Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: On religion

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    On religion

    I guess after a decade or so since I joined and numerous debates in many forums, including outside of ODN, I have to say I remain baffled as to why people are religious and how they continue to *choose* believe in their chosen scripture and follow their chosen priesthood and church.

    That they also reject other religions whilst maintaining their own equally baseless claims are true must take a great deal of effort: after all whatís the real difference between a demon, an angel or a flying horse? To ignore how easy it is to start new religions (or cults, as if that makes them any more different) without realizing thatís most likely how their own religion started blows my mind. There must be some kind of amazing compartmentalizations going on in religious minds to maintain all these contradictions.

    Itís little wonder how religions are so against witchcraft or dungeons and dragons or recently, against meditation! These are ideas of fantasy that expose how fantastical religious claims really are.

    Modern apologetics seem to be just sophistry - with just as little evidence but more ďlogicĒ. Claiming now that god is wholly outside the universe in such a way that he cannot be detected - itís the god of the gaps taken to the ultimate. Iíve even debated presuppositionalists that take god as a given and itís up to atheists to disprove their claims!

    Oddly though, especially in the west, the religion of peace really isnít and the religion of love is anything but! Even to this day it is religion behind homophobic policies, it is religion trying to ban abortion, it is religion attempting to force others to follow their morality. Even in America, a secular country built on a secular constitution, born out of religious pluralism, still seeks to have their Christian symbology in the public square to the exclusion of others; particularly atheists.

    As ODN draws to a close and as the country gets even more polarized, I hope we all can figure out a way to tolerate each otherís differences without harming each other. Some of what has been said recently makes me worried for humanityís future; granted some of this might just be trolling but the sentiments arenít confined to ODN.

    So the debate: is it possible for religions to get along with each other? Is it possible for them to accept atheism as a valid form of belief and to accept atheists as good members of society.

    Atheists: I donít think itís our ďjobĒ to convince others that our path is the right one - after all, it requires a much stronger grounding in morality - a lifetime of following a prescribed path of moral thinking, with others doing the thinking, canít be easy to overcome. Rather I think our job is to help shepherd the religious folk that surround us away from what is clearly erroneous and dangerous ideas.

  2. Likes Dionysus liked this post
  3. #2
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,950
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Regarding your general thoughts on religion you have many assumptions about believes that are very much wrong.
    For example how religions start. I would say that the effect on society and the world has something to do with it's validity. For example the reason the holicost has had such an effect on the world and why holicost deniers are not having much effect at all, is directly related to the truth value of each claim. Not that popularity causes truth, but that truth. So take for example christiantiy and Islam. I think that they both stand as evidence that something very significant happened to a man named Abraham so many years ago. To say that it is "easy" to start what he did... Is absurd. The same could be said of Christ and Christian's. We there simply isn't any religion started during the persicution of death that has ever occurred. So again to say it is "easy" is absurd.
    In reality it is extrodinary.

    Also your idea of what makes a religion one of peace seems totally inconsistent with reality. Christian's have been the model of peace in dealing with things like abortion. Everywhere protests occure voicing desent without a single incesent of violence. One will only fond such violence in the very extreme of extremes, and is certainly the exception and not the rule. Without a riot to their name you have cast Christian's as violent.. and honestly I can not fathom what kind of intellectual dishonesty it must take to hold such a position.


    ----
    To the point if the thread. Yea I think people can and generally do get along.
    While we don't agree, our society is largely peaceful along religious lines. What we see is the religious being persicuted by the secular. Not the other way around. People aren't put in jail for being gay, but religious who simply want to be left alone, are sent to jail, fired, put out of business.. etc.
    Last edited by MindTrap028; December 15th, 2018 at 10:30 AM.
    To serve man.

  4. #3
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So take for example christiantiy and Islam. I think that they both stand as evidence that something very significant happened to a man named Abraham so many years ago. To say that it is "easy" to start what he did... Is absurd. The same could be said of Christ and Christian's. We there simply isn't any religion started during the persicution of death that has ever occurred. So again to say it is "easy" is absurd.
    In reality it is extrodinary.
    But the origin stories arenít special. Persecution isnít special either - we see this for all minor religions living within a larger society. The Muslims in China are being persecuted, the Mormons during their early years, the Catholics in Protestant Britain, the Protestants in Northern Island. Everyone suffered for the right to believe what they believe. Abrahamís and Jesusí origin stories arenít particularly different from the suffering that other people have gone through throughout history.

    Maybe itís not ďeasyĒ but it is certainly not extraordinary. Jesus was just tortured for a day before dying - it sucks but itís by no means unusual nor different from the many other different tortures humans inflict on each other.

