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Author Topic: Religion is a control mechanism?  (Read 10634 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 »
I’m 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.  “Opiate of the masses” 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.

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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 don’t act as if atheism has suddenly gained some amazing proof that the rest of the world just ignores.  Atheism hasn’t gained anything but conjecture…they 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 don’t 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 didn’t 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, “wasn’t me.” 

Course to say atheists aren’t organized is a lie as well.  They do have organizations but they just don’t pray together.  Since they don’t 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 poster’s 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 didn’t 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.  Let’s ignore everything beautiful and wonderful about the thing in question, but instead focus immediately on the negative.  This thread didn’t 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.  Don’t 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 don’t act as if atheism has suddenly gained some amazing proof that the rest of the world just ignores.  Atheism hasn’t gained anything but conjecture…they 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 don’t 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 aren’t 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 don’t pray together.  Since they don’t 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 poster’s 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 didn’t 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.  Let’s 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 didn’t 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.  Don’t 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?


Offline Kurzyk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2010, 07:20:46 PM »
Lilias did, Brandon.

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.

And I agree. There are good and bad contributions with any religion or organization. I don't blame christianity for the evils of the world.

Christianity just takes the "anti-religion" heat because its one of the biggest in the world.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2010, 07:24:25 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!

Acctually those were the questions I was reffering to. I dont feel that those answers and the questions above correlate, or at least dont see them correlating at first glance

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2010, 07:38:08 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?

As I've already said, there are black marks and good contributions with any faith, or organization which was already said.

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2010, 08:59:09 PM »
Religion doesn't go on mass murdering sprees.  People go on mass murdering sprees....

As much as I dislike the Christian faith, I will not say that it itself is evil in nature.  Many of the things people are mentioning in this thread were done by individual people.  They just claimed it to be God's will so that the faithful would follow them without question.  They were using God's name to fulfill their own personal agendas.  While I think those that followed the words of a few men blindly were idiots, they had good intentions.  They believed they were doing what was right.

There are other threads elsewhere about the people today who use the Bible to condemn gay people among other things.  Those are ignorant and hateful people who are hiding behind scripture to make themselves feel justified and righteous.  Of course some of them are just extremist nuts who think the Bible is law. 

So really, it's all about the individual.  The Methodist church I used to go to sends teddy bears to children in areas where there are natural disasters.  I remember back when all this war crap started they collected items to send care packages to soldiers.  There is a local Christian food pantry.  Last summer some ladies from a local church sat in the Wal Mart parking lot selling raffle tickets for some charity.  I can't remember what the charity was, but I remember buying the tickets.  Ladies from a Baptist church raised money for a battered women's shelter. 

So yes, while great evil has been done in the name of God, there are also people who choose to go out in the world and do good.  Blame the people, not God. 

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2010, 09:13:35 PM »
Matthew 6:1-2

"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward."

The true Christian does not do good deeds to get notice.  The true Christian does good deeds simply because they are good - and therefore, they are noticed only by those they affect directly, or with one or two degrees of separation. 

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2010, 09:26:16 PM »
I suppose in that case Im not a very good Christian, as when I do something to help someone else, I do it because its the right thing to do and while I dont expect thanks I do expect recognition. Think about it this way, if I pull a someone out of a burning building I dont expect thanks because it was the right thing to do, but at the same time I expect that people wont deny I did it either. From my point of view, the millions of lives that have been improved by Christians all over the world should not be denied, and I see that happening in these threads constantly, and by the same people.

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2010, 09:50:08 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!

Is recent really the important factor?  If so, I don't really see how your argument holds water.  Because it seems to me that no matter where in time you look, there's some reason to dislike the Catholic church.  The Inquisition and the Crusades may have happened a long, long time ago, I'll give you that, along with the forceful stymieing of scientific progress (which I consider equally atrocious).

But even so, what about their handling of Nazi Germany?  I don't mean to invoke Godwin here-- I'm not comparing Catholics to Nazis.  I'm saying that there have been plenty of valid, recent reasons to point the finger at them.  I hate to bring up the pedophilia, but really, it's valid.

So what about the good things they do?  Fine.  At best, the Catholic Church is a deeply troubled, morally ambiguous organization.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2010, 10:00:48 PM »
Great job trying to spin it so the Catholic church comes out as the ultimate evil religion Will. This time try reading the questions and acctually answering them.

Now to answer your question recent is an important factor because it shows a group trying to redeem themselves. People change, groups change, the world changes but it seems that you nor several other people in this or other threads will admit that its evolving away from violence. If you dont believe we are, then I still want to know, what can we do to fully atone for the sins of the past?

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2010, 10:03:28 PM »
I suppose in that case Im not a very good Christian, as when I do something to help someone else, I do it because its the right thing to do and while I dont expect thanks I do expect recognition. Think about it this way, if I pull a someone out of a burning building I dont expect thanks because it was the right thing to do, but at the same time I expect that people wont deny I did it either. From my point of view, the millions of lives that have been improved by Christians all over the world should not be denied, and I see that happening in these threads constantly, and by the same people.

Actually, the thing is that the people you've helped will recognize that you've helped them.  It's just that 'Man's recognition' (using 'Man' to mean mankind here) is supposed to be less important than 'God's recognition'. If you rescue a kitten from a tree, the little old grandma that you helped says to herself 'More people should be like him.'  If you rescue a kitten from a tree and start blowing a horn saying 'Look at me!  I just saved this kitten!', then the little old grandma thinks you're a bit of a nut.  If you refuse to rescue the kitten and say that 'Cats are the familiars of witches, and deserve to be stuck in trees!', then the little old grandma and the whole neighborhood thinks you're a bad person.

It's not that the good deeds are denied - it's just that they are done quietly, without thought of that overwhelming recognition.  At the same time, 'the evil men do lives after them.'  Who do you talk about - the cashier that bags your groceries and makes sure that the bread and eggs don't get squashed, or the one that takes forever to count your change and is still several dollars off?

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2010, 10:06:10 PM »
Great job trying to spin it so the Catholic church comes out as the ultimate evil religion Will. This time try reading the questions and acctually answering them.

O.o

How does that not constitute an answer?  As far as I can tell, your questions have been answered more than once.  And as far as what can be done to atone?  I dunno.  Not having issues like the ones I mentioned keep cropping up every so often would be a start.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:07:17 PM by Will »

Offline Kurzyk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2010, 10:19:30 PM »
Now to answer your question recent is an important factor because it shows a group trying to redeem themselves. People change, groups change, the world changes but it seems that you nor several other people in this or other threads will admit that its evolving away from violence. If you dont believe we are, then I still want to know, what can we do to fully atone for the sins of the past?

That's interesting. Do you believe that the Church is trying to redeem themselves? If that were the case, then they would have to admit wrongdoing. I don't keep up with Vatican public policy, and I might be mistaken, but the last major error admitted (not counting the current sexual abuse allegations), was their treatment of Galileo.

I do want to say that some of the good the Catholic church does, is maintain a holy standard for devout and good people, that try to do their best to love their neighbor every day. I'm not going to denounce or ignore wrongdoings, but for balance we need to remember the good. The Church is not a solely evil organization. I am not Catholic or Christian, but I know some priests that are some of the most beautiful people i've ever known. These men have sacrificed their lives, through their faith, to give themselves, through love, to others.

We can drum up all sorts of horrors through history and in the current age about the church, but it is not a solely evil organization. It's just an organization in an imperfect world.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2010, 10:49:08 PM »
O.o

How does that not constitute an answer?  As far as I can tell, your questions have been answered more than once.  And as far as what can be done to atone?  I dunno.  Not having issues like the ones I mentioned keep cropping up every so often would be a start.

I asked specifically about violence and major loss of life, you avoided that completely and instead focused on morale and ethical actions that do not fall within those purviews, furthermore ones that (as far as i know) can not be proven. You even went on and questioned whether recent actions were really important to further pull away from having to answer. That is called avoiding the question.

I will accept I dont know as an answer, thats at least an honest one but I will not accept a non-answer from people that wont accept what they themselves define as non-answers

Kurzyk: Yes I do, and I also recall a past Pope saying something along the lines of "They wish they could go back in history and make sure the crusades and inquisition never happened". I can understand where Oniya was coming from with "people always remember the bad stuff and not the good stuff" but doesnt time pass to a point where the bad stuff no longer matters? How do the crusades and the inquisition matter today beyond a lesson of how not to do things or a lesson that power (not religion, power) can be used to do terrible things? In fact doesnt world war 2 serve that same lesson? Let me be clear about 1 thing though, Im not saying forget the past, Im saying there comes a point when it doesnt matter anymore

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2010, 11:05:20 PM »
Just because something isn't violence or major loss of life doesn't mean it's not immoral and wrong.  You're splitting hairs.  I gave you a valid answer, and you tightened the range of your question in order to dismiss it.

...And not provable?  How so?

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2010, 11:15:43 PM »
Just because something isn't violence or major loss of life doesn't mean it's not immoral and wrong.  You're splitting hairs.  I gave you a valid answer, and you tightened the range of your question in order to dismiss it.

...And not provable?  How so?

Ill agree with that, evil can be done without violence or loss of life. I consider the Willful dismissment of facts like not telling the full story about the good and bad that the Catholic church is responsible for could be such a thing  :D

In fact I did not tighten the range after you avoided the question. Go look at the first page, I think my post was 3rd or 4th. Its exactly the same as it has been. It asked specifically about violence from the start and you avoided the question till I called you out on it

I am a big enough man to admit when Im wrong so if you have evidence that can prove guilt or innocence put it up

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2010, 11:27:06 PM »
No, I didn't ignore your question.  I simply thought the issues I mentioned were material to your point.  Let me rephrase myself; your question was too narrow to begin with.

And let's see.  I mentioned the Church's conspicuous inaction during the Nazi regime?  That's proven.  Pedophilia is proven, and more importantly, the Church's faulty handling of it as well.

...I feel kind of silly linking this stuff.  It's all pretty much common knowledge, right?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 11:38:17 PM by Will »

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2010, 11:46:24 PM »
No, I didn't ignore your question.  I simply thought the issues I mentioned were material to your point.  Let me rephrase myself; your question was too narrow to begin with.

And let's see.  I mentioned the Church's conspicuous inaction during the Nazi regime?  That's proven.  Pedophilia is proven, and more importantly, the Church's faulty handling of it as well.

Oh here we go, going from avoiding to dismissal. Just like everyone else around here

Let me make sure I put this in context, the coversation began with me pointing out that the OP and the one discussion with him were both making Christianity out to be the ultimate evil power. I also made a comparison between how extremists fight in recent memory. Muslim extremists are blowing up planes and beheading people while christian extremists tend to fight with words and ideas. Yet Christianity is still seen as the ultimate evil around here

The point was countered with the violence and loss of life of the inquisition (not a recent event mind you). This is where my questions came into play. They were not to narrow, they were right on for what we were discussing. On that note Majere has still not answered them I dont care if others do or dont (although I am curious about the results) but they were posed to him

So you dont have any proof for the churches actions during the Nazi regime, gotcha. Doing nothing is not a crime. Im on record that all pedofile priests should be prosecuted to the full extend of the law and those that were not convicted or settled outside of court are innocent. Im also on record that of those cases that were settled out of court, I believe that the church should go back and charge them with extortion. Im also on record of saying that if the Pope had anything to do with pedofile priests escaping justice he should be tried to the full extent of the law. What does any of that have to do with violence and major loss of life done by the catholic church in recent memory?

