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Religion when it had real power!


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Yes; they were. Because none of them did anything to stop the cruelty of those barbaric beliefs.   How could anyone be in a position to say "actually folks- let's stop persecuting people for no goo

Hard for me to agree with your last point. Christianity is often cultural more than theistic. Same with Judaism, and likely a number of others.   That's why there are cultural Christians and cultur

Not sure what you are referring to. Personally, I never disagreed that it would still be the case that there would still be conflict in the world if religion disappeared, but merely emphasized as my o

It was probably much quicker to list those crimes of which he was innocent, and the name stuck. "Pope Guilty" wouldn't have gotten passed the introductions.

 

I have his rookie cardinal card, btw. Mint condition.

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Moontanman Man, I am a bit late to this topic due to a heart attack and subsequent stay in hospital (too much stress and no exercise since my son died in 2014...). However, I could easily pick out someone who is definitely not religious and point out the cruelty and injustice of his rule. For example, and I did not have to look too far mate:

 

genghis-khan-quote-2.jpg?w=604

 

IIRC,the 13th century was dominated by the Mongols who were quite happy to kill every man, woman, child and dog who opposed them. Also, IIRC, when Genghis Khan died, every creature who passed by his funeral cortege was slain.

 

At this rate Moontanman, we could quite happily swap these stories all night. Can you please get to the point brother?

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Ghenis Khan was a tengrist, but it doesn't matter to the topic of this thread because his behavior wasn't driven by his religious ideology.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genghis_Khan#Religion

I disagree. The point is more about power than power and religion combined. Christian religious ideology has existed for a couple of thousand years. Were all the Popes as cruel as Pope Innocent IV? Were the two World Wars caused by differences in religious ideology?

 

I am an Abrahamic faith believer and I could pick out examples of religious tolerance and civilisation from religious rulers that conform to the highest ethical ideals. But, if I didn't wish to do so, I could cherry pick religious leaders who have shown the utmost disregard for morality. I am surprised the Borgias have not been mentioned at all yet....

 

In short, the quintessential ethics that could allow an ordered society to be founded and continue can be found in the Abrahamic faiths. If individuals choose to flout the ethical foundations of their faith, this is a reflection of their own personalities and not due to the religion.

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In short, the quintessential ethics that could allow an ordered society to be founded and continue can be found in the Abrahamic faiths. If individuals choose to flout the ethical foundations of their faith, this is a reflection of their own personalities and not due to the religion.

"'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." - Leviticus 20:13 NIV

 

http://biblehub.com/leviticus/20-13.htm

 

Or more relevant to the pope in the op: "That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God" Deuteronomy 13

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+13%2CTitus+3%3A10%2CTitus+3%3A11%2C2+John+10%2C2+John+11&version=NIV

 

Murder of the innocent is quintessential?

Were all the Popes as cruel as Pope Innocent IV?

Certainly not, but they could just as easily find biblical justification for their actions if they decided to go down his path.

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Moontanman Man, I am a bit late to this topic due to a heart attack and subsequent stay in hospital (too much stress and no exercise since my son died in 2014...). However, I could easily pick out someone who is definitely not religious and point out the cruelty and injustice of his rule. For example, and I did not have to look too far mate:

 

genghis-khan-quote-2.jpg?w=604

 

IIRC,the 13th century was dominated by the Mongols who were quite happy to kill every man, woman, child and dog who opposed them. Also, IIRC, when Genghis Khan died, every creature who passed by his funeral cortege was slain.

 

At this rate Moontanman, we could quite happily swap these stories all night. Can you please get to the point brother?

 

 

Wasn't it Conan who said that?

 

I disagree. The point is more about power than power and religion combined. Christian religious ideology has existed for a couple of thousand years. Were all the Popes as cruel as Pope Innocent IV? Were the two World Wars caused by differences in religious ideology?

 

I am an Abrahamic faith believer and I could pick out examples of religious tolerance and civilisation from religious rulers that conform to the highest ethical ideals. But, if I didn't wish to do so, I could cherry pick religious leaders who have shown the utmost disregard for morality. I am surprised the Borgias have not been mentioned at all yet....

