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Thread: Is belief a decision?/ Is believing a choice?/ Is decision a choice?

  1. #1 Is belief a decision?/ Is believing a choice?/ Is decision a choice? 
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    I was debating with my brother over the basics of religion.

    Then I brought up the topic: Is belief a choice?

    My brother was firm that belief is a choice.

    My argument is that belief isn't exactly a choice.

    When arguments boil down to the fundamentals of the meaning of English words, the use of arguments like these doesn't make any sense.

    My point is: Perfect communication will never exist.

    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is belief a choice?"?
    Getting the meaning of a word from the meaning of a few other words?

    This question is quite similar to another post, but i lost it.

    The other post concluded that "Expected meaning of words are assumed by teaching through experiences we had when we were young."

    And then, the other post went dead after people start asking for the meaning of the words of the previous reply, that made it seem like there's no point debating anymore. I hope it doesn't happen here. lol

    What are you guys views on this?


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    For me you might as well ask if you can make a person under hypnosis commit an unlawful or unethical act? For some reason it's the first thing I thought of and from what I have seen and read, the answer is highly unlikely. Haven't seen too many articles if any to the contrary but I stand to be corrected, no problem. However the hypnotized do make a decision or choose not to commit. Now we come to religion and I ask if a person can make a decision as to a belief once indoctrinated? Obviously they can and do. Can religious belief make one sacrifice themselves or kill for it?

    If the above is true they why is it or why does it appear that a religious decision that will result in deaths is more apt to happen than if a person under hypnosis is asked to do the same thing? I mean if I can opt out of such decisions during hypnosis then why am I more likely to commit deadly acts when I'm only a devotee to a belief?


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    Yes, beliefs are a choice. The definition of beliefs describe the word as having trust in something regardless of evidence. An article was written about 'Is Evolution a Belief' I shared which then wrongfully unlinked by moderators due to favouritism in this forum. But yes, when it comes to religious nonsense and supernaturalism (and all of its counterparts) it is a choice. At least at an older age, although young children are forced to believe nonsense.
    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    Yes, beliefs are a choice. .......At least at an older age, although young children are forced to believe nonsense.
    But they were children once. You mean that at an older age some of us decide to believe in God or not, just like belief in Santa?
    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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    It's quite difficult to choose to believe in something.

    I would say that beliefs are given to us by our upbringing - parents, culture, etc. How we act on those beliefs are our choice.

    However I would also say that we choose whether or not to accept things that can challenge or change those beliefs. That is our choice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    Yes, beliefs are a choice. The definition of beliefs describe the word as having trust in something regardless of evidence. An article was written about 'Is Evolution a Belief' I shared which then wrongfully unlinked by moderators due to favouritism in this forum. But yes, when it comes to religious nonsense and supernaturalism (and all of its counterparts) it is a choice. At least at an older age, although young children are forced to believe nonsense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    It's quite difficult to choose to believe in something.

    I would say that beliefs are given to us by our upbringing - parents, culture, etc. How we act on those beliefs are our choice.

    However I would also say that we choose whether or not to accept things that can challenge or change those beliefs. That is our choice.
    That we make a choice, we choose. Regarding the aside of being hypnotized. It would seem that indoctrinated cultures can be turned on or off.. A decision can be entered into. If the will wants. so can we decide of beliefs... The argument exists that it is the strength of the character, the individuals ability to measure and reason. To question and test and evaluate of legends told.. To place a determination of the value of truths and arguments for and against.. I have observed that for many; They proceed through life never questioning mythologies of religious faiths.. beliefs.. It is a step too large for some, to challenge what you have been told.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles View Post
    My argument is that belief isn't exactly a choice.
    When arguments boil down to the fundamentals of the meaning of English words, the use of arguments like these doesn't make any sense.
    My point is: Perfect communication will never exist.
    A belief in 'God' is not necessarily the same as being pushed into a belief in religion. I rebel against organised religion which is a license to kill. The choice lies more in pluralism. At the weekend I found myself attending vespers at a monastery, doing practices related to Tibetan Bon (more or less extinct now because it was wiped out by some nutcult called Buddhism), and practicing a bit of Enochian Magic and Hatha Yoga. At the same time I declare myself to be an atheist.
    Confusing route to follow but it is my choice and for me it clearly exists despite the restrictions of language. If a person is forced into a belief system then that is not a choice.
    Last edited by ox; June 9th, 2014 at 08:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles View Post
    I was debating with my brother over the basics of religion.

    Then I brought up the topic: Is belief a choice?

    My brother was firm that belief is a choice.

    My argument is that belief isn't exactly a choice.

    When arguments boil down to the fundamentals of the meaning of English words, the use of arguments like these doesn't make any sense.

    My point is: Perfect communication will never exist.

    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is belief a choice?"?
    Getting the meaning of a word from the meaning of a few other words?

    This question is quite similar to another post, but i lost it.

    The other post concluded that "Expected meaning of words are assumed by teaching through experiences we had when we were young."

    And then, the other post went dead after people start asking for the meaning of the words of the previous reply, that made it seem like there's no point debating anymore. I hope it doesn't happen here. lol

    What are you guys views on this?
    I would describe belief as a state, rather than an action.

    Choice seems to me to imply a single, discrete, ACT of choosing. Whereas I would say belief is a state of mind with respect to a particular subject or issue, that is reached over time and which is moreover subject to gradations, i.e. can be more or less firm, depending on the level of conviction of the believer. Belief can apply to any number of things, from religion, to who was the best composer, or who is most likely to win the World Cup.

    When it comes to religious belief, my experience is that extreme Protestant Christians are great lovers of the notion of belief as a "choice", as they see moral virtue in "choosing God" and like to propose the alternative is to "reject God" - and by implication be damned in the process. I think myself this is simplistic and manipulative nonsense, in that it coerces people into faking a degree of commitment they may not feel - and can in reality do little about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    When it comes to religious belief, my experience is that extreme Protestant Christians are great lovers of the notion of belief as a "choice", as they see moral virtue in "choosing God" and like to propose the alternative is to "reject God" - and by implication be damned in the process. I think myself this is simplistic and manipulative nonsense, in that it coerces people into faking a degree of commitment they may not feel - and can in reality do little about.
    I hold no brief for extreme Protestant Christians (or any Christians) but I think I can see what they are getting at. A belief that doesn't exact a price is no belief at all.

    I had a friend whose father fought in the Spanish Civil War and I have to say I was impressed even as I can understand why the Spanish government (well the rebels in this case) would take issue with a country that allowed its citizens to travel and interfere in an internal affair.

    Be that as it may I quite often remind myself that it is said that courage is the greatest of the virtues as allows all the others .

    At school we had the Vicar of Bray on the curriculum and that taught us the value of expediency.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post

    When it comes to religious belief, my experience is that extreme Protestant Christians are great lovers of the notion of belief as a "choice", as they see moral virtue in "choosing God" and like to propose the alternative is to "reject God" - and by implication be damned in the process. I think myself this is simplistic and manipulative nonsense, in that it coerces people into faking a degree of commitment they may not feel - and can in reality do little about.
    I hold no brief for extreme Protestant Christians (or any Christians) but I think I can see what they are getting at. A belief that doesn't exact a price is no belief at all.

    I had a friend whose father fought in the Spanish Civil War and I have to say I was impressed even as I can understand why the Spanish government (well the rebels in this case) would take issue with a country that allowed its citizens to travel and interfere in an internal affair.

    Be that as it may I quite often remind myself that it is said that courage is the greatest of the virtues as allows all the others .

    At school we had the Vicar of Bray on the curriculum and that taught us the value of expediency.
    Then we differ. I do not see at all why a belief has to exact a price. Beliefs in contexts other than religion make no such demand, so I do not see why they should in the case of religion. On the contrary, it seems to me one thing you cannot force anyone to do is to truly believe something. That being so, exacting a price for believing, or not believing, seems rather absurd to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Then we differ. I do not see at all why a belief has to exact a price. Beliefs in contexts other than religion make no such demand, so I do not see why they should in the case of religion. On the contrary, it seems to me one thing you cannot force anyone to do is to truly believe something. That being so, exacting a price for believing, or not believing, seems rather absurd to me.
    Wasn't that an example I gave , the one about the Volunteer in the Spanish Civil War? I mean that is nothing to do with religion -it is political conviction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Then we differ. I do not see at all why a belief has to exact a price. Beliefs in contexts other than religion make no such demand, so I do not see why they should in the case of religion. On the contrary, it seems to me one thing you cannot force anyone to do is to truly believe something. That being so, exacting a price for believing, or not believing, seems rather absurd to me.
    Wasn't that an example I gave , the one about the Volunteer in the Spanish Civil War? I mean that is nothing to do with religion -it is political conviction.
    Sure, but my belief that Jolly Jumper has the best chance of winning the 2:30 at Newmarket doesn't exact a price - unless I bet on it and lose, of course.
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    This is an interesting site that might offer some help to this topic.

    Decision Belief Quotes | Decision Quotes about Belief | Belief Decision Quotes
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    Your example doesn't really back you up does it? There is such a thing as the strength of your betting convictions (I think that is a joke) - but I agree there is also a value to a cool balanced judgement.

    I have often noticed that my own judgements are marred by a lack of conviction and I will even tell people sometimes that I don't believe what I am going to tell you but there is a chance it will be right.

    Or it may be that I know in my own mind what is right but I lack the courage of my convictions to express it completely (you have to learn from your mistakes and if you are too cautious then that process loses vigour)

    I have likened it in my own mind to "l'esprit de l'escalier" but back to front .I am "right" before the event rather than after it.
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    Beliefs are choices but in many instances your choice , like religion, can make your life better than not choosing the religion you are surrounded by.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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    Sorry did you mean to say "Beliefs are choices but in many instances your choice , like religion, can make your life better than it would have been had you chose the religion you are surrounded by"?

