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View Poll Results: I discuss religion for....

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  • Good intentions (involves understanding each other)

    1 11.11%
  • Bad intentions (involves slandering each others beliefs)

    0 0%
  • To make a better understanding for numerous parties involved

    8 88.89%
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Thread: Motives behind religious appraisal/disapproval

  1. #1 Motives behind religious appraisal/disapproval 
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    I understand many religious people's motives behind preaching about religion quite often is, all intended good nature. However, this may not be true, for one reason or another. But when it comes to non religious natured people, why exactly do they make comments and are so genuinley active in discussing it? Just briefly as possible could you say why you discuss it so often and why sometimes so extremely.

    Here is an example of what I mean.

    1: (Me) I discuss religion because I wish to get people on both sides of religion to realise each others point of views so that they can get on with each other without resorting to anger whcih stops all possibility to become understanding and respectful nature.

    2: (Someone else religious) I wish to discuss religion because I wish to convert people who are not religious to my faith so that they may be saved from eternal damnation, (or another similar reason).

    3: (Atheist). I wish to discuss religion because I percieve religion or any religious belief to be a delusion such as anything similar to belief in anything that is non verifiable, and wish to uncovert believers from their delusion. (other reasons could be because religion causes children to be abused, or that religion starts wars etc etc).

    All I ask is for a paragraph that really contains no banter or insults on either party, just what the reasosn behind your discussing religion is.

    On a personal note, I myself am religious, and believe in many religions. But I also believe in fairness and equality, so I am willing to listen and respect other parties opinions.

    I have also taken the liberty of placing a poll to allow more silent members to express their opinions.


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  3. #2  
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    I want to eliminate religion since it forces itself on me and interfers with my life against my will.
    Religion also hinders and endangers my future by imposing laws agains things like stem-cell research etc.
    And by having religious wars going on all over it could end the world as we know it.
    Unless religion is forced to be private there will be no peace in the world.

    Unless there´s bans against religion playing a part in govermental procedures it will keep imposing itself on me and my existance against my will.

    My option is not in the poll.


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  4. #3  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    Because its the one you don't want to put? If you don't want to discuss to understand each other, and if you don't want to inform religious people in a friendly way that they are very much imposing on scientific development, how do you make 'banning religion' seem good or for the greater good?

    Religion does not impose you, you are not bound by religion and it does not directly affect your life, at least if you do not have religion. So what do you mean by 'against my will' is there anything stopping you from living your life?
    By 'endangers my future by imposing laws agains things like stem-cell research etc' do you mean you work in stem cell research?

    Religious wars going on all over it could end the world as we know it
    To me politics in the cold war was far closer than religion if you ask me.

    Unless religion is forced to be private there will be no peace in the world.
    So if everyone was atheist, and religious people locked away in their homes, we'd not have any murderers anymore? Or dictators?

    Unless there´s bans against religion playing a part in govermental procedures...
    Governments of the UN at least, are democratic.

    ...imposing itself on me and my existance against my will.
    Again you use 'against my will'. If someone religious in your life is seriously mentally or physically stopping you from living normally see the police. You do worry me when you say that.

    My option is not in the poll.
    Then please feel free to place down what it would be.

    PS I do not mean to sound condescending or sarcastic, but I'm sure now you can see the incongruencies in your statements.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    , how do you make 'banning religion' seem good or for the greater good?
    He, and many others, consider it more important to ban the influence of religion in public life than to have such a banning perceived as good.
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    ,Religion does not impose you, you are not bound by religion and it does not directly affect your life, at least if you do not have religion.
    Oh really? What planet do you live on SV.
    One of my colleagues is unable to visit Saudi Arabia on business because she is female.
    I can't get a drink in Saudi, legally, anytime. Try getting a drink in some Islamic states during Ramadan.
    Explore why it wasn't until a decade or so ago that shops in the UK could open on a Sunday.
    Consider the abortion laws as they affect the Irish Republic.

