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Old 03-18-2011, 01:21 AM   #81
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Yes, yes, and Mao and Stalin killed more in the name of their 'infallible Communism and atheism' than all other religious wars combined. I don't buy that argument about religious wars one bit.
Er, except Mao and Stalin didn't kill more people than all other religious wars combined. I recommend doing some research into Old Testament Genocide, the Roman Christian's suppression of paganism, the Irish/English religious wars, the Crusades, 15th century Poland, the genocide of Native Americans, the Spanish Inquisition, French Huguenots, Croatian extermination camps, and the Rwanda massacres...that should give you a nice general overview.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, read Mein Kempf; it gives a nice Luther-esque motivation for Aryan supremacy.

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Originally Posted by Tysyacha
{Snipped for space}............If I ever have children, I'll let them decide whether they want to go to any kind of church or not, but I will NEVER force them to go. I don't want them to go through the same kind of living hell I'm going through due to religion.
This may sound cold, but why don't you....do something about it? There's absolutely nothing keeping you chained to your childhood.
If God is giving you so much agony, give it up. If you feel you have mental health issues, then get them checked out.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:33 AM   #82
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Det. Bart Lasiter - I was going by programming rules, as Tommycat noted, and I thought you would be on the same page, as you were once upon a time a bit of a scripter yourself, at least I remember some tools you made that many found useful, although I for one struck my own path on the local road of KotOR programming. "=" is assignment, as Tommycat noted, and "==" is equivalence. Sentential logic uses several different symbols that cannot easily be reproduced with a common keyboard, but that is another story altogether.

@Totenkopf: I, for one, would love to see proof or disproof of God's existence. I would also like to say that Sun will always rise. I will mostlikely never live to see either proven or disproved, although science does tell us that someday the sun will rise too much, and then we will be crispy. Proof of an angry God perhaps?

@Tommycat: Not sure where you were going with that response, as it kind of ignores my analogy. Perhaps you were thinking that the sun will definitely not rise someday, due to your education. If that is the case, then my analogy is a failure. If you are saying that you can prove the sun will rise tomorrow, you are wrong.
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Yes, yes, and Mao and Stalin killed more in the name of their 'infallible Communism and atheism' than all other religious wars combined. I don't buy that argument about religious wars one bit.
Uh... ummm... are you serious? Really? Really?

Really?

In terms of gross numbers, it is possible that you are right. In terms of percentage of population at the time of occurrence, you are ignoring the history of the world as if it never happened. I can hear Mel Brooks, singing....
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The Inquisition (here we go)
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But the Inquisition's here and it's here to-
"Hey Toquemada, walk this way."


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Old 03-18-2011, 01:50 AM   #83
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Working Class Hero,

In terms of my mental health issues, I have indeed gotten them checked out, but I'm still finding it incredibly hard to break free of the fundamentalist thought patterns that have been drilled into me ever since I started going to church (at about 6 years old). You're absolutely right that there's absolutely nothing chaining me to my childhood...

...but at least for me, breaking free is an uphill battle.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:53 AM   #84
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Working Class Hero,

In terms of my mental health issues, I have indeed gotten them checked out, but I'm still finding it incredibly hard to break free of the fundamentalist thought patterns that have been drilled into me ever since I started going to church (at about 6 years old). You're absolutely right that there's absolutely nothing chaining me to my childhood...

...but at least for me, breaking free is an uphill battle.
Cool, thanks for not taking offense at my response. I understand that mental issues can be exacerbated by religion, but the same can be said about other fear based teachings. Imagine a child being brought up thinking about the global warming debate. Being told that the world's population must change or they are doomed. They wouldn't even have the level of control over their fate you have in faith...

VVV: Um it's easy to point to religion and say "See they did bad things in the name of religion" and ignore the Atheists who did bad things because they didn't do it specifically IN the name of Atheism... But I can also point to how churches and religions have fed the poor. Christian Monks were the ones who created the first hospitals. And to this day many hospitals are run by churches(keeping costs down, and providing some essentially free services). What good has been done in the name of Atheism? It's easy not to do anything bad if you don't do anything at all.

QGG: The "rising of the sun" is an observable fact. The rotation of the Earth has been an observable fact. As for one day it not rising, it is in theory possible one day it may not rise. But we have an actual observable fact versus something that cannot be observed until our demise, and at that point you cannot publish the results. Though as stated many people who have had near death experiences have said they felt something... Not to mention the number of incidents where there are reported ghosts(which implies existence beyond death, but does not prove it as there are many explanations as to what they might be, and there has not been conclusive proof that ghosts do exist).


