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Featured Why Anti-Religious and Anti-Theistic Thinking Miss the Mark

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Debater Slayer, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Here is the problem: Even though my values align much more with the progressives, my view on how the bible is supposed to be interpreted aligns much more with the fundamentalists.

    I can't get myself to support a reform within a religion when it is driven by the inconvenience of interpreting passages in a given way that doesn't suit progressive values. I value truth way too much to do that.
     
    #21 Koldo, Jun 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  2. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    Can you exemplify what you mean by 'misinformed and often prejudiced political opinions'?

    I have come across this claim before but not with actual examples.
     
  3. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Which he stole from Charlie Chaplin
     
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  4. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Silent Generation - so don't expect much
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    I tend to agree with the OP, and although I might agree with much said by the 'New Atheists' (having read most of them), mostly it is only how religions affect others as to why I might see them as being in any way negative. I don't care as to what they believe or how they behave, as long as such doesn't impact negatively towards others, which unfortunately so often is the case. And being set in stone (as to historical texts) how exactly is this going to change - anytime soon? :oops:
     
    #24 Mock Turtle, Jun 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
  5. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. My grandad, a Roman Catholic and very much a man of his time (1894 - 1970), was convinced he’d meet the atheist George Bernard Shaw, and the Hindu Mahatma Ghandi, in heaven.

    I like to think of the three of them up there, drinking tea and arguing about Socialism.
     
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  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I do not know much about your grandad but wonder if Bernard Shaw will be able to tolerate Gandhi?
     
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  7. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Do you have any research to show that the world could do better without those books, and that they have been nothing but detrimental to this world?

    Is there any study properly done you could cite?
     
  8. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Most important question is where you have been.
     
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  9. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    I'm a theist, but this is a less than helpful post, dude.
     
  10. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    It's just as wrong for an atheist to blame man's desire for conquest on religion as it is for the theist to blame or rationalize his desire for conquest on his religion. Both are blaming religion for something that is innate to man, not to religion.
     
  11. Rival

    Rival Inodj har-ek Horu
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    I'm not sure you grasped the OP.
     
  12. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure all three would try each other's patience at times.
     
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  13. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Now, that is a loaded question. :D
     
  14. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    Probably there would be much more of them if they had not been eliminated in the past. In the same way the SA have been eliminated by the SS, since they also disagreed.

    The question is: would the world be better without religions? I think it would. But only when they get extinct without any external forcing, like from a communist party or whatever. A bit like the extinctions it is experiencing in North Europe.

    For starters, the world would not be so prone to believe in childish superstitions without a shred of evidence, whose benignity is just a question of luck. Exactly like tumors. The world would also be better without tumors, even if most of them are benign.

    And never forget this: Christianity, and the rest, is still out there ready to decide for you what you believe and what you do with your body, if you are a female. They have proven that in the past (read the Criminal History of Christianity by KH Deschner ), and they are quiet now just because they have been disciplined by enlightenment. Sure, they help their poor people, like Hamas, but they will not delay one second to oppress you if conditions change, like secularism giving up. or showing a shred of totally underserved respect for childish beliefs, like you do in this OP.

    Don't you think? Don't you think that irrational beliefs, or beliefs operating outside evidence and reason, are dangerous in principle? And benign only if we are lucky? And that their extinction would be something to wish for?

    Unless you believe that we cannot do good things without believing in stuff that has the same evidence of Mother Goose, or because we think we are making the will of a celestial policeman. But in that case, we would really be a sorry lot. Whose destiny would then be voellig egal to me.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
    #34 viole, Jun 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  15. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Haha. True. Logically fallacious.
     
  16. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    What you showed actually does imply that Hitler was ahead of his time in certain ways. Also, in other ways he was pretty backward. People are multifaceted. Everybody, even the worst individual, has qualities that are admirable. It is just that they end up doing something or think up ideas that are so horrendous that they define who he/she is. Humans also have a weird sense of judging people. Because Hitler existed in the last century, people are emotionally attached to what he did that nobody can outwardly say that they admire him at all. But historians speak admiringly of certain things that Alexander and Ghengis Khan did yet they were bloodthirsty warmongers. People today love movie villains such as Joker, Lex Luther and others even though they are considered pure evil. Wait a millennium and Hitler will be admired for the traits that you mentioned.

