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Atheists and Fundamentalists


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#46    Pseudo Intellectual

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:35 AM

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Basing a society in faith and superstition will always lead to Bad Things.

Sounds like hyperbole to me. Western society is, to an extent, based on (or at least influenced by) Judeo-Christianity. Where are the "bad things"? I see science, knowledge and tolerance have flourished in the West. There are good and bad things that come with religion (as well as irreligion). I don't see it ending civilization, though.

And I notice most of your examples of how "religion" always leads to bad things are about Islam... which is a totalitarian political ideology, and can hardly be called a religion.

Edited by Pseudo Intellectual, 16 June 2010 - 10:36 AM.


#47    Halfwolf

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:44 AM

View PostEmma_Acid, on 16 June 2010 - 08:58 AM, said:

How embarrassingly selfish. Be my guest anyway, although I'm not sure how wailing at effigies, bending in front of crosses, apologising for all the bad things your species has ever done while throwing stones at the heathens will ever get society back on its feet again.
   Selfish? you lost me there. I don't wail at effigies or bow to anything or anybody, I don't even go to Church or belong to one, I just believe in GOD.


#48    Tiggs

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:46 AM

View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 10:35 AM, said:

Sounds like hyperbole to me. Western society is, to an extent, based on (or at least influenced by) Judeo-Christianity. Where are the "bad things"? I see science, knowledge and tolerance have flourished in the West. There are good and bad things that come with religion (as well as irreligion). I don't see it ending civilization, though.
Then maybe you missed the whole Middle Eastern nuclear build up thing that's currently going on, all because two opposing groups of Theists literally believe that they have a God-given right to a particular tract of land.

You seriously think that's going to end well?


#49    Pseudo Intellectual

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:24 AM

View PostTiggs, on 16 June 2010 - 10:46 AM, said:

Then maybe you missed the whole Middle Eastern nuclear build up thing that's currently going on, all because two opposing groups of Theists literally believe that they have a God-given right to a particular tract of land.

You seriously think that's going to end well?

What does that have to do with anything? How is that proof that "religion always leads to bad things"? Again, you only need to take a look at the West. Majority-religious, yet science, tolerance and everything that religion allegedly destroys, are the norm.


#50    Karlis

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:54 AM

View PostTiggs, on 16 June 2010 - 10:46 AM, said:

Then maybe you missed the whole Middle Eastern nuclear build up thing that's currently going on, all because two opposing groups of Theists literally believe that they have a God-given right to a particular tract of land.

You seriously think that's going to end well?
Tiggs, I agree with you that there are “opposing groups of Theists” fighting each other (and fighting others of their own belief as well).

Where I’m not so sure about agreeing with you, is the idea that they are fighting mainly because they “literally believe that they have a God-given right to a particular tract of land.“

I think the fighting has more to do with the long-established human desire for control, power and supremacy, rather than for pure Theistic belief convictions -- not to mention the money trail either.

Karlis


#51    Emma_Acid

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:08 PM

View PostHalfwolf, on 16 June 2010 - 10:44 AM, said:

Selfish? you lost me there. I don't wail at effigies or bow to anything or anybody, I don't even go to Church or belong to one, I just believe in GOD.

Then you're missing one of my central points. To have extremism, you must also have moderation. In the words of Sam Harris, you are just as responsible.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 10:35 AM, said:

Sounds like hyperbole to me. Western society is, to an extent, based on (or at least influenced by) Judeo-Christianity.

I couldn't give a monkey's bum what our society is based on, much as an astronomer couldn't care about astrology or a chemist shouldn't have to learn about alchemy.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 10:35 AM, said:

Where are the "bad things"? I see science, knowledge and tolerance have flourished in the West.

At the cost of religion, the influence of which has fallen massively. Don't see a correlation here?

