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I still feel like this is a weak point. Religion is a huge cause of suffering in the world, but so is a bunch of non-religious happenings. Mongol conquests, the Holocaust, the World Wars, too many dictators to count... Even the crusades were more a result of a cultural clash than what the Holy Books said.

Even if religion had only one negative aspect, the fact that we can have all the positives without religion means that we don't have to tolerate the bad aspects because it has good ones. Eradicating religion we can have the good without the bad.

 

Let's look at the current Anti-homophobic laws. Are you going to say "We should let Russia have those terrible laws, they have some really good laws too. You can't just take away all their laws, it would be chaos." When what we want is for Russia to remove the laws that violate basic human rights, and keep all the good laws.

 

So let's take the example of Catholicism. Jesus had some good parables, and taught some good things about loving your neighbour and such. So remove the belief that he existed, and talk about his ideas in a rational manner, praising the value of the good ones, and pointing out the bad ones. Think of it as a fairy tale, where it is used to teach a story, without the need for it to be true. If we remove the absolute truth of religion, then people can't keep themselves from thinking, and actually work through their views. Next, let's look at the social aspect. Let's keep church sermons, where a man may talk about good ideas at the top of the church, and people come to hear those ideas. People can sing their songs and wish people well. But they don't need to believe in a deity who holds absolute truth.

 

And even though Africa is fucked in several ways, it was centuries of slavery and colonization that put it in that position in the first place, and religion wasn't the main motivator behind this (I would even say that they were a result of a selective ignoring of religious teachings)

 

They were the result of selectively ignoring basic humanity and morality. Stop linking them together. Religion is not morality.

 

Yes Africa has been getting a raw deal. But don't say that the active work of the church to educate people that condoms actually increase the transmission of AIDS as anything more than deliberate and selfish reliance of the words of a man who calls himself infallible (the pope).

 

Define "Science". This is a period in history in which Alchemy was pursued and engineers still existed and worked on new machines. It's so easy to say religion stifled scientific progress based on that one incident with Galileo (which apparently had more to do with politics than actual religious beliefs), but I would love to hear something more concrete.

You're very capable of using a dictionary. But below is the definition for your convenience.

 

I'm sorry? One incident. You're kidding right? Religion wanted to maintain its place as the absolute truth and saw itself as the enemy of science. Darwin was afraid of publishing his work for years. Giordani Bruno was killed by the church. Let's look at another quote:

During most of the 16th and 17th centuries, fear of heretics spreading teachings and opinions that contradicted the Bible dominated the Catholic Church. They persecuted scientists who formed theories the Church deemed heretical and forbade people from reading any books on those subjects by placing the books on the Index of Prohibited Books. A type of war between science and religion was in play but there would be more casualties on the side of science. Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were two scientists who printed books that later became banned. Copernicus faced no persecution when he was alive because he died shortly after publishing his book. Galileo, on the other hand, was tried by the Inquisition after his book was published. Both scientists held the same theory that the Earth revolved around the sun, a theory now known to be true. However, the Church disapproved of this theory because the Holy Scriptures state that the Earth is at the center, not the Sun. As the contents of the Bible were taken literally, the publishing of these books proved, to the Church, that Copernicus and Galileo were sinners; they preached, through their writing, that the Bible was wrong.

Reference: http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/533/copernicus-galileo-and-the-church-science-in-a-religious-world

 

List of banned authors and works (due to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_authors_and_works_on_the_Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum

sci·ence

noun /ˈsīəns/ 

sciences, plural

 

The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment

- the world of science and technology

 

A particular area of this

- veterinary science

- the agricultural sciences

 

A systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject

- the science of criminology

 

Knowledge of any kind

 

The crux of his point is that faith* helps many, many people deal with the issues he brought up. If you can deal with it on your own, good for you, but many people need to find solace in something else.

How pedantic. These weak willed people have no power but to believe. They are not smart enough to think for themselves. They are not emotionally stable enough to handle the truth. Do you have any evidence for these claims? How do we distinguish between people like myself who believe in God for a while but are able to be converted, and those who are lost forever? Do you really believe that in a secular world, where people were thought to embrace the truth of death from the very beginning, were not indoctrinated into searching for a higher power, and were explained that the universe works on chance and not meaning. Do you really think that people would collapse and break down? Do you not think these people need help?

 

If someone believe that their parents weren't dead even though this was not true. They kept talking to the bodies as if they were asleep. Never dealing with the death, never knowing the truth. Do you think we should allow that person to remain in their ignorant bliss?

And what I feel has been ignored here, is that accepting reality and believing in a higher power are not mutually exclusive beliefs. You can accept that life ends when your brain stops working, and at the same time believe that the afterlife isn't pure oblivion and loss of self.