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2010, 03:02:33 AM »
Well I'm pretty sure a good number of people in africa are dieing because the catholic church told them condoms would increase HIV. Then there is the uganda (I think it was) That is actively outlawing homosexualty which the catholic church is condoning. Just because stuff isnt happening in the UK/US/Europe Doesnt mean its not happening. Then there is the systamical brainwashing of small children with emotional blackmail and other such torments. Then the hundreds to thousands of people who are dieing because of their religious beliefs to not accept medical treatment. Just because its not in the newspaper doesn't mean its not happening.

Religious people do good? People do good regardless why does it need the religion attached to it? Why is there no atheist oganisations going to charities, could it because there are charities that are not affiliated with religion where the Atheists can go to help so having their own charities is unessersary?

Again, all I've seen from the christian side thus far is people trying to matyr themselves as the big evil as the world, everyone is picking on them, and once again I tell you to get off your high horse because the muslims are having a hell of a harder time than you at the moment!

Then lets have a look at catholics vaunted morality

Response              Number      %
----------------------------  --------
Catholic               29267   39.164%
Protestant             26162   35.008%
Muslim                  5435    7.273%
American Indian         2408    3.222%
Nation                  1734    2.320%
Rasta                   1485    1.987%
Jewish                  1325    1.773%
Church of Christ        1303    1.744%
Pentecostal             1093    1.463%
Moorish                 1066    1.426%
Buddhist                 882    1.180%
Jehovah Witness          665    0.890%
Adventist                621    0.831%
Orthodox                 375    0.502%
Mormon                   298    0.399%
Scientology              190    0.254%
Atheist                  156    0.209%
Hindu                    119    0.159%
Santeria                 117    0.157%
Sikh                      14    0.019%
Bahai                      9    0.012%
Krishna                    7    0.009%


Take a geuss on what that is, what no geusses? Hmm Pershaps I should enlighten you, Its the number of religious or non religious affiliations currently in prison in the US. Atheists, a good 10% of the population, and only 0.2% of the prison population? Here is a explaination. Religion gives people a sense of right and self importance, and two moral codes, the one everyone follows, and the one that actively contradicts it, their religous one. More often than not I try to keep a narrow veiw in these debates and keep to the scripture that the entire religion relies on. Which in the bibles case is a absolutely horrid abomination of a book that has no place in civilised society. That is full of contradictions, and needs outside sources to rescue it from scrutiny. Not really what you would expect from the word of god is it?

Offline Lilias

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2010, 03:18:55 AM »
Care to cite your source? Because that list is not skewed at all towards the percentages of each religion in the general, law-abiding population. No, not at all ::)

Plus, since when is 'Moorish' a religion? ??? Not to mention the staggering display of ignorance that 'American Indian' displays.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2010, 06:39:36 AM »
Denise Golumbaski, who was a Research Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The data was compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997.  This is who gathered the data and when that data was gathered.  Please note that the question asked to the prisoners was their religious affiliation.  This does not include their activity in the religion, strength of their belief or the time when they became believers in that faith.  Notice I do not say practitioners because once more the study does not address that aspect.  Aside from assisting the prison in allocating funds to religious worship, the study has no other use.

Of course that doesn’t stop people from trying to make it do what it cannot. 

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2010, 08:00:01 AM »
I was wondering if that survey took for granted that whatever affiliation was prior to sentence or accounted for the common phenomenon of finding religion in prison. Your info covered that, Pumpkin; thanks a lot.

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2010, 08:37:46 AM »
(tl;dr version:  Agreeing with Pumpkin, math ensues.)

That study does nothing to normalize based on population values.  If 40% of the 'free' population is Catholic, then having around 40% of the 'prison' population identifying as Catholic means bupkis.

Now, if the numbers were 80% free, 40% prison; or 40% free, 80% prison, then that would be something that a statistician could muck about with - and still possibly come up with the wrong reason that the numbers are skewed.

Online Vekseid

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2010, 10:18:37 AM »
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?

Of course you are wrong about that. And you know you are. Language like that does not sway moral arguments, it frustrates people and cements their opinion. I know that when frustrated we all slip into it from time to time, but it really is best avoided.

Now to answer your question recent is an important factor because it shows a group trying to redeem themselves. People change, groups change, the world changes but it seems that you nor several other people in this or other threads will admit that its evolving away from violence. If you dont believe we are, then I still want to know, what can we do to fully atone for the sins of the past?

In the games of power balance is not found by setting x amount of good against y amount of evil and declaring whichever amount is greater the final result. No matter what religion may claim to be in possession of the final, perfected, unalterable truth, perfection is a process and not a destination. Good organizations will self-analyze and root out not only corruption itself, but those processes that allow corruption to foment. Where that is clearly not occurring, we call that 'bad' even though the organization in question may have done a great deal of good.

If you truly want to see those organizations you support thrive, you will support healthy processes within them, and discourage bad ones. This goes for your country, your religious order, your political party, your state, your military unit, your business, and those forums you invest your time in - every organization you are a part of. Every single one of these organizations is made up of human beings, and every single human being has their flaws - from worker to leader.

Some flaws may be intractable. Others may simply not have priority. Inundating a leadership with complaints can be just as bad as misinterpreting a virtue for a flaw. These sorts of things are why we value transparency and discourse.

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2010, 02:41:26 PM »
Brandon, you're really demanding proof of the Catholic Church's inaction during the Holocaust?  They outright apologized for it.  Isn't that proof enough? And no, before you ask, apologies don't ever make anything better.

And why would they have apologized if there was nothing wrong in their inaction?  They aren't exactly the type of organization that just hands out apologies for no reason.

I understood your point just fine, I promise.  My point is that you can't say that "We're all better now, get off our backs" when bad things keep happening.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2010, 05:44:25 PM »
A bit late to add to the topic now, but to quickly address the "religion as opiate" question. Few people realise how pro-religion Marx actually was. The full context of the quotation:

Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

In short, religion is the only thing that made life worth living.

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2010, 05:55:26 PM »
What makes life worth living is down to the individual, some people need the safety net of religion. Taking myself however, I find fulfillment being a learning support to give people oppotunities they would not of otherwise had if I wasnt there to help. I have close friends who I love, and pets that I adore. Its a humble life but what I do makes the world of difference to others. I don't need a religious edict to give me morals or to make me want to do good things, I do good thinks because I want too.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2010, 06:42:45 PM »
Brandon, you're really demanding proof of the Catholic Church's inaction during the Holocaust?  They outright apologized for it.  Isn't that proof enough? And no, before you ask, apologies don't ever make anything better.

And why would they have apologized if there was nothing wrong in their inaction?  They aren't exactly the type of organization that just hands out apologies for no reason.

I understood your point just fine, I promise.  My point is that you can't say that "We're all better now, get off our backs" when bad things keep happening.

Outright or did? Heres the problem Will, I am not nor have I ever been a historical expert. The events that took place in world war 2, that I know of, are related solely to the fights and actions between the Axis and Allies. I fully admit, beyond what I learned in school I have not done any research into the events and of course, school avoids questions regarding religion in the same sense that I would avoid a plague rat. It just makes sense. If youre going to pull out information that is beyond my knowlege or expertise then yes I need a neutral third party evidence to support it, otherwise how do I know if what you're saying is true or not?

Silk: Having been to Africa just a few years ago I can say with some certainty that its not because someone is telling them that condoms cause HIV, its because men in the various settled African civilizations have a psuedo-macho belief that condoms harm their masculinity. I doubt the legitimacy of your claim that the church has willfully misleaded Africans into spreading a dangerous STD, put Im fair. Give me something that can prove that theory.

Ok so yes, lets talk about Uganda. How about we start with Pope Benedicts response to the Anti-gay death law? http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/vatican-speaks-out-against-uganda-anti-gay-laws

Heres the quote that matters

Quote
Pope Benedict is opposed to 'unjust discrimination' against gay men and lesbians

My personal opinion is, that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality and that legally and socially homosexuals should enjoy the same rights and freedoms as I do. At the same time, I always laugh when I hear homosexuals shouting for tolerance and yet see their intolerance for the religions or people that speak out against them. That is of course hypocrasy and it is delicious  ;D

IMO Uganda is less about right and wrong and more about defying the cultural courses that they do not agree with. Its easy for us to try and apply our morales to other cultures and the past but one thing we often forget is that these are very different places and the cultures that have developed have different values. Dont get me wrong, Im not trying to excuse what I believe is an inhumane law but I am trying to make people look at it from Uganda's perspective.

Everyone else already addressed my thoughts on your chart there. Without further data its useless to me and this discussion

Finally I want to ask, what makes you think that I volenteer at a homeless shelter every week because a book or priest tells me to? I do good things because my consience tells me to. I have my own morales that have been influenced by my faith but as Ive made abundantly clear, I dont believe everything that faith tells me either. Cant believe Im about to quote Andrew Ryan of all characters here: "A man chooses, a slave obeys"

Quote
If you truly want to see those organizations you support thrive, you will support healthy processes within them, and discourage bad ones. This goes for your country, your religious order, your political party, your state, your military unit, your business, and those forums you invest your time in - every organization you are a part of. Every single one of these organizations is made up of human beings, and every single human being has their flaws - from worker to leader.

I'll agree with that, and thats precisely why I've started this mission of mine. All to often around Elliquiy people have taken religion out of context to make it into a joke or they spin it to make it out to be worse then the Nazi's. Listening to a few people its almost like they believe another Crusades is just around the corner. This happens frequently around Politics and religion but its not the only place it happens either. While Im fine with purely fictional representations of religion gone wrong (hey they can make great stories) when I see such amazingly ignorant and/or unfair bias for the real world thing I feel I have to speak up, otherwise our "public face" seems to ring true of anti-religion

You yourself know that I once said, "I dont care if I have to be the "bad guy" but I dont want a great website to turn into a pile of crap." That holds true even today

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2010, 09:28:57 PM »
Silk does bring up some good points.  There may be an issue regarding masculinity, but the church did come out saying that condoms will spread HIV.  They did that because condoms let people have pre-marital sex, which is a sin. And homosexuals are being killed, and witches are still being burned at the stake.  Every so often I come across articles about it in my Pagan networks.  And no, I don't think y'all will ever be forgiven for the persecution of witches, no matter what you do. 

Then there is burning books like Harry Potter.  Harry Potter corrupts the souls of children?  Give me a fucking break!  The church has been coming out against movies like the Golden Compass.  They didn't like the DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons much either.  They've actually tried to get things banned because it's insulting to Christianity.  That's imposing on the freedom of non Christians to produce and watch/read what we want. 

The church is still trying to tell people what to think and believe, and trying to shove it down everyone else's throats.  I think that's why it's the most disliked religion.  Muslim terrorists are an  extremist group and a small percentage of the whole.  But Christian people bang on our doors and preach, tell us we're going to hell, picket and protest things in the media they don't like, molest little kids and hide it, and all sorts of things that make them a major pain in the ass. 

Like I said, I always look at the individual, but there is only so much ear rape a non Christian can take... Some Christians have taken it upon themselves to spread the word of God and make everyone see the light even if it means ramming it down their throats repeatedly until they convert just to shut you up. 