    Your sentence as written doesn't make sense to me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Your example doesn't really back you up does it? There is such a thing as the strength of your betting convictions (I think that is a joke) - but I agree there is also a value to a cool balanced judgement.

    I have often noticed that my own judgements are marred by a lack of conviction and I will even tell people sometimes that I don't believe what I am going to tell you but there is a chance it will be right.

    Or it may be that I know in my own mind what is right but I lack the courage of my convictions to express it completely (you have to learn from your mistakes and if you are too cautious then that process loses vigour)

    I have likened it in my own mind to "l'esprit de l'escalier" but back to front .I am "right" before the event rather than after it.
    OK, but I could equally well have chosen who I believe is likely to win the World Cup. My points are two (1) that belief is a state of mind rather than the product of a single decision and (2) that belief often denotes a state of mind that is not certain.

    So I'm contending that it does not have to be a passionate conviction, as implied by your Spanish Civil War example. In fact, I believe (!), quite strongly, that most Christians entertain a degree of doubt about the truth of at least some of what they are supposed, officially, to profess. It is in the nature of human beings to have individual perspectives on things, after all. And in any university you will find adherents of various rival models in physics or chemistry, or in other disciplines. These also, to my mind, indicate beliefs, held with varying degrees of intensity. That's why I tend to oppose the notion of belief as a "choice". I think it is more nuanced.

    Regarding the reverse of l'esprit de l'escalier, I suppose you think you know what will happen but don't want to say in case you are wrong. That's a sort of belief, too, certainly.

    Belief in this sense is a far looser thing than the sense in which it used by advocates of a political or religious creed, admittedly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    Yes, beliefs are a choice. .......At least at an older age, although young children are forced to believe nonsense.
    But they were children once. You mean that at an older age some of us decide to believe in God or not, just like belief in Santa?
    Merely.
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    Belief is a choice.

    And religion is not the cause of violence.

    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate. However, religious "belief" does not confer immunity to violence.

    Thus, you can choose to believe in God or reject belief in God as you have free will.

    I chose to believe because when I sought God, prayers were answered etc. that I became convinced that God exists.

    Unfortunately, the rules for "seeking God" is the subject of theology, not science.

    Thus, you cannot use science to know if God exists or not.

    You can you use your scientific training however, to decide if theology you follow is true as you seek God.

    For me, the Christian theology proved to be true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Belief is a choice.
    Unless you've been indoctrinated/inculcated.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    And religion is not the cause of violence.
    Ah but it is, it is a direct cause it's holy books incite violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate.
    What atheist genocides, please elaborate and cite your sources, I only know of communism, fascism, I know of nothing that was done under an atheist banner, atheism has no doctrines nor tenets, so please elaborate thank you.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Belief is a choice.
    Unless you've been indoctrinated/inculcated.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    And religion is not the cause of violence.
    Ah but it is, it is a direct cause it's holy books incite violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate.
    What atheist genocides, please elaborate and cite your sources, I only know of communism, fascism, I know of nothing that was done under an atheist banner, atheism has no doctrines nor tenets, so please elaborate thank you.
    No one indoctrinated me.

    It is true that in seeking God it is important to join a local church since community and scholarly instruction are both important.

    However, I attended local the local church for years without a firm conviction that God exists. It was only when I decided to seek God on my own, in addition to attending the local church that things changed.

    It is reasonable to call genocide that is initiated by a professed atheist an atheist genocide. That is because you would expect that if God exists then He would try to turn a person away from evil. Thus, if a person totally rejects God either from professed atheism, or from a perverted religious practice such as making yourself / party some sort of religion, then the leader has chosen to separate himself from God.

    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides. The killing by Hitler is more associated with a fallen away Christian or perverted religious practice than professed atheism.

    Mixing power and atheism is a bad thing.

    However, we know that being religious does not protect a person from the following the same course.

    What we don't know if a person truly practices the nonviolent instructions of many religions (altruism, love of neighbor) etc., if this would have a positive / protective effect.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    No one indoctrinated me.

    It is true that in seeking God it is important to join a local church since community and scholarly instruction are both important.

    However, I attended local the local church for years without a firm conviction that God exists. It was only when I decided to seek God on my own, in addition to attending the local church that things changed.

    It is reasonable to call genocide that is initiated by a professed atheist an atheist genocide. That is because you would expect that if God exists then He would try to turn a person away from evil. Thus, if a person totally rejects God either from professed atheism, or from a perverted religious practice such as making yourself / party some sort of religion, then the leader has chosen to separate himself from God.

    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides. The killing by Hitler is more associated with a fallen away Christian or perverted religious practice than professed atheism.

    Mixing power and atheism is a bad thing.

    However, we know that being religious does not protect a person from the following the same course.

    What we don't know if a person truly practices the nonviolent instructions of many religions (altruism, love of neighbor) etc., if this would have a positive / protective effect.
    I have to tell you, you are not very convincing, about anything you just said. But then people that believe in fairy tales often spout such nonsense. If you didn't grow up in a family with atheist parents, then your current belief that you made an unbiased choice to believe in God is totally unfounded. I've also found these kind of choices are often made do to a love interest (someone you want to get or be closer to). A girlfriend or boyfriend/husband or wife can be a powerful influence on your so called ability to make an unbiased choice.

    Next if there was a God, all the people of Earth would be Gods people and not just the people that are Christian. The fact that most Christian religions allow the worst criminals to accept Jesus Christ and be saved is ludicrous IMO. As it allows the most immoral and just plain bad people a way into heaven.

    How hypocritical is that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post

    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides. The killing by Hitler is more associated with a fallen away Christian or perverted religious practice than professed atheism.
    Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao were all trained in religion and educated in religious schools.
    Stalin was actually being groomed to become a Jesuit Priest before he decided to become an evil dictator instead.
    Hitler was not a fallen from faith guy either, nor was he in any trouble with the Church over his policies regarding the Jews.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    No one indoctrinated me.
    Really! Please elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is true that in seeking God it is important to join a local church since community and scholarly instruction are both important.
    However, I attended local the local church for years without a firm conviction that God exists. It was only when I decided to seek God on my own, in addition to attending the local church that things changed.
    Still need you to elaborate? because you're not to convincing at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is reasonable to call genocide that is initiated by a professed atheist an atheist genocide.
    How so! Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god/gods. it has no doctrine nor tenets. the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were not committed in the name of atheism per se but for political, racial and nationalistic reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    That is because you would expect that if God exists then He would try to turn a person away from evil. Thus, if a person totally rejects God either from professed atheism, or from a perverted religious practice such as making yourself / party some sort of religion, then the leader has chosen to separate himself from God.
    The important point is that it was not their lack of belief in a god which drove them and motivated them. The fanatical and uncompromising political, racial and nationalistic dogmas which animated them were not the product of any religious belief or lack thereof, but political beliefs taken to excess. Thus, while Stalin and Mao happened to be atheists, they did not do their deeds in the name of atheism, but in the name of their own dogmatic variant of Marxism.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides.
    No you cant. Fascism and communism, with their extreme dogmatism and reliance on personality cults, are actually themselves like a kind of religion. In the warped communism of Stalin and Mao, the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Christianity was essentially replaced with the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of the State. Fascism and Communism, are merely different forms of religion. it is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. They are as dogmatic as religion whereas atheism isn't. Communism was found by Jesus, the book of Acts is basically a communist manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Mixing power and atheism is a bad thing.
    Wrong again! Atheism has no tenets no doctrines thus it isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a fat person is being killed in the name of fatness.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    What we don't know if a person truly practices the nonviolent instructions of many religions (altruism, love of neighbor) etc., if this would have a positive / protective effect.
    What non-violent instruction?!!! The holy books are rife with incitements to violence. Please elaborate and cite your source.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    Yes, beliefs are a choice. The definition of beliefs describe the word as having trust in something regardless of evidence. An article was written about 'Is Evolution a Belief' I shared which then wrongfully unlinked by moderators due to favouritism in this forum. But yes, when it comes to religious nonsense and supernaturalism (and all of its counterparts) it is a choice. At least at an older age, although young children are forced to believe nonsense.
    I'm a little reluctant to label it as a "choice". Faith is certainly something I lack, and ostensibly something other people have. Maybe it's something people develop over time, but I think the act of committing (a choice) to something and eventually believing it (a potential result) aren't exactly the same thing. I went to church every Sunday as a child, and prayed every night by choice. By the time I was fourteen I still hadn't felt any particularly resonating religious experience or experienced a legitimate belief in God - did I choose to lack faith, or was it the unforeseen result of a myriad of life experiences and exposures to alternative views that influenced the person I was then and have ultimately become today?

    I am sure some people choose to be of a faith, but I also think others go simply because they believe in a God and that's what they believe. You should hear my sister and her husband talk about "evidence of a God", it's absolutely mind-numbing and I have no idea how they ever bought into apologetics... But I don't think it was an active decision either. I think they bought into it because they have a sincere belief in some higher power, and from my perspective that doesn't seem like much a choice either. That said, they definitely choose to go to church every Sunday, but the reason they go? I have my doubts that is a choice.
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    Regarding my own history:

    I did not seek God because of the influence of a significant other except perhaps because I am married I wanted to improve myself.

    It was more of an intense curiosity and a feeling of "missing something".

    The change occurred when I sought God in community, in private, and tried to act on what I was taught.

    That does not mean that others who have sought God without a response did so in a way that was flawed or inferior to my own efforts.

    We know that even saints have had dark periods where they have sought God without "feeling" a response.

    However, the saints persevered.

    Regarding the 20th Century genocides, each protagonist had turned away from seeking and obeying God at the time of their crimes -- whether they had embraced atheism or had created their own religion.

    Thus, if God exists and we turn away from His influence, then bad things are expected to happen.

