Debate and Discussion

Is religion bad?
Comicmasta at 7:24AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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We should all just accept our fate.

The universe exploded on its own, matter is flying as fast as the speed of light,

As soon as it stops all of the atoms will come apart and life will no longer exist.

There is no god

There never was a god

And aliens are in the Bible.

When you die you go to another dimetion….which explains Black holes, White holes, that long tunnel you alway see when your dieing.

Its all inevitable, life was born to die.
i have been brought back….The Boanitia..grrrrr…..Must find Super Jesus!!!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
Tantz Aerine at 7:35AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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Rich
I fully disagree here. I was once like you, trying to find comfort in God and Christianity. I spent a long time praying and reading the Bible trying to find purpose. Despite the years of pain and misery I went through at the hands of my mom's fundamentalist Christian boyfriends (beating, mental abuse, other misc not nice things), my faith had never faltered. Not even once. I not once held God's word as responsible for any hard times I had gone through.

And I kept trying to find purpose in my life. The more and more I tried to find some meaning for me from the church, the more meaningless my life felt. The more and more I looked at it, Heaven looked more and more like Hell to me. I can't see the appeal of living for all eternity in a perfectly happy place. It simply IS NOT POSSIBLE! Over time, your mind would sink closer and closer to madness with the unchanging and permanent nature of Heaven. I can only imagine that over time, the so called Heaven will more resemble Hell as it drags out for eternity.


First off, you don't know whether you were like me, or how I am, to be able to draw this conclusion. I am in no quest of trying to find comfort in the Bible and God. I have found it. And it was not without (and is not without) a lot of trials that range from financial issues to abuse I do not wish to get into at the moment.

I am very sorry for the environment you grew up in, but very happy that your heart has been true. I am also very happy that you said ‘the church’. The church I scorn and look down upon for many issues. There is nothing good that I actually got from the church; only an immense fear of God and even more fear to sit down and read anything that had to do with Him.

This is not a matter of the church, the way it has begun to be put now. It is a matter of the code, the set of principles: the doctrine. The doctrine, I believe is true and the way to live one's life. It is MY belief. I won't try to enforce it on anyone else. I will, however, argue and display whatever has led me to this conviction, plus whatever else I find faulty as an assumption considering the code.

In this post of yours, you assume that Heaven is some sort of green pasture where everyone sits around doing nothing and staring listlessly at the sky. I find that utterly simplistic to consider as true. It just does not make sense- if earth is so complex and so much is to be accomplished in it, surely the next stage will have other challenges which we cannot conceive of now. And I am well aware many will sneer at that, along with the fact that the Bible is symbolic in many cases. I am starting to wonder whether you believe that God is some sort of old old man with long white beard looking from afar. This is way to schematic, and rather childish. Heaven (just as Hell) is abstract. Or do you expect cauldrons and tridents and fire and pewter there, too?

And then you got Hell. Supposedly, your god throws everyone who does not follow him into Hell. Buddhists, atheists, Jews (no Jesus for them = Hell according to the bible), Hindus, pagans, and Muslims all supposedly end up in hell. The problem with this is that a lot of the people out there are kind and hard-working. They can be just as nice and good as any Christian out there. And yet god would throw them into Hell. I would never side with a god that could throw his own children into Hell because they led a virtuous life but did not know Jesus. Such a god sounds more like the devil to me.

Again, overassumption. Who has claimed this? How do you define ‘those who follow him’? Who is to make this interpretation? Has God not shown that ascription to churches of any type does not cut it? How, by whose authority are you so sure that everyone who is non-Christian but yet ascribing, following God in behavior are going to go to Hell because they are missing some sort of appropriate tag? God works in mysterious ways, they say. How can you know whether He reaches you in whatever form you can receive Him? Why can we expect man, a creation, to be flexible and abstract and focusing on the essence of things but deny this ability to the creator?



Christianity has more rules than I could care to write down, and half of them have multiple interpretations to sift through.

*sigh* again, this is typology and rules of the church. Not of the basic essence of Christianity.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Aurora Moon at 8:00AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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I meant no offense Tantz. (not definely going to quote all that up above)

I only merely meant to point out that people have different needs, and to say that all people need god as an form of goal/something to attain, which is how I read your post, would be incorrect.

and I did not say that all people that belived in god or needed god had an weak will. it was only an example…. like for instance the people who can't seem to quit addiction to something, not even for themselves or for thier family… the people in rebab then finally turn to the “god” thing… in order to make the people quit thier addiction.. and most of the time it works.

why? proably because those people need to believe in something greater than themselves or even possibly out of a fear of god/the devil/hell and not going to heaven…those people had an weak will, they couldn't even quit until the very idea of an deity that dedices thier fate in the afterlife forces them to. of course, that could be easily just sort of tricking people into thinking they have an strong will that comes from the support of an deity, thus strengthing thier will against thier own addictions.

of course, not all Christains and so on is raging achohlics or whatever, so just look at that as an example of how some people seem to need desperately in order to overcome something.