 

In short, the quintessential ethics that could allow an ordered society to be founded and continue can be found in the Abrahamic faiths. If individuals choose to flout the ethical foundations of their faith, this is a reflection of their own personalities and not due to the religion.

 

 

The fact that the christian religion allowed and even demanded things like the burning of witches and the killing of all who didn't follow the correct dogma, even other christians, and supported those who committed those crimes in the name of god doesn't really bode well for our game of cherry picking. Religious violence was at least partly responsible for the framers of the Constitutions wanting a separation of church and state. So many major and minor wars based on nothing but interpretation of dogma until religion was gelded during the enlightenment... I think I'll pick cherries from my side any day.

 

Even those rulers who aspired to the highest ethical standards were often not particularly nice when they dealt with those they thought didn't... In fact I would assert that the worst of the lot were those with the highest "church approved" moral standards.

 

The Christian Church you see today is a shadow of it's former self when it had real power of life and death over all who disagreed. Yeah, I'll pick cherries from my side any day over your side on this one.

 

I am sorry to hear you are having problems Jimmy, very sorry to hear about your son, please accept my heart felt condolences. My health has been pretty bad in recent years as well, I can't imagine having to deal with both my health problems and a death of a child. Please feel free to talk if you need a sounding board...

I am quite sure that religion was twisted by men to achieve their end goals but the fact it can be so easily twisted is a strike against it from the get go...

Edited by Moontanman
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I disagree. The point is more about power than power and religion combined. Christian religious ideology has existed for a couple of thousand years. Were all the Popes as cruel as Pope Innocent IV?

Yes; they were.

Because none of them did anything to stop the cruelty of those barbaric beliefs.

 

How could anyone be in a position to say "actually folks- let's stop persecuting people for no good reason" and yet fail to do so, be considered anything but evil?

Perhaps the blood was only indirectly on their hands, but they were (and remain) responsible for many thousands of deaths.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_HIV/AIDS

 

OK, so when the Pope renounces his medieval ideas about this sort of thing, sells his gold throne + spends the money actually doing some good then you will have a Pope who isn't evil.

Let me know when something changes.

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Of course the evangelicals have Ken Ham, 70 some odd million dollars for a pretend ark theme park, no way that money couldn't be better spent on the poor and helping feed hungry children... Noooo lets build a theme park... to me that is evil as well...

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"'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." - Leviticus 20:13 NIV

 

http://biblehub.com/leviticus/20-13.htm

 

Or more relevant to the pope in the op: "That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God" Deuteronomy 13

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+13%2CTitus+3%3A10%2CTitus+3%3A11%2C2+John+10%2C2+John+11&version=NIV

 

Murder of the innocent is quintessential?

Certainly not, but they could just as easily find biblical justification for their actions if they decided to go down his path.

 

I am not going to be drawn into the "gay" debate. We all live in a society where we have laws. Right. For a reason, and we adhere to them, for a reason. Society needs to be limited in the scope of what individual can do. If God has decided something as an absolute manifestation of a law then humans, with their limited understanding have to adhere to them. You could have mentioned the Ten Commandments. Are they not reasonable and moderate enough to run a society? Individuals who have power and choose to follow extremes in their INTERPRETATION of faith hhave always existed, and always will exist. People will always manipulate the rules to suit their on personal peccadilloes.

 

Btw mate:

 

Worshiping Other Gods

 

13 [a]If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods”(gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fastto him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

 

The wosrhipping other gods bit is a bit objectionable to religious thought.

 

 

 

Wasn't it Conan who said that?

 

 

 

The fact that the christian religion allowed and even demanded things like the burning of witches and the killing of all who didn't follow the correct dogma, even other christians, and supported those who committed those crimes in the name of god doesn't really bode well for our game of cherry picking. Religious violence was at least partly responsible for the framers of the Constitutions wanting a separation of church and state. So many major and minor wars based on nothing but interpretation of dogma until religion was gelded during the enlightenment... I think I'll pick cherries from my side any day.

 

Even those rulers who aspired to the highest ethical standards were often not particularly nice when they dealt with those they thought didn't... In fact I would assert that the worst of the lot were those with the highest "church approved" moral standards.

 

The Christian Church you see today is a shadow of it's former self when it had real power of life and death over all who disagreed. Yeah, I'll pick cherries from my side any day over your side on this one.

