Religion - is one better than another?

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Message 1453065 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 1:54:53 UTC - in response to Message 1453052.  

Well Satan is from Christian theology, so its not such a great leap.

So you think my plan of setting up a festive diorama of Christians being fed to the lions on the front lawn might be in poor taste? I was hoping it would discourage them from parking there when the go to the Church across the street.

I dunno, Christians being eaten by lions is not exactly fitting with Christmas. Id save it for Easter or something. Seems more fitting with the whole 'nailed to the cross' bit. Also, I doubt it would deter parking in front of your house. In fact, it might even be seen by some more humorless people as an invitation to park their car on your front lawn ;)

Pfft..they're Christians. What are they gonna do? Turn the other cheek? ;)
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Message 1453068 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 2:09:45 UTC - in response to Message 1453065.  

Don't make too much waves, guys. I am a religious troll.
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Message 1453156 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 8:51:30 UTC

I'm a heretic on calm waters myself, pleased to meet you. ;-)

Cheers.
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Message 1453163 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 9:03:04 UTC - in response to Message 1453161.  

I'm a self confessed agnostic with a slight leaning to atheism, but I do take Lynns view that the front lawn posts are bordering on bad taste. THis thread has already lasted longer than I suspcted it would, mainly because up till now people have made serious posts. It would be a shame to spoil that record, and you now know the thread is being kept an eye on.

Carry on.

I actually I thought that it would've gone up in flames in the 1st day, but then I noticed the reason why it's actually very quiet by most standards.

Cheers.
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Message 1453170 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 9:33:25 UTC

Having been brought up in countries that before WW2 were Italian colonies, and that the schools I attended were run by the RC church. These schools were also the de facto International schools, and also used to educate the kids of local dignitaries, before they were sent to European or US Universities. As a result my school friends included christians from Catholics, Protestants, Coptics, Orthodox faiths and one from the Armenian Apostolic Church. There were also some Jews from different backgrounds, (looking up Ethiopian Jews may help) and of course some Muslims.

I think in our discussions we concluded that no one church was better than another, in fact we realised that we were put into these religious slots by accident of birth. As far as I know from the contacts I have kept, not one of us practices their religion and most would probably say they are atheist or agnostic.
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Message 1453187 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 11:17:12 UTC - in response to Message 1453184.  

WHY???

The why can be all kinds of reasons. Comfort, relief, a place to come to rest, a way to indeed give meaning to their own life.

You know, in the face of total irrelevance and fatalism a thing that tells you that you are not totally irrelevant and that you've got some measure of free will can be quite relieving.
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Message 1453204 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 12:49:59 UTC - in response to Message 1453161.  
Last modified: 12 Dec 2013, 12:53:41 UTC

but I do take Lynns view that the front lawn posts are bordering on bad taste.


And what about all the things said on these forums about Atheism that are quite inflammatory? Why can't there be a little poke back?

[/off topic]

Or is this another example of religion receiving special concessions because it is special or more important than all the rest?
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Message 1453210 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 13:19:17 UTC - in response to Message 1453161.  

I'm a self confessed agnostic with a slight leaning to atheism, but I do take Lynns view that the front lawn posts are bordering on bad taste. THis thread has already lasted longer than I suspcted it would, mainly because up till now people have made serious posts. It would be a shame to spoil that record, and you now know the thread is being kept an eye on.

Carry on.


Oh dear, the project's not keeping up to date, a new mod and not notified, whatever next?

This is a science project. We have the big bang and evolution explaining life. We are born, with death coming whenever - natural or violent, it comes to us all.

Religion is just another tool for the powerful to keep the masses in their place.
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Message 1453222 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 14:23:37 UTC - in response to Message 1453221.  

No, I don't see it in that way. Maybe in the past is was a method to frighten a population to adhere to certain standards of conduct, or else face hellfire and brimstone.


Care to explain then what is happening in the Middle East and Asia? Isn't that exactly what is occurring?
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Message 1453238 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 16:30:15 UTC - in response to Message 1453191.  
Last modified: 12 Dec 2013, 16:31:48 UTC


Sorry, I still can't see it.

I know that I am not totally irrelevant. I know how much I have raised for charity over 35 years, I know how much I have helped and supported people that needed it. I know what I do to be a good citizen, and I take responsibility for my own actions. And I know that I am helping to make changes, hopefully for the better as we speak. I don't want or need any thanks for that, why should I? I don't have an ego that needs pampering. Although having said that, it is "nice" to get some peer recognition on occasions for ones endeavours. I have the personal satisfaction of knowing that I have helped my fellow man and hopefully will leave the world a slightly better place then when I came into it. That's good enough for me. I don't need some esoteric belief in some deity I will never know exists or not, to bolster me in my day to day living. I'm quite capable of managing on my own thank you very much. It's called strength of character, which seems in very short supply these days!