    Same thing with religion. Some religions commit atrocities that define what they are in a negative light. But they also have good in them. Religions also evolve to suit the periodic context so certain parts of them are emphasised based on what their followers need at the time.

    So the reality is, ignoring emotional triggers, that everything has positive and negative traits so we cannot say that something or someone is absolutely negative and say we are being realistic. So yes, Islam, Christianity and their holy books have aspects that are beneficial and aspects that are harmful. They are products of the human mind so they will convey the same viewpoints of humans, some bad, some good.
     
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  17. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
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    You opened the door when you mentioned Hitchens :)

    Hitchens had a wonderful question for this situation: Name me a charitable act that a religious person can perform that an atheist cannot?

    The point is that religions have tried to call things like charity their own, when in fact being charitable is completely independent of religion.
     
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  18. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I entirely accept that religious belief brings people together to do some good in the world. Possibly even more good than whatever bad has been seen to be related to it. That's fine. What I don't like, at all, is the fact that it is done under what may as well be false pretenses. Done for motivating factors that one cannot even verify exist. This is, to be quite frank, disgusting. It makes the entire affair completely disingenuous. Are the people doing it because they are good people? Or are they doing it because they are compelled to do so through what they believe are "the edicts of the universe?" Why can't people just be people? Why can't we instead focus on individuals and ignore these foolish and misguided labels? And that is where I have moved to - the religion of a person means just about nothing to me - save for perhaps a sense that the person before me is willing to believe things with little to no evidence. That's about the only thing I take from someone claiming they are part of a particular religion. It is useless information otherwise, in my eyes. In my estimation, it means nothing else definitively.

    I don't consider them "wholly good" nor "wholly bad" - I consider them a waste of time, energy and brain-power. Religions are what they are - prescriptions for behavior or thought based on "the ether."

    This is a non-issue - a completely moot point. The same could have been said about anything in the past that we finally did away with because we moved on and realized it wasn't the best way to run things. As in "I don't see slavery going anywhere anytime soon." You may say something like that with a spirit toward "so we need to work together with these people we disagree with while it is still around..." and be careful not to stumble into the camp of "so we must simply put up with it for the long haul, even though we don't agree with it..." Seriously - if I don't agree with religion, its conclusion, its usage, it being taught to the up and coming generations - if I am opposed to those things, why is this such a problem? Are there not people opposed to atheism, and raising kids without God, and teaching science over The Bible? You fight for what you believe is right. End of story. That others don't agree with me about "what is right" is what? Supposed to matter to me? Think again. On this score - within which the rectitude of "religion" simply cannot be established to any degree of satisfaction, there is no way I am going to simply succumb to the will of the masses. Screw that. Heartily.

    I fully expect a long, slow process. Many other things have worked their way through it. In the end, I honestly feel that logically blasting to pieces the loudest of the religious viewpoints, downplaying the edicts for which attempts are made to rope everyone under, and even shaming people who make the most egregious of fallacious arguments and points are the way to go. Get more people to bear witness to the foolishness of it all. And hey - it is completely fine if you don't agree with me. And even fine if you want to try and get in my way. just don't be offended when your attempts fail and I continue on my merry way. We're allowed to disagree. It is entirely possible, entirely plausible, and it doesn't mean that I'm right and you're wrong - it means I am working toward what I feel is right, and you the same. We'll see what adapts and rises to the top eventually. I'll bet on my side, you bet on yours.

    This is very quaint. I can admire the sentiment here, but not much else.

    I have never been religious - nor have I ever been "hurt" by a religion myself. I didn't start as one thing and change to another - I mean - that very process is a ridiculous thing to contemplate, honestly, and itself points to the fact that none of it is of any matter. It's like changing clothes - and anyone who claims that "the clothes make the man" is out of their mind in my opinion. It simply stands that I cringe when I see any sort of adherence-to and propagation-of ideas for which the supporting base is completely uncompelling in nature. I don't like it. It gives me really, really bad vibes, and I won't abide by it. I just won't. Feelings be damned - I won't.

