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View Poll Results: How much do you agree to the following: "Religion does more harm than good"?
+4 (I'm SkinWalker) 19 30.16%
+3 3 4.76%
+2 2 3.17%
+1 6 9.52%
00 (I don't know, or I don't care. Or both) 9 14.29%
-1 4 6.35%
-2 2 3.17%
-3 0 0%
-4 (I disagree strongly) 18 28.57%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll


Thread: Is religion evil?
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:54 AM   #81
Mike Windu
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Because being a good little conformist and having a pseudo "cool" stormtrooper icon is sheer orgasmic thought, right?

At any rate, if you won't listen to me, listen to Shepherd Book

"When I talk about belief, why do you always assume I'm talking about God? "

"I don't care what you believe in, just believe in it."




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Old 08-16-2006, 12:55 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Because being a good little conformist and having a pseudo "cool" stormtrooper icon is sheer orgasmic thought, right?
Your use of the word "conformist" shall doom you to an eternity in the fiery pits of emo-hell.
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:12 AM   #83
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AHHHHH!!!!!!!!111 MY HAIR FALLS OVER MY EYES!!11111

clearly the pichu hides the true meaning of your very existence, you heathen!

You cannot see past the yellow electric exterior, nor the red cape and wrestling tights to see the truth within..

back on topic though...

erm... where's your refutation of my points damnit?

I guess I'll add that religion as an institution itself cannot be inherently evil.. as it teaches almost nothing that we would deem "evil".

To answer the question of the actual poll of whether religion has done more harm than good...

religion helps about 3 billion people in the world today(or they believe it helps them, if you so prefer semantics and word games) plus the 3 billion that existed in countless years before.

religion has caused the deaths of millions of people.

noope, looks like it does more good than bad.




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Old 08-16-2006, 01:32 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
erm... where's your refutation of my points damnit?
You make fair points; you seem to be making the argument that religion doesn't kill people... people kill people, which is an argument that holds truth. Religion, however, is the tool, or the justification that people use to commit evil acts, whether they be murdering abortion doctors or flying planes into buildings.

There's been so many stories of young men who go on a trip to the Middle East, convert to Islam, and then blow themselves up in Israel. Of course we must be careful about the logical fallacy... just because situation A happened doesn't mean situation B is its result. But surely these young men - without "finding god" - wouldn't have turned themselves into human bombs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
religion helps about 3 billion people in the world today(or they believe it helps them, if you so prefer semantics and word games) plus the 3 billion that existed in countless years before.
Aha, I'm going to use your own argument against you! Religion doesn't help people... people help people. Religion is just the tool, or the justification that people use to help themselves and others.

The difference is that you don't see atheists detonating bombs at abortion clinics or flying planes into buildings. Those seem like evil acts that are specific to "people of faith." Freethinkers are just as capable of helping themselves and others as those of faith.
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:48 AM   #85
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would have worked, except I clarified in the parentheses beforehand... sorry my statements are already following the logic that has been suggested by this thread as an example.

You little eager beaver, you.

the difference is that you see atheists capable of doing such things, if not worse. What's to prevent a jaded atheist from capping 12 people and then himself cause he's tired of his existence and of questioning God? Nooothing. The ratio of Christians to atheists is alarmingly high, isn't it? Plus, killing in the name of religion is much more easily justified than killing in the name of atheism, is it not? (At any rate, you can't ask the guy for justification... he's dead. )

Just as easy for an atheist to bomb a church. Why don't they? Apathy, lack of effort, or plain common sense? You decide.

Me and the rest of the freethinkers/religious people/atheists/agnosts/people with common sense will be sipping lemonade under the comfortable shade of the intelligence umbrella, thanks.




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Old 08-16-2006, 02:00 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by Mike Windu
What's to prevent a jaded atheist from capping 12 people and then himself cause he's tired of his existence and of questioning God? Nooothing.
Nothing. That is correct. Robbery, theft, murder, rape, etc. are not crimes specific to any kind of religious or ethnic group. But flying planes into buildings and blowing up abortion clinics appear to be atrocities exclusive to religious fundamentalists. No one blows theirself up out of the basic human evils of lust and greed. Suicide is contrary to all that the human mind wills on the body, but somehow, religious fundamentalism still manages to corrupt a soul to its core.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:48 AM   #87
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Religion has nothing, really, to do with people killing themselves or others. It's just a cause in a long list of causes that people believe in. Some believe in something enough to die for it. Troops fight and (knowing full well it could happen) die for their country, clearly against the basic human will to survive. There is no heaven awaiting the patriotic athiest-soldier. Why did he sign up, then? He had a cause to believe in...


