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The Harm Done By Religion


Doug1066
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Seeing as no one is responding to Post 48, here is another:

According to their biographers, the principle Nazis were all born, baptized and raised as Christians.  Most grew up in strict, pious households where tolerance and democratic ideas were discouraged.  Adolph Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Joseph Goebbels were all Catholic.  Rudolph Hoess, commandant at Auschwitz-Birchenau and pioneer of the use of Zyklon-B in the gas chambers, had Catholic parents.  Herman Goerring had Protestant-Catholic parents and Rudolph Hess, Martin Bormann, Albert Speer and Adolph Eichman came from Protestant families.  Not one of the top Nazis was a liberal or an atheist.  They would never think of depriving their offspring of the moral foundations they would need to grow into responsible, ethical adults.

 

And, so, the Holocaust was brought to you by good Christians.

Before you crucify me:  I have more on that subject.

Doug

P.S.:  None of these men renounced their religions, nor did the churches excommunicate them.

Doug

Edited by Doug1066
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Doug, thanks a ton, I never knew all that.

Over the years I've had a couple "good" Christian types do their best to convince me Hitler and his gang were all atheists, and that was the root of their horrible deeds. 

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1 hour ago, Doug1066 said:

the principle Nazis were all born, baptized and raised as Christians. 

 

But Doug, so were a lot of atheists. 

I wonder why, when it comes to fighting for something, things haven't changed that much?

 

 

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15 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

I  did not read that in Doug's post, I read that Religion, not believers, is what he is talking about.  Organized religion has only one purpose, to control large numbers of people with fear, arrogance and self righteousness.  There are always good people who participate in different religions and they somehow keep themselves from being involved in the destructive behaviors that we see some extremists practicing.  

To  me, organised religion is just like organised football, in that it has players, spectators, teams, colours, songs,  uniforms etc.   It even generates football  atheists and unbelievers  like myself.

You don't have to belong to a club to enjoy or follow football, or even be passionate about it.  You don't even have to belong to a club to enjoy playing it;, but, being human, we tend to group into like minded tribal groups  for football, religion and other things.

Why does a person follow one religion, and not another ?

Probably for very similar reasons as to why the y follow a particular football team, and not another  

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9 hours ago, Doug1066 said:

The trouble with history is it's way too big.  There's not time or space to go into all the details and nuances that affect any given period.  We'll get into more of this later.  Thank you for presenting the church's view of history which it has been working on perfectly for nearly 2000 years.  Needless to say:  there are others.

Doug

lol That  is  (also) the mainstream academic view.

ie it is not actually biased or prejudiced, for or against religion. It just looks at historical realities.

I t doesn't make cultural judgment's (or a t least it tries not to)  Eg it wouldn't argue that colonialism    (or even something like  slavery ) was  inherently good or bad. 

 It would investigate the realities around such things and perhaps offer understandings and opinions  on them . 

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15 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

That is an exception as the church you mention was the Holy Roman Empire, not a religion as such at that time, and look how the religion that was founded by the Roman empire has spilt over and over and over and has caused much division all over the world.   

It was not a religious movement that united the tribes in the middle east, it was a man named Mohamed who after he died was made a prophet by the religious leaders in order to keep the tribes united.  And that religion has the same foundation as the one the Romans created.  Yet both of them are taught to hate the jews who still practice a version of that religious foundation that the other two conscripted for the use of controlling large number of people.

Men (and the occasional woman) :)   may unite people while they live, but only ideas or beliefs unify people for millennia,  because the beliefs go on long after the founder dies, and beliefs are more powerful than any army or physical power 

Yes, in the middle ages, many nation states were actually closely associated   with Catholicism BUT  (usually) they remained separate  entities  Sometimes the state was more powerful  but often the church was, as it could count on MANY other states for military or economic support, and had the power to excommunicate everyone in a country, thus turning the citizens against the king,   because they feared not getting to heaven,  more than even dying 

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14 hours ago, lightly said:

It was a very bad thing for the natives.  . Such is the history of man kind .   they did feel somewhat justified about it...manifest destiny sort of thinking .    God often sides with the winner !  :P

And today?

Are modern indigenous peoples better or worse of now, than if the y had maintained their traditional lifestyles, customs, beliefs etc but had no access to the evolving western science and technology we enjoy today  (which is a part and parcel of European  technological evolution) ?

