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CF_Mono
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:21 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:17 am 
 

Hey, I just got done watching this video, containing an interview with Harrison Ford, and he talks briefly about his character being a devout Methodist. But more important to this conversation is the movie clip in the beginning. I'm eighteen right now, and growing up in America I've become fond of hearing Christians called bigots, racists, and generally problematic when confronted in an argument on rights and equality. I was also raised by very moderate and accepting Christians, who always taught me that the bottom line about Christianity is loving your neighbor and virtue, and not following the Bible word for word or subscribing to racist beliefs. It's clear to see how massive God's role in the Civil Rights movement was, especially given the example in the clip I linked to above. Obviously, discrimination and segregation are wrong, and very hard to argue in favor of, because morally they just don't make sense, but they also conflict with basic ideologies about virtue and righteousness that a lot of religions (namely Christianity) teach (even if they are also contradictory in many ways).

Why is it, then, that in regard to the issue of abortion, morals are de-legitimized? How come nobody is willing to at the very least respect the argument that killing partially developed humans is immoral? To me it seems like if the argument were happening sixty to seventy years ago, pro-choice people would have a hard time arguing against Christians who were anti-abortion, just because the moral reasoning Christians used would have been so solid. Why isn't this the case anymore, and what events in history changed the perception of morals in relation to Christianity? Even more puzzling, is that religious ideology seems to be working backwards in a few other areas, literally against itself. If Christians handled feminism or homosexuality the same way they handled slavery and discrimination, then Christians would be in support of offering equal rights to everyone. The Bible condones slavery in some places, but Christianity was also a major foundation for people to abolish slavery (both at a personal and government level- God is mentioned in the Emancipation Proclamation), because it was seen as inherently wrong. The Bible also says that gays should be stoned and are sinners among other things, but somehow these phrases speaks louder to most Christians (at least apparently) than those passages of morality and love and virtue. Now, doubtless there are many churches and Christians fighting for equal rights for everyone, but it seems like the vast majority aren't. Is this just the spin that liberal or anti-christian media puts on it, or is religion actively contradicting itself more and more as time goes on? And if so, why?

Please, no responses like "lol bcuz Christians are dumb and have no morals." I did a good job of not displaying my beliefs here and I genuinely want to know if anyone can offer any food for thought on why Christians have all of a sudden become the reason of their own demise. With respect to both issues mentioned of course: The lack of legitimacy in morals as talked about with abortion, or the all out (and contradictory) replacement of morals with other beliefs when discussing equal rights. Thanks.
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Against Such Things
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:59 am 
 

I'm going to throw in my opinion as a Christian.

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he listed two: to love God and to love your neighbor. This was his summation and simplification of what it meant to follow Him. I think that Christian culture in general often fails to do so. When enough people who identify as something start to act in some way, it becomes part of the assumption of what they all are.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I'm very interested in this topic and will be following.
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Thexhumed
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:06 am 
 

Maybe because Christians are more concerned about being socially accepted than being "sound to doctrine".

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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:18 am 
 

CF_Mono wrote:
Why is it, then, that in regard to the issue of abortion, morals are de-legitimized? How come nobody is willing to at the very least respect the argument that killing partially developed humans is immoral?

Freedom of reproduction, for starters. If a woman has another being developing inside of her body, then she should be able to decided what to do with it. Not to mention that many people (myself included) have a hard time classifying an amorphous clump of cells as a person.
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Thexhumed
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:28 am 
 

^ That looks wrong at so many levels..

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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:33 am 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
CF_Mono wrote:
Why is it, then, that in regard to the issue of abortion, morals are de-legitimized? How come nobody is willing to at the very least respect the argument that killing partially developed humans is immoral?

Freedom of reproduction, for starters. If a woman has another being developing inside of her body, then she should be able to decided what to do with it. Not to mention that many people (myself included) have a hard time classifying an amorphous clump of cells as a person.

