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Author Topic: Religion is a control mechanism?  (Read 8935 times)

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Offline Majere DreavanTopic starter

Religion is a control mechanism?
« on: June 05, 2010, 08:50:14 PM »
DISCLAIMER: I don't believe the things I was saying, But I'd like to know other peoples opinions on this matter. I believe wholeheartedly in my religion. But was willing to "play devils advocate" in this moment to win the argument(I love winning). After winning the argument, and reflection upon it, i grew interested in your opinions.
Edited only to reduce spelling errors and the like. Breakdown at the bottom(its a little long)

Stranger: I despise religion
You: I love all religion
Stranger: Then your delusional
You: gives people hope
Stranger: False hope is meaningless
You: otherwise weak individuals are given convictions to be productive citizens
You: that's not a bad thing is it?
You: religion promotes good will toward other people. otherwise cruel people are being convicted by some god to be generous and good.
You: that's not bad is it?
Stranger: I don't think religion is required to be a productive individual, proper socialisation from parents and high quality schooling are
You: ah, but what if they don't have those?
You: what if they need something else
Stranger: Religion wouldn't fix it
You: do you believe in auditory learners?
Stranger: I suppose so, though that's not how to learn effectively
You: aha but some people have a hard time learning with out hearing it
You: as others cannot learn from a lecture, instead must use the book
You: and the third group. can only learn by screwing up and fixing it
You: how this relates to religion is,
You: some people need the book. and some people don't
You: religion isn't global so much a global truth, as it is a personal need
Stranger: Nobody needs the book, on a large scale, religion, has, and will, hold back society
You: totally agreed, but it also helped create society
Stranger: Whats more, its an excuse, its an excuse to put forward your worst virtues in the name of your god
Stranger: There were societies long before religion, and there will be societies long afterwards
You: religion is like an overbearing mother.
You: it birthed us, but it tries to keep us from being what it needed to be,
Stranger: It birthed us, in what manner?
You: the mayans- religious the Greek- religious the Norse - religious.. the Celts - religious.. the Anasazi( native Americans) - religious. the orients- religious. the Aztec- religious , the Minoans- religious
You: can you deny that religion birthed society?
You: didn't bring up the middle east. that's a duh
Stranger: Okay, that's 2000 years, now go back 6000, 10000, 15000, society in not the product of religion, religion is the product of society
You: hmmm- the Aztecs and mayans go back further than 200
You: 2000^
Stranger: Humans are not solitary animals, we have formed societies since we split from the apes
You: we split from the apes for what reason? if apes are still allowed to be around? how are we them evolved, if they still exist?
You: evolution happens for the continuance of existence
You: if they continue to exist, then our evolution was pointless
Stranger: Evolution only happens as long as the environment changes, a perfect from can be reached
You: but the old form dies
Stranger: correct
You: why do apes still live
Stranger: because they come from a different lineage
You: how come they didn't evolve as we did then?
Stranger: we have a common ancestor but split into two different evolutionary lines
You: we are suited to nearly every place on earth. they are weak, we are strong,
Stranger: We are not suited to every place on earth
You: they should have eventually evolved into a different species of us
You: i said nearly
Stranger: in the least
Stranger: They have, they are apes
Stranger: The cold, the hot, the wet, the dry, the only reason we survive is because of our intelligence, its our greatest evolutionary trait
You: then why don't other animals have this intelligence?
Stranger: They do
You: this. viral conception of free will
You: they do? they do not fight for freedom
Stranger: Apes, they use tools in the same way early humans did
Stranger: Yes, they do
Stranger: They war between groups, they use tools and weapons
Stranger: war*
You: they don't show distaste to their communistic governments
Stranger: These are signs of intelligence
Stranger: They have not developed the same level intelligence as us
Stranger: but it is developing
You: good argument
Stranger: thanks :p
You: But then, if evolution is possible, how come the things evolutions used to prove themselves right, also proves them wrong?
Stranger: Its not possible, its docu
You: hmm
You: what about the timelines in the rocks
Stranger: oops
Stranger: Its documented fact
You: where a certain period is at a certain level in the earth
You: and yet a Stegosaurus was found next to a fresh human
You: human, 2000 yrs old. stego- millions
You: millions
You: *knows the answer to that one, and how it can be proved to go to the evolutionists side*
Stranger: I have never heard of a dinosaur found next to human remains, but there are hundreds of explanations for this, the fact you know the age difference indicates a passage of time and evolutions and refutes creationism
You: fossils aren't made over time stranger-
Stranger: You sure
You: they are made abruptly and suddenly, only when immense pressure is added quickly will it petrify the bones
