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-   -   Christian myth vs. other mythologies (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=176267)

Achilles 03-04-2007 06:37 PM

Christian myth vs. other mythologies
 
Hi all,

I've posed this question a few times (and a few different ways) over in Kavar's Corner but I've yet to have anyone respond. Jae made reference to the Senate Chambers as being a more intellectually rigorous forum, so I thought I might try my luck over here.

So here it is again (in a nutshell):

Faith is belief without evidence. If the Christian/Muslim/Jewish God(s) cannot be proven empirically, and their existence is a matter of faith, then why should these Gods be given any more credence than those from any other belief system?

I'm consider myself to be fairly familiar with all the reasons why we should not, so I'm really hoping to hear the arguments for why we should.

Thanks for reading.

Dagobahn Eagle 03-04-2007 09:28 PM

Welcome to the Chambers!

Quote:

Faith is belief without evidence. If the Christian/Muslim/Jewish God(s) cannot be proven empirically, and their existence is a matter of faith, then why should these Gods be given any more credence than those from any other belief system?
Short answer: They shouldn't. The reason a Christian gives God special treatment over trolls, dragons, Amon Ra, and Shiva is that he or she happened to have been brought up by Christian parents, teachers, and/or clergy. Of course there are exceptions, but that's generally the rule.

Achilles 03-04-2007 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Welcome to the Chambers!

Thanks! :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Short answer: They shouldn't. The reason a Christian gives God special treatment over trolls, dragons, Amon Ra, and Shiva is that he or she happened to have been brought up by Christian parents, teachers, and/or clergy. Of course there are exceptions, but that's generally the rule.

You know that and I know that. A few contributors in the other forum offered the historical accuracy of the Bible (no Qu'ran takers) as support, but those dialogs were eventually left behind as well. :(

Nancy Allen`` 03-04-2007 10:17 PM

Christian myth vs other mythologies. Well I would say that some, the Jedi for example, are based on Christian religion. So there are those ties. But what of religion being more established than other mythologies, Lord of the Rings for example? Because those who follow Christianity, Islam, Judism ect accept their religion as fact, and the countries these religions originate from largely take it as fact, or at least an acceptable belief. Most everyone knows that LotR, Star Wars ect are fiction. If someone were to base a religion on them, well...I don't know what would happen but I'd laugh. I think it'd be cool. But in all seriousness religion is accepted as truth because so many people believe in it.

Achilles 03-04-2007 10:32 PM

So what you're saying is that religion is one great big appeal to tradition/popularity/common practice fallacy?

Also: Clicky :D

Nancy Allen`` 03-04-2007 11:11 PM

Hmmm, I'm not sure of how exactly I would put it. In the Western world Christianity is the predominent religion and through the media, through the school system, ect it is Christianity that is religion. The same for the Middle East where Islam is law, in some places it is the one and only accepted law. I'd say what you said in religion being one great appeal is half right, in that a particular religion in a particular place, Islam in Afghanistan and Iran for example, would be the one true faith. If you ever saw The World is not Enough there was a scene where Elektra is facing off with violent mobs. A Muslim cleric comes in, speaks with her, then gives the oil pipeline his blessing which placates the crowd. In that sense religion is well and truely an appeal to popularity.

That link on Jedi belief is quite good. I'm tempted to half believe it myself, not so much that there is this 'Force' but maybe some type of ESP or something. Y'know how you can tell someone is behind you without looking? That sort of thing. Maybe not the Jedi code so much but try and aspire to their ideals. Though the idea of there being actual Jedi Knights would be cool, well there actually are Jedi, a military acronym that stands for something like Joint Integrated Defense Inititive, will need to hunt down information on it, but let's have a galaxy where there is space travel, lightsabers and Twi'lek warriors first.

Achilles 03-05-2007 01:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Hmmm, I'm not sure of how exactly I would put it. In the Western world Christianity is the predominent religion and through the media, through the school system, ect it is Christianity that is religion. The same for the Middle East where Islam is law, in some places it is the one and only accepted law. I'd say what you said in religion being one great appeal is half right, in that a particular religion in a particular place, Islam in Afghanistan and Iran for example, would be the one true faith.