    Now tell me religion does not impose on my life and the lives of others.
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    ,By 'endangers my future by imposing laws agains things like stem-cell research etc' do you mean you work in stem cell research?
    .
    Stem cell research may lead to a cure for Alzeihmer's or a means of repairing damaged heart tissue. Either or both of these could offer me a longer, more productive life.
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Governments of the UN at least, are democratic..
    Again, which planet do you live on. Do you truly contend that all Un governments are democratic? Do you fail to recognise the imposition of religious preferences present in many countries around the world?
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    My option is not in the poll.
    Then please feel free to place down what it would be.
    .
    He set out his opinion very clearly.
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    PS I do not mean to sound condescending or sarcastic, but I'm sure now you can see the incongruencies in your statements.
    His statements are not incongruous.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Chaotic, you DO know what stem cell research is, right? Or did you not understand what he was referring?

    Stem Cell Research can be used to grow limbs, organs, or can be used to cure disease like parkinson's.

    When he gets older, chances are, he may have organ failure and need a new organ. Why wait a week to get it from a donor who may or may not be the correct blood type, which will kill the patient, or we could grow our own organ's and we don't need to harvest them from other people.
    Or he may get a disease that stem cell can cure. However, religious folk's are against stem cell research and consider it murder, even when the cells have no brain wave flow, which is the ultimate definition of a human being.
    Bush informed the public that stem cell research will not be further funded since it imposed on his RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

    How can we NOT fight back against religion oppressing our future? This is a war, it truly is. And people who are religious are fighting against those who want to advance in evolution and in life in general. I'm one of those people. A front man who isn't afraid to speak what he believes. The point is, is that religion is oppressing something that will heal our society because it's not with their beliefs. They are saying, "NO!" to something that will help out man kind because of what they think is out there! Because of their superstition!
    And religion is good for this world, why? You preach free will, yet, you seem like another brain washed puppet to me.
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  7. #6  
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    I hate to see people go about saying "My religion is correct, yours not." n` shyt like that.
    By posting here I want to make people here to understand that there is NO correct religion. Even if you introduce me now to Jesus showing me that Christianety is true it won't make all other religions false.

    There has been enough killing in the past and in the present because of religion. I'm sure that no religion which centers God was intended to be the main source of wars in this world, all the killing that was coused by religion was because of some stupid preachers which told the gullable belivers that "God told me last night that we must go now and kill all who oppouse God..."

    Jeez... I hope that you guys get my point...

    Btw, I also fight against those s.o.b. preachers who think that they can alter ones belief by telling bunch of lies and speculations to the poor fellow....
    *if only I had a hatchet...*

    P.S. From what I understand I'm Agnostic; You can never know...
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  8. #7  
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    I second Ophiolite.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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  9. #8  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    I know I put a clearly valid argument, and because you differ in your opinion Ophiolite, have a few more points to contribute and are able to organise them in a way that makes my logical discussion from what I deem logical given my experience seem incongruent. It does not mean you are right.

    PS I favour stem cell research, I wish to allow them to proceed with it, you two seem to think I do no favour it, where clearly I did not put down that I didn't. Also Ophiolite, you travelling to many countries, and quite numerous on occasion, makes you in the upper 19/20 percentile on cultural contact, which means 95% of people in general do not travel to multiple countries outside of thier own. Religion imposes on many people, of course it does, like everything does in some way to all people, but remember, that in their country it is their culture, their way of life, and you accept that when you travel to their country. After all, 'when in Rome'. I thought you'd know that after all your travels Ophiolite.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    He wasn't referring to that. He is referring to the fact that religion ALWAYS interferes with his life no matter what.
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  11. #10  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    But that IS life. Many different things interfere with everything. I have at least 20 things a day that interferes with how I'd like things to go and religion actually never interferes with me at least, thats the way the cookie crumbles, I can't believe that Ophiolite meant that, at least what you say he meant, at his age.

