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Grandpa Greenman

Poll, Has religion made the world better?

Does religion make the world a better place?   57 members have voted

  1. 1. Has religion made the world better or worse?

    • Better
    • Worse
    • It is irrelevant and does neither.

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

150 posts in this topic

But its a cheque book, an invention by an islamic man.

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D) Impossible to say

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Paganism IS NOT A RELIGION!

It is a way of life, respect for nature and respecting what it can do for you as a whole and what nature can do against you as a whole.

There were/are no books to read about gods or prophets telling you how to live and worship them in Paganism. Its is about nature and what comes from the mind and within.

Quickest ways to make a million, start a religion.

L.Ron Hubbard.

Depends on what kind of Paganism is practiced. Wicca has as much dogma as the Calholic Church.

A lot of art has been destroyed by religions too.

That is for sure, the Afghan Buddhas comes to mind. A lot of burnt books and lost knowledge too.

All that being said, this is MY thread and I think we should end the, "which religion is the worse or the best." bickering, I think we have beat that horse to death. Lets keep it a little more general.

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The same would occur should the man or woman be of a particular nation aka: political persuasion. Conformity is asked of people in all societies, societal laws are passed to ensure conformity to the beliefs of the nation they live in, be these secular or religious beliefs.

I think the point that if there were no religion we would still have battled through the ages because of differences in belief (not religious but any belief) has been lost, soccer/football/sporting fans of all persuasion battle for their colours/teams. People have used not just religion but societal "mores" as reasons to judge and condemn others in every corner of the globe, tribal beliefs have been the cause of entire generations battling to the death with their neighbours, regardless of belief in the same God or faith.

I am not excusing religion for it's past atrocities merely stating that humans who have the will and capacity to cause such harm and judgements on others will latch onto a reason to do what they will - religion can just as often be the victim of subjugation and manipulation by minds filled with lust for blood and power over others.

hmmmmmmmmmmm, This was a very enlightening post, Thanks :)

I do however think that the last sentence is slightly dislexic in stating that humans who have the will and capacity to cause such harm and judgements on others will latch onto a reason to do that. I think that statement is the wrong way around, I think that these reasons, religious or otherwise, attach themselves to humans and drive the capacity to cause harm.

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I agree with this:

so please let's put " religious differences " aside and put things in their true prospective

But this thread is about religion and whether we think it has made the world a better place.

That is the most inteligent thing I've seen on this thread so far imo :tu:

I never said they did not invent anything, i said out of all the things invented throughout the world, the muslims were not the first and it did not make them a world leader or power. China, Europe and Africa can all claim a few discoveries.

Its that Knight of Shadows was trying to make out that islam were the leaders. So what, they invented a few things, a fountain pen and chess and a few other things, woop woop! The rest of the world would not have stopped without them.

As I also said, what good did it do for them today? if the muslims were all that clever they would not be killing each other on their own streets.

All this bickering about "my religion did this, and my religion did that" just proves why I voted worse! wars have been fought over this sort of bickering over religions throughout the centuries..."my religion is better than yours!!!!"

Why give the credit to islam, what about the man who invented it? or are they below islam?

I agree with this:

so please let's put " religious differences " aside and put things in their true prospective

But this thread is about religion and whether we think it has made the world a better place.

I dont think I questioned you aroud the invention of anything, must be a wire crossed here in such a fast moving thread..

My statement to you was that an islamic nations did have a golden age.. I've seen a doco or too about it on TV.. it happened, big deal.. I'm not going to rush off to google-land to find evidence about something I already believe happened just so I can feed an egotistic debate about religion. Like I said before, Religion takes credit where it's not due..

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the egg bit? I know, but funny from here.

ChequeBook.jpg

World peace. By the way Christ would see the funny .

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I voted that religion does neither good or bad. It's not strictly my opinion but was the best of the options.

I believe that spirituality (read that as "personal religion") has made this world a better place. I cannot say the same about organised religion. Organised religion relies on the appeal to authority, be they preists/rabbis etc, to tell you what to believe and how to interpret certain things. Ultimately that perception of authority comes back to a belief that the preist/rabbi has a more direct link to the mind of god than you do, and what they tell you needs to be believed. So basically, as possible in any situation when you let others do your thinking for you, religion can be used to mislead.

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Ahhh, I see now..

Thanks.. debate caused by misunderstanding..

I percieve Religion and Spirituality as two sperate things that are often mistaken for the same thing..