I'm sorry, I guess I'm just not seeing how that isn't an appeal to tradition/popularity/common practice fallacy.

Saying something is true because everyone believes that it's true, doesn't make it actually true. It only makes it popular (tradition, common practice, etc).

I understand that enculturation plays a huge role in determining which myth you grow up believing. The problem is that it doesn't help me understand how believing in Jesus Christ is any more of a valid endeavor than believing in Zeus, Odin, or The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If you ever saw The World is not Enough there was a scene where Elektra is facing off with violent mobs. A Muslim cleric comes in, speaks with her, then gives the oil pipeline his blessing which placates the crowd. In that sense religion is well and truely an appeal to popularity.

I think you might not understand what is meant by "appeal to popularity". Try the link in my signature for a refresher.

Nancy Allen`` 03-05-2007 02:14 AM

Because of how much of the demographic are Christian, or of this religion, people in that society believe and follow it or are allowed to believe and follow it. Does it make it true or more valid than other religions? In the Western world we allow people to follow whichever religion they like, or no religion. In certain parts of the world religion goes much further where everything is based on their religion, and there is no room for those who do not believe in it or believe in something else. But that still begs the question, why is believing in Jesus, Abraham or Mohammed more valid than Zeus or Olympus? I think the answer is that such Gods are, at least in many societies, are taken as fable, not real. That's not to say that they are, they could be actual Gods, there may be multiple Gods, all of the conflicting religions may be right, or wrong, I cannot say. But because religion such as Christianity is portrayed as fact and...what do you call Greek religion? The portrayal of Greek Gods is largely fictional, because of the way they are portrayed is one reason why they would be seen to be make believe.

To push the idea further Christianity persecuted witches. I'm not sure if witchcraft was real or if it was simply a belief, but the point is Christians saw it as evil and condemned it, and still do to this day. Don't quote me on this but I imagine it would be the same in the Middle East, where Islam is taught. Especially in places where militant, intolerant Islam (not true Islam) is preached. I'm not sure how much is placed in the idea of Zeus, Hercules, Olympus, ect in Greece, but maybe the portrayal of them is stronger there than other religions, maybe even taken as fact if the Greeks believe in them.

Now onto appeal to popularity. Using religion as an example, because of how many people believe in a particular religion that makes it...not true, for the sake of arguement, but what is accepted and is the norm. But yes, the standered is if everyone believes it then it's true does apply. You may remember the TV quiz show 21 where Herbie Stempel beat opponent after opponent until his popularity began to wane and Charles Van Doren came in, who had looks, intellect, charisma, and the two battled it out for weeks until Van Doren won. Everyone believed what they saw was genuine. But of course it wasn't, the entire thing was staged with both Stempel and Van Doran being told the answers. The same applies to religion, except that as much as this is open to debate there is no slight of hand, the people who follow their chosen religion honestly do believe in it wholeheartedly. Of course that means that most religions would be wrong, and we are back where we started in terms of why one religion would be more creditble than another, or why some popular fables and even religions don't recieve the same credence.

Achilles 03-05-2007 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Because of how much of the demographic are Christian, or of this religion, people in that society believe and follow it or are allowed to believe and follow it. Does it make it true or more valid than other religions?
<snip>
But that still begs the question, why is believing in Jesus, Abraham or Mohammed more valid than Zeus or Olympus?

Err...I could be wrong, but I think you just repeated my questions back to me. Also, it appears that we're still stuck on the whole appeal to "xyz" fallacy thing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The portrayal of Greek Gods is largely fictional, because of the way they are portrayed is one reason why they would be seen to be make believe.

I'm not going to disagree that Greek mythology is fictional, but why is it that Christian mythology is not given the same label? Ancient Greeks had just as much evidence for their pantheon as we have for our modern beliefs.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Especially in places where militant, intolerant Islam (not true Islam) is preached.

