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Author Topic: Elliquian Atheists  (Read 35552 times)

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Offline Will

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #375 on: October 28, 2012, 10:26:21 PM »
Basicly imagine Stalin signing a death warrent for millions, and his own party supporters suddenly dying of frostbite that night.

Except it's not really like that.  It's like all of his supporters' first born sons dying that night.  Children.  That's what makes it so vile.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #376 on: October 28, 2012, 10:33:37 PM »
Except it's not really like that.  It's like all of his supporters' first born sons dying that night.  Children.  That's what makes it so vile.
Because he sentenced the first born sons of everyone who opposed him to death...
Like I said, the pre-classical era was a place of harsh justice, and thus, so is it's lore, true or otherwise.

Good was not always depicted with hearts, cherubs, butterflies, and singing unicorns.

Offline Will

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #377 on: October 28, 2012, 10:50:52 PM »
Because he sentenced the first born sons of everyone who opposed him to death...
Like I said, the pre-classical era was a place of harsh justice, and thus, so is it's lore, true or otherwise.

Good was not always depicted with hearts, cherubs, butterflies, and singing unicorns.

Don't you think an all-powerful being that ostensibly personifies love would be above engaging in a pissing contest, where the stakes on both sides are children?

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #378 on: October 28, 2012, 11:01:45 PM »
Don't you think an all-powerful being that ostensibly personifies love would be above engaging in a pissing contest, where the stakes on both sides are children?

*sigh* this is what I mean, many of the OT texts were written in a time when a deity of justice and compassion striking down the enemies of his people (including their kids) was acceptable as justice. especally if the enemy leader was the one who signed off on it.
Not anymore as the standards of civilization have changed.

Remember this is the same timeframe where an enemy army on the move, was usually looting (no real supply lines, armies stole what they ate.) Pillaging (oooh you have this, I like it, I clubbed the local king's army down the road, MINE) and raping (and your sister's a fine lass, MINE) and if you fught back and weren't a soldier you got a sword to the belly.
not only did it happen, it was Standard procedure...

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #379 on: October 28, 2012, 11:06:47 PM »
This kind of sounds like kids fighting over which one the father loves the most, until they get it in their heads that this is a fight to earn that favor, and that the dad is watching them and reviewing them. There are two options here. One, the dad genuinely has no idea what his kids are doing, or two, the dad finds out their little feud and continues to do nothing about it.

Are you suggesting it's the latter? Because allowing the context of the struggle (the time period) to alter the care givers parenting decisions is not even remotely defensible. Bad dad with bad excuses.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #380 on: October 28, 2012, 11:35:24 PM »
This kind of sounds like kids fighting over which one the father loves the most, until they get it in their heads that this is a fight to earn that favor, and that the dad is watching them and reviewing them. There are two options here. One, the dad genuinely has no idea what his kids are doing, or two, the dad finds out their little feud and continues to do nothing about it.

Are you suggesting it's the latter? Because allowing the context of the struggle (the time period) to alter the care givers parenting decisions is not even remotely defensible. Bad dad with bad excuses.

Actually my view on it is more the father loves them both, but they are so busy fighting about it they don't realize it. When he tries to break it up, they don't listen.


also I wasn't even talking about religious warfare Sabby, I was talking about War, and the sheer brutality, in sheer civic terms.

In most of history it was not a case of "You worship another god, I club you." it was "you have more food/better stuff than me than me, I club you and take your stuff"
that is a stupid mindset, but it's not uncommon.

also Most of the Pre-Classic faiths were "you get what you give" faiths, you know "worship/sacrifice and the gods/god in question gives back" those could easily spiral out of control.
At least the three Grand Crusades as brutal as they were, were nothing compared to prior holy wars in terms of cruelity, the bodycount was higher due to the massive numbers of believers involved.
Pre-classic, and classical, holy wars were small in scale, unbelievablly cruel, and sadistic.

Stupid people's method of conversion (religious or political), going backward through time. (this doesn't just apply to Christans and Muslims, but socity as a whole)
2000+ "Convert or We'll talk to you a lot."
1960+ "Convert and we'll treat you nicer"
1700+"Convert or we'll treat you like trash"
1300+ "Convert or we'll beat the shit out of you"
700+ "Convert or die"
0+ "Convert or be assimilated"
500bc+ "convert or die"
1000bc - "convert or we'll burn your city, then gut you so the shaman can read the future in your intestines, if we don't get the sign we need, we'll just keep killing."