Spirituality imo is a deep inner perception of reality broken down into raw emotions at an individual level.. In short, it's raw awareness, raw being, raw consciousness..

Religion on the other-hand is an organised & structured assembly of law set to govern multiple groups of people.. In short, it's organised awareness that is hierarchical.

Spirituality imo is vital to being human..

Religion on the other hand, has held us back because of it's hierarchical nature.. But not only is it hierarchical, it has evolved over millenia to become dogmatic, self serving, self replicating, viral in it's structures of belief and spread throughout history.. lol, don't get be started.. But that is of course, only looking at the negative atributes.. there were positive changes within some religions, though these imo are far outwighed by the harm that religion has wrought..

I still don't see though, how religion is intergral in the formation of society, of playing a part in the formation of nuclear families ect... What I do see though today in this age, is a natural progression away from Religion into Science or politics as being the controlling element of society.. so, perhaps you do have a point,

Yeah I think the point of religion is the spiritual aspect but others have made it hierarchial.. depends on how you look at it. It is definately changing and I think well find these new "spiritual" people will want to make practices of thier beliefs that they can share in groups if people.. at that point it becomes a religion. There is also nothing wrong with gaining from the "religions" that came before us. But we need to be clear about addressing these things in a spiritual way.. that way our eyes will interpret our own actions and those around us. Religion is about learning and growing spiritually. I believe any teachings that falsify, take advantage of (abuse), mutilate this attempt should be called to awareness. There is no one so close to god that they cannot learn from another. We spend more time tearing each other down for our beliefs than being open to the spirit that would bring us closer if not understand that indeed we are one and come from the same powerful creative force. Many are afraid of the spiritual and thats why they reject it, others are mad at religion and the evils it has done and now entirely reject the idea of "God". I hope they are just as mad at non-religious entities that are ruining the world, and can see the evil runs deep, its about power, not about the true essence of where religion stems from and is still useful for when used properly.

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Spirituality has nothing to do with religion..the two terms are not synonymous.

Religion is merely a organization filled with memorized rituals whereas 'spirituality' deals with how we relate to the world and how our views affect us and others.

Anyways, I voted 'irrelevant' only because while I detest religion I also know that people use their religion to rationalize whatever they do be it good or bad rather than understanding that real actions have real re-actions.

Actually religion is to spirituality as philosophy is to logic. All humans are spiritual as a part of our evolved paterns of thinking. Because of those same patterns of thinking, we are also subject to other drivers, like the need to belong, the tendency to identify sameness and difference, and the tendency to fear the unknown and cling to the known. Hence we tend to group into clans, tribes, families, sports teams, trade unions, and religious groups.

Thus religions form out of human spirituality, like sports teams form from human physical ability and a tendency towards competitveness.

Religion is NOT primarily an imposed condition. It is a chosen one. Humans choose religion because it fulfils primal human needs and, in general, improves their physical and psychological condition. In addition it answers metaphorical questions which our level of self awareness creates within us.

A child unexposed to religion will create its own rituals and behaviours, ie religion, based around its own self developed beliefs about self and non self , agents and non agents, which it observes from birth.

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How could anyone possibly think religion has made the world better??

Simply by imagining, or using logical extrapolation, to envisage a world in which humans did not have the capacity required to develop religious beliefs, Such humans would not BE human. They would not have imagination they would not have hope they would probably not even have free will. They would not have a level of intelligence or self awareness which recognised patterns, agents and non agents, etc. All the abilities which lead us to develop religious behaviours.

They would not group in like groups and so would tend to be individualists, with no concern for others and no need to develop relationships with others based on mutual beliefs and concerns.

And in physical terms the world would have lost so much and gained almost nothing. There would still be wars, murders, theft, rapes etc based on our evolved animal behaviours. These things occur in the non human non religious animal world, as much as they do in the human world. Only the technology and sheer numerical dispersal of humanity makes us seem any worse.

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hmmmmmmmmmmm, This was a very enlightening post, Thanks :)

I do however think that the last sentence is slightly dislexic in stating that humans who have the will and capacity to cause such harm and judgements on others will latch onto a reason to do that. I think that statement is the wrong way around, I think that these reasons, religious or otherwise, attach themselves to humans and drive the capacity to cause harm.

Thats impossible. Humans are conscious and aware beings. Ideas beliefs religions philosophies etc., cant just jump out of the bushes and attach themselves to a human mind. Humans chose all their inner world views, sometimes consciously sometimes sub consciously But indeed those ideas 'latch on ' because a human has the abilty to recognise, and, either consciously or subconsciously ,desires to make them his/her own. People are not innately good or evil, they become so via the choices the make. Sometimes those choices are circumscribed by environment, but we all have several very basic choices, including whether it is right to harm another just so that we can live, or improve our own condition.