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:54 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Tommycat
QGG: The "rising of the sun" is an observable fact. The rotation of the Earth has been an observable fact. As for one day it not rising, it is in theory possible one day it may not rise. But we have an actual observable fact versus something that cannot be observed until our demise, and at that point you cannot publish the results. Though as stated many people who have had near death experiences have said they felt something... Not to mention the number of incidents where there are reported ghosts(which implies existence beyond death, but does not prove it as there are many explanations as to what they might be, and there has not been conclusive proof that ghosts do exist).
Yes, my analogy was not strong enough. I concede, although I wish I had a better analogy to make my point. The whole "sun will rise" concept is 101 philosophy, Epistemology specifically, as you may know. Inductive reasoning can be helpful, but does not provide "knowledge", as you cannot know events or things until they happen, if at all.

I am not claiming in the least that Christians or Jews or Muslims or any other religious folk are de facto abusing their children by raising them in those particular ways. I think many take it too far, and I have seen the results in my own family... The most restrictive and religious families end up having the wildest children, because the must rebel and revolt at some point, stifled too long from getting to be, a, kid.


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Old 03-19-2011, 02:30 PM   #86
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Det. Bart Lasiter - I was going by programming rules, as Tommycat noted, and I thought you would be on the same page, as you were once upon a time a bit of a scripter yourself, at least I remember some tools you made that many found useful, although I for one struck my own path on the local road of KotOR programming. "=" is assignment, as Tommycat noted, and "==" is equivalence. Sentential logic uses several different symbols that cannot easily be reproduced with a common keyboard, but that is another story altogether.
'==' means you're asking if the things on either side are equivalent in (c-like) programming notation and several other notations. 'x == y' is the same as saying 'if x is equal to y', or 'if x = y'.

oh god, look at how neurotic childhood religiosity made me



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Old 03-19-2011, 08:03 PM   #87
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Working Class Hero,

In terms of my mental health issues, I have indeed gotten them checked out, but I'm still finding it incredibly hard to break free of the fundamentalist thought patterns that have been drilled into me ever since I started going to church (at about 6 years old). You're absolutely right that there's absolutely nothing chaining me to my childhood...

...but at least for me, breaking free is an uphill battle.
I'm a recovered fundamentalist and lived to tell about it.
Even managed to keep faith in God, though it required a great deal of soul-searching and study to reach that point.

And at the risk of sounding trite, God/Christ love you more than you're letting you love yourself right now.


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Old 03-19-2011, 08:39 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Det. Bart Lasiter View Post
'==' means you're asking if the things on either side are equivalent in (c-like) programming notation and several other notations. 'x == y' is the same as saying 'if x is equal to y', or 'if x = y'.

oh god, look at how neurotic childhood religiosity made me
I was using shell scripting as my base. "==" is usually used for "roughly equal to, but not exact"


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:27 PM   #89
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When I was a child, my mother used to pray with with me and my siblings. She would pray that we would not be "free-thinkers." One day when I mustered up the courage to ask why we shouldn't think freely for ourselves, I was rebuffed quite sternly and told, "You're only supposed to think what God wants you to think and nothing else. Free-thinkers have never done the world any good."

When I was a little older, I asked my mother if my Aunt Rita was going to heaven. My Aunt Rita is an excellent trauma surgeon and a participant in Doctors Without Borders. When not deployed, she regularly spends time at a local orphanage to counsel the children there. She is a kind and loving mother to my cousins and the perfect wife to my uncle (to whom I am related). She is nominally Muslim, though she does not practice Islam to any degree, to the point of being agnostic/atheist. I have never heard her say anything bad about anyone. She's pretty much my heroine.

My mother said that my Aunt Rita is not going to heaven because she "has not accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She is not living as Jesus would have lived."

I have never forgotten those words. Fortunately, my children will never have to remember them because they will be raised in a loving environment free of Christian hypocrisy.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:12 AM   #90
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When I was a child, my mother used to pray with with me and my siblings. She would pray that we would not be "free-thinkers." One day when I mustered up the courage to ask why we shouldn't think freely for ourselves, I was rebuffed quite sternly and told, "You're only supposed to think what God wants you to think and nothing else. Free-thinkers have never done the world any good."

My mother said that my Aunt Rita is not going to heaven because she "has not accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She is not living as Jesus would have lived."
That's not very christian.



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Old 03-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #91
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I disagree. It's very Christian. If you don't accept Jesus as your "Lord and Savior", then you don't get to go to heaven, no matter how good you've been. This is the fundamental truth behind Christianity. And it is sickening.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:43 AM   #92
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^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven. Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.


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Old 03-20-2011, 12:51 PM   #93
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^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven. Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.
Makes sense to me and your last sentence Totenkopf reminds me of something Gandhi said....

"God has no religion."

