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A rant on God, religion and morality





The Conspirator
In the past I have been accused of attacking religion or a religion when I was not but this time I am.
Religion is evil. Religion is bad. People may gain benefits from religion but that sword cuts both ways. There are many ways religions hurts people and society. It Breeds ignorant by convincing people to take things by faith and, convincing people to find answers in a stupid book or a mythological father figure instead of searching for the answer through logic and evidence. It create artificial deviations in society and elevates the group the individual is a member of as smarter (were right and your wrong!) or in some way special about them.

But those are not why I'm writing this rant.
This rant is inspired by the bombings in London, not just the bombings but who might have done it, doctors. This is what religion can do intelligent people. When you surrender your morality to a deity. When you take morality out of you mind and out of philosophy, logic and thought and put it in the hands a mythological deity. When God is the source of your morality, what ever you think that god wants become right. It dose not madder what it is, it could be impaling baby's and using them as urinals , it could be killing you own child as a sacrifice to God or flying a plain into a ****** building.
"But thats only Islam, Christianity is not like that"
No. No, no, no, no. Just look at the past. All the people kill in fights between Protestant and Catholics, all the people burned to death for "being witches", all the people killed for being gay, having premarital sex or being Jewish.
It doesn't matter what religion it is, when some god is the source of your morality anything that you think God wants to happen or you to do (no madder how bad it is) it is right, just and good.
"He, he, he. Stupid atheist. With out god there is no morality. If there's no God than I could go out and rape, steel and kill and it wouldn't be wrong"
But no one wants those things to happen to them so why can't people, as a society agree not to do that to each other? But wait! That would be morality. So with god you still have morality.
Jesus supposedly said "Do on to others what you would have them do to you" but Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha or Gautama Buddha ) said it better and long before Jesus "Do not do to other what you don't want them to do to you" but I can beet them both. Do not do to others what they do not won't you to do to them and do to them and do to them what you would have them do to you unless they do not won't you to do that to them. And thats from an atheist! And it beats both Jeusus's and Gautamas quotes.
You don't need a god to have morality all you need thought, logic, debate and a sense of right and wrong. Thats all that is needed.

When you give up your morality to God, when you use some dick who claims to here the be the voice of God or some book that supposedly come from God you corrupt and defile the very meaning of morality and turn it into a justification for evils.
spinout
[quote="The Conspirator"]

I can beet them both. Do not do to others what they do not won't you to do to them and do to them and do to them what you would have them do to you unless they do not won't you to do that to them. And thats from an atheist!

[quote]

That's understanding more than the normal non-atheist! Say, that statement is infact divine. I guess you just went from atheist to god-mode in an instant! And I mean it. Time to erase that athetist label, so say?
The Conspirator
[quote="spinout"][quote="The Conspirator"]

I can beet them both. Do not do to others what they do not won't you to do to them and do to them and do to them what you would have them do to you unless they do not won't you to do that to them. And thats from an atheist!

Quote:


That's understanding more than the normal non-atheist! Say, that statement is infact divine. I guess you just went from atheist to god-mode in an instant! And I mean it. Time to erase that athetist label, so say?

Huh? How did you come to that conclusion?
spinout
[quote="The Conspirator"][quote="spinout"]
The Conspirator wrote:


I can beet them both. Do not do to others what they do not won't you to do to them and do to them and do to them what you would have them do to you unless they do not won't you to do that to them. And thats from an atheist!

Quote:


That's understanding more than the normal non-atheist! Say, that statement is infact divine. I guess you just went from atheist to god-mode in an instant! And I mean it. Time to erase that athetist label, so say?

Huh? How did you come to that conclusion?


Well, simple, just read your brilliant text!!!!!!!!!! This text has the biggest meaning/message I've ever seen in this forum, by far...
Say, where did you get the inspiration?

This can't be done by an atheist, so say?

mathematically:
If there is a loving God then God thinks bombing others is not what he wants -> you also writes that very clear - god is probably a good friend of yours...
If there not is a God then you write as a loving god would do -> U just went divine to the spectators!!!

UPON that you pointed out greater wisdom than Jesus n buddha!!!! Smarter than the most un-atheists.... Also a 'special thing' was pointed out -> mathematically you described that not only you but also the other agrees on what happens. This is holy mathematics inserted into the common understanding/world!!!! Wow!!!!

Well the attacking of the religions is also divine - if there is a loving God... you just left Gods message... A loving god don't want bad religion.
Again, if not the existance of a GOD, you just went divine!!!
pampoon
Wow, I don't think I've ever been this confused in my life! Between the unorganized rampage and the horrible spelling from both members before me (not making fun, I do assume you are both not American or English) I can barely understand what you are getting at. Maybe I can sort it out here...

Okay, so you, Conspirator, say that all religion is the cause of immorality? That God is actually the source of all evil? That without God and religion all of humanity will be much better off and much more peaceful? Okay, if that's what you're saying, lets got through an imaginary world without God or religion:
No-God's-Land wrote:
With no God (and that means that Atheists would be right about evolution), the teens that would be in Youth Groups for their church will be on the streets. That raises the level of violence. Without religious charity groups, a lot of homeless people would have nowhere to go and would just die on the streets, which would raise the death rate. With no God, there would be much much more sex, which means that there would be a much larger spread of S.T.D.s, also raising the death level. Without God, there would be no religious charity hospitals to take in sick who can't afford regular hospitals, many would die from various diseases because they don't have care. Without God, the wars of the ancient times would not have happen, thus slowing the advancement of weapons. Without God, America would not have been formed, so the odds of Democracy, Communism, etc. coming into power would be low, which means there would still be kings which would rule the world. And since the people would still have that want of freedom, they would rebel against their kings. You say that the world could form a giant treaty to be peaceful? Who says everyone would agree? They would rebel against that. What are you going to do? Force them? That's not very moral...

So you see, religion isn't the cause of everything bad, no matter how much you want to believe that. Just getting rid of God and religion wouldn't solve all the problems of the world. If it would, you think we'd still be here? Someone way beyond your knowledge would have figured it out before you and moved to kill all of us. Just like Hitler. He tried to get rid of Jews to "try and make all the problems better", but he did it by killing all of them...

Is that moral? No.

God bless Wink ,
Pampoon
The Conspirator
spinout: First, why do you keep saying "mathematical" when you have not used math? Secondly, I was making a point, you don't need God to have morality.

pampoon: first. Do not put words in my mouth! I said "When you use God as the source of your morality, what ever you think that God wonts become morely right not matter how bad that is. Sacrificing children, suicide bombing people, if you think thats what God wonts, that become merely right"
Secondly, that quote is complete bullshit.Where ever you got that from, never go there again cause its nothing but lies. Charity existed long before you mythological Messiah, there is far more for teenagers to do than Church related crap and if you won't teenagers to have sex, teach abstinence.
pampoon
I apologize if I "put words into your mouth", but as I said, I had or horrible time trying to understand what you were trying to say.

And no, if you follow a religion that has certain moral beliefs, you can't just make something moral because you think God wants it to be. You would know it was wrong if you believed in what the church taught.

That quote was just a separation of thought. I made that up entirely myself, and I take pride in it. But I think you read it wrong. See, it clearly says
the quote wrote:
Without God, there would be no religious charity hospitals to take in sick who can't afford regular hospitals, many would die from various diseases because they don't have care.
Not: "Without God, there would be absolutely no charity hospitals at all."

And the Church was the first to teach abstinence. So without God, abstinence wouldn't exist. Plus, even though Christianity has preached abstinence for, what seems like, ever, people still have sex before marriage. Oh, and I never said anything about teenagers.

I'm sure there are a lot of other things for them to do, but not everyone would find something else. Maybe the Youth Group kept someone from trouble. If there's not Youth Group, guess what they're going to do.

God bless Wink ,
Pampoon
{name here}
pampoon wrote:
I apologize if I "put words into your mouth", but as I said, I had or horrible time trying to understand what you were trying to say.

And no, if you follow a religion that has certain moral beliefs, you can't just make something moral because you think God wants it to be. You would know it was wrong if you believed in what the church taught.

Morals are taught to you by your surrounding peers. Whether they have beliefs in religions or not is up to them. You can still be moral without a religion. You just need a mind. Carl Sagan is an example of such.

Quote:
That quote was just a separation of thought. I made that up entirely myself, and I take pride in it. But I think you read it wrong. See, it clearly says
the quote wrote:
Without God, there would be no religious charity hospitals to take in sick who can't afford regular hospitals, many would die from various diseases because they don't have care.
Not: "Without God, there would be absolutely no charity hospitals at all."

Correction: Without the belief in God, there would be no religious hospitals. I'm sure without a religion like Christianity the people that were there would still be philanthropists and try to help out those in need.

Quote:
And the Church was the first to teach abstinence. So without God, abstinence wouldn't exist. Plus, even though Christianity has preached abstinence for, what seems like, ever, people still have sex before marriage. Oh, and I never said anything about teenagers.

Without a belief in God, abstinence would not exist for a little longer. Eventually logic would crawl up upon people and abstinence would be taught.

Quote:
I'm sure there are a lot of other things for them to do, but not everyone would find something else. Maybe the Youth Group kept someone from trouble. If there's not Youth Group, guess what they're going to do.

There are many other things than youth groups. They'd have to live in a ghetto do have to resort to anything violent, and even then they'd be violent already due to their surroundings.
spinout
The Conspirator wrote:
spinout: First, why do you keep saying "mathematical" when you have not used math? Secondly, I was making a point, you don't need God to have morality.


I am actually using only math but in the written word. If you don't see it then don't mind the term 'mathematically' - but I truely insure that I use it.

Second - my point is that, in other words, you actually claim religions to have bad morality - 'mathematically' hehe hehe also god does (if he 'mathematically' hehe is the ever loving one!). So extract God from religions combined with morality!!!

Third - 'Mathematically' hoho the only question God ever have was 'Who am I?' - well without morality we can't get the answer. Right now U are in the holy league telling God is not worthy the bad religions that is here today.
make_life_better
pampoon wrote:
Wow, I don't think I've ever been this confused in my life!...<snip>
No-God's-Land wrote:
With no God (and that means that Atheists would be right about evolution), the teens that would be in Youth Groups for their church will be on the streets. That raises the level of violence. Without religious charity groups, a lot of homeless people would have nowhere to go and would just die on the streets, which would raise the death rate. With no God, there would be much much more sex, which means that there would be a much larger spread of S.T.D.s, also raising the death level. Without God, there would be no religious charity hospitals to take in sick who can't afford regular hospitals, many would die from various diseases because they don't have care. Without God, the wars of the ancient times would not have happen, thus slowing the advancement of weapons. Without God, America would not have been formed, so the odds of Democracy, Communism, etc. coming into power would be low, which means there would still be kings which would rule the world. And since the people would still have that want of freedom, they would rebel against their kings. You say that the world could form a giant treaty to be peaceful? Who says everyone would agree? They would rebel against that. What are you going to do? Force them? That's not very moral...

Pampoon

Sorry, but I can't just let that set of falsehoods go unchallenged...

First, the idea that if teens are not in youth groups for the church then there will be more violence in the streets. Where's the evidence? In a society which is run on logical and just morals, why would the teens not find something else useful to do rather than just fight? The original poster is saying that most people are basically good and naturally moral; in a society where people are not pushed into religious groups maybe they would not end up fighting in the streets.

Quote:
Without religious charity groups, a lot of homeless people would have nowhere to go and would just die on the streets, which would raise the death rate....


Why? Perhaps if society was run on a more moral basis, then there would be more people actually going out and helping those worse off than themselves, rather than discussing the situation on church committees and the like. Maybe the teens who didn't go to youth groups to get indoctrinated could actually go and do something useful and productive for these homeless people instead. Islam actually is stronger in it's requirements on its followers to give than many other religions; but the same effect is seen in many parts of the world in many religions. Many of the worst offenders in the world (mainly major corporations) who are the most money-grabbing are actually based in the strongly Christian parts of the US. Yes there are great curch charities that do a lot of good, but it would be better to work to prevent these huge inequalities rather than try to provide some minimal charity support after the events which left these people destitute.

Quote:
With no God, there would be much much more sex, which means that there would be a much larger spread of S.T.D.s, also raising the death level.


What's wrong with sex? If people were more tolerant of it then teens and youngsters would not have to hide their emerging sexuality, and so could experiment more openly. They could ask advice and guidance without fear of castigation. They would probably not indulge so much in unsafe acts behind sheds and bushes. The evidence from countries which have open and accepting societies with proper sex education is that the rate of STDs and early pregnancy is much lower than in places like the UK and US. Young people simply ARE going to have sex - there is no hiding from that. We should do our best to be as open and supportive of good practices as possible. And what's with the hang-up about death anyway?

Quote:
Without God, there would be no religious charity hospitals to take in sick who can't afford regular hospitals, many would die from various diseases because they don't have care.


What? Why on earth should these sick people have to rely on religious charities for health care? This should be everybody's inalienable right. This is the job of all of society, organised by government etc. Maybe it's the crazy private health insurance system in the US that is to blame. Have a look at the sums and work out where the money is coming from (who pays) and who takes the profits (and how much). I think you will find that te system is hugely unjust. Again, the charities do great good, but it would be better to address the basic problems. This is nothing to do with religion or God.

Quote:
Without God, the wars of the ancient times would not have happen, thus slowing the advancement of weapons.


Actually that sounds like a really strong advantage. The world would be a safer place without them. It's a bit like the argument that everybody should have the right to carry weapons to protect themselves from everybody who is carrying weapons. If nobody had them, then nobody would need them.

Quote:
Without God, America would not have been formed...


Actually, America is a piece of land. There were indigenous people there long before the Europeans invaded and stole the land from them. Or do you mean the wider concept of America, including concepts of the constitution, democracy, etc?

Quote:
...so the odds of Democracy, Communism, etc. coming into power would be low, which means there would still be kings which would rule the world.


And that would be worse than now because??? Actually, there is no evidence that the rise of democracy would not have happened anyway. It's been around for thousands of years.

Or have I just cmpletely misjudged your posting and it was actually intended in a sarcastic tone...
The Conspirator
spinout wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
spinout: First, why do you keep saying "mathematical" when you have not used math? Secondly, I was making a point, you don't need God to have morality.


I am actually using only math but in the written word. If you don't see it then don't mind the term 'mathematically' - but I truely insure that I use it.

Second - my point is that, in other words, you actually claim religions to have bad morality - 'mathematically' hehe hehe also god does (if he 'mathematically' hehe is the ever loving one!). So extract God from religions combined with morality!!!

Third - 'Mathematically' hoho the only question God ever have was 'Who am I?' - well without morality we can't get the answer. Right now U are in the holy league telling God is not worthy the bad religions that is here today.

Ok I do not understand most of this post. Ill address the only two thing I do understand from it.
I did not say religions are morality bad,I said
I wrote:
When you use God as the source of your morality, what ever you think that God wonts become morely right not matter how bad that is. Sacrificing children, suicide bombing people, if you think thats what God wonts, that become merely right


You don't need morality to answer the question "Who am I" thats a philosophical question not a morel one. And if its God asking it, isn't he supposed to be omniscient?
pampoon
make_life_better wrote:
Sorry, but I can't just let that set of falsehoods go unchallenged...

First, the idea that if teens are not in youth groups for the church then there will be more violence in the streets. Where's the evidence? In a society which is run on logical and just morals, why would the teens not find something else useful to do rather than just fight? The original poster is saying that most people are basically good and naturally moral; in a society where people are not pushed into religious groups maybe they would not end up fighting in the streets.

Maybe they would, but that only includes a certain percentage. That's the point I've been trying to get across. Not all problems are caused by religion (as The Conspirator suggested). I've never tried to push that religion causes everything to happen, I'm just saying that religion does have some effect on things and if it disappeared, some things would go with it.

make_life_better wrote:
Why? Perhaps if society was run on a more moral basis, then there would be more people actually going out and helping those worse off than themselves, rather than discussing the situation on church committees and the like. Maybe the teens who didn't go to youth groups to get indoctrinated could actually go and do something useful and productive for these homeless people instead. Islam actually is stronger in it's requirements on its followers to give than many other religions; but the same effect is seen in many parts of the world in many religions. Many of the worst offenders in the world (mainly major corporations) who are the most money-grabbing are actually based in the strongly Christian parts of the US. Yes there are great curch charities that do a lot of good, but it would be better to work to prevent these huge inequalities rather than try to provide some minimal charity support after the events which left these people destitute.

Again, I do not say that without Christianity all charities would be gone, but a lot would be. And I used to be in a Youth Group and I remember going to the nursing homes, having fund raisers for the local shelters, raising money for people in foreign countries, etc. We did a lot for others that wouldn't have happened if the Youth Group hadn't been there.

make_life_better wrote:
What? Why on earth should these sick people have to rely on religious charities for health care? This should be everybody's inalienable right. This is the job of all of society, organised by government etc. Maybe it's the crazy private health insurance system in the US that is to blame. Have a look at the sums and work out where the money is coming from (who pays) and who takes the profits (and how much). I think you will find that te system is hugely unjust. Again, the charities do great good, but it would be better to address the basic problems. This is nothing to do with religion or God.

Exactly, so you just went off-topic. That has nothing to do with it. I'm saying that if the religious charity hospitals didn't exist, many people (at least Americans) would have no care because they can't afford regular hospitals.

make_life_better wrote:
Actually that sounds like a really strong advantage. The world would be a safer place without them. It's a bit like the argument that everybody should have the right to carry weapons to protect themselves from everybody who is carrying weapons. If nobody had them, then nobody would need them.

Eventually someone would illegally make weapons and use them, even if they aren't allowed in the world. So war would still happen no matter how much you try to stop it. Everyone wants rights and wants to be able to protect themselves. It would be extremely difficult to change the minds of over 6 billion people.

make_life_better wrote:
Actually, America is a piece of land. There were indigenous people there long before the Europeans invaded and stole the land from them. Or do you mean the wider concept of America, including concepts of the constitution, democracy, etc?

Picky, picky Rolling Eyes . I mean America, not North America (which is the land).

make_life_better wrote:
And that would be worse than now because??? Actually, there is no evidence that the rise of democracy would not have happened anyway. It's been around for thousands of years.

Again, I said that the odds would be lower. I didn't say there was absolutely no possible way of it happening. Please read my posts clearly...

God bless Wink ,
Pampoon
The Conspirator
Quote:
That's the point I've been trying to get across. Not all problems are caused by religion (as The Conspirator suggested)

I did not say that!
What is it with you theists? Every time some one criticises religion, you put words in there mouths trying to make people think they said something they didn't to attacked there credibility. Stop it!
I did not say "religion is the cause of all problems" I said When you use God as the source of your morality, what ever you thing God wonts become merely right even if its sacrificing your children , committing genocide or flying plains into buildings. Thats what I said!
Get that straight or do not post in this topic again.
spinout
Even if I may have some langual problems; I understood that the Conspirator did NOT mean that religions are the cause of all problems. I never suggested that either.

So the Conspirator: I'm very happy you attacked religions - KEEP doing that!!!!
The Conspirator
spinout wrote:
Even if I may have some langual problems; I understood that the Conspirator did NOT mean that religions are the cause of all problems. I never suggested that either.

So the Conspirator: I'm very happy you attacked religions - KEEP doing that!!!!


pampoon did say that and he was who my previous post was aimed at.
I try not to attack religion cause that lend credence to those who say people like me do attack religion and we don't (well there are a few who do but not that much) but I do try to point out problems.
HereticMonkey
I so tried to stay out...

[quote="make_life_better"]
No-God's-Land wrote:
With no God (and that means that Atheists would be right about evolution),

Actually, without God there would be no theory of evolution (or it would have taken longer to develop); it took a Christian exploring the world to put it together...


Quote:
Sorry, but I can't just let that set of falsehoods go unchallenged...

What set of falsehoods? Going pedantic for a moment, "falsehoods" are usually limited to statements presented as factually true, not opinions. in other words, you are trying to disparage the poster, trying to tear his case down with slander, rather than building your own case.

Quote:
First, the idea that if teens are not in youth groups for the church then there will be more violence in the streets. Where's the evidence?

Crime stats. Generally speaking, the less spiritual a child's upbringing, the more likely that he is to be a violent offender, as he is more likely to belong to gangs or other violent groups.

Quote:
In a society which is run on logical and just morals, why would the teens not find something else useful to do rather than just fight?

It's called testosterone. The natural state of boys is to fight; note that most religions use some form of martial arts in order to deal with the situation (the Eastern philosophies are obvious; boxing and some forms of dueling form the Christian side).

You're also not answering where these morals would have come from. If not for the morals from religion, it could be argued that morals would never enter the picture. Even atheists tend to take pointers from religion; at least, those that consider themselves moral ones...

Quote:
The original poster is saying that most people are basically good and naturally moral; in a society where people are not pushed into religious groups maybe they would not end up fighting in the streets.

Ah, the Noble Savage concept. Too bad there's no actual backing for the concept...unless you consider cannibalism, rape, and xenophobia good...

Quote:
Quote:
Without religious charity groups, a lot of homeless people would have nowhere to go and would just die on the streets, which would raise the death rate....


Why? Perhaps if society was run on a more moral basis, then there would be more people actually going out and helping those worse off than themselves, rather than discussing the situation on church committees and the like.

The problem is that society itself is not run on a moral basis, and in fact morals are generally disdained as being weak and limiting. Ironically, given that you are attempting to show atheists as moral beings, this looking down on morals usually comes from atheists...

Quote:
Maybe the teens who didn't go to youth groups to get indoctrinated could actually go and do something useful and productive for these homeless people instead.

So volunteering in soup kitchens, building homes, and raising money for the homeless doesn't help the situation? Weird...

Quote:
Islam actually is stronger in it's requirements on its followers to give than many other religions; but the same effect is seen in many parts of the world in many religions. Many of the worst offenders in the world (mainly major corporations) who are the most money-grabbing are actually based in the strongly Christian parts of the US.

So, yet again, religion encourages charity? Also, you'll note that the corporations you decry as money-grubbing also give lots to charity. Admittedly, a lot of it is self-serving (scholarships for potential employees, tax deductions, and so forth), but it was worth noting that only a Christian-based belief system would make it a good thing financially to donate in the first place.

Quote:
Yes there are great curch charities that do a lot of good, but it would be better to work to prevent these huge inequalities rather than try to provide some minimal charity support after the events which left these people destitute.

However, homelessness is a far more complex problem than just making sure people don't become homeless. You have too many of the homeless that like being off the radar, and being homeless does provide a decent initiation experience. Note that I'm not trying to glamorize it, just trying to point out that, even if the basic underlying problems were taken care of, you would still homelessness.


Quote:
What's wrong with sex? If people were more tolerant of it then teens and youngsters would not have to hide their emerging sexuality, and so could experiment more openly. They could ask advice and guidance without fear of castigation. They would probably not indulge so much in unsafe acts behind sheds and bushes. The evidence from countries which have open and accepting societies with proper sex education is that the rate of STDs and early pregnancy is much lower than in places like the UK and US.

You're misunderstanding the statement. Nothing is intrinsically wrong with it; rather, it's that sex leads to other complications. BTW: What are these mystical countries you speak of? You tend to have four basic attitudes:

a) Limited Sex Education + High Amounts of Sex: Usually in underdeveloped countries, this leads to overpopulation and a plague of STD's, especially AIDS.
b) Lots of Sex Education + High Amounts of Sex: Yeah, they wear rubbers, but STD's are usually present in high numbers, and instead of overpopulation you have lots of single mothers.
c) Limited Sex Education + Low Amounts of Sex: More of a possibility; usually limited to Arctic Wastelands...
d) Lots of Sex Education + Low Amounts of Sex: STD's are limited in spread, and the population is under control. Ironically, this is where the US is...

It should be noted that a lot of countries (such as Japan) fall under B; however, the irony of such countries is that, even though homosexuality is much more a part of the culture, it is also discouraged outside of the privacy of your own home. It's weird that the US is viewed as being homophobic, but is also much more open about gay relationships on the whole (in other words: Yes, we still have homophobic organizations, but being gay isn't considered a sign of immaturity or actively discouraged).

Quote:
Young people simply ARE going to have sex - there is no hiding from that. We should do our best to be as open and supportive of good practices as possible. And what's with the hang-up about death anyway?

Um. Duh. But, it should be encouraged to be in a caring relationship, where if the female gets pregnant odds are good that they will both be willing to take care of the child, and the likelihood of STD's drops. Which is something that, ironically, religion encourages...

Also: Are you saying that we should encourage the spread of STD's so that more people are killed? Weird...


Quote:
What? Why on earth should these sick people have to rely on religious charities for health care? This should be everybody's inalienable right. This is the job of all of society, organised by government etc. Maybe it's the crazy private health insurance system in the US that is to blame. Have a look at the sums and work out where the money is coming from (who pays) and who takes the profits (and how much). I think you will find that te system is hugely unjust. Again, the charities do great good, but it would be better to address the basic problems. This is nothing to do with religion or God.

Agreed. At the same time, universal health care is a more complex problem than just saying that the government should handle it. It doesn't help that Americans tend to have a fear of organized health care, thanks to HMO's, but there are also issues involving that parts shouldn't be universal (note British teeth).


Quote:
Quote:
Without God, the wars of the ancient times would not have happen, thus slowing the advancement of weapons.


Actually that sounds like a really strong advantage. The world would be a safer place without them. It's a bit like the argument that everybody should have the right to carry weapons to protect themselves from everybody who is carrying weapons. If nobody had them, then nobody would need them.

Actually, it could be argued that had religion been stronger, the ancient wars would NOT have happened, and that if it did, it would not have been as long or as gruesome.


Quote:
Quote:
Without God, America would not have been formed...


Actually, America is a piece of land. There were indigenous people there long before the Europeans invaded and stole the land from them. Or do you mean the wider concept of America, including concepts of the constitution, democracy, etc?

See, this is why people don't like atheists; you tend to go pedantic at the worst moments, and blow any credibility you would have had with statements like this...


Quote:
Quote:
...so the odds of Democracy, Communism, etc. coming into power would be low, which means there would still be kings which would rule the world.


And that would be worse than now because??? Actually, there is no evidence that the rise of democracy would not have happened anyway. It's been around for thousands of years.