I sort of agree, but I think the premise of "Embryos are living things and that's that" is good enough for most people. idk, Maybe I'm wrong. That and I think some people don't like the idea of abortion being a women's rights issue because it demonstrates how people don't like taking responsibility for their own actions (which more or less is a disturbing thought. I'm pregnant, so fix me.)
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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:36 am 
 

I just don't like pregnancy being immediately associated with negativity - it fuels the culture of death we tend to have here in the Western world. Pregnancy, like STDs are mistakes, and thus, babies become labeled as such, creating an odd conflict of interests for the ideas of procreation...I won't say one way or another where I stand on the issue - but the vocabulary needs to change.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:48 am 
 

Well, as a matter of fact, a lot of people don't want pregnancies when they get them. They're unintended, and by definition mistakes. I just think a little more accountability should exist is all. But that begs the question, is the responsibility worth nine months of child-bearing?

I kind of regret bringing up abortion in the original post now. To me the bigger dilemma is about the second half of that paragraph.
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shouvince
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:18 am 
 

CF_Mono wrote:
Well, as a matter of fact, a lot of people don't want pregnancies when they get them. They're unintended, and by definition mistakes. I just think a little more accountability should exist is all. But that begs the question, is the responsibility worth nine months of child-bearing?


I'm pretty sure the responsibility doesn't stop at nine months but till the kid is able to fend for him/herself (read late teen). That's a hell lot of a responsibility for a "mistake". With regards to the whole abortion debate, as it has been stated on several sources, people are trying to pinpoint a stage where it's acceptable to abort life - the early embryonic stage perhaps. Not sure where I stand on this but I feel if an individual/couple is not ready for it and they're gonna eventually dump the kid in an orphanage then please for fuck's sake, don't go down the road. I, however, don't agree with your blanket statement - "a lot of people don't want pregnancies when they get them". I'm sure there is a fraction but definitely not 'a lot' as you put it. It borders on making a lot of assumptions based on sensationalized news pieces of spikes in teen pregnancy and abortion data. And I agree with Frog about pregnancy having negative connotations. Just because a girl gets pregnant, one shouldn't immediately assume that it was a mistake. It's a terrible way of thinking.

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Veracs
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:04 am 
 

Against Such Things wrote:

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he listed two: to love God and to love your neighbor.


You speak as if there is any evidence that Jesus as even a historical figure ever existed.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:37 am 
 

1) It's not that hard to not get pregnant, I'm 26 (although now I'm married) but in almost ten years of having sex I've never gotten anyone pregnant. People just need to use proper protection and if used correctly that would eliminate most not all unwanted pregnancies.

2) I would like to know where in the bible it condoned slavery.

3) Religious zealots/bigots are something of a different nature. It's easy for people to reach to hatred and anger for something that they don't understand or are scared of especially when there is somebody that they trust teaching and empowering said hatred.

4) my personal stance is that we should all love and respect each other as Jesus did. He sat and ate with the sinners (i.e. all of us) so we should too. It's not for us to decide who's right and who's wrong, that's up to God.
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Poisonfume
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:40 am 
 

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
2) I would like to know where in the bible it condoned slavery.


A quick google search with keywords "bible", "slavery" and perhaps "quotes" will give you more than enough to work with.
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ObservationSlave
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:03 am 
 

I think that one of the big things here is that regardless of what the Bible says, or what Christians think, when it comes to social issues you must put religion aside. I am not religious, and I should be able to live in a country where governmental decisions are not based on religious beliefs. Many people, like myself have problems with Christians quoting the Bible when discussing social issues. Since there is a separation of church and state, the Bible has no say in things like abortion and gay marriage.

Another slightly unrelated point I would like to make regards interpretations of the Bible. As we all know, the Bible was written a little over 2000 years ago by men. It has been translated over and over into different languages and versions during this time. I don't understand how people could take it word for word if those words have changed countless times.

With that, however, I also fail to see how people interpret it however they see fit. There is no point looking to a book for morality if you allow your own innate morality to override it. People who use the Bible as a "guideline" don't need the Bible for morality, but only to find their own morality within it for justification.

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Against Such Things
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:10 pm 
 

Veracs wrote:
Against Such Things wrote:

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he listed two: to love God and to love your neighbor.


You speak as if there is any evidence that Jesus as even a historical figure ever existed.

I'm not going to get into this debate, but since the lowest common denominator for anyone who claims to be a Christian is, you know, believing that a Christ did exist... the point stands. The words that are written there are used as the basis of the faith and that's the point.

