that.

    I've seen plently of forums ban religious discussion not out of bias, but out of the pure burden it places on mods to close down or watch threads like hawks hoping they don't spiral too far out of control.
     
  7. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    Spirit,

    You've got a few too many "very"s in there. We don't usually let threads get too far off track, religious or otherwise.

    There's a simple reason why religious discussions aren't allowed in the Philosophy section: religion is not philosophy, and philosophy is not religion.

    We used to have a religion subforum under philosophy, and it didn't work out. Discussions were hopelessly polarized at best, and heated and nasty at worst. That's just what happens when discussing dogma. Such discussions are more trouble then they are worth (from a moderator's point of view) and they are outside the scope of our goals. So we don't allow them any more.

    Which subjects?

    No. As I said we tried allowing religious discussions before. It didn't work out.
     
  8. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
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    ...to say nothing of the religio-mystical pseudoscience that periodically would be brewed in order to "explain god scientifically" ! :yuck:
     
  9. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    And therein lies a potential mindfield.

    Suppose one wants to discuss the "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch", from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:
    -- Monty Python, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" :biggrin:

    Some might find it irreverant, while others might not. And some (perhaps a mathematician) will argue whether or not the counting is sufficient, or perhaps whether some other basis would be better. And then the physicists will be compelled to determine the optimal trajectory. And then some philosopher-type might interject that discussions of religion invariable involve violence, e.g. Holy Hand Grenades, which can happen before one notices what happened. Déjà Vu all over again.

    I suppose we can have a discussion about a discussion about religion, but a discussion about religion is problematic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  10. FredGarvin

    FredGarvin 5,087
    Science Advisor

    "...that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

    I love that line! That's a standard joke amungst us hip types.
     
  11. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    There has been a revision of our religion policy, a few times actually. First, as you may have noticed from the archives, it used to be permitted. As Tom explained, it just required too much moderation because people just have a hard time discussing religion without managing to insult people of differing views on it. So, then it was banned completely. For a long time, a thread would have been locked or deleted for even mentioning religion (okay, maybe not quite so bad, but pretty close). That was the case across all of PF, philosophy forums inclusive. Upon realizing that there were special cases where religion was a necessary part of the discussion, such as in discussing politics as they pertain to countries with state religions or influenced by religious leaders, we've most recently softened the rules a bit. Now, we've only outright banned the more problematic types of religious posts, which are those that judge or assign truth values to religion (i.e., promoting a religion, or telling someone a religion is complete bunk, etc.), because those types of posts/threads are inevitably taken personally by someone and quickly enter a death spiral. We retain the right to close or delete any other thread on the subject at moderators' discretion, again, in the interest of preserving civility on the boards here. Philosophy retains it's own set of rules that prohibits religious discussion, because for one reason or another, the types of discussions that assign truth values to religion most often landed there, and it has remained a problem in the philosophy forums, so we will continue to prohibit such discussion there. Our decision to exclude such discussions is not a judgement of religion (neither for nor against); it is only a reflection of our past experience with the inability of the participants in such discussions to remain civil to one another.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  13. I agree with the Spirit, religious discussions should be allowed although with some exceptions. For example, people shouldn't ask what to believe, which religion is better and the like, but ideas about God, religious writings and inteprenations should definitely be allowed, after all it isn't wrong in any way you look. Of course to have such a permission first of all people who don't look forward to offend other religions are only needed, and people who would like to discuss ideas in warm surrounding. Or at least discussions like "my view of the God" should be allowed, it doesn't offend any beliefs.


    Why conflicts? We don't have to offend anyone. Why your own ideas about the true nature and existance of God would offend anyone?

    It's not all about it. There are many more things and ideas to discuss and learn. The nature of God, the very existence of us, how God thinks, where is God, what does God look like, and all others. Religion is not only about whether God made it or not. Actually it is only tiny part of the religion and God-about thinking.

    Religion is the part of philosophy. Philosophy doesn't shorten to only religion. Everything you think of is the part of philosophy.
     
  14. That is not the purpose of PF. Find a religious forum for that.
     
  15. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,017
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    Good for you!

    Guess what? You can't do that here. There are plenty of other forums for you to do that, so go knock yourself out. PF can't be all things to all people. That's that!

    Now let's get on with what we CAN discuss on here. I can't believe you've ran out of topic already!

    Zz.
     
  16. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    Now you've just stumbled upon one of the great problems of allowing religious discussions: Who gets to decide what the exceptions are?

    The obivous answer is that the Administration decides, but then even that can be a source of heated debate. We know from experience that it is better to not bother with religion, but rather to leave it to the religious.

    Take a look around the archived Religion subforum, and you'll see exactly what kind of conflicts arise.

    Discussions on any of the topics you mentioned above would have to be based on nothing other than pure speculation. That may be discussion, but it is not learning. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge.

    While it certainly is true that you can philosophize about religion, it is certainly not the case that religion is a subset of philosophy. There are also "philosophy of science" and "philosophy of politics", but those disciplines should not be confused with science and politics themselves, respectively.

    Your definition of "philosophy" is so loose that it renders "philosophy" superfluous. If you're right then we might as well abolish the term "philosophy" and just say "thought". But you're not right. Philosophy is based on experience and reason.
     
  17. I know, I know, I'm sorry. I shouldn't had used the word 'should' but 'suggest' or 'may' and the like.

    Most conflicts arise when people try to force their ideas on others without actually giving any supporting details and facts. I've also found some very interesting threads. Thanks for keeping the archives. I'll indeed have something to read when being free.

    I'd love to hear how your job at particle accelerator looks.

    It's good to have everything within grasp of a hand.
     
  18. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
    Gold Member

    Yes that would be nice but oh well. I'd find it hard to believe you can't find a very easily accessable religious discussion forum.
     
  19. Tom Mattson

    Tom Mattson 5,538
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    So it shouldn't be difficult to imagine why we don't allow discussions about "what god thinks" or "what god looks like". The only things that anyone can say are unsupported statements.
     
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