Actually, no. Democracy died with Greece, and didn't really happen again until the founding of the USA. Although it is likely that a democracy would have formed, it would have been much later, especially given that it took the American democracy to encourage the others (even the French Revolution wouldn't have happened if not for American one; thousands of uprisings previously hadn't led to a democracy, after all).

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Or have I just cmpletely misjudged your posting and it was actually intended in a sarcastic tone...

And again with the slander...

The big question is: If not from religion, where would the morals have come? Any nation that has tried to completely get rid of religion has so far been rendered moral-less (note the pogroms, corruption, and overall Machivellian tactics of Communist Russia and China). Also note that primitive peoples are not generally the best examples of morals, especially as rape, cannibalism, and not treating outsiders as equals is pretty much standard behavior.

So where they have come from?

HM
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:
but I do try to point out problems.


The problem is that you not only point out the problems, but encourage atheism as an answer, without acknowledging atheism's issues or history. In essence, you're doing the same thing you point out that religions do.

Also, when you do attack religions, you don't admit that you do, choosing a more general "throw everything you can, hope something stick" approach. So when someone says that you attack religion, there is some definite credence to the idea...

HM
laurenrox
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In the past I have been accused of attacking religion or a religion when I was not but this time I am.
Religion is evil. Religion is bad. People may gain benefits from religion but that sword cuts both ways. There are many ways religions hurts people and society.


Religion itself is not "evil" first of all. Those who want to use it as a tool for manipulation of some population could be considered so, but I doubt that anything inanimate with no will to decide could be considered "evil"... Abuse of said object or idea, yes. The object or idea itself, no.

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It Breeds ignorant by convincing people to take things by faith and, convincing people to find answers in a stupid book or a mythological father figure instead of searching for the answer through logic and evidence.


Not many people take religion to that kind of extreme. Some do, but not many. To hold all religion in general responsible for a few heretics would be unfair, much as it would be unfair to hold all atheists accountable for WWII and Hitler. Catch my drift?

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It create artificial deviations in society and elevates the group the individual is a member of as smarter (were right and your wrong!) or in some way special about them.


Science and logic does the same thing, my dear. In fact, you're doing it now. You're holding your nose up to all theists and attacking their beliefs and way of life, holding pratical, everyday theists responsible for extremeists. You're stereotyping religion into one large group by saying that all religion is responsible for "breeding ignorance" when in fact that is not the case. Many religions promote good healthcare with modern medicine, support evolution, ect. And don't go back and say, "I didn't say ALL religion promotes ignorance," because I can easily quote you again.

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But those are not why I'm writing this rant.
This rant is inspired by the bombings in London, not just the bombings but who might have done it, doctors. This is what religion can do intelligent people. When you surrender your morality to a deity. When you take morality out of you mind and out of philosophy, logic and thought and put it in the hands a mythological deity. When God is the source of your morality, what ever you think that god wants become right. It dose not madder what it is, it could be impaling baby's and using them as urinals , it could be killing you own child as a sacrifice to God or flying a plain into a ****** building.


Again, your placing blame on religion when in reality, it's the lunatics that twisted a particular religion to their own wants. You can take just about anything to so deep of an extreme and corrupted version of what it actually is and make it bad. You can say, "It's wrong to kill," and let your great grandfather suffer in terrible, terrible agony, begging for death, with nothing to help for the pain, and not pull the plug because it's wrong to kill. Just like I could blame the entirety of atheism for Hitler, but that's twisting something into a corrupted extreme. And we don't want to do that, now do we?

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No. No, no, no, no. Just look at the past. All the people kill in fights between Protestant and Catholics, all the people burned to death for "being witches", all the people killed for being gay, having premarital sex or being Jewish.
It doesn't matter what religion it is, when some god is the source of your morality anything that you think God wants to happen or you to do (no madder how bad it is) it is right, just and good.
"He, he, he. Stupid atheist. With out god there is no morality. If there's no God than I could go out and rape, steel and kill and it wouldn't be wrong"
But no one wants those things to happen to them so why can't people, as a society agree not to do that to each other? But wait! That would be morality. So with god you still have morality.


Again, those are power corrupted manics that are twisting religion into what THEY want it to be, not what it's actually meant for. These people screwed it up and starting saying, "They don't worship in the same manner that we do; that makes them devils so let's kill them." WRONG. That's like an atheist corrupting atheism to say, "These children have been born retarded, and therefore have no purpose, so we'll kill them."

Bob the Atheist: But, but, that's not the purpose of atheism.
Me: So? Killing in the name of God isn't the purpose of religion either, but you corrupted it to be that way.
Bob: But you CAN have morals without religion.
Me:And you can have religion and not go around killing people for it or taking it to extremes.


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Jesus supposedly said "Do on to others what you would have them do to you" but Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha or Gautama Buddha ) said it better and long before Jesus "Do not do to other what you don't want them to do to you" but I can beet them both. Do not do to others what they do not won't you to do to them and do to them and do to them what you would have them do to you unless they do not won't you to do that to them. And thats from an atheist! And it beats both Jeusus's and Gautamas quotes.


That's debateable... >_<

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When you give up your morality to God, when you use some dick who claims to here the be the voice of God or some book that supposedly come from God you corrupt and defile the very meaning of morality and turn it into a justification for evils.


You don't have to listen to someone who claims to be the voice of God, for example, the Pope, in order to believe in God. You don't have to believe in the Bible to believe in God either.
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
but I do try to point out problems.


The problem is that you not only point out the problems, but encourage atheism as an answer, without acknowledging atheism's issues or history. In essence, you're doing the same thing you point out that religions do.

Also, when you do attack religions, you don't admit that you do, choosing a more general "throw everything you can, hope something stick" approach. So when someone says that you attack religion, there is some definite credence to the idea...

HM

I don't advocate atheism, I advocate logic, reason and critical thought. The fact that these lead to atheism or agnosticism says more about theism than anything else.
I do not throw out arguments and hope some sticks, I have never done that. All my arguments are logical and valid. This is the first tine I wen out and attacked religion, all I have ever done before is point out problems, problems which theists love to ignore.
And I'd ask you to point out the "problems and history" but I've heard them all and they have all been debunked or fallacious.
HereticMonkey
Whatever, Conspirator. Your rather long record speaks for itself...

The Conspirator wrote:

I don't advocate atheism, I advocate logic, reason and critical thought. The fact that these lead to atheism or agnosticism says more about theism than anything else.

I'm confused: So what about Einstein's quotes? Oppenheimer? Darwin? Your "fact" is on pretty shaky ground. And that almost all science and reason are based on religious thought or come from religious roots, and that science causes scientists to believe in some form of spirituality pretty much kills it...

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I do not throw out arguments and hope some sticks, I have never done that. All my arguments are logical and valid.

The problem is that it's fine to take the road that religion has its problems and it could do better, or to question religion in general. It's quite another to take the stance that religion is bad and needs to be eliminated. Once you take that stance, and combine it with the fervor that you have demonstrated on multiple threads, you lose a certain objectivity, and your logic becomes tainted.

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This is the first tine I wen out and attacked religion, all I have ever done before is point out problems, problems which theists love to ignore.
And I'd ask you to point out the "problems and history" but I've heard them all and they have all been debunked or fallacious.

Actually, you've yet to be able to debunk some of my arguments against atheism, and you have been caught on the attack before. You're pretty much a fox that keeps going in the henhouse, and forget that people have seen you exit with an actual chicken...

Argue what you want; just don't claim to be innocent when you have feathers on your face...You continually lose credibility by doing so.

HM
IceCreamTruck
Try to explain that scientifically... JK

I just wanted to note my view on religion and spirituality are two different things, I do believe in God/Universe, but I don't believe that God's intentions are acted out in todays religions. Actually I don't believe God has intentions other than our own, but that's a thread of a different color.

Basically what I have to say is yes Religion has not done the world justice, I believe all religion began as an attempt to control others and has gone horribly wrong by the wide spread misinformation passed off as Truth.

And so we have all these poor humans confused about what God wants, because it is really what some human wanted passed off as God's desire.

Just a shame really that we all so confused, and that I can't articulate very well tonight, because I might be able to make some sense if so.

I recommend the series of books called "Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsch, sheds light on how confused we really are, whether or not you believe that Neale spoke with God (which in fact I do).
HereticMonkey
Personally, I think that "religion began as control" is one of the greatest atheistic urban legends, right up there with "religion starts war". Religion began as a way to make sense of the universe; because of the initial curiosity, we have all of our sciences.

I'm not trying to say that religion hasn't taken on the reigns of power; however, priests that have reached too far have been thrown down, and that applies all the way back to cavemen. This isn't to say that priests haven't advised kings, but it is a profession that requires a certain amount of wisdom, as well as studying a lot of words from former wise men; that would be a resource that would be foolish to ignore.

At the same time, however, any priests that have looked for temporal power have usually been either denied it or been eventually overthrown. Even the Catholic Church ran into this problem, causing a number of schisms as they attempted to rule through its rulings. Even The Inquisition eventually got slammed because it was no longer useful and was starting to go after the wrong people.

Religion may be the opiate of the masses, but it's hardly the leash; to say so is to ignore history...

HM
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:

I don't advocate atheism, I advocate logic, reason and critical thought. The fact that these lead to atheism or agnosticism says more about theism than anything else.

I'm confused: So what about Einstein's quotes? Oppenheimer? Darwin?

Scientists are human and there will be scientists who will believe in ghosts, UFOs (alien UFOs not just an object that is unidentified), alien abdication astrology and so on. Even though these have no basis in reality.

[quote]Your "fact" is on pretty shaky ground. And that almost all science and reason are based on religious thought or come from religious roots, and that science causes scientists to believe in some form of spirituality pretty much kills it...[/quuote]
If you believe that, you have been lied too and believe the lie.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography_of_science

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I do not throw out arguments and hope some sticks, I have never done that. All my arguments are logical and valid.

The problem is that it's fine to take the road that religion has its problems and it could do better, or to question religion in general. It's quite another to take the stance that religion is bad and needs to be eliminated. Once you take that stance, and combine it with the fervor that you have demonstrated on multiple threads, you lose a certain objectivity, and your logic becomes tainted.

I have no fervor. But you are right about one thing, I do think it needs to be eliminated. You can find answers in science and philosophy, you can find hope in better things, its based on faith which breeds ignorants and superstition It is useless and it brings bad things especially the big one which has more problems.

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This is the first tine I wen out and attacked religion, all I have ever done before is point out problems, problems which theists love to ignore.
And I'd ask you to point out the "problems and history" but I've heard them all and they have all been debunked or fallacious.

Actually, you've yet to be able to debunk some of my arguments against atheism, and you have been caught on the attack before. You're pretty much a fox that keeps going in the henhouse, and forget that people have seen you exit with an actual chicken...

False and false. Ive heard them and debunked them and have not attacked before this post.

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Argue what you want; just don't claim to be innocent when you have feathers on your face...You continually lose credibility by doing so.

Practise what you preach, show me where I have done what you claime.
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:
Scientists are human and there will be scientists who will believe in ghosts, UFOs (alien UFOs not just an object that is unidentified), alien abdication astrology and so on. Even though these have no basis in reality.

Unfortunately, we're actually find some science behind ghosts, UFO's have yet to be totally disproved (and make a certain degree of sense; as we've found life in some of the strangest places, why not outer space?), and even astrology has a certain unassailable logic about it (people born at the same time are bound to have some similar traits, and psychology, as many things, seem to come in cycles).

Just because you don't believe in it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist...



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If you believe that, you have been lied too and believe the lie.

What lie? It's pretty much accepted that much of our science came from religious exploration of the universe.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography_of_science

Worst written Wikipedia article EVER.



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I have no fervor. But you are right about one thing, I do think it needs to be eliminated. You can find answers in science and philosophy, you can find hope in better things, its based on faith which breeds ignorants and superstition It is useless and it brings bad things especially the big one which has more problems.

a) Your fervor is pretty much proven. If you didn't have some fervor, then why do you keep trying to prove something wrong?
b) Faith, in and of itself, doesn't breed ignorance (there is too much empirical proof otherwise). A tendency towards conservatism does, however; as knowledge brings change, there is good reason to fear it (change being something too many people fear).

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False and false. Ive heard them and debunked them and have not attacked before this post.

Actually, there was the Christmas argument. And then there's the "Religion creates war" myth you keep trying to raise. You've also repeatedly called Faith a bad thing (see above for the newest proof of this).

As for the debunking: You were unable to prove that Jesus didn't exist. Your argument against the first twenty verses or so of Genesis came down to you just not believing it. You were totally unable to show that religion caused war. And your proof that religion wasn't responsible for most of our science came down to a very poorly written article that only covers from the 17th century on. That's 0 for 4.

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Practise what you preach, show me where I have done what you claime.

I think I did a decent job of that...
HM
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
Scientists are human and there will be scientists who will believe in ghosts, UFOs (alien UFOs not just an object that is unidentified), alien abdication astrology and so on. Even though these have no basis in reality.

Unfortunately, we're actually find some science behind ghosts, UFO's have yet to be totally disproved (and make a certain degree of sense; as we've found life in some of the strangest places, why not outer space?), and even astrology has a certain unassailable logic about it (people born at the same time are bound to have some similar traits, and psychology, as many things, seem to come in cycles).

Just because you don't believe in it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist...

Ghosts I can understand but no basis in reality, UFOs being alien, no, no way they are not astrology is insanity. These things are false. Everything thing about ghosts has been explained away, everything. UFOs are not in any way shape or form alien, people like to jump to that conclusion but no and even those UFOs that are not hoaxes and have not been explained away aliens is one of the least likely explanations. And astrology, dude think about it, the stars and planets can effect a persons personality. Its insane, astrology is beond illogic its insanity.
http://skepdic.com/ghosts.html
http://skepdic.com/ufos_ets.html
http://skepdic.com/astrolgy.html
These things have no basis in reality. This is not an opinion, it is a fact.


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If you believe that, you have been lied too and believe the lie.

What lie? It's pretty much accepted that much of our science came from religious exploration of the universe.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography_of_science

Worst written Wikipedia article EVER.

No, it is a lie. Pure lie.


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a) Your fervor is pretty much proven. If you didn't have some fervor, then why do you keep trying to prove something wrong?

I'm trying to get people to see reality. To look at things critical and with logic and reason, to use evidence based reasoning instead of emotional and faith based reasoning. Not to do so is bad. This goes way belong religion, this goes into politics medicine, education belief.

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b) Faith, in and of itself, doesn't breed ignorance (there is too much empirical proof otherwise). A tendency towards conservatism does, however; as knowledge brings change, there is good reason to fear it (change being something too many people fear).

Faith in and of it self is bad, there is nothing good in it. It is belief with out evidence logic and reasoning, that has no positive attributes what so ever. There is nothing positive about it and no evidence of anything positive.

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False and false. Ive heard them and debunked them and have not attacked before this post.

Actually, there was the Christmas argument. And then there's the "Religion creates war" myth you keep trying to raise. You've also repeatedly called Faith a bad thing (see above for the newest proof of this).

No there is no fervor what so ever
Religion can, has and dose start wars. many things start wars, politics can start wars, philosophy's can starts wars the only difference is religion is unnecessary and brings other bad things.

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As for the debunking: You were unable to prove that Jesus didn't exist. Your argument against the first twenty verses or so of Genesis came down to you just not believing it. You were totally unable to show that religion caused war. And your proof that religion wasn't responsible for most of our science came down to a very poorly written article that only covers from the 17th century on. That's 0 for 4.

1. I never said Jesus didn't exist. Besides its not on me to disprove him its on the one calming he exists to prove it. Thats called burden of proof.
2. They do not match in any why shape or form what the evidence says.
3. I did show how it can. If you believe God wonts it, if you believe that blah people are evil cause your religion says it, to convert people and save there souls.
4. You can't disprove the article so you attack how its written. typical.

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Practise what you preach, show me where I have done what you claime.

I think I did a decent job of that...
HM

No you realy don't.
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:
Everything thing about ghosts has been explained away, everything.

Well, except for the cold areas, numerous anomalous happenings, and the appearances. But, yeah, besides that ghosts have been safely explained away. Heh.

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UFOs are not in any way shape or form alien, people like to jump to that conclusion but no and even those UFOs that are not hoaxes and have not been explained away aliens is one of the least likely explanations.

Actually, they would prefer not to jump to that conclusion. And only a small fraction of UFO's have been explained away. In other words, not a lot of people believed Project Bluebook or the military's explanation for Roswell.

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And astrology, dude think about it, the stars and planets can effect a persons personality. Its insane, astrology is beond illogic its insanity.

Had you bothered to actually read what I had posted, you would see that I agree with you. Nonetheless, there does seem to be something to it.

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These things have no basis in reality. This is not an opinion, it is a fact.

You know, you keep throwing that around like it means something. Most scientists agree that there are no "facts", just best opinions. Even the so-called "Law of Gravity" can been explained away (JS Bell), even if it was just to show that we don't properly understand everything in the universe.


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No, it is a lie. Pure lie.

You keep saying this. Too bad history disagrees with you...

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I'm trying to get people to see reality. To look at things critical and with logic and reason, to use evidence based reasoning instead of emotional and faith based reasoning. Not to do so is bad. This goes way belong religion, this goes into politics medicine, education belief.

Except that...you're ignoring reality itself. To argue that something didn't exist even though we have witnesses and we have the documentation is the mark of a fanatic. You tend to forget that most religion is based in truth, and that not only are most of our sciences based on religious research, but sponsorship from the Catholic Church or the various other deities involved in knowledge; even today, the various religions still support science. Heck, a number of medical advances have come just from studying folklore (such as penicillin) and various proscriptions (the Christian Scientist issue about accepting blood from others led to a ways to save patients who need transfusions when there is no blood, as well as decreased the amount of blood needed for operations). It's easy to say that religion hates science; unfortunately, there just isn't to back that BELIEF...



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Faith in and of it self is bad, there is nothing good in it. It is belief with out evidence logic and reasoning, that has no positive attributes what so ever. There is nothing positive about it and no evidence of anything positive.

You really aren't up on your current science, are you? Faith has been shown to expand life expectancy, allow someone to deal with a crisis easier, and makes the person more psychologically balanced. On what basis are you saying that it has nothing positive?

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No there is no fervor what so ever

Yeah; you think that. Your posts say otherwise.

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Religion can, has and dose start wars. many things start wars, politics can start wars, philosophy's can starts wars the only difference is religion is unnecessary and brings other bad things.

Could you possibly have said something more generic?

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1. I never said Jesus didn't exist. Besides its not on me to disprove him its on the one calming he exists to prove it. Thats called burden of proof.

Indi and you attempted one Christmas to show that He didn't exist. It came down to that it was impossible to prove that He didn't exist, it was just as impossible to show that He did exist. (There was no direct proof that He actually existed, but there were a number of statements that He had existed.)

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2. They do not match in any why shape or form what the evidence says.

In your opinion. It's rather easy to match how The Bible says things happened with what we believed happened (even geologists point out that it's a best guess).
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3. I did show how it can. If you believe God wonts it, if you believe that blah people are evil cause your religion says it, to convert people and save there souls.

You were able to show that it could. However, you were unable to back yourself with historical data (although a handful of battles were fought between religious sects, that's pretty much the extent of your "religion starts war" thing...).
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4. You can't disprove the article so you attack how its written. typical.

Actually, I attacked how it only covered science from the 17th century on, and even then only Newton and Einstein (pointing out that yet again you aren't paying attention to what I'm saying). Ignoring, of course, that the church backed alchemy and astrology (which led to chemistry and astronomy, respectively), medical advances, the beginnings of genetic science, and that math got a a major jump because religious zealots were looking for mysticism in the details.

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No you realy don't.

Whatever. I at least listen to what you say; you don't even bother showing that basic respect to anyone else...

HM
horseatingweeds
Boy is this a sloppy thread.

Anyway Conspirator, your idea has long been disproven as has your logic. The most destructive and immoral societies in modern times have been atheist.

Jesus didn’t say the ‘do unto others’ quote. That’s the ‘golden rule.’ I dose do to show what you know about what you are attacking though. If you knew anything about Jesus’ or Buda’s teaching you might hold your tong….

Your concept of religion is rudimentary and sounds based on things you’ve heard people say.

Religion is the search for the ultimate truth. Man has a hunger to reach this truth. When he gets a taste of it, the feeling is enormously. When perverse teachings are tied to religion, such as suicide bombing, it’s easy for a person to be highly motivated to do these unconscionable things. This is not the fault of the search for truth but of the perverters; like building a virus instead of a calculator.

You’re wrong about the spread of ignorance as well. A person who listens in to a religious service will hear certain ruless preaches, yes. But sincere followers spend much time studying their ‘stupid books’ and understanding how these rules came to be; with the use of LOGIC. Some followers simply choose to follow the rules; like some users simple click on icons. It works for them.

Inherently, certain social rules also tend to hitch a ride along with religious rules. This is fine. The search for truth and the best way to live doesn’t consist only of reading ‘stupid books.’

Example: Smoking is a sin. Did Jesus say so? No. Does the Bible say so? No. But according to the teachings, the money spent on cigarettes is better spent on the needy. Also, smoking damages the body reducing its ability to serve.

Religious groups set us schools that stood as the only place of learning, outside military schools, until only recently.

Your concept that religion teaches not to question and to only believe things based on feeling and faith is a symptom of your misunderstanding, due much to religious people who feel threatened, and is a cheep tactic of the religion of atheism – used to attack other religions.

If what you call religions didn’t exist or disappeared, it would be replaced with new religions such as Darwinism and atheism. The same perversions would accompany these institutions, as they do now, that currently accompany Christianity and such God based religions.

And Conspirator, try something new in this thread. Instead on chopping my post up and ant attempting to counter (debate) each argument with your own; try understanding why I think this way. Maybe do a bit of research. This is what I try to do.
HereticMonkey
horseatingweeds: Although I agree with your post in general, two quickies:

1) A number of churches believe that smoking, because it damages the body, and your body is supposed to be your temple (which you're not supposed to damage), then smoking is a sin.

2) Jesus is the source of The Golden Rule. Other religions have their version (such as karma), but the Golden Rule itself is a direct quote...

For what it's worth...
HM
Jaan
*intermission time*

couldn't bother reading the previous posts. Sorry for the spam.

You might be right but you could be wrong.
Some people need to believe in something, they were brought up with insecurities; beliveing that someone out there is looking after them helps them get through life. Peeps need to change the way they bring up their children. It is changing but will take very long.

Megatron shall rule the earth.
horseatingweeds
HereticMonkey wrote:
1) A number of churches believe that smoking, because it damages the body, and your body is supposed to be your temple (which you're not supposed to damage), then smoking is a sin.

2) Jesus is the source of The Golden Rule. Other religions have their version (such as karma), but the Golden Rule itself is a direct quote...


By 'temple' I assume such groups mean a tool of God. Damaging it makes it less able to do the work of God's people, producing miracles. Also, I think the way they say it is 'your body is Jesus' temple.'

I've read the New Testament a few times and have never read anything close to directly quoting the golden rule. It's not really what he taught anyway. He taught a much more advanced form. He teaching is that you should care for orphans and widows and that doing so effectively is caring for him. He taught to always forgive. He taught to love your enemies and not return their insults with insults. A better summary would be, 'do unto others as though others are Me.' The golden rule is good for little kids, but not for advanced people.

A rich man, for example, can follow the golden rule and never help anyone. So some people are starving down the street. How does the rich man interpret the Golden Rule? Would he not give them money because he would not want them to give money to him? Would he give them food because if the situation where turned he would want them to feed him?

Jesus was quoted as telling a rich man to give away all he has. You must read this in context but by following this example, the rich man would likely develop a program to feed his neighbors and get them back on their feet. A miracle.
Indi
Jaan wrote:
*intermission time*

couldn't bother reading the previous posts. Sorry for the spam.

You might be right but you could be wrong.
Some people need to believe in something, they were brought up with insecurities; beliveing that someone out there is looking after them helps them get through life. Peeps need to change the way they bring up their children. It is changing but will take very long.

i can't speak for Conspirator, but i can say that it is my opinion that there is nothing inherently wrong in believing whatever you want - such as that there is some omnipotent over-being with a personal interest in your sex life watching over you.

However, where religion goes from a harmless emotional crutch to a serious social issue is when the belief changes from a personal belief to one that motivates the individual to affect changes in their environment. This is what causes all the problems that Conspirator wrote about. If you want to believe that (for example) Jews are subhuman dogs, go for it. But the moment you let that belief affect the way you interact with the rest of the world... that's when the problems start.

And that's not just true for "bad" beliefs like antisemitism. Even apparently "good" beliefs are problematic. If a person believes by virtue of their religion that (for example) psychology is misguided because mental problems are caused by spirits, then they will - with the best of intentions - discourage people from getting real help that they need in favour of some kind of faith-healing. You will find that religious folk will argue with that last point by pointing out that believing that mental problems are caused by spirits is a silly idea with no basis in reality... completely oblivious to the hypocrisy of that defence.

Conspirator's beef was with moral judgements, but i think his points extend to any judgements that a religion forces its believers to impose on the world. Whenever there is a rational reason to believe something, surrendering the basis for that belief to a religion is wrong. And as he correctly points out, religion perverts the very meaning of concepts like "moral" in order to suit its own ends... and i say that applies just as well to other concepts like "rational", "faith" and more.

Jaan wrote:
Megatron shall rule the earth.

Unicron will eat it.
horseatingweeds
If that's the case Indi, we can remove religion from the conversation. Any idea with an agenda involved with it will have such problems.

Also, what religions have to say about sex is only a small part. Jesus didn't concern use much with it. His main message was to care for each other. Acting on this belief is quite good.

Not acting on belief is insincere. The example you sight with antisemitism is a perversion of Christian teaching and the mental illness example is a stretch. The Bible is more of a bible shelve than a bible, and I don't think there is a book on how to fix mental illness on it.

A better argument here is that human nature is bad. Religion, as many things and ideas, are abused by man and his selfish nature; the nature Jesus taught to fight.
HereticMonkey
Indi wrote:

However, where religion goes from a harmless emotional crutch to a serious social issue is when the belief changes from a personal belief to one that motivates the individual to affect changes in their environment.

Any fanaticism is unacceptable. Even if it's fanatic atheism.

Quote:
If a person believes by virtue of their religion that (for example) psychology is misguided because mental problems are caused by spirits, then they will - with the best of intentions - discourage people from getting real help that they need in favour of some kind of faith-healing.

