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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 09-26-2006, 10:01 PM   #201
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
With all due, respect I think you're wrong. I myself am an atheist, but even I don't think religion hinders us. Yes, it would be helpful if some of the more religious people in the world didn't speak out against abortion or kill innocents, but it helped preserve civilization through the Dark Ages and by no means has stopped us from colonizing other galaxies. The whole concept of religion being responsible for that, in my opinion, is the sort of thing that could be found in tabloids.
Well for one, I am not an atheist.
I hate God and religion.
But to your response, that is your opinion Devon.
In my opinion, religion have been a major hinderance to society.
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:25 PM   #202
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It says a lot about people who, rather than present what their faith or lack of it has done they either force their views onto others or go out of their way to scatter the hopes people place in their chosen religion.
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Old 09-26-2006, 11:52 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
Well for one, I am not an atheist.
I hate God and religion.
So you believe there's a God, but hate Him?

Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
In my opinion, religion have been a major hinderance to society.
How is that so? Religion helped Europe through the Dark Ages, and some extremely compassionate people have been followers of it. Mother Teresa, for example. She committed many good deeds, in the name of religion. It's given many people a faith to look up to, and there are countless cases about the good works priests, nuns, etc have done.

I'm not saying everyone should go to church or believe in God, but I'd be fooling myself if I believed it's done more harm than good.


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Old 09-27-2006, 01:14 AM   #204
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Hmmm, if you argue Christianity held back science for hundreds of years, then one wonders why the rest of the (non-Christian) world didn't take up the slack? Besides, the term "Dark Ages" is a political interpretation slapped on to that period by later generations who saw themselves as more enlightened. I'd hardly call later generations more civilized, even if they killed and cracked down for stated different reasons. I understand the tendancy to see a time when "religion was in charge" as "darkness" or "ignorance" but really. Anyway...

Why didn't the non-Christians keep science going?


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Old 09-27-2006, 11:17 AM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
So here's a question for the non-religious--In an age where truth is relative, how do you determine right and wrong? What makes feeding the hungry good and stealing bad? For an extreme example, a man (or woman) might say "hey, it feels right to me to physically love a 10 year old boy/girl. And if it feels right, it must be good for me. Therefore, it's right, and anyone who says it's wrong is infringing on my rights to live life the way I want." So a. how do you address that and b. how do you handle moral relativism?
First of all, one might think that a quadrozillion years of *evolution* or the 98796124th of a second of *creation* plus the couple of years as human species on this planet gave us tons of experience in how to handle things and to deal with the "right" and "wrong" issue. Some call that instincts. Besides that, "right and wrong" is something that appears as somewhat difficult to define. In fact, "right and wrong" is nothing real, nothing of importance to the pure instance of life, it does not exist as one of the essential things of the universe.

Basically, you don't need to be non-religious to do "bad things". Religions and their laws won't keep me from making physically love to children, nor is my lack of knowledge about religious texts and laws giving me the urge to do so, nor does it cause me to say it'd be totally fine if somebody did. And basically you just have to be "different" to like "unusual" things. And just because some law/rule/religious dogma says something is right or wrong, doesn't mean it actually is right or wrong, or makes sense. It may be seen as essential within the *specific* society which has set up this right/wrong rule, but may not apply to another. I'd say at least half of the religious folks won't care much about their beliefs if a "non-religion-thinger" pops up and offers/brings them better circumstances when there are bad times. Because clearly, when all there's left is the bare question to survive or not, it is not of interest anymore whether giving food/taking things/whatever is right or wrong.

However, these *basic* rules (don't kill, be nice, wipe your feet at the door), which everybody claims to be the owner of, belong to us, the human species. They evolved with us, while we were on our way to what we are now. I just cannot imagine we'd have survived, if it'd been a common to jump off a cliff after having sex. That, or we'd have developed wings :P


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Old 09-27-2006, 11:34 AM   #206
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What about jumping off a cliff while having... nevermind.


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Old 09-27-2006, 12:22 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinny
What about jumping off a cliff while having... nevermind.
I think that's an old contraceptive myth.



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Old 09-27-2006, 03:12 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
So a. how do you address that and b. how do you handle moral relativism?
Those are both the same question, in that how can one address moral relativity.