Secondly, I'm not singling out religions. I'm talking about a society who base their worldview on superstition. Any superstition. It just so happens the most prominent ones today are of the Abrahamic kind, and as Tiggs has pointed out, people are waving nukes in each others faces in his name (Abraham, not Tiggs).

bad things? Well I've mentioned before the witch burning, the child torturing, and there are countless other things that happen today in societies that base their ideologies on solely faith & superstition. I could go on, but don't anyone to think I'm being hyperbolic.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 11:24 AM, said:

Majority-religious, yet science, tolerance and everything that religion allegedly destroys, are the norm.

Yes, we are scientific and tolerant now, but you only need to look at the American Christian right to see that if they had their way, the last 500 years of progress might as well not have happened.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 11:24 AM, said:

What does that have to do with anything? How is that proof that "religion always leads to bad things"?

Don't misquote me or be so shortsighted. I said faith & superstition lead to bad things - religion happens to have just that at its core.

And it is perfectly relevant. Israel thinks it has a God given right to the land it occupies, while radical Islamic authorities are known for their view that war in the name of God is rewarded in the afterlife. A prominent Iranian cleric said recently "the trouble with the Jews is that they like life too much".

And these people want nuclear weapons.

This should terrify you.

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#52    Tiggs

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:25 PM

View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 11:24 AM, said:

What does that have to do with anything? How is that proof that "religion always leads to bad things"? Again, you only need to take a look at the West. Majority-religious, yet science, tolerance and everything that religion allegedly destroys, are the norm.
Back in the 1930's no-one would have suspected that the Jewish people would be capable of destroying civilisation. Back then, the biggest threat from religion came from the Catholic Church getting in bed with Fascism.

30 years later, and Israel teetered on the brink of Armageddon. Ever since then, a small group of Christians from the US have been hoping it happens, to usher in Armageddon and the return of Christ.

A decade ago, Indian Hindu's and Muslims from Pakistan sat on the brink of nuclear war.

Today, Radical Islam is probably perceived as the biggest threat from religion. As you can see from recent History - it's impossible to predict which Religion will threaten civilisation next.

It's also impossible to even tell what line of scientific research religion will hinder next. Fifty years ago, the idea that the soul is created at the moment the egg is fertilised doesn't sound like a particularly harmful concept, but the delay in pursuing stem cell research that it caused condemned people to needlessly die because of it.

On the basis that the most religious Western country is a place where two thirds of people believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, and still hasn't worked out that sexuality doesn't matter, you'll have to excuse me if I don't buy your assertion about Science and tolerance being the norm.


#53    Pseudo Intellectual

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM

Quote

I couldn't give a monkey's bum what our society is based on, much as an astronomer couldn't care about astrology or a chemist shouldn't have to learn about alchemy.

You said that a society based on faith always leads to bad things. Well, that's not the case in the West, is it?

Quote

At the cost of religion, the influence of which has fallen massively. Don't see a correlation here?

The overwhelming majority are still religious. What exactly do you mean by "influence"?

Quote

Secondly, I'm not singling out religions. I'm talking about a society who base their worldview on superstition. Any superstition.

Superstition is no worse than hyper-rationality. The key is moderation.

Quote

bad things? Well I've mentioned before the witch burning, the child torturing, and there are countless other things that happen today in societies that base their ideologies on solely faith & superstition. I could go on, but don't anyone to think I'm being hyperbolic.

And I could point out numerous atrocities committed by irreligious people due to irreligiousness. Does that mean irreligion is bad?

Quote

Yes, we are scientific and tolerant now, but you only need to look at the American Christian right to see that if they had their way, the last 500 years of progress might as well not have happened.

If they had their way? Western (or, at least, American) society is already heavily influenced by Judeo-Christianity.

Quote

Don't misquote me or be so shortsighted. I said faith & superstition lead to bad things - religion happens to have just that at its core.

Faith leads to bad things just as it leads to good things. Just as lack of faith leads to bad things as well as good things.

