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Author Topic: religion and mythology.  (Read 3677 times)

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Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #75 on: October 10, 2012, 11:27:25 AM »
*pants, then exhales, regaining his composure*
Because that is the religion most americans and europeans are fimilar with being involved in their daily lives, and fimilarity breeds contempt, or at least dissillousionment.
This is the reason that people are not afraid to bash christans on forums or hold them up as examples of religous stupidity.
Yet many hesitate or feel guilty if they were to bash various Druidic, Neo-Pagan, Native, Buddist, Hindu, ect. groups.

This is because christanity is the largest religious instution in the western world, and thus, because most religious people are Christans, it follows that most stupid religious people are also Christans.

In my case? It's because those other groups, at least at the moment, are not causing problems for the rest of the world.

The majority of people in the West are Christian. The majority of people who're in power are Christian. What happens when those two combine? You get people trying to push their theological beliefs onto the rest of the world via laws and mandates. Luckily, where I am (the UK), this isn't much of a problem; you hear about it now and then, but the worst Christianity has caused over here in recent years is the warring between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. You compare this to America, especially the Bible belt, where Christian groups have tried (and succeeded, in some cases) to force Creationism into science classes, have excluded entire groups of people from being able to do what they want in life (Refusal to allow homosexuals to adopt or get married) and still end up killing people en mass in other countries through their own selfish wants (The Pope willfully telling Africans that condoms are a sin leading to further spreading of HIV, teaching a bunch of impoverished people a belief system where 'suffer not the witch to live' is still totally believed).

I still don't take Hindus, Wiccans, Asatru, Scientologists, Islamics, etc. any more seriously than Christians when it comes to their religious beliefs. However, I'll only have a problem with those religions once Wiccans are able to force Three-Fold Law as part of a physics clas, or when Scientologists start writing up their own science journals so they can claim Thetans are a scientific fact (something which Christians have done; writing their own peer review journals with no backing to try and sneak their beliefs into science).

Offline doodasaurus

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #76 on: October 10, 2012, 11:28:39 AM »
We can only try to have faith in our own beliefs and respect those of others.  Comment and question with respect and an attitude that communicates a desire to learn and not one that can be seen as an attempt to undermine or convert the other person.  Treat the beliefs and opinions of others as you would have yours treated. 

You are not right and you are not wrong.  You just are.  So is the other person.

I don't buy this.  Some ideas are better than others.  If a person has a bigoted, homophobic, woman hating, war-mongering ideology, I'm real comfortable saying my beliefs are better.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2012, 11:32:56 AM »
As a vocal atheist, mostly, no, we don't.  It pretty much happens all the time, too.  One of the things I have found about atheists is most of them are better educated about religion than the people who challenge them and they have strong, well though out reasons for being atheists.
This is true of most of the atheists I know.  They come in all shapes and sizes and as several of them say non-belief systems.  They all have their reasons and their idiosyncratic points but none of them are defensive when approached in a reasonable way.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2012, 11:35:52 AM »
I don't buy this.  Some ideas are better than others.  If a person has a bigoted, homophobic, woman hating, war-mongering ideology, I'm real comfortable saying my beliefs are better.

This. A hundred times this.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2012, 11:41:12 AM »
I respectfully disagree.  Most atheists in my opinion are woefully ignorant of religion, science and philosophy or at least give that impression from the antagonism in their words.  There are of course exceptions, but in large part my experience with atheists has been one of misinformation and anger.  I do not find confidence in their words, but rather a desperate need for other people to agree with them and intolerance for others not to.  More than likely why I find myself disagreeing with them more often than not. 

Still though, I feel as if the defensive nature of the atheist philosophy has been sufficiently shown that the proposition of only the religious being defensive when their beliefs are questioned can be disputed.

Offline TamhansenTopic starter

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2012, 11:43:35 AM »
From an objective viewpoint, they are not.

Any viewpoint, no matter how egalitarian or how bigoted is created by it's owner's frame of reference. Just as you feel your viewpoints are better, the bigoted sexist warmonger feels the same about his.

You cannot say with absolute certainty who is right and who is wrong.

