Are you religious yes? No?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Spirituality in the Arts' started by donald1, Aug 24, 2014.

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  1. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    In general, I agree. People tend to use religion (or political ideology or science or whatever else they see as authoritative) to justify whatever it is they wanted to do in the first place. (Even if a neutral reading of the original religion/political theory/science might lead you to expect the opposite behavior.)

    That said, I do think that certain interpretations of religion can have negative or positive influences on the behavior and attitudes of the believing populace. Therefore, I have adopted the "by their fruits you shall know them" outlook: If your belief in Christianity/Islam/Buddhism/Hinduism/Wicca/Secular Humanism/whatever leads you to be kinder, humbler, happier, more generous and peaceful, and so on, then I say hoorah for Jesus/Allah/Buddha/Ganesh/Mother Goddess/humanity/whatever. If said belief leads you to be an arrogant ******* who hurts others or a miserable person who hurts yourself, then I say find yourself a new belief system.
     
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  2. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    It was on the media here he'd posted a lot of anti religion stuff up on social media and was saying death to them all etc. I was rather bemused though by the description of the killer as a 'self confessed' atheist!
     
  3. jezr74

    jezr74 Master of Arts

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    Nothings sacred anymore!
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I don't understand how this guy is relevant to the discussion. I'm lost. I mean, this guy who posted anti-religious things and is a self described atheist committed a despicable act of violence. But he didn't seem to do so in the name of atheism. So, how is this relevant?

    I completely agree with Tony's thoughts, and appreciate his comments. On an individual level, he's absolutely right. But on a larger level, religion is right up there with blind nationalism for justifying atrocity. It's like the saying, "None of us is as dumb as all of us."

    however, while there are secular motivations for atrocities to occur, atheism isn't one I've ever seen.
     
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  5. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Atrocities are human nature, not religion. That is the convenient excuse. Back and forth to the point that my insomnia is cured.
     
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  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Exactly.
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Wait. What? You guys think atrocity IS human nature, and don't think religion is human nature? I completely disagree.

    Atrocity is considered aberrant behavior, even in the parts of the country where it is tragically common. It is atrocious by definition because it is contrary to human nature.

    Religion on the other hand, is at the very heart of human nature. Not only is religion as old as civilization, it is often encouraged (or even mandated) by the community. While I don't think any ONE thing can sum up the entirity of Human Nature, religion is as much that as anything else.

    Of course, you are both welcome to your opinions, but I really don't think either of you have thought this thing entirely through.
     
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  8. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    There is nothing for me to think through Steve. My opinion :)
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Lol. You don't normally think through your opinions?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  10. Cirdan

    Cirdan Senior Master

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    I never said female genital mutilation is practiced by just one religion. What I said was that the female gential mutilation community is very nearly entirely religious. Strawman arguments won`t change that.

    That males are in control in these religious commulities does not make it any better either, religious subjugation of women anyone? When people grow up with these religious ideals of female purity and female gential mutilation is seen as an important part of this, of course religion causes suffering. You don`t get to pass the buck by blaming culture, males or any such easy way out.

    While religion causing war is debatable (a great recruiting tool tho) it certailny encourages people to take up the suicide bomber profession, that community is as I mentioned pretty much entirely religious too.

    And speaking about religious leaders, here is what the gentle Pope Francis thinks about the anti-LGTB referendum in Slovakia. Seems his "Who am I to judge" stance did not last long. :(
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Passing the buck is saying it's religion's fault, as if people haven't free will and a brain, rather it's saying that 'religion' is what's making them do this. Religion is an idea, it's what people make of it and if they have decided that FMG and suicide bombing is holy then that's them, I don't think anyone's writings actually says you should go out and blow yourself up along with countless others, human thought formed that idea. Religion is the same as culture, it's what people make of it. To blame religion is to say well it's nothing to do with me my deity said it had to be this way and who am I to disobey, it means no one has to take responsibility, they can shrug their shoulders and say it's as their god wills it.
    If you look at any war the underlying causes aren't religion as I said, it's the banner to get people marching, it's the reasoning they can use to get people angry and wanting to fight. Take away all religions and you will still have the same wars just under another banner to stir people up.
    It is human nature and something that needs to be admitted, atrocities are always committed by the 'other side' they aren't thought of as atrocities they are thought as being defensive, being necessary for security etc etc. During the Balkans conflict the Muslim males were massacred and women raped with the idea they would have non Muslim babies to repopulate, this wasn't considered an atrocity as but necessary, there's people still proud of these horrible actions. When Henry the Eighth slaughtered the Catholics it was 'necessary', when his daughter Mary slaughtered the Protestants it was 'necessary', for security, they threatened the throne because these people opposed them rather than their actual religion and if you think that is so far back it doesn't matter it really does the conflict is still continuing in Northern Ireland, the very same conflict that Henry the Eighth started has killed and is killing people now yet none of those bombers who blew up people in the last few years consider they have done anything wrong. They do it in the name of religion yet l know that it's more about drugs, prostitutes, crime and protection rackets and that the terrorists don't actually have any religious beliefs. it's about controlling the population, exhorting money and setting themselves up as the people in charge.
    A lot of people want to be lead, they don't want to think for themselves, some religions encourage self enlightenment, others don't. Some philosophies make people think and some encourage them not to, culture and religion aren't different from each other, it's what people believe, what they want to believe and most want not to think about the difficult things, the best religions tell people they should think and stand on their own to feet, the worst tell them to leave everything to their god. The latter people can blame all the bad things on their deity and say it's his will, they don't have to lift a finger to help, just recruit more believers.

