A question

Wishkah311
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A question

Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion.  I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate.  I want freedom to believe what I believe.  However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion.  People have blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to all types of cultural and racial oppression and other such tragedies.  Here is my question:  Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad?  Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.).  However, religions are not always bad.  And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong).  It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich. 

 

Okay.  Forgive me if I sound pissy or even whiny.  I just had to ask that question and get that little bit out.   Thanks guys... 

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I don't think there are

I don't think there are many people here that "blame everything bad on religion."

Personally, I think religion does a lot of bad things.  You mention AIDS in Africa.  Religion has bloced sex ed and condom progams that would have saved countless lives for example.

Even where religion is netral or even does good, its still delusional and based on false premises, and I do think openess and honesty is a better policy in general that deciet and/or ignorance.


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I, for one, do not see

I, for one, do not see religion, or any theistic belief system, as 'bad' so much as unecessary and unfounded. Couple this with the fact that theistic belief systems, by their nature, remove ultimate responsibility for humanity and carry with them an inherent ability to justify any act in the name of the only true 'authority figure' and what you have is  an unnecessary, unfounded and inherently dangerous belief held by the vast majority of people. I definitely can not see that as a 'good' thing.  

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Wishkah311
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Andyy wrote: I don't think

Andyy wrote:

I don't think there are many people here that "blame everything bad on religion."

 

you are correct.  I read a couple back to back and got a little amped.

Quote:
 

Personally, I think religion does a lot of bad things. You mention AIDS in Africa. Religion has bloced sex ed and condom progams that would have saved countless lives for example.

Even where religion is netral or even does good, its still delusional and based on false premises, and I do think openess and honesty is a better policy in general that deciet and/or ignorance.

So, do you feel the world would be better off if religion were eradicated, or would you rather people still be free to worship, just not force any of their beliefs on you? 

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"Maladaptive" might be a

"Maladaptive" might be a better way to characterize some aspects of some religions rather than "bad." 

If a religion teaches people that we don't need to worry about the environment because the world is ending soon, or convinces people that we should supress the search for scientific answers to certain kinds of questions, then those are behaviors that do not contribute to the long term survival and prosperity of humanity.

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Forgive me, but I think the

Forgive me, but I think the tendency to say atheists blame "everything" on religion is a bit of projection, and is pretty common to theists.

Theists are famous for all-or-nothing thinking, after all.  The bible is 100% true.  Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven.  Abortion is always murder.  Being gay is always wrong.  Those brown people who live in the sand are Evil.  Us white people who live in the land of the free and home of the brave are always right when it comes to war.  You see where I'm going?

Atheists, by nature, tend not to think in absolutes.  We want answers on a case by case basis... most of the time!   (see, I'm not even saying we all think that way, or that we always think that way!)

 

Quote:
So, do you feel the world would be better off if religion were eradicated

Yes.

In the same way that AIDS doesn't cause all the death in Africa, but I think it would be awesome if there was no more AIDS.

It wouldn't end all the suffering and evil in the world, but it would definitely end a good chunk of it.

 

Quote:
or would you rather people still be free to worship, just not force any of their beliefs on you?

This is three different questions put into one sentence.

Yes, I would like it if religion ended.

No, I don't think ending religion by force is possible or desirable.  People should always be free to believe what they want about sky-daddies.  I just want critical thinking skills to become so cool that people who do believe in magical father figures are generally laughed at and marginalized.  I want the church to lose all its power because so many people realize how silly the whole thing is.

Yes, I think it is completely wrong for any religion to be legislated.  Period.

 

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Andyy
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Wishkah311 wrote: So, do

Wishkah311 wrote:

So, do you feel the world would be better off if religion were eradicated, or would you rather people still be free to worship, just not force any of their beliefs on you?

Both options!  I would always want people to be able to have free speech and free thought.  It would be nice to see humanity 'grow out' of religion just like a kid grows out of belief in Santa Claus.

 


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I believe we'd be

I believe we'd be hardpressed to find many people (here or anywhere else for that matter) who actually believe that religion is the cause for all of the world's problems. There are too many problems to generalize and blame them all on religion.
That said, religion is still the cause for many and on top of the evils it promotes it endorses close mindedness, biggotry, hatred, sexism, blocking rational thought, delays in medical/technological advancement, etc.
Many are quick to claim that having no religion would not solve any problems because people are still people and they will do bad regardless. The issue here is one of pure baseless assumption. It is clear that if some people are not brought up instilled with ideas of hatred and biggotry, that at the very least would be eradicated from that individual (and others like that person). 
If one removes all the guns from the world there will still be murders but there will be no more murders by gun and hence a drop in the number. 


