Is Theism that bad?

xamination
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Is Theism that bad?

I expect the answer will be yes, but please hear me out.  First of all, we cannot deny the fact that nearly every civilization had its own religeon.  Not until the rise of Christianity did religion start unifying to cover many areas.  When you look at every ancient civilization, they each had their own unique religeon(with the notable exception of the Romans, who stole their religeon from the Greeks) which fit their environment.  Now if we all think that belief in an unprovable god is foolish, we humans have been fools for a LONG time.

Religeon does have its benefits.  The world is undenyably very scary, though maybe not as much in our day and age. The knowledge that there is a greater being would have a calming effect on a populace.  The one thing people fear the most(besides public speaking, apparently) is death.  The belief in an afterlife would also bring some sense of peace to the common man.  A religeon also keeps a civilization in line with a "divinly inspired" code of laws.   We also cannot ignore the political aspects of a religeon.  Not only does it keep the ruler, chosen by the gods, in power, but can also be used to incite a population into war against "heathens"(see the Crusades).

So I know that many of you find religeon foolish and irrational for the individual, and I will not contest that point right now, but is religeon just as foolish for a civilization?

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Quote: Not until the rise

Quote:
Not until the rise of Christianity did religion start unifying to cover many areas.

At a horrible price

Quote:
The belief in an afterlife would also bring some sense of peace to the common man.
 

Not unless the after life has "Hot chicks for the infidel killers!!!XXX"

 

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You call it "civilization"

You call it "civilization" when what occurs with religion is far from civilized.  Yes it builds empires--that's been it's sole purpose, and therefore isn't as divinely based as it's billed to be.

 Science and technology are the true bases of civilizations--it was true of the pagan Romans, it was true for the Pagan Greeks, it was NOT true for the Christians during the Dark Ages and it WAS true for the Muslims that forced Dark Age Christians into a Renaissance.

 Religion for its own sake did Europe no favors in the civilization department--it eschewed knowledge because God forbade eating of that particular tree, and it slaughtered any who would disagree with its Absolute God-Given Truths, such as Gallileo.  The Ptolomy dynasty of ancient Egypt (Greek in origin) were far more advanced than the "civilization" of Europe was in the Dark Ages.

 Civilization my arse.

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xamination wrote: First of

xamination wrote:

First of all, we cannot deny the fact that nearly every civilization had its own religeon.

I can deny anything I want. Smiling

xamination wrote:
Not until the rise of Christianity did religion start unifying to cover many areas.

What areas be this? As in.. geographical areas? And.. every point is a geographical area.. so.. by many.. do you mean.. many points.. many nations? continents?

xamination wrote:
When you look at every ancient civilization, they each had their own unique religeon(with the notable exception of the Romans, who stole their religeon from the Greeks) which fit their environment.

I will accept this as true for the time being.

xamination wrote:
Now if we all think that belief in an unprovable god is foolish, we humans have been fools for a LONG time.

I believe this to be the case whether God exists or not.

If God does exists.. we are fools for sinning.  If God does not exists.. we are fools for what we do to eachother.

Each.. throughout history.

xamination wrote:
Religeon does have its benefits. The world is undenyably very scary, though maybe not as much in our day and age. The knowledge that there is a greater being would have a calming effect on a populace. The one thing people fear the most(besides public speaking, apparently) is death. The belief in an afterlife would also bring some sense of peace to the common man. A religeon also keeps a civilization in line with a "divinly inspired" code of laws. We also cannot ignore the political aspects of a religeon. Not only does it keep the ruler, chosen by the gods, in power, but can also be used to incite a population into war against "heathens"(see the Crusades).

Once again.. I can deny anything I want.

By the way.. I'm only saying "I can deny anything I want" so that you will be more specific and less hyperbolic in your statement.. for it leads to easy pickings.

xamination wrote:
So I know that many of you find religeon foolish and irrational for the individual, and I will not contest that point right now, but is religeon just as foolish for a civilization?

A civilization as a whole? I don't think a civilization as a whole can "be" anything other than a civilization.  It does not exist apart from the people that make it up.  So.. if by this statement you mean.. are the people that comprise a civilization "foolish" for choosing to hold a religion?