You can't both believe that death is the end and then believe in an afterlife. If you believe in life of consciousness after death, then you do not believe that brain mechanisms control all of consciousness. They are definitely mutually exclusive. You can believe that your memory will live on in others and things you left behind, but this is not the same.

*Making the distinction between faith and religion is important, because Iun is talking about faith, and you're dragging the discussion into the role of organized religion into a political context. When discussing religion, it's really easy to stray, so try not to.

 

Let's make an extinction then. Religion is not necessarily deistic, with the example of Buddhism. As so, Buddhists are technically atheist. When we criticise religion and advocate atheism, we are criticising deistic religion and faith. As long as a religion doesn't require faith without evidence then it is no problem. We would like the abolishment of deistic, faith based religions. If there are other ideologies that you still consider a religion without those qualities, they can remain.

 

Faith is a horrible thing. It's unwavering belief in something without evidence, in the face of any opposing evidence. It is the most ridiculous thing for someone to hold in high regard, and the fact that religion has managed to attach positive emotions to that word is its most powerful accomplishment.

 

One can not live their life with only faith. Faith is the opposite of decision-making and thinking. Faith is the equivalent of a robot following its program. Faith removes choice. Faith is a tool. Faith is power to those who command it. Faith is the ability to create a mindless army of followers. Faith removes free will. Faith removes power from those who are bound by it. Faith removes the brain from the human. Faith reduces humans to slaves. Faith destroys curiosity. Faith deludes. Faith excludes. Faith removes the living from life. Faith is death.

Edited by Diageo

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I still feel like this is a weak point. Religion is a huge cause of suffering in the world, but so is a bunch of non-religious happenings. Mongol conquests, the Holocaust, the World Wars, too many dictators to count... Even the crusades were more a result of a cultural clash than what the Holy Books said.

 

This is pretty poor reasoning... "Religion is a huge cause of suffering in the world, but so is other stuff, so leave it alone". The crusades couldn't have happened without religion, it afflicts the poorest and least educated in society. They could easily be made to go because they were poor and would at least be "guaranteed" salvation in the afterlife.

 

And even though Africa is fucked in several ways, it was centuries of slavery and colonization that put it in that position in the first place, and religion wasn't the main motivator behind this (I would even say that they were a result of a selective ignoring of religious teachings)

Religion is tearing Africa apart right now. The AIDS epidemic and priests preaching hatred of other clans from the pulpit. The missionaries make aid conditional on rejecting condoms and insist they spread religion to the other tribes. Being a place full of poor, ignorant people means it is becoming a battleground for the various religious groups. their favourite prey.

 

Religious morals are absolutely depraved... They all consist of men having power over women and killing people who don't do what your book says. The only way people think it's moral is by cherry-picking the lines that correspond with modern western values. The bible has not changed and centuries of torture and persecution happened, yet there is no longer any of this stuff as soon as we become secular. How can somehow say it is moral?

 

The crux of his point is that faith* helps many, many people deal with the issues he brought up. If you can deal with it on your own, good for you, but many people need to find solace in something else.

And what I feel has been ignored here, is that accepting reality and believing in a higher power are not mutually exclusive beliefs. You can accept that life ends when your brain stops working, and at the same time believe that the afterlife isn't pure oblivion and loss of self.

*Making the distinction between faith and religion is important, because Iun is talking about faith, and you're dragging the discussion into the role of organized religion into a political context. When discussing religion, it's really easy to stray, so try not to.

 

This is a thread about religion. I said specifically organised religion is the worst thing. People can delude themselves individually but mostly they only need their faith because they were brought up with it when young. If given a scientific education and it was generally accepted that we were going to die there would be very little trouble with the issue, imo. You can tell me it's just my opinion but then it is just your opinion the other way, and given that I can accept it I think other people would be able to as well if taught properly. I also accepted that santa was not real.

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Why don't you people believe in me?! You're all going to hell for not doing so! :p

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I was raised as...nothing. My mum kindasortamyabe(butnotreally) believes in something. So she's slightly spiritual. But barely. And my dad is agnostic (but really is atheist, he just wants to sound cool). I was raised not being too influenced by either, so I could make my own choices should I choose to.

 

I went to church for like 3 years with my aunt and cousin as something to do, when I was like..10-13? or 10-14. I met nice people and it was the nicest church - now the only church in Edinburgh I'm aware of with multiple gay members of the clergy (?) and female members etc. Protestant natch. So it was nice.