My personal answer is that I don't believe that morality is relative. I believe that morality stems from our ability as humans to use logic and reason to determine what is 'right' and 'wrong'.



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Old 09-27-2006, 03:17 PM   #209
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Quote:
In an age where truth is relative, how do you determine right and wrong? What makes feeding the hungry good and stealing bad?
Evolution of social norms. Just like with religions.

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Old 09-27-2006, 11:51 PM   #210
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I'm too lazy to read 6 pages at the moment - I'll read them later.

But I will say this right now: Religion, in and of itself, is not evil. Quite the contrary. Religion led to many of the greatest civilizations in history. It was the basis of the greatest empires the ancient world ever saw.

Religious Radicalism, however, is evil. If you're willing to kill innocent people for your religion, you've gone too far.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:12 AM   #211
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The same applies to non religious folk, just because you don't believe it doesn't mean you have to attack those who do. You can spare any self rightious talk of there being no God for the sake of those who choose to follow one.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:15 AM   #212
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I consider people who attack religious people a form of religious radicalism itself. It's the same thing, simply from another point of view.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:04 AM   #213
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Heard a saying that's quite good: If you believe no explanation is nessecary. If you don't no explanation is possible.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:52 AM   #214
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And why exactly would no explanation be possible?


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Old 09-28-2006, 01:03 PM   #215
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The only reason would be that the 'belief' isn't working with an objective reality. Otherwise, an explanation would be possible.


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Old 09-29-2006, 04:28 AM   #216
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
So you believe there's a God, but hate Him?



How is that so? Religion helped Europe through the Dark Ages, and some extremely compassionate people have been followers of it. Mother Teresa, for example. She committed many good deeds, in the name of religion. It's given many people a faith to look up to, and there are countless cases about the good works priests, nuns, etc have done.

I'm not saying everyone should go to church or believe in God, but I'd be fooling myself if I believed it's done more harm than good.
Yes I hate that ******, God.
I have personal reasons concerning my hatred, that I won't discuss of course.

[Watch the censor please.]
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:40 AM   #217
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Well can we at least ask that you don't refer to him that way? Some Christians probably have a problem with it, and you remember what happened with the Mohammed cartoons.
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:59 AM   #218
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I'd say he's raised to believe in God, then something terrible, terrible happened, and now he's got an inner conflict with his belief, because how can the all loving God let that happen, to him, who was all so faithful all the time? Therefore God must have a sick sense of humour or is simply not someone you'd call a nice guy.

My advice? - Turn the other cheek.

What would SkinWalker say? - Blame the last 'Big Bang' for creating this universe and causing it all to happen.

God? - N'Yah mon, me a' de natty irie, white woman lov' da black mon, black mon big lovin mon, yah mon.



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Old 09-29-2006, 08:56 AM   #219
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So it's back to the problem of evil then? If God exists, we would have to be living in heaven right now or else he's bad?

Besides, I thought that "hating God" was just a myth that Christians made up to attack atheists? (or has somebody been watching too much Chronicles of Riddick?)


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Old 09-29-2006, 09:14 AM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan
So it's back to the problem of evil then? If God exists, we would have to be living in heaven right now or else he's bad?
No. "God" is neither good, nor bad. I was just being sarcastic towards a possible "how can God do this and that" scenario.

Although some multi deity religions/cults had some gods, who happened to be more disgruntled than others. But I've not met them myself, y'know? ;]


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Old 09-29-2006, 09:19 AM   #221
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I realize that. I was referring to the monotheistic conception of God commonly articulated in the Abrahamic faiths which is what most Westerners tend to think of when you say "God". Anyway, I gotta run, but good luck.

My sarcasm detector hasn't worked properly since 1997!~


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Old 09-29-2006, 09:32 AM   #222
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(Don't worry, sarcasm is something hard to get across without the tone of voice, and no fun with a ton of smileys used.)

What I find interesting is, how some turn towards God/religion and some away, for exactly the same reason: some thing(s) happened to them in their life, which they cannot comprehend.


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Old 09-29-2006, 01:06 PM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurgan
So it's back to the problem of evil then? If God exists, we would have to be living in heaven right now or else he's bad?
We need only look at his alleged works. The God of the Old Testament is a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sado-masochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Somehow, we're expected to believe that this god is the same god as the NT god, but that he's had some sort of attitude change. And if this isn't what we're to believe, then add manipulative and deceptive to the list.

