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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 08-18-2006, 08:41 PM   #121
Spider AL
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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.
Regardless, my claim is true, for the reasons stated above. If you wish to debate those reasons, please do so.

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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.
Nirvana does not equal "God". Nirvana is a conceptualisation of an end to material suffering and repetitive reincarnation into this world. Nirvana is closer to being oblivion than it is to being some white-bearded skydaddy. And Buddha is no emmisary from some deity, he was allegedly a man who walked a path and chronicled his path so that others could follow. Nothing more, nothing less.

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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.
And that is not Buddhism. If you want the wisdom of Buddha to help you, Go and read some of it. Burning incense is an irrelevance. You may feel as though you are in some way "paying your respects", but if you want to show respect for Buddha's wisdom, do some of the things he recommends, like casting away desire. Igniting an odourful twig isn't what I'd call a useful pastime. If Buddha ever existed and he were around to tell you, I'm sure he'd say to do something more useful. Hasten and strive, and all that.

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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.
For a start, Buddhism is not a religion.

I try to follow the teachings of Buddha. In this respect, I am a true Buddhist. I am also a true Christian, because I try to follow the teachings of Christ. But I am also an atheist, and I subscribe to none of the nonsense of big-raft organised cults such as Catholicism, Islam or Mahayana "Buddhism". And frankly, I don't feel in the least bit contrite about attacking such fraudulent and wasteful institutions.


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Old 08-18-2006, 09:18 PM   #122
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Ah, and you played the Hitler card.
If I said Christianity was as bad as Nazism, I'd be. I'm not.

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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.
They're both systems, however. I'm not saying Christianity and Nazism are comparable moral-wise, but they're both ideologies.

There are a lot of immoral ideas in the Bible, too (such as the hatred towards homosexuals). When Fred Phelps follows them, apparently that's not the Bible's fault. Yet when neo-Nazis follow Hitler's "teachings", suddenly it's his fault.

I'm not saying Christianity's as bad as Nazism. Nowhere near it.
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You might as well have asked "Do you apply the same reasoning to cabbage?
But of course I do! Timothy McVeigh, Stalin, and Chairman Mao all loved cabbage! Clearly there's a connection!

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Old 08-19-2006, 12:02 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by Spider AL
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.
I'm reminded of those who offer the bigoted perspective that certain sects of christianity aren't actually "christian." I've seen accusations that Mormons, Jehova's Witnesses, even Catholics aren't actually christian. But, in the end, they're just christians. Different flavors, to be sure, christian nonetheless.

The same is true with Mahayana Buddhism. Call it what you will, Spider, but the *are* Buddhists. There's not a text on religion, anthropology of religion, or sociology of religion, that I'm aware that posits otherwise. Moreover, Mahayanists adhere to some of the main tenets of Buddhism, including the 8 Fold Path and the 4 Noble Truths as well as Nirvana. Not to mention that Buddha himself is of primary importance.

In the end, you can keep calling them whatever you wish or don't wish, but it would be like calling a sphere a cube: no matter how many times you say "cube," corners won't appear. Mahayanism *is* a form of Buddhism.


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Old 08-19-2006, 01:04 PM   #124
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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY SKINWALKER:

I'm reminded of those who offer the bigoted perspective that certain sects of christianity aren't actually "christian." I've seen accusations that Mormons, Jehova's Witnesses, even Catholics aren't actually christian. But, in the end, they're just christians. Different flavors, to be sure, christian nonetheless.
Those who follow the teachings of Christ can be called Christian people, regardless of their denomination. Most modern "christians" do not qualify as christian people, for the simple reason that they do not even attempt to emulate Christ's basic moral examples. Take George Bush as an example. The same goes for Buddhists. Only those who follow the path of Buddha can truly be called Buddhist.

Some very christian people can be members of an organised church. But they are christian DESPITE the church, not BECAUSE of it. The same goes for Buddhists once again, a practioner of Mahayana may indeed be following the path of Buddha, but he will be doing so DESPITE Mahayana, not BECAUSE of it.

