Debate and Discussion

Religion versus atheism
Genejoke at 2:23AM, June 6, 2010
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Pretty broad and pretty simple.

Why do religions have more of a problem with atheism than other religions?

I call myself an atheist but some people have said I am more agnostic. To clear up I don't believe in god as depicted in the bible. I do not believe any omnipotent being had anything to do with the bible or any other holy book.
I do however accept that there are things we do not understand and may never understand.

What I don't get is why religious types see atheists as more of a threat than other religions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ozoneocean at 5:45AM, June 6, 2010
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We've had a bazillion of these “Religion Vs atheism” over the years here.

People on the religious side tend to say either that they don't really get the atheist thing and atheists probably don't either, or that they don't care and just wish atheists would stop knocking their religion.

People on the atheist side tend to either say that religious people are nuts and religion is stupid, or that they don't care and just wish religious people would leave them alone.

——————————————–

It seems to me that you've encountered the religious type that don't like atheists. They don't represent all religious types by any means. ;)

And when you say:
“What I don't get is why religious types see atheists as more of a threat than other religions.”
From my experience those “religious types” tend to be made up of a very small cadre of Christians specifically, generally Americans.

Their aversion to atheism probably stems from something cultural and historic rather than anything intellectual or dogmatic. I would argue that 80 or so years of anti-communist feeling in the United States (and elsewhere), has a lot to do with it. Communist regimes in much of the 20th century were about radical upheavals of social structures, removing old class systems and power structures, the removal of religion was part of that.
So in a large part and for many years atheism has been associated with communism or something that's anti-establishment. And this has been the greatest engine for negative feeling towards atheism by certain groups in the west.

Even in the past this has been a factor, with “Atheism” seem more as a threat to the established social and power structures rather than anything to do with “belief” or “non-belief”- although that simple characterisation has often been an easy way to understand or state the situation.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Genejoke at 6:52AM, June 6, 2010
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Interesting.

As for encounters…
yeah lots, some are funny. I once got shouted at by an american, the conversation went something like this.

“you didn't pray, why not?”
“Because I'm christian”
“wha'dya mean you ain't chrisjun?”
“I mean that I don't believe in god!”
“what??? you're going to hell for sayin' that!”
“No, I don't believe in god,heaven or hell or anything like that.”
“what about jesus?”
“Oh Jesus lived, but I don't believe he was the son of god.”
“well fuck you! if you don't believe in god, well he don't believe in you either. You don't exist. so fuck you.”

I have been told I am evil for being an atheist, when I mentioned that I have no criminal record and discussed my values and acts of kindness and so on and explaining why I am not evil. well after all that I got told that while I may have morals and have done kind acts they do not count because i'm not a christian. So when I rattled off hideous acts perform by christians and compared this to myself he said that while I may have morals they are not gods morals and therefore have no value.
When I asked why he cared that I was an atheist he said because it is his job to save my mortal soul and that atheism is a sin. I asked him if he could just be respectful enough to leave me to my beliefs, of course he said no as i was an afront to god.

you can see where that headed.

I have asked christians this before and had various answers

one said that he felt that others were in their right to have another faith but it was wrong to be faithless, or at least he felt that atheist are fair game because we have no faith.

Another said that it was because the still worshipped god but just in another way. This seems like a fair reason as any.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
Rafen at 7:08AM, June 6, 2010
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Someone
From my experience those “religious types” tend to be made up of a very small cadre of Christians specifically, generally Americans

Try the Muslims. Atheism is seen as the root of all evil (not Christianity, they're “khub” or good, not as good as Muslims they say but its better than nothing. Of course this doesn't represent all views or communities) amongst some communities its.

For the Anti-atheist Christians I've met, most of them seem to fall into the “evolution is only a theory” category… Of course one might say the if we have the ability to change our selves for the better without outside intervention over generations doesn't that make our design more “perfect”. Wait.. that's an irrelevant opinion.

Admittedly I'm a little scared of all this “mass atheism” because its not any unified movement with a face. Furthermore it carries no strict code of morals with which to act by, to predict behavior. Suffice to say it's not a way to control the masses. And the masses, as history has showed time and time again can act very stupidly when not on a leash… Atheism I've deduced is the lifestyle of the intelligent individual. Pessimism again :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:59PM
Genejoke at 7:50AM, June 6, 2010
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your last point is interesting, and you are right it isn't an organised belief. To me it's just common sense. As for code and morals, we do not need religion to teach us those. plenty of people of faith act in undesirable ways.