Offline Will

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #381 on: October 28, 2012, 11:42:43 PM »
*sigh* this is what I mean, many of the OT texts were written in a time when a deity of justice and compassion striking down the enemies of his people (including their kids) was acceptable as justice. especally if the enemy leader was the one who signed off on it.
Not anymore as the standards of civilization have changed.

Remember this is the same timeframe where an enemy army on the move, was usually looting (no real supply lines, armies stole what they ate.) Pillaging (oooh you have this, I like it, I clubbed the local king's army down the road, MINE) and raping (and your sister's a fine lass, MINE) and if you fught back and weren't a soldier you got a sword to the belly.
not only did it happen, it was Standard procedure...

If the bible is just a reflection of the people who wrote it and the society they lived in, why is any of it still relevant at all?  There's no way to say which parts are still valid, except for personal conviction.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #382 on: October 28, 2012, 11:47:53 PM »
*sigh* this is what I mean, many of the OT texts were written in a time when a deity of justice and compassion striking down the enemies of his people (including their kids) was acceptable as justice. especally if the enemy leader was the one who signed off on it.
Not anymore as the standards of civilization have changed.

Remember this is the same timeframe where an enemy army on the move, was usually looting (no real supply lines, armies stole what they ate.) Pillaging (oooh you have this, I like it, I clubbed the local king's army down the road, MINE) and raping (and your sister's a fine lass, MINE) and if you fught back and weren't a soldier you got a sword to the belly.
not only did it happen, it was Standard procedure...

My only response to questions like this: Why was this acceptable in the past, and not now? Why was it okay to rape people, pillage and enslave others but now it's not?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #383 on: October 29, 2012, 12:13:19 AM »
Actually my view on it is more the father loves them both, but they are so busy fighting about it they don't realize it. When he tries to break it up, they don't listen.

I am just dying to hear this one. Would you care to give me an example of our Heavenly Father telling us to settle down?

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #384 on: October 29, 2012, 12:49:20 AM »
My only response to questions like this: Why was this acceptable in the past, and not now? Why was it okay to rape people, pillage and enslave others but now it's not?
Because...
A: More goods means more people have them. Basicly industrialization meant fewer food and goods shortages, we aren't perfect, but a person in the first or second world, has more options than resorting to bandetry to survive. I don't need to club the guy next door and raid his fridge to eat tonight.
B: The increasing education standards required of an industrialized socity, and allowed by the labor saved by machines means more people are able to think about their options, and both speak and think for themselves. The common man also has access to the general history of humanity, even if the viewpoints are sometimes skewed, this means he has examples of other ways to accomplish his goals avalible to him.
C: The world is more connected, you are less likely to rob Somebody you know, or support a war in a country where a friend lives.
D: Powerful & Organized governments have formed, most of the strongest are varying degrees of republics and democracies. Not only are they powerful, but in many their authority comes from their people, not some single king who can begin an endless cycle of violence over a tiny slight.
E: As more people are educated and connected you can't get away with things as much. If russia imploded into warring factions people in america would know, and while it might not affect them much, they would know about it, and so would the rest of the world. Granted there are jackasses that just don't care what people think.
F: The U.N. while lord knows they aren't perfect, they at least provide a forum for nations to speak with each other and communicate, and keeps international crisis to a minimum.
G: on a persional level the effects of WW1 and WW2 have pretty well destroyed the romantic myths of war, and people are more apt to think twice, that's not to say war doesn't happen. but people are more realistic.
H: speaking of war, most nations have supply lines, no need to raid the countryside, and we've realized that destroying a country isn't the best way to get what we want.
J: Nukes, all the big boys have them, and are basicly pointing loaded guns at each other, keeps everyone polite.
The list goes all the way to Z

I am just dying to hear this one. Would you care to give me an example of our Heavenly Father telling us to settle down?