ObservationSlave wrote:
I think that one of the big things here is that regardless of what the Bible says, or what Christians think, when it comes to social issues you must put religion aside. I am not religious, and I should be able to live in a country where governmental decisions are not based on religious beliefs. Many people, like myself have problems with Christians quoting the Bible when discussing social issues. Since there is a separation of church and state, the Bible has no say in things like abortion and gay marriage.

So... people are free to be religious, as long as it is impossible to tell? For many people, their faith has a major influence on their values and morals, and this will affect their judgement and decisions regardless. It isn't something you can just set aside when other people disagree.

The government (for the sake of this discussion, I'm assuming America) is based on the concept of popular sovereignty, among others. The people, all of them have a say. There isn't a convient, "Oh, I don't like your opinions, so you don't to use them." If the government has a power that you wouldn't trust in the hands of someone who you disagree with, then maybe you shouldn't let the government have it.

Before anyone says otherwise, no, I don't think people should impose their moral standards another. I'm an anarchist.
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Ancient_Sorrow
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:21 pm 
 

Quote:
I genuinely want to know if anyone can offer any food for thought on why Christians have all of a sudden become the reason of their own demise.


If you can get a hold of a copy or a PDF, Susan Harding wrote a paper called the "The Problem of the Repugnant Cultural Other" about the academic repulsion and negative popular-culture stereotype of fundamental Christians brought about in part by the Scopes Trial in the 1920s - It's quite an interesting read. I gather, although it's been a while since I read it, that the trial really marked a change in the climate with regards to fundamentalism.
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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:28 pm 
 

Against Such Things wrote:
ObservationSlave wrote:
I think that one of the big things here is that regardless of what the Bible says, or what Christians think, when it comes to social issues you must put religion aside. I am not religious, and I should be able to live in a country where governmental decisions are not based on religious beliefs. Many people, like myself have problems with Christians quoting the Bible when discussing social issues. Since there is a separation of church and state, the Bible has no say in things like abortion and gay marriage.

So... people are free to be religious, as long as it is impossible to tell? For many people, their faith has a major influence on their values and morals, and this will affect their judgement and decisions regardless. It isn't something you can just set aside when other people disagree.

That's fair, however the argument can't be "it says so here".
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megalowho
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:33 pm 
 

Sorry for lengthy post...

I tend to think that Steven Weinberg got it right: "With or without it [religion] you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

And concerning the role that religion played in slave-holding and abolition, it isn't something I've studied, but I'd be surprised if it were true that religion deserves most of the credit for abolition. Some would contend that religion actually posed a significant obstacle to the success of abolition, e.g. Frederick Douglass: "I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the South - as I have observed it and proved it - is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes; a justifier of the most appalling barbarity; a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds; and a dark shelter, under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal abominations fester and flourish. Were I again to be reduced to the condition of a slave, next to that calamity, I should regard the fact of being the slave of a religious slaveholder, the greatest that could befall me."

It's difficult to account for moral progress, to identify all the factors of influence and their interrelations, but I'm sure it'd be an oversimplification to say essentially that the ordinary person's morality is informed primarily by unprejudiced readings of religious texts, for instance; that without the inspiration religion affords, society would be morally stagnant. It'd be as if someone said "It wasn't until I read the Gospels that I acquired a well-formed conviction against slavery; if it weren't for that, I doubt that anything could have moved me" - it reminds of the suggestion (implicitly made by people who are dubious about secular morality) that without the guidance of the Ten Commandments, say, we wouldn't have any serious qualms with, and would be powerless to discourage one another from, murder and theft. Religion might be helpful in reinforcing those qualms, but there's something naïve and even troubling about the person who suggests that religion is required for that, or in other words, that people themselves do not deserve credit for their moral development. (I'm not accusing anyone here of making this suggestion.)

My view is that religion needlessly obscures the (already somewhat obscure) nature of morality: Whatever else morality might be, it's clearly something that helps communities achieve their common purposes and become less dysfunctional. Worse, religion has the ability to foster dangerous superstitions; it encourages people to defer to an arbitrary, non-human force: You can imagine someone who would favor, say, marriage equality, but for whom the Biblical condemnations of homosexuality create too much uneasiness. That seems relatively ordinary (though admittedly, my saying so rests on little more than my experience). I take it that's the sort of thing that Weinberg had in mind when he spoke of "good people doing evil things".