I love the evolution is just a theory arguement, it must be the weakest arguement ever made an yet people stick to it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ozoneocean at 8:29AM, June 6, 2010
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Rafen
Try the Muslims. Atheism is seen as the root of all evil (not Christianity, they're “khub” or good, not as good as Muslims they say but its better than nothing. Of course this doesn't represent all views or communities) amongst some communities its.
I'd disagree. Muslims tend to view all non-believers (non-Muslim) as pretty much the same, no matter what their church doctrine says. They don't tend to single out atheists from what I've seen.

Rafen
For the Anti-atheist Christians I've met, most of them seem to fall into the “evolution is only a theory” category…
Evolution has nothing to do with atheism. So if those anti-atheist Christians have a problem with evolution as well, then they're probably of the more activist sort.
Rafen
Admittedly I'm a little scared of all this “mass atheism” because its not any unified movement with a face. Furthermore it carries no strict code of morals with which to act by, to predict behavior. Suffice to say it's not a way to control the masses. And the masses, as history has showed time and time again can act very stupidly when not on a leash… Atheism I've deduced is the lifestyle of the intelligent individual. Pessimism again :)
This is exactly my point about atheism being seen as anti-establishment.

I don't think anyone was ever worried about “mass” atheism“ though, rather they were more concerned about the loss of people committed to the established orthodoxy. Definitely concerned about them as individuals, yes, but not as a ”group“.

———-
Religion is not a way to ”control the masses", although that is one way of looking at it. On a macro scale religion functions as a unifying cultural force, much like language, ethnicity, or nationality. None of those things are inherently compelling.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Genejoke at 9:51AM, June 6, 2010
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I disagree. religion is many things and while not designed as a control method certainly has no problem in doing so. granted it is usually the extremist who take it that far though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ozoneocean at 10:03AM, June 6, 2010
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Genejoke
I disagree. religion is many things and while not designed as a control method certainly has no problem in doing so. granted it is usually the extremist who take it that far though.
“Control” of a group is not a property of religion though, that is a political aspect. When any organisation is large and influential enough it takes on a political role- just like whenever the mass of an object is great enough, it starts to distort space and time around it in a perceptible fashion.
-It's the size and influence (or “mass” in the analogy) rather than the thing itself that is responsible for those properties. Any organised group will take on similar properties (control, influence, leadership) when it becomes large enough. We could say that Apple (the company) exerts a similar kind of control.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Hawk at 1:46PM, June 6, 2010
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I nearly choked on some pizza when I saw this topic. Yes, we've had TONS of religion vs. atheism. But I think one other problem is that Black Kitty established a “No this vs. that” rule.

However, so far this is civil and slightly different than our other barrel of religion threads, so I think I'll let it stick around until it devolves into the “You can't prove _______” argument.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
Orin J Master at 2:38PM, June 6, 2010
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ozoneocean
Their aversion to atheism probably stems from something cultural and historic rather than anything intellectual or dogmatic.

this is both right and wrong. several religions have an inborn loathing for atheism, but that's as much political as religious. in addition, with most popular organized religions you have the weight of interpretation to consider. after all very few “holy” texts go explicitly into detail about their opinions on race, sexuality, and how a federal republic should operate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
bravo1102 at 8:02AM, June 7, 2010
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The Fundamentalist Christian hatred of Atheism goes back to the turn of the 20th Century as the works establishing Fundamentalist Christianity (the series of pamphlets The Fundamentals) were in reply to liberal Biblical Critque, rising secularism and the Liberalization of 19th Century religion not communism. That came later as the Fundamentalists glommed onto the Anti-communism of the two US Red Scares (ca. 1917-20 and 1950s) Fundamentalism was firmly entrenched before either Red Scare and only took off during turbulent times in American history as Americans became convinced that their “traditional values” of their beloved country were under attack from the secular world which was often the secular humanists and intellectuals at home not the communists. That the secularists and intellectuals would flirt with communism was often incidental and just made secularism an easier target.
Then there are White Supremacy's connections to this, Millenialism, Seventh Day Adventists and other high weirdness.