 

I am sorry to hear you are having problems Jimmy, very sorry to hear about your son, please accept my heart felt condolences. My health has been pretty bad in recent years as well, I can't imagine having to deal with both my health problems and a death of a child. Please feel free to talk if you need a sounding board...

I am quite sure that religion was twisted by men to achieve their end goals but the fact it can be so easily twisted is a strike against it from the get go...

Frankly Moontanman, I am surprised you di not mention some of the other Popes who behaved like depraved animals. I was horrified to read about the seriously disgusting actions that they performed whilst in leadership. Was it religious belief that allowed them paedophilia, bestiality and other corrupt actions? That is my central point, and you know it. You did pick on some of the worst examples of human beings if we can call them that. If you had a choice to punish their actions,what would you do? In 2016, come on, what would you do to a paedophile and defiler of innocent human beings? Be honest here. I would have them imprisoned for life. These guys misused religion for personal means.

 

Thank you for your thoughts and condolences on my troubles. I think I have held things in and then stopped exercising leading to my present lamentable demise. However, this is typical of Northern British people who tend to be so tight-assed with their problems that coal becomes diamond in their trousers....

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The first 4 commandments have nothing to do with morality and everything to do with an angry, jealous god.

 

Honor thy father and thy mother: that's fine within reason. Honor and respect are earned over the course of the relationship. I do not expect someone with abusive birth parents to respect or honor them (though they may, for some reason, love them). Part of this honoring entails gifts: do abusive parents deserve gifts? The only biblical justification I can find is because god grants the child long life

Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.— Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

and that honoring your parents is akin to honoring god

"A son honours his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, 'How have we shown contempt for your name?'"— Malachi 1:6 (NIV)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honour_thy_father_and_thy_mother

 

The last 3 are about coveting. What is the justification for there to be laws which make thoughts which can come into consciousness without conscious forethought such as "Damn I wish I had his Mercedes" immoral? How would ones yearning for another's possession cripple the society? That seems on the surface beneficial to the economy as they might go out and buy whatever it is they want. And for coveting thy neighbors wife, so long as you don't act on it a la committing adultery and it doesn't impact your other relationships what is the problem?

 

"People will always manipulate the rules to suit their on personal peccadilloes. "

There is no manipulation when a rule says to kill those who have a difference of religious opinion and you follow through with the prescription of said rule. You're following the rule to its logical conclusion.

Edited by andrewcellini
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Frankly Moontanman, I am surprised you di not mention some of the other Popes who behaved like depraved animals. I was horrified to read about the seriously disgusting actions that they performed whilst in leadership. Was it religious belief that allowed them paedophilia, bestiality and other corrupt actions? That is my central point, and you know it. You did pick on some of the worst examples of human beings if we can call them that. If you had a choice to punish their actions,what would you do? In 2016, come on, what would you do to a paedophile and defiler of innocent human beings? Be honest here. I would have them imprisoned for life. These guys misused religion for personal means.

 

Thank you for your thoughts and condolences on my troubles. I think I have held things in and then stopped exercising leading to my present lamentable demise. However, this is typical of Northern British people who tend to be so tight-assed with their problems that coal becomes diamond in their trousers....

 

 

It certainly protected them, in fact it still does! I saw no reason to name specific religious people, Popes are not the only evil men religious clothing and Catholic priests are not the only religious authority figures that use their position of power to both molest children and cover it up, fundie protestants, evangelicals, and other denominations have their fair share as well...

 

My point would be that you seem to think that the Christianity we see today is the same one that existed 200 years ago and further back. Actually that is not really fair since modern Christians in non western societies still do their fair share of evil in the name of Jesus!

 

And again, the fact that religion was so easily twisted to justify and cover these peoples crimes, and child molesters is not the only bad things they get by with, but the fact that religion is so easily sued by these people is a strike against it in my book...

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The first 4 commandments have nothing to do with morality and everything to do with an angry, jealous god.