The Qu'ran has the same horrible and contradictory doctrine as the Bible. A Fundamentalist Muslim is just militant and intolerant as a Fundamentalist Christian. This train of thought is going to take us off-topic and probably warrants its own thread if you'd like to continue our dialog on this point. Thanks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Now onto appeal to popularity. <snip>

Again, I feel that you're missing the correct use of the term. Please click me

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Of course that means that most religions would be wrong, and we are back where we started in terms of why one religion would be more creditble than another, or why some popular fables and even religions don't recieve the same credence.

Agreed.

Nancy Allen`` 03-05-2007 03:19 AM

Hmmm...Most people approve of X (have favorable emotions towards X). Therefore X is true. That is a large reason why I believe people would say Christianity is true, or Judism, Islam, ect is true, and why Greek Gods, Shiva, Odin, ect are not considered true because most people believe it to be fiction. On Greek Gods I'd agree that there's just as much evidence of them as there are of for example Christian beliefs, in fact I'd argue there is more evidence in terms of ruins, sculptures, shrines ect. The Ark of the Covenent, the Cup of the Carpenter (Christ, Indiana Jones referred to it this way), the execution grounds on Mount Olive where Jesus was crucified, I'm sure they exist, somewhere, but cannot think of any physical evidence. But to answer the question of why mainstream religion is more accepted than other fables I think the best answer is in terms of evidence; a fallacy when it comes to Greek Gods as there is evidence, and the appeal to popularity fallacy if you want to refer to it as such.

Achilles 03-05-2007 03:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Hmmm...Most people approve of X (have favorable emotions towards X). Therefore X is true. That is a large reason why I believe people would say Christianity is true, or Judism, Islam, ect is true, and why Greek Gods, Shiva, Odin, ect are not considered true because most people believe it to be fiction.

Ok, so now we agree that modern, organized religion is based on one great big appeal to tradition/popularity/common practice fallacy?

Nancy Allen`` 03-05-2007 03:35 AM

Out of fairness to those who believe in religion I wouldn't say it's a fallacy, even aside from that I cannot say with any degree of certainty whether religion is a fallacy. The appeal to popularity, all these people believe it so it must be true, that would certainly be a fallacy.

Achilles 03-05-2007 03:49 AM

If you acknowledge that Appeal to Popularity is a fallacy then why should "believers" be granted a pass? A fallacy is somehow not a fallacy when applied to religion? Why is that?

Nancy Allen`` 03-05-2007 04:03 AM

Extrapolating religion by making the generalisation that people who follow religion are fallicious, or fools, is an exaggeration that would serve to inflame the debate. If they were doing something wrong then certainly action must be taken. But they believe in something that is probably not true, so what? Who are they hurting? If you want to refer to it as a fallacy don't let me stop you, but out of respect to people who follow religion, and the same would apply to people such as homosexuals, feminists, those who are basically harmless, I wouldn't insult them by saying that their beliefs are a fallacy.

Achilles 03-05-2007 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Extrapolating religion by making the generalisation that people who follow religion are fallicious, or fools, is an exaggeration that would serve to inflame the debate.

Being guilty of a fallacy only carries judgment if you assign it some. An argument is fallacious or it is not. If belief in modern religion is based on fallacy, that isn't an exaggeration and it doesn't give us the right to run around calling everyone a fool.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If they were doing something wrong then certainly action must be taken.

Huh? Since "wrong" sounds kinda judgmental, perhaps "incorrect" would be a better word to use. If you were doing something incorrectly, would you want someone to point it out to you so that you could stop? If you had an opinion that wasn't based on the facts, would you want to go holding that opinion or would you want someone to guide you toward relevant information? I'm not sure what other "action must be taken".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
But they believe in something that is probably not true, so what? Who are they hurting?

You are aware that fundamentalist Christians have a strangle-hold on our government and have been implementing policies for years that affect everyone correct?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If you want to refer to it as a fallacy don't let me stop you

It either is a fallacy or it's not. If you feel that it's not, I'd be more than willing to hear what you have to say. However you and I just spent several hours going back and forth to conclude that it is. I'm sorry that you're not comfortable with that conclusion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
but out of respect to people who follow religion, and the same would apply to people such as homosexuals, feminists, those who are basically harmless, I wouldn't insult them by saying that their beliefs are a fallacy.

