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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%
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Thread: Is religion evil?
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:46 PM   #241
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Is Religion Evil?
I had to think about this question for a while, for 'Religion' is something that defines a catergory and not a specific group or sect. Depending on the 'religion' it could be evil. Satanicism is a 'Religion', and that is clearly evil. When it comes to Christianity and Judahia (sp?), I believe that it depends on the believer. I believe that people make Christianity and Judaha (sp?) evil.

Otherwords, mankind can make the most 'civilized religion' be evil.



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Old 10-12-2006, 02:19 AM   #242
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Just curious: what makes satanism evil? Can anyone really say that a superstition, largely created by christian patriarchy to keep membership in line, is "evil?" It doesn't even exist by and large, and those that *do* claim membership appear to be only rebellious christians seeking attention from their peers and societal leadership.

There certainly haven't been any wars started by santanism; no "santanist inquisitions;" no witch burnings conducted by santanists; no santanistic scam artist faith healers; no televangelist santan-worshipers stealing money from old ladies; no santanist missionaries holding food and supplies ransom for proselytizing to the impoverished and desparate; no santanists attempting to codify their superstitions on government; nor santanists attempting to replace science with superstition.

No... santanists would seem to be the least of mankind's worry when it comes to religious people.


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Old 10-12-2006, 11:54 AM   #243
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When you say so, it's interesting that when a Christian or Muslim blows something up based on interpretation of their scripture, apologists claim scripture's not to blame but the people acting on it, la "guns don't kill people, people kill people".

Yet when Satanists burn churches because they believe Satanism demands it of them, the same apologists apply double standards and brand Satanism "evil".

If Satanism gets Stave Churches burned, does not Christianity and Islam get abortion clinic doctors shot and skyscrapers rammed by aircraft, respectively?

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Old 10-12-2006, 12:26 PM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Yet when Satanists burn churches because they believe Satanism demands it of them, the same apologists apply double standards and brand Satanism "evil".
Which churches are these that were burned by "santanists?" Lets not forget, we're talking about a largely made up term when we say "satanist."


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Old 10-12-2006, 11:23 PM   #245
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Wash and repeat my comments on Islamic facism and apply it to any religion.

I look at September 11 and those responsible and think 'they hijacked planes, used them to destroy the Trade Centre and tried to destroy the Pentagon and whichever target they had in mind for Flight 93, they killed thousands of innocent people, have declared war on the world, have followed up with further attacks in Indonesia, Egypt, Spain, England...wait, they're Islamic? Nup, I never noticed, I was too busy thinking of their actions rather than their religion.'
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:42 AM   #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
When you say so, it's interesting that when a Christian or Muslim blows something up based on interpretation of their scripture, apologists claim scripture's not to blame but the people acting on it, la "guns don't kill people, people kill people".

Yet when Satanists burn churches because they believe Satanism demands it of them, the same apologists apply double standards and brand Satanism "evil".

If Satanism gets Stave Churches burned, does not Christianity and Islam get abortion clinic doctors shot and skyscrapers rammed by aircraft, respectively?
Firstly any Christian blowing somthing up in the name of God is acting out of their own feelings and emotions and not the teachings of the scriptures, because never in the bible does it make any such statements or demands.

Secondly Christians dont get abortion clinic doctors shot, who ever is responsible for that has once again taken scripture entirely out of context.

The bible is an incredibly vast book, with many many teachings, some that even counterdict others, which can be quite confusing if not carefully taken into account the context in which they are writen... Because so many people claim they have the bible all figured out, it is impossible to call all christians the same... just because you read or understand parts of the bible, or even practice some of it, does not in any ways make you the same as me, or any other chrisitan.




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Old 10-13-2006, 11:01 AM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Just curious: what makes satanism evil? Can anyone really say that a superstition, largely created by christian patriarchy to keep membership in line, is "evil?" It doesn't even exist by and large, and those that *do* claim membership appear to be only rebellious christians seeking attention from their peers and societal leadership.
I'd agree for the most part with the last sentence--it seems to me to be more of an excuse to have some wild parties, though I'm sure there are some that take it far more seriously than that. Looking at it from a religious point of view, something that promotes abject, total hatred of God is evil. However, I've seen a whole 2 lines out of their book, and that was about 15 years ago, so I'm hardly qualified to discuss that in any depth. I can't currently evaluate whether the practices outlined in their religious text are beneficial or detrimental.