Then I would say... only in so far as the possible benefits of religion benefited them.. and the possible costs of religion costed them.

Yours truly,
Fellow Theist.


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Clara Listensprechen

Clara Listensprechen wrote:


You call it "civilization" when what occurs with religion is far from civilized. Yes it builds empires--that's been it's sole purpose, and therefore isn't as divinely based as it's billed to be.

Science and technology are the true bases of civilizations--it was true of the pagan Romans, it was true for the Pagan Greeks, it was NOT true for the Christians during the Dark Ages and it WAS true for the Muslims that forced Dark Age Christians into a Renaissance.

Religion for its own sake did Europe no favors in the civilization department--it eschewed knowledge because God forbade eating of that particular tree, and it slaughtered any who would disagree with its Absolute God-Given Truths, such as Gallileo. The Ptolomy dynasty of ancient Egypt (Greek in origin) were far more advanced than the "civilization" of Europe was in the Dark Ages.

Civilization my arse.


Civilization
1.    an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.

True.. I don't see Religion in there.

However your contention that the nationals of the remnants of Roman Empire within the Dark Ages was not a civilization, I don't believe to be true.

I'm not sure you can accurately state the first part of your first sentence in the last paragraph either.  I'm not sure you can state to what effect a common religion had on a peoples  development of those conditions necessary for something to be called a civilization.

As for all those bad things you said it was used for.  Agreed.

More advanced, perhaps.. but no less a civilization.

But I believe the original question applied to the foolishness of religion being held by a civilization.. not whether that civilization was a civilzation.. or to what extent it was.. or which one was better.

Rather.. an asking for an argument that would contest that the civilization would have been "better" without the religion in the first place.


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We're using a lot of past

We're using a lot of past tense here.

had, was useful, have been are all indicators that something is past. Not only past, but long gone.

I submit that just because something worked for a past civilization does not mean that it will work for future ones. Why? In my opinion that is because we are constantly developing what was working and disregarding what wasn't. I believe THAT is the difference.

I would direct your attention to the 'intelligent design' debate and religion's most recent attempts to curtail scientific research. Those two things alone are enough to convince me of the harmful intent of religion.

However, I'd like to also point out that the most horrific and widely publicized crimes concerning children and innocents have been enacted by the insane adherents of religions. Do you really think that if an atheist had committed one of these atrocities then we in the non-religious community wouldn't hear about it every friggin' day?

For a pictographic representation of what religion looks like to some of us, I would like you to visit this thread posted by MattShizzle a while back:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/freethinking_anonymous/why_i_hate_religion

There are more reasons. If you feel that these are still not enough then I have more. 

 

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darth_josh wrote: We're

darth_josh wrote:


We're using a lot of past tense here.

had, was useful, have been are all indicators that something is past. Not only past, but long gone.

I submit that just because something worked for a past civilization does not mean that it will work for future ones. Why? In my opinion that is because we are constantly developing what was working and disregarding what wasn't. I believe THAT is the difference.


Agreed.. although what is and is not working debates durate a very long while.

darth_josh wrote:
I would direct your attention to the 'intelligent design' debate and religion's most recent attempts to curtail scientific research. Those two things alone are enough to convince me of the harmful intent of religion.

Intent? or effects?

darth_josh wrote:
However, I'd like to also point out that the most horrific and widely publicized crimes concerning children and innocents have been enacted by the insane adherents of religions. Do you really think that if an atheist had committed one of these atrocities then we in the non-religious community wouldn't hear about it every friggin' day?

The millions of people persecuted, killed, tortured, and starved by secular, Stalin Russia.. might disagree with regards to your statement about "most horrific."

I might agree with your statement that they are more "widely publicized."

I don't understand your final sentence.  If a single atheist did attrocities of the likes of the holocaust or.. 9/11... do I think people wouldn't point this out to the non-religious community every single day?

Hm.. wait. I do understand it.. I thiink.

Yes.. I believe that "people" (people meaning any particular number of people) would point it out every friggin day. Would that mean they are correct in saying atheism as a whole as an intent to cause harm, or that it's followers are the ones that commit the most horrible of attrocities?