Are you submitting that they are? I don't believe I did.

PS: You didn't answer any of my questions from post #13.

Nancy Allen`` 03-05-2007 04:26 PM

At the moment people have the right to believe in religion, so it is something I believe they are entitled to and will defend their right to do so.

I don't believe religion itself is a fallacy. The appeal to popularity, all these people believe it so it must be true, is the fallacy. You shouldn't believe something because everyone else does. You should believe it because you believe it.

It just so happens that Christians are voters as well, and they are entitled to voice their opinion to the government like everyone else. Not everything they put forward would be accepted, some of them would be rejected for good reason. But Christians do, and are entitled to have a voice.

I would rather save my rightious venomous bile for something that deserves it, in the interest of not derailing the thread I won't give any specific examples. Going to the first comment you made, that we don't have the right to persecute those who follow religion, that is one of the big problems in terms of those who take it upon themselves to do just that. We know that would be wrong, and besides which these people believe in something that may very well not exist. So? Excuse me bringing this up but if some self appointed thought police were to do that what's to stop them from saying we shouldn't spend time and money on Star Wars, or that we spend too much time on the Internet, or even take action to prevent us from doing so? Where does accountability for others end?

Achilles 03-05-2007 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
At the moment people have the right to believe in religion, so it is something I believe they are entitled to and will defend their right to do so.

Yep, they sure do. I don't believe I've introduced anything that has said otherwise. My question was: why is Christianity more viable than other myths?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I don't believe religion itself is a fallacy. The appeal to popularity, all these people believe it so it must be true, is the fallacy. You shouldn't believe something because everyone else does. You should believe it because you believe it.

I asked, "why Christianity?". You replied with "because that's what everyone here believes.".

If that is the answer, then it is clearly a fallacy. That's a fact, not an opinion to be debated. If you'd like to question my reasoning, please feel free to do so.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
It just so happens that Christians are voters as well, and they are entitled to voice their opinion to the government like everyone else. Not everything they put forward would be accepted, some of them would be rejected for good reason. But Christians do, and are entitled to have a voice.

Your question was, "what are they hurting?". I've answered that. I'm not arguing whether or not they should have a vote.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I would rather save my rightious venomous bile for something that deserves it, in the interest of not derailing the thread I won't give any specific examples. Going to the first comment you made, that we don't have the right to persecute those who follow religion, that is one of the big problems in terms of those who take it upon themselves to do just that. We know that would be wrong, and besides which these people believe in something that may very well not exist. So? Excuse me bringing this up but if some self appointed thought police were to do that what's to stop them from saying we shouldn't spend time and money on Star Wars, or that we spend too much time on the Internet, or even take action to prevent us from doing so? Where does accountability for others end?

I don't think it's a matter of thought police. I think it's a matter of 75% of American dictating their lives according to a shared imaginary friend and everyone being ok with that. We lock up the Son of Sam while fundies run free in the streets (please note that I'm not advocating that serial killers should be allowed to run free).

Nancy Allen`` 03-05-2007 11:07 PM

Living in Pheonix, America, you would find that Christianity in particular is the religion that is practiced, I believe it stems from centuries of indoctranation, and not nearly as severe as it was hundreds of years ago. People have the right to follow other religions, Judism and Islam for example, but Christianity is the norm in that culture. The same applies to other countries, perhaps even more so. such as in the Middle East where fundamentalist Islam is the only religion that is tolerated. So again, why Christianity over other myths? When was the last time something such as Greek Gods, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars was presented as fact? Okay, Greek Gods maybe, but Christianity, Judism and Islam, among others, are largely presented as fact. King Arthur and medievil times that feature such fantastic things as wizards and dragons, on the other hand, are largely shown as fiction. There is debate over the accuracy of King Arthur but the rest are taken as fiction.