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How the world would be

How the world would be without religion we really don't know, we would like to think it would be better off, but the reality is we don't know. With that said, the case in africa, the issue is the pope and the church in general as well as old superstitions have given ample opportunity for the virus to spead unchecked because the church and the pope condemn condoms and sexual education, and only advocate abstinence (which would be nice if we humans had no sexual desires, no addictions etc etc etc) This great ignorance and allowance to turn a blind eye to reality and say well, god say so, has brought africa great pain and a even greater hindrince in the battle against AIDS.

 The reality is that condoms are required so is sexual education, this is shown in various countries around the world to which the AID's epidemic has been lowered (thailand is a great example, so has various European countries and Canada)

Religion itself isn't necessarily bad, however it is based on ignorance and for the most part, many major religions basically advocate keeping the followers ignorant of the truth (as shown recently by Brownback and his statement that science should only be considered true if it advocates a god or intelligence behind it) Superstitions have no location in reality, and in our modern society, there is no need for it, except to keep old traditions alive. In a society from which we can battle against epidemics such as AIDS, anything that advocates against proper methods of protection (such as not using condoms, not having sex ed. or as it has happened in africa, believing that raping a virgin will cure you of the virus) should be discarded, and those advocating against it, personally, should be charged with causing bodily harm. That last one of course is my own personal opinion.

 


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I, unlike my comrades here,

I, unlike my comrades here, do not believe that religion for the most part is bad for society or that it should be eradicated from our world.  While I find several religions to be incorrect, I still understand the mindsets of the followers and sympathize with them.  I know that religion has done its share of harm to society over the years, yet, as I have argued before, it is necessary for the function of 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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 Well thank you guys  for

 Well thank you guys  for the responses... I think I just had a bad forum day with some threads that I didn't like.  But then, that happens.  Thanks for responding  : )

 

And HAMBY:

I missed ya' man!!! 

 

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Wishkah311 wrote: Okay, I

Wishkah311 wrote:

Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion. I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate. I want freedom to believe what I believe. However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion.

Interesting.  I've never heard any atheist claim this.  Perhaps you're interpretting beyond what these "some people" meant to imply? 

Wishkah311 wrote:
People have blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic in Africa

Don't you think there's a good case to be made for this one?  In many African villages, the only information available about prophylactics has come from Catholic missionaries who consider them sinful.  If you think this state of events hasn't contributed to the epidemic, you're in denial.

 

Wishkah311 wrote:
...to all types of cultural and racial oppression and other such tragedies. Here is my question: Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad?

I can't speak for the majority, I can only speak for myself.  I think religions are bad because they cause people to believe that faith is a good way to go about obtaining knowledge.  The truth is the opposite.  Anything that requires your faith to believe in is not worth believing.

 

Wishkah311 wrote:
Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.). However, religions are not always bad. And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong). It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich.

 

Okay. Forgive me if I sound pissy or even whiny. I just had to ask that question and get that little bit out. Thanks guys...

You didn't come off as whiny to me, just a tad bit ill informed about the Pope's role in spreading the AIDS epidemic in Africa. 


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My turn. Quote: Okay, I

My turn.

Quote:
Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion.

You are probably right on this one, there are people that blame religion for everything. And they have a point, too: not that those major world problems would not exist without religion, but that religion, blind faith, zeal and fanaticism only make them far worse than they normally are.

Take, for instance, the destruction of historical documents. It happens naturally due to passing of time. But, what was one of the first things the missionaries did when they arrived on Easter Island? They burned the wooden tablets at the base of the statues, the tablets that were telling the history and beliefs of those people, considering them "odes to Satan". One more chapter of history suddenly became blank...

I hope it's not necessary to give other examples, like AIDS ("condoms are sinful&quotEye-wink, lack of food ("don't eat pork!" "but that's all we can grow here!" "I don't care, it's an abomination, don't eat it!&quotEye-wink, etc.

Quote:
I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate.

We've already seen what happens if they aren't. Amen on that, sister Wishkah...

Quote:
I want freedom to believe what I believe.

I want that freedom as well. But I also want the freedom to tell someone that their belief is wrong, if the case.

Quote:
However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion.

Perfect: no. Happier: yes.

Do keep in mind that when people say "religion" they generally refer to "organized religion and worship". Now tell me... wouldn't many people be a lot happier without those megachurches blinging in their eyes and deafening them every mass? Wouldn't the people that donated to those megachurches be happier with those money they donated still in their pockets?

Quote:
Here is my question:  Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad?

Atheists don't generally think in absolutes. I personally think that organized religion and worship is bad in almost every situation (note: "almost&quotEye-wink. But about your own... personal Jesus, I've got no problem.

Quote:
Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.).

"the Phelps family" <- LOL

Quote:
And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong).  It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich.