Whereas some other people, they don't need something like that so desperately because they know how to take things in moderation, regardless of whenever they believe or not. and even when some people believe, a lot of them rarely goes to church expect on sundays and rarely even prayed for guidance from thier deity, etc… (my family was one of those people actually).. all because they didn't really need guidance in thier lives. so even though some people believed, they weren't really using god as some sort of goal in life… they already had thier own goals to attend to, and would still have that even without god. that's the Avenge person right there, beliefs or no…people tend to still go on, regardless of whenever they believe in something or not. so if there was an lack of God from the start, people would still find things to think about and to believe in… whenever it be the faith in humanity, etc… or whatever else there is.. and still have lifelong goals.

that was the point I was trying to make, while trying to stir up things a little bit. ^^;;
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:09AM
Tantz Aerine at 8:14AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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Aurora Moon
I meant no offense Tantz.

None taken, then :)

Aurora Moon
I only merely meant to point out that people have different needs, and to say that all people need god as an form of goal/something to attain, which is how I read your post, would be incorrect.

I am very intrigued as to how you support this. Of course, this is not the point of this debate, but whether it is good or bad to have a religion… which then I defined as doctrine… and then turned into a debate on whether Christian faith is true or proper… ah well.

and I did not say that all people that belived in god or needed god had an weak will. it was only an example…. like for instance the people who can't seem to quit addiction to something, not even for themselves or for thier family… the people in rebab then finally turn to the “god” thing… in order to make the people quit thier addiction.. and most of the time it works.

So where is the contempt in this? How is this bad?

of course, that could be easily just sort of tricking people into thinking they have an strong will that comes from the support of an deity, thus strengthing thier will against thier own addictions.

people who do engage in this thinking (i.e., that God gives them the strength) are not tricked, because they don't think they are strong willed. They know they are weak willed and do not give themselves the credit for their accomplishment. So this is an incorrect assumption. Unless of course, you speak of rather hyprocritical people who take credit and just regurgitate the name of God in every sentence for impressions.



that's the Avenge person right there, beliefs or no…people tend to still go on, regardless of whenever they believe in something or not. so if there was an lack of God from the start, people would still find things to think about and to believe in… whenever it be the faith in humanity, etc… or whatever else there is.. and still have lifelong goals.

Many would argue that this is a divine power instilled in each person by God Himself and is called a soul. A living soul, with conscience and full knowledge of the limits one should put in behavior. If one listens to that, you need nothing more. After all, even in the Bible, Adam and Eve had no religion per se, had they? Of course, this is all a matter of tagging things. If this is the mentality that works for you, by all means follow it, and be happy :)

that was the point I was trying to make, while trying to stir up things a little bit. ^^;;

That was quite obvious. But weren't things already stirred up to have more stirring just for the fun of it?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Michael T at 8:16AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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To Rich:

Everyone's choice of a religion or philosophy of life should be respected I am not the one to say the opposite. Yet, Discordianism and the basis of its philosophy are truly redundant. I do not know how old you are, but if you would like to see what Erida (the full name of the goddess of discord)is proclaiming, only look at writers such as Plato and Aristotle, and much later in the works of Hegel where the conflict-> change is the essence of the dialectic. You can also find the same principle in Marx's theory of social class where conflict in society will ultimately bring about the overthrow of capitalism. The same goes for a lot of 20th century movements including feminism. The same principle basically holds in Christian teachings, where, to quote Jesus “I have come to bring a knife (discord)between father and son, brother and brother, husband and wife”, meaning that what Jesus's teachings demand is to disengage yourself from the influence of the unrepented and incorrigible, which can be done only through discord. My point is that what you quote as discordianistic and inspired by Eris, has been suggested elsewhere, in a much more meaningful context, and has truly inspired whole generations. Perhaps you should be looking for the real thing, rather than imitators?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:01PM
Mazoo at 10:14AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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The aspect of fervently following a religion has always been a foreign idea to me. Is it bad? Is it good? That really depends. From what Tantz has said, it is only the people and their interpretations of Christianity that make the doctrine bad. If this is the case, than wouldn't every idea of a philosophy essentially be a “good” one, since only people's actions are making it bad? I disagree, because the entire idea of a religion is supposed to teach how to act and behave “the right way” (besides the ideas of how you should live your life, something to believe in, etc.) The philosophy is teaching you how to act, yet you say it is people's fault for making that religion look bad because of their behavior. That doesn't make any sense to me.

I was talking to someone the other day and our conversation moved to the area of religion. I told them I had never been baptized and she promptly said, very serious, that “you are going to Hell, sinner.” I was then ostracized by the group and deemed unworthy of conversation any longer. Seems ironic for a religion that is based on “love they brother.”

Another experience I had was how some of my friends are “given rewards” for getting people to go to church with them and going on missionary trips. That sounds a lot like “enforcing the religon upon me” to me.

Someone
And then you got Hell. Supposedly, your god throws everyone who does not follow him into Hell.
Again, overassumption. Who has claimed this? How do you define ‘those who follow him’? Who is to make this interpretation?

Isn't that one of the Ten Commandments? It doesn't say that people will be thrown into Hell in the commandment, but aren't those the ten things you must follow to get into Heaven? In a sense if you don't follow it then you are going to Hell, it's just not said directly. (Now, you will probably say something along the lines of how that is my interpretation of it, but I believe it to be some sort of reverse psychology or something. Of course, you are the psychology major, so you would know more than I would.)