In terms of everyone believing in the one religion, or the majority believing in the one religion, that's not to say that particular religion is true or not. All it really means is that the majority believe in that particular religion.

I'll touch on a bit about what you said about religion in government. In places where fundamentalist Islam is the law their religion dictates all their actions, and particularly if their view of religion dictates that they ought to do this, they ought to do that, and they follow through with it with no thought of whether they should that's dangerous. And I've discussed with a friend about Schapelle Corby, the woman who was caught with drugs in Indonesia. Part of the reason for her conviction was because of the Islamist religion there. The same goes for the not guilty verdict of the terrorist who plotted the Bali bombings, Abu Bkar or something. Because of the Jimaar Islamiah who are seen as a legitimate group he was released. So certainly in those cases I can understand what you're saying in terms of religion in government.

75% of Americans dictating their lives according to religion? I would buy that. One of the things that people need to be careful of is how seriously they take their religion. There was a police drama where one episode had Christians persecuting this practicing witch, whether witchcraft is something that's actually feasible is neither here nor there, the point is she studied it and declared it her religion. In the eyes of the law it's wrong, morally I would class it as wrong. From the details I was given they broke into her house and burnt her books, said that she should be burning along with them, later on they threaten her and burn an efergy (spelling?) of her, and do so because of their religion. So definetly in that regard that goes over the top. So...do we crack down on religion? In a way we already have, with Islam. I disagree with this, but at the same time I advise caution in how far you take your faith. It says that you have to be in all the way or you're not in at all, but at the same time the law of the land overrides anything your religion says. Maybe people need to be taking a closer look at that part. Also the old saying 'he who is without sin cast the first stone' when it comes to persecuting others because of how their views conflict with their religion.

Achilles 03-05-2007 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Living in Pheonix, America, you would find that Christianity in particular is the religion that is practiced, I believe it stems from centuries of indoctranation, and not nearly as severe as it was hundreds of years ago. People have the right to follow other religions, Judism and Islam for example, but Christianity is the norm in that culture. The same applies to other countries, perhaps even more so. such as in the Middle East where fundamentalist Islam is the only religion that is tolerated.

Nancy, you included this sentiment in almost every post you've made in this thread. I get it. I promise. :)

Christianity is the most widely accepted religion in the western world because of enculturation. I know. Can we move past this please?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
So again, why Christianity over other myths? When was the last time something such as Greek Gods, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars was presented as fact? Okay, Greek Gods maybe, but Christianity, Judism and Islam, among others, are largely presented as fact. King Arthur and medievil times that feature such fantastic things as wizards and dragons, on the other hand, are largely shown as fiction. There is debate over the accuracy of King Arthur but the rest are taken as fiction.

I'm not sure what this line of reasoning has to do with the topic of the thread.

Quote:

Main Entry: my·thol·o·gy
Pronunciation: mi-'thä-l&-jE
Function: noun
1 : an allegorical narrative
2 : a body of myths : as a : the myths dealing with the gods, demigods, and legendary heroes of a particular people b : MYTHOS 2 <cold war mythology>
3 : a branch of knowledge that deals with myth
4 : a popular belief or assumption that has grown up around someone or something :
This applies the Arthurian myths, Greek mythology, Roman mythology, Slavic mythology, Christian mythology, Tolkien mythology, etc.

Yes, I understand that Christianity is accepted as factual in some parts of the world and I understand that it's one of the most popular mythologies in the modern world. Why are we ok with that?

Before you answer: No need to rehash the Appeal to Popularity fallacy that has now been beat to death.

Nancy Allen`` 03-05-2007 11:38 PM

Aside from the majority accepting a chosen religion or mythology as fact, the culture being dominently of that religion and certain religions being presented as fact I'm not sure what else I can say in terms of why some mythologies are taken as fact and others as fiction. Jae's a lot better with religion than I am, maybe she would be able to help you more.