 

Honor thy father and thy mother: that's fine within reason. Honor and respect are earned over the course of the relationship. I do not expect someone with abusive birth parents to respect or honor them (though they may, for some reason, love them). Part of this honoring entails gifts: do abusive parents deserve gifts? The only biblical justification I can find is because god grants the child long life

Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.— Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

and that honoring your parents is akin to honoring god

"A son honours his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honour due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. "It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, 'How have we shown contempt for your name?'"— Malachi 1:6 (NIV)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honour_thy_father_and_thy_mother

 

The last 3 are about coveting. What is the justification for there to be laws which make thoughts which can come into consciousness without conscious forethought such as "Damn I wish I had his Mercedes" immoral? How would ones yearning for another's possession cripple the society? That seems on the surface beneficial to the economy as they might go out and buy whatever it is they want. And for coveting thy neighbors wife, so long as you don't act on it a la committing adultery and it doesn't impact your other relationships what is the problem?

 

"People will always manipulate the rules to suit their on personal peccadilloes. "

There is no manipulation when a rule says to kill those who have a difference of religious opinion and you follow through with the prescription of said rule. You're following the rule to its logical conclusion.

Andrew, we are drawing a conclusion about Popes or religious authorities misusing power in the name of religion. Secular rulers have also misused power throughout history. I will try to find out a couple of names later and edit them in. The Popes, Catholic priests, other Abrahamic faiths etc... have always had people who twisted an ideal or an absolute idea and have justified their twisted logic. Where they have used this twisted logic to kill those who did not share their religion, e.g. witches, this is not a religious absolute, it is a form of extremist logic. In the hands of the powerful, it is a poison to society and a divisive influence.

 

However, let's posit that God wished a people to prosper as a society. To allow society to be unified and act as a cogent unit, there had to be a control to excesses. These absolutes required to punish those that committed excesses. People would then live in a moderate environment, something like the Aristotlean golden mean. Rulers who were corrupt and sought to increase their power by rising to power increased their corruption as a consequence. A person who had to lie, bribe and cheat to rise to the top has to reclaim his money somehow and then religion becomes a mask for corruption.

 

As far as the 10 Commandments, for a primitive society of farmers, that is going to form an early civilisation, I believe that you are being over-fussy with the commandments. Are they good enough to form a society - yes they are.

I have reproduced them below, for the sake of brevity:

 

The 10 Commandments List, Short Form
  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/the-ten-commandments/10-commandments-list/

Despite your objections, they seem OK to set up a simple farmer society that is going to grow and then add or evolve rules by unanimous consent. As a believer, I don't see anything wrong with that. If people choose to use religion as a flag of convenience for murder, rape and crime, that is their choice, as a means of placating and scaring the public. That still happens today in our great democracies.

 

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Are they good enough to form a society - yes they are.

 

You don't need all 10 to form a society. The first 4 are nice if you're arbitrarily excluding the religious practices of others. But this is all besides the point of the thread.

Where they have used this twisted logic to kill those who did not share their religion, e.g. witches, this is not a religious absolute, it is a form of extremist logic. In the hands of the powerful, it is a poison to society and a divisive influence.

How does one twist a passage prescribing death to a false prophet that is potentially gathering followers when they command the execution of said prophet? If what they have done is consistent with the written commandment from god - they have found and executed the prophet - then there is no twisting of scripture.

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As far as the 10 Commandments, for a primitive society of farmers, that is going to form an early civilisation, I believe that you are being over-fussy with the commandments. Are they good enough to form a society - yes they are....

 

I'd agree with that analysis: but the question then becomes whether religious institutions are useful or harmful to modern society. Many countries have yet to get past religiously motivated (or is it simply religiously enshrined?) homophobia and misogyny etc.

 

The particular problem the Abrahamic faiths have is that they are predicated on the infallible word of their creator, as conveyed in their holy books. Any changes to interpretation (to allow homosexual clergy, for instance) are done painfully (usually involves schisms), and very slowly.

 

This lack of ability to be reactive to society means they are no longer relevant to the modern world. When we have Popes declaring Harry Potter as an evil, and Islamic institutions declaring Pokemon haram (forbidden), no sane person should take them seriously. Rowan Williams was the last clergyman i heard making any meaningful contribution to modern debates, but such lucid religious figures are rare.

 

The Abrahamic faiths serve God first and humanity second: until that changes, they should become increasingly marginalised.

