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Free Thought Exchange - Is this enough to break the spell?


iNow
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This is a question for anyone, because apparently communication has broken down with me, Sam and Gees and all I'm seeing now are mostly incoherent arguments against positions I've never espoused (Sam's been misrepresenting and/or misunderstanding nearly every post I've made since way back at post #50), so let's clear this up before anyone else goes all apoplectic...

 

What is your central challenge to my position?

 

I've clarified in essentially every post I've made since this exchange began that I'm referring specifically to the bad things embedded in religions and some religious teachings. I've added that I am also referring to the bad that comes from accepting things on faith in the absence of evidence, and often in direct contradiction to the evidence available.

 

I've clarified repeatedly that I'm not blaming religion for all bad things that happen, and I've clarified repeatedly that my point is focused on very specific negatives that clearly stem directly from religion itself. I've given many examples more than once, and while my examples are mostly specific to Judeo-Christian religions, I could equally cite examples from others that would make similar cases.

 

I've clarified in essentially every single one of these cases that these are my personal opinions on the matter.

 

Is your disagreement because I see religion as responsible for some specific bad things that happen? Is your disagreement because I refuse to give religion the satisfaction of taking credit for good things that I see as better ascribed to us being a social species that exists in communities and tribes? Is your disagreement because I don't offer any deference or any special place of privilege to religious claims, and I see it roughly equal with a cult of adults who still believe in santa claus? Are you just mad because you feel offended by what I've said? What? What is it?

 

What is your central challenge to my position that I have not already addressed?

Edited by iNow
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IMO Each has a state of mind that helps interpret communication, and different people understand subtly different things in the same communication; thus, misunderstanding is easy and understanding is hard. Lawyers and politicians must be great communicators, while scientists need to be precise.

 

Consider agreeing to disagree but not be disagreeable.

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This is a question for anyone, because apparently communication has broken down with me, Sam and Gees and all I'm seeing now are mostly incoherent arguments against positions I've never espoused (Sam's been misrepresenting and/or misunderstanding nearly every post I've made since way back at post #50), so let's clear this up before anyone else goes all apoplectic...

 

I don't care how many posts you have, stating something is incoherent does not magically make it incoherent. I read it and it makes sense, and apparently others have made sense of what I have been saying as well even if they do not agree with me.

 

 

 

I've clarified in essentially every post I've made since this exchange began that I'm referring specifically to the bad things embedded in religions and some religious teachings. I've added that I am also referring to the bad that comes from accepting things on faith in the absence of evidence, and often in direct contradiction to the evidence available.

You are referring to bad effects which in of itself is not incorrect or illogical. However, you base assertions of the nature of all religion on these personal assumptions or conflicts. It doesn't even matter if it is a personal opinion, it doesn't make sense to only see bad or only focus on the bad things of religion in a discussion of the whole of religion.

 

 

 

I've clarified repeatedly that I'm not blaming religion for all bad things that happen, and I've clarified repeatedly that my point is focused on very specific negatives that clearly stem directly from religion itself. I've given many examples more than once, and while my examples are mostly specific to Judeo-Christian religions, I could equally cite examples from others that would make similar cases.

Then why did you not confine your arguments to the different threads you mentioned which actually regard these matters of focusing specifically on negative effects of religion?

 

 

 

I've clarified in essentially every single one of these cases that these are my personal opinions on the matter.

If they are personal opinions, how can they be logical if they are merely arbitrary assumptions? I suppose that is why I find trouble making logical sense of them.

 

 

 

Is your disagreement because I see religion as responsible for some specific bad things that happen? Is your disagreement because I refuse to give religion the satisfaction of taking credit for good things that I see as better ascribed to us being a social species that exists in communities and tribes? Is your disagreement because I don't offer any deference or any special place of privilege to religious claims, and I see it roughly equal with a cult of adults who still believe in santa claus? Are you just mad because you feel offended by what I've said? What? What is it?

 

My disagreement was that you stated an agreement that religion can lead to both good and bad and that ultimately those actions stem from humans themselves and not religion itself, and then spontaneously you only focused on bad traits or effects religion can have. I see now that this does not necessarily suggest you see no good for religion but it was a seeming self contradiction which was confusing, it would be better to make those arguments in the other topic you mentioned if you are not going to debate about the total effects religion can have or the open nature of belief itself.