No one is forced or compelled because of their religious beliefs to act in a certain way. It is an individual choice made withinone separate, individual mind. And when one recognises that one's actions are causing harm, then one always has a choice to alter those actions, even if it goes against your religious teachings . So a person who enjoys causing suffering will use religion or anything else to do so A person who choses not to do harm or cause suffering, will not allow a religion or anything else to cause him /her to do so. Sometimes harm can be caused by good intent but tha t is a separate issue.

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Firstly, thanks for being a breath of fresh air and viewing this subject objectively and not from a fixed perspective.. We tend to disagree here, but maybe only because of different levels of inderstanding about this, and not from a fixed perspective of any side..

Actually religion is to spirituality as philosophy is to logic. All humans are spiritual as a part of our evolved paterns of thinking. Because of those same patterns of thinking, we are also subject to other drivers, like the need to belong, the tendency to identify sameness and difference, and the tendency to fear the unknown and cling to the known. Hence we tend to group into clans, tribes, families, sports teams, trade unions, and religious groups.

Thus religions form out of human spirituality, like sports teams form from human physical ability and a tendency towards competitveness.

Religion is NOT primarily an imposed condition. It is a chosen one. Humans choose religion because it fulfils primal human needs and, in general, improves their physical and psychological condition. In addition it answers metaphorical questions which our level of self awareness creates within us.

A child unexposed to religion will create its own rituals and behaviours, ie religion, based around its own self developed beliefs about self and non self , agents and non agents, which it observes from birth.

Groups/clans associate themselves at a ego level of consiousness. For instance patriotism at nationalistic levels are an ego-level of consciousness because (just an example here) Australians are patriotic because of where they were born, where they were raised, where they associate themselves at a Natonalistic level.. Sure there are many people who are not patriotic, but it is imposed whenever the nation anthem is played or whenever a Kiwi team beats an Auzzie one. They have no choice in this.. They're Australian.. Likewise, someone born in a devot Catholic Family are raised as catholic, and that is Imposed upon them.. Likewise, Jehova's Witness who routinely walk the streets and malls are imposing their religion on others because that way of life of Imposing that on others is written into the laws that govern them at that Ego level of consciousness.

Simply by imagining, or using logical extrapolation, to envisage a world in which humans did not have the capacity required to develop religious beliefs, Such humans would not BE human. They would not have imagination they would not have hope they would probably not even have free will. They would not have a level of intelligence or self awareness which recognised patterns, agents and non agents, etc. All the abilities which lead us to develop religious behaviours.

They would not group in like groups and so would tend to be individualists, with no concern for others and no need to develop relationships with others based on mutual beliefs and concerns.

And in physical terms the world would have lost so much and gained almost nothing. There would still be wars, murders, theft, rapes etc based on our evolved animal behaviours. These things occur in the non human non religious animal world, as much as they do in the human world. Only the technology and sheer numerical dispersal of humanity makes us seem any worse.

Like I said earlier, we still havn't determined what it is to be Human, and because of this the whole argument falls apart..

Spirited by our last discussion about this I started a thread inviting members to explain what it is to be human.. It's not going that well to be honest, and to be honest I'm not surprised...

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=243506&st=0

Thats impossible. Humans are conscious and aware beings. Ideas beliefs religions philosophies etc., cant just jump out of the bushes and attach themselves to a human mind. Humans chose all their inner world views, sometimes consciously sometimes sub consciously But indeed those ideas 'latch on ' because a human has the abilty to recognise, and, either consciously or subconsciously ,desires to make them his/her own. People are not innately good or evil, they become so via the choices the make. Sometimes those choices are circumscribed by environment, but we all have several very basic choices, including whether it is right to harm another just so that we can live, or improve our own condition.

No one is forced or compelled because of their religious beliefs to act in a certain way. It is an individual choice made withinone separate, individual mind. And when one recognises that one's actions are causing harm, then one always has a choice to alter those actions, even if it goes against your religious teachings . So a person who enjoys causing suffering will use religion or anything else to do so A person who choses not to do harm or cause suffering, will not allow a religion or anything else to cause him /her to do so. Sometimes harm can be caused by good intent but tha t is a separate issue.