 

When I was 13 I went on a trip to the war battlefields in France, Germany and Belgium. I remember wearing a cross and praying, but then 'realising' that this atrocity and thinking about it actually eroded away any weak notion of faith I had (little to begin with). Soon after I grew bored of church and left. I never personally heard/felt/saw/experienced any of the horrible bits of religion at my church. But then my church was lovely and gay. Despite being the central church in town. <3

 

I went through a very ANTI!!!! phase. Then being terrified immensely of death due to my lack of faith. I grew jealous and bitter that people could be so 'blissfully ignorant' and not 'worry' about death. Meh. That left when I grew out of teen angst. Sometimes if I think about it hard enough the feeling return. But it's never at the forefront of my mind anymore.

 

I love the positive aspects being part of a religion some people can gain/experience.

 

But

 

I am part of a minority who still suffers such injustice in the name of these religions (and/or traditions much associated with these religions, or countries that at least abide by the laws laid down by religions, if not saying so).

 

I don't know if unless you are in or have been in such a position that one will know how it feels. *I don't!* I am genuinely the most privileged gay man I know. Absolutely ADORED by my entire family, friends, living in the UK, no grief at school, practically ever etc etc.

 

But I am quite an empathic person and I am made incredibly sad to think that for going along to Glasgow Pride as I did the other day, I would be either a) prevented from doing so b) jailed c) beaten d) tortured e) killed.

 

It makes me sick.

 

So I hold a LOT of resentment. But I also have more time..? I dunno. I'm just calmer.

 

I like learning about spirituality/mythology/religions.

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Was about to stick this in the Awesome stuff thread but figured it would be better to put it in here.

I posted one of this guys vids in the funny stuff thread the other day and have since been going through a few of his videos, all pretty cool. Both funny yet at the same time backing up his points with referencing the paragraphs in the bible he is contesting and such.

 

Just watched this vid and thought it was his best one..... it's a bit long but you have to stay right to the end for the pay off

 

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I was gonna put that video here but you've beaten me to it.

 

On another note. If anyone doesn't specifically believe in a god but do believe in a "higher power" or "something bigger than ourselves", can they explain to me in detail what that means because I have no idea.

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It means they believe in some diaphanous cosmic warden that'll shepherd their souls after their earthly bodies decompose, because they're woefully incapable of conceiving a world that exists apart from their consciousness.

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I've not watched the video, just as I've not read the bible. I think we'd have alot less da vinci code's and other nonsense if everyone had actually read the bible, or, at least, had admitted to having no prior knowledge to the subject before listening to someone's obviously-mis-interpreted version of the king james version of the arabic word of god.

 

I really, really, really want to have the various religious scripts enscribed to my brain. So many people arguing about shit they don't know about.

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I've read about a third of the bible. I've read the Quran in full. They're both banal and unremarkable books undoubtedly written by banal and unremarkable people. At this point, so much of the bible and Christian doctrine is inscribed into culture as handed down by parents that you don't need first hand knowledge to get the gist. Anyway, the test of any purportedly divine ideology is the way it interacts with humanity; on this count, all Abrahmic religions flunk with flying colours.

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Not reading or getting into any of this discussion. Religious discussions aren't my thing for reasons.

 

That said, an amusing anecdote. My mother doesn't care one way or the other as to my beliefs, she respects them. I joking said I was going to join Westboro Baptist Church...she immediately replies with "I'll beat your ass boy."

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Not reading or getting into any of this discussion. Religious discussions aren't my thing for reasons.

 

That said, an amusing anecdote. My mother doesn't care one way or the other as to my beliefs, she respects them. I joking said I was going to join Westboro Baptist Church...she immediately replies with "I'll beat your ass boy."

 

Quote of the week there.

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Quote of the week there.

 

But...it's only Sunday, the week just started? Or has it just ended?

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I'm a relatively private person, and occasionally judgmental. I don't see things ending well in most cases. So there's only a few people I'll have a actual serious conversation with. I also know that I personally am not well enough educated to truly do so.

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Interesting results from a new study.

A new study finds a high correlation between religiosity and depression

 

While previous studies had suggested some emotional and social value to being religious, a new study that examined a huge number of people from around the world discovered that being religious is a risk factor for depression. People from different countries from the UK to Chile, had their levels of religiosity measured. The study covered various economic and social groups and looked at the relationship between religiosity and depression. The researchers found that religious people were more prone to depression, with rates of developing depression in places like the United Kingdom being three times as high for believers than non-believers.

 

Lead researcher Professor Michael King http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slms/people/show.php?personid=202

 

More info:

http://guardianlv.com/2013/09/can-religion-and-spirituality-cause-depression/

http://www.alternet.org/are-religious-people-more-depressed

 

Of particular interest:

... researchers denounced the positive effect a faithful mindset may have on individuals after arguing that no protective evidence from a mental illness was found within their participants.
Edited by Diageo

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Yeah, it's a bump, but...