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #52 on: June 10, 2010, 12:47:52 AM »
Silk does bring up some good points.  There may be an issue regarding masculinity, but the church did come out saying that condoms will spread HIV.  They did that because condoms let people have pre-marital sex, which is a sin. And homosexuals are being killed, and witches are still being burned at the stake.  Every so often I come across articles about it in my Pagan networks.  And no, I don't think y'all will ever be forgiven for the persecution of witches, no matter what you do. 

My first thought to all those points is bull. It screams of the same bias I was talking about earlier. You make these bold claims all of them deragotory and you provide no evidence for your claims. Not a single article, police report, or anything to support the claim. From my point of view, that is demonizing a group of people so it makes it easier for people to hate them. Very similar to what most people claim the catholic church does for gays. Once again: Mmmmm hypocrisy

However, at the very least I can respect your opinion about redeeming ourselves during the actions of the witch trials. Thats at least honest. Although interestingly enough there was not a single Pagan murdered during the witch trials, most of them were christians on the wrong side of land disputes and rivalries, although I do recall a voodoo practicing slave in the mix too...her name started with a T I think.

Then there is burning books like Harry Potter.  Harry Potter corrupts the souls of children?  Give me a fucking break!  The church has been coming out against movies like the Golden Compass.  They didn't like the DaVinci Code or Angels and Demons much either.  They've actually tried to get things banned because it's insulting to Christianity.  That's imposing on the freedom of non Christians to produce and watch/read what we want. 

So what? So does everyone. God forbid the catholic church responds unfavorably to an anti-catholic movie/game/book even though anyone else in their position would do the exact same thing. Dont believe me? Take a look back at Russia's response to the "No Russian" level in Modern warfare 2.

The church is still trying to tell people what to think and believe, and trying to shove it down everyone else's throats.  I think that's why it's the most disliked religion.  Muslim terrorists are an  extremist group and a small percentage of the whole.  But Christian people bang on our doors and preach, tell us we're going to hell, picket and protest things in the media they don't like, molest little kids and hide it, and all sorts of things that make them a major pain in the ass. 

Alright, at this point I feel Ive made my views on the inappropriate behavoir of catholic priests abundantly clear so I will no longer be listening to it at all, even though people will never let it go. So tell me what the difference is between religious orders knocking on your door and lets say girl scouts who wont leave you alone till you buy their cookies? or how about rebulicans/democrats trying to get their man elected to the local office? Oh wait I think I know, its just the frequency in which it happens...

Like I said, I always look at the individual, but there is only so much ear rape a non Christian can take... Some Christians have taken it upon themselves to spread the word of God and make everyone see the light even if it means ramming it down their throats repeatedly until they convert just to shut you up. 

Sounds to me like your problem isnt with the majority at all but with a minority within the group. What a surprise

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #53 on: June 10, 2010, 02:50:54 AM »
It's the minority within any group that tends to cause problems, but if the majority says or does nothing to stop them, then the entire group gets tarred with the same brush. If your only experience, or the majority of your experiences, with a particular demographic are negative, then you will think badly of them, regardless of how good the rest of that group are. That, unfortunately, is human nature.

Here's a news article about the condoms and AIDS thing

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/oct/09/aids

If you go here

http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcra.htm

and scroll down, you'll find a number of news stories about Christian hostility towards (I think specifically) Wicca.

The witch burning, from what I can understand, seems to be mainly an African issue these days. I recall a story or two from England last year of children being tortured and killed because their parents thought they were witches / possessed or what have you. I'm afraid I don't have time to go looking for news links at the moment though.

The way I look at it, power corrupts. Be that power social, religious, political or whatever, give them wrong person power and they will abuse it. Unfortunately when you add religion to the mix, you have people that believe that whatever they do IT IS RIGHT, because their God tells them so. That makes a bad mix even worse.

Offline Cythieus

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #54 on: June 10, 2010, 06:41:13 AM »
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.

So does Islam and they're continually coddled for it. When was the last time Catholicism inspired large scale war or even attacks outside of the country where the Catholics planning them resided? I'll give you a clue, it was before the Reformation and they still get crap over it. That's the issue. People act like the words said by the Catholic church make them the criminals of the century.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #55 on: June 10, 2010, 07:09:26 AM »
So does Islam and they're continually coddled for it. When was the last time Catholicism inspired large scale war or even attacks outside of the country where the Catholics planning them resided? I'll give you a clue, it was before the Reformation and they still get crap over it. That's the issue. People act like the words said by the Catholic church make them the criminals of the century.

First, Islam does not get coddled. Second, the organization within Catholicism and Islam are very different and you cannot compare them easily. The Pope is the spiritual, and de facto speaker of God's will on Earth. What he says is law. Urban II said that there would be a crusade and there was a crusade. But Islam does not have a speaker of God's law on the Earth. Instead, they have Imam's which replaced the priests and cardinals in a way, and each and every one of them can put a Fatwa on someone. A Catholic priest does not have the same power, but he must adhere to the structure and organization of the Catholic church. Islam does not have the same structure, as each community makes it's own decisions.
Let me make a diagram.

Pope - Priest - Action
[Absent] - Imam - Action
                  Imam - Action
                   Imam - Action
                    Imam - Action

Islam does not have the same systematic decisions as Catholicism, and they cannot get the same criticism. Yes, "Orthodox" Islam does preach the same violations against Human Rights as "Orthodox" Catholicism does, with a few minor variations. But as an organization, the Catholic church deserves criticism despite what Islam is doing. Even if Islam would become the most evil thing on the planet, the Catholic Church, as an organization, would deserve the same criticism because of the points I've made earlier. And declaring wars isn't the point, even though the Catholic Church supported the Nazi Movement and their the war effort.

Offline Cythieus

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #56 on: June 10, 2010, 09:02:05 AM »
First, Islam does not get coddled. Second, the organization within Catholicism and Islam are very different and you cannot compare them easily. The Pope is the spiritual, and de facto speaker of God's will on Earth. What he says is law. Urban II said that there would be a crusade and there was a crusade. But Islam does not have a speaker of God's law on the Earth. Instead, they have Imam's which replaced the priests and cardinals in a way, and each and every one of them can put a Fatwa on someone. A Catholic priest does not have the same power, but he must adhere to the structure and organization of the Catholic church. Islam does not have the same structure, as each community makes it's own decisions.
Let me make a diagram.

Pope - Priest - Action
[Absent] - Imam - Action
                  Imam - Action
                   Imam - Action
                    Imam - Action

Islam does not have the same systematic decisions as Catholicism, and they cannot get the same criticism. Yes, "Orthodox" Islam does preach the same violations against Human Rights as "Orthodox" Catholicism does, with a few minor variations. But as an organization, the Catholic church deserves criticism despite what Islam is doing. Even if Islam would become the most evil thing on the planet, the Catholic Church, as an organization, would deserve the same criticism because of the points I've made earlier. And declaring wars isn't the point, even though the Catholic Church supported the Nazi Movement and their the war effort.

Pulling an episode of South Park because it shows Mohammad is coddling, no matter what you say. If I called and raised a stink about Jesus in an episode they'd laugh and hang up.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #57 on: June 10, 2010, 09:10:51 AM »
Looks like a slanted article regarding condom use there Hairy, according to the CDC (a much more reputable organization then I would consider any news group) condoms can reduce but not eliminate the chance of infection. Source: http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm

For a minute you had me going there, I thought that there might have been new discoveries since I learned about this stuff in high school, and then relearned it in the military, and then had to suffer through yet again when I was dating that Nurse. That said, seeing that they cant get the facts straight about condom use I also question their ability to report a story. One thing that really jumps out at me is this

Quote
n Lwak, near Lake Victoria, the director of an Aids testing centre says he cannot distribute condoms because of church opposition. Gordon Wambi told the programme: "Some priests have even been saying that condoms are laced with HIV/Aids."

Who are these priests? Why didnt the journalists follow up on the claim? Why is the director of the testing center unable to distribute anything due to religious opposition? For that matter who is this Gordon Wambi guy, is he the director of that testing facility, an employee, a guy on the street?

Looking back the article also says this

Quote
The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.

The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.

What is this widespread scientific consensus? Who did it (I assume it was the World health organization but that isnt made clear)? Where can I look at the results and how the data was gathered? Why hasnt the CDC updated their website to conform to this new study? How is it that this article was written in 2003, yet in 2007 or 2008 we were still going by condoms are effective but not 100% reliable to prevent HIV and AIDS infection?

The most basic questions regarding just those pieces are unanswered showing either a huge slant or bad journalism. In todays day and age my gut tells me its more likely the former

The Wiccan site, after reading just 1 article (specifically WORLD PAGAN LEADERS ADDRESS THE POPE) is so unbelievably slanted it made me laugh. I may favorite that one, it was almost as funny as watching Zero punctuation. Alright, alright, so religion is serious business I shouldnt be laughing. However its very clear to me that the Wiccan site either knows very little about Catholic views and goals, they are just unbelievably biased, or theyre just intolerant of the church. There may be another reason that isnt crossing my mind

Anyway, Xenophile. I know nothing of Islam, would you mind posting your source for this information?


Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #58 on: June 10, 2010, 09:30:30 AM »
Pulling an episode of South Park because it shows Mohammad is coddling, no matter what you say. If I called and raised a stink about Jesus in an episode they'd laugh and hang up.

It isn't a law within any Christian mainstream religion against depicting religious figures. It is in Islam. It wasn't a case of coddling. Either, it's a case of respecting the religious laws of the Islamic faith, or Fox was scared of Fundamentalist reprisals. You take your pick.

And bear in mind, Blasphemy of any religion is in Norway, and Ireland has laws against Blasphemy too. Isn't that a case of Christian coddling too?

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #59 on: June 10, 2010, 09:37:18 AM »
Xenophile. I know nothing of Islam, would you mind posting your source for this information?

Because you know nothing about it, you want me to provide you with sources about the second most largest religion in the world?

I'm not trying to sound crass, but maybe it's time to read up on it.

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #60 on: June 10, 2010, 09:42:06 AM »
Possibly a good starting point?

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/k/koran/

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #61 on: June 10, 2010, 09:43:05 AM »
Because you know nothing about it, you want me to provide you with sources about the second most largest religion in the world?

I'm not trying to sound crass, but maybe it's time to read up on it.

Mission failed, that sounded pretty crass but thats ok I can forgive ya.

If Im to participate in the conversation then yes Ill need to read about it. Since your an Atheist (or at least Im pretty sure you've called yourself one in the past) I figured you would have an excellent online source I can look over.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #62 on: June 10, 2010, 09:52:44 AM »
Mission failed, that sounded pretty crass but thats ok I can forgive ya.

If Im to participate in the conversation then yes Ill need to read about it. Since your an Atheist (or at least Im pretty sure you've called yourself one in the past) I figured you would have an excellent online source I can look over.

I'm more basing my points on a couple of years of highschool with classes focused on religion studies and civics studies and a couple of years of university where I attended a few months of Ethnography, and I made research on the Philippine island of Mindanao when it comes to the Islamic conflict of that region.

I have none of the books with me to cite you sources, I'm afraid.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 12:31:01 PM by Xenophile »

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #63 on: June 10, 2010, 12:28:52 PM »
What is this widespread scientific consensus? Who did it (I assume it was the World health organization but that isnt made clear)? Where can I look at the results and how the data was gathered? Why hasnt the CDC updated their website to conform to this new study? How is it that this article was written in 2003, yet in 2007 or 2008 we were still going by condoms are effective but not 100% reliable to prevent HIV and AIDS infection?