Fundamentalists hate me because I can actively savage everything they believe and include footnotes. I gave that up a few years ago and just feed their own rhetoric back to them.

Then there's the militant atheists; Dawkins et al. They really scare the Fundamentalists.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Genejoke at 9:13AM, June 7, 2010
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Try the Muslims. Atheism is seen as the root of all evil (not Christianity, they're “khub” or good, not as good as Muslims they say but its better than nothing. Of course this doesn't represent all views or communities) amongst some communities its.

According to the media muslims hate everyone who isn't a muslim and want to chop their heads off.

As this has been said on TV it is clearly true…

hope the sarcasm shines through!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
kyupol at 9:19AM, June 7, 2010
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Both of them are dead ends in my opinion. That's why I'm spiritual non-religious. I am a spiritual seeker and I tend to believe something as long as it satisfies these two conditions:

1) Confirmed from multiple sources that have multiple perspectives. For instance, lets talk about aliens. There are Christian groups who say they exist but they're really the Nephilim (aka Satan's demons… see Genesis 6:4). And there are New Agey groups who claim they exist and they say they're our “space brothers” who happened to be more evolved. Then there's scientists who say they exist or at least pay them lip service (Michio Kaku, Carl Sagan, etc).


2) Personal Experience. No amount of books and testimony from other people will convince me of one thing if experience dictates otherwise. For instance, lets talk about meditation. Christians say that meditation is of the devil. Atheists say its just your mind playing tricks… that its just a placebo effect or something. But tell me… how it made me lose weight, cure my suicidal tendencies, and cure a strange lump underneath my arm. As far as I'm concerned, its GOOD and its REAL.


To the atheists here, I'd like you to check out Pastor Russ Dizdar. Even if I don't agree with everything he says, I can't help but respect this man.
http://shatterthedarkness.net/

I think that he REALLY follows what the bible teaches. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR (Lev.19:18).

He doesn't act like one of the Pharisees out to condemn people because being a Christian means being like Christ as seen in (John 3:16-17).

I even emailed him and had a mini-debate with him. He doesn't respond with anger or incoherent rambling quoting random bible verses. He was more like: “Jesus loves you and wants you to come to him. Come to Christ. Accept Jesus as your Lord and your Savior.”

While he says that Homosexuality and Atheism are sins, he reaches out to them in a friendly manner. His favorite stock phrase is:
“Do you KNOW Christ?!?”

He honestly believes that he has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He says that the Holy Spirit talks to him even when he's gardening or doing other things. He also reaches out to Satanists, New Agers, Muslims, etc. According to him, in is more than 30 years of being a pastor, he's never met an atheist who has KNOWN Christ. By “knowing” Christ, he means direct contact with Christ. It doesnt mean that just because you go to church everyday and are active in church… or even a pastor… that you really KNOW Christ.

I think that Russ Dizdar is different from other pastors I've seen because he doesn't go round and round in circles focusing on side issues like atheism and homosexuality. He focuses on SATAN HIMSELF AND HIS DEMONS – the spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Rafen at 10:44AM, June 7, 2010
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I tend to see things in a similar Manner Kypol, though honestly I do think god exists, just not in the all knowing omnipresent and omnipotent. In fact my studies of the holy texts always seems to conform to me that God has human qualities.. specifically faults. Like the ability to make mistakes.

Someone
There are Christian groups who say they exist but they're really the Nephilim
Nephilim are the products of unions between (fallen?) angels and humans, don't get confused here.

As for Super J. For me hes simply a representation of humans capabilities for love and compassion etc. An example to follow. And as much a child of god as you or I.
Again these are irrelevant opinions of mine, back to the subject.

As a pessimist, I see the necessity of religion in order to install a moral code into people, the masses if you will. I'd go into that into more detail, but I'm afraid bed is calling and I have a long list of things to do tomorrow. ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:59PM
bravo1102 at 11:54PM, June 7, 2010
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Genejoke
Someone
Try the Muslims. Atheism is seen as the root of all evil (not Christianity, they're “khub” or good, not as good as Muslims they say but its better than nothing. Of course this doesn't represent all views or communities) amongst some communities its.