Very emotive term, by the way: Bigoted. Spare me. There's nothing bigoted about my dislike of organised religions, or more accurately, religious organisations.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY SKINWALKER:

The same is true with Mahayana Buddhism. Call it what you will, Spider, but the *are* Buddhists.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say with this. Are you saying that if a group of cabbage worshipping esquimeaux (sic) call their leafy green religious practices "Buddhism" then that makes them Buddhists?

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY SKINWALKER:

There's not a text on religion, anthropology of religion, or sociology of religion, that I'm aware that posits otherwise.
First of all, that's completely irrelevant to ANY aspect of the argument. Secondly, I recall many discussions of the relative worth of Mahayana both in print, among Buddhists and indeed, even on this forum. You and I both participated in the last time this topic was discussed here. This is not a new debate nor a new idea. I'm sure it's been discussed since Mahayana was formed as a sect, in fact.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY SKINWALKER:

Moreover, Mahayanists adhere to some of the main tenets of Buddhism, including the 8 Fold Path and the 4 Noble Truths as well as Nirvana.
The fact that they use some of the same terminology as Buddha did in his teachings does not mean that they're adhering to the principles behind those teachings now, does it. Regurgitating the four noble truths by rote does not mean one applies the principle of the truths in one's daily life, nor does it mean that one is doing all the introspective self-analytical meditation that characterises the Buddhist way. And as we've seen in this thread, people can use the word "Nirvana" without at all ascribing the correct meaning to it. The plain fact of the matter is that Mahayana may indeed do some things right, I can't speak for the practices of every Mayahana tulku or temple honcho or whatever. But those right things will always be totally outweighed by all the mystic, religious airy-fairy guff wrong things that make up the rest of Mahayana's practices.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY SKINWALKER:

Not to mention that Buddha himself is of primary importance.
As an idol! An object of worship! That is not Buddhism. Buddha would be spinning in his celestial resting place, presuming he ever existed. Mahayana Buddhists routinely believe in celestial messengers, praying to Buddha for help or guidance, and that Buddha is in some way extant and omniscient. Total guff, in other words.

A lot like Jeet Kune Do. Bruce Lee wrote in his notes that Jeet Kune Do was his way of understanding ALL martial arts. It was his philosophy of LEARNING. It was NOT in itself a martial art. It should not be taught as a martial art, and if people were to start saying that Jeet Kune Do is this set of techniques, or it is that set of techniques, then he would have the name of Jeet Kune Do wiped out forever, because that was not what the philosophy was intended for.

Immediately after his death, nearly all his old students and some people who had never met him started claiming to "teach JKD", when they were really just teaching some moves.. People still practice this so-called art to this day... but they're not learning Jeet Kune Do, and what they're attending is not a "Jeet Kune Do class". To learn the way of Jeet Kune Do, one must quite simply read Lee's works, and try to grasp his martial philosophy.

It is almost a direct parallel to the topic of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. One is the true way, as it was intended, the other is a poor mockery of the way, regardless of how many half-understood snippets of the real way it contains.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY SKINWALKER:

In the end, you can keep calling them whatever you wish or don't wish, but it would be like calling a sphere a cube: no matter how many times you say "cube," corners won't appear. Mahayanism *is* a form of Buddhism.
I personally think that you're the one who's misguided in this respect. If you really believe that rituals, gold statue idolatry, incense burning and prayer to deified semi-mythical figures have ANYTHING to do with the teachings of Buddha, then you should re-evaluate.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DAGOBAHN EAGLE:

They're both systems, however. I'm not saying Christianity and Nazism are comparable moral-wise, but they're both ideologies.
What do you mean by "They're both systems"? And they're not both political ideologies, one is a religion based on the teachings of a moralist who got nailed to a tree, and the other is a totalitarian fascist doctrine of deceit and ethnic cleansing. Completely different. Incomparable.

And yes, even attempting to compare them in this context was playing the Hitler Card.

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DAGOBAHN EAGLE:

There are a lot of immoral ideas in the Bible, too (such as the hatred towards homosexuals). When Fred Phelps follows them, apparently that's not the Bible's fault. Yet when neo-Nazis follow Hitler's "teachings", suddenly it's his fault.
There's a clear distinction. If people follow Christ's example, it's unlikely that they'll even be allowed to hate anyone.