You: if just left to rot, the bones would erode away just as the earth does
You: Cataclysm causes fossils
Stranger: mhm, and it then takes time for it to age, its not a fossil if it was alive the day before
You: your right, but it would have never been a fossil, if it wasn't for a great cataclysm to take place
You: like the ground and sky opening up
Stranger: Not necessarily, it could have been as simple as a landslide
You: on a flat land? in the middle of a techtonic plate
You: where no seismic activity naturally occurs
You: no volcano in sight
Stranger: Well, the land isn't where it used to be, if you recall Pangaea
You: what caused Pangaea to separate?
Stranger: Recurring ice ages and stadials also flush the land out often flattening it
You: something big must of happened
Stranger: Plate movements
You: -- what was the catalyst for that though
You: as a scholar you know there is no effect with out cause
Stranger: Well, I'm not that strong on my geology and plate techtonics, but i would imagine it has something to do with the layers of mantle in the earth, plus the earths gravitational strength and the forces exerted from its spin
You: ahh ,, no one knows the reason behind why they move the way they do
Stranger: Well those are my hypothesis
You: that unknown,, be it explainable or not... is what people decide to call god
Stranger: the moon could play a part
You: cause they cannot fathom what is truly creating it
Stranger: That's the difference between intelligence and ignorance, intelligent people don't write it off as a magic man because it cannot be explained yet
You: don't forget the old addage stranger
You: Ignorance is bliss
Stranger: It is bliss, but id rather not waste my intelligence
You: people who believe, are ignorant
Stranger: correct
You: and in that ignorance are controllable
Stranger: correct
You: The intelligent ones, are not controllable, therefore are the controllers
You: Knowledge is power, am i right?
Stranger: you are
You: what good is power, if you have nothing to hold it over
You: if no one was ignorant, who would we control?
You: i love all religion :)
Stranger: Why do you assume we have to controll one another
Stranger: rather then live in peace and unity
You: we are human
You: we are greedy, insensitive evil and maniacal
You: potentially
You: just add power
You: and no one can escape that
You: there is no utopia
Stranger: as long as there is religion, there can be no utopia
You: our intelligence saves us,, and it enslaves us
You: your right stranger but your too specific
Stranger: aha, now moving into philosophy :p
You: as long as there are humans, there can be no utopia
Stranger: I hate to say it but your right, society has advanced to the point where someone will always want someone else dead. Until we meet an enemy not from earth to unite against, we will not unite
You: the best way to keep the world from being chaotic and destroyed in moments,, is to control the masses. religion is the best way
You: religion is a control mechanism
Stranger: Ah, I'm afraid it certainly is not
Stranger: correct, but not the best
You: its been working for thousands of years
You: look at the people rally under one man
You: dedicating their lives to fight for someone they will never see
You: if that is not the best control
Stranger: that doesn't necessarily make it the best
Stranger: you would do the same if you were raised to do the same, socialisation, society, is the best method of controll
You: then people start learning
You: they don't take for granted that god did it
You: they want to know more, they learn more
Stranger: religion i, unfortunately, a pillar of society
You: then they want a piece
You: then individuality is sent
You: set^
Stranger: People will always want a piece, religion provides a handy excuse
Stranger: excuse*
You: the excuse is what they need
You: here's your piece, your useless, inconceivable piece
Stranger: Then without religion there is no excuse, and more morality
You: but without religion, there is no excuse to be moral
You: and immorality spreads
Stranger: with religion there is excuse to be immoral
You: So your saying, every crime against society should be punished by death
You: Now that i said that
You: ... i do
You: strange
Stranger: To a certain degree, yes i do think that
You: ..rule by fear
You: People are stupid, The man who is feared is in control
You: publicly execute a man for shoplifting, and people get the idea
Stranger: its the same method religions use, Christianity scares people into being good
You: but your now saying its a good control mechanism
Stranger: cut out the middle man
Stranger: its good but its not the best
You: it wont work, people are stupid, but they like to rally
You: if your a man, they will rally against you.. They wont rally against some god
You: hes all powerful
You: religion was very delicately selected to keep the masses in control
You: it is the most efficient
You: the best bang for the least buck
Stranger: you know what, i think your right, you've convinced me there is some good in it
You: i love control
You: therefore i love religion
Stranger: well argued :p
You: thank you
You: you were putting up a damn good fight
Stranger: yeah, i was beginning to realize i was fighting a loosing battle though :p
You: i almost gave in
You: but.. I'm a total control freak
You: so its easy for me to see how to work people
You: people^
You: and that's all that religion does
You: this is so getting printed out and posted places for people to read
Stranger: You should write a book :p
You: on what? how religion controls the world?
You: you know, I might

