Im doing a 10 page essay on why religion is bad for humanity

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Im doing a 10 page essay on why religion is bad for humanity

oke so i gotta a 10 page essay on anything i want. i chose

Why Religion is bad for humanity.

but now im stumped..

I know that in past and present and most likely the future religion was the cause of many wars. but i wanna add more things, any ideas?

So

One reason religion is bad for humanity is

1. War
2.?
3.?
4.?
5?
6?

i need more subtopics i can do research on

and if possible can anyone directed me to some good books on it?


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Here's an essay I wrote on

Here's an essay I wrote on that very subject. It's not 10 pages, at least I don't think it is, but it is still pretty long. It also has references you should be able to use. If you quote me, you can accredit it to this link.

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/religion_endangers_humanity_and_its_future

 

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gimmecookiesnao wrote:oke so

gimmecookiesnao wrote:
oke so i gotta a 10 page essay on anything i want. i chose Why Religion is bad for humanity. but now im stumped.. I know that in past and present and most likely the future religion was the cause of many wars. but i wanna add more things, any ideas? So One reason religion is bad for humanity is 1. War 2.? 3.? 4.? 5? 6? i need more subtopics i can do research on and if possible can anyone directed me to some good books on it?

2. Intolerance

3. Hatred

4. Bigotry

5. Ignorance

6. Torture

7. Suppression of science and inquiry

8. Persecution

9. Corruption

10. Genocide

11. Infanticide

12. Tyranny

13. Condemnation of education

...and the list goes on.

Pick up a copy of "The Dark Side of Christian History" by Helen Ellerbe.  An excellent  read chock-full of interesting tidbits from xtian history. Enough to give you ten pages.  Good luck.

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Don't forget to include

Don't forget to include these effects of religion.

Suppression of science.

Stagnation of culture.

Lack of basic freedoms.

 

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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2. Persecution of atheists

2. Persecution of atheists and non-believers, and even believers who are accused of witchcraft or any other random offense.

3. Destruction of knowledge and culture, including (likely) Library of Alexandria, many books all throughout Roman empire, all competing temples and places of worship, etc.

4. Subversion of modern education via creationism/intelligent design, censorship of books such as Harry Potter, etc.

5. Ostracism of friends and family members who do not share religious beliefs/customs.

6. Mental illness (delusion) in strong believers.

7. Spread of disease due to irrational beliefs (AIDS, etc.)

8. Defense of slavery.

9. etc. etc.

Use your imagination. The list could go on forever.

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gimmecookiesnao wrote:
oke so i gotta a 10 page essay on anything i want. i chose Why Religion is bad for humanity. but now im stumped.. I know that in past and present and most likely the future religion was the cause of many wars. but i wanna add more things, any ideas? So One reason religion is bad for humanity is 1. War 2.? 3.? 4.? 5? 6? i need more subtopics i can do research on and if possible can anyone directed me to some good books on it?

The first problem is that religion is not necessarily bad for humanity. You start with war. There have always been wars. Only the Abramic religions credit their wars to their god but do not appear to have a greater or lesser number of them. Even Islam only stepped into a Byzantine/Persian power vacuum. Someone would have if not them. That it was Islam instead of some other mideast cult is quite possibly chance with its "inclusiveness" teachings developed as part of war policy in uniting otherwise enemies.

I agree war and some things others have suggested are popular in the atheist litany but as with war do not stand up to analysis. Because of that you won't get far in a debate and can be easily refuted by a professional believer like a minister. The good news is professional believers have an equally fallacious litany of benefits which you can deal with so the playing field is more or less level.

Therefore I prefer to view religion in general as superfluous. I see it as an unnecessary institution leading to no benefit.

But when it comes to particular religions it is another story entirely. Imposing religions being a bad idea was something Europe learned the hard way. Preferential treatment to a religion is something Israel is still learning the hard way. You can raise the negative aspects of religions. Even in the high minded "godless" religion of Bhuddism most monasteries prey on the superstitions of the uneducated. So if you like superfluous you can point out that eventually all their professional members come to prey on the superstitions of the masses.

The parasite nature is its invention of remedies for problems that do not exist. Creating guilt and then selling a solution to it is a Christian scam. But any popular superstition will do. Roving demons and protection from them is probably the most common scam of religion.

=====

Suppression of science and inquiry? When Islam started it was gung ho on both. But before it started and after a couple of centuries there was nothing to suppress. You can look at Catholic run in with Galileo which is about the only one worth mentioning and notice there was no science to suppress before the Renaissance. Even if you should think differently, it is only one religion and quite limited in scope and duration. But it existed as a parasite on the superstitious before, during and after Galileo.

 

 

 

 

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Don't for get to include

  Don't forget that it stunts your growth,just like  spike.barnett said, the stagnation of culture. I honestly can't find  anything positive about religion,which in my opinion is a shame,because so many people are in a trance because of religion,which will be detrimental to the Earth and it's inhabitants. 

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Ken G. wrote:

  Don't forget that it stunts your growth,just like  spike.barnett said, the stagnation of culture. I honestly can't find  anything positive about religion,which in my opinion is a shame,because so many people are in a trance because of religion,which will be detrimental to the Earth and it's inhabitants. 