All you can say is that you are more comfortable with your viewpoint, and try to convince the other person of them. Personally my viewpoint lies very close to yours, and I challenge other viewpoints and cherish having mine challenged.

But none of us is infallible, so none of us have claim on right or wrong.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2012, 11:44:29 AM »
I don't buy this.  Some ideas are better than others.  If a person has a bigoted, homophobic, woman hating, war-mongering ideology, I'm real comfortable saying my beliefs are better.
Then say it with a polite and respectful attitude if you are saying it here.  Don't make mountains out of mole hills or take extreme examples to demonstrate a point when that isn't the discussion on the table because the more extreme you become the more like that person you described you become.  Keep on topic for the thread you are in and if you aren't finding it fitting for your needs start another always keeping in mind Elliquiy's rules and guidelines regarding respect for others and civility toward those you disagree with and who disagree with you.

Offline doodasaurus

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2012, 11:51:58 AM »
From an objective viewpoint, they are not.

Any viewpoint, no matter how egalitarian or how bigoted is created by it's owner's frame of reference. Just as you feel your viewpoints are better, the bigoted sexist warmonger feels the same about his.

You cannot say with absolute certainty who is right and who is wrong.

All you can say is that you are more comfortable with your viewpoint, and try to convince the other person of them. Personally my viewpoint lies very close to yours, and I challenge other viewpoints and cherish having mine challenged.

But none of us is infallible, so none of us have claim on right or wrong.

Still don't buy it.  Sure, that bigoted, sexist, warmongerer no doubt feels the same about me.  So, we should just sit back and politely discuss things while they're out there making bigoted, sexist laws and engaging in murderous, horrible wars?  If they would table their push to make the world the way they want, I'd happily engage them in discourse -- but that's not what's happening.  They're not engaging, they're on the move.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2012, 11:55:56 AM »
I respectfully disagree.  Most atheists in my opinion are woefully ignorant of religion, science and philosophy or at least give that impression from the antagonism in their words.  There are of course exceptions, but in large part my experience with atheists has been one of misinformation and anger.  I do not find confidence in their words, but rather a desperate need for other people to agree with them and intolerance for others not to.  More than likely why I find myself disagreeing with them more often than not. 

Still though, I feel as if the defensive nature of the atheist philosophy has been sufficiently shown that the proposition of only the religious being defensive when their beliefs are questioned can be disputed.

This is, in part, to a lot of religions (mainly Christianity; it's one of the ones I'm most familiar with, and one of the biggest religions to do this) having the Big Book of Multiple Choice. Quite a large proportion of Atheists I know are very well informed on religion, usually moreso than the people whol follow them. The problem is, we can only point to the Bible and quote that. Which of course, every Christian and their mother either has their own interpretation, or simply -ignores- huge chunks of the Bible, leading to a constant shifting of goalposts.

"What about this part here, where it says about selling your raped daughter to her rapist?"
"Oh, no, -our- church doesn't believe that. We believe x, y and z."

Every church, and every believer picks and chooses what parts they want to follow and which bits already fit their moral compass. The Bible states homosexuality is wrong, but not every Christian believes that and even homosexuals I've known ignore that part and claim themselves Christian. The Bible states you should kill your kids for being unrulely, but a vast proportion of Christians don't follow that. We can only argue from the source; it's an impossible notion to expect that every Atheist knows every religion and every subsect within that religion and every persons individual opinons on those subsects opinions.

Offline TamhansenTopic starter

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2012, 11:58:04 AM »
I respectfully disagree.  Most atheists in my opinion are woefully ignorant of religion, science and philosophy or at least give that impression from the antagonism in their words.  There are of course exceptions, but in large part my experience with atheists has been one of misinformation and anger.  I do not find confidence in their words, but rather a desperate need for other people to agree with them and intolerance for others not to.  More than likely why I find myself disagreeing with them more often than not. 

Still though, I feel as if the defensive nature of the atheist philosophy has been sufficiently shown that the proposition of only the religious being defensive when their beliefs are questioned can be disputed.

