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monkeyseemonkeydo

The religion thread mk2

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Ok so a few years ago we had a fun religion thread (mainly populated by me, Ben Rowlands and Hannah (then) Shucksmith I think) but with the general crap going down these days thought maybe people fancied giving their opinions on whether there's a place for religion in the modern world. I wasn't brought up as anything and am a very content atheist who, probably wrongly, tends to be a bit disappointed and thinks less of someone who I know is religious. That mainly goes for the younger generations who have all the information at hand and in my mind I simply can't see how anyone could come to the logical conclusion that there can be any truth in religious texts of any description.

Discuss...

Edit: Ok, so I know it's a bit quiet in here these days so can't expect too much but there you go.

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1 hour ago, monkeyseemonkeydo said:

That mainly goes for the younger generations who have all the information at hand...

The thing is, we kind of don't have "all the information" as there's still a significant amount we don't know, and that we're currently unable to explain.  That covers everything from aspects of how our consciousness works through to the formation of the universe and stuff like that.  I think for some people the concept of religion just works.  I remember being really surprised when I found out Joel was fairly heavily into religion (by which I mean regularly goes to church, and is interested in what the Bible has to say), but having spoken to him about it I can see how it works for him.  That doesn't in any way change my atheist mindset, but I can still see what it can offer to people.

Although it sounds stupid, I don't really think religion actually has that much to do with why there's so much terrorism and stuff like that in the world now.  Islam obviously gives ISIS a central plank to base themselves on, but I don't really think religion is the root cause for what they do.  What they do is motivated primarily by hate, and a significant catalyst for that is how the West has operated for the majority of the 20th Century, then into the 21st Century.  Having the framework of a skewed form of Islam that they can hang that on is key to how they operate overall, but if they didn't have religion I'd imagine they'd still have a f**king massive resentment of the way the West has treated large swathes of the world over the past few decades.  We really f**ked up Israel/Palestine, we really f**ked up the formation of all the countries around Iraq, Iran and so on, and we really f**ked up how we funded and supported various militias and groups over there.

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I can't understand what makes people be so shit to each other though. It's fine to say that without religion the likes of the Shiites and Sunnis (or Catholics vs Protestants or whatever) would just find another excuse to kill each other but I just don't get how they can justify the atrocities committed. In the case of Islam it seems like regardless of the reasoning behind it the (probably twisted) teachings opens the doors for martyrs to claim their 72 virgins or whatever and so they 'know' they're doing allah's work and are going to a better place. 

Regarding the stuff we currently don't understand that's all well and good but religion does absolutely nothing to further our understanding as I see it, only con people into accepting some fairy story by lying to them.

Agreed that we (the West) have f**ked things up and are continuing to do so most likely but at the same time there's something really really intrinsically wrong with things if when you remove some nutter like Saddam Hussein or other crazy that the first thing people do is start murdering one another, and not targeting the evil West, just their neighbours and fellow followers of Islam.

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The problem with religion is the "extremists" ( I use the term losely as its probably not the best to use ) that let their own ideals and opinions taint which ever road they follow and preach. 

Most, if not all, boil down to the same ideals with differing practices. 

Religion wouldn't be an issue if it was followed in the sense it's meant to, peacefully. Yes times of old show ancient wars and hatred, but there's no place for that in today's society where we should all be much more rounded people. 

 

I personally chose not to follow it. I was christened as a baby, but the choice was always left to me by my family and they respect me for it. I will respect anyone's religion, as it really shouldn't make any odds to me. I prefer to take people dependant on their personalities. 

 

That said, a world without religious quarrels would be a much more peaceful place in my mind. 