Wasn't it the Pope that said something about not restraining from making children, considering an audience which already had too little food to support itself, and that was, practically, the epicentre of AIDS?

Why I go off against religion is practically explained in the first paragraph. And I don't think I'm the only one with that motivation.

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Well, these are some very

Well, these are some very interesting points.  As to the Africa-pope thing, I'm a little confused.  I took some classes in which we discussed Africa and the problems there such as AIDS, female genital mutilation, and honor killings.  In pretty much every issue we talked about, the communities were mostly Muslim.  (Not to say Islam is all bad for those who believe it).  In these Muslim cultures, men take more than one wife, spreading the virus that way.  They also believe weird things like the raping a virgin will cure you of the disease.  Just about every reason I heard cited for why AIDS and FGM are so prevalent there was because of lack of education (some people believe that a women with a clitoris cannot get pregnant), and extreme Muslim belief systems.  I was not aware the Pope had anything to do with Africa.  In another thread we discussed this.  I felt that those issues had less to do with religion than with culture and education because that was how it was introduced to me.  I did have someone send me a link about the Pope and Africa so I will definitely check that out.  As for organized religion, I'm a panentheist who left the church, so I'm already sold on this one.  Organized religion often merely seeks to further political and cultural ideals.  Not all of these ideals are negative, but I do not think they are correct in all their assumptions.  Faith should be something personal.  I'm not really current on my bible verses, but I think ever the Christian bible has something to say about praying alone without audience.  My faith is personal, something that I don't feel the need to proselytize about.  It is mine, you can't have it, and I am greedy.  Tongue out So anyhow it seems to me that we agree on a lot of things when it comes to religion.  We just seem to vary a little on the specifics - like that whole I believe in God thing... Wink

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Wishkah, Have you

Wishkah,

Have you considered that perhaps you are enabling the aberrant behavior of the 'religious' by not speaking out against it more?

For instance, you are counted in the numbers of the christians every time you answer the question.

Apathy serves no purpose, but do you care? lol. 

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Wishkah311 wrote: Well,

Wishkah311 wrote:
Well, these are some very interesting points.  As to the Africa-pope thing, I'm a little confused.  I took some classes in which we discussed Africa and the problems there such as AIDS, female genital mutilation, and honor killings.  In pretty much every issue we talked about, the communities were mostly Muslim.

Well, honor killings, I think, are more a problem in Islam, but that's another religion I want to see ended. The pope gets criticized (correctly, I say) because he and the church are opposed to all contraception, including condoms, and the sex ed. that would help people prevent getting diseases in the first place. So, both Islam and Christianity have been causing problems in Africa for a long time.

Wishkah311 wrote:
They also believe weird things like the raping a virgin will cure you of the disease.  Just about every reason I heard cited for why AIDS and FGM are so prevalent there was because of lack of education (some people believe that a women with a clitoris cannot get pregnant), and extreme Muslim belief systems.

The problem is ultimately lack of education, and the Catholic church only wants to promote what they call "natural" family planning.

Some of it isn't even a problem of religion, but rather superstition.

I thought this was an interesting, if incomplete, overview of some of the issues:

Link

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Wishkah311 wrote: Okay, I

Wishkah311 wrote:

Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion.  I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate.  I want freedom to believe what I believe.  However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion.  People have blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to all types of cultural and racial oppression and other such tragedies.  Here is my question:  Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad?  Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.).  However, religions are not always bad.  And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong).  It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich. 

 

Okay.  Forgive me if I sound pissy or even whiny.  I just had to ask that question and get that little bit out.   Thanks guys... 

If it helps, I only blame religion for about 45% of the worlds problems. Another 45% goes to capitalism. The remaining 10% is emotion, circumstance, and human instability.

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Wishkah311 wrote: And

Wishkah311 wrote:

And HAMBY:

I missed ya' man!!!

Thanky! Can I quote you on that? I think there are a lot of theists here who wouldn't believe another theist ever missed me...

Every once in a while, I have to take a little break from the boards. We have lots of new theists checking it out, but sometimes I lose my patience when I have to write the same responses fifty times in two months. Anyway, I'm happy to see this thread hopping. It's good to think about the realities of religion, not just the abstracts of logic and cosmology and such. For better or worse, there's a lot of crap going on, and both the pope and muslim leaders are chest deep in it.

 

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

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Vastet wrote: Wishkah311

Vastet wrote:
Wishkah311 wrote:

Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion. I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate. I want freedom to believe what I believe. However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion. People have blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to all types of cultural and racial oppression and other such tragedies. Here is my question: Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad? Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.). However, religions are not always bad. And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong). It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich.

 

Okay. Forgive me if I sound pissy or even whiny. I just had to ask that question and get that little bit out. Thanks guys...