Edited by SamBridge
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My disagreement was that you stated an agreement that religion can lead to both good and bad and that ultimately those actions stem from humans themselves and not religion itself, and then spontaneously you only focused on bad traits or effects religion can have. I see now that this does not necessarily suggest you see no good for religion but it was a seeming self contradiction which was confusing, it would be better to make those arguments in the other topic you mentioned if you are not going to debate about the total effects religion can have or the open nature of belief itself.

 

 

Your confusion is your own, I understand what iNow is saying. Yes religion can contribute both good and bad but the good that religion contributes has been hijacked away from natural human social behavior and all that is left is the bad behavior that religion actively promotes. In fact i would say that religion not only hijacks natural human altruistic behavior and claims it as being rooted in religion it also magnifies the natural behaviors that humans try to suppress as well as adding it's own evil...

 

You can say wars are started by things other than religion and you would of course be correct but nothing can dehumanize the "other" better than religion and threaten you beyond the grave if you don't go with the religious demands for that dehumanization...

 

Only modern secularization of religion has allowed the smiling ingratiating version of religion we see today, in places where religion is law it is more likely you find the same dehumanizing behavior that religion allowed itself to promulgate back the law was religion and religion was the law....

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Your confusion is your own, I understand what iNow is saying. Yes religion can contribute both good and bad but the good that religion contributes has been hijacked away from natural human social behavior and all that is left is the bad behavior that religion actively promotes. In fact i would say that religion not only hijacks natural human altruistic behavior and claims it as being rooted in religion it also magnifies the natural behaviors that humans try to suppress as well as adding it's own evil...

Obviously the confusion is not only my own if others are having conflicts with him.

I would argue the only time hijacking is involved is when people are being manipulated, but that only occurs by the choice of at least another person. Instead, religion does not hijack emotions, but is built from them. Think about it: Why would religion have such a large effect if itself was not "built" directly from human feelings and perceptions? This is why religion can be used to manipulate people emotionally. The ten commandments for instance. The mono-theistic religions referred to don't necessarily hijack things, it merely makes sense that to have a cohesive society that you cannot have people going around killing and stealing from each other and having a hierarchy requires loyalty which is why those things were included in religion in the first place.

 

 

nothing can dehumanize the "other" better than religion and threaten you beyond the grave if you don't go with the religious demands for that dehumanization...

First off that sounds very bias, I have no idea how you can quantify that and thus prove that statement. I would ague that the purpose of the modern judicial system in the US is the dehumanize people in an attempt to get objective and logical views, in my opinion these systems are much more effective than religion, because isn't it in fact a human thing to dis-like those who are different or threaten those who threaten you in some way or seek power and or control? That's not even limited to humans, that's just something that generally happens in all of the animal kingdom. As I started explaining before, religion effects people because it is so human.

 

 

Only modern secularization of religion has allowed the smiling ingratiating version of religion we see today, in places where religion is law it is more likely you find the same dehumanizing behavior that religion allowed itself to promulgate back the law was religion and religion was the law....

Throughout all of history, people were people. Are you seriously suggesting that in no previous time period there was not a large group of people who dis-liked seeing people killed for being prosecuted or hated wars? There were plenty of people who were religious but were peaceful and did not necessarily like all of the things that the hierarchies of their religions did, after all, it wouldn't be exactly human to not have a problem with what those organizations did. Instead, technology was limited and so was dissemination of information throughout the world. Religious organizations had a lot of power to control the media and power merely from armies with swords and as any powerful group they eventually become the foundation for some kind of society.

Edited by SamBridge
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Obviously the confusion is not only my own if others are having conflicts with him.

I would argue the only time hijacking is involved is when people are being manipulated, but that only occurs by the choice of at least another person. Instead, religion does not hijack emotions, but is built from them. Think about it: Why would religion have such a large effect if itself was not "built" directly from human feelings and perceptions? This is why religion can be used to manipulate people emotionally. The ten commandments for instance. The mono-theistic religions referred to don't necessarily hijack things, it merely makes sense that to have a cohesive society that you cannot have people going around killing and stealing from each other and having a hierarchy requires loyalty which is why those things were included in religion in the first place.

 

Have you read the ten commandments? Do you know how many of them really pertain to human moral behavior? Do you think it's really necessary to tell people not to steal and murder or lie and use ten commandments to tell those basic things? Do you think all religions teach that? Do you think that before religion hijacked those things no one had any idea about empathy?