What in the world do you think we talk about in church? I don't know about other places, but in ours we look at the Bible, take the time to understand the historical/political/ethnic of the time a particular book was written, and then work on potential applications to better ourselves and the community around us. The notion that the leadership in our church is doing something like spouting how to hate different groups to 'keep the membership in line' is very odd, especially given the fact that anyone can leave at any time if they don't like the message or the messangers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
There certainly haven't been any wars started by santanism; no "santanist inquisitions;" no witch burnings conducted by santanists; no santanistic scam artist faith healers; no televangelist santan-worshipers stealing money from old ladies;
It's a numbers issue. There haven't been enough of them with significant enough of a power base to be able to pull off these things. If there'd been a large enough group of satanists who wanted to control a certain piece of land or wing of the government, I'm sure that would have happened by now. I have a couple Wiccan friends who feel it's important to be politically active in order to advance a more positive view of Wicca.

Edit: Not meaning to imply Wiccans are Satanists, btw, they're 2 separate groups.

My experience is that people use religion as an excuse for activities it was never intended to be used for, and if there were enough satanists, there would be satanic power struggles in Congress and satanic televangelists and 'faith healers' stealing money from the gullible.

On a tangent--the placebo effect works about 30% of the time (I can go dig for a reference if you want), so it doesn't surprise me that faith healing, herbalism, meditation, reiki, laying on hands, acupuncture, and a host of other 'non-Western medicine' alternatives work at least part of the time, though some are more effective than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinWalker
no santanist missionaries holding food and supplies ransom for proselytizing to the impoverished and desparate;
Please inform me which missionaries are doing this so that I may report them to their respective mission boards so they're recalled from the field and fired for this appalling behavior.

Our church supports missionaries financially and physically--we have a couple trips every year to different places, primarily to do things like build medical clinics, homes, or schools (or repair existing structures). I have never once seen evidence or heard rumor of withholding food/supplies to 'get the Word out'. Not to mention it's just stupid--hungry and sick people are hardly in a position to learn much of anything.

Several of our missionaries are medical workers in countries were they are specifically prohibited from proselytizing Christianity. They work there because the human need is that great.


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Old 10-13-2006, 02:32 PM   #248
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Firstly any Christian blowing somthing up in the name of God is acting out of their own feelings and emotions and not the teachings of the scriptures, because never in the bible does it make any such statements or demands.
Which may have more to do with the fact that explosives had yet to be inveted at the time.

But yes, there is some rather sick Scripture telling you to do ditto things. Not all Christian terrorists need to take things out of context. The fanatical groups in India massacring innocents in villages are well within their rights, Scripture-wise, to do so as the Bible tells them to kill whoever want them to worship other Gods than Yahweh.

Quote:
Secondly Christians dont get abortion clinic doctors shot, who ever is responsible for that has once again taken scripture entirely out of context.
Yes, Christians get abortion doctors shot. They get courthouses (one, at least) blown up. The people who do these things are Christians, as much as the people behind 9/11 were Muslims. To say that they're "not true Christians" constitutes a "True Scottsman" fallacy.

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Old 10-13-2006, 05:22 PM   #249
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Do we ban video games because they have, or are suspected to have, been the cause of evil? From Columbine being the result of Doom to people thinking terrorists trained on Flight Simulator to Grand Theft Auto being used as an excuse to murder they have been a scapegoat. No. People would like to, but everyone is worried about the millions of video game players out there and no one's concerned about that one nut who would be influenced by them to the point where they'd do something. Same with religion, everyone goes off about why it's wrong but it's the people who are either using it as an excuse to have an axe to grind or are just ****ed in the head to begin with that we should concern ourselves with.
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:33 PM   #250
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Do people know who Ba'al is?



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Old 10-14-2006, 12:05 AM   #251
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Ba'al wasn't a single mythical deity, but rather was a Semitic word that was used to refer to a variety of gods and deities. Only priests were permitted to use the actual name of a god, such as Hammon or Hadad. The latter of these two was the son of El (from the Canaanite pantheon).

A modern analogy to the term "ba'al" would be "lord." A goddess was often referred to as ba'alat.

Interestingly enough, Ba'al Hadad's father El is the origin of one of the two terms used for god in early judeo-chrisitan mythology. El is the singular of "Elohim" and is a major Canaanite god. The other Canaanite god, Yahweh, is also mentioned frequently in early jewish mythology, such that the two gods are presented as one. In a sense, this might be true, since the Canaanites were largely separated in northern and southern tribes that had similar stories but different patron gods of the same pantheon. The two traditions can still be culled from jewish mythology by noting the different literary styles of the "E" and "J" versions ("E" for "Elohim" and "J" for "Jawheh," aka Yawheh).

There were many Ba'als in the Near East, particularly the Levant.