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:51 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Religion has nothing, really, to do with people killing themselves or others. It's just a cause in a long list of causes that people believe in. Some believe in something enough to die for it. Troops fight and (knowing full well it could happen) die for their country, clearly against the basic human will to survive. There is no heaven awaiting the patriotic athiest-soldier. Why did he sign up, then? He had a cause to believe in...
To be fair, when a soldier signs up for duty, there is no intention for them to die in combat. Same for being a cop. Being a suicide bomber means that your duty IS to die. Part of a soldier's duty is to live to fight another day...
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:06 AM   #89
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They are willing to die, however. Sometimes the soldiers are the suicide bombers, because they cannot fight effectively any other way. They still sign up. The Japanese in WW2 used kamikaze planes. Their country, their pride, their patriotism, their cause was more important to them than living.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:37 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
They are willing to die, however. Sometimes the soldiers are the suicide bombers, because they cannot fight effectively any other way. They still sign up. The Japanese in WW2 used kamikaze planes. Their country, their pride, their patriotism, their cause was more important to them than living.
Well, I'd be willing to die for a lot of things. Doesn't mean that I'm going to go into Iran and blow myself up in a crowded market in the name of freedom.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:54 AM   #91
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And there's a large part of the diffirence, you have a brain.

No, that's not quite fair. You know better than to commit such an act because you, as well as perhaps 99% percent of the world know better because the faith you follow, or the decision to not follow in any faith, is not one that preaches these things. It is the Al Qaeda taught Islam, the homophobe taught Christianity, these whip up impressionable believers into such a frenzy that they would be willing to commit these acts.

Just on that, you might be thinking that they should know better. Well especially in places such as the Middle East, Africa, where people do not have access to the viewpoints and things such as the Internet and information the way we do, they do not gain an understanding of right and wrong the way you and I probably do. Especially if others around them have been raised to hate Israel for example, or see the West as the evil empire that must be destroyed. And people such as Al Qaeda who want to convert people to terrorism can very easily, and do, preach their message of hatred and get their chosen targets to believe it.

Edit: On soldiers, they are prepared for death. Not willing to die, of course not, but prepared nonetheless. Police officers much less so, but certainly they must be prepared for a situation where they, using good judgement, would have to exercise lethal force. Otherwise they are no good to anyone.

Last edited by Nancy Allen``; 08-16-2006 at 03:58 AM. Reason: Clarification on soldiers
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:49 AM   #92
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``

No, that's not quite fair. You know better than to commit such an act because you, as well as perhaps 99% percent of the world know better because the faith you follow, or the decision to not follow in any faith, is not one that preaches these things. It is the Al Qaeda taught Islam, the homophobe taught Christianity, these whip up impressionable believers into such a frenzy that they would be willing to commit these acts.

Just on that, you might be thinking that they should know better. Well especially in places such as the Middle East, Africa, where people do not have access to the viewpoints and things such as the Internet and information the way we do, they do not gain an understanding of right and wrong the way you and I probably do. Especially if others around them have been raised to hate Israel for example, or see the West as the evil empire that must be destroyed. And people such as Al Qaeda who want to convert people to terrorism can very easily, and do, preach their message of hatred and get their chosen targets to believe it.

Edit: On soldiers, they are prepared for death. Not willing to die, of course not, but prepared nonetheless. Police officers much less so, but certainly they must be prepared for a situation where they, using good judgement, would have to exercise lethal force. Otherwise they are no good to anyone.
The war on terrisom is another example of the Earth being better off without religion.

The world won't be wasting it's resouces on terrorism if religions die out centuries ago.