You're using circular reasoning and logical fallacy. You say because atheists claim not to be defensive, that proves they are defensive. Also you claim we are ignorant of religion, which is an opinion not a fact, but then use it as a fact to support your circular reasoning.

I am not ignorant of the bible, or of religious beliefs, nor am I all knowing. But I dare say I have more knowledge of religion than many Christians I encountered. For example I know many Christians that can not name the Ten Commandments or five of Jesus twelve apostles. Most religious ferments, especially in the Judaic faiths seem to believe that he who disagrees must be ignorant. Because if they understood it, they could only believe it.

It's like this Islamic issue. Me: who wrote the Quran? Imam: Allah did Me: How do you know? Imam: It says so in the Quran. Me: how do you know the Quran speaks truth. Imam: because Allah wrote it.   

Many Christians do the same.

As an atheist I simply say, please prove me wrong, prove the existence of god to me. I just believe no one can, as I do not believe he existed so there is no proof. But if you have it, please share.

Offline TamhansenTopic starter

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2012, 12:02:18 PM »
Still don't buy it.  Sure, that bigoted, sexist, warmongerer no doubt feels the same about me.  So, we should just sit back and politely discuss things while they're out there making bigoted, sexist laws and engaging in murderous, horrible wars?  If they would table their push to make the world the way they want, I'd happily engage them in discourse -- but that's not what's happening.  They're not engaging, they're on the move.

Again subjective reasoning. You believe discussion is the way to get your point across. They do not. Look philosophically I agree with your viewpoint, however, until you can objectively prove your ways are right, you cannot lay the claim of being right, only of believing to be. I believe you are right in your social viewpoints, but I too can not prove them to be universally right.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2012, 12:02:50 PM »
The definition of how someone views “best” or “better” would be the only method of determining if one viewpoint is superior to another.  Even utilizing outcome based evidence would call the criteria for the outcome into question.  For instance, persecution of the Jewish people is something that most would feel is abhorrent and wrong.  A view point that is inferior, but such a view point could be said to have allowed the unification of the German people from a position of poverty to one of military superiority.  Slavery is quite useful to any nation due to the cheap labor, so an argument could be made over the usefulness of slavery when considering outcome.

Most of our “beliefs” are held up without true cause or reason for their existence that would stand up to scientific scrutiny.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2012, 12:08:50 PM »
You're using circular reasoning and logical fallacy. You say because atheists claim not to be defensive, that proves they are defensive. Also you claim we are ignorant of religion, which is an opinion not a fact, but then use it as a fact to support your circular reasoning.

No, I am using the example of three posters rushing forward over a single sentence within a post to all scream “no we’re not” along with parading a sense of superiority.  Also, the statement “in my opinion” would mean that I am not declaring my statement as fact.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2012, 12:14:03 PM »
The definition of how someone views “best” or “better” would be the only method of determining if one viewpoint is superior to another.  Even utilizing outcome based evidence would call the criteria for the outcome into question.  For instance, persecution of the Jewish people is something that most would feel is abhorrent and wrong.  A view point that is inferior, but such a view point could be said to have allowed the unification of the German people from a position of poverty to one of military superiority.  Slavery is quite useful to any nation due to the cheap labor, so an argument could be made over the usefulness of slavery when considering outcome.

Most of our “beliefs” are held up without true cause or reason for their existence that would stand up to scientific scrutiny.


I'm a bit confused there. Are you saying that more people support the idea that enslaving and killing Jews? Because... I'm pretty certain that isn't true.

Slavery is useful. But it doesn't make a group who uses slavery as a standard right. Logically, stealing is good in that sense, because taking other peoples stuff and keeping it for yourself is good, because you now have more stuff? And your own survival is more important than others? Which is distinctly not true. Humans thrive on groups, and stealing, while it helps you, doesn't help the group - once you allow that, everyone is stealing from everyone. What is best for people is that I agree not to kill you, you agree not to kill me, you keep your stuff, I'll keep my stuff and we all work together.

