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Thread: Atheists

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    Fuck, that was a shitty adjective but I'm busy right now.
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  2. #42
    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    Sorry, I didn't mean to sound condescending, but I recognise that I did.

    If you're saying that the philosophically relevant difference between god and pink unicorns is physical-being-ness, in response to the point that there's no evidence for either and therefore both are as likely as each other (to put it all simply), you're saying that, because god isn't a physical being, it doesn't require evidence to be a convincing proposition.

    I'm not saying it "doesn't fit into your belief structure", I just meant to say that while I find your beliefs and arguments interesting and compelling, I don't think this is a sound objection. Unless there's some reason that physical-being-ness is a philosophically relevant difference that I have just missed and can't see, which is also entirely possible. But then you'll have to explain that.
    Because the comparisons being made aren't equal. The objects being compared (in this case, God and an invisible, coloured unicorn or a theoretical teapot) aren't equivalent to one another. If God was a physical being with a presence that could be measured empirically, then it is an apt comparison. I'm not saying "because God isn't a physical being, no evidence is required". I'm saying "the invisible unicorn and the teapot are false analogies because you're comparing apples to oranges". That has no bearing on the actual debate itself, whether or not God exists and why, but is instead critical of an argument against the proof of God's existence.

    The whole argument for the unicorn/teapot is, as you stated, that there's no evidence for either existing, therefore we can substitute in God for the unicorn/teapot and say "well, there's no evidence here either, I guess he doesn't exist." My issue is that there are no commonalities between unicorns/teapots except for the fact that we have no evidence of their existent. The requirements for one or another to exist are very, very different from each other, and, should they exist, they would do so in inherently different ways. The point that God does not require a physical presence to exist and the fact that teapots/unicorns can only exist as a physical presence is an extreme difference between the two when you're questioning whether or not one does or does not exist. Assuming an equal likelihood of all probabilities:

    1) All of the above exist.
    1a) God exists physically, teapots/unicorns exist physically
    1b) God exists abstractly (in the sense that God does not have a physical body, but still exists nevertheless), teapots/unicorns exist physically (incapable of existing abstractly)

    2) One exists, the other does not
    2a) God exists physically, the teapot/unicorn does not exist
    2b) God exists abstractly, the teapot/unicorn does not exist
    2c) God does not exist, teapot/unicorn exists

    3) Neither exists

    The argument is saying that because there is equal proof of both existing (which is kind of a false lead in and of itself, considering the breadth of human knowledge is fallible in terms of what it has not encountered or accurately determined, and the truth of what's accurately determined is not always proven), then neither exist. It is just as likely that one or the other exists, but not both. But all of this hinges on bother things being compared having commonalities between each other in the context of the comparison.

    I'm saying there are fundamentally different requirements for one to exist than the other, so using the possibility of one's existence to confirm/deny the existence of the other is flawed for precisely that reason. While the lack of physical existence can be effectively linked and ruled out, the abstract, or spiritual, existence of God cannot be equated the same way and so cannot be ruled out the same way.


    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir
    THAT is why I have so little patience for people who say "you can't disprove god any more than you can prove it, so both positions are illogical".
    I think I've said this to you before: I don't really understand the need for some people to make an absolute statement on the existence of God. Making such a statement requires that we truly understand what God is, and it is far more probable that such a being is beyond our collective comprehension at the moment. So the question is: What piece of evidence would exist as proof of God's existence? How do we know that it would be proof?

    Assuming that we can currently understand God strikes me as hubris, personally.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    yeah obviously we'd all suck our alternate universe dicks there was never any question about that
    Quote Originally Posted by Atmosfear
    I don't know if Obama did anything to make that happen, but I do know that he didn't do anything to stop me from blaming him.

  3. #43
    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    I think I've said this to you before: I don't really understand the need for some people to make an absolute statement on the existence of God. Making such a statement requires that we truly understand what God is, and it is far more probable that such a being is beyond our collective comprehension at the moment. So the question is: What piece of evidence would exist as proof of God's existence? How do we know that it would be proof?