Basically : Stranger argued about the unimportance of religion. (S)He was proved wrong by saying that at the least it is important as a way to control the masses of humans. Somewhere in there is quoted the wizards first rule. People are stupid. Religion as a control mechanism does seem to make sense, if I wasn't a Christian.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 09:11:06 PM »
As a amateur historian and a international civic scientist, I can say with high confidence that organized religion is a very powerful control mechanism. It was a necessary tool to ensure that the earliest city states, and communities with several family groups beyond that of hunter/gatherer tribes and small pre-historic agrarian communities would survive.

However, as important as religion has been to people, it is organized religion which has kept populations in line. Today, we can achieve similar results with secular law and other not necessarily religious phenomena and structures.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 09:13:23 PM »
Iím not really sure where the conversation went or was going for the most part.  Meanders quite a bit over a variety of topics there.  As for the finalization that religion serves a purpose through control, there is obviously truth to that statement.  Many philosophers, political scientists and social researchers have made that conclusion.  ďOpiate of the massesĒ is an always favorite term to describe that state of affair.  I do believe that making the claim that control is the only benefit of religion to the state is wrong and probably narrow-minded on the roles religion plays.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 09:33:01 PM »
That conversation was hard to follow in some places and covered a variety of topics. I would argue that religion is not the oldest control mechanism for the masses, that title goes to violence which even influences our soceities today. Thats another topic though

Once again I see the inevitable comparisons that make Christianity as the "bad guy" when in todays age if any religion could be considered the bad guys it could be Muslims due to extremists. Why is it that Christianity has to be seen as the ultimate evil religion when they have not been responsible for massive loss of life in recent history? Christians extremists of today fight with words, ideas, and the internet yet Muslim extremists are responsible for blowing up planes and beheading people.

Knowing that, coversations like this make me wonder if Im the only sane one in the world

Offline Majere DreavanTopic starter

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 09:49:09 PM »
That conversation was hard to follow in some places and covered a variety of topics. I would argue that religion is not the oldest control mechanism for the masses, that title goes to violence which even influences our soceities today. Thats another topic though

Once again I see the inevitable comparisons that make Christianity as the "bad guy" when in todays age if any religion could be considered the bad guys it could be Muslims due to extremists. Why is it that Christianity has to be seen as the ultimate evil religion when they have not been responsible for massive loss of life in recent history? Christians extremists of today fight with words, ideas, and the internet yet Muslim extremists are responsible for blowing up planes and beheading people.

Knowing that, coversations like this make me wonder if Im the only sane one in the world

How is it that People who defend Christianity, Never remember the roman catholic inquisition? You know, the systematic killing of millions of Jews and other Nationalities who wouldn't conform to Christianity. I know you said recent history, but isn't that big enough numbers to be recognized?

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 09:54:14 PM »
because it isnt recent. Christiantiy and specifically we Catholics have evolved beyond violence. The inquisition and the crusades were black marks upon our faith, theres no doubt about that, but havnt we proved in the last hundred years or so that we've evolved beyond violence? If not then what do we have to do to fully atone for those terrible acts? Answer me that!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 10:31:17 PM by Brandon »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 09:58:13 PM »
Probably for the same reason that those attacking forget the contributions of the Catholic Church and the millions if not billions of lives saved and made better by that institution.  Instead their contribution to the world is regulated to a control mechanism.

Offline Stan'

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 10:03:47 PM »
A man that loses an argument to religion is useless.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 10:11:12 PM »
There was a beautiful statement of contempt and self-importance that contributed nothing of value and possessed no merit.  That would make the statement useless.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 10:12:49 PM »
Probably for the same reason that those attacking forget the contributions of the Catholic Church and the millions if not billions of lives saved and made better by that institution.  Instead their contribution to the world is regulated to a control mechanism.

Its not that they forget Pumpkin Seeds, they just refuse to acknowlege it. Look back at the miracles thread and how every piece of evidence given to show the good that the Catholic church has done as well as the institutions they have created to promote intelligence and critical thinking were brushed off or called exceptions.

Offline Lilias

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2010, 06:05:56 AM »
Any movement with a large number of supporters uses control tactics. It's its nature, to avoid disintegrating. Administration, I believe it's called.