    Religion interferes with everything, so do your parents, your government, your friends, your local VAT rate, your free timem the weather, the news, celebrities, dozens more things interfere with our lives all the time. Thats fact and if you focus all the time on blaming religion for everything, your going to miss issues other than religion that need dealing with, and if you do that verzen, your living very dangerously.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    But didn't you say that religion never interferes with anyones life if you dont want it too so don't mess with it? (That was you, wasn't it?)
    Now the change of heart... man your more fickle about your idea's than Hillary Clinton is.
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  13. #12  
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    Twisting my words again are we? Go ahead, people know me long enough to know what I do and what I don't mean.

    Religion interferes with peoples lives.
    So do a lot of other groups and people.

    Meaning: Some people join you, some people oppose you. That isn't limited to religion.

    Twist all you like verzen, if thats your intelligent debating method of discussing the motives behind religious discussion. This thread is already going off topic to the area of 'religion interferes' instead when the OP was why people 'discuss religion in an apprasing or disaproving way'. They are two different topics, try and keep on the track verzen please, this is an intelligent discussion forum, so please avoid looking like a troll. I like you and discussing things with you quite moreso than others, mainly because you are passionate about your beliefs as I am, and I'm the only one that every really disagrees with you and without me thus, you are not able to discuss, the objectivity of being on a forum in the first place.

    PS. You like discussing and going all out when discussing religion with me in particular don't you?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  14. #13  
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    Your my arch nemesis....

    You... complete me.
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  15. #14  
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    OK, let's clear the air on stem cell research. I do not know about other religions, but Christianity is not against stem cell research, per se.

    What Christians object to is the production of an embryo for the purpose of creating stem cells instead of for the creation of a new person.

    To Christians, when a gamete and an ovum unite, it is the start of a new human being -- a person who deserves the right to gestate, be born and live a life just like anyone else who is posting messages on this forum.

    There are other sources of stem cells and, as a Christian and as a human being, I encourage the use of non-embryonic stem cells for any medical reserch that they can be used for. I would also encourage hospitals and other medical facilities involved in birth to encourage parents as to the benefits of preserving umbilical blood.

    Politics, government and business practices are all far more invasive into personal lives than is religion -- at least in the West. This may not be true in Islamic Republics where religion is politics, government and business.

    But here in the West, religion is no more or less invasive than non-religious world views.

    Everyone seems to believe that if the world believed exactly what he believes, the world would be a better place.

    It is obvious that resident atheist posters believe the world would be better off without religion. We Christians believe the world would be better off if all people were Christians. Muslims believe you would be better off dead than not be a Muslim.

    It is for those reasons that we discuss religion, politics, government, economics and philosophy. It is not unusual in human history to attempt to exert our authority and values (or lack thereof) upon others.

    And this crap about religion being such a cause of war -- from the end of the Crusades to the establishment of Israel, almost all wars were of a policital nature. The death and misery caused by those wars far exceed all the deaths that can be attributed to religious conflicts including the current terrorist activism eminating from Islam. I fear there are few history aficionados posting here.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    I discuss religion for a variety of reasons. I believe that I have important ideas to share as well as a great deal more to learn. It is also my experience that many "eyes" can see the full complexity of the world with greater clarity than any one person alone. I also have a fascination with the different ways that people think. The downside is that people also often have very different ways of communicating and this sometimes makes communication very difficult.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    We Christians believe the world would be better off if all people were Christians.
    Does this mean that I am not a Christian by your definition. I do not believe that the world would be better off if all people were Christian. I believe it would be a return to the dark ages. It is my belief that the diversity of human thought is a creation of God (i.e. encouraged by God) and something which is necessary for our salvation (in a variety of meanings for this word).
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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  17. #16  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I fight against christian propaganda... George Bush Sr once said, "Athiests arn't true citizens of the united states" .. So if I get rid of all christians, then I can finally become a citizen of the united states. That is my true goal, you know.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Doublepost
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  19. #18  
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    Mitchell said:

    I do not believe that the world would be better off if all people were Christian. I believe it would be a return to the dark ages.
    Does this mean Mitchell believes that if everyone believed as he believes the world would return to the dark ages? So, do Mitchell's physics classes still assume that the earth is the center of the Universe? :wink:
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  20. #19  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Does this mean Mitchell believes that if everyone believed as he believes the world would return to the dark ages? So, do Mitchell's physics classes still assume that the earth is the center of the Universe? :wink:
    Does this mean that it is Dayton's theory that this belief was the cause of the dark ages?