    What did you "used to be?" Funny notion this.

    I don't consider myself a "new atheist." I believe such contrived monikers to be trite and completely unnecessary. I am what I am - and I am in no way ashamed.
     
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  19. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Why would I support religion? I have no interest in it for myself, and consider it a net negative in the world. My only interest in it is in the way it bleeds unfavorably into the lives of those who don't welcome it. Right now, the US is looking at the very realistic possibility that theocratic interests there will criminalize abortion because the Christians think Jesus objects, and there are enough of them and they are organized and financed well enough that they just might be able to inflict their will on everybody.

    Why would I do anything to promote such a religion? Why wouldn't any secularist do everything in his power to disempower that religion, to relegate it to the status of other religions in that country, who are compelled by their weakness to limit their influence to volunteers that want it, powerless to force others to comply. When the day comes that the answer to what does Jesus think about abortion or same sex marriage or LGBT rights is the same as the answer to what does Brigit the Druid goddess think about these things, or Odin - how would I know and why would I care? - then there will be no reason to think about religion again.

    And what are the progressive ideals that religion in the West is actively promoting? Right now, democracy, a very progressive ideal, is in jeopardy. Where are these progressive churches speaking out against antidemocratic forces? Where is the church regarding tolerance of LGBTQ? Where is its voice in the effort to curb gun violence? Where is the church in this pandemic? I don't hear it promoting progressive values like getting oneself vaccinated.

    I saw plenty of acts of charity this past year on the television, but not from churches. It was mostly individuals like restauranteurs. And then, of course, the new government. That's who is actually taking care of people, putting food on their tables, providing vaccine at no charge, and protecting them from eviction.

    The church talks the talk to try to give an impression that it promotes values that its actions don't support, but in the end, it's just a business. Imagine all the good that could be done with the money people give to their churches instead of to bona fide charities that would use the money to make lives better rather than building more churches and paying more clergy. From that perspective, churches are an impediment to charitable giving, if giving to them means giving less to your local domestic abuse shelter or the free spay and neuter clinic.

    By the way, don't bother to ask to see the books. It's a secret just how generous they are.

    How about just calling them a net negative?

    I promote progressive ideals as do most secular humanists, but I don't see much of that from the churches. You seem to assume that the churches do good and important work in this area that more than compensates for its homophobia, atheophobia, antiscientism, antiintellectualism, and misogyny.

    I don't see it. Likewise with the claims of charity. Show us the books.

    And don't get me started about the evangelicals. A church that cranks those sorts of people out by the tens of thousands is simply unwelcome in my world.

    So when you say don't focus on just the negative of religion, but rather, consider it in the light of all of the good, progressive and humanistic work the church does, I have to ask you why the former is so glaringly apparent, but the latter is harder to find than Waldo.

    "The fact that [the Catholic church] can do good is a testament to the fact that there are good people who will do good, but the organization is corrupt. It is poisoned to its core and it serves no essential good purpose, no true purpose, it is lie after lie, promoting harm to real people....the Catholic Church is not a force for good."- Matt Dillahunty.

    There is nothing of value that religion as we experience it in the West does that isn't done as well or better without it, so where's its value to society? Yes, I understand that if one is raised on it, he becomes dependent on it, and absence from it creates a dysphoria of sorts that getting back to church or the Bible treats, but I don't see creating a need and then fulfilling it a contribution

    "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. For good people to do evil things, it takes religion." - Nobelist Steven Weinberg

    I think we'd get whatever little good churches do for the trillions they take in if they just disappeared and the good people formerly in churches did their charitable thing without them.

    So maybe you have some information to disabuse me of these opinions and help me see that churches really are forces of progressivism and perhaps charity if they are, and that it is in society's (and therefore also in my) best interest to promote and support them.
     
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  20. Jaiket

    Jaiket Well-Known Member
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    Ha. He could be quite funny for an obvious troll. I heard he's making a comeback as an ex-gay.
     
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