Date: Mar 18, 2014 4:00 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: How science shaped modern 'rejection of religion'

On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:

> On Mar 18, 2014, at 2:35 PM, kirby urner <> wrote:

> > We should be clear that the idea that "faith" is a "label" for a "state
> of mind" is in itself debatable.
> >
> > I'd link it more closely to "brand loyalty" which is not a "mental

> state" per se.
> >
> > You commit, beyond what is reasonable in some way, to an ideology. You

> become a "saint" by "club standards".
> >
> > Not a mental state, this "faith", not a "feeling" though specific

> feelings may be a *consequence* of one's faith (in a brand, religion,
> ideology, sports team etc.). Iconography is important.
> You just took a bunch of very different contexts and mashed them all
> together. And this distills truth and meaning how? I mean, what is your
> point here? From your mash up, what is your answer to the following two
> questions?

That's how it comes across to you because I think differently, but I would
claim just as precisely if not more so, simply using different terminology.

In philosophy, we were coached away from the "labels for mental states"
model of language, even at the BA level.

The relationship between religion and branding is very deep (same thing?).
Companies / religious institutions seek to create an "aura" (mystique)
around various icons and logos, with ritual / lifestyle activities involved
in some ways ("It's Miller time"). You need commercials and advertising to
weave together the symbols.

As Wittgenstein put it, if I choose a rock and random and start praying to
it every day, doing rituals, before you know it I'll be a religious convert
to this new pet rock religion (paraphrase).

> 1. Is the faith in religion the same as the faith in science?

Is loyalty to this or that commercial brand or sports team different
depending on whether we're talking secular or religious?

Yes, in many ways, but also no in many ways. The similarities deserve
focus, not just the differences.

> 2. If not, then how are they different?

It often comes down to what people will put their lives on the line to
defend / spread / advance. If the compensation is sufficient, people will
dedicate many hours to spreading Coca-Cola (the ritual drinking of same,
leading to tooth rot and diabetes) around the world, but few if any would
die for that brand, just to keep shareholders "in the money".

The most decorated Marine in US history, Smedley "Fighting Quaker" Butler
ended up writing 'War is a Racket' (very short, on my Kindle) because he
realized a lot of his men had died essentially for shareholder benefit. He
was seeing through the veneer of ideology used to inspire idealistic
behavior among the young (self sacrifice) and warning them it was really
just Coca-Cola in disguise.

He was a veteran of the Banana Republic era and participated in the "Occupy
Washington DC" movement in the Hoover years, mainly begging WWI vets to
decamp given Gen MacArthur was a rabid idiot soon to come through trashing
and thrashing in his brainless coward style (I'm no MacArthur fan if that's
not obvious). What had rendered Smedley cynical was the coup he'd been
recruited to help with and the lackadaisical way Congress dealt with it,
given many of them had been in on the plot (see Business Plot in Wikipedia).

What I'm saying is: historically speaking, religions command brand loyalty
to a high degree, to where personal self sacrifice is expected. Secular
institutions get that kind of loyalty as well, but usually only by
imitating religion and often piggy-backing on it, the way US presidents
have piggy-backed on Billy Graham at inaugurations and such. Wrap the flag
around a crucifix and you'll do better in the polls, at least in some zip


> Bob Hansen