Achilles 03-05-2007 11:45 PM

I think if Jae was going to address this question, she would have done so in one of the other threads, but I appreciate the thought. Thanks for trying to help answer my questions. :D

tk102 03-06-2007 03:54 PM

Motion for Previous Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Achilles
Faith is belief without evidence. If the Christian/Muslim/Jewish God(s) cannot be proven empirically, and their existence is a matter of faith, then why should these Gods be given any more credence than those from any other belief system?

More credence? Hmm, if you changed the word "credence" to "relevance" it'd be a lot easier to answer.

Let's see I can think of some areas that could be debated.

- Doctrinal consistency
- Historical basis or evidence
- Community and organization

If I have the "religion of tk102" that I invented a year ago, does it have more credence than Christianity? I don't have anything written down, so the details of my religion might fluctuate from day to day. I invented it myself so I don't have any historic basis or evidence. I'm the only member of my religion so there's nobody to really agree with or to discuss nuances with. I'm completely infallible! I'm an egoist! :xp: Christianity would score perfectly in these areas either, but compared to the religion of tk102, it's probably a fair shade better in terms of credence.

Spider AL 03-06-2007 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tk102
- Doctrinal consistency
- Historical basis or evidence
- Community and organization

First, there is precious little consistency within the Christian, Jewish and Islamic communities as regards doctrine. But even if there were a single consistent view on all topics that all christians, jews and muslims adopted at all times... it would not confer any credibility to their claim that there is a god, let alone that THEIR god is the "correct" god. So the first point is fallacious and is not relevant to the question posed.

Secondly, there is no evidence to suggest that there is a god, historical or otherwise. So once again, your second point confers no increased credibility to the theistic claim that a god exists.

Thirdly, the level of community or organisation surrounding a religion is totally irrelevant to whether the religion's theistic claims are at all credible. This is essentially a fallacious appeal to popularity, and as we all know, it doesn't matter AT ALL how many people believe a thing, because that thing is not made any more true by the large numbers of people who believe in it.

So essentially, the claims of the "religion of tk102" that you describe, with NO doctrinal consistency, NO historical basis nor evidence to support it, and NO community nor organisational structure surrounding it... are EXACTLY as credible as the claims of every other religion.

That is... not credible at all. ;)

tk102 03-06-2007 06:43 PM

Are we talking about the credibility of religious claims (i.e. the truthfulness of the religious assertions) or the credibility of the religion itself (i.e. that a certain set of beliefs can be described as a religion)? I guess I interpreted the question as the latter. As such, the religion of tk102 can't be compared thoughtfully to other religions except to say that all religions are without evidence and are therefore equivalent. This leads to next practical question -- which religions are relevant?

Nancy Allen`` 03-06-2007 06:45 PM

Well, the one that has the most importance to you, the one you believe in, if you choose to believe in religion at all.

tk102 03-06-2007 07:03 PM

And of course the ones held by others who affect you. ;)

Achilles 03-06-2007 08:06 PM

Hey,
Quote:

Originally Posted by tk102
Are we talking about the credibility of religious claims (i.e. the truthfulness of the religious assertions) or the credibility of the religion itself (i.e. that a certain set of beliefs can be described as a religion)? I guess I interpreted the question as the latter.

My apologies. The question was closer to the former rather than the latter.

Nancy Allen`` 03-08-2007 05:36 AM

There's one other thing I thought of that gives religion relevency: laws. It is said laws were created so that we follow the code of what society's religion is. The degregation of women for example, that is so because their religion says so, and it is made law that women have many of their rights stripped away. In the society most of us would be familiar with our laws mirror many of the Ten Commandments, such as 'Though shalt not steal\kill\commit adultry'.

Achilles 03-08-2007 10:04 AM

Do atheist countries have laws? If yes, then your argument that laws make religion relevant immediately falls flat. FWIW, the oldest known complete set of laws is the Code of Hammurabi. It predates Christianity by a couple thousand years.

As for how religion impacts how women are treated under our laws, I'd recommend that you look to the Bible.