In fact there is a benefit to religion. Most of the population cannot understand the niceties of proper social behavior or if they can do not spend much time learning it. Drilling into them simplistic rules keeps them being to much of a burden to society. Of course this requires keeping control of the religion and negating the foundation of modern society of equal opportunity honored at least in the breech if nothing else.

There is a (perhaps apocryphal) story that after Japan was opened it studied Christianity with an eye to importing it but decided it was no better than Bhuddism and Shinto in keeping the masses obedient and lawful. Being no better it was not imported with imperial approval.

So yes, religion has a value in keeping at least half the population civilized. Religion does codify the rules for peaceful social living. And in doing this it sets a social norm instead of leaving it up to individual families to make up their own and their own emphasis. And the teachers of this do need to eat and there has to be a mechanism to get people to listen and heed these basic rules.

But that is where it ends in having legitimate value. The one other area is charity to the poor as it has a social value in keeping the poor from taking what they need and keeping them alive to do the work even Mexican's won't do. You can see where the debate would go from there.

Religion has no value in promoting things which do not promote civilized behavior. There may be a need for a lawgiver but the one on MST3K is good enough even if he did look like Moses. All the theological claptrap is not required. All the in-fighting is not required. Antipathy to other religions is not required. Inventing things beyond their one value is not required -- inventing a position on fetal tissue or when life begins in general is not acceptable. Having any power beyond the Sunday school level of teaching social behavior and prohibitions is unacceptable.

Preachers who forget their place are unacceptable. Religion that tries to create morality before there is social experience is unacceptable. By this I mean it may develop that genetic engineering of a fetus may be found to be a social detriment AFTER it is done and we learn that it is. It is unacceptable to do thate before it is found to be a problem.

Religion does get out of hand and not just the current monotheisms but the old polytheisms. The monos do not permit any significant alternatives whereas the polys do and did.

On balance does religion do more good than harm or vice versa? That is a good question even though it is mine.

Perhaps in the west with the separation of church and state we have the ability to slap down the religions when they do things detrimental. We do not slap them down for teaching children not to murder, steal, to obey their parents and a host of things that follow from those. In the middle east, including that darling of the West, Israel, there is no separation of Church and state. (I know what they Izziehuggers tell you. It is not true.) They cannot slap down their established churches. I don't care how secular to raving atheist is a legal Jew in Israel there is no secular marriage nor divorce available. Both are in the hands of the rabbis. No matter how much they want it they cannot make it happen.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote: In fact

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

In fact there is a benefit to religion. Most of the population cannot understand the niceties of proper social behavior or if they can do not spend much time learning it. Drilling into them simplistic rules keeps them being to much of a burden to society. Of course this requires keeping control of the religion and negating the foundation of modern society of equal opportunity honored at least in the breech if nothing else.

I don't think this is true. I grant you that there is a high variation in intelligence and understanding between one human and another. I don't however thinks this translates into "the average human is too stupid to know what is good and bad for society." It's been my experience that it is indoctrination and lack of inquiry that cause lack of understanding. It is inherent in their definition. That is why most religions are complete garbage. They construct a box around your mind and don't allow you to think outside of it. I think it is this lack of thought that is the root of the problem.

As far as war goes... I think there will be war until we have abundant resources for all, and everyone can think critically. As I see it the only thing standing in the way of that is religion. It creates the aforementioned lack of thought while indoctrinating it's followers with socially detrimental causes such as "Be fruitful and multiply," "We walk by faith, not by sight," and old faithful "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth."

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Perhaps in the west with the separation of church and state we have the ability to slap down the religions when they do things detrimental. We do not slap them down for teaching children not to murder, steal, to obey their parents and a host of things that follow from those.

To end this stupid notion that religion teaches kids to be good I'll ask you a few simple questions.

When was the last time you murdered someone?

When was the last time you stole something?

Why did you do, or not do, said actions?

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
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 If you write this essay,

 If you write this essay, there is one thing that you absolutely must include if you're going to be complete.

You absolutely must mention that religion teaches Faith -- that is, the notion that some things are true despite all evidence to the contrary, or despite a complete lack of evidence.  Read this essay that I wrote before you start on yours:

Religious Moderation

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:You

Hambydammit wrote:

You absolutely must mention that religion teaches Faith -- that is, the notion that some things are true despite all evidence to the contrary, or despite a complete lack of evidence. 

I'd like to second that. In fact, that might be the key to explaining religious organization as more of a con-job than a helpful institution. Snake oil salesmen have always relied on ignorance and suspension of disbelief in the face of promise.

In order to sell that, you would have to actually believe, for instance, that without religious social norms (pointed out by A_Nony_Mouse), there would be no social norms. While I understand that the mechanism of the superego is easily subverted by the perception of a new, more powerful parent, there's little reason to consider the introduction of that figure to be anything other than malicious manipulation.

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Religion

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Religion does codify the rules for peaceful social living.

Laws, then, confer that benefit without mystical incantation. Ergo benefits: zero.