According to the media muslims hate everyone who isn't a muslim and want to chop their heads off.

As this has been said on TV it is clearly true…

hope the sarcasm shines through!

According to one school of Islamic thought all people are born as Muslims and because of their upbringing in another faith become apostates from the one true faith.

One punishment for apostatacy is beheading and it also makes for great video. It's propaganda, watching someone getting rocks thrown at them just isn't as dramatic.

What the media does now is the same as the American Anti-papist Protestant propaganda about Catholics 150 years ago. After all nunneries are brothels for the priesthood and the nuns are there agaisnt their will just waiting to be liberated by God-fearing Protestants and we all know that Jews have tails. That's another one that keeps coming up.

And if anyone would bother studying up on the Naphilim (those who came down or those from above mistranslated as “giants”) who are the same as the Babylonian and Sumerian Annunaki not gods but more advanced people from another world who created us in their image etc, etc… One day Kyupol you will look behind the curtain and see how you've been fooled by the Great and Powerful OZ all these years.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Product Placement at 11:28AM, June 8, 2010
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Hey! A “vs” thread. Haven't seen one of those for ages. And it's everyone's favorite topic!

Let's see… Where do I stand?

In my youth, I was an adamant believer that organized religion had done more harm then good to mankind. Most of those believes were largely based on the way the history of Europe was taught to me but religion played a heavy role in that tale, particularly the middle ages. The fact that religion played a heavy role in robbing my country most of its wealth, by an order of a kingdom that essentially starved my nation for several hundred years, didn't help.

Eventually my opinion on the subject evolved and I came to a personal conclusion: I will not deny the possibility of a higher power. In fact, I find the possibility that there's something out there that's greater then us to be fairly likely. Do I know what it is? Absolutely not. Can I possibly comprehend it? I'll probably have the same chances as a cell in my body trying to comprehend me. Does it sound likely that an institute that benefits from having scores of followers has these answers? Absolutely not. The arrogance to claim that they know “god” is mind boggling in my books.

A girl, I once dated, counter argued that I myself were arrogant for claiming that I had found the answers that had eluded all others. You're free to take her side but I don't see it that way though. I make no attempts to say that I understand the higher powers, if there are any to begin with. I merely claim that I don't believe any of us have the answer. In my opinion having faith is perfectly OK. It is organized religions that I don't agree with.

We can have all the “science vs religion”, “atheists vs religion” “religion vs a different religion” discussions or debates but we will never come to a fundamental conclusion. It's all opinionated and you can't argue opinions.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Genejoke at 1:43PM, June 8, 2010
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Eventually my opinion on the subject evolved and I came to a personal conclusion: I will not deny the possibility of a higher power. In fact, I find the possibility that there's something out there that's greater then us to be fairly likely. Do I know what it is? Absolutely not. Can I possibly comprehend it? I'll probably have the same chances as a cell in my body trying to comprehend me. Does it sound likely that an institute that benefits from having scores of followers has these answers? Absolutely not. The arrogance to claim that they know what “god” is mind boggling in my books.

This is similar to my belief.

Kyupol
According to him, in is more than 30 years of being a pastor, he's never met an atheist who has KNOWN Christ. By “knowing” Christ, he means direct contact with Christ.

Well if an atheist had direct contact with christ then they would not be an atheist, that is possibly the dumbest comment I have heard. To know christ in that way means one of two things, delusion or christianity is correct. If I knew christ then I would be a believer, having been raised a christian I can honestly say I have never believed in god or that jesus was anything other than just a normal man.
As for meditation, when you say about what atheists say… hard call as there isn't one achool of thought with atheists, no one teaching we are individuals who think for ourselves. however I do believe that meditation is likely mind over body. How did it make you do these things… well YOU did them, it clearly helped in some way and that is great.

Aliens though, well I find it easier to believe in the possibility of aliens that god. In fact I think it is near impossible there isn't life on other planets. as to them visiting and so on… well I will wait until I see it.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
kyupol at 9:46PM, June 8, 2010
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Well if an atheist had direct contact with christ then they would not be an atheist, that is possibly the dumbest comment I have heard. To know christ in that way means one of two things, delusion or christianity is correct. If I knew christ then I would be a believer, having been raised a christian I can honestly say I have never believed in god or that jesus was anything other than just a normal man.