Funny how us humans never stop to consider that. I believe God, The Creator, Lord, Jehovah, Jesus, Muhammad, or whatever name the entity goes by, doesn't care what you claim to be and what you believe in, as long as you follow the main rule in life - "The Golden Rule"


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Old 03-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #94
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^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven.
This is how I was raised.

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Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.
Most Christians I know would be upset or angry at this sort of sentiment towards God's judgment, as it would invalidate their very reason for being Christian. Christianity is very much like an elitist club. You're either in or you're not.
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:42 PM   #95
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Not sure it invalidates anything beyond an absolutist interpretation that effectively straightjackets God's ability to do as He choose fit. Perhaps it's a difference between certain sects of Christianity. Not everyone on earth has been exposed to God through Jesus, so to speak over the last 2000 +/- years. I seriously doubt many of those people went to hell.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

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Old 03-21-2011, 02:31 PM   #96
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That's not very christian.
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^Don't know about you or how you were raised, buy most Christians I know have never spouted any belief that non-Christians could never get into Heaven. Doubt there are even that many here that think that Jews and others can't get there by living a "good life". Besides, in the end, God makes His own decisions about who makes the cut.
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Makes sense to me and your last sentence Totenkopf reminds me of something Gandhi said....

"God has no religion."

Funny how us humans never stop to consider that. I believe God, The Creator, Lord, Jehovah, Jesus, Muhammad, or whatever name the entity goes by, doesn't care what you claim to be and what you believe in, as long as you follow the main rule in life - "The Golden Rule"
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Not sure it invalidates anything beyond an absolutist interpretation that effectively straightjackets God's ability to do as He choose fit. Perhaps it's a difference between certain sects of Christianity. Not everyone on earth has been exposed to God through Jesus, so to speak over the last 2000 +/- years. I seriously doubt many of those people went to hell.
Sorry, but until we can get God down here to confirm y'all's ideas on the matter, we're gonna have to go by religious texts and not any of your revised editions.

Also, isn't it a bit blasphemous for any of you to speak for God or make judgments of what's right and what ain't just to suit your own arguments? I'm pretty sure it's been made clear that the knowledge of good and evil resides within the realm of the divine.



"No, Mama. You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty whoever put that hit on you already got the cops in their back pocket." ~Black Dynamite
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:46 PM   #97
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Sorry, but until we can get God down here to confirm y'all's ideas on the matter, we're gonna have to go by religious texts and not any of your revised editions.

Also, isn't it a bit blasphemous for any of you to speak for God or make judgments of what's right and what ain't just to suit your own arguments? I'm pretty sure it's been made clear that the knowledge of good and evil resides within the realm of the divine.
Yes, but the texts have many interpretations. And also many different translations. For instance, we can take the passages, "Judge not lest ye be judged" or "Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord" and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" seem to imply that it is not our place to say who goes where. God gets to choose.


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 03-21-2011, 03:07 PM   #98
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Yes, but the texts have many interpretations. And also many different translations. For instance, we can take the passages, "Judge not lest ye be judged" or "Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord" and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" seem to imply that it is not our place to say who goes where. God gets to choose.
Yeah, that's exactly what I said. Except we supposedly have books originally thought of by God which dictate moral codes we have to follow. You listing instructions that say passing judgment is a task for God and God alone does nothing to disprove what I said. Which is, essentially, that none of you are in a position to pick and choose which parts of a religion are part of said religion when God has supposedly dictated every part of that religion and that in doing so you are, in fact, blaspheming by overstepping your bounds. You can feel free to do so, but in doing so you are warping your own religion into something that it isn't.



"No, Mama. You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty whoever put that hit on you already got the cops in their back pocket." ~Black Dynamite
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:02 PM   #99
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Yeah, that's exactly what I said. Except we supposedly have books originally thought of by God which dictate moral codes we have to follow. You listing instructions that say passing judgment is a task for God and God alone does nothing to disprove what I said. Which is, essentially, that none of you are in a position to pick and choose which parts of a religion are part of said religion when God has supposedly dictated every part of that religion and that in doing so you are, in fact, blaspheming by overstepping your bounds. You can feel free to do so, but in doing so you are warping your own religion into something that it isn't.
My mistake. Essentially what you were saying was that they cannot use the "no true Scottsman" argument. Sadly I can agree with your observation, that they cannot just say, "Well they're not REAL Christians" because in order to do that you would have to prove that they are not following some Christian sect(even if they are a twisted sect)


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Old 03-21-2011, 05:52 PM   #100
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My mistake. Essentially what you were saying was that they cannot use the "no true Scottsman" argument. Sadly I can agree with your observation, that they cannot just say, "Well they're not REAL Christians" because in order to do that you would have to prove that they are not following some Christian sect(even if they are a twisted sect)
Pretty much. I'd be willing to concede this point the day I can tell people I'm a vegetarian except for chicken, fish, and red meat and not be glared at like an idiot. Tailoring your religion so that believing in it doesn't make you look like a draconian ******* whose sense of morality stopped progressing thousands of years ago is illogical from the non-believer's standpoint and blasphemous from the believer's.