Following some of the ideas of the Ten Commandments seem so… egotistic of a God who is supposed to be all-powerful and all-good. If he truly was all-good, would he really need people to worship him to such an extent? To me, it's always seemed like they are giving God too humanistic characteristics and that's what makes it unbelieveable to me.

Now, I am not trying to denounced Christianity at all. I believe that any religion that can give hope to people and make them strive to be better people is good. It's just in execution that it fails. Some religions seem very selective about who is “good” and unaccepting of other doctrines. Religion is a good thing in theory, but will never be executed properly so that it would work on a full-scale level.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
Comicmasta at 10:50AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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Personally i dont believe in any religion, i relized a long time ago when we die were going to stay dead. no other worldly figure will reward/punish us for our good/bad deeds.
i have been brought back….The Boanitia..grrrrr…..Must find Super Jesus!!!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
Tantz Aerine at 11:55AM, Nov. 18, 2006
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Mazoo
I disagree, because the entire idea of a religion is supposed to teach how to act and behave “the right way” (besides the ideas of how you should live your life, something to believe in, etc.) The philosophy is teaching you how to act, yet you say it is people's fault for making that religion look bad because of their behavior. That doesn't make any sense to me.

Well, I meant that it is made to appear bad by people who willfully manipulate the doctrine to serve their own purposes. The doctrine is inherently good. If it were not, there would be no point in trying to follow the particular one. I said sometime before, that if you follow what it says, it will never lead you to do bad things (or the gross total won't be, anyway). However, there is always the dark side, if you like to call it that, which will actively, very eagerly try to show that the doctrine is bad. This is the twisting of the matter, and this is where the individual comes in. Does it make better sense now? It is like claiming to be a vegan: I may walk around and parade and protest and make people live's miserable by saying that whoever is not a vegan shall be the dirt of the earth. I may be seen eating something dairy or even meat, but still I am allowed to prance about doing this preaching. What is the bad element here: being a vegan or just me, who is being a pain in the neck to everyone else? Am I even supposed to be called a vegan?

I was talking to someone the other day and our conversation moved to the area of religion. I told them I had never been baptized and she promptly said, very serious, that “you are going to Hell, sinner.” I was then ostracized by the group and deemed unworthy of conversation any longer. Seems ironic for a religion that is based on “love they brother.”

I am sad for those people, because they really have much, much to learn yet. It grieves me when I hear of stories like that, and I hear them every day. You should in turn ostracise this group for it definitely has proven not to be following what they claim to be. If I were you, I'd turn the other way and never look back.

Another experience I had was how some of my friends are “given rewards” for getting people to go to church with them and going on missionary trips. That sounds a lot like “enforcing the religon upon me” to me.

Also very true observation. I would not trouble with these people if, after due argumentation, they still felt that this was the way to approach spirituality.

Isn't that one of the Ten Commandments? It doesn't say that people will be thrown into Hell in the commandment, but aren't those the ten things you must follow to get into Heaven? In a sense if you don't follow it then you are going to Hell, it's just not said directly. (Now, you will probably say something along the lines of how that is my interpretation of it, but I believe it to be some sort of reverse psychology or something. Of course, you are the psychology major, so you would know more than I would.)

This is not reverse psychology, I promise you. I hate the ambiguity that people use to always prove themselves right. After all, this is not good debate ;) it would be cheating. If you look at the 10 commandments, they are actually rather basic things a person should do in order to be of a normal, good conduct. Also, they leave out the element of forgiveness and learning and patience which God has. And which his followers are to have, and sadly enough nobody seems to want to consider. What I mean to say is, that yes, you should follow the ten commandments- they are common sense for the continuation of the species and some semblance of society. Regarding the part where it says ‘you shall have no other God but me’, it also makes sense in that you should have one voice of authority to which you focus and from which you receive the frame of reference- otherwise, too many contradicting things will end up in you floating in a philosophical soup.

Personally, I believe the one God to be the only one; however, I know that God is much more flexible than humans. ‘God’ is also a concept, and I believe that He wants to reach everyone in any way that is possible. Chances are given with each breath we draw. Experiences teach us which way to go, or at least try to. If God really was so possessive or intolerable in the worshipping of people, I believe earth would have been reduced to charcoal eons ago. I am not sure about which of the other 9 commandments you find egotistical… or irrational.



Religion is a good thing in theory, but will never be executed properly so that it would work on a full-scale level.

I agree with you. More than 100%. It is not something to be done massively- because each person should (and can't but) have his/her own personal connection to God. Anything enforced, any view, will eventually become bad- not because it was inherently so, but because people are not ready to receive it as it really is. Solution? Let everyone warm up to it on his/her own pace without bashing the next poor fellow who is following a different, yet most probably parallel, path.

