Oh No! Not ANOTHER Anti-Religious Thread!

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by airportkid, Apr 30, 2012.

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  1. airportkid

    airportkid Will Fly For Food

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    Aren't there enough already?

    Well, no, not enough.

    For ages and ages women were 2nd class citizens (still are, in some countries); various ethnicities & nationalities were 2nd class citizens (still are, in this country and elsewhere); and religion still regards irreligion as blasphemic, obscene, something to be eradicated.

    But inch by inch, as women have gained social equality, and as the pitched field of ethnic & national differences is relentlessly pounded level, so too do we irreligious achieve increasing stature and influence in a world steadily being drained of superstitious ignorance.

    I and others have been accused of hating all of religion. I can't speak for others; I don't think all antipathy toward religion is undilute. But I can speak for myself and my despise of religion is absolute.

    It boils down to a very simple equation.

    Whatever soil man plunges his hands into, he gets his hands dirty. He invents vaccines but corrupts their application by pricing them out of reach of those who need them. He invents science and creates the refrigerator but also the atomic bomb (and uses it). He invents law but breaks it; he invents lawyers but uses them to chase ambulances. He invents tobacco and beer and cheese but also abuses them. And on and on and on. Nothing we do is all good or all bad; everything we do produces benefits and disasters.

    But are there some things we do whose harm is disproportionate?

    Are there some things we do that have harmful effects whose benefits are achievable by other means?

    In the case of religion, whose harm clots the pages of the history books with every bodily fluid it is possible to spill, is the GOOD it does achievable by other means?

    What does religion do that CANNOT be done without it?

    I can't think of a thing.

    Not one.

    Whatever you name, there's a secular alternative to attain exactly the same end, or better - usually better.

    The vast majority of the secular alternatives are nothing more than eradicating ignorance - although that is much easier stated than done. But ignorance is being irreversibly banished every day, acre by village by county by nation by continent. Child by teen by parent by senior.

    And with it, religion withers.

    Why keep something around whose good can be gotten some other way, but whose evils belong to it alone?

    So, yes, you can point to soup kitchens and hospitals and universities and medicine brought to the destitute by religious organizations but every bit of it is also done by secular institutions.

    You can point to emotional counseling and comforting the aggrieved but every bit of that is also done by secular institutions, and usually much better, based on science instead of superstition.

    You can point to marriage but the inescapable fact is that marriage is a secular social construct, not a religious one, else no irreligious person could ever get married. Marriage works well without religion, probably better, because its hills and valleys are navigated without superstition.

    What does religion do for you that's unattainable by other means?

    Provide emotional "highs", watching a sunset, sharing a new dawn with a new lover, delight in some new transcendant emotional experience? You sure don't need superstition to mar those kinds of moments.

    Without religion, what could you NOT achieve? Whatever you name, people HAVE achieved without religion.
     
  2. HaveNoCents

    HaveNoCents Conservative Tree Hugger

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    If it is important for someone to have faith for whatever reason why should you care? Your intolerance for religion is no better than the things that you are complaining about religion.
     
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  3. massparanoia

    massparanoia Active Member

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    Go back and study ancient cultures, before modern "science" existed. These cultures used spirituality to explain the events that unfolded before their eyes. It was also spirituality that caused them to become curious and to investigate these things, and to cause them to gaze into the heavens and try and discover what lies beyond our world. Everything we have achieved, was born from spirituality. Without religion, we would not exist today. Religion and science go hand in hand.

    "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Einstein

    There are evils that plague this world in all forms. Men in all areas lie, cheat and steal.
     
  4. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    LOL. Are you trying to drive spidey, chuck and paranoia to meds ?

    You raise an interesting question, but it is not enough to ask if a secular approach *can* achieve the religious result (assuming it is positive,) it is whether it is equally likely.

    From what I have seen, religion provides justification for actions. I view religion in the same way I view guns: guns do not kill by themselves, but they sure make it easier for the motivation to turn into action, and mass action at that.

    Religion promotes ignorance; but if you are of the opinion that tech and scientific progress have equally good and bad effects then ignorance is a sum zero game. I do not hold that view, and so I view ignorance negatively.
     
  5. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Here on Earth?
    Nothing.
    NO doubt about it!
    If you're into the 75 and done thing...there's no limit to the Earthly achievements that you can rack up.

    I have a profound respect and admiration for people who, unfettered by religious motives, give quietly of themselves in all manner of activities in a sincere effort to help others.
    I also have an equally profound disrespect for people who do likewise publicly, and only in the very selfish desire to buy their way into heaven.
    The Bible speaks to both, and of both.

    I'm a live and let live kinda guy.
    If you have a burr under your saddle about all of the inequities that have been perpetrated against humanity in the name of religion, knock yerself out! Rant on Brother!
    I'm not very happy about it either.
    GOD probably doesn't like it very much as well, and the last time I checked an org chart, that's his (or her) area of responsibility...or AOR as we say in the canoe club.
    Looking back over history...literally, HIS STORY...there are as many if not more atrocities that have been committed in the name of atheism, or for no reason at all other than the fact that some people are just ornery.
    I don't hold non-theists to task for those episodes. I'd like to say that I have a love for my fellow peeps that allows me to transcend hatred for those that don't pray like I do, or even at all but that would come off as BS, because it would be.
    I simply don't have an axe to grind WRT religion….pro or con.

