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Thread: Threats to Religion

  1. #1 Threats to Religion 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    What if anything is the most serious threat to religion today? Is it another religion, atheists, science or something other?

    Not sure if there is a threat but if I were to judge it by what I read on this forum then I would probably conclude it's the religions themselves. I admire some of the people who fight like hell in defending their beliefs against al kinds of reason and logic but I feel there is an ever increasing pressure on them to do away with conventional methods such as scripture quoting and provide their detractors with some real solid proof. No religion, IMHO, can provide this.

    Perhaps the fact that our intelligence, for lack of a better word, has enabled us to increase our knowledge about things once thought impossible thus placing some serious doubt into the credibility of religious texts.

    As a last resort it may be that God is as much a threat as anything. While his defenders argue for Him, He does not make an appearance. It must be frustrating for some to constantly have to defend their God, yet He makes no attempt to reveal His presence.

    As I said, maybe it's nothing. Care to comment?


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  3. #2 Re: Threats to Religion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    What if anything is the most serious threat to religion today? Is it another religion, atheists, science or something other?
    Fact, Knowledge, and truth - are certainly factors which could be a threat to religion, another may be the dissatisfaction of others of it's current spate of misuse [terrorism].

    I believe that religion is being 'side stepped', that is that more and more people are becoming indifferent to it, they do not outwardly express belief and avoid talking of it. In essence I see it declining [certainly in my corner of the world] - if this is a global occurance I wonder how far the decline will continue, even if punctiuated by sporadic 'comebacks'.

    The church of England has recently 'down-sized' itself as I remember though I do not have the figures or links to support this.


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    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    What if anything is the most serious threat to religion today? Is it another religion, atheists, science or something other?
    Its nothing threatning religion. Religion is threatning the world

    Well if we shall speak of any threat then the answer is knowledge, intelligence and such. As knowledge increase religion decrease
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  5. #4 Re: Threats to Religion 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain

    I believe that religion is being 'side stepped', that is that more and more people are becoming indifferent to it, they do not outwardly express belief and avoid talking of it.
    Do you think this is apathy setting in or is there a fear of being ridiculed by your peers?

    You also spoke of declining numbers and downsizing of church. Not sure if that's a threat or a result of some pressure the church's are feeling at the moment. Thankfully for the Christians they at least have some prophesies to keep them going or else I don't know what could possibly maintain the faith.

    The militant aspect and how it affects peoples' feelings towards religion is something I hadn't considered. Maybe I'm too conditioned to think 'if one our members uses violence in the name of God' then it's ok. For some reason I couldn't get my head around the fact that many others of the same religion view this as wrong. Too much CNN and stereotyping on my part.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  6. #5  
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    Maybe some apathy, maybe [as I do] people allow their kids to grow up and make their own decision, certainly over preaching by religion [in my opinion] is helping to reduce the numbers of believers.

    The evidence of evolution V creationism, " I see fossils but no angels" type of thing.
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    I agree with megabrain when he explained the "threats" to religion.

    Another threat would be if atheists got off their asses more and started "preaching" knowledge. This would definitely counteract evangelical idiots and their half-truths (or outright lies) regarding scientific knowledge.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Its quite funny, but this atheist dream of the end of religion reminds me so much of religion and the prophecies of religion, it makes me laugh. It is as much in conflict with the reality of human nature as some religions are in conflict with the realities of science.

    Perhaps the funniest thing about this idea of something threatening religion is the presumption that it has something to lose. I am not talking about assets. Some might think that the more assets a religion has the poorer it is, for the most important coin of religion is a spiritual one and that is hard to take away. Therefore, if religion has nothing, then there is nothing to lose. If religion has something, then how could it possibly lose?

    The greatest enemies of religion have also been the greatest enemies of humanity itself: Nazism and Communism. For both of these, despite the delusions of some of the people in this forum, were extremely anti-religious. And they were doomed to failure, for religion is part of our humanity.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Its quite funny, but this atheist dream of the end of religion reminds me so much of religion and the prophecies of religion, it makes me laugh. It is as much in conflict with the reality of human nature as some religions are in conflict with the realities of science.

    Perhaps the funniest thing about this idea of something threatening religion is the presumption that it has something to lose. I am not talking about assets. Some might think that the more assets a religion has the poorer it is, for the most important coin of religion is a spiritual one and that is hard to take away. Therefore, if religion has nothing, then there is nothing to lose. If religion has something, then how could it possibly lose?

    The greatest enemies of religion have also been the greatest enemies of humanity itself: Nazism and Communism. For both of these, despite the delusions of some of the people in this forum, were extremely anti-religious. And they were doomed to failure, for religion is part of our humanity.
    My answers were of the sense that I have no idea what, if anything affects religion.

    I interpreted the original post in my own way, I perceived it as really meaning

    "What factors are influencing the perceived decline in the poularity of religion today"
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Its quite funny, but this atheist dream of the end of religion reminds me so much of religion and the prophecies of religion, it makes me laugh. It is as much in conflict with the reality of human nature as some religions are in conflict with the realities of science.
    No, ending religion isn't a dream. Ending ignorance is. Religion just so HAPPENS to be that which carries nice bunches of ignorance.