 

First off that sounds very bias, I have no idea how you can quantify that and thus prove that statement. I would ague that the purpose of the modern judicial system in the US is the dehumanize people in an attempt to get objective and logical views, in my opinion these systems are much more effective than religion, because isn't it in fact a human thing to dis-like those who are different or threaten those who threaten you in some way or seek power and or control? That's not even limited to humans, that's just something that generally happens in all of the animal kingdom. As I started explaining before, religion effects people because it is so human.

 

No, no one else can dehumanize you and threaten you beyond the grave, this is avery important point, please think about it...

 

Throughout all of history, people were people. Are you seriously suggesting that in no previous time period there was not a large group of people who dis-liked seeing people killed for being prosecuted or hated wars? There were plenty of people who were religious but were peaceful and did not necessarily like all of the things that the hierarchies of their religions did, after all, it wouldn't be exactly human to not have a problem with what those organizations did. Instead, technology was limited and so was dissemination of information throughout the world. Religious organizations had a lot of power to control the media and power merely from armies with swords and as any powerful group they eventually become the foundation for some kind of society.

 

There was society well before there was the religions we know and hate love today... I admit that there is religion and there is RELIGION primitive religions did not have the power that the modern ones have and few of them if any threatened anyone who disagreed with eternal hell fire.... This is very important to understand, a man can be made to do quite a bit if he believes that even death cannot rescue him...

Edited by Moontanman
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I actually think Sam's criticism on some points was useful

Would you be willing to share which ones? I wonder if perhaps you might be able to elucidate and articulate it more clearly than he did.
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This is a question for anyone, because apparently communication has broken down with me, Sam and Gees and all I'm seeing now are mostly incoherent arguments against positions I've never espoused (Sam's been misrepresenting and/or misunderstanding nearly every post I've made since way back at post #50), so let's clear this up before anyone else goes all apoplectic...

 

What is your central challenge to my position?

Hi iNow;

 

I'm glad you thought of this, as it is much better to put our cards on the table. I have a few different problems with your position, but will try to be concise.

 

1. You seem to be under the impression that religion can be disposed of. I do not agree. It is my understanding that all cultures and societies that have formed have some kind of belief system, and that when that belief system dissolves, so does the culture and society. I could be wrong. Are there cultures and societies that have formed and survived without a belief system?

 

2. A number of statements in your posts imply that you think I am making personal attacks on you. I am not. What I am attacking is your methodology in dealing with this issue. You are using formal logic, rationalization, and philosophical debate, which are all useless tools in this type of discussion.

 

3. My own personal interest is in the study of consciousness, which I have been working on for most of my life. I am not talking about the rational mind or brain, I am talking about all of the aspects of consciousness, which include all life, most sciences, all religions, and the paranormal, so I have spent a good deal of time studying religion.

 

If I could take one thing away from religions, I would take away the concept of "good v evil" as this single concept is responsible for more misery than anything else attributable to religions. It is also a false dichotomy. The opposite of good is not evil, it is bad. Good and bad have balance and in different circumstances can be interchangable, but evil is just that--evil.

 

One never hears the phrase "good v evil" except in relation to religion, because it is not valid as good and evil are not opposites, nor are they connected in any way. Most people do not even understand what the phrase means, or what evil actually is, but they know how to use it; "We are good, and you are evil". Evil is always the other, the other person, the other religion, the other country, the other society--but always the "other". The phrase "good and evil" is used to create hate, division, and war. It builds prejudice within religions.

 

So imagine my surprise when you imply that religions are the source of this evil, while doing the exact same kind of dividing and hate mongering that religions do, with your severe prejudice against religions! It appears as though you are taking the worst aspects of religion and incorporating them into your argument against religion.

 

G.

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You seem to be under the impression that religion can be disposed of. I do not agree. It is my understanding that all cultures and societies that have formed have some kind of belief system, and that when that belief system dissolves, so does the culture and society. I could be wrong. Are there cultures and societies that have formed and survived without a belief system?

I wouldn't necessarily say that religion can or should be disposed of as much as I'd say that it's not necessary. Additionally, you seem to be conflating the concepts of religions and belief systems in your post above. There are important differences there, but yes. I think you are wrong, and the data is on my side.

