Religion

politics, religion, science, art, barack obama, belgium, etc.

What is your Religion?

Born-Again Christian (or just non-denominational)
9
7%
Buddist
4
3%
Catholic
11
8%
Atheist
48
36%
Atheist
48
36%
Pagan
4
3%
Jewish
3
2%
Lutheran/Protestant/Baptist (other denoms of Christianity)
5
4%
 
Total votes: 132
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Charlie
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:52 pm

Bogey wrote:On what are you basing your argument that man made morality is at odds with itself?
On the 28 principles the founding fathers used to establish the United States of America (summed up in The 5,000 Year Leap)
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Re: Religion

Post by Rat-morningstar » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:04 pm

you mean 28 principles some guys made up?
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Re: Religion

Post by Bogey » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:04 pm

Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:On what are you basing your argument that man made morality is at odds with itself?
On the 28 precepts the founding fathers used to establish the United States of America (summed up in The 5,000 Year Leap)
And you are saying those aren't man made morals?

Also, I think the fact that we no longer stone women to death for losing their virginity before marriage is enough to suggest that the moral structure we've built since biblical times is a little bit better than what you'd find in the bible.

Also still, the fact that horrible tyrannical governments have also been based on religion suggests a flaw in your reasoning that since religion may have had an influence on our founding fathers then no country can be sustained that doesn't have a basis in religion (this is also a fallacy known as False Dilemma).
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:13 pm

Bogey wrote:And you are saying those aren't man made morals?
That is my belief. Yes.
Bogey wrote:Also, I think the fact that we no longer stone women to death for losing their virginity before marriage is enough to suggest that the moral structure we've built since biblical times is a little bit better than what you'd find in the bible.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

Bogey wrote:Also still, the fact that horrible tyrannical governments have also been based on religion suggests a flaw in your reasoning that since religion may have had an influence on our founding fathers then no country can be sustained that doesn't have a basis in religion (this is also a fallacy known as False Dilemma).
Are the flaws in the religion, or the men purportedly following said religion?

It goes beyond the sustenance of a civilization; it is the quality of life it imparts on its citizenry, and the good it does to its neighbors. These things are maximized by adherence to a true moral compass.
Last edited by Charlie on Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:14 pm

Rat-morningstar wrote:you mean 28 principles some guys made up?
Yah.
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Re: Religion

Post by Bogey » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:27 pm

Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:And you are saying those aren't man made morals?
That is my belief. Yes.
And what do you base that belief on?
What evidence is there that these morals came from somewhere other than the minds of men?
Charlie wrote:"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".
I guess the crusaders overlooked that quote. Or maybe they just thought they were without sin. Either way, religion wasn't really serving it's purpose, was it?
A person can be very religious without being a good person or a happy person.
Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:Also still, the fact that horrible tyrannical governments have also been based on religion suggests a flaw in your reasoning that since religion may have had an influence on our founding fathers then no country can be sustained that doesn't have a basis in religion (this is also a fallacy known as False Dilemma).
Are the flaws in the religion, or the men purportedly following said religion?
Let me get this straight: the faults of an atheist society are the result of the lack of faith rather than the people, but the faults of a religious society fall on the people and not the religion?
That's a bit of a double standard, isn't it?
Another thing to consider: atheist societies never commit atrocities in the name of atheism (how can they? Atheism is not a doctrine, but simply a lack of belief in any deity), yet religious societies often commit atrocities in the name of religion.
Who do you think would be more willing to go to war? An atheist who believes he has only one life to live, or a religious person who believes in eternal life after death?
Religion has a power to convince people to do horrible things that atheism does not.

Atheism is a result of critical thinking, while religion demands blind faith.
How can that possibly be beneficial to human progress?
Charlie wrote:It goes beyond the sustenance of a civilization; it is the quality of life it imparts on its citizenry, and the good it does to its neighbors.
Unless you are gay or a woman.
Also, I don't see how saving myself for marriage or avoiding meat of Friday, or any other meaningless dogma, raises the quality of my life.

I'm atheist, and I consider myself to be a moral person. How do you explain that?
How is my system of taking a scientific approach to morality (considering what actions tend to have a positive affect on society and therefor a positive affect on myself, and then pursuing those actions) worse than your approach of believing that the words written hundreds and hundreds of years ago by men were actually divinely inspired and taking it all on faith?
Charlie wrote:These things are maximized by adherence to a true moral compass.
I disagree completely. I believe they are maximized by observing cause and effect on small and large scales in society, and forming morals based on which combination of actions creates the best well being in and sustainability of society.