This is from the CDC website that you linked-
Quote
Overall, the preponderance of available epidemiological studies have found that when used consistently and correctly, condoms are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV infection and reduce the risk of other STDs.
This is clearly not in agreement with the misinformation being spread in Africa.  Wtf, "tiny holes?"  So the HIV just goes right through?  No.  The failure of a condom to prevent HIV has more to do with human error or the occasional defective product.  If you want to split hairs over whether condoms are 100% effective or 99.9% effective, then go right ahead, but I don't think it's a worthwhile difference.  Especially not enough of a difference to say to hell with condoms altogether.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2010, 02:34:46 PM »
Looks like a slanted article regarding condom use there Hairy, according to the CDC (a much more reputable organization then I would consider any news group) condoms can reduce but not eliminate the chance of infection. Source: http://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/latex.htm

I'm not exactly sure what you're refering to there. The only comment I can see on efficiency is

The WHO has condemned the Vatican's views, saying: "These incorrect statements about condoms and HIV are dangerous when we are facing a global pandemic which has already killed more than 20 million people, and currently affects at least 42 million."

The organisation says "consistent and correct" condom use reduces the risk of HIV infection by 90%. There may be breakage or slippage of condoms - but not, the WHO says, holes through which the virus can pass .


So yeah, they can reduce risk of infection. I don't think anyone said it was an absolutely foolproof method of preventing infection.

Who are these priests? Why didnt the journalists follow up on the claim? Why is the director of the testing center unable to distribute anything due to religious opposition? For that matter who is this Gordon Wambi guy, is he the director of that testing facility, an employee, a guy on the street?

Looking back the article also says this

What is this widespread scientific consensus? Who did it (I assume it was the World health organization but that isnt made clear)? Where can I look at the results and how the data was gathered? Why hasnt the CDC updated their website to conform to this new study? How is it that this article was written in 2003, yet in 2007 or 2008 we were still going by condoms are effective but not 100% reliable to prevent HIV and AIDS infection?

The most basic questions regarding just those pieces are unanswered showing either a huge slant or bad journalism. In todays day and age my gut tells me its more likely the former

I can't answer any of those questions, as I don't know. I will agree that news reporting should be that .. reporting, and not shaping and influencing. Unfortunately that's the way things seem to be these days.

The Wiccan site, after reading just 1 article (specifically WORLD PAGAN LEADERS ADDRESS THE POPE) is so unbelievably slanted it made me laugh. I may favorite that one, it was almost as funny as watching Zero punctuation. Alright, alright, so religion is serious business I shouldnt be laughing. However its very clear to me that the Wiccan site either knows very little about Catholic views and goals, they are just unbelievably biased, or theyre just intolerant of the church. There may be another reason that isnt crossing my mind

Ok, I don't know what article you did read, but apparently you missed the ones I suggested you look at. Try this link instead

http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_conf4.htm

Oh, and the site isn't Wiccan, that's just the Wiccan section of it. This sums the site up

http://www.religioustolerance.org/1st_visi.htm


Offline Lilias

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #65 on: June 10, 2010, 02:41:18 PM »
It isn't a law within any Christian mainstream religion against depicting religious figures. It is in Islam. It wasn't a case of coddling. Either, it's a case of respecting the religious laws of the Islamic faith, or Fox was scared of Fundamentalist reprisals. You take your pick.

Religious laws bind only those who follow the particular religion (which the creators of South Park do not). They can become state laws under theocratical governments (which that of the US is not). There's no reason why this law should get more respect than the prohibitions against pork and alcohol.

I'm all for the fundie reprisals explanation - we've all seen what happened in Denmark, after all. But I do wonder what happened so suddenly to that 'no negotiating with terrorists' attitude.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #66 on: June 10, 2010, 03:09:03 PM »
Religious laws bind only those who follow the particular religion (which the creators of South Park do not). They can become state laws under theocratical governments (which that of the US is not). There's no reason why this law should get more respect than the prohibitions against pork and alcohol.

I'm all for the fundie reprisals explanation - we've all seen what happened in Denmark, after all. But I do wonder what happened so suddenly to that 'no negotiating with terrorists' attitude.

There are bakeries that make Mazda for the Jewish community, as well as slaughter houses which prepare meat according to traditional fashions. We can argue about how wrong it was of Fox to censor their writers to appease a religious group, but we cannot forget that it could be a respectful action to the Muslim community. Just because a law doesn't apply to me doesn't mean I can respect the person next to me. The same applies to inter-religious relations.

I hope you do not assume that every Muslim who would be offended at a violation against an important religious dogma would be a terrorist.

Offline Lilias

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #67 on: June 10, 2010, 04:17:57 PM »
I hope you do not assume that every Muslim who would be offended at a violation against an important religious dogma would be a terrorist.

Far from that. But the protests would be considered on a par with Westboro Baptist's picketings, if they didn't actually threaten people's lives and properties. That is terrorism.

Before the thread is sidetracked, I fail to see why one religious side has the right to be offended at what they perceive as blasphemy and another doesn't.

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #68 on: June 10, 2010, 04:25:54 PM »
Far from that. But the protests would be considered on a par with Westboro Baptist's picketings, if they didn't actually threaten people's lives and properties. That is terrorism.

Before the thread is sidetracked, I fail to see why one religious side has the right to be offended at what they perceive as blasphemy and another doesn't.

Oh, a religious group has every right to be offended. If a religious group would not be allowed to be offended, then something is very wrong.

But every insult needs a proportional reply. The Danish cartoons had a disproportionate reply from many Muslim, and Islamic communities. Everyone has the right to be insulted. The important thing to remember is if the insult is deserving, and how you react to the insult itself.

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #69 on: June 10, 2010, 05:03:13 PM »
There are bakeries that make Mazda for the Jewish community, as well as slaughter houses which prepare meat according to traditional fashions.

Erm - Matzo.  :-)  Just as a note, many of the kosher regulations are sanitation based, including the bit about having separate utensils for meat and non-meat (prevents cross contamination, and I've seen things marketed to non-Jewish folks under that product claim.)  I recall one case where a slaughterhouse went from kosher to non-kosher, and the slacker regulations resulted in contaminated beef getting into the local market.

Also, major companies like Coca Cola will produce special 'kosher for Passover' products.  Kosher Coke is made with cane instead of corn syrup, and tastes a lot better, in my opinion ;D

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #70 on: June 10, 2010, 05:10:24 PM »
Wait wait wait wait. Since when are insults ever deserved? They provoke emotional rather then rational thought and immediately set up barriers in the human mind so that the person is far less likely to agree to anything counter to their opinion in the discussion. Beyond that insults also show a collective immaturity (of the one doing the insulting) or intolerance for the one being insulted, perhaps both in some cases.

Granted we all do it as a form of retaliation but that still doesnt make it right

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #71 on: June 10, 2010, 05:20:04 PM »
Erm - Matzo.  :-)  Just as a note, many of the kosher regulations are sanitation based, including the bit about having separate utensils for meat and non-meat (prevents cross contamination, and I've seen things marketed to non-Jewish folks under that product claim.)  I recall one case where a slaughterhouse went from kosher to non-kosher, and the slacker regulations resulted in contaminated beef getting into the local market.

Also, major companies like Coca Cola will produce special 'kosher for Passover' products.  Kosher Coke is made with cane instead of corn syrup, and tastes a lot better, in my opinion ;D

Ah, sorry. I'm not fluent in Yiddish  :-)

Many of the "Hebrew food regulations" are sanitation based as you said, but they have gone from simple guidelines to religious law. In the ancient Middle East, eating shellfish could be hazardous because it could get spoiled very easily, but nothing should prevent anyone form eating well prepared food.

But that's a side-track. The point is that religious laws are respected. Even when certain nations have laws against blood letting as a measure to kill animals in slaughter houses, some get special permission because a religious group cannot eat meat treated in any other way. We can all talk about whether it is humane or not, but the point is that religious groups get respected on some points and it isn't considered coddling when it happens.

Offline Soran

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #72 on: June 10, 2010, 05:48:12 PM »
Okay, I'm going to be bad (Don't hate me as I should be asleep) by bypassing the pages of arguments to answer the opening question.

Yes, Religion is a control mechanism, regardless of the religion (I know there are exceptions, just too tired to go into it)

You see interpretation is key here, not interpretation of religious texts by the masses, but by the religious leaders. They control what is preached, how they view other religions and quite often incur hatred towards other religions and nations by their teachings. That is controlling thoughts and actions of their followers. If that is not a control mechanism then clearly I'm looking in the wrong dictionary. *heads off to bed*

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #73 on: June 10, 2010, 05:56:49 PM »
Heres what I was talking about Hairy, bolded for your pleasure

Quote
The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk.

The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to HIV.


im·per·me·a·ble
   /ɪmˈpɜrmiəbəl/ Show Spelled[im-pur-mee-uh-buhl] Show IPA
–adjective
1.
not permeable; impassable.
2.
Chemistry, Geology . (of porous substances, rocks, etc.) not permitting the passage of a fluid through the pores, interstices, etc.

That scientific study (that is not cited specifically mind you) is saying that condoms are 100% effective against infection of the HIV virus. They also go on to say that its a worldwide consensus but the CDC's information runs counter to that. According to the CDC no matter what you do condoms are not 100% reliable when preventing infection. Later on the article even contradicts itself

Quote
The organisation (reffering to the WHO) says "consistent and correct" condom use reduces the risk of HIV infection by 90%. There may be breakage or slippage of condoms - but not, the WHO says, holes through which the virus can pass .

So here, they start out by saying this consensus says theyre 100% effective in preventing infection. Later on (seen above) they go back and say its about 90% effective, then 1 sentance later goes back to 100% effectiveness. This is not one of those casses where you can have it both ways, you either teach that they are 100% effective or that they arent 100% effective. Ill agree any prevention is better then none but its clear that the article (or perhaps the WHO) cant get their facts straight. That calls everything else into question

Now I want to switch gears to the Tiny holes in the condoms point. I can not find a translation in Bantu (the most widely used language for Uganda) for the word Microscopic (the holes reffered to are indeed Microscopic) so this is likely a translation problem when Tiny gets substituted for the word Microscopic.

Will: I might agree with you about the numbers not mattering if it was something between 50% and 99% but teaching people that your garanteed not to get infected when you really can is dangerous. If it wasnt 100% vs any other number I would likely agree with you
« Last Edit: June 10, 2010, 06:49:54 PM by Brandon »

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #74 on: June 10, 2010, 06:14:24 PM »
Ah, ok. I may have missed that bit.

Offline Majere DreavanTopic starter

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #75 on: June 10, 2010, 08:26:12 PM »
Okay, I'm going to be bad (Don't hate me as I should be asleep) by bypassing the pages of arguments to answer the opening question.

Yes, Religion is a control mechanism, regardless of the religion (I know there are exceptions, just too tired to go into it)

You see interpretation is key here, not interpretation of religious texts by the masses, but by the religious leaders. They control what is preached, how they view other religions and quite often incur hatred towards other religions and nations by their teachings. That is controlling thoughts and actions of their followers. If that is not a control mechanism then clearly I'm looking in the wrong dictionary. *heads off to bed*

Hold on, Are we for real gonna get back on track!? Awesome!! Can't wait!