    Being different and making our personal mark on the world is something many people will die for so the idea of dying for a cause beyond oneself is not unusual at all: everyone in any army already does it. So sacrifices are not extraordinary events - theyíre very common given how much we war on each other.

    Also your idea of what makes a religion one of peace seems totally inconsistent with reality.
    Actually, I was thinking of Islam being the religion of peace.

    ----
    To the point if the thread. Yea I think people can and generally do get along.
    While we don't agree, our society is largely peaceful along religious lines. What we see is the religious being persicuted by the secular. Not the other way around. People aren't put in jail for being gay, but religious who simply want to be left alone, are sent to jail, fired, put out of business.. etc.
    Religious people are only ďpersecutedĒ when they try to make their views apply to non believers. Fighting gay marriage is a big one - why no let gay people live their lives how they want? If a woman decides she does not want to carry a child, why persecute her? Why should there be Christian symbolism everywhere we look?

    It may seem like Christianity is being attacked but itís not: if you donít believe homosexuality is moral then donít be gay - by the same token donít judge others or treat them unfairly in business. If you donít want to use contraception then donít but also donít work to prevent others from getting it for free.

    As for being ďleft aloneĒ there is a great deal of harm within Christian communities - we know about the sexual attacks on children, the gay therapy attacks, the internal persecution of those that divorce or the attacks on those that question. And these are examples that are encroaching on an individualís right to think freely and speak freely. In those cases, Christians donít get the free right to stop an American citizen to be a free agent and in those cases, it is totally right to interfere.

    So if some Christians get harmed a bit while we figure out how to constrain them then that is an unfortunate cost. But being drummed out of business for being intolerant isnít really the worst outcome.

    And which Christians have been jailed!?

  5. #4
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    895
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Religious people are only “persecuted” when they try to make their views apply to non believers. Fighting gay marriage is a big one - why no let gay people live their lives how they want? If a woman decides she does not want to carry a child, why persecute her?
    One does not have to be religious to think that abortion is the mother deciding to have a human murdered.
    (I won't go the abortion debate here, just saying it is not exclusively religious people that believe this).

    ---------- Post added at 04:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    If you don’t want to use contraception then don’t but also don’t work to prevent others from getting it for free.
    How can some one get contraception that is actually free (as in nobody had to pay for it, not just the recipient)?

    Other than that, I think you are fairly spot on...

  6. #5
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    One does not have to be religious to think that abortion is the mother deciding to have a human murdered.
    (I won't go the abortion debate here, just saying it is not exclusively religious people that believe this).
    I agree it's not exclusively a religious issue - the problem is that it's mostly the religious that are the most prominent. The problem with the religious approach is that their 'fixes' are ineffective: sins (which don't really exist if you're not religious) and abstinence (which doesn't work).

    How can some one get contraception that is actually free (as in nobody had to pay for it, not just the recipient)?
    I was referring to ObamaCare where all women would get free contraception - it was to have been paid for out of *everyone's* premiums. The religious right complained and the idea was nixed.

  7. #6
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    895
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I agree it's not exclusively a religious issue - the problem is that it's mostly the religious that are the most prominent. The problem with the religious approach is that their 'fixes' are ineffective: sins (which don't really exist if you're not religious) and abstinence (which doesn't work).
    Agreed.

    ---------- Post added at 05:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:16 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I was referring to ObamaCare where all women would get free contraception - it was to have been paid for out of *everyone's* premiums. The religious right complained and the idea was nixed.
    I had a feeling. Here we don't agree as much. Gov't is one hugely inefficient, expensive endeavor as evidenced by the interest payment on "our" debt will equal defense spending shortly.
    "come here boy, there ain't nothing for free"

  8. #7
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,950
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Your religious counter examples are not examples of persicution during the creation of the religion. You are using examples of religions being exported, not being established. And none of that even begins to compare to the kind of torture early Christian's endured simply to establish Christianity.
    To serve man.

  9. #8
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Posts
    7,332
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    I think religion has the following appeals.

    1. Deism is a reflection of the human condition. AKA we live by shaping our environment, so we imagine the universe was shaped in a similar fashion.
    2. Deism is nearly impossible to definitively refute
    3. Religion is psychologically valuable in a number of areas giving us comfort and confidence where we would otherwise have anxiety and uncertainty
    4. What we learn as children often becomes deeply ingrained in our identity and it is cognitively very hard to change those core beliefs
    5. Parents almost always deeply indoctrinate their children into their religious beliefs. This doubles down on #4.
    6. Religion, especially institutional religion provides many of the core needs of social organization which is key to human survival and prosperity (law, ethics, organization, shared responsibility, tribal identity, etc...)
    7. It is a powerful tool for manipulation and social control by elites who form and take control of religions. (this is not unique to religion but religion, because it is faith-based, has unique advantages over other types of organizations and identities)

    I think religious people can get along with one another. Humans shape religious to their own desires. There are radical violent branches and peaceful branches of nearly every faith. That reflects that humans shape religion as much as religion shapes people. So religious people can get along just as well or poorly as anyone else.