Good for you, now just realize that not everyone is like you. Just because you don't need to believe in stuff to feel better about life doesn't mean that everyone else can also do without it. I personally prefer the idea that when I'm dead I go to a nice place and get a chance to meet all my friends and family again. I personally think that's nicer than the idea that once I'm dead its game over and I cease to be. But hey, if you don't mind that, cool.

Aside from that, I get all the things you get, and a warm fuzzy feeling everytime I think that death is not the ultimate end of life, but just the next phase of life.
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Message 1453239 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 16:33:19 UTC - in response to Message 1453204.  

but I do take Lynns view that the front lawn posts are bordering on bad taste.


And what about all the things said on these forums about Atheism that are quite inflammatory? Why can't there be a little poke back?

[/off topic]

Or is this another example of religion receiving special concessions because it is special or more important than all the rest?

Exactly the point I was going to make.

Why is it bad taste to make a joking reference to something that actually happened in history?

It was very mild compared to stuff that's in the bible. I still haven't forgotten how that Moses cartoon gave my 4 year old son nightmares for weeks. You want bad taste, read the old testament.

People are too sensitive about religion because they think there is something special about it and they are entitled to get offended when people make jokes about it.


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Message 1453240 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 16:34:44 UTC - in response to Message 1453238.  


Sorry, I still can't see it.

I know that I am not totally irrelevant. I know how much I have raised for charity over 35 years, I know how much I have helped and supported people that needed it. I know what I do to be a good citizen, and I take responsibility for my own actions. And I know that I am helping to make changes, hopefully for the better as we speak. I don't want or need any thanks for that, why should I? I don't have an ego that needs pampering. Although having said that, it is "nice" to get some peer recognition on occasions for ones endeavours. I have the personal satisfaction of knowing that I have helped my fellow man and hopefully will leave the world a slightly better place then when I came into it. That's good enough for me. I don't need some esoteric belief in some deity I will never know exists or not, to bolster me in my day to day living. I'm quite capable of managing on my own thank you very much. It's called strength of character, which seems in very short supply these days!

Good for you, now just realize that not everyone is like you. Just because you don't need to believe in stuff to feel better about life doesn't mean that everyone else can also do without it. I personally prefer the idea that when I'm dead I go to a nice place and get a chance to meet all my friends and family again. I personally think that's nicer than the idea that once I'm dead its game over and I cease to be. But hey, if you don't mind that, cool.

Aside from that, I get all the things you get, and a warm fuzzy feeling everytime I think that death is not the ultimate end of life, but just the next phase of life.

There are other ideas that fit in with science, that don't need a god.

Time is a human interpretation of entropy. Everyone never dies, they are all there somewhere on the timeline.
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Message 1453257 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 17:31:54 UTC

I couldn't make my mind up as to which thread this was posted in. The end of the speech referred to Europe but felt it encompassed both, so, remember this was said in 1899. Was the man wrong?

CHURCHILL ON ISLAM

Unbelievable, but the speech below was written in 1899... (check Wikipedia - The River War).

The attached short speech from Winston Churchill, was delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. It probably sets out the current views of many, but expresses in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, of which he was a past master. Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and British Prime Minister, to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. He was a prophet in his own time. He died on 24th January 1965, at the grand old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral.


HERE IS THE SPEECH:

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome ..."

Sir Winston Churchill; (Source: The River War, first edition, Vol II, pages 248-250 London).

Churchill saw it coming......
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Message 1453270 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 18:07:10 UTC

Much as I dislike pretty much all Abrahamic faiths, there is a danger here of seeing another through the rose coloured glasses of one's own Christian based cultural background. Many of those accusations can be leveled at fundamental Christians, and then there are many Muslims who practice a moderate version of the faith.

There is a danger of crossing the line from disliking the actions and beliefs to racism, bigotry and dangerous sweeping generalisations that aren't based on reality.
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Message 1453276 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 18:15:09 UTC - in response to Message 1453270.  

Understood and agree. However, the majority of my customers are Muslim and there have been many an occasion when while here, they brought up politics and religion. My simple answer to them was as a Kuffar (non-Muslim] why are muslims fighting each other yet when non muslims mention that we are regarded as racists?

Regardless whether or not they are Sunni or Shi-ites, to a kuffar, they are muslim.

As far as I'm concerned it just proves my point that religion is a tool for the few to gain power and maintain that power. Currently, Assad fits that bill does he not?
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Message 1453299 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 18:44:35 UTC - in response to Message 1453276.  

Understood and agree. However, the majority of my customers are Muslim and there have been many an occasion when while here, they brought up politics and religion. My simple answer to them was as a Kuffar (non-Muslim] why are muslims fighting each other yet when non muslims mention that we are regarded as racists?

Regardless whether or not they are Sunni or Shi-ites, to a kuffar, they are muslim.

As far as I'm concerned it just proves my point that religion is a tool for the few to gain power and maintain that power. Currently, Assad fits that bill does he not?