    Assuming that we can currently understand God strikes me as hubris, personally.
    I'm not sure what would suffice as proof; perhaps the whole universe would have to pass some kind of Turing test to prove that there IS a higher agency. As for evidence, some well-documented examples of supernormal phenomena would be a good start. If you believe in God-the-abstract-being, presumably you believe It has some effect on our physical world, no? That's why physical evidence is needed. It's pointless to argue about an abstract god that has NO effect (and never has) on our physical world, but nobody really seems to think that. If the God you're talking about has no physical properties, It still has to physically manifest itself (even if only in the creation of the universe) to be worthy of any debate.

    I'm still not understanding the objection. "There's no evidence for God or gods, and there's no evidence for unicorns, therefore each is as likely as the other" is my argument. You're saying the comparison is false. Then what, if not evidence, makes God more likely than unicorns? Or, if something satisfies the criterion of evidence to you, what is it?

    It strikes me as hubris to say that God is all powerful and all knowing, and then presume to know His desires. I'm not saying that's you -- it's more of a religious thing. I'm just saying.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    I am open to the possibility that life as we know it is a computer simulation by an advanced race. Thus, to us, these beings would be considered gods.

    I know how retarded that sounds to the average person, but we are quickly advancing to that position ourselves (think if the Sims had true AI). That's why I believe that a god/gods may possibly exist. I don't believe in the possibility that some magical man lives in the sky and sent down Jesus to party with us. I believe that there is a distinct possibility that advanced beings created a simulation program and we were inadvertently or perhaps purposely born from that. There. Now you can make fun of me all you want.
    There's an idea called "quantum computing"; that if there were a computer capable of infinite processing power, you could basically program and create an entire universe by inputting intitial conditions and laws of physics.

    Well, I'm not going to make fun of you, I'm just saying what I said earlier. Yes, it's possible. There's just no reason to actually believe it.

    Just by the by -- I don't find the "there's no evidence" argument as compelling as the "if God existed he'd be a dick" argument. So I'm more open to the idea of unicorns than I am to God -- the idea of an omnipotent AND benevolent being is just incompatible with this world.

  5. #45
    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    I'm not sure what would suffice as proof; perhaps the whole universe would have to pass some kind of Turing test to prove that there IS a higher agency. As for evidence, some well-documented examples of supernormal phenomena would be a good start. If you believe in God-the-abstract-being, presumably you believe It has some effect on our physical world, no? That's why physical evidence is needed. It's pointless to argue about an abstract god that has NO effect (and never has) on our physical world, but nobody really seems to think that. If the God you're talking about has no physical properties, It still has to physically manifest itself (even if only in the creation of the universe) to be worthy of any debate.
    Even with supernatural phenomena, how would you link said occurences irrefutably to God and not to statistics or impossible odds that actually happened? This is what I mean about physical evidence - a prerequisite to being capable of linking said events (or whatever) to God in order to prove God exists first requires a comprehensive understand of how God operates and/or what God is. We lack that kind of knowledge. We have hazy old history books with who knows how many editors, in which case the word of God must be considered compromised, because there is no way of telling truth from fiction aside from intuition and/or reason.

    So it's not exactly impossible for a God-in-the-abstract to operate in the world without us being able to recognize it for what it is. Simply because that's a possibility, it further muddles whatever truth or fact we look for to link and therefore prove God's existence.

