What's the harm in it?

Archangelnamed
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What's the harm in it?

What's the harm in believing in a religion?  Sure, there are some nut-jobs out there hijacking planes or blowing up clinics and what-not but overall religion tries to get people to be their best.  So what does it matter if I believe in Jesus, Buddha, Thor, Zeus, or Harvey (the invisible rabbit friend of James Stewart)?  The only problem I can see with it is how it affects you.  So if my beliefs prevent someone you know from having free access to abortion, for example, it ticks you off.  You see, my problem here is that any attempt I make to proselytize is not for my benefit, but yours.  I'm trying to save you from eternal torment (which you don't believe in) but you are trying to take away something that enriches many people's lives and helps them to be better people.  That's how I see it.

-Michael

"We did not follow cleverly invented stories..."
2 Peter 1:16
"Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you..."
Luke 1:3



Susan
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Archangelnamed

Archangelnamed wrote:

What's the harm in believing in a religion? ... The only problem I can see with it is how it affects you.

That pretty much hits the nail directly on the head. Your religion does affect us and proselytizing does affect us. The harm comes from your beliefs infringing on our lives.

Archangelnamed wrote:
I'm trying to save you from eternal torment (which you don't believe in)

You're right. We don't believe in eternal torment. It seems to me that you are attempting to force your beliefs on others because you do.

Archangelname wrote:
but you are trying to take away something that enriches many people's lives and helps them to be better people.

Are you not doing the same thing by trying to take away our non-belief? It seems that because you think you are correct, you have the right to force your beliefs on everyone else.

Become better people?

Can you imagine how wonderful it would be if the pro-lifers quit spending time trying to keep women out of family planning clinics and spent that time working with abused children and fostering children who are already here and in desperate need of help?

Can you imagine how much more quickly we might have the medical answers if so much time was not spent trying to stop stem cell research and that time was spent doing stem cell research, maybe we'd have a cure (or at least treatment) for people with MS, MD, Alzheimer's, etc that are already here and suffering terribly?

Can you imagine how conditions might improve in developing nations if theists quit spending time trying to convert people and spent that time teaching them birth control and how to stop the spread of AIDS?

 

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deludedgod
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At it's fundamental level,

At it's fundamental level, the problem with religion is that a belief system that operates under faith and doctrine will invariably produce overly pious members who have a radically unquestioning view of the world based on their holy scripture. These people tend to impose their veiws tyranically on others, often with violence. When different religions clash over the different ideology, the result is equally violent. We call such people FUNDAMENTALISTS.

 

 

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

-Me

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Archangelnamed

Archangelnamed wrote:
What's the harm in believing in a religion? ... So what does it matter if I believe in Jesus, Buddha, Thor, Zeus, or Harvey (the invisible rabbit friend of James Stewart)? ... I'm trying to save you from eternal torment ...

Archangelnamed, you've contradicted yourself here.


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MrRage

MrRage wrote:
Archangelnamed wrote:
What's the harm in believing in a religion? ... So what does it matter if I believe in Jesus, Buddha, Thor, Zeus, or Harvey (the invisible rabbit friend of James Stewart)? ... I'm trying to save you from eternal torment ...
Archangelnamed, you've contradicted yourself here.

LMAO! Indeed. :D 


darth_josh
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Living under the FEAR of

Living under the FEAR of eternal torment isn't harmful enough?

Let alone the fact that the very doctrine violates common sense with rules that can be picked apart case by case. Loopholes for loopholes with unending punishment for single actions? That part particularly seems harmful enough just having to live with that doubt that every action that doesn't meet ecumenical muster will not only get you ostracized from society, but land you in hell for eternity.

Every loophole becomes a denomination with members that are unsure of which pieces of the doctrine to follow. People that evangelize on something by tradition essentially ignoring their own ethical sense of obligation to the rest of humanity. Some of the preachers not even sure why their ethics don't match the church's morals.

Perhaps 2,000 years ago, perhaps 1,400 years ago, it was needed to keep bad people in check. It performs no such function now and therefore as a doctrine it is useless. Much as when the entire world is atheist then there will be no need for people to speak out against worshipping a 'deity'.

You mentioned 'nut-jobs', but really what created the nut-jobs? Women like Deanna Laney, Andrea Yates, Lashuan Harris were very devout in their faiths. Deanna Laney killed her children with a ROCK because she tripped over it in her garden. She thought that was how 'god' was talking to her. Let me ask you, do you honestly think that someone in this modern age came up with the idea that god spoke to her? Or was that the product of 'preaching the gospel' to her? Without religion, those children would probably be alive and she might have gotten the help that she so badly needed. That part was hypothetical. However, there is no doubt in my mind that religion was the root cause of those awful stories.

Men like Eric Rudolph are supported for years by people in favor of his 'cause'. That isn't one single 'nut-job' in Appalachia acting alone. That is an entire ideological group violating the laws of the entire population by aiding and abetting a murderer. There were people that cried out at his trial claiming he was justice sent from god.

I'm stopping there for today. 

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darth_josh
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We must also address the

We must also address the issue of general hypocrisy.

Each religion has its rules, whether outlined in an 'old book' or passed down through ritualistic traditions.

More often than not, these rules change to reflect what the congregations/adherents deem a neccessary change. This opens the door for apologists and VOILA there is where the rules get broken.

I use the slippery slope argument here. If one rule that is at the foundation of a religion is broken or ignored then all the rules are subject to 'interpretation' by human nature. Yet these rules were allegedly divinely inspired and not open to interpretation in the first place.

Fundamental to the Abrahamic religion is the ten commandments. However, the 2nd commandment is the one most often broken. These are supposed to be commandments, not suggestions. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the many sculptures, symbols, paintings, and alleged artifacts that are worshiped by those adherents of those faiths, it is easily disregarded. "Golden Calves' are continuously being erected at a great cost to humanity as a whole.

So, how is building a giant jesus statue harmful in any way?

1. The money to build it could be put to much better use.

2. Sometimes the money is ill-gotten by people who justify means by the ends.

3. They are used to draw people in by giving the illusion of piety on the part of the builders.

4. The symbols are essentially meant to elevate one group over another with the illusion of accomplishment. This fosters discrimination on both sides.

5. Rather than focusing on any uplifting 'message', attention is given to the idol. If the 'message' cannot be conveyed then is there a message?

6. Often the images/symbols violate the rules laid out by society(Judge Moore's ten commandments sculpture sticks out for reference material right here)

If a 'commandment' can be so off-handedly dismissed then should any of them be followed? There it becomes purely subjective on the part of the adherent to that particular faith.

I ask Why cling to rules as being inerrant when they are ignored anyway?

 

That's enough for today. Probably more tomorrow. 

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