    I don't think Athests should seek to break up religious belief. I think it is fine for us to share our ideas, especially in a place like this. But to show actual hostility is not ethical to me. Only if we think the particular beleif is causing harm should we consider action. And then, it is better to try and change the action rather than to attack the religion itself. Also, I think that tactic is more effective.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

  10. Likes MindTrap028, Belthazor liked this post
  11. #9
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    895
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I think religion has the following appeals.

    1. Deism is a reflection of the human condition. AKA we live by shaping our environment, so we imagine the universe was shaped in a similar fashion.
    2. Deism is nearly impossible to definitively refute
    3. Religion is psychologically valuable in a number of areas giving us comfort and confidence where we would otherwise have anxiety and uncertainty
    4. What we learn as children often becomes deeply ingrained in our identity and it is cognitively very hard to change those core beliefs
    5. Parents almost always deeply indoctrinate their children into their religious beliefs. This doubles down on #4.
    6. Religion, especially institutional religion provides many of the core needs of social organization which is key to human survival and prosperity (law, ethics, organization, shared responsibility, tribal identity, etc...)
    7. It is a powerful tool for manipulation and social control by elites who form and take control of religions. (this is not unique to religion but religion, because it is faith-based, has unique advantages over other types of organizations and identities)

    I think religious people can get along with one another. Humans shape religious to their own desires. There are radical violent branches and peaceful branches of nearly every faith. That reflects that humans shape religion as much as religion shapes people. So religious people can get along just as well or poorly as anyone else.

    I don't think Athests should seek to break up religious belief. I think it is fine for us to share our ideas, especially in a place like this. But to show actual hostility is not ethical to me. Only if we think the particular beleif is causing harm should we consider action. And then, it is better to try and change the action rather than to attack the religion itself. Also, I think that tactic is more effective.
    Awesome post, though I think #5 may be a bit overstated. It is very, very common, but I don't know if I would go to "almost always". I know of a number of examples in my own experience where this is not the case. A very minor quibble though indeed, only the diff between "almost always" and very commonly.


    Religion has had some major benefits for humanity, though unfortunately like most things humans are involved with, it has been used for less than altruistic purposes all too often...

  12. Thanks Sigfried thanked for this post
  13. #10
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    10,327
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    While we don't agree, our society is largely peaceful along religious lines. What we see is the religious being persicuted by the secular. Not the other way around. People aren't put in jail for being gay, but religious who simply want to be left alone, are sent to jail, fired, put out of business.. etc.
    Well, Christians aren't being punished for just being religious or just wanting to be left alone.

    I'm pretty sure that every instance of a religious person being punished on some level is because they broke a rule of some kind and it's likewise a rule that is applies to everyone, regardless of whether they are religious or not.

    It seems that the claims of "persecution" is because they were not given an exemption for following a rule that everyone else must follow as well. But of course to have such an exemption to give the religious a legal advantage over the irreligious and therefore, if anything, is a "persecution" of the secular.

    The most well-known religious controversy is the gay wedding cake issue. But that is in no way a legitimate issue of religious persecution. They were punished for their actions, not their religion (just like a person who commits murder for a religious motivation is being punished for the murder, not the religion). And likewise the only argument that has any legitimacy for why they should be allowed to not bake wedding cakes for gay couples has nothing to do with religion, which is the argument that cakes are "artistic expression" and therefore one should not be forced to make art that they don't want to make under the first amendment which is an argument that, if accepted, would apply to those who don't want to make cakes for irreligious reasons just as much as religious reasons.

    IMO, the "persecution" of religious people tends to be a reaction to religion being stripped of the legal advantages that its historically had in this country (the blue laws). When one has gotten used to an advantage, losing that advantage can feel like an attack.
    Last edited by mican333; December 16th, 2018 at 02:59 PM.

  14. #11
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,950
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    @ mican..
    Generally you are right, in that what Christian's s experience is very soft to be called persecution. However in the context of the thread, the culture is most certainly targetti g Christian's specifically. For example the baker. It wasn't just the random disagreement between citizens, it was targetti in that they fished arround in order to find someone who was minding their own buisness, and stop the from doing so. You just don't see that in the other direction.

    So my point is that it really is the opposite of what the op is espusing.
    I do think your argume t is flawed in appealing to the law applying to everyone, because if they outlawed Bible's.. it would of course apply to everyone. So it fails as a valid defence against targetti g a specific group or belief systems.

    Also, losing advantages are indeed an attack. Calling them advantages is just a way to justify the attack. . which it may be in some cases.... But we shouldn't white wash that it is an attack.
    To serve man.