Except that sometimes the faith healing can be more effective than mere therapy. Sometimes it can be important to show to the person that they are part of society, and not disconnected from it, and that immersion into the group's belief can at least calm some of the effects.

Note that I'm not saying that therapy for major problems should be avoided; but for minor issues it works out okay.

Quote:
Conspirator's beef was with moral judgements, but i think his points extend to any judgements that a religion forces its believers to impose on the world. Whenever there is a rational reason to believe something, surrendering the basis for that belief to a religion is wrong. And as he correctly points out, religion perverts the very meaning of concepts like "moral" in order to suit its own ends... and i say that applies just as well to other concepts like "rational", "faith" and more.

And this is usually where we have a problem. Religion is an excellent way to teach basic morals, as well as, to a degree, enforce them. Religion in, and of itself, isn't the issue; the vast majority of worshippers are great people. Rather, it's that some people tend towards fanaticism in anything that they do, and it's usually those worshippers that everyone judges the religion by. It's like judging atheists based on the fanatics you encounter on forums; are they all that intense?

HM
prizma
I have so many thoughts I'd like to share, some of my opinions are already on here in the form of my fiance's (IceCreamTruck) post.... but alas I've been up all night again replying and reading I'll have to come back to this one.


Faith is not "bad", believing that God would want us to hurt each is bad. If you ask me everytime we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves, that is the reasoning behind treating each and every soul as ourselves, they are pieces of the whole that is ALL GOD.

People have been confused forever, and developed myths around creation, but I think it will turn out to be very simple and yet complex at the same time.
Jaan
Faith is not bad but misleading I find. Being true to oneself has much higher value.
'Holier than thou' is what many religions preach.

I believe in Science; my "religion" if you must call it so.

If everyone believes in something different, in turn which tells them what way to behave, so we end up with billions acting differently, and that's when we have clashes of beliefs.

It's a wonder we're still here.

It is very very difficult to write down my exact thoughts. One day I'll get it right.
horseatingweeds
Hey Jann

That gives me an idea. If you want to get rid of something that divides, oppresses, and kills people; we need to get ride of your religion of science.
Indi
horseatingweeds wrote:
If that's the case Indi, we can remove religion from the conversation. Any idea with an agenda involved with it will have such problems.

Agenda? What agenda? And how does what i wrote apply to any belief with an "agenda"?

horseatingweeds wrote:
Also, what religions have to say about sex is only a small part. Jesus didn't concern use much with it. His main message was to care for each other. Acting on this belief is quite good.

You're joking, right? The Tanakh goes into great detail about how and when to go about having sex, including what to do before and after. And don't even get me started on Hinduism and sex.

That Jesus said very little about sex is hardly a noteworthy point. It still doesn't explain why God is so fascinated by human sex, because allegedly it was the same god that wrote the old testament.

horseatingweeds wrote:
Not acting on belief is insincere. The example you sight with antisemitism is a perversion of Christian teaching and the mental illness example is a stretch. The Bible is more of a bible shelve than a bible, and I don't think there is a book on how to fix mental illness on it.

*sigh* ^_^;

Ok, try that again. Except, this time, instead of simply trying to defend your religion while disparaging other people's religions, try to look at it objectively and see what's hypocritical about your statements.

And if you didn't catch the BIG hint i just gave you there (on top of the hint that was in the post before).... ^_^;
horseatingweeds
Well Indi, I've stuck to Christianity in this thread just because I know it thoroughly. I'm familiar with other forms as well but I can't sight many specifics. Most of the anti-religionists here are referring to Christianity.

The Bible, like many religious texts, contains TRUTH. This truth is profound and motivates people. Some people take this profoundness and get carried away sometimes. Realizing there is a loving God is one thing. Reading the Bible as if it was written by God himself to be applied with our social understanding, and calling the mentally ill demon possessed is a whole other.

Sex is a significant element in religion, yes, but not the primary thing. I think people focus too much on it and I think they do because the simple rules are hard to follow. Most religions just require a man and woman to marry and stay that way.

Some people stretch things out and use it to oppress homosexuals, some oppress women. But if you take Jesus’ teaching, the ones I know best, this is not right.

As for agenda, everything has one. Any idea that becomes popular doesn’t do so just because it’s cool. Let’s take something arbitrary – the belief that carbohydrates make you fat. This idea has a number of agendas behind it. Book sales, keeping people healthy, making people look more attractive (thin), etc.

Let’s corrupt it now. Pass a law banning carbs. Fin people for being fat.

Go the other way. Attack it for being an unhealthy philosophy because it is contrary to the social traditions of eating farmed food, because it causes an increase in killing and eating animals, or because it has not gone through medical trials totally proving it’s validity – which is contrary to the medical profession’s agenda.

Nothing’s pure and agenda free Indi, especially science.
laurenrox
Well, I guess I'll just start from the most dated post and work my way to the most present...

Quote:
I have no fervor. But you are right about one thing, I do think it needs to be eliminated. You can find answers in science and philosophy, you can find hope in better things, its based on faith which breeds ignorants and superstition It is useless and it brings bad things especially the big one which has more problems.


People place faith in many things, not just religion. If you were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow you would have faith that when the doctor when to remove the operable cancer he wouldn't slip up. Would the fact that there is a possibility that the doctor might slip up and cut a huge hole in your brain and kill you stop you from going through with the surgery? More than likely not.

Not to mention that in a previous topic, you attemted to prove that aliens could've created the universe. This is unlikely in the fact that you've assigned a particular creator. "Aliens created the universe..." Well, ALIENS in this case is the specific that makes the theory unlikely. So you're basically believing this theory based on faith, since there is no scientific or philosophical way to prove it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Quote:
i can't speak for Conspirator, but i can say that it is my opinion that there is nothing inherently wrong in believing whatever you want - such as that there is some omnipotent over-being with a personal interest in your sex life watching over you.

However, where religion goes from a harmless emotional crutch to a serious social issue is when the belief changes from a personal belief to one that motivates the individual to affect changes in their environment. This is what causes all the problems that Conspirator wrote about. If you want to believe that (for example) Jews are subhuman dogs, go for it. But the moment you let that belief affect the way you interact with the rest of the world... that's when the problems start.

And that's not just true for "bad" beliefs like antisemitism. Even apparently "good" beliefs are problematic. If a person believes by virtue of their religion that (for example) psychology is misguided because mental problems are caused by spirits, then they will - with the best of intentions - discourage people from getting real help that they need in favour of some kind of faith-healing. You will find that religious folk will argue with that last point by pointing out that believing that mental problems are caused by spirits is a silly idea with no basis in reality... completely oblivious to the hypocrisy of that defence.

Conspirator's beef was with moral judgements, but i think his points extend to any judgements that a religion forces its believers to impose on the world. Whenever there is a rational reason to believe something, surrendering the basis for that belief to a religion is wrong. And as he correctly points out, religion perverts the very meaning of concepts like "moral" in order to suit its own ends... and i say that applies just as well to other concepts like "rational", "faith" and more.


I think you and I are attempting to say the same thing. Anything taken to an extreme has potiental problems. That includes religion AND atheism. It's simply wrong to point out the fanatics that a certain group has had and say, "Bob killed a baby! He's an atheist! All atheists must be bad!" or, "Lucy beats children and makes them eat dog shit when if they don't believe in God! And she's a Christian! All Christians must be bad!"

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Horseatingweeds,

I think you should focus on religion in general instead of Christianity itself (seeing as how it seems that's what The Conspirator is referring to). Not to mention that you're taking words from The Bible and the "laws" of Christianity or whatever religion you are as the set rules for all religion.
Indi
horseatingweeds wrote:
Well Indi, I've stuck to Christianity in this thread just because I know it thoroughly. I'm familiar with other forms as well but I can't sight many specifics. Most of the anti-religionists here are referring to Christianity.

So far the people i've seen bringing Christianity into these discussions in almost all cases are Christians. Non-Christians occasionally mention Christianity, but usually only as an example of a larger argument against religion in general - and in most cases, they mention it in passing with other religions. i see no evidence to support the claim that the "anti-religionists" are singling Christianity out. Are you sure this perceived persecution actually exists, and that you are not simply taking everything personally as an attack against your own religion?

horseatingweeds wrote:
The Bible, like many religious texts, contains TRUTH. This truth is profound and motivates people. Some people take this profoundness and get carried away sometimes. Realizing there is a loving God is one thing. Reading the Bible as if it was written by God himself to be applied with our social understanding, and calling the mentally ill demon possessed is a whole other.

See now, you should really be more careful making statements like that. As long as you say things like "i believe in Jesus" or "i believe that the Christian bible is true", no one can challenge you.

But when you say that the bible is actually literally true... well, you had best be ready to defend that claim against some fiery objections. Because unless you have been living in cave your whole life, you must be aware that there are many parts of the Christian bible that are hotly contested. Making such a statement is little more than inflammatory, because you know as well as i do that you cannot possibly defend it. Or you'd better know that, anyway. You may be comfortable shrugging off the difficulties and relying on faith, and that's fine for you, but you can't seriously expect anyone else to because that's simply wholly irrational. Which means that you must be aware that if anyone raises an objection to the claim, you don't intend to argue it rationally.

Now, as to the other issue i've been trying to get you to see, i direct you to this statement: "Some people take this profoundness and get carried away sometimes."

Now i'll say this again. Stop and think about it. Get the chip off your shoulder and quit trying to "defend" your religion again "anti-religionists". This is not about being a good "onward Christian soldier" marching onto jihad against those who speak against your beliefs, this is about rationally understanding the nature of what you believe - not the content of what you believe, the nature of what you believe - and how far your rights with regards to that belief goes.

(Even though this is repeating myself, i will say this again because it doesn't seem to be sinking in. This has nothing to do with Christianity. Nothing. It has nothing to do with whether you're Christian or not, or i am, or how either of us feel about the religion. It has nothing to do with whether Jesus' tomb was first visited by one woman, or two women or a troupe of old-fashioned circus freaks of indeterminate gender - it doesn't even have anything to do with whether Jesus existed or not. All of that is irrelevant to this issue. So get it out of your mind.)

Here is the problem, from the top. It has been claimed that religion (not your religion, all religion) is bad. The proof given is that there are religions that have dangerous beliefs. Your counter-argument is that they "go too far" and get "carried away".

Now, i've told you twice already and this is the third time: there is something wrong with your counter-argument. It is flawed. Step back and analyze it objectively and see if you can see what.

Here's yet another hint: try to consider the same kind of argument against something else. Suppose i had said that all agricultural genetic modification was bad because some of it produced dangerous crops. Your counter-argument would probably be that in those cases, they had "gone too far", and that moderate genetic modification is just fine. Now i can't say anything against that counter-argument. It's a good, solid counter argument.

So what's different between the two cases (religion and genetic modification)? Why does the exact same counter-argument work in one case, but not the other.

Think about it.

horseatingweeds wrote:
As for agenda, everything has one. Any idea that becomes popular doesn’t do so just because it’s cool. Let’s take something arbitrary – the belief that carbohydrates make you fat. This idea has a number of agendas behind it. Book sales, keeping people healthy, making people look more attractive (thin), etc.

Let’s corrupt it now. Pass a law banning carbs. Fin people for being fat.

Go the other way. Attack it for being an unhealthy philosophy because it is contrary to the social traditions of eating farmed food, because it causes an increase in killing and eating animals, or because it has not gone through medical trials totally proving it’s validity – which is contrary to the medical profession’s agenda.

Nothing’s pure and agenda free Indi, especially science.

i never said anything was agenda-free. What i said was: what agenda does religion have and how is what i wrote applicable to "any idea with an agenda"?

Observe:
Indi wrote:
Agenda? What agenda? And how does what i wrote apply to any belief with an "agenda"?
See? Don't put words in my mouth.

i don't know what agenda you think religion in general has or why it's relevant. i also don't agree that what i wrote applies to any idea with an agenda (in fact, as in the example above, it wouldn't apply to genetically modifying crops, which most certainly has an agenda). So i asked you to explain.

laurenrox wrote:
I think you and I are attempting to say the same thing. Anything taken to an extreme has potiental problems. That includes religion AND atheism. It's simply wrong to point out the fanatics that a certain group has had and say, "Bob killed a baby! He's an atheist! All atheists must be bad!" or, "Lucy beats children and makes them eat dog shit when if they don't believe in God! And she's a Christian! All Christians must be bad!"

No, that is not what i am attempting to say.

Of course that's true - it's almost a platitude. Any extremist position is probably going to be problematic, regardless of the content of the position, be it fanatical Muslim, Christian, atheist or Zen Buddhist. That's kinda implicit in the word "extremist".

But that's hardly news. And it's certainly not the point i was making.
horseatingweeds
I said it CONTAINS truth Indi, does it not?
HereticMonkey
horseatingweeds wrote:
I said it CONTAINS truth Indi, does it not?


The problem is that anything contains an element of truth. And, HEW, Indi does agree with you that The Bible does contain some truth. Just be aware that there are a number of things under debate.

By the same token, Indi, be aware that religion, and generally Christianity, does seem to come under a lot of fire here. Yet that detail seems to be forgotten...

HM
laurenrox
Quote:
No, that is not what i am attempting to say.

Of course that's true - it's almost a platitude. Any extremist position is probably going to be problematic, regardless of the content of the position, be it fanatical Muslim, Christian, atheist or Zen Buddhist. That's kinda implicit in the word "extremist".

But that's hardly news. And it's certainly not the point i was making.


Then what was the point? From what I saw you were pointing out that when religion is taken to extremes, it causes problems. Much like the example you gave of someone having mental problems and using religion SOLELY as an explaination and remedy. And, as you have agreed, that same extremity can be used for atheism, politics, or anything else for that matter.

But if you were attempting to say that the majority of theists try to annoy everybody else with imposing they're beliefs on them, then that's not the case. Not all religions force its believers to impose on the world. There are some who chose to do so, yes, but for the most part, most theists tend to shy away from pushing their beliefs on others (at least from my own expierence). Most don't push their religions on others outside of their church or time of worship. Granted that wasn't the case some years ago, but in this day and age, at least within the confients of the United States, people tend to stick to "live and let live". And let's not forget that most people are inclinded to arguements to defend their own beliefs. Some try to push their own beliefs of abortion, politics, etc on others. So the "see it my way" problem doesn't just apply to religion.

Religion only corrupts things to suit its own ends when other people chose to use it as such. Religion is open for interpretation, and when someone interprets that God says to believe in Him/Her/It, then some can take that to mean that whoever doesn't believe in Him/Her/It, then that is basis for killing said non-believer (even though that's not the case).
Indi
horseatingweeds wrote:
I said it CONTAINS truth Indi, does it not?

Of course it does. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The problem comes when you take the step from saying that it merely contains truth to claiming that it contains nothing but truth. You didn't take that step - at least, not explicitly - but you came damn close. Which is why i said you should be more careful in the future.

laurenrox wrote:
Then what was the point? From what I saw you were pointing out that when religion is taken to extremes, it causes problems. Much like the example you gave of someone having mental problems and using religion SOLELY as an explaination and remedy. And, as you have agreed, that same extremity can be used for atheism, politics, or anything else for that matter.

But if you were attempting to say that the majority of theists try to annoy everybody else with imposing they're beliefs on them, then that's not the case.

No, that's not what i said either.

laurenrox wrote:
Some try to push their own beliefs of abortion, politics, etc on others. So the "see it my way" problem doesn't just apply to religion.

Of course not. i never said that it did. That wasn't what i was talking about either.

i was not talking about people who have far out beliefs, or about people who aggressively press their beliefs on others. Both of those are problems with religion, but are not problems that are unique to religion. Any belief can have its extremists, and any belief can have its zealots, whether that belief is religious or not.

The problem i was talking about is unique to religion, and it is that anyone who has any religious beliefs - even if those religious beliefs are not particularly far out - is bound by a sticky problem. Unless they are going to fall back on religious intolerance, they must accept any far out wacky belief that any religion has ever had. It's a catch-22 that is unique to religion because religion alone requires you to hold beliefs that cannot be proven. Politics does not, and neither does "atheism" (although strong atheism does, of course) or science or virtually anything else. The fact that a religious person must be holding a belief that cannot be proven means that they cannot call anyone else who does that wrong without being either intolerant or hypocritical.
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey: Its clear from your statements that your beyond reasoning. You have twisted my words, said I've said things I didn't say, used anecdotal crap even tough anecdotes are not good sources f evidence and stated things as facts despite the evidence available.

horseatingweeds: I think you missed the point. My point is if god is the source of your morality, what ever you think god wonts become good no matter how horrible it is. And making it even worse is the fact that god is not needed for morality. If the people who made car bomb in London would have not used god as the source of morality, if they would have used reason and logic they would not have made the car bomb. If every one used logic and reasoning as the source of morality the world would be a much better place. It wouldn't be perfect, there still would be fighting and wars and shit but there would be less of it.
Religion is not a search for the ultimate truth, science and philosophy is (if such a thing as "the ultimate truth" exists). A better way of saying it is science and philosophy are question marks, religion is an explanation point. In science you look phenomenon(s) and create theory's to explain them based on the available evidence and change or even drop the theory (if it can't be changed) when new evidence is available, in philosophy people discuss philosophical issues knowing that they do not really know the answer and that there may not even be an answer but religion state that it has the answers (there in the bible qu'ran, this story, this anecdote or what ever) and no matter how strong the evidence is against it, the evidence is wrong and it is right. Thats the faith problem.

I know there some other replays I should respond to but I haven't been here in a week and theres allot of new posts.
HereticMonkey
Indi wrote:
horseatingweeds wrote:
I said it CONTAINS truth Indi, does it not?

Of course it does. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

I try to be nice, and...Religions contain what are called "fundamental truths", and a way to teach them. The Book of Proverbs has a lot of great miscellaneous advice, and it's really hard to show that murder is a good thing.

Quote:
The fact that a religious person must be holding a belief that cannot be proven means that they cannot call anyone else who does that wrong without being either intolerant or hypocritical.

Depends on which parts of the religion you look at it. Most of The Bible has been proven; Jericho was destroyed when the Israelites came through, just not the way shown, but there is indisputable proof of that particular destruction. We may not be able to proof that God exists, but that's not important as you would think it is...

HM
ChillerEcke
i really believe rligion is a rip-off clearly
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:
HereticMonkey: Its clear from your statements that your beyond reasoning. You have twisted my words, said I've said things I didn't say, used anecdotal crap even tough anecdotes are not good sources f evidence and stated things as facts despite the evidence available.

But it's fine for you to twist words, quote things way out of context, and (something I haven't done) make things up to fit your arguments. I use anecdotal evidence just to illustrate specific points, which is a perfectly legit use, and I've used factual, well-supported evidence that you've not allowed because it wasn't from the source you wanted. Worse, you tend to use very little logic in your arguments, worse grammar, and lack of respect to anyone you argue with you. So I'm not feeling too put off by you calling me "beyond reason"...


Quote:
horseatingweeds: I think you missed the point. My point is if god is the source of your morality, what ever you think god wonts become good no matter how horrible it is. And making it even worse is the fact that god is not needed for morality.

This, from you, is a dangerous statement. The thing to keep in mind is that God (note the capitalization due a specific entity) is not the only source of morality, but that it is a source (note the "a").

Quote:
If the people who made car bomb in London would have not used god as the source of morality, if they would have used reason and logic they would not have made the car bomb.

Except that, from their perspective the car bomb is logical and reasonable. Their group is at war, and lacks resources, so that they use what they can. Terror is the perfect weapon when you lack the resources; as such, it's perfectly logical and reasonable.

Quote:
If every one used logic and reasoning as the source of morality the world would be a much better place. It wouldn't be perfect, there still would be fighting and wars and shit but there would be less of it.

Not really. Murdering someone who is in your way is perfectly logical reasoning; it's also not that hard to get away with. So in a logical, reasoning society, there would be more murder, not less.

Quote:
Religion is not a search for the ultimate truth, science and philosophy is (if such a thing as "the ultimate truth" exists).

And the difference between philosophy and religion is ultimately...what? They both attempt to use logic in order to deal with the things that science doesn't, as well as attempt to figure out what the purpose of the universe is. Religion just has bigger books...

Quote:
religion state that it has the answers (there in the bible qu'ran, this story, this anecdote or what ever) and no matter how strong the evidence is against it, the evidence is wrong and it is right. Thats the faith problem.

Science and philosophy also keep saying that they have the answer as well...that you keep referring to "a bible" instead of "The Bible" shows that you really haven't bothered learning much in the way of morality from your philosophy, but that you think you have some sort of answer...

HM
laurenrox
Indi,

Quote:
No, that's not what i said either.

I never said you said that. I said IF you were trying to say that. Simple misunderstanding by your use of words (seeing as how your tone is sometimes misinturrpreted, no offense).

Quote:
The problem i was talking about is unique to religion, and it is that anyone who has any religious beliefs - even if those religious beliefs are not particularly far out - is bound by a sticky problem. Unless they are going to fall back on religious intolerance, they must accept any far out wacky belief that any religion has ever had. It's a catch-22 that is unique to religion because religion alone requires you to hold beliefs that cannot be proven. Politics does not, and neither does "atheism" (although strong atheism does, of course) or science or virtually anything else. The fact that a religious person must be holding a belief that cannot be proven means that they cannot call anyone else who does that wrong without being either intolerant or hypocritical.

Now I more or less understand what you're trying to say. You're right, religion cannot be proven or disproven, along with its beliefs. If you honestly believe that God is purple (as amusing of a thought as that seems), then who's to say that you're wrong? But The Conspirator has taken it to a whole other level. He claims that if you TRUELY believe God wants you to kill other people, it makes it right in way of religion. It doesn't. Most religions have a basic law of respecting the lives of other people. Whether it's "Do unto others..." or "Thou shalt not murder..." Just because YOU believe something to be right, doesn't mean it's ACTUALLY supported in the beliefs of whatever religion you follow.

Now, If someone were to create a whole other religion, claiming that there is an ultimate being called "Hamalikemlickem God" that accepts murder in His/Her/Its name, then that's a corruption of what religion is SUPPOSED to be. That would be the only reason why it's wrong.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The Conspirator,

Read above what I wrote to Indi. I've noticed that you've either have lost interest in trying to prove me wrong or you cannot come up with a response and are failing to respond to my posts. Reguardless...

Quote:
If the people who made car bomb in London would have not used god as the source of morality, if they would have used reason and logic they would not have made the car bomb.

Untrue. You can have good and bad (or evil) without God, much like you can have morality without bringing God into it. So if the terrorists who made the car bomb honestly thought that the people in London were doing bad things (taking God out of the factor), then they still would've attacked London. Not to mention that London was (if I remember correctly) sending troops into Iraq to help us. Don't you think that would've made the Arabic people who believe that we are trying to destroy their civilazation pretty pissed off? If you think that someone is invading your country unpressidented (whether it's true or not) you'd attack them, whether there was a god or not.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

HereticMonkey,

Quote:
Quote:
If every one used logic and reasoning as the source of morality the world would be a much better place. It wouldn't be perfect, there still would be fighting and wars and shit but there would be less of it.

Not really. Murdering someone who is in your way is perfectly logical reasoning; it's also not that hard to get away with. So in a logical, reasoning society, there would be more murder, not less.

I understand what you're trying to say, but I believe there is a better way to say it. Depending on what the situation is, murdering someone in your way can or cannot be good reasoning. If it's down to, "Either I die or they die, " then, yes, it could be considered good reasoning. If someone is preventing you from getting to your family or someone you love in danger, then yes, it's good reasoning. But if someone is in your way of hurting someone who is innocent, then its HORRIBLE reasoning.
Tumbleweed
The rights we think as G-d given have been bought by someones blood and tears somewhere along the line, do we need G-d for morals ?.......... only as insperation maybe , the question is how inspiring has the thought of G-d been.
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
Quote:
No, that's not what i said either.

I never said you said that. I said IF you were trying to say that. Simple misunderstanding by your use of words (seeing as how your tone is sometimes misinturrpreted, no offense).

Yes, i know. You said "...if you were attempting to say..." and i replied that that was not what i said (then went on to explain what i did say). What words and/or tone were misinterpreted?

laurenrox wrote:
Now I more or less understand what you're trying to say. You're right, religion cannot be proven or disproven, along with its beliefs. If you honestly believe that God is purple (as amusing of a thought as that seems), then who's to say that you're wrong? But The Conspirator has taken it to a whole other level. He claims that if you TRUELY believe God wants you to kill other people, it makes it right in way of religion. It doesn't. Most religions have a basic law of respecting the lives of other people. Whether it's "Do unto others..." or "Thou shalt not murder..." Just because YOU believe something to be right, doesn't mean it's ACTUALLY supported in the beliefs of whatever religion you follow.

That is an entirely different problem. Technically speaking, Conspirator is right on that point, too, but that an entirely different topic from what i was talking about (for example, this topic or this topic).

laurenrox wrote:
Now, If someone were to create a whole other religion, claiming that there is an ultimate being called "Hamalikemlickem God" that accepts murder in His/Her/Its name, then that's a corruption of what religion is SUPPOSED to be. That would be the only reason why it's wrong.

Whoa! Hold up there. Here's a perfect example of what i was talking about: "...that's a corruption of what religion is SUPPOSED to be..." As i said, religion forces the religious to one of two paths. Either accept the beliefs of any religion, or fall back on religious bigotry. You have chosen option B. Observe.

So... what determines - for you, of course - what religion is "supposed" to be? (i'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that, ultimately, the answer is that religions are "supposed" to look as much like your religion as possible, right?)

Suppose that someone else's religion has the belief that mankind are "supposed" to be ruthless and submit to their animal natures such that only the "fittest" survive and go on to become their god's chosen etc. etc. (That seems a plausible basis for a religion to me, while at the same time not being much like any popular religion so as to avoid people getting defensive.)

Now, for those people, wouldn't they object to your characterization of what religion is "supposed" to be? Well, of course they would.

So who's right? You have no more or less evidence to support your beliefs than they do theirs. But if your claim is right, then you are saying they must be wrong, right? And you have absolutely no reason for making that assertion other than it's just what you happen to believe (and vice versa if they were to make the same claims about your religion, of course).