Most Christian churches are spiritually DEAD nowadays. Most of them do not even address things like:
- The Nephilim (I only found out about them as soon as I picked up my bible to actually READ IT.)

- The Book of Revelation (especially Catholic Churches… they don't like to talk about that stuff. Btw, every other anti-NWO Christian church I've been to points their finger at the RCC as being the anti-christ / beast / whore of babylon. The RCC is sometimes not even considered “Christian”.)

- The New World Order and the plan to drastically reduce the world's population. (see Alex Jones' film called ENDGAME. I challenge you to pause it every now and then just to see everything he documents).

- Demons, Angels, spirits, etc. (Ephesians 6:12) is crystal clear on this.

- Deep prayer / meditation / etc. The closest one I've seen though is in an Opus Dei Catholic Church. However, their version of “meditation” is more like getting you to fall asleep. :)

The reason behind that is because of the heavy infiltration of the churches by SATAN HIMSELF. (Russ Dizdar goes into this in better detail in his book “The Black Awakening”. Also, see former Catholic Priests like Fr. Malachi Martin, Fr. Alberto Rivera… and also Vatican Exorcist Fr. Amorth. See documentary “Unrepentant: Kevin Annet and Canada's Genocide”)

The regular mainstream churches are more focused on the “feel good” stuff and the distractionary issues like homosexuality, atheism, and blaming it all on the liberals. The regular mainstream churches like to preach Romans 13 or the Rapture – excuses to sit down and shut up. Meanwhile Jesus Christ himself and the apostles are all anti-establishment.

They don't like to talk about the hard core stuff like (Revelation 13:11-18) and (Revelation 19:19). Otherwise, they might lose favor with the government (errr… puppet controlled by the bankers to be more accurate.)


That is why, in my opinion, the more credible Christian churches are usually the ones that run their church from behind a keyboard or in someone's living room or out in the street corner.

The pastors who run their churches in this manner have more free reign on what to say. Because there is less temptation to give in to money, which seems to be the “god” of this world (Off topic: if you really look into the concept of money, you'd arrive at the conclusion that MONEY DOES NOT EXIST. Why do you think every high powered economist… like Bob Chapman, Ron Paul, Webster Tarpley, etc…. preaches the importance of investing in GOLD, GOLD, and GOLD.)

A Catholic priest also told me that there's alot of stuff he cannot say. And his favorite topic is talking about the reality of HELL and the Mark of the Beast.

So yeah… I encourage you to re-think Christianity.

That's what I did. And I ended up with respect for Christianity after realizing that most of these mainstream churches are wrong.

Even if I agree to disagree with a good number of the Christian doctrines.


Sorry for the long rant. :)
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
bravo1102 at 3:04AM, June 9, 2010
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I could go into the long history of premillenialism and the origins of Fundamental Protestantism or the Millerites who became the Seventh Day Adventists who are firm believers in conspiracy theories. Fundamentalists are the primary people who have popularized conspiracy theories and money and the New World Order (a phrase that goes back nearly 150 years, with H.G. Wells it was positive see Shape of Things to Come and Outline of History ) If you look back far enough all this stuff becomes more ridiculous.

A parody of this conspiracy thinking was written by a French playwrite about the fears of the Illuminati/and a Christian Elders of Zion then adapted by the Cheka to be about the Jews and the classic Protocals of the Elders of Zion was born. Elders of Zion was one name of the Masons and the Bavarian Illuminati. These are very old ideas.

The fears of the Money interests conspiracy with the Illumiati collminates with the anti-Papists of the early 19th Century US. Andrew Jackson's campaign against the Second Bank of the United States was partially driven by these ideas. You would think by now there was conclusive proof and the battle had come back out of the fringes of belief. Instead it's confined to DVDs, You Tube Videos, lots of self-published books (That I once devoured as a believer and now as a debunker) and Coast-to-Coast AM.

The ties between Fundamentalist Christianity's premillenialism and devout reveration of the Book of Revelation are very very tight and they are very serious about Revelation.(which is all about first century Rome You can interpret any of this stuff to mean anything you want but what best fits the evidence and is the simplest explanation?)

