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Would the world be a better place without religion?


Itoero
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5 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

And again, no you can't. You can't just say the bible allows something when it doesn't. Look at my entire previous post about slavery.

 

 

Leviticus must have got his bit of the Bible wrong then

Leviticus 25:45

"Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession."

 

 

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Just now, koti said:

Are these over one thousand examples of cruelty and violence in the bible also all taken out of context? Or maybe the website owner is a crackpot too? Hint, he isn’t, look up Matt Dillahaunty as he is the reason for this website to exists:

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html

Feel free to adress all ogf these in detail Raider. When you’re done we can move on to other „moral wonders” of the bible.

Clicked the link and #1:

Because God liked Abel's animal sacrifice more than Cain's vegetables, Cain kills his brother Abel in a fit of religious jealousy.

Read farther, Cain is cursed because he murdered his brother. It's not saying "there you go. Just kill whoever."

I'm not even gonna try to debunk the rest if the first one is that stupid.

Just now, John Cuthber said:

Leviticus must have got his bit of the Bible wrong then

 

Leviticus is not a person, it's the name of the book, glad to see how much you know about what you're criticizing so heavily.

2 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

Leviticus 25:45

https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/800-what-about-the-bible-and-slavery

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7 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

No. Do I want to work the rest of my life? No.

Your point?

My point is that the slaves also don't want to be slaves (and their children did nothing to deserve that fate)
So it's wrong to keep slaves.

So a book that tells you how to do it is wrong

And a book that tells you to do the wrong thing is not a source of moral s.


 

4 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

Leviticus is not a person, it's the name of the book, glad to see how much you know about what you're criticizing so heavily.

I know.

It's a figure of speech.

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2 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

My point is that the slaves also don't want to be slaves (and their children did nothing to deserve that fate)
So it's wrong to keep slaves.

So a book that tells you how to do it is wrong

And a book that tells you to do the wrong thing is not a source of moral s.

1

Prisoners also don't want to be prisoners. Is it wrong to put people in prison? Other then for breaking the law, slaves sold themselves into slavery. Willingly. 

Edited by Raider5678
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3 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

Prisoners also don't want to be prisoners. Is it wrong to put people in prison? Other then for breaking the law, slaves sold themselves into slavery. Willingly. 

We don't imprison people because they were "which they begat in your land: "

That would be evil and it's analogous to what the Book says we should  do.

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Just now, John Cuthber said:

We don't imprison people because they were "which they begat in your land: "

That would be evil and it's analogous to what the Book says we should  do.

1

Yes, we actually do. They're called prisoners of war.

 

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2 hours ago, Raider5678 said:

Yes, we actually do. They're called prisoners of war.

 

Not relevant (and not really true- we intern people who we consider to be "dangerous" for being dangerous- regardless of where they were born.)
We don't jail children just because their parents were thieves.

 

Edited by John Cuthber
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31 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

No, it's not what I think.

But I also don't see how saying I get my morals from the bible means atheists aren't able to be moral.

And so your only complaint about the bible saying to give to the poor, is that there are some rich people who claim their Christians and don't give to the poor?

Are you serious?

If you know me you I am quite serious and the complaint I give cannot just be brushed aside, how can you justify the vast amounts of wealth collected by preachers compared to what Jesus said? 

 

31 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

If the person chooses to sell themselves you can, yeah. It's not like you can just kidnap them and sell them. Also, guess who gets the money when you buy a slave? The slave. 

 

No, it doesn't. The verse people commonly quote to say it does, Exodus 21:7, is taken way out of context. 

 

And I'm getting tired of the context debate. If I am a lawyer, I have to look at the whole law. I can't take one sentence from it and then start yelling about how it's ridiculous. Same common sense applies here.

Here is a passage, tell me how it has been taken out of context...

Quote

Exodus 21:7-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

“When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not satisfy her owner, he must allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. But if the slave’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave but as a daughter.

10 “If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy. 11 If he fails in any of these three obligations, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

How are these taken out of context? 

 

http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ex/21.html

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40 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

I also don't see how saying I get my morals from the bible means atheists aren't able to be moral.

If the bible (or religion or even god, for that matter) are the supposed source of morals, then by definition those who don't follow or believe in those things cannot be moral. Since you seem to agree that atheists are / can be moral, it defeats the argument I was previously attacking... the one that started this ridiculousness... the claim that the bible is the source of morals. 