    I believe that the dark ages was simply a taste of the kind of world that we had before the flood when humanity was united in a uniformity of thought and culture. The dark ages simply demonstrated that it didn't really matter what the uniformity of thought was based upon, it is the uniformity itself that is the problem. The communist era was a further demonstration that an atheistic philosophy could do no better.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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  21. #20  
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    Good question Chaotic. There are some things I've learned about religion by discussing here, for example that religious beliefs are more pluriform than I thought (there's a lot of space for interpretation, so one religion can give rise to a broad spectrum of practical outcomes).

    But I can't deny that another goal has been to promote non-theistic ideas. I do feel that atheism can be liberating for people, both mentally (freedom to explore science, like evolution, without any mental barriers) and practically (more freedom of choice). I just hope every theist allows him/herself a chance to explore a world without god and to see if it makes sense for him/herself.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The dark ages simply demonstrated that it didn't really matter what the uniformity of thought was based upon, it is the uniformity itself that is the problem. The communist era was a further demonstration that an atheistic philosophy could do no better.
    I tend to agree that uniformity of thought can be a dangerous thing.

    There was certainly uniformity of thought in the communist era, but this can't be traced to atheism.
    The dark age may not be the unavoidable outcome of religious beliefs, but it's strongly linked to it (burning witches doesnt have much to do with Christianity, but for example imposing strict limits on personal freedom can be linked to the bible). Authoritarian communism does not follow from atheist ideas, it's a thing in itself. Ruling with dictators and banning the freedom to work, earn and consume however you want doesn't follow from the idea that there is no god. So the communist era doesn't by itself show that a uniformly atheist world has to end up in trouble and suffering.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Religion interferes with everything, so do your parents, your government, your friends, your local VAT rate, your free timem the weather, the news, celebrities, dozens more things interfere with our lives all the time. .
    Earlier you said this:
    Religion does not impose you, you are not bound by religion and it does not directly affect your life, at least if you do not have religion.
    Do you see the problem I have with your position SV. It is fluid and mobile. Of course many other things effect me. Many other things impose on me. We were not discussing those other things. We were discussing religion.
    You want me to object to the interference of government in the daily lives of its citizens? I object strongly.
    You want me to object to the power of large corporations? I object strongly.
    You want me to object to practices of people in other countries that have an adverse effect on the planet as a whole? I object strongly.

    None of these objections are relevant to the point under discussion here. You claimed, as quoted above, that Religion does not impose you. Verzen and I have demonstrated this is false. End of story.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The communist era was a further demonstration that an atheistic philosophy could do no better.
    do try to read your bible, Acts in particular.
    This was posted up by someone some time back, cant remember who.
    Quote Originally Posted by whomever
    People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.

    this is a common mistake made by theists, typically those of the fundy type, they believe atheism is essentially socialist or communist in nature. Thus, atheism should be rejected since socialism and communism are evil. How stupid!

    the first thing we should note is there is an automatic and almost unconscious assumption made by these theists that their religion is somehow equivalent with captialism.

    Communism is not, however, inherently atheistic. It is possible to have communistic or socialistic views while being a theist and it isn't at all wrong to be an atheist while staunchly defending capitalism, which is a combination often found among objectivists and libertarians.
    their existence alone demonstrates, that atheism and communism are not the same thing.

    is christianity opposed to communism? No, the opposite, actually. There is nothing in the gospels which even so much as suggests a divine preference for captialism, now is there.

    quite a bit of what Jesus said supports many of the of socialism and even communism. http://latter-rain.com/general/commu.htm
    He specifically said that that people should give all they could to the poor and that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

    basic communism states to hold all property in common rather than privately, is practiced by numerous Christian communities now and throughout history. references to it can be found in Acts:

    Acts 4:33-35 "With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. "
    The similarity to Marx's principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" should be obvious.

    and here again in Acts:

    Acts 5:1-11 "But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. "Ananias," Peter asked, "why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!" Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it.

