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  #26    
Old June 22nd, 2014, 02:50 PM
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I don't think that you should judge a religion. A religion is a purely personal belief that is as individual as one's morals and ethics values, and while various religions are portrayed as having a certain stance on particular points - like Islam being against gender equality and Christianity being against the theory of evolution or Big Bang - this is not entirely true as every Muslim can have their own adaptation of Islam and every Christian can have their own adaptation of Christianity.

This is why I don't think that we should judge a religion as a whole. We shouldn't say: "Islam is bad" or "Christianity is holding back progress" because it is not the religion, but rather some people who practice it that are doing these actions.
I've seen and read people use the Qur'an as a basis for gender equality so I'm sad to see people think that way about Islam. I myself am a believer in Christ and believe evolution and the big bang (as theories until science says otherwise, if they ever do). As you say it's not the religion itself but the followers. Religion is unfortunately warped by it's "followers" to fit people's plans for power, wealth, or something along those lines.
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  #27    
Old June 22nd, 2014, 11:46 PM
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Geology teacher? But he should be able to take geological records of fossils and radioactive decay seriously. Chemistry teacher? Probably has been exposed to biological chemistry over the years. I guess once a scientific concept gets into the way of religious creation, devout believers are tempted to disregard them. Yes, it is temptation. Ignorance is sloth of the mind, and sloth is a sin :O

I did a quick google search about passages concerning ignorance in the Bible, unfortunately, it seems that Christianity doesn't really put an emphasis on ignorance, shame really
Love the passive-aggressive post.

Just to add to the discussion on 'judgement'. Should we focus on judging the individuals' movement (e.g. Christians), or the great ideological body (e.g. the Catholic Church)? (something that has already been mentioned) I have heard a couple of arguments that the Catholic Church has a lot of power that could influence what Christians believe and therefore stimulate what atheists see as 'progress'. This could be seen with the issue of contraception and evolution for example. Do atheists believe it is the Catholic Church that is 'in the wrong' for, for example, condemning the use of contraception, or is it the Christian individuals who decide to follow such dogma?
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  #28    
Old June 23rd, 2014, 09:53 AM
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Love the passive-aggressive post.

Just to add to the discussion on 'judgement'. Should we focus on judging the individuals' movement (e.g. Christians), or the great ideological body (e.g. the Catholic Church)? (something that has already been mentioned) I have heard a couple of arguments that the Catholic Church has a lot of power that could influence what Christians believe and therefore stimulate what atheists see as 'progress'. This could be seen with the issue of contraception and evolution for example. Do atheists believe it is the Catholic Church that is 'in the wrong' for, for example, condemning the use of contraception, or is it the Christian individuals who decide to follow such dogma?
The Catholic Church is only the leading body of Catholic Christians. Other Christians, such as Lutherans, Baptists, Protestants, etc. don't really pay much attention to them. At least that's how I understand it.
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  #29    
Old June 23rd, 2014, 12:31 PM
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I'm an atheist too, but I understand why people follow religions. It gives them hope that when they die, they get to go to a peaceful place. The problem with this is, because they're looking so forward to being in that place, they don't care about the place they're currently in.

IMHO I think religion is the biggest cause of destruction of our planet. Thousands of wars have broken out because of it that are still raging on to this day. Millions have been killed by these wars.

I'm happy to think that when I die, I'll be cremated to become a part of the earth again and support the life on the planet. I think that's a better end than going to Valhalla. It would probably get boring there anyway, with the constant feasting and battles for glory.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 02:37 PM
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I'm an atheist too, but I understand why people follow religions. It gives them hope that when they die, they get to go to a peaceful place. The problem with this is, because they're looking so forward to being in that place, they don't care about the place they're currently in.

IMHO I think religion is the biggest cause of destruction of our planet. Thousands of wars have broken out because of it that are still raging on to this day. Millions have been killed by these wars.