When people follow Hitler's example, they ohh... I dunno... murder millions of people, conquer nations, start armed conflicts... Make rousing speeches...

You get the picture.

The bible is not very Christian at times, is it. It's commonly accepted among non-fanatics and academics that the old testament is merely a relic of the preceding doctrine of Judaism. The old Hebrew laws were quite red in tooth and claw. The most specifically anti-homosexual passages are in Leviticus, which is a book of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, as I understand it.

And any member of an organised church who values the principles of the Old Testament over Christ's teachings in the new, must surely be called un-christian. An example: A man who believes in "an eye for an eye" but does not believe in "turning the other cheek". Can't really be called a "christian man", now, can he?

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ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DAGOBAHN EAGLE:

But of course I do! Timothy McVeigh, Stalin, and Chairman Mao all loved cabbage! Clearly there's a connection!
Damn right! The cabbage is evil.


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Old 08-23-2006, 11:31 PM   #125
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:34 AM   #126
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I personally think that you're the one who's misguided in this respect. If you really believe that rituals, gold statue idolatry, incense burning and prayer to deified semi-mythical figures have ANYTHING to do with the teachings of Buddha, then you should re-evaluate.
Mahayana Buddhists follow the Eight Fold Path and accept the Four Noble Truths. These are teachings of Buddha. The follow the core teachings of Buddha. Therefore they are "Buddhists."

I challenge you to provide any scholarly source in the fields of anthropology or sociology concerned with religion that assert otherwise.

I say again: calling a sphere a cube presents no corners.

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Very emotive term, by the way: Bigoted. Spare me. There's nothing bigoted about my dislike of organised religions, or more accurately, religious organisations.
Perhaps poorly chosen. But you'll notice I said "reminded" and did not mean to imply that you were bigoted. I was recently engaged in another discussion elsewhere in which the very topic arose. I found the similarities striking.

Still, for purposes of defining the world around me in an anthropological way, I'll not be arsed to judge whether any one particular religionist is truly devoted; truly adherent; true believer; true [insert noun]. My inquiry is answered when I discover the doctrine said religionist follows or believes he/she follows. In the end, one's religion is about what that person believes and professes to believe; not my opinions of that person's professed faith and what it should mean to be a true adherent.

Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? Its certainly the latter. It can be debated (and is!) on the former. It certainly doesn't fall into the parsimonious definition of a practice that has the purpose of influencing or gaining favor from a supernatural deity. Theravadism is clearly a philosophical position, while Mahayanism has more religious content. While it may have no clear deity (though for some, Buddha *is* deified), there are definitely supernatural overtones and mysticism involved.

And I've yet to see a course on comparative religion, world religion, or anthropology of religion that did not spend significant time reviewing Buddhism.

But to bring this back into the fold of the topic, I would have to conclude that by and large, Buddhists are not guilty of "evil" acts that can be attributed to other world religions that have one or more deities. Indeed the core Buddhist beliefs include Arhat, which involves destroying hate, greed, and the like. It is, perhaps, impossible for the Buddhist to reconcile violence in the way other religions do simply because there are no deities like god or satan to blame for behaviors. There is only the individual: each responsible for his own actions on the path to enlightenment.

Call it a religion or call it a philosophy. Its hard to find fault with Theravadism.


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Old 09-01-2006, 09:18 AM   #127
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Richard Dawins as alful brave.

He went around confronting all those religous poeple..

I would be afraid to say stuff like that to fundimentalist beleivers. wasn't he afraid people will smack him? how did he do this without worry that the people he interviewed would take away his film?


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Old 09-01-2006, 08:02 PM   #128
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Maybe because in the UK we aren't all afraid of annoying the religious right?

It wouldn't really occur to most people in the UK to worry about what the religious nuts might think.. unlike the US where it appears that every election is a case of "i'm more christian than you!"



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Old 09-02-2006, 01:07 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by kipperthefrog
Richard Dawins as alful brave.

He went around confronting all those religous poeple..