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As per my own essay, which I

As per my own essay, which I linked to above, religion no longer accomplishes anything for the good of society. Governments codify rules for peaceful living, not religion. Governments provide charities and benefits for giving to them, not religions. Religions no longer accomplish anything but conflict and stupidity.

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well i know one way religion

well i know one way religion is supressing science, that could be stem cell research. any other ways?


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gimmecookiesnao wrote:well i

gimmecookiesnao wrote:

well i know one way religion is supressing science, that could be stem cell research. any other ways?

- well, all religions that contain a Creation story often end up opposing evolution, which is helping us with agriculture, ecology, medicine, etc. I guess.

- It's often opposed to the scientific method. You could tie that in with education.   

- I can't think of anything, ugh.

Also, as Hamby said, you absolutely must mention faith, for this drives at the heart of the problem.


 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Since the discussion has

Since the discussion has shifted toward the argument from morality, here is what I think.

If you're going to blow apart the theistic assertion that a particular belief is necessary to give moral codification, the easiest way to do it is as follows. It is crucial to recognize that such an argument cannot be an attempt to defend the truth or lack thereof of a belief. To state that "God must exist because otherwise we would have nowhere to get our morals from" is an ad consequentiam fallacy. So, the argument instead argues for "belief in belief", or rather, that belief in God is necessary. The problem with such an argument is that it is circular in nature. In the absence of evidence that certain supposed tenets are actually inspired by divine command, those who claim that we must do x,y and z because of divine command, and this setup is necessary for "morality" (thus betraying terminal ignorance of evolutionary psychology) are merely arbitrary assertions. Anyone can begin with the premise that divine command is necessary "lest morality be arbitrary" and make a subsqeuent declaration that they and others must do x,y and z because they have arbitrarily asserted that such claims are consequences of divine command. This argument is especially corrosive to those who would defend religion in general, and not merely a single religion, on the basis that it provides a "moral foundation" simply because of the mutually exclusive nature of many of the claims, indicating purely from a logical standpoint that at least some of them are not divinely inspired but rather arbitrarily asserted to be divinely inspired. Any argument which states that belief in God is necessary for a moral foundation can be terminated in this way because it is circular, assuming they know what a "moral foundation" constitutes and asserting that such a foundation is divinely inspired, and then turning around and saying that belief in such supposedly divinely inspired tenets is necessary lest morality be arbitrary, when in fact the assertion that those tenets are divinely inspired is completely arbitrary. The best part about the whole set up is that religious people make the declaration that they have "faith" that x,y and z are divinely inspired and true. The problem with this is that it is necessarily just as "arbitrary" as any other source, since if faith is declared, then the assertion that x,y and z are actually divinely inspired is just as arbitrary as any other claim that another source for moral grounding exists. I could just as easily claim my toaster is the lord and master of the cosmos and is beaming into my head commands to walk into a crowded shopping mall and blow everyone away with a machine gun. The scare quotes around arbitrary are because we are discussing this purely from a logical perspective and not considering empirical arguments from scientific disciplines which provide a biological basis for morality. In fact, by using words like "arbitrary" and "divine command" we are actually working within the ridiculous and terminally ignorant framework of theism and even then, as we have seen above, are running into grave problems with this argument. Can you see now the problem with "belief in belief"? Because of the arbitrary nature of the belief, claiming it is necessary for morality and that morality is defined in terms of it is completely circular.
 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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spike.barnett wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

In fact there is a benefit to religion. Most of the population cannot understand the niceties of proper social behavior or if they can do not spend much time learning it. Drilling into them simplistic rules keeps them being to much of a burden to society. Of course this requires keeping control of the religion and negating the foundation of modern society of equal opportunity honored at least in the breech if nothing else.

I don't think this is true. I grant you that there is a high variation in intelligence and understanding between one human and another. I don't however thinks this translates into "the average human is too stupid to know what is good and bad for society." It's been my experience that it is indoctrination and lack of inquiry that cause lack of understanding. It is inherent in their definition. That is why most religions are complete garbage. They construct a box around your mind and don't allow you to think outside of it. I think it is this lack of thought that is the root of the problem.

If it is just the lower decile that is too stupid 5% of the population would be murderers until literally exterminated. Pick a fraction that is too stupid and it is one hell of a lot of murderers. Same goes for other "sins" which are usefully extended by preachers to everyday life and quite independent of the Big Ten. It says not to steal. It does not prohibit conning people into giving you what you want. Contrast that with the District Attorney lecturing gradeschool kids on the niceties of theft via deception and the half dozen variations in law which are also illegal. Preachers teach an idea of honesty and cover the matter of the laws in simplistic ways. They earn their keep in this. Not only earn it, their victims pay for it.

Without getting into endless detail the Big Ten are all commissions not ommisions. Preachers are good enough to add ommissions to the list.

spike.barnett wrote:
As far as war goes... I think there will be war until we have abundant resources for all, and everyone can think critically. As I see it the only thing standing in the way of that is religion. It creates the aforementioned lack of thought while indoctrinating it's followers with socially detrimental causes such as "Be fruitful and multiply," "We walk by faith, not by sight," and old faithful "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth."