    I feel I should stop here and point out that I am a fence-sitter of the highest magnitude and in no way endorse the existence or non-existence of God.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir
    I'm still not understanding the objection. "There's no evidence for God or gods, and there's no evidence for unicorns, therefore each is as likely as the other" is my argument. You're saying the comparison is false. Then what, if not evidence, makes God more likely than unicorns? Or, if something satisfies the criterion of evidence to you, what is it?
    First, I should point out that the existence of beings is not based on whether or not we have evidence of their existence. Let's look at, say, goblin sharks in the 1600's. They had no evidence of goblin sharks existing (well, we have no evidence that they had evidence, but this is tangental), but the sharks did then as they do now. A similar parallel can be drawn between Northern European tribes in the 800's and the people who lived in Indonesia. Neither had knowledge or proof of the existence of the other, yet both still existed. Our lack of evidence has nothing to do with whether or not something exists, only whether or not we've documented it. We have not catalogued the world, yet, nor have we catalogued the universe. We are operating with incomplete information and extrapolating possibilities based on what we have, but, without another set of knowledge to compare mankind's collective knowledge with, we have no way of really knowing how much we know, which directly influences the accuracy of the projections made on our data.

    Think of cavemen trying to figure out how a watch works.

    That aside, there are, in my argument, 3 states of existence for God. First as a physical being only, second as an incorporeal being capable of expressing Itself physically and third as an entirely incorporeal being. The unicorn can only exist in one of these states; it can only exist physically. If God were only a physical being, and perhaps we just haven't found Him yet, then, yes, there is equal probability for the existence of the unicorn and God. Otherwise, there isn't equal probability between the unicorn and God because it is equally likely that God exists incorporeally (either purely or with occasionaly physical manifestations), in which case there are more scenarios where God exists than there are scenarios where the unicorn exists.

    I have no criterion of evidence because I have no idea where to look or what to look for. Pride in my own ignorance, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir
    It strikes me as hubris to say that God is all powerful and all knowing, and then presume to know His desires. I'm not saying that's you -- it's more of a religious thing. I'm just saying.
    It probably strikes you as that because it is that. There is a relative basis of truth to it, however, operating on the assumption that if God created us, he wouldn't wish us destruction (an all-powerful, all-knowing God would have ended us already if that had been the case). So we can assume he's either absent (absent and watching or absent completely) or actively working for us, and determining how the last one works, even on a simpler level of, say, raising a child, is completely beyond human comprehension at this time.
    Last edited by coqauvin; 01-18-2011 at 02:38 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    yeah obviously we'd all suck our alternate universe dicks there was never any question about that
    Quote Originally Posted by Atmosfear
    I don't know if Obama did anything to make that happen, but I do know that he didn't do anything to stop me from blaming him.

  6. #46
    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    Coq, you're COMPLETELY missing the point here with the "invisible unicorns." I mean you're so incredibly far off base here I just don't have the energy to explain it to you, at least not right now...


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    Atheists are quite right

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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    Coq, you're COMPLETELY missing the point here with the "invisible unicorns." I mean you're so incredibly far off base here I just don't have the energy to explain it to you, at least not right now...
    you're going to have to explain it to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    yeah obviously we'd all suck our alternate universe dicks there was never any question about that
    Quote Originally Posted by Atmosfear
    I don't know if Obama did anything to make that happen, but I do know that he didn't do anything to stop me from blaming him.

  8. #48
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    ceci n'est pas une signature

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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    simonj can be a real dick sometimes.
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    I CAN'T LABI-STRETCH SIMONJ

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    She makes an excellent point.
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    Also, I think you have to click the link because of a family filter which, upon watching the video, you will realise is ridiculous.
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    Lol.


    (NSFW: She says the word "atheist.")



    And the answer to her question is me. I did it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    Lol.


    (NSFW: She says the word "atheist.")



    And the answer to her question is me. I did it.
    I'd be willing to believe you were it not for the song of songs
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    of course it's acknowledged by the Catholic Church, since it's true
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    Is finding love in boy and girl

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    Is that the lord of the dance tune?
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    simonj can be a real dick sometimes.
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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    it's what link plays on the ocarina of time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Think View Post
    I'd be willing to believe you were it not for the song of songs
    Uh... you know "Nigra sum sed formosa?"