Al Qaeda fight's this war because as they says the Christian crusades. So deductive logic would dictate if crusades never happen centuries ago we won't be dealing with Al Qaeda or possibly the rest of world terrisom today.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:55 AM   #93
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I think you're putting too much consideration on religion being the cause of terrorism. If it wasn't that it would be to destroy America, if not that then their reasons would be foreigners on their land, or something political. If it's not any of those things terrorists would come up with some other excuse. When Osama Bin Laden rallied the Islamic world against the west he cited American military bases on Muslim soil as cause for Jihad. This, religion, whatever reason terrorists give for their acts is really an excuse for their actions.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:12 AM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I think you're putting too much consideration on religion being the cause of terrorism. If it wasn't that it would be to destroy America, if not that then their reasons would be foreigners on their land, or something political. If it's not any of those things terrorists would come up with some other excuse. When Osama Bin Laden rallied the Islamic world against the west he cited American military bases on Muslim soil as cause for Jihad. This, religion, whatever reason terrorists give for their acts is really an excuse for their actions.
I don't know where get your info from but about every time Al Qaeda say kill americans they called americans crusaders along with other words like infidels and their zionists alies.

As I have said, religion, religion, RELIGION.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:16 AM   #95
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Osama Bin Laden's words were quoted by the US military, I could find the exact source.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:25 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Osama Bin Laden's words were quoted by the US military, I could find the exact source.
You mean the Bush military source.
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:30 AM   #97
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No, I mean JAG.

If I were to find audio or video of the quote from Osama Bin Laden himself, would that make you happy?
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Old 08-16-2006, 05:44 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
No, I mean JAG.

If I were to find audio or video of the quote from Osama Bin Laden himself, would that make you happy?
Yeah if, a audio or video of the quote from Osama Bin Laden and the rest of the Islamists terrorists and with those pices of evidence you will probably satisfy my curiosity.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:45 AM   #99
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but somehow, religious fundamentalism still manages to corrupt a soul to its core.
Don't give me that; there's a difference between faith and religion.

Quote:
Doesn't mean that I'm going to go into Iran and blow myself up in a crowded market in the name of freedom.
Maybe YOU wouldn't, but there's plenty of people who'd blow themselves up city blocks for their country/state/girlfriend at a whim. It's a lot more than just religion; these people are often glorified.

Like I said, there are idiots everywhere. Some idiots choose to do things based on their beliefs, others don't.

I might not believe in abortion, but I won't bomb an abortion clinic. It's a choice that *I* make, not religion.

"The problem, as you so adequately put, is choice."




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Old 08-16-2006, 07:04 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by sockerbit89
Religion isn't evil. I can not say one thing done by man that is a work of pure evil rather than a whole lot fear, misunderstanding, hate and ignorance.

Religion wasn't made out of evil, altough there was a whole lot of ignorant dumb stuff involved.
It is made out stupidity, corruption and igorance of course.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:10 AM   #101
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Here's a thought; rather than bashing religion incessantly, perhaps you might want to back up your claims. This is, after all, a debate, and I suggest you start debating.

Your incoherent ramblings mean nothing if you can't at least bring yourself to justify why you think religion is "made out stupidity, corruption, and igorance"...




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Old 08-16-2006, 07:25 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Here's a thought; rather than bashing religion incessantly, perhaps you might want to back up your claims. This is, after all, a debate, and I suggest you start debating.

Your incoherent ramblings mean nothing if you can't at least bring yourself to justify why you think religion is "made out stupidity, corruption, and igorance"...
What the hell are you talking about? I have already justified my reasons. Having you been reading my posts?
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:06 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Don't give me that; there's a difference between faith and religion.
I often hear the terms used interchangeably. "The Christian religion" or "the Christian faith" etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Maybe YOU wouldn't, but there's plenty of people who'd blow themselves up city blocks for their country/state/girlfriend at a whim. It's a lot more than just religion; these people are often glorified.
But they're not doings those things... every suicide bombing has been in the name of god. Is it just a coincidence?


I'd like to make it clear that I'm not bashing ALL religion... just the kind that makes this country run by a bunch of religious zealots and makes the Middle East and Africa into killing grounds, and spreads suicide bombing into Europe and the U.S.
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:40 PM   #104
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Well that's the danger whenever you have the people in charge all with some special interest. Imagine if the American government was made up of members of Earth First, or they had all converted to Muslim, to be fair militant Islam as there is nothing wrong with the Muslim faith itself. Or if they were all huge fans of hip hop and reality TV, OH THE HUMANITY!
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:41 PM   #105
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But they're not doings those things... every suicide bombing has been in the name of god. Is it just a coincidence?
Every time I drink soda, I use my mouth. Is it just a coincidence?