I understand secular morality to be a matter of people getting along in spite of their differences, appealing to shared standards of reasonableness and common decency, not to religious idiosyncracies. If this is your starting point, then it should be clear why the religious conservative's perspective on abortion, say, which often involves the unscientific notion of ensoulment, would be out of place in public policy. But if religion happens merely to reinforce the notions that already play a role in public, secular discourse - equality, autonomy, etc. - then I have little objection to it.

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FlaPack
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:47 pm 
 

Here's a probably not novel theory. It's not just Christians. All major factions have lost the ability to carry on an honest and open large scale debate. The culprit: technology. Information technology to be more precise. In an age when it is possible to communicate almost instantaneously with as large a segment of the population as cares to listen, the conversation within factions becomes very impersonal. Economies of scale take over. Larger organizations can turn more heads with each dollar or sound bite because it's broadcast in front of more eyes or ears. In their quest to economize they descend to the lowest common denominator to bolster their ranks. That lowest common denominator being the ad hominem. Once you have demonized your opponent there is really no reason to consider their position. It's being espoused by evil people. It can have no merit, right?

I don't know if that made any sense. Oh well.

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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:18 pm 
 

shouvince wrote:
And I agree with Frog about pregnancy having negative connotations. Just because a girl gets pregnant, one shouldn't immediately assume that it was a mistake. It's a terrible way of thinking.
There is an unintended pregnancy rate you know, and it's 49%. Now, unintended and unwanted are two different things but I wouldn't hesitate to say there is a fair overlap in there.

megalowho wrote:
And concerning the role that religion played in slave-holding and abolition, it isn't something I've studied, but I'd be surprised if it were true that religion deserves most of the credit for abolition. Some would contend that religion actually posed a significant obstacle to the success of abolition, e.g. Frederick Douglass: "I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the South - as I have observed it and proved it - is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes; a justifier of the most appalling barbarity; a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds; and a dark shelter, under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal abominations fester and flourish. Were I again to be reduced to the condition of a slave, next to that calamity, I should regard the fact of being the slave of a religious slaveholder, the greatest that could befall me."

A fantastic post on the whole. But I've also read narratives by Frederick Douglas, and while the stricter slaveholders did tend to be very religious, I couldn't help but notice that one of the main themes in his writing and other texts was that slaveholders faced a massive contradiction in light of Christianity, and that this was one of the largest reasons the North found Slavery repulsive. They used the Bible and God's judgement as a tool of persuasion many times against the South, and this religious dilemma was troublesome for many of the southern slaveholders.
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Last edited by CF_Mono on Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Napero
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:13 am 
 

Ooooh... what a wonderful thread.

Religion has painted itself in a corner a long time ago, mostly by its silly choices on how to fight secularism. While I personally can't find any positive aspects in religion at all, if you look at the bigger picture, it's easy to see that religious people are extremely bad at picking their battles. As an example, the losing fight against evolution is a stupid idea to begin with. Essentially uneducated but heavily indoctrinated and dishonest idiots argue against things/facts they don't understand, or even do not want to understand; all it does is purely negative to the idea of religion, and reduces the ideas of divinity to shrinking gods of gaps. Had evolution been left alone, the embarrassment would not be such a heavy blow to the image of religion. It's one of the campaigns that has led religion down a path that will see most educated people eventually abandoning even the traditional/habitual membership in congregations.

It seems that the OP intended this thread to be focused on Christianity and western world, so we should skip the problems of Islam and other alien religions. Suffice it to say that there's no real difference between the fundamentals of Christianity and Islam, except for the fact that Islam is supposed to be spread with the sword. In the words of someone way smarter than me, 9/11 was a faith-based initiative, and should therefore be tax exempt.

Also, the thread seems to be centered on abortion. Now, the discussion on abortion seems to be something peculiar to the USA, and in the Nordics, at least, it's mostly seen in pragmatic light, and the laws concerning it have some actual common sense in them. Abortion is legal, as it should be. It's also regulated, as it should be. And getting an abortion for "social reasons", i.e. not wanting the child, is limited to the first trimester, so that whims and changes of mind cannot lead to atrocities such as the "partial birth abortions", just as it should be. Anything later than that requires a medical reason, and usually entails either a heavily disabled or non-viable fetus. So, in principle, abortion is OK, as long as the aborted item is a clump of cells or a tiny shrimp, with no brain functions. Which is common sense. Arguing the existence of a soul or personality during the first few months is absurd, as is the opposite idea that, as long as the baby is within its mother, it's not a person and counts as fair game. The US discussion is polarized between these two extremes, and while I know most people over there would agree with my thoughts on this if questioned, there's virtually no one there actually voicing the sensible middle ground.