Not being indigenous, I am not qualified to answer that,  but I know  that there are many different opinions on it among indigenous people 

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10 hours ago, Will Due said:

 

But Doug, so were a lot of atheists. 

I wonder why, when it comes to fighting for something, things haven't changed that much?

Atheists and Seventh Day Adventists were shipped to concentration camps as enemies of the state.  It was only approved religions that enjoyed the blessing of the Third Reich (Catholicism and Lutheranism).  I will be getting to the reason in a few more posts.

Doug

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6 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

And today?

Are modern indigenous peoples better or worse of now, than if the y had maintained their traditional lifestyles, customs, beliefs etc but had no access to the evolving western science and technology we enjoy today  (which is a part and parcel of European  technological evolution) ?

Not being indigenous, I am not qualified to answer that,  but I know  that there are many different opinions on it among indigenous people 

Ya ,me neither I guess.   Better or Worse off now?   Probably a bit of both.   ?     I dunno, but 'traditional' lifestyles got that way by being practiced ,and evolved, for a long time.  . .  So, some things about the lifestyles worked . ?

       Are Casinos an improvement on lifestyle?   :P

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8 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

To  me, organised religion is just like organised football, in that it has players, spectators, teams, colours, songs,  uniforms etc.   It even generates football  atheists and unbelievers  like myself.

You don't have to belong to a club to enjoy or follow football, or even be passionate about it.  You don't even have to belong to a club to enjoy playing it;, but, being human, we tend to group into like minded tribal groups  for football, religion and other things.

Why does a person follow one religion, and not another ?

Probably for very similar reasons as to why the y follow a particular football team, and not another  

Let's pray to the football?  You must be from Oklahoma.

Doug

Edited by Doug1066
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On 9/3/2021 at 5:54 AM, Guyver said:

Religion harmed many Native American groups in California, that’s for sure.  Spanish Catholics enslaved and destroyed the Chumash Indians of the Central Coast of California.

I'd like to add to that:

https://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/blogs/entry/32786-norman-lewis-the-missionaries/

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8 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

lol That  is  (also) the mainstream academic view.

ie it is not actually biased or prejudiced, for or against religion. It just looks at historical realities.

I t doesn't make cultural judgment's (or a t least it tries not to)  Eg it wouldn't argue that colonialism    (or even something like  slavery ) was  inherently good or bad. 

 It would investigate the realities around such things and perhaps offer understandings and opinions  on them . 

If one takes the "mainstream academic view," one concludes that Jesus was a real person, even in the complete absence of evidence.  History should be based on evidence.

The church is fond of giving itself credit for "preserving knowledge" during the Dark Ages.  But that applies, with a few exceptions, only to knowledge approved by the church.  It takes a lot of work to transcribe even a small book by hand.  So the only works deemed worthy of preservation were holy books.

Have you ever read Keating's History of Ireland?  It is an extension of the Seanchus Mor (Great Book) that was created under orders of the king when writing was first introduced to Ireland (By the church, yet.).  It preserves much of early Irish history, myth and legend.  Without that order, all this would have been lost as it was in Scotland, England and Wales.  Left to its own devices, the church did nothing to preserve the pre-church history of each country.

That's not to diminish much of what it did in the way of medicine and knowledge, but if anyone took a view not supported by the church, he could find himself being slow-roasted.  Even so, it wasn't until Darwin's On the Origin of Species that the church and science came to a final parting of the ways.

Doug

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23 hours ago, third_eye said:

namely the Albigensians

On July 22, 1209, during the sack of Beziers, a lieutenant was wondering what to do with all the Albigensian prisoners he had captured.  The Crusader army was commanded by the Papal legate, the Abbot of Citeaux, Arnaud Amalric.  According to his letter to the Pope after the battle, he told the lieutenant to "Kill them all.  God will know his own." 

Nice people, those Crusaders.

Doug

Edited by Doug1066
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On 9/3/2021 at 3:42 AM, Mr Walker said:

Scientific/ medical studies show that faith and religion have positive outcomes for about 84% of humans who believe 

About 10% seem to be unaffected, while about 5%  have negative outcomes 

Thus, statistically, religion is better for humans than non religion. 

Of course all and any beliefs when the y come into conflict with other beliefs can cause conflict and harm.

 This includes  tribalism, nationalism, environmentalism,  racism, sexism, etc. 

Thus, statistically, religion is better for humans than non religion.- only in very closely defined circumstances.