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The Saddam/Iraq thing is kind of a good example of it though - we'd f**ked Iraq long before Hussein got into power (semi-related, but Hussein was helped into power by the US - even as recently as in the 80's he was funded and supplied with weapons, bio/chemical shit and training and intelligence from the US - again, that's kind of on the West...), so just removing that figure head, dismantling the government and not really doing anything to help out long term with the power vacuum that followed led to what's happening now.  That entire region got f**ked up by the way the West distributed land and where they basically displaced people to, and the whole Iraq thing was just the latest in a long line of that (not liking what's happening somewhere, forcing destabilisation of a government, letting the chips falls where they fall, hitting the 'GTFO' button) happening:  

 

Quote

The infamous 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, the secret Franco-British-Russian pact that allocated regional zones of control, became the blueprint for today’s map, but Europeans had little interest in understanding the maze of Middle Eastern identities. A large Kurdish population—today numbering perhaps 25 million—was divided between four states: Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Shiite Arabs were split between Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia. The Alawites, a heterodox Shiite Arab sect, reside today along the northern Lebanese, Syrian, and southwestern Turkish coasts. The Druze were distributed between today’s Israel, Lebanon, and Syria. Lebanon, supposedly a Christian redoubt, included large Sunni and Shiite populations, as well as Alawites and Druze. Sunni Arabs, who formed the dominant population of the Middle East, were divided into numerous states. Pockets of Turkomen, Circassians, Assyrians, Yazidis, and Chaldeans were isolated throughout. At the dawn of the 21st century, minority ethnic groups ruled Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Bahrain, often repressively.

To put that into context with ISIS:

 

Quote

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claims one of the goals of its insurgency is to reverse the effects of the Sykes–Picot Agreement.  "This is not the first border we will break, we will break other borders," a jihadist from the ISIL warned in the video called End of Sykes-Picot. ISIL's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a July 2014 speech at the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, vowed that "this blessed advance will not stop until we hit the last nail in the coffin of the Sykes–Picot conspiracy".

 

Essentially that's just a land issue in the same way there were struggles to claim farming land in the UK in the past.  They had the additional divide of a religious belief as well, but the main problem was just some outside force coming in and arbitrarily going "That's not yours any more, it's theirs".  Israel/Palestine is the classic example of this.  You can even see that with the attitude towards immigrants in the UK today, and the rise of parties like UKIP, what used to be the BNP and all the other far right parties.  That's just based on people "coming over here", whereas what we did to those Arab countries was basically forcing that shift to happen simply because it kind of suited a few peoples needs.

What I was saying before is that religion isn't the root cause of it, it's just handy dressing for it.  The "72 virgins" thing isn't the base reason people are doing what they're doing.  To look at ISIS, putting people in cages then setting them on fire isn't something that is called for in the Quran, that's something they've conjured up themselves.  When you think of the way that modern day politicians can massively skew and distort statistics to suit whatever purpose they want (e.g. Jeremy Hunt and the 7 Day NHS bullshit), having something that's as amorphous and intangible as a religious text has got to make life pretty easy if you want to just start finding some backing for whatever it is you want to do.  It doesn't necessarily mean its the source or the reason for it occurring.

Regarding the understanding/knowledge thing, that's because that's just how you think about things.  Everyone thinks about shit in a different way, so to some people the constantly changing/insecure nature of science (which is part of the reason for most people why it's good as it's constantly challenging itself) shows that it's not as solid as some text they got from their chosen religion that - to them - does a reasonable job of explaining how and why we're here.  You and I put what's essentially our 'faith' in science, they put theirs in religion.  Science may one day prove how and where we came from, but it hasn't yet, so if you're looking at it in that black and white a way then they're not really any different from each other.  The difference for religious people I guess is that religion provides them with some kind of moral/ethical framework, whereas science doesn't.  If you're in a dark period of your life and you're looking for some kind of external assistance, belief in religion can pull you out of that whereas the belief in rigorous science might not.

EDIT:  I guess what I'm trying to say in a f**king long-winded way is that someone like Joel is a f**king rad human being, and also happens to have religion function as a major part of their lives.  Joel isn't going out and f**king people's shit up, so I don't see how you can apply an "everyone who's religious is a ____" when it's such a broad, wide-reaching thing.  It's just one facet of who someone is, not necessarily their absolute defining characteristic.  If you switch it to football fans, you have some hooligan factions who are set on meeting up and creating violence using football as the loose over-arching reason they do what they do, and you get people who like to go and have a kickabout in a park on a weekend with their friends.  You wouldn't judge the latter by the former simply because they have that one common theme, and that's essentially what is happening with religion in this case.