I'm happy to think that when I die, I'll be cremated to become a part of the earth again and support the life on the planet. I think that's a better end than going to Valhalla. It would probably get boring there anyway, with the constant feasting and battles for glory.
I see where you are coming from, but that is a huge generalisation which is in fact not true to the majority of Christians. We live in the present just as any other religion or atheist. Furthermore, I think you're giving religion too much credit, when instead you should blame people themselves.
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  #31    
Old June 26th, 2014, 02:14 PM
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I'm an atheist leaning on agnostic. I don't really care for religion all that much. I get why people follow it though. It gives people hope in times of despair. I am completely fine with it. However, I have a problem with religion once people start a) shoving it down people's throats who don't even want it and/or b) using it as an excuse to hate someone openly.
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  #32    
Old June 27th, 2014, 09:49 AM
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Religion and spirituality are not in themselves the issue. The issue, as with most everything else that gets discussed in this subforum, is humanity and human nature. Even though the premises of most religious denominations are relatively harmless, they quickly get hijacked by those looking for power and prestige. When religion is used as a controlling influence, the tactics used are basically the same as those used by any other ideological system that is used to control people. Divide and conquer is a major part of this. Another is setting up a group of people as those who are Correct, and dismissing any dissent. This is done in religious context, but you can also see it in politics. Even the holy books of religions can be written by imperfect, fallible, power-hungry humans, and as a result religions end up being framed around humanity's concept of what it should be, and this framing can(and likely does)drown out whatever truth is buried underneath it.

People will use any means necessary to accomplish what they want to. To simply lump all religion under a banner marked "evil" is therefore unfair. People can and will corrupt whatever they touch to reach their own ends, whether it be history, politics, the planet itself, or religion. Therefore, what should be judged more than any given religion is those in charge of said religion, and humanity as a whole.
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  #33    
Old June 28th, 2014, 01:35 AM
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A whole lot of this is screaming that theism is the problem, not directly religion. Religion incorporates ideologies and philosophies into a structured system of thought, and albeit theism is often inserted to that, it's not an explicit requirement.

I follow Buddhism rather closely as a lot of the ideas and philosophies it presents sound very appealing to me, and it's normally an atheistic religion. Theism is a vector of the dismantling and corruption of any good ideas a religion ever had, since the idea of a supreme being greatly obstructs normal reasoning and in some popular religions facades as something great whereas it's less than so (need I say why). It allows for the justification in the heads of one's self and others for the epitome of human evil and at the same time allows for the less-present justification of good acts that could be done without credit to any god. A universal vector like that is demonstrably harmful to its application, don't you think?
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  #34    
Old June 28th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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A whole lot of this is screaming that theism is the problem, not directly religion. Religion incorporates ideologies and philosophies into a structured system of thought, and albeit theism is often inserted to that, it's not an explicit requirement.

I follow Buddhism rather closely as a lot of the ideas and philosophies it presents sound very appealing to me, and it's normally an atheistic religion. Theism is a vector of the dismantling and corruption of any good ideas a religion ever had, since the idea of a supreme being greatly obstructs normal reasoning and in some popular religions facades as something great whereas it's less than so (need I say why). It allows for the justification in the heads of one's self and others for the epitome of human evil and at the same time allows for the less-present justification of good acts that could be done without credit to any god. A universal vector like that is demonstrably harmful to its application, don't you think?
This doesn't really back up your point considering Buddhists has been systematically abusing Muslims in places like Myanmar for a while now. In fact, that proves the opposite point, that it's religion in general that's the problem, not theism, since there are Buddhists that murder in the sake of their religion as well.
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  #35    
Old June 28th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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This doesn't really back up your point considering Buddhists has been systematically abusing Muslims in places like Myanmar for a while now. In fact, that proves the opposite point, that it's religion in general that's the problem, not theism, since there are Buddhists that murder in the sake of their religion as well.
It's been shown throughout history that more people have murdered in the name of a god than for any other reason. It's fallacious to pass off all religions as broken and "corruption-inducing" or whathaveyou simply because a minority of them kill… don't all groups have a few psychopaths, regardless of their purpose?


Sorry, but the "Buddhists kill, must be Buddhism right" argument doesn't work too well.
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Old June 28th, 2014, 11:18 AM
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You can't dismiss religion as a problem simply because of the human condition because it's been shown throughout history that more people have murdered in the name of a god than for any other reason. It's fallacious to pass off all religions simply because a minority of them kill… don't all groups have a few psychopaths, regardless of their purpose?