    Why some people who seem to spend much time seeking God still succumb to violence (terrorists etc.) is unknown.

    Personally, I wonder if the key is how much the individuals obeyed the "love of neighbor" instruction that is part of many, if not most, religions?

    Christian theology is founded on both love of God, and love of neighbor as yourself.

    Thus, if one or the other are neglected, it would seem to place the leader at risk -- would be my speculation from the position of assuming that God exists.
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    Should I even bother pointing out the errors and mistakes in dedo's post?
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    I do not see dedo's views as errors, his or yours.. It is a mater of interpretation of what you are told, or have read of, or are reading into as meanings implied or found.. and as I am athiest can see and pass as nonsense, all of it. However for those whom have attaned a age sufficant to make a descision of your own.. Yes it's a choice. All belief is a choice.. That science does not work like that is why I look to and for science to answer. Science can not be denied or put aside in favor of what might yet be mythical.. Spiritualism based theory does not have the scientific status for rigorous question and debate. Scientific theory does have the open doorway to question and test.. None of the church based beliefs will tolerate that level of testing..
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Regarding my own history:

    I did not seek God because of the influence of a significant other except perhaps because I am married I wanted to improve myself.

    It was more of an intense curiosity and a feeling of "missing something".

    The change occurred when I sought God in community, in private, and tried to act on what I was taught.

    That does not mean that others who have sought God without a response did so in a way that was flawed or inferior to my own efforts.

    We know that even saints have had dark periods where they have sought God without "feeling" a response.

    However, the saints persevered.

    Regarding the 20th Century genocides, each protagonist had turned away from seeking and obeying God at the time of their crimes -- whether they had embraced atheism or had created their own religion.

    Thus, if God exists and we turn away from His influence, then bad things are expected to happen.

    Why some people who seem to spend much time seeking God still succumb to violence (terrorists etc.) is unknown.

    Personally, I wonder if the key is how much the individuals obeyed the "love of neighbor" instruction that is part of many, if not most, religions?

    Christian theology is founded on both love of God, and love of neighbor as yourself.

    Thus, if one or the other are neglected, it would seem to place the leader at risk -- would be my speculation from the position of assuming that God exists.
    I think I understand that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I do not see dedo's views as errors, his or yours.. It is a mater of interpretation of what you are told, or have read of, or are reading into as meanings implied or found.. and as I am athiest can see and pass as nonsense, all of it. However for those whom have attaned a age sufficant to make a descision of your own.. Yes it's a choice. All belief is a choice.. That science does not work like that is why I look to and for science to answer. Science can not be denied or put aside in favor of what might yet be mythical.. Spiritualism based theory does not have the scientific status for rigorous question and debate. Scientific theory does have the open doorway to question and test.. None of the church based beliefs will tolerate that level of testing..
    Getting back to "choice" here. Did you "choose" the mindset where things that can be evaluated scientifically have merit, while things that cannot do not? Or is that just the way you are programmed and wired as a consequence of your life experiences, what you've been exposed to, and genetics?

    I just don't understand the notion of "choice" here. People choose to do things, which will cumulatively influence the way they are and what they believe - but is that really the same as choosing to have a belief? Why would people necessarily "choose" to believe in something, some process, or some method of understanding the world unless it felt right, as though it made sense to them? And why does the approach they take feel right? Is that "choice"?
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    Yes I argue from the view that those are choices for a mature educated mind.. You see before you options of cultures and religions.. Not so for young and impressionable minds. The young and free should not be indoctrinated into faiths of the parent.. that is a view I share but hardly expect consensus.. As a adult I have had the opportunity to read of whatever I want. To investigate at my leisure and will. To accept or refute whatever takes my minds eye.. I choose to be atheist and be true to myself.. in doing so.. and yet still have a tolerance of understanding for the opposing view. Whatever religion you may choose. You choose it. Is that fare ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Yes I argue from the view that those are choices for a mature educated mind.. You see before you options of cultures and religions.. Not so for young and impressionable minds. The young and free should not be indoctrinated into faiths of the parent.. that is a view I share but hardly expect consensus.. As a adult I have had the opportunity to read of whatever I want. To investigate at my leisure and will. To accept or refute whatever takes my minds eye.. I choose to be atheist and be true to myself.. in doing so.. and yet still have a tolerance of understanding for the opposing view. Whatever religion you may choose. You choose it. Is that fare ?
    Well, no I still don't really understand your position. You choose to read books, investigate, and learn whatever you want and all the such... But I don't really think you get to choose how you react to it and how it develops what you believe in. The way you react to it is based on previously established factors that have cumulatively made you who you are. At any given time you make choices, yes... But the way I see it, you don't get to choose the outcome of those choices.

    Edit: So the way I see it... "Belief" or "Disbelief" is really just a consequence of choices, but isn't itself a "choice" it's just how you developed based on your own unique human experience.
    Last edited by stander-j; June 15th, 2014 at 05:13 AM.
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    " If you look at your own navel you might find lint.."

    ~ All of what I said is a consequence of choices I have made. Being free to, and able to. You need to re evaluate what it is to choose ? I have been able to make that choice. Having chosen. When is choice not a choice ?

    If you present to me a argument of subject. Any subject. Given a little time to evaluate information known and attained a descision of validity of information and accuracies required. A descision can be arrived at. I may also just choose to ignore it all. Choosing is the choice I just made..
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    " If you look at your own navel you might find lint.."

    ~ All of what I said is a consequence of choices I have made. Being free to, and able to. You need to re evaluate what it is to choose ? I have been able to make that choice. Having chosen. When is choice not a choice ?

    If you present to me a argument of subject. Any subject. Given a little time to evaluate information known and attained a descision of validity of information and accuracies required. A descision can be arrived at. I may also just choose to ignore it all. Choosing is the choice I just made..
    Have you ever watched a movie you thought was terrible?

    Edit: You know what? Scratch that, I'm not interested in examples. I know where our opinions differ and it has to do with agency vs. "choice": The ability to freely make choices (agency) =/= the ability to choose what you believe in or the way you are, which is most certainly influenced by structure and the outcomes of agency (which most certainly is not "choice" either). You can make decisions, but you can't anticipate their cumulative effect, and so it is silly to suggest that you "decided" you have a belief in something. No, you went through a series of experiences, and your beliefs changed as a side-effect - for better or worse.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agency_(sociology)
    Last edited by stander-j; June 15th, 2014 at 06:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Christian theology is founded on both love of God, and love of neighbor as yourself.
    Believing that is not a choice. If you were to choose to say that was not true, you would be lying. Just as I would be lying if I chose to say I believed in God.

    You believe or do not. There is no choose. (As Yoda nearly said.)
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    Christian theology is founded on both love of God, and love of neighbor as yourself.
    Believing that is not a choice. If you were to choose to say that was not true, you would be lying.
    Or simple ignorance of Christian writings where half the OT and NT is completely passed over, and history is deliberately rewritten such as the quip that Hitler had drifted. The reality is Hitler, by dedo's own standard was Christian and had professed it in hundreds of private notes, public writings as well as speeches over more than 2 decades. He did not have his own version of Christianity, but took the main stream view of central European Christianity with fundamentalist views of "bringing the sword," seeded in the NT, deepened by hundreds of years of Martin Luther's deep antisemitism and flamed by European Nationalism. Profound Christian bigotry still resonates and resist expansion of liberty and science education in our developed societies, particularly in the US.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Belief is a choice.
    Unless you've been indoctrinated/inculcated.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    And religion is not the cause of violence.
    Ah but it is, it is a direct cause it's holy books incite violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate.
    What atheist genocides, please elaborate and cite your sources, I only know of communism, fascism, I know of nothing that was done under an atheist banner, atheism has no doctrines nor tenets, so please elaborate thank you.
    No genocide has been committed under the banner of atheism. However, genocides have been committed by mostly atheistic organizations. Get rid of religion, or make everyone religious, it doesn't matter. You are still left with politics. People are going to give their loyalty to some political organization/creed and someone is going to take advantage of our tribal instincts and some people are going to be willing to kill and die for that person. Doesn't matter if it is religion or nationalism or fealty or what have you. Granted, religion, (especially a big organized religion,) is a fairly convenient institution to manipulate people and demand their loyalty for your own ends.

    But its all politics and monkeys in the end. Religion is an easy scapegoat, but it's also kind of a lazy one. Religion is one tool that can be used by scheming folk and politicians and those with delusions of grandeur who want to be worshiped. It can be a very deadly tool, but it still isn't the root cause of all the stuff it gets blamed for.