This I would say is not necessary.
 
darth_josh wrote:
For a pictographic representation of what religion looks like to some of us, I would like you to visit this thread posted by MattShizzle a while back:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/the_rational_response_squad_radio_show/freethinking_anonymous/why_i_hate_religion

There are more reasons. If you feel that these are still not enough then I have more.


They might be enough for you.  They are not enough for me.. for I do not believe these to be representative of intent of religion, even as I wouldn't feel a million pictures of deaths caused by secularist ideals to be necessarily representative of the intent of secularism.


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Belief in a god on it's own

Belief in a god on it's own is not something worth arguing. It's when beliefs cause conflicts that affect others that it becomes a concern. So when theists organize into religions, it does become a concern to anyone not a part of that religion. Which wouldn't be a problem if there was only one religion. But there isn't.

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Vastet wrote: Belief in a

Vastet wrote:
Belief in a god on it's own is not something worth arguing. It's when beliefs cause conflicts that affect others that it becomes a concern.

Agreed.

Vastet wrote:
So when theists organize into religions, it does become a concern to anyone not a part of that religion. Which wouldn't be a problem if there was only one religion. But there isn't.

It only becomes a concern to anyone not part of that religion if the individuals who organized within the religion are causing conflicts that affect others.

By conflicts I'm assuming we mean.. physical or mental ones? Not just.. of ideas?

Because.. the person down the street believes in Buddha.. I do not.  Yet I do not consider myself to be conflicting with him under any other definition of the phrase than we have conflicting ideas.

And if that be the measure by which you use the phrase.. then.. a belief in god is always worth arguing because you will always come into conflict with someone elses conflict with God. (Unless at somepoint absolute truth becomes self evident).



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RhadTheGizmo wrote: What

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
What areas be this? As in.. geographical areas? And.. every point is a geographical area.. so.. by many.. do you mean.. many points.. many nations? continents?

I meant that for the most part religions seemed to stay confined to the boundries of their respective civilizations.  For example, the Greek gods never really left Greece, and the faith in the Egyptian gods never blossomed anywhere else besides Egypt.  Christianity, however, within about 1000 years(maybe a bit longer) was found in multiple nations.  That is to say, Italy had it, France had it, England had it, etc. 

 

I would also like to restate that religions ARE integral parts of civilizations.  If I were to ask a elementary-school kid what he knew about Egypt, one of the first things he would mention are pyramids, which were intertwined with Egyptian religion and culture.  I believe that this is true with almost all civilizations.

 

So let me refrase my question.  Take an ancient civilization, or a modern one(not America), and take away all religion from it.  Does the civilization become stronger?  Is its infinstructure become stronger, does it people work harder, will they survive longer in war, etc. 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
What areas be this? As in.. geographical areas? And.. every point is a geographical area.. so.. by many.. do you mean.. many points.. many nations? continents?


xamination wrote:
I meant that for the most part religions seemed to stay confined to the boundries of their respective civilizations. For example, the Greek gods never really left Greece, and the faith in the Egyptian gods never blossomed anywhere else besides Egypt. Christianity, however, within about 1000 years(maybe a bit longer) was found in multiple nations. That is to say, Italy had it, France had it, England had it, etc.

Could the spread of Christianity, as well as the lack of spread for previously held religions, been a function of the interconnections of nations at that time that were developing?

For instance. I'm pretty sure you will find few.. if not many people who believe in the greek pantheon in here America because of the availability of travel and information not existent before Pre-Christian times.



xamination wrote:
I would also like to restate that religions ARE integral parts of civilizations. If I were to ask a elementary-school kid what he knew about Egypt, one of the first things he would mention are pyramids, which were intertwined with Egyptian religion and culture. I believe that this is true with almost all civilizations.

If I were to ask an elementary school kid what stars were they might say that they are fireflies stuck in that "big bluish black thing."

Civilization has a definition.. which does not require Religion.

If the argument is that civilizations could have never come about without their religion.. thats a different issue.

But I do believe a civilization to be able to exist without a religion integrated into it.

xamination wrote:
So let me refrase my question. Take an ancient civilization, or a modern one(not America), and take away all religion from it. Does the civilization become stronger? Is its infinstructure become stronger, does it people work harder, will they survive longer in war, etc.