Suicide bombings =/= religious facet

Ask a Muslim girl if she feels like going out to kill someone in the name of God today.

Maybe I'm wrong, but chances are... she doesn't.

Is there a correlation between suicide bombings and religion? Sure. Can you remove that correlation? Sure.

What if religion consisted of worshipping omnipotent pink llamas?

Killing in the name of llamas?




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Old 08-16-2006, 08:04 PM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Suicide bombings =/= religious facet
But why is it only done by people who are religious fanatics?

Why aren't there people blowing themselves up in the name of atheism? Or liberty? Or democracy? Fighting for these things is entirely different from intentionally killing yourself in a terrorist act to advance them. No soldier on the front lines is saying "yes, I want to die and become a martyr for my country." He'll say "yes, I'm willing to die for my country... but I have a wife and children to think about." Religious fanatics seem to think that killing themselves and others in the name of god is the most important thing one can do. More important than their own life. More important than their family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Ask a Muslim girl if she feels like going out to kill someone in the name of God today.

Maybe I'm wrong, but chances are... she doesn't.
Muslim girls aren't typically the ones that do the suicide bombing, but there have been cases where women are used. If said Muslim is native to the Middle East, ask that question to a young Muslim male living in Iraq or Pakistan and you may get an answer of "yes" to such a question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Is there a correlation between suicide bombings and religion? Sure. Can you remove that correlation? Sure.
Can be removed... it never has been.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
What if religion consisted of worshipping omnipotent pink llamas?
Oh... you mean like a Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Windu
Killing in the name of llamas?
Flying Spaghetti Monster!
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:08 AM   #107
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Ask a Muslim girl if she feels like going out to kill someone in the name of God today.

Maybe I'm wrong, but chances are... she doesn't.
But she is not representative of all Muslims. Just that she is of sound enough mind to realize such a thing would be wrong, doesn't mean that there can't be a limited number of her fellow Muslims who are not.

But mythologies have a big thing to say. Sure, politics give you your enemy to start with. But it's the mythologies of Christianity or Islam (or what-have-you) that tell you to bomb, shoot, and otherwise terrorize those enemies rather than working towards a peaceful end. Look at the web site supporting Paul Hill. They're all religious to the extreme.

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Old 08-17-2006, 04:33 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by TK-8252


Muslim girls aren't typically the ones that do the suicide bombing, but there have been cases where women are used. If said Muslim is native to the Middle East, ask that question to a young Muslim male living in Iraq or Pakistan and you may get an answer of "yes" to such a question.





Another that thing I have notice as it have occurred to me of my current observation of terrorists.

It seems to me that these suicide bombers commit suicide because of sex and sweets.

They believe, the Muslim males that they are going to receive 70 virgins and milk and honey in their version of heaven forever.

You surely are'nt promise those types gifts in the Christian version of heaven.

I see why more males of the world are converting to Islam.

But it won't ever convince me no matter what gifts religions offer to join their faith.
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:41 AM   #109
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Well, after two or three virgins you'd probably be wanting someone who knew what they were doing.

Seriously, the Israelites were promised a land of milk and honey.
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:11 AM   #110
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...um

So... Muslim girls aren't representative of all Muslims... but suicide bombers are.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

(In case you were wondering, I used a Muslim girl because there's a very intelligent one in my AP literature class, and so far she hasn't tried to kill anyone. She's even friends with (gasp) a Jew!)

I am quite tired of people resorting to the most extreme cases of fanaticism in order to prove their point. Just in case you weren't aware, there are more Muslims in the world who aren't crazy killers.

OMG NO WAI?! WHERE?!

Well gee... there's about a gazillion of them, some might even be in your own neighborhood! OMG WATCH OUT FOR DA TERRORISTS!!!!111

Similar to the "oh those fanatics aren't Christians/Muslim/etc" argument, except reversed. "Oh those normal people aren't Christians/Muslim, but only the people who do bad things are because they clearly are representative of their religion."

Get off the anti religious bent, please.

-----------------------------------------------

What difference does it make if the correlation has never been removed, if it can be removed?

In case you aren't too good at putting 2+2 together, it means that the correlation is not an ultimatum and thus is not characteristic of religion.