I would be afraid to say stuff like that to fundimentalist beleivers. wasn't he afraid people will smack him? how did he do this without worry that the people he interviewed would take away his film?
Because people are less likely to do that when they know a camera is on them (besides, fame is a powerful lure, even if it's 15 seconds of somebody trying to make you look stupid). Anyone who's face appears on public TV has signed a release allowing them to be shown (otherwise they can sue). Then again I'm not sure if that's how it is in the UK...

Atheists and Christian-bashers have powerful friends, they're not some persecuted minority in Europe or North America that can't have their say.


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Old 09-02-2006, 07:35 PM   #130
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Thanks gang! I really like that documentary! I would show it to my Parents, but they are too religuis.


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Old 09-02-2006, 09:38 PM   #131
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Atheists and Christian-bashers have powerful friends, they're not some persecuted minority in Europe or North America that can't have their say.
In the U.S. atheists certainly are not a very "welcome" minority.

George H. W. Bush said that he doesn't think that atheists should be U.S. citizens, because this is a country "under god."

If by atheists having powerful friends you mean the ACLU, because that's really all there is, then it's the ACLU versus... well, 90% of America.

The American people have said that they would rather elect a gay person than an atheist to be President. Isn't it odd how the person who gets elected into office is always the one who claims to be more Christian than the other guy? It's ironic, since so many of the Founding Fathers weren't Christians at all. They even rejected Christianity in some instances.
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:40 PM   #132
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Odds are quite high that john kerry would have won if he'd been the right kind of christian... *shrugs*



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Old 09-10-2006, 10:41 PM   #133
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Is religion evil? What an absurdly stupid concept.

Most ideas and beliefs are inherently neutral. The concepts of good and evil only apply when people use these ideas to further their own agendas and goals.

Religion does two things. It offers people guild lines on living and relating to people around them. It also offers a hope that when death comes there is something better awaiting them. It offers a hope that all of the trials and tribulations that we have endured in this life amount to something and are not erased the second life ends.

Judging an entire group based on the loudest is very easy to do and will usually get you the wrong impressions. Ignore the fundamentalists who whine about creationism vs. evolution. If you want to see what a real Christian looks like look at the people who work the missionary homes in the third world countries doing the work that the nations of the world canít be bothered to do. Its that whole help the poor and sick thing.
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:08 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Lomall
Is religion evil? What an absurdly stupid concept.

Most ideas and beliefs are inherently neutral. The concepts of good and evil only apply when people use these ideas to further their own agendas and goals.

Religion does two things. It offers people guild lines on living and relating to people around them. It also offers a hope that when death comes there is something better awaiting them. It offers a hope that all of the trials and tribulations that we have endured in this life amount to something and are not erased the second life ends.

Judging an entire group based on the loudest is very easy to do and will usually get you the wrong impressions. Ignore the fundamentalists who whine about creationism vs. evolution. If you want to see what a real Christian looks like look at the people who work the missionary homes in the third world countries doing the work that the nations of the world canít be bothered to do. Its that whole help the poor and sick thing.
Religion is evil, it will always be a trouble maker for human socity as along it continue to exist as a major concept.
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:17 PM   #135
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Most ideas and beliefs are inherently neutral. The concepts of good and evil only apply when people use these ideas to further their own agendas and goals.
So it's not wrong for me to think that, say, all Kurds should be killed and write a book about it? It's only when someone acts on the book that my view is no longer neutral?

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Religion does two things. It offers people guild lines on living and relating to people around them.
So much for its neutrality.
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It also offers a hope that when death comes there is something better awaiting them.
And, in many religions' cases, that most of the world's populace is being brutally tortured or otherwise punished after death. Maybe I'm biased as a member of a humanitarian organization, but that philosophy does not appeal to me.

Of course I'd like for there to be something else after death, preferably good ole reincarnation. But I don't think going around and believing in such a phenomenon does anything good for you, as it means that you risk failing to live this life to its full potential.