Oh but parasitic believe systems can and do attach themselves to us.. I'm sorry but I don't think I can explain this very well. It's something that is quite new to me, but something that I'm noticing more and more every day with the way we operate at core levels.. Granted, religion isn't the only cause of this.. I think of it as being false guiding principles that are self serving or plain old destructive, but that is only because I can only scratch the surface. Such as whatever principle it is that leads the Jehova's Witnesses to door knocking every weekend.. I'm sorry but I just can't explain it very well, expect to say that in Modern Psycological terms it is Peer pressure, Mob Mentality or Brain washing. In Metaphysical Terms it is Overtangles (Parasitic) or Wetiko..

In subtle terms the Overtangle at the surface is as simple as a common principle of just a few words, we all have small yet very significant guiding principles that govern who we are and how we react and percieve the world around us. Most of these principles are benign and well balanced guides or laws that govern us. Some of them though, are imo parasitic models of thought and behavior. Let's face it, when it comes to peoples guiding principles most are born of religion. "There is no other god but me" is imo a significant Overtangle because once someone is infected with such a dangerous principle all other belief structures in the world are percieved as a threat. hense why this thread has moved so quickly and why everyone has been so easily offended.. "I am the way, the truth and the light" there again, people who are infected with such a viral Overtangle find themselfs boxed in to a single point of view..

They are as simple as a catch phrase "Lifes a b****" we don't have to accept them, but they do jump out at you.. and if you find yourself nodding in agreement when people say "Lifes a b****" or "Life sucks" or "Corporations are people" then chances are you are infected and these self serving or destructive principles which will cloud your perception and judement.. They are viral and parasitic in nature.

(Am sure I've forgotten something.. but got to go to work..)

Overtangle

http://www.wholistichealingresearch.com/83SwackJudith

Wetiko

http://www.realitysandwich.com/greatest_epidemic

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Professor T

My statement to you was that an islamic nations did have a golden age.. I've seen a doco or too about it on TV..

Putting aside the absurdity of citing a television documentary as a source, the question is not a matter of fact, but of interpertation and application.

Interpretation turns crucially on "Islamic Nation" meaning that Persia and India acquired civilization only after they fell to Islamic invasion, and that the people as a whole immediately became Islamic. The falsity of this is easily seen in the partition of India in the middle of the last century, and the continuing blood feud among India, Pakistan and Bengladesh. It also specifically ignores the contribution of Jews to material progress throughout the captive nations.

Application turns on whether the standard of comparison is Islamic-subjugated people at one time compared with their descendants, who are largely cradle Muslims, or with other political, religious and social groupings existing at the same time.

So, for example, if by the term "Islam's Golden Age" you meant that the longer a place was dominated by Islam-professing predators and kleptocrats, then the less materially productive its remaining inhabitants usually are, then that appears to be factually defensible. The statement is probably true independent of the religious affiliation of the rulers, subject to discussion of whether all religions equally promote exploitation and expropriation of the unfortunate in battle.

However, the application proposed was a comparison with then-contemporary central western Europe. Even that would be fine, but the comparison group is mislabeled as "Europe" rather than a well-chosen part of Europe, and ignores the dirty testtube. The region in question had to repulse an enormous Arab invasion and recover from that expense in a hostile commercial environment. Pandemic Islamic piracy in the Mediterranean didn't end until the 19th Century.

So the Islamic Empire is credited with the accomplishements of its victims, and its lifestyle compared with the hardships endured by those who were willing to bear the continuing expense of frustrating the Empire's predation as best they could.

Again, that's fine, so long as we're clear about what the term means, and at what human cost humankind acquired the chessboard and the fountain pen, dazzling accomplishments poured forth in a mere 500 years.

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Firstly, thanks for being a breath of fresh air and viewing this subject objectively and not from a fixed perspective.. We tend to disagree here, but maybe only because of different levels of inderstanding about this, and not from a fixed perspective of any side..

Groups/clans associate themselves at a ego level of consiousness. For instance patriotism at nationalistic levels are an ego-level of consciousness because (just an example here) Australians are patriotic because of where they were born, where they were raised, where they associate themselves at a Natonalistic level.. Sure there are many people who are not patriotic, but it is imposed whenever the nation anthem is played or whenever a Kiwi team beats an Auzzie one. They have no choice in this.. They're Australian.. Likewise, someone born in a devot Catholic Family are raised as catholic, and that is Imposed upon them.. Likewise, Jehova's Witness who routinely walk the streets and malls are imposing their religion on others because that way of life of Imposing that on others is written into the laws that govern them at that Ego level of consciousness.