    As for religious beliefs that don't, I've no problem with them.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Its quite funny, but this atheist dream of the end of religion reminds me so much of religion and the prophecies of religion, it makes me laugh. It is as much in conflict with the reality of human nature as some religions are in conflict with the realities of science.
    No, ending religion isn't a dream. Ending ignorance is. Religion just so HAPPENS to be that which carries nice bunches of ignorance.

    As for religious beliefs that don't, I've no problem with them.
    Isn't that basically an ad hominem directed at all those who believe in the scriptures/bibles etc? :-D
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  12. #11  
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    Nope. You'd have to make that correlation yourself. Not all bible believers are ignorant, but many are.

    P.S: You can try the illogical correlation game if you wish, but my statement was different that the one of yours that was removed. Nice try.
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  13. #12  
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    As knowledge increases, religions based on supernatural will decline. and religions based on philosophy such as Buddhism or Zen will gain ground.
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  14. #13  
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    The biggest threat to religion isn't the atheists or the detractors of religion; it's the vague sense of spirituality that people use to replace religion. My generation (I'm 19) has been saturated with stuff like "celebrate diversity," and a lot of people see mainstream religion as intolerant, so they're willing to settle for something less specific. I'd agree with Megabrain that apathy plays a huge role from here. People just don't spend the time to figure out their beliefs and prefer to call themselves "spiritual" instead.
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  15. #14  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I'll take the bait. Somehow I think you're expecting this reply.

    Perhaps the funniest thing about this idea of something threatening religion is the presumption that it has something to lose.
    MM....In one word....POWER. This power influences nearly every facet of society from political decision making to burying our dead. It's omnipresent and hard to ignore. It has a range that starts from the most important to the most trivial such as sending people to their deaths to regulating shopping on Sunday.

    However you see religion as having nothing to lose....
    the most important coin of religion is a spiritual one and that is hard to take away.
    I agree but no one's trying to take it away. It's tough to counter spirituality....just like I can't threaten Casper the Ghost with death as it would be absurd.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Its quite funny, but this atheist dream of the end of religion reminds me so much of religion and the prophecies of religion, it makes me laugh. It is as much in conflict with the reality of human nature as some religions are in conflict with the realities of science.
    No, ending religion isn't a dream. Ending ignorance is. Religion just so HAPPENS to be that which carries nice bunches of ignorance.

    As for religious beliefs that don't, I've no problem with them.
    Isn't that basically an ad hominem directed at all those who believe in the scriptures/bibles etc? :-D
    You have your terminology mixed up here. The "ad hominem" attack is a tactic of rhetoric that turns from the issue at hand to an attack upon the character of the other speaker. At most Jeremy's comment might be considered a slur. But I don't think it is even that. For although there there is just as much ignorance outside of religion as in, there is a particularly willful kind of ignorance often found in the members of religious groups that more stubbornly resists the efforts to change it.

    But part of the problem is that religious people often see another kind of (willful?) ignorance in the non-religious - a blindness to the spiritual apects of human existence. This is why the situation remains insolvable. It is like two groups shouting at each other with the mistaken impression that they speak the same language, each group decrying the ignorance of the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    Perhaps the funniest thing about this idea of something threatening religion is the presumption that it has something to lose.
    MM....In one word....POWER. This power influences nearly every facet of society from political decision making to burying our dead. It's omnipresent and hard to ignore. It has a range that starts from the most important to the most trivial such as sending people to their deaths to regulating shopping on Sunday.
    But does it have undue power? In other words, does it have any power that is not simply a function of the fact that it has members? Undue power is much like other assets and a religion may do better without such things. But due power cannot be taken from religion without infringing upon the rights of the members of that religion.

    The historical example is obvious. Before the reformation, we can say that the church had undue power when it exercised that power to suppress the freedom of belief (both scientific and religious). Is it really true, however, that religion lost out when that undue power was taken from the Catholic church? On the contrary, this revitalized the Christian faith, which the Catholic church was quickly making ridiculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    However you see religion as having nothing to lose....
    the most important coin of religion is a spiritual one and that is hard to take away.
    I agree but no one's trying to take it away. It's tough to counter spirituality....just like I can't threaten Casper the Ghost with death as it would be absurd.
    Exactly my point! Either it has nothing (but a fantasy) or what it has cannot be taken away. So how can it be threatened?

    Well the closest thing to such a threat is that very undue power, that was mentioned before, in the hands of intolerant people. If it is handled poorly, as by the Roman empire, you just get martyrs which inspire the resistance of others. But the campain of extermination by Communists, especially in the orient, was far more effective. Religions can disappear if all of the people practicing them are quickly exterminated.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Maybe the image of islam (which, lets face it, is not very good) in the west, and particularly in europe, will push more people back into the arms of religion.
    I know the only reason i ended up reading the religion section of this forum is because my interest in the subject was raised by people talking about it at work, and it is always in the news, which didn't seem to be the case when i was younger.
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  18. #17  
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    More like the other way around - the extremists in religion leading to people realising that 'staying in' might associate them with terror.
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