If it helps, I only blame religion for about 45% of the worlds problems. Another 45% goes to capitalism. The remaining 10% is emotion, circumstance, and human instability.
Capitalism is the only economic system that will ever work. Religion has solved more problems then it has caused. I don't see any atheist groups helping the starving and homeless.


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simple theist wrote:   I

simple theist wrote:
  I don't see any atheist groups helping the starving and homeless.

 While not offically 'atheist,' rather simply 'non-religous'...  The UN, the US, and the EU have provided FAR more assistance to the starving and homeless than any religous group.


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Quote: Capitalism is the

Quote:
Capitalism is the only economic system that will ever work.

{affecting my best John Wayne voice} Around these parts, boy, we like a little evidence with our claims.

(for the record I happen to think capitalism is the best system we've managed to invent, but I can't say I know the future, and I doubt you do either.)

Quote:
Religion has solved more problems then it has caused. 

Now you're just being silly.  Or ignorant.  I'm not sure which.   You should stay away from such sweeping generalizations.  They'll get you in trouble around here.  What kinds of problems?  What kinds of solutions?  How do you know this?  Is your degree in history?  Have you read any histories of the Middle East?  How about the Middle Ages?  In short, what the heck are you talking about?

 

Quote:
I don't see any atheist groups helping the starving and homeless.

You're probably not looking very hard...

As it happens, atheism is not a political group, a religious group, an environmental group, or a charitable organization.  It is a philosophical belief.  Period.  Now, suppose you ask yourself, "Are there many atheists who are charitable and donate to worthwhile causes?"  The answer is that atheists are extremely charitable.  I didn't realize we had to have our own little club house for our donations and hard work to mean anything.

So, do you have anything constructive to say?

 

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I think people are too quick

I think people are too quick to generalize religion. There will be evil people in the world no matter what, and if that person happens to be religious, then people will blame it on religion.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: There

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
There will be evil people in the world no matter what, and if that person happens to be religious, then people will blame it on religion.

My old best friend is by no means evil.  He's one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.  But because of his devotion to religon, he won't associate with muslims or homosexuals...  He gives money to organizations that promote cutting down condom distribution in Africa...  and he has told parents of one of his friends that his 20 year old friend was having sex before marriage, and thus opening a rift between parents and their kid that hasn't been closed until this day.

He is a good person with a good heart, but his devotion to his religion has caused him to do bad things. 

 


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Quote: I think people are

Quote:
I think people are too quick to generalize religion. There will be evil people in the world no matter what, and if that person happens to be religious, then people will blame it on religion.

Well, it does go both ways.  I can't count the number of times people equate atheism with communism.

As religion goes, it's the same as any other belief system.  True, there will be evil in the world regardless of religion.  However, if a particular evil is promoted by religion, it is safe to generally say that the religion contributes to the problem.

As I'm sure you know, societal ills are directly proportional to general religious belief in the society.  It's possibly a chicken/egg issue, but I think it's still safe to say that religions like Christianity that promote ignorance (faith is all you need, etc...) stifle education (Creationism in schools, are you kidding me??!) and promote the spread of disease (AIDS in Africa because of the church's stand on condoms) are part of at least some of the world's problems.

Do the people in charge do evil things because of the religion, or do they use the religion to promote their own evil ideas?  I dunno.  But the religion is an easy way for them to accomplish their ends because it discourages free thought and dissent.

 

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

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Andyy wrote: Cpt_pineapple

Andyy wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
There will be evil people in the world no matter what, and if that person happens to be religious, then people will blame it on religion.

My old best friend is by no means evil. He's one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. But because of his devotion to religon, he won't associate with muslims or homosexuals... He gives money to organizations that promote cutting down condom distribution in Africa... and he has told parents of one of his friends that his 20 year old friend was having sex before marriage, and thus opening a rift between parents and their kid that hasn't been closed until this day.

He is a good person with a good heart, but his devotion to his religion has caused him to do bad things.

 

 

You do not have to be Religious to hate Homosexuals or Muslims or be for abstinence

 

 


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Hambydammit wrote: Quote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Capitalism is the only economic system that will ever work.

{affecting my best John Wayne voice} Around these parts, boy, we like a little evidence with our claims.

 

(for the record I happen to think capitalism is the best system we've managed to invent, but I can't say I know the future, and I doubt you do either.)

At the moment it is the best.

Quote:
 

Quote:
Religion has solved more problems then it has caused.

Now you're just being silly. Or ignorant. I'm not sure which. You should stay away from such sweeping generalizations. They'll get you in trouble around here. What kinds of problems? What kinds of solutions? How do you know this? Is your degree in history? Have you read any histories of the Middle East? How about the Middle Ages? In short, what the heck are you talking about?