Like I said earlier, we still havn't determined what it is to be Human, and because of this the whole argument falls apart..

Spirited by our last discussion about this I started a thread inviting members to explain what it is to be human.. It's not going that well to be honest, and to be honest I'm not surprised...

http://www.unexplain...pic=243506&st=0

Oh but parasitic believe systems can and do attach themselves to us.. I'm sorry but I don't think I can explain this very well. It's something that is quite new to me, but something that I'm noticing more and more every day with the way we operate at core levels.. Granted, religion isn't the only cause of this.. I think of it as being false guiding principles that are self serving or plain old destructive, but that is only because I can only scratch the surface. Such as whatever principle it is that leads the Jehova's Witnesses to door knocking every weekend.. I'm sorry but I just can't explain it very well, expect to say that in Modern Psycological terms it is Peer pressure, Mob Mentality or Brain washing. In Metaphysical Terms it is Overtangles (Parasitic) or Wetiko..

In subtle terms the Overtangle at the surface is as simple as a common principle of just a few words, we all have small yet very significant guiding principles that govern who we are and how we react and percieve the world around us. Most of these principles are benign and well balanced guides or laws that govern us. Some of them though, are imo parasitic models of thought and behavior. Let's face it, when it comes to peoples guiding principles most are born of religion. "There is no other god but me" is imo a significant Overtangle because once someone is infected with such a dangerous principle all other belief structures in the world are percieved as a threat. hense why this thread has moved so quickly and why everyone has been so easily offended.. "I am the way, the truth and the light" there again, people who are infected with such a viral Overtangle find themselfs boxed in to a single point of view..

They are as simple as a catch phrase "Lifes a b****" we don't have to accept them, but they do jump out at you.. and if you find yourself nodding in agreement when people say "Lifes a b****" or "Life sucks" or "Corporations are people" then chances are you are infected and these self serving or destructive principles which will cloud your perception and judement.. They are viral and parasitic in nature.

(Am sure I've forgotten something.. but got to go to work..)

Overtangle

http://www.wholistic...m/83SwackJudith

Wetiko

http://www.realitysa...eatest_epidemic

All I can say is that ALL people/humans have from thier biology and their neurology, the free will and ability to make conscious choices for themselves. If they do not make a choice, then that remains a conscious choice.

Iit may be a failing of experience and of understanding on my part but to be honest i find the pov you put here incomprehensible I've never encountered it in a human being, including the many thousands of adolescents I have taught over the years.

it also doesnt fit within my understanding of human neurology psychology and socio -dynamics. Sure peole have drivers, but they can be taught to recognise and rewire those drivers, and make alternative choices. No one is hard wired to a religion or a belief, or a nationality, or even to a football team.

No child is forced to adopt the religion of its parents (or their football team either) Those are choices we are ALL capable of making Humans adopt personal "best fit" practices which enhance and improve their life, or at least their perception of it.

A jehovah's witness thinks that he is trying to save my soul from damnation and allow me eternal life. I admire his courage and determination but dont accept his premise. For all i know he might be right or a mormon might be, but I am responsible for my decisions and my relationship with god, if any, No one else. So I might admire the forces and beliefs which drive another human but that doesnt mean i have to either accept them or deny them for my self. i dont have to take drugs or have sex just because others are. I am an individual not a herd animal.

Peer pressure is irrelevant once people come to respect themsleves and understand that they are acountable for, and to, only themself and that doing what is right by ones own ethical code is more important and productive than following the pressure example or code, of anyone else. After all, if you have confidence in yourself and your own judgement, then you need no other approval.

Ps there is only one god but many ways to connect with "him" . Christ does offer a way, a truth, and certainly a light to light the darkness within many humans and within a part of the human condition. But so do many other beliefs and faiths. God empowers humans by entering into them, energising them, removing; fear, grief, guilt, hate, envy, pride, and replacing them with companionship, love, energy, courage, joy, a sense of connectedness, empathy and so on.

But that god can be found by a pagan or a geaan or a sikh or a jew or a christian or a muslim jainist etc etc because it lives within each one of us and connects us all to each other and to the universe around us. We dont even need a religious framework, we just have to reach within, and touch god.

Ps i am so blessed protected cared for and empowered by god that it is hard sometimes to refrain from telling everyone else that they can live the life i live and how to do this.

But many things stop me.

First a person's relationship with god is for them to establish. Not me. It must be sought and entered into as a persoanl relationship based on mutual understanding and desire, like a marriage..