It's like buying a cell phone. If I told you that you can have one cell phone in your life and that's it, you'd probably take better care of it than if you got a free one that was ten times better when you wore out or "lost" your first one, right? Of course Christianity and most other mythologies have anti-suicide systems (such as Christianity's condemnation of all suicide victims to Hell), but still, I think such a belief makes this world seem more dull and unenjoyable.

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It offers a hope that all of the trials and tribulations that we have endured in this life amount to something (...)
If you need that kind of affirmation from a book, you're not doing enough with your life.

I'm with the Red Cross visitation service. I'm a past volunteer at a Houstonian animal shelter and at my past school's volunteer organization. I've signed up as a volunteer at an annual camp for burn victims next year.

Does that amount to something? For the animals we saved at the shelter, yes. For the person I'm going to help as a visitor, yes.

If you feel your life amounts to nothing, then go do something with it.

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Ignore the fundamentalists who whine about creationism vs. evolution. If you want to see what a real Christian looks like (...)
True Scottsman argument. Timothy McVeigh was as Christian as that random charity guy.

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look at the people who work the missionary homes in the third world countries doing the work that the nations of the world canít be bothered to do. Its that whole help the poor and sick thing.
While forcing their religion down their throats.

Lots of organizations, ICRC being one, are involved in the third world. It's not like atheists don't care and the friendly Christians have to do all the dirty work.


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Old 09-11-2006, 10:28 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
So it's not wrong for me to think that, say, all Kurds should be killed and write a book about it? It's only when someone acts on the book that my view is no longer neutral?
That's not what he said.. just the idea does not affect nor hurt anyone. What they do with the idea is something else entirely. Writing a book constitutes doing something. Just thinking it, however, is not a reason to punish someone. AFAIK, no one wants thought police... and yes, as far as people should be concerned, if someone never does something about their (positive or negative) beliefs, it's the same as if they didn't have them in the first place.


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Old 09-12-2006, 01:17 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
While forcing their religion down their throats.

Lots of organizations, ICRC being one, are involved in the third world. It's not like atheists don't care and the friendly Christians have to do all the dirty work.
My aunt and uncle are agnostic, and have done so much volunteer work I'm inspired by their example. I've heard of fine work being done by the Red Crescent in various countries hit with natural disasters and wars. I'm also inspired by Mother Teresa and the charity she set up. We all could go on and on, and that's not a bad thing--with all the bad news we get, especially today, it's great to hear the stories of what people here are doing to volunteer. Volunteerism and caring for one's fellow humans is not confined to one religion/philosophy, obviously. I volunteer in and out of the church--I'm on the 'welcome committee' at church and moderate a Bible study. I'm the first aid director for a re-enactment group, I do work with the visually impaired, and I volunteer at my kids' school. (yes, I do wonder when I sleep sometimes).

Our church supports some medical missionaries in at least 2 different countries where they are expressly forbidden by that country's laws to speak about Christianity. They do their work and they follow those countries' laws, and so they don't prosyletize. Not all missionaries are doing their work in order to 'force religion down their throats.'

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Of course I'd like for there to be something else after death, preferably good ole reincarnation. But I don't think going around and believing in such a phenomenon does anything good for you, as it means that you risk failing to live this life to its full potential.
The belief frees me from the despair that my life is a cosmic joke (even though it does have its amusing points, believe me) and that anything I would do in that case possibly won't make any real difference in the long run.
Regardless of belief in an afterlife, we all only get one go-around in this particular life. All of us fail to live up to our true potentials from time to time. I happen to believe in a heaven, but I also believe we're here for a purpose, and we need to be work at fulfilling that purpose. We can't do that if we're sitting around telling ourselves 'oh, it'll be OK, I'm going to heaven anyway, so I'll skip the hard stuff here on earth.'
One of my favorite movie lines is in Dead Poets Society when Robin Williams' character says to the boys, 'Suck the marrow out of life.'