Honestly I think if you examine a lot of religious wars and evil events, you will find that religion didn't play a role in why it happened. Somone claimed it was for religious reasons as propaganda so people would support it. I think it unfair to say that when the Pope does something, every Christian agrees. You have no proof that the soldiers or the Pope were actually Christian during the crusades. (there have been some questionable Popes which I'm sure the Catholic Church would rather forget about). So I think if Christianity didn't exsist, the crusades or a similar war would still have taken place. Religion doesn't cause war, people do. Jesus was against war and murder (only in extreme cases of defending yourself or someone leaving you no choice [like Hitler] would Christianity be for war. So whoever was in the crusades were actually going against what their religion taught and therefore the religion didn't play a role in it.

 

Quote:

Quote:
I don't see any atheist groups helping the starving and homeless.

You're probably not looking very hard...

As it happens, atheism is not a political group, a religious group, an environmental group, or a charitable organization. It is a philosophical belief. Period. Now, suppose you ask yourself, "Are there many atheists who are charitable and donate to worthwhile causes?" The answer is that atheists are extremely charitable. I didn't realize we had to have our own little club house for our donations and hard work to mean anything.

So, do you have anything constructive to say?

 

Yea I shouldn't have said that last part. It is a true statement that no atheist groups help anyone, but it is equally true that there are no atheist groups.


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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
I think people are too quick to generalize religion. There will be evil people in the world no matter what, and if that person happens to be religious, then people will blame it on religion.

Well, it does go both ways. I can't count the number of times people equate atheism with communism.

As religion goes, it's the same as any other belief system. True, there will be evil in the world regardless of religion. However, if a particular evil is promoted by religion, it is safe to generally say that the religion contributes to the problem.

 

 

I doubt every Religion promotes evil. When I see a Muslim, I do not think that they have a bomb strapped to their chest.  

 

Quote:
 

As I'm sure you know, societal ills are directly proportional to general religious belief in the society. It's possibly a chicken/egg issue, but I think it's still safe to say that religions like Christianity that promote ignorance (faith is all you need, etc...) stifle education (Creationism in schools, are you kidding me??!) and promote the spread of disease (AIDS in Africa because of the church's stand on condoms) are part of at least some of the world's problems.

 

 

 

I think Creationists are in the minority. A counter example: Those hippies against bio-efficent wheat thinking it will destroy the planet.  Those that ran the 'Franken-foods' campaigns. Point is, you don't need a religion to believe idiotic thoughts.

 

Quote:
 

Do the people in charge do evil things because of the religion, or do they use the religion to promote their own evil ideas? I dunno. But the religion is an easy way for them to accomplish their ends because it discourages free thought and dissent.

 

 

I think that people do evil things because of political/personal goals and then use religion to try to justify it. However they will probably think of another excuse if they can't use religion. 


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

You do not have to be Religious to hate Homosexuals or Muslims or be for abstinence

 

 

Of course not.  Which is why I never said it.  I mearly gave you an example to show you how a good person can do evil. 


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Andyy wrote: Cpt_pineapple

Andyy wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

You do not have to be Religious to hate Homosexuals or Muslims or be for abstinence

 

 

Of course not. Which is why I never said it. I mearly gave you an example to show you how a good person can do evil.

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to strawman you, I meant it could be a chicken and the egg issue like it was said before.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to strawman you, I meant it could be a chicken and the egg issue like it was said before.

Ahh... I see.  But in the case of my friend, I don't think it was a chicken or the egg kind of thing.  He is a very devoted person to what he believes.  He's not the best at thinking for himself, whether it was his parents, a trusted friend, teacher, or religion.  He does what those he trusts tell him to.

I don't think he has it in his nature to hate homosexuals or muslims, but he does have it in his nature to follow those he trusts.  And his parents, pastors, and many friends have him conditioned into religous belief that causes him to view homosexuals and muslims on a different level.

Of course, I'm sure there are also people are predisposed to evil and use religion to justify evil.  As to the breakdown of how many are like my friend and how many use religion, I have no idea.  So I guess it makes it a chicken and egg quesition on a macro level. Smiling 


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Couple of points... There

Couple of points...

There are actually a few atheist charities, and some good atheist causes. While theists may not agree with it, there is the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and I forget the name of it, but there's actually a Lobbyist for Atheists in Washington now. There are others, but those are two that come to mind off the top of my head. Seems like theres another one that promotes environmental responsibility, too... At any rate, many atheists I know support lots of non-theist charities. For me, as long as I know it's not going to support theist issues I disagree with, I'm comfy with it.

Next, I think Pineapple, that you're missing a broader point. For analogy, let's say you have a disease. You go to the doctor, and he says, ok, Captain, you have a few options. There's this one cure that will take care of your disease, and will also give you constipation. There's another that will upset your stomach, and you'll probably puke several times every day while you're taking it, and there's this last one that doesn't have any appreciable side effects. All three will cure you. Which would you like?