Does all this sound like all the other experiences you have had?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Michael T at 12:00PM, Nov. 18, 2006
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Religion is a social contruct. That means that ALL societies, from primitive to modern HAD TO HAVE some sort of religious set of beliefs. The reason is that religion is another form of power wielded by certain individuals in that society and, along with other forms of power and its exercise (political, economic, etc)seems to be present in EVERY human society. The normal conclusion would be that society as a group needs it, and as society gets more complex, religion diversifies itself and lends itself to different philosophical and theological interpretations. Even if a regime would ban religion, religion would still exist in another form, i.e., political party, or any economic organization, or a pop group (you could even claim that Bruce Springsteen is your religion). In this wider definition then, we all belong to a religion. The question is, how free you think your spirit is to question what your religion does or asks you to do, if your common sense tells you that it does not make sense. Once you allow yourself to ask that question, the first step has already been made towards freedom of thought. The curious thing though is that once you become a free thinker, you realize that if you study what Jesus said, and keep an open mind on what other great thinkers have said, from Plato to Einstein, you will find a lot of common ground.One should not rush to reach conclusions. If something doesn't make sense, it probably needs further inquiry. What one should NOT do, is suppress the issue because someone else (a self-ordained authority on the issue) tells you “not to ask stupid questions!”…
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:01PM
Terminal at 10:53PM, Nov. 18, 2006
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Everything in this world is bad, food is bad, tv is bad, the internet is bad, speakers are bad, everything. Anything in this world is not bad by nature, it is bad by those who use it.

I'd say religion is not bad, if it can bring people together to believe in one thing, feel good about each other and maybe just help each other out, then it fuck it. It's alright in my book.

Religion is bad in the way that people use it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:10PM
Aurora Moon at 2:02AM, Nov. 19, 2006
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Tantz Aerine
and I did not say that all people that belived in god or needed god had an weak will. it was only an example…. like for instance the people who can't seem to quit addiction to something, not even for themselves or for thier family… the people in rebab then finally turn to the “god” thing… in order to make the people quit thier addiction.. and most of the time it works.

So where is the contempt in this? How is this bad?

well, to me, I would think it would be Enough for those people to realize that they were indirectly hurting and harming thier family with thier addictions, even if they didn't hurt any family members pyshically (at least not in most cases)… and that they needed to do this to make thier lives better and also for the sake of thier family.
But in a lot of cases, that alone isn't even enough. They don't even seem to care that they're harming thier family with thier addictions on some level…. and it's only when the people who's helping those addicted people in rebab use the “god” card that they suddenly get frightened about what lies ahead after death. that' when they start shaping up.. not because of thier family or not even because of their life going to waste. But because of that “heaven/hell” idea.

I Dunno how else I can explain that…. just that it depresses me that those types of people out there seems to care more about the idea of afterlives, heaven/hell and most of all, god… more than they do thier families.

And that doesn't just apply to alcholics. it applies to any family beloing to any religious insitutions.. whenever it be muslium, christainity, etc.

take Gays for instance. a lot of them comes from normal, avenege families who happens to belong to certain religionus insitutions and believes in certain things… but the mintue that they get discovered or “come out of the closet”, many of them will get stunned by their own family members, all because those family members seem to care more about the “laws/rules of god” more than they do about thier own children.
A good mother/father should stand with thier children's desicisions and be there for them, no matter how much they don't like the idea of thier children doing an certain thing. A good mother/father shouldn't disown thier own children if they think that they're going against some stupid religious group's teachings…..

I just don't understand how those people think that some God, or even just some Church's teachings is more imporant than thier own family. Sure, god might be all empassing, all abloustue in the end… but for somebody who's supposed to be forgiving and understanding, I'm sure he would understand an parent's need to be there for his/her children even if the children “strayed off the proper path”. Yet the Church teachings tells people otherwise. and that causes people to value religion more than they do thier own families, thier own lives.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:09AM
Tantz Aerine at 6:14AM, Nov. 19, 2006
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Aurora Moon
well, to me, I would think it would be Enough for those people to realize that they were indirectly hurting and harming thier family with thier addictions, even if they didn't hurt any family members pyshically (at least not in most cases)… and that they needed to do this to make thier lives better and also for the sake of thier family.
But in a lot of cases, that alone isn't even enough. They don't even seem to care that they're harming thier family with thier addictions on some level…. and it's only when the people who's helping those addicted people in rebab use the “god” card that they suddenly get frightened about what lies ahead after death. that' when they start shaping up.. not because of thier family or not even because of their life going to waste. But because of that “heaven/hell” idea.

Even so, you don't tell me where this is bad. Even if they begin with this, it is a start. Would you prefer that they never consider changing their lives to the better, because their families were not sufficient in inspiring this in them? That is an entirely different matter. Whether families are or should be the number one priority. It is, however, no valid argument- with what you are saying you are actually contributing to one example where religion (in whatever way) help a person get out of a dead end.

I Dunno how else I can explain that…. just that it depresses me that those types of people out there seems to care more about the idea of afterlives, heaven/hell and most of all, god… more than they do thier families.

You have a rather skewed view of the idea of ‘love for family’ antagonising ‘love for God’. As if the one does not promote the other. Of course, provided the family deserves to be considered as such. Again, an entirely different matter. It would need definitions of ‘family’, ‘love’, ‘affection’, ‘obligation’, ‘duty’ and again, in the end it would come down to personal opinions and convictions.