Doesn't that sound like textbook religious intolerance to you?
laurenrox
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Whoa! Hold up there. Here's a perfect example of what i was talking about: "...that's a corruption of what religion is SUPPOSED to be..." As i said, religion forces the religious to one of two paths. Either accept the beliefs of any religion, or fall back on religious bigotry. You have chosen option B. Observe.

So... what determines - for you, of course - what religion is "supposed" to be? (i'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that, ultimately, the answer is that religions are "supposed" to look as much like your religion as possible, right?)

Suppose that someone else's religion has the belief that mankind are "supposed" to be ruthless and submit to their animal natures such that only the "fittest" survive and go on to become their god's chosen etc. etc. (That seems a plausible basis for a religion to me, while at the same time not being much like any popular religion so as to avoid people getting defensive.)

Now, for those people, wouldn't they object to your characterization of what religion is "supposed" to be? Well, of course they would.

So who's right? You have no more or less evidence to support your beliefs than they do theirs. But if your claim is right, then you are saying they must be wrong, right? And you have absolutely no reason for making that assertion other than it's just what you happen to believe (and vice versa if they were to make the same claims about your religion, of course).

Doesn't that sound like textbook religious intolerance to you?


THAT particular statement... "i'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that, ultimately, the answer is that religions are "supposed" to look as much like your religion as possible, right?"... That is putting words in my mouth, not to mention that you are assuming what my own beliefs are. Religion to ME, is actually meant for the betterment of everyone (as much as it can be done). Murder is NOT for the betterment of everyone.
The Conspirator
laurenrox wrote:
The Conspirator,

Read above what I wrote to Indi. I've noticed that you've either have lost interest in trying to prove me wrong or you cannot come up with a response and are failing to respond to my posts. Reguardless...

Or I've here only 2 or 3 times in the past month and when you don't come here for a week theres allot of new posts and I did not feel like going through all of them.

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If the people who made car bomb in London would have not used god as the source of morality, if they would have used reason and logic they would not have made the car bomb.

Untrue. You can have good and bad (or evil) without God, much like you can have morality without bringing God into it. So if the terrorists who made the car bomb honestly thought that the people in London were doing bad things (taking God out of the factor), then they still would've attacked London. Not to mention that London was (if I remember correctly) sending troops into Iraq to help us. Don't you think that would've made the Arabic people who believe that we are trying to destroy their civilazation pretty pissed off? If you think that someone is invading your country unpressidented (whether it's true or not) you'd attack them, whether there was a god or not.


It is true that even if people used logic an reason there would still be fighting and wars and so on but the example I used, there is many reasons why that action would have been wrong. But due to there god based morality, it was not.

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HereticMonkey,

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If every one used logic and reasoning as the source of morality the world would be a much better place. It wouldn't be perfect, there still would be fighting and wars and shit but there would be less of it.

Not really. Murdering someone who is in your way is perfectly logical reasoning; it's also not that hard to get away with. So in a logical, reasoning society, there would be more murder, not less.

I understand what you're trying to say, but I believe there is a better way to say it. Depending on what the situation is, murdering someone in your way can or cannot be good reasoning. If it's down to, "Either I die or they die, " then, yes, it could be considered good reasoning. If someone is preventing you from getting to your family or someone you love in danger, then yes, it's good reasoning. But if someone is in your way of hurting someone who is innocent, then its HORRIBLE reasoning.
[/quote]
Just ignore him. Hes just using falsehoods again. Some one with half a brain can poke many, many hole in his argument. And he knows its not a good argument (he's not stupid) but like those people who say "With out god there is no morality" hes just making thinks up to support his beliefs.
laurenrox
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It is true that even if people used logic an reason there would still be fighting and wars and so on but the example I used, there is many reasons why that action would have been wrong. But due to there god based morality, it was not.


Yes, according to their own religion, it is wrong. The Islamic religion does not support killing others on the basis of different religions. So that's irrelevant. Not to mention that you're confining the specific problem to religion alone. You're saying that in religion you can claim anything to be in the name of God and that makes it just. You're also saying that this problem applies only to religion. Both of these are untrue.

As for the first one, yes, you can make up you're own religion and say that God wants you to say, kill all children that are born deformed or imperfect in order to prevent weakness in the human race. Does that make it right? Absolutely not.

On to the second. You seem to think that this problem only applies to religion when it doesn't. It applies to politics, traditions, and even logic. You could make up a logical reason for killing someone in a wheelchair. How's that? Well look at it this way. The more handicapped people that are born, the weaker the human race becomes. If someone is born without the ability to walk, and reproduces, there are chances that this handicapped person's children will not be able to walk either, bringing more handicapped people into the world, causing a weaker and weaker human race. So, you could go out and kill a handicapped person and say, "I was doing it to protect the human race." And that makes logical sense. BUT IT DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT. "But this is a corruption of logic," you say? Well, you were pointing out the same flaw of religion, and I tried to explain the same thing to you. Just because something has its problems, doesn't mean it needs to be eliminated.
The Conspirator
First, I don't have any religion, I don't believe in anything supernatural, paranormal or magical.

To you killing deformed people is wrong (and it is) but in the minds of those who think it should be done it is not wrong. The same applies to the would be car bombers. In the mind of a person doing something he believes to be right, it is right. In the mind of the would be car bombers, it was right and was supported by Islam weather is was or not, weather you think it was or not. And they believed that God supported them and wonted them to do it. The point I'm making is if you get your morality from God and you believe that blah action is right in the eyes of God than its right no matter how horrible it is. But in logic and reason based morality the more horrible it is the more extreme the circumstances need to be for it to be justified. Using logic and reason based morality the tactics pf the Muslim extremists are wrong. 1. they don't work 2. they cause allot of unnecessary cultural damage 3. there targeting civilian men woman and children. Theres no logical reason to justify that but through God it becomes justifiable, the infidels deserve to die, the innocents become matters and go to heaven and (in suicide attacks) the bomber become a matter and goes to heaven. Why? Cause thats what they think god wonts. Where in logic and reason, there are no infidels, theres no grantee that theres and afterlife and it doesn't matter any ways people still geting killed and who care what God wonts, right and wrong are independent of God plus they would (people who use logic and reason) think god would be a logical bing thus would not wont them to use those tactics.

True the problem dose not only apply to religion (and I never said it only applied to religion) but the problem is allot bigger in religion cause religion has gods (except Buddhism) and though that dose not mean people will use God as the source for morality, many do and Christianity, Islam and Judaism preach that your morality should come from God.
laurenrox
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To you killing deformed people is wrong (and it is) but in the minds of those who think it should be done it is not wrong. The same applies to the would be car bombers.


You just made my point. You just pointed out that logic has the same problem that religion has, and that is you can justify something completely wrong and in your own mind, make it right through logic, just as it can be done in religion.

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In the mind of the would be car bombers, it was right and was supported by Islam weather is was or not, weather you think it was or not. And they believed that God supported them and wonted them to do it. The point I'm making is if you get your morality from God and you believe that blah action is right in the eyes of God than its right no matter how horrible it is. But in logic and reason based morality the more horrible it is the more extreme the circumstances need to be for it to be justified.


Whoa Nelly! Now you're doubling back and saying that logic and reason doesn't have this problem, when before, you admitted that it did! And that little statement you made about, "... if you get your morality from God..." is just about as far from the truth as you can get. Here, let me put it in a way that your mind can understand. Say one person thinks that God hates homosexuals. There are texts in The Bible saying that it's wrong, blah, blah, blah. So, you go out and kill all the homosexuals you find. To that person, it was right. To another small group of people who heard about it in the news, it may be right to them. But that does not make it right in way of reality. Not to mention that the majority who believe in god(s) would see what's wrong with killing homosexuals, even if they are against homosexuality.

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Using logic and reason based morality the tactics pf the Muslim extremists are wrong. 1. they don't work 2. they cause allot of unnecessary cultural damage 3. there targeting civilian men woman and children. Theres no logical reason to justify that but through God it becomes justifiable, the infidels deserve to die, the innocents become matters and go to heaven and (in suicide attacks) the bomber become a matter and goes to heaven.


Actually, there IS a logical reason to justify it, and I've already given it to you. England (including London) started sending troops over to Iraq to help us. Iraq is pissed off at the fact that we're invading them and don't think they did anything to justify it (and that's another topic, but anyway). Well, Iraq is having trouble getting into the United States, so they're going to attack the next best thing: our helpers. If someone were invading you, you'd get pretty pissed off and attack those it involved just to shake 'em up and hopefully get them off your tail. See? I just gave a COMPLETELY logical reason for the London car bombs without involving God in any of it. I didn't even have to stretch it out! Amazing... and in all actuallity, I think it had more to do with the explination that I just gave for the London car bombings than it did with God.

This is about the 4th time I've shot down your theories, and you just keep repeating the same thing over and over again, as if you don't understand. I've got what you're saying. "Even if something is wrong, someone can say that it is in the name of God and make it right." I've shot down that theory. "Religion is the only one with this problem." Shot down that too. I've shown you that logic still has these same problems that you've pointed out in religion, and yet you've made no notice of it, or perhaps you're afraid to. Either way, I've pointed it out and yet you still want to do away with religion ALONE and not your precious logic... Hmmm... Sounds hypocritical to me...
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:
First, I don't have any religion, I don't believe in anything supernatural, paranormal or magical.

Just because you don't believe in anything supernatural, paranormal, or magical doesn't mean you don't have a religion...You're pretty much demonstrating that atheism can be its own religion.

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True the problem dose not only apply to religion (and I never said it only applied to religion) but the problem is allot bigger in religion cause religion has gods (except Buddhism) and though that dose not mean people will use God as the source for morality, many do and Christianity, Islam and Judaism preach that your morality should come from God.


1) Buddhism has gods; they just aren't the same as other religions. Buddhism is weird in that it's non-theistic (no particular god is worshiped), but it still has gods, demons, and all the rest.

2) Slight misinterpretation: The basic rules and all that may come from God, but the morality comes from the person him or her self. It's that nasty Free Will issue popping up again...

HM
The Conspirator
laurenrox: Your not getting it, I'm not talking about group mentality,I'm talking about individual mentality. Using the homosexual example, the logic of homosexuality being wrong is very week and there is no logical reason to kill homosexuals but if you believe god dose not like them and wonts them to be killed and you get your morality from God, than to you its good to kill them. God dose not have to explain him self, hes God.
When you use logic and reason than you have to justify things so killing deformed people when using logic as a morel source doesn't work cause the logic of it is week to nonexistent and if the logic of something is week to nonexistent theres no reason to make it morel.

The creasing you used for the bombing dose not work, first the tactic dose not work and causes deaths, thus making the deaths needles. If the attack was meant for the people in charge than that would be different but those people are not attacking the people in charge they are attacking people causing needles death. Now say if they mint to kill the Prim Minister than that would be deferent, that would help them to achieve there intent goals (by putting fear in the people in charge). If a death is needles than logically it is wrong. Bombing subways causes allot of death, doesn't serve there goals and demonises them but if they used propaganda to lionise themselves, demonise the people in charge and attacked th people in charge, such a tactic can be logically morel

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Just because you don't believe in anything supernatural, paranormal, or magical doesn't mean you don't have a religion...You're pretty much demonstrating that atheism can be its own religion.

Religion is set spiritual beliefs and offten containing dogma, I have none thus no religion and atheism is a category of belief not a religion just as theism is not a religion but a category of belief.
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1) Buddhism has gods; they just aren't the same as other religions. Buddhism is weird in that it's non-theistic (no particular god is worshiped), but it still has gods, demons, and all the rest.

Do you mean [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deva_(Buddhism)]Buddhist Devas[/url]? Those are not gods but spiritual creators.
Bikerman
HereticMonkey wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
First, I don't have any religion, I don't believe in anything supernatural, paranormal or magical.

Just because you don't believe in anything supernatural, paranormal, or magical doesn't mean you don't have a religion...You're pretty much demonstrating that atheism can be its own religion.
That is an illogical and unsustainable argument. Firstly it relies on a definition of religion that does not include any supernatural or paranormal element. Religion is normally defined as having some such element.If you can provide a definition of religion that does not include such an element then please do, otherwise the point fails at the first hurdle.
Even if we manage to find a definition of religion that would cover rationalism the argument then fails because of the second obvious flaw. It is variously known as the Induction fallacy, the fallacy of misplaced emphasis or the fallacy of unreasonable extrapolation. Simply put it is completely bogus to argue the general case from a very small sample. Even if Conspirator did demonstrate what you say, it is fallacious to then argue that this is a property of atheism rather than of the subject in question.
Finally it fails because of the other defining characteristic of religion - faith. HereticMonkey specifically does not believe in things that require faith in this case, whereas religion is normally assumed to require faith on the part of it's adherents.
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1) Buddhism has gods; they just aren't the same as other religions. Buddhism is weird in that it's non-theistic (no particular god is worshiped), but it still has gods, demons, and all the rest.

That is highly debatable, but I know, I think, what you mean. It does not deny the existence of supernatural entities, true, and the 'devas' are referred to in some Budhhist teachings, also true. The important point, I think, however, is that it has no concept of a creator/ruler/father/judge divinity in any comparible sense to the notions in the Abrahamic faiths and, as a matter of fact, found in many if not most other religious belief systems.
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2) Slight misinterpretation: The basic rules and all that may come from God, but the morality comes from the person him or her self. It's that nasty Free Will issue popping up again...

Hmm, I see it rather differently - largely as an unsatisfactory fudge/slight-of-hand by those who's faith is in an 'infinite' God and who seek to reconcile that with the notion of free-will - an attempt which, it seems to me, is a lost cause and a logical impossibility from the get-go.
laurenrox
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Your not getting it, I'm not talking about group mentality,I'm talking about individual mentality.


Yeah, so am I. I've given examples of individuals.

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Using the homosexual example, the logic of homosexuality being wrong is very week and there is no logical reason to kill homosexuals...


I gave that as an example to explain that even though a person who BELIEVES IN GOD may think it's right in the way of God, doesn't mean that it is. Apparently you didn't catch that.

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... but if you believe god dose not like them and wonts them to be killed and you get your morality from God, than to you its good to kill them. God dose not have to explain him self, hes God.


Yeah, it's seemingly good to THAT particular person. But to a single person who's atheist and hell bent against homosexuality for whatever reason, then they can just as well find a logical reason (one that's logical to that single person alone) that homosexuals should be killed. For instance, say this one particular atheist believes that a man should only have sex with a woman and visa versa. However he came to that conclusion, it's what he believes (and there ARE atheists who are against homosexuality, I'm sure you won't argue that). If this person has come to a logical conclusion that homosexuals are damaging society, and he is an extremeist, and he goes out to kill all homosexuals, then to HIM it was logical. (See? I'm using a single person mentality...). Even though to you, the logic might be flawed, to HIM it's not.

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When you use logic and reason than you have to justify things so killing deformed people when using logic as a morel source doesn't work cause the logic of it is week to nonexistent and if the logic of something is week to nonexistent theres no reason to make it morel.


First of all, you haven't even given me a reason as to why it's "a weak arguement" so I'm assuming you have none. Stop making claims such as this if you either A) aren't going to back it up or B) can't back it up. Second, this is section is null and void since you gave no reason or example as to why this logic of killing the handicapped would be wrong other than the fact that it's "wrong to kill people". If you want to protect the entire future of the human race and prevent it from being weaker, then it would be for the greater good (this is not my own opinion, just an example). So, your arguement against the logic of "killing the hanicapped" is null and void unless you can think of a reason as to why this logic is flawed.

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The creasing you used for the bombing dose not work, first the tactic dose not work and causes deaths, thus making the deaths needles. If the attack was meant for the people in charge than that would be different but those people are not attacking the people in charge they are attacking people causing needles death. Now say if they mint to kill the Prim Minister than that would be deferent, that would help them to achieve there intent goals (by putting fear in the people in charge). If a death is needles than logically it is wrong. Bombing subways causes allot of death, doesn't serve there goals and demonises them but if they used propaganda to lionise themselves, demonise the people in charge and attacked th people in charge, such a tactic can be logically morel


Actually, it is perfectly logical. If you can't get to the people in charge, then go down a step. Do you think the people in charge want you to kill their civilians? Nope. The entire point of it would be to "shake up" London and put some fear in it, in hopes that they would back off. You don't have to attack someone directly (especially if you can't get to them), to scare them. Wars that have had little to nothing to do with religion have had this happen. For instance, it happened in the Revolutionary War. The British soldiers would sometimes burn the houses of the milita men with their wives and children still inside in attempt to scare them off and, hopefully, get them to submit. It's perfectly logical. And again, unless you can come up with a reason as to why this would be illogical other than "killing is wrong" then your arguement is null and void.

So, I have yet again proven that logic has the same problem that you pointed out in religion, and it is just as much an issue in logic as it is in religion. However, you only want to do away with religion completely? Hmmm...

*Note: Some of the examples I've given of reasoning to kill the handicapped, homosexuals, etc, are not my own opinion, simply examples.*
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
THAT particular statement... "i'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that, ultimately, the answer is that religions are "supposed" to look as much like your religion as possible, right?"... That is putting words in my mouth, not to mention that you are assuming what my own beliefs are.

? Uh, no? That is making a guess at your beliefs - after explicitly announcing that i was going to make a guess - then asking if my guess is right.

Putting words in your mouth would be something like: "So you believe that religions are supposed to look as much like your religion as possible. Well then,... (and go on from there)."

laurenrox wrote:
Religion to ME, is actually meant for the betterment of everyone (as much as it can be done). Murder is NOT for the betterment of everyone.

And, once again, that is your opinion. There is nothing privileged about your opinion. It has no higher or lower standing than anyone else's opinion. If someone else believes that religion is primarily about glorifying and serving the almighty, you have one of two choices:
  1. Accept their opinion as just as valid as yours. This is religious tolerance, but it means you have to accept that their belief that murder is a valid way to glorify god is just as valid as your own beliefs.

  2. Reject their opinion, based only on the fact that it disagrees with your own. That is religious bigotry.

Those are your only options. And that is the catch-22 i was talking about.
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:
laurenrox: Your not getting it, I'm not talking about group mentality,I'm talking about individual mentality.

When you nail a group of individuals for their common beliefs, you're dealing with a group mentality. If I went after atheists because of commonly held beliefs, I doubt that you would allow the same...


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The creasing you used for the bombing dose not work, first the tactic dose not work and causes deaths, thus making the deaths needles. If the attack was meant for the people in charge than that would be different but those people are not attacking the people in charge they are attacking people causing needles death.

The point behind any terrorist bombing is to show people that they aren't well-defended and to encourage them to have their leaders get them out of the area to avoid further attack. It's also an attack of last resort by people that don't really care what public opinion of them is (that is, they actually want to be demonized).

Just because something doesn't make sense to you doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense to them...

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Just because you don't believe in anything supernatural, paranormal, or magical doesn't mean you don't have a religion...You're pretty much demonstrating that atheism can be its own religion.

Religion is set spiritual beliefs and offten containing dogma, I have none thus no religion and atheism is a category of belief not a religion just as theism is not a religion but a category of belief.

Actually, religion is merely a belief of some sort in the supernatural; that belief doesn't need to necessarily be that the supernatural exists. That is, it merely needs to be a category of belief that forms the cornerstone of your belief system (dogma comes extra). In that regard, atheism is a religion (there is a very definite belief as regards the supernatural, it just happens to be in the negative).

Read: It's not the spiritual beliefs that make it a religion, but the belief in the supernatural (positive or negative) that define it...

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1) Buddhism has gods; they just aren't the same as other religions. Buddhism is weird in that it's non-theistic (no particular god is worshiped), but it still has gods, demons, and all the rest.

Do you mean [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deva_(Buddhism)]Buddhist Devas[/url]? Those are not gods but spiritual creators.
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The jerk in me would ask the obvious: The difference between a god and a "spiritual creator" is what exactly?

HM
HereticMonkey
Bikerman wrote:
That is an illogical and unsustainable argument.

In your opinion. Which is not a necessarily logical one...

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Firstly it relies on a definition of religion that does not include any supernatural or paranormal element. Religion is normally defined as having some such element.If you can provide a definition of religion that does not include such an element then please do, otherwise the point fails at the first hurdle.

Actually, most dictionaries define "religion" as a belief in the supernatural. Your qualifier that it requires that belief to be positive is a personal one and not necessarily universally recognized; if you need to change the definition in order to be right, I would suspect your logic.

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Even if we manage to find a definition of religion that would cover rationalism the argument then fails because of the second obvious flaw. It is variously known as the Induction fallacy, the fallacy of misplaced emphasis or the fallacy of unreasonable extrapolation. Simply put it is completely bogus to argue the general case from a very small sample. Even if Conspirator did demonstrate what you say, it is fallacious to then argue that this is a property of atheism rather than of the subject in question.

Except that I'm not arguing based on Conspirator's examples; I'm saying that atheism (with its belief in the supernatural, albeit in the negative) meets the definition of a religion (that there be a belief in the supernatural).

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Finally it fails because of the other defining characteristic of religion - faith. HereticMonkey specifically does not believe in things that require faith in this case, whereas religion is normally assumed to require faith on the part of it's adherents.

I would argue that atheists do have faith that God doesn't exist, as there is virtually no way to prove that He doesn't exist (thus meeting your requirement of faith). However, faith is immaterial relative to the discussion; again, we are dealing with your personal definition of religion, and not the actual definition.

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Hmm, I see it rather differently - largely as an unsatisfactory fudge/slight-of-hand by those who's faith is in an 'infinite' God and who seek to reconcile that with the notion of free-will - an attempt which, it seems to me, is a lost cause and a logical impossibility from the get-go.

And what exactly is that impossibility? The Bible does tend to emphasis free will, and allows for it, whereas atheism seems to prevent it (it does seem to foster a "Believe what I believe or you are a moron" mentality...).

HM
HereticMonkey
Indi wrote:

And, once again, that is your opinion. There is nothing privileged about your opinion. It has no higher or lower standing than anyone else's opinion. If someone else believes that religion is primarily about glorifying and serving the almighty, you have one of two choices:
  1. Accept their opinion as just as valid as yours. This is religious tolerance, but it means you have to accept that their belief that murder is a valid way to glorify god is just as valid as your own beliefs.

  2. Reject their opinion, based only on the fact that it disagrees with your own. That is religious bigotry.

Those are your only options. And that is the catch-22 i was talking about.


Of course, the jerk in me would point out that there is a (at least) third option:

Point out that there is a difference between murder and killing, and do something to stop the murders. Just because you are religiously tolerant doesn't mean that you need to support a culture's apparent need to kill anyone who disagrees with it; at some point you need to realize that the religion is merely being used as an excuse to kill...

HM
laurenrox
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Of course, the jerk in me would point out that there is a (at least) third option:

Point out that there is a difference between murder and killing, and do something to stop the murders. Just because you are religiously tolerant doesn't mean that you need to support a culture's apparent need to kill anyone who disagrees with it; at some point you need to realize that the religion is merely being used as an excuse to kill...


HereticMonkey has pretty much already said what I would've in response, so there's no need to repost it.
Bikerman
HereticMonkey wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
That is an illogical and unsustainable argument.

In your opinion. Which is not a necessarily logical one...

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Firstly it relies on a definition of religion that does not include any supernatural or paranormal element. Religion is normally defined as having some such element.If you can provide a definition of religion that does not include such an element then please do, otherwise the point fails at the first hurdle.

Actually, most dictionaries define "religion" as a belief in the supernatural. Your qualifier that it requires that belief to be positive is a personal one and not necessarily universally recognized; if you need to change the definition in order to be right, I would suspect your logic.
What change? What definition? I said that religion is normally defined as including a belief in the paranormal...you agree....where is the problem? The distinction between belief and disbelief is the point of the 'positive' and I'll deal with that next.
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Even if we manage to find a definition of religion that would cover rationalism the argument then fails because of the second obvious flaw. It is variously known as the Induction fallacy, the fallacy of misplaced emphasis or the fallacy of unreasonable extrapolation. Simply put it is completely bogus to argue the general case from a very small sample. Even if Conspirator did demonstrate what you say, it is fallacious to then argue that this is a property of atheism rather than of the subject in question.

Except that I'm not arguing based on Conspirator's examples; I'm saying that atheism (with its belief in the supernatural, albeit in the negative) meets the definition of a religion (that there be a belief in the supernatural).
And you are still wrong, see above.
Your tactic of seeking to redefine atheism is an old and tired one and has been refuted many times...you must surely know it is wrong...
This is the centre of your argument is it? Atheism, as you must know, is DISBELIEF in....
You seem to be confusing disbelief and denial. Disbelief is simple what it says - a lack of belief. It is NOT a positive assertion of any sort - it does not mean asserting that Gods do not exist, it simple means that the atheist does not hold such a belief - for whatever reason.
This has been explained to you before...
My point remains, therefore, that this is a fallacy.

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Finally it fails because of the other defining characteristic of religion - faith. HereticMonkey specifically does not believe in things that require faith in this case, whereas religion is normally assumed to require faith on the part of it's adherents.

I would argue that atheists do have faith that God doesn't exist, as there is virtually no way to prove that He doesn't exist (thus meeting your requirement of faith). However, faith is immaterial relative to the discussion; again, we are dealing with your personal definition of religion, and not the actual definition. [/quote]But you would be wrong.

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Hmm, I see it rather differently - largely as an unsatisfactory fudge/slight-of-hand by those who's faith is in an 'infinite' God and who seek to reconcile that with the notion of free-will - an attempt which, it seems to me, is a lost cause and a logical impossibility from the get-go.

And what exactly is that impossibility? The Bible does tend to emphasis free will, and allows for it, whereas atheism seems to prevent it (it does seem to foster a "Believe what I believe or you are a moron" mentality...).
[/quote]
Ridiculous. How does a lack of belief in something deny free will? How are the two notions even linked? I'll leave aside the fallacy repeated again that atheists 'believe' - the point has already been made enough times that this is wrong.
What the bible does or does not do is irrelevant - the point was that a doctrine of infinite power/knowledge in a Deity is incompatible with free-will....what the bible it's a very simple point.
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
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Of course, the jerk in me would point out that there is a (at least) third option:

Point out that there is a difference between murder and killing, and do something to stop the murders. Just because you are religiously tolerant doesn't mean that you need to support a culture's apparent need to kill anyone who disagrees with it; at some point you need to realize that the religion is merely being used as an excuse to kill...


