You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
January 21, 2018, 04:49:14 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Religion and the Declaration of Morality  (Read 2242 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« on: August 07, 2017, 02:05:50 PM »
Over the last year, I've been watching the words of Essence of Thought on YouTube. I appreciate his work which is generally responsible, highly cited, largely peer reviewed and with all that in mind, I admit that he has a penchant to be very rough on the concept of religion.

Generally speaking, I am against the concept of religion being something that is discussed in any forum that decides what is permitted in secular society, in education, in the medical field, etc. However, I am a proponent for allowing people to believe as they will, so long as it remains a basis for their own integrity and moral compass, not something that is decided on behalf of others. The controversy here comes about in many ways, from the argument on abortion, Creationism taught in schools, the hijab and marriage rights. As a secular humanist, as an athiest, as someone who believes in science above all unsustainable personal beliefs and free of opinion bias, I often find myself frustrated with the insistence of others that, aside from their ability (or inability) to debate religion in any reasonable setting, they are subject to a higher power and need not follow the rules of the land.

Wasn't is Jesus himself who said "Give to Cesar what is Cesar's and give to God what is His alone"? This in response to whether a man should pay taxes or not. (*Taps microphone* "Did you hear that, Mister Trump?") Despite the fallicies and faults of the Holy Bible as touted by the Judeo-Christian church, it is clear about obeying the law of the land as well as that of Jesus, so long as they do not contradict each other. In many places, the Bible even points out that Christians aren't called to judge the validity of the actions of others and what they might be allowed, but to look to their own follow of the commandments instead. In fact, it was even stated that Jesus came to turn members of the family against each other and cause division. That, to me, implies that we are STILL not meant to judge others, even if they are in our own family. The Christian philosophy, at its core, is meant to be "Be nice to everyone, ya pricks, or God's gonna getcha."

One of the most prominent examples of a discussion had recently was on Facebook, where someone posted a link to a particularly nasty article that I could, at first, not believe existed. But when I chased it down, of course it was from a pro-Trump, anti-Islam, anti-refugee, borderline White Nationalist, unapologetically biased, anti-Obama, conservative news outlet on Facebook whose tagline is "We're here to take a stand against the LYIN' media. Follow us for the real, conservative truth that you'll NEVER see on TV." Apparently they are associated with the Western Tribune, and are running a lot of "stir the pot" hate pieces lately.

Anyway, mostly the point was that I got tired of seeing this sort of rhetoric, so I started in on the case, challenging the information in the original piece. At first, I did not attack people nor point fingers about opinions, only spoke to the nature of the dishonesty in the initial information. But... of course... someone had to step in and throw down. I was ever so glad it was the OP. So, so glad. it allowed me to have a conversation that went something like this.

Dishonest Understanding of the Transgender Community
http://www.westerntribune.com/johns-hopkins-dr-transgenderism-mental-illness-tcooney/  from "Right Daily" Facebook group

Cites: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change


Me: This sort of article and statement are why humanity are okay abusing each other, I guess. This is terrible.

It completely fails to take into account that not only are suicide rates higher for a particular subset (namely those from religious households where their family was unsupportive) but then proceeds to cherry-pick and misrepresent the data.

The truth of those studies was not that seventy five to eighty percent spontaneously lost feelings, but that no gender reassignment speciality takes on children of a pre-puberty age for consideration of gender reassignment. Instead, they undergo a long process of psychological evaluation looking for very particular signs.

The idea it's a mental illness is ludicrous, since they must have letters of evaluation of a significant duration from I believe two separate specialist psychologists and a general psychologist. If I'm not incorrect, the time frame must be of a length no less than two years and cannot be evaluated in tandem before they can even begin hormone therapy.

Want to know what IS a very REAL mental illness? Body disphoria. I am far more convinced that is what this highly educated person was referring to and extremist traditionalists are more interested in spinning it to serve their oppressive religious purposes than actually being possessed of any sort of integrity.

There's a reason the overwhelming majority of educated medical professionals in the secular community (upwards of 90% last I checked though the official number escapes me at the moment) agree on the nature and treatment for trandgender individuals.

This article is nothing more than pandering garbage.



Him: I wouldn't call this man's article garbage. I think he makes a lot of sense. I believe God gave us our gender is Caitlyn Jenner really happier now?

Me: That's not for me to judge, that's Jenner's life. See, that's the problem with religion: It's so wrapped up in deciding others' lives that it misses the point.

But your beliefs aren't necessary here. This isn't about religion, it's scientifically measureable. It's like the climate change "conversation". Luckily, science doesn't have to care what your opinion is, it can still be proven incorrect. Your religion is not welcome here.

If they're going to try to cite "facts" to aid their deluded point, I'm going to point them out for the complete lack of integrity and wholly conscious pandering to lies. Simple as that.

When religion makes a justifiable, sustainable argument that bears up to scrutiny, then it'll be a real conversation. Until then, they're just trying to control people and the rational world isn't having it.

Still not sure why the religious feel like it's their business to be once again up in peoples' genitals. :/

Him: To hide one's head in the ground and say that's Jenner's life and to care less about another person's state is real self centered. So my question remains "is Caitlyn Jenner really happier now?"

Me: And my insistence remains that it's not my ob to find out if she's happier now. It's none of my business. That's between her, her therapist and exactly no one else. From what she's said, she is, so it's up to exactly no one else to pass judgement.