I do, however, believe, that it is an entirely different topic than the one of this debate, as I am sure you realise.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Aurora Moon at 8:13AM, Nov. 19, 2006
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you're missing the point. I'm saying some people vaule thier religion more than thier families, when there should be an balance or a better proity somewhere… family should be equally as imporant.

it can't help but remind me of that one bibical story of that one father who was asked to kill one of his sons to prove his loyality to God. sure, an angel stopped him in time and told him it wasn't nesscary after all… but what if nothing ever stopped him at all? He was willing to put his own god ahead first rather than his own son.

sadly, I've seen people like that in real life. where they would actually kill thier own children if thier god would litterally ask them to, in an scenerio like that because they were so conviced that God was the end all to everything. to me that's an classic case of people vauling religion more over people, espeically that of their families. and I see you ommited over my section on the gay people being disowned and kicked out of thier own homes by thier families because of that same exact thing. nice.

and no, I'm not confusing duty/love, etc…. I'm talking about prorities here! people are a big imporant part of this world…. and while one could argue that religion is the same way if not more… to me religion isn't really an pyshical thing, but more like some sort of state of mind… a opitional guidance system. it can't really know what you're going though your life, it can't syampastize with you, etc… all it can do is comfort you with stories and such.
whereas an person, they can pyshically do all that and more. and children– they're pretty much your future. so shouldn't people be THERE for them, regardless of what path they're going down..

if people vauled people more than they did religion, then people who commited crimes under the disguse of religion wouldn't get away with such vile acts.
like with the corrupt priests getting away with molesting/raping women and children for such a long time because they were “men of god”, and people who knew saw them as people who were “more important” than the vitcims themselves, just all because they claimed to be devot to the world of god, to be holy like god himself. and most espeically because people hold priests to very high stantards more than they would god himself.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:09AM
Rich at 9:22AM, Nov. 19, 2006
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If people were to actually place greater value on their fellow humans than religion, homophobia would be less wide-spread, terrorist groups like Al Quaida may not exist, idiots like those ‘God Hates Fag’ dumbasses would be put in their place, and religion would not slow the advent of technology.

Admit it, religion has slowed our technological progress! How many times has something new like stem cell research came out and the hypochristians put a screeching halt to funding it? That stem cell research will allow for all kinds of diseases to be treated! Diabetes, alzheimers, and many types of brain damage! Christianity has singlehandedly slowed the advancement of technologies that would improve and save lives!

Also, I'd like to see you reply to Aurora's comment about gays, Tantz.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
Tantz Aerine at 12:35PM, Nov. 19, 2006
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Rich
Also, I'd like to see you reply to Aurora's comment about gays, Tantz.

Has it come down to me and my ability to debate and shoot down every single one of you? Because if that is the point of this, I am not interested in continuing- as obviously, I have time and again covered these points. We are going around in circles, covering the same points with different examples, which has frankly become tiring. I feel I have proven my point: yes, there are infelicitous people claiming to be upholding Christian dogma, but clearly, their actions prove the opposite. This does not make the dogma bad, it just goes to show how much people infringe and make capital of something that is inherently good and pure and clean- and this includes official churches, hate-minorities groups and every other hypocritical person claiming to be venting his rather complex-infested psychopathology on other poor souls. It, however, does not characterise the idea they do make capital of.

If you have anything to say on this argument, without bringing me yet again examples of group hate on other groups, technology being kept from the public (because it was always spread in the high classes, church or no church; it is a fact that all advanced technology and knowledge was kept in monasteries and some claim it still is) or anything of the like, I will be happy to listen to it and be convinced or refute it.

If, however, it comes down just to ‘throw Tantz a post to see what she does with it’ like someone throwing balls at me to see if I deflect them, then I will say the debate has concluded several posts ago.

And as an afterthought: this debate was NOT about Christianity, which you have been focusing on, but on the idea of religion. Which has specific definitions according to which the question of whether it is bad or good has either a positive or negative answer.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Tantz Aerine at 12:45PM, Nov. 19, 2006
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Aurora Moon
you're missing the point. I'm saying some people vaule thier religion more than thier families, when there should be an balance or a better proity somewhere… family should be equally as imporant.

…..
if people vauled people more than they did religion, then people who commited crimes under the disguse of religion wouldn't get away with such vile acts.
like with the corrupt priests getting away with molesting/raping women and children for such a long time because they were “men of god”, and people who knew saw them as people who were “more important” than the vitcims themselves, just all because they claimed to be devot to the world of god, to be holy like god himself. and most espeically because people hold priests to very high stantards more than they would god himself.

I believe the one missing the point, is you. The point of this discussion is whether the staples provided by God are good for society and a person or not. To be more accurate, whether religion in general is good. Please see my post to Rich for that.

To you now: Like I said to Rich, what any person says to justify his/her crimes does not sully the dogma/doctrine they claim to be serving, if the dogma itself does not support it. Nowhere is it supported for priests to rape choir boys. Therefore, that person is not an upholder of the dogma he claims he is. If you choose to blame the dogma for his crimes, then that is your prerogative, but it is not logically founded.

As for those willing to sacrifice their kids, before you take it up with God, you have to ask them whether they are being sincere- and if they were, they would first be willing to sacrifice themselves, which you will find they usually do not. More hyprocricy there. And I would see you then, takeing it up with the state in general, for sending boys into battle and demanding of families that they sacrifice themselves for the state- thus family seems to come second best in many aspects.