Now, whether religion - any religion - does more harm or good, that's largely to be decided on a case by case basis. There are people who will twist the best principles into excuses for evil, and people who will wring out the good kernel from the worst situation.

Offline Cythieus

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 08:13:22 AM »
How is it that People who defend Christianity, Never remember the roman catholic inquisition? You know, the systematic killing of millions of Jews and other Nationalities who wouldn't conform to Christianity. I know you said recent history, but isn't that big enough numbers to be recognized?

Why when atheists take stock of atrocities they cleverly leave out Stalin?

I don't know why people want to make it about body count when the Catholic church has been more or less nagging at most for most of the last few centuries. They're always considered as some sore of pinnacle of violence when its simply not true anymore. You may agree with their stances, but they're not out in the streets killing over them and if you hold that against them, you might as well hold any atrocity committed by man against all of us. Groups and people change.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2010, 08:55:30 AM »
Why when atheists take stock of atrocities they cleverly leave out Stalin?

I don't know why people want to make it about body count when the Catholic church has been more or less nagging at most for most of the last few centuries. They're always considered as some sore of pinnacle of violence when its simply not true anymore. You may agree with their stances, but they're not out in the streets killing over them and if you hold that against them, you might as well hold any atrocity committed by man against all of us. Groups and people change.

Yes, Stalin was an atheist and he was responsible for millions of deaths, but that doesn't in anyway diminish the claim or magnitude that organized religion, including Catholicism, has been responsible for millions of deaths as well. In the instance with Stalin, we must remember that atheism isn't a organized group. Catholicism is, and that makes it more suspecting for criticism then atheists. The organization within Catholicism decided to organize and condone atrocities. Atheism hasn't, while groups with atheistic not being the main characteristic has, like Communistic groups. But then directing criticism on those groups, we criticize the USSR or PRC or Communism/Stalinism in general.

Groups change as the ideology and culture of the groups change, but ignoring the importance of the existence of the crimes of the past is not admirable. That goes for any group.

Offline Cythieus

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2010, 09:09:51 AM »
Yes, Stalin was an atheist and he was responsible for millions of deaths, but that doesn't in anyway diminish the claim or magnitude that organized religion, including Catholicism, has been responsible for millions of deaths as well. In the instance with Stalin, we must remember that atheism isn't a organized group. Catholicism is, and that makes it more suspecting for criticism then atheists. The organization within Catholicism decided to organize and condone atrocities. Atheism hasn't, while groups with atheistic not being the main characteristic has, like Communistic groups. But then directing criticism on those groups, we criticize the USSR or PRC or Communism/Stalinism in general.

Groups change as the ideology and culture of the groups change, but ignoring the importance of the existence of the crimes of the past is not admirable. That goes for any group.

That's a cop out, one of the tenants of the Empire he tried to build was Atheism.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2010, 09:34:37 AM »
That's a cop out, one of the tenants of the Empire he tried to build was Atheism.

Atheism is one factor of the sociological and ideological control that communism, and Marxism, aims for but that doesn't say much about Atheism. Stalin worked to enforce Atheism. That doesn't mean that Atheism was an associate of Stalin's crimes against mankind. We can say that Atheism was an ideal, but not apart of the organization in such a manner that Atheism had Atheists that killed millions in the name of Atheism.

Offline Cythieus

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 10:07:01 AM »
Atheism is one factor of the sociological and ideological control that communism, and Marxism, aims for but that doesn't say much about Atheism. Stalin worked to enforce Atheism. That doesn't mean that Atheism was an associate of Stalin's crimes against mankind. We can say that Atheism was an ideal, but not apart of the organization in such a manner that Atheism had Atheists that killed millions in the name of Atheism.

The ideal behind Catholicism isn't killing either, that's not one of the main beliefs and despite the killing that occurred, its not part of the religion. Though in most instances of large scare movements of Atheists, there seems to be killing on a scale at least on par with that of anything the Catholics did back then. So we can agree that the cause isn't religion or god but people. Because acting as if its a Catholic problem is just kind of silly. In the history of many large groups there's an atrocity. America is built on the genocide of Natives, the slave trade and broken treaties and promises. Do you think it would be right to hold those of us here today accountable? Is it right to hold Germans accountable for Hitler's wrongdoings? Can we still punish Muslims for their warring in the middle ages? Why is it okay to punish Catholics for something that happened so long ago that you can't even trace a direct descendant to it?