Second I love others as my self and actually I and they are a aprt of the same whole, and I wouldn't want someone constantly harping at me when I thought i had a good enough life. i twould just turn me OFF the idea of god.( I still point out the advantages of a life lived connected to a powerful god but thats as far as I go.)

LAstly I am a selfish b******. Why should i share what i have got with people who cant be bothered, dont believe it is physically possible, or dont want the changes it would entail in their lives, anyway. :innocent: Ps no one can impose a belief on another person. Beliefs, by their nature, must be freely chosen. The only exception to this involves the use of drugs and psychological programming which overides the natural mental capacity of a human being.

Not even a child can have a belief imposed on it, although adults might impose behaviours on them. Because beliefs are held within, no can can know or see your beliefs, and so they can't mess around with them, or impose new ones on you without your consent.

Pps The modern definition of human is pretty clear. It includes homo sapiens, neandertals cromagnons, and some other sapient primates. Even if this was not the case, I know what is human both by the accepted parameters of what is human and the accepted parameters of what is not human. This includes the potential of a human being, compared to a non human being, measurable in observable outcomes.

Edited by Mr Walker
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I dont think I questioned you aroud the invention of anything, must be a wire crossed here in such a fast moving thread..

My statement to you was that an islamic nations did have a golden age.. I've seen a doco or too about it on TV.. it happened, big deal.. I'm not going to rush off to google-land to find evidence about something I already believe happened just so I can feed an egotistic debate about religion. Like I said before, Religion takes credit where it's not due..

Many men have invented and discovered things throughout time. To give the credit of their genius down to religion is what I am not in complete agreement with.

lets say those who chose islam had chosen christianity or better still, no religion at all, would that have meant they would never had invented these things? look at the inventions, soap with oils, the cheque, the fountain pen and chess, were they really invented because of someones religious believe? The surgical instruments...were they made because of a sign from god?

I see one difference here to the western inventors, we call the men by their names and do not put it down to their religious beliefs.

Yes they had a golden age, but without googling it, can anyone name and give credit to the actual inventor and the brilliance of their minds and are they a worldwide name?

Edited by freetoroam
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It is pretty obvious that at some point the West took over and began excelling over the Islamic world, and has done since.

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It is pretty obvious that at some point the West took over and began excelling over the Islamic world, and has done since.

Right, but the Islamic "civilization" was in decline long before the "West" was any great beacon to humanity. Nobody accounts this "Islamic Golden Age" as existing anytime after the fall of Baghdad in the 1250's, and highlights were pretty meager for at least the century before that.

In my heart of hearts, I don't think religion had much to do with the rise of the "West." Like the Romans had before them, Western European countries at some point discovered that to survive, they needed sea power. And then came the lucky break of cosmic proportions: as it happened there was a whole 'nother world in those seas, including three unknown wealth-bearing continents, inhabited only by people who lacked artillery and domesticated horses, much less cavalry. The natives had no immunity to the contagious diseases of Europe, either.

What followed was as ugly as anything that Islam did to its victims in their time, often under color of religion. But it paid off, and civilization is a luxury good, which must be paid for.

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Right, but the Islamic "civilization" was in decline long before the "West" was any great beacon to humanity. Nobody accounts this "Islamic Golden Age" as existing anytime after the fall of Baghdad in the 1250's, and highlights were pretty meager for at least the century before that.

In my heart of hearts, I don't think religion had much to do with the rise of the "West." Like the Romans had before them, Western European countries at some point discovered that to survive, they needed sea power. And then came the lucky break of cosmic proportions: as it happened there was a whole 'nother world in those seas, including three unknown wealth-bearing continents, inhabited only by people who lacked artillery and domesticated horses, much less cavalry. The natives had no immunity to the contagious diseases of Europe, either.

What followed was as ugly as anything that Islam did to its victims in their time, often under color of religion. But it paid off, and civilization is a luxury good, which must be paid for.

Absolutely.

There would have been some who looked at to the skies and prayed that the weather or even a "god" helped them through their passages, but it is not because of religion that they made the ships, their religious beliefs if they had one was not the reason why they wanted to explore. Basis human instinct for survival is not down to any religion.

If anything, religion has taken away the human instinct of survival and replaced it with relying on a god...which we know for a fact, relying on a god and how nature actually works, do not go hand in hand in terms of surviving.