On to you others, Christianity is not evil. People who are christians have the ability to be evil
Catholicism, is not evil. People who are Catholic, have the capacity to be evil.
Atheism, is not evil, People are evil.

Want to know the real reason all these people died? All these terrible things were done by so and so and whoever? People are a plague on the earth, and if it wasn't for some sort of reason to do good, we would all do bad. If religion was completely absent, we would have no reason to better ourselves, we would sit in sin and vice and destroy our world. People need to be controlled, And civil law is a weak way to control. But religion is a good way.

Hence the argument, Is religion, Merely a control mechanism invented by the ancient humans to prevent cataclysm?

Offline Xenophile

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #76 on: June 10, 2010, 08:31:16 PM »
Is religion, Merely a control mechanism invented by the ancient humans to prevent cataclysm?

I believe that this will an worthwhile addition to this debate.

The Evolution of Religions

"The Evolution of Religions", a lecture by Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA.

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #77 on: June 10, 2010, 09:02:10 PM »
You want articles?  Okay then....

'Witches' burnt to death in Kenya

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8119201.stm

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/18/world/apartheid-s-grisly-aftermath-witch-burning.html

http://www.google.com/#q=witch+burning+africa&hl=en&prmd=v&source=univ&tbs=vid:1&tbo=u&ei=bYsRTIGGGIKKlwfpoKzTBw&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CC4QqwQwAw&fp=68f5903c0105829e

There you are....  It's not bullshit, there are even videos.  Are the BBC and New York Times reliable enough sources for you?  It's the ugly truth.  Also, actual witches may not have been killed in the Salem witch trials, but I'm sure some were in Medieval Europe.  And that really isn't even the problem.  The problem comes because the church decided to take the stance of if you can't convert them, demonize and kill them!  I don't remember the exact chapter and numbers, but there is a phrase that now reads; 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'.  In the original Greek the phrase was; 'thou shalt not suffer that which poisons to live'. 

And actually, girl scouts don't come knocking on my door and hound me.  We occasionally get kids doing school fundraisers, but you can't even compare that because they aren't even trying to get me to believe anything.  I get Christian fliers left on the inside of my door by local churches.  I find it to be complete arrogance on their part to think I just need to be shown the way.  I'm good thanks.

Oh, and there is the assumption that the country was founded on Christian values, and it needs to be kept that way.  Benjamin Franklin was a founding father, right?

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/288090/ben_franklin_and_his_membership_in.html

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Illuminati/hellfire_club.htm

He was also a member of a Satanist club.....  I know I'm a bit rusty, but isn't Satan the enemy of God?

Now... onto the Pope and condoms....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29734328/


I'm really not sure why you have taken upon yourself to defend Christianity so fiercely.  I was merely explaining why the religion has become a target, but you had to rip everything apart because I didn't list evidence?  And when Hairy did link an article, you had to rip that apart too.  How much do you know about your own religion? 

The Pope is the figurehead.  All those nuts protesting, the people knocking on doors... this is what the public sees.  The public face of the church is not a positive one right now.  And yes, other people protest things like violent video games, but if you jumped off a bridge, and a bunch of other people did it too, but for a different reason, does that automatically mean you're any less of an idiot?  Anyone who protests anything out of ignorance is still a nutjob, religious conviction doesn't magically make it okay. 

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #78 on: June 10, 2010, 09:17:54 PM »
Aha! I think I found what you were talking about with people being burned at the stake Hairy. For the record, after what I saw in the article I listed I believe that this site is intolerant of Christianity, but for now Im going to try and assume that it is not. Source: http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_afri.htm

Quote
"In Southern Africa, decades of violent repression and armed struggles against it have led to a 'culture of violence'. Witchcraft and witch hunts [directed against evil sorcery] are but two manifestations of that." 1

The Ministry of Safety and Security of South Africa's Northern Province created a Commission of Inquiry into Witchcraft, Violence and Ritual Killings. The Commission issued a report in 1996-MAY which showed that thousands of people had been accused of witchcraft, run out of town and lost their property. More than 300 had been killed by vigilante mobs over the previous ten years. The victims were accused of "shape-shifting" themselves from human form into bats and birds, of converting people into zombies, and of causing death by calling down lightning or through the use of toxic medicines. These beliefs are quite similar to those which circulated during the Witch burning craze of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe circa 1450 to 1792 CE. Those Witches didn't exist either. One possible source of confusion in the country is the Suppression of Witchcraft Act (1957) which does not differentiate between most forms of traditional African healing and evil sorcery (black magic). It banned both practices.

Ten farms have been set up in the Northern Province to hold hundreds of refugees who have been found guilty of witchcraft by traditionalist kangaroo courts and are in danger of being assassinated by mob action.

The Congolese Human Rights Observatory recently announced that more than 60 people had been burned or buried alive in that country since 1990 - including 40 in 1996. The victims were accused, often by members of their own family, of being witches.

On 1998-SEP-7, a conference involving about 200 police and government representatives was convened in Thohoyandou, South Africa. Its purpose was to curb Witchcraft-related deaths. Between 1994-APR and 1995-FEB, 97 women and 46 men in South Africa had been accused of being Witches or Wizards, and murdered by townspeople or rural individuals. In the first 6 months of 1998, in the Northern Province alone, 386 crimes had been perpetrated against suspected witches; these included murder, damage to property and assault. Victims accused of Witchcraft are typically women between 55 and 72 years of age. Murders are most common in the rainy season, when Witches are accused of directing lightning at people that they wish to destroy.

It will be very difficult to eradicate crimes against suspected Witches. Ill-educated people are convinced that evil Witches exist and react violently in what they consider to be self-defense.

According to African Eye News Service, The South African Gender Commission is  sponsoring a road show which features former Witch-hunters committed to changing people's beliefs about Witches and evil spirits. Some of the 33 actors had been given amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after they testified that witchcraft-related violence in the former homelands was politically motivated. The Gender Commission said on 2000-JUL-19 that its road show had dramatically reduced Witchcraft-related violence.

Alright well the thought of witches being burned at the stake is indeed disturbing in todays day and age. I can not deny that the events are christian influenced by the actions taken during the Medevil and Rennisance eras, but are they done by christians? Well the odds say yes they are here is a breakdown of the religious population in Congo: Protestant (including Kimbanguism) 46.5%, Roman Catholic 41.5%, Orthodox 0.1%, other Christian 6.9%, Indigenous 2.8%, Muslim 0.9%, Non-religious 0.7%, Hindu 0.1%, and other 0.5%[59]. According to Encycolpedia Britanica the continents breakdown looks like this: 45% of the population are Muslims, 40% are Christians and less than 15% are non-religious or follow African religions.

So the odds say that Christians are probably burning "Witches" in Africa. I question whats really going on down there but I highly doubt it has anything to do with Witches. The Salem witch trials showed us the depths of mankinds willingness to manipulate the law to get rid of people in the case of rivalries or feed their greed due to land disputes but I honestly can not fathom how a Father or mother could send their own child to a gruesome and painful end like that. Once again, we see an anti-witch law and in turn death follows. It seems to me that the law is the problem, not the religion

Lets take a look at the response from the Pope though. Source: http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/condemned-pope-witchcraft-reality-africa

Quote
Many Africans, the pope said, “are living in fear of spirits, of malign and threatening powers. In their bewilderment, they end up even condemning street children and the elderly as alleged sorcerers.”

Benedict called upon Catholics to “to proclaim that Christ has triumphed over death and all those occult powers.”

A lot of people will look at that and say "See! They arent condemning burning Witches." and you know what? You would be right but you miss the finer point. The subtle message that says, be careful not to condemn the innocent in your fear. We all do stupid and sometimes terrible things when were afraid, thats human nature. Personally Im pretty disappointed in the Pope for that statement

Sparkling Angel: IN todays day and age the media has become corrupt, always spinning things to promote some view point or agenda. So knowing that, yes. Yes I am going to go over the articles. Yes I am going to speak up if I see slant. Yes I am going to point it out when I see FACTS contradicting each other. Most of all you are absolutely right that I am going to stand up against the bias

"The only thing necessary for the truimph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

I see the systematic demonizing of a religious group as evil. So you know what, you better believe Im going to do something about it

I will read and respond to your articles later

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #79 on: June 10, 2010, 09:38:15 PM »
The thing is, I'm not demonizing Christianity.  The point I was trying to make is that the church is catching so much flack lately because of all the things that they've done in the past, AND the things they are doing now. 

I will agree that when it comes to politics, the media can be a bit slanted sometimes.  But when it comes to quotes, and recorded events, you can't attack it because it isn't what you want to hear.  The article I listed does quote the Pope as saying condoms are not the answer to curing AIDS, but rather the practice of abstinence is.  While that may actually help, it is well known that the Catholic church says contraception is a sin because God told Adam and Eve to multiply and be fruitful.   



Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #80 on: June 10, 2010, 10:28:59 PM »
The thing is, I'm not demonizing Christianity.  The point I was trying to make is that the church is catching so much flack lately because of all the things that they've done in the past, AND the things they are doing now. 

"the church did come out saying that condoms will spread HIV."

"The church is still trying to tell people what to think and believe, and trying to shove it down everyone else's throats."

"But Christian people bang on our doors and preach, tell us we're going to hell, picket and protest things in the media they don't like, molest little kids and hide it, and all sorts of things that make them a major pain in the ass.  "

"Some Christians have taken it upon themselves to spread the word of God and make everyone see the light even if it means ramming it down their throats repeatedly until they convert just to shut you up.  "

Thats all from one post. Are you seriously trying to tell me you werent trying to demonize them? If so we must have very different definitions of that word

I will agree that when it comes to politics, the media can be a bit slanted sometimes.  But when it comes to quotes, and recorded events, you can't attack it because it isn't what you want to hear. 

True. What does that have to do with a news article that 1. Doesnt site its sources. 2. shows bad journalism habits. 3. Has an obvious slant and 4. Contradicts itself? Hairy's news article, was not Journalism, it was more "hate these guys" speech. Did I not prove that?

The article I listed does quote the Pope as saying condoms are not the answer to curing AIDS, but rather the practice of abstinence is.  While that may actually help, it is well known that the Catholic church says contraception is a sin because God told Adam and Eve to multiply and be fruitful.   

That bolded part is incorrect. Unatural contraception is what they are against. Theres a book keeping method (I dont remember what the name is, if it has a name) where the female keeps track of menstration cycles and periods to determine her current fertility rate. That is an accepted form of birth control in the catholic church as well as abstinence. However going strictly by the bible any kind of sex for any reason except procreation is also a sin. Evolution of the church's beliefs, right there in front of you


Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #81 on: June 10, 2010, 10:32:34 PM »
You keep splitting hairs, Brandon.  -_-

Replace "contraception" with "condoms," and the point remains the same.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #82 on: June 10, 2010, 10:47:28 PM »
You keep splitting hairs, Brandon.  -_-

Replace "contraception" with "condoms," and the point remains the same.