It's easy argue that the North American and Nordic cultures, for example, have been shaped by the Christian values, and the reasoning certainly holds water. But in the case of the Nordics, with their Lutheran cultural foundation, the religion itself is being viewed as something redundant by most young people these days. While certain values preached by the church for centuries will remain as a foundation for the national characters, the supernatural part of the equation is no longer seen as necessary. Treating others in the way you'd want to be treated yourself is a no-brainer in a civilized society, and it does not require a magical sky-daddy to work. It's actually a product of evolution combined with cultural development, instead of a divinely instructed code, and I feel bad for anyone who needs a god to follow such a simple and sensible rule.

Religion will still have some token value as a moral guide for certain kinds of people, but it should shift its focus to more philosophical and ethical direction, and forget the stupid battles against science and such. I have a hard time believing Jesus (the fictional one) would have condoned having kids just to see them starve to death, if a better alternative existed in the form of condoms. It could be used for the greater good, by having the religious authorities use the dogma to advance things that are useful in the real world, as far as the framework of the particular religion allow it... which is not much in the case of Catholicism and Islam, to be honest.

The battle against science might seem like a good idea on the first glance, I guess. After all, as in the case of abortion, the things that science has shown us pave the path towards freeing the abortion during the early pregnancy. And evolution, of course, robs mankind of its special divine status, and argues against religion, if religion insists on holding on to its archaic creation fables. But all this is a losing battle, and since the 1950's, it's been a battle that has cost religion much more than the stubborn and childish opposition to advancing knowledge has kept safe. There's no longer much need for supernatural explanations of things seen around us, and the baby goes out along with the bathwater if people abandon religion due to such stupid attitude; there's little in the way of morals you can convincingly argue to an educated person, if you at the same time insist that the world is 6006 years old. The potentially good ethical message has been diluted to homeopathic concentrations by the white noise religion itself insists on bringing along.

Erosion Of Humanity wrote:
1) It's not that hard to not get pregnant, I'm 26 (although now I'm married) but in almost ten years of having sex I've never gotten anyone pregnant. People just need to use proper protection and if used correctly that would eliminate most not all unwanted pregnancies.

Well, if you consider the attitude of the US christian conservatives and the catholic church, for example, both protection and sex education are to be banned. Which is one of the true idiocies of religion, and actually causes unimaginable damage to the whole planet and millions of individual lives. It gnaws at the credibility of the whole business, and for the people who care to think about the wider picture every now and then without any doctrinal luggage, it's just a further nail in religion's coffin in the long run.

The whole abstinence bullshit is destructive and extremely harmful in the real world. Young people with little brain will have sex with or without abstinence education, and if they do not know how to wear a rubber on their willy or eat their pills, it will result in pregnancies; denying that is foolishness. And if they get pregnant in the process, it's either abortion OR the ruination of a life or three in the medium term in a large fraction of the cases; denying that is foolish, as well. Religion's approach to the question might work in the La-La Land, but not in the real world with real people... and that's the main parallel between Catholicism and communism, BTW. It's insane to have a group of 70 years old virgins to decide on a doctrine meant to keep hormone-fueled teenagers under control and out of the harm's way. And that, in my eyes, pretty much sums up the "value" of religion.
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Erosion of Humanity
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:08 am 
 

Hey I agree with you Napero. The whole "sex doesn't happen until you're married and God decides how many babies you'll have" thing only leads to bad situations. The older and older I get the more I stray from organized religion because they refuse to keep up with the times so to speak. But I'll always keep my faith in God.
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mindshadow
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:57 pm 
 

Napero wrote:
...spread with the sword


Buddhism is spread with the sword to - the dharma sword of truth* which cuts through all ignorance.

How much of what was written long ago was metaphor, so people could better understand the meaning? Yet today even learned people can take them literally.