I would contend that if the middle east was not subject to the tennants of Islam.. there is a good probability that they would become stronger, more productive, and be in less wars.

Sincerely,

Theist


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Could

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Could the spread of Christianity, as well as the lack of spread for previously held religions, been a function of the interconnections of nations at that time that were developing?

I agree with you here. I was originally trying to point out that until Christianity, most religions were localized. What Christianity did that no other religion had before was that it seperated from its founding civilization and became its own entity, otherwise known as the Church.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

If I were to ask an elementary school kid what stars were they might say that they are fireflies stuck in that "big bluish black thing."

Civilization has a definition.. which does not require Religion.

If the argument is that civilizations could have never come about without their religion.. thats a different issue.

But I do believe a civilization to be able to exist without a religion integrated into it.

1. The Lion King is one of the best movies ever.

2. Sure, a civilization can exist without religion, but for how long? I believe religion is needed to keep empires strong. Religion creates order, or at least a sense of structure, and civilizations need this to survive.

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
I would contend that if the middle east was not subject to the tennants of Islam.. there is a good probability that they would become stronger, more productive, and be in less wars.

Let me mull on that one for awhile. An idea is forming in the back of my head but its too tired to come out and play.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Reply

1.) Christianity may have been unique at one time in this seperation.. I do not believe that to be the case now.

2.) Yes.. it is one of the better ones, heh.

3.) I do not contend that Religion has the ability to create order-- only that it is of a type of order that is necessarily un-mimicable or irreplaceable.

4.) Time is granted. Mullings always good. I do not mean to challenge your faith. Only to point my response to the argument. And that if, by some chance, my contentions are valid, then that this argument may not be the best one to use.

Sincerely,

RhadJunior4 the XII of Planet Zoltar.

AKA. Captain Stupendeous.

 


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"Not until the rise of

"Not until the rise of Christianity did religion start unifying to cover many areas. When you look at every ancient civilization, they each had their own unique religeon(with the notable exception of the Romans, who stole their religeon from the Greeks) which fit their environment."

 

And the Greeks from the Mesopotamians, and the Christians from everyone. There are very few occurances in the bible which had not been done by those mythologies that came before it.

 

"Religeon does have its benefits."

 

Yes, opiate for the masses.

 

"The knowledge that there is a greater being would have a calming effect on a populace."

 

Calming to the point of the individual being able to rationalize to themselves that others of conflicting views or of a different race are less than human. Therefore killing them isn't a "sin", it's gods work.

 

"A religeon also keeps a civilization in line with a "divinly inspired" code of laws."

 

Al Qeda, anyone? Or how about the Inquisition, that was a good one. Or what about the Crusades, those were deffintely people who were following "divinely inspired" codes.

 

"We also cannot ignore the political aspects of a religeon."

 

Like the 700 club financing presidential campaigns to further their own aggenda?

 

"Not only does it keep the ruler, chosen by the gods, in power, but can also be used to incite a population into war against "heathens"(see the Crusades)."

 

Because rulers who think they were chosen by god have historically been very fair rulers as a whole, haven't they? War against heathens? Are you kidding me? We're in one of those right now, and we're the "heathens", or as Islam likes to call us "infidels". This argument couldn't be more ignorant, uneducated, arrogant, narrow minded, irrational, or self serving, unless you admitted to burning "heathens" in your back yard to save their souls! Furthermore, anyone who sees the Crusades as a possitive thing would probably (if they lived in Nazi Germany) have fallen in line with Hitlers brainwashing tactics and pledged to spread the "Master Race"! I really see no more repulsive and deplorable reason to kill another human being than that spawned from blindfolded faith in what ever your "cuase" is! Shame on you for even considering this a viable argument!

 

"So I know that many of you find religeon foolish and irrational for the individual, and I will not contest that point right now, but is religeon just as foolish for a civilization?"

 

Even more!!!

 

 

 

 

 

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.


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I respond to HF in only

I respond to HF in only this.

1.) Yes.. some of the elements that constitute Christianity are not unique.

    a.) Does not mean all.

    b.) Even if all, then would not be sufficient evidence to say that they are 'both' equally irrational or untrue-- that requires further argument then saying, look, they are exact in everyway.