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I've been reading the posts in this thread, and I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

 

While I think most religious folks do have good points when say that cruelty and death have been committed both in the name of god(s), and not in the name of god(s), on both macro and micro scales, I think they miss the point of the argument in the end. The point, at least to me, is to show that believing in the religion does not actually gain anything for the society in question. If anything it has proven to do much more harm than good. Sure, you can make an argument that religions do charities, relief aids, etc. But the real harm is that which goes largely unseen and unheard. The teachings of religions are replete with unfalsifiable, untrue nonsense just to put it lightly. Things like child indoctrination and religious teachings impeding into science education bear heavy consequences on a world that is trying to understand the nature of reality and how to live within it. The charity part is not something that one must accept ancient nonsensical beliefs on poor evidence in order to do.

 

The second part of this argument most religious folks miss is the fact that, if there is a God behind all of this, then the centuries of blood-shed, death, torture, plagues, inquisitions, rapes, honor killings, sectarian wars, genocides, tribalism, in-group/out-group and anti-science committed in his name are very good indicators that this God has failed at the project of establishing a peaceful and adequate message to deliver to his children. It seems to me that religion wreaks of being man-made. All of the tell-tale signs of something being man-made are manifestly evident in religion. It couldn't be more obvious.

 

Of course, this isn't to say that you aren't perfectly welcome to believe in God, or that people are stupid for believing in God. As an atheist myself, I really don't care if others believe in God. I just want people to accept science where it has been proven, and to do their best to make their decisions based on the most sound and empirically-based understanding of reality possible. I really do think the Abrahamic religions have overstayed their welcome and their expiration date is far overdue. I'm not advocating for some "new age" voodoo to take its place, but I would like to see those who still want to remain believers to move to a more "reason-based" view of spirituality (if there is such a thing).

 

That's my opinion.

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Andrew, we are drawing a conclusion about Popes or religious authorities misusing power in the name of religion. Secular rulers have also misused power throughout history. I will try to find out a couple of names later and edit them in. The Popes, Catholic priests, other Abrahamic faiths etc... have always had people who twisted an ideal or an absolute idea and have justified their twisted logic. Where they have used this twisted logic to kill those who did not share their religion, e.g. witches, this is not a religious absolute, it is a form of extremist logic. In the hands of the powerful, it is a poison to society and a divisive influence.

 

However, let's posit that God wished a people to prosper as a society. To allow society to be unified and act as a cogent unit, there had to be a control to excesses. These absolutes required to punish those that committed excesses. People would then live in a moderate environment, something like the Aristotlean golden mean. Rulers who were corrupt and sought to increase their power by rising to power increased their corruption as a consequence. A person who had to lie, bribe and cheat to rise to the top has to reclaim his money somehow and then religion becomes a mask for corruption.

 

As far as the 10 Commandments, for a primitive society of farmers, that is going to form an early civilisation, I believe that you are being over-fussy with the commandments. Are they good enough to form a society - yes they are.

I have reproduced them below, for the sake of brevity:

 

 

 

Jimmy, the Bible specifically demands that witches be killed, that anyone who tries to talk you into worshiping another god should be killed, In fact there are 613 commandments in the bible many of which the punishment for not following is death. From wearing cloth made of more than one fiber to planting two crops in the same field to working on the sabbath. Far too much death and the entire idea of heaven and hell is unjust and immoral...

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Of course the evangelicals have Ken Ham, 70 some odd million dollars for a pretend ark theme park, no way that money couldn't be better spent on the poor and helping feed hungry children... Noooo lets build a theme park... to me that is evil as well...

You have to wonder about the morals of those who support them in these actions too.

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Of course the evangelicals have Ken Ham, 70 some odd million dollars for a pretend ark theme park, no way that money couldn't be better spent on the poor and helping feed hungry children... Noooo lets build a theme park... to me that is evil as well...

Gets millions in tax incentives from state of KY for an openly religious-themed attraction aimed at teaching creationism as fact. Then turns around and discriminates who he hires based on religion and views on women's rights. Unbelievable! Ken Ham is a total piece of shit who will stoop to the lowest levels.

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In short, the quintessential ethics that could allow an ordered society to be founded and continue can be found in the Abrahamic faiths.