*teachings
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Napero
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:00 pm 
 

mindshadow wrote:
Napero wrote:
...spread with the sword


Buddhism is spread with the sword to - the dharma sword of truth* which cuts through all ignorance.

Yes, indeed that is SO similar to flying planes into buildings, beheading people, and generally resorting to violence whenever everybody does not agree...

And yes, I know most muslims do not condone violence, but they do not condemn it, either. And the violence IS built into the religion, and that can't be removed or denied. It's a feature, not a bug.

mindshadow wrote:
How much of what was written long ago was metaphor, so people could better understand the meaning? Yet today even learned people can take them literally.

Here I agree. Taking bronze/stone age writings literally is insane, but millions of people in the USA alone do exactly that. And even more so in the Islamic nations.
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:44 pm 
 

Veracs wrote:

You speak as if there is any evidence that Jesus as even a historical figure ever existed.


From Tacitus's Annals:

Quote:
Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.


From Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews:

Quote:
And now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus... Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.


Quote:
Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.


History says there was. Do know however that the third quote comes from a section of the Antiquities that was edited by Christians, hence the inclusion of references to the resurrection. The whole of that chapter is like that, although it's commonly believed to have based on actual events.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:50 pm 
 

I believe the first time Christianity worked against itself was the Crusades when a bunch of people from nice looking European countries thought it was their duty to fight for a barren strip of "holy land". Today, that same strip of land is still fought over by religious folk.
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somefella
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:55 am 
 

Against Such Things wrote:
I'm going to throw in my opinion as a Christian.

When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he listed two: to love God and to love your neighbor. This was his summation and simplification of what it meant to follow Him. I think that Christian culture in general often fails to do so. When enough people who identify as something start to act in some way, it becomes part of the assumption of what they all are.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I'm very interested in this topic and will be following.


Agreed. I think the bottom line of actual Christianity(and not GAWD BLESS 'MERICA) is about being a nice dude and not being technical/nitpicky on things. Referring to the sermon in the temple, Jesus was denouncing the Pharisees for saying "oh we have to bathe at these times, and eat these things, and give this much to charity blah blah" when all that achieved was making life difficult for people who genuinely want to be religious and are looking for guidance.

Christianity is very much a personal thing for me, and my bottom line for my morals is the same as JC himself said: Be a nice dude to people if you want them to be nice to you. If everyone did this, black metal would not exist(hurhur). While you may not NEED religion to behave as such, there's nothing wrong if this religion leads to more of that(which it should, but sadly does not). Just because someone's road to the same place differs from your road does not mean only yours is right.
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Eh_Timeghoul
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:59 pm 
 

the day it made itself 'infallible' and basically becoming the shitty parent that bases all their arguments on "because I said so" treating humanity as a whole as a child

well children grow up and sooner or later, some will rightfully call bullshit

maybe if that fancy 'faith' stuff was put on us and not invisible beings it wouldn't be blowing up in their face, but why bet on a sure thing? that's boooooo-ring.......

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Erotetic
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:26 pm 
 

CF_Mono wrote:
That and I think some people don't like the idea of abortion being a women's rights issue because it demonstrates how people don't like taking responsibility for their own actions (which more or less is a disturbing thought. I'm pregnant, so fix me.)


should sex clinics be closed down, to punish people who didn't take responsibility?

should all those obese people in the US be denied healthcare because, after all, they clearly show not responsibility for their own health?
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:54 pm 
 

No, I didn't say sex clinics should be shut down. And I don't think people should be denied health care (in most cases) because of their health. But those with conscious unhealthy habits should be in some ways held accountable. I think people who are overweight or who smoke or who are otherwise unhealthy due to their own decisions should pay a different amount for care than someone who takes care of themselves. Obviously there are some problems with that regarding the subjectivity of "taking care of oneself", but there are some obvious signals like drug and alcohol consumption.

The difference is that with health care, everyone pays into a pool, and money from that collection of everyones payments is taken to fund someone for medical purposes. For abortions, I'm assuming right now for the sake of argument that everyone is paying their own abortion fees to get a private operation done. Fine, I think it's an ill way to handle your problems, but if you must pay for an abortion, then do so. Now if you see abortion as a right, as some people do, then we have a dilemma. It erodes the responsibility for people to take care of themselves and use contraception, but at the same time would help keep the population from rising to an unstable level, and would prevent unwanted children from being born into bad households. That's my take on it, but if you feel that I should be enlightened then enlighten away.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:23 pm 
 

CF_Mono wrote:
Now if you see abortion as a right, as some people do, then we have a dilemma.

