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Author Topic: Atheism Redux [READ THE FIRST POST]  (Read 178272 times)

Tsarwash

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2010, 05:12:00 pm »

I have to say, that the crusades were pretty much religiously motivated. Of course power, status, prestige and whatnot were involved also. But the Holy Roman Empire couldn't stand the thought that the Holy land was in the hands of the 'infidels'. [anyway this has been discussed] To say that religion never harmed anybody seems naive to a larger extent. I'm not knocking anybodies religion here, but a great deal of harm has been done in the name of religion over the years, and a good deal of it would not have been done without the religious factors. Think Northern Ireleand, Israel / Palestine, for pete's sake the 911 attacks were mostly religiously motivated. How about the Bali Bombing ? Really. There's been some pretty shitty violence going on in India and Pakistan for years now between the Hindus, Christians and Muslims. I don't hold all  Christians/Hindus or Muslims accountable for the actions of their fellow believers, but the deny the obvious violence that has occured because of religious conflict is silly.

Just to take one example, please show me that religion has not helped to incite the Northern Ireland troubles for the last 40 years.
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fqllve

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #46 on: December 04, 2010, 05:12:09 pm »

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Andir

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #47 on: December 04, 2010, 05:13:38 pm »

Damn, you must think that the world's rulers were as stupid as you are.
Calm it.
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Realmfighter

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2010, 05:14:42 pm »

I am so sorry.
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Criptfeind

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #49 on: December 04, 2010, 05:19:09 pm »


Really Realm? Really?

Don't sink to his level.

helped

I don't think that is possible.

And you are right, we can not say that it has not caused or helped issues thou out time. But at the same time, a blanket condemnation of it based on ignoring the many complicated factors in many issues is not something I will stand by for.

As in: Can you really say that all the issues of northern Ireland are caused by religion? For instance, I believe you are talking about the 1960-sometime who know it is suppose to have ended 2006 but not really troubles? Because I can say, that seems less religion and more political to me.
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Leafsnail

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #50 on: December 04, 2010, 05:29:12 pm »

Crusades is actually an interesting one, and kindof complex.

On one level, without the catholic church, there probably would've been noone in a position to initiate the crusades.  On another level, it's probably true that most crusaders didn't really have religion on their mind while fighting (the idea of being able to keep all your loot and destroy stuff at will was pretty attractive to them).
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eerr

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #51 on: December 04, 2010, 05:29:30 pm »

Goddammit.

Can't you people let sleeping dogs lie down for a little while?
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Realmfighter

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #52 on: December 04, 2010, 05:30:19 pm »

Can't you people let sleeping dogs lie down for a little while?

*Looks at the thread*

No?
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Shinziril

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #53 on: December 04, 2010, 05:31:21 pm »

I personally am not religious.  However, I have a modification of Realmfighter's criterion: So long as the religion causes no/minimal external harm, let them have their harmless fun. 

Of course, even such a simple criterion as this can cause lots of arguments.  For example, I used to go to a fairly liberal Methodist church; that seemed like a fairly good religion by this definition.  They were careful to be tolerant and such, and did quite a bit of volunteer/charity/donation work.  Catholicism is slightly further down the scale; it has some unhelpful things that are followed with varying degrees of fervor, depending, but plenty of Catholics are perfectly good people, and Catholicism can get quite a bit of charity work done due to sheer size.  Islam is an interesting one; it is currently fairly high on the "external harm" scale, but I could see it becoming something on the same level as the various other modern forms of Christianity.  It would just take quite a lot of effort and time, most likely. 

"Religion causes external harm" in and of itself can be difficult, because while much persecution is effectively because one group is different than another group in some way, religion is one of the more common rationalizations for this persecution.   

At any rate, religion is probably not going to go away entirely for quite a while, if ever.  The fact that basically every society ever has had some form of religion indicates that it is something humans are prone to; I am uncertain of the precise reasons why, and would be interested to hear any hypotheses. 
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Criptfeind

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #54 on: December 04, 2010, 05:32:34 pm »

Mortality? Lack of knowledge?
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Realmfighter

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #55 on: December 04, 2010, 05:34:51 pm »

I think its because most people don't like the idea that they are insignificant little beings on an insignificant planet in a insignificant galaxy in a universe that itself will die eventually destroying even the most meager trace of there existence even if there was anything left by that point who could care.
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We may not be as brave as Gryffindor, as willing to get our hands dirty as Hufflepuff, or as devious as Slytherin, but there is nothing, nothing more dangerous than a little too much knowledge and a conscience that is open to debate

fqllve

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #56 on: December 04, 2010, 05:41:35 pm »

I think Julian Jaynes The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind is probably the most interesting explanation for why human society and religion have been so coincident.

Basically, he posits that that the man of the Illiad wasn't conscious and that when the gods speak directly to the characters. It's because instead of internally and consciously directing his actions he literally heard his gods telling him what to do. He says that it originated by people repeatedly hallucinating the instructions given to them by the tribal leader. And this is all after a rigorous re-examination of what consciousness is.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 05:48:05 pm by fqllve »
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freeformschooler

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2010, 05:44:05 pm »

I think its because most people don't like the idea that they are insignificant little beings on an insignificant planet in a insignificant galaxy in a universe that itself will die eventually destroying even the most meager trace of there existence even if there was anything left by that point who could care.

The universe itself could be an insignificant speck in a sea of multiverses. Fringe theories gogogo.

On a more serious note, I'm Agnostic. I don't think we can know what's going to happen after we die. We can write books and read NDE's, read the bible and hope for the best, follow along with any religion or tradition we choose, and guess what? There's nothing wrong with that. I support it, and find every religion's beliefs "possible". It is possible that the new chair you got will break under your weight, but it is also possible that it won't. This is not a good example, though, since the heavier you are, the more possible that is. With religion, or the lack thereof, all we can do is fight/argue/believe/don't believe/follow/practice/support and hope for the best.
I go to church, but it's a church where anyone of any religion can come. We had an Islamic guest speaker this week, and an atheistic guest speaker last week. This week will be the "scared away from religious extremists" Agnostic preacher.
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Tsarwash

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #58 on: December 04, 2010, 05:56:00 pm »

I don't think that is possible.

And you are right, we can not say that it has not caused or helped issues thou out time. But at the same time, a blanket condemnation of it based on ignoring the many complicated factors in many issues is not something I will stand by for.

As in: Can you really say that all the issues of northern Ireland are caused by religion? For instance, I believe you are talking about the 1960-sometime who know it is suppose to have ended 2006 but not really troubles? Because I can say, that seems less religion and more political to me.
I am not suggesting a blanket condemnation of religion, or suggesting that it is solely the cause of conflicts by any means. NI is clearly a complicated mess of pride, politics, poverty, and religious bigotry. I knew for quite a while that the one factor that was likely to reduce the violence was reducing povety, and indeed that was what happened. But saying that, there are many other areas in the UK that has similar levels of poverty, and they didn't have the 'troubles.' I'm just saying that history has shown that religion can be a cause of 'good' or 'evil' or war or peace. Europe has had plenty of violence stoked up by religious beliefs. Bristol, where I live burnt three people alive * for religous dissention, in late medievil times. One of these people was just pointing out how intolerant some of the clergy has become. And of course there is a big difference between religion and personal faith.

* Some jokers even put green wood on the fire to make the suffering more pronounced.
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Rilder

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Re: Atheism Redux
« Reply #59 on: December 04, 2010, 06:00:10 pm »

The universe itself could be an insignificant speck in a sea of multiverses. Fringe theories gogogo.

Which would be an insignificant speck in a sea of SUPERMULTIVERSES.
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