HereticMonkey has pretty much already said what I would've in response, so there's no need to repost it.

Alright, go ahead. Give it a shot. Define "murder".

(Surely you must see that there's a trap coming, so you would be wise to be very careful with your definition.)
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/religion
Quote:
re·li·gion (r-ljn)
n.
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
Idiom:
get religion Informal
1. To become religious or devout.
2. To resolve to end one's immoral behavior.


laurenrox wrote:
The Conspirator wrote:
Using the homosexual example, the logic of homosexuality being wrong is very week and there is no logical reason to kill homosexuals...


I gave that as an example to explain that even though a person who BELIEVES IN GOD may think it's right in the way of God, doesn't mean that it is. Apparently you didn't catch that.

And you miss the point that that dose not madder. It dose not madder if its actually right or wrong or if God wonts it or not if the person believes it in his mind its right.

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... but if you believe god dose not like them and wonts them to be killed and you get your morality from God, than to you its good to kill them. God dose not have to explain him self, hes God.


Yeah, it's seemingly good to THAT particular person. But to a single person who's atheist and hell bent against homosexuality for whatever reason, then they can just as well find a logical reason (one that's logical to that single person alone) that homosexuals should be killed. For instance, say this one particular atheist believes that a man should only have sex with a woman and visa versa. However he came to that conclusion, it's what he believes (and there ARE atheists who are against homosexuality, I'm sure you won't argue that). If this person has come to a logical conclusion that homosexuals are damaging society, and he is an extremeist, and he goes out to kill all homosexuals, then to HIM it was logical. (See? I'm using a single person mentality...). Even though to you, the logic might be flawed, to HIM it's not.

No. Logic doesn't work for everything, it dose not work for many bigotry's. The logic for homosexuality being wrong is week to nonexistent and logic in killing them dose not exist.

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When you use logic and reason than you have to justify things so killing deformed people when using logic as a morel source doesn't work cause the logic of it is week to nonexistent and if the logic of something is week to nonexistent theres no reason to make it morel.


First of all, you haven't even given me a reason as to why it's "a weak arguement" so I'm assuming you have none. Stop making claims such as this if you either A) aren't going to back it up or B) can't back it up. Second, this is section is null and void since you gave no reason or example as to why this logic of killing the handicapped would be wrong other than the fact that it's "wrong to kill people". If you want to protect the entire future of the human race and prevent it from being weaker, then it would be for the greater good (this is not my own opinion, just an example). So, your arguement against the logic of "killing the hanicapped" is null and void unless you can think of a reason as to why this logic is flawed.

What your talking about is social Darwinism (well a form of it). The logic of with is very week. The basic primes of it is false. Allowing people with deformity's to live will not weaken or harm or weaken the species. Even if they due reproduce that is no guarantee that they will pass on those genes (thats if its genetic, its not always genetic) that cause the deformities and even if they do the natural proses of evolution will ultimately filter out the genes.

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The creasing you used for the bombing dose not work, first the tactic dose not work and causes deaths, thus making the deaths needles. If the attack was meant for the people in charge than that would be different but those people are not attacking the people in charge they are attacking people causing needles death. Now say if they mint to kill the Prim Minister than that would be deferent, that would help them to achieve there intent goals (by putting fear in the people in charge). If a death is needles than logically it is wrong. Bombing subways causes allot of death, doesn't serve there goals and demonises them but if they used propaganda to lionise themselves, demonise the people in charge and attacked th people in charge, such a tactic can be logically morel


Actually, it is perfectly logical. If you can't get to the people in charge, then go down a step. Do you think the people in charge want you to kill their civilians? Nope. The entire point of it would be to "shake up" London and put some fear in it, in hopes that they would back off. You don't have to attack someone directly (especially if you can't get to them), to scare them. Wars that have had little to nothing to do with religion have had this happen. For instance, it happened in the Revolutionary War. The British soldiers would sometimes burn the houses of the milita men with their wives and children still inside in attempt to scare them off and, hopefully, get them to submit. It's perfectly logical. And again, unless you can come up with a reason as to why this would be illogical other than "killing is wrong" then your arguement is null and void.

So, I have yet again proven that logic has the same problem that you pointed out in religion, and it is just as much an issue in logic as it is in religion. However, you only want to do away with religion completely? Hmmm...

No. The logic of it dose not work. Targeting civilian's has proven itself not to work. Even in world war 2 it proved itself to be ineffective. Even in a democracy the people in charge will be little effected by an attack on civilian's. And in attacking civilian's they ultimately demonize themselves, they make them selves look evil and cruel which ultimately harms there cause and there people and lionise the people fighting them. It Would weaken there morel position, making themselves look immoral and make those fighting them look like there fighting there evil and immorality. And we know from history that people are willing to make sacrifices in order to fight what the perceive as evil and or a threat. Just look at 9/11. The goal of Al Qada was not to different than what you said and the reaction too the attack was solidarity, a reductions in civil libretos (the patriot act)and the invasion of Afghanistan.

You seem top think that you can use logic to justify anything, you can't. A good example is shoplifting, the justification often use is "Theres no harm, the store make plenty of money, there not loosing any money" but that dose not work cause the stores do loose money cause of shoplifting and as a result prises go up and wages go down and that harms people on fixed and or low incomes.
HereticMonkey
Indi wrote:

Alright, go ahead. Give it a shot. Define "murder".

(Surely you must see that there's a trap coming, so you would be wise to be very careful with your definition.)


Pretty obvious trap, Indi, and below you to even bother with it...

HM
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:
HereticMonkey:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/religion

Actually, I used Websters, and a few other non-religious dictionaries. I would, however, point out #4 (a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion)...so thanks for proving my point that atheism (as a principle pursued with zeal) meets YOUR criteria for being a religion...

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And you miss the point that that dose not madder. It dose not madder if its actually right or wrong or if God wonts it or not if the person believes it in his mind its right.

Hoping I'm reading this right...But if a person believes it doesn't necessarily make it right. If I believe that homosexuals should die a horrible, painful death, I am guilty of homophobia, and will probably be nailed for that belief eventually.

[I would, of course, point out that a lot of the OT, including the proscription against homosexual men, has been essentially nailed in the NT, but that's just me...]

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No. Logic doesn't work for everything, it dose not work for many bigotry's. The logic for homosexuality being wrong is week to nonexistent and logic in killing them dose not exist.

[What does it have to do with being seven days? Weird...]

Actually, you can make a logical case for killing homosexuals, and that logic feeds bigotries. Of course, I find it interesting that you're disagreeing with logic when it suits your needs (as you've tried to logically show that religion=bad/ignorance). Are you admitting that sometimes logic doesn't complete the picture, and that sometimes you need other things to prove your point?


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What your talking about is social Darwinism (well a form of it). The logic of with is very week. The basic primes of it is false. Allowing people with deformity's to live will not weaken or harm or weaken the species. Even if they due reproduce that is no guarantee that they will pass on those genes (thats if its genetic, its not always genetic) that cause the deformities and even if they do the natural proses of evolution will ultimately filter out the genes.

Evolution will only filter out bad genes if those genes are eliminated from the gene pool. As long as they are still around, then they can still express themselves. Also, some of the deformities aren't necessarily from the parents' genes, but because of exposure to contaminants or because of other issues; as those issues will always be around, the deformities won't exactly disappear.

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No. The logic of it dose not work. Targeting civilian's has proven itself not to work.

The Madrid bombing had the effect of changing the Spanish vote. The suicide bombing of barracks has actually kept the war so-called Iraq war going, as has the forcible evacuation of Sunnis and Shiites. Also, the Dresden, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima bombings had very definite effects.

In short, targeting civilians has been proven to be very effective...

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Even in world war 2 it proved itself to be ineffective.

I don't know...it did help stop the war...

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Even in a democracy the people in charge will be little effected by an attack on civilian's.

What kind of government is Spain?

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And in attacking civilian's they ultimately demonize themselves, they make them selves look evil and cruel which ultimately harms there cause and there people and lionise the people fighting them.

Usually...

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It Would weaken there morel position, making themselves look immoral and make those fighting them look like there fighting there evil and immorality. And we know from history that people are willing to make sacrifices in order to fight what the perceive as evil and or a threat. Just look at 9/11. The goal of Al Qada was not to different than what you said and the reaction too the attack was solidarity, a reductions in civil libretos (the patriot act)and the invasion of Afghanistan.

And yet, AL Qaeda grew in popularity, and Arab nations in general have helped them to hide from US forces. It would seem that your case has no basis in reality...


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You seem top think that you can use logic to justify anything, you can't. A good example is shoplifting, the justification often use is "Theres no harm, the store make plenty of money, there not loosing any money" but that dose not work cause the stores do loose money cause of shoplifting and as a result prises go up and wages go down and that harms people on fixed and or low incomes.

So in fact that's a bad case, as there is no logical basis (it would require a logical basis in order to be logical). I agree that logic can't be used in all situations, but it does provide a good starting point....

HM
The Conspirator
Monkey (and many others): Atheism is a category of belief (like theism a category only) not a "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion." and you missed the point. you are trying to make religion mealy a belief system. Your not the only one who tries to do that, the purpose of course is to make atheists seem religious but your only broadening it to the point where the word is meaningless.
HereticMonkey
I'm not actually expanding it; I'm just pointing out that your personal definition is wrong. My pointing out that it's a belief (as you just did) you demonstrate that you really don't use the same definitions as the rest of us, and therefore aren't really understanding what's going on.

It's a jerk point, but when you supply a definition, and choose to ignore the very definition you gave because it's simply not convenient to your point, your credibility disappears. So...What is atheism if it's not a belief? Can you back it empirically?

HM
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey wrote:
I'm not actually expanding it; I'm just pointing out that your personal definition is wrong. My pointing out that it's a belief (as you just did) you demonstrate that you really don't use the same definitions as the rest of us, and therefore aren't really understanding what's going on.

The problem is if you take spirituality out of it, the belief in Bigfoot become a religious, the belief in aliens become a religion any belief becomes a religion no matter hoe unimportant to the person it is. Your taking what makes religion "religion" out of it. Buddhism is called a religion, Hinduism is called a religion Christianity is called a religion, Islam is called a religion, believing in Bigfoot is not, believing in UFOs is not, believing that it will rain tomorrow is not, believing Ceaser existed is not. The way you are trying to make it is no different than saying belief. By your definition believing that you would like a chicken sandwich is a religion. It is a belief and if religion is belief than it is a religion. Your making the word meaningless.
Believing in something (no matter how strongly you believe in it) dose not make it a religion. You could believe that aliens will invade soon with ever fiber of your bing and it is still not a religion.
Another thing you don't (well you do but you ignore that to try and make me look wrong when you know you are) understand the different definitions for one word a dictionary will have. A single word will have multiple uses (for instance fly 1. The act of flying. 2. an insect.) The word religion is no different. And the vast majority of the time when people use the word religion, it means, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Shintoism not atheism, theism, herbalism, the belief in UFOs, the belief in Bigfoot, or anything that is just a belief, they mean something more than a believing, they mean certain types of belief, spiritually beliefs, beliefs in divinity and so on.
If you make the word religion mean just believing in something than it is meaningless, we already have a world for that, belief.

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It's a jerk point, but when you supply a definition, and choose to ignore the very definition you gave because it's simply not convenient to your point, your credibility disappears. So...What is atheism if it's not a belief? Can you back it empirically?

This has been explained to you many times. Atheism is a category of belief that covers any religious, philosophical, spiritually or personal lack of belief in any god or gods. Just as theism covers any religious, philosophical, spiritual or personal belief in a god or gods. Atheism and theism are not belief systems but category's of belief. Try to remember it.
HereticMonkey
The issue is that you are attempting to define religion differently than the standard because your belief system despises religion, and you want to have nothing to do with it. Rather than being objective and recognizing that atheism does for you what theism does for someone else, you are attempting to place a limit that doesn't exist. In a way, you are committing the same sins of division that you blame theists for, and that's a bit hypocritical...

HM
The Conspirator
What? "theism does for you what theism does for someone else"? What dose atheism do for me? They're mearly a category of belief nothing more. It individual beliefs that effect people not what category there in. Desists are theists yet do not believe God reviles himself through revelation nor to they believe in a soul or afterlife. What dose being a theist do for them? A guy could believe that God is sadistic and we are nothing but his toys and cause of that are destined for nothing but suffering. He is a theist, what dose that theism do for him? Nothing. Theism and atheism are category's, nothing more, nothing less. They give nothing, they take nothing.
HereticMonkey
If you want to look at it simply as categories, fine. However, atheism can be a mode of belief as well as a category; otherwise people would not claim to be atheists, and defend that mode of thought as well as decry their opponents. It's that it can be a mode of belief that makes it a religion.

HM
Indi
The Conspirator wrote:
Desists are theists yet do not believe God reviles himself through revelation nor to they believe in a soul or afterlife.

(Just FYI, technically deism is a category, too - a subcategory of theism. Deists are theists believe that reason - and only reason - can lead them to the conclusion that a god or gods exist. By extension of this concept, the god or gods do not involve themselves with the workings of the universe or the lives of people, and do not reveal themselves through miracles or prophesy. Basically they built the universe, pushed the "on" button, and then walked away - but we can find evidence of their existence by looking at the universe for the "fingerprints" left behind by the creator(s). Some deists do believe in souls and the afterlife.)

(And just to confuse the issue, Deism (big "D") is also the name of a particular form of deism - a monotheistic form that involves a god that rewards and punishes moral and immoral behaviour in the afterlife (actually, even Deism has a few different forms, and this form is called Classical Deism). This form of deism - Classical Deism or just Deism - was hugely popular in the 18th century, and had a profound effect on the founding of the USofA (virtually all the founding fathers were Deists).)

(Of course, atheism is a category that is completely separate from both theism and deism (although, it was and still is common for theist writers to call deist writers "atheist" as a form of insult, because "atheist" is supposed to be a dirty word). They do appear closely related to the untrained eye, though, because there is no way to differentiate an atheist from a deist until they actually say something about whether or not a god or gods exist (unlike for a theist: you can spot them going to church, wearing a turban, or whatnot).)
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey wrote:
If you want to look at it simply as categories, fine. However, atheism can be a mode of belief as well as a category; otherwise people would not claim to be atheists, and defend that mode of thought as well as decry their opponents. It's that it can be a mode of belief that makes it a religion.

HM

No, it is just a category. Many Buddhists are atheist and many atheists have beliefs have beliefs which can be categorised as religion. Its a category, nothing more. When some one says there an atheist all there saying "I do not believe in any god or gods". Thats all it means.
HereticMonkey
I'd sort of debate that Buddhism is atheist, actually. on at least two counts. Buddhism is full of supernatural creatures, is based on supernatural events, and requires the believer to accept that the universe has a definite supernatural side and laws, and isn't belief in the supernatural counter to atheist belief?

Also, there is a definite belief in Buddha's divinity, as well as prayers to Buddha? And if so, by making Buddha a god, would that not mean that Buddhism is by nature theistic?

HM
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey wrote:
I'd sort of debate that Buddhism is atheist, actually. on at least two counts. Buddhism is full of supernatural creatures, is based on supernatural events, and requires the believer to accept that the universe has a definite supernatural side and laws, and isn't belief in the supernatural counter to atheist belief?

Also, there is a definite belief in Buddha's divinity, as well as prayers to Buddha? And if so, by making Buddha a god, would that not mean that Buddhism is by nature theistic?

HM

You just proven that you know nothing about atheism.
Atheism mean not believing in any god or gods, supernaturalism dose not necessarily mean a god or gods have to exist. You can believe in a soul, karma, luck, chi, the Tao and higher beings (a higher bing dose not mean a god, a good example in Buddhist Deva's, they are not gods, they did not create the universal they are not immortal (though they could live a long time, even millions of years) and they have no control over the fate of a persons soul) with out believing in a god or gods. Atheism is nothing more than not believing in a god or gods. Nothing more, nothing less. That it. Atheism is a category of belief that is based on only 1 thing, the (or a lack of) belief in god(s). Thats it.
HereticMonkey
Conspirator: Would you bother to actually read a post before slamming it? You know, slow down, stop skimming?

Putting it simply: Does atheism allow for the existence of the supernatural? Can I be an atheist and still believe in angels? Could I believe in something like karma? Or would I need to forego believing in them if I were an atheist?

That said: Traditional (as opposed to Modern/Western) Buddhism does stress a certain degree of worship towards past buddhas as gods, and even has actual gods. As I need to specify for you: I am not referring to devas, or other supernatural beings, but actual gods. Not creator gods admittedly, just gods. Thus making Buddhism (as the majority of Buddhists practice it today) a polytheistic religion, not a nontheistic religion. Of course, there is also the interpretation as Buddha as the god above all gods, or the source of the universe, making it effectively a monotheistic religion.

In essence: As I stated in my post above yours, I don't think Buddhism is such a great example of an atheistic religion, especially as too many of its adherents believe in the supernatural (and, as I need to specify, I mean GODS!)...

HM
nopaniers
Heretic Monkey wrote:
The issue is that you are attempting to define religion differently than the standard because your belief system despises religion, and you want to have nothing to do with it.


Having read through the posts up to now, that seems to be the center of it to me.

Reading through, HM and laurenrox did an excellent job of pointing it out that even the most supposedly rational and logical people can be evil, and particularly about social Darwinism. Unfortunately they're not just theoretical examples. Nazi Germany did really try to exterminate subhumans who might pollute the Aryan race. They murdered some 6 million Jews, gypsies, others they thought to be of less value. Their scientists performed horrible experiments on live subjects. Europe had people "zoos" where you could go to see different levels of evolution, and forced sterilization programs whose legacy lasted into the 1960s and 70s. I like collecting old maps, and I am constantly surprised by the way that race is depicted on them - back in the 1890's you wouldn't question that racism was logical, rational and scientific. I guess everyone here knows that already, but it still shocks me every time I see it.


Some countries with forced sterilization in 1936.
Bikerman
HereticMonkey wrote:
Conspirator: Would you bother to actually read a post before slamming it? You know, slow down, stop skimming?

Putting it simply: Does atheism allow for the existence of the supernatural?
Yes.
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Can I be an atheist and still believe in angels?
No.
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Could I believe in something like karma?
Yes
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey: For the last time, maybe you'll get it this times. An atheists can believe in anything, anything it doesn't madder how crazy, how stupid, how weird, how illogical, they can believe in anything, except in a god(s).
What your talking about is a form of ancestor reverence, thats not theism, its not gods there worshiping. Its akin to believing that the spirits of the dead can effect things and that some people can achieve something that in death, gives them grate power but there not gods. Its the same with the version of Buddhism you gave as an example, there not gods.

nopaniers: The logic of social Darwinism, fails, it doesn't work. Its based on raciest and ignorant ideas (particularly ignorants when it comes to evolution) and those ideas fail when you think about them.
laurenrox
Personally, I think that the subject "is atheism a religion?" is off topic. What I really want to know is who, other than The Conspirator, believes that religion should be eliminated all together? It's pretty obvious that that's the way The Conspirator feels, but who else agrees with him?
HereticMonkey
Bikerman: So I can believe in the supernatural and karma, but I can't believe in angels? How did you draw that line?

laurenrox: Actually, based on a number of threads here, I'd say a lot of people would like to see religion nuked...

Conspirator: The problem I'm having is that 1) your definition of atheist seems pretty flexible, an 2) it's seriously counter-intuitive (I can believe in ancestor worship, nature spirits, and that the universe is sentient, but no gods?)...It's just weird...

HM
Bikerman
HereticMonkey wrote:
Bikerman: So I can believe in the supernatural and karma, but I can't believe in angels? How did you draw that line?

I should have thought it was obvious, but perhaps the definition is ambiguous or at least not yet agreed.
My understanding of Angels is based on my Catechism knowledge which, simply put, has Angels as a physical representation of God. As such they are clearly a component of a system which requires belief in God and, equally clearly, not something an atheist would believe in.
The belief in the supernatural or in Karma does not presuppose the existence of a God or Divinity and is therefore not something covered by the term 'atheist'.
The Conspirator
HereticMonkey wrote:
Conspirator: The problem I'm having is that 1) your definition of atheist seems pretty flexible, an 2) it's seriously counter-intuitive (I can believe in ancestor worship, nature spirits, and that the universe is sentient, but no gods?)...It's just weird...

You still don't get it. Have you read anything I have written?
All atheism is, is not believing in a god or gods. It a category of belief, if you believe in a god(s) your a theist, if you don't, your an atheist, if you don't know your an agnostic. That all atheism is and its not my definition, that is atheism. Why don't you get this? Why are you trying to make it something its not?
The only thing that makes an atheist and atheist is a lack of belief in a god or gods, thats it. How many time do I have to say it before you get it

The only thing that makes an atheist an atheist is a lack of belief in a god or gods, that it, thats ts the only determine factor in defining a person as an atheist. Nothing else madders. It is a category of belief that is an umbrella term for any religion, philosophy's, ideology, belief system or person that lacks a belief in a god or gods. Everything from "there is no paranormal or supernatural" to "there is a whole world of strange spiritual and paranormal things out there but nothing that falls under the definition of being a god" are atheist.
This is not a hard concept to get.
laurenrox
The Conspirator wrote:
HereticMonkey wrote:
Conspirator: The problem I'm having is that 1) your definition of atheist seems pretty flexible, an 2) it's seriously counter-intuitive (I can believe in ancestor worship, nature spirits, and that the universe is sentient, but no gods?)...It's just weird...

You still don't get it. Have you read anything I have written?
All atheism is, is not believing in a god or gods. It a category of belief, if you believe in a god(s) your a theist, if you don't, your an atheist, if you don't know your an agnostic. That all atheism is and its not my definition, that is atheism. Why don't you get this? Why are you trying to make it something its not?
The only thing that makes an atheist and atheist is a lack of belief in a god or gods, thats it. How many time do I have to say it before you get it

The only thing that makes an atheist an atheist is a lack of belief in a god or gods, that it, thats ts the only determine factor in defining a person as an atheist. Nothing else madders. It is a category of belief that is an umbrella term for any religion, philosophy's, ideology, belief system or person that lacks a belief in a god or gods. Everything from "there is no paranormal or supernatural" to "there is a whole world of strange spiritual and paranormal things out there but nothing that falls under the definition of being a god" are atheist.
This is not a hard concept to get.


Conspirator, by the definition you gave previously, "4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion:" supports that atheism would be considered a religion. And I already know that you've said "well, then by that definition, believing that I would like a chicken sandwhich would be considered a religion." Note the definition carefully. It says "PRINCIPLE OR ACTIVITY PURSUED WITH ZEAL OR CONSCIENTIOUS DEVOTION". Meaning that said belief is held very strongly and followed rigoriously. Which is exactally how you feel about atheism, no? And I don't know about you, but believing I would like a chicken sandwhich isn't an activity or principle that I would pursue with zeal or conscientious devotion.

HereticMonkey: What I was attempting to do was to draw out those who thought that religion should be elimated and get them to speak out for themselves. I think a few people would take offense to you saying such for them (even though you did not point out specific people). Just some friendly advice.
EanofAthenasPrime
damn now I want a chicken sandwich! Im serious!

lol Very Happy
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
Conspirator, by the definition you gave previously, "4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion:" supports that atheism would be considered a religion. And I already know that you've said "well, then by that definition, believing that I would like a chicken sandwhich would be considered a religion." Note the definition carefully. It says "PRINCIPLE OR ACTIVITY PURSUED WITH ZEAL OR CONSCIENTIOUS DEVOTION". Meaning that said belief is held very strongly and followed rigoriously. Which is exactally how you feel about atheism, no? And I don't know about you, but believing I would like a chicken sandwhich isn't an activity or principle that I would pursue with zeal or conscientious devotion.

i work hard. i study for hours and hours every week. i do extra readings. i've paid a crapload of money to be at my school.

i think it's pretty safe to say that i pursue my studies with zeal and conscientious devotion.

So. Is my degree a religion? Hm?

The moral of the story: just because it looks like a duck and quacks, that does not make it a duck. And even more silly is the idea of using a one line dictionary entry to determine something's nature. Seriously, come on. Observe, using the same dictionary:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/helicopter wrote:
hel·i·cop·ter (hl-kptr)
n.
An aircraft that derives its lift from blades that rotate about an approximately vertical central axis.


Behold: a helicopter:

Another helicopter:

Yet another helicopter:

Hey, apparently autogyros are helicopters, too. Go figure.

What went wrong? Well, simply put, it was the wrong tool for the job. A dictionary is a tool to aid in finding the meanings of words. It is not a tool for explaining concepts, particularly technical concepts.

And even more!!! Can't you see the logical fallacy in play there? A religion is a cause pursued with devotion etc.. Conspirator's atheism is a cause pursued with devotion etc. (assume for argument's sake that that's true). Therefore Conspirator's atheism is a religion. Can't you see what's wrong with that????

Look, i'll even make it easy: Every dog has four legs. Skippy has four legs. Therefore Skippy is a dog.

Do you see it now?
laurenrox
Indi wrote:
laurenrox wrote:
Conspirator, by the definition you gave previously, "4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion:" supports that atheism would be considered a religion. And I already know that you've said "well, then by that definition, believing that I would like a chicken sandwhich would be considered a religion." Note the definition carefully. It says "PRINCIPLE OR ACTIVITY PURSUED WITH ZEAL OR CONSCIENTIOUS DEVOTION". Meaning that said belief is held very strongly and followed rigoriously. Which is exactally how you feel about atheism, no? And I don't know about you, but believing I would like a chicken sandwhich isn't an activity or principle that I would pursue with zeal or conscientious devotion.

i work hard. i study for hours and hours every week. i do extra readings. i've paid a crapload of money to be at my school.

i think it's pretty safe to say that i pursue my studies with zeal and conscientious devotion.

So. Is my degree a religion? Hm?

The moral of the story: just because it looks like a duck and quacks, that does not make it a duck. And even more silly is the idea of using a one line dictionary entry to determine something's nature. Seriously, come on. Observe, using the same dictionary:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/helicopter wrote:
hel·i·cop·ter (hl-kptr)
n.
An aircraft that derives its lift from blades that rotate about an approximately vertical central axis.


Behold: a helicopter:

Another helicopter:

Yet another helicopter:

Hey, apparently autogyros are helicopters, too. Go figure.