The assumption of "until xyz" is not reasonable as it is always relative. In terms of the circumstances of even the kings in the 100 years war Europeans in 1939 had resources greater than those kings. As to thinking critically, I can't say that is ever going to happen but the people in 1939 certainly had a comparatively highly advanced level of education over those in the 100 years war.

In all wars it is in fact the best educated who lead their countries into war so thinking critically does not have a credible definition. A century ago heading into WWI the educated were buried in the critical thinking of philosophers and papers were expected to be original rather than derivative at the undergraduate university level. Nothing like it is required today yet war is as common.
We have exactly one thing which has stopped major wars, MAD. Proxy wars replaced major wars. MAD is the Michael Rennie version of the movie.

Way back when I was of the opinion that religion was the root of all evil. But in investigating the claim I found that generality was simply not the case. Social evils including war simply do not track with either degree of religion or the type of religion. The data does not support the hypothesis.

spike.barnett wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Perhaps in the west with the separation of church and state we have the ability to slap down the religions when they do things detrimental. We do not slap them down for teaching children not to murder, steal, to obey their parents and a host of things that follow from those.

To end this stupid notion that religion teaches kids to be good I'll ask you a few simple questions.

When was the last time you murdered someone?

When was the last time you stole something?

Why did you do, or not do, said actions?

When was the last time I murdered? Never that I remember. I did spend twenty years with the US DOD coming up with better ways to kill Russians. I can only say it was lack of opportunity although what I worked on did facilitate fellow Americans to do that sort of thing to someone. A conspiracy consists of the intent with one material act in furtherance of it. I like to think committed several such material acts. Notice LIKE TO THINK as I see no problem with it.

However I presume you are thinking about the 70% of murders which are never solved. If the murder rate doubled and if the police were doubled there would still be twice as many murders with the same 70% unsolved. Would I engage in it? It would not quite fit into my white collar world.

As for stealing, I do not discuss my income tax filings in public. Nor does any other rational thief. Or do you mean the checkout lines where only overcharges are mentioned to the clerk? Are you thinking of only under count deliveries that are reported? You could not be thinking of the employer's property brought home for personal use could you? As for theft, are you talking about white collar crime here? It fits in much better than murder.

As it is reasonably safe and there are no names involved my last adultery in the European sense, not the biblical sense, was in 1995 that I know of. The last related coveting was about ten minutes ago or at least that is the average.

=====

Lets go back to the preamble to my original post. It is not possible that I have found in some 50 atheist years (age 13 after reading John Wylie's Generation of Vipers) to blame religion for all social ills. Also I found the simpler the argument the easier to refute and I gave a few of those refutations such as war is always with us.

I simply suggested a more nuanced approach, that religion can and does serve a useful social purpose while at the same time doing it harm when it exceeds the boundaries of that useful purpose.

It is of value for religion to preach against murder in all its forms while separated from civil law. It is not of value for religions to define murder based upon their imaginary ideas of when a human life begins.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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HisWillness wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Religion does codify the rules for peaceful social living.
Laws, then, confer that benefit without mystical incantation. Ergo benefits: zero.

Do you really want to hire hundreds of lawyers to lecture gradeschool children the difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree murder and the differences between levels of manslaughter down to depraved indifference and culpable negligence?

Without religion and without these lectures in the law a perp can lawfully claim ignorance. It is only the social norms which make it possible to get away with gradations like depraved indifference.

The primary rule of law is that justice must be seen to be done. When the perp honestly says he never heard it was wrong and the jury never heard it either you can't hang the perp just because. Justice will not be seen to have been done.

Sound odd? The majority of people do support the idea that starting a war is a crime and most of those agree it is a war crime to start a war without just cause like responding to an attack. But they only agree if it is not their leader and their war. See Iraq as of six years ago yesterday for details. Most Americans would not support shipping Bush and friends off to the Hague for a speedy trial and slow execution. Yet aggressive war and conspiracy to commit aggressive war were the top two crimes tried at Nuremberg. No wonder crimes against humanity is the only charge spoken of today. No wonder even among those crimes only gas chambers are talked about even though it only came up in one question during the trial.

I am talking the actual charges and findings of Nuremberg. They are not taught as law. What passes into common knowledge is what is promoted in the manner of a religion is only gas chambers. Even that has never risen above 25% belief in national polls in Europe. And that is about as high as any tenet of any religion ever scores.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote: Do you

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

 

Do you really want to hire hundreds of lawyers to lecture gradeschool children the difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree murder and the differences between levels of manslaughter down to depraved indifference and culpable negligence?

Lawyers no. Teachers yes. Religion is not helpful or necessary to the task, it simply confuses the issue.

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The problems with religion,

The problems with religion, as I see it:

1) faith.

2) dogma.

3) the social acceptance of religion/that it is taboo to publicly speak ill of religion (basically the result of heresy).

Technically neither faith or dogma are exclusive to religion, however religion is certainly the greatest propagator of them. Combined with (3) and we have a dangerous system which is socially shielded; isolated from criticism. If we treated religion as we treat all other ideas (as we should be doing) it really wouldn't last long at all. When we treat politics in the same way we run our religions we end up with the likes of National Socialism, or Stalinism, etc, and clearly everyone sees the problem with this, so why do we run our religions this way.