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Old 09-12-2006, 01:29 AM   #138
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Y'know, atheists really must have all the answers. Any Bible stories or tales of the Prophet Mohammed must really be no more real than Tolkian or Rowling. They really must be so super intelligent that because they cannot grasp the jump of logic that is religion it must not be real. They must also be some of the most misrible unhopeful people in the world as they have nothing to look to, no faith to follow or any source to lift themselves up when times are bad.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:54 AM   #139
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Religion has caused just as much wickedness to the world as it has caused goodness. While many devote Christian monks preserved ancient works through the Dark Ages, it was Christians on a holy Crusade who sacked Constantinople. It's resulted in thousands of people being sacrificed and killed for reasons so stupid you can laugh at them, but churches and monastaries have helped the needy and the sick. At he same time, it's started completely pointless and avoidable wars. I could go on and on about how many good and bad things done in the name of God....

Despite being an atheist, I would have to be fair say it's neither good nor evil overall, but has played and essential role in the history of humanity.


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Old 09-12-2006, 02:07 AM   #140
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Religion has caused just as much wickedness to the world as it has caused goodness.
No denying that. Those who had gone out to spill blood in the name of religion are wrong. They are wrong to set out to war. Not only are they wrong they're hypocrites, preaching peace only when it suited them. Such people damage their religion, not benefit it.
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:14 AM   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Y'know, atheists really must have all the answers. Any Bible stories or tales of the Prophet Mohammed must really be no more real than Tolkian or Rowling. They really must be so super intelligent that because they cannot grasp the jump of logic that is religion it must not be real. They must also be some of the most misrible unhopeful people in the world as they have nothing to look to, no faith to follow or any source to lift themselves up when times are bad.
In a way, atheists at least would tend to the needs of the world more than those who believe this is ultimately fleeting. A contradiction I suppose, but it still holds true.



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Old 09-12-2006, 10:06 AM   #142
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Those who had gone out to spill blood in the name of religion are wrong. .
Why?

Thats the problem with religion, it always comes down to an arbitary "our way is right, their way is wrong"..why?.."because it is."

They would say exactly the same thing about your views, giving exactly the same reasons, probably quoting exactly the same darn teachings.

As an impartial observor i'd say that, using the religion's own standards, there is a lot more evidence to support "those who spill blood in the name of religion are right.".

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I'm also inspired by Mother Teresa and the charity she set up.
Hmm.. yes. You mean the one that got money to "tend the sick" and then spent it all on churches and missionary activities while letting the sick die with very few pain meds or doctors?

The woman who was more interested in baptising hindus and muslims on their death beds than in actually trying to cure them.

The charity that didn't distinguish between the curable and the dying?

The religious nut job who, at a 1981 press conference in which she was asked: "Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?" replied: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people."

If she is an example of the GOOD that religion can do then I think i'd be happier without, thanks very much. Or with something that is more concerned with saving people than spreading religious dogma such as the red cross or oxfam.



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Old 09-12-2006, 01:10 PM   #143
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Quote:
They must also be some of the most misrible unhopeful people in the world (...)
Who, me?

I'm feeling better than I have in years.
Quote:
(...) as they have nothing to look to (...)
How about a nice future?
Quote:
(...) no faith to follow (...)
Since when did I need one?
Quote:
(...) or any source to lift themselves up when times are bad.
Let's see. I've got my therapist, the Red Cross, my fantastic buddies, my parents, some truly great teachers, and my forever-faithful doggie. And, of course, candy and Pepsi.


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Old 09-12-2006, 04:13 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Y'know, atheists really must have all the answers. Any Bible stories or tales of the Prophet Mohammed must really be no more real than Tolkian or Rowling. They really must be so super intelligent that because they cannot grasp the jump of logic that is religion it must not be real. They must also be some of the most misrible unhopeful people in the world as they have nothing to look to, no faith to follow or any source to lift themselves up when times are bad.
Atheists/agnostics don't pretend to know everything like religious people do. Religious people are the ones who are absolutely 100% certain that they're going to heaven to see their lord and their family and everyone else is going to hell.

I'm an atheist... do I know what happens after death? Nope, no clue. But do I worry about burning in hell? Nope. We don't know everything and we likely never will. Is there life on other planets? No clue. Maybe, maybe not. No proof so we can't say for certain, but it's a possibility. Is the universe infinite? That's disputed as well.