 

When viewed at the societal level, religiosity and practically every measure of social health are inversely correlated, and it is a significant effect. One easy example is Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Sweden. We have real data on this point, so IMO your speculations are quite moot. Look to the evidence, and you will see your concerns appear very much to be unfounded.

 

http://globalhealth.washington.edu/docs/Bezruchka 2.pdf

http://www.pitzer.edu/academics/faculty/zuckerman/Zuckerman_on_Atheism.pdf

 

In case you're not comfortable reading an actual study, here are some popular press and layman explanations that further reinforce the point:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/us/28beliefs.html?_r=2&ref=todayspaper

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/sep/12/pope-benedict-atheism-secularism

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=3189

 

 

A number of statements in your posts imply that you think I am making personal attacks on you. I am not.

Read again. I said you need to stop focusing your comments on me and instead focus your comments on the content of my posts. This is a distinct and separate issue from personal attacks, so your reply is rather tangential to the point I actually made.

 

My own personal interest is in the study of consciousness, which I have been working on for most of my life. I am not talking about the rational mind or brain, I am talking about all of the aspects of consciousness, which include all life, most sciences, all religions, and the paranormal, so I have spent a good deal of time studying religion.

 

An appeal to authority is also a logical fallacy. It doesn't matter who you are or what you've studied. It is the content of our words and the manner in which we support them with evidence which matters here, not your credentials and background.

 

I agree with you, though, about the concept of evil being a challenge in discussions such as these, and I've been trying to remind myself not to use that term (even though most of the posts to which I've been responding have so freely inserted it). I agree with you that bad is a much better descriptor than evil, and is the correct opposite of concept of good.

 

But to accuse me of hate mongering shows only that you are failing abysmally to understand my position, and demonstrates yet again your predilection toward arguing against the messenger instead of the message. I can bluntly challenge and criticize religion, and I can call out weaknesses in the arguments of others, and I can even suggest that there are a lot of bad outcomes that are the direct result of religion. None of that is hate mongering, though, and if you think it is then I suggest perhaps you're too sensitive and likely perceive a lot of false positives as you have here. Your assertion is nonsequitur. It does not follow from the positions I've put forth. I may be blunt with my tone, and I may not show religion the deference to which so many people have become accustomed, but that hardly makes me a hate monger or someone looking to incite others.

 

I really wish you would start arguing against what I'm actually saying instead of what you think I'm saying... or what you want to think I'm saying.

Edited by iNow
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iNow;

 

I looked up your first link and found the University of Washington, Department of Global Health, PAGE NOT FOUND.

 

The second link explained to me that people in Sweden/Denmark do not like to talk about religion, but the "overwhelming majority" have been baptized, many have been confirmed or married in the church, and the national religion is Lutheran.

 

The third link stated:

"Until recently, this assertion could not be tested because all
societies were deeply religious. Moreover, the first atheistic societies
had atheism forced upon them by brutal dictators (Hoxha’s Albania,
Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia), and thus were hardly
models of a healthy society."

 

I think that you proved my point that societies formed with religions, so I am not going to bother with the two links that you added subsequently--besides they are from an Athiest site and not neutral in this discussion.

 

 

When I retired, it was from working in law, so I am very familiar with lawyer tricks. I have watched lawyers "dance the edge of truth" where they can speak for hours without actually telling a lie, but never state an honest truth. I have seen them practice something that we called "scabpicking" where a lawyer will look for a weakness in an opponent's case and pick at it over and over until it begins to look like a wound, so that the entire jury is so engrossed with the wound that they have forgotten the point of the matter. I have seen lawyers use "misdirection" so that, like a magician or jester, they can hide the truth.

 

But this is not a Court where truth is hidden, it is not a platform for a politician, it is a philosophy forum. Truth should be relavent here, but apparently it's not. As I stated earlier, I don't think that you are a philosopher, so I am going to look for one.

 

G.

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Only modern secularization of religion has allowed the smiling ingratiating version of religion we see today, in places where religion is law it is more likely you find the same dehumanizing behavior that religion allowed itself to promulgate back the law was religion and religion was the law....

I would like to note one example of a person who is both religious and rational; that is, not secular and rational. He is Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, whose quotes indicating rationalism are in my sig. below. On the other hand, I do not wish to minimize the important part secularization has played in supporting and teaching rational thought and advancing science.

 

I fear emotions are rising.