A god with these failings and one that changes his mind every few thousand years would lead a free thinker to start wondering if god wasn't man-made, since he has all the worst attributes of man. At the very least, his omniscence should come into question.

Of course, those that are devout in their beliefs will apologetically (and conveniently) remind the free thinkers that we can't know god's thoughts and that god's actions are beyond human judgment; that everything we know is a creation of god and he can play with us as he sees fit. I don't buy that sort of cop-out logic myself.

It clear to me that if there is a god, we've never met it nor has it revealed itself to us. It certainly isn't the ugly creature portrayed in the Old Testament. Religion may not be evil, but many of its gods are; and many of the followers religion has had over the years have abused the belief in gods to manipulate them or justify evil acts. Religion suppresses and oppresses inquiry, making it possible for religious or political leaders to act in the name of religion or god to commit evil acts.

Religion is no more evil than guns, anthrax, nuclear bombs, swords or rope in the sense that it takes people to use them for evil acts. But a rope doesn't make the hanging victim believe salvation comes from putting one's head in the noose. Nor does a nuclear bomb inspire a population to detonate one in the city of an enemy to reach heaven as a martyr. Belief in God does this.

It's easy for many christians to point their fingers at islam and comment on how evil "fanatical" islam is when it relies on so many suicide bombers, people who fly planes into buildings, people who behead those that don't think like them, etc. Many of these christians are quick to make a distinction between "fanatical" islam and the rest of islam, and it's true there's a distinction. But this distinction is a fluid one! The fanatical muslim today was just a member of the islamic faith yesterday until pushed over the line by one of a hundred different things: a death of a family member, a moving sermon by a religious leader, a discussion with a peer, frustration with the plight of muslims or a sect of muslims against another entity or sect, etc.

The Abrahamic religions aren't peaceful. Their texts are filled with examples of violence, torture, and evil at the hands of the good guys. One page preaches the virtue of being kind and compassionate, another page reminds us that god is "vengeful" and killing for your god is noble. And, even more disturbing, many pages of the bible and koran go on about how honorable it is to die for your god!

If we think that islam is the only faith with extremists who are willing to kill or die for what amounts to an imaginary friend, then we're being blind. In a recent ICM poll quoted by the BBC, it was shown that 71% of Americans "would die for their God/beliefs." This is certainly different than being willing to "kill" for one's beliefs in god, but is it so difficult to imagine that if someone were able to justify dying for their god and their belief in him that they wouldn't also be willing to kill for him if they truly believed that this god wishes it?

So is religion evil. Certainly not. The people within religion are and have the ability (demonstrably so) to manipulate believers into committing evil acts against their fellow citizens. Religious leaders are doing this today and one need only look at the comments of that complete idiot, Pat Robertson, over the years to see it. This is the guy, if you recall, that suggested that his god will punish the citizens of Dover, PA for voting against god in the school board elections. This is but one example of one religious idiot manipulating the members of his own cult to act in a way *he* desires. This, my friends, is the face of evil in religion.


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Old 09-30-2006, 08:18 PM   #224
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Holy crap.

As a poster who just today found this forum, I bow in awe to the unending boilerplate debates raging herein. Or maybe I'm just too drunk to form coherent arguments right now. Anyway.

Religion is not inherently evil. It's what the humans following them do with them. Obviously, people have said that before, but I'm too lazy to flip through all six pages to realize that. So there.


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Old 09-30-2006, 08:30 PM   #225
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Exactly. Don't agree with a particular religion, or someone's choice whether or not to follow religion? Gee that sucks. Unless it's hurting someone what's the big ****ing deal?
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:54 AM   #226
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
How is that so? Religion helped Europe through the Dark Ages, and some extremely compassionate people have been followers of it. Mother Teresa, for example. She committed many good deeds, in the name of religion. It's given many people a faith to look up to, and there are countless cases about the good works priests, nuns, etc have done.

I'm not saying everyone should go to church or believe in God, but I'd be fooling myself if I believed it's done more harm than good.
Wait a minute!
You suppose to be an atheist, right?
Why are you defending religion so strongly?
This seem like a contradiction.
Or do you have doubts present, in you belief ?
Why do care what the hell I say about religion?
Devon!
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:07 AM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
You suppose to be an atheist, right?
So? Just because I don't believe in religion doesn't mean I don't like it. Either way, it's helped people out. And that's what matters.