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Old 10-14-2006, 12:06 AM   #252
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It's what, some catch all phrase for Gods and Demons isn't it? They look like those aliens you encounter near the end of KOTOR?
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:48 AM   #253
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Pretty much what Skin said, yeah. Nowadays some people associate "Baal" with the devil, but that was a later development (or a simple misunderstanding, associated with the demonization of the gods of rival religions).


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Old 10-14-2006, 01:07 PM   #254
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Ba'al was also an Egyptian diety. I need to do more research.



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Old 10-14-2006, 08:56 PM   #255
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There are no serious scholars that assign any Egyptian deities to the word "ba'al," though there were Canaanites in Lower Egypt with the Hyksos occupation that may have brought there gods with them. I'm unaware of any direct references even here, however.


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Old 10-16-2006, 01:13 AM   #256
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
Well, thats your belief but I blame 90% on religion for ruining scientific progress that have put us behind in major advancement in technology.Today we are still slowly making up for 524yrs of severe igorance in society.
Also you may think that I am personaly attacking religion but for those hundrens of years of severe ignorance, religion's like the Christianity and Catholicism was in power of civilize countries that had good useful scientists, that could have done major progress in those 500 or 800 yrs opportunity, if they had the opportunity to do so.
They encourage and allow that ignorance to fester for centuries so they can control civilization.
I would like to blame 100% on religion but to be fair, 10% of the blame goes to stupidy of many people in those years of Dark Ages.
The result if religion was not in major power, the early progress of science would have benefit humankind greatly today.

So from 1000 A.C.E to 1800s science pitifully and slowing start making some damn but overdue, progress.
We may not only haven been had colonizing the Milky Way galaxy we will probably haven had been colonizing some galaxies today.
I really believe this would be the case, I don't care if no one else share my beliefs.

Religion is a major hinderance to society technological progress.
As I say again!
Society today would be better off if religion just die out.
It is about time !

Of course you can easily say, that there is uncertainly but look at how far we have come today, since the 1900s.
Over 103yrs our society with some hinderance, have went from horses to a space station.
Society today still have some hinderance in progress but that is blame on some laziness and fear of some peolple who don't want technology progress to be speed up.
Also those them who have fear of technology progress is about 60% religious.
Sooo.......does this mean that we would have extinguished ourselves several centuries ago? I mean, c'mon, scientific progress leads to advances in all kinds of weaponry. Even now, with the progress we've achieved through technology, we're still a pretty savage lot.....religion or non. When it comes to waging wars and commiting injustices on a grand scale, you have had to traditionally get large numbers of people to sign on with your program. If they didn't/couldn't use a religion, they used some other form of idea (racism, natioalism/tribalism,etc..) to convince people to do their bidding. It's lazy to say that religion (how wide a definition are we using here?) is the cause of all these problems. If those religions didn't exist, men would have developed them or some kind of secular variant to serve the same purpose.

But, hey, if your scenario were somehow correct, well then.......Scotty, beam me up (into a galaxy far, far, away).
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:21 AM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Sooo.......does this mean that we would have extinguished ourselves several centuries ago? I mean, c'mon, scientific progress leads to advances in all kinds of weaponry. Even now, with the progress we've achieved through technology, we're still a pretty savage lot.....religion or non. When it comes to waging wars and commiting injustices on a grand scale, you have had to traditionally get large numbers of people to sign on with your program. If they didn't/couldn't use a religion, they used some other form of idea (racism, natioalism/tribalism,etc..) to convince people to do their bidding. It's lazy to say that religion (how wide a definition are we using here?) is the cause of all these problems. If those religions didn't exist, men would have developed them or some kind of secular variant to serve the same purpose.

But, hey, if your scenario were somehow correct, well then.......Scotty, beam me up (into a galaxy far, far, away).
I was trying, which I am sick of doing and on the verge of giving up at it.
I was trying to explain that our civilization will probably be traveling the Milky Way galaxy NOW, if 800 yrs wasn't wasted by religion's hampering of early science back then.

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Old 10-16-2006, 07:24 AM   #258
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And if I wore blue yesterday I might've worn red today. You cannot change the past, wasting time to do so will achieve nothing. Working towards the future on the other hand, well if you're so determined to have a future where religion doesn't hamper space exploration that is a future you can create.
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:35 AM   #259
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And if I wore blue yesterday I might've worn red today. You cannot change the past, wasting time to do so will achieve nothing. Working towards the future on the other hand, well if you're so determined to have a future where religion doesn't hamper space exploration that is a future you can create.
Yes I know you can't change the past from the present, Nancy.
Unless there was a time machine;
of course that will present it's own problems with the ''grandfather paradox" obstacle.
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:46 AM   #260
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I dunno much about the grandfather paradox. I do know however that we are digressing. Is religion evil? That's like saying Star Wars in some ways promotes evil, a prime example being KOTOR that allows you to be as evil as you want. Religions in my opinion are a sandpit for people to use for good or ill, like anything.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:14 AM   #261
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I dunno much about the grandfather paradox.
Well, grandfather paradox is a paradox of time travel that contradicts the effect of going back in time to effect a change in a undesired event, like religion influence on science.