An atheist can find Christ or more accurately Jesus. It only requires him to deny the fact that Christ is the Son of God and messiah but only one of the wisest men ever to have lived and to revel in his thought and the eternal kingdom of love he preached. Just leave out the whole god thing that is easy to do especially if you study the so-called Gnostic gospels, some of which deny the divinity of Jesus. Instead one would stress a Gnostic meditation and introspection which is startlingly like Buddhist thought. Meditation? You don't need Jesus as the Son of God if you go back to First Century Christian thought before Constantine decided to make it universal and offical and follow a specific orthadoxy.

It all comes down to a question of faith. If you have it all things are possible, if you don't and tie yourself to logic and evidence everything disappears in Douglas Adams' puff of logic. Douglas Adams was an atheist and best friend with the famed militant atheist Richard Dawkins. Amzing how you can connect all this stuff. I feel like James Burke. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
DrBob at 3:29PM, June 9, 2010
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Genejoke
What I don't get is why religious types see atheists as more of a threat than other religions.
I'm not sure this is true, but assuming it is, I would guess the reason would be is that there is more overlap with other religions than atheism. A Muslim believes in God and that Jesus was a prophet, but believes Mohammad was the most recent and most accurate prophet. So at least this person believes in God and sees Jesus as having something important to say about God. But an atheist doesn't believe in God, believes Jesus existed and said many great things but was not a prophet. Less overlap of beliefs, so the atheist is more of a threat. At least that's my guess.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:16PM
BffSatan at 2:02AM, June 10, 2010
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Religions is an invention to avert the fear of death. If one was too admit that atheism wasn't twisted and evil then they would be admitting that dieing is possible.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
ozoneocean at 2:46AM, June 10, 2010
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BffSatan
Religions is an invention to avert the fear of death. If one was too admit that atheism wasn't twisted and evil then they would be admitting that dieing is possible.
Not really. I mean, that sounds nice and pat, but it doesn't work.
Religion is a massively complicated ever-evolving beasty that's thousands of years old. Probably as old as humanity.
We have a zillion simple explanations for it that enlighten us on nothing more than the simpleness of the commentator's understanding of the subject unfortunately.

-Specifically as to your version there, in a lot of religions, death is not a good place to be. And a lot of atheists and agnostics still believe in other ways that people can carry on after death, because the idea that all people who aren't religious are pure atheists or that all atheists are pure rationalist scientists is quite wrong. People are as varied as it's possible to be.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Sea_Cow at 8:35PM, June 10, 2010
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I'm an atheist, but I understand that religion is necessary to hold a society together morally. Being a self-serving atheist, I don't want my social structure to collapse, so…
I am so happy to finally be back home
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
BffSatan at 12:04AM, June 11, 2010
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ozoneocean
-Specifically as to your version there, in a lot of religions, death is not a good place to be. And a lot of atheists and agnostics still believe in other ways that people can carry on after death, because the idea that all people who aren't religious are pure atheists or that all atheists are pure rationalist scientists is quite wrong. People are as varied as it's possible to be.
I know this. However a lot of people don't, to them disbelief in God is disbelief in the afterlife. As to death not being a good place to be, in the religions being discussed it is, unless you're a bad person which no one thinks they are.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
ozoneocean at 1:17AM, June 11, 2010
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BffSatan
As to death not being a good place to be, in the religions being discussed it is, unless you're a bad person which no one thinks they are.
Not really. In many versions of Christianity when you die you suffer. All you can do in life is resign yourself that only certain “chosen” will be saved and that if you live strictly by the dictates of your creed you may earn some small reprieve form your destined suffering.
For many Hindus life/death in relation to their religion is quite trying. They have to spend their lives trying to make sure that after death they're not born in a lower state to what they currently are. For someone of low caste that means a life of hardship, especially for parents suffering to try and better their children. For someone of High caste that might mean a lot of worry when they think about death, knowing they might not retain their current level. So their death mythology adds extra stress.
Buddhists… they don't retain themselves as themselves after death.

Actually, the promise of a better life after death wasn't really that common in religion till Christianity came along. In most religions death was a pretty bad place unless you were already wealthy and powerful, or you achieved some very hard feats- like for Greeks and Vikings it would be a valiant death in battle.