If you don't have the faith to stone gays and adulterers to death, accept that maybe none of the Judeo-Christian religions is for you. At least then you might be able to find a deity that won't damn you for eternity for not having the faith to kill an innocent.



"No, Mama. You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty whoever put that hit on you already got the cops in their back pocket." ~Black Dynamite
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:30 PM   #101
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No. now you've gone off the deep end. Since belief is all about... well beliefs, then you can tailor your beliefs how you want to. That's the whole point of the protestant movement(being able to believe something other than what the Catholic Church decrees). As for which one is correct, that's a crap shoot. But Christianity has gone through a reformation and has splintered into wholly different sects. It's more like the vegetarians who eat eggs, or fish. There are things that can be excepted(yes, not accepted) based on what your brand of Christianity believes. So really, one is not more Christian than the other.


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Old 03-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #102
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VVV: Um it's easy to point to religion and say "See they did bad things in the name of religion" and ignore the Atheists who did bad things because they didn't do it specifically IN the name of Atheism... But I can also point to how churches and religions have fed the poor. Christian Monks were the ones who created the first hospitals. And to this day many hospitals are run by churches(keeping costs down, and providing some essentially free services). What good has been done in the name of Atheism? It's easy not to do anything bad if you don't do anything at all.
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Yes, yes, and Mao and Stalin killed more in the name of their 'infallible Communism and atheism' than all other religious wars combined. I don't buy that argument about religious wars one bit.
The amount of times Stalin's name comes up is unbelievable.

Look, Stalin was a brutal dictator with no morality whatsoever. You could argue that he was "Fighting a war in the name of atheism" but that's not seeing the real picture.
The fact of the matter is that this guy had a vison of an ideal communist society and religion was an obstacle to his vision hence he did his best to remove it from Russian society.

@Tommycat

I'm afraid if you want to play the balance game there's much more going against religion then there is for it but I get your point.


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Old 03-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Tommycat View Post
No. now you've gone off the deep end. Since belief is all about... well beliefs, then you can tailor your beliefs how you want to. That's the whole point of the protestant movement(being able to believe something other than what the Catholic Church decrees). As for which one is correct, that's a crap shoot. But Christianity has gone through a reformation and has splintered into wholly different sects. It's more like the vegetarians who eat eggs, or fish. There are things that can be excepted(yes, not accepted) based on what your brand of Christianity believes. So really, one is not more Christian than the other.
Yeah, I pretty much concur. You tip your own hand, bart, by essentially condemning all of christianity (judaism and islam too apparently) as a bunch of gay hating murderers. Btw, nothing blasphemous in in stating that God reserves the right to judge people in the end by His own will and not our claim to understanding it. I don't recall it written anywhere that people that never even heard of God or Jesus were going to go to hell.


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Old 03-21-2011, 11:25 PM   #104
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I don't follow these arguments at all. If "god" reserves the right to damn people to hell or allow them into heaven by ways we can't understand, why did he give us a supposedly holy book that describes exactly how to get into heaven?

I mean...why bother? If god is going to do what he wants regardless, why should we even try?
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:54 AM   #105
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Because that's not how it works, it's just wishful thinking. Consider that Heaven is literally the Kingdom of God, and as it is a Kingdom ruled directly by God, are you really surprised he wants a pledge of loyalty from you before he's going to allow you in?


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Old 03-22-2011, 09:33 AM   #106
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I don't follow these arguments at all. If "god" reserves the right to damn people to hell or allow them into heaven by ways we can't understand, why did he give us a supposedly holy book that describes exactly how to get into heaven?

I mean...why bother? If god is going to do what he wants regardless, why should we even try?
Not a whole lot different from having a death penalty for murder, but then leaving it up to a judge to decide if it will be applied in the end. The question doesn't seem to be one of punishment (which we arbitrarily visit upon ourselves), but rather of the severity and/or finality. If you look at the story of the people who wanted to stone the woman for adultery in the NT, Jesus tells them "let he w/o sin....". What is so hard to understand about a god who has rules, but is also willing to forgive. People do that too. Hell, how many grudges do people have b/c someone refused or just didn't bother to apologize for an offense..... As to following rules in general, why should we even hold ourselves to any human rules when they can change multiple times over the course of one's life or even by as simply as crossing into another's country. Just do what you want and try not to get caught. Anarchy ftw.