Unnatural condoms is what theyre against...maybe Im missing something here can you elaborate? Doesnt everything come from nature in some form from human beings to toxic waste? Maybe I just dont get what youre trying to say

Point of order: I was correcting a common misconception. Subtle differences can be important, for example someone once said that Catholic belief forces you to be a good person (by their standards). Thats incorrect, it tells you there are consequences for acting as a good or evil person. The choice to be either is still yours

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #83 on: June 10, 2010, 10:52:49 PM »
That bolded part is incorrect. Unatural contraception is what they are against. Theres a book keeping method (I dont remember what the name is, if it has a name) where the female keeps track of menstration cycles and periods to determine her current fertility rate. That is an accepted form of birth control in the catholic church as well as abstinence. However going strictly by the bible any kind of sex for any reason except procreation is also a sin. Evolution of the church's beliefs, right there in front of you

Speaking as a woman who keeps obsessively rigorous track of her cycles:  What you are referring to is called the 'rhythm method'.  There is a word for people whose only form of contraception is the rhythm method.



Parents.

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #84 on: June 10, 2010, 11:21:54 PM »
Unnatural condoms is what theyre against...maybe Im missing something here can you elaborate? Doesnt everything come from nature in some form from human beings to toxic waste? Maybe I just dont get what youre trying to say

Point of order: I was correcting a common misconception. Subtle differences can be important, for example someone once said that Catholic belief forces you to be a good person (by their standards). Thats incorrect, it tells you there are consequences for acting as a good or evil person. The choice to be either is still yours

But correcting that common misconception does nothing to change his point, nor does it affect much of anything else. : /

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #85 on: June 10, 2010, 11:43:11 PM »
But correcting that common misconception does nothing to change his point, nor does it affect much of anything else. : /

Thats not really true, because it proves that there are some forms of contraception that the church allows for. Theres a big difference between saying "you cant have any contraception" and "you have these options". Kind of like if you were diagnosed with cancer and the difference between someone saying "We can do nothing for you" and "Well we can do this this and this". Once again it comes into absolutes, just like the HIV infection rate through condom use mentioned earlier (100% myth vs the 90+% fact). You didnt think that mattered either but it absolutely does because one is an absolute

« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 01:19:12 AM by Brandon »

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2010, 11:49:19 PM »
These differences don't change the point of the statements.  The Catholic Church lied about the condoms; the degree to which they lied is irrelevant.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #87 on: June 10, 2010, 11:57:37 PM »
These differences don't change the point of the statements.  The Catholic Church lied about the condoms; the degree to which they lied is irrelevant.

You say they lied about the effectivness of condoms but Ive yet to see your source for that information. You obviously cant use Hairy's article because I already showed that it was, at the very least, suspect. We keep going around in circles here Will.

Offline Will


Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #89 on: June 11, 2010, 12:48:03 AM »
*points to the exact same contradiction that was in Hairy's article*

Once again, translation and same myth occures. Did you read Hairy's article? because that was the same article as this one

« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 12:49:49 AM by Brandon »

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #90 on: June 11, 2010, 02:18:38 AM »
You do realise your comparing a full condition product to a dysfunctional one brandon. Saying a broken condom doesn't work has no basis on the effectiveness of condoms that are not damaged in some way. It would be like saying "Fire alarms should not be used because sometimes their battery runs out, So you are better off not having a fire alarm and removing all things from your home that can catch and cause a fire" It leaves no real alternative to not using a dysfunctional product.

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #91 on: June 11, 2010, 02:44:55 AM »
Actually, he's comparing a near-total prevention with a properly used product to a guaranteed-total prevention with a properly used product.  The problem is, even with perfect usage of any product, there are bound to be some failures.

The thing is, not even abstinence is a 100% prevention for AIDS or even STDs.  People can catch AIDS from needle-sticks.  (I worked IT in an AIDS lab for a while, and we were required to know where the emergency antivirals were located.)  There have been bank robbers that have used syringes of their own blood as weapons/threats.  STDs can be transmitted by heavy petting if one partner is 'shedding'.  There are nearly perfect prevention methods, though, and quibbling over a few percentage points is casuistry.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #92 on: June 11, 2010, 02:49:59 AM »
*points to the exact same contradiction that was in Hairy's article*

Once again, translation and same myth occures. Did you read Hairy's article? because that was the same article as this one

Do you believe that any inaccuracies or perceived bias render a source or article completely worthless? Because if so, then you're going to have a lot of trouble in finding any information you can use.

Refering back to the article you dismiss, look at this statement

The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, told the programme: "The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom.

Now, is he lying? Yes or no?

Offline Ramster

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #93 on: June 11, 2010, 02:57:00 AM »
Yes.

Quote
Thats not really true, because it proves that there are some forms of contraception that the church allows for. Theres a big difference between saying "you cant have any contraception" and "you have these options". Kind of like if you were diagnosed with cancer and the difference between someone saying "We can do nothing for you" and "Well we can do this this and this". Once again it comes into absolutes, just like the HIV infection rate through condom use mentioned earlier (100% myth vs the 90+% fact). You didnt think that mattered either but it absolutely does because one is an absolute.

The "methods of contraception" condoned by the Catholic church, to use your analogy, would be like a doctor telling your cancer patient: "We can leave your condition to rot so you die in agony, or we can give you our traditional leech therapy."

The reason you're getting so much flak is because not only is Catholicism a control mechanism headed by a (former?) Nazi who claims to be the infallible vicar of Christ on Earth.

It is a belief system and organisation that imposes celibacy, categorically opposes abortion and contraception of all useful kinds, preaches homosexuality is an abortion, and systematically covers up paedophilia by its supposedly celibate priests who need something to do in between brainwashing children with the fear that they're going to hell,that they are born in sin, that another human being suffered and died two millennia ago to save them from this sin...

Do I need to go on? You have the right to believe what you believe, but to defend an organisation with such evil principles is going to piss off every non-Catholic on Elliquiy to some extent.

Do you want to hear about how other religions are evil? Read their holy books and draw your own conclusions.

Of course Catholics have done a lot of good as well, but the glaring crimes against humanity mentioned above which it still preaches today don't endear the Holy See to anyone.



Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #94 on: June 11, 2010, 03:20:23 AM »
Oniya is correct. I should have been more clear that abstinence is the only way to prevent AIDS and HIV infection with 100% effectivness. You can not get an STD through sex if you dont have it afterall. Although I disagree with her about the percentage points when it comes to absolute protection vs a high chance of protection. I think thats an important point that is easily looked over just because of the numbers

I have at no time said that condoms shouldnt be used in Africa but I dont think they are the answer either. I agree with the catholic church in this case that abstenance is the best way to prevent the disease from spreading. However, unlike the church I am not opposed to giving the people access to condoms either because I know people are going to have sex with or without them. Better to protect them. However, most men wont wear them due to the psuedo-macho belief that codoms harm their masculinity. You can give a man a condom but you cant make him use it

Currently I am in the process of disproving that the church has made claims that condoms cause AIDS/HIV infection. I debunked the legitamacy of one article already, so lets move on to the Sparkling angel posted. The pope said "You can not solve the problem with condoms. On the contrary it increases the problem." To a point he is right, if the africans would use them (a big if mind you) then infections would slow to a crawl but it doesnt fix the problem either. This is another point where he and I are at opposition but no where in that article is it suggested or proven that that the church said condons cause HIV/AIDS infection like someof you pointed out.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 03:26:36 AM by Brandon »

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #95 on: June 11, 2010, 03:22:00 AM »
Catholicism is far from the only branch of religion advocating celibacy (Buddhism springs readily to mind, as far as the ordained are concerned, while premarital chastity is part of many more faiths and cultures). But E, by nature, is not exactly a celibacy-friendly environment, of whatever religious flavour. We'd never be considered a valid population sample, so we might as well stop considering ourselves one.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #96 on: June 11, 2010, 03:45:54 AM »
Do you believe that any inaccuracies or perceived bias render a source or article completely worthless? Because if so, then you're going to have a lot of trouble in finding any information you can use.

Refering back to the article you dismiss, look at this statement

The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, told the programme: "The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom.

Now, is he lying? Yes or no?

I choose option C: I dont know and I need to do some research before I can give an educated opinion

Edit: Assuming the article is true (you already know what Ill say to that) then I would say yes just due to th elanguage used. SPerm can not easily pass through the net of a condom, but it can pass through. Once again subtle but important difference. This guess was done before I completed my research on sperm and disease sizes

I belive small inaccuracies are fine something like "this happened Friday when it really happened saturday", but when I see a slant, bad journalism, contradictions with in the article all together. Yes I will dismiss it.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 04:03:51 AM by Brandon »

Offline Majere DreavanTopic starter

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #97 on: June 11, 2010, 04:25:14 AM »
Preventing Disease
If your only concern is to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, there are condoms made from animal skins that appeal to some people. Be warned, though, both the FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caution that condoms made from animal skins do not protect against HIV and other STDs. The tiny viruses can pass through the pores of animal skin condoms. If preventing disease is your goal, choose a latex condom. Look for packages that include the words "this product contains natural rubber latex."

The FDA has approved several kinds of polyurethane condoms for people who are allergic to latex, but they stop short of giving unqualified approval to polyurethane condoms. In laboratory tests HIV does not pass through polyurethane, but additional testing is still needed. .(http://hubpages.com/hub/These-Arent-Your-Fathers-Condoms)

Hai Guys, Not to help derail my own conversation here, but I found this tid bit most fascinating. Apparently, Animal skin condoms allow disease to pass through! Could the pope have been thinking of these while he was referring to condoms, Might be his personal choice before he gave in to celibacy(or after). Not that it matters, To say that condoms don't help prevent disease, is a good way to scare the shit out of every sexually active youth. Imagine that, The catholic church using a control mechanism like fear.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #98 on: June 11, 2010, 05:06:17 AM »
Alright Hairy I think I found the information youre looking for. Source for sperm size: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spermatozoon Source for HIV size: http://www.apositivelife.com/forasos/biology-of-hiv.html

Sperm is measured by about 5 micmeters by 3 micrometers and a tail that is about 50 micrometers long. To put that in perspective a single micrometer is One one thousanth of a milimeter

HIV particles have a diameter of 1/10,000th of a milimeter

So the Cardinal was right about HIV being smaller then the sperm. I dont know if thats 450 times smaller and I dont care to do that math either :P Considering the effectivness of condoms I still have a hard time believing that easily is an appropriate word for the ones that do get through.

Final answer, D: Hes right about some things wrong about the others

Majere also brings up a good point that I did not consider. Although I find his disrespect annoying I have to admit hes right. Cadinal T did not state what kind of condoms he was talking about when he said they could easily slip through

If you would like a look into the Cardinals mind before he passed away (2 years ago because of diabetes, the poor guy) I found the interview below. A lot of it is rhetoric but there are some interesting philosophical insights

http://www.wf-f.org/Lopez-Trujillooncondoms.html
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 05:32:00 AM by Brandon »

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #99 on: June 11, 2010, 05:57:02 AM »
* Lord Drake really hopes he will manage to post only once here... :P

I personally think there is only a way to remain "in topic" here and it is to be as logic and rational as it is possible.

Depending on the environment in which similar questions are asked, I notice that often "Is Religion a way of controlling people" tends to become "Is Christianity/Islam/Scientology/Paganism/Insrtnamehere a way to control people?" Usually then you get to talk about specifical themes like the Bible, the fundamentalism and more often than not one of the most difficult theologic themes of the last century: condoms.

* Lord Drake has fallen into that trap himself, many times. ^^

Now... my personal take is more similar to Hairy's, I think.