2.) I believe every other one of your responses are possibilities, and selected actualities, of the products of religion.  However, do you mean to say that religion is inherently an 'opiate' for the masses? inherently leads to the burning of heathers? inherently leads to irrationality?

        a.) Because.. if this is so then it would seem to suggestion me, being religious, am likened to be an opiate consumer, I will inevitably be lead to burning heathers, and am irrational.

3.) You last point and contention with her argument in the last part, I agree. (for the most part) 


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1.  Its heathen, not

1.  Its heathen, not heather.  Unless you mean burning specifically named women.

2.   I'm a he, not a she.

3.  I am not simply talking about Christianity.  I am simply stating that a succesful civilization MUST have a religion that takes a major role in society.  My proof for such a claim?  Not one succesful civilization in, say, the past 5 millinia has gone without a religion that backed it up.  Now if someone can refute that claim with PROOF, I will concede the point.  But until then, I will stand firm on this.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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xamination wrote: 1. Its

xamination wrote:


1. Its heathen, not heather. Unless you mean burning specifically named women.

2. I'm a he, not a she.

3. I am not simply talking about Christianity. I am simply stating that a succesful civilization MUST have a religion that takes a major role in society. My proof for such a claim? Not one succesful civilization in, say, the past 5 millinia has gone without a religion that backed it up. Now if someone can refute that claim with PROOF, I will concede the point. But until then, I will stand firm on this.


1.) Hah.

2.) Irrelevant!

3.) By successful do you mean that a civilization was developed without religion? or that it still exists and was developed without religion?


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I'm sorry, but I have to

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with point 3.  Religion is nothing more than an organized structure of belief.  There are many such structured organizations outside the realm of religion where people hold to beliefs.  One of the main reasons that it works so well is because of fear.  Fear is being used to control the actions of others.  Governments use this tactic as well.  Why religions are drawing the brunt of the attack is beyond my understanding but there it is.

Religions instill a sense of awe and fear.  Christianity is notorious of them all.  One religion that I do not believe does that is Taoism.  Taoism leaves it up to the individual to draw their own conclusion.  I think that is why I find myself so drawn to it.  Taoism is the exception rather than the norm and that is why it is so intriguing.

 Fear to the Taoist is what sin is to the Christian.

To answer your original question:

Theism is not bad.  It is not bad at all and can be quite comforting to a lot of people.  It's when the idea is twisted and contorted and individuals will use the power of fear to achieve what they want at the expense of others.

woops missed it.  I disagree with xaminations point number 3, not the other individual.


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xamination wrote: I am

xamination wrote:

I am not simply talking about Christianity. I am simply stating that a succesful civilization MUST have a religion that takes a major role in society. My proof for such a claim? Not one succesful civilization in, say, the past 5 millinia has gone without a religion that backed it up. Now if someone can refute that claim with PROOF, I will concede the point. But until then, I will stand firm on this.

What is your criteria for a successful civilization? If you are just going to set the criteria for successful civilization at some arbitrary point which supports your conclusion that all successful civilizations have had religions then one could just as easily say that every civilization that has a religion eventually fails. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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RhadTheGizmo wrote:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
3.) By successful do you mean that a civilization was developed without religion? or that it still exists and was developed without religion?

I mean any civilization that was able to thrive without religion. If a civilization gets rid of religion, and collapses within the next 100-200 years, it obviously did not do well without it. I want an example that was either founded without religion and did well without one, or a civilization that got rid of religion and either stayed about the same or became healthier.

Vessel, all civilizations collapse.  It's unavoidable.  I'm just pointing out that all moderatly-great civilizations had a religion that went along with it. 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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xamination wrote:

xamination wrote:

1. Its heathen, not heather. Unless you mean burning specifically named women.

2. I'm a he, not a she.

3. I am not simply talking about Christianity. I am simply stating that a succesful civilization MUST have a religion that takes a major role in society. My proof for such a claim? Not one succesful civilization in, say, the past 5 millinia has gone without a religion that backed it up. Now if someone can refute that claim with PROOF, I will concede the point. But until then, I will stand firm on this.