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Old 03-22-2011, 10:37 AM   #107
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I'm afraid if you want to play the balance game there's much more going against religion then there is for it but I get your point.
Really? I don't think so. Keep in mind that when using the nebulous "religion" you also include the likes of Gandhi, as well as Mother Theresa. Then there are the local churches that feed the poor. How many of those people would have starved to death without them? Quite a few homeless shelters are run by religious groups. How many people have been saved by hospitals? How about the Red Cross/Red Crescent? Look at the things they have done. How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)? I still say religion comes out on top. And these examples are mostly from the Christian faith. There are other examples from Buddhism. Some of it is so ingrained into us that we forget that it's religious.


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Old 03-22-2011, 12:05 PM   #108
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Really? I don't think so. Keep in mind that when using the nebulous "religion" you also include the likes of Gandhi, as well as Mother Theresa. Then there are the local churches that feed the poor. How many of those people would have starved to death without them? Quite a few homeless shelters are run by religious groups. How many people have been saved by hospitals? How about the Red Cross/Red Crescent? Look at the things they have done. How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)? I still say religion comes out on top. And these examples are mostly from the Christian faith. There are other examples from Buddhism. Some of it is so ingrained into us that we forget that it's religious.
Keep in mind you have to also include Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. Hitler was a roman-catholic as well btw.

"Okay so there are local churches that feed the poor," how about all the priests that have raped children? I mean when they were starting to look suspect in certain areas the vatican would just move them around so that they wouldn't get caught and they'd have to get involved. This of course just allowed these priests to rape children in different areas.

"How many people have been saved by hospitals?" Another fair point (even though in the modern day first world there's not as many religous hospitals as there are simply hospitals) but i'd counter this with how many people are dying in Africa as we speak due to disinformation by the catholic church. I mean a lot of these people in the third world who didn't get the same standard of education you and I did have been told that condoms are a crime against god. They've also been told that using a condom makes it more likely to get aids. On another note, what about doctors who happen to perform abortions? I mean plenty of them have been targetted in America for commiting a sin against god right?

"How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)?"
I know of quite a few people that turned away from AA for that very reason, they didn't want a holy joe trying to convert them.

Now this is before we get into all the religous wars but i'll leave that off for now, i'm looking foward to your reply, this a good discussion.


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Old 03-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #109
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Keep in mind that when using the nebulous "religion" you also include the likes of Gandhi, as well as Mother Theresa.
That's the problem. I mean "the nebulous religion".
We should be more concrete in discussion. The concept of religion is often idealized and so it has aspects that no real religion has. It's like composing puzzles from different sets. Placing aspects of different religions that are positive side by side and ignoring their negative aspects. It just can't give you the whole picture.

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Then there are the local churches that feed the poor. How many of those people would have starved to death without them? Quite a few homeless shelters are run by religious groups. How many people have been saved by hospitals? How about the Red Cross/Red Crescent? Look at the things they have done. How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)?
When talking about the bad aspect of religions there are often examples given of single people who were good and religious or religious charity organizations. But the real question is would these people not help others if not for their belief? Would they not help if they were atheists or believed in other god/gods? Was the religion the real impulse for "do-gooders"?


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Old 03-22-2011, 03:08 PM   #110
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Keep in mind you have to also include Islam and Judaism as well as Christianity. Hitler was a roman-catholic as well btw.
Yes, and Stalin was an Atheist. Both did their stuff for themselves not for a cause. Remember that that same church also kept many people SAFE during that terrible time. Nice bringing Islam into it. Are you saying that we should equate all Muslims with the terrorists? Then why oppose Gitmo?

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"Okay so there are local churches that feed the poor," how about all the priests that have raped children? I mean when they were starting to look suspect in certain areas the vatican would just move them around so that they wouldn't get caught and they'd have to get involved. This of course just allowed these priests to rape children in different areas.
Same thing happens in schools. I don't see people condemning all public schools for the actions of a few teachers...

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"How many people have been saved by hospitals?" Another fair point (even though in the modern day first world there's not as many religous hospitals as there are simply hospitals) but i'd counter this with how many people are dying in Africa as we speak due to disinformation by the catholic church. I mean a lot of these people in the third world who didn't get the same standard of education you and I did have been told that condoms are a crime against god. They've also been told that using a condom makes it more likely to get aids. On another note, what about doctors who happen to perform abortions? I mean plenty of them have been targetted in America for commiting a sin against god right?
Depends on your point of view. Some see the killing of the unborn as murder. Soooo I'm willing to call a draw on this even though the number of people killed by Christian attacks is significantly lower than the number of unborn were killed.
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"How many people would have drank themselves to death without Alchoholics Anonymous(yep a religious organization)?"
I know of quite a few people that turned away from AA for that very reason, they didn't want a holy joe trying to convert them.
I know quite a few more who have gotten straight after going to AA. For obvious reasons I cannot name names(see the Anonymous part). But there's the combination of AA, NA, and OA that are helped by the groups.