So the idea that religion is all about people being afraid of not continuing after death is in fact completely wrong. That only pertains to a small minority mostly more “modern” religions. In a lot of the older ones people would probably much rather die and be no more.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
BffSatan at 2:43AM, June 11, 2010
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ozoneocean
So the idea that religion is all about people being afraid of not continuing after death is in fact completely wrong. That only pertains to a small minority mostly more “modern” religions. In a lot of the older ones people would probably much rather die and be no more.
Most Christians think they are going to go to heaven and I can certainly say that all the religious people who hate atheism are part of this ‘small minority.’
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
ozoneocean at 2:52AM, June 11, 2010
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BffSatan
Most Christians think they are going to go to heaven and I can certainly say that all the religious people who hate atheism are part of this ‘small minority.’
I don't even know if “most” Christians do, since I know so many versions of Christianity tell their people they're most likely going to hell.
What you mean really is a percentage of the mainly Protestant Christian faiths, particularly Anglicans and Espiscapalians. (more than that, but mainly those two)

Even so, this statement is noit true: “Religions is an invention to avert the fear of death.”
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Genejoke at 4:29AM, June 11, 2010
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No it is using fear of death and what comes after as a social control. don't steal OR YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!!!
don't commit adultery OR YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!!!
do not sodomise your neighbours cat OR YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!!!
don't be gay OR YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
BffSatan at 4:33AM, June 11, 2010
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ozoneocean
Even so, this statement is noit true: “Religions is an invention to avert the fear of death.”

I agree that it is not entirely to blame for creating religion, but I do believe that fear of death played a large part of it.

I suppose this discussion is moot as we can never really understand what was in Og's mind when he decided to worship the fire God.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
ozoneocean at 5:22AM, June 11, 2010
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Genejoke
No it is using fear of death and what comes after as a social control. don't steal OR YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!!!!
Now this is more interesting: social control
That's not just about death and what could happen after though, in fact that's mostly about what happens when you're alive.
Consider- When someone is part of a religious community, the greatest reason they like to be seen to follow the tenants of their faith is to maintain social standing within that community.
A good example is something very common in the 1940's during and after the war: a woman has a child out of wedlock and has to have that child in secret, then farms it off to an aunt or grandmother, or becomes exiled and estranged from her family and community…
That didn't happen because anyone was really afraid that god would punish them, that happened because of the social stigma created by those old church rules on sex within marriage etc.
So people were much, MUCH more afraid of the more immediate and REAL threat, which was loss of social standing for their family among their community.

This one of the many examples of why simplifying the motivation and origins of religion not only fails to enlighten, but actively helps to hide the real situation. It would be easy to pick out more examples like this from parents allowing their children to be drowned as a sacrifice to the Aztec rain gods to ensure a good harvest, to young virgin Greek maidens ritually “feeding” an omphalis stone milk and honey…
Mystified by that unusual behaviour we foolishly rely on simple magical motivations like crazy beliefs in myths, when the reality was that those rituals were part of complex societies with social webs of influnce among the community that ensure participation because not doing so offends the society that you are part of, not any childish conception of a fear of heavenly anger.



One thing that is extremely ironic to me is that most people who set out to explain religion in a simple, obviously silly way like “man invented god to explain scientific things he couldn't understand” are actually doing exactly the same thing: they can't understand the concept of religion so they just invent their own little caricature instead.
(no offence to BffSatan, I'm not thinking of you when I say that)


Not to say that religion is really great or anything, it's not. But it's not bad either. It's just a social cultural system, one of the many we have. The main problem with it is that it is outdated. Religion doesn't change fast enough to cope with the rate of modern social change, interaction, cultural change, the spreading and mixing of people and all their other cultures.
THAT is where religion falls down and struggles, and starts to hold some of its adherents back from the pace of social, cultural, and even technological change elsewhere.

BffSatan
I suppose this discussion is moot as we can never really understand what was in Og's mind when he decided to worship the fire God.
This is another simplification. The development of the first religions would've been far more gradual and very closely tied with the day to day life, routine and social hierarchy of early tribal groups. -routine becomes tradition, tradition becomes ritual etc.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM

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