Religion istitutions are actually control mechanisms in the common definition of the term. I think that trying to analyze what religions did of bad and good is a red herring here... a good ruler is still a ruler and it is not like under King Solomon's legendarily wise reign the decisions were taken by anyone different from Solomon...

:P

Religious institution tend to have less control upon themselves from their followers. A state is ideally under the scrutiny and control of the citizens who express their opinion in a various way (vote, ecc..). If the citizens have no way to actually influence the leaders, then they are necessarily controlled.

Also, the fact that the religious institution have usually less to fear from their subjects, is one of the reason for which they are so slow in adapting to the evolution of society. Actually I know about priests who think that the current scandal about pedophilia could end up actually being a GOOD thing for the catholic Church since it could force them to take some kind of step.

I think I will keep this short and to the point and stop here.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 06:02:46 AM by Lord Drake »

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #100 on: June 11, 2010, 07:29:11 AM »
Yes.

The "methods of contraception" condoned by the Catholic church, to use your analogy, would be like a doctor telling your cancer patient: "We can leave your condition to rot so you die in agony, or we can give you our traditional leech therapy."

The reason you're getting so much flak is because not only is Catholicism a control mechanism headed by a (former?) Nazi who claims to be the infallible vicar of Christ on Earth.

It is a belief system and organisation that imposes celibacy, categorically opposes abortion and contraception of all useful kinds, preaches homosexuality is an abortion, and systematically covers up paedophilia by its supposedly celibate priests who need something to do in between brainwashing children with the fear that they're going to hell,that they are born in sin, that another human being suffered and died two millennia ago to save them from this sin...

Do I need to go on? You have the right to believe what you believe, but to defend an organisation with such evil principles is going to piss off every non-Catholic on Elliquiy to some extent.

Do you want to hear about how other religions are evil? Read their holy books and draw your own conclusions.

Of course Catholics have done a lot of good as well, but the glaring crimes against humanity mentioned above which it still preaches today don't endear the Holy See to anyone.

When I was deployed to Bosnia I remember once handing out food supplies to a refugee camp. While I was doing so I noticed a man limping through the line and I offered to examine him, finding he had a compound fracture in his leg. I took the supplies from my combat lifesaver bag and put a splint on it with the intention of getting him some permanent help later. While I was doing that he asked me "Why do you risk your life to help us?" I remember thinking the question was odd which in hindsight probably says a lot about me. I said something like "because I can". I was born with the knowlege, ability, and commitment to do good. How could I not use that power then and now?

Now Im sure you've asked why the trip down memory lane? It is because that principle is influenced by my catholic upbringing. I dont do the things I do because a book or a priest tells me to. I do the things I do because I choose to, that is what my conscience wants. If the principles that I have formed due to that influence are evil then by all means sign me up for the doom fortress

I saw that man again a few days before I left the country. He was was walking with a cane by then, but his cast had come and gone. Its a shame, I wished I could have signed it

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #101 on: June 11, 2010, 08:27:52 AM »
That has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.  I'm Pagan, and I donate to charity, open doors for people, help out friends... ect...  That has absolutely nothing to do with my religion.  It's just the kind of person I am. 

I have to admit that I'm getting rather frustrated here.  You wanted to know why everyone is attacking Christianity.  I give you a list of reasons, and I'm demonizing and attacking the religion, then you whine that no one is answering your questions.  I did, but then you wanted proof, then you had to discount and disprove it all by splitting hairs and using faulty logic.

In every article provided, by me and others, it stated somewhere that the reason the church is against condoms is that it promotes promiscuity.  Sex is only for procreation.  If you're not trying to make a baby then don't do it.

I won't argue that not having sex is a very effective way of preventing the spread of STD's and unwanted pregnancy.  However, think about where you are for a minute.  We like sex; most adults do.  Adults are going to have sex.

I'm not getting this whole net reference.  Aren't condoms a solid piece of latex?  I do remember that when I was considering becoming sexually active, I took it upon myself to educate myself.  When used properly, condoms are 88% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy and disease.  I know that isn't 100%, but, it's a whole lot better than no protection at all. 

Holes can happen if a condom is too old, or a petroleum based lube is used instead of water based.  Breaking can happen, especially if you don't make sure there isn't any air in that balloon looking thing at the tip.  This is the kind of information that needs to be passed on to people in Africa.  Abstinence only education doesn't work in American schools, so what would possibly make you think it would work in Africa?

Maybe you're right and African men don't want to use condoms because of a masculinity issue.  But how would teaching abstinence fix that issue?  If they want to have sex, they're going to.  Education and correct information will give them the best chance.

And okay, so the church allows the rhythm method and abstinence as birth control.  As Oniya said, people who use the the rhythm method are called parents.  So it is like offering to treat cancer with leeches, because we know a lot better now.  My point was that condoms, which is what we were talking about, are not allowed, and neither is the birth control pill or masturbation because it's a waste of seed.   

You also say that you don't agree with a lot of the views of the church, so why defend them like this.  You're all over the place bringing up things that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.  Either way, I'm done with this.  I'm not going to keep banging my head against a brick wall.       

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #102 on: June 11, 2010, 09:17:27 AM »
Like I said its not Jesus its the humans and their institutions that decided THEY have the truth and real way to follow Him, for me denominations are the issue and churches (small "c" are the issue) when they have leaders between say me and God - which includes Jesus.

Christianity is meant to be a simple faith you ask God to forgive your sins through Jesus, get baptized which you can do yourself on yourself, live as Jesus like a life as you can and do charity to others then trust God through His Holy Spirit to guide you and the blood of Jesus to save you from Hell. Its not that hard. Institutionalism made it hard, theologians made it hard, clerical leaders make it hard - not Jesus.

I say there is control only as far as humans then abuse my faith for their own selfish agenda and leave out the real truth, but all faiths tend to have those issues if one isn't careful. I would think a Wiccan priestess could wield power over a coven if one isn't careful or some other religion. I noticed in Islam Imams can wield immense power for me that is a big risk in that faith.

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #103 on: June 11, 2010, 09:32:29 AM »
All right folks, let's all take a deep breath here and step back for a moment.  It seems to be getting a bit off topic here, and frustration levels are mounting.  Please stick to the topic at hand to avoid further escalating the frustration levels.

Thanks. 

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #104 on: June 11, 2010, 09:43:59 AM »
Oniya is correct. I should have been more clear that abstinence is the only way to prevent AIDS and HIV infection with 100% effectivness. You can not get an STD through sex if you dont have it afterall. Although I disagree with her about the percentage points when it comes to absolute protection vs a high chance of protection. I think thats an important point that is easily looked over just because of the numbers

If you are going to say that I am correct, then at least admit that the statement I have bolded above is NOT what I said.  The statement I have bolded below is.

The thing is, not even abstinence is a 100% prevention for AIDS or even STDs. People can catch AIDS from needle-sticks.  (I worked IT in an AIDS lab for a while, and we were required to know where the emergency antivirals were located.)  There have been bank robbers that have used syringes of their own blood as weapons/threats.  STDs can be transmitted by heavy petting if one partner is 'shedding'.  There are nearly perfect prevention methods, though, and quibbling over a few percentage points is casuistry.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #105 on: June 11, 2010, 09:53:14 AM »
Oniya: Yeah sorry. Hmmm suggestions on how to reword it? I dont mind just editing it, Im not exactly sure how to phrase it though

Angel: In a discussion where it is so one sided Im going to be all over the place as I respond to peoples points of view. Think about it for a second. Its me vs. Angel, Silk, Hairy, ramster, xenophile, and Will. Then there are two pretty neutral people that have participated in the debate too, Oniya and Lilias. Its frustrating for me to constantly be at odds with you all, this very discussion was born out of my frustration at the unfairness, but nothing worthwhile is easily obtained. In this case what I want to obtain is fairness. That bias and intolerance of christianity that continues to pop up in these threads needs to die.

As I told Will, if were going to discuss something outside my expertise or knowledge then I require some kind of neautral 3rd party proof. Otherwise how do I know if something is true or not? For that matter I lack the context which is all to important to discussions like this. I saw a suspect article earlier, I explained why it was suspect, and I dismissed it because it was suspect. Even though it was suspect, I answered questions about it as if it werent and when I didnt know something I went and found the research before returning with my results. In the end, I refused to give hairy the answer I wanted to give, I think I never gave him the answer he wanted, but I gave him the right answer. The truth supported by research and mixed with personal opinion. For everyone to see and everyone to understand how I came to that result. I could have refused, I could have lied to him an dsaid, no the Cardinals right on for all points but I refused to compromise my integrity. I am here to defend the Catholic church, to make sure that people can not freely demonize it anymore but Im also here for the truth.

The truth, as uncomfortable as it might be, is that the Catholic church is responsible for a lot of pain and suffering throughout the years but at the same time its also responsible for a lot of lives saved, communities rebuilt, and spirits lifted. I will not run from the truth but I will not let people bury part of it either

Miths right though, this continues to be off the original topic even though Majere spawned the conversation. Is it possible to move all the relavant posts to a new thread? Maybe title it Brandon vs the world? :P

Edit: Ya know when I was writing out the list I forgot to mention that Azreal has been pretty neautral as well. Sorry I overlooked ya man
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 10:21:39 AM by Brandon »

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #106 on: June 11, 2010, 11:18:33 AM »
The original topic is whether or not religion is used to control the masses.  The truth of the matter is when it comes to Abrahamic religions; Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, yes.  The leaders tell everyone else if they don't do everything these leaders tell them, they're going to hell.  All the Pope has is a big hat, and the church's word that he is an authority on God's will.  I'm sorry, that's not good enough for me.

I have to admit I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to the hierarchy of Judaism and Islam, but I know there is one.  Hell, Christianity sprung from Judaism.  Jesus was a Jew after all.  And from what I learned in Bible school, they had/have their own version of the Vatican that Jesus constantly fought against, which is why it makes absolutely no sense to me for Christians to follow the OT, which is Jewish law, but I digress....

When Pope Whoever put the crown on Charlemagne's head, that symbolized that God endorsed the king, so if the people questioned the king then they questioned God, and they couldn't do that.  Of course that also put the church over the king in authority, which in my opinion, was a bad thing.

The common person couldn't read, and sermons were done in Latin, so people had to take the word of the priests as to what the word of God was.  And yeah, a good way to control people is to keep them ignorant and fearful.

Ruby does have a point that this can happen in any religion.  Following someone without question is never a good thing.  There are Pagans who claim to be an authority on one tradition or another and brainwash newbies who don't know any better.  That is why people like myself try to get a hold of newbies first so they know better than to fall for that crap.

And Brandon, you are taking all of this way too personally.  It's not us vs. you.  We are making our case by pointing out the things the church has done, and is doing.  We're allowed to criticize the government, which I do every chance I get.  As long as it isn't made up, you don't see that as unfair do you?  Why is the church any different?  Why shouldn't we be allowed to criticize things we disagree with? 

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #107 on: June 11, 2010, 11:34:46 AM »
And Brandon, you are taking all of this way too personally.  It's not us vs. you.  We are making our case by pointing out the things the church has done, and is doing.  We're allowed to criticize the government, which I do every chance I get.  As long as it isn't made up, you don't see that as unfair do you?  Why is the church any different?  Why shouldn't we be allowed to criticize things we disagree with? 