    That was totes about me.




    (Yes yes I know what it actually means, don't go all pedantic on me.)
    Last edited by sycld; 03-09-2011 at 08:11 PM.


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    There seems to be no mention of the igtheistic/nostic approach which is: before arguing god's existence, define god. If one cannot define god without reaching towards illogical doctrine, anything that is purely philosophical or ideas that are not completely coherent then what is one arguing?

    God, by current use, appears that it may be a meaningless term, which is what sends arguments into spirals of disrepair from the beginning. By igtheistic belief there is nothing to argue. It's like a debate without the moot.

    Atheism can be seen to acknowledge that there is a definition of god (regardless of whether one does not believe that this defined god exists). That's where it goes wrong.

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    i think it's a leap to suggest that atheism necessarily acknowledges anything

    i don't see why the idea that "there is no definition of god that is internally coherent" conflicts with believing there is no god

    edit: besides, i am not even convinced that the idea of god as an omnipotent and omniscient sentient creator existing outside of time and space is internally incoherent -- certainly it conflicts with any scientific understanding and fails to stand up to philosophical scrutiny whenever theodicy is concerned, but the idea is that this being exists out of physical boundaries, and so doesn't need to line up with a scientific understanding of the universe, and the doctrine is that god is simultaneously "all knowing" and "unknowable", and therefore able to reconcile how bad things can happen with being omnipotent and benevolent by way of some knowledge humans are unable to obtain (presumably macro, big picture, grand scale understanding of some kind of universal balance).

    long fucking sentence

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    Blake, you know I'm an atheist, right?
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    Actually no. I didn't. But then again, Atheism in Utah is probably the greatest mode of self defense against Mormons, so I can't say I'm surprised.
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    He came to the states for his birthday and now he's going home in a body bag. That's what you get for sending your child to Utah.
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    i would have whipped out my dick in that situation
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    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    I havent yet taken the time to read this thread, but I'll add some of my thoughts.

    Basically my atheism comes down to this: the more I learn about the universe, the earth, the origins of life, and the nature of human psychology, the more profoundly wrong and narrow minded the bible seems. The bible is a collection of two thousand year old superstitions, rules, and moral fables. It's an interesting book, a glimpse into human beings in a much more barbaric time. It's certainly interesting. But the more I learn, the more wrong it is about the origin of earth and the birth of the universe. For example, it exhibits such a profound misunderstanding of what the earth and the sun are. The earth is just a planet, the sun just a star. The earth is 4.3 billion years old and was certainly not created for the dawn of human civilization. Evolution is real.

    And when you look at all of these glaring factual inaccuracies, I am forced to ask: how is this the word of god? It seems far more likely that it was a snapshot of human opinion about life, what it meant, how it formed, and how it is meant to be lived. That is why I reject organized religion. It all stems from a rigid proclamation of what it all is and what it all means, when a human beings interaction with the universe is far more open and free flowing. I am comfortable with the knowledge that there is a great deal I do not understand about the universe, and I'm fine with that. I know that in many situations I will be faced with moral ambiguity, and I'm fine with that too. I trust my own morality above what somebody else imposes on me.

    That is simply why I reject organized religion. That part is easy. My actual feelings about god are much harder to define. Personally, I find the existence of a god unfathomable. It made a lot more sense when we did not know what was out there in the sky, when we thought of the heavens as separate from the earth. Now, we understand the sheer scale of the universe as well as our place in it, and it makes a conscious, all knowing and all powerful creator exceedingly unlikely. I cannot rule out the existence of a god entirely, but I'm 99.9999% sure. I'm still leaving a sliver, but its a damn small sliver.

    That about sums it up.

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    I don't believe in a god because I don't think any supernatural power HAD to create everything as we know it. In an area with infinite possibilities, than an infinite number of scenarios can exist. I know the universe is not infinite, but when you gather all the atoms, electrons, neutrons, protons, organisms, people, plants, stars, space stuff, it sure as fuck seems infinite.