Short of a lightning bolt having struck George Bush Jr and Osama bin Ladin, only the looniest people these days believe god smites people with static electricity.
Every holy book from buddist to Tao, from various Bibles to the Koran, all say not to kill, not to murder, and not to do any of the stupid shit people do.
Osama for example looked for the Jihad Loophole, which of course it means struggle, as in internal struggle, the kind everyone faces, yet he basicly cut out the forgiveness, mercy, and general "killing is bad for X Y and Z reasons."
By the same tolken far right fundies edit the bible when it suits them, and rely on the OT for all of their gaybashing, and support of other draconian laws. the OT was over for christians when christ died, and pretty much a new covenant was made (till includes the DO NOT KILL STUFF), the old stuff doesn't apply to non-jews, and they take care of themselves.

It's in giant blaring letters, people choose not to listen.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #385 on: October 29, 2012, 12:56:20 AM »
Because...
A: More goods means more people have them. Basicly industrialization meant fewer food and goods shortages, we aren't perfect, but a person in the first or second world, has more options than resorting to bandetry to survive. I don't need to club the guy next door and raid his fridge to eat tonight.
B: The increasing education standards required of an industrialized socity, and allowed by the labor saved by machines means more people are able to think about their options, and both speak and think for themselves. The common man also has access to the general history of humanity, even if the viewpoints are sometimes skewed, this means he has examples of other ways to accomplish his goals avalible to him.
C: The world is more connected, you are less likely to rob Somebody you know, or support a war in a country where a friend lives.
D: Powerful & Organized governments have formed, most of the strongest are varying degrees of republics and democracies. Not only are they powerful, but in many their authority comes from their people, not some single king who can begin an endless cycle of violence over a tiny slight.
E: As more people are educated and connected you can't get away with things as much. If russia imploded into warring factions people in america would know, and while it might not affect them much, they would know about it, and so would the rest of the world. Granted there are jackasses that just don't care what people think.
F: The U.N. while lord knows they aren't perfect, they at least provide a forum for nations to speak with each other and communicate, and keeps international crisis to a minimum.
G: on a persional level the effects of WW1 and WW2 have pretty well destroyed the romantic myths of war, and people are more apt to think twice, that's not to say war doesn't happen. but people are more realistic.
H: speaking of war, most nations have supply lines, no need to raid the countryside, and we've realized that destroying a country isn't the best way to get what we want.
J: Nukes, all the big boys have them, and are basicly pointing loaded guns at each other, keeps everyone polite.
The list goes all the way to Z


So, education leads to things becoming moral? We're smarter now and we have nukes, therefore rape is no longer right? And it's only no longer right because someone could nuke us at any time? And something is only immoral is you get caught? I'm not following this line of thinking at all.

I understand why we, as human beings, change what we see as good and bad based on circumstance, but I'm curious as to why God, the ultimate moral arbiter, apparently can completely change what is right and wrong on a whim. These ideas really do stand out as odd to me. Either you're implying that God, in his infinite wisdom, gave us the ability to outpace him, and advance so far that he can't proscribe morality to us anymore, or you're arguing that God hasn't changed what's right and wrong, but as we've evolved, -we've- dictated what is right and wrong. Which means one of two things: Things havn't changed, and God has allowed us to completely and utterly damn ourselves to Hell by not correcting our new ideas on morality with what 'true' morality is, or we are higher moral centers than God and have somehow, in a weird hive-mind of higher learning managed to impose our morals onto God and thus made them moral?

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #386 on: October 29, 2012, 12:58:33 AM »
I asked for an example of a divine message regarding holy wars/crusades. Whatever is in the Bible is irrelevant. Please provide an example of the father telling the kids to stop fighting for his favor.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #387 on: October 29, 2012, 01:04:59 AM »
It's in giant blaring letters, people choose not to listen.

Oh Fictional Lord that is stupid x.x nothing in that book is giant blaring letters... and to say so is to assume I have no common sense. I'm not ignoring a billboard made of fireworks, so please don't propose I CHOOSE to turn away from this.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #388 on: October 29, 2012, 01:09:42 AM »
I asked for an example of a divine message regarding holy wars/crusades. Whatever is in the Bible is irrelevant. Please provide an example of the father telling the kids to stop fighting for his favor.