The definition of the grandfather paradox is this: Suppose you traveled back in time and killed your biological grandfather before he met your grandmother. As a result, one of your parents (and by extension, you) would never have been conceived, so you could not have traveled back in time after all. In that case, your grandfather would still be alive and you would have been conceived, allowing you to travel back in time and kill your grandfather, and so on. According to this theory you would be stuck in an endless time-loop from which there would be no possible escape. You would, however, never know of this loop.




Quote:
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I do know however that we are digressing. Is religion evil? That's like saying Star Wars in some ways promotes evil, a prime example being KOTOR that allows you to be as evil as you want.
Well, with KOTOR good or evil choices is like what you can do for real, thats why I like that series so much.

Quote:
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Religions in my opinion are a sandpit for people to use for good or ill, like anything.
That's why I have said before, if the Force is real in this universe it will probably be a good thing for our society.
As I have had said before the Force is neutral; there is no god or devil to worship.

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Old 10-16-2006, 09:11 AM   #262
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Quote:
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Well grandfather paradox is a paradox of time travel that contradicts the effect of going back in time to effect a change in a undesired event; religion influence on science.
Huh? Religion created the grandfather paradox...?

The definition of the grandfather paradox is this: Suppose you traveled back in time and killed your biological grandfather before he met your grandmother. As a result, one of your parents (and by extension, you) would never have been conceived, so you could not have traveled back in time after all. In that case, your grandfather would still be alive and you would have been conceived, allowing you to travel back in time and kill your grandfather, and so on. According to this theory you would be stuck in an endless time-loop from which there would be no possible escape. You would, however, never know of this loop.

I think the general concensus on the issue is that by going back in time you really go to a previous moment in another dimension. That way, when you kill your grandfather you would never exist on that world.



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Old 10-16-2006, 09:42 AM   #263
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I think the general concensus on the issue is that by going back in time you really go to a previous moment in another dimension. That way, when you kill your grandfather you would never exist on that world.
Well, that is Quantum Mechanics Many Worlds theory.

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Old 10-16-2006, 12:22 PM   #264
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Windu--understood where you're trying to go with your contention. Only thing is that history and human nature don't exist in an enlightened vacuum. Advancing the pace of technological acceleration from almost a millenia back does not mean that we would have gotten as far as you suggest today. There more likely would have been a war and we might only now (last century or so) be coming out of a 1000 years of dark ages. I mean look at all the people who feel that space exploration is a big waste of resources. Religion didn't put a halt on the US space program. We might already be on Mars and beyond had it continued. Even now, the main thrust of any space program is primarily to gain ascendency over any/all competitors in a gamble to control earth. Scientific exploration, while interesting, takes a far back seat to dreams of a somewhat more romantic nature (putting man on Mars, Moon, becoming rulers of the Earth, etc....). But even those notions are cut short by needs perceived to be here at "home" so to speak.
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:00 PM   #265
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I finally got the research and writing of my 30 page totally not-fun report done, and recovered sufficiently from the asthma attack that followed (likely from that stress). So, I finally got a chance to do something that involved more significant research and thought than just some of the fun stuff in Ahto and the CEC fanfic section and 'harassing' my nemesis. That and high dose asthma medications make me really nutsoid/flaky, and this topic deserves more attention than I was able to give it until just the last few days when I stopped being a space cadet from the meds.

I know why _I_ believe. However, articulating it in a manner that makes sense to the skeptic, who does not function in my same faith paradigm, is quite a challenge, particularly the question of God and suffering, which is arguably the Achilles' heel of religion. So, I read through books written by those who have already bridged that gap--CS Lewis' book The Problem of Pain and a couple of books (of many) by Ravi Zacharias: Cries of the Heart and Jesus Among Other Gods. Zacharias was actually in a debate with Dawkins and a Buddhist monk (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten) at I believe a Harvard Veritas but possibly at Georgia Tech (I'm still trying to find that one out for Emperor Devon). The question and answer session that followed these men's presentations was fascinating, and you all might find that interesting, regardless of which side of the theism/atheism fence you're on.

What follows is something I posted last night in a religion thread in Ahto, and I thought it might be interesting here, even if we all don't agree on the points. If it's a bit non sequiter in some places, it's likely because I geared it towards some of the questions that had come up in that particular thread.