 

Just thought I'd post this article.

 

A head teacher has apologised for sending parents a letter saying a "racial discrimination" note would be added to their child's education record if they did not go on a religious trip.

 

Pupils from Littleton Green Community School, Cannock, were expected to go to Staffordshire University to "learn about different cultures".

 

A letter to parents said it was a "statutory requirement".

 

But the school has now asked parents to "disregard a section" of the letter

 

Letters sent to parents said children would get a 'racial discrimination' mark if they did not go on the trip, where they would have the "opportunity to explore other religions".

 

They would look at "religious artefacts", the letter said, but would not be "partaking in any religious practices".

 

'Not fair'

 

Parents were warned: "Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child's education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career."

 

 

Parents contacted the school to complain.

 

One parent, David Rhys, 44, said: "There could be all manner of reasons why parents do not allow their children on a trip.

 

"But that doesn't mean the parents are racist, and it certainly is not fair to label the children as racist for the rest of their school life.

 

"These children are very young but something like that could affect the rest of their lives."

 

Another letter sent home from the school by head teacher Lynn Small apologised for "any inaccuracies" in the earlier letter, and asked parents to disregard the original letter.

 

The new letter also clarified that pupils who did not attend the trip would not be labelled with the "racial discrimination note".

 

The letter in question:

 

18j394.jpg

 

 

It's kind of depressing how this kind of letter ever went out and that these sorts of thoughts are held by people in positions of power. Also shunning religion/religious practices has nothing to do with racism.

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(I see I never got around to continuing that discussion I was having with Diageo. Damn)

 

Stupid schools are stupid. It's pretty depressing that establishments that shape the way future generations think can be run by despicable people (though this incident strikes me more as sloppy and incompetent than bigoted).

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I think the worst thing about that letter is the comic sans...

 

It's a school, of course they use comic sans!

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I had to design a 7ft wide school sign in Comic Sans the other day. I died a little.

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Is that letter genuine? Looks amateur as fuck. I don't get the need to add in the part about racial discrimination.

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I don't agree with the way they went about this at all. However working at a school which had similar problems with getting children to go on cultural and religious trips, I can see why they took such a dramatic step, they just went about it in the wrong way. One mistake and the school is tarnished, yet the parents will get away with saying and doing loads of bad things every day!

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Yeah, it's a bump, but...

 

Just thought I'd post this article.

 

 

 

The letter in question:

 

18j394.jpg

 

 

It's kind of depressing how this kind of letter ever went out and that these sorts of thoughts are held by people in positions of power. Also shunning religion/religious practices has nothing to do with racism.

 

 

I'm drunk as fuck and reading that letter makes me think those people were fuck ass drunk.

 

Racial discrimination note? Attach a "my parents are so fucking insecure in their religious beliefs that I can't go near a crucifix/mosque/sacred cow/totem pole without them praying their asses off to God/Allah/Ganesha/Wumbadum" note.

 

And to be honest, I doubt its veracity.

Edited by Iun

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That school's stance is outrageous. The more I read that letter the more I despair.

 

They claim to be offering an "opportunity", yet they expect everyone to attend and will not accept pupils declining to go. Opportunity implies choice but this is just a sugar-coated demand backed up later with an explicit threat.

 

First of all there's 1001 potential reasons for a parent to not allow their child to go on a school trip. To assume a racist or descriminatory motive is highly presumptious, and actually quite ironic considering how much assumptions and predjudice play in racism and descrimination.

 

Secondly they are unfairly punishing the pupil for the parent's suppossed transgression. Perhaps the child wants to go but they are the ones being tagged as racist!

 

Thirdly, so what if people don't want to go? In a free society, just as people should have the right to practice their religion so long as it doesn't adversely effect other people, other people should also have the right to not learn about out other people's religions or cultures if they don't want to, that's freedom. And to incist such a person must be racist or descriminatory without any proof is disgusting.

 

Funny how it's increasingly the politically correct, so-called "liberal progressive" types that are becoming the most draconian and authoritarian these days.

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Thirdly, so what if people don't want to go? In a free society, just as people should have the right to practice their religion so long as it doesn't adversely effect other people, other people should also have the right to not learn about out other people's religions or cultures if they don't want to, that's freedom. And to incist such a person must be racist or descriminatory without any proof is disgusting.

 

Children always like going on trips, it's the parents that forbid them. I'm sure the school has plenty of proof that the reason why parents don't allow their children to go on trips is because they're openly bigoted. I heard it daily where I taught.

 

It's in the National Curriculum to learn about other cultures. If you take your child to a school that isn't private, they have to learn about it.

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