    If you want to call God the thing that initiated the Big Bang(if that is how it all happened), then I can jump on board with that. In that case, God was the energy that created everything, but nothing more.

    Also, if God does not exist, than Man wrote the bible(which I'm pretty sure every christian sect says "It's the word of God, written by man")
    lik dis if u cry evertim
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    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    Plus even if god does exist and is all powerful (unlikely) it is still accepted that man wrote the bible and it is littered with personal bias and outdated opinion, and cannot be treated in its entirety as the word of god. And when you enter the realm of asking what is wrong and what is right within the bible, you get to the question of whether any of it should be believed at all.

    The existence of god will never be proven or disproven, and atheists make the mistake of starting from that point when the real question is whether the religious doctrines have any merit, and whether people should follow them. I do not reject god completely, but what I do reject completely are the existence of the Christian god, as well as the existence of Satan, heaven, and hell.

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    Even as an atheist, I still believe most religious doctrines should be followed. Not the "Keep X day holy, and don't do shit" but the whole "Be nice to people, don't be a dick" thing
    lik dis if u cry evertim
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    Oh I was expecting a guide to making meth

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    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    What does being nice to people and not being a dick have to do with religion? Why can't that just be a human ideal?

  26. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vengeful Scars View Post
    Even as an atheist, I still believe most religious doctrines should be followed. Not the "Keep X day holy, and don't do shit" but the whole "Be nice to people, don't be a dick" thing
    I'm pretty sure in Judaic-based religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc.) most doctrines are not how you should interact with others, but how you should not eat pigs, and how you should stone your wives if they're unfaithful.

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    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.- Christian

    Do unto others before they do unto you- Satanic

    Don't be a Dick- Scarsic
    lik dis if u cry evertim
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    yes
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    Oh I was expecting a guide to making meth

  28. #68
    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vengeful Scars View Post
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.- Christian

    Do unto others before they do unto you- Satanic

    Don't be a Dick- Scarsic
    That sounds like a singular Christian doctrine, not "most religious doctrines." The golden rule is a very good way to interact with people, but it has nothing to do with religion. And that is one doctrine. I'd venture to guess that the ratio of doctrines that should be followed to doctrines that shouldn't is not very high.

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    Sexual Deviant Vengeful Scars's Avatar
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    I'd venture to say most religions tell their followers to be nice to one another.
    lik dis if u cry evertim
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    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    I would disagree strongly with that statement.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    the fact is, a lot of religious rules are about making the world better and not murdering each other or stealing their shit. a lot of the rules that make up all religions is good stuff. and sometimes, like circumcising baby boys or the rules of kashrut (kosher), they exist for good reason and get people to have healthier lives and not die because they got sand in their dick or had the black plague pork pie. religions were not made up by the upper classes to keep control of the lower classes; they started as earnest attempts to understand the world and try to make it a better place for everyone in it. but, perhaps more importantly, none of those guidelines require faith in or the existence of god to make them good guidelines, and very little of the good stuff in any religious text actually is specific to or originated in it (the "golden rule" predates christianity considerably, for instance).

    GOOD doctrines that come out of religion should be celebrated and learnt from, even as the developed world marches in a roughly secular direction. when we're examining these things philosophically, if we earnestly want to improve our lot in the world and the lot of millions of disadvantaged people, we must examine it from the point of view that religion is there to serve mankind; not the other way around.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vengeful Scars View Post
    I'd venture to say most religions tell their followers to be nice to one another.
    Quote Originally Posted by yrogerg123 View Post
    I would disagree strongly with that statement.
    it's absolutely true. he said "most religions tell their followers to be nice to one another", which they do; he DIDN'T say "mostly, religions tell their followers to be nice to one another".

    pretty much all of them (certainly all the religions i'm aware of) want you to love your fellow men. the problem is that they go on to say "unless they are from another tribe/have clitorises/like sex with other men/wear the wrong clothes/look funny" and so on.