Perhaps the bible helps you to shape and revise your existing morals, but those morals exist for you as a result of living in a tribal species surrounded by community members with behavioral expectations and punishments for failure to adhere.

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4 hours ago, iNow said:

It merely borrows from an already existing morality that itself stems from our existence as a tribal species; a tribal species where reproductive success is increased by avoiding ostrasization from the broader group.

This implies morality is a static thing, fixed in our biology. I don't think this is true; it seems that morality has developed with civilisation. And if it does develop it would require people to drive it. Therefore the bible may not be merely borrow already existing morality, but may have developed once cutting edge morality - treating your slaves was once a revolutionary idea. Getting rid of slavery is the next step.

 

If the bible (or religion or even god, for that matter) are the supposed source of morals, then by definition those who don't follow or believe in those things cannot be moral.

I think what Raider means (at least what some Christians mean) when they say some god is the source of morality is that there must be some supreme being to declare precisely what is right or wrong, else morality cannot exist. Atheists can be moral within this framework so long they adhere to these declarations, regardless of whether they believe it came from on high. 

I find it a quite a dehumanising view: morality is no longer something humans bring to the universe, rather it is something imposed upon us and we're either right or wrong. Uninspiring and insipid. 

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56 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

 

I find it a quite a dehumanising view: morality is no longer something humans bring to the universe, rather it is something imposed upon us and we're either right or wrong. Uninspiring and insipid. 

I think the dehumanising goes beyond morality. One of our very important human traits which makes us unique among other species is curiosity, the striving to know things and to discover. Every one of us has that when we are born and in my opinion it is one of the few traits in us which is actually beautiful, there is a certain nobility to it. Gods and holy books crush that in us and substitute it with their own primitive methodologies leaving an empty shell incapable of that spark. Its like cancer. 

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1 hour ago, Prometheus said:

This implies morality is a static thing, fixed in our biology. I don't think this is true

I don’t think it implies any such thing. We’re predisposed to follow the norms of our local tribe or culture, but the morality we follow itself comes from that community, not from the genes.

So, we seem to agree that claims of morality being static or fixed in biology are untrue. 

1 hour ago, Prometheus said:

I think what Raider means (at least what some Christians mean) when they say some god is the source of morality is that there must be some supreme being to declare precisely what is right or wrong, else morality cannot exist. Atheists can be moral within this framework so long they adhere to these declarations, regardless of whether they believe it came from on high. 

And I could declare that teeth cannot be cleaned unless the tooth fairy exists, and that clean teeth can only occur within that framework even if you don’t believe in the tooth fairy yourself. 

As you well know and likely agree, simply declaring such a thing wouldn’t magically render my declaration true or valid. 

39 minutes ago, koti said:

One of our very important human traits which makes us unique among other species is curiosity, the striving to know things and to discover.

I don’t agree with this at all. That’s not unique to humans. One obvious counter example are octopus and another is crows, but exploration of this disagreement is probably best left for a different thread. 

Edited by iNow
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8 hours ago, iNow said:

 

I don’t agree with this at all. That’s not unique to humans. One obvious counter example are octopus and another is crows, but exploration of this disagreement is probably best left for a different thread. 

You’re right I guess but we won’t know if crows and/or octopus would channel more budget into science than into the military. Excluding the „unique” part, I think my point still stands.

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dimpeer: Getting back to your view that atheism has nothing to do with religion, I would like to point out that the statement "There is no God" is not a scientific statement. It cannot be proved one way or another. It is simply a personal statement of your belief about the nature of reality - it would definitely be a religious statement, except that most people regard a religion as requiring a god or some sort of supernatural element.  If Buddhism is a religion, then so is Atheism.

The statement "There is no God" is certainly a quasi-religious statement.

Atheism has consequences -> There is no God-given morality -> The rise of the Ubermensch (superman) who regards himself above morality, and can do terrible acts if it advances society. It is tempting to regard Nazi Germany as the only instance of nihilism, but that is not true. Communism rejects religion (the opium of the people) for the same practical reasons. And the mafia (despite lip service to the Church), regards themselves as above standard morality (ubermensch -> wise guys).

In a very real sense, Atheism is a religion.