Sadly after you discard the prohpets, scholars, the messages, and punishments doled out in the OT about keeping the jews from fighting each other.
Oh and if you discard jesus's "forgive your enemies, turn the other cheek" and such completely, and mohammid's "never raise your sword against a fellow person of the book" ("People of the Book" applying to christians and jews, the Ottomans went with that, while the Caliphs swept the line under the rug.)
He has never done anything to my knowlage like striking everybody on the battlefield dead.

Also I am just a guy who studies Sociology, History, and Psychology, Not a biblical scholar or theologian. I don't know every detail from memory, and the point would be moot by the time I re-read everything and post next week, the topic will have changed...

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #389 on: October 29, 2012, 01:17:48 AM »
So, education leads to things becoming moral? We're smarter now and we have nukes, therefore rape is no longer right? And it's only no longer right because someone could nuke us at any time? And something is only immoral is you get caught? I'm not following this line of thinking at all.

I understand why we, as human beings, change what we see as good and bad based on circumstance, but I'm curious as to why God, the ultimate moral arbiter, apparently can completely change what is right and wrong on a whim. These ideas really do stand out as odd to me. Either you're implying that God, in his infinite wisdom, gave us the ability to outpace him, and advance so far that he can't proscribe morality to us anymore, or you're arguing that God hasn't changed what's right and wrong, but as we've evolved, -we've- dictated what is right and wrong. Which means one of two things: Things havn't changed, and God has allowed us to completely and utterly damn ourselves to Hell by not correcting our new ideas on morality with what 'true' morality is, or we are higher moral centers than God and have somehow, in a weird hive-mind of higher learning managed to impose our morals onto God and thus made them moral?

Actually, this was mentioned in another thread...
and people stop getting angry at me for trying to voice my ideas and what I know.

Did you ever stop, and think, maybe, just maybe, God grows and learns too? That our ability to change our ways, to learn, to grow, isn't unique, but also apply to the being who created us in his image?

and maybe, those pissed off televanglists are using religion to justify what they'd be doing anyways?


anyways I'll probably go after this... as you shall all hate me now.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #390 on: October 29, 2012, 01:28:41 AM »
We're not angry at you, just the information/arguments your giving are nonsensical. It doesn't so much feel like following the evidence to an answer, but trying to build a stairway to what you think is the answer.

Providing things like "Jesus said turn the other cheek" don't suffice as, to quote Spanky Ham, "The Bible says a lot of things. And none of it very clearly". The Bible is not a good source of evidence, wait, scratch that, it's not evidence at all, and shouldn't be brought into these discussions for that purpose. Using it to discuss the theology of a religion is just fine, but when discussing a real God, proposing ideas like "He learns just like us" completely goes against some parts, and oddly works with others.

It's one of those inconsistent crossover events in DC, where Captain God in one page says "I know EVERYTHING that will ever be! And I can never be killed, because I have no weakness" And in the very next page he goes "NO! A lithium ion battery! One of my greatest weaknesses! How could I have foreseen you'd hurl an iPad at me? I guess I have much to learn about being Captain God"

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #391 on: October 29, 2012, 01:30:14 AM »
Actually, this was mentioned in another thread...
and people stop getting angry at me for trying to voice my ideas and what I know.

Did you ever stop, and think, maybe, just maybe, God grows and learns too? That our ability to change our ways, to learn, to grow, isn't unique, but also apply to the being who created us in his image?

and maybe, those pissed off televanglists are using religion to justify what they'd be doing anyways?


anyways I'll probably go after this... as you shall all hate me now.

I havn't seen the thread you're talking about; I'm not angry, don't worry. Honestly curious. But yeah, I'll probably have to stop after this post, too. This is the sort of thing which deserves it's own thread, rather than cluttering up this one.

I, personally, havn't thought that. Remember, I don't believe He exists. I've yet to find a following who believes God is a falliable being who grows like we do. It's hard for such a thing to be possible, given just how conflicting the Bible is, especially through multiple rewrites and additions (I can think of one example, after the Flood, where he did learn - yet what he learnt was equally baffling. "I'll kill you all to teach you the wrongs of being evil. But now, I see that by being evil, it has caused me to do this, so... I won't kill you all again. By flood. I may kill you by something else, but I can't blame you for being evil. Because I made evil. So... I shouldn't have flooded you to begin, because...'), but a lot of this is also tied up into the whole problem that to believe x in the Bible, you have to do a huge mental jump to y if you want to ignore z. Why would someone worship a being who shows less intelligence, moral fiber and ability to learn than their fellow man? Worse yet, this inferior being who has divine, transcendent power to damn us all for eternity at a whim? It's like asking me to respect the idiot cop who keeps accidently shooting people, while being the only person allowed a gun yet the fact he has a gun is the reason we respect him, because 'maybe one day he'll become better and not shoot us all', while dicing with the chance that even by respecting the guy, we could be shot in the face by his stupidity at any moment regardless.