Quote

And it is perfectly relevant. Israel thinks it has a God given right to the land it occupies, while radical Islamic authorities are known for their view that war in the name of God is rewarded in the afterlife. A prominent Iranian cleric said recently "the trouble with the Jews is that they like life too much".

And these people want nuclear weapons.

This should terrify you.

Again with Islam. The part of Islam that's relevant here is political, not religious. In Islam, religion and politics are one and the same. True religions are personal. Islam is more of a pseudo-religious political ideology.

I was terrified by Soviet nukes, and I would be terrified by Cuban, Venezuelan, or North Korean nukes. This has nothing to do with religion.


#54    Pseudo Intellectual

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:34 PM

View PostTiggs, on 16 June 2010 - 12:25 PM, said:

Back in the 1930's no-one would have suspected that the Jewish people would be capable of destroying civilisation. Back then, the biggest threat from religion came from the Catholic Church getting in bed with Fascism.

30 years later, and Israel teetered on the brink of Armageddon. Ever since then, a small group of Christians from the US have been hoping it happens, to usher in Armageddon and the return of Christ.

A decade ago, Indian Hindu's and Muslims from Pakistan sat on the brink of nuclear war.

Today, Radical Islam is probably perceived as the biggest threat from religion. As you can see from recent History - it's impossible to predict which Religion will threaten civilisation next.

What's the point behind pointing out cases of crazy religious people? That's not proof that religion is going to destroy civilization.

Quote

It's also impossible to even tell what line of scientific research religion will hinder next. Fifty years ago, the idea that the soul is created at the moment the egg is fertilised doesn't sound like a particularly harmful concept, but the delay in pursuing stem cell research that it caused condemned people to needlessly die because of it.

On the basis that the most religious Western country is a place where two thirds of people believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth, and still hasn't worked out that sexuality doesn't matter, you'll have to excuse me if I don't buy your assertion about Science and tolerance being the norm.

You'll have to excuse me too, then. I don't see how those things you pointed out are hindering progress, science or tolerance.


#55    Tiggs

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:39 PM

View PostKarlis, on 16 June 2010 - 11:54 AM, said:

Tiggs, I agree with you that there are “opposing groups of Theists” fighting each other (and fighting others of their own belief as well).

Where I’m not so sure about agreeing with you, is the idea that they are fighting mainly because they “literally believe that they have a God-given right to a particular tract of land.“

I think the fighting has more to do with the long-established human desire for control, power and supremacy, rather than for pure Theistic belief convictions -- not to mention the money trail either.

Karlis

Genesis 15
18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river [d] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-
19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,
20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,
21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

Exodus 23
31 "I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the River. I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you."

The land is part of the covenant that God made with Abraham.


#56    Papagiorgio

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:46 PM

View PostTiggs, on 16 June 2010 - 12:39 PM, said:

Genesis 15
18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river [d] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-
19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,
20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,
21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."

Exodus 23
31 "I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the River. I will hand over to you the people who live in the land and you will drive them out before you."

The land is part of the covenant that God made with Abraham.
I don't think anyone would disagree with you here, but Karlis' point is that religion is not the main reason behind the tension in the Middle East anymore.

I'm just saying.

#57    Tiggs

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:47 PM

View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:34 PM, said:

What's the point behind pointing out cases of crazy religious people? That's not proof that religion is going to destroy civilization.
I think you'll find the clue is in your phrase "crazy religious people". Now with added Nuclear warheads.

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You'll have to excuse me too, then. I don't see how those things you pointed out are hindering progress, science or tolerance.
Which is exactly my point.