    Take away religion and there are still people. Violent, greedy, loving, hateful, creative, foolish, territorial people. I'd be willing to bet all the same stuff would still happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    No one indoctrinated me.
    Really! Please elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is true that in seeking God it is important to join a local church since community and scholarly instruction are both important.
    However, I attended local the local church for years without a firm conviction that God exists. It was only when I decided to seek God on my own, in addition to attending the local church that things changed.
    Still need you to elaborate? because you're not to convincing at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is reasonable to call genocide that is initiated by a professed atheist an atheist genocide.
    How so! Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god/gods. it has no doctrine nor tenets. the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were not committed in the name of atheism per se but for political, racial and nationalistic reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    That is because you would expect that if God exists then He would try to turn a person away from evil. Thus, if a person totally rejects God either from professed atheism, or from a perverted religious practice such as making yourself / party some sort of religion, then the leader has chosen to separate himself from God.
    The important point is that it was not their lack of belief in a god which drove them and motivated them. The fanatical and uncompromising political, racial and nationalistic dogmas which animated them were not the product of any religious belief or lack thereof, but political beliefs taken to excess. Thus, while Stalin and Mao happened to be atheists, they did not do their deeds in the name of atheism, but in the name of their own dogmatic variant of Marxism.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides.
    No you cant. Fascism and communism, with their extreme dogmatism and reliance on personality cults, are actually themselves like a kind of religion. In the warped communism of Stalin and Mao, the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Christianity was essentially replaced with the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of the State. Fascism and Communism, are merely different forms of religion. it is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. They are as dogmatic as religion whereas atheism isn't. Communism was found by Jesus, the book of Acts is basically a communist manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Mixing power and atheism is a bad thing.
    Wrong again! Atheism has no tenets no doctrines thus it isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a fat person is being killed in the name of fatness.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    What we don't know if a person truly practices the nonviolent instructions of many religions (altruism, love of neighbor) etc., if this would have a positive / protective effect.
    What non-violent instruction?!!! The holy books are rife with incitements to violence. Please elaborate and cite your source.
    Christianity is based on tenants of non-violence since that is what Jesus taught. You can argue that it is inconsistent with its own books and self contradicting, but that is what Christianity teaches nonetheless. There are of course many Christians who aren't pacifists, but Jesus himself seemed to be. I can recall one time when he told people to get their weapons ready in case people came to attack them, so presumably he supported self defense. But he advocated working within the system rather than overthrowing it and other peaceful things. That's Christian peaceful instruction. Love your enemy and all that. That there is a lot of war in the Bible doesn't mean Jesus himself, (or his disciples called Christians,) are violent. Christianity is based in pretty peaceful teachings.

    It's one of the reasons I consider myself a disciple of him and have no problem accepting him as a Messianic figure, even if I don't believe he is part of G-d and still wait for that spirit of Messiah to fulfill the rest of the prophecies. (Which may be self fulfilling, I'm not sure. A deity wouldn't need to actually look in the future in order to predict things.)

    And that's my opinion. You may think it is inconsistent with the scriptures, but that doesn't mean my faith teaches violence and sexism and racism. It's my religious belief, not anyone else.
    Last edited by SowZ37; June 21st, 2014 at 02:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Belief is a choice.
    Unless you've been indoctrinated/inculcated.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    And religion is not the cause of violence.
    Ah but it is, it is a direct cause it's holy books incite violence.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate.
    What atheist genocides, please elaborate and cite your sources, I only know of communism, fascism, I know of nothing that was done under an atheist banner, atheism has no doctrines nor tenets, so please elaborate thank you.
    No genocide has been committed under the banner of atheism.
    Exactly! it would be nonsensical to claim it ever had.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    However, genocides have been committed by mostly atheistic organizations.
    What atheist organizations, citation needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Get rid of religion, or make everyone religious, it doesn't matter. You are still left with politics. People are going to give their loyalty to some political organization/creed and someone is going to take advantage of our tribal instincts and some people are going to be willing to kill and die for that person. Doesn't matter if it is religion or nationalism or fealty or what have you.
    Hence why religion and religious organization are such a force for evil, there tenets, doctrines and even there holy books incite violence.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Granted, religion, (especially a big organized religion,) is a fairly convenient institution to manipulate people and demand their loyalty for your own ends.
    It doesn't matter how big the religion is, if the holy book they follow incite violence then they are going to follow it by example.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    But its all politics and monkeys in the end. Religion is an easy scapegoat, but it's also kind of a lazy one.
    I would not say it's a scapegoat, it would only be a scapegoat if it was being blamed for something that is not incited in it's holy book if it says kill witches and the followers do. Then that in no way is being made a scapegoat.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Religion is one tool that can be used by scheming folk and politicians and those with delusions of grandeur who want to be worshiped.
    And god himself as he supposedly is and does give the word.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    It can be a very deadly tool, but it still isn't the root cause of all the stuff it gets blamed for.
    Yes, we cant claim a 100% but 80% and that is still pretty damning.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Take away religion and there are still people. Violent, greedy, loving, hateful, creative, foolish, territorial people. I'd be willing to bet all the same stuff would still happen.
    and you would lose your bet, because nowhere else is it written "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" that is only religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    No one indoctrinated me.
    Really! Please elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is true that in seeking God it is important to join a local church since community and scholarly instruction are both important.
    However, I attended local the local church for years without a firm conviction that God exists. It was only when I decided to seek God on my own, in addition to attending the local church that things changed.
    Still need you to elaborate? because you're not to convincing at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is reasonable to call genocide that is initiated by a professed atheist an atheist genocide.
    How so! Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god/gods. it has no doctrine nor tenets. the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were not committed in the name of atheism per se but for political, racial and nationalistic reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    That is because you would expect that if God exists then He would try to turn a person away from evil. Thus, if a person totally rejects God either from professed atheism, or from a perverted religious practice such as making yourself / party some sort of religion, then the leader has chosen to separate himself from God.
    The important point is that it was not their lack of belief in a god which drove them and motivated them. The fanatical and uncompromising political, racial and nationalistic dogmas which animated them were not the product of any religious belief or lack thereof, but political beliefs taken to excess. Thus, while Stalin and Mao happened to be atheists, they did not do their deeds in the name of atheism, but in the name of their own dogmatic variant of Marxism.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides.
    No you cant. Fascism and communism, with their extreme dogmatism and reliance on personality cults, are actually themselves like a kind of religion. In the warped communism of Stalin and Mao, the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Christianity was essentially replaced with the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of the State. Fascism and Communism, are merely different forms of religion. it is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. They are as dogmatic as religion whereas atheism isn't. Communism was found by Jesus, the book of Acts is basically a communist manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Mixing power and atheism is a bad thing.
    Wrong again! Atheism has no tenets no doctrines thus it isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a fat person is being killed in the name of fatness.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    What we don't know if a person truly practices the nonviolent instructions of many religions (altruism, love of neighbor) etc., if this would have a positive / protective effect.
    What non-violent instruction?!!! The holy books are rife with incitements to violence. Please elaborate and cite your source.
    Christianity is based on tenants of non-violence since that is what Jesus taught. You can argue that it is inconsistent with its own books and self contradicting, but that is what Christianity teaches nonetheless.
    What like when Jesus says to cut of your hands and pluck out you eyes(Matt 5), those aren't violent acts are they. (sarcasm)
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    There are of course many Christians who aren't pacifists, but Jesus himself seemed to be. I can recall one time when he told people to get their weapons ready in case people came to attack them, so presumably he supported self defense. But he advocated working within the system rather than overthrowing it and other peaceful things.
    Especially when it turned over the tables in the Synagogue.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    That's Christian peaceful instruction. Love your enemy and all that.
    No to peaceful is it.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    That there is a lot of war in the Bible doesn't mean Jesus himself, (or his disciples called Christians,) are violent. Christianity is based in pretty peaceful teachings.
    Yet they carried swords and stole ponies, and followed the law and the prophets. You are failing badly

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    It's one of the reasons I consider myself a disciple of him and have no problem accepting him as a Messianic figure, even if I don't believe he is part of G-d and still wait for that spirit of Messiah to fulfill the rest of the prophecies. (Which may be self fulfilling, I'm not sure. A deity wouldn't need to actually look in the future in order to predict things.)

    And that's my opinion. You may think it is inconsistent with the scriptures, but that doesn't mean my faith teaches violence and sexism and racism. It's my religious belief, not anyone else.
    It is your very own SPAG Self projection as god - RationalWiki
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides.
    No you cant. Fascism and communism, with their extreme dogmatism and reliance on personality cults, are actually themselves like a kind of religion. In the warped communism of Stalin and Mao, the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Christianity was essentially replaced with the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of the State. Fascism and Communism, are merely different forms of religion. it is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. They are as dogmatic as religion whereas atheism isn't. Communism was found by Jesus, the book of Acts is basically a communist manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Mixing power and atheism is a bad thing.
    Wrong again! Atheism has no tenets no doctrines thus it isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a fat person is being killed in the name of fatness.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    What we don't know if a person truly practices the nonviolent instructions of many religions (altruism, love of neighbor) etc., if this would have a positive / protective effect.
    What non-violent instruction?!!! The holy books are rife with incitements to violence. Please elaborate and cite your source.
    Christianity is based on tenants of non-violence since that is what Jesus taught. You can argue that it is inconsistent with its own books and self contradicting, but that is what Christianity teaches nonetheless.
    What like when Jesus says to cut of your hands and pluck out you eyes(Matt 5), those aren't violent acts are they. (sarcasm)
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    There are of course many Christians who aren't pacifists, but Jesus himself seemed to be. I can recall one time when he told people to get their weapons ready in case people came to attack them, so presumably he supported self defense. But he advocated working within the system rather than overthrowing it and other peaceful things.
    Especially when it turned over the tables in the Synagogue.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    That's Christian peaceful instruction. Love your enemy and all that.
    No to peaceful is it.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    That there is a lot of war in the Bible doesn't mean Jesus himself, (or his disciples called Christians,) are violent. Christianity is based in pretty peaceful teachings.
    Yet they carried swords and stole ponies, and followed the law and the prophets. You are failing badly

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    It's one of the reasons I consider myself a disciple of him and have no problem accepting him as a Messianic figure, even if I don't believe he is part of G-d and still wait for that spirit of Messiah to fulfill the rest of the prophecies. (Which may be self fulfilling, I'm not sure. A deity wouldn't need to actually look in the future in order to predict things.)

    And that's my opinion. You may think it is inconsistent with the scriptures, but that doesn't mean my faith teaches violence and sexism and racism. It's my religious belief, not anyone else.
    It is your very own SPAG Self projection as god - RationalWiki[/QUOTE]

    Organizations like the Soviet Republic and the modern Chinese government, while not under a banner of atheism, both discourage religion among there members and sometimes actively persecute it. This is somewhat exaggerated in many circles, both establishments allowed/allow religion as long as it's with a state sanctioned church. So I'm not saying atheism is responsible for it. I don't even really know exactly what Stalin's opinions were, or even if he was capable of having an opinion not directly linked to his own egomania. But lack of belief in a god is still atheism. But indicating that the PRoC or the USSR were religious is a big stretch. Yes, it was political dogma. That's precisely my point. Political dogma can be just as effective as religious dogma.