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Topher wrote:
The problems with religion, as I see it:

1) faith.

2) dogma.

3) the social acceptance of religion/that it is taboo to publicly speak ill of religion (basically the result of heresy).

Technically neither faith or dogma are exclusive to religion, however religion is certainly the greatest propagator of them.

Those who look into the real history of WWII find faith and dogma rule as strongly as did the Indians wars mythology half a century ago.

Topher wrote:
Combined with (3) and we have a dangerous system which is socially shielded; isolated from criticism. If we treated religion as we treat all other ideas (as we should be doing) it really wouldn't last long at all. When we treat politics in the same way we run our religions we end up with the likes of National Socialism, or Stalinism, etc, and clearly everyone sees the problem with this, so why do we run our religions this way.

There is a very good reason we have a social custom against criticizing religion. It is the centuries of wars over religion in Europe just between Christians before we get into the Crusades and the non-war extermination of heretics at all times. Maybe at this late date we could loosen up on it and the wars will not return. Given the fact the Izziehuggers have been largely responsible for fomenting wars in the Middle East by using religious hatred I would not recommend the experiment at this time.

I see the above as in addition to most Americans hearing Muslim and thinking Black Muslim. It is the only explanation for Izziehuggers talking about Muslims as colored when they are no more "colored" than Jews.

What has lessened the strength of religion in Europe is the spread of atheism and its little brother agnosticism. In Cold War Western Europe it is almost a non-issue except where the religion is Islam. (Cold War Western to avoid discussing "central" Europe.) Eastern Europe is either making up for lost time in returning to religion or heading for something like you are suggesting. I am willing to wait to see how it turns out in Russia before trying it. Better their religious war than ours.

While I do not advocate promoting atheism simply spreading the word there are so many of us can't hurt. What protects Christians from each other protects us. And from the latest poll we are the 3rd largest "god related" group in the country if I remember the news report properly. Still haven't found the poll results in writing.

Boards like this are very good. Call it a support group. We could use more. We could also use some better public relations. Religulous isn't it. Dawkins does not get the audience. Perhaps in the next Batman movie he should ask, Why would I believe in a god? It might be a little over the top if Superman does it.

 

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Vastet wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Do you really want to hire hundreds of lawyers to lecture gradeschool children the difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree murder and the differences between levels of manslaughter down to depraved indifference and culpable negligence?

Lawyers no. Teachers yes. Religion is not helpful or necessary to the task, it simply confuses the issue.

I can't argue that teachers sounds like a good idea. I can point out most of them are not qualified to teach some of the subjects they do teach such as science, arithmetic, grammar and even spelling. So now they get one more responsibility? And 65% correct is passing? And how many extra hours a day or a year are you going to add to fit in this new course material? Or is it fit in next to such effectively taught subjects as sex ed?

If you ask around you will find a deep seated belief in the unwritten law. Both times I tried I found I could not shake a belief in the unwritten law. I doubt teachers are free of this delusion.

There is another route, entertainment. It has been official policy of Hollywood and most publishing houses since the beginning of time that good always triumphs and evil always loses in the end. There is the moral teaching of the masses outside of religion. In those the methods of the good guy is always permitted. In fact the exception to the good guy is always right is the opening of Rambo 2 showing him in prison and then for multiple homicides and then able to redeem himself by being as he was in the first movie. In the book Rambo died in the end. Which is the better teaching aid?

As I said with murders, what if entertainment were like reality and 70% of crime dramas ended unsolved? To be a teaching tool they have to be unrealistic. Religion does not have to be realistic.

Keep in mind I am talking about some lower fraction of the IQ scale. They don't get 65% on gradeschool quizzes save by cheating which defeats the entire point. If smart enough one grows out of religion entirely, if indisposed to religion people drop it. As has occurred in Europe in the last half century or more being religious has lost its standing as proper social behavior. It is losing that status in the US.

At the same time Europe has done that it also appears to be attempting to legislate the promises of religion. The good are rewarded in life. The good worker is never without an income. The good are not stricken with disease so medical care is a right. Unfortunately also one does not blaspheme so there are thought crimes for contradicting the official wisdom of the state instead of church.

Religion in some form is nearly universal. Religions organize as do civilizations. We have had our problems with religions having civil power or control of civil authorities. Separation of Church and State has been the thrust of progress in this matter for the last two centuries. Religion will not disappear in our lifetime. I think we are headed in the right direction.

 

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Vastet

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Vastet wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Do you really want to hire hundreds of lawyers to lecture gradeschool children the difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree murder and the differences between levels of manslaughter down to depraved indifference and culpable negligence?

Lawyers no. Teachers yes. Religion is not helpful or necessary to the task, it simply confuses the issue.

I can't argue that teachers sounds like a good idea.