Wanting to have unfettered access to safe, non-stigmatic facilities is not the same as wanting it to be provided by the state. I think that's where the semantics of "right" needs to be clarified.
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mindshadow
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:51 am 
 

Wilytank wrote:
I believe the first time Christianity worked against itself was the Crusades when a bunch of people from nice looking European countries thought it was their duty to fight for a barren strip of "holy land". Today, that same strip of land is still fought over by religious folk.



Not just this, but the treatment, nay genocide, of the Cathars whose beliefs threatened more conventional thinking of the day. At one point a group of Knights were so disgusted with the bloodthirsty acts commited against them, they fought with them, sacrificing themselves, fighting to death as they realised those giving the orders were not worthy of serving. The times of the Inquisition, a very dark stain on history :nono:

Also the reformation period, started by King Henry VIII - which was the beginning of fragmentation within the (one) church, as previously it was considered heresy to break away - (it still was afterward hence the Armada). This lead the way to many questioning and interpreting religious teachings differently that had been unchallenged for hundreds of years. Not long after, preachers who were being ostracized for their views (each new monarch after Henry sought to either regain papal control or support the Church of England ) went to the new world and became very popular speakers, and helped set up new denominations.

Previously Churches had been very decorative and ornate with rood screens and many paintings, after the reformation Protestants did away with these, wanting people to experience God more through themselves in more humble surroundings than rely on material distractions. As time went by a little of the old was retained along with the new which shaped how the church would later become.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:17 pm 
 

It's hard for me to believe that religion started as a manipulative idea. As the brain evolved, early humanity must have tried to somehow scratch together their comprehension. As language developed, they must have talked about it. Inventing understanding is hard enough these days, let alone back then. That isn't to say that it began as benign, either. Like most things that have no precedent, it would probably have started off neutrally, or in the spirit of the one who invented it. Regardless, there must have been a time when humanity's brain did not conceive of things in religious terms, and it must have been invented, then discussed, and so spread like any meme. It may not have started working against itself so much as gotten weaponized, had its origin in wonder all but bred out, spread among the population, and took root in the memetic marrow of forthcoming civilizations.

Considering that all religions or spiritual systems around the globe have, throughout history, some members among them who promulgate and enforce their position with weaponized religion, it's unlikely that the power-reapers would not have appeared (about as likely as religion never appearing). But had they not, religion would likely have died a quiet, revered death as the human brain evolved and its inborn curiosity clarified more and more of religion's unsound explanations. However, power-reaping began long before science. In the foot race of ideas, religion was already at its stride when science left the blocks.

Some are immune to the virus, maybe some have incorporated more of religion's origin strain, but either way religion is an old contender in the human mental ecosystem, and we've all been exposed to one degree or another. Levels of affliction vary.
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mindshadow
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:24 am 
 

The Industrial Revolution changed the way religion previously played a big part in peoples lives. In villages everyone was expected to attend church services as part of almost daily life for many centuries.
Once the industrial revolution began, people (mainly working folk) moved into the city where their movements and affiliations weren't under so much scrutiny from their peers - or employers/landlords.
It was at this time Catholicism made a strong revival in England as many seeking work in the new factories came over from Ireland, the newer Church of England was challenged (at least in prominence by the newly constructed places of worship) by the older religion. People of different denominations and views lived and worked together in the cities, making society more cosmopolitan.

City life gave people much more freedom in this respect, and the once strong influence religion had on the masses, after many centuries, began to lessen and fragment into different denominations.
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soul_schizm
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 10:35 am 
 

To address the original question, I'd have to say that as long as religion stays as an exchange of ideas, I'm largely OK with it. I'll listen to someone else's ideas any time, and if I find they have value, I will always consider them. I expect to be given the same basic respect for my ideas. The flip side of that coin is, if I don't like your ideas I will reject them. And I understand the same may be done to my ideas. To me, that's just a compact that we should have with each other as human beings.