See, I can CARE about her life without having to JUDGE their life and deciding I am qualified to do so is miles more self-centered than simply leaving her alone and letting. Her live her life without interference.

You don't care about her mental state, don't feed me that. You just want her to live her life as you believe she should, which is simply arrogant and condescending.

In short: No one needs to care what your qustion remains, it is utterly irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Life is not about you.

Him: You assume too much. Do not putwords in my mouth. If a good friend does a major body....  life.... changing action and you glibly say "I don't care....it is your life.... Do as you want. You would make a very poor "good samaritan" .... but you might want it that way. Let the poor @#$%^&* die. he is free to so do.

Him: Of sourse my question is not valid to you. You have created a template of human living that does not care what anyone does.

Him: They can go to hell as far as you are concerned. Too cool.....too much pot.

Me: How dare you sir, insinuate that my understanding of human nature somehow mirrors yours? Or some nonsense about marijuana. You were not asking about a good friend, you were asking about someone I am not associated with, so your not-so-clever distraction is twice as faulty for your own dishonest representation.

If a good friend is happier once they have undergone reassignment, there is nothing to save them from. The samaritan helped someone who was noticeable in trouble in a way that person would jot have denied. Trying to force my mindset on another person whethey they want it or not "for their own good" isn't being a good samaritan, it is being a dictator. Not even your supposedgod is that bad. Does he not allow people to come to him on their own? What makes you more important than your god and more capable of passing judgement?

The instances of transgender individuals committing suicide is MUCH lower than those who do not undergo the surgery because they are simply denied (not taking into account the numbers for whom the aurgery was seen as not recommended to avoid skewing results). The higher numbers are from those who's families are unsupportive. Of the two of us, who is most likely under that light to invoke a suicidal response?

I do care what people do, forbinstance I care that your rhetoric is hateful and subjugating. The difference is I'm not going to try to force someone into living the way I think they should. These are adult people and you have no right to judge FOR them whether they are happy or not. Unless you are employed to be their personal therapist, you cannot override their claims of being hapoy: you simply are not capable. And thatis not a dig at you. I am not capable either, nor is any other human being that has ever lived. To insinuate that I do not care when you are the one propagating this ugly insistence that you know better than another person how they feel is so incredibly backward it doesn't surprise me it comes from a religious conservative.

Your own doctrine says "judge not, lest ye be judged: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god." So, what makes you so important you can just skip that part and go straight for pointing judgemental fingers to decide for yourself what the fate of another should be?

Dhame on you, sir, for using arguments that are unfitting for a child a fifth of your age.

Him: Ashlynn Baldwin Insults insults... when you have no argument then insult your opponent. Clear observation can let one know if a decision of a person is affection them in a bad way. To not be concerned is sub human.

Unfortunately, this is where he blocked me from his page and deleted my comments, so I suspect he knows that he's on a lost leg here. Still... what the hell, people, why does this mindset persist?

Me: Ah, so you simply remove my comments, do you? Luckily I still have screen shots.

Him: I apologise for the "delete: That was a mistake. I was just lookiing you up on Google to reconnect. we can continue if you want though I lost most of the content.

Me: Don't worry, I still have your last message. "Insults, insults.... When you have no argument then insult your opponent. Clear observation can let one know if a decision of a person is affection them in a bad way. To not be concerned is sub human."

Me: To which I was about to respond...

Me: Says the man who decided I am apparently keen for people to go to hell (a place I do not believe exists) and that accused me of smoking pot. I return in kind the measure I receive, sir. I am not certain what of that you saw to be insulting, but that is quite telling.

Clearly, observation does this argument no good, since you are not capable or are not willing to cincede that the transgender community has been asking the religious right to kindly leave them alone for many years now. Once again I reiterate that your judgement of another person is irrelevant. If you are concerned for someone you know, I suggest doing the humane thing: offer them help. Pay for a therapist, provide numbers to help hotlines, drive them to a support group. Nothing you have stated so far is a valid plan of support. Instead of attacking and maginalizing them as victims of a mental illness simply because of a scientifically acknowledged phenomenon, I would suggest reaching out to them, having a conversation and working with them to establish a solution and realizing when professional support is necessary.

Posting passive-aggressive non-peer0reviewed interviews with discredited and un-researched conclusions is helping no one but hte egos of a certain few.

Also, to insinuate that I am sub-human does your intellect no favours, sir.

Him: (Allan Dale Bowen) I can not help but care for a person... friend or brief acquaintance who appears to be heading for trouble by a decision they have taken. To impose help.... NO. To offer YES. Perhaps we, in general, are not that far from each other in this aspect? " If you are concerned for someone you know, I suggest doing the humane thing: offer them help. Pay for a therapist, provide numbers to help hotlines, drive them to a support group. " ....totally agree.

Me: In that case, asking me if Caitlyn Jenner is truly happy was a misleading question. I don't know her, so the question is at best irrelevant and at worst, a red herring.

However, if someone is happy in their new life, if I see no reason to be concerned, then it's a moo point. The article cited is misleading for misrepresenting the data garbered from multiple, peer-reviewed studies on the subject. They claim that there's no difference when that's only half the truth. There is no difference between people that have the reassignment surgery and those that don't...

... Where they are unsupported by family and to a lesser extent, friends.

Seventy five to eighty percent of cildren taken for evaluation eventually grow out of those dismorphic feelings...

... Which is why professional psychological assessment of children too young to know is necessary before they're so much as recommended for further psychological evaluation leading up to surgery.

None of our recent acquiescence changes my initial point, but I do hope that it helps to clarify.

Him: I think my question about M. Jenner is a fair question as he/she has put himself out in the public to promote gender change.

Me: I know you do. So, if you want me to make a judgement, you will have to first point out what pieces of evidence I would have to be working off of. I would have had to have paid any remote attention to them before or after HER gendder reveal. I would have to have some idea of their mindset beforehand and some idea of her mindset now. Otherwise, I simply cannot comment, because I don't know. I do not kbow her or her circumstances. She has people looking out for her. It's not my place to offer an opinion on whom I do not know.

And for the record, she is not promoting gender change, that's not how it works. She's not saying "change your gender, it'll be fun!" All she has said is that it's important to not attack people and spread maliciousness or attempt to judge someone in her position.

It's literally the transgender community doing as I've said before: asking nicely for others to leave them alone.

In fact, why don't we lay aside Caitlyn Jenner and use another example. Can you name another transgender individual? Why don't we discuss them? In fact, we can even make it a celebrity if you prefer, and disciss their situation.

(I was going to bring up Laverne Cox, largely because I'll bet the sixty three year old straight white man has no clue who Laverne Cox is, because she didn't start out looking like he (OP) did.)

(Half an hour later, when most comments have been five minutes or less in the exchange)

Him: Unfortunately, a public figure's actions are widely followed and intentionally or inadvertently influence others to follow suit and others to be not in favor.

Me: I can agree with this. However, stating definitively that they are promoting gender change is an infactual statement.

However, you have not replied to the bulk of my proposal.

Him: We will disagree on this .... just being a public causes one to promote what one says, wears, attends etc. A gender change by a public figure can not help but promote

Me: If I saw as many people fighting the promotion of Trump's tax dodge ("Give to Cesar what is Cesar's and to God what is God's" in response to a tax question), fighting the outright verbal encouragement of sexual assault and the use of credit cards ("Neither borrower nor lender be"), I'd be inclined maybe to accept a viewpoint against gender reassignment surgery as valid, even though god nor Jesus never said a word about it.

And you still haven't addressed my suggestion. If you are keen to have me pass judgement on the life and happiness of a transgender celebrity, why not choose a different example? I might have better luck with someone else?

Me: Also, I would like to cite http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bal-johns-hopkins-transgender-20170406-story.html

It turns out that this man's comments are decades outdated, being dredged up to support some political point and even he maintains aren't keeping up with current science.

Me: This was published in 2016, where the article you cited looks to be from 2015, possibly before that. Checking now.

Me: Okay, the initial Western Tribune article cited was from July 10th 2017, I'll grant that. However, the article to which they linked was published in 2015, more than two years ago, and has subsequently been discredited by colleagues and the University at large since then.

(Last comment from my opponent was 47 mins ago, by this point.)


I got a few screenshots, but not before the person "accidentally" deleted the comments that showed him losing his temper before the drastic tonal change.

Basically, my question is why do we still think like this? Why are there so many self-absorbed people (before I get those comments, I know they come from self-righteous people on both sides of the political debates, they come from everyone who decides they have the personal authority to try to force others to live by their life without supporting evidence or... you know... the right to do so) so dead-set on the concept of living by religion or some other equally indoctrinated principle. Does anyone else have examples of morality denied by those examples of religious individuals that seem unfair?

One of my "favourites" recently is the insistence that not only did morality begin with Christianity (I know, I'm hating on them a lot lately, but it is the most prominent example I have, given my locale. And also, here's a hint, that's not where morality began) but that Athiests don't have a right to claim they have any morality because by definition, they are morally bankfupt.

I also kinda loathe the argument that everyone must live by their example because they are the purest example of humanity and everyone else must be guided like children, or the most extreme being that no one should be able to vote unless they are registered to a Christian church. (Yeah, I heard that one and I had to walk away because this person was just so incredibly unhinged. Unfortunately, I couldn't go far, since it was a family Christmas dinner.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 10:44:50 AM »
Update!

While he has offered no further proof of anything he has said (no cited sources by anything aside from religious texts), he has also flat-out refused to answer anything directly. At one point, he recreuited someone who flat-out asked me why I couldn't believe god. Believing there might be something to be gained by this instead of the constant insults (*name redacted* Has no life, is wasting hers, cause she's a moron who won't listen to the ONE TRUTH OF GOD", etc.), I mentioned that I could not understand a god of perfect love that condoned, supported and even ordered the mass murder and rape of prisoners of war.

And then, what cinched the deal.

"Well, maybe when you're raped you'll see the glory of god.

Any takers?"

After an hour of no responses from anyone one way or another, he just said "I didn't think so. Not for YOU."

I'm not sure how to take his latter comments (though I'm certain it's no good), the gall of the former is insurmountable. To be clear, I know that this isn't all of Christianity. It's not of religion or any faith. But how does a mentality that works to this conclusion believe itself to be the equal of science or humanism in any way? How can they live with themselves and still believe in a "perfectly loving god"?

Offline Cookie

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 11:54:10 AM »


On the article:  Yeah I've seen McHugh comments being shouted around again lately, usually in less than savory corners of the internet (though not always, people are welcome to read whatever opinions they like of course), usually prefaced with "ha here's what a Dr thinks". McHugh is welcome to his professional opinions, but as you noted it goes against prevailing evidence.  The problem with seeing transgender identities as a: "mental disorder that merits treatment" is that's been tried and fails miserably, essentially it's conversion therapy. 

As for why people draw an inflexible morality from religion?  I'd say they learn their religion (usually in childhood) it gives them something in their lives, they draw strength from it, and having an inflexible interpretation gives them the satisfaction of feeling right, which is nice. Of course that's a problem when there's a moralising outward preachy tone and a drive to get their beliefs enacted in politics, it's somewhat inherent to certain belief systems.

Those petulant, vile comments at the end are just a bad example of lashing out online. It doesn't sit well with 'love thy neighbor' and all that, but people aren't that consistent really.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 12:00:14 PM »
I've met some wonderful examples of Christianity, who recognize that their morality is meant to be internally focused, a guideline for what believers are meant to do or not do. Those people are examples of caompassion, most of them reasonable and understand that science is not an internally-focused practice.

More to the point, they don't have a belief that morality can only exist in their religion and that everyone else is a morally-bankrupt Mad Max interpretation.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 12:28:21 PM »
I posted this somewhere on my own Facebook wall (wasn't being antagonistic, left no caption, singled no one out).



For whatever reason, I was inundated with comments from people on my mom's super-religious co-worker's friends list.

Things like "Spreading lies" and "Abusing our children with evolution" and just... so on and so forth. At this point, my question is "Is there even a way to discuss reality with people who refuse to believe there is any other possibility in said reality?

Online Oniya

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 01:23:13 PM »
You can discuss things with the honestly confused.  The ones that have dug in - no.

Case in point - I was up at my mother-in-law's last month, and one of the new Planet of the Apes movies was on the TV.  She literally asked me why there were still monkeys if humans evolved from apes.  (This is a 75+ year old woman.)  I was able to explain it using examples from agriculture:  There are still wild grapes even though we have bred those into Concord grapes.  If you don't weed your garden, you can find wild carrots (Queen Anne's Lace) growing next to your regular carrots.  There are still wild strawberries even though we've developed the big juicy ones you find at the supermarket.  She got it.

Offline Iniquitous

  • Mirror Mirror who's the fairest bitch in all the land? | Diva of the Damned | Patron Saint of Blankies, Tea, & Biscuits
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Location: Somewhere between the lost and the fallen
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm the bad bitch; the bitch you'll never know
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 01:32:49 PM »
Fury, from my experience, there is no discussion with those that think it is their way or no way.  Anyone who is close minded will not be able to accept anything that does not match their beliefs.  My parents are great examples of this.  It has reached a point where there are certain things that are never, ever discussed between the three of us (politics, religion, abortion - basically anything that they have a strong stance on.) because they can't force me to believe as they do and it is impossible for me to open the tiniest crack in their close mindedness.

Sure, it has caused me to bite my tongue more than I care to admit, but the arguments just aren't worth it - and my dad gets REALLY pissed when I laugh at his opinions (last time I did that he told me I should move to Russia ... he was so pissed he didn't even realize how stupid that comment was in relation to my telling him that he should move to Russia if he was fine with the government having access to all his personal information.)

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 10:59:41 PM »
If you all are open to it, I'd suggest listening to Jordan Peterson's lectures on youtube.
The two series that ive been listening to are his "2017 Personality and its Transformation" and "The Psychological Significance of Biblical Stories". Id start with the 2017 stuff and listen to it a few times because there is a lot to get your head around. Be aware these are both like 20 hour series so there is a lot there.

The man is a practicing clinician in therapy and a social scientist. He goes about these discussions and put forth a lot of thought and effort into the ideas presented, and they seem pretty solid to me. By explaining the idea of God and Christianity rationally, it might help you understand where most religious folks are coming from, even if they cant articulate that idea very well, tactfully, and respectfully, or lack there of...

Im not looking to try and convert or anything. You got your beliefs and i got mine and we can still have a conversation together, Id hope.

Offline Iniquitous

  • Mirror Mirror who's the fairest bitch in all the land? | Diva of the Damned | Patron Saint of Blankies, Tea, & Biscuits
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2011
  • Location: Somewhere between the lost and the fallen
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm the bad bitch; the bitch you'll never know
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 11:30:24 PM »
Honestly, I do not need to listen to some lecture to understand where the vast majority of believers are coming from.  My personal experience is that very, very few actually know the bible, even less actually follow the teachings of their deity.

The whole thing of this thread is the fact that the vast majority of christians have this inane belief that if a person is not christian then they cannot possibly be moral.  Which is bullshit (and puts those professing to be christian right smack afoul of one of the bible's tenets - not to judge).

I don't mean to come across as snarky here, but I cannot begin to count how many times I have been told 'oh you just don't understand' or 'no, you misunderstand christianity'.  No. I don't.  Just because I believe in something different doesn't mean that I lack morals.  I actually have pretty high morals - more so than my so called christian parents.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 11:39:16 PM »
I will definitely look those up.

My sister is a deep believer, as is her whole family (complicated, but she's got another family, it's a thing). Her half brother is a pastor and believe it or not, her cousin is a priest. I heard a rumour that there's a Rabbi in the mix somewhere down the line, but the point is that we often sit around having discussions about faith, psychology, philosophy and applied practice. And I love those people. I love them so much, and I will fight tooth and nail for their right to believe and practice as they will.

The difference, I think, is in how they treat things. They are able to understand that other world views exist. They understand that not everyone believes what they believe, but that human wellbeing and longevity is an objective standard. Even if there were no religion, trans individuals (as was the starting seed of the argument I mentioned before) are still to be treated with respect. It is their faith that drives them to go one step further and treat them with love and appreciation.

Those aren't the kind of Christians that I have a problem with. The ones that irk me, that make me lose my mind, are the same people I have a problem with when they're racist (as this man has since proven to be, I admit I went on his Facebook page and it was all "look how the muslims treat the jews" and "Turn firehoses on them at the border" and "gay people should be lobotomized or electrocuted until they get right with god" and just openly abusive language against literally anyone that thinks any differently than he), climate change deniers, those fighting against evolution (oh Ken Ham.... oh man.... I actually felt embarrassed for him watching that debate). The people that willfully choose to embrace (awkwardly and in a fashion I'm certain would make their god ashamed of them) nonsense to an unreasonable degree instead of taking it for a guideline of kindness it's meant to be. These are the people that will try to force everyone under their heel and will largely use religion as an excuse to do it.

And it's not that these people are only found in Christianity. Every religion has assholes. My confusion is why the better examples of religion don't rise up as one and slay them.

Alright, that's maybe a little extreme.

Personally, I've found that as science expands, god gets smaller. As education grows, god shrinks. The "god of the gaps" sort of an idea, roughly speaking, is going to eventually force religion to die out over time. And hey, if people want to find post-death comfort in a set of rules that will buy them admission to an everlasting theme park where they'll feel compelled to merely worship all day, and that makes them happy? Whatever, rock on, do you.

What I can't understand is the side of people that makes them want to force other people to abandon everything that makes life worth living in order to pretend (because you can't force yourself to believe something you don't, no matter how hard you try. Twenty years in the church easily taught me that) to think like they do. How do you possibly reason with these people on any level? The hateful, the domineering, the abusive, the bigoted, those whose very life blood runs black and thick with the evil they spit at whoever doesn't see things their way? How do you reason with them? How do you make them leave you alone? How do you stop yourself from being accosted by them?

Offline Mathim

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 12:28:13 AM »
It is their faith that drives them to go one step further and treat them with love and appreciation.


Um...not sure you're giving credit where it's actually due, but if you say so...


My confusion is why the better examples of religion don't rise up as one and slay them.


Not really a difficult answer to come by. The framework of religion is simply not designed to be capable of producing this effect. Only a secular, objective framework that does not rely on contradictory claims, hypocrisy and appeals to unquestioned authority can truly generate an atmosphere of cooperation and altruism. Even the really nice believers are only that way because they've rejected everything about the faith that would preclude secular values, except for abandoning that last teensy bit of delusional thinking they'd be better off without anyway.


What I can't understand is the side of people that makes them want to force other people to abandon everything that makes life worth living in order to pretend (because you can't force yourself to believe something you don't, no matter how hard you try. Twenty years in the church easily taught me that) to think like they do.

When you're that morbidly convinced of something (which is why forceful indoctrination of children, whether they're your own or otherwise, should carry a minimum 20-year prison sentence) where the stakes are eternal agony or eternal bliss (both as unrealistic and unreasonable as it is possible for a proposition to be), then the temporary existence here ceases to hold meaning - which is simultaneously hilarious and yet maddening when they accuse non-believers of being nihilistic and having no meaning in their lives. Pretty damned easy to lose sight of anything of beauty or significance here when heaven awaits and lasts forever, yet the argument from beauty and design imply both, so there's yet more contradiction here. That way madness lies. It's why I don't cotton to the idea of even opening the door to that kind of delusion the slightest bit, it's kinda like a gateway drug version of inducing craziness.


How do you possibly reason with these people on any level? The hateful, the domineering, the abusive, the bigoted, those whose very life blood runs black and thick with the evil they spit at whoever doesn't see things their way? How do you reason with them? How do you make them leave you alone? How do you stop yourself from being accosted by them?

The problem is, numbers. Both the sheer number of strong believers, and the fair-weather believers who scoff, "Oh, piffle, that's not OUR religion, they're not worshiping god the right way", are extremely disjointed. Too many of the former to really 'fight' in a political or literal sense, and too few of the latter who are actually willing to raise their voices and admit just how secular they really are so that all voices opposed to religion running mad with power fail to meet or overpower to dull roar of fundamentalism. The minute the hatemongers and their brainwashed but less vocal ilk start feeling like nobody's listening to them and never will listen to them again, is the minute they'll start shutting up or turn on each other and destroy themselves from within. So until a way is devised to outnumber them, anyone with a genuine conscience, believers or not, is stuck with them. It's just that the non-believers aren't guilty of giving them any legitimacy by still claiming to have faith of any kind. Them having a sense of numerical superiority even if other believers are as far opposite the spectrum from them as possible, is still a huge incentive for them to keep shouting and spouting their rhetoric and doubling down on brainwashing as many others as possible.

Offline midnightblack

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 01:08:30 AM »
A very interesting thread. I lost the energy for such struggles years ago. The sense of futility that surrounded them was rather depressing.


What I can't understand is the side of people that makes them want to force other people to abandon everything that makes life worth living in order to pretend (because you can't force yourself to believe something you don't, no matter how hard you try. Twenty years in the church easily taught me that) to think like they do. How do you possibly reason with these people on any level? The hateful, the domineering, the abusive, the bigoted, those whose very life blood runs black and thick with the evil they spit at whoever doesn't see things their way? How do you reason with them? How do you make them leave you alone? How do you stop yourself from being accosted by them?


The short of it is that you don't, at least not directly and not on a personal level. When it comes to controversial topics, my impression is that people usually won't realize they are wrong unless they are lucky enough to get struck squarely in the face by reality. For that reason, I believe that most times it is simply best to refuse to engage in any kind of political or religious debate.  It's not like it would accomplish anything aside of bringing out the worst in people and entrenching irrational positions further. >.>

I would be tempted to say that the meaningful approach is to try and reduce their relevance for the future. That is, If you are in any way responsible for the education of the next generation, do it in a sensible way. And be careful how you cast your vote. However, this bring me to the next point.

Quote
Personally, I've found that as science expands, god gets smaller. As education grows, god shrinks. The "god of the gaps" sort of an idea, roughly speaking, is going to eventually force religion to die out over time. And hey, if people want to find post-death comfort in a set of rules that will buy them admission to an everlasting theme park where they'll feel compelled to merely worship all day, and that makes them happy? Whatever, rock on, do you.

Sure, this may be true locally, in a vanishingly small neighborhood centered on your own existence, but I do not see it happening in the future of the global picture. At the heart of things, there are two simple reasons why this has been the state of affairs for the last 6000 years or so: power and money, the only things that really matter to the extremely pragmatic and down to Earth people that lead various religious communities. And it is safe to assume that they will never be willing to give them up. Scientific research has already turned into this weird paper-pushing, political-pandering, pseudo-business that is focused on short-term results with little to no long term relevance or focus on questions that hold any meaning outside of monetary profit. As a working scientist, I've come to know this all too well.

I've noticed that recently it has become popular to jokingly take "Idiocracy" as a mirror of our future. While I do hold the impression that, however we look at things, humanity as a whole will lose, I'm not entirely certain we won't be cast as far back as the stone age in the times to come. Still, if that's to be avoided, I'd guess that something like "A canticle for Leibowitz"  would be a more accurate picture. That or Warhammer 40k.  ::)

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2017, 09:08:18 AM »
You cant account for assholes being assholes.

You only argue with them when there is a crowd and your objective is not to change their mind, but the person on the fence that is in the crowd. If that's not the case, dont engage with them.

If they just resort to name calling or character assassination, you call them out on it and tell them they are an asshole. They dont know you, your beliefs, or your values, and its fucked up to judge you before they know you.

Its mutually assured destruction for name calling, but if someone else is listening, you end up on the moral high ground, because you called out their tactic and predjudice.

Going to some others that commented, personally, I fell out of Catholicism in my early teens. I still believe in god, the 10 commandments, and that Christ was a person with some pretty ground shaking ideas, but the dogma and trappings of Catholicism turned me off to it. Peterson's lectures unpack what it means (to me) to be human and explaining the concepts involved in the bible. It resonated with me in a way no sunday teacher or preacher could ever come close to. Im not a born again christian, or evangelical. At least im trying not to be, even as i read over my post...

I do think that belief in a higher power and cosmic justice is a net good for humanity. I only need to point to Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Nazi Germany, and North Korea and North Vietnam as to what happens when kill the idea of god and you replace it with pure rationalism put the State above all else. They did/do not believe in the intrinsic worth of a human beingand the morals that go with that idea and they've killed over 160 million people over the course of the 20th century.

As the old saying goes, moderation is the key, you cant be completely one or the other or it distorts horribly.


I cant account for all the problems in christianity and western civilization. Compared to Utopia, yea, there are a fair number of problems... but compared to any other type of civilation humanity has undertaken, its the best one yet by an absolute wide margin.

I think i went on a few tangents there, but i think they all feed back into each other.

Offline Mathim

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2017, 09:31:46 AM »


I do think that belief in a higher power and cosmic justice is a net good for humanity. I only need to point to Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Nazi Germany, and North Korea and North Vietnam as to what happens when kill the idea of god and you replace it with pure rationalism put the State above all else. They did/do not believe in the intrinsic worth of a human being and the morals that go with that idea and they've killed over 160 million people over the course of the 20th century.

As the old saying goes, moderation is the key, you cant be completely one or the other or it distorts horribly.


I cant account for all the problems in christianity and western civilization. Compared to Utopia, yea, there are a fair number of problems... but compared to any other type of civilation humanity has undertaken, its the best one yet by an absolute wide margin.


I'm sorry, but that insinuation is absolutely disgusting and grossly ignorant. None of those systems were rational at all, they were merely state-run religions with the same kind of dogmatic nonsense as traditional religions substituted for 'real' icons. Not a one of them could be considered to be founded upon the ideals of secular humanism. Please do a little research, because that sort of statement is the most pernicious kind of ignorant propaganda that religion is guilty of spewing.

Online Lustful Bride

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2017, 09:44:07 AM »
I would get in on this. But im tired of constantly trying to argue for the positives of religion and that its not all bad. Deal with that way too much by letting myself get dragged into arguments on youtube where the same points just get spouted out over and over again in a cycle that only pisses everyone off. This has even been done here repeatedly on E. I don't even know why we still have this.

There is no real point to this argument since it looks like religion is just going to dry up and fade away eventually, and all anyone will remember is the bad side of it. But in the now it all boils down to a basic idea of "Religion is like medicine, some need it and use it to help others, while some abuse it and harm themselves and everyone around them".

A person can be moral with or without religion just as much as they can be immoral without it. There are just as many assholes and saints on both sides of the fence. And all this is going to lead to is people throwing a tantrum and getting al offended at everyone else.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2017, 10:51:37 AM »
Im with you that religion isnt blameless either. Pure fundamentalism produces atrocities as well. Those countries started with the notion that they could justify their actions by scientific and intellectual reasoning and taken to its extremes and distorted, allowed those things to happen.

Science and intelligence are good, but ignoring morals and ethics leads to some pretty heinous things. I happen to believe in a higher power, whatever that might entail. I wish along with everyone else that the fundamentalists would get over themselves and just let people be.

Im at least glad we can talk about it without screaming at each other.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2017, 10:58:47 AM »
It wouldn't be such a concern if people didn't let religious institutions and ideals have such sway over basic human rights (I'm a fan of the saying "your bible doesn't fit in my vagina"). Whether those people are the saints or sinners, I'm less concerned about the legitimacy of a religion in and of itself and more in who and why they're trying to victimize in terms of the greater world. This began as an attack on transgender individuals. But I've seen it in attack on exucation, attack on reproductive rights, attack on basic humanities, in the way they advocate that certain members of a community are more deserving of a share in community resources than others based on their belief and other trivial differences...


When it coems down to it, the basic of it is that there is no good that religion provides that cannot be achieved in some other fashion, and continuing to make exceptions for religion in terms of the time, energy and resources spent educating about them instead of good, useful things (like ... climate change, history, human rights... hell, geography) is a waste of everyone's time, energy and resources, which are all in limited supply for each one of us.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for culture. I just don't think culture and religion are directly interchangeable.

Honestly, if it comes down to comparison, I would say those with religion have less morality than those without - since they have to be coerced and threatened into their morality by way of their deity's dictations instead of a humanist or secularist who makes the most of the one life they believe they have because it's just straight-up the right thing to do.

So, I look at it as a bad breakup. I can remember the good times, but that doesn't mean I have to dwell on them or keep a relationship with so much unhealthy in it, especially when someone else is just as capable of loving me and letting me build good times with them where I don't have to take all the crap that comes with it.

I am not religious, but I am still a crusader. I will defend those who are attacked by others, particularly needlessly. In fact, it was that truth that began the conversation quoted in the initial post. That is my morality, not the blind adherence to and subjugation of those who don't believe in, an unsubstantiated set of rules from an unknown source that flies in the face of all standing morality, even its own.

I guess, Lustful, if it weren't such a problem, there wouldn't be so many discussions about it? Sort of like Climate Change, rape culture and racism. If it wasn't a problem, if people weren't worried about it, we wouldn't bother with it. Just like no one here has mentioned Narnia yet, because it's not a real concern for us.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2017, 11:00:03 AM »
Im with you that religion isnt blameless either. Pure fundamentalism produces atrocities as well. Those countries started with the notion that they could justify their actions by scientific and intellectual reasoning and taken to its extremes and distorted, allowed those things to happen.

I think, actually, they began as fundamentalists and used (read: warped) intellectualism in order to justify their already-held beliefs.

Offline Mathim

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2017, 10:28:35 PM »
NotoriousBEN, don't take this as a personal attack, but you sound exactly like a fundamentalist when you try to spin things in that way. Science is not a belief system, nor is atheism. But you will hear no end of religious people screaming otherwise because they want anything they perceive as threatening to their beliefs to become something they can target or say "If we're bad, so are they because they're just like us!" So when you're attempting to paint these psychotic regimes that believe, among other things, that birds broke into human speech and song when Kim Jong Il was born, not only are you completely wrong about how science plays a part in forming any of it, but you're also dragging reason and rationality through the mud simply by association when they couldn't be more far removed from places like North Korea or the old Soviet Union. Please be more considerate and careful when you make these claims, especially if you don't want to look like a hypocrite when you call others fundamentalists. That kind of rhetoric is literally indistinguishable from a raving anti-science, education-hating fanatic's rantings.

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2017, 10:53:12 PM »
Ok, I'll take the criticism, thinking over it, I don't think I was articulate in that statement.

There is the possibility that Rationality can become arrogant and believe in its own theories. That is to say, you make a theory about the world and tend to assume it is correct.
Instead confirming or discarding that theory based of the data and evidence, you try to fit the evidence to the theory and that is where the problem starts.
Those countries had ideas and they overvalued them and tried to fit the evidence to those ideas and fervently prove that their ideals/society/etc were the correct path for humanity.

Its like they said, "Here is the damned theory and it is correct, and you will act it out. If you don't well, we know what to do with you."

The point is that nobody is perfect, everyone has many flaws, and nobody knows anything remotely close to everything. So it is healthy to question your own beliefs, regardless of topic, and make routine, conscious efforts to search for and identify flaws in your logic, because everyone has them and improve upon them.

So yes, I used the wrong terminology with that statement.
Does that help?

Offline Mathim

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2017, 11:43:55 PM »
Ok, I'll take the criticism, thinking over it, I don't think I was articulate in that statement.

There is the possibility that Rationality can become arrogant and believe in its own theories. That is to say, you make a theory about the world and tend to assume it is correct.
Instead confirming or discarding that theory based of the data and evidence, you try to fit the evidence to the theory and that is where the problem starts.
Those countries had ideas and they overvalued them and tried to fit the evidence to those ideas and fervently prove that their ideals/society/etc were the correct path for humanity.

Its like they said, "Here is the damned theory and it is correct, and you will act it out. If you don't well, we know what to do with you."

The point is that nobody is perfect, everyone has many flaws, and nobody knows anything remotely close to everything. So it is healthy to question your own beliefs, regardless of topic, and make routine, conscious efforts to search for and identify flaws in your logic, because everyone has them and improve upon them.

So yes, I used the wrong terminology with that statement.
Does that help?

Yes it does. Thank you for being willing to re-evaluate your position and/or statements based on new forthcoming data and evidence.  ;D

So what you're referring to is dogmatism, adherence to an ideology that is unshakeable and appeals to authority rather than thinking critically about it and evaluating it on its own merits. Yes, that sounds more like it, which would by definition be the furthest from rationality you can get (and you misused that term again; I'd just stop using it altogether since it holds no truck with religion anyway). You don't come by an ideology only through rationality and don't need to be rational or use it to adhere to it intransigently. A healthy mind will use rationality to defend whatever worldview they've come by (or have such a distorted view of the world that their version of rationality is...whatever else it becomes, but not rationality.) No rational mind will seek to stay entrenched in something if reason and evidence show that they're wrong about even their most deeply held beliefs. So with an irrational framework, and their ignorance and misunderstanding of scientific concepts (I'd go as far as to say they were believers in science fiction in some cases), some scientific principles (grossly misused) just happened to be the form these pseudo-theistic/irrationally dogmatic dictatorships' misguided efforts took. No different than burning witches at the stake in earlier times, simply a different mechanism for carrying out the same mindless agenda.

Science and reason are what tell us that they were objectively wrong in what they were doing, and in most cases, even in what they were trying to do. Until a better means of understanding the world and demonstrating things to be more or less reasonable comes along, they're all we have, and shitting all over them or mischaracterizing them is a fundamentalist staple. Be wary of this line of thought and of anyone who taught that to you, because it sounds exactly like the regurgitated vocal excrement of a third-rate fundie street preacher.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 12:25:53 AM by Mathim »

Online Regina Minx

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 09:27:16 AM »
Science and reason are what tell us that they were objectively wrong in what they were doing, and in most cases, even in what they were trying to do. Until a better means of understanding the world and demonstrating things to be more or less reasonable comes along, they're all we have, and shitting all over them or mischaracterizing them is a fundamentalist staple.

Not only are science and reason the best tools we have for understanding the world in which we live, but if there was some other tool that was better at telling us about the world than science and reason, the only way you could prove that that tool was better than science and reason would be to use...wait for it...science and reason.

Offline Mathim

Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 05:59:04 PM »
Not only are science and reason the best tools we have for understanding the world in which we live, but if there was some other tool that was better at telling us about the world than science and reason, the only way you could prove that that tool was better than science and reason would be to use...wait for it...science and reason.

I find this often presents a dilemma for the supernatural as well. How would one conclude, for certain, that something was in fact supernatural or a 'miracle' or any other such thing attributed to deities and whatnot? Science and reason. But if those things, by definition, are not able to be studied and evaluated by science, one could never actually conclude they were supernatural in any way, nor that the supernatural exists.

Offline ReijiTabibito

  • Gatecrasher
  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Location: Titanian Autonomous University, Gate Studies Dept.
  • Gender: Male
  • There cannot be another Fall.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 06:30:39 PM »
Mathim, could you give an example of such a thing?  I don't mean to naysay you, but having a concrete example to discuss would be useful.  Otherwise, I just get left with the Holmesian Razor.

Offline Fury AphrodisiaTopic starter

  • Story Slut, Character Queen
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: The true north - strong and free
  • Gender: Female
  • Needs new inspiration for motivation fuel.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Religion and the Declaration of Morality
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2017, 06:46:43 PM »
Ooh, I have one! The Fresno Night Crawler.

This is the kind of thing that reminds me that the supernatural is an unproven possibility.

While we might not be able to say for sure that something is supernatural, we can certainly point out phenomena that we cannot explain. Ironically, I believe that in order to discover the supernatural in a way that is undeniable, it will still require modern technology. But... all we have to do is prove that we cannot explain it by means available to us. We don't have to prove that it's supernatural, just phenomena that we cannot figure out.

If you look at it that way, everything is a supernatural phenomenon for a little while.

Probably for the same reason that god feels like a phenomenon that is slowly fading out of obscurity and into scrutiny.