Then you're going to have to come up with a difference between a religion teaching and a state teaching. The end result is the same, teaching has ocurred.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 I can point out most of them are not qualified to teach some of the subjects they do teach such as science, arithmetic, grammar and even spelling. So now they get one more responsibility? And 65% correct is passing? And how many extra hours a day or a year are you going to add to fit in this new course material? Or is it fit in next to such effectively taught subjects as sex ed?

Considering that I'm a firm proponent in completely destroying the education system failure that we use today in favour of a new and efficient one, I don't consider this an issue.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
If you ask around you will find a deep seated belief in the unwritten law.

Which is only there because of the written law, and the effort that parents put into teaching children what not to do at a stage of life they won't even remember 20 years later. Perhaps 70% of parenting is teaching your kids what they can and cannot do to fit into society. They rest is making sure they're safe while they learn enough to survive on their own.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 Both times I tried I found I could not shake a belief in the unwritten law. I doubt teachers are free of this delusion.

I've had no problem shaking myself of all unwritten as well as written law, and made my own. So everyone is different.

Interestingly, teachers are perhaps the only people in America who could be fired for religious belief, as per the constitution of America. By having such belief, there is an unescapable bias that must affect the teachers methods in certain subjects. A theist is not only not a problem, but may be an asset, in teaching a subject like English. But for Sciences, there is a conflict of interest that cannot be completely negated. In the interests of the liberty of the children of America, which they are constitutionally entitled to, theist teachers must be barred from subjects they can have a negative impact on. 

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
There is another route, entertainment. It has been official policy of Hollywood and most publishing houses since the beginning of time that good always triumphs and evil always loses in the end. There is the moral teaching of the masses outside of religion. In those the methods of the good guy is always permitted. In fact the exception to the good guy is always right is the opening of Rambo 2 showing him in prison and then for multiple homicides and then able to redeem himself by being as he was in the first movie. In the book Rambo died in the end. Which is the better teaching aid?

As I said with murders, what if entertainment were like reality and 70% of crime dramas ended unsolved? To be a teaching tool they have to be unrealistic. Religion does not have to be realistic.

I think the entertainment industry is the single largest untapped potential source of education on Earth. Sony and Disney and Nintendo and a few other companies have made a few efforts here and there, but none of them have gone as far as I'd like to see.

I'm not sure what you mean by realistic/unrealistic here. One can have realism or a lack thereof with or without religion.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Keep in mind I am talking about some lower fraction of the IQ scale. They don't get 65% on gradeschool quizzes save by cheating which defeats the entire point.

Most students are smarter than the education system gives them credit for. The average student simply doesn't apply themselves, because they have little or no interest in the subject matter or the method of teaching used or both. Hence the system fails to give the average student a proper education. It is not the fault of the student.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 If smart enough one grows out of religion entirely, if indisposed to religion people drop it. As has occurred in Europe in the last half century or more being religious has lost its standing as proper social behavior. It is losing that status in the US.

Agreed.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

At the same time Europe has done that it also appears to be attempting to legislate the promises of religion. The good are rewarded in life. The good worker is never without an income. The good are not stricken with disease so medical care is a right. Unfortunately also one does not blaspheme so there are thought crimes for contradicting the official wisdom of the state instead of church.

A socialist democracy would be the final blow to the false promises of religion. Full health care, full democracy, full rights, and a nation that actually has an interest in the advancement of itself and its people.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Religion in some form is nearly universal. Religions organize as do civilizations. We have had our problems with religions having civil power or control of civil authorities. Separation of Church and State has been the thrust of progress in this matter for the last two centuries. Religion will not disappear in our lifetime. I think we are headed in the right direction.

Religion is quite likely the original motivating factor for societies to organize in the first place. That is at least partly why it is evident in every society. We just don't need it anymore. But because it was such a critical component to getting where we are, it will be exceptionally hard to rid ourselves of it. In fact, I don't know that it is possible to truly rid ourselves of it. Fortunately we don't need to. We just need to gain a cultural understanding that religious beliefs cannot dictate policy. Any policy. Ever.

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Topher

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Topher wrote:
The problems with religion, as I see it:

1) faith.

2) dogma.

3) the social acceptance of religion/that it is taboo to publicly speak ill of religion (basically the result of heresy).

Technically neither faith or dogma are exclusive to religion, however religion is certainly the greatest propagator of them.

Those who look into the real history of WWII find faith and dogma rule as strongly as did the Indians wars mythology half a century ago.

Okay... what's your point? I don't see what WWII or Indians war mythologies have to do with what I said? Do you think it negates my point?

To elaborate on my original comments... the root problem isn't religion, it's faith-based thinking and dogma, which as I said is not exclusive to religion; it can also present itself within conspiracy theories, denialism, cults, alternative medicine, secular politics, etc. I don't think faith and dogma will ever be eradicated because I regard them to be part of human nature. But as I said, religion is the greatest propagator of faith/dogma and combined with the social acceptance of religion we have a effectively institutionalised this into a dangerous package. Religion is effectively the antithesis to progressions. Reason and critical thinking, along with the open method of science allows us to be aware of and control faith/dogma.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Topher wrote:
Combined with (3) and we have a dangerous system which is socially shielded; isolated from criticism. If we treated religion as we treat all other ideas (as we should be doing) it really wouldn't last long at all. When we treat politics in the same way we run our religions we end up with the likes of National Socialism, or Stalinism, etc, and clearly everyone sees the problem with this, so why do we run our religions this way.