 

I have a lot to respond to in this thread, but I will start with this one, the easiest (item 4)---

Equating an empire to a civilization is the ongoing problem I see here. I assert again that it was science and technoligy that created civilizations, as the main goal of empire is to acquire control of land and of people so that it may enrich those at the top and to fund further warring foraging. This is true of both Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions. Religion has always been the tool of empire, not of civilization.

The history (track record) of science and technology has been to build; the history (track record) of both religion and empire is to destroy peoples outside the tribe AND their sciences/technologies in order to prevail. Religion has been an effective tool of empire in that it defines to its believers "just" reasons to go to war and provides a reward system to present to those who are expected to lose their lives for the "righteous" empire. Without an afterlife reward, no human being in their right mind would give their own lives to the purposes of empire.

And it is on this basis that I assert that neither empire nor religion is in any shape, form, or fashion, CIVILIZED.

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


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China.  China had Taoism

China.  China had Taoism before it ever became a religion.  There are a lot of religions that have stemmed from the philosophy of Taoism.  Taoism philosophy was first, the religions are branches.  The chinese adhered to the philosophy for many years before the religion was established.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Vastet

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Belief in a god on it's own is not something worth arguing. It's when beliefs cause conflicts that affect others that it becomes a concern.

Agreed.

Vastet wrote:
So when theists organize into religions, it does become a concern to anyone not a part of that religion. Which wouldn't be a problem if there was only one religion. But there isn't.

It only becomes a concern to anyone not part of that religion if the individuals who organized within the religion are causing conflicts that affect others.

By conflicts I'm assuming we mean.. physical or mental ones? Not just.. of ideas?

Because.. the person down the street believes in Buddha.. I do not.  Yet I do not consider myself to be conflicting with him under any other definition of the phrase than we have conflicting ideas.

And if that be the measure by which you use the phrase.. then.. a belief in god is always worth arguing because you will always come into conflict with someone elses conflict with God. (Unless at somepoint absolute truth becomes self evident).


The buddist religion still has stupid ideas that can affect others. Just because you aren't aware or a recipient of said ideas doesn't mean others aren't. There is always conflict.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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In its inception, the

In its inception, the Buddhism founded by Prince Gautama was a political religion whose purpose was to counter the prevalent political religion of Hinduism, caste system and all.

 I never met a religion that wasn't political--Buddhism is no different.

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


RhadTheGizmo
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Agreed... their ideas

Agreed... their ideas affect others if they are true.

 But if they are not.. then they do not affect others.. unless a particular follower acts on those ideas in a way that conflicts with another.

I was trying to related that.. if the person was speaking of conflict.. as conflicting ideas.. then ideas will always conflict.. and thus, according to his assumption, the holding of any belief would always be 'worth' arguing.

 As for the statement above: I would say only this.

I agree.. I cannot think of a religion, at this moment in my mind, that has not at one time or another been used for political purposes or in a political manner or that did not have political implications (is so much as it would affect your opinion on political matters).

But that doesn't mean to imply that a respective religion cannot be true or relevant in some other manner. 

 


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The best constructed

The best constructed fictions are based on figments of fact with bits of astonishment via bits of the fantastic mixed in.

Religion is no different a work of fiction; some religions do produce that which is beneficial, such as mental disciplines espoused by Buddhism and the loving care of one's environment espoused by numerous Native American religions.

I am always interested in attending Church of Christ services because of their nonsensical tenet which prohibits musical instruments during services--as a result, they've become quite specialized in producing the most exquisite acapella arrangements.

However, none of the perceived benefits outweigh the FACT that it's all the result of a dangerous fiction whose purpose is to sell you the idea of afterlife rewards provided that you part with what's yours for the good of the empire in THIS life.

It's true that no empire has been able to maintain itself without religion--but it's ALSO true that no empire has been able to maintain itself without a slave class. Another function of religion is to maintain pecking order as some sort of God-ordained lot in life.

This was, after all, the original Prime Directive of converting our African imports during our slavery era. An unintended consequence of that was that slaves embraced the story of Moses as firmly as they did.