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 10:12:13 AM »
My question is how does Atheism, aka A'theist meaning lacking of a belief in god, have to do with communism or murder or otherwise. There is no causal link there, If someone murdered someone but happened to be christian, then christianity is no clause, if someone kills in the name of christianity then its a entirely different matter. The crusades were in the name of christianity, the witch hunts were in the name of christianity (Christian holy land, and the tenent 'Suffer not the witch to live') Do give causal links to the action.

Hitlers massacre of jews also had a causal link since at the time there was alot of anti-semitism within catholic circles. Stalins massacres did not have the same causal link. State sanctioned atheism in its whole cannot happen. Because it is adding additional tenants to something that was otherwise unrelated. Atheism does not have a dogma to follow it is a counter to a asserted claim. It would be comparing the stamp collectors to the BNP because nick griffin collected stamps apparently, that MUST mean that all stamp collectors are members of the BNP right?. There is no cleverly leaving out, because stalins atheism was a irrelevance to the given situation.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:14:29 AM by Silk »

Offline Cythieus

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2010, 10:14:53 AM »
My question is how does Atheism, aka A'theist meaning lacking of a belief in god, have to do with communism or murder or otherwise. There is no causal link there, If someone murdered someone but happened to be christian, then christianity is no clause, if someone kills in the name of christianity then its a entirely different matter. The crusades were in the name of christianity, the witch hunts were in the name of christianity (Christian holy land, and the tenent 'Suffer not the witch to live') Do give causal links to the action.

Hitlers massacre of jews also had a causal link since at the time there was alot of anti-semitism within catholic circles. Stalins massacres did not have the same causal link. State sanctioned atheism in its whole cannot happen. Because it is adding additional tenants to something that was otherwise unrelated Atheism does not have a dogma to follow it is a counter to a asseted claim. It would be comparing the stamp collectors to the BNP because nick griffin collected stamps apparently, that MUST mean that all stamp collectors are members of the BNP right?. There is no cleverly leaving out, because stalins atheism was a irrelevance to the given situation.

You're dodging the later point, any group will have large scale atrocities, that was an example. But its true pretty much across the board. Yet it seems like Catholics and something they did before anyone here was alive and anyone we know was alive, get blamed for being the worst offenders.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2010, 10:18:02 AM »
Why is it okay to punish Catholics for something that happened so long ago that you can't even trace a direct descendant to it?

Because Catholicism still maintain inhumane ideals. Catholicism dictates that, though thankfully few follow up on those ideas, that non-believers should be ostracised, homosexuals are an abomination and there is a wide range of people mentioned that should be punished with the only reason being that "God dun like 'em". There exists a frustration against Catholicism because of the fact that the organization works to enforce, quite frankly, outdated and draconic ideals that violate human rights. Following up on the atrocities of old is just part of the rhetoric to argue that Catholicism hasn't changed enough.

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2010, 10:27:48 AM »
Again no I'm not, Atheism is no large scale group, more often than not the only thing that links a atheist to another is the lack of belief in god. There is no structure or control mechanism in Atheism Stalin tried to impliment one yes but the enforcement had little to do with thing being enforced.

And people currently see the muslims as the worst offenders, get off your matyr'd horse. The problem is christianity although not killing is still causing alot of damage to people, (case point, the texas education scandal) And is a belief based on that has no evidence and is currently unjustified. More and more of the stories of religion are dieing ever day, as mistery shrinks, so does religions room to maneuver. We understand where things are coming from now. Things backed by evidence and were rigiously tested and still stood against all scrutiny. A scientific theory is only a theory because it can be updated and improved upon. A fact is unchanging and by result, would never be able to be improved upon and updated.

You do know there are atheistic religions right? Bhuddism and Scientology to name a few. They have attached dogmas which make them religions. There is no group to your common atheist, it is a counter stance to a asserted claim by theists and nothing more.


Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2010, 11:48:56 AM »
This argument seems to rise time and time again, always in the same circle.  I do wish people would remember the conclusions reached and not rehash the same argument to try and make it correct later on.  For starters, there is no proof for atheism.  People can lob science about all they want but science once again does not support either claim.  Science does not support anything.  Science is a tool and the sooner people accept that the sooner we can progress to other discussions.  There is no experiment that has proven or disproven God that meets any criteria for an experiment.  People have made claims and been knocked down, on both sides of the fence.  So donít act as if atheism has suddenly gained some amazing proof that the rest of the world just ignores.  Atheism hasnít gained anything but conjectureÖthey still operate under the faith there is nothing there.