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Talking to imaginary men in the sky. Strip away the social programming and it's an activity clearly reserved for the mentally ill.

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29 minutes ago, Tony Harrison said:

Talking to imaginary men in the sky. Strip away the social programming and it's an activity clearly reserved for the mentally ill.

I don't think simply referring to religious people as mentally ill is the right way to go about it, especially when the 'imaginary' part isn't necessarily proven - no proof for doesn't count as proof against.

 

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The burden of proof is on the religious side though in fairness. 

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All I'm going to say on this subject this time around:

  • I believe wholeheartedly that every religion that I know of is based, at it's foundation, on the right thing
  • That same thing could be generalised to "be a good human being"

The problem is that "be a good human being" isn't really defined enough for naturally egotistical human beings. They need people to follow or agree with them to prove that their definition of "good human being" is better than anyone else's "good human being". Religion fails at the human level, regardless of whether or not it's a human invention or not.

Religion without humans would succeed no problem.

Humans without religion would find something else to fight about.

Those who say that extremists do not represent their religion are wrong. Extremists distill everything that makes one religion different from another, i.e everything except "be a good human being". If anything, extremists represent an individual religion better than anyone else. The vast majority actually represent the much more preferable "be a good human being" shared area in the Venn diagram of each set of beliefs.

If only "be a good human being" could have a clear and simple enough definition that we only needed one religion, which could naturally be followed by 100% of people. We don't. At least partly because of that we'll always have war – just as we always have.

 

In order to not be a hypocrite, I won't bang on about these points in here. I don't need or want any of you to change your mind to my point of view, I just wanted to put it out there.

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Moving out here really peaked my interest in gay rights, disbelief in evolution and general skepticism.

I was baptized and went to church the odd time but that was about it. When I left England I would have probably considered myself a theist just because I thought there must be some magical force because I couldn't come up with an answer for the "big question" but now I consider myself an atheist because I realized I have no reason to believe that.

I would say the vast majority of my co workers would consider themselves theists and every shift I can almost guarantee there's someone there who doesn't no believe in evolution, which is a terrifying thought. I also feel not believing in evolution leads to being against homosexuality which is another major issue in this country.

As for terrorism I feel that it's societies massive differences that cause it mainly, but religion does give them a good excuse to do what they do. There would be a lot less suicide bombers if they didn't think they were going to go to heaven that's for sure. 

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I have a friend who is Christian. He's against gays, evolution, science in general and now believes that the world is flat. 

Lol

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Wait, so he used to think the world was round, but religion has convinced him against pretty much every law of physics that it's flat?

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On Tuesday, April 05, 2016 at 8:17 PM, manuel said:

Wait, so he used to think the world was round, but religion has convinced him against pretty much every law of physics that it's flat?

It's a growing conspiracy at the minute. It wasn't religion (as far as I know) that convinced him but a YouTube video. There are an alarming about of people that believe it is flat, NASA lie and photoshop all there images of the earth. The sun never sets, it just gets further away and you can't see it anymore.

Read about it if you want a laugh, honestly it's f**king mental.  

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When I hear the theory that the earth is flat, I always think of it as a huge flapjack just floating through space rotating it's way along.

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On 4/6/2016 at 3:05 PM, anzo said:

It's a growing conspiracy at the minute. It wasn't religion (as far as I know) that convinced him but a YouTube video. There are an alarming about of people that believe it is flat, NASA lie and photoshop all there images of the earth. The sun never sets, it just gets further away and you can't see it anymore.

Read about it if you want a laugh, honestly it's f**king mental.  

 

12 hours ago, dann2707 said:

Just leaving this here 

 

http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/forum/

The forum is basically a troll forum. Very little people on there actually believe the earth is flat. I remember when I was lurking on the forum when it became popular, there was so many newcomers around that time one of the mods had to post a sticky to announce that the forum is more about the idea that the earth is flat and no one here really believes it.