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Have you read the ten commandments? Do you know how many of them really pertain to human moral behavior? Do you think it's really necessary to tell people not to steal and murder or lie and use ten commandments to tell those basic things? Do you think all religions teach that? Do you think that before religion hijacked those things no one had any idea about empathy?

Couldn't it have easily been that whoever created the ten commandments merely wanted an excuse for people to stop stealing and killing from each other and bring about order? This isn't hijackin at all, they are based directly off of basic necessities for an organized society, albeit a specifically religious one.

 

 

No, no one else can dehumanize you and threaten you beyond the grave, this is avery important point, please think about it...

Again, very biased seeming. You seem to have ignored the fact that it is a common trait young the human species to dis-like those that are different and to manipulate people and to seek power, unless you have evidence, religion did not create those traits in humans. Religion at times merely shows those traits more clearly, like politics even.

 

 

There was society well before there was the religions we know and hate love today... I admit that there is religion and there is RELIGION primitive religions did not have the power that the modern ones have and few of them if any threatened anyone who disagreed with eternal hell fire.... This is very important to understand, a man can be made to do quite a bit if he believes that even death cannot rescue him...

I don't know why you crossed out the hate, both love and hate existed before any organized religion, which should go to show you that religion has even less of an effect than you thought. If people did not use religion to control others they would use politics or threats. While there may have been negative consequences in the religion like going to hell, those negative consequences discouraged localized violence, stealing and lying. If for example in a Christian religion you did not pray on Sunday, it doesn't mean you aren't human, it merely to them may mean you may be possessed by something, and ethically wouldn't it be better to sacrifice one person to protect the rest of the village? The problem with that is that it was manipulated by people for personal gain as well as a lack of much evidence in trials, if I remember correctly there was some kind of mold contamination of the food supply involved in the Salem whitch trials.

 

 

Would you be willing to share which ones? I wonder if perhaps you might be able to elucidate and articulate it more clearly than he did.

What? You didn't understand me? Every point you make must be invalid and you must be a heretic!

Edited by SamBridge
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I looked up your first link and found the University of Washington, Department of Global Health, PAGE NOT FOUND.

Odd... Not sure why. Here it is again: http://globalhealth.washington.edu/docs/Bezruchka%202.pdf

 

The title of the paper is [Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies]. It appeared in the Volume 7, 2005 edition of the Journal of Religion & Society. You can use this information to find it via google if the link fails again.

I think that you proved my point that societies formed with religions, so I am not going to bother with the two links that you added subsequently

I was specifically addressing your comment regarding your concern that societies would fail or dissolve were religion not in place. I ignored the issue of societal creation as it didn't seem relevant in any way to the exchange. If you disagree, then kindly please explain further.

--besides they are from an Athiest site and not neutral in this discussion.

It doesn't really matter who shares the information if it is accurate. You've engaged now in YET ANOTHER logical fallacy and AGAIN have chosen instead to attack the messenger instead of the message.

 

Either way, their work is based on the study I cited from the Journal of Religion & Society, so focus there perhaps, instead.

I have seen lawyers use "misdirection" so that, like a magician or jester, they can hide the truth. <snip> But this is not a Court where truth is hidden, it is not a platform for a politician, it is a philosophy forum. Truth should be relavent here, but apparently it's not. As I stated earlier, I don't think that you are a philosopher, so I am going to look for one.

Please focus on the posts and if you have criticisms of their content, share them, but as I've asked you now on at least 3 separate occasions stop focusing on this other tangential shit that focus instead on the messenger rather than the message. You already said you would.
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Couldn't it have easily been that whoever created the ten commandments merely wanted an excuse for people to stop stealing and killing from each other and bring about order? This isn't hijackin at all, they are based directly off of basic necessities for an organized society, albeit a specifically religious one.

 

So, you think the ten commandments predate any moral behavior and organized society? The ten commandments... four deal with how to worship god, one tells me not to covet my neighbor's ass, the other five are so damn obvious to anyone with even a tiny amount of empathy they should be self evident to any intelligent social species and in fact i would argue are the cornerstone of our evolved social behavior... ie hijacked by religion and hijacked quite recently, since the pentateuch was compiled around 2500 years ago.

 

Again, very biased seeming. You seem to have ignored the fact that it is a common trait young the human species to dis-like those that are different and to manipulate people and to seek power, unless you have evidence, religion did not create those traits in humans. Religion at times merely shows those traits more clearly, like politics even.

 

I agree, Obama recently sentenced all who vote republican to hell for all eternity...