    These things can happen regardless of religion. If religion can't be used, fealty will or one of a thousand methods of mental control.


    Sure, specific incidences of evil things wouldn't have happened without religion. But I'd be willing to bet there would be other examples of terrible atrocities done in the name of some other belief system.


    Some of your arguments against Jesus seem to be intentionally reaching. No, saying to cut out your eyes or hands is not violent at all. He was a story teller. He told parables. His intent was pretty clear there, and he was saying if something in your life is causing you to stumble, remove that thing from your life. It is obvious that he wasn't advocating self mutilation, especially considering that is outlawed in Judaism.


    Turning over the tables of price gougers and chasing them out of the synagogue in anger is not enough to show that he wasn't peaceful. He was angry, but killed and injured no one.


    The swords thing is a good point of Jesus' pacifism. There is no indication he carried one, firstly. Second, the only time a sword was used Jesus undid the damage and commanded that they be put away, even though the sword was being used to defend him. We also get a very famous quote there showcasing Jesus' attitude on violent lifestyles. Going out of your way to show that Jesus was not a good guy reeks of bias. I understand criticizing the religion itself, but trying to prove that Jesus was a violent person is not going to be successful.
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    [QUOTE=pavlos;575365]
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    But its all politics and monkeys in the end. Religion is an easy scapegoat, but it's also kind of a lazy one.
    I would not say it's a scapegoat, it would only be a scapegoat if it was being blamed for something that is not incited in it's holy book if it says kill witches and the followers do. Then that in no way is being made a scapegoat.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Religion is one tool that can be used by scheming folk and politicians and those with delusions of grandeur who want to be worshiped.
    And god himself as he supposedly is and does give the word.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    It can be a very deadly tool, but it still isn't the root cause of all the stuff it gets blamed for.
    Yes, we cant claim a 100% but 80% and that is still pretty damning.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Take away religion and there are still people. Violent, greedy, loving, hateful, creative, foolish, territorial people. I'd be willing to bet all the same stuff would still happen.
    and you would lose your bet, because nowhere else is it written "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" that is only religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    No one indoctrinated me.
    Really! Please elaborate?

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is true that in seeking God it is important to join a local church since community and scholarly instruction are both important.
    However, I attended local the local church for years without a firm conviction that God exists. It was only when I decided to seek God on my own, in addition to attending the local church that things changed.
    Still need you to elaborate? because you're not to convincing at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    It is reasonable to call genocide that is initiated by a professed atheist an atheist genocide.
    How so! Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god/gods. it has no doctrine nor tenets. the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were not committed in the name of atheism per se but for political, racial and nationalistic reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    That is because you would expect that if God exists then He would try to turn a person away from evil. Thus, if a person totally rejects God either from professed atheism, or from a perverted religious practice such as making yourself / party some sort of religion, then the leader has chosen to separate himself from God.
    The important point is that it was not their lack of belief in a god which drove them and motivated them. The fanatical and uncompromising political, racial and nationalistic dogmas which animated them were not the product of any religious belief or lack thereof, but political beliefs taken to excess. Thus, while Stalin and Mao happened to be atheists, they did not do their deeds in the name of atheism, but in the name of their own dogmatic variant of Marxism.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Thus, you can reasonably call the genocides committed by Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao, atheist genocides.
    No you cant. Fascism and communism, with their extreme dogmatism and reliance on personality cults, are actually themselves like a kind of religion. In the warped communism of Stalin and Mao, the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Christianity was essentially replaced with the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of the State. Fascism and Communism, are merely different forms of religion. it is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. They are as dogmatic as religion whereas atheism isn't. Communism was found by Jesus, the book of Acts is basically a communist manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Mixing power and atheism is a bad thing.
    Wrong again! Atheism has no tenets no doctrines thus it isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a fat person is being killed in the name of fatness.

    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    What we don't know if a person truly practices the nonviolent instructions of many religions (altruism, love of neighbor) etc., if this would have a positive / protective effect.
    What non-violent instruction?!!! The holy books are rife with incitements to violence. Please elaborate and cite your source.
    Christianity is based on tenants of non-violence since that is what Jesus taught. You can argue that it is inconsistent with its own books and self contradicting, but that is what Christianity teaches nonetheless.
    What like when Jesus says to cut of your hands and pluck out you eyes(Matt 5), those aren't violent acts are they. (sarcasm)
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    There are of course many Christians who aren't pacifists, but Jesus himself seemed to be. I can recall one time when he told people to get their weapons ready in case people came to attack them, so presumably he supported self defense. But he advocated working within the system rather than overthrowing it and other peaceful things.
    Especially when it turned over the tables in the Synagogue.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    That's Christian peaceful instruction. Love your enemy and all that.
    No to peaceful is it.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    That there is a lot of war in the Bible doesn't mean Jesus himself, (or his disciples called Christians,) are violent. Christianity is based in pretty peaceful teachings.
    Yet they carried swords and stole ponies, and followed the law and the prophets. You are failing badly

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    It's one of the reasons I consider myself a disciple of him and have no problem accepting him as a Messianic figure, even if I don't believe he is part of G-d and still wait for that spirit of Messiah to fulfill the rest of the prophecies. (Which may be self fulfilling, I'm not sure. A deity wouldn't need to actually look in the future in order to predict things.)

    And that's my opinion. You may think it is inconsistent with the scriptures, but that doesn't mean my faith teaches violence and sexism and racism. It's my religious belief, not anyone else.
    It is your very own SPAG Self projection as god - RationalWiki
    Organizations like the Soviet Republic and the modern Chinese government, while not under a banner of atheism, both discourage religion among there members and sometimes actively persecute it. This is somewhat exaggerated in many circles, both establishments allowed/allow religion as long as it's with a state sanctioned church. So I'm not saying atheism is responsible for it. I don't even really know exactly what Stalin's opinions were, or even if he was capable of having an opinion not directly linked to his own egomania. But lack of belief in a god is still atheism. But indicating that the PRoC or the USSR were religious is a big stretch. Yes, it was political dogma. That's precisely my point. Political dogma can be just as effective as religious dogma.


    These things can happen regardless of religion. If religion can't be used, fealty will or one of a thousand methods of mental control.


    Sure, specific incidences of evil things wouldn't have happened without religion. But I'd be willing to bet there would be other examples of terrible atrocities done in the name of some other belief system.


    Some of your arguments against Jesus seem to be intentionally reaching. No, saying to cut out your eyes or hands is not violent at all. He was a story teller. He told parables. His intent was pretty clear there, and he was saying if something in your life is causing you to stumble, remove that thing from your life. It is obvious that he wasn't advocating self mutilation, especially considering that is outlawed in Judaism.


    Turning over the tables of price gougers and chasing them out of the synagogue in anger is not enough to show that he wasn't peaceful. He was angry, but killed and injured no one.


    The swords thing is a good point of Jesus' pacifism. There is no indication he carried one, firstly. Second, the only time a sword was used Jesus undid the damage and commanded that they be put away, even though the sword was being used to defend him. We also get a very famous quote there showcasing Jesus' attitude on violent lifestyles. Going out of your way to show that Jesus was not a good guy reeks of bias. I understand criticizing the religion itself, but trying to prove that Jesus was a violent person is not going to be successful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Belief is a choice.

    And religion is not the cause of violence.

    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate. However, religious "belief" does not confer immunity to violence.

    Thus, you can choose to believe in God or reject belief in God as you have free will.

    I chose to believe because when I sought God, prayers were answered etc. that I became convinced that God exists.

    Unfortunately, the rules for "seeking God" is the subject of theology, not science.

    Thus, you cannot use science to know if God exists or not.

    You can you use your scientific training however, to decide if theology you follow is true as you seek God.

    For me, the Christian theology proved to be true.
    You need to do some more research on such rash notions of yours. Christian theology is true? Atheist genocides? Science cannot display the existence or non-existence of God? These are typical statements used as excuses to maintain outdated beliefs. It is funny how you mention 'Atheist Genocides' when one can provide a huge list that would be 50 feet long to the violence and evil that religion entirely endured and still endures.
    “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvolvedAtheist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo View Post
    Belief is a choice.

    And religion is not the cause of violence.

    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate. However, religious "belief" does not confer immunity to violence.

    Thus, you can choose to believe in God or reject belief in God as you have free will.

    I chose to believe because when I sought God, prayers were answered etc. that I became convinced that God exists.

    Unfortunately, the rules for "seeking God" is the subject of theology, not science.

    Thus, you cannot use science to know if God exists or not.

    You can you use your scientific training however, to decide if theology you follow is true as you seek God.

    For me, the Christian theology proved to be true.
    You need to do some more research on such rash notions of yours. Christian theology is true? Atheist genocides? Science cannot display the existence or non-existence of God? These are typical statements used as excuses to maintain outdated beliefs. It is funny how you mention 'Atheist Genocides' when one can provide a huge list that would be 50 feet long to the violence and evil that religion entirely endured and still endures.
    "Christian Theology is true." Correct.

    "Science cannot display the existence or non-existence of God." Correct. Science has no ability to adjudicate in many areas of life including theology, philosophy, law, morality, etc.

    I clearly stated that religious are not immune to violence. However, the atheist genocides of the 20th Century make the violent religious look like amateurs.

    If God exists, then you would expect that people who cut themselves off from God's influence would be more vulnerable to doing bad things when they obtain great power.

    In the 20th Century that is exactly what happened.