Of course, how much does any of this really matter? Even if a particular religion was extremely beneficial to society, that wouldn't make it true.
To be religious rather than merely philosophical requires that you believe in a certain story or mythology.
Whether or not the philosophy is any good has no logical connection to whether or not the mythology is true. And yet we have millions and millions or adults who think that the Earth was created in 6 days, and that when the world ends they will be flown up to heaven to live happily ever after.
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:13 pm

Bogey wrote:And what do you base that belief on?
What evidence is there that these morals came from somewhere other than the minds of men?
As I said. This is my belief. It obviously is not your own. The onus is not on me to definitively convince you of my beliefs and I impart no onus upon you to do likewise.
Bogey wrote:I guess the crusaders overlooked that quote.
Indeed.
Bogey wrote:Let me get this straight: the faults of an atheist society are the result of the lack of faith rather than the people, but the faults of a religious society fall on the people and not the religion?
In both cases, my interpretation would be that the faults lie in the people.
Bogey wrote:Religion has a power to convince people to do horrible things that atheism does not.
People have the power to do horrible things for their own selfish reasons. Selflessness - a proper application of religion - does not prosper at the expense of others.
Bogey wrote:Atheism is a result of critical thinking, while religion demands blind faith.
Faith yes. Blind? No. You believe there is no critical thinking in religion. I have spent time studying critical thinking by theologians of my Faith.
So yes... our beliefs diverge here as well.
Bogey wrote:Also, I don't see how saving myself for marriage or avoiding meat of Friday, or any other meaningless dogma, raises the quality of my life.
Whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver. If you refute religion wholesale why would you possibly be expected to believe any subset of it's teachings - much less have any ability to apply them properly and in a proper context?

Meaningless to you? ...so be it. If you see no merit to these activities you do have the free will to participate in alternate ones. We agree on this, yes?
Bogey wrote:I'm atheist, and I consider myself to be a moral person. How do you explain that? How is my system of taking a scientific approach to morality (considering what actions tend to have a positive affect on society and therefor a positive affect on myself, and then pursuing those actions) worse than your approach of believing that the words written hundreds and hundreds of years ago by men were actually divinely inspired and taking it all on faith?
I would never presume to be able to "explain" you. I do not presume to judge you. You ask what I think, I tell you. I fling it against the wall, if it sticks, it sticks, if it doesn't, it doesn't. You would seem to find Faith and Science are incompatible; I do not.

My statements are merely my own observations and beliefs - as are your own. I make no claims as to being definitively right. But, I am convinced of my beliefs as you are with your own.

Bogey wrote:I disagree completely. I believe they are maximized by observing cause and effect on small and large scales in society, and forming morals based on which combination of actions creates the best well being in and sustainability of society.

Of course, how much does any of this really matter? Even if a particular religion was extremely beneficial to society, that wouldn't make it true.

To be religious rather than merely philosophical requires that you believe in a certain story or mythology.
Whether or not the philosophy is any good has no logical connection to whether or not the mythology is true. And yet we have millions and millions or adults who think that the Earth was created in 6 days, and that when the world ends they will be flown up to heaven to live happily ever after.
Yes. We do disagree. I would completely agree with that. I try to employ philosophy and theology in my life... mythology not so much. Though I'm sure we would disagree on what constitutes mythology as well.
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Re: Religion

Post by Bogey » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:56 am

Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:Let me get this straight: the faults of an atheist society are the result of the lack of faith rather than the people, but the faults of a religious society fall on the people and not the religion?
In both cases, my interpretation would be that the faults lie in the people.
But you were arguing that societies that reject religion aren't able to last as long as societies that are founded on religion. Now it kinda sound like religion doesn't matter.
Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:Religion has a power to convince people to do horrible things that atheism does not.
People have the power to do horrible things for their own selfish reasons. Selflessness - a proper application of religion - does not prosper at the expense of others.
So, when church members shoot abortion doctors they are just being selfish?
Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:Atheism is a result of critical thinking, while religion demands blind faith.
Faith yes. Blind? No. You believe there is no critical thinking in religion. I have spent time studying critical thinking by theologians of my Faith.
I guess there is a bit of critical thinking involved in the religious beliefs of some; the Jewish tradition is evidence of that. The only problem with all this critical thinking is that it's wasted on a deity whose existed is a best a mere speculation.
Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:Also, I don't see how saving myself for marriage or avoiding meat of Friday, or any other meaningless dogma, raises the quality of my life.
Whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver. If you refute religion wholesale why would you possibly be expected to believe any subset of it's teachings - much less have any ability to apply them properly and in a proper context?
In what context could avoiding meat one day out of the week possibly make my life better?
Charlie wrote:Though I'm sure we would disagree on what constitutes mythology as well.
I believe that is a fair assumption.
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:54 pm

