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Author Topic: Putting Faith in Its Place  (Read 6032 times)

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Online 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.

Online Serephino

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2009, 07:39:21 PM »
Continue to flaunt your theology, and Iíll continue to call you out on where itís 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 »

Online 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 Iím not trying to destroy anyoneís religion for them, Iím 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.


Iím 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 Devilís 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 donít think thatís an entirely accurate assessment. What youíre interpreting as blatant, wide-scale derision I would say is closer to exasperation.

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

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 whoíve 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 donít 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, yeahÖall 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 donít want you to realize that you donít actually need their brand of drug.


Now I largely disdain organized religion, throughout history itís 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, itís 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 canít 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.

Offline HairyHeretic

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

Offline Andy

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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 themóbring 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 themóbring 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 kingóbring 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 »

Online 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.