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Now this is before we get into all the religous wars but i'll leave that off for now, i'm looking foward to your reply, this a good discussion.
The largest wars are about power. Political wars, with "goals" of "religion" but in reality all about keeping or extending the power of those in charge. Religion is a passenger that they keep on just for some air of legitimacy among the masses.

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That's the problem. I mean "the nebulous religion".
We should be more concrete in discussion. The concept of religion is often idealized and so it has aspects that no real religion has. It's like composing puzzles from different sets. Placing aspects of different religions that are positive side by side and ignoring their negative aspects. It just can't give you the whole picture.
Well the topic is attacking religion in general. So unless we narrow it down to specifically one religion which has only one sect, we're stuck speaking nebulously.

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When talking about the bad aspect of religions there are often examples given of single people who were good and religious or religious charity organizations. But the real question is would these people not help others if not for their belief? Would they not help if they were atheists or believed in other god/gods? Was the religion the real impulse for "do-gooders"?
I have yet to see a single person doing good for atheists sake. Many of these people are encouraged to do good by their faiths. An atheist might do good. But the religious are encouraged by the groups to do the good deeds. Banding together as a group to do good.


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Old 03-22-2011, 03:41 PM   #111
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The largest wars are about power. Political wars, with "goals" of "religion" but in reality all about keeping or extending the power of those in charge. Religion is a passenger that they keep on just for some air of legitimacy among the masses.
This. You look at history, and for a long time the Catholic Church was less a religious organization and more a political one. Wars like the Crusades on Eastern Europe and the Middle-East only used religion as a pretense, the real goal was conquest. Those wars and others like it would have taken place, whether they were being done openly as 'God's work' or as just the power-hungry ravings of a lunatic.


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Old 03-22-2011, 05:05 PM   #112
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Same thing happens in schools. I don't see people condemning all public schools for the actions of a few teachers...
I wouldn't say so. If principal of school know about child abuse by one of teachers then it's hard time for this teacher - looses job (never again can work as teacher), goes to jail and is stigmatized for the rest of life. Now a priest is being transferred to another church. But you are right in one thing - it's not a matter of religion itself, rather than people connected to it.

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Depends on your point of view. Some see the killing of the unborn as murder. Soooo I'm willing to call a draw on this even though the number of people killed by Christian attacks is significantly lower than the number of unborn were killed.
(Christian) God never had problems with killing children. Abraham was supposed to sacrifice his son. OK, he was stopped. But Jephthah wasn't and God was pleased with sacrifice of his daughter. Not enough? What about slaughter of children? I can't give you exact quote (I don't have English version of Bible) but in Book of Repeated Law (did I mistranslate?) there is a part where God tells to kill every living being if a city doesn't surrender (or kill only men, women and children becoming slaves this way if they do surrender).

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Well the topic is attacking religion in general. So unless we narrow it down to specifically one religion which has only one sect, we're stuck speaking nebulously.
What I meant was that flaws of one religion shouldn't be justified by another religion's quality in the same field.

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I have yet to see a single person doing good for atheists sake. Many of these people are encouraged to do good by their faiths. An atheist might do good. But the religious are encouraged by the groups to do the good deeds. Banding together as a group to do good.
I saw a statistic material about level of charity and crime-rate among atheists and religious people. Too bad I can't find it any more... (you can easily guess why I'm not happy that I can't find it)

EDIT: It's not it, but it's better than nothing:
http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-121066.0.html
http://atheism.about.com/b/2004/12/2...d-violence.htm


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Old 03-22-2011, 06:14 PM   #113
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Ugh... those articles use supposition and a whole heck of a lot of apples and oranges comparisons. They fail to take into account other factors for crime. Such as the cultural ideals of Japan. Oh and countries with Sharia Law have the lowest crime. Does that mean we should all convert to Islam? NO, because religion/atheism is not why those nations are less violent. Correlation does not imply causation. The cause of crime has more to do with economics than faith. For example

Quote:
Louisiana, with America's highest church attendance rate, has twice the national average murder rate.
The answer is simple. It also has a disproportionately poor population.

I mean Japan also has the highest suicide rate... Does that mean that Atheism leads to suicides? NO. Correlation does not imply causation.

Let me explain just how meaningless those statistics are with something else.
Japan has very few Black people. Louisiana has a much higher black population. Therefore the way to cut crime is to get blacks out of the neighborhoods. See how ridiculous that sounds when you just change it around a bit. It's still true, but it is bending the statistics to fit your need.