BUT NOBODY ELSE HAS EVER THOUGHT OF USING SUICIDE BOMBING!1111

"The first modern suicide bombing—involving explosives deliberately carried to the target either on the person or in a civilian vehicle and delivered by surprise—was in 1981; perfected by the factions of the Lebanese Civil War and especially by the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka" ~ Wiki (want another source? I'm sure I could find it in about 2 seconds, but I'd rather not search for "suicide bombing" on google...)

"Following World War II, Viet Minh "death volunteers" fought against the French colonial army by using a long stick-like explosive to detonate French tanks, as part of their urban warfare tactics."

edit - re edit - being nice




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Old 08-17-2006, 07:10 AM   #111
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So... Muslim girls aren't representative of all Muslims... but suicide bombers are.

Just in case you weren't aware, there are more Muslims in the world who aren't crazy killers.
I said one girl wasn't representative, yes. But that does not mean I think the suicide bombers are.

And I know most Muslims are nice people. Several of my friends are Islamic.

Quote:
I am quite tired of people resorting to the most extreme cases of fanaticism in order to prove their point.
And that point stands: Mythologies can and do make people do evil things. It's not the only thing that can push people over the edge and make them kill themselves and others, but it certainly is one of them.

Quote:
Similar to the "oh those fanatics aren't Christians/Muslim/etc" argument, except reversed. "Oh those normal people aren't Christians/Muslim, but only the people who do bad things are because they clearly are representative of their religion."
I wrote nothing of the sort.

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Old 08-17-2006, 11:07 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Darth Andrew
Anyway, organized religion can be good since it's, well, organized. Sure, some people may believe in the same deity, but they might not grow in their spiritual faith if they solely prayed alone. While in what you call a group, people can discover more about their faith through the experience of others.
And THAT is the danger. If you are "growing" in your faith more by listening to other people than you are by listening to your internal beliefs then surely that must be wrong.

How can you hear what god is saying to YOU when everyone else is telling you what THEY think god is saying?

Whenever people get together in groups a number of interesting human dynamics come into play. People want to belong.. so they will go along with things they might not ordinarily do. Some people are naturally charismatic leaders, others are naturally followers. nce you have a group you also have "the others" outside the group. All these are bad things when it comes to faith.

That is why so many bad things have been done in the name of religion.. because charismatic leaders so forcefully project THEIR view of what god wants you to do, that people can no longer hear THEIR view of what god wants them to do. And the effect is like a mob.. people get swept up in things and do and say things they would never normally do.
Of course this effect isn't solely restricted to religious groups and religious demagogues.. it equally occurs in football crowds, lynch mobs, political rallys, and so on.

I amy be wrong, but i think that the ONLY major religion that has NEVER committed any violent acts is buddhism.. and I believe that is because hey place much more of an emphasis on going somewhere quiet and listening to what god is telling you.. rather than getting together in a group and having someone else tell you what god wants.

Even in christianity, those who seem most closely connected to god are the monks and nuns who simply take some quiet time to be alone with god.. rather than getting together in big ceremonies that are more about getting worked up than listening to god. Heck.. even jesus went out into the wilderness to fast and meditate when he wanted guidance.. he didn't get all his followers together in some sort of ceremony or rally.

Next time you want to grow in faith.. try going to the mountains and spending some quiet time with your faith.. rather than going to a church and risking it being led astray or corrupted by someone else's misguided faith.



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Old 08-17-2006, 11:24 AM   #113
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I personally dislike organized religion as it's not free-thinking. It's just sitting there listening to a guy going "this is what you are to believe!". Sure, you may say that "you can listen and then make up your own mind", but when that's not the purpose of the preaching, and you go there every Sunday, open-mindedness is not the end result.

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Originally Posted by toms
I amy be wrong, but i think that the ONLY major religion that has NEVER committed any violent acts is buddhism.. and I believe that is because hey place much more of an emphasis on going somewhere quiet and listening to what god is telling you.. rather than getting together in a group and having someone else tell you what god wants.
Actually, I think Buddhist monks fought for Korea when the Japanese invaded (in the 1500's). So... no.

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Old 08-17-2006, 12:16 PM   #114
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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY TOMS:

I amy be wrong, but i think that the ONLY major religion that has NEVER committed any violent acts is buddhism.. and I believe that is because hey place much more of an emphasis on going somewhere quiet and listening to what god is telling you.. rather than getting together in a group and having someone else tell you what god wants.
Bit of a straw man there, Toms me old chum. No "Religion" has ever "committed violent acts," because religions are merely abstract delusions. People commit violent acts in the NAME of religion. Religions are, as I stated earlier in the thread, neither good nor evil. People are good or evil.