Religion does people no good at all in China -the Uighurs for example, and it may be the same in N Korea.

Even in a country which shares the same religion, eg Syria, belonging to the "wrong" branch  (shiite or sunni) can be deadly. And singing gospel songs in some countries would be ill-advised, where religion proscribes  music.

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On 9/3/2021 at 10:23 AM, Desertrat56 said:

Holy Roman Empire

It has been said that the Holy Roman Empire was not Holy, was not Roman and was not an empire.

The Holy Roman Empire began in the early Middle Ages by the union of a number of small kingdoms.  Theoretically, the Holy Roman Emperor was the Emperor of Rome, but he had to be crowned by the Pope to make it official.  As some Holy Roman emperors were at war with the Pope, they settled for the title:  Holy Roman Emperor-Elect.

The "empire" continued until 1809 when it was dissolved by Napoleon.  Apparently, not everybody got the word because Francis I of Austria and Hungary continued to use the title of Holy Roman Emperor until 1825 when he finally decided it just wasn't worth fighting for.

Doug

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10 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Sometimes the state was more powerful  but often the church was, as it could count on MANY other states for military or economic support, and had the power to excommunicate everyone in a country, thus turning the citizens against the king,

In England, the king was usually the oldest son of the previous king.  The second oldest son was the bishop and succeeded to the title upon the death of the previous bishop (his uncle, who was also a Royal Duke).  In most cases, church and state were one and the same.  Descendants of the bishop bore the title:  Duke of This-or-That.

Doug

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On 9/2/2021 at 9:42 PM, Mr Walker said:

statistically, religion is better for humans than non religion. 

I hate to be a stickler for scientific method on a thread devoted to religion.

BUT:  how does one draw a random sample of events for such a study?  Can you point me to such a study?

Doug

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On 9/3/2021 at 9:00 AM, Doug1066 said:

Tell it to the victims of the Moravian Massacre.

I wasn't planning to get into what white Americans did to native Americans and vice versa, but the subject has come up.  If the cavalry soldiers at the Battle of Wichita had been Nazis at Nuremberg seventy-eight years later, they would have been judged guilty of crimes against humanity.  But Wichita was about racism, not religion.

The Albigensian Crusade was about Christians killing Christians over doctrine, something they had been fighting about since the time of Marcion (excommunicated in 144 AD for heresy over his rewrite of the Book of Luke.).  The following is also about Christians killing Christians:

 

On March 7, 1782 a group of Indians (Lenape) who had been converted to Christianity by Moravian missionaries were encountered by members of the Pennsylvania Militia.  The militiamen collected the Indians together, promising them they would be relocated to a safe place away from the fighting (This was during the American Revolution.). They took people from Gnadenhutten and Salem, near what is now New Philadelphia, Ohio (Villagers at Schoenbrunn were forewarned and fled before the militia arrived.). They were held overnight in one of Gnadenhutten’s buildings.  

Told that the militia intended to execute them as spies, the Indians spent the night praying and singing hymns, even praying for their captors.  Meanwhile the militiamen took a vote on whether to kill them.  Eighteen men voted against the killing and so were excluded from it.  Their accounts are how we know what happened.  

On the morning of March 8, 1782, women and older girls were separated, dragged to a nearby field, raped and then killed.  The others were lined up and tomahawked from behind.  A total of 96 died.  The murdered Indians are remembered in Moravian circles as Christian martyrs.  The event was remembered across the frontier.  Indians learned that converting to Christianity was no protection and for the next 104 years chose to fight to the death rather than surrender, resulting in innumerable unnecessary white deaths.  

When word of the massacre reached Washington, Congress was horrified.  As a result, they set aside 12,000 acres for the survivors, the first Federal Indian reservations, but because Indians couldn’t own land, the tracts were deeded to the Moravians to be held in trust for the Indians.  The tracts are located within the US Military District (land set aside to compensate veterans of the American Revolution) in Ohio.  The subsurveys were done following the French tradition of long, narrow farms.  As a result, property lines in the area are obvious and still conform to the survey ordered by Congress.  

Most of the surviving Indians moved to Canada, rather than live on land where so many of their brethren had died.  Eventually, most of the land was sold to white settlers.  

It is hard to blame the church for this extreme example of racism at its worst.  The Indians were trying to live peaceably as Christians, but were murdered by CINOs (Christians-In-Name-Only).  Such has been the fate of many others who took their religious beliefs seriously.