The difference is that pretty much every evangelical you talk to will have a definitive answer for any question, other than "where did god come from?"
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:31 PM   #145
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People who aren't worried about god and heaven tend not to worry about what will happen when they die.. they are more concerned with living. But if it makes you feel better to think of all athiests as miserable, lonely people then by all means go ahead.

I'm more of the
Preacher man don't tell me heaven is under the earth
I know you don't know what life is really worth
Is not all that glitters in gold and
Half the story has never been told
So now you see the light, aay
Stand up for your right. Come on

Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right
Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight

Most people think great God will come from the sky
Take away ev'rything, and make ev'rybody feel high
But if you know what life is worth
You would look for yours on earth
And now you see the light
You stand up for your right, yeah!

persuasion.. but that s just me..



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Old 09-12-2006, 10:11 PM   #146
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Of course the stereotype of all religions as "pie in the sky, just wait till you die" is not really true. Yes, a lot of people are lazy, yes a lot of people are hopeless, but still.

It can swing both ways, so no, religion itself is not "evil"


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Old 09-12-2006, 10:23 PM   #147
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Low on time, too lazy and offended to read the rest of the thread, I will say only this:

Despite being a fictional story allegedly twisting the facts... Angels and Demons has thoroughly reshaped my views on religion and the meaning of life.

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Old 09-12-2006, 10:28 PM   #148
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Wink "Allegedly"? He's a conspiracy theory airport novelist!

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Old 09-12-2006, 10:54 PM   #149
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Dagobahn Eagle said about ramming religion down people's throats. I think a better way of looking at it is to say that we shouldn't force beliefs down people's throats. Whether you are religious or not, atheist, whatever, slamming people who don't believe the same things you do and trying to make others believe what you do only serves to margenalise what you believe. Michael Moore and him speaking out against America at the Oscers is a good example, as his act made him the subject of scorn for many and served to cast those opposed to war in Iraq in a negative light.

Just on religion, there's the belief that Islam is terrorism. Bull****. Islam is not terrorism; hijacking planes, car bombings, suicide bombings, in short any act that us used to cause terror is terrorism. And why do people such as Al Qaeda commit terrorist acts? One of the reasons they give is to force the world into their version of Islam, which is not really Islam at all but racism, intolerance and hypocracy. Like I said, forcing your beliefs on others damages that belief, not promotes it.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:00 PM   #150
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I can't believe I didn't notice this... Thanks for pointing it out, DB.

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Y'know, atheists really must have all the answers. {snip}
As an atheist, I must say I find your post extremely offensive. I will keep the tirade I could say to myself, though again, I take great offense to your statement.

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Y'know, atheists really must have all the answers.
I wish I did.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Any Bible stories or tales of the Prophet Mohammed must really be no more real than Tolkian or Rowling.
I believe that some events in the Bible and some tales of Mohammed have occured. Others I am simply too skeptical to believe.

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They really must be so super intelligent that because they cannot grasp the jump of logic that is religion it must not be real.
I can 'grasp' as you out it, the logic of religion. I am simply too skeptical to believe in it. How should someone simply believing in God and an afterlife make them more intelligent? Someone's faith does not affect their intellect, and vice versa.

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They must also be some of the most misrible unhopeful people in the world as they have nothing to look to, no faith to follow or any source to lift themselves up when times are bad.
'Misrible'? Using proper spelling always helps in the Senate Chambers.

If you think all atheist's lives are miserable, I could easily prove you completely wrong if you knew something about my life. Faith does not result in a better life. I think I can safely say this, as I once believed in God. When times are bad, what about friends, family, and life itself?

And here I was, hoping that all followers of religion could be as tolerant of other beliefs as Jae Onasi.


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Old 09-12-2006, 11:06 PM   #151
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I am tolerant of people's religions, even if I choose not to follow them. From what I have seen however it seems that atheists are the ones who are intolerant of those who choose to follow it.
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Old 09-13-2006, 12:33 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I am tolerant of people's religions
After implying unitelligence, misery and arrogance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
From what I have seen however it seems that atheists are the ones who are intolerant of those who choose to follow it.
I have seen minimal amounts of rudeness from the atheists at this thread.