The Romans, for example, advanced civilzation hundreds of years ago. I'm not a Roman, but I appreciate what they did. The same goes for religion.

Besides, the facts I've listed have been proven time and time again. I'd be an idiot to deny them.


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Old 10-03-2006, 02:08 AM   #228
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Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean he automatically has a disdain for religion or the religious. That's a common misconception among those that believe in the gods of christianity. It doesn't seem that his defense of religion is all that strong, he seems only to be saying that the net result of the influence of religion on humanity has, to date, been positive.

I'm about as atheistic as they come, but even I would have a hard time arguing with that assertion. I'm fine with religion and the religious until they make factual claims that cannot be supported or their superstitions begin to influence public policy. They have my respect and tolerance up to either of those points.


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Old 10-03-2006, 02:09 AM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Mother Teresa, for example. She committed many good deeds, in the name of religion.
She took the millions of dollars donated to the Missionaries of Charity and built Churches instead of Hospitals. She also Baptised dying (and unwilling) Hindus and Muslims into the Catholic Church. Not to mention her crummy social views.

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Old 10-03-2006, 07:53 PM   #230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean he automatically has a disdain for religion or the religious.
Unfortunetly that's the view some atheists put across. Much like how Islam is considered terrorism. That's so much horse **** but people like Al Qaeda do their level best to demonise it by saying their religion is one of Jihad and intolerance.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:21 PM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
She took the millions of dollars donated to the Missionaries of Charity and built Churches instead of Hospitals. {snip}
Yes, she did some very good and bad things for the world. Some parts of it would have been different, for good or ill, without her. On a lesser scale, that's like religion. Religion has done some good and bad things. Ultimately, humanity wouldn't have been the same without it. It might've been best this way.


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Old 10-03-2006, 11:10 PM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Yes, she did some very good and bad things for the world. Some parts of it would have been different, for good or ill, without her. On a lesser scale, that's like religion. Religion has done some good and bad things. Ultimately, humanity wouldn't have been the same without it. It might've been best this way.
She scammed private citizens and world powers out of millions of dollars to promote her religeon. She did nothing good, and yet children in school are taught about what a great person she was.
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Old 10-04-2006, 01:15 AM   #233
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Much like Americans are taught what a great man Abraham Licolin was despite slavery. Much like Islamic children are taught how evil Jews and the West are.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:03 AM   #234
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean he automatically has a disdain for religion or the religious. That's a common misconception among those that believe in the gods of christianity. It doesn't seem that his defense of religion is all that strong, he seems only to be saying that the net result of the influence of religion on humanity has, to date, been positive.

I'm about as atheistic as they come, but even I would have a hard time arguing with that assertion. I'm fine with religion and the religious until they make factual claims that cannot be supported or their superstitions begin to influence public policy. They have my respect and tolerance up to either of those points.
Can you elaborate on what positive influence religion has done to society.

Religion today is still a major hinderance to scientific progress.
Since our modern civilization today depends so strongly on scientific progress to keep it together, religion remains a major obstacle to scientific discovery and society evolution.

I see, I have to still remind people that 800 years was wasted in Europe, because of the Catholic Church and the Inquisition negative influence on scientific progress.

I see, people who still defend religion don't care about that time period of the reign of Igorance.
Because, Religion has apparently have had postive influence in those 800 years of Stupidy.

Science is evil, says the "Roman Catholic Church".
Also is having positive influence now.
Stem Cell treatment is evil, says Christianity.
"People must die and go to heaven or Hell and like it; no complaints".
"People must suffer from ailments and trust God; no complaints"

I see the defenders of Religion might be defending Buddhism and Hinduism, those are the religions that have had positive influence in Earth's society in the past.
Well if you are talking about Philosophy contributions, then yes I will have to agree.