  15. #12
    Super Moderator

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Lansing, MI
    Posts
    10,327
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    @ mican..
    Generally you are right, in that what Christian's s experience is very soft to be called persecution. However in the context of the thread, the culture is most certainly targetti g Christian's specifically. For example the baker. It wasn't just the random disagreement between citizens, it was targetti in that they fished arround in order to find someone who was minding their own buisness, and stop the from doing so.
    Please support this. From everything I heard, it was a case of a couple going to buy a wedding cake and expecting to be served and then being surprised when refused.

    But even if it was a targeting, that does not mean that it was targeting based on Christianity but perhaps instead of targeting a store that refuses to bake such cakes regardless of the motivation. I mean a guy who says "I won't bake a gay wedding cake just because I don't like gays" is no less in violation of that law than someone who refuses for religious reasons.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I do think your argume t is flawed in appealing to the law applying to everyone, because if they outlawed Bible's.. it would of course apply to everyone. So it fails as a valid defence against targetti g a specific group or belief systems.
    Obviously a law outlawing bibles would be targeting a religious faith.

    Having a law that SOME people might violate due to religious conviction is not targeting faith.






    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Also, losing advantages are indeed an attack.
    No it's not. If a boss gives one of his employees an advantage and then decides to treat all of the employees the same (so the advantaged employee loses the advantage), it's not an attack on the employee that previously had the advantage.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Calling them advantages is just a way to justify the attack. . which it may be in some cases.... But we shouldn't white wash that it is an attack.
    How is it an attack on religion?

    I'm sure you would agree that outlawing murder conflicts with those who might want to engage in a religiously motivated murder but it's certainly not an attack on their faith to outlaw the murder even though the law would interfere with their religious action. It's pretty much the same principle here. Even if those individuals were trying to target a particular cake shop (and it's not been supported that that is the case), the state certainly was not targeting Christians.

  16. #13
    Registered User

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    2,266
    Post Thanks / Like

    On religion

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Your religious counter examples are not examples of persicution during the creation of the religion. You are using examples of religions being exported, not being established. And none of that even begins to compare to the kind of torture early Christian's endured simply to establish Christianity.
    What are you talking about? The founding of Mormonism is a perfect example of the persecution of a creation of a religion. In fact thereís even a word to dismiss founding religions that is used by established religions: ďcultsĒ.

    To this day the Church of Scientology is persecuted the world over. Islam is being persecuted as it persecutes others.

    And no matter what torture the early Christians endured, it canít be any different to the torture other people of the time endured! They may have been singled out but crucifixion was not invented for Christians! Nor was being thrown to the lions or any other weird way people kill people.

    And NONE of the deaths compare to all the other deaths suffered by people of other religions: remember 6 million Jews were gassed to death. To say that those deaths were any less evil to those suffered by Christians is just wrong.

    I just donít understand your point here to make Christian suffering special or worse than what has been felt by people of ALL religions. And donít get me started on atheists or the gays who persecuted by nearly every religion!

    ---------- Post added at 05:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post

    However in the context of the thread, the culture is most certainly targetti g Christian's specifically.
    Thatís not true - I already pointed out earlier that I meant Islam when referring to the ďreligion of peaceĒ. This is NOT a thread attacking Christianity - it isnít even an ďattackĒ.

    My point was to indicate areas of confusion for me when discussing or understanding peopleís motivations for following a religion. I donít expect any answers nor are there likely any forthcoming; neither do I expect any religious person defend my points because Iím not questioning any specific aspect of any religion.

    Rather, itís a generalization of the problems of religions per se: that somehow religious folk suspend belief regarding aspects of only their own religion but not others. The hoops religious folk have to jump through in order to square the circle are famous: ranging from biblical literalism to the disbelief of modern science (e.g. creationism vs evolution). Then thereís the idea of the soul that gets reincarnated for some religions, eternally absorbed into their deity for others and existing as a distinct intelligence for yet others.

    These ideas arenít unique to Christianity so to say otherwise is unfair.
    Last edited by SharmaK; December 18th, 2018 at 04:16 PM.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Religion as a function of the psyche (Jung and Religion)
    By AuspiciousFist in forum Religion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: July 22nd, 2012, 01:34 PM
  2. Replies: 69
    Last Post: April 19th, 2010, 06:58 AM
  3. Will religion ever come to an end?
    By Davidius in forum Religion
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: March 11th, 2010, 09:04 PM
  4. We all need this religion !!!
    By isaone in forum Religion
    Replies: 60
    Last Post: August 8th, 2008, 06:00 AM
  5. religion and war 1 in the same?
    By firesdeath in forum Social Issues
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: August 27th, 2004, 11:52 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •