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Author Topic: Putting Faith in Its Place  (Read 6645 times)

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Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Putting Faith in Its Place
« on: September 30, 2009, 08:09:51 PM »

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 10:24:46 PM »
Sure if you believe this existence is real then all that's true.

Offline Moon and Star

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2009, 12:30:30 AM »
Sure if you believe this existence is real then all that's true.

Wait, what? Are you suggesting the Matrix has us all? ;D Heehee

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2009, 12:47:29 AM »
There is no wooden spoon.

Online Silk

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 02:02:26 AM »
I really respect Qualia soups stuff, he talks much sense.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2009, 02:10:16 AM »
Sure if you believe this existence is real then all that's true.


I suppose it can be open to interpretation on whether this existence is real.

Of course if it’s not (and there might not ever be a way to prove or disprove that statement), then there’s no real reason to believe anything else is real, unless you are preceding under the notion that world around us is some massive simulacrum existing inside of something 'real'.

In that case, we’re lab rats, and on those grounds I dispute the common definitions on a supreme being that the video is also debunking.


And again, if we’re lab rats, then there is a lab technician somewhere, and that is also making assumptions on a creator that the video marked as a huge no-no.

If the universe isn’t real, it’s possible we’re not either. Or using the Matrix analogy, we’re not what we think we are.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2009, 02:11:43 AM by The Overlord »

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 09:00:06 AM »
I've never understood evangelical atheists.

At least Christians have a reason, however absurd, for their evangelism. But it seems to me that evangelical atheists just enjoy pissing on people's parades.

If I had to be an atheist-- or a Christian, for that matter, I'd shoot myself.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009, 11:30:57 AM »

I suppose it can be open to interpretation on whether this existence is real.

Of course if it’s not (and there might not ever be a way to prove or disprove that statement), then there’s no real reason to believe anything else is real, unless you are preceding under the notion that world around us is some massive simulacrum existing inside of something 'real'.

In that case, we’re lab rats, and on those grounds I dispute the common definitions on a supreme being that the video is also debunking.


And again, if we’re lab rats, then there is a lab technician somewhere, and that is also making assumptions on a creator that the video marked as a huge no-no.

If the universe isn’t real, it’s possible we’re not either. Or using the Matrix analogy, we’re not what we think we are.
The point is on some level humans are always believing, or as Science likes to put it. "It's understood to be true."

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2009, 01:53:16 PM »
I've never understood evangelical atheists.

At least Christians have a reason, however absurd, for their evangelism. But it seems to me that evangelical atheists just enjoy pissing on people's parades.

If I had to be an atheist-- or a Christian, for that matter, I'd shoot myself.

Christians believe what they believe is the best way.

So do atheists.

So does everyone else really.

Each has as much right to their own opinions and beliefs as anyone else.

Offline Dizzi

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2009, 02:01:12 PM »
1: it's good to see a God basher that can back himself up

2: if billions of people want to believe in something that makes them happy, and 99% of thos (I don;t know all religions so I'm leaving the possibibility) is to uphold good morals and be happy, help people out etc.  Why argue it!?


Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2009, 02:16:06 PM »
Christians believe what they believe is the best way.

So do atheists.

So does everyone else really.

Each has as much right to their own opinions and beliefs as anyone else.

I didn't say anyone didn't have a right to their beliefs. What I'm saying is that it seems kind of strange and even uncharacteristic for an atheist to be evangelical. I don't know why the vid was made, but it smacks of evangelism.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 02:23:23 PM »
If someone ferverently believes in something, they can want to share that belief. To teach you that that belief is right. To get you to understand so that you can believe too.

Religion
Politics
Philosophy
Football

I'm sure you'll find such evangelist in any number of places, and with any number of beliefs.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 02:48:33 PM »
If someone ferverently believes in something, they can want to share that belief. To teach you that that belief is right. To get you to understand so that you can believe too.

Religion
Politics
Philosophy
Football

I'm sure you'll find such evangelist in any number of places, and with any number of beliefs.

I'm sure you're right. :)

I suppose my problem is that I simply can't see any reason to be excited about atheism.  XD

Offline Vekseid

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2009, 03:56:12 PM »
I've never understood evangelical atheists.

At least Christians have a reason, however absurd, for their evangelism. But it seems to me that evangelical atheists just enjoy pissing on people's parades.

If I had to be an atheist-- or a Christian, for that matter, I'd shoot myself.

A person's first year of leaving a religion is usually marked by an intense revulsion of their previous religion. It's difficult to explain but I went through it and it has been an active topic discussion in the circles I've been in - the 'first year effect'.

After that they usually mellow out, though some specific sects or beliefs may be particularly targeted for inherently moral reasons - faith is not always harmless, after all.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2009, 03:58:18 PM »
I'm sure you're right. :)

I suppose my problem is that I simply can't see any reason to be excited about atheism.  XD

An atheist or christian might think the same about your beliefs. :)

Offline Vekseid

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2009, 04:16:47 PM »
An atheist or christian might think the same about your beliefs. :)

Atheism is simply a statement. It's the overall philosophy that engages. Carl Sagan does not interest?

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2009, 05:37:08 PM »
The point is on some level humans are always believing, or as Science likes to put it. "It's understood to be true."

Science and empirical observation aren’t really about belief at all. We accept our observations to be true until something else is observed or discovered that negates that. At some point they become scientific law. Until then, unbiased science accepts its observations might need revision.

As a mathematics professor once put it to me, there are some concepts in math you have to take on a leap of faith to do the math, but no one doubts 2x2=4.

Point is, science has proven scientific laws and these are concrete things we base our civilization on. They are testable with the same results again and again. If you want to call all that a potential illusion then there’s no real reason to believe in anything, including a god or gods.

If I can’t even rely on the fact that the planet’s atmosphere is surrounding me and filling my lungs on a moment to moment basis, an invisible supreme being in the sky sure ain’t gonna hold water.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2009, 05:44:04 PM »
If someone ferverently believes in something, they can want to share that belief. To teach you that that belief is right. To get you to understand so that you can believe too.

Religion
Politics
Philosophy
Football

I'm sure you'll find such evangelist in any number of places, and with any number of beliefs.


As I’ve said above, there are known qualities about the world and universe around us, based on solid fact and not belief.

The things I am learned in I try to pass on to willing ears or to people with questions and curiosity. I’m doing it to enlighten them of the truth, not to save their soul or any of that drivel.


There is nothing right involved in trying to convince people of things that have an absolute zero shred of evidence.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2009, 07:04:41 PM »
How many of those rock solid facts were we unable to prove 20 years ago? Or 50? Or 100?

As we become more advanced we can learn more. Who is to say that centuries from now there may not be proof for things currently considered unprovable?

As for zero evidence ...  I experience something. Let's say I see a ghost (or think I do). I can tell you about it, tell you what I saw, heard, felt. I can't offer you physical evidence, or indeed anything beyond my own experience. Does that lack of evidence mean I experienced nothing?

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2009, 08:32:54 PM »
Well, it means that you experienced something that may or may not make you a believer in ghosts.  It would all depend on how intense the experience was, and how open minded you are. 

Now if you do become a believer and relate the experience to someone like my mother, she will call you crazy.  Hell, she's experienced paranormal activity.  I know because I was there and experienced it too.  But she was hell bent on explaining it away. 

You may know you experienced something, but without physical evidence one that doesn't believe in ghosts probably wouldn't believe you until they saw it themselves.  That's how the human mind works. 

Oh, and I sent this to my hardcore Christian acquaintance.  Here is what she wrote back;

this is a load of crap! this just goes to show the prophesies in the bible are coming true. we don't think we need God because we are God! this makes me sick to my stomach! 

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2009, 09:44:52 PM »
How many of those rock solid facts were we unable to prove 20 years ago? Or 50? Or 100?

As we become more advanced we can learn more. Who is to say that centuries from now there may not be proof for things currently considered unprovable?



The fact that we can’t prove them yet doesn’t make them any less true of course. I for one don’t believe there’s anything that can’t eventually be proved, given enough time and effort, likely even a supreme being. However, many of aspects of that creator, as touched on in the video, are so deliberately vague as to be useless in terms of verifying. If you believe god is some unknowable, non-physical being, how do you ever expect to get proof for something when you’re really not even sure what you’re looking for?

As for zero evidence ...  I experience something. Let's say I see a ghost (or think I do). I can tell you about it, tell you what I saw, heard, felt. I can't offer you physical evidence, or indeed anything beyond my own experience. Does that lack of evidence mean I experienced nothing?

You’re making an obvious stretch into theology with this. The problem is that all human definitions of god are just that, human definitions. Being that most of them mutually disagree, the odds of any one of them being correct is astronomical, but we’ve been over this part in another thread.

The existence of ghosts, and the parallel existence or state they are said to dwell in, does not automatically assume the existence of a creator, although I know many think along those lines.


If you experienced something, there can be many causes, external or internal of course. And it might have actually been a ghost.

So going that route, have you experienced evidence of god? And by evidence I don’t mean ‘faith’…that's going back on that vicious little circle that a critical mind has to ignore if you want to have a leg to stand on. Faith is simply the belief in the absence of evidence, as Carl Sagan put it.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2009, 11:51:42 PM »
I like faith.  Faith makes me happy.  I don't care that you don't like it.  I'm not fazed by your utter dislike for it.  I don't know why you have such a problem with other people having faith.  Unless it hurts someone else then there's nothing wrong with it.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2009, 07:16:08 AM »
I don't think there's anything wrong with faith, but equating reason and science to religious belief is a little silly.  What makes them different is that science actually has concrete uses and applications; it's good for something beyond the placebo effect.  The very device you're using right now is one of its fruits.

If belief in Christianity were to result in the creation in a Personal Jesputer that is also capable of searching the net you'd have a point.

You can't really consider the peace of mind you get from it an advantage either; because then there's no reason to believe in any specific religion at all because all offer that same comfort in thinking you know what you don't.

Religious beliefs simply aren't applicable or useful in any concrete, discernible fashion.

That doesn't make them invalid; it's possible that god exists and science/reason are accurate as well.  It just means that from our current fact-based perspective comparing the two is not really fair from an unbiased viewpoint.  One has proven itself and continues to do so in our daily lives, the other... well... supposedly you have to wait til you die to reap the benefits.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 07:17:54 AM by Jude »

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2009, 07:57:59 AM »
I like faith.  Faith makes me happy.  I don't care that you don't like it.  I'm not fazed by your utter dislike for it.  I don't know why you have such a problem with other people having faith.  Unless it hurts someone else then there's nothing wrong with it.

Nah, you got it all misinterpreted again.

I don’t hate faith. I see faith something like electricity or nuclear energy. It has value and use at times, but it can also be used to work great evil.


Look, I just got done arguing with my crazy-ass cousin on Facebook, who is a non-cessationist Christian that seems to get some perverse pleasure out of informing the rest of us we’re doomed to be Chicken McNuggets in some lower-planar deep fryer just for asking too many questions or not believing in his version of god.

I mean shit, at least with Santa you just won’t get presents the next day…just a little over the top.


He can’t see to get the fact that’s not OK to try to convince people of things you can’t possibly prove with the current means at your disposal. He’s busted about every no-no in the video I posted regarding rational and well-reasoned arguments.


Personal faith is good thing, as long as it doesn’t get you to blow up buildings and believe you’re going to better place as a reward for it. That’s the extreme example of course, but a lot of organized faith moves a lot more subtly and dastardly in nature. I am moved to agree with my brother’s recent observation, watching the way politics are moving inside US borders. The Christian right has no real use for democracy. For the hard-liners, it's their way or the highway; something the rest of us are going to battle them on at every front.




So why do I speak out? Well, few of you religious seem very timid about your convictions. I see it from all angles today, from people I personally know to idiots in the media.

If you think it’s OK to speak up for your faith, that’s fine. The opposing philosophies need a cutting edge, and guess what, I’m one of them. Continue to flaunt your theology, and I’ll continue to call you out on where it’s wrong.


I’m not trying to convert you away from your beliefs or anything like that…I’m just trying to give you a little dose of reality.

What you do with it is your deal.

Again, I don’t hate faith in of itself. I hate what some people do with, or try to justify with it. I hate those people.

Hope that clears things up for you. :)

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2009, 08:47:59 AM »
You can't really consider the peace of mind you get from it an advantage either; because then there's no reason to believe in any specific religion at all because all offer that same comfort in thinking you know what you don't.

I'm not a Christian, but I am a spiritual person after a certain sort. I most certainly can, and do, consider the peace of mind I get from it to be an advantage. Now YOU may do as you wish with regards to your opinion of whether or not peace of mind is an advantage. So, however, can I.

Accepting for a moment the idea that there is no god and what I can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel are the only things that exist (obviously untrue), then there's no reason whatsoever for me not to do whatever makes me feel genuinely happy and at peace.

Peace, of course, is something I cannot see, feel, taste, smell, or hear... but I still enjoy experiencing it. As an atheist, it is highly illogical for you to attempt to destroy someone's enjoyment of life. For it's been proven that those who are happy are better contributors to society.

And neither atheism nor religion seem to be precursors to being happy. Therefor, if one is happy as a religious person, then there's every reason to encourage them to continue to be happy.

Look, I just got done arguing with my crazy-ass cousin on Facebook, who is a non-cessationist Christian that seems to get some perverse pleasure out of informing the rest of us we’re doomed to be Chicken McNuggets in some lower-planar deep fryer just for asking too many questions or not believing in his version of god.


This, IMO, is why I find Christianity to be one of those religions that aren't a harmless practice. In fact, Christianity is psyhologically extremely damaging. Especially to young children who are raised in this belief system.

The Christian god is little more than a violent abuser... yet Christian children are raised to believe that this god is "loving." Therefor, the religion equates violent abuse with love. Murderous, wrathful, vengeful, violent, despotic... all ways of this god showing his 'love.'

So I agree with you in some part, that there ARE religions that are actively dangerous. In particular, religions such as this which show 'god' as a violent aggressor, while claiming that this being is "loving" and far above humans in both intelligence and capacity for love.

Not only that, but the Christian religion has brutalized and destroyed incredible numbers of peoples and cultures.

Quote
...[snip for length]...

I’m not trying to convert you away from your beliefs or anything like that…I’m just trying to give you a little dose of reality.

Unfortunately, the derisive tone you take with your "reality" bits, decries the first part of this statement.

So far as your Christian cousin is concerned, he's just trying to do the same for you. Clearly, you find it obnoxious as hell (and it is), so why do you do it to others? Was someone here trying to convert you?

[I'm being slightly devil's-advocate here... I assume that you're just venting, but I think it's still a valid question, given the tone you've since taken that you are supposedly educating the peasants herebouts as to the 'realities' of life]

Offline Vekseid

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2009, 08:52:55 AM »
As a mathematics professor once put it to me, there are some concepts in math you have to take on a leap of faith to do the math, but no one doubts 2x2=4.

These are called axioms. They are annoying and can lead to a lot of funny business (axiom of choice and duplication...)

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2009, 03:04:05 PM »
I am not christian.  I don't care what religious beliefs someone might hold.  That's their choice not mine.  I don't share my beliefs with them unless they ask and I don't mind that they share theirs with me as long as they don't scream and holler about how I'm going to hell. 

Faith though can stand alone.  It doesn't have to be connected with anything religious.  You have faith in facts and science.  You have faith that your chair is gonna hold you up when you sit in it.  You have faith that all these things that are prooven aren't really a load of BS thought up by bored scientists.  Hey, I have faith in science myself.  But I also tend to take facts and truths at  a different angle than you. 

I am pagan.  I believe in magic of different kinds.  I have experienced things that science would say is impossible.  This lets me know that I don't subscribe to that fact.  Because I know otherwise.  Do I care that you don't believe me?  Not at all.  You have every right not to believe me but you flinging things about how I'm oh so wrong or that your facts are better than my facts only makes you look just like those Christians that scream I'm going to burn in hell. . .

*shrugs*

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2009, 03:55:51 PM »
A person's first year of leaving a religion is usually marked by an intense revulsion of their previous religion. It's difficult to explain but I went through it and it has been an active topic discussion in the circles I've been in - the 'first year effect'.

After that they usually mellow out, though some specific sects or beliefs may be particularly targeted for inherently moral reasons - faith is not always harmless, after all.

I'm sorry, I missed this post.

I didn't go through that at the time, but I'm kind of going through it now. I guess a big part of me held on to some things about it for a really long time (maybe 13+ years now), but now that I've begun to really, deeply understand the damage that has been done to me by Christianity, and to the world at large, I guess I'm experiencing that 'first year effect' a little late.

But even then, I did have a sort of 'first year effect' when I first left... however, then as now, I rarely actively sought out any kind of discussion about it. I would react a bit violently if it was brought up to me, but I didn't seek it out.

Lately, there has been a time or two that I've started threads or discussions about it, but I always make it clear that it's a venting post/thread. I'm not out to change anyone's mind-- despite my personal feeling that Christianity is one of the truly great evils of the world. But I do feel a need to sort of purge it out of my system once and for all.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2009, 07:39:21 PM »
Continue to flaunt your theology, and I’ll continue to call you out on where it’s wrong.

That's just it....  Using your own logic, I can't prove I'm right, and you can't prove I'm wrong.  I'm a spiritual person.  The difference between me and your cousin though is I won't shove my beliefs down your throat.  If you want to be an Athiest that's just fine with me.  But don't tell me I'm wrong unless you have tangible evidence to back up your claim.  Otherwise you're just the pot calling the kettle black. 

Offline Moonhare

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2009, 10:25:22 PM »
I have read through many religions in the time that I became old enough to look with my own eyes, and listen with my own ears to what I believed was flawed.

So what faith am I? I'm taoist and yet I am not quite. I believe that there is much the earth and universe keeps to itself, and secrets it is willing to share. I believe that even as we learn more, there is even more we don't know. I accept that in myself, and in others, therefore I don't push myself on others, nor do I allow myself to be pushed upon.

I understand the statements in the video. I understand it as a logical argument for one party to ask for someone else to halt religious persecution of others outside that religion. It makes a point of it. But there is also a lack of tolerance for the others to have the same rights to observe their religion. I don't care what another person's religion is, or if they wish to observe it as they see fit, but please don't look at me and think I want to be like you. If you goal is education, then host a school. Otherwise you are infringing on my right to believe as I will.

As for faith, and it should be noted that faith does not equal religious beliefs, I have faith that the sun will rise, that the moon will effect the tides, that one day my life will to pass into what ever is there for me after death, and that people will be people how ever flawed and perfect. I have faith in a better day ahead, because the past is past, regardless of if I am wrong (I'm human and allowed to be flawed). I believe that I am apart and yet a part of a whole.

And i have faith that we will never know some things, because it is not for us to know.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2009, 12:02:12 AM »
I'm not a Christian, but I am a spiritual person after a certain sort. I most certainly can, and do, consider the peace of mind I get from it to be an advantage. Now YOU may do as you wish with regards to your opinion of whether or not peace of mind is an advantage. So, however, can I.
My point more or less was simply that if you're going to believe something for the peace of mind it gives you, why select a pre-established religion?  Why not believe you are a god, and all things exist because you live in this world, and that when you die everything will cease to be.  It can't be disproven, it could certainly be true, and it makes you feel important.  You could even invent an afterlife that only you go to naturally, full of people who you choose to "redeem" in life based on their actions.  You can essentially invent a religion and convince yourself of it to promote a greater degree of happiness.  Therefore claiming the "cognitive satisfaction" you derive from believing something as a reason to believe in it is, well, silly; unless you're going to exercise the scenario I described above, then by all means, have at it.

Accepting for a moment the idea that there is no god and what I can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel are the only things that exist (obviously untrue), then there's no reason whatsoever for me not to do whatever makes me feel genuinely happy and at peace.
I love that you say "obviously untrue" there.  It's not obviously untrue, it's entirely possible.  If you really think that, you're missing the point of the discussion entirely.

Peace, of course, is something I cannot see, feel, taste, smell, or hear... but I still enjoy experiencing it. As an atheist, it is highly illogical for you to attempt to destroy someone's enjoyment of life. For it's been proven that those who are happy are better contributors to society.
Peace is an emotion, something which can be directly experienced in a relatively transparent way.  You may claim god can be directly experienced, but you cannot do so without a series of ad hoc additions to whatever criteria you impose.  Comparing the two is unfair.

As for the rest of it, it's amusing you think I'm an atheist, or that I'm saying any of that.  You're trying to straw-man into being something I'm not and saying things I haven't.  It's also apparent you haven't watched (or maybe heard) the entirety of the video.  Putting faith in its place isn't about destruction of people's beliefs as much as it is marginalization of them so they don't have an effect on others.  "It's place" is explicitly implied throughout the video to be the personal realm and no where else.

For the record, I do not want to destroy anyone's faith in god.  I simply pointed out that it's unfair to say science and religion are equally supported.  Even if they both involve some degree of belief, one of them has direct, practical, and powerful applications.

And neither atheism nor religion seem to be precursors to being happy. Therefor, if one is happy as a religious person, then there's every reason to encourage them to continue to be happy.
It depends on their behavior as a whole.  Are they happy but hurting others with their beliefs and how they act upon it?

This, IMO, is why I find Christianity to be one of those religions that aren't a harmless practice. In fact, Christianity is psyhologically extremely damaging. Especially to young children who are raised in this belief system.
An argument can be made for just about any religion in the way you're attacking Christianity.  Don't believe me, present me with a challenge in the form of a religion you believe to be guiltless.

The Christian god is little more than a violent abuser... yet Christian children are raised to believe that this god is "loving." Therefor, the religion equates violent abuse with love. Murderous, wrathful, vengeful, violent, despotic... all ways of this god showing his 'love.'
That's an incredibly unfair way of viewing Christianity.  The darker side is typically ignored by Christians, in favor of the lighter messages of love and acceptance.  Fundamentalists (who cannot put faith in its place) are the ones who given the religion a bad name.  Upwards of 3/4 of the population of the United States is Christian; think for 3/4 of all the people you know, how many of them are crazy fundamentalists in the harmful way you've described?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 12:04:57 AM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2009, 12:06:42 AM »
Solipsism is a psychological condition, not a religion.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2009, 12:09:38 AM »
What I described in its entirety isn't solipsism though.  The bit about the afterlife, believing one's self is god, et cetera.  But that's an irrelevant offshoot of my point; there are any number of religions you could make up which glorify yourself and give greater gratification than any established religion.

Where do you think most of the messiahs in our world came from? :P

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2009, 03:34:31 AM »
That's just it....  Using your own logic, I can't prove I'm right, and you can't prove I'm wrong.


True. I can however prove where a religious person is wrong in the criteria and line of logic that lead them up to many of their convictions. And in this I’m not trying to destroy anyone’s religion for them, I’m trying to get them to think critically and wider than the lens of said religion often allows them to think.


If you want to be an Athiest that's just fine with me.


I’m not an atheist.



Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2009, 04:18:29 AM »

This, IMO, is why I find Christianity to be one of those religions that aren't a harmless practice. In fact, Christianity is psyhologically extremely damaging. Especially to young children who are raised in this belief system.

The Christian god is little more than a violent abuser... yet Christian children are raised to believe that this god is "loving." Therefor, the religion equates violent abuse with love. Murderous, wrathful, vengeful, violent, despotic... all ways of this god showing his 'love.'

So I agree with you in some part, that there ARE religions that are actively dangerous. In particular, religions such as this which show 'god' as a violent aggressor, while claiming that this being is "loving" and far above humans in both intelligence and capacity for love.

Not only that, but the Christian religion has brutalized and destroyed incredible numbers of peoples and cultures.
 


Christianity is not the only religion to behave in a barbaric, savage, and even genocidal manner over the centuries, but it has indeed done its share.

The old concept of a vengeful destroyer god that we have to appease to avoid his wrath is, frankly, bullshit. If this is the true nature of author of the universe, than I surmise god is mad and the universe is his asylum. Destruction might be preferable to that kind of existence. To quote Pacino in Devil’s Advocate; worship that, never.




Unfortunately, the derisive tone you take with your "reality" bits, decries the first part of this statement.

So far as your Christian cousin is concerned, he's just trying to do the same for you. Clearly, you find it obnoxious as hell (and it is), so why do you do it to others? Was someone here trying to convert you?

[I'm being slightly devil's-advocate here... I assume that you're just venting, but I think it's still a valid question, given the tone you've since taken that you are supposedly educating the peasants herebouts as to the 'realities' of life]


I don’t think that’s an entirely accurate assessment. What you’re interpreting as blatant, wide-scale derision I would say is closer to exasperation.

Specifically, exasperation at the hardcore bible thumpers who essentially tell you ’I am correct and the reason I cannot be wrong is because this little book in my hands was written by god, end of story’.

Although I will admit some of them do come very and dangerously close to earning my complete derision. Let me be clear on who the target is here, because there are some regular posters on this forum who’ve grown quite adept at plugging my words into a wider arena than intended.

This group, sadly, does include my cousin, who often does not have a real argument of his own, and simply pulls lines of scripture he believes makes his case and posts them.

Let me tell you something about myself you probably don’t know. My father and mother were both raised in Catholic families, and naturally my sister and I grew up in that environment on some level. We attended Catholic elementary and high schools. The masses in school, the uniforms, yeah…all that bullshit.



At some point past my 18th birthday I moved beyond it all. In truth I think it started some years before, but at some point I went full-blown into science, astronomy, philosophy, cosmology. I began to realize Catholicism, and Christianity in general for what it was; just one narrow slice of the pie.

I recognized the control factor, which sadly, many of the religious never perceive. The churches are like the pharmaceutical companies, they don’t want you to realize that you don’t actually need their brand of drug.


Now I largely disdain organized religion, throughout history it’s caused more harm than good. This is not to say religion is completely without value, but it often exceeds its boundaries with arrogant intention. Like the video says, it’s about putting faith in its place.


So yes, on some level to the hidebound religionists, having seen the wider view that no one faith can ever give you, I am forced at times to see them as misguided children that can’t get out from underneath the trappings of old-school civilization, and need to be turned in the right direction.

I am not trying to save my cousin from some imagined afterlife horror, I am concerned with the here and now. I am trying to enlighten him to some of the realities he is missing. If that sounds arrogant, so be it, nothing I can do about that.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2009, 06:38:51 AM »
I like faith.  Faith makes me happy.  I don't care that you don't like it.  I'm not fazed by your utter dislike for it.  I don't know why you have such a problem with other people having faith.  Unless it hurts someone else then there's nothing wrong with it.

i think that is what he is trying to tell us. He tells the people who want to force others to their faith should look at what they are doing, and how they are transgressing on their own faith. I dont think that that god ever said that "You must treat others badly if they dont believe in me"

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2009, 08:00:56 AM »
My point more or less was simply that if you're going to believe something for the peace of mind it gives you, why select a pre-established religion?  Why not believe you are a god, and all things exist because you live in this world, and that when you die everything will cease to be.  ...[snip/length]

Because it has to be something you can ACTUALLY believe. If a person has been mistreated in their life, it's unlikely that they can believe something like "I am God and everything is created entirely for me."

Pretending to believe something gives no peace of mind. It's genuine acceptance of the belief that brings with it peace of mind.

This, of course, is why I couldn't find peace of mind with Christianity. Although, I couldn't find that, even when I really DID believe it. The sort of peace of mind that it offers wasn't fulfilling the specific need I had. Thus I left it and found something that did fulfill that need.

Also, many people accept it simply because they were raised that way. Several religions, and especially the Judaic-based religions, lend peace of mind to the "raised that way" believer in this manner: Believing is mandatory in order to avoid paralyzing fear.

At the end of my tenure as a Christian (so to speak), I was there only out of fear. Leaving left me with a crippling fear, having been raised with the threats Christianity levels against all and sundry. So for some, accepting the established religion is a matter of avoiding that paralyzing terror.

Again, as I say... it is psychologically damaging.

Quote
As for the rest of it, it's amusing you think I'm an atheist, or that I'm saying any of that.  You're trying to straw-man into being something I'm not and saying things I haven't.  It's also apparent you haven't watched (or maybe heard) the entirety of the video.  Putting faith in its place isn't about destruction of people's beliefs as much as it is marginalization of them so they don't have an effect on others.  "It's place" is explicitly implied throughout the video to be the personal realm and no where else.

I fail to see where I said anything about YOU being an atheist.

As far as the video goes, the snobbery and snidery of it is clear. You can say one thing with your specific words, while saying something else with the over-all tone of the delivery of those words.

Quote
For the record, I do not want to destroy anyone's faith in god.  I simply pointed out that it's unfair to say science and religion are equally supported.  Even if they both involve some degree of belief, one of them has direct, practical, and powerful applications.

Depending upon the person, both of them can have direct, practical, and powerful applications. What you value, another might not. Personally, I could live in the forest and grow my own food, and live a spiritual life, and be very happy. Unfortunately, I am stuck in society, and thus my spirituality helps me even more than science, because really, without my spirituality, the only help I would want from science is killing myself.

And on a societal level, it's easily arguable that religion (even the crappy, dangerous ones) have had powerful, practical, and direct applications. For some, their only morality comes from religion.

Quote
It depends on their behavior as a whole.  Are they happy but hurting others with their beliefs and how they act upon it?
An argument can be made for just about any religion in the way you're attacking Christianity.  Don't believe me, present me with a challenge in the form of a religion you believe to be guiltless.
That's an incredibly unfair way of viewing Christianity.  The darker side is typically ignored by Christians, in favor of the lighter messages of love and acceptance.  Fundamentalists (who cannot put faith in its place) are the ones who given the religion a bad name.  Upwards of 3/4 of the population of the United States is Christian; think for 3/4 of all the people you know, how many of them are crazy fundamentalists in the harmful way you've described?

Unfortunately, the book of their religion is the problem. Yes, we are fortunate that many ignore the book, and just live the parts they like. However, there ARE religions in the world that don't terrorize you if you leave them. There ARE religions in the world that don't require you to threaten people (even nicely and politely) if they choose not to accept your religion.

There ARE religions in the world whose holy books don't tell you to kill anyone who won't worship your god. There ARE religions in the world whose holy books don't attempt to terrorize anyone who won't accept the belief.

Christianity's danger is in the psychological damage it does to people. While  you might claim that it's only the fundamentalists who have killed and tortured others, but that's not the truth. It was mainstream to be Christian for a long time, and they DID follow their book and kill unbelievers, just as Jesus demands.

It may no longer be that way, but it's within the RELIGION to kill. It's inherent in the religion itself, in its holy book. That's one reason why I consider it to be dangerous. The other reason is the way that it teaches "love" as violent, brutal abuse. This is psychologically damaging to children (and adults alike).

That argument can NOT be made for every holy book. Those arguments are EASY to make about the Bible.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2009, 09:57:32 AM »
Because it has to be something you can ACTUALLY believe. If a person has been mistreated in their life, it's unlikely that they can believe something like "I am God and everything is created entirely for me."
How is it more illogical to believe you are not the center of the universe (when by all accounts your thoughts are the only thing you can hear; there's no proof other people have them or are as special as you) than it is to believe many of the things religions claim?  If anything I think the concept of yourself as the center of existence can at least be reasoned to some degree; even if it is ridiculous.

Again, as I say... it is psychologically damaging.
According to your one example.  That's a nice sweeping generalization there.

Quote from: Phoenix
I fail to see where I said anything about YOU being an atheist.
Quote from: Phoenix
Peace, of course, is something I cannot see, feel, taste, smell, or hear... but I still enjoy experiencing it. As an atheist, it is highly illogical for you to attempt to destroy someone's enjoyment of life. For it's been proven that those who are happy are better contributors to society.
If you weren't making accusations, why muddy the water of your response by divulging on another subject entirely?  That's extremely unclear arguing.

As far as the video goes, the snobbery and snidery of it is clear. You can say one thing with your specific words, while saying something else with the over-all tone of the delivery of those words.
You can't dismiss the validity of a point because you're not fond of the medium by which its communicated.

Depending upon the person, both of them can have direct, practical, and powerful applications. What you value, another might not. Personally, I could live in the forest and grow my own food, and live a spiritual life, and be very happy. Unfortunately, I am stuck in society, and thus my spirituality helps me even more than science, because really, without my spirituality, the only help I would want from science is killing myself.
But that's not a direct application at all.  That's an extremely fuzzy argument.  Belief in science allows you to use the trends it suggests to do real things; you're saying the benefit of religion is... self-esteem?  Feeling good about yourself?  Sure you can see how nebulous your justifications of religious practicality are becoming.  Your argument is really stretching.  You also don't know that you couldn't find some other type of belief to supplant your life that is non-religious, philosophic in nature, et cetera.

And on a societal level, it's easily arguable that religion (even the crappy, dangerous ones) have had powerful, practical, and direct applications. For some, their only morality comes from religion.
You're missing the point entirely.  The power of an ideology should not come from it being a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If the only way belief in something has practical value is that it results in action that follows directly from said belief, then that doesn't say much about its explanatory power.  You don't have to believe in science in a fuzzy, emotional sense to reap its benefits.

Clearly a system of thought which predicts the outside world and can be used to control and understand it has something more to it than one which only derives its purpose by being employed in the human mind; where all sorts of ridiculous, untrue things can have positive effects.  This is like arguing the benefits of taking a prescription drug that actually has a use, and sugar pills for placebo.

Unfortunately, the book of their religion is the problem. Yes, we are fortunate that many ignore the book, and just live the parts they like. However, there ARE religions in the world that don't terrorize you if you leave them. There ARE religions in the world that don't require you to threaten people (even nicely and politely) if they choose not to accept your religion.
There isn't a religion in the history of the world that has made any impact, in terms of gathering followers, that doesn't have some blood on its hands and some ideology that is damaging to the world as a whole.  I'm reiterating this fact and challenging you to name one that does.  Should you actually find an ideology that hasn't committed any gross atrocities, I can argue how it would if it was accepted in a large fashion.  Either way, I'm laying down the challenge, and the same can be said of philosophies and potentially even science if it was taken to a fundamentalist level.  And if you're not willing to have your religion be critiqued you probably shouldn't talk down to other people's ideologies.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 10:02:02 AM by Jude »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2009, 11:05:37 AM »
Is it religion or DENOMINATONS that are the problem. If one looks at say Islam its their sects or denominations that are often the problem with Leaders ,note the Big L, deciding what is right or wrong. Christianity the same thing each Denomination decides what is right or wrong.

Give your average follower of a faith a holy book and their own faith they will have religion and without the burden of someone dictating to them.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2009, 11:23:33 AM »
Religion is always going to be a touch subject to discuss, so let's keep it civil, alright folks? I've no wish to see this thread becoming a flamefest.

Offline kylie

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2009, 12:25:10 PM »
I dont think that that god ever said that "You must treat others badly if they dont believe in me"
     If all the evangelical crusaders believed this, I think the world might be a happier place for it.  Those who subscribe to the line that the Bible is simply the literal "Word of God" can dig up plenty of textual precedents for damning or outright attacking others. 

     Part of this is probably a messy transferral of the multitude of ways that God punished "His chosen people" for failures.  Present Christians who believe it's their duty to convert, often believe it's their duty to build a society based on "Biblical" principles.  I think they're often missing the fact that many of the Biblical rules were only supposed to apply to Israel after the Jews communally agreed (amidst very pressing circumstances) to a unique and obviously difficult contract with God.  The political line of American fundamentalism today is more, We subscribe and we're right, so you better speak the same or we'll root you out. 

     Beyond that:  There are certain Biblical precedents, more accurately read, that do excuse outright attacks against those who do not believe.  Susan Niditch has a book on Jewish history and arguments for just war (and others against) in the Bible.  There's a summary here; you can preview a good chunk of it.

     There is a further problem.  Christians do not all treat would-be or even presumed believers well.  There are various social trials involved in convincing each other that one really, seriously is a believer.  This makes me rather concerned for people who organize in terms of "Brothers in Christ" or not, before any other question.  But, it really goes beyond that.  When a generalized institution (the Church, in all its manifestations) claims to be a global moral paragon and actually becomes a major force in history, the following's supposedly "private" issues take on very public ramifications. 

     Christianity has a large and often, wealthy enough following.  Its fastest growing factions are also the most fundamentalist.  (This contemporary trend is on top of the fact that Protestantism has lent a massive bias to the project of capitalism overall.)  The Christian habit of testing each other for Godliness makes for de facto public protocols in day to day politics and business.  The fundamentalists raise it from preferential treatment to an excuse for aggressive discrimination and conquest of resources.  It is not only the "interested" faithful whose beliefs are actually being tested.  Instead, it's a whole host of subcultures and political alternatives struggling to breathe.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 12:28:51 PM by kylie »

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2009, 01:43:10 PM »
How is it more illogical to believe you are not the center of the universe (when by all accounts your thoughts are the only thing you can hear; there's no proof other people have them or are as special as you) than it is to believe many of the things religions claim?  If anything I think the concept of yourself as the center of existence can at least be reasoned to some degree; even if it is ridiculous.

The fact that it's ridiculous, I think, might make it difficult for people to believe. Especially given how strongly our beliefs are impacted by our upbringing.

Quote
According to your one example.  That's a nice sweeping generalization there.

Actually, there are lots of aspects of that particular religion which are psychologically damaging. I didn't say all religion is, I said Christianity is. And I am basing this upon the precents of the holy book of the religion, which except for Catholicism, they all share.

The principles the Bible itself espouses are quite psychologically damaging. It's great if parents or preachers can alleviate them, but the fact they must be alleviated is troubling in and of itself.

Quote
If you weren't making accusations, why muddy the water of your response by divulging on another subject entirely?  That's extremely unclear arguing.

I do apologize. I meant the "you" as a sort of generalized "you" aimed more towards the maker of the video.

Quote
You can't dismiss the validity of a point because you're not fond of the medium by which its communicated.

That has nothing to do with what I was saying.

Quote
But that's not a direct application at all.  That's an extremely fuzzy argument.  Belief in science allows you to use the trends it suggests to do real things; you're saying the benefit of religion is... self-esteem?  Feeling good about yourself?  Sure you can see how nebulous your justifications of religious practicality are becoming.  Your argument is really stretching.  You also don't know that you couldn't find some other type of belief to supplant your life that is non-religious, philosophic in nature, et cetera.

No, I said that the benefits of religion (as well as the detriments of it) are practical in their application. The control of populaces. That is a practical and direct application of religion. It has been used and abused for that purpose for thousands of years.

I'll ignore the personal stuff.

Quote
You're missing the point entirely.  The power of an ideology should not come from it being a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If the only way belief in something has practical value is that it results in action that follows directly from said belief, then that doesn't say much about its explanatory power.  You don't have to believe in science in a fuzzy, emotional sense to reap its benefits.

So what if you don't have to have emotions to reap its benefits?

Only unemotional benefits are valuable? Emotions aren't a real, or valuable, or important part of human life?

Quote
Clearly a system of thought which predicts the outside world and can be used to control and understand it has something more to it than one which only derives its purpose by being employed in the human mind; where all sorts of ridiculous, untrue things can have positive effects.  This is like arguing the benefits of taking a prescription drug that actually has a use, and sugar pills for placebo.

There isn't a religion in the history of the world that has made any impact, in terms of gathering followers, that doesn't have some blood on its hands and some ideology that is damaging to the world as a whole.  I'm reiterating this fact and challenging you to name one that does.  Should you actually find an ideology that hasn't committed any gross atrocities, I can argue how it would if it was accepted in a large fashion.  Either way, I'm laying down the challenge, and the same can be said of philosophies and potentially even science if it was taken to a fundamentalist level.  And if you're not willing to have your religion be critiqued you probably shouldn't talk down to other people's ideologies.

I don't follow an established religion. Nor do I go out looking to find a religion that hasn't been abused to create atrocities as my sole reason to be willing to accept it as fact.

The point I'm making, is not that all religions can be warped and thus used to commit atrocities. What I'm pointing out is that the Bible is the exact other way around. That it doesn't have to be warped in order to be used to commit atrocities, because by its very nature it encourages them.


The Baghavad Gita, for example, doesn't require you to ignore large portions of its text in order to see it as a peaceful Holy Book, with peace as its central message. You could, with some work, twist it into a brutal religion (and it has been done before).

The reverse is true with Christianity. You must twist it in order to turn it into a peaceful religion. THAT is the problem with it. It's EASY to make it into a tool of murder, controlling others, and other generalized mayhem. Versus some other belief systems or religion, which require work to turn them into mayhem.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2009, 01:45:07 PM »
i think that is what he is trying to tell us. He tells the people who want to force others to their faith should look at what they are doing, and how they are transgressing on their own faith. I dont think that that god ever said that "You must treat others badly if they dont believe in me"

If by 'god,' you're talking about the Bible, both the OT God and Jesus commanded that unbelievers be killed.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2009, 02:37:04 PM »
He did?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2009, 03:56:37 PM »
I don't see JESUS commanding His followers to kill. God the Father sure that is all over the OT and in Revelation.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2009, 04:48:13 PM »
Luke chapter 19:  26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."

Oh, and he broke the 10 Commandments himself, so he wasn't without sin. He stole, he worked on the Sabbath (and encouraged others to), he bore false witness, he coveted (and demanded) other people's stuff, he bore false witness (called Peter Satan, no less), dishonored (in fact, disowned) his mother and family, and there's even a pretty damned good argument that he might have committed adultery.

So if he's not the pure, perfect, SINLESS sacrifice he was claimed to be, then his death (if it's even real) is pointless anyway.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2009, 05:39:05 PM »
1.  There is a concept in Deuteronomy that God demands sacrifices of the Israelities to prove their loyalty, and consequently (if conveniently), they offer up plunder and enemies from wars.  On one hand, this just means that they find a religion-based rationalization for wars.  You might in some cases argue, this is not solely about faith: they would go to war for self-defense anyway.  However, I sense a parallel in how differences of faith are used as excuses for power plays.  Recently, we have some conservative Christians saying 1) some people from over in the Middle East there attacked us, 2) militant Muslims must all be lined up that way because they hate our "way of life" and 3) God is always on our side.  Their conclusion: A just war -- we can and must invade and reform their whole societies.

2.  When Jewish politics invoked this rationale according to the Bible, they often did so in order to justify extreme measures.  It wasn't just going to war, it was going to holy war.  Parties that otherwise might be spared, were no longer safe.  I would say that is somewhat akin to rightist notions that since peoples in other countries manage to survive with less infrastructure, and since some of their agents torture...  Well then, they are all simply not civilized like us.  Therefore, we bomb their infrastructure and torture their people so that our righteous population will be saved.


The rest is basically evidence...  Quoting at length from a couple books.

Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez,  The Encyclopedia of Religion and War (New York: Routledge, 2004).  Page 240:
http://books.google.com/books?id=WZdDbmxe_a4C&pg=PA240&lpg=PA240&dq=deutornomy+ban&source=bl&ots=yaZg1HwCas&sig=f2bukofwcV9tGR3QbjPQ88njq9c&hl=en&ei=hbbHStvHFIia8AaoioniCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false

      Perhaps the most troubling war ideology in the Hebrew Bible is that of the ban, or herem,
      a term rooted in the sacrificial meaning "devote to destruction" and sometimes associated with
      nonwarring contexts (see Leviticus 27: 21, 28).  The ban in war is imagined to be commanded by
      God and requires that all human enemy and sometimes also their animals be slaughtered and often
      burned in entirety, "a whole burnt offering to God" as Deuteronomy 13:16 states overtly.  Spoil is
      often destroyed or set aside for God's use unless exception is granted.

      There are in fact two banning ideologies, the ban that treats the enemy as a sacrifice
      vowed to God, explicitly or implicitly [skipping numerous verse citations] and the ban that regards
      the killing as an execution of God's justice.  In the latter version, the enemy is described as unclean,
      contaminating and sinful.  He must be rooted out (See Deuteronomy 7:2-5 and 23-26 concerning
      foreign enemies and 13:12-18 which concerns the idolatrous enemy within Israel.)  Both versions of
      the ban may reflect an attempt to rationalize killing in war.  God extracts the dead from the Israelites.

Susan Niditch, War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence (Oxford UP, 1995)  Page 80:
http://books.google.com/books?id=MypY4D-IzC0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=susan+niditch&ei=Yb_HSoadO57CzQSYmPiCBA#v=onepage&q=&f=false
   
        Jer 51:3 makes the link between the ban and the Lord's vengeance explicit.
        "Do not spare her young men; place her whole host (or army) under the ban (51:3b) for it is the
        vengeance of the Lord, vengeance for his Temple (51:11)."  The words "spare" and "ban" exist in
        a contrastive and technical relationship in the tradition.  When one does not totally "ban" one has
        "compassion" or "spares" as in the directions to Saul concerning what not to do with Agag...
        (1 Sam 15:3 [skipping further cites and details])...  For Jeremiah, this ban equals God's vengeance:
        It is total, unsparing, on God's behalf, ordered by God for a holy cause, and justified by vengeance.

   You may or may not find general issues with vengeance as a motive.  The polled public seemed content enough to go to the ends of the Earth for it after 9/11.  But given the traditional ideas that unbelievers are 1) a pollution, 2) objects of spectacular public destruction (think "sacrifice"), these claims about divine will amount to a religious justification for attacks.  And this sort of thinking is not only applied to foreigners or non-Christians.  It's just a matter of power, means, and degree.

« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 05:48:57 PM by kylie »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #47 on: October 03, 2009, 07:08:34 PM »
Luke chapter 19:  26"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."

Oh, and he broke the 10 Commandments himself, so he wasn't without sin. He stole, he worked on the Sabbath (and encouraged others to), he bore false witness, he coveted (and demanded) other people's stuff, he bore false witness (called Peter Satan, no less), dishonored (in fact, disowned) his mother and family, and there's even a pretty damned good argument that he might have committed adultery.

So if he's not the pure, perfect, SINLESS sacrifice he was claimed to be, then his death (if it's even real) is pointless anyway.

Parable of the Ten Servants
11 The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.12 He said, "A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return.13 Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver,* saying, 'Invest this for me while I am gone.'14 But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We do not want him to be our king.'
  15 "After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were.16 The first servant reported, 'Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!'
  17 "'Well done!' the king exclaimed. 'You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.'
  18 "The next servant reported, 'Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.'
  19 "'Well done!' the king said. 'You will be governor over five cities.'
  20 "But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, 'Master, I hid your money and kept it safe.21 I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn't yours and harvesting crops you didn't plant.'
  22 "'You wicked servant!' the king roared. 'Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I'm a hard man who takes what isn't mine and harvests crops I didn't plant,23 why didn't you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.'
  24 "Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, 'Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.'
  25 "'But, master,' they said, 'he already has ten pounds!'
  26 "'Yes,' the king replied, 'and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.27 And as for these enemies of mine who didn't want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me. [NLT]

The passage you quoted was from a PARABLE, not anything more than a moral story. As for the other sins He never said all the Ten Commandments were equal there is no demand one doesn't work on the Sabbath one must "keep it holy" I would argue healing others and ministering is doing that. Can you back the rest of your claims up with references from the Four Gospels proper in more than one reference? I would say your misreading the intent of the passages but can't be sure unless you provide references.

If one cares to make the case the main source is the Bible and the Four Gospels in this case.


Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2009, 08:06:27 PM »
I'm pretty sure that this is a total derail.  However, Jesus said very clearly that he didn't come to bring peace, but a sword.

As far as the rest, I'll start a new thread for you, regarding Jesus' 10 Commandment breaking. And as far as saying they're not all equal, it doesn't matter if they're equal. If Jesus was without sin, he shouldn't have broken ANY commandments. And yes, the 10 Commandments DO say that you shall NOT do any labor on the Sabbath.

Exodus 20: 8"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work;
10but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates;
11for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

I'll be back in a minute to link the other thread so that this one isn't derailed by this side discussion.

Here it is: http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=49027.0
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 08:08:31 PM by Phoenix »

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2009, 08:13:22 PM »
i think that is what he is trying to tell us. He tells the people who want to force others to their faith should look at what they are doing, and how they are transgressing on their own faith. I dont think that that god ever said that "You must treat others badly if they dont believe in me"

I agree that people like this are incredibly annoying.  An acquaintance I blocked today from my email and yim once told me Islam is a bad religion because Mohamed supposedly once said if you can't convert a person you should kill them.

Okay then, so how is buying me a Bible, begging me to watch Mass on tv, and stuffing my inbox full of articles and YouTube videos about prophesies and how Obama is the Ant-Christ any better?  Sure, she hasn't tried to kill me... yet... but she's bombarding me with all kinds of crazy shit until I finally give in. 

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2009, 08:31:54 PM »
There isn't a religion in the history of the world that has made any impact, in terms of gathering followers, that doesn't have some blood on its hands and some ideology that is damaging to the world as a whole.  I'm reiterating this fact and challenging you to name one that does.  Should you actually find an ideology that hasn't committed any gross atrocities, I can argue how it would if it was accepted in a large fashion.  Either way, I'm laying down the challenge, and the same can be said of philosophies and potentially even science if it was taken to a fundamentalist level.  And if you're not willing to have your religion be critiqued you probaly shouldn't talk down to other people's ideologies.

Buddhists.  From what I understand they believe we are all a part of the divine and they are very against killing.  If I'm not mistaken Taoism is similar, but I'm not sure.

I am Pagan.  I'm sort of a mutt since I don't follow any one particular path, but the general rule of most paths is; 'An it harm none, do what thou will.  When true witches were persecuted way back when they didn't fight back because they took 'harm none' very seriously.  Some won't even do a healing spell on you without your permission because they see it as unethical. 

If you want to get into my personal belief system....  Show me respect and I will show you respect.  I'll help or heal without permission but I won't harm anyone unless provoked.  I don't care what religion you wish to practice as long as you don't try to convert me. 

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2009, 09:24:13 PM »
I kind of get the feeling that this discussion was derailed a long time ago.  Not seeing a great deal of discussion regarding logic and religious argument.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #52 on: October 03, 2009, 09:45:07 PM »
The fact that it's ridiculous, I think, might make it difficult for people to believe. Especially given how strongly our beliefs are impacted by our upbringing.
Lets say you were a parent attempting to select the perfect religion to indoctrinate your child with.  By the criteria that the "power" of religion comes from what emotional effects it causes in you, why wouldn't you pick my made up religion over an established one?  I see your point as an individual, it being hard to follow, but I think I'm really stretching the argument thin here.

My overall point is simply that belief in something that generates an emotion isn't a fair example of practical use, because it's just placebo.  Belief in science and execution of that belief creates real results which do not require placebo.  You can truly impact the world around you positively using science; using religion you can only make the picture more fuzzy to see things a bit differently.

And if you don't think this is a fair point of superiority of science over religion, imagine a religion came out where belief in it could physically change the world, but it required a certain degree of hopelessness to it.  i.e. magic at the risk of accepting that there is no god or afterlife.  Do you truly think that people would cling to their old religions instead of embracing magic?  I think it's clear most people would jettison their old ideologies in favor of this one one without emotional benefit, but with real power.

Actually, there are lots of aspects of that particular religion which are psychologically damaging. I didn't say all religion is, I said Christianity is. And I am basing this upon the precents of the holy book of the religion, which except for Catholicism, they all share.
I'm saying it's generalizing to use your personal example to claim all Christians are psychologically damaged, or even that the religion as a whole leaves people that way.

I do apologize. I meant the "you" as a sort of generalized "you" aimed more towards the maker of the video.
I'm not offended, it seems in the middle of our discussion I've made it seem as if I was personally attacking you in a few places, that wasn't at all my intent, and I'm really sorry if it came off that way.  I enjoy a good debate, and I'm really liking this, thanks for discussing this with me.

No, I said that the benefits of religion (as well as the detriments of it) are practical in their application. The control of populaces. That is a practical and direct application of religion. It has been used and abused for that purpose for thousands of years.
That's more of a macro-benefit than a personal one, but I do see your point; again though I'd argue it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, which in no way speaks towards its validity.

Only unemotional benefits are valuable? Emotions aren't a real, or valuable, or important part of human life?
It's just that, if you take a certain medicine and it generates a result, that doesn't mean the medicine has any real power to it.  The power of believing is that it can often create a result in the human mind, the placebo effect.  My point is that, because science can generate a result which is not constrained to the realm of the human mind, it deserves to be considered more valid, more solid, more truthful; because even a false ideology can produce the emotional benefits you've brought up.

The point I'm making, is not that all religions can be warped and thus used to commit atrocities. What I'm pointing out is that the Bible is the exact other way around. That it doesn't have to be warped in order to be used to commit atrocities, because by its very nature it encourages them.
I agree with you there; some religions are easier to warp than others.  I don't think Christianity is the worst of the spectrum, however.  I just think that it has been in the most powerful position to do bad things because of its prominence in Western Civilization.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2009, 09:59:07 PM »
Buddhists.  From what I understand they believe we are all a part of the divine and they are very against killing.  If I'm not mistaken Taoism is similar, but I'm not sure.
Easy example, Tibet.  Even before the Chinese invasion, the theocratic Buddhist government of Tibet was responsible for horrific human rights violations, including what was essentially slavery.

If you want to get into religious wars, there's one for all the big religions right there:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_warfare

I am Pagan.  I'm sort of a mutt since I don't follow any one particular path, but the general rule of most paths is; 'An it harm none, do what thou will.  When true witches were persecuted way back when they didn't fight back because they took 'harm none' very seriously.  Some won't even do a healing spell on you without your permission because they see it as unethical.
"Pagan" is a big tent; it'd be easy for me to find numerous examples throughout history where Paganism has been misused, but you're talking about a personal path, not a formalized doctrine, and in my challenge I stated it has to be something that's gathered a reasonable amount of followers (which, your own personal religion hasn't).

I'm not trying to make the point that religious beliefs are harmful; merely that any religious belief can be manipulated into being so.  I was objecting to the singling out of Christianity.

If you want to get into my personal belief system....  Show me respect and I will show you respect.  I'll help or heal without permission but I won't harm anyone unless provoked.  I don't care what religion you wish to practice as long as you don't try to convert me.
I don't care what religion anyone practices, even if they do try to convert me, as long as it's with free speech in a non-harassing legal manner.  I take everything case by case, some instances of people trying to convert me I actually find endearing (they're essentially trying to save you in their own eyes, it's not like their intent is malevolent).

The point the video was trying to get across, I think, was that faith needs to be shelved and not enter into our public lives in a way that affects the overall society; which I think is an idea most of us debating can agree to at this point.  We all seem to agree that faith is perfectly fine, as long as it's taken as a personal experience and not thrown into all things related to the public sphere.

Offline Sabby

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #54 on: October 04, 2009, 01:05:25 AM »
Not seeing a great deal of discussion regarding logic and religious argument.

Oil and Water Askie. Oil and Water.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2009, 01:22:13 AM »
Not at all.  Philosophy takes many strides to use logic in understanding vast, metaphysical concepts.  The nature of the universe, divine beings, morality, etc are all simply concepts that philosophy is attempting to understand with their logic and theories.  I think people have the misconception that logic cannot be used to make inferences about God or the nature of the divine, but I do think its not as far fetched as some might make it out to be.

Offline Sabby

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2009, 01:30:44 AM »
In my experience, any kind of debate between one who is logically minded and another of faith, it just turns into 'your attacking me' and paints the use of logic as a pompous and snobbish way of grinding ones beliefs into the dirt.

...which is stupid. If you erect a church and invite any and all to come through the doors, partake of your services, listen and learn and choose for themselves, but react in such a way to any kind of probing or questioning, then why build the damn church in the first place? If a Priest can't stand up to debate, how did he get the job? He's an embassador linking the public to his order... if an Embassador can't fulfill his duties, he should be out on his ass.

Its like asking a Fix It guy to repair you car, but when asking why he suggested the method he says "I'ono, boss said so"

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2009, 02:11:43 AM »
Problem is, you didn’t call the mechanic to fix a problem with a car.  According to the example of the church posed, the mechanic invited other people in to view the way he fixed the car.  Now imagine then that people started picking apart his method, attacking it consistently no matter their trade or background.  Every person has an opinion and feels that no matter how poorly supported; their opinion deserves 100% creditability.  Eventually, that can get a bit old.  A priest is there to attend to his parishioners and guide their faith, not justify the Catholic Church to every person that has a grudge or decides that they want to pick an argument.

Offline Sabby

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2009, 02:27:41 AM »
Problem is, you didn’t call the mechanic to fix a problem with a car.  According to the example of the church posed, the mechanic invited other people in to view the way he fixed the car.  Now imagine then that people started picking apart his method, attacking it consistently no matter their trade or background.  Every person has an opinion and feels that no matter how poorly supported; their opinion deserves 100% creditability.  Eventually, that can get a bit old.  A priest is there to attend to his parishioners and guide their faith, not justify the Catholic Church to every person that has a grudge or decides that they want to pick an argument.

Then why do they call them 'Outreach Centers?'

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2009, 04:20:44 AM »
I don't see JESUS commanding His followers to kill. God the Father sure that is all over the OT and in Revelation.


You really don’t have to read the OT in entirety to get the point that old Israel’s god is a very jealous and vengeful god. One is tempted to say he has some anger management issues like popular names in the Greco-Roman tradition, such as Chronos, Zeus, and Poseidon.


Christ by comparison seems like a pretty relaxed guy, the kind I’d expect to be able to smoke some weed with and have a profound conversation. I think perhaps the biggest and most amusing irony in Christianity is the guy who many religious conservatives love to quote was actually one the biggest liberals in history.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #60 on: October 04, 2009, 05:13:47 AM »
They do reach out to the community.  Often times the programs those churches run are irrespective of religion, race, creed or any other factor.  Churches can be strong symbols in a community if done properly.  That does not mean the priest stands on the corner arguing with every person that has an issue with his religion that day.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #61 on: October 04, 2009, 06:06:26 AM »
I would agree with you, that churches have the right to be in their own little corner of the world, do their own thing, and not be harassed by outside influences if, and here's the important part, they were not tax-exempt.

I don't see how they're any different from any other business out there, and yeah we can get into a lot of the debates about it, but them being counted as charity for tax deductions pisses me off too.  They're run like a business, they offer a product (salvation) in exchange for money (offering) and the employ people (priests, nuns, etc.).  You could argue it's different because they have a benevolent purpose in mind, but don't some businesses start because they have a great idea which they want to share with the world, and make their living doing it?  i.e. say people who make video games, other artists, etc.

They benefit from the use of public services; roads lead to them, if there's a crime on the premises the police investigate it all the same (sometimes more), and etc.  If you reap the benefits of government you should have to pay the taxes; especially the megachurches and whatnot.

As is private citizens pay their fair share of the tax burden for the services they use for free.  So I don't see why I shouldn't have the right to harass them about it.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2009, 07:05:12 AM »
The tax exemption is to allow people of any religious denomination the ability to practice and perform their religion without fear of being taxed to death by local authorities.  This is essentially a check in order to preserve freedom of religion and also separation of Church and State. 

A person has the right to disagree with them.  An individual or group has the right to voice their protest, civilly and within reason, against that religion.  People can and do exercise this right regularly.  Nobody has the right to harass another individual.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2009, 07:46:30 AM »
I've heard the point about the power to tax is the power to destroy; I still don't understand why they don't have to pay their fair share for the government resources they're using.  I'm not advocating taxing small churches and institutions out of existence; but if an organization is pulling a profit, has a substantially large bank account, and can afford lavish things, why can't it pay taxes?

I don't really see religion as anything other than a hobby, and if there was true separation of church and state in this country, nor would the government.  The law clearly favors religion over other ways of spending your time in so many ways.

The Archdioceses in St Louis for example, there was an argument a few years ago about the Catholic Church wanting to absorb its local funds because it had millions of dollars which was handled locally on its bank roll.  I just don't see any excuse as to why a rich organization shouldn't have to pay its fair share.

And megachurches are even more of a nightmare.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 07:48:14 AM by Jude »

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2009, 07:55:23 AM »
There is no "separation of Church and State," there is only the admonishment not to hold one religion as superior over others. In fact, the "separation of Church and State" is a line in a letter. The other letters and correspondence of the same individual shows that he didn't intend that to mean that no religious texts could be allowed into a courtroom (for example), but instead meant it as the amendment states-- no support of one religion over others.

Sorry, tangent, I know, but it bothers me as much when people use "separation of Church and State" as if it were Constitutional just as much as when someone screams "free speech" when they're told not to discuss something on a privately owned forum.

Anyway, getting back to our regularly scheduled thread...

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2009, 08:14:18 AM »
Lets say you were a parent attempting to select the perfect religion to indoctrinate your child with.  By the criteria that the "power" of religion comes from what emotional effects it causes in you, why wouldn't you pick my made up religion over an established one?  I see your point as an individual, it being hard to follow, but I think I'm really stretching the argument thin here.

I can't answer that, as I'm sure most people would consider my religion to be "made up."

I will say this, however. The problem with your "religion" (your made up one) is that it promotes megalomania and thus anti-social behavior. As a parent myself, I don't want either of those for my daughter.

Quote
My overall point is simply that belief in something that generates an emotion isn't a fair example of practical use, because it's just placebo.  Belief in science and execution of that belief creates real results which do not require placebo.  You can truly impact the world around you positively using science; using religion you can only make the picture more fuzzy to see things a bit differently.

We'll have to agree to disagree. We value different things, and that's pretty typical for women versus men. I value less having a car, and have one only because it's required for the lifestyle I'm required to live; than I value being emotionally stable and feeling joy and peace. Again, as I stated earlier, if it were up to me and not my husband, I'd live a FAR simpler life than I do, without many of the trappings of science that enslave humanity (IMO).

With freedom to live as I wished, I would even give up teh intrawebs, which I happen to really, really enjoy. However, its function in my life is to help maintain the status quo.

Electricity is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My car is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My fridge is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. I could go on, but I think it's clear that you and I value different things.

I'd prefer a far simpler life, but... I can be happy where-ever I am, doing whatever I'm doing. So I suppose it could be said that I value "the placebo effect" over electricity. Which I do.

Quote
And if you don't think this is a fair point of superiority of science over religion, imagine a religion came out where belief in it could physically change the world, but it required a certain degree of hopelessness to it.  i.e. magic at the risk of accepting that there is no god or afterlife.  Do you truly think that people would cling to their old religions instead of embracing magic?  I think it's clear most people would jettison their old ideologies in favor of this one one without emotional benefit, but with real power.

Hmm, I would say that you'd be VERY surprised how many people wouldn't. Because again, it has to do with it being something you could REALLY believe. I could never REALLY believe there is no underlying intelligent force in the universe.

Quote
I'm saying it's generalizing to use your personal example to claim all Christians are psychologically damaged, or even that the religion as a whole leaves people that way.

Actually, that's not what I'm using to base that upon. I'm basing it upon the Bible's teachings. I'm basing it upon the Holy Book that is used to teach Christianity.

I accept that some people can, and do, ignore a good portion of the book, thus managing not to be damaged by its teachings. However, that doesn't change the fact that the teachings/ Holy Book itself is damaging if genuinely followed.

Yes, one can turn it into something that isn't... it.

Quote
I'm not offended, it seems in the middle of our discussion I've made it seem as if I was personally attacking you in a few places, that wasn't at all my intent, and I'm really sorry if it came off that way.  I enjoy a good debate, and I'm really liking this, thanks for discussing this with me.

Not to worry. I understand that you feel I've singled out Christianity, but really, i haven't so much as am just using it as one example among several that I'm personally aware of.

Quote
That's more of a macro-benefit than a personal one, but I do see your point; again though I'd argue it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, which in no way speaks towards its validity.

I don't see the "self-fulfilling prophecy" part of it at all. The point of using a religion to control populaces through enforced morality is little to nothing to do with prophecies, so far as I can tell.

Quote
It's just that, if you take a certain medicine and it generates a result, that doesn't mean the medicine has any real power to it.  The power of believing is that it can often create a result in the human mind, the placebo effect.  My point is that, because science can generate a result which is not constrained to the realm of the human mind, it deserves to be considered more valid, more solid, more truthful; because even a false ideology can produce the emotional benefits you've brought up.

It doesn't matter if it's false or not. We're not discussing a given religion (although we have been), we're discussing religion itself. You claim it has no value, because it's just a placebo effect.

I disagree, and state that its value may well BE exactly that. Where one finds that effect, as long as it's not harmful to one's self or others, isn't as important as the end result. Looking at it from both a micro and a macro view, this is true.

People's quality of life and quality of social interaction are both better when they are happy and at peace. Therefor, the value is IN the end effect, not in the specific religion or tenet that GIVES the effect.

The problem with certain religions, and why I "single them out" is that they have additional side effects that tend to cancel out the placebo effect. This is what renders them not quite so valuable, and can even cause them to be a problem rather than a benefit. Yes, anything can be made INTO a problem (look at the way we've become enslaved to technology). But some things are inherently a problem, though they can, with work, be made useful in limited situations/applications.

Quote
I agree with you there; some religions are easier to warp than others.  I don't think Christianity is the worst of the spectrum, however.  I just think that it has been in the most powerful position to do bad things because of its prominence in Western Civilization.

I don't think it's the worst of the spectrum, either. However, it is a well-known religion that affects a huge many people. It's the one best known to the most people, and thus easiest to have an ongoing discussion over. As well as being one with which I am more than intimately familiar, and thus am able to speak on with rather more than a fair degree of knowledge.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2009, 09:00:42 AM »
There is “separation of Church and State” as this is a concept that our government attempts to uphold and one that is backed by precedent from the Supreme Court and the lower courts.  The concept is alive and well in the United States, therefore is a real concept.  This separation is integral to holding no religion over another.  If the government is not allowed to pick sides, then that is one step closer to equality of religion than other governments at that time and even now.  Such a concept is one of the most forward thinking ones our government implements, right up there with the Civil Rights laws.

As for tax exemption, imagine a place where churches are taxed.  Let us say, for the sake of argument that the taxes are fair.  No religion is taxed more than any other.  I imagine the Catholic Church would have little problem paying its taxes and I doubt Synagogues would either and probably not some Muslim temples.  Rural areas might be without religious guidance or support from these institutions, but overall those would be able to survive.  Wiccans, Satanists, smaller branches of the major religions, voodoo and other smaller ones that do not have such money could not function effectively.  So now these religions, even under a fair system, are now without influence to their communities are places of worship.

A lot of these religious institutions also provide free services to their communities that the government does not have to support.  Some organize health drives, food banks, soup kitchens, places for AA meetings, youth programs, after school care, etc. etc.  Many of these communities that are now forced to support this taxed institution will now have to either do without or cough up more money.  Those hardest hit are the poorest communities, who need these services the most. 

To ignore religion as an aspect of society is negligent at best and courting revolt at worst.  Religion is far more than a hobby to the vast majority of the population and the government is wise to take issues of religion seriously.  Religion, even for those that claim to have no religion, sets the frame work for people’s morality, views on the afterlife and their interactions with other ideologies.  For those that believe in what they are doing, their religious obligations are taken very seriously and have consequences both good and bad for them.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2009, 09:18:20 AM »
My point is that it's not Constitutional, and that the basis the Supreme Court used for its "precedent" is known to be fraudulent.

So one can argue that it exists just as one can argue that the Federal Government has the right to seize your property, to search your property, and to detain you without due cause... simply because of the Patriot Act.

However, the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is not actually a legal entity in our nation, but is just a corporation that we all agree to be a part of when we get our birth certificates and SSNs.

So really, when something is in direct opposition to the Constitution, regardless of the backing of the illegal Fed, it isn't the law of the land.

That being said, though, I must point out that Separation of Church and State (as it is commonly mis-cited), is clearly NOT a concept that our government attempts to uphold at all. If they did, the President would not be sworn in on the Bible, prayers wouldn't be said before every meeting of Congress, and many other such practices would not continue apace.

Separation of Church and State doesn't imply what it sounds like it does. There is no such thing, realistically. The law states that no government can create law establishing one religion over others. There is NO LAW that requires that Church and State be separated. Even the "precedent" that you speak of only indicates that Church and State can and should be separated when only ONE religion is allowed/invited.

So if one were to desire to put the 10 Commandments on the front of their State Capitol building, then they could do so-- granted that they do not refuse a Toaist (for example) from putting their rules on there, too. If the State agrees to put up both sets of rules, then they are NOT violating separation of church and state, because separation of church and state is NOT what it sounds like.

Offline kylie

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2009, 09:56:01 AM »
As for tax exemption, imagine a place where churches are taxed.  Let us say, for the sake of argument that the taxes are fair.  No religion is taxed more than any other.  I imagine the Catholic Church would have little problem paying its taxes and I doubt Synagogues would either and probably not some Muslim temples.  Rural areas might be without religious guidance or support from these institutions, but overall those would be able to survive.  Wiccans, Satanists, smaller branches of the major religions, voodoo and other smaller ones that do not have such money could not function effectively.  So now these religions, even under a fair system, are now without influence to their communities are places of worship.

A lot of these religious institutions also provide free services to their communities that the government does not have to support.  Some organize health drives, food banks, soup kitchens, places for AA meetings, youth programs, after school care, etc. etc.  Many of these communities that are now forced to support this taxed institution will now have to either do without or cough up more money.  Those hardest hit are the poorest communities, who need these services the most. 

     Assuming there is a correspondence between individual and business income tax, there is a sliding scale.  If a business entity isn't taking in a huge amount of money, it shouldn't have to pay a lot.  There can also be exemptions for charity work and other specific, tangible services.  Perhaps if a primary function of the facilities were to do these more of the time, then it wouldn't be such an issue. 

     Where I see a problem is when you have funds to sustain giant marble and gold facades, consistently demand higher monetary contributions as signs of good faith from the congregation, and expect free infrastructure all around this (no property tax, etc.).  That is more a pattern of Big Christianity than small alternative groups.  Since you mention influence...  Is it possible for the alternative religions to be effective without following the same business and property model that Christianity holds dear?  Don't some have real "influence" based on something other than exclusive-use facilities and private property? 

     About rural areas...  I suspect the bigger religions are taking in rather more dough from those than you suggest, too.  At least certainly Christianity is pretty well backed.  Notice the big arc of typically red states through the Mountain region, and the prominence of references to Godliness and "family values" in Republican lines.
 

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2009, 03:45:19 PM »
There are a great many things that we, as citizens, expect from our government that is not written in the document of the Constitution.  Social security and public education are two institutions that come to mind off the top of my head.  Yet they are very real, but not written into the Constitution.  Separate of Church and State is one such concept, backed by the Supreme Court.  Are there traditions in the United States that reach back to its founding fathers and their religious preference?  Of course.  Does this detract at all from the notion that church and state are to remain separate in the United States, no.

Yes, there is nothing to prohibit the 10 Commandments from being posted on the court house lawn.  There is nothing to prohibit painting a crucifix on the hood of a police car or from an officer reading out of the Koran as he is making an arrest.  Yet if taken before the court, these will all be struck down because they are in violation of the law you list and the concept of separation of Church and State.  A policy does not have to be enacted as law for it to be “real.”

I think I’ve demonstrated well enough that I know the implications and restrictions of that statement.

Regarding a suggestion about the income of rural area, I make none.  I simply look at the available funds there and understand that areas of low income cannot contribute as much as ones of higher income.  I believe that is a pretty safe concept to stand upon and make an assumption that taxation would likely endanger these churches.

A religion typically requires some sort of general area to congregate and perform its rituals.  For Christians this is a Church, for those of the Jewish faith this is a Synagogue and so on with the examples.  While no religion demands that a structure be built in order for their faith to be practiced, this is pretty standard desire among religious leaders.  They all wish for a space to see their practitioners and administer their religious beliefs in safety.  Taxation could well remove the visible symbol of these alternative religions, leaving only the larger ones to dominate the area.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2009, 08:11:01 PM »
Any religion is going to have its extreme nutcases.  But that doesn't mean the religion in general is bad.  I know where Phoenix is coming from by saying Christianity is psychologically damaging.  If you take the Bible literally, it says we're all filthy sinners not worthy to lick the slime off God's feet.  In order to be worthy of entering Heaven we must follow his very strict rules to the best of our ability, and humbly beg forgivenes when we screw up. 

Yeah, being told you're a worthless piece of shit can have damaging effects.  Which really doesn't make sense, because Jesus supposedly died for our sins, so by that logic, shouldn't we already be forgiven without having to do anything?  Christianity makes my head hurt....

As for the function of religion, let me use an example of my own life.  I've had moments of very deep depression.  I've considered suicide more times than I really care to think about.  The only reason I didn't do it is because of my belief of what would happen to me if I did.  Wouldn't saving my life be considered a function? 

I happen to find lots of peace and comfort in enjoying God's creation that we call Earth.  I love long walks in the woods.  I like to watch the bunny that lives under my back porch come out and nibble on the grass.  I find security in knowing that I have a place in this world, even if it is a small part.  When I'm feeling down just taking a walk in the grass barefoot makes me feel better.  There are a lot of bad things going on in my life, but my faith helps me get through it. 

I wouldn't call it a placebo effect since I've cast spells on other people without their knowledge and it worked.  It can't be them believing in it because to this day they still don't have a clue.  And yet, what I wanted to have happen happened. 

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #71 on: October 04, 2009, 08:23:49 PM »
A religion typically requires some sort of general area to congregate and perform its rituals.  For Christians this is a Church, for those of the Jewish faith this is a Synagogue and so on with the examples.  While no religion demands that a structure be built in order for their faith to be practiced, this is pretty standard desire among religious leaders.  They all wish for a space to see their practitioners and administer their religious beliefs in safety.  Taxation could well remove the visible symbol of these alternative religions, leaving only the larger ones to dominate the area.

     Well, I can't figure out whether you're more concerned about small groups not getting big or about big groups losing their sway.  I guess you're trying to protect all faiths, but it isn't practical to pursue that via tax exemption.  It is not practical because of just what Carl Sagan is concerned with -- how is a secular government to determine, ultimately, who to certify as a religion (and thus relieve from property taxes)?  It's easier to do many things scientifically, even on an ad hoc basis, than to say what enterprise should be elevated to a religion and therefore granted this entitlement.

     Personally, I connect better with Paganist and nature/magic-associated faiths.  I don't rely on the auspices of "major" organized religions.  So when I want to deal in spiritual metaphors, I could do it anywhere with public parks that have an an ounce of quiet, free speech, and passably fresh air.  A good number of people could easily enough do similar rituals with me.  Then again, I suspect cathedral-sized numbers might start to impact the whole quality of the exercise.  Unless there was major social change first (including the whole tax idea), we'd probably just end up with more bureaucratization and commodification and a flashy of label of being something "New Age"-esque.

     Taxation could do lots of things.  The more "established" or "major" religions tend to have some Gotham-scale buildings.  While I recognize that some of them make their space available for other purposes and periodically carry out charity and educational operations, I also recognize that they must have had significant resources in the first place to erect and maintain structures and lands of that scale.  They are not necessarily using all of that for the communal good.  As in business proper, they have funds and perqs and expansion for the few and faithful "proper" (or those among them who can afford to put up matching funds, etc.).  However, they are free riding those gains upon public funds while they are tax exempt. 

     It also seems to me that while we do not tax major religion properties (or perhaps I should say leading sects among the major religions?), that is effectively keeping new/smaller sects and other religions down already.  Everyone else is starting at a competitive disadvantage.  Like most renters and small businesses, smaller faiths (or sects) have to procure original facilities and capital to grow until they are declared established.  If that were too easy, then any small business could claim to be a religion to get the same start-up breaks.  So I imagine that while the small ones are paying to get on their feet as "recognized" religions, the big ones just go right on investing on top of their inherited free infrastructure, without taxes.  To me, this is basically public policy supporting Old Money in keeping its grip on where society can meet and whose talks will have the best roof.

     If you're really concerned about community benefit, why not argue for a tax structure that gives more explicit breaks based on actual services?  There are already some write-offs for charitable activities.  Maybe what you need to achieve your stated goals is more of that.  I don't see how simply exempting anything that calls itself a religion necessarily serves the community at large.  The way I see it, exempting on the basis of religion rather than action means:  You can easily have lots of property sitting empty most of the time, or even enjoyed by a very exclusive few all of the time.  In either case, the whole public has to keep paying for the services.

« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 09:28:52 PM by kylie »

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #72 on: October 04, 2009, 08:25:15 PM »
I wouldn't call it a placebo effect since I've cast spells on other people without their knowledge and it worked.  It can't be them believing in it because to this day they still don't have a clue.  And yet, what I wanted to have happen happened. 

And that's a debate in and off itself. Depending on your tradition, I believe some would see that as unethical.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2009, 08:37:03 PM »
And that's a debate in and off itself. Depending on your tradition, I believe some would see that as unethical.

Most would see it as such, yes.  I don't though.  I believe my intention matters more than whether or not I have their permission.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #74 on: October 05, 2009, 10:10:38 AM »
I'm doing this for your own good has been used to justify quite a few things down through the years.

If you wanted to help the person, why not ask their permission first?

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #75 on: October 05, 2009, 10:59:49 AM »
I'm doing this for your own good has been used to justify quite a few things down through the years.

If you wanted to help the person, why not ask their permission first?

I'd say it depends on the nature of what you're doing.

For example, I don't ask permission before I clean the snow off of my elderly neighbor's car. I don't ask permission before I drop off a box of food in front of a friend's house who I know is in a desperate financial plight. I don't ask permission before I drop off food at the food bank.

Some random acts of kindness are just that, random acts of kindness that you don't bother to ask permission before doing, and you don't advertise that you did.  In part, because you know that the person would appreciate it. I KNOW that my neighbor almost cries in relief when she doesn't have to clean off her car. I KNOW that my friend DID cry when someone dropped off some food in front of her house.


But there are some things you do NOT do without permission, of course. I wouldn't go over to my neighbor's house and burst in and clean the house. That, naturally, crosses the line.

So, I agree with you, and I don't agree with you. I think it depends on what he's doing. If he's sending some Healing energy, for example, that's not something one need ask permission for, any more than asking permission to clean the snow off an elderly neighbor's car.

If he's manipulating them into falling in love (or thinking they are), then that crosses the line.



Hypotheticals, obviously, but you get the concept I'm trying to relay with these analogies, I hope.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #76 on: October 05, 2009, 11:56:50 AM »
I will say this, however. The problem with your "religion" (your made up one) is that it promotes megalomania and thus anti-social behavior. As a parent myself, I don't want either of those for my daughter.
So modify my fake religion such that it teaches good morals and still has a more positive, feel-good based message than any other established religion, which is entirely possible.  Then use that for my point and apply ad-naseum.

We'll have to agree to disagree. We value different things, and that's pretty typical for women versus men. I value less having a car, and have one only because it's required for the lifestyle I'm required to live; than I value being emotionally stable and feeling joy and peace. Again, as I stated earlier, if it were up to me and not my husband, I'd live a FAR simpler life than I do, without many of the trappings of science that enslave humanity (IMO).

With freedom to live as I wished, I would even give up teh intrawebs, which I happen to really, really enjoy. However, its function in my life is to help maintain the status quo.

Electricity is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My car is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. My fridge is nice, but it doesn't make me happy. I could go on, but I think it's clear that you and I value different things.

I'd prefer a far simpler life, but... I can be happy where-ever I am, doing whatever I'm doing. So I suppose it could be said that I value "the placebo effect" over electricity. Which I do.
It's not like there aren't places in the world where you could toss technology aside and live a simpler life; if that's what you want, that's what you should be doing.  But we're not arguing personal preference here, we're arguing validity and manifestations of it.

You can personally value the placebo effect that faith gives you over the practical usage of science, my point is more that placebo effect in no way speaks to the validity of an idea, but real world practical, observable, empirical implications do speak to the truth of an idea (not that a lack of them means it's not true, just that having them is positive).  If you don't agree with this, you're pretty much admitting you don't believe in inductive reasoning at all, which is really a cornerstone of human thought.

People's quality of life and quality of social interaction are both better when they are happy and at peace. Therefor, the value is IN the end effect, not in the specific religion or tenet that GIVES the effect.
We're not talking about social engineering, the promotion of an idea for the benefit of mankind, etc (well you may be).  We're speaking about truth here--or at least that's what I have been discussing, and what I consider to be an indication of it.  Happy-placebo effect is not an indication of truth.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #77 on: October 05, 2009, 12:03:44 PM »
As for the function of religion, let me use an example of my own life.  I've had moments of very deep depression.  I've considered suicide more times than I really care to think about.  The only reason I didn't do it is because of my belief of what would happen to me if I did.  Wouldn't saving my life be considered a function?
You don't have to be religious to wonder what happens when you die.

I happen to find lots of peace and comfort in enjoying God's creation that we call Earth.  I love long walks in the woods.  I like to watch the bunny that lives under my back porch come out and nibble on the grass.  I find security in knowing that I have a place in this world, even if it is a small part.  When I'm feeling down just taking a walk in the grass barefoot makes me feel better.  There are a lot of bad things going on in my life, but my faith helps me get through it.
So much of what you mentioned there, again, has nothing at all to do with religion.  You can enjoy nature, feel like a part of the world, etc. without believing in any specific religious ideology.

I wouldn't call it a placebo effect since I've cast spells on other people without their knowledge and it worked.  It can't be them believing in it because to this day they still don't have a clue.  And yet, what I wanted to have happen happened.
Just because you wished for something to happen, you performed a ritual, then it occurred does not mean that you caused it to happen.  Correlation is not causation.  Your belief that you can cast spells is the placebo there, making you think that you did.

And if you were presented with clear enough evidence that proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that you did, I encourage you to make a cool million for yourself and shock the world by taking this challenge:  http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

Let us know how that turns out.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 12:05:55 PM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #78 on: October 05, 2009, 12:48:51 PM »
So, I agree with you, and I don't agree with you. I think it depends on what he's doing. If he's sending some Healing energy, for example, that's not something one need ask permission for, any more than asking permission to clean the snow off an elderly neighbor's car.

I have to disagree. Personal boundaries are important to remember in ALL cases. Even well-intentioned acts can cross personal boundaries.
Some people simply do not want their world tampered with regardless without their consent, some just don't want people to meddle, and others even begin to feel guilt that they have not done much/anything to repay the kind favors. What if there's something you don't know about the situation? What if you go to clear the ice off of their windshield, have no idea that it's cracked, and end up causing the crack to splinter and grow? (The latter has actually happened to me, and I was pretty pissed about it.)

Of course, I'm not railing against performing good deeds, but there's a pretty fine line, especially with regard to the recipient's own preferences.

Quote
So, I agree with you, and I don't agree with you. I think it depends on what he's doing. If he's sending some Healing energy, for example, that's not something one need ask permission for, any more than asking permission to clean the snow off an elderly neighbor's car.

Sending positive energy, in this manner, is not the same as clearing snow or really any physical 'good deed'. One has no visible effect whatsoever, no real tangible impact (I'm stating this from a non-religious viewpoint; some will disagree and insist that sending positive energy can result in real improvements, but for the sake of argument, I'm saying that sending good vibes -- or whatever you want to call them -- is merely a thought that is contained in your own mind), but is instead merely sentimental. The other is still crossing physical boundaries and impacting somebody in a very real, unquestionable (unlike religion) way.

For thoughts of all kinds, a person is by any means free to think what they want of others -- you shouldn't censor your own internal process, and for that, I doubt it's really necessary to seek permission, but you really have to be conscious when you act. This is where people who want to convert others really miss the train, but that's a whole different story.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #79 on: October 05, 2009, 08:42:41 PM »
Trying to convert someone, or making them fall in love would be bad, yes.  But I don't see any reason to ask someone before doing something like sending healing energy, or maybe a little something to bring them luck if they're having a hard time. 

By intention I meant; is it being done because you really want to help them, or are you hoping to get something out of it... 

What if you have a friend that's say an Atheist, but he's really ill.  If you ask permission he'll laugh in your face.  But if you believe you can help why shouldn't you?  As far as there being something you don't know about the situation, even still, when you set out to do the good deed your intention was to help.  Doing something nice for someone else without being asked is a selfless act, and in my opinion, this world would be a much better place if everyone did it. 

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #80 on: October 05, 2009, 11:43:55 PM »
I don't disagree with you on the first part. If you think directing positive thoughts at someone will truly help, I hardly think it requires permission.

Quote
As far as there being something you don't know about the situation, even still, when you set out to do the good deed your intention was to help.  Doing something nice for someone else without being asked is a selfless act, and in my opinion, this world would be a much better place if everyone did it. 

Your son is dying from cancer, but instead of taking him to a hospital, you truly think prayer will save him. He dies. But it's alright, you didn't mean any harm, right? You were only doing something 'nice'.

Wrong.

That's a little extreme, though, let's back it down and I'm going to throw my example back out again.

My windshield was cleared WITHOUT my permission and there were at least five sunken impact marks from where they chipped away at the ice, which made my car nearly undriveable. Did I think to myself, "Wow, how nice of them! I know they meant well, even though I now have to pay $200 to replace this piece of shit!" No, I said, "Wow, if those assholes would've asked me, I could've warned them about the weak spot where it's cracked, or even better, I could've politely declined!"

Even if the people who did it would've paid for the windshield, they still put my car out of commission for a few days at my inconvenience. Not really that helpful and one simple question would have evaded all of the complications.

I'm the kind of person that doesn't want people meddling in my affairs unnecessarily, especially if they don't know me well. Acts of kindness are nice, that's hard to deny, but not everybody feels the same way as you and not every act can be justified by its intention.

Offline Kotah

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #81 on: October 06, 2009, 01:30:39 PM »
I am a god basher. The same way as I can bash every other religion out there. I Have a tendency to get really rabid about disproving the 'god' question. I also have a reason why I have been doing this for the last 5 years. I was raised in a family that attended church every day. I know more about the bible then most Christians do.

It's a fact that most Atheists I know more more about the bible then the Christians.

Offline Moon and Star

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #82 on: October 06, 2009, 01:47:53 PM »
I liked this thread better when we were cracking Matrix jokes. :'(

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #83 on: October 06, 2009, 02:33:11 PM »
I am a god basher. The same way as I can bash every other religion out there. I Have a tendency to get really rabid about disproving the 'god' question.

Just remember to do it in a polite and civil manner. Everyone is entitled to their own view and beliefs.

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #84 on: October 06, 2009, 04:35:28 PM »
One nice thing about religion is the comfort factor. It's hard to get warm and fuzzy over e=mc2 or newtons 2nd law. I do but I'm weird.

We all wrestle with the fundamental questions; who are we, where is this place, where are we going. Religion offers answers, or suggests that an intelligence loves us, or is watching over existence. That the universe is not a chaotic, random phenomena. That we are special and watched over almost like a great parent taking care of us.

Whether or not its true, well who knows what truth is. Religion offers reassurance and comfort in a seemingly unfathomable and chaotic universe. It's an escape from the existential horror of living in an existance with only a fragment of identity and understanding, where being a speck of dust on the outer rim of a galaxy we look out with our primitive technology and slowly tread a path through the cosmos.

I'm not a religious person myself but I respect its place in the bigger scheme of things and where we're at in our current stage of development.

Offline Kotah

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #85 on: October 06, 2009, 04:37:33 PM »
Most Christians don't seem to think I have the right to believe what I want. O.o I just pay them back. Most of the time I just ignore the discussion. However, I would consider myself a god basher.

I also get bashed by Christians, and told all sorts of things.
I really do believe in god. I just don't want to admit it. It's cool to hate god.
I'm just an angry person, and I'll believe in god again some day.
I'm ate up with daemons, and I'll never be at peace.
I'm a bad person, so god doesn't love me anyway. It doesn't matter that I don't believe.
I just need my husband to slap me around and put me in my place, then I will see that go is there. (I couldn't believe this one)

One dude even tried to do an exorcism on me.

I only bash when I get bashed. >.>

Offline Oniya

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #86 on: October 06, 2009, 04:39:31 PM »
I got exorcised over the telephone once.  I wanted so much to put on a Linda Blair voice and say "NOT THIS TIME..."

But I was laughing too hard.

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #87 on: October 06, 2009, 04:56:24 PM »
Religious zealotry from anyone (including atheists) is annoying, unnecessary, and gives everybody else under that umbrella a bad name. I've seen pretty nasty superiority complexes from atheists who have the presence of mind to go around saying that they are more advanced, smarter, more evolved than believers, which is just as disgusting as a Christian who condescends somebody who doesn't believe in/doesn't worship their god.

Actively seeking to 'bash god' is about on the same level as actively seeking to convert/impress god into people who don't want it. You'll never change their mind, so I think the better road to take is simply to change their impression of the people you represent so we can all just coexist in relative peace. I've met good Christians and bad Christians, good Atheists and bad ones, too. Nobody's exempt, just have a little respect.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #88 on: October 06, 2009, 05:37:57 PM »
Most Christians don't seem to think I have the right to believe what I want. O.o I just pay them back. Most of the time I just ignore the discussion. However, I would consider myself a god basher.

You will find intolerance in any belief. Because, I would imagine, Christianity is the most prevalent where you are, you run into more intolerant Christians.

I also get bashed by Christians, and told all sorts of things.
I really do believe in god. I just don't want to admit it. It's cool to hate god.
I'm just an angry person, and I'll believe in god again some day.
I'm ate up with daemons, and I'll never be at peace.
I'm a bad person, so god doesn't love me anyway. It doesn't matter that I don't believe.
I just need my husband to slap me around and put me in my place, then I will see that go is there. (I couldn't believe this one)

One dude even tried to do an exorcism on me.

I've heard most of those, or varieties of them myself.

I've had my beliefs questioned as "Is that some kind of devil worship then?"

I've been told "You might think you're not still Christian, but you are", even though I stopped being christian over a decade ago.

I've been told "You were born Christian, therefore you have to stay Christian, whether you like it or not." Needless to say, that one didn't work either.

So, yes .. been there, done that.

I only bash when I get bashed. >.>

I haven't seen you getting bashed here, so I would prefer you extend equal courtesy to others.

Everyone has a right to their own beliefs and opinions. Whether you agree with them or not, whether you like them or loathe them, you will discuss them with a degree of courtesy.

That applies to everyone, in case you're feeling singled out right now.

Religion, like politics, is one of those topics that can turn nasty very easily. I prefer not to see that happening.

Offline Moon and Star

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #89 on: October 06, 2009, 06:22:50 PM »
I got exorcised over the telephone once.  I wanted so much to put on a Linda Blair voice and say "NOT THIS TIME..."

But I was laughing too hard.

Exorcised over the phone? o.o How's that work?

Offline Oniya

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2009, 06:33:22 PM »
I was in college, and had recently 'come out of the broom closet'.  One day, the hall phone rings - and it's never for me, despite the fact that everyone else has room phones.  So, I ignore it.  One of my dormmates knocks on my door and says "It's for you - and it's a guy!"

For the record, I went to an all-girls college, and was one of the few that wasn't looking for my M.R.S. degree.

So I answer the phone, and this very pleasant-sounding young man introduces himself, says that he is a 'former witch', et cetera and so forth.  And I'm sitting in the little phone booth, rolling my eyes occasionally as he rambles on.

Eventually, he says 'There's somethin' I been wantin' to say to you, but the last person I said this to ran away screamin'.'  He says this very earnestly.  I respond with something like 'I don't scare easily.'

Next thing I hear over the phone:  "In the NAYME of JESUS CHRAIST, I comMAND you Saytan to LEAVE this girl!"  (I'm not kidding, his accent really went completely televangelist on me.)

*blink*

*blinkblink*

'Um - I'm not screaming...'

'Are yew shakin'?'

'Um... No...?'

Offline Moon and Star

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #91 on: October 06, 2009, 06:45:45 PM »
I was in college, and had recently 'come out of the broom closet'.  One day, the hall phone rings - and it's never for me, despite the fact that everyone else has room phones.  So, I ignore it.  One of my dormmates knocks on my door and says "It's for you - and it's a guy!"

For the record, I went to an all-girls college, and was one of the few that wasn't looking for my M.R.S. degree.

So I answer the phone, and this very pleasant-sounding young man introduces himself, says that he is a 'former witch', et cetera and so forth.  And I'm sitting in the little phone booth, rolling my eyes occasionally as he rambles on.

Eventually, he says 'There's somethin' I been wantin' to say to you, but the last person I said this to ran away screamin'.'  He says this very earnestly.  I respond with something like 'I don't scare easily.'

Next thing I hear over the phone:  "In the NAYME of JESUS CHRAIST, I comMAND you Saytan to LEAVE this girl!"  (I'm not kidding, his accent really went completely televangelist on me.)

*blink*

*blinkblink*

'Um - I'm not screaming...'

'Are yew shakin'?'

'Um... No...?'

Bwahahahaa! That's rather funny.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #92 on: October 06, 2009, 08:29:45 PM »
You know, I'm getting rather disgusted with this thread.  Someone question the function of religion.  I gave examples and had my beliefs ripped apart by being told it was all in my head.  I don't remember trying to convert anyone...  There are reasons I believe what I do, and I don't appreciate being told over and over again no matter what I say that it's just a placebo effect.  You can't prove that, and when you can, then you can open your mouth. 

And Noelle, your windshield getting cracked was an unfortunate thing, but not something you can compare to someone getting cancer.  Whoever did it was only trying to save you the headache of doing it yourself on a cold morning.  I know what a pain in the ass it is, and I'd be thrilled to have someone do it for me.  Most good deeds are good.  You just happen to have ONE example where something bad happened. 

That's all I have to say on this topic because some of you just seem hellbent on bashing religion in general.  This thread was supposed to be about those that push their beliefs on others. 

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #93 on: October 06, 2009, 08:50:17 PM »
You know, I'm getting rather disgusted with this thread.  Someone question the function of religion.  I gave examples and had my beliefs ripped apart by being told it was all in my head.  I don't remember trying to convert anyone...  There are reasons I believe what I do, and I don't appreciate being told over and over again no matter what I say that it's just a placebo effect.  You can't prove that, and when you can, then you can open your mouth. 

And Noelle, your windshield getting cracked was an unfortunate thing, but not something you can compare to someone getting cancer.  Whoever did it was only trying to save you the headache of doing it yourself on a cold morning.  I know what a pain in the ass it is, and I'd be thrilled to have someone do it for me.  Most good deeds are good.  You just happen to have ONE example where something bad happened. 

That's all I have to say on this topic because some of you just seem hellbent on bashing religion in general.  This thread was supposed to be about those that push their beliefs on others. 


Don't let it ruffle you, friend. Evangelists are evangelists, and they're little different from each other, whichever religion they are evangelizing. Or belief. Or lack of beliefs.

Consider the source, and consider that the opening video's whole apparent purpose is to denigrate anyone who isn't a proper science-to-the-exclusion-of-all-else thumpin' Atheist. It's hard to expect much else from the thread.

______________

I was exorcised by Seventh Day Adventists when I was a kid. They don't just wave the Bible around, they speak in tongues and scream and shout and "lay on hands." Imagine being an autistic kid, with people "speaking in tongues" and putting their hands all over you while you're tied to a bed. Yeah...

______________

I always hear from Christians that, even though I was a "born again" Christian and got baptized and went to Seminary, and prided myself on being as much a Christian as anyone (and how I LOVED JESUS, HALLELUYAH!)... I was never really a Christian, because if I was, I couldn't have left.

I guess I just tortured myself by believing I was a rotten, worthless sinner all those years for s**ts and giggles??

Offline Oniya

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #94 on: October 06, 2009, 09:05:23 PM »
I was exorcised by Seventh Day Adventists when I was a kid. They don't just wave the Bible around, they speak in tongues and scream and shout and "lay on hands." Imagine being an autistic kid, with people "speaking in tongues" and putting their hands all over you while you're tied to a bed. Yeah...

There was actually a court case about something like that not too long ago, only the 'priest' actually laid on top of the child for something like four hours.  I know how badly some autists deal with even light physical contact (friend's daughter), and I had the 'experience' of sitting in on a Pentacostal meeting once (scared the heck out of me, without being autistic) so I can distinctly imagine how terrible that was for you.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #95 on: October 06, 2009, 09:21:29 PM »
I was in college, and had recently 'come out of the broom closet'.  One day, the hall phone rings - and it's never for me, despite the fact that everyone else has room phones.  So, I ignore it.  One of my dormmates knocks on my door and says "It's for you - and it's a guy!"

For the record, I went to an all-girls college, and was one of the few that wasn't looking for my M.R.S. degree.

So I answer the phone, and this very pleasant-sounding young man introduces himself, says that he is a 'former witch', et cetera and so forth.  And I'm sitting in the little phone booth, rolling my eyes occasionally as he rambles on.

Eventually, he says 'There's somethin' I been wantin' to say to you, but the last person I said this to ran away screamin'.'  He says this very earnestly.  I respond with something like 'I don't scare easily.'

Next thing I hear over the phone:  "In the NAYME of JESUS CHRAIST, I comMAND you Saytan to LEAVE this girl!"  (I'm not kidding, his accent really went completely televangelist on me.)

*blink*

*blinkblink*

'Um - I'm not screaming...'

'Are yew shakin'?'

'Um... No...?'

... that was just a joke right? Or did some one try to long distance exorcise you?

Offline Oniya

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #96 on: October 06, 2009, 09:27:04 PM »
Actually, it was a local call.  It's the sort of incident that you don't forget easily.

Offline Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #97 on: October 06, 2009, 09:33:14 PM »
Wow, did you ever find out who it was? 

Offline Moonhare

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #98 on: October 06, 2009, 09:34:25 PM »
I wonder if you could have *69 to get their number from there.

Offline Oniya

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #99 on: October 06, 2009, 09:42:52 PM »
It was some guy associated with the local Pentecostals (the same ones I mentioned in my response to Phoenix).  I made the mistake of accepting an invitation to 'Bible Study' (which I normally don't mind sitting through) in order to try to explain myself to him, and found myself in the middle of a full-fledged tongue-speaking extravaganza.

From the distance of several years, I can say that it was an impressive example of building energy, but at the time it was rather unsettling.

Offline Moonhare

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #100 on: October 06, 2009, 09:44:52 PM »
I have never had something like that, thankfully. I am glad you are able to look at it now as something interesting instead of intimidating.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #101 on: October 06, 2009, 09:50:02 PM »
Sounds like it. You have alot more patients then I do Oniya.

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #102 on: October 06, 2009, 10:49:30 PM »
You know, I'm getting rather disgusted with this thread.  Someone question the function of religion.  I gave examples and had my beliefs ripped apart by being told it was all in my head.  I don't remember trying to convert anyone...

I think you're misinterpreting the discussion. I take it you're referring to Jude's posts, and to that, I can give you one quote from him from one of the first few pages that should put it to rest--

Quote
For the record, I do not want to destroy anyone's faith in god.


The point of this thread isn't to convince each other to change their mind regarding faith and religion -- I believe it was all simply a dialogue to get you thinking; you could just as easily fire back your own points, it's an open discussion, after all.
If you really feel threatened and if you truly don't want to hear a dialogue that questions what you believe, then I would caution against posting in threads like these where it's bound to happen.

As for this little bit:

Quote
There are reasons I believe what I do, and I don't appreciate being told over and over again no matter what I say that it's just a placebo effect.  You can't prove that, and when you can, then you can open your mouth.

That's awfully rude of you. It would be just as easy for me to say "you can't prove it's NOT the placebo effect, and when you can, you can open your mouth."

Nonetheless, here's my take.
It's easy enough. Google 'placebo effect' and you'll come up with a plethora of reports (such as this) and research done that acknowledge the power of the right kind of thought and the effect it has on the body, especially in terms of healing and recovery. It's just as simple to carry over the theory that if somebody prays for something positive or believes that something will help them heal or recover, it could very well be a placebo effect that gets them through based on pre-existing patterns.
Scientifically speaking, there is nothing there to prove that any higher power has anything to do with it, simply because science is not a realm in which any higher power is present. Science can tell you how you function and the way your body works and responds, but it does not tell you for what purpose it exists. For some people, religion fills that role. Science does not exist to give purpose, simply to explain.


Do I truly believe religion is one giant placebo effect? Honestly, I have no idea. I'm a solid agnostic, everything is pretty much a giant question mark in my world, but I wouldn't rule it out...but then again, I don't rule out the existence of a higher being, either. I still seek to see both sides of the debate, however. Looking to develop your understanding of other perspectives has little to do with tearing beliefs apart -- you don't have to buy into what everybody tells you, but it's rarely a bad thing to expand your thinking.

Quote
And Noelle, your windshield getting cracked was an unfortunate thing, but not something you can compare to someone getting cancer.

I wasn't comparing it directly, but the similarity is there.
Kid gets cancer, his parents are only doing what they feel is right by praying for their son, and then he dies. It was a good deed in their eyes, doesn't that make it good, by your logic?

I guess my point in bringing up this particular example is to say that good deeds are subjective and what you want done to you is not necessarily what I want for me -- it's akin to trying to convert other people, isn't it? My line of thinking is that I don't want people meddling in my affairs without my permission, but somebody insists because they think I should be grateful and happy about random acts of kindness -- that is a blatant breech of my wishes, despite what their intentions were. My wishes have been disrespected and on top of it, I would probably be labeled as weird or skewed simply because I don't feel the same way.