Spider AL 03-08-2007 10:24 AM

Achilles is correct, but I think it's important to remember that this whole "is religion relevant" tangent is- in my estimation- an off-topic irrelevance at best, and a thread-hijack at worst. The original post and stated thread topic concerns itself with the question: should religious theistic claims be given any credence, and if so, why? (Please forgive my presumptuous reiteration of your query, Achilles)

It never posed the question: "what qualifies as a religion", nor "are religions relevant to society".

A belief that the earth is flat can, I suppose, be termed "relevant" to society, in that such a belief can affect the behaviour of those that hold it, and in turn their behaviour can affect society. But that's so obvious that it doesn't bear discussion. A more pertinent question would be "SHOULD religious beliefs be regarded as relevant to society?" and of course the answer to that would be "No, because they're blatantly delusional." But once again, that's another discussion entirely.

Achilles 03-08-2007 10:29 AM

Thanks for getting us back on topic :)

tk102 03-08-2007 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Achilles
Faith is belief without evidence.

I think that pretty much ended the discussion of should religious theistic claims be given any credence, since to be credible, you must have proof for your arguments.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Achilles
Thanks for getting us back on topic

Kind of a non-topic though. :p

Really we're talking about two different parts of a human psyche -- reason and emotion and never the twain shall meet.

kipperthefrog 03-08-2007 12:09 PM

This Link Speacks for itself! (Ckicky)

Achilles 03-08-2007 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tk102
Kind of a non-topic though. :p

In all fairness, you're probably right. I found it interesting that I raised the question 3 or 4 times, after which the other parties became much too busy with other things to continue the conversation. If I should take that as acceptance that there is no rational reason to be religious, then I guess I had hoped to learn why people would choose to be irrational.

Perhaps there are no answers to my questions.

Nancy Allen`` 03-08-2007 04:02 PM

I'm not aware of any Atheist dominent countries, but religion being the basis of laws was something I heard. Maybe in some societies. Some evidence to this can be shown that until recently homosexuality was illegal, and we all know how much that is spoken against. But what do I know, I'm a crazy torture for fun bitch that supports terrorism.

Achilles 03-08-2007 04:43 PM

@Moderators: Should this be broken out into a new thread?

@Nancy:
Didn't you use the former USSR and China as examples earlier? If you consider non-theistic belief systems to be atheistic, then I suppose that you could also count Japan, Tibet, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Korea, etc. All of those countries have laws, last time I checked.

Yes, the Bible (both OT and NT) and the Qu'ran give us some laws, but some of these laws (thou shalt not murder) contain moral precepts that can and do exist outside of religion (Kant's categorical imperative quickly tells us that murder is wrong). Others, like "homosexuality is a sin" or "death to those that work on the Sabbath" exist only within our holy books, but have absolutely no moral weight outside of them. To summarize, yes we get some laws from religion, but the ones that make sense don't require religion, and the ones that require religion make no sense.

Your argument regarding the legalization of homosexuality reminds me a great deal of the abolishionist movement. Liberal Christians using the word of God to free slaves that Conservative Christians believed the word of God told them they could have.

Nancy Allen`` 03-08-2007 04:47 PM

That's right, I remember hearing about God condoning slavery. I think we can all be happy that it's been abolished, or at least shown for how wrong it is.

Achilles 03-08-2007 05:16 PM

Yeah and unless God slipped in a version 2.0 that I haven't seen, you can go down to any church and still find the specific passages that advocate slavery in the Bible.

Odd that we can us reason against God to abolish something that is clearly immoral, but that same reason fails us (in many cases) when trying to apply rationale to God himself.

Nancy Allen`` 03-08-2007 10:38 PM

There's meant to be respect between the two apparently. But if that was the case wouldn't it be servitude rather than slavery?

Achilles 03-08-2007 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
There's meant to be respect between the two apparently. But if that was the case wouldn't it be servitude rather than slavery?

Hmm...I didn't walk away with that impression at all.

Quote:

That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Luke 12:47-48
Quote:

If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.
Exodus 21:20-21
There are others passages that are less hostile, but still clearly show that slaves were property with no more value than oxen or asses (donkeys).


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