Though, if you wanted to open up a thread on this (or I could, if you like), I would be rather interested in exploring this concept a little.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #392 on: October 29, 2012, 01:39:13 AM »
Had a moment to calm down, I'm gettin sleepy... tis 2:36 just seems like sometimes I'm not smart enough to make my point properly.
also Sabby you are kinda missing the point, but then again I'm having a hard time drawing it, I'm a sociologist and historian, not a theologian.

Also the other thread was about how our preception of god has changed from a wise advisor and father to an all knowing, all seeing, all predicting, all capable supa being.

though I feel I should open up the bit in another section.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #393 on: October 29, 2012, 01:44:22 AM »
The Constitution of the United States is a guiding document for nearly all decisions of law.  This is enforced by the Supreme Court which is supposed to house some of the brightest legal scholars for the Constitution, striking down laws that are not constitutional.  The words used in that document are some of the wisest and articulate of any in the history of the United States, written by men who were flawed and great at the same time.  Their words are interpreted, applied and expanded to suit modern needs that were not imagined at their time.  Why then is the Bible’s wisdom so hard to see evolve and become applied to the times now?

Perhaps God has done as many instructors do for their people.  The lesson is there, but must be learned a piece at a time.  Tools and instruments for us to become better, to rise above our base roots are in our grasp but we must learn to use them.  Maybe God has given us room to grow, to develop and become something better.  Handing the keys of the universe to a child is meaningless because the child did not work for those keys, does not respect the awesome power of them.  Perhaps we are learning and growing into our roles, learning and growing to His image.

I do not see the problem with ethics evolving, with our understanding of this world evolving as we learn more.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #394 on: October 29, 2012, 01:48:50 AM »
YAY someone more articulate than me!

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #395 on: October 29, 2012, 02:09:41 AM »
The Constitution of the United States is a guiding document for nearly all decisions of law.  This is enforced by the Supreme Court which is supposed to house some of the brightest legal scholars for the Constitution, striking down laws that are not constitutional.  The words used in that document are some of the wisest and articulate of any in the history of the United States, written by men who were flawed and great at the same time.  Their words are interpreted, applied and expanded to suit modern needs that were not imagined at their time.  Why then is the Bible’s wisdom so hard to see evolve and become applied to the times now?

Perhaps God has done as many instructors do for their people.  The lesson is there, but must be learned a piece at a time.  Tools and instruments for us to become better, to rise above our base roots are in our grasp but we must learn to use them.  Maybe God has given us room to grow, to develop and become something better.  Handing the keys of the universe to a child is meaningless because the child did not work for those keys, does not respect the awesome power of them.  Perhaps we are learning and growing into our roles, learning and growing to His image.

I do not see the problem with ethics evolving, with our understanding of this world evolving as we learn more.

Just before I head off to sleep, so it may not be perfect, but.

Because the Constitution of America was written by men, people we know existed which can only be enforced in as much as people, people who exist, enforce it.

The other is, apparently, the divine word of the supreme being of all Creation who can, after stating multiple things which are Definately Always Wrong can apparently take that all back and change it on a whim. A being who is superior to us in all ways, yet can apparently write down laws which make no sense, are very poorly worded or so open ended that people can interpret them anyway they want to justify any act they want. To put it in context; God being able to randomly change the rules he set down for all life is on par with Benjamin Franklin being able to, on a whim, suddenly decide that all people who eat pie, and have ever eaten pie, are unrepentant and corrupt beings who deserve an eternity of punishment in the stocks for something which was, only a few minutes ago, perfectly fine. He also decided the most efficient way to get this information across was to keep quiet and let people interpret 'His Will', and to tell eight different lawyers eight different stories about the law so that each person spreading his law gives out a completely different law.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #396 on: October 29, 2012, 02:18:00 AM »
Just before I head off to sleep, so it may not be perfect, but.