How does God allow evil and suffering to exist--I'm drawing most of this material from the book "Cries of the Heart" by Dr. Ravi Zacharias--mainly because he says it far more articulately than I can. Most of the material is from his 'postscript to chapter 3' section, pp 210-218 and is more fleshed out than what I have here--while a good portion of this is actually his words, I'm hitting the highlights and condensing, and if there's confusion, it's probably because I've condensed those arguments poorly. Bear with me here--the argument needs to be taken in its entirety in order to be fully understood. You may miss the entire point if you take out a small piece to debate, so I ask you please to read the whole thing first before responding. In fact, I had to read it a couple times before I understood not just the main points but also the subpoints because he's that deep of a thinker. I've tried to keep it simple where I could, but some of his arguments can only be presented the way he's written them to keep the proper context, and he's very much the intellectual's intellectual.

The thesis as I understand atheists believe: Because evil exists, God cannot exist.
I'm going to present it as Zacharias does--the philosophical and moral dimensions first, and then apply it to our reality.

A philosophical point--
The categories of 'good' and 'evil' only exist if there is an absolute moral law.
An absolute moral law exists only if God exists. If one argues that we do not see a moral law in existance, there still is the assumption that we have the ability to decide whether or not a moral law exists. We can't deny a moral frame of reference without invoking a moral absolute, Zacharias asserts. If we accept that there is evil in the world, then God is not expendable.

A moral point--
How is God sovereign over a world in which realities exist that would be deemed evil if authorized by us--I'll address this in steps as Zacharias delineates them.

First--the connection between God's character and His relation to moral law.
Is the moral law by which each of us chooses to live something that we have arbitrarily chosen in order to exercise our power, or does it exist outside, or over and above us?

If we have arbitrarily chosen it, then we have no right to condemn the moral law by which anyone else operates--including God. If this moral law stands over and above us, how do we determine where it comes from? For the Christian, the answer given in the Bible implicitly is that the moral law that calls for the sanctity of every life is given to us by God.

Next--if moral law haunts us and moral law comes from God, is it decreed by Him, or is He also subject to it--again, arbitrary or ultimate?
Now, as we answer this question, a vital point must be made between us humans, as finite creatures, and God, an infinite, omnipotent being. The two choices of whether a law is arbitrary or ultimate exist only for us. Our finitude cannot allow for other possibilities, and our character cannot be the source of absolutes--humans cannot be the measure of things. If they are, we must ask ourselves who is the person who is the ultimate measure? Mother Theresa? Gandhi? Hitler? Stalin? Bush? Mao? We know from our history and experience that humanity has the great capacity to do evil. Millions have been killed and brutalized in the name of both religious and atheistic ideologies. We can hardly trust a human as the ultimate measure.
However, with God the law is not arbitrary, and it is not over Him. It is rooted in His character which is perfect and unchanging. He alone eternally and perfectly exists, as Zacharias states. The reason for His existence is in Himself, and so is the moral law.

God does not make a misjudgment or commit acts which are ill-willed or destructive to what is good. Only that which is pure and righteous is intrinsic to God Himself. So, no tragedy can be interpreted in terms of arbitrary or ultimate, but rather from within the character of the one who is all good and all powerful.

Existential reality--let's discuss now what happens when we have a tragedy or atrocity, and that someone dies--say, a child. There are four 'victims' in that event.

First--the child. In God's purview, is the death of a child really an act without recovery? If God is the giver of life, then He has the power to restore it to the one who has 'lost' it. We as humans perceive it as a loss, but God does not perceive it that way, and for the one who knows Him, the recovery is even greater than the life lived here on earth. There may be a finality to earthly existence, but not to existence itself. The life that is 'lost' is not lost when it's in the hands of the one who made it and sustains it in the first place.

Second--the person who knows God and now must survive the loss of that loved one. It is indeed a painful experience. For those of us who are believers, however, God comforts us and heals us--the famous Psalm 23 is only one example of many passages that describe God's interaction with His people after a loss. God not only gives inner healing and sustenance, but the promise that those who have been separated will meet again. Relationships made in God never die.

Third--the skeptic who stands by and condemns the act as evil or wicked. Two things follow from this. The first is the contradiction previously established--the one who makes such a condemnation has no basis for a moral law by which the condemnation is made. Mindless evolution does not provide a moral basis for this philosophical castigation. In fact, if we are indeed the random product of evolution, then aggression and domination are in themselves good things--they assure survival of the fittest.