    The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price." And she said, "Yes, that was the price." Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things."

    their deaths served as an example to all the others of what would happen if they, too, held back profits for themselves instead of giving everything to the community.
    so we can see that this was the first christian commune(ist) society.

    so please lets get away from this silly reference to atheism and communism being the same, the bible is basically a communist manifesto.
    the dark ages was a time where religion had strict control on it's followers. anybody that did not adhere to the rules was killed off.
    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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  24. #23  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Religion interferes with everything, so do your parents, your government, your friends, your local VAT rate, your free timem the weather, the news, celebrities, dozens more things interfere with our lives all the time. .
    Earlier you said this:
    Religion does not impose you, you are not bound by religion and it does not directly affect your life, at least if you do not have religion.
    Do you see the problem I have with your position SV. It is fluid and mobile. Of course many other things effect me. Many other things impose on me. We were not discussing those other things. We were discussing religion.
    You want me to object to the interference of government in the daily lives of its citizens? I object strongly.
    You want me to object to the power of large corporations? I object strongly.
    You want me to object to practices of people in other countries that have an adverse effect on the planet as a whole? I object strongly.

    None of these objections are relevant to the point under discussion here. You claimed, as quoted above, that Religion does not impose you. Verzen and I have demonstrated this is false. End of story.
    Us scot's gotta stick together you know.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Religion interferes with everything, so do your parents, your government, your friends, your local VAT rate, your free timem the weather, the news, celebrities, dozens more things interfere with our lives all the time. .
    Earlier you said this:
    Religion does not impose you, you are not bound by religion and it does not directly affect your life, at least if you do not have religion.
    Do you see the problem I have with your position SV. It is fluid and mobile. Of course many other things effect me. Many other things impose on me. We were not discussing those other things. We were discussing religion.
    You want me to object to the interference of government in the daily lives of its citizens? I object strongly.
    You want me to object to the power of large corporations? I object strongly.
    You want me to object to practices of people in other countries that have an adverse effect on the planet as a whole? I object strongly.

    None of these objections are relevant to the point under discussion here. You claimed, as quoted above, that Religion does not impose you. Verzen and I have demonstrated this is false. End of story.
    While I am not a big Chaotic fan, Ophiolite apparently fails to take into account the different implications between "interference" and "imposition." It would be accurate to suggest Christianity (which seemed to be the topic of the OP) can interfere with one’s lifestyle or world view; it would not be equally accurate, at least in the West, to say that religion can be imposed upon people.

    Government and other institutions, on the other hand, often both interfere and impose.

    I think Chaotic’s objection is well placed in that atheists and agnostics show their bias and inconsistency by objecting to religious practices and beliefs (implying Christianity) which are far less intrusive and far less demanding and which have far less direct negative consequences than those of other institutions. They then object when such inconsistencies are pointed out by claiming it is off topic or one of their favorites - it is an ad homenem attack.

    To address the actual OP, the reason any of us post here is because we think our point of view is right and the other point of view is wrong. (Anyone posting here think his viewpoint is wrong?) And it is our bent to attempt to advance the correctness of our viewpoint while pointing out errors in the other viewpoint.

    My experience is that atheists and agnostics have a somewhat narrow worldview, failing to understand and comprehend the intricate relationships between the many disciplines of knowledge. The result is that posters sometimes unwittingly intrude on some other school of knowledge and when another sees and objects to this intrusion, it is labeled as “off topic” by those who just do not see the connection.

    In this discussion, a huge improper argument is when Ophiolite tends to use the practices of Islam to show that all of religion imposes on society. This is just not true. The only religion I know which can be charged with "imposition" is Islam.

    And, as I previously showed, both Ophiolite and Verzen use Christian objections to using embryos as farm animals for the production of stem cells to be an overall objection to stem cell research. Truth is, so far, stem cell research has been more useful and productive when using adult stem cells. As Christians neither I nor the doctor in my congregation object to stem cell research, but we do object to turning human embryos into farm animals. (Can farm subsidies be far behind?)