    You wanna pray?
    Go ahead.
    If you're a Mohammadan, I'll even lend you a prayer rug. We used to buy them for door mats in the sandbox, and I have a few left.

    You wanna Not?
    Go ahead.
    Like I said......
    Not my AOR.


    Good Luck! :cool:
     
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  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    And when they had an explanation, they murdered lest an alternative explanation supplant theirs.

    And therein lies the problem with religious explanations: they demand obedience. Science only demands observation and logic; the explanation is always just waiting for a better one to exit left.

    Look at humanity's rate of increasing understanding of the natural world before and after scientific thought expelled religious doctrine from the ivory tower.

    I will say that religion made and makes great and continuous strides in understanding the human psyche, but unfortunately it was (and is) driven my a desire to manipulate and control.
     
  7. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Really. What is this, a crusade? :rolleyes:
     
  8. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    This quote is not furthering your cause. Einstein wrote it in a letter, and the content of that letter was not kind to religion. Here is what one writer has to say about the letter:
    Link: "Science without Religion Is Lame, Religion without Science Is Blind" - Softpedia

    Tom
     
  9. massparanoia

    massparanoia Active Member

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    No meds here, I have never set foot in a church other than for the occasional wedding or funeral. Just playing devils advocate since most here seem to be against it.

    Me, I say whatever makes you happy. Go to church, don't go. Believe, don't believe. Doesn't make any difference to me. Just don't come knocking on my door trying to convince me to believe in one thing or another.

    Other than that, rock on :rockon:
     
  10. massparanoia

    massparanoia Active Member

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    You take this out of context, Einstein was not a man of religion, he was a man of faith. These are two very different things.

    "Einstein may have not believed in God, but he felt that faith was a must. This is probably why he never gave a second thought to studying the quantum theory and its random nature. He once said that "God does not throw dice", meaning that quantum theory randomness is out of the question for him. This belief in faith is probably also why his position towards religion was often misinterpreted."

    As you are misinterpreting it now.
     
  11. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Didn't he also say, later in life, that the 'cosmological constant' was his biggest mistake?

    (Although, in an interesting twist, dark matter may yet prove that he was right.)
     
  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    As you are misinterpreting it now.

    Faith yes, but not faith in god, or faith in religion. He presumed that nature could be understood and modeled. He was simply pointing out the essence of science.
     
  13. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    Not her story? How can you be sure God is a male. Bringing forth life and all sounds very female. And why would God be a sexual being at all? Sounds a tad anthropomorphic. We have made God in our image which is true of most religions.
     
  14. Chuck.

    Chuck. Former Honda Enzyte Driver

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  15. massparanoia

    massparanoia Active Member

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    As you are misinterpreting my post.

    You just repeated exactly what I said. Faith, not religion.

    :doh:
     
  16. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I can only guess what Einstein would have said to you, in the face of a demand to give equal time to the creation myth before every physics lecture.
     
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I have faith that the bite I am going to take of my sandwich in a moment, is going to be just as tasty as the one I took a moment ago.
     
  18. HaveNoCents

    HaveNoCents Conservative Tree Hugger

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    Does that make you a sandwich fundamentalist?
     
  19. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Please.
    Re-sheathe the talons.
    If you would have read the entire post, I stated....before this post if you check the edit log, that GOD may be a he or she. I only placed " or her" in parenthesis after using a binary decision maker (coin) to determine the first gender placement.
    I literally did flip a coin, because I knew as I was writing the reply that some humor challenged person would write something like "OH yeah!!! What if GOD is a SHE you &*%^$%# sexist!!!"
    If you look back over my thousands of posts, I think you'll find a clear history where I either eschew gender specific references like "his" or I add a (or his, or her.)
    I'll sleep pretty good tonight whether or not you think I'm a sexist or not actually....
    I'm obviously a male.
    Back when "SS" was my only warfare designator, and I was knocking holes in the Atlantic, the US Submarine Service was an all male club. Heck.....31 years ago when I enlisted, women were relegated to non-combat roles, so it would be as pointless for me to pretend to be a female as it would be for me to pretend that history isn't really herstory.
    You can't stop hatred.

    My only point in replying to this thread is just that, but I tried to do it in as respectful and adult a manner as my rather juvenile sense of humor would allow me to.
    If I genuinely offended anyone, I offer genuine apologies.

    Others?
    Like I said....you ain’t gonna stop hate. ;)

    EDIT: OK....I went back and re-read my babble. Yeah, I can see where a person with bunched up bloomers...or BVD's would think that I referred to HIS STORY as GOD's story. Sorry....that's not the context. History is HIS STORY...meaning the person telling the story...meaning that sometimes even outside US Histry classrooms, this story is somewhat malleable. Sorry for any (again, genuine) confusion!
    I fix phones for a living and have never pretended to pass myself off as any kind of writer...as far as you know. ;)
     
  20. Chuck.

    Chuck. Former Honda Enzyte Driver

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    Somewhat speculative.

    What I know for sure is the Theory of Evolution would not be taught as fact, but left to the student to decide for themselves.

    Einstein was no Dawkins, thank God.
     
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