Enslaving people does nothing of the sort. It breeds resentment, it's a barbaric practice which most people in the civilized world finds abhorrant. Once you open the door to 'We can do this', you open the door for everyone else.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #89 on: October 10, 2012, 12:16:59 PM »
Discussing the benefits or disadvantages of a system is not the same as condoning it and you know that. 

Please don't make remarks for the sake of argument and please read through the post you wish to comment on, formulate your comment then read the post again before posting your reply.

Offline Sabby

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #90 on: October 10, 2012, 12:17:51 PM »
1. There are of course exceptions, but in large part my experience with atheists has been one of misinformation and anger. 

2. I do not find confidence in their words, but rather a desperate need for other people to agree with them and intolerance for others not to. 

3. More than likely why I find myself disagreeing with them more often than not. 

This is my last response to you, as I see no where else this can go but a Mod stepping in to quiet the topic. I'll leave my opinion, and you are welcome to continue the discussion in PM, but consider this my official exit from the public discussion.

1. Honestly, I think you're misunderstanding the reaction. It's not 'anger' and 'misinformation', it's offence and confusion at your circular reasoning and constant catfish-across-the-face slapping of reason. Just based on my interactions with you over the last few days, I really believe you are an Apologist.

2. No, a desperate need to be heard, as we should be, and have a damn right to. You can ignore us, as is your right as well, but please do not handwave all Atheists opinions as 'attention seeking' or 'bigotry' simply because they clash with your own world view. You are not special, and neither are we.

3. Oh! Right. Rude. Yes, a perfect excuse to just ignore things you don't like. If I told you that the Earth gravitates about the sun but I did so in an offensive, obnoxious manner, does that make this planet the universes centre? No. Have I been rude? If so, I apologize. Have many Atheists been rude? Yes. And I at least apologize for them, as I sympathize with their frustrations. I'm feeling them right now as I respond to you :/ This is a very heated topic and both sides get a bit out of line, this I will freely admit, but one side being 'rude' does not invalidate them and allow the other to hand wave them.

You are free to disagree with anything I've said, and I'd actually welcome it, as long as it is in PM. Don't mistake this for having the last say and running, as I'm not. I just see no good result coming from this discussion remaining public, or partaking in this topic at all. We've hit that loop again where we will all just retrace the same point until the Mods see fit to remind us not to rustle our Jimmies.

My Jimmies are being removed for a much needed unrustling, and you're quite welcome to send you're own Jimmies after mine if you feel so strongly.

Have a good day guys. When the discussion manages to realign itself, I'll be back :3

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #91 on: October 10, 2012, 12:19:02 PM »
Not certain how my statement that “persecution of the Jewish people is something that most would feel is abhorrent and wrong” can be taken to mean “saying that more people support the idea that enslaving and killing Jews.”  That would be an almost a purposeful misreading of my post.

Given that start to the post, I will not respond further to that post.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #92 on: October 10, 2012, 12:20:00 PM »
Pretty much what Sabs said. :/ It's hard to really discuss much of anything when slavery is being brought up as some sort of arguement within a religious debate. So, yeah. Have a good one, guys.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #93 on: October 11, 2012, 03:45:36 AM »
I respectfully disagree.  Most atheists in my opinion are woefully ignorant of religion, science and philosophy or at least give that impression from the antagonism in their words.  There are of course exceptions, but in large part my experience with atheists has been one of misinformation and anger.  I do not find confidence in their words, but rather a desperate need for other people to agree with them and intolerance for others not to.  More than likely why I find myself disagreeing with them more often than not. 

Still though, I feel as if the defensive nature of the atheist philosophy has been sufficiently shown that the proposition of only the religious being defensive when their beliefs are questioned can be disputed.

Really, "atheist" is a pretty narrow shingle on which to hang a common identity. It is the mere lack of belief in something, and tells you relatively little about someone's positive beliefs. There are plenty of ideologies that can describe themselves as "atheist," from Objectivism to Communism, and everything in between. There are also plenty of mindsets that can be described as "atheist," from the informed and educated right down to the lumpen-atheist who imagines Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Chris Hitchens to be "scholars" of the subject matter, and who thereby have not the remotest idea of how little they know. Atheism can be an expression of healthy skepticism, or it can be a pseudo-liberal stalking horse for the popular prejudices of the moment (in our current moment, especially, Islamophobia). Atheism can be the simple lack of the need to believe in Deity, or it can manifest as the rather more insecure need to believe that theism is inherently stupid and evil.