Last edited by windu6; 10-04-2006 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:23 AM   #235
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Can you elaborate on what positive influence religion has done to society.
Certainly. First and foremost religion and Gods are something for people to build hopes around. A lot of people are given a positive impression by thinking of some higher being watching over them. For another religions when they are not currupted by the teachings of those who have been currupted, those who use them to justify terrorism would be an example, put across a positive message and means of guidence. The Bible for example instructs not to kill and to forgive those who mean you harm, certainly noble acts. Other religions have similar teachings. And because religion is dominently used for good, not ill, those who follow it are mindful of their actions and choose to act in a way that would please their religious brothers and sisters. You see Muslims seeking Jihad, this is based on what they believe is Islam, which in reality had been twisted around to justify terror. That is a very small minority compared to those who practice true Islam, who practice all religion.
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:16 AM   #236
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Quote:
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Religion today is still a major hinderance to scientific progress.
Since our modern civilization today depends so strongly on scientific progress to keep it together, religion remains a major obstacle to scientific discovery and society evolution.
I see, I have to still remind people that 800 years was wasted in Europe, because of the Catholic Church and the Inquisition negative influence on scientific progress.

I see, people who still defend religion don't care about that time period of the reign of Igorance.
Because, Religion has apparently have had postive influence in those 800 years of Stupidy.
I suppose the collapse of the Roman Empire and the Black Death which wiped out around a third of Europe had nothing to do with the problems that people in the Middle ages faced, then? If you're just trying to survive and eak out an existance on a piece of land, you're not going to be too concerned about learning philosophy, Latin, and science. Losing a third of the population meant losing a third of doctors (such as they were at the time), skilled laborers, shopkeepers, educated people, teachers, farmers, and so on. If you lose an entire third of your knowledge base, it's going to have a huge impact on the development of anything, much less science. In fact, it's likely we lost entire sections of knowledge that had to be re-learned. In addition, the science at the time was geared towards those things that were necessary to survival--things like agriculture and medicine. Organic chemistry and quantum physics don't matter in a society that's trying to produce enough food to make it through the winter.
The Church kept education going in spite of the tremendous difficulties medieval Europe faced.
The monasteries were about the only places where any kind of serious document preservation was going on in Europe during that time. The church had schools to teach reading and writing because there was no organized widespread government agency to take care of that sort of thing. There may have been some local lords, but it wasn't something very well organized.
The great university centers in the medieval Europe were Church based, not secular. Some of the great scientists of that day (e.g. Roger Bacon) where also men of the Church. To extend out further in the world, in Muslim centers of learning, Arabs were making huge strides in mathematics/algebra, astronomy, and even optics during this time.
Saying that the Church suppressed education in the Middle Ages is simply incorrect. There were specific incidents where the Church did some dumb things, but overall the Church is one of the reasons why you and I are sitting at our computers typing instead of out in fields trying to survive. Without the education centers and monasteries preserving documents so we didn't have to re-invent the wheel, we'd be far less advanced than we are now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
Stem Cell treatment is evil, says Christianity.
"People must die and go to heaven or Hell and like it; no complaints".
"People must suffer from ailments and trust God; no complaints"
Well, considering Job complained to God about what was happening to him, I think God can take a few complaints.

Stem cell research--I have no issue with adult stem cell research, which has done far more for medicine than embryonic stem cell research. I think life begins at conception and it should be respected, regardless of religion type. They're making strides in ways to get embryo stem cells without killing the embryo. I have no issues with embryonic stem cell research that does not kill an embryo. That's not necessarily a Christian thing though it is an issue that's raised in Christian circles. It's a respect for life thing.


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Old 10-07-2006, 08:11 PM   #237
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I strongly agree with the poll statement. Religion may not be evil, but in this modern world of today I don't think it's very good for us. There have been times throughout history when religion provided some comfort and gave some hope, but there were also times when atrocities were commited in its name. Today religion is simply unnecessary and in my opinion slows down our progress (or evolution) as a species. In my book science and technology are the way, religion is obsolete.

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Old 10-08-2006, 03:11 AM   #238
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I had a thought. Pretty much all of us would be Star Wars fans, right? Well if the Jedi is not a religion then I think it's very much based on religion, having this high moral ground and all. Maybe an understanding of certain scriptures can lead to a greater understanding of some of the Jedi ways. There's bound to be some aspects of it (not giving in to anger for example) that are similar.
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:01 PM   #239
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Sorry...
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Old 10-08-2006, 11:05 PM   #240
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What the fruck?
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