Nevertheless, pain and death are evils we must live through, and it's here that a second important consideration challenges the skeptic. Evil always has a purpose, and it has to be defined in terms of this. How does anything exist without first establishing a purpose? Destruction is a meaningless term without purpose. God's purpose for us is that we live for Him who is the source of our being and who has planted love in our hearts. When we violate that purpose, the greater evil is not death or suffering. Life can be restored. The greater evil is choosing to separate ourselves from God and live in a manner contrary to His purpose. At the heart of evil is autonomy--self-love and self-law. Self-law will always lead to a loss of law and self-love to the loss of love. The skeptic's criticism of evil is logically and existentially self-defeating.

The fourth 'victim'--the questioner who asks "How can God be sovereign over life, but we are not given the same right to take a life?" Neither our character nor our capacity give us the right to have authority over life's sanctity. God always acts in character and with purity and will never do wrong. We cannot take that same prerogative because we neither have the character to make the right choices 100% of the time, nor do we have the power to restore life. God can allow 'bad things' to happen because He can restore life through these tragedies and reveal the destructiveness of sin through tragedies. He sees humanity through the lens of infinity, His reason is pure and He is able to give strength to those who seek His comfort.

We humans cannot claim this absoluteness, because our characters are not pure and our reasoning may be flawed due to wrong information and wrong motives. Our proneness to error makes it clear that the tragedies and atrocities we see should make us flee to God and realize just how deceitful the human mind is. We need the wisdom and character that He can provide.

An additional thought to this is the question "Is this the best of all possible worlds God could have made?" There are only 4 possible worlds that God could have made that scholars have discussed.
1. No creation of this world--would it not have been better for God to create no world than this one with good and evil?
2. A world where only good would have been chosen--a robotic world where love is forced--and a forced love is no love at all.
3. A world where there is no such thing as good and evil--an amoral world
4. The world we live in--where good and evil exist along with the possibility of choosing either.

Again, as soon as we introduce the question of what would have been better, we again invoke an absolute point of reference, and that we can only introduce if God exists. Of these 4 worlds, the last is the only one where love is genuinely possible. Love is the supreme ethic that we know of, and where love is possible, freedom and the possibility of suffering accompany it. Where love is possible, pain is also possible. God alone is the absolute expression of love that is never separated from holiness. It's when we turn our backs on Him that we lose the source of defining love, live with the pain of unholiness, and so suffering remains an enigma and leaves us as imperfect humans searching for moral law and crying out for an answer that can satisfy our finite minds. There is no good answer apart from Him, apart from His infinite nature, apart from His sovereignty over life, apart from His love and His purity. Every other answer to the problem of pain not only fails to satisfy, it fails to even justify the question.


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Old 10-16-2006, 03:40 PM   #266
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Its very hard to debate whether GOD is evil, as there is no evidence whatsoever of his existance. He is like a giant conspiracy theory.

If we assume that a god does exist then his very nature makes him impossible for us to comprehend.

The god that appears in the christian bible however appears as a petulant human, with the same emotions, feelings and inferiority complexes that humans have always experienced. There is no real sign of an incomprehensible, all knowing deity in those texts. This means:

(a) The bible is correct in it's portrayal of god. In which case he has been uncharacterisically disinterested in the affairs of man for a long time now. He was never exactly subtle.

(b) There is a god, but the bible "doesn't get him".

(c) There isn't a god.

Non of whihc has much bearing on religion, as god appears to be mostly an inconsequential inconveinience to most religions.



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Old 10-16-2006, 09:17 PM   #267
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According to the Christian Bible God was wrathful and punished every one who did wrong in his eyes, before sending Jesus to die for our sins and atonement occuring when we die. That might be why there hasn't, for example, been genocide of homosexuals.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:58 AM   #268
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That might be why there hasn't, for example, been genocide of homosexuals.
Or, maybe there's been no genocide of homosexuals because most people have common sense in spite of religious superstitions and realize that such stupidity would be... in human.

Still, there are places in the world where such in human stupidity reign: Eastern Africa, the Middle East.... Homosexuals do well to keep their sexual preferences hidden in lands where religious fanaticism oppresses those that believe differently.


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Old 10-17-2006, 01:04 AM   #269
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Even in the modern world people use religion to justify this crap, which is what it is, and is an example of how religion can be used for evil. Much like how you would, say, use the computer for Star Wars say. The forums here? Snapping up everything on Aayle Secura you can? Nothing wrong with that, I go for Revan and Exile. But people can use computers for say the downloading and trade of child pornography, something only pedophile priests wouldn't decry. So like everything religion can be used for good or for evil.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:08 PM   #270
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Homosexuals do well to keep their sexual preferences hidden in lands where religious fanaticism oppresses those that believe differently.
I was musing about _why_ those rules would be in place, because I don't think God puts rules in place just because He's able. I don't think He sits up on His throne and says "How can I just ruin the fun of My People today?" Granted, some of the rules make me cock my head and wonder why that was put in place, but some others have become fairly obvious to me as I've advanced through the ranks in the medical field.