Because the Constitution of America was written by men, people we know existed which can only be enforced in as much as people, people who exist, enforce it.

The other is, apparently, the divine word of the supreme being of all Creation who can, after stating multiple things which are Definately Always Wrong can apparently take that all back and change it on a whim. A being who is superior to us in all ways, yet can apparently write down laws which make no sense, are very poorly worded or so open ended that people can interpret them anyway they want to justify any act they want. To put it in context; God being able to randomly change the rules he set down for all life is on par with Benjamin Franklin being able to, on a whim, suddenly decide that all people who eat pie, and have ever eaten pie, are unrepentant and corrupt beings who deserve an eternity of punishment in the stocks for something which was, only a few minutes ago, perfectly fine. He also decided the most efficient way to get this information across was to keep quiet and let people interpret 'His Will', and to tell eight different lawyers eight different stories about the law so that each person spreading his law gives out a completely different law.

I was going to just respond with a "+1" to this, but I don't think that does it credit.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #397 on: October 29, 2012, 08:43:40 AM »
Well, first I would like to put emphasis on the fact that reading my posts while awake is certainly preferred to being half-awake when responding to them.  Nowhere did I state that God changed the rules, but I did state that we learn about those rules as we go forward.  Our understanding of ethics and treatment of people matures as we go forward.  Some faiths believe that as we continue on our journey in life that our souls grow, but perhaps not just our souls but the collective of humanity does the same.  The words of the Bible along with the words of various faiths were written by the hand of men, interpreted by the minds of men. 

Poetry is an attempt by mankind to communicate complex feelings, emotions and personal states of being to one another through words.  Language is used to invoke those same feelings in someone else.  Music does something similar as well using notes and sounds.  Even then the message is lost often times or confused as the person struggles to convey.  I can only imagine the struggle an infinite being might have making such communication to a human, how much would be lost as they attempt to unveil some truth.  As I pointed out, the most efficient way might have been to give words and meanings that through time evolve as we do.  Children cannot understand complex issues of morality and must go through phases of growing up, building on upon the other so that a complete understanding can be obtained. 

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #398 on: October 29, 2012, 08:57:50 AM »
Ah... this old argument.

"God gave us morals!"

"Actually, those morals are outdated... we make our own now, with fair and reasoned debate, and they're likely to continue to change as we grow as a species"

"Yeah... because that was His plan!"

It's the same as replacing "God made the tides" with "A Mars sized body collided with Earth, which created the Moon, and it's magnetic pull and rotation effects the water on our planet. And it's all thanks to God!"

This is why debates with Apologists are rarely productive :/ No matter what conclusion the discussion comes to, there's always room to tack in "God did it"

Offline Xenophile

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #399 on: October 29, 2012, 12:30:05 PM »
Discussions about the Old World having a more direct, cruel and draconion sense of justice pretty much become uninteresting to me when the same people trying to push that point also expect people to accept the lessons taught in it to this day, when we are supposedly more compassionate and accepting.

Belief is just a matter of convenience, and organized religion is just a means of controlling a population. Law had a sense of "oomph" when the consequence of disobeying the law was eternal damnation. Check out Jared Diamond's lecture about the emergence of organized religion in the Fertile Crescent, be fairly much sums it all up. The Evolution of Religions

Summa summarum, religion has always been (as far as concerning populations and scope beyond the humble hunter-gatherer scale) a way for priesthoods and the leaders in cooperation with the priesthood to at best convince their people to follow the rule of law (and pay taxes and fight for your god-king), and at worst command over them in a tyrannical rule and hate all things different from them. It has been that ever since the first brick was laid on the first foundation of the first temple. Things have changed little since then, though the advent of civic liberties, freedom of worship and democracy as done quite its fair share.

But while we still have people that condone the murder of children - FOR ANY REASON - or deny undeniable facts in favour of their holy scripture which was written by people that had a less understanding of the universe than your average kindergartener, or choose to ostracize and do crime and violence against a group or groups of people said to be despicable or abominations in the eyes of the LORD, we can do nothing but marvel at the incredible manipulating force of ideology.

But that's just my two spiteful cents.