Doug

Edited by Doug1066
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6 hours ago, Doug1066 said:

I hate to be a stickler for scientific method on a thread devoted to religion.

BUT:  how does one draw a random sample of events for such a study?  Can you point me to such a study?

Doug

There are thousands of them, from across the world.

meta studies show two things, overall

The greater the scientific rigor (eg peer reviews etc )the stronger the correlation 

And that in about 85% of cases a belief  increases longevity and physical/psychological health. The   exceptions are where a belief is intrinsically harmful or destructive .

  The belief can be any religious form and doesn't have to be attached ta church, it can simply be a positive spiritual belief But attending (any)  church once a week brings its own strong positive benefits  

The strongest benefits of a belief are where it coincides with the country's  or person's cohort's social and spiritual beliefs 

While the correlation has been known for almost 50 years causation has been studied and understood for many of the benefits in the last 10-20 

I've provided plenty f sources in the past and for me its now beyond proving it 

If you  don't  believe  me then take a look for yourself.

This is a good starting point from  about 10 years ago

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671693/

Researching blue zones  will also provide information 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blue-zones#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8

quote

Thus, there is ample reason to believe that faith in a higher power is associated with health, and in a positive way. For example, researchers at the Mayo Clinic concluded, “Most studies have shown that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes, including greater longevity, coping skills, and health-related quality of life (even during terminal illness) and less anxiety, depression, and suicide. Several studies have shown that addressing the spiritual needs of the patient may enhance recovery from illness.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2019/03/29/science-says-religion-is-good-for-your-health/?sh=a0b7e273a12c

It is not, of course belief/religion alone which confers benefits;  other factors also do so.

But, especially where belief influences life style,  these often all coincide to markedly increase life spans, and overall physical and mental health, even in old age. 

quote

Researchers from Ohio State University conducted two surveys studying more than 1,500 newspaper obituaries first from Ohio, then from across the United States. In both samples, the study showed that those with documented religious affiliations lived an average of 9.45 and 5.64 years longer respectively than those who did not. When other important factors like gender and marital status were calculated, the number dropped to 6.48 and 3.82 years.“

https://www.apu.edu/articles/why-do-religious-people-live-longer/

Edited by Mr Walker
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10 hours ago, Doug1066 said:

Let's pray to the football?  You must be from Oklahoma.

Doug

Australia 

it is  very arguably  a bigger religion here than Christianity 

(both our own version (Aussie rules) and,  more recently, the world game (soccer) 

 

https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/footy-as-religion-a-myth-for-all-seasons/

 

quote

As a nation, Australia's obsession with sport has reached religious proportions. We are more religious about sport than religion itself.

Good Friday football in the AFL is just months away and now the prospect of playing cricket on Christmas Day is alive and well. This will annoy many. I'm not totally for it myself, but let's be honest, sooner rather than later, it will happen.

This won't come as a surprise to anyone with a sense of our current day fascinations. In reality, there are few things Australians obsess more about than sport.

There are approximately 13,000 churches in Australia, compared with 70,000 sports clubs. 6.5 million Aussies participate in organised sport, while 7.6 million attend live sport each year. 92 percent of adult Australians have an interest in at least one sport and, importantly, 2.3 million people volunteer time for sport each year -- the largest volunteer group in the country.

Beneath the glitz and glam of professional, commercialised sport in Australia lies Australia's new religion. Grassroots sport brings people together. It encourages them to work together towards a common good. It enables them to foster relationships and engage in discussing life's important issues.

It makes people feel like they're part of something.

It does what religion once did.

end quote 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/sam-duncan/our-obsession-with-sport-has-reached-religious-proportions_a_21623855/

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7 hours ago, Doug1066 said:

In England, the king was usually the oldest son of the previous king.  The second oldest son was the bishop and succeeded to the title upon the death of the previous bishop (his uncle, who was also a Royal Duke).  In most cases, church and state were one and the same.  Descendants of the bishop bore the title:  Duke of This-or-That.

Doug

True, but it was the cases where conflict occurred between the rulers' wishes and those of the church where things got interesting.

  Generally the  church won out  Either through social/economic pressure or in some cases by military intervention from other client sates  

England under Henry the 8th was a notable exception. 

During the reformation  new alliances of reformed churches and rulers sprung up and resulted in decades of warfare, before Europe reached some stability 

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40 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

There are thousands of them, from across the world.

meta studies show two things, overall

The greater the scientific rigor (eg peer reviews etc )the stronger the correlation 

And that in about 85% of cases a belief  increases longevity and physical/psychological health. The   exceptions are where a belief is intrinsically harmful or destructive .