    The example of Hitler is particularly important since he is an example of a person who claims to be following God, but is not. Thus, we must be especially vigilant for this type of person and examine such leaders (and ourselves) to see if they / we are really following the beliefs they / we claim to follow.
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    What about the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition?
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    it is silly to suggest that you "decided" you have a belief in something. No, you went through a series of experiences, and your beliefs changed as a side-effect - for better or worse.

    Agency (sociology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Isn't this a form of reductionism? E.g. You don't really "see" a picture - it is just photons striking the...


    Anyway, I think the OP asks if a mind can make itself up such that its position on something is fixed. That would not be very scientific. But societies composed of such trustworthy minds would out-perform societies of freethinking mavericks wouldn't they? I mean, when you interview a babysitter you want to hear she'll keep her promises no matter what.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Organizations like the Soviet Republic and the modern Chinese government, while not under a banner of atheism, both discourage religion among there members and sometimes actively persecute it.
    And what has that to do with the atheist it simply means to lack belief in god/gods. Dare i repeat it again it has no tenets nor doctrines it is not organised.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    This is somewhat exaggerated in many circles, both establishments allowed/allow religion as long as it's with a state sanctioned church. So I'm not saying atheism is responsible for it.
    Well that would be nonsensical.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    I don't even really know exactly what Stalin's opinions were, or even if he was capable of having an opinion not directly linked to his own egomania. But lack of belief in a god is still atheism.
    Non sequitur! Just like the lack of sexual attraction is asexual. But it doesn't show that asexuality is the cause of genocide.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    But indicating that the PRoC or the USSR were religious is a big stretch. Yes, it was political dogma. That's precisely my point. Political dogma can be just as effective as religious dogma.
    Yet they both are belief systems, with the dogma to show for it. As such almost identical to religion in all it's facets.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    These things can happen regardless of religion. If religion can't be used, fealty will or one of a thousand methods of mental control.
    Of course to an extent, but religions hands are very dirty all on it's own. All from it's core beliefs.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Sure, specific incidences of evil things wouldn't have happened without religion. But I'd be willing to bet there would be other examples of terrible atrocities done in the name of some other belief system.
    Exactly a belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Some of your arguments against Jesus seem to be intentionally reaching. No, saying to cut out your eyes or hands is not violent at all.
    What!!!! Seriously!!! (OED Violent: Using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage.)
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    He was a story teller. He told parables. His intent was pretty clear there, and he was saying if something in your life is causing you to stumble, remove that thing from your life.
    Yes even if it involved violent means.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    It is obvious that he wasn't advocating self mutilation, especially considering that is outlawed in Judaism.
    No it wasn't, people were cutting of foreskins self mutilation. So why even use it. even in parable. Surely he could have used some other method to convey his message.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Turning over the tables of price gougers and chasing them out of the synagogue in anger is not enough to show that he wasn't peaceful. He was angry, but killed and injured no one.
    Well it wasn't something Gandhi did, in his non-violent protests. Perhaps Jesus needs a lesson in non-violence.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    The swords thing is a good point of Jesus' pacifism. There is no indication he carried one, firstly. Second, the only time a sword was used Jesus undid the damage and commanded that they be put away, even though the sword was being used to defend him.
    And yet he agrees with all the laws. Go figure.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Going out of your way to show that Jesus was not a good guy reeks of bias.
    I would have to have some belief in a Jesus person to have bias.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    I understand criticizing the religion itself, but trying to prove that Jesus was a violent person is not going to be successful.
    Agreed! Trying to prove an imaginary character was violent or not is a moot. However you imagine him to be real.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Organizations like the Soviet Republic and the modern Chinese government, while not under a banner of atheism, both discourage religion among there members and sometimes actively persecute it.
    And what has that to do with the atheist it simply means to lack belief in god/gods. Dare i repeat it again it has no tenets nor doctrines it is not organised.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    This is somewhat exaggerated in many circles, both establishments allowed/allow religion as long as it's with a state sanctioned church. So I'm not saying atheism is responsible for it.
    Well that would be nonsensical.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    I don't even really know exactly what Stalin's opinions were, or even if he was capable of having an opinion not directly linked to his own egomania. But lack of belief in a god is still atheism.
    Non sequitur! Just like the lack of sexual attraction is asexual. But it doesn't show that asexuality is the cause of genocide.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    But indicating that the PRoC or the USSR were religious is a big stretch. Yes, it was political dogma. That's precisely my point. Political dogma can be just as effective as religious dogma.
    Yet they both are belief systems, with the dogma to show for it. As such almost identical to religion in all it's facets.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    These things can happen regardless of religion. If religion can't be used, fealty will or one of a thousand methods of mental control.
    Of course to an extent, but religions hands are very dirty all on it's own. All from it's core beliefs.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Sure, specific incidences of evil things wouldn't have happened without religion. But I'd be willing to bet there would be other examples of terrible atrocities done in the name of some other belief system.
    Exactly a belief system.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Some of your arguments against Jesus seem to be intentionally reaching. No, saying to cut out your eyes or hands is not violent at all.
    What!!!! Seriously!!! (OED Violent: Using or involving physical force intended to hurt, damage.)
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    He was a story teller. He told parables. His intent was pretty clear there, and he was saying if something in your life is causing you to stumble, remove that thing from your life.
    Yes even if it involved violent means.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    It is obvious that he wasn't advocating self mutilation, especially considering that is outlawed in Judaism.
    No it wasn't, people were cutting of foreskins self mutilation. So why even use it. even in parable. Surely he could have used some other method to convey his message.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Turning over the tables of price gougers and chasing them out of the synagogue in anger is not enough to show that he wasn't peaceful. He was angry, but killed and injured no one.
    Well it wasn't something Gandhi did, in his non-violent protests. Perhaps Jesus needs a lesson in non-violence.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    The swords thing is a good point of Jesus' pacifism. There is no indication he carried one, firstly. Second, the only time a sword was used Jesus undid the damage and commanded that they be put away, even though the sword was being used to defend him.
    And yet he agrees with all the laws. Go figure.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    Going out of your way to show that Jesus was not a good guy reeks of bias.
    I would have to have some belief in a Jesus person to have bias.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37
    I understand criticizing the religion itself, but trying to prove that Jesus was a violent person is not going to be successful.
    Agreed! Trying to prove an imaginary character was violent or not is a moot. However you imagine him to be real.
    You keep arguing something I haven't said. I never stated that atheism is the cause of genocides committed by atheists. My point is that these things are political and the result of a belief system, and take away one type of belief system and they will still happen in the name of something else. Examples of these genocides are not to lay blame at atheism, but to show that the root cause is not religion.

    Ever notice how in these large scale crimes, whether it was caused by fealty or nationalism or religion, someone always benefit? The crusades are a great example. Even the personal crimes committed in the name of religion could just as easily be someone persecuting their neighbor for breaking some minor law in an Orwellian society. It's all interchangeable. And when a society persecutes people in the name of religion or duty to the state or whatever, the patriarchy at the top benefits. They have cleverly manipulated culture itself to suit their own goals. These people incite those loyal to them to war in the name of glory to the nation or G-d so that they can either get rich or be worshipped. It's politics.

    As to the cutting off your hand thing, come on. You are grasping for straws. Self mutilation is clearly outlawed in Judaism. A bris isn't something you do to yourself, either, so that has no bearing on the discussion. It was a story and the message is obviously, "Things and people in your life that make you a worse person shouldn't be in your life." It had nothing to do with actually gouging out your own eyes. Anyone can see that. It would be like if Jesus told a story that said, "Two men went into the woods. One brought a tent, and was fine, the other didn't and was eaten by a lion." Then you'd say, "Ah, see, Jesus clearly enjoys it when people are eaten by lions since it allows him to plug tents!" It's silly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    You keep arguing something I haven't said. I never stated that atheism is the cause of genocides committed by atheists.
    I beg to differ. You said in post 37 "However, genocides have been committed by mostly atheistic organizations." a citation is needed for this claim.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    My point is that these things are political and the result of a belief system, and take away one type of belief system and they will still happen in the name of something else. Examples of these genocides are not to lay blame at atheism, but to show that the root cause is not religion.
    That is only possible if the evils that happen are not incited by the religion itself, Example: killing witches.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Ever notice how in these large scale crimes, whether it was caused by fealty or nationalism or religion, someone always benefit? The crusades are a great example. Even the personal crimes committed in the name of religion could just as easily be someone persecuting their neighbor for breaking some minor law in an Orwellian society. It's all interchangeable. And when a society persecutes people in the name of religion or duty to the state or whatever, the patriarchy at the top benefits. They have cleverly manipulated culture itself to suit their own goals. These people incite those loyal to them to war in the name of glory to the nation or G-d so that they can either get rich or be worshipped. It's politics.
    And yet so do the holy books. The religious person only follows by example. "'Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion" Steven Weinberg
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    As to the cutting off your hand thing, come on. You are grasping for straws. Self mutilation is clearly outlawed in Judaism. A bris isn't something you do to yourself, either, so that has no bearing on the discussion.
    So in your opinion foreskins being removed and hands being removed and eyes being plucked out are not violent acts. Please whatever you do please don't hurt anybody, book yourself in to a hospital asap.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    It was a story and the message is obviously, "Things and people in your life that make you a worse person shouldn't be in your life."
    Then they should not be following a religion.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    It had nothing to do with actually gouging out your own eyes. Anyone can see that.
    Then there was no need to even suggest it was there.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    It would be like if Jesus told a story that said, "Two men went into the woods. One brought a tent, and was fine, the other didn't and was eaten by a lion."
    Non sequitur. That is talking about foolishness the other involves a violent act of self mutilation.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    You keep arguing something I haven't said. I never stated that atheism is the cause of genocides committed by atheists.
    I beg to differ. You said in post 37 "However, genocides have been committed by mostly atheistic organizations." a citation is needed for this claim.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    My point is that these things are political and the result of a belief system, and take away one type of belief system and they will still happen in the name of something else. Examples of these genocides are not to lay blame at atheism, but to show that the root cause is not religion.
    That is only possible if the evils that happen are not incited by the religion itself, Example: killing witches.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Ever notice how in these large scale crimes, whether it was caused by fealty or nationalism or religion, someone always benefit? The crusades are a great example. Even the personal crimes committed in the name of religion could just as easily be someone persecuting their neighbor for breaking some minor law in an Orwellian society. It's all interchangeable. And when a society persecutes people in the name of religion or duty to the state or whatever, the patriarchy at the top benefits. They have cleverly manipulated culture itself to suit their own goals. These people incite those loyal to them to war in the name of glory to the nation or G-d so that they can either get rich or be worshipped. It's politics.
    And yet so do the holy books. The religious person only follows by example. "'Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion" Steven Weinberg
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    As to the cutting off your hand thing, come on. You are grasping for straws. Self mutilation is clearly outlawed in Judaism. A bris isn't something you do to yourself, either, so that has no bearing on the discussion.
    So in your opinion foreskins being removed and hands being removed and eyes being plucked out are not violent acts. Please whatever you do please don't hurt anybody, book yourself in to a hospital asap.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    It was a story and the message is obviously, "Things and people in your life that make you a worse person shouldn't be in your life."
    Then they should not be following a religion.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    It had nothing to do with actually gouging out your own eyes. Anyone can see that.
    Then there was no need to even suggest it was there.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    It would be like if Jesus told a story that said, "Two men went into the woods. One brought a tent, and was fine, the other didn't and was eaten by a lion."
    Non sequitur. That is talking about foolishness the other involves a violent act of self mutilation.
    I can't argue with you if you are just going to flop around. A. No, I never said that genocides were committed in the name of atheism. I never implied it. No one who reads this thread and is giving sincere attempts to interpret my posts would say I even implied it. How, in any realm of semantics, is saying that genocides have not been done in the name of atheism, but have been committed by atheistic organizations the same as saying genocides have been done in the name of atheism? You are either subconsciously rewriting what I said to fit your preconceived conclusions or are deliberately changing what I said to fit your agenda. Stop it. If you are going to make the claim that I do not know what I meant when I made a post, actually spend the time to reread it once or twice.