Answer: The one with no side effects.

Moral of the story? If religion has some good stuff, and there are some charities that do good things, and some people feel good about their lives, bully for them. But, if a side effect is abortion bombings, anti-gay legislation, bans on stem cell research, repression, and various other nasty stuff in a significant portion of the population, then it would be better to find something else that promotes charitable behavior, good feelings, and happiness, right?

 Again, I'm not saying the world would be perfect if people didn't believe in god, but belief in god gives a lot of people free passes to do bad stuff.  Maybe most of them would still do bad stuff, but if some of them genuinely think they're doing good, and leaving religion would help them realize it, then that's worth it.

 

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simple_theist, Have you

simple_theist,

Have you ever seen http://www.atheistvolunteers.org/

There are charities ran by atheists.

Also, there is Rich Rodriguez's  site:

http://www.workswithoutfaith.org/

 

If socialism was so exclusive toward religion then why are there still thousands of churches in Eastern Europe and Asia dating back hundreds of years?

There are plenty of Buddhists in China. Prayer wheels are all over. 

Methinks that the religious propaganda machine has clouded your reasoning in this aspect as well. 

 

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Wishkah311 wrote: Okay, I

Wishkah311 wrote:

Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion. I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate. I want freedom to believe what I believe. However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion. People have blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to all types of cultural and racial oppression and other such tragedies. Here is my question: Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad? Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.). However, religions are not always bad. And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong). It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich.

 

Okay. Forgive me if I sound pissy or even whiny. I just had to ask that question and get that little bit out. Thanks guys...


"Can people who have deity belief do good?" Yes.

But what most atheists are concerned about is the amount of political power globaly that religious labels yeild as a strong arm bullying tactic, not only on precieved rivals, but a selfish asumption that is what is good for one must be good for all.

This constant blind eye to this is what has allowed humanity to be divided. I really dont think anyone here is out to use government or military force to end religion. But through the free market we want to expose the abuses of power by religion. If individuals in the process see that their is no god, that would be a voluntary adaptation on their part.

So what you see here comes across as harsh and blasphemous, but it is for love of humanity and love of education that we worry that priorities such as polution, desease and poverty are lost to superstition.

South Park did an futuristic episode where the world was full of atheists and the episode emplied that even IF the world were full of atheists, they too would be divided. True.

Even in this micro population there are atheists that dissagree with each other. BUT most do agree that the priorities of humanity are backwards and the things we should as a species be focused on are lost to issues that should remain outside goverment and outside politics.

It would not solve all problems. But it would give one less excuse to fight or power grab. If religion were treated like a pastime, like chess or baseball, it wouldnt have such a negitive affect globaly. The problem is that humans, be they your label, or any other, far too many see their deity as being the law giver for everyone else. As long as that mentality is tollerated and not questioned we will always have nuts blowing up abortion clinics or slamming planes into buildings. 

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Wishkah311 wrote:

Wishkah311 wrote:

Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion. I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate. I want freedom to believe what I believe. However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion. People have blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to all types of cultural and racial oppression and other such tragedies. Here is my question: Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad? Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.). However, religions are not always bad. And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong). It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich.

 

Okay. Forgive me if I sound pissy or even whiny. I just had to ask that question and get that little bit out. Thanks guys...

Can't speak for anyone else, but i think giving up your entire life to any cause is always bad. Every major religion has shown they are capable of doing such evil, and legislating it through their hly texts.

P.S. I'm a pacifist, I am NOT about forcing people to stop believing. Just so you know. 


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Wishkah311 wrote: Well,

Wishkah311 wrote:
Well, these are some very interesting points. As to the Africa-pope thing, I'm a little confused. I took some classes in which we discussed Africa and the problems there such as AIDS, female genital mutilation, and honor killings. In pretty much every issue we talked about, the communities were mostly Muslim. (Not to say Islam is all bad for those who believe it). In these Muslim cultures, men take more than one wife, spreading the virus that way. They also believe weird things like the raping a virgin will cure you of the disease. Just about every reason I heard cited for why AIDS and FGM are so prevalent there was because of lack of education (some people believe that a women with a clitoris cannot get pregnant), and extreme Muslim belief systems.
Some of those beliefs aren't muslim, and few of them are actually widespread. Regardless, what is Islam? A RELIGION!
Wishkah311 wrote:
I was not aware the Pope had anything to do with Africa. In another thread we discussed this. I felt that those issues had less to do with religion than with culture and education because that was how it was introduced to me.
Religion plays into culture quite heavily, and supresses education often. See Kansas as another example.
Wishkah311 wrote:
I did have someone send me a link about the Pope and Africa so I will definitely check that out. As for organized religion, I'm a panentheist who left the church, so I'm already sold on this one.
What is the difference between non-religion and religion? Organization, primarily.
Wishkah311 wrote:
Organized religion often merely seeks to further political and cultural ideals. Not all of these ideals are negative, but I do not think they are correct in all their assumptions. Faith should be something personal. I'm not really current on my bible verses, but I think ever the Christian bible has something to say about praying alone without audience. My faith is personal, something that I don't feel the need to proselytize about. It is mine, you can't have it, and I am greedy. Tongue out So anyhow it seems to me that we agree on a lot of things when it comes to religion. We just seem to vary a little on the specifics - like that whole I believe in God thing... Wink
Praying in public was about being boastful about one's faith. In other words, Jesus was saying to be humble.