This seems like a pretty subjective- and at the same time sweeping statement. What are you implying with this? That the ethical codes of the Abrahamic faiths are all the same? That no other ethical codes existed-, or that no older civilisations functioned orderly prior to the Abrahamic ones? That the ethics of the Abrahamic faiths are "quintessential" because they were divinely inspired?

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Gets millions in tax incentives from state of KY for an openly religious-themed attraction aimed at teaching creationism as fact. Then turns around and discriminates who he hires based on religion and views on women's rights. Unbelievable! Ken Ham is a total piece of shit who will stoop to the lowest levels.

And his religion tells him he's doing the right thing.

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And his religion tells him he's doing the right thing.

Lol...and the state of KY is a piece of shit too for supporting this sinister nonsense. I'm not one to protest and picket, but if KY starts trying to work field trips to this Ark park into its public school policy, I will up there protesting their asses. This shit is uncalled for in 2016. We should not have to worry about religion impeding public life and policy anymore. Have your beliefs, erect whatever monuments you want in your own yard or in your own house, go to church as many days a week as you wish, pray until your heart's content, etc etc etc. But keep your voodoo out of our government and public policy.

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You don't need all 10 to form a society. The first 4 are nice if you're arbitrarily excluding the religious practices of others. But this is all besides the point of the thread.

How does one twist a passage prescribing death to a false prophet that is potentially gathering followers when they command the execution of said prophet? If what they have done is consistent with the written commandment from god - they have found and executed the prophet - then there is no twisting of scripture.

 

A society that is nascent would presumably require some direction. A prophet figure would be the channel of Divine revelation to the masses in was it could be understood. I am pretty sure that there were many "prophets" claiming Divine knowledge at the same time as the Bible was revealed. those that were false would confuse the message. At the time, the punishments were not as enlightened as those handed out today. Just my opinion.

 

I'd agree with that analysis: but the question then becomes whether religious institutions are useful or harmful to modern society. Many countries have yet to get past religiously motivated (or is it simply religiously enshrined?) homophobia and misogyny etc.

 

The act of homosexuality is proscribed true, but can the individual be loved - yes, most certainly so. Misogyny is a cultural phenomenon rather than religiously enshrined.

 

The particular problem the Abrahamic faiths have is that they are predicated on the infallible word of their creator, as conveyed in their holy books. Any changes to interpretation (to allow homosexual clergy, for instance) are done painfully (usually involves schisms), and very slowly.

 

I agree with you. And I cannot make an excuse about religious inflexibility.

 

This lack of ability to be reactive to society means they are no longer relevant to the modern world. When we have Popes declaring Harry Potter as an evil, and Islamic institutions declaring Pokemon haram (forbidden), no sane person should take them seriously. Rowan Williams was the last clergyman i heard making any meaningful contribution to modern debates, but such lucid religious figures are rare.

 

These statements make religious institutions look ridiculous. However, religious belief is individual and covers a whole spectrum. Institutionalising religion was a mistake in my opinion.

 

The Abrahamic faiths serve God first and humanity second: until that changes, they should become increasingly marginalised.

If you read religion carefully, God is served by serving humanity. If that concept has been messed up, it is due to the short-sightedness of believers.

 

I've been reading the posts in this thread, and I just wanted to add my 2 cents.

 

While I think most religious folks do have good points when say that cruelty and death have been committed both in the name of god(s), and not in the name of god(s), on both macro and micro scales, I think they miss the point of the argument in the end. The point, at least to me, is to show that believing in the religion does not actually gain anything for the society in question. If anything it has proven to do much more harm than good. Sure, you can make an argument that religions do charities, relief aids, etc. But the real harm is that which goes largely unseen and unheard. The teachings of religions are replete with unfalsifiable, untrue nonsense just to put it lightly. Things like child indoctrination and religious teachings impeding into science education bear heavy consequences on a world that is trying to understand the nature of reality and how to live within it. The charity part is not something that one must accept ancient nonsensical beliefs on poor evidence in order to do.

 

In my opinion, the religious person is invariably moderate, knowledge-seeking, compassionate and caring. These are qualities that a society should appreciate. Any deviation is due to the habits of the person. There is also room for flexibility by consensus if necessary but there are absolutes which are required for running an orderly society - no murder, for example. Where Science and religion do clash it is over interpretation, IMO. Is there a problem in believing that God created then allowed His creation to evolve? Not to my mind.