And you can't say ‘what if he had not prevented it’ regarding the sacrifice of the son which was averted; because He did.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Rich at 1:29PM, Nov. 19, 2006
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No offense, but your argument seems to boil down to this one simple line:

“If they do something bad or something I don't agree with, it's not the religion's fault. It's all the person's doing.”

This argument is flawed because we are not talking about if the MEANING of religion is bad, but if the whole concept is bad itself!

And yes, we are picking on christianity because it is the largest religion in both the US and UK, the two countries most of us are from.

EDIT: If there are any people here who follow other religions or non-mainstream ones, your opinions would greatly add to this debate!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
Tantz Aerine at 2:17PM, Nov. 19, 2006
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Rich
No offense, but your argument seems to boil down to this one simple line:

“If they do something bad or something I don't agree with, it's not the religion's fault. It's all the person's doing.”

This argument is flawed because we are not talking about if the MEANING of religion is bad, but if the whole concept is bad itself!

You do understand that I have addressed this. Let me say it in points, so that we are all certain it is very clear:
1. I have said that religion's concept can be very bad indeed. It coerces and gags and manipulates and causes fanatism. Religion being, in my personal definition, the typology and code of conduct and the church and everything that has an official, state-like organisation.

2.the personal code of conduct provided by someof the religious doctrines that exist in some religions is very good and necessary to help people have a consistent frame of reference that keeps them from doing atrocities like the ones very graphically being described left and right. And regarding Christianity, its religious doctrine which I define as what Christ has said, does offer this, regardless of the atrocities being done in his name simply because someone chose to wear a cross while committing them.

3. The quote above is in error. I did not say ‘if they do something bad with which I do not agree it is not the religion’s fault'. This is wrong and I will deny ever saying this in this context. What I did say was: 'if they do something that goes against the religious doctrine's principles then it is not the doctrine's fault. I truly hope you can see the difference, for I cannot really say it any simpler.

Also, Rich, you did not answer my question: are you pushing this off-topic argumentation which always seems to be in a tangent to what I say (seems you always ignore the way I phrase things- I do not just type words randomly, you know), just to try and see whether I find an argument to counter yours? I will also ask you to be kind and scroll back and see that the differentiation between ‘concept’ and ‘meaning’ has been noted long ago (as I said in point 1.). You are not arguing on the ‘concept’ anymore. That's why I said this debate is (and has been) off topic for a good while.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:06PM
Aurora Moon at 7:05PM, Nov. 19, 2006
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rich
This argument is flawed because we are not talking about if the MEANING of religion is bad, but if the whole concept is bad itself!

yeah, that was the idea behind my post.

Tantz
1. I have said that religion's concept can be very bad indeed. It coerces and gags and manipulates and causes fanatism. Religion being, in my personal definition, the typology and code of conduct and the church and everything that has an official, state-like organisation.

2.the personal code of conduct provided by someof the religious doctrines that exist in some religions is very good and necessary to help people have a consistent frame of reference that keeps them from doing atrocities like the ones very graphically being described left and right. And regarding Christianity, its religious doctrine which I define as what Christ has said, does offer this, regardless of the atrocities being done in his name simply because someone chose to wear a cross while committing them.

Your post seems sorta bipolar there. on one hand you say it can be very bad indeed, if oragnized relgion does stuff, but then you turn around and say that it can be very good for people.

Hmm. how to put it?
You see, Christ was often saying for people to NOT worship him, to not turn his teachings into an religion of rules, etc.. that it was only meant as a guideline and a phslogical view on how to live an good life. in other words, he did not want an organized religion based on his teachings at all… and that was ommited from the english bible and was quoted in the more older sqictures.
wonder why Christ himself did not want oraginzed religion to make his teachings known?
proably because he regonized the fact that when those teachings and beliefs that he had, was fine when applied and adjusted to each person accordingly… but when turn it into this big set of rules and an system that doesn't apply to the indvidal but instead to groups, is when it turns ugly and horrbly wrong. It becomes an system to control people rather than to help them in times of trouble.
you even said so to an certain degree without realizing so: “….some religions is very good and necessary to help people have a consistent frame of reference that keeps them from doing atrocities like the ones very graphically being described left and right.”

Now.. oranigied religion's intent is not to stop atrocitites, but rather SINS. now, commiting Atrocrities is certainly covered under sinning, but orangized religion also focuses on the more minor stuff. and the minor stuff that they focus on is sometimes enough to ruin masses of people's lives out there. because everyone has different ideas of what is sinning and what isn't. and even without beliefs, most people still have an basic common ground on what is wrong and what is right.

without an religion or having grown up without parents to instill an set of morals in a person's life, that person can still easily regonize that raping is wrong, that killing others is wrong, etc… all because it causes pain and suffering. that typical person won't suddenly start raping/killing right and left just because he has no religion to believe in, because he grew up without a guiding hand to teach him morals. he might make some horribly bad mistakes, like dedicing to use drugs snice he's alone in the world but even he has his own limits on what he would do and what he won't do.

religions do NOT stop people from commiting arotcities right and left, people are gonna do it anyway even if they believe in certain stuff… if they're unstable enough as indivals. Hliter was an Christain, after all… grew up in an religious family that raised him up with the same code of morals as every other family out there did. But despite that, he was still commiting the arocirites when he grew up, because he believed that Jews were a type of people who would do ungodly things, doing things that was against god.

all religion does, is that it sets in some rules about what is “bad”… despite the fact that some of those “Bad” things are actually no big friggin deal.

so I'm saying here…Orangized religion, it's not just working in this world anymore. away with the churches and stuff, snice all they do is distort the basics, and add on to it with even more rules and an complicated system which does no good for the invidal person out there, and only serves to rule the masses.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:09AM
Rich at 7:29PM, Nov. 19, 2006
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Aurora Moon
rich
This argument is flawed because we are not talking about if the MEANING of religion is bad, but if the whole concept is bad itself!

yeah, that was the idea behind my post.