Bogey wrote:But you were arguing that societies that reject religion aren't able to last as long as societies that are founded on religion. Now it kinda sound like religion doesn't matter.
I would say that man would be dependent to excel beyond his capacity aided by an enlightened path (i.e., religion). And the incorrect application of religion (for wont of a better term) is man dependent upon his own self... not on God. Therefore not able to excel beyond or outside of himself. Again these are my beliefs.
Bogey wrote:So, when church members shoot abortion doctors they are just being selfish?
That would be an odd way to phrase it... but perhaps, yes. They are taking the matter in their own hands. They do not have a strong enough faith or an ability to exercise patience. They believe they have the solution separated from God's will (Thou Shalt Not Kill) and act of their own volition, breaking from a reasonable, tenable religious path becoming anathema. This is a very deep question (but then, aren't most of the questions posed in this thread?).
Bogey wrote:I guess there is a bit of critical thinking involved in the religious beliefs of some; the Jewish tradition is evidence of that. The only problem with all this critical thinking is that it's wasted on a deity whose existed is a best a mere speculation.
Blind Faith is exactly that. It is a loose cannon that can veer off into any direction -- most ofttimes a path of destruction. I would not equate blind faith with properly exercised religion. That does not seem reasonable to my mind.
Bogey wrote:I believe that is a fair assumption.
Indeed. As I actually believe Jesus was raised from the dead.
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Re: Religion

Post by Mad_Dugan » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:48 pm

What is your take on "Adam & Eve" vs Evolution?
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane. - Philip K. Dick
The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it. - Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. - Philip K. Dick
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
Don't believe everything you read on the Internet - Abraham Lincoln
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Re: Religion

Post by Bogey » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:09 pm

Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:But you were arguing that societies that reject religion aren't able to last as long as societies that are founded on religion. Now it kinda sound like religion doesn't matter.
I would say that man would be dependent to excel beyond his capacity aided by an enlightened path (i.e., religion). And the incorrect application of religion (for wont of a better term) is man dependent upon his own self... not on God. Therefore not able to excel beyond or outside of himself. Again these are my beliefs.
What about cultures that follow religions that are not your own?
If you believe your religion to be true, and its teachings the word of God, then other cultures are following religions made by man, and therefor laws and morals made by man, and yet those cultures have thrived and continue to thrive (India and China are shaping up to be future super powers, after all. And I think you'd have a hard time convincing any secular person that Indians aren't as moral as Christian Americans)
Therefor, it is perfectly reasonable that societies based on made made morals have as much, or possibly more in some circumstances, staying power than societies based on religion.
Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:So, when church members shoot abortion doctors they are just being selfish?
That would be an odd way to phrase it... but perhaps, yes. They are taking the matter in their own hands. They do not have a strong enough faith or an ability to exercise patience. They believe they have the solution separated from God's will (Thou Shalt Not Kill) and act of their own volition, breaking from a reasonable, tenable religious path becoming anathema. This is a very deep question (but then, aren't most of the questions posed in this thread?).
I'd argue that not only is their faith strong, but they have absolute faith.
They really believe that they are doing the work of God, and that they will be rewarded in the afterlife.
That is some seriously dangerous thinking, and unfortunately religion can easily fuel those thoughts.
And whether or not there is a correct way to follow any religion, people are people and will always find their own interpretations of religion.
When someone thinks that God is on their side, they tend to no longer believe that the rules of man apply to them. That's no good for any society.
Charlie wrote:Blind Faith is exactly that. It is a loose cannon that can veer off into any direction -- most ofttimes a path of destruction. I would not equate blind faith with properly exercised religion. That does not seem reasonable to my mind.
Two problems here (at least):
1. "properly exercised religion" is almost entirely subjective. The plethora of sects of Christianity is evidence enough of that, and everyone thinks that their understanding of their religion is the right one. Basically, your stance is completely meaningless to a secular person, and probably even offensive (or in extreme cases, blasphemous) to other religious folk.
2. Even if everyone could agree on a proper way to exercise religion, they are still believing in something that has no concrete evidence. In fact, the only "evidence" that I've ever heard presented in favor of religion as an accurate description of reality was circumstantial at best (and complete lies at worst. I've argued with many a delusional creationist in my time). Hence, blind faith.
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:26 pm

