On Rituals

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On Rituals

Postby clippo » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:11 pm

There was some discussion of rituals on NPR, mostly negative. I think that rituals are cool and I think most people enjoy rituals. Don't tell me you never saw an atheist cry at a wedding!

Rituals are so universal that I'm guessing ritual is probably an evolved part of human nature that satisfies some social purpose/need. But, like so many thing, religion has co-opted and perverted our enjoyment of rituals and turned it to its own purposes. But don't blame rituals, blame the f-ing church.

I'd be curious what others think about this
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Postby Cephus » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:29 pm

There's nothing wrong with rituals, so long as they're rational. A wedding is a celebration of the joining of two real people. It's rational, at least until the God-talk comes in, but you can certainly do it entirely non-religiously, like my wife and I did. It's when rituals are nothing more than a celebration of the ridiculous that I object to them, but I suppose if some people like them and I don't have to take part, it's their life.
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Postby RilianSharp » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:50 am

Rituals are never rational. But that doesn't mean they are irrational. There's nothing rational about celebrating the anniversary of one's birth. We just do it for fun.
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Postby Infidel » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:50 am

Rituals are so ingrained in our lives we must be genetically predisposition for them. Do you eat 3 meals a day? Why? That's 3 rituals most people engage in. Do you go to clubs to meet people? ....more rituals. Hell, other animals have rituals too.

So, ...nothing wrong with rituals in general IMHO. Of course, I'm, not all that interested in the types of rituals that involve getting down on your knees so a dude wearing a dress can put a tasteless wafer on my tongue. Sure, some rituals are stupid.
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Postby Cephus » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:40 am

RilianSharp wrote:Rituals are never rational. But that doesn't mean they are irrational. There's nothing rational about celebrating the anniversary of one's birth. We just do it for fun.


No, but there's nothing harmful in it either. A birthday is just an acknowledgment that an individual has survived another year on the planet. What's irrational about that? It's a statement that is factually true.
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Pursuit of pleasure and rationality

Postby dobbie » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:38 am

On rationality .... Is any pursuit of pleasure, such as birthday celebrations, irrational? I don't think that it really is. Likewise, in pursuit of pleasure, is it irrational to fall in love and get married? Big questions.
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Postby RilianSharp » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:19 pm

Cephus wrote:
RilianSharp wrote:Rituals are never rational. But that doesn't mean they are irrational. There's nothing rational about celebrating the anniversary of one's birth. We just do it for fun.


No, but there's nothing harmful in it either. A birthday is just an acknowledgment that an individual has survived another year on the planet. What's irrational about that? It's a statement that is factually true.


Yeah, I didn't say it was irrational. It's neither. It's just a freaking party.
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rituals

Postby McIago » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:56 am

I think there is a bit of confusion here. There is more than one definition of ritual and these posts seem to be blurring them.

There is ritual as habitual action the non performance of which makes people uncomfortable. This includes dressing ritual, eating ritual, etc.

There is social ritual, such as Americans singing the national anthem at a sporting event or saluting as the flag passes by.

Then there is religious ritual.

One can posit the rationality or irrationality of any of them, and debate it, but the conclusion will only be an opinion not a fact.
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Re: rituals

Postby Cephus » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:01 am

McIago wrote:I think there is a bit of confusion here. There is more than one definition of ritual and these posts seem to be blurring them.

There is ritual as habitual action the non performance of which makes people uncomfortable. This includes dressing ritual, eating ritual, etc.

There is social ritual, such as Americans singing the national anthem at a sporting event or saluting as the flag passes by.

Then there is religious ritual.

One can posit the rationality or irrationality of any of them, and debate it, but the conclusion will only be an opinion not a fact.


Which is, of course, wrong. We can examine any of the rituals and determine why people perform them. We dress because we're cold, we eat because otherwise we starve. We salute the flag as a show of loyalty and respect to the nation. However, when it comes to religious rituals, there's nothing real that can be pointed to. It's all pure fantasy. Ritualizing religion is no better than ritualizing Harry Potter. There is nothing actually real that the adherents can point to as justification for their actions.