  The belief can be any religious form and doesn't have to be attached ta church, it can simply be a positive spiritual belief But attending (any)  church once a week brings its own strong positive benefits  

The strongest benefits of a belief are where it coincides with the country's  or person's cohort's social and spiritual beliefs 

While the correlation has been known for almost 50 years causation has been studied and understood for many of the benefits in the last 10-20 

I've provided plenty f sources in the past and for me its now beyond proving it 

If you  don't  believe  me then take a look for yourself.

This is a good starting point from  about 10 years ago

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671693/

Researching blue zones  will also provide information 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blue-zones#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8

quote

Thus, there is ample reason to believe that faith in a higher power is associated with health, and in a positive way. For example, researchers at the Mayo Clinic concluded, “Most studies have shown that religious involvement and spirituality are associated with better health outcomes, including greater longevity, coping skills, and health-related quality of life (even during terminal illness) and less anxiety, depression, and suicide. Several studies have shown that addressing the spiritual needs of the patient may enhance recovery from illness.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2019/03/29/science-says-religion-is-good-for-your-health/?sh=a0b7e273a12c

It is not, of course belief/religion alone which confers benefits;  other factors also do so.

But, especially where belief influences life style,  these often all coincide to markedly increase life spans, and overall physical and mental health, even in old age. 

Working as a professional caregiver, you would be surprised how many drop religion as having outgrown it at the last part of their life and for those that don’t what seems to be the attraction is the tailor made up support system, it helps a person hang in there, have someone pretend to vent too, self validate, agree with everything they think, say or do or choose etc.. I find it interesting how people apply their god constructs. 
 

But, a faith in a creator in and of itself isn’t gonna give anyone better health, maintaining a healthy weight, eating right, exercising, social support, consistent love and affection, sleeping enough, novel experiences, getting out and experiencing things, going to the doctor and dentist are the things you want to do for longevity and quality of life.

Edited by Sherapy
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25 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

Working as a professional caregiver, you would be surprised how many drop religion as having outgrown it at the last part of their life and for those that don’t what seems to be the attraction is the tailor made up support system, it helps a person hang in there have someone pretend to vent too, self validate, agree with everything they think say or do or choose etc.. I find it interesting how people apply their god constructs. But, a faith in a creator in and of itself isn’t gonna give anyone better health, eating right, exercising, social support, consistent love and affection, sleeping enough, going to the doctor and dentist are the things you want to do for longevity. 

That is your perception, and  it may be your experience, but clinical studies show that older peole in  aged care/nursing homes also are happier, longer lived, and in better health, if the y have a positive spiritual faith.

Often we tend to see what we want to see.

Looking at academic/ unbiased studies gives a more accurate picture 

In the following piece i learned something I didn't know. ie tha t religious faith can slow the onset of dementia

quote

Spirituality is a significant part of many people’s lives, and it can become even more important as we grow older. A study by the University of Chicago found belief in god tends to increase with age, especially for those older than 68. Luckily for these spiritual seniors, faith practices come with a host of health benefits.

For example, spirituality can improve quality for life for seniors with dementia. Practicing a religion can help slow cognitive decline and reduce or stabilize cognitive disorders, according to International Psychogeriatrics. The use of spirituality in daily life enables those with dementia to preserve relationships, maintain hope and find meaning.

“Dementia may seem to mask the need for spirituality, but the reality is that, from my experience, cognitive impairment does not eclipse our innate need as human beings for inner peace, comfort, prayer, and rituals,” says Sister Karen Kielb, a Chaplain at Mercy Retirement & Care Center.

Another benefit of spirituality is the strong sense of community that is at the heart of most faith groups. People form and strengthen relationships through their faith, whether it’s by attending group services or just praying with a friend.

Opportunities for social interactions are especially important to seniors, who are at risk of becoming isolated as they age. Staying social not only reduces loneliness and depression, but can also potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers.

https://eldercarealliance.org/blog/seniors-and-spirituality-health-benefits-of-faith/

Ps you are right about the use of faith constructs as psychological tools,  but then that is rather my point. They WORK  (sometimes for the reasons you describe)  So does having a pet, but that is often not allowed in nursing homes. So does having a loving partner, but for many elderly they have lost that.  

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