    Sure, burning of witches would not happen except in religion just as turning someone over to the secret police for reading a banned book wouldn't happen except for under fascism.

    I'm not sure you know what the word self mutilation means, or else you didn't actually read what I said carefully, or else you are deliberately trying to sabotage me. No, a bris is not self mutilation by any definition you can come up with because no one cuts off their own foreskin. Yes, self mutilation is outlawed in Judaism. Yes, Jesus would have thought self mutilation was wrong. No, the fact that Jews perform circumcision is in no way an argument that Jews are okay with self mutilation. Please don't make an incorrect claim about my religion, then when I correct you, cling to your original claim in spite of reason.

    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about near the end. I'll amend my statement to say that anyone I've ever met can see Jesus was not actually suggesting people gouge out their own eyes except for you. Maybe you apply standards that state a non-violent person cannot even bring up violence in a parable, but I reject that standard as absurd. It is clear that Jesus was not saying that people should blind themselves. Only people who are ignorant about the culture and the teachings and the context of the rest of the book, or people who are so blinded by bias as to grasp at straws, would claim the Gospels literally want people to lop off their own hands.
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    People should be using religion as an "excuse" to do good deeds. Unfortunately, too many of them use religion as an excuse to do bad deeds instead.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    People should be using religion as an "excuse" to do good deeds. Unfortunately, too many of them use religion as an excuse to do bad deeds instead.
    Very true. Religion focused externally can be an incredibly dangerous thing. Religion focused internally is typically positive, in my observation, but there needs to be some level of balance.

    Some would argue that religion should be external since acts of charity and good will done in the name of their faith are external. I would argue that for such acts to be sincere, the person first worked on making themselves a better person. If more people viewed their faith as a moral standard to hold themselves to, including treating other people with kindness and respect, instead of a moral standard to apply to others, the world would be a better place.

    On another note, I apologize for the somewhat hostile tone in my above post. I think my points still stand, but I wish I could take out any sarcasm or passive aggression.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    People should be using religion as an "excuse" to do good deeds. Unfortunately, too many of them use religion as an excuse to do bad deeds instead.
    ~ and good on you Daecon; I agree..
    ~ Some of us do not require or want for a religious set of rules.. I have a lifetime of standards and self imposed limits of what and how we should be acting.. I make the claim that education should be all that is required for a balanced life..
    A personal view that religions can complicate the world of some.. more than they can deal with. If I must have faith, let it be in the love and aspirations for humanity.. Which brings my thinking back to choices. We can and do choose of what we do. I do. That it works for me is all I need to know.. Knowledge and education are better friends than a religious doctrine. My way, I get to choose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    People should be using religion as an "excuse" to do good deeds. Unfortunately, too many of them use religion as an excuse to do bad deeds instead.
    ~ and good on you Daecon; I agree..
    ~ Some of us do not require or want for a religious set of rules.. I have a lifetime of standards and self imposed limits of what and how we should be acting.. I make the claim that education should be all that is required for a balanced life..
    A personal view that religions can complicate the world of some.. more than they can deal with. If I must have faith, let it be in the love and aspirations for humanity.. Which brings my thinking back to choices. We can and do choose of what we do. I do. That it works for me is all I need to know.. Knowledge and education are better friends than a religious doctrine. My way, I get to choose.
    Regardless, I'd much rather you be a loving person that does not share my views than a hateful one who shares my religion.
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  54. #53  
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    [
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I can't argue with you if you are just going to flop around. A. No, I never said that genocides were committed in the name of atheism. I never implied it. No one who reads this thread and is giving sincere attempts to interpret my posts would say I even implied it. How, in any realm of semantics, is saying that genocides have not been done in the name of atheism, but have been committed by atheistic organizations the same as saying genocides have been done in the name of atheism?
    So what you're saying is there is no connection between atheists and atheistic organizations. Ok so why use the term atheistic; It means without god just the same as atheist does. It is clear you were trying to connect the two, whereas they are mutually exclusive why not simply call them what they are "Communist","Fascist", etc.".
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    You are either subconsciously rewriting what I said to fit your preconceived conclusions or are deliberately changing what I said to fit your agenda. Stop it. If you are going to make the claim that I do not know what I meant when I made a post, actually spend the time to reread it once or twice.
    You had an agenda that is as clear as glass. trying to back track now doesn't do you any justice, your reply is full of intellectual dishonesty.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Sure, burning of witches would not happen except in religion just as turning someone over to the secret police for reading a banned book wouldn't happen except for under fascism.
    And some religions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I'm not sure you know what the word self mutilation means, or else you didn't actually read what I said carefully, or else you are deliberately trying to sabotage me.
    Totally irrelevant, the point being that they are violent acts there is no getting away from that fact. All you complaining is just strawmaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about near the end. I'll amend my statement to say that anyone I've ever met can see Jesus was not actually suggesting people gouge out their own eyes except for you.
    Again irrelevant, the point is why even mention a violent act, why suggest a violent act to get you point across, Surely the most gracious man in history (this being from a christian point of view.) the son of a loving god, Could think of a much nicer way of expressing himself.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Maybe you apply standards that state a non-violent person cannot even bring up violence in a parable, but I reject that standard as absurd.
    Gandhi managed it. And he was just a man. He never mentioned looping hands off and gouging eyes out, his was a completely non-violent protest. His words were non-violent he did not preach violence at all, not even in parable form. And he was a religious man too.

    You are failing miserably in you attempt to clarify yourself.
    and I still need that citation thanks.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I can't argue with you if you are just going to flop around. A. No, I never said that genocides were committed in the name of atheism. I never implied it. No one who reads this thread and is giving sincere attempts to interpret my posts would say I even implied it. How, in any realm of semantics, is saying that genocides have not been done in the name of atheism, but have been committed by atheistic organizations the same as saying genocides have been done in the name of atheism?
    So what you're saying is there is no connection between atheists and atheistic organizations. Ok so why use the term atheistic; It means without god just the same as atheist does. It is clear you were trying to connect the two, whereas they are mutually exclusive why not simply call them what they are "Communist","Fascist", etc.".
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    You are either subconsciously rewriting what I said to fit your preconceived conclusions or are deliberately changing what I said to fit your agenda. Stop it. If you are going to make the claim that I do not know what I meant when I made a post, actually spend the time to reread it once or twice.
    You had an agenda that is as clear as glass. trying to back track now doesn't do you any justice, your reply is full of intellectual dishonesty.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Sure, burning of witches would not happen except in religion just as turning someone over to the secret police for reading a banned book wouldn't happen except for under fascism.
    And some religions.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I'm not sure you know what the word self mutilation means, or else you didn't actually read what I said carefully, or else you are deliberately trying to sabotage me.
    Totally irrelevant, the point being that they are violent acts there is no getting away from that fact. All you complaining is just strawmaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I honestly have no idea what you are talking about near the end. I'll amend my statement to say that anyone I've ever met can see Jesus was not actually suggesting people gouge out their own eyes except for you.
    Again irrelevant, the point is why even mention a violent act, why suggest a violent act to get you point across, Surely the most gracious man in history (this being from a christian point of view.) the son of a loving god, Could think of a much nicer way of expressing himself.
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    Maybe you apply standards that state a non-violent person cannot even bring up violence in a parable, but I reject that standard as absurd.
    Gandhi managed it. And he was just a man. He never mentioned looping hands off and gouging eyes out, his was a completely non-violent protest. His words were non-violent he did not preach violence at all, not even in parable form. And he was a religious man too.