I agree that it is used as a way to gain power...but again, this isn't specific to Islam as apposed to Christianity. There is a trap that a lot of Christians fall into where they smugly decry that a Christian would never do such and such and that there is something particularly nasty about Islam (and some sects of Islam are admittedly pretty vile). However these Christians display selective memory and ignore any events that contradict this smug world view. Its nothing but the "Stop Thief" finger pointing from Oliver Twist.

This sort Islam bashing falls into the category of "my religion is better than yours" (the topic of thread I guess). Whereas I think there are plenty of faults with both.
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Message 1453323 - Posted: 12 Dec 2013, 19:40:00 UTC - in response to Message 1453299.  

Have to agree again. However, throughout all my postings regarding religion, I have posted the same about Christianity, so it does not fall into that trap.

Every religion known to man is the same. There is no proof whatsoever that any are genuine regardless of how old their "fabled" books are!
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Message 1453425 - Posted: 13 Dec 2013, 1:06:44 UTC - in response to Message 1453238.  

Just because you don't need to believe in stuff to feel better about life doesn't mean that everyone else can also do without it.


I just can't wrap my head around this. I'm totally cool with people who choose to believe. People are free to believe whatever they want, I don't really care as long as they don't push it on others, or in public policy or science.

But I cannot buy into the idea that some people need religion to live a happy life. I also do not buy into the idea that people will become amoralistic animals without religion, despite what is claimed here by the faithful on the forums.

[Sorry for the off topic]
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Message 1453534 - Posted: 13 Dec 2013, 13:12:02 UTC - in response to Message 1453508.  

I agree with the statement that so many people DO need it to be fulfilled and happy, from simple observation. Personally I don't understand why, you'll have to ask them!


When I see the word "need" as it relates to living life, I think of air, food, water. The rest are wants. They want to believe there's an afterlife, because nothingness scares them. They want to believe there's a being that looks out after them, because they want to feel loved. They want to believe we were created by a deity, because they want to feel special.

Faith and religion are a self-serving belief system. Again, I'm OK with people who have those wants, but I refuse to buy it as a "need" for living life. And there's so many of them that know no other way of life, how would they truly know it as a "need" unless they've put in a full effort to live another way? Because personally, I think if they ever tried living life knowing there's no reason to believe in fairy tales and gods, and start taking more personal responsibility for their own lives instead of thinking someone else has a plan for them, they just might be able to find happiness within themselves instead of drawing it from fiction.
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Message 1453568 - Posted: 13 Dec 2013, 15:55:57 UTC - in response to Message 1453534.  
Last modified: 13 Dec 2013, 15:57:46 UTC

When I see the word "need" as it relates to living life, I think of air, food, water. The rest are wants. They want to believe there's an afterlife, because nothingness scares them. They want to believe there's a being that looks out after them, because they want to feel loved. They want to believe we were created by a deity, because they want to feel special.

Those things are wants if you take as the standard of life a very biological interpretation. Indeed, you do not need faith or religion in order to keep your body functioning. But if you expand what 'life' as a minimal standard should be to include things like feeling happy and/or free from fear, then faith and religion can become a need. I mean, having a roof over your head is considered in the west also a need and not a want. Having a job, again a need. Getting at least some basic form of education is again a need.

Faith and religion are a self-serving belief system. Again, I'm OK with people who have those wants, but I refuse to buy it as a "need" for living life. And there's so many of them that know no other way of life, how would they truly know it as a "need" unless they've put in a full effort to live another way? Because personally, I think if they ever tried living life knowing there's no reason to believe in fairy tales and gods, and start taking more personal responsibility for their own lives instead of thinking someone else has a plan for them, they just might be able to find happiness within themselves instead of drawing it from fiction.

Trust me, I've been there. I've been an atheist. It just didn't do anything for me. I find the answers unsatisfying and the reasoning behind unconvincing. Sure, you are right when you say there is no reason to believe. But so what? I also see no reason in not believing. My fatalism does not stem from any religious upbringing, that is purely the result of science. Humans have no control over their behavior, its all chemicals and electric signals, set in motion by a whole range of factors. So indeed, no human is technically responsible for their behavior and we got the scientific proof to back that up.

Aside from that, I find this argumentation a little to black and white. You are basically saying that people who believe in God or who follow a religion draw all their happiness from that faith. Maybe a few people actually do. But the vast majority are no different than people who don't believe in God. They draw happiness and satisfaction from the same sources as everyone else. At best, religion can just gives them a little extra happiness. You know, its like saying that you shouldn't support a sports team because you don't need to support a sports team to be happy. Is that a good argument to stop supporting a sports team? I doubt you will convince any sports fans to stop supporting their sports team.


As for the Islam bit by Churchill, women were seen as property by Christians as well. You know how the first women Lilith was made an equal to Adam and how she rebelled against being seen as property by Adam and got kicked out of paradise for that. So God made Eve from Adam's rib, making her property of Adam because she was created out of him. As for Islam and science, for the longest time the Islamic world was much further advanced scientifically then the Christian world. Sure, that changed and right now the Islamic world is pretty much experiencing its own dark age. But to say that the Islam is inherently worse than Christianity is a little silly.
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