Atheists love to skip around with this idea of no organization being a wonderful thing.  They are not organized and so do not cause harm.  Of course by that thought atheists also donít contribute.  When Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans there were no atheist groups down here giving food to the hungry, medical attention to the wounded or shelter to the homeless.  I did see a lot of Catholic charities doing those things.  I saw Catholic schools taking in students for free so that education might continue and I saw priests of various religions gathered in hospitals to give comfort.  I didnít see any atheist groups doing the same.  Organized religion does a lot of good as well and lacking any organization does not give your group any benefit except to say, ďwasnít me.Ē 

Course to say atheists arenít organized is a lie as well.  They do have organizations but they just donít pray together.  Since they donít believe in prayer this seems to be understandable.  What I have seen of atheist organizations though is pretty bad.  One in England is attempting to cause an international incident by arresting the Pope and Stalin killed several million people in the span of a single lifetime.  Way to better humanity there.  Certainly the argument that the relationship between Stalin and atheism is casual would arise, because that example is not very pleasant at all.  That Stalin had religious figures killed in droves makes this all the more casual right?   Perhaps, utilizing the original posterís point for this thread, that in the absence of religion the population must be controlled in some other fashion.  While religion does use fear in the afterlife, they also use that fear to promote hope for a better life and help of fellow man.  Without that though, Stalin had to use fear of what would happen if disobedience ensued.  Worked well didnít it?

I really do enjoy the argument about the Inquisition and homosexuals.  These always get thrown up, like white guilt.  Anytime someone says something nice about religion, Christianity in particular, this is what happens.  Like someone talking about Muslims and someone says suicide bomber.  Letís ignore everything beautiful and wonderful about the thing in question, but instead focus immediately on the negative.  This thread didnít even have anything to do with the Inquisition, but someone threw that up regardless.  Oh, was the original poster.  Nice way to keep the thread focused.  Donít give a chance for redemption but instead beat them over the head with the past.  Notice that not one of the people arguing for Christianity denied the Inquisition, where as Stalin suddenly becomes casual and irrelevant.  People want to lay alteration of history at the feet of Christians but yet they still address one of the more embarrassing moments in their history. 

As for inhumane, you are kidding right?  The Human Rights and the Bill of Rights are written with Christian ideals in mind.  The Hippocratic Oath is made by a culture of polytheists and modern nursing has principles instilled from the Catholic Church.  The Red Cross leads how many humane missions across this planet?  I understand the Church does not approve of certain lifestyles and people within the religion are trying to change that.  These are founded on ancient principles and ideas which require effort to change. 

Yet I do wonder if those that commit such atrocities against the homosexual community are thinking of God when they do them.  I wonder if they are thinking of how righteous they are being and how God will open those pearly gates.  Then look at the reaction of the Church leaders when this occurs.  Certainly some are happy with them, but the leaders of these Churches condemn those actions.  They publically denounce those members and plead for tolerance and forgiveness.  They go to council the families and assist them as they are able.  Religion is made into an excuse by those that commit these acts, a way to excuse the behavior.  Without religion they would just find another reason to hate something different than themselves.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2010, 11:58:09 AM »
Atheism is one factor of the sociological and ideological control that communism, and Marxism, aims for but that doesn't say much about Atheism. Stalin worked to enforce Atheism. That doesn't mean that Atheism was an associate of Stalin's crimes against mankind. We can say that Atheism was an ideal, but not apart of the organization in such a manner that Atheism had Atheists that killed millions in the name of Atheism.

Marx did not teach religious was on its own to be destroyed from public life. He taught that as society evolved from Capitalism and the classes merged into one by natural maturing of human society that would displace the need for religion. Stalinism was an aberration of Marxism.

As for the topic it can be a matter of control I would say the problem there are religious leaders and institutions over faith. If you took ministers, theological schools and anyone else out of the faith leaving Christianity a personal matter it would be much different I would think. The believer and God the foundation of Christian Anarchism and no one in between.

Online Vekseid

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2010, 02:03:23 PM »
You do know there are atheistic religions right? Bhuddism and Scientology to name a few. They have attached dogmas which make them religions. There is no group to your common atheist, it is a counter stance to a asserted claim by theists and nothing more.

Buddhism is strictly speaking nontheistic - it avoids the discussion of God. One could be a christian (or any faith that did not conflict with the eightfold path) and a buddhist, or an atheist and a buddhist, and still follow its principles, but Buddhism specifically avoids the question of divinity. To Siddhartha, the question of God was a distraction.