Vastet wrote:
If it helps, I only blame religion for about 45% of the worlds problems. Another 45% goes to capitalism. The remaining 10% is emotion, circumstance, and human instability.
good answer! However, it's laissez-faire capitalism that causes the problem.

simple theist wrote:
Capitalism is the only economic system that will ever work. Religion has solved more problems then it has caused. I don't see any atheist groups helping the starving and homeless.
AU CONTRAIRE! Modern socialism has proven itself quite capable. Look at almost all of Europe, and Canada. Social Democracy wins. 

As for atheist groups....that's been dealt with. 


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Wishkah311 wrote: Okay, I

Wishkah311 wrote:

Okay, I have noticed in various threads on this site, that some atheists seem keen to blame everything that is wrong with the world on religion. I will be the first to admit that religion and politics should be separate. I want freedom to believe what I believe. However, some people seem to think (and this is an assumption) that the world would be perfect and happy without religion.

 I don't assume the world would be perfect and happy without religion.  I think it's safe to assume it would be abundantly better, but there would certainly still be problems.  I think it's worth a shot.

 

Quote:
People have blamed everything from the AIDS epidemic in Africa to all types of cultural and racial oppression and other such tragedies. Here is my question: Is it held by a general majority that religion is always bad? 

 Religion can do positive things, however there isn't anything positive that religion can do that non religion can't.  On the flip side, there are a great many things that religion can and does in fact do that are negative, that are only caused in a religious world.

 

 

Quote:
Sure, some negative things are directly caused by religion, (same sex marriage laws, the Phelps family, etc.). However, religions are not always bad.

I agree, which is why I hone in more specifically on the fact that non religious people can still do everything positive that religious people can do.   Since non religious people can still be benefits to society (and do so often),  and gods can't nor haven't in recorded history ever been logically defended, it seems to any rational individual the idea of god belief should be deemed by the public as silly and irrational.  Any rational individual would advocate and seek a world in which claims we are lead to believe like religions would have to be logically and/or scientifically defended before we actually believe them.

 

Quote:
And I don't know of any connection between the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the Pope.. (but I could be wrong). It just frustrates me that people just go off on religion as though religions are the sixth reich.

Religion has and still does today some very fucked up shit.   The aversion to teaching people about condoms and forcing them to take Jesus before they offer them care (or any variation of help that has the word "jesus" in it) isn't even scratching the surface.  Religion isn't the sixth reich, it's more likely to call it the cause of all reichs. 

 

 If you'd like a concession on this front, I will offer you one.  It seems to me that closely intertwined into the problems that I equate to religion is often a lack of critical thinking skills.  The sort of skills and modes of thought that anyone should have to be able to see past your typical bullshit or scam artist.  In other words, some people may say "religion is the root of all evil" I might say "lack of thinking skills is the root of all evil."  I'm not entirely sure yet whifch is more evil and if one causes the other or they are just typically linked, my point is that often critical thought plays a major role.  I often wonder if it's teaching people to embrace "faith" that lays the groundwork for poor modes of thought later in life or if it's poor modes of thought that lead someone to religion.  

 

 

Quote:

Okay. Forgive me if I sound pissy or even whiny. I just had to ask that question and get that little bit out. Thanks guys...

You sounded fine.  I don't think I've ever formally said hi....

 

HI, welcome aboard! 

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Wishkah311 wrote: So, do

Wishkah311 wrote:

So, do you feel the world would be better off if religion were eradicated, or would you rather people still be free to worship, just not force any of their beliefs on you?

 

I'd like to see people overcome it, but not by force.  I think people should be free to be as stupid and irrational as they want, but that we should want more from people.  That we as a society, our school systems, our teachers, our parents would want us to be wise enough to outsmart outdated illogical concepts that tend to contradict fact, like those offered by religion. 