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Well I suppose that if a religion was made up by men, it likely contains all the imperfections of the human psyche and it would be a bad thing: a way of gaining power over others, or to obtain wealth at the expense of others, or as a way to control others. The Greek and Roman gods come to mind here with all the jealousy, malice, lust, etcetera of humanity and in some cases there were severe penalties in the ancient world for not bowing to these "gods". However, if a religion was given to man by God through revelation it should be a good thing. God revealing to man His nature, what He expects of man and how men should live upon the earth. That said, a good thing can be perverted into a bad thing by men, even if it has roots in the divine. For apart from revelation and left to our own devices, we tend to worship fire, and the sun, animals, birds, ancestors, and so forth.

Of course much evil has been done by supposedly religious people. However, I would not discount the good that religion has done, for instance many of our colleges in the United States were started as Christian centers of learning, even ivy-league schools considered centers of liberalism today. The same can be said of charitable organizations like Samaritan's Purse or The Red Cross which help out in natural and man-made disasters, and many of today's hospitals which were founded by various Jewish and Christian religious organizations. No doubt these organizations have educated the ignorant, saved many thousands of lives and given hope to the hopeless.

There will always be believers and non-believers. There will always be those who think religion is the bane of human existence and the "opiate of the masses", but then there are people like Blaise Pascal who said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."

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Personally I think religion as we usually think of it is on its way out, although that is a few centuries in the future.

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Worse of course... They killed many in its name, they enforced it and it makes people close minded.. i could elaborate but i dont need too...

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All I can say is that ALL people/humans have from thier biology and their neurology, the free will and ability to make conscious choices for themselves. If they do not make a choice, then that remains a conscious choice.

Iit may be a failing of experience and of understanding on my part but to be honest i find the pov you put here incomprehensible I've never encountered it in a human being, including the many thousands of adolescents I have taught over the years.

Well for the most part I agree with almost everything you wrote, This logic imo comes from a very empowered perspective.

I think you are right here in that it might be a failing of experience and understanding on your part to comprehend this premis from another perspective.. but that is of course a subjective conclusion. I've read and agreed with many of your posts here, specifically in the metaphysics threads where most if not all of your experience and background comes from what I would perceive as an extremely high level of Empowerment that began at a very young age.. As a result, perhaps (and I am assuming here) you are incapable of really knowing disempowerment, because you have never experienced it, which is where Overtangles and other forms of manipulation of peoples conscious choice takes place..

It could also be that I'm just utterly useless at explaining something that I myself am only just discovering and learning. What I mean here is that I'm finding it in simple terms of Propaganda, or simple strings of thought such as "......... is a nessisary evil"-which is of course a creating a defeatest culture within humanity...

I'm nearly 40 years old. And can safely say that for about 38 years I've fallen into the Disempowered catagory..Perhaps that is why I can clearly see that the premis of Overtangles and infectious ideaologies can virually infect peoples consiousness...

Am not preaching or trying to convert btw..

it also doesnt fit within my understanding of human neurology psychology and socio -dynamics. Sure peole have drivers, but they can be taught to recognise and rewire those drivers, and make alternative choices. No one is hard wired to a religion or a belief, or a nationality, or even to a football team.

No child is forced to adopt the religion of its parents (or their football team either) Those are choices we are ALL capable of making Humans adopt personal "best fit" practices which enhance and improve their life, or at least their perception of it.

A jehovah's witness thinks that he is trying to save my soul from damnation and allow me eternal life. I admire his courage and determination but dont accept his premise. For all i know he might be right or a mormon might be, but I am responsible for my decisions and my relationship with god, if any, No one else. So I might admire the forces and beliefs which drive another human but that doesnt mean i have to either accept them or deny them for my self. i dont have to take drugs or have sex just because others are. I am an individual not a herd animal.

Peer pressure is irrelevant once people come to respect themsleves and understand that they are acountable for, and to, only themself and that doing what is right by ones own ethical code is more important and productive than following the pressure example or code, of anyone else. After all, if you have confidence in yourself and your own judgement, then you need no other approval.

All of this is quite correct from a Empowered perspective.. But from a disempowered perspective it falls apart imo. What you have portrayed here imo is a picture of mostly confident/empowered people. People Scream for their national team, and cry and fight in the streets when they lose. Children are forced by association into the religious belief (or worse) of their parents.. The Jehovas Wittness believes that he is trying to save a soul from damnation and converts some people. Drugs, Sex, Peer Pressure and all of the above have no effect of the awakened/empowered.. But all of the above exist because not everyone is Empowered enough to have control over their own lifes.. And it is through this lack of self control that they become infected with these infectious ideaologies..