    While this appears to be off topic, this is exactly why we post here – to attempt to correct these kinds of errors in presentation of information. Christians may well interfere with others’ lifestyle, but we do not “impose” in the sense of forcing others to do anything. Christians are not opposed to stem cell research; rather we object to farming and destroying human embryos, especially when there are other useful and effective sources of stem cells.

    These conversations are pretty much open ended and often meander away from the original post, but such meanderings are not unprofitable. If the OP poster does not object to such meanderings, why should the mods interfere? Let’s let the OP object first.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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  26. #25  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    There was certainly uniformity of thought in the communist era, but this can't be traced to atheism.
    "Traced to atheism???" what a load of nonsense It is an atheistic philosophy, pure and simple. Yes it is just one atheistic philosophy out of the infinity of those which are possible. The point here is simply to say it is NOT the case that only a uniformity of though based on religion is a problem.

    Sounds to me like you are trying to claim that YOUR atheistic philosophy would be different! LOL LOL LOL The arrogance of human beings is really without limit.

    I know the temptation to say that ones own philosophy would be different is nearly irresistable because of course one feels that one is correct in every way that one thinks is important. After all MY phillosophy includes this belief that the diversity of human thought itself is important so doesn't that mean that MY philosophy would be different??? NO NO NO it does NOT. It is in fact clear that this would be a contradiction, and the only advantage of a uniformity of the thought based on my philosophy would be the ability to see clearly why total disaster is inevitable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    The dark age may not be the unavoidable outcome of religious beliefs, but it's strongly linked to it (burning witches doesnt have much to do with Christianity, but for example imposing strict limits on personal freedom can be linked to the bible). Authoritarian communism does not follow from atheist ideas, it's a thing in itself. Ruling with dictators and banning the freedom to work, earn and consume however you want doesn't follow from the idea that there is no god. So the communist era doesn't by itself show that a uniformly atheist world has to end up in trouble and suffering.
    No I think you completely miss the point. Not only is a uniformity of thought so completely out of human character that only the worst kind of oppression could create or maintain it, but this kind of uniformity has terrible effect on human behavior to create an mob mentality and an atmosphere of increasing intolerance to differences and to change. It also cannot but have a negative effect on human intellect and creativity of the highest order for both human intellect and creativity are largely a product of the cross fertization of ideas.

    The situation really closely parallels some biological realities where a lack of diversity is lethal to both a gene pool and to an ecosystem.


    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    do try to read your bible, Acts in particular.

    the dark ages was a time where religion had strict control on it's followers. anybody that did not adhere to the rules was killed off.
    I have no idea why pavlos thinks that this is a response to my post or anything I said.
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    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    I'm a bit surprised by your post mitchell, I didn't made any sweeping claims as far as I can tell.

    My point about communism: as you say it's only one of many atheist philosophies, but I would add that atheism isn't an essential element in communism. And communism certainly isn't an element at all in atheism.

    Two comparisons are often made:
    1) The Dark Age is an example of religion gone wrong;
    2) The Soviet Union is an example of atheism gone wrong.

    About number 1 I'd say that it's simplistic, although the nature of the dark age can be linked to a specific form of religion. They're not two completely different things. The persecution of non-believers and the rejection of science are extremist versions of things that one may read in the bible (with or without re-interpreting, I dont know which parts of the bible it would be based on).

    Number 2 is not just simplistic, it's complete nonsense. Yes most communists are atheists, but that doesn't mean that atheists, their ideas and their behaviour are somehow linked to communism. For example the idea that property is bad is not an extremist interpretation of the idea that there is no god, it's a completely separate thing. Same with ideas like "it's ok to kill X million people if it's necessary for the revolution" or so, that isn't in any way related to the idea that there is no god.

    So I have yet to hear a reason why a world without any religious believers has to end up in suffering and turmoil. I did start out by saying that having uniformity of thought may not be a good thing, but that doesn't mean we need religion to bring diversity (there are plenty of other ideologies and philosophies to help out).
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    I am opposed to blind faith, both religious and secular. Blind faith means that such a person is more likely prone to arguments from authority. People like that are less likely to attempt unbiased understanding of the world around them. They are prone to an inflexible and generalised moral framework. They are prone to poor logic skills. So then blind faith breeds ignorence, which breeds blind faith, ad infinitum. The cycle has to be broken.