Anyway, I think the answer for the rule on homosexuality is a. relational and b. medical.

First, homosexuals can't reproduce (at least until recently via artificial means). Second, strong families reduce poverty which would enhance both child and elderly survival. This is not something available to the homosexual couple unless their families of origin took them in.

Third, and probably the most important, the physical act of homosexuality poses an increase in risk of intestinal infections (I'll go re-find the link and edit it in later). Bear in mind we didn't have antibiotics in any kind of widespread use until the 1940's, and had no antibiotics, period, until the '30s. People can and did die from something as simple as a small infected cuts on their hands. We've all grown up in a culture that takes these fabulous drugs for granted and don't realize that they didn't exist until about 70 years ago. Obviously, these medications were not available to the pre-modern medicine crowd. So, an increase risk of infection also meant an increase risk of death, and intestinal infections are more difficult to kill than an infection on the skin. You can put some disinfectants on the skin to try to stop surface infections (e.g. 10% bleach solution, rubbing alcohol, and even carbolic acid was used for some time), but you can't introduce these chemicals into the more delicate tissues of the bowel. An infected bowel that remains untreated is pretty much a death sentence within hours to days, and it is quite painful.

A rule that seems arbitrary and 'homophobic' to our 21st century perspective may actually have been an attempt at controlling infection risk, especially for something as miserable and deadly as internal infections. It may be incorrect for us to describe this rule as having homophobic or other malicious intent when in fact it may have been put in place to control for a preventable deadly disease.


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Old 10-17-2006, 08:57 PM   #271
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According to the Christian Bible God was wrathful and punished every one who did wrong in his eyes, before sending Jesus to die for our sins and atonement occuring when we die. That might be why there hasn't, for example, been genocide of homosexuals.
Actually, there has been. Homosexuals were one of the groups considered Final Solution-worthy by the Nazis. Their official identification mark in the concentration camps was the pink triangle. The SA leader Ernst Rohm who perished in the Night of the Long Knives was very openly gay, and it's thought that might have been extra incentive for Hitler and the SS to include gays as being anti-Nazi, Rohm being one of the last real rivals for Hitler's level of power in the 1930's.

And really, I think it's kind of odd that this God guy had been making homosexuals for thousands of years before it ever occurred to him to make Christians and Muslims, and that he's kept right on making them all along. Maybe this inscrutable God fellow still knows a few things humans don't.


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Old 10-18-2006, 02:07 AM   #272
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That's right. Still the only man in history more evil than Hitler was is Bush according to some, and certainly by modern standereds, certainly back then as well possibly it might not be Hitler's gravest crime but it was monsterous, without question.

You can also make a case for the salem witch trials, but that was more reasonable when you think how it's on;y sixty years ago when people like McCarthy whipped people up in such a frenzy they believed AHHHIIIEEE THE SOVIETS ARE INVADING WITH THE MARTIANS AND THEY'RE GOING TO EAT OUR BRAINS LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11. Thankfully anyone trying to do that to witches today is branded an out and out kook.
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:19 AM   #273
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Quote:
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Third, and probably the most important, the physical act of homosexuality poses an increase in risk of intestinal infections (I'll go re-find the link and edit it in later). Bear in mind we didn't have antibiotics in any kind of widespread use until the 1940's, and had no antibiotics, period, until the '30s. People can and did die from something as simple as a small infected cuts on their hands. We've all grown up in a culture that takes these fabulous drugs for granted and don't realize that they didn't exist until about 70 years ago. Obviously, these medications were not available to the pre-modern medicine crowd. So, an increase risk of infection also meant an increase risk of death, and intestinal infections are more difficult to kill than an infection on the skin. You can put some disinfectants on the skin to try to stop surface infections (e.g. 10% bleach solution, rubbing alcohol, and even carbolic acid was used for some time), but you can't introduce these chemicals into the more delicate tissues of the bowel. An infected bowel that remains untreated is pretty much a death sentence within hours to days, and it is quite painful.
This third reason is actually pretty much the reason, why I think these 'homophobic' rules were established in the first place, and I would say regarding those reasons they're kind of valid even today.

But, (a) I'm not really sure if mankind wasn't able to find out those (and more) things on their own, and that noone ever got the idea to put them together in one great, colourful and fascinating 'fairy tale' for grown ups to keep this knowledge. I mean, we write down our rules and stuff nowadays too, maybe not that spirited, but we do, right? Also (b), in other cultures, like the Romans I think, it was a perfectly common practice to err practise homosexual acts with young boys or (more important) it was considered as 'contraceptive' to go in backdoors, so (c) these 'sanitary rules' *are not* exclusively appliable to male-male or female-female (Hey, why not? ) sessions, but also to the plain old female-chicken-male-female-female-pineapple-male constellation, yes.