What went wrong? Well, simply put, it was the wrong tool for the job. A dictionary is a tool to aid in finding the meanings of words. It is not a tool for explaining concepts, particularly technical concepts.

And even more!!! Can't you see the logical fallacy in play there? A religion is a cause pursued with devotion etc.. Conspirator's atheism is a cause pursued with devotion etc. (assume for argument's sake that that's true). Therefore Conspirator's atheism is a religion. Can't you see what's wrong with that????

Look, i'll even make it easy: Every dog has four legs. Skippy has four legs. Therefore Skippy is a dog.

Do you see it now?


Yeah, and I never claimed it to be the proper definiton. All I was saying is that The Consiprator was providing definitions for religion and claimed that none of them could be applied to atheism.
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
Yeah, and I never claimed it to be the proper definiton. All I was saying is that The Consiprator was providing definitions for religion and claimed that none of them could be applied to atheism.

And?

He provided a definition with four alternatives. His beliefs directly contradict three of those alternatives... so you think that if you manage to find a way to "maybe kinda sorta if you squint and ignore the details" fit his beliefs into that fourth definition, then... what? All of a sudden his beliefs are a religion? Even though they directly contradict three of the four options and barely might possibly fit the fourth?

Come on. -_-

Bikerman wrote:
HereticMonkey wrote:
Bikerman: So I can believe in the supernatural and karma, but I can't believe in angels? How did you draw that line?

I should have thought it was obvious, but perhaps the definition is ambiguous or at least not yet agreed.
My understanding of Angels is based on my Catechism knowledge which, simply put, has Angels as a physical representation of God. As such they are clearly a component of a system which requires belief in God and, equally clearly, not something an atheist would believe in.

(Although, if one were to find a way to have angels without a god, then one could be an atheist that believes in angels. Although your definition of angels - as derived from the doctrine you were taught - requires a god, to my knowledge the concept itself doesn't require any kind of god. For example, one could believe in guardian angels without requiring a god to assign them. Although i suppose they would be called something else - "spirits" for example.)
laurenrox
Indi wrote:
laurenrox wrote:
Yeah, and I never claimed it to be the proper definiton. All I was saying is that The Consiprator was providing definitions for religion and claimed that none of them could be applied to atheism.

And?

He provided a definition with four alternatives. His beliefs directly contradict three of those alternatives... so you think that if you manage to find a way to "maybe kinda sorta if you squint and ignore the details" fit his beliefs into that fourth definition, then... what? All of a sudden his beliefs are a religion? Even though they directly contradict three of the four options and barely might possibly fit the fourth?

Come on. -_-

Bikerman wrote:
HereticMonkey wrote:
Bikerman: So I can believe in the supernatural and karma, but I can't believe in angels? How did you draw that line?

I should have thought it was obvious, but perhaps the definition is ambiguous or at least not yet agreed.
My understanding of Angels is based on my Catechism knowledge which, simply put, has Angels as a physical representation of God. As such they are clearly a component of a system which requires belief in God and, equally clearly, not something an atheist would believe in.

(Although, if one were to find a way to have angels without a god, then one could be an atheist that believes in angels. Although your definition of angels - as derived from the doctrine you were taught - requires a god, to my knowledge the concept itself doesn't require any kind of god. For example, one could believe in guardian angels without requiring a god to assign them. Although i suppose they would be called something else - "spirits" for example.)


Grrr... he implied that NONE of the definitions fit atheism. I was simply pointing out that there was one that did. Not to mention I never even once said that atheism was indeed a religion. I was only attempting to point out that it can be concieved as such, whether it actually is or not.
EanofAthenasPrime
Atheism is the absence of religion. Generally, atheists don't go believing in witchcraft, sorcery, or spirits. Belief in such things would generally require the belief of a Higher Power.

on a side note, all of the pictures are of devices with rotors that rotate on a vertical axis...auto gyros would also match that definition...but still you have a good point Indi.
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
Grrr... he implied that NONE of the definitions fit atheism. I was simply pointing out that there was one that did. Not to mention I never even once said that atheism was indeed a religion. I was only attempting to point out that it can be concieved as such, whether it actually is or not.

They don't. None of the definitions fit atheism.

One of those definitions may fit certain atheistic beliefs. It may even fit Conspirator's particular brand of atheism.

But none of them fit atheism in general. It is not true that atheism in general is pursued with zeal and/or devotion.
laurenrox
I understand that. I'm merely pointing out as how it may be misinterpreted as a religion.
nopaniers
BM: Angels are a physical representation of God? I'm not up on my Catholic dogma, but I'd find it pretty strange if that's true. Does that mean that Lucifer is also a physical representation of God? I would have just said they were spiritual beings...

Con claimed in another thread to believe in a massive array of every imaginable mathematically allowed multi-verse, so he presumably does believe in angels, goblins, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and universes which are copies of this one, as well as any number of other strange things. So it does make sense when he rules these things in and God out - since God must stand over all.

Laurenrox: Good question. I obviously vote religion in.

I found the fourth definition quite comic! It stood out like a sore thumb. It's been pretty obvious that atheism shares many similarities with established religion, so bickering over definitions aside, it is functionally one.
The Conspirator
laurenrox wrote:
Conspirator, by the definition you gave previously, "4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion:" supports that atheism would be considered a religion. And I already know that you've said "well, then by that definition, believing that I would like a chicken sandwhich would be considered a religion." Note the definition carefully. It says "PRINCIPLE OR ACTIVITY PURSUED WITH ZEAL OR CONSCIENTIOUS DEVOTION". Meaning that said belief is held very strongly and followed rigoriously. Which is exactally how you feel about atheism, no? And I don't know about you, but believing I would like a chicken sandwhich isn't an activity or principle that I would pursue with zeal or conscientious devotion.


Religion like many other word has multiple meaning. When people speak of religion they don't mean a "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion" (in fact the only time the word "religion" would fall under that definition is in the statement "with a religions fervor") there talking about, spiritual believe, beliefs in God and so on. And still atheism dose not fit the 4th definition, atheism is nothing more than a category of belief that encompasses a wide range of beliefs.

EanofAthenasPrime wrote:
Atheism is the absence of religion.

No, its an absence of a belief in a god or gods, Gods are not requires for a religion to be a religion.

nopaniers wrote:
Con claimed in another thread to believe in a massive array of every imaginable mathematically allowed multi-verse, so he presumably does believe in angels, goblins, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and universes which are copies of this one, as well as any number of other strange things. So it does make sense when he rules these things in and God out - since God must stand over all.

1. I never claimed to believe it, only pointed it out as a possible explanation for the creation of the universe. (actually I like the idea of an infinite universe better)
2. the multiverce has a bases in science, none of that other crap dose. M-theory and the multiphase interpretation of quantum mechanics.
laurenrox
Quote:
Religion like many other word has multiple meaning. When people speak of religion they don't mean a "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion" (in fact the only time the word "religion" would fall under that definition is in the statement "with a religions fervor") there talking about, spiritual believe, beliefs in God and so on. And still atheism dose not fit the 4th definition, atheism is nothing more than a category of belief that encompasses a wide range of beliefs.

How does the 4th definition not apply to atheism (especially for you)? As far as I've seen, it's a principle that you follow with quiet a bit of zeal.

Also note that I made the following post:
Quote:
Grrr... he implied that NONE of the definitions fit atheism. I was simply pointing out that there was one that did. Not to mention I never even once said that atheism was indeed a religion. I was only attempting to point out that it can be concieved as such, whether it actually is or not.

AND
Quote:
I understand that. I'm merely pointing out as how it may be misinterpreted as a religion.
nopaniers
Con: You mean the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. I humbly suggest that for something to have a basis in science, it needs to have experimental evidence to support it. Anyhow, I was simply trying to explain your position.
Bikerman
Indi wrote:
(Although, if one were to find a way to have angels without a god, then one could be an atheist that believes in angels. Although your definition of angels - as derived from the doctrine you were taught - requires a god, to my knowledge the concept itself doesn't require any kind of god. For example, one could believe in guardian angels without requiring a god to assign them. Although i suppose they would be called something else - "spirits" for example.)

Yes, I agree with the premiss. I'm not aware of any definition of angels that excludes a divinity, but any such definition would, as you say, allow Atheists to 'believe' in them.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
Indi wrote:
(Although, if one were to find a way to have angels without a god, then one could be an atheist that believes in angels. Although your definition of angels - as derived from the doctrine you were taught - requires a god, to my knowledge the concept itself doesn't require any kind of god. For example, one could believe in guardian angels without requiring a god to assign them. Although i suppose they would be called something else - "spirits" for example.)

Yes, I agree with the premiss. I'm not aware of any definition of angels that excludes a divinity, but any such definition would, as you say, allow Atheists to 'believe' in them.

Me either. Every definition of 'angel' i have heard makes them messengers and/or agents of some deity or deities. But i figure that the fact that i haven't heard of angels without gods doesn't make it impossible, right? If anyone has a universal definition 'angel', i'd be curious to hear it.
The Conspirator
laurenrox wrote:
Quote:
Religion like many other word has multiple meaning. When people speak of religion they don't mean a "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion" (in fact the only time the word "religion" would fall under that definition is in the statement "with a religions fervor") there talking about, spiritual believe, beliefs in God and so on. And still atheism dose not fit the 4th definition, atheism is nothing more than a category of belief that encompasses a wide range of beliefs.

How does the 4th definition not apply to atheism (especially for you)? As far as I've seen, it's a principle that you follow with quiet a bit of zeal.

1. cause I do not apply my beliefs with a religions fervor.
2. Atheism is a category of belief, nothing more. If you can't get that, don't reply. If fact anyone who can not get it, that atheism is nothing more than a category of belief, do not reply to me at all, in fact just get rid of your internet connection and computer and go live under a rock.

nopaniers wrote:
Con: You mean the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. I humbly suggest that for something to have a basis in science, it needs to have experimental evidence to support it. Anyhow, I was simply trying to explain your position.

I said it has a basis in science, i didn't say it was a well excepted theory. Worm holes, time travel and even warp drive has a basis in science that doesn't mean they exist or can exist.
If something has to have empirical evidence to have a basis in science, that what is a hypothesis? Many hypothesise do not have (or yet have) evidence supporting them, thats why there hypothesise and not theory's. The rare earth hypothesis has no supporting empirical evidence but yet it is a hypothesis.
laurenrox
Quote:
1. cause I do not apply my beliefs with a religions fervor.

You have demonstrated that you do infact hold very strongly to your atheistic beliefs. That's fervor.

Quote:
2. Atheism is a category of belief, nothing more. If you can't get that, don't reply. If fact anyone who can not get it, that atheism is nothing more than a category of belief, do not reply to me at all, in fact just get rid of your internet connection and computer and go live under a rock.

I never once said that atheism is a religion. I merely said that the fourth definition can apply to atheism. And you still haven't proven to me that the definition doesn't apply to it. Not to mention that this has nothing to do with the fact the definition.
In addition, I suggest that you refrain from replying so rudely.
HereticMonkey
The Conspirator wrote:

You still don't get it. Have you read anything I have written?

Yep; the problem is that you haven't read anything that YOU have written. The problem is that you're couching your definition in terms of believing in a god; if you had stopped at just defining atheism as a system that just makes it philosophy. Once you define it terms of god/no god, then it becomes a religion...just as an observation...

HM
HereticMonkey
Indi: 1) Actually, all four definitions of religion as submitted by Conspirator apply to atheism. Atheism does have a belief in God, albeit in the negative (it may not be institutionalized, but it does meet the reqs for 1a). If Conspirator is any example, then atheists apply their beliefs with fervor (as per 4). Number 3 is a bit harder, but if you allow that Buddhism is considered atheist, then #3 (requiring a spiritual leader) applies (of course, if that means that atheism is a road to spirituality, as apparently a large number of spiritual beliefs, such as paganism, Shintoism, and animism are allowed, then atheism gains all of their spiritual leaders as well, thus reinforcing #3). And, as we've decided that any non-theist spiritual belief is atheist, then #2 easily applies.

There was a reason I asked if you can believe in the supernatural, can you still be an atheist...

2) Your re: helicopters, dogs, ducks, and your classes was a bit...confused. All of the examples you gave as helicopters are actually helicopters; what's wrong with that? Also, which birds look like ducks, but aren't ducks? Excluding some sort of shapechanger, ducks are pretty well defined...And I think that there is substantive difference between classes and religion; your classes don't quite fit the "zeal" part (even the most conscientious student isn't fanatic about their studies, in that they aren't something that you are pursuing for a lifetime (that's where devotion comes in).

In short, we need to work with some sort of definition as re: religion, and the dictionary is a good place to start. Although I agree that it may a poor place to start, it least it's a place to start. Before we can understand what a dog is, we need to acknowledge what a dog is, so we can figure what a dog isn't...

Conspirator: The bottom line is that you can't have it both ways. That is, you can't point out that a religion doesn't require gods, and then say that you have a spiritual path that is defined by its absence of some form of superior being but it's not a religion. It just doesn't make sense....

Also: How does atheism have a basis in science? Or did I seriously miss something?

HM
laurenrox
Quote:
Actually, all four definitions of religion as submitted by Conspirator apply to atheism.

I really don't see how that's true. I believe that the fourth definition applies, but not the rest. Here, I'll show you.

Quote:
re·li·gion (r-ljn)
n.
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

Okay, from what I understand, this definition basically says that there is a belief in the EXSISTANCE of a supernatural power. As far as I know, atheists don't believe in any such supernatural powers, so this definition would be wrong.

Quote:
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

It is a system of belief as the definition says, but it also says IN SUCH BELIEF. Meaning a system based in the belief in the exsistance of a supernatural being.[/quote]

Quote:
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

Pretty much the same as above.

Quote:
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

You do have beliefs, values, and even practices in atheism, but they're not based on a spirital leader since there is none. Can't have a spirital leader without the spirit, right?

Quote:
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Like I said, this is the only definition that I see applies to atheism. Most people that have any kind of belief hold on to it pretty tightly and express their belief, whether it be a belief in the exsistance of god(s) or the nonexsistance of god(s).
HereticMonkey
The problem is that atheism is defined by a very definite belief in a superior power, and that belief forms the core of their belief. Although reverence for that power is probably lacking, that they do have a very definite belief makes it an interesting issue.

More interestingly, a lot of the atheist lit comes from spiritual leaders (such as the Buddhists and Taoists). Even LaVey and Crowley, other suppliers of atheist lit, had a very definite spiritual side to what they said. And that's ignoring a lot of atheists that proffer some sort of superior being, even though it's believed that the being in question has left this universe, either dying or comatose from lack of belief or basically deciding not to deal with the universe any more.

Meaning, of course, that #3 is a definite, and #1a is a maybe (making 1b also a maybe). And we already agree that #4 definitely applies. Slightly more interesting, it means that #2 also applies (once we have shown that it's a religion, then defining orders is easy).

In short, it's not as simple as saying that it's not a religion simply because God isn't part of it; God is a major part of the atheist life because they define their beliefs in terms of God, either in actual terms or because they are angry at either God or religion in general. If not for that, then yes, it would be merely a philosophy...

HM
laurenrox
HereticMonkey wrote:
The problem is that atheism is defined by a very definite belief in a superior power, and that belief forms the core of their belief. Although reverence for that power is probably lacking, that they do have a very definite belief makes it an interesting issue.

More interestingly, a lot of the atheist lit comes from spiritual leaders (such as the Buddhists and Taoists). Even LaVey and Crowley, other suppliers of atheist lit, had a very definite spiritual side to what they said. And that's ignoring a lot of atheists that proffer some sort of superior being, even though it's believed that the being in question has left this universe, either dying or comatose from lack of belief or basically deciding not to deal with the universe any more.

Meaning, of course, that #3 is a definite, and #1a is a maybe (making 1b also a maybe). And we already agree that #4 definitely applies. Slightly more interesting, it means that #2 also applies (once we have shown that it's a religion, then defining orders is easy).

In short, it's not as simple as saying that it's not a religion simply because God isn't part of it; God is a major part of the atheist life because they define their beliefs in terms of God, either in actual terms or because they are angry at either God or religion in general. If not for that, then yes, it would be merely a philosophy...

HM

In no way does 1 or 2 apply to the atheist belief. As I've already explained, 1 and 2 refer to a religion believing in a higher power's actual exsistance. Meaning that the definition actually refers to the belief that a god or gods actually exsist.

As for Buddism being a religion, I don't believe it is, seeing as how Buddists worship Budda, which would in fact make it theistic. If you believe in any kind of supernatural force, the afterlife, or whatever, then I would consider it to be a theistic belief.
nopaniers
It amazes me how many times these guys try to take down the discussions on these boards by redefining every word.

Confusion and tedium is a long used atheist method. Draper (one of the most abrasive atheist characters of the 1800's) thought that
Quote:
The logical outcome of the controversy might amount to very little compared to the fatigue of seeing it through to the conclusion.
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
Quote:
re·li·gion (r-ljn)
n.
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

Okay, from what I understand, this definition basically says that there is a belief in the EXSISTANCE of a supernatural power. As far as I know, atheists don't believe in any such supernatural powers, so this definition would be wrong.

Well, technically, an atheist cannot believe in a deity... but that says nothing about belief in a supernatural power. There are many religions that have supernatural powers that create and/or govern the universe - Buddhism, for example, in a vague nutshell, holds that the world was created by our thoughts/dreams, and that our existence is governed by karma. Neither of those things are deities, but both are supernatural powers, which makes Buddhism a religion (and the lack of a deity in some forms makes those forms atheist religions - and incidentally, not all forms of Buddhism worship Buddha, some actually disdain that idea altogether, and the original Buddha himself taught that one of the ways to not find enlightenment was to waste time worshipping gods). Atheism isn't incompatible with religion. You can be both atheist and religious.

And no, there is nothing about believing in a supernatural force, the afterlife, or whatever that makes a belief theistic. The one and only thing that makes a belief theistic is the belief in a god or gods.

laurenrox wrote:
Quote:
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

You do have beliefs, values, and even practices in atheism, but they're not based on a spirital leader since there is none. Can't have a spirital leader without the spirit, right?

Again, that depends on the nature of the spirit. As long as the spirit or spirits are not deities, then you could still be atheist while believing in them. In many cases, the "spirit" in "spiritual" is the human spirit or soul.

laurenrox wrote:
Quote:
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Like I said, this is the only definition that I see applies to atheism. Most people that have any kind of belief hold on to it pretty tightly and express their belief, whether it be a belief in the exsistance of god(s) or the nonexsistance of god(s).

There are two problems with calling atheism a religion based on this definition.

First, there is nothing in the definition of atheism that requires any kind of zeal or conscientious devotion. The definition does not exclude zeal - you can be a very militant atheist - but it does not require zeal - there is nothing strange about being a lackadaisical or half-assed atheist. As i said above, an atheist belief can be a religion, but that doesn't make atheism itself a religion. A vehicle can be a boat, but that doesn't make all vehicles boats.

Second, it does not cover all possible atheist beliefs. You are correct that some (not all) people who believe in the existence or nonexistence of a god(s) can hold firmly to that belief (although, stubbornness is something entirely different from zeal or devotion - but that's another point entirely)... but you completely missed out the third category: people who don't know or care about the possible (non)existence of a god(s). Atheism covers belief in the nonexistence of gods, yes... but it also covers the complete lack of belief at all. Any belief that is not a belief that a god or gods exist is an atheist belief... by the definition of the word itself ("a-": the lack of, "-theism" belief in god(s)). That definition, then, doesn't apply to those people, therefore it doesn't apply to atheism in general.

nopaniers wrote:
Confusion and tedium is a long used atheist method.

^_^; You know, if atheism really was a religion, you would be guilty of religious intolerance and hate speech against a religion. So which is it? Is atheism not a religion? Or are you a religious bigot?

But hey, maybe you have a point there. Maybe atheists should take lessons from theists! We could eliminate confusion by learning from the stunning clarity of theistic religious texts. And we could eliminate tedium by taking heed of the dynamic and flexible natures of theistic religious, what with their heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat hours-long sermons and endless, repetitive rituals. ^_^;
HereticMonkey
The "zeal" aspect is easy to logic away, but the problem is that you have too many atheists that do like Penn (of Penn & Teller), and basically evangelize for atheism. Even atheists that claim to be laid-back seem to get really extreme when you give them the slightest reason or with a keyboard and internet anonymity.

Also, if zeal was a requirement for religion, then it doesn't cover a lot of people that claim religion, but only do the minimum and with little spirit; these followers have been the plague of many churches since Day One. Would they count as religious people? And does your argument apply, that if not everyone has zeal then it's not a religion, apply? Or does it only apply to atheists?

HM
Bikerman
HereticMonkey wrote:
The "zeal" aspect is easy to logic away, but the problem is that you have too many atheists that do like Penn (of Penn & Teller), and basically evangelize for atheism. Even atheists that claim to be laid-back seem to get really extreme when you give them the slightest reason or with a keyboard and internet anonymity.
That, I think, misses the point. Penn and Teller portray (I presume you are talking particularly about their 'B*ll**it' series) the dishonesty inherent in a variety of cults, belief systems, fads and services and I don't remember them particularly pushing an atheist agenda though I would agree that they would probably be atheists from what I saw of them, so to that extent I would concede that they perhaps come at it from that perspective, but the shows that I have seen have mocked-rebutted things which seem, at least to my perhaps jaundinced eyes, to be well in need of such treatment - I don't remember specific attacks on religion per se....did I miss a show?
Quote:
Also, if zeal was a requirement for religion, then it doesn't cover a lot of people that claim religion, but only do the minimum and with little spirit; these followers have been the plague of many churches since Day One. Would they count as religious people? And does your argument apply, that if not everyone has zeal then it's not a religion, apply? Or does it only apply to atheists?

I personally would not claim zeal as a prerequisite for being 'religious'. I agree that many (most?) 'religious' people (by which I mean that they would appear as such in census data, for example) are not deeply concerned on a regular basis with issues of metaphysics and the deeper implications of their particular belief system.
The Church of England, in my opinion, has developed this into a fine art. Most C of E 'faithful' are very 'relaxed' about their beliefs and the personal requirements that demands of them.
(The 'Evangelical wing' of the Church are possibly a reaction to that in part at least).
HereticMonkey
Actually, I was referring to the large amount of lit from them in that regard, including an interview in Wired...it just seems to be interesting how much they attack the idea...

HM
Bikerman
HereticMonkey wrote:
Actually, I was referring to the large amount of lit from them in that regard, including an interview in Wired...it just seems to be interesting how much they attack the idea...

HM

If you mean the interview with Penn Jillette then I'm astonished...I've read it and the only mention of religion is :
Quote:
Then he asks the photographer if the camera would be able to capture something he writes on his wristwatch calculator. The photographer says maybe. Penn types out: "PC/C 666." "Most of my hate mail comes from Christians," he explains. "This'll give them something to work with." Penn is such an ardent atheist he refuses to go to weddings.

That's it. In a seven page article (which you can read HERE). Unless I have missed something this is the only mention of religion in the entire article. A quick word-check shows that the word 'Christian' only occurs once - in the above quote, as does the word 'atheist' - again above. The word 'religion' appears nowhere in the article and I can see no other references to religion at all.

It is hardly a large amount of lit, and, as attacks go it is surely inconsequential.*

*In my analysis it probably rates a score of 2 on the Bite-Savage scale of aggression (where 0 represents no attack at all and 100 is a libellous, vitriolic and inaccurate rant by Dinsdale Piranha, followed by a letter from brother Douglas Piranha threatening to nail all Christians heads to a nearby floor.
nopaniers
Indi wrote:
You know, if atheism really was a religion, you would be guilty of religious intolerance and hate speech against a religion. So which is it?


I think that atheism is functionally a religion. Atheists, as Indi demonstrates, are not adverse to claiming that atheism is a religion when it suits them. It's claimed in atheist propaganda and has even been argued (and upheld) in US courts of law.

Pointing out that your ideas are convoluted and your constant redefinition of words is distracting from the real issues - eg. photons as 'eyeons', backaction as 'quantum fairies' measurement, faith, belief, and parsimony - is stating the obvious. It's not hating you. If anything, I pity you - particularly considering the time you spend, effort, and anger you express here. These boards bring out the worst in people, perhaps because it is so impersonal. I try my best to not flame you - It can be difficult particularly when we have serious disagreements in areas where I have a little knowledge or when the same courtesy is not shown to others. Please forgive me if I step over the mark.
Bikerman
nopaniers wrote:
I think that atheism is functionally a religion. Atheists, as Indi demonstrates, are not adverse to claiming that atheism is a religion when it suits them. It's claimed in atheist propaganda and has even been argued (and upheld) in US courts of law.
Whereas you simply change what people say so it fits your requirements. Where, for example, does Indi claim that atheism is a religion? Show me! Indi said that religion is not necessarily incompatible with atheism, not that atheism is a religion.

We have both tried to explain what atheism is and is not. I think the explanations are fairly clear, you simply choose to ignore them and use your own definition. I think it is a bit rich accusing 'us' of being propagandists when, to my knowledge, neither Indi or I have made any particular claims for atheism other than it is
1) a lack of belief (disbelief) in a Divinity or
2) the denial of the existence of a Divinity

If you think that is convoluted then I'm afraid that is your problem.
Jinx
To go back to the original topic of this thread, which was, if I understood Conspirators post, whether or not society would be more or less moral without blind faith in the will of a deity - I'd like to bring in Ancient Greek Society in comparison with our modern society.

I'm reffering to the Classical Greeks, who had a whole pantheon of Gods and Goddesses and who had many cults dedicated to each of these deities, but who had no central book or set of laws handed down from on high. (And, as far as I know, none of their various gods or goddesses were particularly concerned with the morals of the people who worshiped them.)

vs

Our modern Western Civilization which, though we are drifting away from religion as whole, has been so thoroughly and completely influenced by the Faiths of the Book (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) that even the secular laws of the United States are riddled with laws derived from religious origins (like Blue Laws : no selling alcohol on Sunday, or even on our money: In God we Trust - which god? Zeus, Thor, Shiva?).

Both groups have had bloody wars, problems with poverty, disease, etc...

But even without a divinely inspired set of morality, the Greeks managed to develop Democracy, and gave us some of the worlds greatest philosophers: Socrates, Aristotle, Plato.

They developed an understanding of morality that did not depend on divinely inspired "thou shalt not"s.