I think you misunderstood me, I dont think Ive ever said that people cant or shouldnt critisize groups they disagree with. However there comes a point when criticism goes to far. I wish there was a word like racism, that could be applied to a religion, because that would sum up my thoughts perfectly for whats going on around here.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #108 on: June 11, 2010, 01:23:34 PM »
To my mind, this topic is badly phrased from the get-go, and the tangents even more so.

Human society, in fact, any human grouping of more than one person is a form of control. Religion, capitalism, families, marriage, television, books, music... it's all about imposing views on other people.

Generalisations about catholic priests being paedophiles or organised religions stance on homosexuality are gloriously irrelevent. You can be homophobic and not religious, and a paedophile and not catholic. You can be backwards and irresponsible about the spread of HIV/AIDS and not be a missionary (former South African health minister; a German doctor pushing vitamins as a cure for it). You can be one of the people who discovered DNA and be a racist.

You can blame the Catholic Church for Nazi Germany all you want - but that doesn't explain Japan.

In short, humans as a species are, as large groups, afraid, hateful and look for any excuse to discriminate.

Is it really the case that if you were uninvent organised religion tomorrow that the world would be a better place? No. BP would still be stuffing up the environment, and North Korea would still be rattling its sabre, and hundreds of children would still be dying each day from malnutrition.

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #109 on: June 11, 2010, 03:49:08 PM »
I think you misunderstood me, I don't think Ive ever said that people cant or shouldn't criticize groups they disagree with. However there comes a point when criticism goes to far. I wish there was a word like racism, that could be applied to a religion, because that would sum up my thoughts perfectly for whats going on around here.

There isn't because there is no choice in race, or sexuality, or gender identity, or gender in general. Religion is a choice, Criticising a religion is more akin to criticising someones political view rather than some thing that is unfair, such as their race. There is no reason why religion should be held in higher esteem as any other conscious choice.

And the reason why its us vs you apparently is because it seems to be a common consensus with you to be the victim, "everything is a bias hatred towards catholocism" seems to be the most common phrase that comes from your mouth atm
Like I said its not Jesus its the humans and their institutions that decided THEY have the truth and real way to follow Him, for me denominations are the issue and churches (small "c" are the issue) when they have leaders between say me and God - which includes Jesus.

Christianity is meant to be a simple faith you ask God to forgive your sins through Jesus, get baptized which you can do yourself on yourself, live as Jesus like a life as you can and do charity to others then trust God through His Holy Spirit to guide you and the blood of Jesus to save you from Hell. Its not that hard. Institutionalism made it hard, theologians made it hard, clerical leaders make it hard - not Jesus.

I say there is control only as far as humans then abuse my faith for their own selfish agenda and leave out the real truth, but all faiths tend to have those issues if one isn't careful. I would think a Wiccan priestess could wield power over a coven if one isn't careful or some other religion. I noticed in Islam Imams can wield immense power for me that is a big risk in that faith.

Go stone some unruly children outside of town like Jesus told you too then.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 04:05:01 PM by Silk »

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Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #110 on: June 11, 2010, 04:27:30 PM »
Can we please try to keep the tone civil?  Personal attacks are not acceptable, so if you cannot keep yourself from doing so it's best if you not post anything at all. 

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #111 on: June 11, 2010, 05:01:44 PM »
Generalisations about catholic priests being paedophiles or organised religions stance on homosexuality are gloriously irrelevent. You can be homophobic and not religious, and a paedophile and not catholic. You can be backwards and irresponsible about the spread of HIV/AIDS and not be a missionary (former South African health minister; a German doctor pushing vitamins as a cure for it). You can be one of the people who discovered DNA and be a racist.

But when the hierarchy of the church itself shuffles offenders around to try and hide things, then they become enablers and accessories.

You can blame the Catholic Church for Nazi Germany all you want - but that doesn't explain Japan.
How does that absolve them?

In short, humans as a species are, as large groups, afraid, hateful and look for any excuse to discriminate.
Sadly, some of those large groups are better at it than others.

Is it really the case that if you were uninvent organised religion tomorrow that the world would be a better place? No. BP would still be stuffing up the environment, and North Korea would still be rattling its sabre, and hundreds of children would still be dying each day from malnutrition.
It's actually hard to say how our society today would be different if one of its most influential factors were removed from history.  It's possible that our technology would be much further along by now, though that and any other possibilities are total conjecture.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #112 on: June 11, 2010, 06:06:50 PM »
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But when certain parts of the hierarchy of the church itself shuffles offenders around to try and hide things, then they become enablers and accessories.

Fixed for greater accuracy and less hyperbole. It was the churches at the national level that did that the shuffling, not some centrally orchestrated Vatican plot. By the same token, these countries are enablers and accesories because they did not have sufficient national regimes in place to protect the children.

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How does that absolve them?
Well, the Catholic Church was the first entity or group to make a stand against Nazi Germany:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mit_brennender_Sorge

At the point that this was being done, the Allies were still divided and still turning away refugees from Germany. There is nothing that can absolve anyone for their inaction in World War 2.

The atrocities committed by non-Christian Japan, and non-religious USSR were on a par with that of the Nazis. If anything, the ideology of the Nazis was what happens when you try and replace religion with a cult of personality and veneration of the state rather than the divine.

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It's actually hard to say how our society today would be different if one of its most influential factors were removed from history.  It's possible that our technology would be much further along by now, though that and any other possibilities are total conjecture.

Non-religious societies are still oppressive (North Korea, China). Religious societies are free and open (Poland, Malta). I would urge you to look at the religious leanings of the winners of the various Nobel prizes over the last few decades. Crick, the chap who discovered the structure of DNA was a creationist. Being religious doesn't mean you are automatically backwards and anti-scientific. Muslim scholars preserved Ancient Greek texts.

I would point you towards some of the most towering intellects of the last few hundred years:
-Newton - a deluded and insane alchemist.
-Einstein - believed in "Spinoza's God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a god who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind"
-Darwin - a theist
-Hawking - agnostic (although I did meet his son when I was attending a methodist school)
-Bose - a Hindu

In deed, you'll find a surprisingly large number of Noble Laureates are also religious.

It is a stereotype and a myth that religious people are backwards or antiscientific.

In short, you have failed to demonstrate the 'but for' test in any of your objections. People are stupid, cruel, petty, wicked, and criminal irrespective of their religion.

Offline Will

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #113 on: June 11, 2010, 07:18:59 PM »
I'm not saying that religious individuals can't make scientific breakthroughs.  I'm saying religious organizations have, in the past, contributed greatly to the constipation of scientific advancement.

What makes you so certain that it was only certain parts of the church that did the shuffling (or knowingly let it go on)?

Offline Majere DreavanTopic starter

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #114 on: June 11, 2010, 08:14:30 PM »
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Silk :Go stone some unruly children outside of town like Jesus told you too then.

hmmm
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(3/3/0028)Jesus: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
...
WHAT? something tells me one of those phrases were off a bit.

Offline Brandon

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #115 on: June 11, 2010, 09:15:54 PM »
*gets on his soapbox for his final post in the thread*

I know that Mith's statement was primarily aimed at Silk. However, it also applies to me as well due to my comment of what I will dub Theocism (a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various religions determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own religion is superior and has the right to rule others. Finally as a point of order Atheism applies to the definition of religion). Perhaps Im off here but I cant help but feel as though there is some political correctness charged censorship going on and my thoughts on that follow

"A society where anyone can make jokes about anyone else and everyone laughs is a truly tolerant society. Political correctness charged censorship only serves to engender resentment and distance between social groups."

Parting thoughts: Next week when this topic comes up again due to theocism I will be back and ready to debate just as fiercly as I have in this thread but before I go I want to leave you with this parting thought. In the video game Infamous theres a very good quote that goes like thus: "If you want to test a man's character give him power." Looking back in history we can easily see how the weak character of men and women ultimately gave way to corruption when they were given power. As I said before it is easy for us to apply our morales to very different cultures and social groups when we forget the important differences between us and them. So to close, if you were placed in a position just like these "Corrupt priests" would your character be strong enough for you to live up to your own critisism?

Offline Serephino

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #116 on: June 11, 2010, 09:17:56 PM »
We may yet find out what the world will be like without religion.  It seems like mainstream religions are slowly dying out.  In the past year about 7 Catholic churches in my area had to close.  At least 2 Catholic schools closed.  They talk about it on the news and the young generation is leaving, and the older generation is dying out.  The young people are either becoming Pagans or Atheists. 



Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #117 on: June 12, 2010, 02:37:12 AM »
hmmm ...
WHAT? something tells me one of those phrases were off a bit.




Deuteronomy 21:18-21
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 02:45:54 AM by Silk »

Offline Oniya

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #118 on: June 12, 2010, 02:54:17 AM »
That would be Old Testament.  Jesus doesn't come into the picture until the New Testament.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #119 on: June 12, 2010, 02:56:52 AM »
I'm not saying that religious individuals can't make scientific breakthroughs.  I'm saying religious organizations have, in the past, contributed greatly to the constipation of scientific advancement.

You're saying that Gallileo was supressed because he objected to the global 'scientific' paradigm then in force throughout the known world.

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What makes you so certain that it was only certain parts of the church that did the shuffling (or knowingly let it go on)?

It's this irritating thing called 'burden of proof' and 'innocent until proven guilty'. I don't have to prove that the hierarchy is innocent.

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Deuteronomy 21:18-21

Yay! Never been prouder of my heritage than when we talk about Old Testament law. It's passages like this that make my knuckles itch whenever someone uses the OT as justification for anything, be it prejudice, the Israeli state...

Offline Silk

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #120 on: June 12, 2010, 03:03:19 AM »
That would be Old Testament.  Jesus doesn't come into the picture until the New Testament.

Except that jesus spent alot of his time quoting deuteronomy in his teachings? And not forgetting the "holy trinity" dealie, AND that the new testament will have no substance whatsoever if the teachings and stories of the old testament were unfounded. After all, how could jesus die for our sins if they never happened to get said sins in the old testament.

Anyway sorry for taking things off topic again, I'll be quiet if I can't keep it relevant
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 03:08:33 AM by Silk »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #121 on: June 12, 2010, 03:26:09 AM »
I'm curious...at what point is any of this related to the original topic?  Besides becoming another beat down on religion, Christianity in particular, I'm not seeing much of a trench from the original post.  Perhaps people should try to recover the original senitment of this thread if there ever was much of one or mayhap this thread should go where other off topic threads go.  Which is to say the garbage.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #122 on: June 12, 2010, 03:37:54 AM »
This is the 'advanage' of picking on Christian faiths - they won't start trying to kill you ;)

As to the original topic - I stand by the assertion that all social human activity is about control, about asserting your ideas on someone else. Law, music, media, religion... human society is essentially a contest for hearts and minds.

Online Vekseid

Re: Religion is a control mechanism?
« Reply #123 on: June 12, 2010, 01:36:50 PM »
Gwuh. I started trying to untangle this thread but I think the lack of clarity in the original post makes that impossible.

If someone wants to use them to start a more coherent thread, feel free to quote from here, but please keep it to one topic at a time. If someone wants to make a better topic for the original intent of this thread, that would be nifty too.

As a general reminder to everyone, at the top of each board there is a New Topic button, and quotes can cross threads.

Hopefully, future threads will have less hyperbole, cite more sources (Wikipedia is not a source), and have more dialectic and less stonewalling.

Thank you.