 

I don't know why you crossed out the hate, both love and hate existed before any organized religion, which should go to show you that religion has even less of an effect than you thought. If people did not use religion to control others they would use politics or threats. While there may have been negative consequences in the religion like going to hell, those negative consequences discouraged localized violence, stealing and lying. If for example in a Christian religion you did not pray on Sunday, it doesn't mean you aren't human, it merely to them may mean you may be possessed by something, and ethically wouldn't it be better to sacrifice one person to protect the rest of the village? The problem with that is that it was manipulated by people for personal gain as well as a lack of much evidence in trials, if I remember correctly there was some kind of mold contamination of the food supply involved in the Salem whitch trials.

 

First of all a huge number of witches were burnt in places other than Salem over a very long period of time along with boiling Jews in oil for eating meat on a Friday, a huge number of tortures for various offenses from adultery to blasphemy, usually pointless and extremely long lasting and painful and various other atrocities that most men would never have agreed to without the threat of eternal torment. The vast majority of these people were no threat to anyone and in fact were often simply unlucky enough to run afoul of GOD... or his earthly representatives.

 

 

What? You didn't understand me? Every point you make must be invalid and you must be a heretic!

 

 

Oh I am beginning to understand you...

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I wonder if perhaps you might be able to elucidate and articulate it more clearly than he did.

Sarcasm? I already touched upon the useful point I felt he was raising.

 

I didn't understand many of the points he raised, and I did agree with you about the false dichotomy he depicted. To be honest I succumbed to a lot of TLDR behaviour, I apoloise for that.

 

I agree with you that religion is essentially hijacking the "good" already within us and claims that this good is rooted in religion. This point doesn't mean that the religious teachings, bible or whatever, do not contribute to the cause of good behaviours.

 

As for the promotion of bad, you raised the examples of religion condoning various bad behaviours and I agree also that religious teachings/bible do promote bad. The promotion of bad in this way might contribute to the cause of bad behaviours. I don't know how effective words on a page are at causing someone to act violently, were they inherently violent before reading it? did the words really contribute to the cause of the event?

 

I would rather have evidence before deciding what opinion to have on religion causing good or bad. To be honest though, I think the "religion causing bad" arguments are totally unneccessary. The fact of the matter is the religious texts promote bad, and there is no good reason to leave them in there. That is a valid criticism as far as society is concerned, as the promoted behaviours are against the law. There is a simple solution though, get rid of bad morals, and leave only the good morals.

Edited by jp255
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Sarcasm? I already touched upon the useful point I felt he was raising.

 

I didn't understand many of the points he raised, and I did agree with you about the false dichotomy he depicted. To be honest I succumbed to a lot of TLDR behaviour, I apoloise for that.

 

I agree with you that religion is essentially hijacking the "good" already within us and claims that this good is rooted in religion. This point doesn't mean that the religious teachings, bible or whatever, do not contribute to the cause of good behaviours.

 

As for the promotion of bad, you raised the examples of religion condoning various bad behaviours and I agree also that religious teachings/bible do promote bad. The promotion of bad in this way might contribute to the cause of bad behaviours. I don't know how effective words on a page are at causing someone to act violently, were they inherently violent before reading it? did the words really contribute to the cause of the event?

 

I would rather have evidence before deciding what opinion to have on religion causing good or bad. To be honest though, I think the "religion causing bad" arguments are totally unneccessary. The fact of the matter is the religious texts promote bad, and there is no good reason to leave them in there. That is a valid criticism as far as society is concerned, as the promoted behaviours are against the law. There is a simple solution though, get rid of bad morals, and leave only the good morals.

 

 

That would actually be my point, religion must remain chained, it cannot be allowed to regain its former control over society, modern technology would give religion access to power that previous religious authorities only had wet dreams about....

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I agree with you that religion is essentially hijacking the "good" already within us and claims that this good is rooted in religion. This point doesn't mean that the religious teachings, bible or whatever, do not contribute to the cause of good behaviours.

 

As for the promotion of bad, you raised the examples of religion condoning various bad behaviours and I agree also that religious teachings/bible do promote bad. The promotion of bad in this way might contribute to the cause of bad behaviours. I don't know how effective words on a page are at causing someone to act violently, were they inherently violent before reading it? did the words really contribute to the cause of the event?