As for schools, that only happens when the situation hits the news. If you check the history of the teachers caught doing things, generally they have had at least another incident with another student. They may have even had to move to another state to avoid prosecution. Yet, there is not a condemnation of the school system as there is with religious leaders.

And God(the Christian one in this case) had specific reasons for the killing. And you missed the deaths of the first born... Again, though some were tests of faith. And you forgot about the story of Jonah. Where god commanded him to warn the people before his wrath fell on them, his refusal wreaked havoc on all around him until he did as he was told. Not to mention, that as of the New Testament, God seemed to become a bit more laid back and nice to everyone. He even offered up his only son to save those who could not keep from sinning.

If you want to be specific to a religion, you have to only condemn the one religion(or in the cases of modern religions, the specific sect... or in the case of WBC the specific church)


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Old 03-23-2011, 07:15 AM   #114
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Ugh... those articles use supposition and a whole heck of a lot of apples and oranges comparisons. They fail to take into account other factors for crime. Such as the cultural ideals of Japan.
No, they don't. There is comparison of atheists and religious people in one country. So the cultural aspect is out. Still there is much, much less atheists in prison than in general population.

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Oh and countries with Sharia Law have the lowest crime. Does that mean we should all convert to Islam?
I fail to see it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homicide-world.png
Japan and Western Europe are still on top.

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Correlation does not imply causation.
Yes, correlation is not always causation. But even when it isn't it can provide a bigger picture.
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Originally Posted by Tommycat View Post
The cause of crime has more to do with economics than faith. For example
Quote:
Louisiana, with America's highest church attendance rate, has twice the national average murder rate.
The answer is simple. It also has a disproportionately poor population.
Another interesting observation Is society becoming more atheist as it is getting more wealthy or is the wealth growing as percentage of atheists in society increases? I'd be very interested in some serious studies to check it.

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I mean Japan also has the highest suicide rate... Does that mean that Atheism leads to suicides? NO. Correlation does not imply causation.
In this case we should consider if it's a cultural or religious cause for this. For example do atheists suicide (or attempt to suicide) more often than religious people? How does it look in other countries? I don't have any data on the subject

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As for schools, that only happens when the situation hits the news. If you check the history of the teachers caught doing things, generally they have had at least another incident with another student. They may have even had to move to another state to avoid prosecution. Yet, there is not a condemnation of the school system as there is with religious leaders.
Yes, and the situation hits the news when it's discovered by the teacher's superior or anybody else. While when priest's superior finds out about child abusing he stays quiet and only moves him elsewhere.

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And God(the Christian one in this case) had specific reasons for the killing.
Sure he does It's called rationalization.

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And you missed the deaths of the first born... (...) And you forgot about the story of Jonah. Where god commanded him to warn the people before his wrath fell on them, his refusal wreaked havoc on all around him until he did as he was told.
If I were to quote every senseless act of violence in the name of God or commanded by him I'd have to quote half the Bible I think that few examples of "Infinitely good God" doing or commanding something utterly evil should be enough for my point.

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Again, though some were tests of faith.
A "test" you say? Why would God test anything? He's supposed to be omniscient. He should know the result from the beginning. Before the creation of the universe. Than why bother with testing? Well never mind. He has to have some reason otherwise it would be absurd. Wouldn't it? (I like rationalization a lot )

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Not to mention, that as of the New Testament, God seemed to become a bit more laid back and nice to everyone. He even offered up his only son to save those who could not keep from sinning.
Yes, you're right. But why stop at New Testament. Apart from what's written in the Bible God is presented more and more "laid back" as you said and good-natured, forgiving etc. etc. as our society gets less violent, more humanised and, I'd say, civilized. (Yeah, sure correlation doesn't imply causation)
The death of Jesus... bloody sacrifice made by God to himself by himself to please his own anger caused by one act of disobedience that condemned thousands generations which had nothing to do with it. How nice of him...

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If you want to be specific to a religion, you have to only condemn the one religion(or in the cases of modern religions, the specific sect... or in the case of WBC the specific church)
What I dream of would be to rate every single one religion with simple equations.
Does religion A satisfies the inequality:
good done to society/humanity/world, positive aspects > bad done to society/humanity/world, negative aspects
if not, then remove it and take another religion into consideration. I think not one of the "great" religions would pass the test (well maybe Buddhism).


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Old 03-23-2011, 07:27 AM   #115
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Yeah, because after Adam and Eve ate the apple, Humanity never did anything wrong ever again and were always good and righteous.

And I'd say Christianity -does- qualify there. But you seem to be holding religions to an interesting standard, saying that anything committed by someone who claims to be of a certain religion makes it that religion's fault, which is patently absurd. Yes, the Christian religion has been manipulated and abused by it's leaders, many, many times in the past. But there are two core Christian teachings.