Sorry, but the "Buddhists kill, must be Buddhism right" argument doesn't work too well.
I'm not sure what you're arguing against, because I didn't say any of that - all I'm saying is that linking it to theism instead of religion doesn't really fly considering your example of an atheistic religion also has issues with murdering in the name of religion. You said "theism is the problem, not directly religion," and followed it with the example of Buddhism, an atheistic religion that apparently isn't "corrupted" by the problem of theism, but it is certainly not an uncorrupted religion, therefore the problem can't just be theism. I'm not saying anything about what was shown throughout history or passing off all religions. I didn't even say religion was the problem; I said that your example argues for that point.
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Old June 28th, 2014, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Oryx View Post
I'm not sure what you're arguing against, because I didn't say any of that - all I'm saying is that linking it to theism instead of religion doesn't really fly considering your example of an atheistic religion also has issues with murdering in the name of religion. You said "theism is the problem, not directly religion," and followed it with the example of Buddhism, an atheistic religion that apparently isn't "corrupted" by the problem of theism, but it is certainly not an uncorrupted religion, therefore the problem can't just be theism. I'm not saying anything about what was shown throughout history or passing off all religions. I didn't even say religion was the problem; I said that your example argues for that point.
To recap, theism creates an obstruction for normal human reasoning and thought - Buddhism has no such thing. It's really hard to equate a house with some personal problems to the philosophies and teachings Gautama Buddha and other buddhas had simply because they choose to say they're "with Buddhism". If you were Christian it'd be like equating any run-of-the-mill church with the looney WBC, to show you. The difference I've noticed between Buddhism and other religions is the way their scriptures were written - The Bible is an incredibly confusing piece of literature and it largely acts as justification for the reader's/follower's actions, good or bad. It's an amplifier for pushing human thought into action.

Then again, simply because you call yourself Buddhist doesn't mean you are, eh? I could say I'm Jewish but I've never been introduced at all to the religion and was not born into it, or I could say I'm Muslim and have never read the Qur'an. I just don't see how Buddhism should be to blame for the actions of extremists who clearly don't follow or execute anything the religion ever taught.
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  #38    
Old June 28th, 2014, 11:55 AM
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It's not very difficult to judge religion when something like this happens:

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/06/27...people-of-hiv/
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Old June 28th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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It's not very difficult to judge religion when something like this happens:

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/06/27...people-of-hiv/
I dunno, with that I just find it easy to blame 'people'.
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Old June 28th, 2014, 12:27 PM
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I would agree if it were just a few people within a single denomination, but that's not the case here. Trinity Works is a huge evangelical organization with thousands of members. The fact that they're promising that at least 300 will attend the Twin Cities Pride to me is more than just a few people. And, in fact, is a whole lot larger than the attendance at most churches!

This is not an isolated incident. There are countless number of stories about the craziness that this one particular religion engages in. This just happens to be the most recent.
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  #41    
Old June 29th, 2014, 02:08 PM
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I think that no belief system is perfect. Every belief system has a few loopholes - no exceptions (even atheism isn't perfect). That doesn't make me want to stop being a Muslim. I'm proud of being a Muslim and the bad stuff that certain Muslims have done in history doesn't change that. I don't agree with everything in the Quran. Plenty of religious people disagree with parts of their scripture - even I do. I disagree with the Quran forbidding homosexuality. There's lots of Muslim traditions that aren't in the Quran - and I'm not only referring to the negative ones. The ironic thing is, if you go to many Muslim countries, the people are less religious than the immigrants in many Western countries.

Religiosity is a spectrum - there's a lot of room between atheism and religious fundamentalism.
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  #42    
Old June 30th, 2014, 10:43 AM
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Honestly, religiousness in of itself doesn't really have a right to be criticized. Religion defines the supernatural for many people and cannot even be defined in a scientific context, unless particular parts are taken literally, which, if you are taking religion as a literal history, you're missing the point of religion... A person should be judged individually on what they bring to the table, not what religion they are.

A few things of note, personally:
  • Morals are not based in religious beliefs and people who claim otherwise perhaps have their own shady moral structures.
  • Religious people in of themselves are not necessarily bad, since religious beliefs are often extremely interpretive; however, there is a point where excessive literal readings cause problems. Again, judge case-by-case.
  • Since religion is subject to interpretation, anyone using the Bible or any other religious text to exclaim something is true outside of a religious context is a fairly bigoted individual, usually.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Honestly, religiousness in of itself doesn't really have a right to be criticized. Religion defines the supernatural for many people and cannot even be defined in a scientific context, unless particular parts are taken literally, which, if you are taking religion as a literal history, you're missing the point of religion... A person should be judged individually on what they bring to the table, not what religion they are.
Why should religion not be criticized? It's a man-made construct. Whether religion is definitional or not is irrelevant on its face. Religion is not personal, faith is. The two are distinct even though they are related. You are right that people should be judged individually, but so should any organization or entity that influences the society it exists within. And to do that we look at the leadership of that particular religion, for they are the ones who guild their members into the paths the propose are the only correct ones. There is a whole heck of a lot that I criticize the leadership of many faiths on, especially when it comes to human rights issues.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Why should religion not be criticized? It's a man-made construct. Whether religion is definitional or not is irrelevant on its face. Religion is not personal, faith is. The two are distinct even though they are related. You are right that people should be judged individually, but so should any organization or entity that influences the society it exists within. And to do that we look at the leadership of that particular religion, for they are the ones who guild their members into the paths the propose are the only correct ones. There is a whole heck of a lot that I criticize the leadership of many faiths on, especially when it comes to human rights issues.
Again, your examples are better as criticisms of people's behaviour justified by religion than the religion itself. All of those examples exist in some people of religions, but not in all individuals. That's honestly what I'm targeting here. It's very easy to confuse the two, but that doesn't mean they're one in the same.