Thanks to the popularity of the so-called "Four Horsemen" authors (and to figures like PZ Meyers), the under-informed and hate- or anger-based variants of atheism have acquired an obnoxious fanbase that has really only read a few slanted polemics about the issue in question, but nevertheless fancies itself as "rational," even-handed and intellectually superior. This was always a part of atheism -- especially characteristic of recent conversos from one or another religious tradition -- but it assumes a disproportionate profile in the present day. It's understandable to be unimpressed by it, as it's little different from the theists who imagine themselves to know everything based on a few years of Sunday school, but I would hesitate even now to characterize it as "most" of atheism. That most atheists are more educated about religion than most professed believers, for instance, is actually true, not withstanding the tends toward lumpen-atheism.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 03:48:28 AM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline tozhma

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #94 on: October 11, 2012, 11:02:40 AM »
A lot of those criticisms can be applied to theists as well you know. I think almost any ideology can be bent to fit any prejudice.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #95 on: October 11, 2012, 11:49:35 AM »
A lot of those criticisms can be applied to theists as well you know. I think almost any ideology can be bent to fit any prejudice.

stupid+anything = stupid2

my formula still holds true!

Offline tozhma

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #96 on: October 11, 2012, 05:00:09 PM »
lol

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #97 on: October 11, 2012, 05:23:46 PM »
As entertaining as this discourse has become, please do not let things get too of course from the topic of the thread.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #98 on: October 13, 2012, 10:02:13 AM »
Basically, when taking the standard definition of these two terms, they seem rather interchangable.

Mythology:
a. A body or collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes.

1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

Now to me as an agnostic religion and mythology are the same. In this I do not say that I know them to be false, as i cannot prove any mythology to be false. Maybe Jesus did walk on water, or perhaps the godess Athena really was born out of Zeus's splitting headache. I was not there. My question is merely how we can safely call many of these belief systems not just ancient ones, but also modern ones like hinduism, buddhism or Wicca false and treat them as fairy tales, but once we do the same to Christianity, Judaism and Islam, we are treated as savages and insensitive. Basically, there is not a shred more evidence of the existence of God/JHVH/Allah, than there is of Zeus or Krisjna or the mother goddess. It's all about faith and belief.

Personally I tend to take the babel fish approach when considering the existence of god or gods. I do not wish to hinder anyone in believing what they wish to believe, what they feel is truth, or at least something probable, but if people really have this faith, why do they get upset if others question the truth of those beliefs? Is their faith not strong enough, or is it something else?

"but if people really have this faith, why do they get upset if others question the truth of those beliefs? "

What happens when you tell a child that Santa Clause isn't real? They freak out. Why? Because they believe that Santa will give them toys if they are good. No Santa means no toys. A child will just kick and cry over the loss of their Santa, while an adult will terrorize and force people to believe, rape women, and blow up buildings.


"Is their faith not strong enough, or is it something else?"

No, its not. If it was, they wouldn't need to make everyone else participate in their delusion.

Offline WildCat

Re: religion and mythology.
« Reply #99 on: October 13, 2012, 03:25:29 PM »
As entertaining as this discourse has become, please do not let things get too of course from the topic of the thread.
"Religion and Mythology"

Obviously, I am qualified to speak only for myself.

I think the tendency to get up in arms about the two lies not in denotation but in connotation. 'Mythology' tends to be associated with 'false' in a way 'religion' isn't. I am Christian. Personally, I don't object to Christianity being referred to as a mythology because I know that 'mythology' and 'false' are not synonyms. (For that matter, I'm not going to get up in arms with people telling me my faith is 'false', I just don't agree with them.)

Meanwhile, living in a secular world--it does irritate me when Muslims or Wiccans or practitioners of whatever faith are denied the rights and privileges that I as a Christian enjoy.