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Interesting discussion. I have religious friends (Rastafarians, Buddhists, Hindus) who are some the nicest people you could hope to meet. I also know some religious people who hold on to some pretty bigoted views. I'm not sure if religion is the cause of the bigoted ideas but it can't help a person understand things if they hold views that are not only incorrect but also involve harming others (for example what happens to homosexuals in Islamic countries).
IMO religious belief or faith is irrational. It makes sense to me to suggest or entertain an idea or hypothesis however to hold that untested theory as absolute fact, unquestionable beyond a shadow of a doubt is frankly nuts and goes against the scientific method of looking for evidence and testing theories. What I really don't like about most religions is this idea that questioning and looking for evidence is somehow wrong. You can't really have a rational discussion with someone who isn't open to the idea that they could be wrong.
There is a lot I don't understand about everything (the nature of consciousness and time for example) but I don't think religion is much help. Scientists have a lot of wild ideas such as string theory but they are accepted as theories and subject to change in light of new evidence.

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Good timing with this Dave, JD said it best in my thread. Nobody cares.

 

On ‎15‎/‎04‎/‎2016 at 0:47 PM, JD™ said:

I'm not sure anyone really cares.

 

Unless of course you have an agenda to hate. If that is the case I'll leave you be.

Edited by Dan Jones

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On 4/17/2016 at 6:34 PM, Dan Jones said:

Good timing with this Dave, JD said it best in my thread. Nobody cares.

There are 20 or so posts here, seems people do care. Your thread on the other hand was just confusing.

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1 hour ago, Tony Harrison said:

There are 20 or so posts here, seems people do care. Your thread on the other hand was just confusing.

Hi sorry about that, my thread is very confusing. I mention why in the last post, I'm unwell at the moment. It looks like I've started to come out of a 15 year spell of depression. I guess over the years I never said anything about what I thought because I worried about what people might think. Now I realise it doesn't matter because its how I make sense of things hearing others opinions.

 

I guess in this thread, I know Dave Marshall who started this well. It seems like he bashes religion a lot. I might be wrong! I feel this is really wrong because it doesn't really matter what people believe if they behave in a peaceful way. To me I believe there might be a god although I don't subscribe to any religion. It just makes me feel better when I think my life might be in trouble. I guess this isn't really an issue but once I came out of psychosis and the god delusion was keeping me going. After talking to Dave I felt really low and upset. I still love him though lol. To clarify in psychosis the voices that I thought were god talking to me made me feel better about my problems.

 

Hope you can understand, I'm quiet embarrassed by it all at the momement.

 

EDIT: I've asked a mod to remove those threads so I don't have to be reminded!

Edited by Dan Jones
added to

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56 minutes ago, Dan Jones said:

it doesn't really matter what people believe if they behave in a peaceful way.

That's part of my 'issue' though- I have no issue with my gran going to church on a Sunday if it gives her a sense of community etc. but when you have American schools teaching creationism and then people murdering each other in the name of religion it's all just a bit stupid and damaging in many ways. Religion has been responsible for so many atrocities over the years, and been used to control people through fear for so long, that I see no reason for it.

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Yeah it doesn't seem necessary today, but in that desperate moment in my life I had a use for it. To stop me becoming too low by believing the voices in my head were god. In a way a bit of free thinking is really nice and cool but yeah when we are told this is how it is like a fact. etc. its not good! Regarding creationism and the scientific stuff you can never prove it either way. You must know what happens when you ask a religious person why they believe in something they cant physically see. What happens if one day there is a way and your both right it something was created and science and that stuff I have no idea about did the rest. I've never seen something come from nothing and that is what creationism is I think? I can't really talk about what I think at the moment because I've just had a bout of illness. If you ever want to ask what I think in person that's cool, I haven't ridden trials with you in ages.

 

Edit: Also I thought money caused more war than religion, so perhaps that's priority to evenly distribute that first as I don't have much... lol. You earn more than me you know what to do...

 

 

 

Edited by Dan Jones

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ITT: we talk about stuff that doesn't change anything.

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He says, on a forum about doing silly tricks on bikes.

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