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Old 10-18-2006, 02:41 PM   #274
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But, (a) I'm not really sure if mankind wasn't able to find out those (and more) things on their own, and that noone ever got the idea to put them together in one great, colourful and fascinating 'fairy tale' for grown ups to keep this knowledge.
A good chunk of people couldn't read and/or didn't have access to books at that point since they were relatively difficult to make before the printing press, though I suppose they could have some kind of oral tradition.

The other problem is that no one knew even the most basic things about medicine at that point--they were working with Hippocrates' 4 humors theory then (and even then not til about 420 BC or so). Any stomach pain would likely have been associated with something they ate, or too much yellow or black bile, rather than a sex act that happened perhaps a day or 2 prior.

Without getting too graphic on a PG-13 forum, male/female contact is far less likely to use the same technique male/male contact does, and it's pretty much out for female/female given they don't have the anatomy (I'm not touching the objects issue). So, male/male contact would still have the highest comparative risk.


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Old 10-19-2006, 07:13 AM   #275
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A good chunk of people couldn't read and/or didn't have access to books at that point since they were relatively difficult to make before the printing press, though I suppose they could have some kind of oral tradition.
But didn't apply these facts for the Bible, too? And scripture itself was inventend long *before* the Christian cult evolved, so you're right, but your argmuent doesn't exclude the possibility of what I've suggested, because it worked in many other cases, just as it did for the Bible.

Quote:
The other problem is that no one knew even the most basic things about medicine at that point--they were working with Hippocrates' 4 humors theory then (and even then not til about 420 BC or so). Any stomach pain would likely have been associated with something they ate, or too much yellow or black bile, rather than a sex act that happened perhaps a day or 2 prior.
Seriously, a pain from having it the "gay way" would most likely occur where it happened. And if I'd have an aching rear end or mold growing on my weeniepeenie after having any kind of anal sex, I'd knew why. And so did people back then, because if someone can't read doesn't mean he couldn't conclude "Pain coming out? Ah, okay, [bleep] went in!".

Quote:
Without getting too graphic on a PG-13 forum, male/female contact is far less likely to use the same technique male/male contact does, and it's pretty much out for female/female given they don't have the anatomy (I'm not touching the objects issue). So, male/male contact would still have the highest comparative risk.
Okay, putting "non-between-the-legs-techniques" aside, male/male combos are pretty much doomed to end up doing it as the common gay sex stereotype suggests, while a male/female setup has the opportunity to turn left or right. The rest is probability calculation plus a bit sexual preference.
But still, anal penetration was (and is) one way to prevent pregnancy and to keep (vaginal) virginity (which was important in some cultures), and that is something gay couples not very often have to deal with.

Another thought is (speeking of the "gay sex stereotype"), who says that the "homophobic" parts in the Bible aren't simply an analogy to anal sex, or did not evolve from the knowledge about the risks of anal sex. Or are a generalisation because of what I've said above.


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Old 01-13-2007, 12:18 PM   #276
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Religion does more harm than good - poll

82% of Brits "believe faith causes tension". 66% of Brits are atheists.

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Old 01-14-2007, 05:30 PM   #277
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I can tell you right now what a large problem is for all religion, atheism as well. People who think they have the right to force their beliefs onto others. Nothing can be surer, these are the type of people who bring down their beliefs. I would vote for Bush running again, and winning, before letting go of that one simple fact.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:43 PM   #278
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Religion does more harm than good - poll

82% of Brits "believe faith causes tension". 66% of Brits are atheists.
Well, actually this poll is bias; it only poll British.
And of course it will be expected that atheists will say religion does more harm.
But why did you wake this tired ass thread up for?
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:31 AM   #279
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Despite the fact that theistically irrational people are in a minority in my country, they still manage to cause some problems, and they're making a real effort to expand.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4398345.stm
http://education.guardian.co.uk/scho...957858,00.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_znfn0GJe0 - insidious blaggards...

On the bright side though, it's wonderful to be able to wander around proclaiming oneself an atheist without worrying about being discriminated against by foolish fundies.


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Old 01-15-2007, 11:53 AM   #280
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On the bright side though, it's wonderful to be able to wander around proclaiming oneself an atheist without worrying about being discriminated against by foolish fundies.
Well, atheists are supposedly the least trusted minority group in the States.

Keep religion in schools confined to theology or social studies classes.

Oh, and yes, once again, "Scientific Theory" does not mean "Unproven Assertion".

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