Scientology is not atheistic so much as it promotes the idea of personal ascension - rather common in cults.

This argument seems to rise time and time again, always in the same circle.  I do wish people would remember the conclusions reached and not rehash the same argument to try and make it correct later on.  For starters, there is no proof for atheism.

There does not need to be. The responsibility of proof lays with the affirmative claimant. Specifically speaking, a claim needs to be testable. If it cannot be tested, it has no bearing on physics, which is to say, it has no bearing on reality.

The One True God

The humor around the Space Teapot, Invisible Pink Unicorn, and Flying Spaghetti Monster - the entire point of all of those absurdities is to demonstrate where the burden of proof is.

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People can lob science about all they want but science once again does not support either claim.  Science does not support anything.

The scientific method is a tool ask a maybe or no question of Nature. With enough 'no' answers, quite a lot can be supported. Relativity and the shape of the Earth are two fairly profound examples.

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  Science is a tool and the sooner people accept that the sooner we can progress to other discussions.  There is no experiment that has proven or disproven God that meets any criteria for an experiment.  People have made claims and been knocked down, on both sides of the fence.  So donít act as if atheism has suddenly gained some amazing proof that the rest of the world just ignores.  Atheism hasnít gained anything but conjectureÖthey still operate under the faith there is nothing there.

The Bible makes many specific claims about God, some of which are ludicrously easy to disprove (the lack of capacity for basic math, for example). Bad math aside, this leaves many to either retreat to "God of the gaps" or "God as the First Mover" arguments, which while they can't currently be disproven, they are unnecessary, that is to say, it's useless as a rational explanation for anything.

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Atheists love to skip around with this idea of no organization being a wonderful thing.

I don't. Most of my atheist and nontheist friends do not discount the value of organizations, but your over-broad and inaccurate generalization is noted.

I even appreciate the support networks that the Catholic church possesses, especially in comparison to the televangilists and evangelicals that so often demonize them. That does not free the Catholic hierarchy from criticism over its pedophilia coverups.

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  They are not organized and so do not cause harm.  Of course by that thought atheists also donít contribute.  When Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans there were no atheist groups down here giving food to the hungry, medical attention to the wounded or shelter to the homeless.

Atheism is a single thought on the nature of God. It has none of the associated dogma or surrounding philosophy that a full-blown religious sect like Mahayana Buddhism or Catholicism is. You're comparing a building block with the completed building.

That also reflects on how tiny atheism as a belief is. There are some very, very rich people who tithe to the Church, who believe religion is, in their own words, bullshit. But they are not in a position where they can state that openly, so it's a private matter.

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Course to say atheists arenít organized is a lie as well.

To say that they have anything as remotely established as the Catholic church is a blatant lie. The very comparison is nonsensical.

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  They do have organizations but they just donít pray together.  Since they donít believe in prayer this seems to be understandable.  What I have seen of atheist organizations though is pretty bad.

Here you go with generalizations again.

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One in England is attempting to cause an international incident by arresting the Pope

What, particularly, is wrong with drawing attention to Ratzinger's abuses of power? His returning the Catholic Church to authoritarianism after John Paul II and his predecessors worked so hard against that is not only highly disturbing but also disgraceful of their legacy.

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and Stalin killed several million people in the span of a single lifetime.  Way to better humanity there.

Name one Christian who has done more for the betterment of humanity than Alan Turing.

Just one.

I can think of two. Regardless, you owe nearly your entire standard of living to Turing.

Or you could look at it more logically, and look at the relationship between authoritarian ideologies and atrocities, but that would be the honest way of looking at things.

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Certainly the argument that the relationship between Stalin and atheism is casual would arise, because that example is not very pleasant at all.  That Stalin had religious figures killed in droves makes this all the more casual right?

Regardless, this is a guilt by association fallacy. In order to prove that the association is the inherent flaw, it needs to be shown as the cause. Stalin's atheism was not the cause behind his treatment of others.

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   Perhaps, utilizing the original posterís point for this thread, that in the absence of religion the population must be controlled in some other fashion.  While religion does use fear in the afterlife, they also use that fear to promote hope for a better life and help of fellow man.  Without that though, Stalin had to use fear of what would happen if disobedience ensued.  Worked well didnít it?

That's a rather glossy view of Stalin's purges. They were based far more on Stalin's own fear and paranoia than that of his subjects. Russian leadership after his death was not hamstrung by the fact that they stopped his insane purges, even though they continued pushing Communism as an ideology.