I know. I simply felt like repeating it in my own words.

Aurora Moon
so I'm saying here…Orangized religion, it's not just working in this world anymore. away with the churches and stuff, snice all they do is distort the basics, and add on to it with even more rules and an complicated system which does no good for the invidal person out there, and only serves to rule the masses.

BINGO! We have a winner!

Organized religion will inevitably fall to doing things that are both wrong and hurt people. The writings and scriptures may be against harming people, but the religous leaders will bend and corrupt it until it allows them to control people and gain power. This may not happen at first, but over time humanity will corrupt everything it ever lays its hands on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
ozoneocean at 1:33AM, Nov. 20, 2006
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Poor Tantz…
You guys do know that the basic concept of religion is to try and make some sense of the world, from some kind of shared, proto-humanist perspective? There's nothing evil or wrong with that… It's just a way of trying to make sense of your universe.
The big organised religious institutions are inheritors of the long forgotton theocracies that were once the chief method of governing humanity, and still carry some of that authority… Some of the ideas they espouse are old fashioned, clunky and stupidly conservative, but they also provide very useful humanitarian balances for secular governments who are increasingly misanthropic and calculating when it comes to human welfare and ethics.

Religion doesn't deserve such a total damning. That's idiotic.
Chide it and criticise is mercilessly for its true failings, but try not to get carried away because it reduces the credibility of the more genuine arguments against religions.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Ronson at 6:22AM, Nov. 20, 2006
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Rich
The writings and scriptures may be against harming people

Not all scriptures are against harming people. Which was my point way back when. These old writings were predjudiced from the beginning by the culture and beliefs of those writing them.

A lot of the writings - especially the New Testament - are fairly positive and enlightened lessons that can teach ethics and morality. But even there there are some passages that teach divisiveness and condone violence. And not just if they are “reinterpreted” as such, but right on the face of it.

There is no perfect book that teaches the perfect way for us to live perfect lives. Flawed men wrote them, most of them hundreds of years after the first flawed men told the stories to others.

But if you pick and choose which bits are worthwhile and which bits are not – you know, cafeteria style - you pretty much end up with “Treat your neighbor as you would have them treat you” and “turn the other cheek” … pretty good words to live by.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Obsidian at 9:08AM, Nov. 21, 2006
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Rich
BINGO! We have a winner!

Organized religion will inevitably fall to doing things that are both wrong and hurt people. The writings and scriptures may be against harming people, but the religous leaders will bend and corrupt it until it allows them to control people and gain power. This may not happen at first, but over time humanity will corrupt everything it ever lays its hands on.

I agree with this statement.

Religion may have formed as a way to figure out the cosmos in a violent world that made little sense to our ancestors - largely, I feel, out of our fear of the unknown.

Now, man is crafty. “Someone brilliant” long ago realized the potential religion has as a vehical to control and exhude power (by saying “someone” I do not mean one exact person, but more that things just happen that way - people just took advantage of things). Christianity, the following of a Jewish man who preached loved and had incredible charisma, became a weapon of power. As different groups of people became indoctrined with this religion, they brought their own facets of beliefs into it making even more so fit as their weapon. Perhaps that is why we have “major” religions - religions that are most adaptable and exhude the most power will be followed by the most people. I am sure so many other factors come into play as well.

But then you could say that religion has never been “pure” - it has always been a vehicle for control. First perhaps as a control of fear (the included other groups of people) that easily transcended into a control over others within their own group.

You could almost say that those who are not physically strong enough to rule through might can easily do so through religion and politics (and now a-days science, or the science religion if you what to think of it that way with its rules, customs and beliefs).
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Mazoo at 3:03PM, Dec. 2, 2006
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I just thougth of something while in another debate…

Some of you guys are claiming that it is the people that corrupt the religion, and not the scripture itself. Now, as I, and others, have said before, people will inevitably corrupt and contort the religion to do as they want.

Now, as religion IS there to be a set of “moral guidelines,” isn't the fact that people do disregard it make it ineffective and essentially a “failure of set of ideas”? Sure, the majority of people may follow it and be good, but just the fact that there is sin and “badness” and “evil” that exists completely throughs things off.