#58    Mainpoint

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:01 PM

Severe Imbalances of resources and huge politcal economic social disparities amongst different people will likely trigger the next armageddon. It may possibly may even start within a previously rich and powerful nation rather than internationally.
There are several examples in histoy.
I can mention 2
The Fall of Rome came from within. There has been a lot of material written on this.
The repeated invasion and destruction of original land of israel by outside forces. After time people would tend to deviate from rules set forth. Classic example is the worship of the golden calf. After years of slavery people got freed yet some people chose to start worshipping a golden calf Imo how quickly can one forget ones past. The reason Jesus was sent to the jews was the corruption of the original message of God. There was widespread inequality. Rabbis had become powerful and corrupt to an extent common decency and mercy had disappeared. Social ills such as obsession with blood lines nepotism accumulation of wealth and power had become paramount. The common person whether be jew or non jew was suffering immensly. Now we are seeing this during modern times too. Just few years ago jews were being rounded up and shot or gassed by predominantly christian eurpeans and what was there crime only that they were jews. How despicable was that. Now in modern times what an ironic twist. We see Israelis kicking palestianians out of their homeland and based on what that they are non jewish.

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#59    Pseudo Intellectual

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

View PostTiggs, on 16 June 2010 - 12:47 PM, said:

I think you'll find the clue is in your phrase "crazy religious people". Now with added Nuclear warheads.

What's the difference between, "Crazy religious people with nuclear warheads" and "Crazy irreligious people with nuclear warheads"?

Quote

Which is exactly my point.

It's a very bad one, then. I'm not even religious.


#60    Emma_Acid

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:10 PM

View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

You said that a society based on faith always leads to bad things. Well, that's not the case in the West, is it?

The West isn't a faith based society. When there's a drought, we don't sacrifice an animal. When someone catches HIV, they aren't advised to have sex with a virgin.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

The overwhelming majority are still religious. What exactly do you mean by "influence"?

Yes, but the "religious majority" that I know couldn't tell you where the nearest church is. But as I said, the moderates are what make it impossible to criticise the extremists by wrapping their faith up in untouchable taboo.

And by influence, I mean influence. Political, social, legal. The church is not as powerful as it once was.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

Superstition is no worse than hyper-rationality. The key is moderation.

The key is certainly not moderation, as I've pointed out.

And WTF is hyper-rationality? Rationality without religion doesn't suddenly take on some extreme form of evil super-atheism.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

And I could point out numerous atrocities committed by irreligious people due to irreligiousness. Does that mean irreligion is bad?

No, because the atrocities weren't committed due to a lack of religion. The communists committed atrocities because of the brutalist structure of the regime, not because they didn't believe in God.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

If they had their way? Western (or, at least, American) society is already heavily influenced by Judeo-Christianity.

Influenced? So what??? I've pointed out that is meaningless.

There are right wing American Christians who would stop all research into diseases, throw out everything we know about biology and demote women and those of different racial backgrounds to second class citizens, and try and base all science and history lessons on an Iron Age book. Some of these people do, or have until recently, advised on matters at a national level, including proposing the idea that a nuclear war in the middle east would trigger the second coming.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

Faith leads to bad things just as it leads to good things. Just as lack of faith leads to bad things as well as good things.

Doesn't matter what dubious "good things" those of faith do because they think someone is watching over their shoulder and their everlasting life is at stake. It is no way to run a society, and no way to ensure our future as a civilisation.

Ooops, there I go with the hyperbole again.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

Again with Islam. The part of Islam that's relevant here is political, not religious. In Islam, religion and politics are one and the same. True religions are personal. Islam is more of a pseudo-religious political ideology.

Islam is a religion. Islamic extremists believe in a life after death, and that death for God is glorious. You have it completely the wrong way round - it is a pseudo-political structure, informed entirely by the fact that they simply aren't scared of dying.


View PostPseudo Intellectual, on 16 June 2010 - 12:28 PM, said:

I was terrified by Soviet nukes, and I would be terrified by Cuban, Venezuelan, or North Korean nukes. This has nothing to do with religion.

No it doesn't, and it has nothing to do with this conversation.

In the 60s, the conflict between ideologies very nearly cost us our future. There were people who made damn sure that it didn't happen, and that people knew the dangers of such extreme ideas. That was then, and this is now, and something must be done. The taboo on criticising faith has to go, because otherwise theocracy will be the end of us.

Oh damn it, there I go again.

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