That's the difference.
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Re: rituals

Postby RilianSharp » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:00 am

Cephus wrote:We salute the flag as a show of loyalty and respect to the nation.
lol this is religious. The "nation" isn't a real thing. There's just a bunch of people, some of whom have a bunch of guns they are ready to stick in your face if you withdraw your "loyalty".
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Re: rituals

Postby Cephus » Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:48 am

RilianSharp wrote:
Cephus wrote:We salute the flag as a show of loyalty and respect to the nation.
lol this is religious. The "nation" isn't a real thing. There's just a bunch of people, some of whom have a bunch of guns they are ready to stick in your face if you withdraw your "loyalty".


Um, it's just sad that you feel that way, I guess, especially when you're so easily demonstrably wrong. :roll:
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Re: rituals

Postby RilianSharp » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:21 am

Cephus wrote:
RilianSharp wrote:
Cephus wrote:We salute the flag as a show of loyalty and respect to the nation.
lol this is religious. The "nation" isn't a real thing. There's just a bunch of people, some of whom have a bunch of guns they are ready to stick in your face if you withdraw your "loyalty".


Um, it's just sad that you feel that way, I guess, especially when you're so easily demonstrably wrong. :roll:


Oh. OK, then please demonstrate it.
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Postby McIago » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:24 am

Cephus wrote to my post:
"Which is, of course, wrong. We can examine any of the rituals and determine why people perform them. We dress because we're cold, we eat because otherwise we starve. We salute the flag as a show of loyalty and respect to the nation. However, when it comes to religious rituals, there's nothing real that can be pointed to. It's all pure fantasy. Ritualizing religion is no better than ritualizing Harry Potter. There is nothing actually real that the adherents can point to as justification for their actions."

That is blunt, and not very enlightening. The disagreement is rather dogmatic, almost religious in tone. Instead of making doctrinal assertions, you could have engaged in a discussion of meaning. I will be happy to explain my reasoning.

In Japan and Korea some originally "religious" rituals are performed by people who will tell you that they don't believe in it, and that they have no religion and believe in no spirits or gods. Is it still a religious ritual? I think not, it has become a folk custom or symbol of national identity rather than religion.

So why do they do it? They do it out of habit or custom, they do it to please their relatives, some of whom may actually have a religious belief in it, they do it because it is part of the culture and they would feel uncomfortable not doing it. They do it because it is part of the national identity.

Asians are not the only people who have what might be called vestigial or psuedo religious rituals. How many Americans text OMG, or say it aloud without actually considering it religious? Is it still a religious ritual if religious intent is absent? I don't think so.

Do you always put your right sock on first or get out of bed on the right side, or always eat the same breakfast food? It may have been a religious ritual in the past, it now has no meaning other than it is comfortable. Is it religious? No. Do you think about it? Probably not. Is it ritual? Yes.

As to the dogmatic statement that there is nothing real behind religious ritual, that is demonstrably untrue. Is male circumcision religious ritual? For Jews and Muslims it is, but it has been required for males in the US for public health reasons [and in order to refuse it for his son, my brother needed a certificate proving that the refusal was religion based].

There are quite a few instances where the original meaning of a religious ritual was more than just mummery. Is it necessary, today, in a rational and scientific world? No. Is it religious to refrain from eating pork? Yes.
If you live in a hot climate with inadequate refrigeration, if raising animals, slaughtering them and handling the meat is not according to hygenic standards it would be foolish to risk eating it, wouldn't it? It is no longer religious for some, but remains religious for others, and is ritual in some cases.
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The salute

Postby dobbie » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:25 am

I was thinking something similar on whether it's rational to practice a secular or religious ritual. For example, about saluting the flag.

I ask myself, What’s the rationality behind a salute to the flag--is it really to show loyalty to the nation? Could be. But most other civilians aren’t in the habit of saluting to show national loyalty. But if civilians were to salute, a mere salute does little to demonstrate loyalty. Likely as not, they may salute the flag at say a public parade because the rest of the crowd salutes.

Military personnel might very well salute simply because it’s part of their discipline. In the armed service, when you’re caught for not saluting you find yourself in trouble. Therefore, it’s “rationalâ€
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Re: On Rituals

Postby Xelnaga » Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:50 am

I think rituals are a very good way to empower someone motivation, i mean as a way to program ourself.
It can help change someone life, habbits. It has a strong effect if one believe it can have a strong effect.
I see it as a tool. To conciously use as auto-programing. I think that is the real magic of rituals.

There is a part of me where truth is very important and non negociable.
Another part of me use belief (even if false it dosent mater for this part) as a way to motivate and empower.
I believe im gonna success in my next goals! woot xD
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