    You are failing miserably in you attempt to clarify yourself.
    and I still need that citation thanks.
    The self mutilation thing is entirely relevant. You keep ignoring the issue, deflecting, and backtracking. You claimed he was advocating self mutilation. I said he couldn't, that isn't even Jewish. You contested it and said he could because Judaism does not forbid self mutilation but actually requires it, showcasing ignorance about the religion in question. I contested that point and beat you on it. Now you are just saying it is irrelevant.

    That Ghandi lead his life in a certain way in no way obligates Jesus to do the same. Shoot, Ghandi came long after anyway. There is no argument here.

    As to the top half? No. There is zero intellectual dishonesty. Stop trying to guess at my 'agenda' because I told you my entire argument from the very beginning. It was all laid out from the get go and you chose to ignore it in favor of paranoia that I am trying to lead you into admitting something so I can say 'Gotcha!' later. I told you my 'agenda' from the beginning.

    No, saying "There are mostly atheistic organizations that committed genocide" is not me obviously trying to imply a connection. I spelled out, clear as day, my intentions with that comment. My intent was not to say that one follows the other, (which I've said three or four times,) but that religions are not required for such acts. Such acts can be performed in the absence of religion, therefore there's other factors at play here. If an atheistic group commits a genocide, I can't say the atheism caused the genocide. So when a religious group commits a genocide, it isn't necessarily the religion that causes the genocide, either. That's it. That was my entire point. There's nothing else to see here. Nada. Zilch. I've said this multiple times in so many ways and I've run out. I speak some Deutsch but I don't think that would clarify matters, either. All you do is question my honesty in everything I say. I take that back. You don't question what I say. You question what you predict I am going to say. You assume I am going somewhere, and you try and head it off. But there's nothing to head off. It isn't me lacking clarity. It is you making massive leaps and assumptions so of course the pieces don't fit together. If everyone else jumps in to say that they don't get what I am saying, sure, maybe I've lacked clarity. But it's just you so far.

    I'm done with this debate. I'm not storming out and leaving. I'll read your next retort because I don't believe in giving a rebuttal then ending it with, "Okay, let's stop talking." I'll listen to what you have to say and attempt to understand it. But since it has become clear to me that you aren't engaging me, but instead projecting, I see very little point in continuing. I find sarcasm and accusations highly unpleasant whether giving or receiving, so am bowing out. Take that however you will. Like I said, I won't unfollow the thread but think it highly unlikely that I will respond to your next post.
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  56. #55  
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    Sowz37: Firstly I don't care whether you reply or not.

    However I cant allow you to try get away with your last post. Quote mining and word twisting is only ever done by someone with an agenda. You haven't ever backed up your claims. on any point you made.

    I replied to Dedo here
    Quote Originally Posted by dedo
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    The atheist genocides of the 20th Century ended that debate.
    What atheist genocides, please elaborate and cite your sources, I only know of communism, fascism, I know of nothing that was done under an atheist banner, atheism has no doctrines nor tenets, so please elaborate thank you.
    You responded by repeating or intimating the same thing Dedo did.
    Quote Originally Posted by you
    No genocide has been committed under the banner of atheism. However, genocides have been committed by mostly atheistic organizations.
    You have yet to back this claim up. Forgive me if I'm wrong but are you not claiming communism and fascism where atheistic in nature. Which is wrong atheism has nothing to do with them. They are belief systems just like religion. Atheism is the complete opposite.

    Then you claimed christianty was non-violent, yet it's history shows otherwise. after I had asked Dedo this
    Quote Originally Posted by me
    What non-violent instruction?!!! The holy books are rife with incitements to violence. Please elaborate and cite your source.
    You said
    Quote Originally Posted by you
    Christianity is based on tenants of non-violence since that is what Jesus taught.
    You even said that Jesus supported violence in the form of self-defence, so turn the other cheek went right out the window didn't it. you were advocating that Jesus taught non-violence yet he used it when it was necessary and he spoke about in parable clearly he wasn't only preaching non-violence. " turn the other cheek and when it gets too much stab the bastard" (sarcasm) You even claimed that plucking out eyes and loping off hands were not violent acts.

    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    The self mutilation thing is entirely relevant. You keep ignoring the issue, deflecting, and backtracking. You claimed he was advocating self mutilation. I said he couldn't, that isn't even Jewish. You contested it and said he could because Judaism does not forbid self mutilation but actually requires it, showcasing ignorance about the religion in question. I contested that point and beat you on it. Now you are just saying it is irrelevant.
    You said self mutilation is relevant, yet the key point is the violence. You cant claim non-violence whilst advocating violence. The two are mutually exclusive. Self mutilation or bris are still violent acts. you may wish to soften them but they are still violent there is no getting away from that fact. no amount of dodging on your part, will make them non-violent.

    And my point in using Gandhi was to emphasis the non-violence. I don't give a damn in regard to Gandhi nor Jesus. Just that you are claiming Christianity is non-violent whilst at the same time you're showing it speaks and acts violently. You cant have it both ways.
    Last edited by pavlos; June 25th, 2014 at 08:15 AM.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote mining and word twisting is only ever done by someone with an agenda.

    ............

    You said self mutilation is relevant, yet the key point is the violence. You cant claim non-violence whilst advocating violence. The two are mutually exclusive. Self mutilation or bris are still violent acts. you may wish to soften them but they are still violent there is no getting away from that fact. no amount of dodging on your part, will make them non-violent.

    And my point in using Gandhi was to emphasis the non-violence. I don't give a damn in regard to Gandhi nor Jesus. Just that you are claiming Christianity is non-violent whilst at the same time you're showing it speaks and acts violently. You cant have it both ways.
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is self mutilation violence?"?

    First of all I'm kindly targeting the discussion both of you are having.

    Each of you guy's arguments are perfectly logical in your own's mind.
    Because:
    The understanding of the word "violence" is unique to you.
    The reasoning you use to convince yourself is uniquely correct to you and may never be perfectly expressed to convince another person that your reasoning is correct.

    Both of you (everybody in particular) are born different. Both of you grow up in different environments. Both of you have different rearrangement of the molecules in your brain (blah blah blah..... if you UNDERSTAND what i mean, which i don't expect you to, but i hope you sort of get the idea)

    In my opinion, RELIGIONS CRUMBLE AND SOCIAL LAWS FALL APART when discussing this deep into the topic of absolute understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles View Post
    When arguments boil down to the fundamentals of the meaning of English words, the use of arguments like these doesn't make any sense.

    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is belief a choice?"?
    Getting the meaning of a word from the meaning of a few other words?
    Can this argument be used to end all subjective debates as: useless debating?
    Can't it?


    EDIT:
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is belief a choice?"?
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is self mutilation violence?"?
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is hypnosis similar to belief?"?

    Similar?
    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    If thy right nipple offend thee, pluck it off! Goes for the other, too!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos View Post
    Quote mining and word twisting is only ever done by someone with an agenda.

    ............

    You said self mutilation is relevant, yet the key point is the violence. You cant claim non-violence whilst advocating violence. The two are mutually exclusive. Self mutilation or bris are still violent acts. you may wish to soften them but they are still violent there is no getting away from that fact. no amount of dodging on your part, will make them non-violent.

    And my point in using Gandhi was to emphasis the non-violence. I don't give a damn in regard to Gandhi nor Jesus. Just that you are claiming Christianity is non-violent whilst at the same time you're showing it speaks and acts violently. You cant have it both ways.
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is self mutilation violence?"?

    First of all I'm kindly targeting the discussion both of you are having.

    Each of you guy's arguments are perfectly logical in your own's mind.
    Because:
    The understanding of the word "violence" is unique to you.
    The reasoning you use to convince yourself is uniquely correct to you and may never be perfectly expressed to convince another person that your reasoning is correct.

    Both of you (everybody in particular) are born different. Both of you grow up in different environments. Both of you have different rearrangement of the molecules in your brain (blah blah blah..... if you UNDERSTAND what i mean, which i don't expect you to, but i hope you sort of get the idea)

    In my opinion, RELIGIONS CRUMBLE AND SOCIAL LAWS FALL APART when discussing this deep into the topic of absolute understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles View Post
    When arguments boil down to the fundamentals of the meaning of English words, the use of arguments like these doesn't make any sense.

    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is belief a choice?"?
    Getting the meaning of a word from the meaning of a few other words?
    Can this argument be used to end all subjective debates as: useless debating?
    Can't it?


    EDIT:
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is belief a choice?"?
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is self mutilation violence?"?
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is hypnosis similar to belief?"?

    Similar?
    The argument wasn't is self mutilation violence, its is someone else performing a bris self mutilation. I argued no.
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  59. #58  
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles
    On what basis do we talk over debates like "Is self mutilation violence?"?

    First of all I'm kindly targeting the discussion both of you are having.

    Each of you guy's arguments are perfectly logical in your own minds.
    Because:
    The understanding of the word "violence" is unique to you.
    Sorry I cant agree with that because my version of violence is this in it's entirety. Perhaps I cant convince someone to follow this version. But I was under the assumption (though it appears misguided) that everybody thinks this way bar the sociopath. Violence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Quote Originally Posted by Pavlos (World Health Organization (violence))
    The World Health Organization defines Violence as "the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation," but acknowledges that the inclusion of the "the use of power" in its definition expands on the conventional meaning of the word.[2] This definition associates intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces. Generally, though, anything that is turbulent or excited in an injurious, damaging or destructive way, or presenting risk accordingly, may be described as violent or occurring violently, even if not signifying violence (by a person and against a person).
    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles
    The reasoning you use to convince yourself is uniquely correct to you and may never be perfectly expressed to convince another person that your reasoning is correct.
    Not so. See above quote and link.
    Quote Originally Posted by RamenNoodles
    When arguments boil down to the fundamentals of the meaning of English words, the use of arguments like these doesn't make any sense.
    Yet! I wasn't arguing semantics, see above.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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