Religion is beyond criticism in the same way that your favourite colour is beyond criticism - it all lies into personal beliefs with no real solid backing in it besides faith. The way a person utilizes that faith however are completely up for criticism because then you venture outside of the world of just pure "opinion".
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Old June 30th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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Again, your examples are better as criticisms of people's behaviour justified by religion than the religion itself. All of those examples exist in some people of religions, but not in all individuals. That's honestly what I'm targeting here. It's very easy to confuse the two, but that doesn't mean they're one in the same.
Except where the leadership of these churches are simply following the dictates of their particular religion. How can we not criticize a religion if its dictates demand inequality of the sexes, or condemnation of people for who they love, or if that particular religion dictates that only those who believe in one specific deity shall get to heaven. Sure, an individual or group of individuals probably came up with the rules modern religions abide by, but generations upon generations of people all adhering to the same thing, that's not individualistic. That's communal. That's religion at work.
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  #46    
Old June 30th, 2014, 11:23 AM
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Except where the leadership of these churches are simply following the dictates of their particular religion. How can we not criticize a religion if its dictates demand inequality of the sexes, or condemnation of people for who they love, or if that particular religion dictates that only those who believe in one specific deity shall get to heaven. Sure, an individual or group of individuals probably came up with the rules modern religions abide by, but generations upon generations of people all adhering to the same thing, that's not individualistic. That's communal. That's religion at work.
Again, religion is not an organization; it requires that an individual has faith, and an individual has faith in many possible varieties. Not only this, but the organization is separate from the religion itself. The people who run the organization certainly do not simply run it for having the religion have a physical entity - indeed, this is technically impossible judging from how personal of a subject faith is. The organization often has more mortal issues, such as financial gain, publicity and attempting to quash disagreeing opinions. Not everyone who considers themselves to be a particular faith agree with the organization - indeed, religions like Judaism and Buddhism actually venture far away from a central organizational structure; not to mention the Christian sects that separated themselves from the Pope's reign.

I sorta see where you're going with this now, but I do have to disagree on the fact that religion isn't necessarily something like "the Bible", the Bible is a text written about the religion that describes stories that were passed down from generation to generation. Jesus himself redacted many parts of the old testament though, implying yet again that even though the Bible is a sort of guideline, that it does not imply that Christians must rely on it. Many do not and many support things that are outright objected against in the Bible, such as divorces, gay marriage and working on Sundays.

Ultimately, this is the problem that people have with people trying to "convert" into their way of thinking - since belief and faith is such a personal subject, people do not want to sacrifice their opinion of the universe. Conversion is not about religion but is more about controlling other people and attempting to produce a hivemind.

Just as a minor disclaimer, I'm not religious in any way, I'm simply stating that religion in of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. What leads to problems are selfishness and conquest, which are more traits of human nature than anything.
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 06:50 PM
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I think it's okay as long as it's respectful (as said above) and doesn't go into anything personal or starts generalizing people.

Like, you can't say "all atheists are Satan's followers" or "Christians are idiots who believe in a sky fairy". Just keep it clean and debate-like if you're going to say something and/or argue about it.
agreed. i can't stand aggression, sarcasm, or indirect remarks, or blanket statements from either side.

everybody does or doesn't follow something in their own way, there's billions of people in the world and we can't generalize! i don't argue about religion. i personally believe in God, but i have never ever put someone down for believing differently or not at all. the majority of stuff i see on the internet is just full of rage from all ends and i can't stand it. just because someone does or doesn't believe doesn't mean they're a lesser person than you. i know some guys who are real aggro atheists that just shut down and laugh at religion completely. if we have a steady and fair debate we can discuss things without it getting personal. nobody is going to respond if you are condescending or rude.
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