But did it make their world any better than what we have today... not really.

The tendency to fight over any wrong, real or perceived, and even to kill over it, seems to simply be a consequence of being human. Take away religion and give us a set of morals derived purely from logic, and we would still find justifications for killing one another.
Bikerman
Quote:
The tendency to fight over any wrong, real or perceived, and even to kill over it, seems to simply be a consequence of being human. Take away religion and give us a set of morals derived purely from logic, and we would still find justifications for killing one another.


I think this is overly pessimistic. I agree with Roger Dawkins when he says that although he is certain natural selection is responsible for us being here, he is equally certain it is not the way we should seek to organise our societies in future. In fact I believe the single most important distinction between man and other life on earth is the fact that man can and does choose to act contrary to ‘natural instinct’ or ‘genetic compulsion’.* We can defy our biology, genes, urges, instincts – whatever labels we use – and choose to organise ourselves according to other criteria, not just simply survival of the fittest.

*I dislike both these terms because they seem to imply that there is something normal and inevitable about primal instincts and I am sure that neither is true.

I think you also overstate the desire to kill. Murder rates in the UK are fairly steady over the last century (despite public and media hype and fears) and are really insignificant when put against the numbers killed in state sanctioned manner (mainly, of course, war). In the UK well over 1 million citizens have died over the last century in War.


Click here for the complete report on UK crime stats historically

I contend that we are not naturally programmed to engage in war, and, even if we are, we can get over it, reduce it’s influence and eventually make it redundant. Much of the progress we have made in societies over the last couple of centuries has little or nothing to do with natural or genetic influences and behaviours. Great strides have been made in addressing issues of fairness, including issues and attitudes pertaining to sexism, racism, despotism, exploitation and so on. The Church has had some influence, I would concede, but not a large one in most of these developments – certainly not over the last 50 years or so.*

These changed are driven by a secular legislature in response to an increasingly secular society and it’s behaviours and attitudes, which are consciously chosen and not dependant to any great degree on genetic programming. I see no reason why this trend should change and fairly soon religion will have a minor, pretty insignificant role in the formulation of legislation, attitudes, moral and ethical codes, codes or standards of behaviour, decency and taste and so on. Many people, of course, regard this with fear or even contempt and some blame most of the reported or perceived problems today on this decline, together with other influences and behaviours which are often quoted as originating in the 50s or 60s. Personally I think this is a normal, if usually unjustified, attitude and has probably been around since pre-history. Most people look back with nostalgia on previous times and humans tend to filter such memories very selectively and in a manner which makes them very unsuitable as matters of factual record.

*The figure of 70% is often used as the number of Christians here in the UK. It hides the deeper truth about religious observance and influence and is a completely misleading statistic. More meaningful survey and analysis reveal a different picture, summarised below.

Year 2000 snapshot of UK religious attitudes:In 2000, 60 per cent of the population claimed to belong to a specific religion with 55 per cent being Christian. However, half of all adults aged 18 and over who belonged to a religion have never attended a religious service. 48% of people in the UK claim to belong to a religion, compared with 86% of people in the US and 92% of Italians. Church attendance in 1999 was 7.5% on an average Sunday, down from 10% in 1989 and 12% in 1979. 66% of the UK population have no connection with any religion or church and 18% of the British public say they are a practising member of an organized religion.

Click here to read complete report - Vexen Crabtree 2007 Jul 05
Jinx
Quote:
I think this is overly pessimistic. I agree with Roger Dawkins when he says that although he is certain natural selection is responsible for us being here, he is equally certain it is not the way we should seek to organise our societies in future. In fact I believe the single most important distinction between man and other life on earth is the fact that man can and does choose to act contrary to ‘natural instinct’ or ‘genetic compulsion’.* We can defy our biology, genes, urges, instincts – whatever labels we use – and choose to organise ourselves according to other criteria, not just simply survival of the fittest.


I have no doubt that individuals can overcome the primal urge to fight for whatever reason, and that societies can, for a time, organize themselves in such a way that there are no wars. But in every group there is likely to be a bad apple. And if that bad apple is in a high enough position of power, and has enough charm to sway the masses... Well, take Hitler, for example. I'm sure the average German citizen had absolutely no desire to go off goose-stepping and killing people all over Europe. I'm sure the majority of Germans just wanted to stay home and be happy with their families. But you combine a charismatic leader with ambition and an agenda with financial hard times and the next thing you know - Bam! Poland has been invaded.

Eventually, someone always gets greedy. They want more wealth, more land, more power, or to prove a point to the world (which is what is going on now, I believe, with the war in Iraq - on both side there are people with points to prove. It's a big pissing contest that no one is going to win). That person will find a way to manipulate the system until they can get what they want, and ordinary folks end up dead. Religion is just one of the many excuses that get used along the way.

Another perfect example - the Crusades. A group of European nobles saw a chance to gain great wealth by sacking the riches of the Middle East, and they gained support by claiming it was all in the name of God. The Crusades had very little to do with religion, and very much to do with lining the pockets of the European aristocracy and filling the Church coffers. Yet everyone points to it as an example of a religious war because religion was used as an excuse.

Christianity has given us a more conscientious society. It helped get rid of slavery, and it's given Western Civilization a more compassionate point of view than any other society has ever had before, but it has also given us intolerant views on many topics that just won't go away - like the argument over gay marriage, and, in America particularly, some very prudish holdovers from our Puritan past (it's very hard to find a nude beach in the US, even though they are fairly common in Europe, for example.)

So, yes, church attendance is down. People are drifting away from religion, but still our mores and attitudes as a group are greatly influenced by our religious heritage. As a (lapsed) pagan, I can look from the outside in, see it from a slightly different perspective than many of the people in my country. The majority of Americans have been raised nominally Christian - even if they don't attend church themselves, or particularly believe. They were raised with a set of morals and an outlook on life that has been informed by the beliefs of their parents and grandparents. They celebrate Christmas without ever wondering why we bring an evergreen tree into the house. Put up nativity scenes because thats what their parents did when they were children. They think that homosexuality is wrong and will erode "Family Values" without ever examining exactly how or why it's supposedly wrong.

More examples of un-examined snap judgments from middle-class whitebread America: Nudity is wrong - if you're naked you must be up to something perverted. or Polyamory is wrong (why? if three grown adults are emotionally mature enough to share what's wrong with it?) or Prostitution is wrong (In a free market society why can't a woman make a profit from her assets?)

Each of these are moral judgments based not on reason and logic, but are a legacy of a Christian past. Even if church attendance is dropping off, it will take generations for these holdover attitudes to change.

So, even though I agree with you that we can build a society with morals based on logic and reason, and that we can, in the majority, overcome our primal urges, I believe that it will take many years (most likely many generations), and that it won't last very long before someone messes things up out of greed.
Bikerman
Jinx wrote:
Christianity has given us a more conscientious society. It helped get rid of slavery, and it's given Western Civilization a more compassionate point of view than any other society has ever had before, but it has also given us intolerant views on many topics that just won't go away - like the argument over gay marriage, and, in America particularly, some very prudish holdovers from our Puritan past (it's very hard to find a nude beach in the US, even though they are fairly common in Europe, for example.)

Yes, this argument is often made. Personally I think it is a fairly meaningless one for the simple reason there is nothing to compare against. Claiming sociological change in the past was to some extent dependant on Christianity is a tautology - since almost everyone was Christian. Would these changes have been made if the west had been Muslim, Hindu, Atheist? There is no well to tell and therefore I find the general claim to be dubious/unrevealing.
Quote:
So, yes, church attendance is down. People are drifting away from religion, but still our mores and attitudes as a group are greatly influenced by our religious heritage. As a (lapsed) pagan, I can look from the outside in, see it from a slightly different perspective than many of the people in my country. The majority of Americans have been raised nominally Christian - even if they don't attend church themselves, or particularly believe. They were raised with a set of morals and an outlook on life that has been informed by the beliefs of their parents and grandparents. They celebrate Christmas without ever wondering why we bring an evergreen tree into the house. Put up nativity scenes because thats what their parents did when they were children. They think that homosexuality is wrong and will erode "Family Values" without ever examining exactly how or why it's supposedly wrong.
Yes, our history obviously influences who we are now, there is no argument there. The UK has some Christian heritage built-in structurally (the Church of England is the 'established' religion and has special protections and voting rights within the British system). The problem is the same as the previous point - yes, we were previously Christian countries and therefore, obviously, our social framework is bound to reflect that. This is not the same as saying that social changes and developments owe something special to Christianity since, once more, we have no way of telling how we would have developed had the countries been of other faith or no faith..
Quote:
So, even though I agree with you that we can build a society with morals based on logic and reason, and that we can, in the majority, overcome our primal urges, I believe that it will take many years (most likely many generations), and that it won't last very long before someone messes things up out of greed.

Oh yes, I don't take a rose-tinted view of human nature and/or human fallibility I assure you. The point I'm making, though, is that we are CURRENTLY building society in the UK based on logic and reason to a large extent (any figure would obviously be guesswork, so I'll avoid giving one - let's just say I think it is currently a minority consideration wheras previously it would have been central). What input/influence it currently has is declining quickly and I see the future being one in which religion is only considered by governmant as one would consider gender and race currently - ie there would be freedom to express religious belief and protection against discrimination of religious grounds (I think that is necessary as a basic right, much though I wish people would think hard before claiming the entitlement), but, otherwise, religion would enjoy no special role.
HereticMonkey
Bikerman wrote:
Personally I think it is a fairly meaningless one for the simple reason there is nothing to compare against. Claiming sociological change in the past was to some extent dependant on Christianity is a tautology - since almost everyone was Christian. Would these changes have been made if the west had been Muslim, Hindu, Atheist? There is no well to tell and therefore I find the general claim to be dubious/unrevealing.


1) Actually, the point was as regards religion in general, and not just Christian. By aiming it specifically at Christians, you ignore the others, and there good effects as well.

2) The Greeks are a bad example to use when it comes to religion; not only did they have priests and temples, but they also had oracles, whose abilities came from the gods (Apollo and Zeus specifically). So even though there may have been nothing written down, there was some definite worship going down...

3) And as far as not having non-religious examples of behavior to draw from, have you forgotten about not only Confucianism (the belief system of some the Chinese nobles), but also the various communist countries, which not only eliminated religion rather forcefully but also implemented their own belief systems...

4) Oh yeah: And all you saw of that Wired article re: Penn or Teller was just that one detail? Weird...

HM
Bikerman
HereticMonkey wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Personally I think it is a fairly meaningless one for the simple reason there is nothing to compare against. Claiming sociological change in the past was to some extent dependant on Christianity is a tautology - since almost everyone was Christian. Would these changes have been made if the west had been Muslim, Hindu, Atheist? There is no well to tell and therefore I find the general claim to be dubious/unrevealing.


1) Actually, the point was as regards religion in general, and not just Christian. By aiming it specifically at Christians, you ignore the others, and there good effects as well.
The point I was answering was the point that the West owes a lot to it's Christian heritage, so other religions are not relevant.
Quote:
2) The Greeks are a bad example to use when it comes to religion; not only did they have priests and temples, but they also had oracles, whose abilities came from the gods (Apollo and Zeus specifically). So even though there may have been nothing written down, there was some definite worship going down...
I was not aware that I HAD used them as an example...did I miss something?
Quote:
3) And as far as not having non-religious examples of behavior to draw from, have you forgotten about not only Confucianism (the belief system of some the Chinese nobles), but also the various communist countries, which not only eliminated religion rather forcefully but also implemented their own belief systems...
No, but I didn't mention it because it is a complete irrelevance.
The point I make is that you cannot say how much of our current supposed tolerance, democratic values, freedom etc etc is a consequence of Christianity because there is no similar system which did not have Christian values during the same periods in history. We Muslim/Christian boundaries are well documented but you cannot compare the two because the countries in which the beliefs took root are not easily compatible because of many other factors....My point is that the West has no 'atheist West' reference point. When we attribute things we find agreeable or vurtuous in todays society to the historical effect of Christianity, there is absolutely no justification for the attribution.

The same point works for the other major world faiths, of course.
Quote:
4) Oh yeah: And all you saw of that Wired article re: Penn or Teller was just that one detail? Weird...

No...all THERE WAS is that one details .... it's not a case of what I saw (since I subjected the whole article to word-searches, then skimmed it quickly, then sped-read it, looked for any references to religion, atheist or christianity and found the data I listed....nothing else.
I finally read it thoroughly before bed last night) - it is a case of what the article contains....no subjective colouring here at all....
)
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
Penn and Teller portray (I presume you are talking particularly about their 'B*ll**it' series) the dishonesty inherent in a variety of cults, belief systems, fads and services and I don't remember them particularly pushing an atheist agenda though I would agree that they would probably be atheists from what I saw of them, so to that extent I would concede that they perhaps come at it from that perspective, but the shows that I have seen have mocked-rebutted things which seem, at least to my perhaps jaundinced eyes, to be well in need of such treatment - I don't remember specific attacks on religion per se....did I miss a show?

Indeed you did. ^_^ Penn Jillette - i can't speak for Teller... because, well, Teller doesn't really speak for himself ^_^; - is what you would call an "atheist evangelist":
Penn Jillette wrote:
I'm beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. That's easy - you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do... I'm saying, "I believe there is no god." Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life.

In fact, there is even an anecdote of Penn & Teller signing autographs for Donny and Marie Osmond - who are both very devout Mormons. Penn's autograph was: "There is no god". Teller's was: "He's right." (source)

Penn and Teller have devoted a couple of shows to "bashing" religion from various angles. Episode 305 "Holier than thou" took shots at several religious saints, from Mother Teresa to the Dalai Lama. Episode 206 "The Bible: Fact or Fiction?" took on Christianity directly via the Bible.

Of course, as you have already pointed out... so what? The presence of a handful of radical evangelist atheists does not make atheism in general something that is pursued with zeal. It makes Penn's beliefs a religion, but his beliefs are only one of a number of different forms of atheism... and certainly not mine. To say that all of atheism is a religion because Penn's version of it is is fallacious.

nopaniers wrote:
I think that atheism is functionally a religion.

You can think whatever you want. But just because you "think" something is so, does not make it so. Present a rational argument for why atheism is a religion, "functionally" or otherwise, and it will be considered rationally. Until you do, your opinion is useless.

nopaniers wrote:
Atheists, as Indi demonstrates, are not adverse to claiming that atheism is a religion when it suits them. It's claimed in atheist propaganda and has even been argued (and upheld) in US courts of law.

i did not call atheism a religion. i said that atheism and religion are not incompatible. Atheist religions exist. That doesn't make atheism a religion.

i am also not aware of what "atheist propaganda" you are referring to. i don't suppose you could provide a source for your claims? Ah, why am i even bothering to ask...?

And as for the court decision to consider atheism a religion... atheists are not stupid. When we see that religions are being offered unfair advantages in the US (or any country), and equivalent non-religious organizations/beliefs are being denied equality simply because they are not "religions", then we will do something about that. One way is to point out that favouring religions is unfair.. but that's long, long process that's an uphill battle all the way against established religious power bases that don't want to lose their benefits. Another way is to eliminate the favouritism by making it available to everyone... to wit, get atheism to be legally considered to be a religion, thus undermining the term altogether. i can now form a group that says nothing about any god - a completely non-religious organization - call it an "atheist" organization (which is an accurate description, because as long as the organization doesn't say there is a god, it is an atheist organization), and have it classified legally as a "religion", thus entitling it to all those extra benefits.

And that is why atheists lobbied to get atheism legally declared a religion. (Although, it hasn't been particularly successful so far. There is still open and rampant discrimination against atheists and atheism in the laws of the US... the former President Bush even openly declared that atheists aren't real citizens - the President for crying out loud!!! But people like Michael Newdow and his like are still trying.)

Anyway, what's really surprising about the fact that a handful of atheists lobbied to get atheism declared a religion? A handful of religious folk have been lobbying to get their religious views on creation declared a science for years.

Jinx wrote:
Christianity has given us a more conscientious society. It helped get rid of slavery, and it's given Western Civilization a more compassionate point of view than any other society has ever had before...

i have to agree with Bikerman here and take it a step further. Christianity most certainly did not help get rid of slavery. Slavery was a Christian institution for centuries. It was openly practiced and supported by Christian theocracies, and justified by Biblical references (notably the blatant mentions of slave price lists in the Old Testament and Philemon in the New Testament, coupled with the complete lack of a single word in the entire Bible against slavery).

The same goes for the idea of "conscientious" societies. Christianity was not only around for the latter part of the Roman Empire, it was largely responsible for the Dark Ages, and certainly supportive of a number of atrocities throughout history.

Now that may or may not make Christianity fully or partially responsible for these things... i don't know and i don't really care... but it does make the argument that Christianity got rid of those things a little weak.

Slavery is a good example. In the 17th century, slavery was all fine and good everywhere. It wasn't explicitly legal, but everyone knew about it and no one really thought it was a problem. Boatloads of slaves were transported all over the world in deplorable conditions... and there was no real great outcry. But by the end of the 18th centry, there was a movement underway to end slavery.

What changed?

Did the slave owners suddenly find Christianity? No, they were almost uniformly Christian before and after abolition.

Did Christianity change? Hardly. Same Bible, same churches. No major upheavals.

So what changed in those 150 years or so to cause such a massive upheaval in the world?

Turns out that the biggest change between the 17th century and the late 18th... was the development of secular moral philosophy (Hume, Kant, et al.).

These new secular beliefs were adopted by the leading thinkers of the day, and eventually trickled down to the common folk. They were then subsumed into the existing religions... and then the religious claimed the ideas were always there to begin with ("we are all God's children", and so on). Maybe they were there, maybe they weren't... i don't know and i don't care. But even if they were there, they were not "discovered" or practiced until secular morality encouraged them to be.

Those same secular moral philosophies became the founding principles for modern law and political thought. The idea of "separation of church and state" began there, and the concept was "human rights" was first formalized into what we recognize today as human rights by Paine around that time.

Now, i'm sure if i want to commit to the claim that religions cause all our problems... but i do claim that religions have done little to solve them. Yes, the origins of justice and rights and so on did begin in religion, going all the way back to ancient times, but there were always tricky caveats in those early formulations that would not be acceptible today (for example, that any rights were to be applied only to the "chosen" ones). Today's idea of justice and rights did not originate from religion... or rather, if it did, it owes the same debt to the original religious source that modern relativity owes to Aristotle. Which is to say... not much at all.
The Conspirator
laurenrox: Your not getting it. None of the definitions fit atheism. Atheism is nothing more than a category of belief. An atheist can believe in anything but a god(s). I do not believe in anything supernatural or paranormal and thats what I advocate, belief systems that are with out supernatural and paranormal, that only relies on logic and reason is the best and only good belief system. But that system lies withing the category of atheism but is not atheism just as Christianity is not theism but is a belief system within the category of theism.
If you won't to say I apply by philosophy's with a religions zeal, go ahead but its false, I do not, I do not propose to force this belief nor do I belief such a thing is right. I do not believe that laws should be based on my philosophy's (I believe the purpose for law is to protect people from others (as well as other things like protecting the economy and so on but protecting people from others is th primary reason). If that is religions fervor than "religions fervor" doesn't mean much.
laurenrox
The Conspirator wrote:
laurenrox: Your not getting it. None of the definitions fit atheism. Atheism is nothing more than a category of belief. An atheist can believe in anything but a god(s). I do not believe in anything supernatural or paranormal and thats what I advocate, belief systems that are with out supernatural and paranormal, that only relies on logic and reason is the best and only good belief system. But that system lies withing the category of atheism but is not atheism just as Christianity is not theism but is a belief system within the category of theism.


1. Yeah, I do get it. You, however, seem to be the one who doesn't pay attention to everything that I'm posting on here. It's like you just skim through it and pick out whatever you have problems with without even looking at the rest of it.

2. I NEVER SAID THAT ATHEISM WAS A RELIGION. And I don't believe it to be. I simply said that ONE definition applies (the fourth one), and although it does not fit perfectly, it can be construed to be applied to atheism (as well as a number of other things that aren't a religion). I'm just trying to point out that the fourth definition may be misinturpreted and applied to the wrong subject (such as atheism). And, in case you didn't notice, I gave an explaination as to why the other three definitions do not apply to atheism.

3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you just contridicted yourself. You say that the only thing that makes atheism atheism is that it has a lack of belief in god(s). Then, directly afterwards you say that atheism does not allow for any belief in the supernatural. There are plenty of supernatural things you can believe in without believing in god(s). You can believe in angels, ghosts, spirits, evil purple creatures that pop out of the ground and punish you when you're bad, but none of that requires the belief in god(s). And, from what Indi has clarified for me (seeing as how I know only the basics of atheism), you can believe in something supernatural without believing in god(s).

The Conspirator wrote:
If you won't to say I apply by philosophy's with a religions zeal, go ahead but its false, I do not, I do not propose to force this belief nor do I belief such a thing is right. I do not believe that laws should be based on my philosophy's (I believe the purpose for law is to protect people from others (as well as other things like protecting the economy and so on but protecting people from others is th primary reason). If that is religions fervor than "religions fervor" doesn't mean much.


You don't have to force your beliefs on someone to be zealous about it. However, everytime someone challenges your beliefs or proves you wrong you either clam up or go on a rampage of verbally attacking certain people while repeating yourself over and over. Someone who defends their beliefs so vehemently is obviously zealous about their beliefs, otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to defend it.


I'm dreadfully wishing that we would get back to the topic at hand instead of babbling about whether atheism is a religion or not.
HereticMonkey
Bikerman wrote:
The point I was answering was the point that the West owes a lot to it's Christian heritage, so other religions are not relevant.

How are other religions irrelevant? Any society owes a lot to its religion, and that applies to Japan just as much as it does America. In fact, I would argue that it applies moreso to Asian countries than it does Western, as Asians have a number of religious rituals that they practice more stringently than even Americans, and have thread religion more thoroughly into the society.

I guess the better question is why focus on Western culture while ignoring others? Isn't that a bit Eurocentric?


Quote:
The point I make is that you cannot say how much of our current supposed tolerance, democratic values, freedom etc etc is a consequence of Christianity because there is no similar system which did not have Christian values during the same periods in history. We Muslim/Christian boundaries are well documented but you cannot compare the two because the countries in which the beliefs took root are not easily compatible because of many other factors....My point is that the West has no 'atheist West' reference point. When we attribute things we find agreeable or vurtuous in todays society to the historical effect of Christianity, there is absolutely no justification for the attribution.

The same point works for the other major world faiths, of course.

Are you saying non-Christian or non-theistic? If we are referring to merely non-Christian, then we can easily compare European to Asian development, if you'd like. Now, if we considering non-theistic, then we are limited to 17th century and later, but it can still be done.


Oh, and the Greeks wasn't necessarily something that you had used; I just thought it was worth noting that, in reference to someone else's post (not everything has to be focused on you), that, although we don't think of the Greeks as particularly religious, they were extremely religious.

Oh, and as for atheiststs' zeal: We are looking at something that has declared war on other religions, has sought legal recognition in order to gain the same status as religions, and has sought to actively undermine another religion. I'm just finding it interesting that atheists don't consider themselves a religion even though they act as one, including the same intolerance that they slam religions for. Just interesting...

HM
Indi
laurenrox wrote:
1. Yeah, I do get it. You, however, seem to be the one who doesn't pay attention to everything that I'm posting on here. It's like you just skim through it and pick out whatever you have problems with without even looking at the rest of it.

i don't think either of you are doing a particularly good job of listening to the other.

For example:
laurenrox wrote:
3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you just contridicted yourself. You say that the only thing that makes atheism atheism is that it has a lack of belief in god(s). Then, directly afterwards you say that atheism does not allow for any belief in the supernatural. There are plenty of supernatural things you can believe in without believing in god(s). You can believe in angels, ghosts, spirits, evil purple creatures that pop out of the ground and punish you when you're bad, but none of that requires the belief in god(s). And, from what Indi has clarified for me (seeing as how I know only the basics of atheism), you can believe in something supernatural without believing in god(s).

Conspirator was quite clear and entirely not contradictory. He said:
"An atheist can believe in anything but a god(s). I[emphasis added by indi] do not believe in anything supernatural or paranormal and thats what I advocate..."

In other words, he quite clearly stated that the only thing that defines atheist beliefs is that they don't believe in a god(s), and then went on to announce that his own beliefs also do not include the supernatural or paranormal. He even repeats this assertion, over and over again:
"But that system [referring to his system of beliefs where there is no god, no supernatural, no paranormal] lies withing the category of atheism but is not atheism..."

i don't see how he could be any clearer than that. Atheism is a category of beliefs defined only by the lack of a belief in a god or gods. His belief, which includes denial of the supernatural and paranormal, has no god or gods. Therefore, by virtue of not having a belief in a god or gods, it is an atheist belief. All that other stuff about the paranormal and the supernatural is neither here nor there - it only makes it one specific form of atheism, it does not define atheism itself.

He did not say that atheism "does not allow for any belief in the supernatural". He said that his belief system, which is just one of many different forms of atheism, "only relies on logic and reason", and that it denies "anything supernatural or paranormal", and that he thinks that it is the best system, which is what he advocates. And that is all he said.

laurenrox wrote:
I'm dreadfully wishing that we would get back to the topic at hand instead of babbling about whether atheism is a religion or not.

That is rather relevant to the topic.

If religion is bad (as Conspirator argues), then we should look at the alternative to see if it is also bad or even worse.

If atheism is a religion, then it is not an alternative to religions. In that case, what would be, what would it be like, and would it be better or worse than religion.

If atheism is not a religion, then we should consider whether it presents a better or worse solution to the world's problems than religion does.

Since atheism is neither of the above - it is not a religion, and it is not a non-religion, but a category of beliefs that includes both religions and non-religions (vs. theism, which is a category of beliefs that includes only religions) - then we should determine what kinds of atheist beliefs would count as alternatives to religion, and then consider whether or not they are improvements.