But it's certainly true that when compared to Christianity or Islam, Buddhism has had LESS major atrocities committed in its name. Even the legendary Shaolin monks never went around handing out kung-fu whoop*ss to people "In Buddha's name". They did it in the Emperor's name.

But once again Buddhism is NOT a religion, as one does NOT pray to a deity in Buddhism, nor does one have to even believe in a deity, to practice Buddhism. Buddhism is, once and for all, not a religion. So it's an unfair comparison.

It's difficult to be a fanatical Buddhist. If one is a Buddhist fanatic one shaves one's head, dons an orange robe and sits around meditating a lot on the meaning of human suffering. If on the other hand one is a Muslim fanatic, one blows things up (or at least fantasises about it), and if one is a Christian fanatic, one spouts inane gibberish about turtles supporting the world in seven days or something, and declares war on middle eastern countries.

J/k.

Quote:
ORIGINALLY POSTED BY TOMS:

and I believe that is because hey place much more of an emphasis on going somewhere quiet and listening to what god is telling you.. rather than getting together in a group and having someone else tell you what god wants.
No god. Buddhism not religion.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DAGOBAHN EAGLE:

And that point stands: Mythologies can and do make people do evil things. It's not the only thing that can push people over the edge and make them kill themselves and others, but it certainly is one of them.
Nope. Myths and legends do not "make" people do anything. Nor are they a factor in making people do evil in the way that you're implying.

Religion can be used as a tool to influence people. That does not mean that the religion itself influences them. It is still the will of another human being trying to exert power over a fellow creature, regardless of the form of the tool employed.

Ignorance makes people do evil, and while religion does not drive ignorance away, it does not CAUSE people to be ignorant. Their own laziness does that.

Self interest causes people to do evil, and while religion does not expunge self-interested motivations from people, it does not CREATE those motivations either.

The bottom line is people are good or evil (If there is such a thing as good or evil) in their natures or by choice. They are either wilfully ignorant or they make the effort to learn. That is their choice. You may argue: "But people in closeted religious communities don't have the chance to learn". But they do. What separates ex-religious people from people who are still trapped in the web of orthodox islam or orthodox judaism? Why, a choice, of course. Some choose to leave, to look outside or to question their elders. I don't accept that religion or any form of indoctrination destroys a person's free will, and I don't believe that having a religious family excuses you from taking RESPONSIBILITY for your own mind, and your own life.

In the end, we have free will. Evil people do evil, and Good people do good. Good people do not do evil, for once they have done evil, they are evildoers. They are evil. They just didn't reveal their evil beforehand.


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Old 08-17-2006, 02:03 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
But once again Buddhism is NOT a religion, as one does NOT pray to a deity in Buddhism, nor does one have to even believe in a deity, to practice Buddhism. Buddhism is, once and for all, not a religion. So it's an unfair comparison.
Just to clarify, Theravada Buddhism fits the description you've given above, but Mahayana Buddhism does appear to encourage the prayer and worship of Buddha as a deity or supernatural entity and in this, the largest sect of Buddhism, god is often looked for in Buddhism while on the path to Nirvana.

Theravada Buddhism, often considered the truest and purest form of the philosophy, does indeed present an atheist philosophical position and is one of the philosophical tenets that humanism was born from.


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Old 08-17-2006, 09:53 PM   #116
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Quote:
Bit of a straw man there, Toms me old chum. No "Religion" has ever "committed violent acts," because religions are merely abstract delusions. People commit violent acts in the NAME of religion. Religions are, as I stated earlier in the thread, neither good nor evil. People are good or evil.
Do you apply that reasoning to other systems of beliefs, too, like Nazism or Communism? "Nazism is not evil, people are evil"?


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Old 08-17-2006, 10:31 PM   #117
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I amy be wrong, but i think that the ONLY major religion that has NEVER committed any violent acts is buddhism.. and I believe that is because hey place much more of an emphasis on going somewhere quiet and listening to what god is telling you.. rather than getting together in a group and having someone else tell you what god wants.
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:20 AM   #118
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I knew i should have left that paragraph out. Still, ignoring that paragraph if you will, i think the rst of my post is valid.