 

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Okay, just so everyone

Okay, just so everyone knows, I kinda felt like I went all attacky and whatnot but I didn't mean to be.  I totally get what you guys are saying.  I have spoken with some "militant" atheists... these guys would like to take religion away by force.  Of course, they are few and far between.  I think I am just having a little trouble being able to tell the difference between someone believing religion is stupid and someone believing I am stupid.  For example, Dawkins' "The God Delusion."  I have never read it, but Ninja and I were discussing it vaguely one day.  I became very quicky offended about being referred to as delusional.  He tried to tell me that the term delusion is not a value judgment.  It is "something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated."  For a long time, and still some now, I have a hard time not feeling like I am thought less of for being a theist.  some probably do think less of me.  But not all.  Ninja and I wouldn't be dating if he thought less of me.  But it is a struggle sometimes to not be offended.  Thus why I felt the need to start this thread.  It is one of those moments when irrationality got the best of me (I'm a girl and a theist... it happens sometimes  Tongue out)

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Oh and as to the pope and

Oh and as to the pope and Africa thing. I did a little research and learned about that too. It isn't that I thought religion didn't play a part at all in those societies. I just thought that the primary religion in Africa was Islam. Islam is actually more okay with contraception than Christianity, I think. I still don't think that their religion is the total cause for all that. I think the fact that religion is fairly well forced in a lot of African countries is a big part of the problem. I don't care what faith it is, even panentheism, no country works as a theocracy... not everyone wants to adhere to the same moral code or belief system. For a lot of issues in the world today, texts like the bible don't even apply. It just doesn't make sense to me. I'm all for freedom of religion, but forced religion is ridiculous. Not to mention the fact that most religions teach that we all have a choice whether to worship or not. And Jesus unless you believe all the way down to your soul...  it doesn't even count.

 

Oh and Hi Sapient!!!

edited for purposes of greeting 

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Wishkah311 wrote: I

Wishkah311 wrote:
I became very quicky offended about being referred to as delusional.

I agree, delusional does carry strong connotations.  But I admit, I am delusional in regards to sports.  I really think my team is the best in the league, despite all the evidence they are not, I still hold to it they are the best! 

Wishkah311 wrote:
For a long time, and still some now, I have a hard time not feeling like I am thought less of for being a theist.  some probably do think less of me.

I still feel this way with many members of my extended family for being an atheist.  This goes both ways.   Only for you, atheists may consider you delusional...  for me, my extended family thinks I'm going to be burning in hell, tortured for eternity Smiling 


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I'm sorry to interupt: 

I'm sorry to interupt:  does any body know why the chat room on stickam won't let me in?  I have typed in the password, but it says error: server not responding.  Any tips?

VERITAS OMNIA VINCIT


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A few comments if I may.

A few comments if I may. No, religion is not always bad...but even a blind squirrel will occasionally find a nut. The ultimate problem with religion is that it's dictates are, in the end, always arbitrary. If something has a sensical, observational basis no religion is required to heft it up to undeserved heights. This is why science and religion will never mix.

If the dictates of a religion began with a sound basis, religion soon removes them. IT TURNS THE RATIONAL INTO NONSENSE through a process of intellectual fossilization, AKA dogma. Once this occurs, all sense that may have existed in this or that rule has been siphoned away. All that's left is a husk, a fossil, to continue the analogy, a string of words to obey or not obey with no question of whether there is any sense to it or not.

In this way, religion belittles its adherents, assuming as a matter of principle that they are too stupid to follow rules because they make sense. All rules must be administered under a threat of bludgeoning (sometimes less and sometimes more painful), like cows that will wander aimlessly unless someone takes the time to SCARE them into the pen.

But this is not what I really wanted to say. As I see it, religion is merely a piece of a larger problem. But I have to admit that this problem is VERY hard to overcome. The larger problem is one of arbitrariness in general. There are 4 main reasons why the problem of arbitrariness is hard to dent:

1) Humans evolved to make snap judgments.

2) Humans evolved such that these judgments are hard to overturn once made.

3) At the subsistence level (which accounts for about 80% of humanity) introspection and circmspection (the processes whereby one MIGHT be able to overturn prior bad judgments) is an expensive luxury.

4) Introspection and circumspection in themslves are nearly useless without some minimal education of what to look for (such as the rhetorical fallacies). It doesn't need to be said that such education is virtually unheard of at the subsistence level.

Thinking clearly is, I hate to say it but it's true, NOT something we are born with. What we are born with is a series of genetically ensconced tendencies to maximize survival. Snap judgments and sticking with them are instinctive tendencies, maintained because they work more often than not. (This is itself a testament to the general consistency of the world in which we live.) They are natural. To think clearly, to overturn the obvious for the subtle, these are skills that must be learned, and they cannot be learned without the luxury of the free time to spend on such learning.

And this I do not see happening for a long long time.