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    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    I guess I should probably address these comments. Look, I'm not a hardliner. I don't think religion is pure evil or anything. I just think you guys are pretty optimistic about what religion offers, what its purpose is, and particularly how it is used. Some people will take what they learn in church and genuinely apply it to their life and become a better person for it. But others will take phrases from the bible and use them as weapons.

    "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." That's a real phrase from the bible. That's not "love and kindness and goodwill towards man." That's saying that homosexuals are an abomination and should be put to death. The bible is littered with these offhand remarks about who is good, who is evil, and what we should do about the ones we don't approve of. And the majority of time, the answer is "kill them."

    I'm not disputing that some churches preach mostly the good stuff, but others preach the bad stuff too, and there is a reason that something like gay marriage is not accepted in the majority of states in the US. That reason is the bible. That reason is the power and pervasiveness of christianity in our society. I simply will not accept that religion is only used for good, because it is so far from the truth. Quite often it is used for evil.

    The inherent problem is that there are many, many things written in the thousand plus pages that make up the bible, and most of them are open to interpretation. There are many horrible things said in the bible, and to the extent that they are believed and followed, that can be an extremely negative thing for everybody. The homosexuality example is one of many.

    "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death." Is there any relevance to that statement in modern society? Is that really a worthy punishment to the crime?

    If all you take from religion is the golden rule, that's fine. But don't tell me that is all that there is to the bible. There is so much more to it than that.

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    Sexual Deviant Vengeful Scars's Avatar
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    I didn't say anything about the bible, or any doctrine, being 100% good things. Yea, in the eyes of most religions if you're a homosexual, beastiophile, or something that does not lend to procreation, they say "kill the mother fucker".

    But I still will not say that most religions tell you not to be cool with everyone.

    As an atheist, who honestly does not give a fuck in the normal world, I think religion does real well for some people, I also think it's pretty fucking terrible for others(fundamentalist anything).
    lik dis if u cry evertim
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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrogerg123 View Post
    I'm not disputing that some churches preach mostly the good stuff, but others preach the bad stuff too, and there is a reason that something like gay marriage is not accepted in the majority of states in the US. That reason is the bible. That reason is the power and pervasiveness of christianity in our society. I simply will not accept that religion is only used for good, because it is so far from the truth. Quite often it is used for evil....

    If all you take from religion is the golden rule, that's fine. But don't tell me that is all that there is to the bible. There is so much more to it than that.
    and yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vengeful Scars View Post
    I'd venture to say most religions tell their followers to be nice to one another.
    Quote Originally Posted by yrogerg123 View Post
    I would disagree strongly with that statement.
    it seems like nobody is reading anyone else's posts -- or at least not reading them carefully. this is getting a bit repetitive.

    everyone in this thread is already on board with you that the bible, indeed pretty much all religions, teach ignorant and hateful doctrines. but you disagreed with the statement that "most religions tell their followers to be nice to one another". they all do, i guarantee it. except that

    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    the problem is that they go on to say "unless they are from another tribe/have clitorises/like sex with other men/wear the wrong clothes/look funny" and so on.
    it's not about what "most" of their doctrines say, or measuring the good against the bad and seeing how religion fares once all their preachings are put on the scales. if we are going to progress, we have to reconceptualise religion from something to which humanity should be subservient to something that exists to make the world a better place. then we learn from the good aspects as much as we learn from (and try to salve) the bad.

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    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    I agree with you completely. To be honest I had the points I wanted to argue and disregarded how much or little people were disagreeing with me.