Anyway... the argument over boundaries is silly. Presumably if you are against "boundaries"  you are against football team, families, school enrolments, different languages, etc.

This thread is supposed to be about whether the world be a better place without religion? To me the obvious answer is that religion has overwhelmingly been a force for good. You only need look at the schools, hospitals, hostels, pastoral care provided by the Church. It has provided inspiration for figures such as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa. It provides moral guidance for millions.

 

 

Edited by Shauno
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19 minutes ago, Shauno said:

"There is no God" is not a scientific statement.

Indeed, but most atheists don't assert any such silly thing. Instead, most atheists just say, "I don't find the evidence for god(s) convincing and so choose to live my life without believing in it/her/him." That's not an affirmative claim of nonexistence as you assert, so you're essentially arguing against a strawman.

Now, why have you ignored my other rebuttals and criticisms of your stance? Everyone can see that you've failed to respond, and I wonder why you're choosing to avoid (well, I think I know why actually, but want to give you the benefit of the doubt).

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22 hours ago, zapatos said:

Tell that to the 5,000,000 non-Jews who died in the Holocaust.

relevance?

 

22 hours ago, Strange said:

You can't even understand your own arguments?

You said that religion crossing [cultural] boundaries woudn't help break down boundaries between religions. I gave an example where that seems obviously false.

Rather than explain why it is wrong, you pretend you don't know what you are talking about. Fair enough.

You keep reacting on things I didn't say.

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36 minutes ago, Shauno said:

dimpeer: Getting back to your view that atheism has nothing to do with religion, I would like to point out that the statement "There is no God" is not a scientific statement. It cannot be proved one way or another. It is simply a personal statement of your belief about the nature of reality - it would definitely be a religious statement, except that most people regard a religion as requiring a god or some sort of supernatural element.  If Buddhism is a religion, then so is Atheism.

The statement "There is no God" is certainly a quasi-religious statement.

Atheism has consequences -> There is no God-given morality -> The rise of the Ubermensch (superman) who regards himself above morality, and can do terrible acts if it advances society. It is tempting to regard Nazi Germany as the only instance of nihilism, but that is not true. Communism rejects religion (the opium of the people) for the same practical reasons. And the mafia (despite lip service to the Church), regards themselves as above standard morality (ubermensch -> wise guys).

In a very real sense, Atheism is a religion.

Anyway... the argument over boundaries is silly. Presumably if you are against "boundaries"  you are against football team, families, school enrolments, different languages, etc.

This thread is supposed to be about whether the world be a better place without religion? To me the obvious answer is that religion has overwhelmingly been a force for good. You only need look at the schools, hospitals, hostels, pastoral care provided by the Church. It has provided inspiration for figures such as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa. It provides moral guidance for millions.

 

 

Well, as much as the OP question remains and will remain unanswered due to the fact that we will never know how the world would have evolved without religion, there is one thing for sure... the world would be better off without Mother Teresa:
 

 

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35 minutes ago, Shauno said:

The statement "There is no God" is certainly a quasi-religious statement.

It's true you can't scientifically disprove god.

But most major religions believe in a personal god, which is a God you can relate to as a person, which is scientifically impossible. The idea of a personal god goes in against evolution.

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14 minutes ago, Shauno said:

dimpeer: Getting back to your view that atheism has nothing to do with religion

When did I say that?

15 minutes ago, Shauno said:

In a very real sense, Atheism is a religion.

Nope, it's really not, any more than bald is a hair colour, to quote Inow.

20 minutes ago, Shauno said:

I would like to point out that the statement "There is no God" is not a scientific statement. It cannot be proved one way or another. It is simply a personal statement of your belief about the nature of reality - it would definitely be a religious statement, except that most people regard a religion as requiring a god or some sort of supernatural element.

My argument is and has always been god is irrelevant. Did god write the bible? of course not, people did so even in terms of its book it's irrelevant.

26 minutes ago, Shauno said:

This thread is supposed to be about whether the world be a better place without religion? To me the obvious answer is that religion has overwhelmingly been a force for good. You only need look at the schools, hospitals, hostels, pastoral care provided by the Church. It has provided inspiration for figures such as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa. 

2

Religion can be a force for good, that certainly seems to be the intention of the people who wrote the book, unfortunately, god gets in the way when people believe its relevant, so instead of trying to understand the lessons of the stories and parables they just believe them without critical thought, just knowing what mathew 20:12 (whatever that is) wrote is not understanding nor is it any kind of argument. 