Thank you for the clear response, and I largely agree with you. I might argue, however, that the commands of religion are more than "words on a page." They are instead perceived and treated as if they are the direct word of god, as if Yahweh himself held the pen. That raises it to a slightly different level for me.

 

To be honest though, I think the "religion causing bad" arguments are totally unneccessary. The fact of the matter is the religious texts promote bad, and there is no good reason to leave them in there. That is a valid criticism as far as society is concerned, as the promoted behaviours are against the law. There is a simple solution though, get rid of bad morals, and leave only the good morals.

I agree with this, too, and find the "religion causing bad" argument also unnecessary. I would like to move on, but I've had to spend the last 3 pages correcting peoples misrepresentations of my position.

 

Thanks again for the response. We seem pretty well aligned.

Edited by iNow
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One never hears the phrase "good v evil" except in relation to religion, because it is not valid as good and evil are not opposites, nor are they connected in any way. Most people do not even understand what the phrase means, or what evil actually is, but they know how to use it; "We are good, and you are evil". Evil is always the other, the other person, the other religion, the other country, the other society--but always the "other". The phrase "good and evil" is used to create hate, division, and war. It builds prejudice within religions.

 

About a year ago, I met a girl who had a strong opposition to all forms of eugenics or genetic discrimination. She described it saying, "so there's this battle between good and evil going on..." But I never heard her mention religion.

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Have you read the ten commandments? Do you know how many of them really pertain to human moral behavior? Do you think it's really necessary to tell people not to steal and murder or lie and use ten commandments to tell those basic things? Do you think all religions teach that? Do you think that before religion hijacked those things no one had any idea about empathy?

Hi Moontanman;

 

In support of Sam, I would like to make some comments here. Sam's belief that our moral law comes from religion, and specifically the Bible, is correct, but it is much more than the Ten Commandments. And please note that there is no Commandment that forbids us to lie, as that is a corruption instigated by the Christian church. The Commandment in question forbids us to "bear false witness" which is not the same thing at all, as bearing false witness is a corruption of another person's truth. We can lie, we just can't lie to accuse another person.

 

After studying law, I had occasion to review the Bible in my studies of consciousness, and was amazed to find the roots of our "common law" in the Books of Law in the Bible. In the US, our common law comes to us from England, except for Louisiana, as Lousiana gets their common law from France. And it should be noted here that I am not referring to laws made in the House of Commons, I am talking about law that is commonly known to be moral and good. Our moral law.

 

To give a little background here, it should be noted that there are many different sources for our laws, but generally speaking there is Constitutional law, Legislated law, and Case law. When this country started, we did not clear the shelves and wipe the pages clean, we used the laws established in prior cases to prosecute and judge current cases. So the common (moral) law that came over with the government from England was already ensconsed in our Case law.

 

So what does this have to do with religion? Well, religion dictates what is moral, so a peoples religious beliefs affect the moral laws. This is where we got witch burning from, and a lot of other nonsense--although I don't remember this specific thing in the Books of Law, I am sure that it can be found somewhere in the Bible. Also consider that in the Feudal system, the Lords of the land were also the judges, so where did they look for guidance in their judgments? Books were rare, so the only source of Law would be the Bible. We can trace US law, to English law, to Common Law, to the Bible. This is how law is built, brick by brick, it grows and changes just like the societies that use the law. But the roots, the foundation, stays the same.

 

While reviewing the Laws in the Bible, I was surprised to find that it clearly noted the difference between manslaughter and murder and also noted that "intent" was the determining factor--just as we do today. Another section stated that witness were required in the matter of murder. Other sections clearly delineated Property law, Criminal law, Family law, and even addressed Probate law. It seems that the roots of all of our moral laws are in the Bible, but are they?

 

I did not find anything on the "right to die", or on abortion, nor do I remember finding laws regarding how we treat our mentally insane, or what to do with an infant born deformed. Aren't these thing relavent to "empathy"? Yet we struggle to find a moral right in these situations because they are not addressed in the Books of Law in the Bible. I know full well that there are elderly people in prison today because a spouse, who was terminally ill, begged them for the right to die, which they granted. We call it mercy killing, and then throw them in jail.

 

Abortion was absolutely illegal until we started worrying about the world population, then it became legal, but as the world population diminishes, we will start to look twice at abortion. The right to die was unheard of, but as the "baby boomers" start to age and become a drain on society, I expect that we will start granting people the right to die. Secular law is practical if nothing else. But what is the moral right? There are cultures that accept that a person has the right to die, but we don't--because it is not in the Laws of the Bible.