    Some people will always make their religion/culture/philosophy say what they want it to, they are the type who will justify their actions by whatever means they can, this goes for all faiths, all philosophies, all creeds and all political thoughts, they will rally people under their banners making them believe that whatever they do will be right, they can't do wrong so wiping out the neighbouring tribes, invading countries, killing the original inhabitants, taking slaves, massacring children, dropping bombs, using drones, suicide bombers, whatever, is always going to right in the eyes of the following, they aren't monsters are they, they have right on their side after all..............
     
  12. Cirdan

    Cirdan Senior Master

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    Unfortunately "leave everything to god", as you say, is what a lot of people practice AND it is being encouraged by religious leaders everywhere. Standing on your own two feet is not encouraged (especially if you are a woman) simply because educated and sceptical thinking people are much harder to scare into line. Female genital mutilation goes on being practiced because people think this horror is what what the all powerful superbeing wants. Not to mention all the other horrible and insane things done with the backing of myths taken seriously even today.. one wonders why the superbeings do not make an apperance and tell people to cut all this crap being done in their names.

    "Go blow yourself up, god will grant you dozens of virgins in the afterlife -this life is short anyway and an eternity of bliss awaits you"
    "God controls the weather so don`t bother trying to reduce greenhouse emissions"
    "It is okay to opress (or kill) the LGTB because the holy text says so and the superbeing`s word is infallible"
    etc etc
     
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  13. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    A lot of religious leaders would be considerably poorer if some people did start thinking for themselves. We don't tend to have the evangelical 'send me money' people here, I've no doubt there is some on a small scale but on the whole it's not so easy to make money and have power from religion in this country. The established churches have great wealth of course but their poor vicars and priests don't see it.
    However it's not a lot of different for the non religious, they follow their ideological leaders in the same way, the massacres of intellectuals in Cambodia and China show this, the USSR was officially atheist being communist and acted in exactly the same way so the conclusion is really that it's human nature to behave in this way, it's also human behaviour however to be able to think about what you do and to change how you are and what you believe. There are always good people whether they are religious or not, we just need more of them. Religious and atheists can live together perfectly well, it needs people to take responsibility for their own actions, something that is the basis of some religions and should be the basis of all peoples thoughts.
     
  14. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    What about male genital mutilation (circumcision)?

    The crazy man from the Carolinas - nothing to do with a parking dispute. Pure hate crime.
     
  15. Cirdan

    Cirdan Senior Master

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Yes I do think through my opinions. But frankly I could not careless what you believe about me. This is a forum and the faceless at the ready. I will say that you are indeed correct about religion being a human condition, but my point was, or at least this particular one, that religion is a populace mechanism of control. I did not want to state that out of respect to the devout members on this forum.
     
  17. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Damn I thought I was crazy lol
     
  18. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is an interesting article on FGM showing that the researchers believe that it is done for a variety of reasons, not just religion. One of them, 'for fertility', is even more strange than doing it for religion.
    http://www.intact-network.net/intact/cp/files/1293715026_FGM Religious, Cultural and Legal Myths.pdf


    "Reasons include:


     Custom and tradition


     Religion; in the mistaken belief that it is a religious requirement

     Preservation of virginity/chastity

     Social acceptance, especially for marriage

     Hygiene and cleanliness

     Increasing sexual pleasure for the male

     Family" there is more.
     
  19. Transk53

    Transk53 The Dark Often Prevails

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    Enhancing fertility. Really!
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    That one baffled me to be honest because I can't see any reason for it, many old wives tales about medicine and biology tend to have a sort of logic to them but I can't see it in this one. I suppose though it is a powerful reason for people if they think it actually does do that especially in places where the infant mortality rate is high.
     
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