I guess I'm saying that if there is at least one person who doesn't follow the guidelines properly, doesn't that make the religion ineffective? (this is kind of a different debate, because it's not really saying if religion is “bad” or “good” )
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
ozoneocean at 1:53AM, Dec. 3, 2006
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Tantz Aerine
ozoneocean
Poor Tantz…
*laughs* think I'm getting unfairly bashed for virtually saying the same thing? I have this sensation nobody actually can differentiate between concepts.
Aurora Moon
wonder why Christ himself did not want oraginzed religion to make his teachings known?
Thank you for seconding my point, and finally making the differentiation I was trying to illustrate. This is exactly my point.
Tantz Aerine
Rich
BINGO! We have a winner!
Thank you. This is the essence of my point. That was exactly what I was trying to get across here, and I had repeated so many times in so many examples it had become ludicrous. I hope you finally get to realise it… and stop bickering just for the sake of it.
Rich
Err… So we agree or something? And bickering IS the point of the debate thread. We are SUPPOSED to argue over this stuff.
Tantz Aerine
*laughs* yes, we agree. We have been agreeing for some time now- you just would not get as much. Bickering, though, is not arguing. Bickering involves being emotionally charged. Debating involves more cerebral interaction. Anyway, yes! We agree. :) Are you amazed?
PLEASE, Tantz and Rich I've told you before, debate about stuff, don't just quote each other and say “I agree” underneath, or turn things into single issue arguments and pedantic points… :(
jakey926
i'm atheist but i dont think there is anything bad about religion… i'm sure it has made some controversy over the years but hey the world is filled with that stuff.
Sorry Jakey, I dlete posts where people just state prefferences, if you post here please debate, like you've done already in the other threads :)
Don't just tell us what you think.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
Mr Irritating Pedant at 10:11PM, Dec. 3, 2006
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For me, there are two parts to this debate.

First, I think it's hard to pin down “religion” in a meaningful way.

Marxist Communism, for example, has a belief in the overarching morality and immorality of certain actions (“surplus profit” being bad, for example) and a teleological view of history - that history is heading forward to a better point where we'll all be happiest.

Does that make it a religion?

In China, there are philosophies such as Confucianism and Legalism that don't really consider the existence of a god or gods per se, but are firm in their belief that, if everyone does things a certain way, society will work. Most of them are not acceptable to our modern thinking about society; we reject the Confucian point of view that there is a chain of increasing authority from child to mother to father to righteous leader and that chain must never be broken. Most of us don't agree with the legalist Han Feizi that criminals should have limbs amputated as a lesson to others.

To agree with Han Feizi that we should mutilate (if not execute) our felons is to hold a worldview like the Western philosopher Hobbes, that people are only “good” to each other if rigidly controlled.

Do we consider these beliefs, unacceptable to our modern mores, not part of the religion debate because no god is involved?

I would answer with a qualified “no.” Somewhere down the line, a pure empiricism - doing things because one knows from economic and sociological statistics - would not be religious at all. But before we reach that point, we have to make a leap of faith.

And in that leap, whether we believe that it's better for people to speak freely or to never speak of certain things, whether it is better to mostly punish or mostly forgive, whether people will do good or do ill when left alone - is “religion,” whether or not a god or a book is involved.

This brings me to the second question: how do we judge?

You can quote to me particularly unfortunate-sounding passages of the Bible or the Koran, and even if we take them at face value, how'd we get a baseline to start from?

Basically, you can say that a belief of a religion is bad because it conflicts with your mores, but then you have to defend your mores.

Currently, I'm pretty sure that everyone on this forum believes that individual pain and misery should be reduced. I think we can all agree on that, and argue over how best it's done.

But some of the fundamentalisms we are arguing as “bad” reject that premise. To judge them, we can just assume that we're right, and suffering is not a natural state of man. But this only proves that we're right from our point of view.

When we get to proving that reducing each person's pain and suffering is a useful goal, we then confront that we've made something of a quasi-religious leap. I can't say, without qualification, that the individual is more important than the group, or vice-versa, and there are many functioning societies out there where people seem happy with the lines drawn all the way from near-anarchy to near-total collectivism. I can't say with total accuracy that the line I draw is truly correct.

And getting back from the very abstract to the debate at hand, what's been missing from this debate is a defense of what one believes before going on the attack against any religious tenet. If you're going to say that X religion believes in child sacrifice, and therefore is wrong, you really also have to say why child sacrifice is wrong. I know that's extreme, but I don't want to get into the nitty-gritty of Dispensationalism or jihad or other things I don't believe in, but think that the beliefs of other people are from a position where the underlying frame of reference is critical to an evaluation of the belief itself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Ronson at 6:16AM, Dec. 4, 2006
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Are guns bad? No, but what some people do with them is bad.

Are twinkies bad? No, but what some people do with them is bad.

Are bagpipes bad? No, but when people play them they are.

Is religion bad? No, but what some people do with it is bad.


“Religion” is too all-encompassing. Even narrowing it down to a single religion spans to many people.

Good and evil is defined by the people, not by the structures they create.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
gothicpoet at 9:18PM, Dec. 9, 2006
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i don't have much of a problem with religon at all.

but its when the over zealous (aka extremist) try to FORCE or scare you into what they believe.

i'm agnostic, i chose to be this way. and if there really is some sort of “god” out there that will punish me for disbanding my family's history as christian. then so be it. i made that choice.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:26PM, Dec. 16, 2006
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As usual, extremists of every size, shape and form seem to wreck the fun for everyone.

I think one of the most destructive parts of religion is the notion of salvation. Most of the majors seem to have this notion, which seems to be a way of rewarding even the most downtrodden without actually even giving them anything.

Great scam. Wish I'd have thought of it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM

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