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    ))) joke, relax ;) coqauvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    and yet...





    it seems like nobody is reading anyone else's posts -- or at least not reading them carefully. this is getting a bit repetitive.

    everyone in this thread is already on board with you that the bible, indeed pretty much all religions, teach ignorant and hateful doctrines. but you disagreed with the statement that "most religions tell their followers to be nice to one another". they all do, i guarantee it. except that



    it's not about what "most" of their doctrines say, or measuring the good against the bad and seeing how religion fares once all their preachings are put on the scales. if we are going to progress, we have to reconceptualise religion from something to which humanity should be subservient to something that exists to make the world a better place. then we learn from the good aspects as much as we learn from (and try to salve) the bad.
    hey, what if subservience is the way?

    it briefly worked for Islam.
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    =========== KT.'s Avatar
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    Yeah religion has some positive impacts on it's followers but just children outgrow the notion that Santa knows when you've been good or bad, we as a society needs to outgrow religion, and honestly I think we're over due.

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    feel like funkin' it up gwahir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KT. View Post
    Yeah religion has some positive impacts on it's followers but just children outgrow the notion that Santa knows when you've been good or bad, we as a society needs to outgrow religion, and honestly I think we're over due.
    i don't completely disagree with you, personally, but i think that's a naive sentiment. rather, i think we as a people (believers and non-) need to grow up and religion needs to grow up with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by coqauvin View Post
    hey, what if subservience is the way?

    it briefly worked for Islam.
    before i let loose my opinions on this, just let me know if you're joking, and if you're not, expand so i definitely know what you're talking about.

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    LooshiusLeftfoot yrogerg123's Avatar
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    How does religion "grow up?" As far as I can tell, religions are pretty intrinsically tied to their holy books, which are considered the infallible word of god. It just doesn't seem like there's much wiggle room there. I'm inclined to agree with KT that we as a species need to outgrow religion. Everything that religion provides: community, oneness, a sense of being, a sense of understanding of one's place in the universe, and especially morality, all of that can be provided elsewhere. Maybe we should do a better job of teaching science to kids in an interesting way so that they truly understand where we come from in a cosmic sense and where here is on a more galactic and universal scale. Then we wouldn't grow up with so much mystery about our origins and our place in the world and the cosmos. There will always be mystery, because scientific knowledge will always be imperfect, but in my honest opinion it is much healthier to accept an imperfect knowledge of what everything is than to claim complete knowledge in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    Also, it is a huge misconception that religion holds a monopoly on morality. Some of the best people I know are atheists, some of the worst are deeply religious. I see little correlation. Morality is being taught what's right and what's wrong. If people choose to be horrible to each other with the full knowledge that every life has equal value and that everybody deserves to be treated with respect because we're all in this together...then...I guess that's what jails are for. People are as good as their parents and society raise them to be, with or without religion.

    Not that religion is always a bad influence. MLK was deeply religious, as was Ghandhi, the Buddha, many people over the years. But true morality transcends religion. It is the recognition and willingness to do what's right even when it conflicts with accepted doctrine and societal norms. That, in my opinion is true morality.

    Maybe I'm not cynical enough about people in general. Maybe the average person does need to be told that if they're bad they'll go to hell, or else they'll be bad. But I think that's expecting very little out of people, and taking the very old testament view that free will will always lead people astray. It is my humble opinion that the knowledge of who we are and why we're here will actually lead people to make better decisions than the "knowledge" that we are all God's children, that we were created in his image, and as long as we act in the name of God we can do no wrong on this earth. The level of evil and unenlightenment that such a philosophy has caused in this country and this earth is profound. It is why we destroy the environment, why we refuse to admit that climate change is possible, why commit war in the name of Christianity.

    To sum up, I think religion holds us back. It's too deeply devoted to an outdated book that too many believe is the word of God. As long as religion is based on the bible, it will only ever hold us back. If we want to take the valuable things from the bible and leave the rest, that's fine. But ultimately, we should be teaching the morals that we think are right, regardless of where they come from. Many will come from the bible, many won't. But as long as the bible as a whole is cited, as long as there still exist passages like the ones I quoted earlier, religion will only hold us back.

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