    In my view the most probable product of a well developed understanding of the world is agnosticism/atheism, but we are emotional beings and this is where the problem comes in. It is a near impossibility to successfully apply emotion to logic and logic to emotion within oneself. Its almost allways one or the other at work at any one time. Religion is almost totally emotional, so debate goes mostly nowhere.

    Sorry for my scattered thoughts, I am very tired right now.
    I'll make more sense tomorrow.
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    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  29. #28  
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    History, history, history. What does history show us?

    First of all, history shows that no socialist system has thrived and survived for even 100 years. Remember first that communism is a form of politics, a one-party government. As practiced by the Soviet Union, it employed socialism as an economic system and advanced atheism while denoucing any form of religion.

    Russia remains basically a one-party quasi-communist type of government while now shunning socialism in favor of free enterprise and tolerating religion. Communist China also remains a basically communist government which has abandonned socialism in favor of free enterprise although it still sort of discourages religion.

    The free exchange of ideas and philosphies remains surpressed in just about all of Asia and the Middle east, as well as most of Africa. Of those areas, we can exclude Japan, South Korea and South Africa which have been heavily influenced by Western civilization. To be sure, some countries have tried but it is still dangerous to be a member of an opposition non-ruling party or ideology.

    It is only here in the west -- the Americas and most of Europe plus Australia -- where the influence of Christianity (including about 1000 or so years of Roman Catholic predominance) has shaped thinking and human progress.

    Are all the heros and great thinkers of the last 2,000 years Christians? No, some of the greatest minds such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington in American history; Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, some of the greatest minds in science, and long lists of other people in other disciplines, though not being Christians, were greatly influence by religious thought and input. What similar people arose in societies dominated by Islam, Hinduism or Budhism? (Before you mention Ghandi, recall that he was educated in the West.)

    When we look at Islam, we see a government and social structure remains that pretty much what it was when Muhammed started the religion. When we look at Hinduism we see people who worship cows while starving to death. When we look at Budhism we see people who look at half a glass of water and try to decide if the glass is half empty or half full and perhaps dies of thirst before he figures it out.

    Two of the most significant events in the history of mankind have been the birth of Christ and the Protestant reformation. These two events have had the most significant and long lasting influences on society and government of any other events.

    We cannot know if the world would be better or worse off if we were all of one religion or no religion. Mitchell's thought that like-mindedness is detrimental may well be affirmed by the Bible story of the Tower of Babel.

    However, with the state of Christianity being what it is today, I can hardly think it would promote like-mindedness. Even if we were all protestants, we would not be like-minded. Even if we were all Baptists, we would not be like minded. Even if we were all Southern Baptists, we would not be like minded. Even if we all went to the same church, we would not be like minded.

    Religion, like many other disciplines, has the potential to be misused. But it is not a necessary and inevitable outcome.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Two of the most significant events in the history of mankind have been the birth of Christ and the Protestant reformation. These two events have had the most significant and long lasting influences on society and government of any other events.

    We cannot know if the world would be better or worse off if we were all of one religion or no religion. Mitchell's thought that like-mindedness is detrimental may well be affirmed by the Bible story of the Tower of Babel.
    Indeed! I think the Protestant Reformation was like a destruction of the Tower of Babel event for Christianity.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    However, with the state of Christianity being what it is today, I can hardly think it would promote like-mindedness. Even if we were all protestants, we would not be like-minded. Even if we were all Baptists, we would not be like minded. Even if we were all Southern Baptists, we would not be like minded. Even if we all went to the same church, we would not be like minded.
    I take your point but I think you are missing part of mine and that is that uniformity of thought of ANY KIND has bad effect on the human community in regards to its tolerance for diversity and for change, as well as upon the vibrancy of human intellect and creativity.