 

The second part of this argument most religious folks miss is the fact that, if there is a God behind all of this, then the centuries of blood-shed, death, torture, plagues, inquisitions, rapes, honor killings, sectarian wars, genocides, tribalism, in-group/out-group and anti-science committed in his name are very good indicators that this God has failed at the project of establishing a peaceful and adequate message to deliver to his children. It seems to me that religion wreaks of being man-made. All of the tell-tale signs of something being man-made are manifestly evident in religion. It couldn't be more obvious.

 

The murders, rapes and crimes also took place in non-religious societies. I think the problem is in the misuse of the revelations by individuals. I am sure that most belief systems, including polytheistic systems preach peace, but the choice of individuals in power is their own choice dictated by nature and environment. Human nature is quite cruel. Entertainment T.V. will show you that.

 

Of course, this isn't to say that you aren't perfectly welcome to believe in God, or that people are stupid for believing in God. As an atheist myself, I really don't care if others believe in God. I just want people to accept science where it has been proven, and to do their best to make their decisions based on the most sound and empirically-based understanding of reality possible. I really do think the Abrahamic religions have overstayed their welcome and their expiration date is far overdue. I'm not advocating for some "new age" voodoo to take its place, but I would like to see those who still want to remain believers to move to a more "reason-based" view of spirituality (if there is such a thing).

 

That's my opinion.

Thank you for that reasonable opinion mate.

 

 

Jimmy, the Bible specifically demands that witches be killed, that anyone who tries to talk you into worshiping another god should be killed, In fact there are 613 commandments in the bible many of which the punishment for not following is death. From wearing cloth made of more than one fiber to planting two crops in the same field to working on the sabbath. Far too much death and the entire idea of heaven and hell is unjust and immoral...

 

 

You have to wonder about the morals of those who support them in these actions too.

Each society needs rules. Tacitus writing about First Century A.D. Germany mentioned the rules that the largest tribes had to moderate extremes of behaviour. Most of them advocated death for those that showed any deviancy from the acceptable, verbally articulated norm. When religious authorities do the same, they are criticised but remember that they also have to regulate societies and unite them by a common belief system.

 

Gets millions in tax incentives from state of KY for an openly religious-themed attraction aimed at teaching creationism as fact. Then turns around and discriminates who he hires based on religion and views on women's rights. Unbelievable! Ken Ham is a total piece of shit who will stoop to the lowest levels.

Some religious and non-religious people are despicable. I cannot comment on something or somebody whose words I have never heard.

 

If I had to summarise my views, I would state:

1. Religion suffered from having a privileged class called priests. Individual peccadilloes became justified under the flag of religion unjustly.

2. A study of Rome in the times of Caligula and Tiberius will tell you that excesses of deviancy have always existed in society. human nature tends to be cruel.

3. Institutionalisation of religion has led to perversion of the original message in some cases.

4. Science and religion should not be totally opposed to each other. Science is a way of finding objective truth and should be embraced by religion. However Science needs to be objective and follow the conclusions of the Science to a logical end and not to support atheistic motif.

5. Human societies have always needed rules and the rules sometimes (or most of the times) have led to the death of those who showed extremes of behaviour.

 

All the above are my personal opinions as a follower of the Abrahamic God.

Edited by jimmydasaint
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QUOTE: "..finding objective truth..... not support atheistic motif"

 

 

That's the thing though - science doesn't care about atheism or religion... it points out what we have found to be true to the best of our tests and knowledge.... and that truth points to there being no god (not the Abrahamic one anyway, or any of the world religions)... in fact it kind of ridiclues the idea. This isn't atheistic agenda, it is just the findings of science, the looking at reality and accepting it for what it is rather than being fooled by a work of fiction.

 

I believed in the same God for many many years.... but when you are true to your self and make your decision based on evidence rather than fear or pier pressure then the idea does seem real stupid. Looking back I cannot see how I ever believed all of the lies and contradictions at all.... I was always sceptical of the many priests with their varied and differing views from different denominations... I kept my own personal relationship with God - looking back I was either crazy or brain washed or deceived because I really believed it at times in my life. I have seen some 'miraculous' things.

 

Best wishes.

Edited by DrP
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