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


RhadTheGizmo
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Clara Listensprechen

Clara Listensprechen wrote:

The best constructed fictions are based on figments of fact with bits of astonishment via bits of the fantastic mixed in.

Agreed. Although.. "Best constructed" is a comparative statement of which there is no way of knowing, short of you telling me, what you believe to be the best.. and which one I believe to be the best-- or which one is, in fact, the best. Smiling

Clara Listensprechen wrote:
Religion is no different a work of fiction; some religions do produce that which is beneficial, such as mental disciplines espoused by Buddhism and the loving care of one's environment espoused by numerous Native American religions.

It is no different only if you accept it first, as a work of fiction.  That it "is" a work of fiction is not: Fact.

As for your second part.  Agreed.

Clara Listensprechen wrote:
I am always interested in attending Church of Christ services because of their nonsensical tenet which prohibits musical instruments during services--as a result, they've become quite specialized in producing the most exquisite acapella arrangements.

I've never been.. I will probably stop by one once I get back to the states to check it out.

Clara Listensprechen wrote:
However, none of the perceived benefits outweigh the FACT that it's all the result of a dangerous fiction whose purpose is to sell you the idea of afterlife rewards provided that you part with what's yours for the good of the empire in THIS life.

Once again.. "FACT" is used very loosely here when refering to all religious constructs as fiction as well as their purpose.

I do not see how, from your previous arguments how you have proved that this as "FACT".. merely argued that it occurs in some instances, or is possible.

Clara Listensprechen wrote:
It's true that no empire has been able to maintain itself without religion--but it's ALSO true that no empire has been able to maintain itself without a slave class. Another function of religion is to maintain pecking order as some sort of God-ordained lot in life.

This was, after all, the original Prime Directive of converting our African imports during our slavery era. An unintended consequence of that was that slaves embraced the story of Moses as firmly as they did.

All very arguable.. as well as the ability of an empire to sustain itself with a "slave class".. since I do not what you mean by it.. whether you actually mean "slave".. in the sense of one person owning another.. or "slave class" in the sense that.. a comparitively lowest class.


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xamination

xamination wrote:

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
What areas be this? As in.. geographical areas? And.. every point is a geographical area.. so.. by many.. do you mean.. many points.. many nations? continents?

I meant that for the most part religions seemed to stay confined to the boundries of their respective civilizations. For example, the Greek gods never really left Greece, and the faith in the Egyptian gods never blossomed anywhere else besides Egypt. Christianity, however, within about 1000 years(maybe a bit longer) was found in multiple nations. That is to say, Italy had it, France had it, England had it, etc.

This response is a statement that is not true. Whereas it IS true that religion establishes tribalism, religion ALSO spread beyond the borders of the tribe via trade routes, and some tenets of religions found abroad were adopted and some locally produced tenets eventually became rejected over time. The fate of Queen Nefertiti stands as prominent testimony of that, but she's not the lone example.  Another prominent example is the very Koreish tribe that Mohammed et al set himself against.  The Koreish adopted much theology that came in from the orient and Mohammed had a problem with that--and yet in order to proliferate his religion, Mohammed himself adopted some aspects that weren't original, especially when he was about the business of converting Jews. 

Romans didn't adopt Greek religion as such--Rome had a long track record of co-opting the religions of the peoples it conquered for the purpose of being recognized with a divine right to rule, and Greek religion isn't the only religion Rome co-opted for this purpose, and Christianity was one of 'em. It's why Christianity, post-Constantine, is remarkably Mithraic as well as marginally Gnostic. 

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


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Rhad, the only way to

Rhad, the only way to answer your challenges about slave classes in various empires is to do more reading on history of record with a focus on this class. Different empires treat slaves differently, and some have a freedman/servant lowest-class and some don't.

What's uniform is that where ever an empire went a-conquering, the conquered became the slave class, and empire, unable to live without this class, went about the business of more conquering for this reason in addition to the reasons presented by seizure of lands and resources. Slaves were regarded as much a resource as, say, a strategic hill, mineral-rich mountain range, or river/fertile valley.

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


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Ah.. I see what you mean.

Ah.. I see what you mean. I was just making sure you were not expanding the idea of an empire to modern day countries or civilizations. Some people would use this term and apply it to things such as.. the US.. Russia.. or any state for that matter which wars.