    You are correct in saying that a universally Christian but Protestant humanity will PROBABLY not quite be a return to the Dark Ages, though I am not completely sure even of that for in reading about those times I do see a great deal of diversity under the umbrella of the Catholic chruch.

    There is of course many other factors involved such as democracy versus monarchy and probably MOST important being the separation of church and state, for it is this last which created the horrible conditions of the dark ages where theological and philosophical controversies were so often solved by politics and having your opponents executed.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Religion, like many other disciplines, has the potential to be misused. But it is not a necessary and inevitable outcome.
    On the contrary I think it is an inevitable outcome that everything will be misused. This is part of the nature of man and it is part of what ultimately absolves both religion and atheism of responsibility for the horrors of history. This is also part of the problem with uniformity because it means that when the inevitable abuse comes about, the power involved will be unopposed and the consequences will be horrendous.
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    The problem here, Mitchell, is that we don't quite know what would happen if . . . Maybe the world right now exists with the overall best balance between good and evil that is possible.

    There is certainly a historical pattern of abuse of power by those in power even though the abuser often thinks he (his group) is doing what is best for the masses. It is often only in retrospect that we can see that good intentions went awry.

    The Bible seems to say that the condition of man will continue to deteriorate until such time as God intervenes. At that point, it would appear, Jesus returns to rule. I think, even then, Baptists will find something to disagree on!!!

    So, in a sense, I agree that continued social and political disruption and corruption is an inevitable path for mankind. My point is that it is not necessary. If (see first sentence) Jesus actually ruled in the hearts of all men, if we all accepted that our purpose is to work toward the betterment of others, if we all respected and served other people, if we all loved one another as Christ loved the church, the inevitable would be different.

    But the fact that even those who claim to be followers of Jesus cannot seem to do this makes me wonder why those who reject Him think they can.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  32. #31  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The Bible seems to say that the condition of man will continue to deteriorate until such time as God intervenes. At that point, it would appear, Jesus returns to rule. I think, even then, Baptists will find something to disagree on!!!
    Well I think I have mentioned before that eschatology tends to draws a big blank where I am concerned.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But the fact that even those who claim to be followers of Jesus cannot seem to do this makes me wonder why those who reject Him think they can.
    LOL

    Clearly they have a different view of man: lower and higher at the same time - the animal that inevitably evolves rather than the child of God that has fallen.

    My view as a theistic evolutionist naturally tends to fall somewhere in between and I am certainly not alone among Christians in this. The state of Adam and Eve was NOT any kind of perfection and though what happened was certainly a tragedy the history of mankind has not been one of decline but far from it. Adam and Eve simply chose for all of the human race to learn things the hard way. But God never gave up on us and though getting through to us seems to be a challenge even for Him, I do not think that His efforts are without effect.

    I have been reading the novel "The Name of the Rose" about the worst part of the dark ages (the time of chaos when there where 3 popes at the same time). The thinking of the time that humanity was on an inevitable path of decline from the time of the "giants" (refering to ancient Greek achievements and the founding of the church I suppose) was just appauling. Considering the Holocausts of Hitler and Communists we learn our lessons at the most terrible costs, but we do learn (even if it may be in a two steps forward and one step backwards manner).


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    So, in a sense, I agree that continued social and political disruption and corruption is an inevitable path for mankind. My point is that it is not necessary. If (see first sentence) Jesus actually ruled in the hearts of all men, if we all accepted that our purpose is to work toward the betterment of others, if we all respected and served other people, if we all loved one another as Christ loved the church, the inevitable would be different.
    Yes. I tend to think that is God's eventual goal for the earth, not by some work of magic or blatant intervention but through the step by step transformation of the human heart. So you could say that I do share in the evolutionist's optimism even if it is derived from a belief that God is the ultimate influence behind the progress of this evolution. I even see with some clarity, the future path of human evolution as a communal evolution based on the pattern I see in evolutionary history.

    But please don't take this as a statement of eschatology, for despite whatever tendency I may have, I prefer to keep my opinions silent on that topic. The future is for God to know (in so far as He does choose to know it and thereby predestine it) and for us to find out.

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