They broke themselves trying to match American heavy industry without the light industry to back it, but that's another fault altogether.

A better example would be the Chinese throughout history. Their practices as a water empire are brutal, but I'm not going to buy the idea of 'rice Christian' for example being inherently superior.

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I really do enjoy the argument about the Inquisition and homosexuals.  These always get thrown up, like white guilt.

Yet you just as happily throw up Stalin, while ignoring e.g. the Vinegar Tasters.

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  Anytime someone says something nice about religion, Christianity in particular, this is what happens.  Like someone talking about Muslims and someone says suicide bomber.  Letís ignore everything beautiful and wonderful about the thing in question, but instead focus immediately on the negative.

Again, Stalin versus Turing.

This is extraordinarily topical. Why did the Church fall to such evil? If you read about the Inquisition - and many related texts - you know that it was not some all-pervasive hate that came out of nowhere that every Catholic priest went along and agreed with. Clearly, atheism itself is no defense against those same evils.

Considering we are talking about control mechanisms for society, this is immensely important. Of course it leads to a different question, and, if you look at it logically, you will note that atheism versus theism is not the problem.

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This thread didnít even have anything to do with the Inquisition, but someone threw that up regardless.  Oh, was the original poster.  Nice way to keep the thread focused.  Donít give a chance for redemption but instead beat them over the head with the past.  Notice that not one of the people arguing for Christianity denied the Inquisition, where as Stalin suddenly becomes casual and irrelevant.  People want to lay alteration of history at the feet of Christians but yet they still address one of the more embarrassing moments in their history. 

To make it equivalent, it would be more appropriate to associate the position of Christians with that of all theists. That gets absurd, fast.

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As for inhumane, you are kidding right?  The Human Rights and the Bill of Rights are written with Christian ideals in mind.

The Bill of Rights most certainly was not. Many of the Founding Fathers were either proclaimed (Franklin) or suspected (Washington) deists. To say nothing of Thomas Jefferson's writings ("Question with boldness even the existence of God,") or the Treaty of Tripoli.

There is a very good reason for this - many colonials had vivid memories of the Church being a puppet of the State (England) or the State being a puppet of the Church (the Holy Roman Empire) - and decided the best thing to do was to make sure that the two of them had as little as possible to do with each other.

Thus the Treaty of Tripoli, article 11 "As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion..."

This was passed unanimously by the Senate (a rare event even in that era), and signed into law by John Adams.

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The Hippocratic Oath is made by a culture of polytheists and modern nursing has principles instilled from the Catholic Church.  The Red Cross leads how many humane missions across this planet?  I understand the Church does not approve of certain lifestyles and people within the religion are trying to change that.  These are founded on ancient principles and ideas which require effort to change. 

And none of that absolves the need for the discussion of from whence evil creeps into any organization. People who abuse their more authoritarian followers misplace the innate trust that those people give them, and those sorts of actions will damage any society or organization, no matter the good deeds of its past or present.

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Yet I do wonder if those that commit such atrocities against the homosexual community are thinking of God when they do them.  I wonder if they are thinking of how righteous they are being and how God will open those pearly gates.  Then look at the reaction of the Church leaders when this occurs.  Certainly some are happy with them, but the leaders of these Churches condemn those actions.  They publically denounce those members and plead for tolerance and forgiveness.  They go to council the families and assist them as they are able.  Religion is made into an excuse by those that commit these acts, a way to excuse the behavior.  Without religion they would just find another reason to hate something different than themselves.

The easiest route to power in an authoritarian crowd is to foment a fear of the other. I respect most of the catholic priests from my childhood a great deal. Ask me about the evangelicals and you will get a very different answer.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 02:26:05 PM by Vekseid »

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2010, 04:44:56 PM »
Like I said before Ves, the definition of atheism is lack of beleif in a god, both bhuddists and scientologists fit into that catagory as they lack a beleif in a god.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2010, 06:59:01 PM »
I am still waiting for the answers to my earlier questions. No one seems to want to touch them and I believe its because a lot of the people here feel that no matter how much better the catholic church makes the world, the black marks on our faith can not be atoned for. I dont think I can express in the english language how much that idea bothers me but even if it is true in some people then I have to accept that its an opinion.

Even more bothering to me, it seems that Silk, xenophile, and possibly Veksied (although that would surprise me) absolutely refuse to accept that Christianity and more specifically the catholic church has done any good for anyone. Am I wrong about that?