 

G.

 

About a year ago, I met a girl who had a strong opposition to all forms of eugenics or genetic discrimination. She described it saying, "so there's this battle between good and evil going on..." But I never heard her mention religion.

Hi Mondays Assignment: Die;

 

But you will grant that the issues of eugenics and genetic discrimination are moral issues?

 

This is yet another example of a moral issue that is not addressed in the Bible, so it is hotly debated. We don't know if it is right or wrong.

 

I would like to note here that I have never met a person who fully understands the source of the "good and evil" concept, but it is false dichotomy attributable to religion and so it is often used in moral considerations.

 

You have a very interesting nickname.

 

G.

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Sam's belief that our moral law comes from religion, and specifically the Bible, is correct...

No no no no ... a thousand times no. Stop right there with that old canard. It's been trotted out more times than I care to count.

 

Please open your own new thread if you'd like to argue that religion, and specifically the bible, is the source of moral behavior in humans. Common law? Sure, maybe some of them, but not moral behavior itself. New thread, or shut-up about it.

 

I'll even help you out by sharing this one from five years ago. We've had this same discussion like 20 times since then, too. Feel free to have it again. Just don't do it here in this thread is all I ask: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/32262-where-do-morals-come-from/

Edited by iNow
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But you will grant that the issues of eugenics and genetic discrimination are moral issues?

 

Yes, I can see their ethical significance from different angles.

 

This is yet another example of a moral issue that is not addressed in the Bible, so it is hotly debated. We don't know if it is right or wrong.

 

The Bible isn't a credible source anyway.

 

You have a very interesting nickname.

 

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Edited by Mondays Assignment: Die
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So, you think the ten commandments predate any moral behavior and organized society?

If you read with any sort of caution, you would see I suggested the opposite. The ten commandments are based off of human actions and emotions and thus their morals as well, this is true for any religion, not just mono-theistic Christian variations.

 

 

I agree, Obama recently sentenced all who vote republican to hell for all eternity...

As I said in an earlier post which I am guessing you missed, it is also human to be compassionate and/or be understanding or "good". However, your point is still invalid because it does not rule out the fact that deception and lust for power and violence are also human traits.

 

 

First of all a huge number of witches were burnt in places other than Salem over a very long period of time along with boiling Jews in oil for eating meat on a Friday, a huge number of tortures for various offenses from adultery to blasphemy, usually pointless and extremely long lasting and painful and various other atrocities that most men would never have agreed to without the threat of eternal torment. The vast majority of these people were no threat to anyone and in fact were often simply unlucky enough to run afoul of GOD... or his earthly representatives.

Yes, very violent actions, just as violent potential as our ancestors which we see in chimps and apes and many other species of animals long before any organized religion. As I said before, religion can merely be manipulated to make these violent tendencies surface more or become more clear. Have you ever read Lord of the Flies? No religion involved, but it does show that violent actions surface without religion, very primitive actions.

 

 

Oh I am beginning to understand you...

Based on your past remarks, I don't think you have even "begun".

Edited by SamBridge
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Please open your own new thread if you'd like to argue that religion, and specifically the bible, is the source of moral behavior in humans. Common law? Sure, maybe some of them, but not moral behavior itself.

iNow;

 

After all of your whining about how people misunderstand you, I am sure that you would not have intentionally misquoted me. Again. But I can not find the post where I stated that religion or the Bible was the source of moral behavior in humans. Could you please point it out?

 

I reviewed the thread that you recommended, but it had absolutely nothing to do with law. Also note that I did not bring up the subject of Commandments (laws) in the Bible, I simply responded to them.

 

G.

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Also note that I did not bring up the subject of Commandments (laws) in the Bible, I simply responded to them.

Of course. Effing Sam strikes again with is completely tangential OT nonsense.

 

After all of your whining...

Comments like these are not necessary. Surely, you can do better.
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The Bible isn't a credible source anyway.

I can see your point here, but would argue that the Bible is a history book. So like all history books, it has an agenda to promote it's concepts and society/people. Although it would be foolish to assume that the text is unbiased and untarnished history, it still does have some worth as a historical document. Alexander's library did fall into the sea, you know, so it is not like there is a whole library to learn our history from.

 

G.

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