But yes.. in the classical sense.. I understand what you mean.

___

 I am still interested in your reponses to my contentions however.. not in order to prove you wrong.. just.. as to not use such colorful wording within the context of what is supposed to be a rational debate. Smiling

All in kindness though. 


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Upochapo wrote: China. 

Upochapo wrote:
China.  China had Taoism before it ever became a religion.  There are a lot of religions that have stemmed from the philosophy of Taoism.  Taoism philosophy was first, the religions are branches.  The chinese adhered to the philosophy for many years before the religion was established.
No.  Before Taoism took over, there was a form of Monotheism in place.  They worshiped a supernatural being called Heaven, which eventually faded and was replaced by Taoism.  And  while Taoism is not viewed as a traditional religion, that is, a western religion, it is indeed a religion.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: I

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

I respond to HF in only this.

1.) Yes.. some of the elements that constitute Christianity are not unique.

a.) Does not mean all.

b.) Even if all, then would not be sufficient evidence to say that they are 'both' equally irrational or untrue-- that requires further argument then saying, look, they are exact in everyway.

2.) I believe every other one of your responses are possibilities, and selected actualities, of the products of religion. However, do you mean to say that religion is inherently an 'opiate' for the masses? inherently leads to the burning of heathers? inherently leads to irrationality?

a.) Because.. if this is so then it would seem to suggestion me, being religious, am likened to be an opiate consumer, I will inevitably be lead to burning heathers, and am irrational.

3.) You last point and contention with her argument in the last part, I agree. (for the most part)

 

1) Name me one element of christianity that you believe is unique, and I did not say there was a previous faith that was identicle.  I just wanted to point out that all of the elements were borrowed and pasted together like a collage.

 

2) Yes, it is inherently opiate for the masses.  No, it doesn't inherently lead to the burning of heathens, I was using that as a simily and exageration to illustrate how preposterous i found the argument, and yes it is irrational.   I am using the opiate reference as a metaphor, btw, not to suggest your all like drug users.

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.


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hellfiend666

I completely forgot I was involved in this thread.  Their was a bit of time that no one responded to me, so I figured no need to check it out.  Alright.. so here it goes.

hellfiend666 wrote:
RhadTheGizmo wrote:


I respond to HF in only this.

1.) Yes.. some of the elements that constitute Christianity are not unique.

a.) Does not mean all.

b.) Even if all, then would not be sufficient evidence to say that they are 'both' equally irrational or untrue-- that requires further argument then saying, look, they are exact in everyway.

2.) I believe every other one of your responses are possibilities, and selected actualities, of the products of religion. However, do you mean to say that religion is inherently an 'opiate' for the masses? inherently leads to the burning of heathers? inherently leads to irrationality?


 

1) Name me one element of christianity that you believe is unique, and I did not say there was a previous faith that was identicle. I just wanted to point out that all of the elements were borrowed and pasted together like a collage.

 

2) Yes, it is inherently opiate for the masses. No, it doesn't inherently lead to the burning of heathens, I was using that as a simily and exageration to illustrate how preposterous i found the argument, and yes it is irrational. I am using the opiate reference as a metaphor, btw, not to suggest your all like drug users.


1.) Okay.  Find me one other faith that has had all the tenants that Christianity does, all the mythology that it does, all within one other faith.  This is a uniquely Christian element. Smiling

I realize that Christianity may have borrowed elements from different religions.. but yet, in doing so, it has made it's own unique faith.

Even as a collage is more than just the pictures that comprise it.

If by "one element" you were expecting for me to say something more refined.. to bad.  Otherwise.. I would be locked into saying the same thing for paintings.

"Name me one element of Leonardo's paintings that is unique?"

Um.. the paint.

"Nope. For many people were using paint way before him!"

Um.. his style.

"Nope. For many people were using this style before him!"

Um.. he drew lines?

"Nope. For many people were drawing lines before him!"

Etc.

I'm not saying that Christianity is accurate, or true representation of the world as it exists.. merely that the fact that individuals similarities between it and many other religions does not discount it's possible validity.

2.) In that case.. how can it be inherently like a metaphor?