Bogey wrote:What about cultures that follow religions that are not your own?
Like Mohandas Ghandi? He was cool... on a very strong faith driven path. Very good role model.
Bogey wrote:And I think you'd have a hard time convincing any secular person that Indians aren't as moral as Christian Americans)
I think St. Paul covered this in Romans 2:14-16 when he wrote:
14 When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them
16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
There are moral people who have never heard of Jesus Christ or Christian teachings... still they have good moral values written in their hearts by means of a well formed conscious. They bear witness to the truth by their humanitarian actions. There is a place in heaven for them. We cannot say that because someone has never heard of Jesus, he will burn in hell for it. That view is contradicted by scripture.

Those who are aware of of the teachings, reject them wholesale, and act in a way so as to sow discord and violence among their brothers are another matter. They would be in the same class as those never hearing the law but living against it (i.e., no moral foundation, no formation of conscious, no empathy for fellow man).
Bogey wrote:India and China are shaping up to be future super powers, after all.
Yah. That makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. It's not about staying power... it is about the quality of life imparted to the populace by a ruling class. It's about things like human rights... the greater good... people having enough to eat... a place to sleep. Basic creature comforts to live a comfortable life. Selflessness vs selfishness. Not a society where a small percentage have more than they could ever expend in many lifetimes and a large percentage just eke out a living well below the poverty line.
Bogey wrote:I'd argue that not only is their faith strong, but they have absolute faith.
As do many atheists who view their own beliefs as unequivocal, irrevocable, self righteous truths (needless to say, which is very far from and contradictory from my own views).
Last edited by Charlie on Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Religion

Post by Bogey » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:56 pm

Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:What about cultures that follow religions that are not your own?
Like Mohandas Ghandi? He was cool... on a very strong faith driven path. Very good role model.
And he did it all without the Christian religion. Big surprise.
Are you sure you wouldn't rather convert to Hinduism?

Charlie wrote:There are moral people who have never heard of Jesus Christ or Christian teachings... still they have good moral values written in their hearts by means of a well formed conscious. They bear witness to the truth by their humanitarian actions.
Right, so we don't need religion to be good.
You are really going back and forth on this thing.
Charlie wrote:Those who are aware of of the teachings, reject them wholesale, and act in a way so as to sow discord and violence among their brothers are another matter. They would be in the same class as those never hearing the law but living against it (i.e., no moral foundation, no formation of conscious, no empathy for fellow man).
So... one can live without your religion until the moment one finds out about your religion?
Come on, dude, grow up.
Charlie wrote:Yah. That makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. It's not about staying power... it is about the quality of life imparted to the populace by a ruling class. It's about things like human rights... the greater good... people having enough to eat... a place to sleep. Basic creature comforts to live a comfortable life. Selflessness vs selfishness. Not a society where a small percentage have more than they could ever expend in many lifetimes and a large percentage just eke out a living well below the poverty line.
Oh, so you mean a country like Sweden?
They have one of the highest standards of living in the world, and also have a very high life expectancy.
They also have the highest percentage of atheists and agnostics of any western country.
Other studies have placed the estimated percentage of atheists, agnostics, and other nonbelievers in a personal god as low as single digits in Poland, Romania, Cyprus, and some other European countries, and up to 85% in Sweden, 80% in Denmark, 72% in Norway, and 60% in Finland.
And guess what, all the Scandinavian countries have high standards of living and high life expectancies. How surprising.

Or what about Japan?
They also have a very high standard of living, as well as the highest life expectancy of any country (last I checked).
They also have a very high percentage of atheists.
Between 64% and 65% of Japanese are atheists, agnostics, or do not believe in a god.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism#Demographics

Sorry, but the figures just do not support your claim that societies need religion.
Charlie wrote:
Bogey wrote:I'd argue that not only is their faith strong, but they have absolute faith.
As do many atheists who view their own beliefs as unequivocal, irrevocable, self righteous truths (needless to say, which is very far from and contradictory from my own views).
It's a lot easier to blow ones self up when they believe that they will be rewarded with eternal life after death.
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:05 pm

I succomb to your cold, hard logic.
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Re: Religion

Post by Bogey » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:10 pm

It's warm and soft on the inside.
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