1: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

2: Embrace Christ in both your heart and your actions.

If today, Beijing was nuked and millions died, and a group claimed responsibility saying it was the will of Buddha, would you blame Buddhism? I think we'd all say 'No, those guys are off their bloody gourd.' Or something of the kind. Evil doesn't need religion to exist.


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Old 03-23-2011, 08:04 AM   #116
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If today, Beijing was nuked and millions died, and a group claimed responsibility saying it was the will of Buddha, would you blame Buddhism? I think we'd all say 'No, those guys are off their bloody gourd.' Or something of the kind. Evil doesn't need religion to exist.
Does any of Buddhism sacred texts or teaching imply killing unfaithful or any other group? I don't know, but I don't think so.

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Yeah, because after Adam and Eve ate the apple, Humanity never did anything wrong ever again and were always good and righteous.
What are you referring to? To Jesus crucifixion? God had other punishments for people doing wrong. Like the flood for whole humanity, nuking Sodom and Gomorrah for sins of it's citizens. I was raised to believe that Christ died for the original sin so that people can baptise and be purged of it. Either way human sacrifice to please a loving and forgiving God is absurd.

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But you seem to be holding religions to an interesting standard, saying that anything committed by someone who claims to be of a certain religion makes it that religion's fault, which is patently absurd.
Anything committed in the name of particular religion or it's God is fault of that religion. Especially if it's religious texts and teachings imply to do so.

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Yes, the Christian religion has been manipulated and abused by it's leaders, many, many times in the past. But there are two core Christian teachings.

1: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

2: Embrace Christ in both your heart and your actions.
These two "core" rules are only mask, a nice package to hide a real purpose of religion - control, power and totalitarianism in every aspect. Luckily modern people moved away from extreme rules and absurd commands and are happy with only facade that suits their world view.


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Old 03-23-2011, 08:45 AM   #117
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These two "core" rules are only mask, a nice package to hide a real purpose of religion - control, power and totalitarianism in every aspect. Luckily modern people moved away from extreme rules and absurd commands and are happy with only facade that suits their world view.
Riiight, b/c man so needs religion to fall into the trap of wanting absolute control of those around him.


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Old 03-23-2011, 11:02 AM   #118
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Interesting map Wookiee... Strange how the lowest crime in the US happens to be in Utah... Mormon country... Kinda throws a wrench in the whole religion as the catalyst argument don't ya think? When you look at facts to find what you want, while ignoring facts that DON'T show what you want, you tend to get inaccurate results. It also supports my argument as Saudi Arabia has a pretty low murder rate... Also, I thought Russia was predominantly Atheist... So your correlation shows an inaccurate causation as again, it's about economy and cultural differences all together.

And when speaking of the Japanese culture, you should really know the Japanese culture. There was relatively little crime in Japan even when they were very heavily into Shinto. So your source is essentially full of bovine fecal matter.

As for the "test" as it were: It wasn't to show Him that his faithful would follow his commands, but to show others... Not to mention, we have free will. See Jonah in the belly of the whale(or fish depending on the interpretation).

I speak to the New Testament, because that's when God had some sort of change of heart. He went from a vengeful wrathful god to a forgiving and loving god. As to why, that's not something I can answer because I think it's all a bunch of malarkey(maybe hell was getting some kind of overpopulation problem). But the Old Testament is about god before he decided to forgive. I mean we don't have to eat unleavened bread and we can eat pork. Things have changed from the old testament to the new. The reason he sacrificed his son was so that we would no longer have to sacrifice a lamb to appease God for our sins, hence why Jesus is known as the Lamb of God(someone didn't pay attention in their religion classes apparently).

Again, I tend to believe the good of Christianity tends to outweigh the bad done in it's name. YMMV


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:02 PM   #119
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If today, Beijing was nuked and millions died, and a group claimed responsibility saying it was the will of Buddha, would you blame Buddhism?
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Anything committed in the name of particular religion or it's God is fault of that religion.
~~~

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These two "core" rules are only mask, a nice package to hide a real purpose of religion - control, power and totalitarianism in every aspect.
Look, can we please stop using Religion as a synonym for Christianity. It's really bugging me. I wanted to make a snarky comment about Jains being totalitarian, but it isn't even worth it.


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Old 03-23-2011, 12:47 PM   #120
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Anything committed in the name of particular religion or it's God is fault of that religion. Especially if it's religious texts and teachings imply to do so.
So does that apply to non-religion too? Are all Americans at fault because one American commits a crime? After all isn’t capitalism an American religion?

If you cannot tell I completely and utterly disagree with your baseless theory. All people are responsible for their own behavior. We should not blame religion, family or society for our own shortcomings. That is merely a copout.

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