Of course, "atheism" itself is a red herring. Whatever is not a religion will be atheist, yes, but whatever is atheist will not necessarily be a non-religion. It's as if we were talking about avoiding unhealthy foods, and the discussion focused on low-cholesterol foods - whatever is healthy will be low in cholesterol, but whatever is low in cholesterol may not be healthy, so it's not a particularly useful discussion. Instead of focusing on atheism, we should be focusing on non-religion... whatever that may be.
HereticMonkey
Another problem, from my perspective, is that atheism is trying to set itself up as an alternative to religion, without fully considering the issues. So far it has shown itself to have all of the problems of religion (evangelists, war on other belief systems, fanatics); worse, rather than presenting itself as a new system of belief, it has paired itself with older religions, but "sanitized" those religions and removed any deities (such as Zen Buddhism), in order to appear older, doing what Christianity did to the pagan religions it basically absorbed (Christmas and Easter rabbits, anyone?).

There also seems to be some confusion over what "atheism" means. When wiccans celebrating the Moon Goddess consider themselves atheist, it does seem to be blurred at best. I question whether you can say repeatedly that you are trying to break from the superstitious beliefs of the past, and yet still believing in the supernatural; how can you believe that you are drawing power from the universe and have no problem believing in some sort philosophical backlash effect (karma) while at the same time trying to eliminate superstition from your life?

It just seems to me that too many atheists treat religions as a Chinese menu, taking what they want from the various religions in order to form a new religion. It just amuses me that the very people who decry the supernatural elements of religion rely the most on them...

In essence, all I'm saying is that, if atheism is trying to promote itself as a new system of belief and is basing itself on other religions, then why not just call itself a religion and be done with it? Rather than all of this silliness about it not being a religion, but still having a fundamental supernatural foundation, just seems weird...

HM
The Conspirator
Quote:
2. I NEVER SAID THAT ATHEISM WAS A RELIGION. And I don't believe it to be. I simply said that ONE definition applies (the fourth one), and although it does not fit perfectly, it can be construed to be applied to atheism (as well as a number of other things that aren't a religion). I'm just trying to point out that the fourth definition may be misinturpreted and applied to the wrong subject (such as atheism). And, in case you didn't notice, I gave an explaination as to why the other three definitions do not apply to atheism.

Your not listening. I'm saying it can not fit the forth definition because it is a category of belief. A belief that fall under the category of atheism can fit the 4th definition but atheism it self can not.

Quote:
3. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you just contridicted yourself. You say that the only thing that makes atheism atheism is that it has a lack of belief in god(s). Then, directly afterwards you say that atheism does not allow for any belief in the supernatural. There are plenty of supernatural things you can believe in without believing in god(s). You can believe in angels, ghosts, spirits, evil purple creatures that pop out of the ground and punish you when you're bad, but none of that requires the belief in god(s). And, from what Indi has clarified for me (seeing as how I know only the basics of atheism), you can believe in something supernatural without believing in god(s).

I never said an atheist can not believe in the supernatural, the closest thing I have said to that is that I advocate a belief system (mine) that lacks a belief in the supernatural.

Quote:
The Conspirator wrote:
If you won't to say I apply by philosophy's with a religions zeal, go ahead but its false, I do not, I do not propose to force this belief nor do I belief such a thing is right. I do not believe that laws should be based on my philosophy's (I believe the purpose for law is to protect people from others (as well as other things like protecting the economy and so on but protecting people from others is th primary reason). If that is religions fervor than "religions fervor" doesn't mean much.


You don't have to force your beliefs on someone to be zealous about it. However, everytime someone challenges your beliefs or proves you wrong you either clam up or go on a rampage of verbally attacking certain people while repeating yourself over and over. Someone who defends their beliefs so vehemently is obviously zealous about their beliefs, otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to defend it.

That is false. First of all most of the things I argue about can not be proven false (its hard to prove a negative, but still if theres no evidence for it it should not be believed in) second, I admit it when I'm proven false, and have on action. The statement you have made is a lie.
laurenrox
The Conspirator wrote:
Your not listening. I'm saying it can not fit the forth definition because it is a category of belief. A belief that fall under the category of atheism can fit the 4th definition but atheism it self can not.

Yeah, I understand that it doesn't fit atheism. I never claimed that it did. What I DID say, and what you're missing is that I said it can be misinterpreted as such.

The Conspirator wrote:
I never said an atheist can not believe in the supernatural, the closest thing I have said to that is that I advocate a belief system (mine) that lacks a belief in the supernatural.

Okay. That was a misunderstanding on my part. My mistake.

The Conspirator wrote:
That is false. First of all most of the things I argue about can not be proven false (its hard to prove a negative, but still if theres no evidence for it it should not be believed in) second, I admit it when I'm proven false, and have on action. The statement you have made is a lie.

They cannot be proven false to YOU. To other people, there are obvious issues with some of your beliefs that CAN be proven wrong.
angelicious8383
[color=darkred]
FIRST LET ME POINT OUT THAT IF YOU DEFINE THE WORD CONSPIRATOR : A person who is part of a conspiracy.
The conspirators were rounded up by the police and arrested. Conspiracy (political), a plot to overthrow a government or other power. So just your name alone speaks for itself, just because you may not agree with something or someone, that certainly can't effect whether it exists or not.
"To each their own", probably the best advice in the least amount of words ever spoke in this world.
To attempt to convince a person who believes in God and has true faith and loyalty, is nothing more than a weak mans plan to try to hurt God, get back at God, discriminate Him, or most likely to avenge his secret or hidden pain he blames God for.
I know that their will be ignorant people who will attempt to discourage my beliefs or try to quote someone who they feel "one-up'd" Jesus, as they try to denounce the true significance of what Jesus was all about, forgetting what he did while on this earth, and the miraculous event that took place the last few moments he was here.
MY POINT IS, you want to discourage morality, go ahead and KNOCK YOURSELF OUT. NO ONE IS TELLING YOU WHAT YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE, BUT SPARE US THE MENTALLY DECLINING LECTURE, BASED ONLY OFF YOUR OPINIONS AND THEORIES, OH AND quoting THINGS THE STATUE YOU PRAY TO ONCE upon a time supposedly SAID. NO FACTS for enlightenment, NOR AN INTELLIGENT THOUGHT FOLLOWED A SINGLE SENTENCE YOU PUT, AT ALL. YOUR PROUD BLOG WAS SET FORTH TO STIR UP TROUBLE JUST AS ALL THE OTHERS THAT ARE JUST LIKE IT, PRIDE IS DEFINITELY THE FLAW OF A FOOLISH MAN. WHATEVER REASONS YOU HAVE FOR TRYING TO TURN PEOPLE TOWARDS ATHIESM OR YOUR STUPID QUESTION AS TO Y PEOPLE DO THINGS,... THE RIGHT THINGS, ONLY WHEN GOD IS BEHIND THEIR BEST JUDGEMENT, AND Y WE AS A SOCIETY CANT JUST DO SO ON OUR OWN.... The reason is because God created this earth, and you could go your whole life never hearing a single word read out of the bible or a single word spoken about God, and you know and can feel it, that there is a Majesty if you will, or Higher-power, just ask the American Indians. They never heard anything about scriptures before the settlers forced themselves right in, yet they worshipped "The Great Spirit". Hmm are you thinking yet?? And I will bring to your attention someone your probably not that familiar with, Her name was Bernarde Soubirous, or Bernadette Soubirous. On Feb 11th 1858, Bernadette was 14 years old when she experienced her first of 18 visions, where she would fall into a trance and an apparition would come to her. She would go thru the utmost humiliating torture by both the townspeople as well as those apart of the Catholic church. Everyone, even her family didn't believe her. At the thirteenth of the alleged apparitions, on 2 March, Bernadette told her family that the lady had said "Please go to the priests and tell them that a chapel is to be built here. Let processions come hither." Accompanied by two of her aunts, Bernadette duly went to parish priest Father Dominique Peyramale with the request. A brilliant but often roughspoken man with little belief in claims of visions and miracles, Peyramale told Bernadette that the lady must identify herself. Bernadette said that on her next visitation she repeated the priest's words to the lady, but that the lady bowed a little, smiled, and said nothing. Then Father Peyramale told Bernadette to prove that the lady was real (that is, objectively) by asking her to perform a miracle. He requested that she make the rose bush beneath the niche where she appeared to Bernadette bud and flower on the last week of February.At the thirteenth of the alleged apparitions, on 2 March, Bernadette told her family that the lady had said "Please go to the priests and tell them that a chapel is to be built here. Let processions come hither." Accompanied by two of her aunts, Bernadette duly went to parish priest Father Dominique Peyramale with the request. A brilliant but often roughspoken man with little belief in claims of visions and miracles, Peyramale told Bernadette that the lady must identify herself. Bernadette said that on her next visitation she repeated the priest's words to the lady, but that the lady bowed a little, smiled, and said nothing. Then Father Peyramale told Bernadette to prove that the lady was real (that is, objectively) by asking her to perform a miracle. He requested that she make the rose bush beneath the niche where she appeared to Bernadette bud and flower on the last week of February.

As Bernadette later reported to her family and to church and civil investigators, at the ninth visitation the lady told Bernadette to drink from the spring that flowed under the rock, and eat the plants that grew freely there. Although there was no known spring, and the ground was muddy, Bernadette saw the lady pointing with her finger to the spot, and said later she assumed the lady meant that the spring was underground. She did as she was told by first digging a muddy patch with her bare hands and then attempting to drink the brackish drops.[12] She tried three times, failing each time. On the fourth try, the droplets were clearer and she drank them. She then ate some of the plants. When finally she turned to the crowd, her face was smeared with mud and no spring had been revealed. Understandably, this caused much skepticism among onlookers who shouted, "She's a fraud!" or "She's insane!" while embarrassed relatives wiped the adolescent's face clean with a handkerchief. In the next few days, however, a spring began to flow from the muddy patch first dug by Bernadette. Some devout people followed her example by drinking and washing in the water, which was soon reported to have healing properties.__In the 150 years since Bernadette dug up the spring, 67 cures have been verified by the Lourdes Medical Bureau as "inexplicable", but only after what the Church claims are "extremely rigorous scientific and medical examinations" that failed to find any other explanation. The Lourdes Commission that examined Bernadette after the visions also ran an intensive analysis on the water and found that, while it had a high mineral content, it contained nothing out of the ordinary that would account for the cures attributed to it. Bernadette herself said that it was faith and prayer that cured the sick.... This girl didn't live a long life, in fact she spent much of her youth as an ill child, but the most significant vision was her 16th claimed vision, which she stated went on for over an hour, was on 25 March. During this vision, the second of two "miracles of the candle" is reported to have occurred. Bernadette was holding a lighted candle; during the vision it burned down, and the flame was said to be in direct contact with her skin for over fifteen minutes, but she apparently showed no sign of experiencing any pain or injury. This was said to be witnessed by many people present, including the town physician, Dr. Pierre Romaine Dozous, who timed and later documented it. According to his report, there was no sign that her skin was in any way affected, so he monitored Bernadette closely but did not intervene. After her "vision" ended, the doctor said that he examined her hand but found no evidence of any burning, and that she was completely unaware of what had been happening. The doctor then said that he briefly applied a lighted candle to her hand, and she reacted immediately. It is unclear if observers other than Dozous were sufficiently close to witness if the candle was continuously in contact with Bernadette’s skin.***According to Bernadette's account, during that same visitation that she claimed, she again asked the woman her name but the lady just smiled back. She repeated the question three more times and finally heard the lady say, in Gascon Occitan, "I am the Immaculate Conception".
i'm sure by now your skepticism is practically going thru the roof and your wondering what this proves but The immaculate Conception was Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. And some people can say whatever they want and dance around whether things are fact or fiction, and doubt the bible if they must but It is a documented fact that after she lost the battle to a long term illness at the age of 35, on April 16, 1979. On September 22, 1909 The church exhumed the body of Bernadette Soubirous on 22 September 1909, in the presence of representatives appointed by the postulators of the cause, two doctors, and a sister of the community. They claimed that although the crucifix in her hand and the rosary had both oxidized, her body appeared "incorrupt" — preserved from decomposition. This was cited as one of the miracles to support her canonization. They washed and reclothed her body before burial in a new double casket. The Church exhumed the corpse a second time on 3 April 1919. A doctor who examined the body noted, "The body is practically mummified, covered with patches of mildew and quite a notable layer of salts, which appear to be calcium salts. ... The skin has disappeared in some places, but it is still present on most parts of the body."
In 1925, the church exhumed the body for a third time. They took relics, which were sent to Rome. A precise imprint of the face was molded so that the firm of Pierre Imans in Paris could make a wax mask based on the imprints and on some genuine photos. This was common practice for relics in France, as it was feared that the blackish tinge to the face and the sunken eyes and nose would make an unpleasant impression on the public. Imprints of the hands were also taken for the presentation of the body and the making of wax casts. The remains were then placed in a gold and crystal reliquary in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the mother house in Nevers. The site is visited by many pilgrims and the body of Saint Bernadette is still shown despite being nearly 130 years old. Wax coverings on the body of Sainte Bernadette represent how her hands and face looked at the time of her death.
Three years later in 1928, Doctor Comte published a report on the exhumation of the Blessed Bernadette in the second issue of the Bulletin de I'Association medicale de Notre-Dame de Lourdes.
"I would have liked to open the left side of the thorax to take the ribs as relics and then remove the heart which I am certain must have survived. However, as the trunk was slightly supported on the left arm, it would have been rather difficult to try and get at the heart without doing too much noticeable damage. As the Mother Superior had expressed a desire for the Saint's heart to be kept together with the whole body, and as Monsignor the Bishop did not insist, I gave up the idea of opening the left-hand side of the thorax and contented myself with removing the two right ribs which were more accessible." "What struck me during this examination, of course, was the state of perfect preservation of the skeleton, the fibrous tissues of the muscles (still supple and firm), of the ligaments, and of the skin, and above all the totally unexpected state of the liver after 46 years. One would have thought that this organ, which is basically soft and inclined to crumble, would have decomposed very rapidly or would have hardened to a chalky consistency. Yet, when it was cut it was soft and almost normal in consistency. I pointed this out to those present, remarking that this did not seem to be a natural phenomenon.
Why don't you go ahead and check it out, you can watch a video on youtube or if you have the money why don't you go visit the church that has her laid to rest because she rests in a glass like coffin inside the church where you can see for yourself that she is still intact and appears to be just as angelic as she ever was and the obvious work of only a miracle.

But if you would rather go to a building called the church of scientology, suit yourself, but personally if your not going to believe in God, and that were made in his image, you could have at least brought less humiliation to our country by standing behind the good o'l we all came from monkeys theory than to insult the worlds intelligence to a place in which people believe we came from aliens and or cracked out enough to pray to them, or advertise this church by hiring Tom Cruise as your spokes Model. He paid Katie holmes to have a kid with him so people stopped suspecting he's gay and as a last attempt publicity stunt and now the chicks a freakin droid.
Hmmm lets look at the facts, one should always remember (where theres good there is evil. Atheist believe in God, but for whatever reason they're holding some kind of grudge against him, perhaps blaming him for the loss of loved ones, or their inability to cope with the fact that the world is a shitty place (altho we only have ourselves to thank for the destructions on earth, we are the ones who aren't taking good care of this planet.) God will not interfere as we decide our own fate, and yes it's getting shittier and unfortunately their are so many more innocent bloodsheds that don't make sense, so some people are quick to say "if there really was a God, y would he allow this" well guess what people, your answer lies somewhere between genesis and revelation. But since you've proved yourself to be so weak minded I wont expect you to find it on your own but the answer is because! Because he gave us the chance to be born into this world and gave us this earth in which to grow and live and eventually and ultimately live out our lives in decision as to whether or not we want him to be a part of our lives or whether we have allowed satan to influence how we live out our days and sin with no second thought of forgiveness which will one day lead to your demise.
(((but whenever we hear about some small baby or child or just an innocent, and good person has lost their life and we think it's just not fair to them, they were good people or they had a whole life in front of them, why don't you stop and consider maybe that Gods plan for them was short lived on earth because they were such good people, or perhaps loyal angels doing the Lords work. And His plans should never be questioned, wherever they are they are with Him, and that is definitely a better place than earth.)))
What you need to consider is that your on your own journey, and however many people you cross paths with in your lifetime will seem impossible to remember all of them, but those that bring us love and happiness for however long they're with us is the work of God, a blessing, and we need to be thankful for them, and not take a moment for granted. Because until this world has seen the devil falsely claim to be God, and try and convince as many people on earth to follow him, like he did 1/3 the angels when he was originally cast out of the heavens, until his 3 1/2 years are up, on earth decieving as many as he can with his blaspheming, we will continue to go about living our lives. This is the time we should be spending traveling to places where people who have not learned about God or have never had the blessings our lives might have been enriched with, we're to teach them of our Lord. We have to make sure everyone has had at least the chance to learn about him.
We'll will have the chance to learn of Him and The Kingdom of God, so if the feeble minded, stubborn, pride hearted athiests would rather keep playing the angry game and live out their days this way they will only be hurting themselves because this is the most ungrateful way you can live, there's no other way of life that is more unappreciative to God and the fact that He gave you life, than to have you purposely un-acknowledge all that He has done for you.
We should give thanks for our lives constantly as well as asking that our sins be forgotten, and help for the sinful indulgences or temptations we may give in to. We should ask for the strength to learn from our mistakes and the courage to say no the next time we face them. I believe each one of us, before we existed on earth, existed in the heavens.
I think we are all the other angels that filled up the skies with more lights than all the stars in the galaxy, and we will face what many others did the day lucifer was cast out & those angels whom he had convinced to follow him.
We to will go before God, and He will judge us accordingly to the way we chose to spend our days on earth. And if we did so, blindly, and chose to commit sin after sin but never repented we will be held accountable for the things we did. The devil and the other demons were once beautiful angels living in an endless paradise but because lucifer wanted to be equal to The Son God, Jesus Christ, and sit beside God as if he was worthy of such a gracious oand now have corrupted the earth with demonic and satanic rituals where the feeling of hate has overpowered that of love, and they feed off each of us they can convince to follow them.
But it is inevitable that satan will burn in hell, he knows his fate will never change, he couldn't fool Jesus into accepting his temptations and he will never fool God. God knows whats truly in our hearts long before we even do, but He won't interviene, He wants us to make our own minds up, and with that being said, you should now have a clear understanding that if the world was just this peach keen, happy candyland place, their would have been no reason to ever make earth. This is our orientation, so to speak, once it's over we will be judged by God the Father and if we denied him on earth, and chose to me some foolish ignorant athiest then you deserve the same in return, when you walk passed the tree of knowledge good and evil maybe you'll have an epiphany, and the actualization of how ignorant you chose to be will hopefully sink in before you try coming up with a bunch of lame excuses like your reasons for "RANTING", and you'll understand why you deserve to be denied the right to enter passed the pearly gates, He gave us this chance on earth, to give each person the option, the choice over their fate, how you choose to do it, well thats up to you.

The apostle Paul, a well-educated man of his time, declared that atheism is untenable because "that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1: 1 9,20).

Don't expect any pats on the back for bloggin that your criticizing or attacking the purpose of morality and if the possibility is true without God in the picture because someone eventually will remind you that everything is because of Him, and He's the one taking the picture. Your whole purpose for RANTING ON GOD WAS BECAUSE YOU FEEL THAT WITHOUT GOD AS A PART OF THEIR MORALS THEY ARE GOING TO COMMIT MURDERS RAPES AND ROBBERY BUT EVEN THAT DOESN'T HOLD, I KNOW A FEW PEOPLE WHO CONSTANTLY PUT THEIR ATHEIST BELIEFS OUT ON DISPLAY , BUT I KNOW HER AND I'M THE FIRST ONE POINTING OUT THAT WHEN HER LIFE IS SUFFERING A DOWNFALL AND SHE SITS THEIR BALLING HER EYES OUT SHE HAS A TENDENCY TO SAY "GOD WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME" AND "OH GOD PLEASE HELP ME" AND MY RESPONSE IS "OOOH NO YOU DON'T, YOU CAN'T BLAME HIM OR BEG HIM OR EVEN ASK HIM WHY, BECAUSE WHEN SHITS HAPPENING IN YOUR LIFE AND YOUR TRYING TO TAKE AS MUCH CREDIT AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN BEAT OUT OF PEOPLE, YOU ARE SO QUICK TO ALSO POINT OUT THE FACT THAT YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD SO DON'T THINK YOU CAN GO TO HIM CUZ YOUR IN TROUBLE, THATS NOT HOW THIS WORKS. IF YOU TRULY FELT THIS WAY, AND YOU KNEW AS A RESULT OF FAITH, AND RELIGIOUS VALUES THE OUTCOME MEANS A BETTER, MORE WHOLESOME & SPIRITUAL PERSON AND YOU WOULD SERIOUSLY HAVE THE NERVE TO TAKE FOR GRANTED THE FACT THEY RE EXACTLY HOW YOU WISH THE WORLD TO BE BUT WITHOUT THE GODLY SUBSTANCE THAT MAKES UP IT'S GENETICS. LEARN TO BE HAPPY WITH THE FACT THAT A GOOD PERSON EVEN EXISTS. STILL TO HEAR THAT YOU DISCOURAGE IT JUST IN EFFORTS TO BLUNDER THE LORD TELLS ME ONE THING, YOU HAVE SOME REALLY DUMB AXE TO GRIND. I BELIEVE SOMEWHERE IN THE BIBLE IT SAYS , They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. KARMA IS GOD, and The Wrath of God V.S the Rant wants to blame God whenever shit goes wrong in the world but no one ever stops to think how shitty of a job we are doing taking care of our planet. Everyone wants to blame God when shit goes wrong but do you ever stop in and thank him when blessings enter your life. No your too caught up in yourself, that you are more likely to probably believe your some god rather than you ever changing a thought in your brain to become humble enough to just stop and say "hey, u know what, maybe my reasons for being bitter towards the Lord are so miniscule compared to what he's actually done so that I may have had this opportunity at all. And I forget about the great times I had with someone I loved who passed away because Im too angry with the One who made it even possible for me to have ever lived at all.... Now really, does that makes sense? [/color]


King James Version (KJV)

18Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18
Bikerman
I wondered (and still do slightly) whether this was a pretty funny satire or some young person genuinely melting as they typed, just letting the hate pour out in some disturbed but pretty childish prose, before the parents get home and send them to their room...
Either way it is just about funny enough to not spamcan.
I can't wait to see if there is more of this matchless prose to come, but I would say that I'm going to reserve the right to move this into the bin, or a new thread if it becomes necessary.
I would also suggest that this would be a good time to be a student of religion so that one could determine what parts of the rant were true, if any......Oh..hang on....I actually am, aren't I. Silly me. It would be very easy, but I can't bring myself to do it.

Firstly I'm pretty sure it is a satire - after all, it is so wrong that I have to believe, accoding to the intelligent design paradigm, that it could not have arisen without a clever designer scripting it, certainly not by random chance from the mouth (or fingers) of anyone with a mind of sufficiently low IQ to have written it seriously.
Secondly, having read it again I still think the 'intelligent satire' hypothesis beats the 'random idiot' hypothesis because of the difficulty in believing that there would be a sufficient population of the idiot group to generate any significant randomness, let alone establish that this was just a passing member of that group.
And thirdly, on the off-chance that this wasn't satire - angelicious8383, you need to see someone (not a priest, trust me), pretty quickly I think. In the words of someone I know... 'I think it behoves you to take council with the wise, and stop reading scary books before bedtime'.
If you are this broken up over your loss, then you probably shouldn't be alone right now and i have no wish to add to your pain.

And a final PS, a message from MY sponsor:
[fade in to...]
Middle-aged man sternly talking to his son, or other relative or friend.
'Now, see Brad, THIS is what happens when you play around with religion. Just say no!'
[STARWIPE TO...]
announcer..."8 out of 10 atheists said their God is harder than YAWEH in shock TURN-UP.
Bookmakers are currently taking 10 to one against the God botherers. The atheist God, being non-existent, has no power to do anything to hurt the atheists, whilst the Christian YAHWEH is considered, by theologians of bullheaving, to be equally likely to eat everyone within a 2 mile radius before farting lightning and wondering if his ass looks big in a Toga. Being a paranoid and fairly stupid God, he will then most likely forget about the atheists, worry one last time if his lipstick looks best in FURIOUS FUSCIA, PISSED PURPLE or Childish CHERRY, and then promptly fall asleep.
Bookies therefore believe that YAWEH will eat his own followers, followed by their own existential anger, precipitating an unimaginable explosion .. like the one here on my screen .. on account of the fact that he is a moron. (His followers, bless their saintly little socks, won't let holy mother church down....and are ritually blowing themselves up, whilst performing a triple back flip, and whistling the sacred death chant of the true bullheaver -
'I aint no chimp, how about you, let's hear it for the Lord,
hallelujia he is so mighty and nice for not munchin down on us worthless idiots
And I really really luv Jesus and want the nasty people to all just die.'

(and 23 verses on the same general theme)

Something about this should be troubling the theists right now, but they are all too busy debating absurdities with themselves.

Is Father O'Flannery angry? Upset? Raging? No, he's delighted. He's had no sex for 30 years, and has now had his license to grope the altar boy well and truly revoked. The prospect of the imminent destruction of the earth in the final apocalypse sounds pretty OK to the priest right now.

Message from our sponsors:
'Think. Don't heave bull just because someone you know bullheaves. If you really bullheave, the fine, but don't simply bullheave just because you are told you should. Sure it might hurt someone around you but is lying any better?

Message from Coca Cola:
(fade-wipe to posting of the rant by the Christian, with simple border around it, flaming letters used to outline every word.)
Cut to BLACK
Fade-up Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins duetting...with backing bikers, to a bee-bop beat...
"YOU...HAD...YOUR...FUN, LITTLE...FUNDIE...
NOW IT'S TIME TO SAY FAREWELL,...
YOU WILL NEVER GET BACK POWER....
YOU CAN'T THREATEN US WITH HELL...
'COZ' THIS GOD YOU RECKON LIKES YOU...
WILL PLAY YOU FOR THE FOOL YOU ARE...
AND GET THE PRAISE FOR ALL THE GOOD STUFF..
BUT FOR THE BAD YOU JUST WON'T DARE ...
BECAUSE HE'S CRAZY LIKE A FOOL NOW....
AND HE DEMANDS TO BE OBEYED....
OR HE'LL EAT YOU IN SLOW MOTHFULLS...
THEN SICK YOU UP AND START AGAIN........
(MUSIC FADES.....)
Picture of church....f..a..d...i......n.....gg

Coke---when no one believes a word, there's still a Coke!
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