There is a very good reason we have a social custom against criticizing religion. It is the centuries of wars over religion in Europe just between Christians before we get into the Crusades and the non-war extermination of heretics at all times. Maybe at this late date we could loosen up on it and the wars will not return. Given the fact the Izziehuggers have been largely responsible for fomenting wars in the Middle East by using religious hatred I would not recommend the experiment at this time.

Well all of those events and wars are not the reason we now (as a society) shun criticism of religion. I would say contend that the reverse is true: that the dogmatic nature of religion is the reason these events took place.

The inability to criticise religion is inherent to religion, because religion isn't about questioning and critical examination; it is about faith, hope and desire. Any religion that opens its doors to reason, criticism and evidence will pretty much end up with godless naturalism and secular humanism. Religion can only be maintained by restricting itself. That is why we had things like heresy and the abolition of contradicting/opposing views. 

This is also why mild criticism of religion today appears to be far more worse that criticism of a politics proposition, or a book or restaurant. When you insulate something from criticism for so long, the slightest criticism can be seen as insulting and offensive.

(p.s. what is a Izziehugger?)

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
While I do not advocate promoting atheism

Can I ask why not?

I would somewhat agree insofar that I think it is better to promote a positive worldview: secular humanism, naturalism, skepticism, reason, science, and so on.

Maybe it would be a good idea to establish a word which encompassed all of this, so when you say, for example, "secular humanism" people know exactly what it constitutes, as opposed to a negative position which even if understood correctly still doesn't reveal them much.

Atheism carries so much baggage, despite the fact that most atheists have the same position as those non-theists that refuse to call themselves atheists. If we focused primarily on the broader non-theistic worldview be bigger and more powerful.

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" -- Carl Sagan


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote: If it is

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

If it is just the lower decile that is too stupid 5% of the population would be murderers until literally exterminated. Pick a fraction that is too stupid and it is one hell of a lot of murderers.

WTF? Are you trying to validate my point? No current civilized society has a 5% population of murderers. We haven't seen that shit in the resource wealthy places of the earth since the dark ages.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

The assumption of "until xyz" is not reasonable as it is always relative.

Don't be a retard. Even you can't deny that scarce resources cause conflicts.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

In terms of the circumstances of even the kings in the 100 years war Europeans in 1939 had resources greater than those kings. As to thinking critically, I can't say that is ever going to happen but the people in 1939 certainly had a comparatively highly advanced level of education over those in the 100 years war.

What the hell is wrong with you? I'm not having this conversation with you again.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Way back when I was of the opinion that religion was the root of all evil. But in investigating the claim I found that generality was simply not the case. Social evils including war simply do not track with either degree of religion or the type of religion. The data does not support the hypothesis.

Nobody is saying it is the root of all evil. We are saying it is the root of a lot of evil. By the way, could you kindly supply a source of data that shows religion is not a detriment to society?

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

When was the last time I murdered? Never that I remember. I did spend twenty years...

blah blah blah...

Notice LIKE TO THINK as I see no problem with it.

Well if we don't agree on what is acceptable behavior we can't really discuss religion's moral merits or lack thereof can we?

 

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

HisWillness wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Religion does codify the rules for peaceful social living.
Laws, then, confer that benefit without mystical incantation. Ergo benefits: zero.

Do you really want to hire hundreds of lawyers to lecture gradeschool children the difference between 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree murder and the differences between levels of manslaughter down to depraved indifference and culpable negligence?

No, that would be a poor choice of policy. Why are you suggesting it?

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Without religion and without these lectures in the law a perp can lawfully claim ignorance. It is only the social norms which make it possible to get away with gradations like depraved indifference.

No, that's insane. There's no way to legally claim ignorance in the case of murder or capital crime. There isn't even a way to do that in the case of many white-collar crimes, so ...

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
The primary rule of law is that justice must be seen to be done. When the perp honestly says he never heard it was wrong and the jury never heard it either you can't hang the perp just because. Justice will not be seen to have been done.

Jeez, I guess we know you're not a lawyer. Again, not true. "... And the jury never heard it either" is the part that blows me away. I don't know why you would need a religious precedent to find harming another person obviously illegal in the context of individual rights and freedoms.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
I am talking the actual charges and findings of Nuremberg.

You're completely obsessed! Have you ever had a conversation without bringing up Nazis? This thread has nothing to do with Nazis!

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HisWillness wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

...

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
The primary rule of law is that justice must be seen to be done. When the perp honestly says he never heard it was wrong and the jury never heard it either you can't hang the perp just because. Justice will not be seen to have been done.

Jeez, I guess we know you're not a lawyer. Again, not true. "... And the jury never heard it either" is the part that blows me away. I don't know why you would need a religious precedent to find harming another person obviously illegal in the context of individual rights and freedoms.

In our environment and culture which talks about god-given rights it is often overlooked that no religion recognizes individual rights.