Quote

It provides moral guidance for millions.

It may have done a long time ago; today it provides solace for millions and there's nothing wrong with that but unless you can detach god from the book you're unlikely to understand the moral guidance the book provides.

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34 minutes ago, Shauno said:

 If Buddhism is a religion, then so is Atheism.

There are Buddhist temples, priests, scripture and a unified idea how humans might exist. Atheism has none of these so by what definition are they both a religion? One so broad as to include football supporters i suspect - a useless definition. 

 

39 minutes ago, Shauno said:

Atheism has consequences

This is true, but why do you keep mentioning the Ubermensch. Atheists generally find this mindset as abhorrent as religious people. 

 

45 minutes ago, Shauno said:

To me the obvious...

Things are always obvious when we don't back them up with data. It's impossible to quantify the good and harm religion has done and it's impossible to rerun the human 'experiment' without religion so we'll likely never be able to sensibly answer this question. We should not deny the harm religion has done though: else how can religion ever improve?

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iNow - to address some of you statement

On ‎29‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 2:34 AM, iNow said:
On ‎29‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 1:46 AM, Raider5678 said:

the majority of actual historians agree he was not a Christian.

Thank you for the correction, and I should’ve been more cautious with my words. What I intended to emphasize was how he used Christianity as another type of nationalism to further his ends. 

Getting something completely wrong is not "beng more caustious with words" - and he did not use Christianity as another type of nationalism, whatever that means. The Russians and other target were generally Christians, apart from the unfortunate Jews. 

Sorry - accidently posted this before I had finished it.

Edited by Shauno
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16 hours ago, Prometheus said:

Getting rid of slavery is the next step.

One which the Christian church resisted.

 

16 hours ago, Prometheus said:

I think what Raider means (at least what some Christians mean) when they say some god is the source of morality is that there must be some supreme being to declare precisely what is right or wrong, else morality cannot exist.

Raider may well mean that, and Christians may well believe it.

But it is clearly not  true.

If you need a God to tell you right from wrong, you have a problem.

1 hour ago, Shauno said:

Atheism has consequences -> There is no God-given morality -> The rise of the Ubermensch (superman) who regards himself above morality, and can do terrible acts if it advances society.

You seem to overlook the fact that morality  exists just fine without being "God given".

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30 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

There are Buddhist temples, priests, scripture and a unified idea how humans might exist. Atheism has none of these so by what definition are they both a religion? One so broad as to include football supporters i suspect - a useless definition. 

Religions are about the supernatural. Football supporters have nothing to do with the supernatural.

The statement "There is no God" is a pseudo-religious statement. The ideas that flow Atheism have been explored. Read Nietzsche. Atheism has consequences - for a start, you reject all God-given morality and elevate your own judgement above that that of any religious authority. Historically that has been a very bad thing. 

You may want to claim that being an Atheism is not a pseudo religion, but it is.  (Did you actually follow my post?) Even you agree Atheism "has consequences".

44 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

This is true, but why do you keep mentioning the Ubermensch. Atheists generally find this mindset as abhorrent as religious people

I would hope that everyone would find that mentality abhorrent, but I don't believe that it true. There are many, many examples. The death penalty is one. The commandments are clear - thou shalt not kill. (The Quakers take this literally, most Christians believe in self defence, etc) However there is no valid reason for killing prisoners - just revenge. It is very easy to say it is better for society just to kill them, but that is pure Nietzsche. I don't see how you can be a Christian and believe in the death penalty.

The treatment of "non-combatants" is another one. How many people in the US felt that they deserve whatever they get? Suddenly torture was OK. But again I don't see how a Christian could support that.

5 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

You seem to overlook the fact that morality  exists just fine without being "God given"

No it doesn't. Behaviour only becomes a function of expected outcome. I.e. You behave nicely if you think that on the whole it benefits you, but can do terrible things if it suit you.

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8 minutes ago, Shauno said:

 Behaviour only becomes a function of expected outcome. I.e. You behave nicely if you think that on the whole it benefits you, but can do terrible things if it suit you.

That is an interesting definition of morality. Could you elaborate on this and give some sources? Or is this pathology your own invention? 

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