Once religion crosses the line from an exchange of ideas to something that is forced in some way down another person's throat -- it now starts to work against itself. People will rightfully oppose that kind of thing, and ultimately if it goes on long enough or strongly enough, you get open war.

So, when did religion start working against itself? Probably the first time someone decided that discussion wasn't enough, and it was time to begin forcing others to follow, either by physical force or the force of law. At that point, battle lines are drawn and everything changes.

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Acidgobblin
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 5:45 am 
 

CF_Mono wrote:
No, I didn't say sex clinics should be shut down. And I don't think people should be denied health care (in most cases) because of their health. But those with conscious unhealthy habits should be in some ways held accountable. I think people who are overweight or who smoke or who are otherwise unhealthy due to their own decisions should pay a different amount for care than someone who takes care of themselves. Obviously there are some problems with that regarding the subjectivity of "taking care of oneself", but there are some obvious signals like drug and alcohol consumption.



I find these sort of attitudes quite amazing to be honest. You wouldn't deny health care to people, but wouldn't arbitrarily increasing the cost for it possibly do exactly that? Typically, lower socio-economic classes tend to both smoke more, eat more unhealthy meals and suffer greater health problems- so yeah, lets penalise these people. This is what I see as the sickness of Christianity; 'God helps those who help themsevles' which does not appear anywhere in the bible, and yet is one of the guiding principles of modern day Christianity. I understand that you may feel that people with poor health habits should be held accountable, but I would have thought the decrease in quality of life is punishment enough.

I am, personally, opposed to retribution and punishment in virtually all contexts.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 5:40 pm 
 

Acidgobblin wrote:
I understand that you may feel that people with poor health habits should be held accountable, but I would have thought the decrease in quality of life is punishment enough.

It's not about trying to punish them, it's about leveling out the costs that other people pay for the select few that use the most resources. If it's not fair for people who would be more likely to say, use drug rehab to pay for it because they're poor, then does that make it fair somehow for people who don't drink at all to pay for it? And I'm not talking about fining them immensely until they go into debt dude, just a different rate of healthcare fees.
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Napero
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 6:03 pm 
 

CF_Mono, coming from someone in a country where everybody essentially pays his/her own healthcare in one form or the other anyway, your reasoning seems amusing. Rest assured the insurance companies will take care of that sooner rather than later. And it's flawed in any case, unless you're talking about a society based completely, and without any compassion, on the power of the strongest.

While I can understand the sentiment of not wanting to pay for the fat fellow's or the drug addict's health care or other costs, the reasoning only really works as long as you're doing partial optimization, and only look at the costs on that particular sector and disregard the others. Yeah, deny healthcare to those with high BMIs, kick out alcoholics and drug addicts with their "consciously chosen" problems from the healthcare system altogether, leave STDs untreated unless the person pays for it himself (could be avoided with simple abstinence, you know) and make poor females pay for their own abortions (for the very same reason). And suddenly, you have ENORMOUS costs in some other sector of the society, be it security, the police, the way you dispose of people not able to work, social workers for unwanted kids, and whatever. And not only that, you have an unhappy, diseased society that somehow turns to criminal activity due to the lack of other options. Your opinion, while valid on a basic philosophical level in a perfect world, is rather childish and extremely cruel in the real world. Not everybody chooses to be fat or have alcoholism, it can result from a wide spectrum of circumstances that are not always under the person's control.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 6:46 pm 
 

Napero wrote:
Not everybody chooses to be fat or have alcoholism, it can result from a wide spectrum of circumstances that are not always under the person's control.


Why conservatives don't understand that is beyond me.
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John_Sunlight
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 7:54 pm 
 

Religion never started working against itself, The Word grows ever stronger each day.
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CF_Mono
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:24 pm 
 

Wilytank wrote:
Napero wrote:
Not everybody chooses to be fat or have alcoholism, it can result from a wide spectrum of circumstances that are not always under the person's control.


Why conservatives don't understand that is beyond me.

Small genetic influences may be a factor in either case, but they're the only other influence. Aside from that, you are in fact the only one responsible for your alcoholism or obesity. Nobody else can force you to do these things unless you're chained to a wall and have a gun to your head... Both of my parents are at least 150-200 pounds overweight and were addicted to alcohol before I was born. I'm 150 pounds (which is very good for my height) and I don't drink, in other words, they are choices made by me, not someone else.
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