As for your perception I am not a lawyer, perceiving me as one would be a mortal insult. We would have to meet at dawn where my hangover would give you the field advantage.

HisWillness wrote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
I am talking the actual charges and findings of Nuremberg.

You're completely obsessed! Have you ever had a conversation without bringing up Nazis? This thread has nothing to do with Nazis!

I raised the context of crimes against peace. Despite the unjust nature of the trials the charges are landmark and justice was and is seen to have been done even though people of standing such as JFK considered Nuremberg a travesty of justice.

In context of

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Without religion and without these lectures in the law a perp can lawfully claim ignorance. It is only the social norms which make it possible to get away with gradations like depraved indifference.

Who can rightly claim not to know the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan are criminal on their face? If that is not black letter law, what is? Yet draved indifference is far from premediated murder. It is an ad hoc crime which cannot be distinguished from going along with the tide of events save in its presentation to the sense of justice of a jury.

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Meh. The way I remember it

Meh. The way I remember it happening, Afghanistan can only be considered illegal due to a technicality that was later relegated to near insignificance. Mostly impatience on the American side in waiting for the Taliban to figure out what they were going to do with Bin Laden. Which is not to say that particular attack was wrong, since the dumb ass which had made himself a target went and claimed credit for it on international tv within a month or so anyway. Not to mention that the assault on Afghanistan had the support of the UN and NATO.

Iraq...not so much. Not even close.

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I have to write a 20 page

I have to write a 20 page essay for my 400 level history class on Christianity.

 

This thread is a treasure trove for ideas on arguing points.

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10 pages only?

So you have to cut out a lot...

One reason religion is bad for humanity is

1. War (religiously motivated war)
2. Intolerance and believe in superiority ( "the chosen people" )
3. Mission and Missionaries (closely connected to 2)
4. Fear (of damnation and hell)
5. Believe in the Afterlife (one might think that was good, but if you forget the life you're actually living in the present...)
6. Ethics (most religions have elaborate ethical principles, though there always are believers, who think that their lack of ethical conduct will 1) be forgiven and forgotten as soon as they confess their sins to their priest 2) serve the "greater good" and earn them a place in heaven

For reading, I suggest: Learn about your enemy. I am currently reading a book from a former pope and though I confess I admire him as a person, I can tell you, that in this book lies everything to  crush him to pieces. As for other literature: Bertrand Russell: "Why I am not a Christian" provides enough munition for 20 pages already.

But don't forget, that a believer could give you another six reasons why religion is good for people in no time. And if he or she is clever, the reasons would be good and solid. The key to this is (in my opinion) that what is good in religion does not need religion to survive. That includes for example the Golden Rule (bible quote snatched from wiki: Tobit 4:15 "Do to no one what you yourself dislike." ), which - for me - represents a general ethical (human) principle and not necessarily a commandment from god. You don't need the threat of hell awaiting to follow it, you need compassion and humbleness (in a sense of respect for others and equal lack of self-importance).

Good luck

Melchy

 


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Vastet wrote:

Meh. The way I remember it happening, Afghanistan can only be considered illegal due to a technicality that was later relegated to near insignificance. Mostly impatience on the American side in waiting for the Taliban to figure out what they were going to do with Bin Laden. Which is not to say that particular attack was wrong, since the dumb ass which had made himself a target went and claimed credit for it on international tv within a month or so anyway. Not to mention that the assault on Afghanistan had the support of the UN and NATO.

Iraq...not so much. Not even close.

The primary charge at Nuremberg was conducting an aggressive war. Starting a war was found to be a hanging offense at Nuremberg. The secondary charge was a sop to the Americans, conspiracy to conduct an aggressive war.

Neither Afghanistan nor the Taliban attacked the US. Despite the absense of an extradition treaty Afghanistan agreed to turn over bin Laden upon presentation of the kind of evidence which would normally be presented to support an extradition.

The war against Afghanistan was announced in the Spring of 2001, six months before 9/11. The Taliban was refusing to agree to an oil pipeline going through their country regardless of the price. They were in fact given the infamous choice between "a carpet of gold and a carpet of bombs" in the summer of 2001.

During the conquest of Afghanistan bin Laden was permitted to escape from Tora Bora. The reason is obvious. Capture him and the "war on terror" is over. There would be no public support for the later conquest of Iraq.

As for support for the war that was limited to NATO. There was no way a Security Council resolution would not be vetoed by either China or Russia or both.

More generally the purpose of war is to counter a miitary attack. Terrorist attacks are responded to with arrests, speedy trials and slow executions. War is an outrageously disproportionate response to a criminal offense and in itself is a war crime.

The above also apply to the Iraq war. Iraq did not attack the US.

Israel however did want the war on Iraq. Just as today it is beating the drums for war on Iraq it was equally demanding of the Iraq war. Not only Israel but every traitorous israeli sympathizer in the US was also calling for that war. Six weeks before the war started Sharon spoke in the knesset saying they should stop talking about war else Jews would be blamed for it. Not only did the Knesset members stop instantly so did all the izzie symps in the US. In any other country the symps could be convicted of treason.

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