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Old 09-13-2006, 02:49 AM   #153
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They must also be some of the most misrible unhopeful people in the world as they have nothing to look to, no faith to follow or any source to lift themselves up when times are bad.
Do you concede that this is a non-sequitur? It simply doesn't follow that to be content and hopeful (or whatever opposite we assign to "miserable") one must embrace religion. Nor does it follow that a lack of faith implies that bad times make it possible for those without religion to "lift themselves up." My family and I have done well through some hard times. I had a house destroyed by fire; my wife's father died when she was a teen; etc. We've recovered from each of these and other hardships quite well, and without reliance on any "faith" or religious mumbo-jumbo.

Seriously. Do you concede the fallacy of your argument here? If not, please support it with some sort of evidence, because this is not only a non-sequitur, but an argument from personal incredulity.


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Old 09-13-2006, 02:52 AM   #154
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I concede that perhaps my comments were a little harsh. I was thinking about the '**** God and **** all those who follow him' comments that were made in the other threads, as well as atheists falling into the trap people who follow religion do and attacking those who do not follow their belief rather than accept that people believe and follow something they don't.
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:22 AM   #155
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I don't consider myself an athiest.. merely non-religious. But i don't attack religion.. i merely attack any stupid actions or comments I see, whether perpetrated by religious people or not. It just seems to me that a lot of stupid comments get attributed to religion.

There are two questions in this thread:
1 - Is religion evil? - I'd answer that it isn't good or evil.
2 - "Religion does more harm than good"? - I'd say this is undeniably the case.



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Old 09-13-2006, 11:12 AM   #156
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Quote:
2 - "Religion does more harm than good"? - I'd say this is undeniably the case.
How do you quantify this?


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Old 09-13-2006, 11:38 AM   #157
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Indubitably

To quantify:

There are 1000s of cases of wars, masacres, atrocities, conflicts, torture, executions, stonings, genocides, spreading fatal diseases, terrorist acts, intollerance and other harm caused by, or committed in the name of religion.

There are 1000s of cases of religious people comitting charitable acts, however the scale of these acts is almost always much smaller than the scale of the attrocities mentioned above.

I'd say it takes a heck of a lot of bake sales for the homeless to make up for a single war, let alone all the death caused by religion.

If you add up the number of people killed by religion, and then add up the number of people helped (in some small way) then I think you'd find a clear balance in favour of the Harm side.



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Old 09-13-2006, 11:54 AM   #158
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Ah, but you are talking about the entire history of the human race here, aren't you? Because I don't think we know of a time when we didn't have religion... (barring those 20th century communist states).


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Old 09-13-2006, 01:55 PM   #159
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I am indeed. And not just current religions.
From the 1000s of slaves killed by the egyptians, to the wars between the various pre-bible religions, to the child sacrifices of the Moabites.. through to the 100,000 witches burnt, the 9million killed in the crusades, the 50,000 Hugonauts massacred by french catholics on st bartholomew's day, all the other protestant vs catholic wars in england, france (2-4million in total), spain, ireland, etc.. , all those killed in the first islamic civil war and all the sunni vs shia violence since, the 2000-4000 killed in palestine, to the 3,000 killed on 9/11, the blacks and gays killed by the KKK and other religious folk, to the poor 15 year old girl executed in iran for promiscuity.

(and that doesn't even include god wiping out the entire population of soddom, or infact the whole population of the earth with a flood. )

I'd put the death toll due to religion in the billions. I'm not sure any amount of charity or "making people feel happy" can make up for that much harm.



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Old 09-13-2006, 03:48 PM   #160
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Like everything else in the world it's not religion that is evil, it's how you use it. As something for people to build a few hopes around it's a very good thing. To justify war however is an example of it being used for evil. The same with guns: every farmer has to have a gun to put sick animals out of their misery. Police officers are armed to defend against dangerous criminals. For the same weapon to be used by criminals is an evil act. Clone Troopers, they were used for both purposes. Words, to communicate and to bring hope is certainly a good thing. To use words to, for example, incite racial or religious hatred is an act of evil, and you can go on and on and on.
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