If there were no chruches, no mosques, no christian evangelical tv channels TELLING people how th believe.. and it was just people havnig their own internal debates and conversations with god then I think the world would be a much better place.
People go to church because they want to be a part of a group, which makes them feel stronger and less alone.. but what they often get is a preacher putting HIS interpretations on the religion, interpretations that are no more vaild than their interpretations, except he says them louder. Interpretations that can be influenced by his personal issues.

There are lots of issues today that aren't really religious issues at all, but have been turned into religious issues by religious leaders who are allowing their own personal views to influence their teachings. Then their flocks "grow" in their belief by incorporating those mistaken beliefs and the whole religion gets off track.

The ones (christian or muslim) running around aren't the ones who have the closest relationship with their god.. they are the ones who have the most charismatic preachers.. who can profoundly alter their beliefs.
Look at these potential bombers in the Uk. They all once had moderate beliefs.. then they went to church and their faith "grew".. in the way that the preacher wanted it to.

I dount they could hear their own beliefs or god or concience or whatever you want to call it over all the noise...



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Old 08-18-2006, 08:01 PM   #119
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Quote:
ORIGINALLY POSTED BY SKINWALKER:

Just to clarify, Theravada Buddhism fits the description you've given above, but Mahayana Buddhism does appear to encourage the prayer and worship of Buddha as a deity or supernatural entity and in this, the largest sect of Buddhism, god is often looked for in Buddhism while on the path to Nirvana.

Theravada Buddhism, often considered the truest and purest form of the philosophy, does indeed present an atheist philosophical position and is one of the philosophical tenets that humanism was born from.
And once again I must remind you that the "big raft" of Mahayana is not Buddhism. Lighting incense a few times a week while visualising some deity or other is not following the teachings of Buddha, any more than killing someone in God's name is true Christianity.

I could worship a particularly green and attractive cabbage and call my worship "Buddhism", but that clearly wouldn't make it so. Mahayana is the same.

Buddhism is following the teachings of Buddha. Even following the path of Buddha. Christianity is following the teachings of Christ.. This is why most Christians today are un-christian. They are on their own equivalent of the big raft.

And no, the NUMBER of people who believe that Mahayana is true Buddhism is irrelevant. They're all misguided and foolish in this respect. Regardless of their majority status.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DAGOBAHN EAGLE:

Do you apply that reasoning to other systems of beliefs, too, like Nazism or Communism? "Nazism is not evil, people are evil"?
Communism is not inherently evil. If implemented in a certain way, it might indeed function quite well as a system of governance. But that's the point, isn't it. Political extremism is evil. Political ideas are always welcome, no matter how outlandish they are.

Ah, and you played the Hitler card. As for Nazism, Nazism wasn't a belief system, nor even a system of governance, it was a totalitarian ideology- very much like neoconservatism- and it was based on inherently immoral ideas. Are you seriously comparing the mythical teachings of Christ or Mohammed with an ideology defined by the genocidal actions of a more-than-fascist warmongering junta from the thirties?

What makes nazism evil was that it was originally defined by an evil group of people as an active attempt to gain political and international dominion over others, to commit racial genocide and to subsume the free will of its own populace beneath a sea of lies and propaganda.

It really does not compare. So this part of your question is really quite irrelevant. You might as well have asked "Do you apply the same reasoning to cabbage?"

I like cabbage.


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Old 08-18-2006, 08:24 PM   #120
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Excuse me sir, but as a former Mahayana Buddhist myself I don't appreciate your claim that Mahayana Buddhism is not Buddhism.

People seem to misconstrue the aspects of Mahayana Buddhism... so allow me to summarize this very quickly.

Buddha =/= God

In fact he would be closer to Jesus in the Western World than God himself. Buddha is a helper or a visualizer to the path of Nirvana, which would be what equals God.

Lighting incense a few times a week, to my knowledge is to acknowledge Buddha and acknowledge his wisdom, and ask that a bit of that wisdom help you.

A lot of people may pray to the Buddha for direct assistance, but that's not the way it is.

Ever heard of a candlelight vigil? Substitute candle for incense and bam.

In any case, we light incense for my grandfather, as well. (he's dead). It's more of a respect thing than anything else like prayer.

Though I'm no longer a Buddhist, just thought I'd clarify this, as unnecessary attacks on any religion are in poor taste, good sir.

Let the debate continue.




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