(Grrrrrr, my on-line time is seriously being effected by working for a living now. got to go..) *sighs*

Thanks for the reply btw. :tu:

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As you can see I liked your post. I dont really see anything in it that idisagree with. I work hard as a teacher counsellor and family person. to empower young people And some less confident older ones MAybe I am lucky to live where i do in the extended family community and society I belong to, because I just dont encounter children disempowered or oppressed by others, including their parents. If anything, for young immature and inexperienced human beings, children have too much power in our society.

I dont encounter people being forced into or indoctrinated into belief systems.This is a free country and everyone is free to chose That includes childen who may however be forced to behave as their parents expect eg go to church But one cant comple belief. There are huge pressures on young people to be sexualised, to drink, and to play sport, but again no one is forced into any of these and we teach at government schools, children how to be resilient, independent, and individualistic in their choices.

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It's an interpretation. In your view, were the Indians and Persians, for example, not already engaged in arts and sciences? Islamic conquest made them what, in your opinion, better artists and scientists? Wonder why they fell behind so soon, then. What are your thoughts on the Byzantine Empire? That's not going to be in Europe anymore? Not Chrisitan enough for you?

I agree with your criticism of redhen's video, not because it is propaganda, but because it is lousy propaganda. To credit Bacon's teacher with "inventing the scientific method" is absurd - not "wrong," because as an interpetation it is safe from rightness or wrongness, but it's an absurd interpretation. Few sciences are "Baconian." Meteorology used to be, but even they have come a long way recently.

Good propaganda? Often that's propaganda in spite of itself, or even propaganda that backfires. Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is about the grinding poverty of the Dust Bowl Depression in the United States. It was made into an iconic film. Soviet authorities allowed few American films to be shown circa 1940 in the USSR, but they showed this one. Their reasoning could be lifted from Knight: See? Maybe we live in avoidable grinding self-inflicted poverty, but there was a time, not long ago, when Westerners lived worse than we did!

And why was that good propaganda? Because Russians and those they had conquered went to the cinema, and saw that poor American farm families, at the very depth of destitution, nevertheless owned their own trucks. Nobody in the audience did. It could not have been clearer that there never was a time when average Americans lived worse than average Soviets, just times when Americans lived better than Americans at other times. It's easy to confuse the two ideas.

Could there be good Christian propaganda, and especially propaganda contrasting how different religious beliefs might affect living conditions on Earth? Sure, and especially Catholic propaganda. Catholics, along with the Eastern Orthodox (whose former empire you have apparently decided wasn't in Europe at the time in question), view the purpose of human life as achieving union with God. Islam, as one translation of it holds, seeks submission to.

Does your mind's ear not hear the difference between the two phrases? Does the difference cash out in practice? Is there a Catholic humanist tradition? Not the euphemism for aggressive atheism, but the view that human beings are worthy, competent, and autonomous spiritual agents? Sure, inherent human depravity remedied by "submisson to Jesus" is a Protesant reading of the scriptures, and Protestants don't exist until centuries after any Islamic "golden age."

There are lots of criticism of Catholicism to be made, and I've made quite a few of them here. But in the long run, what drives societal outcomes is what the society thinks people are. In all places and at all times, Jews contribute to learning, science, commerce and culture, often despite severe persecution from their almost always far more numerous and envious neighbors. Runners up among the Abrahamics are Christians, who despite themselves and with a two-steps-forward-one-step-backwards gait, applied the humanism that is inherent and central in their faith. And then there's Islam.

Jews worship God standing on their feet. Christians worship on their knees. Muslim worship on their hands and knees. As it turns out, that's pretty much all you need to know to assess long-term relative average person-for-person contribution to human earthly well-being.

I think the OP has religion contributed towards a better or worse outcomes, Is really summed up best with your point here. It depends on what 'it' is seeking to do and this literally can mean something different to every single faith/practice.

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Absolutely.

There would have been some who looked at to the skies and prayed that the weather or even a "god" helped them through their passages, but it is not because of religion that they made the ships, their religious beliefs if they had one was not the reason why they wanted to explore. Basis human instinct for survival is not down to any religion.

If anything, religion has taken away the human instinct of survival and replaced it with relying on a god...which we know for a fact, relying on a god and how nature actually works, do not go hand in hand in terms of surviving.

But, is survival good enoughb. Lions, elephants, whales survive. Is that all you want. Maybe, that is what religeon answers.

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