As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same. Even Hitler thought he was doing something positive.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #103 on: October 07, 2009, 01:09:22 AM »
One nice thing about religion is the comfort factor. It's hard to get warm and fuzzy over e=mc2 or newtons 2nd law. I do but I'm weird.



I can’t say physics, Newtonian, Einsteinian, or whatever has made me warm and funny, but it does give some comfort that religions can never give, at least not in any other form than an illusion. The same laws of gravity and motion that are keeping you in your chair and your drink in your glass next to you are also keeping galaxies from flying apart all over the universe.

Religion only offers an illusion, because it asks you to take comfort in things it has no supporting evidence for. That will often get them to fall back on faith, but faith is belief in the absence of evidence. Sorry, that’s not for me.


We all wrestle with the fundamental questions; who are we, where is this place, where are we going. Religion offers answers, or suggests that an intelligence loves us, or is watching over existence. That the universe is not a chaotic, random phenomena. That we are special and watched over almost like a great parent taking care of us.


That’s the problem here. Despite some what some people say, there’s not a shred of evidence to support this. Nada, zip, zero.

Where I think it gets dangerous is how some people talk like it’s a safety net. That we can fuck the planet up and such, but it’s OK because god will catch us if we all fall. It’s a nice thought, but I wouldn’t suggest banking on it. It didn’t save the dinosaurs, it didn’t save the Neanderthals, in fact it didn’t save 99% of every species that ever lived here.

But I suppose they were all unrepentant sinners. See how silly that sounds?



This mindset; it’s setting the stage for something very tragic and stupid to happen.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 01:17:33 AM by The Overlord »

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #104 on: October 07, 2009, 04:04:29 AM »
Religion only offers an illusion, because it asks you to take comfort in things it has no supporting evidence for. That will often get them to fall back on faith, but faith is belief in the absence of evidence. Sorry, that’s not for me.

No one is saying it is. If you have found what works for you, more power to you. But it's not going to work for everyone.

That’s the problem here. Despite some what some people say, there’s not a shred of evidence to support this. Nada, zip, zero.

How do you feel about personal experience?

Where I think it gets dangerous is how some people talk like it’s a safety net. That we can fuck the planet up and such, but it’s OK because god will catch us if we all fall. It’s a nice thought, but I wouldn’t suggest banking on it. It didn’t save the dinosaurs, it didn’t save the Neanderthals, in fact it didn’t save 99% of every species that ever lived here.

But I suppose they were all unrepentant sinners. See how silly that sounds?

One particular variation of Christianity is not all there is you know. Not everyone is going to think that way.

This mindset; it’s setting the stage for something very tragic and stupid to happen.

People will do stupid things for any number of reasons. Religion is just one of them.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #105 on: October 07, 2009, 04:27:38 AM »
I'm not an atheist; as I stated previously.  I'm an agnostic.

My problem is when people compare religion and science, and claim they're both equally plausible (or really similar in any way).  They're simply not, science continues to be verified out in the world every day in ways no particular religion ever has been.

I am not saying religion is untrue, that god does not exist, or other negative statement pertaining to religious beliefs; simply that they are more of a "longshot" than scientific beliefs.  Belief in science does not preclude belief in religion either; you can have both.



Chaotic Angel, the moment you started using supernatural events as "proof" for your religion and a supposed practical application I think it was fair game to poke holes in it.  I would have done the same to a Christian who claimed they speak to god as their proof, or a Hindu who says they have memories of their pre-reincarnated lives.  I don't think you can have a serious discussion on any matter when you start bringing up and accepting the supernatural as valid in the debate.

There has never been a shred of documented evidence that paranormal activity has occurred (or someone would've won the million dollar prize by now, thus was the point of the link).  It's not really my fault that you brought that component into the discussion; I'm sorry you feel attacked, I'm not attacking you.

But we're having a debate here; did you expect me merely to grant you that such occurred and gloss over the point?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 04:30:23 AM by Jude »

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #106 on: October 07, 2009, 04:52:28 AM »
Bear in mind that peoples beliefs are going to be important to them. How you phrase your debate may be interpreted as an attack, even if that wasn't your intent.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #107 on: October 07, 2009, 04:54:39 AM »
That's awfully rude of you. It would be just as easy for me to say "you can't prove it's NOT the placebo effect, and when you can, you can open your mouth."
It's a very basic logical principle anyway that the burden of proof lies on the person making a claim.  I don't have to prove something doesn't exist if you claim it does exist.  You're making the claim so it's up to you to provide proof of its existence, not up to me not to provide proof of its non-existence;  that's not how logical argument works even if it is a clever attempt at putting the onus on others like he tried to pull off there.

I wasn't comparing it directly, but the similarity is there.
Kid gets cancer, his parents are only doing what they feel is right by praying for their son, and then he dies. It was a good deed in their eyes, doesn't that make it good, by your logic?

I guess my point in bringing up this particular example is to say that good deeds are subjective and what you want done to you is not necessarily what I want for me -- it's akin to trying to convert other people, isn't it? My line of thinking is that I don't want people meddling in my affairs without my permission, but somebody insists because they think I should be grateful and happy about random acts of kindness -- that is a blatant breech of my wishes, despite what their intentions were. My wishes have been disrespected and on top of it, I would probably be labeled as weird or skewed simply because I don't feel the same way.
There are plenty of other examples to validate the point, hands on healing in lieu of medical treatment, refusal to accept blood transfusions because it's considered cannibalism, etc.

Bear in mind that peoples beliefs are going to be important to them. How you phrase your debate may be interpreted as an attack, even if that wasn't your intent.
That's true, but at the same time, if you can't handle criticisms of your beliefs and opinions, it's probably best not to put yourself in a position where you have to.  i.e. coming to a subforum called "Politics and Religion."

As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same. Even Hitler thought he was doing something positive.
Way to kill the thread.

Godwin's Law.  </thread>
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 04:58:06 AM by Jude »

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #108 on: October 07, 2009, 05:11:16 AM »
How do you feel about personal experience?


I understand that people have a ‘religious experience’ or whatever you wish to call it. Is it touching something godly or divine, or something else? I don’t know, truth is that can’t be universally proven or unproven.

I would say that personal divine contact isn’t nearly as important as global contact, and if there’s a god out there that’s benevolent and cares about us, then what the fuck is it waiting for?

Now, the religious will jump on the Free Will Defense for that remark, but that falls apart right away to rational argument. For starters there’s the glaring oxymoron if free will includes the free will to eliminate free will for other humans or other species?


One particular variation of Christianity is not all there is you know. Not everyone is going to think that way.


No, not everyone across the board, but we HAVE GOT to get out of this fucked up mindset that we’re some privileged species in the universe. If the universe sent a galactic sized bitch slap like a 20 mile asteroid or a gamma ray burst straight at us, if a giant cosmic hand just reached out and stopped it, then fine, I’m a believer.

But if you’re sitting around banking on that, you best get your head out of the sand.


People will do stupid things for any number of reasons. Religion is just one of them.

Religions isn’t the only reason, no, but it’s one of the worst offenders. People can find ways to justify some heinously crazy shit when they believe they’re playing for Team God.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #109 on: October 07, 2009, 07:39:30 AM »
I can't believe that people in this thread are considering sending a person a prayer to be the same as refusing to get your child treatment.

Case 1: Person, without telling the other, says a prayer (casts a spell, sends light and love, meditates and visualizes, whatever). The recipient carries on with their life as usual. They get medical treatment if they want it, or don't. They have no knowledge of the prayer/visualization/light. The person saying the prayer for the best to happen to the other person thinks they are doing the right thing.

Case 2: Parent decides that god decided it was time for their child to die, so they go into the child's bedroom and smother him with a pillow. They think they are doing the right thing.

Yeah, both of these bastards should be put into prison. They're such evil, horrific people. Hell, forget that, STRING THEM BOTH UP!!

Come on, now. If you're honestly comparing people who do random acts of kindness like cleaning a neighbor's window or saying a prayer for someone, with what amounts to child murder...

Then I think you're the one with the problem.

Because you're purposely taking oranges and calling them apples for the sake of comparison. Not a one person here has said that killing someone through negligence is a good thing. Nor do I appreciate being told that praying that someone experience the highest good for themselves is comparable to infanticide.

If you really think that, then again I say... I think YOU have a problem, and might want to take some time to seriously evaluate just WHY you think that random acts of kindness are so horrific that they are akin to murder.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #110 on: October 07, 2009, 07:48:52 AM »
No where did Noelle ever say that she thought the two were the same.  She even said she wasn't "directly comparing them" just trying to point a similarity in good intent turning bad.  It was pretty clear she was trying to draw the logic out to its most extreme conclusion, in hopes of trying to make absolutely certain what sort of objection she has.  No one ever stated or even attempted to imply a moral equivalency.  I suggest you re-read the comments and look at all of the caveats she employed; otherwise you're just straw-manning her so that you don't have to argue on the points she made, resorting instead to a caricature which is far easier to refute (as was with the case with your seemingly self-righteous, incredulous post aimed at repudiation).

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #111 on: October 07, 2009, 08:03:04 AM »
Phoenix, chill out.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #112 on: October 07, 2009, 09:15:04 AM »
No where did Noelle ever say that she thought the two were the same.  She even said she wasn't "directly comparing them" just trying to point a similarity in good intent turning bad.  It was pretty clear she was trying to draw the logic out to its most extreme conclusion, in hopes of trying to make absolutely certain what sort of objection she has.  No one ever stated or even attempted to imply a moral equivalency.  I suggest you re-read the comments and look at all of the caveats she employed; otherwise you're just straw-manning her so that you don't have to argue on the points she made, resorting instead to a caricature which is far easier to refute (as was with the case with your seemingly self-righteous, incredulous post aimed at repudiation).

I have already argued the point.

Quote
I wasn't comparing it directly, but the similarity is there.

It's very clear that she IS equating them as being SIMILAR in morality. It's not remotely SIMILAR in morality.

Now, I have argued the whole point of not praying for me to 'get saved,' and I didn't need to use baby killing comparisons to do it.

It is a form of threatening. The person is threatening to try to convince their god to coerce you against your will. The moral problem with this should be obvious, especially from a religion that supposedly values free will.

The argument can easily be made without resorting to such extreme comparisons and claiming a similarity that is obviously offensive. In fact, I struggle not to assume that it is intentionally offensive to equate someone who prays for a healing to be equal to someone who kills their children by refusing them medical help.




And by the way, part of why this bothers me so much is the general atmosphere in the USA against kindness. You can be sued now for doing something to try to help someone. She no doubt would have won a lawsuit against the person who tried to help her.

People walk past little old ladies lying prostrate on the ground and crying out for help. Why? Because if you help, if you reach out in kindness, you can be sued for it.

Equating kindness with baby killing is a serious thing, and a serious issue. It's awful that people are so hateful towards people who try to do kindnesses. This is only one aspect of it... a random act of kindness is SIMILAR to gross negligence that costs a child's life?

No, sorry. I cannot let that stand.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 09:37:22 AM by Phoenix »

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #113 on: October 07, 2009, 01:20:01 PM »
Come on, now. If you're honestly comparing people who do random acts of kindness like cleaning a neighbor's window or saying a prayer for someone, with what amounts to child murder...etc.

This whole post of yours is irrelevant and the way you speak just goes to show that you've missed my point entirely. You have argued A point, not the point. It's funny that you are willing to sit and say "IT'S VERY CLEAR" when obviously it's not since you missed my original intent where somebody else (Jude) got it.

My point was questioning Chaotic Angel's reasoning that any good deed is good. It was NOT to directly compare scraping windshields to kids with cancer and it was most certainly not to make you blow it out of proportion and claim you know what I mean better than I do.

It's actually quite insulting of you to INSIST that I truly believe that a child dying from medical neglect is on the same level as a crack in my windshield. Take the time to actually read and think about what's being said  instead of coming in swinging at what you think is there and spewing your self-righteous claims.


The argument can easily be made without resorting to such extreme comparisons and claiming a similarity that is obviously offensive. In fact, I struggle not to assume that it is intentionally offensive to equate someone who prays for a healing to be equal to someone who kills their children by refusing them medical help.

READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ.

Do you get it yet?

READ.

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Of course, I'm not railing against performing good deeds, but there's a pretty fine line, especially with regard to the recipient's own preferences.

READ

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As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same.



Quote
And by the way, part of why this bothers me so much is the general atmosphere in the USA against kindness. You can be sued now for doing something to try to help someone. She no doubt would have won a lawsuit against the person who tried to help her.

There's also a general atmosphere in the USA about personal rights. I have the right to say no to a million dollars. I have the right to say yes to a slap in the face. I find it funny that you're arguing against that.

In terms of suing, is it the system or is it the person? Or maybe both? I certainly didn't sue the people whose intentions were good over my windshield even though I was extremely irritated. I'd like to think a great number of people have that much sense.

I also hope that "she" and "her" isn't in reference to me. Personal attacks really aren't necessary.

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People walk past little old ladies lying prostrate on the ground and crying out for help. Why? Because if you help, if you reach out in kindness, you can be sued for it.

If you let said "little old lady" die while being willfully negligent, you can also be punished for not interfering, as well. It goes both ways.

Also, I'd like to see a case where this has happened after said "little old lady" has clearly asked for/given consent to help. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic or anything. I'd truly like you to find a story where this has happened.

Quote
Equating kindness with baby killing is a serious thing, and a serious issue. It's awful that people are so hateful towards people who try to do kindnesses. This is only one aspect of it... a random act of kindness is SIMILAR to gross negligence that costs a child's life?

I'll requote myself yet again, since you have trouble reading sometimes, it seems. I will even bold it for you. That is my act of kindness; too much, I know.

Quote
Of course, I'm not railing against performing good deeds, but there's a pretty fine line, especially with regard to the recipient's own preferences.

Quote
As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same.

I will even restate it a third way:

I AM NOT AGAINST ACTS OF KINDNESS.
I simply believe that a level of discretion needs to happen and that not all good acts end up with good results. Not everybody has to accept acts of kindness. They have a right to choose what happens to them and their personal property, and to argue against that argues against some very, very basic principles of human freedoms.

That doesn't make a bad person and it doesn't mean they're going to go out and sue if something happens regardless just as much as being a person who performs what you perceive as acts of kindness doesn't make you some kind of saint.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #114 on: October 07, 2009, 01:28:50 PM »
Ok folks, time out.

Tempers appear to be getting frayed here, so I'm locking the topic for a little bit to let them cool down.

If you going to debate, do it reasonably.